Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Session Report – Woodchipper – Job Three: The Mendoza Hit

[This job happened April 18th, May 9th, May 23rd, June 6th, and June 13th.  The first four sessions each had a small scene pushing the plot along until the job actually happened on the 13th.  Void was busy scouting several other jobs and taking shifts in the MoM Defense job during the same time, so she was stretched a little thin.]

PCs Involved
The Fin – female human con artist and gambler from India, by way of Russia, posh and elegant
Void – female human physical adept B&E specialist, a shadow that blends in easily
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
Murdoc – male elf kilt-wearing street mage, at home with the hobos

NPC’d
Sin – male human rigger, knows exactly the wrong thing to say and says it
coldpulse – female dwarf decker NPC that occasionally works with the Pleiades Group


Tuesday, March 31, 2076
The Fin received a call in the morning from a gentleman identifying himself with a southern UCAS accent as “Mr. Johnson.” Mr. Johnson said he had seen the ad discussing discrete services and requested a mobile meeting to discuss a contract job.  The Fin decided to go, but she would take precautions.  After she accepted the meeting, Mr. Johnson told her a car would pick her up at the Charles Royer Station in Tacoma shortly after 2:13 PM.  She should look for the driver with an AR sign saying “Medical Motors” and looking for Ms. Fin in the Ground Transportation area.

After the call was over, The Fin contacted Sin, saying she needed him to drive her to a meeting with Mr. Johnson and needed Sin to monitor the broach with the built in Fly-Spy drone to make sure she returned from the meeting safely.  Sin agreed and picked her up in a BMW 400GT he had on loan from Kaylee.

They arrived at the Charles Royer Station at 2:00 PM, just as the bullet train from San Francisco arrived at the station.  The Fin was able to mingle with the arriving passengers in the luggage pick-up area before taking the escalator down to the Ground Transportation area.  There she spotted the driver with the Medical Motors AR sign and introduced herself as Ms. Fin.  The driver walked her over to a waiting limousine and held the door open for her.  The Fin entered the limo and took a seat.  The back was empty except for a fully stocked, automated wet bar and an AR sign simply saying “One Moment”.

After closing the door, the driver climbed into the front, put the vehicle into gear, and pulled out of the waiting area.  When the car got underway, the “One Moment” sign disappeared and a gentleman in a suit with droopy eyes the color of turquoise, thick, wavy, brown hair, and a long beard and a mustache appeared in AR, apparently sitting at the front of the seating area with his back to the driver.

Mr. Johnson thanked The Fin for taking the meeting and politely asked if she would like a drink.  She accepted a quality whiskey from the automated wet bar, but did not drink from it.  Mr. Johnson explained he wanted a computer technician at a research facility killed in the server room no later than April 8th.  The kill must be bloody, but no guns or evidence of intrusion.  The job would pay 45,000¥ upon delivery of photos of the dead technician in situ.  The Fin asked about the name of the technician or if there was a picture of the unfortunate person.  Mr. Johnson simply said, “It doesn’t matter who gets killed as long as it’s a technician, in the server room, it’s bloody, and no one is seen or recorded doing it.”  The Fin negotiated with Mr. Johnson, talking him up to 49,500¥ due to the short time frame and difficulty [plus a really good Negotiation roll].

Once the negotiations were over, Mr. Johnson’s AR image disappeared and the driver brought the limo back to the Charles Royer Station and let The Fin out of the back seat.  The Fin left the untouched whiskey back in the limo.  [The Fin did not drink the whiskey for two reasons: 1) she was uncertain of her host and a little paranoia is good for a fixer, and 2) she’s a booze snob and anything “dispensed” would have an inferior taste to a properly poured drink.]

While Sin was driving The Fin back to her residence, The Fin called Void and offered the job to Void to plan and execute.  The Fin quoted the job at 44,000¥.  Void accepted the contract and then ran a matrix query to find out what business was at the given address.  It was the Seattle offices for Mendoza Telecommunications of Houston.  Void had never heard of them before and what information was publicly available indicated they were a mid-level telecommunications R&D group.


Wednesday, April 1, 2076
Late in the afternoon, after performing the ZAT SIN Codes run, Void asked Bookie to infiltrate the local Mendoza host to get floor plans of the Seattle office.  Bookie had heard of the Mendoza host by reputation and knew one other important fact about Mendoza Telecommunications of Houston – it was wholly owned by Aztechnology.  With that in mind, he asked coldpulse to back him up on the run.

The initial infiltration of the host went well, with both Bookie and coldpulse easily getting in.  There were several Patrol ICs active inside, but Bookie and coldpulse avoided their combined attention.  In a low security folder, Bookie located a set of fire escape plans for the building based on the architectural drawings and decided this would be a good place to start.  Unfortunately, both he and coldpulse completely miss the data bomb hidden inside the file.  The data bomb damaged both of their decks and alerted all the Patrol IC, forcing Bookie and coldpulse bail with the data.  Both deckers agreed to never mention the data bomb to anyone and started repairing their decks.  Bookie sent Void what floor plans he could escape with, telling Void, “That’s all I found.”  Void sighed and started studying the floor plans.


Thursday, April 2, 2076
Morning
Wanting a better feel for the Mendoza building and its surroundings, Void rode over on her Suzuki Mirage motorcycle.  The Mendoza offices were a large three-story building that sprawled across half a city block with the other half of the block being employee parking.  There were some 4-6 story residential buildings to the west, across the street from the front of the building.  The block to the south was a park for Mendoza employees [and the site of future expansion].  The street between the office and the park was private and used for delivery trucks only, with a guarded gate at each end.  The block to the north was mixed commercial use across a broad, major street that cut through the area.

Casually pacing out the distances, Void decided she was going to jump across the smaller street in front of the offices from the top of one of the residential buildings.  She left the area before any corporate security started paying attention to her.

Evening
Once the sun had set, Void returned to the area of the Mendoza offices.  Void took some time to observe the alley behind the residential buildings facing the Mendoza building.  Once she had a feel for the alley, she used a combination of gymnastics, parkour, and Physical Adept powers to quietly make her way up to the roof along the outside of the building.  The roof was in deep shadow from the street lights and new moon, but her low light goggles allowed her to move across the roof with cat-like grace, easily avoiding everything on the roof.  Once in place, Void used her enhanced perception and optical equipment to observe the security on the roof of the Mendoza building.

Taking her time and making notes, Void was able to put together a good security map of the roof.  There were motion sensors around the roof perimeter.  There were a handful of access panels on the roof with subtly marked paths between them and nearby machinery.  Finally, there was a rooftop heliport with a small, enclosed, waiting area with stairs down into the building interior.  There were some cameras mounted to observe the helipad and waiting area, but Void picked it as the best chance of entry without being noticed.

Void contacted Murdoc and asked him if he wanted to make some easy money…


Friday, April 3, 2076
3:00 PM
Void and Murdoc met in the alley behind the residential buildings.  The sky was heavily overcast and it was raining.  Murdoc cast improved invisibility, first on Void and then on himself, using a focus to sustain the spell on Void.  Murdoc then found a mostly dry corner in the alley to settle into and make himself comfortable.  Just like home.

Void made her way to the roof of a six-story building across from the Mendoza building.  She checked the roof of the Mendoza building one last time and found a helicopter on the helipad, its blades turning at an idling speed.  Perfect.  The combination of rain and helicopter draft would ruin the ability of the motion detectors to notice her jump and landing.

Void backed up to the far side of the roof to give her space to work up enough momentum.  She then focused her chi to boost her strength and sprinted across the roof, leaping into space towards the roof of the Mendoza building, three stories below, across the street, and behind a fence.

Void’s combination of momentum, Light Body, Boosted Strength, and Traceless Walk carried her all the way across to the roof of the Mendoza building where she landed as softly as a cat, Mendoza security completely unaware of her presence.  Void padded her way over to the waiting area, where the helicopter pilot was looking at some AR weather charts of the area.  While Void was trying to decide on the best way to bypass the pilot, two executives came up the stairs from below and the three of them exited the covered waiting area to board the helicopter.  Void used the gap behind them to sneak in through the door before it closed.  As the helicopter spun up for flight, Void pulled some cloths from a watertight pouch and dried herself off.  [Damp foot prints are a dead giveaway for an invisible person.]

Once dry, Void used her memory of the floor plan to quickly make her way down into the building and to the server room through the mostly empty hallways.  At the server room, she found a card-scanning maglock, which her locksmithing skills quickly bypassed.  As she entered the server room, she noticed a mana barrier protecting the room, stopping in time to avoid losing her invisibility.  She took some time slowly easing her way into the room, making it inside without losing the invisibility or breaking the barrier and alerting security.

Inside the server room were two women working on one of the servers and talking to each other in Spanish [which Void does not speak].  Void quietly closed the door and made her way over to a place in the room where she could watch the women and the single entrance.  After a 10 minute wait, the two women finished whatever they were working on and packed up their equipment.  Void waited until they were about to exit the room before knocking into one of the servers, making it release some electronic tones.  Both women noticed the noises, but, luckily, only one of them started walking over to where Void was, waving off the other woman, who left the room.

Once the door closed, Void boosted her strength again and then buried a throwing dagger deep into the neck of the woman, killing her nearly instantly.  Void grabbed the falling body and spread the arterial spray around.  Void then took out another throwing dagger and roughly cut out the first dagger, letting the blood spatter as much as possible.  Void spent a few more seconds making the corpse a bloody mess, per the contract instructions, and then took a couple of quick pictures as proof the job had been accomplished.  Void used the same cloths from before to quickly wipe any blood off herself and particularly her shoes before storing the cloths again.

Checking the time to verify the other woman had a full minute head start on leaving, Void stepped out of the server room.  There were people standing in the hallway, looking up at the ceiling while a pinging noise issued from ceiling speakers.  Void’s paranoia kicked in majorly and she decided to bolt.  Being invisible with Traceless Walk and Wall Running allowed her to move among the employees like a ghost.  Passing through the first hallway intersection, Void spotted an EM Team running down the center of the side hallway towards the server room.  Void continued towards the helipad.

Just as Void returned to the helipad waiting area, a building wide alarm went off.  She pushed through the doorway to the roof just as armored doors started slamming down, securing the waiting area.  Void charged across the now empty helipad to the nearest roof edge.  Not even pausing, Void leapt from the roof and dropped three stories down to the sidewalk just outside the fence, where her Light Body power kept her from becoming a splat on the concrete.  [Or splashing any rain puddles under her and possibly drawing the attention of Mendoza security.]

Void resumed running, arriving at her waiting motorcycle in less than a minute.  She called Murdoc and told him to drop the invisibility spell.  Void used another cloth from her motorcycle’s storage to wipe any last blood off herself [greatly assisted by the rain] before starting the bike’s engine and driving away.  Her path out of the area gave her a last view of the Mendoza building where guards with darkly-colored dogs with red glowing eyes were sweeping the grounds inside the fence.

Hellhounds.  Void shuddered from bad memories.

Void sent the pictures to The Fin and two hours later the team was paid.

End of Run


[Void’s immediate decision to run after leaving the server room was the only reason she escaped as easily as she did.  I had worked out the time table of when the EM Team would arrive and how quickly they would alert security.  Running flat out and making Gymnastics rolls to avoid running in to people gave her just enough time to escape.]

[I use a random name generator (Seventh Sanctum’s Corporation Name generator) to generate the names of low- to mid-sized corporations.  Sometimes I mix and match the results to get what feels right, which is where Mendoza Telecommunications of Houston came from.  It’s link to Aztechnology was just too good a possibility to pass up.  I was honestly surprised that Bookie’s player decided to keep that information secret from everyone else.]


The other jobs are:
Overview
ZAT SIN Codes
Aquamatics Schematics

Yak Money
MoM Defense
Ludovic’s Hell (A.K.A., “Well that escalated quickly”) (Not Written Yet)



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Session Report – Woodchipper – Job Two: Aquamatics Schematics

[This job mostly happened May 2nd.  It is not the only thing that happened during this game session, but Bookie’s player took an innovative short-cut to getting the job done.]

PCs Involved
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
The Fin – female human con artist and gambler from India, by way of Russia, posh and elegant

NPC’d
None


Monday, March 30, 2076
The Fin received a call at 9:30 AM from Shisou Tomodachi (one of Void’s contacts and someone The Fin had done business with before), asking for a meet at Marfreles, a discrete bar in the Kent neighborhood of Renton.  The Fin was still getting dressed, trying to make the 10:00 AM meeting with Zeus in the East Renton Highlands.  Quickly calculating the drive times, she agreed to meeting Tomodachi-san at 11:00 AM.  She then proceeded to her meeting with Zeus (see Job One: ZAT SIN Codes).

11:00 AM – Marfreles
Marfreles was literally just opening to the public when The Fin walked in at 11:00 AM on the dot.  The bar had low lighting, played classical music at a high enough volume that hearing other people’s conversations is nigh impossible [without a quality Select Sound Filter in your cyberear], and had, instead of chairs and tables, plush couches and low coffee tables.  Sitting at a round [rare] booth under the stairs to the upper balcony was Shisou Tomodachi, already deep in business.  [Being a regular has its privileges.]

After ordering a drink at the bar, The Fin walked over to Tomodachi’s table.  He noticed her approach and unhurriedly shutdown the various AR windows he had open.  The Fin noticed the crisp blink of static as she entered the area of a white noise generator hidden at the table.  [Normally the white noise generator would be redundant in a club with loud music, even classical music, but a select sound filter can filter out the music, making the white noise generator a back-up for privacy.]

After exchanging pleasantries, Tomodachi stated his client “requests the complete schematics of the Aquamatics plant in Cairo.  There is some urgency as the job needs to be completed by Friday [April 3rd].  Payment will be made upon delivery of the schematics to me.  The job pays 30,000¥ with a bonus for not tipping off Aquamatics.”  The Fin haggled the base fee up to 32,000¥ due to the short timeline, but accepted the job otherwise.

After the meeting (and some very necessary lunch), The Fin contacted Bookie and, after clarifying this was a job separate from the one Void would be talking with him about later, explained the job and its payout of 28,000¥, plus a potential bonus for being quiet.  Bookie accepted the job, even though he wasn’t certain where he’d get the schematics.  He’d need to think about it.


Tuesday, March 31, 2076
After drinking it over, er, “thinking” it over, Bookie came to the conclusion he didn’t have enough information to actually track down the data.  What he did have was paydata swiped from Ares during a previous run [see Urban Surfin’, Session 5] and Rick, a contact who ran a datahaven.  Bookie headed over to Rick’s CafĂ© Americain on the Matrix.  In the entry vestibule Bookie reset his icon to the 1940’s dress code and the black and white color palette required for entry.

Inside, back in the casino area, sitting at a table playing chess with himself was Rick.  [Yes, he does look like Bogart.]  Bookie walked over and was recognized by Rick.   Rick waved Bookie over into a seat.  “Whatta ya’ got, kid?”

Bookie explained he wanted to swap some Ares paydata for the complete schematics of the Aquamatics plant in Cairo.  Rick’s icon pulled out a small black book from an interior jacket pocket and thumbed through it.  After a moment he said, “I’ve got the goods, kid.  Is your half up to the bargain?”  Bookie slid some folded up papers across the table for Rick to look at [data packets being rendered as folded pages inside the datahaven].  Rick partly opened the papers and politely scanned just the headers.  Rick gave a little smile before wiping it from his mouth with the back of a hand.  “Yeah, kid.  This should do nicely.  In fact, I think I owe you one.”  Rick pulled a page out of his little notebook, folded it, and placed a poker chip on top of it.  “Here’s what you’re looking for and hold onto the chip until you want to call it in.”  Bookie took both.  After a quick glance at the data he thanked Rick and left.

Once clear of the datahaven and with his icon reset to normal, Bookie contacted The Fin and told her he had the schematics she asked for.  He sent her the file and she forwarded it along to Tomodachi.  A little over an hour later, the 32,000¥ pay arrived in The Fin’s Pleiades Group account, followed several hours later by the 10,000¥ bonus.  The Fin forwarded 28,000¥ plus 6,000¥ as a bonus to Bookie, who was very satisfied with the large pay for the little effort.

End of Run

[While the players know that The Fin’s player is shaving money off the job pay, they also know this is not unusual for fixers to do and have no problems with it.  Their characters might feel a little different if they learned of it, but The Fin keeps bringing in the jobs and the pay, so they have no reason to argue about it.]

[Technically, Ludovic’s Hell is the next job taken chronologically, but it lasts almost the entire span of the Woodchipper, so I’m going to do it last.  I’m not certain this is the best way to do it, but you’ll see the escalation of events more clearly.  For similar reasons, MoM Defense, which is contracted after that is moved out of sequence as it both lasts longer than the other jobs and is the shortest due to events in Ludovic’s Hell.  Therefore, the next job to be written up is The Mendoza Hit.]



The other jobs are:

Overview
ZAT SIN Codes

The Mendoza Hit
Yak Money
MoM Defense
Ludovic’s Hell (A.K.A., “Well that escalated quickly”) (Not Written Yet)



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Session Report – Woodchipper – Job One: ZAT SIN Codes

[This job happened March 21st, April 18th, and May 2nd.  These are sequential game sessions, so clearly we missed several scheduled game dates for various reasons.]

PCs Involved
Void – female human physical adept B&E specialist, a shadow that blends in easily
Murdoc – male elf kilt-wearing street mage, at home with the hobos
The Fin – female human con artist and gambler from India, by way of Russia, posh and elegant

NPC’d
Prometheus – male human street samurai, handy with any firearm

Monday, March 30, 2076
The Fin received a call shortly before 9:00 AM from Prometheus, warning here to expect a call from his uncle, Zeus, at 9:00.  A business call.  The Fin quickly kicked out her bed guest and set her commlink to show a static picture, not a live image.  She just finished changing the settings when the commlink rang.  It was Zeus, requesting a meeting at Kovac’s Delicatessen (in the East Renton Highlands) in an hour.

The Fin agreed to the meeting and immediately showered and dressed.  She set the Grid Guide to the meeting location and applied her make-up and finished her hair as her S-K Bentley Concordat drove itself to the meeting.  She arrived with just minutes to spare.
Once Marco, the boy who opens the front door, let The Fin into the closed delicatessen and walked her back to Zeus’s table, Zeus got to the point.  “The client needs certain data from a corporate secure data vault that can only be accessed on site and requires a valid smart card with matching biometric data.  The job must be done by this Friday.  The client can provide a valid smart card, but your people will need to work out how to match it – the server it will be checked against is the same server you want to access – quite the conundrum.  The job pays 78,000¥ for successful completion.  There is another 36,000¥ if you do this with subtlety and there is no evidence the job was done.”

With no other work for the Pleiades Group on the schedule, The Fin accepted the job and provided a drop box address for the smart card.  As this was an infiltration job, The Fin contacted Void and made Void the team lead for the job.  The Fin explained the job, that it paid 68,000¥ [that’s not a typo, The Fin skimmed 10,000¥ off the top], and that Void could bring in whoever she wanted, but the payout was fixed.  Void accepted this without question.
Void contacted Bookie and left a message for Murdoc that there was work.  Shortly after 5:00 PM, they met at Club Telepathy, a decker bar in the Leschi neighborhood in Downtown [Murdoc had only recently woken up for the "day"].  Bookie pulled the data off the smart card and used it to put together public data about the card’s owner.  The owner was Toni Rivera: she has round violet eyes that are like two amethysts and a pointed chin. Her luxurious, wavy, brown hair is short and is worn in an impractical style. She is tall and has an athletic build. Her skin is light-colored. Bookie also located her address in Greenwood.  Skimming the matrix site for the condo provided a very small selection of floorplans.

After some planning, they settled on using a hidden vomit gas dispenser to cause Toni to call in sick.  Void would then go in, Physically Masked as Toni by Murdoc and backed by Bookie via micro transceiver.   Once inside, Void would get the data and then leave, claiming to be ill.

Void contacted Sarah, her fence, to get some vomit gas.  It only takes Sarah an hour to track down enough for Void’s needs.

Monday, March 30, 2076
Void placed herself among some architectural decoration of a building across the street and spent the day observing Toni Rivera’s condo, a mid-rise residential condominium.  In the morning Void watched Toni go through her morning routine and take an Emerald City Cab to work at ZAT.  At Noon, Void broke into Toni’s condo to scout the interior.  Based on what she observed, Void had Bookie assemble a matrix-activated gas sprayer.  It took Bookie 30 minutes to assemble one and send it to Void.  Later in the afternoon, Void broke back into Toni’s condo and hid the dispenser in one of the vents in the living room.

Wednesday, April 1, ~7:00 AM
As Toni was going about her morning routine, Void triggered the vomit gas dispenser.  Once she received a whiff of the vomit gas (and revisited her breakfast), Toni called in sick.  Bookie grabbed the outbound call and redirected it to The Fin.  The Fin posed as a temp receptionist, telling Toni that something was going around and a policy note said to stay home for the day.  Toni bought the story hook, line, and sinker, and crawled back into bed.  Another dose when she got back up made sure Toni stayed in bed.

Murdoc used Physical Mask to make Void look like Toni.  Void went into the building, got the data, and got out fairly easily.  Void sent the data to The Fin, who sent it to the agreed upon data drop.  Payment was deposited within the hour and The Fin turned over 100,000¥ [68,000¥ base plus 32,000¥ bonus for subtlety – again, no typo – The Fin skimmed some money off the top] to Void to distribute.  Void divides it into five shares: one each for The Fin, Bookie, and Murdoc and (at The Fin’s recommendation) two for herself as the one who went into the building and did the job.  Bookie and Murdoc agreed with the reasoning – it was still a lot of money for little threat to them.
End of Run

[This was a fairly straight forward run and the players did enough planning that no major hitches happened during this run.  Other runes happening at the same time were starting to become…interesting.]

The other jobs are:
Ludovic’s Hell (A.K.A., “Well that escalated quickly”) (Not Written Yet)


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Session Report – Woodchipper – Overview

This “run” was unusual in that, instead of a single large job, there were originally 11 jobs.  The Fin’s player wanted to branch out into becoming a fixer and so seeded the Dark Matrix with ads, offering discreet intervention services.  As a result, a series of smaller jobs for a variety of client types appeared, right on top of each other, all due sometime in the next week or two (with one exception).  This necessitated a wider pool of shadowrunners, including the players’ secondary characters.

Once I had rolled out Job Nine in two days of contacts, I realized that I’d probably bitten off more than I could chew in a timely fashion.  Additionally, with the press of jobs, the big-ticket, show-case job where the players had an in-game month to complete for big money was being lost in the weeds.  As a result, I skipped handing out Job Eight as it was derivative of an earlier run.  I then dropped Jobs Ten and Eleven – they were not going to show up until later in the month and I’ll just recycle them for a later run.  Finally, I talked with the players and deferred the big-ticket job: Monkey Burger 3.  Monkey Burger 3 (MB3) ties into the metaplot and is large enough the players should have time to get creative, so pulling that to be the next run was an easy sell.

This left a total of 7 jobs, each with different requirements and each with a different mix of runners involved.  As a result, I’m going to post a summary of each job individually instead of chronologically.  Void and Bookie will appear in most of the jobs as their skill sets were very much in demand.  This led to Bookie notably running out of Edge several times.

The Jobs are: