The Fin – female human con artist and gambler from India, by way of Russia, posh and elegant
Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)
Seul-ki – androgynous human from Korea, a laconic expert with swords
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
Ash – male human car shaman/rigger, speaks in the third person and follows The Spirit of The Road
Saturday, April 4, 2076
Killroy received a call from Ash, who was responsible for the Saturday morning attack on Vic. Ash reported that Vic was no longer staying at his condo, he was now housed at the Knight Errant Training Facility in Renton. Ash added he could detect many, many badges in the area with his magic…and just by looking around. Killroy told Ash to hold off doing anything for the moment until Killroy could find an angle. Ash easily agreed to NOT walk into a police training camp to commit a felony.
Killroy contacted Michelle West, a black-market information broker he occasionally used, looking for a bent Knight Errant officer at the training academy who would be on duty today. It turned out that Michelle knew an officer who was bent enough to let Killroy onto the facility grounds, as long as Killroy looked like someone who belonged there. The officer was scheduled to work the x-ray machine at the delivery entrance this afternoon. Killroy could work with that – the Pleiades Group had a selection of delivery uniforms for just such a reason. After transferring nuyen for the data, Michelle provided Killroy with the password that would get him safely around the security checkpoint (“jabberwocky”).
Killroy contacted Ash and explained his “in” as a delivery driver. Ash thought it over and said he would have a package of his own for Killroy to deliver by 4:00 PM. They arranged a meet at that time so Ash could hand over his package to Killroy.
Killroy, responsible for the other attempt on Vic that day, had an idea what he wanted to do, but needed help pulling it off. He contacted Bookie and asked Bookie to build a shock boobytrap for a door handle. After discussing specifics, Bookie agreed he could do so and quickly assembled one from spare electronics parts laying around his apartment. Finishing early, he decided to go hack the Knight Errant Training Facilities host to gain access to a camera watching the door to Vic’s room. During this run, Bookie learned that Vic always had a rotating set of two minders with him. The minders opened doors for him and scoped out rooms for threats before Vic entered them, but after watching them for a while, Bookie could tell the KE people thought this effort was pointless, making them a little sloppy. He shared this information with Killroy when Killroy stopped by to pick up the boobytrap.
Killroy and Ash met in the parking lot for Renton Mall, just on the border between Downtown and Renton. Ash handed over a shoe box-sized package wrapped in many layers of tissue paper, telling Killroy that the spider drone Ash had ordered had arrived and was inside with a water reservoir. Ash asked that the package be hidden in the rooms assigned to Vic, preferably in the bedroom Vic would be sleeping in. Killroy took the package and said he would do his best.
Dressed in a Federated Packages delivery uniform, Killroy arrived at the delivery entrance for the Seattle Division Headquarters and Training Grounds of Knight Errant Security, current holders of the Seattle Metroplex police contract. There were two Knight Errant officers at the security checkpoint. Killroy set his packages down to sign in [using a pseudonym] and one of the officers picked up the packages to look them over. Killroy dropped the password Michelle had provided into the conversation. The officer barely missed a beat in the conversation, but otherwise did not react to the password. When Killroy was finished signing in, the officer handed the packages back to Killroy and loudly announced, “These are good,” to the other officer. He then walked Killroy and the packages around the scanning machines to the other side. In parting, he said, “You stay safe while you’re here.” Killroy agreed to do so and walked onto the security campus carrying two unscanned packages and a clipboard.
[The guard had a secret bank account that he was paid through. Killroy would pay Michelle back the bribe money later, assuming things went smoothly. Penalty fees for making trouble on site were steep, including body-jacking and hanging offenders out for Knight Errant to collect. Sometimes both.]
Using an AR map of the facilities supplied by Bookie, Killroy made his way to Vic’s room. At the same time, Ash was monitoring the tracker in Vic and reported to Killroy that Vic appeared to be at the campus cafeteria eating dinner. Bookie followed Killroy’s progress through Knight Errant’s own security cameras. By the time Killroy reached Vic’s room, Bookie had the surveillance camera there looped so Killroy could pick the lock without alerting anyone.
The room itself was a two-room affair, similar to a hotel suite. After verifying no one else was in the room, Killroy entered the bedroom and spotted an air conditioning vent. He pulled the cover from the vent and slid the tissue paper package into it – the package was just small enough to fit while allowing some airflow around it. After replacing the cover to the air vent, Killroy opened the second package and pulled out Bookie’s shocker trap.
The device was essentially a large capacitor set to discharge all at once. It was designed to hang on the doorknob with two electrodes lightly resting on either side of the doorknob. Killroy wrapped conducting tape around the doorknob and then covered up the two resting places for the electrodes with insulating tape. He opened the door and hung the device on the inside doorknob and activated it, the two electrodes resting on the insulating tape. When the door was next opened the knob would rotate so the conducting tape encountered electrodes, completing the circuit and triggering the device to discharge through the doorknob and into whoever was holding it on the other side. The total charge was enough to knock out an orc, but not enough to kill a human. Probably.
With the door propped open, Killroy quickly wiped down everything he had touched and then left the room. After carefully closing the door, Killroy planted a mini-camera under the security camera surveilling the door. This camera would broadcast encrypted video to the Matrix, where it would be routed to the Pleiades Group for recording and later viewing. Killroy then walked out of the facility, brandishing nothing more than an electronic clipboard.
The mini camera broadcast Vic and his two minders returning to the room after a long dinner. The minder in the lead put the key into the lock and turned the handle, triggering the shocker trap. The electric discharge jolted him, knocking him unconscious and damaging some of his cybernetics. Vic, expecting to be completely safe in the Division Headquarters of Knight Errant, freaked out and ran away as fast as he could. The remaining minder called in the emergency and chased after Vic.
Over the next two hours, Knight Errant investigated the door and the device and searched Vic’s rooms. The knocked-out minder was revived fairly quickly, but taken away by medical personnel “to run some additional tests.” The device was removed and taken away and the doorknob replaced while Knight Errant personnel made a cursory search of the rooms. [This part is assumed as there were no cameras inside the rooms to actually see this, but note that the drone package in the air vent was not located/removed.] Eventually Vic was led back to the room. He appeared slightly dazed and it is possible a mild sedative had been applied to him.
Sunday, April 5, 2076
The mini camera broadcast the hallway lights flashing off and on and alarms going off. Knight Errant personnel ran to the door and [after a short debate on who would actually turn the door knob] opened the door to the room and entered. These events indicated a panic button was triggered inside the room. A couple of Knight Errant personnel exited the room and started carefully searching the hallway. One of them found the mini camera and disabled it.
[Note: The final events above are a retcon on my part. This is what should have happened, but I was not running at top capacity at this point and slightly dropped the ball as a GM. I originally had the KE people escorting Vic away and joking at his expense. In hindsight, they would have taken a second infiltration of their headquarters a lot more seriously and start looking for security breaches. The next paragraph actually happened during game.]
Killroy’s commlink rang – it was Ash calling. Ash reported that he was able to activate the spider drone, exit the vent, wet the tissue paper threats with it, and place them on Vic’s face until Vic woke up from suffocating. Vic triggered a panic button, but Ash got the necessary picture first and rode the drone through the air vents to the roof. Ash had to hide the drone in some of the air conditioning machinery as the entire Knight Errant campus was on alert and lit up. His question was whether to leave the drone there or try and escape. Killroy thought a moment and said, “Leave it there. Maybe we can use it later.”
Seul-ki checked in on Vic’s location before planning her attempt on him and discovered that the tracking device no longer registered. Believing that Vic was still under Knight Errant protection, she contacted Bookie and asked him to crack Knight Errant’s system and locate Vic. Bookie, still awake from the previous evening’s activities and somewhat hammered, agreed. Fearless and daring, Bookie sleazed his way all the way into the Knight Errant system like he owned the place. [I rolled abysmally for the KE system ICE and he rolled great.] Bookie found the Protective Custody file and took a copy before jacking out.
The Protective Custody file was heavily encrypted, but Bookie cracked it in under an hour [he used Edge and rolled crazy well, halving the time needed multiple time with the over-successes]. Inside was a complete set of data for all 24 subjects under active protective custody in the Seattle Metroplex, including the location of their safe house, the number of KE personnel guarding them, and any special precautions and passwords associated with gaining access to the subjects. Bookie copied out Vic’s file and sent it to Seul-ki. He then stashed the rest of the data to give him time to sober up before looking for buyers.
Seul-ki [having received the file from Bookie] checked the location of the safe house out. She found that the building is a small apartment building in the center of a block, accessed through an alley. It was surrounded by other apartment buildings with similar appearances that block all view of the central building from the street. If you did not know it was there, you would never locate it or even notice it. The file indicated there were three teams of two Knight Errant personnel guarding Vic with cameras covering all the useful entrances. Additionally, several patrol cars were linked to the alarms on the safe house. This was going to take more resources.
Seul-ki, Ash, and Killroy met at the Pleiades Group office to talk the situation over. They eventually settled on a plan using NeuroStun to knock out everyone and then duct tape Vic to a table with a confetti bomb disguised as a real bomb taped to his chest. They will also hide a crawler drone with a Sharpie pen in the safe house to emerge later and draw threats directly on Vic’s face. [This part of the plan wasn’t very well thought out. Clearly KE would move a subject after the safe house was compromised, but it was the best they could come up with on the spot and time was ticking away.]
Seul-Ki and Ash arrive in the area of the safe house to do the job in Ash’s modified Rover Model 2072. Killroy is stationed a couple blocks away in a stolen Ford Americar with replaced plates in case back-up was needed. Across the street from the alley entrance leading to the safe house, Ash and Seul-ki stepped into a donut store. Ash had Seul-ki buy him two cake donuts and a small bottle of soy milk while he unobtrusively cast Detect Law Enforcement Badge and Detect Security System to check out the approach to the safe house. He detected no badges, but sensed a security system watching the alley entrance, probably cameras.
After Ash fortified himself with the two cake donuts and bottle of soy milk, he and Seul-ki left the donut shop and took cover in a near-by doorway. Ash cast improved invisibility on himself and Seul-ki and they made their way across the street to the alley entrance. [Ash walked, hating every moment as a pedestrian crossing the street, but Seul-ki simply leapt across the street.] They entered the alley way leading to the safe house without any alarms going off. The door to the building was unlocked [it was an operating apartment building] and they simply walked in. Ash took the clunky elevator up to the 3rd floor; Seul-ki took the stairs and easily beat him there.
Opening the stairwell door set off a dog in a nearby apartment, which started shrilly barking, but no other security response happened. Seul-ki moved down the empty hallway like a shadow. As she approached the door, Seul-ki noticed the spyhole in the target door darken, indicating someone in the apartment was behind the door looking out.
Seul-ki leapt the remaining distance and kicked the door open, slamming it into the forehead of the person behind the door. She then threw a NeuroStun IX grenade into the apartment through the partially open door and backed up to the elevator doors, checking the time and listening for the thumps of falling bodies. She was rapidly rewarded [despite the noisy dog]. Just after the third thump, the elevator dinged and Ash stepped out of the elevator next to Seul-ki.
One the gas became inert [one minute after activation for NeuroStun IX and X], Seul-ki and Ash entered the target apartment. Ash dropped the two improved invisibility spells and made for the bedroom so he could hide the crawler drone in Vic’s luggage. He located Vic in there, face down on the floor in the ugliest pajamas Ash had ever seen. Seul-ki used zip-cuffs to tie up the Knight Errant officers and disarmed them. She then started disassembling their fire arms on the living room coffee table…until a voice from the hallway said, “Freeze!” One of the officers from the adjacent stake-out room had arrived and had the drop on Seul-ki with an Enfield AS-7 military-grade shotgun!
The officer ordered Seul-ki to keep her hands where he could see them and turn to face him – Seul-ki only partially complied. In a fluid motion, Seul-ki turned to face the officer while pulling out the confetti bomb disguised as a real bomb and triggered the very conspicuous timer, which started a three-minute countdown. This gave the officer pause, and he and Seul-ki discussed whether or not the bomb in Seul-ki’s hand was real or not and what the minimal blast radius for that apparent amount of plastic explosives might be.
In the bedroom, Ash heard the officer’s entrance. With the crawler drone hidden, Ash drew his Ingram Smartgun X and tried to sneak back into the living room to help Seul-ki. Ash made it into the living room, but not into position to draw on the Knight Errant officer before the officer heard him. The officer directed his shotgun towards Ash’s location on the other side of a wall and said, “Hey! Step out here where I can see you! This Enfield can blow holes through the wall and through you! Let’s see some hands!”
Ash was four feet from the corner between him and the officer. If he stepped forward, the officer would know exactly where he was, so Ash simply fell forward, his smart-linked Ingram pointed roughly where the officer would be as he cleared the corner.
The officer reflexively fired when Ash fell into view, but was aiming too high and missed. Ash triggered a long burst from his Ingram, ignoring his impending meeting with the floor long enough to hit the officer multiple times. The officer’s armor stopped several of the bullets, but not all of them. The multiple impacts knocked the officer back several steps to the doorway, blood-spatter speckling the walls. The officer turned and fled.
Seul-ki quickly set the bomb down on the coffee table and leapt over the now-prone Ash, giving chase to the fleeing officer. The officer was at the door to the stake out apartment, reaching for the doorknob. Seul-ki [won initiative and] performed a spin-kick, kicking the officer in the head and bouncing the officer’s head off the door, knocking the officer unconscious and opening the door. Inside was another officer Seul-ki could hear calling for back up on a radio. She tossed a NeuroStun IX grenade into this apartment and pulled the door closed. Within seconds the other officer stopped speaking and Seul-ki heard the thump of him falling to the floor unconscious.
Seul-ki returned to the target apartment where Ash was regaining his feet. Seul-ki stopped the timer on the confetti bomb and set it aside. She and Ash hauled Vic out of the bedroom and duct-taped him on his back to the coffee table with three rolls of duct tape. They next duct-taped the bomb to Vic’s chest, oriented so Vic could see the conspicuous timer if he leaned his head forward. They then hauled the two unconscious officers in the apartment into sitting positions on the couch so they could see the timer as well and duct-taped them to the couch.
The sound of approaching sirens was getting loud by the time they finished. Seul-ki opened the sliding door to the minimal patio and looked down to judge the distance to the ground. She then re-entered the apartment and asked Ash, “How athletic are you?”
“Ash just fortified himself with two cake donuts and some soy milk. Why?” [Ash always talks in the third person - it's part of his Distinctive Style negative quality.]
“We’re going to have to jump to the ground,” she replied.
“Are you nuts!? We’re on the third floor!”
Seul-ki cocked her head quizzically. “Then how were you planning on leaving?”
“Ash thought you had a rope or something or we’d be quiet enough Ash could use the stairs or something.”
“That does pose a problem for you,” she calmly answered while hiding a mini camera on a decorative shelf over the bedroom door. “I don’t need a rope – I can safely make the jump from here. Maybe even from the roof.”
“Well Ash can’t. Let Ash find something.”
Ash started ransacking the apartment and put together an improvised rope using bed sheets and curtains. Seul-ki set the confetti bomb timer to 20 minutes and activated the countdown. She and Ash could hear feet tramping up the stairs as Ash tied off his improvised rope to the patio railing and dropped the other end down to the ground. It was about ten feet short. “That’ll have to do,” he said. He swung over the side and started what was really a controlled fall down the “rope”. Seul-ki gracefully leapt down and across the alley, pausing on a small piece of architectural façade before safely leaping down the rest of the way. Ash got to the end of his “rope” and dropped the remaining five feet. Luckily he landed well and did not break or sprain anything [used Edge to make the roll].
Seul-ki and Ash ducked under the rain cover for some machinery in the alley and were not visible when the Knight Errant rescue team poked its head out on the patio and looked down. Ash asked Seul-ki to watch his body as he jacked into his RCC unit and jumped into his car through the Matrix. Ash “drove” his car to the alley, causing the KE officers setting up a simple barricade to scatter. Ash used a controlled skid to back the car up to where he and Seul-ki were waiting and jumped out of the car and back into his body. He and Seul-ki piled into the Rover and Ash peeled back out of the alley, scattering the KE officers again. The Knight Errant officers snapped a few shots off at Ash’s vehicle, but all missed and then Ash whipped the car around a corner and was out of their sights.
Seul-ki contacted Killroy and told him they were out of the apartment and the mini camera was in place. Killroy contacted Bookie and told him to start recording events at the apartment. Bookie did that, set the feed to stream to the Pleiades Group, and started microwaving some popcorn.
Up in the apartment, the Knight Errant rescue team had finished securing both apartments and noticed the conspicuous timer and bomb duct-taped to Vic’s chest. They immediately put a call in to the bomb squad. There was some discussion about moving the officers duct-taped to the couch and it was decided to let the bomb squad make that call in case they were booby-trapped somehow. [The bomb was made to look real through the expedient of using actual plastic explosives around the confetti bomb, thus testing positive to the portable explosive sniffers the KE rescue team had with them.]
Ten minutes later, Vic started waking up. The Knight Errant officers tried to keep him calm, but Vic lost his cool when he saw the conspicuous timer attached to the bomb on his chest. Vic spazzed out, trying to shake the bomb off his chest, freaking the Knight Errant officers who bolted out of the room. [Except the two taped to the couch, who were stuck there and cringed, hoping Vic didn’t get them killed.]
Bookie got excellent video of Vic going completely bonkers and took a still to meet the terms of the job.
By the time the bomb squad arrived a few minutes later, Vic was sobbing and moaning, but no longer thrashing around. The bomb squad entered the apartment in their heavy EOD suits and the rest of the officers exited the building and waited downstairs. Bookie decided to hack one of their commlinks to he could follow the action in both locations.
Up in the apartment, the bomb squad technicians calmed Vic down and started examining the bomb. Part way through their examination, one of them paused and then wrote a note on a clipboard. He then showed the note to the other technician, who took a closer look at the bomb after reading the note. The second technician nodded to the first and then explained to Vic they needed to step away to consult another officer. Vic started to panic a bit, threatening to have the technicians fired if they did not get this bomb off his chest immediately. The technicians assured him they would be back to finish disarming the bomb.
Out in the hall, the technicians called the senior officer on the ground and asked what the story was here. The officer on the ground explained that Vic was a corporate protection gig from what might or might not be a series of assassination attempts. The technicians explained that the bomb was not real, it was just a confetti bomb with a veneer of plastic explosives wrapped around it. The confetti bomb would never set off the plastic explosives, so this guy was safe, but he was being a real dick for someone with a supposed bomb on his chest. Would the officers have a problem if the technicians played a prank on the jerk? The officer said, “Negative. Scare the shit out of him. He’s been a major prick to us for the last 12 hours. I’ll explain it to corporate.” [Needless to say, Bookie recorded this entire conversation for later playback. Or leverage.]
The bomb squad technicians re-entered the apartment and ignored Vic and the bomb, instead checking the Knight Errant officers and the couch for explosives. Quickly determining there were none, nor any connections to the confetti bomb on Vic’s chest, they cut the officers free and pulled them from the room. The officers were clearly relieved to be leaving the apartment and the bomb. Vic was very vocal in his displeasure about being left in the room with the bomb while the grunts were being rescued. Out in the hallway, by the stairwell, the technicians explained what was actually going on to the officers [who were good with the prank on Vic after his abusive behavior] and sent them downstairs.
The technicians returned to the apartment and started “working” on the bomb. The conspicuous timer now had less than four minutes on it. One of the technicians opened the timer and started doing things to its insides. Suddenly he said, “Oops” and the timer rapidly accelerated. The other technician said, “Oh no! It’s going to blow!” and both technicians fled the room at top speed, trying not to laugh and spoil the prank. Vic, as usual, lost his cool and started screaming incoherently in a high-pitched voice.
Inside the apartment, the conspicuous timer ran down to zero and the confetti bomb went off with a series of pops. Vic screamed loud enough that Bookie could hear the scream through the commlink down on the ground. The KE officers started laughing amongst themselves.
Bookie shut down his surveillance so no one could track any signals back to him once Knight Errant got serious about things.
End of Part 2
[So this went strangely and took much more to write up. I wanted to make it at least through the end of April 5th, but only made it through the morning attempt. The afternoon attempt will be short as it is all NPC action with Ash and I prefer the actual PCs in the run get the spotlight. I’d include it here, but I promised to get this posted on Saturday and there is less than two hours left in the day.]
The other jobs are:
ZAT SIN Codes
The Mendoza Hit
Ludovic’s Hell – Part 1
Ludovic's Hell – Part 3
Ludovic's Hell – Part 4
Ludovic's Hell – Part 5 (not yet written)