Friday, May 26, 2017

Session Report – Woodchipper – Job Six: Ludovic’s Hell, Part 4

[This job happened March 21st, May 2nd, May 9th, May 23rd, June 6th, June 20th, June 27th, July 18th, July 25th, August 8th, and August 22nd.  This part covers events related to this run during (in-game) April 7th, 2076.]

[I cheated during this part.  See the after notes.]

PCs Involved
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

Tuesday, April 7, 2076
Killroy spent some time tracking down Vic’s current hiding place, finally locating him on an estate in Bellevue.  Killroy spent another hour scouting the area, trying to avoid drawing the attention of Knight Errant or any of the private security working the area.  Killroy determined that this would be a standard sniper shot but for two things: an armored atmospheric dome covering the entire estate, protecting the grounds from acid rain, and a landscaped 12-m tall berm across the back of the 2-acre lot, blocking all line of sight to the back of the estate.

Stumped, Killroy went back to Downtown and conference-called Ash and Seul-ki to discuss options.  Eventually Bookie was added to the conversation and asked to provide a floorplan of the estate from the Metroplex Records Department.  Bookie traded paydata with his data contact Rick to get the plans and the trio poured over them.

The mansion had a plush saferoom on the second floor in the east wing of the building surrounded by bedrooms with armored walls.  The good news was that most of the back walls were bullet-resistant glass and it was possible to line up a shot through a doorway to target the saferoom walls directly – assuming one could hover seven meters off the ground in the backyard while ground security shot at you.

After some brainstorming, the most viable plan was to high-jack a Knight Errant VTOL gunship, fly it over to the estate, and use its firepower to blow through the dome and then the interior walls of the mansion.  [Yes, THAT was the most plausible and viable plan.]

1:25 PM
Bookie hacked into the flight computers of the three VTOLs Knight Errant had prepped for flight at the Kelsey Creek Rapid Response Station.  In two of them, he placed data bombs set to go off when the pilots attempted to access the flight systems.  In the third one, he copied the remote access codes and passwords and sent them to Ash and Killroy.  Ash entered the access code and password into his RCC and activated a connection with the VTOL.  The signal noise wasn’t too bad and Ash jumped into the VTOL.  He then started running an abbreviated activation and lift-off procedure.

Knight Errant Flight Control immediately noticed the unscheduled activity and dispatched a spider to regain control of the VTOL.  This is what Bookie had been waiting for and Bookie ambushed the spider, bricking the spiders deck and forcing  dump-shock on the spider.  This gave Ash the time he needed to rev the VTOL’s engines and take off, heading towards the estate Vic was hiding in.  The on-duty pilots for the other two VTOLs scrambled into their units, jacked in, and activated the flight systems, triggering the large data bombs Bookie had planted.  Unprepared for this, the pilots were knocked out by the Matrix blasts and dumped back into reality.

Unknown to Ash, a second spider was sent to reclaim the pirated VTOL.  Bookie and this spider got into a tagging contest in the Matrix.  Fairly evenly matched, they fought to land a tag on each other and to remove any tags the other landed before it could be exploited.  This took longer than either expected.  Finally, the spider bet heavy on landing a single tag on Bookie and stuck it.  Bookie tried to land enough tags to gain control over the spider’s deck and just barely failed [he was totally out of Edge by this point].  The spider hit Bookie with a Data Spike that bricked Bookie’s Excalibur and abruptly dumped Bookie from the Matrix.  The dump-shock left Bookie unconscious with some blood leaking from his nose, completely unable to warn Ash and Killroy.

Meanwhile, Ash brought the VTOL screaming into proximity with Killroy and hovering behind the target estate.  With the proper access code and password, Killroy used his smart-link to remotely access the VTOL’s weaponry.  [Due to range limitations, Killroy was parked nearby.  With the greater range available to a RCC, Ash was parked half a kilometer away, midway between the estate and the Kelsey Creek Rapid Response Station.]  Killroy switched the machine gun from the gel rounds hopper to the APDS rounds hopper and started blasting a hole in the atmospheric dome covering the estate.  Six seconds later and they were in.  [The dome had a high armor value but low body to represent they needed to be relatively light while providing protection from the weather and random bird strikes.]

Ash swung the VTOL around so Killroy could rake the windows that made up the back wall of the mansion with the machine gun.  The windows were tougher than the dome [easier to support the weight], so Ash placed the VTOL into the optimal place to shoot at the safe room and Killroy started drilling into the mansion with the machine gun.

After another nine seconds, Killroy could see into the safe room through the breach the APDS ammunition had blasted, neatly dividing the safe room area in half with the hail of bullets.  Not wanting to accidentally kill Vic, Killroy took the time to switch back to the gel round hopper for the machine gun.  During this brief pause in fire, a bodyguard hauled Vic from the closed side of the safe room to the side with the door, clearly looking to escape.

Killroy directed Ash to drift left so he could get another shot at Vic through the hallway the safe room door eventually led to.  Ash started to comply when he noticed the internal communications equipment in the VTOL suddenly activate on its own.  A Knight Errant spider had tracked down the stolen VTOL and was checking to see if anyone was in it.  Ash immediately flipped the VTOL on its back, killed the engine, and jumped out of it [to avoid dumpshock].  The VTOL, barely eight meters off the ground, crashed hard into an outdoor grill, releasing gas from the grill and fuel from the VTOL.  A random spark a few seconds later [due to the spider attempting to reactivate the unit to locate it] ignited the mixture with a theatrical fireball and explosion.  The resulting fire started rapidly filling the atmospheric shell with black, acrid smoke.

Killroy quickly drove away from the immediate vicinity, taking time to avoid being tailed.  Ash, much further away from the now smoke-filled dome, was able to be more casual about leaving, taking the time to stop for some fast food to share with Killroy back at the office.


[And this is the first point where I cheated - I hand-waved my characters pass at Vic.  See below for why.]

End of Part 4

[My character, Ash, was supposed to do the next pass on Vic, but in the Real World it was August and my severance package from getting laid off at the end of February was finished paying out and I hadn’t landed a new job yet, despite seriously looking since May.  Unemployment was paying half of what I’d been making and we were looking at needing to sell the house in a couple of months while we still had control and could get a good price for it.  So, yeah, I was feeling depression and I hand-waved Ash’s pass because I really couldn’t think creatively at this point.]

[Luckily for me, in mid-August I received an awesome job offer, working for a company I wanted to work for and for a salary I wanted.  I ended up only being on Unemployment for one month and with some reorganizing of the bills by the very capable Mrs. Bugbears for Breakfast, we made it through August alive.  Barely, but alive.]

The other jobs in this run are:

Aquamatics Schematics
The Mendoza Hit
Yak Money
MoM Defense
Ludovic’s Hell - Part 1
Ludovic’s Hell - Part 2
Ludovic’s Hell - Part 3

Ludovic’s Hell - Part 5

Friday, May 12, 2017

Session Report – Woodchipper – Job Six: Ludovic’s Hell, Part 3

[This job happened March 21st, May 2nd, May 9th, May 23rd, June 6th, June 20th, June 27th, July 18th, July 25th, August 8th, and August 22nd.  This part covers events related to this run on (in-game) April 6th, 2076.]

[As I sat down to write this, I discovered that between April 5th and 6th, only three attempts were made on Vic, not the required four attempts, two each day.  Killroy should have done a second attack on Sunday the 5th.  All things considered, the Johnson wasn’t likely to complain that one of the 14 attacks did not happen – what if he made the Pleiades Group angry at him?  Safer to just pay them and hope to never cross paths with them ever again – those people are crazy dangerous.]

PCs Involved
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

Sunday, April 5, 2076
EDIT: While Seul-ki and Ash were wrapping Vic up in duct tape, they also tagged him with a number of subdermal tracking devices.  They knew Knight Errant would probably scan Vic again, so some were active but others were inactive with timers and placed in a variety of places in Vic’s body.  Places Vic might not want surgically opened for extraction of the tracker.  [I forgot to add this point in my write-up, but it was important for the rest of the run.]

Monday, April 6, 2076
4:05 AM
Vic woke up with a dry mouth, a side-effect of the sedatives he’d taken to get to sleep last night.  He got up and ambled mostly nude into the bathroom to get a drink.  “Funny.  I thought I wore my pajamas to bed,” he thought to himself.  “I must have kicked them off in my sleep.”  He flipped on the light so he could see and squinted at himself in the mirror.  His breath caught in his chest and his eyes opened widely despite the painful amount of light.  He stumbled backwards and fell, letting out a mad wail that bubbled up from the depths of his being.

His body and face were covered in threatening graffiti and dick-drawings, drawn on his flesh with ink!


Two blocks away in his car, Ash came to from running the crawler drone he’d hidden in Vic’s luggage while helping Seul-ki at the safe house [see Part 2].  Once Chaney Paragon Technology security had retrieved Vic from Knight Errant and moved Vic to this corporate safe house, Ash had waited until the all lights went off and activated the drone.

Ash picked this model of drone for its concealability and stealth options.  Once free of Vic’s luggage, it carried the Sharpie marker with it up onto the bed and started drawing on Vic.  Ash had started with drawing on Vic’s face and then methodically covered Vic’s body, spreading the artwork out as he could.  Luckily Vic was taking sleeping pills to sleep and never woke up, even when the drone had to tug on Vic’s pajamas to uncover more area to draw on.  Once Ash felt he was done, he had the crawler drone climb up into a vent in the bathroom and position itself so it could see the mirror over the sink.  Then he waited for Vic to wake up.  After catching video of Vic’s face as he saw the drawings, Ash backed the drone around a bend in the ventilation and parked it there.

The best part was that the drone was carried into the heavily warded apartment inside Vic’s luggage, so Ash didn’t have to breach the wards to pull this off.  Humming a classic Elvis ditty to himself, Ash calmly drove his Rover away from the area, trying to think of a way to top this.

6:35 PM
Seul-ki was sitting in Arashi Ramen eating a bowl of Ramen while observing the Canal Station Condos across the street through a video unit set up across the street behind her.  The restaurant was closed for business so she’d made the ramen herself with things in the kitchen, but it allowed her to observe the unassuming corporate condo Vic was currently stashed in without being seen herself.  Plus, if the ramen shop owners had really meant to keep shadowrunners out, they’d have gotten better locks.

Earlier in the day, Seul-ki had tried a different mix of makeups as a disguise and they had reacted badly with each other, leaving her makeup the color of Tang.  Initially displeased with the effect, she had come to terms with it and decided it was just as good of a disguise as what she had intended to do.  If anyone asked about it, she would tell them this was the desired effect.  Cat was strong with her this night.

The tracker placed Vic in a different third-floor condo from the one Ash had found them in.  Bookie had tracked ownership through a series of shell corporations back to Chaney Paragon Technology, which meant they were still unhappy with Knight Errant’s treatment of Vic the previous day and were still using their own corporate security to protect him.  Good.

Seul-ki’s plan was to sneak into the condo, pin a sheet of parchment with threats on it to the master bedroom door using an ornate dagger, and sneak back out without anyone in the condo the wiser.  The video camera provided a good view of the living room now that the south side of the building was in shadow and the interior lights were on.  The security guards watching the televised urban brawl game would remember to close the heavy curtains soon and block all view into the condo and Seul-ki planned on being gone before then.

After finishing her meal and placing the dishes she’d dirtied in the sink (it would have been very disrespectful to leave a mess), Seul-ki exited the through the kitchen door and relocked it.  She walked around back and crossed Russell Avenue to the sidewalk space under the balcony for the Chaney Paragon Technology condo.  No one was on the small side street and most of the security was in the entrance to the sunken parking lot and on the doors in the adjacent utility entrance for the building.  Between the two secure areas was a gap in the camera coverage just large enough for Seul-ki’s needs.  Standing a few feet back from the wall, Seul-ki leapt up and ran up the side of the wall to the third floor landing.  Seul-ki grabbed a bit of architectural decoration and hung in place, listening to see if she’d been noticed.  She could hear the two security guards cheering one of the Seattle Screamers players and other background noises, but no alarm.  Then she heard a commercial break start on the television and one of the guards getting up to refill drinks.  Perfect.

Once the guard was in the kitchen area, Seul-ki silently swung herself onto the balcony.  Using a tool, she lifted the blocking bar on the sliding door and picked the lock.  She slid the door back just far enough to let herself in.  Seul-ki paused to determine if the guard on the couch had noticed the door opening, but he was on his commlink, apparently checking game stats.  Seul-ki decided to leave the door open to save time leaving [this turned out to be a very good idea] and snuck along behind the couch to the bedroom door.

Just as she was drawing the dagger she was going to pin the note to the door with, the second guard stuck his head out of the kitchen to ask the first guard a question and spotted Seul-ki.  His “What the fuck!?” warned the first guard something was up and a three-way brawl erupted in the living room!

Seul-ki was able to avoid their initial attacks, but it was a near thing as they were very competent.  Having no quarrel with the security guards and starting to get boxed in, Seul-ki slammed the dagger into the bedroom doorframe, yelling aloud, “Vic!  This one’s for you!”  She then ran along the wall over and past the guards and dove through the partially opened sliding glass door.  Once on the balcony [and with initiative again], Seul-ki leapt over the bannister and down to the ground, her light body adept power to avoid taking any damage from the fall.  She then sprinted back across Russell Avenue and around the corner to 20th Avenue.  Literally leaping across 20th to where her motorcycle was parked, she hopped onto it and sped away, completely out of sight from the condo balcony.

Once out of the immediate vicinity, she checked the recorded feed from the camera.  It recorded the entire encounter with the guards and then guards entering the master bedroom.  When they came out with Vic, Vic finally saw the dagger in the door frame and clearly lost his shit.  Satisfied she met the job requirements for this attack, she signaled the camera to stop streaming video and shut down.  This caused the camera and mount to retract into a protective and camouflaged case below the lip of the roof, greatly reducing the odds Knight Errant would find it.

End of Part 3

[So that’s the end of Part 3.  Part 4 will cover the two attempts on April 7th and maybe the final two on the 8th, maybe not.  Depends on how many pages the write up is for the 7th.  I already suffer a bad case of Wall o’ Text and I’d like to keep that under control.]

[Another note in regards to something Vlad Malkav asked in the comments a couple days ago.  One of the reasons the Pleiades Group has a low Public Awareness as a group and as individuals is that they plan their runs to end before any kind of law enforcement or corporate security can respond.  The group spends a good deal of time planning our runs with an emphasis on not being seen until we are on the way out, if then.  Seriously.  For complicated runs we’ll spend 2-3 sessions planning it out and hammering on the plan to look for gaps before our characters will start the run.  Sometimes things go pear-shaped anyways and we have to take measures (see Cleanup on Aisle Sin and the end of Valkyrie Ride for examples), but that’s just life as a shadowrunner.]

The other jobs are:

Aquamatics Schematics
The Mendoza Hit
Yak Money
MoM Defense
Ludovic’s Hell – Part 1
Ludovic’s Hell – Part 2

Ludovic’s Hell – Part 4
Ludovic's Hell – Part 5

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Monster Slaying as Therapy

Mrs. Bugbears for Breakfast and I need some time to de-stress as this week has piled it on and it's only Thursday.  We are slaying monsters in Torchlight II tonight as it is very stress relieving and something we both enjoy playing together.  I do have part of the next installment of Ludovic's Hell written (the morning attempt for 6 April 2076), but not enough to make a full blog entry, even a "normal" one.  Therefore, no post today - my apologies for the delay.  I will write the rest of Part 3 tomorrow night and either post late tomorrow (Friday) or set it to auto-post Saturday morning.

Tangentially, there are two more days of attempts after 6 April and they include some of the more elaborate attempts, so I think each day will be a separate installment, just to avoid a wall of text large enough to give Pink Floyd pause (ask your parents if you don't get the reference).

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Session Report – Woodchipper – Job Six: Ludovic’s Hell, Part 2

[This job happened March 21st, May 2nd, May 9th, May 23rd, June 6th, June 20th, June 27th, July 18th, July 25th, August 8th, and August 22nd.  Things started small at first and fit in among the other jobs, but as things got more…elaborate, scenes started taking up whole adventure sessions.  As a result, I split this run into three four(?) blog posts.  This part covers events related to this run from (in-game) April 4th and April 5th, 2076.]

PCs Involved
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
8:00 AM
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.

4:00 PM
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.

5:00 PM
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.

6:24 PM
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
2:00 AM
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.]

2:28 AM
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.”

7:27 AM
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.

9:52 AM
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.]

11:29 AM
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:

Aquamatics Schematics
The Mendoza Hit
Yak Money
MoM Defense
Ludovic’s Hell – Part 1

Ludovic's Hell  Part 3
Ludovic's Hell  Part 4
Ludovic's Hell  Part 5

Friday, May 5, 2017

Edits and a New Post Tonight

I finally took the time to edit Part 1 of Ludovic's Hell (and one or two other blog posts) and I'm finishing the write up of Part 2.  I hope to post it tonight, but it is Date Night with Mrs. Bugbears-for-Breakfast tonight, so I might not finish and get it posted until tomorrow.  The only thing I have scheduled tomorrow is attending Free Comic Book Day, so it will definitely get done tomorrow and posted if it does not happen tonight.  If I'm very lucky, I will be able to get Part 3 written tomorrow and scheduled for posting Thursday next week.

Tangentially, due to changes in my weekly non-work schedule, my posts will start appearing on Thursday as Wednesday night is now my primary writing night.

Future mission summaries will be for: "Monkey Burger 3", "Under the Mountain", "Butcher's Bill", and the current adventure: "Code Name: Parrot T-Rex" (a.k.a., "Flaming Wiener Dogs!".

EDIT: It will definitely be tomorrow before I post.  Work actually required "work" today and I could not slack on my own projects.