Last week was catastrophic for our party, and many of us ended up rolling up new characters, so this seems like a good point to start ShadowRun story telling/Note taking online. We are running ShadowRun 5.0, Chummer is your friend.
SNEWS ( StreetNews) Today:
- Goats ravaging the parks – those fainting goats that transport to parallel planes are impossible to catch
- Reward for Large, Mansized talking Rabbits: 30M each
- Troll in a suit, bounty of 5M
- Takawa Corp is under seige- been hacked?
- Several Ares Helicopters crashed due to lightning strikes.
- FishMonger ahead in the election, but suspicions he is cheating are high
I was doom scrolling through the SNEWS on the Seattle SubReddit, when an incoming Incoming Message notified me. I did not recognize the number, so did a prefilter and noticed the computer generated voice. Odds were, this would be Chaos- I intercept so I can text to talk:
INCOMING :Job 2,000 NY Spy Takawa Meet Skinner Chin Loos 8 Pm 24 hr confirm.
Me: Skinner ID?
Me: how meet?
Me: Bad Taste.
Takawa Corp. They Had Fizzy Pop product, record profits, being liquidated. This was probably just some corporate espionage.
Note: Rumors, interactions between mysterium and takawa. Mysterium is mage research center. Gorc knows a Mage who he has bitched about.
It is a nice night, so I take a stroll over to Chin Loos
Sitting in restaurant at a table sipping tea was a dude wearing sweat pants, old shirt that was beyond the description of dirty and a lime jacket.
“Skinner?” I sidle up to the table ad inquire.
“LoMein?” I inquire, leveraging the code name that Chaos had indicated.
“Well, sure, if you are buying…”.
Gods. This was not looking like a good choice. I sat down, and the stench rolled off of him.
“So- Chaos thought there was a job we could work on together- something about spying?”
“Spying? No- I just need to get a headcount” he responded. Hmmmm.
“So- you are going to astral project and count beings? Do you need me to watch your back while you project or something?”
“I don’t project- all I do is I sit on the park bench, take drugs and talk to spirits.” He responded.
There followed a convoluted ( nothing was going to be easy with him, was it?) discussion of what the job actually entailed and what skills we needed.
Jesus, why had Chaos included this dude? We were going to need a Mage.
I comm over to Gorc–he knew some shit mage who might work cheap. He agreed to connect me, but threatened me to pay him back when this job completed. Unfortunately, the more people I had to drag into this, the less I would have to pay back those gambling debts, but of course I agreed.
When I turn back around, Skinner had produced a Humunculus cigarette butt that was dancing on on the table. That is over for me, I shift to a new table away from his crazy… and his stench.
Cell Phone Number that Gorc sends me is a local SeattleNet connection. – Emerald City Net. GreenNet. Antique tech.
He does pick up, and asks to meet at Tony’s for a safer conversation.
I get Skinner’s contact info in case he wanders off, buy him some loMein and head over to Tony’s.
At Tony’s I find an Orc VolleyBall Team Rally in the place. They had had a Big Win and now everyone was going to hear about it.
Tony’s had tape over the wall from repairs. Glass still missing from front door. I had Delivered for them when younger , and the clientele had always been a bit rough. I was able to get a table- but my back is to the door.
I am eating my 7NY- 2 topping pizza. special when a young dude pulls up a chair to the table- he had on a black trench coat, his black hair – short cut. nondescript clothing. There was nothing here that would have drawn your attention to him- but maybe that was the goal.
He did not look like much of a mage to me. Gorc was probably right about him. Sputtering light bulb of a mage.
His reaction when I mentioned Takawa was concerning, and he seemed to believe that fizzy pop was not the only thing they are working on.
When he told me his name was Dresden, I had a small swoon on the TV Show reference – he did in fact look a bit like what a young Dresden might look. Dang, well he could not be all bad. I asked if he also had his own Bob, but unfortunately, he did not. Instead, he offered up a Building layout of the Takawa HQ, from a previous job there.
He gave me an alternative comms number to use when the file transfered- and said something about avoiding using the original number as that phone had recently been burned. No loss on my side I would not cry about missing out on antique tech.
We Head back over to ChinLoos. Point Dresden to Skinner and go sit at a safe table. Let the two of them talk.
Seemed to be a lot of back and forth and argument about the risks on this job. What did I not know about Takawa? Dresden made a call to some contact he knows asking about work.
Dresden suddenly hollers over- hey- you guys know who hired you? I try to shush him, but Skinner blurts out “Dude calls me very once in a while asking for work- calls himself Chaos”.
Why would that contact need to know who hired us for this job, and Damn that freaking Shaman blurting out information that can blow our connections…
Dresden seemed to think the headcount could be done from the coffee shop down the block. We head back to my place- going to give the shaman a shower and a new shirt so the stench does not get into my van to pre-scope the place out. I started hoping that when Chaos called me back tomorrow for the job confirmation that I could negotiate a much higher price since everyone seemed to think this was a suicide mission.
When he gets out of the shower, I Hand Skinner some day old bread, it looks like he could use it.. seeing the ribs on his torso where my shirt was too short.
As we approach the tech park in my van, Rainbow colors in the sky shoot up suddenly. strobes and flashing. tht Seattle traveling rave must be spun up again. I do notice an Exceptional amount of electrical lines heading to the industrial park. Estimate gigwatts heading that direction.
I Ask Dresden what else in the tech park that could be consuming that kind of power.
“Go Mario, Go” spelled out in the sky with dancing lights is noticed by Skinner. He is disgusted by the lack of life in the building aura. Skinner is thinking a backpack of bliss might help the party obviously going on. Dresden knows something he is not telling us. When I ask, he says that they are running the biggest super computer I have ever heard of- 10X normal?
Takawa and Ares working together. Takawa and the mages are working together. What the hell are they up to and what is happening in this building. All of my inner alarms are going off, but I cannot make the data shape into anything useful. Too many puzzle pieces are missing.
Even parked at the StarBucks 3 blocks away, we can see a Giant Elf mad from pixels in green walking around the build with light sword and shield. There was a 20 foot tall wall around the building. That wall was not on the layout Dresden sent us.. then he fesses that this layout is almost a year old, but I cannot get anything else out of him. Maybe he is just an edgy person.
I ordered the standard ChocMachDoubleCaff Venti and fork over the outrageous 20NY for the drink that will feed my caffeine demon and help me stay alert during this “watchover”.
Dresden projects in and sees guard animals that are robodogs. Front gate of the door, 12-15 ft tall nutcracker. Gigantic mushroom growing out of the ground like sculptures. Aquarium made out of a VW bus.
Most of the rooms are covered in dust, but in the only clean room, there is an 8 ft tall bipedal robots with dreads and knit hat. Someone has been in the building working on this robot.
Dresden stirs up about the time I finish my drink. The building lights flash:
I see you. I know where you live, Dresden. How is Bling?
Who the hell is Bling?
Dresden starts to explain about a Rogue AI installed in the building. I put together that this might be the legendary Exobyte. I had always thought that particular AI was a myth. None of the stations were being used, dust everywhere. One clean room- and a reggae robot.
Dresden suspects that Takawa has abandoned the building at this point.
Arguments follow over the usefulness of tech versus paper, and I am anxious to draw this job out so we can negotiate for more. It is never good when you get the answer to a question before the job is officially begun.
Pay Dresden his 500NY, pay off Skinner to keep him quiet for 2000NY. Wait for Chaos to call back.
Next Day is Get this message:
Interested in job, but hear it is Suicide. Increase pay?
2K up front, 2K on delivery
Too risky for 2K. negotiate pay?
Less than one, but more than Zero
2K wired to me.
Shit. Lost 500K on this whole thing. But. Exobyte is real.