JLee of the Brain Eater collects on a debt from when she helped the runners get some software for a job. She wants a backdoor planted in a state-of-the-art computer control system being installed in the upper floors of the Renraku Arcology. They can provide a pair of cover identities (registered SIN, etc.) with an electrical contractor (Etta Electronics) doing work on floor two below that of the computer control room.
The runners successfully installed the software, as well as sabotaging a view server racks, creating an alternative explanation for any short-term problems JLee's worm causes as it replicates across the distributed system. The runners are collectively paid 40,000¥ for their efforts.
The Renraku Arcology is being built according to a pan-Japanese mysticism, incorporating both Buddhist and Shinto beliefs. Five kamido (god vault) are being built inside of various internal business units. They are corporate equivalents of the kamidana (god shelf), the home shrine. Each is being built to house kami relevant to the business. The establishment of all five will be self-reinforcing, each one strengthening the other. Destroying the kamido would be pointless, they would be rebuilt. Instead they must be manipulated so that the wrong sort of kami will take up residence.
The five kamido are being built according to the five Buddhist elements: earth, water, fire, wind, and void. However, neither the Yamatetsu Johnson or contact know exactly how these kamido will be instantiated. They need the runners to get in, find them, and disrupt them.
The earth kamido is built into the central structural core of the building. Sheets of washi (Japanese paper) inscribed with Japanese characters are hung from four key structural shafts, accessible through maintenance areas. The stability characters of the ofuda were changed to instability, with the steel supporting shafts weakened with a chemical concoction.
The water kamido is a health clinic. Beneath the lobby floor is plumbing to support a waterfall that’s going to be installed. There’s a freezer vault already installed on the opposite side of the wall that will store blood use to regularly rejuvenate the chief executives and make them more youthful. It had an ofuda inside promoting adaptability that was changed to promote weakness and infirmity. The temperature regulation of the freezer was sabotaged.
The fire kamido is an executive bunraku parlor. A feminine chrome and platinum humanoid robot is crated and ready for assembly, to dance in the lobby. Inside its torso was an ofuda promoting drive and passion, which was subverted to instead embody guilt. A fire sculpture installed in the VIP room was subtly sabotaged to be less impressive.
The air kamido is a simsense parlor with inhaled intoxicants. The intoxicants were spiked with a hallucinogen causing dark visions, with the ofuda hidden in the unit similarly changed from promoting open-mindedness to promoting paranoia.
The void kamido is the computer control room. The ofuda was found in the server rack for the VR system, which was changed from promoting creativity to promoting rigidity.
The runners were paid 100,000¥ as a group.
Janus Koskey pitches the shadowrunners on another job.
“Now, places that are obvious looting targets, they’re getting increased security, whether it’s rent-a-cops or gangers more interested in building rep and holding territory than joining in the fun and games themselves. Jewelry stores, electronic stores,.. that motorcycle place on 9th has the Brain Eaters setting up turrets.”
“So what we do is hit someplace that isn’t worried about rioters, and where we benefit from the increased Lone Star response time.”
The display screen shows a daylight picture of a fifteen-story office building, the sun shining off polished glass behind a manicured lawn.
“Briar Tower. State of the art security, both physical and magical. No way to break in without setting off half a dozen alarms. But once the rioting spreads into Bellevue, which it will, you hit the tower like you’re just part of the crowd. The alarms go off, the watcher spirit runs screaming. But instead of Lone Star being there within a minute or two, it’s five, even ten. And during that time you’re trashing the ground floor, but you’re also tricking out the security system, so that before they arrive you can slip into the upper floors without leaving a trace. And then the building is yours.”
“You’ll still have to deal with the individual security for each of the tenants, but you’ll have time to do it in.”
“A lot of them won’t be interesting. Two law firms, some accountants, a media relations agency,” logos, websites, pictures go by on screen, “the business offices of a tool and die company,..”
“We ignore most of it. But there’s at least three worth a visit.”
“Third floor. HyperVid Gaming. Did that big Bug City trid last year. Take whatever you can get of their new game”
“Blingee Custom Metalwork. Jewelry for the newly rich. Tens of thousands of Nuyen in display pieces, and should be a couple hundred thousand in materials in the back.”
“Gallery S. Private art gallery. I was able to pull invoices for high-value shipments from around the world.”
“Should be easy.”
The runners took various goods that they fenced for a payoff of 40,000¥ per runner: precious metals from Blingee, artifacts and vampire blood from Gallery S, and game data from HyperVid Gaming.
The runners gained evidence of activity by insect spirits in the assassination of General Yeats near Bug City.
University of Washington Research Project
Janus Koskey contacted the team, reporting that he’s found an urgent job bid from a temporary research post set up in the middle of the Mowich lava flow. They claim to need urgent extraction for one passenger and some valuable cargo and are looking for someone willing to take the job. Due to the chaos in the Sprawl, they haven’t had any takers yet, so if the PCs can get out there ASAP, they could take for themselves whatever that valuable cargo is.
The runners fought their way through an escaped lava elemental and a mine-controlling horror to free an enslaved research team and close a rift to a hell dimension. They sold the research data for a tier 2 reward each, as well as scavenging a trike, some drones, and some cyberware.
- The utility drones on the surface (IWS DLK MK 6 Utility Machine, Mesametric Kodiak Construction System). Hard to transport. Worth a Tier 1 and Tier 2 Cash Parcel respectively.
- The blimp in the air (Aerodesign Systems Condor LDSD-41 II). Worth a Tier 1 Cash Parcel.
- A Jeep Rover (all-terrain trikes with balloon tires). Worth a Tier 1 Cash Parcel.
- The rigger’s right cyberarm, with a conspicuously unnatural segmented brick-red surface (implanted electrical tools, implanted mechanical tools, fine senses, claws, magnetic grapple). Yamatetsu Workman. Top of the line. Worth a Tier 1 Cash Parcel. Tier 1 Cash Parcel to install.
- The rigger’s cybereyes, the iris’s a blue field of stars in a circle, surrounded by a laurel wreath (enhanced optical processing, low-light sensors, thermographic vision, microscopic vision, telescopic vision). Ares Opticons w/ custom irises. Again, top of the line. Worth a Tier 2 Cash Parcel. Tier 1 Cash Parcel to install. Easy to swap out the cosmetic irises for regular ones if they want.
- The rigger’s Ares Predator with Smartlink and a laser targeting system. Counts as a Tier 1 upgrade for anyone using guns.
- The rigger’s rigging equipment is high-end. It gives advantage to Overwatch checks. Checks where you’re keeping an eye on an area to watch for trouble.
- Spy’s right cyberhand (natural covering, implanted lockpicks (middle and ring), fingernail compartment (pinky), fingerprint remapper (right index), palm injector (lethal snake venom); Ares Dextra with custom parts, worth a Tier 2 Cash Parcel. Shaky Sheila can get a color-matched natural covering and install for a Tier 1 Cash Parcel if one of the PCs want it.
- Spy’s hidden skilljack running an Iris Firmware knowsoft titled “Documentation Procedures for Combined Magical/Technological Experiments.” Worth a Tier 1 Cash Parcel.
The Duke’s Apartment
Janus Koskey, proprietor of Crusher 495, has learned that a Tir Tairngire Duke has a luxurious penthouse apartment in Touristville that he uses when he visits the Barrens for some of its illicit pleasures. The apartment is decorated with elven works of art, the closet filled with fine clothing, and the bar stocked with expensive fey liqueurs. Koskey has a contact with building security that can get them access to the building, though they’ll still have to figure out how to deal with the additional security that the apartment itself is likely to have.
Stealing the valuables can be expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of nuyen, which after Koskey’s cut, results in a tier 2 reward for each PC.
The crew blew up the transformers providing power to the area of the apartment building late at night to knock out the power. With the electronic security disabled, Maniac recruited a bear spirit to wrangle the building's watcher spirit. This gave the crew plenty of time to work inside the building, though Lone Star surveillance of some nearby looting prompted by the blackout encouraged a speedy loading of the cargo. The team successfully robbed the apartment by running packages down a zipline to a van parked outside, as well as defacing the walls with human-supremacy graffiti. In escaping, they needed to evade a barrens gang car excited by the blackout and looting.
The team received a tier 2 reward each for the haul provided to Koskey, and an additional tier 1 reward each for cash they found on the premises. They also found some paperwork in Sperethiel relating to property investments in Touristville by the Duke Ra Phanuel, which they are planning to have translated.
The Big D
One of Urni’s street contacts overheard an off-duty Lone Star officer speaking at a cop bar in Bellevue, hinting, after a few too many drinks, that some sort of metahuman riot would be prompted in Redmond during Dunkelzahn’s campaign stop in the Sprawl. The dragon will be forced to choose whether to support the rioting metahumans, either depressing his metahuman base or hurting his ability to widen his appeal. There’s no sign of a paycheck anywhere in this, but if someone doesn’t do something it could be a real blow to the great dragon’s campaign on the eve of the second debate.
The runners discovered an aborted conspiracy within Lone Star to provoke a riot in the Redmond Barrens in an attempt to discredit Dunkelzahn. A young patrolman, Hampton Lee, was prevented from carrying out his unknown plan by Irene “The Bull” Turnbull, a lieutenant overseeing Redmond in the Crime Suppression Division of the Seattle Lone Star operation, with the implication that Turnbull had some involvement in the plan.
Eliminating the Competition
The Red Hot Nukes want to make it clear that they're the only law on the Barrens highways and so reached out to Maniac with a job offer. Lone Star has been running test convoys of goods out of factories in the Barrens, which risks cutting into the Nukes own protection business. They want to avoid directly confronting Lone Star, so they need an independent group to keep hijacking shipments until the businesses get the point. One rule, none of the hijackings can make the roads any more impassable, as the Nukes want to keep running cargo once the Star is gone. The Nukes will provide information regarding the convoys, including timing and load information.
The Red Hot Nukes wouldn't normally need outside help to take a convoy, and so are charging half the value of any convoy taken for providing the convoy information. This leaves each runner a tier 1 cash parcel for each load taken, after the Nukes' cut, until Lone Star is scared off. In addition, a good reputation with the Nukes will make it easier to find ground vehicles and get assistance on the Barrens roadways.
The Nukes rode out themselves to confront Lone Star, hiding their gang signs and including some non-dwarf hires, including Maniac, to try to disguise who they were. They successfully took down the convoy, but it's unclear if Lone Star was fooled.
Taking the Corners Back
The Brain Eaters are looking to muscle up and approached Mac with an offer to put him and his comrades to work. While they've been able to use their automated security to hold their territory in Touristville, the Rusted Stilettos have pushed them out of the area near Glow City, where the Brain Eaters had been running a profitable trading operation with the local mutants: salvaged tech from the nuclear reactor, infused with the toxic spirit of Glow City, in return for BTLs, chems, and weapons. The Eaters are confident that, as the Stilettos don't have as much use for the resonant tech, a few good hits on their crews, followed by some overwatch to help with any retaliations, should get the gang back their territory.
The Brain Eaters will pay each runner a few thousand nuyen (a tier 1 reward) once their territory near Glow City is secured. In addition, a good reputation with the Eaters will make it easier to find computer gear, make it easier to find decking support, and leads to higher-profit jobs driven by the info they can pull down from the Matrix.
The runners helped the Brain Eaters take a prime trading spot in a small city park near Glow City from the Rusted Stilettos by blowing up the local crew chief and his bodyguards, stealthily assassinating the soldiers, sicking a Talis Cat on one group of corner boys, and sicking Maniac on the other. The Brain Eaters now have the park defended with automated turrets.
Into the Plastic Jungles
Mama Palazzo needs some well-armed people to escort her daughter on a search and rescue mission for one of Mama's sons, who hasn't come back from a trip to gather a dual-natured fungus from along the banks of the Snoqualmie river. The area has become increasingly depopulated of metahumans over the last few years, due to a growing number of disappearances and the exodus of those scared away. However, because of the value of the flower to the trade Mama carries on with the outside world, her son had been making monthly trips to gather the fungus, without serious incident until now. Mama has insisted that her daughter have an armed escort if she's going to go after her brother.
A good reputation with Mama is worth free low-quality medical service for the purposes of overcoming injuries and access to any information she might be able to gather in the vicinity of the jungles. In addition, if the runners can retrieve the fungus, Mama will allow the runners to have the fungus rather than trade it. The fungus is worth a tier 1 cash parcel for each runner if traded for money instead of food and other basic supplies. Alternatively, Mama can make a spray from the fungus for the runners. The spray, if applied to someone, deposits dual-natured spores in their lungs. This would make the target trivial to track in astral space (as they would appear as a disembodied pair of lungs). In addition, the spores die if the target passes through an astral barrier, releasing a toxin that causes lethal bleeding in the lungs. An infestation of the spores cause a cough after a few days that would likely prompt medical attention.
Mama's son Rich was taken captive by a group of wendigo engineers and their cannibal horde, aided by a small biomedical firm, Ace Biologics. The wendigo were running the water plant for the dome complex, with Ace supplying the group and using the aerosolization of the vapor distributors to test behavior modification drugs on the inhabitants of the Jungle. The runners killed the wendigos and their horde, and with the cooperation of Green 4800 – after convincing them not to destroy the jungle infrastructure – eliminated the next delivery run by Ace, giving the runners time to set up their own operation in the water plant.
The runners blackmailed Ace using trid recording proving their involvement, which they have used to fund the first month of continuing operations for the plant, at a cost of a tier 2 parcel each. They've received the spray of the dual-natured fungus, as well as a few hundred credits, sufficient for a tier 1 cash parcel for the group.
A group of shadowrunners from Atlanta hired the crew to scout out an abandoned Barrens factory being used by the yakuza to host a violent bunraku encounter for a Renraku executive. They helped to drive the executive out of the factory and into the Barrens streets, then fought his security to allow the shadowrunners to kidnap the executive.
The shadowrunners were each paid a tier 2 parcel.