Adversaries: Night at the Museum
|Adversaries: Night at the Museum|
|Part of Adversaries|
Detective Barry Wender
A member of Neo-Haven, The Phantom, stole a scepter from the Seattle Metro History Museum that was on loan from King Midas. He challenged Trash Panda to pull off a similar heist by putting the scepter back and discovering what he had left in the pedestal beneath.
KE was actively investigating the theft, and supporting the museum's security.
The runners successfully returned the scepter without being caught, and found a new ally.
The Shadowhaven runners knew that Neo-Haven was collecting pieces of a trident that is a 4th world relic.
Tension between the Shadowhaven and Neo-Haven had been escalating. On 4/20, Shadowhaven runners had killed three Neo-Haven runners, in an unnecessary act of violence at a KE precinct. On 4/21, Neo-Haven infiltrated the Shadowhaven chat, using Janitor Dan's drone Monica, and violating the privacy of the Shadowhaven runners from 4/20-5/24. Z3K3 from Shadowhaven was investigating the infiltration. Neo-Haven assassinated him.
The Phantom warned KE of when he would be stealing the scepter. He called himself MT:TP (Master Thief: The Phantom) and was recorded by journalists at the time of the announced heist A Master Challenge, both declaring his name and calling out a challenge to a 'good friend'. His cape had the Neo-Haven numbers 862 and 865, suggesting a magic/physical adept.
This was a challenge to Trash Panda.
Trash Panda and Flow were visiting Moth when the news story broke. Not long after, Moth received a delivery of a mysterious package. It was her father's scepter, but with one jewel removed. And a note "I'm sure you saw the news, Now here's the real news... You have thing that was stolen, you want to make an impression do so and put it back without hesitation. The guards are watching, getting the thing out is easy putting it back is harder, Good luck; MT:TP. P.S. I also left something in the pedestal that you might want one friend to another, so you might want to get that before KE does. <3".
Moth reached out to Doctor Marvel to investigate, who confirmed that the missing jewel was part of the Trident of Atlantis, and was sought by the Atlantean Foundation, an affilitate of the Dunkelzahn Institute for Magical Research, associated with the Draco Foundation. Several dragons want this Trident. It is said to open the path to Atlantis, and provide control over sea creatures.
The jewel can be tracked from the resonance of the scepter. The jewel has the aura of a powerful Atlantean artificer.
The scepter is called 'The Queen's Scepter'. It is a 5th world relic from England. Solid gold. Associated with Queen Victoria.
Moth explained the background. They needed to go to the museum, replace the scepter, and find out what was in the pedestal before KE did.
The team wanted to also track down the jewel, and the Phantom. They didn't want to escalate the war between Shadowhaven and Neo-Haven, that they had just learned had begun with Shadowhaven violence. They planned - if possible - to track the Phantom to his home and prank him by stealing all of his stuff, and putting it in a high-story storage unit where he could recover it, and cashing in on the related insurance money when the Phantom got his stuff back. Pranks only. No violence.
Moth called her papa and explained all they had learned. He agreed that he did not want a jewel sought by dragons back. He provided a replica jewel to restore the scepter.
While Moth spoke to her father, Twitch and Flow together hacked into the highly secured museum host and obtained the camera records of the heist and the security plan for the museum. Trash Panda helped boost their logic and intuition to make them as effective hackers as possible.
King Midas offered to pay the runners for helping to return the scepter and verifying that whatever was in the podium was not damaging to him or the public. However, the runners offered to do it for free, earning his goodwill. This was particularly important to Dandy who is dating Moth.
The runners acquired some supplies, including a quicksilver camera to take a picture of the scepter, so they could continue to use the resonance to track the jewel after returning it. Twitch got looper bullets for his flyspy drones as a back-up. They got the replacement jewel in place on the scepter.
Review of the security plan and camera footage of the heist identified several things. Dandy spotted that just prior to the heist, two of the eight KE guards switched places. It looked like the Phantom might have infiltrated KE, and with a second person infiltrating also. There was a break in the video for 5 seconds. The security plan noted that KE had charge of the security.
Dandy also used a contact, Max Malini, to get more information about the Phantom. Malini is an infobroker. He was aware of two prior heists by The Phantom. In both cases, he called out a friend also, but it did not make the news. The two prior thefts were of a book and a watch, both from the same time and place as the specter (Victorian England). The book was Dicken's Great Expectations. It was not immediately clear how these items related to the theft of the scepter, beyond perhaps practicing his heist skills.
The team physically scouted the museum during the day. They learned that the area with the scepter pedestal was closed to the public. There were KE staff there investigating. Twitch was able to stealthily get a flyspy into the closed space to record lots of detail, and stay in position for that evening, loaded with looper bullets. He was able to learn of a faint clockwork ticking inside the pedestal, that they suspected could be the stolen old watch, but what was it doing? Was it a timer for a bomb or alarm? Trash Panda identified a watcher spirit helping KE investigate in the closed exhibit space, tied to a mage at KE headquarters.
Trash Panda mapped the ventilation system, which would fit a raccoon carrying a scepter.
The runners put together a plan to do a physical infiltration theft, in the evening after the museum closed. Trash Panda would remain in the ventilation system with the scepter until the time of the theft. Flow would control the cameras. Twitch would provide footage to the team with his flyspy and back-up support on cameras if needed. He would also provide a Dustoff to help Trash Panda escape via the roof, which was accessible from the ventilation shafts. Moth would provide leadership support to all throughout the event, rallying, inspiring, and coordinating over DNI from the safety of Twitch's car, where Flow would also be. Dandy had his truck parked across from the museum, prepared to provide a very loud distraction if needed if anything went wrong during the theft to draw security away. Moth made excellent disguises for herself and Dandy so they could play roles in distraction without giving away their real identities.
Twitch could see on the flyspy that there were five people present. Four regular guards and a KE detective. One of the guards was assigned to stare at the pedestal and not be distracted from looking at it, while the others were facing the exit to the room towards the main entrance. Dandy helped look for Neo-Haven tattoos on the guards. None were visible, but he realized that the Detective had a UCAS Marine tattoo. Trash Panda could also see that the Detective was a mage, with at least one detection spell active.
Trash Panda got into place with a stealth spell that hid any noise, in addition to her considerable ability to hide herself. Panda climbed up the wall to the ceiling above the pedestal using her climbing claws and got in place to lower herself down to the pedestal. Flow prevented the cameras from seeing her.
The Detective was able to hear something as Trash Panda got into position. But he couldn't see her. He wasn't entirely sure what he'd heard, but he stood up and said "TP, I've got you now." A trap for Trash Panda? For The Phantom? Who was this guy? Trash Panda made an illusion of the sound of footsteps running down the hall away from the room. The detective and one guard followed. This created an opportunity. Two guards were looking towards the exit, but one was still looking at the pedestal. Moth suggested to Flow to loop the feed on the glasses worn by the guard who was watching the pedestal. Flow did it. Now that guard would not see anything but the loop of the undisturbed pedestal.
Trash Panda was able to get to the pedestal and investigate. Flow de-activated the pedestal's alarms and pressure plate. Trash Panda realized that the pressure plate had something under it. Something the exact weight of the scepter to keep the plate depressed though the scepter was gone (which had prevented the alarm from sounding when the scepter was first stolen). It was a plush raccoon, a book, a watch, and an envelope! Flow realized that the plush raccoon had a device inside. Twitch quickly did an FAQ to figure out what it was for. It was set to respond to a matrix investigation by loudly playing Trash Panda's good at crime theme song, after a six second delay. Trash Panda cast the silence spell to cover sound, and Flow re-programmed it to a ten minute delay, giving plenty of time to escape first, so there would be no risk of alerting the guards.
Throughout the heist, Moth provided inspiration to each person to do their best in their role. Dandy watched from across the street, ready to create a ruckus for a distraction, but it did not prove necessary.
However, as all were returning to the vehicles to flee, Twitch caught sight of The Phantom on the roof of the museum. Dandy was able to physically track him back inside the museum. The group became suspicious that the Detective was The Phantom. Between comparing his magical aura, and studying the camera footage for when the Detective returned to the exhibit, the group confirmed that the Detective is The Phantom.
As they were considering how to track him to his home to pull off the steal his stuff prank, they paused to read the note in the envelope. And realized he was reaching out to them as allies, having passed his test. The note said: "The masses have acknowledged that you have got started to pursue our intellectual endeavors.. Nah I'm just helping you. So we have issues with the leadership here and a few of us aren't up to snuff with what he's up to. In good faith I've provided information in this book (if you can crack the code) to a piece of the trident. Apologies but I had to give the jewel over. -MT:TP".
Twitch and Flow did a deep matrix search on the Detective (who is also The Phantom) and learned that he is Detective Barry Wender. Age 28. Sign: Leo. He likes long walks on the miitary base. He is a psion. Lance Corp UCAS Marines, Sniper/Recon Division. Many distinguished honors, including ones for saving several people. He is stationed at a small branch outside of KE HQ. He is in charge of their runner suppression division. No kids or wife. No close family. House is in Tacoma. Drinks at the Daze every so often. Is a known workaholic. Has been serving as Lead Detective for 2 years. Was in charge of the "Ares Prototype theft 1 and 2". Both cases are still open.
Flow and Twitch are working on cracking the code in the book. They'll probably solve it within the week. And the runners can figure out if it does in fact lead to a piece of the trident. (A next chapter!)
The runners can also still use the resonance from the scepter to track the jewel. (A next chapter!)
Information on Neo-Haven plots
Trash Panda: A plushie raccoon that plays "Great At Crime"
Twitch: A copy of Great Expectations (with coded notes)
Flow: An old mechanical pocket watch from the 5th world Victorian England
Dandy: +2 Laesa Syndicate
Moth: A smile from her papa
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here. This was my 23rd run. It was so important to me to make sure that we got papa's scepter back in place, and made sure there was nothing in the pedestal that would cause harm to papa, the Shadowhaven, or innocent people. I was really glad that when I needed help, my boyfriend Dandy was right there to help me! He's the best. Everyone did a great job. Twitch and Flow are a good team in the matrix. Trash Panda is definitely a master thief! This is the first run in awhile where I didn't do any sweet talking or impersonation. It was definitely a job for Trash Panda to show off her physical infiltration skills. But I still think I made a difference helping keeping everyone inspired and doing their very best! And this Detective seems like a really interesting guy. Smart. A service man. I really do hope we can work together and become allies. It would not hurt at all to have an inside ally at KE! Most importantly, papa is happy! Maybe he will want to have dinner with Dandy and actually meet him now. I know papa wasn't exactly hoping I would end up with a human. But he will see how good we are together!
This, was, SO much better than the last one. Nobody's dog got killed for no reason! This is the stuff I came back for. People working together perfectly as a team, I love it. Thanks guys for showing me that we can do it like this. I really want to see what happened to that guy with the glasses though. He thought he was staring right at the box. Poor guy.
This is what it's all about. I think this might be how specialized prime runner teams are formed? All of us together just worked. Clean, smooth, all on the same page... I'm glad Flow got to have a good experience on a run. It... Feels a little weird to me, like, she spent the entire time far away from the action. If it were me, I'd feel cheated and left out and bored. But, heh, Flow has been super happy about the whole thing. The matrix game plays by different rules, and she's happy with all she got to do in her world. As long as she's happy.
Now, we just gotta figure out our next move...
Clean. Quiet. Love working with people who know what they're doing. They were expecting something and we still avoided them. Working with Moth and Flow in the Matrix was just... elegant? Is that a good word for it? It all just... flowed. XD Now I gotta solve this book and figure out what the riddle involved is.