Fragmented Vineyard

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Fragmented Vineyard
Date2082-9-8
Location
Under Glow City, Seattle
Status Threat Level: Semi-Prime
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Krimelin
Renraku
Newt
Cold Hands
Ibis
Eric Payne Boombox
Rigger
Guards
Decker
Mechanical Security
Casualties and losses
Suffocated Rigger, Captured Guards


Summary

A team of runners is offered a highly lucrative job from a probable xenosapient. They rob a shipment from a Renraku excavation beneath Glow City, stealing NeoNet Juggernauts and delivering the deadly drones to their mysterious employer.

Background

One of Renraku's projects is to 'clean up' Glow City as a public relations effort. This project also has the benefit of allowing the corporation to delve into the ruins beneath, unearthing and excavating old caches of technology.

Meanwhile, a certain Krimelin and a rotting drone that possibly represents a xenosapient have taken up residence beneath Seattle, for reasons unknown.

The Meet

The runners are instructed to meet the Johnson in an old abandoned metro station in the OU, beneath Tacoma. While Troll Hunters have aspirations to restore the place, the metro station remains neglected due to seasonal flooding. When the runners arrive, they note a number of drones patrolling the area: over two dozen.

They encounter a blue-haired, beautiful man who - upon assensing - seems to be a normal, mundane human with slight genetic modifications but is otherwise un-augmented. Grey mana has been tattoo'ed onto his back. Beside him is a bio-drone in which a metal frame supports rotting flesh. He introduces the drone as 'Von Neumann' and himself as 'Krimelin.'

He wishes to hire them to steal several anthro-form drones from an underground railroad, one used back during the fifth world. He also adds a bonus objective: if they kill any guards, deposit them at a location where he can retrieve their bodies.

The drones are identified as five NeoNet Juggernauts recovered from a recently-excavated warehouse.

Cricket recalls a previous encounter with a xenosapient and identifies the potential danger of providing this man military-grade drone chassis. Wary of the Johnson's intentions, Cricket presses him on his plans. He offers an (apparently sincere) pitch to clear the lowest levels of the OU for human use. The proposed pay is sixty thousand nuyen.

He provides further details - the drones were retrieved from recent excavation beneath Glow City and is being guarded by heavily armored members of Renraku's hazmat and clean-up team, elite soldiers who were armored and prepared to take on the threats of Glow City.

At this point, Cricket decides she doesn't want anything to do with the run. She is given a vial of (presumably) pixie dust. Faced with the choice of accepting the job, attempting to betray a xenosapient, or just accepting the vial, she decides to forget.

The Johnson reaches out over the matrix and finds a replacement runner. Newt gets pressed into duty by War Boss, who cites her debt to him.

Ibis arrives late, and is filled in on the details.

The Plan

BoomBox proposes to use a nanite package to destroy the guards' hazmat and chemseal suits and then using additional chemical agents to disable them. Ibis expresses reservations about killing the guards and requests that Boombox use something more nonlethal.

One wrinkle is that they need to procure a sample of the guards' outfits in order to program the nanites.

Cold Hands places a call to Asahiro Kunitoshi, asking if he can procure a sample of Renraku hazmat armor. He says he's uncertain about the exact make and model used by the crew under Glow City. If the team can get him images of the security personnel, he might be able to narrow it down.

Having heard that, Newt and Cold Hands prepare to approach the perimeter to scout the guards.

Meanwhile, Ibis prepares to dive into the matrix and investigate Renraku. She doesn't find information related directly to the operation beneath Glow City, but she does discover that Renraku has been buying patents from Evo, related to Evo's space program.

She calls Handraniel for further information, and the contact networks her to a particular archivist of corporate activities. She calls this individual (Dominus Faust) via a burner link, who asks to be fronted a payment of 4,800 nuyen for three files concerning Renraku's activities in and around Glow City.

The files detail their attempts to (unsuccessfully) clear the surface hazards, eliminate local infected populations, and excavate a NeoNet warehouse. Renraku believes the recovered drones will help them further clean up Glow City without sending people into the dangerous area.

After running the numbers on all the information she's obtained so far, Ibis believes the shipment will move out between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cold Hands and Newt engage in scouting via the southern tunnel, soon discovering inhospitable conditions in the form of blocked-up ventilation combined with smoke and tear gas. They encounter the corpse of a tunnel rat caught in the gas. Fortunately, they manage to find a 'half-way house,' a small side room that contains an oasis of stale oxygen.

Going further, they find the intersection where the train has to change tracks. With some difficulty, they manage to move the old lever - at the cost of dislocating Newt's shoulder. Ibis has to direct them concerning first aid and medicine via image-link as Cold Hands sets Newt's shoulder back in place.

Finding that they're almost out of oxygen swaps, they make the decision to swap Newt's oxygen then and there, with Newt braving a single breath of gas. Cold Hands then withdraws to leave her spare oxygen tank at the half-way house while Newt carries on alone.

She finds the station, wriggles under the train, and somehow avoids both the guards' senses and their e-war sensors. Newt manages to get an image-link of the heavily armored and augmented hazmat guards and she also sights a very large, intimidating drone. She escapes without being noticed.

Cold Hands forwards the image to Asahiro Kunitoshi, who manages to deduce the exact specifications of the armor being used by the guards. This data is forwarded to Boombox who programs his nanites accordingly and who begins doing the chemistry needed to make additional ordinance.

Ibis, meanwhile, dives back into the matrix to try to get a better fix on the train's schedule and more information about the security. She spots a rigger connected to the train, along with multiple icons slaved to it. Ibis risks attempting to get a mark on one of the slaved commlinks and does so. Investigating the files within, she finds a brutal Renraku 26-hour shift schedule. She also finds an encrypted file which she cracks. Located within the file is a reference to a 'final transfer' between sites 13A and 13B, along with an exfiltration convoy.

Ibis also does a matrix search relying on Newt's image links of the train, discovering the exact make and model of the 5th World train the cargo was running on.

Ultimately, the group settles on the following plan.

1) Change the tracks over after our target has left the station. 2) Drop on the train when it's slowing down or turning to the southern tunnel. 3) Ibis will attack via the matrix and attempt to squelch communications. 4) Open holes in the top of the train. 5) Drop the nanite / cocktail grenades into the train. 6) Secure the train. 7) Escape with the train.

The Run

Newt and Cold Hands move to a spot on the ceiling some distance west of the train station, ready to drop down when the train passes beneath.

BoomBox positions himself at the track exchange lever (now lubed and quiet), and pulls it when he feels the rumbling of the train get close.

Ibis attacks via the matrix and squelches the rigger's communications.

Cold Hands drops onto the train and shaky footing, but manages to stay on. Newt leaps down, slams against the roof, but manages to not get injured.

Cold Hands cuts a large gash in the roof with a katana and Newt tosses in a bandolier of grenades prepared by Boombox. The nanites eat through the guards' hazmat suits, and the two runners hear screams coming from the cabin, followed by silence. They descend into a cabin flanked by sitting NeoNet Juggernaut drones.

With Ibis' guidance, the two make their way to the driver's compartment, cutting through the door and cutting the rigger out of the coccoon. The rigger, lacking any life support, ends up choking for the lack of air in a brutal scene of gasping desperation.

Unfortunately for the runners, there was one last grave danger. The train was speeding along at top speed and would impact the far end of the tunnel if not stopped. With urgent desperation, Ibis digs out an old manual for a train of that make and very carefully instructs Cold Hands on the method of stopping the train.

Cold Hands settles into the driver's chair and - perhaps motivated by mortal danger - becomes one with the train. With a manic grin under her helmet, the street racer brings the archaic train to a precise stop, with her mentor spirit racing the vehicle outside of the driver's window. She and Newt exchange a high five.

Aftermath

The runners are greeted by the rotting drone they encountered during the meet, who confirms their delivery and the success of the run. Over a dozen NeoNet drones are delivered to the mysterious Johnson, and the surviving Renraku guards are taken into captivity.

BoomBox opts to accept one of the Juggernauts as payment, while the other runners satisfy themselves with a hefty nuyen payout.

Rewards

+ ¥ 70,000 Nuyen (140,000 for gear rewards if you take a NeoNET Juggernaut with your desired drone modifications, avail limit 19)
Newt, Ibis, Boombox: 4 Karma & 2 CDP
Cold Hands: 4 Karma & 1 Street Cred, 2 CDP
Optional Contact: Krimelin, 3/1 Fixer
For Ibis: Optional Contact, Dominus Faust, 1/1 Data Archivist

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Boombox

"People always tell me no you cant just use nanties and toxin in a confined area, they wil die! Listen sweetie, i know what im doing, i know what i have to look out for, al the preparations and calculations.And then all of a sudden i saw the asiest way.... just raise the payout and no one will question your wok. Given, i had to please the nice Nartaki decker by not outright killing them but thats fine, i got compensated very well, i have a new toy now! And regarding our employer and concerns that have been voiced... if anything we will get hired to get rid of that evil sooner or later. nothing personal. I dont even think It would feel anything personal at all.

Cold Hands

"This was the most dangerous job I've taken on so far. Even though the plan was carried out with but a few hitches (I still hit myself over the fact that I didn't review a driving manual for the train before the run), in retrospect it could have gone badly on a number of fronts. And although Newt and I carried out the 'hands on' part of the run, the plan wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the two nartaki working behind the scenes."

"After the thrill and adrenaline of a successful heist wore off, however, I couldn't help but dwell on the unsettling pair we accepted the job from. Was Cricket the one in the right for walking out of the entire affair?"

"Well. Ultimately Asahiro got his wish and a rival Japanacorp got stung. On a personal level, not much has changed for me beyond keeping my Shiawase patron happy while accepting a very, very hefty payday. But for Seattle at large? I honestly have no idea what will come of this."

Newt

"Well, I sure hope that those drones were worth the effort. It's been a while since I went under Glow City, and I can't say I'm especially thrilled to have been back. The plan went off shockingly well, save for the few times I almost died, and I have to give credit to the other members of the team. They were exceptionally capable. The flesh drone was a bit unsettling, but compared to the other horrors that lurk in the third layer they'll probably still be an improvement. Plus it gets Warboss off my back for a few days. I wonder what I'm going to spend all of this money on."

Ibis

"That could have gone incredibly dangerously. The hostile environment, the threats, it could have been very bad. But no one died. With steady amounts of legwork on our part, we were able to pull this heist off without a hitch. I fear for the world at what that horrifying flesh drone and its ally, Krimelin have planned. A small army of murder-machines. But the other runners were capable and the job was efficiently done. I hope more work ends this way, though perhaps without the arms dealing.