Skin in the Game
|Skin in the Game|
|The Kingston Building is purchased.|
Silas Rojas deals with the fallout from the past few months of high stakes running; he considers a swift exit, buys a car, gets chased by gangers, and decides to move forward with a project to better the community instead of bowing out of the runner life.
Silas has just completed a series of high-intensity runs such as Killin' It by Foxy Shazam, Of the Goddess of Love, Raging Bull, They Cry For Vengeance, and All Paths Lead to Yellowstone. Additionally, Relay earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Institute of Technology, and was a mechanic and engineer in Atlanta before his on-the-job injury left him unemployed. While the settlement came later, he dipped into running.
Relay meets up for dinner at the Space Needle with a classmate from Georgia Tech. The two reminisced about collegiate robotics team antics and discussed current events. After dancing around the injury and subsequent retirement from engineering, Silas admits to not being COMPLETELY retired, given Helper's customization. The classmate offers Silas a job, which he turns down, but the classmate offers him a digital card just in case he changes his mind. The two catch up, with Silas avoiding divulging any information about running BUT spending some time criticizing the DA for not addressing the root cause of the city's issues, and instead focusing on punishment.
Relay and Helper drive out to pick up his Gladius, which was purchased and modified with spoof chips and a morphing license plate. He sends Helper home in the truck and drives to the Black Tie Affair. Traffic is backed up on the 520 bridge because of construction, but--out his rear camera--Relay sees a non-descript white van and three bikes weaving through traffic towards him. Realizing that the vehicle makes him a target, Relay finds the left lane, which is clearer and moving quicker, and darts away. The pursuers follow. He then finds an opening and cuts right back into traffic without his blinker as if channeling the spirit of a BMW driver from generations before. The van slows to a crawl in the left lane behind him, but two of the bikers speed past, and one slows down. Relay drops his eyeball drones out the window and attempts to dart the slower biker and van driver now that the shot will not cause a crash at lethal speeds. The gangers' motorcycle leathers manage to deflect enough of the needle's penetration to stop the Narco.
Relay darts out again, trying to find a non-lethal option that doesn't endanger other drivers. With the speed of his car, he manages to clear some distance between himself and the gangers before coming up on a large crane. Utilizing one last eyeball drone, he darts the crane operator with narcojet. The operator slumps forward onto the controls, dumping the crane's payload onto the bridge. Gunning the sportscar's engine, Relay darts just under the payload as it crashes to the bridge, separating himself from the gangers with no lethal repercussions. As he drives away, Relay drops a message onto the commlink of one of the motorcyclists: You can do better. You can BE better.
The Soup Kitchen
At the Black Tie Affair, Silas Rojas learned of two leads about property in Redmond from Miles Imaus. One pointed to an obvious dragon in Seattle, which seemed--less than ideal. The other pointed to a developer who decided to sell his building, allowing it to be made into a co-op (see Stand Tall for the Man Next Door for details.) After some matrix searching, Silas finds the co-op's web presence and contacts the building's office to schedule a meeting.
Silas visits the office and explains that he's interested in providing a similar experience to the co-op where Redmond citizens have a safe place to live and buy groceries and be treated like people. She--in turn--puts him in touch with Eli Johnson, who agrees to meet. Silas, still in his normal clothes, heads down to the soup kitchen in his truck.
Eli Johnson and Silas talk at the soup kitchen for some time. Silas assuages some of Eli's fears by explaining that he's not trying to "fix" the barrens or be some sort of lord who lifts its people out of poverty, but rather that there are real societal barriers in place that prevent those without money and power from having a genuine shot at a happy, healthy life. Silas explains that he'd like to remove some of these barriers to create a more just world, even if it's only for a few people. Making the decision that Silas isn't a detriment or threat to the community, Eli walks Silas through several local buildings that might be purchasable, and Silas quietly settles on a building that's in severe disrepair and is bleeding its residents dry with outrageous rent on the remaining apartments.
Silas calls the rental number on the building and asks the owner to meet up to discuss sale of the building as a whole. The owner scoffs but--after Silas's insistence--offers to meet at a Redmond strip club. Silas suggests a classier club downtown instead, to which the owner agrees. Silas returns home to change; after buying a bottle of Black Panther, Silas heads to the club in his Gladius, which lends him credibility in the bargaining. The two sit together and--after brief introductions where Silas sizes the owner up as someone who imitates mafiosos but isn't actually in a local family, the negotiations begin. Silas offers 250k, but the owner counters with a million. After some back and forth, the owner offers 750k, which would allow him to pay off his debt and have some coinage left to invest in some other opportunity. Silas counters by offering 300k, which is the 750k "value" of the building minus the approximate costs of repairs. The owner laughs him off, so Silas changes tactics.
Silas explains that--based upon the man's commentary, he owes a lot of money to people you don't want to owe money to. Either A) he needs to pay that money in full, and thus selling the building NOW may be the way to keep himself alive, or B) he doesn't need to pay the money in full, and thus taking a lower sum that he can invest in a business that isn't bleeding money on repairs is his best fiscal option. The two settle on a price of 350k, and Silas departs to call Sarah Snow and her husband Liam Montgomery.
- Relay files the paperwork for a non-profit called Metroplex Equal Rights Coalition, or MERC, through Liam Montgomery.
- Relay has either helped or pissed off a barrens slumlord. It's unclear which so far.
- Relay calls in favors from ex-runners and contacts to help fund his project to the tune of 100k (Ascension non-ware rewards, see rewards section.) He funds the rest of the project himself, spending 250k of his own money.
- Relay agrees to do a news interview about the property acquisition.
- Relay renames the building The Kingston Building quietly in honor of the late KB.
- The building's sale will go through on the 31st, Relay's one year anniversary of running, allowing runners to officially WftP to help rebuild the Kingston Building.
- 18 CDP
- Optional Contact: Eli Johnson (C2/L4 Soup Kitchen Owner)
- Optional Contact: Miles Imaus (C3/L3 Nightclub Owner)
- Optional Contact: Liam Montgomery (C4/L2 Lawyer)
- 100,000 nuyen in donations from the Shadow Community put towards the Metroplex Equal Rights Coalition.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
I'm putting myself in danger by expanding my public persona. However, I am one of the few runners who have the legal paperwork to purchase such a building, a large, known stipend to help facilitate the cover, and can often avoid showing my face on the run. I've been running to feel alive--but that's greedy. Too greedy. I have the means and opportunity to create real, meaningful positive change. While I've done this through killing bugs and shadow spirits, maybe it's time to create tangible benefits in other ways. It's time to be better.
Let's see how long it lasts before I eat a bullet out of some syndicate member's gun for the trouble.