There's Always Love for Sale

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There's Always Love for Sale
Date2081-11-27
Location
Loveland, Puyallup, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Laesa Syndicate
Kenran-kai
CAPTAIN FREEFALL
Dr.Trauma
Skimmer
Sp4rks
Yakuza Mooks
Yakuza Elite Mooks
Shategashira
Casualties and losses
Yakuza Mooks x4, Yakuza Elite Mook, Shategashira


Summary

In which the runners are hired by the Laesa Syndicate to hit the Turquoise Parlour, a bunraku parlor in Loveland, and rescue the relative of a Made Woman in the process.

Background

Argent has been working night and day to capitalize on the gains that he made in There Goes the Neighborhood, and it’s been paying off – with his old crew of Ancients, he’s managed to take over several small-scale operations in Loveland that were formerly run by low-level crime bosses like himself in the mafia and the yakuza. He has a good amount of stolen goods and intelligence that he extracted from the captured mafiosi and yaks (who he has laesed and released back to their superiors following a thorough interrogation to avoid inciting even more retaliation against himself and his associates), but his boss – a Made Woman with the Laesa – has a lot of questions about what he’s been up to and all the money he’s been spending on runners. He mollifies her by proposing a hit on the most ambitious target yet: a Kenran-kai run Bunraku parlor which has a Laesa razorgirl as one of their dolls.

The Meet

The team are told to meet at Silver Linings, a formerly mob-controlled dive bar on the edge of Loveland. Everyone manages to arrive without getting too much trouble (though all witness confrontations between the Spikes and the Ancients on the way) – all except CAPTAIN FREEFALL, who is doing his superhero patrols in full costume nearby and happens to catch sight of the three shadowrunners gathering at the bar, offering them his assistance (FOR JUSTICE!).

Inside, several Ancients are drinking as Argent speaks with his boss in Sprerethiel (none of the team speak it, but they are able to get a general sense of the tone of the conversation with Judge Intentions, especially once Argent shows the mystery woman an AR photo of a pretty young woman and her face visibly softens). Once she leaves, he approaches the team and starts to go into what he needs from them, looking CAPTAIN FREEFALL up and down and pronouncing him the perfect distraction to take the heat off of his own organization (as the hit will look like hooders freeing the dolls from captivity).

Argent offers the team 10,000 a head to perform the job, as well as “a significant bonus” if they’re able to rescue a captive. Cap is in right away and already halfway out the door, but Skimmer decides to try to push for a bit more cash, and the other elf manages to beat out Argent on the negotiation roll (Dr. Trauma is able to determine it’s most likely because he’s exhausted and on Long Haul) – he relents, admitting he was lowballing them and offering 12k each, plus another 4 grand for recovering the captive and his contact info if they bring him back the person in charge of the operation as well. Everyone agrees to these price points and get ready to go to work.

The Plan

Knowing they’re going to hit a Bunraku parlor, the team plan for what to do with the rest of the people there – they all agree to spare the customers, but don’t plan to show much nearly as much quarter to the yaks, and try to think of what to do with the rest of the poor unfortunates working there. Argent says that he’s willing to employ any of them who wish to continue in the sex trade at the (voluntary, non-bunraku) brothel he plans set up in its place, but he has neither the interest nor the resources to invest in rehabilitating them of the p-fix burn and other mental trauma they’ve no doubt endured (save for the target he offered a bonus for recovering of course). Freefall and Trauma call up a shared contact of theirs – the Reverend Toby Newton of Redmond – and are able to persuade the good father to lend his assistance in setting up a halfway house and rehab for those that they rescue (likely a dozen or so).

With a plan in place for the victims, the team focus on a plan of attack. Freefall wishes to live up to his name and crash directly through the ceiling, and the team have a pair of heavy-duty flying medical drones between them to enable an aerial insertion (of sorts) for Freefall and Trauma. Skimmer plans to burst right in the front door and start ushering the patrons out, shooting any yaks who get in his way, while Sp4rks plans to go on-site for his hacking.

Knowing they have a specific target they need to find, the team devise a plan for Sp4rks to go inside as a customer, request the pleasure of her company, then plug into her datajack when they’re in private to upload a dreamchip program to put safely her to sleep (as well as to mark the host and begin his hacking work). For this to work though, he needs to hack the MAD scanner so that he can sneak his cyberdeck inside – he plans to do so from outside, then give the team the word when it’s go-time.

Doing a drive-by of the parlor, Dr. Trauma makes use of a high-force spatial sense prep to get a sense of what the inside of the building looks like and draw out a map showing a hotel-like layout with a foyer on the ground floor and bedrooms upstairs – he is able to determine that there’s a mana barrier covering an office on the top floor, as well as a dumbwaiter system and a series of small passages in between the rooms that are used to discretely move the dolls to the customers. He gives Freefall several preps, including one for improved invisibility, and tells him that he should smash through the barrier on his way down – a prospect to which he readily agrees.

The Run

Dropping into VR after popping some psyche, Sp4rks manages to mark the host and slips silently inside; spotting out the spider, he begins looking for devices while avoiding the notice of the patrol IC and finds the scanner suite at the front door. He decides to Go Big or Go Home on it, pre-edging for luck, but luck is not with him and the scanner bounces the mark back at him, alerting the host to the hacking attempt. Letting the team know that he’s been spotted and that go-time has come earlier than they expected, everyone makes their surprise checks and rolls for initiative.

Skimmer heads in the front door and immediately shoots the surprised yak manning the scanner in the face, putting him down and shouting for the customers to get out. Up above, CAPTAIN FREEFALL lives up to his name and crashes through the top floor with his mighty hooves, shattering the roof and crashing through the mana barrier using the Way of Unified Mana. He lands on the desk of the shategashira running the place… then continues straight down through the floor into the bedroom below. Trauma drops down at a much lower altitude, using gymnastics to vault through the hole and fire an (invisible) bolt with a high-force punch prep on it – the yak manages to sense him with numinous perception though, and dodges the incoming shot after seeing through the illusion, responding with an attack with his monowhip that Trauma just manages to avoid.

On the matrix, Sp4rks soaks a data spike from the spider before managing to erase the mark on him, eating another spike and a bit of biofeedback before he manages to hide himself. Downstairs, Skimmer manages to shoot and put down the yak guarding the stairs, herding the customers outside and looking for their target. Upstairs, Trauma uses his crossbow to shot another bolt with a punch preparation at the shategashira, this time managing to hit him and knock him out – he falls through the hole onto the bed below, out cold. One of his bodyguards bursts into the room and, being unable to detect Trauma, sprays it down with complex full auto fire which manages to inflict a bit of damage to the good doctor.

In the bedroom below, the other of the shategashira’s two bodyguards (elite mooks equipped with their own monowhips, as well as pain editors) bursts inside and attacks Freefall, who manages to counterstrike and deal a fair amount of stun damage. He then puts his AURA OF JUSTICE (fey-touched + superhero theme music mentor’s mask) to use and steps forward, recklessly casting shatter through his hooves to leave imprints in the floor as he approaches the knocked-down yak. He absolutely crushes the intimation check, and the bodyguard wisely decides to turn off his pain editor and have a little nap as Freefall strides over him to go rescue the innocents.

Back in the host, the spider notices the commotion and ignores the hacker to de-encrypt the emergency file – a berserker BTL program to load onto the doll’s datajacks and turn them into impromptu bodyguards. Seeing what’s coming, Sp4rks attempts to plant a data bomb on the file which will both deal with the spider and destroy the program – he goes to recklessly set a data bomb, but sadly the matrix is against him again and he ends up marked instead. Alerting the team to the situation over DNI, Trauma leaps into action and hops through the hole and into the dumbwaiter system to get downstairs, where he spotted out a small enclosed room which most likely holds the spider.

As the spider finishes decrypting and prepares to execute the emergency protocol which will load the berserker program, Trauma blasts the lock off the door with his shotgun. Knowing he can’t make it inside in time to yank out the spider’s datajack, he makes a desperate gambit, activating a high force gravity well prep centered on himself he had ready to go on a bolt; he rolls high enough on the check and on the subsequent edge roll that the decker’s chair breaks from the increased force of gravity, sending him crashing to the floor and jacking him out of the host, dumpshocking him in the process.

The remaining bodyguard chases down the stairs and runs into Skimmer in the lobby, where the two engage in an extended monowhip vs assault rifle fight that ends with the yak dead on the floor, his ware and drugs just no match for adept superpowers - speaking of which, Freefall senses the trouble his comrade Trauma is in and manages to tough it out through the gravity well to break the bolt the prep was on and end the effect. In the host, Spr4ks notices his OS is quickly ticking up, so he jacks out and reboots before coming inside to assist with the cleanup and corralling the people they’re here to save. The team consider using their BTL programs to put them all to sleep or pacify them, but end up using leadership and kind words instead to usher them out to the van waiting to take them to Rev. Newton. Locating their target proves a bit tricky, but they find her hiding under a bed upstairs and Freefall manages to calm her down enough to cooperate and come with them to safety; after grabbing the boss, the team high tail it away before yakuza reinforcements can show up to stop them.

Aftermath

After making sure that the people they saved are safe, the team brings the elf they rescued, along with the yakuza boss they took prisoner, with them back to Argent and his boss at the bar. After an emotional reunion, the yak is taken upstairs and left to the Laesa’s less-than-gentle care. Argent congratulates the team on a job well done and hands them their credsticks along with his commcode should they wish it.

Rewards

  • 16,000 nuyen
  • 5 karma
  • 2 CDP
  • +3 Laesa rep

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Skimmer

Just another hit and run, that's what I figured this was gonna be from the initial posting. Who knew I was gonna encounter my very first Super Hero? Called himself Captain Freefall, and I'm telling you, this Minotaur was lost in his character. I still remember the cries of "FOR JUSTICE!" ringing off the walls of the parlor. Anyway, the Johnson, Argent by name, wants us to clean up a Bunraku Parlor that is operating in his newly acquired territory. No problem, I can deal with that. Standard Matrix coverage from Sparky at least that is what it was supposed to be. I don't know that world, so I don't know what happened, but apparently our Decker met his match. I come in through the door for the standard assault drill, but our Hero and the good Doctor choose to make a different approach; through the freakin' roof. Not sure what happened up there, all I heard was a loud series of crashes and the cries of "FOR JUSTICE!", but apparently it all worked itself out. While I am working the entrance, dropping the Yaks and "encouraging' the patrons to find a new venue, something comes across the DNI about the enemy Spider and the need to put a stop to his efforts immediately. The Doctor has a few tricks up his sleeve apparently and uses one that causes the floors above me to groan and shake; not sure what that was all about, but between him and the Captain it all works out. Meanwhile, I get into a tussle with the last Yak; this boy brought his monowhip and is juiced to the gills on something that makes him a potential threat. We go at it for a bit, but ultimately he goes down and I've still got all my limbs. The next few minutes is spent rounding up the girls, the target, and the bonus Yak Boss for delivery to the appropriate sources. Argent seemed pleased with the outcome, and we all walked away a bit richer, a bit wiser, and a bit satisfied for a job well done.

Dr.Trauma

It was a simple gig, could have been nastier if that spider had managed to switch their personalities, (especially considering I was in the room where they were kept), and have you ever felt enough gravity to pull you towards the ground making it harder to breath? Well I have it may have gotten the job done but holy hell I don't wanna be that desperate again.

Sp4rks

Life was a bitch to me this run, or at least the 'trix was. The meet went fine, and i was happy to see Argent doing as well as he could after two doses of long haul. The job is a little tricky, he want some local Yakuza parlor re appropriated with little to no fatalities, in addition to getting back to him a specific "doll". We get on the road, and i get the colleagues ready on my dustoff for an aerial insertion typical of Captain Freefall. I never expected to work with the guy, but he's as cool irl as he looks on the vids. Dropping into vr, i start up the plan. I start off getting a mark on the host, and popping in it in silent mode. i see a spider inside, and i then spot my target: the entry MAD detector. Being weary about my OS, i decide to go all in on the scanner, confident it's security set-up was lackluster. Well obviously it wasn't and oh boy did i get to hate the flower-y mark that just sprouted on me after i failed. The spider was fast acting and as soon as the host was alerted, he appeared and data-spiked me. No matter, my deck is strong and handled it well, i then sent the go time signal to my team and erase the mark i had on me. He follows up with another much nastier data-spike, and i start to get this familiar feeling of distant-yet-intense pain. The bastard was using a fucking biofeedback program, and here i was trying to be cordial. I seize an opportunity to hide myself from the fucker, and it's as if i did it so well he forgot me. Obviously he didn't, he just changed priorities and unencrypted a file, presumably to use it right after. I saw a window for me to put some nasty bomb code over the file, ensuring he would brick himself and shred the file when using it, but once again the matrix gods were against me as the host saw what i tried to do, and marked me in retaliation. Unhidden again, i sent a DNI message to take down the spider in meat space ASAP, before rebooting my deck. Coming to in that back alley, i loaded my gun and ran in the building, but once i was there i quickly saw the great job of my fellow runners in meat space, they mostly did everything by themselves. Not gonna lie, i feel bad about this run, i was utterly of no use to my team, except to delay the spider's activation of the murder setting on the "dolls". I have to do better next time, but if any of y'all comrades of mine read this, i have to say thanks for picking up the slack.