One Second to Midnight
|One Second to Midnight|
Night Claws - John Holis
|Casualties and losses|
A mysterious client hires a team of shadowrunners to manipulate the Doomsday Clock.
After the Awakening, nuclear weapons ceased working due to magical interference. The previously all-encompassing threat of nuclear holocaust simply no longer existed, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and IAEA dwindled into obscurity before being disbanded completely. At some point in this decline, the Bulletin's Doomsday Clock was made into a series of persistent, physical clocks monitored by a camera in an obscure corner of the building used by the UCAS government's Seattle Institute of Science and elsewhere. The clock had been set two hours to midnight by 2081, meaning the world wasn't in danger of ending. While this was true for nuclear threats, the world still faced numerous existential threats of other kinds - a fact that a wealthy interest wanted to bring to the public's attention.
The runners met with Mr. Johnson at a restaurant in Tacoma. He explained that an independently wealthy individual wanted to draw public attention to major threats that the media were preventing the public from knowing about, and the Doomsday Clock with being changed live on stream would serve as an excellent set piece for the message. While he doesn't give a specific deadline, he does want the job to be done soon. The team promises to do it within a week, and the client agrees to pay the team 20,000¥ each.
Reading the matrix, Night Claws learns basic information about the Doomsday Clock and the Seattle Institute building, which is now used for government research projects. He learns that as a pre-millennial building, its electronic systems are old and wired, though the facility has a hidden data host it uses to keep employee and operation records. Esper devises a confidence scheme and designs a set of disguises for each team member, then has Night Claws plant false employee records in the system that match the disguises. Esper also calls up Rick Rampant, who is able to connect her to a division manager inside the facility. She gets the manager to have their illegal and obviously threatening gear waiting for them by the Doomsday Clock so they can be prepared for battle when the live stream inevitably draws the attention of security and the police. Night Claws notes from a set of building plans that the barrier between the basement plumbing and the sewer tunnels is relatively thin - Esper gets a set of commercial explosives put in the contraband package, and Ikari calls Chloe Green to have her arrange for an escape boat to be waiting nearby in the sewers (but out of the blast radius).
Esper will play the part of a psychiatric researcher being transferred to a project inside. Ikari will play the part of a thaumaturgical researcher being transferred to a different project on the same day. Night Claws will play the part of a technician finally come in to fix the ailing pre-millennial infrastructure. Yata will play the part of an EPA inspector. The roles assigned and disguises given, the team will go in piecemeal one hour before the guard shift ends so as not to draw attention and have the guards distracted once they go about their business.
Once inside, the team will quietly make its way to the ninth floor, where the Doomsday Clock is located. Night Claws and Yata will have access to it via their cover identities. With sufficient excuses, the team should be able to get there uninterrupted. They will start up the stream, give the presentation as requested, then make their way for the basement via the improvised exit.
Esper's disguises turn out really good, and the team looks great. With this and the paperwork previously set in place by Night Claws, the security team at the door has no reason to suspect any of the team members of not belonging there. Yata's cover identity takes some effort to get sorted out due to the bureaucracy involved, but Esper guides her through it over a micro-transceiver. The team members use their temporary keycards to head to the respective floors required of their cover identities. Esper guides Yata through making a big deal of asking her and Ikari for help with something in front of the security cameras so that it can seem like they're part of the EPA investigation. Yata then "leads" them to the elevators, where they meet up with Night Claws on the tenth floor and swipe themselves into the Doomday Clock room. The team gears up while Night Claws hacks the console to take control of the clocks and set up the live stream. Ikari's face is blurred out, and Esper uses the voice warper in her ballistic mask to give a speech and make it look like it's coming from Ikari. The clock ticks down as threats to global stability are named, and the client gives the team a final line for them to add, which Esper does.
When the team ends the stream, they hear sirens inbound. They turn around to notice the elevator is on the way up. Esper places a stun grenade at the entrance to the elevator and then covers it with a telekinetic barrier, and it traps the security squad in a concussive blast when the door opens, knocking them all out instantly. The runners clear them out of the elevator and then hop in to descend to the basement. The remaining security team members scramble to reorganize in the meantime, and the runners hop on top of the elevator in the shaft as it's descending to confuse them. Not expecting them to go for the basement, the security team on the ground floor is forced to go down the stairs to catch up with the runners, and by the time they get there, the runners have blown a hole in the floor and hopped in the escape boat. A sniper tries to tag them with a tracer round, but Yata takes evasive maneuvers and prevents them from being hit. The police are unable to pursue them in the underground labyrinth before they can make themselves scarce.
The performance made the news, but none of the runners were identified. The client was thoroughly satisfied with their work, giving each team member a 2,000¥ bonus for delivering the speech so well and using the specified line at the end.
- 5 Karma
- 2 CDP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Another job well done, if I may say so myself. Proper planning and doing your legwork helps mitigate threats when it comes time to execute, and we did exactly that on this job. The team had enough talents to plant a wide variety of plausible evidence and get us exactly where we needed to be when we needed to be there. The dead drop helped make our escape go smoothly - we outmaneuvered the security team completely. I'm satisfied with our performance.
That run was... mixed. We were definitely doing good work, but it's such a shame how people ignored the warnings until the corps took over and started using the very system that was warning people to put them at ease with the horrible world they've made. Chloe really came into play here, I'm pretty glad I'm friends with her, she literally gave an entire boat and let me destroy it... It's actually horrifying that a teenage girl has access to so much wealth that she can just do that, and her parents don't even notice / care! Well, at least she's one of the good ones.