Sabotage on the Rainbow Seas

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Sabotage on the Rainbow Seas
Part of The Toys that Made Us
Date2081-05-28
GMSedatedAlice
LocationThe Matrix
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
John the Security Spider
Unicornergy Toy Company
Twitch
Crypt3ch

Summary

It was so simple - bad toys needed to be shown for what they were and the company that produced them needed to be shamed.


How did it turn into a plot for a jealous mistress to get her lover to leave his wife and a unicorn plush toy that shits on command?!

Background

Razz and Friends has been a popular trideo for years with children - but a sudden resurgence in interest by young and old alike has put the trid on a whole new level in the entertainment space.  It features a unicorn protagonist and a gang of unbearable cute creatures that teach lessons like friendship, loyalty, and have the undeniable undertone of accepting the life of a good corporate wageslave.  Until now, there has been no physical merchandising related to Razz and Friends - a hole that several large toy manufacturers have been angling to fill (to bring the children joy of course, not for the untold amounts of nuyen it will bring in).

Rumors have been circulating that Unicornergy Toy Company (recently renamed from Simon’s Toy Extravaganza, Ltd.) has been awarded intellectual rights to make toys based on the show, contingent upon securing merchandising contracts from major retailers.  To accomplish this, Unicornergy is set to debut the crowning jewel of their design efforts at the annual Toy Fair in New York City:  A semi-plush toy based on Razz the Unicorn, with AR features to allow the user to interact with the toy in a more realistic way based on the show.  You could feed Razz (they really liked strawberries and licorice!), interact with Razz like you were part of the show’s universe, and take care of Razz like a pet!  The marketing had a multi-pronged approach:  teach children responsibility, help them build social skills, and provide them with a toy of their favorite unicorn!

There was a lot of grumbling in the toy industry about who got the rights to the product.  Sven Industries (a much larger manufacturer) had put in a more attractive bid for the rights, but inexplicably the contract had gone to Unicornegy Toys - an almost unknown toy maker.

The Meet

Karen McCormick, mother of three, grandmother to one, came to the fixers with the following:

Is this thing working? Hello? Can anyone hear me? Wait what, this is. . . Oh crud.

Look I don't normally do this kind of thing! I'm a nice person but this time, this time they've gone too far. I'm a grandmother and I just won't stand for this! They won't hurt my granddaughter with their rushed to market baloney! Yes, I've asked to speak to their manager! Yes I've written strongly worded letters! I've done everything but threaten them with bodily harm - you are my last chance to make this right!

I'm talking about the rumors circulating around that Unicornergy Toys got the contract to produce the toy accompaniments to the show "Razz and Friends" - come on, you know the show, with the unicorns and other insanely cute creatures that teach kids about working together for the good of all? I know it's a load of corporate sponsored drek but my granddaughter and all her friends love it and - what do you mean I'm off track!

So the rumors are that Unicornergy is going to unveil their new toy line at the annual Toy Fair in New York this week - there's just one problem! Unicornergy has knowingly made an unsafe toy! I'm not talking choking hazard here, people, I'm talking exploding electronics, dead kids, fire, blood, and destruction! You have to help me stop them!

Fixers reached out to two runners on the Haven known to be exceptional with Matrix operations - Twitch and Crypt3ch. The pair met with Karen at a cafe downtown, where she explained her situation. She had tried going about this through proper channels and nothing was happening! So she was willing to empty her bank account and hire runners to do the job - but it had to be now. The Toy Fair was tomorrow, so the team had less than 24 hours to get in and make sure Unicornergy was so publicly embarrassed that the toys would never make it to shelves (and the contract would be pulled and awarded to someone else, of course).

She offered the pair the edits required for the manufacturing files to spit out toys that were obviously defective - it was normal practice for prototypes to be distributed to potential retailers at the Toy Fair to secure retail contracts - and if they could replace all the marketing information with her files, further adding to the public embarrassment, she'd pay extra. She offered partial payment for doing the job, the rest would be available upon verification of completion (how everything went at the Toy Fair presentation the next day).

Crypt3ch and Twitch agreed - though suffice to say, Twitch was rather unsettled by the woman.

The Plan

The plan was simple: find the host, get in, change the stuff, and get out. The pair decided that going into VR would be preferable in Baby (Twitch's prized automobile) so that in the case of convergence, they were already on the move. Twitch conducted a matrix search on Unicornergy before they started, learning about the semi-shadiness of the company and this supposed deal for Razz and Friends toy merchandising rights. The two agreed this information alleviated much of their concerns about actually doing the job and they set off to the store front Host.

The Run

The Unicornergy Toy Company Host welcomed in the pair into the store only once they had played the large piano outside. Twitch got applause, Crypt3ch got some sympathetic laughs.

Once inside, the pair investigated - they found an industrial host layered beneath the destination host. Once they faked the signatures on the sign in log, they proceeded in to the purple, pink, and glittery mad scientist's lab that was the R&D Industrial host. A few searches and they found the files that Karen had wanted edited - on floppy disks. They ducked encryption and data bombs like pros - those teddy bear patrol IC had nothing on them. A familiar person kept appearing in the corner of a room, peering in - a security spider who's ID badge said 'JOHN', looking rather flustered and sweaty. Eventually the spider chased out all the other personas from the lab and got up on a workbench and started screeching even though he couldn't see the hackers. He knew why they were there and why couldn't Karen trust him to do the job she had paid him for? It seems Twitch and Crypt3ch had an unlikely ally on this job. Crypt3ch managed to hack the poor spider's commlink and tried to call him down by sending the man messages from his own commlink - including a 50 nuyen steak coupon. Aggravated, he agreed to stop the IC from spawning inside the industrial host and hide their decryption efforts. He then revealed the existence of the company's R&D data host, mumbling how he had sent 'something' in to deal with the other files Karen had wanted replaced. John the Security Spider warned he would not be able to help them once they went in to the data host, however. They shoved the floppy drives into the machine and set it to manufacture, moving on to the new doorway that had appeared.

The plan nearly fell apart when Twitch was marked by the host in an attempt to open the door - but he let Crypt3ch help and the pair managed to get into the data host mostly unscathed. John the Security Spider will probably not forget Twitch the Tron Man anytime soon, however.

The data host was in stark contrast to the industrial host - someone had had a very bad trip while watching Alice in Wonderland. It was a twisted forest before, dark and foreboding. Owls hooted in the distance and the path forked off in a hundred different directions, each terminating with a tree that seemed to have some sort of door at its base. A quick matrix search and they had located the files to be replaced - but one was glitching rather badly. Crypt3ch went to handle intact file while Twitch walked through the forest, uncertain to what he might find. His senses could only pick up that chewing sounds coming from the file's location on a terminating path ahead.

The young man came face to face with a large housecat sized Bastet, most likely let in by John the Security Spider to destroy the files in question. It was sitting at the base of the tree, happily ripping into a catnipped file.

Soon after, the owls spotted Twitch and alerted the host. A large playing card came running at them, paint bucket in hand while yelling about painting the roses red. Crypt3ch dispatched the IC with relative ease (he was the best data spiker in Emerald City after all!) and with the help of a newly compiled fault sprite to surpress any other IC, the pair tried to make the file the bastet was eating as interesting as possible once the animal grew bored with it (it even tried to Derezz Twitch but only managed to stun itself!). Crypt3ch produced VR spray paint cans and the pair made a game out of how interesting they could paint the file for the bastet.

Until a new persona appeared - long of beard and short in stature, clutching an axe. Twitch deduced that it was a technomancer - and that was all that Crypt3ch had to know. The dwarf never saw them before he somewhere in the real world, his vitals went flat in the medbed he used while he was on the job. No one would discover it for several days; John the Security Spider kept any anomalies under wraps to make sure the job went off without a hitch.

It was simple work from there - replace the files and make it out to the grid, avoiding an entire industrial host full of IC and a destination host that was trying to figure out who to mark. But they did get out successfully and GOD, while watching, did not converge on them. The pair came to in Baby, which was still driving around downtown.

Aftermath

After they arranged to meet Karen, she gave the pair partial payment - promising the rest the next day contingent upon what happened at the Toy Fair.


And oh man did the drek ever hit the fan - literally.

While doing a product presentation, Ben Johnson, the owner of Unicornergy Toys, unwittingly became the first victim of the Razz the Unicorn semi-plush. Demonstrating that the toy could be fed and cleaned up after in order to teach a child responsibility, the toy let out a ghastly, explosive, watery, foul-smelling liquid all over Johnson. . .And the first row of the audience . . .And the ceiling. What should have been a cutesy, rainbow swirl was now. . .shitty. The other prototypes that the company had brought (also sent to manufacture by Twitch and Crypt3ch) that were in the hands of prospective retailers had similar malfunctions at this point. The visual part of the marketing campaign behind Johnson seemed to declare that this wasn't a malfunction, but a designed function of the toy.

As did the commercial being broadcast simultaneously.

Later that evening a delighted Karen met with the runners again and paid them in full.


Later it would be discovered that Karen McCormick had no interest in protecting children from dangerous toys; she was the mistress to the head of new contracts for Sven Industries, the rival company that had put in a much better bid for the Razz and Friends marketing rights. She was hoping to bring this contract in for her lover which would show him how much he needed her - causing him to miraculously leave his wife for her. Suffice to say that for now, Karen remains single and Sven Industries has acquired the rights to manufacture toys for Razz and Friends.

Rewards

20,000 Nuyen + 2,000 Nuyen for completing the optional parts of the job

5 karma

2 CDP

Chance for a bastet to now randomly stalk both players when they are in VR.

Crypt3ch only: - 2 Steak coupons

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Crypt3ch

I can't believe I got to spend so much quality time with my son Twitch. One day we'll look back at times like these and cherish them fondly.

Twitch

What? He's still going on about it? One person made a comment when we got a treat after the job.... whatever. Clean job. Cryp and I did great together. Between his knocking out the spider and thr IC and my sprite running a Suppression program, we had hardly any threats to deal with. 10/10 would run with again.

if he stops calling me son. XD