Where's the Beef?

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Where's the Beef?
Date2081-03-6
GMPurkinje
LocationSeattle, UCAS
Factions Involved
Gh0st
Lucky
Moth
Slink
Aztechnology
Larry the Cowboy Decker
Casualties and losses

Gh0st sustained light fall injuries.

Lucky sustained light electroshock wounds.

1 Corpsec lightly wounded

Larry the Cowboy Decker knocked unconscious, severe biofeedback stroke

Summary

A team of shadowrunners does a datasteal on a whistleblower for a mysterious corporate client, then gets double-crossed.

The Meat

After receiving their notifications through the Shadowhaven app, the team met at the Banzai Burger just outside of the Aztechnology Pyramid in Downtown. Home of the famous Banzai Burger, made with Real BEEEF™ (so much protein, we needed an extra E!). A Mr. Johnson with a Texas accent explained that an Aztechnology employee in the food industry who lived in the Pyramid knew something odd about beef, and he was willing to pay 64,000¥ for details about what exactly he knew and who he was. Moth and Slink talked him up to 80,000¥, which he flashed on a gold-certified credstick. The team found this agreeable and set out with the target's name and picture.

The Legwork

The team headed across the street to the first level of the Pyramid, which was an extensive shopping mall. They entered its destination host and took a look around. Gh0st found a security node hidden in the host disguised as a random door. He broke inside and took a look around, finding a database with files that had 10-digit numbers as their headers and everything useful was in Aztlaner Spanish. Fortunately, Slink happened to speak Aztlaner Spanish very well. Gh0st cracked one of the files and happened to find the records of an employee authorized by security to enter the upper levels of the Pyramid, then edited the file to forge a fake identity for Slink to impersonate. The team decided to get Slink to pose as an employee, get access to the upper floors, then have him escort them in.

The Run

Slink successfully conned a service rep into printing him a new employee security pass so he could use the elevators. He went to Human Resources to ask for a map of the Pyramid, hoping to gain more information about where the target lived. The HR rep not only gave him a map, but a special keycard he could use to access the residential floors other than the one granted by his phony security pass. He grew suspicious at this, but couldn't make heads or tails of the rep. He went back down to the ground floor to gather up the team and head for the residences. Lucky called Addison Keller for intel about the target's residence. She connected him to a sanitation worker who was able to use the name and photo to point out a specific apartment he lived in. The team headed there, and to their surprise, the special keycard was able to open his door. Inside, Moth discovered a datachip wedged between the bed and the nightstand. Gh0st cracked the file on it and discovered an archive of evidence lending credence to the Aztechnology Hellcow Conspiracy, the secret program in which Aztechnology has been using HMHVV-infected cattle to produce vast quantities of milk. It looked like the resident was planning to blow the whistle, soon.

As soon as Gh0st described this file, Slink noted that the bed hasn't been touched in a while, and they just used a keycard to access a suspected whistleblower's room. Just then, Lucky heard a corpsec squad lining up outside. The team got the jump on them by charging through the door before they're ready. They traded SnS rounds, but Lucky took a daring move and shot the nearest window open. The team dropped one story to the ground, and Gh0st got hurt a bit, though the others make it down okay. They booked it to Slink's Bentley and break away, losing any pursuers who may have been after them.

The team contacted Mr. Johnson to arrange a trade of the datachip for the credstick. He directed them to an empty parking lot in north Puyallup, where they waited a suspiciously long time. They couldn't get him on comms again, so they decided to leave. As they did, Lucky noticed they were being followed by a van. Before they could decide what to do, Gh0st's deck was spiked by an unknown attacker. He tried to spot them but failed, then decided to jack out to avoid being bricked. Slink floored it and broke away from the surprised van driver, losing him quickly thanks to the Bentley's great acceleration.

Angry, the team decided they were going to get their money one way or another. Moth called King Midas to ask for intel on Mr. Johnson. After some persuading, he revealed that particular Mr. Johnson was a decker who worked for Aztechnology, and he knew the location of a safe house he used. The team headed to that safe house, which was behind a saloon in Renton, and hacked a security camera watching the entrace. Gh0st was able to mark his deck three times, then data spiked him with Blackout running, knocking him out instantly and nearly killing him. The team broke in and grabbed the golden credstick from the drooling, nose-bleeding Texan.

Aftermath

Having got the money they were promised, the team proved they weren't pushovers, and they were each 20,000¥ richer for it. Gh0st gave the paydata to News Van Dan in exchange for a favor to be paid back later.

Rewards

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

"A Videorecording shows a nice flyby Montage of the Aztchnology Arcology, then a cut to a snippet of a Window breaking due to firepower, followed to what seems to be a shoulder perspective of someone walking down what seems to be the outside of the Aztech Arcology, you can see someone lying on the ground beneath. Another shot shows a person carrying two other persons down the Arcology, one person, sittong on the carrieres shoulders appears to be dancing. The Video ends with the same dancing person from before but this time standing on a Bentley as the visual and audio fade away." ~Uploaded by Lucky

Slink

Ghost, Lucky, Moth, and Slink meet Johnson at the Bonzai Burger, a low end restaurant downtown. Johnson is interested in finding out what one Lucio Elfario knows about Aztechnology's cattle industry and is hiring us to steal any data he has on the topic. Elfario is an employee of AZT and likely lives in the Pyramid. The team agrees to find out what they can for 80,000nY (20k each).

Our legwork begins with Ghost breaking into the AZT Destination Host, then the Data Host nested within, dodging IC and searching for employee records. Strangely he finds no such employee record for Elfario. Working outside the host, Lucky and Moth scope the shopping mall floor of the Pyramid for things of note while Slink patrols the exterior. The team changes the angle of approach and searches the Matrix outside of the host for info on Elfario and finds some contact information and that he worked in Biochemistry for AZT and the there were recent opening in employment. Ghost acquired the employment credentials of a low level employee and modified it Juan Sanchez, Slink's new cover. Posing as a new hire, Slink entered AZT, met with security and HR, acquiring a keycard that would take him to the residential sector. Lucky pulled in a favor and managed to get the key to Elfario's home from the janitorial staff. The team gathered and made for Elfario's house.

Elfario's home was found unoccupied, and soon after we discovered what Elfario was onto. He had found that AZT's cheap beef and milk came courtesy of them using Infected Hellcows, and was voicing concern of ethics and safety of the matter to the point where he was about to blow the whistle before seemingly disappearing.

Slink pointed out that they had just entered Elfario's home using a keycard and they were likely already surrounded by armed guards. With Lucky's superb perception, he confirmed the suspicion. Acting quickly, the team opted to run and gun their way through the nearest window, down to Slink's car for a quick getaway, popping Stick n Shock shots at the guards on their way.

After a surprisingly smooth escape, the team made their way reconvene with Johnson for their payday. At the handoff location, the team smelled the situation as fishy since Johnson was a no-show. This was only reinforced when Moth and Lucky noticed a van following after them, and undeniably confirmed when Ghost's deck started sparking from a Matrix attack. Wasting absolutely no time, Slink lost the tail van, and the team hatched a new plan: Fuck Johnson, Get Paid.

Moth got ahold of daddy dearest, King Midas, to give us the scoop on our deadbeat employer. Johnson was Azzie and fancied himself a cowboy decker who had a safehouse in the north end of town near a saloon style bar. Keen for revenge, Ghost fixed up his almost-bricked deck and got to work taking out the cameras outside the safehouse and served up an extra-spicy Data Spike. With the all-clear given, Lucky booted down the door where the team found Johnson out cold, bleeding profusely from the nose, his brain nearly boiled out from biofeedback. Moth and Slink made sure he was stable before the team nabbed the credstick (generously still loaded with the promised pay), pinged a street doc from Johnson's commlink, and beat feet.

As for the data, the team decided that it would be best left in the hands of News Van Dan, one of Ghost's contacts.

Moth

Moth here. My second run! I was excited to see what I could do. And to meet a new team. And not all new to me.  This was a chance to do a run with fellow Laesa Slink.  He’s like who I want to be when I get a little better.  So professional.  Great at all the Face skills.  Level-headed. And all those language skills! And that car!  Just the kind of mentor I need to get the ropes. We were joined by Ghost – a dwarf decker who really knew his stuff, and Lucky – a guy who is incredibly lucky and great at combat, and really fun to have around. We met the client at this little fast food place called Bonzai Burger.  And this was pretty interesting just looking around before the Johnson arrived.  They were featuring burgers for like 100+ nuyen made with real BEEEF.  So much protein it needs an extra E.  And the Big Mother Clucker supposedly has real chicken! It was all a little expensive to me, but I thought I’d order a milkshake, but Slink discouraged drinking anything so suspicious right before starting a run.  Which seemed smart.  Milk prices have been dropping.  Which is weird, right? But, anyway, soon enough there was the Johnson, and all four of us gathered up and at a table with him.  He looked like a man with money.  Human.  A really well made suit.  He had a Tex sort of accent.  Howdy, he says. I put on the charms right away, sitting close to him, clearly admiring his wealth. And that worked out because with me taking some subtle cues from Slink we were able to negotiate him up to 20,000 nuyen each! And he had it on him.  A real certified gold credstick. Now, I am *always* looking for gold to gift along to papa.  He is not called King Midas for nothing.  And while a gold credstick is not made of solid gold, it is super on brand.  I was practically panting in excitement. The job was something I was already curious about at that point.  What exactly was going on with the BEEEF.  There was a guy worked at Aztech pyramid next door who knew something.  We just needed to grab his data, pass it along. And Ghost – our decker – revealed he actually had a background in farming and like 1,000 potatoes so w were set for a food science mystery.

It all seemed simple enough at this point… Now, in all fairness, there was probably a moment here where we could have done a trifle more research on him – the Johnson – and the target – one Lucio Alfarra.  A Hispanic looking human man.  But we kind of jumped right in! All we knew was that he worked there. Now, the pyramid has this big shopping center on the first floor, so we just dove right in.  Looking around, while Ghost figured out if he could tap anything on Lucio. I stayed line of sight on Ghost while he kept his body busy with knitting – a nice subtle approach.  Lucky took a position inside the shopping center playing video games. Slink cruised around the exterior in his marvelous Bentley, keeping an eye out. Ghost found a hidden temple in the matrix-space, and a bunch of files.  But they were in Spanish and Azlatan.  But! Slink has those languages, so that was a big help.  The files were encrypted and used a 10 digit number sequence rather than any employee names, so we couldn’t find Lucio without knowing his employee ID #, which we did not.  Alas. Ghost dodged some security sprites, and pulled a file for a random employee.  This guy had at least yellow levels of clearance, and so we made Slink an employee file from this random employee – substituting his picture.  (I helped him do a good headshot, with an excellent disguise in place.  Now he had the looks and the language to pass for an employee there.) We figured maybe he could go in and find Lucio’s employee ID#, or some other good lead. The guy he took the security levels from worked in Market Research, and only had access to relevant work-related floors, but had access to the residential area on the 2nd floor.

Slink worked his way around getting past security like a champ, getting a physical card he could swipe to use the elevators, and getting a map from HR. Now, my main role throughout all of this was just giving the guys subtle tips over the DNI.  I don’t think of it so much as leading them as inspiring them.  But, everybody gets to shine when Moth is around. They just were all that much better at the things they were already good at. Lucky had spy drones too, and sent one in with Slink.  A little roach up his sleeve.  And commented that he was super ready to help with infiltration by walking up the wall of the building in his mag boots.  We laughed. Not exactly subtle.  But later we would be damn glad for those mag boots! Slink was starting to figure out that HR was expecting a new employee.  Maybe someone had recently left a position? Slink was able to get a pass up to the area where our target – Lucio – worked in food sciences research (the 8th floor).

At this point, we had a bit of a team huddle on the DNI.  What was the best approach?  Slink could try to wander the 8th floor and look for Lucio. Or, if we wanted to get the gang all in one place, Slink could let us into the residential floor.  A much less suspicious place to bring guests. Then Lucky had a brainstorm!  He called a contact and working through a janitorial service provider got us the address to Lucio’s home on the 2nd floor. Slink got us all into the 2nd floor, and we headed straight for Lucio’s place.  We had a couple thoughts at this point.  There might be something physically there.  Or, it would be a good location to try to hack into residential/corporate systems. Slink had no problem opening the door, with a little encouragement from me. And here is where I did something really useful!  As we explored the apartment, I found a data chip! Ghost jumped on reviewing the data chip and its encrypted files with the enthusiasm of a kitten with a ball of yarn, which makes sense, given he is a knitter. This was it!  Exactly what we needed!  Also, it sounded like this guy – who from his home hadn’t been around for several days – was a whistleblower.

Now, at this point, Slink has a revelation. We had been hired to find missing data from a whistleblower who was missing.  Who exactly had hired us, and why?  Was this a set-up?  He told us that we needed to move.  Fast. We all shifted into a much more alert frame of mind.  Lucky and I caught that there were guards positioning outside.  We were surrounded. We needed a plan fast, and to move while we could still have any kind of element of surprise.  We’d been running subtle, so Slink and I had our well concealed small guns.  But Lucky didn’t have his big one.  I tossed him my Ares.  He was a combat machine, and I … I could fire a gun, but I got pretty flustered in the heat of combat. Should we run for the elevator? And then … brainstorm.  Lucky.  Mag boots. We could go out a window and down the exterior wall! Here follows a bit of combat.  Having given up my gun, my part was to run to the window and take cover, while inspiring the boys to do their best. Lucky laid down some fire and drew the fire to him like an absolute hero. Ghost was like kind of invisible doing things I couldn’t perceive, but my understanding is he was distracting the heck out of the guards, and also adding to our defenses.

The guards couldn’t hurt Lucky, and were taken damage themselves.  They called for back-up.  We were running out of time! One guard hucked a grenade at Slink and me. I thought maybe that was going to be the end of me!  But Lucky dove for the grenade and captured it under himself, and took the explosion for us.  He is so brave! Then, Lucky and Slink together shot out the window, and it was time to go. Ghost just launched himself through, and let the ground catch him. Lucky caught hold of Slink, and I jumped up onto his shoulders like I was dancing, which I pretty much was. And so we walked down the side of the building, a man in boots, with two elves climbing on him.  Lucky caught in on his drone feed! But we had to go quick, because obviously we were being chased.  We piled into Slink’s Bentley which was one hell of a good car.  And he was quite the driver.  We were able to get away clean.

Now, how to get paid? We called the Johnson and set up a meet. But he no showed. And that’s when we really started to realize. We had been set up.  He’d never intended to pay us. Well, we decided we had two options with a johnson who’d dicked us. Get the money, or get even.  Four votes for money. But for now, we needed to get somewhere safe, because this meet-up point was probably a total set-up also! Off we went.  Bentley magic. And, sure enough, we were being followed. A van.  It got close enough and someone attacked Ghost.  Like inside his head.  I realized he was hurting and Slink jumped to super evasive driving. The van was just not prepared for it. We got away clean and got someplace safe to discuss our options. Ghost was mad.  He was ready to get even rather than paid.  The rest of us still kept thinking about that sweet gold credstick. But now we knew the johnson wasn’t coming to us.  So we had to actually track him down.

Well, I’d just had it.  I know I swore I wouldn’t call my dad in the middle of a run again, but there were two of us Laesa syndicate members on this run, and we were looking at losing 20,000 nuyen a piece, and papa is my fixer.  If anyone knows how to track a johnson… I explained the situation, and he understood the stakes (i.e., the nuyen at stake).  And, to his credit, he treated me like a real runner, and not just his little girl.  He made me pay for the info!  But I did.  And, that’s a basic math.  Cough up 1500 to get paid 20,000?  Yes, sir. So, we got the address for his decker’s private lair.  It was beside a western saloon type place.

We showed up in the middle of the night. One easy camera that Ghost disabled from Lucky’s shoulders. At this point, we just had to agree. Kill him, or take our money. We agreed money.  We figured we could just take it out of his pocket. Ghost wanted to spike him unconscious and we felt like we owed it to him to get one good punch in after the guy hurt him in the car. Now Ghost hit him harder than intended. He was unconscious plus bleeding from the nose, had a stroke.  So, we took the credstick and called a street doc.  Nothing we could do for it.

20,000 each! But, we had the data too.  Data that poor likely dead whistleblower was going to use. Data which proved that milk prices were going down because they were getting milk from hellcows.  Milk that was not at all safe.  And I almost started off this mission with a milkshake! It just wasn’t right. Now I like credits as much as the next person. More.  But when we thought about what was the right thing to do, I think we all agreed that we needed to hand this off to a news group.  This story needed to break. Ghost had a good news man contact.  I forget his name, but somebody important. So, Ghost turned it into him.  Putting himself in the very good with this contact. And the rest of us got the satisfaction of knowing we did the right thing.  And that feels pretty good. So we celebrated!  Me and Lucky danced on the hood of the Bentley.  Slink didn’t even mind.

Now that’s how to finish a run!

Gh0st

Gotta love it when your johnson hires you to die its always a fun experience of trying to survive, definitely did not appreciate him almost breaking my cyberdeck that cost me a lot of money so I broke his... though I didn't mean to almost kill him.