Krashing the Klavern
|Krashing the Klavern|
Sons of Sauron
In which the runners are hired to infiltrate a Humanis meeting with a rather radical guest speaker.
Ghaz runs a small metahuman community in the slums below the streets of Renton and likes to keep his ear to the ground for potential threats to his people. Recently he’s heard rumors of something called the “Renton Crusade” (see: Worlds Collide), and he had one of his people – Buzz, an older ork who got a human-looking bio-sculpting job from Renraku to get work years back – go to a local Humanis meeting and see what the local hate groups were talking about. Buzz messaged him that a special guest speaker called “The Captain” was going to be at the next meeting, but he failed to return, and it has Ghaz worried. Ordinarily his budget would be too tight to hire runners to look into this (and hopefully recover Buzz, if he’s still alive), but after recent events a member of the Ork Rights Commission has approached him offering funding for his community which gives him a bit of extra spending money.
The runners are asked to meet at Ghaz’s saloon in the slums below the streets of Renton – everyone manages to get there without too much trouble, though Charon (who got herself a snack beforehand) gets burned badly by the UV lights set up around the perimeter of the settlement to deal with the ongoing ghoul infestation. Managing to talk their way past the Skraacha (with Jowls sweet-talking his fellow trogs and getting the low-down on what’s going on in the community), the team are pointed towards the junkyard saloon where their Johnson waits for them.
Inside the bar, Ghaz is recuperating from his recent duel with swigs of booze while another well-dressed ork nurses a mug of Hurlg at the bar; Ghaz ignores them as he beckons the runners over and shares drinks with them before explaining the job. He says that he’s willing to pay the team 4 grand each for information on “The Captain” and what sorts of connections he might have with the “Renton Crusade”, with another 4 grand if they’re able to recover Buzz (or his remains, should he already be dead). Charon asks what Ghaz will pay for them to bring back The Captain for him to have a private chat with, and while the ork sheriff dithers on this (he really doesn’t have the money to fund that sort of thing, even with the recent infusion of cash from the ORC), the team notices the other bar patron glance their way approvingly before going back to his drink.
Jowls takes point on negotiations and manages to bargain Ghaz up to 6 grand base pay plus another 6 for recovering Buzz, as well as alternate renumeration in the form of smuggled Skraacha goods (Ghaz won’t give them anything seriously dangerous, but he has plenty of drugs and such that he’ll part with); everyone is satisfied with this arrangement, and Ghaz gives them a picture of Buzz and the location of the Humanis meeting (at a local community center). As the team leaves, they are followed outside by the well-dressed ork at the bar, who introduces himself and says that he has a proposal for them – kidnap The Captain like they proposed, and he’ll float the an extra 10 grand for their trouble.
The team pushes for a bit more, and while the mysterious trog won’t budge on price he says that he has access to a lot more resources than Ghaz and is willing to make them available to those who work with him (i.e. he can get them actually dangerous items that the sheriff won’t sell to runners). Jowls judges his intent, putting some of his criminal knowledge to work, and determines that the man is most likely a Son of Sauron. Kitsune is against kidnapping on moral grounds, even if they’re metaracist trash, and tries to persuade the rest of the team to go an alternate route; she and Charon tag-team the negotiations, and the ork (eventually, begrudgingly) agrees to entertain the idea of the team getting him information in leu of actually handing the man over to be interrogated and murdered.
Now equipped with a trio of goals – reconnaissance, rescue, and interrogation/possible kidnapping – the team set out to formulate a plan of attack. Sp4rks hits the matrix to look up information on their target, managing to find a bit of social media information on him - ex-UCAS army officer now working for Lone Star, registered member of Humanis, divorced, prefers WASP-y anglo type women - and Kitsune and Jowls (both adepts possessed of body-sculpting abilities) plot a honeypot scheme to entrap their target into a compromising position, which serves the duel function of getting them potential blackmail material and letting Kitsune mind probe him for secrets that might satisfy the Son of Sauron.
Wanting to stay under the radar, Charon and Stygian call up their fixers and have some quick-and-dirty burner SINs whipped up for themselves, as well as for Jowls and Kitsune (Sp4rks elects to use his fake and save on cash). While waiting for their false identities to be created and their adepts to bodysculpt, Sp4rks pops some psyche before dropping into VR and getting started on matrix legwork and hacking. He enters the destination host of the community center and is able to spot out the nested security host, placing a mark on it and slipping silently inside before the IC is able to catch him. Inside, he avoids the notice of the patrol IC and the spider while spotting out the list of attendees for the Humanis rally; he is able to disarm the data bomb and edit the file to include the team’s fake SINs before heading back out to the destination host with fly-on-the-wall and EAARS engaged so that he can wait until he is needed.
With their fake names on the list of attendees, the faces have enough material to bluff their way inside the closed-door meeting. Heading to the community center, the pretty people talk their way inside (Jowls and Kitsune go in together as “sisters”, while Stygian talks for Sp4rks and Charon goes in separately posing as one of the center’s corporate sponsors) and mingle with the attendees, sampling coffee and doughnuts as they wait for the guest of honor to begin his speech. Spotting out The Captain, Stygian assenses him and finds a good deal of cyberware fitting an ex-soldier, as well as a rather biblical-looking spirit of fire shadowing him on the astral; he alerts the team over DNI to the astral bodyguard, and they plot a way to maneuver around it and take it out if necessary. As the talk is about to begin, Sp4rks marks a commlink in the crowd and makes it go off as a distraction while Kitsune pre-edges a low-force spell to attract the speaker’s attention to herself and Jowls, who bat their eyelashes at him.
The speech begins, and everyone smiles and nods along at the metaracist drivel tinged with evangelical undertones; Stygian is impressed at the sincerity but dismisses the content as pablum, Charon just rolls her eyes having heard all of this a million times before, Sp4rks and Kitsune supress an inner revulsion, and Jowls manages to go through his mental archive of bigoted propaganda trying to see where he’s run into this sort of thing before. The team put their heads together in a private mental conversation and are able to put together that this guy is a cut above regular Humanis members in terms of overt racism and calls to arms, and figure that he is most likely with Alamos 20k based on some of his turns of phrase.
Things wrap up to rapturous applause, the meet-and-greet with The Captain begins – Jowls and Kitsune get in line and make an impression, earning themselves an invitation to his hotel room, while Charon and Stygian mingle with the crowd and try to surreptitiously ask about any unfamiliar faces at meetings recently to try and get a hint about what might have happened to Buzz. While schmoozing, Sp4rks and Stygian see a few familiar faces – True Bloods (whom they recognize from their recent confrontation with the so-called “Renton Crusade”, an ad-hoc alliance between Humanis and several meta-racist gangs), dressed in immaculate suits and apparently recruiting new members to the cause.
While Jowls and Kitsune go off to deal with The Captain, Stygian is able to get a lead on Buzz by asking about any incidents recently, learning that a man fitting his description was escorted out of the most recent meeting by security. Charon (posing as a PR rep from Common Denominator) manages to get more out of security by implying that she needs to know about the incident in order to spin things for the policlub, and the faces spin enough bullshit in order to get taken to the room where the beaten and bruised Buzz is cuffed to a chair. Sp4rks loops the footage from the camera in the room while Charon breaks the restraints, and with Stygian distracting the guard outside she is able to sneak him away; after handing him over to Sp4rks, she turns into mist and makes her way up to the balcony of the hotel room.
Up in The Captain’s hotel room, his fire spirit guard waits outside while the trio do eX together (Jowls, already on novacoke, is able to tank most of the resulting overdose damage and remain composed). With his inhibitions lowered and being distracted by Jowls, The Captain is unable to defend against the narcojet patch that Kitsune slaps onto him. She mind probes him as he starts to pass out, and picks up his last thoughts: “Oh shit, I should turn off the bio-monitor…” They don’t get anything more than that with her single hit though, and as she recklessly casts a second (knocking herself out with physical drain in the process) The Captain’s body suddenly and violently bursts into flame as his implanted thermite burning bar goes off (ELITE SOLIDERS OF GENOCIDE don’t frag around with cranial bombs).
Jowls is quite shocked, at first thinking that the fire spirit (which immediately leaves once its principal dies) has turned on him, and is tempted to flee and leave the knife ear behind. His better angels win out however, grabbing the disguised elf along with the half-melted commlink; preparing to dash downstairs with the both of them, he hears a knock at the balcony door where Charon has re-corporated from mist. The vampire takes both the commlink and the unconscious Kitsune before leaping off the balcony to the ground below, slowing her fall as best she can by clutching the side of the building (cutting her arms quite badly in the process but managing not to glitch her freefall test); the impact is still quite messy, but thankfully Charon has regeneration and cushions Kitsune from the brunt of the impact, putting herself back together and beating a quick retreat. With the fire alarm blazing, Jowls makes his way to the parking lot while Stygian recovers Sp4rks and Buzz before making their way away from the scene.
After licking their wounds and letting Buzz and Kitsune rest up a bit, the team calls up Ghaz to let him know that they have his information and his informant. Returning to the saloon, they are met by the grateful sheriff who gives them their promised payment and takes Buzz off to get medical treatment, offering to stay in touch with them for their good work if they wish. After parting ways, they are met by the Son of Sauron, who asks where The Captain is – the team tell him about how he self-immolated and try to spin it as having saved him the trouble of having such an unpleasant surprise springed on them. Sp4rks presents him with a copy of the files on the commlink they recovered, and everyone uses their remaining edge to try to negotiate for payment in exchange for the intel on Alamos 20k. Unfortunately Jowls has Bad Luck and rolls a 1, meaning his stunning pre-edged 17 hits have the opposite of the intended effect; the silver-tongued social adept ends up sweet talked by the Son into giving up his share of the payment “for the cause”, while Stygian is able to convince him that the breeders should be paid as deniable assets and part ways amicably.
With their reward in hand, Charon calls up her contact Agamemnon to offer a copy of the files that were recovered – he initially believes he will have no use for such things, but upon looking through them he notices that apparently some smugglers from Ft. Lewis who used to run goods though his establishment have been moving a large amount of weapons recently. Anticipating this as a potential threat to himself and his operations, he thanks Charon for the heads up. Sp4rks and Kitsune meanwhile call up their shared contact Carly Reeves, a reporter for KSAF (the former recently met her while super-heroing, while the latter is a coworker at her day job) to give her the scoop on the hate rally and subsequent mysterious dramatic death of the speaker.
- 22,000 nuyen
- 2 karma
- 2 CDP
- +1 Skraacha rep
- +1 Sons of Sauron rep
- Optional Contact: Ghaz (C2/L2 Skraacha Sheriff) for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
- Optional Gear Reward: Smuggled goods (>16 availability, restricted and forbidden included, no ware except for used grade) @ 2:1 RVP value
For Jowls: Must Work for the Faction for the Sons of Sauron due to Bad Luck nonsense. Optional Contact: Lurtz (C2/L4 Son of Sauron) for 5 RVP or 10 CDP
For Charon: May use RVP/CDP to raise Agamemnon's loyalty by 1
For Kitsune and Sp4rks: +1 chip on Carly Reeves for sharing the story with KSAF
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
- Charon: I can't believe this guy fucking died before getting interrogated. Oh, well. We managed to get some contact with more radical segments, but... I can't help but feel like we could've performed this a little better. I'm fortunate that the damn journalist didn't fuck our entire job up -- had to do some quick thinking to get the extra pay without her throwing a hissy fit in the middle of it. Fucking cattle.
- Stygian: What a fraggin' spit-polished wet-noodle of a two-bit fraggin' hack! The guy is a such a corn-fed poster child that his drek probably comes out cornbread. Not an ounce of panache or guile and the over-baked wit from his "ghost writer" was drier than a rat turd in mid-summer Baja. The most insulting part is these brain-atrophied sheeple that just throw their money, their reps, and their fraggin' silver and gold plated chastity belts like script at a tip rail. Then the fraggin' tosser pulls a "human torch" and geeks out. Gah! Now that I got that out of the way, the silver lining. We found Buzz and got him out. We dug up some dirt and turned it over to the Sons, along with a colleague that literally had to be sold into servitude to the Sons for trying to negotiate. I'm not saying all trolls are dumb, I've met smart trolls. But do you see the irony of salvaging a bad payout by suggestingthatthe Sons take a troll into indentured servitude at a minimum. I know I did. At least we got paid. Met Charon. Good head on her shoulders. Sp4rks was nova with his bag of tricks. Kitsune was an awesome professional. Much as I hate to say it, Jowls the troll had... some decent uses.
- Sp4rks: Humanis is on a roll recently, first they get their hands on those medical grade substances to flood the sewers and today they hold a meeting with a representant of one of the biggest racist organization in seattle. Whatever they intended to do, today we put a big dent in it, breaking out their prisonner discreetly while trying to get their main speaker to tell us what he knew. we never managed to get the speaker to talk, but i know who he really is and what he does. He's one of those guys sent to infiltrate organizations in the search of discreet technomancers, to kidnap and experiment on them. really i'm thankfull he blew up in flames like he did.