Nod Ya Head
|Nod Ya Head|
|Casualties and losses|
|None||One Outdated Commlink.|
Three elves walk into a seminar and leave traumatized.
The Agency has tried to be cool and make people think they're ominous for a long time. They've started to get some connections here and there, but it ain't easy being cheesy.
Meeting in the Redmond Barrens in Agency territory (as figured out by Delphi) the team are given some minor information, most of it gatekept behind consent to the job. Ms. Johnson is severely lacking in essence and even possibly suffering from mild cyberpsychosis. After agreeing, information is given via a DNI data dump. A geneticist by the name of Garry Foreman is about to hold a seminar, really a glorified frat party between corporate talent scouts and himself to look for further funding as a private entrepreneur. He's a rare case of a troll, giant to be specific that managed to ace his university doctorate and has bounced between megacorporation sponsorships, going from one minor genetic research project to the next. With plenty of information to go with, the team proceeds to formulate a plan. Given that Ms. Johnson is cold and up front, professionalism dictates haggling would be a bad move anyway, might as well get to work.
Delphi starts doing both divination and Matrix searches, donning a Second Skin and Heritage 12 that she requested as up front gear payment to attend the party in suitable style. While she does find some rumours and conspiracy theories about Dr. Foreman only doing the job about the elven gene of 1X214-Gamma because of its supposed correlation with the inherited Bruckner-Langer compatible gene in elves, an extremely rare mutation that allows elves to present as nosferatu instead of dying to HMHVV-IA. In reality, he's most likely researching the gene because it's been known to cause thickening of the ear drums in elves as they approach old age and as a result, dulled or outright loss of hearing. His treatment for this gene's complications has been novel and practically half the cost of the previous method, though its application is so scarce that it's considered a minor breakthrough at best. The team is given three objectives:
- Retrieve physical information about the doctor's sponsors and sources.
- Acquire preliminary information about the various corporate scouts' thoughts and potential offers to Foreman.
- Get the previous commlink that Foreman has recently replaced with an implanted one in his head. The last one is still not discarded and may very well be in his lab still.
The Agency had requested the runners to accomplish any two of these objectives, though Delphi divines that all three may give them enough street cred in the Agency's eyes to get access to their personal spy gear. Determined to overachieve, they make plans to socially infiltrate, mingle, do elven things as elves do and charm everyone and everything. And so, after getting temporary Rating 5 burner SINs from the Agency, three elves walk into a frat party. What could go wrong?
The team splits up to cover as much ground as possible. One goes to talk to the Ares representatives, another tries fitting in and the last one spots Carolina Petrovski presumably as the Horizon representative, although Horizon isn't officially interested in genetics research. It seems she's here for personal reasons as well as keeping tabs on her competition, since the seminar is a somewhat neutral event for megacorporations to gauge one another.
While the team manages to figure out that Evo and Aztechnology might be interested in hiring Foreman if he provides proof of his talent, Ares and MCT aren't impressed or just outright hate him for being 'a filthy trog' as their representatives quietly mutter it. Delphi notices that a tree growing out of the penthouse garden's fountain has a peculiar, twisted aura and outright vomits once she excuses herself to the bathroom. Concerned that it might be blood magic, she decides to ask the guard outside Foreman's lab if she could interview the man -- after all, the SIN she's under gives her an identity of a Salish journalist. After a moment of conversing with his boss, the security guard lets her in.
Delphi wasn't prepared to meet the man in the flesh. Dread fills her body as soon as she enters his sight and with a clear assensing roll, breaking through his skilled astral masking, she sees him for what he truly is. Infected, a Fomoraig giant with magical power that makes her look like a puny ant by comparison. His aura is tainted by blood magic and it's a miracle nobody's noticed it. While Pell covers their bases by continuing their rounds over MCT's and Evo's representatives and Fidem distracts the guards at the right moments to complete their other objectives, Delphi's trying not to hurl in the doctor's lab.
Turns out Foreman is a member of the Black Lodge. Delphi's smart enough to turn her recording hardware off when prompted to do so and politely declines learning his true intentions, since he offers to reveal them if she undertakes a geas to turn the topic into a taboo. Instead, he points out his latest research -- a young elven boy from Skraacha slums, suffering from a ghoul bite to the leg. He's been treating him in a liquid breathing vat for some time and has reached a 93.7% succession rate in defeating the Krieger strain of HMHVV. When the befuddled Delphi asks why he bothers, given what he is, he replies with it being simply a hobby.
Foreman isn't doing this for some moral or ethical reason. It's a pastime, like a teenage boy feeding a pet tarantula or pulling quills out of a pet dog. He cures minor ailments because the challenge is entertaining, not because he truly feels for the plight of people. Seeing that Delphi's distressed about the helpless boy, he outright hands him over to the elf, wrapped in a towel. Since his treatment's over anyway, Foreman has no more use for him as a test subject. Surprisingly, the boy's not tainted by the man's magic. Offering to help him maintain his guise as a desperate researcher struggling for funds, Delphi gets Foreman to surrender his former commlink willingly, once his personal spider fills it with doctored fake data and conversations that enforce the narrative he's going for. Delphi's immensely grateful to not be considered someone Garry would take seriously. Instead, he laughs his way back to the lab over the thought of a shadowrunner stopping by his seminar and the nauseated, pallid Delphi drags the boy back to the car.
The boy wakes up in Fidem's luxury sedan soon after and briefly panics before being calmed by the chill-BTL using Delphi. They take him to a child psychologist Pell happens to know, then find Ghaz who he used to live with before being bitten in the Underground. While this delays Delphi and Pell, lowering Ms. Johnson's opinion of them, the run is considered a success. They're each given burner commlinks through which they can contact her when they want to make their orders for gear. Ms. Johnson is extremely straight-to-the-point and will deliver the goods on time, though straight cash is something the team can forget about. As it stands, they dodged a bullet, got some very respectable gear and realized just how tiny they are compared to the real monsters in the Sixth World.
- 56,000 nuyen worth of gear at 19 Availability or less:
- Cyberware (Beta or Alphaware only)
- High Fashion Armor (and any armor modifications for HFA)
- Chemsniffer Ring R6
- Faceless Generic or Blurred R4
- Faceless Specific R3
- Tactical Grapple Gun
- Autopicker R6
- Maglock Passkey R4
- Keycard Copier R6
- 2 CDP
- 2 Agency Faction Reputation
- For Pell & Delphi: Ghaz 2/1 Skraacha Sheriff (2 RVP, replaces 8,000 nuyen of gear)
(Note: Taking any ware gives the runner the negative quality "Records on File" with Ares Macrotechnology.)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
It is interesting that His guidance has led me from acting to Vatican City to the streets of Seattle, but I trust in the Lord's guidance and will do whatever is required of me. Today it was to dip my toes back in my old life.
Our job started with meeting up at a nondescript building in Redmond with four individuals dressed like they were out of Corporate Cash 2: The Vault. They were nice suits but they seemed to lack basic manners, they were very terse with us and didn't seem open to any sorts of negotiation. After we accepted the job, they let us know about what we were to do. There was a penthouse party that was being thrown by a Doctor Foreman. A Troll geneticist who was garnering some attention from several of the Corporations. The Agency wanted to know who was really interested and who was just posturing, as well as the Doctor's commlink and some physical proof.
Delphi took care of most of the legwork, the Matrix is something of a mystery to me, but she seems to get a good amount from there, apparently Dr. Foreman is researching an issue with elven earlobes. It also seems to have some connection to HMHVV survivability. She also jailbreaks some BTLs for me and programs a synthskin mask so that I'm not noticed.
We make our way to the party and break up, I'm playing the role of an independent starlet from LA, and so I try and cozy up to Ares and Aztechnology. Ares doesn't seem too interested in the research itself, mostly due to Dr. Foreman being a troll, it is this closemindedness that keeps these corporations away from God's light, but I know that preaching will not help my greater mission. So instead I move towards Aztechnology.
There is apparently a Horizon representative here, the daughter of a vice-president, but thankfully Delphi distracts her for me as I sneak past and talk with the Aztechnology reps. They say that they have some sort of leverage over Dr. Foreman and are convinced that they will be able to get access to his research. One of the members also seems to be attracted to me and believes I'm some sort of escort. I wish I could say it was the first time that assumption had been made about me, but unfortunately it does not.
At this point Delphi disappears off of DNI for awhile while supposedly 'interviewing' Dr. Foreman. I distract a guard by bringing him to the tree outside that seems to be bleeding, and Pell sneaks around looking for Dr. Foreman's commlink, but luckily before we need to do anything incriminating, Delphi emerges with the doctor and seems to be able to get access to his commlink.
As a last step, Pell and I take turns talking with the MCT representatives on the balcony and learn that they're more interested in keeping an eye on the other corps rather than any actual interest in genetech.
There was also a young boy who Dr. Foreman was apparently treating for a ghoul bite, but let us take him back to the Barrens where he was apparently from. We made our way out of the party and back to the meet where we were given a commlink with a number for a doctor who would be able to give us some extra cyberware or geneware.
Fraggin' ancient secret conspiracies.
I know that Foreman's very much a member of an ancient conspiracy from what Delphi managed to DNI over, but which one, she won't say. Apparently, he's also absurdly magical and dangerous, from how Delphi looked after meeting him.
Some good news, though. Kid's probably not turning into a ghoul and won't die, and I've finally met this Ghaz personality that I've heard about recently.
P.S. Really hope the kid won't be in the 6.3%.
Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. I can't believe I'm still alive. I'm going to be having nightmares for months about this one.
Okay. Frag. So things started out "surreal" (I get a lift in a luxury sedan driven by a former BTL starlet who offers me free novacoke) then quickly went from "simple enough" (infiltrate a party and get some intel on some corpo) to "pretty fragged up" (some Horizon VP's daughter insulting my pointy ears next to a blood magic fountain) to "I'm going to die now" (a child in a vat with a strain II infected initiated magician), and I'm still trying to process things. I won't even say here who Foreman worked for, save to say I wasn't sure until now that they really existed, but now I'm fragging terrified enough to crawl into a warded hole and never leave it again. He offered me a geas to learn the truth of his intentions - a blood magic geas to boot - and thankfully Oracle didn't push me to accept. There are some secrets I just don't want to uncover, and I know better than to stick my nose where it doesn't belong.
At least we got the kid out, and still managed to fulfill the terms of the job - I have no idea what he put on that commlink, or on that datachip that he made me give to that Petrovski woman, but it's defenitly better to remain ignorant on this one. Better that he (not to mention his organization) sees me as a willing collaborator who knows her place on the bottom of the Awakened totem pole. Still, I need to learn to mask - quickly - and probably even get that tetrachromancy treatment I've been putting off just for the change to my aura. Not like it'll help against those people though - all I can do is hope that Foreman immediately forgets about my existence. I'm not likely to forget about his anytime soon though...