Stand Tall for the Man Next Door
|Stand Tall for the Man Next Door|
|ShadowHaven||Brad Rowe Realty Holdings|
In which the runners are hired to help out some SINless squatters in their time in need.
Life in the Redmond barrens is rough at the best of times, and those living there rely on people like Eli Johnson to look out for them. Eecently, a group of squatters living in Bargain Basement have come to him with their plight, asking for help dealing with a slum lord from outside the district who bought their building from the mob and is looking to kick them all out so he can "renovate" the place - he hasn't been particularly nice about it either, sending thugs to serve eviction notices and rough up anyone who disagrees. The residents have been giving a firm 48 hours to vacate with the threat of much worse happening if they don't; lacking anywhere else to go, they've come to Eli so that he can find some hooders who are willing to help out.
The runners are contacted individually by their fixers and asked to meet at "Mr. Johnson"'s soup kitchen in Redmond - everyone manages to make it there without too much issue, with Canis picking up Shutdown and giving them a lift over. Arriving, Mara and Fidem draw a good deal of attention from the crowd of destitute SINless (especially the latter, who is incredibly famous and also in a full nun's habit); making their way inside, Mara spots out Eli's aura of tranquility and points him out to Fidem, who goes up to ask if he's who they're here to meet. Eli greats them warmly and puts them to work serving soup while he explains what he needs from them, telling them of the plight of the squatters and asking that they lend their aid to the situation - he admits that they don't have much to offer in return, imploring the team to do their best to find a non-violent solution to the problem, and everyone agrees to take on the job.
Eli gives the runners a business card for Brad Rowe Realty Holdings out of Tacoma, and Canis does some brief gizoogling on the name before suggesting going to Handy Andy's place over in Ass End to do a more thorough search. Fidem stays at the soup kitchen to lend what aid she can there (not wanting to head to a Neo-A commune with her luxury car) while the rest of the runners drive over. While Mara listens to Andy's lecture on philosophy, Canis and Shutdown hit the grids to look for more intel on Mr. Rowe, finding his personal and social media information as well as a bunch of stuff on his shady business dealings.
Looking at the security for Rowe's building, the team concoct a plan to "Scrooge" him, having Fidem pose as an escort with Mara shapeshifted into a mouse in her bag so that the mage can use magic to invade his dreams, with Canis and Shutdown providing support over the matrix. While the hackers work on creating Fidem a profile with Rowe's favored escort service, she contacts Dr. Isabel Wirth to obtain some anesthetic, using her medical knowledge to measure out a dosage which will put Rowe into a very deep sleep and make him susceptible to the dream spell.
Not wanting to deal with the delays signing Fidem up with the escort service legally, Canis and Shutdown hop into the host manage to avoid notice of the patrol IC and disarm the data bomb on the personal directory before placing her forged profile on it; after jacking out, they spoof a message from the host to Rowe's commlink advertising her services. He soon responds, soliciting her services and inviting her out to dinner then back to his apartment - Mara accompanies her and manages to sleaze her shapechange spell through the building's wards. Inside, Fidem gets Rowe into a compromising position and injects him with anesthetic while the hackers monitor his biomonitor to ensure it doesn't send out a call to DocWagon, and he's put into a deep sleep.
Mara uses foreboding on Rowe before casting a dream spell to plant portents of doom in his head, attempting to guilt trip him a bit and giving hints that something bad will happen if he goes through with the eviction. Making their way out of the building, Fidem is briefly stopped by a suspicious security guard, but manages to talk her way past them without being recognized. After getting some rest, Shutdown marks and monitors Rowe's commlink for any change in activity and notices him searching for divination services to confirm the veracity of the bad dreams. The hackers intercept his call and reroute it to a burner, which Fidem (disguising her voice) answers - he explains that he wants a reading of the building, and she convinces him to meet their diviner on-site.
Heading to the apartment building, Fidem waits in disguise down the street while Canis and Shutdown lurk menacingly in the windows and make the lights flicker, with Mara waiting outside with a forboding spell up around her giving off bad vibes. Rowe shows up with a pair of goons in tow, and Mara proceeds to do her best seer impression, predicting the bad dreams he had before he can explain them and faking a psychometric impression on the building, talking about how "the shadows live here" and that doom will come for him if he goes through with his planned deal. With Fidem directing the performance and everyone working together to intimidate Rowe and his goons, they manage to sell the con and get him to want to back out of the planned mass eviction.
Rowe pays the diviners fee (as in his mind they have just saved him from a massive White Elephant), and the team manage to milk several thousand extra nuyen each out of him for "hazard pay and emotional damages" - realizing an opportunity is in front of them to do some extra good here, they proceed to give the money right back to Eli as well as act as intermediaries to facilitate the sale of the building to a co-op owned by the residents (with Fidem - under a pseudonym - pre-edging a negotiation roll to convince the frightened Rowe to sell the building at the bargain price of 50 grand). The plan is successful, and the squatters now have a permanent home of their own.
- 10,000 nuyen
- 6 karma
- 2 CDP
- +3 Streets of Redmond rep
- +1 Black Star rep
- Optional Contact: Eli Johnson (C2/L4 Community Organizer) w/ +1 chip if taken as a contact - 5 RVP or 10 CDP
- Optional Contact: Handy Andy (C4/L2 Neo-Anarchist) - 5 RVP or 10 CDP
Mara: "I'm literally incapable of being less than I am."
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Well, this was mostly uneventful.
Job went well, with only minor setbacks; we managed to make the Johnson (heh) happy, we didn't have to hurt anyone, and we've future-proofed the J's situation. Probably shouldn't complain about how boring it was at times playing Matrix support instead of busting heads though, since interesting times probably aren't healthy.
Despite a lack of payment, I feel good about this job. The squatters will have shelter, hopefully for a good deal of time in the future. Of course, it's not as good as giving them actual purpose or a place in this world, but at least some of that is not entirely their fault.
I spent a bit of time listening to a Neo-Anarchist preach his view as well. Interesting theory - self policing. But how do they decide what the rules are and the punishment. And who holds the enforcers of those rules accountable. It seems that once you've plugged all the holes, you'll be back to a democracy, theocracy, monarchy, plutocracy or a communist government. But I am not a politician nor a political theorist. Perhaps I am missing something.
I had bit of fun impersonating Delphi. Or rather an exaggerated and theatrical version of the seer. Entertaining and effective as it turns out.
- Fidem - I still do not know if the habit is a ruse or an honest commitment to the 5th world religion. Either way she is effective when it comes to social situations and she is nice enough. I can only theorize that she did not take to the Paths as an act of rebellion, misunderstanding or by feeling slighted for a lack of magical ability. Maybe she was brainwashed?
- Shutdown - Apparently from a NAN nation, I'm not sure which. For once a decker that didn't get in over their head while pursuing information on the matrix. Also apparently eager for physical confrontation. In the end I would mark them as a team player if sometimes begrudgingly so.
- Canis - Technomancer. I really don't know much about them, but working with Shutdown, the pair were able to find plenty of solid information and place our data for the infiltration. They too seemed to be eager for physical confrontation.
It would have been a hell of a lot easier if they just let me put my hatchet through that slotter's skull on the first night. Just saying.
Wait, you want more? Fine. They made me take part in an elaborate heist and con job that took two days longer than just killing the guy would and -then- they guilt tripped me into giving up the extra money we conned out of him so Eli Johnson could buy the building. I had my eye on a sweet Growler with desert yellow detailing too.
All so a bunch of squatters could stay in their shitty doss. I mean, I'm all for protecting the weak and helpless, but only if they can be bothered to stop -being- weak and helpless. A bit more strife might have been the ass-kick they needed to jump start their life. But noooooo. We gotta make like Robert Hood or whatever his name was -some English idiot who thought he knew how to shoot a bow- and give the nuyen away.
It is nice to work for those who are actually interested in helping others rather than enriching themselves. The target of this job was trying to push people out of their homes for profit, and while I don't appreciate having to revisit elements of my old life, it was worthwhile to make sure this person essentially sold his property to our Johnson. I haven't worked with Canis or Shutdown before, but they are quite capable on the Matrix, even if they were a little... violent.
We managed to convince our target that the land was cursed and was going to end badly for him, which meant we got the land for a steal, and now I have another new place to spend my volunteer hours at. The Lord has smiled upon these people and put me in their path, I must do my best to serve to make up for the sins that I must commit in the line of work I find myself in.