A team of infiltrators is hired to investigate a series of college student disappearances connected to a drug ring.
At the University of Washington campus in downtown Seattle, college student attendance has been dwindling. Many have stopped attending classes altogether. Concerns among the faculty have been growing, and when several students go missing over the course of a week, several professors and staff members scrape together funds to hire a team of shadowrunners referred by Spider.
The team jacks in to the matrix to meet with Spider, who explains the situation in broad terms before connecting them to her computer science professor. The professor answers the team's questions, and they learn that the students who had gone missing or shown signs of truancy were largely connected to the sorority/fraternity scene, where illegal drug use is believed to be on the rise this year. She can't provide much more information, but offers the team 40,000¥ to investigate the situation in more detail and provide a full report along with evidence. The team decides not to bargain for more pay, as it would reflect poorly on Spider if they extorted her contact.
Reverie decides to call her contact Trip Softly, who is well-connected in the city's illegal drug trade. Strangely, he seems to know exactly what's going on. He tells Reverie that Ghost Cartel traffickers have been pushing a new, more potent and addictive strain of Tex-Mex Tea to the students at UW, and in exchange for providing a sample for analysis and knowledge about a large troll distributor known only as "the Big Man," he wants all the Tex-Mex Tea the team can get on the job. They agree, and he gives them the sample. Dr. Boo does some testing on it, finding it to be more or less what Trip described. Trash Panda decides to do some herself, and has a good time.
Meanwhile, Esper calls up Rick Rampant for information about the Ghost Cartels' recent operations in Seattle. Strangely, he also seems to know exactly what's going on and who to get in contact with, but Esper decides not to pay for him to arrange a meeting with someone high-up in the organization, as it would be expensive and risky. He instead provides information about a known low-level dealer on campus, a member of the Alpha Phi sorority who will be at a party the next day. Esper informs the others, and they devise a plan.
Esper spends time researching how to act as a ditzy college girl and makes costumes for herself and Trash Panda. They plan to go to the party posing as sorority members who transferred from another campus in the sprawl, find out about the dealer, and then tail her to find out more about her supplier. Not knowing exactly where this will lead, the team decides to wing it after that, having Dr. Boo waiting nearby in his van disguised as a street sweeper. In case something goes wrong, he and Reverie will remain near the party to provide backup.
On the night of the party, Esper and Trash Panda show up fashionably late. Their disguises are not seen through, and their cover story is bought. Trash Panda blends in to the scene by playing beer pong, but she doesn't do too well, and quickly gets drunk. Esper gets approached by the sorority chapter president, who it turns out is attracted to her. Esper seizes this advantage and pumps her for information, eventually persuading her to call the dealer for a sample of the new drug. She takes it to keep herself from blowing her cover, and then calls Trash Panda over to buy up as much of the stock as they can together. They end up buying all of her blotter paper. Dr. Boo spies on her commlink after that, and it turns out she's going to meet with the Big Man right away to get some more because it's still early and the party's going strong. His drone keeps up with her unnoticed, and Reverie tracks her as well. Trash Panda and Esper extract themselves from the party without incident.
Reverie and the drone pursue the dealer's car across town until they wind up at an isolated gas station in the Snohomish district. While Dr. Boo's van catches up with Trash Panda and Esper in tow, the people who have eyes on the exchange watch closely. Reverie dives into the back of the distributor's van and spots a cocooned rigger and what seem like more drugs, but no sign of the missing students. As the Big Man leaves, the team switches to following him. They trace him to a warehouse in Snohomish proper, where Reverie pokes around for a bit, seeing life signs, but still nothing of the missing students. However, she notes an apparent boss who has a persistent astral form. She is afraid to look deeply and winds up not being able to tell anything about his aura except that he is a mutaqua. She also notes an office where the team might find stored records of some sort, or at least a quiet place to shake someone down.
Afraid the missing children might've been eaten by the mutaqua, Trash Panda and Esper gear up for a break-in. They rappel up to the roof and find an access hatch, which Trash Panda picks open. Dr. Boo and Reverie keep eyes on the enemy to direct them, and they sneak along a catwalk unnoticed and descend onto the office structure from above. There is activity inside. After a while, a person leaves, but there is another still moving about. Esper leans down from the roof and telekinetically hurls a narcoject-filled throwing syringe into his neck, knocking him out instantly. She and Trash Panda then go through his stuff, finding a commlink with details about the missing children, who as it turns out had died from overdoses and were "cleaned up" to prevent serious investigation into the drug matter. The mutaqua was a red herring.
The team extracts undetected. Esper calls on In4motion to hack into the ring's commlinks for more information about their shipping, which has something to do with docks in Everett. After some time hacking and researching, he finds the exact ship they're using. Esper gives him 1,000¥ from her cut and adds this to the report.
The client was satisfied with the report and thanked the runners for their thorough work, paying them as agreed upon.
- 8 Karma
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
We did the job well, but I'm less than satisfied that some evildoers are poisoning the promising youth in here, but it's not my job to track down every evildoer and bring justice to them. If the Johnson wants the problem dealt with better, she can hire me again, for a LOT more money.
The team performed very well. We faced little suspicion or opposition thanks to a combination of expert surveillance, social infiltration, physical infiltration, and psychic overwatch. I regret that nothing could be done about the missing students, but ultimately their disappearances were no more nefarious than your average drug dealer taking calculated losses during their "investment" phase. I hope the clients got what they wanted. We certainly handled our end of the bargain. I do feel a little bad about that girl who gave me her commcode. It can never work out.