The Collectors: Give Me A Man After Midnight
|The Collectors: Give Me A Man After Midnight|
|Part of The Collectors|
The Gang steals an ABBA CD from some Horizon talent scouts.
The Collectors have been contracted to steal an ABBA CD currently held by Luke and Lina Loquacious, a pair of Horizon talent scouts.
Relatively uneventful meet at a Bellevue Hard Rock Café. The team are briefed on their target - a pair of Horizon talent scouts working out of a single-story talent agency in Bellevue. Moth negotiates up the pay.
The team starts legwork immediately with Kara doing some astral scouting of the building. It has absolutely zero magical overwatch of any kind. Sparrow then dives the host, getting the team sans Kara an audition with the talent scouts in four days. The team also manages to learn that the CD is being kept in Lina Locquacious' office, and commision a forget for a dummy replica. The team spends the days practicing their dance routine under Moth's leadership, and binding sprites and spirits in preparation of the big day.
The team pose as a variety act. Ikari casts improved invisibility on Kara in the bathroom, and then goes back to the auditon. The audition goes quite well, and Rambozo is invted to Lina's office and Kara takes the opportunity to invisibly sneak into the office. Rambozo distracts Lina by gushing over a guitar in the room, and Kara swaps the framed CD with the dummy, but Sparrow gets up to trouble in the host bricking cameras, and security is alerted as the team is exfiltrating. On their way out, Mush and Rambozo trip. Team makes loud escape where Mush blocks off the door with a Physical Barrier. Ikari then driveby murders a bunch of corpsec. Kara carves her signature on an exterior wall of the building.
The team is to put it mildly quite upset with Ikari for gratuitous murder at the end of an otherwise relatively elegant op, but the J pays out fine as soon as they have their item.
a recording of Abba's Greatest Hits and Mamma Mia! The Musical (no value)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Mush: Fucking Ikari, that murderous bastard! Made a shit-show out of an otherwise clean run. Another buncha needless, 'runner hating orphans, siblings and parents in the sprawl tonight because of that fuck! And to think my shoulder's slumped when I walked into the meet and saw the clown! Needn't have worried about him though. Ramboozle was a consummate professional. Kept to his word about keeping the run quiet. Moth could persuade the stars to wink out of the sky for a night if she wanted too and damn, those moves! Sparrow worked the matrix well. Might have gotten a little bit carried away by bricking the camera's before we were completely clear, but we all know how difficult it is to co-ordinate meat and matrix, right? Kara swapped the goods from under Loquacious' nose without a hitch. Even that shit-head Ikari was holding up their end of things. GODDAMMIT! There was a fucking -barrier- between us and all the exits. The fucking wage-slaves could. Not. Get. Through. Sheer fucking waste, chummers. Sheer fucking waste.
Moth: Moth here! My third run!
And it was about music and dancing!
We had a good group: I was there, ready to ‘Face’ the world. We had Ramby, a friend and strong combatant. Sparrow, a medic and technomancer. Mush, a manipulation mage. Kara, a combatant with mage and face skills. And Ikari, another mage.
A lot of folks new to the scene, like me. And I knew three of them before we started. That feels good. Like I’m putting down some roots here.
But, anyway, the job was to get an artifact from the prior age. A ‘CD’ of music from a band named Abba. A CD is like this wild looking metal circle that somehow was necessary just to store music files.
We knew it was in the Horizon building, in one of the offices. Likely related to two twin talent scouts, Luke and Leina.
The johnson had quite a disguise. I can’t even say if they were a man or woman. But they clearly wanted the CD, so I talked them into a better payment! (Yay!) 20,000 each.
Here follows a lot of legwork. This was a good team. Focused on planning. Gathering info. We had a week, so we took advantage.
Everyone came back to my house. My new house in Bellevue! They got to enjoy the space and I made them home-made meals to keep everyone at their best.
Now, Sparrow was doing some deep technomancing and things got a little dodgy, so we raced them to the car and drove around in circles so my house didn’t get tagged. But they were okay.
At this point, we knew the CD was in Leina’s office. We knew the twins were hipsters. Vain. Easy to flatter. Very interested in eclectic acts. Sparrow got us an appointment on their calendar several days out, for a carnival-inspired act.
I worked out choreography for a dance routine that mostly showed off my skill. We split the group into performers, and the two who were going to be in roadie/manager plain clothes roles and slip off to the bathroom, turn one ‘invisible’ and sneak into the office and grab the CD while we distracted with the performance.
I made costumes for the performers. It turns out Ramby’s clown make-up is novacoke. So, I lost about a day in there recovering from that but yum.
We knew the CD was in a frame on the wall. I had the idea to do a swap. Ikari had a contact who was able to make a really passable fake, frame and all!
I gave Kara 1000 nuyen to get a concealable holster for their weapon since we were doing it real soft and subtle.
We bought the most hipster coffee to make a solid first impression and we were off to make our appointment.
Now, when we got there, we saw it was a big open office design, with the two twin’s offices in the center surround by a whole bunch of wage slaves in cubicles. So breaking into the offices without being noticed was going to be tough.
The way it played out was that me and Ramby danced our hearts out! (I was pretty impressed. Who knew Ramby had it in him?)
Mush was watching like a hawk and realized the wage saves were all security guards, just watching those offices. Oh no!
But we’d committed to soft and subtle, and that was sure the right call!
They pulled off the invisibility just fine, and Kara set out to do the swap.
Luke wanted to take me to his office alone to sign. (Big surprise there. But I knew I could keep him 100% distracted while they pulled it off. And I did. I was really tempted to sign for real.)
Leina wanted to take Ramby back to her office, and me and Ikari worked together to convince her that Ikari could come too. Keep an eye on the talent. And she put a chair for them outside her office and left the door open, which was just what Kara needed to sneak in.
Ramby needed to keep her eye away from that framed CD. He proved to be an absolute genius at musical artifacts, recognized this fancy guitar she had, and chatted her up like crazy.
Now, meanwhile, Sparrow was down in the car, doing technomancer stuff. Helping loop the cameras so there would be no evidence of what we did, if they found out. Unfortunately, they tripped some alarm.
But, the job was almost done. Each second, folks were getting it done, and then we just had to bolt.
We almost all got out totally clean before the guards alerted up.
But Ramby tripped and he and Kara and Ikari were still inside when the guards went into action. They just had to race for the door. Ramby ran out and joined the rest of us. Kara put up a barricade blocking the door. They were out. Clean.
And then. Ikari just started killing guards. Magic. Through the transparent barricade that the guards could not get through or shoot through.
Sparrow could see what was happening with her technomagic and tried to protect the guards, but it wasn’t enough.
There was a lot of yelling about that as we drove back to the meet and got paid.
Still, everyone else was amazing and I’d run with them again in a heart beat.
And we got a recording of Abba’s greatest hits as part of our payment! And it is SO GOOD to dance to. This is my new obsession.
Everyone got to hear it at the after party at my house.
Sparrow: I am pleased with how my first run with the haven went apart from that situation with Ikari, the dic head. It went fine we met up at a lovel little café were I met that lovel Rambozo fellow and Mush but Ikari was a bit well radical. Don't get me wrong fuck the corps but he took it to far. It all went well till the end. We did some great leg work, people got the CD forged while I dived into the host and tried to change the records to allow our entry. I was caught by a guard who I quickly dealt with, by bricking their deck. I quickly changed the logs to show that Rambozo's magnificent traveling troupe was coming in for a interview and then got out before the ICE could get me. We then prepped and went on the run. It went well they all went in to meet the twins and swap the record while I stayed out side providing matrix support. I quickly realized that Horizon would try ruin us through PR so I attempted to wipe the camreas and then brick them. This went wrong and an alarm was raised in meat space. The team managed to almost get out but a few were caught by gaurds leading to a escape that almost went smoothly until that fucking novacoked bitch started to murder guards jsut doing there job. After we got them to car we speeded out of there. I am looking forward to the party at Moths place, I just hope Ikari isn't there or I may fuck up their ware.
This job was my first shadow gig, and it served as a reminder that there are advantages and downsides to working outside the law. Sure, you get to keep more of the pay, and there's a lot less paperwork, but there is also no real barrier to entry. This was a fairly straight-forward social op on paper - spoof an appointment, talk our way inside, distract the marks while I swap the thing we were contracted to acquire for a fake. It was even fine when the op was blown towards the end, seeing as we were already halfway out the door. But then some shit-for-brains anarchist who can't get enough of murdering corpsec turns around and kills three people and injuring a fucking civilian. Loads of heat on the job for zero gain, not to mention that three people who were just doing their jobs are dead. The birdbrain in question was Ikari, and I've told my fixer to do their best to not set me up with them again.
Rest of the team were cool-headed, though. Even the clown, which surprised me if I'm being honest. Moth is pretty cool, hosts good parties.
Well, that was a run... Hopefully I can keep working here after that one. Now, I have tremendous respect for the composure of the runners that came with me on this one. I appreciate the discreet nature of the Collectors who hired us, they don't pretend our relationship is anything other than transactional. The job itself: well, I hoped for something a little more impactful to the common man, but, what're you gonna do, we're getting paid to lift a single CD. Which, if you were not aware, is a digital storage medium from before the first Crash. Fortunately though, they gave us the opportunity to take on Horizon, which, honestly, is one of the worst, and most insidious corps. Their influence over not only the strictly-corporate media, but also many so-called independent producers, is hugely corrosive to the lives of most people.
So we cook up a pretty clever scheme and we run the con you expect to run on a couple of talent scouts: we fake being an act; and then we get out of there clean. I was pretty happy with it honestly, we'd totally pulled the wool over their eyes, didn't even suspect a thing! But, as often happens, things literally hit a snag. A couple of us bumped into each other just as the hacker tripped the alarm and we were walking out, and we basically had to book it to our ride before we had a chance to slip away. Now, perhaps this is my ego speaking, but I wasn't about to let those drones think they could have had us, so I came out blasting. Turns out most security goons have a hard time resisting my mana trying to tell their bodies to die. I may not believe overmuch in honour, but I do believe in giving your enemies a show of force, so even after our escape was clean, I chose to keep hitting them. Now, my compatriots were well within their rights to protest, but as our clean(-ish) escape demonstrated, I didn't do this without calculating that it would not endanger us. Their stiff, sanitized principles, however, do not allow them to see it this way. It frustrates me that extreme politics in our extreme times is thought of as foolish and overly-idealistic. How are they so blind to what has to be done? I will consult the spirits regarding this.