The Gift Horse
|The Gift Horse|
Eduardo Montalban has promised his niece the perfect Quinceañera gift, a pegasus. Unfortunately his plans have gone awry as the smuggler he's hired to acquire the animal has decided he can make more money selling it to someone else and has doubled the price. With the party closing in, and offended by the double dealing of a shady smuggler, Eduardo has pulled some strings to get a job out to a team of shadowrunners to acquire what is rightfully his.
Eduardo Montalban is an elven play-boy living off of family money. Never having had to work for anything himself he has a high degree of entitlement, thus being denied by a lowly smuggler for something as little as smuggling a highly illegal pegasus into Seattle has really struck a nerve. To this end he's asked around and gotten a line on how to hire professionals to get this "goods" back for him. Not particularly bothered by costs, Eduardo has come to the table with a hefty pocketbook, but is unwilling to be raked over the coals by mere employees.
The meet goes down in an industrial themed night club called Painted in Tacoma. The Johnson had already arranged for the runners to be on the list so most were able to get in without any issues. However, Kara and Trash Panda were turned away at the door for trying to smuggle weapons into a night club with proper doormen doing pat downs and wanding people for weapons. After that snafu was dealt with though the team was able to get in, get themselves organized and DNI'd and then headed off to the bottle service area to meet the Johnson.
The Johnson was pretty straight forward with what he wanted the team to do and despite a valiant effort by Moth, was unwilling to budge on price. In fact he pointed out that if he wanted to pay more he'd have just paid the smuggler to begin with. The unfortunate thing though, is he has no idea who the smuggler is beyond a name and a commcode, has no idea what sort of resources he might have, or where he might be located. After all, the job was supposed to come with delivery why would he need to know where the guy worked?
- Find the Pegasus
Leg work started with a round of contact calls. King Midas was able to confirm that the pegasus job had nothing to do with the Laes Syndicate and that Slither, whoever he was, wasn't a big enough player to have come to Midas's attention. David Squire the KE Captain was a little more helpful, he was familiar with Slither but stated they didn't really bother with him as he wasn't doing noteworthy enough to expend the effort on him. He was able to point out that Slither was known to operate out of a warehouse in Snohomish so at least the search area was narrowing. Next was spirit shenanigans, Trash Panda called up a spirit of man and sent it off to search all of Snohomish for a Pegasus, how many could there possibly be after all. Unfortunately the spirit ran out of range before locating the actual Pegasus, but it was getting close, narrowing the search area down to Cathcart. Next it was Matrix time, and a review of satellite images finally located a trans shipment warehouse in the southern end of Cathcart where a horse trailer was visible in one of the images. With the target acquired the team set out to stake the target out.
The warehouse complex seemed to be automated, cameras lined the fencing, and a sensor bar near the gate seemed to be what triggered the gate to open. No activity could be seen from the road so Gh0st too a run at the R3 host that was operating the site. After a serious pummeling from the matrix, he was barely able to escape festooned in WeStore MARKs but with the cameras and gate sensor subverted so the team could get on site. From there finding the target warehouse was no issue, the horse trailer was currently missing but a pair of gopher parked by the main loading door and four troll hammers parked near the side door sort of gave away that maybe the gang was squatting there.
The team found a place to park and stake the site out while Trash Panda got ready for some astral recon. While she was rolling on red mescaline in the backseat, the rest of the team saw an ork come out of the warehouse with a pair of large dogs to do their morning constitutional, and smoke his morning deepweed. With the dogs identified as Hell Hounds and the ork identified as an adept (he was only a spark, but the team assumed adept). Trash Panda then decided to do a run of astral recon, intending to sneak past the watcher spirits and supervising spirit of man outside and get a look at the inside. Unfortunately she was spotted by the spirit of man, who failed to see through her masking, who started to blast away with manabolts at what it thought was a F1 wild beast spirit. Queue Bennie Hill music as Trash Panda gets chased around by a Spirit of Man, but manages to successfully ID three more humanoid and a whole mess of paracritters inside the warehouse, getting away with only a bit of damage from mana bolt spam. While patching up Trash Panda the team observe one of the orks leaving the warehouse, climbing into one of the Gophers and heading off somewhere, but fearing impending drug crashes the team decides now is the time to do it live, full frontal assault on the remaining orks and whatever other paracritters they may have inside.
Gh0st struggles with the rating 3 maglock on the side door as the go team rushes to breach, Trash Panda once more goes into the astral, backed by a plant spirit to being clearing astral threats while a beast spirit is materialized to breach with kara and deal with the basilisk and hell hounds inside. The breach stalls in the door way a bit as a fire fight kicks off, the gangers unloading with shotguns and SMGs while Slither chucked spells from the back office. Kara quickly came to realize she wasn't quite the superhuman she thought she was as damage wracked up, multiple shotgun blasts, an ongoing suppression, and a lucky frag grenade tearing down her damage tracks and sending the beast spirit back to whence it came. However casualties quickly mounted on the opposition side as well and after a few seconds of intense combat Moth was left to rush in, slap patch the unconscious Kara and face down the last two gangers, everyone else either unconscious or dead at that point and Trash Panda left feeling very lonely in the astral. One last flurry of gun fire with Gh0st joining the fray saw to the end of the last two gangers, and when the smoke cleared the team was battered but victorious.
While the team tried to figure out how to utilize the horse trailer, Trash Panda just cut to the chase and took control of the pegasus, mounted up, and took to the air leaving the rest of the team to follow like plebs in a car to the Johnson drop where they were happily paid by a sleepy looking Johnson with a ridiculous manor.
Kara turned in a tip to Slither's location and the current illegal stock on hand to David Squire, earning a chip and resulting in Slither's gang getting arrested and their hideout raided. Unfortunately, Slither and Gecko managed to evade arrest and may turn up again some time in the future.
- 4 Karma
- 2 CDP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here! Run #4.
This one was hard.
I worked with good people. I wish I could have done more to help.
Kara is a brave tank. A combatant who can summon spirits. We had just done a run together. Came straight from the after party.
Trash Panda is a skilled astral magician and thief. Very good with animals. I had met her at a pool party earlier. This was our first run together.
Gh0st is a smart decker. We had done a run together that week, so I knew how good he was.
We met with the johnson at a marvelous club in Tacoma I’d been wanting to visit, Painted. It’s so cool. An old paint plant. Drinks that color your lips when you drink them! Paint that sprays on the dancers. I wish we could have danced there all night, but duty called.
Our johnson was a handsome elf whose clothes said he was rich rich rich. And he was doing novacoke right off the table and shared it with me! I did talk him into giving us more money!
But anyway he needed a pegasus recovered. Totally illegal paracritter smuggled in from the elven homelands. He worked with some smuggler he knew nothing about and the guy double crossed him and wanted double payment. He wanted us to get his horse. He had absolutely no information but a phone number for the smuggler.
So it was legwork time!
Now I thought this is my chance to shine! We are going up against paracritter and telesma smugglers, from the elven homeland. Literally the same smuggling routes my own Laesa syndicates runs every day. I’ve smuggled telesa myself plenty of times. I thought … no way we didn’t notice a pegasus passing through the same gates. But, alas, my papa hadn’t seen it. He could only confirm these smugglers were small enough to be beneath the Leasa’s notice. Not much help. But at least it confirmed for me it wasn’t us, and I wasn’t about to help hit one of our warehouses which would have been a total conflict of interest.
Gh0st did some great matrix searching. He worked out the guy was Slither, and that we needed to look into the Snohomish’ ara.
Trash Panda got a seeker spirit searching Snohomish, and we eventually found the right warehouse.
So far, so good!
We headed there, and got there about dawn.
Now I was on a bit of a clock because I was going to come down off that Novacoke. But we could always wait until midnight and hit it when it was quieter. The job wasn’t due until tomorrow night. But the team was eager to get it done!
Gh0st got us through the electronic security for the warehouse.
We cruised around and found the right building. But that was the end of the good news.
This place had a spirit of man watching over it, and watcher sprites outside. It had four orc thugs. Slither the boss (though we didn’t know that yet). Two hellhounds. A basilisk. And, though we didn’t now it yet, an astral magician and a decker. Bad news.
The only good news was that the pegasus was definitely there.
Here follows a whole lot of planning and trying to think how to get that pegasus out soft and subtle. We could see there were a lot of guards. We went through idea after idea.
We got pretty far on an idea where we’d run in and con them into thinking the boss had sent us to help relocate the animals because they were about to be raided by the police. I called Slither, posing as a buyer for a phonecian bird, to get a good recording of his voice – all the words needed to put together a voice message for his people to really sell it. But … our decker realized he’d picked the darn phone up inside the warehouse. He was there in the back.
After awhile, we just decided to kick in the door and go for it.
Kara gave me some jazz to help me be on my best. I felt psyched. Bouncing with energy.
But, this really meant Kara kicked in the door and drew all the fire. Trash Panda was in astral. Gh0st was decking. I was manning the car, and watching Trash Panda’s body, and inspiring everyone to be their absolute best over the DNI (only Trash Panda couldn’t hear because astral.)
Kara had a plant spirit helping. Trash Panda had a spirit of beasts that turned the basilisk and one hellhound to our side. (Turning the basilisk was my idea!) But it quickly became clear there just so many of them.
A very tough combat followed. Kara stood there like a champ taking suppressing fire. A grenade. So many attacks. They were all doing their part. Slowly taking the bad guys and their animals down. But it was a near thing!
Kara went down! I had to run in, right into the front line of fire, and stim her back up. I conned the thugs into not firing on me. I got Kara back up. Gh0st joined us on the firing line, and finished off the thugs.
We had done it! I had never been so scared in my life.
Trash Panda went all invisible, had a beast spirit control the pegasus, and flew him to the meet-up. The rest of us followed in the car.
The johnson had the most beautiful mansion. He is truly living the good life. I was pretty impressed.
Job done! We got paid!
I invited everyone back to a celebratory party at my house!
The job went smoothly despite everything even got to see a real live Pegasus which is something I can cross off my watchlist, though for some reason I am defeated by R3 locks I can brick spiders in one hit but I can't open a fragging lock at least the party made up for it.