Building a Better Yesterday

Chapter 4: On Foreign Ground
Two if by sea...

Once on land, the raft was deflated and stashed in some underbrush. Before setting out, the crew waited while Endymion used his magic to make their appearance more favorable before they set off into the city. His efforts were successful on all but himself and Fox. The group made off up through the dune grass to the city edge on Carlisle Street, where they saw how the coastal flora blended into the copses of trees bordering the roads. The group managed to sneak out amongst the shadows of the forested areas and merge out seamlessly with the foot traffic. Endymion called Reno’s and asked them to inform Nelson Brand that his guests might be running a few minutes late, but would be arriving shortly. They successfully hid their duffel bag full of weapons in the rail station locker and took a wagon-cab to the restaurant.

Their names were on the reservation list, and they were admitted and let to their table immediately. Nelson Brand showed up shortly thereafter with a minotaur bodyguard. Food was ordered and details of the case discussed. Meimei disappeared a month ago from Chicago while recording the new album, along with her driver and bodyguard. The car was found burned to a husk in the Shattergraves. Band has a contract to hold off on payment of the inheritance of Dunkelzahn’s will unless all four of the current members are present and sign off on agreement of the completion of the current album. No motive obvious from basic information provided. Reno Pyatt came to the table to thank Nelson Brand for coming into the restaurant and to hobnob with him.

A former acquaintance of Angel’s recognized her on his way out of the restaurant, and Fox, Mindcrime, and Vinnie Cap all noticed him noticing her. Nelson Brand’s bodyguard noticed them noticing him. He created a diversion by faking a poisoning/allergic reaction, vomiting and collapsing on his table, and being ostentatious enough to attract all the attention from people rushing to leave the restaurant. The man who spotted Angel clearly scanned Mindcrime and Fox on his way out of the building. Fox attempted to knock over some people in the crowd filing out of the restaurant to slow him up, but he was dexterous enough to avoid being tripped up and left with his other three companions right away. Angel fled out the back while the rest of the party left through the front exit.

The group met up again near the rail station, where Vinnie Cap retrieved their duffel bag from the locker. The crew made their way back up the block the way they had first come. They slipped through the small woodsy area near the edge of the seaside that bordered the city block and made their way towards the place where they had secured their raft. As they crested the high dune before the descent to the beach, Endymion was struck with some sort of attack. The party rallied reflexively, and saw that one border/harbor patrolman stood down at the shoreline where their raft was secured, and another was a short way south of them on a lower dune down the beachhead. Angel and Fox charged the man near their raft, who was firing at them from some sort of burst fire firearm, and Angel halved him with her monowhip. Vinnie Cap took careful aim at the other man while something just missed Endymion with a follow-up attack, and managed to place a tremendous shot directly between the eyes.

In the aftermath of the brief battle, the team quickly reinflated their boat and made their rendezvous with the Kabuki Ronin boat, which took them safely back to Seattle.

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Chapter 3: Big Biz
Where's MeiMei?

On the morning of August 10, 2060, Carlos Broadhead contacted the team again, informing them that he had another job to offer them, and that it was a hefty step up from their previous assignments. It was a “skip trace” job, to locate a missing rocker girl named Meimei Tiger from the band Shield Wall. Carlos gave them a contact number for Nelson Brand, the band’s agent.

Usually based in Calfree, Brand is currently in Tir Tairngire, and agreed to meet them at 7 pm on Sunday (the 12th of August) at Reno’s.

Angel contacted Eddie Phoenix in search of a reputable trainer in the use of a monowhip. Eddie gave her the name Doc Sirianni, a human who lives and operates in the Seattle Ork Underground.

Endymion contacted his uncle Seamus O’Kennedy to ask if he could obtain legitimate identity papers so that they could enter Tir Tairngire legally. He promised to see what he could do, and later sent a watcher spirit requesting the pertinent data on the group of people Endymion wanted to “smuggle” into the country.

Mindcrime contacted Spiral to call in the mainframe time he was owed, and began the arduous project of designing and programming a Skillsoft for himself.

Vinnie Cap planned to contact Rakuno in an attempt to arrange transportation to Portland.

On the morning of August 11, Seamus O’Kennedy contacted Endymion on his cell phone to tell him that the O’Connors had somehow learned of his efforts to obtain legal access into Tir Tairngire and had scuttled his plans. He was unsure if this action was a play against him, or against Endymion personally. He gave his well wishes and apology, but said that he would be unable to assist.

As the group continued to discuss alternate means of access into Tir Tairngire, Angel got bored and stormed out in search of the trainer Doc Sirianni, who supposedly lived in the Ork Underground. Knowing no orks or really anyone, and lacking in virtually any sort of social graces, she simply began accosting pedestrians in Renton and demanding that she tell them where the Ork Underground was located. When a group of three gangers approached her threateningly, she quickly demonstrated what a mistake it would be for them to attack her, and one of them eagerly told her about a way to get into the Underground. She headed towards this rumored entry point.

Meanwhile, Mindcrime was slotting chips given to him by Skag and researching random data about Tir Tairngire and Shield Wall. Endymion decided to speak to the Sinsearach elves with whom he has until recently squatted to see if they had any way to get he and his companions into Tir Tairngire, and recruited Vinnie Cap to drive him out near the border of Salish-Sidhe, to a porous border location where he knew he could probably cross.

As they headed north, Angel made her way to the location she was given for an entrance into the Ork Underground. The location was simple to find, and she made her way down into the tunnels to what was obviously the right location, only to find that she really didn’t know how to find Doc Sirianni even after she’d gotten there. After a short while of wandering, she encountered a troll who offered to trade her his knowledge of the best way to get to the part of the Underground where Doc Sirianni could be found for one of her Ares Predators. She grudgingly accepted.

Vinnie Cap got Endymion to the location he was searching for in their wagon, and waited with the vehicle while Endymion headed to the border on foot. While the shaman negotiated his way past some spirit sentries and familiar border patrolmen, Vinnie Cap let his impetuous nature get the best of him and called Carlos Broadhead. In an overtired, bored, and frustrated ramble, he proceeded to essentially ask the fixer for tips on how to get into Tir Tairngire, to which Carlos Broadhead responded that he was not in the business of planning border crossings, and in fact that was specifically why Vinnie Cap and his teammates were getting paid. He questioned whether they were confident that they could complete the job, and asked if they would need additional personnel, to which Vinnie Cap replied that they were fully capable of making good on the job and needed no additional assistance. The call ended uneasily. Meanwhile, Endymion was located by Sinsearach scouts who had been informed of his presence by watcher spirits, and they inquired as to his reasons for coming to them, reminding them that he had been asked not to return. He assured them that he was merely visiting, and asked them if it would be possible for them to arrange entry into Tir Tairngire for he and his party. They were skeptical about his motives, and seemed unsure if they were willing, much less able to fulfill the request. They were clearly still uneasy about Endymion since the attacks they had suffered by those searching for him, although they did thank him for the reparation offering of Nuyen he had sent to them and said that they would have to see what they could do, or would do in the future in regards to their relationship with him. They informed him that they would contact him if they were able to help. Endymion returned to the vehicle and he and Vinnie Cap headed back to the city.

Angel, on her way back to the group’s apartments, called Carlos Broadhead about obtaining a replacement for her recently-traded pistol, and was surprised to find that he began inquiring about the group’s progress on their assignment. She assured him that to the best of her knowledge, Endymion was securing their border passage while Vinnie Cap was arranging transportation and Mindcrime was still gathering intelligence. The fixer inquired if she thought they would need additional help to complete the job, to which she responded that she did not. He told her that he would have her pistol in about four hours, and they terminated the call.

Vinnie Cap, on the way back to the city, got a call from Rakuno, who said that she would be able to get them to a spot off the coast of the Tir, and offload them in a low-signature raft, and then pick them back up at a later time to be predetermined. She also told them that she could offer, for a substantial additional fee, a “distraction” for the harbor guards to be occupied with during the time when the group would be hitting the shore, to help them more easily penetrate the border. Vinnie thanked her and told her that he would get back to her.

Angel took the Jackrabbit and left for the location given to her by the troll in the Ork Underground, an abandoned tenement building in the Redmond Barrens. She found the entrance easily enough, and once into the tunnels below, was quickly able to locate the small area that served as Doc Sirianni’s dojo. After a brief and tense exchange, Angel lost her temper and struck one of the students present. Before she knew what happened, she had been knocked unconscious and was being helped up to her feet. Doc Sirianni told her that he could not teach her to use the monowhip unless she could first learn patience. He would teach her patience if she desired, and if/when he became satisfied that she had learned it to his satisfaction, he would move into instructing her in the use of the whip. She grudgingly agreed, and began immediately by assuming a stationary pose and holding it for a very long time. Before returning home after her training session, she met with a courier of Carlos Broadhead’s who took payment for her replacement pistol and gave her the new Ares Predator III.

The group reconvened later at their apartment, and everyone agreed to use Rakuno’s services to sneak into the Tir, paying the additional funds for the diversion on the Tir docks. They concluded that they should bring in some additional “muscle” in the form of another runner, particularly one of elven descent who was skilled in stealth tactics. They decided to go to Dante’s Inferno in an attempt to hire another runner, opting not to involve Carlos Broadhead so that they could assuage his doubts in their abilities by handling it alone. After waiting for over an hour to gain entry (finally gaining entry around 4 pm), they realized that they really had no idea how to go about hiring another shadowrunner, and when they reached a standstill in their progress, Angel called Carlos Broadhead in a fit of frustration to take him up on his offer to gain them additional help. He gave her a phone number, which she immediately dialed.

Fox, the newly-contacted runner, was instructed to meet them at Dante’s Inferno so that they could make contact and discuss the job. In due time, she arrived and located the group. They rented a meeting room and explained the gist of the job to her, ending with their plan to use the water transport to reach Tir Tairngire the following evening. After her acceptance of the offer to join for an equal share of the take (less expenses), the group left Dante’s Inferno to head to The Drunken Stag for dinner and an evening of leisure before departing the following night.

The remainder of the evening passed largely without incident. The crew gathered at dock ## the following afternoon at 4 pm, met by an escort of Rakuno’s gangers. They were swiftly loaded onto a small, fast ship, which disembarked almost immediately. While on the boat, Endymion summoned a water spirit to assist them in their insertion. At a specific GPS coordinate, the ship stopped and offloaded the crew into a small inflatable raft with a minimal amount of gear. The spirit did what it could to help conceal the group as they made their way to a landing point just north of the main dockyard. The crew could hear the diversion they had paid Rakuno for in the distance, and made it to shore without any incident.

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Chapter 2: After the Whirlwind
Ork street gang meets werebear. What can go wrong?

Carlos Broadhead contacted the group to see if they had any new information and to see if they were looking to continue laying low or if they wanted some more work. The group agreed that as long as they did their best to keep their profile low that they should indeed take work if they could get it. Carlos put them onto a small job organizing and mediating a truce between the Crimson Crush gang cell operating in the Lake Forest Park area of western Redmond and a local vigilante known simply as “Wu”. The group accepted the job, and was given information on how to contact a gang representative named Max and the name of a restaurant named Feng Kwai Do where the group would find a man acting as a representative of the actual “client” for the job and information about Wu.

In short order, the team located Feng Kwai Do, a noodle shop on 226th Ave. and located within it a Japanese man of extreme age named Haru, who filled them in on the details of the job. Wu was also present in the shop, and Endymion was able to immediately recognize that Wu was a werebear. The client was revealed to be a group of local businesses and residents of the neighborhood who had pooled their funds in order to put a stop to the recent violence between the gang and Wu. Haru explained painstakingly in broken English that Wu had a strong instinctual opposition to anything related to cyberware. The Crimson Crush deal primarily in stolen and reused cyberware sales and BTL chips, and most of them have some sort of cyberware themselves, which makes Wu view them as partially dead and largely beneath contempt.

The battles between Wu and the gang have caused large amounts of damage to local businesses and homes. In his enraged feral state, Wu hardly notices collateral damage, and the gang has obviously suffered financial setbacks due to the loss of life and business, so they are willing to try to work out a compromise. As the team gathered information from Haru, they learned that Wu insisted on any meeting with gang members being conducted outside of the neighborhood and that no more than ten gangers be in attendance. He also volunteeered to arrange for two or three people from the neighborhood who were accustomed to communicating with Wu to go along and communicate on his behalf.

The team spoke with Max, also, who stated that the gang’s terms were that the meeting be held within the city, but outside their own turf, and that a barrier be in place between Wu and their members.

The group “slept on” the situation, discussing options in part that evening and then throughout the next day, finally agreeing on a plan to use two abandoned buildings in the Barrens near Lake Forest Park to facilitate the meeting. The gang members would be taken to the top of one building, and Wu and his representative to the roof of the neighboring building. The team hired a pair of chauffeured vans to pick up the separate parties and take them to their respective buildings without warning, giving them no time to react if they intended to attempt a double-cross. The Crimson Crush were only able to muster eight gang members in the hour they were allotted before their ride arrived, and Haru was only able to roust one young boy to go along with Wu, a young teenage boy named Gao.

The team piled into their Chrysler-Nissan Tensuro and drove by the location that Max had named as their pickup point, an auto parts store called Park’s Parts. As the runners drove past the shop, Endymion astrally projected to keep an eye on the gangers and ensure they didn’t try to overwhelm the driver and bring a larger number of members to attempt a double-cross. The rest of the team proceeded to the locations with his meatbod in the back seat.

Upon their arrival, Vinnie Cap took Endymion’s unconscious body into one building while Angel and Mindcrime took up positions in front of the other building. Once it became clear that the Crimson Crush gangers did not intend anything nefarious, Endymion returned to his body and awaited the arrival of the two vans.

Max and the Crimson Crush gangers arrived at the building where Angel and Mindcrime waited, while Wu arrived at almost the same time at the one next door. The runners escorted their charges up to the rooftops of their respective buildings so that the negotiations could begin. Talks began with some difficulty due to the language problems caused by Wu’s unfamiliarity with human language and Gao being his primary interpreter (not a particularly adept one). After a short time, Endymion began to suggest that the gangers would have to make some concessions in order to make peace, and Mindcrime made a suggestion that Skag and Max were inspired by, and the gangers all retreated back together to discuss their options.

Presently, Max proposed an idea that was an amalgam of Endymion and Mindcrime’s suggestions, with some of his own intrigue thrown in. He stated that the gang would be willing to operate all of their cyberware and chip sales in the neighborhood out of Park Parts, but their protection racket in the neighborhood would have to be enforced by Wu. By that they meant that he would have to keep other syndicates from moving their own business in on the neighborhood when they saw that the Crimson Crush had stopped actively working on the street corners.

Gao and Endymion presented this arrangement to Wu, as best they could in terms that he could understand, and he listened to the language Gao spoke as well as he could while watching Endymion’s astral aura to read his intent. Eventually, he agreed, and the accord was struck.

Carlos was contacted and informed that the job had been completed, and the team requested that a courier meet them at The Drunken Stag at 10:30 pm with their payment. They went there right away, and Donbo recognized Vinnie Cap immediately. The group got drinks and celebrated the successful completion of their job while they waited for their payment to show up. Donbo responded warmly to having another Tir native to speak to in Endymion, and he played his fiddle to entertain the crowd. The courier arrived right on time and delivered their credstick, and the job was fully completed.

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The Story So Far
Or, what I currently remember

Each of the four runners in the party, none of whom know each other at this point, are called by their shared contact, the fixer Carlos Broadhead. He informs them that he has been approached about a job that seems fairly simple and doable with a small crew. Since none of the runners in question had a regular crew they ran with, he was building a group himself with a variety of skills for what appeared to be a milk run.

The group was directed to meet their employer for details about the job at Dante’s Inferno, which they did. The employer turned out to be a very unusual and eccentric Mister Johnson, accompanied by his bodyguard Compress. Despite the Johnson’s eccentricities, he was able to outline the terms of the offer.

The job was to steal the plans for an experimental prototype in a laboratory hidden over a computer storefront called The SOTA Shoppe. There was supposed to be minimal security and the job paid 15,000 Nuyen. The team accepted the job. After a small amount of reconnaisance, the team determined that they should be able to gain entry through a rear entrance, and planned to do so the following night.

The next evening, the team gained entry through the rear entrance they had identified and were able to gain entry into a lab located up a stairway behind the publicly accessible storefront. Once inside, it was clear that the lab was the place they sought, and Mindcrime went to work on the computer systems in the lab while the rest of the team ransacked the lab. They stole not only the files for the prototype, but also a good deal of hardware they found stashed around the lab and also in the display cases in the store below. They destroyed much of the lab before leaving.

Endymion acted as the spokesperson for the group, contacting Johnson almost immediately, and they set up a meeting at Crusher 495 to exchange the files for their payment. The handoff went off smoothly several hours later and the team was paid for their efforts.

After receiving their wages for their efforts, the group set about trying to fence the goods they had stolen from the shop and the lab above it, and Vinnie Cap called a street doc contact of his named Kreetle to take a look at the cyber goods they had pilfered and give them an idea of what it might be worth.

While the team awaited a return call from Kreetle, Vinnie got a phone call from Carl Pewtrowski informing him that one of his residences (a primary one) had been trashed, and telling him to watch his back. Similarly, Mindcrime was paged by his tribe, who, when he called them back, told him to keep his distance, as he was a liability to them. Endymion called a contact who told him that the rooftop where he squatted had been compromised, and Angel, agitated by all this news and starving for action, was unable to keep herself from heading home to find out what had become of her own apartment. The team accompanied her for security’s sake, but once they got to the building, they saw that it had just finished burning.

The crew was spotted almost immediately after arriving at the site, and a battle ensued right away, Angel unleashing her brutality without reservation while Endymion tried to calm things down with distraction and confusion. Vinnie and Mindcrime, looking in the building across the street for surveillance teams, found and captured a lookout in an upper floor of the tenement across the street.

As Angel eliminated the people staking out her destroyed home, she and Endymion saw that they were being reinforced by much more formidable soldiers of some kind from down the block. As those two dealt with the reinforcements, Vinnie and Mindcrime interrogated the lookout, finding out that he knew almost nothing. He worked for a company called Seattle Security and Surveillance (SSS), and his instructions were only to keep an eye open for Angel to show up at the house, and to call a contact number if she showed up.

Angel managed to dispatch the guards while Endymion ran interference, much to his chagrin, and the four made their escape before Lone Star first responders arrived at the scene. The group retreated to one of Vinnie Cap’s bolthole apartments to recoup and review their situation.

After getting a call back from Kreetle, the group met with him to go over the gear they had stolen. One of the pieces he identified as very bleeding-edge wetware worth a truckload of nuyen if one could find a buyer. The team promised Kreetle a portion of the goods for free if he could arrange a buyer for the high-end piece.

srlivewetware

Endymion contacted Carlos on the team’s behalf, and he told them that he had heard about the assaults on each of them. He assured them that he was not involved in double crossing them and agreed when they asked him to dig up any information he could about Mister Johnson or Compress. The group chose to believe Carlos, and settled in to wait out the situation and hopefully gain more information.

Angel accompanied Mindcrime to a Stuffer Shack with a public telecom point to guard his meatbod while he jacked in to search for info and contact his tribe. He informed the tribe that he would be dropping them a certified credstick with some cash to help make up for the trouble that he’d caused them and did what digging he could on the entities they’d dug up. They managed to find out that the phone contact that the SSS operative had was for Daniel Etsu, and that he worked for Blazing Horizons, a company none of them had ever heard of. They hit something of a brick wall going any further than that, however.

Kreetle came through with a deal for them on the goods they were trying to fence, getting them some capital to get them by while they were holed up. Vinnie used his contact Rakuno to dispose of his car and get a pair of replacement vehicles.

Carlos contacted the team and informed them that he had located a runner who had once worked with their Johnson, by the name of Eddie Phoenix. He had agreed to meet with them for a small fee and tell them what he knew about Johnson and Compress. The crew went to Phoenix’s place, and he told them that although the Johnson acts like a fool, he’s actually quite astute and is simply acting a part to make people underestimate him. Also, he knew that Compress was former Sioux Wildcats, and a tough asset. He offered, for a further fee, to use his own network of contacts to see if he could dig up any more information on their situation. The crew accepted the offer.

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