Fri, 17 Nov 2070, 6:00 PM
Kennard Corner, Snohomish
Malaclypse the Zeroth is relaxing at his house, playing Matrix games and “not smoking weed,” when the power goes out. This not being unusual, he and his roommate Adam (an ork druggie) don’t have a strong reaction. Nonetheless Mal-0 checks outside, and discovers that one of his Humanis-sympathizing neighbors’ pickup trucks is idling in the street. He levitates it. Hearing a cry of surprise from behind the bushes, Mal-0 is soon confronted with his shotgun-toting neighbor, who is apparently here to remind him that “his kind” isn’t welcome here. The pope pins his neighbor under his own truck, then tosses a shovelful of dirt on his face. By then it’s time to roll out: he, like the other rising stars of the Seattle shadow scene (the AI drone rigger Lucy, the attitude-filled pr0n star Belletrix LeBangs and the paranoid technomancer Malachi Constant) have been summoned to Club Penumbra, where they are to meet Baraka.
Meanwhile, Lucy has learned that her most recent Mr Johnson, the repo man Morgan Fontana, has been found dead in his apartment. She suspects that he was shot by the crooked Lone Star cops he was dealing with.
In Downtown’s International District, Belletrix has just finished shooting a scene with Jizzelle for “Skinny Lesbians Love It Massive 5.” This is the first time the two have crossed paths since their last shoot, and Jizzelle says that she’s put some thought into it, and will accept Belletrix’s offer to move in together. Belletrix grabs a bottle of water and heads to Club Penumbra.
Downtown Core – 7:00
It’s early for Club Penumbra, but it’s Flashback Friday, so the place is still fairly packed with young clubbers in their retro ’runner digs. Malachi has been on the scene since about 3:30, and has attained administrative access to all local security systems. One by one, the ’runners show up, each in their own idiom: Malaclypse flies, Lucy sends her Manservant and Falcon drones, and Belletrix _____. Malachi spoofs the identity of one of the Seattle Seahawks, and is granted easy access to the door.
Within, Baraka has occupied a large, circular corner booth. His two bodyguards, also trolls, stand vigil outside. Lucy’s attempt to hack Baraka’s commlink finds that the device is off-the-shelf (and therefore blank, yielding no data), but Malaclypse is able to cast Influence on the troll, urging him to whisper his real name in Mal-0’s ear. The fixer stands but is forcefully thrust back into his seat by his guards – he looks furious for a moment, but shakes his head and thanks them.
Once all four ’runners have seated themselves, Baraka goes on to tell them that he has heard of their unique talents, and that he is willing to operate as their fixer. He tells them his strengths, which include strong connections to datamongers, ID manufacturers, money launderers, fences, crime syndicates, and corporate Johnsons. He also has a meet lined up with them tonight, if they accept his offer. Baraka leaves the booth to give them some privacy, whispering his name to Malaclypse on the way.
After a few minutes of discussion (and educating Belletrix (who has been simsense blogging, as usual) on just what a “fixer” does), the group decides to give teamwork a shot. Baraka tells them to head to Club Equilibrium, where a prospective employer called “Tanaka-san” is waiting. Belletrix, the resident nightclub authority, says that Equilibrium is either owned by or has ties to the Yakuza.
International District, Downtown – 8:00
Lucy sends her Falcon ahead of the group to scout it out. Equilibrium is a converted warehouse with an all black-and-white theme (including Yin-Yangs). Several orkish bouncers guard the place, which is filled with hipsters discussing viral marketing, new commlinks, and underground music. Tanaka-san messages her as the drone enters, saying he’s at the southernmost table. This seats four Japanese men, all dressed in white, with black sunglasses and spiky hair. Three of them stand; Lucy hacks the commlink of the one who remains sitting and finds that his name is Ikaru Shotozumi. He tells her “off the record” that if she ever digs up any paydata concerning technomancers, that he and his employers at Shiawase would be interested in acquiring it.
When the rest of the fledgling team arrives, the ork doormen are agape at Belletrix. She distracts them while Malachi hacks the chemsniffer, allowing the crew to smuggle their weapons inside. Meanwhile Mal-0 has used his illusion, and looks like a dirty hipster, while Malachi looks like RoboCop. One of the bouncers tails the group once inside, but Belletrix flirts with two random clubgoers and has them run interference.
At the table, Ikaru Shotozumi relinquishes the chair, and one of the “bodyguards” reveals himself to be the actual “Tanaka-San”. He gets straight to business, saying that he works for Shiawase and that he has an extraction job that he wants done within the next three days. There is a highly secure Aztechnology facility in Seattle that has been conducting experiments on technomancers. There are two projects being undertaken in their labs, one of which involves testing the effects of various chemicals and drugs on the technomancer brain. Maria Villalobos, project manager for this team, is to be the target of the extraction. The Johnson mentions that there is another team he’s considering hiring for the job, so if they aren’t interested he can go elsewhere. He offers 30,000 nuyen, which Belletrix is able to coax up to 34,000. In the end, the team accepts the job despite Tanaka-san’s warnings of strong security.
As Tanaka-san rises to bow and go his separate way, shots ring out and two of his bodyguards go down in a hail of bullets. Half a dozen Yakuza thugs are here, and are targeting Tanaka-san’s table. The Johnson flips the table over and takes cover, shouting out that he will pay the team 5,000¥ apiece to get them out of the club alive.
Malachi hacks the Ingram Smartgun of the hit squad’s leader, ejecting his clip. Meanwhile Malaclypse hits the hitmen with a Stunball, knocking out a few nearby civilians but not downing any Yaks. Unfortunately, he is shot for his trouble, and takes a severe wound. Lucy’s Manservant is also heavily damaged. Braving gunfire, Belletrix drags Tanaka-san to the nearest interior wall, where she slashes through the flimsy drywall with her wrist blades and Tanaka-san takes shelter in the men’s room. Shotozumi guards the “door.” Lucy turns out the lights, and then sends the floor plan to Belletrix’s AR, and the porn star begins to plot a course of wall-slashing. Malachi keeps the Yakuza lieutenant’s gun inoperative while Malaclypse drops the mooks with another Stunball. Terrified, the last Yakuza standing drops his gun and flees for the door. Malachi had planted a tag visible only to technomancers so that he could track the weapon, but Belletrix now muses on the prospect of letting his arms dealer contact, Mrs. Kim, track its origin.
Mal-0 walks up to the bar and Levitates a drink to himself as the shocked bartenders look at the damage. The pope then performs first aid on himself and casts Heal for good measure. Meanwhile Lucy’s Falcon, outside, has spotted the fleeing Yakuza, who has scrambled into an unmarked van and is speeding down the street. Also pursuing the van is a Lone Star drone. Malachi hacks into it and calls off its pursuit; he also peruses its records and finds that it was used that morning in a raid on the Ork Underground, wherein it was equipped with a grenade launcher and tear-gas canisters. He commands it to report to him the next time it is so equipped.
The team departs Equilibrium, as does a grateful Tanaka-san. They stop at a NukIt Burger, where they have some cheap food with a side of post-combat analysis and bonding. Baraka messages them, saying that he’s heard of their progress, and reminds them that if they ever need a safehouse he knows of a few properties that he could develop.
Kennard Corner, Snohomish, 9:10
Malaclypse uses Levitate to fly back to his house. His neighbor and the truck are thankfully gone, but there is now a sign planted in his yard that reads “FREAKS.” Mal-0 plucks the sign out of the ground and puts it in his neighbor’s across the street.
Everyone: 5,000 nuyen and 3 Karma. Contact: Baraka (Loyalty 2 / Connection 4)