Working for the Enemy

By on March 23rd, 2014

The job started as many do:  a meet, this time at the Pilgrim Brewery in the Faloma precinct of Cara’Sir.  The team was contacted by Jack’s fixer and told to meet with a Claudia Larochelle who would lead them to Ms. Johnson.  Arriving at the brewery, the team had no trouble doing so and quickly found themselves in a tasting room being offered seats and drinks by a well-dressed female elf.

Ms. Johnson needed the team to plant some evidence on a politicians commlink to make it look as if someone had tampered with it.  The evidence was in the form of fingerprints–using a glove to plant them–as well as epithelial cells to dust on the commlink.  Providing a total of twelve thousand nuyen, with two thousand up front, the team was willing to do the job though when they found out the specifics of the situation, some were a little less interested.

The commlink they were supposed to mess with was owned by Olive Carruthers, the New Ager candidate from Vale in Malheur County.  It was Olive who so strenuously objected to the team’s protection of Ben Gantry as the led him from Boise back to Cara’Sir for the Rooters weeks ago.  By planting the evidence on her commlink, the team would be assisting Ms. Johnson not in discrediting Olive, but rather casting doubt upon some undisclosed scandal in which Ms. Carruthers was about to be implicated.  In other words:  if they did the job, it was likely that they would be assisting the political career of Carruthers rather than scuttling it.

Regardless, the money won out and the team agreed to the job.  Ms. Johnson provided the team with a detailed schedule for Olive’s movements over the next three days; if the job could not be completed by the evening of the third day, then the  team could keep the advance, but they didn’t need to worry about continuing their efforts.  Luckily, upon reviewing the schedule, the team noticed two items on the itinerary for day two that might bear fruit:  an exhibition tennis match against Tír tennis pro, Maria Albert, as well as Olive’s attendance at the Tír Tiarngire Ballet in Malek’thas that same evening.

The team decided to attempt to plant the biometric evidence on Olive’s commlink during the tennis match and, if that failed, to try again at the ballet.  Tickets were purchased for the latter while Octan and Arial investigated the location for the tennis match posing as a couple perhaps interested in joining.

The club was extremely high end and offered a variety of both indoor and some outdoor sports.  Given a tour, Octan and Arial were able to investigate the location fully and set up an appointment for the following day–the same day as Olive’s exhibition–for virtual golf at 9 AM giving them more than enough time to try and tamper with the commlink as Olive’s match was scheduled for 8 AM.

Arriving again the next morning, Octan and Arial were accompanied by Adriana and the brothers Pliskin, the latter two outfitted as servants for Octan and Arial.  The club was infested with paparazzi who largely ignored our protagonists, much to Adriana’s relief, as they waited for both Olive and Maria Albert, though mostly for Maria.  The team relaxed for a bit at the snack bar until the candidate’s arrival.

Olive made the appropriate gestures of interest toward the cameras upon entering, and was quickly treated to the club’s best when she entered.  She chatted with the staff and owners of the club for a bit before Maria arrived.  They greeted each other in the lobby before they moved to locker rooms–Maria has a private room, but Olive insisted that she didn’t need such extravagance and would dream of imposing on the tennis pro.  Instead, Olive was led to the public lockers by a female guard.

Adriana and Arial beat them there and were in the process of changing when the guard and Olive arrived.  The guard analyzed them closely, but considering the difficulty of hiding weapons while changing clothes, was put at ease.  Olive introduced her self to the both of them and then, providing enough room for personal space, began to change for her exhibition.  As she began to slide her commlink into her court-side bag, Adriana used a preparation for Control Thoughts to convince her to leave the device in her locker.  It was successful, and Olive and her guard quickly exited headed toward the tennis courts.

Moving quickly, Arial and Adriana plugged a different commlink, prepared by Octan with a sprite on it, into the locker’s control port.  The sprite made mincemeat of the lock’s security and the door popped open.  Adriana quickly manhandled the commlink planting the fingerprints and dusted it with the epithelial cells before replacing it in the locker.

They, too, moved to leave the locker room, but Arial wanted one more chance at making the candidate’s acquaintance.  They stopped her briefly in the hallway as she returned to the lockers for her commlink, made some small talk, and then let her go about her day.  Later, when Octan and Arial attended the ballet–tickets had been purchased after all–they contrived to “bump into” Olive once more.  After some additional small talk, Octan and Adriana made a rather large donation to Olive’s campaign hoping to gain influence with her should they need a politician’s help in the future.

Returning to Cara’Sir, they showed Ms. Johnson a recording of the job and she paid the team the remainder of what was owed them.  The job complete, Adriana seriously put out by having assisted Olive’s political future after having to dodge her bullets, attended Olive’s rally at the Tír Museum of Modern Art.  She arrived in full make up and fully prepared to punch Olive in the face, but after creating a bit of a scene, her better nature asserted itself and she gave up on her plan.

The Return of Ben Gantry

By on March 2nd, 2014

Octan’s contacts took the team about 110km north into the Wildlands after turning north off route 20.  Passing through the Wildlands of the Columbia Plateau provided the team with a wide, expansive view of what amounted to a near frozen tundra in the late February afternoon.  The drive was uneventful, escorted as they were by burly off road bikes, and after a little over an hour, they were taken to an extremely well camouflaged outpost of some sort.

The outpost was surrounded by small hills carefully constructed to appear natural.  Spread over the small valley created by these hills was a camouflage netting.  Even from nearly a kilometer away, it looked like a natural formation, but as the team approached it became more clear that it was man made.  Between the netting and the landscaping, the outpost would be almost impossible to find.  As they approached, a large gate was opened and the convoy passed through it.  When it was closed, two large bollards were dropped in place to both lock the gate and to help prevent anyone from ramming through it.

The tow truck driver pulled over to an area of the compound clearly set aside for mechanics to work on the vehicles parked within the walls.  The team could see two cars, a pick-up truck, a few more bikes, and a group of ATVs all for the groups disposal.  In addition to the vehicles, there were about twenty different people milling about the area handling a variety of chores.  They took some notice of the convoy, but seemed comfortable with the fact that all was well considering the team was escorted inside.

The tow truck stopped and the driver, Lars, exited and detached the van.  A few mechanics approached, obviously having been warned of the incoming work, and Olympia moved over to them to get started with the repairs.  The mechanics estimated that it would take a few hours to get everything in working order.

Meanwhile, a Native American woman along with two other men approached the team and greeted Octan.  The woman, introduced only as Diane, seemed friendly and invited the team to rest and/or eat depending on their preference.  Octan, still suffering the after effects of his technomancy, opted to sleep while the others, without Olympia, headed to the mess hall.

Therein, they found a few more people who lived here in the compound.  Adrianna grabbed some coffee and sat at the end of the table where an elf and a dwarf were sitting.  They invited her to join them and then also invited the rest of the team to do so as well.  Everyone agreed except for the brothers Pliskin who sat near enough to overhear, but far enough that they didn’t get elf-cooties.

From these two, the team learned that the group was the remains of a militia group that fought with the Rinelle ke’Tesra during the war.  Afterwards, while they did not continue to fight the current government like some of the Rinelle, they also didn’t feel exactly comfortable with the way it all turned out.  Thus, they live out in the Wildlands preparing for the inevitable second rebellion.  Aside from a touch of paranoia and a peppering of conspiracy theories, the group seemed fairly nice.

While the van was being fixed, another group arrived at the compound.  Along with four members of the militia, a centaur entered through the main gate.  Without the centaur, they would have been uninteresting, but with him the whole thing caught Olympia’s eye.  The centaur bowed formally to his escort and then proceeded into the main building, apparently to meet with Diane.

After a few hours, the van was fixed up and Octan awoke from his nap.  Taking the opportunity that his separation from the rest of the team provided him, he quickly broke into Ben Gantry’s commlink with the help of a crack sprite and found the paydata encrypted within it.  Working quickly, he decrypted it and then used a complex form to copy it from Ben’s commlink to his own storage.  Unfortunately, something strange happened in the process; the resonance translated the decrypted file into Esperanto.  Ben, not knowing Esperanto, thought that his decryption had failed.  Regardless, he met briefly with Diane and traded the paydata for 500 nuyen; less than he had hoped, but a fair price considering Diane would still have to “decrypt” the file.

The van fixed, the team thanked Diane and the militia for their hospitality and the repairs and headed back to Cara’Sir.  During the roughly 8 hour drive, the team decided that, while things didn’t exactly go that smoothly for them over the last 24 hours, it wasn’t like things couldn’t have gone worse.  Contact information was exchanged and the decision was made that, should work come their way again, they would accept it as a team.

Arriving back in Cara’Sir, the team had a few hours to kill before sunrise when they could meet Mr. Johnson.  Once a more decent hour was reached, they prepared to meet Mr. Johnson back at the Ugly Mug in the parking lot behind the building.  The hand off went smoothly, and Ben was in no real danger so he wasn’t a problem.  The team returned the money earmarked for Aiden Alexander, the late proprietor of the Cat’s Meow in Boise, earning them some praise from Johnson before getting paid and agreeing to the possibility of future work should he ever need their services again.

Hungry, the team found their way to a Fricken’ Waffles to order breakfast and discuss the disposal of the cyberdeck stolen from the opposition’s decker.  Deciding that the nuyen was more beneficial than the cyberdeck at this time, the team opted to sell it.  Between some of the team’s contacts and Octan’s negotiating skills, they got an excellent deal netting everyone a few more thousand nuyen.

The Defense of Ben Gantry

By on February 23rd, 2014

Our protagonists had collected Ben Gantry from his kidnappers but before they had the opportunity to leave, two individuals, a young woman and a older man, approached the scene of the accident by motorcycle.  They came to a halt and dismounted quickly moving to assess the situation and ascertain the health and safety of Ben.  These two individuals, Ariel and Jack, were members of the squad hired in Seattle to collect him from the Salish-Sidhe Council and bring him to the Tír.  Amid the noise of sirens our protagonists agreed to allow the two newcomers to travel with them for the near term; otherwise they were likely to all get picked up by the Tír constabulary.

Olympia knew of a place they could stay, a new age store named the White Horse run by Unicorn shaman on the Tír side of Boise.  Arriving there, the one of the shamans, named Jeff, offered them a room and safety, concealing their vehicles, and allowing them privacy on the second floor of his establish.  There, the team hashed out a basic plan:  head southwest out of town toward the town of Vale and cross the Wildlands until meeting up with the old Interstate corridor at Serentaneyo (Eugene, OR) which would take them north to Cara’Sir once more.

All went well, leaving the White Horse.  Constabulary drones were still circling the accident location and the team was able to load into the van, with Ariel’s bike in the back next to Olympia’s drones, and head out of town.  The drive went smoothly for roughly the first hour, but about 10km outside the town of Vale, a constabulary roadblock had been set up.  The cars in front of the van were waved through with ease, but Olympia noticed that the officers blocking the left-hand lane seemed to be taking quite an interest in them.

When it was their turn to be inspected, Adrianna had concealed the team–with the exception of herself and Olympia–using a task from one of her spirits.  The officers asked the cousins to step out of the vehicle and others moved to search it.  Concealed members of the team exited the vehicle as well in order to avoid accidental discovery, but Ben Gantry tripped and fell out of the vehicle alerting the officers to the presence of the hidden individuals.

What erupted then was a somewhat harrowing firefight.  On the Matrix, Octan and a hacker from the other team began to square off, though neither faced the other directly.  The opposing hacker quickly moved to brick the van, keeping the team from driving away.  Octan, realizing the situation, dispatched a call for help from his contacts in the Rinelle and proceeded to hack various and sundry items for the officers.  Olympia re-entered her van but was quickly pinned down due to shotgun fire from one of the constabulary vehicles, but this ended as the Brothers Pliskin leaped into the fray.

Adrianna used her final Alchemical preparation to increase her own speed but found her self somewhat stymied by the actions of Ariel and Olympia.  The former unloaded full automatic covering fire at approaching reinforcements while Olympia directed her drones to do the same after successfully assassinating the hacker by firing at his location through the windows of the vehicle in which he stood.  In short, despite being outnumbered, the greater firepower of the team allowed them to carry the day and even capture one of the constabulary forces, Carlos.

Talking to Carlos, it became clear that he and his allies were only pretending to be law enforcement officers.  In reality, they were hired muscle sent to get Ben Gantry on the orders of Mr. Johnson, of course!  Octan’s help arrived and in spite of some trepidation from Adrana, the van was hooked up for a tow.  They tossed Carlos in back of one of the cop cars and commandeered it following the tow truck off the beaten path and into the Wildlands.