Friday, March 24, 2006

Six's blog. Run 3 and 4

by N.Barnes

Call Dir: Shadownet/ShadowlandsBBS/
Select Region: Region=SanFrancisco
Call SubDir: SanFrancisco/WeBlogs
Select Blog: Author=V.Six

Entry 4: 15.03.70

Drek. Frag. Drek-frag. This Shadowrunning lark ain’t all wine and roses you know. We’re up Kakalak Creek without an outboard. Hell, right now, we are minus, precisely, one Troll. And for all we know, tall, dark and scary has gotten his ass bagged and tagged…

It all started back on the 10th. Me and the Crew got a call from Snow, asking us to meet some Johnson from Cross Applied Technologies and help him out if we could. Now it wasn’t exactly a simple gig this Johnson wanted pulling and frankly it went from bad to worse from there on out. Seems there’s a team of corporate guerrilla’s out there in the Sprawl going by the name of the Notable Anarchists. They’ve pulled numerous hits on CAT and Johnson wanted their head honcho bringing in – only we’ve only got a fuzzy still from a security camera to base out investigation on.

However, the deal’s worth 45k to us so we’re not going to turn it down are we? Hell no. We hit research mode and quickly find out that while the Notable Anarchists are no great shakes, their boss is a guy called the Juggler. He was part of the original Neo-Anarchist movement about 15 years ago, has been a bit of a mover and shaker ever since and obviously has friends in high places – this dude’s Matrix record is watertight, not a sniff of info on him.

Ki-rinn decides to put Snow on the case, figuring he might have a few skills or programmes that we lack and Snow comes up with a hit the Notable Anarchists made on a Horizon site that went sour. A couple of their goons got their asses shot up and some Street Doc by the handle of Mal Practice was seen with the Juggler.

Now Mal is a much easier man to find so we cruise to his clinic over the Third Street Gym just to see if we can apply a bit of pressure and glean some information. Now Mal turns out to be a savvy sort of guy. He’s been around Runners long enough to know that a Street Doc is more use alive than dead – plus anyone who slots a Street Doc is gonna have to answer to his contacts, colleagues and clients, most of whom will be runners themselves and mighty miffed at the loss of their medical cover.

So Mal and Ki-rinn play deal ballet, dancing around the subject and trying to cut a deal. There’s something Mal wants – a NeuroToxin Fullblood Filter or NTFF. Mal’s not long lost a friend to a cocktail shot of DMSO and Neurotoxin and he’s pretty cut up because with one of these NTFF gizmo’s the guy’s life could have been saved. Mal says he’ll give us our info on the Juggler, plus a kickback or two, if we bring him the gadget.

An NTFF has a retail value in excess of two million Nuyen and I’ve left my wallet at home so we can’t just buy one. Mal tips us that DocWagon are loud and proud about having NTFF on standby for their Platinum contract customers so we head out to the nearest DocWagon site at Redmond. Redmond turns out to be a bit of a fortress. I turn on the charm, apply for a job as an ambulance driver and eventually get chatting to a paramedic. I’m hoping the kit’s in the ambulance and we can just drive it out but these machines are huge and only found in the operating theatres – the most secure zone of the facility.

Continues: 1/3

We think again and find out that El Centro Regional Medical Centre back in San Fran has one going spare. El Centro’s a public hospital so much more accessible than DocWagon and we relocate. Ki-rinn has a blinding idea and sets up an inter-hospital equipment loan. He does his hacking thang to make all the paperwork legit and I put the wheels in motion to source a car which I then fit out with fake plates and RFID so it looks like the El Centro medical transport. Plan works a charm and with Ono running distraction, we just walk in, wheel the kit out and drive it away.

So Mal’s stoked with his gear and everyone’s happy. He sings like a canary and tells us the Juggler was so grateful for the help Mal offered to his wounded friends that he gave Mal directions to a bar called Clive’s Dive and said that if he ever needed the Juggler’s help he just had to ask the barman: "What’s the best way to make people accept change?"

I’d done some research on known anarchist hang outs earlier and had already scoped this Clive’s Dive. The barman knew my face so I couldn’t go using the code word. We decided I’d head to the bar on the pretext of popping in for a beer. Ono would do likewise, but separately, then we’d wait to offer back up to Ki-rinn if necessary once he strolled in and laid the Juggler’s little code on the barman.

Again, it went off sweet as a nut. Ki-rinn managed to hook up with the Notable Anarchists but he was going to have to prove himself before they let a stranger clap eyes on the big man. So we found ourselves in Silicon Valley with instructions to support the Notable Anarchist’s cell as they made another hit on CAT. Ono and I played support, while Ki-rinn called in some crazy-ass, deaf old army buddy with a mad bomber complex to take out a power relay serving the district.

Ki-rinn and Flash found Lone Star crawling all over the place but managed to make the hit. They needed my help to pull their asses out of the fire and I picked up that my sled had been tagged on scanners. We had no idea whether it was Lone Star or the Anarchist’s scanning us but we couldn’t run the risk that our entire team had been compromised. Ono had managed to stay holed up without getting spotted so while he crept off separately to us, Ki-rinn and I ran defence as Flash made his escape. It was quite a rush man, high speed pursuit, car to car gun-fighting on opposite sides of a four-lane blacktop and the Firmpoint I’ve installed on the NSX really paid dividends.

Ono went to lay low near Clive’s Dive and I dropped Ki-rinn off so he could confront the Notable Anarchists and find out why it had all gone sour. I’d prepped a temporary paint job before the Silicon Valley hit so I ducked out to strip the car back down to it’s original paint. Ki-rinn’s heat had come from the Notable Anarchists who tipped off Lone Star to draw them away from their own target. That seemed reasonable – why should they have given a damn if Ki-rinn got busted – but given his escape, they were suitably impressed and revealed their target – the kidnap of our own fragging Johnson!

So there’s our paymaster general, tied up and bust up by the very people he’s paying us to take down. Tricky. O’Bannon, the leader of the cell, decides to play the straight man and take Ki-Rinn to meet the Juggler. Ono decides to go in and bust out the Johnson. I’m torn in fucking two man.
Ki-rinn’s heading off one way, alone and unarmed, to meet the target of our operation. Ono’s armed and armoured trying to bust out the one man who’s going to pay us for completing our operation. I’m torn and I made a call. A bad call. The wrong call. Instead of picking one or the other, I sit on the fence and try to support both of them, try to position myself mid-way between the two to be an FRT for either and instead I just get caught in No Man’s Land.

Continues: 2/3

Ki-rinn gets his ass jammed and I’m out of contact with Ono because he’s going into a gun fight. I wait 15 minutes and try to contact them both – I get nada so I wait 15 minutes more. Still nothing, from either of them. This is crazy, I’m not helping anyone so I blaze back to Clive’s Dive. The Dive is in darkness but Ono’s bike is still outside. I approach cautiously and sneak inside, splitting my attention between my own route and a quick scan of the bar that I run through a drone. Inside, I find the place deserted.
There are signs of a scrap but the only trace of the Johnson is a single Armani shoe and all I find of Ono is his prized katana, stuck point first into the floor at the threshold of the pub like some sort of warning.

I hear traffic approaching and blaze out back to my car. Turns out O’Bannon has bought Ki-rinn back, alive, and we hook up to compare notes as soon as he can get away. He’s met the Juggler. Even been given a PAYG so he can be contacted with any little jobs the Notable Anarchist’s need doing. Ki-rinn’s slowly getting in on the inside but there ain’t no sign of Ono and I think I didn’t do nearly enough to back him up. As soon as Ki-rinn’s PAN got jammed, I should have given his frosty ass up for dead and looked out for my boy.

Ash is gonna fucking pound on me for this…

I’ve pulled over to use a Cyber-CafĂ© for a piss and to post this Blog. I’ve got Kitty and the rest of the racers out pounding the streets. Hell I’ve been on the road for hours myself, criss-crossing and recrossing the city looking for one of the few Notable Anarchist vehicles I’d recognise, hoping against hope to catch them while they move him or something. I just don’t know what else I can do.

Mood: Desperate

Ends: 3/3


Sinister said...

Six crumpled the Styrofoam coffee cup and tossed it across the cafe into the waiting trash can. His eyes finished rescanning the Blog and he clicked post, mind awhirl with the events of the day turning over and over in his mind.

With a start, he sat bolt upright.

"Fuck. Mal!"

Grabbing his keys and jacket, he bolted for the parking lot, dialling Ki-rinn through his PAN. The Hacker's voice, sleepy and bewildered crackled in Six's ear.

"Hello? Wha-"

"Stop flapping your gums Frosty and change into your scrapping gear.

"We've overlooked a lead. There was blood in Clive's Dive and Ono didn't go down without a fight. Was there blood on that sword you picked up...?"

"I dunno Six - it's out back."

"I'll bet my ass there is so I reckon at least one of the Notable Anarchists has been tagged. The Anarchists probably need a Street Doc right about now and they know Mal..."

"That's a long shot Six."

"Shorter than hoping to bump into them in Downtown San Fran. Let's blaze compadre."

Thorn said...

The problem solving power soycafe has on a tired brain is still a bit of a mystery to science.