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Entry 14: 19.06.70>
Well we’ve managed to make our 10k basic payment and the daily reduction on the bonus has been frozen pending further instructions from our Johnson. It started with Sickle cutting on us to do a bit of private research – no biggie – Drifter turned up out of the blue so the size of the team hadn’t been affected.
Johnson’s lab report showed that the Caribou had been laced with Chloro Maganese 5/1, a chemical weapon developed and then banned during the Euro-Wars. It was created as a crowd dispersal gas and riot suppressant but was banned when they discovered that if the gas came into contact with liquid, it became a lethal chemical causing exactly the same symptoms and outcome we’d already seen evident in our dead Trolls. This stuff is serious shit and the fact that someone got hold of it suggests a well-connected, major player somewhere behind the scenes. Either way, we now knew that this stuff wasn’t just targeted at Metahumans and that cast all the evidence against Aztechnology into doubt because that had suggested the cause of death was a retro-engineered virus that would reverse the Goblinisation process.
With Johnson nagging us to find out who was behind the poisoned drinks, we started researching back up the supply chain. Caribou’s got one main distributor in the Castro district but Ki-rinn and Glyph checked out the store and the owner, Mohammed Abdul, seemed clean. In fact, he seemed as worried about the possible poisoning as we were and was all too willing to pull the infected batch from the shelves and keep them on one side pending further investigation. Next stop tracking back up the supply chain was a distribution centre down near the Mexican border and Ki-rinn soon discovered that everything, right down to the trucks, was automated and remotely operated. It was clear this was a weak link and that made it worth a trip.
From afar, we could see tracks leading away from the compound to a burnt out vehicle and Ki-rinn’s sweep of the matrix security suggested tampering and a subsequent cover up but he managed to pull up a security vid of some sort of raid. The rest of the cameras had been looped so Glyph, Drifter and Ash headed in for a closer look. My investigation of the burnt out vehicle told me little but Ash had tagged the VIN number and K soon confirmed that the vehicle belonged to Dr Manton Ford and had been reported stolen a month before. Yet more coincidences!
Suddenly, over the Comm, we hear all hell break loose in the Distribution Centre. Frosty tells me they’re under fire from a Sec Drone that isn’t tied in to the Chipecko security matrix. I guess someone has left it there to cover their tracks and then see Ki-rinn take a shot to the shoulder too.
Drek! I I-Spy a couple of rotodrones at 12oclock hot and manage to bundle Ki-rinn into the Jeep while taking evasive action. Trust me to get caught with my pants down in a stock vehicle precisely when I could do with a weapon mount! Never ride stock! I concentrate on whipping donuts and tight turns to confuse the drones and stay out of direct firing lines while Ki-rinn breaks out the battle rifle and gets busy. As flaming drone debris starts pattering down to the sand, I remote the Crew Cab and send it whistling over to Ash for a rapid evac then spot a dust trail on the horizon. Some SOB is lighting out fast and I do what I can to keep up, running parallel, cutting corners and using my off-road advantage. We soon scope that the quarry is a Red Ranger LAV though and any hope of an off-road advantage or superior speed evaporates. I paint it and we set off in pursuit. Something tells me that maybe we’ve been drawn away from the Chipecko Distribution Centre deliberately and naively taken the bait but I don’t want to let these fuckers get away!
Given the LAV’s speed advantage, we were about three hours behind when we finally trailed the Red Ranger to a lorry park just outside San Fran. Clever little buggers had met up with a juggernaut and flown right into the back of the trailer before driving off again. The only redeeming aspect of the whole sorry shambles was that the Security Camera Records hadn’t been tampered with and Ki-rinn was able to scope our old friend and Notable Anarchist mojo-toter Book clambering from the LAV. We could now finger the NA for the poisoned brew with some certainty. Otherwise, the trail had gone well and truly cold right there and that left us with just about one final lead – another conversation with Doc Ford to find out exactly why he was so intimately linked in with the Anarchists.
It was late but for our purposes, dropping in on the Doc right there and then seemed appropriate. Our quack and several of his high class friends were having a cocktail party and seemed disinclined to share their canapés with a bunch of grubby Shadowrunners. Mr Contacts flawless charisma paid dividends yet again – Ford sent him away with a flea in his ear and instructions to reappear at 10am if he wanted to discuss the case further.
Cheeky twat. I decided Ford had bugged us enough. It was time to bug him and the FlySpy drone I bought last week gave me the perfect opportunity.
Drifting around the party, I was surprised to find Book and his buddy from the truck stop all penguined up and quaffing champagne like specialists. I cut the rest of the team in on the feed and hung around near Ford and that patience paid dividends when he sent the rest of his homies back to their own mansions and had himself an intimate little tete a tete with the NA.
Book made out like the Juggler wanted to meet Doc Ford AGAIN and the mystery anarchist said another batch would be available within a couple of days if they wanted to start the next phase.
Seems the NA are supplying the Chloro-Manganese 5/1 and hitting the Chipecko Distribution Centre to introduce the toxin to the soda while Doc Ford is playing PR man and covering up the real cause of death with false autopsies blaming a new strain of HMHVV. Given the, now evidently falsified, evidence against Aztechnology, we can only presume that the Fraggers are up to their old tricks again, hitting and discrediting the major Corps.
Ford’s criminal soiree broke up and, again using the FlySpy, I was able to track the NA mooks, in their fragging Porsche, as they made their way home to the SF Ritz! Talk about well funded – a Red Ranger, a Porsche, at least one back up vehicle, accommodation at the Ritz, gun-toting goons aplenty and the contacts to get their grubby mitts on an internationally prohibited chemical bioweapon. Yet again, we seem to be out of our depth but this time I feel more confident that the team has my back so I’m chilly about it all.
The downside about our discoveries, especially the incontrovertible proof that Doc MF really is an MF, is that we’re now waiting on Johnson’s instructions about how we proceed. I’ve made the case that the NA are a global terrorist network and that the most we can do is take out the local cell. Johnson realises that if they’re committed to the Chipecko gig they’ll be harder to get rid of than cockroaches and he’s referring back to his superiors. Right about now, I think we’d just settle for putting a bullet in the grid of Doc Ford, Book and the rest of the SF Cell but we’ll wait on Johnson… for now.