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Entry 19: 07.07.70>
I’m beginning to wonder why anyone bothers with this Shadowrunning lark.
Perhaps San Francisco is the bullshit capital of the western world? Perhaps Ash is the unluckiest Son of a Bitch to walk God’s green earth? Maybe I have ‘Fuck with me’ stencilled in Braille across the palm of my hand, encouraging everyone I make a deal with to do just that. Whatever the explanation, it’s beginning to feel like every other Run is a set up or a screw job of some description. Don’t these people realise we have guns and we’re not adverse to using them?! I swear, I will shoot the next fool that fucks with me over a contract!
Sooo, where am I and why is rage mode active? I’m sitting in my ride, perched on a cliff top overlooking the Pacific and somewhere down below me bobbing around in the brine on a brand new motor yacht are Glyph, Ash and some second-rate B-movie simsense star called Suki Redflower, whose box office hey day is definitely well behind her. I just got off of the phone with Kitty who has tipped me to the fact that we’ve been stung, which is pretty much why I’m pissed. Mostly I guess, I’m angry with myself for ignoring my gut instinct that something about the job just didn’t add up.
The contact went by the name of Mitchell and claimed to represent an organisation with the best interests of San Fran’s children. In an effort to demonstrate the crime doesn’t pay he wanted us to kidnap Ms Redflower who is best known for film roles glorifying the life of a Shadowrunner. While we held her hostage, he wanted to bring pressure to bear on her agents, encouraging them that Suki should take on a couple of more savoury projects to redress the balance and show kids that wholesome lives led to brighter futures.
The hypocrisy of hiring Shadowrunners for this job wasn’t lost on me. I questioned Mitchell about it but he reasoned that the ends would justify the means. It was about then that I got to feeling funky about the whole gig and my unease was only exacerbated when he asked us to bid for the job and name our own price. About then, I really should have spotted that there was a good chance of us not getting paid. Ash was handling the arrangements though and I didn’t want to slow Mr Contacts roll so I let him negotiate on all our behalf and kept my misgivings to myself.
We weren’t sure whether Suki was a runner herself but she certainly had a runner escort – the team she was supposedly a part of. They were coming into San Fran to do some press junkets and promo’s so we researched their limo company, the airport and then the hotel looking for ways to get close enough to Suki to do the snatch. Despite our best efforts we bummed out at the limo company where a Runner named Deuter picked up two armoured Hummers and at the airport where they deplaned from a commercial jet onto the landing pan like the Pope. We got a good look at the whole team though – hard mothers every one of them and having landed a room at the same hotel as Suki, we resolved to hit them there the next morning.
We waited in the underground car park just after breakfast. I was heavy fire support, Glyph was extraction and Ash was up close and dirty. Suki’s well drilled team came down in two groups. The first group we let pass us by before moving into position. While they were heading for their armoured Hummers, we were pulling the snatch. As the lift doors opened, I popped a precision Flash-bang into the elevator with the Ares Antioch. Backwash from the blast must have pretty much finished the opposition there and then. Ash finished off the two grunts with swift shotgun blasts before bundling Suki into Glyph’s ride.
As Glyph roared off, one of the Hummers steamed off in pursuit. I played outrider, using up my Flash-bangs and thermal smoke in an attempt to distract them. Glyph easily outdistanced the Hummer and rather than create a very public and very drawn out scene, I peeled off as well.
We’d long-since decided that taking Suki aboard ship and out into international waters was the best bet of laying low. Glyph and Ash did just that while I hung back to deter any pursuit. As soon as the yacht was clear of the coast though, the team was buzzed by a Rotordrone. A quick scan revealed two tracers on Suki – Ash burned them out but the damage was done.
We resolved to head next to this remote cove and sit tight for a while to see if there was any further sign of pursuit. The beach itself is unreachable by land, unless you fancy a spot of abseiling, so any effective counter attack will have to come by air or by sea, which is why I’m perched here on the cliff top ready to provide covering fire.
Thing is, maybe there won’t be any counter attack and maybe we’ll never hear from Mitchell again. Kitty tells me an article about the kidnap is all over the Matrix. It’s a tissue of lies that offends me deeply. Ono is named as one of the kidnappers for fuck’s sake so their Intel is seriously out of date. Mitchell asked for Ono by name when he first tried to contract us, a coincidence that doesn’t sit well with me. Further proof of the almighty bunkum in this article is provided by a photograph of Ash and I bundling Suki away from the scene of the kidnap. Someone has been a busy little tinker with Photoshop because I haven’t stepped out of the car since 7am. I reckon 50 metres is about the closest I’ve gotten to Suki in this whole operation without having a skin of metal wrapped around me.
So all we have now is a combination of anger and curiosity - anger at being diddled yet again in the course of a job and curiosity about how the other players in this charade will play out their next moves. Someone is trying to dirty my name again though, just after I managed to get it clean. I expect to extract a small measure of retribution for that misdemeanour and right now, Mitchell’s name is top of my list…