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Entry 21: 17.07.70>
Man, my Swede is fragged. What a head-fuck! If you wanna follow what’s been going on in the World of Six, take your time and read slowly or you’ll never keep up…
Sickle joined us at the Safe House in Atlanta after we’d gotten Ash’s ride fixed up some. It wasn’t too long before Nunzio’s contact in Atlanta, Carlo, showed his face to sub-contract some work out to us. Seems the Shindig we spotted at the Triad club Province happened at the behest of someone called The Cowboy. IIRC, at the time we identified this fellah as an Atlanta mover and shaker called Johnny Kickback. The Cowboy was buying up the services of the West Coast crime syndicates and getting them to work for him. It was the first job he’d handed to the Mafia that was being subcontracted to us.
Carlo put 100k on the table and asked to find three Shadowrunners who were big time back in the ‘50’s – Shift, Kote and Binary Pulse. All that was needed to earn the dough was the current location of all three so we immediately put our contacts to work. I tapped up Snow and had another one of those damn Allisom visions in which Snow was shot dead in his living room so I advised him to get the hell out of dodge at the same time. Snow had heard the names and added a fourth who used to be part of the team – Solace.
Now it turned out that Solace had died, mid-mission, in the late-‘50’s and it was this which led to the break-up of the team. Kote had gone postal, possible because of Solace’s death, and had killed 13 people in a botched raid on Renraku, before killing himself. So far, so easy. Binary Pulse had kept on running solo into the ‘60’s before finally handing herself over to the heat to answer for her crimes. That meant Lone Star had assigned her a criminal SIN and that made things much easier because it allowed us to identify her as April Walker, owner of a Talismonger’s in Birmingham, Alabama called Walk the Path.
Daisy told us there was a heavily encrypted signal coming from the shop.
Binary Pulse had been a Decker so that made sense – Daisy said she could give us some kit that would help her do a data-steal and decryption if we could get access to the source of the signal. We cruised out to Birmingham, Alabama and found that Walk the Path had been abandoned for a month or more.
With little alternative but to take direct action, Sickle and Ash broke in while I provided cover and FRT. As the download started, the Daring Duo heard something downstairs so I sent the Fly-Spy in to investigate. There was some sort of fragged up Bot just standing at the bottom of the stairs (though Sickle later heard tell it was a spirit – which figures in a
Talismongers) but the Drek only seriously hit the fan when Ash started to break into the shop safe.
Suddenly the freaky Bot is on my boys and worse, a remote-rigged drone turret flips from the ceiling to start handing out tickets for the Chaingun Cha Cha. I blaze down a back alley, blow open a fire door and let rip with the vehicle weaponry while Ash and Sickle take down the Bot. In short order they complete the download and we blaze but once in the car Sickle reveals that April phoned her own shop after that little confrontation. I guess she was watching their tomfoolery through the building’s security system.
Apparently they had a nice long chat and agreed to meet – sounds like a recipe for disaster to me but with Daisy estimating that decryption will take days rather than hours, it’s at least a quicker way of earning our cash.
Personal misgivings aside, I wasn’t about to let Sickle hang his ass out to dry so as he took the meet play by play, Ash and I provided cover from a vantage point nearby – ready to leap to his defence. To all intents and purposes, Sickle and his date had a nice quiet breakfast together. They discussed her and her team’s history, the dangers of Shadowrunning and her (fairly justified) paranoia that someone was out to get her but she didn’t exactly spill the beans. With little to go on, we decided on the spur of the moment to follow her via a combination of remote vehicle ops and matrix nous.
The canny lass certainly gave us the run around heading north by train only to switch onto a southbound express train to Atlanta. Fortunately, with little else to do in Birmingham, Alabama, Ash and Sickle head headed for the safe house and were already ahead by some margin. As I pursued the train by car, Ash and Sickle took up point on the platform, watching and waiting for April to arrive. Shame she didn’t get off of the train. Our best laid plans had gone to rack and ruin but quick-thinking by Ash meant Daisy was already hacking the camera feeds from the train carriage…
April had locked herself in the bathroom en route to Atlanta and emerged dressed all in denim, complete with moustache. She looked depressingly like Johnny Kickback in her new outfit and had obviously walked right out past Ash and Sickle as they kept tabs on the platform.
Now this is where it all gets just a tad surreal. Either, April Walker is masquerading as Johnny Kickback or Johnny Kickback is masquerading as April Walker. Whichever it is, it doesn’t make much sense that April/Johnny is then bringing in hired help to try and find Binary Pulse – unless it’s some sort of test. Maybe April is pretending to be Johnny to throw the people she knows he is sending after her off of the scent. Alternatively, Johnny has been trying to find April, keeping her shop under surveillance and, not realising the Mafia had subcontracted the job to us, thought he should try to screw information out of us ASAP when he saw us busting in.
I have no idea.
All I do know right now is that we are missing several pieces from the jigsaw. And here’s another surprise: Daisy decoded a forwarding number for Shift from the encrypted files on April’s server. Shift’s number matches Snow’s. Sure, Snow has his fingers in many pies, but does that mean he used to be Shift or just that he’s acting as an agent and go-between for April’s team-mate? What a twisted web we weave…
We’re not sure we’ve done the job yet. Frankly, if finishing the job means handing over Snow’s address, I’m not sure we want to – and that’s without even considering my vision of Snow’s death. We’ll protect Snow – no doubt about that. It’s a matter of honour and professional courtesy – you don’t rat out your Chummers.
Which kinda means this job is another fragging bust. Another screw job.
Sure, we’ve got the money up front this time but unless we cough up the information in return, keeping it will mean dicking the Mafia and that gives you the life expectancy of a woodchuck on the freeway. To say nothing of the fact that my brother subcontracted this to us and blood is thicker than water.
We are so screwed.
Mood: FINE: Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.