Six, Glyph, Ash, Ki-Rin.
Friday 13th October 2070
The runners were contacted by their fixer, Snow, he was quite keen to pass on the latest job that had come to him, this one from Saeder Krupp, and they asked for this team specifically. Snow game the team a word of warning about SK’s intolerance of failure and then passed them the job.
Contacting the Mr. Johnson they met up with him in a swank five star hotel where a boardroom had been booked for the meet. The Johnson, told them the details of the run.
70 years ago the then government of the united states instigated a black project called Buttercup. A genetic research program aimed at integrating genetic code into the human genome via viral carriers to make the population resistant to biological terrorist attacks. This project disappeared off the radar during the crash of ’29. The government forgot about it, and for whatever reason the scientists working the project didn’t start screaming out when the funding from central government stopped.
Following the 70 year rule, the CIA released documents purporting to the Buttercup project into the public domain. Saeder Krupp were keen to see if any evidence of this project still existed and were prepared to speculate 200k on the off chance that it did and that they could make use of some of the findings.
This is where the team came in.
The only evidence that the runners had that this project existed was the CIA document. But this did mention the names of the doctors who would head up the project. Ki-Rin hit the matrix and found the doctors details. Both dead. One died during the Eurowars in Belgium the other was killed during the crash of ’29. One of the doctors, William Schaefer, had a wife who was living in a retirement home in San Francisco.
The runners also looked into medical facilities around the city that could accommodate the Buttercup project because the report that they were given suggested that it may use an existing facility in San Fran. They had three set aside and would follow those leads if everything else dried up.
Heading to the retirement home the runners quickly discovered that a pair of company men was a few hours ahead of them, having already visited William Schaefer’s wife. Ki-Rin got their images up on camera, while Glyph and Ash asked the old lady a few questions. She didn’t remember much, and as her husband had worked for the government, she didn’t know very much either, but she did point the runners in the directions of one of Schaefer’s undergraduates who worked with him not long before he had died.
Ki-Rin isolated the sound feed from the surveillance cameras and determined that the company men already knew about the undergraduate.
The runners were already on the move heading out of San Francisco to get out to the undergraduates house in Sacramento CA.
Screaming into the residential area, the runners spotted the Company men’s car parked on the drive of the ex-undergraduate, a rotor drone hovered in the air above the cul-de-sac and then they saw the muzzle flash from an upstairs window. Six dropped a flash bang grenade and then a smoke grenade into the window of the house, while the rest of the team surged out of the cars to storm the building Ash and Glyph went in through the front, Ki-Rin surged round the side and to the rear of the house.
Ki-Rin marked two targets, one began to flee and as soon as he was painted up on the smartlink Six headed off in the car to head him off at the pass, the other stopped and began shooting at Ki-RIn. Between Ash and Ki-Rin the first company man was dropped, the second had got away over the fence but Ki-Rin charged through the fence and trapped him into fighting.
Ash and Glyph headed upstairs and found the ex-undergraduate bleeding, Glyph used her medkit to save his life, while Ash helped out Ki-Rin finish the fight with the company man by shooting him from one of the upstairs windows with a harpoon.
The ex-undergraduate was alive and told the runners that the other men begun to ask him about his life working for William Schaefer. He told them that they had worked together ion a place called Duckwater until the crash of 2029. The power was cut off and the people they were experimented on tried to escape. A fire started and all but him were killed. There were bigger things going on in the world, and the death of a few scientists in a secretive and forgotten science project didn’t register and the whole incident was forgotten.
Duckwater was a town in the Nevada Desert. It was until the nuclear power plant at Ruth blew creating a toxic zone across a large portion of the desert and had to be evacuated, surrendering the town to the corrupting elements.
The runners weren’t keen to head into the toxic zone but guessed that this was the best lead they had at the moment, so the team headed back to see their fixer to source chemical seals for their armour more ammo, and a bit of advice.
Five house later the runners were en-route in the helicopter, Six had remote rigged his drone van out into the toxic zone already to give them some obs. on the ground, the road was rough and Six knew that the thin polluted air would make the flight a taxing journey.
The runners flew into the toxic zone, the governmental health warnings displayed on the runners AR giving them one last warning to the dangers beyond. The polluted air quickly began to tell on the helicopter engine, surging and choking, Six did his best to manage the engine, but the buffeting was too much for Ki-Rin who was getting air sick.
The runners were 20 minutes into the flight when they were joined in the air by something. Looking like a large skeletal carrion bird with tattered leathery wings and completely lacking flesh it assayed the runners helicopter for a moment before diving into the engine ducts, using its powers to starve the engine of oxygen to bring the helicopter down. Six fought to handle the now heavy controls to bring the helicopter into a controlled landing.
Landing heavily the runners spilled out of the helicopter to attack the spirit that was attacking them.
Spirits barely notice mundane weaponry but the sheer volume of fire that the runners put into the corporeal form of the Harbinger made it think twice about being manifest, and it fled to the astral plane.
The runners were able to get the helicopter airborne again and flew the rest of the distance to the ruined town of Duckwater. A quick flyover the runners saw that the town consisted of approximately 100 buildings, most of which seemed to be residential but one building Six picked out was larger and completely demolished. They all agreed that this building was worth a closer look. The runners also saw movement on the ground, ghouls were eaking out a living amongst the spoiled remains of the land, and they were steering clear of the large demolished building.
The runners landed near the van and swapped vehicles. They headed back into town on the ground and although regarded by the ghouls, threats from Ki-Rin seemed to keep them at bay.
The runners headed across to the building and began to pick their way amongst the rubble. Six stayed in the van, rolling out a Steel Lynx in his stead. Around them, they saw flickers of movement, the heard noises, they heard a child’s voice plead a single word “Please”.
The runners didn’t know what was going on, but they headed to the source of the voice, the centre of the ruined building. Ash was picking his way through the rubble jumping at shadows.
The rest of the team found a short strip of concrete steps which led down to a fire door. The acid rain was pooling at the foot of the stairs and the bottom of the door was mostly rotted away. Ki-Rin kicked the door down and Six (the Steel Lynx) Ki-Rin and Glyph made their way though into a short corridor, Ash was convinced that they were going to get ambushed from the rear and remained on guard near the steps.
There were Six doors off the corridor and the runners quickly checked the rooms. They found some kind of nest with discarded bones that the runners assumed were that of Ghouls. The sixth room they found computers, files and data tapes, a lot of them were rotting away in the acidic atmosphere.
Glyph was the first into the room and she heard the pleading voice again behind her. A large Naga rose up behind her using it’s mimicry to lure its food to it’s nest. It lashed out, and the rest of the nest came out of the walls and through the vents to kill. The nest of Naga has become lazy and complacent, more used to hunting sluggish Ghouls rather than wired shadowrunners and they were all slain quickly. Ash received a bite though and the toxic tainted Naga pumped venom into his system before being taken down by the Steel Lynx’s gun.
The runners were keen to get out of the toxic zone and quickly bundled up the files, computers and hard copies into the back of Six’s van, and they left. The drive out of the toxic zone was a long and arduous one, but it passed off uneventfully, and the runners headed back to San Francisco once they had spent a bit of time in a jet wash.
Ash headed off to see Mal who treated the Naga venom, (although he had to cross his fingers that the linctus he gave his patient would combat the toxic corruption too) They were going to make an impression on the Mr. Johnson from Saeder Krupp, and while Ash sought medical help, the rest of the team stayed up through the night sorting filing and cataloguing the information. The runners met up with Mr. J. the next day and he was happy to pay the runners, confident that the Saeder Krupp reputation for dealing with defaulting Shadowrunners would ensure he got what he wanted.
The runners left happy. Saeder Krupp got what they wanted and the Mr. Johnson was equally happy. Maybe the runners had found a corporation they could work for?