A Night Under the Stars
|A Night Under the Stars|
|Part of By Royal Decree|
The Seelie Court
A few runners get an invite to a fancy party. They drink, talk, and do a bit of spycraft. Also a bug dies.
Needing a rather innocuous seeming bit of information for future goals, knowing that an opportunity to claim it will arise soon, an enigmatic J calls together a team of runners to worm their way into position.
The three runners receive differing invitations to the meet. Wychking's companion, Adeptus was contacted by another spirit about a job, a request for Wychking to attend. Interrupting a ritual with Wychking's ally, Adeptus brute forced Wychking into accepting the meet. Babylon was left a mysterious envelope outside of a another's door. She was a bit unnerved at first, but learning it was the Fae actually seemed to make it a little bit better. They tend to like dramatic gestures. Waspkeeper just kind of stumbled into it in the normal way of jobs.
Heading back to the building prior run meetings were held at, a non-descript place in Bellevue, the team entered to find Treasa relaxing at a table, food arranged for the runners. She greeted each of the runners and their ally spirits, treating them all as equals, offering the weird magical fruit and bagels to the team.
As the J starts telling the team about the mission, about how she wants them to infiltrate a corporate party. Wychking tries to assense the J to see if she's a bug, getting weird vibes, but fails to find anything out of the ordinary. For posterity, Wychking was about to smackdown the test to get the real info, before we talked them out of it, Babylon having already assensed Treasa successfully in an earlier mission. Babylon communicated to the team the J was a fae spirit, an Elvar to be precise, advising respect and caution. Babylon though, knowing a bit more about the fae since her last encounter, acted a bit differently. When Treasa's barbed compliments started to flow, she responded with her own, gaining perhaps a bit of respect in the immortal's eye.
As the conversation continued, the team learned details about the mission. A corporate party hosted by Ares would be taking place soon, with guests from a variety of other corps and nations. Meant for building connections, working towards advancing business deals and other aims. In particular, one guest, Noelle Vargas, would have information that she needs. Attending the party to have a meeting with another guest, they would be discussing the confidential materials, which were kept printed in physical copies to avoid matrix tampering. This precaution, while annoying, proved to be wise, and now to steal this data, the runners need to obtain actual pictures of the documents.
Treasa said she could get the team members access to the party. They would need to come up with their own backstories and reasons for attending, but she could provide fake SINs if they passed over their biometric data.
Unsure if they wanted to give blood samples to a fae, they decided to move onward to discuss payment. Treasa asked them what they wanted for the work, taking suggestions from the runners. Mainly they asked for normal runner rewards, but Gommorah said that she wanted a cool bike and Treasa was happy to promise that to her fellow spirit.
Leaving the meet, Babylon called her mentor, Juliette Burns, to see if she had any information about the upcoming event. Ever connected to the powerful, Burns did know a bit. She told Babylon that the target was from Detroit, the main center of Ares's power, and was a research supervisor. She'd been working on a project collaborating with an outside entity, but she wasn't sure exactly whom. Additionally, she told Babylon that a delegation from Aztechnology would be present. In return for this aid, she asked Babylon for a favor. A mysterious mage from Aztechnology would be present, a woman by the name of Serafina Navarro. Any information she could dig up about her would be greatly appreciated. Babylon, also wanting to know about any more weird mages in her life, was quite willing to agree to this.
Next, Babylon called Madame Butterfly, asking her questions about both the party and the mystery mage. Mindful of her murky loyalties, Babylon was careful to not give away too much revealing information. She learned a bit more about the main targets background, and also found that Serafina had a scrubbed matrix presence. Very little could be found out about her, beyond that she was recent transfer to the Seattle area, and that she was involved with magical research for the company. Her employers were applying effort to keep her out of the public eye.
Finally, she called the expert on all things party, Brodie J. Asking him about the event, he both surprised her and didn't surprise her at all, by saying he was going there too. While a bit more on the boring side generally, he sometimes had to go to corp parties like this. Letting him know she was going to be there for a job, she promised to do coke with him and hopefully liven things up a bit.
As the team got SINs in order, things seemed good to go, until Babylon realized something important. She was a criminal SINner, and walking through a heavy security checkpoint would likely be bad considering she can't mask. It would put both her and Gomorrah in danger. Using her black mage talent to ensnare herself with powerful people, she found an easy solution. Since her J was a spirit and gifted in masking her aura, she could just cut a deal for power. Contacting Tresah, the spirit considered Babylon's offer, and soon decided to accept, in exchange for a future favor. Babylon, trying to convince herself that making a spirit pact with a fae wasn't a terrible idea, decided to accept the terms. How bad could a favor be after all?
Wychking decided to attend the party as herself, world renowned bug-slayer, with Waspkeeper as her +1 "totally not-bodyguard". Babylon, entering separately with Gomorrah, disguised the pair of them, entering under false pretenses as an obscure member of Ares.
Heading through the SIN scanners, both Waspkeeper and Babylon made it through, though the heavy security around the event made it rather tense. Before walking in, Babylon stopped at a bathroom with Brodie J, where they did pre-party novacoke together. At the point, the party was lead to an open ballroom, one end opening up to an outdoor patio, the waves of the lake not far beyond. With plenty of food, live music, and alcohol, it was a luxurious event, with a guest list to match. As Babylon surveyed the room, she became Very Not Pleased. Gomorrah was happy though, and that's what really mattered.
Wychking, being both famous and socially unadept, was to serve as a distraction. Immediately, she went to the main table, pulling out a troll-sized flask of hurlg. Turning to Brodie J, she challenged him to a drinking contest in front of everyone, and he was quite happy to accept, ready to bring a bit of life to the party. As they moved into the challenge, neither seemed like they would lose quickly. Wychking with her long history of alcohol abuse and troll stamina, and Brodie J with his equally long history of drug abuse as well as the power of the legendary Narco+ mod, both had a long path of drinking ahead of them.
As the pair drew the attention of most of the crowd, Babylon started socializing with various guests. She listened as Belopheron spoke with Mitena, who politely listened to his tales of hunts past, with Babylon entering at a socially adroit moment. Greeting both, she learned that Mitena was from the PCC, a researcher here on business. Thinking this could be the unknown party in the meeting, she tried to fish for information, establishing a friendly connection.
After a bit, she swapped tables, heading over to where Noelle Vargas was being persistently flirted with by a man. Joining, they drove the guy off, and started talking. Charming her a bit, Babylon found out about Noelle's work. Supervising an R&D program, they working on developing a new drone. Designed to swarm targets, the drone was small and aerial, equipped with a powerful but short range laser. By attaching to a high armor target, they could cut through, breaking it apart. Babylon, happy for the intel, and liking Noelle's company, made a bit of a personal connection, arranging a "meeting" after the party.
Meanwhile, the drinking contest continued. Both in advanced states of buzz and mild drunkenness, they continued to compete with honor before the crowd. Wychking throughout noticed a man who looked particularly offended by her. Probably just a racist. Waspkeeper meanwhile subtly placed flyspies in covert locations to listen to conversations, wireless off, but checking often enough to get an idea. Ace Powers made contact with Wychking, using all his "charm" to try to get her to sign a media deal. Movies, trids, the future was dollar signs in Ace's eyes. Wychking was unimpressed.
Preparing herself for an unpleasent conversation, Babylon approached someone she had been avoiding. Silas Vespasiano. In conversation with a somewhat casually dressed woman, he barely gave her any notice. Babylon, in a disguise, was unrecognizable to him. Deciding to but in anyway, Babylon entered the conversation, greeting the pair. After a pointed phrase to Silas, he recognized her voice, giving her a look of mild disdain. The woman, greeted her tersely as well, introducing herself as Serafina Navarro. Wanting to look like she belonged, as well to find out information about the mystery mage, she tried to join the conversation. Unfortunately, the topic, focusing in metaplanar theory, was incredibly beyond her. Trying to make herself not look uneducated, she tried to contribute, and failed utterly. They ignored her after this.
A bit embarrassed and annoyed, she tried to assense Navarro, looking for signs of blood magic. She did see an aura, one with power behind it but clean of blood magic. It was also obviously an artificial construct, designed to rub assenser's failures in their face. Cutting her losses at this point, Babylon wandered away.
As she wandered away, an ork leaning against a wall called her over. While a casual request, she could hear the implicit command in it and followed. Introducing himself as Danny Hoffman, special operations coordinator for the region, he asked in turn who Babylon was. Giving him a practice lie about her position in Ares, he simply looked at her for a moment, before standing up and heading outside, telling her to follow.
A bit nervous, she followed. Heading past the patio filled with guests, he walked out onto the beach, quiet and dark. Turning towards Babylon, still calm, he asked her who her target was. A moment passed and Babylon tried to play his suspicions as a mistake. With a smile, he let her know how this was going to go. Shadowrunning is a thing that happens. As part of his work, he was very acquainted with this. Depending on who the target was, this could be an entirely peaceful talk. Seeing that Babylon was still a bit reticent, he casually pointed to a direction in the darkness. Peering out, she just barely managed to see an unpleasant surprise. A sniper was targeting her. Turning back towards her, Danny asked her again. Who was her target here?
Panicking a bit, she told a half lie, saying that she wanted information about Serafina Navarro. Considering that for a moment, Danny nodded, commiserating a bit in wishing that he had more dirt on her. The tension leaving as quickly as it arrived, Danny wished her a pleasant time at the party, and gave implied he might have work for her in the future. Standing on the beach for a moment, letting the fear die down, she headed back.
As she stepped on to the patio, an intense looking woman stopped her. Introducing herself as Amrei Veidt, Babylon had sold her information in her prior mission for the fae. Brief and to the point, she informed Babylon that she would provide a copy of the information she collected. There would be additional payment. She then left, giving Babylon no room to contest, not that more money was something that bothered her.
By this point, both Brodie J and Wychking were quite drunk. Still bothered by that one, potentially racist man, who simply seemed to be a generic salesman for Ares, Gomorrah managed to do something interesting. When she assensed the person, she noticed he was not in fact a metahuman, but a giant, terrible, firefly spirit. Babylon, after getting informed, told Danny, both castigating him for his lax security and trying to deal with the situation before Wychking found out. Concerned, Danny, after getting specialists to confirm, started a subtle plan to draw the bug to another room, where it would be executed. At this point, Wychking found out.
She then used insecticide to brutally destroy it, in front of everyone. Near death, she then gave a speech about metahumanity's struggle and eventual victory against the bugs. Then she went for medical attention. Ace Powers then worked the crowd to build up her legend, all the better for Wychking's media career.
Not quite sure what to do, Babylon spent more time until she noticed Mitena and Noelle step out for her business meeting. Waspkeeper sent drones through the hallways to take covert pictures of their documents. It turned out to be marketing materials for the experimental drone. It seemed they were working on finding buyers for the system, and they discussed strategies as well as the scheduling of the marketing tour. Not sure why this was valuable, the team took it anyway.
The party winding down, Babylon went to go spend more time with Noelle, Serafina Navarro entertained Gomorrah, showing her magic tricks and later getting drinks together, and Waspkeeper and Wychking kind of vibed for a bit. Mission accomplished.
Tresah was quite happy with their performance, paying out as promised, and giving Gomorrah a bicycle with sequins and streamers. She loved it. Babylon additionally gave a copy of the data to Amrei Veidt, probably sure their fae employer didn't know about the betrayal.
What could be the big value of marketing info anyway?
Sarah Snow, Partier who Activists
Brodie J, Partier, no Activists
Bellerophon, Pro Hunter
Fan Yang, Boat Guy
Agustin Diaz, Aztechnology Failson
Brett Moran, Telestrian Employee with totally real job
Kyra Samaras, Lady Unsure Why She Was Invited
Lt.Cmdr Yennefer Kerrigan, Still With A Stick Up Her Ass
Amrei Veidt, Scary
Maria Tejedor, The Eternal Middle Manager
Silas Vespasiano, Old Magic Man
Ace Powers, Creepy
Danny Hoffman, Man Sad Steak Wasn't On The Menu
Serafina Navarro, Mysterious Not-Blood-Mage
Alfred Blake, So Boring Everyone forgot about him
Noelle Vargas, That person with the lasers and stuff
Bob Jeffries, Mild mannered sales rep Pasted Bug. Rip.
Mitena Barea, Striver Corp Lady - PCC edition
24k Nuyen or 48k in Gear Rewards ( Foci, Reagents, Fetishs, Spell Formulas, Alchemical Gear, Fake SINs) , Note Foci as made by a "Sarah" - 12 (RVP)
8000 Nuyen from selling secrets to Amrei - 4 RVP or reject it for 4 karma
Wychking can buy tough as nails at Chargen price
Optional Contacts, subtract from RVP or buy with CDP:
Treasa ke'Vedryn as a 6/2 - 7 RVP
Danny Hoffman as a 5/2 - 6 RVP
Brett Moran as a 3/2 - 4 RVP (the Telestrian guy)
Bellerophon as a 4/2 - 5 RVP
Brodie J as a 4/3 - 6 RVP
For Babylon, Treasa is Required
Can take her as a 6/3 for - 8 RVP
-1 Chip, as Babylon owes her a Favor
Wychking: 1 Public Awareness, 1 Street Cred. Subtract the 1 RVP from something for it
Gomorrah got a cool bike, with sequins and streamers
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
I don't like making deals with spirits like that fae, much less owing them favors, but it was necessary here. Ares could not be allowed to see my true aura, not before I'm able to pull the job I'm planning against them. This was as useful a chance to gather intelligence and contacts as any, and I was able to accomplish the job as well while that bug hunter provided a suitable distraction. Plus Gomorrah got a cool bike, which is really what makes it all worth it in the end.