A Shadowrun Based on the Film Con Air

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A Shadowrun Based on the Film Con Air
LocationSky High (over the Nevada desert)
Status Threat Level: Semi-Prime
Factions Involved
Crying Masks
Lone Star Security Services Wild Cards
Katherine Tyler
Air Marshal
Ashur, God of Wind and Storms
Casualties and losses
Air Marshal + one shadowrider killed, others were incapacitated and left for retrieval.
Eighteen high-profile prisoners of Lone Star - including four dangerous terrorists and half a dozen shadowrunners - were released after the plane was commandeered and subsequently crashed into the Nevada desert; this will most likely have some rather severe consequences in the future.


In which the runners are hired by a group of terrorists in order to extract one of their leaders from a high-security prison transport flight.


Harbinger, a leader and strategist of the Crying Masks and secret ex-Winternight operative, was captured years ago by Lone Star and imprisoned in one of their supermax facilities in the CAS. Now with the recent merger into OmniStar and the attendant consolidation of corporate holdings he, along with a number of high-profile criminals, are being transported to one of the megacorp's newest penitentiaries in CalFree via a purpose-built jet aircraft designed to move dangerous prisoners around while minimizing the possibility of escape or extraction. Unfortunately however Lone Star just couldn't resist the opportunity for some good PR and leaked news of the flight, which allowed Harbinger and his old comrades to plot an attempt to free him from their custody. Also on-board the plane are about a dozen relatively mundane (though still extremely dangerous) prisoners - including a few captured shadowrunners - as well as three other high-security detainees: Melkor (a mystic adept and Son of Sauron), Prometheus (a magician and member of The Pantheon from Greece), and Simplex (an emerged Seed operative and former member of Ex Pacis).

The Meet

The runners are contacted individually by their fixers and told that they have a dangerous but high-paying job offer from an unknown paramilitary group, though they have no further information on the particulars. All of them express interest, and are provided with the name of their Johnson (known simply as 'X') as well as the time and place of a meeting with them (midnight, at an abandoned Denny's on the outskirts Ft. Lewis) and a route to take to get there which will get them past the regular military patrols with their runner gear; each of them set out separately and follow the instructions to the letter, managing to arrive on-time and without incident. At the given location, Shy (paranoid and in withdrawal) notices a number of potential snipers nests nearby but spots no one except for a lone figure in military fatigues standing under a flickering streetlight. The team link up via DNI to facilitate private conversation and approach with caution, finding that the figure appears to be unarmed and is wearing a white mask with black X's over the eyes, which seem to be weeping bloody tears; no one manages to pick up on the significance of this for the moment, though Hextech has her drone, Unit 01, take a photograph for later analysis.

'X', speaking through a voice modulator, introduces himself and explains the basics of the job to the team: if they accept, they'll be transported to a nearby staging area where further details will be given. He tells them that there is a plane in flight on which one of his comrades-in-arms is being held captive under the highest security possible for such a situation, and that it is the only viable window of extraction before he is placed under even tighter security in a new prison and the opportunity is lost. His employers will provide transportation and support for the operation, which will require them to execute a mid-air jump in order to infiltrate the plane while it's in flight during a storm (which will provide the necessary signal interference to cover their approach). The team ask a few questions about specifics, though 'X' is unwilling to divulge much until they accept the job, however he freely admits that it will be extremely dangerous and that they may not survive. He does tell them about the other high-profile 'wild cards' on the flight, showing them photos of both them and their target - while the others' crimes are outlined in some detail, nothing at all is provided in the way of information about who Harbinger really is.

After a bit of negotiation over price ('X' sets the floor for bargaining at 60,000 nuyen, and the team is able to secure an offer of surplus equipment and a possible bonus for good performance), the four runners accept the terms of the job and are ushered into a van which emerges from the nearby woods, then taken across the boarder to the group's staging area at a small runway in the SSC lands southwest of the Metroplex. En-route they discuss strategy and what each of them bring to the table in that regard, while Hextech runs a Matrix search on their employer's mask; she is able to find reports of the Crying Mask's activities and deduce their identity, however the connection to Winternight remains elusive and the team presume that they are merely a fringe small-time anti-augmentations group out of the NAN. No attempt is made to determine Harbinger's true identity or the extent of the threat which he presents.

The Plan

At the staging area the runners find half a dozen Crying Mask goons along with a small, sleek, fast-looking black smuggler's airplane. Inside a tent they are presented with more detailed plans for the operation - their employers have secured the services of a powerful spirit which will create and direct the storm front which they will use for their approach, and one of their electronic warfare specialists will make the HALO jump with them in order to magnetically attach to the side of the plane, cut a hole into one of the panels near the back to access the wiring, and use this connection to open the rear door of the craft so that the team can infiltrate it. Many concerns are raised over the safety of this plan, however it is ultimately determined that it is likely the best of a lot of bad options and that their employers have likely worked this out.

A bit of time spent discussing their options to minimize risk, the team conclude that they simply need to extract Harbinger from confinement as quickly as possible, then either return to their employer's plane, or (if the storm or the opfor forces them to flee) either parachute to the ground or seize control of the Lone Star plane (a difficult proposition, as the cockpit is sealed off and inaccessible from the cabin). Hextech, after identifying the base model of the craft as a Boeing 797 jet, begins the task of compiling a resonance program which will allow Unit 01 to pilot the plane if they are able to breach the cockpit, and Swerve proposes the use of a thermite burning bar in order to do so if they need to; along with that they also have miniwelders, aqua regia, and smart corrosives set to dissolve plasteel, so the team put together every option at their disposal for getting through barriers and the restraints on the prisoners as quickly as possible.

With the flight path in hand, Shy notices that the plane's course takes it near the base of operations for N-51 and, after conversing with the rest of the group, covertly contacts Le Bourguinion in order to arrange for an emergency helicopter extraction from the desert in the likely event things go south and they require a way out of the situation. She refrains from disclosing any details in the name of operational security, but the team still wisely refrain from telling their employers about this.

Once they've made all the preparations they can, the runners are fitted for flight harasses and parachutes (preparing an extra for Harbinger), then kit up and set out in the smuggler's plane for the flight southeast towards PCC airspace. A storm front begins to gather and travel parallel to their path, the product of the Crying Mask's bargain with a great form spirit of air called 'Ashur, God of Wind and Storms', who uses its weather control ability to create an 'eye' of relatively safe airspace around the craft. Once their approach vector lines up with the flight path of the Lone Star plane, they make their final preparations and get ready to jump.

The Run

With Swerve's summoned air spirit ('Emily') providing psychokinetic assistance to stabilize the fall, and with the aid of magnetic boots to secure themselves to the craft, Shy (as the most experienced operator) and the Crying Mask's ewar specialist make the first jump - the latter, having practiced the maneuver in hot-sim, manages to quickly and efficiently get the door open, and the former hooks a secondary line onto the inside to assist the others in their descent. Kate, Hextech, Unit 01 and Swerve subsequently make the drop as well, just managing to make it to the other plane as its escort drones are deployed (which occupy the attention of their support team for the remainder of the job).

Inside the craft, a trio of Lone Star's elite shadowriders clad in milspec armor stand ready to intercept the intruders, while the restrained convicts cheer on their potential saviors. In the middle of the craft are a pair of mesh grates, between which are Harbinger and the three wild card prisoners, all restrained in full body harasses with increased security as required. Beyond this are more seats, with two more guards and the air marshal, and then the reinforced wall dividing the cabin from the cockpit. The three guards in the rear immediately move to engage Kate and Shy with their weapons (screech rifles, spec-modded tasers, shock hands/batons, etc.) while Unit 01 lays down suppressive fire with its laser, keeping the cone tight and starting to tear through the first grate separating them from the cages. On the other side, the air marshal directs his troops and the other guards take up defensive positions while quelling unrest from the prisoners.

Hextech and Swerve manage to enter the craft and take cover, the former focusing on concealing their presence from the opfor e-war specialists (who are briefly occupied with the Crying Masks, managing to drive them off in short order). The pilot attempts to perform some evasive maneuvers, but the presence of the storm demands their immediate attention, giving the team a short window to work on taking out the guards. Kate and Shy soak up hits and do their best to make a dent in their enemies hardened armor (the former using a sharpened claymore, the latter using tightly-focused ADPS fire to avoid over-penetration as much as possible). Swerve meanwhile first tries mind control, managing to manipulate one of the guards into approaching the open rear door, though he shakes it off before being forced to jump out; she instead turns to levitation, managing to toss one of them overboard. Emily follows suit and starts trying to shove another out.

This gets the attention of the enemy mage, who is situated in the cockpit and using mage-sight goggles to look through a network of fiber-optic cables strung through the craft and target spells at the cabin. Noticing the presence of a duel-natured person, they attempt a risky maneuver by coordinating with their own spirit ally and astrally projecting into the cabin to attempt a double-strike; this combined effort is enough to put Swerve down for the count, so Emily, noticing her summoner's distress, elects to try to get her away from the scene to safety by carrying her out the door (using her psychokinesis to avoid damage via her lightning body that would result from directly carrying the mage). While the enemy mage turns around to return to his body before the plane gets too far away, his spirit attempts and fails to stop the escape; Kate, having been on a previous job with Swerve where such a thing occurred, realizes what has happened, though Hextech assumes that the finger-wiggler has abandoned the team and begins to take drastic action to save the rapidly-deteriorating situation by freeing some of the prisoners to aid them (or at least help to distract the guards).

Kate, with her opponent shoved out the cockpit, rushes through the now-shredded-by-laser-fire grate towards the cage that holds Harbinger and begins to work on freeing him while the other guards and the air marshal move to stop her; to slow them down, she shoves her sword through the hinge mechanism of the other gate in order to jam it. Shy meanwhile manages to make a few dents in the enemy's armor, making a priority target of herself in the process (an impressive feat considering the presence of the hulking laser-wielding anthrodrone that is Unit 01). Without Swerve to keep up a field of silence, one of the guards manages to tag Shy with a screech rifle and put her down as well; a timely activation of her slap patch gets her back on her feet, and with her mentor spirit Bishamonten (War) screaming in her ear she decides now is the time to take the dose of K-10 which she was given by the King before his untimely death. The rush of adrenaline and murder drugs immediately alleviates her kamikaze withdrawal and gives her the focus to put down the air marshal with a bullseye burst to the head, turning the tide.

Hextech seizes on the momentary disruption of the chain of command in order to attack the enemy PAN, recklessly drawing upon the power of the Resonance in order to reformat the cyberdeck which is running it, creating further disruption to the guards ability to coordinate their action and fight back against the team's assault. While she works on freeing the regular prisoners, Unit 01 provides suitable cover while Shy focuses her fire and starts putting holes in their milspec armor with uncanny precision. Kate uses the distraction to crack open the lock on Harbinger's cell door and start freeing him from his restraints; once his hands are free, she puts a gun in his hand and he thanks her kindly before joining in the fighting. Getting their target loose, Hextech and Kate then start to free the other wild cards while Shy and Unit 01 continue doing their thing. While the mage works crowd control spells to incapacitate the runners and the now-free criminals, the pilot attempts to use the plane's crowd control rail drone system to put them down with neurostun darts - he has some difficulty breaching the runner's chemsealed armor, but eventually manages to put a dart right in Shy's neck. Hextech notices this, and manages to swiftly destroy the drone in turn, dumping the pilot out of it.

Meanwhile, outside the plane, Emily carries Swerve to "safety" and into the storm, precariously holding the mage aloft on currents of air; Swerve, barely conscious, can only mutter her thanks to the spirit for the unsolicited aid when she could have just as easily left her to die. The pair of them notice an enormous figure in the clouds, and squinting they are just barely able to discern the form of Ashur maintaining the eye of relative calm around the plane while striking at the Lone Star escort drones with lightning. Then they notice the Lone Star mage do something very risky - his spirit has informed him of Ashur's presence, so he again projects from his body and attempts not only to banish the powerful spirit, but to re-summon it under his control. Unfortunately for Lone Star he fails in the latter part of his task, nearly killing himself with drain in the process (his valkyrie module saves him from death), and in the process frees Ashur from the Crying Mask's control. Ashur, now free, ceases attacking the drones and allows the storm to take its natural course, forcing the team's support to retreat and the plane's now-dumpshocked pilot to focus entirely on flying with manual controls in order to avoid crashing. Emily, for her part, merely gives Ashur a polite and respectful wave as she carries Swerve downwards towards the desert below, and the spirit in turn allows them to go without troubling them.

Back onboard the plane, the tide of battle has turned in favor of the runners, with the last remaining guards on their back feet without their leadership, matrix or magical support to lend assistance in the fight - they go down in short order under overwhelming fire from both the team and the now-armed criminals. Shy however also goes down from the neurostun, her body reacting poorly to the drug cocktail in her system, and it is only timely first aid from Hextech and Unit 01 which saves her from death or permanent injury. Kate meanwhile manages to free the rest of the prisoners, with the oddly-charming Harbinger ingratiating himself to some of the others. Melkor, Prometheus and Simplex, seeing an opportunity before them, restrain their more homicidal impulses in order to work with the team and achieve freedom, though it takes some work to keep them from coldly executing the rest of the now-incapacitated Lone Star crew (including the pilot, decker, and mage, once the cockpit is breached using the thermite bar which Swerve dropped before her untimely egress).

Unit 01 uses Hextech's piloting program in order to successfully take control of the craft and begin a semi-controlled landing in the desert - the two wisely (though politely) refuse the offered help of Simplex, perhaps sensing the taint of dissonance on him. With Shy in traction, Kate straps her into a seat and keeps the others occupied. Harbinger asks if she's one of the "new recruits", which she declines to answer, though she treats him and the other wild cards cordially enough to avoid any untimely outbursts of destructive behavior at this critical juncture - without them to disrupt the landing process, Unit 01 (with aid from diagnostics from Hextech's machine sprite) is able to "safely" put the plane down in the sand.


Having managed to land the plane without further casualties, the group is left to figure out what to do next. They have coordinates for a rendezvous with the Crying Masks at an airstrip about 50 miles away, so they leave the Lone Star goons behind to be found by the response team following the signal of the emergency transponder and lead the convicts on an exodus into the desert, using Shy's radio to contact N-51 and provide coordinates for a pickup. They also make contact with Swerve, who's commlink survived the storm and remains online thanks to the noise reduction of Hextech's PAN, and learn that Emily took her to a cave in order to keep her out of the sun as it starts to rise. After recovering consciousness, the team pick her up in the N-51 helicopter, and together with Harbinger are transported to meet with their employers.

Harbinger, pleased with their work and happy to have potential allies for future operations, elects not to signal for the runners to be attacked by snipers, so when they arrive they find a relatively cordial welcome and are presented with their promised payment, as well as a bonus for their trouble since the support team had to make an early exit. They are also offered access to the cell's stash of war-crimes bullets, which is fine.

Hextech manages to recruit half a dozen of the freed convicts into the West Coast Monolith (having a Terminator helps with her sales pitch), while a few of the others elect to join up with the Crying Masks - the rest are ferried back to civilization and go their separate ways. Shy is taken away by N-51 to receive proper medical attention (and nurse her new K-10 addiction; thankfully she manages not to go permanently berserk and suffer the same fate as King Beef). Swerve resolves to do something to pay back the debt to the spirit who saved her life. Kate points Melkor in the direction of some Alamos 20k members who recently troubled her, so he decides to head to Seattle for some fun with the locals. Prometheus simply transforms himself into a bird and flies away, going back to Greece and the Pantheon's allies there. Simplex meanwhile decides to head to Vegas and play the slots, which probably won't result in any trouble for anyone in the future. Finally, Harbinger makes contact with Frylga and the Winternight remnants, continuing the work of using the Crying Masks to further their apocalyptic agenda. Happy ending for all!


(x1.3 modifier for time, 50 RVP total): 70k nuyen 5 karma 22 CDP 1 street cred (note that there were over a dozen witnesses left alive - you all might be associated with this high-profile crime in the future) -20 Lone Star reputation (they know you're cop killers) +2 Winternight reputation (this is not a good thing!)

Optional Gear Rewards: paramilitary equipment (guns, ammo, armor, explosives, hardware) or drone parts or orichalcum @ 2:1.

Optional Gear Rewards: up to 100 DU rounds (5 RVP worth)

Optional Qualities: For Hextech: Hi-Rez, Rank (Lieutenant - West Coast Monolith) For Kate: Guts, Tough-as-Nails (Stun) For Swerve: Tough-as-Nails (Physical), Spirit Whisperer For Shy: Chosen Follower (War), Toughness (also a free K-10 addiction)

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Katherine Tyler

You know, people assume I ignore red flags. That I take everything at face value. That isn't entirely true. I don't ignore the evil things men and women do. But you can't save everyone. I protect my friends and my home. Yeah, those criminals were pretty bad. The mage in particular. But they fought my enemies, and didn't hurt my friends. So long as they stay out of my business, it's fine by me. It felt nice giving Lonestar a black eye too.

Swerve...you put yourself in too much danger. You may not seem to care too much, but others do. While you're tougher than most people realize you have to be careful. You're too juicy of a target for groups like Lonestar, KE or the Vatican to capture or kill.


Morality... I guess we could talk hours about such a concept. My point of view is that morality don't really apply in some domain, special operation, Clandestine Ops & the Shadow. We all have our own personnal view on many topics, was it good to liberate those people ? Probably not. I'm not into manichean stuff anyway, we all have to answer for our act one day. The "good" and the "bad". Be at peace with yourself if what matter i guess ?

As far as the operation is concerned it was...Hard so to speak. War pushed me again, we lost a Great Runner to K-10... Guess for the scumbag it work as well. At least i got some pretty top notch gear from those guy, still scary to know that they have access to lethal combat gas and Uranium Depleted Round.