The children had disappeared. Kidnapped?
The runners needed to recover the children, while avoiding causing harm to a children's hospital.
Shark had five children, three boys and two girls. They were born the day prior. They were in the NICU last seen at 9:15 am. They were discovered missing at 10:00 am.
The hospital was on code pink for apparently missing children. Security would be heightened.
To add to the tension, there were news trucks covering that an ex-convict Thomas Green was at the neighboring hospital (Seattle University) to donate a kidney. He had a reputation for making bombs and blowing up buildings.
There was no time to lose. The runners made their way to Seattle Children's Hospital to meet Legal Eagle out front.
It was a matter of missing newborns. The runners agreed to help.
Initial prep included:
- Glamor summoned a powerful spirit to search for the children.
- Shade hacked into the system to study the NICU cameras. This provided useful information about which staff were present, and their names and appearances. But it became clear that some other technomancer was in the system, and had altered the footage so it looked like all five children were still present in the NICU.
- Moth began to work on disguises, to match SINs provided by Legal Eagle (two doctors, one orderly, and one security guard.) Moth and Glamor took doctor SINs. Slinger took the security guard. Vichnozeleny took the orderly.
- Glamor made Vichnozeleny invisible.
- Slinger prepared alchemical potions, including heals and agility boosts.
The team quickly realized that the babies had been separated.
The spirit found a first child in the Day Care area.
They planned to try to stay as subtle and quiet as they could, with a goal to cause no harm to the hospital or the innocent people there.
They planned to look for leads to find the remaining children in the NICU area.
Vichnozeleny invisibly scouted the NICU, and found some background information but no sign of the children. However, Glamor's spirit revealed that there was a baby there. The team began to realize there must be some kind magic or other disguise at work. Vic relayed that there was one nurse and one security guard present.
Glamor studied the Day Care area, and detected an invisible person - of an infant size. A large pram that could be used to transport infants was also suspiciously parked outside the Day Care area. Moth, disguised as a doctor, used her acting skill to walk over and scoop up the invisible child without drawing too much attention. The child was starting to cry, but she was able to soothe him, and get him out to the pram, where they strapped him in, and headed to the NICU to investigate the spirit's report that there was a child there also.
The spirit identified that the child in the NICU was in a different bed than expected. And curiously unrecognizable. It looked like a human child at first. White skin. But the team realized that it was an orc baby, just with skin of an unexpected pigment. What could that mean? Why would someone do that? But then they noticed that when the child cried, his skin turned red. Some kind of adept!
But the child was well guarded. The guard questioned why they would be taking a baby during a code pink. Glamor helped convince the guard, while Moth did some fast talking. The guard settled enough that they had the babe in arms. But then there was a security alert. A code violet. Shade, who had remained in the car, monitoring the DNI, was able to quickly confirm that was a violent individual threatening harm, and hack out into news feeds to get some of the details. The team learned of the ex-con arriving for the kidney donation. Was he the violent individual? The other possibility was the very angry Shark. Moth did some more fast talking, making it clear that it was safe to take the baby for an urgent medical procedure during a code violet because Slinger - who was disguised as a guard - was with them to guard. The guard relented.
They had two babies in the pram. And more questions than answers.
Fearing that Shark was in trouble, Glamor tracked him with a description of his shoes, and learned he was apparently smoking outside. Glamor and Vichnozeleny went to talk to him, while Moth and Slinger watched the two children inside the hospital. Shark was not involved in anything violent. He was glad to learn two of the children had been found. He agreed that he wanted the children found returned to him in his room (412). Since this was a variation from Legal Eagle's plan, the runners checked with him, and then delivered the two children.
They needed more leads to find the other three children.
Shade tried to find the technomancer who had been on the matrix before, modifying the camera footage. It appeared they were no longer actively on the matrix.
Vichnozeleny continued to search invisibly, looking for any clue. They found a pram outside of Immunology. Shade checked the cameras and there was a babe in there, being held by a person in a lab coat. Was this a kidnapper? They were about to inject the child with a shot. Moth and Vichnozeleny came in and Moth fast talked the lab tech into stopping the injection, and giving them the babe. The child appeared to have been mixed up with another child from room 602. But it was clearly one of the missing orc babes.
Glamor instructed its spirit to find the person who made the child in the Day Care area invisible. The spirit found them on the roof.
Shade could see there was just another orc babe on the roof, visible. The others were stopped by a locked door. They realized a team of security was coming up the stairs at quick pace, talking about a code black - a bomb threat - apparently to investigate on the roof. The runners were trapped between the locked door and the incoming security team.
Moth caught up in time to fast talk the guards into investigating a mysterious individual on the 11th floor (a lie), and they went racing off to do so. She got up to the locked door, and opened it for the team.
The babe, it soon became clear, was a magician of some kind and had summoned a beast spirit who was guarding it. Shade and Glamor talked to the beast spirit, and got it settled down that the runners meant no harm, and were just trying to reunite the children with their parents. The beast spirit revealed that it had seen, from the roof, the 5th child being taken by a woman to the second hospital where the ex-convict was scheduled for surgery.
The runners dropped off babe #4, and hurried towards the second hospital, using the skybridge connecting the two buildings.
Glamor's spirit confirmed the fifth child was in the Head of Medicine's office.
Glamor sent ahead a spirit to look for the bomb, and realized it was also in the Head of Medicine's office. Uh oh. The spirit had been instructed to find and defuse the bomb. It reported that it was fighting a man. Thomas Green - the ex-con. The spirit reported that the man was threatening that if he died, the bomb would go off. The spirit was able to engulf him and knock him unconscious without killing him. The runners arrived. Shade confirmed the bomb harness could be safely removed from his body, and removed it. Vichnozeleny restrained the unconscious man. Slinger used his alchemical healing to stabilize him.
Moth found the babe hiding in an ajar wall safe. There was no sign of the woman that had brought the babe here.
The team alerted security (anonymously) that the bomber was unconscious and separated from his make-shift bomb in the Head of Medicine's office.
But a technomancer was trying to hack into Shade. Another threat? Shade traced it to the fifth babe. This one was a technomancer! The same one likely that altered the footage in the NICU, instinctively.
Shark and his wife were very glad to have their five children back, and they update that there was an adept, a magician, and a technomancer among them.
Legal Eagle was glad the children were recovered, though slightly vexed that the team had made contact with Shark during the run, despite the request to not do so. But Moth convinced him it was the right thing to do for Shark's safety, when they feared he was the source of the code violet.
The runners got paid, and Shark realized he was going to need some very special baby-sitters in the future.
There was no kidnapping plot. Just very talented smart babes getting into instinctive mischief.
But the presence of the runners did address a serious security concern in the ex-convict suicide bomber. Good thing they were there to save the day!
9 Karma, Legal Eagle at 4/2 and 1 chip, No cdp
8 Karma, Legal Eagle 4/2 and 1 chip, No cdp, 2000 nuyen
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here. This was my sixteenth run. A good team. I am always glad to help a person in trouble. I was really glad how committed this team was to doing the job carefully and quietly, and not causing mayhem and harm at a children's hospital.
I spent a surprising amount of this run holding babies and soothing them. I seem to have a knack for it! That's one run walking down the aisle in a wedding dress, and one run soothing newborn babes. Is my papa, my fixer, hinting that he wants grandchildren??
As ever, there were some good moments for disguise, fast talk, and keen eyes. But, unusually, I was the only person who could locksmith. A good thing, I could. So, all in all, a job well done.
I invited everyone back to my house afterwards for a party to celebrate.
That... was interesting. I have quite the headache from summoning so many powerful spirits. At least we saved all the babies (from themselves apparently) and stopped the bombing.
Evergreen reporting in, log number eighty-two. Target was infant quintuplets. Missing, presumed kidnapped. I have to make a note for the sheer utility that invisibility spells offer. Despite leaving all of my equipment behind for a clandestine disguise, I managed to easily maneuver around a crowded hospital without ever being caught. Had to break confidentiality to ensure key details at one point, but if it gets the job done, so be it. Things don't always go as planned, the Monolith knows it to be true. I never saw a single kid in the Zone. I'd almost forgotten how adorable they were. Seeing those kids fooling around without a worry in the world took a lot out of me. On one hand, it feels nice to actually hurt so much that it becomes physical. On the other hand, I might've wanted to stay in the Brain Scorcher if I'd remembered this is what it felt like.
We got the kids safely to their parents. That's something to be proud of, I suppose. I can't say I feel much of it, but I know it's something I should feel good about. Knowing it will have to do as a replacement for feeling it.