Beneath the Silver Moon
|Beneath the Silver Moon|
|Umezawa-gumi Yakuza clan|
|Casualties and losses|
|Asa Nakamura, Monowhip Ninja, Yakuza Mooks x 5|
|SystemShock burned edge to smackdown.|
In which the runners liberate a dozen Bunraku dolls and send a message to their former "employers" in the process.
In There's Always Love for Sale, Argent earned brownie points with his boss and expanded his own operations in Loveland by funding a hit on a Bunraku parlor. In How To Play With Dolls, the shadow community in general became aware of a halfway house in Puyallup City run Ms. Valencourt, a razorgirl dedicated to helping rehabilitate victims of the practice. Argent, aware of the value of good PR as well as that of rival syndicates fighting while his own makes moves on their territory, has decided to do his good deed for the year by funding a run against the Silver Moon, an Umezawa-gumi operation in Loveland, to free those under their control and to gain valuable insight into the syndicate in the process.
The runners are contacted individually by their fixers, told that their prospective employer has a "sensitive matter requiring the utmost discretion" which he will need their assistance with. Each of them manages to make it to the meet in Puyallup without too much trouble (though Astrid has to navigate her way through the wilderness and pay a bribe to cross the boarder first, and Lumina nearly has her SIN burned by KE at the Touristville boarder). Upon arrival they are greeted by an ash storm, and the more sharp-eyed among the group are able to spot a pair of gas-masked figures huddling between buildings; approaching, they are ushered inside the rear door of one of them. Inside, the figures keep their masks on and speak through voice warpers for the duration of the meeting.
Argent, his identity concealed, tells the group the situation - the Silver Moon has a dozen Bunraku dolls in it who he and his associate would like to see freed from captivity. In the process, he also needs them to recover the persona-fix programs used on them so that they can be used to aid in the victims rehabilitation (via being reverse engineered into psych chips), as well as capture one Asa Nakamura, a shingin (accountant) and legitimate business (front) owner working for the Umezawa-gumi so that the extent of their debts to the syndicate can be determined and rectified. In order to better protect the victims (and by extension himself and his associates) from retaliation and conceal where they have disappeared to, he also wants the team to blame the Eighty-Eights Triad for the job, providing them with a stolen physical calling card and enough Matrix information on the personas of one of their known operatives to convincingly mimic their tags.
The team are a bit hesitant to take on such a task - especially Lumina, who until this point has been friendly with the Yakuza - but their consciousnesses (and the prospect of a good deal of money) compel them to agree to the undertaking. Argent, explaining the need for operational security in the matter, offers each of them a bonus if they consume lael wine to forget the meeting, and all but Lumina choose to do so.
Coming to in Chófer's roadmaster with a datachip containing information on the job they've agreed to perform (all except Lumina, who recalls the two masked figures leaving the meeting with a final warning to her to show professional discretion in the matter), the team decide what to do. Heading to Puyallup City where the Matrix reception is better, they park under a bridge and acquire snacks while SystemShock hits the grids to gather intel. A few hours later, he returns with everything he can find about the Silver Moon - the place is high class for Loveland, hooked up to the City of Puyallup's (very limited) water/power/sewage connections, pays taxes to the government and protection money to KE, and does not go out of its way to advertise its Bunraku services (though a deep dive confirms that it does offer them). Noting the strength of the host, and that according to their intel the personafixes are contained inside a physical read-only device, he begins formulating a plan to crack the security.
Astrid calls up her fixer and secures a budget safehouse in Puyallup City for the team's use, just in case, and Chófer uses her fake SIN to rent a genericar so that the team can do some physical recon in an inconspicuous vehicle. Taking a drive-by of the parlor to assess its defenses, the group find a rather well-secured building complete with a doorman and more-than-adequate camera setup, as well as a ward and watcher spirits. While Chófer plots out egress points and escape routes through the back streets and allyways, Lumina contemplates infiltration through the rooftop tea garden. Since SystemShock needs a datatap planted on the device containing the personasofts and the group needs to do some recon on the interior to map the building's layout and confirm the presence of their target, the group agree that a probing infiltration is the best option.
With Chófer standing by in case a getaway driver and a hot exit are needed, Astrid and SystemShock (waiting in the vehicle) cover astral and matrix overwatch respectively as Lumina zip lines onto the rooftop using her RPC and extensive stealth skills to hide her presence. Astrid assists her with getting past the watcher spirit perimeter patrols, while SystemShock marks and loops the footage from a camera pointing at the door so that she can get inside undetected. Unfortunately for him, a certain security spider spots the errant marks and becomes suspicious, beginning a covert security sweep for intruders. Lumina, oblivious to this for the moment, proves to be an adept (metaphorically) infiltrator, managing to pop open the door with ease and sneak her way past several mooks on her way to the first floor manager's office. En-route she passes by a pair of the Bunraku with their pacifier BTLs running, but they simply stare glassy-eyed past her.
Finally making her way to the manager's office undetected, Lumina observes Nakamura doing paperwork and confirms he is present in the building. She also manages to find the computer terminal used to assign p-fixes chosen by the clientele to the Bunraku, popping it open and attaching a data tap as per SystemShock's instructions. 4NG3L sees this new unauthorized icon and moves to trace the source before nuking it from existence, however SystemShock's editor complex form saves him time getting around the encryption and copy protection on the files, and he quickly snags a copy of them before tagging things with the Eighty-Eights logo and having Lumina pull the tap before it can be located. Satisfied with the information they've gathered via Lumina's cybereye footage and surveillance gear, the street sam makes a quick exfiltration back the way she came, zip-lining away just as security (alerted to the potential intrusion) makes it to the rooftop.
With the BTL files in hand, the group now needs to perform the actual extractions. They debate waiting until the heat dies down, however they are unsure about Nakamura's schedule and the idea of leaving the victims to suffer until then doesn't sit well with them either; thus they decide to wait a few hours for security to get tired of their constant vigilance before hitting the parlor close to 2am. Their plan is to trigger the emergency protocols created for the eventuality of a fire or a police raid which will instruct the Bunraku dolls to march quickly and quietly to a mustering point behind the parlor, where they will be met by the getaway vehicle. Meanwhile, 4NG3L has her agent and IC on alert, lurking silently in the host waiting for the perpetrators to return to the scene of the crime.
Astrid summons Mannanan, a F9 water spirit/aspect of the sea, in order to assist the team in their infiltration by using its weather control power to conjure a small blizzard and directing it towards Loveland to use as cover/interfere with cameras and sensors. Using the chameleon coating on Chófer's roadmaster to appear as an army troop transport bringing in soldiers from Ft. Lewis for a good time, the team is able to approach the parlor without arousing suspicion about the armored car. Pulling up near the rear muster point just out of range of cameras and activating stealth mode, Chófer remains in the rigger cocoon while piloting her steel lynx while SystemShock climbs into the valkyrie module for decker time. Astrid and Mannanan, along with the drone, infiltrate under cover of the storm and the concealment power, while Lumina boldly and openly approaches the yak on guard duty in full armor, declaring that she has been sent to test his abilities and to prepare himself for combat; her ruse works, and a sword fight in the allyway begins as the others sneak their way past while the guard is distracted.
While the swording and sneaking takes place, SystemShock quickly hacks his way back into the security host and begins searching for the emergency panic button, doing his best to avoid the watchful gaze of the IC and the spider's agent; 4NG3L herself is momentarily distracted by the footage showing Lumina dueling with the swordsman. This does not last long however, and she quickly finds the errant marks, deducing that the hacker is back in the host. As SystemShock manages to find the emergency protocol trigger, he attempts to activate it using the Resonance, however he is met only with a headache and forced to take the conventional, slow path; this gives 4NG3L time to sneak up on him, launching a data spike just as he successfully triggers the Bunraku dolls to stop what they're doing and march outside to the waiting roadmaster. Unfortunately for the technomancer she is running the link-lock program - the data spike hits like a truck, knocking SystemShock out cold (briefly, as the valkyrie module starts to resuscitate him) but keeping his persona stuck online.
Inside, Astrid has some trouble sneaking her spirit past the ward, and her incautious footsteps alert the mooks to her presence; Mannanan however is out for blood, quickly dropping one of the mooks via elemental attack and taking out another almost incidentally with his elemental aura; the third attempts to aid the swordsman outside, however they end up shot in the back by stick-and-shock from Chófer's steel lynx instead. The trio are saved from the water spirit's continued wrath however as Astrid moves to secure Nakamura and gets shot by the man for her trouble - he is subsequently rendered unconscious by her spirit guardian in short order, and they move to secure him as the Bunraku start to march past the office towards the rear exit. Back outside, Lumina parries and deflects the blows from the swordsman, with her armor and chrome protecting her from his vicious strikes as she toys with him; unfortunately she fails to notice the approach of the monowhip ninja, who takes her by surprise and actually manages to put a dent in her armor with his deadly weapon. Sadly for him the PTT proves to be superior as a combatant, cutting him in half with a single stroke thanks to the power of edge; her remaining foe quickly flees combat, realizing that he is outmatched. Sheathing her weapon, she moves to help the others secure the extraction targets.
In the host, 4NG3L prepares to interrogate her new captive, first planning to trace his physical location, and deploys the parlor's narcojet drones in order to capture the intruders while summoning reinforcements to the scene. SystemShock's firewall proves formidable however, bouncing her first mark back to her. The valkyrie module has him back on his digital feet in short order, and the technomancer wastes no time in performing the Jack Out action, giving the spider a little wave and de-rezzing before she can react. Furious, she alerts the intruders that they will not escape, however the speedy narcojet drones prove no match for a steel lynx equipped with a wide-choke shotgun loaded with electric rounds and an angry water spirit - they are quickly shorted out before either the runners or the Bunraku dolls can be drugged, and soon both parties are filing into the roadmaster. With sirens audible in the distance and quickly approaching, Chófer puts her rigging skills to work and beats a quick retreat along the pre-planned escape route, heading in the direction of Ft. Lewis before skirting the boarder and doubling back towards the safehouse.
The runners manage to keep the Bunraku victims (most of whom are brain-fried and confused about what's happening) calm during their ordeal, explaining that they are there to help and taking them somewhere where they will be. After hiding out in the safehouse until the heat dies down, the team contact their employers and arrange a hand-off. The liberated dolls are taken in by the razorgirl proprietor of the halfway house, while the team receive their payment from Argent for a job well done. Asa Nakamura is remanded to their custody to be interrogated, where he has his data lock pillaged for information on the debts of the Bunraku (those of them with families in Neo-Tokyo and San Francisco have their debts anonymously repaid so as to avoid retaliation against them, while those who were simply snatched off the street have their information deleted); Nakamura subsequently has his pinkie finger sliced off (as well as a bonus emasculation), before being laesed and dropped off at the Silver Moon.
Having done the job as quickly and quietly as they could, the team manage to get away relatively clean, though they were still identified with Astrid and Lumina having their faces caught on camera, Chófer's vehicle and drones being positively ID'd, and SystemShock's persona burned into the memory of the security spider. Thus they can expect to deal with fallout and potential retaliation from the Umezawa-gumi in the future. However a dozen Bunraku victims were liberated and taken to a safe place to have their ware removed and receive proper rehabilitation, which they all naturally feel quite good about. Lumina is left with somewhat mixed feelings on the Yakuza, however she reaffirms her resolve to follow the Path of the Ronin no matter the cost to herself or her personal relationships.
1 Street Cred
-10 Umezawa-gumi reputation
Optional Contact: Argent (C1/L2 Fixer) for 2 RVP or 4 CDP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
- Chófer: "well that sure was hectic.. thank god they only saw my vehicle than my self.. that can easily be fixed"