|Part of Two Steps Ahead|
In which the runners assist Saeder-Krupp with the recruitment of promising new talent as an inside man with Aztechnology.
About a month ago, three Saeder-Krupp employees were snatched from a mid-air transit, along with the SKA-008 they were flying in (see: Two and a Half Mile High Club). S-K has managed to track it down, however they have no intention of just stealing it back - turnabout is fair play, and Lofwyr dreams bigger than simple eye-for-an-eye retribution. Instead, he has tasked S-K Prime with retaliation by stealing one of Aztechnology's crown jewels: the Mk. 1 Bloodhawk. In order to put this plan into action, he has tasked Amrei Veidt with setting the stage for the heist. She has identified the perfect inside man - one Dr. Xiuhcoatl Montezuma, an aerospace engineer who worked on the Bloodhawk - to assist with this goal, and has prepared a generous offer for him, however she has been unable to extend it via the usual channels and so has hired deniable assets to perform the task for her.
Frau Brackhaus, using her old decker handle 'G01d3nI', invites the runners to meet with her at E-Wasted, the matrix bar on the ShadowHaven host. Master Morty and R-33 do a bit of due-diligence beforehand and learn the handle is associated with a shadowrunner from Europe who evidently retired several years go, however it apparently still posts regularly on the Helix. Meanwhile, Zenith is helping his daughter with homework when he gets the call and has to have her help him with his trodes, during the course of which she nearly stumbles onto the ShadowHaven app on his commlink. Despite this, he along with everyone else is able to rez into E-Wasted without much trouble, where they are met by Amrei Veidt using a store-bought drake persona that bears a striking resemblance to Lofwyr, putting everyone immediately on their guard...
...all except Master Morty, who brashly tells the drake that she should show them her *real* persona - she obliges, transforming into a shimmering golden figure with a Unique Avatar, suitably impressing the team hackers with her bona-fidaes. Jowls takes the lead on negotiations as Amrei lays out the job for them (as well as surreptitiously hacking R-33's deck, who is running their PAN - this is noticed by Master Morty, however he fails to erase the MARKs, to his frustration). Amrei explains that she has an encrypted chip which she needs given to their target, and that they are to ensure that he accepts it - if he attempts to alert his security forces, they are to perform a traditional extraction, however this is a last resort and ideally they will not be made aware of the fact that anything is amiss at all.
During the negotiations, Master Morty reveals that he knows that 'G01d3nI' is on the Helix, and that he wants in with the world-famous data haven. Amrei is rather impressed at his boldness, and tells him that she will consider it based on his job performance. Jowls attempts to squeeze more cash out of her, however his Bad Luck triggers and she recalls something about his voice, taking an ominous pause to check her files before rezzing out on a vague threat after sharing some details on their target. Pell's spider sense starts tingling and she wonders if she made a mistake accepting this job, however she presses on with the rest of the team as they begin to formulate a plan of action.
Jowls invites the nerds back to his place to do their legwork and matrix searching in order to gather intel for the job. After reading over the files that Amrei gave them on their target, Master Morty and R-33 hit the grids and start chasing down data trails to try to find some useful information that will help them in their task. The two of them end up on the Aztlan national grid and the Aztechnology global grid chasing down rumors about what Montezuma does for the corp; after filtering through a lot of rumours both true (Montezuma has a boyfriend in the Pyramid who he is staying with while in town) and false (Montezuma is a blood mage), their data trails converge on a host which a bit of research reveals is owned by an S-K subsidiary operating in Aztlan (and which the government thus owns a stake in).
While R-33 stays out to observe, ready to hop inside if there's trouble, Master Morty gets his mark on the host and slips inside. Searching around for the file the data trail leads to while avoiding notice of the IC and the spider, he is able to find an encrypted, data-bombed packet of information. Managing to disarm the data bomb, he ends up spotted by the spider, prompting R-33 to mark the host and slip inside to assist. Morty is undetrred however, quickly breaking the encryption and copying the file for himself; he ends up link-locked in the process after eating a strong dataspike, and not wanting to get into an extended cybercombat he instead forcibly jacks himself out and suffers dumpshock. R-33 quickly follows suit, exiting the host before the spider can see him and jacking out as well.
Reading through the file, the team finds that it is a dossier on Montezuma constructed by one of Amrei's agents (it was actually placed there for the team to find as a test of their capabilities). Learning who their target really is, they try to figure out a plan of approach - armed with his commlink information, the deckers spy out the link and manage to mark it despite the protection of the Pyramid's host. Slipping inside, they notice a pair of databombed files (his personal and professional schedules), as well as a pair of encrypted ones. Working together, they are able to disarm the bombs and copy the files, however a failed attempt at cracking one of the encryptions alerts Montezuma that something is amiss. As R-33 rezzes out, Morty is able to quickly copy the decrypted file before being dumped as the commlink turns off.
Examining what they acquired and knowing that security will be on alert, the team look over the decrypted file (specs for an engine part they are unable to make heads or tails of) and the pair of schedules they have. Unfortunately for them it seems that Montezuma is only scheduled to actually leave the Pyramid for a brief business meeting a few hours before he is supposed to leave the country, which gives them a very short window to make their approach. They learn from his personal schedule that he and his lover are supposed to be having dinner at a restaurant in the public floor of the Pyramid, which gives them an opening that they can exploit if they're brave and clever enough.
Pell calls up her SIN forger and has burner Aztechnology identities created for everyone in order to pull off a plan to infiltrate the restaurant and pull off their approach. With the team (sans Morty, who has no social skills and is far too memorable) heading inside the public mall, R-33 manages to cause a distraction while Zenith swipes some uniforms from a trio of bored-looking teens hanging out waiting for their shifts to begin. Pell, Zenith and R-33 disguise themselves as waitstaff and manage to sell the con that they are temps covering shifts without drawing further scrutiny to themselves (the restaurant is slammed and they need all the help they can get), Jowls enters disguised as a regular patron (with a hacked reservation) and gets a seat near Montezuma and his lover - guarded by a pair of Jaguar guards...
Approaching the table and using all his edge to sell the lie, Zenith pretends to be an apologetic waiter with a call for Montezuma's lover on the restaurant's phone, managing to get both him and one of the guards to follow him to the staff room where a static-filled call from Morty on a burner link keeps them occupied for a few moments. While that happens, R-33 locates the icon for one of the ovens in the kitchen and dataspikes it, proceeding to do the same with several other devices and giving Pell an excuse to approach the remaining guard with "security concerns", getting him to follow her after a nod from Montezuma and giving Jowls an opening. With Morty watching Montezuma's link to ensure he doesn't hit his panic button, Jowls manages to make a smooth approach. With the cameras looped, he slides over the datachip from Amrei and pulls off a pre-edged negotiation to convince Montezuma to take a look at it. He does so and, suitably impressed by the whole thing, does not immediately alert his guards, instead allowing the team to leave the Pyramid unharmed - to their immense relief.
With a perfectly coordinated and executed social infiltration of ET grounds under their belts, the team call up Amrei and arrange a handoff of the encrypted file from Montezuma's link. She gives them marks on her own deck, as if daring them to try to frag with her firewall, and they rez into her virtual office to deliver the good news. Impressed by their performances, she presents the team with their cash transfers as well as an encrypted file for Morty and R-33 - if they can break it, she'll consider the earlier request. Morty does his best but is unable to do so, however R-33 pulls off a stunning 15 hits on a pre-edged roll and is suitably amazed with himself. Amrei can see the dejection on Morty's virtual face, however she considers him suitably humbled after his earlier brashness that she stays true to her word - they both exceeded her expectations, and she is happy to give the Helix her recommendation for provisional membership after the two forgo rewards. Everyone else receives their promised payment and walks away satisfied with a job well done.
- 22k nuyen
- 2 karma
- 2 CDP
- Optional Contact: Amrei Veidt, C6/L1 S-K Prime Operative for 6 RVP or 12 CDP
- Optional Quality (for Master Morty and R-33): Prime Datahaven Membership (The Helix) for 7 karma
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
I'm old school, so I'll freely admit that I'm always pretty wary of any jobs coming from S-K. "Don't deal with a dragon" and so forth. That having been said, I had fun on this one. Well compensated for my time too. Am I gonna jump at the chance to work for the Golden Wyrm now? Frag no. Am I going to drink an expensive bottle of whiskey with his nuyen and feel good about it? Damn straight.
The job started off simply enough, meet was in the Matrix, so I didn't get a good read on the J, but we had some deckers on the team and they seemed to have a good grasp on things. I honestly can't tell if Morty has no fear or no sense, but I respect the game of telling a J to drop their avatar during a meet. Things were good for awhile, then Jowls started talking and I stopped listening before he stopped talking but whatever it was, our Johnson did not care for it. We departed the meet and headed over to Jowls' place, where I just kicked my legs up for a couple of hours. There was a bit of tension when Morty started bleeding from the ears and I trained my gun on the door half expecting some Azzie guard squad to bust through and try and gank us all, but we seemed to get through without much trouble. We found out this guy, a Doctor Montezuma was here to visit a boyfriend of his and we had limited time before the job disappeared into the ether.
We eventually settled on a plan, a fragging stupid plan that shouldn't have worked (I can say that, I suggested it). Where we infiltrate the Aztechnology Pyramid and pose as waiters in order to support Jowls in an attempt to approach Montezuma without having to bag him. I found a group of teens who were killing time before going to work and, with the help of R-33 and Jowls, managed to grab their bags without much issue. So Pell, R-33 and I dress up as wait staff, and pretend that we're supposed to be there. I narrowly manage to convince Montezuma's lover that he's got a phone call that Morty is making the most unpleasant static on. Pell lures away the second guard to investigate the nearby Taco Temple's fryer exploding (Thank you R-33) and Jowls gives Montezuma the offer on the datachip. We're still alive, so we didn't have to fight the Jaguars, and we got out clean.
J was impressed, gave Morty and R-33 a test of some kind, seemed like they did okay. We all got paid, now I'm going to order Taco Temple and go to sleep.
So anyways, I get this golden invitation on the Matrix telling me I'm invited to a meet at some hacker bar; at which point I think things are about to change for ol' Morty. I do a bit of searching on the sender and find out they were a regular on the Helix, not just a prime data haven, but THE prime data haven. Now I know big things are in the offing, so I make the meet with no qualms about the time I'm wasting on some other dreks dime. Inside, the team assemble, and it's a pretty motley crew if you ask me, but the J is all dressed up in a fancy drake suit, and I call them out on it. Oddly enough, it works; never been much for sweet talkin', but apparently my kinda talk is honey to this J's ears. She drops the act revealing herself to be Amrei Veidt, prime agent of the great wyrm himself, Lofwyrr. At least that's who she claims to be. Wants some info, wants a new lackey, and wants us to deliver, in that order. I know the usual process is to ask for the cash at this point, but I'm focused on the real prize: Helix. Calling her out again, I demand access, she laughs at me, like so many others, but provisionally agrees if I can "impress" her. Alright bitch prepare to have your panties blown off...
We head to the face's place, where I grab a quick bite out of the fridge, and get work with the others deciphering the data. Seems like the pickings are slim, but there's an opportunity for more in a S&K site that seems kinda like a setup. Or a test. I leap into the sweet, sweet code and start tearing up the place looking for the file. I find it, disarm it and crack it, but before I can copy it the local spider gets a bead on me. Un-phased, I stick to the plan and go for the file, I shift to my main persona just incase Amrei doesn't get the hint, and take a shot between the eyes before hard jacking into meat space. A little discombobulated, but doing okay thanks to the magical ministrations of Pell. R-33 is there shaking his head, having popped in to drag me out if things got real bad. As if. I'm the Master, and this is what I live for.
The new data reveals a lunch date between the principal and his boy toy, which the team decides is the perfect date for us to interrupt. They set up a con job straight out of the history books, and me and R-33 go after the coveted files in his commlink. We manage to do it, barely hiding from the big eye in the sky for the most part, until an unlucky bit of code catches R-33 off guard. I tell him to get out while I pull the last file, and end up dump shocked but victorious yet again. All hail the Master. Mean while the crazy antics of the meat team manage to pull of the exchange, to which the mark seem amicable. We beat feet and head off to claim our just rewards.
Amrei is suitably impressed, and makes good on her offer. She also comes up with another option; pass her little test and gain her recommendation to the Helix. Me and R-33 look at each other, we got this, we know it. A few lines of bad code later, I'm standing there looking like the broken meat bag that I am, while my fellow decker comes up aces. I'm a little hurt, a little shocked that my skills failed so completely. I look at Amrei defeat and misery obvious in my gaze and wait for the inevitably mockery to begin. Except she doesn't. She tells me that the Matrix is a fickle mistress, and you can't always get what you want no matter how high your hand is upon her thigh. She grants both of us provisional access to the Helix, and tells me to keep in touch. Which I will do. Damn, what a classy dame...
Norwegian finally got back to me with a proper job after he was satisfied I was worth his time, a name going by 'G01d3nI' was in need of 'deniable assets'. Obvious l33t name which - if you ask me - should've had a hyphen disassociating the 'I', but I guess some l33ters go diehard with the whole 'iT sHoUlDn'T bE eAsY tO rEaD pLeB'. Gave me a vague idea of what I was dealing with but the name did sound familiar. Sure enough, it's an old European handle that's 'retired' but keeps active at none other than the fuckmothering Helix. Could've been fake but I wasn't gonna challenge Nor's intel so brashly. We meet Frau Schmidt at E-wasted and sure enough she's tied in with Saeder now; typical for ex-runners according to research. I play it safe when she introduces herself in a draconic persona but the other decker I was blessed to meet in this run was way more headstrong than me and probed the likelihood of an actual drake summoning us. Given it was my first big job in Seattle, I doubted it too... but hey, weirder drek has happened. Lo and behold it's just some high and mighty bull, but even then the icon-info was giving me some big numbers for her tech's capabilities alone, not to mention her own. In fact, she seemed real interested in us deckers and marked my PAN I had given to the gang. Master Morty, brazen-incarnate, tries wiping it and can't make it go - so I don't even bother. Goldilocks has done her Johnson'ing and put us in our place ready for her 'test'. I fucking hope I can avoid being a cunt when I get better than her, but I get the feeling it's inevitable.
Our job is data collection - fuck yeah - as well enlisting an enemy corpo - oh fuck - or possible extraction of said corpo - oh fuck. Morty's raring to go though so we make it to our fittingly-eccentric face's house (which only supported my British stereotype of what every Americans' house looks like) and enjoyed some antics before getting my head down and my mind up on the grids. Data trails pick up and drop rumours (the target isn't a blood mage, fucking thankfully) and we eventually find an S-K subsidised host op'ing in Aztlan. Coincidence? I don't fucking know, I just let Morty take the lead on the infil. Dude's popping damn-near every bootup to get pwning, not sure I've even got enough brain-matter to be doing that. Anyways, drek gets a bit dicey but Morty handles it like a champ and dumps himself too, leaving me to flip the bird to the annoyed spider and fuck off myself. We know this dude is in the pyramid downtown and that he's got a lover boy too. Checking out the grid, we find his commlink and each manage to mark it despite firewalls. Really starting to feel good about doing this shit for real right abouts now. Damn-near perfect sweep of his data too, but I trip the last encryption alarm like an absolute nwb, and once again, madman Morty covers my ass before dumping again, this time giving fucks=0. Dudes a real chummer, if he's chill with having one.
Anyways, bad news is that we've only got two chances at getting into contact with our contact and they're both slim. Good news is, we're just about crazy enough to come up with a plan that had all the capability to kill us all. The Az-techy has got a dinner booked with his boy the night before he's due to move, and with just enough time for Pell's contact to supply us with some burners, we execute plan: Amrei's 5. (Note, we didn't call it this, we just improv'd some drek after the drunk idea was voted for and hoped to survive.)
Anyways, all bar Morty - that includes me: a Lanky, pale, ginger fuck in brown face and going by the name 'Volton' - fucking infiltrate the pyramid. Luckily, they didn't pick up disc's with my R4 burners, but anyways... we're in. Zenith immediately picks out targets to supply our disguises so Jowls and I distract them whilst Morty loops the cams and Zenith jacks their backpacks. His suspicions were right, and each one contains a uniform for the eateries. Some lucky fucking passes on not fucking up the names of things, and Zenith, Pell & I are waiters at the establishment with Jowls shapeshifted as a regular patron. Target's got 2 fucking Jaguar guards on him, a pair of the fucking Tezcatlipocas to keep you and your hun company whilst you nash down on some quesadillas, un-fucking-believable. Again, rapid thinking from Zenith keeps us a-going though; he draws away the second man and a guard with a fake call on the restaurant line faux-ed by Morty, whilst I dataspike the taco grills... bet you can't say you've done that before. Anyway, Pell uses the attacks as an excuse to raise security concerns to the other guard and pull him away for a moment and keeps him company long enough for Jowls to break the dude in and hand him the intel, all while Morty hawkeyes everything and is ready to fuck drek up if the dude panics. Now you know why I called this shit Amrei's 5.
Fucking amazingly, it all works. Every last bit. Dude doesn't panic, the window stays open long enough and we walk out scot free. Beginner's luck I suppose. but that wasn't even the best part. We meet up with Amrei again to hand her the data we collected, and she honestly didn't expect us to actually fucking do it. I could tell mate, because even I didn't think it would work that well. Anyways, she gives us deckers a lovely surprise: a challenge file to mark. Poor sod Morty's been looking for this chance and his code goes bad right there and then. Meanwhile, I find a fucking gem from my datathieving toolboxes and it works a charm, breaks that puppy wide open. I felt simultaneously ecstatic and terrible... it was weird. She decides anyways to put both our names forwards to the Helix and I drop the 22k nuyen for this opening as well as a contract with Amrei. I don't care if I'm skint these are the kinda things I can't usually just buy. All in all, the week was fucking fantastic, and I'm sure Norwegian will be proud to hear that I upheld his rep.
I'm surprised that the infil went as well as it did, for how much we've winged it. And I hope that I haven't pissed off Jowls and R-33 before this run, with how they've reacted to me.
I was worried for Morty when we were turning the data in, when he failed to decrypt that file, but it seemed like it all worked out in the end.