Heart of the Tempest
Wuxing has a new trading app that is being slandered across multiple media platforms, these articles are backed by studies that Wuxing claim are false. Wuxing would like the source of these studies found and destroyed.
The team meet at Chiu Chiu, a cute sushi restaurant in Bellevue that delivers your food via small mechanical steam trains that set off from the open kitchen and travel through the roof rafters before arriving at your table. Highrise explains the details of the job to them and provides them a data drop of articles that are highlighting security concerns in Wuxing's new app. He asks them to get to the bottom of this and potentially put a stop to it.
Follow the data to find the source of these studies.
The team begin by running some legwork on the files themselves and the studies cited in them. They work out that there seem to be 15 studies cited in all across the articles, though generally 2-5 in each one. They then look at the studies themselves, while they have often been in the same location as one another eventually they discover that at one point or another each of the 15 studies have passed through one location. This location is a financial investigation and analytics firm called Prime Analytics. They go to this company as it's still open and attempt to face their way in, but are only successful in securing a meeting with one of the investigators for the next day. They then bust into the matrix host to see what they can find. Eventually they find some interesting files, these are copies of the studies that are being used to slander Wuxing. They don't contain any more information in their actual contents but the data that is attached to the files proves more interesting.
When going through the logs on these files they find that they have been passed through several companies, media outlets and datahavens before reaching analytics, and again while there is a lot of crossover between locations these files have been at there seems to be one common denominator where they have all been. The location is a datahaven known at Jitsu. At first it seems to be a very secretive datahaven as the team have quite good knowledge about this topic between them and none of them have ever heard of it. A further search reveals however that on different sites Jitsu has only ever been mentioned in relation to the files on the research studies. They look at Jitsu itself to find out more and find out about a supposed dead drop location within an Auto-Laundromat in Bellevue.
The team investigate this laundromat, it turns out to be a laundromat, but after a thorough search they find a broken washing machine in the back. Inside is a hardware data storage device, when jacked into they see that all the files on the studies that have been released to date are present on this device. They also see a suspicious cable coming from this device and leading behind it into a fake wall. They climb into the washing machine and remove this panel and see a strange set up. Connected to this storage device are two analogue "Candlestick" telephones, one connected to the device in the washing machine and another leading into the building next door. It seems these telephones are used as a method of transferring data while remaining offline and un-hackable, they surmise that data is transmitted as audio to these phones, played over the air, then the other side translates it back into digital. This way the source can send information to this device without allowing a matrix intruder back down the line.
As the cable leads into the building next door they decide to check it out immediately, by this time it is getting into late evening. Next door is a building inhabited by a game development company called Onii-Kun, they are fairly well known and develop a game called Onii-kun, where you play as the younger brother or sister of a sarariman who comes home from work everyday feeling sad and it's your job to cheer him up so that he goes back to work again in the morning. It seems to have 50/50 reviews of people that love and hate this game. The office is closed but not particularly well protected, the runners break in and make their way through the ground floor with no apparent resistance, they decide to check out the server room downstairs. This has slightly heavier security but they manage to bypass it with ease. Inside this room are two servers, one seems to store data and documentation about Onii-Kun. The other has a very strange matrix environment where all icons are default icons and it has several Patrol IC online looking around, it's also quite a beefy host for what and where it seems to be.
Inside this rogue host are the same files the team have found before including some more, they gain access to these files and find even more research studies, however these ones have not been released yet and half of them are actually dated to have occurred in the future. They nab one as proof to Mr. Wu that they've found the source and then destroy the hardware this host is built around. Mr. Wu does ask if they could find proof of who is doing this but unfortunately it is clear to the team that none will be found, he seems happy at least that they have accomplished their task and rewards them.
Wuxing's SureTrade app takes a steady nosedive before it is taken offline, rebranded and relaunched. Despite them releasing the proof that these studies were false, the media outlets are unwilling to lose face and instead concoct that this was all a conspiracy by Wuxing itself to create publicity for the app and ensure it's success. This leads to the app never really being taken up by enough people to be financially viable.
Run Rewards (13 RVP)
16k nuYen (8 RVP)
5 Karma (5 RVP)
+3 Wuxing Rep
Highrise at 4/2 (5 RVP)
Master Debater - Hamilton (10 RVP)
Trust Data, Not Lore - RC-45 (5RVP)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Well, unfortunate that what we uncovered didn't help the J at all. Still, decent pay.
Hmm. Didn't really do much on this run, the path I was following turned out not to work. Still, nuyen!
The run-around goose chase that was this run is why I try not to work for Corpos. It was investigation on investigation and a lot of matrix work that I try not to do. There was little resolution, however we did manage to put a stop to the issues as the J requested without putting ourselves on a corpo's hit lit. A win's a win.
One of those jobs, dealing with a minor problem then anything big, overall we got the job done and made it out without a problem