A father has gotten word that his ex-wife is seeking a Cranial Shield treatment for their son, who has just emerged as a technomancer. The father, secretly a technomancer himself, is horrified, and although he lost custody of their child in the divorce, he feels he must ensure the rescue of his son. He seeks help from the shadows, to bring him his son so that he may train him to control and use his gift, rather than be tormented and scared of it.
The son (Ryan Perry) spends most of his time with his mother (Sharon Perry) who has primary custody. She is an independently wealthy woman, a trust fund child of Horizon executives, who is paranoid of identity theft. Her home is in a very secure AAA neighborhood in Tacoma.
The Cranial Shield surgery has already been scheduled. It will be taking place at Lotus CyberSurgery in a AA zone of downtown Seattle in three days.
The father (Gilbert Perry) has made arrangements with a society of technomancers to hide and care for his son, if he can be rescued before the surgery.
And the clinic was funded by MCT - the legitimate business arm of the yakuza.
The Johnson (Gilbert Perry) arranged for the runners to meet him at Runner Bar 16, which is a bar for rich posers who like to pretend to be runners.
He explained the situation and what he needed.
Fellow technomancer Sparrow was horrified. That kind of surgery was an abomination to them. They agreed to do the job for free. The Johnson offered 8,000 nuyen each to the others. He also provided detailed information about his wife's location, patterns, and appearance. And the name of the clinic where the surgery was scheduled.
Once the boy was secured, he was to be brought to a meet-up point with the father in Everett.
The runners considered several possible options. The son could be taken from the mother's home. Or, something could be arranged at the surgical clinic.
They drove by the clinic first. It was in a less secure location (AA vs. AAA). The mother and child would be logically separated. There were options to potentially take the boy from a pre-op room while he waited, unattended. It would require quite the infiltration.
Sparrow was able to get into the clinic's security and obtain some critical pieces of information, including a list of staff, the schedules for the day of the surgery, which staff were scheduled to work that day, etc. Likewise, Sparrow reserved a room to a fake patient name for the morning prior to the scheduled surgery time, so we could have a place to conduct some shenanigans unobserved.
Squid could see the clinic was closer to the meet-up point - again an easier neighborhood to drive out of with a kidnapped child - and studied the routes and all the needed information about how to travel through gang territories on the road without incident.
Moth began to prepare a disguise. All the staff were human and Japanese. Luckily, Moth had the linguasoft for Japanese, and was a trained medic. The runners identified an intern who was not scheduled to work that day. Sparrow pulled a deep dive on everything about this intern - the perfect dossier to pass for her. Sparrow programmed one of Moth's synthskin masks to the intern's features, and coached her further, from Sparrow's professional work as a doctor in a clinic. Moth had a smart wig, contacts, everything needed. The disguise was very good.
Sparrow secured 4 doses of narcojet.
Squid made sure he had a duffel bag big enough for an unconscious ten year old boy, such that he could carry him on his back on his rigger bike. His bike was entirely off the grid. So if the kid woke up, he couldn't mess with it.
Moth arrived, as the intern, and was able to walk right in and secure the equipment needed inside. She scouted the back door for exiting to the parking lot where the bike would be waiting, secured a gurney in the shenanigans room, and got line of sight on where the boy would be taken for pre-op.
Sparrow hacked the cameras so they could not save their recordings. Sparrow hacked the doors and added an easy code 1-2-3-4-5, so Moth could walk right through the secured back door.
Several challenges presented.
The mother came back to the pre-op room with the boy, and thought she could stay with him. Moth had to con her that it was time for her to return to the waiting room due to protocol around reducing risk of infection. The woman was very skilled socially, but Moth managed it. She convinced the boy to come with her to the shenanigans room, and that she needed to give him a shot to help with his headache. He was afraid of needles though. He tried to be brave, but screamed as kids do. This brought another staff person running who addressed 'the intern' with some suspicion. Moth managed to convince her that she was the intern, that she belonged there, and everything was fine with the unconscious boy on the gurney. That was quite the con. No time to waste! She hurried the gurney out the back door and handed off the unconscious boy to Squid.
Squid carried the boy on his back, on his bike. He followed a defensive route, making absolutely sure he wasn't followed. He stopped just shy of the meet-up location, and took the boy out of the duffel bag, and held him a bit more tenderly for delivery to his father. He took care of the drop-off.
It was a very clean job. The mother and the surgical staff realized something was wrong soon enough, but by then the runners were long gone.
Suspicion for the kidnapping fell on the intern, but she had an alibi, so while she lost some work time while the matter was investigated, her reputation was not ruined and she didn't have to take the fall.
The father took the boy to the Technomancer organization PromiseLAN, where he was hidden and safe and able to learn to use his powers.
His mom was probably really broken-hearted.
- 5 Karma
- 2 CDP
- Sparrow refused payment, and instead collected an additional 4 karma.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here. Run #10!
I am really proud of this job. We pulled it off clean. I don’t think that happens too often. And we saved a little boy! Who really needed help.
This time I worked with Sparrow – they are a technomancer medic, and with Squid – he’s an orc rigger. Moth, Sparrow, and Squid. All animal names! It was meant to be.
We met up with the johnson at Runner Bar 16, which I had never heard of. And that is saying something. You know I have made deep study of the good bars and clubs around here. But this one is a hang out for rich posers who are like LARPing being runners. Wearing the cool clothes. Carrying weapons. I guess a genuinely good place to blend in.
Ironically, being a real runner, I showed up in a cute club dress with no weapon. I failed to set off the metal detector and the bouncer pulled me aside to give me a little gun to carry so I could match the dress code. It was an adorable little gun. I remembered to give it back.
The johnson quickly identified himself as Gilbert Perry, secret technomancer, and made us promise as a condition of the job to tell no one about him or his son. We honored that. He told us the story. How the ex-wife was technology shy. Afraid of identity theft – being an independently wealthy daughter of Horizon execs. She had signed up the son for Cranial Shield surgery which is like cutting a technomancer off. Removing what makes them special.
I could tell from the look on Sparrow’s face how abhorrent it was. They wouldn’t even take money for the job.
But I was hooked too. This was a papa who loved their kid so much. Willing to do anything for them. I just knew my papa would do that if anything terrible ever happened to me. I'm pretty sure. So this papa was getting his son. Absolutely. Safe and sound.
The johnson did agree to pay the other two of us. Which I did appreciate.
He gave us the info we needed. Lots of information about the ex-wife. Bottom line, she lived in a very secure AAA neighborhood in Tacoma. She rarely leaves the house. He knew the date of the surgery – and it was only three days away. He didn’t know the time. But he knew it was at Lotus CyberSurgery which is in a AA neighborhood in downtown Seattle.
I asked him for lots of pictures of the wife. My first thought was the easiest way to do it was to impersonate her. A kid will go with their mother anywhere. He gave me a incredible number of pictures. I think they really loved each other once.
We settled up the details. Once we had the kid, we should call him, and then meet at safe location he’d set up in Everett. He verified that he had arrangements for the kid to be protected by a group that hides emerging technomancers. PromiseLAN. We knew if he just kept the kid with him, he was going to be caught immediately.
We headed out to a hotel room to do some initial brainstorming. That’s a good process. Thinking through contingencies. But there were a lot of options. It was time to get serious, and do some legwork. We started with a physical visit to the clinic. It was closer to the meet up, and in a less secure neighborhood. Two good reasons to think it might be the better option. Sparrow got into the system and pulled key data for us. In particular, the time and location of his surgery, who was staffed to do it, everyone scheduled that day, a list of all of the staff.
By now, we’d worked out it was part of MCT – the legit business arm of the yakuza. So that was a caution. It also meant the staff were universally human. And Japanese. Luckily, Sparrow and I are both near fluent in Japanese. So, we really had a leg up there.
Sparrow also had the good sense to block a room for us. A patient room. They know exactly how medical clinics work, since they work for one. And, assigning the room to a patient as of that morning, three days out? It would very likely go unnoticed, and give us a place to work from. Smart!
We went back and forth on how many of us should go in. There’s two ways to do it. Send in a large group in case it goes hot. Or, send in the smallest best group, and avoid it going hot.
We went with the latter. If we did this right, the social infiltration only needed one person. One person was easier to get in. Way easier to avoid notice. That would be me. Impersonation is really a specialty of mine. I had the language. We picked a target. An intern who wasn’t scheduled to work the day of the surgery, but likely wouldn’t draw too much attention if they were present. It needed medical knowledge to pull off, but I have that. It needed a heck of a disguise, but I had all the tools for that.
Sparrow went the extra mile and did a Tier 6 dive on everything could possibly be learned about the intern. With that kind of dossier, I was golden.
Meanwhile, Squid was getting everything ready for the run with the kid from the clinic to the drop-off. Ideally, we’d get away clean. But he needed to be ready if we didn’t. One of the issues was a scared emerging technomancer kid could crash a vehicle in a hurry. Squid had just the thing. His bike can run off line. It’s old school.
Squid has this really cool vibe. Kind of rockabilly orc? Sunglasses. Pompadour. He’s pretty awesome.
So Squid was checking out the routes. Making sure he knew all the passes with the gangs. Everything to get through, smuggling a kidnapped kid. Like you do. Since it was a bike, he got a duffel bag big enough to carry the kid on his back.
Sparrow got the narcojet needed, and prepared four doses. We only needed one. I’d take three in case things went really wrong. Squid would have one in case the kid woke up on his back in transit.
Now, if the plan went right, the kid would be unconscious. Which would spare the kid any stress. But you have to be ready for things to go wrong.
These are words to live by.
So it was the day of the job. I got in disguise and walked right in. I pulled it off like a charm. I scouted the reserved room. It had worked! I had a place to operate out of sight. I got a gurney in there. I confirmed line of sight and shortest path to the selected back door exit, where the bike and car would be waiting.
Sparrow got into the system and broke the cameras so the saving protocol wasn’t working. They’d have nothing. Likewise, Sparrow figured out the back door had a security code. They edited in one extra code 1-2-3-4-5 for me, so I could walk through like I was official. Sparrow nailed it!
(Now, I want to pause here and note that the last job Sparrow and I pulled together, they did a thing at the final meet up with the johnson that I was not expecting and that upset me. We sorted it out. But I was impressed how they stuck to the plan this time. I am revising my judgment on them and I’d happily run with them again. This was excellent clean work. I was impressed.)
Anyway, the mother and the kid arrived to the waiting room as planned.
I positioned with line of sight on the pre-op room.
Complication #1. The mother came back with the kid. That’s not unusual with a ten year old. But I knew she’d be a lot savvier than him. This would take some work. I had to step up my con. Convince the other that I was the intern, and that she needed to go back to the lobby, without making her suspicious. It took some serious conning and medical knowledge. She was the daughter of Horizon execs. She was pretty savvy socially. But I did it! I had a ready patter about infection control protocols and how we’d reached the point where the patient had to proceed with only medical personnel. For safety. She was off to the lobby.
The kid came with me no problem. Why wouldn’t he?
Complication #2. The kid was scared of needles when I reached for the narcojet. Naturally. I soothed him, and he got up on the gurney and looked away. Being brave. All I could hope. But he was just a kid in a lot of pain from his headaches, facing a big scary surgery. He yelped when I poked him. A classic kid getting poked with a needle scream. Now that’s not without precedent in a clinical setting. But it does draw attention. So in came a co-worker. She rapid fired asked me what the heck I was doing. In Japanese. But I was ready with the language. I knew the intern. I knew medicine. I got her soothed and out the door.
But it was time to go! I had an unconscious kid on a gurney. I walked towards that back door with a real look of medically professional urgency, and out we went.
No one on the alert. Yet.
Now we knew it was maybe ten minutes tops before someone realized the kid wasn’t waiting in the pre-op room as planned. And then the alarm would be up big time!
Squid raced off on his bike with the unconscious kid on his back in the duffel bag. I knew he was the perfect guy for this part. He’d get him to the meet up.
Sparrow and I raced off in my car in the opposite direction.
Squid finished it up like a pro. He stopped before the meet up and got the kid out of the duffel bag, and into a gentle carry in his arms. He handed him over. Unconscious but unharmed. We got paid!
The kids off to a better life with the PromiseLAN. The dad’s happy.
I try not to think about the mom.
That’s been a theme in my life. Make papa happy. Try not to think about your mother.
But I buried those sort of thoughts in a sea of whiskey and novacoke at the after party. Which was fabulous.
We really did have a lot to celebrate! The tightest, cleanest job I’ve ever done. A great team.
Y'only get so many milk runs before you're expected to move into the serious leagues. Can't complain on this one- Moth and Sparrow were more than a match for the mission, I was mostly jus' there in case some rent-a-cops got in the way. Tell you one thing though- I did not trust that Johnson. At all. 'Course, I don't agree with the kid getting brained by his ma, we did a good thing. But his dad was clearly in over his head, I don't like working for people who don't know what they're doing. And that dropoff? It was jus' me standing off with a half dozen technomancers I don't know, hard pass on doing that ever again.