Voyage by Leningrad
|Voyage by Leningrad|
A very wealthy Johnson told the team he wanted them to plant fireworks on the Eiffel Tower so they would go off when he proposed to his girlfriend.
The team managed to pull off a very quiet, subtle run with good planning and social infiltration techniques, and learned a bit more about the J's true motives.
The Johnson had been a runner. He and his girlfrend Astra and several others did a career ending run against the corporate court tower in New York. The kind of run that was so ridiculously hard to pull off that any that lived would be wealthy enough to retire, but also hunted for the rest of their lives. All he wanted was to retire with her. He watched her die on the run. He was the only survivor.
He was aware that interpol was getting closer and closer to him. Mostly high. Increasingly careless. Ready to die. He just wanted one last gesture for her, before it was over.
Saeder-Krupp is run by Lofwyr, and he is known to micromanage his projects. Was this going to put them on the wrong side of a powerful dragon?
Moth had the linguasoft equipment to speak French convincingly, which would prove essential.
The J met them in VR. He appeared to be in a fancy Parisian nightclub. Lots of novacoke. Lots of beautiful women. A unicorn.
He seemed to be in a hurry. He gave them just enough information to know that there job was to place the fireworks and where the private plane was waiting at Sea-Tac.
Moth tried to negotiate for more money, and convinced him to pay them each more, and to pay them up front. They each had the money in their accounts as they left the meet.
The private plane was beyond luxurious. A cargo hold big enough for Nitro's SUV. And a unicorn. And a shining 1966 Imperial towncar. A chef making gourmet meals. An interior garden to help off-set the discomfort of flight for mages like Zephyr. Excellent matrix access for the wealthy executive on the go.
They focused at first on simply enjoying the luxury of it. Moth had never been on an airplane of any kind before. Nitro wanted to rig in and try to drive the plane. Zephyr explored the indoor garden. Nitro ate everything the others didn't finish.
Nitro - a demolitions expert - and Moth - a skilled artisan - studied the fireworks that were in the cargo hold also. They were legitimate fireworks. They weren't being tricked to set off a bomb or something. They really did want to make an impressive and beautiful show. After working together, they were confident they had the best possible plan - and lots of related sketches - to make a really lovely show.
And what was the barrier to setting this up exactly? Moth researched all the legal requirements to plan a fireworks show in that location. The primary barrier for the night of the job - tomorrow - was that Saeder-Krupp was filming a commercial and had rental everything. But, she could see everything that would be required to appear as a legitimate fireworks installation company. She called Juan Lopez to forge them all the required paperwork for a fake fireworks company, a small outfit operating in Paris. Nitro worked on a logo that - after much discussion - only implied the existence of a dragon providing the fire rather than featuring one.
Zephyr had a premonition - a feeling from Wolf - that the johnson was in danger. Moth called the J to make sure he wasn't getting kidnapped or something while they were in transit. Though he reassured her that he was unharmed and in no obvious danger, she realized that he was lying to her. By the time the call ended, she was very suspicious there was no actual proposal going to happen, and the girlfriend was dead. With her name, she could try to figure out the history. She soon discovered pictures of a woman with the J, and that they were both runners, and he was the only one to survive. It was sad. It also became clear the J was an extremely wanted person, and likely being actively sought by Interpol.
They re-focused on security for themselves during the job. They had access to all their equipment in the SUV and hours they could use for prep. They agreed that Moth would make them excellent synthskin masks and full disguises to match their role as fireworks technicians. They would use tight mask discipline. From the moment they stepped off the plane. No one in Paris would ever see their real facess. She called "Wild Goose" and got burner SINs tied to the fake fireworks company.
But they had failed to think about security for themselves on the plane!
Interpol was tracking the J and tried to hack Moth's commlink once she called the J. But luckily her considerable intuition and the strong firewall of the Farlight XX was enough. Instead of getting hacked and putting all that legwork and planning into interpol's hands, she got an alert that a failed hack had happened. She re-booted the Farlight and turned it off for the remainder of the job. She pulled out her Hermes Ikon. That's why a girl carries two commlinks at all times. Disaster averted!
They arrived safely in Paris, well disguised. The J had reserved a room for them in an incredibly nice hotel overlooking the eiffel tower. 5 stars elegant and luxurious. They spent less than a second considering if staying there was the wisest choice. It was clearly the most fun choice.
The got to the hotel about 1 am, with the fireworks needing to go off at 10 pm. Plenty of time.
Zephyr confirmed that the hotel had wonderful supplies for summoning. A garden. Expensive magical chalk. He drew circles within circles within circles, working on ritually summoning and binding a strong spirit of the air. In this case, the smell of fresh baked goods on a Paris morning.
Moth, inspired and having some spare time, slipped out to do some shopping. She bought clothes - because Paris! - and the supplies to make them fresh baked croissants in the room's lavish kitchen.
Nitro acquired rubber bullets and worked on setting up his guns. He did some drone scouting of the area, including getting Moth wonderful images of the scenery to send to Dandy, who she kept calling with little updates. But! He thought he caught a glimpse of Lofwyr himself! He moved into paranoid action, shutting their blinds. And unwittingly foiling an attempt by interpol to watch their room. The J had arrived at the hotel and stopped by to say hello, give hugs, eat a croissant, and order them crazy expensive champagne. He seemed high out of his mind.
It was time to head over to the tower and try plan A. Pretend we have every right to be there. (Plan B was 'Be as sneaky and quiet as we can be'.)
But they were stopped in the lobby of the hotel by an interpol agent considering them persons of interest. Uh oh. Luckily, they knew they'd kept the synthskin masks on the whole time. Moth thought quickly to explain what they were doing there and make the relationship with the J fit the facts, but not reveal them as runners. She had met him at a party at a club last night. He had invited her back to this hotel where he had rented many rooms, including one she could use after he passed out. She had never been in a hotel this posh, and was so excited she wanted to show her friends - the other two - and invited them over. It was so fun to have access to the good kitchen that she'd gone out for groceries and come back and made croissants. (True!) She added just the right amount of nervousness that she was in trouble for the drug use, partying with the J, and only knew him in that context. It was sufficiently convincing that they got away! It was pretty clear they ought to avoid any more calls or contact with the J, but nothing else was planned or needed.
They came up to the service entrance to the Eiffel Tower area. Nitro had the SUV all set with the fireworks company logo and brand. They had all the forged licenses and permits to make it look like an administrative error that the whole area had been rented to Saeder-Krupp over top of their permit. They conned their way past the gate guard and his manager - a Saeder-Krupp executive. The approach was to stick to the story that they were there to do legitimate business and were such a small company. They really needed this job. They were friendly and flexible, behaving just like real workers would do in this situation. Trying to be flexible, but with no authority to do anything but proceed. Moth took the lead in the con, and Nitro supplied the excellent idea to keep asking to at least get everything set up while they waited for word from their boss if their firework show could be delayed. Eventually, they got permission to set up just as planned.
Everything was ready! They had the fireworks on a timer. They used Nitro's drones and Zephyr's spirit to make sure the fireworks weren't disturbed in the intervening hours before 10 pm. But they had dodged every source of conflict. No one had any reason to interfere with them.
They hurried back to the airport only to discover that he had only booked them commercial coach flights home. Nitro had to work with his fixer to arrange for his SUV to be sent back on a cargo plane, but it was easily arranged.
The runners got away clean. Interpol is not pursuing them.
The J is likely caught soon after. They kept an eye on news feeds for what happened that night. It really did seem like it was a gesture for Astra's memory. Nothing terrible happened that they could detect at that same time.
They returned home richer and with fun memories of Paris.
2 karma 2 CDP
Moth: "We can't draw a big dragon on the side of the vehicle while trying to avoid the notice of a dragon!"
After much debate, the van has a huge gout of flame, and in the bottom corner you can just see the edge of the dragon's mouth like its been cropped off-screen.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here! This was my 49th run. And quite a run! I got to go to Paris! My first trip on a plane, and apparently the fanciest plane that ever flew. It was great working with Nitro and Zephyr. They are fun and professional, both. Good ideas. Willing to do what it takes to keep a job subtle and quiet. I only wish Dandy had been able to come too! I am so glad interpol didn't get onto my commlink. I hesitate to think how bad that would have been. And I'd have led them to Dandy with all those calls to him. I'm going to make it up to him with fresh french baked goods and the cute outfits I bought shopping.
The run was a textbook example of perfect from start to finish. We formulated the majority of our plan on the way there, in the plane and sorted out the fine details once we touched down. I summoned and bound the air spirit of French bakeries to help with the fireworks and for combat but it never came to blows. Not for the lack of trying on interpols' part though, we just happened to have some great disguises and Moth is the best grifter I’ve ever seen. Also saw a unicorn on an airplane, which is a first for me and Nitro says he saw a dragon.
This run almost made me feel like I was back on the job with Aztechnology. No complications, no gunfire, just setting up some explosives and hitting the detonator and we were done. (Albeit, these explosives were much more colorful and fun than my normal gear.) That’s not to say this couldn’t have gone sideways three or four different times, but Moth and Zephyr were pros and got us out smooth as silk. That was even more impressive given the dragon prowling around the area. The others will deny it, but I know what I saw. We were lucky to get out of there before Lofyr himself took notice and ate us.