Spoiler Alert! This post includes details of the published SRM 05-01 adventure that will be spoiled if you continue reading. You have been warned.
A winter storm warning pinged his commlink just before Yurei, the ork ganger turned samurai, got phoned by his fixer, Quantum Princess, to rally the team for a rush job. He called Shift, dwarven decker/rigger who picked up Yurei and the rest of team: Ito, an oni adept “ninja master” and Marx, an adept weapon specialist.
Despite the near whiteout conditions, they met QP at Chicago’s Own pizzeria. She offered 4,000 nuyen to place a matrix signal repeater atop the Chicago Midway Airport control tower. Ito shared that the airport was the base of a major smuggling operation but thought the team could sneak in with the weather conditions.
This was confirmed with some onsite drone scouting from Shift.
Shift then paused the mission long enough to hack the device and learn that it was designed to boost local matrix signals, but also allow someone access to a shadow grid known as NooseNet. The dwarf inserted his own back door entrance, of course.
Finding only a couple of guards focused mainly on keeping warm, the team stealthily approached the opposite side of the tower. Ito climbed with supernatural alacrity and secured a rope for the others. Once upon the roof, Shift got to work installing the device while the others maintained overwatch. The team slipped back out with no signs of detection. They were suitably nervous by how well everything went.
Once out of the Zone, QP called. “Nice work team. The repeater is online. And it seems like the night is right for work. I’ve got a Johnson on the line with a rush job.” The picture flashed and was replaced by a changeling best described as a lizard man. He wore black leathers and a British flag t-shirt and said, “Hoi blokes. I’m Simon Andrews.” He offered a job in the Containment Zone finding ownership data from the servers of a biomedical lab named Janus Industries. He offered 4,000 nuyen for the “piece of cake” job.
The team headed back into the blizzard-covered CZ and drove northeast. Once near the Janus campus, they found a well-maintained lab and office building with the front door open, snow drifting inside. Shift sent his drone inside and found an empty waiting area with a mangled inner stairway door. The team moved up.
In the adjoining hallway, the runners found a corpse. It was a Janus security guard who died of a massive gut wound created by an unknown beast. Astrally, Marx sensed a faint signature of pain and fear, likely only a day or two imparted. Ito scooped up the guard’s ID and used it open the nearby security office.
Shift directly connected to the terminal easily hacked into the system. He quickly found the lab ownership data and jacked out undetected.
Despite their curiosity, the team egressed and drove off into the drifting snow.
Once free of the Zone, Yurei phoned Quantum Princess. She said, “I was just about to call you. Feast or famine, they say. I’ve got another Johnson on the line.” The call transferred to an Aztlaner troll with a fine suit and a traditional neckpiece. He said, “Hola, amigos. I am* Juan Xihuitl*. A young woman named Sam has gone missing in the CZ and I would have you recover her.” He explained that the job would be a favor for a Lone Star detective named Nick Ryder. They were given the girl’s description and her last known location: the Maker Collective. Ito managed to negotiate 5,000 nuyen.
Shift started scanning the matrix and learned about the Maker Collective, a community of techies, geeks and mad scientists. Yurei contacted his street doc, Patches, who offered to ask around. Shift then combed through message boards and personal nodes looking for links between “Sam” and the “Maker Collective”.
Yurei’s commlink noted an incoming call. A redheaded street doc said she knew about Sam. She wanted to know why the team was looking for her and who hired them. They tried to stall her while Shift hacked her commlink. The distance proved to great however. She cursed and ended the call.
Ito recognized the woman, however, as Dr. Sonja from a street clinic near the Maker Collective and only a couple of miles from the Janus lab. The team decided to pay her a visit.
Even at midnight, several patients waited in the cramped office. The secretary, a beefy troll woman, signed Ito in as patient. He got bored waiting and started flirting with her. She was very receptive.
A burly ork in scrubs came out and told Ito to get lost. “The doctor doesn’t want to see you.” Ito stood firm as a mountain until the ork tried to grab him. With a flourish, the oni darted away and continued with a series of mocking dance moves. The ork swore and left in a huff.
The secretary quietly offered to get the doctor a message if Ito wanted her to.
Meanwhile, Shift finished his search for Sam and found confirmation of her in the last week around the Collective. She was seen wearing disposable scrubs and a Janus security jacket!
About an hour later, Ito got a call from Dr. Sonja. She apologized for her nurse’s behavior. Ito apologized for his decker’s. Both offered details of what they knew about Sam so far. Last week, the doctor helped the woman patch up a hole in the back of her neck from a self-excised cranial bomb. She had amnesia and no placed to go. Ito convinced the doctor that he wanted what was best for Sam, and she disclosed that she had arranged safe haven for Sam with a Maker Collective gang called the Wildcats. The team agreed to offer Sam to go with Detective Ryder if she wished.
The team contacted Willie, the Wildcats’ leader and met at a drug lab. Sam emerged and listened to their offer. She was conflicted and confused but agreed to meet Detective Ryder for more information. They left together and planned a meet with Dr. Sonja and Det. Ryder at a nearby Stuffer Shack. He explained that she was kidnapped 20 years ago and that he never stopped thinking about his first cold case. He offered get her examined and find a safe place where the people who did this could not find her again. She agreed to go with him and try for a new life. She and Ryder thanked the runners.
The team tied up loose ends, got paid as agreed upon, and went their separate ways for some rest and warmth.
Picking Up the Pieces
Money: 11,750 nuyen
Karma: 6 (survival, modifying the matrix node, retrieving data from Janus lab, recovering Sam)
Reputation: +1 Street Cred (modifying the matrix node)
Contacts: Quantum Princess (Loyalty 1 or +1 if already a contact, max 4), Simon Andrews (Loyalty 1 or +1 if already a contact, max 4), Juan Xihuitl (Loyalty 1 or +1 if already a contact, max 4), Nick Ryder (Loyalty 1 or +1 if already a contact, max 4), Samantha (Loyalty 1 or +1 if already a contact, max 4)