Spoiler Alert! This post includes details of the unpublished CMP 2014-05 adventure that will be spoiled if you continue reading. You have been warned.
The team had only been back in Chicago for a week before getting another out-of-town job. Quantum Princess, the runner’s primary fixer, said another fixer in the Seattle Metroplex was looking for a solid team on short notice – he was even willing to pay for commercial air travel and freight shipping for their gear. Dogfood, a human technomancer, and Batomi, an elven rat shaman, rushed to buy fake SINs to pass airport security. The rest of the team included, Delta, an elven techno, Martial, an ogre street sam, and a new guy, Sechs, a human mage.
Once under the leaden Seattle sky, the team met up at a rundown bar in Tacoma called The Flying Hermit. They spotted the Johnson, wearing a pressed, steel-gray suit. He was Hispanic and walked with a bit of limp, but spoke without accent. He said, “Thanks for coming to hear about this job. It should be easy given your reputation, but I don’t expect you to believe that. I just need a hardcopy file replaced from a downtown building. I need this done before 6 a.m. day after next. The property is not extraterritorial and has average licensed security. I can pay you 7,500¥ each. What do you say?”
He proved a shrewd negotiator and not even Batomi could talk him up. Once the price was set, the Johnson gave the rest of the details.
“I want you to replace a file that was recently mailed to a government building downtown. The building is home to the Seattle Department of City Purchasing and located at 75 North Street. The file was mailed to the Division Director, Katherine Nyland, from an individual named Christopher Hoffman. The Director is on vacation until day after tomorrow so you must complete this job before she returns. The file has been delivered to the Director’s office on the 2nd floor. I want you to replace the file contents with this document,” as he patted a thick ream of dead trees on the table.
“It’s important that the contents of the file are not seen by the Director. I would prefer that she is unaware of any clandestine activity, which will limit scrutiny of the new file. I will pay an additional 2,500¥ if you are completely undetected. If you are detected and the original file destroyed, I will pay the agreed upon base rate. Any questions I can help you with?”
Once they finished asking questions, the team left and started planning. Options ranged from impersonating the courier and asking for the package back to destroying the whole building. (“The Director wouldn’t see the file, right?”) They wisely decided to scout the place out first.
The team drove a borrowed van within a few blocks of the target building. Martial scoped it out physically, noting a Knight Errant patrol car and drone in the area. The building was four stories of old government architecture with opaque windows. He also spotted a keycard reader and camera on the front and rear doors. The ogre cleverly thought to look up local law enforcement response times, and found a Knight Errant station house only 4 blocks away!
Batomi and Sechs left their bodies for some astral recon. They scanned the surroundings finding nothing before cautiously looking into the building. Inside, 3 mundane guards were on the ground floor security room and a ward protected the 2nd floor.
Meanwhile, Delta and Dogfood explored the digital realm. They found a more powerful second host linked to the building’s main host. Dogfood slipped into the host and located the building’s cameras, maglocks, elevator and other slaved devices. He opened a file cabinet and copied the last day’s camera footage. Delta duplicated his ally’s efforts in the other host, but failed to place a mark on the cabinet. A knight in full plate armor made of flames rounded the corner and slashed at Delta, flames surging and all. The technomancer evaded long enough to copy the file and log out of the system.
The team met up and compared their findings. The camera footage revealed several interesting facts, including Knight Errant uniforms on the guards, 3 of them on both the 1st and 2nd floors, and their usual patrol timing. They were also able to confirm that a Hermes courier dropped off the file of interest, and then a secretary opened and read it before carrying it toward the Director’s office. Elaborate plans were then made.
Later that night, the team moved into position near the building. Batomi and Sechs levitated themselves and Martial to the roof under the concealment of the rat shaman’s earth elemental. Simultaneously, Dogfood slipped back into the building’s host and hacked the maglock. The lock’s LED turned green, and the physical team entered the stairwell. Batomi cast improved invisibility on Martial and Sechs silenced the entire group with a hush spell.
Dogfood used a sprite to loop one of the stairwell cameras and tried to spoof another. Unfortunately, he failed to mark it. Knowing intrusion countermeasures would be incoming, he ordered his sprite to suppress the ice’s arrival. He got control of the camera long enough for the team to move past. Then he logged off the host.
As Batomi, Sechs and Martial approached the 2nd floor, Delta went to work on its host. He hacked one lobby camera while his sprite disabled the other.
The onsite team silently entered the lobby. A wall placard read “Seattle Metroplex; Department of City Purchasing”. To the right was room full of cubicles with several desk lights and music playing more loudly that would have been appropriate for business hours.
Knowing that 3 Knight Errant guards were in the security room on the back of the floor, the team crept quietly forward. Batomi brushed against a cubicle making a metallic scrape and they froze.
Within the matrix, Delta hacked the maglock to the Director’s office. It proved more stubborn and soon the flaming knight returned with a bipedal battle mech bristling with guns. Delta spoofed the lock, and in the real world, Martial and magicians slipped inside.
Delta focused his will on defense and rolled and dodged several lances of laser fire and fireball explosions. He saw a text bubble from the spider zip toward the back of the host. Delta used the last of his reserves to purge the host’s log of any records of tampering. Then, he dropped out of VR and logged out.
In the Director’s office, Sechs watched the door while the other two searched her in basket. They found the file sent from “Chris Hoffman, AA, Seattle” and swapped its contents. Sech saw shadows of rapid movement near the back of the cubicles. Unable to speak due to the magical silence, he rushed to the others and pointed emphatically toward the door.
Still invisible, Martial peered through the gap and saw one guard crouched at the end of the passage and another stalking forward with an Ares Alpha assault rifle at the ready. The guard never knew what hit him. Martial used his own Alpha and placed 3 stun rounds on the guards helmet visor. His head snapped back and he fell to the ground.
The second guard immediately responded to the unseen foe. He launched a flash-bang grenade into the doorway. A thunderous boom and blinding flash slammed the three runners. Martial’s cyberware compensated for the worst of the blast, so he leaned back out the doorway and put a burst of stun rounds into the guard. Sechs finished the job with a stunbolt.
Meanwhile, the other guard was still in the security office, having just contacted the nearby station house for High Threat Response team backup. Then, a massive humanoid of asphalt and earth materialized in the room and closed in on the cornered guard.
Batomi grinned as the team raced out the door to the waiting van. They drove off into the night just as the sounds of sirens started to close.
They met the Johnson at another run down pub, this one called Vinnie’s Garage located in Everett. Mr. Johnson smiled and said, “Were you able to complete the job unnoticed?”
Martial replied, “It turned loud.”
Mr. J’s smile soured briefly before he added, “You said on the comm that it was successful though, so here is your payment as agreed. Depending on how the results play out, I may have work for you in the future.”
Then, he slid a credstick pouch with 5 sticks, each with 7,500 nuyen and return airfare to O’Hare International.
Picking Up the Pieces
Money: 7,500 nuyen each
Karma: 5 (survival, swapping the file)