Shadowrun: Richmond, Virginia, CAS

An Offer
Bringing the Rigger up to speed, Grummish style

As the group split in two outside of Durham, the small-ish Ork called Grummish walks up and looks the rigger over top to bottom.

“I can help you acquire much better cyberware, if you wish. First, though, I think it prudent to determine if you are indeed worthy of such a gift. I know that some of the group has offered you quite a tidy sum of Nuyen in order to compensate you for your effort. Completely appropriate, of course. However, it remains unclear if you will indeed survive. Frankly, I’m surprised you are not dead already. Good fortune, I suppose.”

Grummish peers over the top rim of his antiquated glasses. “I apologize for my meandering train of thought. Where was I…”

The very attractive human woman, elegant in her trendy pant suit gently taps the ork’s shoulder. “Alex, I believe you were making an offer.” Katherine glacial calm seemed to emanate from her, giving a much needed feeling of peace, which seemed out of place beside the quite aggressive ork.

“Indeed,” Grummish resumed. “If you survive your trip to Cuba with my companions and contribute to the well-being of Dana and Sunder, I believe you will be entitled to some additional compensation.”

“Sadly,” Katherine interrupts, “this is not an offer made from the spirit of generosity.”

“It could be,” Grummish says with a degree of annoyance in his voice. “In any event, if you survive, something I don’t expect to happen… just being honest, then you will need some improvements to put you in a position to serve along side us. I have seen a fair number of associates, all world class runners in their own right, die horrible deaths. That Mortis fellow, for example, an excellent shot, even for an Elf, has been lost. I recall him having part of his metal laced ribs ripped right out of his body. Quite grisly.”

“Though, Alex forgot to mention that Mr. Mortis may have survived. There was no confirmation.”

“Yes, quite right. However, if he is alive, he needed some rib cage replaced, so perhaps still not a great ending. Then there was that Dwarf. Strutter, I believe, who was crushed between the wings of a Greater Western Dragon.”

“Oh, was that the time that Mr. Warpath was bitten in half?”

“No, I do not believe so. Lazarus was sat upon by the dragon during that incident.”

“Ah, and he is still alive.” Katherine pauses, her brow furrowing ever so slightly. “Well, we think he is.”

“I believe you get the point,” Grummish resumes. “Take it from me, someone who has been shot a few times by a Pather Assault Cannon, this job is dangerous. If you make it through, then you deserve a reward that will serve to keep you alive in the future. Bon chance.”

Grummish and Katherine turn to leave, leaving you with your thoughts…

Fixer Who?

Galgoo, the mastermind behind an underworld empire of reliable sources of people, products, and information, finds herself, for the first time, on the run. Years ago, Galgoo made the evacuation plan with Dana “just in case.” And as things changed, that plan changed. Each change Galgoo made, Galgoo passed along to her “secretary”. Ha, as if! Dana was much more than that!

Galgoo sat quietly beside Dana in the crowded van on route to who knows where. She felt… lost? No. Worse. Useless. Galgoo thought of the events over the past two weeks. Things happened too fast, she thought. I was lucky to make it out alive, leave alone any chance of saving my organization. I was barely able to escape only to be used, apparently, as bait to lure my best shadowrunning assets out into the open where they could be destroyed. And only through sheer good fortune were the attackers foiled.

It started when I received a message from M_Dragon, now, sadly, deceased. M said that Kai, a top decker operative, died as a result of a massive coronary. Yeah, right, like anyone bought that. But why Kai? Why now? I figured Kai just tangled with the wrong folks and got geeked at a result. Happens in our line of work, no matter how good you are. I would have thought nothing more of it, but then I started losing other contacts, one at a time, like stars in the sky just blinking out of existence one at a time. The deckers at the Ork Rights Committee building in the Petersburg Barrens disappeared. Moriarty’s disappearance was more shocking, as was the likely illegal acquisition of Quest by Lonestar. Just more pieces of the warning. Within a day or so, I could see the noose tightening and my time to slip free of it was shortening. It was time to go.

Ugh… alone and cut off from all my resources. Some of them were good friends… well, trustworthy enough in this line of work to call “friends”. I’m now left with only one thought…

Now what?

Purchased Equipment
A note to Zee

[When you power on your deck for the first time, you are greeted with an electronic sticky note.]

Ms. Zee,

I hope you find the Fairlight Excalibur cyberdeck of great value. It is not often one can afford such a powerful piece of decking equipment! Given the recent, untimely deaths of deckers around the world, people with these skills who work outside of being a wage-slave are quite valuable indeed. Unfortunately, this leaves a bit of a gap in people who specialize in this type of equipment, but never fear! I will work hard to get you what you need, when you need it, even if it isn’t weapons and armor in the real world. Of course, I can continue to fulfill your needs related to your real world equipment. By the by, you’ll have to tell me how that bean bag gun worked for you.

Watch your back. Taking this new path will be fraught with difficulties as it seems the corporate world is taking decker heads!

Yours truly,
Diamond Jack

A few notes about deckers, and, thusly, some suggestions for spending your karma on skills.

There are a series of skills that are important for decking:
Computer, used for searching the Matrix, perception test in the Matrix, and covering one’s electronic tracks.
Cybercombat, used for, well, fighting in the Matrix, but most specifically, causing harm to things in and connected to the Matrix.
Electronic Warfare, use to control wireless connections. Jamming, listening in on wireless datastreams (think phones, but could be anything wireless), and hiding your signature.
Hacking, used for making the Matrix do what it is not intended to do. Breaking through digital defenses.
Hardware, used for upkeep and building of electronic hardware.
Software, used to run and create programs in the Matrix. Also for analyzing unknown programming code.
You will want to allocate some Karma to gain these skills if you don’t already have them.

Luckily, there are skill groups which can reduce the cost:
Cracking skill group includes three skills: Cybercombat, Electronic Warfare, and Hacking.
Electronics skill group includes three skills: Computer, Hardware, and Software.
To learn a skill group at level 1 is 5 karma. If you want the skill group at level 2, you spend 15 karma (not cumulative with level 1).

Bought individually, each skill costs 2 karma if at level 1, 6 karma if at level 2, and 12 karma if at level 3. Note that these are not cumulative. If you have any of these skills already, let me know, and I’ll let you know what the cost to increase is.

Comparing them, to buy a skill group’s skills individually costs somewhat more than just buying the skill group.

There are four Matrix-based attributes. You can think of them like attributes for the real world, e.g.: strength, agility, etc.
Attack, used in attacking and breaking via brute force defenses and harming programs.
Sleaze, used in Matrix “hiding” as well as determining defenses of Matrix programs. Not fast, but quiet intrusions. Kind of like thieving skills for the Matrix.
Data Processing, used for processing datastreams and information. This isn’t necessarily illegal actions, depending on the data you’re processing and “where” you are in the Matrix.
Firewall, used to protect against attacks from harmful programs and users in the Matrix. It’s kind of like your armor in the Matrix.

Your deck has four numbers that you allocate to the four Matrix attributes above. The four numbers are: 9, 8, 7, and 6. Depending on which numbers you assign to which attributes will kind of determine your focus in decking. If you have a 9 in Attack, you would be following in the footsteps of M_Dragon who excelled at attacking things in the Matrix. A 9 in Sleaze might make you more of a sneaky Matrix decker. Keep in mind, you can change them at any time, switching around those four numbers with those four attributes, so your initial pick is what it is now. You cannot change them on the fly in the Matrix, but only in the real world.

Terrorists Confirmed in TM Tower Attack

Government officials confirmed today that the attack on the T&M Tower in Taiwan was the result of terrorism, though a motive is still unknown at this time. The mercenary company The Cursed operating in hidden bases in Uganda was linked to transmissions to the attacking aircraft. Sources close to the investigation have identified the terrorist group working to suppress the rebels against the oppressive regime.

In fact, the attacks last year that devastated portions of Mexico City appear to also be linked to the Cursed terrorist organization, as well as notable assassinations. The most high profile of these being the assassination of the Mexican Defense Minister last year. Authorities have released a new low resolution image of the believed mastermind behind these attacks, including the attacks to purge the image data. Sources close to the investigation suspect him to be a mage.

[An image shows a grainy image of a male human or elf firing a beam of light from the window of a car.]

An unnamed source confirmed that this individual is being sought by authorities in many nations who have created a joint task force under the United Nations. Several accomplices are also being sought for questioning, though the source indicates that capture may be impossible. This source indicated that the recent bombing of the Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, CAS may be connected to the terrorists.

The recovery efforts in Mexico City and now in Taipei continue. A spokesperson for Yucatan Insurance Corporation indicated damage in the billions. Yucatan Insurance stocks hit new lows given the large expenses for these recovery efforts without assistance from the Taiwanese government.

Cuba Facility Map
Where the prisoners are...

Information for GM’s eyes only… for now.

A Stroll Through the Woods

In the gathering darkness of twilight, a team of six skilled soldiers strode through the underbrush of the forest. In spite of piles of leaves and other flora detritus, they made barely any sound at all. Their heavy armor camouflaged to match the dull greens and browns along with their careful movement made them easily missed by even an observer carefully watching for them. They moved towards the large clearing, a single, large crater and scattered debris of a small house in the middle of it.

The soldiers knelt quietly at the edge of the clearing scanning for any sign of movement. Very softly, they spoke into the radios of their helmets.

“Well, Cap,” said one quietly, apparently to their leader, “looks like we missed it.”

“Huh,” Cap grunted. “We ain’t done ’til we see a body. No body, no payday.”

“They dropped a bunker buster right on the house to kill one guy?” asked another in disbelief. “Somebody trying to put the over in overkill.”

“Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure,” chuckled another.

Cap shook his head, the smile in the helmet almost visible in his body language. “Well they ain’t payin’ us by the hour. Let’s move it people. Seriously, though, don’t take any chances.”

“What? You think they missed, Cap?” asks one of the solders.

“Look, anybody they think is so dangerous that they can’t send troops in and instead figure dropping a huge bomb on ‘em as their chosen assassination method as the safer option probably deserves a looksee to see if he’s still around. We ain’t leaving until we find him.”

The soldiers stand up, walking into the clearing slowly, their assault rifles drawn and ready.

“Switch to infrared, let’s see what we can see,” Cap orders.

As they approach the crater, one of the soldiers breaks the silence over their radio. “Whatever happened here, I think we missed it. There’s nothing here. Nobody.”

“We check and report,” answers Cap softly. “And since you think you know what’s going on, you can jump down in that crater and check.”

The soldier sighs. “Right,” he says as he makes his way into the crater. As he enters and looks around, he notices a heavily fortified tunnel, partially covered by rocks and debris. “Hey, I think I got something here Cap. No body, but there is a tunnel.”

“Alright,” Cap says. “You four stay up here and keep watch.” Cap moves down into the crater to inspect the tunnel opening.

“Cap, you think he got away through this tunnel?” says the soldier in the crater.

“Well, since you’re so interested Chavez, why don’t you crawl in there and take a looksee, huh?”

“I was afraid you’d say that,” answers Chavez as he crawls into the opening. “You’re only sending me ‘cause I’m smaller than you guys. Always picking on the little people…”

“If you were a dwarf, Chavez, you’d be the perfect pick.”

Chavez stands up, looking down the tunnel. “I think I see someth-” Chavez drops with a thud on the concrete floor of the tunnel.

Cap hears four other thuds behind him as the other soldiers fall.

“It appears you are searching for someone,” says an arrogant, aloof, aristocratic and male voice. “Indeed, you have found someone.” Cap hears the loud click of a heavy round being chambered into a weapon.

“Shit,” Cap says.

“I intended to use something more,… delicate, as a greeting but I just could not help myself. Believe me when I say that a round fired from this range will bore a hole through your chest wide enough to use as a picture window. I have questions. You will answer them.”

“Wait,” says a sweet, melodious female voice behind Cap. “Dr, Chamberlain sent them, so no need to kill them, right?”

“I suppose this is where you say, ‘I told you so’,” answers the male voice from the darkness.

“Well, I did tell you so,” says the female voice kindly. “Please, stand up Mr. Carver.”

“How do you know my name?” asks Cap almost to himself.

“She probably knows who your best friend from first grade is by now,” scoffs a familiar ork as he climbs out of the tunnel. “You know, we trained you better than this.”

“Dr. Chamberlain said you needed extraction-”

“I know Mr. Carver. No need to say it. That would be… redundant,” answers the graceful woman who suddenly appears as her spell drops. “You are well, we trust? Your walk through the forest was uneventful.” Turning to the ork, “Mr. Carver has transportation from here waiting.”

“Obviously,” says the ork with an eye roll. “Carver, since when did I need your help?”

“Walking out from here would be, ah, inconvenient?” asks the woman rhetorically.

The ork’s brow furrows. “And very much doable,” he answers sternly.

“Mr. Grummish, lets get out of here,” Cap says. “Others might-”

“Yes, yes,” interrupts Grummish impatiently. “Let’s get your men up.”

Karma Awards
Or, the GM's Amusement Awards...

Below is your specific Karma awards with my personal commentary. Hey, I’m the GM. I can say what I want!

...and then very real life challenges

“Damn it!” Jeremy shouts. “Where’d they get armor? The government said the rebels were strictly small arms.” As if to punctuate the point, an explosion destroys the second floor of the dilapidated building serving as cover, showering him in bits of red brick. Jeremy peeks around the corner to see the heavy, tracked tank moving up the street in the war torn city. He ducks back around the corner trying to catch his breath from the running… but that would wait as the all to familiar whine of a rotary heavy machine getting ready to spit thousands of rounds through him and the rest of his mercenary company.

“Displace!!!” Jeremy shouts, “Go! Go! Go!”

The Maiden grabs Jeremy and leaps away from the building, now being shredded by the high speed rounds spit out of the barrels with such speed as to make simply a loud buzzing noise.

“Get soldier to air ship at air dock,” the Maiden orders. “I cover retreat.”

“Are you fucking crazy?!” Jeremy shouts. “You can’t make it alone!”

“I see you at air dock,” answers the Maiden quietly. “Now, go!” She turns, slinging her assault rifle over her shoulder, pulling her sword instead. Jeremy stands looking at her turn to run. He takes a step after her, but then he sees his soldiers… his responsibility.

“Alright,” Jeremy shouts. “You heard her! On me. Oiene, Diego, cover our ass.” I do hope she knows what she’s doing, Jeremy thinks.

Six Ares Dragon helicopters sat on their respective landing pads at the makeshift airport their rotors spinning and ready to leave. Jeremy looked back at the city and the smoke rising from explosions and fire. A huge troll with his Panther Assault Cannon walks up.

“She’s gonna be alright, kid,” Katai says through his teeth which were firmly clamped onto a straw. Katai put his huge hand onto the much smaller orc’s shoulder.

Jeremy watches for a several minutes until he sees the Maiden running up the dirt road with one of the orc soldiers over her shoulder. “Katai! Look! There!” Jeremy shouts, pointing at her as she ran.

“Good news on an otherwise shitty day,” Katai says to no one in particular.

Then, in what seemed like time slowing to a near stop, Jeremy looks up to see a bomb above the airfield split into several smaller bombs which explode like the fireworks at celebrations… but with a deadly purpose…

...and there were video games...

“Ordinance dropped. Time to target is 64 seconds.” Sitting safe, thousands of miles away, the pilot of the pilotless craft sent instructions while sipping his coffee. In front of him sat various displays, providing instruments for airspeed, altitude, and other pertinent data. Just to the lower right of the changing displays was a three dimensional hologram displaying the target. The idyllic, simple structure situated in a valley literally in the middle of nowhere. All of these visuals were redundant, and more for those officers who checked in on their progress. No, being jacked into the controls directly made the displays irrelevant to the pilot.

The pilot’s curiosity gets the better of him.

“Hey Jack,” he calls out over the partition in his cubical to his co-worker on the other side. “What are we doing with a weapons field test in upper Mongolia on a log cabin?” One of the pilot’s screens showed the track of the dropped bomb and a live stream from the camera in the nose.

“Look dude,” Jack answers, “I don’t ask, and neither should you. Just get it done.”

“Hm,” the pilot sighs. Weird, he thinks to himself as he watches the bomb close with the simple cabin. A bright flash in the screen and then several displays change to show three simple upper case letters: LOS. “That’s that. Not that I know what that test told us. Hey Jack?”

“Yeah,” Jack calls, sounding a bit distracted by his own piloting tasks.

“You want to grab a drink at Lou’s after work?”


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