barbelith

Episode 1

Body Mobilized/Danger Obscure

It was a quiet evening in Redmond. A washed up scientist using the pseudonym “Rusty X” (Real name Thaddeus Adventure, surname suppressed by government) was offered a job by Anita Gunboots, his usual Johnson. This job was different from the look out work and border runs he had become accustomed to. Because of the possibility of extra pay and the need for a higher level of discretion than Rusty was used to, he called in a bodyguard and infiltrator he’d worked with before, pseudonym “Ji-nan Toxic.” Also washed up (people don’t exactly plan to become small time smugglers in boring Redmond) they had bonded over feelings of being used by the government and having a bit more life experience than the average junkie, ganger or suit.

The mission was simple enough:extraction. Even easier, the target wanted out and was in a lowsec type environment to avoid calling attention to the operation. A once promising robotics student, Dr. Jonathan Mayhew had fallen out of sight for two and a half years, only to turn up working for a single-A+ corp called Sombra Corporation. Sombra’s Redmond accounting office was a front for Dr Mayhew’s lab, and whoever Anita’s mysterious employers were they wanted to help Mayhew seek new opportunities elsewhere. Anita told Rusty and Ji-nan that Mayhew was prepared to meet them at midnight in his office, but that they should make it look like a kidnapping to avoid drawing undue heat to Mayhew himself.

The runners went around 8 PM to scope out the Sombra building. It was located in a quiet part of town even for the burbs, mostly the kind of corporate officers low level management are sent to run when they’ve screwed up and there is no other way to make their lives more boring along with a few research labs and local businesses. Far from Redmond’s walled in subdivisions, grey high rises and squatters slums, there was pretty much no foot traffic. Parking their van at a gas station across the street from the Sombra building, Ji-nan was able to use her thermographic vision to pick up a small security team in the building, while Rusty picked up on the presence of several security cameras both inside and out of the target building.

They decided that the gas station would make a good place to stash their get away van, but that to avoid unwanted attention they should pay off the gas station attendant to forget they were there, as well as acquire supplies to help make the run look like a kidnapping. Picking up that something shady was going on, the gas station attendant tested their trustworthiness (and likelihood of being lone star) the only way he knew how: by making them do drugs with him. After an hour of smoking deepweed in the back and trying to pump him for info (to no avail, he spent all his downtime at the gas station on the matrix anyway) the runners stumbled out, with Ji Nan unable to stop perceiving the astral plane.

Immediately they knew something had gone wrong. The Sombra building had its windows broken in and there were signs of mayhem in the lobby. Ji-nan’s astral senses were overwhelmed with a sense of tragedy coming from the building. Ji-nan and one of Rusty’s camera drones went to investigate. As they got approached the lobby they saw the bloodbath within. Sombra’s security guards were all dead from gunshot wounds. Given Ji-nan’s enhanced hearing, she figured that it had to be a professional team using silenced weapons. Rusty was able to pick up that whatever security system Sombra had possessed it had been totally disabled, cameras alarms and all. Ji-nan’s presence alerted a sleeping drone left behind by the attackers. The GM/Nissan Doberman sent out a signal calling for a team of Shadowcorp mercs to come in as a clean-up crew and then began firing at Ji-nan. She took a shot but shrugged it off, and despite intoxication and injury, was able to put down that dog with help from her trusty side-arm.

Sensing that no more life in the building didn’t mean no more trouble, Rusty sent a rotodrone along with Ji-nan to try to see what they could recover from the lab. Knowing that they didn’t have much time before the cleanup crew arrived, they skipped the 1st floor of offices and proceeded to the second floor lab, the center of the tragic astral signature Ji-nan had picked up. The lab had clearly been stripped of any useful equipment or data. An augmented reality sign warned:lab personnel only when testing human subjects. On the floor in a pool of blood was Glissa Reid, Mayhew’s young assistant. Though no work documents could be found, a thorough search of her comm-link revealed a message to her mother proud to be working for Dr Mayhew on project Ramses. Proceeding through the lab to Mayhew’s office, Ji-nan saw the doctor himself lying dead next to his office chair.

At this point Rusty’s camera drone picked up a second team of mercs coming in through the lobby. After receiving the warning, Ji-nan frantically searched Mayhew’s office, only to discover that his computer, comm-link and notes were all missing. Grabbing Mayhew’s company ID, Ji-nan waited until the mercs entered the lab, then blinded them with a flash-pak’s hypnotic strobes. Shadowcorp’s mage and two goons were counting on the element of surprise, but they found themselves surprised instead. Between the Roto-drone’s accuracy and Ji-nan’s military training, they were able to handle the mercs with a torrent of bullets. Grabbing Glissa’s comm-link as well as the one belonging to the Shadowmerc lieutenant, Ji-nan decided that this run was already enough of a snafu and that it was time to make an exit before more goons from Shadowcorp showed up or worse, the Lone Stars. Rusty pulled the getaway van up along side the Sombra building and Ji-nan rushed down the stairs, salvaging the Doberman drone on the way out. As they pulled out into the road trying to figure out how to tell their Johnson they were coming back empty handed they heard a loud boom, and turned to see a plume of flame as the Sombra branch office collapsed into its foundations. Well, so much for being discreet…

acquired:ID mayhew, commlink glissa, commlink shadow corp mage, gm/nissan doberman heavily damaged

“Dilemma of civilized man; body mobilized but danger obscure.”-Phillip K. Dick

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