Rumblings in the Shadow

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Koshnek
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Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Koshnek »

Location: Central Chicago, Aurora Barrens, the Downside
Time: Sunday June 3, 2095 - 8:00 AM
Weather: Last night's deluge has knocked some of the humidity out of the air, but the warm early morning reminds you that summer is just around the corner.
The Downside
the Downside - Exterior.jpg
the Downside - Interior.jpg
Kit.jpg


It is a relatively pleasant summer morning as you make your way to the Downside. The rumor mill has been churning with buzz about raids on shadow community hotspots like the Downside in the early hours of the morning today. Operators are missing, some are dead, and operations throughout Chicago are disrupted. Well, as disrupted as they ever are.

Black Swan's friend and fixer, Kit, has invited Kas, and anyone the budding fixer-slash-troubleshooter trusts, to the Downside at 8:00 AM for an employment opportunity. Although a small dive bar, the Downside is known to be a popular hangout for prominent (and not so prominent) members of Chicago's shadow community. The word on the street has it that the Downside was hit harder than most. Apparently, two strike teams of black-clad paramilitary operatives descended onto the bar and all but leveled it to the ground.

This comes as a surprise to each of you because half of the team came to the bar's defense and so know exactly what went down mere hours past. The other half are mildly surprised to see that while the exterior is more or less rundown, the interior is exactly what you would expect from a small bar in one of Chicago's poor subsectors: its seen better days but is well loved and maintained.

A hodgepodge of well-used and thoroughly broken-in tables are scattered throughout the bar. The seating matches the tables perfectly. Second hand accounts paint a story of broken tables, shattered bottles, bullet holes and blood stains. That doesn't at all
If you want, feel free to make a notice roll. Black Swan, Emi and Shift can make a straight roll. Boris and Roc can make it at -2 assuming they're not as familiar with the bar as the rest.

Roll a success and you can tell. Professional cleaners, and not of the biohorror hunting variety, have made a pass through the Downside. Even through the dim lighting, you spot repaired bullet holes. It's barely perceptible, but you can catch just the barest whiff of industrial cleaners, too. You wouldn't be surprised if there was a bar nearby temporarily closed for business because you suspect nearly everything, even the bar's alcohol stock, has been completely replaced.
of the local watering hole in front of you.

Kit greets each of you as you file into the Downside. If she knows your preference, she already has your usual poured for you. She even prepares a noodle bowl for Emi - the ones with the tiny bits of real meat. New comers are offered any drink they like on the house (although the noodles are obviously a special treat for Emi from Kit).

"Welcome, Nakama," Kit begins once you've all gathered and settled in, "and I thank you for coming."

She gives the team a respectful bow before continuing, "As you must all be aware by now, places which cater to certain elements within Chicago were raided early this morning. I am embarrassed to say I know less than I would like about the cause of these raids. I will share with you what I know, and then we can discuss what needs to be done."

Kit's tail twitches as she paces the floor. It only takes her a moment to decide where to begin and she focuses her attention back on the team, "A research facility was hit shortly before the raids occurred. Unfortunately, this is all I know. What I can infer is, the importance of what was taken cannot be understated. Standard operating procedure for corporations is to go after the team who wronged them, or those close to them. To launch a coordinated attack across our community is unprecedented in Chicago and speaks to the wronged party's desperation."

She takes a moment to let that sink in. When she continues speaking, each of your TAPs pings you for confirmation of data transfer, "I have acquired video footage of those suspected to have triggered last night's raids. They must employee a competent hacker because the feed is compromised. Any time the team would be identifiable the footage degrades or pixelates."

The footage shows four individuals rushing towards a white delivery van. One of them carries a metallic briefcase. Unfortunately, you don't get much more than that. The van doesn't have any identifying features, and the footage never clearly makes out the license plates before they're gone. As for the individuals, the video quality is poor enough that you don't hope to identify anyone from it.

"If you look at the last file," Kit pauses to presumably bring it up on her own TAP, "It contains data for the tracking beacon that the package is supposed to be equipped with. It does not appear to be functional. It may have been located and deactivated or they may have taken precautions to prevent such a signal from being broadcasted."

She stops and looks each of you in the eye in turn. When you've all had a moment to digest the available information she gets down to business, "I want this package recovered, Nakama. I leave the fate of this team in your hands or the less caring administrations of those stolen from. I am willing to pay your team twenty thousand cryptodollars for the successful recovery of what was stolen. It is my understanding that this is a time sensitive matter. What is in the case was not meant to be stored in this manner long term, and so If you take my offer, I will require you to complete the job within 48 hours."

It is o-fficially go time, folks! Welcome (back) to the game.

So, what now? Do you take her on the offer of C$20,000 to recover and hand over a case of who knows what, or will you try to squeeze her dry? Do you trust Kit with something that someone takes this seriously? Do you trust yourselves to get mixed up with an item that one of the corporations is willing to go to war with Chicago's shadow community to recover?

Feel free to ask her any questions you like. Take her deal, ask for more money, or refuse to get involved. Whatever you like. Heck, you could even try to double cross her by using the information she gave you to find the briefcase for yourselves...

If you wish to negotiate, pick a leader and make a persuasion roll. Consider Kit Neutral on the Reaction Table. She personally gets along well with Black Swan, but this is business not pleasure - and two team members are new faces. She has thrown some small work your way (a side job), but Kit largely hasn't worked with your team. Take a -2 to the Persuasion roll as this is a serious job, and she's already going out on a limb offering it to a relatively unknown team.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

Not rolling notice, he would not notice or care that the supplies where stolen.


Roc nods, not putting to much thought into the process. "Sounds good to me." He says to the others. They knew he had debts, and very little room to turn down a job. Then looking towards the client he asks. He liked the jobs where he was allowed to clean up when done. Nothing pissed him off more than being forced to let someone live and then deal with them stumbling across him later and risking his chrome getting damaged.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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Roc wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 3:38 pm Roc nods, not putting to much thought into the process. "Sounds good to me." ... Then looking towards the client he asks. He liked the jobs where he was allowed to clean up when done. Nothing pissed him off more than being forced to let someone live and then deal with them stumbling across him later and risking his chrome getting damaged.
Kit's tail flicks back and forth as she turns to face @Roc, "This team of thieves did not directly harm me, my place of business or my nakama. You are free to handle this job as you see fit. If that includes the deaths of these thieves then that is your business. Bring me the case, intact, within 48 hours. I will see to it that those who attacked me and mine will never get what they desire."
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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Boris smiles, sadly, subtly shaking his head. "I'm sorry, did you say $20,000? For all of us? Miss, we certainly appreciate you coming to us with your issue, but we are professionals and expect to be paid as such." He winks. "I get it though, this is a business transaction on both of our ends. Surely that was just an opening number, something to set the negotiation into motion, yes?"
Supporting Black Swan, 10 (+2)
Persuasion 1d6!! WD 1d6!!: [10!!]+[4] = 14
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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"That retaliatory group hit while I was here. I would be happy for a chance to have a crack at the source of the trouble. That said, it does seem that the pay isn't aligned with the risk of dealing with professionals of this calibre".
Shift's eyes flash blue as he touches Black Swan on the shoulder, powering her up for her retort.
Cast boost trait (persuasion) d12!+2, 1d6!=2: [8]+2+[3] = 13 (increase persuasion 2 dice sizes)
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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@Black Swan feels much more eloquent and the exactly right words to say seem to flow into her mind without effort as she prepares to convince Kit to pay the team more.
GM Note to Shift
The negotiation takes 1d4+1 minutes: [1]+1 = 2 .
That is 20 rounds, so @Shift will have to pay 3 extra PP to maintain boost trait on black swan for the money talk in addition to the base cost (2).
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

As things turn to negotiations Roc considers joining, but too many cooks can spoil the pot, so he decides to grab a drink and wait. Deep down all he cared about was getting enough money to pay Romanov. Once he was paid the rest was easy.

Tempting to support, but I am thinking Roc would leave it alone rather than risk crit failure and making the odds worse. After all he has confidence in the team.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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"You make good points, Nakama," Kit responds to @Boris' and @Shift's reimbursement concerns, "This fee is good for a group of mostly unknowns. Some of you are known to me."

The slight neko-girl
@Black Swan feel free to make a Notice roll at -2. Success on this roll includes the roll and information from my first GM post in this thread, but the penalty is -2 regardless of the instructions from the first post.

In addition to the information from the previous post, you know that Kit appreciates what Black Swan, Emi and Shift did to help defend the Downside. You definitely remember the bleeding-edge network security that came online during the attack. And finally, you remember the big, expensive auto-cannon she retrieved for Tiger during the first moments of the encounter.


You are confident that she has the money. She doesn't want to pay too much because she is a professional. You suspect
she heavily compartmentalizes her personal life from her business. If you lean into how you've helped her defend the downside and clean it up (assuming you did) plus taking on that side job with Emi, you might be able to break that wall down and have an easier time getting the friend rates.

Bonus: If Black Swan uses this information when she makes her Persuasion roll and ultimately fails the roll (after any bennies or other rerolls), you may make one additional attempt. This final, bonus reroll is made at no modifier (regardless of any Hindrances or Edges) and cannot be bennied.
  • Note: This bonus reroll does not override a critical failure, and a critical failure on this reroll works as per SWADE.
whether she can justify increasing the payout.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Black Swan »

1d6: [1] = 1 , 1d6: [1] = 1

1d6-2: [4]-2 = 2 , 1d6-2: [4]-2 = 2

1d12+1: [9]+1 = 10 , 1d6+1: [6]+1 = 7 + 1d6: [3] = 3 +2 from Support


Kas is laser focused on Kit, looking to her friend for cues to her mood, but sleep had not come easily for the fixer after their work to clean the place, strip the goons' gear, and otherwise clean the place up after their defense. Several of her friends had gotten swept up into that effort and had been out of the area when she began calling folks in. Of those she'd worked with only Shift and Emi were still with her, but Boris and Roc were solid.
"Shin'yū," Black Swan begins, using the japanese word for trusted friend, "I have sat on your side of the table before, so I understand your position. I would not normally push, but I fear our expenses will be rising significantly on this. Surely you can offer a bit more." Her voice is as smooth as nano-forged steel covered in the finest silk. Her body language and expression perfectly convey both her professional understanding and her personal empathy for Kit's position, but also that she understands the strength of her own position. "We will, of course, fulfill this request, assuming the pay matches the risk. Anything for the Downside and you," she concludes, driving home her earlier point.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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Emi brightens on seeing the culinary offering, and enthuses, "I love your noods!" before tucking in. It was 'hip' and 'lingo' to abbreviate words after all! She was learning! As Emi ate she did find a moment to reflect on how good the place looked after the fracas the other night. She wondered who Kit called for that kind of thing. An idle thought.

It takes until the negotiations are done before she's done wolfing the noodles down, but when that's over she demonstrates that she was listening attentively by saying, "Forty-eight hours is a pretty tight deadline considering we have no leads at all yet. Which research lab did they hit? We can at least retrace their steps from there if we have to."

Rolls: Notice 4
Notice 1d6!!: [4] = 4
Wild 1d6!!: [2] = 2
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

Roc listens to the negotiations knowing better than to open his mouth and mess it up. His skills were more in the area of intimidation and destruction, but that is no way to treat a person who has been right to you and owns the bar you like to hang out in.

Instead he orders another drink to enjoy while relaxing, dividing him mind between his internal awareness and his environmental awareness, practicing the divided concentration needed to master his skills as a monk. He had the training, but he had not yet had the break through needed to truly use his body to the extremes a cyber-monk can reach. Mastering any skill requires practice and the best practice is always in the manor you will need the skills.

RP only, does not have the edge yet, but I am going with he has the training and just needs that breakthrough because I plan on grabbing it with my first advance.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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Location: Central Chicago, Aurora Barrens, the Downside
Time: Sunday June 3, 2095 - 8:45 AM
Weather: Last night's deluge has knocked some of the humidity out of the air, but the warm early morning reminds you that summer is just around the corner.
The Downside
Image
Image
Image


Kit listens to Black Swan patiently, and her eyes light up for a moment. When Kas finishes speaking Kit nods, "This is true. You, Emi and Shift are known to me and have been proven yourselves capable. I will trust your new associates, who are not known to me, are skilled enough for this job. I do not think you would disappoint me in this. I will pay your team twenty-two thousand five hundred crypto dollars for the successful completion of this job."

As the Downside's proprietor speaks, Kas' TAP notifies her of a pending transaction, "And as a token of good will and friendship, I will give you twenty five hundred cryptos now. Please use these funds to resupply, acquire pick-me-ups, or for whatever uses you may have for these crytpodollars. Consider this payment appreciation for services rendered as well as a welcoming gift. I hope Roc and Boris will become my Nakama."
Emi wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:02 pm Emi brightens on seeing the culinary offering, and enthuses, "I love your noods!" before tucking in. It was 'hip' and 'lingo' to abbreviate words after all! She was learning!
Kit quickly covers her mouth with her hand and coughs, but anyone looking towards her at that moment can see the covered smile touch her eyes before she recovers and drops her hand, "You would be the first, but I am happy that they are up to your standards."

Emi wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:02 pmIt takes until the negotiations are done before she's done wolfing the noodles down, but when that's over she demonstrates that she was listening attentively by saying, "Forty-eight hours is a pretty tight deadline considering we have no leads at all yet. Which research lab did they hit? We can at least retrace their steps from there if we have to."
"I am sorry, Emi," Kit shakes her head as she replies firmly, "What information I have given you has cost me dearly and it is all that I have to offer. Reach out to your contacts, call in favors, and consider using some of the funds I have gifted you to grease palms. I believe in your abilities and that you will complete this job for me successfully."


For the purposes of this mission, you can currently consider Kit to be Friendly. Black Swan has convinced Kit to increase the mission payout to C$22,500. In addition to this, she has supplied the team with a further C$2,500 upfront to be distributed as you please.

Feel free to ask Kit any further questions you may have for her. Otherwise, its time to move on. I would suggest doing some legwork at this point, but feel free to continue onwards however you please.

Despite all the chatter going around right now, that's all it is...rumor. Judging from what you've heard went down at the Downside, everyone's just shooting the shit. Those who are talking don't know what's going on and those that do aren't talking. They're smart enough to keep their mouths shut, so prying that information out of them might be a challenge.

Contacts: If you want to reach out to your contacts, roll persuasion. If you fail they are unavailable, otherwise you get in touch with them. I will assign any bonuses or penalties based upon what you ask your contact and what their background is (and what they are likely to know). A negative modifier is likely, although an unmodified roll or a roll with a positive modifier could be possible depending on the contact and question(s) asked.

If you want to swing the odds in your favor, you can wire them C$250 or C$500 for a +1 or +2 bonus to your persuasion roll. Some of you wanted more options to use your Savings...so this would be where I would be willing to work with y'all. Unfortunately, no one has savings yet. So, instead, you may take a -1 or -2 penalty to your next lifestyle role (d6 if not modified via edges or hindrances) to gain a +1 or +2 instead of spending cryptodollars.

Networking: If you choose to network, follow the standard networking rules. Persuasion or Intimidations rolls will be made at -2 before any bribing or head busting comes into play.
  • Persuasion: You may either spend C$500 for a +2 to your roll as usual, or you can take a -2 to your next lifestyle roll for a +2 to your roll.
  • Intimidation: You may bust heads as described in SWADE. Alternately, you may roll street cred as described in the IZ 3.0 player's guide. If you succeed, you gain +2 to your roll without alienating your contacts.
Hacking: This will be handled as a quick encounter with a -4 penalty to the roll. You have options here. First, you can wait for your teammate's discoveries and follow those leads up. That will net you a +2. If you want to strike out on your own and run down your leads solo, you could choose to instead roll street cred as described in the IZ 3.0 player's guide to leverage it in your favor. This option will net you a +2 to your roll. Pick one or the other (or neither and roll at -4).

If none of the above options are appealing to you or your character, feel free to support another character as usual. If you have an idea for acquiring information that doesn't fall into one of the three above categories, and you do not want to support, feel free to discuss it with me. Maybe your character is very familiar with Chicago and you think his or her common knowledge can fit some pieces of the puzzle together? Whatever it may be, I'll try to work with you. Expect a minimum of a -2. Depending on how wild your idea is, an even heavier penalty could be in store for you.

Finally, feel free to do anything else within reason. Now might be a good time to pick up some ammo, or call a guy who knows a guy to get some chemtech or some medical equipment. If you have a better idea not related to legwork and clue gathering, lay it down for me and Ill try to work with you.

Important Note: Whatever action you take, an hour passes between concluding the discussion with Kit, leaving the Downside and whatever you do next.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

Roc listens as a the situation is laid out to them, once they are alone he says to the others. "Any ideas where to start? I may have someone I can call and at least ask why they would want to target here. But I owe her a lot of cred I don't have laying around right now. So I would rather help one of you on a task that involves breaking people, or acquiring things."
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Boris »

Boris listens to @Roc patiently. "Who is this person you owe money too? Maybe I know him, and we can talk it out?" Boris pulls out a pack of black market cigarettes, shaking one out enough to grab it.He rips off the ignition strip and takes a long pull at it before blowing thick gray smoke into the air.
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

Roc figures everyone already knows who owns him. But there is always a surprise. "Anastacia holds my debt. But I hope to pay it off soon. Owing the Vori is not something to take lightly."
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

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Kas wrinkles her nose at the smoke and gets up, finishing her drink. "Kit, we're going to borrow one of your tables for a few while we run down some leads and such. Then we'll be out of your hair." She indicates one with a good ventilation fan that is popular for gambling for that reason. "Let's go team and let Kit do her thing." Kas moves off with a wave and a smile to Kit. She sits down and has Emi sit to one side of her and indicates for Boris to sit directly under the fan and doesn't take no for an answer. Once everyone is settled, she continues. "Anastacia is reasonable as long as your payments are on time. Same for Alexi. There are definitely worse to be indebted to. But I definitely agree, it's better to be out from under such things. Unfortunately getting set up in this city doesn't always give one options. Regardless," she pauses pulling up some information on her link and sending invites to each of them so they can see it, "we need to get into this as soon as possible. Emi and Boris, you have everything I do on this matter. If you can think of angles on getting information off someone's servers that doesn't include Kit, I'm all ears. I'm going VR to hit up all of my known fellow brokers and see who's unusually quiet - that will give us an angle to pursue - I hope. I also have a guy who might be able to hook us up with a way of tracking that signal with a bit better signal penetration than just a normal TAP. Any ideas you guys have, put em on the board," she indicates the virtual white board in front of them all on their TAPs.

Legwork: Persuasion - see if any other brokers have any good information to sell on the research facility that was hit. Specifically I am looking for someone who shuts down way to quick in a way that is out of character. Using VR for the Meets.
1d10!: [2] = 2 , 1d6!: [3] = 3 -1 Benny 1d10: [8] = 8 , 1d6: [6] = 6 + 1d6!: [5] = 5
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Whiskers »

Whiskers barges into the Downside, practically tripping over themself in their haste to meet up with the others. ”Sorry I’m late; did I miss much?”

They see a whisky sour sitting on the bar, untouched, and blush a bit in Kit’s direction. ”Oh. Um. Is that, is that for me?” They don’t really wait for an answer before grabbing the drink and sitting down, shyness in the face of the pretty cat girl overcoming their typical boldness.

”Okay, bring me up to speed,” they say. ”Oh, and, uh, hi new folks. Welcome to the crew.”
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Boris »

OOC Comments
Support Black Swan Intimidation 1d6!!+2 WD 1d6!!+2: [1]+2+[4]+2 = 9
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

Roc decides it is time to get to work. As people start breaking up and trying to gather some information he tries to do at least a little of what he can. Hitting up Anastacia was not something he liked to do, it seemed every time she ended up getting more out of him than he did out of her. But that is part of the reason his debt kept growing.

Once she answered the call he began. "Hey Staci, as usual I need a favor. Here I am hanging out with my favorite fixer and some trouble comes in..." It takes him about five minutes to explain everything and answer her questions. "So, here I am trying to earn the money for my next payment and the thing standing in the way is figuring out a motivation. Any chance you have heard anything, or maybe one of you guys? I know Amber has a way of hearing things off her clients and well, we all know what Amber hears, you hear..."

The dialog passes back and forth, Roc has traded favors enough to know he usually comes out on the bottom. But this time he was putting in the extra effort and hoping she would consider this evens for the job he did for her last month. In the end, somehow it worked out that she remembered he still owed her. Funny, he could of sworn the last favor was the other way around, but after an evening spend on what she considered a cheap date he found he was down 500 cr and not sure if he could use the information she shared with him.

Networking Persuasion 1d6!! or Wild 1d6!!: [5]+[5] = 10
Benny reroll, also spend 500 CR for +2 Networking Persuasion 1d6!! or Wild 1d6!!: [5]+[4] = 9
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Whiskers »

Driving 12 to ID Anything About the Van
Checking out that van from the vid: Driving 1d8, Wild 1d6: [3]+[3] = 6
Driving Benny 1d8, Wild 1d6: [8]+[4] = 12 and I forgot the !, so: 1d8!: [4] = 4
Whiskers watches the video over and over, at least a dozen times. And then a dozen more. They can be very dedicated when they put their mind to something. On perhaps the 25th or 35th time through, they notice something. ”The van! Why didn't I see it the first time through? Look, look here.” They hold up their TAP display. ”Look at the van. See how nondescript it is? Plain white delivery van? I call bs, Nakama, because nobody puts bulletproof tires on a delivery van. And whoever saw a van these days without a corporate logo on it? And look, look! This thing moves just a bit too fluidly, you know? That thing has had work done, and well done, too, to keep it looking so damn boring on the outside. Even the tailpipe is a giveaway! It's too big around, you know? I bet we can figure out which shops do work like this. I’ll make some calls.”
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Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Koshnek »

Location: Central Chicago, Aurora Barrens, the Downside
Time: Sunday June 3, 2095 - 8:45 AM
Weather: Last night's deluge has knocked some of the humidity out of the air, but the warm early morning reminds you that summer is just around the corner.
The Downside
Image
Image
Kit.jpg


Whiskers wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:56 pm Whiskers barges into the Downside, practically tripping over themself in their haste to meet up with the others. ”Sorry I’m late; did I miss much?”

They see a whisky sour sitting on the bar, untouched, and blush a bit in Kit’s direction. ”Oh. Um. Is that, is that for me?” They don’t really wait for an answer before grabbing the drink and sitting down, shyness in the face of the pretty cat girl overcoming their typical boldness.
"Welcome, nakama," Kit greets Whiskers, "It is good to see you. I will let your nakama explain. You have the corner Black Swan chose to yourselves for however long you need it."

Once you discuss what you know, you each make plans for how to proceed. Then you follow them through. Boris decides to help Black Swan interrogate contacts in the Deep. Whiskers knows just who to get in touch with about the van's high performance modifications, and Roc has his own line of communications to pursue.

Chicago Day.jpg
@Black Swan has her own VR headset, but she isn't sure if @Boris has one. She has had good luck with Nova Deep 'Net, a relatively cheap and modestly busy internet café on the outskirts of Naperville and relatively close to the Downside. Nova Deep 'Net includes VR headgear in its rental fee, and the spot is just busy enough to make it unattractive for troublemakers but not too crowded to be concerned about personal space or privacy. It seems like a good location for their needs, so Kas gets herself and Boris the
The basic package comes with low quality, well worn headgear. The fee is cheap enough that it is covered under a d6 lifestyle. Less than that and it costs you 10 credits for the fee and refundable
This is just for roleplay - It only costs you 10 credits total unless you somehow actually manage to break one.
security deposit on the headset.
Requirements: Characters must have a Tendril Access Processor rated at Tier 1 or higher.
Performance: Standard headgear will get you there, but you’ll likely wish it didn’t. The VR experience with this tech is baseline. Many areas are pixelated to such an extent that it’s sometimes hard (at the GM’s Discretion) to determine what they are without a successful Notice roll. Digital food tastes off; it’s like the neural processors can’t figure out how something should taste, so everything tastes like chicken. Oftentimes characters will experience lag, especially if they are in heavily populated worlds such as The Deep, or any of the worlds which make up the Deadlands Universe. There is an upside to having this gear, though. You can’t feel pain and thus, you ignore any instances of Fatigue (Bumps and Bruises) while in VR.
Lag: Any time a character with this headgear engages in virtual combat or other activity (such as Chases or Dramatic Tasks) which stresses the headgear’s processors she runs the risk of incurring lag. If her Action Card is a Club, she has become lagged. She has the Hesitant Hindrance for the next 3 rounds.
  • Requirements: Tier 1 IDS
  • Performance: Lag heavy, low-quality sensorium input
  • Cost 100 C$
. Boris and Black Swan don their headgear and dive into
the Deep.PNG

Kas and Boris each separately see a loading screen briefly before being flung at seemingly break-neck pace into an endless white room. The floor is solid under your feet, but the nothingness extends in all directions around you including beneath your feet.

A voice queries, "Please
You're free to look however you want in the Deep. Use your character's stats as normal. We're not creating separate avatar characters as is optional via VR rules.
."


Rows of clothing, 2D "skins," which can be popped open to 3D for inspection at a touch, and any cosmetics imaginable rush in all around you as far as the eye can see. Most of the more interesting options come with price tags, some exorbitant. The options are infinite, however, and even filtering for free use allows enough variety to customize yourself adequately. The room brings you any options you desire. The headgear is also capable of intuiting your real-world appearance through your TAP and can set you down in the Deep as you really are.

Once Black Swan and Boris each finalize their customizations, they load into the Deep at the Nova Deep 'Net's lobby. When you step outside, you see an impressively high tech city. Everywhere you look you can see towers scraping the sky at impossible heights over nearby buildings. In truth, the Deep sprawls out forever in all directions.

Kas knows some brokers who prefer to operate out of the Deep and how to find them. Boris acts as her thuggish bodyguard, which is unnecessary in the Deep, but people's eccentricities have been drawn out by the anonymity of the internet for a hundred years and the Deep is no different.

Black Swan asks dangerous questions. The brokers deny any knowledge. Boris leans on the brokers, an impressive feat in the Deep where threats of physical harm and even pain are largely meaningless. The process repeats until one of the brokers clams up immediately after spotting Black Swan. He's probably heard what she's looking for and doesn't even want to speak with her.

Kas is able to do some mental gymnastics and a spot of modest hacking to figure out his real world identity. Boris gleefully uses the info to really dig his claws into the broker. Yet still, all he will tell you is that you need to speak to "the Spider" and to "follow the threads." Then he force-boots himself out of the Deep.

Taking the hint, Kas and Boris keep their eyes peeled for "threads" as they search the Deep. Boris just happens to be looking at a nearby building when a shimmer seems to shoot out of the glass-faced high-rise ten stories up. Keeping his eyes on the spot, he and Kas are ready when it shimmers again. The dim light shoots off into the distance, slowly losing height as it gets further from the building until its too far to track.

A three story warehouse is your destination. As you get closer you notice that the shimmer follows the path of a thread. At the warehouse, you can see similar threads from all directions merging onto the roof of the warehouse. The interior appears abandoned with various boxes, shelves and industrial equipment strewn about the facility. The second story is open space, but the third story contains abandoned office spaces.

The roof is an entirely different experience. A magnificent tangle of webs is constructed between the threads, with smaller webs attached to any and every protrusion from the roof. Each connects to the large web. Spiders crawl about the smaller webs, and occasionally one travels to the main web. The shimmers from the external threads pulse through it all into the main web.

Standing in front of that web is a strange sight: a large gleaming spider with a humanoid torso. You can only assume that this is "
the Spider.jpg
."

"I see you noticed my message," it begins in a monotonous and robotic tone as it motions towards the thread you followed to the warehouse, "I will tell you what I know under two simple conditions. One, you will not contact me again until I allow you to do so. Two, you will not mention my services nor myself to anyone at any time or for any reason. The payment for services rendered will be you agreeing to inform me into whose hands your prize is ultimately placed."

The Spider will not speak until his terms are agreed upon. After acquiescing, one of the small spiders snips a piece of the webbing, rebuilds the damaged section, and skitters over to Black Swan. It lowers itself towards her and places the thread into her hand. Once it makes contact, she receives a TAP notification. It contains very useful mission-pertinent data and what can only be a throw-away contact address.

"Payment is not optional. Send the information to that address when you have it," the Spider demands once Black Swan has had a chance to check the data.
.

@Roc and @Whiskerseach have similar plans yet following different avenues. Roc is confident his friend, a Vory lieutenant, knows something. It's just a matter of whether or not Roc is willing to play the price. Whiskers, on the other hand, knows that the van's custom mods were specific and expensive. There is a network of interconnected rabbits holes they can navigate to find out more.

Roc sets up a meet with Anastacia. She's expecting to be wined and dined, but time is of the essence. He manages to rope 'Staci into a cup of
Roc manages to call in a "reservation" at an Astrocups in the Ukranian Village, a popular chain of local coffee shops that can be found throughout the Chicago sprawl. Roc paid an exorbitant sum of money to a greedy manager willing to clear out a quiet corner of the cramped building for an hour. The manager even assured him that his placed orders would be waiting on him upon arrival.

"Roc," Anastacia greets him coolly, "What can I do for you?"

Her tone makes it clear that this "date" is definitely business and not pleasure. She's not as cool as Kit about separating the two, so Roc can pick up on a bit of annoyance and not having gotten her way - yet. She showed, though, so that at least is a good sign.

Roc has a file Black Swan sterilized for him from the meeting at Kits. It contains all the details that Anastacia needs to know and there's no risk of Roc accidentally letting anything slip. She is silent for a time as she enjoys the coffee and views the data file he sent her. She taps the table briefly as she considers what she can share with Roc.

The silence drags on as she takes her time eating the croissant Roc ordered for her - one of the actually decent foodstuffs on the menu. When she finishes her last bite, she looks at rock for a moment while she interfaces with her TAP. She sends him a similarly sterilized file that doesn't reveal any Vory secrets.

With the business out of the way, 'Staci warms up somewhat. She and Roc enjoy fifteen minutes of small talk and each others company before they each have to leave to attend their respective personal businesses. As she's leaving, Anastacia looks back at Roc.

"You better take me somewhere nice, Roc," she warns.
. She accepts on the condition of a rain check for the date owed in exchange for the information.

Meanwhile, Whiskers is working on their own angle. They contact various specialists to narrow down exactly what kind of modification was made to the van. Some know suspension and others armor. Whiskers even knows of a cyborg who specializes in parts, systems and tuning to make a car handle like a precision instrument.

They put together a list of the most likely modifications and parts that could be used to transform this van into an armored car that glides like the most luxurious models available. Whiskers knows cars and their parts, so the work goes smoothly. Satisfied with the results of their research, Whiskers finds some privacy to
Jared's a pretty good guy for someone who manages black market sales of parts that really shouldn't be disappearing. How he doesn't get caught is a mystery, or maybe his actions are even sanctioned? Whiskers may never know, but Jared also knows everyone in Chicago worth dealing with too. If Jared puts a part in your hands it comes with a recommendation for a mechanic, and you have a reasonable level of faith in quality of both the parts and the mechanic.

Whiskers is initially worried that Jared won't respond. A moment before being prompted to leave a message, Jared answers.

"Whiskers...good to hear from you," he speaks hesitantly, "Listen, now isn't a good time. The home office is in an uproar about something. I won't have anything for sale until they calm down."

Luckily for them, Whiskers doesn't need to buy anything. They speak with Jared and convince him that its possible the job Whiskers is working on could be related to whatever is going on at the home office. Helping Whiskers do this job could be seen as Jared helping himself get his "sales" up.

Jared agrees, "Look, if all you need is information, I'll take a look at it for you. You've always been a good customer and you know how to keep your mouth shut."

Whiskers sends Jared the list of likely parts and modifications they pieced together prior to contacting him. The pair go back and forth over the list until Jared has a pretty good idea of what's going on.

Jared sends Whiskers a small data file and says, "Yeah, I sold some of these parts. One of them is something special. Armor for the van, but its focus isn't the passengers. It's all designed to help shield a special hidden compartment which is heavily protected. Barring a nuclear strike or a tungsten bar from heaven, whatever is stored in the secret compartment should survive any damage to the vehicle or compartment intact."
Jared Zilket.

@Emi remains behind at the Downside as her friends and new teammates hustle off to figure out their next move. She compiles the information they send back to her and tries to figure out how the pieces interconnect. The picture painted is fairly interesting.

Kit's Briefing
  • A heist happened last night at one of the Corporate Enclaves downtown. People have been asking around.
  • It sounds like there was a white van that left the enclave. Nobody seems to know who was driving it.
  • The stolen goods were extremely valuable.
The Spider's Tangled Web
  • Crime syndicates, governments, and corporations are all interested in trying to recover the goods. Whoever has them could command quite a ransom for them—assuming they can survive the sale.
  • Security throughout the corporate enclaves is elevated right now, and it looks like it’s ramping up in North Chicago too.
  • There has been an unusual amount of high encryption traffic heading out of Serenity Tower today. Someone there is reaching out to power brokers on a large scale.
    • The Serenity Tower ballroom is a complete video dead zone. Something is blocking any signal coming in or out of that room, and all the cameras are off. This almost motivates someone to go out in the real world to see what is causing it.
Anastacia's Chit Chat
  • Today has been awfully busy. The syndicate has called in markers and collected advance payments from contacts. Enforcers have been running all over town trying to secure every bit of currency that they could in short order.
  • In particular, the boss has acquired a Serenity Titanium Membership at Serenity Tower for the second-in-command. With that kind of crypto, someone could afford to rent an apartment in the Gold City Megablock and live a disgustingly luxirious life...for a very short time.
Jared's Wheelin' and Dealin'
  • The combination of the type of specialized armor and armored compartment installed in the car is something else, and so is the price tag. It's the sort of containment you get for an unstable biological weapon, a nanotech device, a bit of dangerous viral code, or a biological identifier that verifies the ownership stake in a mega-corporation. It's not something one affords by smuggling or fencing goods, and its an unnecessary level of protection for that sort of work.
  • Jared is unable to contact "Finn" Bacon, the party ultimately responsible for many of the purchases on Whisker's list. "Finn" is a fence usually dealing in low-to-medium profile sales.
It is now 10 AM.
The plot thickens. You now know that everyone and their mother is interested in this little metal case. Fortunately for those affected, you're all currently paid up with the Vory or you might have found yourself being squeezed hard.

Jared dropped a name, "Finn" Bacon, and the Spider has provided data on a locked down ballroom within the very exclusive Serenity Tower. The Vory are obviously interested in Serenity Tower, so you could attempt to deal with them further. There are many other powerful entities showing an interest in whatever is going on at Serenity Tower. You could try to make use of that information. You could also do your own thing by trying to infiltrate or impersonate or something else entirely. You could also try to gather more information now that you have solid leads to chase down.

You need to dig up information on "Finn" bacon, Serenity Tower, and possibly the interested parties on the move. We've lost some time this quarter to slow past rates (not pointing fingers, I'm responsible for at least one week myself), so I have decided that a Dramatic Task will be appropriate here.

This Dramatic Task is mostly standard. Each success and raise will gain the party a Task Token. There are twenty Task Tokens available. For each five Task Tokens collected, the team arrives on location better prepared to take on the next step of the job.

Dramatic Task Instructions
  • Nearly any Skill roll narratively appropriate is allowed.
    • Having said that, I'm not sure Fighting, Athletics (Throwing), Shooting or hostile Psionic skill rolls will be acceptable, but if you make a good case then it might be allowed.
  • Any character may choose to support another if they would prefer.
  • Serenity Tower is very exclusive location. None of you acquainted with the folks that frequent the place and the best you can do is get in contact with those who work there - and they're obligated not to speak of their place of employment. It's not hard to dig up information on "Finn," but he has been very tight lipped about his most recent activites. Digging up information about which parties are interested and getting in touch with them is also risky business as they won't appreciate the knowledge you possess.
    • All of this means that you will be making your Skill rolls at -2.
  • There is no limit on the number of rounds you have to acquire Task tokens. However, each round requires an an hour to complete!
  • You, as a team, may decide to drop out of the task together after any round after the first. If you do extremely well on the first round and gain 10 Task Tokens y'all could decide to go in half-cocked and attempt the next scene and save an hour or more.
  • Finally, Action Cards will be drawn for each round. Anyone who receives a Club will be at an additional -2 penalty to their action as usual.
Please see SWADE pages 122 and 123 for additional information about Dramatic Tasks.

Task Tokens Acquired: 0/20



I will roll 1d56 to assign each of you a card. Any results of 53, 54, 55 or 56 will count as a joker. This is obviously two more jokers than usual and it is meant to account for the deck not thinning. The player(s) drawing a Joker will receive a +2 bonus to their action this round, and all players will receive a Benny.
  • You may spend Bennies as usual to draw additional Action Cards at the cost of one Benny per Card
Action Cards
  • Black Swan 1d56: [29] = 29 - 4C: Complication
  • Boris 1d56: [47] = 47 - 9D
  • Emi 1d56: [15] = 15 - 3H
  • Roc 1d56: [35] = 35 - 10C: Complication
  • Whiskers 1d56: [12] = 12 - KS
IZ3 GM Bennies 5/5
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Whiskers
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:11 am

Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Whiskers »

Language (Spanish) 9, 2 Task Tokens
Language (Spanish) 1d6!, Wild 1d6!: [3]+[3] = 6
Benny: Language (Spanish) 1d6!, Wild 1d6!: [5]+[4] = 9
Benny: Language (Spanish) 1d6!, Wild 1d6!: [4]+[6!, 5] = 15 - 2 is 9. Neat!
Whiskers hits the part of town known as "Little D.F." (pronounced little day efe) and visits some of the mechanics they know from when they were first coming up as a grease monkey. As it turns out, Tio Rodriguez graduated from working on cars to driving them and now works as a valet over at Serenity Tower. It's all very hush hush, but he gives Whiskers the lay of the land in exchange for an hour of work and a favor to be named later.
User avatar
Roc
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:20 am

Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Roc »

Roc kits the streets ready to ask questions, then he thinks better of it. These people are all about keeping it low and a much better way for getting information would be a little subtilty. Deciding a little stake out would be better he decides to get dressed properly, without the heavy armor he normally treated like a second skin, and look for a bar near the facility.

Once inside, he began just hanging out, grabbing a burger and listening for clue or hints as to what was going on. Even his best clothes were not perfect though and Roc knew there was always a chance he would be spotted. But a lot of people would come in, and normally people like that talk to each other a lot more than they talk to strangers and pay very little attention to the people around them.

Roc finds himself getting a little annoyed, after a while. He had been in this place for nearly an hour, was running out of good reasons and had learned nothing. Time to start thinking of other options...

Persuasion -2 for not being one of them 1d6!! or Wild 1d6!!: [4]+[3] = 7
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Black Swan
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:18 pm

Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Black Swan »

With the knowledge of where a sale was going down, and with her own client list, she begins datamining her clients for any of them with the reach to pull off being in the know and interested in this auction. She has the vague beginnings of a plan, but she needs an angle. Short of that they will instead have to try for a covert entry, and that is not likely going to quiet. For now she focuses on a way to sleaze her way in, rather than sneak. "Emi," she begins when they meet up again, "I need your help. I have a list of clients I can look into and see if they might be able to help us with an angle on gaining entry to all of this, but honestly I'm not sure I can do this without setting off a ton of alerts. Can you dive with me and help me out? This is all super priveledged info, but I trust you." So she provides Emi with leads to look up.
Datamining 7 (one token)
Datamining 1d6!-4: [6!, 3]-4 = 5 , 1d6!-4: [6!, 5]-4 = 7
Black Swan
Black Swan Bioroid Fixer and Combat Negotiator
Parry: 7, Toughness: (Armored Jacket): 11 (2); (Tactical Armor): 13 (4)
Benny/Conviction/Wound/Fatigue
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Boris
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:57 pm

Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Boris »

1 Task Token
Hacking 1d6!! WD 1d6!!: [5]+[2] = 7
Boris uses a fake ID and a fake cred chip to hail a cab to one of the more seedier parts of town. He rents an encrypted Access Point and quickly locates Serenity Towers data packets, and begins to copy them discretely, raising no alarms.
User avatar
Emi
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:15 pm

Re: Rumblings in the Shadow

Post by Emi »

Emi nodded at Black Swan's request, mutely taking the list and shaping it into a task chart as her awareness focused in on the everpresent hum of the digital space that surrounded them. Methodically, sequentially she queried network after network. Defenses tested, and where she found them wanting she dug deeper. For most it didn't take long to get results. Everyone had a weak spot somewhere.

In an unsettlingly short span of time, Black Swan got an encrypted file back from Emi, with summaries of data included for each name on the list along with links to more comprehensive file depots where particularly juicy tidbits could be securely hosted for a limited time.

Rolls: Hacking 13
Hacking 1d8!! +2 1d6!!: [2]+[11!!] = 13
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