Friday, 18 April 2014

Runner's Journals, Player Write-ups from my WA 2070 Shadowrun Campaign (Session 2).

Session 2 is done and dusted. The runners got into the slightly run down K-dome and got their first job as a group. It seems their/the Serpent's Cup assault on the SK research detail is the talk of the Domes. It also seems Laz's truck was recorded by a Drone that escaped destruction during the rumble in the ruins.

My player's have not disappointed, providing me more Journals and Write-ups in exchange for Karma.

Here is the GM Session Summary.

Click ahead to read the player journals/write-ups/stories:   

Zola: Shotgun wielding adept with a hatred for the corps. 

It seemed impossible but the crowd at The Mount are even rowdier than your first visit . Merlin and his tribe seem fairly satisfied with their carnage, and you have to fight back the sickness crawling its way up your throat for a moment. Their attitude isn’t really that different to the corps, steamrolling innocents without a second thought. At least you can say the scientists should have known what they were getting into.

The biker’s all systems go with pretty boy Silk again, his brief game of hide’n’seek apparently forgiven. They’re talking quietly in the chaos of the bar but the grizzly old man seems to be…crying? You don’t really want to know any more about that.

Nitro’s still not back from stashing the chopper but everyone seems keen to leave before SK show up wanting blood. You wouldn’t mind if they did. You’d get to take out another few corp automaton assholes. But you’ve got a date with the fixer’s man and you need a lift to get there, so it’s into Laz’s truck and down the highway. It’s quiet, still except for your little convoy. A few rats scuttle over the ruins but they’re harmless enough. They have their own ways to survive.

Somehow the face has convinced his #1 fan to come with, and as you pull into the flat surrounds of a huge mega mall the bikie seems to freeze up. You can see why as headlights flash over charred corpses, melted skeletons and the blacked rocks of the dilapidated building. The place feels like Death, an odd chill up your spine as the cars stop. Merlin doesn’t want to stay here. You’re of the mind that whatever caused the damage is probably long gone and wouldn’t likely return, but that chill isn’t going away and you’re not the only one who can sense it. You drive on.

There aren’t many options between the mall and the dome, just empty broken road. You find an underpass and pull up. It seems vulnerable, too open on all sides, but there isn’t a safer choice in sight. You get out and wander, stretching your legs as you scan the horizon, but there’s nothing.

The hacker is still hiding in his bubble, the chemist in her truck, but the others are talking quietly. Silk and Merlin drift away to their own pursuits. You can’t quite relax but the group has enough sense to keep their chat short before everyone beds down, and you keep your gun close. It’s not so bad if you ignore the cold.

A drone approaches, alone against the strange glowing sky. It hovers near the truck, circling to scan the plates. Laz is muttering furiously to Snickers over the comms, though from what you can tell it’s not stolen. Maybe that drone that escaped the raid tattled on you after all. They handle this one better, changing what it thought it saw and sending it on its way. You wish you were in the dome; it’s easier to hide in a crowd. Merlin apparently thinks differently, taking off despite Silk’s fluttering lashes.

You take your watch but the drone doesn’t come back, and when the sun rises hot and fierce there’s no point trying to keep sleeping. You head for the dome and here there’s finally traffic, finally other people. You hide your gun in the back with the SINless wonder and instantly feel more exposed, hand drifting to the familiar hilt of your axe for comfort.

The dome is huge and dirty and everything that’s wrong with the normal folk, a brown smear on the landscape. The guards are checking through windows and scanning plates, and there’s more muttering about the truck. It’s supposed to be clean. Maybe you’d have been better walking.

Snickers causes a distraction and Snipes sneaks out to change the plates, and you wonder how many times these people have scraped by on dumb luck and the skin of their teeth. You should definitely not be involving them in your business but numbers are better than nothing, and they’ve proven they can handle themselves.
Jack makes it through the gates. You have a harder time. The damn thing’s been on the news and you’re sitting in the cab with an illegal unregistered in the back. Great plan. Laz plays it cool though, better than you expected, and with the new plates it’s enough to fool the idiot at the entrance. You get the nod – just. Géva almost gets searched but she brushes it off and slips by, and though that punk Snickers basically thumbs his nose at the guard he sneaks through too.

Once you’re out of the tunnel and under the rusting AR roof, the oppressive height of the city starts to creep in on you. All those buildings, all those people packed in together until they’re living on piles of filth and bodies, all under the watchful eye of the corp – you’d give anything to have those wide open fields of your own village back. It’s a foolish thought, and you cast it aside.

The meeting’s not til 6 but people have errands to run, things to buy. You call the fixer but he can’t tell you much about Johnson other than he’s jumpy. It’s not reassuring – you barely know the fixer and now he’s sending you to meetings he hasn’t even vetted. It better be worth the trouble.

You get to the building on time and everyone decides to come up, probably curious about the services on offer. Laz looks different, no explanation given, the rough exterior gone. You take offence to the change but it’s not the time or place for that conversation. The restaurant is tacky in that cloying way that seems to hang on your skin just from breathing the air, and you wish these jobs came without all the unnecessary clandestine hellholes. There’s a brief riot at the maître d’s desk as everyone tries to sit in on your meet, but you put your foot down and cover the squabbling. Johnson’s here to see you, and you don’t need half a dozen chummers putting him off. You’re uncertain enough about him as it is.

She seems to buy the line and has you escorted to a private room. The stench of unwashed troll barely covers the stronger, older smells of sex and cheap alcohol. You draw up at the sight of them. The fixer never mentioned this shit and you tell Johnson so, hiding a sneer at his unimpressive, shuddery self. You can’t stand twitchy types.

He seems to think the guards are needed and maybe they are; you don’t know what he does outside this room. He might be higher up the chain than he looks. But you don’t like being ambushed like that and you don’t like this job already.

It gets fishier though. Johnson stinks of Saeder-Krupp. $5000 a pop to steal a bunch of de-sal research? It’s not much considering the fortress of corp factories he’s asking you to infiltrate, and he wiggles around your questions on Apex. You like Johnson even less but you take the job. What else are you going to do? He’s not going to tell you anything more. You’ll have to find it for yourself. And there’s no rule that says you can’t change the plant to your own advantage later. You don’t give a shit about the corp power plays so long as neither side comes out on top. There’s no way you’re helping either of them. There should be plenty of interested third parties who’ll make a better deal.

You find the others and give them the details, heading out before there are any unfortunate run-ins with Mr Johnson. You don’t think he’d appreciate the calibre of runners you’re currently riding with. Snickers takes a peek at Apex and discovers they’re an Evo subsidiary – not top tier, huh? You want to go back upstairs and ram Johnson’s awful tie down his throat.

Your fixer won’t pick up, so you can’t give him the dressing-down he deserves for feeding you to that weasel. The mountain’s looking hard to get to but Laz has a contact to go with those seemingly limitless funds, some girl from Knight Errant he screwed over (literally) and while she’s sure not happy to hear from him, she gives up the goods. KE run the island checkpoints, with the corps taking over once you’re inside. And there’s a recent vacancy in their ranks. Looks like you might have an opportunity to slip through after all.

Laz:  A cashed up individual with the ability to morph his appearance. 

Laz personal log 2b.378803
The wind flaps my hair up and down over and over again as I cruise through the stale night air on my bumby scooter towards the bikie bar. I don't have hair... I remove some branch that got caught on my jacket.

I watch through my tiny feminine mirrors as my scooter leaves a brown track mark behind itself like a dog... that's scooting… his bum... a smile comes to my face as I ponder this.

The bikie bar smells awful, I stay only long enough to confirm my thoughts on leaving here tonight. The smell of stale ale or possibly Hurlg flares my nostrils and my shoes start to stick to the floor, I’m certainly longing for the luxuries of my penthouse apartment back home.

My scooter and I are safely back in the truck I gave to Nitron. Whilst I don't know where the frag he has gone to, I'm laying claim to the Death Star on Wheels.

A few stragglers arrive for a lift. I motion towards the back and give a quick demo how my advanced image screen can trick the senses of anyone looking in. None of them seem too certain about it. I don't either but I put on a good show. 

It’s what I do.

We pull over near some abandoned megaplex that looks like it has been burnt. There are bodies on the ground that are all burnt and some trees and vehicles that are all blackened and burnt looking.
I think to myself "I wonder what happened” a word in my head pops up. "Burnt". I nod my head in agreement.

We move away from this burnt place. I spot numerous gang signs spray painted on the freeway on-ramp walls. I wonder what the CLAP is.

We pull over under a bridge for the night to avoid suspicion. I take the opportunity to have a wizz. As I stand there with my cock in hand, mesmerised by the moons light bouncing playfully off some drone hovering in the night sky, I start to feel homesick. The drone flies away and it brings me back to reality. I head back inside to some crazy commotion about almost being caught, but I don’t bother to ask what or why, I just make myself a drink and go to sleep in the Valkyrie unit.

The next morning kicked in, we head into the K Dome. After a quick license plate change by Wesley, insisted by my newly hired Matrix PA, I am forced into confrontation with a tired looking guard.

I talk perhaps too long for comfort with an accent I emulate from Wesley. He mentions that a vehicle that looks just like mine has been reported on the news for murdering innocents and wreaking havoc. Luckily my vehicle hasn't a single scratch or mark on it that would suggest its been involved, and my newly acquired license plates don’t match up to the truck in question. He takes a quick look into the back, gets fooled by the image screen and sends me through. The first thing I'm doing is restocking the Clear Car Coating system with a new colour and getting my truck looking at least slightly different. I decide it’s time for a change too and start adjusting my body image to a less imposing person.

The rest of the crew got through easily. Jack made it look too easy. Geva decided it wasn't hard enough so threw some chemicals around the car to make it a bit lore obvious and still breezed through. Frag knows what Snickers did but he certainly had the guards laughing afterwards.

Zola drags us to a meet up, I naturally decide to come, a few questioning stares at my new image gives the game away a little. As I start to explain, my Matrix PA pipes up and silences me in time. I knew he was worth the money. After a few minutes of solid jaw dropping from the team towards the nudity from within the venue “Lovers”... I decide to jump in and take an order and hopefully some of the attention away from our group. I order an Espresso Swift, a strong caffeine induced drink with a quickie. I mention to the front reception I will shout drinks/sex for my entourage.

I deftly motion the girl with my soykaf over to the manager, I know how things operate in places like these. I spend a little more money and my private room now has images to all the other team mates rooms too. I can’t see where Zola went which is a shame in more ways than one but when I notice Silk with 4 dwarves and what I can only make out as a troll dressed as a donkey, I decide enough is enough and make for the exit.

Zola got some good information and informs us on our way to a hidey hole. we need to get into garden mountain and recover some tech. Snickers starts to have a crack at some detective work and and I start changing my image to a more muscly gym junkie for our next charade. The group simply accepts that I have two things of value for them now. Shapeshifting and Nuyen.

Ahh, I welcome the new day. I enjoy watching Jack spar with our current lead were tailing, Jack manages to put him to shame. Luckily instead of leaving the gym in shame, he admires Jack for making his decision to leave his steady well paid job, pursuing a career in martial arts, seem dismal. Jack gets another name for our decker. I smooth a few words over and arrange combat training lessons to give me constant communication with him later as we go. Not to mention some sorely needed skills I lack.
We wind down back at our hidey hole where I impersonate Jack to gain audience on base for an interview. It was a breeze. I didn't want to seem too good, it my blow my actual cover with these runners. But I played it safe never the less. I bought Jack a new suit to keep things classy. Whilst at it I secretly purchases Silk a nice hidden defence bracelet for an emergency. I'll have to keep tabs on my nuyen. I'm not used to having limited amounts.
After what must of been an hour of chewing betel I was alarmed to see Geva and snipes motioning everyone out of our drek cubby house and into the clear. I don't know why we needed to leave but I could hear air-borne machinery closing in. We got away but It put the fear of dragon into me not to mention a need for new pants. Hmm I wonder what kind of fashion places are in K Dome.

TFER Snickers - No Reference - ¥1000.00 - Au License - ¥100.00
Hardys Hard-on Hardware - Vehicle Paint 50L - ¥200.00
Kelly's Krazy Kommlinks (KKK) - 3x Sony Emperors - ¥2,100.00
BJ Corner Store - Betel gum - ¥0.50
TFER Snickers - No Reference - ¥1000.00
Lovers Enterprises - Espresso Swift - ¥120.00
Lovers Enterprises - No Reference - ¥380.00
Lovers Enterprises - Backwards Cornfield - ¥200.00
Lovers Enterprises - FingerSnifftzel - ¥200.00
Lovers Enterprises - Winnie the Pooh Special with Snow White Dwarf additional // Extra Lube - ¥500.00
TFER Brian - Lessons - ¥200.00
Action Enterprise Supples - Clothing and Weapons - ¥4,350.00
Vending Machine /10234 - Betel Gum - ¥1.50

Snickers: Over-confident, pubescent hacker prodigy.

Snickers jacked in. His consciousness melted away into digits and soon he was back. Back in that blissful place of no feeling. He gladly let the constraints of his physical body melt away and he exploded forth into the matrix moving at the speed of thought. He could almost feel a rushing breeze through his hair as he blitzed from node to node making his way to his final objective; the secure node on the far side of the firewall he had spent the whole morning carefully tunneling through.

The rest of the team were out seeing to other matters. This job had everyone's attention and everyone was trying to do their bit to getting them onto that mountain. That was the job. Get on the mountain. Get the data. Get the fuck out. As his digital self probed the security programs coursing through the node, reassuring himself that his infiltration was unnoticed he thought back to the meeting that had resulted in the job.

The team had entered the building conventionally enough, and as they were riding the elevator up to the meet, he himself has zoomed ahead to inspect the place from whatever angle his matrix surfing skills could muster. And there was the brick wall. He didn't mention it to the team, but the room in which the Johnson was waiting was blacked out to him. His signal was wiped out with interference before he could even come close to inserting himself in the surveillance subroutines. There was some high-tech counter-espionage bullshit going on here. He was stuck. As soon as Zola went into that room her commlink dropped off the grid. There wasn't a single damn trick in his repertoire that could give him eyes or ears in that room. That wouldn't do. He couldn't walk away from this empty handed.

Blitzing through the security firewalls on the node at the receptionist's terminal he scanned the logs finding that their Mr Johnson has covered his tracks here too. No name. No payment record other than a note describing payment by anonymous cred-stick. Still he wouldn't rest. He picked apart the vidfiles secured away by the cameras until he had the footage he needed of the contact entering the establishment. In time, his secrets would be an open book before Snickers.

The meeting had been unsettling for Snickers, but a job is a job, and nuyen are nuyen. He could worry about where it was coming from once he had earned it. After all... he had bills to pay. And to pay them it looked like the team needed him inside the nodes governing the security checkpoints to Mt Garden. This was quite the job and they were relying on him. He doubted any of their other avenues of investigation would pan out, moronically simplistic that they were. It was all on him to save their asses. Again. Just like last night.

Last night when the sky had been filled with SK drones and helicopters combing the area for any sign of them. Laz, so confidant that his credits could buy miracles, thought that his truck would stand up to inspection. But Snickers knew. He'd chased that drone all the way back to the Saeder mainframe and he knew that if he didn't act fast then this caper was dusted. He just managed to pick apart that bot's shiny little brain before it raised the alert. A few quick rewrites later and it was having a real hard time reading the truck's rego straight. Saving everyone's asses.. He seemed to be doing it every couple of hours. "Not that any of these assholes even seems to realise what i'm doing for them." he thought to himself, half murmuring the words in his near comatose state.

In the matrix, his avatar, a shining white silhouette, began picking apart threads of code, searching through it all for the user ID number he needed to complete his Trojan. He would seed the program in the account registry and once there it would duplicate a legitimate account creation command, opening up the way for admin level access. He could sense the security programs beginning to pick up on the disturbance he was creating within the node, rewriting whole batches of code. As carefully as he picked through it, he deftly reassembled it behind himself, leaving no trace of his intrusion.

It almost went as well as their bypassing the gate to the K-Dome. Having pulled immediate suspicion from the truck, the team thought they were safe getting in as they were. Snickers had met with a degree of resistance in convincing them that their vehicle had been compromised. The new plates that he had manufactured from his desktop forge were barely ready in time, what with the urgent hustle that they all insisted on employing to get to the checkpoint. It was a close call getting those plates onto the vehicle without the guards at the checkpoint noticing. thankfully the vehicle ahead of them had suffered a catastrophic glitch in it's navigational software, causing it to believe that the large lorry in front of it was in fact a beautiful stretch of open highway. He had barely stirred pulling that one off. Probably again, this was why the other slackers along for the ride had no idea who to thank. He was going to have to renegotiate his fee.

Behind the firewall, the architecture of the network lay open before him. He rode a cresting wave of satisfaction and smugness as security layers crumbled before his pirated authorization codes. He was winning. He was king. He was in their base, killing their dudes. He... was being watched. He hadn't even notice it happen. How? How could he have missed an AI construct logging into the node. In the scope of his simulated reality he could see the icon floating there in cyber space. A compass. The seeking needle waved back and forth in the direction of his avatar and Snickers panicked.
A tracer program!

It would lead them straight back to his commlink. He couldn't let them finish the trace. Activating the attack programs he had personally customised he unleashed a barrage of subversive code at the tracer. He could see it bouncing through his remote servers and relays, not slowing one bit as the host program was slowly torn to pieces. Slowly. Too slowly. This wasn't working. Not fast enough. He had to get out before...
Suddenly, the programs icon stopped it's oscillations and pointed true at Snickers' avatar. He heard a click on his commlink as the tracer solidified its connection.

"Oh fuck". A splash of drool escaped the corner of his mouth as he slurred the profanity out. A few seconds later his eyes flicked open and he raised his hand to wipe his mouth. He looked around the abandoned complex that they had holed up in to set up the run.

"Oh fuck" he repeated. He saw a hint of motion in the gloom. His cybernetic eye amplified the dim light and he saw Snipes resting in a corner, methodically checking over his blades. He was staring at him now.
"What is it?" he asked purposefully.

"I... I fucked up.". The words came slightly too loud from the speakers of the Diahatsu. "We should probably think about getting out of here".

Understanding filled Snipes' eyes and he was up in a flash. At that moment, the whirr of rotor blades thudded into earshot accompanied by the faint wail of sirens.

Recognizing that it was nothing more than an expensive hunk of very hot junk now, Snickers deactivated his commlink and tossed it before switching his horseman to travel mode. The tires spun on the slick cement and he started rolling out, just as each other member of the team raced for their vehicles.

He was going to have a hard time making up for this.

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