Ghost Cartels

Episode 10 - On The Run

Week commencing 30th March 2071:

After a while spent laying low and deciding on the way forward, the three surviving members of the team (Chase, Leto and Stars) started looking for work, and were invited to meet Mr. Johnson at Infinity, a hot new Downtown nightclub. When the three of them got there and headed to the back room, they were met by a flamboyant troll with gold-tipped ram’s horns. He explained that the job involved recovering some stolen property – and old-style optical data disc and the data on it (plus any copies). It had been stolen from his employer, along with a bunch of less important stuff, and it’s very important that the data and the disc be returned safe and sound. They agreed a price of 20,000¥, half up front, to get the disc back.

Realising that they may need extra support, the team asked around their contacts for potential new co-workers. Stars found a hacker called Brahms, whilst Chase found a razorgirl called Surge. Offering each of them 3,000¥ for the task, they signed up. Research began in earnest, and the team eventually discovered that Nabo – ork rap sensation and former Black Fangs ganger – had apparently been offered a slice of some music data. Further research revealed that he was playing a gig in a warehouse in the Redmond Barrens the following night, and that there was little or no security on the place currently. One of Chase’s spirits tracked Nabo to a huge block party in Black Fangs turf, celebrating his plan to leave for LA after the gig. When the runners arrived, Nabo was “entertaining” three orc women in one of the more intact buildings, but Stars was able to get a drone in there to make recordings and wait for him to turn his commlink on. Surge did manage to get inside the building by posing as a potential groupie, but fled when she realised quite what was going on.

The next day, the team did a bit more research and learnt that Nabo was going to be at a pop-up store in a Downtown mall doing a signing/promo session. So everyone (except Brahms, who stayed remote) went to the mall, and Brahms hacked Nabo’s commlink. He found an email in the trash folder with the initial offer from an anonymous source, which Nabo had forwarded to his friend Jager as a joke. Chase intimidated Jager to discover that neither Nabo nor Jager had taken the offer up, and so Stars traced the anonymous email back to a dingy hacker club in Renton called the Cathode Glow.

Leto and Surge went inside, where they instantly felt out of place; the interior of the Glow was lots of old tech (some of which concealed cutting-edge stuff) and a number of hacker types who did not seem very welcoming. You learnt that the hacker you were looking for was called Zipper – a dwarf woman whose real name was Willi Ishikawa, who had a gambling problem. Also learning that she’s a lesbian, Surge and Leto faked a lovers’ tiff so Surge could attract Zipper’s attention. After some awkward flirting, Surge arranged a date at 8pm the same evening in the Cathode Glow. Brahms tried hacking Zipper’s commlink, but she noticed and switched it off, preventing further investigation.

You were able to discover, however, that K-Spot (AKA Kerwin Loomis) was the seller. Chase placed a call allowing Brahms and Stars to track him down to a crappy bar at the edge of the Redmond Barrens. Intimidating a couple of local Thrashers thugs, you got led to the back room of the Coda, but K-Spot fled rapidly through the back exit.

He ended up in the middle of a firefight, as a rival team from Shangri-La Productions had been hired to grab him. They sprung their ambush, but Surge and Stars managed to hold them off, although Surge’s attempt to incapacitate K-Spot killed him instantly; a combination of massive blood loss and a heart attack from the shock. You grabbed the disc off his cooling body, and went to a meeting with the flamboyant troll Johnson at an upscale wine bar, where you got a bonus for your discretion and speed.

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