Ghost Cartels

Episode 01 - Freedom

Sunday, January 4th, 2071

All five of you were inmates at Hollywood Correctional Facility in Redmond. You were all slated for transfer to Bellevue Correctional Facility (AKA the Brickyard), where you have been flagged for “enhanced rehabilitation techniques.” You were all loaded into a Lone Star Black Mariah USPTV, along with a sixth prisoner, a dwarf with a black hood over his head.

At some point along the route, conversation started between the prisoners. The dwarf in question was a heavily-cybered Russian guy called Vasili . Suddenly the van stopped, and you could hear explosions and gunfire from outside. The van tilted and fell over, throwing everyone about and freeing them from whatever was securing them to the van. The rear doors squealed as a monofilament chainsaw was used to cut the lock out. A small man with dark hair, in a suit, was standing there. Vasili greeted him as Romanov and left, nodding to the orks in red and orange synthleather jackets who escorted him to a waiting car.

You all managed to flee, ditching your clothes and Ted removing your RFID tracking chips. You holed up in the Moe-tel, where Mercury hacked you coffins to stay in, and robbed a pharmacy for Leto’s medication and so on.

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Episode 02 - First Run

Week commencing Monday 5th January 2071

  • hired by Running Fox of the Komun’go
  • Ruin Albert Foss’ life and let him know the Komun’go are responsible
  • Foss works for the DEA as an investigating agent
  • Foss is in Narcotics Anonymous for his novacoke addiction
  • Divorced but reconciling with his ex-wife
  • Burst into his home, used mind-manipulating magic to convince them that Foss was the one who injured everyone
  • Life ruined!

The Employer: Running Fox
What do we know about them?
Chose to meet Ted & Deuteronomy at Jonathan’s in Renton, a crappy restaurant with delusions of grandeur.
Works for the Komun’go ‘group’ who steal drugs & sell bodies
Connected to/ part of the Korean Rings

The Job: Ruin the life of the target (Albert Foss) and let them know that it was done by the Kumon’go.
Any other info from the employer?
Don’t kill the target
Foss wouldn’t agree to work for them hence the retribution

The Target: Albert Foss

What do we know about him?
Work: He’s a Fed, working for the drug enforcement department based in the Seattle Federal building.
Home: Lives alone in Tacoma [we have his address] in a house on a suburban street. Some security cameras around but not too many. Moderate – good Lone Star response time.
He leaves home at 6am [and catches a bus to work] and is normally back by 8pm [returns home by bus] except on Tuesday & Friday where he returns later at 11pm-ish after attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings at the South Tacoma Community Centre. He is away from home every other weekend.
Family: Divorced father of two. Divorced Evelyn Johnson 2 1/2 years ago citing ‘Irreconcilable Differences’. Evelyn works for the ( Renraku) Arcology Out-Reach and is currently single. She has some profiles on Matrix dating sites and is seeking a male human/elf.
Evelyn got custody of the children [Sarah (8yo) & Joy (6yo)] and the family live in Renton [we have the address]. The children attend Renton Elementary which is a expensive Private School.
Vices: Followed to a NA meeting where target had direct contact with Ted & Leto. Ted suspects he has a Novacoke problem. The target believed Ted & Leto worked for another group [we don’t know which one yet] who he blamed for getting him ‘addicted’ and ‘ruining his life’. He told Ted & Leto to tell the other group that if he saw them again ‘the deal was off’.

What are we doing?

Leto – Trailing Foss, finding out where he goes. Eventually helping Mercury get into Foss’s home node.
Ted – Helping Leto & getting a date with Evelyn.
Mercury – Information gathering, planning a hack into Foss’s home node.
Stars – Intel?
Deuteronomy – Intel?

The plan was to find out about him and what he held dear then start removing it from him (job/family/hobbies etc.). Now we are considering having him break off his ‘deal’ with the other group and letting them fuck him over then telling him it was the Kumon’go.

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Episode 03 - Supernova

Week commencing Monday 19th January 2071

  • Hired by Nigel Terwilliger for an urgent job
  • Break into TekLon Industries and steal a briefcase and await further instructions
  • The break-in went very smoothly and you recovered the briefcase
  • Nigel then asked you to rendezvous with a woman and swap your briefcase for hers
  • When you got there, the woman was being chased by Yakuza goons. They killed her and your buddy Ted but you killed or badly injured them all and got away with both cases.
  • You called Nigel and got through instead to someone else, who invited you to come to an upscale residence
  • Inside, Nigel was being interrogated, by Don Vince “Numbers” Ciarnello and his son and heir, Caesar “Chrome” Ciarnello
  • They took delivery of the cases, chided Nigel for trying to steal from them and from getting the Don’s niece killed, and paid you guys in full
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Episode 04 - Home Turf

Week commencing Monday January 26th 2071

  • Hired by Angstrom as a “hooding” job – you get to keep anything you get
  • Joined by a new houngan called Baron, recommended by the Ciarnello Family
  • Angstrom’s people had discovered a corporate research station on their turf, and wanted rid of it
  • You checked the place out – it was guarded by Yakuza goons
  • Research indicated that it’s a black-ops outpost run by Mitsuhama Environmental Services
  • They’re testing on orks and other people they’ve abducted from Glow City
  • Turns out that the Rusted Stilettos had received a shipment of anti-rad medication that actually contains tracking RFIDs
  • The gangers were being captured and operated upon
  • The operations was causing aggressive tumours to develop in some cases
  • You attacked the research base when it wasn’t in use, taking out the guards and the scientists and stealing the server and a bunch of equipment
  • Mephistopheles/Deuteronomy left around this time
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Episode 05 - Casino Corner

Week commencing Monday 2nd February 2071

SpikedHarmony hired you to help the Choson Ring with their planned incursion into Casino Corner, a district of Everett normally thought to be carved up between the Ciarnello Family and the Shigeda-gumi. The payment was in five Rating 5 SINs for planting a virus into the offline storage at Alex Harrison’s Shangi-La Casino – specifically in the office of the manager, Elizabeth Caitlin.

Casino Corner is swimming in tourists and families, despite the omnipresence of ties to organised crime. The Shangri-La is the last remaining independent club on the strip, and adjoins the Garden of Eden hotel. Faking a way into the casino electronically was difficult but not impossible. Inside, the place was largely free of AR, with plenty of security magicians and hackers to make sure no cheating goes on.

Leto palmed Caitlin’s card from her and copied it before returning the card. She then used it to get into Caitlin’s office, where she planted the data chip that Mercury and Stars had set up. Victory!

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Episode 06 - Gilded Cage

Week commencing Monday 23rd February 2071

  • Contacted via Heliox
  • Meet is in a virtual bar called Dark Emerald
  • Johnson is also the principal – a woman named Akane, trapped in a bunraku arrangement after she started working in the sex trade for the Shigeda-gumi to pay her way through college: she’s a CompSci major
  • The job is to extract her from a bunraku parlour and brothel in Auburn called the Jade Crane
  • Pay was going to be a little different to normal: Akane had the passcodes to the parlour’s bank accounts, which were held on site
  • The extraction required a lot of legwork, which saw everyone getting stuck in
  • At the crucial moment, Baron was with Akane, both in gas masks; Mercury was hacking the various systems; Stars had her drones in position; and Leto snuck in through the roof with Neurostun grenades
  • It all got pretty messy pretty quickly, but you got Akane out OK and got the money
  • Baron was possessed by a very powerful Lwa of Ogoun
  • Leto was quite badly injured; one of Stars’ Doberman drones was destroyed and another damaged; and the final death toll was ten Yakuza goons, plus several others injured
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Episode 07 - Stranger In Our House

Week commencing Monday 2nd March 2071

  • Stars, Mercury, Leto and Baron contacted by Angstrom – someone had been trying to contact Mephistopheles with a job offer
  • Chase contacted by Cody offering a job with a team lacking someone with his skillset
  • Meet with Ms. Johnson at a back alley strip club called Tickler’s in Downtown; Ms. Johnson is a raven-haired East Asian woman dressed in a see-through lace top with underwear to match
  • She provided several pictures of two men dressed in AmerInd-inspired gang attire. Mixed in with the pictures are public domain sat-images of various buildings near the Seattle/Salish-Shidhe border. The file also included a disposable commcode number for Ms. Johnson.
  • She told you that the images were of two lieutenants and safe houses belonging to the First Nations gang. The job was to tail these two specific members, Alec Littletree and Xa Firebird, for a week. She wanted you to source what the men are up to, what assets they have, how each target is earning his money, who their contacts are, and if they’re connected to other crime outfits. You were not to interact with them in any way.
  • Some legwork and common sense led you to the Verge in Redmond, existing on a rough strip of land about 2 miles wide, between the Barrens and Salish territory. The whole place reeked of desperation and was controlled by the First Nations. It’s a full-on Z-zone, with badly static Matrix access at the best of times
  • You identified which of the five safehouses held each of your targets
  • You planted microphone bugs in these two houses, and a couple in some of the others
  • You discovered that Xa Firebird is a drug dealer who haunts the circuit around the University
  • You discovered that Alex Littletree is a drug dealer who haunts the circuit in various clubs and vice-dens in Renton and Tacoma; apparently he is bringing in loads and loads of money
  • Both are involved in pushing a very new Bio-Awakened-Drug called Tempo; apparently he is not bringing in very much money at all
  • You followed Xa Firebird to a party on campus and discovered that he emails a blind & anonymous email account every couple of days, and that his email has high-level Firewall and programs that are all legally acquired (from the cheapest vendor for their level). You also learnt that he is heavily cybered: SenseSation Livecaster cybersuite [Cybereyes (Rating 3, w/ eyelight, image link, low-light, recording unit; Cyberears (Rating 2, w/ audio enhancement 2, damper, recording unit, spatial recognizer; Simrig, Radar Sensor (Rating 3)], Reaction Enhancers (Rating 2), Wired Reflexes (Rating 1), Retractable spur connected to implanted autoinjector – expensive stuff for a ganger
  • You also downloaded his simrig recordings for the last day and his contact list and call log
  • You used a repeater drone to get some decent Matrix coverage for the bugs
  • You trailed Littletree to a meeting in a Tacoma bar called the Back Alley that he didn’t want anyone in his gang to know about. He met with a huge African-American male human, flanked by two male Caucasian orks, all wearing black-and-grey gang colours. Littletree handed over a briefcase full of tempo, his compatriots handed over several high-value credsticks and they went their separate ways
  • You also spotted a car spying on the meeting. An East Asian man in a business suit was taking photos using a big camera, which you were able to get the pictures from
  • You observed a clandestine meeting – and torrid sexual encounter – between Xa Firebird and a woman he called “Carla” but who used an alias (“Alice Arnold”) to book the motel room at Harrington’s. She referred to him as “John” and you surmised that Xa Firebird was actually an undercover cop and that “Carla” was his handler.
  • You discovered that the gang was due to pick up a shipment of tempo, so both of your targets were confined to safehouses. However, Xa Firebird trailed the van containing Blood-of-the-Buffalo and key First Nations soldiers to an extraterritorial KondOrchid shipping centre in Everett. There you watched Firebird spying on an exchange of significant quantities of cash (millions of nuyen) for tempo. The other side in this deal were led by a troll called Kaz Yakamura, and one of his lackeys was Running Fox (one of the Komun’go’s “Stand-Over-Men” who hired you for your first job).
  • You reported back to your Johnson, who offered you an extra 10k to kill Xa Firebird; you refused, and she said that she would hire someone else to do it instead.
  • You rendezvoused with your Johnson, and handed over your full dossiers on Alec Littletree and Xa Firebird; she paid you in full and you parted amicably
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Episode 08 - The Grab

Week commencing Monday 9th March 2071

  • Approached via Heliox for a meeting with Lady Jade
  • She offered you a job extracting a girl named Catherine Westmore and ensuring she remained unharmed before delivering her to a second team in a Redmond Barrens warehouse within three days
  • You agreed a rate of 35,000¥ for the job
  • Chase refused to take part
  • You discovered that Catherine’s mother was Donna Westmore, and that Catherine was born blind. Her mother paid top dollar for cybernetic correction. Catherine attends Holm Elementary School and her mother has hired a bodyguard.
  • Donna Westmore is an aeronautical engineer for Federated-Boeing, working on some serious projects. She used to be on the guest list for many of the hottest clubs in Downtown‘s International District, which is very rare for a gaijin – but she was struck off all those lists a few weeks ago, around the time she hired her daughter’s bodyguard
  • The bodyguard is an ex-runner called Jack McPherson; his handle was Frost. He used to be UCAS Special Forces but left and formed a running team called the Trinity. He left the Trinity on good terms when work was slow and took the bodyguard job – a pay cut, but the money was steady.
  • The Trinity consists of Jackhammer (troll, face), Deimos (human, rigger) and Diva (human, combat mage) – the last two are a couple. They’re highly sought after as a team, as they are also ex-Special Forces black-ops trained.
  • Lady Jade is an independent arms dealer with a respectable market share. She pays the Blood Mountain Boys to protect a lot of her shipments. She used to work as a fixer for the Shotozumi-gumi but walked out with enough power to make herself stable – word is that she didn’t leave willingly, and there is plenty of bad blood.
  • Investigation of Holm Elementary School revealed that it was very very well-guarded, with a private contract with Knight Errant – you decided against trying to snatch Catherine from school
  • Frost collected Catherine from school and took her home. He cooked dinner whilst she did her homework. After she went to bed, the Trinity all turned up and started playing poker.
  • Mercury hacked into the Central Home Node and took control of the cameras, editing the footage and keeping an eye on things
  • Stars provided the getaway car (after Mercury hacked in) and cover with a pursuit drone. She also planned and checked the route.
  • Leto broke into the house (after Baron cast an Improved Invisibility spell on her) – leaving the front panel of the door’s maglock unscrewed – and also opened the maglock on Catherine’s bedroom window
  • Baron instructed one of his lwa to ride Catherine, and together she and Leto snuck out of the window and into the waiting car
  • The car ride over was straightforward enough, and Leto became visible partway through
  • Once you arrived at the warehouse, Leto and Catherine went inside. They were greeted by two dwarves and an ork, who paid Leto in full
  • Mercury and Stars scrubbed all traces of their computer crimes

Three days later (Thursday 12th March), this news story appeared, detailing how Catherine was killed by a sniper at the conclusion of a 48-hour ransom ordeal that left all the kidnappers dead.

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Episode 09 - Colour or Creed

Week commencing 16th March 2071

Leto was contacted via ShadowSEA for a B&E job. You met with an elf male (whose first language was probably Sperethiel) who introduced himself as Samriel. Leto was extremely taken with him. He wanted you to steal the Weeping Stone of Ta’bel from an old shadowrunner called Morphine. You agreed a price of 50,000¥, half up front, and that you would deliver within five days.

Legwork told you that Morphine had turned fixer after the Crash 2.0, having previously been a DocWagon employee called Doctor Bob who got some moderate fame in 2047 and received the Weeping Stone in Dunkelzahn’s will. He lived in a very secure apartment building in Medina, Bellevue.

Opting to do recon by social engineering, you discovered that there was a vacant condo in the same building and contacted the managing agents, Anderson Realty, for a showing. The place was very secure indeed. Leto snuck into Morphine’s apartment after it had been scouted by one of Stars’ drones, and found the stone inside the den, which had been very well guarded up to that point. She grabbed it and ran without warning, rendering Mercury (who was in the building’s security node) unable to intervene as she was attacked by the local spider.

Baron used a spirit to possess Leto to help her get away safely, and engaged some of the guards themselves. Eventually, Chase got away on foot, Leto and Stars fled in Stars’ van, and Mercury and Baron fled in Baron’s car. Unfortunately, both sets of cars were chased by Lone Star. Stars was able to evade pursuit, but Mercury and Baron were run off the road; Baron was killed instantly, and Mercury was hospitalised in a coma.

Chase met with Samriel to deliver the Stone and get paid. Samriel hinted that he had worked with Leto before. Leto found a post on her blog, implicating the team in a break-in at the Cavilard Research Centre (between Medina and Beaux Arts in Bellevue) around the same time as they stole the Weeping Stone.

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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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