We are at the Bloody Steaks restaurant in Renton, when our waitress, Carol , seems to be troubled. She is trying to hide that fact that she has been crying, and with womanly prodding by Red, she tells us that her son, Shawn has been kidnapped by her ex-husband, Carl. Apparently, Carl and some of his friends were the thieves who robbed the Kurt Cobain Memorial Art Museum several years ago. The word on the street is that the score was worth 12,000,000¥. Carl was the only one caught, but they were unable to pin the robbery on him, so he was sentenced for 5 years for some other menial charges. He had recently got out and believes that Carol took the money while he was imprisoned and is offering to return Shawn if she gives him back the money.
The problem is that, Carol does not know where it it, believing that his would-be friends instead took the money. Byk’s ears perk up at the consideration that we could fall into 12,000,000¥, and almost knocks us over to ‘rescue the poor child’. We head to the Quik Nap that Carl has been staying at, but discover that he has not been there for a few days. We call him on with the number provided by Carol, and arrange for a meet to exchange the money for Shawn. He agrees and we set up an ambush at a tube station at 4th and Union Ave. He arrives with Shawn and realized that he is set up too late. Although he injured Red, we subdued him. We question him and get information on his two associates of the robbery, Ray Litta & Stan Marks. We agree that he will go after Shawn & Carol again if we let him go, so Byk executes him, and we leave him there.
We return Shawn to Carol and she thanks us. However, we are unable to let that 12,000,000¥ go, and agree to see if we can get our hands on it. Research into Stan Marks reveals that he once worked for LoneStar Security and his death was in the ‘line of duty’, which we believe translates to Ray Litta probably turned on him after Carl went to jail to not have to spread the wealth. Coincidentally, Ray Litta appears to be protected by the Russian Mafia and can be found in ‘Little Russia’ in Snohomish. Tovarich warns us of the dangers of taking on the Russian mafia. We thank him, and proceed carelessly forward…
We tracked Ray to a hotel called Berestechko Place, and had a little lunch spying on it from across the street at an ‘authentic’ Russian restaurant, Bole’slav Pectopah. Actually, the food here was quite good. There were a few actual Russians here, and they felt fine speaking to each other freely, felling that us dumb asses that were not Russian would not understand them. Although we did not get the specifics of their conversations, they seemed to me ‘made men.’ Eventually, we spotted Ray and a few thugs for muscle leaving the hotel and followed them out of Snohomish and to a a ridiculously très chic nightclub Downtown, the Danse Macabra. Red went inside to keep an eye on him, while Doc probed his mind. It turns out that Ray has a short lease on life. He is dying from liver cancer. I guess maybe a little night out at the club isn’t so out of line?
While the thugs waited outside, we plotted to ambush them on their route back to Little Russia, grab Ray and politely ask him, where he stashed our future retirement fund. We set up the ambush just after the main highway exit back. I’ve been itching to try out some of the new Lasher RPGs that we picked up in last weeks misadventure, and this seemed like the ideal opportunity. Well, the ambush worked great, except for the little but about the limo with Ray not being armored at all. Seriously, the mafia is better funded than the military, why the frag would they not armor their transportation? We pulled Ray out of eminent fiery death and took him to Dr Maroni, a doctor-type buddy of Doc’s to be taken care of. Doc probed his mind and learned that he stashed the money in a storage unit at a facility just outside of ‘Little Russia’.
While en route to the storage units, I get a call from Zany from the clubhouse. When did she get a key? I don’t remember giving her one. She appears to be a little concerned that a van just pulled up and a bunch of military types are knocking at the front door. Drake logs into the the ORACLE’s security system and pulls in the feed for us. I can’t believe my eyes, it is the Damned, at my damn doorstep. Even more strange is the apparent commander of this unit here is former Corporal Case, now with a shiny lieutenant stripe on his shoulder? I thought that he was ‘are foured’ back outside of Torio. It’s him, alright. Just add a few more scars, a chrome eye and some ugly burns on his face and neck. I guess he survived. The knock for a few moments, and then turn to leave, but not before standing something up in front of the camera at the door.
We arrive at the storage units to see dozens of mafia monkeys and Lone Star guards in front of the unit that that money is stashed in. We approach and wait on the back side of another row of units, plotting our next actions. This is too much for us, and I don’t think a shootout with all of Russia and various bought Lone Star guards that will almost certainly kill all f us is worth the money, but my ‘chicken shit’ attitude falls on deaf ears. As we debate, most of the guards drive away, leaving around a half-dozen remaining. We throw all or eggs in the basket and take them down before they can react. Luckily, these monkeys were not prepared for us, and we quickly dropped them. Searching through their pockets, we come up with a dozen or so platinum credsticks. A quick read on them tallies up over 10 million nuyen. Holy slot, payday! It looks like we fraggin’ did it. We load up in the van and dive in the opposite direction of Little Russia as fast as we can without drawing attention to ourselves.
We drive around inconspicuously for a while, trying to figure out what we are doing with our new ill-gotten gains, when my phone rings at the same time that Doc’s does. Tovarich is on my line, and Dr Maroni is on Doc’s. Strangely the same voice is on the end of both lines. A heavily-accented Russian man tells us that both of our friends have been apprehended and that it would be in their best interest to meet them to negotiate an exchange for the cash. We agree to meet them back at Bole’slav Pectopah.
The meeting is cold, but professional. Several Russian bosses are gathered at a table in the back room. Their deal is simple, 5 million a head and we can keep the change for our initiative. We agree to meet them tomorrow evening at the Needle. On the way out, Byk looks a little concerned when he sees some goons that Byk says are from the motherland. It appears that his anonymity here may be compromised as the greedy thickheaded lout decided to steal money from the very people he was hiding from here. Smart move indeed.
It’s a quiet, uncomfortable ride as we go to Dr Maroni’s and confirm that he is not there. Additionally, Tovarich’s place shows signs of a struggle. It looks like they weren’t bluffing. The mystery article left at my doorstep was my DCOD-B uniform with new and shiny sergeant stripes of all things. Since I AWOL’d as a Corporal, I find this promotion a bit strange. I am pretty sure that deserters tend not to get promoted. If they are looking for me for going AWOL, why am I promoted? Never-the-less, we spend most of the night at the table trying to find a way to get them back safe and keep the money. After way too much debating, they are finally convinced that it cannot be done, and we agree that we will have to honor the exchange as offered by the Russians.
We arrive at Needle to find many Russians already at a table. Also at the table is Ray, Dr Maroni and Tovarich, who looks a little worse for wear. He probably didn’t co-operate well with his abduction. Since no one could bring as much as a dull butter knife into here, the exchange goes smoothly. We give them the credsticks and get up with our friends to leave. As planned, Byk towers over the mob bosses and growls in Russian, that they won this battle, but they better make no mistake and go after us or our friends again. If they even look at us wrong, we will bring the fight to their doorstep, and with our tendencies for copious amounts of violence, we could certainly throw them a quite a beat down before it was over. The appeared to take seriously that they do not want us as an enemy gunning for them, and several Russian eyebrows are raised in concern.
We return Dr Maroni and Tovarich to their respective homes. They are a little mad that we may have gotten them involved in a life or death situation due to us stealing from the Russian mafia, but they are pleased that we willingly gave up 10,000,000¥ for their continued friendship.