So, I get a call from Tovarich, and says that there is a job for us is we are interested. He;s not sure of what it is, it is one of those friend of a friend of a friend jobs. We need to do is meet with our potential employer at Club Penumbra tonight. Penumbra? Wow, that is like the elite of Clubs there. All the celebrities have their shindigs there when they are slumming in Seattle. We load up in our respective rides, and make haste to the Club. After muttering some secret password, just to gain entrance, we find ourselves looking into a spacious dance floor. I thought that I saw Grey Samuelson from Seventh Deadly Sin out there on the dance floor – his mohawk is unmistakable, but we are quickly directed away from the floor proper, and ushered up some stairs and into a long hallway. At the far end of the hallway, is a single door, with a dwarf standing in front if it facing it like he is waiting to be called into the principal’s office. We line up behind him like we are waiting to use the bathroom, when the door opens up and we are all gestured in. Sitting at a table in the room, is a nervous, twitchy man, who calls himself Mr. Johnson. He wastes little time, before offering us 20k each for doing something for him. He asks us to retrieve a briefcase that he ‘left behind’ at some TekLon company’s lab, called the Pit, in Auburn. He provides a map of the research lab we’ll be breaking into, and a soft spot for us to get in, and a window with no one there. Once we have the briefcase, we will exchange it for another case with some elven woman, and return that case back to him. But the theft has to be done tonight. It sounds like a lost of covering one’s tracks, He ups the ante by saying that there is also some sellable electronics in the lab that we could fence off for some additional incentive. We could all use the cash, so we agree and head out of the club. Dude, it hurts being this close to here, but not able to go in to the club itself, but duty calls.
While outside, we realize that the dwarf at the door was ahead of us is still with us. Mr. Johnson must’ve assumed that we were all together. He introduces himself as Drake, a rigger by trade, and cordially offers us a ride to our collective job. Well, since we are being paid 20k per head, none of us are losing any money on having a designated driver with us, we don’t see why not. I mutter to Doc that perhaps with two dwarves, they can now earn one normal-sized paycheck. The scowl from Scratch I deserved, the cheap shot to my solar plexus, I did not. We warmly welcome him into our little fold, by having him drive us to the sewer system that connects to the Pit. We get there with no problems, and proceed cautiously down the sewers. Between the Orc Underground and giant sewer rats, I’m not taking any chances, if it moves, I’m sure as hell gonna shoot it. Thankfully, we move through the sewers unobstructed and end up at the portion of the wall that he said we can get through. He had given is some spray that would dissolve the wall, just like that. Just in case, I brought a few kilos of C-4 and det cord – not that I didn’t trust him and his magical spray. But, sure as hell, it worked. Moments later, we emerge in a broom closet Boy this shit would’ve been handy back when I was with Tank’s daughters, I may have made is out of there without getting caught.
We see some security cameras, but they do not appear to be online. It appears that Mr. Johnson is also right about taking care of security. We have some of the doors still maglocked, but Red easily bypasses them, as we move through the building towards some labs in the back. We find the lab near a large garage-style steel door. On one of the counters in this room is a briefcase, with a starburst logo one that Red identifies as NovaTech’s logo. We scoop up the case and head back the way we came. From behind the garage door comes the sounds of explosions and small-arms fire. Drek, that can’t be good. We proceed most rocky-tick towards out little hole in the wall. One immense echoing thud is heard from behind and I look back to see a massive dent in the door. That wasn’t an explosion – that was something impacting into that into that door. That looked like a huge fist to me. Whatever it is, it wants in, and we want out. We double-time it back out, as the pounding on the door increases. I drop a claymore on a stairwell to cover out escape, and we quickly make it back into the sewers.
Explosions and helicopters are now being seen over the area that we just left. This is a full-scale assault we are leaving in our dust, what in the hell did we just get away from? Once in the van and heading away from the site, we now pass several Lone Star and DocWagon vehicles heading towards the site as we try to casually drive that other way. We call Mr. Johnson, and he seems relieved that we made it out of there. He tells us to not open the briefcase, for it is probably trapped, and that he’ll call us back shortly for details on the exchange. We get a call back while restocking eats at a Stuffer Shack. He says that we have two hours to get to 100th and Main in Bellevue, and that our contact is an elven female, Elizabeth Chavez. He tells us to call him back once the exchange is made, and again, he reminds us to not open the case. We speed there to get prepped, in case things don’t go as planned. Red hops up on a roof for overwatch, Drake and Doc wait in the van about half a block away, while Yin, Scratch and I wait at the intersection, for Elizabeth. I feel kinda bad for Doc, it smells like bad broccoli in there. Two hours pass, and no sign of her, so we give her an other five. Maybe traffic at oh-two hundred is bad? Doc is about to call him to see where she is, when we spot a car coming down the road. Drek, it is swerving all over the road, all out of control, and crashes into the light post right where I was standing moments ago in a spectacular sound of tearing metal and a horn that just won’t die. I peek into the car and see the bloodied remains of an elven woman at the wheel. The car is a mess of gunfire, mostly from above. Above? Seconds later the sky is lit by two helicopters overhead. Drek, I didn’t even hear them approach. With spotlights covering the car and the intersection, tether lines pour out and stream down towards the ground. Doc blasts one of the helis with his mojo, sending four of the occupants out of the chopper and plummeting to the ground below, while Scratch and I try to keep them pinned on the far side of the car. They are all garbed in blood-red armor, and swords resembling Samurai from the old trids. Drek, these dudes are Renraku Red Samurai! Word is that these guys are top of the food chain bad-asses in the corporate sector. I move in to try and grab the case, along with a pocket secretary on the seat next to her, as Yin moves in to fight the soldiers on the ground. Yin kung-fu’s a few of them down, but they do not seem fazed. They simply overpower him and shoot him, straight as an arrow, right in the head. Drek. We call evac, as I try to get away from the car. I drop smoke grenades as Drake plows into the intersection, taking a quick left and picking me and Scratch up. Red hops down from the roof, with a not-so-nimble thud, lands on the top of the van and we tear ass out of there. Drake pops up a UAV and scans the scene behind us. There is no way we can get to Yin, and the case we he was carrying for the exchange. There is already another heli hovering and a van is now pulling up. Coming out it is … holy slot! A monstrous metal thing, like a cyborg over 8-feet tall, with a huge third arm attached to it’s back. It is arched over his head like a scorpion’s tail. I bet my last nuyen, that fist on there was what was knocking down the door at TekLon. Doc tries to call Mr. Johnson, but the phone just rings and rings. Drek. We scan the secretary. In it, she references someone by the letter ‘N’, some talk about swapping and then exchanging cases, and then her last entry says ’Payout at 3844 Belmont Ave, Code 68GTH773KN1. This case is hot, and we are not losing anyone else over it. We agree to head to the Bellmont Ave address and get someone to pay us for the work.
Before we get into Downtown, I call Tovarich. He says that he does not know where the job originated, but it sounded like easy money. He apologizes that we were misled, and says that he needs me to stop in and pick up something help us out. When a Russian offers you help, you take it. We detour to Renton and Tovarich is waiting for us at his shop. He opens the back door and out comes a huge, immaculately dressed troll. Tovarich says that he is a friend, who needs friends while he is in town for a while. This troll, speaking in a broken English, identifies himself as Byk. We tell him that we are on fubar mission that we are trying to salvage, and get some payout on. He says he is willing to go along, but needs a moment to get ready. He goes into the back room and returns with an huge auto cannon that he is carrying like an assault rifle. Now, he is ready, he says.
We arrive at a tall, new-looking building downtown, with no logos or anything of the like. The front door opens with the code from the PDA. In the main lobby, sits an open and inviting elevator. Once in the elevator, we see that there is only one button, marked ‘Penthouse’, so we push it and are quickly brought up several levels until the elevator stops and the door opens into a well-lit spacious office. There are three men there, our Mr. Johnson, looking like a man about to be executed, and two other men. Both of them are carry the air of corporate professionals. One of them, with the appearance of a predator, warns us against the use of any of our weapons while we are here. He doesn’t look imposing, but his presence speaks clearly. The other man, sitting in a chair next to Mr Johnson, introduces himself as Richard Villiers, the president and CEO of NovaTech, and his intimidating associate is Miles Lanier, the head of his security. He offers us drinks and then gestures to the NovaTech case we took from Chavez and asks us how his property came into our possession. We lay it all out for him, and he listens courteously. At the end he takes the PDA and after reading it, he takes a moment to explain the situation that we are now in.
Evidently, our Mr Johnson, or Nigel is a corporate espionage-assassin for NovaTech who was infiltrating TekLon. It turns out that he was also selling secrets to Renraku on the side. He was caught by a fellow NovaTech employee, Elizabeth Chavez, who took the case of secrets that Nigel stole from NovaTech to sell to Renraku. If his bosses got the case she stole from him, it would expose his dual employment. So he hired us to get the case that he was trading with her and arranged a meet with her, but Renraku intercepted and killed her. After that, Lanier simply walks up behind Nigel and shoots him in the head with a silenced pistol. Lanier then takes the credsticks from Nigel’s corpse and tosses them onto the table, and Villiers offers them to us for the cases. We give them the case, and scoop up the credsticks. He opens case, and it is full of data disks, presumably the data that Nigel stole from them to sell to Renraku. Lanier returns from the other side of the room, where he was looking at some monintors. He mutters something to Villiers, who then looks at us and asks is for a small favor. Apparently, Renraku must have followed us here for they are now amassing outside. He needs us to run interference with Renraku, so they can get away unscathed. Although he doesn’t have the money on hand, he assures us that he is more than good for it. Being that this man could probably purchase all the the CFS and still have cash left over for NutraBurgers, we agree that it wouldn’t be a bad man to have owe us a solid one.
We head down into the garage and they enter a all-black Westwind. Sports cars aren’t my thing, but this beast looks boss. Lanier tosses Drake a key, and gestures over at a large van. ‘Take it,” is all that he says. No need to tell Drake twice, he is in it before we even register that he gave us a van. We pile into the van as we see a blockade of vans in front if the exit. Red Samurai are all around the cars, and look ready for war. “Hang on” is all the Drake says as the van speeds forward at a breakneck speed. I’d tell you what happened but Drake’s evasive driving left all is us being thrown around the back of the van like rag dolls, and I could not tell a crash from Drake plowing through anything with Byk sprawled over my head. With the exception of a few bullet holes and some repair work on the front of the van, we made it through the barricade and opened up a path for Villiers and Lanier to get out. Once on the street, they sped away at a speed that I wasn’t aware was even possible. We took some cuts and turns to ensure that Renraku is not following us, and speed back home. I hope that they remember us, we all could sure use a favor from time to time.