So, I’m at Reno’s, in Downtown Seattle with Doc & Scratch looking for a job. It appears that we may be out of our element, but Big Stan said they’re is a good chance that I can find employment here. Well, we need the cred, so we’re in. We’ve been here almost 2 hours and I’m about ready to call it a night, when a light touch on my forearm catches my attention. The hand that ‘brushed’ by is attached to a shapely figure, but probably too business for any pleasure, from the look of her.
She asks is we’d like to hear a business proposition, and leads us to a corner booth farther away from the throbbing music. Before my ass is even in the seat, she starts a rapid-fire sales pitch. This ‘ Ms. Johnson’ is looking for some strapping young lads to get back some state-of-the-art prototype simsense chips that was stolen from her boss, Urlan Manes, the CEO of Global Technologies. She requests that we meet her again, at The Banshee later this evening for more information. After we agree, she quickly departs, with her bodyguard, a Street Samurai in tow. At the bar, a dingy man who was watching us from the bar, quickly finishes his drink and not-so subtly follows them. Doc probes his mind and ‘hears’ that he knows the time of the next meeting and that he can ID who she was talking to.
We make it to The Banshee in record time for those limited to traveling by taxi. Inside, it quickly becomes more apparent that this is more of a meeting place than an actual bar that is frequented for drinks and romantic trysts. We ask for Urlan and are directed to a door at the far end. Beyond this door is a more private bar where our ‘ Ms. Johnson’ is waiting. She brings us through yet another door, and soon we find ourselves sitting in a room with plain wooden chairs surrounding a table, and a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. Very professional. At one end if the table is a large Native American, who identifies himself as Urlan Manes, and is the CEO of Global Technologies, and the ‘Ms. Johnson’ is is aide, Roxanne Wunter.
It appears that he had 3 prototype SimSense chips stolen yesterday with the assistance of their star programmer, known informally as, Tee Hee. While in the process of negotiating our fees, we are interrupted when a large, well dressed orc enters the room. Noting against orcs, they just look out of place when they are dressed up. I feel that I look like that when I used to have to wear my dress uniform. From the looks exchanged between him and Urlan Manes, they do not appear to be too happy to see each other. This orc is identified as, Junior, some division manager at Global Technologies. He taunts Urlan about the loss of the chips and the betrayal of Tee Hee, before departing.
Roxanne Wunter provides with what information they have on Tee Hee. Apparently, he has been behind on his rent and was kicked out two weeks ago, so they have no idea where he had been staying since then. All they have is the contents from his desk, which we pour out on the table; a toolkit has an inscription that reads “Future Good Luck, Flair”. A holocube has eight pictures most of which are Tee Hee and probably his geek friends, while one picture stands out as Tee Hee is not in it. The picture is of a white haired man, holding a coffee cup that reads “Flair”. The caption on the picture reads Dr Hendrix. A package of tea’s who’s label states it is from , Orion’s Organic Grocery, on Cascade Road, in Redmond.” Finally a lighter is decorated with a circuit board pattern (more geek stuff), with the inscription, “ Breadboard Quaff & Stuff” are the only items of note. She makes the request that Urlan would like Tee Hee back, preferably unharmed. Do we do ‘unharmed’?
Before we leave, we bump into a man coming out of the arcade. He seems disoriented, and mumbles kinda incoherently at us. Being in a bar, we do not find that surprising. We offer to but him a drink for knocking him over and after a few moments of lucidity, we are discover that he is not drunk, but rather just spacy. He calls himself Chips. He seems to be a dekker, and he offers to help us while hearing us discuss our job. He says to give him a call if we need any info. Puzzling as he is, we note his number. He could come in handy.
We discover that both the Breadboard Quaff & Stuff & Orion’s Organic Grocery are next to each other on Cascade Road, so we head there. Wow, do we not fit in. Everyone here is a geek teenager with his head plugged into a terminal staring blankly at a screen. We ask around to see if anyone knows Tee Hee or this Hendrix/Flair guy and don’t really get any answers. Eventually we are told that Dr Hendrix frequents this place, but hasn’t been here in a few days. We opt to wait and hope that one of them arrives, and as luck would have it, Dr Hendrix soon shows up. We tail him back to his place and are soon knocking at his door. he opens the door and lets us in mostly against his will, we see a zoned out decker at a table, jacking off, er jacked into the the Matrix. When roused from non-reality, Tee Hee fesses up that he was paid to do this, and identifies the rest of the thieves, a coordinator called, The Historian, a rigger pilot, Val, an elven mage, Freya and a Street Samurai, Griffin. All he know is that The Historian kept the chips, and that the mage, Freya was injured in the theft, left behind. He tells us that these chips are called Genghis Khan, Cleopatra & Jack the Ripper. We leave him and call Roxanne, telling her that we found Tee Hee and where he is. She tells us to meet back at the Banshee this evening. We ask around the street and discover that an elf matching Freya’s description checked in at Dr Bob’s Quickstitch, a short hike from the robbery.
We get to the Quickstitch but we are stonewalled getting in. Even punching Scratch in the face to break his nose with the hope of getting admitted doesn’t work. We do, however, get the attention of a man there who seems impressed that we are hardy looking runners and want to join our little entourage. We are getting nowhere, so why not – more heads, more ideas. Eventually cred become the means of communication, and a little bribery gets us in to see Dr Wilmoth. More bribery later, he says that he did treat Freya, but wanted to make sure that we weren’t looking to kill her. Sure noble of him. He shows us where she is resting. A recovering Freya seems to be a little mad that she was left behind. She wastes no time in crucifying all the thieves that she is aware of. Hell hath no fury like an elven mage left behind a robbery, I guess. Upon our exit, an ambulance arrives with an unidentified body in tow. We overhear the EMTs saying that this is the third Joyboy that they have found savagely attacked in this fashion. Peeking over their shoulder, ‘in this fashion’ means with a vicious bladed weapons, and with great effort to inflict maximum damage. Drek, some people’s kids…
Later that evening we meet Roxanne back at the Banshee. We are updating her on the deets that we have gathered when shots ring out at the entrance. Junior strolls in with a few guards in tow and begins firing at us and Roxanne. Oh Drek, not what I we were expecting. We return fire at the rate volume that we’re happy with – excessive volume. A couple of grenades shred his flunkies and Roxanne of all people, snaps of a shot from the smallest pistol I’ve seen in a while and taps ol’ Junior right in the head. I didn’t even know that she was carrying. We dig through Junior’s stuff and, Jackpot! His pocket secretary contains information on Junior’s initial meeting with Pengrave, A CEO of Hollywood Simsense Entertainment, a rival company of Global Technologies, his recruitment of Tee Hee, and his subsequent contacts with Pengrave and Cooperman, also known as the Historian. Sprinkled through these meetings is information about the rigger pilot, Val, and the street samurai, Griffin. The secretary has recorded that “Val is running Cleo, and Griffin’s messed up with Jack the Ripper.” Like I said, jackpot. We apologize for the mess, and get out of there before Scratch remembers he has more grenades.
Junior had an invive to some geeky-tech gala at Pengrave’s place, and since he was working with Cooperman, we decide to crash the party. Well, the security was so tight I damn near had to take off may arm to get in, but we have the invites that Junior left behind, so we get in. It doesn’t take long to find this Pengrave’s fellow, he is the host after all. With him is a woman, who we hear refereed to as Val. It sounds like we’ve found the rigger pilot. She moves through the crowd like a goddess, not a geek who likes tech more than people, and is intoxicating to those around her. We were thinking that perhaps the chips dominated one’s personality, and this seems to be in-line with Cleopatra, so we follow them out of the party and to a boat docked at the marina.
We stow on board just as they were pulling out and chase them down. They make a mistake and pull weapons on us, and I react instinctively, killing them both. I knew that they were civvies, not trained soldiers, but I reacted when they drew down on me. Well, we retrieve the chip that is plugged in her head, and pay dirt, it says Cleopatra. I guess that we were right on the personality thing.
We hear of another Joyboy brutally killed on the streets of Redmond and agree that this certainly could be the work of this Grif the Ripper, and vote Scratch most likely to stand out as a ringer Joyboy with the intent of luring out Griffin. At least if Griffin attacks Scratch, he can defend himself. Scratch calls us all sorts of names and theatens go kill us for putting him up to this, but reluctantly he agrees. Hey, I figure this is fair for the stunt that he pulled on me in Lisbon. We pretty up Scratch and send our wolf amid the sheep.
Several hours later, much to the frustration of Scratch, we have not seen hide nor hair of Griffin, although Scratch has turned away several interested would-be clients. We are stashed down the road in a coffee shop keeping an eye on him, when a raspy voice breaks his mutterings. Before we can get out the door, Scratch is yelling “It’s him!”, followed by “Arrrrgh!” We double-time it down the road to see a heavily chromed man standing over Scratch, with his cyber spurs dripping blood. I advance firing at him. He takes a burst, and staggers but raises his arm to strike at Scratch again, when a shot from down the block and to the right of us spins Griffin back. It appears to be quite a caliber as he my smg burst didn’t seem to slow him. From behind, Doc hit him with some mojo, and he falls. Teamwork, I like it. We get to Griffin & Scratch to see that Scratch will make it. He is quite wounded, but Doc patches him up well enough to get gone. I confirm that Griffin is R4, and pull a chip from his datajack. No surprise, it says ‘Jack.’ I pocket it as we are met by a petite young woman, maybe 18, who is slinging a hefty rifle over her shoulders. Not what I was expecting, I’ll be honest. She calls herself Crimson Shadow, and says that she was ‘hunting’ down someone attacking the local joyboys. She saw Griffin attack a joyboy (our mole), and deducted that was the attacker. Several people have now come out of the local shops and are happy to hear that the murder spree is over. We hear sirens in the distance, and agree that we should not be around when Lonestar gets here. We offer Crimson Shadow a cut in our reward, if she is interested in helping. She seems intrigued with our little operation here, so she agrees. Before we are able to get out of here, we are almost ran over by a van. From out of the van, an attractive elven woman with silver hair and a killer smile spring out at me. She asks if we are the ones who ‘stopped the murderous rampage that was terrorizing the streets?’ Well, we did, so I half-ass answer yes. She then asks for my name, to which I tell her Pariah without much consideration. Scratch snarls for me to get my ass in here so I kinda shrug at the woman and get in and we head out. In that car, Scratch seems kinda pissed at me. When I ask why, he asks why I would be talking to a reporter. Drek. You know, I probably shouldn’t of done that now that I think about it. Well, what’s done is done.
There has been quite a bit of chatter on the streets about uniting gangs in Renton some talk of a big not-so secret meeting of the gangs at a warehouse. We decide to sneak in there a little early by posing as gang members and see what is there. We get in and hide out in a large warehouse. To ensure an exit, we discover a drain that runs under the building and exits a few blocks away. After a few hours the yard is teeming with gangers, so the drain seems to be the safe exit. We position ourselves in the warehouse and are soon present to a meeting of the minds, so to speak. A well dressed man, clearly not a ganger stands on a podium, near me and scratch while other gang leaders of Blood Rumblers, Red Rovers and Spike Wheels are watching him and cheering his little tirade on. He goes on and on about them once being divided and now that they are united, that they are unstoppable and with this new force they will crush their enemies in The Barrens. Crimson Shadow says that she has him zeroed, so she takes the shot and he drops him in mid-rant. The gangers are so mesmerized that they spend a scant few seconds in complete shock at his unglorified corpse collapses in front of them. We turn that stunned silence into our advantage and open fire at them. Scratch wraps a chain around the outer door, while I retrieve yet another chip, this labeled ‘Kahn,’ and Crimson Shadow, Doc and Yin kill off the rest of the gang leaders. We now hear the yard full of gangers beating down the door, so we double-time it to the grate. I drop smokes to cover our exit and the door is rendered from it’s hinges. We emerge a block or so away in an alley. We cover the grate here with a large dumpster and get our asses out of there before all of Redmond is chasing us.
We call Roxanne and tell her that we have all three chips. She says she’ll meet us at the Banshee in an hour. We get there and notice that the Banshee has already stated renovating. They have a new bouncer who lets us in and we are quickly ushered into the back room. Roxanne and Urlan Manes are already there. They quickly gets down to business. We exchange the chips for the nuyen. They were also kind enought to add in the bonus for getting Tee Hee returned, unharmed as asked. I look at the crew that now stands around me. They are not soldiers, but they are fighters, that is for sure. I could get used to this.