Catch As Catch Ken
Name of run was Catch As Catch Ken.
Run was GM'd by User:Luciferos
Setting: The Matrix Magic War
Run completed on date 2017-07-22 01:30 UTC. Duration: 8 hours.
Lt. Marc Battle hired shadowrunners to retrieve Kaminari Ken, an ork decker and small-time crook who stole critical data from his organization and vanished off-grid a couple days ago. Kaminari Ken, or Ken Takeda, is an ex-Renraku decker with a promising career cut short by goblinization who moved stateside after being ejected from the corporation. He ran in shadows for a while until getting out to start working as a data broker and running an illegal online casino. The Johnson has it on good confidence that Ken is going to be moving to board a Shiawase ship nearby at 8 PM tomorrow - less than 24 hours away - and wants him captured before he boards the ship if at all possible.
Runners are given a sizeable advance - 10000 NuYen per person - and advised to spare no expense in completing their objective. They are promised an additional 15000 NuYen on completion.
The runners spent the night investigating Ken's known haunts and associates:
At the Hasted Rat, a Redmond tavern on the fringe of the Barrens, Promethea met Biwani Boekon, an old drunkard with a penchant for collecting rumors, and discovered just under a week ago, just before Ken had robbed Mr. Johnson, two big trolls had thrown him in the back of a flower van and taken off. He calls Ken a bastard - though a polite bastard - and the old drunk suggests that he sold out a shadowrunner named Overlord, and finally got what's coming to him. Goldfinch discovered the Rat's camera footage of the event had been heavily edited by a very good decker, but was able to reconstruct and confirm that Ken was abducted by two trolls and thrown into a deliver van for what looks like a flowershop business.
A talismonger shop just on the Renton side of Coalfield was owned by Silver Jin, a known former associate who Goldfinch's Matrix searching revealed to be Ken's wife. She greeted Xiang with a Ruger Super Warhawk and nervously informed them that Ken didn't come around anymore, but did call her a couple nights ago asking for help, of which she had none to provide. She recommended talking to Hinori Takeda, Ken's estranged sister.
A nearby bar in Coalfield where Ken hangs out got rowdy as a whole crew of roughnecks present attack Xiang, Promethea, and Snek at the mention of Ken's name. They easily defeat the assailants, and the bartender explains that he was threatened by some unknown spooks who came around warning that they would 'overlook' the bartender's association with Ken if he grabbed up anyone who started asking around about him. A comm number provided for them to call backtraces to a burner that Finch is able to track.
This leads the runners to the Tourist Trap, a clothes-optional neon fetish club back in Touristville where Promethea, dressed to blend in, runs into an even less clothed Deadshot Daniel, a troll marksman who is an old running buddy of Ken's. The awkward interview made more awkward by the annoyed dominatrix glaring at Promethea who is interrupting them leads to Daniel asserting he didn't have any way to help Ken when the guy called him up, but again, to talk to Takeda Hinori. However, Promethea does further investigation and sneaks into the club owner's office, finding the commlink in the same place as information on a bolthole that the proprietor let Ken a safehouse to use. The runners begin to suspect he abducted himself to make himself look innocent for robbing his former associates.
Meanwhile Snek has gone Mission Impossible, climbing through the vents at Fast Flowers, the flower shop whose van was used to abduct Ken, but one of the trolls who nabbed him is patrolling around. While she's waiting, Promethea finds the safehouse information and they instead head down to the Barrens to check out this safehouse.
Meanwhile, Finch makes a 6 AM appointment with Hinori Takeda, Ken's younger sister. A protege Renraku mage who had entered the Red Samurai program, the young woman was forced out of that program when knowledge of her brother's goblinization became common knowledge, and she herself was 'transferred' to the Renraku research complex in Bellevue. She is simultaneously helpful and unhelpful, openly admitting that when he called her she tasked a spirit to shield her brother from the eyes of any astral security looking for him, because if anyone is going to kill him, it is going to be her. She doesn't know where he is, exactly, nor is she interested in providing help bringing him in.
According to the documentation, an abandoned hotel contains a windowless second-story office that's been converted into a bolthole to lie low in. Xiang spots an array of extremely well-hidden security cameras watching all approaches to the building that seem to confirm this story. There is supposedly a concealed sewer entrance, but they opt to purchase some rope and climb across the upper floors from one building to the next to avoid the cameras, which are conveniently not looking up. More hidden cameras when they arrive at the second floor suggest that they're in the right place, and the crew sets up, checking under the door and seeing the old office interior converted to a tiny living room/kitchenette with a side door that is perhaps a bedroom. As Snek stealthily opens a door, a light flicks on in the bedroom and someone can be heard starting to move around within. As the runners rush to approach and Xiang kicks open the door, a small bedroom is revealed, containing only a commlink sitting on the bed playing sounds imitating a person rummaging around a room - and the runners have about a quarter second to leap away before a frag grenade shreds the inside of the safehouse.
Snek the Snake's nose tracks Ken's scent to an alleyway where it disappears. In the remnants of a cupboard, Xiang locates a small terminal hardwired to the surveillance cameras, and taps in, allowing Finch to get the plate number of the vehicle Ken takes as he leaves from that alley. With files Promethea lifted off the fetish club's proprietor (who has their hands into more dirty business than whips and chains), they bribe a databroker to get them the vehicle information. This leads them to an apartment complex in Snohomish where the car went into the garage but did not come out.
Snek's nose leads the crew to a twelfth floor apartment, by way of the sixteenth floor and down four flights of stairs. Just as they're about to open another apartment door where Kaminari Ken was, the databroker calls Xiang back and informs her with some amusement that while poking around out of curiosity, they came across footage of what was obviously a person in RPC climbing down a stealth rope from a twelfth floor window there. Instead of staggering into another trap, Snek tracks Ken's scent and Finch pulls the camera footage - inconveniently wiped during the ten minutes when Ken snuck out to the back parking lot and left, but of the three vehicles there before the footage cuts out that aren't there when it cuts back in, only one of them has plates registered to a fake ID Finch earlier attributed to Ken while digging into his past.
They throw some NuYen the broker's way and have some more vehicle info pulled, which finally leads them to a warehouse in Everett near the Shiawase drop point. The broker also mentions that he has some info suggesting the timetable for a Shiawase ship's departure nearby has been moved up by several hours, and he sees some kind of meet time was changed from 20:00 to noon. It's already after 10 AM.
Promethea, Snek, and Xiang charge the warehouse with Finch on Matrix overwatch nearby, but Finch gets made while trying to hack all the devices within the warehouse. A gunner on the roof far away starts shooting at Xiang as Promethea barrels in the front door and Snek sneaks around to find a window into the warehouse. A fight erupts as within moments, Silver Jin, Deadshot Daniel, and Hinori Takeda all engage the runners while Kaminari Ken tries to strike out against Finch on the Matrix only to get his ticket punched and his deck bricked. After Xiang shoots Hinori Takeda in the head, though, Ken finally makes himself known, staggering out from behind some crates hidden in the back of the warehouse with a grenade in each hand, yelling for everyone to stop shooting and threatening to blow himself up if the runners don't get away from his sister.
At Ken's insistence Deadshot Daniel grabs Ken's wife and sister and bail as the fight stops, and after he's well gone, Ken finally disables the grenades. Ken professes his innocence as he's returned, noting that after the trolls dragged him off to Fast Flowers and worked him over in the back room of the Mafia-protected business, he woke up in a bathtub in a no-tell motel with a bunch of messages on his commlink and realized he'd been set up for a data heist he didn't commit. He's resigned to try to explain to Lt. Battle, the Johnson, what happened but has bleak prospects for his survival.
Mr. Johnson's activity at the abandoned Everett warehouse his team has occupied has increased, with several dozen operatives moving around inside an empty warehouse with an MCV parked within. The Johnson meets the runners outside, as his organization has VIPs on site and they don't want outsiders coming near. Ken is handed over and led into the MCV, but before the completion payment can be handed over, the MCV goes up in a giant ball of fire, blowing out the whole interior of the warehouse.
A little rotodrone lands in the parking lot just as this happens, and projects an AR holo of a well done up Caucasian human with a genial CAS accent. She sweetly greets Lt. Battle by name with some measure of familiarity even as the runners and the Johnson are picking themselves up off the turf, and tells him to go to his superiors and warn them, in no uncertain terms, to "return her property to her without delay," or she will make sure that Kaminari Ken is just the first of their assets to go up in flames. She also warns Battle that if his superiors don't acquiesce to her demands, he should make himself as scarce as possible, as she has no qualms about killing him if he gets in her way.
With that, she turns to the runners and explains to them that she knows how mercenaries get their knickers in a twist about her blowing up their rewards, so by way of 'apology' the drone contains four commlinks with a secure line to a friend of hers who will give them a special discount on use of his equipment purchasing services. She advises them not to attempt to look into her or her business any further, letting her warning trail off with a gesture at the blown up warehouse, and then the rotodrone promptly shuts itself down and shorts out, destroying the dog brain.
The drone's little storage compartment contains the promised commlinks -Calibans - with an encrypted comm line contained therein. Looking back at Lt. Battle, the ork is in shock, muttering only that that was 'Daelix' and warns the runners to get as far away from that woman's operations as possible. He limps to his own vehicle and bugs out, and the shadowrunners do the same.
- Everett warehouse in Old Everett - now destroyed.
- The Hasted Rat, an oddly old-fahsioned inn and tavern in Redmond
- Jin's talismonger shop
- The Coalhouse, a bar in Coalfield
- Renraku Research Complex
- Fast Flowers, a Mafia-owned flower shop in Touristville
- The Tourist Trap, a fetish club in Touristville
- Nameless safehouse in the Barrens
- Everett warehouse in Pinehurst
- Lt. Marc Battle - commander of VirAwake paramilitary forces.
- Kaminari Ken - former associate of VirAwake (deceased).
- Takeda Hinori - Kaminari Ken's sister and a dangerously powerful young mage. She considered her brother's goblinization and later criminal enterprise a personal affront to her honor, having ruined both her divested blood family and ejecting her from her new Red Samurai family unit.
- Sally Rise - a spooky intelligence operative who Battle refers to as 'Daelix,' who warns Battle to have his organization return what they stole from her, or Ken's death will only be the beginning.
Impact on Setting
Firefights in a D zone probably don't make the news, but warehouses near the Naval Shipyards going up in a great ball of flames definitely does. Media post:
Facts and Fictions
Runners and Rewards
Base Karma: 3, Nuyen: 10000
- Snek : Did not WFTM or WFTP. Received 3 karma, 10000 NuYen, 1 Fairlight Caliban, single-user access to 'Finder'.
- Goldfinch : Did not WFTM or WFTP. Received 3 karma, 10000 NuYen, 1 Fairlight Caliban, single-user access to 'Finder'.
- Promethea : Took Accelerator BTL (7/21/78), took Psyche (7/21/78). Did not WFTM or WFTP. Received 3 karma, 10000 NuYen, 1 Fairlight Caliban, single-user access to 'Finder'.
- Xiang : WFTP 10k to 5 karma. Received 8 karma, 1 Fairlight Caliban, single-user access to 'Finder'.
- Total Group Expenses: 3200 NuYen for 6 hits from Loyalty 3 databroker. Each runner paid 800 NuYen.