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IC [Shadowrun 5th Edition] Neon and Glass

CherrySmiles

Malicious Sprite
Validated User
Tuesday, November 21st, 2079
Seattle Metroplex, UCAS

It was a cold, grey day in Seattle, like most days. Rain that was only not slush because of the high acid content alternated with periods of chill, whipping wind, and ash and smog were thick on the air. There might be snow later, or heavier rain, and it seemed that winter had finally arrived. In Redmond and Puyallup, trashcan fires were being lit and abandoned buildings broken into for shelter. To the south and east, in Carnation and Fort Lewis and the outlying areas around the 'plex, farmers and scavengers and anyone else who worked outside eyed the sky nervously. In the more expensive parts of the city, Outremer and the islands and Bellevue, people simply put on warmer clothes and turned on heating elements and ordered in instead of going out.

In the shadows, things were rather more lively.

A successful run always had an impact on the shadows, especially a high-profile run like hitting a megacorp lab. Megas were always a favored target of shadowrunners, as well as a favored employer, but runs against them usually hit smaller, more isolated facilities or even picked off targets on the move or in the Matrix. Breaking into a secure holding facility, making off with the paydata, and helping at least one prisoner escape was rather more brazen than that. Now, security would be upgraded, sentries would be more watchful, and everyone from the CEO down to the lowest sarariman and wageslave would be just that little bit more paranoid, and other corps would follow suit as they remembered that nowhere was entirely proof from the "deniable assets" of a rival.

As for the team, even with scrubbing the data, bribing, killing, threatening, or doping witnesses, and with the shadows' own form of operational security clamped down like a vise, well, people talked about them. Johnsons and fixers wanted to know who they were, either to hire them or to avoid the lightning coming down from on high if MCT ever figured out who they were. Other 'runners critiqued them, or complained about the effect they were having, or called them out for a job well done. Data merchants reached out, looking for plans of the facility, any secondary data swiped, combat footage from cybereyes; everything had value in the shadows.

It was only a few weeks after the high-profile run when a Johnson finally worked up the resources, nerve, and need for the team that had pulled the MCT job and put out a call specifically for them. Fixers were contacted, finder's fees paid, streams of nuyen threading their way through the 'plex like fishing line, reeling in the team. Not all of them could be found, of course. The team's decker had caught the wrong side of a Mitsuhama Black Dragon IC program, and despite the best efforts of the team's very competent doctor, the old-but-still-lethal psychotropic IC had killed her, it had just taken a few hours to set in properly. In her case, however, her replacement came from the same run that had killed her, the escapee from the facility slotting neatly into the team's matrix support role. Likewise, part of the team's muscle, a vatjob named Kali had come in second in a fight between her forehead and a slug from a shotgun only a few seconds after the team's entry was blown. She needed to be replaced, and so more money filtered into the shadows, along with discreet inquiries, and a name was finally settled upon, with initial meetings to come when the team was approached about the job.

Finally, arrangements were made, and calls went out across the city, summoning the shadowrunners from wherever they had bunkered down to ride out the fallout from the MCT run, their fixers being paid well to call them back, after doing enough checking of their own to make certain this wasn't some awful trap.

Isambard was reached through his fixer Salesa, the reliable hardware dealer and occasional trafficker in antiquities:

Spoiler: Show
Malō, 'Baud. There is more business for you and yours. I am sure the rest of your friends have heard about it through their own business associates, but Mr. Johnson called, asking for a referral to the team that handled Mitsuhama so adroitly. Nothing specific on the contract yet, but the pay is quite reasonable for simple data and asset acquisition, so I thought I would pass it along. The meeting is at Downfall, 175th and 140th in Redmond at four o'clock. Let me know if you're going, my finder's fee is already paid. Hey, you get enough work like this, maybe you can buy that vase! Mate in six, by the way.


Lodestar was reached through The Ancients, and perhaps to her surprise was not the only one on the receiving end of the message from Sting, Rook's second-in-command, it being addressed both to her own matrix drop and to someone with the matrix handle "BulletBallerina:"

Spoiler: Show
Lodestar, Odette, you're being released from your duties to the gang for the next couple of days. Odette, the Laesa are sending someone to cover you for now. Lodestar, the shipment south needs to wait another week anyway. Word is it might have some live cargo. In the meantime, you've both been tapped for a job. Lodestar, you were with the MCT team a few weeks ago. Odette is joining you to replace your lost muscle. I'm sure you two have met. Someone wants that team, less dead members for another job, and they're paying top nuyen just to get you in the door. Meeting's at Downfall on the edge of Touristville at 1600. Lodestar, don't make us look bad, but don't take any shit. Remember you're repping us to the Johnson. Odette, if you wear the colors, this goes for you too.


Smokewagon's message came from her favorite bartender, Bear, at the Alcohole:

Spoiler: Show
'Belle, I hear biz is good! Your team is meeting just down the street at Downfall today around four, and Mr. Johnson somehow tracked me down to get the word to you. Paid half a kay for me to do it, too. I see you're making better friends. I guess there's a job for your band of reprobates, based on some earlier work you did. He wasn't super clear, but the pay is pretty good. You need to talk after the meeting, I'll have your usual all poured up, 'kay?


Doctor Wilson was messaged by his fixer, Mike The Knife, who relayed the job with his usual good cheer:

Spoiler: Show
Doc, doc, doc! The bullet removal business must be absolutely bangin' these days! A little bird in an Armanté suit tells me there's more work for you, since your last house call was so damn fraggin' successful! Downfall, Redmond, 4:00 p.m. today. He's paying top dollar just for this 'trix message, so he's got some deeeeep pockets. Might wanna check it out, take more of that sweet corpo nuyen. Just don't forget your friends, alright? Good luck!


Moon found his own job offer waiting on a napkin underneath a bowl of Tonkatsu when he went out for breakfast, at the same time as the day before, when Moon was told to "come back tomorrow:"

Spoiler: Show
Downfall. 4:00 today. Chance for you to get in with the team that saved you. Money is good. Go, and don't try your usual tricks with Mr. Johnson. Not likely to appreciate it.


Last but not least, The ex-terrorist, MadCat, got a voice message from his fixer, Mercury:

Spoiler: Show
Hey, ya Mick! Some twit with fake muscles that got crammed into an Actioneer suit was just in here looking for you. Told me there was a job for you if you wanted it, and that you'd worked with the others before on some run up in corptown a li'l while back. I almost told him to cram it, but he handed over five hundred just for a comm call, and told me to tell you that the pay was top dollar and the meeting was No Strings Attached. He's clearly some hoophat's flunky, but his 'ware wasn't cheap and five hundred is pretty expensive for me to dial a number and talk for a minute, ya feel me? Meeting's at Downfall, in Redmond. You know Downfall, don't stick to the floor, cute cocktail waitresses that won't give you the clap? Nice enough place, but still off the path enough to be a good shadow meet spot. Johnson does his homework. Meeting's at four. Go strapped, man, and let me know how it turns out. I'll watch the news in case you have to, uh, suddenly remodel.
 

PixieDust

Possible successor to Betancore's coat.
Validated User
When ye're meetin' Mr. Johnson, it's always good ta do ye'r homework. More oft than not, ye'll not know a thing about the J until ye meet 'em. Sometimes not even then. But what ye can do is learn the terrain of the meet. The layout o' the buildin', the type of patronage inside, which exits are easily accessed and which might not be spotted so well, an' the spots 'round outside the buildin' where ye would be less likely ta be seen. The best way ta get the info of the buildin' is from a blueprint, o' course, but nothin' beats goin' ta the place itself an' seein' wit' yer own eyes.

"About fraggin' time!" MadCat quipped with a near-manic grin as he took the comm away from his ear.

Over the last few weeks, the Irishman had been keeping himself busy with his usual activities; boxing in the pits, brawling with the Yaks outside the Italiano, and doing the usual threatening and leg-breaking for the Finnigans. The problem was that none of that was very technically or tactically complicated. The fights were all reaction and seeing an opening, and lately it seemed like everyone late on their protection nuyen were sniveling little worms, so not much force had been needed for most of them.

All that to say that MadCat was getting twitchy. And bored. And it was never good when a demolitions man got bored.

He flipped through the contacts on his commlink and sent off a quick inquiry to Ryoko. By the time he was out of the shower, he had blueprints of Downfall already loaded onto the thing (even though he hadn't loaded the file himself) and set to studying it while he ate a quick breakfast. He brushed his hair, again, to try to get it to lay flat, and slipped into dark blue, synth-denim cargo pants held up with suspenders, a thin white tanktop, black boots, and his black, armored vest. His slivergun was tucked into the waistline at the small of his back, and two grenades (one frag, one paint) were placed in the cargo pockets, one on either leg to make the weight even.

MadCat eyed his shotgun in consideration, then shook his head, threw on his biking jacket for added warmth, and headed out the door. A full two hours before the meet was scheduled, Michael had parked his Harley Davidson Nightmare a few blocks down from the place, set the anti-theft, and tossed a ratty cover over it so its bright coloration wouldn't draw too much attention in the mean time.

He took a round-about route to the place and headed inside for a quick drink and short look around, getting what he could of the layout in real time to go with what he knew of the blueprints as well as doing a little people-watching. From what he could see, the place did a decent job taking care of any trouble-makers (normally by magical means), and MadCat took note of who all were in charge of such tasks.

With his drink done and paid for, the Irishman headed back outside. The first stop was down a couple blocks to grab a little chow from the local Stuffer Shack, taking the black, plastic bag filled with his meager, soyturkey sandwich, bottle of iced soykaff, and a fresh pack of cigarettes to walk back around another block to the building just across the street from the designated meeting place. With a quick look around to make sure no one was watching, MadCat scaled the fire escape up to the roof, found a somewhat secluded spot out of the wind with a view of the joint's front door, and set to waiting and watching those who entered while he ate.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
'Bard arrived on the scene about an hour later, his cab pulling up and dropping him off a block away so he could stretch his legs. He made sure he looked his part--his only Actioneer, a few tasteful knick knacks, and an eagle the color of a sunset hanging on his shoulders astrally as he came up to the club, giving the bouncer a nod and a warm grin as he stepped into the alcove. "I had a meeting set up here? An Albinius Johnson?", scrolling through his commlink clumsily.
 

HardKore Keltoid

RAW Cultist
Validated User
"'Course the scum of the world never take a day off, that explains a lot." Belle muses,. "Pour a glass fer if it goes well, and have a bottle'a Rabbit Piss ready in case it doesn't. Ghost, not even the rats wanna go out in this weather, so it just figgers I'm gonna. See ya soon, Bear."

Y'know what's really good cover for a Shadowrunner? Pretending to be a dirt-poor ork on a bus. Y'know what's really quite demeaning for a Shadowrunner? Actually being a dirt-poor ork on a bus. Nevertheless, here she is.

Note to self, personal transportation is nice. Further note, cowgirl duds are not for cold weather. Nevertheless, wearing a duster and jeans does help her sell the image of being unhinged, meaning the genuinely crazy denizens (there's always a few) don't approach her.

She disembarks, fails repeatedly to hail a cab (racist pricks!) and walks. Likely better that way, too. 'Course, that means she actually works up a sweat, further cementing her overall appearance as "disheveled and probably barking mad", rather than a well-off woman that buys her jeans pre-beaten for style points.

"Melissa Chambers, here for a Mister..Johnson, yeah? Business arrangement."

Spoiler: Show


"Rabbit Piss" is the commonly accepted name of Centzontōtōchtin, because, let's be honest, most tongues don't have enough joints to call it by name - and there's a rabbit on the bottle, and it just so happens to be dark yellow in color.

It is not, uh..Good., nobody outside destitute alcoholics admits to happily drinking it, but it is a cheap and readily available brain eraser. It comes in large bottles with pull-off caps - the product, much like the customer, is intended to be drunk in one sitting.
 
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squidheadjax

Social Justice Cultist
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Lodestar was reached through The Ancients, and perhaps to her surprise was not the only one on the receiving end of the message from Sting, Rook's second-in-command, it being addressed both to her own matrix drop and to someone with the matrix handle "BulletBallerina:"
Lodestar glances to the sleeping form next to her as the message alert beeps into her brain. Long blonde hair, round ears... She scrunches her brow as she tries to remember who. ...oh. Yeah. Fangirl, wide-eyed, sounded like she thought Ancients ate fire and crapped pixie dust. Frikkin media. Not that she'd done anything to disabuse the woman - Frannie? Faye? Freya, that was it. Nice name. Probably not her real one, but cool if it was - of that notion. She liked being nice to people when she had the luxury of it. Too many toughs miss the difference between not taking drek from anyone and going out of their way to take a drek on people. Yeah, she could look someone in the eye and shoot them in the gut if she had to. But that was work, or self-defense, not fun.

That actually brings a little quirk to her lips, as she remembers that one unblooded tough a few nights ago who'd thought anyone without colors was fair game to grab on. The bar was noisy enough that night that nobody heard her fire the silenced stick-n-shock that hit him square in the crankshaft when he got testy about a lady walking back to her boyfriend. Ok. Sometimes shooting people was fun.

"Hey. Horizon Princess," she mumbles, nudging the woman's shoulder with the soft grip pads of her chrome arm. She was absolutely sure that 'Freya' was a SINner, probably from Bellvue if her guess was right. Mommy and Daddy were probably in Humanis. She's probably in that gap between finishing college and starting as an office drone where she still felt she could pretend to be a rebel. Lodestar hadn't missed the pale shadow of an engagement or wedding ring, either, but she didn't much care if she was 'Freya's' secret side fantasy or a rebound. "Time to go back to Wageslavia. You want a soycaf? Scrambled tofu?" she asks as she starts playing the message back in her datajack.

...live cargo. That could either be a fun road trip or the kind that makes her feel like scum afterward. But that was a problem for next week. Downfall. She has the local roadmaps up before the rest of the text even scrolls into her awareness. Yeah. Best to just bring her nice bike.

Doc, are you busy with the Wagon? Would you happen to have an appointment at 4 at the Downfall? she texts to Doctor Wilson. Not that she should need her deadly RC cars handy for a meet, but you never know.

After finally sending her hookup home - and offering to bike her out to where public transit actually starts running, if she needs the ride - she contacts Odette too, so see if she wants to meet up before showing up.

Either way, she pulls her immaculate bike right up to Downfall when she arrives, basically daring anyone to fuck with it as she parks and leaves it - and leaves one of her three Noizquito drones perched under the seat and watching for trouble. She carries the other two in the inner pockets of her jacket, again just in case. Said leather jacket and matching pants are currently set to the Ancients colors in a slick, flattering configuration rather than the louder riot she'd wear on the road. "Here to see Mr. Johnson, for business," she tells the bouncer. She almost looks the corporate kind of respectable, with her red hair visibly up in a bun after she checks her helmet at the door.
 

Meriss

Chaos Incarnate
Validated User
Doc, are you busy with the Wagon? Would you happen to have an appointment at 4 at the Downfall? she texts to Doctor Wilson. Not that she should need her deadly RC cars handy for a meet, but you never know.
Doctor Wilson

George Wilson growls. He was getting too fragging old for Mr Johnson and his drek. A man used to be able to consider retiring in a few years. Not anymore.

He texted Lonestar back. <You're the ones who jacked the original. I'm still making payments. But yes. See you at Downfall.>

He goes about his usual pre meet prep. Shower, attempt to shave. Give up.

He checks the blinkenlights on the Wagon scrupulously. He triple checks the medkit. He could never be too careful.

He climbs in the van and drives carefully through the streets before parking a block or so away. He holsters his Roomsweeper and makes sure his link is broadcasting his open carry license.

He grunts at the bouncer. "Looking for Mr Johnson. Business."
 

Markov

The Fabulous King
Validated User
Rabbit certainly didn't look like the usual sort of person to walk into this club...or most clubs, outside of the fetish-y type of places or the ones dangerous enough that nobody bothered to question anything. Maybe it was the cloak. But it kept the rain off and the cold out. And it handled bullets better than he did. So...frag anybody with a problem. Including the bouncer. Not that he'd say that to the guy's face. That'd just be asking to get punched. He looked up at the bouncer and hoped the combination of hood and dark glasses did a better job of hiding his emotions....a mix of nervousness and jittery excitement...than he did himself.

"Hey. I'm, ah...here for a Mr. Johnson? They know I'm coming."

The walk had left him just a little out of breath, so the rush of words were more exasperated than he wanted them to sound. For a minute, he didn't think the bouncer was going to let him in. Was it the gun? Could he tell? Probably. They trained for things like that, right? Just my luck. First actual meeting, and I get turned away at the door. Real professional. The only thing more humiliating would be the return walk home. He was already cutting it close just getting here. No. Not an option. I have to meet those guys. My team. That sounded good. Yeah.

"...my team is probably here already. I was held up. Not held up. Delayed. So if you could just point me in the direction..."
 

Leanansidhe

Mab's Right Hand
Validated User
Odette got the message from Rook in the middle of rehearsal, the icon flashing up in the corner of her vision mid-adagio. With a mild curse in Sperethiel, she stopped in the middle of her pas de deux and ended the AR projection of her partner. There were very few things that would pull her away from her dancing, especially this close to auditions, but when one got a direct message from the leader of the biggest gang in the 'plex, one didn't delay unnecessarily. Standing en pointe, Odette scanned the message quickly, and was just composing a reply when the follow-up from Lodestar came, asking if she wanted to meet up. Odette smiled slightly to herself.

+Me, meet with a patched member of The Ancients? What would the bishop think? Sorry, luv, I'm on the other side of the sprawl right now and I'm going to have to bust hoop just to get there without looking like a half-frozen devil rat. See you at the meet, 'kay?+

Her smile dropped away as she contemplated the empty stage and cursed again. It wasn't like she didn't need the work, but...did it have to be today? She checked the message again. Downfall. Right. Good place for a meet. And it was Rook telling her to go. She'd do anything for the man whose swaggering, bold presence had shown her there was something more out there than her own miserable little life, years ago.

Frag.

Heaving a long-suffering sigh, Odette dropped back to flat feet and went to gather her things, switching back to flats from her pointe shoes and throwing a long, rain-proof cloak around her shoulders. She didn't ride the Kaburaya here, too many people would try and steal it, so she began the long trek home by way of subways and side streets, enduring the catcalls and wolf-whistles with her usual oppressive good cheer. Something she had found out in the last year and a half was that it was much easier to deal with idiots when it was a choice. Knowing that she could snap even a troll thug in half with minimal effort made his commentary on her hoop a lot less offensive.

Three trains and another ten minute walk got Odette back to her doss, bitterly cursing the mid-day train schedule that forced her to wait at each station. She checked the time and decided that she had enough time for a shower anyway, and for that she was thankful. Her bio-engineered skin- smooth, perfect, hairless, silky- was nice and not having to shave was a definite plus, but it reacted very badly to a combination of sweat, acid rain, and air pollution, and she was already itchy as hell. She stripped down, humming the overture to Giselle, contemplating what colors to go with for the meet.

Thirty minutes later, Odette was ready to go. Her hair was a vivid blue-green, flowing down on her right side, brushed away from the small patch of bare skin that showed her 'jack stack and the treble clef tattooed behind one pointed her. The aquamarine studs in the lobe and tragus of that ear matched the hair, and her lipstick was a glowing, sunlike orange that actually emitted light. The effect was very much sunrise-at-sea, and she played to the theme by setting her secondskin to an opaque, foggy grey, and the corset, boots and gloves of her steampunk outfit were white, save for the shiny silver of the buckles on her calves and sides. A white synthleather jacket covered the Setura Sumperkompakt gecko-gripped between her shoulderblades, and the jacket had the acid-green A of the Ancients inside the black circle of the Rinelle Ke'Tesrae on one shoulder, proclaiming her dual allegiance.

Downfall wasn't all that far away from her doss, an easy ride, and she put her helmet on and grinned as she started up the long, low racing bike, reveling in the purr of its modified engine.

Odette arrived a half-hour before the meet, all told, parking down the street next to a covered-up monster of a bike, racking her helmet and setting the anti-theft. An easy stroll down the street, past Downfall to the knock-off stuffer shack for a frag-off giant can of tea and a fresh pack of Parlies showed her a couple probable 'runners, the dark, handsome, and darkly handsome man stepping into Downfall in a well-fitted suit, her brawling buddy MadCat on the roof scoping the scene. There was an ork, too, that she watched come up as she stood with a cigarette in her mouth and her can of peach tea in her hand on the opposite street corner, absently moving from plie, to demi plie, to demi-pointe, to pointe, and back again. She did a double-take as she got a better look, her cybereyes bringing the woman's face to arm's length. Wasn't that the MeFeed sensation with the guns? Smokewagon or something like that? She'd done a bunch of cool videos on trick shooting. Watching her, much slowed down, had been one of the ways Odette had first begun learning how to shoot.

Odette waited a few minutes longer for anyone else to show, then looked up, seeing MadCat had disappeared. Time to make her entrance.

Odette discarded the now-empty can and strolled up to the door and the doorman with an eerily fluid, rolling gait, her curves shifting in time to music only she could hear. A mental flick turned on her full-sensory recording suite and she flashed a megawatt smile at the doorman, looking at him from under long lashes. "Odette here to see Mr. Johnson?" Her voice was resonant, high and sweet and vibrant and alive, and not at all like her nearly-blacked out aura would suggest. "I'm sure I'm not the first and I'm certain I'm expected."
 

PixieDust

Possible successor to Betancore's coat.
Validated User
MadCat watched as familiar face after familiar face spoke to the bouncer and headed inside, as well as a couple he didn't recognize but seemed like the type, and the Irishman stubbed out another cigarette. "Looks like the gang's all 'ere, or just about, anyway." He muttered to himself, pulling out his commlink and checking the time, "Might as well not be late, aye?"

He gathered up the small pile of cigarette butts that had been gathering in a windless corner and tossed them into the bag that previously had his Stuffer Shack meal, now filled with wrappers and the empty bottle, and headed back down the building. He tossed the bag of trash into a nearby dumpster and made his way back to Downfall in time to see yet another familiar person at the door.

"Make that 'MadCat an' Odette'," He said with a grin as he strolled up beside her, hands comfortably in the pockets of his biker's jacket, then shot her a wink. "How ya, luv? Goin' wit' the Mermaid look, t'day, I see."
 

CherrySmiles

Malicious Sprite
Validated User
The bouncer had clearly been told to expect people fitting the team's descriptions. In turn, each one was directed to a table in the far corner of the room. It was a large table, old and scarred pressboard-and-veneer, with three chairs on each side and one at either end. The chairs were mismatched but solid, the table clean. There were no place setting or water glasses or anything. This was a bar, not a nightclub or a pub or a restaurant or anything but what it was; a place for getting drunk, maybe without getting stabbed.

As each team member went through the room, they saw the long, dark bar to their right, an elf with a cyberarm from the twenty-fifties and a silver mohawk tending bar alongside a girl who could have been his twin, only with a wider mohawk and mystical tattoos in place of metal. They saw the dozen tables with small groups clustered around them, already getting to some serious drinking despite the early hour. The more savvy amongst them undoubtedly noticed the four gangers from the 405 at the booth nearest the team's table, or the two young, blooded Ancients girls in matching synthleather pants and jackets playing pool on the faded, unleveled table.

It was not a welcoming place, but it was relatively quiet, and it was dark, and while the floor might have grooves worn into it from generations of passers by and stains of dubious provenance, it wasn't sticky.

As bars in Redmond went, it would do.

The members of the team all drew looks, all for different reasons. No one really paid the Doctor any mind. A grizzled old burnout was part of the furniture, here. 'Bard got some looks, for being way, way too high class and more than one of the patrons made hungry eyes at him. So did both bartenders, for that matter. Annabelle drew a few looks for her half-feral appearance, and one unnamed individual at the far end of the bar said, "Hey, that's Smokewagon! The ork chit with the guns on MeFeed!" Moon was actually stopped for a moment at the door, but a nod from the bartender got him inside anyway. Lodestar got waves from the Ancients, a Nocturna pistoleer named Columbine and her partner- and maybe partner- a tall, lithely built sorceress named Sunset. Odette and MadCat drew looks themselves, both carrying street reputations of their own and Odette's eye-catching appearance assuring that she was the center of attention, at least at first glance.

The gangers in the back, however, watched MadCat and Odette with the looks of starving men who have seen food go by, and immediately broke into whispers when they could tear their eyes away, and the word "bounty" was said more than once, and more than a little loudly.
 
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