Hawkeye says, "I have no compunction about killing people who deserve it. But if I make a promise to someone, I keep it. Period. You see, there's one thing my father told me that has always stuck with me; he said that people can take your life from you, they can take away your land, your house, your money, your friends, your family... they can lie about you and ruin your reputation, at least temporarily... but they can't take away who you are, or what you believe in. They can't take away what you stand for. So if I give this guy my word that he will be paid for the information we want, then he will be paid. I ain't no shady counter-intelligence operative; I refuse to double-deal. I'd rather die upholding my word of honor than to live with the knowledge that I'm no better than the scumbags I'm fighting against. When we're in a scrape, in the heat of the moment, I am content to shoot first and ask questions later. But when we negotiate, we do it in good faith, or else I'm out. I know it's a fine line, but walking that line, and always remembering that it's there, is what keeps me sane some days."
"I kinda know someone who can 'launder' the Creds..."
Hawkeye says, "Creds are great, don't get me wrong; but let's not forget data decks and mini-discs and thumb drives. Data is often far more valuable an asset than mere money. If they have dirt on people, we want that. If they have operatives that we can turn to our service, we want that, too."
I changed the name of the city so there would not be any issue with real world Houston which is only an hours drive from where I live. Still same location geographically. The name derives from someone finding an old Hilton sing and painting an ‘e’ over the ‘i’.
The purpose for introducing the Magnum Foster two hand full auto is to introduce customizable weapons to TUW: ES. All weapons are produced to strict manufacturing standards, but different techniques on the street can reduce weight and the hindrance of weapons. Weapons can be reduced by 2 lbs and -5 hindrance per 10000 credits spent, but the process can only be done twice for a maximum -4lbs and -10 hindrance for 20000 credits. The high price comes from the illegal nature and specialized skill set of the work.
Note: the Magnum Foster is an example of genius engineering and prime manufacturing not available to players, which is why it exceeds the limit.
Character knowledge: Syd Vicious – Syd knows that if the wrong person sees him with the Foster Child, there is a chance of theft since Syd could not report the crime of an illegal weapon. Syd should never let any HPD see that gun or it will be roll Reaction. A shooting range would not be a good place to fire the Foster Child, but the next mission involving the striped suit man would be an excellent opportunity to try it out.
Note: no need to worry about Gibraltar or any of the Hudu Krew trying to take the gun back. I won’t put that in the story.
Shatterframe, do you know anything about this pinstriped man? Or about who he works for?
From the vehicle audio system Shatterframe answers, “I’ve never seen or heard of this scag before, but if he’s pulling Hudu strings, he’s very likely with the Mars corporation. If you do climb that ladder, be careful about which rungs you knock out. You chummers aren’t ready for a corporation to have a conversation about you. I do have one important tip for you about this quarry. In the video he’s not wearing a gun, which tells me he doesn’t need one, and that only means one thing in Helton: magic.”
Shatterframe drives by the address Gibraltar gave you to allow you a first look at it. The sign on the skyscraper identifies it as Eagle Lake Casino, and below that another sign informed that the place was closed for renovation. As part of the instructions for her meeting Gibraltar was told to meet the suit man on the third sub-basement level in storage room 7F. The next two days pass in a blur. Syd visits Patr Island, taking some time off for relaxation, and Hawkeye and Trollick do their usual thing. The time of the meeting draws near.
State intentions for how to proceed. If you want to add something to the two-day gap before the mission, it can be added retroactively.
Trollick feels a little out of sorts. He is unsure of a bag and tag operation, preferring a stop a drop instead. Courier runs are in a whole different venue, so no comparison.
He discusses options with Hawkeye and Syd, gathering their insight and strategy. When it comes to the the actual deed, he feels that is necessary to wait for a queue from Hawkeye before taking any definitive action.
Having no specifics purchases to make, Trollick takes some time to visit with Zerusk and Katmus to maintain his working relationship with these two contacts. On the off chance of fortune, he also asks if either has had dealings or inquiries with Mr. Pinstripe.
Hawkeye says to the group, "It's a casino, so getting inside should be no problem. Once we're in, I will link into their intranet, and try to hack the security cameras. We don't want to walk in there blind. Shatterframe said the guy is likely a Mage, so Trollick will be in charge of sensing and counteracting his abilities. If he has bodyguards with him, they will fall under Syd's purview. I'm going in armed and armored, but I plan to spend most of my time in the VR, unless something weird happens."
Zerusk is pleased Trollick stopped by for a friendly visit, but shakes his head profusely when asked about Stripe Suit. “I keep my nose out of street biz. Less likely to get it blown off that way.”
Katmus acts professionally when approached by Trollick. In response to his inquiry she says, “I have never met anyone like that. If he is performing outlaw business, then it is likely he only wears that suit for specific dealings, like a disguise. If you require any assistance, let me know and I will fight by your side. Conversely, I have heard your name associated with a gang conflict at the Axelrad Lounge. According to the rumor, you held off six go-gangers with diamond edged swords with only your bare hands? Tell me the truth of this.”
Once we're in, I will link into their intranet, and try to hack the security cameras.
Connecting to the VR, Hawkeye can tell right away why this venue was chosen. Since Eagle Lake Casino is closed for renovation, security is lax. All the gaming equipment is out of the building, being used in a functioning casino in another part of Helton, and only the artists working the restoration ever go in or out. The sub-levels are only used for storage, are not part of the renovation, and are practically empty.
Hawkeye finds that the security cameras have already been tampered with, set to all perform diagnostics tasks at the same time, ten minutes before the planned meeting with Stripe Suit. These diagnostics will take over an hour, leaving nothing seen or recorded by the cameras during that time. Hawkeye does not see any way to remove or tamper with the timed diagnostics without alerting whoever set them, so he leaves them alone.
Turning his attention to the layout of the building, Hawkeye finds access to an underground entrance of the sub-levels. There is an emergency escape tunnel that connects to the lowest sub-level, eight, and he can see that another hacker has set the door lock for this secret tunnel to disengage at ten minutes before the scheduled meeting.
Hawkeye leaves the VR to tell Trollick and Syd what he saw. Having figured out Stripe Suit’s plan for in and out, and what time, a plan is set. Checking the sub-level layout, the Runners determine an excellent spot for an ambush. At ten minutes to meet time the cameras will become useless, so there will be no way for Hawkeye to see what is happening from the VR. He pulls his revolver and takes part in the ambush. Syd brings his new Foster Child while Trollick trusts in his magic skills.
The Runners wait at an intersection of the sub-level hallways that Stripe Suit will have to take to reach the elevator to the third sub-level where the meet is supposed to take place.
Hawkeye 60+110(d100)+25(preparation)=195, Trollick 51+87(d100)+25=163, Syd 62+97(+17)+25=201
Since this is an excellent time to manipulate shadows, Trollick uses waylines to warp the light around him, producing darker shadow to help hide him. The Runners hear Stripe Suit approach up the hall, the cadence of his steps indicating he is not wary at all. When Stripe Suit steps into the trap between the Runners, they can see he had not even put his mask on yet. The suit he wears is exactly the same as the video, but instead of the mask they see a dark-skinned man with close cut black hair. The hide checks were successful, and surprise round is implemented.
Hawkeye 66+61(d100)=127, Trollick 67+56=123, Syd 77+67=144
Knowing that the alteration of another's mental faculties is not his strongest suit, but following the chosen protocol, anyway, Trollick sees no need to reveal himself as he has no need to be closer than 51 feet from the man to target him.
Due to too many HPD, even in plain clothes he recognized two of the officers, Syd balked at trying out the Foster Child at the range. He knew he'd get arrested, well, probably. If not, the Child would be confiscated, dead or alive; and Syd had no reason to end up dead --- just yet.
Now, waiting for Pin Stripe Man, Syd was hoping his bodyguards would try something so he could test the Child out.
And, waiting is a drag --- but, he waited.
Then, Pin Stripe Man shows up, their ambush a success --- but, no guards. Ah, well.
He has the Foster Child on Pin Stripe Man as he waits for a reply or action from their quarry.
Hawkeye steps forward with his revolver revealed, ready to put his hand on Stripe Suit’s shoulder to assist with Trollick’s mystic assault. At first a glimmer of amusement flashes over the man’s face and he attempts to twist away from Hawkeye’s grasp. The emotional context of this mission gives Hawkeye exceptional clarity of motion, and not only does he successfully grab Stripe Suit, but he slips behind him to hook his arm under his neck, subduing the man.
66+91(+79)=236, Stripe Suit: 75+63=138
From his vantage point, Trollick sees a moment of panic flicker over Stripe Suit’s face. That’s all the opening he needs for his mental assault. With the combined efforts of the Runners, Stripe Suit’s Mind is decimated in an instant, and he goes limp in Hawkeye’s arm with his eyes still wide open.
49+92(+34)+25(assist)=200, Stripe Suit: 50+50=100, 10 Mind damage
At first the elation of their victory elicits grins from Trollick and Hawkeye, and a scowl from Syd since he did not get to shoot his new gun. Although Hawkeye was unable to counteract the commands of the hacker that negated the casino cameras, he still had an alarm set on the secret exit on this level, specifically to let him know when it opened and closed. Stripe Suit had closed the door after his entry to this level, but the VR notified Hawkeye that it opened again just now. Hawkeye immediately notifies his fellow Runners of the reopened door. Whoever has entered this level from the secret exit, there can be no expectations that they are friendly.
Stripe Suit’s back-up is coming for him.
State intentions. Provide a new set of six rolls. Any unused rolls from previous number sets will be used first.
Hawkeye will keep ahold of Stripes, but not with the typical gun-to-the-head tactic; instead, he will keep his gun hand pointed in front of him as he moves, using Stripes as a Human shield. He will keep his head behind Stripes' head, to minimize the risk of being shot. He will also manipulate waylines to make himself darker / more shadowy / harder to see. The first thug through the door will get a bullet to the heart. Hawkeye knows that the team will evacuate as soon as possible, and his intent is to keep Stripes moving, and follow them out. He doesn't want to get into a firefight, if he can avoid it. And he's hoping a pro bodyguard won't risk shooting his boss.
Lastly, if it looks as if Stripes will recover, Hawkeye will try to muddle him again.
Trollick begins moving with Hawkeye. He takes no further aggressive action at this time, but, mystically, dampens any sound that he might make, while heightening his own hearing. He will also stimulate his body to be able to move faster, though he knows he is not very effective at such yet. He is prepared to bend mystical waylines to hinder the movement of any new enemy. He does not really want to use any loud pulses of air or generate heat within the confines of the building. He comments to Hawkeye.
"Hang onto that slag. We may need to use him as a bargaining chip. Since someone has entered after us, the chump-Johnson-want-to-be may have triggered some kind of personal alarm. Whoever is coming in is likely to be working for him. I think I am looking for a fight anyway."
The group has a moment before reinforcements arrive. Hawkeye finds Stripe Suit easy to move, pulling him back as he keeps his revolver ready. It is difficult to hide behind him since Hawkeye is a giant, and Stripe Suit is human. Trollick manipulates Way. Syd waits.
The Runners hear an impact and the door blasts open with a smoke screen. The Runners are far enough away to not be effected, but cannot see through the door.
First One, then Two members of Private Security come leaping through the door, wearing black suits of medium armor with matching helmets and firing auto-rifles. One shoots at Syd, but the experienced Runner spins to the side, and the shot hits the wall.
One: 90+62=152, Syd: 77+89=166
Two gets a shot off at Hawkeye. The Runner ducks his head to keep from a headshot, but exposes his side. Two shoots him in the torso, rocking him back with the impact. His Heavy armor holds, keeping any damage from getting through.
Hawkeye levels his Ruger and fires back at Two, shooting her in the head. The medium armor keeps the bullet from blasting her head open, but the wound is serious. Two rocks back, barely on her feet.
Hawkeye: 66+100(+51)=217, Two: 80+24=104, 33 damage, Deflect 25-33=-8 Body, 10-8=2 Body, 8 damage = -40 Speed of Action, 124-40=84, loss of action
Trollick had thought to only slow the opponents, but with them equipped with rifles, he must change his tactic. He engages in close combat to keep from getting shot at again. He grabs the rifle of Three and pulls it aside it as he manipulates Way.
Trollick: 81+88=169, Three: 70+75=145, success
169-145=24, 2 damage, Mind: 10-2=8
One shoots at Syd again and misses.
One: 90+13=103, Syd: 77+68=145
Syd shoots back again, but the constant movement of both fighters keep the bullets missing.
Syd: 88+78=166, One: 90+74=164
Three lets go of the rifle and draws a knife to attack Trollick, but the attempt is so clumsy the giant easily sees it coming. As soon as Three releases the rifle to reach for his knife, Trollick hits him in the helmet with the rifle hard enough to crack the visor, but not enough to damage Three.
114-99=15, 1 Mind damage, 8-1=7, Speed of Action 68-5=63, no change
Syd shoots again and barely misses, again.
Syd: 88+25=113, One: 90+22=112
Trollick continues to bash Three using his own gun. With the Lethargy attacks having already weakened his Mind, the repeated blows by the stock of the rifle knock Three unconscious. He slumps to the ground, incapacitated.
Hawkeye shoots at Two again, but she lunges out of the way, back through the smoky door, and the shot misses.
Hawkeye: 66+45=111, Two: 80+93(+72)-40=205
One now stands alone against the Runners, but refuses to quit. He shoots at Syd again and misses badly, chewing more rock from the wall.
One: 90+64=154, Syd: 88+93(+61)=242
After One’s last shot, Syd twists and brings his Magnum Foster around, stitching a bloody line across One's torso, and the last opponent crumples against the wall.
Syd: 88+99(+72)=259, 90+80=170, 35 damage, Deflect 25-35=-10, Body 10-10=0
The Runners can still hear Two crawling away, but they pay her no mind as they make their exit from this level.
Stripe Suit can not resist your direction, but it will be hours before he is coherent enough to answer any questions. You may exit the casino without further incident, or keep Stripe Suit here. No one else comes to rescue him.
State actions for what you do before you begin to question Stripe Suit, and then state any questions. Questions will be answered in the order they are received.
Having damaged clothing, albeit, uninjured, Trollick bashes his fallen opponent one more time with the butt of the rifle, for good measure. He keeps the rifle to dispose of it later, since he touched it with his bare hands. He bends the air to his will in a similar manner in which he would do so to shove a person but with less force and over a larger surface area. He sends the air outward through the doorway to clear the smoke from the enemies' grenade.
"Let's make an exit. If you want to talk to this guy, elsewhere would be better."
Hawkeye nods in agreement, "Yeah, agreed, we should question him in a secure location. I'll call Shatterframe and see if she can set one up for us, and provide transpo to and from. While he's still out, we need to check him for fetishes and augments; if he's like you, Trollick, then he doesn't need to be armed in order to be dangerous. We're not going to take any chances. But I'm an amateur at all of this; I can feel the powers in the air around me, and I can use them to some extent, but nothing like the way you can. I will defer to your judgment on this. Knowing he's a bender, what other precautions should we take before he regains his full senses? I have a sneaky feeling that he might have some contingency we haven't thought of."
The Video of the Striped Suit Man said:
Striped suit man: “I have more work for you. There are three mechanical engineers I need snuffed, Abraham Zuebrini, Tess Milkner, and Pauline Barnes. I’ve sent you the file with their information. They all have spouses, so do them too, home invasion type stuff. I don’t want anyone looking into this, so I’ll make the usual arrangements with HPD to put minimum effort on the case. There won’t be any heat for this. Make it messy, and take whatever you want, but I want your best killers. I need all three engineers dead before next week.”
1. The hit that you arranged on the engineers last year: what corp was it for? Who was behind it? Be specific. I want names of individuals. The ones at the highest level of involvement.
2. What was it they were trying to achieve? Or, what secret were they trying to protect? What was the purpose of killing these engineers?
This last question won't be asked unless the whole crew agrees to it. We need to have a group discussion about this.
3. I get the whole "fixer" gig, and I realize that you're the go-between. I'm willing to go easy on you if you cooperate. If you're straight with us, you get to live, and we'll make sure that nothing connected to this comes back to bite you. But if you mess with us, and try to sic your friends on us in revenge for this little unexpected rendezvous, believe me, you'll live just long enough to regret it. Your friends won't, but you most definitely will. You get my drift?
As an afterthought, Hawkeye will use the VR to perform research on Abraham Zuebrini, and Tess Milkner. If there are newspaper articles or trade publications that mention either name, Hawkeye will download it. He will also look for police records on the two names as well. If security is too strong, he will ask Shatterframe if she knows anyone who can get access to the records.
Trollick purses his lips and furrows his brow. "If this guy is a magic user, once he regains consciousness, I know of nothing that can prevent him from using that talent. No movement is necessary, only consciousness. I can give his mind another bend if necessary. We do not want him cognizant."
Stripe Suit Snuff
With their adrenaline pumping from their one-sided fight, the Runners push and shove Stripe Suit through the empty casino, and outside to where Shatterframe is waiting. Trollick tells the group that it will take Stripe Suit hours to regain his Mind enough to speak coherently. As they drive away, Shatterframe assures the three that VR chatter is non-existent about this event. No one except those involved know about it.
A quick discussion decides that a car would not be best for an interrogation. Shatterframe drives to where skyscrapers being renovated rent out their rough rooms for clandestine meetings. A small fee is paid, and the three Runners have Stripe Suit secured to a chair without much fuss.
Syd Vicious stands guard while Hawkeye and Trollick question their quarry in an empty room. While they wait for Stripe Suit’s Mind to come back enough to question, they search him for trinkets. They find nothing interesting on Stripe Suit until they pull off his oversized designer shoes. He has six toe-rings, three each on the inside toes, that grant +1 augments to Health, Motility, Cohesion, Confluence, Persona, and Will. These rings are specifically designed to fit on toes, but will function if tied to another body part.
While he waits, Hawkeye will use the VR to perform research on Abraham Zuebrini, and Tess Milkner.
Information about Zuebrini and Milkner is public VR knowledge. They were engineers, contracted out like Pauline Barnes, to work on specific pieces of projects without knowing what corporation they worked for, or what the end project would be. This was the standard role of engineers in Helton not wishing to be involved in corporate espionage or weapon design. Both engineers were killed, along with their spouses, during home invasions on consecutive nights. Hawkeye knows the dates of their deaths are a night after the death of his parents, but no official connection between the deaths is discovered. Hawkeye digs a little deeper and can not find any information on which project Zuebrini, Milkner, or even Pauline Barnes, was working on when they died.
After an appropriate amount of time, Trollick tells the Runners that Stripe Suit should be able to answer questions, without remembering why he would want to keep that information from anyone.
Question One: The hit that you arranged on the engineers last year: what corp was it for? Who was behind it? Be specific. I want names of individuals. The ones at the highest level of involvement.
Stripe Suit’s head sways as he listens, and then he drools as he smiles. “I’m the real leader of the Hudu Krew. Me, just me. I tell those little gang-hoe’s what to do and they do it. Heh. Mess with me and I’ll smoke their little Hudu’s to bits.”
Question Two: What was it they were trying to achieve? Or, what secret were they trying to protect? What was the purpose of killing these engineers?
Stripe Suit seems to focus on Hawkeye’s face for a moment before he answers, “Money. No one does drek in Helton unless it’s for money. Barnes, Zuebrini, and Milkner were working on a new water pump to expand the city. Old water pumps couldn’t let Helton grow. More water needed new pumps. They made the parts, and I was project manager for Mars, put all the information together. They live, I get $100,000 credits. After they died, I cleared $700,000 credits, even after paying off my dumb gang to snuff those workers. Heh, I did it a lot. Made a lotta bank.”
Question Three: Never gets asked as Hawkeye realizes he’s not dealing with a middle-man, but the scag that actually ordered the hit that took his parents. The Barnes’, Zuebrini’s, and Milkner’s were not killed to fulfill some nasty conspiracy, but to fill a greedy man’s pockets.
Hawkeye lets no tears fall from his eyes, as he levels his Ruger at Stripe Suit and pulls the trigger, snuffing the corporate stooge.
Any more investigations reveal that Hawkeye has killed the only culprit left of his parents’ murder.
Receive 4000 credits each for the contract with Gibraltar.
Hawkeye says, "Did he have a credstick anywhere on him? 700K would go a long way towards establishing us in a proper fashion. Think of the gear and the resources we could acquire with 700K..."
The look on Hawkeye's face is one of mixed emotions. Everyone can tell that he is, at the moment, a veritable powder keg. But the idea of the 700K seems to have given him at least a small measure of focus.
Hawkeye will search Stripes' corpse for hidden credsticks; false shoe heels, sub-dermal implants, etc. If he finds nothing, he will talk to his Uncle Jimmy, to see if the bank assets could be confiscated; he will, of course, offer Jimmy a cut if such a thing is doable.
Trollick nods at Hawkeye after he plugs the greedy bastard then texts Syd. "We're cool. Questions terminated. Tidying up a bit."
Smiling at the convenience of the site location, especially concrete floors, Trollick bends thermal waylines, repeatedly if necessary, to incinerate the man, wanting to leave no evidence of his identity. He then pulls on the air in the room to generate a breeze to disperse any fumes or smoke.
"Just one more societal stain to be bleached from the concrete during renovations."