|George St. Cloud|
Welcome to Seattle in 2070, chummer. Specifically, welcome to Micky's Place, a known runner's bar in the Redmond Barrens. You'd heard of this place through the grapevine, heck you may have even stopped in for a drink before. However, this is the first time you got a call from George St. Cloud the owner, saying he might some work for you. He didn't provide specifics, just a hint of nuyen and the address to the bar.
"This town will eat you up and spit you out without even noticin', if you let it, kid. I know you think you're shiny-wiz with toys, spells, cars, or whathaveyou, but hear me well: there's always someone bigger, faster, meaner, and with better intel out there. Sometimes he's even gunning specifically for you, natch? George stands behind the old, scarred, wooden bar. Real wood, too, even if its patched here and there with synthetics. Polishing a glass with slow, exaggerated moves, he fixes you with a piercing gaze. "If you're sure about this, then yeah, maybe I got some work to slide your way. I'll even take my fee as a favor for the future, chummer. I'll send the details to your 'link shortly.
Inside Micky's Place, the slow thud of heavy bass pounds the room. Early in the evening, only a few blue-collar workers sit at the bar, draining glasses of synth-beer and grousing about the Seahawks. Micky's trideo setup over the corner of the bar shows highlights of the 'Hawks embarrassing loss from last night in between ads and other sports clips.
A couple of slim, skirt-wearing waitresses mosey around, carrying trays of drinks. Their PANs broadcast several "off-menu" options available. Everything for a price, right.
A handful of folks stand or sit around the perimeter of the room, sticking to the dimly lit corners and booths either by design or inattention. AROs crop up from time to time, as the patrons engage wirelessly for biz, love, or fun.
"Yeah, whatever. I'm here because Shastar said you'd be okay and havin' a job that'd help me clear my debts with him, so 's long as I ain't s'posed to geek somebody, I'm in. Just send over what you have. And send a beer along, would ya?"
So this is one of the infamous runner's bars. A trid running sports channel, shady booths to place a bet, nice little waitress-hoes wiggling around, some beer-drinking workers - almost looks like an ordinary sports bar.
After looking around grinning for a moment, the sturdy dwarf climbs on a stool with a good angle of both sports channel and waitresses. He fiddles about his commlink for a moment, to open the port for the barkeeper's transmission and pay for his beer.
"Hey, would you mind linkin' me to the audio channel of your trid? Don't worry, I've got plugs in."
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
Jak comes in through the door behind the bar, stooping to fit under the doorframe.
That's the last of them, boss. They tried to short us two cases again. His voice suddenly roughens into a very thick, uneducated slurring, I tink dey spect a big trog ta be stoopid.
Jak pours himself a beer and walks out from behind the bar, taking a seat near Garus, with an empty stool between them. With a polite nod for Garus , he settles in to wait for St. Cloud to send him the info.
Salazar zooms up to the door on his Suzuki Mirage, the fluorescent lights on the sides fading from yellow, to green, then finally to blue before they flicker off with the engine. He pulls off his helmet and puts it under his arm, then brushes invisible dust from his suit and straightens his tie before going inside.
He takes a drink from one of the girls, and gives her a lascivious smile in return. Then he sits in one of the booths, keeping an eye out for anyone who might be one of his future teammates.
Chris is outside the bar in a lips to ear conversation with one of the local poison slingers when she notices the lit up Suzuki. Trying to act like her heart didn't just try and lurch it's way up her throat and out of her mouth at the though of flashing lights, she gives a nervous gigle, her mischevious grin accentuated by the skull motife facial tattoo. "Tell you what slim," she says to the dealer. "You decide you're up to selling something real, and not that fifty-fifty cut garbage you sling to the tourists then you feel free to give me a call. Otherwise frag off." Turning sharply, sending her dreaded hair into a wave of red, she makes her way into Micky's.
"My kinda joint," she mutters to herself after coming through the door.
Catching the speach from St. Cloud she pings her Sony out of hidden mode and pulls up a seat at the bar, leaning back against it and orders a scotch. It's not easy to resist the urge to down it in one go, but she manages to nurse the drink while waiting for the all important call.
Chris has a mild addiction that I'm going to call "stimulants" if that's alright. I figure with the conversation outside she's trying to score a bit of novacoke...though if you'd rather not have a drug addiction theme in the story that's fine and I can change it to something else.
|George St. Cloud|
George waits a few minutes after Shade arrives, then beams a tightwave, encrypted package to each of your commlinks. After a brief flurry of handshakes, passcodes, and identification, a small video file pops up on your 'link.
St. Cloud's face displays in mid-res trid via your commlink's screen, your personal display 'ware, or however you have your gear rigged.
"All right, gilettes, listen up. Mr. Johnson is in need of your services for a retrieval job. This is a bit time-sensitive, which is why you lot are getting tapped, green as you are. This is as much an audition for bigger jobs as it creds in your pocket, savvy? Meet's tonight at 2100, at Infinity. Tell the elf bartender chica you're there for the Johnson party, and she'll get you into one of the private conference rooms. And dress nice, willya." The obviously recorded message terminates, then automatically deletes itself after a brief delay. A short addendum carries over to some of you personally.
George's face pops up again after a short pause. "There was supposed to be another with you five, seems he's running late. He shows up, I might patch him in. Then again, maybe not. Look for him at the club, and watch your backs." The whole interaction takes maybe a minute or two, all the while St. Cloud filled drink orders, cleaned up, and tended bar as if nothing out of the ordinary transpired.
You've got a place and time (and about 3 hours before 2100), what do you do?
Salazar is already wearing a suit, so he doesn't need to change.
Salazar heads back outside and hops on his bike. The fluorescent lights flare up into orange as he revs up the engine and takes off. He shows up to Infinity a little early and makes a few loops around the block, looking for any signs of a set-up, and keeping an eye out for potential escape routes.. You can't be too careful out there, you know.
Perception, just in case: 7d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 2) = 21
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
Rick nods to himself and heads out of the bar. He looks to see who else is leaving at the same time, marking them as possible team mates. After waiting no more than 20 minutes he retrieves his Scorpion and heads home to dress for the club. About an hour later, he is back on his bike, slowly heading out to the club, needing no weapons or armour; he has no fear of setting off any weapon detecting systems that might be located at such a place. He scans the crowd to see if he can spot any of those who were at the bar eariler this evening.
Perception: 6d6 ⇒ (4, 4, 6, 2, 1, 5) = 22
Grinning to herself Chris mutters, "Johnson party hey? Makes me feel like I'm back in college." With that she takes a last sip of the drink, hesitates just a second, and forcibly sets the glass on the bar.
Giving St. Cloud a wink on her way out she calls/catches a cab and goes off in search of appropriate attire for Infinity Club...
Bars and Clubs Knowledge Skill: 7d6 ⇒ (3, 1, 1, 5, 3, 6, 5) = 24
While he watches the trid message in an AR overlay window, so that he can still eyeball the waitresses, Garus slowly sips his beer.
His gaze follows the two men who get up and leave the bar right after the message ends, then he looks back at St. Cloud, gesturing towards himself and his urban camo jacket.
"Hey, chummer, um, what kinda club is that, and what counts as 'dressed nice' for it? I 'spect I need to go shopping..."
Once the recording is done, Jack tosses back the rest of his beer.
Well, that's it for me boss. I'll see you tomorrow. Jak nods to St. Cloud and heads for the door. As he leaves, his hands are moving as he starts searching the Matrix for information about Infinity; namely, how to get there when he has no transportation of his own, and how long it will take. Meantime, he starts heading home, with an eye to see if anyone is watching or following.
Perception: 5d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 1, 2, 2) = 15.
Infinity is a chic dance club, one of the novahot "be seen" joints that crops up as fast as they fade away. Finding directions is not a problem, the place's matrix presence is everywhere once you start looking. Unless you want to be distracted by neon-blue ARO's leading you there, it might be best to tone down the input on your AR searches. Dress code varies, if you're hot enough or rich enough, you could walk in wearing a gas mask and leather duster with nothing underneath, and everyone would be sporting your "style" in a matter of days, if not hours. For the more "common" folks such as yourself, suits, dresses, or wiz-trendy fad outfits are the way to go.
Anything that's not overt armor and costs more than 50¥ will get you in the front door. Openly carried weapons are a definite no-no, and packing concealed might work, depending on how and what you're carrying.
Garus: (from St. Cloud) "Infinity's one of them loud-music, "get seen" dance clubs. The trendy go there to show off how wiz their latest style is, and just how hot their nuyen can make 'em. You're gonna want a suit, chummer, or figure out some kind of "costume" that'll turn heads so much they'll have to look twice. Either that, or be prepared to throw around a LOT of creds. +I'm thinkin' that's probably not the way you wanna go, though." St. Cloud drops you a link to a second-hand clothing dealer nearby, "Tell ole' Bill I sent you, and he'll sort you out. Be sure to bring creds, though, he ain't as charitable as I <chuckling>"
Loud, public, and serving a huge array of intoxicants, both from the 'tenders and the patrons, this place has become a favorite for high-end criminals to do business, bored corp-kiddies to get high, and the upper-middle class to pretend to be better than they are. Security is tight, but discreet, and the best way to go unnoticed is to dress upscale, but subdued (classic suits in dark colors or non-ostentatious dance-club "slut-wear" work best) and slip nuyen in the pockets whenever you can. Seems like your kinda place, actually.
Jak: "Seeya, Jak.
All: Infinity is as promised. Large, loud, and putting off more lumens than a small city, it projects just as much into AR as it does the real world. Set on the edge of the "trendy" club district, the nearby buildings are either tightly locked with burglar bars on the windows or boarded up entirely. A line has formed, perhaps a dozen or so hopefuls standing in various arrays of undress behind the velvet rope. Two bouncers stand at the door, one troll and one orc, white wired earpieces plugged into oversized 'links on their belts. Their tight black t-shirts proclaim them to be "Infinity Security," while the stun batons discreetly holstered on their hips say much more about their readiness for trouble.
Salazar is first on the scene, and has already turned heads with his wiz bike and flashy clothes. Rick arrives next, approaching a bit more discreetly. Shade steps out of her cab not long after, drawing almost as much attention as Salazar. Garus and Jak arrive last, Garus sporting some new threads.
OK, you're here, it's been between 15 min and an hour for each of you to arrive. You've got at least 2 more before the meet. What do you do?
Salazar sees the people in line checking out his bike, and pops a wheelie to show off, coaxing it into a parking space before letting the front wheel drop back down. He makes his way to the front of the line under a shower of applause, then greets the bouncers as he tries to slip past to get inside.
"I'm a friend of the owner. Keep up the good work, guys."
Con check to skip the line: 16d6 ⇒ (6, 6, 2, 4, 6, 4, 2, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2, 6, 4, 3, 3) = 59
I see you have two sets of clothing to hand already. Bill would be more than happy to trade you some hand-me-downs for one set, or rent you a suit for a favor or two. He would likely require some collateral for the latter, though. Roll a Negotiation check, to see what he'll settle for.
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
The line is only about a dozen or so strong. Several of those standing around quite clearly don't care about getting in. In fact, several "discreet" pings come across anyone's link not set to hidden, offering a whole variety of uppers, downers, and even a few sideways mindbenders. You also notice a few folks, all well dressed and practically dripping nuyen, stroll right up to the bouncers. You can't quite make out what transpires as they get up close, but its fair to assume a little grease will smooth your way in. Listed cover is only 10¥, by the way. Even waiting in line, you should have no trouble with the time.
Jak will step into the back of the line and wait, mostly patiently, to get through the line. Long experience has taught him to keep his mouth shut if at all possible. When he gets to the front of the line he pays his cover without comment and slips inside.
Collecting a drink from the bar, more for appearances than because he wants to drink anything, Jak will pass the time watching the crowd and failing to enjoy the music.
How much of a troll presence is there in the bar? Am I attracting any undue attention?
Perception: 5d6 ⇒ (6, 5, 5, 3, 6) = 25.
When the clock ticks down to 2040, he will approach the female elf behind the bar and lean over so that he can be heard over the music, hopefully without shouting.
Please direct me to the Johnson party.
One success is easy enough, Bill will trade you a set of clothes for a second-hand suit, straight up. The fit is off, and you look decidedly out of style, but you will pass muster for a corporate meet. Alternatively, if you are willing to spend about 45 minutes digging through his collection and gathering pieces, you can put together a fairly decent "urban witch doctor" club outfit. Impractical for pretty much anything but clubbing, at least you'll look like you tried.
Salazar: The two bouncers give you a look of impressed, but suspicious interest. The bigger one sorta grunts at you, "Heh. Nice bike, chummer. That ting musta cost a fraggin' fortune." With you smooth opening line, they relax a bit and seem to buy your con. They don't move aside, though, almost looking like they have hurt feelings. Make an Etiquette check
Rest: The line slowly moves up. If noone else is interested in moving ahead, you'll wait about 20 minutes from the time you arrive until you're let into the club itself.
Jak: Perception of 4 hits yields quite a bit of information. The music playing is a variant of the Goblin Rock style, and there seems to be more than your normal amount of Trolls and Orks present. In fact, the "mosh pit" area is actually a depression about 15m square and 50cm deep. A handful of energetic metahumans bounce and careen off one another down there.
The club has two dance floors, one featuring a live band (and the mosh pit) and one with a DJ pounding out dance tunes. The bar, which takes up the entire back wall of the club, is stocked with every kind of liquor (synthetic and real) imaginable. A small army of bartenders and waitresses keep up with drink orders, both in person and over 0the club’s AR network.
You also easily spot the elf bartender you're looking to meet. Tall, gorgeous, and efficient, she stands behind one of the back bars slinging drinks and surrounded by a halo of blue AR icons, apparently some kind of menu or ordering system.
You do seem to be attracting attention, but no more so than any other "stand-out" types. You see a human who's been modded to look like a blue-furred cheetah, complete with ears, tail, and huge vertical-slit eyes. There are also a few more "hardcore" partygoers, grinding, dancing, spinning, and all in all carrying on like the world's going to end.
Again, you receive a number of inquiries on you 'link, from offers to meet up in a back room, overt sexual propositions, and several more opportunities to score some local-grown street pharmaceuticals.
Garus takes the time to gather the urban witch doctor outfit and sets up his cybereyes to look like he'd be somewhere between stoned and voodoo zombie.
When he arrives at the club with his used looking Thundercloud Morgan, he makes a point of 'thanking the spirits for the safe journey, booyah' and telling the people in the line that they should take care of their mojo and watch out for evil spirits who could try to possess them when their mind is weakened.
When he finally gets in the club, he'll go get a drink, staying at the bar to check out some of the dancing girls until it's time to get in touch with the elven bartender.
Having picked up some clothes at a few late night thrift stores (call it 100 bucks worth of threads?) Shade steps out of the cab in an ankle length loose white skirt, black tailcoat jacket and matching vest...showing a little skin here and there but nothing excessive. She completes the ensemble with a black cane and tophat.
Taking her place in line she makes small talk with those in the physical realm as well as the matrix, keeping her monkey firmly in it's cage (though she'll happily take down numbers for nights she's not on the clock).
When she comes up to the security she pays her cover with an extra fifty and a wink, saying "Thanks for keeping us safe, shooog."
Once inside she meanders her way about, stopping for the occasional dance or flirt, eventually finding her way to the bar and the scrumptious elf drink slinger. "Hit me up with a top shelf cranberry juice and a Soy'doul's (or whatever passes for 0proof beer in 2070) chaser, in a bottle." She says with a straight face, swaying side to side with the music. "Here's hoping we make it to the twelfth step this time, hey!" She adds after getting her drink, downing the juice in one swallow and spending the next bit nursing the fake and watching the crowd.
Assuming nothing happens from then until about twenty min before the meet she'll get the bartender's attention again, saying "I was told earlier to come down here for a Johnson party...think you could help a new girl in town out with where to go for that?"
The clothes, the cane (might work as an improvised weapon, but it's just whatever she could find at the thrift store so I doubt anything that would last in a fight), her comlink and little else.
down 160 newyen
A creole hotpants voodoo chick, a witchdoctor dwarf, and a troll walk into a bar. I love it!
Everyone makes it, with plenty of time to spare, and casually just happens to be getting drinks right around 2040. The elf bartender plays coy, though, brushing off the first request like she never heard it. The second time, she feigns confusion, as if she didn't hear you properly. The third time, she patently looks the group over, then holds her hand out, palm up. It looks like she's expecting a "tip" for letting you all past.
What do you do?
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
Taken aback by the direct approach (and more than a little wide-eyed at the distinctive ink), she abruptly changes to all business.
"Right away, of course, gentlemen and ladies. If you would follow Cherie here, she will take you straight back to the room. I apologize for the delay," she bats here eyelashes coyly. "Can't blame a girl for trying, can ya?".
A green halo glows in AR around a barely-dressed, barely-legal waitress as she saunters to the bar. "Follow me, please."
Chris will try to be last in line and slip the elf a twenty on the way. "Sorry about the Rusky hon, boy gets a little ink and he forgets how to treat a lady."
Eyeing the waitress from bangs to toes Chris does a quick search of her music library and plays a song. (relatively safe for work, with sound)
Singing along under her breath she catches up with the group..."Hello dad hello mom" head bop and a half second of air guitar, "I'm your ch ch ch ch cherry bomb!"
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
Wow, a lot happened while I was at work.
Etiquette: 14d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 3, 2, 6, 2, 1, 3, 4, 3, 5, 5, 4, 5) = 51
Assuming I get in...
Salazar follows the others, then whispers to the bartender as he passes. "I'll give you my tip later." He winks at her, then follows the waitress back to the Johnson party.
Salazar: Yeah, sorry, wanted to get you into the meet. Etiquette would dictate at least a token payment, especially from an obviously well-heeled "friend of the owner." I assumed you'd get at least 1 hit. Your call as to how much, but they'd expect 50¥ for letting you in in obviously improper attire.
Cherie leads you to a well-appointed meeting room. She pulses a brief stream of data as you approach the non-descript door and its maglocks unsealed with a solid "thunk."
"If you would, please, your party will be joining you momentarily. May I bring you some refreshment while you wait?" She stands by the door and takes your orders, while giving some longing glances towards both Rick and Shade. Her PAN is set to "open," by the way, with her personal profile 'casting out.
The first thing you notice after she closes the door is the quiet. This room must have some serious soundproofing installed. The next is the second door, a match to the one you just entered, still closed, set in the far wall. Seven chairs surround a thick, dark conference table, with 6 clustered near you and the seventh at the far end.
You're still a bit early, and the chairs (if you sit) are some of the most comfortable things you've ever experienced.
Salazar & Shade:
All: don't forget, with AR, you can drop funds, transfer info, and the like with just a flick of the wrist, if you've got the right gear. Headware commlinks negate the need for any kind of external manipulation as well.
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
Rick decides he should probably at least introduce himself. He clears his throat to get their attention then speaks.
"Hi. I'm Rick. As you can tell I am not from around here. I’m looking to set up some street cred for myself in the hopes of working in more...lucrative circles. I am sure you are all the same, da?"
He looks over his 'teammates' and waits for someone else to introduce themselves.
Link is set to passive mode, so that Garus isn't flooded by all these offers.
Jumping on one of the chairs, Garus chimes out:
"Yo man, this is a comf'table waiting room. Would drag one of those chairs outta here but I 'spose someone'd notice, teehee."
He nods to Rick and musters him for a moment, then the other runners in turn.
"Yeah, more o' less. Everyone needs cash, right? Since you started this get to know game: I'm Garus - and don't panic, folks, I don't always look like this. I'm not entirely crazy."
Some obviously fake magic gestures accompany the last sentences, then he looks at the others and laughs boomingly.
Having flashbacks of setting around far dingier tables with far dingier people and going the rounds of introduction Chris shakes her head and takes a seat. "Hi, you guys can call me Shade," she begins, and quickly starts fidling with her comlink. "I'm pretty new to the area too, and yeah, looking to scrape together cash..."
After a short wait, and just before 2100, the far door opens smoothly and silently.
You are greeted by a troll of medium height, no longer young but not quite middle-aged. He’s handsome in a rugged sort of way, wearing a purple and chartreuse suit in the latest style that somehow manages to stay on the tasteful side.
“Welcome,” he says, smiling, as he slides into his seat. “Ladies, gentlemen, I’m Mr. Johnson, and I trust that St. Cloud sent you. Can I get you anything?
“Shall we get down to business, then?
“Someone has stolen an object from the people I represent.
We would like to get it back quickly, as we have reason to believe that this person is trying to sell it. What you’re looking for is some music-related data that’s important to my employer’s business.
I don’t know who stole it—my employer’s home was broken into a couple of days ago, and the disk was taken along with some other items in which we have no particular interest. Your best bet is probably to keep your ears open to whatever channels you think might be appropriate—if the thief is going to sell it, word will have to get out that it’s available.
The object storing the data is an old-style optical disk. We want both disk and data returned, in the eventuality that the one no longer resides on the other.
In case it’s not clear, my employers don’t want the disk’s data getting into the hands of anyone but themselves, so if the data gets out, we expect you to track down and eliminate any copies.
“Once you’ve located it, the second part of the job is to track down the person who’s offering it for sale —probably not the same person who’s offering the information, since the thief will probably be working through intermediaries —and get the disk back.
You can do this in whatever way you see fit: if you can get it back by making an offer for it, my employers can cover the arrangement and take care of getting my money back later.
If you’d prefer something a little more larcenous, that’s fine too. Just do it as quickly as possible and make sure the disk is not harmed.
“I’m authorized to offer your team 10,000¥ for the job, half up front and half upon the return of the disk to me.
Do we have a deal?"
You also notice a faint glow, as of an AR icon hovering behind Mr. Johnson's shoulder. He puts his elbows on the table, steepling his fingers under his chin, and fixes you all with a cool gaze.
Okay, then. Mr. Johnson appreciates a little haggling...
9d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 4, 2, 2, 6, 6, 3, 1) = 35 4 hits, yielding 1 net hit to Salazar.
After some back and forth, Johnson relents a bit.
"Ok, gilette, I like your style. Tell you what, I'll toss in another ¥1,000 on completion. That's 5k now, and 6 when you're done. Final offer, chum. "
He flashes surprisingly white choppers and pulls out a thick, expensive-looking cigar. Snipping the tip off, he looks you over.
"So, we got a deal, or what?"
A grand up front and twelve hundred when the job's done, Chris thought to herself, Not bad for a couple day's work.
"I'm in, though I've a couple questions. What can you tell us about your employer? I understand the desire for anonymity, but the more we have to work with the better our chances. Are there any suspects you have, or are we hitting this from square one?"
"I'm afraid we have no further information as to who took the disk. They were rather...proficient...in their methodology, and left no trace of themselves. I don't even know if it was a team, individual, or some larger organization. The best I can suggest is to reach out to those you may know who would be interested in either acquiring such an item, or brokering the transaction."
He spreads his very large, exquisitely manicured hands wide, "Beyond that, I rely upon your skills and professional acumen."
"I take it you want the gig, then?"
|Adrik "Rick" Ivanov|
"Certified creds of relatively small denomination, some personal entertainment devices, and several other items of little value. Of little identifiable nature, as well. The important, and traceable, object is the disk. Were it not of such rarity and emotional significance, we would not even be having this conversation."