$Insert_Title, Episode 28: Family, Part Two

Aired on: 2019.01.05
Cast: Hueco, Mr. Fahrenheit, November, December, Vince


We open on a the Mr. Johnson's speech about her granddaughter, laying out the objectives for the run, coupled with sepia-tone flashbacks of interactions Mr. Fahrenheit has had over the past few days. Afterwards, when the group is leaving the Japanese restaurant, Fahrenheit asks the group to meet up at Engie's place, where November is still staying.

At November's place, Fahrenheit reveals that he knows that the target is Noe. Noe is the woman who gave Mr. Fahrenheit the arcology job, and she works with Bitrat. He casts a spell to create a projection of his memory of her at the meet. It is a good enough representation that one would recognize her, though some of the details are a bit vague.

Hueco takes a picture of the illusion and contacts STARGAZER, sending them the picture they received of Noe as a teenager and the picture of the illusion. STARGAZER is a powerful AI that, for a small fee, will process images and conduct large-scale matrix searches (For a sizable fee, STARGAZER will also conduce searches on non-public information or conduct live satellite monitoring). They are put into a processing queue and they decide to move forward on other leads as they wait. STARGAZER charges them ¥700 up front.

As they converse, someone brings up asking Manifest for assistance, and Mr. Fahrenheit and Hueco express their intense disdain for her. November asks them to explain what happened between them, and after hearing their entire account of events he explains that it sounded like a fair enough trade.

November: After you kidnapped her on a job, she aided you on your run. Later she tortured a man for information for you, and then acquired a helicopter and pilot within hours for a time-sensitive job, all without a fee. All in all, I think that what she asked in return was more than a fair trade. I would quite like to meet her, actually.

Mr. Fahrenheit calls Dominick and sends along the picture of the illusion, asking him to keep an eye out in case she's gone to the barrens. Dominick agrees to let Mr. Fahrenheit if any "Hot Japanese techno-goths" turn up, and doesn't ask why Fahrenheit is looking for her.

Hueco calls Nail, and asks if they can meet. Nail agrees, but tells Hueco to come alone when Hueco asks if he can bring along his team. Hueco complies, and heads out to the bar. At the bar he conducts a very short exchange with the aging man. Hueco slides the picture over to him.

Hueco: We're looking for her. Name is Noe. Aspected magician.
Nail: I'll ask around and get back to you. Your order is at the shop. The party favors will be ready in three days, and the other item will be about a week.

December calls her own fixer, Ink, and talks with them for a bit. When December asks about Noe, Ink asks if that was what the yakuza job was about. Ink tells December what she knows about Noe and her team.

  • Noe's team is called Nuerocide, and is made up of Noe, Bitrat, Thomas, and Bruce
  • Bitrat is some Azzie (Aztlander) chick, and she calls the shots
  • The team is new to the Seattle area, but are already well regarded as big-league runners. Despite that, rumors are that Bitrat can't do a run without showing off her entire ass.
  • Thomas and Bruce are local boys, but Noe and Bitrat are foreigners
  • Bruce is the well-dressed Troll, and he was an ex-professional bodyguard. "Basically bulletproof."
  • Thomas is a sweet guy, but chats way too much. He's a damn good knife fighter
  • The local yakuza have a bounty out on Noe for 25k, alive. Since the yakuza wouldn't hand out family matters to outsiders, she probably owes them.
  • Noe is a shut-in. She doesn't go to meets and she doesn't do crowds. Ink learned this from Thomas, who frankly shouldn't have shared that.

STARGAZER returns a call, providing a thin dossier on Noe, with some personal notes. Noe turns up basically nowhere in public record, though the picture of a teenager picks up a public missing persons report from about fifteen years ago in Neo-Tokyo. STARGAZER notes that it is unusual for someone to not show up in any public record, including any social media posts, and that records may have been altered. In the dossier there are also a number of pictures of her family's large shrine and the other priestesses that tend to it.

Nail contacts Hueco, some five hours after Hueco contacted them. Nail meets with Hueco and provides him a detailed report of his findings, complimented by his insights.

  • Noe's team's speciality are hands-off and long term operations. They have to be very organized. Noe likely has a bug-out plan prepared, and likely some contingencies in case that goes wrong.
  • Since Noe is new to the area, her bug-out plan likely involves a safehouse that is managed by a third party. Nail checked vacancies with three local safehouse masters, and two reported they had space open and the third did not respond. Nail passes along the address of the safehouse master that did not respond.
  • Noe's team is run by an Aztlander woman name Bitrat. She didn't show up in Shadowrunner circles until six months to a year ago. Considering her demonstrated skill, Bitrat may be an ex-Aztechnology decker.
  • The team's muscle are two locals, and are generally well regarded by the local shadow community. Noe and Bitrat likely met them after they came to Seattle, so these two are unlikely to be read into all their plans/operations, and certainly not their bug-out plans.
  • Noe had been captured by local yakuza for unknown reasons a couple weeks ago. After she escaped, they posted a ¥25,000 bounty for her alive.
  • Noe is not well liked by Japanese expatriate magicians. When asked for details they all got very tight-lipped about it.

Hueco is incredibly surprised that Nail learned all of this information, validating the otherwise stupid decision of handing a random stranger ¥1,500.

When Hueco relays this information to the group November clues in from the dossier pictures and the mention of yakuza that Noe's grandmother, the Mr. Johnson, is the Kuromoto clan's Oyabun (the absolute leader of a yakuza clan). The Kuromoto clan handles magical goods, and operates primarily out of a Shinto temple in Neo-Tokyo. He also laments that if she traveled to the UCAS and hired shadowrunners to handle family business, then it means the local yakuza failed to do the job and might attempt to intercept their delivery if the runners find Noe.

While looking up the address of the safe house master provided by Nail, Mr. Fahrenheit has a moment of realization that this safe house is the apartment building that they broke into in mariachi costumes months ago. (The building managed was the Security Dwarf background character.)

The group stakes out the building the following night, from a great distance away. They know that the layout of the building is such that there should only be one entry or exit. November, who knows the safe house master Clarence, gives the group instructions on how to operate around the building. Clarence will be on the lookout for anything nearby that hasn't moved in a while, but the group only needs line of sight on the entrance.

Later in the evening they spot someone leaving the building in a black fall jacket with a large hood up. After some bickering, November puts a light disguise onto Vince and Vince walks down the street towards the Stuffer Shack the person entered. Once inside he attempts to act like any other customer just doing a late night snack run. [Vince: 3 successes on sneaking; Noe: 5 successes on perception] He confirms that it is Noe, and lets her buy her things and go back to the safe house. He does not know that he has been made.

Once Vince rejoins the group, they discuss how they do not want to be involved with the run in any way. The group seems to be afraid of every party even remotely associated with the operation. They are afraid that the local yakuza will try to kill them, and they are afraid of being associated with the clan's oyabun, and Hueco expresses a great fear of crossing Bitrat.

During this conversation November notices an group of four armed people moving towards the building. They are dressed mostly in street clothes, though it looks like they have lined jackets, and are carrying SMGs. Fahrenheit makes out that two of them are Marcus and Makoto - mercenaries from the jungle operation. Fahrenheit brings up to the group that Noe is apparently not well liked by Japanese magicians, which includes Makoto. The mercenaries do not look like they are here for a bounty.

November objects to intervention, saying that they should lie to the Mr. Johnson and say that they didn't find her. Fahrenheit sends a message to Bitrat that Noe is in danger from mercenaries. Hueco, Vince, December, and Fahrenheit decide together to intervene, alerting Makoto who was sustaining a Detect Enemies spell. November leaves before he can become involved in the situation.

December and Hueco lob flashbangs, which go off in quick succession, knocking down everyone but Marcus. Marcus barely manages to spin around in time to get a glance at his assailants before Vince shoots him in the head at 10 meters.The closing shot of the episode is a slow zoom out from Marcus on the pavement, bleeding from the ears and a head wound. Then it cuts to credits.

Post-Session Notes

This session went by fairly slowly, for as little as went on. I am becoming a little frustrated by the group's fear of everything that moves, despite most things and people being really friendly and helpful to them. They are so conflict averse that they are backing out of jobs before they can get paid. The session ended with the characters all agreeing to talk away from the run and say they couldn't find anything.

What I would like to see is the group taking a couple more risks, and staying committed to their runs. I'd like to see them looking at the difficult situations and hard choices that are presented to them and look at the benefits of the options rather than just the risks. There are plenty of ways to come out of this situation with a win, and at least a couple ways to give almost everyone what they want and gain valuable contacts and favors.

I had a lot of fun, and I love the players and the characters. The players have started to utilize their contacts and did an awesome job at hitting all the information they needed to make informed decisions, and really quickly too. But then they seem to have chosen the least interesting and least rewarding decision - not participating. However, there are consequences, so the run isn't over and they won't be in a position to get a new one until things finish shaking out here.