$Insert_Title, Episode 8

"Aired": 2018-04-27

Cast: Madoka, Engie, Mr. Fahrenheit, Hueco

Previously On...

Four white-looking men in untailored suits rummage around a low-income apartment. The color balance of this scene is darker, with distant vehicles as ambient noise, and the camera framing gives this scene a grittier tone than the majority of the show.

One man turns towards the exit and is struck in the head by a thrown combat axe. Before most of the other men can respond Slag charges into the room, picking up a man by their arm and belt and hurls him into a third mobster on the other side of the room. Slag uses his metal arm to discombobulate the last man before pulling his Super Warhawk and putting large holes into the other two as they attempt to clamber to their feet. He picks up the man he punched in the fast and lifts him to his feet by head head. We get a final shot of Slag's face as his lips spread back in a smile across his two large tusks.

Director: So... does this have any connection to the last one? I thought I understood how these worked, but I guess I don't.

Tom, muffled, subtitled: I don't know, sir.

Director: Whatever, roll the opening credits.

Smash cut to title card.


A very brief montage of the previous episode happens using footage from the previous episode.

Episode 8 opens on Madoka in an expensive dress and without a cosplay wig hanging off the arm of a rich-looking man as they walk past a crowd of journalists and into the Charity event. We cut to a back room in a hotel as Hueco and Mr. Fahrenheit walk side by side in waiter's uniforms, and Hueco breaks off. Mr. Fahrenheit continues forwards pushing along a service cart. Another cut to Engie wearing an oxygen mask inside a close space, presumably the cart.

The final cut is a wider establishing shot of the gala hall at the target hotel. The hall would normally be a large squarish room, but with a combination of physical and augmented reality decorations the room looks like a magnificent hall with a giant set of stairs leading up to a nonexistent second-floor. The dominating colors are red and gold. There are many metahumans from high society here, including several orcs, dwarves, elves, and one large troll in finely tailored suits.

The camera pans in on one man, whom I imagine as Terry Benedict from Ocean's Eleven except french, and a small subtitle reads Target: Jean-Paul Dubois.

This episode's darker color balance and the wardrobe aesthetics draw a close visual comparison to Nolan's Batman movies.

As the cinematic opening to the episode slows, Hueco's voice comes over comms. "So, are we going to kill the guy, or what?" Fahrenheit recites the mission objectives for Hueco and the audience.

Identify people who may hold a grudge against Jean-Paul Dubois. Attempt to confirm information the team has collected. Get a read of Jean-Paul's personal life and general awareness.

The episode's serious opening is undercut as the runners discuss what food to steal and Madoka empties an entire tray of hors d'oeuvres into her purse.

The show goes through a relatively predictable, but well shot sequence invoking the feeling of heist movies such as Ocean's Eleven. Fahrenheit overhears Jean-Paul's name and describes the three women who are gossiping to Jammer, who is currently sprawled out in a closet. A Horizon Flying Eye drone that Madoka had placed in a planter does a visual sweep of the gala floor and identifies the women, and passes a photo to Madoka.

Madoka leaves her date momentarily to introduce herself to these women. A black woman with a french accent, but not a France-french or Canadian-french accent, named Isobella Jaquet greets Madoka, who is using a false name. Madoka is quickly identified as one of the many escorts attending the event.

Isobella is kind and gives Madoka a TL;DR of what is going on at the event and who the major names are so that she can pass in conversation better. Isobella also reveals that she works with Mr. Dubois as one of the researchers.

  • Jean-Paul has "poor taste in assistants," and "being an administrative assistant requires skills that are becoming less common".
  • Eirka Ibott was apparently let go because of embezzlement.
  • Louise Bishop was allegedly fired due to harassment of a younger man working in IT.

Meanwhile, Engie leaves the closet to see meet up with Fahrenheit, but is stopped by a wait-staff manager. Engie is also wearing a wait-staff uniform as the entire group got official jobs and passes into the building from Mr. Johnson. She barks orders at him, demanding to know why he is late. She complains that the floor is already out of hors d'oeuvres and tells Engie to go down to the truck to find more.

Engie gets out of the elevator in the parking garage and spots an Japanese orc woman in an armored coat standing off to one side. She appears to be looking at various AR windows and flicking through feeds, but notices Engie. Engie notices that she is wearing a backpack with a data cable connecting to a datajack in her head.

Engie goes to the catering truck and meets a very overwhelmed worker. After Engie tells him what the boss needs, the man turns towards the truck. We get a shot from behind the man looking into the truck and it the scene begins to fish-eye as the truck seems to expand and the man shrinks.  Eventually the man enters the truck and comes out with a box of hors d'oeuvres. Engie asks for something else and the man fetches something he thinks might be what Engie is asking for.

As Engie returns to the gala floor, he lets the team know there is a security rigger in the parking garage and that they noticed him. He places one of the boxes into the hotel cart in the closet where he was hiding and takes the other to the kitchen. Despite the woman not noticing his return, Engie sets to work washing dishes and whatever other tasks are available so as to not get in more trouble.

Fahrenheit and Hueco continue making rounds as a waiter, but do not get in a position to get more information. Madoka reunites with her assigned date, James Arello, and asks some questions about the event. He says something similar to what Madoka and the team has heard before in that Jean-Paul's division has made some breakthroughs. James sees that Jean-Paul is momentarily free and goes over to talk to him.

Jean-Paul Dubois and James Arello appear to be close friends and business partners. Madoka experiences a social blunder and she talks too much for an escort in this kind of company. Jean-Paul's escort and apparent bodyguard, Takemi Saito, politely lets Madoka know to stop talking.

Jean-Paul and James then proceed to haughtily allude to various crimes, and none present consider Madoka to be a threat. The group learns:

  • Wuxing 'ran into some troubles' with their HMHVV III research.
  • Evo's biotech R&D division has had a recent "breakthrough".
  • Jean-Paul's wife is not present at the gala as she is busy with her own work.
  • Something about a business deal with a woman named Molly. No specifics, possible lead.

As the evening moves on the event moves on to dinner. Madoka is seated out at the dinner with James as a bunch of rich people stand up to give toasts and fundraising speeches. Jean-Paul makes the official announcement of their treatment plan, but Madoka slips into the Matrix to escape the monotony.

In the back rooms, Engie is still working hard washing dishes while most of the staff is on break. Fahrenheit smuggles more food back to the hotel cart they stored in the closet. Hueco is approached by the Orc woman from the basement, who has been doing background checks on the staff.

As it turns out the Orc woman, Japanese, was contracted by the event organizers to aid in security alongside the typical hotel security. She and Hueco have a subdued, but stand-offish conversation. The orc woman, who did not identify herself by name, was the drone rigger present at the Arcade after the group had kidnapped Manifest, and as it turns out Hog's brother as well.

Once she is certain that the runners were not planning to make a scene and knew who their target was, she turns to leave. Engie gives her a mini-quiche.

The episode fades out shortly after.

Session Notes

This session was a lot of fun. Lots of laughs to be had all around, but another lack of engagement in the mechanisms. The next run is going to have to involve combat as both Engie and Hueco are built for it. Fahrenheit and Madoka are not designed with combat in mind, and Fahrenheit has made a point that he would like to explicitly avoid it whenever possible.Fahrenheit and Dominic (Chrome Bones gang leader) had a talk several episodes ago where Dominic told Fahrenheit that it was okay if violence wasn't his thing, and that he had his team to handle that for him. I want to put Madoka in a situation where Manifest pushes her the opposite direction - If you plan on being a shadowrunner you need to become comfortable with violence and you are going to have to learn how and when to be violent.Now that we have seen Fahrenheit and Madoka handle various social situations I want to see what happens when they are put into a situation where bullets are in the air and they have to deal with it. Since episode 8, I have moved Madoka's player onto the Roll20 character sheet which will make scenes involving matrix actions substantially faster. If combat is going to come up soon then I want to move Hueco and the others onto it because the built-in sheet macros for combat are exceptionally good and will make things fast.