Lancaster 2072

02 The Lead Run: Part Deux

Tied to chairs and with a nasty troll bearing over us, we set out to fix a run that got off to a bad start.


Napster was in VR gathering all the things we’d need for our escape plan: Control of the buildings security, blueprints, the identity of the Lead Researcher. He found the layout in the buildings public node because it was a listed building. He also found out there wasn’t much in this node. After a search he found a hidden node and proceeded to hack into that, briefly triggering a trace (which thankfully crashed soon enough). This node appeared to be the real deal, controlling the hidden facility. He could see about a dozen users connected to it. After triggering a databomb on the security cameras and accidentally taking them out his programs crashed and he found himself kicked out of the node. He couldn’t jack out either.

Back in meatspace I was still getting beat on by the huge troll. He took a swig from a hip flask before forcing some down my throat and leaving it in his suit jacket pocket on the table.

“What’s wrong with your friend?” he asked.

“He’s not used to this sort of stuff, nerves, you know.” I claimed, trying to pass it off like it was normal for a shadowrunner to faint on the job.

“He’s in VR isn’ he?” The troll chuckled ominously, taking pleasure and not letting me in on his private joke. “I gotta take a slash, you just wait here.”

“You find anything yet? The troll’s gone to the toilet, we’ve got maybe a minute and a half to get out of these bindings.” I subvocalised to Napster. Getting no response I tried sending him an email. No response.

With Napster out for the count (currently locked inside his own commlink with no responsive programs and no way to jack out) I looked around the room hoping to find something to help me get free. A cloud moved outside the window and moonlight fell on a sharp looking nail jutting out from the wall. Still tied to the chair I hopped over and cut the ropes tying my hands.

I ran over to Napster and attempted to wake him. No luck. After undoing his bindings, I decided I needed a drink to dull the pain. Looking in the trolls suit pocket I found the hip flask and took a deep swig. Putting the flask away again I noticed an envelope in the packet contained a credstick. I didn’t want to give the troll anymore reason to hunt us down so I left it where it was. I snuck over to listen at the door. I heard shuffling a bit away so loaded my taser (thankfully we hadn’t been frisked) and stuck my head out the door. A long, dark corridor stretched in both directions. It looked like two goons were at the end of the corridor to our right milling about in a foyer.

At that point Napster decided to wake up. Explaining the situation to him, we decided we had to quickly take out those guards. We snuck towards the guards at the end of the corridor and in a surprise attack took the first guard down with a taser. I think I hit him in a bad spot and he fell without any resistance. I’m sure he was fine. Napster got off a shot at the other guard, who’s armored jacket took the brunt of the shock. Dazed, he dropped his weapon.

Then we heard movement behind us, the sound of a rifle cocking and a man shout “Don’t move!”

We’d missed one of the guards, he must have been further down the corridor. Not wanting to alert the troll we suspected was at the other end of the corridor, I took the second guard hostage, holding a loaded pistol to his head.

And Napster fainted again. Something was seriously wrong with him.

After having lost my tactical advantage I attempted to negotiate with this guard pointing an AK97 at us to let us go. A mention of money lit his eyes up. I told him I knew where to find thousands of nuyen on this very floor. He hesitantly allowed me to take my hostage and direct him to the room we’d just come from. In there I pulled out the credstick I’d found earlier and showed it to him, for the first time noticing it was a gold rated credstick. Hoping against all hope that it contained enough nuyen to satisfy this mercenaries lust for money, he took it from me and plugged it into his commlink.

A moment later the guard removed his rifle, took off his belt and laid it on the table next to me. Without a word he walked out of the room carrying just the golden credstick in his hand. I made a note to myself to find out how much nuyen a gold credstick was rated for later.

Realising I was holding a dazed hostage I no longer had any use for I whacked him over the head and made sure he was out cold. Napster woke up again and now that we had a moment alone explained what had been happening with his commlink. As we dragged the bodies from the corridor into this room, he decided the best course of action was to switch off his commlink and work out what the problem was later.

I picked up the guards AK97 and we headed to the foyer at the end of the corridor. It was a filthy place, full of cobwebs, graffiti, rodent droppings and cigarette butts. There was a lift at one end and a pair of double doors at the other. After quickly picking the lock on the doors we headed through, just as we heard the lift ding and open on this floor.

Hiding behind the doors and in a stairwell, we looked through the glass and saw a shadow approaching the corridor we’d come from. A shadowed figure wearing cowboy regalia looked around, and then strode down the corridor. Acting on a hunch, I shadowed the man. He went into the room we’d come from, pulled up a chair and sat down. He heard me approach.

“Lower that weapon son.”

I did, because I recognised that voice. Not believing my eyes the man turned around and revealed that my suspicion was correct. It was Griff fucking Mosier! Star of Griff Mosier: Shadowrunner Extraordinaire, a biopic into the lives of one of Merseysprawl’s most famous runner team, and the inspiration for half a dozen of my favourite trideo series.

Starstruck, I didn’t know what to say. Napster entered behind me and reminded me to keep the noise down, there was after all a troll who would be heading back any moment.

Griff introduced himself, expressed a need for secrecy and I promised not to retell this tale on my blog (if you’re reading this please don’t tell your friends, Griff needs this to be a secret!). He explained that an old friend, Sarin, had requested his help on our behalf. He was here to help us complete our run. THE Griff Mosier!

“What are your names?” he asked.

Napster responded with his. I said I don’t have one"

“You don’t have a running name son? Do you want some corp sec to find you!? Pick one quickly and lets get going.”

“Errm…” I pondered.

“How about Fanboy?” Napster proposed.

I didn’t like it, but before I could object Griff declared “Perfect! Now lets find this troll of yours, Fanboy.” leading the way with a swirl of his armored duster jacket.

We headed down the corridor to the left. Rounding a corner the end was lit by a small emergency light over a double door fire exit. Just past it were two toilet doors. Griff encouraged me to open it. Nervously I readied my weapon and opened the door.

In the next moment I was pulled to the ground by Griff as a huge bang filled my ears and splintered wood sprayed all over me. Looking back I saw a shotgun attached to the wall of the bathroom, hastily rigged up to go off when the door was opened. Griff had saved me from a face full of lead. The troll wasn’t in there.

Looking back we saw the fire exit was swinging open and there were footprints in the thick layer of dust leading down a stairwell. Griff reminded us to stay on objective. This wasn’t a homerun, we had Johnson who had given us very specific instructions.

We headed back towards the stairwell on the other side of the corridor and headed down. Down one floor we came to a lobby, the front entrance to the building. It was relatively spartan, the ceiling made of asbestos filled tiles, linoleum floors, peeling paint. In the corner of the room was a small partitioned office, with glass serving windows. Inside, behind a desk was a grey skinned ork with his feet up. His trid screens were blank (presumably after Napster’s run in with a databomb) except for one playing a cartoon. Judging by the smell (and the giggling) the ork was clearly smoking something.

Griff walked over, tapped on the glass to get the ork’s attention. Then he shoved his hand through the serving slot, grabbing the ork’s collar and bashing his head repeatedly against the glass until he was out cold.

Impressed, we followed him to the other end of the lobby where open double doors revealed the heart of the operation. Peering in we saw rows of large tables, some of them loaded up with huge plastic boxes. It looked like the people here were clearing out and this was what was left. A dozen humans were moving the boxes about, each of them appeared to be carrying a pistol openly.

Without waiting for any cue, Griff walked through the open door and pulled out his signature gats. A moment later two of the men were dead. Panicking I ran forward and kicked over the closest table to make some cover, which I decided to use before laying down suppression fire with the assault rifle a guard left me as a retirement present. As Griff proceeded to walk around like an invincible man, taking out guards with one well aimed shot, Napster was still behind the doors and making use of his formidable hacking talents.

Getting lucky and managing to avoid the bug that had been stopping him every step of the way, he found an icon in the node labeled ‘Quarantine’. He activated it. A large metal shutter started slowly closing, separating the lobby from the lab. Griff grabbed Napster and pulled him through to our side. Then a large grilled area of the floor in the center of the room started opening, causing a couple of tables to fall into it. A thick gas started filling the room obscuring first the guards vision, then ours.

After a short but intense firefight we had killed the remaining men. I’d spent almost a full clip of ammo taking down the guards. I guess surprise and superior firepower helped us win the fight. I imagine if we hadn’t had Griff about (who had fired 5 shots and killed 5 men) I would have taken more than one bullet wound.

Through the gas we heard one unaccounted for guard moving about.

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