Sleeping With the Enemy
We were next standing outside with the rest of the crowd of people waiting in line to get into Reno’s. Pariah then mentions, I will call my old buddy Stan Lemansky and see if he can get us in. After a few brief moments of waiting afterwards, a woman comes forward towards us. She extends her hand to me, and says My name is Madelena Santiago and we have been waiting for you. We follow her, skirting around the line and receive some jealous glares from the others waiting outside. We follow her through the bouncers and then into a side door, and up a staircase to the floor above She raps on a door and soon after we meet our new Mr Johnson. The man is also of Hispanic descent, but when I see the little jaguar figure on his lapel, I know that we are meeting with someone from Aztechnology. My mind flickers back to our time in the jungle and to that massacred village and of course Dot’s rants about the company. Am I going to be working for the enemy this time?
They begin by saying that they are having some issues here in Seattle that they would rather remain contained here, and news not get back to Tenochtitlan. Several of their facilities have been hacked into and attacked over the last few months and some of their personnel has been killed. The more the situation is described to me, the more it makes me think that I know who is involved in this. She wouldn’t really do that, would she? I know she is good with that gun, and hates Aztechnology, and he would probably do her bidding, but would she really kill someone innocent?
We are offered 750,000 nuyen to stop these attacks, or 1,000,000 nuyen if we can complete this mission within three days. If after nine days, the mission is incomplete, we will receive 100,000 nuyen. Rook jumps at the idea, and we concur.
When I learn the dates of the attacks, my mind is set at ease. Wasn’t she in Vegas while I was incarcerated? The nurse who attended to me after I was attacked said that a blonde woman was waiting for me every day. Wasn’t that Dot? Am I just paranoid? Though we all want to start calling our contacts for additional information not contained within that presented to us, it is too late, and besides that the person I want to talk to most is easily reachable at home.
After bidding adieu to my fellow compatriots and planning on meeting them tomorrow around lunchtime, at the Clubhouse, I head a few blocks away back to our apartment. She is there, waiting up for me to arrive home. We talked a little and I asked her if she had any opinions on who may be involved in the attacks on Aztechnology, after all I know she has no love for them, maybe she knows more than she is willing to confess to. Her remarks are non-chalant and almost seems happy with the fact that someone is targeting them. Before retiring to bed, I make it an additional point to look at her back, and when I do I see she is uninjured, and there is no scarring. Well, it wasn’t her that was injured in the defense of the facility.
March 4, 2061
On my way to Renton, I stopped and picked Rook up and then headed towards Bellevue to chat with [[Dr. Maroni]]. He was there visiting with a patient when we arrived, so I waited for him. While sitting there, I heard a page for Dr. Winfield and almost stood up, thinking they were referring to me. A few minutes later, Dr. Maroni was ready to see me. I asked about anyone that might have been brought in with gunshot wounds the night of the shooting of the perpetrator at the Aztechnology headquarters. He knew I was up to something again, but figured he wasn’t going to get in trouble this time by telling me what he knew. He told me that four people were brought in with GSW’s. Three were men, one was a woman. Two men were gangers, and 1 male was an Aztechnology employee. The woman was injured by a self inflicted accidental GSW.
From there, we headed towards the Clubhouse. On the way down, I called Pariah that Dot seemed a little odd about the situation and asked him to talk to Chips, who might spill the beans if my suspicions are correct.
We were the last to arrive there, and Pariah had some news, stating that first, Tovarich had told him there is a rumored job meeting at the Banshee where they were plotting a hit against Aztechnology. We might be able to see who the employer is and what the runners are up to. Secondly, he mentioned that Chips seems to know more than he is telling. I suggest that we take him out to lunch where we can “interview” him over pizza. Suprisingly though, Chips advocates going to The Reclining Buddha, a new Thai restaurant not far from the Mayadeva Center in Bellevue.
We all head there, while Chips talks about what he thinks Thai pizza will be like. When we ge there, we surround him in a booth. I recommend to everyone what to order, and Chips insists on pizza, when I tell him for the fourth time that there is no pizza on the menu, he blurts out he will take the number 4. I peek at the menu one last time, and say, do you really want something with a 5 Chili rating? He says, well I like Chili Dogs. He continues to be evasive about what he knows while waiting for our meal to arrive and then while eating. Right away, he says this is really hot, and slams his drink down. An idea hits me, and before he can grab for another drink, I withhold it from him while he pants. Finally, he confesses that he has helped someone, named Sable learn how to enter a node on the matrix for Aztechnology. He says that she is a pretty hot chick he met at Shadowland BBS. I allow him some drink and ask him where this club is? He said, well, its on the matrix, and you never quite know who it really is that you are talking to, that is the beauty of it. Well, that is some progress. Pariah then threatens him with a little more harm than missing a frothy beverage if something should happen to someone we care about. I pay the tab and we head back to the Clubhouse.
I guess that we will have to go to the Banshee tonight. Apparently Sable is the name of some retired Shadowrunner, but other than that no one has heard of her/him. Red and Rook say that they will take care of defending the Aztechnology locations with some of their friends this evening.
We hang out for the afternoon, and show Rook around the Clubhouse. Byk’s room stands mostly empty and my room is there, though has lost some of the personal touches. Drake is busy nearly the whole time working on some new chrome friends. After dark, around 8:0 pm, we head towards the Clubhouse.
I enter in the lead, and as normal encounter no problems. Not being burdened by firearms helps. The place looks much the same as before, except the neon lights outside are new. Some of the others have trouble getting in and must deposit their gear. We sit there a while, and I have a couple more Loco Lemonades than I should, thanks to Pariah.
A gentleman, who looks like a stereotypical Mr. Johnson, walks in with his bodyguard and heads toward the back. Neither of them are awakened, but there is another mage in the room, and enough astral barriers around to keep me in my skin. Three “pricetags” walk in, and soon make their way the same direction, none of them are awakened either. Moments later, some definite joygirls come up and start flirting with me an Rook; one in red vinyl, the other in black leather. Rook flirts with them a little, while I just keep sipping my cocktail. Moments later a fizzy pink drink arrives before Rook and I. I sip it and it goes down easily. I will drink that one next. The girls at the bar give a wink. We talk about what we are going to do next, while I continue to enjoy my drink. Soon, Rook and Pariah are up and we are able to enter the back bar area, which is of a better quality. As soon as Pariah and I walk in, we are warmly greeted by Maxine who asks us over to come and talk. Apparently her great granddaughter, Claudia, has recently moved in with her after her parents died tragically in Aztlan and now the girl has fallen in with some gangers.
Rook beckons us into a meeting room in the back and we tell Maxine we will call her soon. We are in there for a little bit, trying to figure out what to do next, when Red calls Pariah and tells him that the pricetags have just left the building and she is following them using the vehicle (with Drake). We return to the back bar and Rook follows the Mr. Johnson out the door, as he speeds away.
Rook says that he is feeling a little frisky and walks up to the joygirls and whispers to them a little bit. A few moments later he yells see you guys tomorrow and heads out with them. Pariah and I look at eachother and shrug. I call Dot and ask her to the Clubhouse tonight, because I feel a little frisky too, and besides we need a ride. She says that she and Zany will be there in a little bit, though seems a bit preturbed. We make it back to the Clubhouse just as Red and Drake return. They had followed the pricetags out to Auburn and then to Fort Lewis, when they stopped at a Federated Boeing facility. I guess it wasn’t Aztechnology they were hired to go after anyways. We retire to our quarters and I quickly pass out before Dot even comes in.
March 5, 2061
In the morning, I prepare breakfast for the gang and Pariah calls Rook to join us. He doesn’t reply though. An hour later, after we have cleaned up, Rook hasn’t replied yet. I say that I will take a ride to his place to see if everything is all right. I arrive there in good time, since it is the weekend, but he doesn’t reply. As I am about to leave, Pariah calls and says that he has Rook and he is in poor shape, and says that he will meet me where I am. When I see him, and the conditions around us, I say that we should get him back to the compound. Apparently his night did not go as well as it should have. He was apparently drugged, stripped of everything he had on him, and left in a basement in the Redmond Barrens. The wounds he sustained were from successfully breaking the bonds that held him. His story reminded me somewhat of an earlier event I witnessed. After I was able to reset his bones with Pariah’s assistance and made cast a heal spell, he was doing better, though not quite 100%. His body is bruised, he is broke and is psyche might not be in the best shape right now.
After he was deposited off at the Clubhouse to recover, the rest of us decided to go to the scene of the dump and see if we could find any clues to see who was behind this. We went to the Redmond Barrens, not far from “Touristville” and found the decrepit building where the door to the basement was now open. Pariah said he would keep watch while we went downstairs. The lock on the door appeared newer than the door itself and was still functional. It was a precarious walk down the stairs into the basement level. Down there, I switched to astral vision and though I thought I would see this place as a regular dump site, it was not the case. This seemed to be a single incident that had happened there. There weren’t a lot of violent emotions one would normally see if this had been the circumstance.
There were the blood stains and the rope that had tied him up. Judging by the state of things, it looked like he had quite a struggle, which had also been evidenced by his wounds. I don’t think I could have made it out of those bonds, of course, I could have probably just disintegrated them using my “Mojo” powers. As I looked around a bit more, I discovered that behind a pile of debris, there was an entrance to a tunnel. I pointed it out to Drake and asked if he wanted to send one of his drones down there, or if he watched over my body, I could scope it out while projecting. He said he had it though, and released one of his “dobermans”. Right about as that was happening, Pariah alerted us to some visitors that were approaching, though hanging back. Red went upstairs to help Pariah out while Drake and I stayed below though in immediate contact if they needed help. The doberman continued for a while, and hit a T intersection and eventually a sewer.
When we went up top, we saw that Pariah and Red were in conversation with some gents dressed like they just walked out of one of the Downtown Moroccan tagine restaurants. Anyway, they didn’t seem to help or hinder us and we went away, with no new clues.
I suggested that on the way back we stop and visit Maxine and this great granddaughter that had been giving her some trouble. On the way there, we passed by The Banshee that was nearly empty given the time of day. We approached the creepy house, which though no longer seemed possessed, seeemed odd just the same, and approached. After knocking, Maxine came and greeted us and ushered us into the parlor. The place looked much the same, though a little more lived in, now with two people living here. Her granddaughter was upstairs readying for the day. We sat on some comfy couches and were served some nice herbal tea, though Pariah emptied nearly the whole sugar bowl to make it palatable. We spoke for a little while and saw her new dog snoring in the corner. A few minutes later there was a horrible racket, which Pariah seemed to enjoy for some ungodly reason and the granddaughter appeared. I nearly choked on my tea when I recognized the woman from last night as the one who had been flirting with me and later left with Rook. Judging by everyone’s expression, they felt much the same. She recognized us and traipsed right back up the stairs. Imagine if Rook had been here now. Maxine seemed oblivious and said that Claudia was normally such a pleasant young woman – yeah I bet. Red got up to go for a breathe outside.
When she didn’t come back down a minute or two later, I had an idea and said to Maxine, that I suddenly wasn’t feeling very well and I laid down on a couch in an adjacent room, shutting my eyes. Almost instantly, I projected from my body and went upstairs. When I entered her bedroom she was on the phone talking about us, in disbelief that we had come here. She was throwing stuff together and I saw a gun holster going around her shoulder beneath a jacket. When I thought I had seen enough, I returned to my body and said that I was sorry, but I really must be going as my headache was making me ill. We exited hastily as Claudia was tearing out of the driveway. With Drake following in the RV, we tailed her as she made various twists and turns back towards the Redmond Barrens. She then turned into an old parking garage. We attempted to follow suit, but there were some of those Moroccan dressed men blocking the way; Pariah said that Zany had told him they were Brain Eaters.
[[Red talks to one of the guards at the entryway and after she greases his palm, he says that he doesn’t know who Claudia is, but will go get the girl who just entered. Soon, Claudia and the blonde emerge with several other gangers. Pariah asks them for Rook’s items, and they mention they are in a dumpster around the corner, which Red goes to retrieve.
While they are conversing, I look around astrally at our hosts. It looks like everyone is pretty heavily cybered in one form or another, and even an awakened mage has some cyberware enhancements, weakening his magical powers. One thing yangs me out of this viewing though, when the name Sable is mentioned, triggering all of us to pay more attention.
Apparently, Sable, or the the blonde, is protecting Claudia. After that name is mentioned, discussion turns to the Aztechnology affair. Yes, they were apparently involved in that and it doesn’t seem like their protectors, the Braineaters, had been updated. When they learned this, the Braineaters walked away. They wanted some street credentials, and Sable was the Decker and Claudia was the shooter. When we try to convince them that it is in their best interest to put a halt to these attacks, Claudia seems defiant, though Sarah seems like she understands the stakes are quite high. Pariah offers them some money to help sway them to stop their current action but also to continue this lifestyle and they say rather than giving them money, to throw them some bones and allow them to do some dirty work too. He says that he will mention them to some would be employers. When asked if they stole anything that Aztechnology would be after, Sable says that she just got garbage off their matrix.
We decide that the mission was accomplished, and Pariah calls our Mr Johnson to tell them that the mission has been completed. He says that he wants to meet with us immediately though as something else has come up. We agree to meet him at a park, technically in Bellevue on Lake Sammamish. We get there as he is descending from his helicopter. He hands us a briefcase, and said he has an additional mission. He offers 2,000,000 more to bring him the head of the decker, the deck and any backups (150 mps) of stolen information.
We accept the mission but are in a real dilemma now. Pariah talks to Sable and lets her know what the demands were. He reassures her that this is not something we will do, but we need her to stay low and also her cooperation if this is going to be successful. How can this be accomplished though? First, we should make amends with Chips as we will need his help for this. Drake stops at a pizzeria near the Clubhouse and we meet him there. Rook was no longer at the Clubhouse, as he felt better and had gone back home. Chips seems unfazed by what we said and did to him the day before. He tells us that it really isn’t possible to duplicate the information onto a new deck without them knowing and doesn’t seem to fond of the idea of removing Sable’s hardware to accomplish this. There is not much else we can do. Though I really don’t want her to get involved in this, I call Dot and ask if there is any way she can not only remove the hardware from Sable, but implant it into a corpse. She thinks about it a few monments, and said we may be in luck. A decker had just died there at the clinic today, apparently of some natural cause, like eating too much pizza and junk food, there was no next of kin to notify, and no one has come to claim his body. She would keep him in the clinic rather than having it transported to Potter’s Field.
Sable doesn’t seem to fond of the idea of surgery, but if she wants to live, she has little other choice. We can have the surgeries done tomorrow. In the meantime, Pariah and Chips get the necessary hardware and Chips has an extra deck that he had been using for gaming related matters that can be given to Sable instead.
March 6, 2061
Aftrer a little pay off to Dr Maroni for the use of his OR, the surgery goes well with Sarah and she is moved into recovery. Next, Dot begins to work on the corpse. After a little while, she comes out and asks for Pariah’s assistance with something. I offer my help, but she says he will be better at this. A few moments later there is a gunshot, then we hear Dot laughing. I rush into the OR to find a fresh hole in the corpse’s head, Dot laughing and Pariah still in a little shock as she hands him his gun back. Next, Pariah uses his claws to decapitate the corpse. I hope this works.
After this, we meet with Mr. Johnson of Aztechnology, and open the bag to show the head and deck. He seems pleased and gives us our pay. Though we have just Slept with the Enemy in the form of Aztechnology, the pay was right.