By Blackjack [Blackjack's Shadowrun Page: www.BlackjackSR.com] [BlackjackSRx@gmail.com] [@BlackjackSRx]

Posted: 1996-12-09

Computer hackers killed the city's lottery system back in the forties but, as tax revenues continue to fall below the city's need to survive, there appears to be hope for a game of odds long thought dead. As, for the hackers, this time the lottery commission is ready.

Ready for what is the real question. Sure they've upgraded their lottery's matrix security but more than one person in the city council doesn't think this will be enough. They want to make sure the hackers know that their dealing with a system of computers, and people, that aren't going to take anybody's shit.

Thus created was "Project Hackslam", a several part system of insuring that the last thing on a hacker's mind will be to penetrate the system.

To give you a rundown, Project Hackslam involves the maxing out of matrix security at each of the lottery system's remote nodes but, in an attempt to create a trap for hackers, leaving the main node relatively undefended. They've also made it apparent that the easiest, perhaps even the only way to get into the main system is to make a run on the lottery headquarters building itself.

So the basic job of the runners is this:

1. Go undercover in the lottery's headquarters and, when the hackers and their assumed runner support makes a run on the building, beat the hell out of them but leave at least half of them alive.

The runner's Johnson will make it apparent that the undercover portion of this is important. The runners are to dress as normal lotto security and will be provided with uniforms for SecTec, the company the lotto currently employs. The lotto commission wants it to look like the attacking group was defeated by the LOTTERY, not a bunch of runners. The Johnson will NOT give them detailed information about Project Hackslam (he doesn't really have any info to give) and the runners will be hired for the purpose of "repelling an expected computer oriented attack on the lottery's isolated system.". The need for special uniforms will be explained as "PR reasons". And, as a side note, full medical coverage should be offered for this run. If anything, this generosity should get the runners wondering as to just how powerful a force they should be expecting. They will also be granted a bonus budget of 20 grand in order to purchase any equipment they'll need for the defense of the headquarters.

The lotto headquarters is situated in an office/industrial park in a nondowntownish environment. The building itself is a defensive nightmare. It is surrounded by trees, is packed in with other buildings, has no window security, too many doors, and only a few cameras. The is about one quarter the size of a city block and has four floors and elevators and stair cases scattered everywhere. There are also four other SecTec guards on duty, although their skills are somewhat lacking.

Ok, so this is all nice and simple. Just keep the bad guys out, right? Yeah, right. What the runners don't know, but the attackers do, is that hidden in a crappily built vault inside the lotto building is about five million nuyen worth of certified cred sticks for the purpose of paying off future jackpot winners. The headquarters will be attacked EN-MASSE by a combined force of FIVE gangs. I normally don't like bloodbaths but, at this particular moment, I'm in a bad mood.

This attack will be all but subtle. Using about twenty or thirty motorcycles and vehicles the gang will crash through windows, the front doors, blow open walls, and create a mess as they launch an open assault against the building. There will be gang members of all types and all races and all abilities, even a few magic users. To put it bluntly, the runners won't have a chance in hell at defeating these people. During the foray, even if the GM as to send in a damn tank, the gangs will get hold of the cred stash. The runners shouldn't even be away that the cred was stolen, or even that there was cred to steal in the first place.

Now if the runners are a bit smart they'll see that they couldn't possibly defeat a force of about sixty people and will hopefully hide or run away before they get wasted. If you have to, knock them out. Just try not to kill them.

OK, so that was fun. The runners are now sitting around what used to be the lotto headquarters wondering what the hell went wrong when a small army of police and a man named Albert Snell, who is with the lotto commission, shows up. He pulls the runners aside and states that he is willing to pay the runners a decent amount of money to get back the "data" the gang just stole. He won't want to discuss the details at that very moment, telling the runners to meet him at his office in the city in five days, and tells them to get some rest and get healed.

Three days later the runners will receive a visit/call from their Johnson who informs them that a lotto commission member, Marcy Trak, wishes to speak with the runners (or a runner spokesperson) at her office in the city the next day (one day before they're supposed to meet with Snell). The office is located in the same building and on the same floor as Snell's office. The floor is rented by the lotto commission as sort of a "sub office" but, at the moment, it is packed with makeshift cubicles and computer terminals of those who were relocated after the main headquarters was destroyed. Again, it's probably best if the runners send the most corporate looking amongst them to meet with Martha, this is a corporate office.

So the runner(s) pays a visit to the lotto office, located on the 63rd floor of a busy office building. This meet is during the DAY, so I'm sure the visiting runner, used to their stay up all night schedule, will be feeling his or her best. The receptionist lets the runner pass but, as they approach Marcy's office, he is accosted by Albert Snell who is filled with cheerful questions as to why the runner is there a day early. He'll try to do just about anything to keep the runner from going to meet Martha, saying stuff like "How bout we just meet now!" and "Let's talk down at the bar, I'll buy you a drink." Even if the runner decided to follow Snell, Martha will see him or her and somehow get the runner into her office. Snell will be visibly displeased.

Martha closes the door and explains to the runner that she has received information about the possible whereabouts of the stolen cred. Cred? Nobody mentioned cred to the runners before. She'll then give the runners the details of the Project Hackslam and she, and the rest of the lotto commissioners, never thought that the attackers would go after the cred. In fact, she wonders how they ever received information about the cred. She'll also apologize for the secrecy involving the run and Project Hackslam, explaining that she wasn't allowed to give the runner's Johnson any more info. (Well, now the runners know who hired them: Marcy.) If the runner mentions anything about the suspicious Mr. Snell, she will simply shrug it off as paranoia. She'll say that she's known Snell for years and, although he can be overbearing at times, he's basically a nice guy. She'll offer the runners some money, most of it to be given upon completion, if the runners can gain evidence that the warehouse headquarters of the gang, The Rats, are in possession of the stolen cred. They are NOT permitted to take any action other than the gathering of info. If ANYBODY is killed the runners won't get paid and the lotto commission will never again have anything to do with the runners. She will give the runner the address of The Rat's warehouse and will tell him that she wants the video footage evidence to be delivered to her office at 9:00am the next day. (This is before the runners are scheduled to meet with Snell, which is some time in the afternoon.)

The gathering of information should be pretty simple. The warehouse is located near the waterfront and is one of many other warehouses, all of which have small alley's running along side them. There's also tons of stuff to hide behind such as fork lifts, boxes, dumpsters, etc. The warehouse has a few external windows, hastily boarded up. The only important part of this whole deal will be when the runners, as they gather footage, see Albert Snell walk out of the inside warehouse office dressed in the Rat's gang colors. There is also tons of evidence that this gang, and Albert, stole the cred, such as numerous cred sticks laying all over the place with "Property Of The Lotto" stamped on it. The gang security sucks and the runners probably won't be detected. And remember, event through they say Snell, they ARE NOT to take any action against him.

Ok, so the runners have so good footage to give to Marcy the next day. (If, for some reason, the runners decided to blab about Snell to the 10 o'clock news or something they might as well forget about their reputation.) But, as the spokesrunner enters the lotto office they notice that all is not well. People seem to be bummed out, some are even crying. There isn't any receptionist, just a sign that says "Welcome". As the runner enters Marcy's office they see that the walls have been stripped of family pictures, there are numerous cardboard boxes filled with Marcy's belongings, and a man who appears to be packing her stuff with his back to the runner. "Tragic", Albert Snell says as he turns around, "We're really going to miss her.". Marcy Trak was killed earlier that morning in a hit and run accident.

Snell, who is unaware that in his or her pocket the runner possesses enough evidence to put him away for the next fifty years, asks the runner to sit down. "We might as well have out little meeting now." He says. He explains to the runners that the "data" stolen from the lotto headquarters is disguised as cred sticks with the lotto stamp on them. (The fact that he's lying through his teeth is somewhat immaterial.) Visibly fidgety, he states that he knows where the data is hidden and wants the runners to grab it, bring it to a boat, and deliver it to a "lotto owned freighter" out at sea. After finishing his story he seems to wait in anticipation to see if the runner bought it. He also offers a damn good sum of money for doing the job, most of it to be received upon completion.

Ok, by this time the runner is confused as hell. But, if they sit down and think about it, the runners aren't really doing anything "wrong" by the standards of shadowrunning. Sure they're working for a thief and possible murdered but, then again, when DON'T they? Also about now the runners should have the overwhelming feeling that, at any moment, they're going to get royally screwed. But, then again, when DON'T they feel that way?

So the runners have a choice: They can do the job for Snell or they can "turn him in". If the runners "turn him in" Snell goes to jail and the runners probably lose some rep. They did, after all, put a potential employer in jail. If they decide to do the run:

Snell wants the runners to grab the, uh, "data" that night and have it to a set oceanic point by midnight. He also makes it perfectly clear that he knows EXACTLY how much "data" should be there and, if anything's missing, he will be unhappy. (i.e. the runners are being paid to transport the loot, not steal it for themselves.) The location of the warehouse is, surprise surprise, the Rat's warehouse on the docks. The runners have to find their own boat but, from all the money they've been making from this run, this shouldn't put that much of a dent in their wallets. When the runners attack the warehouse there won't be much resistance and all of the "data" will be packed in nice boxes, just waiting for them. During the attack at least one gang member will attempt to call somebody named "Tracer". Also there will be one gang member who simply hides for no apparent reason. After the runners snag the data, get it on the boat, they'll meet up with an ENORMOUS freighter in the middle of nowhere, possessing a crew of asian people who speak little english, and will have the words "PROPERTE UV THE LOTO" hastily spray over the still visible real name of the ship, the "ASIAN ARGONAUGHT". After the loot is transferred Snell will pay the runners, and the boat will begin traveling in a direction completely opposite of the city. Wow. The runners didn't even get screwed over.

And, if you, as the GM, feel like it, you can have television news break a story on the "possibility" that Snell orchestrated an act of thievery against the lotto commission and any information which will help lend proof to this story can be ANONYMOUSLY submitted to a particular news program in exchange for a decent reward that can also be anonymously transmitted to wherever the runners are. I'm sure that chip was burning a hole in their pocket.

Oh, yeah: THE END.

The Whole Story

In case I lost you anywhere along the line, here's the whole "hidden" story:

Marcy Trak did hire the runners to assist in Project Hackslam and had no knowledge of Snell's actions. She didn't even know about the cred until after it was stolen.

Snell, however, was the one who arranged for the cred to get there in the first place. He knew the headquarter's relatively remote location would be the ideal place for an all out assault. Having always possessed ties with the Rats from way back when he was a teenager, Snell rejoined them and conned a few other gangs into attacking the lotto headquarters with him. Project Hackslam didn't worry him all that much because he had managed to talk the lotto commission out of hiring three runner teams and only going with one. After the main attack he had the Rats move the loot to a new gang headquarters, screwing the other gangs out of their share.

Snell, who didn't participate in the attack, arrived at the "scene of the crime", expressing horror over what had happened. He then asked the runners to meet with him so he could arrange for the runners to steal the cred FROM HIS OWN GANG. His initial plan was a bit more subtle than simply having the runner haul the stuff out to a large boat bound for the Chinese warlord he was working with but when Marcy got involved, he freaked.

Marcy, meanwhile, had received an anonymous tip regarding the location of the stolen cred. The tip was actually given by an undercover cop working in the Rat's gang. He never made the connection between Snell and the lotto (Snell went by the name of Tracer in the gang.) but did make the stupid move of calling the lotto first instead of the cops. After one of the gang members caught him on the phone they never left him alone again out of suspicion. (This cop was the gang member who hid during the final attack.)

Anyway, the runners did their bit for Marcy and Snell, out of paranoia, paid five hundred nuyen to a drug addict to run her over with his Americar. Snell didn't know exactly why Marcy had hired the runners, he just knew he didn't want them talking to her. So Snell, now under pressure and going increaceingly paranoid, threw together his desperate plan to get to loot and get out of the country. It worked so, hey, who can complain.

But I guess the lotto's not coming back.


Albert Snell

Archetype: Human Gang Member/Corp

Information: Snell left his gang many years ago but hooked back up with them when he hatched his plan to steal the lotto's loot. He was hardened from his gang experience and still shows in his hardened facial features, somehow managing to get past the suit and the nice hair. He almost has a dual personality, cheerful in his suit, ruthless and greedy in his gang colors. He does have a tendency to get antsy when things start to go bad at which point he sometimes comes up with brash plans that make very little sense but, for some reason, still tend to work.

Marcy Trak

Archetype: Human Corp

Information: The nicest person you'll ever meet, the most daring thing Marcy's ever done is the act of hiring her runners. She's very family oriented, loves her job, and hates violence.