introducing Belle Pepper and Munty
The team gets a job from ‘Drekbomb’, while he is recuperating in the hospital. He tells them to go to hacker bar, and wait to be approached- there’s some paranoid types looking for a capable team, but they want to check them out before meeting. They agree, and head to The Armadillo in Puyallup. They wander a bit and order some drinks, until Shri becomes sure that a group in the corner is watching them. They approach, and the leader introduces himself as Speed Hack. He says they want the team to break some SINless technomancers out of a Knight Errant facility. They agree, though Servaas is a bit reluctant, due to his dislike of fugitives.
The get the rundown of the plan, and head out to get started. They find out that KE uniforms are laundered in minimally secure facility off the main training campus in Renton, and head there. Shri and Caria distract some guards while Belle and Achilles cut through a fence (Belle repeatedly shocking herself), and crack the lock on the back door. They sneak in, and Belle manages to convinced Achilles not to kill everyone inside. They steal some uniforms, and exfiltrate with no trouble. Shri, at Seducer’s command, makes plans to party with the 2 trainee guards later.
They buy a beater car, and some spare tires to fit the prison transport van, and set up an ambush along it’s route under an overpass. Achilles slices through the front wheel as it rolls past, and the van skids to a stop. Realizing they didn’t think through a non-lethal approach, they kill the guards inside, including 1 who surrenders. They ko the prisoners with a stun baton, and change into their uniforms, while Belle swaps the wheel, and Shri redirects traffic and inquiries. They dump the bodies in the car, and Caria and Achilles take it to an abandoned lot in the Redmond Barrens and torch it.
The rest of the team covers up the bloodstains and damage to the van interior as best as possible, throws out the spare tire, and bluffs call-in about their late arrival, due to tire trouble. They scam their way into the prison using the ID’s and passes provided by Speed Hack, and pick up the “work detail.” However, another guard insists on coming along as they have 6 prisoners and only 3 guards. They manage to convince them not to make them swap vans, against regulation as they are not supposed to take it out with the spare on. They kill the new guard as well, drop off the freed prisoners, get paid, and torch the van also. Job well done?
Pia Oliversson contacts Shri and Caria, and tells them that she has another job for them. She’s expecting low to no combat, so she requests they leave the pyschos out on this one. She also introduces them to Munty, a 50-some year old human woman who has a very non-memorable face. Pia tells them that Munty is a skilled thief and infiltrator and will be joining them on this job, to see how they work together. They get the number for Mr. Johnson, and head to the meet:a boarded tenement in Puyallup. They decide to sneak in to impress the Johnson, with some success, though Caria is embarrassed at failing to scale the brick walls.
Inside, they find the dwarf man they are supposed to meet, who is wearing a fancy suit that has seen better days. He tells them that he wants to use them to subtly sway the Consensus, Horizon’s employee-voting decision-making system. He claims that he wants to return Horizon to a place closer to their founding ideals, as he feels they have drifted onto too aggressive of a path. From what they can tell, he’s being honest (and offering good money), though he won’t give any personal details. They do suss out that he is either a former or current employee however. They take the job.
Part 1: they are to infiltrate Horizon Seattle, their downtown office tower, and get themselves added to a list of “new employees” attending an orientation the next day. Caria provides astral overwatch and distracts the receptionists, while Shri distracts the 2 security guards while Munty passes by using a pass she lifted off an exiting employee. Munty, dressed as a janitor, makes her way to the HR department, finds the computer room, lifts another pass, and sneaks in. Having used demara to temporarily learn computers, she adds their names to the orientation list (it won’t hold up under scrutiny but should get them in the door), and sneaks back out, helping a frantic employee find their “missing” pass on the way.
They return the next day (Shri having slept with one of the guards at Seducer’s suggestion), and head in. After watching an hours worth of pro-Horizon propaganda, they can tell what the Johnson is talking about: the more recent trids and talking points are decidedly more aggressive, seemingly due to Horizon’s loss of face in the recent war between Aztlan and Amazonia. They all follow the appropriate ARO line to the department they are “going to work for”, and mingle and chat with some veteran employees (who are very gung-ho on Horizon but happy to answer questions) as well as the other new hires.
Every 5 to 15 minutes, they get different ethical dilemma questions, seemingly polling from the Consensus, and they try to answer them as the Johnson wanted- in a more compassionate/forgiving way. Unfortunately, unable to communicate and not knowing the questions ahead of time, they are occasionally working at cross purposes. They all manage to bluff their way through the orientation, however, and make their exits with various excuses (or just slip off in Munty’s case). The Johnson tells them that although they had some effect, it was not as great as he had hoped, so they really need to nail the next 2 jobs.
They fly to LA on the Johnson’s dime, and deciding to bring only legal gear, get a contact for the local Ancients chapter from Belial. They land, and call up Alex Foxfire to get the necessary gear, as well as a car and a safehouse. They surveil the next target: Horizon’s spaceflight subsid, Transglobal. The head of the division, Maggie Snowden, is giving a speech about their space program in a few days, and the Johnson wants to insert some specific inspiring language into it, to make sure that Horizon employees watching the speech (of which there should be quite a few) will be properly swayed. Shri finds a lonely middle-aged employee, and takes her out for drinks, and plies her for info about the speechwriter(s). The project lead is a woman in her 40’s, so they decide to kidnap and question her, and then have Munty infiltrate the facility using her biometrics in order to steal the speech. The Johnson gives them the name of a local screenwriter, Ralston Beauregard, who can do a quick edit if they can get it to him.
They snatch the woman leaving a yoga class, and throw a mage/faraday hood over her head after tasing her to prevent her communicating. They get her back to the safehouse with no trouble, and ziptie her to a chair. Caria wakes her up and they start questioning her. Caria tries to intimidate her by threatening her cats, but feels Bear’s strong disapproval, and backs down. However, she’s still quite scared, so the team manages to get the info they need. They line the trunk of the car with metal to make an impromptu faraday cage, knock the writer out, and drive back downtown. Munty copies her prints and retinas real quick, and then exits the trunk and rushes into the building, to use the biometrics before they revert.
Shri provides physical overwatch on the car, while Caira goes on an astral jaunt to keep an eye on Munty inside. Munty gets past security, altough just barely, and uses the writer’s description to find her office. She imitates the writer’s voice to get in, and to use the computer. She gets a copy of the speech, and leaves the office again, to go find a wireless-accessible spot, becoming somewhat lost in the process. However, she sends the speech out, and Shri passes it on to Ralston, who says it’ll be a few hours. Caria helps Munty hide in a janitorial supplies closet during the wait. Ralston sends the edit back, and Munty wanders around again until she finds her way back to a familiar area, and puts the speech back on the computer. She also forwards it to Maggie Snowden for final approval, so that no-one else will tweak it after all this hard work.
They head back to the safehouse and wait out the night. Shri calls in sick, posing as the writer, the next day, and they get a call from the Johnson saying that the speech was a success. They drop the writer off in a public part in a nice part of town, still unconscious, figuring that Doc Wagon or Horizon will start getting a biomonitor signal and come get her before long. The Johnson tells them the next job is to influence at least 10 votes for the upcoming Academy Awards, in order to ensure a win for the Pathfinder Media trid that’s up for best picture. It’s, overall, a tale of pacifism and overcoming differences through tolerance and understanding, so a win for the Horizon subsid would help sway the Consensus further in the correct direction.
They’re already in LA, so they get to work. Relying on a combination of blackmail, bribery, seduction, appeals to better natures, and the like, they manage to sway the requisite number of voters over the next few days. Shri gains a few more notches in her belt, for Seducer’s approval. Their chosen picture wins, and the Johnson, happy with their work, thanks them and pays up. They head back to Seattle.