Corporate Intrigue

Insubstantial Rumours; the Mako's Log (part three)

Public report:

Summary:
  • Meeting with Simeon was a set up with Knight Errant Police everywhere, he was put on the back-burner to be dealt with later
  • Simeon’s commlink was traced to an apartment complex, seemingly under the protection of the “Born to Kill” gang
  • Meeting with Dr (Leonard) Vance went ahead, information was gathered
  • Report was sent to C.O. with information and working hypothesis
  • Simeon was then visited later in the evening
Further information:

Our meeting with Simeon was clearly a set up; undercover Knight Errant Police units moved to watch the meeting point. Body language (and access to the KE tac-net) demonstrated that Simeon was working with them. We determined that meeting him would be foolish and instead had Marshall tag his commlink so we could follow him to his home.

At the house it seemed that gaining access without drawing attention (to determine exactly where he is) due to street gangers as security. The gang, “Born to Kill”, have a bad reputation, with arrests for assault, arson, murder and attempted murder. There are suggestions that they trade drugs and guns from the mafia.

Meeting with Dr (Leonard) Vance was pleasant, we delivered a warning about his having a double (with a possible plan to replace him). Information was extracted which confirmed he had gone to the Zurich Orbital Habitation but it was over year ago.

We suspect that Chief Judge Hino has been compromised, either killed, kidnapped or under magical/drug induced control. Most likely killed and replaced with a virtual presence only.

Simeon was on the 4th floor (of 10), as determined by Agent Belasco after an Astral scout. We made our way in, and up to the floor. Agent Petrova and the Mako took the two guards out with controlled and appropriate weapons fire. Jazz was overpowered and restrained, and interrogated:

  • Jazz and his team were hired by a “Russian looking corporate chick” (probably Avo, rather than mafia)
  • To impersonate Dr Vance and kill anyone who came looking for him/Chief Justice Hino cuse
  • Some people were asking about Hino
  • Matrix support provided by the Johnson

His commlink was scrubbed and all information removed.

Tui moko

Future plans:

the Mako

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Insubstantial Rumours - part two
  • The team reconvened in their vehicle on the way to Dr. Vance’s brownstone
  • Went inside; the place had been made to look lived-in since last night. Vance had a concealed light pistol; the ork butler was packing a Remington Roomsweeper and an extendable baton.
  • While astrally perceiving, Solana noticed a watcher spirit just sort of…watching.
  • The team enjoyed some fresh lemonade and a light salad lunch, chatting with Dr. Vance about his medical expertise and his in-the-flesh meeting on the Zurich-Orbital Habitat with Chief Justice Hino about three months ago.
  • Lunch was interrupted by the front door flying open and an LMG-equipped Steel Lynx drone entering the room; Tui and Oxana shot it to pieces with their pistols
  • Solana and her spirit engaged an invisible dwarf hermetic who had entered the room with the drone
  • The butler took aim at Solana and shot her, before being killed by Tui and Oxana
  • A plumber’s van across the street popped up a turret and fired a hail of suppressive fire into the front of the house, forcing everyone prone
  • Solana continued to exchange Mana Bolts with the invisible dwarf. Tui and Solana’s Guardian spirit killed the dwarf.
  • Solana ordered her spirit to kill the person in the van
  • Vance turned on Oxana, trying (unsuccessfully) to shoot her
  • Solana took cover; Tui struck Vance, breaking his ribs (and discovering gobs of nanopaste disguise on his hand when he did so); and Solana restrained Vance, dragging him behind cover
  • The van continued firing into the room, targeting Solana and Tui primarily
  • Tui covered the difference to the van, and he and Solana’s spirit together killed the unconscious female elf rigger in there
  • Marshall got in touch to say that Dr. Vance had called him, and was happy to arrange a meeting at his house in the Evo compound with them. The team asked Marshall to set it up for the evening.
  • Fleeing the scene (just!) before the first Knight Errant drones got there, the team took “Vance” to an abandoned warehouse in a former industrial district of FDC. Tui led the interrogation, supported by Solana’s magic and Oxana’s medical intervention.
    • “Vance’s” name is really Jazz. The rest of his team are Vice (the butler), Vrede (the rigger) and Spectre (the mage)
    • The team were hired about a week ago by a well turned-out eastern European/Russian-looking Ms. Johnson.
    • There’s also a hacker involved somewhere, but they were hired separately and there’s no contact between Jazz’ team and them.
    • The job was to keep runners away from Vance, and attempt to kill them if they were asking questions about Chief Justice Hino.
    • Upon completion, Jazz was to send confirmation that the threat had been neutralised to an anonymous commcode, and payment would arrive through escrow
      • Marshall’s research indicated that this would be through Banco Cooperativo, a Swiss bank that he was very reluctant to hack due to their serious attitude to Matrix security
    • The job was arranged through a fixer called Simeon. At the team’s request, Jazz set up a meeting with Simeon in an hour or two at a hot dog stand in front of Washington Union Station.
  • Solana wiped Jazz’ memory and Marshall dealt with the commlink and cybereyes. He also discovered that a lot of data had been erased in the past 15 minutes, by a hacker whose signature matched that of the one who had set up the fake datatrail leading to “Vance.”
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Insubstantial Rumours; the Mako's Log (part two)

Public report:

Summary:
  • Meeting at Vance’s brownstone
  • Steel Lynx drone attacked and was destroyed by the Mako and Agent Petrova
  • Murder Butler then attacked Solana and was neutralised by the Mako and Agent Petrova
  • Hail of suppressive fire into the building from the street; a pop-up turret on a van firing an LMG into the building
  • the Mako fired on an invisible target, wounding it. Agent Belasco’s spirit then neutralised the target, which was a hostile (dwarven) magical asset
  • Vance then turned on Agent Petrova and was restrained
  • the Mako and Agent Belasco’s spirit assaulted the van and elimated the rigger
  • Vance-clone was taken away for interrogation; after spilling his pathetic guts he was mind-wiped and allowed to live
Further information:

Vance’s house looked more lived in than yesterday, looking more like a real house.

Vance was packing a Finchetti Security 600 in a concealable holster under the left armpit where the butler was packing both a Remington Roomsweeper in the small of the back and an extendable baton up the right sleeve. Both also wearing armoured clothing.

Upon the front door being forced, and a Steel Lynx combat drone entering, the operatives took cover and readied weapons. After receiving fire from the intruding drone it was destroyed with small-arms fire.

Further assaults came from the (murder) butler, and from an invisible hostile. These were neutralised in turn via combined arms drills. Vance then attacked and was neutralised, being removed from the scene alive. Finally the rigger was eliminated, despite the LMG fire incoming.

We left the site before Knight Errant arrived on the scene, taking Vance with us. Moving to a secure location Vance was questioned:

  • Doesn’t know who hired him
  • His name is Jazz
  • Vice, Frid and Spectre rest of the team. Hacker hired separately
  • Hired to keep people away from the ‘real’ Vance, particularly about Chief Justice Hino
  • Been hired about a week
  • Contact through escrow; Banco Cooperativo, a Swiss Bank
    • commcode, passcode, upload photos and recording
  • Images of the Johnson sent (well turned out Eastern European/Russian woman)
  • Meets with Fixer (Simian) at a hotdog stand at Grand Central Station

Vance was allowed to live, his mind and cybereye memory being wiped.

Tui moko

Future plans:
  • Meet with (real) Vance
  • Meet with (fake) Vance’s Fixer

the Mako

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Columbian Subterfuge - Part Ten - Sola's Log

Operation

  • Infiltrate base of operations, plant evidence, leave.
  • Kill on sight order on a list of double agents.

Risks/Issues

  • Largely unknown situation.
  • Unknown timescale.
  • Travel through jungle risks attack by Amazonian forces.
  • I, personally, am low on spiritual backup.

On the Ground

  • Rendevouzed with Agent and some other Amazonians.
  • Gathered gear – unifroms, armour, nanopaste disguises, spoof fingerprints and identities.
  • Request for non-lethal means of dealing with any Amazonian forces attacking us.
  • Ambushed by six Vampiric Amazonians – dispatched via non-lethal means (knocking out and throwing from the tank.
  • Small localised blaze started by Tui.
  • Received mortar fire closer to encampment, Oxana avoided.
  • Entered the base of operations, timescale received – new assignment in 14 hours.
  • Contact made with Lucas Santos, leaving in 1 hr on a flight.
  • Tui remained as shadow on Lucas, Oxana to examine HQ, myself to find exit routes.
  • Contact made with Amanda da Silva in HQ
  • Flight delayed.
  • Oxana inserted wireless adaptors, and Marshall completed adjustments.
  • Tui unable to out granades in Lucas’ pack.
  • Tui called down a Loki striek on the flight, but it missed by a comfortable 200m.
  • High Alert called.
  • I dispatched a jaguar spirit which killed Lucas in the LAV.
  • I placed invisibility upon Tui and Oxana who then murdered Amanda and left her in the Mess Hall.
  • Took point at the gate in our tank, before leaving under concealment from a spirit, and invisibility where necessary.
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Insubstantial Rumours - part one
  • The team (plus Marshall!) assembled at Aegis Cognito’s Washington FDC office for their briefing with C.O.
  • They got Marshall to research Donald Melch, discovering the following:
    • Melch leases a house with another man, David Phillips
    • IDEA’s FDC office is in the Interpol building, just off US50, near the FBI building. It’s a ten-storey building.
    • Melch’s office is on the first floor (second floor in Americanese)
    • There is heavy security in the lobby with MAD scanners for guns and SIN checks.
    • Four watcher spirits patrol the ground floor.
  • Solana used Divining to gather info on how to approach Melch
    • She had a vision of a business meeting where the communication was clear and direct, but the visitors left disappointed
  • Team asked Marshall to set up a fake charity interested in tempo rehabilitation and set up a meeting with Melch on that basis for the following morning
  • They also asked Marshall to look into any other possible leads. He found a trid of someone named Dr. Vance having lunch with Justice Hino on the Z-O Habitat about three months ago. Dr. Vance is an Evo genetic therapist who lives in the FDC area.
    • The team were able to arrange to meet Vance at his FDC-area brownstone the following afternoon.
    • Marshall reported that the house was protected with either wireless-inhibiting paint or a full-on Faraday cage as he couldn’t find any devices inside the house.
  • The team spent more time planning and working on cover stories and so on. During this time, Marshall found conflicting evidence about Vance, indicating that he had another home/office location, this time in an Evo-sponsored high-class gated community in FDC.
    • He also reported that the records about the ownership of the brownstone seemed to indicate Vance had had it for three years, but were only a week old.
  • The team speculated about what that might mean, and then decided to investigate the brownstone themselves. They discovered that the house was empty, almost like a showhome, aside from some photographs (primarily just of Vance, but with one of Vance and Hino) recently hung on the walls pulled from publicly-available sources.
  • The team scouted out the Evo compound and decided not to attempt to breach it; it was patrolled by drones and watcher spirits, and they were concerned about the implications of heading onto extraterritorial land and getting caught.
  • They also left a couple of voicemail messages for Vance, using the commcode linked to the gated community address rather than the brownstone.
  • The next morning, the team met with Melch.
    • He saw through the charity deception but didn’t throw them out immediately.
    • He confirmed that he had been on Zurich-Orbital Habitat a month ago, but that he had only met with Chief Justice Hino by AR; she had apologised for this, citing workload.
    • He also indicated that he was very frustrated with Majia Wright’s (his predecessor) obsession with Aztechnology, and that he thought the Lone Star vs. AZT decision had been inevitable due to AAA megacorps’ desire to protect extraterritoriality.
  • The team talked about meeting with Majia Wright, but Marshall covertly advised them against it, as she was the client.
  • Asked Marshall to arrange a meeting with IDEA staff who were close to Majia
  • The session ended just before the team headed to their meeting with Vance at the brownstone
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Colombian Subterfuge, the Mako's Log (part ten)

Public report:

Summary:
  • Travelled to meet with Agent and take control of a tank
  • Warned that guerillas would fire on us (due to potential of double-agents)
  • Attacked by [vampiric] guerillas: they were fought off
  • Entered target facility
  • Objective 1 completed, by Oxana
  • Second Loki-shot targeted at T-Bird (containing two double-agents). It missed
  • Objective 2 completed; Solana setting a spirit to eliminate Lucas Santos, Oxana and the Mako eliminating Amanda da Silva
Further information:

The tank was damaged and low on ammunition (4 rounds for the main gun, approximately 50% damage). Agent Petrova is an excellent driver and was able to mitigate the mechanical difficulties with skill, however, whilst rated for onboard weapons the Mako is a tertiary-rated gunner – which caused difficulties with making use of both main gun and supplementary weapons in combat.

The vampires were robust and challenging to destroy in detail; it seems likely that few (if any) were real causalities as they were skilled and regenerating damage dealt. Explosives, magic and a localised jungle fire (due to an incendiary grenade) combined with throwing inert vampires from the tank ended our confrontation.

Whilst Agent Petrova was able to take advantage of the situation and achieve the primary objective within a very short time (whilst the Mako was observing Lucas Santos and other Aztlan soldiery via a game of poker) targeting the double agents, our secondary objective, was difficult. Targeting drift for the Loki shot, unfortunately, missed the target (a Thunderbird which was to transport both of the double-agents) and the camp in its entirety.

As the base scrambled to a high level of alertness we were able to take advantage of the confusion to eliminate both double-agents; Agent Belasco dispatching a spirit in the form of a jaguar to target Santos (who was quickly slain) whilst Agent Petrova and the Mako were able to target de Silva when she returned (alone) into the messhall. Both were slain without an immediate alarm being raised, giving the opportunity to roll a tank out for base-defence duty.

Marshall was able to spoof the tank being fully crewed as investigations began (whilst the base remained on alert) we left under cover of the confusion (with the assistance of a spirit, and with Agent Belasco using an invisibility spell) on foot, making contact with Agent, before heading back to civilisation.

Tui moko

Future plans:

Return to a world with showers, and fewer blood-trees.

Also swimming, and beer.

the Mako

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Insubstantial Rumours; the Mako's Log (part one)

Public report:

Summary:

Day 1:

  • I.D.E.A. office in FDC is where Melch works, near F.B.I. building
  • Nice neighbourhood near Capitol Hill is where Melch lives, with David Phillips
  • Adopting cover of being an anti-Tempo charity (Saving Time) to speak with Melch
  • Dr Arnold Vance, genetic engineer for Avo, had lunch 3 months ago
  • Vance lives in a brownstone (traditional DC house) and works from home
  • We investigated Vance’s houe, discovering that he has a second house in an Evo-corp facility – and that he had retired from corporate life, for private practice only
  • Tui looked into the house; it’s not being lived in
  • We headed to the second house (in Ev-corp territory)

Day 2:

  • First meeting with Melch; 2nd floor LoneStar building – who literally gave 10 minutes (on A-R timer!)
Further information:

Briefing information:

  • recent visitors in the past 12 months, particularly wanting eye-witnesses
  • withdrawn from society, so seeking insight on any change of behaviour, and for the reason thereof

Vance’s house is lined with radar-inhibiting barriers, and has no lights on and without a car. It is empty and without anything to indicate being inhabited. Solana’s astral scout reinforced this impression. A visit showed that it was empty and not lived in; pictures had been bought within the past week, one holo showed Vance with Justice Hino. Alll were publically available images.

Meeting with Melch did not go entirely to plan; he did not buy the charity cover. He seemed to suggest that Maija Wright was concerned with the Aztechnology tempo investigation. Melch confirmed that he was on the orbital a month ago; he did not meet with Justice Hino in the flesh.

Tui moko

Future plans:
  • Meet with Vance (if we are able); there is a suspicion that he may be being replaced with an A-R doctor…
  • Try to make some contact with someone close to Majia in I.D.E.A.

the Mako

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Insubstantial Rumours - briefing

TOP SECRET: EYES ONLY

Operation: Insubstantial Rumours
Case Officer: Maria da Assunção “C.O.” Andrade Esteves
Technical Operations: Marshall Flinkman
Field Operatives: Solana Belasco, Oxana Petrova, Tui Tukiwaho
Base Of Operations: Washington FDC, UCAS

Operational Overview:

  • Investigate Corporate Court Chief Justice Hino’s recent associates

Details:
The client has requested a covert investigation of Corporate Court Chief Justice Hino, with a particular focus on recent visitors and any eyewitness accounts available of those meetings. Chief Justine Hino has only been seen in AR for the last year, and the client is interested to learn whether anyone has noticed a change in her behaviour and/or can explain her current state of isolation. Our client believes that Hino is being manipulated or even blackmailed, which could have serious ramifications for the Corporate Court, leading to significant numbers of retrials.

The client suggests you begin investigations with Donald Melch, the new head of the Interpol Drug Enforcement Agency (following Majia Wright’s ejection from the post), as he is believed to be the last person to have informally talked with Justice Hino this month.

Entry:
There should be no need to leave the FDC and so your gear will be in your hotel rooms following your briefing.

Notes:

  • Yoshiko Hino is the Evo representative on the Corporate Court.
  • As with all Corporate Court Justices, her permanent residence is the Zurich-Orbital Habitat, which orbits the Earth at 560km
  • A plot by an independent Matrix development studio in Manila, Philippines to replicate Hino’s icons was foiled late last year, aiming to capitalise on her reliance on AR for Court appearances and so on.
  • More recently, Lone Star brought a suit against Aztechnology to search one of their facilities for tempo-related paraphernalia. Early indications suggested that the Court was sympathetic to Lone Star’s position, but in the end a coalition led by Hino ruled in Aztechnology’s favour. Some commentators view this as a step in a possible Evo-Aztechnology alliance.
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Colombian Subterfuge - downtime (post-part two)
  • In the days and weeks since your debriefing and safe arrival home, the United Nations sends inspectors into Aztlan to inspect other POW camps, looking for (and finding) additional abuse of prisoners.
  • In the course of their investigation, the UN inspectors discover at least four mass graves, each one containing more than a thousand bodies.
  • A leak from the Icana Forward Operating Base reveals that high-ranking Aztlan and Aztechnology officers signed off on and sanctioned the mass executions for prisoners who were deemed “unworthy” of being offered in blood magic sacrifice, and the same officers sanctioned the creation of those mass graves.
    • Seventy of the names of the thousands of prisoners that were identified in those mass graves are individuals you liberated from Medellin (and whose existence was not acknowledged by previous news reports).
    • In addition, the names of those prisoners who had died in the Medellin camp, along with those that you recovered from the camp, are on those lists.
  • According to Amazonia, the DNA matches that the UN inspectors have been making in the graves correspond to missing fighters who were believed to have been taken prisoner by Aztlan.
  • Other documents, recovered in various other Aztlan installations, imply that Aztlan used another couple of thousand Amazonian prisoners as blood sacrifices.
  • As a result of these findings, the UN places stringent embargos and sanctions on Aztlan with the Corporate Court’s blessing.
  • In wake of the warrants for war crimes, the prisoner abuse scandals, the friendly fire incidents, and the ambushes, the Amazonian forces rally and push the Aztlan forces back. They manage to break through Aztlan lines twice, reclaiming some of the territory that Aztlan had won earlier in the war.
  • Although the war is not over by any means, it is clear that Amazonia has found a second wind in the fighting, and that it will be months, if not years, before a final victor can be determined.
  • C.O. is incredibly pleased with your work, and invites you to submit requests for changes to your standard loadout through her (i.e. in this downtime submission). If there are items you don’t use, ask not to have them or to have something else; if you’d rather have different ammo, ask for it; whatever you want, within reason, they’ll provide.
  • She also reminds you of the Employee Benefits scheme , which she encourages you all to take advantage of to get those “hard to reach” augmentations or foci.
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