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Run #3 Interim - A Bump In The Night

For those of you not in the loop, Mirage got a little cocky and decided to test building security during Run 3. He was nabbed by the security forces there and ended up with the cops. As a SINless criminal, Mirage was in danger of revealing sensitive information that could compromise the run. Ichiro, one of the hiring characters for the run, asked a contact, Detective Whitley to "close the file" on the problem. Here is the tale of what happened.

Night had fallen while he was asleep and the room was only dimly lit. His nerves felt...used. He remembered recovering a few times and being beaten unconscious repeatedly. He thinks to himself, "Good cop / bad cop, can't they think of anything original?"

[Interrogation 4, result 7...Willpower 6*...10]
[Interrogation 4, result 8...Willpower 6*...11]
[Interrogation 4, result 5...Willpower 6*...11]

(With his Psychology 4, I'll ignore his wound penalties)

After the third time, he woke up here in the hospital with two Lone Star cops standing outside his door. Maybe the cops finally showed up and took him away. Maybe he had a cop to thank for that. He didn't care. He was just glad to not be slapped awake again. His head had cleared, but he could still feel diffuse pain in his back, chest, and face, and one of his shoulders ached as he wriggled about to get a good position on the cuffs.

[No stun, moderate physical wound, TN+2]

They had been smart enough to use handcuffs, so this was trickier to pull off, but he had broken out of cuffs before. The window of opportunity would be small. The guards were checking on him every 30 minutes.

[Escape Artist test, TN8 - 3 successes (Wow!), 10 minutes to break out]

Luck was with him, the cuffs must have been locked down when he was in an unnatural position and there was adequate room to wriggle free, if he could just get the cuffs positioned properly, he would be on his way.

He glanced about nervously at the various beeping machines as he worked. One camera was scanning the room. That would start the clock ticking once he got out of here, but he could probably keep motionless enough not to tip them off.

[Cop is distracted by nurse (+2), normal camera in partial light (+2), action not obvious (+4), wounds (-2), net +6]

[Stealth open test with 5 dice...9+6=15]
[Cop Perception...10]
[Stealth open test with 5 dice, -2 for wounds...13+6*=19]
[Cop Perception...8]

He was almost free of the cuffs and if they were consistent, one of them would be stepping away soon. The IV pole gleamed in the light. Yes, that would do.


Detective Whitley flicked open his stainless steel lighter and ignited the cigarette he had just given to the desk sergeant. He had been bogged down at his precinct longer than expected when his shift ended and it was already late at night. A quiet review of the cells and cameras did nothing but waste more time and a lot of it.

His information told him that the perp was scheduled for interrogation in four hours, so where the hell was he? Carousing at the Soy Dunk without drawing too much attention had turned up nothing. This was his last chance, the desk sergeant in the precinct where his target had been picked up. It was also risky, as she might remember him later.

He made small talk with the sergeant for a few minutes and then decided to finally get around to the purpose of his visit. "Man, that is one big trog over there."

The desk sergeant was an overweight homely woman with a scar running down over her right eye and cheek. The scar and the unnatural blue-green color of her irises suggested that she possessed cyber eyes. Not a speck of make-up inhabited her blemished face. She was caucasian and her pallor told the tale of a wage slave that did not see much of the sun. She chuckled, "Yeah, they make them pretty big around here."

Whitley chuckled "Yeah, same over at my district. That reminds me, there was some rookie over at the Soy Dunk that told me you guys picked up some fraggin' huge Japanese fella, seven feet tall or some drek."

She laughs loudly, "Well, not seven feet, but definitely topping six."

"Wow, hate to have to deal with that."

"Yeah, well he'll be here in about an hour or two and we'll see if he's really as big as they say."

"Whew, that's a long drive. We patrolling the NAN now?"

She smiles, "Nah, but he was banged up pretty bad. Considering that he had no weapons and was taken down without a fight, it sounds like he was beat up pretty thoroughly. That boy would have a nice cash cow case on his hands if he had a SIN."

"SINless, huh. Sucks to be him."

"Yeah, they tagged him with a criminal SIN and dumped him at Seattle General with a couple of beat cops guarding him. Poor slot, probably just be kinder to put him down."

Whitley retorts, "Damn, honey, that's harsh."

She smirks, "Reality is harsh, babe."

"So what the hell is a SINless slot doing running around in a secure garage without any gear? Car thief or just plain stupid?"

"Hmm." She scrolls through a screen of data. "The report in the log only shows him trespassing. Maybe it was some dumb ass ganger on a dare. No contraband was turned over to us, which means either he had no gear for stealing cars, or our...colleagues at the corp decided to hang onto it."

"Like I said, sucks to be him. Oh hey, there's the guy I was looking for. Catch ya later honey."


The pole was no katana, but it would have to do. He grabbed it hand-over-hand like a katana and slipped up to the door.

[Clubs default to Edged Weapons at +2, only use 3 combat pool]
[Stealth(Sneaking) 7 dice...5, eww]
[Perception successes!]

He slid the door open quietly...

[11 vs. 5, undetected]

and struck!

[Reaction, 6 successes vs. 0]
[Mirage attacks]
[Edged Weapons 6 (+3 pool) @ 4+2+2 = 8...2 successes]
[Cop's Unarmed Combat 3 (surprised, no pool) @ 5*...1 success]

* - Mirage using reach as penalty

[Resist (surprised, no pool)...takes M Stun]
[Initiative...Mirage 14 (crappy roll) vs. Cop 13 (great roll)]
[Edged Weapons 6 (+3 pool) @ 4+2+2 = 8...2 successes]
[Cop 3 (+3 pool) @ 7...0 successes]
[Resist (throw in last 3 combat pool)...6 successes...L stun]
[Cop readies Stun Baton and calls for help]
[Mirage attacks]
[Edged Weapons 6 (+3 pool) @ 4+2+2 = 8...2 successes]
[Cop 3 @ 6...1 success]
[Resist...M stun]
[Cop realizes the baton is not going to work out for him and he tries to pull his pistol and take a shot. He does not try quick draw because he is wounded and will likely throw the pistol across the hall. He gets off one shot with wounds and melee combat...and doesn't roll anything higher than a "4", so he misses, but if the other cop did not hear him the first time, he certainly heard him now.]

[Mirage 3...cop takes M and goes down]

Mirage smashed the pole into the head and neck of the cop repeatedly in a series of quick blows and within seconds the cop was down. He snatched up the stun baton and gun, and then fled down a stairway. On the next floor he was able to sneak into a dressing room and quickly snag some street clothes.

Mirage knew how the police operated and it was a simple matter of avoiding their sweeps. Luckily, neither he nor his "crime" were significant enough to warrant a serious effort and soon he was walking the dark, cold streets of Seattle. It was a damn good thing he had left his weapons behind that night. He had no cash, no phone, and more than a few bruises. It was time to get home and gear up again.

He couldn't help wondering how the rest of the team was faring, but he had to get home, get his gear, and relocate. He'd give that Junkyard guy a call when he was ready. That Ichiro guy was just too much of a hard ass.


Whitley immediately knew something was up. There were too many cops standing at the door of the room. Maybe the problem had resolved itself. He quickly learned that was not the case.

"Rookie, what's going on here?"

"Sir, yes sir, um the perp ambushed and incapacitated the officer on watch and then fled the hospital."

"You have got to be kidding me! Did you have cyber restraints on him?"

"No cyber sir, no spells either."

"Well, what do we know. Did you process him?"

"Yes sir, well no sir."

"Which is it? Spit it out!"

"Well we assigned him a temporary criminal SIN, but he has not been to the station yet, so we hadn't processed him completely."

"Great job rookie."

Another man walked up, an older looking man with a badge and wearing a suit of above average quality.

"Yes, detective, can we help you?"

"No, I was just visiting someone and I got curious. Wanted to see if you boys needed any help."

"Oh, that's quite all right, I think we got it under control."

"Well, if you think having a cop killer on the loose is under control."

"Excuse me? We have some ganger that walked into the wrong garage and got beat up by some overzealous guards. He turns around and beats up one of my rookies. Now, that might upset me, but it appears this particular rookie was in desperate need of additional training. His bruises will heal and maybe he'll learn a lesson about vigilance. As for you, I can loan you my copy of the jurisdictional guidelines if you need a refresher."

Whitely smiled, "Ah, no, I got it. Looks like you have this under control. I'll just get back to my business."

Whitley had a call to make to a certain grim Japanese man.

GM Note: The moral of the story is that if you're going to get caught, it's good to get caught for something minor and without a truckload of weapons and shadowrunning gear. As much bad luck as Mirage had, he had some good luck too, of a sort.


Mirage snatches up his gear and relocates to a new place, a better place with more reliable guards; the kind that don't ask questions of the tenants and don't roll over to Lonestar for fifty nuyen. (Moving to Middle Lifestyle now that he's active, per the campaign requirements)

It doesn't take long, as he had been spying out this place for a few weeks. He drops his gear on the floor and gives Junkyard a call to check on the status of the run. It will be dawn soon, so either the run is over, or it's yet to happen...

Mirage Calls Junkyard

GM Note: To set the stage, you have to understand that the team was not aware that anything was amiss with Mirage until they found out from Ichiro via Detective Whitley, and in the same breath Ichiro told them he had died in custody due to an accident. Mirage was SINless, so in character, this would not have been overly surprising or questionable, hence no one challenged Ichiro's information nor did they have any reason (or resources) to follow up on it further. So, Ichiro knows that Mirage should be dead, but the rest of the team is convinced of it.

The phone rings and the voice at the other end is that of a groggy Junkyard, "Uh, yeah?"

"Junkyard, this is Mirage. I got busted snooping out the garage. They got some pretty wiz security, in terms of cameras, in that building. They grilled me. Heh, I didn't even break a sweat; probably thought I just some clueless ganger. Managed to get myself out okay, though *cough* I was half-expecting an extraction. What's the sitrep now?"

On his end of the line, Mirage can hear Junkyard fumbling with the phone, followed immediately by a grunt of pain. Junkyard's eventual response carries with it a tone of surprise and confusion, "Mirage? Seriously? You're supposed to be geeked, man. When you didn't make the meet at lunchtime yesterday, we all wondered what had happened. Ichiro checked with one of his contacts and relayed to us that building security had caught you and turned you over to the 'Star, where you had an unfortunate accident and didn't make it. I figured you got caught SINless, and the boys in blue decided to take out their frustrations on you."

Before Mirage can reply, Junkyard continues, "Yeah, we had to hire another slot to help us finish the run. Some ex-Yak soldier named Blaze. We just got back...what time is it?...almost 5 hours ago. I stitched myself up and crashed. Damn demon wolves got some nasty fangs."

Junkyard yawns quickly before continuing his sleepy rambling, "Yeah, chummer, you're telling me about that security. I must have popped ten maglocks and spoofed a dozen or more cameras just getting us up to the facility. Not to mention all those fraggin' laser sensors."

The drowsy narration comes to an abrupt stop as Junkyard realizes what could be at stake, given the situation Mirage was in and the fact that he mentioned the lack of a rescue operation. Junkyard decides to go ahead and get everything on the table and says, "We didn't know you had gotten lucky and slipped past the 'Star in mostly one piece. I was under the impression that you were a lost cause, omae. I'm glad to hear you busted yourself out and that your stand-up enough not to roll over on us just because of a little roughing up, but you can probably understand why I have to ask, what's your angle now?"

"So Ichiro said I had an 'accident', huh?"

A brief, chilly pause.

"The news of my death is, I'm afraid, greatly exaggerated."

"Though admittedly I did screw up, the lack of any, ah, POSITIVE efforts from the team was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, I'm glad that the job is successful."

Another pause as Mirage thinks for a bit.

"Then there is the issue of compensation; I believe a token 4K should do it, plus my down payment on the transceiver, of course."

Mirage mentions offhandedly, almost as an afterthought.

"Oh yes, by the way, if you happen to see Ichiro, please send him my regards; tell him Mirage is merely concerned about his, ah, somewhat delicate, health"

It was spoken so casually that the hard edge behind those words was almost undetectable. Almost.

"Will there be anything else?"

Junkyard, still a little groggy, takes a moment to formulate his response. He yawns again, just to maintain the impression he's still a little out of it, but he's really giving his brain a couple of extra seconds to consider alternatives.

Just before he starts talking again, Junkyard decides this is the last time he lets a suit make the calls. This headache on top of everything that went down last night is more than he wants to deal with. At least this Mirage thing is way easier to settle than whatever drek might come his way from busting into a Saeder-Krupp facility.

As the lengthy yawn ends, Junkyard shifts tone and a certain military crispness returns to his voice, "Tell you what, Mirage. You did pay in that 4kY. I'm gonna call around to see what I can come up with, but you will definitely be gettin' that much back, especially since you didn't belly up on us to the 'Star. I make no guarantees about anything beyond that, but then again, I wouldn't have gone solo without keeping my squad posted. Not only does it endanger you, but also the mission, and therefore any of our chances of scoring cred, not to mention our collective hoop."

Junkyard lets the weight of what he said hang for a moment before continuing, "I'll also clue the rest of the team in about your fate; most of them will be glad to hear you beat the 'Star and lived to tell about it. Everyone but Ichiro, that is. The way I see it, whatever drek may or may not have gone down is between you and him. I'm not going to hazard a guess as to what really went down, but I'll bet that the scuttlebutt around Moon's will tell me soon enough. The streets have a way of paying you back for what you've done, good or bad."

"So," Junkyard concludes, "I'll make some calls and meet you later today. How about 4 PM at Moon's Shine in Puyallup?"

Junkyard waits for Mirage's response, figuring Moon's is a good choice, since it's in his stomping grounds and old Moon doesn't tolerate much drek.

"Way I see it, I got busted trying to get more info for the team... which from what I hear didn't try very hard to back me up. Let's just say leaving me for dead, and cutting me out entirely of the cred, doesn't seem to me very... professional. In any case, I expect to be compensated for my time."

A slight pause.

"By the way, thanks, but your assurance isn't necessary: I consider my 4K mine any day of the week."

"I'll be there at Moon's, 4pm. Until then."

Junkyard Calls Ichiro

[This call comes to Ichiro at 0900 on Tuesday 17 July 2063]

"Ichiro-san, this is Junkyard. You've got a problem with 'mirages', chummer."

Ichiro's voice adopts a stiff formality, "I appreciate the call, perhaps you would be interested in talking the matter over? I think I could be by the place we first met tonight around 8pm."

Junkyard hums in thought for a few seconds and answers, "Ichiro-san, that may be too little too late. I've already agreed to meet our mutual acquaintance today at 4 PM at Moon's Shine. Perhaps I could meet with you in the place you've suggested, but around 11 AM instead?"

"I suspect the location will be closed, but be outside at 11am and we shall speak elsewhere."

Ichiro arrives at the small bar in his bluish-silver Eurocar Westwind sportscar a couple minutes after 11am. He spies Junkyard waiting quietly in a nearby alley and pulls up the entrance of the alley. The passenger door facing Junkyard pulls upwards and open.

"Get in and we will speak on the road," says Ichiro

Once inside the plush car, Ichiro pulls away. With his biotech training, Junkyard can tell that the samurai is still wounded. The luxury sportscars autopilot is fully engaged and appears to assist Ichiro's driving with little difficulty. The car sticks to city streets and does not seem to have a specific destination in mind.

Ichiro starts the conversation once the pair is away from the bar. "I know about our former associate, Mirage. He appears to have been lucky and extricated himself from his dilemma. Is there a problem I should know about?"

Junkyard replies, "As a matter of fact, there is. He called me at 6 AM, claiming we left him to rot or some drek. I reminded him that it was his brash actions that got him caught and endangered everything in the first place, but he'd hear none of it. Mirage had lots to say about us not being 'professional' and drek. He should be pointing that finger right back at himself. Claimed we owed him not just the 4 kY he fronted for the transceiver, but also 'his time'. The way I see it, we let Blaze slide on coughing up the extra 4kY from his cut, since it had been covered by 'dead man's money'. Now, the dead man isn't so dead, and he wants it back."

Junkyard shrugs a little before continuing, "I can see you might be a little worse off than I am, but I'm in no condition to go lean on Blaze and make him cough up that 4 kY. As for compensating this slot Mirage for his 'time', it's not my fault he went off on his own without informing the team and got his dumb ass caught. All we had to go on was the information from your source, which told us he had been killed. The way I see it, he ought to be happy he didn't end up geeked. I understand him wanting back the money he fronted, but extra compensation, that's too much."

"I told him I'd see what I could do, but only guaranteed getting him back the 4 kY he fronted. He doesn't deserve that much, really, but word on the street travels fast. That brings me to my other point. I could have just told him to frag off and alerted the 'Star to his whereabouts, but that's not my style."

Junkyard pauses briefly before continuing, knowing the samurai won't like the last part, "One more thing, Ichiro-san. Mirage had more than a few choice words to say regarding your report of his demise. Needless to say, you're not on his list of favorite people right now. I'm not about to guess what really went down; I just want to wash my hands of the whole thing. I decided to let you in because whatever comes out of this is likely to be on your head as well as mine. Your expertise is probably better suited to handling this situation than mine, so I'm content to leave much of this in your hands. All I can be sure of is that Mirage and I won't be working a run together again. Too much of a bellyaching loose cannon if you ask me."

Ichiro keys in a location in northern Seattle into the autopilot and lets the car access the gridlink so he only has to provide peripheral controls on the car. He pauses a second taking in Junkyard's words before answering.

"The man should be lucky he is alive. A true professional would understand his duty and act accordingly during a run, Mirage went against our plan of passive surveillance and then couldn't even overcome some mere security guards. I'm only glad he didn't compromise the entire run. He should have his priorities in place and also be thinking of the mission."

"As for his money, the man endangered the mission and as far as I'm concerned the money can be written off as restitution for his mistake. He wants to be rewarded for wasting our time? That's only a further sign of his amateur barbarian ways. You are welcome to recover the money from Blaze, but I suspect he will not enjoy paying after receiving the item. An arrangement was made with him separately."

"Finally, I don't fear this amateur and don't plan on working with him again. I will do whatever is necessary to protect a mission. That is our duty."

"So, in the end I don't want to dirty my hands with this fool. I am not in a condition to support you at the meeting, otherwise I would offer my protection. I recommend you meet in a neutral location, perhaps with some back-up. I would appreciate you inform me how this goes. You have my number."

Junkyard finds them back in the area they started in. The car slows to a stop a block from the bar and Ichiro looks to Junkyard for any final words.

"Thanks for the ride and the offer to help if you could. I guess I'll just have to clean this drek up myself," says Junkyard as he ducks out of the car. As the Westwind pulls away, the young man ambles down the sidewalk towards the nearest tube access, whistling quietly as he starts formulating a plan.

To The Moon!

Mirage walks into Moon's Shine. The bartender immediately spots him and calls him over. It's Moon himself. He's a large Troll, his eyes are solid black and his irises are misshapen and crescent-shaped. Word is, they are natural, some sort of strange mutation.

"Hey, you're Mirage right?"

Mirage nods quietly while casually scanning for Junkyard, but the scruffy technician is nowhere to be found.

"If you're looking for that tech guy, he ain't here. He left this data chip for you...uh, but it looks like you don't have the gear for that."

He pulls a beat up terminal from behind the bar, sets it down, and jacks it into power. "Here ya go. You can use this to look at the chip...and this to write drek down." He pulls down a flyer from a nearby bulletin board advertising yet another neo-death metal band, flips it over to its blank side, and hands Mirage a marker.

"He looked pretty shook up. You hassling him? It's not cool to pick on little guys ya scan? Anyway, for now it's not my business, so get your data and get on your way."

He takes a step back and crosses his arms, his eerie crescent-shaped irises watching Mirage's moves closely, although the display screen is not visible to him.

An LTG# scrolls up across the screen, accompanied by the name "Blaze"

The only other content is a text file that reads:

"This guy has your 4kY, talk to him if you want it. If you've got a beef, take it up with Ichiro. Now, kindly get the frag off my back."

A chuckle is heard from behind Mirage, but he can't place where. It does occur to him that a nosy person with vision mag could have probably read the message.

Mirage scans the room for the source of the laughter before returning the terminal to Moon. He manages a polite smile.

"Thanks. Just a little problem with some poor sports."

Mirage leaves Moon's and collects his 4 k¥ from a slightly reluctant Blaze.

GM Note: And scene. Whew! Who knew it would be this much work keeping a character alive? Lesson learned. :)

[And as we end this episode of As The Shadow Turns, Zira and Jax find the following message on their voice mail.]

"Hi, this is Mirage. Contrary to what some might claim, I am not dead. Scan this..."

"After our meeting with Ms. Johnson, everyone seemed to be splitting up to do a little private recon, so I decided to check out the building security myself. It was much heavier than I had imagined; there were cameras covering every exit. I was spotted by one, and the next time I know I was hitting the ground. Seems like some guards jumped me with a shotgun gel-round in my back."

"I remember being kicked around some by the sec chums, but they were amateurs, and I didn't let anything slip."

"When I finally woke up without being beaten again into oblivion, I found myself in a hospital. The security was pretty light; it seems like they didn't think I was all that dangerous. It was a simple matter to break out of my restraints, knock out a guard, and get out of dodge."

"I called up Junkyard, and I learned that Ichiro said I had a fatal accident. That sounded fishy. What's the scan on that?"

"Anyways, I guess I blew up at Junkyard. I mean, I'll admit that I slipped up, but I was risking my hoop for the team, and in turn I got cut out at the first sign of trouble."

A sigh.

"Junky promised me my money back, which was *awfully* nice of him, and told me to meet him at the Moon's. That slippery slot never showed, just handed me a dat-chip that told me to get my money back myself. What's up with that?"

"In the end, I guess all's well that ends well. I'm glad to hear the job was successful. If you need to reach me, call the number I gave you. Until we meet again."

Jax sits quietly on his couch and finishes listening to the message on his cellphone and then deletes it. He turns off the phone and walks calmly into the kitchen and places it in the microwave oven. He keys in 5 minutes onto the control pad and walks back to the living area. While watching the trid monitor he hears the quiet sparks and zaps as the microwave slowly cooks the phone and destroys it.

Later that day Jax heads out to buy a new phone. He looks down at his new cellphone and punches in the numbers for his contacts. The first call he makes is to his fixer, Maxsim. Jax leaves a message on Maxsim's phone, knowing the savy elf won't answer the unknown number,

"Maxsim, its Jax. I got a new cell, the other one was getting a little too much air time. By the way, from now on only you should contact me directly through the cell number. Please only give out my pager number to customers, I'll call back if I'm interested. Out." Jax speaks calmly and deliberately into the phone.

With that little business taken care of Jax heads to a little dive bar in Puyallup where some of the old war vets drink.

Jax sits alone at the bar watching the trid as it gleams with an urban brawl game, lifting a soy-beer to his mouth Jax pauses and speaks softly; "Let it lie Mirage, let it lie." and as he takes a hearty swig he puts the experience of the last run behind him.