Monday, 1 June 2009

Corporation: The Skin Trade Affair

Half-term, so another session of Corporation at Halesowen Boardgamers.

Following the conclusion of the DHC Affair, Division 90 reassembled at Moscow Spire. Present were Ben C, Daniel, Matthew, Richard and James. An urgent summons came from Colonel Rader to report to their new briefing room, currently decorated with the manikin that James brought back from Miller-Urey in the Skin Affair (GM: This got missed off the Mission Report).

A priority message had been received from Operative 9809/42 Susan Barker in Irkutsk. Agent SB21 has failed to report to either the primary or the secondary rendezvous, with the SKIN sample. His body was found in an alley at the back of the Maglev station and the sample was missing. The police are treating it as ‘unknown assault’. Operative Barker has requested backup as she has no local Agents. Use of the Expense Account was granted but use of heavy or support weapons was not authorised. Grudgingly, Daniel left the Beast behind and Ben C left a selection of his grenades. They were to meet Operative Barker by the fountain in the main Maglev station concourse at 06:00 hrs, making contact via smeaker recognition code sub-channel 24.2.

As time was pressing they flew into Irkutsk by sub-orbital shuttle, arriving just before 06:00. They waited by the fountain but Barker didn’t show up. After an hour they did a cursory search outside but found nothing. A worker showed them where the body of SB21 was found, there were still fragments of Police incident tape at the scene. A careful search found a small sliver of broken needle, which Daniel bagged for further investigation. Returning inside, they went to the information desk and put out a call for Susan Barker to report to the information desk (GM: I wonder who heard that?). Still no-one showed up, so Daniel put a call through to Colonel Rader. He was given Barker’s address and phone number.

They took a taxi to Barker’s apartment, charging it to expenses. The apartment was on the 8th floor. Matthew successfully picked the lock and they gained entrance. A quick search found a half drunk bottle of synthicol, two glasses, a business card for Gemini Biotech and a naked woman in the bath, lying face-down in 6cm of clotted blood with her throat cut. An ID chip scan showed she was Susan Barker. Daniel reported this to Division Control; Rader ordered them to recover the SKIN sample at all costs. They determined her throat had been slit with a knife of some kind.
The phone rang, Daniel answered and a man asked who he was, asked to speak to Barker, then hung up. A last number redial gave the number 60-0-04592, it rang for a time then someone answered, screeched “ I’m waiting for a train!” then hung up. Matthew, Richard and James set off back to the Maglev station whilst Ben and Daniel searched the apartment. The business card had a printed number (64-9-9813) on the front and a scribbled number (60-0-04591) on the back. The printed number gave a message “ H-G Biotech – we are not open at present but if you’d like to leave a message, alternatively you can visit us at 157-52 Main”. The number on the back just rang out, despite three separate attempts.
Meanwhile on the way out , the others saw a cleaning lady with a trolley making her way along the corridor. They spoke to her; she was a somewhat simple-minded Russian who cleaned the apartments. She saw only the lady in Apartment 88-4366. It was obvious that she was thick as two short planks so they left the building; hailed a taxi (on expenses) and headed back to the Maglev station. Looking back they noticed a car leave and head off in the opposite direction; they ordered the taxi driver to follow it; he refused; they argued, offered money and finally pulled a Cougar on him; all to no avail as the car had long gone. The taxi threw them out at the station and burnt rubber out of there. They found nothing at the station.

Finally they all rendezvoused at the street stall (152-52 Main), all taking taxis to get there. The stall was a cybernetic implant centre, currently closed. A large plate glass window led on to an operating chair; further along past the door a series of trays held demonstration eyeballs, skin tones, morphic tattoos etc. A display of lock picking by Matthew got them inside. There was an office, a storeroom of cryogenically frozen stock and a room containing several small cages; the room had a pungent animal/chemical smell. Richard was in the office when a voice behind him spoke:-
“You are open please?”
The speaker was a smiling Japanese tourist, with a companion. Dressed in loose white hoodies and sneakers.
“Am looking for Hevlock. You are him perhaps?”
“No”, replied Richard.
“Really must talk with him. You perhaps know where he is?”
“Hevlock is at his apartment at 88-4366 (GM: Barker’s address)
“You lie. Have been there. Now you die”
With this, both Japanese pulled katanas and attacked Richard. A furious melee ensued; the Shi Yukiro had ion shields and masterwork katanas. Daniel attempted to disarm one but failed, Richard took a massive hit that would have killed a lesser man (GM: he was 1 point off having something severed), only his intravenous medpack saved him. The Shi Yukiro were a blur with their weapons; Richard withdrew from combat and ran outside. A flurry of shots from Ben using his dual combat mastered Cougars hurt one of the Shi Yukiro; he activated his medpack and they both retreated; only to run into a rocket attack from Richard. One Shi Yukiro was killed, the other wall-ran up to the rooftops and safety. Richard took the dead Agent’s katana as a trophy.
Inside, the phone was ringing. Daniel answered it, it was Hevlock. He didn’t notice the faint click as he answered.
“Just listen. I know what you’re here for. I have it, I just want out of here. Bring 50k slip to the airport uplink tower at 22:00hrs. Can’t talk further. Be there at 22:00”

They spent some time arranging to get the slip credit (they could have gone to a UIF branch but rightly surmised that the UIG might take an interest), they rested for a time and had something to eat (on expenses) Richards IV medpack was discharged and he had to buy some new clothes.

At 22:00 they took yet another taxi out to the uplink tower; right out on a lonely stretch of the airport perimeter, with the lights of Irkutsk far off in the distance. 22:00 hrs: Hevlock had not shown. Ben saw the lights of a car pull off in the distance, about 1.5 km away. Daniel and Matthew set off to walk to it; they found a car in the ditch; inside was Hevlock’s body. He had been garrotted. On the body they found a key marked [56-6215] and a heavy pistol, with one shot fired. They took the key and turned to walk back. At this point the car exploded in a massive ball of flame; catching both of them in the blast.

They took another taxi back to Irkutsk and checked into a hotel for the night. Going somewhat over the top, they booked the executive rooms (No: 514 to 518) plus the most expensive meals and drinks in the restaurant and charged it all to the expense account. Whilst they were dining the management arranged for the rooms to be specially cleaned and also offered room service.

So ended the first session. A bit of an eye-opener to the PC’s, for the first time they came up against trained Shi Yukiro Agents. Also, they still showed marked disregard for their colleagues safety (Rocket Pistol + Confined space = Not A Good Idea), (GM: However, perhaps I’m not the best person to talk about rocket pistols).

Part II scheduled for the summer holidays; a bit of a gap but it’s not possible to get all the kids together before that.

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