Brick, waiting outside Sen Lo’s apartment, noticed a man across the street watching it. He notified the runners via their tactical communicators. Wildfire and Smokey cast Invisibility spells on themselves and made their way to the building’s side door. They entered an alley and proceeded to the front corner of the building, to see the watcher. They had trouble keeping sight of the watcher due to the crowds congesting both sidewalks. Smokey dropped his invisibility and summoned a city spirit to conceal him. Wildfire walked up the street away from the watcher and ducked into an entrance to drop his invisibility. He and Smokey crossed the street at the same time. Smokey found a good vantage point to view the watcher and cast a Mind Probe spell on him. Wildfire walked back down the street and took up a position between Smokey and the crowds of people walking up the street.
Smokey read that the watcher’s name was Han, and he was indeed watching the building for Sen Lo. Han worked for the Red Dragon Triad and Sen Lo owes them a lot of money. Smokey tried to probe deeper to get more details, but suddenly the watcher’s head burst into flames. He screamed and ran around for a few seconds before keeling over dead. A few of the people who saw Han die turned and looked at Smokey, probably connecting his spellcasting just moments before with the dead man in the street. Smokey and Wildfire checked the astral but didn’t see any spirits or mages that could have caused the watcher’s death.
Smokey dropped the now defunct Mind Probe spell and cast an Invisibility spell on himself. He made his way carefully back to the runner’s van through the crowds, making sure not to bump anyone. Wildfire gawked at the body for a while with the other spectators and then casually walked back to the van to meet the rest of the runners.
The runners looked at Smokey in a new light. Brick said that he didn’t know Smokey could do that and Tool said he didn’t think Smokey had it in him to burn a guy’s head off like that. Smokey insisted that he didn’t do it, that there must have been some kind of spell or magical effect on the guy that caused it. The runners’ attitude was whatever, just don’t cast that Mind Probe spell on any of us.
The runners decided to split up into two teams to run down the leads that they found in Sen Lo’s files. Tool, Whip and Wildfire took half the leads and Brick and Smokey took the other half (Kus’s IBS was flaring up again so he headed back to the hotel to go a few rounds with his good friend john).
It took the runners about eight hours to run down enough of the leads (aka made enough successful street etiquette checks) to find out that Sen Lo was hiding out on a houseboat in the harbor.
The runners arrived at the harbor and singled out the specific houseboat from all of the other houseboats and junks. They did physical and astral recon and found no one watching the houseboat and nothing suspicious. They decided that Tool and Wildfire should approach Sen Lo because they were dwarves and the Triads were not known for embracing metahumans. Smokey summoned a spirit of man, just in case.
Tool and Wildfire approached the houseboat and knocked politely, so as not to spook Sen Lo. They convinced Sen Lo that they were not here to hurt him and in fact wanted to offer him a job. He invited them inside to talk. He served them tea while they explained that Buttercup wanted to hire him for a job in Vladivostok. The runners told him that they knew that the Red Dragon Triads were closing in on him for the money that he owed them and getting out of Hong Kong for a while might just be good for his health. Sen Lo agreed with them just as they got a call from Whip. She had been watching the area and noticed that all of the people in the surrounding boats were leaving, which was probably a very bad sign.
Sen Lo grabbed a few things and the runners escorted him off of the houseboat. Wildfire asked Smokey to turn Sen Lo invisible, which he did. As the runners and Sen Lo were heading back to their van, they noticed a dozen toughs heading in from the parking lot. Wildfire astrally scanned them and determined that two of them were magically active and some others had cyberware. They appeared to be looking for someone, but they passed the runners without a word. The runners packed Sen Lo into the van and left without any trouble. They found a hotel with good security in an area not frequented by the Red Dragon Triads (per Sen Lo). They rented a couple of rooms for the boys and Whip got her own room. She treated herself with room service and spa treatments while the boys mostly hung out in one of the rooms because Kus’s room was almost uninhabitable.
The next day the runners and Sen Lo boarded the plane for an uneventful flight to Vladivostok. Tool contacted Buttercup and set up a meet for later that day. They rented a van and drove around, taking in the fabulous Vladivostok sights, until Brick noticed a nice looking dark sedan following them. He did some fancy driving and lost them. Wildfire then cast a Vehicle Mask spell on the van to make it harder to spot and follow.
With the runner’s suspicions aroused, they kept a vigilant watch and noticed some very familiar helicopters flying around the city, apparently searching for something or someone. They resembled the helicopter that had rudely interrupted their dinner at XTC. The runners decided to keep moving until the meet because a moving target is harder to find and hit. The runners arrived at the meet in the “Hospitality House” which was just a euphemism for whore house. The runners and Sen Lo met Buttercup in the reception area. Sen Lo gave a deep bow to Buttercup when she greeted him. She asked him to stay there while she took the runners into a separate room to conduct business. She gave the runners the rest of their 30K nuyen payment each for the first part of the job. She explained that the second part of the job, which payed 120K nuyen each, was to break into the penthouse of Wuxing Tower and rearrange the furniture in a very specific manner. The furniture must be in the new configuration at midnight six days hence. The runners agreed to the proposal and she gave them a dossier with detailed plans and security details for Wuxing Tower.
Tool called Radeck the fixer to set up a return flight to Hong Kong as soon as possible. He booked a return flight on the same plane that took them to Vladivostok. The runners discussed the job on the flight back. They decided that since the changes had to be in effect at midnight in six days, then they would have to break in and make the changes the same evening. If they made the changes even one day before then there was a very real possibility that the changes would be noticed and corrected before the deadline. Tool studied the changes and determined that they would take the runners approximately three hours to implement, give or take.
They determined from the plans that the Wuxing building was high security, with very limited access to the penthouse. There was only three viable access points; one executive elevator that required a key and code to access; one set of alarmed emergency stairs; and the roof which had a helipad, maglocks, 2 guards and three roaming air elementals. The also noted that the entire penthouse was encased in a force eight ward that would present some challenges to the magically active runners in the group. And of course, there were cameras everywhere. The runners arrived safely in Hong Kong and rented a van. They drove to the Wuxing Tower to view the exterior.
Karma: 1 (for the previous write up). Dave will give us the rest when we finish the job.
Official Kill/Knock Out Stats:
Smokey .5 (He might not have been the direct cause, but that dude is dead because of him)
Brick, Whip, Kus, Tool, Wildfire 0