Grey Knight finally jacks out and starts rubbing his eyes. “Found him.” He says to no one as he finds himself alone inside SSR sedan. Looking out the window he finds himself in a parking deck. The garage is clean and well lighted reminding him of his own safe home, but it painted differently. His cybereyes report to him that it is 04:30. He isn’t sure if he needs food more or sleep more. All things considered his first order of business is going to how does he get out of this locked car. Grey Knight quickly hacks the cars matrix access and informs it that it is the cars mechanic and it needs to test the security system. As the system goes down he steps out and rearms the alarm and walks away. Finding the car deck with lots of security he calls out to SSR who tells him to get back into the car to join them.
SSR and Mona Lizza having checked out all that they could at Club Karma and acknowledging that even Shadowrunners have their limits meet up with Grey Knight and they all travel to his place in the CAS Sector. Easily passing through the border crossing they find out that Grey Knight is staying in a refurbished Fire station. As they all tour the fire station, Grey Knight reveals that his Matrix Search turned up a very low resolution picture of “The Dragon” and at some point his searches got crossed and he stumbled upon another low resolution image that shows SSR and several other people he didn’t recognize in a car driving down the road. SSR immediately asks him to go find these images and destroy them and any others he finds. Even going so far as to offer to pay him. He also asks him to find a better quality picture of the dragon. Grey Knight goes to work discovering that his home has an old fashion direct access to the Matrix. He climbs into a resting cocoon switches to Hot-Sim VR and off he goes into the Matrix.
Grey Knight jumps Mitsuhama Grids riding his trusty steed across a bridge made of digital stones of his own creation. He rides on knowing his destination by following the trail of the breadcrumbs he used to find the pictures. Arriving at the Federated Boeing Photos-R-Us Host. Pulling his cloak tightly around his armor he pulls a feathered plume from his helmet and using the tip lightly inscribes a small black shield onto the entrance door. It silently opens as it should for one of his stature. Leaving his trusty steed outside he slips inside. His senses immediately overwhelmed by the sheer collection of data around him. A large innumerable quantity of bookshelves all around a great library. The digital knight wraps a strap around his left arm. Leaving his right free to wield the sword at his side should it be necessary. He raises his left arm to the sky like a perch. A moment passes and a beautiful falcon flies down and lands on his arm. He shows the bird of prey the photo graph with SSR and the others. The bird cries out in a shriek and takes to the air. He follows it ever on into the deep recesses of the library. He avoids a librarian and a tourist who both appear to be traveling throughout the library. The library has a pad of paper in hand and is furiously making notes. The tourist moves about snapping pictures at everything he sees.
SSR and Mona Lizza make themselves at home. Invading the kitchen and making themselves and Grey some sandwiches. The kitchen is fully stocked and pretty high tech. What once would have probably been the community room for the fire department now has a nice wrap around “leather” couch and a very large trid screen against the wall. It turns out to be voice activated. While checking out the trid channel offerings they are intrupted by Kid Mercury whose matrix persona fills the screen for a few moments and then is replace by the living and breathing Kid Mercury still in his hospital bed. A rather attractive nurse is just barely in screen taking care of him. He checks in with the two to make sure Grey is helping them out and informs them that once he is out of the hospital he is going to take a bit of a break from the Shadows and go on tour with his band. He will be but a phone call away, but he hopes that Grey will be able to fill their needs until he returns. He also tells them that he will get them all back stage passes when the band tour makes its way back to Denver. Wishing them all well he vanishes with a pop as the trid goes back to showing its numerous news, weather, sitcom, and other feeds.
Grey Knight notices the bird circling above and finds his way to a single book case and quickly finds a leather bound scrapbook with the letters CW burned into the cover. The book is locked and the leather proves to thick for the knights sword to penetrate. Once more he elegantly uses the feather from his plume to lightly draw a shield crest upon the leather. About to draw his sword once more he has another thought and draws out a finally crafted skeleton key from around his neck. It takes a little playing but the key finally pops the lock and the bound scrap opens revealing pictures the last few entries showing man armed people and eventually he once again finds the image he had stumbled across before. Without a second thought and finding many of the pages in the scrapbook blank he searches it for other signs of those passing. He finds the mark of a single claw and a compass facing west. The knight pulls a burning torch out of bag at his side and lights the scrapbook on fire. He burns it to ash. Calls down his falcon and it begins anew to help him find the other picture he desires. It takes longer, but eventually he does find another scrapbook. He uses his feather and skeleton key once more this time he summons a monk. An archway of pure white light appears and out walks a brown robed monk. The monk begins feverishly copying from the scrapbook making a copy of the photo. He hands the copy to Grey Knight with a bow and then walks back off into archway of light. Having completed all that he was asked he once more pulls his cloak tightly around himself and walks back out of the host. He leaps back onto his trusty steed and rides off back home. A flicker later he finds himself staring back at real space with a AR window of the matrix before him. Feeling even more tired. Grey Knight goes about looking for his associates to inform them of his discovers and finds Mona Lizza asleep on his couch and SSR having found a guest room asleep as well. He enables security and goes off to dreamland himself.
Perhaps it was the way the light came in through an opening in the shades, but Mona is the first to awaken in the afternoon. Followed by Grey Knight who seems well rested even though he had the least amount of sleep of anyone the previous morning. SSR would probably have kept on sleeping but received a call from Slider. They take a few minutes to bring each other up to speed. Slider having received a call only moments ago from someone claiming to be Lin Yao’s secretary. Something about hearing his message and her boyfriend having his business card. She considered the odd occurrence important enough to call him back. That crack being all the opening he needed to convince her that him not seeing Lin Yao would end up in her loosing her job and Lin possibly being in great danger, not to mention missing out on his business proposal. The meet was set for just before Klub Karma opened. The group agreed to meet at the club.
Before entering Grey Knight shared the high resolution image of what the Dragon looked like. The image was him with a silenced Predator pistol pointed directly at the camera just slightly off from center. The image was taken from a elevation and Kazuya Hotomi was standing outside of a car with the door open. SSR as a skilled marksman himself pointed out that roughly guessing the distance it would have been a hard shot with a silenced pistol, but Kazuya didn’t looked at all concerned that he might miss.
Arriving at Klub Karma, pulsing drum-and-bass threatens to rupture your eardrums even as you make your way through the parking lot to the entrance has already begun. Standing tall in front of you is a large warehouse, completely brick, with absolutely no windows. Outside stand two well-built Asian men in suits and a long line of club- goers wrapped around the side of the building and waiting to get in. Off to the side is the same three bouncers you had seen the previous night. They ignore you completely once the two Asian in suits acknowledge you. The two men search you all for weapons and since you left them in the car they find nothing and lead you inside.
Inside Klub Karma it is a strange atmosphere since no customers have entered. The staff goes about quickly doing last minute preparations. Stage hands are preparing for a band. A fresh plastic tarp is being laid out for what could be assumed is a mosh pit area. The main bar has two bartenders taking care of things. A smaller bar on the other side of the club has a single bartender doing much of the same. They pass rooms that are labeled for storage as the enter. They cross the floor and find themselves moving towards a elevator which is on the right side of the stage. To the left is a archway with the universal signs for restrooms glowing above it. It appears the elevator is the only way to the upper floor of the club. In front of the elevator are even now two bouncers. They move out of the way at the sight of your two Asian guides.
Up on the second floor you make your way down a long hallway and around several corners and turns until you find yourself before a set of double doors. Your escort pushes them open, ushering you into a large office and closing them behind you. A woman sits behind a desk near the back wall, two bodyguards at parade rest just behind her—to her left and her right. As you approach, you can make out her appearance in greater detail. Her hair is long and fine. Silver wire-framed glasses rest on her nose. She sports a stylish woman’s business suit, white in color, and a simple silver chain around her neck that matches the glasses like a dream. She honestly doesn’t appear all that threatening, but you of all people know looks can be deceiving in the shadows.
A couple sofas occupy the space in front of her desk, and she motions to them as you enter. “Greetings,” she says, with a slight Cantonese accent. “I am Lin Yao. It is my understanding you have some business to discuss that involves my current arrangement with The Dragon. You have five minutes. What can I do for you?”
Slider leans forward on the sofa and explains his case with SSR chiming in about children killers from time to time. Showing the news report on electric paper and spinning a great tale in the hopes of convincing Lin to give Kazuya up. All throughout the discussion Lin face is unemotional. Slider gets the feeling she would probably be very good at poker. When Slider and SSR are done she leans back in her chair a moment collecting her thoughts.
She acknowledges that she finds Kazuya’s actions deplorable, and she’s only working with him for the profit. Fortunately for the runners like yourselves I can profit from partnership with you as well. As neutral parties, I believe you can assist me with another matter. “It is a simple matter…” she begins. On a flat panel wall screen, she pulls up a feed from one of the club security cameras. It has been zoomed in on a booth in the club proper, where a well-dressed Troll is sitting alone. A single horn juts from the right side of his head, glistening from a recent waxing. Lin Yao explains that this is An Peng, a member of the Golden Triangle Triad. "I would very much like you to beat him to an inch of his life. Just to be clear, under no circumstances is he to be kill, nor should you allow him the slightest inclination that you are working for me or that the White Lotus are involved in the assault. When you are done An Peng should be in bad enough shape that he leaves the club and doesn’t come back for the rest of the night. If you succeed, l will give you access to The Dragon and no one will intervene with his apprehension.
The group quickly puts together a plan to get An Peng out of the club and puts their plan into motion. SSR and Grey head outside and get their weapons while Slider and Mona remain inside. Slider orders a drink and sips on it for a few minutes while waiting for SSR to give him the go ahead. Meanwhile Mona finds herself the attention of a Klub Karma patron who has bought her a drink and believes it should entitle him to small talk.
On cue Slider pours the remained of his drink on his suit and comments over the comm that he is glad SSR’s cleaning service will be fixing this for him after the run. He then in his best drunk impression goes over to An Peng and challenges his manhood, his magic mojo, and his personal taste in clothes. Slider comically slaps the troll across the face with a glove and challenges him to a wizards duel. The completely sober troll seems to be about to ignore the fellow when the person at the booth next to him laughingly says are you going to take that. The duel is agreed upon and Slider, still acting drunk, makes his way outside followed by An Peng and to the annoyance of the bar patron Mona Lizza who at this point had basically been ignoring him anyway.
Slider leads An Peng around to the side of the building making a few more challenging remarks and makes the two men count to ten walking away from each other in old duel fashion. Peng doesn’t even argue almost dumbfounded by Slider’s fast talking and instructions. As the two march not looking at one another Slider quickly casts invisibility on himself as soon as he thinks he is out of earshot. SSR and Grey are off just outside of the alley guns at hand and aimed at the troll. SSR is ready to let Slider try to duel him until he sees the troll casting a spell of his own. Sensing it might interfere with his bullets he decides to open fire instead of waiting to see what happens. He nails An Peng in the center of the trolls back with stick’n’shock ammo. The ammo definitely sticks, but doesn’t seem to be doing a very effective shock. The troll doesn’t even seem to notice and completes his spell. A glowing nearly transparent yellow wall surrounds him. Slider hidden away in his invisibility spell takes his time casting an influence spell deep into An Peng’s mind that he is very tired and needs to go home. Mona Lizza runs to An Peng almost like she is charging him but at the last second begins doing a very elaborate gymnastics move that ends with a kick aimed at the trolls head. The tip of her foot glows faintly as it strikes the glowing transparent wall instead of making contact with the troll. The wall scatters instantly as she finishes off the kick and lands on her feet in front of the large troll. SSR and Grey open fire on the troll again. They continue to hit, but as with most trolls he seems to shrug off much of the damage, but he is slowly getting hurt.
An Peng attempts to cast a spell reaching out his hands to each point of the compass. For a split second he vanishes from everyones sight and tries to move away. SSR keen eyes see right through the magic of his invisibility spell and fires at him once more. The spell flickers for a second and fades away as a very tired looking An Peng slumps down to the ground into a rather large heap. Mona drags him with a bit of strain further into the alley. SSR and Mona stage the troll as if he got drunk and passed out. Grey wanting to know what is on the trolls commlink drops down next to him and leaning back against the wall switches to full VR and goes to work hacking into the commlink. The commlink proves pretty resilient and all he can get from it is a anonymous message: “Lin Yao is holding Kazuya “The Dragon” Hotomi in protective custody. she must be doing it for profitable reasons. Learn more.” The only other information in the commlink is the title, “Dragon Stone????”
Meanwhile in the meat world SSR and Mona give each other a smirk and reposition Grey so he is nearly kissing the big troll. Slider drops his invisibility and takes a few pictures of the two love birds just as Grey pops back into AR and feels his whole body slow down. He staggers back away from the trolls lips and complains about just how bad his new associates are. The four of them brush themselves off and make their way back into the Klub this time fully armed, but everyone is stuck listening (well except Grey, who can turn his ears off) to Slider grumble about how much his suit smells and SSR or Grey will have to play the drunk patsy next time.
The team heads back inside. Lin’s bodyguards take them back up toe see her. This time they are allowed to keep their weapons. She is satisfied with their method and work completed. He gives them directions to the Dragon’s room on the second floor. She also instructs all her people to stand down and not interfere as agreed.
A brief gunfight ensues between the Dragon and the team, but in the end a bit of stick’n’shock™ and a fire elemental is enough to take down the assassin known as the Dragon. It doesn’t hurt that he wasn’t prepared and didn’t have his trusty sniper rifle with him. The team escorts Kazuya out of Klub Karma under the guise of him being completely unconscious from drinking and drive off to deliver their prize.
You make your way into the Aurora Warrens, a dilapidated and forgotten neighborhood of the UCAS sector you’ve visited at least one time before. In fact, each road you drive along and every corner you take as you follow Lady Jade’s directions is eerily more and more familiar than the first. Stainless Steel Rat’s heart rate quickens as he realize where, exactly, you’re going.
With one final turn, your headlights bring the destination into view: a run down flophouse; an exterior he will never forget. This is the same place Catherine Westmore was dropped off last time you worked for the Lady. This is the place where she died. A quick glance at your commlink tells you there’s a clear wireless signal here. It’s barely holding on at one bar, but you shouldn’t have any trouble contacting your employer. The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can get the hell out of here—and hopefully never come back, ever again.
Mona slips into the shadows outside while Grey works his digital magic to scan the area for trouble. Slider and SSR make their way inside. SSR carrying the still unconscious Kazuya up some steps and into the building.
Lady Jade is waiting inside the flophouse—along with a chair, and table on which are laid out pliers, scissors, scalpels, a hammer, nails, and a power drill. A baseball bat also leans against the side of the table. Lady Jade stands near the table sizing up her instruments. She motions to the chair and asks them to tie their captive up. Once this is done, she thumbs the trackball on her commlink and the shadow runner’s bank account are fattened up by the amount agreed upon in their initial meeting. She then hefts the power drill, pulls the trigger a couple times while eyeing Kazuya tied up. “Pity he is unconscious and I have to wait.” she says while asking you to leave. A very twisted smile dancing across her face as she goes back to studying her unconscious victim.
Slider remains motionless watching Lady Jade while Stainless Steel Rat pleads with her about the difference between justice and torture. In a way it is hard to tell if she is trying to convince SSR or herself but she lists many reasons why what she is doing is right and just. The two go back and forth for several heated minutes. In the end SSR is successful. Lady Jade comes to realize that torturing Kazuya would make her just as much a monster as him. Flustered and breaking, she drops the power drill, pulls out an Ares Predator, and shoots him in the head. The deed is done. She thanks them again and tells them she will be in touch if and when she needs their services once again. She then turns and moves off deeper into the flophouse. Business is indeed concluded. The runners return to their homes. One of them with a little lighter load on their soul.