CHAPTER 3 - A CRY FOR HELP
The PCs are "walking down the street", when they hear running footsteps from behind the corner ahead. Ready or not, a panicked young woman comes rushing at their laps from behind the corner, pleading them for help. "They`re going to kill me!! Please help!", she`s shouting, and maneuvers herself behind the PCs. At this point, the PCs notice that the woman has been wounded, and is bleeding heavily from her abdomen. Soon after, 3 Zetatech solos (use solo profiles from "The Trap") come running from behind the corner, slightly out of breath. "Hand the woman over, and walk away unhurt", they say. The woman is crying, clinging onto one of the PCs (play her so that even the most battle-hardened warmachine would feel pity, but if the combined humanity points of the group are less than 5, the female fluid-sack could also offer them money for saving her).
The PCs waist the Zetatech solos.
They don`t get involved? Okay, no problemo. Here`s what to do.
The next day, wendy`s brother Rick Carlson (a small-time corp, owns a computer retail firm) will approach the PCs, asking them to investigate her death. Can`t pay them much (15,000eb), but will assist them in every way possible.
The group still refuses to take the bait? Three hours later a rain of micro-meteors strikes the characters, resulting in a new, more co-operative group... ;^)
The woman`s name is Wendy Carlson, a media who has found out about the true state of Zetatech through one of her netrunner contacts. The netrunner (named Eric Smith, if you must know), somehow managed to hack into a remote Zetatech datafortress which contained some the AIs thought patterns converted to datafiles. The files contained infofragments about human experiments with project Unlife, a creature uncovered in northern Russia. 6 minutes later the netrunner was dead, but not befre he called Wendy and told her what he knows.
Wendy is mortally wounded and
will die at PCs hands. But with her dying breath she`ll ask the PCs for
"You must tell everyone... they... it.. must be punished! I hid the info good, they`ll never find it. It`s up to you to tell, the people(coughs blood)..., people have a right to know... truth. Listen! Metal n` lace, please... It`s...(her grip on the PC is loosened as she dies) Where to next?
Metal n`lace is a large store chain selling womens clothes, owned by Ralph Edinborough, a british bigshot. Even if the PCs would go through every store (4 in Night City), no-one would know Wendy or anything about the case. The REAL place to go is indeed one of the stores, but it`s one that has been closed as a cut in budget. Nowadays the building is empty. ( Or so it would appear... )
Ransacked and torn inside-out, a notice 18+ will result in a receit with a phone number. The phone number used to go to a metal n`lace shop that`s gone belly up at the corner of 7th and 18th. Oddly enough, the number is still in use but there is no answer...
METAL N` LACE at the corner
of 7th and 18th:
The store itself is closed, windows and doors boarded shut. Breaking the boards and entering reveals an abandoned store, but a quick search (notice 15+) will reveal a poorly hidden basement access. In the basement lives a hermit who doesn`t want attention. When the PCs enter the basement, they`ll hear a pre-recorded warning:"This is private property. Leave immediately or deadly force will be used against you." If they don`t leave, nothing happens. When they proceed inwards through the old storage corridors of the store now filled with junk, they will be confronted by a rugged man pointing a Stermeyer stakeout-shotgun ( -2 | 4d6 | 10 | 2 ) He thinks the players are thieves trying to rip him off and kill him. If the characters can convince him (persuasion 20+ or roleplay it) that the`re not here to rob him, or that they`re friends of Wendy, he`ll lower his weapon. If they kill him, well... If the PCs can actually manage to convince him that the`re on Wendy`s business, he`ll open a box of shotgun shell, screw open one shell and hand over a small datachip. He hasn`t looked what it contains, but he says people are willing to kill for it. Locating the chip without being shown is a notice of 40+ (there`s something funny about this shell... f**k Sherlock!), or notice 20+ if the PCs have a reason to inspect the shells more closely. The shell is 5th in the pack, if the PCs dont find it but decide to use the ammo in a gun. More on the chip in the next chapter...
Unless the PCs get there before 12.00 AM the next day, all her stuff will be give to her brother, Rick Carlson. Her stuff will include her little black book o` addresses with Eric`s(the netrunner) phone number and address. And an assortment of other sources. (If the PCs have enough brains they can try to make use of the book, giving a hefty +2 to streetwise rolls when looking for info on the street). Naturally, the PCs will have to come up with a way to get their hands on this stuff first...
ERIC SMITH`S HOME:
Ransacked and demolished, there`s nothing of any value here. However, a notice of 23+ will provide the PCs with a clue: a minidisc has been hidden under the tapestry. The disc contains security camera footage of 2 large men in metalgear and FN-RALs escorting a man in a hospital robe along a facility corridor. Not much now, but later on it`ll make sense.