MMFEC goes to the mall to discover Cromwell’s whereabouts, and finds themselves winging a high-speed train heist with no time for planning and life-or-death stakes.
Watch all episodes of “Shadowrun: Corporate SINs” on our YouTube playlist; Ep 24 is embedded at the end of this post.
We rejoin MMFE(C) on the deck of the Empress at sea, as the group attempts to process the fact that Mordecai just removed a Yakuza’s finger to make a statement to no one in particular.
Ma1nfram3 slips some contact information to Captain Moore, and arranges for the team to take a on of the Empress’s lifeboats back to shore. At the docks, they drop off the dinghy and discuss their next move while being ushered off of Wuxing property by the dockworkers.
Elsie reveals to the team that she is actually Chelsea Whitetree, the eldest daughter and heir to the Whitetree mafia family empire. She believes strongly that the family wants her back and will kill Cromwell if forced to, but that she would be “safe” if she turned herself in. The team doesn’t necessarily condone this action, but they DO manage to deduce that their best connection to Cromwell is Lei Song, -who is probably monitoring the Cromwell situation. The team knows she’s been booted from Wuxing, so Ma1nfram3 reaches out to her fixer in search of a teenaged SINless girl looking for a fake SIN.
While waiting for Ma1n’s contact to call, Elsie gets a ping from Lei herself. Elsie baits Lei along while Ma1n works on tracing the conversation, and finally manages to track the source of the conversation to a Pomegranate tech store in the Northgate Mall.
A few minutes later, MMFEC finds themselves en route to the 24-hour mall in the northern reaches of Seattle. Mordecai sends Sharky to find Lei using a photo Ma1nfram3 had saved from the school infiltration. During the wait for information, Ma1n stops for some fro-soy out of frustration with Mordecai’s recent behavior. Sharky returns to report that a girl resembling Lei is in an arcade deep in the mall. Elsie, Fang and Ma1n head to the arcade while Mordecai splits off… to do some shopping?
Up in the arcade, Elsie approaches some former classmates and they don’t know Lei’s exact whereabouts, but they suspect Yuki may be in the “VIP” room. A little Matrix reconnaissance reveals a hotspot of activity on the second floor of the arcade. Ma1n attempts to infiltrate digitally. Elsie heads into the belly of the beast, informing the teenage “bouncer” at the door that Chelsea Whitetree has arrived. She’s let in. Meanwhile, Fang attempts to follow stealthily but instead loudly crabwalks upstairs and is turned away at the door.
Ma1n attempts to break into Lei’s commlink but it is heavily protected and she doesn’t quite manage to get any incriminating files off of it; and cannot find any trace of discussion re: Cromwell. Elsie is left to extract that information as a favor from Lei, in a dangerous truce between this new Yakuza adoptee and Chelsea the daughter of a crime syndicate. Lei reveals that Cromwell is on a slow-moving freight train that just left South Seattle on a route across the Nowhere to a rendezvous point in the middle of the country where the Whitetree representatives will be waiting.
Once that information has been acquired, the team collects Mordecai from his shopping and heads out urgently. (Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, Mordecai sends Sharky on a destructive rampage through a NEONet store in the mall.) After a brief discussion, the team splits – Mordecai travels with Sharky, Elsie takes her Harley, and Fang and Ma1n ride together in Dinah. Ma1n asks Fang to drive while she plots a rendezvous plan, but Fang ends up stalling the van and costs them several precious minutes.
Despite this, Ma1nfram3 takes the information about the train and plots a rendezvous point with a long stretch of highway parallel to the train tracks, distributing it to the team digitally (which also leads to a delay for Mordecai thanks to his gremlins.)
Due to the delays, Elsie is the first one to catch up with the train. She puts her Harley on autopilot and summons all her strength and training to leap across the railroad fence to land atop the moving train. She slowly military-crawls along towards the front of the train.
When Mordecai arrives, he astrally perceives a magical barrier at the end of the train and the team directs their attention towards that car, assuming it to be Cromwell’s location. Ma1n and Fang arrive and Ma1n asks Fang’s help driving so she can attempt to take digital control of the train, but Fang insists on jumping into the fray instead. Knowing the specs of her van and the train, Ma1n warns Mordecai that she’ll need magical help to keep up if the train speeds – but he declines to help when she asks.
That jump Fang makes is successful but noisy – drawing the attention of several spirits and minions on the train. At the noise, the train begins to speed beyond Ma1n’s van’s capability. Ma1n asks Mordecai for help AGAIN and again he seems to ignore her requests, sputtering something about “danger”.
Ma1n is now incensed, and begins blasting “You Give Love A Bad Name” on her commlink. Her attention is mostly consumed by driving, but in the few free seconds she gets she attempts to mark the train’s private network. Those attempts are met with a surprising amount of resistance: she’s probably up against another decker and won’t stand much of a chance with her attention divided by the driving.
Meanwhile, Mordecai has sprinted ahead of the train and levitated himself on top of it. Elsie used her plasma cutter to puncture the ceiling of one of the cars allowing herself and Fang to drop through, while Mordecai engages in combat on top of the train.
It’s a high speed troll heist with a lot of risk involved – will any of them come out alive?