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Prequel to Icarus Protocol and Mostly Flesh and Steel.

With some extra time and inspiration, I decided to run an extra game of Shadowrun due to having some players missing due to mother’s day and some other issues. With another group of players, two of whom had little experience with Shadowrun, I wanted to do something a bit different and interesting – so I experimented with vehicle rules for this run. Additionally, I wanted to show events that led up to the bombing and viral terrorist attacks upon Shanghai from Mostly Flesh and Steel. Most notably, where the virus came from and who potentially sold it to the madman Wu Shen in the first place.

Naturally it would be a group of runners in the end responsible for the entire mess: Why wouldn’t it be?

In this particular run, I had three of the players bring their own characters and used a modified version of Anodyne from Icarus Protocol as a pregen character (as I had messed up and forgot to bring my actual pregens). I had Skippy the technomancer, James the Mage, Found the Adept and Gravy the Street Samurai for this mission. Here the initial meeting was set up to be extremely easy: The runners were to retrieve the case, a 2′ by 3′ metallic reinforced locked box with special magical fortification, then take it by boat to a waiting Chinese supertanker waiting in intercorporate waters outside of Seattle. Simple job and they would be paid extremely well.

Naturally it had to go wrong, with just as soon as the Mr. Johnson (the huge troll) gave over the case and went to leave his car – with his associates – exploded dramatically. Someone was attacking and it looked like the local Lone Star securities! They weren’t messing around or stopping to read rights or ask questions at that. Under fire immediately, the party began to withdraw towards the docks, with Skippy the technomancer wisely deciding to hack into the trolls commlink. This was because the Mr. Johnson hadn’t got around to telling them where the boat they were trying to actually get to was in the first place. Thankfully the boats name was the “Sea Ghost” and the successful hack also revealed it was on Dock 2 – preventing an extended (and potentially deadly) firefight.

Here each round multiple Lonestar officers began to arrive and even with the majority of the party invisible other than Street Sam Gravy, the volume of fire was becoming overwhelming. Protip: If you want to worry invisible characters start laying on the suppressive fire with enemies carrying assault rifles or machine guns – it gets peoples attention! Gravy performed very well in this combat, taking out numerous Lonestar Officers, but was getting hammered in return and almost went down twice! James thankfully managed to waste a lot of enemies turns using mob rule, which generally saw the officers spending their turns to resist the effect instead of anything practically useful.

The frantic battle to get on the boat was exciting enough, but the real meat of this Run was actually what happens once they get onto it: The boat chase. So far in Shadowrun I haven’t had a good opportunity to really see how vehicle chases and rules worked. Here I decided that a good open sea chase from a couple of police in speed boats would be a more than interesting encounter. Especially if one of them had a rocket launcher with smart linked missiles! This I figured would be a good chance for a decker/technomancer to shine, hacking rockets to prevent them from hitting the boat and so on.

Of course I got a bit ahead of myself and decided to go to a ramming maneuver at a high speed a bit *too* early on in the piece. While this was exciting, it turns out that ramming at high speeds does some *amazing* damage. Not just to the vehicle you ram but the entire crew of said vehicle as well! Despite the speedboats being lighter and not as well armored, I really wrecked the main boat the Runners had to the point where it began to sink! This then created a mad scramble to get from one boat to the other, while still hacking/using lightning ball to disable the incoming missiles from the other boat.

Things looked up for the runners when Skippy bricked the other boats riggers RCC and prevented them from controlling it any further (as well as the dump shock killing the damaged rigger outright). Unfortunately one of the remaining missiles struck home, penetrating their speed boat and sending it to the bottom, which could have been a disaster except for a quick levitate from Found. With everyone (box of stuff to deliver as well) safely hovering above the water, it was thankfully a simple task to finish off the remaining enemies and then steal their boat.

After a few hours of travel, they safely got to the Chinese tanker and were able to hand over their package, with a Mr. Shen deciding to check inside, lifting out strange vials of black liquid. According to the strange man, this would be the beginning of the revolution and that the mysterious “Icarus” deserved the payment he had promised in exchange for the vials….