Caught Short (run)
|Date: 13 May 2019|
Mr. Johnson wants a chip from a startup company. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that, right?
"Tiger" Johnson, fresh from his mauling by a cybernetic tiger on tiger kamikaze, is back on the prowl for a team to steal a chip from the unfortunates at Porcupine Red, a little Matrix startup in Redmond.
They do it by walking in the front door, laughing at the taser darts, bullying the spider into giving them what they want and walking out. The police arrive twenty minutes later, shrug their shoulders and go about their business.
Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson tries to pay the team. And he can't, for some reason - his certified sticks are coming up red, he doesn't have access to his operational account, and nobody's answering his calls...
This provokes a little bit of consternation on the parts of both the team and the J. He tries to palm them off with a tip-off on a valuable cargo that he knows is being delivered - the team don't buy this and are quite happy to investigate very thoroughly to find out who is trying to make Mr. Johnson's life so very hard and so very short. Worried that he's packing a cortex bomb, the team knock him out and drag his unconscious body to Puyallup, where Umbra is quite happy to perform brain surgery on him. He determines that the mass near the Johnson's brain stem is leftover from a previously-installed control rig and is not going to blow up any time soon.
The team winkle out the name of the Johnson's company — Interior Style and Design Inc., which superficially appears to manufacture and sell lamps and soft furnishings, and his direct boss, Katja Westermann. After a bit of probing, with a searching spirit encountering stiff resistance, they try to hack her link and encounter equally stiff Matrix opposition. They decide to call, and after a little more data duelling negotiate with Ms. Westermann for the return of her field agent in exchange for slightly more than what they were supposed to be paid in the first place. They send Mr. Johnson home with nothing more than a rapidly-healing hole in his skull.
Caught Short (run)