Brain Dead is the first episode of Shadowrun S2, taking place two years after season one. Runners in London are contacted by their fixer, Zod, to try and infiltrate London Memorial Hospital and inject Peter Blake, a braindead Aztechnology employee which is artificially maintained alive for unknown purposes, with the contents of an unknown syringe and kidnap him. The syringe's location is in a private apartment in Lambeth, a gang-held district in London.
The Meet Edit
The crew log into the matrix and go to the meeting with their long time fixer ally Zod. The meeting room is basic and Zod the Troll appears in front of them in knightly plate mail armor and greets them. After a bit of bantering they get to the point of the conversation. He notes Sudo has had trouble getting back into the country and lectures them about joining the matrix permanently. Zod gets to the job at hand involving Aztechnology. The mission is to take a syringe and stab an Aztech UK manager with it and leave. Peter Blake is a braindead associate of Aztech and he mentions that there is no possible loss for doing it. Gato is questioning it worth and Zod offers 2k Nuyen per head for the mission. Tag wants in but Deadbolt and Gato want more information. Zod gives the group information on the run telling them Blake’s location and the drop point of the syringe in the kitchen. When they get the syringe they inject his comatose body with it and exfiltrate from the area. The group seem dubious about what is in the syringe and Tag tries to barter him up on the price without success. They need to go to the Lambeth Containment Zone hospital kitchen to retrieve the syringe and afterwards go to apartment block 3116 for exfil. Gato asks who put the syringe at the drop and he seems dubious about revealing the employer and the effects or he truly doesn't know. To encourage them along Zod offers half payment up front and gives them all 1000 nuyen. Gato asks Zod to hit up his commlink and leaves. The others log out after him.
Gato reappears in his room and searches the matrix for any crime stats in the area of the operation. Tag goes into his quiet little abbey and astrally projects himself to try and scout around the area. Deadbolt hits up the net and searches for more information on Peter Blake. The Matrix turns up basic information about Blake and his activities. Deadbolt finds crime stats, the wolverines group controlling the area, and a local drug dealer known as “Bob”. Tag astrally projects and looks around the blocks finding the apartment with basic mana barriers, seeing a technomancer, and a person doing a shell game. He goes to the empty building following a mage after a magical flash and seeing an exchange. He watches as the person plays the shell game and flashes the spell again suspecting him of hustling. He moves on and tries to find the syringe but quickly decides against it. Tag decides that the area is relatively calm and goes to the hospital.
Gato looks up the floor plans and the previous renters or owners of the apartment. Deadbolt tries to figure out anything he can about the hospital that Blake is currently staying in. Gato finds some old general blueprints on public records but not a lot of detailed information about the area while Deadbolt finds the page of the London Memorial Hospital and doesn’t find much useful information. Looking up the owners Gato could only find the name of Oscar Juarez as the owner and the name “Joeseph” as the current leaser. He sends the information off to the others.
Tag goes to the hospital for recon and sees mana barriers over the top of the area, patrolling watcher spirits and a spirit of water on the top of the tower, and mages in the general area at ground level. It’s difficult to try and determine the route of the spirits and decides to not risk any more trying to pass mana barriers or spirits and returns to his body. Looking to his commlink he checks his messages and finds the information from Deadbolt and spammed messages (from Gato). Gato then looks up information on the exfil point and Tag informs Gato and Deadbolt on a possible in and that he scouted the areas. Tag informs them that the pickup is fine but the hospital is a harder target and may have to be infiltrated physically. They will have to do some legwork to find out more about their in. Gato finds more information on their exfil site and finds it is rented by a person in Berlin over wire payments. He later finds the hospital is guarded by Lone Star and they consider their options. They decide to give up the search for now.
Tag sends a message to Gato and Deadbolt where to meet for the run and Gato immediately suggests Deadbolt’s house. Tag changes clothes and puts on his new SIN and Gato takes his motorcycle to the place. Gato pings for access to his network and Deadbolt refuses. He then lets Tag in and the group get to business. The group is concerned about the hospital and Tag goes over the magical spirits and the problem they solve. Gato says that he shouldn’t need to use magic if they sneak him in as a priest. They need a time where the room is empty either through normal guard rotation or causing a distraction. Gato seems distracted by his Jazz addicition and asks for coffee. They discuss how to approach this and Tag worries about finding out what is in the syringe. The spectrogram might cost too much but they decide to try and catch some of the syringe content before administering it. They decide to try and go and figure out more and Tag tries to sell the others on minor illusions that might help out their cause. They kit out to go on the run and go into the area. As they get off the bus they see the apartment block looming overhead…
The Pickup Edit
Tag steps off the bus and tries to sense if the mage is still here and can’t find a lock on his awakened senses. Gato looks around the crowded streets to look for drug dealers and sees someone who might be a dealer but he isn’t certain. Deadbolt looks around the area to the front of the pickup and sizes up the people around. There is a troll with a sawed-off shotgun not so subtly packed away and he seems like a gang member. They agree to stay in contact over the comms. Gato tries to buy a hit of Jazz off a possible dealer but fails to score having KO the Orc MMA fighter push him away. They talk briefly about KO and Gato goes to find another dealer. Deadbolt tries to get to into the apartment and get blocked by an orc who asks for a “tax” of 20 Nuyen. Deadbolt tries to convince them he’s not a human and makes things worse by mentioning he’s an elf. The group raise his toll to 40 Nuyen and Deadbolt, annoyed, pays him. In passing one orc says to the other to tail him to get more out of him. The area is filled with the usual slummy sounds and sights and Deadbolt goes up to the second floor and the orc tries to keep pace with him. Deadbolt tries to make tracks between him and the orc and manages to get a lot of distance and ditch his pursuer. He tries to follow the orc quietly and determines hes gone for good. He finds 112 and tries to enter. There are people in the room and he tries to lie that he’s there to check the plumbing on behalf of the city. The new tenant demands papers and he leaves to allow Tag to try and forge work orders. They decide to instead try and use Tag to act as his supervisor and he casts an Enhance Charisma on himself with 5 reagents to try and help him along.
Tag tries to con his way past the men at the door with the plumber angle and succeeds to con them for passage. They go to the apartment and Tag once again works his way with the con after the tenant demands a work order. He works his con and gains entry. Tag tries to keep the tenant occupied and casts an influence to speak with him while Deadbolt goes to the kitchen to retrieve the vial. He looks around the pots and pans and removes panels to try and find it. Tag tries to speak to him, spilling something on the floor and annoying the tenant some. He finds a metal container and tries to stealthily take it and finds the opportunity. The two make their exit as he slips the syringe into his sleeve.
Going outside they meet the tenant’s neighbor who converses with them a short while and they leave the area. Gato once again looks for a dealer on the bus and finds a young dwarf that he hassles for a hit of Jazz. He doesn’t get very far and they regroup. Tag wants to look at the syringe soon and the group go back to Deadbolt’s place.
The group go back to the house and look around at the syringe. The contents don’t appear to be magical but otherwise they can’t tell much about what might be or what it might have come from. They determine it might be blood or something similar but otherwise can’t tell. They then decide to go in stealth and possibly have Tag pretend to be a doctor. He calls up Madame Zlata his contact and asks about her service to the London Memorial and asks her to have a girl swipe an ID badge. She agrees to it and the two hang up. They decide to have Deadbolt impersonate a doctor with the stolen badge and Tag suggests blackmailing the doctor to keep him quiet. With that Deadbolt and Tag go hunting for a disguise as Gato goes for a dip in the jacuzzi to calm his nerves from the addiction. Deadbolt calls Zod and, after some insults, he agrees to get something for a price. Tag adds that Zod should increase the pay or make it free. He agrees to buy a kit plus 20% for a rush delivery. A bit more banter later and they complete the call.
Gato, in the jacuzzi, looks up information for KO and Tag teaches Deadbolt a lesson in double digging Johnsons and Deadbolt replies he’s going to ask more for the run because of something messing up. They decide to go into the kitchen and discuss the approach. Gato finds out about KO’s fall from grace and ended up in Lambeth after the fight ended so badly for her. She’s done some odd jobs in the preceding years. In the hours they rest Deadbolt’s doorbell rings playing the 1812 overture and a drone drops a package off. Opening the package he finds the disguise kit with prosthetics and such. Tag then gets a call from Zlata who informs him that she got the commlink off of a Doctor Kirk and a badge. Deadbolt tries to dress himself up as Kirk while Tag tries to read up on medical lingo to make his disguise work. Gato calms down and rejoins the others from the bath. They discuss the plan and look up the hospital and determine the approximate location of Blake in the 3rd floor medical bed ward. They try to bring up some videos of him and try to copy his mannerisms and make annotations on the map for their exfil and infil points and routes to take to search for Blake. Tag offers to levitate Deadbolt and Blake out and he offers to climb out himself. They then kit out for the run.
They take a van to the hospital and look around at the Lone Star Security and Tag reminds the guys about the spirit security around the place. Gato parks their van in the car park and allows Deadbolt to slip into the side door at the elderly ward and tries to slip to the stairs. As he opens the door he runs into an associate and she starts to ask questions and put him on edge. Tag coaches him into saying he has a very influential client to attend to. She tries to check the job roster and Deadbolt tries to get distance between them. He starts bolting over and Gato tries to intervene and pretend to be the client. Lone Star tries to stop him from to talk to him. He successfully cons Lone Star and makes them go away and Tag continues on from the main desk to the off of Doctor Kirk. Gato drives the van around close to delivery to allow for a better exfil point. Tag “loses himself” in Ward 4 and Deadbolt gets to on-call to grab some scrubs. He dodges more doctors and goes to collect Tag from the ward. They meet up and try to con their way past the guards and let them into the room but the guards refuse. Tag tries to hurry along and shepherds Deadbolt into ward 4. He casts invisibility on Deadbolt and he sneaks past the guards while Tag casts a distraction of a Lone Star officer who claims there is a gunman and peels the guards off the door. Deadbolt opens the door and jumps through and striking a mana barrier...