|SRM01-01: Double Cross|
Mr. Johnson has some serious personal problems with a certain corporate executive. He would like for
you to help in reducing these problems - permanently...
Part One: Double Cross [188KB]
Part Two: Player Handouts [340KB]
SRM01-01: Double Cross - "A Falling Star"
Introductory fiction by Rich Osterhout
The numbers were excellent, the risk was small. As Chief Operations Officer for DocWagon Seattle, those were the two main variables that concerned Michael Davenport. He had been working on the proposal now for two weeks, and now he had finished the report. It was just too good to pass up - the UCAS military had decided that it needed to develop new technologies to help combat the new enemies of the sixth world, new weapons that the average rifleman could use in the field without the need for a trained magician. One of the areas that showed promise was the pharmaceuticals arena, where drugs could be used by combat troops to enhance their own abilities, as well as drugs or chemical compounds that could be used against paranormals, such as the revolutionary gamma-scopolamine. What was even more exciting is that Fort Lewis, right here in the Seattle metroplex, had been chosen as the testbed and control center for any corporations that won the contract. Furthermore, since DocWagon was made up of individual franchises, it allowed DocWagon Seattle to bid on the contract themselves without having to deal with a home office. If Davenport could bring in this contract, it would mean millions of nuyen over the next four years.
Now all he had to do was get it past Garrett. Garrett Walsh was the Chief Executive Officer and Michael's boss. They had been friends early on, but over the years, their relationship had strained. Michael was ever looking forward, looking for new markets and new ways to increase profits, and as such, make himself a very rich man. Garrett, on the other hand, seemed to be too conservative. He just wouldn't take any risks, and was happy following the standard franchise services of providing emergency medical care, private clinics, and tissue replacement services for DocWagon contract holders. Davenport couldn't figure out why Walsh wouldn't even branch out into ventures that made sense for the company, such as drug manufacturing, bioware development, and other technologies derived from the various products and spin-offs that they already produced. But for some reason, Walsh had shot down just about every proposal that Davenport had brought to him in the past two years. But this time, this time it will be different - the profit potential and visibility of the contract was just too much to ignore. Walsh would have to back Michael on this on.
All of this went through Michael's head as he walked down the hall to Walsh's office, his datapad tucked securely under his arm. He greeted Yolanda, Garrett's executive assistant, as he reached the office door. She greeted him with a beaming smile and sparkling violet eyes as she waved him into the inner office. Michael saluted her with a wave of the hand and passed through into Walsh's main office. Garrett was seated behind his desk, going over the quarterly spreadsheet projections as they hovered in front of him, suspended in the xenon mist that emanated from the holo projectors on either side of the virtual screen. He shut off the screen and came around to greet Michael, indicating that Davenport should take one of the large synthleather chairs in front of the executive desk. Walsh broke the ice first, "OK, Michael, what do you have for me today?"
"Well, I think that I can safely say that this time, Garrett, I have developed the means for us to be able to retire a few years earlier." Davenport opened his datapad and initiated the handshaking protocols between it and Garrett's desk. Within moments, the holo screen had reanimated, showing the numerous graphs and spreadsheets contained within the proposal. "I think you can see that the potential for profit, from this contract and spin-off sales into the private sector, will serve to almost triple our current yearly earnings within the first two years alone. We cannot afford to pass this opportunity up - in fact, I've already put together the red team for finalizing the effort based on the RFP we received from the government. All we need is your final go-ahead, and we can have the document ready for your signature by the end of the week..." Davenport let the sentence hang, waiting for Walsh's response.
"Interesting, very interesting. Well, Michael, you've certainly done your homework...But..."
Michael Davenport couldn't believe it - the pause was unmistakable, Walsh was going to shoot down another proposal! "No, Garrett, don't do this - you've shot down every proposal I've brought to you. Why won't you take a chance?? This is a major opportunity here, and it will strengthen our company and make the shareholders happy at the same time!"
Garrett sighed, "Now, Michael, you know that's not true. I approved your proposal just last month about launching a production facility in Snohomish, and the construction of that is almost finished - and we have already signed contracts with Seattle General Hospital and the university clinic to supply them with the pharmaceuticals we produce in overage. Finance figures we'll have paid off the facility within the first year and a Shadowrun Missions Double Cross 4 half, and the profits alone from not having to purchase our medkits and tranq patches from outside vendors will save us almost a half million nuyen a year. And this other proposal that you sent me, concerning Griffin Biotechnology, well, that is looking promising as well..."
"...And yet you haven't approved it yet either!" Michael exclaimed. "You know what your problem is, Garrett? You're afraid - afraid of what the public and the shareholders will think if you take the slightest risk. The Snohomish facility is just a natural augmentation of our services, and one that some of the other franchises have already proven - you're just copying them. Any time I bring you an opportunity to truly diversify, you shoot it down. Just because this proposal is for a defense contract does not mean that we're warmongers, or that we'll be perceived as such by the public. C'mon Garrett, take a chance - this is worth millions for god's sake!"
"Michael, you know my position on defense contracts as it is...and we do have a public image to uphold, whether you agree with it or not. The people expect us to provide quality medical care - and that's what we do. Hell, Michael, we have a virtual monopoly on health care here in the metroplex as it is! With the way things have been going since the Redmond crash in '59, our shares have steadily increased. Slowly, yes, but the shareholders have been ecstatic enough. I'm afraid my answer will have to be 'no'..."
It was at that moment that Michael felt his world fall out from beneath him. It was clear to him that he would never be able to excel here at DocWagon - not with Walsh at the head of the table. If he wanted to make his multi-million nuyen retirement a reality, he would have to either get rid of Walsh or move to another company. He sighed as he disconnected the virtual connection between his datapad and the desk and stood up to leave. Without a word, Garrett let him go back to his office. Once inside, he flung the datapad against the far wall, smashing it into a hundred pieces. And then it hit him, the one thing that Garrett Walsh had said that had caught his attention: "we have a virtual monopoly on health care here in the metroplex." Well, maybe that was the problem! DocWagon didn't have to take chances, didn't have to take risks - they were the 'big boys' on the block, and no one seemed to want to challenge them. Not even the big multinationals and megacorps dipped into the business seriously - they all knew that DocWagon had a tight grip on the market share, and could offer their services at a much cheaper cost based on their volume of business and lack of overhead that the larger companies had. Smaller companies faired no better, as they couldn't fathom the resources needed to compete against the medical provider, and couldn't seem to sway the big dollar clients away from their dependable service. But this meant opportunity for Davenport!
It had taken a few months to lay the groundwork, but already the events of the past few weeks seemed to be playing into his hands. Just a few short weeks ago, someone had destroyed the Snohomish facility, setting DocWagon back six months in lost profits and production levels. They now had to pay higher prices from outside vendors that sensed that their usefulness had been diminished by this latest venture of DocWagon Seattle. Yamatetsu, in cooperation with AG Chemie of Europe and Paladin Medical Technologies, a leader in biotechnology products here in Seattle, had won the big defense contract that Davenport had been working on. They were now making money hand over fist, and the word from Davenport's sources said that this contract was the only thing keeping Paladin afloat. And just the other day, his sources informed him that someone had been poking around the new Griffin facility up in Everett. Since the facility had not yet opened, and Knight Errant was working security, it was no surprise that the infiltrators, whoever they were, learned very little about the research being conducted on DocWagon's behalf. It was a miracle that Walsh had signed off on that proposal, after so heavy-handedly dismissing Davenport on the defense contract. Soon, Griffin and their lead researcher, Dr. Chandra Dasari, would be ready to begin human trials on her revolutionary neurology research. He was supposed to announce Dr. Dasari and her program at the upcoming shareholders' meeting.
The meeting would also serve as his ticket out. He had already laid the groundwork for his "retirement" from DocWagon. Throughout the company, he had hidden various files containing customer lists, security codes, and other data he would need to compete against his current benefactor. One of the files had even been in the Snohomish facility, earmarked as an innocuous file named simply "H." His decker assured him that it was hidden within the system were a standard inspection would not find it, and even so, was encrypted so heavily that it would take years to break the code. Only his own biometric data and a secret passcode would allow the file to be decrypted safely. Last week, he had made sure that his medical data had been replaced with that of Earl Peabody, the owner for a very successful car dealership in Fort Lewis. Since Earl had the same physical build and general characteristics of Davenport, the COO even had Shadowrun Missions Double Cross 5 their clones retagged. A second clone of 'Peabody' was commissioned, under the pretenses that the customer wished a backup to be shipped to the east coast.
Davenport's position as COO often allowed him to work with the security director in accomplishing certain black operations, or 'shadowruns' against some of Seattle's corporations, usually to do datasteals in the hopes of manipulating new contract negotiations or in defense of DocWagon's facilities from rival incursions, as in the one that happened in Snohomish recently. Michael decided to use this same pool of talented 'deniable assets' to help reroute 'Peabody's' clone on its way out of DocWagon's Tacoma storage facility. Thus, everything was in place for the final act.
Davenport began to plan for the shareholders' meeting. He could not find any flaw in his plan - it was brilliant. He would hire two teams of shadowrunners. The first team would be the best money could buy - they would be outfitted with DocWagon uniforms and equipment as a High Threat Response team, perhaps even graduates of his Temporary Responder Program that he devised back in 2057 as a way to augment the undermanned HTR teams already in the field. They would take his second cloned body (the Peabody clone) and have it outfitted the same as he would be on the target day, and place it into a remote controlled ambulance. It was a pity that the team would have to neutralize a current HTR team in order to get the ambulance, but having their bodies inside would add to the authenticity of what he was about to accomplish. He just had to make sure that their own corporate bracelets would not register in the dispatch system until he desired it to be so.
The second team would be a group of relative unknowns, nowhere near as skilled as the first team. They would be hired to "assassinate" him. By having this team of shadowrunners report their plans to their "Johnson," (in other words, him!) he would be able to prepare any appropriate defenses and illusions to complete the illusion that they had succeeded in their attacks. At this point, the first team would come in to "rescue" him, taking him out of the shareholders' meeting and into the ambulance. They would, in fact, be concealing him and hastening his escape via other means while another illusion made it appear that his body would be taken into the ambulance. Once away from the hotel, the explosives could be triggered, destroying the van. Any examination of the contents would confirm that members of DocWagon's HRT team and Michael Davenport, COO, had been found as nothing but burned remains. The DNA results would match perfectly. This would allow Davenport to move on to remote parts to have some reconstructive surgery performed, as well as begin to retrieve his files while the security codes were still valid and DocWagon had not caught on.
He would then return under the identity his contacts had created for him - Walter Broward, with enough capital to start up Rose Croix, a new health care provider to compete against DocWagon in the Seattle Metroplex. It would then only take some careful planning and strategic strikes against his former employer to weaken their stranglehold on the sprawl, and allow his company to advance in size and power. He would take the risks that Walsh would not - he would make his millions, no matter what the cost. He cared nothing about public opinion as it concerned defense contracts, biotechnology, controversial genetic research, or other fields - if there was nuyen to be made, he and Rose Croix would take advantage of it.
All he needed to do now was to find his two shadowrunner teams for next week's big event. Funny, he never thought he would be planning his "funeral" so soon...