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SRM01-03: Harvest Time
The members of an urban tribe are brutally murdered and left for dead. Who could do such a thing? Vampires, ghouls, gangs, or just some crazed lunatic? Nope, a greedy corporation that needs fresh organs! Help recover the evidence before it is destroyed and stop them!

Part One: Harvest Time [188KB]
Part Two: Player Handouts [340KB]
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SRM01-03: Harvest Time
Introductory fiction by Eric Boivin and Rich Osterhout

Darkness had long since crept across the sprawl - soon, the light of a new day would break from the east, but for now, only the darkness existed, and Jimbo. After years of living in the Redmond Barrens, Jimbo still has difficulty falling asleep. Protective instincts, some might say, since Jimbo is the leader of a small "urban tribe" known as the Raikun. Day to day they live by scavenging what they find and selling it to the highest bidder. Life is hard in the Sprawl, but their wits allow them to remain active.

Interrupting his thoughts, Kip, the tribe shaman entered Jimbo's shack. Kip informed him that Rat, the tribe's totem, had sent him a message, one of dire portent. Jimbo knows that their tribe's totem isn't a chatty one, so when they receive messages, he pays attention. Waking his family first, he moved on to Ron, the father of the other family sharing their ramshackle shanty. Not waiting for everyone to awaken, Jimbo instructed Ron to take everyone to hide deeper in the rubble. Then he moved off into the night to awaken the rest of the tribe...

Taggert could not believe his eyes . The recon of the warehouse was supposed to be simple, just a little cruise with a rotordrone through the early morning hours of the Barrens. The rest of his team would be waiting for the "GO" signal so that they could hit the warehouse. Even his team would have it easy-they just needed to get into the warehouse and take some pictures of the chemicals being stored there, and grab a few samples. Nothing, of course, is ever 'simple' in the shadows.

As the rotordrone approached slowly in whisper mode, Taggert began to focus the starlight lens of the main camera upon the hilltop. The warehouse was clearly visible, as was a small collection of ramshackle buildings along the base of the hillside-squatterville central. Taggert paused the drone in a hover as something strange caught his attention. Four dark forms were moving into the hovels below the warehouse. What he saw next almost made him wretch on the van's floor.

It was too late for the Raikun-the danger was already there. Four armed forms skulk up to the edge of their encampment, each one entering into a different shack. While the others attempted to reach the safety of the hidden underground shelter, Jimbo ran towards the closest shanty to rescue its inhabitants. All he could hear was a slight coughing sound coming from inside. As he stepped into the doorway, he was greeted by a horrific sight - a woman and two children lay dead on the ground, a shadowy figure crouched above them. Jimbo's only action was to scream in disbelief at the carnage before him. The figure spun about and in one swift motion, brought his weapon level with Jimbo's chest. The suppressed sound of two submachine gun rounds barely registered in Jimbo's brain as they passed through his chest. Jimbo fell to the ground, unable to move a muscle. But he wasn't dead yet, unfortunately for him. His last sight before losing consciousness was a scalpel digging into his face to extract his right eye. For some unknown reason, his left was spared...

A few moments later, the few survivors of the Raikun find Jimbo near death. With the help of Kip's magic, he regains consciousness only to witness the horrible: the attackers had killed nearly all the Raikun, and in an incredibly brutal way. Every corpse had been gutted like a fish, the body parts grossly extracted. The tribe's only surviving members consists of the two families of his shack, and Kip. Everyone else was butchered in the attack. Some of the encampment's neighbors offered themselves to help clean the place and to burn the corpses, as there was just nowhere to bury them in the hard ground and cement, and to keep the devil rats, ghouls, and other scavengers from claiming the bodies. During this time, Kip performed the ceremonial rituals- the other survivors moved about the other shelters, trying to recover anything still of value. Jimbo, during this time, contemplated the shattered world around him with his remaining eye.

Once the pyre had burned low, the remnants of the Raikun gathered for a meeting. It was decided that they could no longer stay here. Rat would lead their way to a new home, and vengeance. And Jimbo knew that he and the remaining twelve tribesmen and women would know no barriers to avenge the other three dozen of their brethren who had fallen to this brutal slaughter...

While the remains of the Raikun piled into a dilapidated VW Superkombi to take them to their new home, four men stood before Devon Tyler, known to them only as "Mr. Johnson." He examined the contents of the cooler that now sat before him on the ground, the freshly harvested organs a dull red inside their zipped plastic bags. They would soon be transferred to the temporary biomedical containment facility that had been set up in the Fort Lewis clinic. Tyler turned to the four men in front of them, their hard, steely expressions revealing nothing of their night's work.

"No survivors, I assume?" Devon inquired.

One of the runners answered "Well boss, there's this guy... We had to leave in a hurry and I only could get one of his eyes, but I'm pretty sure he's dead now."

"Imbeciles! Get yourselves back out there and clean up your mess. If this guy is still alive, he could talk- you'll have to get rid of him quick. Now leave!" Devon knew that if this kind of operation was brought to the public, DocWagon would lynch him or worse. Not just the local subsidiary, but the main branch as well. They could ill afford the press this would receive. It was a mistake that had to be corrected. It was also a great opportunity for their rivals, such as that upstart firm, Rose Croix, to grab a part of the competition...

Shelly Paterson's daily ritual always started with a decaf latte while sorting through her emails from the night before. Today was no different, except that she had a small package waiting for her on top of her workstation. She set it aside as she powered up the unit and logged into the system. Shelly kept glancing sideways at the small package as her email opened - her avatar immediately began gesturing frantically for her to open one of the emails . It was from Taggert, a friend of her roommate. Taggert was evidently responsible for the small box, and he said that if she liked what was inside, she (or her superiors) could transfer whatever amount of nuyen they felt was fair to the numbered account he'd sent in the email. Now she was intrigued. Opening the box, she found an optical chip. Slotting it into her workstation, it immediately came up on the vidscreen. The light green tinge told her she was probably looking at some footage from a lowlight camera of some sort. Even though the images were at first hard to make out, they quickly sharpened, as did her intake of breath. She popped the chip out of the socket and rushed down to the end of the hall - the office of Rose Croix's president and CEO, Walter Broward.

Broward looked across the desk at Vincent Capello. The man's pointed nose looked out of place on the rest of his face, but Broward knew he could trust the man to get the job done. He would have to. "Vinny, our efforts have paid off. DocWagon has made the next move as I knew they would have to - and luckily for us, we can take advantage of the situation earlier than I expected." He simply turned the screen so that Capello could see it, and played the video stream. The man sat emotionless while it played out, and remained quiet for a moment.

"What is it that you would like me to do?" he asked Broward.

Broward punched a few keys and brought up some datafiles. "First, I want you to commend Ms. Paterson on bringing this to my attention, and give her the rest of the day off. Then, I want you to contact this number - it's a Brit that goes by The Saint. Have him gather a team together, specifically these individuals, if he can get them; otherwise, let him choose. Set up a meeting by noon and take the video with you. This is your chance, Vinny - you wanted to be a Johnson and work the covert side...don't screw it up!"

"Of course, sir, I'll take care of it right away!"

"Good, by the close of business, I want to have that one-eyed man and whatever other information you can find - tomorrow, we take it public!"

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