A tale of caution

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« on: <07-26-16/1755:12> »
Have a seat, I'm going to tell you a story.
Disclaimer for Lone Star, Knight-Errant, etc. etc.... this is a work of fiction.  Any similarity to real characters and events is purely coincidental.

To you shadowrunners out there... yes, this actually happened.  (OOC: contains major spoilers for CMP2016-08; don't read further if this is a problem.)

I was on a job in Singapore a few weeks back.  It was a 7-person team; some of us had worked together before, but there were a few that we didn't know.  As is often the case, our team was assembled by a middleman Johnson.

I had a bad feeling about this job from moment one.  Our Johnson wouldn't give us any details, instead referring us to the client directly.  Even our client was vague about the details, offering us what seemed like far too much money just to move some cargo from point A to point B.  When we asked details about the cargo, he was extremely evasive.  I wanted details because there are a select few lines I am unwilling to cross, but we simply could not get answers out of him.  Most of the team wanted to take the job anyways, so we did.

When we received the cargo, we did some probing and quickly discovered what it was.  Mostly it was drugs... mostly.  Our worst fears were assuaged (it wasn't a nuclear or biological weapon.)  But the rest of the cargo... lets just say 'human trafficking' and leave it at that.  Myself and three of my teammates were not interested in continuing.  We were ready to free the slaves and deal with the consequences (either fleeing the country or attempting to get the Johnson arrested for his part in this.)  However, our remaining three teammates wanted to complete the job, citing two reasons:
1. They were more concerned with their rep than with the predicament of the slaves, and
2. They were concerned with their safety assuming they decided to cross our client.

The second reason is, IMHO, complete nonsense.  Anyone who is overly afraid of angering moderately wealthy and powerful individuals should not be in our line of work.  It WILL happen, it is unavoidable.  When you go on a run, chances are good that the power behind your opposition is at least somewhat wealthy and powerful.  Yet somehow, we manage.

As to the first reason... while I agree that a shadowrunner's reputation is vitally important, 'reputation' covers more than just 'here's a runner that gets the job done'.  You can also gain a reputation for being a cold-blooded killer, a maniac, a compassionate individual, dependable, unreliable, etc. etc.  These all factor into whether Mr. Johnson picks you for his next job, or passes you over in favor of someone else.  More importantly, your reputation has a habit of circulating among your fellow runners... and I care a hell of a lot more about what *they* think of me, because at the end of the day it is they (not Mr. Johnson) that have my back when the going gets tough.

Anyways, we spent the next hour or two arguing about what to do.  Our offer to Thorn and the others that wanted to continue: they could still deliver the bulk of the cargo, the drugs.  The rest of us would free the slaves and try to get them out of the country.  Even this wasn't good enough.  We did not manage to find a solution that would satisfy everyone.  Seeing the writing on the wall, I officially quit the Run, but remained on comms in case anyone needed anything of me.

Shortly thereafter, Thorn decided to attack her fellow runners (or more accurately, have her 7 bound spirits attack them).  I won't go into the details of the ensuing fight... I don't believe anyone was killed but I hear that some folks nearly drowned.

Attacking your own team is, in my opinion, inexcusable.  You talk about reputation?  Well, if I found out that a runner is willing to harm the rest of the team for the sake of his or her reputation with current and future employers, there's no way I would choose to do a mission with that runner.  My belief is that my first obligation is to my fellow runners.  I need to be able to trust them, and vice versa.  Professionalism, doing the job as contracted, keeping my word to my Johnson... these are all close seconds.  But the team comes first.

As I said, that's just my opinion.  You are all of course free to make your own judgement.
« Last Edit: <07-27-16/2213:20> by sinthalix »