In the Shadow of the Stuffer Shack

GM: Job
Players: Simone, Zen, Job
Synopsis: Simone and Zen are sent on a shopping trip.
Date: Nov. 29, 2077

Simone enters from the entryway.

Job is grumbling near the entrance, having asked Simone to join him at the Fallen Angel after the plan of several nights past turned into a flop, but at least not a fiasco. "Look…" he tells the girl at the counter, "…the problem is I figured places like this were for the ladies to undress, not me." He divests himself of several clunky looking packs stored within the coverall he wears, then finally sheds the coverall itself leaving him in a simple but functional suit, the sort the Stuffer Shack might feature in their 'high fashion at low prices' section. "Sorry, sorry…" he offers to Simone.

The coat-check girl eyes Job's knit hat, and with a growl he removes it, exposing his adorably pointed ears. "Fine, fine, but if you want anything else I expect a tip."

Sim still wears the same parka as when they last met, with a comfy cardigan beneath, over her regular leggings and ankle boots. She isn't looking chic by any stretch, but could meet dress code for many of the places in the neighborhood. She folds her arms impatiently and shifts her hips to lean on one foot. "Could you be any slower..?" She mutters under her breath, turning away from the man to scan as much of the main bar as possible from the coat check.

Job snuffs, nostrils flaring beside his pert little nose, "I could, and I could even dance a bit, but like I said, then I'd want a tip." He points towards the booths, "Go grab us a booth if you're feeling impatient."

Zen enters from the entryway.

Sim, AKA Gretchen, huffs quietly and does just that, keeping her coat with her, but draping it over one arm as she frustration-clomps to a quiet corner. She unshoulders her messenger bag and slides into a booth seat with it, practically nesting across the full bench thanks to all of her stuff.
Job looks towards Gretchen, "Good, thanks. There should be someone else along in just a moment. Steven Segal ponytail looking kind of guy." He hovers by the entrance looking around until he sees Zen, "Oh, that must be him." He gives Zen 'the nod and head tilt'. Then points towards the booth where he goes to join Gretchen.

Mistaken Identity or Clever Fixer, who knows?

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Shadowscene Players (to Job) for "Zen trying to know who that is?":
1 1 1 2

Zen slips in dressed in his 'casual' outfit. Synth-leather jacket, shades, gloves, faded t-shirt and off-brand jeans. He'd pause, staring at Job for a long moment at that calling him out and beckoning to the booth. Odd. Very. Very. Odd. He didn't bother to take the shades off as he'd walk over. That ballcap on his head had a stylized A on it and the brim was tapped politely as he approached. "My apologies, Mister, but I think you may be mistaken." Looking over to Simone, he'd hesitate, studying her a second. "I.. believe you and I have met before. Although it was in a much more.. well.. about as equally dangerous location."

Job looks a bit like a freshly plucked moulted penguin, that his suit could be formal if it came in fully. Out of his normal coveralls he looks like a thin and elegant man wearing the clothes from his big brother's funeral. "What? Mistaken? Yeah, whatever works for your cover story, I don't care. Alright, look. So, the trouble is, I need a married couple to buy a few things for me at a Stuffer shack, and you two are the only ones that look the part. So, I got a shopping list, and a credstick, and it has an extra 2,000 nuyen on it for you to splurge for yourselves." He pulls a pair of mittens out of his pocket, unzips one of the mittens to show it has a pocket, and pulls a credstick from it. "No more dangerous than any other Stuffer Shack, I mean, don't eat anything without cooking it and you'll be fine."

Simone's eyes widen momentarily at the sight of Zen, but she doesn't act on it any further than to make an expression of surprise and recognition. Well, her hands do clasp together, nearly engulfed by the sleeves of her faded brown men's cardigan, a few sizes too large because comfort. But at the mention of assuming the role of happily married couple, all sense of comfort goes out the window. "Are you fucking kidding?" Without concentrating on her speech, her German accent grows a touch stronger than normal. Her head drops and tilts, and she stares incredulously at Job with all the disbelief she can muster.

Zen settles at the booth slowly, studying Job curiously now at the job offer. Glancing sidelong at Simone and her outburst, he'd look back to Job. "My pardon, Mister.. I do not necessarily believe that we would fit the part particularly well, as we are not necessarily married. What, exactly, requires a married couple to be able to purchase anyways?"

Job presses his long delicate fingers to his pale temples in a gesture of long suffering, "Look, it isn't a complicated list." He unfolds a little print out with short words and symbology for the literacy impaired. "You can even reference the list while you’re in the Shack, lots of people use lists. You just have to walk in together, pick up the stuff and whatever you want to spend your mad money on. Walk up to the counter together, pay, and leave. I'm not expecting you to consummate your union in aisle three."

The list is fairly simple but does contain a few items that might make a pre-teen blush such as contraceptives and a pregnancy test among other household goods.

Sim's face just goes completely blank, the corners of her mouth drop, and she blinks at the list. Nostrils flare slightly as she takes a deep breath and slides the list to Zen.

«Auto-Judge[]» Simone (#7451) rolls Chemistry for "What do I read between the lines in this shopping list?":

Like most lists of household goods you could make a bomb, maybe… you can make bombs with soda, right?

Zen looks over the list a moment, thoughtfully, before finally nodding slightly. "Very well. I believe that she can probably suffer standing in general proximity of me while we purchase the items on this list. However, Mister, I would like to know what the catch is. This seems too simple." Zen looks from the list to Job, raising a brow over those shades.

With a deep-in-thought glance at Zen, Simone begins to rummage through her bag, pulling forth a black, crocheted, beret-style hat and a pair of driving gloves. The gloves are laid before her on the table, then she begins to tuck all of her candy apple red hair up under the hat to conceal her most easily identifiable feature. This preparation seems to indicate implicit agreement, but she remains indignant. Nuyen is nuyen though, can't argue with that.

Job rolls his gorgeous eyes round their almond-shaped enclosures until they reach their zenith and look upon Zen. "Chummer, the problem is if you poke your fingers in the Shadows the rats are gonna bite you. Just do the shopping, enjoy your found money, and move along." He offers the credstick up in the air, "The most complicated thing you need to worry about is your PIN number for this stick. Ready? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. In that order."

"Gretchen" sighs once more, now resigned to the task at hand, then slips her tattooed hands into the gloves laid before her. The right-hand palm has an electronic contact pad blended into the 'grippy' texture, but is quite well-concealed unless examined closely in decent light. "…shall we head to the store… honey..?" She looks a bit annoyed at herself for the final word, but is clearly making /some/ effort to play her part. It doesn't necessarily have to be a /happy/ marriage…

The nearest Stuffer Shack is only a short walk away, for what would an intersection be if the neon glow of the Stuffer Shack's sign wasn't illuminating it?

Zen hesitates, studying Job a moment. "It's more my code of honor that requires I ask.. But.. this does not seem to break that." Glancing sidelong at Gretchen's comment, he'd stand to his feet, the credstick taken up and vanishing on his person as he does so. "Yes… Dear.. Let us go." One last sidelong look at Job, then he'd wait for Gretchen to get up and go, so he can follow after her.

Simone slips on her coat and bag, to set forth…

The streets are full of the normal clamor and hullabaloo. Metahumanity moves in tides dictated by time clocks and some few flow in the same direction for a fluttering moment. Eventually the neon glow of the Stuffer Shack dominates the area. If you've seen one, you've seen them all…

Job follows the pair out, stopping a block or two short indicating he'll wait here for the packages.

On the way to the Stuffer Shack, Sim slips on a pair of dark glasses and proceeds to walk in silence with Zen until she at last comments over her shoulder as the two enter the store. "What a coincidence…" She says this looking away, then turns to face him to gauge his body language. She takes a second to examine the patrons and clerk, and all of a sudden, her face bears a very neutral almost-smile.

Krom's Stuffer Shack

If you've seen one Stuffer Shack(tm) you've seen them all right? Right. This one is larger than most, though it has more aisles to cram more goods onto the shelves. Everything from A to Z and some letters that didn't exist until now. Aisle after aisle of junk food seems to be the biggest selling item with two walls devoted to frozen foods and soy products.

The right wall is devoted to batteries, staples, the old paper and pens and pencils as well as some auto parts and tools. The front of the store is a large counter with anywhere from one to three different cashiers as well as the hot foods section with soy-chicken, soy-burgers, and soy-nuggets. If it's at least feasibly edible, it can be found in one of the aisles or in a cooler along the wall.

A couple of old fashioned video games sit in the corner, blaring their annoying music for all to hear over the piped nearly hypnotic lulling music that is played over the internal speakers. Like most Stuffer Shacks the security is generally light, a PanicButton by the door and another behind the counter probably. The only visible camera is focused on the checkout counter. The employees look bored but efficient, just wanting to go home.

Standing behind the counter a young go-getter of an orc is doing his best to hide his tusks and 'pass' for human. His tag indicates he is an assistant manager. An older human woman is cramming the dispensers full of goods from the stocking area.

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Stealth + 2 for "+4 TN to hear from silent step, +2 dice from centering, Zen moving steadily with Gretchen.":
1 2 3 3 4 5 5 5

Three children pursue 'the ultimate mix' blending flavors of orca-cola with the passion of science gone mad. The resulting sludge makes your teeth hurt in sympathy.

Five other patrons browse the aisles, most seem more interested in finding the right product from amongst the wide variety of offerings than in inspecting each other.

«Auto-Judge[]» Simone (#7451) rolls Intelligence for "Anything remarkable about employees or patrons beyond what was in the scene poses?":
1 1 3 4 4 5

An immensely overweight man has gathered several packets of prepared meals that read ""Light" "All" "Natural" "Meals"" causing you to wonder whether quotes have always been "for emphasis" the way the Aztlan marketing department assures the public they are. Otherwise, the people look about as you would expect.

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Intelligence for "Checking out the others too, using that astral sense to see if there's something else while using Gretchen to keep him from running into stuff":
1 1 2 3 4 7

«OOC» Job says, "Zen please give me a stealth roll to reflect 'hiding in plain sight' that you're suddenly vision impaired while moving about."

«Plot» Simone is perpetually using Extended Masking (Deliberate, p76 MitS). Oh so mundane.

The Stuffer Shack suffers the normal astral effects of nightly wash downs with harsh chemicals, massive refrigeration units, and the quiet desperation of the employees and patrons. While a bit of a quagmire, nothing nasty seems to be lurking about.

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Stealth + 2 for "hiding in plain sight, +2 dice from centering":
1 2 3 3 3 3 5 10

«Auto-Judge[]» Job (#10439) rolls 2:
2 3
«OOC» Job says, "Pose away, nobody seems to notice."
«OOC» Zen says, "Zen is masking too, Simone. :) no more beacon of power here."

Zen stays close to Gretchen as they'd slip into the store. A small shrug given in response to her comment, he'd use that motion sense to stay near her, pausing when she does, but making it look like he's walking along with her as he'd glance around. The shades do a good job of hiding the fact that he's not looking here.. but there. That other plane to make sure there's nothing nasty going on.

The fluffy fellow trundles down the aisle towards the counter, depositing his trove of tasty treasures. The orcish attendant leaps into action and the soft bleeps of nuyen being transformed into 'nutrition' counterpoint the near-hypnotic drone of the store music.

The children by the 'mix-your-own' orka-cola machine squabble over who needs to pay for the next batch. Their fingers tremble with excitement (or perhaps overdose) as they slot a credstick and enjoy their gateway addiction.

Gretchen makes it a point to keep her speech to a very muted whisper, gesturing faintly to one corner of the store. "I'll start over there. Let me see the list again." In the meantime, she spots one of the first items from the sheet and picks it up. Trash bags. The shadowrun is now fully underway. No turning back now.

Zen blinks and that's what it takes to slip back to this reality. With nothing seen, there's nothing to report. Glancing to Gretchen, he'd nod a little and offers her the list, looking it over again himself and then glancing around to see if he notes anything on it. Time to go shopping.. 2k for shopping.. It's.. odd. Very odd.

The list doesn't seem to be organized in aisle order, requiring a few loops of the store to acquire the entire list. Along with the trash bags and aforementioned products are a few food items, batteries, and candies. As the pair of you work your way through the list you reach the point where you have only your own items to add to the assembled goods. What do you spend your money on?

The array of choices is dazzling, an armload of confections, fancy electronics, add to your library of movies and BTL experiences?

One by one, Sim collects items to complete the treasure hunt, eventually reaching a point where she has to start tucking items into her armpits to clamp onto them while piling the rest of her half of the haul in cradled forearms. With barely any room to spare, she begins loading up with snacks, awkwardly using one free hand to gingerly stack MondoZapCrunch! bars, bags of Crispy Critters, Ecto-Sqweez drink packs, and all manner of other junk food.

«OOC» Job says, "Simone give me an Intelligence check."
«Auto-Judge[]» Simone (#7451) rolls Intelligence for "?":
1 2 2 3 3 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Simone (#7451) rolls Intelligence for "KP 1":
3 5 5 5 8 11

It takes a few moments, some real hard thinking, but there must be a solution to the problem of not enough hands and too much loot. Perhaps some sort of basket, and they could attach the basket to a wheeled conveyance to make it even better.

1,000 nuyen (half of the 2,000 extra on the chip) would probably fill two shopping carts with junkfood.

Sim, fully loaded to the point where her arm-dam may soon burst, locates that most elusive of creatures… The fabled shopping cart. She opens the floodgates and myriad plastic packages burst forth from her arms like a kaleidoscopic blast of color, accompanied by the rattling of the mesh contraption.

«OOC» Simone says, "How much scrip do you think I could get by requesting cash back?"

Zen would carry his half of what's on the list, although he's not really seeing anything there that would hit that mark of what he wanted to spend his half on. When Simone would get a cart, it's eyed speculatively, then he'd add his portion of the list to it. Nodding slightly in satisfaction, he'd watch her for the lead on next step. Maybe.. he's never gone shopping before?

«OOC» Job says, "Most places take a pretty hefty whack 'cashing out' a credstick, Stuffer Shack charges 25 percent"

In years past a lawsuit forced Stuffer Shack to install horns onto all carts to prevent shoppers from colliding. The case was overturned, but a few of the carts with horns remain, and Simone found such a cart with its single horn. Achievement Unlocked: Uni-horn cart acquired.

«OOC» Simone fist-pumps. XD

«OOC» Zen snerks.

«OOC» Job says, "Simone please give me a stealth roll for your ever so subtle supermarket sweep style of shopping."

«OOC» Simone says, "I plan to go for the cash back option, even with the insane fee. I simply wouldn't be able to carry more groceries/snacks. I suppose I could go for some electronics… :? But I can't think of anything I desperately want off the top of my head."

«OOC» Zen says, "anything Zen would want is probably illegal. >.>"

«Auto-Judge[]» Simone (#7451) rolls Stealth for "Cascading cacophony of kaleidoscopic commerce?":
1 2 10 11 13

«Auto-Judge[]» Job (#10439) rolls 2:
4 5

«OOC» Simone says, "Not today. I'm a highly skilled snacks-getter. XD"

Nothing phases the steadfast employees of the Stuffer Shack.

Simone leans forward over her cart to prevent the contraption from rattling much, aside from the crackle of plastic packaging. She wheels about, still picking certain favorite items from the shelves until she locates Zen once more, but is careful to only pick out enough stuff to be able to reasonably carry the haul. It doesn't meet the amount of extra cred available, but getting anything more would be overkill. She whispers under her breath as she wheels up to her partner in (very strange, possibly non-) crime, "I have my half. And you should do the talking."

"…and get the excess cred as cash back," she whispers.

Having dealt with the mountainous man and his "diet" food the brave orc looks over the shopping cart being brought towards him and braces himself. A flurry of beeping and bagging follows leading up to the critical moment, payment.

The credstick slot gapes ominously, awaiting input.

(Whomever will be inserting the credstick please roll electronics.)

Zen moves along with Gretchen. Her silent shadow as they'd stalk the stuffer shack aisles. Spotting those phones and cameras, Zen would actually add a few to the pile. It might take up a portion of his part of the exchange, but they were good to have. He'd also add zipties to the list. Always important with what he's dealing with now. Looking to her, he'd nod, then watch the items go transfer from cart to bag. That credstick is pulled out from where it had been stashed and unceremoniously, slotted to be charged from.

«Plot» Simone makes it a point to PLOT that she snagged duct tape, spray-paint and zip ties.

Duct tape, spray-paint and zip ties are added to the pile.

Aztlan brand zip-ties, now with Restrainium!

«Plot» Zen says, "add 1 phone, 2 cameras, the zip ties. :)"

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Intelligence for "Default on electronics":
1 1 1 2 3 5

«OOC» Zen says, "and the curse of 5s continues! >.>"

«OOC» Simone says, "The pointy end goes in first, honey."

«OOC» Job says, "Cash back request fails and…"

«OOC» Job says, "No backscrolling: What… was the PIN?"

«OOC» Zen says, "1 2 3 4 5 6"

«OOC» Simone says, "8675309, right?"

«OOC» Zen snerks.

«OOC» Simone says, "If I get addressed directly, I'm claiming strep throat."

«Plot» Simone adds cough medicine as a last minute spontaneous counter-purchase

It takes a few moments, maybe the pants in the family aren't worn by the 'traditional' gender, maybe it was the last minute purchased requiring the young orc to call over the supervising assistant manager to override the total, but after a few false starts the PIN is entered and the purchase is made. Two Stuffer Shack brand credsticks are activated and the bags are pushed in their direction.

Simone elbows Zen as though to remind him of something.

Zen watches them work on it all, then glances to Gretchen, nods and looks back to the workers. "Can I please have the remainder of the stick in cash? I accept the fee necessary for this exchange."

«OOC» Job says, "Please roll etiquette!"

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Etiquette for "Because the assassin knows how to talk to people… riiight..":
2 4 15

«OOC» Zen snerks.

«OOC» Simone slow-whistles.

«OOC» Zen says, "polite and direct works! XD"

The ork looks at Zen for a few moments, because people always say things like 'I accept the fee necessary for this exchange.' that wouldn't fail a Turing test or anything. Thankfully evaluating whether customers qualify as meta-humans or machines is above the clerk's pay grade and the credstick balance is wiped. He presses a rarely used button and the register dispenses paper-money with a whir and a chunk.

A faint genuine smile seems to creep onto Gretchen's face as the transaction goes through without a hitch. She begins to reach for the first of the bags, hefting it into one arm-cradle before going for seconds.

Bags seem to help the 'only two hands' concerns identified earlier.

Zen accepts the scrip with a polite half-bow to the ork. "Thank you for your assistance." That done, he'd look to Gretchen as she'd get the bags. Taking up what she doesn't get himself, he'd motion towards the door for her. "After you.. Dear." Ok.. so.. acting? Not exactly a forte for him.

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Charisma for "because defaulting for acting works, right?":
1 4 5 17

«OOC» Zen coughs.

«OOC» Simone says, "HAHAHAHA"

«OOC» Job says, "Simone, maybe he isn't that bad a guy…"

«OOC» Job says, "I mean, look how polite."

The speech rattled off by the ork attendant is copyrighted by Aztlan and cannot be reprinted here, but rumor persists it involves wishing you a good something and hoping you return.

Simone turns her slight smile toward Zen, nods, then mouths "Thank you," to the clerk. Carrying her two bags, she makes her way to the exit and deftly shoulders one side of the double doors open to slip out onto the sidewalk. She reaches a foot back to prop the door for Zen as well.

The supervising assistant manager pauses in her cramming of goods into dispensers to appreciate old fashioned chivalry, or perhaps give you the evil eye for keeping the door open and letting the heat out, or possibly both, she's a bit cross-eyed.

Zen would go with her, heading for that door and using her assistance to get out onto the street. The scrip had gotten stashed, vanishing much like the credstick had before and so it's only his part of the.. stuff.. that is offered. He'd split the scrip with Gretchen after Job got his goods.


Simone you feel a sinking sensation, your precious cargo is dipping, the all-too-think plastic of the Stuffer Shack bags can't bear the weight of your avarice. Is your REACTION good enough to prevent your goodies from spilling out into the uncaring and unstopping traffic?

Simone begins making her way back toward the drop point with her unlawfully wedded husband, but before they make it to Job…

«Auto-Judge[]» Simone (#7451) rolls Reaction for "Here goes nothing.":
1 1 7 7 9

«OOC» Simone says, "I'll… :/ I'll stand. *covers eyes*"

«OOC» Zen says, "can I help..?"

The bags start to tear, the goodies are going to spill but Simone is quick enough to turn her back to the road so they should spill onto the walkway, but Zen is there, will his REACTION be enough to save his faux wife from her faux pas?

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Reaction for "Because reflex is something he's good at? Maybe?":
1 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4

«Auto-Judge[]» Zen (#7043) rolls Reaction for "Because reflex is something he's good at? Maybe?":
1 2 2 2 3 3 5 5 7 10

«OOC» Zen says, "better."

«OOC» Job says, "Pose your heroism, sir!"

«OOC» Simone breathes a sigh of relief. O.o

Zen can move fast when he wants to. Case in point, bags threating to burst? He'd move. His own bags carefully set down and he's from one spot to the other with that fluid grace that speaks of 'wares or.. other. Either way, he's able to dip, catching the bottom of Gretchen's bags, hefting them in hand to help her carefully lower them to the ground. Once there, they'd be weighed, and he'd nod a little. "Maybe we should shift the goods a little?"

With Zen's assistance, Sim is able to get her unstable bags to the nearby bus stop bench, where she begins loading her personal loot into her messenger bag to lessen the load on the flimsy sacks. With the weight rebalanced and all of her own things in a much more trustworthy container, the unwed couple returns to their employer, caper complete, and just a little bit more wealthy for their trouble.

Job receives the loot, one of the packets of 'food' gets a snap and shake, the chemical heat at the bottom of the pack cooking the meal as he sorts through the rest. He squeezes the 'meal' out of the tube and into his mouth, swallowing before commenting. "Yep, yep. Looks good, credstick, reciept, check, check. No trouble?"

Simone scrunches up her face, shrugs and scratches an itch by knuckling an eyebrow all at the same time. "…no, no trouble… Just a few weird looks." She purses her lips and shrugs once more, legitimately confused.

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