THE STORY: The local supplier made his way through the building, making final preparations for the evening festivities. Going through the usual pleasantries he greeted the waitstaff and confirmed rigging with the stage crews. Stepping back to take it all in he nodded with satisfaction. "This is gonna be one hell of a show," He muttered.
Noticing some golden spikes over the shoulder of a stunning red dress, the supplier locked eyes with the DJ. "Everything in place here? You good?" Laramy smiled and nodded confidently, "This is going to be the party of the year. We're set. Just make sure there's plenty of press coverage, we're gonna need it." Laramy shifted his focus back to the girl, "And you have your part down?" Even her nonchalance had an elegance to it. She raised an eyebrow at Laramy and intoned in pure velvet, "Have you ever known me to have trouble exploiting these corp types? Please..." She gave him an impish grin and turned to walk away.
She called back over her shoulder, "And Laramy... It's not polite to stare," waving one finger in the air. He smiled and watched for another moment before responding, "How did you know I was staring?" She kept walking. From the nearby booth a cyborg muttered, "Andy always knows." He shrugged "Also, everyone's always watching." "You too Gabe? Everybody's busting my chops today, Laramy groaned." "Stay cool kid," Gabe stood up clapping him on the shoulder. "This plan took one massive set of stones. The Muertos are in, the Tri-Maf is in... Hell! There's even a film critic coming. Everything is ready, just don't be late."
They made their way to the entrance securing final details. Laramy gestured at the wall in the lobby, "You think it's too much?" Gabe laughed and wiped away a tear, "No, this. This is perfect."
Elizabeth Mills rounded the curtained wall in the foyer and was hit with a wall of applause. Mark Yale stood to greet her as she approached the stage. She shook his hand briskly as he told her, "Great job this year Liz!" She smiled warmly and whispered, "I'll slit your throat if you ever call me that again." Yale continued smiling nervously and sat back down, Mills beamed as she waved at the Board and approached the stage. A member of her dedicated response team stopped her short of the stage to whisper something as the room grew silent.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen of the Weyland Consortium. Welcome to the 43rd annual shareholder's gala. We will be serving dinner following the presentation, for now if you need any refreshments simply let one of our wait staff know and we will be happy to oblige." He gestured to Andy in the center of the room, she curtsied. "And now, without further ado, please welcome your very own, Elizabeth Mills" The assembly clapped politely as she came to a podium.
Mills went on for about twenty minutes, mostly talking about numbers and security, until there was a commotion from outside. The whole room shook just a bit and the executives, startled, looked back and forth at one another. "That sound," Mills said, "Is the sound of progress! Today, surgical strikes are being executed simultaneously on problematic elements within our city. These hackers and thieves endeavor to take away all that we have worked so hard for by breaking the law. Today, we are bringing justice back to SanSan! The fact that you and I are all here... well, that's just some good old fashioned plausible deniability." The crowd laughed, more at ease now.
"Now that the matters of internal security," Mills made finger-quotes and the audience chuckled again, "are out of the way, we will be inviting in members of the press for interviews and refreshments. Again, thank you all so much for coming. Let's celebrate our good fortunes and throw some back for Jack!" Everyone cheered at Jack's name and Mills left the stage to mingle.
Elizabeth made her way through the crowd, grinning to herself at the occasional sound of gunfire outside. She thumped to a halt against a frumpy woman in a black beret. "Excuse me Miss Mills." Mills zoned out the part where the annoying woman gave her name and gritted her teeth. "...a film critic with NBN. I had heard that Weyland might be financing "Explode-a-palooza 2 and 3. Would you care to comment? Ms. Mills?" She asked puzzled as Mills shouldered her out of the way.
Mills cut the crowd as she saw the woman in red sitting on the lap of one of her executives. She gave Andy a stare that could have turned her to stone and said, "Excuse us," so that it wasn't a question. Andy smiled and kissed the bald man on his head, leaving a bright red imprint of her lips and then waved at him as she glided away. The man, red faced, was avoiding Mills' eyes at all costs. "What do you think you're doing?" She grated from between a phony smile. "How many times must I tell you idiots not to talk to women of a different species? Do you mean to tell me there's any chance that you believe THAT was attracted to YOU?" She grinded out the words through clenched teeth, still smiling but her eyes looked like they might pop out of her head at any moment.
"Ms Mills," he said, "I didn't mean to do anything to upset you." He gestured apologetically. "We were only trying to help with the surprise, they needed to see our comms is all." He pointed at his personal communicator as if that explained everything and tried a weak attempt at a smile. The floor suddenly dropped out from underneath her as mills replied, "WE!?" From across the table their hedge fund manager called, "Liz, it's nothing! The MC and staff were just collecting some photos and music for the party slides. Don't be such a stick in the mud." At this Mills was apoplectic. While her primary urge was to strangle every man at arms length, what was actually happening was a slight groan that was emanating from her open mouth. One of her interns poked her, "Ms. Mills, are you okay?" She was already moving, ignoring him. He made an offhand comment to another intern, "I don't think that's a normal turntable."
Dropping all pretense of cordiality, she shifted to damage control mode and started walking as quickly as she could toward the DJ's booth. Seeing her notice him as if for the first time Laramy waved to someone behind her. Turning to see what was happening, she was ambushed with a "SURPRISE!" from the whole crowd. Wait staff began bringing in a massive birthday cake as the lights were dimmed and people began singing Happy Birthday followed by For She's a Jolly Good Fellow. As jounalists blasted away with their flashes a man with a pony tail and a tattooed, half-shaved head managed to get her ear. "Ms. Mills, what would you like me to do?" "Nothing with the paparazzi here," she conceded, "we'll get him." She chirped over the comms, "Response teams all stand down, they're tagged, but they're untouchable here."
Fisk, enjoying the fruits of his labours, gave Mills the biggest go-f$%#-yourself smile that he could muster and made his way to the exit with Andy on his arm. Mills followed them to the door about 20 meters behind. They were getting into a black sedan just as she rounded the corner to the lobby. After the driver let them in, Laramy made himself relax and bit and let out a laugh, "Glad you could make it John!" John grunted affirmatively. They drove off as if nothing was the matter, Mills noting every detail, including the out of state license plate that read "Hackman."
Reporters were shifting their focus to the wall behind her now. Flashes going off again in an eruption, Mills turned to see the curtain that was covering the entryway wall, now rumpled on the ground. The wall was covered with an array of viewscreens that were arranged so that the screens themselves spelled out the words "Happy Birthday Lizzie." Currently broadcasting on the screens were the explicit details of how 37 of Weyland's high-risk investments had just been siphoned dry. Mills shirked reporters with a flurry of, "No comment," and walked to her own car. She turned to the snakelike man with the pony tail and said, "We're going to have to do some serious housekeeping."
THE DECK: Hostage for supplier, install lots of resources that will probably never be trashed, mill and destroy.
Gang signs with HQI and turntable allow for some really unexpected plays. I try to wait to install turntable as long as possible in case they are trying to score a 3 pointer early. Specifically, once they see DLR some corps will go for Hades. You let them score it then install turntable and then let them groan.
Siphon for naked HQ with just enough in terms of breakers to get in a run late or hit Archives for the glory run. As with all mill decks, try to trash Jackson when you see him.
Between film critic and paparazzi you turn off almost everything dangerous and since you are more likely to be stealing on the corp turn, they can't even midseasons/punititive you most of the time.
The build is still early but it is capable of winning games. If you want to play at Worlds, go play with your Kate, but if you want to have fun, try this!
Special thanks to the guys at Run Last Click for inspiring this writeup and making the world a better place by introducing John Hackman to all of us.
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