Throughout this adventure, the runners may utilize public transportation either because they choose to or because it’s the only way to get where they’re going quickly. Below is a list of generic methods and security features at common transportation hubs; GMs are encouraged to modify the ratings based on the circumstances and exact location. For example, corporate enclaves may have higher-rated systems or include additional security measures, while small towns may only have a handful of systems operating at any given time. If this is the first time that a group has dealt with travel and security, it is recommended that they read through the Flying Under the Radar handout that Jane provides to the team or the Travel and Smuggling section of Runner’s Companion.
In any of the law-abiding locations, if the runners are discovered with Forbidden gear, the gear is confiscated and the runners face criminal charges as appropriate.
With a combination of active and passive systems, commercial airports are among the most highly secured travel areas, surpassed only by sub-orbital launches. Private airfields have higher or lower system ratings based on the clientele that passes through them. Airports layer magical, technical, and physical security atop one another to minimize threats to the airport or any travelers. MAD and cyberware scanners for travelers are the first line of defense, with every piece of luggage going through the same analysis in addition to chemsniffers. If a mage or spirit cannot be present at a checkpoint, personnel are issued GloWands (p. 65, Arsenal) to identify astral threats or active magic. All Matrix systems are encrypted and compartmentalized to limit liability in case a single system becomes compromised. All accounts are cross-verified on multiple systems, meaning that hackers who want to log in without an authorized account need to hack into multiple systems simultaneously to generate the appropriate Access ID. Airport systems have IC and active spiders present at all hours to prevent tampering. Beyond these systems, all airports are Active-only zones with constant SIN verification. Most vendors do not accept certified credsticks and alert security to individuals attempting to use them. Fields frequented by smugglers generally have their own security consisting of mercenaries and the smugglers them- selves. They must also pay heavy bribes to local law enforcement to keep prying eyes away and provide warnings about when raids are going to happen. The cost of these bribes is passed directly on to people wanting to bank on the lack of questions asked.
By far the most secure of public travel methods, sub-orbital launches utilize the same layered approach to security as airports, though all ratings are generally 2 points higher. In addition, no one with a criminal SIN is allowed access to sub-orbital flights. All passengers must pass through a warded hallway on their way to board the sub-orbital, nominally to remind passengers to disable or deactivate all active foci, as a sub-orbital’s trajectory takes it into the mana void of space. All restricted cyberware has an inhibitor placed on it to deactivate it for the duration of the flight. This includes cyberware for which the runner has the appropriate licenses.
SUPER HIGHWAYS Like train stations, super highways function through passive security. All vehicles must be subscribed to the Grid Guide system, even when piloted manually, for emergency response systems to take control and prevent collisions. Every fifty kilometers, the system pings every vehicle to verify that it is still subscribed to the system. Vehicles passing through these checkpoints without being subscribed or those that drop their subscription (either due to respoofing an Access ID or disabling the Grid Guide functionality) are cited, and law enforcement is notified of the violation. Optional systems: SIN verification of commlinks, millimeter wave detection, and radar systems at exits and weigh stations.
Most train stations function through passive security, including MAD scanners at entrances into the terminal, SIN verification to purchase tickets, and cameras and facial recognition to monitor Most Wanted lists. The majority of the systems will be at Rating 3, with the Most Wanted lists being an international collection of fugitives. (A combined Notoriety + Public Awareness greater than 10 puts a runner on the Most Wanted list.) As an attempt to crack down on criminal activities, many train stations have stopped accepting certified cred. AROs and posters remind passengers that they can stop terrorism by reporting certified users to local authorities.
There are occasionally armed security forces on board a train, but for the most part trains are controlled remotely by a rigger who locks down access through maglocks, etc. A remote access to the trains is maintained by physical connection through the tracks; the trains are not wireless-enabled. Every train is slaved to the main control system and will only accept commands that are relayed through the tracks’ electronic control channel.
Optional systems: Gait Analysis, chemsniffers, trained critters for bomb/narcotic detection, biodrones (e.g., sniffer swarms).
Suborbital Flight (First Class) Flight (Business) Smuggler (Air) Smuggler (Land)* Ground Vehicle Owned Plane Cargo PC+1 trolley PC+2 suitcases PC+1 suitcase PC+2 duffle bags PC+2 duffle bags Per Vehicle Per Vehicle Time 4–6 hours 8–10 hours 9–2 hours 24–32 hours 60–90 hours Per Vehicle Per Vehicle Price per person 4,000¥ 1,200¥ 800¥ 3,000–7,000¥ 2,000–6,000¥
Times include checking-in, boarding, etc.