The Brains Race
An adventure for Shadowrun


Fuchi has a super-encephalon project going. The cyberware is beta-grade right off the drawing board and just barely fits in a human skull (7.5 Essence before b-izing), and most of it is buffers and invasive interfacing designed to hook up to a specialized mainframe. It requires a set of five 100DFR datajacks spaced around the skull of the person being implanted, and acts like an Encephalon-2 and math SPU-3 isn’t plugged into the mainframe. The subject also usually has some standard bioware additions as well. When jacked in the headware gives +6 Intelligence, +6 task pool dice, and the ability to access an arbitrary number of knowsofts. The visualization capabilities give access to an unheard-of level of integration with the machine and are incredibly useful for design work. The perceptory circuits are on the level of a top-notch vehicle control rig. It gives a level 8 task bonus to programming activities.

The current test subject for Megacorp A, Roland Bronsky, has not been idle in his use of the mainframe. His boss is quite happy with the extra hours Roland puts in on his work, pleased that the test subject is so enthusiastic for the project. What he doesn’t realize is that enhanced intelligence is highly addictive, and that it’s very difficult to keep someone who’s learned to load a lot of their thinking processes onto a corporate mainframe from peering into any project files he wants.

Roland has discovered that the management, used to clinical double-blind trials with little human interaction, has decided that all useful information has been extracted from his project and forwarded to a different cybernetic design team. Thus, the project is going to be terminated, and the resources reallocated; the mainframe that Roland depends on is bound elsewhere, and the cyberware will be removed and scrapped. Being as thoroughly addicted to the mainframe as he is, he has no intention of letting this proceed as planned.

Roland will end up tracking down some member of the Twilight Brigade, probably Lightfoot, through an unlikely series of correlations. (This will be important to invent.) He can’t pay in cash, but would be happy to offer his services once he gets out with his mainframe. He will be able to come up with various ideas for ripping off his parent company as payment. He wants to be extracted to the Yamatetsu Advanced Cognition Project.


This should be a fun-house mirror version of an extraction. Roland, hooked up to the mainframe, was easily able to deduce an amazing variety of details about the facility, and will have a plan suitable for the various tiny personality details of everyone at the facility. He only needs the shadowrunners to pull off things that he can’t accomplish himself, lacking the personal skills and tools to actually break into maglocks and so on. His plan will be horrifyingly exact, filled with contingencies and countermeasures. The runners should earn mostly nuyen on this, not much karma, because all they’re doing is walking through a set of paces someone else has set up. (It should just be a one-evening run to weird them out.)


Roland Bronsky is a human with a head full of cyberware that he’s become thoroughly addicted to. He finished up his degree in cognitive psychology at Texas A&M&M, and came over to Megacorp A as part of his scholarship requirements— he knew intelligence enhancement was going to be a major field in the future, and he wanted in. He didn’t mind being a late-stage guinea pig, because that was part of being on the cutting edge. What he hadn’t anticipated was the effects of having his brain amplified by a fairly powerful mainframe.

He is now stuck in either the blissful world of transcendental thought or feeling horribly depressed at how his brain feels packed in excelsior. (It doesn’t matter that he’s only got Int 11. He’s been much, much higher.) He knows he’s addicted, and it doesn’t really matter to him any more.