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He paced his office, waiting for the phone call. things like this were worth pacing for, even if it was a sign of weakness. No one else was around to see it. So many variables. So many blasted thigns that could go wrong. But if it went right ...

The comm rang and he'd answered it with a thought, the AR window popping immediately into his field of vision. The man on the other side looked tense. It was hard to tell what that meant in a situation like this.

It's affirmitive sir. All subjects acquired.

No wonder he looked so damn tense. The news was better than he could have hoped. That certainly made things harder for his agents however. That would be a lot to handle.

Without a response, he killed the incoming call. There really was nothing more to say, and the man would certainly have his hands full anyway. There was really no doubt that the companyt would send agents after their lost treasure. One simply did not let such things go. And there would be others involved as well. Those damn elves ...

He keyed up the comm again, making a call he hadn't expected to have to make. Had hoped that he wouldn't have to. It was expensive, and the price wasn't going to be in credit.

Of course, there was no picutre when the line connected. There wouldn't be on either end. They both knew who would be on the other end.

"I need to speak with him."
Round trip airfare these days wasn't cheap. So when the call comes in from a well reputed Miami fixer by the name of Rita Abbot, who's been making inroads to inernational business, and it contains key words like "all expenses paid" and "paid just for meeting" it's hard to be upset about a humidity change.

Having been in the business for some time, it's also difficult to be particularily trusting about such a "too good to be true" invitation. Maybe passing on the limo waiting at the private hangar would be the way to go then....

Of course, there are worst ways to go.

The last time he was in Miami, it was for R & R after a long stint in the Yucatan jungles. He was not bothered about the heat, the jungles were hotter and were far more sticky and it was not just the humidity. He had gotten on the plane with his disguise on and it wasn't any more uncomfortable than his full-on stealth suit.

Since it is free anyway, Cloud will Observe in Detail the minute he got on the plane. Since he has Sustanance, he isn't taking the in-flight "refreshments".
Ol' Scratch
Taking it easy in the Big Easy
    ennui (ahn-wee), noun. a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom
Yeah, that's definitely me, all right. Chilling out in one of the world's most decadent sprawls. Booze, broads and blues galore; a nightlife to die for. Yet here I am, bored out of my fragging mind. What the Hell is wrong with me? Christ.

"The Page of Winds signifies the surprising appearance of a new passion, with the Knight of Pentacles leading you to the Tower reversed, a place of great excitement and positive change." That's what Madame Rue had told me a week ago. I had no idea what the old bat was babbling on about and I remember telling her as much. I could literally hear her slam her tarot deck on the table and sigh before replying. "Get your ass to New Orleans and have some fun, you bastard." Then she hung up on me. I think I even heard her spit on the ground in the middle of all that, but I have no way of knowing. Regardless, I do love that old gypsy so. Gotta remember to get her something nice before heading home.

I mean, it's not like I believe in any of her hocus-pocus anyway. Sure, I know I probably should considering all the drek I've seen over the years, but come on. Reading tarot cards? Please. The only reason I took her up on the... suggestion... was because a vacation sounded pretty damn good after dealing with that fragging blood coven drek out in Salem last week. That was some seriously fucked up shit.

So, yeah, here I am, sauntering down Bourbon Street with absolutely nothing catching my eye and bored out of my skull. Am I really that messed up that I can't have fun even when standing in the middle of... what the fuck?

"GIMME ALL CRED, PUNK!!!" the chip-addled kid said as he jumped out from behind a dumpster pointing a heater at my face. Is he serious? The damn thing doesn't even have a clip. His aura was blazing with the need for a hit, so I guess that explains it. I was just about to reply when my public 'link started ringing.

"Hold that thought," was my calm reply. Turning slightly away from him but never taking my eyes off his, I reached into my jacket and pulled out the phone. I made sure the kid got a good look at my piece as I did so. Looks like it's having the proper effect on him, too. I can see him questioning his situation in his eyes. His gun's shaking. He doesn't know what to do. Perfect.

Rita Abbot. Quite the looker if that profile is really hers. Guess Three-Fingers wasn't drekking me when he said I'd probably get a call from her this week. "Ol' Scratch," I answered after bringing the gadget to my ear, my eyes still locked on the kid's. "Whatcha need, doll?"

Round trip. All expenses paid. 3k¥ just for showing up. Well if that's not a cherry deal I don't know what is. Surprising appearance leading to a place of change. Heh. Sounds like that crazy bird might have been right afterall. So much for my skepticism.

"Right, right, sounds good. I'll be there." I clicked the phone shut and shoved it back into my inside pocket. "So," I said, my attention clearly returning to the chiphead. "Where were we?"

"I... I... JUST GIMME YOUR DAMN CRED!" Ooh, he's got his spine back. Unfortunately for him, I wasn't really in the mood to help him change his life, either through crippling or philosophical debate. I had a job to get ready for, don't you know? So, with a sigh, I just came out of nowhere and sucker punched him square in the face. He didn't see it coming at all. Went flying a good three feet back. It'd be humorous if it wasn't so pathetic.

I walked over to his body just to make sure I didn't accidently kill him. Good, he's still breathing. Ultrasound's not picking up any broken bones or damaged organs. Right on. He'll probably just have a hell of a headache when he wakes up. Oh well, let's see what he's got on him. Hmm. Pack of condoms probably older than he is. An empty credstick. And a watch that... damn, doesn't work.

Oh well. Time to call it a night and get ready for that flight in the morning. Should definitely be interesting...
Lady Door
Something about this job just didn't feel right. Maybe it was the top dollar cred just for showing... maybe it was the chica fixer in a profession dominated by men... either way, Samael was troubled. She was also troubled by the fact that she knew damn well she was taking the job.
A chance to get out of Havana... God, that sounds good... even if it could mean toe-tagged on a metal slab somewhere.
Sam slammed back another shot of the Jamaican rum and sighed. She'd already sent a confirmation to the fixer, she was in. There was no point in bitching about it now.
You gonna want another one, mi amor? Luis' thick drawl interrupted her thoughts and pulled her back to reality. She blinked at him through the haze of cigar smoke and ganja and shook her head.
No thanks, Luis. I've got work. Sam slapped a dinero note down on the bar and slid her glass towards the bartender. You take care while I'm gone. Give my love to Juan. Luis smiled and blew a kiss before turning back to tend to the rest of the lunch hour customers.
Stepping outside, Sam activated the UV tints on her cybereyes and slid into the afternoon heat. She had a plane to catch.
There it is, the drosera rotundifolia"You are a sneaky little carnivorous plant, aren't you?"

Lowering himself carefully, Trigger pulled the silver bladed knife from his boot sheath and carefully cut the carnivorous red sundew from its perch of a rotting log sticking a foot out of the marshy ground. With careful and surgical precision he removed all of the plants growths from the log and put them into waiting plastic bags next to him, sealing and labeling them before standing up and stretching.

Trigger was five miles south of Seattle's borders into Tir Tairngire, outside of a little town named Elbe, his hiking boots slowly sinking inch by inch into the marsh land around him. The air stank of rotting plant life and a coming day that was going to be too hot and humid out here for him to continue hunting telesma, the mosquitoes were already starting to buzz around his sweating brow even though it was not yet midday.

Packing up his gathered plants, Trigger began the mile hike back to town, already planning the ritual materials his latest gatherings would turn into. Drosera Rotundifolia or simply the common sundew, a carnivorous little beast with a bright mane of red petals. You my friend are going to become a nice bit of fire binding materials I believe, yes you are.

His bike was exactly where he left it, parked in front of the little diner, Dolores', right off of Main St. in Elbe. The town was a usual spot for smugglers and coyotes into and out of Seattle and Tir, but it was a safe place. That doesn't mean that he didn't lock his baby up anyways, just that he didn't leave a bastard of a spirit watching over it while he was gone. Trigger stowed his gear away on the bike and started kicking the mud off the bottoms of his boots when his comm picked up a signal and started beeping away into his ear.

"Se'seterin," answered Trigger, falling into Sperethiel due in part to his being outside of Seattle, but also because it was quite a nice morning as well. The voice on the other end introduced herself quickly and then started right in on the proposal. Miami? And expenses paid and 'yen just for showing my mug at the meeting. Sounds nice and I have been meaning to get out of town anyways, ever since that stupid kid of Vector's bit it on that supposed milk run. Hell, why not?

Kicking his bike to life, Trigger started back up the 7 into Seattle, the air throwing his long white hair behind him, his green eyes reflecting the late dawn light, a pinkish haze in the air. Today may actually turn out to be a good day after all.

The jet setter is what you would expect in flying luxury. Real leather seats, a small couch, a wet bar, even a stewardess to pour the drinks. A top of the line trideo system tops it off nicely. Who ever's fitting the bill certainly wants the in-flight to be comfortable. Makes one wonder what's so important.
The lush, real leather seat of the long, white Nightsky automatically adjusts to the contours of Toby's frame, cradling him in luxurious comfort. The ingredients for a real banana daiquiri are already laid out in the minibar, and the big car starts to roll as the mage reaches for the rum.

Toby smiles as he mixes the drink. It was the little touches that impressed him most about working for people like Rita. Things like the daiquiri, and Rico there up front, who had been his driver last time he had been here.

Outside the tinted windows of the limo, art-deco designs clash with giant plasteel-and-glass architectural monstrosities as they cruise through streets lined with seemingly ever-present palm trees. Most of the structures were familiar, but some not-so-familiar construction catches and draws Toby's eye from time to time. No Sprawl truly rests, and Miami still has a lot more room to grow than some of the others around the world.

Long ago learning the secret to stave off jet lag, Toby had slept for most of the flight from Amsterdam. The remainder of the time he had filled with a crash course on the recent events and the latest gossip in Miami, getting caught up on things since his last visit.

Has it really been fourteen months since my last visit?

Toby sips at his drink and lets his mind wander where it may as he watches the Sprawl give way to sandy beaches lined with exclusive, fenced-in resorts, their huge hotel towers resembling cliffs at the edge of the sea. Before long, Rico slows the long limousine and pulls up at the gates to the huge estate grounds of the Crystal Tower Resort.

After a dull flight in a merely adequate plane, Charlie blinks in the hot Miami air. He pulls out expensive Ray Ban-sunglasses and makes his way to the warting limo. As expected, the backseat adjusted to his body Unlike the ones in the plane and the air condition cools the temperature down to his preferred degree.

The thin ork reaches for the minibar and pulls open a bottle of water. While drinking, he tries to see as much as possible of Miami, even asking the driver for a longer route.
Ol' Scratch
Landing in Miami the Very Next Day...

The Lear Platinum slowly taxied itself to its final destination. It's side hatch popped open and a set of stairs rolled out. As the engines powered down, a somewhat dishelved elven stewardess was standing at the doorway trying her best to put herself back into pristine form before anyone noticed. A moment later, Ol' Scratch appeared at the entrance holding his guitar case. He just flashed a smile as he passed the still-flushed young woman, not even looking her in the eye, and clattered his hooves down the stairway.

The bright light assaulted his senses and he quickly reached into his jacket to pull out a pair of Oakleys. Looking around, he spotted a limo only a few paces to his left complete with a rather distinguished gentleman holding a small placard. "Mr. O. Scratch." Cute if not exactly subtle.

With a shrug, the satyr strutted over, made his introductions, hopped in (after spending a minute trying to finangle his case inside after refusing the polite offer to put it in the trunk), mixed up a White Russian (making sure to fill his pocket flask with some of that 23-year-old bourbon he found), then sat back to enjoy the ride. He could almost get used to this.

Well after they were underway, Scratch reached up to push the button that causes the privacy screen to roll down. "Hey, how's it going, man? So where exactly are we going anyway?"

Social Skillin'...
[ Spoiler ]
I've been instructed to deliver you to the Crystal Tower Resort sir. Room accomodations have been made for you. I have also been instructed to inform you of an impending meeting this evening with your prospective employer.

The ork in the front says no more after that. Apparently he isn't paid for chitchat.
Ol' Scratch
Scratch hides a smirk in the shadows. "Thanks, man. Just lemme know when we're almost there." He reaches up and pushes the button again, watching the privacy screen raise back into position.

Driving through Miami is a a definiton of dichotomy. One block shows tall prisitne corporate skyscrapers, many in newer and more daring architectual designs. Or attempts at it that fall sadly short. Not three blocks from these corporate ahvens are run down neighborhoods that look like they've seen the better half of urban warfare. After only a few kilometers, out right destroyed buildings can be sen jsut down the street from shopping malls. Knight Errant patrol cars sweep one street, while City Masters patrol the next.

Riding through a few of the more active "Disturbance Zones" the limo is occassionally hit by a stray round, or speeds up to avoid biker gangs. Apparently the armor and a pair of escort roto drones are enough to deter any actual attacks. Miami's changed a lot in the last decade. With the fall of the Gunerson corp and the attempted rise of others to fill the vacuum, the streets are left relatively unpoliced in many areas, while others continue under some semblance of Martial Law, enforced by Knight Errant.

Word is the decline of the local Gambione Family led the Commissione to replace them as the heads of Miami, and instead gave their support to a rising Luchesse family. Nisio "Stone" Luchesse, one of two sons of the Don luchesse of new York has been earing his name all over again, coming down hard on any rivals within his area of influence. The street wars have been brutal, leaving dozens dead. Rumors of a deal struck with K-E seem supported by lack of action against him, possibly becuase the areas that he does control have a much lower incident of violent crimes rate.

At long last the limo arrives at the sparkling jewel that is the Crystal Tower Resort. AR pop-up apears giving the room number, accomadations, and offers for bag boys as the limo pulls up to the front entrance. Someone really went all out on this.
Man, I am so fragging out of my league.

Trigger squirms around uneasily in each of the seats on his trip to Miami, first the Platinum First Class seating in far to expensive ballistic jet that gets him to Miami in a time that he did not think possible. And then the conforming and heated seats of the sleek limousine, each of the amenities provided seemed more and more over the top than the last, more extravagant, more appeasing, a thrust of persuasive objects meant to lull him into a sense of security. Trigger would have none of it.

He wasn't used to such extremes in luxury, preferring simple housing, transportation, and amenities. His nuyen was better spent towards equipment, security measures, research into better methods of killing bug spirits, not these 'necessities' of finer life. And the Resort the limo pulled into topped it all off, a gleaming mass of modern architecture and luxury, a bit more escapism in the great pit of escapism that is Miami. He couldn't believe the gaudiness of it all. But he couldn't wait till they got a look at his purple skin, the white bone designs on top of it, his stark white hair and long leather duster. The braid on the left side of his face and the small thunderbird feather in it were the least of his appearance issues. Trigger paid his dues in his hooding work in Chicago, his reputation earned in the deaths of countless spirits and threats and not on the lives of corporate heads like many of his contemporaries and whether or not he fit in or was professional enough for them was not his concern. He strode in unashamed of his street level appearance.


The last time he had been on an expensive private jet, he had been a bodyguard to a VIP, not the VIP. Not exactly. That was the last time he had been on an expensive private jet on a job. The other time was when he was flying into Prague with a Great Dragon. Enough day dreaming. Get into gear and prep for ops. As he got into the limo, he checked his weapons and made sure his disguise as well as his other gear were still in place. Weapons online, all systems nominal.

He glanced through the various readout his sensors were feeding into his contact's image link, taking note of various items of interest. That female receptionist has some serious chrome.

As he is lead through the resort to the meeting room, he takes note of the various security measures.
Much like the rest of the trip, the hotel is more expense than anything really needs, trotted out like a little show pony to be "ooh'd" and "ahh'd " at. The rooms are suites with tubs alrge enough to accomadate more than a few people, and the SOTA in modern entertainments. An AR reminder of time and directions to the metting ballroom are posted as soon as you walk in to the door.

The ballroom is a good sized area, with slides to bring in partitioning walls. All of them are open now however. There is a long table in the cneter of the room, with a pair of buffet tables flanking it. At the moment "The Johson Party" in not present. However, one by one, a few persons of interest start tricking in.

As cloud enters the hotel, a man in a suit detaches himself from the wall and approaches.

Sir, you're going to have to check those items with the luggage handler. Step this way please.

He indicates a small door off to the left where another pair of nice gentlemen are flanking said door.
Lady Door
Sam enters the hotel ballroom with a good five minutes to spare before the scheduled meet time. Taking a good look around, she commits the room to memory, noting exits and windows...
Well... someone's certainly gone to a lot of expense to make us get the right impression. This job gets more dangerous by the minute. Smoothing her black suit jacket down over her dark blue button up top, Sam makes her way to the table and takes a seat.

OOC: GM Note
[ Spoiler ]
Trigger has to withhold a devious smile when the receptionist gets a look at him, her taking a very quick double take at his appearance and slowly reaching for either a security button or a firearm under the counter. But before she reaches whatever it is, his info is simply presented via AR interface (This is nice, but I miss the old fashioned deck, so much easier to tell who was stealing your identity then). She gives him another sidelong glance as he walks off towards his room, muttering something to herself before turning to another employee to gossip about 'The real life shadowrunner that is here, just like they show them on the trid.'

Walking into his room, Trigger has to step back out and make sure that is the right one, thinking that such an extravagant suite could not be for him. He nearly swoons again he checks out the size of the bed and bath, dropping his tiny suitcase into one of the oversized real leather armchairs in the room. Straightening his brown military styled shirt on top of his slightly frayed and torn black jeans, Trigger readjusts the heavy and armored trench coat he is sporting over them and tries to give a little bit of order to his messy white mop of hair before heading on up to the third floor for the meeting. He arrives a tad before the scheduled time and it appears as though some of the others have already shown up as well.

Not noting them too much he crosses to the display of food and serves himself up a small plate, a salad and a bit of fruit, staying away from the overt displays of meat. He takes a seat at the table, gingerly starting in on his Caesar Salad (At least they made it right) while lightly looking the assembled group over. A satyr, a thin ork, a couple of humans, and another of the reth, he didn't care at the moment to search them over thoroughly, knowing that there would be plenty of time for them to get acquainted later. Right now that Caesar was very appeasing.
The room was almost as Toby had remembered, though it faced in a different direction than did the one he had used on the last occasion. Opulent was an understatement, of course. The price of the sheets alone could almost feed a small family for a year.

The mage deposits his travel bag and briefcase on the huge bed, the turns to examine himself in the full-length mirror. Scowling at his rumpled appearance, Toby runs through a couple of minor cosmetic enchantments before nodding in satisfaction.

One more banana daiquiri and then Toby sets out for the ballroom.
After approxiametly 15 minutes of everyone assembling in the ballroom and eating in relative silence, eyeing each other, one of the doors opens again. First in is a large ork man that practically screams "I'm the ork bodyguard aka 'Bad Cop'". he glares a bit in to the room to make sure eveyrone knows that he isn't intimidated.

Following behind him, and moving passed, is a human man in his early forties. Dark hair, and a serious expression, as well as a provessional manicure and $5000 suit declare him Mr Johnson.
The third in is another human, also with the expresion of "professional Protection". His suit us around the same grade's as Mr Johnson's however, putting his exact status into question.

Mr Johnson takes a moment to make sure that eveyrone is present, and sits at one end of the table, with one of his guards flanking him. The other moves to the other end of the table, still standing.

When Mr j speaks, his voicce and accent say American, although a bit more cultured than most. Certainly corporate, as if the Resort accomodations didn't say that enough.

I'd like to thank you all for being here today. I hope your trips were comfortable?

Let's get straight to business shall we? We've gone to quite an expense to bring you all here on very short notice. A number of people have informed me that you are all very good at what you do. That is what we are banking on today.

As to the matter of your work, we have lost something. Some things in fact. One cargo ship, and it's contents, including a number of protoype drones, and a very important research scientist. These were lost in a hijacking of out ship in the Carribean League four days ago. We have little information on who was behind it, so part of your work will be investigation based. Your pay will be dependant on how many mission goals you are able to accomplish. These compensations can net you each over $300,000. Do I have your interest?


As he walks follows the man towards the door, he surreptiously turns on his ultrasound sensor, gives the man and the guards a very thorough onceover, every piece of hardware and every cyber is noted and catalogued. The problem with looking into the abyss is that it looks back at you. Once he steps into the storage room, he takes in who and how his weapons are stored. He takes note of the various security features within the room.

Turns on Ultrasound.
Observe in Detail - security man and 2 guards
Observe in Detail - room

After he makes his deposit, he walks into the ballroom and checks out his potential allies.

Observe in Detail - General

After hearing the Johnson's spiel, he tries to recall any relevant information.

Knowledge Skills as appropriate
Ol' Scratch
About To Get His Schmooze On...

The Goat had been one of the first people to arrive on the scene, just as a promise of free food all but insured. He filled his first platter to the rim with lobster tails, a beautifully marbled ribeye, miniature corn-on-the-cob... thingies?, a slop of gravy, a few biscuits, and... oh, wow, a bunch of real grapes? Sweet! Oh yeah, this deal was gonna be cherry all right. Popping one of the free beers open, he shoved a finger in, escorted his meal back to the meeting table, then proceeded to indulge his gluttony while he waited for the show to get started.

One by one, more and more people showed up. He just continued to sit comfortably, his legs propped up on the table as he scarfed away. He engaged in polite chitchat if and when it came up, but didn't really say much of anything just like everyone else. At least not until the boss man showed up. Well, he figured he was the boss man considering he's the only one who appeared with a pair of guardian angels quick on his heels.

Finishing off his biscuit, Scratch kicked his legs back and took one last swig of his beer before switching to pro mode. And hey, it was a Lo Bräu to boot; his personal favorite. Someone clearly did their research. Another interesting sign of things to come...

After the Johnson finished up, Scratch cocked a brow and waited a beat for someone else to say something. His inner monologue sighed heavily before he took matters into his own hands.

"Yes, everything was great, thanks for asking." He began, his trademarked 'I'm a trustworthy guy, honest' smile firmly planted on his face.

"So, a bit of piracy on the high seas leading to a bounty of $1,800,000 a pop, huh? CAS dollars I presume?" He paused for a moment, visibly counting heads in his own before turning back to Mr. J and locking eyes with him, predator-e-predator. "That's quite a pretty penny for something that should be a cakewalk for your internal security or even some professional mercs. So come on, man... what's the real deal? Why are you interested in hiring some street trash to do this for you? Especially some street trash that doesn't seem to have ever worked together before. Kind of curious, wouldn't you say? I'm guessing these 'mission goals' you mentioned are either worth a hell of a lot more than a good ten mill or someone's reputation is at stake. Maybe a bit of both? Something else instead maybe, hmm? So which is it? Either way, I'm sure we can do a bit better than 1.8 mil a head, wouldn't you agree?"

Scratch leaded back in his chair and popped one of the grapes that was still on his plate while he waited for the Johnson's rebuttal. He tried to make sure to let the Johnson know that he wasn't anybody's fool, but to still show that he was interested in hearing more. And if he was willing to open the deal with a bid of over a quarter million, well just wow, the budget his guys put aside for this operation must be out of this world. All the better for Scratch!

Actually Getting His Schmooze On
[ Spoiler ]

Assensing Away Again in Margaritaville...
[ Spoiler ]

Unsurprisingly, the hotel plays in the same league as the limo and the plane promised. After checking in and giving his suite a quick look-over on the astral, he enjoys the AR and the large tub, before he choses an expensive dark blue suit and heads for the meeting.

He's ordering local specialities and a large bottle of water. While he eats, he eyes the other runners, followed by Mr J. and his bodyguard. Seems they know how they hired. Fine.

Charlies gives the other runner who brings the matter straight to point a broad grin, displaying his lower tusks. I agree that there is probably more money for each of us to make. he growls finally.
Leaning against one wall, a small plate of chocolates in his hand, Toby listens to Mr. Johnson make his pitch. He suppresses a smile as the satyr steps up to begin the inevitable negotiations, but can't hide his surprise at being labeled 'street trash'.
Glad the goat stepped up to bat, I would of struck out..... Trigger sighed slightly to hide his smile at the quick word play of the satyr, taking a sip of a very nice white wine that the hotel had here for them. Or rather that Mr. Johnson had paid the hotel to have here for them, can't forget who was footing the bills for this parade of decadence. Well, as long as there is a parade.... Trigger took another long sip of the wine and continued slowly on his salad, watching the meeting play out with interest.
[ Spoiler ]

Street Trash would not be here Mr. Scratch. You are here because certain persons have said that you're abilites and dedication are superb. The rewards offered as I stated are specifically for each mission objective. The chief of which would be the return of our scientist.

Should you succeed in his retrieval, I will compensate you each another $30,000. CAS dollars.
Ol' Scratch
Scratch nods a bit while popping another grape into his mouth.

He takes a moment to look around the table for any signs of discomfort at the deal, then continues. "Sounds like we have an accord, then." The satyr pauses for a beat, looking like he wanted to shake hands before remembering Johnsons didn't really go for that sort of thing in this day and age. "Let's move on to the nitty-gritty details then, yes?"
The ship in question was called the Morning Fire. It was a modified freighter. Small amounts of cargo, moved from one continent to another, and the guise of an every day freighter, but armed to the teeth. It dissapeared 75 nautical miles north east of Jamaica, in the Caribbean League. Transponder searches have turned up nothing, so either the ship was completely destroyed or it's shielded somewhere. For finding the ship we will pay you $50,000 each. We will require some sort of proof and coordinates.

The prototypes are next generation antrhoforms. There are three of them. Each one was tagged with numerous stealth RIFD tags naturally. None of them are showing up on any scans of the area. We will provide you with those frequencies. You will each recieve $100,000 for the return of the drones.

Our missing doctor is one Dr Alfred Hannover. I can provide a picture and viable ritual sample, although it won't do you much good. It will allow you to authenticate the good doctor however. I assure you we have already put forth extensive resources into magical tracking and location. That is a dead end. For his return we will compensate you $150,000 each. His rescue is paramount.

The agreed upon sum of $30,000 will be provided to each of you today, before I leave this room, giving you ample resources to put to your task. I have no set time limit. However I would need an update every two days. I will provide you with a matrix drop box to forward information and reports to.

Before I go on, questions?
Lady Door
Sam listens intently as the Johnson speaks, filing away his information for later consideration. When he mentions the location, her eyebrow rises.
75 miles east of Jamaica? That would put the ship disappearing right in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle. No wonder ritual tracking hasn't worked.
... I assume, of course, that you will be supplying us with the specifications for the drones as far as height and weight are considered? ... and your Dr. Hannover... will this be a willing or unwilling rescue attempt? Do we have permission to drug or otherwise restrain the target?
Simple questions perhaps, but Sam had learned long ago that it was the small details that often meant the difference between getting paid ... or getting dead.
General descriptions on the drones I can give you. You'll understand if I don't go in to more detail.

Dr Hannover will most likely be quite willing to accompany you home. If he is not, do your best not to hurt him.
Toby savors another caramel-filled chocolate as he absorbs the details of the assignment. Content to let the others ask what questions they may, he pops another delicacy into his mouth and relaxes against the wall, observing what he can about Mr. Johnson, the job, and especially his new companions.
Trigger restrains a visible cringe when the Johnson starts in on his description, keeping his mounting anxiety to himself. His ears stay tuned in on the details, filing them away in his memory as he falls into long ago memories of his childhood in the Tir.

The crystal clear waters and pristine tiled inlay of the corporate public swimming facility glistened in the afternoon sun, the retractable rooftop opened to light of early July in Portland. A tall and beautiful elf mother led her three children to the steps of the pool, the oldest dancing along in front of her, his golden hair reflecting the sun's rays like a halo around his head. The next oldest son walked to the rear of them, his shoulders slumped in boredom, his long, greasy, black hair hanging low, with the exception of a section pulled back over his left ear, displaying his newly acquired datajack gleaming at his temple. The youngest of the three walked very near his mother, short for his 8 years of age, with a messy head of black hair as well, reflecting purple highlights in the light. The boy clung to his mother's side, gazing at the pool with a slight fear in his eyes.

"Go on boys, the day is fine, have a swim," smiled the mother, urging her three darling children to the water. Kneeling down to the youngest at her side she spoke softly, "Go Koruamus, have fun with your brothers." She kissed his forehead lightly and sent off after the other two, already splashing in the water.

Taking ginger steps to the pools edge, Koruamus looked down at the blue mirror reflecting his skinny and frail body back at it. His swim trunks hung large on his tiny frame and his head seemed just a tad too big for such a small body, he looked sort of like a keebler elf with his ears sticking out so far as well. Staring at his reflection and the depths behind it, he took an step backwards from the edge, meaning to return to the safety of his mother's side.

"It is just water Koru, it won't bite you," called the middle boy, Korreus, from the pool, bobbing up and down in place, his stringy hair stuck to the sides of his head. "Don't be a chicken."

Koruamus glared silently at his older brother, holding his ground. He steeled himself against his brother's taunts, used to them for being so small or weak or awkward. But where was Korrin's taunt, it usually came in right along with Korreus', a biting remark from the golden eldest son.

Then he heard the silent padding and felt the hands against his bare back. Korrin had snuck up behind him and pushed the tiny boy into the pool, sending him flying into the deep end with his other brother. Koruamus hit the water with a gasp, inhaling a mouthful of the chlorinated liquid, sputtering and taking in more as he sunk into the embrace of the pool. Above him the sun glared down through the retractable roof of the facility, stinging his eyes before they slowly faded to darkness.

Trigger snapped out of his memories with a snap, realizing he hadn't touched his salad in a minute or two, and that his gaze had began to drift, leaving him drifting off into space while his mind was elsewhere. Mentally shaking himself awake, he turned his full attention back to the meeting, hoping no one had noticed his daydream.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0 @ Aug 25 2007, 10:53 PM)
General descriptions on the drones I can give you. You'll understand if I don't go in to more detail.

"Actually," Ol' Scratch interrupts, his eyes breaking from the curious look he was giving the purple mage, "no, I don't understand. Trust is required on both sides. We have to trust that you're not out to screw us over, and you have to trust that we'll fulfill our obligations to you. In order to do so, we'll need to know everything you know, including exactly what it is you want us to find.

"Additionally, before you leave, we'll need to discuss our operational budget for this job. Our fee has already been established, but not the slush funds we'll need for the actual job. If one of your suspicions is correct, for example, this freighter of yours might be on the ocean floor and thus we'll need to secure a mini-sub and similar equipment in order to investigate. Such equipment isn't exactly cheap or easy to come by, as I'm sure you know. There's also bribes, travel expenses, and other similar costs that need to be considered."

Again, Scratch leans back in his seat, this time taking a swig from his beer as he awaits the Johnson's reply and any other questions his soon-to-be cohorts in crime can cook up.

[ Spoiler ]
Lady Door
Sam's eyes widen momentarily at the ... thing that calls himself Scratch presumption. Maybe I've been operating out of Cuba too long... maybe things are done differently elsewhere... but I would never presume to speak to my employer so. Getting involved with this group could damage my rep if things continue this way.
Sam shifts uncomfortably in her chair and sips slightly from her water glass. When she speaks, she directs her comments to the Johnson.Sir, if I may... I understand your need for discretion regarding the nature of the anthroforms. Proprietary information and all that. I simply requested the gross weight and sizing due to shipping concerns. I would suggest my companions take a moment to realize the nature of the business we are involved in. Our employer can no more give us the specs of these particular drones then we would hand over access to our commlinks. Sam takes another sip of water before continuing to speak to the Johnson and vicariously, the team.
As I understand it, the implementation of the act our employer has hired us for is up to our discretion. Submarines, boats, etc. are all elements that we, as hired contractors are responsible for handling ourselves. An expense account, while generous, is not a mandate for this mission considering the generous recompense already provided.
Sitting back, Sam smiles at no one in particular and once again sips at her water.
Way to alienate the rest of the hired help, Ned. ... well, you know what, frag it if they can't handle a little careful diplomacy.
Trigger snapped out of his memories with a snap, realizing he hadn't touched his salad in a minute or two, and that his gaze had began to drift, leaving him drifting off into space while his mind was elsewhere.

The Johnson levels a look that borders at disgust at Trigger.

My apo9logies that I seem to be boring you Mr Trigger. The work I am organizing is going well in to the range of millions of nuyen, but if you have better things to attend to, I can certainly find other individuals.

"Actually," Ol' Scratch interrupts, his eyes breaking from the curious look he was giving the purple mage, "no, I don't understand. Trust is required on both sides. We have to trust that you're not out to screw us over, and you have to trust that we'll fulfill our obligations to you.

I think we have a difference of opinion Mr Scratch. I will give you some information on the targets, including photographs to give you a solid understanding of what it is you are llooking for. If you cannot work in a position requiring discretion, I will find others that can.

I have already agreed to pay the up front cost of nuyen.gif 60,000 to each of you. If you are seriosuly suggesting that you cannot do this job with an operating budget of nuyen.gif 300,000, I can and will find others that can. If you find that you are in need of a submarine, that acquire one by what ever means necessary. You cannot seriously tell me that it would be easier for you to buy a submarine that to acquire one? It is those very talents that I am looking to employ. If I wanted someone to buy a submarine, I would be employing corporate security forces as you suggested earlier.

I have already approached you with an offer for what I believe we can agree is an almost ridiculous amount of money, especially considering what is being asked for. However my companies generosity knows bounds. Those bounds have some leeway, but our need for discretion, especially in the case of protoypes, has very precise borders.
Ol' Scratch
"Can't blame a fellow for trying, can you?" Scratch asked, producing a playful wink. A two-fold wink; partly to try and ease the Johnson's concerns and partly because he managed to get a reaction out of him. Guess he's metahuman afterall!

"Right. In that case I'm sound as a pound once you fill in the details we need. Unless anyone else has any questions, I'm ready to get this show on the road." Once again, the satyr readjusts himself in his chair while looking to his comrades expectedly.
If Toby was surprised by the satyr's negotiating technique, he is totally floored by Sam's interjection. Even if he was opposed to what Scratch was asking, he would never even consider interrupting the process, let along arguing the side of the client.

He continues to observe the proceedings, not quite successful in concealing a smile at the client's response, but having regained his demeanor in time to nod to Scratch in answer to his unspoken query.
Cloud keeps his own counsel. He observes who takes what food and drinks and he settles in a corner to observe the interaction between the Johnson and the team negotiator. Team negotiators, it seems. His forte lay in keeping quiet and observing, that's exactly what he'd do.
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
The Johnson levels a look that borders at disgust at Trigger.

My apo9logies that I seem to be boring you Mr Trigger. The work I am organizing is going well in to the range of millions of nuyen, but if you have better things to attend to, I can certainly find other individuals.

Trigger bites back a remark he preparing to level at the Johnson, whispering it instead in the depths of his on consciousness instead. If you had hired me to listen to you ramble through negotiations and pretend that I am not simply a strong arm spellslinger then you most certainly can find another person for this bit of piracy. While only a few years ago he would have let his tongue fly and thrown consequence to the wind, he had grown into a tad more professional runner that he had been before. That didn't stop his brows from dropping into a scowl though, or the violence of his thoughts to present themselves through his jabbing of an innocent piece of lettuce on his plate.
Charlie follows the negotions with a dry smile. Always the same procedure. Annoying, time-consuming and with no respect from the J. to us runners. He chuckles.
Lady Door
Sam's uncomfortable smile grows more so as one by one she eyes the team. Finally she speaks, nearly interrupting the Johnson to do so.
My apologies, sir, but after careful consideration of both your offer and your hired... personnel, I feel that I am unable to accept. Thank you for your time and your gracious hosting. Sam rises and takes the last sip of water from her glass before wiping it down with her napkin. Please feel free to contact me again should you need ... professional services. I'll show myself the way out. Thank you.
Sam nods politely to the Johnson with a small smile and then turns and heads out of the ballroom.
The Johnson nods, his face intentionally devoid of any kind of emotion and waits for the woman to leave the room. He has onr of his guards show her out.
If you were just going to interrupt the negotiations, argue on the part of the Johnson, and generally be uncooperative with the Goat, why the hell did you show up? Trigger's gleaming emerald eyes watched the other elf strut out of the room, pondering her motives as she left. Was she a plant? Meant to keep our prices low and put a thorn into the sides of our negotiations? Hmm... After she leaves the room Trigger turns his attention back to the Johnson, paying attention much more closely now. A conspiracy may be a foot and he sure as hell wasn't going to fragged by it.
This Johnson is really out of his usual environment. Inviting top runner is one thing, but it's important to make sure that they gonna work together. He should had checked the file about this elf more closely. If he does have a file...

Charlies eyes the other runners, to see their reaction to the unexpected leaving of Sam.
Ol' Scratch
Ol' Scratch leans further and further back in his chair as he watches the young elf chica strut her way out the door, to the point where he finally flips his head back to observe the scene upside down. "She's got moxie; gotta give her that." he says quietly to no one in particular. "Least she had the brass ones to know when to bolt rather than stick around and cause a problem. Hope I get the chance to work with her again. Broads like her are a rare find."

After watching the Johnson's bodyguard 'escort' her to the door, and masking a hint of a concern on his face as he does so, Scratch pulls himself back upright until he's seeing the world right-side-up again.

"So, where were we?"
Toby can't help but roll his eyes as Sam pipes in yet again, and is left shaking his head as he watches the elf's departure.
Cloud watches the interactions and reactions of the other players in this game. He takes particular note of Charlie's reaction.

Mr. Johnson, perhaps this would be a good time to elaborate on the essentials of the mission. While I am certain that you have included redundancy with regards to this... project, I would like to know the skillset that the lady was bringing to the team. I am sure that whoever you had as backup will be adequate for the task but sometimes adequacy is a relative term and adjustments have to be made.
Sammael was the infltrations expert. It seems your skills in the arcane will have to compensate for her loss should those skills be required.

I have one piece of evidence to provide for you , besides the last known coordinates of our ship. A video file that was transmitted from the ship, provided by one of our security assets' eye camera.

Mr Johnson sends an open file to each commlink present, while at the same time displaying it in holo format.

The video cuts to the action of the feed. it is indeed a point of view from someone's eye camera, making it a bit dissorienting as the owner of the eye looks wildly around, coming out of what looks to be the interior of a ship. He looks behind him to see three more men, not in uniforms, but carrying SMGs and assault shotguns. A hand comes into view as he waives them forward.

They run out on to the deck. A bright flash of red is seen, and flare compensation kicks in. A birlliant long ray of red energy lances out from somewhere off the brow, cutting a good slice through the hull of the ship, and pratically disintegrating one of the men that just came on deck. It's surreal seeing it play out in real time, watching men scream, but hearing no sound.

The security men gather them selves again, and run along the deck, heads moving as if responding to shouts. They round a corner, and are faced with a tall black ork, wearing little more than leathers and an open black vest. All three open fire, with no effect on the ork besides tearing his vest badly. He levels an old fashion double barreld shotgun, with a wicked grin on his face, directly at the camera's point of view. Then everything goes dark.

I think now you have a better understanding as to why you were all chosen. There is certainly some powerful assets being put to use in this situation. I need it dealt with firmly, and completely.

Do you have any questions?
Cloud tries to ignore the action and concentrate on the things that might be missed in the camera feed. He files the red energy weapon as well as the seemingly invulnerable ork for future reference.

I am just a simple man. What would I know about the arcane? Mr Johnson, I presume that your security people were unable to identify the ork?

Examines(observe) the video feed in detail

[ Spoiler ]
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