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Gardner smiles as he thanks Moreau and cuts the line. He transfers the address over to Silas, "Looks like we won't be needing that safehouse for now. We have a meeting with our first potential buyer."

He leans over to look into the back as Needle continues to berate Acson, "calm down, calm down. It isn't entirely his fault that he doesn't know the proper biz, it's not like he's done this before." He gives Acson a quick, worried look, nearly asking 'You haven't, have you?', then looks back to Needle. "He's likely worth more alive to any of our potential buyers, as soon as Eclipse is back from getting his gear we can head to the meeting and start getting all of this done with."
Severus Snape
Needle sighs heavily, not wanting to let up on the Cordex, but also not wanting to alienate her new team. Considering they all just met one another a couple hours ago at the most, she backs off of Acson.

"Ok, wage-slave - you get a reprieve. But you better not be lying about any of this drek. If this book thingy doesn't even exist, or if any of the other guys don't want you or are unwilling to pay us for dropping you in their corporate laps...". Her voice trailed off at that last while she turned the rusty box cutter over in her hands several times, making a few slicing motions, all for effect so that Acson's imagination might get away from him.
Mr. White ends the call with MarcusB.

"Ladies and Gents, depending on whether you're paranoid, or extremely paranoid, we may want to exercise some extreme caution here. A contact of mine leads me to believe that our friend here is being searched for, by very active means. To the extent that I'm not sure how comfortable I am trying to sell him off to the highest bidder via comms."

He thinks for a moment. "I'm inclined to say that we're safer on the road. We're moving, and not trapped anywhere. Holing up in a building just gives a convenient place to assemble assault teams."

Mr. White produces a small case for old fashion business cards and thumbs through them for a moment before plucking one from the stack. "I can give Laurent from the Atlantean foundation a call if we like, but again, I'm a bit wary of discussing much via comm."
As the van rolls to a stop in the parking lot of....this really can't be a Stuffer Shack could it? This place is far to shiny and bright to be a dispenser of krill-filler and the stuffers you're used to. But no. there's the gleaming signage declaring itself a StufferShack even though the logo is a bit changed from what you're used to. You heard something up them changing it, but you're a little disgusted by this. Who changes something as classic as the fraggin StufferShack logo?

Silas gives a loud whoop on seeing where Eclipse's directions had brought the time. He likes this guys style. Unfortunately, the guard who had just been cheerful waving hello to a homely woman with her kid in tow turns a bit sour as he spots the logo on the side of the van. He adjusts his posture and steps out in front of the door as he catches a glimpse of painted clown face past the windshield.

Meanwhile, Eclipse jumps out the side door of the van opposite the StufferShack. Promising to be back in a few with his gear, he leaves the LMG in TundraWolf's capable hands while retaining the long trench coat to better conceal what he brings back. It's not exactly the type of thing that fits in with this neighborhood of pastel colored polo wearing douches. But as long as he's quick about it, he shouldn't attract too much attention.

The whole situation has him a bit more paranoid than usual. He keeps catching himself glancing over his shoulder to make sure he's not being followed and there's a hitch in his step every time a new car comes into view. He starts deriding himself. He's being totally unprofessional. There's no way Horizon could have already caught up to them or found out where his place is at, right?

Wait, what's that noise? He spots a helicopter flying low in from the direction of downtown. Shit, shit, shit....that better not be a Horizon chopper, he thinks to himself. He starts quicken his pace as heads towards a random building for some cover. If he didn't know better he'd say that helicopter was on a beeline right towards his apartment complex!

As the sweat starts to freeze onto his forehead in the chill wind, the helicopter is close enough for him to make out details about it. Details like the big SK logo on the tail fin. Damn, he never thought he'd have a sigh of relief to see a Saeder Krupp helicopter. But at least it's not Horizon already on their asses.

Still, better not dally here. He quickly got back to walking down the street to his apartment. Arriving there, he does a 'casual' walk about to see if he can spot anything unusual. Nothing so far seems to have disturbed the pleasant facade that he's grown so familiar with. He gets a few odd looks from half remembered neighbors that out on their own errands, but nobody questions him or even acknowledges that they know him. Typical Bellevue, wanting to ignore anything that doesn't fit their little imaginary world where everything is sunshine and rainbows...

Eventually, he's as assured as he's going to be. He walks up to the building's door and it beeps acknowledgement of his authorized commlink. A soft click unlatches the door. Walking past the threshold, he can feel the shift from pleasant face to the unpleasant reality. No matter how many air freshners that cheap bastard of a land lord hangs in the entry way, he can still always smell the hint of rotting wood in this place.

Heading past the perpetually broken elevator, Eclipse starts climbing the stairs to his 12 floor apartment. The only person he encounters is a 9 year girl from 9C. "Nice trench dude," she says with derisive attitude far exceeding her age. What's wrong with this world that steals the innocences of youth so early? Whatever, not his problem.

His front door is exactly as he left it....
Friday, ~22:00; Clown Bus just inside Bellevue
Disposable Commlink: Active | SIN (rating 4) Dr James Earnest

Eclipse nods to Mr White's words. "That's a good point. Give me just a couple minutes and we can hit the road again. Ah... I only have ammo for holdouts and submachine guns. If you chummers want anything else, I think this place'll sell to you if you have a licence. Keep the LMG safe!"
With that, he steps off the clown bus, hikes up the collar of his borrowed and oversized coat, and makes his way to his apartment by way of side streets and a few too many left turns. As he walks his hand again dips into the commlink pocket, this time flipping the switch from "hidden" to "active." Should stop random security drones from exploding him! Even so, he's cautious, as is best to do when adding a megacorp to the already too big list of entities gunning for you. Don't mind him, just a doctor... There's a brief moment of panic as a helicopter flies overhead, but by the time the shock of "I'm going to die!" has worn off, it's been identified and left. Even so he takes a moment to pause and force himself to collect his breath and loosen the grip on his holdout. Not that it would have done much good against a helo, but..

He's almost back to feeling like himself while climbing the stairs when a little girl accosts him. He sighs - really? There's another pause before he asks: "You up on your measles shots? I'll ask your mum later..."

Commlink is waved at his door when he finally arrives to unlock it, and opened with a nudge from his shoulder. Once the door's closed and locked, Eclipse goes through habitually clearing the apartment for boogeymen and Ghosts. From there it's to the closet to throw a pile of freshly folded boxers and socks on the ground and reveal his stashed duffel bag. Armor is doned, SMG slung over his shoulder, and spare magazines and grenades loaded into the tactical vest. The borrowed coat from Silus is then thrown back on and buttoned up, relying on the extra bulk on an orc-sized coat concealing the weapons of a malnourished elf. As an afterthought, he grabs a reflective vest and his motorcycle helmet while sending off a quick text to the group.
<<have ride here u want give address when i drop off presnt 4 nephew???>> He thinks for a moment, and then adds: <<or ride with u??>>
From there, it's a quick trip back to the bus once he has his answer, though he's still sure to move quickly and avoid the lights, changing his commlink back to hidden and his running ID.
22:41, Two blocks from Tundra Wolf's apartment; Tacoma

It wasn't hard to find a shadowy area to park the clown truck in this part of the 'plex. Tundra Wolf left the Ingram with Eclipse, not wanting to even risk running into one of the infrequent KE patrols. It would be just my luck tonight, he thought. For a wonder the 'lift in the lobby of the apartment tower was working, though after waiting a couple minutes for it to trundle down from the 18th floor Nikolai lost patience with it and opted for the stairs.

He paused before he punched in the last number in the apartment's keypad, listening intently for any sounds through the comically thin door. No sounds came from within, at least any that he could hear over the herd of 6- and 7-year old children screaming in the unit next to his. If I wasn't planning on moving after tonight, I would be now. He took the sleek, matte-black Viper from it's holster, then punched the last number in. The lock LED flickered green for a second, then went blank as the door unlatched.

It took only a moment to clear the tiny apartment. He kept the lights off, relying on memory and the low-light enhancement of his cybereyes to find what he needed afterwards. He changed out of the suit and into more fitting attire for the evening: urban camouflage cargo pants and a black collarless shirt. The newly-enhanced armor jacket clicked into place over it, then he pulled his battered Russian Army surplus duffel out and began loading it. A tactical vest, the helmet matching his armor jacket, two each of the smoke and gas grenades, the low-light mini-flashlight, earbuds and subvocal mic, and his gas mask went in with practiced placement. Two magazines of Ex-EX magazines for Mishka, a single magazine of the same for the Predator. We have work tonight, old comrades. Mishka went in last, the freshly-loaded magazine of APDS ammo locked into the magwell. The Viper was snugged back into it's concealed holster in the small of his back, then the combat holster for the Predator was locked in place on his hip, and lastly his old, well-used combat blade went into the side of his boot.

He dropped the Ikon in the locking cabinet he had taken Mishka from, already ruing the cost of having one of Andropov's hackers re-secure it after tonight's botched extraction. The Clip would have to suffice until he could get it replaced, poor as it was. He took a slug from the last bottle of vodka he'd managed to bring over with him, the clear burn in his throat muting the throb of his head a little. He contemplated another, then opted to fill the dented steel flask he kept next to it instead, dropping it into one of the cargo pockets. He paused before opening the door again, this time to set the mirrored lens covers over his cybereyes, then left his apartment to return to the van.

CMT Clip: Hidden | SIN: Sergei Zharov

Tundra Wolf stepped up into the van, sliding the bag under his legs as he sat down. He took the Smartgun back from Eclipse and snapped the first magazine of subsonic ammo into it, then placed the extra magazine and the half-emptied SnS magazine for it on top of the duffel. "If the strike teams come now, I will be ready for them."
As the team follows a short way behind Eclipse's bike, Mr. White's commlink quietly beeps the receipt of a message...

[ Spoiler ]
spoiler for Slacker.

[ Spoiler ]
Spoiler for Mr. White
[ Spoiler ]
spoiler for Slacker.

[ Spoiler ]
Spoiler for Mr. White:
[ Spoiler ]
Mr. White blinks a few times at his comlink.

To the others in the vehicles he says, "It seems that a dragon is curious as to why we are headed to talk to Draco. He knows that we're headed to Draco, and offers to pay for information about why we're headed to Draco. I presume he's more interested in that book than in our friend here."
Severus Snape
At the mention of dragons, Needle removes her AR glasses so she can focus on one task instead of trying to talk and look at the Matrix at the same time.

"Um, I'm sorry - did you say DRAGON? A dragon just called you up and told you that he's interested in why we're heading to another foundation linked to dragons?"

Needle blinks several times, shaking her head, trying to clear the fog that is now setting in.

"Which dragon? And what do we know about him? Or, rather, do you want me to dig up any information on they prefer to be referred to as?"
23:01 - Carpark @ Pier 60 restaurant. Seattle

Silas Stirs from his short slumber as the trucks wheels go from smooth tarmac to the gravel of the carpark.

He Blinks once, tries to comprehend the facts as they are given to him as regards Dragons, blinks again and says

"Wells Chummers, it's been nice knowing yous ..I fink we are Fragged though!"

He shrugs his shoulders in acceptance and starts to put on the clown costume for the second time, rooting through boxes in the back of the van for streamers and balloons and other fun stuff
that he wishes he had as a kid at some of his birthday parties

"Mr. Talky man can waltz in dere' but we is gonna need somefink more... jenny sez craps! ... I don't fink da machine guns will fits in dese pants though! Tiny can I borrows the hand cannon ?"
Mr. White nods his head. "I don't know what this book is that Mr. Acson has in his possession, but I am beginning to suspect that he is not the item of value here." He glances at Needle. "An agent of the dragon. Dragon's name is Lung." he stops and thinks for a moment. "I wonder how much they know. He's contacted me, so it seems clear that he knows - or at least suspects that we have Mr. Acson and the book. Offering to pay for information about it seems to tip his hand, letting on that it's important to them." he shrugs.

Gesturing at the comlink in his other hand, he asks "So, are we ready to deal with a dragon?"
Friday, 22:50; Clown Bus just inside Bellevue
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Plisken

Eclipse rests on his bike a block back from the clown bus. He's on the "barely" side of inconspicuous as it is, being liked with a van full of presumed sideshow attractions certainly wouldn't help. He takes his "job" seriously though, adding the Ingram X he's handed to the duffel bag of goodies slung over his shoulder. At some point, I should invest in saddlebags. To cover up the waiting he pulls his phone yet again from his pocket and begins fiddling - with luck, anybody who sees him will assume he's looking up either directions or captioned cats. Nobody should suspect his dark secret... tetris.
He almost doesn't catch Tundra Wolf making his way back. Just in time his phone is holstered. His bike lurches to life with a barely muffled roar, carrying him easily to the side to the van. His right arm waves in exaggerated gestures of annoyance, while left deftly hands over the Ingram X. His eyes linger on the Russian surplus bag o' goodies, but he doesn't comment.
"Excellent. Meet y'all at the docks? I'll let you know if I see anything fishy."
Eclipse sticks around for a second to wait for replies (and to finish off his gesturing for the benefit of any observers) before returning both hands to his bike and racing off for the docks to search for the expected trap.

Friday, 23:10; Pier 60 "You Eat Too Much" restaurant carpark
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Plisken

Eclipse rolls up to the carpark and swears. Somehow he'd gotten it in his head there'd be a nice line of buildings on the waterfront he could easily climb and spy from. The fact of the matter - a lone building at the end of a pier with a single walkway to approach - was enough to send his heart drooping into his stomach. Fantastic way to ambush them, if that was the goal: line the pier with C4 and just wait. Eyes scan the crowd lingering outside the restaurant, and a little bit of hope returns.
<<dont see nething yet. crowd, lots of collateral dmg if prsnt, bad pr. will keep updated>>
Blissfully unaware of the looming threat of capital-d Dragon, Eclipse stuffs his hands into his pocket to keep them warm while he waits for the clown bus to arrive. Half his attention rests on the queue outside You Eat Too Much, while the other half is devoted to the water. A nice stolen speedboat would help a lot if this goes south...
Gardner gives a small groan as he pushes himself up to lean over the arm of the front passenger seat in the van. "What exactly did this agent of a dragon ask and offer?" he turns to look over the group, focusing first on Mr. White. "If whatever special information Mr. Acson here has locked up is as important and as secret as it seems to be, I doubt the offer is enough to warrant sending out even more data trails..."

Gardner's eyes settle on Silas as he attempts to put on the ridiculous costume, "what are you doing? We're heading to a meet with a fixer of mine, and Mr. White's and Tundra Wolf's for that matter. We don't need a distraction, or a disguise, or any of the attention you would attract wearing that getup... Anyone who likes can come in, this is a public place. But the goal is to keep a relatively low profile..." Gardner shifts back into the seat as he turns back toward the road, "for that matter, make sure we park off to the side of the lot. We don't want this garish van to be front and center either."
Mr. White nods his head at Gardner. "The person who sent me a message is known to work for Lung, and claims to be 'representing someone'. He could be doing his own thing, but I have no reason to believe that he's not acting on behalf of his benefactor. He specifically wanted to know why we were headed to meet with Draco, and offered cash for the information." Mr. White shrugs. "I won't claim to understand the intrigues of dragons, or those associated with them. This could present a complication, or it could be an opportunity."

Mr. White picks at some lint on his coat and runs a comb through his hair as he prepares to go and meet with Moreau. He's still unarmed, his pistol presumably still in someone's pack.
Mr. White steps out of the van straightening his the now wrinkled coat as best he could. Rappelling down the side of a building is terrible on such fine fabric. Leading the others through the parking lot, down the pier's walkway, he makes his way past the civil, if chaotic, crowd outside to the front desk.

A comically cheerful smiley face pops into his AR vision upon entering the building. In a faux chinese script, it speech balloon says <<Welcome to You Should Not Eat So Much. Current wait time is 1:43:23. Would you like to add your name to the list?>>

Ignoring the digital hostess, he walks up to the real world hostess who smiles not nearly as comically though just as routine. "We are not currently seating anybody sir. I can add you to our guest list though. How many in your party, sir?"

Seeing all too well that the smile is hiding how tired the hostess is of people trying to bluster their way to getting a seat quicker, Mr. White smiles back at her. "Thank you. That won't be necessary. I believe our party has already arrived, Mr. Moreau is expecting us to join him presently."

"Ah, yes. We've been expecting you." She points across the open layout of the restaurant. "His booth is right over there in the back. Would you like me to escort you?"

"No need to take you away from your duties here, madam. We can make our way to him on our own," he says confidentally.

"Very well. As you can see, plates and bowls are available at the buffets. A waitress will be by your table soon to take your drink orders."

With that, the group of shadowrunners pass by her without another thought. They make their way to Moreau's table.

"Ah, you are here," Moreau says with a nod for you to sit down at his booth.
Gardner motions for Acson and the others to sit and stands beside the table, "Thank you for seeing us on such short notice," he gives a slight smile before returning to business. He motions to Acson "allow me to introduce our new hiring potential. He wished to discuss possible employment with you."

Gardner stands for a few more moments before quickly excusing himself for a moment before retrieving one of the reinforced, troll-sized chairs from the back of the room.
"So, this is Parker Acson? The Horizon arcanoarcheologist, right?" Moreau looks the man up and down with an appraising eye. “Prior exploits of your 'friends' here go you this meeting, but that's only going to get you so far in life. Remind me why I should want to meet you? You just skipped out on Horizon. Why do I want a piece of that drek?”

Parker Acson is taken back a little by the cold, calculating tone of Moreau's voice. He nervously glances at the runners around him in some vain attempt at support. The glares and dirty looks he's getting as they see all their efforts and the shit storm he's brought down on them being for nothing, spurs him forward even more than anything Moreau could have said. He blurts out "The Thaljun Cordex!"... a little too loudly.

Glancing around the team notices a few patrons at nearby tables looking over at the crowded booth. But then there is a LOUD clearing of a throat in the booth next to Moreau's. A troll with a large duffle bag is sitting there glaring at the people until they sheepishly turn away to duck their heads back towards their full plates of food. That done, the troll pats his duffel bag and smiles satisfactorily.

Moreau ignores the antics of his backup. "What was that you said?"

Embarrassed by his outburst so early in negotiations. He leans into to continue in a more discreet voice, "I'm certain you've heard of my promising skills. But even more than that I have something I know your Foundation will be interested in...I was able to copy the Thaljun Cordex from Horizon's restricted library."

"Now that is something we would be interested in," says Moreau as he leans back against the booth. "You have this on you, I presume?"

Smiling, Acson continues settling into a more assured posture of his own. "You can assume that the Cordex is safe. Now how about we talk about my future within the Draco Foundation?"

“Your defection? Right, we got that covered. The Draco Foundation knows the short path to success, you scan?” Turning to the team of runners, Moreau addresses them. "It seems you have done well to bring this man to our attention. I am willing to offer each of you gentlemen 10,000 for your efforts and your discretion. Should this be satisfactory, you can bring him and the Cordex to me at the Kobe Terrace Park later tonight."
"That seems like a fair offer, thank you. As I expect it to be a long evening, do you mind if we contact you again to confirm our arrangement?"
Moreau nods knowlingly, "Good luck with your other negotiations. You have my number." With that, he stands to leave, nearly instantly mirrored by the troll in the next booth over.
Having completed their business, Mr. White begins to stand, but then glimpses the looks on his companion's faces.

"Ahh, Mr. Moreau, I apologize for my oversight. There have been a few, ah, complications along our way, and while your offer is generous, it would be well received if you were flexible with your proposal. Additionally, your offer would look better compared to other potential offers..."

He is mighty convincing. His hair and mustache are immaculate, his suit is elegant, and his smile and handshake could seemingly convince a go-gang to help undertake some charity work.
Moreau looks down at the seat Mr. White as he's leaving, gives a dry laugh that has no merth to it, and replies "Complications is putting it delicately. Perhaps you should have found the worth of your package before going in? Whatever. I consider 500 more each more than reasonable for your...complications. Do not disturb me again, unless it is to confirm our appointment in the park."

With that he leaves with his troll friend following closely. As he nears the exit, another patron stands up from a table and joins the troll in step behind Moreau as they depart.
10:48:27 @ You Should Not Eat So Much, Pier 60, Seattle

Wiping the detritus from his eyes after the short rest and from removing the face paint from his visage Silas examines the situation,
He's back in his usual attire now, having given up on any attempts at subterfuge and any chance to give out balloons to kidlings.

Along the pier, a plas-crete and rebar monstrosity covered with weathered timber boards that have seen better days. the queue of folks from all walks of life stretches, around the building and towards the shore, at which point the boards meet the gravelled carpark where the Van is sheltered under a large beech tree out of the street lights and facing the exit.

Needle is annoying him, pacing back and forth as the conversation inside is relayed "Sits still Needles, I's getting sea sick ova here!" he pleads and is Shhhhhhhed into silence as the Commlink relays Parker Acson blurting out "The Thaljun Cordex!".. Silas holds his palm flat across his face in a look of complete horror, as if he heard it from the crowded eatery without the benefit of the comm along with the rest of All Seattle for all he knows "Well, Dat's blown it! ... can we go now ? ... or shoulds we just call Horizon ourselves and lay down on da floors?" his tone sarcastic but also a little shaken at the thought.

The conversation continues for some time, it feels like an eternity sat out here in the dark watching every person that approaches in caase they are a spy or Horizon strike force or KE officer or worse a parking meter attendant! mild panic at every new appearance setting his nervous system on edge.
"I finks dey is eating in dere Needle's ... " Silas whispers during a lull in the negotiations, " I can hears Eclipse chewing ! .. he's got REAL steaks ! Drek ! no fair" The complaint is accompanied by a sympathetic rumbling from his digestive system, but with one raised, meticulously groomed eyebrow from Needle he returns to his watchful position

Both Silas and Needle perk up at the promise of ten thou NuYen each
"Now DAT's what I'm talkin' about!" He exclaims, then quiets down and stops the van from rocking wildly under another withering glare from the other occupant. "What's he mean . complications is putting its delicately?' ... I finks we done good!" Needle doesn't answer, intent on the remaining conversation, Silas misses the moment as Gardner requests food from the waitress and Needle closes the call with a knowing smile.

"Looks likes Time to go den!" Silas indicates at the end of the pier as the unmistakable form of a troll and a well dressed gentleman emerge and vanish into the crowd. They sit in silence awaiting the return of their comrades.
Gardner nods politely as Moreau leaves, then turns to Acson and speaks in a low tone, “quite the performance, I particularly liked the part where you tried to announce to the world you have something that might get you killed.”

With a heavy sigh, he stands and straightens himself out, “we’ll be wanting a bid from the other Foundation as well, I trust? Mr. White, you still have Nazaire’s card, right? Why don’t you give him a call. I’m going to go return this and get something so the others don’t feel left out,” he picks up the heavy chair and begins walking back toward the buffet area.

Once he has returned the reinforced chair to its designated location, he stops to ask a waitress for some boxes and orders a few drinks. When all is said and done, credstick slotted and boxes packaged, Gardner walks out of the restaurant carrying a bag with a pair of dinner boxes and a travel tray of drinks in plastic travel cups. All stamped with You Should Not Eat So Much™ across them.

With only a little trouble managing the items, Gardner gets back into the van. Placing the drinks on the center console, he takes out the top of the boxes and passes it back to Silas, "Go slow, no need to get yourself sick, and save at least a little bit for the others. Oh, and Needle, I thought you might appreciate a little coffee," he takes one of the cups from the tray and passes it back as well.
Nodding his thanks to the hostess, Mr. White say "Table's free."

Then he heads out through the crowd with the others. "Looks like it's time to call our other potential buyer."

Once he has agreement from the others, he pulls out the card he still retains from a few weeks ago. Dialing in the LTG number listed, the phone rings a few times before finally being picked up. The familiar features of the Haitian Dwarf appear within AR for Mr. White. "Bonjour..." he greets White hesitantly not immediately recalling their previous encounter. "Ah....oui. The stone. That's where I know you from. What can I do for you monsieur...?"
"Good evening, Mr. Laurent. Harvey White. I hope you'll excuse my directness, and I do not want to unduly endanger you. I and some associates of mine have a bit of confidential business that I'd like to discuss with you if possible."
"I'm a busy man, Monsieur White. Can you give me any details as to what this pertains to?"
"A corporation has lost track of an employee, as well as some valuable information. We're hoping to make sure that the lost employee and his information end up in the right place. As I said, I do not wish to cause you trouble, so please be aware that this is a very sensitive matter."
"Sensitive you say?" Laurent pauses dramatically. "You strike me as a man who does not like to waste people's time. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt this once, despite being unable to help me when I asked for your help before. Let's say you owe me one for this."
Mr. White's commlink beeps with the receipt of an address, Hotel Nikko, Suite 2808.
"I look forward to finding a proper home for this lost individual and his information."
Severus Snape
Have you ever wished you could un-learn something? Something that you didn't want to know, or that was too much information, or you've seen something that you wish you could un-see? Needle was beginning to wonder if she could possibly un-learn her fixer's name and phone number, what with all the drek the current mission had dumped in her lap.

I better get paid WELL for this shit...

She removed her glasses and rubbed her temples, her eyes closed and head throbbing. Jumping in and out of the Matrix normally didn't have this effect on her, but her mind was pulling in too many directions at once at the moment. She looked at this node, and dropped in on that conversation, and she messaged the team, and she had to keep an eye on Acson, was getting to be too much. Oh, how she longed for this mission to be over.

"But it's not," she said to herself. "So focus on the task at hand, bitch."

She stood up the best she could inside the tiny clown van, even having to stoop a little. Her small, 5' and change frame was too big; she now knew why Orks and Trolls hated getting into cars. She turned from side to side, stretching just a bit, hoping the throbbing in her head would go away soon. She knew it was; it was only a matter of time.

She looked long and hard at Acson, more on the side of caution than anything else. She studied him, silently wondering if they would have gotten along with one another under different circumstances. He wasn't that bad looking, and he was obviously smart. She was a highly intelligent, self-taught medic and hacker, and he was a highly intelligent...

Wait. What was he? A Horizon new hire. Who lied to them about who he was, and what the job was. He even lied about paying them for the extraction. He was a liar, plain and simple.

And I would never get along with him because of that.

She looked at him hard again, this time with added determination. She fired up her commlink again, this time speaking sub-vocally to the team.

"We should get rolling, people. One corp is on us, we've just met with another, and now a 3rd player is eyeing us up. Let's get this package off our hands."
10:58:27 @Hotel Nikko, corner of 3rd Avenue and Pike Street, Seattle

Pulling into the carpark and paying the attendant a few creds, Silas keeps a close watch on the reverse parking monitors for closely following vehicles but sees nothing.

"Needles, we is here!" he says quietly as he reverses into a bay between a smart looking sedan and a banged up pick that has probably been abandonned some time in the past.

Silas kills the lights and gets comfortable watching the hotel lobby opposite, beside him the LMG calls his name and he strokes the barrel absently as he observes the obvious security inside the Nikko.

A message from Eclipse brings him out of his reverie <<Want me to cut off the Tail ?>> his eagerness apparent in the tone, easy to tell he has weapons ready to do the deed.
<<Hold off on the body count, friend>> the reply from Gardner both terse and calming, he exudes an aura of quiet confidence and peacefulness that is quite addictive in it's nature.

Thumbing the comm button, Silas enquires to the team "Maybe we can perform a simple shell game with the tails and perform the meeting while the tails chase the dog ?" he relays the idea of a fake meeting somewhere very public while Mr White tries to loose the followers and meet their contact.

Then, settles in to watch the action in case he is quickly required
Friday, 23:20; Pier 60 "You Eat Too Much" restaurant carpark
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Plisken

Eclipse watches in some fascination as the ever subtle Garder veers off from his path towards the van. He frowns, squinting through the night light of almost-midnight to see if he can tell why. It becomes readily apparent as the group that was inside starts heading uphill, with two new faces from the restaurant following. A moment later, he watches in some amusement as a third gets out of a car to join the hunt. A tail for the tail, or reinforcements? Either way, he slips off his bike and carefully fastens the helmet to the rear; he won't be needing it. His safety vest follows, taking his time to let the trio of ner-do-wells get a good distance. From there, he starts his own personal hunt, blending seamlessly from shadow to shadow to just a guy walking, when appropriate. This brings me back.. stalking the streets of Cara'sir for malcontents. Not too long ago, this role would be reversed.

Eclipse squints at the back of the head of the rear follower. As time passes, it becomes increasingly important to determine if he's another segment of the tail-train, or additional muscle for the other two. His hand reaches into the cover Silus' oversized coat provides, fingers wrapping around the grip of his HK 227-X. The path leads through an alley up ahead - I could put a burst in each of them and be gone none the wiser before they hit the ground... His hand returns from the depths of the coat a second later holding his commlink instead. He types out a frantic text message, aware that the ideal opportunity is coming to a close soon.
<<want me 2 take puppy 2 vet and cut off its tail? cuter that way>> He only has to wait a few dozen feet before the replies start coming in - he watches in amusement as ahead, past the trio he's following, he can see Gardner type out a reply: <<Hold off on the body count, friend>> A few more messages come in in agreement with the giant, and so his phone returns to a pocket and is not replaced with automatic death. Still, he's tense - this could go belly up in a heartbeat.
From a certain perspective this situation could probably fit right into a comedic spy movie. The group of the giant Gardner, TundraWolf, Mr. White, and Parker Acson (who has no clue why they weren't heading back to the van) start hiking their way up the steep Seattle streets heading toward Hotel Nikko. Not too far behind them is a pair of suited goons in nondescript clothing. And not too far behind them is another similarly inconspicuously dressed man. Still further behind him is the team's gun happy backup, Eclipse, with an itchy trigger finger.

Still, our intrepid runners are able to come up with a pretty good plan through a burst of AR messages. Gardner slows down while the others speed up a little and move to take the next corner.

The pair of goons following them exchange a quick glance at each other before slowing down themselves.

The man behind them doesn't seem to pay them any attention at all. His pace mostly stays the same or maybe slightly faster as he decides to cross the street without a word or even a glance towards the giant and his two tails.
The effects of tailored pheromones don't particularly last all that long once out their immediate vicinity. Parker Acson is finally coming around to realizing something wasn't quite right about that meeting with Moreau. He was somehow confident that Moreau was going to give him a good price for the book, but they never actually discussed a price did they. He begins to mumble to himself. "Yeah, and he never really gave me any details on my future within the Foundation." He looks too his side where Mr. White had been walking beside him just before they turned the corner, "Did that meeting seem odd to..." He trailed off finally notice Mr. White wasn't there any more. Looking to his other side, he didn't see TundraWolf there either.

Suddenly a hand reached out of the shadows and pulled him into a doorway he hadn't even noticed up ahead and hand covered his mouth. Panicking for a second, it took his eyes a moment to adjust to make out the form of Mr. White holding up a finger for him to be silent.

Meanwhile on Pike Avenue, the lone figure who had crossed the road now reached the corner to see down the street the group of 3 went down. He paused for a moment as car drove past. Looking around him to each side, as well as behind, he hesitates a moment seeing everybody on the street behind him. He turns to face forward again. For a moment he continues to hesitate where he is. Then he crosses the street after another car passes, and he heads down the street Mr.White, Acson, and TundraWolf went down.
With everybody heading down a different road for the moment, Gardner is feeling a little less certain about being tailed by two guys on his own. At least he's doing an effective job of keeping these two from the rest of the group, and more importantly away from Acson. As he reaches the same road the others went down. He glances up it to notice Eclipse continuing to follow the stranger around yet another corner.

For his part, Eclipse is finding it more and more difficult to keep up the illusion of casually walking along behind that guy. Oddly, this guy looked right at where Mr. White, TundraWolf and Acson were trying to conceal themselves, but kept on walking. He seemed to be speeding up as he turned down an alley heading back East.

Unsure what to do, Gardner took the time to wait for the crosswalk to signal it was ok to cross the road. As he waited, he casually looked around him to give cover for his glance behind. He was surprised to see only one figure behind him. Moreover, the man that must surely been one of the two Eclipse had warned him about was openly looking right at Gardner and walking straight to the Giant. Gardner quickly scanned the area trying to spot the second guy, but not seeing him anywhere.

"Hey chummer," the man says as he casually shows his empty hands to Gardner."You seem to be involved in something tonight. So I won't take up much of your time. But my employeer asked me to give you his card." He raises an eyebrow and gestures to his coat pocket. A quick nod from Gardner sees the man pulling out a card from his pocket to hand it to the giant.

"I believe you have another appointment to get to, but he would appreciate a call when you have the time. Perhaps he could help you and your team extract yourselves from a difficult situation."

Looking down at the card, Gardner sees it is simply stamped with the name Simon Andrews and an LTG number on the back.
Gardner raises an eyebrow as he scans the business card, then nods to himself as he gently slips it into his pocket, next to his commlink. Yet another player, hmm, how do they all keep finding us so easily? he thinks to himself. "I suppose I can give him a call when I'm not busy," Gardner glances up the street in the direction that Eclipse went, "are they all friends of yours?"

Over the Comm, Gardner relays the information so far, <<Another interested party apparently... Anyone know anything about a Simon Andrews?>>
The man looks confused by Gardner's question. "I don't know what you're talking about. You're the one that was walking with them. I've got things to be doing." With that he turns around and heads back towards the restaurant. A moment later, Gardner hears a noise from an alley a few meters up the crossroad. It's the man's partner standing up to holster his gun before heading back down the alley.
With the belief that they had figured out the tail(s), the team finally made it to Hotel Nikko. Opulently decorated in a authentic ornamentations of feudal japan, the hotel makes for quite the impressive sight. As the group walks in the front door, they immediately notice a half a dozen well dressed men and women in the lobby stiffen at their attire. Silent alarms assuredly are going off in the back office to register the weapons carried by the obvious shadowrunners.

All of the covert guards appear to be reaching for concealed weapons and looking around for the best way to ensure minimal casualties to the guests of the hotel should something happen. But only two orks do the initial approach towards the team who had smartly followed Mr. White's suggestion of stopping immediately upon stepping inside, as well as make a show of holding nothing in their hands.

A few hushed words between the guards and White see them nodding. "Yes. Naizier-San told us to be expecting your arrival." The guard waves to a very large troll who just stepped out from a concealed door. "If you would follow us, we will escort you to his suite."

A few guests were watching the proceedings, but most stayed true to the japanese tradition of maintaining the illusion of privacy even when in public spaces. They carried on with their business as if they were the only ones in the room.

Regardless, the guards breathed a little easier once they were through the doorway into the services area of the hotel. The troll, two orks and 3 more guards that had fallen into step behind the group as they headed to the concealed door all walked down the corridor quietly. At the end, the ork that had done all the talking thus far tapped something in his AR vision to open the elevator doors in from of all of them. Obviously a service elevator, it still was not quite large enough for a group this size. After a moment's hesitation, the ork's waved the team inside, joining them once everybody was onboard. The lead ork nodded to the troll and other guards before tapping another AR icon to close the closer and leave them behind.

A short ride later, the team was let out onto the 28th floor. The lead ork escorted them the door of Suite 2808. "My partner and I will be available to take you back downstairs when your business is complete." With a short bow he return down the hallway to join his partner who had remained at the elevator doors. They took up positions on either side of the elevator and looked straight ahead as if there was nobody in the hall at all.
Gardner reaches over the heads of the humans in front of him and knocks on the door to Suite 2808.
The door smoothly opens in response to Gardner's knock. An elven woman greets them with a smile. "Do come in, Monsieur Nazaire awaits you in the dining room."

As she waves the team into the suite, you are all impressed with the sheer volume of space to this one room. Your own homes could easily all fit within this one room and the grand staircase to the second floor of rooms speaks even more to how large this suite is. The woman guides the room a side room that is again easily large enough to seat the entire team.

"Mes aimes. So glad you could join me. Please do sit." He makes a point to shake the hands of Mr. White, Gardner, and TundraWolf who he's met before. Looking over Parker Acson, he comes to the conclusion that he is who the meeting it regarding. "We meet again. I suppose this must be the person of interest you mentioned?"

Mr. White casually introduces Parker Acson.

“Parker Acson?” …silence, “MIT&T graduate, arcanoarcheologist, wagesla… er, fresh employee of Horizon. Yes, we might indeed have something to discuss. But first, let's eat. Harukun has prepared quite the meal for us. There will be time enough for business after we've satisfied our palates.”

With that servers begin to bring in the delicious smelling japanese-french fusion food. Chef Harukun has prepared a seven course meal of Kobe beef strips served rare in ponzu sauce, hotaru ika (lightning bug squid) sushi, asparagus ice cream, iseebi (ee-say ay-bee) giant Japanese shrimp that look like lobsters without the claws which will be cooked live on a hot plate on the table then served split down the middle in soup, ginger and shark fin gelatin, onion soup with a pie crust topping, and finally a rice bowl topped with foie gras and shiitake mushrooms in mint-orange glaze. To accompany the meal Nazaire serves a mild, almost fruity sake from a frosted pink bottle, but he offers to have the staff fetch anything the team wishes to drink from the private kitchen.

He is quite friendly, but refuses to do anything besides small talk during the bulk of the meal. As everything is winding down with everybody enjoying the last of their deserts, he finally starts talking business. Looking at Akson, Laurent says [color="#00FFFF"]“You are a hot commodity, mon frère. Perhaps too hot. You are resourceful. We like this. You cannot sit still. We like this, also. We may have use for you. Oui. What is this deal of which you speak?”
Mr. White pushes his chair back from the table when he finishes, and wipes his mouth with the napkin before folding it and setting it near his plate. "Please give my compliments to your chef, the meal was magnificent. Thank you for sharing." he says to Nazaire.

Careful not to interrupt, he clarifies, "Mr. Acson seeks gainful employment, but he also has with him something that might be of interest to you."
"But of course. A meal such as this is meant to be shared. Your call was such perfect timing it had to be kismet." His smiles and the excellent meal have certainly put you at ease in discussing things further with him."Pray tell, what else might we at the Foundation be interested?"
Mr. White glances at Acson, recalling his outburst earlier at Pier 60. "The Thaljun Cordex", he says.
The haitian dwarf is taken aback momentarily at the mention of the Thaljun Cordex. Then he leans forward looking directly into Acson eyes. "You are resourceful indeed it seems. It appears we need to discuss your future within the Foundation in detail."

Turning back to Mr. White, he continues "I suppose you and your team deserve some compensation for bringing this matter to our attention. I can offer each of you 8000 nuyen.gif in compensation. Would that be satisfactory should my negotiations with Monsieur Acson prove fruitful?"

Parker is getting nervous that the details of his future are going to get over again. He interrupts, "My future..."

"Yes, yes. monsieur. Don't be in such a rush, we will discuss your future in detail as well as how much of a hiring bonus you can expect with what you can bring to the table. But that is a private matter that should not concern these gentlemen. Still, from the looks of things they have been through a lot for you. I think it's only fair that I discuss their compensation first. Then you and I can adjorn to my study while they continue to enjoy my hospitality."
"That's certainly a generous offer, Mr. Nazaire. There are a number of parties that have an interest in Mr. Acson and his book. I'm sure you understand that our interest in this matter is purely financial."
Laurent is mildly surprised at the mercenary sentiments of Mr. White. "Oh. I had assumed you were friends or at least business partners with Monsieur Acson. Why else would professionals such as yourselves, risk the ire of Horizon and its resources on the ephemeral value you can get out of bringing him to the likes of me?"

He shrugs. "Perhaps you Acson would be willing to share his signing bonus with you. I care not. But I believe my offer is quite generous considering you obtained this gentleman on your own initiative, not at our request. My offers stands despite this."
"You could certainly say that we are business partners with Mr. Acson. Business is about money. This is no exception." he nods his head at Nazaire's refusal to change his offer.

"Due to the nature of our business relationship with Mr. Acson, we do need to consider other offers. I think that it may be too early yet for discussion of signing bonuses and the like."
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