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It was raining. The drops seem to fall heavier tonight. It was the kind of rain that would soak you to the bone from just running to the front door from your car. He watched her walking under her umbrella, just like he had for the past three nights.
He didn't want to though. It wasn't part of the plan. But nothing he ever did actually went according to plan. But after what he found, he couldn't simply stand by. He needed to see her. Ensure she was safe. As much of a relief that it was to see her
walking without a care, it also meant that she was real. And if she was real, then what he found was real. He was sweating, despite the falling rain.

How could this have happened? How did people not notice this before?
It was practically staring him in the face now.

"Fifteen years," he thought. "It was a good disguise. It tricked them for this long."

Then a sudden realization came to him. If he found her, then they would have certainly followed. Sure, he was a good decker, for the shadows. But there's no way he could outrun them. Even now, they could be watching him. Watching him watch
her. Did he remember to wipe his hardware? Frak! It was already too late. They found her. He was certain. Because of him, Aztecnology will find Fayette Meyers.


It was just after 8 'o'clock when Romans com beeped to life. Normally he would ignore anything calling to him this early. But, this was that com. His work com. When he checks it, a text message is waiting.

Roman. Got some work for you. Family errand. Simple lost and found stuff. Be at Matchsticks, 10:30, tonight. Drinks our on your employer. Go crazy.

Good ol' Harry. Thought Roman. Direct and to the point, as per usual. Harry "Here-to-Fore", as he's known, was a good fixer. He was good at a party, but when it came to business, he was spot-on. The other thing people
liked about Harry is he moved slow. He moved slow, because Harry didn't move for anyone. But he's been known to have a soft spot for certain up-and-comers.
Roman acknowledged the comm without looking away from the game in progress. Combat biking was not something you wanted to miss, especially when you were making the odds. Every move, every play, every injury played into it. The die was already cast for tonight's game but everything happening here effected the next game, and the next, and the next. People would want to know that information and he had to be good for it. At least the game was almost over. He got an altogether different high than most people watching combat biking but it was no less addictive. For most people who had money on the game there was a chance. But setting the odds, that effected thousands of bets. That was power.

Got it. Got a name?

Harry was a good guy, always had been, always would be. Maybe not the same as the iconic "good fella", but not even good fellas were good fellas these days. 'Course the old guard was a bunch of racists fucks so maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. No, he wouldn't be going nuts on the whiskey, not tonight anyway. Not on a first date with 'J'. Chances were better than not it would be a first date or Harry would have given a familiar name. The night would at least be interesting.

Checking the weather report, he made sure to get an extra coating on his long coat and car to prevent the inevitable wear of the acid rain. Ounce of prevention, all that. Paid to be prepared.
By 10, Roman was in the neighborhood. With a team it was better to coordinate more, get someone there early, scope the place, etcetera. He didn't have a team tonight. Not yet anyway. Sometimes that was the way it rolled, and sometimes it would be a surprise. Part of the fun of moonlighting in the shadows. Never really knew what you were going to get.

Wearing his long coat and with a few gadgets on hand, not the least of which was his white noise generator Roman walked into the iconic night club and enjoyed the sounds of old, deep jazz played with actual instruments. That was a kind of class you couldn't put a number on. Matchsticks had made it through twenty insane years of change and social upheaval because when you're good, you're good. He checked his coat trusting that an armored suit and a calm smile would be enough to get him through another meet. And if not, hell it was the kind of place where no one blinked twice at a warhawk in an underarm holster. Society was a hell of a thing.
His com beeps back.

Johnson. This your first day?

While its hard to convey tone over text, Roman knows Harry is just busting his balls.

Later that evening he arrives at Matchsticks. The soft blue lights and the cool jazz make it almost too easy to relax his posture, almost. Scoping the place out has proven to be a useful tactic in the past.

Roll Perception
Intuition 4+ Perception 3 + Audio/Visual 3+ Attention Co Processor II = 5 hits

[ Spoiler ]
Roman takes a look around the room, casually picking apart the crowd. It only take him a minute or two to figure out that there are two men sitting on opposite sides of the club. There are a few tells that give them away. First, they are trying way
too hard to blend in without seeming conspicuous. Second, they both have water in front of them, instead of booze. And third, they're both sitting alone. As Roman has them figured out, one of the two makes brief eye contact with him, before quickly
look back down at his drink.
Roman walks into the lounge casually, yawning as he does playing with the old "tell" about contagious yawns. Finding a spot at the bar he orders a glass of whiskey and casually asks about the table for Johnson, all the while keeping an eye to the mirror to see if the hangers on are watching him or watching the door.

Taking a moment to check his comm on the AR he makes sure his people have gotten the updated stats for the spread for next weeks game, and to make sure he set a reminder on his house's system to feed his dog. Cause that shit's important.
He gets the confirmation that the updated stats were received and everyone's ready to go. Satisfied, he look up again to see one of the two men is yawning, while the other glances at the door. A few minutes later, a young waitress, elf female,
short dark hair and extravagant green eyes touches him on the arm, as club waitress's sometimes do.

Sir? Once she has his attention, she flashes him a big smile. Your table is ready, a Misteeeerr...She looks down at her notebook. Johnson? Johnson. Yes, A Mr. Johnson is asking you to
have a drink with him. If you could follow me please?
Its more of a statement then a request. She turns on her heels and begins to walk towards the back of the club, towards the private booths. Both men have eyes on him, or her. One
couldn't be sure.

Once he has gotten to the booth, he sees a young man. Blonde, human, good looking. He's wearing a grey business suit that looks like it was made just for him. He appears to have been nursing his drink. Looks like whiskey. Once the two approach
the booth, he greets them and smiles.

Ah! Mr. Cappelli. I'm glad that you could make it. And thank you for being prompt. Shall we get down to business then?
Roman offers the Johnson his hand then takes a seat, taking out an obvious white noise generator. As usual and as always he is still running his eye cam, as well as keying up his olfactory sensor and feeding the information to the olfactory sensors to get a good read on the guy. Switching on the generator he sits in and gets comfortable.

If that's how you'd like it sir. It's all about business these days. No one really takes the time. But time is money so, sure. Lets. How can I help you?
He returns the firm handshake.

Forgive me. Time is of the essence, as they say.

He takes a sip of his drink then taps a few keys on the matrix keys that appeared in front of him. A small image of a man that looks like it was taken from a surveillance camera appears in the center of the table. The man looks unkempt with his medium
length blonde hair, and long beard. Looking skinny, but not frail.

I understand you are a man who can be counted on. This is good. I represent an organization that you and your family could benefit from being in their good graces. Doing this job would certainly do just that. The man before you
goes by the handle, Raid. Not much is known about him aside from his professional career as a shadowrunner.
He says the word shadowrunner as if it s a curse word he doesn't like using.

My employers hired this man to acquire certain bits of information sensitive to them. It appeared he was successful in his mission, however, he never showed for the exchange of payment for services rendered. The meeting was set
for last night. This photo was taken this morning, just down town. For whatever reason, he has stayed in the city. But, we fear it wont be for much longer. We would like you to track him down, and get the information from him, plus any copies he
might have made. Payment will be 8,000 nuyen.gif for the job completed. I could perhaps swing a bonus for you if the job is done quickly. What do you think? Do we have the right man for the job?

He looks to Roman expectantly.
Roman sits back in the seat, looking over the image considering. As he tries to get a gauge of the man in the trid shot by his clothing, bearing, build, he mentally processes the background of the shot for any clues to the location.

Possibly. There are some other things to consider. The first is what you're offering. I make it a policy never to get involved in something that pays out less than what some geek with a computer can get stealing cars. Eight is a little light for that. By about two thousand.

The second depends on this "shadowrunner" and what you know about him. Did you go through a fixer, or handle it directly? What sort of interest is at play here? Corporate, personal, things like that. The details aren't important, or really any of my business. I'd just like to know if it is in fact business, or a personal matter. Tells me more about what this "Raid" is likely to do. Then there's the man himself. Lots of questions.

Now I understand I can't expect you to put all your cards on the table. I respect that, it's just good business. And you're not likely to give me much of a peek without anteing up myself. So let's get a couple of formalities addressed, just so we all know where we stand. Ten thousand, half up front, and a time frame. And, how upset is this guy likely to be?
He leans back in his seat, adjusts his coat buttons and considers the counter offer.

Roll negotiation
[ Spoiler ]
After a couple seconds of contemplation, the Johnson holds out his hand.

You've got yourself a deal.

He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a cred stick. He places the cred stick in his com as he taps a few keys. A familiar beep is heard and he hands the cred stick to Roman.

As for your questions, you're right. I cannot simply play all of my card on the table. However I can give you some information with this cred stick. Concerning the job, I assure you its business. Nothing personal about this. If it
were, we'd be asking you to get your hands a lot dirtier with what I expect would be a more expensive price tag. We just need whatever information he had. Why he went off the reservation would be appreciated but not necessary. Perhaps a bonus
will be in order should you find that out. As far as the runner himself, we learned of him through a Fixer. He came recommended but now I'm afraid we can no longer do business with that particular Fixer. Too bad too, he seemed professional enough.
If I were you, I would watch your step with Raid. He's....twitchy. A bit paranoid. I suppose for good enough reason though so I can't blame him.
He gestures to the two of them having this meeting, discussing how to find him to illustrate his
point about Raids paranoia.

Will there be anything else you're curious about?
Roman nods at the exchange but doesn't take the credstick yet.

The fixer's name and where your original meet with Raid was would be a good opening.
Roll Negotiation +2 for professionalism
[ Spoiler ]
Keeping up the flow of conversation, he doesn't hesitate to give the information.

The fixer was a dwarf named Bogart. You wont have trouble finding him. The meet was set up by him at a place called Drop in a Bucket. No my usual meeting points, but as I said before, the runner is paranoid. Wouldn't meet
me anywhere else.
Interesting. Is "Bogart" aware his boy went off the proverbial reservation?
The Johnson nods.

He has been made aware, yes. He was none too pleased either. I would imagine he blacklisted the young decker in return. Bad business to have your business run and hide with your paycheck. Ill forward you his contact information.

The Johnson taps a few more keys and Romans comm beeps with the new information.

I'm sorry to have to cut and run, but I do have other appointments. If you learn anything else, please call this number. It is a direct line to me since I will be handling the details of this job. Is there anything else before I go?
No this should be fine thank you. I'll be in touch.

Roman stands and offers his hand to shake, allowing the busy Mr. Johnson time to leave before he himself heads out. Lingering another fifteen minutes or so he is also keeping an eye on the two hangers-on to make sure they are attached to Mr. J, and aware of each other. It "Raid" has already gone rogue on a job it's a possibility he could be keeping tabs on his J. With deckers anything is possible.

While he waits and contemplates he runs the crestick through the peripheral comm, scanning it for any extra files uploaded, then loads the certified cred into one of many accounts. He's a money man for the mob after all. Laundering certified cred is as easy as sipping his whiskey. He has no intention of hanging onto a cred stick given to him by an already potentially nervous Johnson.

After all interested parties have left he stands and wipes off his seat. Healthy paranoia is , well, healthy. Drinking the last of his whiskey he wipes the glass with a napkin and places it on the counter after leaving a 50 nuyen tip then is out the door. Taking a moment to scan the crowd outside and letting his attention co-processor run it through his Weapon Watcher program while he shrugs into his coat he heads for his car. The phone calls will start once he's on the road and harder to keep tabs on.

He starts it with auto ignition and takes his time strolling up. Again, he's placed enough car bombs to be a little suspicious of , well, everything. Once in he turns up the music and starts scanning for any tracers. The modern world is terrifying that way. Setting a wandering course through the city to nowhere in particular , once his paranoia is satiated, he logs on with his comm and begins laying a wandering data trail through a number of different hosts.
Redirect Action
[ Spoiler ]

Roman turns down the music but feeds his call into an ear bud, then calls the fixer.
As the Johnson leaves, one of the men, the one furthest from the meeting, stands up and makes his exit as well. The second man continues to sit and sip for 15 more minutes before he pays his tab and leaves.

The line s silent for a moment before the ringing starts. It rings only once before a voice is heard on the other end.


[ Spoiler ]
Running Analyze in the background to check for anyone else listening in on the line or trace being run.
[ Spoiler ]

Mr. Bogart, my name is Roman. I'm contacting you regarding a certain piece of business gone to shit recently, between you and a certain mutual friend. Do you have a minute?
The line is quiet with white noise of background for a moment.

How did you get this line?

[ Spoiler ]
I'll be brief Mr Bogart because I very much prefer to handle business in person. I was referred to you by our mutual friend about a piece of business. This business didn't get completed. I'd like to have a word with the contractor and as you're the agent who contracted him, I expect you'd know best how to find him so I can fix this little ... mistake.

How's the Big Rhino sound for a sit down?
Make a Charisma check. You can add Etiquette group skill or Negotiations
[ Spoiler ]

3 hits on Etiquette
His voice sounds hesitant but seems to be giving in.

Alright. We can meet. I don't know what I can give ya, other then I knew that boy would be trouble for me one day. I can be there in an hour. Soka?

[ Spoiler ]
That would be great. See you there.

Roman disconnects as soon as they're done. Just because he may have detected someone else on the line doesn't mean he found the only one. Best to keep it short and sweet. They can talk in person. And a place like Big Rhino isn't going to lend its self well to someone eaves dropping on them.

Already being in downtown he takes a round about route to the Rhino but gets there twenty minutes early, gets a table near the back with a good view of the door, and tips well and early. The Rhino, among other things, is an ork and troll bar and one of the few known and established entrances to the ork underground. While it accepts tourists coming through the clientele will definitely side with one of their own over an outsider. Besides, this Raid is apparently a hacker of some kind. For Roman flooding too much information is sometimes better than trying to hide it all. Hard to pick out an ork in a room full of orks.

Once he's got a booth with a view, a drink in hand, and a waiter already 50 nuyen nicer to him, he waits for the Fixer and idly starts scanning shadowy data havens for posts with the handle Raid.
[ Spoiler ]
Bogart arrives about 10 minutes early. He is a fixer after all. He walks inside and takes a look around. If he is at all uncomfortable with the usual clientele, he isn't showing it. He appears to be scanning the room, looking for a needle in a hay stack
of needles.

[ Spoiler ]
Roman "logs" that information away while he raises a hand in greeting, waving Bogart over as he stands. He cues up the virtual menu and sends it his way as well as he waits for the dwarf to join him at the table. As the dwarf walks up he openly cues up his white noise generator, then shakes his hand, assuming he's willing before sitting.

Thank you for taking the time to join me.
The dwarf returns the handshake. While not in a suit, he dresses well. Sporting a nice pair of slacks with a red silk shirt and cap. He removes the cap before sitting down. He orders a beer and crosses his hands expectantly.

I just want to be done with this business. This job, and THAT boy had a stink about it. I normally don't ask questions when I'm tasked, but one or two woulda done me a world o' good. Now what do you want to know?
Roman looks him over considering, and a little concerned about the tone in the man's voice.
Well if you have an inkling of where or how to find him, that would be a good start. Or at least a number. And perhaps elaborate a bit. What was wrong with the job? I know this stain must be a pain for you. One I'd like to take care of for you. Details of the job might help with why he may have gone off task.
He rubs the stubble of his chin for a moment.

Well, I got a phone call a few days ago. Some J from Aztecnology. I'm already on the fence. Don't much like the corp, but money is money and this one seem to pay pretty good. Ill be honest, I saw dollar signs. Said they needed a
good decker. Someone who could get some information from a computer they got ahold of. Seemed a bit weird to me that they couldn't figure out a computer. But like I said, I don't ask questions. I tell em, I know a guy and Ill be in touch. I gave
Raid a call. He's done work for me in the past. He don't talk much, just does the job and goes home. I figure he's okay. I give em the job, set up the meeting and the next thing I know, I got Mr. J calling me up to tell me the boys gone, and took the
information with him. I almost told em to eat shit. One of my guys doesn't pull drek like that. I try to call em, he picked up, but all I could hear is shouting and...gunfire? After that, the line went dead. Aint been any good since then. Don't know how
I feel about giving up his home address though..

Roll Persuasion
[ Spoiler ]

I don't plan on coming on hard with the guy. Although from what I've heard he has a bit of a history of making a mess of things. You and I are a lot the same I think. It's a job, so we do it professionally.
I'm here to get the information. Nothing more. Easiest way to do that is all I'm interested in.
He eyes you for a moment.

Well shit you are smooth talker. He chuckles. Alright, I'll give ya his address. Cant promise he's there. He's a bit jumpy. He writes the address on a napkin.

1911 Berrow St. Apt #13

He lives down in Redmund. You look lie you can handle yourself fine. But you should be careful anyway. Might mess up that pretty suit.
That would be a fucking shame wouldn't it. Roman raises his glass to the dwarf.

You have a number for the guy, or any reason why he would go off the job?
Bogart raises his beer and takes a long swig.

I have his old number, the one that went dead. Hes probly got a whole new com now. New number and everything. If he contacts me, Ill be sure to let you know. As for the reason he bailed on he job, no idea. It is Aztecnology.
Maybe he found somethin he wasn't supposed to? Somethin he couldn't stomach. Though why he hasn't asked for help is beyond me.
Do you usually contact him by phone or through the matrix?
By phone, he says its easier to erase. Though I would imagine you could look for em on the matrix.
The kid have any associates that might be willing to talk sense into him? The Big A isn't really known for taking being told to screw off lightly. I've only been asked to get the data, nothing specific on him. I imagine if he makes it more difficult, they might ask someone else to take things a little more personally for them.

How much is he walking away from by not delivering anyway?
Bogart wags a finger as he drinks his beer.

Sorry boyo. Can't disclose money on other jobs. But it was well above his pay grade, I'll tell you that much. Raid didn't much have friends. Except that one Jekyl guy. I wouldn't really call him a friend so much as the poor sod with
just a big enough conscience to take pity on him. He's easier to find. Likes to hang around Aces and Eights. Dive bar down by the Barrens.

He slides the empty beer bottle away from him.

Look, whatever you do, I would take it as a kindness if you didn't hurt the boy. He's a pain in the ass. But he isn't all bad. Though I'd be understanding of a couple licks he has coming.
Roman nods and smiles genuinely.
I have no intention of hurting him. That's not what I'm here for. Nah, I'm trying to get a feel for the guy to get an idea of how sensitive he's going to be about the whole thing. I'd like to know if he's likely to take a shot at me for butting into his mis-handled business. I like not being shot.

Thanks for your time Mr. Bogart, and for being straight with me. I'll be sure to let you know how this wraps up. Assuming I don't end up in a gutter bleeding out because some kid got a little too excited.

Keying up the bill to pay he lets Boggie leave first. Manners, after all.
He gives a solomn nod, understanding the possibilities.

Be careful. If he feels cornered, he may get excited.

He slides over some cred for his drink and leaves the booth.
Roman makes good use of his time waiting for the fixer to make his way out by working together a few programs for a trace routine while searching out an matrix cafe in the general area. After fifteen minutes or so and his preparations together Roman pays the tab with a good tip and heads over to the matrix cafe. With some time spent prepping, he sits outside and hacks into a low rating data terminal to avoid leaving a trail directly to his comm.

From there Roman takes the time to connect to a few other LTGs, going through Denver's system first, then down to Aztlan, then CAS. It's nothing pretty or serious but it should slow down a basic level trace. If the person on the other end has any clue what they're doing it'll be cake to trace it back. He's betting this "Jeckly" isn't exactly tech savvy so errs on the side of saving time instead.

With the basics done, he loads up an agent, including his Trace and Stealth program running on it, and embeds it into a simple text.

"Inquiry about work?" With that Roman sends the message, a simple trojan to get a trace on Jeckyl's physical location in case their conversation doesn't go the way he hopes. The plan is simple; call the guy, find out what he knows about their mutual interest friend. While that's done, keep an eye on the call log for when he expects Jeckyl calls raid. With any luck Raid won't be quite paranoid enough to check for a trace from a familiar phone number.

A lot of ifs... Roman mutters to himself as he makes the call.
About 30 or 40 minutes later, Romans comm pings to life with a new, encrypted message.

Need more information. Please provide.

Roll for your Trace and Stealth program.
Track: 4 hits
[ Spoiler ]

Stealth : 7 hits
[ Spoiler ]

Analyze message before opening: 6 hits
[ Spoiler ]
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