My contacts have been reporting that someone has been investigating me. Nothing intrusive, but getting a sense about it. Like they're checking references. Word is that it's a heavyweight of some sort.
"I have a business proposition for you. I'd like to discuss it with you downtown at the bar known as the Buffalo Jump. I'd like to discuss this at 1700 this coming Friday. My name is Gabel, look into me if you want to."
A quick check for "Gabel" online doesn't turn anything of note. It is German for "Secret". The Buffalo Jump is a seedy bar in the shadow of the Space Needle. It's on Third and Main and is owned by Archie Deckard. There was a shooting at the Buffalo Jump two years ago, apparently domestically related.
Wrench says Gabel is trustworthy. He's got mad skilled deckers, so the email is unlikely to be forged.
During the week I check out the bar, it's a seedy looking place. Just looking at the door to the back room the ork bartender suggests with body language that it's off limits. Some sararimen, some old men, and the occasional scared looking tourist. The beer sucks.
I arrive, the ork bartender waves me over. He asks if I'm German, he says his family is from Germany. He tells me to head into the back room, I get a bottled water. I head back. There are six seats around a long table. Five seats are labeled with little placards: Lady Jane, B., Ref, Derek, Herbert. In front of the Lady Jane seat is a girl in here teens, she's reading Neitchze. A guy with a datajack in his head is wandering around. Apparently Gabel needs a team. Eventually the guy moves a chair and placard around to another position and sits down.
A guy with black hair in a conservative business cut walks in. He's thin. He sits in front of Herbert.
A woman with white hair, with a slight build and olive complexion walks in. B.
The room is well dampened.
Moments after the woman arrives, someone else joins us. Presumably our meet. He's in his mid-thirties. He has a pale complexion tainted by a mole and some erratic freckles. He has a conservative haircut with black hair and a few grey hairs. He is wearing an expensive business suit. He takes the unlabeled seat.
He's a fixer. He's heard good things about us and would like to retain us for a few months for some work. He has us introduce ourselves. Lady Jane is a shaman. Derek "finds things out". Herbert drives. Bianca (B.) is a physical adept. He'll provide jobs and Johnsons and take a straight five percent cut. He can provide information, alternate identities, and transportation. He's looking for subtlety. The first job would be simple, go somewhere, attach a device to a computer, wait, then leave. The device is a little black box.
He indicates that we won't be asked to do things against our beliefs. The arrangement is not exclusive and he would understand prior commitments. We could have two days to decide.
Derek asks about doing this first job as a one-off test. Gabel agrees, but wants an answer immediately. We agree.
Gabel wants the job done in the next week. It's 7,000¥ total, 30% up front. He wants it at Transcendent Technologies. Everett. Fifth floor. Minimal security. In the laboratory are computers. One is labeled "Bertha." Attach the unit to Bertha for fifteen minutes, then leave. Ideally no one should see us enter or leave. They are a research firm in the communications area. Believes there is no magical security. Gated complex. Six floors to the building. Gabel will try to get us a map of the place and will get us an occupant listing. Gabel believes there are no cameras on the general grounds. He gives us an optical chip with his contact information. He gives us a cred stick
The plan is that Herbert and I will check out the neighborhood, then do a drone flyby of the place. He's got a Toyota Elite. Bianca, Derek, and Lady Jane will check out the place. If it's safe, Lady Jane will do an astral snoop. Bianca's driving a Ford Americar.
We head out. The business park is in a middle class residential area. There are nearby office complexes. Mirrored windows. Security lights on the outsides of the buildings. The roving guard vehicle goes counterclockwise around the grounds. The entire circuit takes an hour and a half, they stop at each building for five to ten minutes. They don't respond to skim-by by Herbert's skimmer.
(Rest of party searching online: TT: Founder was inspired by sense of unity Awakened world created in some people. Wants to create technology to bring people together. Latest news blurb: into whole new area of technology to bridge gap between meta-humanity and the unknown and bring the world together.
Sandstone towers, ten years old, trash pickup, targets small businesses, underground roadway below all buildings for trash and deliveries.)
We meet for breakfast, then cruise around in Herbert's car and talk. Learn of Jane's astral flit through. There is a computer room. There is a lab sealed behind an airlock. There are computers in the lab. One of the offices felt like "calculated greed."
Jane scouts some more.
Jane will scout the place. We'll send Derek and Bianca in. We're hoping that the lazy guards will ignore random door openings. Jane will keep them invisible. They'll use grapples to climb up the side. Derek will unlock the door on the roof. They'll take the ladder down the elevator shaft to the appropriate floor. Derek will open doors to elevator and rooms. Head in and reverse the process to get out. Herbert will watch the public space in the building through the clear windows with his drone. He'll keep the team inside up on current information. Derek and Bianca's transceivers will be on receive only unless they're desperate. I'll be nearby on my bike as emergency escape route. Afterword head to the safe-house.
Herbert gives us an address to a safe-house in Puyallup on D'Onofrio.