I tell the team to meet at a nearby Denny's at noon.
I see some my contacts over the weekend.
We meet at noon and discuss our meeting plans.
The Blue Rhino is a well rated Trog restaurant.
Tentative plan. Bert will park his blimp over the building. Bert has a cyber mic and speakers. He'll jack into a transceiver and broadcast back to Bianca and Jane back in his truck. Bianca will watch Jane. Jane will scout astrally. When the meeting finishes, Jane will let Bert know where the Johnson goes. Bert will use the blimp to get the Johnson's car and license.
As we're talking we turn down a side street. Two gangers step into the street. One has a pistol, one a pipe. The street is otherwise empty. Three guys jump out behind. The guys behind have pistols.
I kick into overdrive. Damn, no gun. I ask Bert if he's got some, turns out Bert keeps his car well stocks with pistols and submachine guns. Good man.
Bert accelerates. Jane concentrates for a moment, unknown to us she hits the two in front with an illusion. The two gangers look at their weapons, panic, and throw their weapons to the side. The two gangers in front dive to the side. The gangers in back open fire, but the armor on Bert's car brushes it off. We zip off.
We talk about limits. Several people won't take assassination jobs. Bianca is not willing to take jobs for Humanis Policlub. Bianca mentions that she is a skilled sniper.
That evening we head out in Bert's van. Bert picks us up from our drop offs. Bianca, Bert, and Derek arrive at the restaurant a few minutes early.
The restaurant has tropical plants hanging everywhere. The center is dominated by a swamp-like habitat, alligators swim around inside. Jungle spiders crawl the walls. The troll matre de tells the three to follow him. They are lead to a corner booth in the back. It's got a good view. Bert sizes up the place.
In a few minutes the troll leads a tall, willowy elven woman. She has long blond hair and fair skin. Her long dress is charcoal grey and has faux armored shoulder pads. Jane can tell that she is magically active, as are some of her jewels. Trailing her in the astral plane is a beefy fire elemental. Jane
The woman asks if "she was yours." Derek confirms.
She needs something obtained. It's in the Glass Onion, a Japanese restaurant on top of the Mitsurana Sky Plaza nearby. The restaurant overlooks a coy pond. In the central courtyard is an old scroll from the Tokoyana dynasty. It's edicts from the Diet(sp) at the time. It's apparently heavily secured, there are rumors of the building being rigged. She offers 12,000¥. 50% up front (5% for simply showing to the meeting). She wants it within a week and a half. The scroll is in a heavy glass case. There is some strong magnet (holding the case down?). The case is 3'x2'. It's worth more if we retrieve it in the case. The scroll must be handled gently, but no specific precautions are necessary. When Bert asks if we can "put down" interlopers, she smiles and says that it is acceptable. Derek agreed to consider it, she gave us an LTG number. She heads off.
Bert uses his drone to follow her away to a sidewalk elevator which leads down. It's the same elevator to the ramp we're parked in. Bert remotely drives the truck to watch the elevator. When he learns that she headed to the sixth floor, he pulls to the first floor to watch which vehicles leave.
In the next few minutes an Acura Demon with dark windows and a red jackrabbit (not Johnson) leave. A bit later a big white van driven by an older woman driver by, followed by a pickup with a hick guy.
Bert suggests that he and Jane go in. I'm concerned that Jane may do the real run, so just Bert. Bert makes a reservation for an hour later, drops us of, and heads in. Using his eye camera and head memory to take lots of pictures. Jane astrally heads there to scan.
At the entry lobby is a reception desk. He checks in. Cameras cover the lobby. They are moving independently. There is constantly a camera trained on Bert. There is a gift shop and restrooms. The tower has 26 floors based on the elevator buttons. A guard escorts Bert up. The guard has a pistol and an armored jacket. Bert suspects that the cameras are rigged. Bert suspects a hidden camera in the elevator, the security guard angles himself to not obscure the shot.
They arrive on the 27th floor. The guard does not leave the elevator. There is a partially open garden with a coy pond. The temperature on the garden is regulated. An ornate overhang. Again, another camera hidden over the elevator. A traditional looking Japanese teahouse is across the garden. It is the only building. A young woman in a kimono opens the door and welcomes him. There is a seating area with overstuffed chairs in front. Further in is a courtyard with a smaller coy pond. There are tables to the side. At the far end of the courtyard is an alter with a Buddha. Behind the Buddha is the scroll in its case with nothing obviously holding the case.
The food is exquisite, but expensive.
There are smaller (less expensive??) rooms to the sides.
Bert wanders a bit and looks at the art.
There are cameras in the courtyard. They don't appear to be directly controlled right now, but they aren't moving. All are pointing outward (but have the mobility to point inward to the pond).
Bianca researches the scroll. The Glass Onion's owner is Hithiro Nakishi. He is known in arts circles for enjoying historic pieces. He purchased the scroll from an unknown art dealer when he opened the Onion twenty-five years ago.
Derek's research. The Diet is a group of people doing the Emperor's governance work, tax stuff and the like. The scroll is from the Tokugara dynasty, roughly the 1400-1500 AD. This scroll is an edict condemning women finding an equal place in business ventures. The language is particularly strong. It was in a museum until the early 1980s when it disappeared. The piece is not part of a larger set of pieces. In art circles scrolls from the era are famous because the writer was extremely skilled. There are rumors of it surfacing in private collections and sales until about thirty years ago. Twenty five years ago Nakashi purchased it.
Nakashi used to offer protection and insurance to businesses in the shipping industry. Within a few years he was circulating in upper social circles. He then started opening restaurants. He is a large gentleman and says he always wanted to own as many restaurants as possible because he loves food. He was offered the top floor of this building when it opened 25 years ago.
Derek scares up a blueprint of the restaurant, it's about ten years old. There don't appear to be any publicly facing businesses in the building. Matsurama owns the building. Matsurama is a shipping company headquartered in Tokyo. They are AA rated. It has minor interests in electronics and communications.
Jane scouts the building. There is an astral wall around the restaurant. There are spirits on top of the building.
We get together in the morning to talk. We park in Bert's truck and chat.
As we talk, Gabel calls, wants to check how the meeting went and offer his assistance.
Everyone Bert saw on his trip was Asian. The waitstaff were all young women.
karma: moving plot forward 1