We drive for a while. One of Jane's watcher spirits notices a tail. Jane summons a spirit, the spirit kills the tailing watcher.
We get back to our apartment around noon. Derek calls the LTG number we were given. It connects Derek to Therees. We'll meet her Sunday evening at the same place, Desmonds.
Bert assembles maps from his and Derek's video footage. Jane and Bianca writes up a report. Jane briefs me on combat with spirits. It seems that unaimed weapons (like grenades) are basically useless. Firearms are okay, but melee is best. I start reading up on melee weapons.
Derek calls his friend Cairo. His friend is busy. Jane heals Bianca's minor injury.
A bit before noon Cairo calls. He'll be by tomorrow at 23:00. He's got a T-Bird, some sort of VTOL. We'll be bypassing customs.
That evening we head to Desmond's. Our Johnson shows up. He again has some sort of silencing device. He is pleased with our basic work. We give him the report and maps. He gives us a certified credstick (17,000¥) for the basic payment. He wants to review our report. He heads off. After a moment Therees shows up. She thanks us and hands us another credstick with 6,000¥.
1 Completing mission.
1 Gathering intelligence
1 Inventive and unexpected plan.
We get back to the apartment. There are two messages waiting, they arrived right after one another. The first message has some data loss. Derek pokes around, it looks like the first message was added by a decker who hacked into our telecom. Drek.
The first message is from Gabel. He is doing fine. He has been researching "the man in white." Kit Hofsteader, a German borne, moved to Japan at 18. Worked as heavy hitter for Mitsuhama for 30 years. Works in Unusual Assets. Was transfered to Tshimshian, a place where Mitsuhama is a major player. They have a stranglehold on the local government. We were set up. Gabel's friends who vouched for Kit have quietly vanished. He is concerned some of those people know where he is. Strength in numbers, wants to move us back "here" and take the fight to Kit. He has some information on Kit that we can use to track him down. There is gunfire outside.
The second message appears to come from China. It's voice only. A male, gruff voice. "He" (Gabel) wanted to get information to us before the compound was taken. Couldn't find the information. The voice thinks everyone in the compound was taken or killed. The voice is a long time friend of Gabel's. There is an LTG number of last resort attached.
Derek checks on news for the San Francisco area. There doesn't appear to be anything that might be the run on Gabel's hideout.
We talk. We call the car dealer Fred, he's willing to offer 4,000¥ for the minivan. Fred is a bit concerned that corporations may be looking for the minivan.
Lupus calls back (we left a message on his machine). He apparently also got voice-mail. He can identify the voice, it's "Slick," one of Gabel's deckers. Lupus says Gabel was staying in a little town outside of San Francisco. It was a large house, perhaps owned by a relative. The news report claims a gas leak led to a fire. There were no bodies.
Bianca and Bert head off to sell the minivan. They arrive late in the evening. They warn Fred of the nature of the van; he'll take it anyway. They head back.
Searching, I find the news story Lupus told us about. It happened Thursday night in the small town of Roomington. The manor was owned by the Acker family for many years. It has been ruled an accidental gas leak.
The day passes quietly. We arrange for an autocab to the park. We meet the cab at 10:30pm. We wait for a while at the park. It's a parking lot in an industrial park. Eventually we hear a high pitched whine. A large bullet shaped vehicle skims over buildings toward us. It lands on the other side of the lot.
Cairo is a combat outfit wearing fellow. He's happy to see Derek, but he is aware of Gabel's fate. We hop in. Cairo eagerly introduces us to his vehicle until Derek suggests that we should leave before the law shows up.
Once in the air we ask where we are going. Cairo was planning on heading to San Francisco, but things are complicated now, he's not sure where to go. As we talk, suddenly Cairo warns us that he can't talk for a bit, and we should hold on. Bert offers to help man guns, Cairo accepts. Cairo tries to stall the border patrol, but they aren't buying it. Cairo warns of possible news coverage; they're fine with it, their last dogfight got great ratings. They threaten to open fire. Cairo accelerates. They fire missiles. Chaff knocks the missiles off. Some light fire is traded, but we make it to the edge of the border. The border patrol turns back.
We land in a clearing in what was once northern Michigan. We head into a diner through some trees.