Another day, another place to visit that no runner ever wants to visit. Our team is no different, but today they head into the lion den. The Hub of Knight Errant Security to visit the accused the prisoned Dean Costello. The group decides that Barnabus and Slider have the best chance to get in and out without setting off any alarms using the Fake SINs provided by the Family. Barnabus can walk the walk and talk the talk and takes the lead. Knight Errant put the two through a MAD and a cyberware scanner. Lots of paperwork and three checkin stations later they made their way to Dean who is waiting for them. Because of client/lawyer privilege, the room appears to not be bugged and in fact within seconds of entering their commlinks start screaming about not being able to find the matrix.
Dean, in a now very rumpled, tres chic suit, welcomes their help. He doesn’t know them, but he knows the name on the ID, as he wrote it. He’ll asked about how his “grandfather” is handling this, before getting down to questioning. Dean quickly goes into declaring his innocents and expresses that the police have circumstantial evidence on him. That evidence is that he was seen inside the building that day and the other is that his persona was logged by computer security before crashing at the time of the crime. Having a criminal record for hacking also doesn’t help his case either. The police took his commlink and the SINs match. He swears up and down that he was not there at that time, but refuses to give proof of where he was. He confesses it would be a little embarrassing to the “family” and probably put him in jail even longer if the cops found out. So he is reluctant to talk about it.
Talking about his girlfriend, Alice, Dean breaks down. He loved Alice. Sure he admits his MO has been to seduce women and con them into security access, but this was different. Dean tells them that he came clean about some of his past to her and she moved in with him. Now he won’t get the chance to tell her the whole story. He gives them her personal ID that she uses with her commlink. Dean mentions that he thought it was odd when the police asked why he stole the commlinks of the victims. He never took them, and he has no idea why anyone would. He worked on Alice’s commlink, but it wasn’t worth much more than the stock version. He tells them that the commlink has a flower hand painted on the back.
He is taken back at the mention of a file with other family members. With a little push he acknowledges the he was doing some research on some other family members who he suspected had been stealing from grandfather. He hasn’t found anything on them yet and is very confident they don’t know he is looking into them. He will continue that search if he gets out of this alive. Barnabas points out that these searches could have gotten Alice killed it proves to light a fire in the young man’s eyes. Barnabas is lucky Dean is chained in his chair as he tries to reach across the table and strangle him.
Slider calms him down and obviously takes on the roll of “the good cop”. Wanting to make sure he has all the information casts a quick influence spell instilling Dean with a trust level that rivals his trust in his “grandfather”. He confirms all that he has previously said to be true and admits what he was actually doing at the time of the attack. He was playing a high level game of switchboard; intercepting communications and redirecting their destinations. Childish yet fun: A smuggler for the Kirillov Vory asked for a safe zone from a Golden Triangle lieutenant. Kachina goons did their broadcasting on police bands. Dean also accidentally redirected a family order. Casquilho Imports will be receiving a shipment of torrid romance holos, while a little video store in Cal-Free will be surprised with twelve hand-made Talavera urns with false bottoms holding a large quantity of narcotics. Hence his reluctant to talk about it before the runners who had been hired by the family. Leaving the Hub the group heads over to LuCom to check out the scene of the crime.
As you arrive in the vicinity of LuCom Inc., you see that while there were reportedly deaths at LuCom two days ago, the corporation is up and running in some capacity. The only evidence of even a crime scene is the police tape ARO on the steps outside the building and one lone police drone blimp hovering above the building, circling slowly. On the door that people are passing through, a physical sign is taped saying ‘No Visitors Today’. LuCom’s three-story building is in a small commercial area of Englewood in the CAS. It’s next to a coffee shop, a computer repair shop, and a few other corporate branch offices. Dragonfly notes that with its pattern at no point is it out of range of the police tape ARO crime scene.
Outside LuCom in the AR world, the usual ambiance of flashy AROs and virtual salesmen is missing in this area. The AR silence is deafening. Security recording devices at small commercial places such as the coffee shop and computer repair are off line. Someone has crashed all the AROs around the LuCom building. There are technicians working at both the electronic store and the coffee shop trying to get system back online.
The group spreads out to not look suspicious and take in the sights. Slider, SSR, and Mr. Smiley make their way to the coffee shop while Barnabus pops into the electronic shop. Spending most of his time looking out the window at LuCom. Dragonfly stays back at her car parks in a lot down the street debating about launching a drone, but thinks better of it with the police drone around and goes about looking around the area.
The three headed to the coffee shop notice a man discreetly taking an interest in them as they walk past LuCom and into the shop. From where he sits, he has full view of the front of LuCom, plus a partial view of the side street. The best possible view from the comfort of the coffee shop possible. He looks in deep thought looking down from a electronic data pad and up at the crime scene and surrounding area. Having been noticed Slider verifies that SSR got his back and walks right up to the man and sits down with him while greeting him and introducing himself in one fluid practiced motion.
The man introduces himself as Detective Diamond. With a little prodding he acknowledges the he works for KE. The two talk for a few minutes comparing notes and explaining each others purpose. They talk a little about Dean and Slider gets the impression that KE feels the matter is closed, but Detective Diamond doesn’t seem as convinced. He mentions following a lead of the girlfriends commlink being found but having its signal lost out by a mall the previous day. He has a meeting with Dean to talk about that scheduled for later that day. After sharing contact information with Slider and the two agreeing to be kept posted on anything either finds out he jokingly mentions that though he should arrest criminals and lower the crime rate in the city, he is hopeful that their unorthodox methods will prove valuable in this case. As long as justice is served he doesn’t mind looking the other way for the moment. The two agree to keep each other posted on anything they find out. His datapad is linked to his commlink and he discreetly shares his photos of the crime scene, autopsy reports of the two victims, and some notes about LuCom paydata trickling onto the black-market. The information confirms the news report that The victims Alice Jensen, Corp Secretary for three years at LuCom and Allen ‘Al’ Ethland, a Security Guard. Both were savagely beaten, stabbed and robbed of their commlinks right on the stairs of LuCom headquarters. The two continue to talk, but Slider quickly loses his backup as Dragonfly makes a disgusting discovery and all the other runners run off to meet up with her.
In the alleyways nearby, the ‘runners find two chipheads, whose bodies have been partially hidden in the trash. They are from two different social classes; one street, one middle. One has regular trodes; the other has fancy nanite trodes (painted as a smiley face). Their commlinks have been crashed, but looking them over Dragonfly can clearly see that they have been wired for illegal hot-sim use. The commlinks’ OS and other software are badly corrupted and Dragonfly doesn’t know if she could fix them even with the proper tools which she doesn’t have. Not wanting to be seen with the bodies, but searching them all the same Mr. Smiley takes the regular trodes from the body and the group makes there way back to the cars.
Slider wishing the detective well and again promising to keep in touch and expecting the detective to do likewise makes his leave after purchasing a large strong coffee to hopefully wake Kid Mercury from his slumber. Arriving back at the car all Slider and SSR study the unconscious hacker closely astrally trying to determine if there is anything wrong with him. They don’t see anything unusual. He appears in near perfect health. SSR does notice an odd shade to his aura he has never seen before roughly the same spot he usually sees magic in the active, but he can’t place it. KM aura does give the impression of someone that had been on a drug high and was trying to recover from an overdose. He has no cyberware in his system and no visible trodes to communicate with his commlink. Presenting a little bit of a mystery that is Kid Mercury.
Maybe it was the smell of coffee or his subconscious screaming for him to awake before a stimpack could be applied but his eyes to flutter open and then slam shut with a grown. A few moments later he takes the offered coffee with closed eyes and drains the super hot coffee without stopping or flinching. His voice is burned out for a few minutes and he seems weak and his eyes have a very sunken look, but he is alive and back with them. There is a discussion about the the three commlinks they now possess. Kid Mercury seems conflicted between wanting the flower printed commlink back and being scared to death of it. Dragonfly rigs up her own commlink to jamm the signal of the flower one and turns it back on. Kid Mercury produces part of a computer repair kit for Dragonfly and then zones out to go visit LuCom’s matrix host.
Checking to make sure the commlink poses her no danger Dragonfly activates it and connects with it after entering Alice ID. The commlink overrides the imagelink in her glasses with an overlay of flowering hills and butterflies fluttering around. In her earbuds plays a zippity-do- da-esque song in the background softly. She quickly discovers she is not alone as an agent program in the shape of a white rabbit movements give away its attempt to remain hidden in the flowers. Her own analysis software determining it is a agent complete with operating, browse, exploit, and stealth programs. As far as she can tell it is attempting to find away to get away, but is stumped by the jamming signal. The group sits around crammed into vehicles discussing their different theories and what to do next for a few minutes until Kid Mercury pops back and starts talking rather technical about how screwed LuCom’s system is right now. He doesn’t think any Hacker could pull that off in mere seconds. He shares two interoffice memos with the group.
From: LuCom Security
To: Employees All
Subject: Communications Concerning Recent Events
Sent to all LuCom Employees
In regards to the deaths of Corporate Secretary, Ms. Jensen, Security Guard Mr. Ethland, and the break-in at LuCom, please refrain from talking or sending messages to anyone outside LuCom until the police and corporate investigation is complete.
LuCom’s Corporate Message is this:
“Someone has died outside the LuCom building and police are investigating the circumstances of the death.”
If you have to make a comment, do not deviate from this message.
Thank you Corporate Security
From: LuCom Security
To: Employees All
Subject: All Guest Visitations Are Canceled
Sent to all LuCom Employees
Due to recent events, LuCom is now off limits to non-LuCom employees. This includes guests of employees and contracted service crews. Please report anyone not wearing a LuCom badge to Security.
Because Contracted service includes the cafeteria attendants, Employees can pick up a 100 nuYen certified stick at the front desk for lunch purposes.
Thank you for your Patience LuCom Security
Kid Mercury agrees to try and track the white rabbit when it is freed from the commlink. The group follows his instructions and they drive after it eventually once again coming to the same mall they visit previously. Kid Mercury comes back to them and declares the rabbit agent just terminated.
It is now late in the day and runners not being used to being up and about during normal hours have gotten a bit run down. Both Dragonfly and Kid Mercury acknowledging that it is going to take hours to get the two commlinks up and running again. Not to mention that Kid Mercury still looking like he could drop at any moment. A bit of death warmed over. The group heads back to Barrabus’ apartment to regroup, drink, think, and repair, and recover so they can tackle all of this fresh. Kid Mercury’s last sleepy request is to have his own clothes back. He feels so dirty wearing a copper suite he declares. Slider does some research on his commlink and listens to Kid Mercury who says he just wants his old clothes back, but to Slider that just will not do. He whips up the Epitome of the the 2070’s punk rock fashion shrugging off the drain like a boss. Kid Mercury is so impressed and knows his band is going to want the same done for them. So perhaps Slider will have some side work for him in the future. It is questionable if they will be able to pay much, but there are other ways of getting paid. Kid Mercury crashes on the couch out cold to the world. Dragonfly goes to work on one of the commlinks. Mr. Smiley goes to work on the fully stocked bar (that isn’t going to be for long) and after talking a bit longer SSR and Slider head off to their own residence.