We join Slider in the end of a con. He is giving a workshop on, “Putting More Power Into That Power Tie”. Swindling funds from eager wide eyed corporate execs with statements like, “with a few minor adjustments big things can happen to you like they have for me.” Finishing up the session by handing out old school business cards for a newly established business venture that Kid Mercury helped him setup the data trail for. His commlink starts churping from his shadow business line as he starts handing out a different business card to those who are commenting on his find clothing and wanting to know his tailor. Pulling himself away he answers the call.
As he answer the call with full video his eyes have to focus and his commlinks image link quickly resizes the view window as a large tusked ork who looks like he just rolled out of the barrens fills his vision. With unkempt hair and a gold plated tusk, the fixer Miguel looks more like he harkens from the street than he did the last time you met him. “Oy chummer. You’ze got some work tonight? The boss was happy with your previous work and needs to find a lost bird and you’ve been tapped. Aight?”
There is a slight pause as the ork adjusts the large heavy leather jacket on his shoulders and before you really have a chance to say yes or no, the ork carries on. “Good so don’t be keeping the boss waiting, I’ll meet you at Casquilho Imports at 6 o’clock. Go to the back door, don’t try and be some wise guy asking for the don up front. Don’t worry, you’ll see me. Bring your people and I’ve got my eye on some other help that might prove useful." A fast glance at your watch shows the time is now just after two.
Across town in the Pueblo Sector elbow deep in a transmission a dirty Ameridian continues his work rebuilding his neighbors automobile. Grumbling about how he can work on all these cars without having his own and dreaming about what his first ride of his very own will be. His commlink begins ringing. It is the line that Grandpa Coyote had set him up with when he finally convinced him he was ready for prime time and to hit the Shadows. This could be the beginning of his dreams. In his dreams the a beautiful secretary was calling for aid. To his dismay the face on the vid is neither attractive nor female and completely fills his view until is commlink compensates. A large tusked ork who looks like he just rolled out of the barrens fills his vision. With unkempt hair and a gold plated tusk. He introduces himself as the fixer Miguel Lopez. He looks more like he harkens from the street than anywhere else. He’s got a smile you instantly like. “Oy chummer. You’ze got some work tonight. The boss needs to find a lost bird and you’ve been tapped. Aight?” There is a slight pause as the ork adjusts the large heavy leather jacket on his shoulders and before you really have a chance to say yes or no, the ork carries on. “Good so don’t be keeping the boss waiting, I’ll meet you at Casquilho Imports at 6 o’clock. Go to the back door, don’t try and be some wise guy asking for the don up front. Don’t worry, you’ll see me.” A fast glance at your watch shows the time is now just after two. With a potential job lined up it takes all Mr. Rage’s will to finish the task before him and then he goes and gets cleaned up and geared up. Luckily the transit system is actually operational today and nobody is on strike.
Across town SSR and Slider pick up Kid Mercury and go out for a nice steak dinner before heading to Casquilho Imports. The trio arrive roughly 20 minutes early and discover another individual had the same idea. A three meter tall Amerindian, with tattoos decorating both arms depicting various battlefields/gang symbols and a traditional Native American Mohawk. As he gets closer his neck tattoo becomes visible and is of a demonic face laughing on the right side. He has a visible large Ruger Super Warhawk strapped to his leg and walks as if he knows how to use it. A Tomahawk rests on his other side.
Miguel is waiting for you outside. Wearing a cheap suit straight off the rack, the ork often tugs at his neck-tie with the absent nature of someone not used to wearing finery. Now that everyone has arrived, he leads you around to the back door. The alleyway is rundown but swept clean of the usual trash. After knocking twice, the streetwise fixer motions for the team to go inside.
The back room of Casquilho Imports has been partitioned into an office and receiving area. An old Latino male, without enough hair for a combover, sits behind a desk flanked by what has to be enforcement muscle. Small crates line half of the room giving the feeling like you are in the back of a museum sharing space with artifacts of legend. The Don slides a few papers into a side drawer and looks up at you. To his right, stands a broad-chested Rastafarian with nickel plated Predators, on the Don’s left is a lithe Latino with two knives and a wicked smile. Both are dressed in loose fitting pants and armored jackets. “Come in, come in.” The Don waves his hand to gesture you in. The Don is wears a classic three-piece suit, with the jacket thrown over the back of his chair in a relaxed fashion.
Casquilho Imports is on its surface a shop specializing in traditional Mexican and Spanish goods. They have a large selection of Dia de los Muertos goods and artifacts from Old Mexico and Aztlan. The shop has dim lighting with a clean, antiquated feeling. No cheap plastic, everything is handmade and old with prices to match.
After some pleasantries and a brief discussion about the Don’s “grandson” Dean everyone gets down to business. Don Casquilho is hiring the runners to find Terry Wyatt. The Casquilho’s only want to talk and find out what happened to cause the smuggler to get spooked. Runners are being used because Wyatt will vanish if any of the Mafiosos try and pick him up. The price being offered is 1,000 ¥ now and 4,500¥ to be paid upon delivery. Slider tries his best to negotiate the price up but the Don has brought his A game and in the end the offer stands, but both men have a new appreciation for each others negotiation skills.
The Don has a slight Spanish accent that has faded over the last decade of being in Colorado. He still reminds SSR, Slider, and Kid Mercury of a doddering old grand-father even pointing out pictures of children on his desk as they talk. He pulls SSR, Slider, and Kid Mercury in and they like the old man even more now. The newest recruit isn’t so easily duped. He sense a kindred spirit, a hint of violence like a shark moving in the deep waters behind the Don’s dark eyes. Mr. Rage gets the impression that bringing Mr. Wyatt back to the don might be bad for Mr. Wyatt’s health but can’t explain why he thinks that way about this old man.
The runners accept the job and the don gives them a hardcopy file. The file includes the home address and a picture of Terry Wyatt. The photo was obviously taken at a social function. A woman is sitting on Terry’s lap, both wear matching bands on their left hand and there are children running in the background. The text identifies the woman as Carole Wyatt, Terry’s wife. They look happy, decked out in casual clothing, but there is tension in Terry’s eyes that hints at some unspoken truth. In addition to the file, the Don will give them the name and contact information for Jana McKee. The don explains that she is a coyote who has worked with Wyatt in the past and might be of aid helping them find him. A few pleasantries later and the group is ushered out to begin their work and let the don get back to his own.
The group heads back to SSR’s leased automobile and Kid Mercury pops into the front passenger side and goes to work doing his matrix thing to try and locate one Jana McKee while SSR sits in the driver seat silently waiting for directions and Slider and Mr. Rage stand across the car from one other with the back seat doors open discussing what Mr. Rage is good at.
5 minutes pass and Kid Mercury pops back and says he is having trouble tracking her. The group reaches out to a few contacts and gathers information about Terry and Jana.
Stalker, the coyote, talks about Jana having nothing but good things to say. “She’s a straight-shooting coyote, she’s got a glass jaw though.” “Even devilrats don’t spook this one, I’ve
seen her run and jump straight over one.” “Ask around at Five by Five, don’t
mention my name but they’ll have some answers.” Mr. Rage’s fixer also added that, 4. “She does the CAS/UCAS run, I think she knows a route under Union Station into the Hub.”
About Terry Wyatt Grandpa Coyote had this to say, "“He runs chips for the Mafia.” “Wyatt dumped his last batch” “Be careful son, somebody is moving around the streets with a lot of questions about him.” “He goes by the orphanage a lot, adopting metahuman children right and left.” Before getting off the line he also mentioned that the Aurora Angels might know something about the missing supplies and gives them directions to the hard to find Five by Five Smuggler’s bar.
The group makes there way to the five by five having to go the last few miles walking. After nearly three miles of twisting and turning tunnels, a warm glow starts creeping out of the darkness. As you approach the light, sounds of conversation can be heard at the edge of your senses. Commlinks which had been idle, disconnected from the Denver grid, flicker back to life as they find a local grid to interact with. Welcome to Five by Five. Just inside the door sits an open crate with clubs, pistols, and a few knives. The group drops off most of their weapons, but gets a cold shoulder from everyone in the joint. Think Cheer’s for smugglers, Five by Five is a quaint locals’ bar with few direct entrances. Comfortable and small without being cramped, it mainly serves as a place for smugglers to blow off steam and have a few drinks.
Just as Slider starts asking questions after ordering himself a beer the bartender who eventually introduces himself as Matty Zorn owner and operator of the Five by Five points to a sign that he missed when he came in that stated,
Rules of Etiquette:
• No direct mention of work inside the bar.
• Leave your trouble at the door and
weapons in the box.
• Hard currency and certified cred only.
• No secrets and no ghosting allowed.
Anyone who breaks one of the Five by Five rules will need to buy the house a round of drinks. Not getting anywhere with the locals or locating Jana they eventually call her and she agrees to meet with them as soon as she is finished with a few things.
The corner of Mississippi Ave and Gun Club road is a stone’s throw from the northeast edge of the Aurora Warrens. Most of the buildings have steel grates that drop down in front of their shops and bars on the windows. American Gun Supply seems to be the only store that has hours of operation continuing past sunset.
Meeting Jana at the corner, the coyote looks unassuming and could easily blend in to any crowd. She smiles and turns waving for you to follow her. With a triangular shaped courier’s pack cinched tightly onto her back, the coyote is wearing hiking boots, tight jeans and a tanktop under an overshirt. Weaving through a few alleyways, Jana stops in front of a sewer cover.
“Hope you boys and girls don’t mind walking…”
Unzipping the courier’s pack, she pulls out a crowbar to lift up the grate. Inside the bag you see rope, carabineers, pitons—a full climbing kit.
From there she will lead them down through some of the abandoned subway development lines to one of the smuggler havens that Wyatt is known to frequent. While they walk, Jana is willing to share what she knows about Terry Wyatt and the smuggler scene. The only real new knowledge the group learns is that Wyatt has even more adopted kids then they thought and that the “Boy-o needs to pick sides, he’s running cargo for the family and the Russians.”
After nearly five miles of twisting and turning tunnels, a warm newly familiar glow starts creeping out of the darkness. As you approach the light, sounds of conversation can be heard at the edge of your senses. Commlinks which had been idle, disconnected from the Denver grid, flicker back to life as they find a local grid to interact with. Welcome back to Five by Five.
Just inside the door sits the same open crate with clubs, pistols, and a few knives. Jana reaches under her coat and deposits her machine pistol into the box and gestures for you to do the same. The coyote then moves across the bar, ordering a double scotch and points to Slider, “It is on his tab.”
Around of applause goes up when Slider mentions he is buying a round because he can’t help but need to talk about business. It isn’t until the second round that the patrons (more seeming to appear out of nowhere as free drinks are offered) start to talk. The group meets:
Jimmy & Shawn McManus—Irish brothers and smugglers. Jimmy is a short 5’4” to his brother’s 6’, both are heavy men built like brick houses with extra insulation in the midsection. Jimmy has flaming red hair, buzzed short. Shawn has dishwater blonde hair and a long goatee with red highlights. 19 and 24 years old respectively. As the group approaches them they hear them saying,
“Hafiz is paying good money for it…still, kinda makes you wonder doesn’t it?” but change topics as the group approaches.
Quiver—Elf, male in his early twenties. Nature obviously gave him blonde hair and a pale complexion, but it has been dyed black, faded out and his roots have grown out. Due to a heavy chip habit, he has a constant twitch in his left hand except when he’s flying or has a chip slotted. “I’m telling you those guys said Lesker… Between racists and bigots, I’ll choose to nuke them both.” A quick data search for the name Lesker reports that there is a current UCAS council representative is Humanis member Iain Lesker.
Tanya Morgan—Heavy set woman with a high squeaky voice that gets higher when she’s excited. 5’4” and 160 lbs, she is of mixed heritage, half Latina half Caucasian. She seems completely blitzed out of her mind. “Last time I saw Piotr was when I dropped him off at Doc Tico’s.” Piotr is a Polish smuggler who primarily ran weapons in and out of CAS and UCAS territory. He hasn’t been seen since going to Doc Tico’s street clinic.
With no sign of Terry and nobody knowing where he is the group is about to leave when one of the patrons comes over to thank them, but in mid-sentence, the smuggler you’re talking with breaks off, as the sound of wood cracking echoes through the bar. The door to the tunnel you just came down has been battered off its hinges and hangs loosely to one side. A man you immediately recognize as Terry Wyatt shows signs of being kicked through the door. Walking into the bar behind him, are three hulking Vory soldiers bearing shotguns.
“I am Ivan Romanov and this bar is closed.”
Gesturing for the bartender and Terry to stay, he orders the rest of the patrons to get out of here. Ivan and his two companions are armed with clubs and shotguns. As the patrons flee the two companions go to work smashing up the place. Jana stays to fight and get beaten pretty quickly in the process. While the fight is going on, Wyatt goes to attempt to flee into the darkness and escape, but SSR notices and chases after him calling back over his comm for someone to grab his guns. The fight itself is over pretty quickly thanks to the runners. Slider casts control thoughts on one of the Thugs, while Mr. Rage shows his speed and agility diving behind the bar next to Matty’s who is curled up with a shotgun in hand but seems frozen up. The newest member of the group comes up and throws a dagger at Mr. Ivan. Blood starts squirting everywhere and in shock Mr. Ivan just stands there holding his hand to put pressure on the wound. While the one remaining Thug moves around the bar to try and take out Mr. Rage without any success as his swinging club which should have connected with the man’s ameridian skull just hits empty space. The distinctive sound of extending razer blades fills the bar for a moment as Mr. Rage defends himself and keeps the thug busy. The other thug meanwhile stands perfectly still until Slider silently gives him the command to have his comrade surrender.
In the end Jana is down and unmoving, Ivan trying to help himself passes out but does stop the bleeding, and one thug runs away being chased by the other.
Meanwhile SSR catches up to Terry and leads him back after convincing him he was a friend with a little magic and working in a nonthreatening manner. He, Kid Mercury, and Terry return to a half wrecked five by five finding Slider foot firmly pressed up against the unconscious Ivan and talking to Matty.