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[5e IC] Sunt Venatores Venationem

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rednblack

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« Reply #225 on: (11:30:29/11-04-15) »
About an hour later, once the runners have returned to Achak's hovel, Elijah sends a comm in Achak.

<<@ Achak [3L1] Not much work on that comm, there.  I was expecting more of a challenge.  History showed an Ares LIghtfire had been slaved to it in the past, but wasn't currently.  I took the liberty of checking up on the SIN attached to the phone: Osamu Ueda.  Looks legit.  MeFeed is regularly updated, employment and educational history check out.  Chummer is employed by a security consultancy firm, Sunrise Logistics and Security.  Their trix address also checks out, but I'm not the chummer to go digging around in their host. 

His trix history is much more interesting.  Looks like u got a runner on ur hands.  He's a member of Black-Site-Prime, and I was able to dig up his username, but either the password has been changed recently, or I don't know what the drek I'm doing because I couldn't log on to gain access to his profile.  1 was able to cross-reference his profile name with a neat little proxy account, but doing so only showed that he has a 78% favorable rating, well above the mean.  I also pulled up tickets for a direct flight to Manhattan that's leavin tomorrow, but when I tried to access the ticket, I got an error message.  The flight doesn't show as cancelled, so somebody either cancelled the ticket or changed the departure date.  Again, I'm not the chummer to go digging into Boeing's Host, so ur on ur own there.

Stay frosty.>>
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« Reply #226 on: (22:13:36/11-10-15) »
Ten thousand nuyen. I wonder if Stake had a family.

The short and stocky blonde woman spends most of the day in the back of a van, being ferried from location to location. It hadn't really been her place to speak at the meeting with Mr Abbey, and there's really nothing productive for her to be doing, so she remains quiet and polite in her seat. Every now and then, one of the men in the front will look back at her awkwardly without ever really finding anything to say. She nods, smiles, and breaks gaze first, pretending to be interested in something outside the window, or fiddling with one of the controls on her comm. Although she seems peaceful and serene on the surface, deep on the inside, she's nervous about the meeting tomorrow morning. What manner of indignities will that man force me to endure tomorrow?

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Tecumseh

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« Reply #227 on: (20:20:40/11-13-15) »
<<@3L1 [Achak] Wiz, chum, you definitely made my Christmas list. I'll forward you your share of last night's bounty once we redeem them in the morning. If anything comes from this commlink I'll make sure some of it finds its way back to you.>>

<<@Megedagik [Achak] Thanks, omae, I owe you one. If I head that direction then I'll make sure Santa Cl-achak brings you back a stocking stuffer.>>


Achak forwards Elijah's findings to Mercer and Sister Rebecca.

"I got the name and number of a coyote in Manhattan from an old amigo.

"As for the commlink, Mr. Shadowrunner looks like a Honest Citizen on the surface. SIN, regular employment, social drek. Under the covers he looks like a runner. Eli says he's a member of Black-Site-Prime. I'm hoping that name means something to one of you. If not, add it to the list of discrete inquiries to make on Grotto1. Mercer, you're on Grotto1, right? That's how you and Stake knew each other, neh?"


Achak ponders what Eli shared, wondering if there's any significance to the Ares Lightfire. Achak isn't built for this sort of mental challenge though. Instead, he tries to pull open Osamu Ueda's MeFeed.

"MeFeed ain't so popular in Seattle but it is in Manhattan. Maybe that means he's based in Manhattan and was just out here for this job, rather than vice versa. Hmm, do we have a current address for the deceased in here? What about his Manhattan pass cards..." Achak scrolls through the files, looking for any electronic tidbits that could be poached for future use.

"Long day. We need to crash for the evening to be ready for the morning. I've got a pad on Capitol Hill, less spartan than the last. Or we can hit Stake's place one last time if we think the danger has passed." He eyes Mercer, figuring that he'll want to sleep in the Roadmaster. Achak is wearing his good suit and would prefer not to sleep in it, if possible.

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« Reply #228 on: (12:34:59/11-27-15) »
Digging through Osamu Ueda's MeFeed is an exercise in banality.  A cursory look gives very little insight into the man's personality besides the fact that he seems to share and like what everybody else is sharing and liking at the same time.  His most recent post, though, from around the time that Stake was killed, is a food shot at a downtown sushi restaurant, complete with five-star review.  Perhaps Ueda mostly kept his feed for establishing an alibi? Achak wonders.
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« Reply #229 on: (16:21:53/11-27-15) »
Mercer listens as Achak relays the info from Eli. When he hears that the account password had been changed, he groans. "Son of a - Achak, could you check with your pals in the barrens and make sure they actually put down that Iky fellah? I got a bad feeling he talked his way outta that either with cash or violence."


"As for a place to stay, I'm fine with anything you feel is safe. Stake's place is a no-no if Iky's still running around, but outside o' that, I imagine the law will be by to ask some uncomfortable questions if we linger. I do want to check out the local offices of Sunrise, maybe save us a trip to the Rotten Apple. And, as much as I'm not looking forward to it, I think it might be a good time to see what the Johnson that hired that snake has to say."
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« Reply #230 on: (19:33:21/11-30-15) »
Achak sends an ARO with directions to his small apartment on the north end of Capitol Hill.

<<@Rusty [Achak] Rusty, what happened with that guy we left with you? The disassembly project. We're seeing activity on some of his accounts. Need to know if he's still breathing or if someone else is making the changes on his behalf.>>

"What's the timestamp on those changes?" Achak asks rhetorically as he tries to find the answer for himself. "Maybe Rusty did the deed but the fragger was making changes on the fly on his headlink. Should have carved it out of him myself, church or no church. Wasn't thinking clearly." You were lit on Jazz is what you were, he thinks to himself.

Mercer draws the Roadmaster close to the apartment building. "This is it," Achak says, pointing. "Your rig should be safe on the street. Local gangers might mess with a Bulldog but know that a Roadmaster is more than they can chew." He pats Mercer's Enfield AS-7, dubbed “Yoki”. "Too much pepper makes a meal unpalatable."

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« Reply #231 on: (18:05:38/12-09-15) »
Achak's digs on Capitol Hill are a definite cut above the bolthole in Puyallup.  The bugs are scarcer, the couch looks as though it's actually spent more of its life indoors than out, and with all the recent rain he isn't even under water rationing -- though it's probably a good thing that Achak had installed that external filter on the sink.  Even the soy food processing unit is in better working order.  Still, the tour doesn't take long, most it being spent on explaining that the pitcher in the bathroom is for number two, "Ya know, otherwise, it won't go down," Achak explains with a shrug before trying to text Rusty again.  Fraggin' trog dodging me?  That doesn't bode well.

The team gets a good night's sleep, and the next morning Sister Rebecca is pleased to find Mercer's wheel's unmolested.  Heading down to see Marcus is a terrifying prospect, but she steels herself as best she can before heading down to Saint Mary's.  From Marcus' comms there was a chance he wouldn't even be there, right? which would mean all the good sister would have to do is pee in a cup, grab the spell formula -- if approved -- and get back to the team for whatever direction they were headed in next.  Exiting the vehicle outside the derelict church leaves a large knot in the back of her throat, though.  Of course he'll be there, ostensibly to make sure she's still on the straight and narrow, and of course at great personal sacrifice to himself and his busy schedule. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer she thinks making her way through the plastiboard doors and shuffling past the line of sprawl-dwellers waiting for breakfast.

"Good sister," Marcus booms down from the landing of a narrow staircase, "Sister Annette will see to your drug test, and we may reconvene in the sacristy, which our most gracious hosts have allowed for my use here." 

The indignity of the test would be bad enough without its public declaration, but Romans 12:12 provides some consolation as Rebecca goes through the motions and joins Marcus in the appointed room.  It's small, smelling of mothballs and whiskey, and in a corner they have set up an impromptu desk for the traveling man of God out of cement blocks and a cracked door.  Marcus sits behind the desk, fiddling with a commlink, and gives a terse sit motion to her without pulling his eyes from the screen.  "I see you're bright as always, Sister Rebecca," he says as she finds a place on a folding chair.  "almost as if it is your own light and not the lamp of the Word which illuminates your way.  How have you found Seattle, good sister?"

"I am, of course, regretful when I inform you that your request the detox formula has been denied.  It is the opinion of the elders, and I am not one to question their wisdom, that such a formula would only increase the likelihood that your new. . . friends, would likely fall down a dark path without the natural consequences of their actions to temper their appetites.  We won't be finding out any untoward information about you from that little nastiness downstairs, will we?  Now, I have looked over your dossiers, such as they are, and they seem a bit lacking.  I am to understand that the mission was a success?  And yet Stake, as he's called, fell to an unfortunate end afterward.  Hmm, most disheartening and troubling.  I'm sure there was nothing you could do, and that even a more vigilant operative could not have saved his life, so take heart good sister.  I do not fault you for your failure here.  Besides, the Lord does work in mysterious ways, and perhaps even this loss could bear the touch of the Almighty's handiwork.  If nothing else, this turn of events will make you even more valuable to the lost brothers, er, lost brother.  So, it is just you and Achak now?"

Marcus reaches into his pocket and retrieves a crumpled pack of Aztechnology Fillegro's, and lights one with a gold-plated flint lighter.  He exhales vigorously, daringly before continuing.  "I would like for you to continue working with this Achak.  The war against the vampires is ending, good sister.  But that leaves many struggles left to fight.  And we need to know who will stand with us.  Achak, to our knowledge, is an interesting case.  A Christian?  Maybe.  Maybe an apostate.  Maybe he still harbors some pagan longings and superstitions.  That is what I need you to find out.  You won't disappoint again, will you?  And then we have Grotto1, a haven for cutthroats and sodomites casting themselves as heroes.  Sure, they're geeking zekes, but as you've proven, even you can do that.  Think, good sister, of what just the bounties from your recent travails, what a difference those would make in a place like Saint Mary's"

He stubs out his cigarette on the makeshift table before getting to his point.  "We have good men and women at our disposal competing for an ever-shrinking number of bounties when it comes to the Infected.  You are to use your position within this team to learn as much as you can about the hunter community, to establish who's aims are aligned with the Lord's, and who is collecting their silver for personal enrichment.  Who, good sister, will come into our fold and live in the light, and who is lukewarm, who because they have not been either cold nor hot in their righteousness must be spat out from the body of our church."  As Marcus nears the end of his rant, he becomes increasingly ecstatic, spittle forming around the corners of his mouth and falling to the table in front of him.

"Go in peace, Sister Rebecca.  I trust I will hear from you soon."   
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Poindexter

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« Reply #232 on: (20:32:02/12-11-15) »
Throughout the entire procedure, the good sister remains silent, her head lowered, and her hands crossed before her, speaking only when a response is directly requested.

"How have you found Seattle, good sister?"

"It is adequate, as always Marcus."

"I am to understand that the mission was a success?"
 

"Yes, Marcus."

"So, it is just you and Achak now?"
 

"No, Marcus. There is a fourth now; Mercer. And old and fond acquaintance of the deceased. I currently support the group in their endeavor to bring his killers to a brutal end."

"You won't disappoint again, will you?"
 

Her eyes widen briefly at the cigarette. The blatant sacrilege! For just a moment though, before she gets her expression under the tight control she's been taught. She can see in his eyes as he puffs the devil's fumes into his lungs inside the very house of God; She can see he enjoys knowing he's gotten to her.

"No, Marcus."

"We have good men and women at our disposal competing for an ever-shrinking number of bounties when it comes to the Infected.  You are to use your position within this team to learn as much as you can about the hunter community, to establish who's aims are aligned with the Lord's, and who is collecting their silver for personal enrichment.  Who, good sister, will come into our fold and live in the light, and who is lukewarm, who because they have not been either cold nor hot in their righteousness must be spat out from the body of our church."  As Marcus nears the end of his rant, he becomes increasingly ecstatic, spittle forming around the corners of his mouth and falling to the table in front of him.

"Go in peace, Sister Rebecca.  I trust I will hear from you soon."

--------------------

Without a word, an expression, or a look, the stocky blonde human woman walks calmly out of the church and back to the waiting vehicle. As the dog-brain brings her back to the safehouse, she tries to imagine how difficult it would be for either of her companions to trust her anymore, knowing she's effectively a mole for their competition.
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #233 on: (01:55:03/12-21-15) »
After a long day, Achak sleeps. When he wakes up, his first thought is Stake is gone. It makes him want to close his eyes and try again. Maybe this time Stake will still be around. But he isn't.

He gets up. Usually he wanders around his place in his boxers but that's not going to fly with Sister Rebecca around. He gets dressed and make sure there's some soykaf brewing for when everyone is up. "Rusty is ducking me," he says when Mercer and Sister Rebecca reassemble in the kitchen. "F'n troll." He bites his lip in deference to the good Sister's sensibilities but he can't fully contain himself. "Should have finished it then and there instead of leaving it up to some simple-minded trog who gets whacked on a cal-hot version of A Christmas Carol and cries every. rakking. year. Probably doing that right now, the big bleeder."

When Sister Rebecca leaves to check in with Mercer, Achak goes to redeem the bounties on the vampires. Having claimed payment from the appropriate UCAS authorities, he remits the proper share to Elijah.

<<@3L1 [Achak] Payment attached, as promised. Thanks again for your help with the 'link. Look me up if you ever need ground support.>>

He then sits down and tries to figure out if there's a story behind Sunrise. Usually he only has the skill and patience to search for a minute, but when he looks up he realizes a half hour has gone by. Impressed with himself, he says a small prayer of thanks before wondering if Stake's death has somehow given him additional clarity and focus.

<<@Mercer, Sister Rebecca [Achak] Here's what I've found about Sunrise. ARO ATTACHED. No smoking guns; they could just be an independent third-party. We could go ask some pointed questions in person if we're feeling frisky. Most of their offices are small. The local one is in Auburn, just north of Puyallup. Not a hardscrabble location, but certainly blue collar. Mercer, you want drive by or are we thinking we should get to Manhattan sooner rather than later? If so, we need to give Duncan appropriate notice.>>

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« Reply #234 on: (19:59:18/12-22-15) »
 
Upon waking, he finds Achak in the kitchen, manning a pot of soykaf. It's cheap, but it is surprisingly better than what he'd been subjected to on the road. Achak announces that Rusty has not been returning his calls, and Mercer can see that the man is perhaps taking it a little too personally. He's not sure if he hates all trolls, or just Rusty, but there's obviously a story there that Mercer might have to learn sooner or later before it leads to trouble. When hunting things that go bump in the night, a Troll is a good ally to have, putting most infected to shame when it comes to brute force and stamina. Mercer worked with them regularly, and if Achak was going to have problems with them then Mercer needed to know. But there'd be plenty of time for such chat during the long trip to Manhattan.


Mercer quickly checked the stealth trackers he had "dispensed" the previous day to see if anything popped out at him - maybe Iki had returned his ride to the local Sunrise HQ or rental company or wherever it had come from - that would be a sure indicator that he was still alive. But no, all of the tags were still in Puyallup, probably in the ganger's chop shop.

While the Good Sister makes her meeting, Mercer busies himself with chasing down some of their leads. First, he stops by the sushi place that Iki had used as his alibi, but gets nowhere. The employees are more than happy to talk with Mercer, but whether they are intentionally stonewalling him or genuinely unaware he can't be certain. Considering the brisk business, he strongly suspects the latter.


On his way back to Achak's flat, he stops off at a BodyMax to get his eyes fixed. While the technician works, Mercer dips into AR and logs in to Grotto1. There he finds a number of personal messages waiting for him, folks wondering why he hadn't been around, a couple of requests for information, and various miscellany. While he's sorting through these, he gets a message from Achak with information about Sunrise. Mercer is impressed with the depth and breadth of information Achak was able to dig up, but ultimately it proves marginally useful at best - there is nothing fishy about the organization, nor any information that would confirm or deny Infected involvement.


He holds off on replying to the messages in his inbox and instead reaches out to the site moderators, filling them in on his last six months and his suspicions about certain elements using the site to lay ambushes. He omits anything about Manhattan, just on the off chance the communications aren't secure or worse, that one of the board operators might be in on it. After explaining his suspicions about this being a targeted effort by Infected to eliminate Hunters, and explaining the MO he had been able to piece together, he asks them to privately warn others that might have fallen victim to the scam and to keep an eye out for accounts that might be actively using the private messaging on the board to lay future traps. He also requests information on the user that had lured his team into the ambush. It's a long shot that they would risk violating their user's privacy like that, but since that user had violated the board's rules - written or otherwise - and presented a clear and present danger to the community, he hoped they would make an exception. He offers to provide them any proof they need that he is actually himself, though the board protocols make it pretty tough to spoof a user.


With the forum operators hopefully issuing an official statement of caution to the Grotto1 community, he decides to log off and not publicly announce his return - though the mods will likely out him anyway - and instead reaches out to some of his closer associates. He starts with Nevermore, a fixer with deep knowledge of goings on in the Infected community. If there were players with designs and resources for hunting down Hunters, she'd have the goods. She might also have some information on Sunrise if it was any sort of blip on the radar of the Infected community. So he gave her the same details he had given the board operators about what had happened to his team and how he had been spending the last few months, as well as the events of yesterday. Again, he left out Manhattan for now, but did mention that the opposition seemed to have ties to Sunrise. He also mentioned Iki's name and description, as well as what they knew so far of the Johnson who's contact info he had in his link - which was sadly only that. 


Then he provides the same information to Nori Koizumi, a bulldog of a reporter that writes for various blogs and a keen interest in all things ghastly or macabre. He vaguely recalled her discussing some strange behavior afoot in the Infected community - something darker than usual - the last time they'd chatted so many months ago, and at the time he'd paid it little mind, but now he was sure they could mutually benefit form sharing notes.


By the time he is finished chasing down contacts, his eyes are back to 100% and he's nearly home - well, the flat that is passing for home these days. He decides to wait before trying Iki's Johnson, as much for procrastination as for hope that Nori or Raven - Nevermore's real world handle - might give him some more info he could use when he does eventually place that call.
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rednblack

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« Reply #235 on: (14:49:05/12-28-15) »
Upon returning back to Achak's flat, Mercer dips back into Grotto1 to check on any leads or actions by the moderators.  One of the first pieces to catch is eye is a cross-posted article from Sprawl-ites penned by Ms. Koizumi.

<<Poster: Flechette
<<Thread Title: Yak Attack? 74/12/2
<<Body:
<<NEbody wanna lay claim to this one?  Zumi's usually on point, but she could be stretching here.>>
<<Attachment: Full Text: "A Ronin in the Mix"


<<Publisher: Sprawl-ites
<<Article: A RONIN IN THE MIX
<<Author(s): Nori Koizumi
<<Full Text:
<<At just after 10:30 this morning, Eito Yukimura, reported so-honbucho of the Kanaga-gumi committed seppuku at his home in Auburn.  To this reporter's knowledge, Mr. Yukimura's death is the first account of seppuku by a senior yakuza official since the failed Nishidan coup of 2064.  So what grave oversight or transgression must Yukimura have committed to warrant such a seldom-used punishment?  What sin would force this man's hand to such extremes, given the relative power and profitability of the Kanaga-gumi across our great and glorious plex?  Could it be the result of the small and otherwise unremarkable raid on Century's Peak, a dance club in Touristville that no doubt one or two of my gentle readers have had chance to frequent in the past?

<<Doubtful, neh?  Drek happens in that line of work, and even the successful torching of a club, which did not occur in this case, isn't so uncommon for balmy Redmond as a whole or yakuza holdings in general.  So, if not the club itself, maybe what was in the club was the real transgression.

<<Human trafficking?  Bunraku?  Illegal chip manufacturing?  Well, I'm not sure what world you chummers are living in, but a dedicated Sprawl-ites enthusiast should know such things would only be a boon for Mr. Yukimura, not cause for disembowelment.  So allow me, gentle readers, to spit a little truth your way.  Century's Peak was indeed a layover spot for the poor and SINless, some hoping to find jobs on their own, some who would find their lives short and miserable as yakuza chattel, but all that was cut short not a month before last night's incursion.  And what took their place?  This reporter is convinced that the answer there lies with the infected.

<<Yes, yes, I am talking about vampires.  Trid feed leaked from our good friends down at Knight's Errant show the upper floors of Century's Peak looking more charnel house than den of pleasure.  Of course, the official word is organ-legging, and that is certainly a prurient enough taint on our good plex, but for my nuyen, and with the guts of Mr. Yukimura tipping the scales, I'm betting pointy teeth and a strong aversion to sunlight.

<<Not convinced yet?  Well, if you look closely at the 00:2:23 mark, you'll plainly see a nail embedded in the back of the head of one of the unfortunate deceased.  Know what that is, gentle readers?  That be a pithing needle, a very effective way of immobilizing prey so that a skilled vampire may take his or her time with draining the poor victim's life force.  And if that doesn't convince you, there is a young woman I know who works the streets down in Touristville.  Let's call her Ann.  And Ann tells me that there was a particular Hungarian man, oafish in appearance and demeanor, who the rest of the ladies of Redmond had put the warning out on.  In her words, "Well, he'd done a party with Lucia.  And then we didn't see Lucia anymore.  Then he picked up Chloe, and we didn't see her.  I had already told the girls about him.  Sum'n waddn't right, wiz?  Well, then C-Thang disappeared, and the word got out fast. . . We kept seeing him round the clubs and all, and he was a little pissed that nobody wanted to talk with him, wiz?  But he kept hanging round and started going in the clubs instead, ya know, Reichtalder, Blue Fire, Club Right. . . Oh yeah, I saw him come outta Century's Peak a lot, usually earier in the evening."

<<I'll leave the rest to you, gentle readers.

<<Poster: Loan Ranger
<<Reply: Yak Attack? 74/12/2
<<Body:

via Imgflip Meme Maker
<<Yeah, right.>>

<<Poster: Mirana
<<Reply: Yak Attack? 74/12/2
<<Body:
<<So, my question: who benefits?  9 times out of 10 you work your way to motive, and you find the rest.  Why would the Kanaga-gumi be working with Zekes?>>


<<Poster: Flak_Jacket
<<Reply: Yak Attack? 74/12/2
<<Body:
Quote
<<So, my question: who benefits?  9 times out of 10 you work your way to motive, and you find the rest.  Why would the Kanaga-gumi be working with Zekes?>>

A Zeke's nuyen's digitized, ain't it?  Spends as clean as anybody else's.>> 


The thread pretty much unspools from there, so Mercer checks to see that he has two new messages waiting for him, one from a moderator at Grotto1, and another from Ms. Koizumi.

<<Unread Message
<<Sender: fAlcon8 (Moderator)
<<Subject: Re: Possible Security Breach
<<Message:
<<Mr. Mercer:
<<
<<It's good to hear from you.  Here at Grotto1, we had feared the worst.  Forgive me to say it, but even more alarming is the information that you provided in your message.  To think that we had lost you was a blow, but it's nothing that any one of us here had not signed up for in our line of work.  That Grotto1 has been infiltrated and that the infected are using our site as a platform for hunting hunters has much further reaching consequence than any one of our lives individually. 
<<
<<I would like to compile and send out the information that you have provided for all of our vetted users, as well as place the information as an APB in our bulletins.  In order to do so, I need your permission to use your name.  Without a solid, named source in our alert, we would be doing the subscribers of Grotto1 a disservice, and it would only exacerbate the likelihood of misinformation being spread. 
<<
<<As for your query, I'm assured of the veracity of your information.  The poster who gave Stake his lead on the most job was Tillium/Gray, an information broker who has been active on our site since August 2073.  They have no current bids open, but we are keeping watch on the account.
<<
<<Best Regards,
<<
<<Falcon>>

<<Unread Message
<<Sender: n.koizumi@Write4.neo
<<Subject: Hoi Chummer
<<Message: 
<<Mercer,
<<Welcome back to the land of the living, doll.  Glad to hear you're ok.  Truth be told, I may still have been lighting candles for you, and all that.  Let me not be said that I've lost all of my idealism.
<<Look, I think you may be overlooking some things on the Sunrise front.  You said the vamps have been using antiquities as bait, right?  Well, it just doesn't sit right with me that two hoops just happen to win the deed to an old house that just happens to be loaded down with antiques, and then they just happen to start a security company that just happens to employ shadowrunners who were hired to take out a team of runners that also just happened to come across a rare painting. 
<<And another thing, this Sunrise place is low-rent, right?  Small offices, smaller client lists?  Then why the hell are they involved in logistics to begin with?  Moving freight is not for the small guys.  And then there's the link to Steinem and Tsukino.  Extraterritoriality should be way outside their purview, and unless they're moving a lot of highly questionable material, it shouldn't even factor into the logistics angle.  No, Mercer, I think these guys are rotten.
<<Tell you what, you didn't happen to have anything to do with these recent biz at the Century's Peak, didya?  How about a little quote, no names of course, and I'll see what I can dig up on other Sunrise holdings?  Whaddyasay?
<<xoxo
<<Nori>>

« Last Edit: (09:51:09/12-29-15) by rednblack »
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« Reply #236 on: (18:38:52/01-05-16) »
Achak smacks himself on the head when he reads Nori's suspicions about Sunrise. "Man, so obvious! Stake was the smart one; he'd be making connections like that. I got out of the habit of strategic thinking with him around." Achak looks uncertainly at Mercer, wondering if Mercer will fill that roll or if Achak is going to need to step up. The prospect of thought leadership seems to make him nervous.

"Koizumi is wizzer. Stake knew her. 'Amiga' might be a stretch but they were acquaintances, sure. Stake mentioned her several times. She'll want to know that he's down. She'll find out, one way or another. Best she heard it from us.

"Tell her Stake's team did the Century's Peak job. Three zekes, all killed and confirmed in the op. Tell her that one of them matched the description of the oafish Hungarian. She should tell 'Ann' that he's off the streets. Fast fragger for a fat man. Took two hunters to drop him. I almost got a karate chop to the neck that looked like it would pop my head off like taffy." He stops to think. "I wonder if it's significant that an Eastern European vampire was using karate in a club run by yaks. Or is karate popular enough globally that it's not a surprise?" He shakes off the thought.

"Nori's got a thing for the grim and gory, right? Tell her that the fat man got a sword hilt-deep in the chest, straight out the back. Hit the floor like a burlap sack full of strawberry soy cream. Trimmed his ears and we were on our way.

"The upper floors match Nori's description. Pithing needles, chummers strung up to bleed out over draining buckets, a slaughterhouse. She got it right. We dropped the third zeke there and were out.

"Nori's a smart one and since she speaks the language she probably has a better grasp on Yak politics than I do. Tell her the tip from the job came from the Yaks. Either it was building security alerting us to something they felt that they couldn't tell their bosses about - although I doubt it because building security took us serious as a heart attack when we showed up, but at the same time didn't seem to know what was going on upstairs - or it means that someone else ratted them out. I still think it could be the Kenran-kai looking to take back their old territory in the Redmond Barrens from the Kanaga-gumi. I think the Kenran-kai wanted to make Kanaga look bad. Judging my Mr. Yukimura's death, mission fragging accomplished."


Achak exhales. "Tell her about Stake. Off the record and not for public consumption. But chummer-to-chummer, Stake's out of the game." Achak snuffles a bit. "I guess that's how it is when you're an elf though, innit? You ain't gonna die of old age, which basically leaves disease and violence as the stairways to Heaven. Stake got the violence. Live by the Ares, die by the Ares, I suppose."

Malevolence

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« Reply #237 on: (20:40:03/01-05-16) »
Mercer shares what he's found with the others as they all gather together to update each other on their days. "Achak, you were Stake's man, so it's up to you how much publicity you get for the job. It's all a matter of public record anyway, what with the bounties being claimed, but that ain't exactly the same as 'Public'". Achak, still processing what Nori had discovered, outlines what Mercer can share. He composes his replies to the two messages.

<<To: fAlcon8
<<Subject: Re: Possible Security Breach
<<Message:
<<I been layin' low for months and had hoped to stay that way, taking the strategic advantage it offered, but that option's off the table now. Y'all can attach my name to the warning. We're all a wary bunch, so I don't expect folks to take it as undisputed truth, but I think I've got myself enough cred here that they'll go into jobs with eyes open and might just stay breathin'. If I can do my part to make the zeke's lives harder, I'm chalking that up under the win column. And if there's one thing Grotto1 has done for the community, it's take a bunch of paranoid, fiercely independent and generally solitary Hunters and get them to share information vital to the community. Maybe we'll get lucky and get more pieces to the puzzle from others that have thought their information too scandalous to share previously.
<<
<<Sincerely,
<<Mercer>>

<<To: n.koizumi@Write4.neo
<<Subject: Re: Hoi Chummer
<<Message:
<<
<<Your info on Sunrise has connected a number of dots for me. Anything more you can find would help. And it just so happens that while I didn't have anything to do with Century's Peak, I know who did. No names when you publish, but Stake's team was on the ground for that one. >>
He passes on Achack's summary of the events.
<<While Achak thinks that this might be the result a turf war, I am convinced that it was a trap set up for Stake and his team. Not that it couldn't be both - crafty as a dragon to kill two birds with one stone like that, and maybe more, but not out of reason for an older vamp.>>
He mulled that over for a bit. Hell, if the blood suckers have managed to get their teeth on one of them immortal elves, the world would shudder.
<<Anyway, that Iki fellah managed to get Stake, so he's out of the game. Me without a team, and a team with a vacant spot, and both determined to vengeance for our fallen, we've seen right to pool our selves. I don't know how well you and Stake got on, but I thought you oughta know, and Achak did too.
<<And if all that ain't strange, I got a loaner from the Church of all things. She's tough as nails, but you know how me and God get along. But I can't be picky under the circumstances. Still, ain't never seen the Church take an interest in Hunters, much less lend them assets to lead, so I was hoping you'd keep an ear out for what this might mean.>>
After what the Good Sister had shared, he had an uneasy feeling. Perhaps it had to do with the timing - it sounded like this Marcus guy didn't like her much, so he could see him sending her in to a trap hoping to be rid of her. If the Church and the zekes were working together - he killed that line of thought. One time, a mage Mercer had worked with had cast a spell on him that had an effect that he could only assume was just like what that old comic book hero had experienced, giving that voice that warned you of danger a megaphone. Well, his Spidey Sense was tingling now, even without any spell, but for now it was just a tingle. There was a thread there, something important, but like a scab, it was best not to pick at it. Yet.
<<I know you. I know you'll chase after this like a grayhound on race day, but I gotta ask you to be even more cautious than usual. The people that did this to Stake and I are well funded and have managed to stay out of sight for at least six months, so they're smart, and I'm guessing they really like their secrets to stay that way.
<<
<<Stay safe,
<<Mercer>>

Speech Thought Matrix/Text Astral

Poindexter

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« Reply #238 on: (20:49:45/01-05-16) »
It's at this exact point that the pair hears the vehicle pull up outside and the heavy, slow footsteps moving toward the front door. A moment later, a quick knock, and then the short, heavy form of the good sister is advancing defeatedly through the doorway. She takes off her boots, leaving them by the door, then slugs off the armor jack, sword still gecko-gripped to it, and hangs its massive weight on a hook before moving into the main room. Noticing the odd looks on the two men's faces, she puts two and two together and asks, "Are we talking about Stake? I can give you two some privacy if you'd like. I know it can be awkward trying to mourn in the presence of someone who barely knew the deceased."

After being reassured she could stay and being caught up on the new information gained from various sources, she plops herself down on the couch, her demeanor of apathy growing even stronger. "Well..." she begins with a sigh, "There may be another potential player in all of this. The good news is my assignment with the two of you has been extended indefinitely.The bad news is that my duties lie further from the realm of 'demon slayer" than they do "information gatherer." She takes a slight pause to brush her short blonde hair out of her rugged face. It really is time to get this cut again. Continuing, "I've already turned in my dossiers on both you and Stake." she says, looking at Achak. "Dossiers which my superiors in the church have deemed lacking in detail. They've requested better ones, as well as one on you, Mercer. Any other vampire hunters I might come across as well. Pity for them, I was trained in war, not words." She can see the looks of distrust coming from her two companions the deeper she gets into things, but to lie to them, even by withholding information, would be wrong. So she continues. The church knows that there's fewer and fewer bounties to be had on these demons you specialize in hunting, and so they're looking to consolidate power. They want to know who, among the hunter community is with them, and who isn't. There's no way of knowing how many other agents like me they have working under the same orders."

She looks back and forth between the two men, hoping they don't decide to try and kill her right now to plug the leak. "I'll understand if you don't feel that you can trust me anymore, but I felt you were owed the truth. I can show myself out if you'd like."
« Last Edit: (20:54:20/01-05-16) by Poindexter »
"speaking out loud"
<<matrix actions/communication>>
thought
astral
subvocal/whispering
non-english

Tecumseh

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« Reply #239 on: (17:53:59/01-06-16) »
Achak leans back on his Kong-Wal futon, which is currently in the couch-like position. He studies Sister Rebecca as he processes her little bombshell. Papists, he mentally spits.

Or do I really care? They are flawed, certainly, as are we all. But aren't we on the same team? He chews invisible gum as he works things over.

Am I staying in this game? First Yohan, now Stake... do I have the stomach for it? Did I like smuggling better? Fewer chummers getting clipped, and those that did happened at a slower pace.

Is this where God wants me to be, doing what I'm doing? Even when doing this gets His churches shot all to hell? He hisses between his teeth at the memory and shakes his head. Sister Rebecca probably gets the impression that he's doing so based on her revelation. Achak realizes this after a beat but doesn't immediately correct the notion.

"Tell me truly, Sister, is this Marcus a Pharisee? A man who would tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but he himself is not willing to lift a finger to move them? A man who would shut the door of the kingdom of Heaven in people's faces? A man who would remove the speck in your eye without removing the log in his own?"

Achak's tone is sour but searching, seeing how Sister Rebecca responds. Her sword can stab. Can her tongue?

But, yet, there is truth in what Marcus says. The number of bounties shrinks. As supply shrinks, so must demand. The hunter community cannot continue as it has. It must decrease, or fracture, or consume itself with rivalries. Perhaps my calling is elsewhere... but not yet. Justice for Stake first, then mercy and faithfulness.