Toff and Love, finally relieved of the artifacts, prepare themselves to stay lowkey, so as not to tip off the religious police to their magical abilities. Speed stays back at the hotel to keep an eye on stuff, given her prominent appearance and recent involvement in a hit. The rest of the team makes contacts with Asriyah to get info on Ares Macrotechnology spy ops in the city, and get directed to a smuggler and Jackpointer named 2XL. They are told to sneak out to his ship in the port, as a kind of test, to make the meet.
Toast agrees to tackle the infiltration, and they disguise the chopper as a medevac unit and forge up some papers to use to con air traffic. Toast rappels and jumps down onto the ship, and successfully bypasses the guards to meet up with 2XL. He sells them 2 cases of “exotic fruit”, not wanting to tip anyone to selling info on Ares in the region. Toast grapples back up to the chopper, and they find an optical chip hidden in one of the fruits, containing the data they sought. Ares operates locally through a front A corp called “Golden Fleece Shipping.” Their spies likely are based there.
They surveil the site for a while, and notice that one of the warehouses doesn’t receive shipping deliveries, but does receive direct deliveries by courier, and also that some surprisingly well-armed guards always manage to keep one team near that warehouse as well, even during the calls to prayer. They figure this must be the target site. Fentin hacks the courier company and finds their schedule, and Chem plans an ambush near a construction site. Love carefully summons a spirit, who causes the courier to wipe out. They grab him, and Gethin takes the bike and tells locals they’re rushing him to a hospital. They flee as the mudaween approaches, summoned by locals who spotted the spirit.
They leave the courier on stasis in the med unit in the chopper while Gethin changes into his clothes and they make a fake synthmask of his face, after Toff finds the protocols for entry while reading his mind. Gethin brings the package to the suspicious warehouse, and gains entry using the false face. They then fake illness to gain access to the bathroom, and find that there’s a false wall with a hidden wireless-proof room built into the building envelope. They crawl up into the ceiling and carefully hook a data tap & antennae into some cables running above the ceiling of the false room, giving Fentin remote access to the hardwired system.
He hacks the server located therein, and avoiding the patrol IC, gets a copy of the secure data without alerting the system or triggering the data bomb. They flee the area back to the hotel and regroup, after dropping the courier off at a local hospital (dosed with laes), and leaving his bike outside. They review the data, pass the relevant bits along to Asriyah as promised, and give it all to Awrah. Hans Brackhaus soon after pays up and gets them a message. He is quite pleased with their performance and quick turnaround, and “generously” gives them team a full rest period before the next timed job begins. Toast decides to check out the Moonlight Thorns safehouse to resupply and get his mission dossier while the rest of the team recuperates.
He takes a hotel car to a nearby area, and notices he is being tailed while proceeding on foot. He takes to the roof, and the man follows. They fight, and Toast wins the day, but the man dies before he can question him. Toast guesses it’s one of the Hashishin, which seem like the most obvious next group for The Black Lodge to send after them. The team all orders new SIN’s through Asriyah, worried about how they’re being tracked, and Chem analyzes the auto-injector that the dead assassin had on him- he was using K-10, the deadly kamikaze variant, which confirms Toast’s assumption.
Toast also finds the safehouse well-stocked and supplied, and is impressed by the MT op’s support. He and Gethin receive a disturbing message from Mr. Bonds, asserting that the team will need to provide Brokerage X with some good intel to offset the losses that the Brokerage may suffer from the team’s activities- some of their high-level guys have apparently invested heavily in Saeder-Krupp taking a heavy hit in the region. Feeling a bit pressured, they pass along some intel about illegal Ares activity they found on the server, which Bonds says is “a good start.”
After they rest up, Brackhaus gives the next mission deets. They’re gonna go after the AA and A local corps that are trying to poach their biz. They need the team to find out: who’s acting against them, and who their targets and point people are. Then they’ll go from there. The team asks around and gets the name of 5 local fixers who might know some useful info. 2 are based out of The Midas Touch, an unaffiliated dwarf named Al-Tayyib and an elf named Baligh, who seems to have some Brokerage X ties and be a bit mercenary. A Russian arms dealer and smuggler named Zakhar who operates out of a Vory club named Red Square. Fawzan, a religious fundamentalist with New Islamic Jihad, who works out of the horse track outside of town. And The Blemmyae, a strange individual with Bedouin ties, who serves as a patron to the local ghouls outside of town.
They do some research to figure out who to go to, and also find out that Asriyah seems to be a local agent for Aegis Cognito, which they are slightly concerned by since she has their new SIN info. They also start to get the feeling that Global Sandstorm, the largest regional AA, is probably one of the major movers, as they’ve been seeing their security forces all over IDEX and the rest of Dubai.