After some deliberation, the team decides to take up the skin note folks on their offer of a job. They also get a little more info about the other jobs on offer, but Ivan convinces everyone that the skin note mission should come first. He posts a status update on his social networking profiles, since he doesn’t know how to contact them. They get in touch and are pleased that he has accepted. They also talk to One Shot Wade about maybe getting a little slice of turf to manage, and he seems interested.
Essentially, the skin note people like to know what is going on throughout the city in terms of the ‘disappearance’ business, and are perturbed by the endemic levels of missing persons in the sectors near to the core. They ask Ivan to do some research, and report back. Payment will be based on what the job actually entails, but will include medical (which thrills the team).
Ivan hears on the news that a waste management executive and his family (including two young children) were killed in an upper city limo explosion. He discovers some specualtion that it might have been a mafia figure, and that the assassination was part of the ongoing syndicate warring for city contracts and such. He also catches an appeal from Romulus Chandrasekharan that anyone with info on the location of his brother Remus Chandrasekharan get in touch for a reward. Remus has apparently been missing for at least a few days. Which worries the team, as they just paid him to upload the “Halfman/God of Idiots” Crod Stompaz video.
Ivan tries to contract out the job, and hires Jaro and some others to scout out the areas where the disappearances have been most noticeable. These are mostly poor East Asian, African, and East European immigrant communities near to the core, which tend to be fairly insular (and many of the denizens of which are undocumented) so the numbers are probably on the low side. Jaro reports back that not much obvious is occuring, but that as an obvious outsider she got stonewalled a bit. However, there is a church that seems to do a lot of outreach work, so she thinks that might be a good place to start asking questions.
Suspicions aroused, the team researches the church. It is called the “Church of the New Sun”, and is a catholic sect under the leadership of Father Tuva Morinski. There is also a charitable Islamic organization called the “Brothers of Muhammad” that appears to do similar work in Muslim areas. Brother Tariq is the head of this organization. Both organizations do community outreach, provide food, places to sleep, etc. Due to their individual cultural backgrounds and current affiliations, the team decides to approach the catholics first, in the African area (as they have some possible beef with Vory who control the East European areas, since HCB is a Yak for life).
They decide to take minimal armor & weapons, in a pretty non-descript ride, and head out aft ermeeting up in the undercity. K scouts the area astrally while Ivan i-balls it, and everyone heads inside and talks to church volunteers/employees. They don’t pick up any particularly useful info, the church says most of the people they have come in are transient, and they don’t know much other than rumors of disappearances. UB! pushes for going in guns blazing, but caution prevails (especially since they have no indication other than general distrust that the church has anything to hide). Tobias and Ivan hack into the church system and get a tap set up on the comm lines.
Meanwhile, HCB encounters a local who offers to share some info for a price, and follows him to a secret meeting place that he insists on. The rest of the team follows in the car at a distance once they exit the church, but they get blocked off in a tight alley. HCB is lead into an ambush, but flashes his Yak tattoo and talks his way out. He meets the rest of the team part way down the alley, and they charge back in, but the robbers have cleared out. However, T’s tap pays off when he picks up a call from an unknown number to the church that “some outsiders are asking around the area about the disappearances.” The call ends quickly, buy they decide the church bears further investigation. They leave for the time being, though, so as not to alert the church to the presence of the tap….