While Toff guards/peruses the artifacts, the rest of the team heads to the meet with Saeder-Krupp Johnson Hans Brackhaus, at a “predators” club called Fenris Nacht. They hire a hotel limo to take them to the club, in a rundown suburb, and sneak out of the hotel a few at a time to try not to attract attention: between killing some of *Mujaji’s * sec forces and accidentally killing 2 of the HH guards in the basement of the museum, they’re worried who may be after them now.
They reach the club with no trouble, and find a well-secured and disguised entrance into a Germanic-style hunting lodge. They check their weapons, and buy some drinks while they wait. They scope out the opposition while they wait, having been told that their are a few teams ahead of them. They feel like they are probably the most pro team here, but there are a few others that seems decent. Love also spots a man surreptitiously observing the team, and sending messages back to the meet room in the back. They get some good reads on etiquette appropriate to the meet, and adjust their plan accordingly.
They finally get ushered back to meet Brackhaus, and Gethin impresses him with their German. They seem to have performed well while under observation in the bar, and answer Brackhaus’ questions to his satisfaction, so he offers them the gig. It involves travel to Dubai, where they will investigate Ares Macrotechnology and NeoNET‘s efforts to use the corporate reshuffling to steal away some of SK’s middle eastern clients. They negotiate for a sizable payday, as well as a safe place to land the chopper in Dubai and an expense account. They agree, and head out, only to come under attack while leaving the club.
Chem and Gethin get quickly ko’ed by a sniper while 2 others open up with assault rifles from a building across the street. Toast leaps across the street and into the building while Speed runs after, they take out the 2 cyber-goons with only minimal further injury, and Fentin manages to trash the sniper’s comm while hiding under a car. The sniper seemingly flees, and the team escapes the area in the limo while Fentin hacks a burner comm they found on one of the Chimera goons (based on the tactics, cyber, and Russian prison tats), and find communications with someone in Universal Omnitech. They speculate that Thomas Roxborough may have decided to join forces or pass along assets from the Gilgamesh Initiative to the cyber-assassins.
Checking Neutral Ground, Toast finds that their bounties have increased again, with extra money from a second party (the HH’s?) for Toff, Love, and Chem. There is also a bonus for their “pelts,” implying Mujaji might be in on it too. They get some last minute smuggling compartment upgrades to the chopper, and then using Brackhaus’ forged passes, fly to the Arabian Peninsula under the cover of attending the yearly IDEX arms depot in Dubai. Upon landing, they secure a large suite at a high-end hotel, using the stipend from the chal’han and some personal money to ensure their quarters have decent security. Love and Toff wait in the suite with the artifacts until Frosty Jane can ditch her pursuers and get to town to pick them up (and drop off the team’s motorcycles).
Brackhaus puts them in touch with his local fixer, who will be their contact for receiving job info and payment, a woman named Awrah. She gives them the lowdown, and says she has procured the services of a local merc to help them get situated- it turns out to be their old comrade Ashraf Alcide Hess, who seems to have used his Boston payday to get even more cybered-up. Awrah tells them that they will need to hit back at Ares and NeoNET, as well as deal with some smaller corps and local matters, to secure SK’s regional dominance. They decide to tackle NN first, and Hess tells them that the woman to talk to is a local info broker named Asriyah, since they once again don’t want to use Am-mut’s services, due to her potential Apep ties.
After getting some quick lessons in local dress, customs, etc from Hess and Awrah, the team contacts Asriyah, and is given a locale for the meet. They research it a bit, and notice that it is in a district popular with fundamentalists and listed as “unsafe” for tourists. They call back and suggest a more neutral meet spot, called The Midas Touch, which seems to impress Asriyah. She says she appreciates a team who does the appropriate amount of intel gathering before a meet. They show up at the bar, ready to get down to business as Brackhaus has them on a clock, but they are unsure which of the woman in full abaya’s is Asriyah. After a few minutes, one of them approaches and steers them back to a private room with counter-surveillance gear in place. She seemingly wanted to make sure that the team was who they said they were.
They make a deal with her to get the info on NN’s local spy ring, in exchange for giving her a full copy of the data they get from the NN server’s that they will need to hack. They agree, and also arrange an amount to pay for her silence, as Neutral Ground has revealed that there is a fresh bounty for info on capture of a team of foreigners working locally for SK. It seems they’ve already attracted someone new’s interest… They head to the Gold Souk, a jewels and gems market, and surveil the shop that the NN ring uses as a front. The owner knows the deal, but has 2 employees that are unaware. There is a secure backroom with a vault for the jewels, and which seems likely to be the base for the NN team’s secure server. The team decides to stage a robbery to cover their tracks.
Having also seen that there a large number of open bounties due to the influx of wanted individuals for IDEX, they decide to stage a distraction as well. They find that a white separatist from NAN is in town, and pawning off gold with 2 bodyguards in the souk, presumably to buy arms for his cause. They wait til the target store closes, then Fentin hacks and loops the cameras and security alarms he can find, while Toast, Speed, and Hess assassinate the separatist and his 2 bodyguards. The hit goes off without a hitch, but quickly attracts attention from both the local Dubai Police and the Caliphate’s religious police, the Mudaween, as well as drone support. Toast and Speed flee the area while Hess stays to fight, compelled by his superhuman psychosis.
Meanwhile, Toast and Gethin gain access to the store, and Fentin hacks their way through the sec door to the backroom. They spot a pressure plate trap and disable it before opening the safe, a combo of lockpicking and hacking, and load up on gems inside while Fentin hacks the offline server also located within. He barely gets the NN info, and his deck takes a beating from IC in the process- he also alerts the system to an intrusion attempt. So, to cover their tracks, they use explosives to destroy the server in the safe, trying to make it look like they wrecked it trying to get to the gems, and didn’t get any info. They come under attack while exiting from 2 NN agents in squidsuits with SMG’s and a sniper across the street. Toast doubles back and takes out the sniper, and ID’s him as a man they saw hanging around the souk earlier in the day- it seems the spies kept the store under surveillance. The team inside barely manages to kill the other 2 men before fleeing as well.
The team all links up at the hotel, minus Hess who is on the run from the cops, and is listed and pictured as “WANTED” on a number of local screamsheet bulletins. So, down one local guide. However, they got the info that Brackhaus needed, and get him the list of clients NN was trying to poach, where they were at with them, and also which SK exec’s and researchers are targeted for extraction. He is pleased, and pays them their first installment through Awrah. They pass along the data to Asriyah, as promised, who also seems thrilled, especially at some hints of infighting in NN that are present as well. Also, they completed the job quick enough to have time to get some rest before hitting Ares, and still have a full day for that job.