Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
The team spends a bit of time in Ahabitat, but get bored quickly. Aylin and Patty have left on a mission for Arleesh and Fargus Sol, to make introductions to Mama in Boston and to the Sea Dragon wherever they can find her. Without any work on their immediate horizon, Hotkey decides to spend some time with his fam, repairing his deck, and helping Opti rebuild and expand his safe zone, so heads up to O’Hare for a bit. The rest of the crew just heals up and waits for their few times a day message buoy to bring them something. This eventually bears fruit, as they receive a few work opportunities. Red wants them to foil a Fear The Dark plot, Tate wants them to redirect the hate and paranoia that the Freedom Network has been directing his way towards someone/thing else, and Ryder wants help with a cold case. They decide to follow up on this as Carol also hopes it will present an opportunity to embarrass LoneStar and get him back into Ares’ good graces after the last mission.
They meet up with Ryder and (surprise) Tate, at a bar “cleverly” named The Coffee Shop. Ryder gives them some case files and says he can’t be much more direct help, but that he’ll make sure the team gets a decent payday from the reward money if they can solve the mystery and catch the killer. Tate offers a little upfront money to entice them, saying when questioned that the dead man had helped him with some property dealings. The team agrees and digs in. First off, Kit takes a thorough look at the autopsy, and discovers that it was fairly short and minimally investigative, and that they missed some details and failed to explain others. Unsure what the strange wound patterns could have been caused by, he also posts it to Jackpoint hoping for some tips, and finds out from some AztAm war vets that it looks like a bullet wound to a prone individual.
Next they head to the scene (though 6 months after the crime), and talk to some hotel staff and check out the room, undercover as “Ghost Boyz” a paranormal investigations crew. Comparing notes to the fairly lackluster case file, they decide noone at the hotel was involved, and finding some furniture moved slightly and a bad wall patch, they figure out that someone sitting on the bed in the next room over fired a heavy pistol through the wall once, striking the victim and killing him. Due to his position and weight, the entry wound was discounted as a secondary injury or side effect of the unexplained internal injuries, rather than the start of the bullet’s path as it ricocheted around his body.
They get some records from the hotel and confirm the case file’s info that 3 electricians had been partying in the next room but had all “not seen or heard anything.” Kit calls Remo to check out their place of employment, and finds they all still work there but they have decent matrix security. Both the electrical contractor and the hotel are Ares subsids (way down the corporate ladder) and the dead man was freelance, so they can’t figure a connection yet. Avo calls up and manages to get some info from the combative receptionist, who agrees to send 2 of the men from the room over to meet with them (the team is posing as property developers sourcing bids) after their jobs for the day are wrapped.
The team manages to get the rest of the 2 men’s crews to leave in one work van and split off the 2 suspects. Creature, Keg and Avocado all team up to do an impressive analysis and combined god cap/bad cop scenario and get them to spill the beans: the 3rd man was the shooter, it was an accident, and they all figured noone needed to know since the cops on site the next day said it looked liked natural causes. They get the 3rd guy’s number and call him up, getting an annoying “joke” answering machine message, but Remo manages to trace it to Ramblers turf in the Zone.
They hatch a plan, having also heard that the 3rd man had reached out to a lawyer who had defended him before. Kit drives Avo and Keg to Milwaukee to the lawyer’s office after failing to dupe him on the phone, and Creature and Carol infiltrate on foot with the fly spys and the VTOL overhead into Ramblers turf. Kit takes over drone control once he’s parked, and Avo and Keg break into the lawyer’s office and do a combo of threatening and bribing him to cooperate. He caves quickly, and not only calls the 3rd man to get him outside of the well-guarded house he’s in, but also gives the team the murder weapon and some data files showing that the original detective was on the take to both the lawyer and to Knight Errant (who didn’t want this case solved as it would look bad for Ares contractors to kill a civvie in an Ares hotel).
Carol and Creature send in the fly spys, who does the 3rd man with a KO agent, and then load him into the VTOL, which Kit pilots over to one of Tate’s clinics, where he will keep the man on ice til him and Ryder figure out what they want to do with him. The team also figures out that the man was Ryder’s brother, and Tate’s brother in law, which helps explain why the 2 surviving men have such a well-established unlikely friendship. Kit drives the rest of the team back, they get paid as promised, and they all call it a night after a strange but satisfying job.