Location: Seattle, UCAS
Back in his motel room, Job begins to dig up information on ‘Kelvin’ on the Matrix, while the others try to get to the bottom of just quite why their mysterious benefactor wants them to dig into Frosty‘s past, and how much, if at all, it’s related to Rasputin’s unexpected return. Job’s information searches quickly turn up irrefutable evidence of the hacker’s existence though – via direct contact – Job’s direct searches catch the attention of the hacker himself, who, after a brief call through his public commlink where he asks the ’runners purpose in searching for him, fries the circuitry when they fail to answer him.
Their contacts back in Denver fall similarly short, other than to confirm certain rumors of Frosty’s past team. With little other option, Job gains access to a Seattle datahaven and leaves a covert message for the hacker, asking him to make contact again. The hacker does so, arranging a meet at a VR-cade in downtown Seattle.
After Max does an initial security sweep of the public VR-cade, the team moves in for the meet. Wandering through the arcade, they soon find evidence of the local Augmented Reality(AR) overlay being hacked. A virtual roller coaster ride near them changes it’s name to ’Kelvin’s Koaster’ as they approach. Paying the ‘fee’ they climb in to the ride and it sets off. A matrix icon, presumably Kelvin, appears in the display and speaks to them. Max and Job eventually sway Kelvin’s suspicions, and, at the mention of the fact that they’ve been working with Frosty, he offers to meet them in the meat, on his private island north of Puget Sound. Their boat, he says, will pick them up the next morning at Pier 42 and they’re to come unarmed. Satisfied with their progress, the team heads out of the VR-cade and begins their way back to Tacoma.
Minutes late, before they even get out of sight of the arcade, a call comes in to Max’s commlink from Frosty herself. She explains briefly that she’s on her way out of town, but that her employer needs a team on short-notice, for a job. Max’s enhanced hearing is able to detect that indeed, in the background, Frosty appears to be at some sort of airline or maglev terminal. They accept, and she tells them that a meet will be set up for them at Infinity in a few hours. They’re to ask for ‘Aaron Johnson’.
With a quick data search, Job pulls up some quick information on Seattle’s newest and hottest venue, and alerts the team to the fact that Infinity is the newest nova-hot club in Downtown, and even though it’s only been open for a few years, the club has quickly become one of the top-status venues in the city. In addition, part of it’s allure is the it’s incredibly intricate and visually artistic use of ARO (Augmented Reality Overlay) technology.
With knowledge that this potential new job may interfere with the meet with ‘Kelvin’, the team weighs their options and eventually decide to make the meet with ‘Aaron Johnson’. They’ve worked with Frosty before and despite the fact that they’re often rushed, the payouts have been good and despite whatever connection that the hacker ‘Kelvin’ and Frosty have, they come to a consensus that they’ve got Frosty’s back, no matter what.
And people say that there’s no loyalty in the shadows, chummers. Drek.
Things went smoothly at Infinity, and with the meet. Redge, much to his (possible) dismay, quickly recognizes ‘Aaron Johnson’ as none other than Ehran, a noted Elven social theorist and ex-Prince of Tir Tairngire. After a bit of hopeful negotiation, the team accepts his job offer – to track down an object of antiquity known as the Phaistos Disc, a greek relic that had been stolen from the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Crete, the prior summer. Though the identity of the thief and the location of the Disc are unknown – they’re to meet Frosty in Hamburg in 72 hours. Once there, they’ll track down a man named [[:Hardy Wagner]], who supposedly has information on the thief. They’ll need to keep a low profile because of an active investigation on the part of Interpol, and the fact that the last few jobs that they pulled with Frosty, they had picked up an unwanted tail in the form of Samriel – precisely the reason in which Frosty was travelling alone this time. Though 72 hours isn’t as much of a crunch as they’re used to – the fact that the team will have to use a smuggling crew or other similar underground travel doesn’t allow them much time.
Quickly getting to work, the team begins to plan out a method in which they can make it to Hamburg on time while still making the meet with ‘Kelvin’. Pulling in a few favors, they’re directed to ’Shorty’s Cajun Bar and Grill’, where a friend-of-a-friend named Wailer might be able to get them hooked up with a short-notice trip under the radar to the east coast. The trip to Shorty’s turns out to be fruitful. Though the old dwarf Wailer seems far more interested in his bottle of Jack than he does helping them out, his comely ork buisness partner ‘Legs’ hits it off well with Job and assures them that she’ll talk sense into him.
The next morning, there was a boat waiting for them at Pier 42 as promised. After an hour of skipping across the Puget sound in a boat under the remote control of a mysterious hacker, they arrive at a small island that might have once been featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but now showed nothing but a decade of neglect – all the way to the McMansion that sat on it’s crest.
Though the initial meeting went a bit rough and it was clear that Kelvin had quite a drone based security on the island and in the mansion, the story eventually came out. About a decade prior, Frosty and Kelvin were part of a six-person crew that ran in Seattle for a few years. They were wildly successful, pulling off a string of jobs that paid for Kelvin’s current lifestyle. He squirreled away his money while his teammates bought bigger toys and faster cars. Frosty was the closest to the leader and she put herself on the line a few times to bring back a wounded comrade or chase down a Johnson that reneged on a deal. But during one of those runs she lost her ring. She said it was a simple power focus, but they way she worried about it after she lost it clued Kelvin into a deeper meaning. She went to retrieve it alone and the rest of the crew came after her to help. There was a lopsided firefight between their team, corporate security and two other rival teams. Half of the crew died and the trust between the rest of the crew had been shattered. Frosty disappeared into tribal lands. Kelvin retired from the shadows and never looked back. Questioning his motives, the team tried to figure out just why he had contacted them, but Kelvin would claim nothing more than ‘he felt that they should be aware of her past, and be careful of where her values lay’ if they were to continue working with her.
Upon return from the island, Legs informed them that Wailer had gotten his shit together and agreed to smuggle them and their gear to N’awlins (at a fair price), where he’d be able to hook them up with someone who could get them across the ocean.
Location: Hanseatic Free City of Hamburg
With a (relatively) smooth trip behind them, the crew quickly got themselves set up in Hamburg at the Hotel Stella Maris in the Altona district. With some free time before their planned linkup with Frosty, they hit the streets to learn the lay of the land and try to get some initial intel on [[:Hardy Wagner]]. With their combined talents, they find out that: Hardy Wagner is supposedly a cowardly data-broker with the Dutch Penose; the shadows are tense because of a rising conflict between the Penose and the Lobatchevski Vory; and there’s a huge political rally taking place in Hamburg because of a New European Economic Community (NEEC) geopolitical summit.
Frosty arrives later that day, after having taken the ‘long route’. To help them secure gear that they were unable to ship overseas, she brings them to see her friend Anyachka, a russian arms dealer that operates out of the Allied German States(AGS) and is know on the matrix as ‘Red Anya’.
After trying a couple methods to track down Wagner, it’s eventually a commcode that Job hacked that pays off. A neutralized voicemail that the team left is responded to several hours later with a location for a Matrix meetup.