Eavesdrop On Angels

GM: Hiller
Players: Musara
Date: March 2071

Synopsis: Due to some incidents at The Crank, the Sinners decide to push some investigations on their rival gang, the Saints. They want to know if the Saints are plotting something major against the Sinners' interests and if they are responsible for the observation rumors at the Crank. In this first step, Musara is sent in and infiltrates a gang party in Shenandoah. The location is an abandoned and devastated supermall complex. His mission goal is to eavesdrop on a logistic meeting of the Saints. It is not an easy job though. Musara struggles hard and comes up with an acceptable but not comprehensive piece of intel. And he leaves someone dead behind. This will have some serious consequences afterwards.

Prequel/Follow-Up:: Follow up from The Crank Situation and prequel for the final assault on the Saints ('Saint John').


Unexpected job offer

Musara sits in his apartment down at a small table which has a burner heating up a kettle of water. When the water hits the right temperature he removes it and lets some tea seep. Despite it being for his own pleasure he still goes through the normal ceremony out of habit. He sips the tea and relaxes some on the small pillow under his knees. The apartment is small but perfect for just himself, he dims down the burner on the water to let it just stay on low to keep the water above room temperature, and as he goes to take his second sip from the small cup of tea the phone rings…

It rings indeed. On a late evening in the march. Musara answers the call and a familiar voice sounds from afar, with a deep and settled tone: "Konbanwa Musara. Ishitisodo marakura insento?" the voice says, 'Is it your liking that we speak now?' - It is the adept sensai Tenakai, he continues in japanese. "It is a personal and business matter."

Musara nods even though Tenakai couldn't see, following the answer in his native tongue "Where would you like to meet" he wonders what the other member of his clan had to offer, as he gets his things together, while still on the phone.

Tenakai replys: "It is a rather urgent business. Interstate 225 exit to Cherry Creek. I ask your for your forgiveness for this impolite and hasty request, Adept. But I'm thankful for your readiness and favor." Musara may imagine that the Sensai bows in front of the telephone as well. He sounds a bit disturbed or at least in a haste. Which is propably not usual.

Musara gives a reply of "I'll be there shortly" still japanese of course, and turns the burner off of the water before heading out towards Cherry Creek in his Brumby. He had brought some tea along with him in a small thermos which would probably stay warm so if Tenakai was up for it he could have a bit of the liquid.

The roads are surprisingly free at this evening. The exit to Cherry Creek Lake is bathed in many orange street lights and the ramp eventually leads to a large alley, called the Dam Road. There Musara quickly reckognizes a familiar picture. A SUV is parked in front of a public board with a Cherry Cree Lake map and a japanese guy is looking for something on it. Or so it seems. It's one of the sensais younger pupils. The whole area is calm and still. It could be a picture. Upcoming spring lays over the Cherry Creek lake left of the road - behind a fence though. The sky is dark blue and purple. The wind cold. And as Musara approaches, the Sensai steps out of the grey SUV. Somewhat shorter, Human, black hair but kept shaved bald, depending on his state it could be longer though. Brown eyes, Probably alot similar to Musara.

The Sensai awaits Musara to approach and greet him properly. Musara comes towards his new Sensei and bows to him "What do you need master?"

The Sensai returns the bow with proper respect to Musara's and his own status. "Adept. I excuse myself for being so impolite, Musara. With your agreement, I would like to continue and explain myself," briefly he hesitates, then: "One of the great sponsors of our tradition and way of life here in Denver promised a service to a…some kind of ally. But he now finds it impossible to keep the promise. The friend was asked to provide physical help. The spys from the shadows, like only the initiated can provide. But…" he looks up to Musara, "the gathering of information is supposed to take place on a haunted field. The adepts which were asked to do serve the promise declined when they learned about where they are supposed to spy. It is an abandoned supermall complex in the Warrens, close to the CAS border. The complex is used by a gang called 'the Saints'. It would not be of any problem, but an old chinese theatre is located on the vicinity."

Tenakai frowns and takes a deep breath of cool evening's air. "It is not used by the gangs, long abandoned it is. But it never aged beyond a certain state of decay. Doomed and haunted it is, the awakened say. But no one we know has ever proved it. Nevertheless, Adept, the initiated feared the place. It is not ours to question their motives or fears, but the friend would lose his face, if he can't provide the promised aid in stealth and quiet observation. And above all, this theatre is only one building of many within the complex. It may as well be of no significance to the operation." He looks into Musara's eyes. "Are you offering me your help?" And with a serious expression, the Sensai fells silent and awaits a reply.

Musara nods and hands Tenakai the thermos of tea "I can help however you need me to, you know my abilities master." he bows in agreement, not the same as the greeting. "So you want me to observe the theatre?"

"I thank you, Musara." He widens the eyes a bit and smiles as Musara offers the tea. With a thankful bow he accepts. "It is not the theatre they want. They want to overhear a meeting of some major gang members. I'm not familiar with the details, but I trust that this has a just cause. Knowing your friend and knowing your enemy is always just. - The meeting with one of the gang agent should've already taken place. But the other adept refused when she learned about the area of operation. I fear this is a very hasty challenge. If you agree, we drive you directly to the gang agent and all will be explained to you. But there is no time for preparations. This it neither our nor their fault. But it needs someone who's settled and balanced in mind and body and able to think quickly." – "If you accept, I view this as a personal favor. And I will take care of a proper payment for you by my myself."

Musara nods "Well luckily I brought what I need with me." he says and shrugs "Just point me in the correct direction and I'll be ready to go wherever you want me." Musara checks the gear he had on him and nods in confirmation.

After all is said and done so far, the group starts to move. The group travels quickly into the Warrens and heads south on the western border, close to the infamous 'Wall' around the Warrens. The wall is in fact, right beside the road, as the SUV travels southward from the I 225 - Highway 83 interjunction. Musara follows up with the group to make sure he gets dropped off in the correct place. He has his Ruth cloak with him to help with getting through unseen. "I hope that tea didn't seep too long"

Musara follows the SUV through dangerous neighborhoods. Mission Hill, at the intersetction, ruled by the Crimson Smoke. Then southward. Nightshade's territory at the northern part of Shenandoah. Then Shenandoah central. Saint's territory, finally. Finally they reach the destination. It is an abandoned building, a former family residence. The roof collapsed and the frontyard is heavily overgrown. The building is just 100 yards away from the impressive border wall to CAS. 30 feet high and fenced. The building itself is located on an open space. Many bushes, scrubs and small trees surround the residence. And in front of the long burnt down garage, there is a car. Only in slightly better shape than the building itself. The SUV slows down and the driver indicates that this white and worn sports car is Musara's goal.

Musara looks out to the building and tries to scope it out as they arrive at the place. He takes his monocle with some mag and thermographic vision to see if there is anything out of the ordinary in the area.

The whole area gives the impression of a deserted, rural area. The building is in really bad shape and would not even protect against a light rain. The only heat signature is this white sports car on the torn garage way made of concrete. The SUV of Musara's Sensai turns around and drives off to the north, leaving Musara and the building alone in the early night.

The Eavesdrop

Briefing with Hiller

Musara makes his way over to the car where the ganger is supposed to be where he asks, quietly, just so anyone he is supposed to see would hear it. He works his way into the garage looking for whoever it is.

When Musara approaches the building and the car in front of the garage, some raindrops come down. And just a second later, the co-driver's door opens just an inch, inviting him to come inside. Musara moves over to the car and bows in greeting to the… one inside, before climbing in.

Musara enters the small sports car and finds Hiller inside, offering him a brief nod, a little bit stressed. At the moment, she's wearing a black Industrious Line coverall and a light and open helmet in black. The dress is designed for drivers or pilots, with slim but effective padding against trauma, bruises, cuts and small arm fire. The trousers are plain of anything that could hamper driving operations. Flat pockets are placed on top of the upper legs. The torso shows some more pockets and straps for a small radio unit, datajack cables, and a heavy pistol holster. The latter is placed directly across the lower chest and belly for quick access during vehicle operation. - The black helmet depicts a short phrase, manually written in white paint on the right side: "Fasten seatbelt and remember to smile"

The whole car's interior is definitely in a better shape than the Honda's outer varnish may suggest. A smooth, dark red dominates the seats and instruments. Some green and red instruments glimmer on the armature. Two small screens, datajacks and several switches are visible as well. Someone has done some proper adjustments to this everyday sports car model. - "Greeting, Sir. This took quiet a time."

Musara shrugs "Sorry about that, but might I ask what is needed" he says never have being in the situation on his own before.

Hiller inspects Musara and his equipment. "You're not briefed, eh?" She shakes her head. "I don't know what happened, but we're asked to continue anyway. - I'm Hiller." She gives him a small radio with a proper headset and a brief smile. "This is how we keep in contact if necessary. I'm your spotter and evac in case of emergency." She appears to be calm and in her field of business. "But you're expected to operate on your own out there."

"The situation is as follows: south of us, there is a huge abandoned supermall complex. It is maintained and used by the Saints - nearly exclusively. But the place is quiet busy from time to time. Today, there is a big party going on. And during this event, there is a meeting expected to take place," she continues in a calm voice. "This meeting shall be overheard, recorded or reported afterwards. Whatever fits. There will be several important Saints members and a few other guys maybe." She looks at Musara. "How may I call you, Sir?"

Musara nods and takes the comm fixing it up "Will this record?" He points to the headset then answers her with the frequency on the com" This should work if you'd like."

She shakes her head. "Sadly no. I was told that you - or whoever - would bring surveillance gear with you. I guess you've to do it the old fashioned way. But everything you say through the encrypted radio will be recorded by me." She takes a deep breath. "Alright. We don't have much time. We only got this one chance this evening. Are you ready for briefing of do you have any questions before I continue, Sir?"

Musara shrugs and takes his stuff "Well I guess so then" he sighs and grasps up the things given to him "So far I don't have any questions, but do you want me to call you when I finish? or meet back here, or both?

You say "I'm here for radar control. As soon as you let me know that the meeting starts, I'll move on to a extraction point. I'll tell you in a minute." Hiller reaches to the backseat and fetches a small laptop which she settles between Musara and herself. With a brief movement, a fiber optic cable is connected between laptop and Hiller's datajack. The second datajack in her head connects to the car, as it seems. - With a sudden flash the laptop comes alive and shows an aerial shot of the vicinity.

Aerial Shot

"We're right here at the moment," a signal appears just a bit above the 'A'. "On that abandoned residence. And south of us, you see those connected old buildings running south east. With the parking lot to the west."

Musara nods and holds out his pocsec "Can you upload it to my pocsec?" He asks wanting to try and have as much information with him as possible.

Hiller nods. "Sure. We may exchange some operational data before you leave. I'll set you some tactical beacons on important buildings as well. But you'll have to rely on your physical recon on the area. The actual purpose of most of the buildings is unknown to me, sadly."

Musara nods "So the meeting is in the Parking lot area?" he asks a little unsure where he is trying to go to record the meeting.

And so she continues and illustrates her report with the GPS map data and some kind of tactical computer behind it. The map actually shows movement of vehicles and persons as well. There must be some serious scanners involved. "This whole area, from H8 up to A1 is fenced and heavily barred to the east. The only way inside by car is here, around A1. But there are several holes in the fence for a single individual or a small group to enter. And it is not totally forbidden as it seems. What we know is, that there is a huge party going on tonight, in one of those buildings. One of the few with electricity running, I guess. And we know that there will be this meeting. The meeting won't take place before a guy called Hardy Moses has arrived. When he joins the party, it is very likely that the meeting will take place soon. I'm scanning the area for the signature of his car. The moment he approaches the area, I'll give you the information. You have to find him then, and track his movement. And whenever you think: 'ok, that's it, he's going to commence the meeting' you have to move fast and carefully. We have no information where the meeting will take place.”

Musara nods "Well if that's all I suppose I should be going to try and find where this meeting is and get it taken care of" he nods reaching for the car door "Unless you have anything else to add."

"Yeah, one thing. The extraction point. There is this building close to the CAS wall, at B5. It is possible to cross the border wall from rooftop. I could pick you up on the other side. I need about 30 minutes to get there, but it would be the safest way out of here, if things should turn ugly. I wait for your request. Tell me when I shall move or not." She quickly makes a screenshot and submits it to Musara's pocsec via cable, for reference.

Musara nods "Am I being dropped off anywhere?" he says before readying to grab his gear. "I'm pretty sure I can get you what you need though"

Hiller smiles. "Well, you can walk from here. Just 100 yard south is the access to the turf. - And what 'I' need sounds a bit irritating. Consider me a comrade. I'm just doing my part for someone else, just like you. - Good hunt and stay tuned, pal."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Check."

Musara nods and climbs out of the car with his gear, he heads out towards the turf and gives a relay check through the headset to make sure it was working fine. «Comm» "Check" «Comm» He takes his ruth cloak and as he walks towards the place, when he gets a bit closer wraps it around himself to disappear before he got too close.

The intrusion

The Warrens, Shenandoah, E Arapahoe - S Lewiston. An old abandoned supermall area, now used as a Saints turf.

The whole complex is fenced, even more tightly than before the Saints claimed it. For everything larger than a small motorcycle, there is only the controlled drive-through at the north end. The fence has been cut on several points and it is not very hard for a single person or small group to enter the supermall complex on different ways. Especially in the night. There is no power coverage. Only some buildings are powered by generators. But who knows what or who's standing guard? - Beside the chain of huge, abandoned buildings, there is the vast parking lot between the mall and the Wall. The asphalt is cracked every 10 feet and more than four dozens of huge street lights are darkened forever. Grass and scrubs found their way through pavement and concrete. The whole area brings to mind the picture of a post-industrial or even post-apocalyptic ghost town. But in fact, the whole supermall complex has been built in the 2030s.

To the west, there runs the 'Wall'. Twenty feet of tough concrete and barbed wire separate Highway 83 from the abandoned supermall on Warren territory. The wall cuts through former access ways and ramps and thus is a formidable measure in order to seperate the Warrens from Highway 83, Cherry Creek and Valley Country.

To the east and north-east, there lies wasteland for about at least a quarter of a mile. Formerly a park and recreation area, including a baseball and soccer field, the area is now covered with rubbish, high grass, small ponds of sour water and small trees and scrubs. Several fireplaces are in use from time to time. Because of the lack of electrical power in the closer vicinity, the area gives the impression of a remote wilderness in the night. Eventually, the area changes into urban area again and after 2.5 miles runs into Smokey Hills territory of the Shape-13 Coalition.

To the south, the supermall is quiet close to the Laymen's territory, the Fox Hollow. The area gives way to a maze of small houses and huts. A dense neigborhood with hard laboring inhabitants.

What Musara sees as he approaches, is not so very 'closed' or 'barred' at all. He approaches the former driveway to the huge parking lot and the first building (B1) seems to be used as some guard point. A one story building, formerly a shoe store, functions as a checkpoint. The roof is considerably fortified and some guns point down on the driveway which has been partially barred by obstacles of different type. - Two dozen people are standing around, talking and laughing around three bonfires on the pavement. Another small group just arrived and passes by beneath the eyes of some guards, wearing Saints colors: gold and silver. Musara can hear the sound of some motorcycles as well. While he approaches, the rain falls heavier and the dark night finally settles over the whole place.

In despite of the very attentive and watchful guards on rooftop, Musara may spot a favorable way for intrusion. Close to the major driveway or somehwere else on the fence line. The monocle reveals that there are three gangers on the rooftop, all armed with rifles, nothing less. The whole situation at the entrance way is relaxed though.

Musara moves in on the first building trying to listen as well as get any view of activity within the buildings. Having come from the north he tries to slink close enough that the guards on the roof won't see him at the same time a guard infront of any doors will have some difficulty. He also looks for anything that might appear to lead him to a specific building, like cars or other forms of transportation.

Musara manages to sneak on the area unseen, past roof guards and the large group at the entrance. Now he has a plain view down the huge parking lot. Several supermall buildings are linked together, but not all are actually connected. Some have spaces between them, wide enough for a truck, sometimes only wide enough for a motorcycle. One thing is very striking: this huge complex is mostly completely dark and abandoned while one of the buildings is actually a buzzing place.

The first building was this 'guard house' at the entrance. The second was completely barred. One of the major storages for goods and supplies in the past.

The third building must be the mentioned gang turf that occasionally sports some disco parties (C-3). Electricity is provided for the gangs hideout and the 'party area'. The windows are sealed with iron platings, shutters or plastec glass. Loud rock music comes from inside and roughly 60 people are gathered in front of the entrance. Many with beer cans or bottles in their hands. The party started already as it seems. Many small groups are talking, laughing, joking. Mostly humand, but some trolls and orks are present as well.

Musara has no problem to stay in the shadows until now. The rain and night provides excellent cover. If Musara turns further south, he can see that the next buildings in line are dark and solemn again. For a closer inspection, he would have to move on.

The safest way for Musara so far, is to stay on the western side of the parking lot, cause several braziers and gas lamps provide some dim light between the 'disco building' and the entrance in the north. And some visitors frequent the way.

Musara decides to test the entrance to the party building to see if it is where he needs to be. He moves towards the door trying to take the safest pass out of the lights.

So far, no one saw Musara, as far as he can tell. And as he sneaks closer to the gang turf where the party's going on, he may wonder if anyone would actually care about him. The large group in front of the open double doors is a real patchwork. One third of them are gangers, then there are some punks but ordinary people from the neighborhood as well. Some teenagers, some middle-aged.

Musara heads on to one of two side entrys, formerly emergency exits. The building has been a publix store or something like this, in the past. One of the side doors, the one on the southern end of the building, is open. A small brazier is ablaze next to it, offering only dim light. This could be an acceptable way inside.

Musara takes the door through the dim lighted way, he tries to remain undercover, and if inside he would look for the easiest way through halls that seemed less traveled. He needs to find out where this meeting is being held and try to record as much of it as he could, and remember the rest.

As he approaches he realizes that the next neighboring building to the south is completely devastated by a bombshell or serious fire. No roof. The place is just rubbish. An eerie place. The dark concrete contrasts against the not-so-dark clouded sky. Still, it is not a theatre. The Sensai's words come to mind. The place has something irritating. Maybe it is this unsettling combination of cheerful party and music on one side and abandoned monuments of the past on the other.

The moment Musara enters the building, the music amplifies. A dark corridor opens into a former gallery-like hall. Formerly the central hub of the large super mall. The gallery on second floor is barred and closed to anyone except Saints and their guests. Party takes place on ground level. Dozens of rooms are accessable, but only the entrance hall and three other large rooms are powered. They provide music, dancefloors, chillout rooms and a bar.

Musara manages to blend with the crowd. There are propably 150 people already in the central hall and the attached rooms/former shops. Music changes from old school rock to industrial and latest dancefloor hypes. Alcohol and some light drugs can be purchased or traded in the improvised bar room. He stays in the dark, mostly, and moves with self-confidence and attention. It is not like everybody would know each other. That's a great help.

It takes more than an hour, then the radio croaks and Hiller's voice can be heard: "Do you copy? What's your status?"

Musara comes quietly across the comm hiding his voice from the ones around as he goes to find refreshments. "quite a dance going on here" he says trying to make it seem like he's talking to someone in the area if someone happened to hear.

Hiller replies: "I have a Honda Accord approaching. Most likely it is Hardy Moses' car. He left Araphoe Road into Lewitson way. If it stays on course, it'll reach the northern driveway in 90 seconds or so."

Musara shrugs off some of the things and replies "Yeah" still talking to his 'buddy' at the dance, before working his way back through the crowd.

Musara had some minor chitchat with some of the guests so far, nothing of importance. Just a few words. In fact, there are many guys like him. Homeless people, staying on their own and just taking advantage of the Saint's hospitality this night. The gangers are very present here. The athmosphere is positive, ready for rumble! And until now, no show of major violence took place. What he learned so far is, that if this meeting is supposed to be held in this building, it'll be upstairs, where none of the guests are allowed. Stairs and broken escalators are barred and more or less guarded.

Musara finds his way around to one of the escalators, he tries his best to go unnoticed to find the most suitable room for a meeting. While working his way over, he tries to keep out of sight of this Mr. Moses which is apparently important to the mission.

Musara has no information about how this Hardy Moses looks like. But if he wishes, he may search for a save, unnoticed way up to second floor. The two escalators which lead upstairs from the central party hall onto the gallery are pretty easy watched and close to the larger groups of guests.

Musara tries his best blending in to one of the crowd till he gets to one of the escalators. He needs to get up these "stairs" to find a conference room of some sort to station a hiding place for this job. He ducks through the crowd and slinks up the stairs still trying to stay hidden.

The central hall, where all the dance takes place, is built like a big cross. Big corridors lead in every four directions and a gallery runs on all sides. One of the escalators is placed on every side where the hallways join. Close to the dancing crowd and the chatting groups of gangers and locals. But there is a nice opportunity. A considerbly powerful lighting system is placed close to one of the escalators. If Musara could get /behind/ it, he would've a good chance to approach the escalator without the four Saints ganger standing at the end of the escalators on ground level, their faces turned toward the crowd. But Musara would've to climb over the handrail of the escalator.

With the lights in his back, it is still risky, but Musara manages to haul himself over the handrail of the escalator and sneak as quick as possible up to second floor.

Musara ducks behind the lights trying to sneak over to the escalator. There's some gangers there but he figures he can get by them no problem as he makes the dive for the escalator to flip over the bards. He works his way to the second floor and to find the room where the conference might be held.

Up there, it is quiet a different athmosphere. Still very noisy and close to the party downstairs, but the gallery is completely dark, except for some emergency lights that have been repaired. And they lead to some kind of former coffee shop. The interior is partly broken and partly replaced. A single light bulp in the middle of the room provide some lighting. The room appears to be some kind of hangout. Motorcycle clothing, some beverages and cigarettes are placed uncaringly on top of some of the 8 small tables. There is a former bar as well, mostly but gutted.

This /could/ be the meeting place. But there are propably 20 similar rooms on this floor, though mostly not lighted like this one. And there is of course the chance that the whole meeting takes place in one of the other buildings.

Commlink-Musara> Musara says, "*whisper* Come in.."

Musara risks a look into some other rooms. Most of them had a glass front in the past, but the glass is long gone of course. The first impression is, that the Saints use this second floor as an exclusive private turf. Three or four rooms are decorated with urban patchwork: gang symbols, posters, graffitti and many empty bottles, cans, and other trash. Musara sees a rather large gasoline fueled generator as well, but offline at the moment. Most of the gangers appear to be downstairs or simply somewhere else. In fact, Musara havn't seen anyone around since he sneaked upstairs.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Copy."

Commlink-Musara> Musara says, "What is the ETA on Moses.. I found a dance, but I don't know about the other buildings yet. The possible places seem deserted up here, but can you check if there is a way to the other buildings once I'm inside?"

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "The target's vehicle just entered the parking lot from the north a few minutes ago. A gray Sedan. It seems he stopped in sector C3. I don't have direct line of sight. Havn't you wittnessed the approach?"

Commlink-Musara> Musara says, "Negative, *Sounds of shuffling comes across the comm as Musara gets ready to head back downstairs to get to the nearer buildings to C3 on the map.*

Hiller answers after a few more seconds: "We don't have building blueprints available, but the tactical map shows that the building to the south is placed directly next to the one where the party's going on. Move southward and have an eye open. Maybe you wouldn't even reckognize if you enter the neighboring building. - Ah…and the Sedan is parked. The subject must've left the car, I think. He's moving by feet now."

Musara looks down the halls of the upstairs trying to see his way down first as he starts down the hallway. He doesn't know if he is going the right way but he needs to work as quickly as possible. He starts off down the hall at a brisk pace.

Musara is upstairs and just checked some old and half-heartedly reconstructed rooms. Former shops, with open fronts toward the gallery way. The big party is going on downstairs, 30 yards away. If Musara peers over the intransparent handrail of the gallery, he can watch the people downstairs dance and laugh and talk. - He knows as well, that the present building /could/ be a possible meeting place, though it would be a bit noisy. He knows as well, that Hiller reported a Sedan car, parked in front of the building. To the south, there should be another building very close to the actual one. And this is Musara's guess at the moment. But are both buildings connected? He has to find out and so he starts off down the hall at a brisk pace.

Victor the Saints watchman

Musara notices two very interesting things. First, there is someone on the gallery just across the hall. The man leans against the wall and peers down at the ongoing party as well. A glowing cigarette gave away his position. Luckily, the person is on the other side of the gallery. No need to cross him. But the person has plain view on the gallery where Musara is sneaking along.

Second, a small group makes its way through the dancing croud, heading to the hallway leading south on ground floor. The group attracts several greeting, respectful sidesteps and friendly nods. Most of them wear gang colors and some of the guests even seem to join the group. This group must've just entered through the main entrance of the building.

Musara cowers against the opaque handrail made of plastec, just the upper half of his head peers over and down to the ground floor. Musara is unnoticed, as far as he can tell right now.

Musara snuck forward in the shadows before drawing a dart and dipping it in to a vial filled with the compound Gamma-Scopolomine, he hopes it would do the guy in that could be a threat to his mission, at least it won't kill him. He fires the dart through a black coloured blowgun brought to his lips and the quick blow of air towards the man in the shadows.

The dart hits the wall behind the guy, unnoticed. The guy steps forward and leans over the handrail. But it's not Musara he's after. He trys to have a look at the group which just entered on ground level and lets his cigarette glow once more. The guy's wearing the silver-gold jacket of the Saints as well.

The group downstairs has passed the dancing crowd and came to a halt, a few yards into the corridor that leads southward. If the group continues this way, they would pass beneath Musara and the other guy who just missed a good old poison nap. But for now, the group shakes some hands and chatter. Some of them are armed, obviously. Two trolls are among them, an ork as well. Mostly gangers, but two human women look rather displaced. - Musara has no description of Hardy Moses.

Musara curses in his mind not sure about the man's intentions, for all he knows this could be an assassin after moses.. he needs to get the drop on him somewhere to keep him subdued for the time being. He draws his bladed end of the Kama and attempts to sneak closer.

Musara takes a quick dash and jumps over the rail's flying a meter over the distant gap. Though some sounds flare from his baggy clothing, and the ruth cloak fades as the image scanners try and keep up with the motion.

During the flight Musara realizes that he will cover the distance barely! He is in fact forced to finish the daring jump with a quick roll after which he slightly hits the wall on the other side. And that's the moment when the guy turns his head around, 10 meters away. Attracted by the violent motion. Lucky thing is, sound is of no concern up here. Distorted guitar, drums, cheer and laughter boom in the hallway.

Musara dashes forward with his Kusarigama, kama in hand he runs forward and throws the blade forward towards the man, probably with much more force than needed to just subdue the man, but he could be a danger to the mission.

The body slumps to the ground, kicking wildly against the handrail and hands struggling for the assault rifle. The head- or neckwound is grave and propably deadly. He screams out in panic: "HELP!", then a bloody cough quiets him. - The man lies on the floor, no more struggling.

Musara takes the Assault rifle Ammo from the gun to make sure it is emptied especially with the man that yelled help. He know's he needs to get somewhere now and definately not leave the man there. He looks down the hallway beyond this side of the gallery, to make sure he was in the safe to move the body before coming back to see if this area is where the meeting is.

There are many empty rooms - former shops - on this side of the gallery. Just like on the other side where Musara came upstairs. Filled with debris and rubbish. It not a great deal to drag the man into one of the dark corners. With all the disco lights flashing from below, the shadows are as deep as someone could imagine… Who knows what or who is hiding here as well. - Anyway. When Musara cleared the gallery from the body and the rifle, he becomes aware that the new group on ground floor has continued southward beneath Musara's gallery. Twelve people all in all. They're 60 feet ahead of Musara's position, moving through the darker part of the building with some gas lamps.

Musara sneaks down southward, catching up with the group downstairs. They're talking to each other quiet frankly. He slinks to the shadows ducking down to try and remain hidden if the group was coming up to investigate. He needs to try and get back over to that other gallery if possible

Through all this echoes and the noise of the party, Musara wittnesses one crystal clear sentence: "Hey, Hardy! Drop your linnen and stop your grinn'n!" - "Shut up, Aris…" - As it seems, Musara isn't forced to jump back on the other side of the gallery anyway. The group marches on and quickly reaches the end of the corridor. A dead end. Except for a huge troll-sized fire door on ground level. Obviously that's where the whole group is heading to. On first floor above, on Musara's gallery, there is /no/ door. Nor on the other side of the gallery. Musara did spot the man who replied to the name 'Hardy'. It is a black haired guy woth Saints colors, leading the whole group.

A daring try

The whole dead end part of the hallway is quiet dark, except for the gas lamps carried by the group. Musara remembers that 'Hardy Moses' was supposed to be the one who called for the meeting on which Musara is supposed to spy on. He also has this picture from Hiller's tactical map data. Musara is pretty sure, that the huge fire door will lead into the neighboring building to the south. But the fire door seems to be the only entrance from within the building. Damn. Musara has to make a decision: head back out to the parking lot and find another way into the neighboring building, try to use the fire door as well or find another way into it. One thing is pretty sure: the group around Hardy will pass the fire door in a few seconds and they're using an old fashioned key to unlock the door right now.

Musara sneaks and watches the group to see if he has a chance to stop the door from closing completely whether it be from a rock or just propping the door ever so slightly with his hand till the group got far enough away that he could sneak through.

A quick jump ofer the handrail, the coat flaps around and Musara lands savely, not suffering any damage or even serious hindrance. But lierally one inch before his fingers could block the door from closing, the huge, dark red fire door gives away a settled 'slutch-click'.

Musara knows he needs to run back outside now and takes a dash back the way he came in to try and find the way inside from out.

Musara makes a quiet realistic judgement of the situation at hand: the fire door is propably not locked yet. Simply closed. But the group may be right behind it. Passing through is risky. The way around, from the outside, would cost time. And lost time means loss of information gained. - He slides his hand onto the handle of the firedoor everso slightly tilting the handle to try and make sure the door wasn't locked. If the handle turned he might be able to hold it for a moment to get through to save time.

Behind the door there is a single, large room. Something like a gutted store house. Musara doesn't have a clear impression of the room yet. It's not so easy to get hold of it. And there are several people who may simply reckognize his entry. He is stealthy, but what about the party noise, coming through the door the moment he opens it? Some of the people turn their heads toward the door. Well, it /is/ dark over there…

"Who's missing?" - "What?" - "No, dunno maybe…" Some quiet grumbling, then: "Who's there?"

The room is huge and empty. At least twelve yards long and wide. The ceiling can be seen 25 feet above, barely lit by six gas lamps on the ground. The room itself is dominated by six large pillars which support the ceiling. Water leaks through several holes in the roof and large puddles cover the floor made of old fashioned concrete. Dirt and small piles of garbage are the only kind of goods stored in this room those days. There are two obvious exits: a large garage door leading westward to the parking lot and a smaller troll sized double door leading to the north, back into the Saints' turf where the party is going on.

The whole group just entered the gutted and soaked storage room. There are ten male humans, two towering trolls and one ork. The only two women are human. Only nine of the group actually wear the Saints gang color: silver jackets with golden sleaves. On their back or chest boast the unique 'A' with a golden halo hovering above. Some show different kinds of angel wings as well. Two guys are carrying shotguns, some others seem to have some kind of pistols or maybe small SMG beneath their jackets.

Musara stumbles and shakes his head "This isn' da bafroom"

Hardy Moses barks out in impatiense: "Get out, idiot. Or I'll have you filled up with a bottle of gasoline, damn it!"

Musara blinks a few times but stumbles backwards out of the room heading back towards the party.. Well that didn't work. He knew he probably could've tried to keep the door jarred, but it was way to risky to even try standing near the door.

Everyone else turns around, looking for the hard to spot figure. No one else is interested in interfering with the obvious leader so far. But one of the trolls readies a Uzi.

Musara retreats and is not followed so far. But at least he got a brief impression of the room. One thing is quiet clear: from the parking lot, there is no way insde. A huge garage door! Maybe he could even use explosives and bang a hole in the wall. Would'nt be much more suspicious. But there where those holes in the ceiling as well. If Musara would find a /quick/ way on the rooftop, he could be able to eavesdrop.

Commlink-Musara> Musara says, "Bah, I found moses.. problem is I had to fake being drunk since he saw me.. luckily it worked Do you know of any fire escapes or anything I could use to get on the roof of the place?"

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Uh..ah… what's happening?" Hiller sounds seriously irritated, as if she was just about to call Musara when he called her.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Did…did oyu use explosives?"Or some kind of EMP?"

Commlink-Musara> Musara says, "Well I need to try and find a way in, from what I saw the building is broken enough on the roof I can get through that way… It's been hard to get in on him but I know where moses is, and I don't have any sort of explosives on me."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Alright, listen, I had a brief, huge signal from the building in the south. This large theatre thing. Something like a electromagnetic pulse, I dunno. But do go on, it wasn't at your location. - Aerial shot shows no kind of ladder or roof access outside the building. But there are several…chairs on rooftop. Somewhere above you, there seems to be some kind of hole or collapsed ceiling. Maybe you can find access to the rooftop from within your building."

Musara looks on the walls, if this place used to be a mall there just might be map somewhere. If not he's on the second floor so he might find a place like a stairwell that could lead up to the roof.

Finding a fast way up

«Plot» Hiller says, "Musara feigned a drunk and left. The meeting begins now. — Musara remembers a small, narrow stairwell close by the escalators where he came up. He may chose the way back through the crowd and past the escalators, or he may try a daring vertical jump in order to climb back up on the gallery. A 5 meter vertical jump. Only possible if he would use the doorhandle of the fire door as a step. The TN for Athletic would be 12."

The attempt fails and it is pretty clear: he would waste even more time if he'd try it again and again. Musara decides to head back through the crowd wasting time but it's his only option. He tries to get to where he can get to the roof. And if his memory serves him correctly he has to dispatch some guards.

Quickly as he dares, Musara hustles back and sneaks behind the light installation again. With an easy jump he dives onto the escalators and reaches first floor again. And 30 feet ahead, there is an alcove which lead to bathrooms long ago. And between 'ladies' and 'gentlemen' there is a small flight of stairs leading upward.

This is definitely not Musara's day today. The metal door is locked with a maglock.
The metal door is not a fire door like downstairs. Given the party noise and the darkness all around, it doesn't seem to be /too/ risky to dare a kick.

«Plot» Hiller says, "Several yards away, Hardy Moses comes to an end with the first topic."

A grotesque scene…if someone would wittness it. The door brakes out of its hinges and flies 5 yard up through the air in a wide arc.

Musara, frustrated at this point lets a kick go into the door, then watches it fly.. whoopsies Good thing about the Warrens: there is no security system operational. Roof access is finally at hand.

Musara, looks at the door and breaks the initial shock of what just happened and makes his way up the stairs. Being careful before he steps out the door to the roof.

On rooftop

Night is dark and cold. Fresh wind blows in Musara's face. The flat rooftop stretches out before him. Indeed, it is possible to cross to the building in the south, where the meeting is held, without any serious obstacles. Just a small wall. From behind, he can't hear anything except the party noise. Some laughter and chatter from outside, maybe the group of people in front of the building, down on the parking lot. And there is the sound of a brief series of gunshots, far to the east. Somewhere in the hood. Not Musara's concern for now. He sneaks over to the neighboring building and finds several large holes in the rooftop. What happened here, after all? The rooftop looks penetrated by one dozen large things. Who knows what caused this damage in the past. The whole rooftop looks quiet fragile, though, but Musara is attentive and careful. If he drops down flatly, he may peer through one of the holes and down into the storage room, where the meeting takes place.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "I think I got you. Are you accessing the rooftop?"

Commlink-Musara> Musara says, "Yeah, I see plenty of holes up here where I can probably get to the other building to record this meeting"

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Alright. I'm standing by."

Musara drops to a prone position laying down near the whole and whispering to hiller across the comms "Well I think I may have missed a little but I can relay the rest."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Recording."

Finally, Musara can eavesdrop on the concersation. He missed quiet a part. The failed jump, the hustled detour through the crowd and past the guards. The locked door. A failed kick, a second one. Carefully across the damaged rooftop. But now he has a plain view on the converstation.
There are the abovementiones twelve people and the conversation is going on…

"Well, it wasn't an attempt, it was a damn successful bombing, Hardy!" the other troll interrupts harshly.

"Yeah, I know, Aleicester. I know as good as you do. But spare me for now and keep your mouth shut, alright?" Hardy turns back to the whole group: "It /is/ still unsure if the Sinners did it or not. This suicide bomber screamed it out before he blew up, but Mercy is adamant with her refusal of any responsibility. Hence we check it out by ourselves." Hardy makes a brief pause. "We continue the surveillance shit down in Mission Hills. Despite the recent events. We all've heard the rumors. But I don't see any connections and Gabriel agress that we've to keep a very close ear and eye on them. Not only will we continue, but we'll push the thing. We got some very interesting pieces of hardware. Johnny is responsible for the technical part as well. He'll instruct you how to place and use this stuff. And he'll be the one for data evaluation. Everything we record goes through his hands, understand?" Hardy looks at some of the guys and they nod.

Musara reckognizes that one human woman, rather slim, stands apart from the rest in the dark. She's not wearing any colors, just blue jeans and a bright green synthleather coat. She may be nineteen years old or so. Obviously, she's not taking part in the conversation and looks rather misplaced.

Right now, there is some kind of rhetoric pause, as Hardy waits for the others to agree.

Musara replies across the Comm to Hiller "Aleicester a troll mentions a bombing, Sinners possible suspect. The suicide bomber said it is, but Mercy denies responsibility. They plan on learning abou it themselves. They are going to survey Mission Hills." This in particular sticks with Musara but he continues "despite recent events. There are some rumors of some kind, but he doesn't see them. So he plans on continuing with a plan.. and even more so than before. Something about Johnny instructing them where to place tech, and responsible for most of the stuff that is to go on. He glances to the woman that he noticed that seemed out of place then back to Hardy.

"Whittler and Scorn are chosen for some legwork and placement of the surveillance stuff at the Sinners hangouts." Hardy points at an ork and a human, both without any colors. "You greenhorns have no reputation. Makes it much easier. And this will earn you your spurs." Hardy turns toward two others: "Shinderley and Aris J are responsible for the whole thing." Hardy points at this two other human gangers, both wearing the characteristic jacket in silver and gold. They respond with a nod and exchange an excentrical handshake. "Yo man, we'll kick ass 'n' banish them pussies on megapulse. Let's see if they're really hav'n some balls b'tween th'legs," one of the two jokes with a broad grin, the other one joins in.
"Don't fuck it up," is Hardy's only comment and he glances at them seriously. "We don't need a war. Just some information."

Another interesting thing is the only other woman, standing between troll and ork very quietly. She doesn't seem tobelong to here. She could be your mom or mine or everyone's mom. - Hardy Moses makes another pause and turns a paper on his document folder he carries.
Musara watches the group "Whittler and Scorn for legwork and some placement at Sinners hangout, apparently an Ork and Human that are still rather new to the gang" He keeps a watch "Shinderly and Aris are apparently leaders of the thing," he pauses "two humans in Sinners jackets"
One of the guys without colors - Scorn - lights a cigarette. "Something else?"

"Well, last issue for tonight. Aby, Kashivo and I have finally settled a distribution schedule for the Sagebrush Park. It'll cover power cells and heat insulations mostly. We've a preorder list," Hardy raises this document in his hands and then points at a middle-aged woman, obviously not a ganger or punk at all. Maybe some kind of ordinary woman, maybe a smuggler? "And the people want to discuss some local security matters in regard to their hood. Kashivo is responsible for both. And he needs some reliable hands to organize that shit. We don't want a chaos like last time. Preorders are called preorders, because someone raised his hand in patience and asked for help. And we provide it. So we take care of it. No more 'grab what you can' games." Hardy looks to Kashivo, the troll Aleicester and Maurice. "No tolerance. Be sure you've superior firepower when the thing takes place. The Sagebrush Park distribution is meant for the people of the hood, not the crazy junkies, homeless, or any other gang. Agreed?"

The group nods in confident agreement and exchange glances. The thing appears to be important to them. Hardy again: "Alright. Everyone has his responsibilities. If anything comes up, call me. Aby here is the new spokeswoman for the Sagebrush hood. Say hello, give her a look around and some drinks. - That's all for now. Unless anything else pokes your mind, we're finsihed?"

Getting out

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "There is a second heat signature on rooftop, 23 yards north-north-east of your position."

Musara "Aby, Kashivo and him have a schedule for Sagebrush park. Should be some sort of delivery.. and.." Musara catches the news and moves from his position unable to catch the rest of the meeting. He moves slowly to head back down the stairs he used to come up not respoinding to anything else, not wanting to get caught. He had been lucky to even get this far and this much but now is probably the time he should break up to leave

The group shuffles a bit. "Alright, thanks Hardy. - All too clear, all too clear! - No questions, 'Sir'. - Alright, lets go party! - I hate logistic meetings" The chitchat continues and Musara turns his attention elsewhere. Quiet plain to see, is ganger, a few yards away from the stairwell Musara came up. He's looking around. Searching. Maybe the bent and broken door irritates him.

He runs his right hand through his hair and looks from left to right, turns around a bit. He is 15 yards away from Musara. And Musara, still on the southern building, has this small wall for cover.

Musara ducks behind the wall being careful as he loads a dart down with a dose of poison. This isn't the best option but it's a just in case. He stays behind the wall for a moment waiting to see if there is a moment he can sneak by and head back down the stairs.

Instead, the ork moves back and down the stairs.

Musara glances from behind cover then moves slowly over towards the stairwell needing to get out of here, there have been too many close calls and the Meeting seems to be over from what he can tell.

The ork moves downstairs into the darkness. The question is, what is Musara's preferred way of escape?

Musara remembers something about a rooftop escape but decides not to take the risk and continues down the stairwell.

Musara manages to sneak down and he follows the ork. The ork takes one of the broken escalators and Musara the other one. After a simple 5 feet drop, he's back dorn on ground floor and part of the crowd.

Musara leaves back out the way he originally came in, and attempts following the same pathway out of the parking lot. Remembering to attempt acting like a drunken party member.

Unnoticed my most, he passes through the driveway at north end.

The party is just at the beginning as it seems. More and more locals arrive, some with motorcycles, most by feet. The whole situation is still relaxed and Musara drew no major attention so far, though he did mess around with the interception. He lost some minutes of the conversation.

Musara follows out the way he came heading back to the garage where he originally met Hiller talking on comm "Sorry about that, but I had to get out of there I was starting to get a bad feeling about staying any longer"

Hiller reckognized his approach and jacked out of VCR. She offers him the co-driver seat. Well, you've been gone for two hours or so. We don't have too much on megapulse." She jerks her head a bit. "But maybe you're right. It is a damn gang meeting. More and more're incoming. And there are some very weird static inteferences." She shakes her head and indicates some spots on her laptop which shows the area map. "Strange." She turns her attention back on him, eyeing the small man in his rain soaked coat. "Was quiet a run, eh? Where shall I drop you off?" You say "And, do you need anything? Unharmed so far?"

Musara shrugs "I didn't get attacked luckily, but I think it was coming close to that, I have a vehicle back where my friend is." He would direct her back to Tenakai's place if she offered.

So Hiller starts the engine of the worn sports car and takes an easy route out of the Warrens, luckily without any major coincidences. Though her car's engine sounds heavily tuned, she drives very carefully and even stops three times, in order to let approching vehicles pass before they notice the small team. After 35 minutes, they arrive at the Cherry Creek lake. His Sensai is already gone, as it seems, but no one touched Musara's car. Quiet a nice neighborhood here. Hiller offers a hand as a goodby. "Well, was a pleasure. Nice job. I'll deliver the radio data and a report. I guess you'll receive the money through whoever activated you so quickly.

Musara nods "Good to work" and heads out to climb into his car heading out for his apartment. "

Follow-up

Rumors

You receive word from Shenandoah and Saints (Thu Mar 10 20:09:31 2011):

The Saints hosted a traditional party yesterday, at an abandoned supermall complex in Shenandoah. Those parties are quiet relaxed, peaceful and popular among Shenandoah neighborhood, allied individuals, and the Saints themselves, of course. There is one every three or four months. But yesterday, a Saint got killed. Some say stabbed to death. Maybe just an accident. Some drunken guys, harsh words, a knife. The usual. Propably. But there is no offender and there are no witnesses. Hard to believe, since more than one hundred guests sticked around.

People with closer ties to the Saints may be well aware that this incident is a shock for the gang. The supermall complex is a favorite turf and some say it was guarded like a fortress. A few Saints are thirsty for revenge and eager to find a fitting well of violence that would ease the privation.

Legwork done by Janie in reaction

Janie is on fairly good terms with more than a few of the Saints and something about this twigs her paranoia. She starts by talking to her various contacts in the gang, asking both about the victim and the party where it happened.

Janie catches Gabriel at one of the Saints' turfs and he is willing to relay more details on the incident. Again it was something like a block party that was going on. A large supermall complex which is used by the Saints as a permanent turf. The party adressed friends and everyday people from the Saints' territory.

Basically, one of the mall buildings housed the party on ground level. The second floor is the gang's turf: meeting place, storages, improvised bar and chillout places. Just a hangout. The man who died, was ordered to stand guard on the gallery on second floor. His job was to have an eye on the party crowd below and to make sure, that the party would stay downstairs. The guests were not allowed to access the turf on second floor.

It was shortly after midnight, when a gang member reckognized that Victor was missing. They found him in one of the gutted and wasted rooms on second floor. Someone had dragged the man's body off the gallery into hiding. The man died from a serious stab wound to the neck. He had no chance to make use of his assault rifle he was supposed to carry on guard.
The gang has no clue so far. Nothing seems to be missing. A violently damaged and broken door leading to the rooftop is the only hint. Someone banged the whole door out of its frame in order to get access to the rooftop.

That's the story so far. Gabriel himself was not at the party.

Musara was quiet discreet, except for one dead Saint. But the situation was vague. The Saints and Janie, they all had no clue what it was all about. And most likely, it was just some unlucky incident during the gang party. They could not know, that the eavesdrop was meant to chose a target among the Saints, and that Hood would be the next to visit the abandoned turf. This time for direct action. The kidnapping of Johnny Will.

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