Get a grip on Simmons

GM: Hiller, Knox
Players: several, mainly Knox, Norman, Slice, Janie, Dalton, The Croc, Hiller
Date: January/February 2071

Synopsis: Hiller tries to make a thorough investigation on the Simmons Corporation in order to present to them some business ideas (and plot hooks for the futue). She starts from zero and establishes several contacts to other characters. This results in a nice puzzle of little informations which finally ends up in a personal meeting with Knox as a representative of the Simmons Corporation. This is a pure roleplay log. - Thanks to everyone who participated, even without knowing!

Follow-Up: As a result, Simmons Corporation turned the tables shortly after.


Introduction

Hiller was new in town. Denver had its very special rules and mix of ingredients you have to know if you don't want to end up in a dead end. Or maybe dead at all. She did not want to run headlong into errors which would be hard to correct afterwards, nor did she want to tip on the toes of one of the many rivaling parties in town. So what she did was observing. She was new here, that was her benefit, her advantage. No bad reputation, no failures, no shadow trails. She would walk carefully through town. Eyes and ears open. “Whith whom shall I ally?” was the question at hand.

After several tries and some rough weeks, she decided that it would be the Simmons Corporation, LLC. Whatever or whoever those guys would be, all the rumors and chitchat seem to suggest that Simmons was the right bunch of people to approach in order to foster Hiller's own needs. But first, she had to get a hold of Simmons. What was behind the curtains? What was urbal legend, what was truth?

From her hideout in The Crank she started her legwork.

First rumors

The Simmons Corporation, LLC is a full-spectrum operations consulting firm proudly serving the Denver area since […]. With satellite offices in […] and […], The Simmons Corporation, LLC has a reputation for providing integrated operations solutions for such challenges as […] and […] with an eye toward both the budget-minded entrepreneur and the global megacorporation. In these chaotic times, predictability is in short supply. A successful businessperson knows when to exploit their core competencies in order to best leverage new opportunities. The Simmons Corporation, LLC can help you reach your full potential, whether through […] or just providing fresh ideas. We at The Simmons Corporation, LLC believe in fostering a culture of Perfect Customer Service, and we assure you that your needs will be met with the respect and attention that you deserve. Call us today at 303.RTG-340-5696 today to learn what The Simmons Corporation, LLC can do for you.

The Simmons Corporation, LLC – When subtlety is your only option (R) ™; November 5th 2070

This was the only official statement available from the rumored “Simmons Group” itself. A hoax. But at least some lose strings to tug. A name. A number. A vague idea. Hiller started to ask questions.

Cybered Arm: Dalton

Early morning in the Cybered Arm. It was a surprisingly quiet night. Beside the gunshots and screams. Hiller's floor was quiet so far. She never knew why she even stepped into the Cybered Arm during this early part of the day. But it turned out to be interesting anyway. She ran into Dalton. A casual conversation, some words on the edge between lies and truths…

Dalton sits quietly at the bar, a beer in front if him. Granted, its early in the morning for a beer, but its probably safest to drink the beer than ask for something non-alcoholic here.

Hiller enters the Cybered Arm and looks around, amused. Early morning. Whoever is /still/ here, certainly has personal problems of some sort. And everyone who is /already/ here…well. She heads straight to the bar and rests next to Dalton, whom she quickly reckognizes. "Ey, the mage in black. Mornin' How is it going?"

Dalton chuckles faintly. "Just warming up actually, had to buy the beer or Keegan would have kicked me out. Its been a long night."

"Hm, speaking of beer," with a sigh she orders one too. "What were you up to, last night? Something special?"

Dalton smiles and shakes his head "Nothing major, I was throwing some support to the movement of supplies into orktown. I'm not really choosing one side over the other, I just prefer to see people move food and goods rather than weapons."
"This sounds almost…ethical. I've seen some of the damage down in the Warzone. Honestly, it's hard to believe, that there would be no big interests behind the curtains of the conflict. Sadly."

Dalton chuckles "Well, theres enough going on to keep everyone playing nice at the moment. I'm not the only person out there trying to keep the peace at the moment."

"Hm," she nods. "Peace, eh? After a few days of wandering around I think, the Warrens are just like a cage. It's really tough, I mean. Segregation in Seattle or any other big city is always apparent. But how they cut off public traffic and brick up the borders to the Warrens is striking. The blocked highway exit in the south west for example." She adds and tastes her beer.

"Ohh, these borders are nothing. Try getting into some of the other zones without going through proper checkpoints. Getting into the warrens is simple, its getting out thats annoying, cause they dont want the riff raff escaping."

"That's what I meant." Nods and continues: "Do you know who the big players are, in the Warrens? I'm not talking about the gangs. Rather the one who are exploiting the whole thing to their own benefits."

Dalton smiles "Ohhh, you mean, the conspiracy!" he grins. "Actually, there are some corporate interests here and there, concerns for this location or that location, but there really isnt a huge investiture of money in any large scale sector of Aurora."

"And some 'shadow players' of course, eh? Just yesterday, I talked with some girl about the 'shadow machinery'. You know what I mean, I guess. Isn't that a kind of exploitation too? All that hiring and recruiting."

Dalton nods "The warrens is pretty much the runners playground. The whole Bastille is basicly built for runners to have a stronghold. As long as the runners are discreet and professional, the outside forces leave them be. That goes for most of Aurora. Now, when the trolls got ahold of some rockets and felt like shooting up the highway." he sighs "Things happened then. Teams came in and took down a few people, made them remember that they are not invincible here."

Hiller listens mit interest. "Have you heard about some 'Simmons Corporation', for example?"

Dalton nods "I've heard some things about them. From what I gather, its just a group of runners that fronts as a legitamate business. Its been done before."

You say "Are they operating in the Warrens?"

Dalton shakes his head "I doubt they operate here. I think their speciality tends to be something of a con. The warrens is not really the place for subtly, its lost on most of the residents."

"Ah, Downtown player then." She smirks. "Anyway, actually I was hoping to meet you here, you know. I'm looking for a Decker. I need some help with matrix stuff. Can you recommend someone?"

Dalton frowns slightly "Well, lets see, deckers, deckers." he looks up for a moment. "I guess the deckers I knew left town actually. I havent heard from them in a while. There is some word about someone in orktown thats supposidly a hotshot, and then there is this guy called the Jedi that I've heard about. Your best bet is to post to shadowlands and make some contacts. I deal in magic myself, you want to know the most powerful mages in town, I'm your guy."

Not a player in the Warrens, alright. Sounds good. Either they're staying away from the blood'n'mud or they manage to appear like staying away. Both a good sign. And the name of a decker. It would come in handy a few days later.

Red Rock Diner: Janie

An evening at the Red Rock Diner. Just a day like everyone else. Food stop. Hiller meets Janie by chance. Never even asking for the name.

With the tablet in her hand, Hiller thinks for a moment about where to sit down. The nasty family with five brawling kids? The booth with the red-haired elve? The business guy at the entrance? - For some reason, Hiller choses the places close to the counter. She puts her tablet just next to Janie and takes place.

Hiller gives a brief greeting to Janie. “Hey, missy.”

There are white rings of what looks like burn scar tissue around Janie's wrists and just below the elbow, as well as what looks like Greek phrases apparently burnt into the inside of her arms. Janie tilts her head and looks at Hiller. “Evenin',” she replies after a moment.

Hiller picks out one of her fries and gives a grin. “Hm, I hope I'm not too intrusive, but, that's some posh dress you're wearing. All in white. Why's that? Just for the love of white?”

Janie raises an eyebrow at the question, then shrugs. "I like th'way it looks," she replies. "Too many people tryin' t'look badass by wearin' nothin' but black."

Hiller raises her right index finger with some kind of meaningfullness in agreement. "True. Just met some pal yesterday, all dressed in black. Sunglasses, coat, even gloves. Anyway, never mind. I don't wanna bore you with chatter." She turns back to her food.
Janie chuckles. "o'course, that does have th'added advantage o'anonymity — since everyone an'their dog wears lots o'black, 'They were wearin' a black trenchcoat' isn't a very helpful statement most o'th'time," she points out.

You say "True. Especially since he was a magic user. Guess he's flashy enough from time to time."

Janie nods. "Mages c'n get like that sometimes - more power'n they know what t'do with, an' they want th'whole world t'realize th'same thing…"

Hiller gives a nod. Her enclosed black sunglasses hide any further expression. At least they're the only black things on her, beside the boots. "Maybe. - I'm rather new in town. May I ask sou something straight away?"

"No law against askin', last I heard," Janie replies with a slight grin.

“Did you ever hear something about a corporation called 'Simmons Corporation'? Must be some kind of limited liability company, specialized in counseling or something,” Hiller asks.

“Supposedly they're settin' up in th' 'freelance troubleshootin' consultancy' business… That's what they call it. O'course, if I were more cynical an'suspicious, I might suspect that th'vagueness is deliberate. After all, it'd be much easier to, ah, 'limit y'r liability' if ye don't spell out what exactly y'r company actually does.”

Hiller smirks a bit. “Have you heard anything about jobs they did or who's their boss?”
Janie shakes her head. “Aside from th'occasional satisfied customer endorsement on th'trix boards, not really. They're not a publicly traded company so they don't have t'identify their executive board. - Word to th'wise, though? Given how reclusive they're bein', they might take poorly t'overly nosy investigations.”

"Thanks for the hint. I won't ferret around in their business. Just caught their name on the street. I guess they have to live with that." She tastes her soft drink and looks around a bit.

The conversation shifted a bit. Not very helpful. But at least some kind of random impression and one of the first pieces to a larger puzzle.

A Glimpse at the CHROME!: Knox and Joey Lucciano

It was an accident. But a lucky one. Hiller stepped into the CHROME for a small lunch and some reading of the today's news flash. When she entered and headed to one of the booths, she witnessed a very short scene with the famous Knox and some Italian guy. At this time, Hiller didn't know that Knox was propably one of the head players of the Simmons Corporation.

Knox is standing in a corner quietly speaking with Daemon Starks. He is surrounded by several bodyguards. Knox lifts his hands up in a “I give up” gesture. turns on his heels and starts to leave.

Hiller gives the group of bodyguards a closer look from beneath her sunglasses and tries to judge the situation. A rucksack dangles from her right shoulder and in her left hand are some papers or magazines. Hard to tell.

Knox continues to leave, muttering loudly, “Fucking mobsters.” he nods to Hiller with a lecherous eye on his way out.

Something urged Hiller not to shrug on this. She frowned when Knox was out of the door and all those bodyguards with the Italian guy shuffled through the backstage door. What have we here? Some local players? Hiller asked the bouncer and received the names of both men. Henry Knox and Some Daemon Starks. Well. “Henry Knox”! What a lucky coincidence. This name was on top of her to-do list in her Simmons file. Later that day, she asked Slice about the scene, when she met him at the Red Rock Diner.

Slice about Knox

Later that day, Hiller asked Slice about Knox and the scene in the CHROME, when she met him at the Red Rock Diner.

Amused by Slice's changeableness, Hiller whistles briefly toward him from the counter. "Ey."

Slice continues munching haplessly as he is thoroughly engrossed in his pocsec. At the sound of the whistle, he glances casually towards the sound and notices Hiller. A smile hits his lips as he sets down the pocsec and gives a friendly wave, "'ey there, chica. You coming uptown to sample the grub up here?", he smiles.

"Right. You want anything else from the chef? It's my turn," Hiller answers, obviously in a good mood.

Slice shakes his head, waving off the offer, he replies, "No thanks. Got plenty here. Grubs actually pretty decent here, if you don't mind coffee that would burn a hole in plastisteel.”

"Alright. I'll be there in a second, if you don't mind."

Slice nods, "Sure.. sure… help yourself.", he replies, waving a errant hand towards the empty stool beside him.

Hiller steps forward and orders some kind of juice? Lemonade? Unhealthy orange colored stuff in a plastic cup. And some wrapped hot dog. After a few paces she's right beside Slice and offers a hand while she takes a seat. "How you're doing?"

Slice takes the offered hand and assists Hiller in taking her stool/seat. He gives a so-so kinda gesture with his head and says, "I can't complain. I'm working on a killer case right now that's taking a lot of my time, and probably will for the next couple weeks. Decent yen, so I can't complain. You?"

Her sunglasses shift back to him, as he mentioned a 'killer case', but doesn't ask anything for now. "Well, I've done some work to my room at the Crank," she states in a lowered voice. "I think its ok for now, as a temporary solution. Apart from that, I met some people, saw some shit, escaped an assault and got a knife wound through my jacket." – "Ah, and I found a 'welcome to Denver' sign pinned on my door. Everything's cool." Her fake smile like polished marble.

Slice chuckles, "Well… I'm glad to see the welcome wagon made by your place. I'd hate for you to have missed that.", he gives you a wink as he shoves another bit of his food into his mouth. He adds, "So ya decided on the Crank, eh? Dwyrn give ya any drek?"

You say "He's not a problem so far. What was that about a killer case you just mentioned?"

Slice turns and eyes you, his fork still bridging his mouth to his hand. He chews his food down, slowly, before replying, "Oh.. you know. A really difficult case. Ya'know? Got a bunch of parts that need to be added, and removed, and … well… you don't want to hear all the boring nitty-gritty to it." He aims his fork towards you and adds, "What about you? What were you doing in the middle of'a knife fight?"

"Hm," she gives a sigh. "It wasn't a knife fight actually. It happened down in the Warrens - of course. I walked through a crowded part of the Rez, the market place. It was quiet dark and…hm. Someone just stabbed through the jacket. I think he'd followed me a while. Hissed something to me, I'm not sure. But it was a human I think. Male. Tough build. My little purple 'evening dress' saved me from a serious blow…" she proves a nasty cut in her purple leather jacket. A knife has been plunged right through, between two hidden armor scales. "I think he had overheard a conversation I had with some guys half an hour earlyer. Freak." With a stern face she shakes her head and raises her cup to her lips.

Slice eyes the jacket and gives a low whistle, shaking his head, he replies, "Wow. Someone knows where to go for the soft spot.", he points with his fork towards the hole in the jacket and adds, "Either that, or he was just crazy lucky to get between those plates."

[…]

Slice raises an eyebrow, and then puts on his serious doctor consulting a patient look and says, "Yes. I see. What can I do for you?", but his fake fascade is cracked and he gives a smile.

Hiller pulls out her own cellphone. A small, slim black one. Nothing exceptional. After a quick check, she continues after a smile. "Has nothing to do with the knife fight, Doc. Though I don't sleep well last time. I think I suffer from 'social distortion' in my neighborhood." - "No, seriously. Have you ever heard about someone called Daemon Starks or Knox?"

Slice shakes his head at the first name, but then nods at the second. He replies, "Can't say I can place the first person, but I definitely know Henry. Why? Wassup?"

“Ah, I wittnessed a small scene at the Chrome, guess you know the place. It was early in the morning and the Italian guy and this orc seemed to have an arguement about something. Some bodyguards were involved. But nothing serious. I was curious and asked for the names. And then I thought you can tell me a bit about those two. I would like to know who's a major player in the Warrens."

Slice says "Like I said, I know Knox. Henry Knox, but I've never heard the other name. Knox is a stand up guy, and if you're looking for anything.. gear, jobs", he pauses and glances around, lowering his voice slightly, adding, "personal protection devices. Anything you need, he's your man. I can, and will vouch for him. Good man. Can't tell you anything about this Daemon fellow."

She nods. "So, you've…em…worked for him or with him?"

Slice gives another nod, his food now forgotten and long grown cold. He replies, "Oh, yeah. He's got me some gigs in the past, and even supplied some of my gear to help me out. Actually, he was a patient of mine for a bit. So, yeah, I know him better than most… inside and out.", he smiles.

Hiller grives a dry laugh. "Ok, I see. So, he's someone with ambitions in the Warrens?"
Slice gives a bit of a shrug, "Well. He's kinda like me. He goes where the biz is. Can't say he's stationed down there. Actually, he's usually parked over at the COOL CAT, and you can usually ask around there for him. But, I know he gets down to the 'renz a fair bit too."

"Hm, alright. Thanks for the info," she empties her drink. "And you are actually a real Doc? With degree and license and everything? Busty front desk secretary propably? I thought you were just boasting."

The conversation went on. Careful, Hiller thought. A patient, a collegue, maybe even a friend. No reason to dig deeper and rouse suspicion. Nice information on Knox anyway. From all those possible descriptions in the world, this helpful and hopefully reasonable dwarfen doc chose very positive words indeed.

Investigations through the matrix

Hiller followed Dalton's advice and made use of the shadowboard in order to contact a few deckers. She was planning to gather some available information on the Simmons Corp by that way. Nothing illegal. Again, Hiller was careful. And since she had absolutely no time and interest for 'matrix legwork', she decided to hire someone. She adressed the applicants as follows:

You are kindly asked to provide a dossier of information on the 'Simmons Corporation, LLC'. This shall include information about: official representatives, silent partners, operatives, general field of activity, known jobs, and reputation from different angles/interest groups.

Cypher

The first brief reply came quickly and was unexpected by Hiller. It was not exactly what she intended, but it was informative, nevertheless.

I myself have been hired in the past as a contractor for Simmons Corp. This puts me in an awkward situation, as a professional courtesy I will provide you with a trix site that you can access to give you an overview of the corporation, and I will also provide you with the contact information for a person who can put you in direct contact with Simmons Corp if you so wish it.
Trixsite: http://denver.wikidot.com/the-simmons-corporation-llc
Contact information at following address. Import/ten.xirtnonnA|tropxE#ten.xirtnonnA|tropxE
I hope this information helps your client find out what they need to know.

Green Jedi

The Green Jedi. The guy Dalton talked about. Well, he made a clear offering. It was expensive and he was right: it was just a public data search. But Hiller was determined to try it anyway. Until now, the small pieces made up the picture. And she had no intention in crossing a certain borderline that would block her any paths in the future.

5k. Have the results in a few hours. You should know that public searches don't turn up much juicy stuff if that's what you're looking for. You can transfer the funds to «insert numbered caymans account here». Soon as you do I'll get started.

No report yet.

More Dead Ends: Fandango and The Croc

It's amazing how little things come together to form a whole. The Ragdoll. Another place where Knox has been seen and were 'associates' of different colors seem to meet. And friendly Croc knew nothing about that Ork, though he would've propably heard about him in Orktown if he had any reputation. There could be many reasons for that. But again his name did not ring any alarm bells or caused a tavern brawl right away. Interesting.

Fandango makes his way inside from the chill outside air, and then makes his way for the bar. He sits down, adjusts his hat a touch, and then orders himself a beer. That done, he spends a moment glancing over the various patrons at the cybered arms tonight.

"What the fuck…," Hiller says under her breath as she looks over her shoulder toward the massive troll that just entered. Maybe Fandango heard it.

Croc swaggers inside to a collection of stares, dirty, and frightened looks. The big troll gives someone the finger and swaggers over to the bar. "Cervesas," he demands. "Warm."

Fandango, likewise, peers towards the troll, and just shakes his head to himself when he orders warm beer. For one, what other sort of beer do they serve here? "I know." he comments miller's way, his voice accented. "Its a wonder the floorboards hold."

Croc sits carefully down a stool, and looks over at Hiller and Fandago, flashing a chip-toothed smile. "Hola," he says, taking a swig of his beer, spilling half of it down his jowels. "How is it going wif joo?"

Hiller was about to speak to Fandango, then shifts her eyes a bit beneath her sunglasses. "Hey. I've been through better days. But it's not day's end," she answers with a faint smirk. "And you, Big One?"

Fandango shrugs his shoulders, "Been better. Been worse." and then he takes a swig of his beer. he glances back towards Hiller, then, and spends a moment evaluating her, before he speaks again; "So, what's a chica like you doing in this part of town? Don't you know it's dangerous." it's clear he's teasing, though.

Toward Fandango: "Well, I live here? Bambini," she retorts quickly with a winning smile. Croc still has her attention.

Croc shrugs. "Not big, Gringa. Just got back from a tour in bug city… and de breeders dat hired me paid me pretty fuckin well, so I don't feel like tearing joor white human froat out." He pauses. "Today." He beams after that, then glances at Fandango for a minute.

She gives a nod toward the trog with a well measured smile. It seems better to her, to stay exactly between joking and seriousness about the tearing of someone's frout. "Sounds good." - Then she takes a sip at her beer.

Fandango cracks a grin at that, "Ah, now that's a shame." he tells her, and then adds, "So, living in a place liek this, pretty chica like you must be tough." he observes, and then swigs his beer again. "You work in this part of the city, too?"

Croc's attention now settles on Fandango, narrowing his beady little eyes a little as the man talks. He tilts his head, studying the other hispanic male.

"I'm not working at all. Unless you call the bearing of bad flirtations hard work," her voice perfectly dry like desert wind. But a faint smile remains as she stares directly ahead, against the wall behind the bar. "What about you, pal?"

Fandango shakes his head, "That's a shame, girl like you could make a lot of nuyen in the right job. Me, I do odd jobs, you know how it is. People need problems taken care of, and I do what I can."

Croc turns back to his beer, chugging it down, spilling most of it. He's silent, now, and just listening to Fandango talk to the woman, breeders making small talk.

"I didn't expect anything else. Odd jobs, that's the business here." She turns a bit toward both of them (supposed they're both sitting in one line from her of course) and rests her beer on her left knee.

You say "Hm. I have a question in mind. Maybe one of you can answer it, if you want. But don't expect anything else like a free mug and a shot from me," she smirks toward Fandango.
Croc listens, his beady little eye still narrow. Fandango grins, "A question? I'm all ears, chica. Like I said, I do what I can."

"If I would ask you: 'What are the three names you must know if talking about Orktown', what would you answer?", she asks them. It seems that she's really interested in the answer.

Fandango frowns a little, and then shakes his head. "Sorry, not my area of expertise." He admits.

Croc's eyes narrow a little further, till they almost dissappear beneath heavy brows and thick, heavy skin. "What's a breeder doin' interested in ork town? Joo planning to kick us in de teef, is dat it?"

So, she replies to Crog with a dry laugh: "Most certainly not. I promise. I'm trying get a grip on who are the players here in town. It's good to know. Much talk on the street. You have to separate the trash from the important things, don't you?"

Croc grunts. "Horsemen. Sons of Sauron. El Cocodrillo. Dose are de names joo need to know. Don't cross dem, and you may lead a long and prosperous life abusing indigenous peoples and pissing on de poor."

Hiller nods. "Hm. The gangs. Of course." She forwns a bit. "What about other players there? I heard about some Knox for example. An ork, doing some shadowy business. Are such guys staying out of Orktown?"

Croc spits. "Never heard dat fucking name before, but I bet he's white. Cocksuckers. Orktown takes out of its own."

Hiller nods. "Uh, I see. Thanks." She gave a closer look to Fandango, when she mentioned Knox. Maybe he showed some reaction?

Fandango smirks and shakes his head, swigging his beer again. "Shit, you don't let up." He observes of Croc, apparently finding his hatred for… just about everything amusing. To Hiller, he says, "I heard his name over at the Ragdoll- my… assosiates frequent that place."

Hiller continues to Fandango. "What's his reputation? Heard anything?"

Fandango shakes his head, "heard little, besides the name, and that he drinks there sometimes."

The Cottonwood Appartment

Henry Knox, resident in Cottonwood Appartment. Really? Hiller's next step was to investigate the vicinity around the Simmons Corporation. Where do they live, work, party? The reasons were simple. First, it was important to Hiller, that she could see how discreetly and professionally they were. Second, if she was going to get in direct contact, it was very necessary to know the whereabouts, coherencies and routines. At least to a certain degree.

Knox did not use this name to rent his appartment at Cottonwood. So much was obvious. Hiller made a few visits and tried to collect everything that could help.

The cars on Cottonwood zero level! An Americar, a neon blue Yamaha Rapier, a Dosge Scoot, a C-N Jackrabbit Coupé and some others. Maybe one was Knox's?

The registered people! Gordon Freeman, Reina Makimoto, Suzuka Itami, Lucas Rydell Esquire, Laura Wagner, Galen Ascilles, and so forth. Not a Knox. But wait, Galen Ascilles…also known as Slice. This was worth a mental note.

Dealing with the Cottonwood manager

Hiller changed clothes. Out of the camouflage unit and leather jacket, into a conservative business suit. Not her prefered digs. But she knew how to wear them at least. Together with her short hair and sunglasses, she showed a little bit too much punk, maybe. But it was acceptable for this Cottonwood manager Fullerton.

Simon Fullerton looks up, "You need some help lady?"

"Mr. Fullerton. Good afternoon. Maybe you remember me. Collette Hiller, Sir. I still ponder about a stay at your nice apartment complex and I have some questions left." Hiller is quiet friendly and knows how to behave. She gives a brief smile. "You have a second?"

Simon looks up and sort of through you, "I gave you all the price we have currently listed, adjusted for the Black Out. What other questions did you have?" , the man blows his nose with a tissue.

You say "I just came over from the Woodlands, but this is certainly not my style. They have so present security measures, they remind me off some reformatory. - I would like to have a look around, maybe see the interior of an empty apartment? " Hiller shifts her eyes to one of the other employees. "Maybe someone show me around a bit?"

Simon grabs a magkey and slots it into a safe behind him. He withdraws a larger maglock key attached to a clipboard. Fullerton signs in on the clipboard, turns a small security camera on and shows it to himself "Fullerton, Friday signout." Simon turns and heads toward an empty room, "Security is light here because the money keeps away more of the undesirables. Cam's everywhere too. You're on one as we speak." He turns and heads out of the office and into an empty showroom o the firstfloor. He unlocks it and opens the door.

"You now, Mister Fullerton, your place has a good reputation. I've heard someone from the Simmons Corporation stays here as well. I got two recommendations," she speaks as she falls in behind him. "You propably know him, a kind and approachable ork." out of her eyes she's looking for some reaction in the man's face. Maybe as a reaction to the Simmons Corp or the word "ork".

«Auto-Judge[VALID]» Knox (#4448) rolls 1 for "5+ Knows an ork": 4

Simon lights up a cigarette in front of a "No Smoking Sign". He takes a drag, "We have several metahumans living here. We're very open despite what that jerkoff running for Cuncil says about the CAS.", he coughs and wheezes fromthe cigarette, "Simmons Corporation? That some kind of realty joint? Don't know them."

Hiller gives a charming smile as he lights the cigarette and shows some sympathy for orks in general. "They're in the business administration with some good reputation. But as far as I know they're not dealing with any real estate, beside office buildings and corporate relocations." Hiller steps into the show room and concentrates on looking interested. In fact she is interested, in some way. "This room is similar to the other apartments?"

Simon nods, "Essentially. Kitchen, hot water and heat, no roof access. Two additional rooms, can be used as bedrooms or living room. Small foyer. We got an in house convienance store and we offera a singles mixer once a year on Labor day for those interested." The manager leers at Hiller.

"Uh…," is her comment on the singles mixer. "Not so much families around here then, hm? - The room layout is the same for every room as well?"

Fullerton shrugs, "We have a few, but between you and me?", Simon shuts the door, "The building owners are trying to remake this place for 'Urban Professional'. Rents a little higher but better looking people trends for shorter unit turnaround." The man shrugs, "So, you want to make a deposit?"

"I think I will," she nods. "But I have to wait for Green Light from my employer. I just moved to town and things are a bit chaotic. Most likely I'll have to work close to the Buckley airbase. If this happens - and it is very likely - then I would prefer the Cottonwoods."

Simon frowns, then quickly smiles, "Oh. Well, please take a brochure on your way out." He opens the door for Hiller.

She steps past him, with another smile. Her perfume a mixed note of oceanic and ambery. "Sure, Sir." Since he obviously doesn't know the specific Ork Hiller's looking for, she decides to leave the man. It is not her interest to make him suspicious or maybe even cause Knox any problems due to further direct questions. "I thank you for your time and will give you a definitive answer within 10 days, Sir"

Simon shrugs and heads into the office.

Mr. Acilles

Since Hiller accidently discovered that Slice lived in the same building as Knox, she dressed for a direct confrontation and gave Slice a visit. Shortly after, she made the final call for Knox. The time when she entered Slice's appartment, Hiller had already called the Simmons' number and talked with Knox a day before.

Slice pages: The intercom box squawks, barely understandable, "Hello?"

"Galen Ascilles?", a female voice answers, a little bit louder than necessary, on order to make herself heard above the intercom noise. Hiller's voice is distinctive. He reckognizes her immediately, as it seems.

The male voice on the other end of the line, "'eh, Chica. Come… <distorted garble> … Yew thirty-one."

“Be there in a minute!"

Slice opens the door as he hears you coming down the hallway, letting you in without even needing to knock.

Slice flashes one of his patented smiles and gives a flourish of his arm as he waves you into his humble abode. "'eya, chica." He closes the door behind her, instinctively flicking the lock on the handle. He gives you the once over and lets out a soft whistle, "Damn, 'uh. Looks like you scored some yen. Nice duds." He points towards the sofa, "Grab a seat. This biz, or you just showin' off?", he smiles.

"Thanks, Slice," she gives a grin. "I'm here for a little bit of both, I think. - But, wow, those are nice apartments here. Really nice. I let the manager show me the show room at ground floor, but it's nice to see one actually occupied by someone!" - "How're you doing?"

Slice moves over towards the couch and plops down, crossing his ankles as he puts his sneakered feet on the coffee table. He leans back and interlaces his fingers behind his head as he gives a bit of a shrug, "Not bad, I guess. Seen better, lived in worse. Biz is kinda slow, but other than that, I got to see my ceiling this morning, so it's a good day." He flicks his chin towards you and asks, "So.. what's up with the duds? You got a job or something?"

Everything about the apartment screams perfection. Nothing is out of place, and every surface is immaculately clean. Clean enough to eat off of… or do surgery on. The only thing that looks out of place, is the Ares Pred III sitting on the foyer table beside the door.

"Hm." She looks down at herself and smiles. "Well, what should I say. Actually it's you're fault that I'm dressed like Mss. Cool'n'Nice. Being flexible is necessary sometimes. I nearly forgot how to wear a decent suit, damn it," she laughs for a second. It sound really amused. "But, why I'm here… I was checking out the Cottonwoods and accidently read your name at the doorbells downstairs." A brief look outside the window. - Since she's wearing some old fashioned pilot sunglasses this time, Slice can see that Hiller's eyes are replaced with cyberware. Quiet noticeable. - "I guess you know that Henry Knox lives here as well?"

Slice's eyes widen slightly in surprise, but then return to normal as he shakes his head, "Drek no. You'd think I'd know that, but if I'm not in my apartment, I'm heading for my car. I keep my head down as much as possible, even in these neck of the woods." He smiles slilghtly as he asks, "Which apartment is he in?", but rather than waiting for an answer, he adds, "By the way, you clean up good." He give you a friendly wink.

She turns her head back to Slice and most obviously, she has seen the Pred III at the door.

She hesitates. "Oh. Well, I hope you use this information about Knox reasonably. I don't wanna cause him any problems. But from what you were talking about him, I thought you're quiet close to him.”

Slice nods, "Oh, we are… from a biz perspective. Grab a bit to eat, and that kinda drek, but folks in his line of work are usually pretty close-mouthed with their domiciles." He waves the issue away and adds, "Don't worry about it, he's got nothing to fear from me, and I trust him." He pulls a hand away from the back of his head and waves a finger towards your outfit and asks again, "So… again… what's the occassion? Just decided that mud and grime weren't as becoming as you thought they were?", his hand returning to its place behind his head.

"You mean 'what's the occassion beside me having you invited for lunch tomorrow or when you have time'?" She grins, a bit teasing but then she turns a bit more serious. "Actually, I've decided that the Warrens are not a perspective for me. Not in the long run. So… what you said about Knox is right. And he is the reason why I'm here at the Cottonwood after all." - "I've done some…work on him and I wanna meet him. And I was thinking, that you could help me wit it."

Slice smiles and gives a nod, "Yeah.. sure.. no prob. We introduce each other to folks all the time. Funny how good that is for biz. So, you looking to drop some scrip and go for a spot here in the Cottonwoods? Gotta say, it's not too bad. Can't complain."

She nods. "You have Knox's phone number? I don't wanna show up in front of his private appartment without any warning."

Slice reaches into the pocket on his jogging pants and pulls out his cellphone. He takes a look at it and then replies, "Yeah.. that last number I had for him was 1823."

Gotcha…Mr. Knox. Oh Slice, I don't know if you just didn't care, didn't reckognize or even pushed it, but if I would be after Mr. Knox for some wetwork or other bad bad things, you would've been the nail to his coffin. Luckyly, everything was alright then.

Phone Calls

The first direct contact was made via phone. Simmons Corp public phone number. What would someone expect? Nothing. Of course. Anyway, the first phone calls gave Hiller the first immediate impressions about the Simmons Corporations. “You may hide as you wish, but somewhere and somehow you have to show yourself. Even if it's only a facade. But this very facade will tell something about you as well.” Hiller was amused. Was that out of the preface of some SIGINT handbook? Weird world.

Answer Machine

From a public phone in the FTZ, someone's going to make a very interesting call. At least for the person sitting in front the phone right now. It's early morning in Denver. The weather still cold, but from inside the small shop, with a pot of hot tea in her hand, she's not contemplating the weather right now. Rather the call ahead. A few last thoughts, a glimpse on the sheet in front of her. A look around - few customers. 'Let's get professional', she thinks and calls 5696 - Simmons Corporation.

After two rings, there is a series of mechanical clicks and faint beeps. Then, a friendly-sounding female voice abruptly says, "Simmons Corporation, what extension?"

A little bit surprised in the first, a clear and well articulated female voice answers briefly: "Corporate Affairs - Public Relations"

There is a short pause on the other end, then another, different series of clicks and beeps. The same female voice now says, "To leave a message for…," here a male voice with a dry New York or possibly Boston accent says, "Mark Sullivan - …press one, or wait for the tone. To leave a callback number, press two."

The woman smiles a bit. 'Damn it… you don't like anyone ferreting around or you hate customers,' she thinks to herself. Her left hand reaches out to a new cellphone, bought for this very cause. The number is still not remembered. She turns the cellphone and there it is: written on the back side. - So she presses 'two' and leaves a phone number.

There is a long pause, then a click, and the line goes dead.

With a snort and a grin she puts away the public phone. 'I would've loved to live in times where there were no answer machines and PR bots…' She ponders a few minutes, then she leaves the place. The new cellphone is still turned off. But after an hour or so, she would turn it on for two hours. If there would be no answer within that time, other options may be necessary.

After two hours, four hours, even eight hours, there is no return call. It would appear Mr. Sullivan is taking a three-day weekend. So she would use this specific cellphone for only one reason: turn it on from time to time, in order to check for message or calls.
Within the next three days, the cellphone would be checked 6 times. Every time for roughly 2 hours.

Call-back, Deception and Mistrust

Knox looks to Norman, he heads into his car and drives to a Stuffer Shack and picks up a pre-purchased pocketsecretary with cellular capability. He gets back in his car and starts driving around the CAS. Norman comes along for the ride, mostly because it's freezing out and he's been sitting in a park for more than an hour. He grabs a large soykaf from the dispenser at the Shack and sips at it thoughtfully.Knox calls the number, and heads north on Colfax.

A woman is sitting in a car somewhere close to Interstate 225. Just beneath one of the many exit ramps around UCAS territory. The cellphone on the co-driver seat starts ringing and humming. After 8 seconds or so, the call is answered. A single, brief 'click', then a female, nondescript voice: "Yes?".

Knox motions to Norman with a timer hand signal, he turns a corner and speaks clearly and quickly. "You left a number with our Public Relations rep. How can we help?"

"Good morning Mr. Am I talking to a representative of the Simmons Corporation?"

Knox nods into the air, "Correct. " He checks his chronometer, clocks ticking down.

"This is Hillary Mason, I'm calling you on behalf of a client, settled in the Denver free trading zone. I have been asked to mediate between my client and the Simmons Corporation. Hereby I inform you that I am speaking as an agent, not as an representative", the distinguished female voice continues. The tone of the voice is straight, direct and well articulated. It carries the impression of professionalism and business-like distance.

Knox looks over at Norman in the passenger side, "And what is this concerning?"

The woman in her car raises a digital binocular to her eyes and looks casually for the Cottonwood Apartment, half a mile away. Maybe the traffic noise from I 225 can be heard via phone. "I have some simple questions, Sir. If you don't want to answer one of them, we can skip any time."

Norman, not privy to the other end of the phone call, sips his coffee and watches out for suspicious activity and for cops. Knox makes his way onto Sixth avenue, CAS district. "Proceed."
You say "How many people are employed by the Simmons Corporation?" The question suggests that the female behind thee voice is having some kind of checklist in front of her. The question comes briefly and without hesitation.

Knox slows the car around neat The Cool Cat and circles it several time. "I can't answer that.Next question. I thougth this was something you were calling to mediate about? If there is an issue pelase address it."

"Of course Sir," the voice proceeds. Was it a trick question? The following is propably more objective "On what terms does the Simmons Corporation agree to a meeting with a client? In fact, is there anything you would like to tell a potential client about terms and conditions?"
Knox cups the speaker over his shoulder, "Caller wants to meet. Suggestions?"

Norman, still looking out the window, shrugs a shoulder. "Pick a date and time, I'll get a conference room like we usually do. The Radisson. Catered lunch or breakfast, the usual."

Knox replies into the phone casually, "This afternoon, there will be a private conference room available for a meeting, at the Radisson downtown UCAS. It will be for the…….Globochem West Coast Conference. Whom shall I leave a reservation for?"

A second of silence. Maybe the speaker is distracted? "I cannot confirm a meeting at Radisson for today, Sir. Is it convenient if I leave you a message on the number 5696? I'll give you a definitive answer within 24 hours. You may of course name another place and time then, if you wish."

Knox smirks and checks his rearview for tails….he double backs. "That's fine. Now, who is this person you represent and what in general speaking is this grievance?"

"I am sorry that I cannot answer this question via phone, Sir. As you are offering the opportunity for a meeting, it would propably be the best to discuss those matters face to face with the people who have interest and responsibility to do so. - Is this arrangement acceptable for you so far?" A starting vehicle engine can be heard. The woman propably is in a car.

Knox frowns and states, "Yes. Leave a message, Yes or No to the terms and the name to leave for a reservation. 24 Hours." He hangs up.

Revelation: From Cottonwood to Franky's Sports Bar

Hiller had planned ahead certain steps and worked on them with caution and patience. But there was a certain point where she could not plan beyond. A point when she had to run a risk. Revelation, so to say. Without that risk, there would be no further progress. And it was Hiller, who wanted something from the Simmons Corporation. So, sitting and waiting was not an option. At this risky point, she had to let her guard down and advance some trust. But this step could also be seen as an act of naivete or even desperateness. Well, there was no help for it.

<Phone> Bell Cellphone is now turned on. - Hiller pulls out her cellular phone and dials a number.

<Phone> There is a click as the ringing stops and the line is established. Knox says, "Yes?"

(Directed into the phone) Hiller says, ""Mister Knox?"

<Phone> Knox says, "Have you reached a decision?"

(Directed into the phone) A brief hesitation, maybe surprise. "Yes, Sir. I would like to meet you. I'm in the Lobby of the Cottonwood appartment right now. I would be honored if you allow me to explain to you my matter personally."

<Phone> Knox clears his throat, the sounds of rustling can be heard. "Repeat that?"

(Directed into the phone) Hiller says, "I said, I am on parking level of the Cottonwood right now, and I would be honored to have the opportunity to meet you, Sir. And to explain myself." Hiller says, "It was quiet a task to get through to you, Sir, as you may know very well. And my intentions are not hostile, Sir."

<Phone> Knox coughs. "That's not what we agreed to….at all in fact.. And nwo you're on my turff? If you want to speak with me, you can meet me at Franky's Sports Bar downtown UCAS in one hour."

(Directed into the phone) Hiller says, "Our talk yesterday was a precaution, Sir, since I know as little about you as you about me. But if you wish, I am ready to agree. I will head to the location directly. You would reckognize me as a woman with blue suit and short, red hair." - "And…Sir. I'm coming to you for business matters. So…give me a chance to explain,” the voice adds a bit lower, concerned maybe.

<Phone> There is a click as one end of the connection is hung up.

After that click, Hiller knew that she'd propably failed. She had underestimated the value of privacy, she knew it the second after Knox has hanged up. Damn. “You're a damn greenhorn,” she cursed herself. But it was too late. Now she had to push trhrough and take the consequences straight on. She drove to Franky's. Downtown! Insane. She stored her weapon in her car and prayed that she was not just going to be lured into a mob hideout and end up as dog meat. “Ey, Luigi, this is Knox. A chica's coming. Two thousand for disposal, as usual…no, keep the digs but send me back the teeth.” Concentrate, Collette! Franky's Sports Bar, Downtown, UCAS territory.

Knox walks in from the /incredibly/ cold Denver afternoon. The ork is bundled up in a dark peacoat, scarf, and tight fitting leather gloves, his right hand holds a briefcase. He scans for the woman in blue, and his eyes burn an intense smoldering look.

Afternoon, 4 pm. Maybe there are many customers who fled into the sportsbar from the cold after their shift. Knox may have to look around for some seconds. Finally, there is one end of the brass bar, hidden behind a larger group of cheering stock car fans. And there rests a rather small woman in a business suit, tamed, short-cut hair and pilot sunglasses. A small document folder lies in front of her on the bar, and an orange juice is placed on it. She doesn't seem to care for the games around. Rather serious or even a bit stressed. - If Knox is /really/ an attentive guy, he would propably recognize her from a brief meeting at the Chrome. But she has really changed her outfit. Only skin color and features are the same.

Knox pulls out from a vest pocket a chromed cigarette case, he withdraws a stick and lights it with the heated edge of the case before placing it back. He puffs and shoulders his way past a few wageslaves and nods over at the bartender (who nods back). He saddles up to Hiller, "You've got a lot of fucking nerve." he says through smiling teeth trying to look like casual patrons chatting.

In fact, he got her a bit offguard. She raises her eyes quickly, gritting her teeth. "Sir." Is the only thing the says in the first moment. Beneath her sunglasses, she looks at his eyes and features. Is he angry, surprised, cool, relaxed or maybe just trying to fake a specific mood?
«Auto-Judge[VALID]» Hiller (#10245) rolls Psychology: 2 3 7
Knox would seem annoyed, maybe a bit pissed off but also keeping a "public" face for anyone listening in.

Knox leans against the bar, his legs a shoulders width apart, and he keeps one hand resting on his hip. "Talk.", he says around the cigarette.

She relaxes a bit as he leans against the bar. A few slight nods. "I excuse myself for any inconveneince, Sir. My name is Collette Hiller. I am quiet new to Denver and I've…ah…well" she gives a glance around, if they have some degree of privacy. As it seems, the noise of chatter and cheering seems acceptable. "I've done some discreet investigations on the Simmons Corporation. As you may have noticed, propably." - After a few moments Knox would reckognize, that Hiller has cybereyes beneath her pilot sunglasses. Some plain ones. No pupils visible. "I want to make an offer to the Simmons Corporation." She pauses and looks up at him. She's taking the situation seriously, that's for sure.

Knox listens, he nods and thinks for several moments. With a flash of his hand he signals the bartender for a Club Soda, he leaves some UCAS scrip on the table. "1. So you've contacted us, through fairyl obtuse channels rather than how we typically do business. 2. I'm well aware that someone was doing work on us, because you contacted someone we're close with. 3. What is your offer, and do be careful with what words you use."

"Since I'm in town, I've had an eye and an ear on the street, looking out for the player's around town. I stumbled across the SImmons Corporation quickly, and I thought it would be worth to invest a little bit more energy in a closer look that's what I did. I am looking for cooperation. And ah…maybe I used obtuse channels, but I found them reliable. I wanted to have a look behind the chatter or facade. - There are many dumb heads out there, playing their little war or intrigue. Hoax corporations, gang mobs, radicals and racists, you name it. I'm looking for someone whith whom I would like to ally myself. So I am offerin…myself." she takes a sip from her juice and looks back at him. "I offer the Simmons Corporation my service. And if you would allow me, I will detail that further."

Knox narrows his eyes, and they flick to the little folder, "Interesting. What's in the hardcopy?"

With a grin she looks down on it. "Ah. Nothing compromising. Just a printout with some interesting statements on your Coorperation. I thought you would like to read some feuilleton about yourself. Everything anonymous of course. - And a few other things. But maybe it's of no use anyway."

Knox nods, "Let's have it."

All in all, she tries to be professional until now. But Knox realizes that she is nervous behind her mask. Her tongue brushes over her lips briefly. "I am a professional army pilot and flight-tech, Sir. I've served in UCAS Army for several years. If you have something fancy in mind now, like flying VTOLs and aircrafts in combat situations with the Sarge yelling behind and the flares going off in the front, that's exactly what I did. Anyway. I'm no longer in the Army now. Sadly. Cause I love to fly." And if it would be possible, there would propably be a brief flash from her eyes. There is some passion in that simple sentence. "So what, you may think," she continues
.
Knox blows several smoke rings into the air as he listens.

"The Simmon Corporation is a professional thing, I learned that. You're doing nothing halfheartedly and you remain in the legal issues with one leg, as far as I can tell. I can tell you this: There are many wannabees around there in that business, but if you are operating with a fleet or just make regular use of an aircraft, you're actually on a distinctive level. Make important deliverys via airplane? Insert important people via rotocraft? Offer long distance connections within a few hours? That's what puts you - literally - above the rest. If you have access to airspace, you are operating on another level." - "You need two things in order to play that card: First, you need someone you can trust. A pilot with credentials and loyality. Second, you need someone who knows the trade: airspace, traffic control, the whole mess of Denver's complex air space and all the things attached to it. That is: a network of reliable connections. And that's what I am asking for: you give me support in order to build this up, and I build it up for you. I've already a foot in the door, but it will take time.” Hiller makes a pause and looks at Knox.

Knox speaks quietly over the roar of a crowd of suits cheering for some sports event. He stubs his cigarette out in an ashtray, then places it in a small glassine baggie which he puts into a pants pocket. "All you've proven to me, is that you are a serious individual who thinks tracking down a lawyer to his home is a good idea.", he coutns on a finger, "That's harrassment.", he loosens his necktie. "Now, I've got to go and move and that's costs money. Do you understand?", he cuts you off before you can speak, "Yes Simmons Corp is one of the business I represent in my practice……We do at times contract out stringers for engagements and we have no pilot on staff that I can confirm." He studies the woman, "So take that what it is. If you're asking for money you're mistaken."

Hiller is taken aback a bit, from this rebuke. "Well, Sir. I understand your anger. But hopefully you would calm it down when it comes to business. And …actually I am not asking for money. I ask you to consider with your associates how you would react if someone offers you something that is hard to find: discreet loyality, readiness to adapt to your needs and fill up a hole that may exist, and the willingness to take responsibility as well as operate under superior's authority. And since I am new to town, I have neither a reputation nor enemies. I call this a good starting point." Then she gives a sigh. "But anyway. I've said what I hoped for. At least you lent me your ear." A brief smile follows. "I could not hope for anything more."

Knox nods, "As I said, we do contract work and when the time is proper we negotiate a finders fee and execute out services. If you have proper contact information, I will accept it.", he leans off a bit of the stern feel. "….I am assuming you have all proper licenses in order for operating in Denver airspace?"

You say "Sure"

Knox waits for the information, meanwhile, "I'll forward this to staff and we'll keep it on file for if and when aircraft is necessary."

Knox admonishes with, "Don't ever contact me again in this fashion. We have a business line available, leave a message with…..our Public Relations person "Flip Wilson" if you need anything." He turns on his heel, "I'll be in touch, but if I may ask…..whom did you hear about us from?"

Hiller replies: "But you should know, that it's not about a license. No one here in shadowy Dever area has done it before, so I was told by some guys in some top offices. You have to invest into a lot of things. Of course I can fly nearly everything and have a valid license for airplanes, rotocraft and VTOL. But for things like the shadowy world here, you have to take care of many more. I cannot pull this up alone. But with reliable backup - and you don't wanna rely on some unreliable pals when it comes to things like border crossings and air security - there is the possibility to create an outstanding advantage. Consider it."

Knox frowns about'shadowy', "Madame Collete, as I've stated before we are a lifestyle consultant agency. We are not shadowy at all."

She answers with some kind of coolness or disappointment. "You have a reputation. Enough hints for a sizeable file. There is no one specificly, I would like to mention now. - And for the shadowy: I've not invented the term. I dislike it, in fact. And the fact that you think about it in the same way, was one reason why I made contact. Anyway. I guess we're done. I have no more to say."

Knox nods as he collects your information. He looks the woman up and down, "The company will be in touch. And remember, 'Flip Wilson'". He quirks an eyebrow and leaves.

Latest news in early February

After Hiller met with Knox, she was in a bad mood. Things were planned differently. Anyway. She could do no more. Not now. She had to shift her attention on other things. Furthering her goals, first of all. With or without the Simmons Corporation. And while she was trying to stay as low as possible, she received more interesting rumors on the Simmons Corporation:

On your trideo covering recent events: Picture Inset of several O.R.C. being arrested for disturbing the police, a Coroner's Van parked in fron of the Westin Hotel, half a dozen Lone Star Officers with "Police" Tape blocking the front entrance to the establishment.
Our top story:Political Suicide?
James Menthe, pundit, lobbyist, and political aide has reportedly commited suicide sometime earlier this evening. Following Denver's appellate court dismissal of Menthe's bid for election to City Council, and his wife's motion for divorce following a leaked simsense movie of Mr. Menthe engaged in sexual conduct with a prostitute (inset picture, Hispanic female ork with dual cyberarms), and the funding of his operation by Kentucky Senator Kyle Rand..it may have all been just too much for the 57 year old.
Earlier this year Menthe gained some support after Denver's catastrophic blackout. It was a quick rise and an even quicker tumble once the still mysterious simesense file was circulated amongst Denver's political and corporate movers and shakers. Several individuals have been wanted for questioning in connection to the file though sources say police currently have no leads and perhaps even less interest now with Menthe's passing.

Menthe's head of security, "Troy Reichart" could not be reached for commentary and was spotted leaving via private VTOL out of Denver. Reichart previously was employed as deputy of operations for Senator Rand's security. This past week the Senator himself failed to pass an amendment to a CAS child safety bill that would have banned intra-racial marriage licenes between dwarves, orks and humans. Several protesters had been camped outside of the Westin Hotel downtown and were arrested in ahem, "celebrating", Mr. Menthe's passing. Though no official word yet from the coroners office concerning cause of, Mr. Menthe was found with a gunshot to head with an unspecified weapon.in hand.")

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