On The Road Again
GM: Vulcan
Players: Annie, Kassandra
Synopsis: A synopsis of what happened here.
Date: DATE HERE, remember to add 60 years to the year to get the timing right :)

The Plot

The Meet

The preamble is simple enough; Johnny provides an address. He tells you a time. He says Mrs. Browning would like to see you. If asked who Ms. Browning is, he simply smiles and says 'oh, thats as surprise'.

The address is am industrial sector of the UCAS, near the Sioux Border out by DIA.

Surprises. Oh dear. Silk will change cars several times, clothing thrice, and will arrive a few minutes early. It's Johnny, so she only dedicates 10 minutes to scoping out the area before heading up to the address itself, getting to know the neighborhood and several escape routes. Callcodes can be falsified, even theirs.

"Mrs. Browning eh?", Annie responds before nodding her agreement, "Ok, I will be there." She also arrives a bit early to scope the area out in case any Ute Bounty Hunters are lurking somewhere in the Shadows. Or Yaks. Or Triads.

Thats probably a wise idea. 10 minutes to meet time, there is nothing there. The address is an empty lot, burned down some years back during some riot or another, and the company declined to rebuild. Five minutes out, and the only creature that is stirring, is a devil that just took down that stray dog.

At 30 seconds from the meet time, a Big Rig, Conestoga TrailBlazer pulling a 55 foot trailer, comes around the corner. It pulls to a stop at the appointed address, its engine idling.

A mystery! Silk detaches herself from the shadows she's been wandering through to scope out the area, eying the big rig and trailer. Now see, that is the way to travel. Get an office and just drive around. Sure, you have to nail the furniture down, but you can really see the world.

Dwelling on that for a moment, she'll move decisively towards the back of the trailer (or wherever the door into it seems to be), watching for the elusive Johnny.

Annie left Obie in the garage for this particular op, taking out the Beemer instead. She also heads toward the rig when it arrives, offering a nod of greeting to Silk as she waits for this mysterious Mrs. Browning to show herself or an access to the Trailer to appear.

Access! At -00.00, a door in the side of the trailer, that being the side facing the abandoned property, opens, swinging down to form stairs like on a private Jet. It's a nice way to travel, indeed. Steam wafts from the inside of the truck as warm air meets cold.

Silk nods to Annie and raises an eyebrow at the steaming entryway that the stairs lead into. She'll pause, waiting to see if they are greeted before heading into the depths of the truck. She'll smooth down her hair, using the movement to distract from her gaze shifting to take in the area, the rooftops, the dark crawly places where people spy from.

Annie hesitates only a moment before heading up the ramp into the Trailer to see what adventure this particular opening heralds.

Kassandra spots, down the street, a black SUV, a Suburban like that which Slinger drives. Annie will spot that, and the very very small drone flying overhead as air cover. Neither seem to be trying to hide from the rig, so much as perhaps acting as out riders.

Hmming, Silk will move to follow Annie up the stairs. After all, if it is a trap it is a cunning one.

Inside, the truck is appointed like the inside of an AWACS plane, with the rear (You board about midpoint) being taken up by electronics banks which are manned by several technicians. The forward, that being twords the rig itself, is taken up by a glass wall that has a sliding door. A desk sits in the middle of what looks like an office beyond the door.

A gentleman in a black suit and dark glasses stands near the door offering a nod to the pair of them. "Please hold still for scanning." He intones.
Annie steps to the side of the threshold to admit Silk, taking a moment to see what the interior of the trailer looks like and take a quick mental list of the other occupants. If Any.

Silk will enter and of course stand still for scanning. Scanning is part and participle of the entire business. The elven girl looks around, staying quiet for the moment while just openly looking.

Annie stands still as well, also pretty familiar with the entire process. Her dark eyes roam over the 'goon' as he checks over the two elves, apparently taking note of what sort of weapons HE is carrying as well as any identifiable marks that may indicate his employers.

He's carrying, as skilled eyes will tell, a heavy pistol in a shoulder holster. Very standard rig. He's got 'fed' written all over him.

The man steps back one pace. "Silk is clear. Breeze is packing SeAL style."

A pause before a speaker opens. "Show them in. Provide them with something to drink." The voice is female, rather clipped.

Silk chuckles faintly at the SeAL comment, glancing at Breeze. She waits to be shown forward, still looking over the traveling show with interest.

Annie chuckles softly to herself at the SEAL comment also, "If you want me to disarm fully, Mrs. Brown would likely need to wait about fifteen minutes.", she looks over as the voice speaks then at the guard as if waiting for his decision before continuing.

The securiglass door to the 'Office' area slides open, and the gentleman with the heavy pistol steps over to it. "Vice-Director Browning will be with you in a moment. She is finishing up her call. Please be seated, we will be moving again in just a moment. Coffee? Tea? Ice Water?"

Finding a seat, Silk will nod to the last, "Ice water would be find, thank you so much." She'll cross her legs and lean back, waiting to see what else will happen. At the very least, it won't be boring. The elven girl passes the time checking the flow of the vehicle, seeing how she would do X or Y action.

Annie steps into the office area, choosing a seat and planting herself into it. "Water would be fine, thank you.", she responds to the question. She settles comfortably in the chair, resting her arms at her sides and crossing her legs while she waits for the meet to begin.

The Vehicle is laid out as comfortably and effectively as one can lay out a rectangle that is 10 feet across and 55 feet long. The forward area has a door set in to it, leading further forward, and the rear has the door and electronics bays you came out of. The Agent offers a nod, then turns to a small wetbar thats inset in to the wall. "VD Browning will be with you in just a moment. Ice, or just water?"

"Ice and water, please." Silk nods to the information on VD Browning, eyes lingering on the electronics bays. Oh yes, this could be very nice. Maybe a painting.
"Ice Water", Annie clarifies after a moment. She also spends the idle time looking around the rig, apparently getting more than a few ideas for her own ride.

The agent provides the water with the ice, in two tall glasses. The bottom of the glasses have little magnetic rings inset in to them, which allows them to not slide on the desk as the rig moves forward. He then offers a nod, and steps back to the door. He does not leave, but puts his back to the door, hands closed behind his back.

The forward door opens, not sliding but opening inward to the room like a normal door. Enter: Vice Director Cynthia Browning, CIA Comptroller for the Native American Nations.

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"Good evening."

Silk will straighten as the Vice Director enters, letting her drink rest easily on the desk on its magnetic ring. She smiles and nods, "Good evening." She leaves it at that, letting their host set the stage.

Annie offers a wry smile as greeting, "Evening.", she murmurs almost in synch with Silk. She rests her glass on the table and waits to see what this meeting will bring.

The truck turns, almost imperceptibly to the people inside. The suspension must be -really- nice… The water only barely sways in the glass. "You have an effective group of contacts, I will confess. I had not wanted to directly meet with you, but when you come -so highly- recommended…" The tone of her voice indicates her displeasure. If she were talking to a plant, it may wither and die. "… One does what one must."

Her voice is clipped, concise, bearing no regional accent and provides precious little insight as to her emotions save for what she clearly wishes to project. Her features are held in a similar cast, unemotional.

Interesting. Silk does not answer, as there is nothing there that requires a comment. She'll nod and listen with interest and concentration, but otherwise doesn't interupt. The Vice Director doesn't seem pleased already, no sense in making the situation worse.

Annie exhales slowly and leans back comfortably in her chair, this meeting could possibly take a while. She also doesn't comment, but simply waits quietly for the Vice Director to get to the point.

Mrs. Browning does not settle back nor does she evidence any trace of relaxation. She may very well have the physical inability to slouch due to a rectal spineoptimy. "Both of you has recent experience in-country with the Ute Nation. I'd like your personal report on the matter. I've read the briefs provided me by Mr. Von Dieter, but they are heavily redacted"

Oh, that must burn.

Oh really? Silk considers that, a digital report with lots of black boxes across it. That would be Johnny's idea of funny. She'll hmm and remarks, "Was there a specific piece of information I should concentrate on? The trip itself was relatively banal."
Annie looks over at Silk as the other Elf opts to lead off the interrogation.
"A general overview of your mission and your team, the challenges you encountered, how they were overcome and the current dispostion of your principle." Says the woman with no sense of humor.

"I see." Shifting position, Silk allows a small shrug and remarks, "We were contacted to help with the transportation of Clara Whitebone from the Salt Lake City enclave to a location in the Ute Sector. The location where we were to obtain the location of Whitebone was under the direct observation of the Ministry of Self Determination. My team mate, "Gretchen", tipped them off in some way and was detained. She also either directly or indirectly caused the shooting between a Salt Lake City officer and an MSD agent."

"I left the area and obtained the principle, leaving the city by air and leaving her at the appointed location. That was my last contact, and she was alive then."

Silk hms and shrugs. "The main challenge was my team mate and the obstenance of the MSD. The remaining challenges were relatively minor, the sort you encounter when you travel between nations."

The woman's smile couldn't melt butter. "I do understand the problem of working with armatures. Thank you." She turns her attention to Annie then, an eyebrow raising archly.

"My team was contacted by various means, myself by an Astral presence I later discerned was most likely Clara Whitebone.", Annie begins slowly, "The team was comprised of myself, a magical adept and another mage. We were all most likely chosen for our magical aptitudes. We were directed deep into Ute territory approximately sixteen hours drive from Denver. The trip itself was fairly uneventful with only one run-in with a pair of MSD agents.", she pauses here and exhales slowly and brushes back an errant locke of her hair before continuing.

"When we arrived at the destination we were finally given further instructions by a local agent and directed to Abejo Peak. When we arrived at the location we discovered an existing agent on location who had been apparently monitoring the situation in the nearby Anglo reservation. The JPC was apparently entrenched in that location and had exterminated the resident population with a cache of weaponized VX. I believe the resulting deaths polluted a conflux of Ley Lines and caused a significant amount of astral pollution which caused the Mountain Spirit to rebel…", she pauses again for effect.

Finally adding, "…quite vociferously. The town was destroyed and my team managed to escape the region pursued by a single JPC gunship which was destroyed in the resulting eruption.", Annie exhales again and takes a sip of her water to wet her lips after that oration.

Mrs. Browning nods slowly, digesting that information. "And on what basis did you make these determinations?" She asks primly. Her hands never stray from in front of her, but the wall behind her shifts hue to show a monitor. On that, comes the following image, labeled DCWD-UTE-20691121.

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Silk sits quiet, listening to Annie's story. She knows some of this from the reports she gets, but hearing it first hand is often useful.

Annie shrugs at the question, "As far as the means of the deaths of the town populace, that particular information was imparted by the agent on the scene. The mountain spirit itself communicated its 'dissatisfaction' with the situation prior to going all Pompeii on their asses."

Annie coughs slightly as she forcefully steers herself away from colorful vernacular and back into a more military debriefing mode, as she peers at the image displayed on the monitor. "I also have some experience with a similar mode of magical destruction, so can recognize when similar mechanisms come into play.", she shrugs, "I have had it pointed out to me that there is only one remaining known source of VX in North America. And that's firmly in Ute territory. How the JPC came by it isn't clear at this point, but the key points don't look favorable."

Pompeii on their asses. She nods slowly, considering that. "It is true, the only publicly known source of weaponized VX is the Deseret Chemical Weapons Depot. It is true, that there has been a recent theft from the facility, a theft that left the commander of the facility, Mort Richards, dead. Major Richards was considered a stable commander and all assessments showed him committed to peace and security, not given to allowing anything to be amiss. This is very… distressing for us, you may understand."

Silk nods slowly, considering that. She glances to Annie and then back to the Vice Director, folding her hands in her lap and waiting for the woman to go through the data. There is a purpose to all this, and so Silk stays quiet and waits.

Annie nods, "I can imagine. Situations such as this can topple a nation if they come into the light of day."

Mrs. Browning reaches in to the desk, pulling out a pack of cigarettes. She doesn't ask if you mind if she lights up. She simply does. It's a trait most intel operatives share, at least in stereotype. "While it's convenient to assume the Japanese are at the root of the issue, it's not that simple. It never is. You." She points with the now lit cigarette to Annie. "Want the tellemetry from the Nightwraith flight… and the footage shot by our freelancer on the scene. I can provide it, but it will not be free." A glance is given to Kassandra. "You, I'm authorized to pay."

Annie nods amiably, "That intel is worth more than money to me at this point."

Silk raises an eyebrow, looking towards Annie for a moment at the mention of the Nightwraith flight, then back to the Vice Director at the mention of payment. She nods once but still stays quiet, watching the smoke traveling through the air.

"Alright." Says the woman then. "I need boots on the ground at Deseret. I need to establish how much, if any, VX is missing, including any other data or documentation that may have been accessed. This won't be an easy mission, I know, but the ever.." pause as she sucks on the cigartte… "JOvial Mr. Von Dieter assures me you are… professionals capable of the mission."

"Are there any limitations placed upon us other than retrevial of the information you require?" Silk lets the barest trace of a smile cross her lips with the mention of Mr. Von Dieter's jovialness.

Annie adds after Silks question, "And any information on the Deseret location and personnel."

The woman hrms quietly. "Our assets have been able to establish this man…

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… Is the current commander of Deseret. He is Jacob Sanders, formerly the Majors aide-de-camp. He was transferred to the base three months before the Majors death. He assumed command after the death and there is discussion that the Minister of Security will confirm him."

"There has been a lot of shuffling of personnel at the base, both before and after the death of the Commander. Here is a list of the men transferred." She brings the list up on the monitor. It's names, ranks, serial numbers, tribal affiliations and other such relatively easy information to gather.

Annie also examines the image closely, then nods and returns her attention to Mrs Browning. "Any floorplans of the facility.", she inqires. She doesn't really want to press her luck too much but this was formerly a US Gov't facility she assumes. "Any details you can provide are ones we don't have to search for ourselves…and such a search would entail potential risk of alerting them of interest in the facility. No matter how careful we were."

"Bringing in the faithful to the cause, shipping out problem cases." Silk is likely stating the obvious, but sometimes that is helpful as well. She nods to Annie's comments, adding, "How much product was there would also be beneficial."

"Most of the facility was rebuilt and classified top secret several decades ago, designed by the Sioux and funded by the STC. The base used to be in the joint STC command, but when he came to Power, Michael Iron Eyes quietly ended that program. Given the confidence in the local commander and the exemplary security in the previous four decades, it was not seen as a problem." She exhales then… "AS to how much… well… at the end of the NAN conflict, we had approximately… 6000 tons of VX gas stored at Dugaway and Deseret. We were able to remove nearly 90 percent of that, but 600 tons of VX remained."

"So give or take 10 percent for book keeping errors and damage to containers. The mission is to determine how much product is left, and possibly where any missing has gone. There are no other restrictions or complications. We are on our own, of course, and no one will know we are missing." Silk hmms and considers.

Mrs. Browning nods. "That is the scope of it. Any and all measures necessary."

Annie offers a low whistle of near amazement. "Nice little stockpile waiting for some tinpot wannabe dictator to wheel and deal for a portion.", she considers this as she absently brushes back that same stubborn locke of hair once more. Finally she grins and leans back in her chair, "Sounds like a challenge."

"And we do love a challenge." Silk nods thoughtfully, "Still, having this just sit somewhere is asking for trouble."

"Until recently, the STC had garunteed the security of the stock pile. Before we can file a protest, we must have verifiable intel that something is wrong. There was no evidence remaining that we could locate at White Mesa, it was incinerated by the geological upheaval. We cannot ask for the Ute Nations records without a well documented request to the STC."

"Document for me." Says Browning then, stubbing out her cigarette.

Annie nods, "Anything else we need to know?", she shrugs, "Otherwise we will get on with it."

Silk nods in agreement.

"Nothing comes to mind. If you have any questions, now would be the time to ask them, ladies."

"The questions we likely have are ones that you cannot answer or are in fact sending us to find out. Given the manner of the mission, we're likely providing our own entrance and exit as well as supplies. That limits the conversation." Silk chuckles faintly. "I suppose the only question is 'how much?'"

She eyes Kassandra for a moment, her hard brown eyes sizing up the other woman. "40,000 nuyen for successful completion of the mission. And her data."

Annie chuckles, "I'm not too worried about collateral damage or my own plausible deniability. I am after all a Terrorist.", she shakes her head wryly, "I don't suppose you could get your hands on a VX antidote", she pauses, "Just in case. And would there be any bonuses if the remaining material was destroyed during our incursion?"

"I'll assume that is a joke." Silk remarks, not wilting under the gaze. "We are providing everything other than the directive to go."

"There is no known cure for VX exposure, however. Atrophine injection can mitigate somewhat, exposure. Atropine is a nerve agent itself, but is a suitable antidote to VX gas. Atropine acts by competitively binding to the muscarinic receptors in the muscles. This prevents acetylcholine from binding to the receptors and sending impulses to the muscles. VX stimulates the muscles, so as atropine ceases the constant stimulation it acts as an antidote. With no acetylcholine reaching or binding to the receptors it is unimportant that the acetylcholinesterase is being destroyed by the VX Gas." A pause. "however. It requires a second party to be healthy enough to administer the dosage."

Mrs. Browing then adds… "I'm not one for joking. If you have a counter proposal, name it, but do not simply reject and expect me to raise."

"And I am not one for saluting and jumping to attention then running out to do a job for God and Country. I am here as a favor to Mr. Von Dieter." Silk lets that stand for a moment then says, "I will do your job for you. Pay me what you think is fair market value for the information you receive." She glances to Annie and says, "If that is all, we need to get moving. The longer we wait, the more likely things change."

Blink. Blink. That got -two- blinks from browning. "I…" A pause. Things start to fall in to place behind the eyes as she reassesses the situation. "see. That is acceptable. As to bonuses for the destruction of existing stockpiles… I will consider it if the destruction cannot be traced to UCAS agencies." She pauses again, lighting a new cigarette. "We will be back to the location of your vehicles in forty five seconds. Agent Jones will show you out."

Annie looks over at Kass to see if the other elf has any other questions or comments, then offers a nod of her acceptance to Mrs Browning. She stands from her chair as she senses the trailer finally coming to a stop and waits for the MiB escort to lead her out.

Silk does not seem to have any other questions, rising as Annie does and prepares to leave the traveling governmental secret office.

The MiB does infact, escort them back to the door. "Watch your step." He offers helpfully. The CIA has been using mobile offices for as long as the technology existed to allow stable communications on the move. It makes them harder to bug, track and observe.

Annie lightly hops down the stairs once they are fully extended and turns to wait for Silk before continuing onward, "I think I need to get one of those things for myself.", she mutters more to herself than Silk.

Following Annie, Silk nods quietly and casts a glance to the sky as she slips off the steps and onto firm ground, mouth a thin line as she considers the job before them. "It is nice, that much is for sure. A bit big though."

Once both are safely off the vehicle, it pulls away in to the night.

After the Meet

Annie waits for the truck, its escort vehicle and attending drone swarm to depart before looking over at Kass. "Let's go somewhere secure and discuss our options", she chuckles softly, "Highest priority probably being transportation. My own vehicle is probably a bit too high profile right now to risk taking it back into Ute."

"Agreed. They are going to be watching vehicles moving into that area in any case. We may have the fun of hiking in." Silk sighs and shakes her head. "It's never easy, is it."

"I probably would have found a dark corner to lay down in and quietly die decades ago if it were.", Annie responds after a moment, "The occasional epic challenge is all the keeps me looking forward to tomorrow."

Silk laughs, shaking her head. "Oh sure, make it sound all exciting and interesting." She starts walking from the drop off point, "That way we won't fixate on dying a horrible death in the middle of nowhere."

Annie turns and walks with Kass, hoping against hope that her own glossy black BMW is still where she parked it. Hopefully those CIA slots had a few snipers posted nearby with orders to gank any wannabe car thieves that gave it a second glance, "If you have a secure place in mind, I will follow you.", she offers quietly.

The vehicles are unmolested, as left.

Considering, Silk shrugs and remarks, "I can think of a few places nearby that are relatively secure. The back room at the Broken Wheel is quiet and we won't be overheard, at least for a few thousand nuyen. They provide secure meetings as part of their services and I've used them before. We won't stand out there either."

The Broken Wheel

Annie nods to Kass, "Broken wheel it is then.", she takes a step toward her vehicle as she adds over her shoulder, "I will follow you."

The Broken Wheel it is. Relatively close to where the meeting took place, this Neo Western bar is popular with shitkickers and wannabe cowpokes as well as runners and spies on this part of town. Perfect for a meeting or three.

Kassandra will take to her vehicle and head out, leading the way. She uses the time to dwell on what they were told, and not told, at the meeting.

The back room is currently unused, leaving it free for the women to do their business. Silk's a known quantity, so renting it will be a matter of informal formality.

Annie pauses a moment before getting in her vehicle, scanning it with magic to make sure there aren't any new tracking devices/bugs or combustible elements besides what is in the gas tank. Once satisfied, she hops in and follows the fixer at a comfortable distance.

Once at the Wheel, Annie parks and joins Kass before heading inside and going to the backroom. She gets comfortable as she mentally reviews what was told to them at the meet.

The actual mechanics of renting the back room are less exciting with the telling; needless to say they take place with the minimum of fuss. Once in the back, Kass scans the room with eyes and spells to make sure they are as secure as can be.

"So. An interesting case we have here, one that is going to require some work to accomplish. What do you think?"

Annie nods, "Definitely sounds like it will be a challenge.", she replies as she chooses a seat and plops herself down, "First thing is travel logistics. The Ute don't like me much right now.", she states dryly, "Perhaps it would be best to take a private aircraft in and then secure ground transport once near the target location."

Annie nods, "Definitely sounds like it will be a challenge.", she replies as she chooses a seat and plops herself down, "First thing is travel logistics. The Ute don't like me much right now.", she states dryly, "Perhaps it would be best to take a private aircraft in and then secure ground transport once near the target location."

No one seems to have bugged, astrally or otherwise, the room.

Chuckling at what is likely a vast understatement regarding not being liked, Kassandra nods in agreement. "Probably for the best. We'll need to come in from some ways and then probably go in on foot thereafter. Given the nature of the place and the paranoia surrounding such places anyway, they are going to be looking for trouble. Almost think Ms. Browning doesn't like us, sending just the two."

Annie grins, "Either that or she has done her research on us and think the two of us versus the Ute would be overkill."

"Against the Ute? Probably. Against these other guys .. that may be a little more challenging. Still, I have some people that may be able to get us into the area, get a transport. From there, though, we are going to be on our own. And then we have to extract too." Kass nibbles on her bottom lip in thought and then brightens, "Maybe they'll have something we can steal to make a daring get away in."

"Well Browning didn't have anything to say about target of opportunity looting.", Annie replies with another grin. She laces her fingers behind her head as she contemplates the mission ahead, "That's probably our best option though. Likelihood is high that they may have some sort of air transport based at the facility, or one that arrives on a regular basis."

"Agreed. She mentioned that their personnel was in a state of flux, lots of shuffling. That gives us an edge .. they won't know everyone by face and name, likely, unless they were training in some super secret facility beforehand. And I don't think they were."

Pulling out a secretary, Kass flips up a common map of the region and considers options. "I know some smugglers that could get us into the area with gear. Maybe an airdrop or fast landing near where we can have a vehicle stowed, move towards the facility, go from foot and play it by ear from there?" She looks questioningly at Annie.

Annie chews on her lip as she considers what Silk offers, then nods. "I think that would be best. This sort of a job is going to require us to bring gear in without worrying about whether the serial numbers match up with our receipts.", she shrugs, "So airdrop and stowed vehicle would be best."

"That and I imagine that we'll be 'borrowing' a lot of gear from some friendly guards slash soldiers." Kass's voice is grim as she leans back, considering the map. "Depot is in Tooele … well, outside of it. So maybe snag a vehicle in Marshall or Burmester and head in that way. Close enough to SLC to have someone get something out to us, but far enough out that we don't have to play with the local police or the Ministry."

Annie rubs her chin absently as she considers things, "I won't be able to bring any big drones, but I can bring a few small spy models. Maybe a couple of Hazmat suits and a toxin kit.", she pauses to brush her hair back and out of her eyes before continuing, "Observe the location for a few days before we go in, maybe mind probe a few off base employees.", she chuckles, "There is only so much we can ahead of time, especially when we consider that any plan we make will probably fall apart as soon as we cross the fence."

Kassandra nods in agreement and reaches for her phone. It's time to do one of the things she does well. She'll start making calls to set up travel plans and vehicle dumps and all the other things they need to make this work.

Annie hushes up automatically as the elf fixers cellphone snaps open. No point in interfering here, Kass could probably get a T-Bird with special forces escort in the time it would take Annie to procure a two seater bicycle.

Sopwith

Sopwith answers the phone. The sound of a Curtiss Wright Jenny can be heard roaring in the background. "SOPWITH!"

Putting a finger in her other ear, the elf scrunches up her face as she concentrates on hearing. "Sopwith! It's Silk! You got a few tics, I need to set up a ride!?" Silk listens intently, trying to sort out voices from other noise.

The engine sputters to a stillborn death. The noise level drops. "Yeah! Silk! What do you need?" He's still shouting. Hearing: It's the price you pay for big engines with no muffler.

Her own voice drops some, but not a lot .. riggers are sometimes deaf and refuse cybernetic assistance. "Hey! I was trying to set up a ride for two into the Ute and was wondering if you could help with that."

"Where abouts in the Ute Nation you need to go? I'm trying to limit my time in-country, if you know what I mean? Natives are restless and they suddenly have access to jamming radar and SAM's!"

Silk says, "I'm looking at a map now .. I was thinking Marshall, maybe, or a little further out if that is too close to the Slack Ass. If necessary we can hop out in-fight to limit your time and prevent anyone from locking on you. Just a one way trip, two bodies, minimal other cargo."

"I have a stop just outside Salt lake coming up. 36 hours from now, originating in Redding. Can you get to Redding?"

Silk replies, considering things with a look into the distance, "I can get there, yes." In her mind, she's already plotting the path from here to there, bring .. yes, it's doable in thirty-six hours.

"Cool. Meet me at Ranger HQ. Tell Sulu I sent you.”

"I scan. We'll be there. Silk out." Silk kills the call and hmms softly, "Got to go to Redding to get our ride."

Annie looks up from her pocsec and the map she was perusing, "Hmmm, Redding. It's been thirty-five years since I was last there.", she chuckles wryly, "Give or take a year here and there.", she pauses as she brings up the map also, "So. What's the best way to get to Redding then? PCC to Calfree, then north?"

"Just need to hide anything illegal, get to Redding .. could go by air or land, I suppose .. The PCC route isn't too bad of a drive, I don't think." Kass shrugs and taps on her secretary, hmming, "Either way, we get there, get the ride, probably have to bail out in mid-flight and not get sucked into the engine .. hit the ground, get a vehicle, get to Tooele."

Annie hmms, "Don't have much time to waste then. That's a long drive."

"Well, we could take a semi-commercial flight, or try to browbeat the Foundation into funding a trip to Cali, but I have a feeling Ms. CIA would prefer we left as little trail as possible. Combine that with your recent fame and we'll just have to drive." Silk looks less than happy about that, but shrugs it off. "Next step is to get us another vehicle for the Ute."

"Yeah, probably better to keep anything verifiable to a minimum.", Annie replies thoughtfully then quiets down as it appears that Kass may be making another call.

Wiley Coyote

It takes… probably an hour for Coyote to get back to you. It comes in the form of a text message. E. JONES, LAKESIDE, UTE NATION. (Contact number).

Silk is not idle during that hour, taking the time to set up travel plans for herself and Annie to Redding, making lists of things they can comfortably slip in through security, deciding if she can steal Alpha and enough gas to get there.

Once she has the new information, she'll adjust and make the call.

It rings once, then twice.

corset-hayden-panettiere.jpg

"Ephram Zebbadiah Jones Residence, Jenny Speaking."

The voice is a younger female, probably human based on lung volume.

Kassandra blinks once and then shifts gears, pulling up the name she used on the last mission for this person. "Well hello there, Jenny. I was wondering if I could speak to Mr. Jones?"

"Mr Jones is out on the water. What can I do for you, Miss?" Asks the girl sweetly. "Are you Cousin Caine's friend?" The way she slurs 'Caine's' is just enough to come out as 'canis' if you are listening.

"Why yes I am!" She pauses and then continues, "I was hoping that I could talk to him about a trip I was going to take, but if he is busy I'd hate to interrupt. I know how relaxing the water can be." Silk makes a few notes on her secretary, hmming softly.

"Well. I'll tell you what." Says she. "I'm his wife and I'll handle those arrangements for you. Where will you be coming in from, and where do you want to go to?"

Blink. Blink. He's married!? Silk makes copious notes to check on these things so she isn't surprised again. "Well, ma'am, I was really just interested in a car while we were there. I have a friend that is dropping us off near Marshall and we were just looking for just anything to drive around in while we are there. Nothing fancy or anything, mind, just something that two sightseers could pass the time in."

She hrms quietly then… "Marshall.. Marshall… that's a little south for us. Can you arrange a drop off in Lakeside or closer to it? Ephram is a dear, but he gets so cranky when he has to go near Tooele these days. If your friend can drop you off, we can arrange a lovely SUV or light aircraft package."

"I am sure I can make that change, yes ma'am. We're pretty fluid on our travel plans, after all. We should be around there in say .. about 35-38 hours, I figure?" Silk eyes the map, tracing a finger from there to Tooele.

"Splendid. Do you require any… special arrangements?"

"Well, truth be told I am not sure that I'll be able to put it right back where we got it from. I'd hate for Ephram to go to any trouble for anything nice and then I misplace it." The elven fixer works on keeping things relatively vague.

"oh, that's not a problem. We specialize in no-fault return policies."

"Lovely! Well then, I think that about covers it. And of course, Ephram knows how to get a hold of me if he has any questions once he gets back from the water. This is Maria, by the by. Sorry, my manners are just horrible today!"

"It's alright. Cousin Caine spoke highly of you. We'll do what we can to support your mission. Do you require a local guide, information or supplies?"

"That is kind of you. I would not want to put any of you out in that manner, however. I'm sure that I'll find out everything I want to know on this sightseeing trip, one way or the other." Silk hmms and shakes her head, perhaps deciding against something.

"Alright. I have you booked for an SUV, extra gas tank, basic Utah Winter supplies. Any specialized gear will be your own responsibility… and return is negotiable."

"Yes ma'am, that sounds entirely correct." Silk replies.

"We'll see you in 35 hours then, Ms Maria."

"Thank you very much, Mrs. Jones."

Annie sits quietly, still going over the maps as she charts out the route to Redding that avoids any high risk border crossings, or - god forbid - JPC territory.

Once she hangs up, Kassandra looks to Annie, "Ok. Well, that was surreal. We have an SUV waiting for us at Lakeside, with gas and some clothing and the like. They offered a guide or intel, but I figured that both were a bad idea given the level of stupidity that we are getting involved in. "Why yes, please, do you have any information on the big nerve gas place?" Those conversations never go well."

Annie looks up and offers a grin to Kassandra, "Yeah. Even the most trustworthy shadow contacts begin to balk when you mention weapons of mass destruction in the same conversation as 'Hi, I am going to be in your neck of the woods…'", she turns off her pocsec and drops it back into a coat pocket, "My Bison would probably be a bit conspicuous for this trip. You have anything that can make it?"

"I have a few things. The main problem is the sort of vehicles I have will pass a cop test, but they are sort of unpopular at border crossings. They get twitchy and want owner's documents and the like." Kassandra frowns and taps a nail. "We might be able to get smuggled to Redding, although the timing would have to be good."

A lightbulb goes off and Kass reaches for her phone again. "Let's try something outside the normal, even for those who know me." She snickers at that and places a call.

Alice Davis

«OOC» Kassandra says, "Gonna place a phone call to Alice Davis and see if she and the Green folk can smuggle us to Redding ASAFP. It's a matter of environmental safety!"

Annie grins as Kass runs once more to her phone, probably far more dangerous in it's own way than any spell in Annie's repertoire.

Alice answers the phone. "Aspen Heights. What can I do for you?"

"Good evening. And it isn't so much what you can do for me, it is what I can do for you." Silk lets a trace of smile touch her voice, leaning back in the chair and closing her eyes. Sometimes it is easier and sometimes it is harder over the phone.

"Oh?" She asks, thoughtfully. "I am intrigued with what you have to say. Please, continue."

"It has come to my attention that some less than trustworthy people .. and are there really any of /those/ in some businesses? .. are moving to acquire a great deal of a very potent agent that could not only prove harmful to metahuman life, but a danger to most biological lifeforms if released."

She pauses, letting that sink in.

"I'd like for that not to happen. That's where this call comes in."

She pauses thoughtfully. "I'm listening." she says, snapping her fingers. An aide in the room departs, closing the door as she does so.

A little mental sigh of relief goes through Silk as she jumps the first hurdle and has attention. Now to sell. "There are individuals that are posed to interject into the situation, to analyze and determine what is to be done, and do it."

"However."

"We need to get them in place to do this thing. To get them from point A to point B without prying eyes, if you follow me, with the tools they need to get the job done."

The woman narrows her eyes. "You're speaking in a lot of vaugeries. What do you have to support this supposition, that might convince me to assist?"

How much to say. Hmming, Silk nods absently, to herself, "I have evidence and the sources are .. well, pretty convincing. Are you familiar with the town of Tooele and what is there?"

There's a pause as she seems to be researching… "Tooele… Ute nation… Just outside Salt Lake City… no. Enlighten me."

Annie waits quietly, listening with near rapt fascination as Kass tries to work her magic.

There is a faint pause on Silk's side as she thinks, and then makes a little shrug. Sometimes you have to commit regardless, "Once upon a time, not so long ago .. Tooele was home to the US Army's Chemical Weapons Stockpiles."

"And those stockpiles were destroyed by the US before they withdrew, yes?"

Silk allows a pause before answering a question with a question, "Were they?" She indicates by inflection in her voice the correct answer.

"No. I am stating that there are chemical weapons still in that stock pile. That it is in the middle of a country that is going to ruin, that is in strife and chaos. That atop that there are agents of a foreign power that are working to the ruin of that country and others."

"What I want is this sort of thing to be stopped cold before some lunatic decides to release the contents from that stockpile and kills every breathing creature wherever it explodes."

She exhales then… "You know." She says after a moment. "Every three weeks I have someone call me. Evil toxic shaman, chemical weapons, nuclear power. Each one is a crisis I have to solve with my limited resources and my limited ability. You've got 30 seconds to convince me that this one is real and worth my time."

"One, a mountain just exploded there. You may have heard about it? It was linked to this event. The Land itself is angry about what they are doing there, and things are going to get worse." Silk lies nimbly, although it could be right. Who knows anymore.

"Two, the people that passed along this information should know. They are the sorts that knew all the dirty little secrets in the Old Days, and still watch this sort of thing."

"Three? Well. I don't have a three, really. I came to you because this is in your bailiwick as well as mine. My goal is to help us both, and if I can be of more help, please, let me know."

She is quiet for a long moment. "What do you need." She asks, almost as quietly.

Silk exhales, covering the mouth of the phone as she does so. She speaks again, just as quietly, "Transportation, two people. Denver to Redding. No conflict, nothing else. Just a ride where no one looks too closely." She pauses, "Within the next thirty hours."

"Can you get to Pueblo on your own?" Asks the woman then. "I have a charter from Pueblo to Palm Springs that can be rerouted from Palm Springs to Redding."

"Yes, yes we can do that. And thank you very very much. I do appreciate it." Silk mouths the words 'Pueblo' to Annie, tapping her nail on her secretary.

"You're going to need to cover the cost of the charter. 2500 a person."

Silk nods to the phone, an affectation from dealing with too many vid-calls. "Of course, that is not a problem at all."

Annie nods to Kass, offering the fixer a smile. "Nice work", she murmurs nearly inaudibly.

"Alright then. Be at Pueblo Memorial in… 12 hours."
"I swear to god, I am not making enough money to be everyone's savior, so you owe me for this. I -will- be calling on it."

Ah sweet irony. Silk says, "I understand far better than you may imagine. And I'll be waiting for you call."

"Indeed. Hangar 12, Associated Artists."

"Hanger 12. We'll be there." Silk ends the call before anything can go wrong, exhaling and leaning her head down.

"Very nice", Annie states with admiration to the elf fixer.

"All this and we haven't even gotten to the job yet," Kassandra bemoans, rubbing at her ear. "This is going to be one of THOSE jobs, I just know it."

Annie chuckles, "I just hope we don't get to Tooelle and find two hundred green freaks and eco shamans marching around chanting cheesy slogans."

"Well, that could come in handy as well. A good distraction so we could get in." Silk hmms and considers that, almost considering arranging it herself. "So. Now we just jaunt down to Pueblo, get carted to Redding, get carted to the middle of nowhere Utah and then do the job. And then hitchhike home."

"Piece of cake.", Annie replies with a grin before adding, "How much gear weight should we figure is acceptable for your contact?"

"Hmm. I wouldn't carry more than another person's worth, really. Just in case. Some of these smugglers are pretty tight on room, so don't carry anything heavier than you want to sit in your lap or underneath you." Kassandra considers and says, "I'll probably not be carrying that much myself."

Annie nods, "Ok, I think I can handle that."

On the Road Again

The drive down to Pueblo had been at high speed, your deadline very close, but not overly dangerous. Just making sure you had a cushion if something went wrong. As it happened, nothing goes wrong. The Leer Jet is nice, spacious and very well appointed. It's a charter flight, having been intended for some executives flight back home, but Kass appropriated it.

It lands in Phoenix long enough to pick up extra fuel, then doglegs over the Mojave. The pilot reports you are detouring south a bit more than desired due to turbulence over the Mohave that's been reported in the last few weeks.

A small patch of that same turbulence shakes the vehicle as you roar north along the dividing mountains between the Mohave and the central Valley. The plane sticks to the Sierras, flying over the mountains rather than directly challenging the JPC airspace. They may not have much in the way of fighter aircraft, but they do get pissy.

The decent in to Redding is a turning corkscrew, the same kind of thing used in Baghdad back in the day when there was only a small zone of of airspace. The Tir still likes to take shots, the JPC likes to take shots… it's just a bad place to be.

Soon enough, the plane is on the ground, rolling to a stop. You have 6 hours until you need to meet the pilot Sopwith set you up with. To met him, you need to find 'Sulu', whomever that is.

The weather is cold, but snow is only patchy on the ground at this time, the time is around 6pm. You ship out at midnight, or thereabouts.

Annie unloads onto the tarmac, slinging her small duffle bag over one shoulder. She turns and looks toward Silk, "So…wonder what there is to do in this town til the next travel leg?"

The CFS Aero-technician steps over near the aircraft. "Depends on what you like." Says he, noting a checklist as he walks around the plane. "It's not exactly a party town."

Silk starts to answer and then glances at the Aero Tech, hmming. "Well, there has to be something to do around here. Bar, park, sewing circle?"

The man looks up, suddenly pausing. Okay. These are some hot chicks. "Well." Says he then, putting the pen behind his ear, tucking the clipboard under his arm. "The Governor has a party tonight, but its invitation only." A pause as he realizes that one of them is a hot -elven- chick. "And I don't think you'd be very popular there, no disrespect intended. Uh… there's a kegger at Chico U, and there's probably some action in the Steel Chain, that's a guard bar over on the north side of town, near the Ranger HQ."

Annie grins wryly to herself. Apparently avoiding the elf look in California was a good idea. "Hmm, Governors place. That sounds much more palatable than a 'kegger'.", she murmurs more to herself than the man then looks over at Kass, "Well, I'm sure we can find some way to pass the time."

"Oh, but I would have LOVED the Governor's party." Silk mock pouts, letting out a long suffering sigh. She nods to Annie and gives the tech a warm smile, "Thank you ever so much for the information. You have been very helpful." She shoulders her backpack and starts to move off with Annie, eyes casting over their surroundings and mentioning quietly, "Well, the city is our oyster now."

The Aero-tech chuckles, then goes back to the post-flight check. "Taxis and rental cars are in the next building over."

"As are they all.", Annie replies to Silk with a chuckle. She turns and starts walking with the fixer and continues the conversation once out of the hearing range of the tech. "So…what's the next step?", she inquires quietly.

Keeping her voice low, Silk remarks, "Well. Sixish hours until our ride leaves and we still need to find this 'Sulu' person. As much fun as the Governor's ball would be and crashing it, probably better to start poking around and getting our ride set up. Otherwise, we'll have to hitchhike our way into the Ute, and that'll be tedious."

Looking both ways, Silk will pause and consider. "The pilot will probably hang out in piloty places, I'd guess. The guard bar, maybe? Or we can poke around to find out where all the smugglers hang."

Annie nods, "Sulu. Maybe the kegger…sounds sort of like a fraternity nickname.", she grins, "Maybe he's an alumnus. And yeah…hitch hiking, while most likely an unexpected mode of transport, isn't really my style."

Silk chuckles, "You just wanna go see frat boys, that's the whole of it." She shrugs and says, "It's as likely as anything else here, I suppose."

The Tech pokes his head over the wing. "Sulu?" He asks curiously. "Hiraku Sulu?"

Annie turns and looks toward the tech. Good ears on that boy. "Yeah. I don't suppose he's going to be at the kegger?", she inquires hopefully.

"Nope." Says he. "Probably at the Steel Chain though. He's the big guy around those parts. Head of the Rangers."

Silk will turn as well, raising an eyebrow. "Well, well, well. And there goes our hope of a frat party .. although I guess we could squeeze it in?" She glances to Annie.

"Steel Chain it is then.", Annie states with only a trace of dejection in her tones, "And here I was hoping to try one of those funnel and tube things.", she offers the tech a smile, "I don't suppose the Chain has a ladies night?"

The man raises an eyebrow. "Uh. Have you ever seen a ranger woman?" He asks with a curious tone."

"Nope! Are they incredibly beautiful or something?" Silk glances at herself and Annie and sighs, "That would be par for the course. Well, they have to have someone there to buy drinks for the uggos too." She looks around and then asks, "Which way was it to the Chain?"

He rolls his eyes. "It's an old joke. Someone says no. I say 'Neither have they'." He says with a chuckle. "The Chain is up on 299, near Dry Creek Road. It's hard to miss it, its next to the massive Rigger citadel of the Rangers."

"OH!" Silk giggles a bit at that and nods, "I see, that /is/ funny!" She digs in her bag and comes up with a datapad, having the tech repeat the address again and jots it down carefully. "Well then we shouldn't miss it!"

"Hard to. Look for all the patrol cruisers."

Annie grins again, "Chain it is I suppose.", she looks over at Silk, "Car then barhopping? Maybe a convertible this time?", she inquires hopefully.

Pumping her fist in the air, Silk whoos! "Convertible it is!" She winks at the tech and starts off again, speaking in a normal voice, "Just keep your top on this time, alright? It was hard enough getting bail money last time."

Next door, the rental car agency is a SPARTICUS, selling mostly Ares/GM vehicles. A nice place, really, its a new construction, servicing the executives who are visiting the capitol down in Chico or the Rangers over across town.

Annie laughs at the comment, "Top stays on. Check. That still leave me with a lot of latitude.", she turns and begins walking toward the rental agency, casting a farewell wave to the helpful tech.

The tech blinks as they leave. "Tops stay on. They all say that." He mutters, then goes back to checking the landing struts.

Car! Silk heads to the SPARTICUS rental agency, looking for a humanoid or robotic salesperson. Once out of sight of the helpful tech, she'll drop a small charm that changes her face just slightly, her hair tone and cheekbones, enough of a change that might make her harder to pinpoint as 'that girl'.

"Welcome to Sparticus!" Says the servo drone. "Would you like to Rent A Vehicle?"

"Of course you can, my mechanical mate!" Silk peers at the machine, looking for how it interfaces. She speaks a little louder than normal, "We want a convertible! Red, if you have it!"

"Definitely Red.", Annie chirps in enthusiastically.

"The Customer wants a - Convertible - and has requested a color, - Red -. Is this correct?" Asks the machine, its digitized voice modulating smoothly.

"And fast! Yes, that is correct!" Silk nods to the interface, taking the time to look around from behind the happy facade.

"Fast!" Says the bot then. "The customer has requested a performance qualifier - Fast -. This indicates a sports coup class vehicle. A - Convertible -, - Red - - Sports Coup -. Is this correct?"

Ticking the desired things off on her fingers, Silk nods to the machine. "Yes. Fast, red, no top. Unless you sell beer and fun as well, I think that covers it!" The elf speaks in her best party college girl voice, only slightly less vapid than the elves on Metahumans Gone Wyld.

"I am sorry, but we do not sell - Alcoholic Beverages -. I did not understand your request for - Fun -. Perhaps I misheard you. Do you require - Guns -?"

Annie blinks, "Wow, a truly full service rental company."

Silk twitches for a moment and then thinks better of it. "No, no, no guns! Nevermind, thank you, just the car." Best to resist temptation when you can, that way you have some stored up for later.

«Auto-Judge[]» Vulcan (#3087) rolls 1 for "DO we have a Red, Convertable, Sports Coup with no beer or guns?":
5

"SPARTICUS is proud to offer a - 2069 - - SeaShark LX - - Convertible - -Sports Coup - in the color of - Red -. The customer has declined - Firearms -. Does the Customer require - Personal Protection Garments -."

Yeah. You're in free-cal.

"Is that condoms? Cause, like, I took that nanoshot that makes you not get pregnant, so no! Just the car!" Silk flashes a grin at that, all but hopping from foot to foot.

Annie nods and pops her bubble gum, "We heard all the songs about California Gurlz. So we came prepared.", she looks over at Silk and smiles brightly.

"SPARTICUS offers a full range of personal protection items, courtesy of WEAPONS WORLD and ARES ARMS. However, I do not recognize - Condoms - on the Inventory list. Do you mean - Candelabra 203 Personal Flame Projection System?"

Blink. Blink. Another twitch. Silk says, "Um. No, no thank you. A cigarette lighter might be good tho? Who needs guns in a car??" Behind the vapid veneer, the elf sweats and resists the urge to order one of everything.

"Wow. Just. Wow.", Annie murmurs with a head shake as the bot manages to shake her out of character with that one. "Remind me to come to CalFree next time Daddy deposits my allowance check."

"Your vehicle is being prepared. How do you wish to pay for the - 2069 - - SeaShark LX - - Convertible - -Sports Coup - in the color of - Red -?"

Silk gives the machine a once over, and, with a sigh says, "I guess it'll be credstick Mr. Machine. I can't pay the /normal/ way I hear they do out here!" She giggles and wiggles a credstick at the machine.

"Will you be purchasing the Extended Protection Package - High Risk or other Insurance Package on this vehicle?"

"Sure! Give us the 'oops it wrecked' policy!" Silk laughs at that, shrugging to Annie, "Never can be too careful. Come on, Mr. Machine, we wanna party!"

Annie considers her own payment options, fanning through her available sticks. "Nordstroms. No. Macy's? Probably not.", she sighs and replaces the colorful cred variety pack into her purse. "Yeah, never know what's going to happen in the Cal Free with the two of us in town", she replies to Silks statement.

"Please slot your identi-stick. The charge for this vehicle will be - 203 - Nuyen per day, and - .45 - per mile. Bullet damage is - Waived - but traumatic avoidable damage is not covered in your policy. Drive safe!"

Feeding the credstick to the machine, Silk nods to Annie, "Need to get a room so we have a home base, dontchaknow. And then we can go to the parties and go shop and just send it all back to the room. No sense in carrying all that around."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) has the Fake SIN SIO-09777-000E7F-0006M4-JGR (Kharisma Davis) with the following information:

«Auto-Judge[]» Vulcan (#3087) rolls 7 vs TN 5 for "Sincheck. Rental cars in a warzone.":
2 3 4 5 5 5 9 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Vulcan (#3087) rolls 5 vs TN 7 for "Sincheck. Rental cars in a warzone.":
2 4 4 4 4 = 0 Successes

«Plot» Vulcan says, " Car is acquired with no issue."

"Please Enjoy your vehicle! Welcome to - Redding, California Free State -."

Annie taps the machine thingy, "Um…does your database list any decent lodgings nearby?", she cocks her head slightly and chews on her lip as she considers something else, "And what's the local shopping situation?"

"Thank you Mr. Machine!" Identity and possible alibi set up, Kharisma/Silk squeels and looks to Annie. "And Food! I am powerfully hungry!" She looks with wide eyes at the machine, twirling the credstick around.

"Customer has inquired about - Lodgings -. Several Options are available. Please indicate your price range on the touch screen."

Cause it would be rude to make you say that aloud.

"And food.", Annie adds as she considers the lodging options. The bubble gum pops once more, and she begins cycling it for another attempt.

Singing the latest GM/Ares jingle, Kharisma watches Annie cycle through options and gives her opinion on a few, "Didn't they shut them down for serving illegals?"

The machine catches, then displays a full list, a FODORS for Redding. "Please make your selection. The Redding Chamber of Commerce appreciates your business!"

Annie selects something appropriate for the Hilton girls persona the team seems to have adopted. "That look fine?", she inquires of Silk as she points out one of the entries, "I can't remember if that is the same chain that banned us during Mardi Gras."

Peering at it, Silk shrugs and says, "They probably forgot by now, and hey, everyone else was more naked than us. We just broke the balcony. Some people can't take a joke!" She laughs and nods again to the choice.

The machine is pretty quiet, not sensing anything to respond. The selections are pretty good, with Redding seeing a lot of development in the last few years. It's sad, because each nuyen in to the city makes it that much more appealing a target.

Annie nodnods happily at the memories and selects the indicated option. "As far as food goes…we can either do room service or see how chivalrous the local guardsmen are at the Chain." She winces slightly as she realizes that 'chivalrous' probably had too many syllables. A mental note is made to watch her vocabulary and she presses onward.

Automatic Popup add: CHIVARLY! JOUSTING! LEGS OF TURKEY*

Join us at the 95th Annual Northern California Rennesance Pleasure Fair!

*Note: Legs may not contain turkey.

Laughing, Silk snickers. "Sure, sure, show off that big brain and the Lit classes. If I have to read Ivanhoe again I am gonna barf." She taps her lip and considers and nods, "Big beefy guards would be better than another round with frat guys. And, well, we can always hit there tomorrow…" She trails off at the pop up, "Pleasure Fair? Oh my."

Annie follows the prompts and books a reservation for the two of them, then spends a few more minutes browsing the other Redding offerings while waiting for the car to be ready.

Redding was a sleepy town that was sort of the center of trade for the northern Valley. Then the wars came. Then it became an armed camp. Then the refugees from the south came. And now? No one is sure WHAT it is, but one of the main employers in town is the Military, and the other, is the Rangers, so it's very protective of its government; such as it is.

Silk will nod along with Annie and make a few entries and calls, establishing her persona as being here. "Get the room for a week, I guess?" Leave a trace, leave a footprint, and leave a place to fall back from if they have to go on the run. They can always get disguised from here.

"Your Vehicle is Ready! Please Drive Safe. Remember; do not stop for suspicious roadside packages. Back up and take a new route!"

"Good advice. Unless the package is over 6 foot with nice abs.", Annie comments.

"Mrrow!" Silk snickers and skips out to the car, shouldering her only bag, that being the backpack. "Fun and sun here we come!"

The 2069 SeaShark glides to a stop outside. It's a nice sporty litte coup with a T-Top style convertible roof. It's not TECHNICALLY a convertible, but its probably for insurance reasons. It's a BRILLIANT shade of Red though.

Annie slings her own duffel over her shoulder, then tosses it in the back seat and clambers into the passenger seat. She hasn't seen a recent medical profile on Kass, so it is probably safer to allow the fixer to drive.

Actually, trunk. It's a coup. No back seat.

Whistling, Kassandra settles into the driver's seat with her bag in the trunk as well. "So nice." She pets the dash and guns the engine, laughing with a touch of mania. "Mwahahah! They'll never catch us!!!" Making sure Annie is at least sitting, if not secure, she'll peel out of the station with a cheer, in keeping with their current disguise.

A little red notice on the 'top' side of the visor: Due to California Law, speed inhibitors are NOT installed on this vehicle. Please take care. Ares-GM is not responsible for injury or death from missuse of this automobile.

Annie grins and just hangs on, her dark hair streaming behind her in the wind. Occasionally it's good to be a 'runner. She takes a few moments to check out the interior of the vehicle; electronics systems, auto-nav, on-board gps, termination chip status. All the little things that might need to be disabled in a pinch.

«ADMIN» Vulcan says, "Okay Ladies; its 6:30PM Local time"

Once clear of the station, Silk speaks as Annie looks over all the toys they may have to disable. "Check in, establish credentials, go to the Chain in disguise, find Sulu, get out of town?" She looks over to see what the other thinks, keeping it under the double nickle. No sense dying yet.

"Sounds like a plan.", Annie replies after a moment, "It's been well on thirty-five years since the last time I was in Redding. And I wasn't necessarily on party terms with the locals." She continues going over the on-board systems with a Riggers eye to operational security while Kass takes the vehicle down the highway.

Well. The locals look pretty fucking ready to party right now. Everyone. -EVERYONE- is armed, at least a sidearm. Minors as young as 14 look to carry firearms. Most adults have a rifle in close reach; usually in the truck or car. Any push in to California will cost the Tir -dearly- this time around, from the looks of it.

Kass drives fairly well, although no where near as well as a rigged driver. Rather, she just eyeballs it and tears down the road towards their hotel, "Well, we will try to keep any fights down, at least till after we play with the chemicals. I figure maybe we should go in as guys at the guard place?"

Annie chuckles, "Probably not as much fun, but also probably not as memorable.", she considers something and then continues, "Who is this Sulu fellow expecting? Or is he?"

"I imagine Sopwith gave him a name, I don't think he gave any sort of description. Of course, half the time people aren't really sure who Silk is. Most people think *I* am the mouthpiece for someone." Silk laughs at that. "But, going in as two hot chicks might give us more problems than not."

The Ranger HQ looms in to view. It's a massive compound, easily the size of a college campus. Signs start to give directions to various portions of it a few miles away. To the side, you see 'THE STEEL CHAIN'. Its an old Car Dealership it looks like, with -plenty- of parking.

Which is good, because its parking lot is full. Of very very very interesting vehicles. Many look like something out of a bad Post-Apoc Trid, with parts of other cars welded on, with obvious armor, bristling with weapons, extra tanks or other more esoteric additives. From one truck that borders on 'monster' status to a sports interceptor that is so sleek, so low to the ground, its hard to think how it could not be moving right now, even though its standing still.

"I can probably whip up a good guy guise. But I have to say, with the height and weight tolerances allowable by the Mask spell…I don't make a real tall manly dude.", Annie replies after a brief pause to check the GPS parameters.

"That does pose a bit of a problem." Kass sighs and eyes the Chain as they go by, "Oh. Yes, that looks like a /great/ place/. I bet no matter what we're going to be in deep. Well, we can go in as ourselvesish. I imagine an elf will draw more attention too."

Annie nods as her eyes roam over the bar. "Looks like something out of an old Mad Max flick.", she sighs, "This'll be an interesting night. But yeah…might want to tweak a downgrade to human for the evening."

A predator-style aero-drone goes streaking overhead, trailing smoke from a damaged wing, headed for the HQ.

"That /would/ be a downgrade. I mean, not as far down as being a man, but …" Silk laughs as she speeds to establish their identities. "I'll go in as sort of me and we'll see what happens. I'd hate to beat up a whole bar, but …" She shrugs and says, "Whatever we need to do to get the job done."

Annie chuckles as she does a quick weapons and gear check, "Yeah, if we can't handle a bar…then we will be in trouble when we get to Deseret."

The trip to the hotel and back again is relatively uneventful. The pair manage to get their room with only a moderate amount of flirting and revelry, just enough to sell the bit and no more. That done, they will head back out into the night to PAR-TAY!

Once out of the eyeline and a quick trip down an alleyway the car is a little more circumspect via Vehicle Mask and they are armed and ready for the night. Silk has toned down the looks and the elfiness as well.

The Chain

Local Time: 7:40 when you arrive. Situating the room and changing took a bit of time. The bar is now, impossibly even more packed. Cars are no longer parked just in the parking lot, but also on the embankments surrounding it. A VTOL has landed on knoll to the side, a serious looking patrol helicopter with missile mounts, one of which is missing a missile but has a scorch mark from a recent firing.

Pulling on her watch cap after she parks the car, Silk remarks to Annie/Breeze as she clicks on her radio and does a little check. "Looks like it is game time. Any last minute prep we need to do?"

A group of motorcycle cops, sitting off to the side, watch the car pull in, then stop. One of them starts to walk over, an aggressive looking black woman in riding leathers. The California Rangers star dominates the right side of her black leather jacket.

Annie shakes her head, "Let's get it over with.", she hops out of the car after synching the comm and waits for Silk. She eyes the approaching cop out of the corner of her eye and sighs. She hasn't even gotten in the bar yet. It's probably too much to hope that the cop is gonna be a wannabe Go Daddy girl.

The happy-go-lucky sorority girl is long gone. Silk watches the welcome wagon approach as they get out of the vehicle, her heavily reinforced duster obscuring most of her body. She nods peacefully to the officer, letting them set the tone of the encounter.

Yeah. Not really.

The cop flips out her ticket book, which in this day and age is a wrist mounted terminal style computer. She scans the plate, then looks to the woman. "Redding Muni Code 302-a, Vehicle parked in violation of posted limitations." She says then, sliding the little paper receipt out of the top bit. She offers it, with a hard expression to Kassandra.

The cop smiles politely. "Next time you come to the Chain, kiddo?" Asks the Woman.. "Drive something with a little more…" She eyes the car dismissively. "Personality."

Annie doesn't comment, just turns to follow Silk inside. It's obviously going to be one of those nights.

The officer's comments fall behind Silk as she doesn't even bother to turn, to give the officer one of the many things she likely needs. Instead, she heads towards the bar for what will likely be a fun filled night of insults and redneck comedy.

The old glass doors of the Auto Dealership have been replaced with armored plasti-steel, a strong, if sub-military grade of armor. It's got more than a few bullet impacts in them, not finished or cleaned; badges of honor. Stepping inside, the music is loud, the air is fresh and circulated, the booze can be smelt.

The Entry hall is a gauntlet; from both sides, men and women of the Rangers stare at those who enter.

Gordon, Lt. Johah J.
2034-2065
Mojave

Ramsey, P-O Ronald R,
2023-2058, Bay Area

The List goes on, pictures seemingly numbering in the hundreds if not the thousands. A litany of the dead who hold themselves as the -real- protectors of California.

Ah, stares. Having spent years and years and would you believe years getting stares and kicks and worse, Silk doesn't let it put her off. Instead, she keeps her eyes and manners to herself and heads into the club, fully expecting the music to come to a screeching halt so everyone can get a good stare in. That's fine, she is looking for someone anyway, someone in a place of honour, a back room, or otherwise in the Good Seats.

Annie tags along with Silk, stoically ignoring any colorful commentary as well as unidentifiable puddles on the floor. If the cop was the standard by which the term 'ladylike' was defined hereabouts, then this could be a long night.

The bar itself is more orderly than you might have expected from the motley collection of Vehicles outside. A circular affair, with the bar in the center, and drones that run on rails from tracks overhead. These drones are the bartenders, though there is a bartender himself in the center, controlling it all and mixing special drinks.

The far side is a band stand, where a band can play, there are pool tables, a VR boxing game and lots of other 'techy' diversions. Absent, entirely, are driving games.

Currently, the establishment is very active, with probably a hundred or so Rangers off duty or on duty, hard to tell. The only unifying detail between them all, is the black leather jacket with the large star on the right side.

There are times when being subtle is best. There are times when you just have to bite the bullet and take a chance. The disguised Silk heads towards the main bartender, eyes scanning the room as she makes her way that direction. A building full of cops, Heavens above. In its own way, it is more disquieting than a room full of killers.

A building full of cops who probably still have Annie's elf face plastered in their HQ with darts stuck in it. Definitely a bit disquieting. Annie continues behind Silk, offering placating smiles to the cops who happen to look her way.

Inside, the girls don't get a whole lot of guff. They get a lot of 'tourists' here or people trying to hang with the 'big boys' and actual reporters. At this point, the women could be all three. The man behind the bar looks a bit like Ron Pearlmen, if Ron had half his torso missing and replaced with medical-grade prosthetics.

"What can I get you ladies?"

Silk gives the bartender a nod and a smile, "Water, if you have it. Also looking for a friend of a friend, told he likes to hang out here." She keeps her voice friendly but low, no sense making a scene if you don't have to. "Hiraku."

The bartender raises an eyebrow. "What you want with him?" He asks, getting his rag to wipe down the bar. "And what's he want with you?" A drone skitters across the bar top, its ass connected to a hose, the head the spigot. It drops a glass, the fills it for Silk.

A wintery smile answers the majority of the questions as Silk watches the drone do its buisness with a faint nose wrinkle at the tech toy. She looks back to the barman who looks like Ron and says, "We have business to discuss. He should be expecting us."

Annie doesn't order a drink since, well…she doesn't actually drink anything for the most part. She just waits quietly for the bartender to direct them toward their contact. The sooner she is out of Redding, the more comfortable she will be.

The man eyes her for a long moment. "You got something more solid I can call him with, or should I just tell him two out of towner slots want his autograph?"

"Everyone is so friendly here." Silk chuckles and turns her glass of water in a little circle before commenting, "Tell him Silk is here to see him. Shouldn't need anything other than that." She nods to the bartender, not put off by the question or terms he used, or at least she doesn't show it if she is.

Sulu

He chuckles quietly. A tall, slender Anglo man slides in to the bar next to Silk. "Well… Helloooooooo." he offers Annie, offering her a grin and a wink. The tone of voice is a lot… more… fruity, than one might expect from the gentleman who speaks to her. He then taps the bar. The little hose-butt-bott skuttles over and drops another glass, then fills it with what looks like Orange Soda.

sulu.jpg

Annie blinks and takes a moment to look over the fellow. "Uh, Hello", she offers in pleasant tones as she scans her memory for appropriate bar banter, "What's a guy like you doing in a place like this?" Probably not the best line, but it's been a few decades.

Oh sweet Mother. Silk doesn't close her eyes or look skyward by sheer force of will, instead keeping her eyes on the bartender and letting Annie play with her food. This is going to end badly, she thinks.

He chuckles deeply. "Ohhhhhh." He says, drawing out the words with a dry creak, like a board slowly flexing under the weight. "Well. You know the story… Just an Admiral, keeping my starfleet in order. Keeping the Federation Safe from the forces of the -nasty- Klingons."

"Fucken Klingons." Mutters the barkeep.

"TO STARFLEET!" Offers the man then, raising his glass to the bar.

The rangers, one and all, without blinking, raise glasses. "TO STARFLEET!"

Annie laughs and offers a nod to the guy, "Sulu I presume?", she does pick up the glass and offers a quick lift and salute to the toast. "Unless I miss my guess that is."

Utterly lost, Silk eyes Annie's date and the saluting crowd. She looks to Annie who seems to recognize the catchphrase and man, going quiet as she tries to get her balance here. It's like she's dropped into some nerd/geek subculture.

He offers a Starfleet Salute, one fist to his shoulder. "Admiral Hiraku Sulu, a pleasure, Miss." He then smiles to Silk. "Miss." He looks back to Annie then.. "Was that your little Corvette outside, the red one? So very regulation. It looks so out of place."

"It's a rental.", Annie offers with a shrug, "I always heard that California was the land of sun, girls and sports cars."

The Bartender leans over to Kassandra… "Klingons… are the Japanese… Romulans… are the Elves… Okay… and Starfleet.. that's like the Rangers. When he's talking about Cardasians… thats like the Natives, and when he's talking about the Borg, that's the Azzies. When he's goin on about the BiNars, thats the Pueblo."

Memorizing the hand gesture, Silk nods, "Good evening, Admiral." She looks to the bartender and tries to piece together the strange subculture of knowledge here, nodding and resisting the urge to get a pen and take notes. "Right. Ok. Sure. The who? Borg? Ok." She keeps nodding, eyes shifting to Sulu and Annie.

The bartender taps his head and says.. "He got a little mixed up in an attack, but he's damn good at what he does."

Sulu grins at Annie. "So you must be Captain Silk, of the Bombyx mori… Yes?"

«Plot» Vulcan says, " That's the worm that gives the thread we make silk from."

Annie grins at Silk and shrugs, "Remind me about this on our next movie night.", she gestures to Silk, "My friend and I were told that you were 'The Guy'.", she laughs softly at that comment and shakes her head, "No…she is Captain Silk. I am sort of the red-shirted sidekick."

He looks at Annie, a look of shock coming to his features, He places one hand, palm to his chest, leaning back. "A -security officer-?" He asks, mortified. He steps around her, to present himself to Silk. "I am -horrified, Captain, that I spent so long talking to someone who's not even -in the credits-."

"Um, yes, Silk." Too much information too soon. Silk grasps a few things quickly and nods again, setting the rest aside to deal with later. She nods to Sulu and says, "Ah, not a problem Admiral, it is my fault I am afraid. I was .. getting my orders and making sure everything was presentable before approaching a superior officer?" Her gaze shifts to the bartender to see if that made sense.

The Bartender seems to nod with that pursed-lip 'not bad' sort of expression.

Sulu nods then. "Captain Sopwith of the Dromedary reported that you'd be in this sector, and require a Transwarp Conduit from here to the Utah Sector…"

Noting ALL this to torture Johnny with later, Silk nods carefully, "Indeed Admiral. We needed a .. secret Transwarp Conduit to the Utah Sector. Yes. We have orders to investigate a .. disturbance .. there?" Words fall into her head at random from an assortment of remakes and psuedo-sci fi shows that she's seen and been subjected to. She uses them sparingly, so as not to come across like she was making fun.

Annie sighs in relief as she manages to distract the attention from herself over to the true Social monster of the team. She slides the still full glass quietly away from her and listens in quietly to the ongoing conversation.

Sulu picks up his drink, thinking that over. "Starfleet intelligence has noted a destabilization in that sector of Cardassian space. They are working in Collusion with the Klingons, a power block we may be unable to Withstand. The technology of the Klingons, and their numbers.. it is a very dire situation. But if Captain Sopwith approved your mission.." HE smiles. "Then I am honor bound by my rank as a Starfleet Officer to see you to the Utah Sector safely."

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