I hate it when the money is too good to pass up. Every time it happens, I tell myself never again. Then the next job comes, and there I am, lining up to get my ass kicked.
I won't bore you with the details. But getting the info for the job was a bitch. Like one of those nasty Warren feral cats in heat.
Buckle up, here we go:
- Mila passed on the job details to us, which she got through Ora.
- We go looking for Ora, who got her ass picked up by the Malklaith police forces before we can meet and get more details. Bummer. (Sorry babe, I would've tried to get you out, but walking into a Malklaith police facility wasn't a bright idea at the time.)
- Gaius tried hacking into some records, but came up short. Got some computer science classes lined up for him next time we get a break.
- Doogie tried smoozing in the local clinic to look over admittance records. Found some consistencies with fight clubs, including curious cases of cauterized knife wounds (Nightspeaker blades anyone?) and a coincidence of the docs who took those cases.
- Doogie followed up with each doc. Got nowhere with Basran, other than some medical supplies. Used those supplies to get the fights schedule from Templeton. And, lucky us, this Nightspeaker fellow is on the roster for three fights. Two underground, and one in front of the governor himself.
- Myself, I went over the nearest 501 outpost and had a chat with my old buddy Emeril, knowing the Legion always has it's eye on the Nightspeakers. Emeril still chomped on a big ass cigar while whipping up pots of mashed potatoes, string beans, and chicken for the troops. I have no idea how he got away with it, but I'll tell you, those are the best mashed potatoes I've ever had. Maybe it's the ashes. Anyway, I found out the Nightspeaker was looking for the Aleph key as well (what the hell is it with that thing anyway?), and he was housed in the Chiba district. Whether in his own place, or the royal mansion, Emeril didn't know. I ate two platefuls of mashed potatoes and left.
With all that, we decided to go cat burglar and steal the mask from the Nightspeaker's place. We'd go into Chiba as a concierge medical team. We got a name of a local. Mabel Penderyn. I know, can't make that up, right? Should've been a piece of cake. I even ponied up for a nice limo. We'd fit right in.
Well, stupid us, we picked some rich bitch on dialysis, and wouldn't you know, her concierge team had already gone through. I mean, good lord, is everyone abusing drugs and having organ failures these days? We tried pulling something out of our ass – "We're here for the daughter" – and wouldn't you know but the guard knew we were bullshitting. Gaius drove us the hell out of there as the guards got all hot and bothered. The bastards actually opened up on us. Thank god I got the insurance, and the fact that they couldn't shoot straight.
We ditched the ride, and decided to try another way. The guards would be focused outward. If we could just find a way inside…
Gaius, in his neverending infatuation with schematics, had looked up the maintenance plans for the district beforehand. There was a tunnel we could use, just had to bypass a hatch. He said he could do it. Of course, he broke the lock. I helped him rig a temporary solution, and we hightailed out of the tunnel, past a few more guards.
Great, you made it inside, you might be thinking. It wasn't over yet. The rig busted, and an alarm went off. The place turned into a beehive of trigger-happy rent-a-cops. Our only option was to blend right in – and pretend we were new hires for the NIghtspeaker's quarters.
Something went right. Finally. Not only did the guy give us the location, he whipped out his PD (personal device, in case you live under a rock on Shimaya) and showed us how to approach so we don't set off any more alarms. Finally, some professional courtesy.
What happened next? I'll save that for the next one. I need a drink just from writing all this.