Without too much on the agenda for the daytime, the party members are able to sleep in a little before they meet up for a late breakfast. Sin-Sasha spends the rest of the morning and afternoon going from ship to ship in order to see if there are any ships bound for Ruby with any spare freight capacity.
It’s not such an easy exercise as she might have expected as the starport is nowhere near as busy as it was when they arrived at the start of the festive season. Most of the ships still in port are yachts which are almost all heading to Jewell in any case. She finds space on a couple of Free Traders due to leave for Ruby over the next couple of days – 25 tons of space on the Glistening Ruby and 8 tons on the Empress of Esalin which she books.
Dev, meanwhile, heads for the terminal and asks around to see if anyone knows if there are any gunners around who might be interested in a job. His initial inquiries don’t come to anything, but he offers a few people a finder’s fee if they track someone suitable down before the ship leaves in four days.
It’s late afternoon by the time Sinclair and his faithful canine companions emerge from their comas and it takes a lot of coffee for them to wake up. Upon being told that the ship needs more freight and as many passengers as they can find, Sinclair and friends rise to the task, realizing it gives them another excuse to go back and party.
At 19.00, all those bound for Denkeny climb aboard the grav/truck and they go off once more to the city. Once the truck is parked up, Sinclair says farewell to the other humans and, with the Vargrs tails wagging, they head off to the nearest bar for a ‘quick one’.
The others, meanwhile, scout out L’Etoile Blanche again. Once again though, Rasmus seems to be on the level as the place is as empty as it was before. Rasmus is bang on time again.
He tells the party members that he is able to locate the plant material, but it will cost them Cr.200,000 per kilo and it will not be possible to deliver the material in much under a month. Knowing that SuSAG was only paying half this price annoys the party members. They argue with Rasmus for a while before Sin-Sasha loses her cool and blurts out the fact that they know that SuSAG was paying half the price for the goods. Dev’s face blanches of color as he hears this and Rasmus’s ears prick up, all of a sudden very interested in how the party knew about his deal with SuSAG. Although there seemed to have been no media coverage of the fire, Rasmus knew all about it.
Dev is ready to give the whole deal up and asks for the check. Rasmus, afraid that he will end up completely empty-handed, renegotiates offering to sell El Gordo’s contact details for Cr. 75,000 up front plus another Cr. 35,000 if the info checks out. Dev keys the money over and in return receives just a three-word scrawl on a paper napkin:
PENTHOUSE – CASINO ROYALE
Rasmus quickly disappears. The party members pay up and then head off to the Casino Royale, located just a block further down the Croisette.
The party members enter the Casino and take the elevator up to the top floor. They quickly sot the entrance to the Penthouse; the two huge goons guarding the door telling them that they have probably found the right place.
Dev asks the goons if they can meet their Boss, but the goons aren’t particularly friendly or service-orientated and they are about to get into a long argument with them when they hear a familiar voice braying from behind the doorway.
“But anyway, Gordy, that’s not the funniest thing,” the voice chortles. “Then she said, she said, ‘See my pussy? That’s not a cat; it’s a Miniature Schnauzer’ HAW! HAW! HAW!”
The room breaks up into uproarious laughter and Vargr barking. It can only be Sinclair inside.
Rolling their eyes yet thanking their good luck simultaneously, the party members ask to have a word with Sinclair. One of the goons heads inside and comes back with Sinclair following him. Sinclair looks rather shocked and surprised to see his human friends and quite nervous. Once they reassure him that they are not going to give him a hard time though, he agrees to let them in.
They enter an incredibly expensively furnished and decorated suite. The Vargr are lounging on couches opposite a skinny looking, tall middle-aged man wearing a dressing gown who introduces himself as Manny Gordstein. Eight more goons in the corners of the room look on, sizing up the new-comers.
Manny urges everyone to sit down and his butler fetches them all a drink. A large bowl of white powder sits in the centre of the coffee table. Manny offers the new-comers to partake; Dev does so in order not to appear as a party-pooper while the others refrain.
Sinclair hoovers up their share for them, rolling up a Cr.1000 note and snorting a massive line.
Not wanting to get down to business too quickly for fear of making Gordstein nervous, the party members smile politely as Sinclair carries on telling more and more of his outrageous anecdotes, which for some reason Manny finds hilarious (the reason probably being the large quantity of Weiss that he too is hoovering up as he listens).
Eventually, once the party members are sure that they are Manny’s new best friends, they turn the conversation around to business. Negotiations are quick and rather painless. Manny can supply the raw material for Cr. 100,000 per kilo. Much to the party member’s disappointment, however, he is still unable to deliver in under 30 days, as he has to get a special order through to source and then wait for the materials to be delivered. Dev agrees to pay a 10% deposit – Cr. 500,000 – against an order for 50 kilos. The deal is done with Dev agreeing to bring the money round in cash the following day.
The party members spend another hour partying so as not to appear rude and then head off back to the ship, leaving Sinclair and the Vargr there.
Upon arriving back at the ship, the party members have parked the grav/truck and are heading for the ramp when a figure emerges from the shadows pointing a snubbie right at Dev.
“Put your hands in the air and nobody move,” the voice says sternly. “We have you surrounded. Devlin Michael, you are under arrest for …”
It’s Agent Halpern,
Dev rolls his eyes as Halpern reads out the familiar list of charges.
There’s a stand off for a while as Dev decides to dick the MoJ agent around for a while. Sin-Sasha soon tires of this, however, just wanting to go to bed and so tosses over her NavInt ID so that Halpern can check it.
As Halpern runs the chip through his datapad, his eyes open wide in surprise, then narrow to slits with both frustration and anger. While the other agents continue to cover him, he checks the IDs of the other party members, getting more and more frustrated as he finds each of them checks out. After checking Dev’s last, he tosses the chip to the ground before storming off cursing them all and vowing revenge. Sin-Sasha follows them as they leave, back to an IISS Type-S which must have arrived at the starport earlier in the evening.
The party members head off back to the ship and to bed, smug in the knowledge that Taylor’s chips have worked just as well as Taylor promised they would.