After the meeting with Sanctuarium Security at the Divinus Library, and after William’s attempt at smoozing with Max Hogan, William had SID attempt a search on the Library’s Curator. It was not very successful at uncovering anything startling, as SID would not do anything invasive within the Library. Other than a very high-speed search, SID did not discover anything that would be unusual for an automaton with good programming. SID suggested that an external connection might yield better results.
Jaz’la was fairly firm about acquiring accommodations, and although the group had different ideas, SID reminded them that local law enforcement could stop and request proof of a current hotel reservation. Eve was not impressed with the invasive nature of this particular policy, but SID followed up with the statement that, If one was considered a ‘vagrant’, Divinus Security would put said ‘vagrant’ on a boat to the mainland. Having a valid hotel registration became a bit more important. However, this did not require everyone, and William was not about to leave what he considered his personal ‘Seventh Heaven’. The question of what hotel came up, to which SID suggested something close to the rendezvous point. A quick online search indicated that the Mezzix Bar is in a good location within Divinus for those seeking to dabble in the seamier side of civilization.
On leaving the Library, Reithered summoned transportation with his PID, accompanied by Amrith, Jaz’la, Eve and SID. It appeared that reaching the Mezzix Bar was a walk of over two hours distance. The conveyance that appeared was big, and more than able to take the group together. It almost met the approval of Amrith, but he resolved himself to endure it. It wasn’t quite oppulent, but did have a well stocked bar. Many Waterford crystal decanters of potent liquids could be found, and Reithered decided to sample a large tumbler from one of the decanters. As the limousine headed toward the general destination, the driver, yet another Bio-engineered individual, provided a quick run-down on the nearest accommodations to the Mezzix Bar. Three options of elevating quality were suggested: The ‘Golden Antlope’, five minutes from the bar would be the least expensive, with few amenities; The ‘Backwards Hind’, a mid-line establishment with some amenities; but perhaps the ‘Black Hawk’ would suit, if one were interested in ‘connectivity’. SID took this to mean that there would be lots of electronics and communications equipment. Jaz’la, picking up on the muttering from the group, suggested that the driver was indicating that there were, perhaps, some fixers or dealers at the Black Hawk that the group would find useful. SID reflected on the vagueness of biological communication protocols, and the variances in nuance that could be inplied and inferrred in simple statements. How did biologicals ever keep it all straight?
The group arrived at the Black Hawk, and Reithered paid the 100T fare. Into the lobby, and the oppulence was notable by most. SID was overwhelmed by the amount of surveillance equipment proliferating everything. He had to dampen down the ES detector to almost minimal levels. Three rooms were spoken for, one for Amrith, one for the ladies, and one for the remaining members. One night’s stay was booked, as the team didn’t know what the briefing would yield, and what other arrangements might need to be made.
Once the reservations were obtained, requiring 1800T from Jaz’la, the group broke up again. Amrith headed back to the Library, wielding up some speed, and although he only walked, covered the considerable distance in 30 minutes. Reithered went looking for the roof-top hot tub, wanting to relax and enjoy the view of the island. SID stayed in the room and took up his task of researching Max Hogan. Jaz’la went to her room to meditate, and Eve sat in the lobby, watching the robot Concierge deal with varied clients.
William had remained in the Library, and some time during the intervening hours, there was an interaction with Max Hogan. The results of this were not immediately known by the group, as William was out of contact.
Eve specifically noted that the Concierge literally changed faces depending on the individual, piquing her interest. Perhaps there was something here that could help her dispose of some items of questionable ownership. As surreptitiously as she could, Eve attempted to observe the interactions, and despite intense concentration, was unable to figure out why the face changed between some interactions, and not others. Just as she finally figured out there was a white noise field in effect around the Concierge, the robot turned to her as a client departed and directly asked Eve if there was something it could do for her. Busted.
Eve was forthcoming, stating she was unfamiliar with how things were done on the Island, and that she had some items that she wanted to turn into Trust. The Concierge stated that someone would be around in about an hour to assist her, if she would have the items ready to hand. Up to the rooms she went.
SID had been very busy searching the local networks for anything he could find. SID decided not to leave traces on all the surveillance equipment in the hotel, and plugged into the network with his Netwire. Opening up an encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to a remote service, enabled SID to do anything on-line without direct observation by hotel surveillance. Using internal protocols (enabling SID to interact with a virtual keyboard, mouse and segmented virtual drive), SID was able to do all the searchs without any visible external cues. This would appear to any surveillance in the room as a robot sitting in a chair, awaiting direction from a biological entity. There would be evidence of the communication connection, but with the VPN active, nothing in the hotel could read or copy any of the activity. Back-door tweeking of search engines, lead to general information equivalent to the search at the Library. Some outright hacking had opened a small crack in the firewall of the Library. With a phenominal break, SID cut into the personal emails of Max Hogan, unveiling a wealth of personal communications. SID had gone much deeper that expected, and after quick perusals and copying, he did his best to tracelessly extract the probe from the Library system. It appeared that he may have been successful.
Amerith arrived at the Library, and continued to research the Evolutionary Wars. He was peripherally aware of the movement of people in the library, including Max Hogan going about his duties. He also noted that there was some type of meeting with William and Max, and that William left the library immediately afterwards, while Max was not a happy individual when Amrith saw him next.
Just as SID was closing out the search, William contacted SID to advise him that he was out of the library, and heading to the Mezzix Bar. SID provided William with his reservation information, and a text, “Max = INFO!!!” William replied that they would need to talk.
Reithered was lounging in the hot tub, when two very ripped and augmented individuals showed up on the roof. Riethered decided it was just about time to go do something else, anyway, and after drying off, took the elevator to the basement bar. The noise that assaulted Reithered when the doors of the elevator opened was almost a physical blow. However, it wasn’t a deliberate attack, just the ambient noise. Reithered braved the bombardment, and attempted to settle in and observe the wheeling and dealing.
Eve appeared as SID was closing down his initial search, asking him if he had anything he wanted to trade for Trust. SID didn’t have anything except the Squad Medkit, and he didn’t think it advisable at this point to diminish this resource. Eve suggested that she was going to dispose of the laptop she had acquired at the Crater Lake facility, and SID immediately asked to see it. He plugged into the laptop, cleaned it thoroughly of any data and registration information. As he went through the programming, the only thing of interest worth recording was the name, “Nicolai Turvic”. As SID was cleaning the laptop, Eve went back the the room where she had put her things, discovering that Jaz’la was no longer there. There was a lamp knocked over on the bedside table, and there was other things disturbed in the room, but no sign of Jaz’la. Eve went back to SID to advise him that there was something very wrong. SID was unsuccessful in reaching Jaz’la on P-Comm, and directed Eve to go to Hotel Security. Eve was not inclined to do this, but SID was adamant. With the amount of equipment in this hotel, there would certainly be surveillance video of what happened. Yes, even in the rooms! SID couldn’t do this, as a Medbot, so some biological had to do it. And Eve was the only person available. SID contacts William, demanding that he return to the hotel immediately, as contact with Jaz’la had been lost.
Eve headed down to the lobby, and reported that Jaz’la was missing. This resulted in the Hotel Head of Security, a Grigori of massive proportions, meeting with Eve in the lobby after a few minutes. He shows Eve a video of Jaz’la in her room meditating on the bed. Two Seraph pop into the room, and assault Jaz’la. It is apparant from the video that Jaz’la may know the two assailants, but the speed of the assault still took her down quickly. The two seraph bundled Jaz’la up and popped out of the room. The Security Head expressed regrets, but there was nothing that Hotel Security could do about the abduction, as there was nothing the security arrangements could have prevented. No doors were breached, and no-one appeared to have moved through the hotel to facilitate the abduction.
William showed up as Eve took the provided flash drive back to SID, and showed him what had transpired. SID and Eve showed this to William on his arrival, along with Reithered who had just come back from his club run. William was amazed. Two things were apparant in the video. The Seraph were very powerful, despite catching Jaz’la meditating, and they did something William was unaware that Wielding would allow.
As the group discussed what to do, William pointed out that there was little the team could do to help Jaz’la at this time, being they were out of contact with Sanctuarium. It might have been Askari that had been the perpetrators, if Jaz’la had recognized the assailants. Whatever else was going on, the team still had a mission to carry out, in order to get back with Sanctuarium, and the necessary resources to help Jaz’la.
On to the Mezzix Bar…
Hotel Lobby Image Source