Wednesday, March 21, 2007

six's blog. Eleven nameless men

By N.Barnes

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Select Blog: Author=V.Six>

Entry 28: 18.09.70>
I just made it back from the briefest run of my career – there’s something pleasantly pre-ordained about spotting the wet work target you’ve just been set, sitting about five feet behind the Johnson doing the hiring!

I picked up a call from a man called Donovan who had been pointed in our direction by Lone Star pragmatist Croner. We met at a waterfront café and Donovan announced he represented an international business cabal called the Eleven Nameless Men. They pride themselves on their anonymity and the power that gives them to manipulate the Stock Markets. Unfortunately, their identities had been compromised and an assassin had begun systematically taking them out. With two dead, the remaining Nameless Men wanted the assassin stopped and his employer identified before anymore bodies hit the floor.

Donovan claimed to be an unknown factor, working as a go-between for the Eleven but otherwise unconnected to them. However, Ki-Rinn spotted someone at a nearby table paying a bit too much attention to our meet. He was concerned enough to run a Matrix sweep on the man and turned up that he was French ex-military, Special Forces and dishonourably discharged for mental instability. His poor surveillance skills had made him our Prime Suspect and we resolved to keep him in our sights until his guilt or innocence could be confirmed.

I began remoting vehicles into position, while Glyph went off to meet Croner and check out the police reports on the two deaths. Ki-rinn kept tabs on our man while I pulled a quick vehicle switch to give us an unmarked tail we could use on him. Glyph was soon back in touch with details of a magical ‘bent’ to the assassinations and a unique orichalcum bullet that had been used. Orichalcum bullets had to be hand-made – if Frenchie had made them himself we were fried but Glyph had spotted an engraved ‘A’ on each bullet and that led Ki-rinn to a Weaponsmith called Apollo though we knew he wouldn’t be too forthcoming about his clients.

Our mark was being far too relaxed – going about his daily commute with all the innocence of the other tram passengers and that was getting K and I twitchy. Either we were in danger of losing our man, or we were wasting time on an innocent bystander. We decided to ask him directly and at the next stop I blocked the tram so Ki-rinn could board it and take our target out.
As he surged aboard, I saw the driver reach for an alarm and had plugged him before I’d really thought about what I was doing. That bought Lone Star down on us and it was only good preparation that meant I was equipped to deal with them. Using the Antioch, I slammed a FlashBang through the windscreen on the Patrol One to take out the cops inside. Out of control, the Patrol One careened toward innocent bystanders and I couldn’t face having that on my conscience. The next grenade had to be precisely planted but I got it under the front off-side and the blast knocked the car to one side where it crashed harmlessly.

Ki-rinn bundled Frenchie into the van and we hightailed it. I left the subsequent interrogation to Frosty and Glyph but the guy was stone cold and they weren’t getting a peep out of him. Ki-rinn hit the matrix again, checking back on Frenchie’s first arrival in San Fran. From there it was a fairly routine sweep to track him through to his accommodation and we headed there to see if we could turn up any evidence.

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I made damn sure our slippery customer would still be present and correct when we returned to the van and then we headed inside. We didn’t have an apartment number and my smart mouth soon got me in trouble with a redneck nationalist who didn’t like the idea that I might know someone from another country. Glyph and Ki-rinn’s speedy trigger fingers dealt with that problem and Frosty got lucky with the B&E.

Frenchie had photographs of eleven people we assumed were the Nameless, a custom sniper rifle, a box of orichalcum bullets and some sort of ritual magic thing going on, using blood on the bullet and on the photographs to defeat his targets magical defences. Ki-rinn was able to hack Frenchie’s Commlink and that allowed us to piece together who his employers were and what the Eleven had done to piss them off in the first place.

And that, was pretty much that. We dealt with Frenchie, passed on the info to Donovan and even got a little extra cash from the Eleven because we were able to warn them how their magical defences were being bypassed. Talk about sweet.

Mood: Job done.

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