Things got dicey with KE given free reign to sniff the shadows for the perpetrators of that plane job. Invisibility was the word, so we all lied low for a bit. Hell, rumor said even the Bad Penny was tapped, which is why it was so shocking when Rourke was the one to flip over my rock.
He set up a meet with Mr. Johnson at Infinity. Not really my neck of the woods or my scene, for that matter, but if it was important enough to Rourke to break radio silence, it was important to me. I’m definitely not brave enough to cross a guy like the Bad Penny’s owner. Either everyone else was indisposed or had bigger rocks to hide under, so Rourke synced me with that Gilette he’s been high on lately. Suited me fine. I’m not a fan of going to a meet without muscle, even if it is the plastic kind.
Places like Infinity take precautions in regards to firearms, a fact which had our razorguy all verklempt. I rang up a buddy, and he came through with some ceramic implements. Anyone else, I’d owe a favor for sure. With Mac though, we have an understanding.
The hardware worked just as advertised on the box and we got in no problem. The Johnson was a tusker in a clown suit. Job was a retrieval of stolen data. Not a Matrix job though. Apparently, Mr. Johnson works for a record label. Someone busted in and snatched the only copy of a datadisk containing some b-sides from JetBlack, a skeleton rocker from my parent’s time.
Seemed like a waste of time for runners of our caliber, but then the troll mentioned the money. That they were willing to pay such a price showed the man was serious. On top of it, Perses was able to talk some more sense into the label stooge, increasing the payout. That bosozuki, metal as he may be, seems to have left some of his brain intact.
We were on the job.
I gave Mac another ring to ask if anyone had been trying to sell rare JetBlack tracks. He pointed me to a local ork thrash frontman who’d been laughing off an email he received advertising that sort of thing. Seems the email had been making the rounds. We decided to look up this ork musician. Nabo is his name if you can believe it.
Turns out his band had a gig that night just outside Touristville. Percy and I procured tickets and also worked out a way backstage to meet with our man. There isn’t much that hard drugs won’t buy you when it comes to ork ex-gangers. Or any gangers, for that matter.
The rocker arranged a meet for us with the senders of the email. We directed him to our turf, the same parking lot we passed along our recently acquired ghoul-bus. I setup in my spot, and Perses remained at ground level to make the meet happen.
A shitty Ford Americar SHO from the ‘50s rolled up, and a scrawny rube poked his head out. He was our man. Kerwin Loomis. Didn’t see a point in wasting time. I locked on to his thoughts, and, without even a struggle, he spilled his story. Turns out his dad had worked for the record label. Guy had got himself laid off and, in a fit of anger, took the disc. Fine. Sure. Whatever. His story didn’t quite pan out, but he had the original with him, so we didn’t care. We relieved him of his goods and paid him his continued existence in exchange.
At that moment, the opposition decided to show itself. Thugs approached from the south woods and turned guns on my man Percy. He was faster though, and so was I. Those he didn’t drop, I scrambled. One man, their leader, was left. We got what we needed out of him, and it didn’t even cost a spell. What did cost a spell was what we wanted. I don’t envy the man when he wakes. That said, I do have a slightly used set of cybereyes and wired reflexes for sale.
We got a hold of Johnson again. Met up and made the exchange. All in a day’s work.