Personal Log, Tikal Karah
Starting Speech-to-Text Logging
Still in orbit over Mars. Ship's almost fixed. Not sure if I should be happy or disappointed we haven't had reason to go to the surface yet. Lot of memories down there. Not sure I'll ever be drunk enough to face the bad ones. About a week went with nothin' to do but spend my bar dollars and enjoy the company of my brothers and sisters while it lasted.
Was enjoying a nice late breakfast with the crew when some Haryani guy just plopped down with us out of nowhere. Great. Because THAT doesn't stand out around here. I hid my immediate disinclination towards the man and let Macha do the talkin'. Probably for the best. I was still a little drunk anyway.
Called himself a Johnson…because that certainly never turned out badly, right? I shouldn't be one to be bashing on creativity but seriously, figure out a damn pseudonym. It ain't hard. Hell, I came up with three on the spot just for this job. Anyway…apparently the guy didn't care for that Chey asshole, because his payment for this job was telling us where he was and how to get to him. Not like we'd done a particularly good job of hiding the fact that we want that bastard's head on a pike. Aaaaanywho, he wanted a bit of 'quid pro quo' as he put it. Did he expect us to be impressed with the old-timey slang? The job was to get our hands on a prototype and schematic from a workshop, and delete the original schematic. A nethertech grenade that alters the astral corruption in the area. Pretty nasty stuff. Apparently it was being developed by Azram's Fine People-Destroyers. Not sure why everyone seemed upset by the name…sounded pretty straightforward to me.
Shek got right to it on the research. I decided to go spend more of those bar dollars…told him to call me when he was done. Shara came along for drinks, oddly enough. Not sure if she just wanted to mooch off my bucks or actually hang with me, but we had a good time 'til she passed out. What I didn't expect was for Shek to take ALL FUCKING DAY. Seriously. That nerd needs to get out more. At least he got some good info though…maybe a bit more than we needed.
I was pretty much at black out point by the time Shek called us back. Shara had already gotten drunk, passed out, woke up, and sobered up by that point. Apparently at some point I won a medal for “First Place at Spending Bar Dollars Quickest.” I'm keepin' that medal.
Once I'd sobered a bit Shek laid down what he learned. The place had been in Azram's family for the entirety of the 75 years it'd been in operation. About 150 enployees, so not a little mom an' pop shop. Got a focus on energy weapons, with primarily drone-based security in the form of modified roaches with heavy weaponry. So long as we knew where we needed to go and what static security they had set up, getting in and out wouldn't be too tough. Next we needed to do some ground work.
Noxis recommended using the cover concept of being members of the Jibiru Syndicate…a vagrant group that trades in slaves. Not a bad idea…plus it gave me a chance to boss Noxis and Shek around a bit. I took charge on the deception…whipped up some simple mundane disguises for the group before we went to Azram's, topping my look off with Noxis' Slave Glove. Shara stayed with the car. Probably for the best, in case things went south…and to reduce our chances of things going south. Least. Charismatic. Captain. Ever.
I went in with a minimal game plan. A false name ready…Mekrah Arahn. The receptionist was pretty rude…I kinda expected that, it's pretty common for Shanrazi, but the others seemed a bit surprised by it. I stayed polite and we waited until eventually our sales rep showed up…a red-skinned Shanrazi named Howard. This guy was a grade A greasy pile of sleaze…the perfect kind of salesman. There was a fair amount of showmanship to the whole endeavor, taking us into a break room with plenty of amenities, three gendered bathrooms, and solid security and privacy protocol. We left our comms and such in a secured locker before moving along, and he started giving us the whole blurb.
3 accidents a month, 1 fatal on average. A big multilayered facility with all these different security and safety precautions and blah blah blah I was too fucking SOBER to listen to that drivel and it burned into my DAMNED BRAIN. Ugh. Anyway, we got him to move along to a prototyping area, and we kept an eye out for anything of interest, but nothing so far aside from the broken up mana fields in the facility. Makes sense…good for security and good for safety. He showed us the firing range, and there I think all four of us easily determined our ingress…a ventiluation shaft there was only minimally protected, and led directly to the outside. I kept the conversation going as the others looked around, heading back to his office with him for the final sales pitch.
We made things believable…and didn't strictly lie. Our first request was for a ship mounted weapons system…something that could pack a punch. Something we actually really could use. It came down to a choice between an EMF Cannon and something called a Mass Driver…of course, we probably weren't actually going to be able to buy, but it was nice to see our options. When Shek started asking nerd questions I called him Quincey and told him to be quiet.
For our second 'problem' I had Noxis, who I called Ionus, demonstrate his abilities…he turned my medal into illusory spiders, and then turned Howard's desk into some kind of fleshy monstrosity. This got the point across…and eventually in our discussion I got Howard to make mention of the corruption grenade. Got enough information to narrow down where it was hiding, and confirmation that they didn't have any extras…we figured it was behind that super high security door with a separate mana field that we just walked past during our tour. He gave us pricing information, and we took our leave to start planning the heist proper.
Shara would be our getaway driver again. I'd cover their route of egress, make sure nobody paid any attention to the wall with the ventilation shaft. Shek got a couple of junker Hiromis and loaded them with Crafted grenades to act as a distraction, and Shek, Noxis, and Macha would infiltrate the building alongside the distraction.
They busted in easily enough. Disassembled any security measures in their path. Macha used her Throughsight ability to avoid people, and Noxis used his Masking to keep the drones and cameras from seeing them. Don't know what all happened in there, but I made sure to remind them to not make it look like a targeted strike, and to swipe a few other items on the way. They came back out before I'd even taken more than a couple of swigs, carrying backpacks with a big gun, a knife, and the grenade…and that last one felt WRONG. I spied it with Nethersight…the grenade was packed full of spirits. Dead Mystics, specifically. Fuckin' abomination…for a GRENADE. Yeah. I didn't want these people to be able to manufacture these either.
Shara got us back to our hotel in a hurry, and we took our time, once Macha wasn't carrying the bag anymore, to examine the other prototypes. The gun was the Azram MkIII Rifle, a heavy energy Nethertech rifle capable of stunning targets. The knife wasn't Nethertech, but was an undersized Monofilament Saber. We passed those to Shara and Noxis, respectively.
Johnson was waiting for us at breakfast…we gladly passed along the schematics and the prototype. I'm just hoping he's on the up about it. Noxis gave me a bit of a dirty look when I mixed my caff with whiskey…not sure why, I always do that. Plus, I hadn't had a good damned drink in a day, and that just couldn't stand. Johnson gave us the info he promised…Chey is going to be on Gateway Station for several months, negotiating a trade deal with a Consortium-affiliated merc company. Getting there and out again, he suggested, would be a matter of contacting and hiring a ship called The Gruffer, whose crew specializes in sneaking people on and off of Gateway Station.
He took his leave, and I did as well, after breakfast. Needed something a bit harder. Now it was just a matter of finding that ship…and of course, the easiest start would be finding someone else who'd taken it. I'm not sure where we're gonna start yet, but…old Auntie Morsha came from the Earth Belt herself, I know that much. Maybe she knows more about The Gruffer…
Alright…time for Tikal to be Tikal…
Unintentional sounds detected. Truncating…
…shit it's still on. END LOG YOU STUPID PIECE OF-
END OF LOG