Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow


Table of Contents

Samuel made a call to Vixen and Kassandra. Brains + Brawn. When they arrive at Thistlewood, Marcus is snow-blowing the driveway, looking very displeased with the situation. But, there's enough room to park cars and walk up to the house unmolested by the higher levels of snow fall here in the Rockies of the Ute Sector.

The is hot chocolate and tea laid out on a serving cart, along with some fresh pumpkin spice bread (still steaming). "Get some refreshments, its cold outside, then come inside when you're ready." Calls Sam from the study. In the back of the house, you can hear a sudden stampede of feet before a few words in Italian draws them up short. "Padre sta conducendo attivit, lasciare da lui…"

Kassandra looks curiously towards the sound of the stampede, lips twitching into a smile as she hears the command to leave Father be. The woman collects some hot chocolate and spice bread, taking her time as she looks around. Kassandra slowly makes her way into the study, a cup in one hand, a small saucer or plate with the bread in the other.

Winter in Denver, especially this winter, has been hard. The backroads are to say the least, interesting. Vixen's van has some front end damage and a few new bullet holes. When she finally hits the newly plowed and cleared driveway she sighs in relief and finds a piece of ground to park in. Hopping out of the van she nods to Marcus *Whoever he is* and at his invitation for refreshments she pauses and gets herself a hot chocolate. She tilts her head at the sound of children and chuckles before heading towards the study. She stamps her feet free of snow like a good guest and starts shedding a few layers as she enters the room.

Marcus is Samuel's personal assistant. For forty five thousand Nuyen a year and mentorship, that really means Marcus is Sam's slave. Sam never forgets this.

Samuel is seated behind his desk, using hand movements to manipulate holographic objects in the space in front of him. "Come in, have a seat. Vixen, I trust you have met Silk? I don't think I've had you on the same operation yet, but I felt it was time you two met…"

Vixen looks over to Kassandra and nods, "We've met. I look forward to working with her." She finds a comfy seat and places her overcoat and scarf across the back before settling herself into the chair with a sigh. She blows off the steam in her cup of cocoa and then takes a sip. "So whats the scan omae?"

Kassandra nods pleasantly to Samuel and Vixen both before finding a seat, legs crossing as she sets down the small plate. The elven woman doesn't speak other than a murmured word of thanks to Marcus, letting her cocoa cool off as she watches Samuel manipulate the objects before him, eyes running speculatively over the data presented.

Samuel shuts the display off, the items in the air scattering in to billions of pixels that then fade out, like an explosion of color. "I need a background and investigation done on a charity organization." he says, removing a slip of paper from one of the notebooks on the desk. He puts a pair of reading glasses on, peering down through the lenses at the paper.

"Here we are." he says, sliding it forward. "I can find very little hard data on the organization. Only a few public assets, an outreach program in the Warrens, and no personnel data. What I do know, is a vehicle registered to the organization, visited the incident location…" He glances to Kassandra so she has some context on that… "Several times in the last few months… and lingered for several hours, each visit."

Vixen lifts a brow, "I assume you've done the appropriate trix searches?" She asks curiously. She picks up the paper and scans the information. "Incident location?" Needing clarification on that curious use of phrasing.

Kassandra frowns at the mention of the incident site, her eyes going hard. The woman covers the slip with a sip of her hot chocolate, visibly working on relaxing for a moment. She then asks, her voice quiet, "Just information, no contact?" The elf reaches for a piece of the spice bread, breaking off some and taking a bite to quiet her nerves.

Samuel answers Vixen first. "I will let Silk brief you on the need-to-know of that incident. I trust her judgment. And yes, all persuent Matrix work has been done, both by myself and Mystical Gunner Aiko…" Presumably a matrix handle. "As to your question, Silk. Unless clear and present danger to yourself or others presents itself.. investigation only. I don't have any data supporting a connection save for this gridlink record of a Green Eurocar 231 (Honda 2330) with the customized UCAS plate of DSIRE. It could be innocent. Its your job to find out."

Vixen settles back and nods handing the paper to Kassandra looking to the woman with quired brow.

Kassandra dabs her fingers on a napkin before taking the slip of paper, eyes skimming the information before she responds to Samuel's suggestion that she brief Vixen. The elf's eyes flicker towards the general location they had heard the sound of little feet stampeding before saying, "Not here." Kassandra folds the paper back, sliding it to Samuel, "What is the timeframe on this?"

Sam leans forward. "I want this finished last year, Silk. I need to run down every lead as -swiftly- as possible." There's a gravitas to his voice that indicates he's not being flippant, or even vaguely sarcastic.

The slip of paper has an address in the warrens where the charity has an outreach program and a PO box in the CAS downtown FTZ, where they are headquartered.

Vixen isn't happy about being kept in the dark. She nods though suppressing a frown, "So what kind of outreach are they doin in the warrens?" She shrugs, "I can hit up some of my sources in the Warrens and see what they know, but I figure that our best bet is recon and getting our feet on the ground. Probably a stake out on the site." She looks to Kassandra for further ideas.

Sam isn't keeping Vixen in the dark so much as he's relying on Kassandra to relate whats required for Vixen to do the job properly. He reaches for his cup of coffee, then turns his holographic display back on. A curt, but not necessarily impolite, dismissal.

Kassandra nods quietly, accepting Samuel's insistence without comment. The elf glances to Vixen, remarking, "That sounds like a good first step." At Samuel's dismissal she will rise, leaving cup and plate as she heads for the door.

«OOC» Vixen says, "What kind of outreach Sam? For homeless, children, food bank? What :P"
«OOC» Samuel says, "A children's literacy and clothing program. Kids come for 5 hours a week to learn numbers, letters, and get coats and socks."
«OOC» Samuel says, "Grassroots level stuff"
«OOC» Samuel says, "Serves 7 classes of 20 kids each."
«OOC» Samuel says, "One per day"
«OOC» Vixen says, "Kay. Thanks"
«OOC» Samuel says, "NP"

Vixen nods as she is clearly being dismissed and grabs her coat and scarf following Kassandra out the door with a nod to Sam. She hands Marcus her cup on the way out.

Kassandra bundles back up, stepping outside and taking a deep breath. The woman sighs, her features twisted into a worried frown as she moves towards a rented Americar, absently pulling on her gloves as she trudges carefully towards the vehicle.

Vixen nods to Kassandra and say's, "We'll take my van if that's ok with you. Its equipped for stakeout work. Where ya want to meet up?" She asks the woman.

Vixen dropped GMC Bulldog.

"Hm? Oh, we can meet up at, say, the Stuffer Shack two blocks from the east entrance to the Warrens." Kassandra gestures at the rental, "I need to take this back, in any case, and change into more appropriate garb."

======================> Contents of GMC Bulldog (#4926) <======================
| Item | Qty | IC Location | Description |
| 1 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | GMC StepVan (Security Edition) |
| 2 | 4 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Runflat Tire |
| 3 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Electronics Port |
| 4 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Nav-Dat GPS System |
| 5 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Satellite Uplink w/ Fixed Dish |
| 6 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Transponder Library (R:6 MP:108) |
| 7 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Rigger Adaptation |
| 8 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Sensor Upgrade (R:3) |
| 9 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Anti-Theft System (R:8, Shock) |
| 10 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Concealed Armor (R:3) |
| 11 | 1 | Driveway of Narnia | +- Morphing License Plate |
| 12 | 1 | Carried | +- Provolactic Paint |
| 13 | 1 | Carried | Stoner-Ares M107 Heavy Machine Gun |
=============================== 13 Items Listed ===============================

Vixen nods, 'Good. Then I'll stop by my place and gather a few items. Meet you in say…one hour?"

Kassandra checks her internal clock, nodding, "That should be fine, yes."

«Plot» Kassandra says, "I will use my disguise kit and polymemetic mask to get into a character for this trip."
«Plot» Samuel says, " ; nods. Roll it. +4"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 (disguise.chip) for "+4 on disguise via Poly mask. set disguise: Lupe":
2 5 5 9
«OOC» Samuel says, "You look convincing."

Vixen drives back to Narnia and gathers her surveillance gear, her homeless waif garb, and her ruthed armor. Her deck gets bundled in just in case. She also grabs a few clips of ammo and her gun. Packing everything into the van and driving towards the stuffer shack to meet up with Kassandra.

Kassandra will be lingering outside the Stuffer Shack, in disguise as Lupe the half-Mexican, half-Arabian street prostitute. The woman is bundled against the cold in a battered jacket that just barely covers the miniskirt that, in turn, just barely covers her. She walks carefully around on the cold and icy parking lot, smoking a cigarette and waiting on her ride.

Vixen pulls up to the stuffer shack looking for Kass. She see's a prostitute smoking a cigarette but no Silk. She parks the car and settles into wait looking at the clock.

Kassandra saunters over to Vixen's van, dropping the cigarette and scuffing it out as she does so. The disguised woman wiggles her fingers at Vixen through the window, waiting to see if she'll roll it down. A passing motorist screams something that is lost in the wind at the hooker.

Something along the lines of "Stupid HOOOOOER!" Which translates to: I can't afford you anyway.

Vixen raises a brow as the woman approaches and sighs, "What do I -look- like a mark?" She rolls down the window and nods, "Yeah?" Digging in her pocket for spare change in hopes that will make her go away.

"Como estes, chica? You looking for a good time, eh?" The woman leans against the vehicle, smiling in at Vixen. "I tell you what, maybe you just gimme a ride and we talk about it, eh? Lupe will give you a good rate, good time, you see."

Vixen lifts a brow, "No thanks. I got me a -boyfriend-." She shrugs, "You need to actually hit up on a guy ya know. Someone with a dick." She starts to roll up the window cause its frickin cold. "And maybe ya better get some clothes on. Your gonna freeze dressed like that in this weather."

Kassandra says, as the window rolls up, "Aw, Lupe has silky skin, chica, you might like her. An' she just needs a ride, eh? You can do that much for a friend, no?" Lupe pouts at Vixen, the thin coat she does have vibrating as a good wind blows by.

Vixen blinks at that and then her eyes widen as she gets the woman's gist, "Holy shit. Silk?" She pops the lock, "Get in." She growls, "Fore you get phnemonia."

Lupe smirks and heads to the other side of the van, making sure to give a good show to the onlookers. The disguised woman closes the door behind her, not letting up in the slightest, "Ok, chica, you choose the place, eh? Somewhere warm, though."

Vixen nods and glances at the woman as she climbs in and then starts the van. She turns on the heat and say's "First why not tell me whats goin on?" She shrugs, "I'll even pull out a WNG if that makes you feel better." She glances at the sparse population going about their daily lives.

--------------------> Oh the weather outside is frightful <--------------------
-----------------------> But the fire is so delightful <-----------------------
----------------------> And since we've no place to go <-----------------------
------------------> Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! <-------------------

Kassandra speaks quietly, her accent a mash of Spanglish, Cityspeak, and Arabic. "Well, you see chica, there was this place, you know? And they were doing some bad tings dere, yes? Some mojo that would make you want to cry, and with the ninos. I imagine what de big hombre wants Lupe and you to figger out is if dese people are de ones dat were helping wit dat."

Vixen frowns, "What kind of mojo? Blood magic?" She asks. She's heard a lot about blood mages lately. From a number of sources. She shrugs, "Or something else?" She backs out of the parking spot and fiddles with some buttons before they get to the place. The van's paint shimmers and soon she's driving an innocuous looking delivery van.

Lupe leans back, shaking her head, "Lupe doesn't know about that sort of thing, only that it was bad mojo. Made Ms. Ally very sick it did, made her cry."

Vixen nods, "Ok." She seems satisfied with that and say's, "So you think they are luring these kids through this charity?" She comes to the address provided and drives past. Keeping her speed appropriate to the weather. "Sharp eyes." Noting what she can about the location from this first cursory view.

Kassandra says "Si. I tink that is what the hombre is tinking, wants us to look at."

The Charity, who's name is No-More-Tears LLC, is based in an old post office, down on Orchard, not far from Ork Town. It's seemingly well reguarded by its neighbors, based on the lack of overt gang tags and the sense of calm that seems to surround it. The windows are barred, but thats pretty damn normal for the Warrens. A small cylone fence seperates its 'yard' from the rest of the area around it. In that yard, there's a snowman (Albiet slightly dingy) with a lopsided grin and a pile of snow that has been made in to a sort of slide for the kids. Several of the younger ones are playing behind that fence.

«Auto-Judge[]» Vixen (#1018) rolls Security Systems for "What do I see":
2 3 3 4 5 5 8 17
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Perception":
1 1 2 4 5 5 7 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Security Procedures for "Perception":
2 4 4 14
«Auto-Judge[]» Vixen (#1018) rolls Intelligence for "What do I see?":
1 1 1 3 4 4 21

Security speaking; it's an old post office. Bars, narrow windows with wire reinforcement. A cyclone fence. No cameras, no motion sensors. It's a charity in the sprawl who's primary good-works are teaching skills, not handing out cash, so its not got a lot of security needs. A Green Eurocar 321 is parked in the ally along side the building.

Vixen drives past looking for a place to park the van where it won't get much attention and affords a good view of both car and school.

Vixen passes the area and drives a few blocks away till she's well out of the area and then pulls into an alley and takes the opportunity to turn her white van into something that looks like its gone through a few Denver winters rusting in a landfill. Then its back to the area. It helps that the van has recently been damaged.

A good vantage point can be had, across the street and down the corner. If the car in question backs down the ally, you'll miss it… but if it comes out the front, you can't help but see it. And it gives a good view of the front yard.

Kassandra primps, checking her make-up in her compact. The disguised elf speaks quietly, as if to herself, reciting what she has seen. The woman checks for any competition to her business as Vixen moves the van around, having her let her out a block or so away.

Commlink-Vixen> Vixen says, "Comcheck"
Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Five by five."

Once Vix is parked she moves to the back of the van and puts on her armor including helmet. Moving out of the back of the van she keys her comm, "I'm in play."

Kassandra is let off some distance away, making her slow path down the icy sidewalks and snowcovered shitheaps that make up the wonderland that is the Warrens. Actually, the cold weather and snow helps somewhat, disguising the natural 'beauty' of the area with a white blanket. The hooker moves along, talking to herself (maybe on the phone?), her poor excuse for a coat wrapped around her body.

Vixen aborts her attempt to put a tracker on the vehicle and withdraws when a small gang-battle breaks out nearby. Investigative efforts are broken off to be resumed later

Three days later

And that brings Kassandra back to the conference room, with Sam smoking like a goddamn chimminy. Despite pressing personal engagements, he does not allow himself the luxury of letting it eat in to his professional life. Sam is nothing, if not a professional. He arranged the meeting with Kassandra and Annie, intending to send Kassandra back out to continue the investigation while pairing her with Annie for magical support.

Samuel sent Annie a note, requesting her presence at X time in the Conference room…

Annie arrives a few minutes before X o'clock, nodding to the two already present and then sliding into the chair that she is quickly beginning to assume as her own. "Good morning/afternoon/evening (depending on the value of X)", she greets amiably.

Kassandra shows back up for the meeting, sitting across the table from Samuel. The elven woman seems composed, as always. Whatever else that is happening in the city doesn't seem to affect what she is doing here, today. When Annie arrives she is sorting through information on her pocket secretary.

X = 9:30AM (If the train left Baltimore on time, at a constant speed of 55mph)

Samuel offers, as always, coffee an pastries. "Ladies. Good to see you both. Have a seat, get warm. I know its cold out there." A map of the warrens is displayed behind him in Trid, areas color coded for unrest and violent activity. Red radiates out from Orktown, fading to yellow as you go further north.

Kassandra helps herself to coffee, black. She eyes the map on the trid with a speculative glance, idly making a few notes on her secretary.
Annie shakes her head to indicate the negative when the coffee and pastries are offered, "Oh no thank you.", she responds before turning her body slightly so she can more easily observe the trid map.

Samuel nods to Kassandra. "This is continuation of the investigation in to No-More-Tears LLC… Your last attempt was unfortunately cut short before any useful information was obtained. I thought perhaps a new asset structure might assist you, so I'm sliding vixen out, and perhaps, Ms. Breeze, will be a better match."

Samuel slides annie a fact-sheet. No-More-Tears LLC is a nonprofit registered in the CAS, but operating in the UCAS, specifically, the Aurora Warrens. The LLC owns a vehicle that, according to records obtained, visited a location that was the site of a major metaphysical incident that Silk and Pheonix were party to listed as 'Incident Suketeth-HBT-001WDF.

Kassandra arches an eyebrow, "Alright. I assume they haven't moved or anything rash like that?"

Annie accepts the proffered fact sheet and takes a moment to check it over before placing it on the table in front of her. She doesn't interrupt, rather waiting to see if any more operation details are provided before making any queries.

Samuel shakes his head. "Not that I am aware, but the riots may provide a good cover to withdraw, which is why I'm risking sending you in in the first place." A pause is given to Annie… "Did you ever get more information out of Ms. Cindel on the incident with Suketeth?"

Annie shakes her head, "No, she seemed pretty tight lipped and emotional about it."

Samuel nods to Annie, thinking that over. "Silk, if you would give Annie a full briefing, I would appreciate it. She is previously aware of the full scope of the nature of our activities."

Kassandra considers, then says, "In short, we encountered some sort of being attached to a house. It was, from what the mages tell me, using children to sustain its magic or otherwise feeding on them. They got a little more technical than that, but I believe it is a close approximation. In any case, we were able to disrupt the circle in the house, which seemed to shut down the creature or at least keep it from throwing sharp objects at us. This being spoke and called itself Suketeth. It is our understanding that it was summoned or called by someone who lived in the house via a sacrifice."

Annie nods, "Sounds like it may have been using the circle as a lens to focus it's power in this plane.", she shrugs and looks over toward Samuel, "Do you think someone is trying to give it access to this plane again?"

Samuel picks up his coffee, offering a nod. "Yes."

Kassandra inquires, "This is still a hands-off intelligence gathering mission?"

Annie considers, "Any historical references to a mythological being with a similar name or MO? Perhaps some information in the archives would suggest a way to defeat it.", she shrugs, "If that fails, then perhaps an emotion or effect equivalent to the polar opposite of what it feeds upon would be anathema."

Samuel considers what KAssandra and Annie say, then continues. "Our clean up team noted the detailed inspection, that the creatures ability to work its will on this plane faded with the destruction of the individual glyphs in the circle, severed completely when Ally killed the child. AS ot the information gathering, yes, unless you detect imminent danger that is of a scope to warrant the rescue vs the life of the investigation. this is one of our only leads right now."

Kassandra sips her coffee, making a few notes on the secretary. "Alright," she says, tapping a few icons, "eyes only for now, unless something comes up that requires more than that. I do think that allowing them continued access to the children is going to be a problem, however."

Samuel nods to Kassandra. "That is if there is a direct link. As of right now, the only link between the ritual location and the LLC is the multiple trips a company vehicle made, and the linger period while visiting. I don't know who was driving or if the trip was authorized."

"Which children are we talking about?", Annie inquires curiously

Samuel turns to Annie to address it.. "No More Tears LLC runs a small literacy school in the warrens, teaching school age children basic literacy and some occupational skills at no charge, provided the child meets certain basic criteria."

Kassandra murmurs, "A perfect cover, if they are involved."

Annie nods, "Very useful. Sort of along similar lines to the UB a few years ago."

He nods, sipping his coffee with a somewhat detatched air. "It caught my attention when I got the datadump from Aiko."

Kassandra nods. "So we'll take a look around and see if anything looks out of the ordinary. Until we have something more substantial, we're playing blind."

Annie considers, "What were the criteria to get a child into the school?"

Samuel taps the table, clearly hitting a concealed IO device. The map fades, and a list of criteria pops up; Males between 5-9, Females between 5-12(Prepubescent only), Trolls or orks are excluded, elves preferred. Scores between X and Y on standard capability tests, no medical or psychological issues of note, a bunch of other crap that pretains to economic and educational status of the parents.

Annie leans forward to examine the scrolling lists, "A lot of record keeping for the average Warrens dwelling welfare mom.", she looks back over at Samuel, "How much of this could be improvised quickly if we wanted to insert someone into the school?

Samuel quirks a brow. "Most of it is unverifiable. It would be having a child that met the physical criteria."

Kassandra considers the information, "Not much of a charity if they are not helping trolls and orks. This makes it look even more like a culling experiment."

Samuel shrugs. "Charity doesn't mean untargeted. If they are a charity, they could be funded by someone who's endowment was meant to help specific metahuman races. The United Negro College Fund was still a charitable organization."

Annie shrugs and her physical form shimmers and she shrinks down until she is a four to five year old version of Kassandra, "With my masking, I can mask the spells and my aura to match the physical form. No-one they have on staff should be able to penetrate my masking unless it is perhaps this Sucky fellow or his summoner perhaps…but I doubt they would be taking the screening of new candidates as a personal chore.", she shrugs, "It's just a potential option."

The illusion suddenly flickers and Annie is herself once more.

Kassandra raises an eyebrow. "Interesting. It has merit, although it is my understanding that magicians can see cybernetic and biological enhancements, which might raise a few eyebrows if they look at me. Tho runners need help too."

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