Setting the Stage


Message #32 on Board Shadowland General SIG
Posted By: Anonymous
Date/Time: Sat Apr 4 13:21:32 2009
Subject: Strange Goings on at the Nocturne

« So I was at the Lunar Nocturne last night and about crapped my pants. Crowd was fine for a Friday night but there were some interesting folks about. Few gentlemen in suits. Seemed a bit out of place but no one was about to bother them, right? Well, you'll never believe who walked in. Salavtore. »

« Shut the frag up! Salvatore's back in town? Shit, I'm going to have to get all my gear in order. If he's back in town and hiring for a job, I want in on it. That's the kinda job that'll set you up for months! »

« I didn't think he'd be back for awhile longer after that last job he pulled. That kinda heat… »

« Now if you'd all shut up, I can finish my story. Frag! So he walks in and starts meeting with all those suits, right. He's got a book with him, right? I'm talking a real book. Couldn't see the title. "Adventures of" or something. Anyways he pulls a picture and some stuff out of that. Shows it around. The suits, they pass him some information. And then he's gone. Gonna keep my ear out to see if word comes down that he's hiring.»

« I was there too, saw the meet. One of those guys works with immigration or customs, I think. Knew a guy who knew a guy who met with him for something. Records maybe. It was awhile ago. Something to do with foreign exports or immigration, know that much. »

« Wow, that's real useful info right there… maybe he's planning a vacation. »

Message #7 on Board Media and Rumors
Posted By: NewsReporter (#2332)
Date/Time: Sun Apr 5 13:28:47 2009
Subject: Councilman's Aid Slain

Late Saturday night, the body of UCAS Councilman Jeremy Faloon's long-time, chief aid, Gerald Thomas was discovered in a classroom at St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic school. Knight Errant was on the scene and early Sunday morning, KE Watch Commander Capt. Thomas Gill held a brief press conference.

"The body of the deceased was discovered in the school at about 10pm last night by a custodian. Our investigation is ongoing, of course, and I can't provide any more details about the crime scene at this time. I will say that this is a homicide investigation, however."
A member of the press asked Capt. Gill if the custodian was considered a suspect.

"At this time we have no reason to suspect that the custodian had any role in the crime. He has been extremely cooperative thus far and we expect him to continue to be."

Another question was raised as to whether the victim, Thomas, had any known connection to the school or church.

"We are still investigating and it would be premature to comment on that at this time."

However, a source, speaking under condition of anonymity has told us that Thomas was not a member of the church, and his grown children had never attended the school.

Just before this article was published, the office for UCAS Councilman Jeremy Faloon released this statement:

Councilman Faloon sends his deepest condolences to the family of his trusted aid and dear friend, Gerald Thomas. Mr. Thomas was a trusted voice for Mr. Faloon for many years and this is a tragic event for Mr. Thomas' family and friends, including Councilman Faloon. Councilman Faloon will support Knight Errant's efforts in unraveling the motives behind this dispicable event and looks forward to the criminals behind it being punished to the fullest extent of the law."

St. Vincent de Paul's had not responded to a request for comment at press time. One of Denver's oldest and most prestigious Catholic grade schools, St. Vincent de Paul's has long catered to some of Denver's most elite families. Though diverse, it's students primarily come from… <the article continues>

Message #33 on Board Shadowland General SIG
Posted By: Anonymous
Date/Time: Sun Apr 5 13:55:25 2009
Subject: Hot case file

« Who's read the news about Faloon's boy meeting his end, in a Catholic school, of all places? Not a normal day's news for certain. So I took a quick peek into KE's system. And I do mean quick. A councilman's aid slain? They weren't welcoming visitors. Even more so than usual. »

« Ok, so the suspense is killing me. What did you find? »

« Nothing. Like, absolutely nothing. »

« Wow. Great work there. Remind me to look for someone else for my next job! »

« No. What I mean is, KE's got nothing. Prelim says there's not a mark on him. But he was dead as a doornail, sitting propped up at a kid's desk, chin in hand, like he was just taking a break and having a read. And yeah, he had a book there. 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' That's all they've got. No one saw anything so far. No one's heard anything, so far. Far as they can tell, he may as well have just appeared there. »

Jeremy Faloon

Faloon's (private) line is answered curtly, "Faloon."

Jeremy, its Sam. I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Thomas. I know he was with you for a while. Is there anything I can do for you?

Sam, been a little while. Thanks for call. Gerry was a good man, shame to see him go like that. Got to say that it was unexpected."

Sam remarks, "Indeed. I don't think anyone ever expects it. Look. I'm going over the information I have here, and this is a calling card. I need the diplomatic number for the current Az rep on the council. I need to make a call back. My daughter went to that school… and your boy had a copy of Huck Finn in his hand. Finns a name I've used as a handler, among others."

Faloon is quiet for a moment, processing all of that over. He chuckles then, an unfriendly sound. "Oh. Sure. The number's on speed. Its the number I call when I don't want to go anywhere and just feel like yelling. You'll be talking to Hector. You think this is about you, then? Pretty roundabout way to it."

Sam says, "It's fairly roundabout, I agree, but with Salvatore back in town, lord only knows whats going on in those crazy spic heads. Too much Aztech herbs on the brain at times. The correlations are to much to ignore… so I need to yank the chain. Hector holds Salvatore's chain, and this has Salvatore's signature on it. It would take a good operative to take down your man. You don't employ chumps… and I'd rather shake the tree and see what falls out before I get an unpleasant call of my own."

Faloon can practically be heard massaging his temples, as the situation rises even more prominently to the List Of Things He Doesn't Need Right Now. "Go ahead and yank, then. I'll take care of some things on this end. Whether or not this is truly about you, can't just sit here and have my men used as calling cards. "

Sam remarks, "Exactly. If nothing else… it reminds Hector that you don't just off another councilors men. Thank you, Jeremy. I'll see you soon."

Faloon grunts something unintelligible. "Yeah. Keep your folks out of the school." And with that the line is cut.

Johny connects to the Matrix via a sat link, Redirects data trail, decks to a server in New York, Redirects data trail, decks to Hong Kong, redirects data trail… continue this for 30-40 cities, then finally Italy, Rome. From there, I call Hector.

Hector Ramirez

After that very expensive-sounding call, the phone rings several times before the line is picked up. For ease sake, this whole conversation will take place in Spanish. "Yes?"

It's no more expensive than a normal call, and probably cheaper. I don't pay long distance. Sam's voice is digitized, disembodied…. "Hector. You've gone through a lot of trouble to get my attention. You have it. Use it."

Hector is silent on the line. Then a chuckle. "Ahhh. So I have your attention now. Enough so to have you call me on *this* number and in such a fashion."

“A mail or greeting card would have sufficed. Your message was more direct. I called directly. Now. What do you want, Hector?" Sam's digitalized voice remarks.

Hector sounds a bit surprised, though who's to say if such things are genuine. "My dear friend, whatever is the matter? What has you so riled as to contact me, as you say, so directly with such pointed questions?"

"Don't play stupid with me, Hector. Play stupid, and I'll start responding in kind, rather than this -very- polite phone call I am making right now. (Redirect data trail again)" Sam sends the commands while speaking.

Hector starts to sound a little bit irritated, now. "You call me, my message received. You with no name and an unknown message. And now you threaten me. My friend, you are not the first angry person to call me and I fear you will not be the last. But alas, you have me at a bit of a disadvantage, for I do not know which angry person I am speaking to."

There is a pause from Sam. Okay. Thats a fair response. "Some call me Giest. If you do not know who I am, then Salvatore does. I suggest you discuss it with him. Post. Haste. Your dog is chewing on my sofa and I am no fan of ill kept hounds. You can contact me back, if you wish, at the following address." Sam then provides an anonymous mail box that will forward itself all over hell and back in the space of a blink-eye. *Disconnect*"

April 5, 2009

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