Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?   Posted by Shan Yu.Group: 0
Shan Yu
 GM, 61 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Wed 16 Jun 2010
at 17:37
Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?


Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?

Jin and Di didn't take long to claim their rooms and make themselves at home.  Their task was the least definitive, and it was anyone's guess as to what they might find of interest.  It is said that knowledge is power, and the two rather unassuming women might just be the keys to expanding the power of Stacey's crew.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:18, Thu 17 June 2010.

Di
 player, 27 posts
Sat 19 Jun 2010
at 23:07
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[From Chapter 2: Have I Got a Deal For You]

[Upstairs Hallway of Celestial Dragon]

Di's eyes combed over the surface of the door handle and studied the locking mechanism.  She'd seen ones like it dozens of times, hundreds really.  It was nothing fancy which meant it wasn't at all secure.  She slipped a bobby pin out from her pocket and had the door unlocked in a matter of seconds.  The rooms weren't safe.  Anything that they didn't want stolen or someone else to find wouldn't be secure unless they had another way of securing it.  It was good to know.  It also meant that if her and Jin actually did find out that there was someone interested in making trouble for Yanoro they'd have an easy enough time of getting to them here at the Celestial Dragon.

This didn't mean that they were necessarily in danger or anything but if Di had any suspicions that someone might move in on them she'd have to make other arrangements.

Closing the door behind her, Di entered the small, neat room.  It was simple in its furnishings.  All the necessities but no real luxuries.  She put her duffel bag in the closet and then stood in the center of the empty room for a moment, taking in where the exits were, where the window led out to and any other details.  It took her only a few seconds and then she slipped quietly back into the hallway to wait for Jin to join her upstairs.  She didn't like leaving her bag in the unsecured room but she didn't really have any other options and there was no reason for anyone to go poking around in her room any way.

The hallway was still empty so Di leaned back against the wall and waited.
Jin Chu
 player, 17 posts
Sun 20 Jun 2010
at 12:27
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[From Chapter 2: Have I Got a Deal For You]

(Upstairs - Jin's room)

Jin reached her door, unlocked it and walked in acknowledging Di on her way past but not speaking to the other girl, she was focussed more on the weighty luggage she carried.  With a grateful sigh she leant the case containing her terminal and its accessories against the wall and dumped her kit bag onto the bed.  The room was small and neat with all the marks of being a rented room in a decent hotel.  Jin had stayed in plenty of them and some less welcoming; her clients didn't tend to want to splash out for penthouse suites if she had to do out of town legwork...hell, the type that could afford such luxuries generally didn't come to her anyway.

She shook her head to dispell that train of thought and nudged her door closed.  The first thing to do would be to go through the room and find out where she could set up and whether there was any surveillance equipment in here.  It didn't seem the type of place but paranoia was a healthy survival trait.  Jin had barely started when a rap at her door interrupted.

"Come in." She called, it would either be the Captain or Di, Captain Yanoro had clearly been following her at a leisurely pace and, Di was probably waiting for her so they could get started.  Jin picked up the room key and tucked it into a back pocket, she would lock the door once they got started on the investigation - didn't want someone wandering in without warning.
Stacey Yanoro
 player, 41 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Mon 21 Jun 2010
at 09:45
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Upstairs - Jin's room)

Seeing Di emerge from her room and the simultaneous invitation from Jin to enter, Stacey reached for the door handle before him and nodded to the girl near by.
"After you.".
He let the door swing open, holding it ajar to allow Di to slip in before him. Then with glance at Scout who was otherwise occupied he followed her through and allowed the door to close behind them both with a click.
Holding back, Stacey watched with interest as Jin unpacked, careful not to interupt, but ready to help where required.
Di
 player, 28 posts
Mon 21 Jun 2010
at 18:16
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Upstairs: Jin's Room]

Di nodded back to Jin when she emerged at the top of the stairwell, lugging her case which appeared a lot heavier now that she was pulling it upstairs and not wheeling it across the floor.  Di might have offered assistance but Jin appeared very capable of handling her own bag, Di figured she brought that silver case with her often.  She was more surprised to see Yanoro following Jin up the stairs and her interest was peaked when he opened Jin's door and gestured for her to go inside before him.

Di had expected that she and Jin would be handling this assignment on their own.  She wasn't entirely sure what to make of the Captain's presence in their midst yet.  Did he not trust them?  Was he coming to check up on them or had Jin invited him along?  Was their task simply of more importance to him that he wanted to see their results for himself?  Di waited for the answer to present itself as she quickly scanned Jin's room as she always did when entering a new location.  Taking in exits, potential dangers and anything out of place.  The room looked very similar to the one that she was going to be staying in and the most unusual thing about it was the equipment that Jin was carefully unloading onto the bed.

Some things Di recognized, basic electronic parts that anyone with any skill using a terminal would carry and know how to use.  A few things she knew she had seen before but did not know their specific uses and others were new to her completely.  Jin seemed comfortable with it all.

She then glanced at Yanoro, he was also studying Jin unpacking.  No, no not studying, not like Di.  He wasn't scrutinizing the way Jin looked at each piece, or analyzing how she held them trying to determine their value.  He wasn't making a mental inventory of which items he knew the uses for and which he did not and filing those small mysteries away until he could find an answer.  No, he couldn't be, most people didn't do that.  He was just watching with mild interest.

"Are you checking up on us already?" Di commented lightly.  She didn't smile but there was a slight amused tone to her voice that indicated jest.  Di had already ruled out that particular reason because she believed that the entire reason that Yanoro had assigned tasks to each of them was to show he trusted them with the work required of a crew - and to see what they could do.  If he was smart he'd know that people worked differently with their superiors breathing down their neck.  She didn't think he was stupid enough to compromise the crews first assignments by being overbearing.  He had another reason for being here.
Jin Chu
 player, 18 posts
Mon 21 Jun 2010
at 20:28
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Upstairs - Jin's room)

Jin ignored the eyes on her as she set up her terminal, plugging it in and making a contented little sound as it switched on, the screen glowing blue for a moment and then beginning to respond to her commands.  The carrying case was now lying open beside her to reveal a number of compartments and containers in it, each with what might be passed off by the unknowlegeable as 'stuff'.

"Last one in close the door, lock it as well if you would."  She finally seemed satisfied with the kit she had spread out. "Di, I figure you need to know what I've got stashed in here as well as the Captain so I won't kick you out."  She looked up with a smile to show her words were meant as humour rather than any actual intention of ejecting the other woman from her room.  When Jin started to speak her voice was low, audible to those inside the room with her but something that anyone outside would have to strain their ears to pick up.  "First thing's first.  She drew a palm sized cube out of the box and pressed a sequence of buttons on it.  "Debugger.  I don't mistrust your choice of somewhere to stay Captain but I don't like taking risks."  She set the cube down and turned to the things she had already begun setting up.  "Terminal.  Well, Sourcebox actually."  She rested one hand on the box.  "Doesn't take a genius to spot that one.  Most of this is like that, relatively normal."  She picked up a slender box that had been stored in a compartment somewhere at the top of her trunk.  "This is my tool kit and there isn't much I can do without it, it goes missing, I get grumpy."  Her eyes were back to what she was doing, slender fingers rifling through the equipment.  "Not to mention being pretty useless."  She added with a grin.

"Fed Band scanner."  She set what looked like a normal wave-scanner down next to the terminal.  "Not something they like you having, unsurprisingly, but useful all the same.  Jabberwocky." A box shaped object was added to the collection.  "Likewise, illegal.  It's a signal jammer, scrambles any transmission within miles but that sort of thing don't go unnoticed for long.  Good for short bursts of contact or getting something past a block.  Not something we want to be using often though, they're tough to trace, not impossible."  A data book and a couple of discs were next.  "Nothing too interesting in there.  I've got a professional subscription on the library and this has most things you might want to know in a hurry if you're heading dirt side somewhere new."  She patted the book.  "Probably a few things you don't as well."

Jin closed the case and turned finally to face her two companions.  "Di, I've got a set of electronic lock picks in my bag if you ever need a spare.  They come in handy sometimes but I don't intend to try and muscle in on your jobs.  Captain, the only other thing you should probably know about is the security, or rather anti-security software I've got on here.  Knock+ will help get me in to most systems, low level military, some fed and government stuff and pretty much anything short of the corps on a civilian level."  She let the terminal grumble away to itself, warming up and running her normal security scans while she met the Captain's eyes, not wanting him to think that she was embarassed by any of this.  "If there's anything you object to me having or don't want me using to help you out, better I know now than later and better you know how far I'll go to do my job before I start it."
Stacey Yanoro
 player, 42 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Tue 22 Jun 2010
at 22:41
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Upstairs - Jin's room)

Stacey watched Jin lay out her gear, quietly impressed by the woman's casual ease and obvious understanding of her trade. As she unpacked he could not help but nod approval at the ordered efficiency of her gear and be drawn closer to watch intrigued. When Di offered her dry jest, the Captain felt a gentle smile form on his lip. "I figure I have a pretty good idea what a pilot, medic, or engineer does. But I need to figure out if Iím crazy taking you two pixies on.". He spoke softly with humour in his voice and half an eye on Jin's work. "Besides, Miss Chu offered to show me a little more of your more obscure talents. I'm here to learn.".

The Captain might not admit it openly, but in some ways Jin's interview had confused him more than any of the others. From the moment the simply dressed slender girl had settled to her chair with an unassuming politeness he'd liked her. When the question's had begun and Jin had spoken with such fluency about her subject, Stacey had been forced to suppress a sheepish grin.

It wasn't that she was a poor communicator. Infact the opposite was true, and she had painted a clear image for Stacey every time he had asked a potentially complicated question, before devling into greater detail. But it was the depth of her knowledge that stood out. The fact that as he'd tried to scratch beneath the surface, the Captain had quickly realised he could not do her subject justice.
From the offset half of what she said was beyond his ability to disprove and he'd wished absently that Ambrose was still around to decipher some of the technical intricacies Jin referenced. By the end of the interview Stacey had almost given up on the technical questions, to instead study the woman herself. And he'd liked what he'd seen.

Now as Jin looked up to describe her gear, Stacey watched and listened intently.
Beside him Di seemed unphased by the technical complexities, her eyes flickering almost imperceptibly around the room. In the back of his mind the Captain reminded himself with amusement; You'd better pay attention Stace - if there is a test, that one is going to make you look silly. It was clear Di's mind was quick, with an eye for detail he'd yet to truly fathom.

Thankfully though having the physical component visually available was helping Stacey immensely. Now Jin showed the piece of kit, he remembered he'd wielded the benefits of a 'Jabberwocky' before on a previous command, and her other equipment or words brought back further memories. While he would be unlikely to understand the intricacies of what Jin did, the Captain felt a growing confidence that it didn't matter. He was getting a good idea of what she could do.

As she finished he spoke softly, following her lead.
"Miss Chu, Iím impressed. I have no objections to your talents, though would appreciate you warning me before you go using them and getting us all arrested. I need to know what Iím lying about first.". He winked with a smile."Some questions though.".

"First, what's the cover story for all this? Say Alliance police want a look, what do you have that won't pass a basic inspection?". He paused to glance at Di too. "And more importantly, when that inspection comes who do we say you pair are?". The question held for both women. If some official ever required a crew roster, it wouldn't do to describe Di as their thief, or Jin as their hacker. Over the last days he'd mused as to whether either woman could fly, or drive - it would simplify matters if they could pass in such roles.

"Second, I plan to leave this rock sooner rather than later, and plan to leave well equipped. Is there any gear you are missing that you believe would aid this crew?".

This message was last edited by the player at 08:24, Wed 23 June 2010.

Di
 player, 29 posts
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 00:09
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Jin's Room]

Di watched and listened very closely as Jin actually explained to her and Yanoro what her equipment was and what she could do with it.  She had been expecting to have to find the answers to her many questions about Jin's tools on her own, it was a treat to have the other woman actually share her knowledge without asking for anything in return.  It made Di feel slightly wary but her curiosity was greater.  Only because she had spent years learning to keep her emotions from appearing on her face was she able to subdue the fascination with which she watched Jin handle and explain each piece.

When she had first mentioned the debugger Di had almost expected her to pull out some sort of bug trap but the small device in her hand was obviously electronic and Di doubted that it had anything to do with stopping cockroaches.  She wished that Jin would go into more detail but she moved swiftly on to the next thing, leaving Di in the dark.  Not that she would say anything.  Di very rarely admitted to ignorance.  It was never wise to let someone know how much you knew and even less wise to let them know how much you didn't.

The sourcebox Di had recognized immediately a well as the data disks that Jin had stored with it.  She felt silly at the pride she felt in actually knowing what one of Jin's tools were for.  Di had her own small data book but she felt quite certain that Jin's was of much better quality and that she could use it to accomplish much greater tasks.

The item that Jin identified as a scanner Di had seen before.  One of the jobs she had taken on had had her working with a big guy named Nater.  He'd used a box like that to keep an ear open for any sign that their plan was in jeopardy. It had been extremely useful, had saved her hide in fact. She wondered if the scanner was illegal or if only the fact that it was a fedband scanner made it so.  Nater hadn't seemed to worried about being caught with his so Di assumed that Jin's was different and would most certainly get them into trouble if they were caught with it.  The Jabberwocky was one of the things that Di had never seen before and she listened with interest to Jin's explanation of what the little box could do, her mind already coming up with potential scenarios where it would be useful.

It was clear to Di now why Jin had brought Yanoro up to her room.  These were certainly items that he would need to know about and just by being here Di felt as though she were being brought into an inner circle.  It was possible that the Captain wouldn't tell anyone else on the crew about these particular items, that way they'd be able to deny any knowledge of illegal activity should they be caught ... they also wouldn't be able to break if someone was trying to get information from them.  Her gaze flicked from Jin to Yanoro and she wondered if they had considered these things or if she was the only one who was always expecting the worse to happen.  Whether they knew it or not they could trust Di to keep a secret, even if someone were trying to break her.  You couldn't very well break something that was already broken.

When the Captain spoke Di quirked a brow slightly. Pixies?  An interesting choice in words.  She could respect a Captain that showed interest in what his crew was doing and who respected their expertise - however unconventional it might be.

After Yanoro had posed his questions Di was ready with a response almost immediately.  It was almost as though Di disappeared completely and a totally different person had suddenly appeared in the room.  Her eyes seemed to lose that calculating edge and became almost dreamy.  Her body, which typically seemed like a coiled spring just waiting to jump into action, became looser, her limbs hanging freely at her sides instead of held carefully still, her weight shifting smoothly to her right.  A smile lit her face and when she spoke her voice sounded a bit higher and more airy.  Her accent had become distinctly more southern.

"Oh fang xin Captain, you are such a worry wart." she said charmingly with a careless flick of her hand, "I can't imagine any reason why someone would come along to inspect a lil' old thing like me, just tryin' to get by with the gifts the good Lord gave me.  I mean where would you all be without a hand in the kitchen?  Skin an' bones - mark my words."

The smile vanished and Di's diminutive stature returned to normal, "A cover story is the easy part.  I can work on one for you too." she said to Jin, "The trick is not causing a need for an inspection in the first place and making sure there's nothing to find if we end up with one.  The locks here are not secure.  This establishment was not meant to house illegal activities and judging by the way you and your crew have spoken about its owners I doubt you want to bring any misfortune to bear on their heads.  I can look into finding another location for Jin and I to perform our task and perhaps even store our belongings.  The latter might be trickier.  But if anyone traces Jin's activities it wouldn't lead them back to here."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:49, Wed 23 June 2010.

Jin Chu
 player, 19 posts
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 16:13
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room)

Jin pursed her lips thoughtfully, suppressing a giggle at the Captain's description of herself and Di...Pixies, that was definitely a new one on her.  Her musings on a cover story were interrupted by Di's very convincing alteration in persona.  As the girl's normal voice resumed, at least Jin assumed it was, she offered a soft round of applause.  "That was impressive.  Ever considered a career on stage?" She enquired with a grin, an expression which did nothing to belie the pixie nomenclature.

"Properly I have a license for detective work but having a PI on board as anything more than a short haul passenger isn't necessarily easier to explain than a hacker.  Hmm, computer expert, negotiator, lawyer; I won't offer to cook though."  She laughed.  Jin's mind was still half on Di's alteration, there was clearly more to the girl's skills than simple cat burglery and her curiosity was piqued.  It would be good to find out more about the girl but something told Jin that it wouldn't be easy.  It wouldn't do to start interrogating her crewmates but part of her relished the challenge of drawing information out of the garded woman who she was working with on this little information gathering spree.  "If someone does come nosing around,"  She turned back to the captain.  "Then the 'wocky and the scanner are going to raise some eyebrows if I leave them on display.  Unless they demand to actually inspect my terminal or have been running some pretty heavy duty cortex checks then the Knock shouldn't get flagged.  However..."  She reached into her case once more and did something in the bottom of the, now mostly empty, container.  What looked like padding to keep the various delicate electronics rattling about lifted and out, under an inch or so of foam was a steel plate and more padding.  The area beneath it was perhaps six inches deep, just enough to fit the two boxes with a little additional space.  Gesturing to the edge of the raised section, she invited the other two closer.  "Decent lock on it, probably pickable but you need to find the catch to get to the key hole first."  She ran a finger over the small plate that covered the locking mechaism.  "Of course, you also have to empty everything out, it rather depends just how determined they are and someone who wants to find things they shouldn't that badly will probably have more interesting things than mine to concern themselves with."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:16, Wed 23 June 2010.

Stacey Yanoro
 player, 44 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 20:19
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room)

Stacey raised an eyebrow as Di's demeanour changed and chuckled appreciatively with Jin's round of applause. The boyish loner had hinted at such skill in her interview, but the sudden change in person was impressive.
"Very well then, if anyone asks, you're our hapless scullery girl.". His eyes lingered on the girl for a second. "Lets come back to your security suggestion in a moment.".

A week or so ago, Stacey hadn't known what sort of response to expect to his slightly obscure advert for 'all types'. But both these women had made him glad he'd been open minded.
Now he wondered absently that if Di had tried, could she have persuaded him she was a pilot, engineer, or some other similarly skilled individual? The Captain reassured himself he knew enough of such roles to have caught her out, but with a wistful smile he corrected himself; he'd only probably have caught her out. And then it would have only been because of the nature of their meeting, the fact his questions put her under explicit scrutiny and were designed to find out about her. Under less specific circumstances, Stacey wondered just how much Di could get away with if she wanted. The thought made him glad she was apparently on his side.

Jin's words quelled any silent musings for the moment and he listened again carefully. Mentally he was making a check list of her statements, something he'd learned to do early as a leader. A Captain didn't have to be more 'capable' than his crew. No, that was a trap young, arrogant, or insecure men fell into - all he had to do was be quick and strong enough to guide that very crew to reach its full capability as individuals, but more importantly as a team. The information Jin was offering now was a vital facet of that task.
He responded, assured of the knowledge.
"Understood. I think we'll be able to handle any attention well enough now we're clear what's involved.".
Satisfied, Stacey examined the concealed space Jin had revealed for a second longer then spoke again.

"Di - you mentioned setting up in another location. I like the idea, but think for now we are clear here. I don't want you two pushing too hard with this task, or taking risks we donít need to yet - lets see what a few discreet enquiries or some gentle research with your equipment turns up before you start using...", he paused to choose his words, "...your more 'sophisticated' talents.".
Stacey looked to each woman for their input, and continued.
"But I agree there is no harm improving our security here at the Dragon. I will speak to Cole and ensure he gets us into the habit of there being at least 2 people at the Dragon at all times.".
The idea would allow the group to keep an eye on things, and if they mixed up actual people staying put, it would provide further oppoutunity for the crew to gel.

"Now then, did you have any more toys to show me, or secrets to share?".
Di
 player, 31 posts
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 21:26
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Jin's Room]

Di turned, startled, towards Jin as she began applauding, an unsure expression on her face.  She didn't understand why the other woman was clapping and she hadn't been expecting it at all.  Di had not been performing, she simply found the easiest way to explain her point was to illustrate it.  Jin's query about whether Di had ever considered a career on stage left the slightly smaller woman even more perplexed.  Di had heard of theaters before, it was something that rich people with the luxury of free time and money attended but Di had never actually seen a performance.  And she had certainly never considered a career performing for those people like some sort of talking monkey.  What Di did was a matter of survival.  Fitting into a certain situation or throwing off people that might intend to hurt her often meant the difference between life and death on the street.  She certainly wouldn't have made it past her first few years if she hadn't convinced Darter that she was just a small kid who was stupid enough to give up most of her food to him in exchange for protection.  If he had known how smart she was, that everything had been part of her own plan he would have left her to die.

"I was not ..." Di started and then stopped.  Yanoro filled the silence quickly by assuring her that her cover story would be sufficient and allowing the conversation to continue and Di put the situation behind her.

Jin had some possible ideas for a cover and Di might be able to work with one of them.  The other woman was wise to try and pick a cover that still explained her intelligence.  Di somehow just couldn't picture Jin passing as a backwater farmer or anything of the sort.  Her speech would give her away immediately.

She watched as Jin revealed her hidden compartment for her less legal items and after casting a look at Jin to get her permission inspected it a little closer.  It seemed reasonable that her items should be safe from any kind of general sweep.  Only someone who knew exactly what they were looking for and was determined to find it would discover the items location in Di's opinion.

Di nodded when Yanoro wrapped up the conversation.  She wasn't as confident as the Captain that even leaving two people at the Celestial Dragon at all times would be sufficient security but Di was not the type to try and press her opinions.  She'd studied the building and now many of the rooms inside.  If something happened she'd know what to do to keep herself and her belongings out of harms way.  Unused to working as a crew she didn't even give a second thought to how everyone else would handle such a situation.

"Nothing." Di replied coolly, "Jin and I should get to work though, half the day's gone already." she didn't mean to be brisk with him but that is the way it came out.  Di was just focused.
Jin Chu
 player, 20 posts
Wed 23 Jun 2010
at 22:17
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
She caught the look on Di's face, uncertain, irritated and a little defensive.  Perhaps it had been the wrong thing to do but the complete change in her demeanour, both physically and verbally had caught Jin off guard.  Apologising now probably wouldn't make the situation easier for either of the women, besides, Di was right, they had a lot of work to do and ever decreasing time in which to do it.

"I don't think I have anything else Captain so unless Di has anything to share that she'd rather I not here, I shall get on with hooking this up and making a start."  She rested one hand on top of the terminal again, paused and then turned back to Yanoro before he could leave.  "Oh, and if you've got any names or places that you think might be worth checking, anyone who might be particularly interested in making your life hard.  Anything you can tell us will save time."
Stacey Yanoro
 player, 45 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Thu 24 Jun 2010
at 12:19
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room)

"Very well then.".
Stacey was not taken aback by Di's brisk statement and appreciated the woman's direct nature. He spared a glance to Jin and was pleased to see her seemingly relaxed about the situation. That was good and he hoped she would continue to engage her boyish counterpart.
The Captain had looked for recruits who would work well as a team, whose characters he hoped would mesh well. Di had been the exception to the rule, and it had made him think twice about inviting her to join them.

Di seemed...it was difficult to describe. She was direct and insular, a woman who seemed embedded in her lone work and took each detail with serious conviction. Even at the interview when she spoke of previous employment her roles seemed distinct but isolated, but then perhaps she'd not worked with a crew like his before.

Stacey hoped the newcomers would grow to become part of the unusual family that had been forged through a mission to Miranda. Di's apparent solitude had been a risk to that vision, and yet it reminded him in some ways of Lydia. Both were young, determined and headstrong. More importantly before Makani had drawn Lydia to her protective custody, the teen had not had a family to call her own since...Stacey did not know when. Instinctivly the Captain had gone against his better judgement to recruit Di because like Lydia, despite her clear abilities, it was if she needed something.

He nodded as Jin raised her question.
"There may be nothing in it, but too many of the agents and brokers we've begun negociation with have terminated contact with no real reason. I've a hunch it has something to with either our previous employer Rafael Bettencourt, or Alliance unease at the destruction of the Aurora. The most recent rejections were this morning; Joon Ivermann runs a freight business at the main port, and I've done occasional work for him before. He didn't have a ship, but at least some simple work to get us flying was likley. Or so I thought until I got a call saying all his work had dried up.".
Stacey frowned but went on.
"Then there is a consortium of small businessmen down South Side who call themselves the 'Happy Happy Club'. None of the members are notable in themselves and I'd have said they were harmless enough. They tend to have occasional somewhat ecclectic jobs avaliable, or some rarer sought after stock which I know we can make a margin on over on Beylix. This morning they cancelled a meeting with me.".
The Captain reached to scratch the back of his neck, vaguley irritated by the situation. "Last, I created an account 2 months ago to which Tannenbaum Inc who I'd captained for were due to deposit 1000 credits. I checked the account yesterday, and its 'locked'. No explanation why.". He reached into a pocket and removed a neatly folded peice of paper. "The account details are on here, along with a couple more of the contacts who have 'dodged' us.".
Stacey paused to allow the women to ask any final questions.
"That should give you something to go on.".

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:32, Mon 28 June 2010.

Di
 player, 32 posts
Fri 25 Jun 2010
at 21:39
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Jin's Room]

Di nodded as she took in the information that Yanoro was relaying to them.  It gave them a lot of options to start their search.  The locked account peaked Di's interest in the most.  It would most likely require some leg work and actually talking to people to get an idea as to why Ivermann and the Happy Happy Club had dodged the Captain.  But the account had a third party involved.  Tannenbaum Inc had to have talked to someone to get the account locked in the first place, it was possible that an explanation was given then, or even a dropped comment.  And a third party might not care so much about keeping the reasons for some account being locked secret.

She glanced dubiously at Jin's equipment and wondered how much the other woman would be able to figure out using her terminal and other tools.  If she could figure out exactly where the account was, and who was in charge of locking the accounts maybe they'd have a lead.

It was also possible that they might be able to catch Ivermann in a lie.  See if he really didn't have any jobs or if those jobs were just going to other people.  Di's first instinct was to take off and head for the main port, start observing and poking her nose around.  She knew it was expected of her though to work with Jin so she stopped herself.  She couldn't afford to make Yanoro reconsider taking her own.  This was the opportunity she had been waiting for.  A chance to escape New Dunsmir, to leave its polluted streets behind her for good.  She didn't want to screw it up.

"That's plenty." Di said, the thought of conferring with Jin to see if she agreed didn't even cross her mind.  Her gaze again shifted subtly to Jin's equipment, she didn't actually know how to proceed - not with all those shiny tools.  What Di knew was the streets.  What her first steps would be were probably quite different from the other woman's.  To prevent revealing her ignorance she stayed quiet, letting Jin determine where they should go from here.  She'd give her opinions if they were needed.  It'd be far more interesting and she'd learn more by observing how Jin worked and which leads she'd decide to follow first.
Stacey Yanoro
 player, 46 posts
 Captain of the Aurora
 Unification War Veteran
Sat 26 Jun 2010
at 18:39
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room to Lobby)

Stacey smiled gently, and nodded.
"Very well then. If there is anything else you need to speak to me about, Lin, one of the Dragon's hostess' should know where to find me. Alternativly, I'll have my communicator with me, and I doubt I'll be out of range of in the near future. You'll find the frequency on the piece of paper I gave you.".

With that, the Captain bowed slightly, and moved to excuse himself. These women had work to do, and it was likley they would get to know each other better if he wasn't breathing down their necks.

Already wondering what they would find out, he slipped out of the room to find Scout yawning on the hallway carpet beneath a window. Knowing the pup would follow Stacey made his way back down to the lobby where he had promised to meet Gregory.

(to the main thread)
Jin Chu
 player, 21 posts
Sat 26 Jun 2010
at 23:53
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room)

"More than enough." Jin confirmed, scribbling notes down on a pad of paper, somewhat incongruous with the amount of technology surrounding her, as the Captain spoke.  As he left the room quietly - *almost like a parent slipping out of their child's bedroom* Jin thought idly - she was putting the kit she wouldn't need back in the proper places.  The movements she made while handling the various boxes and pads were precise, practised and perhaps a little obsessively careful.

With the terminal set to her satisfaction, Jin dropped the note pad next to it: Aurora - explosion
Bettencourt - ex-employer
Ivermann - work, no ship
Happy Happy (joy joy?) Club - South side, ecclectic work/rare stock (legal?) cancelled meeting.  Connections?
Tannenbaum Inc - failed payment 1k, account locked **

She made no effort to cover what she had written, allowing Di to read it easily over her shoulder if she wished.  The piece of paper Yanoro had handed her with the account details on it was scanned and then put down as well, one edge tucked under the pad to stop it blowing away or getting brushed aside accidentally.

Turning to look at Di, Jin let out a breath and gave a satisfied smile, the expression of someone who enjoys thier work and is looking forward to putting skills to use.  "Any immediate thoughts?"  She queried.  "The thing that jumps out as most suspicious to me is the locked account.  It doesn't do to get a reputation for not paying money that's owed after a job and there must be a reason for the closure.  The members of this 'Happy Happy Club' could be a font of information as well, they sound like the sort of people who have contacts.  Most likely someone is pulling their strings but doing some digging might put us on the track of who."
Di
 player, 35 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2010
at 00:50
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Jin's Room]

Di watched Yanoro slip out of the room for a moment and then turned her focus to Jin.  She was already putting things away and getting her work space organized.  Di noted that she handled all of her equipment very carefully, almost as though simply touching them too hard would cause them to shatter.  With a little anxiousness Di wondered if that was the case.  Would her things break if they were not handled with such care?  She would have to be extra cautious around all of the electronics.  She did not wish to have anything break due to something she did as Di felt it was fairly safe to assume that nearly everything Jin owned, as far as her tools went, was very expensive.

Once Jin had set down her pad of paper Di did steal a glance at what she had written down.  The notes were simple and seemed to mostly serve the purpose of keeping track of the facts.  Di thought it was interesting that Jin had written such things down.  Di never put anything to paper, or anywhere else for that matter, that she couldn't keep stored in her own mind - and Di could store a lot of information. She preferred to keep all of her thoughts to herself.  Paper trails got people into a lot of trouble, Di knew, she had followed plenty of them herself.

Her mind started wandering a bit into her own analysis of Jin's notes and a bit of introspection concerning her own methods when the other woman turned back around and spoke to Di directly.

Just the very tiniest hint of a smile, if you could even call it that, passed over Di's face for a second when Jin spoke.  Di's thoughts had gone right to the account as well, it was unusual for her to find someone who's mind was as quick as hers.  Who picked up on the details that she did. Di was used to working with mostly street thugs.  Uneducated people who thought every situation could be solved by hitting your enemies harder than they could hit you.  This was often the case, but when you were small like Di you had to rely on something else.  You had to have the will to survive and the brain to know how to do it.  It was almost a treat to find someone that she felt she might actually be able to work with.  It also made Di wary.  This was a whole new playing field and there were probably a lot of pit traps that Di didn't even know about - she'd have to tread carefully.

"The locked account stood out to me as well." she agreed.  Jin's reasons were sound and further increased Di's suspicions that something was definitely up.  Tannenbaum Inc. was risking a lot by pulling out of paying for services rendered.  Reputation was very important.

"There's a third party involved there.  Tannenbaum had to contact someone in order to have the account locked.  Maybe a reason was given.  A third party might not have any qualms sharing that information.  If we can hunt down the account and who was responsible to for closing it we might be able to get some answers." It didn't even cross her mind that if Tannenbaum was a large enough company their accounts might not be handled by a third party.

Di considered what Jin had said about the Happy Happy Club then.  She felt it was highly possible that someone was pulling their strings but dealing with a whole group of people was more dangerous then dealing with one, "I'd prefer to hit up Ivermann first.  Yanoro said he'd worked with him before, might make him more sympathetic, and Ivermann's one man.  We poke 'round too much with the club and they might start talking to one another, figure out that something's up."

"If we check up on Ivermann we might be able to catch him in a lie.  He told the Captain he didn't have any work, so let's see if that's the truth.  We try to get a job from him ourselves - unassociated from Yanoro - and see what happens.  People talk, especially when they don't think what they say will get back to anyone.  We might be able to find out something useful."

This message was last edited by the player at 01:18, Sun 27 June 2010.

Jin Chu
 player, 23 posts
Sun 27 Jun 2010
at 23:20
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room)

Jin nodded, going to Ivermann in person was a good plan and not the route she would likely have taken if left to her own devices.  "There's a chance that Tannenbaum have their own accounts department, I don't know what sort of company they are, even so there will probably be an internal flag on Captain Yanoro's file.  I can make a start on looking for that now."  She looked at her watch, the afternoon was moving on.  "Unless you would rather we talk with Ivermann today rather than tomorrow morning.  I can poke about electronically through the evening if it comes to it."

She turned back to the terminal, now humming quietly to itself, and started a couple of searches running.  "I'll pull up the public information on Bettencourt, Joon Ivermann and the Club...Or no, I'll pull up the public stuff on Ivermann and the Club now, possibly Tannenbaum and one or two of these others as well.  Doesn't matter if that shows up linked to my terminal just yet and it makes sense if we're looking for jobs.  Probably look more suspicious if we just turned up out of the blue.  Bettencourt we'll check out later, Captain gave the impression that he was a private individual so probably hires on spec rather than putting general adverts out.  Might be worth checking the local ads anyway though.  See if they tell us anything about anyone looking to make a hire."  Her voice grew quieter, she had begun by telling Di what she was doing but, by the end, she was clearly talking as much to herself as the other woman, voice just audible over the tapping of her fingers as they sent her software probing after the information she wanted.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:32, Mon 28 June 2010.

Shan Yu
 GM, 76 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Mon 28 Jun 2010
at 03:54
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's room)

The Cortex readily gave up its information to Jin's searches, especially since she was looking strictly for public information on a legitimate business.  Joon Iverman was listed as the owner and manager of White Galleon Shipping and Freight.  The Cortex site for the business was nondescript, not unlike thousands of other business Cortex sites.  It was a small business, based out of New Dunsmuir, Beaumonde, and had been in operation for 16 years.  They operated shipping routes primarily within the Kalidasa System, but also to the Core system.  They listed 17 ships on their books, most of them older model mid-bulk transports, but two were large freighters.  There were links to allow businesses to submit inquiries regarding hiring the company to transport cargoes, as well as for anyone wishing to apply for a positon with the company.  Other Cortex sites listed them as having been a moderately profitable shipping company, and there were no indications of criminal affiliation or activity.

There were two listings for Happy, Happy Club...one was a bar on Greenleaf, and the other was a non-specific business on Ariel.  There were no listings for Beaumonde.
Jin Chu
 player, 24 posts
Mon 28 Jun 2010
at 18:41
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
Jin wrinkled her nose as she scanned the screen.  "Nothing new there then."  She sighed.  "At least we know that Ivermann isn't short on boats even if he doesn't have any available at the moment, not to the Captain anyway.  We'll have to see what he says to the two of us, whoever we choose to be when we talk to him.  I'll see about setting something up to ask about some haulage as well.  Shouldn't be too much of a problem to set up enough of a business front to make him not look too hard."
Di
 player, 38 posts
Mon 5 Jul 2010
at 18:48
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Jin's Room]

Di listened and watched carefully as Jin worked but she might as well been speaking another language for all Di got out of it.  As Jin worked the one thing that became abundantly clear to Di was that she had a lot to learn.  It was strange but the confident young woman suddenly felt a little apprehensive and unsure.  She knew the streets of New Dunsmir like the back of her hand.  She had fought for her life here day in and day out and she had survived - which was more than she could say for a lot of kids that grew up in this city.  But everything that Jin was doing was completely new to her and she had a the sneaking suspicion that traveling on a ship would hold even more mysteries.

Di quickly shook off those feelings, uncertainty just got in the way of clear thinking.  She couldn't let herself become overrun with anxiety - it would be unproductive.  So she listened and watched and learned what she could (which wasn't much but was better than trying to psychoanalyze herself).  Jin learned things a lot faster then Di would have been able to.  It had only been a few minutes and already she had found out how many ships Ivermann had without even having to go to the port.  There was a reason Yanoro hired her though and she would be useful, she wasn't going to blow this chance.

"If he's got boats it's hard to believe he don't have any work.  Once you wrap up here I think we should head to the port today.  See what he ain't tellin' the Captain."
Jin Chu
 player, 27 posts
Tue 6 Jul 2010
at 22:29
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's Room)

"You may well be right, I can do this later on this evening really and make haulage enquiries through the cortex if it comes to it.  The sooner we talk face to face with Ivermann the sooner we are likely to find out the state of play."  She paused for a minute, staring at the terminal screen but not really seeing what was shown on it.  "That will want another cover story really.  What do we want to present ourselves as?  I can probably fake it with regards to what and where we want but if it comes down to him wanting us to provide proof that we can fly one of his ships or keep it running..."  She shrugged.  If he was willing to take on a computer engineer then she would be fine, aside from that her own talents weren't necessarily much called for on a ship.
Di
 player, 40 posts
Sun 11 Jul 2010
at 17:35
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
[Jin's Room]

Di shook her head, "Nothin' fancy.  We don' want questions comin' our way that we don't got answers to.  You've done some travelin', right?  Know a fair bit about companies around the 'verse?" Jin struck her as the type of woman that knew things.  Just her work with the computer alone might have given her all sorts of information they might be able to use.  She didn't wait for Jin to respond though.

"We could swing bein' negotiators, traders.  Tell him we can help him find the best deals for his goods.  It's somethin' he'd probably need so it'll hopefully get him talkin' an' we'll be able to fake that better then knowin' how an engine works or how to fly a ship."  It was Di's turn to be mostly thinking aloud now.  She eyed Jin up and down, "What you got on will do, I'll have to go change." they needed to look respectable.  She'd heard the saying that you never could judge a book by its cover but that didn't stop most people from doing just that on a daily basis.  Appearances were very important when you wanted to get information out of someone or get into places.

"Bring your terminal, you can tell it's worth somethin' and will make us look more successful and worth talkin' too.  An' it could be how we communicate with our "contacts"." the idea was coming together in Di's head and she thought it should work.  And Jin was pretty, men had loser tongues around pretty ladies.  She wouldn't even have to say much, just being there would help.

Without another word Di slipped from Jin's room and into her own.  She pulled her duffel bag out and carefully removed a knee length gray skirt and a light blue blazer.  She pulled the clothing on and slipped her feet into a pair of black pumps.  Twisting her hair up behind her head she pinned it into a neat bun.  She secured her thigh holster and made sure her knives were in place.

Moments later she was back in Jin's room assuring that the other woman had packed up her terminal and was ready to move.
Shan Yu
 GM, 93 posts
 Are you familiar with...
 the works of Shan Yu?
Mon 12 Jul 2010
at 16:35
Re: Chapter 2.3: Who Wants to Know?
(Jin's room)

Jin was indeed ready.  She grabbed her computer and took a quick final glance around the room to ensure everything was secured.  Satisfied, she closed and locked the door, then walked down the hall with Di.  As the two women descended the stairs, they encountered Stacey, who was apparently enroute to see them.

(To the Chapter 2 main thread)