We determine the date to be 2074 06 28 and will follow a calendar from now on.
Nuk, Barf, and Elric take a cab over to the very fancy Skyview, where Nuk and I meet with the Johnson who is not happy that we didn’t recover the package as we’d been tasked. Barf stays in the cab. We offer to complete the deal by ambushing the Tong assassin at The Lodge and recovering the missing ‘package’. I make the compelling case that, in case she doesn’t have it on her, we need to what we’re looking for. He very reluctantly agrees and gives us a plastic replica of an old Chinese coin, telling us that the missing ‘package’ looks identical (but is metal). Barf does a matrix search for the coin in Dubai and finds a link to Dunklezhan’s will, but is interrupted by an overwatch security agent who confiscates his comlink. Barf heads to a coffee house away from the fanciest hotel in the world, and we leave in a separate cab to meet him. We decide that the coffee house is too open for our conversation and take a new cab to the hotel district, then walk to a middle-class hotel, the Dubai Palm Hotel (Y100/night).
Barf’s analysis of the assassin’s comlink had revealed that her meeting was at The Chi at The Lodge which research reveals is inland, near a hospital, outdoor club, has a reputation for being totally secure, and providing completly secure conversations. It’s open from 9 PM – 3 AM and is reputed to have heavy magical security. We also have learned that there is a substantial underworld presence in Dubai, and it’s possible that a fight for control is brewing. The escort/assassin is a member of the Yellow Lotus triad.
Researching Dunklezhan’s will discovers mention of 4 coins of luck; Lu Coin, Shou Coin, Feng Coin, Fu Coin. The one we’re looking for is Lu — prosperity and wealth, which was willed to Sun Yet Sun, a humble fisherman who had helped Dunklezhan. Sun is now dead. This coin has shown up in Denver, the Son’s of Thunder runner group had it for a while, and a couple of other famous people. It grants whomever is holding it a measure of material wealth, but will cause the same person bad luck if ‘misused’ and must be given to you in order to get the benefit. It has been valued between priceless and Y2MM. The coins are at least 2000 years old, part of the Sai dynasty and legend has it that the dragon kings gave the 4 coins to mankind.
I make a bartender contact, Del Lewis (L1, C?), and learn that the Yellow Lotus are prevalent, in fact there’s a drunkard one in this bar so we’re forced to be discreet in our conversation. If they have a ‘Family Home’ it’s location is unknown but, as is common in Asia, they frequent a specific restaurant/bar, in this case it’s called Pit. The escort/assassin is called Grass Sandal, and ‘she is very rarely seen and looks different every time’.
The sandstorm is now -3 to perception outside.
We rent a Fiat Eurovan (Y135/day) as cover and park across the street from Pit. Barf matrices in, getting control of the internal cameras while Nuk and I remain in the van and conduct physical and astral surveillance respectively. One camera is found to be turned off, when Barf gets it turned on it reveals an office which is unoccupied. He almost gets caught, but then escapes by bricking the comlink of a drunk-looking in the bar area of Pit. We don’t believe we were traced, but if I were the boss I’d figure it was someone close and have everyone go outside to scour, so we drive away.
As we leave Elric sees a group of 4 men walking down the sidewalk toward Pit, and I recognize one as the shooter from the United Kingdom of The World, where our target, Gashad, was shot (we’ve checked every day since, but there’s been no news of Gashad). Thinking quickly, but not necessarily clearly, I blast them with a Manaball and they all drop. I jump out of the van, grab him, toss him in the van and, as Nuk drives off, cast a Heal spell on him to bring him back to consciousness. We stabilize him, and interrogate him on the record, and he tells us a lot about Grass Sandal, but it’s in Chinese, so we’ll need it translated, then he dies. We stop at a gas station, get some gas, pour it on the body and the van, drive to a bad neighborhood and set it on fire. Careful scrutiny reveals no one watching us. We walk some distance in the sandstorm and look for a cab, get to a coffee shop, and call Barf’s corp. secretary contact for a translation. We learn that the shooter couldn’t tell us what Grass Sandal looks like because she always changes her appearance, but he was supposed to guard her for a meeting tomorrow at 7:00 PM. He hadn’t said where. He was to look out for people who look suspicious, especially a strangely dressed elf in a hat and with a cane (me). Barf examines The Shooter’s comlink but doesn’t find anything useful. He applies his skills against The Chi at The Lodge, and learns that Zero1 is having a concert at 7:00 at Chi, tomorrow. Note that this is ahead of the normal opening hours, but it’s now Ramadan which changes schedules.
We move to the Astoria hotel. As we wait for room service, we’re surprised by a visit from Gashad, our original target and the guy who had the coin. He has a head wound, a white noise generator, a signal jammer and 3 bodyguards, but he’s just here to talk. He tells us, apparently honestly, that he hadn’t recognized the symbol I’d shown him at the fights —it looked like the Red Crescent Society, of which he’s a member, but the Red Crescent Society doesn’t have the 3 vertical bars. He reveals that his father is the ‘moral leader’ of RCS and an artifact hunter. Gashad will pay us Y4,500 each for the return of the real coin. A flight to Europe would cost about Y500, and our real goal is to get the fuck out of here and we don’t care about our local reputation, so we accept. I rest for the night and recover stun/edge, while Nuk and Barf head to the Nightsook to get some more gear (this time invoking Red Crescent Society sponsorship to get a discount).