Joshua Monson had a bounty put on him from an unknown source which is usually lead to believe that the hit is political or otherwise not a source that wants to be made public. While bounties are legal due to being sanctioned by Corporation law enforcement, the acquisition of bounty targets were to still be conducted within accordance to local law.
However, it was odd that the bounty issued a kill warrant. This wasn’t typical for bounties within Corporation stations. This was typically given for armed and dangerous targets, but the included pictures show him as a typical business man.
“The bounty doesn’t allow us permission to kill,” Niko informed the team, “as we’re still expected to operate under the accordance of Corporation law.”
“While we’re on the station,” Kennith added. Niko nodded.
“Then let’s find the guy,” Shoshannah chirped.
“I’ll need a terminal if we’re going to get more information on this guy,” Niko said while handing back Kennith’s tablet. “This tablet isn’t going to help me. I know a place not far from here, but I’d rather not take us all there and draw unnecessary attention.”
Kleg stood up and said, “then allow me to accompany you. I’ve tracked down harder marks than this.”
“Very well. Kleg and I will do some research if you two will go stake out C.U.R.E.”
“Sounds good,” Kennith said while putting his tablet away. “Shosh and I will hit the streets and see what we can find out about this takeover and hopefully run into our target.”
“Where is this terminal anyway,” Kleg wondered.
“It’s a place I scoped out before. They respect your privacy and provide a room for each terminal—”
“Perfect,” Kleg interrupted.
“… of the adult variety.”
Kennith and Shoshannah looked up the address of C.U.R.E.‘s base of operations on Alabaster 2 and left for the nearest light rail stop as the base was in another sector of the station. Kleg and Niko walked several blocks down the street and reached a business called Cat’s Cable.
“This is it,” Niko remarked. Its key difference apart from its neighboring businesses was that the main entryway was a gate to a brief garden with a tiled walkway to the single door entrance. The gate wasn’t difficult to navigate for Kleg, but the regular door took effort to walk through without smashing into the frame.
“Welcome to Cat’s cable,” a woman said behind a podium with a fixed screen in front of her. “Are you together or separate?”
Niko didn’t flinch. “We’re together.”
She equally responded with unwavering professionalism, “Then you’ll find Room A3 to be accommodating. Here is your card.” She hands him a keycard, motions a welcoming arm in the direction down the hall, and explains, “please follow the hall and take the first right down Hallway A. It’ll be the 2nd door on your right.”
“My pleasure. Enjoy your stay.”
Upon reaching the room, Niko slid the card into the door’s card reader, opened the door, and entered the room. It was deceptively large with two large screens mounted on opposite walls, a bathroom at the end of the room, a large bed, and a terminal at the end of the bed.
“This looks like any other Alabaster hotel,” Kleg said.
Niko walked over to the terminal, sat down, and waved his hand across the screen. It lit up with the Cat’s Cable logo and several options: Rent Videos, Rent Holograms, and Admin. The Admin feature was disabled.
Kleg raised an eyebrow and said, “well, except that.”
Niko pulled out a cable from his coat and plugged it into an area behind his neck under his coat’s collar. Then he reached down and plugged the other end of the cable into a jack on the computer. He looked up at the screen, and the Admin option appeared enabled after a few moments. It activated, a desktop briefly appeared, and it was immediately filled with new views popping up across it. “Okay, I’m in.”
“Try seeing if you can get a dossier on him via company servers.”
Niko proceeded as he said without acknowledgement. It wasn’t necessary as Kleg can see on screen what Niko was doing (albeit very fast with windows popping up and closing rapidly). The displayed activity finally slowed down with a row of information highlighted in a light blue. “Found him.”
The highlight blinked before an employee file opened up on the screen. It displayed the known information for Joshua Monson: date of birth, Corporation ID (CID), start date, last promotion date, last merit date, …
“Ah ha,” Niko said softly. He extended his hand and pointed at the home address before cursing out loud. The file closed and a new window popped up with what looks similar to a snow crash—the random white and black tiny pixels seen on an ancient television with no antennae or cable connection.
“What’s wrong? What is that,” Kleg questioned. For a moment, Niko was motionless. The snow crash disappeared from the screen, and he leaned back in the chair.
“That was my scanning and trace obfuscation protocol,” he explained. “Someone or something was performing a security sweep of the server.”
“Were we made?”
“No, or at least I’m not picking up signs of detection. We got what we need. Let’s not linger any further.” He had already downloaded the file during this short conversation. He got up and followed Kleg out of Cat’s Cable.
Shoshannah and Kennith’s rail car slowed to a stop at their destination. It was remarkably busy so late in the evening as folks were stepping on and off the car. Kennith didn’t have a problem moving through the crowd, but Shosh was getting bumped into by every other Corporate. Kennith took notice and smiled to himself.
“Just stay behind me,” he said over his shoulder. She moved directly behind him as they walked their way out of the hub.
The address to this station’s C.U.R.E. facility was a long walk. During this walk, the two of them discussed how to go about entering the compound and finding more information about Joshua Monson. They were relieved upon their arrival to find that the facility doubled as an urgent care center for the public.
“I’ll hang back here and come in looking for you,” Kennith told her. Shoshannah nodded and proceeded to the main entrance.
It’s a gated entrance with security checking with each vehicle before opening the driveway gates. Adjacent to the gate is a revolving door entrance to a long hallway that runs along the driveway to the main facility. Legionnaires wearing white combat armor with a white cloth overcoat donning C.U.R.E.’s logo stood on each side of the revolving door. Shoshannah walked past them and through the doorway without much of a glance from them.
Most people in the hallway were leaving the building, and very few folks were heading into the building. She was walking against the main flow and often found herself walking along the full height and length windows to keep them from bumping into her. At the end of the hallway were automatic double-doors that stayed open for long periods of time due to the constant foot traffic.
Stepping through the doors revealed a large room with the second and third floors visible above. The ground floor she was on had a long reception desk with two female and one male Corporate seemingly kept busy behind the counter. On each side of the desk were elevator hallways, and there was a spiraling staircase to her left for immediate access to the visible floors.
“Excuse me, miss. Miss,” one of the female Corporates questioned in Shoshannah’s direction. She turned to face and look at her. “Miss, are you lost?”
“Oh,” Shoshannah started. “A little bit. It’s my first time here, and I’m looking for the restroom.”
“There are no restrooms here for you,” she said sharply before letting out some venom. “I’m afraid I must ask you to turn around and leave.”
Taken aback, Shosh wasn’t as prepared as she thought to encounter such angst. Not knowing how to proceed, she held her head up, turned around, and headed towards the doors out. As she approached the already open doors, Kennith nearly bumped into her.
“Shosh,” he said surprisingly.
Before he could finish his sentence, she blurted quietly in frustration, “they won’t let me use the restroom here. We have to—”
“Hey, don’t worry about it,” he said confidently. “Change of plans. Walk with me.” He turned around to head back down the hallway and out of the facility. Shosh followed beside him.
Once they cleared the vicinity while walking back to the rail car hub, he told her about the news Kleg and Niko discovered. They had messaged him to head back and meet them at Waypoint Alpha.