It was a plain sort of room. An add-on to a coffee shop, with two double doors and pale green doors. A thin dirty carpet lined the floor, with small dark stains scattered here and there.
This room could be rented for private meetings. Discretion was a guarantee. She wasn’t able to test the magic side of things but the room had been shielded from any kind of electrical surveillance, or transmission. The doors when shut made the room soundproof. It was a bit worrisome actually. She had propped the door open to ensure she could hear people coming down the hall and to keep her coms up until everyone arrived.
An idle hand fiddled with her right tusk as she waited checking and rechecking her inbox for messages. She shouldn’t have shown up so early but she was so eager and on edge she couldn’t wait.
Finally she heard soft, careful footfalls in the hallway. Then the doorway was filled, well mostly filled, by a tall thin man with a carefully shaved neat haircut. He had a long raincoat on, a cheap blue plastic affair that was open at the front giving a glimpse of trim, dark, tight fitting clothes underneath. Sharp dark eyes scanned the room and then focused on her.
For a moment they both just looked at each other. She scanned him and found hardened access points and passive scanners. No obvious cyber, suggesting high end bio modifications. At least two guns showed up with sophisticated protected smart-link nodes.
“See what you were looking for?”
“You the sister?”
“Carmelo’s? Yes. You are the shooter she mentioned?”
He smiled at that. A nice neat smile. Genuine too, although she didn’t know what that would be humorous.
“Yeah, that’s me. A tip for you. Obvious scans of people you don’t know, are more than a bit rude and hostile. Find a way of scanning without being caught, or learn to live in ignorance.”
Her grimace did nothing to hide her embarrassment. She hadn’t thought it was obvious.
“That said, from here, on out you are my boss. Regardless of who is running the team or what is happening, I report to you. This was my agreement with Carmelo. I’ll take your crew bosses orders as long as they don’t conflict with yours. Here. This will give you an amount of access to my systems for this run.”
He handed her a small wireless device. She started to reach for it and remembered what Carmelo had said.
“First, do you have her paper?”
A twinkle filled his eye and he sat the device on the table, pulling out a simple plain piece of paper with his other hand. Her sister’s phrase was written on it. “He clasps the crag”. The man pulled a small pencil and added: “Write it five times neatly” to the paper. Then he handed it to her.
She took it and grinned at him. Then she solemnly tore it into three pieces and ate them.
“My name is Cri.”
She took the wireless device from the table and cautiously connected to it. Suddenly the man appeared on her systems clearly. Ammo counts, a couple of weapons, a rough health indicator (heartbeat/toxins/neural status), and a private comm line. No direct access to his personal systems of course but more than enough to work smoothly together and enable her to provide a measure of electrical security on top of what he already had.
She grunted. Through the link she reciprocated with her own version of the same info. He nodded at her and then took a seat in the corner.
One by one the rest of the team filtered in. It was a seven man crew. She provided the deck work. Cri was overwatch. Entry, locks, and security knowledge was provided by Talos, a man with skin almost gray, short stature, balding pate, and with a heavy black beard. Interior muscle was, Pam, a thin woman with a katana and two knives, her sharp pretty face was accentuated by long ears that framed hair pulled back into an extremely tight bun. Magical support came from, Tian, a fat human woman with bright colorful tattoo sleeves running down her arms and reappearing at her neck, bright blue punk style hair in a short spiky cut meshed into her glaring mix match of color. Thomas, a bland looking blond man with cyber eyes was their driver.
The final member was Griego. A hulking explosives expert. His two spiraling horns jutted out from slicked black hair, and he wore his characteristic maintenance jacket and blue jeans. The whole job was his idea. He’d found out about the info dump and had an idea of where to sell it so he’d gathered a team.
After a long discussion with her sister she’d suggested they add a guy for overwatch. A long range shooter who could sit on their exit point and ensure they were covered until their ride showed up. Griego had looked at her cautiously and then agreed. And Cri had joined the job.
Griego entered the room with a booming greeting and shut the door carefully behind him.
“Dali, Tian. We good?” Dali scanned the room again looking for listeners or external affects but found none. Tian’s face concentrated for a moment and they both nodded at about the same time.
“Alright, listen up. As you know we’re hitting the Williams tower vault. You have the blueprints, the layout, and the rough plan.” Griego’s voice was firm and had the cadence of a practiced and prepared presentation. As he talked he pulled up a visual display of the area with a glowing green dot showing the target vault. “Thomas’ remove van will drop us off here, two blocks over west of the building. We’ll enter the sewer maintenance tunnels and make our way to the basement here. Dali, and Tien will deal with their alarms and wards and I’ll cut us a door in the concrete and Talos will get us access to the elevator shaft. We’ll bring the elevator down to the basement, cut its lines and use our own rigging to ride up the now empty shaft.”
As he spoke he moved a pointer along the display showing positions and movement.
“We will first proceed all the way to the top of the building. There we’ll ensure our escape route is clear and leave our shooter on lookout. While he’s on lookout Talos will clear the roof of all anti-air devices and Dali will log into their comms to give us warning. Then myself, Tien, and Pam will come back down to the 23rd floor make our way past these offices here and blow a hole in the roof of the vault. We’ll grab our prize, make our way back to the elevator and exit to the roof. Thomas will fly up, grab us, and we’re off before the response teams can make it up the building.”
He paused for a moment looking at everyone slowly.
“Now, we all know these runs don’t never go as planned. But in spite of that based on the details we’ve hammered out, and our knowledge of the building this should go smoothly. Any questions?”
Dali shook her head and so did everyone else.
“Alright let’s do this. Thomas have your van meet us around back and go get your copter.”
Dali struggled not to jump from her seat. The nervousness had faded into excitement and she was eager. Very eager. The group rose, made their way out, down a back hall, and into the alley. A grey van pulled up and its doors opened. They all piled in carefully starting with Dali and Tien and ending with Pam and Cri.