“One question remains unanswered: Was it a lady’s gun, like this? Beng! Beng beng! Or a PROPER gun, like THIS?” – Bad Bob, Rex the Runt
In which everything comes together at last…
The dice say the next step is to Find An Object, last seen with a Civilian Rep 4 Dependent (male, so let’s say Huff’s boyfriend) in a No-Tell Motel near the Docks. It’s Late, so there are two PEFs in sections 1 and 6. We can avoid the one in section 6 easily enough, but should probably meet the one in section 1 because I have dodged a lot of them lately. Then there’s a defining moment, then we can look for the object.
PEF: Three people. Unarmed male Rep 3 Exotic Professional, with two other Exotics; a Rep 5 Bodyguard with a BAP, and a female Rep 4 Reporter with a Pistol – I decide that has to be Ms Huff.
Talking the Talk, the Rep 5 Bodyguard gets one success and Arion gets three, so they can be recruited – why not, let’s do that.
Then we’re into the Defining Moment, which turns out to be nothing at all. Now we can search the Motel. Object difficulty is 1, both the Object and Arion pass 1d6, so Arion solves another clue, taking him to 8 – the target number for this adventure. The next scene will be the Final Scene, so the clue must explain where that is – I roll for another Where To Next and get the Metropolis again.
“She’s either not used to doing this – not likely for a reporter – or she’s badly shaken, because she left her commlink switched on,” says Arion.
“So the, err, complete program suite aboard ship found her?”
“Exactly. We could still have done it from traffic cameras and so on, but it’s faster if she leaves her comm on.”
“There she is,” Roger says, nodding in her direction, “Just opposite the motel.”
“Ah,” says Huff as the two pilots approach. “There you are. Took you long enough.”
“Traffic,” says Arion, not missing a beat.
“The less we know about each other, the better,” Huff says, “So no names, all right?” She counts around the circle, pointing as she goes. “One, two, three, four, five. There.”
“Okay,” Huff continues. “My man Gary is in there, room 12, and we are going to get him out alive. Agreed?” Everyone nods. “You do not need to know who told me that or why.”
“Then, we are going to go find the stuff Chapman is after and take it away from him, because there isn’t any person he loves more than his loot. Agreed?”
“I like your style,” says Arion. “We’re in.”
“All right then, let’s go.” And with that, Huff leads the team into the motel, moving like she has a purpose. The bodyguard kicks in the door to room 12, and the team trip over each other getting inside, which would have been more serious if the room weren’t empty. Huff starts swearing, surprisingly well.
“Nobody move,” says Arion. “Ship, search the room with the spider. We need to know where Gary went.”
The spider drops from Arion’s shoulder and scuttles around, apparently at random, for a few minutes. Huff runs out of expletives and steps outside, quivering like a violin string but refusing to cry.
“Search complete,” says the spider in the ship’s voice. “You will find Gary in the Heights, at Chapman’s residence.”
“How do you know that?” asks Huff.
“Analysis of DNA and dirt in the carpet, combined with access to surveillance cameras across the city,” explains the spider.
Huff gives Arion a very strange look. “Where did you get your ship?”
“Best not to ask, really. It involves secrets, and pirates, and…” belatedly Arion realises he is talking to an investigative journalist. “…and, umm, well, stuff. You know.” He brightens.
“Oh, hey, does anyone need a 12.7mm gyrojet? I brought some spares. Here, Ms Huff, put that lady’s gun away and have a proper one. Very little recoil from a gyrojet, you’ll be fine… Ship, call us a taxi please.”