Time: Sunday June 3, 2095 - 8:00 AM
Weather: Last night's deluge has knocked some of the humidity out of the air, but the warm early morning reminds you that summer is just around the corner.
It is a relatively pleasant summer morning as you make your way to the Downside. The rumor mill has been churning with buzz about raids on shadow community hotspots like the Downside in the early hours of the morning today. Operators are missing, some are dead, and operations throughout Chicago are disrupted. Well, as disrupted as they ever are.
Black Swan's friend and fixer, Kit, has invited Kas, and anyone the budding fixer-slash-troubleshooter trusts, to the Downside at 8:00 AM for an employment opportunity. Although a small dive bar, the Downside is known to be a popular hangout for prominent (and not so prominent) members of Chicago's shadow community. The word on the street has it that the Downside was hit harder than most. Apparently, two strike teams of black-clad paramilitary operatives descended onto the bar and all but leveled it to the ground.
This comes as a surprise to each of you because half of the team came to the bar's defense and so know exactly what went down mere hours past. The other half are mildly surprised to see that while the exterior is more or less rundown, the interior is exactly what you would expect from a small bar in one of Chicago's poor subsectors: its seen better days but is well loved and maintained.
A hodgepodge of well-used and thoroughly broken-in tables are scattered throughout the bar. The seating matches the tables perfectly. Second hand accounts paint a story of broken tables, shattered bottles, bullet holes and blood stains. That doesn't at all of the local watering hole in front of you.
Kit greets each of you as you file into the Downside. If she knows your preference, she already has your usual poured for you. She even prepares a noodle bowl for Emi - the ones with the tiny bits of real meat. New comers are offered any drink they like on the house (although the noodles are obviously a special treat for Emi from Kit).
"Welcome, Nakama," Kit begins once you've all gathered and settled in, "and I thank you for coming."
She gives the team a respectful bow before continuing, "As you must all be aware by now, places which cater to certain elements within Chicago were raided early this morning. I am embarrassed to say I know less than I would like about the cause of these raids. I will share with you what I know, and then we can discuss what needs to be done."
Kit's tail twitches as she paces the floor. It only takes her a moment to decide where to begin and she focuses her attention back on the team, "A research facility was hit shortly before the raids occurred. Unfortunately, this is all I know. What I can infer is, the importance of what was taken cannot be understated. Standard operating procedure for corporations is to go after the team who wronged them, or those close to them. To launch a coordinated attack across our community is unprecedented in Chicago and speaks to the wronged party's desperation."
She takes a moment to let that sink in. When she continues speaking, each of your TAPs pings you for confirmation of data transfer, "I have acquired video footage of those suspected to have triggered last night's raids. They must employee a competent hacker because the feed is compromised. Any time the team would be identifiable the footage degrades or pixelates."
The footage shows four individuals rushing towards a white delivery van. One of them carries a metallic briefcase. Unfortunately, you don't get much more than that. The van doesn't have any identifying features, and the footage never clearly makes out the license plates before they're gone. As for the individuals, the video quality is poor enough that you don't hope to identify anyone from it.
"If you look at the last file," Kit pauses to presumably bring it up on her own TAP, "It contains data for the tracking beacon that the package is supposed to be equipped with. It does not appear to be functional. It may have been located and deactivated or they may have taken precautions to prevent such a signal from being broadcasted."
She stops and looks each of you in the eye in turn. When you've all had a moment to digest the available information she gets down to business, "I want this package recovered, Nakama. I leave the fate of this team in your hands or the less caring administrations of those stolen from. I am willing to pay your team twenty thousand cryptodollars for the successful recovery of what was stolen. It is my understanding that this is a time sensitive matter. What is in the case was not meant to be stored in this manner long term, and so If you take my offer, I will require you to complete the job within 48 hours."