In the Shadows of Venus

Session 7 -- Cincinnati

This city sucks, doesn't it?

Hunter has a few days while he occupies himself with reviewing tapes and other information about Alex’s history, his post-rescue capture and other details about him. After his own analysis of the evidence he ends up feeling unsure whether Alex was cured or not – the evidence could support either conclusion. Hunter also turns up in his research that based on Alex’s medical records there are unidentified tissue growths – with a dense core – that aren’t part of the normal Tiyani bioroid models. They resemble tumors but are very small and deep inside his body. Eleven were found. He finds no other recorded instances of the same kind of growths or the same pattern of them. The data gathered on these objects was not as good quality as it could have been so full data is not available. Most of these nodes are placed behind bones or organs behind his ribs.

Satori reviews some of the same information and locates a report from a computer tech that about a half-gigabyte of encrypted read-only memory was present in his storage that didn’t get fully wiped.

We consider what modes of transportation Alex would use to get to the next stop on his way to Islandia, which would be Ecuador. The most likely mode of transportation he would use to get there would be the train or a flight (although flights would be subject to more security). A train seems the most likely. We’ve already been checking the video records from the train station.

Aleksy pings his contact for places that Maple Syndicate folks like to hang out in Cincinnati. He points us to a few different neighborhoods. He also provides the name of Henry Gardner, a supplier who might be able to get them in. Apparently he has some kind of online screening process to weed out the feds and other good guys.

Research by IQ and Satori also finds that three connected cells of Maple Syndicate in the city that are known to law enforcement.

Satori begins searching publically available media (images/video/etc) for images of the Asian men, given that Alex has off-the-shelf looks. It’s going to take him a significant amount of time. Based on Aleksy’s information from his contact he’s able to narrow the search, causing it to take about six hours of time overall. He’s able to locate brief footage of the two Asians although no footage he can be certain is Alex. A couple possible people but nothing definitive. He’s able to locate the two Asians at some normal hangouts of underworld folks hanging out. They also were seen talking with Henry Gardner in some images. Otherwise they don’t appear frequently.

Upon leaving the train station in Cincinnati Hunter and IQ, then the rest of us, realize that we’re being followed by a Hispanic person. Carlos doesn’t recognize him. We decide to try to lead him into a trap but the guy somehow catches on that Spencer has made him. Spencer turns around and stares directly at the guy, who decides to head back into the train station immediately.

We head to a seedier part of town where we feel confident we’ll go more unnoticed and have freedom of action. We set up a safe house, renting a floor of a building in the old downtown area. We set up security on the floor with some monitoring devices. Together we set up security on the floor. IQ does full-time monitoring. We spend the remaining part of the night setting up the safe house and researching. Spencer spends part of the evening working on disguises and some simple cover identities for the group to go out looking for bad people.

During the night IQ monitors the security systems. He notices that during the night nobody seems to be monitoring our building but he does know that the same smart car drives by the building twice. We check into it and find that the car in question was reported stolen a few weeks ago.

In the morning a few of us decide to go for a walk to the grocery store to hopefully get another crack at whomever is tailing us. Carlos, Spencer, Hunter and Aleksy decide to go on the sortie. Carlos and Aleksy, because they’re terrible at acting and shadowing, will split off from the group and go to a set destination to wait for a signal to be ready to move and intercept a tail if we pick someone up. We arrive at the store not having seen a tail. However on the way back we easily spot our tail, another Hispanic man. On the way back to our building we lead him by an alley where we have our SUV parked with Aleksy and Carlos behind it.

From about a block away from the target alley we notice SUV’s screech around the corner both in front and behind Hunter and Spencer. We instruct Queue, driving the SUV in the alley, to gun it and try to ram one of the two SUV’s attacking us. Aleksy and Carlos, meanwhile, move to cover at the mouth of the alley to cover our approach as Hunter and Spencer sprint for the alley. Hunter takes a few bullets (five!) in the back while Spencer takes one for a scratch. Carlos aims carefully at the tires of the other approaching SUV while Queue peels out of the alley, attempting to ram the SUV firing on Spencer and Hunter and filled with lead receptacles carrying some juicy loot for us.

The next round Carlos continues aiming, waiting to take his shot until his target is within 20 yards. Meanwhile the other SUV rushes onward. Queue works to cut off their approach angle so they don’t smear Hunter and Spencer on the pavement and tries to clip the SUV on the way in. Unfortunately the SUV evades Queue but the ride throws off that vehicle’s attackers. Aleksy, who has been tracking that SUV the entire time, takes a shot and hits one of the shooters, wounding him. Carlos shoots the tire of one of the other oncoming SUV’s but the driver maintains control. The shooting SUV continues on down the street, slowing after the near miss with IQ. Aleksy sprays that SUV but the vehicle’s quick lateral movement causes Aleksy to miss, as does Hunter. Carlos loses a handle on his pistol and drops it while trying to fire. Aleksy hits the dirt, barely avoiding a spray of shots. After this the two SUV’s tear off and leave the scene. Hunter passes out from his injuries shortly afterwards.

After the encounter Carlos PM’s Spencer to let him know that he recognized the shooters as being from LA, enforcers from Locos Tambien – the major gang in LA. They apparently have followed us here. Spencer asks Carlos if they’re after him but Carlos indicated that actually they’re probably after Spencer.



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