The Phantom of the Brothel
|The Phantom of the Brothel|
Night Claws - John Holis
|Casualties and losses|
A hole-in-the-wall brothel in Touristville known as Madame Kiko's has a contract with a two-bit shadowrunner named El Fantasme. El Fantasme remains on call during working hours to extract sex workers who end up in dangerous situations. He has been missing for 48 hours, however, and his clients are worried about him.
The team met with a runner liaison named Hard Candy in the back room of Madame Kiko's. She told them about the situation and offered 2,000¥ apiece in exchange for tracking down El Fantasme and ensuring his safety. The team agreed to the terms as-is, choosing not to push for more money from people who were already down on their luck. Hard Candy told them to speak with Tina, the last worker who'd called for El Fantasme's services.
BFG located Tina in the bar, recognizing her by her glossy cyberarm. Tina was concerned about El Fantasme's safety and readily told him about how she'd been handled roughly by a client three days ago at a certain address elsewhere in the barrens before El Fantasme extracted her safely. She handed over the address and El Fantasme's commlink code. Night Claws used the code to spot its icon and trace its location to the same address. The team decided to head that direction while they searched for information about the address on the matrix.
By the time they were there, Night Claws had learned that the building was a premillennial building retrofitted with matrix security, though the landlord was notoriously cheap and had skimped on security features. After casing the joint, Doyle hopped up the fire escape and looked through the window down the hallway in front of the target room. After he gave the all-clear, Night Claws got a direct connection with a prox card reader on the front door and forced it to send an unlock code. He and BFG proceeded up the stairs to open the window and let Doyle in.
In the hallway, the group decided they would try to get in under the guise of being building maintenance. Night Claws hacked into the apartment's host and downloaded files on the tenets to find out the mystery client's name: Joshua Thompson. While he was hacking, a different tenet came by and asked what was going on. BFG managed to smooth things over, and the tenet entered his room none the wiser.
Once the hack was complete, the team knocked on the door and managed to convince Thompson they were there about a gas leak. Doyle surreptitiously located El Fantasme's commlink inside and swiped it too quickly for Thompson to notice. BFG got rough with Thompson, shaking him down for info on El Fantasme. Thompson confessed to having physically abused Tina and stolen El Fantasme's commlink during the altercation when he came to extract her, but he didn't know anything about the disappearance. The team left with the commlink in tow.
Knowing time was an issue, Night Claws searched the commlink for any possible leads. It turned out a second extraction request had been sent shortly after Tina's, but it only gave an address and a sender. Night Claws traced the sender's commlink to discover it belonged to a sex worker named Laés, but no one could read her files because they were written in Sperethiel. The trace indicated she was at Madame Kiko's, so the team returned to where they started. Once there, they located Laés and talked to her. She was afraid to give any information, but BFG soothed her worries to the point she admitted a client who was prejudiced against Tir elves had tried to kidnap her along with two accomplices dressed in Halloweener colors. She pointed them to a barrens alley they used as turf, but she didn't have much more information.
The team decided to hurry as fast as they could to the alley. Doyle snuck up on the position undetected and image linked the situation to the rest of the team, pointing out three Halloweeners matching Laés' description. They were a human in a gas mask named Scarecrow, an ork named Jackal-Lantern with a huge axe and a dwarf street mage named Boom Stick. BFG created disguises for himself and Doyle, then marched straight up to the three gangers and ordered them to bring him to El Fantasme. Night Claws stood by, ready to squelch their commlinks should things go south. While the Halloweeners pretended not to know about El Fantasme at first, they failed to see through BFG's disguise and were afraid of his threats. They took him and Doyle inside the abandoned warehouse next door and into a room where they had El Fantasme tied to a chair. Scarecrow nearly shot him in the head before BFG made up a story about how the higher-ups wanted him alive for some reason. He and Doyle gagged El Fantasme and dragged him out still tied to the chair before stuffing him in Doyle's van.
The team extracted El Fantasme safely to Madame Kiko's and were met with a warm reception. They were paid for their services and felt good about what they'd done. Night Claws asked El Fantasme how he'd known to extract Laés if he dropped his commlink while extracting Tina. It turned out he simply read both orders beforehand and remembered the address.
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