Alex, Deb, Preston, and Rita were given clear instructions: go to Palladium, a night club, at 11 PM, and order a two drinks: their choice of drink, and Coriander 78, a Beren local vintage of wine. After doing their preparations as they saw fit, the 4 met in the VIP room of the club. Alex and Preston were each surprised to see each other there, while the other two saw everyone as strangers.
Amis Robell, the shadowy owner of the club, entered. He made them sign a long contract on paper, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, before offering them a job. After each signed, he told them he wanted them to steal a prototype from Cykonaught, and to take it off world. He stressed that that it must be unharmed and in one piece. Rita, a world-renowned surgeon with a speciality towards cybernetics, quickly surmised this prototype must be a living organism of some kind. Robell would give no details, and no clues to offer as to where it was held, save that its codename is “Kon-R” and that it is definitely on Beren.
Alex, ever the pragmatist, asks how much the job pays. Robell gives them each a “small sum” of 100,000 credits, and says that the rest will be provided upon successful completion of the mission. After he leaves, the crew decide to stay close to each other at the penthouse Preston is renting, and work to investigate where the Kon-R prototype is kept.
Deb takes a second crack at the redacted documents Robell provided her. Most of it is missing details, but after several days and with Rita’s help, she confirms that lots of fluids are being purchased to keep a living thing alive that isn’t necessarily feeding itself. She also notices that the maintenance on the facility definitely means that it’s in a coastal city, near salt water. Beren is 70% land, and only has one salt water ocean.
Alex managed to forge some documents, allowing him to buy infiltration software. Setting himself up in a nearby internet cafe, he attempted to hack his way into Cykonaught’s servers. That failed, and he quickly left the cafe before he could be traced.
Rita decided to visit an old friend, Lisa Cuddy the 13th, who happens to currently be working at Cykonaught. The two of them worked together on a grey market cybernetic before. The crew flies with Rita to Sand Iago, a city on the ocean. Lisa tells Rita that Sand Iago is the place to be for cutting edge life sciences research, and talks a little about her current project: A cybernetic gallbladder for an alien race, whose usual biological one has a moderately common tendency to burst much like the human appendix. Unlike the appendix, however, removal currently is a death sentence, and this replacement could save millions of lives. Even if getting there might be a little bit morally ambiguous. The crew is now confident they just need to find the right facility in Sand Iago to find the Kon-R prototype.
Preston knows that the people who really know what’s going on are aides to important people. He hangs around at slightly lower class bars in Sand Iago than his usual choice and keeps an eye out for anyone upset about their job. He finds an aide in Operations, and proceeds to try to out drink him, and perhaps get the drunken aide to let something slip. Sadly, the liver of a dilettante has nothing on a depressed Operations Bureaucrat. However, over the next few days the two become unlikely friends, and the aide’s continual complaining about how the K-Group always gets the best stuff makes Preston think that something might be up with them. He wants to investigate further.