It’s been a dangerous and strange few months, with every major and minor player in the city fighting tooth-and-nail for their place, people mutating has caused some major changes in the pecking order in certain organizations. Outside, the acid rain is pouring down, and the automated news service has just put out an advisory on the chance of sewage back ups tonight. The sewage backups are blamed on gangers setting off grenades in the sewers. All in all, it’s a miserable Saturday morning. Wouldn’t it be nice to just get away from it all?
While you’re buried under those pleasant thoughts, a familiar number pings you in AR. Lamba3. Last time you talked to him the pay was decent, so you answer the call.
“Hey, I got a special request from a Mr. Johnson. Seems he has a need for a team to accompany him on a trip out of the country. Someplace tropical, he says. If you’re interested, he wants to meet tonight, at Club 30. He’s got a room reserved for 5 o’clock. Here’s the address, and a code to broadcast when you get there. Let me know if you’re not interested, because I might take the damn offer myself.”
The club looks unassuming from the outside, but you realize that you’re being scrutinized the moment you step up to the door. Inside, they request you check your guns and other weapons, then a gorgeous hostess in a skin-tight cocktail dress leads you into the club proper. It’s quiet, and the aroma of cigar smoke, expensive rum, and money drifts through the air. In private rooms, you catch glimpses of a few famous faces—Mafia dons rubbing elbows with trid stars and high-ranking corporate officials. The hostess leads you down a couple of wood-paneled corridors to a small room and asks if she can bring you any refreshments.
The room is set up like an old-fashioned parlor out of a period trid. Two small couches and a variety of comfortable chairs are set up in the room, along with a real wooden dining table, set with a white linen tablecloth and crystal glasses. A real fire in a hearth warms the room, and the flickering firelight sparkles off the crystal on the table. Sitting casually in one chair is a muscled and tattooed man. He’s wearing a tailored suit and some unusual jewelry, including a large dragon-shaped ring. He’s sipping a glass of scotch when you enter, but he smiles and stands when the hostess closes the door behind you. He does look familiar, in fact you are sure you’ve seen him on the trid.
“Hello,” he says, greeting you all. “I’m Mr. Johnson. Thanks for meeting on such short notice. Please, sit down.”
He waits for everyone to sit and introduce themselves, then begins.
“I trust that your fixer mentioned that I’m looking for some traveling companions for a lady friend of mine? Yes? Well, I’m actually in the business myself,” he flashes you a smile. “We’ve been hired by a private antiquities collector, who recently lost an item from his collection. His only clue is this man, who has apparently been hired by a rival collector to find the item first. He’s an guy who goes by the name of Samriel Lockwood. The name is likely to be false."
“We’ve been tracking him, but it now appears he’s gone to Lagos. We need to locate him quickly and trail him to the item. Now, normally, my friend works alone, but Lagos … well, it’s not exactly a safe city for traveling alone, especially for a woman. If you’re amenable, I’d like to hire you to accompany her as security, and you can also help out in her investigation."
“As you can imagine, the trail grows colder with every hour, so I’d like to leave as soon as possible. In the morning, in fact. I’m willing to pay 2,000 nuyen per person, per day, plus a per diem of 250 nuyen with a guaranteed minimum of five days paid upfront. I’ll also cover lodging in Lagos, plus the cost of travel to and from Nigeria. If we find the lost item, and you assist me in recovering it, I’ll also split the ‘finder’s fee’ with you—which would be 50,000 nuyen for your team.”
“Wonderful. Since we’ll be traveling together, you can call me Dwayne, or ‘The Rock’ if you must,” the man says “Mr. Johnson is something I’d call my father. My companion’s name is Jane. She is currently finalizing the travel plans and will meet us on the plane.”
“So, before we leave, there’s a few things you should probably know,” Dwayne says, then takes out a datachip and hands it over. “I’ve put together a list of inoculations that the World Health Organization recommends for travelers to West Africa. Some of these things aren’t in your normal medkit, so you may need to wish to see a doctor before we leave. There’s some additional information about Lagos on the disk, if you’re not already familiar with the city.”
“To get us to Lagos, I’ve arranged for a private flight from here to Accra—the capital of Asante, and the closest real airport to Lagos. That way we don’t have to deal with most of the airport security or other travel issues. But after that, I’m afraid we’ll be traveling with a bush pilot into Lagos. I’ve been told there will be limited room on the plane for us on the final leg, and we’re to pack light. A single carry-on-sized bag and a backpack or dufflebag each, or so I was told. I’d seriously recommend everyone here bring an advanced medkit. Also, I’d advises against transporting unlicensed weapons or cyber; though African authorities tend to look the other way to the odd infraction, serious firepower will bring unwanted scrutiny and it’s just less of a hassle to pick gear up in Lagos."
“Does anyone need any help arranging details before we go?”