Following Mersshon, Finding Simrii and Vladgorkfeg

Character: Lakir & Simrii
NPC: Jossia Mersshon
Location: The Larkarda Starport

1125.6.4 - 16:15 / 14:45 local time
Lakir steps out of the bar and looks for Mersshon. First he looks right towards the docking bays. No sign of him. A quick look left and he's spotted, a block away. Lakir begins to follow him, keeping out of his sight. It shouldn't be too hard as the pedestrian street he's on is moderately crowded with all sorts of people going in and out of shops, talking to street vendors, and just ambling along.

A glance upward at the dome reveals that it is night on Larkarda. Street lights illuminate the street, though it isn't overdone. It isn't hard to follow Mersshon through the crowd without being spotted by him.

At the second block from the bar, he turns right down a less crowded and somewhat less illuminated street. Mersshon never turns around as Lakir continues to follow him.

At the end of the block Lakir can see grav vehicles going by. Mersshon stops and waves to someone Lakir can't see. It turns out to be a grav taxi. He gets in and the vehicle takes off.

Lakir makes a note of the date, time, and location of the pickup. He even notices that the cab company's name is Oriole City Taxi. He then heads back to the bar.

Meanwhile, Simrii has stepped outside the bar. He notices that it's night and that the streetlights are on. Although it's only been 10 minutes, Simrii looks all around but there is no sign of Lakir.

Since going right would bring him back to the starport, Simrii figures that Lakir must have gone left. So he starts walking in that direction.

The smell of food from dozens of open-air food vendors and restaurants fills the air. If he hadn't just eaten, he'd be tempted to grab something. Instead, he absent mindedly eats some of his fries.

Simrii has gone a couple of blocks when he hears someone on his right calling his name.

Once Lakir reaches the corner, he happens to notice Simrii walking down the street. Simrii looks like he's looking for someone. Maybe it's Lakir. Lakir calls him.

"Hey Simrii!"

Simrii turns to see that Lakir has found him instead of the other way around.

"Hey Simrii! Guy took off in a grav taxi. Got the info if the Capn's interested enough to have Vincent hack the Net. Crappy field craft, so the destination should be close. Anything good come out of that little sit down Mersshon did, or are we in it up to our eye balls?"

Simrii smiles a little, "Up to our eyeballs."

He pulls open a pocket and grabs another couple fries, "Fries? They're quite good."

"Yeh, gimme a handful."

"Which way did he go? Did you get a cab number? I'm pretty certain if we asked nicely we could figure out where he went."

"Well the cab took off towards Oriole, but that's no guarantee. He could've stopped somewhere else at the starport. I got the number, but I doubt the public net will tell us. We can try though."

"You know," Simrii says trying to swallow, "if it's a grav car in a dome like this I'm pretty certain that traffic control would have a track of where it went, can't have them running into one another as it were."

Lakir pulls out his PDA and links to the local info net. He does a search for Oriole City Taxi. He finds their website. It lists all sorts of information about the company including where they're located. There's even a button to hail a cab to your location. Car numbers aren't listed on the site but there is a customer service link.

Lakir continues, "If the Capn's as hooked as you say, figure she'll be interested in any additional info on this clown, before we get our butts shot at?"

"I know she is," Simrii eats another fry, "she's already interested in finding out who this fellow is." He looks at the fry carefully, "Can you believe some idiot tried to rename these in a moment of patriotic zeal?"

Lakir clicks on the customer service link, which brings up an interface where you can text msg a customer service rep (CSR).

CSR: "Hi, you've reached the Oriole City Taxi Customer Service Center. How may I be of service?"

Simrii leans over and whispers to you, "Tell them you left your case in the taxi and you're wondering where he's going to so you can get a friend to pick it up for you. It's very important."

Having finished his Shibuya Squid and the last of the Larkarda Lager, Vladgorkfeg leaves Chuck alone at the table. He seems preoccupied with pussy anyway. Pathetic little monkey. Vladgorkfeg heads out into the street.

Vladgorkfeg spots Simrii and Lakir standing in the middle of the street. Lakir appears to be doing something on his PDA. Vladgorkfeg approaches them. "Simrii. Lakir. Hello. I'm headed into Oriole to try and find some weapons. Would you like to come along?"

"Guns and taxi's, you fella's sure know how to show a guy a good time." Simrii laughs and takes a bite of his sandwich, "Sure let us finish this off and I'm certain that we'll both be in for that."

"Excellent. If we have to go into this job short on information, we can at least be well armed." Vladgorkfeg smiles a typically, scary vargr smile.

Lakir has his PDA on speech-to-text mode. "Left my briefcase in a cab. I need to retrieve it."

CSR (text): "Can you describe it? What time did you disembark from our cab? Do you remember the cab number? If it turns up we can contact you. You can wait on the line or give us your comm #, PDA ID, or address and we'll contact you as soon as we have more information."

Lakir gives the cab number and his disembark time and location. He doesn't describe the briefcase, just saying it's a typical briefcase. He also states that he'll wait on the line for an answer.

CSR: "Checking now. Please wait."

About 30 seconds later a reply comes through.

CSR: "We don't see any briefcases in the cab. After the cab's current rider has been discharged, we'll recall the cab and do a thorough search at the garage. This will take some time. You're welcome to stay on the line, or provide us some means of contacting you later."

Lakir: "What if that current rider disappears with my case!?"

CSR: "As I stated, our cabcam does not show a briefcase in the passenger cabin. If you feel that the current rider has indeed stolen your briefcase, you may file a police report. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement and happily hand over all cabcam video or other data that an investigation requires."

Lakir: "Well! As long as you know where the rider gets out, I guess I can wait until you check the cab out. If it disappears though, you people are in trouble!" Looking at Simrii and Vlad with a 'What now?' expression.

CSR: "If you give us some way to contact you, we'll gladly notify you if you're briefcase turns up."

Lakir: "I'll call back later." And with that he hangs up. He turns to the others, "Guess we're going gun shopping, huh? Yippee! Woohooo! Lets see what the natives have to offer! Gimme some more of those.... they're great!" Lakir stuffs fries into his mouth as the three of you start walking towards Oriole.

Vlad, Lakir, & Simrii Go Shopping

Characters: Simrii, Lakir, & Vladgorkfeg
Location: Larkarda Starport
1125.6.4 - 17:00 / 15:30 local time (18 1/2 hr day)

You don't get very far when the three of you almost split up? "Which way are you going?" is echoed from one to the other.

Vladgorkfeg: "I initially planned on walking to Oriole."

"How long is that going to take?"

Vladgorkfeg shrugs, "It's only a couple of miles. It shouldn't take that long. And it's all domed. I wouldn't mind stretching my legs, but if you guys would rather grab a Taxi that's cool too."

Simrii grins, "I'll vote for walking, after being cooped up in a starship for a week I'm ready to stretch my legs."

"No problem, lets walk." Lakir pulls out his PDA again and searches for street maps of Oriole and looks up "gun shops". He figures that it should get them going in the right direction.

Vlad: "Agreed."

Simrii nods, "Nothing like stretching your legs, after a week in the hole."

The three of you walk down the pedestrians-only street for a quarter mile. As you reach the end of the starport dome the crowds thin out. Most people do not walk the distance from the starport to Oriole. They either take the subway or ride in a speeder. There is the occasional jogger mixed in with the few souls who appreciate a good walk.

At the end of the starport dome, the pedestrian street curves in towards the main Starport-Oriole thoroughfare. Grav Vehicles proceed orderly back and forth from one destination to the next. Pedestrian corridors lie on either side of main access corridor. The highway is on your right. The pedestrian corridors are sealed off from the grav vehicle access.

A sign over the pedestrian corridor says "Oriole 3.25 km". You enter the corridor and the din of the starport traffic dies away. Unlike the grav vehicle thoroughfare which is completely covered, the walls and ceiling of the pedestrian corridor are transparent, enabling you to see the night sky and the surroundings. Lamps throw off enough light so that there are no hiding spots, but not enough to disturb any local wildlife or spoil the view.

The inverted U-shaped corridor is wide enough for you to walk next to one another and still have ample room between you. Up ahead you see the city lights of Oriole, beneath its dome. Its small in size as far as Imperial cities go, being home to only 1 million people.

Along the way, Lakir discovers through his PDA that there are several gun shops in the city. Being connected to the starport, Oriole is "open all night" as interstellar travellers come and go 24-7. Or in Larkarda's case, 18.5-7. There are three gun shops within 500 meters of the city's edge. They are Oriole City Firearms, Firearms To Go, and Perma Pahehn Pistols.

1125.6.4 - 17:45 / 16:15 local time
NPC: Paolo Scliano
Location: Oriole

You've finally cleared the pedestrian corridor and entered Oriole. You continue walking past the busier city arteries and start navigating your way to the closest gun shop. The city is busy and the streets are moderately crowded considering the local hour. Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants have the larger crowds. Shops are open, hoping that the interstellar tourist will pay them a visit.

About a quarter of the people you see are armed with pistols. There are no sullen figures or upstart gangs here. The people here calmly display their guns as one might a wristwatch or PDA. A few people you make eye contact with along the way politely smile, unperturbed at the sight of offworlders.

At last you make your way into Oriole City Firearms. It's a medium-sized shop, maybe 10 x 30 meters, with a backroom. Security cameras follow you as you enter the store. Each one has some sort of metal rod attached to it. There are maybe five other people in the store, a group of 2 and a group of 3. All male. They're being assisted by salesmen.

Pistols and rifles of many types adorn the walls on the right side of the shop. Lethal and non-lethal varieties co-exist. A counter, running the entire length of the place, separates customers from the weapons. The left side of the place has various accessories: scopes, holsters, belts, jackets, armor, etc.

Just after entering the store, a gentleman in his 50's greets you. He sports a closely trimmed beard and mustache, which are completely gray. He's a bit burly, but the chest of his youth has sunk to the belly of middle age. He smiles wide, "Gentlemen! Come in, come in. Welcome. Paolo Scliano at your service. What can I help you gentlemen with this evening?"

Lakir speaks up first, "Indeed Mr.Scliano. I have somewhat particular needs. Specifically, a sniper barrel extension for a Strausse/Markham 4mm Gauss Pistol. The particular barrel I seek is of Superdense construction, particularly nasty when used in the hand to hand roll, as an 'improvised club', yet retaining it's accuracy, after being reattached to my pistol."

"I'm terribly sorry but sniper barrels are prohibited by law to sell."

"Really? Why is that?"

"The government is concerned about disgruntled native Larkardians who were displaced by Phagoan colonists."

"But wasn't that centuries ago?"

"Yes it was," he smiles the smile of a frustrated businessman and throws his arms in the air with a shrug that seems to say, "but what can ya do."

"Very well. Any extended capacity magazines available for this particular model fire arm?"

Scliano pulls out his PDA and punches a few buttons. "I've got 15 and 35 round mags."

Lakir knows he's got 4 of the 15 round magazines.

"Ah, unfortunate about that rebel history. What sort of price are we talking for the 35 round mags?"

"Empty 35 round mags run $10 each."

"Hmmm....I would also be interested in purchasing some bulk ammo. How are your prices for Dart and Tranq? Are HE and HEAP available?"

"A case of dart will cost you $200. A case of Tranq will cost you $225. 200 rounds in a case. No HE or HEAP. We can only import dart and tranq."

"Anything else?"

"In addition, I would be interested in some add-in armour inserts for the vest you see me in, should you have them available in this size."

"Afraid not. I only deal in complete suits."

"Would you know of a dealer in armour inserts?"

"No, but you could always try buying the metal sheets and pay some metalworker to cut them up to size."

Vladgorkfeg steps forward, "Can you give me a rundown on your body pistol selection."

"Sure." He hits a few buttons on his PDA. "Ok let's see I've got the CT-300, a 300 gram ceramometallic body that fires 5 gram slugs and has a 6 round magazine, the MT-6, same stats different manufacturer but with slightly greater range, and the NE-58. The NE-58 also has the ceramometallic body but it's a 5 millimeter with a 28 round magazine of 4 gram slugs. It doesn't pack the punch as the other two. All three are semi-automatic."

While Vlad mulls over his selection, Scliano adds, "I've got a full line of snub pistols too in case you're interested."

"No thanks. Just interested in the body pistol. Can any of them be fitted with silencers?"

"Yes but we're not allowed to sell silencers."

"Why not?"

"Same reason as before. Outdated politics. Well, I guess the politicos would argue that the vargr refugees living in the slums might revolt but I don't think so. They're running from political upheaval, not looking to start it."

"Well, how much are they?"

"The CT-300 is $520. The MT-6 is $500. And the NE-58 is $425. All prices do not include ammo but you do get an empty clip."

"I'll take the NE-58 with the extra large magazine. I'd also like an extra clip and two boxes of ammo."

"Two boxes of NE-58 ammo will cost you $50. There's 100 rounds in each box."

"Done!"

Vlad takes out his bankcard and pays for the weapon. Scliano then says, "It will be brought up front shortly."

"Anything for you sir?" Scliano asks Simrii.

Simrii smiles, "You sure you're done there Vlad? Don't want to rush you."

Vladgorkfeg growls.

"I don't suppose you have an of the FiveSeven Tacticals floating about? Rather fine hand gun. Or something in that sort of range."

"Yes I do." Scliano goes over to the shelf and pulls one down for Simrii to check out.

Simrii looks at the Ma-57, checking the slide and action carefully. "How much for this, with four twenty round magazines?"

"$400 for the weapon. Mags, fully loaded, are $120 each."

"And how much for bulk ammo, say 500 rounds?"

"Depends on the type." Scliano picks up his PDA and punches a few buttons. "Ball will run you 50. DS, HE, and Tranq will run you 100. HEAP will cost you 150."

Simrii nods when he finds out and puts the gun down.

"You wouldn't happen to have a VR practice suite for sale? Software, goggles and dummies?"

"Yes I do. They're towards the back of the shop on the left wall. Do you have something specific in mind or do you want to browse?"

"Browse, thanks though." Simrii walks to the back of the shop and carefully records the values the shop keeper has just given him in his head. He takes a careful look at the sim sets and mentally notes their cost as well. He then returns to the others to see if they're ready to go.

Meanwhile a clerk has brought Scliano a box indicating that it contains a NE-58. He also has 2 boxes of NE-58 ammo. Scliano puts them into a sturdy brown fiberbag and hands it to Vladgorkfeg. Scliano thanks Vladgorkfeg for his business.

"Thank you for your time, we may return later." Lakir glances at Simrii, "Onto the next one?"

The three of you step out of the shop and onto the street.

You get a couple of store fronts down from Oriole City Firearms when you spot a bench. Simrii sits down.

"Lakir," Simrii asks, "can I borrow your PDA for a half moment?"

"No problem, you can use my PDA, though I'm still looking for that sniper barrel! Check out the Gauss Mag and ammo price while you're at it." Lakir joins him on the bench.

Simrii takes the PDA from Lakir and searches the other weapon shops websites for the exact same gear he's priced here to check for a better price. He announces his findings as he searches each website.

"Firearms To Go has the Ma-57 for $415 and 500 rounds of ammo for 60, 120, and 180. They've got the weapons simulator for the same price: $500 for the main unit and software and weapon dummies for $50 each. Search comes up empty for sniper barrel. Empty gauss mags go for $10. Ammo goes for $225 dart and $250 for tranq for 200 round boxes. No HE or HEAP available. No savings there, though they do say that they offer free delivery."

"Ok let's check out that next one, Perma Pahehn Pistols. The Ma-57 goes for $399 and the ammo goes for 49, 99, and 149. The weapons sim goes for $499 for the main unit and $49 for software and dummies. No sniper barrel here either. Empty gauss mags go for $9. Ammo goes for $199 dart and $214 tranq. No HE or HEAP either."

Vladgorkfeg says, "Simrii, while you're at it can you see if either of the other two stores carry ACR ammo?"

Simrii inputs Vlad's request. "Well, they've got rifle ammo. That's interchangeable with ACR's."

Vlad: "Yes."

Simrii: "What size round?"

Vlad: "7mm."

Simrii: "Well you're in luck. They've got some 7mm rifle ammo, but it's all DS and tranq. No HEAP."

"Good. I've only enough ammo at the moment for perhaps one good firefight. More cannot possibly be a bad thing. Much like beer, in fact. *heh*"

Lakir: "OK.....Simrii, lets hit the triple 'p', looks like we may be able to cash in on some of this streetwise; nobody on this rock will undersell by a buck, less they got some outside lines. Maybe I catch a line on a barrel, and some inserts."

Simrii: "Man I don't want to walk 15 minutes just to save a buck. Why don't we just buy it here."

Lakir: "Man, you sure, cause he ain't got everything we want."

Vlad: "There's always the old coin toss..."

Lakir: "Nah, it's more over Simrii doesn't want to walk, and I figure we may be able to gain some info, and maybe some tough to come by kit by hitting a 'discount-by-a-buck' joint, farther downstream."

Simrii sighs, "Ok, we'll go to the triple P. I hope we get more out of it then just a buck per item cause that alone ain't worth the trip."

Characters: Simrii, Lakir, & Vladgorkfeg
Location: Oriole, Perma Pahehn Pistols
1125.6.4 - 19:00 / 17:30 local time

You arrive at Perma Pahehn Pistols. The shop bears a strong resemblance to Oriole City Firearms. Similar dimensions, same layout. There are several men in the store. What is readily different is that the man who greets you is 20 years younger than the other shopkeep. He's a short, thin man (5' 6" 125 lbs) with short dark hair that's obviously been treated with some sort of hair product. He has a gold chain around his neck peeking out from a thin polyester shirt.

He nods when he sees you, a crowd of younger men are talking to him. "I'll catch up with you guys later."

He shakes hands with a couple of them, waves to the rest. They look like they belong to the same ethnic and cultural group as the man behind the counter. They seem non-plussed by you as they walk out of the store.

"Sorry about that gentlemen. Ronald Staino. What can I do for you?"

Lakir steps forward, "Looking for some pretty standard kit that doesn't seem to be available here, and looks like you got decent numbers on some 35 round Gauss Mags, with not bad rates on dart and tranq."

"Yeah, I've got empty 35 round gauss mags for $9. 200 rounds of dart is $199. Tranq $214. How much you lookin' for?"

"Lookin for 4 35 round mags and 400 rounds of dart, and 200 rounds of tranq, some off list ammo and barrel extension, and may be some info."

"Off list ammo? Barrel extensions? Info? What makes you think I got any of that?"

"Call it a hunch."

"Yeah I might have what you want. Give me some specifics."

"Welll... maybe a sniper barrel for a Strausse/Markham 4mm Gauss Pistol, with some exploding rounds, HE or HEAP, I'm not to particular. My partner here might be looking for an Ma-57 with silencer..."

Simrii smiles when he interrupts, "I don't need a silencer, honestly if I need to use it I'm not worried about quiet anymore."

Lakir continues, "...And maybe some 7mm ACR HEAP ammo, or at least a line on where we might be able to locate such items. Also looking for a line on a friend of ours. Works for Wellesmoor Diversified Products Inc. and said to look him up if we were ever on world, cept I can't find him in the local database."

"Hold on let me close up shop first." He grabs a remote from behind the counter and presses some buttons. Metal shutters slowly wind their way down across the front windows. A similar shutter comes down in front of the door.

"Ok, let me check things out." He puts the remote down on the counter behind him and grabs a PDA. "You want a sniper barrel for 4mm Gauss pistol and some HE or HEAP. Don't got a sniper barrel but I do have HEAP. Gonna cost ya $400 for 200 rounds."

"No problem, I'll do 200 rounds"

"Ma-57 is gonna run your buddy $399. 7mm ACR HEAP cost ya $300 for a box of 200." He pauses to let you digest that info. "As for Wellesmoor. I know 'em. They make body armor. Got some in stock. I only know sales guys. Who you lookin' for?"

"Guy by the name of Joshia Mersshon. You say they do body armour... wouldn't happen to have some inserts that would fit this nice vest of mine, would ya?"

He shakes his head, "Don't carry inserts and I've never heard of Mersshon. What department is he in? I only deal with Sales and Customer Service." You're certain he's telling the truth.

"Huh. Could've sworn he said he was in sales. Ah well. You wouldn't have any of those great 75 round snail drum mags for this GP, would ya? If not, I'll also take 4 of your 35 round mags, 400 rounds of Dart, 200 rounds of Tranq, and, what the hell, another 200 rounds of HEAP."

"Nope. No snail drums. So you want 400 dart, 200 tranq, and 400 HEAP?"

"Yup. Plus 4 empty 35 round mags. Got any laser pointers that will fit this standard slide?"

"Yeah."

"Great, what'll that pointer set me back?"

"$400. Anything else?"

"Nope. That should do me."

"Ok, 400 rounds of Gauss Pistol Dart ammo, 200 rounds of Gauss Pistol Tranq ammo, 400 rounds of Gauss Pistol HEAP ammo, 4 Empty 35 round mags, and an auto zeroing Laser Pointer wit mounting bracket. That'll be $1848."

Lakir pays the man.

"Squiggy will bring the stuff out in a minute."

Simrii steps forward, "Two of the MA-57's and 1k of dart. I don't do fancy. I'm looking for a laser sight and mounting bracket. And you wouldn't happen to have a flashlight bracket for one of these MA's would you? Or a spare 50 round magazine for an MA-90?"

"I got all that."

"Impressive," Simrii smiles, "I suppose a couple of mags of tranq is probably in order, say 150 rounds."

"Ok."

"Those sight brackets, they auto zeroing or you have to reset them every time you swap a laser dot for a flash light?"

"Auto Zero."

"I'll take three. What's that put my total at?"

"$2274."

"Hmmmm, better make that 1 laser sight."

"Ok, that knocks your total down to $1474. Anything else?"

"How much did you want for the holosuite and a dummy Ma-57 and Ma-90? Keep in mind that I'm not a rich man and you are in the process of bankrupting me here."

A younger, unrelated version of the shopkeep shows up with a bag full of stuff. He takes everything out of the bag to show Lakir and then puts it all back in.

"You mean the weapon sim? That's $499. Software and dummy Ma-90 is $49. Since you're already gonna have a Ma-57 you don't need to buy a dummy. There's adaptors that you can buy for $5."

"I've got the Ma-90 as well so how about two adaptors, one laser sight and 1 flashlight bracket."

"You've got the Ma-90 huh. Nice piece that one. Ok, two adaptors it is."

"How much for a holster for the small of the back and a regular hip holster?"

"If you don't mind synthetic leather, $10 for the two."

"That'll do."

"Anything else?"

"That's it for me."

"Ok, 2 Ma-57's, 1k of DS, 200 rounds of tranq, 1 empty 50 round Ma-90 mag, 1 flashlight bracket, 1 250 meter autozeroing Laser Sight wit bracket, 1 weapon sim wit a Ma-57 adaptor plug and a Ma-90 adaptor plug and 1 hip holster and 1 small of the back holster. That'll be $1993."

Simrii pays the man and waits for Squiggy to bring out his stuff.

Vlad steps forward, "I'd like 400 rounds of that 7mm HEAP ammo."

"Sure thing. That'll be $600."

Vladgorkfeg pays the man.

A minute later Squiggy comes out with a bag with Simrii's stuff.

Ronald says to him, "I'll check it. You get the last order." Squiggy silently complies.

Ronald takes everything out of the bag to show Simrii and then puts it all back.

Moments later Squiggy returns from the back with two boxes of ammo.

"Thank you gentlemen. If you're ever back on Larkarda, come see us."

The three of them say goodbye and walk out of the store into the street.

NEXT: Vlad, Lakir, and Simrii Return From Shopping.