The job wasn’t what anyone on the team would call ideal, certainly. Hypotheses about the nature of the Johnson and the sort of betrayal he presaged began immediately.
Calling of contacts, schmoozing with Ares IT guys and the sending of watchers resulted in a slightly clearer picture, if only by process of elimination.
-Nobody in Ares seemed to be talking to anyone else. Marketing
-A list of players began to emerge, Glen Cavendish, Sr.VP and certifiable nutter, who’s fingerprints had been on this project from day one, Dietrich Sibich, Cavendish’s personal guru, Dr. Perkin Warbeck, head of research and development, and his rivalry with Alanna Wolf, head of Commercial Products, Abdul-Nasser Ahmedi, the new head of IT, replacing the burnt-out John Reinhardt, still cleaning house. And none of these departments seem to know a gorram thing about anything. Except Cavendish.
-A call to Ahmedi (Ashoka’s cousin) reveals that one of his new hires has a record, and a chip on his shoulder. And might have Kooba. One Dunkelzahn Mataano, street hacker hired off the streets of Denver.
Then the Vampires attacked. A conventional hit-team of Vampires struck at Valkyrie, Forge, Vex and Ashoka while leaving Ashoka’s Ashram. A quick battle resulted and the Vampires were easily vanquished. They vanished with their gear.
Vex’s psychometry revealed an obscure Caucasus Mountain language (Mingrelian) and a Nosferatu. Their gear was Evo made. Tentative leads from contacts indicated that disposable ethnic vampire troops was an old Russian Special Forces tactic and that the Irena Volkova, head of the local Evo division, kept a Nosferatu as her personal head of security.
The day that followed was about fleshing out the information they’d already gathered. More watchers led them to the heavily-guarded Fern Park Dow Laboratory, which lay in the fiefdom of Carrie Hunter, Ares corporate hot-shot with a sketchy title and too many bosses.
Dunkelzahn Mataano turned out to have been out of circulation for several weeks, while he pursued his own personal conspiracy researches. Including Kooba. And the Mayor.
The team began to play to make contact with Mataano and set up a date with him at a local cafe.
The evening of the 27th, Ginebig went into the Ares IT Matrix to hack Mataano’s system and initiate contact with him. Which, for Ginebig, is where it all started to go wrong…