The party are up early for breakfast wanting to resume their watch of the premises before the start of the working day.
William stays in the city centre in order to make a visit to the Newland University Biology Department. Max is given the task of obtaining some chocolates and creating a realistic looking letter advertising a special offer from a local cleaning company, while the others head back out to Southdown Industrial Estate. They leave the air/rafts a short distance from the offices.
Arvor asks Clint and Billy-Bob to use the air/rafts to follow any commercial vehicles that they see leaving the SuSAG offices to find out where they are going, but to keep it discrete. They agree.
From their carefully concealed position some distance from the offices, the remainder of the party keeps watch. They see vehicles arriving at the SuSAG offices. There are some fancy looking grav/vehicles parking up, distinguished looking employees starting work for the day. Just before 09.00, a grav/limo pulls up right outside the door. A bodyguard gets out and opens the door, checking the area carefully before a well-dressed middle-aged executive gets out and goes inside the offices, escorted by three bodyguards.
Conversely, there is no sign of any activity at NFS at all. No vehicles have pulled up and no one has entered or exited the building.
The party continues watching through the morning. SuSAG grav/vans are seen pulling up from time to time at the side door of the SuSAG building, heading off again a short while longer. As previously arranged, Clint and Billy-Bob follow them, calling in details over the commos.
It’s not possible to obtain much useful information from the grav/vans though. Most of them just seem to be making deliveries to local pharmacies – as would be expected from a pharmaceutical company. Others head to the Downport where SuSAG has its own private area with its own fleet of shuttles. Billy-Bob says that security here is very tight though and so he can’t risk getting too close to it.
Around noon, Max and William arrive on the scene. Max has the parcel with the chocolates and the cover letter all ready to go. Arvor places the bug in it.
William reports on his meeting at the University. “Finding out the chemical composition of Tarsuline will be quite a simple exercise. They will do it for Cr.1000 and within 48 hours.”
“But finding out what it may or may not do is not such an easy exercise as it would require a lot of testing. We would be talking several weeks, if not months of testing with no guarantee that they will find anything by the end of the process. They would undertake the research for Cr.2000/week.”
The bugged package is prepared now and so Max takes it and saunters towards NFS. He rings the bell when he gets there, but no one answers. He waits a couple of minutes, then tries again. Still no answer. He tries a third time, but the results are the same. With a sigh, he gives up and heads back to the party members.
“No one home,” he says.
The party members discuss what they should do next. No one is in too much of a rush to start a war with SuSAG knowing what resources they could bring to bear. Yet they realize that, currently, there is very little concrete evidence of any connection between Jimmy-Joe and them.
They decide that they have to get inside the warehouse one way or another – surely that will give them the proof that they are looking for.
They spend the rest of the day watching both the NFS warehouse and the SuSAG offices, but there is little of interest going on. There are still no visitors to the warehouse and nothing suspicious happening at SuSAG either.
By late afternoon, darkness falls. It’s only then that they realize that there are lights on in the warehouse – strange if it appears to be empty. As the evening wears on, the SuSAG staff make their way home. A new shift of guards come on before the old one is relieved though – two squads of five – well armed and armored. A frontal assault on the SuSAG building would end in a bloodbath for sure.
They return their attention to the warehouse. It’s pretty well covered by the security cameras, but Taeva thinks she has found a blindspot. It will still mean passing by one of the cameras, but only for a split-second. It’s a risk that she’s willing to take.
They wait until 02.00 to go in. By that time the industrial estate is practically deserted. Taeva will go in first, followed by Arvor, with the rest of the party in reserve covering the building in case of any problems.
Taeva makes her way past the camera with no sign that she has been spotted. Climbing up to the second floor in her climbing exoskeleton proves to be no problem at all. Although there are bars across the windows, these also prove to be no problem for her as she has the right tools for the job. Within ten minutes, she has silently and efficiently cut through the bars with her laser cutter. She seems to be highly talented at this breaking and entering business.
The window is locked from the inside, but it’s no high security lock and she’s through that in under a minute as well.
Catlike, she drops through the window and finds herself in a small conference room. There is a large table in there and some chairs, but nothing else there at all. The place looks like it was cleaned out recently. She listens at the door. She can hear five different voices, none of them more than 30m away.
She goes to the window and gives a signal for Arvor to follow her in. He too managed to pass by the camera without alerting the guards and then shimmies up the rope that Taeva has lowered for him. Taeva opens the door a crack and peers through. One of the guards is facing her, but he is only just in her line of sight. There is a door opposite and she manages to traverse the narrow corridor into it. She finds herself in a stairwell luckily. Arvor follows on right behind her. He too makes it to the stairwell without being seen.
They head down the stairs and arrive at the large open-plan warehouse unit below it. The cavernous interior of the warehouse is completely empty save for a few discarded pallets. The keep to the south wall, staying out of sight of the guards on the upper level and make their way to the adjoining wall with the SuSAG offices behind. They spend a few minutes investigating. Arvor spots some spores of Tarsuline on the ground and picks them up, putting them in a ziplock bag as evidence.
Taeva can smell something chemical. She realizes that the wall in front of her has been freshly painted. Arvor investigates further – it’s just a thin layer of plasterboard. He bores a hole in it and finds the steel wall separating the the two units. He carefully pries the plasterboard away from the steel. Behind it, he sees that a door-sized plate has recently been welded over what was presumably a doorway connecting the two units, which was then covered by the plasterboard. This is the evidence that they needed to prove that the Tarsuline was ending up at SuSAG. Arvor records the evidence on his holorecorder. Once he is confident that they have everything they need, he and Taeva retrace their steps back up the stairs and into the small conference rooms with the guards none the wiser. They slide down the rope again and quickly disappear into the darkness.
Having achieved all they needed to achieve, they rejoin the others in the party and head back to the air/rafts, where a very bored Clint and Billy-Bob are waiting for them.
It’s been a long (and cold) day and so everyone heads back to the hotel. They’ll decide where to go from here the next day.