Shortly after breakfast, Arvor makes the call to the number and then reports back to the others.
“He didn’t want to give much info over the phone,” Arvor reports. “He says he will meet us in Lakeside Park at noon. Southernmost bench. His name is Mr. Tibbs.”
The others agree, happy with the location as it would appear that Mr. Tibbs has chosen the location to make an ambush as difficult as possible for either party.
Noon is not too far away and the party members want to get into position well ahead of time so everyone readies their filter masks which will be necessary for the smoggy atmosphere of Aki. They then secrete their body pistols about their persons and head out of the starport.
At least that was the plan. While the others get through OK, Jie is subjected to a full pat down, and they find the body pistol that she hid in her bra strap.
“You know that all firearms are illegal on Aki, madam?” the burly female security guard says.
Jie looks to the other party members, but they are already scurrying away as fast as they can do without arousing more suspicion.
As Jie is escorted by the starport police to the station, Jie flicks open her commo.
“Umm, Max, I think I might need a little bit of help here,” she says.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party is already on the metro heading to the park. The word ‘park’ is a little optimistic to describe the polluted piece of debris-strewn scrubland that they find. It does seem as if the place is free of any threats of ambushes though.
Someone is already sat on the bench that Mr. Tibbs said would be the meeting place – someone very small. Upon approaching the character, they also see that the dwarf has very long hairy arms.
“Mr. Tibbs?” Arvor asks.
“That I am,” Mr. Tibbs replies, extending a surprisingly long arm. “Delighted to make your acquaintance, Sir.”
Peering through the visor of the filter mask that Mr. Tibbs is wearing, Arvor puts all of the evidence together – Mr. Tibbs is a talking chimpanzee. And a very eloquent one at that.
Arvor addresses Mr. Tibbs as if he deals with talking chimps every day.
“So, Mr. Tibbs, let’s get straight down to business. How exactly can we help you?”
‘I have a simple job for you. Locate a person who is of interest to my employers. If you are able to find out where they are then I will have more work for you. You will get a 50,000 credit payment upon receipt of the information required.’
Will takes over negotiations from here. There is a little negotiation over terms of a contract, but Mr. Tibbs agrees to paying half up-front with the other half upon receiving the information. Will asks him to confirm that no harm will come to the person that they are looking for. Mr. Tibbs tries to avoid the question like a greasy politician, but eventually agrees to the terms. Now satisifed, Mr. Tibbs goes on to explain the details that he has:
‘Excellent. The person you are looking for came to this world under the pseudonym Delores Vashinelli. This is not her real name, safe to say. We know she stayedat the Starborne Hotel for a couple of nights before disappearing. Apart from the hotel the only lead I have is that one Max Janthar is an old friend of hers and also lives in this city. Once you have tracked her down, contact me on this number immediately and payment will be directly sent to your bank accounts and any further instructions for additional work will be provided at that time. Any questions?’
The party members have quite a lot of questions to help them find out more about Delores, but Mr. Tibbs has no other information and so the party members say goodbye and then discuss their strategy. They decide to start off at the hotel and grab a cab to take them there.
No sooner have they got in the cab than they get a call from Jie:
“Max was on form today,” Jie explains. “He managed to bust me out for just Cr. 500. They confiscated my body pistol though. Where are you?”
Arvor gives directions to the hotel and Jie makes her own way there. As the Starborne is towards the starport, they arrive there together.
Thinking that it could be a little suspicious if they ask too many questions too quickly, they decide to book rooms at the hotel. At Cr. 1,000 per night, they start thinking that they should have asked for expenses on top of the deal. The rooms are pretty good though for that price by other standards on Aki and it makes a change from spending yet another night on the Princess.
After an expensive late lunch and a while spent settling in, Arvor starts to work on the receptionist. The receptionist turns out to be quite helpful. She remembers Delores and describes her as a middle-aged woman, well-dressed, 5’ 6" and a little dumping. She stayed two nights at the hotel, checking out five days ago. She gave a phone number but, when Arvor tries it, the number is out of service. They ask if they can check out the room that she stayed in and the receptionist agrees. There are no clues in the room, however.
Having exhausted this line of questioning, the party members have an expensive dinner together to make their plans for the following day and then take advantage of the expensive rooms which they booked.