Saturday, 203-1112: Zach's Plans As The Others Gather      In the berth, Zach took pictures of Ms. Vik's valuables from the Quasar Viper and started cleaning the shots up.  Finishing that, Zach copied them to the two datapads Brian had checked.  Zach made sure he had a full set of pictures on each device, preparing them for his appointments at 10 and 11pm.  While Zach worked, Aiden relaxed with some light reading.  After stowing her gear, Ms. Vik checked the port vid library for interesting movies or shows.  She scanned the new releases for Rhylanor-based romances.  Around 8pm, Zach got a call from Tarulli Itium, who told him they'd meet at a pawn shop.  When Zach agreed, Tarulli gave Zach the address.  Checking on the computer, Zach saw the shop wasn't very far from the berth.  Still, he'd still need a taxi.  As they talked, Zach reminded himself this man could only be trusted within limits, and could definitely be dangerous.
Zach worked with the guy because, as far as he knew, the man didn't burn contacts unless he had to.  Still, he wasn't completely worth trusting.  Zach finally got the pictures just as he wanted them.  Done with that, Zach checked the distances to the appointments he had.  He saw the two were far enough apart that he couldn't come back to the berth between them.  So, he looked for a place renting storage lockers, to put a datapad in during the first appointment.  Getting his addresses in order, Zach considered calling the IRIS taxi driver, and decided he didn't feel IRIS needed to know what he was doing.  So Zach called for a port taxi and discussed his itinerary with Aiden.  That way, someone had a detailed listing of his activities in case something went wrong.  The port-cab arrived at the time Zach had asked for and he was on his way.
As Zach had worked, and the others enjoyed the free evening, the Knights called the ship saying they were in-bound and should be back as soon as they could.  While Mikah called in from the cutter's comms, Zimzod, Brian and Rol checked their personal comms.  Rol found he'd recently gotten a message and, listening to it, found it was the message Emkir left before dinner.  Realizing there had been some time since the message was left, Rol called Emkir and got a message box as Emkir was "not currently able to abandon Aali" to answer.  Rol left a simple message that they were returning to the port and he'd see Emkir then.
Zach's First Meeting      Zach had on a nice enough suit which which his knife scabbarded "fit in", hanging from his belt.  He had the driver stop and wait at the shop where he rented a locker and stored the second datapad.  Then, he continued on to the pawn shop and paid the fare.  Arriving a bit early, Zach went inside and browsed until a staffer came to him asking, "You Woods?"  Zach said he was, and was led into the back offices of the shop.  The passage was a bit labyrinthine, and sometimes clogged with items not yet stored or placed in the shop for display.  Eventually, they came to a receiving or storage room stacked with a number of crated items and such.
Waiting in that space was Zach's first "customer", with a few of his guys.  looking about, for exits and items of note, Zach saw the human-sized door he entered behind him.  There was a "cargo door" further ahead of him in the back of the space.  That suggested this was a receiving dock.  The look on Tarulli Itium's face wasn't a happy one.  He'd come out to see pictures of the goods against his preferences.  Zach stepped into his sales pitch, and they spent a good fifteen minutes going over the items.  During the process, one of the guys Zach had thought was muscle was called on to consult on the pieces.  He and Tarulli spent some time whispering back and forth while Zach, being a professional, allowed them their privacy.  Finally, Tarulli asked Zach where he came into the items, and Zach started to say, "I know some people who have these items and..."
Tarulli interrupted him, showing he wasn't in a mood for the usual games.  He asked where Zach came into "this", pointing to one picture of the gown.  Speaking deliberately, Zach said, "Someone that I know, has it, and wants to sell it."  Pushing back, Tarulli asked where 'they' came into the gown, and Zach plead ignorance.  Zach could tell from his expression that this wasn't the answer Tarulli wanted, but the man nodded.  Coming to a decision, Tarulli told Zach the other stuff was "chump change" but the dress was special, and he might know a guy.  Tarulli asked what kind of deal this would be, wondering if he was the only buyer, or if Zach had called others to set up an auction?  Zach reminded Tarulli that he really wanted the dress to disappear.  Tarulli again stopped him, asking how many people Zach had approached?  He wanted to know if he'd have to compete for the items?  Tarulli was even less pleased when Zach told him he'd made other contacts.
Before he made any offers, he summed up, "So, you were certain I wanted this.  But you called someone else too?  Did you call them before or after me?"  Zach said he might have called Tarulli first or second and couldn't remember.  That was a mistake, because Zach when called him, he'd said he "knew" Tarulli would be interested enough to come look at pictures immediately.  Tarulli knew Zach Wood was hiding information, and doing a very bad job of it.  And Zach had no idea how much danger he was in at the moment.  When Tarulli pushed back saying, "So you weren't really certain I would want this?" Zach said "I was certain, but I have to keep my options open in case I'm wrong."
Tarulli really wanted to just shoot the merchant at that point.  Changing tracks before he did something he'd regret, Tarulli asked Zach if the seller had a price set?  Zach said KCr 70 for the dress.  As he heard that, Tarulli made an expression Zach couldn't read at all.  Tarulli then asked about the two or three days Zach claimed it would take to get the actual items in hand.  He wanted to know what the difficulty with getting them was?  Zach said he was playing things the way his client wanted him to.  Tarulli asked, to clarify, if Zach had the items in hand or didn't have them?  Zach admitted he had them, but there were restrictions.  Nodding, Tarulli asked when Zach was meeting the other buyer?  Zach told him the next meeting would be later that night.
Tarulli said, "And you want 70?"  Zach confirmed that was what his client wanted to get from the dress.  After a pause, Tarulli said, "Call me after you talk to the other contact."  When Zach pushed, asking, "How much are you going to offer?" Tarulli stood firm, telling him to call him after the other meeting.  Zach nodded, but still wasn't ready to give up as he asked, "What about the other stuff?"  Tarulli considered the pictures again, knowing Zach also wanted Cr 70,000 for all of that together.  Shrugging, he said, "Without seeing them in hand, I'd offer 40." meaning KCr 40.  Zach was disappointed and said so.  Then he said he'd talk to his other contacts and get back to Tarulli on how things played out.  Tarulli nodded and accepted that.  He also nodded to his people, who visibly relaxed showing they had really been ready for the deal to go bad.
The meeting ended with Zach hoping to mend some fences by letting Tarulli keep the KCr 1 datapad, as an unstated point of his affluence and ability to throw money around.  With the end of the meeting, Zach left the shop as he called for another taxi.  Waiting for the pickup, Zach spotted one of Tarulli's boys watching him.  Soon enough, the cab came and Zach directed the driver back to where he'd rented the locker.  during the ride, Zach did his best to check if he was being followed, but was in the back of the cab.  So, he didn't have the view screens or other portals to easily track any traffic behind him.  Eventually this ride cost him Cr 20.  Getting to Rurore Arcea's office, Zach went in the front office, saying who he was.  Then, he was led into Arcea's back office where the man seemed to be hosting a card game.
Zach's Second Meeting      One of the muscle stopped Zach as he entered, until they verified Zach was invited.  Scanning the players, Zach realized some of them were actually some of Arcea's competitors.  Or former competitors, if business had changed that much?  Zach could tell things had changed in the past year, but couldn't tell if things were better, worse or just more friendly now?  As he assessed those at the table, there were some wheeler dealers and one leg breaker.  In fact, Zach realized the man was a professional breaker and mercenary enforcer.  Or, at least, he had been.  Zach really had some issues mentally modeling the new company these guys might have glued together as he stepped forward.  Zach spoke his piece and handed Arcea the datapad, and the boss checked out the pictures before handing the device around.  This happened while Zach tried to make small talk, and see how things had been going for Arcea over the last year?  Arcea admitted business was ok, and talked about the very generic effects of the return of trade after the war.
This was interrupted when a man Zach didn't know said to Arcea, "You know we can't even think of selling this on the open market, don't you?"  Missing the point and the tones, Zach said, "Obviously.  That's why I came to you."  Ignoring Zach, Arcea turned to the man and asked, "You know this?"  The man said, "Yeah.  I know this.  And I don't know if you want to know this."  Turning back to Zach, Arcea said, "So, before we get into this, because he's my art expert, what do you know about this?"  With sinking hopes, Zach tried to play ignorance, claiming that he knew very little.  That the dress was acquired by an acquaintance of his and, "She would like some cash and she knows this is worth quite a bit of money and..."  At this point Arcea interrupted him asking how he knew this person?
Seeing no other option, Zach admitted she was part of his crew.  This told Arcea Zach was certainly not being completely honest on the details.  While that was nothing new to them, it could mean everything in high stakes.  Especially when Arcea didn't yet know how high the stakes were?  But the tone and words his art expert used told more than Zach had figured out yet.  Indeed, Zach appeared to be ignoring the growing warning signs, locked in the security of his own impression of how events were proceeding.  Making sure Zach had every opportunity to understand where he stood before they went any further, Arcea said his 'art expert' used to be a museum curator.  When the war started, Arcea found a need of his skills when certain cargos started appearing, being traded on 'alternate markets'.  And the curator found Arcea paid better than any museum.  So, he was an expert in a lot of missing and lost art.
To this point, Arcea had been speaking slowly and deliberately, to give Zach time to step up and add to what he'd said.  When that didn't happen, Arcea turned to the expert and said, "Harold, tell me what this is?"  Harold grimaced, as if he'd really hoped he wouldn't be asked to explain what he knew.  But he explained, "There were three of this gown that were known to exist.  All were made roughly four hundred years ago, for very powerful families in the region.  In fact, they either married into the previous Ducal family or the current one.  So, they're all related to the Duchy of Rhylanor."  Zach felt comfortable.  He knew the Quasar Viper came from Capital and not Rhylanor, so he thought the expert was on the wrong track.  Zach even interrupted, asking "I thought the dress came all the way from Terra?" hoping to increase the misdirection.
Harold firmly said, "No." as if correcting a student, and continued.  "The dress was made from gemstones collected all over this region and brought to Rhylanor.  And the gowns were made in a studio here on Rhylanor."  As Zach nodded, Harold continued, "Two of the gowns are in the collections of museums here are Rhylanor."  Then, he turned to Zach asking, "Do you know the fate of the third gown?  Since you've got pictures of it?"  Realizing he'd been trapped by his own actions, Zach simply answered, "Yes.  And that's all I'm going to say about that."  With that, Harold turned to Arcea and flatly said, "Either he tells you the fate of the third gown, or you can't touch this."  A silence filled the space while Zach now guessed this Harold knew enough that he was a leak.  And Zach couldn't leave until it was capped somehow.
Trying to move the issue sideways, to ignore what Harold had told Arcea, Zach said that was why he'd said the dress had to be broken up on the comms.  He pointed out that he did say the items had a history on the comms.  Arcea looked back and forth between Harold and Zach, then angrily asked one of them to tell him why he "couldn't touch the damn gown?"  Zach simply answered, "I can't tell you." as if Arcea cared what Zach felt he could or couldn't do anymore.  Arcea then turned to Harold saying, "Fine!  He says he can't tell me.  You tell me."  After a look at Zach, Harold let out a long sigh.  He then explained that the Alkhalikoi family once held the Duchy of Rhylanor.  They were the same family that raised the former Duchess of Rhylanor, Arbellatra Khatami Alkhalikoi.  Hero of the Second Frontier War, the Imperial Civil war and who ended the reign of the Barracks Emperors.
A Lady Annaboulique had been a junior member of the Alkhalikoi family, joined the Imperial Navy and had a distinguished career.  During her life in the Duchy, that gown was made for her.  It was taken with her when she was assigned to a Rhylanori Honor guard of vessels sent to the Imperial Core.  When word of the Third Frontier War reached the Throne, she was assigned to the crew of the INS Quasar Viper when that ship received orders for its ill-fated mission back to the Spinward Marches.  As soon as the ship's name was spoken, most of the room went silent, and they could all guess why the gown was so hot?  Arcea also realized Zach had both known this and intended to sell it to him without a warning.  Zach had said it had a history, but had not said that it was a "shoot first, and question survivors before killing them" item!  So he was hanging Arcea out to dry because of his service to someone else.  Turning to Zach, he asked, "And you knew this?" in an accusatory tone.  When Zach said he did, Arcea accused, "And you brought this to me, and you weren't going to tell me the full story??"
Again, Zach tried to move sideways, saying this was why he told Arcea the items had a history, and needed to be broken down.  Of course, this ignored the fact he'd withheld critical data and intended to drop this bomb on a business partner without the courtesy of a warning to its real nature.  Arcea had been here before, and pushed Zach's excuses aside with a sigh saying, "No.  You knew this and were not willing to tell me the full story.  Put my neck on the chopping block and walk away."  The last part he said without emotion, seeming to get control of himself and as he brought things back to business.  After a pause, Arcea said Zach had another problem, perhaps bigger than he thought.  When Zach asked what he meant, Arcea asked him who he'd told about the deal?  Zach said he told one other person who, he admitted, had copies of the pictures.  Arcea pointed out they were gonna investigate the items, if they didn't already know what they were.
Zach remembered having watched while Tarulli discussed the pictures with another guy, who might have been his 'art expert'.  So, Zach realized, it was very a real possibility Tarulli also knew what the gown was.  As that sunk in, Arcea continued explaining that any forensics unit could track the datapad from where it was sold to whoever sold it, or gave it, to Zach.  They'd be able to deconstruct the pictures and fix exactly when the pictures were taken?  And even be able to tag any computers the datapad had been connected to.  As he said this, Zach missed the point and worried Sir Brian may have connected the devices to computers in the berth during or after checking, to see if they were clean?  But Arcea wasn't done, saying the pictures alone were a flashpoint, even if the gown disappeared.
So, if the other guy didn't get the gown and other stuff, or get it for a cheap enough price, they could expose the pictures anyway.  Just for revenge.  Given that, Arcea said it didn't matter if he'd made an offer, or even bought the stuff, because someone was going to be a looser and could act.  He then fixed Zach with a stare and asked who else Zach was dealing with?  With no other options, Zach told him about Tarulli.  This wasn't good news, and Arcea told Zach so.  He said he knew Tarulli, and figured the man would spill the beans if he didn't get everything for at least 50% off.  And he might anyway, if he could get enough money doing so.  Arcea admitted the odds on Tarulli spilling the beans after getting the goods was very low.  But if he didn't get the goods, Arcea said, the authorities would not only find out, but would get Zach's name too.
Arcea continued running down the list of the other items, and how easily they could be tracked as Zach considered the gown.  This included Aiden's cutlass.  Soon, Zach realized he couldn't even play dumb with this guy.  He'd used up all his credit already and was lucky he still has his head on.  Putting the facts flat on the table, Arcea said Zach had two options.  He could either trust Tarulli and cut a deal with Arcea, or he could get some guns together to kill Tarulli and then cut a deal with Arcea.  The look in Arcea's eyes promised no mercy for the foolish position Zach had put them all in.  When he saw Zach wasn't happy with those offers, he invited Zach to go to the authorities and see how he liked it in a prison somewhere?  If he survived long enough to see a cell?  It was clear to Zach, he'd burnt this bridge at least.
Zach also saw he had to roll up Tarulli from the top down, in case the word had been spread in his organization?  Thinking hard, Zach realized he had no idea where Tarulli was?  Or who the boss had told about the goods?  So, he had to get Tarulli to tell him where he was and let his guard down if he was even going to get a shot.  Zach decided to call Tarulli, tell him the second meet was a bust and that he wanted to deal.  That way, Tarulli would open the doors and welcome him in.  Of course, the down side was that Zach couldn't armor up.  There was no time to go to the ship for his gear.  And, if he did, arriving armed and in armor would set off alarms because it was more than he had on him earlier.  That was nothing but a knife in a scabbard.  This meant the crew had to bring him anything he thought he could sneak past Tarulli's guys.
Raising The Alarm      The Knights returned to the port and docked with the ship, finding Ms. Vik watching some syrupy romance thing, and Aiden reading.  They couldn't see Zach anywhere, nor could they see Aali or Emkir.  As he came into the berth lounge, Rol sarcastically said, "Wow!  What a great day.  I just can't wait to relax."  Zimzod rubbed it in, enthusiastically saying "that was fun, wasn't it?" with a huge smile on his face.  There wasn't much chatter as they dressed down and settled in.  Soon after the knights returned, as the evening burned down, Aiden hit the rack.  Ms. Vik went to sleep after her movie ended, and Rol went to bed about a half hour after they returned, taking some time to relax as he cleaned his gear.  Brian checked in on Wall-e and planned to rack out about midnight.  Mikah looked to see if everyone was home and, not seeing some crew, decided the job offer could wait.
Mikah checked her calendar and saw they were all, except Emkir, Aali and Brian, supposed to head to Rhylanor University, to be questioned about the encounters with the nomads the next day.  Zimzod also hit the rack pretty soon after they returned, while Mikah organized a bit more.  She hit bed around 11ish.  In Arcea's office, Zach tried to comm Dame Mikah around 11:30pm, and her comms went to voice mail.  He then tried Zimzod and got another voice mail.  Getting worried, Zach tried Rol's comms and Aiden.  He then tried Ms. Vik, but fared no better.  When his situation finally started to sink in, he called the berth.  Brian answered saying, "This better be good at this hour." without knowing who the caller was.
Zach said, "It's not good.  It's really really not good."  Ignoring the merchant's attitude, Brian said, "Oh Hi Zach!  What's up?" in a surprised and somewhat cheery voice.  Zach said he'd made a bit of a mistake and Brian clarified, "Like 'we're all gonna' die' mistake or just you?"  Brian's tone suggested he wouldn't be very concerned about Zach's possible death.  Zach said "No.  We're all gonna' die, monstrously huge." and Brian agreed, "That's pretty big."  Zach told Brian, "Get everyone now, because we have very little time."  Brian asked how much Zach'd had to drink and Zach said, "Not a drop, which is the scary part."  Brian started getting that Zach wasn't kidding as Zach confirmed, "This is like heart attack level."  At that, Brian agreed to get everyone and, putting Zach on hold, said to the air, "We can't even get through one damn day without something happening!" before heading to bang on Mikah's door.
Having drifted into deep sleep, Mikah woke with a start to the insistent banging and angrily demanded, "What?"  Brian started to speak and Mikah continued with, "This better be good!"  Caught by the irony, with one sentence in his throat, Brian answered, "That's what I said."  Then he explained the situation.  Mikah realized she had to throw something on and go out to a lounge to pick up the comms.  She considered the many ways to kill a fool of a merchant as she did so.  While Mikah was dressing, Brian waited, deciding not to wake anyone else until he knew more about what was happening?  Mikah came out in pajamas and fuzzy slippers, to Brian's surprise, and grabbed a comms demanding "What?"
Zach tried to exude the confidence of a man that could provide a solution as he said, "Hi Dame Mikah, we have a problem."  Smacking him back verbally, Mikah snarled, "What's your problem?" stressing the pronoun.  As Zach explained the situation to her, Mikah realized what he'd done had made it everyone's problem.  Taking a heart-beat or two for self-pity before facing reality again, Mikah verbally ripped into Zach and Ms. Vik for not letting her take apart the gown.  Zach defensively pointed out that a number of the other items could be traced too.  So, it wasn't just the gown, as he missed the fact Mikah no longer cared at that point.  When she was listening again, Zach explained about the pictures, Tarulli and Arcea.  He told her they had to hit Tarulli to get back the datapad, and that they needed to move "Now".  As she listened, Mikah turned to Brian and said, "Wake up Zimzod."
Calling The Cavalry For Help      Telling Zach to stay where he was, Mikah told him she was going to take care of things and hung up before calling Duke Norris' offices, asking for Captain Diievard.  Her call seemed to surprise the tech answering at the Duke's offices on the overnight shift.  Mikah said the call was an emergency and, as the face on the screen tried to adjust to 'confused', Mikah realized it was an android answering system.  When it said Captain Diievard was off duty and tried to redirect her, Mikah held firm and was asked for a brief description of the problem?  Mikah said, "It has to do with classified information Captain Diievard was aware of.  The AI considered that before asking her to hold.  After a two to three minute gap, the Captain's voice answered behind a privacy graphic.
She waited while Brian asked her about IRIS.  Mikah said she was already on the comms.  As he persisted, Mikah snarled, "Call them.  You have their number too.  I'm not the only one."  As Diievard answered, Mikah explained that their idiot broker had spilled the beans on the Quasar Viper.  The privacy graphic suddenly dropped to reveal a very unkempt Captain Diievard angrily demanding, "What?!"  Mikah simply said, "It's not my fault.  It's all Zach's fault."  Before Diievard could come up with what he felt was an appropriate answer, Mikah told the Captain what she knew about the situation.  The look on his face suggested Captain Diievard's antacids were failing him as he asked what they were doing about the situation?
Mikah said she called him first, while she was having Sir Brian call IRIS, to see if they could respond?  But she said again they had to move on this as fast as possible.  The look on his face turned pained as he reminded Mikah Duke Norris had no military forces in-system.  His tone told Mikah the Captain couldn't help her.  He offered that, if she let him know what she was planning to do, he could run interference for her.  As Mikah wondered how she knew that would be the answer, Diievard said that, no matter how this worked out, there would be consequences.  Concerned about the current situation, Mikah ignored the fact that, at best, Diievard would lose his career because at worst he'd have to command a ship in a civil war her crew started.  Mikah talked with the Captain while Brian grabbed both the IRIS cabbie's number and the IRIS emergency number they were given back on Regina.  While Brian was deciding, Mikah broke contact with Diievard and said she'd call the emergency number while Brian called the cabbie.
Brian did as told, and the agent eventually answered the comms.  The driver was a bit groggy, but asked who was calling, and how he could help?  Brian introduced himself and his ship, apologized for waking the man and said they were in a bit of trouble.  When the cabbie asked him to "define trouble", Brian explained the situation quickly and asked if they had a quick and easy way to dispose of the underworld boss?  The cabbie was dumbstruck.  Having not known about the Viper himself.  Brian had forgotten their conversations in his cab, when he said it was above his pay grade and he'd get back to them.  Mikah's call was picked up on the second ring with, "What can I do for you?"  No introduction, no preamble.  After Mikah said, "We have a situation that must be taken care of immediately!"  She was asked to identify herself.  Doing that, she was asked to give a description of the situation, which was really getting frustrating enough to make Mikah look forward to shooting Zach.
The more she talked about the actions of their "intrepid merchant", the more she was picturing him in her gun sights.  There was a pause after she finished, before the person on the other end said, "Well.  That's certainly very interesting."  When Mikah was asked to hold a couple of seconds, she acerbically said "Make it a quick couple of seconds."  Mikah's comms screen went blank and came back with a different person a minute later.  The man on the screen said they just had a call from a field agent on this issue and asked, in an annoyed tone, how many people the crew were calling?  Mikah said they called the emergency number and their IRIS contact on Rhylanor as well as a Captain Diievard from Duke Norris' office.  The man nodded and said that explained why Duke Norris' office was calling them too.
When he asked for details, to determine the scope of the leak, Mikah gave a description of the pictures and the activities that led to them being released.  They confirmed Zach was the person who released the pictures, and asked to speak to him.  Mikah gave them his comms data and, after a brief pause, Mikah found herself in a conference call with the Agent and Zach.  The merchant had been sitting in Arcea's office, with the crook and his people watching his every move.  Not trusting Zach a damn, Arcea had Zach take the call on public speaker when his comms started ringing.  As Zach answered, the Agent greeted him and asked Zach to explain step by step, and name by name, how his evening led to this disaster?  Dealing with the call, Zach was unaware of the sudden bug-eyed expressions from those close enough to hear the caller say, "...this is IRIS calling..."
When Zach started out, "Persons on the ship..." he was interrupted by the man demanding, "Names, Mr. Wood." in a tone that left no one confused how the agent felt at the moment.  He finished the statement, "We're not playing here", making it clear all their lives were already forfeit if need be.  Zach started, explaining more clearly until he said he went to "a contact that I knew of..."  Zach was interrupted again, for the name, by an agent who now was wondering how they could have trusted someone who still hadn't gotten the situation through his head?  Zach said it was Tarulli Itium, and said they met an hour before, at a pawn shop for which he gave the address.
When the agent asked if that was the sum total of the leak, Zach said it wasn't.  He was prompted by the agent, again, saying "Fine.  Give us the Full Details." in a voice that was showing frustration at having had to repeat himself a fourth time.  For her part, Mikah hoped IRIS didn't kill Zach themselves so she could do it herself.  Zach turned to bring Arcea into the screen and the criminal almost grabbed for a gun to shoot him as the agent realized Zach was still with one of the liabilities.  The agent put his face in his hands in despair for having to deal with idiots.  After a few questions and answers, the Agent explained the situation bluntly to Zach.
Resources And Realities      IRIS had agents in many fields, and undertaking many pursuits.  As a result, their agents were scattered over a wide space and not easy to pull together.  So, while they might be able to take out one or two people, this situation required an entire organization be rolled up and taken down.  Since IRIS and Duke Norris' office were unable to mass enough agents quickly, the crew were going to have to clean up the mess they'd created.  IRIS said they and Duke Norris' office could help cover for the crew, or misdirect EMS responses to their actions.  Zach turned to the fuming Arcea, hoping for help, but the best the man could do was start a gang war that would get out of hand quickly, and may even trap them.  Zach scanned Arcea's face to see how honest he was being and decided he was trying to make the best of a very bad situation, and hopefully get some credit.  Outside of that, Arcea had to consider the exposure of his own people, and their safety.
When Zach asked Arcea if he could provide weapons, the man looked at him as if he'd grown three heads.  Arcea explained how impossible the laws and circumstances made it to get and keep illegal weapons in the Rhylanor system.  Zach had to consider Arcea might also be lying, to reduce the amount of evidence Zach himself was helping the authorities record since he'd turned in a man he'd come to for help!  In fact, Arcea was doing very well indeed, for one who'd just found out that the IRIS organization was actually real!  While Mikah and Brian listened, they had put together many things too, including the fact that Zach had exposed IRIS.  At the least, they realized, even if Zach hadn't figured it out, that Arcea wouldn't survive the night either.
With Brian still listening, Mikah had him wake everyone up.  While Mikah listened in, Brian went to Ms. Vik's door first, figuring she'd need the most time to prepare herself.  Eventually she answered, with a blurry "whu-what?"  Brian explained the situation as she opened the door.  Ms. Vik nodded, dumbfounded, and went back into her room to quickly dress as Brian moved on to Zimzod's door and started knocking.  When the Knight answered, asking what was going on, Brian asked, "Do you wanna kill somebody Zimzod?  Huh?" in the inviting tone one used for a pet.  A stupid act, considering Zimzod had been asleep and Brian was waking him up, and seemed to be playing games right in front of him.  Easy to grab.  Zimzod menacingly said that, after dealing with the panty waists all day, he was ready to kill a whole lot of someone, with his gaze making it clear who he'd start with.
Brian told Zimzod'what had happened with Zach.  With Zimzod up to speed, he and Brian alternated on crew doors, knocking and waking people up.  This happened while the IRIS agent told Zach and Mikah they'd spark every asset they had in the area to help.  They would also spark other assets out of the region, to jack in and see if they could electronically track all the targets or run interference?  They wanted Zach to call Tarulli and tell the man he'd sell the goods to him.  That way, they could pin Tarulli down in a specific place.  Dressed and out of her room, Ms. Vik asked Mikah, "Can't we just..." and Mikah made it clear she was on the phone, dealing with the situation at the moment.
Aali was the most surprised as the crew assembled.  Not by being woken out of sleep and roused for an operation, since she'd done that many times during the war.  But, from the get go, she was hearing operational decisions and identifications such as "IRIS" and discussions using Duke Norris' forces to assist in law breaking in Rhylanor orbit!  She was a political junkie, but this was pushing things!  IRIS was also scrambling a vehicle that could hopefully move the crew to and from the target zone, but there were no guarantees given the legal forces of Rhylanor.  They also said Mikah and the knights were going to have to answer for this before Leonard once everything was done.  If they survived.
IRIS also said they could kill communications in the area with white noise, but this would also cut them off from each other.  So the plan had to be set and ready before they went in, or they'd need to learn hand signals very very fast!  As IRIS set these things in motion, they told Mikah and Zach to recontact them when they had a plan in place.  Zach was to call once he'd set up a sale with Tarulli.  After the line was cut, Mikah looked around at the wobblies and groggies as Zach called her back.  Inger tried to speak to Mikah but she held up her hand as her comms started to ring.  Mikah put him on speaker once she confirmed it was Zach, and said, "Everyone's here.  Why don't you tell them what's happened?"  Zach gave them the short form and said he was setting up a meet with Tarulli.  The crew had to hit Tarulli and his people there, and take them out.
Excuses And Alternate Answers      They demanded how he could screw up like this and Zach answered, "Everyone knew I what I was doing!" as if that was a defense for what happened.  He truly missed that they put their trust in him to take the goods and present them in a controlled and intelligent manner.  They trusted him to prevent exactly this from happening.  So it wasn't what he was doing, but how he did it.  Without thinking it through, testing his assumptions and being both cautious and safe, that led them into the situation.  The others saw that even a brick through the brain wouldn't show him what he'd done, though more than a few were willing to try.  Because the details were a bit on the light side, Aali found herself asking for explanations.  At the same time, Zimzod asked why they couldn't just sell the stuff to the first buyer and leave him holding the bag?
Zach continued making excuses for not having been the one to call IRIS while Zimzod pointed out that he wasn't talking about that.  He was asking about dumping the goods on someone else, and letting them hang.  Finishing up with, "You really aren't that smart.  Are you?"  Despite the situation, some of the others laughed before things got serious again.  Zach said they couldn't let the guy take the fall because the pictures would still get out.  Then, the Universe would know they came from the Quasar Viper.  As soon as he said that, Aali felt as if an air gun had hit her in the chest and knocked the breath from her.  As she was grasping at straws of sanity, Mikah told Zimzod this would provide evidence the Viper was not found by Norris, or later destroyed as he and his expedition reported.
The others considered Mikah's words and Ms. Vik asked if it was too late to dump the goods, or give them to IRIS?  Mikah said it was no longer about the goods.  It was about the items from the ship coming to light when they were supposed to have been lost.  Inger tried to suggest inventing a complex story where Duke Norris recovered the items but didn't tell anyone, or return valuable artifacts from a war grave to deserving families.  She then suggested the authorities would buy the suggestion that Norris wanted to sneak them to Rhylanor to be added to a museum as a surprise.  But her story didn't cover his not contacting any museum officials, members of the Government of Rhylanor or the families involved.
Despite the obvious gaps, the first fault pointed out was that they were trying to sell the items.  Ms. Vik said that was just the word of an underground crime boss against them, and asked who the public would believe?  But Inger was reminded the datapad with the pictures could be traced from the media corp that owned it to Emkir.  And then, found in the hands of the crime boss making the claims.  There were also the nameless cab drivers out there who'd driven Zach around and could testify to his having the datapads, and taking him to addresses.  One of which was also associated with Tarulli Itium.  And a shop attendant could confirm Zach paid to store one datapad in his shop around the times claimed.  Inger tried to hold on to the "his word against theirs" theory and Rol suggested they claim Norris gave them the goods as reward, for service, and they were selling items of value to raise cash.
Mikah and Ms. Vik agreed that idea wouldn't fly at all.  Inger grabbed the conversation again, saying this guy was just a guy with some pictures.  She was sure Dukes Norris and Leonard had to squash stuff all the time.  She again suggested they could claim ignorance about how the pictures were obtained and how he got the datapad.  But she said they could present the artifacts in public and show there was no secret about them.  Sadly, her idea still didn't explain Norris' people not contacting any museum officials, members of the Government of Rhylanor or the families involved.  When it was asked if they could just claim the pictures had been on the datapad before they got it, Brian said that could be disproven.  He also reminded them the datapad could be traced from the people who gave it to Emkir on a given date.  He added that the file creation data could be faked, but it would support that the picture was taken by the device soon after it was given to Emkir.  And was put aboard the Hotel California.
Inger was also reminded, again, that investigators could also add to the time line of events by tracing Zach's cab rides, storage and pick up of the one datapad in a shop.  Plus, any security video for that shop would show Zach holding a datapad matching the one Tarulli had.  So "your word against mine" fell apart pretty quickly.  Mikah took over there, saying they were known to work for Duke Norris.  And there were many people working for Duchess Delphine who wanted to rip Norris down.  This was evidence Norris had lied about discovering the Quasar Viper.  So, any explanation was going to have to be reasonable enough to prevent a serious reaction against Duke Norris.
Ms. Vik suggested they claim they were transporting the artifacts, and took pictures of them which were stolen.  Aiden suggested they pretend they were acting as troubleshooters for Duke Norris, setting up a sting against Tarulli as Ms. Vik said the simplest answer was usually the easiest and most acceptable one.  She said they could try to find a reasonable explanation for why they had the artifacts, so they could make the "stolen pictures" excuse work.  This ignored evidence, because "if" they were working for the Duke, there would be records of their actions.  Especially if, as Ms. Vik suggested, Duke Norris wanted to make some public gesture.  But no such records existed, and while they could be falsified, this would require bringing into the conspiracy large sections of both the staffs of Duke Norris and Duke Leonard.  And where they could count on Norris' people, they could not necessarily count on Leonard's.
Ultimately, IRIS wanted everyone with Tarulli killed, and Tarulli captured to question and find out who he told?  At the same time, they were counting on the web of surveillance they were putting down to keep anyone who might have been told about the goods from spreading the word.  Or organizing a defensive force.  IRIS were also creating a diversion, to get the media out of the bay while Norris' people had a ship in orbit that was going to invent an emergency aboard, and create further distraction.  After they knew who to take out, they would kill off those who knew too much and claim they were acting on existing underworld activity warrants while the knights explained to Duke Leonard how their crew let the cat out of the bag?
Inger asked if it was unreasonable to expect that they could have sold the items and made money without triggering this kind of situation?  Rol, not being a merchant, suggested it was not likely to end well.  This ignored that there were many ways of going about the sale better, such as cutting up the gemstones on the awards and breaking down the gown to its metals and stones.  Making the most identifiable items unidentifiable would have allowed any potential buyers to assume that the entire lot were just generic stones and metal or jewelry of a given style which, while set with real stones, were reproductions.  But Zach was too busy to answer the question at the moment and no one was really trusted anything he said.  So those possible points were missed.  Rol pointed out that what they were trying to do was outside their expertise, and that was why they failed.  Though he didn't comment on Zach's expertise.
Beginning To Plan      When they asked what kind of vehicle IRIS was sending, and what gear they could bring, Zach said they were sending a tinted window bus.  So they could bring and wear anything they could carry that wouldn't weigh them down too much.  As the others started to look at their own personal equipment and realized they had to come up with a plan of attack to give to IRIS, Zach said he had to call Tarulli and set up the meeting.  He cut the comms.  When Tarulli answered Zach's call, he asked how the second meeting went, with the hint of an insulted tone.  Zach said the meeting didn't go well at all, so he wanted to cut a deal.  Tarulli asked how much Zach wanted and the merchant reminded Tarulli he'd offered KCr 40 for the other stuff, and his client wanted KCr 70 for the gown.  So, he offered to meet Tarulli at KCr 55 for the other items.  Tarulli asked, "And what about for the dress? KCr 40?"  Zach protested that the offer was low, knowing he couldn't just give the stuff away or Tarulli would know something was wrong.
Tarulli challenged him to give a price and Zach asked KCr 55 for each, for a total of KCr 110.  Tarulli countered with KCr 100.  Wondering "how hard he could even push" against "how hard he had to appear", Zach tried to push KCr 105 and Tarulli agreed.  When he did, Tarulli's demeanor changed and he appeared more relaxed and open again.  Happier, Zach asked for an hour to get the goods so they could meet.  Tarulli easily agreed, and even offered to meet Zach at his choice of location.  Surprised, Zach considered what place to tell the man?  He knew they couldn't do it at the berth, with their relationship with the port shaky and the reporters still hanging around.  He considered calling the guy he'd spoken to about renting warehouse space but realized that would take much more than an hour's time.  "Besides", he thought to himself, they'd lose any deposit, as if money trumped the importance of survival.
Zach started hedging and Tarulli decided to offer up a warehouse he had as the meeting point, knowing there were too many reporters at their berth too.  The faster the deal appeared to be moving, the happier Tarulli was.  Zach agreed and got the address, and again hedged.  He then said he should be able to make a meeting in an hour and be sure his contact could be there too.  This surprised Tarulli, and he asked to be sure, that Zach planned to bring the owner of the goods to the warehouse?  When Zach said he planned to bring their agent, Tarulli said he could deal with that because it suggested there was even less planning in this.  And less chance of a double cross.  It also added a greater chance of mistakes by the sellers, which he could take advantage of...  When Zach offered to do the meet with the owner off site if they were willing to wait, Tarulli considered how much easier it would be but didn't like the delay.  He also worried the authorities might notice something happening in the open.  So he told Zach it was ok to bring the agent with him.
With that, they agreed to meet in an hour and the call ended.  Zach then called the others to work out the plan and resolve the last details.  Considering their situation back at the berth, Zimzod wondered if the dye packs might be useful in the circumstances.  But he tried to figure how to use them and saw they wouldn't be helpful.  At the same time, Aali was finally getting answers from Brian as Mikah's comms went off.  Mikah answered and Zach explained the situation, volunteering Zimzod to put on his executive armor and join Zach in going into the warehouse.  Zimzod had no issues with that so there wasn't a fight on that score.  As Brian blew Aali's mind with the full details on the situation, Zach, Mikah and Zimzod talked over the details and got ready to form a plan.  Zach thought Zimzod could armor up and get a box to put his weapons and Zach's gear into.  In addition, he wanted to call IRIS, to send their taxi driver to pick up Zimzod and get Zach.
As Zach signed off to do that, Ms. Vik made one more stab at resolving things without a fight.  She suggested they work with Duke Norris' office to claim that office sent them pictures of the artifacts.  Then, their berth computer was hacked by underworld figures, who then got the pictures, to use them to try to attack Norris.  Sadly, the idea failed on many levels, most of which had already been discussed.           First, they'd still have to involve too many outside people, who might leak the truth.           Second, they'd have to make the pictures, which they'd still have to fight to recover, match up                electronically with any pictures they planted in the computers at Duke Norris' office           Third, not only would they have to fake a computer hack of their berth's computer that would                stand up to forensics but they'd have to fake a hack of the starport's systems as the                berth's computers were part of the over-all starport system.  So they'd have to bring                in and embroil the port management and computer network management(yet even more                people).
Desperate, and forgetting the earlier conversation, Aiden suggested Inger's suggestion the artifcats were for an exhibit to be opened up in Rhylanor, as a surprise gift to the system's people.  This again got some support as people thought he had a new angle, but the same issues came up.  Aali put the final nail in the coffins about to be filled.  Having recovered enough to act, she told the crew she'd seen a lot of coverage of the story of the Quasar Viper.  She told those who didn't know, or forgot, that when Duke Norris returned in 1108, he returned with 'only' the warrant and nothing else.  She recounted coverage of multiple people from the Duke's 'expedition' who stated that was all they could risk recovering.  And, the wreck was subsequently destroyed.  Aali pointed out that this was why no one had been able to mount an expedition to find the Viper while claiming the Duke lied.  A claim she now knew was true.
But, since the ship was supposedly completely destroyed with all the artifacts aboard except the warrant, the existence of these pictures was the problem.  It was only made worse by the actual presence of the artifacts.  So they couldn't claim Norris was sending them to work on artifacts he claimed he and his people never recovered.  Especially with Duchess Delphine and her agents frothing at the mouth to tear Duke Norris down.  Rol stepped in saying, "The bottom line is that IRIS will want to silence this.  Anything we do will have to guarantee silence due to this mistake."  Brian asked what happened if Tarulli'd told other people and Zimzod said that was why they wanted him alive.  They could then question him about any communications so IRIS could respond to that.  IRIS wasn't worried about taking out a small handful of people with the time to do so.
And IRIS seemed to be able to shut down all communications from any strays after they were identified.  Glumly, Brian complained this was going to drain all the money they'd worked to create.  When he was asked what he meant, Brian said they were gonna have to pay large sums to keep the other guy Zach met quiet too.  But he was told by several others that guy wasn't getting paid.  He was gonna get shot.  There was a brief discussion of this as differing opinions clashed.  But it was eventually agreed that whatever IRIS said, they'd kill as many people as needed to silence this.  They also agreed that, despite having offered a good deal to break up the artifacts so they'd not be recognized, he likely knew he was looking at very bad odds of surviving the night unless IRIS had a use for him.  And he knew that if he survived, he'd be a "kept man" for the rest of his life.
That sparked a second conversation when Aiden speculated this could be a win for the crook.  Asked what he was smoking, Aiden said they keep him operating, to benefit from his contacts and the activities he could get them into.  This was quickly turned back as there was no guarantee the bulk of his business was even something IRIS would tolerate.  Despite being a very secret organization, there were a lot of things even they couldn't tolerate, unless they could offer explanations to top fixtures in the government when something they'd allowed to happen was discovered.  As well, the more people they brought in, the less safe their secrets were.  And Arcea was certainly not one to trust with even the fact of their existence.
Getting back to the actual plan, Zach suggested he could walk right down their throats, with Zimzod, to draw in their attention, and 'clear the path' for the assault team.  He didn't say how he'd draw in any outer guards or surveillance he encountered.  Not being a military man, he may not have thought about it, or realized it was even an issue.  Zach continued his plan, saying that once they made a hole big enough, and took down most of the place, IRIS could come in and clean up.  Sadly, he forgot that IRIS said they would not be able to come in and back the crew up.  So the crew had to flatten everyone there and then call in IRIS for any "arrests" and questioning.  Zimzod and Rol felt they'd better work on this suggestion before letting things get worse.    Sunday, 204-1112: ~00:30am Devising And Selling The Plan
Talking after Zach cut the comms, he was not aware what decisions were being made at the berth.  They couldn't prepare and keep an open link with Zach.  Added to that, Zach's "Host" were also hearing anything they said while on an open comms.  If Zach tried to take the comms off speaker, the crime boss would know something was up.  So, Zach sat alone and out of the loop, hoping he could keep his situation from boiling over.  If that happened, he was the only one in the room who wasn't armed or controlling a weapon in the room.  As he sat and waited, Zach saw Arcea had no problems keeping him out of the loop.  Arcea urgently, but softly, spoke with his various minions while Zach was further educated in just how powerless he was.  Sitting, hoping the gangster didn't have his muscle just snuff him out, Zach knew he couldn't act until the situation changed.  And he knew he was powerless to change that for the better or the worse.
In the berth, as they discussed what they could about the situation, Ms. Vik was certain IRIS would kill them all if the criminals didn't.  So, she didn't get involved in discussing the plan because it likely wouldn't matter.  That was beside her skills being almost completely useless in the situation.  For his part, Zimzod was annoyed he didn't have flash bangs and said so.  Aiden said he had a box of anti-personnel grenades and Brian suggested sending Wall-e in first.  Using Wall-e as a distraction was shot down, as were all of Zach's plans.  Still, everyone was happy about Aiden's grenades and Brian comically said he still had a bag of marbles which could save them.
His comment was accepted with an underwhelming wave of ignorance.  Into the silence, Mikah realized there was one idea they hadn't considered yet.  She asked "What if we destroyed all the artifacts?"  As the crew tried to understand her comments, she said they could claim the pictures were created with a graphics design program if they completely destroyed all the artifacts.  Mikah was asked the difference between this and Ms. Vik's earlier ideas?  Mikah said those all tried to explain the continued existence of the artifacts.  This one simply required a traceless destruction of the incriminating artifacts so they could claim the pictures were a fake.  This ignored the chain of custody and file creation points Brian had made earlier.
More questions came up about how to deal with the items Countess Ursara was given, and if they could destroy them?  Eventually, Zimzod told Mikah to call IRIS and see if the plan would fly with them and she did.  When the agent answered the comms, he asked if they had their plan prepared and Mikah said she'd had a different plan, before explaining her idea.  The Agent asked Mikah if the crew had a method of destroying the artifacts and she admitted she counted on IRIS or Duke Norris' office to handle that.  As she said so, Brian said that they had nothing aboard that would be 100% able to eradicate the artifacts.  He did say their best idea would be to take the Probe out and toss the stuff into space.  Brian also suggested he could take the items to the salvage yard, but quickly realized there would be a lot of moving during which they could be intercepted.  As this was happening, the Agent talked with his people and eventually said they were interested.  When Mikah asked again if they had facilities to handle the disposal, the Agent admitted it was a reaction they had not considered.
The Agent said they could explore this further but he also put the current situation in perspective.  Already, one of Duke Norris' ships in-system was signaling "in distress", and a transport was on the way to the Hotel California with a 'media distraction' planned to get the press out of the bay.  So significant assets had already been burned, no matter what they chose to do.  Where the agent admitted they could ignore the first guy, Tarulli, he pointed out Arcea not only knew about the artifacts but also knew about IRIS.  So they'd need the crew's help in bringing in that boss.  Considering how to get the crew out of the cross-hairs, Mikah first suggested they call Tarulli and claim Arcea changed his mind.  They could ask him to come to Arcea's office for an auction?  But, as she was presenting the idea, she realized Tarulli would only look at this as an attempt to set him up.  Reworking her idea with the Agent on the comms, she said they could try to get both parties to come to an independent location where IRIS could move in on them.
The agent admitted he had no idea how the two crime bosses would react to the idea, and allowed that Mikah could try her suggestion.  But, he reminded her, they might react badly.  The first crook felt he was holding all the cards and might feel that was being snatched from him in a power play.  The second crook already knew he'd been exposed to IRIS and might see it as a set-up, or a chance to convert to an agent.  Seeing the odds of making things worse were too high, Mikah agreed to handle the take down of Arcea, but had no idea how to do that.  Then Zimzod stepped in, trying to build on what they knew.  Since they could ignore Tarulli, Zimzod asked if they knew how many people Arcea had in his office?  They realized no one asked Zach about that.  Then, Rol stepped in saying that might not matter.  With everyone's attention, he said they only had to go in as representatives of IRIS and, playing on Arcea's fears, Arcea might just roll over.  Aiden joined in as they talked about how to convince Arcea he had an out.  So he wouldn't decide to go down in a blaze of defiance.
When Rol asked if they wanted to pretend to be IRIS, or say they are trying to recruit him 'for' IRIS, Aiden said they should ask IRIS first.  That happened while Mikah was on the comms with the Agent, so they asked and he said the drivers of the vehicle coming to their berth and the taxi were available to lead such an effort.  He said, if they felt they could sweet talk Arcea onto the bus, he was good with the plan.  When Aiden asked the agent if they should make the pitch or not, the Agent said one of the drivers should, as they were actual IRIS agents.  From there, they fine-tuned their plan to arrive as if they were there to pick up Zach for his meeting with Tarulli.  During that, the agents would say they needed Arcea and his people to come in and be debriefed.  When Aiden speculated that Arcea might ask for some guarantee of safety, everyone in the team, and the agent, looked at the former Scout as if he'd missed several points.
Rol said Arcea probably didn't believe he'd survive, no matter what was said.  Mikah muttered, "He's either gonna die now or die later."  Rol also commented on the psychology of what Arcea knew or didn't know about the myth of IRIS.  Ms. Vik reminded Aiden that Arcea didn't even know they existed when he woke up that morning.  Rol said they should offer Arcea a way to survive, because shooting them would just seal his fate.  Again, the agent said his people should be the ones to make that pitch, but also said they'd need muscle backing them up.  When the crew discussed 'being convincing', it was made clear the bad guys couldn't see their faces if they were to pretend to be IRIS troops.  So only those with Battledress or combat armor would be able to handle that.
Since Zimzod's rig was dead, that left Rol, Mikah and a very suddenly 'deer in the headlights' Aali!  True to her values, Aali stepped up and the plan started to take final form.  Zimzod sulked a bit over his battledress, as Mikah told him he had to just be, 'nice', to Duke a'Plena of Vilis.  The agent overheard this but chose to compartmentalize the comments in his memory as 'potentially toxic if decrypted'.  Especially when Zimzod said he was fairly certain he wasn't the Duke's type.  Mikah laughed, saying, "You never know."  In the end, it was decided they would bring all the artifacts they had for IRIS to destroy or bless.  They will then go to Arcea's office, where the two IRIS agents would lead the three combat armored crew members into the office.  While the three ship's crew played "Silent but Deadly", the IRIS agents would try to talk Arcea into coming along peacefully.
The rest of the crew would also gear up and be ready, with the vehicle, just in case things went south and the folks in the office needed help.  Rol loaded up his combat kit, less the backpack and vacc suit, while Aali did a detail check of her weapons and ammo.  Aiden added three grenades to his gear, just in case.  As he did, Aiden was upset at having not gotten more of a variety.  Especially smoke and flash-bangs in this case.  Mikah put her executive armor on under her combat armor and Zimzod wore his under his armored cloth duster.  Aali armored up in her combat armor with her gauss rifle, snub pistol and laser sword, trying to appear more hopeful than she felt.  As the others geared up, Emkir asked if someone should stay and guard the ship?  He was pointedly told "No!" by Dame Mikah, making it clear he was expected to be on the line with the rest.
They realized they were running out of time as the IRIS van pulled into the recently vacated bay.  They had no idea where the press went, though they were sure they'd hear about that later.  But, for the moment, they had to update the IRIS agent inside on the plan.  The good news was that the driver also arrived with the floor plan of Arcea's office.  Inger made her appearance in her green 'armored' pant suit as Brian finally realized he needed to speak his piece.  Making his stand, Brian said he didn't want to go and didn't have armor.  Like Emkir, he was told "tough", and reminded his vacc suit was equal to ballistic armor.
While bringing the first driver up to date, the taxi driver arrived and was also brought in on the plan.  Both agents were a bit uncertain, until they were told they'd be backed up by the combat armored members of the crew.  That made them even more concerned, but they accepted their orders like professionals.  One of the agents made sure someone would have an open comms to the folks in the vehicle.  Zimzod confirmed he'd be listening.  When the plan was fairly set and they started moving to the vehicle, Mikah called Zach.
_________________________________________________________________________ Next: Dealing With Zach's Sins