Drick walked from the market to the personal vehicle section, taking a quick look around they noticed the non-descript grey van used by Hooper, it was being piloted by a colleague who hadn’t been named to Drick.
Drick walked over and hopped into the passenger side of the vehicle and moved around and into the back. The kit that Drick had in the executive vehicle was stowed in the back in a small locker. Drick quickly started to check the contents.
“Anywhere I should be heading towards?” asked the driver in the tone of the generally bored.
“Nowhere specific just yet, could you circle the lower levels for a little while, I need to contact people and change into something more tactical.”
“Fair enough,” the operative gunned the electrical systems into life and launched the hover vehicle upwards the moment it was able to move.
Drick checked over the kit taking special care to make sure that all the weapons were charged or loaded. It was a matter of a few minutes to fully change into the combat suit again. Drick then put a tight fitting, but slightly oversized, jumpsuit on to hide some of the combat suits lines. Pockets and pouches were quickly filled with enough armaments and munitions to take on a small combat force. Then Drick moved forward and sat in the passenger hammock.
Drick studied the pilot. Young, maybe fewer than thirty years, with a lot of skin tags and body art. They were a shifting art show. Hair had been totally removed, maybe not even selected from tank, and in its place was an expensive fibre weave. Some of it was for the sake of display with a rainbow pattern that ran across the fibres, sometimes shifting hues and other times visual imagery. Had to be a semi-expensive flexible screen setup with its own neural interface.
Some of the hair fibres glinted dully, unlit, Drick recognised a monofilament mesh when it was in front of them. The hair was also a weapon, spin the head quick enough and against flesh and it would cut quite proficiently. Would probably slice through clothing as well. Looked as if they were charged so that they would be blunt until activated. Again an expensive upgrade, so the young organic was likely skilled enough to have earned some serious credits. That was up to the standard Drick expected Boomer to hire or associate amongst. Though maybe there was another explanation.
The pilot wore a standard one piece utility outfit common amongst most of the lower city, this one was sleeveless and complemented a well toned figure. They had a biker’s jacket, fitted with compression and control systems and some slight armour, slung over the back of the seat. Drick casually checked the skin tag for address and presenting and noticed that they were showing strongly as a poly-binary with preferences towards multiples. The expensive hair, skilled abilities, lifestyle preferences, coupled with the numerous different gang tattoos suddenly gave Drick the notion that they were likely a grown gang member.
Gangs often grew a few specialist members that they shared amongst chapters and groups. It was a good practice and allowed for very specific requirements to be met. The organic in question was not really property, but they would be prized among the gangs and treated with a lot of respect and even affection during their growth phases. Usually they would have the choice to stay with the gangs or take a life elsewhere when of the right maturity. Though Drick knew that some were required to pay back for, or have incomplete, alterations.
Boomer was a grown specialist, though made as an enforcer for the higher level organisations, white collar criminals with heavy influence in the Unions and street underworld. Boomer had to serve a long stretch with a big payoff, Drick had known Boomer both in and out of an organisation. It was another reason why Drick guessed the pilot was the same, Boomer had an affection themselves for lifeforms with the same heritage.
“I’m going to be making some comms and also on deep catchup so will be immersed in my internal network, use a flare signal on my internal screens if you need my attention, flash if there are any issues.”
“Will do,” a curt reply but Drick noticed they had taken a moment to check Drick’s own identity tag and preferences. “Always good to know.”
Drick dropped into a semi-meditative trance and opened up all the comms messages that had been relayed over the last few hours. There was a lot of data packets from Rodero, including a whole lot of video that they had scraped from somewhere of Drick passing through the space stations and form various street and building monitors. Good to have some evidence of one’s movements.
Drick opened a comm to Rodero and was rewarded with a picture of a sleeping cartoon dwarf being beaten with a stick until they woke. A moment later a bleary eyed Rodero appeared. “Sleeping on the job?” Drick asked.
“Kiss it Drick, I did an intensive run, I needed to offline my mind.”
“Aw, poor baby, I said I needed you for forty-eight hours. Minimum”
“I know. But I was out of tasks and everything I started is either complete and in your backlog or still spinning and consuming, so I had time to unwind for a short stretch.”
“Fine. Well I am looking at the stuff you sent me now. I don’t see that much on the team that attacked me at the spaceport.”
“That’s because there wasn’t that much. In fact there was nothing. They did a good job of advance wiping and then a better one of bleach and lyme afterwards.”
“So I have nothing to show for my efforts? What about the ones that I allowed to live?”
“Totally incommunicado. But you do not have nothing as I am very thorough.”
“I decided to try a different route and played around with the trace evidence of the software they used to cover their tracks. It was subtle but I get to mix with a lot of illegal programs and I recognised a signature. Not a common one either. It is bought in, a group from the Yallis System, creates some very specific crack and purge ice. And this is definitely their stuff.”
“Yeah, and the news gets better.”
“Don’t keep me waiting as I get twitchy and punchy when I have to wait.”
“Wow, you’re in a shitter mood than a few hours ago, and you were in a shitty mood then.”
“I died in the between times. What’s the news?”
“Died?” a pause and then they noticed Drick’s glare, “yeah, right. There is only one group who uses this software as it is very exclusive and I know they don’t sell their services, they only recruit specialists and utilise them. I also know who runs the recruitment and probably hands out the jobs as I have worked for them.”
“Who are they?”
“You realise this is going to really cost you as I will be burning a finance route.”
“You have access to the money in my accounts.”
“I do. I already paid myself and that money is in my account. I have uploaded the data on them to the secure area.”
“Good, now I need you to do something very special for me.”
“I need you to get into one of the most secure networks on the planet so I can get a team into a building.”
“This sounds bad.”
“That wasn’t the bad part. I haven’t told you the bad part yet.”