Octan’s contacts took the team about 110km north into the Wildlands after turning north off route 20. Passing through the Wildlands of the Columbia Plateau provided the team with a wide, expansive view of what amounted to a near frozen tundra in the late February afternoon. The drive was uneventful, escorted as they were by burly off road bikes, and after a little over an hour, they were taken to an extremely well camouflaged outpost of some sort.
The outpost was surrounded by small hills carefully constructed to appear natural. Spread over the small valley created by these hills was a camouflage netting. Even from nearly a kilometer away, it looked like a natural formation, but as the team approached it became more clear that it was man made. Between the netting and the landscaping, the outpost would be almost impossible to find. As they approached, a large gate was opened and the convoy passed through it. When it was closed, two large bollards were dropped in place to both lock the gate and to help prevent anyone from ramming through it.
The tow truck driver pulled over to an area of the compound clearly set aside for mechanics to work on the vehicles parked within the walls. The team could see two cars, a pick-up truck, a few more bikes, and a group of ATVs all for the groups disposal. In addition to the vehicles, there were about twenty different people milling about the area handling a variety of chores. They took some notice of the convoy, but seemed comfortable with the fact that all was well considering the team was escorted inside.
The tow truck stopped and the driver, Lars, exited and detached the van. A few mechanics approached, obviously having been warned of the incoming work, and Olympia moved over to them to get started with the repairs. The mechanics estimated that it would take a few hours to get everything in working order.
Meanwhile, a Native American woman along with two other men approached the team and greeted Octan. The woman, introduced only as Diane, seemed friendly and invited the team to rest and/or eat depending on their preference. Octan, still suffering the after effects of his technomancy, opted to sleep while the others, without Olympia, headed to the mess hall.
Therein, they found a few more people who lived here in the compound. Adrianna grabbed some coffee and sat at the end of the table where an elf and a dwarf were sitting. They invited her to join them and then also invited the rest of the team to do so as well. Everyone agreed except for the brothers Pliskin who sat near enough to overhear, but far enough that they didn’t get elf-cooties.
From these two, the team learned that the group was the remains of a militia group that fought with the Rinelle ke’Tesra during the war. Afterwards, while they did not continue to fight the current government like some of the Rinelle, they also didn’t feel exactly comfortable with the way it all turned out. Thus, they live out in the Wildlands preparing for the inevitable second rebellion. Aside from a touch of paranoia and a peppering of conspiracy theories, the group seemed fairly nice.
While the van was being fixed, another group arrived at the compound. Along with four members of the militia, a centaur entered through the main gate. Without the centaur, they would have been uninteresting, but with him the whole thing caught Olympia’s eye. The centaur bowed formally to his escort and then proceeded into the main building, apparently to meet with Diane.
After a few hours, the van was fixed up and Octan awoke from his nap. Taking the opportunity that his separation from the rest of the team provided him, he quickly broke into Ben Gantry’s commlink with the help of a crack sprite and found the paydata encrypted within it. Working quickly, he decrypted it and then used a complex form to copy it from Ben’s commlink to his own storage. Unfortunately, something strange happened in the process; the resonance translated the decrypted file into Esperanto. Ben, not knowing Esperanto, thought that his decryption had failed. Regardless, he met briefly with Diane and traded the paydata for 500 nuyen; less than he had hoped, but a fair price considering Diane would still have to “decrypt” the file.
The van fixed, the team thanked Diane and the militia for their hospitality and the repairs and headed back to Cara’Sir. During the roughly 8 hour drive, the team decided that, while things didn’t exactly go that smoothly for them over the last 24 hours, it wasn’t like things couldn’t have gone worse. Contact information was exchanged and the decision was made that, should work come their way again, they would accept it as a team.
Arriving back in Cara’Sir, the team had a few hours to kill before sunrise when they could meet Mr. Johnson. Once a more decent hour was reached, they prepared to meet Mr. Johnson back at the Ugly Mug in the parking lot behind the building. The hand off went smoothly, and Ben was in no real danger so he wasn’t a problem. The team returned the money earmarked for Aiden Alexander, the late proprietor of the Cat’s Meow in Boise, earning them some praise from Johnson before getting paid and agreeing to the possibility of future work should he ever need their services again.
Hungry, the team found their way to a Fricken’ Waffles to order breakfast and discuss the disposal of the cyberdeck stolen from the opposition’s decker. Deciding that the nuyen was more beneficial than the cyberdeck at this time, the team opted to sell it. Between some of the team’s contacts and Octan’s negotiating skills, they got an excellent deal netting everyone a few more thousand nuyen.