“There’s a far trader in from Ticron, the Derelict Hammer” he says. “A package from it was passed through customs by Chanda Najeeb. We know the papers are bad, but we’re not sure what she’s hiding. My bosses don’t think it’s a problem, so I need someone to look into it for me. Could you? The bad papers say it’s some kind of medical equipment.”
She calls Ace, who brings in Alexei. Ace makes some phone calls to dockworkers and makes contact with the guy who offloaded the Hammer. He points Sam and Ace to a warehouse that the customs agent sometimes rents out.
The crew goes to check it out and notice that although the warehouse seems to have average security, there are other parties watching. They decide to stake the place out. Ace takes the first watch while Sam and Alexei go sleep. While sneaking around, he runs into a big Korskiy bruiser, “Ilya Ilyavich”. Ilya assumes he’s watching the warehouse too, and they chat a bit. Ace offers up a game, and they gamble a bit. Ace wins twice, and Ilya offers up double or nothing. Ace asks for a favor in exchange, and when he wins again, asks Ilya to tell him what’s going on. This spooks Ilya, who assumed he was another watcher. Ilya grimaces, crosses his arms, and tells Ace to get lost.
Ace manages to avoid Ilya again until Alexei comes to take his shift. Alexei also meets Ilya and strikes up a conversation with him as a fellow Korskiy. Ilya, perhaps, a bit too loose-lipped, takes Alexei under his wing and tells him that there is something that many dangerous people want in the warehouse—and then proceeds to point out who those dangerous people are.
Meanwhile, Sam wins her way into Vasanta Trevedi‘s heart with homestyle curry, and also meets with Chanda Najeeb, the crooked customs official. Chanda’s racist, but intimates that she can be very discreet, and that Sam should contact the Compass Union for references.
While Alexei waits to hand off the watch to Sam, Usman Hanna contacts Tyson-Jrailth and asks him to poke his head in to see if any muscle is required. Tyson ends up pressganged into meeting with Vasanta almost completely unprepared. Assigned the codename “Mr. Wrist,” he and six other masked individuals (at least one from Dadie) watch Vasanta demonstrate the brutal effectiveness of a Compass Union-branded bioweapon. It is selective in its targeting, and remains contagious for some time after exposure. Tyson gets a little too close to Vasanta, and she threatens him with a spray can until he leaves.
The group reconvenes and plans their next move. Six days, Vasanta said. She’ll be selling the weapon in six days.