Unfortunately, he could not spot anything wrong with the video; whoever had altered it had done a fantastic job. Inspired by this, the team decided to try and muddy the waters, and asked DigiRaja to create some more videos of the street ambush, with some obvious fakes as well as some non-obvious fakes, to try and muddy the situation as much as possible. Being a digital artist, Digi agreed immediately.
Thinking that maybe it was an otaku/technomancer that had done the alterations, the team also had Willis Marks have a look at the footage, but he could not detect any alterations either.
Finally, the team decided to go directly to Ken, and gave him a call. Reaching him, he quickly informed the team that he thought he was being followed, and was on his way to the Marubeni garage; he was a few minutes away.
The team quickly prepared for possible hostilities, Hiraku turned Riku invisible and headed up to the roof of the garage to provide oversight, while Riku headeed out front.
Suddenly, the comm signal from Ken went dead. Riku quickly took off down the street. After several minutes of running, he came across what was likely Ken’s car; it had been run off the road into a streetlight pole. In addition, the passenger side window had been shot out, and the driver side door forced open.
Calling the others to the site, as well as getting the garage to send the tow-truck to haul the car back to the garage, the team checked out the car. They quickly found the vehicle’s comm system had an active video.
Checking it out, the video included the comm-call Ken had been having with Kabuki a few minutes earlier, though it continued after the signal was lost, showing a van come in to view behind the car, and ramming it off the road. It also showed a trio of humans in dark clothing approaching the car and grabbing Ken and stuffing him into the van. It also showed one of the figures retrieving a small object (likely a datachip or credstick) from the central console and walking off the screen before returning and getting in to the van. The video then showed the van driving off.
Examining the video more closely on their commlinks, the team realized that the figures, who looked like non-descript strongmen, were attempting to conceal their gang affiliation; small tattoos and other small details led the team to believe that the thugs were in fact members of the Maniacs gang. Kabuki also managed to isolate some of the scents, and figured she could track them down that way, though it would be very slow going. The team also checked the vehicle’s autonav for the listing for Ken’s home, but did not find anything other
Looking in to the Maniacs, the team reached out to some of their contacts: Hino Bento and Tom Aki. Hino said he would look into it, while Tom Aki had some information at hand; some Maniacs had taken over an old, run-down warehouse near the DarkZone.
Hiraku quickly sent his astral form to check out the warehouse, and found the familiar aura of Ken Tailor, along with a half-dozen others.
Borrowing the truck from the garage, and arranging with Wei-chu Marubeni to be on call to remotely pilot the van if required, the team drove to the warehouse in question. Using his magic to remotely view the inside of the warehouse, Hiraku saw a half-dozen Maniacs gangers (3 orcs and 3 humans) in the warehouse, along with a near naked and severely beaten Ken secured to a chair and exposed to the elements.
With Riku sneaking around behind the partially-collapsed building, the team quickly attacked the gangers, taking them down (alive) within seconds without suffering any casualties on their side. Kabuki even managed to convince one of them to surrender.
Hiraku quickly freed Ken and checked his wounds; he was suffering from a pair of broken legs, some severe bruises and frostbite, but was alive, though unconscious.
The team quickly bundled him into the garage’s van to get him out of the cold, and checked out the rest of the warehouse, and the unconscious Maniacs gangers while Hiraku headed back to his place to treat Ken.
While Kabuki questioned the conscious prisoner, Riku transferred the 4 unconscious gangers to their van. He quickly finished while Kabuki continued to wheedle information out of the Maniacs ganger.
Thinking ahead while Kabuki spoke with the ganger, Riku checked the local maps on his com and found the quickest route to the river would go south of the DarkZone, and bypass the heavy Knight Errant presence in that area, and would take about 5 minutes at normal driving speed. While much of the ice in the river would likely be thick enough to hold the van, the area is known for its year-round operation of shipping, so at least some of the ice must be cleared.
Off in the Marubeni van, after tending to Ken’s wounds as best he could (even with magic the 2 broken legs would take a few days to mend fully), Hiraku began the mind-probing of the unconscious hacker.
- 6 Smartgun X w/9 clips of ammo
- 6 combat knives
- 12 doses Jazz
- 6 meta-link comlinks (R1)
- Ken’s clothes, etc.; however, his cyberdeck is not present. As far as the team knows, he does not carry an additional commlink, and would have to ask him if anything else is missing.
- He does not know who hired them; he was told what to do by Kyle Stoker, the gang leader.
- Was told to retrieve the datachip and deliver it to a messenger (no name available); they (the gangers) were told to get the names of his associates that assisted with the kidnapping of Richard Yoshimura.
- They had not as yet gotten Ken to reveal the names of his associates
- They were recording the interrogation on their commlinks
- Only gave the datachip to the messenger
- He is expecting reinforcements any time; called as soon as the attack began.
- He does not know how long reinforcements will take; he was hoping they would be here by now and he would be free. He was told that backup would be “close by”, though he does not know exactly where.
- He has no knowledge of the footage of the ambush.
- He was grabbed by the gangers and they were trying to get him to give up the names of his associates from the Richard Yoshimura kidnapping.
- Ken believes that the gangers were sent after him because someone managed to track his data theft from Richard Yoshimura; not the theft itself but his use of some of the information he stole. He found some account info & plundered the contents of his personal account. By the time he made it back to Detroit, his deck had been hacked. Luckily he had saved the info to a data chip. The chip was in the center console of his car.
- Ken does not have a permanent place that he lives; he squats in a variety of places, including back rooms in clubs, etc. in exchange for services rendered (hacking, etc.), The last place he was staying was the back room at “ Mayhem”, a run-down club near the Old Detroit/Pontiac border.
- His deck, and RCC/drones he left with the owner of “Mayhem”, Gret Helmundottir, for safekeeping, though he did not tell her what it was.
- 2 Karma
- +1 Loyalty with Ken Tailor