Everything was in place, ready to go. Even Wraith mysteriously appeared to lend a hand in keeping an eye on things in case Caroline decided to pull some crazy stunt.
The stunt, as it turned out, was not so crazy. The lawyer she hired (James Mathers) had his own ideas for the custody of the items in question. He produced a certified info card that listed all of the items and showed them to be in custody of a third party. He stated that, until a trial proved otherwise, Caroline could not be implicated in the removal of the items from Adaman Security’s possession, meaning that the only thing that was not disputed was that Adaman had lost the items and therefore should not be trusted to keep them during these proceedings. He seemed excesssively dickish about the whole thing. Argyle used a mind probe to figure out what this guy’s angle was and learned that everything here was being recorded and would be sent to authorities and, perhaps worse, the media if he did not enter a code to stop it at an appointed time. He planned to use this to control the situation.
After the meeting was concluded, Mathers asked to speak with Argyle alone (and unbeknownst to either of them, Wraith). He told Argyle that he knew this was all bullshit and that none of the documents checked out. There was some back and forth, Mathers clearly not entirely certain of the accusation he was about to make, until Argyle demanded a straight explanation. The lawyer told him that he worked with this kind of thing often and believed that this was a shadowrun. Without directly confirming this, Argyle asked what he expected to gain from this confrontation.
Mathers explained that he had a job he needed doing. In exchange for that, he would not blow the cover of the people at this meeting. He hinted that there could be a mutually beneficial business arrangement in it in the future as well. Argyle made him agree to convince Caroline to place the items into their custody as well and they shook hands.
Argyle immediately told everyone what happened and Wraith had Zed track down the guy’s car so he could install some surveillance equipment and stow away in the trunk. Tracer tried to intercept and charm Mathers. Mathers seemed to barely listen to what Tracer had to say and refused the offer of a drink.
The folder (yes, paper) that Argyle was given contained some information about an experimental one man stealth anti-grav aircraft that appeared to be focused on inserting operatives. It contained the location of a secure private airfield and the hanger where the aircraft is held and the location of the drop off, a different hanger just outside Seattle. Pretty straightforward. Mathers gave them one week to finish the job or he would release the info he has.
To be clear, so we all understand exactly what is at stake, here is why that would be bad:
Argyle was magically disguised, and Wraith was never detected. With fake and easily replaceable commlinks, even with those ID’s recorded, they are in little danger of being identified. Tracer, on the other hand, was in full view of Mathers the whole time. And, while he doesn’t bring his legitimate commlink with him on runs, he does have a real SIN. Facial recognition technology is pretty advanced and some investigative work could tie his face to the scanners at his place of legal employment and pick up his SIN from there.
The other problem is Dariush. In general, it is considered very bad form indeed to expose your Mr. Johnson to the public, especially if there is any question as to the legality of what is going on. Even without proof, it makes their lives harder and makes them less trusting of this kind of work, which is bad for business for all fixers.
Either of those outcomes will become known in the fixer community quickly. Yes, fixers talk and keep databases of fuck-ups as a professional courtesy to each other. Karl and Hashtag could easily identify Tracer and name his usual cohorts. They might like the team, but if push comes to shove, they will protect themselves and their connections above all.
Also, just the suggestion that a Mr. Johnson might get caught with shadowrunners and would even have the passing chance of naming the fixer he contacted will make a fixer pucker their asshole so tight it might just fuse shut. So, to cover his own ass, Hashtag would immediately hire someone to kill Dariush. And he may feel some loyalty toward Tracer, but it is unlikely that that would stop him from doing the same for everyone on the team.
So don’t fuck this up.