After rescuing NeonPerl and heading back to Sarah’s apartment, the team conducted some additional research into Volen’s project. His company Redwood Holdings had rented out the 17th floor of Wake Tower, a low-rise office building in the Business District, which has a regular contract with Blue Mountain Hotel Services. We also checked out our copy of Volen’s hard drive and found he keeps his personal and professional lives rather separate, though one exciting piece of information was that the 24 diamonds he keeps in his safe were appraised at an average of $250k each! After that news, Neal was barely able to stop himself from heading back to Volen’s penthouse immediately.
The next morning, NeonPerl shook her head at Neal’s so-yesterday internet research skills, and we ran down some additional leads on the omniweb. We learned that Profs. Matthis and Osamu (who had written many of the scientific articles we found in Volen’s binder) had mysteriously resigned their tenures at their respective universities and come to Seattle about 9 months ago, we can only assume to come work for Redwood Holdings. Sarah called Matthis’ former university in Germany and found he left no forwarding information; Kato also called the university in Japan and was able to leave a message with Shun Osamu, the professor’s sister and also an employee of the college.
Employing all her netrunning skills to crack some formidable black ICE, our hacker was able to gain access to Redwood Holdings’ secret node on the omniweb. We learned that the company had requisitioned living quarters for up to 12 medical/science staff, 8 security officers and 6 “test subjects,” a fully equipped lab, a very impressive fish tank and a high-capacity mainframe that controls all security functions on the 17th floor, totally isolated from the omniweb. It appears that we’ll need to gain physical access to the computer in order to obtain all the necessary data … NeonPerl then built in a +4 back door into Redwood Holdings’ systems before logging off.
Sarah later received a call from the Emerald Co. – after fucking killing it in the interview, she had been selected as their newest intern, and would start the next morning. Meanwhile, Neal, Kelly and Lisa decided to scout out Wake Tower. While many of the businesses including Redwood Holdings were not listed on the directory, the team was able to simply walk past the lone concierge in the lobby and gain access to the 18th floor, where the accounting firm Torbin & Cussman kept their offices. Kelly was able to make an introduction as a savvy business(person?) and arrange a potential future meeting with one of their accountants; xie also inserted a fiber optic device into the wall of the ladies’ room should we need to put eyes on the 17th floor below. They lastly talked to Wake Tower property management rep., Mr. Mark Roland, and planted the seed for possibly renting out an office space on the 16th floor, though the other tenants may demand some due diligence beforehand.
The next day Sarah arrived at Emerald Co. HQ and, after surviving orientation at least physically unscathed, was assigned to work for a focus group executive named Ms. Cantor. While attending to the busy work, Sarah attempted to access a few restricted sites within the company extranet, and ran up against no obvious security protocols. She also spent some time familiarizing herself with the layout of the floor where she worked and, after finding Volen’s office, tried eavesdropping on a few employees’ conversations – it seems that Volen’s team is highly efficient, and his employees spend little time in the office after hours socializing.
After discussing how best to go about accessing the mainframe inside Redwood Holdings’ office, we determined that, short of cutting a hole in the floor and making off with the entire computer, we would need a SQUID. Lisa Lau put her street smarts to good use and located a black market electronics dealer named Onyx down near the harbor. There was a tense moment when some of his gangbanger muscle attempted to surround us, but Kato was able to back them off. NeonPerl found the goods up to standards, but the transaction did not go exactly as expected, and we ended up paying $2k over market for the device, largely with funds generously loaned by Kelly.
We decided to case Blue Mountain Hotel Services on our way back to Sarah’s apartment. NeonPerl ran a quick analyze and found she’d have no trouble compromising their security, and we started formulating a plan to place a fake requisition inside Redwood Holdings’ logs and “borrow” a Blue Mountain van and some uniforms to get us onto the 17th floor. Kelly decided to rent a motel room down the street from their motor pool in order to observe and determine which type of van we’d need.
Sarah arrived coffee in hand and ready to brown-nose on her second day of work. In between handling her assigned tasks, in the break room she met Robert Volen’s personal assistant Wayne, an effeminate black fellow with a critical eye for women’s fashion. While her attempts at ingratiating herself with her new coworkers were a bit heavy-handed, she did learn that he frequents a night club called Platinimium, and Sarah expressed her hope that he’d meet her up for a fun night out that evening.
Good work team, have another +3 character points.