Knee Deep (Part 1 - Truth, lies & videotapes)

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Date Event
06.03.05  
046.100 Group discusses the implications of last nights news; Alex realizes he left his business card at Tinker’s; thus leaving a trail. Doris Newman may also be a liability, but they reckon that if she’ll talk, she’ll be out of business and into trouble, so she’ll probably be no problem. They decide to lay low for the while: it will be business as usual (transport flights), and Alex gets himself a new phone.
Further discussion is what to do with the Flying Fish. It was bound for Haven. Should they warn it to stay away ? The group decides to contact the ‘Fish. It’s near Newport, and heading for Haven where it expects to arrive some time tomorrow. OK, let them come.
Finally, it is decided that if the GEO comes asking after their employer Ted the group will admit being employed, but will claim they ‘just retrieved some crates’.
Luca searches CommCore for some jobs within Haven Cluster and comes across an official GEO announcement that during the assassination investigation any vessels leaving Haven will have to state goods, passengers and destination. Darn! They quickly contact the Flying Fish and tell it to stay away ‘till that order is lifted. The crew is instructed too seek out cargo jobs in Newport.
Paranoid as ever, Frank starts sweeping the Orchard Enterprises compound for bugs, but finds none.
047.100 The party is trying to keep a low profile as around 18.00 a GEO jumpbike descends from the skies and lands on the Orchard Enterprises carpark. A man dismounts, takes off his crash-helmet and is instantly recognized by Rave & Frank : It’s GEO Marshall Peter Church.
Rave hurries to open the door for the Marshall who, taking in Rave in one swift look orders him to gather all personnel in the common room. Rave hurries to comply.
Once gathered, Church sits down; gives them all a level stare and then asks casually why they are interested in a GEO Peacemaker. The group is silent, and Church single out Luca to tell him. Luca claims she doesn’t know what he is talking about. Church tells Alex to do better than that. Alex tells he was told about it by Crull, and decided to investigate, but never ever touched or a Peacemaker. No sir!
Church ponders the answer then asks: "What was on the dataspike you where looking for?". Alex claims that they were looking for the spike for a client, and that this client told them some sort of ‘programmed reflexes’ program was on it. Church demands a description of this client: Name Ted, long bald human; wearing a dark blue T-shirt and black jeans. He always called them, not the other way around.
When were they first contacted : the 40th, so 7 days ago. They were to retrieve crates form a sunken boat; and when the crates turned out to not be on the boat anymore they were hired to search haven for those crates.
Church tells them he has enough for now; but warns them not to leave Haven. With that he leaves.
Frank motions the others to search the compound for bugs. Luca finds one under the chair that Church used and destroys it, much to the dismay of the others. Rave takes the chair and lets himself fall down on it; so that they can claim it was an accident the bug got broken. Alex explains Luca why not to do that ever again.
Luca goes through Orchard Enterprise’s books to make sure all irregularities are gone; so that they won’t be caught on some small irregularity.
Frank has a brainwave how to make up for lost business (since they can’t leave Haven) : start a catering service with Kurt as cook.
Rave & Alex go out to buy a new chair.
048.100 ‘News at Noon’ reports that the GEO have succeeded in proving their innocence.
During dinner, Church pays them a visit again. He is invited to join, but declines. Alex remarks: "A, so you’ve experience with Kurt’s cooking.". Just the fainted of smiles plays around the corners of his mouth.
Church sits down, and tells them they are to help him solve a riddle: How come they were asking around for a peacemaker, and one day later showed up on security footage from the residence of Epstein Smoot, Haven’s most notorious gun collector? Well… our client wanted to buy a real antique gun from Smoot but they got sent of empty-handed. Church asks them where Smoot has gone to. The party claims they don’t know.
OK, next riddle: using the holographic display of his bodycomp, Church shows them an image of Haydon Stack smoking a cigar. Do they know this individual? Rave and Frank admit that they know him: it’s Stack. "No it’s not", Church says, Stack doesn’t smoke. He extends the image : it’s footage from Haven Coliseum’s surveillance camera’s. They show Stack entering the toilets, followed by Frank & Rave; both empty handed. Some time later, Frank and Rave come out with a suitcase, followed a bit later by the person they know as Santeria, the ‘psyche healer.’
Church asks them if they know that last person. Alex says yes, and starts a cover-story about how the group needed healing but Santeria only pissing them of; and when Frank & Rave bumped into him in the toilets they decided to take revenge by roughing him up and stealing his suitcase. They claim no knowledge of what was in the suitcase.
Church tells them that he has Santeria in custody; that he has pleaded guilty to impersonating a Marshall, and that Santeria claims that Frank and Rave purposefully stole the disguise. He also claimed that Frank & Rave knew what was in the case since they told him they knew he would not go to the GEO for this theft.
When the group is still not forthcoming with an explanation that satisfies Church he tells them they are all (including Kurt) under arrest for being an accomplice in assassinating Keinz.
In the slammer, Alex calls his lawyer (Hugo Sishi) who tells him he’s not good enough for something this big; but will send a colleague of his.
Sometime later, a man in three-piece suit and tie enters the cell, and introduces himself very politely as Poririo Tomlinsom, solicitor. A brief discussion ensues and it is decided that for now the party will plead innocent, merely a victim of circumstance.
049.100 The morning after, each group member is taken separately in a line-up.
Kurt is having the shakes on account of not having booze. In an attempt to relieve his symptoms somewhat and keeping him quiet; Frank hypnotizes him ["It’s easy: I just tell him my finger is a bottle of booze; and he follows."]
After the line-up; the group deliberates on their position and decide to tell what they know about Ted Sandoval, to give information on where they got the dataspike and remote constellation; but claim that the peacemaker story is unrelated.
At noon, their lawyer (Tomlinson) takes them to a conversation-room to discuss their position. The group tells him how they will plead, and Tomlinson informs them about he evidence: what Church has already let know; Santeria having recognized Alex, Frank and Rave from the line-up. Also there is an additional charge against them: illegal possession of arms, specifically the missile launcher hidden on the Albatross. Oopsie. They’d completely forgotten about that.
056.100 Day of Court. Magistrate Emmett Skalfort, known as a hard-liner, is presiding. The group make sure they are dressed up properly.
Each one is interrogated by Peter Church, who is acting as DA
Luca is questioned about the missile launcher. She claims to have lost all memory on how that thing got there.
Frank and Rave are both questioned on what they did with the suitcase they stole of Santeria. They claim they threw it away before entering the maglev station. Church shows them footage from the security system on the station, showing Rave is still carrying the suitcase.
Alex is questioned about the their client. Alex repeats his previous statements that Ted contacted him. Isn’t it strange that Ted contacted him directly ? No, it’s known on the streets that the group does these kind of things; for example they tracked down the crownprince of Aquitaine. Church asks again who told them about the peacemaker. Alex says it was Crull.
During the hearing, they all state that Kurt is totally uninvolved in anything the group did. He is merely their handyman and cook.
Church asks for a recess, which is granted.
057.100 The court reconvenes.
Church has done some additional information. It turns out Crull was killed in the Waterfront Bombing. Coincidence, he thinks not. Alex says he isn’t sorry Crull is dead as he was a complete asshole, though it’s shame of the restaurant. Church points out that 10 people were killed, and that Alex apparently does not value human live. Alex states he’s feeling sorry for the other 9 deaths.
With Crull dead, Church has no further witnesses; he commences to give a (negative) character sketch of each accusee : he highlights Luca’s insubordination problems at Dundalk; Frank’s unethical experiments; Rave insubordination when he still was with the GEO; and Alex being a pimp. (Since prostitution is legal in Haven, Alex actually comes out looking best.). Also, given the illegal weaponry the group apparently is comfortable with ignoring the law.
Magistrate Skalfort retreats to ponder the evidence, and re-emerges after an hour.
The verdict: though there’s not enough evidence to convict the accuses of conspiracy; there is more than enough to find them quietly of extreme negligence leading to the murder of Werner Keinz; he sentences them 20 years of prison. Kurt is cleared of all charges.
The party is transferred under heavy surveillance to the Daly Correctional Facility in Second Try, where they’re assigned to separate cells.
063.100 (One week later) The party has a visitor : Tomlinson who bears some bad news: Hanover Industries has demanded the group is handed over to them. They claim the right to be responsible for their incarceration and want the group shipped of to Böse Strand; their own prison facility. And to smooth over relations with Hanover, the GEO is probably going to comply.
(to be continued).
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