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  #196  
Old 10-30-2010, 02:54 PM
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Hival's inquiries prove quite fruitful. While most of the invites seem to be to some official "plus one", there do appear to be two blocks of invitations, one sent to what is probably the overseer barracks at the oil fields, and the other to something called "The Ranch" with an address out past the edge of town. The invite list does not seem to include anything about caterers or musicians, but this is the list for the official guests receiving fancy invitations, not the help.
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  #197  
Old 10-31-2010, 08:30 PM
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"Ranch. Hands." Hival type-tones nothing more after pointing to the guest list. He suddenly starts studying the lower level map, paying particular attention to the edges of the papers. He squints close, looking at any and all lines. A cursory examination of the second level follows, then back to the first. He finally taps out what is on his mind. "Find. Power. Source."
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  #198  
Old 10-31-2010, 10:09 PM
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"A good way to send fops and ladies screaming in a big stampede."
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  #199  
Old 11-02-2010, 01:08 AM
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"I got a notion that ain't for ranch hands," Hu Li says with a smirk, pointing to the screen after Hival finds the invitation. "I don't believe I've seen a burdensome amount of cows about. Like as not that's somethin' else. Worth a minute of nosin' about on the Cortex, leastways. My suspicions right, that there's a whorehouse. And a way of gettin' inside." She pauses a moment, looking from Devon to Hival and back again. "Which of you reckon you'd look a daisy in a pretty corset?"

She pulls out a cigarette and lights it, the smirk still twitching at the corners of her mouth.

"Right then. Ain't a stretch thinkin' we might have to get mighty scarce mighty fast if we pull this off. This here says Underwood's got himself a garage. Shiny for him. I expect he's got somethin' in there we might could use to hightail back here. No harm in keepin' it if we do, I say." She flips back and forth between the two sheets of paper for a moment, smoke trailing from the side of her mouth, before shaking her head in annoyance. "What these maps don't got is anything sayin' how many guns Underwood got workin' for him. Reckon we need to know that, and where we can expect they'll be keepin' themselves during the shindig."
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  #200  
Old 11-02-2010, 05:15 PM
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Devon watches Hu Li levelly, his only response to the joke "I'll kill you."

"I can handle any car he's got, with or without the keys. Who's to say we can't use the getaway skiff as a way to make the number of gun's he's got meaningless? Someone sweet talks him to show off his ride, or better yet to show off the back seat of his ride," Devon pauses, pleased at how effortless it was to throw back the hooker jokes, "and then we kill him and drive away all before his posse knows he's dead."
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  #201  
Old 11-02-2010, 05:30 PM
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I doubt it will be anywhere as easy as that. Tabitha says, walking in and sitting down for some food.
Powerful men with a penchant for murder tend to stay pretty close to their escort details at all times. Looking over in Hu Li's direction Tab went on. Perhaps a sweet, young helpless potential victim might be able to draw him away from his goons? Perhaps in the back garden where one might break his heart, or rather puncture it with a sharp instrument? Or somewhere within riifle range?
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  #202  
Old 11-02-2010, 07:52 PM
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"Already. Have. Nice. Suit." It was Hival's response to the notion of wearing a shiny dress.
"Need. City. Info." This was all he had for further mentions of the ranch. He picked up his custom Cortex commandeer and stepped out.

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  #203  
Old 11-02-2010, 09:20 PM
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"So, Tab, same idea, just out in the open instead of the garage where maybe we'll have two guys to worry about instead of the rest of the house?" Devon sighs.

"Dude, really? Hival, there's no way you're going to blend in beep booping your sleeve all night."
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  #204  
Old 11-02-2010, 09:47 PM
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Tab shrugs. I'm partial to gardens, myself. Tell a man that you want to see his car and he might get suspicious. That don't sound like something a ballroom belle might say.Tell him you need a bit of fresh air, that your corset's on too tight... she said with a wink.Lure him out in the dark, where there's less likely to be any surveillance... He just might buy it
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  #205  
Old 11-02-2010, 09:49 PM
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Hival stopped. He turned around, gave an unkind look to Devon, and tapped out a response. "Corset. Joke. Reponse." Then he went back about his business, not bothering to listen to any further remarks.
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  #206  
Old 11-03-2010, 12:38 AM
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Devon cracks up laughing. "Sorry, Tab, not you." He says between heaves. "Anyway. I've never been to a ball, but back home 'wanna get back to the car' was the best thing a guy could hear. But that's the city for you, not many gardens where I came from. I really don't care how we do it, I just don't want to get shot doing it. If you want to perforate him with hair accessories in the bushes, go ahead. Or we could ventilate him in the garage. Whatever. But I'm not putting on a fancy getup with tight pants, even if I could afford to buy one, so more importantly how do we get the rest of us in?"
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  #207  
Old 11-03-2010, 06:21 PM
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Hival exits the ship once more, to do his Cortex cruising without being bothered.

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  #208  
Old 11-04-2010, 05:12 PM
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"Best we don't get married to one way or t'other," Hu Li says, still looking at the pair of maps and ignoring most of the back-and-forth engendered by her off-hand joke from a minute earlier. "My experience, a man'll come sniffin' after most any offer a pretty lady makes to be alone. We'll get a better read on it when we're inside - reckon we go with the way that seems a better fit."

She looks up from the pages just in time to see Hival leaving the room, and her eyes follow him for a moment, her mouth tightening into a vague frown. She grinds out what remains of her cigarette in the half-full ashtray.

"Right then. Thinkin' in broad terms here. Tab, you good with goin' in or you plannin' to hang back? The Ranch turns out what I expect, I'm thinkin' I can get myself a job there to get in, but it surely wouldn't hurt none to have someone getting' my back on the inside. I expect things'll go quiet-like until ... well, until we do what the job says. Once that happens, be more like a kicked anthill. Devon, we got to make sure we get you in the garage so we can get gone but fast. He can find the power or the house's Cortex connection, Hival ought be able to give us a good diversion. Then Deacon standin' ready back here in case things go some manner of awful. Sound all right?"
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  #209  
Old 11-04-2010, 05:42 PM
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"Okee dokee. I'll still need that tomato." Devon agrees.
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  #210  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:00 PM
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Hival locates a lot of the info he was looking for pretty easily. Unfortunately, this place seems a bit out of the way, but there is at least one mechanic's shop on the edge of town advertising "refurbished goods". The Coretex info on The Ranch seems pretty vague, passing it off as a "gentleman's club" with an "air of relaxation." A whorehouse for the upper-crust, perhaps. Outside of a small toolshop attached to the spaceport, there isn't a lot else of mechanical persuasion hereabouts, though there may be some close by as the ship flies.
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