The Axe, Part 9

Summary:
July 15, 2014 Aspect leaves the mortal meat coil and rides the wave of high technology in an attempt to track down information about the dealer Daredevil is searching for and information about Rhys Bale.

Deep in the innovative aether

Everywhere and nowhere


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music:


The Axe, Part 9

The room is dark, which suits Jericho just fine. Darkness cuts down on distractions and he doesn't need any right now. Right now it's just him, the network and a lot of questions that need answering.

Most people don't ask, so most people don't know, that browsing the networks for Jericho isn't always like doing so on a laptop. He can do it like that, but if given the opportunity to devote his full concentration to it, his implants can create a much more immersive experience for him. Though he doesn't do it as Jericho. Exposing himself to that would likely kill him, which is why he hides behind the mask that most know as Aspect.

At the moment he's standing in a public network hub which looks a lot like a crazed digital artists rendition of a fantasy train station. One with GOOGLE plastered all over it. It only takes him a few minutes to select a 'passageway' deeper into the network.

Lights. Transitions. Aspect finds himself in a dingy eighteenth century auction house where no one has any faces. These kinds of anonymous trade sites are the bread and butter of the illegal artifacts trade. The guards here can't see him. Poor counterhackers. He smirks. It's not like they had a chance. Very few can legitimately match him in this arena and he's while he's met several who can none of them are here. On the block? The Axe of Perun.

So this is where it ended up.

Walking out onto the cobblestone street he turns and looks up at the name of the hall. The letters don't make any sense. Encrypted eh? The hacker muses. I'll fix your little red wagon right now. Aspect extends his hand, bright code flowing up from it to the sign. A very subtle decrypting algorithm goes to work and a few moments later the name 'Balcerowskis' comes into view.

Ah. The place to go for criminal art sales. Makes sense. Now…

There's a side door that Jericho knows leads to the 'office' which is to say, the main file server. The door is secured - locked, to his view - and just kicking it in, while doable, will attract attention. A flurry of code later, he has a skeleton key. These things don't work quite the same way as they do in the real world and there's a few tense moments of fiddling as he watches an intrusion countermeasures program in the form of a squad of British soldiers stomp by.

Nothing to see here boys…

Click. The lock gives. He's in. Up a flight of stairs and into a room full of books. Great. Lots of files to look at. Let's see? browse sellers in the last three weeks. One of the books flies down onto the cluttered reading desk. Man, they need to clean up their file structure here? and do a defrag. Aspect pages through the book until he finds the entry he's looking for. Smudged to illegibility like all the rest. The hacker sighs again and once more the wonderful bright code cleans the lettering up. Giles Gunroe.

Well there's a familiar name. Underworld art dealer with ties to… well everyone. Italian mob, Irish mob, Ton Ton Macoute, Silver Syndicate, Northeast Triads. This guy has some major league connections. I wonder how he wound up with the Axe? or if he's the one who went after it to begin with. Interesting.

Now to see who is bidding on it. The ink of the listing lifts off the page and seems to expand, individual globules of it each bearing names.

Okay, lets see. Gerard Courleon, Bai Lao Wen, Vivian Ameracci, Mika Tanaka… geeze. This looks like every shady millionaire jet set type in Europe and Southeast Asia… mmmm. Very very few American or Latino buyers. Wonder why?

A knock on the door tells Aspect that his time is running short. Time for an exit. He has one more thing to check. Opening a closet, he steps in.

Lights, transition. Aspect appears near a modern looking post office with whole walls worth of PO boxes. Sites are weird like that. He walks on over and opens a very specific one. It's packed with mail which floats out and sorts itself as he scans through it.

Okay man. Twenty five grand is an awful lot of throwing around cash. Where did it go. Hrm? these e-mails are encrypted.

Several specific letters float in front of him as the rest stuff back into the mailbox. Aspect very quickly nukes the protections on these as well. Eat code, 128 bit encryption.

Okay? letters home. These are pretty vague. Mother… Father… Huh, dad's dead now. Sorry. And sister. Let's see. There's a lot of talk here about concern for his safety in public. The guy was a bit of a philanthropist? but not really what we're gonna call an A-list celebrity. Oh, also he had 'tastes' lest we forget, so that may tie in. Hrm. What's this? Sister talks about meeting a man named 'Lester.' No other reference to him in the entire mail box and it looks like home is indeed where that money went. Doesn't look like I'm going to get anything more here.

Disconnecting.

Darkness.

Jericho's eyes open in the pitch black room and he sits up. He can actually see perfectly even in this low a light level thanks to his enhancements, but he doesn't need to see anything that isn't digital right now. Gathering all his information he opens up his mail account and sends a coded attachment of to Daredevil.

This one's gonna get messy Ren Faire. Don't hesitate to call if you need backup…


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