"Lunch and Learn" (Day 2 - Midday)

“And that’s all?” Kate was incredulous. “Reform Bravo Company?”

“After we get to Highgate,” Marisol replied. “I’m assuming that further orders will come upon our arrival.”

“First,” Dorian lifted his glass, “congratulations on tha promotion, Major Chavez. And you,” he steered the glass toward Kate, “fah passin’ yah certification exam…Doctah Schnabel.” The three clinked glasses in a quiet toast, before Dorian asked, “what else can yah tell us at this juncture?”

“Just what we’re not gonna do,” the mechanic whispered. “None of the raids and ops you and I conducted after surrender…”

“..That’s a relief…”

“No physical casualties,” Marisol whispered. “Our targets are money, data, and cortex access. If we have to take hostages, we treat ‘em like gold,” she offered. “We Robin Hood as much coin as we can, we expose every dirty little Alliance and Blue Sun secret we can get our hands on, and we broadwave, broadwave, broadwave.”

Kate wasn’t impressed. “You saw how fast they crushed Miranda. They’ve been running their ‘Reavers are Browncoats in Disguise’ la shi ever since. They’ve got the media, the money, and the power to bulldoze anything we do. How do you plan to get around that?”

“By starting small,” the newly minted Major replied. “Seen the news from Highgate lately? It’s anarchy. People are trying to get off. Crime is through the roof. Store shelves are empty, but that doesn’t much matter when a loaf of bread can fetch five hundred credits.”

“So, we become a charitable organization,” Dorian ventured.

Marisol smiled. “With a twist. Our ‘donors’ won’t exactly be willing.”

“Ooohhhh,” Kate acknowledged the thought. “So, Bravo Company’s going to pull in a whole new form of talent.”

“That’s what I’m thinking. Crackers, hackers, money launderers, B and E, counterfeiters…”

“…and with Highgate suddenly plunged intah anarchy…”

“…some of those talents might be easier to locate,” Marisol nodded. “But we need good intel up front. If either you have contacts, reach out to them.”

“Funny yah should mention that,” Dorian said. “One of mine reached out tah me. Over the next few minutes, he laid out what he’d learned about the Roost, their parent syndicate, and the fact that Lunar Veil might be flying into someone’s target sights.

“You’re gonna tell Riley…correct?” Marisol asked.

“Soon as Ah get back tah tha boat.”

“That could actually help,” Kate piped up “A little paranoia goes a long way toward explaining any actions we take that might draw curiosity.”

“Yes,” Adler agreed. “By tha way, Vas Jat dropped by fah a round of ‘Twenty Questions’ about yah,” Dorian replied. “Apparently, yah showed him a new side tah yah personality?”

She offered a vague smile. “The widow offered to help take out the trash.”

“Dial it back,” Marisol ordered. “I’m no friend of Vas Jat, but if this Roost makes a play, we’ll need his skill set front and center.”

“Ah agree,” Dorian nodded. “Ah’d also suggest none of us goes out unarmed.”

“Copy,” the major replied. “We’re done, for now. I’m headed back to the boat. Serious cleaning of our ductwork.”

“Ah’ll walk with yah,” Dorian offered. “Promised Serena a pass through tha festival, and then Riley and Ah have a thing tahnight.”

“I am become Yeva,” Kate grinned. “Promise handsome captain I am find him at festival.”

“Better Keller than Leo,” Marisol shrugged.

“Girl, you don’t know the half of it.” With a wave, Lunar Veil’s newest medic departed the café.

“Now that we’re alone, there was one more thing tah discuss.” Dorian laid forth Annika’s account of the Alliance’s newfound interest in Marisol and her relationship with General Kau’li. She sat quietly, grave faced, as he shared the complete experience from memory.

In the end, she gave him a quiet nod. “Thank you,” she said. “So it sounds like they’re just getting started.”

“That was mah take. We need tah move yah family.” The doc whispered. ”We could leave…tahnight..get tah Santo…”

“No,” she shook her head. “If we’re being watched, I’m not leading them to my family. Paco and I have a plan for this,” Marisol reached for the burner cortex she carried. “I’ve got this, Dorian,” she asserted her command presence. “Head back to the boat. Keep your dates. Nothing looks out of place…Dohn mah?

”ku.”

“I’ve got to make a couple calls. I’ll see you there.”

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