Snatching the Slate

The acolytes have bargained for a data slate containing what they hope to be relevant information in their investigation in to the Joyous Choir, and are meeting their contact in a busy market square in the mid hive. Xerxes volunteers to make the hand-off, carrying the case containing two thousand Thrones in exchange for the data slate.

Xerxes sets himself up at the designated meeting point, whereupon the contact dissolves out of the bustling crowd and promptly gets shot. The assassin drops down from above, snatches the case, and starts to make his getaway.

The shock quickly dissipates amongst the trained acolytes and the chase is on. The bustling market is mostly too busy and noisy to notice much of anything, creating a mass of bodies to push through to get anywhere. Progress is difficult for two of the acolytes, one deciding to go over to the contact's body instead of trying to force his way forwards.

'I want to make it clear that I am not doing this to check for a pulse', he states, 'I just want to see if he is carrying anything else that may be important'. And, indeed, he picks up a few interesting items before trying to follow his companions.

The others have pressed on, the two from hive worlds nimbly dodging all the people and moving freely, easily catching up with the assassin. But they find that, once in range, they have no easy means to halt the fleeing man. They can't shoot through the crowd easily, and getting much closer simply puts them in point blank range of the assassin's bolt pistol.

But just as quickly as they catch up, the assassin leaps over a wall and is gone. Scratching their heads at his disappearance the two point members slowly stalk between a few market stalls, whilst the others make their way through the heaving crowds. Matthias thinks he senses the assassin, turning around to see the killer leap from a hiding place and run. But he curiously throws the case away, and towards Matthias.

Despite the death of their contact the case is what the acolytes were after, and now they have it. And Matthias quickly checks and sees that it hasn't been opened, so the assassin isn't making away with the data slate. What he also notices is the melta bomb now strapped to the case, which explains why the assassin is now happy to leave it behind, and to throw it at Matthias.

Matthias quickly tries to open the case, to get the slate out before it, and he, become fused to the concrete, but he can't figure out the sophisticated lock. 'I fail by six. ...margins.' It's not quite enough.

'I have the key', calls out Xerxes, almost catching up finally. But he is too far away from Matthias and the nearby Dariel to get it to them easily. Luckily, Mordecai has found his legs and spotted a gap in the crowd. He nimbly dodges between people and snatches the key from Xerxes's hand, running out of puff just close enough to toss the key down on to the case.

Dariel closes for just long enough to unlock the case and retreat to a safe distance, leaving Matthias to open the case and shake out its contents, before hurling it feebly a dozen feet away. Just in time.

Boom!

The melta bomb all but destroys the case, and most of its surroundings. But the data slate is intact and on the ground next to a scorched Matthias. He grabs it and the acolytes flee the market, regrouping once the commotion dies down. They agree to head to an inn to work out what to do next.

At the inn, a quiet booth is found and the acolytes examine the data slate. Xerxes's technical expertise manages to break the intial software locks, revealing a long list of encrypted data, but he is not able to crack the encryption itself.

The slate is passed around, each acolyte trying their best to understand what the data could be, looking for patterns and trying obvious passwords. 'Oh wow, do you realise what we've got here?', Dariel asks.

'You've broken the encryption? What's on the data slate?'

'What? No. It just occurred to me that we got the data slate without handing over our own case in return. We've got 2,000 Thrones, that people are expecting to be spent, and we're in a bar. Let's party!'

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