Saturday, December 5, 2009

Intelligence Report/Soft Company/All World Importers

Name: All World Importers

Type: Independent Soft Company

Products/Services: Smuggling of physical and intellectual properties.

Company Line: You have only to ask and the treasures of a thousand worlds are yours for the buying.

Public Information: Hidden among the silken kiosks of the Shifting Bazaar in Orienta is the kiosk for All World Importers (AWI). Like many other kiosks in the Bazaar, AWI's location varies from day to day. You will know it when you see it, though. It is the only kiosk that is completely empty of wares. The only thing you will ever see in AWI's kiosk, should you even be capable of finding it, is a gentleman or woman in an immaculately tailored white Arducci suit with a plain steel briefcase. The only other things you will find in the kiosk are a small table and second, empty, chair. No sign or placard advertises the kiosk. Unlike the often loud and obnoxious vendors that work the stalls, the staff at the AWI kiosk sit quietly with their hands in their laps and their briefcase at their sides. They will not speak unless spoken to, and then, only about business.

When business is mentioned, the prospective client is invited into the kiosk and the silks are drawn to conceal those inside from view. At this time the AWI representative asks what it is the customer seeks. No request is taboo. War World equipment, restricted information, artifacts from White Earth, even images seen only in dreams are possibilities; AWI can deliver it all if the customer is willing to pay the fee. Aside from the usual prohibition on payments in Credits, AWI's billing can be as simple or exotic as the requests made of them. Large sums of Unis are common. Trade is less common, unless the item being offered is of substantial monetary or aesthetic value. Many times AWI will accept, or even request favors in consideration for trade. The favors tend to be uniformly unsavory and dangerous, with the customer often finding themselves procuring items for other customers. More often than not, AWI states the fee. If the customer refuses the term presented they will be politely excused and will forever be unable to relocate the kiosk. Non-payment is never an issue. Payment in full must be made up front without exception. People who attempt to cheat AWI are simply never seen again.

Once payment is made and verified, the customer is told to return home and await delivery. AWI never specifies how long it will take to deliver an item, but delivery is made 100% of the time regardless of the request. It is understood that the more exotic items will take more time to procure.

Delivery is one of the more disconcerting aspects of AWI's operations. When the customer is out on the streets, a stranger will approach and utter a single word: “soon.” By the time the customer turns to respond, the stranger is gone. When they arrive home, they will discover their order inside. There will be no sign of forced entry, and no one will have seen anyone coming or going from the residence.

Attempts to scan for Ebon activity will likewise reveal nothing apart from a vague sense of unease.

AWI does not have a set storefront or base of operations in Mort City. Outside of Orienta the only way to contact AWI is to put the word on the street that you're looking for them. This on its own is extremely dangerous. If AWI wants to deal, a lone representative will visit the potential customer at their home. These home visits can be very unnerving, as the AWI representative is able to find the residence without instructions and only shows up when the potential customer is at home. Much like their delivery service, nobody ever seems to recall seeing anyone coming or going around the time of the visit. Attempts at surveillance of potential customers in Mort City have been as fruitless as in Orienta. If a potential customer is being watched by SLA, they simply aren't visited by AWI.

SLA Intelligence: Any attempts by SLA to infiltrate or uncover AWI's operations have been completely unsuccessful. The AWI kiosk is notoriously difficult to locate. On the single occasion a SLA investigator did manage to locate the kiosk, the AWI representative simply smiled, walked out of the kiosk and melted into the throng. A search of the kiosk turned up nothing. Attempts at surveillance, electronic or otherwise, have been fruitless. AWI manages its secrets very well.

Officials in Orienta including Tsung-Li, the Shifting Bazaar's supervisor, claim to be completely at a loss for any information regarding AWI. Other vendors and patrons of the Shifting Bazaar are similarly tight-lipped.

The manner in which AWI operates is of great concern to SLA Industries. Their ability to procure each customer's desires without fail raises worrisome questions. How do they get their items so quickly? What is the nature of their delivery? How are they able to bring in items from off-world without detection? What is preventing a group like DarkNight from asking for the means to topple SLA? What if someone desired truly dangerous information, like the contents of [D-NOTICE][D-NOTICE]? How or if AWI filters its customers is unknown.

AWI's potential for damaging SLA Industries is great enough that if they decided to act directly against SLA, they might have to be upgraded from a Soft Company to a Suppressor Power. So much of AWI is a troubling unknown that a contingent from Stigmartyr have been attached to the Dark Finders already assigned to AWI.

The only intelligence SLA has managed to gather on AWI was gleaned from second hand information and interrogation of known customers.

Advertising Supplement/Clothing Lines/Überware

Type: Combat capable clothing

Locations: Mort Central, Uptown

Description: Überware is MAL's newest entry in the growing line of combat capable fashion. Überware answers the concerns voiced by a number of Operatives. The current line of armored clothing has one glaring weakness: little to no protection against blunt force trauma. Sure, that shirt stopped the 10mm round from penetrating your chest, but now you're doubled over with a cracked rib and the wind knocked out of you. You are hors d'combat my friend.
Überware solves this problem by taking Velkra fabric and interweaving it with a mesh of microscopic sensors. These sensors are capable of near instantaneous reading of sudden localized changes in air pressure caused by incoming projectiles and other objects. The sensors then send a small electric charge to the material, which causes it to harden for a fraction of a second.* This hardening drastically reduces blunt force and, in the case of CAF rounds, virtually eliminates it. The battery to power the system is hidden in a discreet pocket in the clothing and provides approximately 500 hours of operation, depending on the amount of use.
The trade off for this level of covert protection is that Überware is expensive even by KAV or Arducci standards. On the upside, Überware clothing is mix and match, allowing the wearer to choose the exact look and have it slotted into a single battery/control unit.
Styles for this season are what Orientan designer Jonas Dulang calls “Downtown Chic.” Look for heavy denim pants with over-sized legs and long sleeve crew shirts with the trademark “Fear Me” logo on the back. Also in the lineup are over-sized hooded sweatshirts which hold the battery/control unit with room to spare for cell phone, IV system and your favorite handgun. Colors will match the streets with grays, browns, blacks and blues contrasted with Überware's signature fluorescent trademarks.

*Note that extremely high velocity rounds may not provide the sensors adequate time to react. Überware or its controlling agencies takes no responsibility for the failure of Überware products to respond to these types of weapons/attacks.