It’s been three months since the Sanders job went sideways – that was a real disastrophe: Garrion blown away by a corporate death squad; the client iced; everything he said a lie; the only thing salvageable was the payday – which only came about selling off bioweapons and the girl we were hired to rescue in the first place! Still, a payday is a payday, and 10.7K was nothing to sneeze at, and we knew things weren’t going to be smooth, which is why Mei brought on our diminutive new trigger-man, Hank. The caper crossed paths with a P.I.’s job, and it looks like the character is sticking around, I think he has a thing for Mei. He seem like a good enough guy – took a beating without crying about it – but I think he might be a pacifist! Wait until he gets to know our merry band of miscreants a little better!
The 10-large was invested into card-counting and “safe” probability gambles within a week, minus a small chunk for a few flashy meals and drinks with friendly ladies. I played it safe: I only counted cards against other clients, never fleecing the house, and made sure my “safe” gambles were small enough to stay on the good side of the house.
The gambles set up my seed money to get into real business: I built a few recon bots as friendly gifts to entice the Emir into seeing what a working future of my operations could look like; made a Bulldog-bot mounted with a pair of A19 CAWs and encouraged Candy to gift them to whoever was his most prominent client. With a footstep in the market, I put the rest into a small shop in a prole neighborhood with storefront and attached apartment: Aquino Automations was born.
The store is my morning spot – I tinker, make small repairs and modifications to electronics for customers, the day to day management is left to my cousin Rafi. Respects were paid to the “Filipino Mafia”, letting them know I play ball, but it’s a legit shop. The heavy work is done down in the workshop in Cabrini-Grean. With the help of Pit, Hugh and Hank, I even got a small portion of Candy’s range optimized for testing bot combat. With a little bit of effort, we took the never-furnished designated sick-bay of Cabrini-Grean and turned it into a decent little patch-up shop – nothing nearly as fancy as a full clinic, but better than using my balisong and some band-aids to patch up the guys! I’ve tossed a few tech-toys around the kids Candy keeps around and I’m keeping an eye out, one might have the makings of a nurse or lab assistant.
So, The master plan is set in motion: Rafi runs the day to day operations of Aquino Automations; I do the minor, legit jobs there; Any major or illegal projects are done down at Cabrini-Grean – both bot and doc related; Any bots made for the Desiderium Cartel will be done at cost, and in exchange, Candy brokers any illicit bot deals through the Cartel for a fair cut of the profits. We all make money, I stay clean and respectable – as much as I joined in thinking these guys were a bunch of dysfunctional freaks, I have to admit this plan is shaping up great. I’m even getting over my initial misgivings about letting a Private Eye hang around – I mean it’s not like the guy is keeping detailed notes about our activities, or anything.