The next chapter of Blue Nine’s life – if you can call this living – began with yet another dead drop, this one more literal than most. A stranger approaches Blue and intones, “Hello, old friend,” seconds before being swiped by a passing vehicle and killed. In his hand were coordinates to a dead drop, containing a new false identity, Elias Blum, and instructions to go to a meeting Martins Van Elkin was hosting in his home. Also included was a paper with the phrase “It was always about control” and the name John Dee, 1577 inscribed upon it.
Meanwhile, Kaizen’s network of contacts informed him about the meeting, and with a little magical trickery he managed to insert himself using the identity of a private security contractor named Pete Geyers. At the meeting, Martins Van Elkin presented a new artificial limb prototype. Van Elkin looked… strange. Facial recognition software would detect no difference between this Van Elkin and the man who had appeared before the public before, but living things have an instinctual sense that this is a different being. He also exhibited noticeable personality differences, like a new pro-security political enthusiasm for the Israeli state. Furthermore, the limb was no ordinary prosthetic; Blue managed to figure out through trickery that it was not being controlled by the interface, but by Van Elkin’s mind, and Kaizen was able to deduce that it was a magical artifact related to the theory of homunculi.
Afterwards, Blue found the best tree branch in southern California while Kaizen arranged for one of his agents to observe the Van Elkin house. Both observed a van marked “Bodhi’s Plumbing” that didn’t seem legitimate.
Later, Blue went to Club Albion, following up an invitation that Kaizen had manipulated into the group of security consultants that had attended Van Elkin’s meeting. Blue recognized that Kaizen was a wizard, remembering that magic is real, and also having a mysterious vision of Seoul triggered by certain words spoken by Kaizen. They came to a working relationship after some maneuvering.
The session ended on some research, during which Blue 9 found out John Dee’s background and was presented with a new mystery: what does a 16th century adviser to Queen Elizabeth have to do with a maverick technocrat in the 21rst century?