Following up on a lead from a blind gambling beggar Ano takes Sister Helga, Toad, and Apu to the Quenched Whistle to meet with someone named Catwalker. He isn’t hard to locate and after a bit of verbal sparing Ano gets the job offer from him. Catwalker is an agent of the crown and reveals that a cousin of King Baird’s by the name of Lionor Cathor has a fondness for the gritty city and a couple of dangerous addictions. Lionor is deep in debt with High Captain Hurley and the crown would like some leverage on Hurley to clear this entanglement. The group is not eager to get on another high captain’s bad side but Catwalker has the backing of the Orithian treasury and makes them an incredible offer of 12,000 golden royals. For that kind of money the Troubleshooters can’t refuse.
Following a lead supplied by Catwalker the Troubleshooters accost and, with the help of Apu’s friend-making magic, question an alchemist named Shannon working both Hurley and High Captain Killbride. She has nothing useful on Hurley but reveals Lionor is hooked on <brut>, an illegal stimulant she cooks up and sells. She also tells them that Lionor is in very deep with Hurley and likely supports his smuggling operations. The group decides this Linea is a hopeless case but the promised fee drives them onward.
The group decides to contact the Lionor and track him down at a high price casino. Sister Helga delicately convinces him she has help for him and pulls him to a private meeting where the others join up. Lionor is loathe to discuss his business with Hurley but desperate for help. He admits his shipping interests have been all but commandeered by Hurley who has been smuggling something highly secretive into the city. Lionor has been largely cut out of the loop and cannot say even where the shipments his ships pick up originate from. He has managed to find where they go however. Hurley has set up a secretive, and heavily guarded factory on eastern edge of Crane Island and that is where the shipments end up. He is convinced the High Captain is working up something big there. The Troubleshooters decide this is something to check out.
If the Troubleshooters have a specialty it is in infiltration. Renting the services of their old friend, the discrete Baharudin they approach the island cliffside by gondola shortly after midnight. A mistform Ano scouts the factory and identifies their target. The factory manufactures cutting edge military grade steamjacks. These weapons are both illegal to own in the city and could lead to a major upset in the balance of power in the city should they see action on the streets. Even the governor’s royal marine contingent stationed on Belicose would be hard pressed to deal with the likes of these. Wandering guards move about, heavily armored in advanced suits Ano has never seen before. In a storage room in the factory’s basement a man is bound to a chair, unconscious or dead. The others soak in the details and detail a plan to retrieve the steamjack plans in the upper office and the bound man. Aided by Apu’s enchantments Ano succeeds in lifting the plans and dropping out the window and down the factory and cliff to the water below. Toad and Sister Helga slip into the basement and drag the bound but living man down the cliff. They take a couple nice rifles for their trouble as well. The Troubleshooters make off without alerting the guards to their presence. For once a clean job. For a small fee more Baharudin poles them to Chaser’s Island, a lot nearer to home. On the ride back Ano pulls out a shiny new prototype pistol he lifted from the office. It’s one of the new three-shot revolvers he had heard the Syramese were using in the northern war with the Kingdom of Yam.
Back at the guildhall panic starts to settle in as the Troubleshooters realize that Hurley surely has the means to track them down through the stolen plans, guns, or rescued captive. The group scrambles into action and by dawn manages to get the plans from their hands to Catwalker and the captive, still unconscious, to an Inquisition safehouse Sister Helga trusts. Before the plans leave their hands Sister Helga and Toad scratch down copies of all the material they can and stash it away. May be useful at some point. Shortly after dawn Ano offloads the guns at bargain prices to a gunshop far from Chasers. The Troubleshooters breathe a collective sigh of relief. Catwalker delivers the promised payment and the Troubleshooters celebrate naively believing they’ve pulled off their first clean job.