Once again, we meet up at the Black Plate Diner. Stephan is there, just coming off the bender he began at the Cephalopod attack.We believe the Symbolic Chess match is still going on, and that we were put into play by the [[Ace of Spades]. Our plan is to infiltrate the Manhattan Chess League. It's a good thing Stephan is back; he's the only one who knows how to play.
Stephan and his entourage arrive at the League. Malinda Ruiz is easy to spot: she's the stunning Latina playing three boards at once. While Blake lines up a game for Stephan, Vera turns on the femme fatale. Malinda notices immediately, a she-wolf challenged for dominance. Vera shoots her a look that says, "Is there a Mr. Bitch?" Once she finishes off her games (with distractive assistance from Blake), Malinda sashays over to relieve Stephan's opponent. Impressed with our methods, Malinda beats Stephan more slowly than she could have, so that she has time to chat with us. She wonders if we could be of assistance to her. She needs to "make a delivery" at a salsa club across town. We acept.
During the taxi ride, Blake wonders if Malinda could be the chess master we are up against, but his musings are interrupted when he, and Malinda notice that we are being followed: two tall gentlemen with nice hats. She assumes it's Ian Benden, stalking her again.
Inside the club, Malinda immediately makes her way to a grand table at the back, and chats cozily with some wealthy low-life. Our tails are seen interviewing the bouncer. Stephan pegs them as Federal agents. After Blake and Laura, and Vinnie and Malinda have a dance, we determine that the Feds are waiting for us in the parking lot, but Vera doesn't see them. However, our cabbies look different.
So we steal the Feds' car.
Malinda agres to owe us a favor if we work to take the Thule Society out of the picture. She thinks that although her boyfreind Gus Milo and Vitaly Constantine got along well, the Thule are a waste of Gus's time and resources.
Malinda produces a telegram addressed to her boyfriend Gus Milo, which indicates he has committed the majority of his forces to protecting a "shipment". It doesn't specify what is being shipped, but Malinda says that doesn't matter because "Gus has changed his plans. However, if this telegram were to… fall into Piotr's hands, he would likely see the time of the shipment as an irresistible opportunity to strike against Gus. And if… someone were to find out where Piotr stores those flashy sticks, and make them… unavailable just as Piotr commits his forces… Checkmate, and the Russians are out of the game." Wow, she even slinks when she talks.