Marquess Jenny Hu
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue
Jenny Hu 5B598D Age 48 Cr250,000
7.5 Terms, Navy Commander (Rank 4)
Computer-5, Laser Weapons-2, Mechanical-2, Carousing-1, Communications-1, Intrusion-1, Navigation-1, Sensor Ops-1, Wheeled Vehicle-0
Pension 14,000 Cr/Year; Member Travellers’ Aid Society; Laser Rifle
The Marquess is a tall, wiry woman who is currently installed in the Highport TAS, in a small but elegant suite. She has a definite feline grace, but is handsome rather than beautiful in the conventional sense. She dresses in high fashion, and is typically present at any major social event at the Highport, in evening wear that is expensive and revealing enough to push the bounds of propriety; pushing, but not exceeding, is made acceptable by the top-rank designers of these creations. She is reserved in conversation, however, but unfailingly civil. She is perpetually and actively engaged in making social connections; she is seen on the arms of a virtually endless parade of men, who are both connected and a bit younger than she. Often handsome, these men are unfailingly complimentary of her but very discrete as to the nature of their relationship; the occasional callow young noble who is her escort will unfailingly be well-heeled and well-connected.
She runs a small computer consulting business in the Highport, at which she is actually never seen, and that rents a small office in the commercial office section of the Highport. Indeed, the office is typically manned by a young man, for limited hours a week, who will make deliveries, and make inspections as appropriate.
She will leave the starport for a minimum salary of Cr 10,000 monthly, plus expenses; her normal consulting fee will be Cr 200 per hour, Cr 1,200 per day, or Cr 4,800 for a 40 hour week. She will typically do the heavy lifting for this, but will never been seen “getting her hands dirty” in public, as it were. Her young assistant will do any site visits in the Highport, and she will work behind closed doors.
The Marquess is in fact what she seems, but also much more. She works tirelessly to keep up her apparently extravagant lifestyle, but not at retail prices. Hu typically does not pay full price for her elegant, risqué gowns. She certainly does not pay for her expensive dinners, at which she is invariably escorted. Her escort will usually be enticed into her inner sanctum, where certain highly compromising imagery will be taken of the pair, or even others, of which the escort is certain to be highly ashamed. While the setup is perfect for blackmail, she will never approach her escorts with threats or any direct demands. In fact, showing each their images will be couched in affection, in the form of a conspiratorially erotic viewing.
The marks, because indeed that is precisely what they are, will be asked to be discrete, and will be occasionally led on by a look or warm note from the Marquess; sometimes it is just a knowing glance from her to the mark, while she is gushing to his parents. Some of these she grooms to be of more consistent use, as they provide more repeated favors for her in the form of invitations, information on other nobles, and even the odd delivery. All her marks understand that she is in charge, and that they are not to contact her, but she will contact them. These longer relationships are punctuated by discrete but intense liaisons at her request; all these subsequent contacts are carefully hidden, so as to not seem tawdry. Some of the plainer marks she keeps groomed to provide her financial support, from time-to-time, or larger favors like the use of a yacht for an event.
The Marquess has a handful of more devoted followers over whom she has even greater sway; they will take direct actions, such as placing and retrieving very discrete surveillance devices. The TAS takes elaborate precautions against intrusions into the privacy of their guests, but she has painstakingly infiltrated and bypassed or corrupted each system at different levels. She is on very friendly terms with members of the staff, has the contract for security system maintenance, and has shadow systems feeding her with information, while concealing her own in the most sophisticated fashion.
In the process, she has collected compromising information on many men and women of power and influence, most of which she will just sit upon against future need. Sometimes she will recruit one of these for her organization, though she picks these very carefully. She pays her computer employee, Hans, only a subsistence wage, though he has other occasional gigs or benefits provided by members of her network. She has his fear, admiration, and complete loyalty, however, with hooks into his family, his legal status, and—of course—his heart.
She is looking to completely compromise someone rich enough to run a multi-million credit blackmail scam on, but is wise enough to know her own limitations. She will need to find just the right target, set of circumstances, opportunity for cleanup, and then the “dirty hands” people who can do the nasty, dangerous bits. She has a few potential targets, but is biding her time. She is comfortable enough in her life, pampered and worshiped, feared and loved, to wait for years. She knows, however, that even with a number of very discrete cosmetic procedures, she is getting no younger, and so there is a motivation to make her “retirement score.”
She knows she needs to have members in her network with skills it currently lacks, specifically in weapons, tactics, forensics, investigation, interrogation, and an ability to make connections to the underworld. She will pay such “dirty hands” personnel handsomely out of any large score, up to 50%, but will simultaneously try to betray them, to avoid paying and dispose of as many witnesses as possible.