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Crichton's Notes


In the Uncharted Territories, outlaws don't go to the trouble of secretly laundering money through six offshore corporations to land it in a Swiss bank account. Hell, no. Out here, bad guys just build their own banks. They don't even bother to hide it. Anyone with a brain could figure out which places are actually Shadow Depositories, crammed full of stolen goods and cash. But who's gonna do anything about it? A Shadow Depository's defenses make Fort Knox look like a house of cards.

Examples: The Depository we "visited" was on a barren, back-of-beyond planet. Inside the building, automated guns, motion detectors, and guards covered every square inch of space, scanning everything and everyone. The inner doors responded only to specific codes, which were frequently changed. All activity was overseen from the Observation Room, which contained monitors and guards. And the place wasn't staffed by sleepy rent-a-cops nursing cold coffee, either: These jarheads were locked and loaded, eagle-eyed and jonesing for a fight.

Access to the vault was only possible from the Depositing Room, where the customers' genetic codes could open only their own containers — sparing the management from dealing with any whiners who'd lost their safe-deposit box keys. The giant deposit containers, all 30,000 of 'em, were stored deep inside the vault. When their owner presented the correct code, the container came screaming at top speed down rails to the Depositing Room — kinda like Space Mountain, only scary, and not for passengers. The whole vault was made from Maddium steel, which (lucky for us) was strong enough to withstand even Talyn's cannon.

And the woman in charge, Natira ... she liked my eyes — with fava beans and a nice Chianti. I wasn't flattered.

So ... thinking of breaking into a Shadow Depository? Don't try it at home. Don't try it even if you're Bonnie and/or Clyde. Maybe try it if your resident Stykera stole all the blueprints and codes from the Depository's dying designer. Of course, even then you'd have to be nuts. Guess which Leviathan's crew fit that bill?


Liars, Guns and Money, Part 1: A Not So Simple Plan

Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These

Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B