The casino was filled with gamblers and other street scum - and, of course, the dancers. There were strippers everywhere on the stage up front, and what I suspected were prostitutes in the back and along the sides. I waded through the crowd, looking for my contact.
Then, I saw him: a stocky, dark-skinned man of about forty years with a black goatee and a bald spot at the crown of his head. I grabbed a drink and sat down casually next to him.
"What have you got for me this time?" I asked concisely, not wanting to mince words on pleasantries.
"I have heard about some of King Sekibo's dealings with criminal organizations," he said. "Apparently, he meets with members of the 14K Triad and Corsican Mafia in downtown Rabat."
"Oh, I see - so, it's the Rabat Connection, then? Smuggling center?"
He nodded at me, then elaborated, "And more. I have heard that he pays the Triad for prostitutes and assassinations, as well as allowing them to send some of these prostitutes - the ones he does not keep for his...personal pleasure - to clubs and bars all around Morocco. He also lets them commit extortion, racketeering, loan sharking and kidnapping on his land."
"You said they meet at the capitol?"
"Yes. He lets them sell prostitutes and strippers."
I paused, staring at all of the scantily clad women throughout the room, and then said, "Are you telling me that they...?"
"Yes," he responded to my unfinished question, "They are working on the payroll of the Mafia and the Triad, who are working on the payroll of Sekibo. They may know more about how to track down the King."
He always said that last word curtly and concisely, as though it hurt him or were some kind of poison. I could understand why. With that, he and I parted ways, him leaving and presumably going home and me making my way towards one of the prostitutes.
I approached the one sitting in the corner - a dark-haired Oriental girl, no older than 25, with her hair unstyled and reaching to just below her shoulders.
"Hi," I said, walking slowly over to her and sitting down next to her. "I don't feel like wasting my breath on a pickup line that could never work, so how about I buy you a drink?"
She shied away a bit at first, but then said, "S-Sure." She said it like a question, though - with an uncertain tone to it.
I grabbed a drink for myself and one for her, then headed back and handed her drink over. A few hours later, we were back at my place. I was amazed by what a few drinks could do - the girl, Aika, had lost all of her previous inhibitions, and was now perfectly social. Very social. I managed to get some information out of her about the top man in the 14K before things got too out of hand.