The team arrives safely in Seattle, smuggled in with their gear by Jackpoint contacts. They meet up with Bull MacCallister and find out that a notorious serial killer, The Mayan Cutter, has returned, or at least a copycat has emerged. They start hunting after negotiating pay, and dig into the recent spate of murders. They also get put in touch with a crooked KE cop, Tosh Athack.
The killings have all targeted people involved in the previous killer’s capture, and the wounds bear striking similarities to that killer’s work. However, Bull assures the team that the real killer was captured last time, so they begin looking through his history to see if he had a partner. They don’t find any, but determine that he was ex-special forces, kicked out after torturing Azzie prisoners in Denver in the 60’s. He is a virulent racist (both metatype and skin-color, a rare combo), and has extensice cutting-edge ’ware, that he has kept updated.
While they investigate, there is another killing- Athack’s old partner, a popular figure in the Ork Underground. Luckily, they get first shot at the crime scene, with the help of their Skraacha contact Gurzag. They manage to get a DNA sample, and using data gather from the other crime scenes and victims, use ritual magic to track the suspect to a mostly-abandoned island in Outremer. They find out the killer is apparently an ork mechanic who hasn’t shown up to work lately? He also has a lot of top-grade ’ware, and has a building on an island that he uses for tricking out Urban Brawl and Combat Bike gear.
They head out, slightly confused, and get into a gunfight with a group of jackbooted meta-racists with support from a spirit of man in the form of a Valkyrie. They kill them, and manage to take down the Ork (weird…..) as he tries to make his escape. The capture him, execute the other prisoners, and also manage to stabilize his most recent victim, who they find inside- Bull’s wife! She is thrilled to be alive, though barely conscious. They seem to have interrupted him, just in time. They head back to a private dock/warehouse, and hand the prisoner over to Bull, who has a mage scan his brain before he and other relatives of victims beat and shoot the killer to death.
He pays up, and later tells the team that the ork firmly believed himself to be the previous killer, and was working his way through a killlist of enemies from his life. Bull is worried this might be connected to whatever has been going around the matrix, infecting people, and tells the team he’ll be in touch if more info comes up.
After resting for a few days, they get hired to help out in the Ork Underground, brokering a deal between the Skraacha and the Stonecutter’s Guild, a dwarven union. However, a bomb goes off just as they get to the meet, and they dedicate themselves to fighting the fire and saving people in the bustling Goblin Market. Ortega leads a group of Skraacha in making a firebreak, while Ro inspires them, and gets survivors organized and moving to the exits. TY uses his jury-rigging skills to limit the airflow a bit (hacked to run at full blast!) get the fire suppression system working (it seems to have been hacked and told not to), and Aemon blasts open a bunch of water pipes, and then kills a fire spirit that is stoking the flames. They effectively put it out.
The consensus is that this was a planned sabotage, and TY begins worrying about a Night of Rage repeat when they are called to the exit, where a ganger and an Imam are arguing over how best to try to lead people out, as the cops are barricading the exit. Ortega also encounters a group of ork children who tell him they were attacked by humans with assault rifles. 1 kid is dead and 1 is injured, Ortega gets them to a safe hiding spot, and he & Aemon start setting up an ambush to prevent the crowd getting pincered. TY calls KE contacts and gets in touch with the commander on-site, while Ro tries to organize the crowd (first backing the Imam, and then redirecting the gangers towards the kill squad that attacked the kids).
TY gets KE access through a drone relay to internal sensors and whatnot, to determine if the attack was biological as they were informed (which is why they set up the barricades), but agree to start slowly letting the crowd out. Ro keeps them calm, although they start to rush when they hear nearby gunfire. The gangers and killsquad go at each other, loudly, just out of sight, and then the guns fall silent. Ortega and Aemon manage to drop the 2 surviving human cybermers that emerge, both of whom immolate from thermite charges after they fall- a suicide squad! even worse. They regroup by the crowd, but scatter into cover as an unseen sniper somewhere in the market kills a Skraacha member. The crowd rushes out, but KE refrains from firing, and keeps the scene under control.
The team gets in an epic gun battle with a spirit of man, 6 cybermercs, and a sniper. They finally take them down with the help of Vandana Rao Bat’Djoto, the Johnson from their job, who shows up just in time with some Skraacha backup. The sniper was either operating remotely or escaped, as all they find is a slagged rifle. The rest of the killsquad also immolates on death, but Alamos 20K later claims responsibility, so they assume they were working for them.
Bat-Djoto tells them that since Prop 23 passed, they’ve been on the lookout for anti-underground attacks, but this was especially well-planned and must have had some high-level backing. However, Ro and TY’s skillful scene and media management ensured that it played in the Underground’s favor in all but the most racist press. Also, the Stonecutter’s Guild, with all the good coverage, agreed to renew their dormant alliance, so the day’s events, though tragic, helped ensure a better future for the district. Much rebuilding lies ahead…
For the team’s good service, they are all awarded an “Friends of the Underground” token, that will allow them access to areas normally forbidden to topsiders, and are also given good terms on a series of purchases and trades. They are also told that they are welcome to set up a safehouse in Skraacha turf if they wish to pay the rent for an additional space. They think about it, collect their gear, and get ready to head to Chicago for a high-risk, high-reward job.