Hotkey visits his family, gets some Chicago updates and contacts, and makes plans to visit while they remain in Queens for the time, though they may move to Chicago if it ends up being a long term base of ops. HK also helps Test research the strange events occurring to him, and finds out that he is being targeted by something called “The Dox” and that he needs to return to a Null Node and skim it again and admit to “being pwned” in order to clear it up, which Test refuses to do. He changes his ID again with the help of Sierra Corp, and they get some more leads to dig into this further in Chicago. They aren’t sure if this is the Null Sect or not so it seems worrying. Test figures he can talk to GC from anywhere, so he’s ready to go.
Avocado considers calling some contacts and decides against it, not having very good loyalty. Aylin also doesn’t really have anyone to get in touch with here, and instead makes plans to get ahold of Red once they get to Chicago. Kinnie restocks some gear, and Test, Carol and 6Cyl get some surgical upgrades from Gogni Warznyeck in Terminal, seeing that it once again mostly looks nano-fabbed. 6 Cyl recognizes some rEVOlution Arms gear lying around too, similar to what the Zhigul Makers had imported. They start debating how to parcel out the pay data and make some money and contacts.
Test writes up the history of the coimediai and posts it to Jackpoint under Kinnie’s sponsorship, gaining admission for himself. The rest of the team decides to sell/trade the group info elsewhere instead of aiming for JP membership. They sell the info about Horrors and big magical threats to Arleesh, and decide to ask for Tarot cards plus some money. They get the last 5 they hadn’t seen, revealing a baseball/Chicago-related puzzle that Kinnie fixates on, so now they need to track down the 2 missing 5’s again. They sell a bunch of info about Corps at Court and how to behave there/threats/etc to Ares, who hasn’t made much progress in gaining a foothold there.
Instead of taking cash for this they decide via a close vote to get credit for a future AreSpace flight to the moon, to continue their investigations for Al’Farabi and Eclipse. They also get some decent armored spacesuits included as rentals. Carol also reports in to his dad/brother at Ares Arms and gives them a ton of Taco Temple, Carcean, Horrors, and Tarot info, none of which is Ares’ area of specialty. The team then decides to sell them a little more Tarot info as well. Ares is interested in this stuff and pays Carol out a little bit to help him get established in Chicago, and says they’ll likely have some work for him.
With all their NYC biz settled they call the commcode that Kami Aneki provided and get ahold of an ostentatiously “sexy” elf, Sarah Silverleaf, who tells them to come interview for a job in Chicago. She secures them space on a Renraku cargo flight so they can bring their gear without dealing with smugglers. They rent a van and round everybody up and head out to the airport, where they meet the plane and load up. The pilots provide them some exterior views from sensors on their screens while they fly over the interior. They see a lot of depopulated rural space and towns, with massive drone fleets and combine harvesters managing fenced and guarded farm complexes, policed by private security. Carol tells the team this is because of New Revolution attacks, supposedly based out of St Louis, and backed by Ghostwalker, or the CAS, or someone else depending which conspiracy you believe (he knows Ares sells to all sides but keeps that quiet).
They are nearing Chicago when they are targeted and hit by a missile, and lose 1 wing. The plane starts spinning wildly and going down, but Kinnie manages to stabilize it (upside down) by grabbing his grav gun and doing some engineering mental math. Carol spots the truck, which seems to be a New Rev technical. He scrambles over and grabs his sniper rifle while Hotkey starts manipulating some plane systems to get the cargo door down. Test sends a sprite after the launcher and interferes for long enough for Carol to core the engine block on the truck. The pilots report that they’re still going down and tell everyone to brace.
They spot more technicals racing in via their dust plumes, and starting to lick off shots with their bed mounted machine guns, so most of the team decides to parachute out of the open cargo door and take their chances, while Aylin escapes in mist form, channeling any damage 6C takes to herself, and 6C and Avo brace and ride it out in the plane. Kinnie and Carol land well with the chutes, but HK has a lot of trouble, opening too late and then getting his chute holed by gunfire- Test barely manages to crash into him and prevent a catastrophic plummet, but they both take some damage. The plane crashes pretty dramatically, with 6C’s bike flying out and being destroyed in the process, but avo and 6C are mostly fine (the pilots not so much, what with it being upside down and nose in…)
The team prepares to fend off the attack amidst the extended crash site! Carol takes up a sniper position and makes some amazing shots, taking out one gunner and wounding another. 6 Cyl manages to conjure a spirit and make himself able to run as fast as the trucks and takes out another gunner while Test and HK manage to get untangled and fuck up the New Rev comms/IFF system. Kinnie is ko’ed by machine gun fire, and Avo and Carol are injured, but the team survives as the NR retreats. However, the plane explodes, taking some of their gear with it, and they don’t have a ride. Aylin finally reaches ground in mist form. Carol calls in an Ares favor, and gets a ride on an an auto-hauler on the nearby I-80. They get dropped off on the southside of the sprawl, and make their way to ATF to restock on gear and ammo.