After K leaves the hopsital, he fills the rest of the team in on the museum job. He meets Ivan in person, since K has nowhere to go (as his legal SIN, and thus residence, is presumably known to the Mars LoneStar), and they confer with Tobias over comms. Rolph and HCB are busy laying a track that Rolph wrote at the Slaughtertower, so they plan to join in later. Tobias has been splitting his time while K was in the hospital between building his tiger sculpture and working on his sticky grenades. He finishes the sculpture first, and quickly finds a buyer, for a little under his price, thru his dealer Minkwave. She relates that this is humorously the same person who bought the real tiger: the Mars City personality Romulus Chandrasekaran (Remus’ bro). He has been splashed all over the trid gossip shows walking his new tiger around the upper city, and the team briefly discuss killing him, and stealing the tiger back, as Remus never seemed to like him, but decide against it, as they can’t find a profitable angle.
Rolph finishes recording his ode to Ares, and heads to the uppercity to meet K and Ivan, on his brand new inline skates. HCB stays at the Slaughtertower to mix further, so they decide to do the museum job without him. K and Ivan head over to Tobias’ place and drink in the hottub, and K takes an astral tour of the museum, the show having just begun. He examines the piece, and it seems like it’s legit, but he doesn’t get much else. There is a mana barrier maintained around the museum, but he doesn’t pick up any piece-specific security. They also offer matrix and meat tours, so Tobias goes to take a meat tour while K and Ivan go to Arlen Thompson’s to further discuss the job. They pick up Rolph on the way. Tobias tries to interest Minkwave in accompanying him, but she declines, as she has already seen it, and was not impressed. He goes and checks it out, and gets a rough layout and idea of security presence-definitely there, and visible, but not too dominating, from what he can see.
At Thompson’s, the three others ascend to his rooftop mansion, and Rolph and Ivan try to look tough. Ivan is wearing his mask, K is bandaged, and Rolph is thus far not wanted, as far as he knows. They talk about the job, negotiate pay, and also try to talk Thompson (as a collector) into buying the ankh necklace telesma that Ivan grabbed off of Thutmose’s corpse. He says he will look it over and get them a figure when the job is done, but agrees to a small upfront fee and medical on the job. The team agrees, and begins planning, with Tobias’ memory of the layout. They discuss ways to get the piece out silently, and decide that lacking specific knowledge of the security, they would be best off with a smash and grab, covered by a major distraction. They hope that the museum will be too embarrassed to admit/report the theft, and will focus on the distraction, and will privately work things out with the collector that the piece belonged to. they get some advice on tactics and tools from Ut-Napishtim, but Rolph already has most of the suggested equipment, so they feel pretty good about preparedness.
They decide to hire a courier in the uppercity, and give him a briefcase filled with plastic explosives to deliver to the museum, which they plan to detonate in the lobby as a distraction as soon as the explosives (or the theft) first gets noticed. T carefully packs the briefcase, and attaches a note saying “with regards, from Hamshallow.” Ivan and Tobias will cooperatively hack from the car a block away, and provide cover and extraction as needed, while K and Rolph go in and grab the piece. I and T upgrade their decks and programs thru Ares connections in preparation. Ivan and T probe the firewall carefully until they find an in, and then let K and Rolph know, as well as sending the courier. K and R go on the meat museum tour, and make their way to the wing with the piece, and wander around the floor it is on, while they wait for the right time. K was forced to stop levitating and ride in a wheelchair at the entrance, which was initially humiliating, but now seems like good cover.
I and T enter thru the firewall, during which I sets off a low level intruder alarm, which T manages to quiet. T finds an administrative node and registers them as authorized users, giving them full system access. They then find the directory node and locate the camera, door, and drone nodes. They go to the drone node, and take a look thru the security drones list, finding the active ones near the piece and starting to shut them down. Ivan has placed his firefly drone outside the museum, where it is watching for the courier’s arrival. When they see this, they get ready, and sure enough, an alarm goes off as he enters the building-it seems the explosives wre detected. T watches from the camera node as two guards approach him in the lobby. A bigger alert triggers, and all the doors in the museum slam shut-lockdown!
T heads to the door node while I watches his back, and begins working on the doors. K gets in a position to see both guards on the floor of the piece, while R takes a look at the case it’s in. T decides it’s time and detonates the suitcase, sending a tremor thru the building, but doing no obvious damage to the exterior as Ivan can see it from the drone. However, the camera in the lobby is out, and people out front are fleeing, so it was obvious that something occurred from outside. K approaches the nearest guard under the guise of asking him what’s happening, and then fries him with a totally unexpected overcast powerbolt. R zips up to the other one on his in-lines and swings for his head (having left his weapons behind so as not to get searched), but misses. The guard tries to blast him, and fails, after which R punches straight thru his head. T and I seem to have run out of luck in the matrix setting off a series of alarms as they try to violate the security protocol and open the doors on the level of the piece.
I hears some IC approaching and readies himself to hold it off, while T keeps working on the doors. R heads back to the piece while the other museum goers scream in terror at his recent decapitation of the guard. K begins preparing for their exit, levitating and quickening himself. I begins fighting the IC (which looks like museum piece armor suits) while R begins cutting thru the case. There are full alarms going off throughout both the meat and matrix museums, and the team is feeling the heat. T finally gets the door as I defeats the first IC. however, more is on the way, and him and T decide to bail, after failing to delete the camera feeds. They both hotdump, hack their datatrails, and shut down their comms as a precaution. They begin driving up the block as R fishes the piece out through the hole he cut, and K whisks them away, after bashing a hole in the exterior glass walkway with his wheelchair. They zip down to the car and jump in, R stashing the piece in his recently acquired armored courier bag. Ivan begins driving evasively away while K flies above, soon making himself invisible. I orders the drone back to the car.
T flips thru news channels on the way to the undercity, and sees that LoneStar eventually showed up, but initial claims from the museum is that an unclaimed terrorist bombing killed a courier (presumed to be the bomber) and four guards. Also, there is a whimsical short piece about a near invisible flying man in the uppercity, as seen from a news chopper. K is horrified that he was spotted. Rolph is convinced that the chopper is following them, and is preparing to shoot it down with some explosive arrows, but T takes him down. T also finds a piece about the mysterious “Hamshallow,” who is now wanted in two separate uppercity crimes. He is thrilled that he is building his fake SIN’s rep as a badass. K reenters the car and they descend, traveling thru a series of blindspots and morphing the car’s appearance to throw surveillance. They plan to meet Thompson later that evening to get paid, and Ivan convinces the other team members to throw in for a new steel lynx, promising that it will save their lives, which K testifies to. Having escaped significant injury, they don’t even need to get Thompson to heal them. K heads to meet him with Ivan driving, but goes up alone. He gets paid, plus an extra couple grand for Thutmose’s inert telesma, and Thompson tells K that he will sponsor him for the first level of initiation into the HOotCL whenever K is ready. K is thrilled and honored, and offers his future services, which Thompson accepts. He seems very excited to finally have the piece in his collection, especially without a huge media/law enforcement fanfare.
Ivan relates the details of the job he has been busy planning with Wade, Yoleus, and Daedelus. Essentially, the team is going to be hired to do a major (and hopefully pretty final) hit on the Black Shadows nerve center: LongPig’s fortress and ops center. Due to Daedelus’ analysis of the hacker captured at Palisade Gardens, they think they’ve found an in: the Turing Army survivors have apparently holed up under BS protection while they wait for reinforcements from earth. However, as they wisely don’t fully trust the BS, they are leaving every few days to confer and strategize at Meatspace, an undercity bar with good wireless security. Daedelus was able to alter the hacker so that he is able to be remotely piloted and controlled-essentially a human biodrone. So the idea is that the team can use him to get in close to the TA members at Meatspace, and allow the team to eventually snatch their cars/uniforms, after which they will gain access to the fortress and scout it out, and eventually assault it. The requirements are: Daedelus needs the remaining TA members eliminated. Wade and Yoleus need as many BS as possible taken out, especially Longpig. And bonus money will be given for getting rid of Halfman, who is apparently still haunting the undercity, after recovering from the Swat assault at the bank heist.
The team decides to gather resources and prepare, this is going to be a big one. Tobias seems very unwilling to go, but they plan to convince him. ivan collects money for the cat after T agrees to help armor it up for cheap, and they put out the word that they are looking for the requisite parts. They decide to research any known weaknesses of Halfman, and decide that so far their best idea is a three pronged matrix/astral/physical assault, which will hopefully eventually penetrate his impressive defenses. Tobias is excited to test his prototype sticky grenades once he hooks back up with UB!, as Tobias is a bit nervous about shooting them off himself, in case they get stuck in the launcher.