The team, including the various new members, takes on another wetwork job, this time killing 3 associates of Brackhaven/the Human Nation’s, who were revealed by Prot0’s successful hack at the Paladin clinic. They carefully research and plot, and manage to do all 3 really pro, impressing the unknown Johnson (a blank humanoid matrix avatar who sounds like old money). They fake an allergic reaction with 1 PR hack who looks to have been coordinating with Aztlaner elements, stage an accidental OD with a member of the Diversity Council who’s a secret metaracist, and brutally murder a Corporate Council advisor from Brackahven Investments on july 4th at a celebratory Miracle Shooter fest. They get paid, well, and told they’ll be contacted for future work as needed.
They soon get an inquiry about looking into the death of the unofficial Aztlan sector’s Mayor, the official story says heart attack but the Nexus says arrow… They also come across a number more tarot cards, and contact Annie about them, as well as upgrade their fake SINs via Sierra Corp again. Annie tells them Wat is back in Seattle but seems “off”. They worry, but what can you do?
They get hired by the same mysterious matrix contact to look into the AZT Mayor, and do some research on how to cross that border. They eventually make contact with an old man at the Conservatory in the CAS sector, which seems like a hub for AZT spycraft (GW’s ban be damned!) and get a map to a location in the abandoned tunnels under Denver. They make their way there and encounter an AZT spec ops team, with a frighteningly powerful spirit. They are all magical, and seem connected slightly to blood magic, which PPJ is not pumped about, but manages to deal with for the moment.
They agree to the strike team’s terms: the runners will be allowed into the Aztlan sector, but will be guided throughout and will be expected to draw a certain conclusion (basically that GW is behind it), though they are free to examine “all the evidence” (or so the strike team says). The team, lacking alt options, agrees, and heads in. They find it very clean and orderly, but with a heavy military presence, and the obvious refuse of some heavy fighting against CAS and LoneStar elements. Also, most of the CAS-imported businesses seem to have been looted or destroyed.
They do a bunch of digging in the morgue, the Mayor’s office, and the assassin’s perch, as well as examining her commlink contents, and are also given a video file of GW’s voice meeting with Tir Tairngire reps shortly before the assassination, and draw the conclusion that the strike team seems to want them to: this is the work of the legendary elven assassin Toast, and likely GW who hired him. Prot0 reports that to the Johnson shortly after ignoring another message from a sprite asking him to contact a commcode before completing their mission. They also report that the Aztlaners seemed to want the team to reach this conclusion, but figure the Johnson will do what he wants with that.
They get paid, and the Johnson says, again, that he’s satisfied and will be in touch. They also get 2 more tarot cards, and piece together a puzzle predicting the return of Pahana, a figure from Hopi legend that could (if true) prove a major upset in the local power balance. They do a lot of research, but hold off on selling the info for now. They are also contacted by a new Johnson about running security on a smuggling gig in a few days time.