As they are driving across the wastes back towards the highway, they are strafed by a small fighter drone, the car takes some moderate damage before Remus is able to hack and take command of the drone’s systems and crash it into the ground. The team drives to a nearby town to throw off tails and figure out what to do next. Remus scans the car and finds tracers, apparently fired into the car by the drone. He carefully removes them and the plant them on a semi parked nearby outside the bar/fuel station. They then head back to town to drop off the box at Ango’s arranged safehouse. The box tells the team that it was called “Mother” in the arcology, but wishes instead to go by Daedelus. It handily defeats April at chess. Shortly before arriving at the city, Yann sends April a breaking news feed of a semi truck shot up and in flames with the driver crucified near the side of the road.
They drop Daedelus off at the warehouse, and it installs each head on a cyber skeleton, sending the main core out of the team’s sight into the back of the warehouse. It tells them it might have use for them in the future and will be in touch. They get paid the full amount plus medical, plus a little extra for a job well done-which is good since they pretty much already spent it all. They heal up at Doc Todd’s. April gives the Yann the latest sim, which he quickly edits and uploads-it’s a near instant viral hit, and a major moneymaker and attention getter for their shadowsim service. Remus attends another Hack the Planet cafe location, and catches wind of the sim, however. He quickly recognizes it for what it is, and even with Yann’s careful editing, it is not too hard to deduce which team member is recording. He extorts April for 40% of the profits, and sets up a deadman’s switch e-mail to alert the other team members if he doesn’t check in regularly. April lacks the money to even fix her suit for now, but she begrudgingly agrees.
Wade has a job lined up for them, though, so it looks like they might not be broke for long. One of Long Pig’s favorite boytoys, Eronemus, is heading back into town from the spaceport, apparently having returned from a trip to Earth, probably financed with some of that intercepted ransom money. He will be traveling in a two-car convoy, probably through the upper city until they reach a ramp to a Black Shadows controlled area of the undercity. The team begins planning and preparing. HCB steals a beater van to ram and hopefully halt the convoy. April calls the cops to report a stolen car in the undercity in order to see if they will respond. Since she is an Upper city resident, they do, but it seems like they won’t to respond to undercity citizens. She calls it back as a false alarm. April then finds a sniper post on a fire escape across the alley from the main offramp from the highway from the spaceport to the upper city, and sets up to wait with her rifle. Remus hacks the spaceport camera feeds, and picks up and tracks the Eronemus (he thinks) leaving the shuttle and exiting into the second car of the convoy. He is spotted by some low-level security bots, but manages to exit the system before they track him. He then tracks the convoy via hacking the traffic grid, so he can give the go. Remus and Ivan are in Ivan’s car parked down the street a little ways from HCB in the stolen van.
As the lead car reaches the top of the off-ramp, HCB guns the van and slams into them straight on, doing massive damage to both cars, and launching the van end over end into a nearby building. HCB is nearly killed in the crash, but manages to bust out the windshield with the butt of his pistol before the leaking fuel that he is covered in ignites. Meanwhile, April snipes one of the goons in the second car, which tries to drive past the first, as Ivan pulls up in his cab, and sends a few autocannon shells into the front car. Two bodyguards and Eronemus exit the second car, and head for a nearby street level storefront at the base of one of the office towers. April takes another shot, as does Remus (from Ivan’s moving car) and they manage to take down one of the guards and wound Eronemus (which was not the plan). The remaining guard gets him inside the store, though. HCB begins crawling towards Ivan’s car, as Ivan sends the lynx into the store-shoots out the glass in the door and dives thru to enter. This triggers a booby-trapped grenade, but the lynx was moving fast enough to avoid most of the the damage. It jumps up on the counter at the rear of the store and is severely damaged by machine gun fire from the goon hiding behind it. There is also a shopkeeper screaming in terror.
Ivan pulls the lynx out, not wanting it to get destroyed, and Remus decides to play the action hero again, bursting through the door and leaping over the counter, to the surprise of all involved. April has begun her descent from her sniper post, as her and Ivan have noticed cops rapidly converging on the site from multiple directions. Remus and the goon both fire simultaneously, killing each other-or so it would seem, however, through some insane happenstance of luck, Remus has managed to knock a bunch of goods and the register off the counter while diving over it, and also managed to land partially behind the storekeeper, so some of the fire that would have killed him is absorbed by his flesh and merchandise shield. He falls unconscious and near death, in a state of shock at his grievous wounds. April double times down the rest of the fire escape and into the store, triggering her adrenal pump to allow her to haul both the passed-out Remus and the passed-out Eronemus to Ivan’s waiting car. HCB reaches it at about the same time, and hauls himself in. Ivan begins evasive maneuvers to attempt to escape the enclosing law.
After some ridiculously dangerous and high paced driving, he manages to lose the cops in the undercity. This might have something to do with the fact that the cops seem to know that the kidnapped boytoy is a Black Shadows member, and the cops hate the Black Shadows almost as much as the team does. At least the cops who aren’t employed by the BS, anyway. Also, once a chase enters the undercity, and its clear that it won’t be going back topside, the cops tend to lose interest pretty quick, unless they’re after someone they really want. The team contacts Wade to find out what the next chunk of the job is….