Combining Tobias’ matrix investigations of the rural airport that the Tamanous pilot took off from with Lodestone’s astral tracking, the team is able to get a rough area of South pole glacial field that the secret Tamanous base is likely located in. Atlas takes this info to Tony Barnes, who is able to use Saeder-Krupp’s admittedly impressive tech to narrow it down to a 1 km radius. Atlas gives Barnes a shopping list of supplies that the team requests for the mission, most of which they get, and then Barnes loads them onto a chameleon-coated VTOL and sends them South, with a powerful antenna that they are supposed to activate in the center of the facility. They will then have a 10 minute window to vacate the area before it is destroyed with orbital weaponry.
Upon arrival in the area, the VTOl pilots use their sensor array to locate the exact (concealed) base entrance, and blast it open with a missile barrage. They then pull a crazy Ivan, flipping the VTOL around and landing in the raw opening of the landing bay backwards. They order the team out quickly, and fly back out of the opening, to circle and surveil until extraction.
The team makes quick work of a surprised security guard in the air traffic control booth in the bay, and gains access to the next room, where they make short work of the 5 security goons who have tried to fortify behind some refrigeration equipment. Tobias’ gauss rifle proves their barriers a joke. The guards are all ghouls, and are using a safe target system and frangible rounds to avoid damaging the expensive equipment present. The team moves on, Tobias having secured a facility personnel ID comm code to open further doors. It seems like they don’t have a facility-wide network (perhaps due to extreme paranoia) which now might work to their advantage, as Tamanous may not be able to easily lock them out. There are physical alarm sirens and lights going off, however. Tobias also finds a disturbing external camera feed, showing the crashsite of their stealth VTOL. So, no ride.
The team encounters 6 more guards, in milspec gear, in the hall, and take considerable damage before downing them. They find a few rooms of vatgrown/preserved organs, limbs, and other tech and implants. Tobias downloads all the info he can, but it seems the system does not have any stored client info, just vat status reports and the like. They find a young woman in what appears to be a recovery suite, and Lodestone gets a disturbing feeling of absence from her aura- she seems to not really be inside herself, some sort of blank person. Atlas, in a kamikaze-fueled combat rage, quickly kills her, ending the discussion of what to do.
In the hall, UB! loses control of himself as something hijacks his body. He touches Tobias, draining him of his life energies and sending his body into a rapid shutdown. UB! feels the entity controlling him grow more powerful as it does this. The rest of the team rushes into the hall after seeing Tobias’ biomonitor flatline, and manage to subdue UB!, who appears to be possessed. The spirit vacates his body, bursting forth in a cloud of blood and dealing serious damage, and flees up what appears to be a secret elevator exit. LS sends a watcher spirit after it, but the watcher is quickly killed or banished.
In the next room, the team finds a Horizon exec, Ted McNicholson ,getting a Leonization treatment, guarded by a serious looking corpsec type. They work out a deal to get a ride out of the polar region with these guys in exchange for leaving them alive, although they ask after the young woman, and don’t seem to entirely believe Rooster’s story that the blood spirit killed her. Tobias fetches two cowering ghoul doctors from the last remaining room, and finds that they have wiped the system of all client data. He wants to kill them, but McNicholson convinces the team to let him bring the two doctors back to Mars City under his control, after they disconnect him from his treatment.
The team checks up the elevator shaft, and discovers (via drone scout) a secret exit through an ice cave out onto a small shelf, on which the trashed remains of 3 gliders sit. It looks like there may have been 5 originally. Combined with the spirit, this means that the 2 most disturbing auras that LS saw astrally when entering the facility also escaped, apparently, one of them possibly being ‘Brassface’. UB! The drone feed then goes dead. UB!, using his t-ray, discovers and maps a minefield between the team and the shelf, and starts picking his way through to check things out more, while LS astrally scouts ahead.
LS tracks down one of the disturbing auras about 700 meters away, and using his impressive brain scan abilities, ID’s it as former teammate and Prime Runner April O’Mally. She has apparently been recontructed by something called the Gilgamesh Initiative after her seemingly fatal encounter with Halfman. She also now has an active astral presence, which LS doesn’t want to get too close to. She tells him to leave and forget he ever found this place, and seeing that she has summoned astral assistance, he hightails it to his body, leaving Baelor behind to hold off his pursuers. LS warns UB! not to continue to the cave mouth, as April is covering it with a long-range silenced rifle, aided by a targeting drone that is paiting targets for her. She shot down the drone.
The team decides that they have uncovered the whole of the facility, and heads back downstairs. Using their recently acquired arctic survival gear (and some grappling guns), they descend the sheer cliff face under the blasted open hanger door, and make their way to a pickup point a safe distance from the facility (to avoid the upcoming explosion, and avoid losing a 2nd craft to AA fire). Tobias remains behind to activate the device, which he does, and then Iron Man’s it out the front using his suit-mounted rocket pack, along with his underarm squirrel-glide ‘wings’. He powersails down to the team, and sticks the landing with an acrobatic flourish. Golf claps all around.
McNicholson’s guard pops open his briefcase and radios for pickup, and after waiting for about 15 minutes, their ride arrives and safely transports them back to MC. McNicholson tells Rooster he will be in touch should he require the team’s services in the future- a new Johnson perhaps? Atlas contacts Barns, who tells them that it was a job well done, and forwards them 120k nuyen, and tells them that SK had other teams wipe the rest of the discovered Tamanous facilites, while quiet backroom contact was made on Earth with the main Tamanous organization, who have disavowed knowledge of the Mars splinter factions ‘extracurricular’ activities. They will be sending up new personnel to take over the non-destroyed facilities and rebuild their Mars operations.