Otters aka Roadkill
With the Blight still hot and aggressively guarded post-prison break, the team heals up for a few days, and the contractors for the job go their separate ways. After everyone is basically back to normal, they decide to pay Kong to keep the van safe til they can get it out, and pay the Maulers to smuggle them out through the McKenzie Arcology, which goes smoothly. They travel back to the safehouse on foot, except for Dig who goes in bird form, and manage to gun down two fresh, hungry alphas who attack them on the way, without any significant damage to themselves.
Dig insists on solving the mystery of one of the 6WT greater arcana: the Avatars. He does decipher how to resolve it, but tries to participate in bird form and misses out on the boon. The other 3 participants (Chew Gum, The Detective and Otters) all gain a visual only shared sensory connection with the other 2 that, after some experimentation, seems able to bypass magical defenses with ease. They experiment a bit more and plan to use it for recon until it runs out. Unfortunately, it does magically link them also and makes them a bit more astrally visible.
The team does some planning and recon for the heist for Howell;s mysterious Johnson, and finds that the artifact in question is a Tzuri Group Janus statue of some sort, a recent loan to the private museum in Grosse Pointe’s ritzy Casa Aurelius gated neighborhood. The Detective uses their good SIN to gain access and tours the museum, under the effect of a catalog spell ritual from Dig and Chew Gum, though they are forced to let the spell go when they trigger some passive museum security and are confronted by guards. Overall, the place seems quite chill however, and they quickly make a plan to sneak, bypass the detected security features, and replace the artifact with a well-made copy, hopefully leaving noone any the wiser for at least some amount of time.
In other news about town, ARES has apparently dug deep in their remaining coffers and secured the services of MET2000, one of the world’s largest merc corps. They are expected to arrive within the week, which may dramatically change the situation on the ground. Otters, on behalf of the team, also shares some intel and info with Ringmaster – specifically discussing Ellis and her trustworthiness, given her altered status. The Irregulars are debating an offer to unite or at least collab with the BETAs and Desolation Angels, and seem to legit value the team’s input.
They also warn that Carol and Vogel are very much still looking for Ellis, so the team should expect contact at some point. They discuss Kensington and the Comeadai network, and Ringmaster fills them in on the Black Lodge’s likely involvement- from what he could tell, Kensington was a former member of the Seer’s Guild, a powerful Euro foretelling org, which is heavily infiltrated by the BL. What was done to him also seems like a classic BL punishment/experiment, and they are definitely invested in the secrets of the Seelie Court, so it feels feasible.
Armed with knowledge and a plan, the team prepares to make the imitation artifact and get the heist down before the arrival of MET2000 changes the situation on the ground. The heist goes pretty well, with the team first making contact with the small local Seoul’Pa presence via Chew Gum in order to upgrade some SINs. Creep gets his good enough to get into Casa Aurelius, and heads in carrying Dig’s hacking rig. He stashes it in a tree near the museum, where Dig flies in in bird form, and puts on his custom animal form trodes with his magic fingers.
Dig manages to hack the cameras on the museum and make it look like Creep left, while Creep actually hides in a utility closet. Once the museum closes, Creep sneaks around and lets Otter’s mule drone in, after Otters drops it off with the VTOL. The mule drone sneaks to the third floor and disables the automatic security shutter, while Creep carefully bypasses the physical and digital security, and swaps out the near exact replica that CG crafted, also swapping the digital sensors and trackers attached.
Unfortunately, Dig doesn’t really understand the matrix, and GOD comes down on him, destroying his deck and badly injuring him. He leaves the area, and Creep and the drone hide inside overnight while the team figures out a plan. The next day, the Detective returns to the museum at opening while Dig, in bird form, uses a spirit of beasts to control animals from around the neighborhood to rush dozens of cats, dogs, rats etc into the museum , causing some chaos, during which Creep and the drone sneak off, with Otters flying the drone and artifact away in the VTOL.
Otters makes the drop off to Howell after flying through some toxic zones to ditch magical traces. The team then connects with Grandmother Biyu so Dig can learn some new spells and try to get a new deck. The rest of the team quickly determines that she is a high ranking Triad, and they get down to biz. She wants to take turf from the mafia while ARES is on their back foot, and offers the team whatever level of involvement they want. After some debate, they agree, and begin planning a disinformation and sabotage campaign.
While that happens, Ellis warns of a major upcoming bug assault, and Tabasco manages to help fend off a direct attack on the Platinum Zone, while the rest of the team helps prep defenses in Hamtramck. After multiple ARES positions collapse, some under shelling from their own command Downtown, MET2000 dramatically drops in with gravjets and starts pushing the bugs back and holding the line. Luckily, ARES has had to also call in all backup, so Otters finally gets the team van back from the Blight, and notices that there seem to be some incipient go-gangers starting to build up bikes and war rigs and preparing to leave the Blight as well….