Otters aka Roadkill
Tabasco aka Cholula
The team recuperates from the Shadow spirit raid, and gets some investigation updates from Smoach and Myrryr, who also accept a Tarot card as payment. They’ve ID’ed the Wendigo, and got some more info about what occurred- it looks like the strange orb was a portal to the Shadow plane (or at least one of it’s moons), and the one of the two spirits likely escaped through or was on the other side when the team attacked and closed it. It’s unclear if this spirit took some of the Tarot cards with or if they were expended in opening the portal. Castiron brings in a bat that he managed to bring down from the swarm, while he was fleeing in fear of the Wraith. He also returns half of his pay, since he feels like he didn’t help much.
S&M pass along a strange artifact, known as a “Coin of Woe”, which can be created by Shadow spirits by draining the essence of a living being- this coin is gold, showing that it was drained from a metahuman, and has Iva Linus Hathaway’s face on one side. Cholula holds onto it, and dedicates himself to finding a way to free her or return her to some form of life, though his initial research doesn’t seem promising. S&M also warn that although those coins can sometimes be used as metaplanar currency, their possession is also a serious crime in many planes.
CG examines the bat, and finds that it seems to have been possessed by a shadow spirit at some point, similar to the “zombie” corpses they encountered at the farm- disturbing! However, he prepares it and he, Dig, and Jaga cleanse their safehouse of magical taint, and rebuild their magical lodges. CG also resummons two of his Necro spirits, one into the bat. The team decides they need Jackpoint access to further their research abilities, so they put together an info file on the truth of Latvian Gambit with a lot of combined knowledge from themselves and the team file, and get Old Crow to agree to upload it as a membership application once he is clear of the city.
ARES and the UCAS are engaged in escalating back and forth over the disaster, and Vogel gives a major and provocative speech, ending with the revelation that ARES will relocate their corp HQ to Atlanta in response to the UCAS provoking them, and tries to place the blame for the “terrorists” behind Latvian Gambit at the feet of the UCAS for not reporting their activities and breaking up their cells. The team plans to possibly further refute much of this info when they themselves aren’t in ARES’ backyard, though the boards are already going wild.
Otters finally finishes building her first biodrone with Moreau, and The Detective does some bliss in their tub while catching up with the Keepers. The mafia bug infiltration con seems to have had some major effects- lots of infighting at the port, and a lot of dead bodies turning up nearby/in the river. Also- someone seems to be surveilling The Detective’s apartment- wearing a high end camo suit, so the Keepers haven’t gotten a good look. The Detective forgets to report this for a while, as they are high.
The next day, when they think to mention it, Cholula is finally back to full health, which required eating a lot more meat than usual (and having some interesting new thoughts and memories), he and CG head up to The Detectives zone with biodrone support, while Dig as a dolphin and Otters in the VTOL head down to try to retrieve the sub. Otters is able to spot the camo suit man with the biodrone and provide a targeting solution to Cholula, who KO’s him with a Gamma-Scopolamine arrow.
They zip tie him, and haul him into The Detective’s apartment, after taking his external comm and a bunch of kidnap supplies he has on him. They wait an hour and then question him once the truth serum kicks in. He caves pretty quickly and reveals that he is the recent ex-husband of Lindsay Turpentine, and that the family knows that The Detective is responsible for Michael and Carol’s deaths. The Detective tries to dodge blame for this, not fully inaccurately, but the man doesn’t believe them. He thought he could get back in Lindsay’s good graces by kidnapping The Detective and delivering them.
They debate about what to do, before questioning him some more and finding out that he’s been live-streaming the whole encounter. Dig, from afar, panics and tells them to get out of there, which they ignore while Cholula debates the ethics of killing him, since via his code he doesn’t really deserve to die. He fills up the tub they have him in, jic. They keep talking for a bit while an increasingly stressed Dig tries to convince them to leave every time his dolphin form surfaces and gets comms back.
Eventually Cholula agrees, and flips the still paralyzed man over, face down, in the full tub, and leaps out the window. CG and The Detective leave the normal way, with The Detective trying to gather up essentials on the way. They just get clear as a missile flies down and obliterates the building. Yikes! They all regroup at the Hamtramck safehouse while The Detective mourns the loss of their disguise collection. Meanwhile, Dig and Otters have a relatively easy time retrieving the sub, and buy some supplies to do a quick patch up job on it. They load Old Crow aboard to smuggle him outta town, and send it to Chicago to get more fully repaired by Goober, with Otters piloting the first leg of the trip past the ARES cordon which is still nominally being enforced.
The team all get a call from Kong up in the Blight, who wants them to look into a kind of culty group of farmers whose area has recently been added to his turf (he seems to be expanding). The team does some research and doesn’t find much, so does some recon and finds that it seems to be a group of Bee spirits, mostly good merges, that are distributing non-magical food to the surrounding area. Still- creepy and worth checking out. They call Ellis, who confirms that Bees often try to live in harmony with the surrounding area but are suicidally defensive. She says they could be good candidates to join the Betas since they already prioritize some of the same principles and communal attitudes.
The team calls up Kong to see if a peaceful solution is good with him too, and he says he’d prefer bugs get killed but that so long as the team gets them off his turn he doesn’t care much. They approach the church/farm lot, and The Detective has a lengthy convo with the Pastor, who turns out to be a Bee Shaman. They eventually bring in Cholula as proof of what the Beta option could look like, and the hive discusses, eventually agreeing to go along with the plan.
The team gets a bus from Kong to transport them all out to the now-empty shadow farm, and arrange for some of Ellis’ people to meet them there. They then also call up Pretty and try to set up a ghoul/bug farm coop, or at least get that started, since it sounds like Long Pig Farms may be looking to vacate Chicago in the increasingly hostile to the Infected environment there. They also report in on the info they learned about Fear the Dark, and Pretty pushes them to go after the vamp that escaped and hopefully finish off the local chapter’s leadership.
The big news when the team wakes the next day is that ARES didn’t just move their HQ- they fully left. They abandoned tens of thousands of local low-level employees and bailed basically overnight on the whole city. Horizon PR is desperately trying to spin the move in a positive way, but it seems ARES’ internal turmoil isn’t fully resolved- this does not seem like the plan Vogel presented, although it could also be a response to the info the team leaked on Jackpoint, especially with the UCAS announcement that they are rescinding the Business Recognition Accords in order to investigate just what happened in Detroit, and to III Corps.
CG, worried about a repeat of Chicago, checks in with Ringmaster, who says he has a lot of work for the team if they’re looking- a lot of the mercs have left, and he needs people looking into all sorts of local issues, as well as what happened to III Corps, if they want a trip out of town. The team also calls up The Walker in Ways, and gets contact info for someone named Cass Wandering Horse, with WiW telling them that they are also concerned about the spiritual future of Detroit, and that Cass has been doing some investigations along these lines, though he also has his own agenda….
Plenty to do! Back to work.