The team, safely returned from the NU fiasco, heals up. Unfortunately, it seems like someone noticed they escaped, and a NeoNET clone assassin is sent after Aemon and Love in the medical wing of the Nub. They barely survive the attack, due to Senk’s timely arrival, and their willingness to dive on a grenade to save Love and Aemon. There is a simultaneous attack by a small hitsquad on the Leather District, which Buster’s militia manages to repel (once discovered). They’d been targeting people in possession of the Salem Exposed! file, so it looks like NN is pretty serious about keeping all this info under wraps.
Meanwhile, Chem has hired on with Ares’ OSI department, under Anne Ravenheart, and has been sent into Boston to link up with the local office, and figure out what’s going on there. He gets in, gets the scoop on what Erika Knowles knows, and drops off some messages and news of the outside world. He then links up with Ro and the others, and fills them in on what’s been happening outside: the Monads have emerged from the shadows, and begun issuing ultimatums to the Corporate Court as well as messages to the public, assuring that the Monads need not be a threat, and are not behind Boston. The corps are trying to keep it on the dl, and have kept the ultimatum secret (for now). Samantha Villiers has been assassinated in the ongoing NN power struggle, leaving the corp effectively under Cara Villiers’ control while Richard Villiers does damage control.
Evo Corporation’s Gagarin base on Mars is apparently the last major corp holding there, and seems likely to be overrun by headcases. The public has caught wind of CFD, to some extent, and speculation about who is behind it, and if it caused Boston, is running rampant in the shadows. Rumors of a Megacorporate audit and a possible AAA reshuffle have the corps in near-open war trying to boost themselves and harm others, while ensuring their fragile alliances hold. Danielle De La Mar is pushing for a new SIN registry, to follow up on the new “safer” matrix. And Hestaby has established a new base in southern Tir Tairngire / NoCal where she has made a Technohaven, and told all t-macers they are welcome there.
The team fills Chem in on (most) of what they’ve been up to, and warn him about Thankyou. He’s excited to see all the new drugs hitting the streets in Boston, and looking forward to getting his cook on. Toff and Love examine further the spell formula that Cereus gave to Love, and eventually take it to a mystic in Chinatown to ID it. He says it is actually a portion of a spirit formula, and informs Love that it will allow him to further tie his aura to the spirit with whom he has made a pact. Love thinks this explains how he survived the explosion in Salem- a desperate pact, unremembered on his part, has tied him to a spirit for better or worse. Aemon ingests some oneiro in order to see when the next assassins will strike, and sees a vision of the Leather District burning and under attack from what looks like NN and Aztechnology forces.
They warn Smedley Pembrenton III, and pooling their money, help buy out the arms dealer Yaksha’s supply, to better equip the militia. Ro Tain does training exercises with them, with Aomame 2-Chrome giving inspiring speeches, and Jane helping to set up traps and defenses. Smedley tells them he needs them to get that chopper from the Bane-Sidhe ASAP, as they could really use it for the upcoming fight. Also, the BS have been targeting and wiping out small survivor communities all around South Boston, as well as allying with the Yakuza and Morelli Family mafia against their enemies, the O’Rilley Family and the Ancients.
The team gets the needed intel, and Smedley also provides an Oni rigger named Speed Tanaka to pilot the chopper when they get it. They head south, and link up with Lucky Liam, as well as Shane O’Connor who agree to set up an elaborate multi-stage trap for the BS. They leak info about a (fake) supply drop coming in off-course, and send the Ancients with Chem to set up a trap zone at the ambush site. They also hire some technomancers through Viktor Markwart to jam the BS comms at that site, so they can’t call for reinforcements. Then, the O’Rilley’s will make what looks like a major move against the Morelli’s, who will call for BS reinforcements, who will hopefully fall right into another trap on their way in.
Meanwhile, the team will be watching the BS compound after sneaking up, and find a good time/path to get in and grab the chopper, before flying it out. Senk will go in first, and do a subtle sabotage to make sure they can’t quickly fly it out of there, or use it for reinforcements for the 2 BS convoys that will be out. The team picks their surveillance spot, and Toff and Love conceal them as best they can with magic. They also send some low force spirits on a fake scouting mission to distract the BS astral security. Senk sneaks over and does the sabotage, using a flash bomb as a distraction for the guards by the chopper near the compounds center. Distressingly, the streets are full of tent cities under BS protection, making infiltration a bit easier but combat very deadly to civvies. Senk ends up trapped under the chopper when the guards return too soon.
Aemon straps on Senk’s LMG/gyro mount, and he and the Oni get levitated up the top of the BS’ junkpile wall. They leap down and engage the guards who spot them, as Toff and Love fly over a little quieter. Intimidating and elbowing civvies out of the way, they race for the chopper, while Love takes down snipers from the rear using spellcraft. Aemon, the Oni, and Senk manage to take out the chopper guards and get it airborne just as the BS’ remaining war rigs gain LOS. They get in an intense shootout, while Love distracts one group with a trid illusion. Using the choppers’ superior firepower (and armor) they manage to make good their escape, though they barely levitate Love high enough up in time to get him to the chopper, as he’s slow on his feet. They head North, scooping up Chem on the way, and just as they clear the BS compound receive an urgent message: the Leather District is under attack!