The runners safely return to the city via their various routes, and deliver Marlowe and his team safely into the Exchange‘s custody. Thankyou receives a message from a mysterious source telling him “Keep up the good work”, and believing it to be from his benefactor, he is thrilled. He decides to celebrate by finally getting his whole rigging suite installed. He disappears into a clinic for a few days. UB! finds out that the UltraDude who was hospitalized after the LoneStar SWAT assassination is still in a coma, and no-one is paying his bills. UB!, sadly, is out of money. Rooster tries to start putting his life back together, paying Exocet to set up a new SIN, and accessing the funds that LoneStar didn’t seize.
Lodestone has a message from Detective McCormick, demanding info about the spaceport raid. He decides to ignore him, but fears he is now wanted by the Star. Lodestone returns a call from an unknown number, and talks to the Brassface man (he thinks), and promises to stop interferring in the diamond business. In exchange, Brassface suggests the LS and the team will be left alone. Although, Brassface expresses his displeasure with Rooster, so he might be in trouble. He burns most of his SINS, gets a new one from Ibn Hassan, and hides out for a bit. Hassan also says that he has made contacts with both Aden and Lofweir’s organizations, and will make contact if LS still wants. LS tells him to contact Lof only, deciding not to trust Brassface.
Tobias, hearing all this, decides to share the info he required from Daedelus with the team. They head out to the hideout to talk, since it is the only secure place they can think of. Brassface appears to be connected to the skin-noters, who Tobias now knows are a Tamanous faction on Mars. He believes that this faction was involved with hiding the diamonds, and suggests that LS feed them to Lofweir. UB!, humorously, has a job from Tamanous, to drive some freezer trucks out to a facility in the wastes. The team declines to participate, so he recruits some UltraDude wannabes from the Problem Children ranks. The team also receives the upsetting news that Ivan the Jackle, identified in the news as “Hamshallow’s Driver”, has been captured by the Prime Runners. This makes UB!’s recent purchase of the entire PR merch line somewhat awkward. He decides to keep wearing the hat anyway, since it looks cool.
They meet the trucks, and head out. The team tells UB! to hurry back for the “Christian Melange Presents: HCB Lives!” Crod Stompaz tribute benefit. The trucks reach the facility, and find a seemingly abandoned farm. They park in the barn, and head down a concrete tunnel into a medical bunker. The place is trashed, and they find a wrecked office, medical room, and a few executed employees. UB! spots some suspicious wiring, traces it to a timer and some explosives, and flees. Sadly, one of the the UltraDudes trips on the way out, and UB! slams the exterior door shut to dampen the explosion. They head back to the trucks, find the tires slashed, and flee the barn. The trucks blow, collapsing the barn, and an ARO phrase in German pops up in UB!’s hud. Tobias translates it as “you have something of mine”. UB! reports all this to Tamanous, and decides the message was probably for them. He gets a cab back with the 2 surviving ’Dudes and they head to the concert.
LS, before going to the show, talks to someone from Lofweir’s org on Earth, and tells him essentially all of the info that he has. The timelag makes the convo a bit awkward, but the man tells LS that they appreciate the local assistance, and will have a local agent get in touch with further instructions. They transfer some money as an advance payment, and the agent warns LS not to disappoint. Tobias finds that there is a lot of speculation amongst commentators and pundits that LoneStar isn’t properly enforcing security in their areas. Apparently, Knight Errant has been publicizing the SWAT deaths and spaceport detention center raid embarassments. Good news!
They head to the show, and hang out a bit, and then take off. UB! shows up later, and gets trashed with Jaro at the bar, commiserating over lives lost and Ivan’s capture. He hides his PR hat, though. They eventually bail on the show to go smash some stuff in an abanodoned warehouse. Rooster and Exocet leave shortly after, and notice that someone is tailing UB and Jaro pass out in the warehouse, but are soon awakened, as they come under attack by the Prime Runners. UB! is quickly ko’d, but Rooster arrives on the scene in time to help. He commands the street sam hauling UB! out of the warehouse to drop him, and commands the cab that he and Exo were riding in to smash into the PR’s van. Lodestone summons his elemental, Baelor, to fight the street sams, while Tobias races to the scene. T also calls One Shot Wade and tells him to get anyone he can to the warehouse.
LS fights a mage in astral space, while Baelor demolishes one of the street sams, smashing his head into a fine pulp, but is defeated by a combo of sniper fire, and the other street sam. The PR team flees through the alley into the sewers, and LS sends some watcher spirits to try to tail them. The snipers ko Rooster, while Jaro heals UB! a bit. They haul Rooster into the warehouse and take cover as gang cars approach. Tobias plans to try to chase the PR team into the sewers.