The team engages in an aerial firefight with some Great Hunt Tir border patrol militia, but manage to barely squeak by. Limping into the UCAS sector of the FRFZ, their pilot Blackhawk tells them to put on diamond insignia and makeup, just to help clear security. The team, lacking other info, complies. They land, leave the military area of the base/airport combo, and remove their disguises in the bathrooms before clearing customs. It seems Sierra Corp did good work with their new SINs, as they get through without much trouble.
They notice an unusually large percentage of orks and trolls, as well as a fair amount of troll COTD street preachers. The UCAS sector also seems exceptionally tense, with a well-armed citizenry. The team splits into 3 groups- Butter, Aleiron and 3 Card head to the Hub to try to make some local contacts, Grackle splits off to fix up his armor and deck from the last run, and Eion, Yanko, and Wat head into the Aurora Warrens with Ada on the motorcycle and sidecar, aiming to have a look around before the meet with the Johnson later tonight.
The Hub team makes contact with an anti-corp magic user named Digger, who hangs out at a multi-tier club called Tower of Babel. He gives them some local intel, and they also meet an older elf technomancer named Prot0 who offers his assistance as a local guide and matrix expert (he’s looking into the team on behalf of the Nexus). They hang around for a while and wait for the meet to get a little closer before heading into the Hub. Meanwhile, the Warrens team has hit a rough patch. They get in just fine, but the guards are pretty clear that people generally aren’t let back out. They also don’t see many vehicles inside. And they have a lot of decently expensive equipment and are obviously not from there, instantly marking them as targets.
The team sees signs everywhere that a gang called the Zombies seems to have taken over all of the turf in the Warrens, tagging over other gangs signs and posting lookouts all around. The lookouts seem to be reporting on the team’s movements, so they they decide to force a confrontation. Some gangers on beat up bikes arrive for a classic shakedown, which Wat almost successfully negotiates before Eion starts a fight. The team wins, but are pretty shredded (Wat and Ada especially), and more gangers incoming.
They head for a local street doc that Butter gets contact info for, and they race to the Smoky Hill Bazaar in the south Warrens. They meet the Doc, a sketchy transhumanist named Lupus Doubek who says she can only save either Wat or Ada. Eion and Yanko choose Wat, and approve Lupus’ plan to use some of Ada’s parts to “improve” him. The Zombie gangers quickly show up outside the clinic, and their leader, and ex-Yakuza troll named Ohnee, challenges Eion to single combat, which Eion accepts.
Eion gets a couple good hits in, and Yanko is starting to think it might go his way, when Eion has a bad dodge and gets decapitated by Ohnee’s combat chainsaw. Grackle quickly makes a meme of the footage and shares it widely. So not a very subtle arrival in Denver overall. However, this seems to placate the Zombie gang, and some of Eions Infected blood splatters some of the gangers so it seems likely some of him may live on…
Lupus is fascinated with the Evo mods that Wat has, and Yanko puts her in touch with Squeamish, and she arranges some experiments, sending Ada and Eion’s brains to Seattle. Wat, upon waking, is horrified by this whole sequence of events, and leaves the team, making a withdrawal from team funds to cover bribes and transit, and seemingly bound for Seattle, claiming he needs to prevent anything else from happening to Ada. 3 Card is pretty distraught, having lost her 2 closest team-mates. Butter warns Squeamish that Wat may be inbound and looking for trouble.
The remaining team heads to the meet with the Johnson, and get the lowdown on the job- a local clinic that provides cheap and free medical care to the Warrens poor is possibly engaged in some sketchy activity and they want the team to investigate. Prot0 suggests getting another local runner involved, a rocker face named Jonny Silver. They make contact and meet him at his concert that night. He agrees to help, and asks around about rumors about the clinic, and finds that they seems to be sterilizing metahumans using “existing injuries” as a cover.
The team does a casual infiltration of the hospital, minus Grackle, who has gotten in good with the Zombie gang, and is mostly hanging with them. Mostly, it goes well, and Aleiron and Prot0 manage to get the data they need from the basement with an escape assist from Jonny Silver. However, 3 Card’s plan for being on scene goes sideways, and she ends up getting sterilized. Extra angry and sad now, she’s in a dark place, and is ignoring Gina’s calls or responding with terse texts. They meet the Johnson again, who is quickly assassinated by human supremacists.
The team succeeds in surviving after a tough fight, taking out the human goons in the bar, but allowing the 2 more skilled assassins to escape. However, they capture one of their silenced pistols, which has an ornate engraving of a Flaming Sword on it. They also capture their roto-drone with a mounted assault rifle. Butter and Prot0 start fixing it up. Meanwhile, the Johnson’s friend introduces himself as Parker James, and says he’s the money behind the job and he wants the team to keep at it. He asks them to rescue a street doc named Hippocrates who’s gotten himself in some sort of trouble. Most of the team takes a cab over to his clinic, while Butter decides to walk.
The clinic is in a strip mall renamed “Paradise Lost” that some ex-runners retired to, opening up 7 businesses adjacent to each other, surrounding his clinic, he being their longtime favorite local street doc. Pretty much a one stop shop for runners. They don’t have much time to investigate, however, as the clinic looks to have sustained some battle damage. They hurry in, neglecting to warn Butter of the glowing eyed dogs their cabby warned them of on the way. Butter, walking over, finds himself stalked by said dogs, and after failing to take some border guards into helping him, he gets caught and killed by them. Tyrese leaves the team to run to a would-be rescue, but is too late, though he manages to drive off the dogs before Butter’s body is too badly damaged.
The rest of the team finds a total slaughter in the clinic, it looks like some human supremacist goons got into with the clientele, leading to multiple casualties, and Jonny finds a group of more goons waiting nearby. He lures them out but they give chase heavily and the team ends up in a rolling firefight. The team members inside find a man hiding in back who says he’s an employee who hid during the slaughter, and doesn’t know where Hippocrates went, and seems surprised when they team suggests he has a safe room onsite. They find it, and open it up, finding the Doc, but the man they found reveals himself as an assassin and tries to take out the Doc.
3 Card throws herself in front of the shot and is nearly ko’ed, and the team gets into a hard fight with the cybered-up madman. Tyrese rushes in at the last minute and saves the day with a machine-gun burst and then dives on the man’s suicide grenade. The protection spell from the Parliament of Cars reassembles Tyrese from his exploded components, shocking the team. Yanko takes the Doc to the provided safehouse until James can get him out of town, while the rest of the team retrieves Butter.
They bring him back to Lupus’ clinic, and scrap him for parts. A lot of his softer bits have gotten eaten by urban critters, so they sell off his ‘ware, except for his control rig, which they give to Tyrese (upon his request). They forget to do anything with his remains otherwise, just leaving them in a corner at Lupus’. They get drunk at a local bar before heading to the safehouse. They hang there for a few days while the Doc heals them up, before he’s picked up and spirited out of town.
James gives them another job- tracking down local victims of the clinic, getting their stories, and finding out specifically which Doctors were involved. He needs this to happen fast, in order to assassinate those doctors, before other members of his group (the Sons of Sauron) follow through on their plan to bomb the clinic. The team interviews a number of locals, meeting some real characters, as well as finding a vamp gang called Nocturna, who provide safe haven to people on their turf in exchange for non-lethal amounta of blood. They also meet and IOND mage named PepperJack who seems to be investigating the same issue, although in his case it is because the clinic appears to be doing the same sketchy business with awakened individuals as well as metas.
The team is also offered some side jobs of finding info on who is funding/behind the clinic, as well as finding more proof of their experiments on the awakened. They agree to do them if they can, and make a list of 11 clinic staff, doctors, etc to kill. They make a plan to get everyone in, and implement. Proto provides matrix support from outside while Jonny riles up the crowd of protesters assembled after James leaked the info the team had gathered thus far, and Yanko keeps an eye on the exits to make sure the team can get out.
3 Card and Aleiron, in disguise as the clinic’s outreach doctors (who they have killed) head in and split up, while PPJ enters from the CAS side (as he possesses a legal SIN). PPJ takes out 2 admins and gets a data tap on their system, where Prot0 is able to salvage some data that they were trying to delete, and finds a secret back passage to a financial holdings company that they’re in touch with, implying Brackhaven involvement.
3C takes out 5 more of the targets as the clinic enters lockdown, while Aleiron slays the remaining 2 in wolf form. The team broadcasts the kills, which Jonny uses to rile up the crowd further, and James uses to prevent the bombing. Aleiron manages to sneak out the Warrens side with Yanko’s help just before they fully lock down, while 3 Card has to sneak and fight through the facility to the far side, where she escapes with magical assistance from PPJ. The team reunites and collects a massive payday.
They use some of their money to fund Lupus’ clinic to provide free care to the Warrens for 2 weeks, since the clinic shuts down. They also get some more offers of work- one of the side job Johnsons wants them to assassinate some human supremacist figures revealed from the data they stole, and Jonny’s manager wants their help aggressively recruiting some talent away from Horizon. However, they are forced to hole up for a few days while a massive manastorm rolls through town. Aleiron gets into some romantic hangs with a free spirit named Frantic who runs a bar in Paradise Lost while the rest of the team tries to bond a bit. Tyrese is thrilled to be able to carry his gun all the time, and excited to find that people in the Warrens will pay him to shoot people. The team decides to keep a little distance from Tyrese.
After the manastorm, news comes in that Aztlan has managed to use that, and the distraction to the ZDF caused by citywide protests against the Paladin clinic chain, to retake some of their old turf in the CAS sector. No response from Ghostwalker as yet, but things are tense. There are also report of street brawls between the Diamond Eyes gang and citizens militias led by troll street preachers. The team decides to do the recruiting job first, heading to the Wonderland club in the Hub. The proprietor Alyss doesn’t take kindly to illusion use in her club, as Yanko and PPJ quickly discover.
Jonny and Aleiron, disguised as caterers, dose a round of shots with Tracker RFIDs, and 3Card and Yanko initiate a fake brawl to ID which members of the Horizon star’s entourage might be undercover security. Prot0, on lookout, ID’s 3 of them, and 3C spots another keeping an eye on things from a distance. They get everyone to drink the shots, and Prot0 sends the relevant tracker signals to the Johnson, who pays up. They exit the club, and come under fire from a concealed sniper, who wrecks Prot0’s “assistant” drone, and nearly kills most of the team, before they injure them enough that they flee, just ahead of the ZDF’s arrival.
The ZDF confiscates the drone’s gun and disables it’s hidden weapon mount, but otherwise clears the team, as they were attacked, and defended themselves pretty responsibly. Jonny and Aleiron sneak off unnoticed. Prot0 manages to give a false ID using a resonance trick, but the rest of the team is on the ZDF’s radar now, though the predominantly ork and troll squad take kindly to Yanko and 3C’s Sierra Corp ID’s. The team heads back to the CAS sector to their hotel “safehouse”, which also houses a Papal Delegation. They get a message requesting a meeting from the Catholics, and also hear the news that the impromptu “governor” of the new AZT sector has been assassinated by an archer.