The team spends a couple days prepping for the ECSE raid, while Pancake and Adelbern keep an eye on T1’s, who is setting up to go in as well, as the merc forces have reached their former safehouse at Boston Manatech. Guy and Kinnie prepare an escape tunnel, with Guy shaping concrete up to the underside of the secure ECSE facility from Mama’s turf, while Kinnie guides him with radar. They cut into the metal shell around the facility with a thermite bar, but not all the way through, to avoid setting off any sensor alerts, and then Guy seals up the tunnel end to prevent any random discoveries,
The team smuggles stuff into downtown and stages in an open conference room at Stark, Thiessen, and Van der Mar, with an agreement not to bring any heat on them. They sell the CFD gun specs to Aaron Creech at EVO in exchange for some Monad CFD doses, which Adelbern uses to poison 2 members of T1’s team, hopefully comromising them, Erika Knowles is pissed when she finds out and cuts contact with most of the team, though Aylin wants to make it up.
Aylin trains with Ghostwalker’s drake advisors to learn the early stages of becoming a Horrorstalker, though Mama seems to think that this is a riskier path than the Lightbearer/Bringer’s that the Horrorstalker’s look down on. Jonny makes some last calls and he and Prot0 both set up some dead man’s triggers for various sensitive info. They get the word that it’s go time, and head over. Pancake warns them about a sniper but says he’s distracting him in the matrix and the CFD infection seems to be taking over. The team heads into the facility a few minutes after the cybermercs, and Ratched and Adelbern stay up top to keep an exit open as long as possible and distract any reinforcements.
The team finds a dead cybermerc inside, but all the drone and trap security on the ground floor has been disabled. The mercs seem to be using a ton of breaching shields as well as overwhelming force to hit the Zero Zone fast and hard. The team follows, sealing shafts and entries behind them and laying traps for any who follow. They clear the security levels, only having to do minimal trap bypass and finding all defenders either dead or fled. They get into a fight with one cyber-merc on the first lab level and lose their scout drone, but get a bunch of paydata about MCT’s experiments on TM’s/cranial shields, cyberadepts, etc.
They get down to the next lab level and find the cybermercs brawling full on with MCT forces. The team takes this chance to attack the mercs from the rear. This allowed two MCT mages to escape and seal the shaft down behind them, but the team defeats the mercs, though they suffer heavy injuries and almost lose the big drone, Guy is barely able to save it magically. OverEasy also defeats a shedim that followed T1’s team in. They find more info about MCT research programs into the CyTech program and other cyber/Resonance experimentation, as well as security critters.
They break their way down into the next level and find the defenders making their last stand. After a brutal fight, 1/2 the team is dying and all the drones besides the medic drone are down, but the team emerges victorious. They find a bunch of data on the Null, their beliefs, and MCT’s attempted cooperation with them, as well as some thoughts to the Null’s role in spreading CFD (through scaring e-life offline). They gain access to the lowest level using the defenders’ leaders biometrics (he believed himself to be Kaze Adeki’s son but was actually a clone), and also find that MCT had locked down the facility and final level due to paranoia about Project Orion infiltration (Dawkins CFD ghostriders), as well as the return of PAX, who appears to have infiltrated this lab pre-Lockdown as well as Project Vulcan, putting her front and center for the outbreak once again.
In the final lab, they bypass a ton of traps using all the corpses from the fights above, as they hear explosions of some sort of reinforcements coming closer. They discover the 100- Danielle de la Mar’s dirty little secret, the technomancer gestalt dream/nightmare that formed the Foundation, as well as possibly creating or connecting to the Null. They also find out that De la Mar was inspired by the strange semi-matrix of the Seelie Court, and that there are hints to 4th World “technomancers” who worshipped a Passion called “The Seed”, and that more clues and hidden mysteries could perhaps be found in the Fey Realms, which De la Mar plans to visit. This and the Null data seem to fully vindicate Prot0’s belief that magic and Resonance are inherently connected, and he can’t wait to escape and write his paper. He also gets a strong feeling of approval from the archivist.
The team also finds a facility-wide EMP device that PAX seems to have disabled that otherwise could have wiped all the date. They use Kinnie’s near-dead body with Prot0’s comm access to radar scan and look for their prepped exit, and Guy shapes their way out, as everyone except Overeasy passes out from drugs and injuries. Most of the team only survives through some sort of miraculous luck.
Meanwhile, Ratched and Adelbern talk the spirit into transferring over to Adelbern’s fancy bike, and Ratched rigs up a car bomb, and blows a corpsec APC that shows up. They chuck grenades at another one as they race off, but Adelbern gets hit by some return fire, and knowing he’s done for, jumps off the bike to make sure Ratched escapes, after giving Ratched his watch. Pancake helps Ratched get clear and bids him well. Ratched reaches the rendesvouz in the Catacombs and sends OE to fetch some Mama’s Boys while he stabilizes everyone else.
They successfully keep anyone from bleeding out and get smuggled back to the law firm to process and sell the data while they get their new ID’s and flights out figured out. They spend a few days healing up and making ready to leave Boston.