Thankyou aka Eckhard Roberts
The team, hiding on floor 222, strips off all their gear and weapons while waiting for Ea Skavgaard to signal them for extraction. It is a nervy day and a half, trying to control their nerves and grumbling stomachs while they hear what sounds like military activity outside their false room. However, she does eventually make contact, and they are escorted back to the main elevator by her and 4 well-armed and armored guards. Tonie, fearing a trap, scans her thoughts and finds her merely prepared for the possibility of trouble, and especially concerned about infection.
She tells them of some changes inside: apparently Death To All wiped out the Halloweeners in revenge, so the teams false flag op worked. Skavgaard then hired DTA to assault Wings of Predation, but warned WoP they were coming, resulting in an ongoing bloodbath. She has hopes that this will clear up at least one of the major spirit problems, as she still has to deal with all the dangerous tech above. The team is impressed by her canny manipulation of factions.
She debriefs them, and having determined that they lived up to their end of the bargain successfully, she puts them in civilian contractor jumpsuits, and sends them down to B1, where they are escorted out to the street by 2 more guards. They are free! They first head to Butch, to heal up and try to deal with all those nanites. She psych-evals, scans, and assenses all of the team members, with help from some techs, some Jackpoint members present astrally, and a dwarf mage from the Ork Underground named Toff. Aemon and Tonie check out as totally clean. Ro only has some dead nanites in her system, and is not infected, though she has been having dreams of Deus and seems to have become addicted to his nano-toxin.
Ortega and TY are not as lucky: although they both pass the psych eval (ruling out full infection in Butch’s mind), they both have active nanites in their systems. Daedelus manages to game the ensuing nanite flush to maintain a strong presence in TY without anyone noticing, and the flush also seems to help abate Ortega’s problems. However, Butch tells them that this will likely be an ongoing expense, as she does not believe it is possibly to fully cure with a flush based on her experiments. She details the disease, which she has taken to calling Cognitive Fragmentation Disorder, and fills the team in on what’s happened while they’ve been inside.
She lists some possible origins, signs of infection, outbreak sites, and the 5 different “types” of infected she has observed (or inferred). These match up with the different infected they encountered inside, and they provide her with a lot of useful data, as well as the medical data promised. She also tells them that Mars has been especially hardhit, as some types of the infection often likes to target remote/enclosed areas where it can operate and expand free of oversight. Also, as much nano was used in terraforming and construction, there have been major infrastructure failures, including upper city plate collapses in places. This has led to a mass exodus from Mars fro those who can afford it, and who can clear whatever checks the Corporate Court has placed on space travel. There has been a lot of assassination and extraction jobs recently, also, as corps are interested both in the infected and people working on cures.
They thank Butch, and she suggests Toff accompany them for awhile to make sure Ort and TY stay clear of trouble. They agree, and Tonie and TY head out to start selling data while the others recuperate further. Daedelus warns TY to avoid Ro, as she has become dangerously suspicious. They make contact with an Evo employee to sell the medical data to (having already passed it on to Butch) and meet up with an “assets manager” named Ayishah Nagi. She is very interested in the data, and after skimming it and receiving “proof of deletion” on their part, she pays a tidy sum, and tells them to call her again if they have anything else good.
They move on, and call up Lone Star Security Services. Their contact, Rahel Juric, is impressed by the datafile and accompanying vid that TY edited together, and says she thinks it is promising for LS to get the policing contract, based on the madness inside. They decide not to mention the infected ex-LS officer running the copland in there, as Butch said he seemed like the least problematic type (though still perhaps a longterm threat). This leaves them a little potential leverage, though they already told Skavgaard.
They next contact Simon Andrews, with Aemon taking the lead. They chat it up and agree to link up and party in Gemany soon, as Andrews is on a break from Bug City for a week. They sell him the drone weapons data, although he is disappointed that the drone specs themselves are not on offer. He tells Aemon that Saeder-Krupp can certainly afford to pay, so he’d appreciate first look in the future, if they come across anything else worthy. He also says he might have some work soon.
TY leaves a message for Ehran the Scribe to offer the AI and technomancer data, and Ehran shortly thereafter manifests next to him to negotiate. However, as no-one else is present, and Daedelus controls TY’s sensory software and hardware, it is unclear if this is actually happening or not. TY goes along with it regardless. He sells the data for a massive sum, but proof of erasure is again required. The team complies, though it is slightly suspicious that Tobias Cheney is the one who shows up to do the work.
They sell the geomancy data to Wuxing, through a man named Cristof Mulberry, whom TY recalls as a corp operative from Mars, though he didn’t know his affiliation at the time. TY also sends the data on the geomancy use of the modular dwelling spaces inside the ACHE to Jane, though it is once again unclear if it is truly her or merely Daedelus manipulating TY. TY has noticed that there has been a massive upload from his comm since they emerged, which Daedelus says is just communication and updates as normal. He says he also sent SYD home with an “update package” all her own.
Ro calls up Hiro Katakura, her handler, and passes along the data on the ACHE’s structural integrity and systems functionality and such. She also sells the drone data. She pays some out of pocket to pay the team so that she can pass some of this data to Katakura for “free” to ingratiate herself. He says that it is a big step towards getting back in Renraku’s good graces after the “Chicago incident.” She silently plots his eventual demise, but goes along with it, still wanting to work her way up in the corp.
Lastly, they decide to deal with whole witness protection clusterfuck. After much debate, they get in touch with Tibor Dobos, give him the message from inside, and provide footage of them killing Sokoloff. He tells them that he can only offer partial payment on the job, as they didn’t accept it upfront and he had to hire others also (to make sure). However, he appreciates that they came around to his way of seeing things. They don’t tell him about the video they made, detailing Sokoloff’s evidence before they killed him. Tonie consults with Imaginary Annie Goldsmith, and finds that although good lawyer would likely get it excluded from trial, the video would still be fairly useful from an investigative standpoint.
With that info and the video in hand, Aemon calls up Dana Oaks and contritely explains the situation. He doesn’t tell her that they took money for killing him, but otherwise explains that they fucked up and all they have is the vid. She takes it, but is super pissed, and tells them that unless they find some data of a quality to replace what she lost here, they better all lose her number. They seem to have just used their “get out of jail free” cards…. To sweeten the pot, Aemon gives her Dobos’ name and info, as she is very insistent once he incautiously lets slip that someone else was hiring gunhands to kill Sokoloff. Feeling that Dobos might be a good friend to have, Tonie tips him that the cops may be onto him (heard it from a friend ya know!), and Dobos thanks him for the warning, having only just cleared out ahead of the Black Knights.
Feeling that Seattle might be a dangerous spot for them for a while, they head off to Hamburg, all taking separate routes to avoid tracking, and able to leave behind their illicit gear in the Underground safehouse. They are surprised that TY doesn’t show up, and get a message from him that he has left for Chicago instead, to research Gilgamesh Initiative leads there and try to find April O’Mally, who has supposedly turned up there. Ro is happy to see him go, though they are still pretty worried about how much he knows (and that he has access to all their safehouses…). Toff proves to be a fun clubber, alongside Aemon, and even Ortega has a few drinks and loosens up a little, having survived his personal “Inferno.” They spend some money, upgrade some implants, train some skills, and mostly just chill for a few days. They get a call about some work in London, and ride trains over, figuring they’ll gear up as needed on arrival, as they only know continental smugglers and aren’t familiar with chunnel security.