Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
Needing to get a move on, the team decides to do the heist with minimal mission gear (weapons, armor, etc) relying instead on implants and surveillance/B&E tech. Tabasco gets Bernie Carter to swing by his condo and pick up his gear from Emdachat, and Creep has all his stuff, but the rest of the team is going in their rented formal wear. Carol once again bemoans the fit of his rented tux. They head to the Tacoma docks to the location Telestrian provided, and meet up with a mini-sub smuggler named Sounder, who has a good rep on Jackpoint. Kit is a little bummed to not be allowed to pilot one, but Sounder insists on being in control.
They do a minimal amount of research on Council Island, but can’t get much useful surveillance data or security details, so they decide to wing it. Sounder drops them off without incident, successfully bypassing their water patrols, but tells the team that they’ll be stranded if they miss their very narrow pickup window, as she isn’t going to wait around. They head into a dense forest along the shore, and Carol and Tabasco quickly spot some hidden cameras and pressure mesh scattered around. Most of the team is confident on their ability to bypass them safely, but Aradia isn’t, and levitates herself and Kit, as well as making both of them invisible.
They safely pass through the forest, and come into sight of the Grand Council Lodge. They had heard there was a protest turned riot on the south end of the island, which they hope will distract on-island security. They spot some more pressure mesh, a spirit patrol, some patrolling guards, and 4 caged barghests, as well as cameras covering angle of approach across 100m of open space from the treeline. They check out the front of the building, but that has stationary guards and even worse coverage, so they decide to stick with the back door.
Kit disguises themself as John Abernathy, the targer, using his handprint that they copied, as well as their false face, plus some more spellcraft from Aradia and disguise help from Carol. Aradia and Kit approach the back door invisibly, with everyone else spotting them. Kit manages to bypass the door lock and disable the camera inside via nanites, while Aradia does some astral surveillance (noticing a powerful leyline connected to Mount Tacoma, as well as some underground levels), while Kit sneaks over to the SSC embassy wing, and uses Abernathy’s handprint to access it. Unfortunately, some guards notice the beep as the scanner works and opens the door.
Aradia drops the invisibility on Kit, and Kit bluffs as Abernathy, not doing a great job, but the appearance is so strong that they manage to sell it to the suspicious guards. Kit continues in and heads to Abernathy’s office, which fortunately has automatic lights so they know which one to go to. Tabasco repositions in the trees to cover the window to the office, now that he knows which one it is. The rest of the team watches for trouble.
Kit does a quick search of the room and finds that Abernathy doesn’t have a terminal and seems to prefer hardcopy. A safe in the corner looks promising, so Creep sneaks in, following the path the others took. Kit and Creep make quick work of the safe, and find some promising paydata inside. Kit quickly memorizes it all before carefully putting it back, wanting to leave some plausible deniability that anything happened. Unfortunately, something has tipped off the guards, who are headed in to investigate. Creep opens the window and Tabasco shoots in his grapple hand for them to zipline out on. Aradia slips out the back door and floats back towards the trees.
Creep ziplines back to the trees just fine, but Kit drops about halfway, luckily Aradia makes them invisible before anything bad happens. The team hoofs it back to the water and makes their pickup window, getting dropped back off at the Tacoma docks. They get a call from Romeo, saying that Telestrian has tasked him with collecting the data and paying them off. He also offers to buy any other paydata on behalf of Annie, as arranged. He says he thinks this is a power move by Telestrian to reveal that she did her digging on the team, and also why Annie wanted to use Romeo as a cutout.
Remembering another aspect of their job for Annie, they decide to dig into Romeo a bit before handing over the data, and get some intel from an Underground hacktavist named Tauren. Romeo has some family ties to Humanis and other extremist orgs, though his parents appear to have “officially” left when he was born a dwarf. He also may have some personal ties, which Tauren wants the team to confirm, as Romeo presents himself as a beneficent meta-rights supporter.Tauren also seems interested in the Shadow Chapters if the team can prove it’s a legit org, as he’s heard mixed things.
They pass along and sell the data, but get Remo to watermark the intel from the gala, and then check with Annie to see if Romeo copied the file or altered. He looks to have copied it but not altered it- could be pro, or could be sneaky! More investigation needed. The team does some various other digging around into assorted other ongoing missions and mysteries, and make some future arrangements for collaboration with Domingo Febles and others. They check in with Nyssa Hallas, Iva, and Don Michaels about assassins in town, and get some intel, and also some updates on some happenings in Snohomish.
They get Remo to look into matrix security at the Iron Jungle as a favor to Nyssa, and he reports back that, somehow, the Freedom Network/Popular Will crew there appears to have the Null Sect doing security, which is very troubling. In exchange for all these favors, Remo asks them to rescue a technomancer that just managed to smuggle a message to him from wherever they are being held, as they sound pretty scared and desperate. The team agrees to focus on that next.
They also officially make Creep a full member of the team! Though he doesn’t seem too interested in their safehouses, they have a fun time riding the jet ski around in the small lake while the water spirit makes waves. He shares a bit of his sad past as a child model/pageant star, which inspired his current anti-appearance, not particularly wanting to be observed anymore.