Harmony Craig Bottow
Ivan the Jackle
One Shot Wade
Ut and April rig the last of her c4 to the side of the wastechamber, and blow it open-it begins draining into the public sewers below. The team quickly drops down, motivated by the gunfire and grenades from the BS goons above. They begin making their way thru the sewers out of BS turf. They come across a t-intersection near the edge, and come under fire from the walkway opposite-some goons are crouched behind some stonework and in some alcoves in the sewer walls. Ut dives into the flowing sewage (he is wearing a fully enclosed suit) as does HCB. The rest of the team goes prone or takes cover where possible.
HCB fires and clips a goon, but is felled by machine gun fire in response. April jumps into the sewage to attempt to help him, and is herself knocked unconscious. K drops his levitating friend, and tries to start healing people, but is distracted by the shooting and explosions. The lynx provides covering fire a Ivan dives into the sewage. He dispatches one goon with a grenade-he attempts to throw it back, but fumbles it and takes a dive into the sewer to save his friends. It detonates underwater, limiting the blast. Ivan takes some fire in response, but Ut emerges from the sludge and sprays that goon with burst fire from behind, quickly dispatching him. Two goons remain, and the team is looking rough-Ivan takes a lucky shot at one and does some damage, as the lynx continues to fire, finishing off that goon (the lynx is also severely damaged at this point). As one of the goons leans out to take a shot at Ivan, Ut emerges from the sludge again, and lodges a knife in her throat, sending her tumbling back into her alcove, dead.
K spends a few round healing his nearly deceased team members, and then they make their escape from the sewers, piling into Ivan’s cab with the remaining captives, all of whom survived the sewer shootout, largely due to the lynx’s distracting fire. Ivan gets a message from Wade that the hospital was a trap, and to watch his back at the mansion, which had apparently been jammed whilst in BS turf and the sewers. They drive to PC turf (finally! back on safe ground). The team hires a cab and sends the captives to the hospital. April busts open a fire hydrant, and they all hose off. She then decides to head for the same hospital, to heal up and try to get some exclusive. She leaves her gear with Ivan, and buys some disposable paper clothes. She contacts Yann to meet her at the hospital with clothes, make-up and a camera, and then calls Karen, to tell her about her exclusive take on the rescue.
Karen is impressed-she had just heard about the arrival of the disoriented captives at the hospital. She temporarily lifts April’s suspension, and tells her that her hospital bills will go on the corporate account, since April convinces her that she was injured in the course of pursuing leads in this story. She goes to the hospital and heals, and then attempts to get an interview with the captives. Only John Caruthers accepts, and quickly wishes he hadn’t, as April suggests that the loss of his legs, as well as his kidnapping in general, were his fault, and were possibly deserved. She also gives him a really creepy wink, in an attempt to alert him to the fact that she was one of his saviors. He ends the interview. Yann is disturbed by April’s behavior; she has been having more and more trouble understanding emotions and feelings, which seem increasingly irrelevant to her. Karen extends her April’s suspension, and tells her she doesn’t want her working at all, as she is starting to become somewhat of a liability. April decides to take a break for awhile to heal and figure some things out.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team returns to Ivan’s cab, and discovers that both Ut and the detachable harddrive are missing, a note says “see you later-”the escapist””. Remus begins decrypting the credsticks, and gets three of them open, for a fairly large chunk of change, but wipes the fourth on a failed attempt. The team drives to Daedelus’ warehouse, which is positively imposing now, and sells it the bag it requested. It seems thrilled, and compliments the team on their continued good working relationship. Remus gets contact from his brother Romulus, and decides to go hideout for awhile, as there are a wide variety of folks are looking for him, and he is a bit wary of the rumors he has heard of Halfman. Romulus tells him that both Weyland-Yutani and Aztechnology have seperately offered to protect him from his other enemies if he will sell out the rest of his team. Remus decides to find a safehouse thru his Hack the Planet connections, and ponder the offer. The rest of the team heads to Wade’s.
They drop off the pistols, and discover Ut and Wade planning a job to hit the BS’ main money laundering operation. Wade wants revenge for the hospital set-up: apparently his source in the BS may have been compromised, as they definitely had prepared an ambush, with BS soldiers disguised as doctors, orderlies, and patients. And he has some especially bad news: Halfman is definitely in town-Wade’s never seen a metahuman that heavily cyber-modded before, and he made quick work of everyone Wade and Yoleus sent against them. Luckily, some of the BS guards were called off the site (probably back to the mansion) and Wade and Yoleus were both able to escape, with the help of some young ork thriller Yoleus picked up at Fat Carl’s. This reminds Wade that Yoleus is trying to unload this kid, who’s apparently kind of obnoxious, and suggests that the team go pick him up, as he’s decent in a fight. Test him out, see if he’s worth keeping around. Ut and Wade say they will be a bit yet planning the op, so the team decides to look for work elsewhere.
Ivan spends some time up-armoring the lynx at a city chop shop/junkyard operated by Tamany Clark. Ivan impresses him with stories of his exploits and prowess, as well as with the impressive speed of his drone repairs. HCB practices with the Crod Stompaz. K decides to seek out some formulae for some new spells he feels he might need after the last mission, and heads to Madame Gavral’s shop. She fills him in on the job she needs done, which Scrounge had previously gotten an advance on, and tells K that it needs to get done before he can supply all of the items he needs. She introduces him to Asp, a sad looking Israeli man accompanied by a dog. She had hired Asp to act as a local guide to the city of Heliopolis, aka Little Memphis, which is connected to the illicit magical supply harvest that takes place in the Mars Crater. K agrees, and rounds up the team to head out there. They go by Fat Carl’s and pick up Ultraboy! on the way. He is a young, pink-skinned ork, with some cyber-mods, an armored trenchcoat, and a grenade launcher. Ivan instantly falls in love-this is someone who will love all of his bragging. Asp worries about his youth and inexperience.
Ivan realizes that he forgot his eyeball drone on the mansion lawn, and re-opens the connection-it appears to be mounted in a torture chamber, overlooking the slow death of a Problem Children member lashed to an operating table. Ivan permanently severs the connection, and contact Remus to have him hack the datatrail. The team then leaves Mars City, and heads for Helipolis. Ivan spends the ride telling UB! (who is sitting bitch) tales about his various exploits and his past as an organlegger. UB! responds with stories of his idol, Ultraman. This disgusts and annoys Asp, who is a more of a quiet military professional type, and also considers himself somewhat of a humanitarian. He fills the team in on some local customs and practices on Heliopolis in between Ivan and UB!’s banter.
They arrive at the gates of Heliopolis, finding them closed and watched by crocodile headed figures with large halberds. After some quick questions about their purpose in Heliopolis, they are allowed in, and park nearby. The city streets are narrow, and not meant for automotive traffic. It appears to have been built to remind it’s citizens of the old city neighborhoods of many cities in the middle east and north Africa-3 or 4 story buildings surround the narrow streets and allies, filled with the cries of street vendors and small bizaars. Over all of this looms the massive temples to the various gods worshipped here. Following Asp’s lead, the team makes for the temple of Hathor-essentially an entertainment center, with sacred prostitution, gambling, bloodsports, and other activities available. In the attached bar, the Red Delta, they meet Asp’s old merc friend, Kano.
He seems like he is avoiding Asp’s line of questioning and suggests that the team partake of some of the temple’s offerings. They proceed into the partner selection room, and peruse the temple workers on offer. They are all exceptionally beautiful, and provide a plethora of choices in terms of gender, metatype, and size and shape. Asp only sees his dead wife when he looks at them, however, and an insensitive remark from Ivan nearly sets him off. A temple guard bumps into Asp and walks out, and Asp notices that something was dropped in his pocket. He carefully reads the small note, telling them to come to a certain nearby garage for the information they seek. He relays this to the team, and they depart the temple.
K trails behind and attempts to detect threats on both the physical and astral planes. He notices that there are an unusually large amount of spirits performing services throughout the town, but doesn’t find anything worrying. The rest of the team heads into the garage (near the protective wall which rings the town) and sees the troll temple guard from before. He introduces himself as Ramose Hotep, and explains about the current situation. Essentially, since the farming/harvesting of magical supplies in the Mars Carter is illegal without a permit, and these permits are controlled by the AAA megacorps and the great dragons, the local Collosus Corp is reluctant to be officially connected. However, many citizens are involved, and they have recently begun to disappear is disturbing numbers. There are always some people who enter the crater and don’t return, as well as some small processing stations near the crater which go silent, destroyed by unknown forces. But usually, these are a small percentage of the total operation-lately, the numbers have been unacceptably high.
Colossus is trying to keep it quiet, but locals are starting to wonder where some of these missing people have gotten to, so the High Priests on the governing board have decided to deputize an investigation. At the suggestion of Thutmose, from the temple of Thoth, they agreed to cooperate with Madame Gavral (one of their biggest local clients) in seeking out her missing courier, and simultaneously, seeing what has been happening to the harvesters and smugglers in and near the crater. Knowing thar Ramose-Hotep has a cousin on a farm which recently went silent, Thtumose suggested sending him along. RH, eager to please, agreed. The team decides to head for RH’s cousin’s farm, and see what they can find out.