and the return of Aylin and 6 Cylinder
The team moves from the lower level of Terminal to Nanuli’s safehouse in Jersey City in order to lay low for a while while they craft a plan. They organize a thorough PR campaign/con to make Renraku look good on the aftermath, in order to try to reduce heat on them. They spend a week on it, and then launch it upon re-emerging. It is fairly successful, and they return to Manhattan, though don’t feel safe in Terminal so right the safehouse and gear there off as a loss (including Aylin’s Mom’s bloodbox). They call all the contacts Arthur had made to warn them of potential compromise, and decide to tackle a couple lowkey jobs while they wait for 6 Cyl and Aylin’s return date.
They help discover that MCT is the corp trying to map the Underground and Terminal, trying to regain their MDC seat by pulling some kind of massive security operation. They spread word about this widely, gaining some rep but no pay. They also help the Rat Pack take over the Night Markets, and make them more robust and remote, using a repaired pneumatic tube system that Kinnie has spotted throughout the Underground. Kinnie gets some grav grenades in payment, and the team gets some more rep. Beanie decide to say his goodbyes for now, and heads off of HK’s deck to a Garmonbozia digital safe zone.
The rest of the surviving team spends some time investigating and debating the 3 obvious paths to the metaplanes to retrieve their long-absent friends. 1 is runners that Arthur made contact with, but they worry that Renraku will also know about these, and decide against it (though Kinnie makes some useful JP contacts with those named). They also decide against STV, who offers the quickest/most direct transit, but at the greatest price: an unknown spirit pact. They decide to go with Teeth’s heavily advocated for IOND, who offer to assist the team in reaching their goal in exchange for them performing some work in the Seelie Plane in the aftermath.
They team gears up with the various things they think they might need, and heads to the IOND HQ. They get bused in multiple vehicles out to a rural site, and are told they are at an auspicious crossing of leylines near the astral city of Penn Yan. They dose up on shade and guts, and the ritual begins. Their consciousnesses and bodies are forced into the astral, and they all (barely) manage to catch onto some horrifying train/fire/buffalo combo that seems to be laying and pulling up track as it travels, while screaming. It also seems to consume as fuel any unwary entities or wayward passengers it comes across.
The team gets a quick and strange tor of the astral planes along a winding path. and manages to hop off without injury in the plane of Id. They avoid some local spirit patrols that seems to be capturing and enslaving other spirits, and reach the mountain pass outside of Kadath. They set up a surveillance, and spot 2 gunslingers waiting nearby. After an unknown amount of time, 6Cyl and Aylin do indeed emerge from Kadath, very confused and quite changed in their absence.
The 2 gunslingers challenge 6 Cyl, and he nearly kills the first one before the 2nd nearly kills him. They call it good for duels, and the team makes some new contacts. The 2nd gunner also warns them that a nearby Renraku team will be on them soon, so the team heals 6C and sets up an ambush. They also tell Aylin about her dad’s capture, and she nearly bails before realizing that her and 6C are linked and that the Renraku team might have answers. Aylin baits the trap, and lures the team in. They fall for it, and the team handily defeats them, though taking some hard hits.
Aylin manages to mind probe 1 of them before killing them, and finds out that her dad is alive, but similar to Test in now a test subject with a completely erased memory/personality/past. She finds out he’s been moved to another facility and hopes to rescue him eventually, but the team has Arthur’s leads on next steps in looking into how to save Aylin’s mom, so she has another path to pursue as well. She mourns as best she can in the moment, and the team head out on foot to make the crossing to the Seelie Court, and from there return to Earth post-mission, before more Renraku agents show up.