The team does some digging on who’s after them and finds that Jenny has been tortured and/or BTL’ed to death, seemingly having been swept up by the folks looking for them and sold at an illicit auction, which they heard rumors of but did not investigate. Butter mourns, but decides to feed her remains to Eion, who has transformed into a gnawer after getting tons of ghoul blood in his radiation wounds. Squeamish guided his transformation (and ran some experiments) to maintain his sentience. However, Eion is now terrifyingly strong and seems crazier than normal. A problem…
Conferring with Annie, the team decides to flee the city for a while (Annie thinks things should clear up after the election a bit), and do some work in Denver, where Annie says they can strike back at some of Brackhaven’s allies, as both the Human Nation and Flaming Sword are very active, and it seems like FS elements within the Metroplex Guard are likely behind the assassination attempts on the team. Another hit squad almost takes out 3 Card while the team splits up an flees the safehouse, but Blue doubles back and saves her, before going into hiding with the Reality Hackers.
They warn Riot and Hans Yolo about potential repurcussions, and pay up front to keep the safehouse for a bit while they’re out of town. They decide to fake their own deaths to throw Brackhaven off their trail, and arrange to smuggle out to Denver with a small-time T-bird operation run by Blackhawk and Osprey. They get a connection to a meta/eco friendly AA corp called Sierra Corp through Jamaal Quigley, and the corp seems to like the team due to their beef with Brackhaven, and agrees to generate new SINs for the team to travel under. They transfer payment and arrange delivery via a data courier named Mango Chutney.
To generate the funds, they arrange a sale of their tarot 8’s info, bringing Annie in to not piss her off, with an AI named Orior, who seems to be the entity that has been hiring Grackle for odd jobs, as well as monitoring Tyrese and Blue (who had their contact from MotherFather). Orior also offers to help with their escape from Seattle, and says they have contacts in Denver that could be helpful if the team proves cooperative. The team arranges to extract some data (and gather up some wimp clones to use for their fake deaths) from an EVO facility in Snohomish, after which Squeamish will use bio-matter from the team to camouflage the wimps as them.
They call in their favor with Dana Oaks to get her to collect and verify ID on the bodies after they stage the incident. They arrange to steal a boat from one of Trailblazer’s subordinates (who she wants to punish slightly), and plan to stuff it with explosives and “die” in a massive explosion following a shootout with EVO security. After they get this all lined up, they plan the run itself. Checking ShadowSEA, they find some sidejobs and accept a few, including one that will help them access the facility. A disgruntled scientist who has ethical concerns about the data she can see, and wants someone to dig further and get info out.
Orior says they also want access to the facility, and will help with the matrix end of things, distracting the onsite spider while the team does their biz. The team gets an ID card from the scientist (of a colleague on vacation that she doesn’t like), and manages to sneakily plant Orior (or an instance of them at least) on the scientist’s commlink, to get them into the facility secretly. The team plans an entry, and hijacks and EVO supply truck, ko’ing the guards and hiding them in a supply crate.
They get to the facility and Orior seems to be doing their job, as their truck and disguises pass scrutiny and all the cameras seem to be ignoring them. They KO a few more guards, and smuggle Eion and Yanko into the lower levels inside a crate full of meatfeed. Aleiron and Butter start a distraction outside by freeing a cage full of test primates, but come under attack from security warforms. Grackle keeps and eye on the truck and exfil route. 3 Card and Wat get into the first floor lab and bluff their way into getting the 2/3rds of the info they owe Squeamish.
Wat and 3C run into some trouble and try to sneak further down, but get ko’ed by a gas attack (after 3C breaks protocol by killing 2 scientists). Aleiron and Butter disguise Butter as a manager (who they KO) to get past the now active onsite security, who are fighting the primate outbreak, and gain access to the medical facilities on a lower level. However, they are shunted down to the sub-basement after they find the basement in lockdown.
Eion and Yanko pop out of their meat crate once they feel themselves stop moving, and find themselves in a grotesque subbasement lab. 2 armored guards with shockprods attack them and they quickly kill them, also breaking protocol. They then fight/survive 2 grenades, 2 auto-turrets, and 8 experimental warforms, which seeming to be terrifying human/primate merges amped up with implant tech. Butter and Aleiron arrive to assist, and the whole team is heavily inured or KO’ed during the fight.
Meanwhile, 3C and Wat wake up strapped to tables in a clean basement lab. A researcher named Suheyl Alfredo chides them for slaying his interns but says they look like promising test subjects. 3C desperately negotiates to save their lives, and manages to convince Alfredo they’re more useful alive. Alfredo says he’s going to implant them with an experiment based on Monad work from Mars, and that they will provide monthly updates. He makes them heat and cold resistant, but says there will likely be some unexpected morphogenic consequences.
He also says he needs them to descend a level and kill or permanently damage his colleague, who is blocking his promotion. They agree, and he overrides the level lockdown to send them down. They emerge and help the rest of the team clean up the warforms, and then break into the secure office and kill the lab manager as requested. They also find the 3rd piece of data they need for Squeamish. They grab some medical supplies and find the wimps and head back upstairs. They get into a brutal gun and grenade fight with a guard on the way to the truck, and are in trouble til Grackle sneaks up and saves the day.
They get to the truck but some of the wimps are damaged and the team is crashing bad from drugs. Yanko and Grackle drive while Aleiron tries to stabilize everyone in the back. Wat and Eion both flatline before they can reach a medic, but Trickster’s Daughter manages to stabilize them in time to prevent death, though Eion’s brief braindeath makes him a bit more pliable (TD refuses to allow a gnawer into her clinic, so he goes with Squid from the 162’s). Wat is permanently deaf, hearing a blood roar from kamikaze overdose forever. He’s sad he can’t hear ADA bark.
The rest of the team heals up while Aleiron and Grackle help Squeamish set up the fake death. They sell him the 3 undamaged wimps to pay for travel, medical, and getting set up in Denver, and use the 7 damaged ones to present as themselves. They steal the boat, and Butter remote pilots it. Grackle helps rig the charge for it, and Squeamish uses his alchemical talents to sprinkle the wimps with the team’s bio-signs. They call EVO security and Knight Errant to tip them off to wanted runners trying to escape Puget Sound on a smuggler boat with a load of EVO tech and data, triggering a chase and shootout, followed by the planned massive explosion. EVO clears out after verifying their tech isn’t there, and KE claims jurisdiction, allowing Oaks to ID the bodies as planned. They burn their FBI-provided SIN’s.
Heading to Izzy Heidelberger’s remote farm in Snohomish, the team all sneaks overland from individually to avoid attention. Tyrese shoots (and maybe kills) a random civilian who spots Butter. Butter gives Hans Yolo admin access to his car while he’s gone. Izzy seems as forgetful as advertised. The T-bird smugglers load them up, locking them in back after realizing Eion’s condition, and they take off. They leave the bay door open for a bit, and the team sees the light of Seattle dimming as they skim off towards the mountains. For most of the team this is their first time out of the city, and they prepare for a long flight to Denver…