After the team receives payment for the Palisade Gardens hit, Tobias retreats to his uppercity suite, and rests. K and HCB lay low. Rolph gets Ivan to drive him and UB! to Heliopolis to heal up and stay out of sight for a while. Rolph also gets an alphaware internal air tank installed, making good on the Thoth temple’s promise to provide the tech. He blows most of his cash from the job on it, but he thinks it worthwhile, after seeing the effective use of gases on the last run. UB! eventually regains consciousness, and spends most of his nuyen healing up. He spends the rest ordering a suit of full body armor.
Daedelus gets ahold of them and thanks them for the hacker, it says it is still processing/collating him. Ivan also forwards them a message which he thinks is from Halfman (due to the attached graphic of the torso spilling its guts out into the matrix). It includes a picture of Ramose-Hotep and a picture of Asp, and says “2 down. 5 more to go.” UB! tells Rolph and Tobias the terrifying tale of Halfman. A law enforcement bulletin has also gone out, asking for help locating Jeremy Stormalong (HCB’s fake SIN) for questioning in the Palisade Gardens incident. After four days of healing, they get a cab back to the city, and during the ride get a call from Tobias.
A few days ago: Patrick Henry Hughes, having analyzed (and been impressed by) Tobias’ latest combat testing data, decides that it is time to give his old friend some solid work. Tobias receives a call from him, using a fake SIN under the guise of “Mr Johnson.” Tobias plays along, and they are both greatly amused by how clever they are. Essentially, PHH/Johnson wants to hire Tobias plus a few others to run the first half of a corporate extraction-they get the guy out, give him to the other team, and get paid. Easy money, really. PHH tells Tobias about Rolph’s sad backstory, and suggests that Tobias bring him along on the job, as he seems to have some useful skills, and is a diehard Ares loyalist-always good. Tobias agrees, and PHH forwards the data.
The job seems to have been planned by someone other than PHH, as it lacks his jocular tone and seems almost militaristic in nature. Tobias figures it for in house Ares planning, as he doubts that PHH would be running anything on the side without telling him. The job seems straightforward: there is an Asian single A corp, called Vedacorp, that occupies a tower in the uppercity. Ares has decided to forcibly recruit one of their top local researchers. Usually, guys like this are in high security areas, and hugely difficult to get to, but this guy is giving a presentation to some corp bigwigs, and will be on one of the upper floors tomorrow. The plan is to have three team members: one to shoot out the armored window to the conference room and provide covering fire as needed, and the other two to take a small folding-wing glider in, and grab the researcher. These two will then need to make their escape by gaining access to a conference room on the opposite side of the building, blasting the window, and exiting in the glider. The idea is that security will head up to the initial site, and the team will be gone before they know what hit them. Also, the side they are entering from is more heavily surveilled, as the ground floor entrance is on that face of the building. However, the glider only carries two, so the second team member will need to make their own escape route. Rolph tells Tobias this will not be a problem, as he can climb down with his gecko gloves and pads. The three team members decide to establish their own private radio frequency, since they all trust each other over the absent team members, and regularly feel kind of like junior partners in the group. Now they’re in charge!
PHH also passes along 6 experimental EMP grenades to use on the run, in exchange for the test data as usual. He also assures Tobias that either him or UB! will be able to run the glider easily with their skillwires. Tobias does a little matrix research to find the layout/building plans and phone numbers of some nearby buildings (a condo, a lawfirm, and an office tower). UB! dresses as a maintenance worker, and Rolph shifts his ruthenium polymer clothes to look like courier gear. Tobias picks the building he wants to snipe from (the condo), and jumps from roof to roof to get there. He then places a call (spoofing that he is inside the office tower) to the office tower front desk, complaining about the roof, and suggesting that his buddy can come fix it. Needless to say, the front desk doesn’t buy this, and tells him they will send their own repair guy up. UB! and Rolph redirect their cab to the lawfirm, as the front desk of the office tower will probably be kind of suspicious now.
They enter the lawfirm, and head for the freight elevator (which UB! luckily spots, having recently learned the importance of perceiving your environment). The front desk tells Rolph to stop, as he should take the regular elevator (he is carrying the glider, pretending it is a courier package). Rolph stalls while Tobias fakes a call from this building, telling them that he asked the courier service to bring it up on the freight elevator. They head on, and ascend to the roof, first by elevator to the top floor, and then by stairs. Tobias compares the mission plan to his view, and figures which window he needs to shoot. He sets up and calibrates his rifle, taking aim for a bit. UB! plugs into the glider’s skillsoft, opens the wings, reviews the controls, and gets it ready for launch. Rolph straps himself in. UB! links up to T’s vision, and takes aim at the same window with his grenade launcher.
Tobias fires twice, blasting thru the reinforced glass on the second shot, and UB! immediately follows up with an EMP grenade, followed by a Breathtaker gas grenade for good effect. H then secures himself in the glider and shoves off. As they zip down towards the gaping window, Tobias sees that the hole is a bit small, and blows out a chunk to the left and right, which he deems sufficient. UB! takes it in a little low, and him and Rolph scrape the jagged glass, but avoid serious injury. The room is filled with smoke and chaff from the two grenades, and they are having a hard time seeing-it seems like most of the forms around the conference table are gasping for breath, but they don’t initially spot the target. T doesn’t have much of a shot, as he is on a lower roof, so he shoots out a lower window as well, to sow confusion. He decides to take off, and begins jumping away, making an incredible leap down to a much lower nearby roof first. He spoofs a call from the lawfirm to Vedacorp’s front desk, saying he can see terrorists on their roof, hoping to confuse the onsite security further.
Inside, R and UB! search the various corp types around the table, they mostly appear East Asian, and are all wearing decently tailored suits, but nothing super flash. As UB! moves thru the smoke, he encounters a guard by the door, who blasts him with a machine pistol. UB! and R quickly dispatch him, but can hear shouts from the corridor. R finally finds the researcher (who seems to have been mid-presentation) and jabs him with a narcoject arrow. He hauls him over to the glider and fastens him in as UB! exchanges fire with more guards in the hall. R pins one thru the wall with a Dikoted arrow, and UB! sends the others temporarily fleeing with a high-ex grenade. They decide to leave out the window they came in, but can’t alert eh car on the ground to the change in plans, due to the EMP grenade’s ongoing effects. R decides to glue the door shut to but them some time as UB! hauls the glider around to face the window and hooks himself up. He is struggling, as he took some major damage in the firefight.
Rolph finishes gluing the door, and can hear and see the thudding as security begins trying to kick thru. He runs over and gives UB! a big pushoff, and the dashes back to place some foam explosives on the door, before making his own escape. He wires them up, but forgets to connect the last wire to the charge. He then braces against the wall, and sprints to the window, planning to jump across the street and catch himself on the facing condo with his gecko gear. He turns a little as he hears the door break open and hits the detonator, and is quite surprised when it doesn’t go off. He is in fact so surprised, that he trips on the jagged window edge instead of jumping and begins a 57 story fall to the ground-talk about unlucky!
Meanwhile, UB! is relying on the glider’s pilot program to do all the work, and is steering it over towards the pickup car. He gets ahold of the other team, thru Tobias, and tells them to come around and meet him. The cybered-up ork he talks to curses him out for failing to stick to plan, but he sees their car round the corner at the far end of the street shortly after the call. He tries to keep the glider straight while reducing speed and height, with moderate success. Four figures get out of the car and deploy a large firefighter’s trampoline, which they stretch taut in the middle of the street. There is a big X in the middle for UB! to aim for. He hits it with a glancing blow, but hasn’t slowed enough and bounces off onto the street, sustaining minor damage. The researcher appears to have survived, more importantly. The ork, an elf and two humans run up and detach UB! and the researcher, before taking off with the researcher and the glider. UB! asks for a ride, but they tell him he is on his own.
UB! calls a cab and hits the road, but hears Rolph’s terrifying scream as he begins his long descent. He heads back and tries to grab the trampoline, but decides he doesn’t have the strength or time. He leaves in the cab, and begins stripping off his armor; the driver seems a little put off. In the air, R is trying to steer himself in towards the building, while intermittently screaming it terror as the ground rushes up. He manages to guide himself inward, and makes a grab with his gecko gloves. He slides down the window bank, leaving smear marks. He doesn’t manage to stop, but slows himself quite a bit. Unfortunately, there is a cutaway below the ninth floor, and as he makes a final push to halt himself, his gloves come loose (bad luck again!) and he drops. He is able to adjust his trajectory just enough to land in a raised bed on the terraced entranceway, instead of concrete, but that ko’s him pretty convincingly. UB! and R hear the screaming stop, along with a solid thud. UB!, not wanting to leave him behind, orders the cab back around, and starts putting his armor back on. He promises the driver extra after the driver expresses an interest in not getting shot.
The cab pulls up, and UB! races out to R’s body, taking cover and exchanging fire with two corpsec goons. He hauls R into the cab and they take off, with UB! himself barely holding onto consciousness. However, the job was a success, and PHH gets them a little extra hazard pay, due to the unexpectedly high security onsite. T heads back to his pad, and UB! tries to join him, but T tells him not to come there with R. They head to Doc Todd’s in the undercity instead, and heal up there.