Otters aka Roadkill
The team gets the debrief on the situation and what’s needed from Marv, Rifleman, and Ringmaster- basically, reliable comms and recon. After consulting with The Detective, the team shares their numbers station suspicions, and get the go-ahead to try to gain the use of them through whatever means. Intel on ARES movements, positions, and activities is also quite useful. They stay for the concert, which closes with a duet with a holo of Jonny Silver, symbolically giving ARES the finger by celebrating the victory of the anti-corp forces in Denver who saved the Nexus back in the day. However, 2 members of Glock .50 are absent, either unable to make it cause of checkpoints and curfew or something worse, including Marjo-Lin, from Dig’s new magical order.
The team heads out, with Dig flying off in bird form to start using magic to look for a numbers station in the next zone scheduled to broadcast. The team swings by their safehouse to restock on arrows from Iva and crosses the last checkpoints with moments to spare. They camo their van as a delivery vehicle, and park outside an affiliated business, laying low for a bit while triangulating the broadcast as it goes out, and avoiding KE entanglements. Once the KE patrols move away/die down a little, Otters does some fancy sneaky driving to link up with Dig at the target location.
They do some drone and astral recon, and Tabasco sneaks up onto the roof. They spot some well-concealed hardwired sensors and antennae, and Dig decides to disable one as a bird, getting a bad shock for his trouble, and attracting the attention of a stealth drone which grabs him and pulls him into it’s body. He uses an lightning spell inside it to break free, but takes more damage and retreats. Meanwhile, Otters rigs Tabasco’s arms to use her superior tech knowledge to bypass the other sensors without tripping their electrical defenses, though not being a hacker, if anyone is watching the feeds they’ll know they are down.
Tabasco carefully creeps down to one window of the target unit, but since he and Otters (via flyspy) both spot turret HMG’s inside both windows, is reluctant to go in. Dig lightning bolts the window to get things going, as Otters can also see a human sized heat source inside blowing the tech. Dig zooms in as a bird and flies between one of the guns and the heat source, as Tabasco drops from the roof, fires an arrow while falling (taking out the other gun), and lands unharmed due to cyber-legs.
Dig avoids getting hit, but the turret gun shoots the shit out of the older man who was inside, as well as the last bit of tech he hadn’t fried yet. He then quickly explodes, seemingly some kind of failsafe or last ditch defense. Dig fires the last turret and leaves again, while Tabasco, Creep and Locke enter to investigate. They find a strange scene- the front door of the apartment is wired to blow with a massive outward facing shaped charge, and there are 6 months worth of rations on-hand, it looks like they set up early in the month.
They find a calendar with the current date marked (the start of Latvian Gambit?), and manage to salvage enough tech bits from all the fried station to make one radio from parts. There are three broadcasting stations, one receiver, and two code machines running in parallel- a decrypter and encrypter, seemingly how they are passing the messages around. They salvage what they can, but between their delayed entry, machine gun fire, and explosions, it’s not a lot- mostly deductions.
They decide to skip the next broadcast zone and try and beat the schedule to get to the 3rd station in the broadcast order before it’s time to broadcast, hoping to catch the messages mid-stream. Knowing what they know now, they have an easier time finding the place, which has a similar setup. They plan it out a little more carefully this time, and using Tabasco and Otters (via drones) use radar feeds to the TacNet as targeting info for Locke and ChewGum to blast the 2 turrets with their sniper rifles.
CG and Dig’s spirits both zoom in and try to disable the somewhat older man they find inside, successfully confusing and nauseating him. Creep slips in and finishes off the one turret that survived the sniper barrage, and Tabasco races in and restrains him, but unfortunately doesn’t listen to the others’ advice to get him out of the room, as he quickly explodes. Creep is nearly killed, Tabasco is badly damaged, as is Dig’s spirit, who he dismisses out of respect. They also once again lost the code machine, where the guy was standing.
They do however salvage all 4 radios this time, find another similar calendar, and a similar amount of rations etc. These operators all seem to be barricaded in, and both used a stylized angel wing icon. Locke and Otters think back and realize they’ve seen these around town occasionally, associated with anti-ARES graffiti, all of which is quickly sprayed over or washed off. They get out of there before the KE cars making sweeps can respond to the explosion and head out. Dig and Otters try to convince everyone to go back to their safehouse (in their current zone), but Tabasco makes a compelling argument that they need to hit the next station before they have time to find out what’s going on and respond.
Seeing as the team spotted two more stealthed drones watching them (before jamming and shooting them), whoever this is may already be onto them, but Tabasco convinces everyone to go along by suggesting they just try and talk to the occupant of the next one rather than busting in, and all agree to flee any combat, as they are not well-equipped for a fight at this point. Dig fixes up Creep magically as best he can, and they wait for the Jazz crash to wear off of Tabasco from the fight before heading out. As they push south on foot, sneaking around in the dark, they see a glimmer of light on the horizon and hear some loud explosions, sounding like demolitions or artillery from the direction of Downtown….