The team on the shuttle prepares themselves, having stopped the second line, and HCB fires the first grapple gun. He misses. Rolf fires the second (with the magnetized end) and nails it. UB! heads down the wire hand over hand while HCB winds up the first grapple again. He fires again and misses, and decides to just slide down the first wire. He does so, but slams into the other side, having failed to brake sufficiently. Luckily, UB! had just gotten out of the way. HCB tumbles off the wind, but grabs onto the underside of the shuttle with his magnethand. Rolf takes skating jump while reeling himself in on the grapple, and manages to maintain his grip when it jerks at the end. He pulls himself up towards the door, grabbing HCB on the way, while UB! climbs over.
Meanwhile, Ivan launches his IC program in his dragonfly node to help him fend off his cyberattacker. Tobias, realizing that his defensive dinosaur icon is not helping, decides to pursue a different course of action. He calls the spaceport, using the Hamshallow SIN, and claims that he (the notorious terrorist Hamshallow) has hijacked the shuttle that the team initially ascended on, and wants 500k nuyen to let them go. He then jacks out of the dragonfly and shuts off his ‘link. However, the pilot of the shuttle is still conscious and able to see that everyone left the shuttle, so this is maybe not going to be super effective.
Ivan continues combating the intruder, and eventually defeats it with the assistance of his IC. He then has the dragonfly fly away from the spaceport as fast as it can, maintaining comm’s silence for a few seconds to hopefully avoid detection. Tobias, after a few seconds pass, checks his messages, and finds a call from a LoneStar official (who claims to be a hostage negotiator) asking Hamshallow for more specific demands. Tobias does some research on primitivist prisoners on Deimos and Earth, and demands a few prominent figures be released, in addition to the money. He also tells them to meet at a certain undercity point in (former) BS turf to do the money exchange. He hacks his datatrail repeatedly throughout this process.
Up top again, the shuttle team is preparing to cut their way in. They decide to go in through the door, rather than the cockpit canopy, as HCB wants to insure that they don’t damage any instruments essential to flight. UB! jacks into a plug on the door, but Tobias is unable to hack it and Ivan is busy, so they decide to cut through with the thermite. Rolf heads down with the third charge to cut off the cuff. HCB starts cutting the door, while UB! assists, after he jacks out. Rolf gets to the cuff, hooks the lanyard on the grapple gun to his belt, and attaches the grapple to the underside of the shuttle, allowing him to use his hands. However, he squeezes the applicator tube way to hard and it squirts out of his hand to drop to the ground. UB! begins heading down to meet him halfway with the last charge remaining, while HCB kicks at the door. He pretends to be coming to the rescue of the people inside, with no obvious results.
Ivan is still trying to fly his dragonfly away, below, when he feels someone attacking its firewall again. As another icon enters, he backs out of the node and leaves it on autopilot, with instructions to reboot (dropping the intruder at the same time hopefully) and tells K to go catch the drone as it plummets from the sky. K does so, zipping off towards the spaceport via a powerful levitate spell. Ivan manages to shut the system down before any serious damage gets done, and K locates it via Ivan’s instructions and catches it, heading back towards the car. Total quidditch. Ivan deploys the iball (now hovering) to watch their backs and checks all around for approaching threats.
Above, HCB kicks in the door, and rushes in, seeing a slightly larger shuttle interior that the one they recently left. It looks like not all of the creches are full, but they are probably around 15-18 people aboard. He heads for the cockpit, but gets a knife in the face as he rounds the corner of the first creche rack. UB! is reascending to help after passing off the charge to Rolf, who heads down to the cuff again and begins burning through one side, attempting to conserve enough charge to coat the other side as well. HCB retreats towards the door, and swings with his metalhand. Unfortunately, it gets stuck in an occupied creche (the magnet wreaking havoc on the systems-bad news for the occupant!), and he gets stalled partway to the door, and surrounded. He is quickly ko’d by two goons with knives. UB! reenters behind one of them, and quickly kills him with the old stab and shock, via his new improved oversized metalhand. He is quickly surrounded as well, as more goons approach, and he calls to K for assistance as he struggles.
K turns around and heads back towards the shuttle line, tucking the drone in is pocket. He feels this is enough of an emergency to justify deviating from the plan a bit. He is watching the shuttle team in his HUD, so he knows it looks a bit dire, although UB1 is holding his own. As K ascends towards the shuttle, he also notices a helicopter rising up above him-it seems the Hamshallow distraction may not have worked. Staying invisible, he channels a forceful blow into the prop, bending it, and significantly slowing the choppers ascent. He zips past it, and heads straight for the shuttle. Rolf finishes burning through the second side of the cuff, and it pops loose with a light tap, sending the shuttle lurching free into the air, and beginning to accelerate towards terminal velocity. Which will hopefully only be terminal for the TA, if things go according to plan. UB! is knocked unconsciousness as everything shifts, and he takes some blows from the goons inside, as well as slamming into a wall pretty hard.
K approaches invisibly, slaps a stimpatch on UB!’s feet (which are jutting out the door) and levitates one of the goons out the door, dropping him the mile and a half to the ground. Ivan begins driving towards the spaceport while Tobias works on calculating an intercept course with the descending shuttle, as they feel they may need to blow it up via external methods if the team all gets ko’d. K enters the shuttle after healing UB! back to consciousness, and reaches out for HCB as well. Rolf climbs his way back in, and heads to the opposite end of the creche row from the rest of the team, encountering two more goons there. He smashes the first goons face in in once blow. Meanwhile, HCB regains consciousness and struggles to free himself, as UB! combats the nearest goon, and K hovers above. HCB manages to extract his hand, and K passes him the monofil chainsaw to cut into the cockpit, as Rolf dispatches the last visible goon in the back. HCB attempts to cut in, but the pilot seems to be working pretty hard to level the shuttle out, and it jerks right when he is trying to slide the blade it, and he jams it up in the wiring by the door and gets it stuck.
The team consults and decides to detonate an EMP grenade aboard the shuttle, and then flee via K’s levitation (and invisibility), hopefully unnoticed. Then Ivan and Tobias will blast the shuttle from the car if it looks like the pilot still has any control. The shuttle team all turn off their ‘links in preparation, and the team in the car anxiously waits for a sign. K passes out one frag grenade each, and instructs everyone to toss them after he makes everyone invisible, and everyone grabs hold of him. He then casts invisibility individually on everyone, the EMP grenade goes off, they toss their frag grenades, and they fly free. However, as they are invisible, the car team can’t see them. So they wait, while still driving the intercept course. They see the shuttle shake, as if it just lost many of its controls? They still wait, wanting to make sure their allies are clear.
The next evidence is more obvious: an explosion shakes the shuttle, and fire pours out the gaping hole cut in the side. It begins jettisoning what seem to be escape pods as Ivan and Tobias watch. Tobias blasts the shuttle in one wing, sending it off course, and ensuring it won’t be able to land on the highway to Mars City. It spirals out towards the desert. There are seven pods in total, and they begin firing. However, the away team turns comms back on, and announces that they are rapidly descending, giving a point to come meet them. Also, there is a helicopter bearing down on them from the spaceport. Alarming. Ivan spins it around and heads back towards the still invisible team members, who are coming under fire from a helicopter mounted minigun-fortunately K is adept enough, and the gunner seems to be distant enough, that most of the shots miss, although HCB is once again ko’d. Rolf catches him, avoiding dropping him to the ground. The chopper also launches a missile at Ivan’s car.
Ivan continues driving and takes a wide shot at the chopper, while Tobias focuses on downing the incoming missile-he luckily succeeds, although he is running low on gauss ammo. The team reaches the ground and UB! and Rolf sprint for the car (regaining visibility once they leave K’s LOS) while K tries to heal HCB again, getting him just back to consciousness. Ivan takes another shot at the chopper, and wings it, as a second one approaches and opens fire. Tobias takes down another missle, and he and Ivan team up to drop the two choppers, while the rest of the team loads into the car. They return to shooting down pods, finishing off the last four while quickly heading towards Mars City alongside the highway. Unfortunately, it seems the city is onto them: there is a cloud of sirens approaching from that direction, while two more choppers are coming up from the spaceport behind. Ivan cranks the Crod Stompaz, and switches his morphing plates to “Fuck Cops” again.
Ivan speeds forward, keeping an eye on the fairly thin traffic, in order to dash across at an opportune moment, hopefully ditching some pursuit. As they close, he can see it looks like 8 LoneStar cars, plus the two choppers. They begin exchanging fire once withing range, with Tobias and Ivan disabling a few of the cars at the extreme ranges their weapons can reach. The choppers are launching more missiles, and HCB and UB! put themselves on damage control, trying to shoot down all the incoming. Ivan dashes across the highway as some of the Lonestar cars veer towards him, but they seem to be fairly good drivers, and compensate. The choppers are still closing from behind as well. They drop two more cop cars, do some damage to the choppers, and then swerve back across the highway, while HCB and UB! blast two more missiles. Unfortunately, Ivan clips a car he didn’t notice, and spins out, slowing himself. he recovers, but his adversaries have a momentary advantage. Tobias nails one cop car with the HERF gun, sending it coasting down the road-UB! can’t resist the easy target, and blasts it. Ivan seems to be driving or soaking almost all the damage so far, luckily.
However, the cops seize their advantage, and two cars ram Ivan’s from the front and side, bringing him to a near stop. The team wildly opens fire on all sides, and Rolf successfully brings down one of the wounded birds with an explosive arrow. HCB suggests they leave one car intact, and blows out the window on one of the nearest to get a shot inside. They manage to take out the rest of the cops and the remaining chopper as the car soaks up more and more damage, eventually giving out under the concerted firepower. It barely moves, although the turret still works. Ivan begins transferring drones to the intact copcar while HCB, Rolf, and UB! jump in. Tobias calls PHH to ask for extraction, but he says it’s too hot, and tells T to ditch his team and meet up with a Knight Errant team out in the desert, away from the carnage, and above all, NOT to lose the HERF gun. Tobias agrees, and scrambles. Ivan takes a shot at him with the autocannon, but misses, due to Tobias’ sneaking suit. K also takes off, believing he has a better chance on his own.
The remaining four members pile into the car with all the gear they can grab off the car, and tear off across the desert towards Mars City while sirens near the site down the highway. Ivan instructs the car to blast anything that approaches, and he sees it take out two LoneStar ambulances before he loses signal in a blaze of incoming fire. He grieves silently while racing for the undercity. As most of the team needs to get to a hospital before their stimpatches wear off, or die, HCB calls up Docwagon and arranges payment and rendevouz at two separate sites for himself and UB!. HCB rolls out of the car at the appropriate corner, and shits himself and pretends to be drunk to distract anyone pedestrians from looking too closely at him, until his wagon arrives a short while later. UB! gets dropped off and meets his wagon as well. Rolf calls a cab to meet them, gets in, and then realizes he can’t pay the driver, so he tells him to drop him off near where he is going, and then ko’s him with a narcoject arrow which he stabs through the seat. He gets a coffin hotel room for the night, and crashes.
Ivan, having seen everyone off, and in kind of a panic, calls Daedelus, who instructs him to ditch the car, and bringing the cat long, head down a nearby ally. Ivan follows instructions, gets to a locked door, which suddenly unlocks, heads inside, finds a sewer entrance, and swims and wades through sewage according to Daedelus’ instructions. He eventually meets with Ut-Napishtim, who guides him to a safehouse where he can lay low. He is in a panic about the presumed destruction/seizure of his car, and feels cast adrift.