Shri decides to hold off on deciding what to do with Achilles’ recent betrayal until the rest of the team returns. Munty and Twitch both fly back in from NYC, having completed their jobs there. Munty brings the Seattle decker Clippy into the mix too, as ‘Drekbomb’ Jackslaw is still reluctant to go back into the field. Clippy scans Achilles, and finds a hardened stealth tracker, which they disable, but they decide they better bail on the Ork Underground safehouse they’ve been using, as it is almost surely compromised at this point. Twitch convinces Servaas Nikolic, who has been on an epic BTL bender, to slot one of his P-fix chips, which gets him up and moving (a little too enthusiastically- Twitch eventually convinces him to switch from “action hero” to “chill”). Servaas also tells the team that he has a contact in town, an old acquaintance from his reality trid/bounty hunting days. They arrange to meet this man, Bug Tussle, later on at the Big Rhino.
With Seducer’s help, and input from a variety of sources, they reach a solution for Achilles. They decide to call it water under the bridge, in that it happened, but seems not to have had severe consequences for them as of yet. They’ll have to be careful of Aztechnology, but that’s kind of always the case. Achilles agrees to acquire some Laes from his Tir contacts, and to keep a dose in his auto-injector, and 1 in his false tooth, so that he can erase his recent memory if he gets captured again (or gets ko’ed on a run). They figure this should be good enough for the time being, and Shri plans to bring him more under her wing to secure his loyalty a bit better (before perhaps betraying him in the future at an opportune moment, if she’s feeling vengeful).
They also track down an old and abandoned firehouse to rent as the new Safehouse. They kit it out a little bit, and set Servaas up as the safehouse master (for now) to give him something to do, which it seems like might help him. They also establish some common rules, which is basically don’t come there if you are being followed, and don’t bring civilians around (other pro’s is ok, using discretion). Munty is excited about the prevalence of rats to feed/befriend. The build-out on the space should be done by the time they finish their next job: using the info they received from Izidor Kurtlanik to finally get revenge on Theo Two-Hearts!
They head to the Rhino to meet Bug, and find a grizzled man in his 50’s with an air of both competence and quiet desperation, wearing a fringed armor jacket and generally looking straight outta the 2050’s. Munty tries to rifle through his pockets, but he catches her doing so, and they have an awkward few first minutes. However, Servaas vouched for both sides, Bug needs work, and he’s a skilled spirit fighter and hunter/tracker, so he seems like a good guy to have along on the job. They agree to terms, and report to Pia Oliversson that they’re ready to move on it. She gives them a little bit of job money, as she’s also pissed at Two-Hearts for burning her. She is similarly unhappy with Achilles.
They contact Blackhawk to run them across the Sioux border again, and he agrees, for a severe discount, as Two-Hearts trashed his safehouse. Clippy does some matrix recon, and finds out that Two-Hearts now holds dual Sioux/ Evo Corporation citizenship, and resides on a secure research facility way out in the boonies. Supposedly, this facility is dedicated to food research, but rumors on the matrix point to other experimental biotech taking place there, and possibly even a wing dedicated to figuring out what is going on with CFD. Bug sends a spirit scout ahead, who confirms that Two-Hearts is on the base, as they fly over in BH’s Osprey. BH and Achilles bound over their common military background, and Twitch (using his action hero persona) tries to join in, but is unable to convince them (as he mostly remembers training montages, and tragic battlefield deaths of a series of best friends and lovers).
They parachute down a ways out from the facility, and make their way on foot the rest of the way, using their high plains ghillie blanket from the last Sioux run to provide some concealment as they near. Spotting drone security, and deducing that the base probably uses a “safe target” IFF system, they decide to wait on the access road and ambush a car coming up, to hopefully get some RFID tags to mark themselves as “employees”. Shri plays an injured traveler, and cons a car into stopping. Bug, Achilles, and Twitch kill the 3 men inside, grab their RFID’s, and hide the bodies under the ghillie blanket, off the road a ways. Clippy and Achilles conceal themselves in the back of the jeep, while Twitch drives and Shri and Munty ride upfront (with the 3 chips). Bug stays outside with a sniper rifle to provide cover as needed.
They drive up to the base’s entrance, and Shri manages to con her way past the Evo Marine guard at the booth, distracting him while Clippy qucikly adds her name to the pre-approved list. They enter, and park briefly in the lot, while Bug sends another spirit to locate the target. The spirit guides them towards him in astral space, with Munty navigating. They find Two-Hearts surrounded by 4 Evo Marines in a farm field, with a large number of farm drones clustered around them. These drones, as well as the security drones, seems to have disconnected themselves from the WAN, and seem to be self-upgrading. Clippy is disturbed, but also fascinated, and Munty wants to flee, but holds it together. As they pull up, they see Two-Hearts unplugging a data-cable from the nearest farm drone.
Meanwhile, Bug has been trying to sneak around the base in the flat plains, and gets spotted and ko’ed by a security drone. Luckily, his spirit was still around, and comes to the rescue, concealing him and hauling him away from the combat zone. Twitch guns the car towards Two-Hearts and the Marines, who all dive aside in a disturbingly synchronized fashion. He rams the farm equipment instead, slightly damaging the Jeep, but trashing many of the drones. Achilles jumps out and slices one of the Marines with his monofil whip, before bieng ko’ed himself by the Marine’s shotguns. They get in a drawn-out and brutal fight- the Marines keep rising again after they think they’ve put them down, after twitching and writhing on the ground: something is definitely wrong here.
They finally get a solid hit on Two-Hearts, who seems to snap out of a trance as he looks around him. He seems very surprised to see them and asks what they are doing there, and says they have to help him escape- something is wrong with him! They refuse and shoot him again, which seems to cause a personality switch. They briefly discuss grabbing him to take him with, but after Twitch sees how much blood is all over his body already, he decides against it and caves Two-Hearts skull in with his own ancestral tomahawk. They load up into the Jeep and race towards the fence as the security drones finally turn on them en masse (Clippy has been slowing them down via hacking).
Twitch rams through the fence, but heavily damages the Jeep in doing so, between the electrical charge and the impact itself. Achilles suppressive fires out of the rear of the vehicle to try to keep the drones and remaining marine back. They’re worried they aren’t going to make it, when Blackhawk’s Osprey suddenly drops in before them and opens up on their pursuers with a gatling gun. BH also seems to have winched up Bug’s body while security was distracted, so they race aboard, and Achilles stuffs the tomahawk into his smuggling compartment to reduce the chances of being magically tracked. They race for the border, taking a more circuitous route than on the way in to avoid any heightened security.
They arrive safely in Seattle, and return to their new safehouse- Munty has a small dugout (perhaps the beginning of a proper warren?) and with Rat’s help, uses her recent experiences to gain the ability to focus her magic and transform into a rat form. Shri relaxes in her private “panic room” which she pays extra for. Achilles and Twitch both feel like it might be a good idea to get scoped out by a street doc or something, to make sure they didn’t catch anything, as they were right up in the thick of it, and got spattered with quite a bit of biological material during the firefight. Next up: time to make some money!!