Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
Creature heads in to get some new animalistic upgrades and Keg upgrades his ears while the rest of the team rests up after the investigation. They get a frantic call for a last minute job from Maggie Goldberg, and head to Miller’s Pub to meet up with her, Keg and HK meet them there. She seems stressed and explains a prototype deck was stolen in transit, and she needs it back within 2 days. She emphasizes this is a hard deadline. They agree to pay, and she sends them out the site of the theft to investigate. They find a traffic jam at the NW Zone entrance, and discover it was caused by local gangers who loosed some hogs from a hauler and caused some crashed via hacking. They track the gangers to a nearby bar they’re based out of, and pressure them into giving up who hired them, Avo takes a smooth route while Keg and Carol act tough, and the gangers eventually agree to a bribe to fill the team in. Since they seems useful, if not overly loyal, the team figures they also might come in useful someday.
The gang, the Frenemies, was hired by some runners with badly concealed NN logos on their armor. They recognized the main runner, a dwarf, as a guy named Aaron who grew up nearby. The team does some research, and spots what looks like some invisible figures using magic to access the truck that the prototype was in while the Frenemies caused the distraction. They also call in a favor with Ryder and find Aaron is probably a runner who goes by Grappler, and get a safehouse location nearby from a snitch. HK confirms with Jagoda Rajni that this wasn’t them, and she sells him the info that a former NN stash spot was raided about a week ago- armor and such was taken. So the team assumes Grappler’s runners were false flagging. They head over to the safehouse to check it out and find it is mostly a burned out building with a few security and surveillance upgrades. They leave Avo at a nearby coffin motel as he’s too astrally obvious.
They circle back to the motel to plan, but the drones they leave behind spot yet another team prepping to move on Grappler’s runners. They race back over, and call in Jagoda Rajni plus a few others and mage as backup, for a decent payout. Carol gets the VTOL to drop him on the roof of the building that this other team is in, and spots a sniper team. He lube grenades and tackles them off the roof, taking them out and badly injuring himself. A mage almost finished him off from the Renraku team and major firefight ensues. Keg is nearly killed, and HK spots Grappler’s runners using the chaos to make a run for it. Avo makes a deal with them after avoiding some traps they left, to help save their friend (why they say they needed the prototype, which HK confirms is a serious deck) in exchange for cooping against the Renraku team and not fighting each other. Kit manages to just barely save Keg, and Jagoda Rajni and the backup team finally arrive to provide medical and extraction, since the Renraku team destroyed Avo’s car.
The team hires the Frenemies to strip the useful parts off the car and keep the rest as payment, and gets Keg, Carol, Kit and HK extracted safely via VTOL, with Rajni’s mage providing some stabilizing healing for the journey. Avocado leaves with the other runners to try to make a deal. When the team arrives at Tate’s clinic, they are amused to find Creature there, mid-surgery, adding some monkey feet to their animal ‘ware repertoire. They get there in time and save Keg’s life, though he needs a replacement jaw and opts for the most cyber option possible: the junkyard jaw. Meanwhile, Avocado does some social digging, and due to his good rep and skills, manages to make a deal. It seems the other runners and Maggie have a missing friend in common, so she agrees to let them use the deck to make a fake handoff, which will actually be a trap, get their friend back, and then give her the deck. They head off to Seattle to make it all happen in time. The team still gets paid most of their pay for the job too, as Maggie seems satisfied with how things worked out, even with the complications.
The team all heal up a bit and then bond at the safehouse, though HK is once again off doing his own thing, helping out Opti in expanding his “safe” zone. Keg opens quite a bit about his life, recent tragic past, and whatnot. They check messages a few times, and eventually decide to pay off their debt to Lothan by helping him resolve a problem that has been plaguing him. Carol also orders an experimental armor mod from Ares to limit his falling damage in future, a modification of some test pilot emergency deceleration foam.