The team takes a moment to collect themselves under the overpass. They collect weapons and uniforms from the dead and unconscious guards, and take stock of their situation. Ut-Napishtim and others provide some healing to K and Ramose-Hotep, returning them to consciousness. K then provides some magical healing to the team members who need it. Ut fills them in on the plan again, as they seem to have forgotten who it is supposed to go down. Basically, Ut, RH, and UltraBoy! will enter the bank wearing the Spartan uniforms, with the Black Shadows deposit box, make their way to the vault, get the manager to open it, and then take all the contents of the BS safety deposit box, as well as the content of box #317, which is Daedelus’ payment for helping to plan the job, as well as providing hacking cover during the job. The other team members will meanwhile be upstairs doing crowd control and making sure that no alarms get triggered. Should be a breeze, right?
UB! cuts down the legs on one of the troll uniforms, and cuffs the ends of the pants and shirt. Since he is wearing his armor underneath, he looks appropriately bulky. Ut scans the hand and eye of one of the guards, and gives a contact lens and glove to UB! with copies of these scans. The glove molds to UB!‘s hand and takes on his skin color. This will allow him to use the “executive” side entrance on the bank and bypass the scanners. Ut and RH don’t have cyber or metallic weapons on them, so they won’t set off the scanners either. Asp and RH move the bodies of the guards and driver into a ditch on the side of the road. It is decided that HCB will drive the truck with the first group, and then Ivan will follow with the rest, park nearby, and walk the last block or so to the bank. Ut says he will place a device on the back door which should temporarily keep it open and disable the MAD and mil-wave scanners, allowing the rest of the team to enter without triggering alarms.
They embark. The first team arrives, and they all jump out the back of the van while HCB remains inside. UB! uses an external retinal and palm scanner, and gains entrance. The bank manager greets them, and tells them they were getting worried, as the truck was slightly late. He snaps his pocketwatch shut and suggests they proceed downstairs, followed by two guards as expected. They do so, RH and UB! carrying the box. UB! sees Ut place a small metal box on the door frame as they walk thru, but noone else seems to notice. They enter the bank behind the teller counter, and take the stairs to their right down to the basement.
The other team parks, and begins walking to the bank. K decides to take the front door, as he doesn’t have any ’ware or weaponry to set off the still-working scanners there. The rest of the team goes around the side. In the basement, the first team reches the vault, and the manager pulls out a key on a chain, and asks them for their key. The team did not see this coming, and is unsure how to respond. Ut falls back on the old classic of “kick the nearest guard in the face.” UB! stabs the bank manager thru the mouth with his hand blade. The manager seems shocked by the turn of events, as he now has a hole in the side of his face, thru which a number of his teeth just fell out. RH and Ut take out the two guards, who are firing at them with fortuitously silenced SA pistols. UB! tells the team upstairs that they have a problem as they are entering.
The second team, hearing this, comes in thru the side door. HCB tells them he’s looking for a bathroom, and heads out of the teller cage into the lobby. When Ivan and Asp are questioned by the tellers as to who they are and what they doing there, they respond somewhat inneffectively, and one of the tellers reaches for a button under the counter. They attempt to quick draw there guns. Asp does so, but Ivan has less luck and shoots his roomsweeper thru his jacket. They are both yelling at everyone to stay calm and surrender, so that noone gets hurt. Asp also fires in the direction of the teller near the button. Ivan has taken some Cram, and then modified that with some alcohol, and is freaking out a little. K, near the front door, suggests that one guard surrender, but fails on the other. K also attempts to appear approptiately panicked. An alarm starts wailing, the glass on the office to Ivan’s right shatters, and he is hit with a burst of submachine gun fire from the assistant manager, who is crouched behind his desk. A stunned looking elderly couple sits across from, apparently having been mid-conversation. Ivan responds with a grenade, the assistant manager dives over his desk and out the door, and the elderly couple is shredded, as well as the office windows and walls getting blown out. HCB shoots the remaining guard.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Ut is trying to hack his way into the vault, while RH heals the moaning manager a little bit. The manager reaches for his pocket, and UB! tries to stomp on his throat, but steps on RH’s hand instead. The manager triggers a second alarm, which registers a high whine. Security doors begin to close down over the entrances, and K decides to make a quick escape out the front, before the door slams shut. Two other customers got out with him, and he suggests that they go home and never speak of this to anyone, which they do. Ut is slowly progressing on the vault door. HCB and Ivan are trying to control the crowd, and most of the customers lie down and surrender, but the tellers make a run for a staircase leading up at the end of the hall. HCB shoots two customers by the door since the tellers don’t stop, in the hopes that they will take him seriously. They continue fleeing. Asp is running downstairs to see what’s happening down there, since he hasn’t heard from UB! since they entered.
UB! reports that everything is alright, but that the manager triggered a wireless alarm-hence the lockdown. The team is now on a clock, as the first responders will be there within 30 seconds-1 minute of the first alarm being triggered. Ut is nearly thru, and suggests the Asp and UB! head back upstairs while RH watches his back. They do so. UB! intercepts the fleeing tellers at the far end of the hall, using the other stairs up from the vault. He kicks one out of his way and heads upstairs. Asp emerges at the top of the stairs.
For the last few seconds, the team has been receiving meesages from an unknown source on their wireless comms. The meesages are philosophical in nature, questioning the true meaning of existence, perception of time and self, and the purpose and nature of (meta)humanity. Asp is entirely opposed to the positions that the speaker takes on these subjects. The messages end with the mysterious speaker telling the team that his employer has decided that they all must die. One of the customers in the lobby stands back up, and reaches out towards HCB. As he does so, his arm splits open, revealing a minigun begin to cycle up. HCB attempts to shoot him right in the mouth, but Halfman seems to laugh off the damage, telling HCB that this is the first time in a while that he has had to engage his pain editor, and he looks forward to a good fight. HCB dives for cover, but his luck betrays him and he is gunned down in a hail of bullets. The rest of the team surmises that this is Halfman. They are unsure if HCB lives or not. The assistant manager (who had just dived out of his office to avoid Ivan’s grenade) fires on Halfman, who promptly returns fire with somewhat overwhelming force. The manager is quickly shredded into bloody tatters.
In the basement, Ut and RH are into the vault, and Ut gives RH his autopicker to start work on one of the boxes, while he works on the other manually. Outside, K has doubled back to the side entrance, and is astrally projecting back into the bank, where Halfman is spraying the whole lobby with autofire, and making short work of the remaining customers. K sees auras rapidly dimming, and is somewhat horrified at this level of killing. Ivan, meanwhile, has brought the car around front and begins blasting the security door with autocannon shells, making a series of large dents. Asp decides to assault Halfman head on, as he is so offended by his philosophy. K simultaneously attacks Halfman in the astral plane. This seems to be working for a bit, as Halfman has to divide his attentions, but he does considerably more damage to K and Asp then they are able to do to him, and K is forced to retreat as he nears death. He reenters his physical body and heads out front to hide out in Ivan’s car. Inside, no longer distracted, Halfman is pummeling Asp severely.
Fortunately, Ivan’s autocannon shells finally punch thru the front door, with a little help from a bolt of mana from K, seding the security door flying towards the rear of the bank, busting a huge hole thru the bullet-proof teller cage. Halfman and Asp both dive out of the way, but this gives Halfman room to open up with his minigun again, which he does, and Asp is ko’d. Police cars also pull up out front at this point (although this is still only the first responders, so just 3 patrol cars for now). Halfman yells about how much he hates cops over the wireless. Gas begins to pour out of the ceiling in the bank, and most of the team quickly puts on masks, or holds their breath and makes for the exits. Ivan, unfortunately, is still rigging, and passes out quickly, being entirely unaware of the gas. Halfman seems to merely stop breathing.
In the basement, Ut finishes his box, and then quickly finishes off RH’s as well, while RH runs upstairs to help out, grabbing the unconscious Ivan on the way. Ut seems terrified when the team relays that Halfman has arrived, and wishes to make a quick exit. Outside, the cops have left their cars, and two advance on Ivan’s dormant vehicle while the other 6 covert them. They are shouting to put both hands out the window and open the door. K obliges, and gets out. They tell him to get on the ground. Instead, he levitates straight into the sky, superman-like, avoiding most of their gunfire as he does so. However, he is still grievously injured, and decides to make for his home base to recuperate, hoping that the team can make it without him. Upstairs, UB! busts into an executive office, and finds a control panel. He decides to start pressing buttons, and is eventually able to figure out a sequence which shuts off the gas and releases the security doors. He heads back downstairs. The cops are now approaching the front of the bank, having determined Ivan’s car is empty. Halfman wastes 3 of them as they enter the front door. The remaining 3 call for backup, meaning the SWAT team is on it’s way.
Ut and RH (carrying Ivan) dash out the side door while Halfman is distracted, and hole up in the back of the Spartan truck, where RH and Ut team up to quickly heal Ivan. Ivan dives back into his car and pulls away thru the cop car barricade, obliterating another cop with the autocannon as he does so. He tells the car to get around back and meet them at the far end of the alley as they hear Halfman approaching from the bank-he fires on the truck, and the armor dents heavily but holds. Ut tells RH and Ivan to cover their eyes, and chucks a few flashbangs out the back. They all run for the end of the alley, where the car should arrive shortly. Halfman comes charing out of the bank and fires on them, but they manage to avoid the rain of lead, diving into the car, which absorbs much of the damage. Ivan rigs again, speeding back around front to try and rescue some of the team from the lobby. Halfman, frustrated, reenters the bank.
Inside, UB! has run out into the lobby to try and grab some of his teammates. He hauls Asp partway up and is making for the door when Halfman reenters and opens fire. Although Aps absorbs some of the shots, the ones that get thru are enough to Knock UB! unconscious, although they are near to the door. Ivan’s car pulls back around front, surprising the cops, who had not expected it’s return, and had only just gotten into their cars again to chase it. Ivan rams the car blocking th street on the side he is coming in on, and pulls to a stop right in front of the bank door. RH, having quickly equipped his cermeonial armor, jumps out to grab some teammates. They can all hear sirens approaching rapidly-presumably the SWAT team. RH grabs UB! and Asp, and starts hauling them towards the car, but is also gunned down by Halfman, who is approaching the entrance. Ut is screaming at Ivan to get the fuck out of there, but Ivan insists they get the team members, so together they manage to haul RH, Asp, and UB! into the car. The SWAT team arrives in two large trucks, unloading two squads who rapidly deploy into cover and open fire. Halfman steps forth from the front of the bank, and Ivan finally decides it is time to get the hell out of there, even though HCB is still inside. He directs Ut to the rocket launcher in the back, and Ut blasts one of the original patrol cars out of their way as they speed off. The SWAT teams do some damage to the car as they flee, but they seem pretty occupied by Halfman, who is wreaking some pretty severe havock. Ivan alters his morphing license plate to read “Fuck Cops!.”
As they flee, Ivan tells Ut to get up front and man the dash mounted machine gun, which Ut sets up on it’s pintle. He begins firing at any cars still in the street to clear a path, leading to a lot of civilian vehicles swerving wildly to either side, and pedestrians diving for cover. Ivan is freaking out, the cram and alcohol combo seems to be affecting him something bad. He hears a helicopter, and looking up, sees one bearing down on them from straight ahead, a few stories above the traffic. He nails it with the autocannon, sending it spinning out of control into a nearby building, where it crumples and crashes to the ground in flames. As they drive by, Ivan and Ut clearly see the Hermes News logo on the side. April gets a call shortly thereafter from her producer (Karen Cortez) that April’s cameraman and friend Yann Tilberg, was horribly injured while covering a chase in progress. Viewing the footage, April recognizes Ivan’s car.
Meanwhile, the (mostly unconscious) team is fleeing in Ivan’s car, and making tracks for the undercity, where they hope they will be safe. Ivan morphs his plate back to something regular. Once Ivan is doubly sure that they aren’t being followed, and Ut has gone over everything a couple times with a scanner and tag eraser, the team calls Wade to meet up, and head to an abandoned warehouse. Ut takes his share and skedaddles, as well as taking Daedelus’ box to drop off. Wade pays the team well (10% of the total haul, plus medical at Doc Todd’s). Wade also tells the team that Tendo (a now ex-PC member) snitched them out to the Black Shadows on this job. Apparently he held a grudge against Ivan for outing him as an ork poser and getting him arrested for boosting cars. Wade gives Ivan the address where Tendo is holed up, and tells him that there might be a few BS guards.
April calls Ivan, and tells him he better help Yann out in any way he needs, or else she will be holding him personally responsible (which, techinically, he is). Ivan tries to talk her down a little, but is not very successful. He heads over to Tamany Clark’s chopshop/scrapyard and quickly removes the catbomb, just in case Yann dies or something else sends April over the edge. He keeps the detonator on his dash. The rest of the team heals up and lays low, after splitting up the money. They hear that K got away all right, and get him his share as well. They meet up at Slot to talk about future plans and commemorate HCB, who was arrested by Lonestar and sentenced to hard time on Deimos. They also hire Remus at a group rate to hack their collective datatrails, clean up the car’s records, etc. They also watch some news footage of the heist, and see that after they left, Halfman continued his shootout for another minute or so, appearing to finally take some damage, before escaping in a hijacked SWAT van, which has since been found stripped of parts in the undercity. They also find out that they are all wanted, with at least some trideo of each of them, although most have not been positively id’d. RH calls Thutmose to apologize for disgracing Heliopolis, and Thutmose tells him not to return until he has redeemded himself. The team agrees to deal with Tendo after they’ve all healed up, as nobody likes a snitch.
Meanwhile, in a Lonestar holding facility in the upper city: HCB awakens briefly for the first time since his arrest (he was briefly revived and then beaten heavily). A Lonestar judge sentences him to 15-20 years hard labor on Deimos Prison Moon after reviewing trideo and testimony from the heist. HCB next regains consciousness to a NeoNET rep sitting across a table from him in what seems to be an interrogation room. She tells him that he has no idea how expensive it has been to get in to see him, but that fortunately NeoNET is on good terms with Lonestar, and so they have arranged it. NN of course wants their proprietary tech back from HCB, and plans to remove it before he begins his sentence. The rep signals to someone behind HCB, who tries to turn, but finds himself immobilized. He hears a saw start up, and then quickly passes out from the pain as they cut into his skull. He awakens next in a holding cell, waiting for the next shipment to Deimos. His skull feels fragile, and he has a large scar on the left side of his head (the hair around the area is stubbly-it seems he’s been out for a few days at least). He can;t access any of his ‘ware to see what they took, but he definitely feels like something is missing. Now he just has to let the Johnson know that he’s in, and get the mission details.
Next up: The prison moon-will anyone come to help HCB complete his mission?