The team completes their work paying back Imaginary Annie Goldsmith by sabotaging one final candidates press conference in Puyallup by instigating a gang brawl, revealing that the politician was bribing local gangers to act as out-of-uniform security. They barely escape intact, but make a clean getaway. They also call on Izidor Kurtlanik to get some last minute bonus info on the hardest candidate to investigate, Corinne Potter. They find out she is likely a Dawkins Group plant (or similar), and pass the info along. Annie warns them to be careful- DG is nothing to fuck with. She also says she will warn the others that they’ve collaborated with, and declares them square. She also leverages her new influence to better personal connections in Seattle which can only help the team.
They have a party to celebrate after they all heal up, and are feeling pretty good for a moment, until they notice Eion is missing. He had a weird dream of Glow City and headed there. Encountering some Halloweeners, including their leader Nightmare, he followed them to the melted reactor at the center of GC, Nightmare occasionally seeming to beckon him on. He found a terrible shrine of mutation there, and witnessed the Weeners seemingly experimenting on locals and releasing mutants after their experiments. He also accepted assistance from a strange new magical force, and his mentor spirit became Mutation. Though still irradiated, he insisted on heading back to the safehouse to spread this new power to his “family”, as he gained new abilities in his transformation.
This is a problem for the rest of the team, who make him go hang out in the junkyard til he’s no longer emitting radiation. This kills one of his pet bandits but makes the other stronger. So it works? Aleiron also receives warning from Kurtlanik about a new cult in town, seemingly with some Amazonian ties, called “The Suffering.” She does some research but can’t find much, other than that they worship “She Who Thrives Beneath the Rot.” The team also grabs the 2 feral ghouls, Eion having traded another body to Squid and the 162’s. They go to Squeamish, and get well paid. He impresses Eion by explaining that his experiment is to see if rumors are true that infected cannibalization boosts their powers, so he’s going to make one eat the other and see what happens. This fits perfectly with Eion’s dark Darwinism, and he also sells Squeamish some reagents from GC.
The rest of the team is increasingly concerned about this, especially given that Yanko gets more creepy warnings from Cobra, the prophecy child, about his future (or lack thereof), and the whole team is warned by Annie that someone has been throwing money around looking for info on them. They find out that there is a private “alive or dead” bounty on them currently, offerer unknown. Also, something called the Null Sect ate Blue’s sprite in Marry Me, Kat Katana, and seems to have also killed 1 dev and a few players, as well as flat-lining others. Wat, 3 Card, and Blue are all distressed. Grackle does another quick delivery for his strange side job employer.