The team distributes the Null Doc (on paper) to 2 Minds, The Probe, Garmonbozia (in case they’re Boston operatives haven’t been able to get it out), and Master File (The Swamp mod), as well as reporting on the Turing Army connection. They find out that Leanna Octave (and perhaps other Probe-ers) appear to be Singularity Seekers, and view the Null and the rumored return of Deus in Boston as signs of the approaching event. They also get access to The Swamp (finally) and update Erika Knowles. Knowles tells them that she’s covered Guy’s tracks, but that he now has an Interpol Red Notice out for his arrest for shedim assistance (with his old, slightly different aura readings attached), so he should be especially cautious about international travel. She also reports that there is a new alliance between the Ordo Maximus and shedim forces in Prague- one drains bodies, and the other inhabits, so makes sense, but creepy.
The team decides to update their safehouse security and goes further into debt with STV to add some charged wards to protect against spirits. Guy buys a bird to throw through the ward to test if it will kill it, which doesn’t work, and gets everyone worried about his growing psycopathy. Aylin heads to West Virginia to train with some mercs and gain her first Horrorstalker ability, and Ratched heads out to help Equity and Bright Star in the Anacostia Barrens. Prot0 gets an update on the run he funded- the Hong Kong fixer Ratqueen reports that local runners traced the Wuxing production line around the Canton Confederation and found the unlisted offline factory in Guangzhou where the Frequency commlinks are made. Ratqueen also puts Prot0 in touch with a techno-tribe in HK called the Whampoa in case he wants to take more action against this dangerous device, and suggests that the device has put a dent in her (and other fixers’) income, since HK is a huge port and TM’s have traditionally been a big part of the runner scene. The rest of the team preps to raid the data vault, after going over the rest of their available jobs’ status.
OE scouts it out a bit more, and starts following the roving wagemage, hoping to find his home base to KO him before the mission, but gets spotted and then returns to find his body taken over by a shedim. He manages to expel the shedim, but not before it almost kills his body in revenge. Prot0 races his med-tank over and barely saves him in time (thanks TacNet!), and they delay the job another day, though they have good security recon done. They make a plan while Jonny plays another open mic- he’s attracting a local rep, but also some controversy now due to his embrace of 2 Minds, so there are some Purist protestors. He also makes contact anonymously with Ceol Productions to help get 2 Minds signed there, and hears that Blitz is looking for him, not believing his faked death any longer. The team also gets 2 Tarot cards, and does some digging, finding out some behind the scenes drama about the popular sitcom “Coffee Clutch” and getting another clue towards the crystal bloodblade.
They head back to the data vault the next night, timing their approach to the maximum downtime in the astral patrol (newly heightened since OE got spotted), and drop Kinnie on the roof with the Dustoff drone and some looper rounds. He takes out cameras as the team sneaks up under spirit concealment, and the KO the 2 guards and the barghest in the camera dead zone (which they know doesn’t have signal to the inside since the guards were using hand signals on camera to communicate) and then cover the KO’ed security with ghillie blankets equipped with jammers. Prot0 hacks the front door and they enter.
Another barghest smells Kinnie, who isn’t concealed, and lets loose a howl which paralyzes a few team members. They ’re able to pull it together enough to KO another guard patrol and kill the dog. They head through the rest of the facility as an alarm kicks in and the entrance locks down. Guy manages to manipulate concrete to drop out the vault door sealing the central core, and the team finds themselves heavily jammed. However, the final guards appear to be holed up in a security room so they leave them be and focus on the hack. Kinnie makes the terminal accessible, and Prot0 dives in with a sprite, figuring out how to interface with the decade-outdated system as he goes. Kinnie heads back up front to blow the door as gas begins to pour into the hallway the team is in. Guy lockpicks open the room into the coolant chamber with all the hard drives and summons an air spirit to keep the gas off Prot0 while he hacks.
Prot0 gets the data and tries to go back for more, but Guy sends his spirit in to wreck the equipment, so Prot0 flees the matrix and the gas, and the team makes a tight getaway just ahead of the FedPol cops showing up. They detour through the Barrens to loose astral and matrix pursuers, and pass the data off the STV. This gives them 3 more names to investigate: it seems some shedim operatives were using the data vault, and have ID’ed 2 local Black Lodge members, and are interested in another woman as well…