and Introducing Test
The team, with help from Teeth and Avocado’s NYC contacts and some research from Hotkey, decide what kinda fake passes and ID’s to spring for to be able to operate in Manhattan as needed, and decide on a safehouse in Terminal with a secret access to the Underground. They pay a month upfront and catch a private plane up. They meet a Skimmer smuggler named Nichols at a waterway near the airport, and then link up with him again at the rotted docks in Terminal, hauling their unlicensable gear to the new safehouse (the big guns and armor, basically). It seems like unaffiliated teams are super useful in Manhattan, given how corporatized even the runner scene is there. So they feel like they should have as much work as they want to.
For now, they decide to finish off their work for STV, and get clear of the dangerously charming Deirdre Green. They go to a hip VR dance bar and have a slightly weird digital meet with a Johnson, coming to terms on an assassination. HK does some research on the Johnson, and the team finds out that the Johnson seems to also be the target, confusingly. He has a recent scandal at work, and the money to pay them came from a deniable assets fund that he and 2 others have access to. They are feeling super wary and spooked, but plan to continue to at least prep for the mission until they get info that something is fucked.
They make a branching 3-stage plan for the hit, and figure it’s the best they can do for now. They ready themselves for a meet with Paul Jones, who has a rep as not wanting to know what or why he’s smuggling stuff into corps, but has a rep for having contacts at most of the AA/AAA local branches, and the ability to get most things in. Hotkey splits off for Queens to visit his family, the Mongolian community there, and continue investigating the Johnson. Avocado and 6Cyl meet up with some nano-forgers in the lower levels of Terminal station, who seem able to fabricate rare/illegal gear relatively quickly to get a few specialty items for the job.
The meet with Jones goes well- Aylin gets a lead on a food source that meets her needs, and Kinnie and the team get the necessary heavy weaponry and B&E gear they need to him to smuggle into the building ahead of the job tomorrow. He has uniforms for them, but the one hitch is that the forged ID’s are still with the courier, who apparently was unable to get to the meet on time due to some kind of minor snag, and will be accompanying the team on the job to make sure everything goes smoothly.
They hire an underground smuggler from the Ratpack who Teeth vouches for, and get brought to a strange, secluded bolt-hole under Grand Central, where they find a disheveled and seemingly much experimented-on ork technomancer. He is the smallest adult ork any of them have ever seen, and seems quite strange and paranoid. They convince him of their ability to pay for his services, at least, and he comes along via the underground back to their Terminal safehouse. Aylin reads Test’s mind a bit (consensually) after he reveals that he has no strong memories more than 3 days old, and is able to fill in a few details on the last 3 years of his being experimented on in a lab, as well as his rescue 3 days ago, but nothing earlier. The team is fascinated by the mystery.
They stage the bike and VTOL near the MDC building before the run for emergency getaways, and Test pays a Ratpack smuggler to wait nearby also. As they head in, they find the building is being aggressively picketed and protested by some Neo-A’s and community members, and spot a lot of fresh political graffiti around the area. They head in, their ID’s pass muster, and 3 of them head upstairs while the other 3 get pulled off to scan for explosives. Avocado, Teeth, and Test spend the next while smelling delicious catering they can’t eat while scanning for bombs, and Avocado finds one- a klaxon goes off, and the ballroom/meeting area is quickly evacuated. However, this signals trouble for the team upstairs, who doesn’t quite get a drop on the target’s guard.
She almost kills 6C at the same time that he kills her, and a powerful earth spirit manifests and almost does in Kinnie before they are able to eliminate it. Aylin busts down the door, and Kinnie takes out Dough Quinn, the target. They grab his comm, and document everything, still feeling paranoid. They skedaddle, but almost get into another dustup with 2 more exec protection types escorting a nervous woman out of the building. As they exit the staircase back to the ground floor, Neo-A’s breach the front of the building with explosive shields and push into the lobby in a wedge as building security tries to rally to hold them back. A jammer was set up after the explosive was discovered to prevent remote detonation while bomb techs disarmed it, so perhaps this was the backup plan. The team uses the chaos to slip out the back of the building, but Avocado sees two camouflaged figures slip out the back of the Neo-A wedge and head for the stairs going up…
Them team, seeing NYPD Inc. cops brawling with protestors at both ends of the back street they emerge onto, all split off from each other and try to slip through the scrums, shedding their decoy uniforms as they do so for the street clothes underneath. After a few dicey moments, they make it out, and all manage to get back to the safehouse unharmed. 6C decides to spend some time learning a little Sperethiel to improve his elf posing, after he and Avocado have a run-in with some Ancients that he almost biffs. The rest of the team pursues payment, and finds that the escrow account at Brokerage X is frozen, as “Doug Quinn” is still alive- there is attached footage of an interview with a scorched but living Quinn saying he just barely survived an assassination attempt by Neo-A “terrorists” dressed as cops. The team assumes this is who Avocado saw slipping upstairs: the second Quinn.
They get Schmidt involved, who says she had a feeling Green might pull some shenanigans with them around payment, and manages to get them half pay by providing all the teams documentation to Brokerage X, who approves a partial payout, since the team did kill someone, who certainly appears to also be a Doug Quinn. They don’t get a lot more answers to this mystery though, as the comm they grabbed has almost no info on it- a security data bomb was set off just before “Quinn’s” death. However, they got paid, have no immediately pressing jobs, and are relatively safe in a new city, so they decide to take a little downtime to get better established,