Jane contacts TY to suggest that as soon as he is able to leave the hospital, he should. Jane wants to switch to a different hotel, and meet TY there, sneakily, so as to hopefully throw off any pursuers who might have tracked them to the original hotel via the nanites. TY agrees, and decides to leave a bit early. He gets in a cab in the secure clinic lot, where he is accosted by a large ork man and a middle-aged woman in a suit. They seem to have access to his comm, as they paralyze his cyberlimbs and disable his communication abilities. The rest of the team only sees a looped feed of a bland-seeming cab ride. They tell him that they were hoping he could keep developing on his own, out in the world, before being brought in, but that they’ll have to make do.
They exit the parking ramp, and head down the street, as the woman starts to speak again. Almost to quickly to process (as his wired reflexes are disabled) the driver side window and windshield both shatter, and TY is showered in glass, blood, and brains as the heads of both the human and the ork explode all over him. He is jerked hard forward as the car crashes. His limbs return to his control and he heard the door locks click open, but he dives out the windshield in a burst of adrenaline. He makes a run for it as he realizes that he never heard any shots. He gets in touch with the team, and LS sends Baelor over to help conceal him. He successfully gets away, and hops a (legit this time) cab to rendevouz, while hacking his comm and rebooting to lock out the backdoor that the woman used to shut down his ’ware. The rest of the team moves to a new hotel without noticing any tails.
Jane suggests that TY and Zuberi remain with her in the room, as they would be the likeliest to get noticed, and contacts a local hacker to get everyone some new SINS in case whoever was tracking TY has all their info. She also hires a local security mage, Saul Chronic, to secure their current room and help obscure their travels. Rooster convinces Widget & The Loose Cannons to hold off on their daring rescue of Malcolm Carella while they investigate ways to get him a message. LS gets ahold of Carella’s lawyer, and they arrange to send Saul (who has a legal SIN) into the prison, posing as a legal aide, to find out what Carella wants for the info they need. The meeting happens, and it turns out that Carella wants to stay in prison- he is worried that SK (who he was working for on the job he got collared on) will try to kill him to cover their tracks, and he has just been transferred to genpop, so he thinks they’ll hit him soon.
So, he offers a deal: he’ll tell his lawyer the name of the man with the disc, if the team gets him transferred back and somehow make it obvious like SK is behind his original transfer. Widget and TY tagteam the hacking, and it appears to work, as the facility goes into a security shutdown and the lawyer passes the name along. They are looking for a man named Hermann Meyer, apparently a member of the Doctor Faustus Society chapter based in Frankfurt. They purchase tickets, and plan to travel quickly to the train station in disguise, but are waylaid in the hotel lobby by the Apep Consortium rep, Georgiy Abolev, who they foiled in Lagos. He is accompanied by two tough looking guards and a small-ish bald man who is sitting in a chair in the lobby stroking an odd looking cat. He asks where the team is going, and they all (except Jane) respond against their will with a mumbled chorus of “Frankfurt.” They decide to avoid a potentially messy shootout, and head for the station.
They arrive safely in Frankfurt after getting some rest, only to find that Meyer has recently been buried having been murdered in some sort of odd circumstance a few days back. They look into it some, and find out that he was ritually murdered in some sort of blood sacrifice that looks like a frame-up of Aztechnology, who are helping Interpol and local cops with the investigation, as they either actually aren’t involved or are trying to cover their tracks. The team also finds out that the Faustus Society is hosting a gala in 2 nights where they will be displaying a number of magical artifacts, and all the latest thaumaturgical developments will be discussed. Jane wrangles an invite with +1, and Saul calls in a favor with Mir Cossint, and gets his own ticket with +1. Jane tells TY he can probably dress up fancy and hang out nearby as a chaffer, but she suggests Zuberi stay behind- a room full of curious mages is probably the worst spot for him to be.
They find also that a man named Hans Winokur has apparently taken over Meyer’s position in the Society, and is now in charge of hosting the gala, as well as overseeing Meyer’s estate (apparently all left in trust to the Society). They figure they may have to steal it out from under the Society’s nose during the event, as the manor house/Society base is otherwise not open to non-members, and is supposedly fairly secure. Rooster also discovers that there will be an Interpol team on alert should any threats arise, fearing that Meyer’s death could perhaps be only the first event.
TY does some aerial scouting with drones, and a little system probing- it seems like the manor has high security, but much of it will be disabled in the public parts for the gala. Outside the public areas, who knows? Jane secures a towncar and they head over. The team successfully enters the gala, and using spatial sensing, social engineering, brain scanning, and a little pick-pocketing, they manage to gain access to a secret corridor hidden behind locked portal in the library. They also see a number of other parties who have been pursuing artifacts, spread throughout the gala, including Samriel Lockwood, Georgiy Abolev, a member of the Vigilia Evangelica, and 2 Aztechnology reps, who they think might be the investigators Rooster heard about at Meyer’s death scene.
LS and Saul head down the secret passage, while Rooster returns the alchemical passkey to the Faustian he stole it from and Jane tries to distract the other factions present. After winding through a series of disused servants corridors, and ending up well underground, they find a secret chamber: perhaps a lair of the True Faustians. They gain access, and find the Phaistos Disc atop a pedestal in the center of the room, with a pressure plate underneath it, hardwired. They access a nearby terminal (also hardwired), and determine the exact weight of the disc. They then make a carefully balanced pile of other artifacts from the room of the same weight (once again, using the computer), and deftly make the swap. They hear no alarms, and TY doesn’t notice the node go on alert, so they exit the way they came, while Rooster distracts people from the library with a magical tale.
Outside, Zuberi has scouted out their exit, and noticed 2 SUVs with tinted windows idling down the street. He gains control of the metal undercarriage materials of the front one, in case they give chase. Jane makes her goodbyes, and the team loads up in the car and heads out. The SUVs do follow, and LS decides to have Mordin cause one of the drivers to have an accident- however, a mage approaches Mordin in astral space and asks to talk. LS tells Mording to ignore them and crashes one of the cars. Zuberi lockes up the wheels on the other, crashing it, though he barely overcame their counterspelling. They race to the train station, where Rooster has a courier waiting with a mana case. They pop in the disc, and get out of town, headed towards the Internation Airport. Jane assenses the disc, and discovers that it’s a fake, but with LS’ help, determines that it seems to astrally guide them to the real disc, seemingly located beneath the Pyramid of the Sun complex in Sarajevo.
They book a flight to Sarajevo, using almost the last of their travel budget, and land in the wartorn city. UN peacekeepers and mercs dominate the area, and locals seem split along ethnic and factional lines. They stay at a hotel charmingly named ‘Hotel’. They find a local fixer to arrange transport to the pyramids and do some scouting. Aztechnology has apparently moved in and is excavating the area, under guard, which complicates matters. They also find that the valley of the pyramids seems to be an astral shallow with a high background count. They grab some survival gear, while TY hacks into the Azzie node. He finds some archeological info, and they decide to make there way into the temple of the Moon, hoping to gain access to what seems to be some sort of underground tunnels revealed by Azzie radar imaging.
They head out, with TY’s drones alerting them to guard patrols, and travel through the blasted countryside, first by car, and then by foot for the last 5k of the 30k journey. They sneak in, levitating over the security fence, and dodging chimeric jaguar patrols and working grad students to drop into the Moon temple. Zuberi moves earth and stone aside to allow them passage, and they descend through many layers, dimly lit by a ghostly light from the astral plane. They find some small humanoid remains, ancient and decomposed, as well as long-decayed traps and some astrally active runes that seem to match with markings on the artefacts they’ve seen. They eventually find a smooth tunnel ringed in orichalcum, which they descend, entering a brightly glowing doorway at the end. They find 2 elf-like people seated at a table, with the Phaistos Disc between them- they tell the team to leave, as they are the disc’s final guardians. The team refuses. Zuberi is initially confused after they sprout bony projections, but LS convinces him that this is not, in fact, the Dark Realm. They defeat the spirits, seize the disc, and decide to leave, as the room is rapidly darkening and getting very cold.
They step back through the doorway, and find themselves in some sort of space between spaces- LS and Saul recognize that they are astrally travelling, though not in any place they’ve seen before. They manage to guide the others back to the ‘real’ world, and exit the temple, although Zuberi tries to shape the earth to allow him to take some of the orichalcum on the way out. It seems to absorb his spell, and he feels his access to magic weaken. However, they seem to have ended the astral shallow and the high backgroud count by seizing the disc, though the areas history of war and genocide still pollutes the local manasphere. However, the end of the astral shallow gives them the perfect distraction to sneak back out. They rendevouz with Jane, and placing the disc in another mana case (after she confirms it’s the real deal), fly to Amsterdam, there to go their seperate ways.
Jane tells them that she & Ehran the Scribe will be in touch sometime soon- they believe there may be a 4th artefact to be used with the others. She promises a ‘special’ reward, alongside pay, for recovery of the 4th item, once Ehran locates it. Jane also invites TY and LS to join Jackpoint, as provisional members. They get paid, and drop Jane at a private jet, though she is disturbed to see an elf wearing garish clown makeup standing there waiting for her. Samriel is also present, and congratulates the team on another job well done- he tells them he respects them, even though they are not working for him. They also get Ehran to give them some extra for the details and recordings of their time in the temple, and the data TY stoles from the Azzie node.
LS hires his family to do some research on Ehran, and gets some info back of varying quality/plausibility. They also hear from The Order of St George, who tell them that they have a European job lined up for them: the great dragon Alamais (Lofwyr’s brother, some say) has apparently taken over the feral city of Gemito with some other dragons and drakes who follow his draconic supremacy agenda, and is preying on metahumans there. The Order wants to hit back, where it hurts, by raiding any of his hoards they can locate, and they have found one for the team to assault. TY also hears from the woman Jane hired to hack his secret implanted Gilgamesh Initiative comm, who is coming to meet him, and has a favor in mind to repay her services. They also have a lead on some info on Jane’s history, if they find themselves in Seattle, and some pending work in Detroit for John Caruthers.