The team decides to meet a Johnson in Cara-Sir (formerly Portland), about some work in the PNW. Sutun, The Pillar of Ankara decides to bow out, worried that his obvious appearance might allow Horizon to easily track him. he says he is going to lay low and check in with his family. Aemon Burst, having never seen Tir Tairngire before, decides to skip the job and check out the Elven nation.
They are put ashore near a nameless dockside bar filled with seamen and longshormen, as well as 2 suited elves who are obviously carrying, and seem to be guarding a slightly older-looking elf in a much better suit, who introduces himself as Mr. Johnson. After Ro greets him in Spetheriel, he replies in fluent Japanese, and TY has to request that they continue in English. The setup is that Mr. J wants them to go wait in Seattle in a barrens safehouse for a few days, after which they will be contacted by an Ancients member about some work. They are to except the job and complete it, and not let anyone know that they were hired to be on hand. They agree, as the pay’s good, but are suspicious.
Doing some research on the names they were given, they find that the elf likely to contact them, Belial, is an up and comer who is gunning for the top seat in the Seattle chapter. Apparently his father, Green Lucifer, built the chapter up some 20 years ago, before getting promoted to West Coast head. The woman he left in charge, Sting is still running things, but there’s a crew of young guns angling for change. Based on old arrest photos they pull up, they decide that Mr. J is mostly likely Green Lucifer, some years and surgeries later, looking out for his only recently acknowledged son.
They spend a few days honing skills and healing up before they get the call from Belial’s righthand man, Rook, who tells them he has need of some out-of-towners, and that they come recommended by the LA chapter. He says they need to get to a bar in Puyallup by 11:30, and the job will be done by 1:30 or so. They agree, and load out later that evening. They find Belial performing Concrete Dreams cover songs onstage, and an all-elf (and mostly Ancient) clientele. Some other elves in courier gear eye them as they walk in. They hang around for a bit before Belial jumps offstage and gives them the deets: in 10 minutes, at midnight, he will announce them as his proxies in a challenge for the leadership. They will have 1 hour to complete as many of 5 available tasks as possible, and need to get more than the other team to win.
He leaps back onstage to participate in the ritual of challenge- he seems to command the crowds attention in a way that his rival Sting does not, though she has a large old-guard contingent in her corner. She introduces her team (the courielves) as members of the Laesa syndicate, and the two teams head out to begin. They are all given Ancient jackets, at Belial’s insistence, so they won’t be held accountable for tonight’s fun. Ro tells the Laesa team that losers are buying drinks. Vehicles have been provided, and the Laesa team races off on streetbikes as the team loads into an SUV tricked out in Ancients colors. They spend a few precious minutes plotting their course and head out.
FIrst stop: Jimmy The Chin, a former boxer who has more recently been working as an enforcer for the Chicago familias, before branching out on his own as a pimp. He’s been kidnapping girls from around town and hooking them on bliss to keep them from running away. Ortega is especially gung-ho, given the young age of some of the girls. They race to his locations, with TY skillfully avoiding the burning trashpiles, barricades, potholes, etc. that usually make barrens driving such a joy. They find 2 dwarves guarding a loading dock in the infamous Crime Mall, and manage to overpower them and push in through the door. They shoot Jimmy’s brother and Ortega charges Jimmy with an axe, but is ko’d in one expert hit. TY shoots Jimmy, and Ro calls Belial to request a spirit be sent to protect the drugged up girls until someone can pick them up. The spirit also heals Ortega a bit, getting him back on his feet. They take the 2 dwarf heads as trophies.
They next head to a small Humanis chapterhouse, recently established. Not wanting to chance any more trouble, they grenade the pathetic sniper’s nest on the roof, and then blast suppressing fire through the front windows as they lob in more grenades. After waiting a moment and seeing noone emerge, they enter and Ortega grabs some of their robes as trophies (which were happily hung up in a back room and avoided the chunky salsa). They race off to the next job.
They find a group of orks in paramiltary uniforms with ak’s guarding a ruined building that covers an entrance to the Ork Underground. Belial doesn’t have beef with these guys, the Skraacha, in particular, just wants them to stop expanding topside, so the team decides to play it cool. TY and Ro eventually convince the Orks to sell them some of their uniform badges (of which they claim to have plenty more, anyway) in order to avoid violence. The orks mostly seem amused/confused to see 2 humans and an ork wearing Ancients colors.
The teams heads out towards Tacoma, to trash a Spikes bar. They do a suppressive driveby, while grenading the 4 bikes out front into shrapnel. They take only video as a trophy this time, fearing the 4 angry, drunken trolls rushing into the street, who are probably calling their friends. Due to more excellent driving, TY gets them out of Spikes turf problem-free, though they hear the distinctive rev of their choppers nearby a few times too many.
They race to the final job: hijacking a Stuffer Shack delivery autohauler that some idiot routed through Tarislar (the Elven ghetto in the barrens). They catch up, match speed, and TY spins the suv around backwards so Ro and Ortega can grapple over and toss stuff in more easily. They get a box of each type of merchandise carried, and make their escape just as the Laesa team takes control of the truck. Ro sends out a public message listing her favorite drink, as TY blasts Concrete Dream on the stereo.
They haul ass for the finish line at the bar, arriving a full minute ahead of the other crew. After reviewing trophies, Belial is declared the winner, with the team’s 5 trophies besting the Laesa group’s 3 (even though they had the whole truck). Sting gracefully accepts defeat, especially once Belial makes clear that she is still to be respected within the gang. They get paid and spend the night partying with the Ancients (once they give the jackets back).
The next morning, back in the safehouse (to Ro’s disappointment, none of the elves would sleep with her- some sort of racial thing, which pisses her off), and heavily hungover, they receive a call from Rook, telling them there’s some smuggling work if they’re looking for more jobs. They agree, and call Aemon to tell him to get ready to work, as Ro says she’s gonna sit this one out, not having been back in Seattle in a while.