The Mars runners spend hours waiting in the uppercity Evo hq, while Nikolai Morozov arranges transport off planet. Atlas also calls up Riahna Kelp to set up bribes to get them through spaceport security without hassle. Jason Park and Exocet turn up as well, to get in on the escape. They grabbed TY’s armor on the way, which is happy about, although his bike is staying.
Morozov tells them he has a secure space in a freight container that is going out that night. The 6 people will be loaded into packing crates, with an oxygen tank, a water bag, some high calorie MRE’s, and a catheter setup. They will be packed in the middle of a load of freight, glide through security if Kelp paid her bribes right, and get on the next ship to Earth. They load all the gear in a 7th crate, and nail everyone in.
The team members all go through stages of panic and claustrophobia during the lengthy journey. They spend 8 hours waiting in the warehouse before being loaded into an elevator car. They spend half a day ascending the beanstalk, and are loaded onto a spacecraft. Their crate is held magnetically to a wall track for the journey, they spend about a day rapidly accelerating, suffering some bruising from the high-g’s. After that, they coast for quite a while before beginning to slow, hitting some high-g’s again at the end.
They wait a few hours longer, then begin descending back into a nice, familiar 1 g- a little higher than Mars, it feels subtly of home. After another half day in the elevator, they hit the ground, are offloaded, and are put aboard a truck. They smell diesel fumes, and the ocean. They also hear South African dialects, and feel the heat. TY recognizes it as Cape Town, the shipping capital (and 2nd largest city) in Azania. Rooster alters himself to appear African. They spend some more time in traffic in the truck, and are met by Nomusa and Zuberi, who uncrate them (Zuberi by warping open the particle board). They load into a rental van and head back to portside slums to Nomusa’s hideout. Exocet takes off separately to set herself up somewhere.
After laying low a while, they get some work from Ezekiel Grey- they are to pick up a man from the DeBeer’s Omnitech building downtown, bring him to a gated community, enter the house of a Shiawase exec named Stephen Dehaan, kill the man they picked up, grab Dehaan (who should be cooperative) and get out. They are to ensure that no cameras are active inside the house, but are free to used whatever violence necessary as long as no one knows they took Dehaan with them. They are to use a gene scanner to positively ID Dehaan, and are to leave the dead man’s face intact.
TY steals a van, and they head out. They pick up the man, who turns out to be a mindless clone of Dehaan, as far as they can tell. He has apparently been implanted with cyberware to match Dehaan’s. They drive to the community, Rooster bluffs his way past the gate guard, and they park at the house. TY sends 2 drones in to kill the cameras, which triggers an alarm. Zuberi warps open the walls, and Atlas races in with the clone in a duffel bag. He pulls him out, snaps his neck, and stuffs the real Dehaan in the bag. He then hauls him to the van.
Meanwhile, local security is approaching, in the form of some low-skill private security, and some fancy ruthenium-coated Shiawase drones. LS summons Baelor, who makes quick work of the rent-a-cops, but the drones shred him with bullets pretty significantly before Zuberi beats them into submission. TY fires up the van, reloads his drones, gets everyone aboard, and heads out.
Next up: will they escape?
Tobias gets an anonymous message, directing him to a different anonymous messageboard. This is the only post:
“Hey buddy, it’s Rooster. Sorry about all this stuff. Things got a little messed up, and some of our friends are a little cheesed off about the whole… well, you know. I don’t hold nothin’ against ya, though. It could happen to anyone, and was a pretty good idea at the time! Maybe a closer look could have helped, y’know, prevent some of the unpleasantness, but hey. We all make mistakes. Anyway, sorry we ditched ya. I feel kinda like a heel about it, but things kinda happened all at the same time. If it makes you feel better, I’ve got a little present for you that could help out in this kinda situation. You know how I bought a whole bunch of phones ‘cuz I was afraid of losing ’em all? Well I have one stashed in reserve, just in case I lost all my others. There’s some walkin’ around money, too. I’m obviously not gonna be in a position to use it for a bit, so it’s all yours.
It’s in the 35th ave. YMCA, men’s room. Remember when we found all those shiny rocks? The number of those plus three is the locker number. It’s locked, but I think you can figure out the combination. I hope it helps you out of the pinch you’re in. Anyway, keep your chin up and your head down, Chummer. I gotta go work on my tan. (p.s. I don’t actually have to do that.)
In the locker is a burner comlink with a rating 6 SIN, and a credstick with 5,000 nuyen on it. The SIN doesn’t look much like Tobias, but hey, any port in a storm.