Otters aka Roadkill
The Detective manages to convince the other team (possibly one of the Brackhaus’ guards? Likely the one from the roof bar if so) to disengage, as Otters has successfully grabbed the target and spirited him away in the VTOL. Realizing that they are really blown though in terms of attention, Otters, Creep, and CG all sneak out under cover of CG’s spirit’s powerful silence and concealment effects, barely avoiding some very alert hotel security staff. The Detective decides they want their money’s worth, and rushes back to their room, purposefully dishevilling it before taking some Bliss in a filled tub.
The onsite security does room sweeps, and TD manages to bluff just well enough to not get in trouble, since they can’t find anything in the room, but seem suspicious about Creep having left without anyone taking note, as his arrival was noticed. Regardless, TD gets their desired soak and trip, so all is well, enough. When the other team gets back to the van, they find Otters’ surveillance drones waiting along with a note from Cholula that says he “went to check something out” and to leave without him.
They do. Heading for the preprogrammed rendezvous with the VTOL, they find Smaug and Lunatech from the Windsor crew waiting to accept the handoff and presumably deliver the guy to Brunwyn. Dig requests a little time to look into the wrecked deck they also snagged, and after confirming that they weren’t followed, Smaug sets up a perimeter. Dig manages to pull a tiny amount of data off the deck, with Otters helping to write a quick program to collate the fragmentary bits into something useful.
They find a few useful things: the target was a longterm MCT data and device architecture specialist, who had been targeted for extraction before (possibly why he was using an assumed name). He was looking into shared vulnerabilities amongst various devices, and trying to design a new in-house MCT device architecture that would not have the same flaws. He was in a virtual meeting with his bosses when the Blackout hit, his deck bricked, and he flatlined.
Dig also tries to read his mind, but there is nothing there- he seems brain dead or close to it, and only his wife’s careful ministrations likely kept him alive this long. They write up their findings and pass it along with the deck and the guy, which Brunwyn accepts as the pro move it is, offering them more work and sending along their pay, along with the promised “on-time” bonus.
They head back to the safehouse and rest up, and decide to look into Howell’s “unite the gangs and enclaves” mission next. Instead of calling him for more (/any) details, they just dive in, reviewing the intel Cholula has been gathering on his semi-nightly prowling of the city. They make a list of the promising factions to ally, and start making plans and dividing up work amongst themselves. They also decide to resolve smuggling out the Toronto Mayor and his ARES lover.
TD calls up the UCAS Marshal, Trapp, and hints that they have a line on a government official in danger. Trapp agrees to a meet, seemingly also not wanting to give up his safehouse location, they settle on a high end street market Downtown, which the Marshal reports has become somewhat of a trade bazaar during the Blackout. They pass along their intel and Trapp agrees to contact the lovers at the hotel and either keep them safe or get them out, he is light on details. But it seems like the team made a good impression.
Otters decides to do a little shopping while there, and they head down to the most red market-y shop in the area, where they see a classically costumed bandit dropping off some assorted loot. Wanting to know more, they try to approach, but blow it, and the figure rappels away, and they return to the safehouse. They take the next day off while CG summons a new corpse spirit into the body he was gifted by Bloodripper, and Dig has a meeting with his magical order.
Freddy Bales is there first, as usual, and is his usual obnoxious, helpful self. The others roll in, and Dig talks up the gang unity mission a bit more. They all initiate while Otters, who accompanied Dig over, alternates between watching and wandering the mostly abandoned zoo. It seems like the remaining zookeepers have had to prioritize saving the less edible animals.
After the meeting, Marjo-Lin gives Dig the Discipline Tarot card, and they banter about their somewhat at odds Mentors (Dog vs Lion), and ML says that Lion told her that she had smelt Dig in one of her realms- the Hermit’s cabin perhaps? Regardless, the card is a reward for his perseverance in getting Order going. ML also reports that the Keepers have lost some members to attacks from those mysterious collared critters.
After splitting up the job of convincing different factions to show to the big meeting, The Detective contacts Ringmaster, who agrees to host with Marv at the Plat Zone, specifically the Brickhouse, and to distribute a radio to any faction who attends as a reward. TD also gets Creep to make pizza, though he says all he can promise is a sauced flatbread, but CG learns a spell to multiply the matter significantly.
TD contacts the Keepers, who agree to attend. Creep heads out the Metal Maniacs first, and finds them seeming even more post-human, as well as seemingly “upgrading” some local street kids, who are serving as lookouts- it seems they are both expanding and fortifying. Creep decides not to become a Monad, though they make a good case that “our AI brethren need homes right now more than ever”. Leanna Octave agrees to send a delegation to the meeting, though.
Creep then sneaks up to the Blight and finds the Nightmare’s base of ops. This does indeed seem to be veterans of the Urban Brawl team protecting a civilian enclave, and he uses his sneaking skills to impress them into coming, though they say they will only do so if the Maulers aren’t invited. Creep points out that since the Maulers absolutely will be invited, it “could” be a good time to raid their turf, if someone wanted to.
CG gets Sikh Burn to agree to attend, easily, as a rep for the Children of Loxley, who have also been expanding, protecting the Hawala network and mesh net that the People of the Book have been building. Disturbingly, some malefactors have been targeting the mesh tech, as well as sometimes the people sent out to repair it. CG then hoofs it to the Bligh with spirit cover, and convinces the Maulers to attend, using his good rep with them for leverage. They seem depleted and a bit more desperate with Kong’s death and the various defections to other new gangs.
Dig flies around to round up his targets- the Ancients are an easy yes as he helped rescue some of them from ARES prison, though they are still a small faction. He then heads to north Oakland County and finds the student enclave, Ronnie’s Raider, where he once again encounters Freddy Bales, who happily introduces him to some assorted professors and Ronnie herself, who seems like a tech wiz- the enclave has a lot of clever sensors and traps rigged up of various tech levels.
Otters heads west to Dearborn to go another Red Market, and manages to make contact with a thief there who will neither confirm or deny if they are a member of the Ghunday, although the filmic bandit outift suggests they likely are. Otters passes along the invite, which includes the other guests, and gets a bad feeling this may just be a way of telling some thieves who to steal from at what time. Otters also barely spots a stealth blimp, and sends out a wideband appreciation text, but receives no response. Back at the Scar Wood Raven agrees to send some of the Swarm along, though he seems mostly interested in the promise Dig has made of a free power charging station- he has made another bike golem in his downtime, to leave running at the Plat Zone.
With everyone (possibly excluding the Ghunday) agreed to attend, the team links back up and heads to the Plat Zone to set up. Marjo-Lin comes by to perform a solo set as promised, the rest of Glock .50 having left for Denver after Latvian Gambit to start recording their debut for Silversound Records. She seems to have brought all of the Keepers with her, possibly lured by free food. The Swarm rolls up and quickly monopolizes the charging station, with many of them dropping off into BTL stupors as quickly as they can.
The Maulers and Nightmares both send small delegations and make nasty eyes at each other, but keep the peace at the meeting as promised. Marv sitting out front with his assault cannon probably helps. Lady Jain herself shows up on behalf of the Ghunday and seems to take a shine to/be working something up with the Keepers. Sikh Burn trades some tactics advice with the Nightmares, and talks about the experience in Hamtramck and what of the community successes there they can export elsewhere.
The Ancients, Metal Maniacs and non-BTL’ed Swarm exchange Blackout tech and implant tips and tricks with Ronnie’s Raiders, who seem pretty engineering focussed, and Ancients and Swarm talk about high speeds and hot races. Meanwhile, the team watches for trouble, makes sure everyone has food, drink, power etc, and TD circulates, pulling on their rep to try to get everyone to sign up.
With some impressive networking, TD manages to get everyone present to agree to a loose coop- basically they won’t attack (or steal) from other factions who have also joined. Both Lady Jain and one of the Nightmares make some quick calls after, possibly ensuring a backup plan for if the meeting went poorly isn’t executed. With that out of the way, the team parties with everyone present for a while, everyone rocks to Marjo-Lin’s sparse but intense set, and then one of the Metal Manias closes it down reading a posthuman manifesto of some sort, as Creep promised they could.
This kinda kills the mood, so everyone goes home. They call Howell to report success, and he seems surprised since he had a whole job planned, but figures this is still job done overall, so slides them some pay and offers some work as well. The team is getting a solid rep in town, and has good amount of jobs available to choose from, even amidst the confusion.