Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
Goodbye (for now) to: Aylin
and introducing: Creature
The team heads down to Ahabitat via sub, with both Keg and Kit trying to play it cool but pretty surprised. They see 6Cyl’s remains ensconsed in coral, slowly being consumed by lake life. Upon arrival, Patty C is slightly sad to see that 6C has already been replaced, though she understands. Avocado, feeling some conflict with his mentor, decides to abandon the Children of the Beak for now, and takes the handwritten sign off the door. This allows both new members to have a room without needing to clean out 6C’s stuff, which noone is really ready for yet. They all chat and bond a bit, and then Keg goes into his room and shuts the door and has a loud freakout. The team inquires, but he seems disinclined to explain further.
They rest up for a few days, and talk about next steps, reviewing the few remaining jobs they have on offer. Aylin announces that she will be mostly focusing on solving the Black Lodge/Book problem for the time being, but will still be around and may require some assistance from the team. Avocado is feeling increasingly attracted to Kit’s more peaceable philosophy, and is wondering about maybe finding a better magical connection through a different path.
They head back to the surface to get some drinks and hang, and Kit takes delivery of a massive new shield, which he says is for protecting them while doing medical in combat scenarios, but Kit requests noone attack from behind it. They head to the dingy ammo-trade bar Pog mo Thoin, delighted by the grody atmosphere. They catch up with some other runners and shadowcasters, and overall have a nice bonding time. Returning to Ahabitat to crash, they awake the next morning to some messages in their queue.
Apparently the Devil’s Revolver has now slain the free spirit gunslinger Thornhill as well, though Thornhill may have survived in some form due to a secretive ritual they had performed with their True Name. Aylin announces that she will be leaving the team’s day to day ops in order to focus on the Black Lodge heist with her mom and Old Crow. Aylin says she will likely need assistance from the team to pull the actual job, but will be in touch. For now, her and Patty C will still be using the safehouse. Tate also reminds them to come by for another job, so the team heads his way, after making some upgrade plans for the safehouse with the new teammates.
They arrive at Tate’s and find an even larger Freedom Network/Popular Will protest than last time, and a much more agitated crowd. Avocado almost instigates a fight with Keg’s backing, but the rest of the crew talk them out of it, and Avo once again feels some conflict with his mentor, with another voice calling to him, showing him a different path. The Desolation Angels help them sneak in the back way, and Tate tells them there’s a killer paracritter he needs captured alive. He introduces them to a local runner named Creature who is good with animals and toxins, who should prove useful for this gig.
The team reviews the evidence, and heads out, and decide to look into the FN/PW more: the PW militia seems to have much nicer gear and better matrix defenses than the team expected, which seems interesting. They drive over to Greektown, and meet Tate’s informants. They spend some time talking with various encampment in the dangerous locale, and get some good intel. With drone surveillance assistance, they spot a storm drain that seems like the best spot to start tracking, and head there. Quantum Princess contacts them on the way and asks them to retrieve an old pre-CZ data storage device from the area, since they’re going in anyway. She also helps them navigate around an ASPS team which is cordoning off a large area around the Shattergraves due to strange alchera activity.
The team heads into the sewers, and Carol does some impressive tracking using his new nasal implants, with Creature providing valuable assistance. Carol does puke again from the smell, for good measure. They get attacked by some ghouls lead by a Dzoo no qua, which bites Avocado and possibly infects him. However, the team performs well and slays most of the feral pack, driving off the rest. They find QP’s old data store, and a few members are badly injured by a trap- it seems like the lone survivor of this cell tried to hold up and ride out the start of Bug City, not knowing they’d be trapped here, and starved to death. They do find an intact 2050’s deck with data storage module, however, so mission accomplished, yay.
They follow the tracks a bit further, and find the Talis Cat’s lair. Unfortunately, it’s made a friend- a large sludge spirit, which attacks them as soon as they enter. The cat tries to flee but Creature manages to KO it and grab it with xyr tail. The rest of the team barely defeats the sludge spirit, taking some heavy damage, and Hotkey almost gets geeked by a stray Jormungandr virus fragment that apparently survived in the local mesh net of devices down here. The team returns the cat to Tate, gets paid, and agrees to keep working with Creature for now as xe seem quite handy. Onward!