Aboard the shuttle, Anna and Zanzibar decide to lay down arms and explain themselves to the Phelan’s End port authorities (a local citizen’s militia), while Corvus makes use of the smuggling compartments that he noticed aboard the vessel to hide himself and any questionable gear the team had.
Anna charms the militia leader, and after a brief review of recorded data from the shuttle, they are let go. Corvus sneaks out later with the gear, and begins examining the various docked ships to find a suitable transport to Pandora (as well as satisfy his personal curiosities and compulsiveness).
Phelan’s End is a beehive cluster, a partially hollowed out asteroid filled with livable tunnels and caverns, and spun to generate .2g. It is one of the major ports in Phelan’s Recourse, and is a good hub for in system travel, as well as a center of vice and mercantilism, as befits a port.
Anna finds some locals who are hiring dancers for a party, and wows the crowd, increasing her @-rep. Zanzibar uses his allies to send a coded message to Tor Dietrichson about the shuttle attack, warning that there may be a mole in Firewall. Anna manages to find a local Firewall contact named Nataly who is also looking to leave Phelan’s End. They meet up, and agree to join forces. Zanzibar gets hired by a sleazy local sex parlor to do some brief simulspace psychtherapy on some of the employees-he decides that since he is trying to lessen their pain, this isn’t unethical.
Anna also receives a contact from a local @-lister who met her at the party, looking for a favor. There is a local sex-trade kingping known as Bannock Kohn, who is rumored to also be running an infomorph slave ring. He apparently transfers uncooperative (or worn down) infomorphs into pleasure pods after their abuse in the virtual sweatshop. He is rumored to use illegal psychosurgery to make these infomorphs more pliable, and to be willing to meet almost any customer demands, no matter how extreme or outlandish. Zanzibar is worried that he may have accidentally helped this guy the other night.
The @-listers want him removed (or his operation exposed and dismantled), but due to Kohn’s high local rep with the gangsters and politicos (due to bribes and scientific ‘discoveries’ he has made using slave labor) they can’t effectively target them themselves. So, they want an outside party to assist. The team agrees, although Corvus remains occupied.
Zanzibar tries to use his g-rep to his advantage, but instead ends up sending his monkey into a trap. He action heroes a rescue, and ko’s 6 goons with his brutal ap ammo, while Anna and Nataly go to Kohn’s bar and seduce the talent manager/muscle Burt Mannix. They agree to meet him after work, and Anna slips him a weakening nano-toxin.