The Sentinels, minus RedDog who’s hiding out after tangling with Medusan Shield last time, start digging into the “murder party” rumors they have been hearing. They also find out that the soul trader they ripped off has hired Ultimate Security to look into the raid, but believes it was 9 Lives still. Nikki burns her fake ID, as does RedDog, to cover their tracks. They get approved for new ID’s and some new gear based on their recent successes.
They find some Jovian refugees in the Mutualist district of Proudhon Terrace, and Nikki befriends them and helps get them some self-defense equipment and lodging in the burned scratch space in The Pits. She also gets a lead on who smuggled them in- there’s a few people missing from their group, but they don’t know if they got snagged by Jovian security, in transitm or on this end.
The cell finds out that the Shui Fong triad likely moved the people in via the Stars our Destination swarm, using a local Big Circle contact to get them to relative safety with the Mutualists. They also find out that their is conflict brewing aboard TSOD between the Shui Fong and the Bahala Na.
They hack into some comms servers for the Rational Individuals gang, who they’ve heard might be involved, and find that they’ve been rolling folks who show up at the docks/farcasting ports with no security contract, but that some sort of boss within the gang has a private circle that she uses on certain individuals who she tells the others to leave alone. They convince one of the Jovians Nikki befriended to take a contract for a sketchy party gig and track/follow her there, as this seems to all link up.
They almost lose the two RI goons who show up, but manage to follow them to a mansion in Bernoulli, where they see 2 wealthy banking twin heirs sleeved in perma-teen morphs eagerly awaiting the drugged Jovian’s arrival. They have a dastardly look about them, and the RI leader is there as well, so the team decides to call in backup and make their entry. While waiting, they spot some sort of cyber-ronin in the trees, also surveilling the mansion.
RedDog rejoins Nikki at the entrance to the district, and Dr. Ship contacts the cyber-Ronin. He is there to assassinate the twins and seems to have beef with the Ultimates working security, so they agree to team up. Dr. Ship sneaks around back and hacks open a surface access airlock, which PJ enters to after fleeing the security that spotted him up front. Nikki and RedDog decide to pose as a suicide/murder comedy duo and social infiltrate into the party.
They manage to get the twins interested enough to watch their act, though they don’t feel super safe doing so and get into more and more extreme scenarios including Nikki editing RedDog’s mind, and him being commanded to shoot various people and things in the room. He loses patience and starts shooting Rational Individuals, which delights the twins. Nikki plays it up as part of the act.
Meanwhile outside, the other group quickly gets spotted and Dr. Ship runs off and hides while PJ gets KO’ed. The ronin out front starts taking out drones and Ultimates, as the firefight inside escalates. Dr. Ship eventually emerges once the gunfire outside dies down, recovers PJ, heals him as best as possible, and begins looking for evidence inside. RedDog gets blown apart by a lucky shot from one of the RI’s, and Nikki takes cover behind his body as the doors to the room blow in and a massive gunfight erupts.
When Nikki glances out, she sees a camo’ed form using dissolver nanites to melt the twins’ stacks, having executed everyone else who had survived. She says she’s Dr. Ship’s friend, and the form tells her they better get out of there as reinforcements will surely arrive soon. Nikki manages to mix up a drug cocktail to unparalyze the 6 future victims, and get their spy out of there. They flee and manage to catch a ride onboard the Ronin’s ship- he parks them in an asteroid field, where PJ heals and they lay low for a few days. He’s a member of the Shugyosha, a wandering warrior cult with a dojo on Mars that has beef with the Ultimates.
Dr. Ship has to hide in the mansion since he doesn’t have a spacesuit to get to the ship, but manages to stay sane for a few days in a secret compartment in the wall and also finds a stashed server with data about the twins’ nefarious activities. Firewall sees them as a potential x-risk due to their continuing escalation in thrill-seeking, though they might not be there yet, and says they’ll keep an eye on them if/when they resleeve. Nikki social hacks her way into the mansion, posing as an interested renter, and rescues Dr. Ship.
Next up: an experimental morph designer has some designs that suggest exsurgent contact, and that needs examining…