MMFEC isn’t done with political intrigue – after getting most of them off easy, everyone in MMFEC must go undercover to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
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We rejoin MMFEC in the hospital. Fang is restrained in her hospital bed, Cromwell briefly thinks he’s been reincarnated, and the rest nurse their wounds. Miss J greets the group and brings them to Dana Oakes, who thanks the team for saving her life.
But Dana has a special proposition for Fang. Unfortunately, Fang has broken the terms of her parole and is under arrest. Dana wants Fang to get information from one Lottie Solokov, a street samurai who used to work for Scarlet Fyre and those behind the disappearance of former press secretary Jeffries. If MMFEC succeds, Dana will remove Fang’s criminal SIN. The team will also receive compensation from Draco.
After some heart-to-heart talks, Fang agrees to the charade and Ellie agrees to go in as her “counselor”. The rest of the party – Ma1nfram3, Mordecai and Cromwell – head out to get direct proof that Corrigan and Brackenhaven were responsible for Jeffries’ death; digitally or otherwise. The team is provided with Knight Errant Extra-Ballistic Protection Patches, which provide 5 uses of extra armor protection in a pinch.
Fang is taken to prison processing, and Ellie meets with one Barb, who instructs Ellie about the exclusion of sniper rifles from the list of appropriate accessories for a prison counselor. Ma1n helps Ellie hack her case files to add Lottie to her caseload, and in the process Ellie finds out that Fang’s record includes a conviction for accepting bribes, manufacturing and distributing Tempo, and being an accessory to murder. She had a 3 year prison sentence and is in month 2 of her 3 years of parole.
Once in her cell, Fang meets her roommate – Lotte herself. They engage in several hours of staring. Later, Fang begins negotiations with Lotte and gets her terms – Bliss. Fang’s resistance to drug culture must be surmounted for the good of the run.
During preparation for their own run, Ma1nfram3 checks in with Mordecai after his exclamation to his dad the night of the Corrigan assassination. Mordecai demurs at first, then shares that he was adopted. He never knew his father in life, but knows with certainty – somehow – that the spirit is his birth father.
Cromwell, Ma1n and Mordecai return to Corrigan’s apartment again, in the guise of Detectives Charlie Hammer, Jo Lorde and … Caspar Bartholomew? Crom and Mord manage their disguises (Mordecai manages a poncho, anyway.) Ma1n has a harder time and accidentally disguises herself convincingly as a Lone Star security office. Mord and Cromwell stumble over their words trying to assure Ma1n that she still looks good, just the wrong kind.
Meanwhile, Ellie spends quality time with Fang and her difficult roommate, always with crayons and paper. Fang really lets her aggression out on those crayons as she draws the bliss Ellie must obtain.
Once the drugs are ready, Ellie presents them to Lotte during a session in a crayon box. This begins a flow of information about the team of shadowrunners who assassinated Corrigan – Scarlet Fyre. The team includes 2 mages – twins Hiro and Rosa. Tai is the team’s Street Samurai, and Queen B the team’s decker (Which explains the wasp personas they saw on the last run.) But more work will be required to get the name of those behind the hits. Lotte demands replacement cyberlegs, which will require a more traditional Shadowrun extraction.
Back at Corrigan’s apartment, the team has a surprisingly easy time getting their way back upstairs – by telling a somewhat-truthful story about unexploded ordnance left in the apartment. Hammer just pinned it on Fang instead of himself. By posing as an expert demolitions team, they somehow get access again and end up together awkwardly in the very slow elevator.
While coping with the Muzak, the three discuss their pasts and Ma1n gets a little defensive about how terribly disappointing birthdays are. Cromwell asks when hers is, and she reluctantly blurts out June 20. Mord and Cromwell mumble something about a tooth cake as the doors open.
Inside the apartment, there are signs of a cleanup crew once the team gets past law enforcement’s security perimeter. Cromwell retrieves the grenade he left in a wall, and Ma1n finds Corrigan’s machine wiped clean. Mordecai detects some spirits, and also – despite all odds – spots the real paydirt; a biometric security dongle attached to Corrigan’s computer. Ma1n pockets the dongle and the trio absconds, dropping off the key well within the 30 minutes allotted to them for the cleanup.
Ma1n has some experience with security measures, and doesn’t want to risk this biometric device drawing anyone back to her own residence. Instead, she calls Jane at Ares, who they met while in the hospital. She gets some information about where – hypothetically – law enforcement might store cyberlimbs removed from inmates. And then Ma1n arranges to visit Knight Errant facilities to trace the dongle’s behavior. Jane is surprisingly willing to allow Ma1n onto their property. When she arrives, a woman named Taniqua at Ares tells Ma1n “welcome home”, which makes her angry for a moment before she catches her face – but just as with the Ares drone, Ma1n took precautions to lock down her comms before entering the building.
Clean room acquired, Ma1n hooks up the dongle and manages to trace its connection to First Corporation Bank – notably, the same institution for which Ma1n already has Corrigan’s account number from their HR escapades.
So MMFEC is on the trail of 1) data stored in a bank safehouse and 2) cybernetic legs to unlock 3) testimony about assassinations by Scarlet Fyre to 4) secure Fang’s freedom and potentially 5) facilitate an overthrow of 6th world Seattle’s corrupt government. All in a day’s work for MMFEC: Only One of Us Is Currently In Prison.