Elsie and Fang try to get a prison inmate new cyberlegs in exchange for critical information. Ma1nfram3, Cromwell and Mordecai prepare for a bank heist, but not without a few bumps along the way.
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We rejoin MMFEC as they remain split. The team’s primary focus is to get Fang out of prison by finishing the information extraction from former Scarlet Fyre member Lottie. She has demanded replacement cyberlegs in exchange for naming names. Elsie convinces her manager that Lottie is in extreme pain and gets a medical exemption application submitted – but it requires a physician’s sign-off.
So Ma1nfram3 is enlisted to return as Elsie’s mother, coming into the prison for an office visit. Between snapping pictures of Elsie in every possible corner of the office, Ma1n and Elsie stop in her private office long enough for Ma1nfram3 to hack Ellie’s terminal and list one Dr. Zack Slater – Mordecai’s new fake SIN – as the new examiner. She also pre-fills the form to minimize Mordecai’s time using technology of any kind.
At the time of the prescribed appointment, Mordecai goes in to discover the previous examiner is at the desk, bewildered about the fact that he’s not on “the list”. Elsie talks him down and escorts the original doctor inside, clearing the path for Mordecai to proceed to Lotte’s examination.
In the exam room, Mordecai manages to convince the two prison guards that’s he’s some sort of legit shamanistic doctor with a very Spock-like fake mind assensing situation. Lotte also takes all her clothes off, because medical exam. Luckily, Mord succeeds on his composure test and keeps on with the charade. He also resists the “helpful” efforts of the guards to get him to sign off then and there, knowing it’ll just be safer if he lets his “nurse” Ma1nfram3 submit the paperwork remotely.
Meanwhile, Cromwell meets with Naseam Daylen at the Draco Foundation offices to ask if he’d be willing to perform Lottie’s surgery with a few… enhancements. Specifically, limiters on her limbs while she is incarcerated; a GPS tracker MMFEC can use separately, and… an embedded 5K credstick with a secret video message from Cromwell, in which he says he doesn’t forget grudges and he would like to hire Lottie upon her departure. Cromwell also drops that Lottie would accept experimental limbs, which seals the deal for researcher Naseam.
Paperwork submitted, Elsie is sent in to meet with Lotte pre-surgery. Lotte holds up her end of the bargain, revealing that Carl Brackhaven – the uncle to the current governor of 6th world Seattle – was the individual who hired Scarlet Fyre to kidnap (and originally murder) political rival Josephine Dzhugashvili. Lotte also draws a picture for Elsie.
After a day of embarrassing Elsie at work and researching First Corporation Bank to prepare for their heist – the other half of their mission for Dana – Ma1nfram3 heads to dinner with her… boyfriend? Captain Paul Moore. They have a heart-to-heart about Paul’s decision to join Wuxing and good vs. evil in the 6th world.
At the same time, Cromwell is taking his bear/dog Barnaby out for a walk with Mordecai in tow. Cromwell pressures Mordecai to call Ma1nfram3, believing that’s what Ma1n wants, is someone proactive. Mord finally agrees, but he glitches on his use of his commlink.
The call connects to Ma1n on her date, but all Ma1n hears is Mordecai’s speech autotranslated to Spanish (which she does not speak.) At first she believes it’s a prank, but as he continues in Spanish she begins to wonder if this is some sort of code – is he kidnapped or hurt? Captain Paul is very understanding as Ma1nfram3 takes leave of him for the night and heads to Mord’s last known location, which she can track easily on the Matrix.
When she finds Cromwell and Mordecai, nothing is wrong at all. She is confused and exasperated, but the damage has been done for the evening and Mordecai admits to her that it felt good to confide in her about his dad. Thinking Mord just needed some companionship, Ma1n asks if he’ll help her decorate Fang’s place as a welcome-home surprise, and along the way they chat Mord’s magical development. Ma1n gets a soycaf maker and materials for Fang, and Mordecai, who seems to consider himself a nascent chef, bakes a cake.
The next morning, back in jail, Lotte is whisked away for her surgery, and soon after Fang is released from jail and informed there will be a hearing next week to decide the fate of her criminal conviction, until which time she is still on parole. Fang calls Mordecai to bring her home, and the gang surprises her at her place.
Once the festivities wrap up, it’s back to business – their run is only partially complete. The team still needs to find tangible proof that Brackhaven was behind the disappearance and likely murder of his former press secretary. Ma1n, Mord and Cromwell tracked down evidence that the recently-assassinated Emile Corrigan was keeping sensitive files in a safe deposit server at First Corporation Bank. The only way to get to those files is to physically visit the bank – and either break in or be let in AS Emile.
The team decides on the latter approach first, which means they must impersonate a dead man. Specifically, Ma1nfram3 must impersonate Emile, since she will be the one accessing the files. To their advantage, Emile’s death is not public and the existence of this file was not known. Further to their advantage, Ma1nfram3 retrieved his bank account information from the HR files in Seattle earlier in the run, not realizing their future use.
Ma1n spends a fair bit of time holed up at her place in the dark, crafting a fake SIN to match Emile’s credentials, drawing from their direct personal experience with him. She also has the biometric dongle they retrieved, which will be marked to recognize her. She configures her subvocal microphone to play her speech in a lower register, though she won’t be able to imitate him exactly and will have to stay fairly nonverbal, letting her “assistant” Elsie do the talking. They use Elsie’s smart wig and mask to build out the physical appearance – and we leave the runners just as Ma1nfram3’s Emile Corrigan disguise is nearly complete.