It is the morning after the warehouse massacre. The news is full of speculation about who was involved and why. Other rumors include: the assassination of Jibril al-Qina and the attempted kidnapping of Mubarak Hassan.
Our heroes fall into bed for a few brief hours of sleep. Alexei and Tyson are at Alexei’s lab. Sam heads to her home. Before he sleeps, Ace goes to see a gunsmith. He buys some ammunition for his new semiautomatic pistol, and makes a discrete inquiry about selling some hot combat rifles.
That afternoon, everyone is pretty much recovered. Tyson’s arm still stings, but everyone else is feeling chipper. Sam makes contact with Matta Khalil, a ridiculously rich merchant who asks her to investigate the disappearance of a ship called the Colossal Quickness which he chartered to Karbala. He offers to foot the expenses for the entire trip if she’ll bring back information about the Quickness, but hints that the Karbalan bazaari might not be too happy with the Quickness or its captain. He also recommends a few private military contractors that may be able to offer freelance security: the Daybreak Sodality and Magnus Enterprises.
Ace meets the gunsmith again, and the smith has friends this time. These friends are wearing green headbands and wristbands and have bleary, tear-streaked eyes. Although they’ve never met Ace, one of them looks at him strangely. Ace recognizes the headbands from two fighters killed in the warehouse massacre just that morning. He continues the deal, however, and ends up selling the weapons for 350 credits. He tips the gunsmith 50c for his trouble.
Alexei wakes and decides to track down some more information about the bioweapon sample. He and Ace put their feelers out, and manage to convince a biotech to leave the door open to a lab late that night. Alexei sneaks in with the sample and analyzes it, narrowly avoiding sending information on the maltech to an unknown government agency. The weapon is a previously unseen virus that follows in the mold of weapons from Ticron. It is fatal to humans in 1-3 days and dead bodies remain a vector. He gets enough information to begin work on a cure, or maybe even an innoculant, but doesn’t have the sensitively-handled biostock necessary to begin production.
Tyson, watching the news, sees that the police have arrested Chanda Najeeb and blame foreign intelligence agencies for fomenting a gang war in the warehouse district. Ace spends some time gambling, and his underworld friends are all a little bewildered by the showdown—it’s called a gang war, but they know all the gangs and don’t know anyone who was there.
The next morning dawns bright and clear, and the party retrieves Alexei’s car, driving to the spaceport to meet with Molly “Blender” Akpehi about delivering her son to Samadhikir. On the way, they pass a Friday prayer that is rapidly turning into a military protest against psychics, foreigners, and foreign psychics. The meeting with Blender is tense for a little bit, and she obviously still doesn’t like Ace, but eventually she agrees to forgive his debt if he and his friends will take Ollie to the academy.
They try, but are interrupted by the protest, which is being led by Rana Isa, who cuts an intimidating figure in her full dress uniform. Ace lets a few shots fly to intimidate the crowd and Tyson’s driving gets them through, but not before they see an enemy of Blender’s whispering to Isa and pointing out their car.
They gun it for Samadhikir, and are about halfway there when their front right tire blows out unexpectedly. Tyson manages to get the car under control and keep it moving down the road, but after a few minutes, a black sedan pulls out of an alley to finish the job. With strategic driving, Tyson manages to keep the sedan at bay. After Ace shoots at the sedan, they return fire with a laser rifle and burn a neat circle in its rear view mirror. As the car begins to fall apart around them, they arrive at Samadhikir to find another protest building around its gate.
They manage to bull through before the car gives out, and are safe for the moment. Alexei takes Ollie to the barricaded children’s dorm and leaves him with an older student while the others observe the protest from the campus’s walls. Ace notices the black sedan is parked in a nearby alley and empty, so he tries to steal it. While he does, the riot escalates and before he can get it started the car is tipped. Tyson goes to try to help him, and together they discover a case in the trunk. Tyson takes it and absconds while Ace escapes from the crowded-in car and joins the protest.
Tyson discovers a sniper rifle in the case and believes he has found the answer to the protest problem. He climbs to a rooftop.
Sam tries to divert the mob’s attention, but her brilliant plan of property destruction fails, and she narrowly avoids an angry man whose car is now on fire. She escapes back into the crowd, where Alexei joins her.
As the session draws to a close, Ace is rioting while trying to avoid the intimidating figures in military uniforms angling toward him. Sam has just tackled Rana Isa and knocked her off a car, hearing a sickening crack. Tyson assembles a sniper rifle in a perfect tactical position. And as the crowd roils at the sight of Isa’s fall, Alexei gets a phone call. “Ollie,” his babysitter says. “I don’t know what happened, but he’s gone, he’s gone.”
Next session will start with Alexei’s attempt to get Sam out of the trouble she’s just caused.