After deciding against immediate pursuit of the auditors fleeing the clinic in Ft. Lewis, the team accepts an invitation to a meet arranged by up-and-coming fixer Castle. Needing a face since the disappearance of Ghost Bear, Cobalt Blue calls up his new friend Knot, who meets them with dinner to discus a proposal:
Knot will negotiate the pay for the run, in exchange for 25% of the negotiated increase.
The location for the meet is a the top floor of an under construction skyscraper, kind of on the edge of downtown North Seattle (185th St). The Johnson was an Ares J, and didn’t really give a shit if the runners figure that out.
He explained to the team that the job was an assassination, and the target was currently being held in a corporate detention facility:
“You gotta do some pretty problematic stuff to be sent to one of these. They are EXTREMELY rare, because in 2075, if you have a white collar you don’t go to jail. You don’t even use a legal system. Odds are you are extremely valuable to a corporation, and are just going through some political strife. The board plans to pull you off ice once the drama has passed.”
“ This particular target is an Aztechnology executive. He was caught masterminding a ring of blood mages in the CAS. Now, their last spree of sacrifices was in 2072, which took them through Ares sovereign territory in the Texas desert. They racked up an impressive body count of highly trained HTRTs, near El Paso. Sent in an Ares Firewatch team which took out 3 mages, and suspected more were trapped in the hills. There was a protracted standoff, which ended in a fire watch team going hot, and the capture of Hector Puente."
i.e. Ares had a really fragging hard time taking these guys down.
Upon hearing the targets name, Cobalt Blue performed a matrix search, finding dramatic stories of his dastardly deeds and the heroism of Ares staff. 45 dead Ares Firewatch in El Paso says the ’trix. Stories clearly imply that Puente was killed. The search also lead to lots of documentaries, true crime stories, exposés, and a poorly reviewed story arc in Karl Kombatmage’s limited run trid series, as well as conspiracy theories and rumors that:
Hector has been traded back and forth among companies seeking to get leverage over Aztechnology, and with each company he proves to be more dangerous than they are prepared for.
Ares deeply regrets the trade that started it all. They have been actively hunting him, and their intelligence shows that:
- Hector Puente seems to have a direct line to astral services, though he is not awakened himself.
- There is a wake of carnage behind Hector just prior to being traded to the next corp. Ares thinks these are just barely failed escape attempts.
- Hector manages to get in touch with blood mages sometimes. So before he has a chance to do this again, Ares wants him dead.
- He is currently in the custody of Gaeatronics, at a facility in Bellevue located in what once was Saint Edward State Park.
After some considerable back and forth between Knot and Mr. Johnson, they arrived at a sum of ¥96K, in exchange for proof of death by the following Monday. Mr Johnson also informed the team that he would be sending two of his own operatives along to make sure the job got done to completion. The team was joined by an vaguely maybe sorta asian elven male named Romeo, and a female orc named Catapult. An infiltrator and rigger respectively.
During the legwork phase, the team discovered:
The facility is basically a resort in a canyon. Gaeatronics uses the natural surrounds to keep prisoners in. It’s a huge, sprawling facility in a valley, surrounded on 3 sides by very steep cliffs. The open end is walled in, and those walls are dressed up to look like more of the mountain. Satellites are useless due to massive sections of tarp that cover the valleys.
Astral flyby shows the canyon opening is heavily warded, as well as the presence of hellhounds. There are multiple layers of sensors and fencing, each far enough apart that guards have plenty of time to react before getting to the next one. Corp HTR response time is suspected to be quite low. Anti air equipment is also very likely, covering the lake. Lake Washington has a sonar and sensor buoy net set out a couple hundred feet from shore: off enough that the prisoners can still frolic in the lake.
There are currently about 20 other prisoners here, all guilty of various other corporate crimes that Gaeatronics doesn’t want to have tried in public. The crimes tend to be pretty nasty; rape, torture, serial killers. These are very violent sociopaths, who through a combination of birth and opportunism have been doing quite well for themselves in corporate life.
Each “prisoner” has their own bungalow, and is under constant surveillance. The small huts are each warded. They have free reign of the property, and there is pretty good arial drone coverage to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t kill each other. They get regular shipments of high quality food and bunruku women. Not all of the women make it back out.
The plan the team settled on, was to disable a section of the perimeter fence, climb over it, and then locate Hector Puente, kill him, and then escape somehow.
On the way in, they were nearly discovered twice, and were forced to kill a patrolling guard and his hellhound.