Deus Ex: Curse These Metal Hands.

The Passage West-I-Mean-North.

Giving 'em the 'slip'

In the haphazard flight from Omnicorp West's HQ, Vee's (paw), 'prowess' as a getaway driver sent the team careening straight into the side of a second 'requisitioned' vehicle containing mother, child and Percy (stu) fresh from hunting cops with his co-roaster-of-authorities Lee (dziu).

(retconned in Joe, Paw and Elisa's absence) Lana sprang from the vehicle to use her Augmented Strength to free the still-living child from the wreckage, along with a sudden rush of positive, helpful emotion and added strength from Lomman (who has twice come to Lana's aid while attempting a strength check… men, amiright?). As the police regrouped in the confusion and converged on everyone's position, Vee's cowardice kicked in just as Lee and Percy hopped into the back of the 'borrowed' armoured truck, thrown rapidly into reverse away from the advancing cops and abandoning Lana and Lomman at the scene.

Speeding desperately off into the night Vee's panic overcame their ability to drive in a straight line and Tomika (somewhat) adroitly took the wheel, deciding to take them to a refuge 'off the grid' at a small shanty town (and wouldn't you know, a known drugs trafficking spot?) she knew of in the northernmost reaches of Seattle. Lee, meanwhile, noticed a hacked smartsheet newspaper that appeared to be sending coded communication to the survivors, offering – as so many have – 'the truth'. If they wanted it they need only venture further north than their intended destination, to the parking lot of a now abandoned observatory: another known community for the homeless, criminal and downtrodden.

En-route reckless driving caused the survivors to be pulled over by a cop on patrol. Never one to let fleeing from oppressive captors dull his anti-authoritarian streak, Percy – again with Lee providing the much-needed diplomatic edge of flamethrower fire – left the truck to riddle the innocent, roasting patrolman with a communicative spray of bullets from his assault rifle. Tomika put pedal to metal and sped off, while Percy calmly acquired the cop's squad car and douchebag aviator sunglasses as penance for the inconvenience of the stop-and-search as the cop's corpse slowly cooked in the middle of the road.

Tomika took everyone else to her preferred spot first, recalling that drugs, weapons and goods are often trafficked via the abandoned subway tunnels between there and the observatory further North. On arrival however, Tomika's destination appeared abandoned, apparently due to recent fighting.

Before preparing to move on to the observatory Dr Laila Kerr of Omnicorp contacted Percy to try to arrange a meeting – an exclusive meeting with the elusive Dr herself, no less – believing him separated from the rest of the team. Simultaneously rival corp Blacklake Industries (formerly 'E and Sons') again contacted everyone via Infolink (affectionately referred to as 'Brainvoice' by Percy) with a similar request and a re-iteration of their terms, offering everyone their own 'The Truth' in exchange for a little corporate espionage against their employer.

Finally some sense of cohesion and collaboration struck the survivors. Why not invite both corps, individually, and setup an ambush in their current surroundings should either side try to pull a bunch of shady shit ? Lee, Jalos and Tomika laid in wait, as wisely chosen team spokesperson and renowned negotiator Percy contacted Dr Kerr first, telling Blacklake they'd have to wait. Kerr agreed to meet, so long as she could bring a 'friend' and the team agreed.

(retconned in Joe, Paw and Elisa's absence)  Vee was still practically catatonic with panic, remaining hidden in the van, but heard each conversation, including a report in from Lana and Lomman. Both were able to pose as relatives of the injured child they'd rescued from the wreck, and in the confusion were directed to an ambulance and then the hospital, escaping the scene that way instead. Both are now stuck at the hospital however, with a heavy police presence and a lot of questions flying around.
 
Meanwhile a large black car with tinted windows arrived at the Shanty Town, out of which stepped two men in immaculate black suits and sunglasses. One approached Percy, inquiring as to his name while the other surveyed the scene with systematic menace. Percy removed his own shades, a signal to attack, and Jalos opened fire, hitting but seemingly not affecting his uncanny target. A short-lived scuffle ensued that re-affirmed everyone's belief that these guys were heavily augmented, after which the Doctor made her presence known at last, leaping from the vehicle and pleading for an end to the fighting.

By this point Tomika had already fucked right off out of the back entrance of one of the buildings, hightailing it into the subway and taking the empty tracks north toward the observatory, passing a stop for the abandoned University of Seattle and continuing on her way to the end of the line – North End, and the observatory itself.

Dr Kerr attempted to convince Lee, Percy and Jalos to return with her to one of Omnicorp's other offices, but seemed greatly concerned that they were not with the rest of the team, imploring them to tell her where everyone is. Seeing through her half-truths they refused her request, and in desperation and apparent fear Dr Kerr asked the suited gents to give her a minute. She discreetly handed over a pocket secretary, urging the team to contact her privately at her apartment the following evening, should they want to know what the images on it are about.

The pocket secretary showed images of an autopsy. A former colleague and augmented agent, Ben Russell, who trained alongside everyone at Omnicorp but was apparently let go from the programme months earlier is seen on the operating table. The images  focused on an as-yet unknown augmentations extracted from Ben's corpse during the autopsy but provide little other information, save for a reference to 'Subset 2C'. Dr Kerr left the scene with the MiBs and assurances to them that she has secured the support of 'Subset 3B' who will be arriving back at Omnicorp by the morning.

Tomika arrived at the observatory and was approached from the group of homeless by a tall, spindly gent – seemingly mute – who showed her a copy of the glitching newspaper Lee had seen earlier. She followed, curious, letting the others know via Infolink what was going down.

Lee, Percy and Jalos left Blacklake Industries hanging and decided to follow Tomika's trail  along the tracks instead, in the direction of the observatory. Tomika, meanwhile, is lead up out of the subway.

At her back the skyline of Seattle is marred by the now collapsed, smoking wreckage of Omnicorp HQ West. The spindly mute lead her towards one of several motorhomes/caravans in the parking lot. A door on the side of one opens and she is greeted by a small woman in a lab coat, her head shaved.

Her first question: 'Where are the others?'

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EdmundMyers

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