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Actions and Reactions is the 10th episode of Aztec Gold. It took place on November 4, 2018 and picks up where the previous episode left off. 

SummaryEdit

Burnout, Nova and Mothra disguise themselves as EVO guards and infiltrate the Exohyual factory. The Edgelord disguises himself as an employee, and Cybersloth camps out in a bathroom, making runs against the host in VR. Burnout triggers an alarm in his attempts to disable the HTR elevator then gets knocked unconscious by a bound air spirit. The HTR team disables the entire team except Nova, who left during the fight, and Cybersloth who was able to sneak out a rear entrance. While the three are taken prisoner by an Ares strike force, Nova is able to remotely crash the helicopter shortly after it takes off, allowing Mothra to perform a rescue. Cybersloth uses the distraction to sneak back into the factory and steal the artifact.

SynopsisEdit

This episode started where the previous one left off: with Burnout, Nova, and Mothra entering the ExoHyual corporation factory where The Edgelord was working. The receptionist advises anyone going to the factory to leave electronics behind. Burnout quickly realizes the reasoning, as he attempts to use his cyber ears to filter out the machinery, resulting in feedback and smoke from his ear.

Inside, Nova asks some probing questions to the dwarf foreman, which puts him on the defensive. He decides to start doing rounds of the factory to prove productivity. Meanwhile, The is having trouble with his machine, which requires lifting and lowering a heavy metal press 20 times before switching off with a partner. The does not possess the stamina to run his machine all day, and is worried he won't make it the two hours until his first break.

Cybersloth sneaks into the bathroom, takes a seat in the handicap stall and jacks in. She finds that the host has two turrets, and elevator, a handful of security cameras, and a device running silent (later determined to be a train) slaved to it, as well as a number of vending machines, security guard comlinks and data files residing on the host. She pokes around, but every time she alerts any IC to her presence, immediately jacks out and then back in. Eventually, she learns that the data files contain hours of presentations of corporate strategy, mergers and announcements, mostly by Jocelyn White.

When the foreman comes around, The Edgelord tries to create a diversion by knocking his partner's safety hat into the laser grid, disabling the machinery. He fails at his attempt, but his partner takes pity on him and takes the mantle. Unfortunately, this gets him written up, as the delay The caused means that the factory has to be restarted. For his trouble, The Edgelord pays his partner 100 nuyen.

Nova investigates the centerpiece of the factory: an artifact in a display case made of bulletproof glass. The case is protected by a magnetic lock secured by a simple computer system. The control panel contains a red/green diode, a speaker, and an LED screen that cycles three words every 5 seconds. An authorized user speaking the three words currently displayed will unlock the case.

Mothra, Burnout and Nova drill the foreman in the locker room, learning that they have a 3 minute HTR response time for first responders, with backup within 10 minutes. He tells them they have a personal train attached to the factory. The train is below the locker room, only accessible by an ancient dumbwaiter which in turn can only be activated once the steel doors to the locker room are closed, cutting off the resonance from the artifact.

The three of them descend in the dumbwaiter to the train station below. Seeing no way to delay the train, they decide to sabotage the dumbwaiter instead. Seeing no way to cut through the metal cord, Burnout decides to lean into the elevator shaft and fire a pistol upwards to the pulley at the top. He does this three times (narrowly avoiding maiming or killing himself) before destroying the pulley, causing the elevator to grind downward before collapsing in a noisy heap at the bottom of the shaft. This disturbance alerts the receptionist, whose desk is located immediately overhead. She pulls an alarm, and the factory begins to evacuate.

The foreman enters the locker room in a frenzy, desperate to know what happened. Nova says that the elevator broke while they were doing routine maintenance, but fails to provide an explanation for the gunshots. The foreman unlocks the gun safe and is shot by burnout before he can draw the pistol from inside. Nova gets a call from her daughter, wanting to know when she is coming home. Nova says it's bed time here, and that she'll call back later.

Immediately, Cybersloth notices guards moving towards the factory and tells the crew that they don't have time to program a voice modulator in order to crack the security system. Burnout decides to run towards the display case, but freezes when he notices a summoned spirit of air. The air spirit decides Burnout is a threat, and engulfs him, suffocating Burnout with pure oxygen. In seconds, Burnout is knocked unconscious.

Before the spirit can find a new target (indeed, before Burnout was fully out), The Edgelord and Mothra shoot at the spirit. It dissipates into nothingness just moments after Burnout collapses.

Meanwhile, is fighting off a couple IC (Patrol and Marker). Once they are dispatched, she jacks out to clean up her trail. She heads past the receptionist (who is hiding behind a fern) and into the factory, ignoring the warning from the plant area. Once inside, she positions herself on the catwalk and summons a sphinx, telling it to destroy the protective casing.

The sphinx meows (in Egyptian) and attacks, splintering the glass, but not shattering it. In response, metal sheets come down on the inside of the case, adding further protection. Following Cybersloth's direction, the sphinx knocks the case free from the floor, freeing it from the cement and bolts that were securing it to the factory floor. Cybersloth then ducks behind cover near an emergency exit as two guards enter the room. Below the guards, Mothra and the Edgelord aim at the locker room, prepared to shoot anyone that crosses the threshold into the factory.

Nova feels outnumbered at this point. She looks at Burnout's unconscious form, fingers a medical kit, shrugs and leaves the factory by a side door. Outside, she calls Ophelia back.

The two guards immediately notice the sphinx. One turns to the other and says, "Holy shit, a sphinx". Before unloading his pistol at the spirit. The second guard, a wage mage, unleashes a bolt of lightening, dissipating (and possibly killing) the sphinx.

At almost the same moment, the first round of HTR support arrives. They had to climb the elevator shaft using suction cups. Mothra and The Edgelord both shoot at the lead HTR guard as the other two take cover. The Edgelord's shot is deflected by the guard's chrome, but Mothra's burst fire draws blood. Unfortunately, Mothra was firing from the open, and is quickly gunned down. Moments later, another HTR guard circles around and gunns down The as well. There is momentary confusion due to Mothra wearing EVO HTR gear, but they brush it off.

Mothra uses the opportunity to slip outside the building, reuniting with Nova. Doc calls and informs them that he is alive, though just barely. Doc expresses his belief that he'll die in a retaliation strike. "I fought of these, but when they realize I'm still alive, they'll send more. And I only have so many explosives."

When Burnout was knocked unconscious, it triggered his DocWagon contract, and they arrive for both him and The Edgelord within a few minutes of the HTR team. The HTR team initially resists letting DocWagon tend to the wounded, but eventually subside. Once they realize that the crew are wanted by Ares, the HTR stabilizes Mothra as well, handing him over to an Ares strike helicopter.

Aboard the helicopter, Mothra, Burnout and The Edgelord are told that Sora Kobiyashi is eager to speak with them. But as the copter takes off, it suffers a major malfunction -- Nova had jacked in and used Puppeteer to convince the engines to shut down only a few meters into the air. The copter was banking at the time, and crashed into the building. One of the two guards on board flew out a door and was killed on impact, smeared across the roof. The other had his arm broken by the impact.

As the pilot struggled to regain control, the remaining guard unbuckled Mothra in an attempt to get him out of the craft. As the guard unbuckled Burnout, he headbutted the guard and missed, causing the guard to re-secure burnout in place. Mothra pulled a gun from his cybernetic arm and attempted to shoot the guard. He missed several times before letting out The Edgelord and finally killing the gaurd, and one of the stray bullets managed to ignite the gasoline-soaked fabric of the helicopter's seats.

The pilot ran from the flaming helicopter, but Cybersloth was able to hack into the roof's door and lock it, rendering him unable to escape. The Edgelord let Burnout free seconds before the helicopter exploded into a fireball, and all three were able to slide down Mothra's cyber arm grappling hook to the ground below.

During the helicopter incident, Mothra snuck back into the factory where only two guards were posted and manually overrode the security system on the artifact by taking apart the panel and connecting the appropriate wires together.

Back on the ship, she reveals her prize, and the artifacts show the location of Atlantis: off the coast of Seattle. Mothra calls his fence to get more guns, but the fence reveals that since the El Dorado money, he's actually been in retirement, and only helped out with the Evo Uniforms as a gesture of goodwill.

Crestfallen, mostly unarmed, and mostly dead, the crew heads back to Seattle where they are most wanted to finally find Atlantis and secure the everclear.

TriviaEdit

Due to GM error, the EVO contract was mistakenly referred to as a Renraku contract during gameplay.

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