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SINs of the Father is the 9th episode of Aztec Gold.


Synopsis Edit

After paying November rent the crew flies over Easter Island, spying a small village with sprawling greenspace, clusters of statues, an antique store, a shop of "magical regalia", a cybercafe and helipad. They proceed to the south end of the island and land in a hanger. They are flagged over the radio and asked why they did not request clearance to land. When the crew fails to provide an adequate answer, they are informed that they will be boarded and searched.

A young lieutenant in a pristine blue and green uniform boards the ship and scans the SINs of every crew member except Burnout, whom he dismisses as cargo. Despite all of the SINs being fake, the officer's device doesn't flag any of them. Burnout speaks up, saying that the officer forgot to scan his SIN. The officer expresses disgust at the thought of an orc being a member of the crew, but scans the SIN. It turns up red, and he prepares to arrest everyone on board. The Edgelord is able to convince the officer that Burnout is a slave that they have captured, and that they were aware of the fake SIN.

Technomantic senses are of little use on the island, as powerful connections from the heads drown out the more subtle signals The Crew is used to taking advantage of. They rent beach-side hotel rooms, hoping to find more clues at night. Nova passes the day on the beach, and when night comes the six of them go on a guided tour of the island. The tour guide explains that a local historian wrote a famous book about the moai heads, and that his son still lives on the island. She takes a silly picture of the crew, with Mothra giving Burnout bunny ears.

The tour guide also explains that the moai have been resisting the effects of the rising tides over the last years, defying expectations that the monuments would be worn down by erosion.

The next day, the crew asks around for the location of the historian, an old elf named Felike Lankford. Lankford lives at a manor on the north side of the island. He invites them in for tea, and explains that his late father was the historian, while he preferred surfing. He was tasked at a young age with keeping track of an ancient stone tablet until his son was old enough to take on the mantle. Eventually, he was told, someone would come looking for it.

Lankford sold the tablet some years prior, to a young boy who would later grow up to be a lieutenant, none other than Lieutenant Lanset, the officer who harassed burnout the day before. Lankford assures them that though his memory is poor, he recorded everything on the tablet before he sold it. He provides a box containing several glossy white squares of paper and some plastic rectangles with a kind of film strip on one side. Lankford says he's pretty sure the boxes contain some cassettes, but he can't remember when he last owned a player.

The crew heads to the antique shop, where The Edgelord befriends the shopkeeper, a dwarf named Robin. Robin asks if The Edgelord is familiar with the Hangman's Tax, an old London law about the executioner not coming out for crimes of less than 13.5 pounds. The Edgelord responds that he is not, but compares it to the old tradition of having to pay a firefighter's fee before they would save a burning house. Robin gives his name, and The returns the pleasantry, much to Mothra's horror and chagrin.

Robin comments that "The Edgelord" is a rather unfortunate name to have these days, and The concurs before explaining his business. Robin identifies the papers as faded Polaroids that are now worthless, and suggests that there may be a cassette player in the back of his shop. The Edgelord finds one, but cannot get the tape to fit. Robin takes a look and identifies the tape not as a cassette, but as an 8-track, which he can't help with.

Flyer

When asked, Doc suggests that 8-tracks sound awfully familiar, but he can't place why. He's confident he heard about them somewhere recently. Cybersloth performs a matrix search and finds the familiar flyer for the current MoPop showing, an ad which prominently features an 8-track player.

Cybersloth splits up from the crew, heading to the magic shop. Inside, she gets her fortune told by a bored-looking elf who delivers a tarot spread in a flat monotone. She flips Death, as well as several cards from swords and cups, including the boatman. The teller suggests that this probably means that Cybersloth will have an important part to play in some sort of conflict and struggles in the future. She advises caution with regard to what's happening around her, and states that Cybersloth will likely have to deal with a responsibility to others in the near future. As thanks, Cybersloth tips her 20 nuyen and then spends an additional 200 nuyen in the shop, buying robes, books, and pseudo-magical trinkets.

Ruling out that possibility, the crew decides to confront Lieutenant Lanset about the tablet. The Edgelord arranges a meeting with the officer at his house after his shift, and shows up with Mothra in tow. The attempts to buy the tablet, but Lanset informs him that it's not for sale. The persists, causing Lanset to ask why he's interested. The claims it's for the good of the world, and that it has nothing to do with the maois' preserved state. Lanset refutes this, telling The that he knows nothing. Surprised, The pulls a gun.

Lanset responds by typing a frantic message on his deck, which The shoots. Lanset runs to his safe, shoves the tablet inside and spins the lock before Mothra shoots him dead. Back at the hotel, Cybersloth jacks in and attempts to prevent any backup from arriving. As she prepares to shut down one of the two cars, Nova is able to send a false alarm, causing one of the cars to turn back around. The second car decides to perform a wellfare check either way, and Cybersloth is able to cause enough of a delay for Mothra and The to steal Lanset's motorcycle and escape to the hangar.

Aboard the ship, the crew is informed that no one is allowed to leave due to a pending murder investigation. The authorities offer to comp hotel rooms, but Mothra declines and has Nova hack into the hangar computers and release the blimp. In the air, Cybersloth deletes the pictures from the tour from the island's servers, ensuring that the hard copies they each bought are the only ones remaining.

Days later, the crew arrives in Armageddon. In the streets, Burnout is pelted with rocks and told that "Tuskers aren't welcome here!" he brandishes his rifle, but Mothra and The Edgelord talk him down. After some investigation, the crew finds that the temple they are probably looking for was torn down some years prior, and a museum constructed to house its artifacts. Additionally, a replica temple was built in its place. The city of Armageddon is under the thumb of a new corp, ExoHyuall, which Doc says he cannot find any information about, aside form the fact that they are manufacturing an incredible amount of machinery, and that they have an HTR contract with EVO.

The CEO of ExoHyual is a man named Jack White. Coincidentally, his sister, Jacelyn White donated large amounts of money to the museum. The curator indicates that the museum is not taking donations, and that some of the artifacts are currently in "private collections", but refuses to elaborate further.

Mothra calls one of his contacts and asks if anyone in the area would be willing to set up an auction to lure Jacelyn out in the open. He gets into contact with a fixer named Raul, who refuses to help after learning that the Egyptian necklace in question is not actually up for sale. Regarding Jacelyn, he offers some advice: she cares about nothing except productivity and efficiency, and it's best to keep a healthy distance.

Doc confirms this, advising the crew not to mess with any HTR unless they are certain they have to. He promises to be the eyes in the sky if they do feel the need to invade, offering to monitor movements and arrival times of any HTR teams.

The crew decides that they need to break into the manufacturing plant located in the middle of town. Surveillance shows that security is tight: teams of guards rotate out every hour, with two outside the building doing 20 minute rounds, and 4 other teams patrolling the interior.

The Edgelord pays a worker 3200 nuyen (which he claims is a week's wage) for his uniform, promising to fill the man's position for a day. Cyberslot sets up a spot outside the building where she can provide support, while Burnout, Nova, and Mothra acquire EVO outfits from Mothra's fence and decide to enter the building under the pretense of performing routine check-ups. As they enter, Doc's comms open and they hear sounds of a fight punctuated with a shotgun blast. He comes to the mic more than a minute later, asking if there's any chance they left some clues behind. When prompted for a reason, he says. "I'm just wondering if there's any reason I had to shoot a ninja."

The mic goes dead.

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