After learning about Joan Ness, the group found it important to do a little more research to see if Abraxis has any ties to the ALF. What they found is that Abraxis was hit by the ALF several months after they revealed their Riot Police androids. The ALF attempted to smuggle nerve gas, and got caught in blaster fire, killing everyone involved. The assumption was that the androids involved were part of a splinter cell, but it did the ALF a lot of damage. It also appears that out of the two companies that deal primarily with androids, Abraxis tends to get targeted more than SkyTech. Chatter from the internet suggests that Skytech plans to take over Abraxis soon enough, almost forcefully.
After some discussion, the group found it best to first take the Yakuza angle to see if they can somehow locate the canister – after all, it seems that they are also trying to track it down, and they may have some good information.
Patterson called up his contact in the area, “Ito Hiroshima”, also known as a man that is not worth arguing with. The secretary tried to block him but due to Patterson’s smooth talking, he was able to say the right words to get Hiroshima’s attention. Hiroshima tells Patterson to meet at 6 PM. Patterson brings Nathan as a second, just in case.
Hiroshima greets Patterson at the park, telling him that it’s been awhile. He had seen Patterson’s name come up recently – Excel Corp had raised the bounty on his head, it seems, and bounty hunters may be after him soon. Patterson scoffs, saying that he’s worth much more. When Hiroshima asks what brings him the pleasure, Patterson explains the package from Abraxis and how he is looking for it (while leaving out his previous encounter with Hiroshima’s men at Mycroft’s). Hiroshima explains that one of his extraction teams died rather messily – Patterson and company may face a similar danger if they keep pursuing it. Patterson says that if the package is dangerous to his team, he would need to know about it.
Hiroshima explains that his group attempted to steal something from an organization known as “Bad Wolf”, and it turned out to be a bad decision. Bad Wolf is a rumor of a company that has reportedly made contact with a mysterious alien race and has started disseminating technologies out to the rest of the world – which tends to also have nasty side effects.
He believes that’s where Abraxis originally got the package from, and he doesn’t think that Abraxis knows that the group is bad to steal from as well. Patterson brings up Skytech as a possible player in all of this, the idea which interests Hiroshima. Beyond that, Hiroshima says that his trail has otherwise gone cold. Patterson mentions that he had heard that the ALF has it, and extends an offer to work together for information. Hiroshima says to contact him using the words “Whispering Death”, and that anyone in the Yakuza would know the message is to go immediately to him. Patterson in kind gave his own words – “Angel’s Share”.
Drew receives a phone call from the Black Adder – Kit has escaped the ship. Drew quickly dashes off back to St. Paul to try and find his sister. Unfortunate the GPS tracker that was put on her was found in a pet store on a poodle, so it becomes much more difficult to find her. After thinking about the possible places that she could have gone, Kit was finally found in the local equivalent of a Barnes and Nobles’ security section, pointing out the inaccuracies in the system computers to people.
Drew grabs her by the hand and tells her that they need to get back to the ship. Kit pulls away, saying that she doesn’t want the “messages” to keep appearing – they freak her out, and that’s why she left. After some coaxing, Drew and Kit go back to look at these messages, which appear as different animals made from origami paper. Kit explains that they just randomly appear, and it begun to happen that morning. Curious, Drew opens one and reads the text found inside – “Seek Skytech”. Kit says that many of them say that inside, and she tried doing research on it but doesn’t know what it means or who exactly that is. Kit explains that she didn’t want to tell anyone about this because she was afraid people would think she was weird, including Drew, but he reassures her that he wouldn’t ever think that. As he turns around, he hears a poof and sees a new Praying Mantis origami. He opens it up and it reads just one word – “Hurry.”
Shu sends an email to Abraxis explaining the details he knows so far, including the ALF and Skytech’s involvement. Pure panic explodes on the other end of the line. He then tries to hack into Skytechs’ security, though hits “black ice” on his way into the system, and managed to pull out his plug before passing out. One thing he does learn that there was a former security man from Skytech who did hack into their system, though was not as lucky as Shu and ended up with an addled brain.
Once recovered, Drew and Shu go to Tampa to try to meet with the man, who apparently is in jail. Using fake papers, they manage to pass as the man’s lawyers and get a meeting with him inside of the prison. Once they are alone in the attorney’s room, the man explains that he is in jail because he was set up – he was on his hacking run, passed out from the back ice, and woke up with a package of drugs next to him and a pair of cops hovering above him. Drew and Shu explain that they are not lawyers, but rather, people that want a way into Skytech, and want to know everything the man can remember. He says that something wasn’t quite adding up, which is why he used is credentials to look into it. He passes Shu a piece of paper giving him three master usernames and passwords that he had while he was working in there. If they find out anything, they will let him know.
Shu uses the login information to get into the system and discovers that there are three nodes that are of concern – RnD, Administration, and Horizon which is the division that makes androids. Shu goes after Horizon and was able to get into it. He looks into Abraxis, and finds out that they really were going to do the buyout but backed out. He quickly looks into the ALF folder and backs out before the ice hits him.
From the information that he gathered, it looks like Skytech and ALF were in negotiation for a while – in exchange for leaving them alone, the ALF wanted certain features removed from Skytech androids, their lives expanded and childhoods given to them as well. It also looks like a Skytech employee came up with the idea of feeding information on Abraxis to ALF, such as release dates, information on security compounds, were androids are being released, and so forth. The name of their ALF contact appears to be Neko, a resident of Aquarius, a floating plastic island more than a mile in diameter, in the Gulf of Mexico that is home for many people unusual genetic modifications. This includes a lot of Androids.
Lincoln, Drew and Shu make their way to Aquarius, which can only be rearched by helicopter. The pilot thinks that they’re weird for going to the city, which is entirely made of plastic and houses the strangest people in society. Once they arrive, Drew and Lincoln make their way to a bar, which is apparently the address that they got for Neko. The bar folk tolerate Lincoln, who due to his appearance, blends in rather nicely. Drew on the other hand received weird stares – most folks in there believe that he is either a xenophile or happens to be there to give them a job.
Drew asks around for Neko, and they point him to the stage. A cat girl croons on stage, winning adoration from everyone around her. It appears that she is Brecht’s former girl, singing angst rock about loss and pain, but adds a happy ending to her songs. The bar erupts in applause after she is done. Drew sends a message via a drink, indicating business. Lincoln sends one because she’s hot. A few minutes later, the two of them are invited backstage. Lincoln has a hard time keeping himself in control when he is face to face with her, but Drew manages to stay on point.
Drew asks her about Joan Ness – a name that Neko apparently knows all to well. She came to the ALF a half a year ago, a former detective android. They first thought she would be really good, but it turns out that she has a mean streak, all directed against one man – Conrad Lang. She doesn’t feel comfortable telling why Joan has this issue, but has met with her several times and believes she is scary. Joan started up a splinter cell called Chimera. Drew convinces her that they need to know where she is, because the ALF’s reputation will be damaged. She will take them to her cell leader.
On their way there, there were a few skinheads waiting for them. She looks at Drew and Lincoln, wondering if they led her into a trap, and then motions for them to go first. Drew walks past them, being called “fur lover”, Lincoln being called “fake” as he walks past as well. When Neko goes third, they yell “get her!!” and jump on her, swinging clubs.
Neko jumps out of the way using her reflexes. Lincoln tries to wrestle them but has difficulties, Drew experiences the same. The three men gang up on them, with Lincoln going down in a heap first. Neko jumps in and cuts one of the guys up pretty badly. Drew punches one, which does minimum damage compared to what Neko was able to deal. After disposing of them, the pheromones caused Drew and Neko to have a minute of bliss before betting back to work.
Carrying Lincoln, they make their way down to a gate. The man at the gate remarks about how messed up they look, and ask Lincoln if he can drive a hovercraft. He’s too groggy, so Neko goes and takes care of it. Once they arrive at the base, Neko let the doorman know the reason that she brought these two men along since they have information on Joan Ness and want to know where she is.
The leader, a Russian man, Ivan, states that Lang’s former corporation, Euminidies Corp, was experimenting with detective androids, which Joan was one. She is extremely dangerous and combat and should be avoided in that capacity at all costs. She has two compatriots – Fenris who is a wolf android and Zengi who appears as a normal pleasure model on the outside but is almost just as deadly. He will put out feelers to see if anyone knows her location, but cannot help until their current job is completed – rescuing a mathematician android who has escaped certain jail time. Within that time frame, a feeler had gotten back to Ivan letting them know that there is a pet shop owner in Houston that keeps in contact with Joan – he also finds it interesting that the location of the pet shop is under two different businesses.
Shu gives the password and username information from the inmate to a group of hackers that he hates to try and get into Skytech for him. Afterwards, he contacts SJG to have a small high-powered combat team on standby “just in case” they run into the wrong side of Joan. SJG hired a SWAT team from the Houston police department.
Drew gets a call from his sister, who tells him that there is more origami – one saying “Look for the Highest Tree in Houston”, while the other stating “Look Out for Monsters”. Drew thanks her for the information.
Some research shows that the Skymall, a building in Houston, is a mile high building with a tree on top, donated from Abraxis Corporation. Shu takes a look at some footage from three or four days ago, and saw that there was some movement in the tree, the date matching up from when the canister was stolen.
Patterson and Lawrence go to the pet shop, under the guise of a business audit. Lawrence does an inspection of the store and notices a military grade security system, feeding the information on it to Shu. Shu takes note, and begins to send the SWAT team that way. Patterson, on the other hand, does an interview with the Pet Shop owner, Sarah, to keep her distracted. The SWAT team arrives and runs up the stairs. There was a hail of gunfire, then the building goes silent. Patterson and Lawrence hear thudding coming down the stairs, and then try to make their way out. The security system shoots Lawrence and he falls on the ground, thinking to act dead. Sarah and Patterson try to leave through the door. Patterson was able to make it out, but due to a security measure, Sarah got cut in half. Two people jump out of the second story window – one woman and one wolf man, with helicopters following them from behind.
Lincoln goes to climb the tree to look for the bomb. He uses his bionic eye to locate the canister, as well as six pounds of explosives rigged to it. He uses his skills to diffuse it, then safely tucks it away for his trip back down.
Later, all screens in the area cut off and played footage showing a man going by the name of Electro. He explains that he is an android born in an artificial womb, and works for Chimera. Electro tells everyone what the Medusa Canister is and what it does, saying that both Abraxis and Skytech need to meet the demands of Chimera in regards to Androids or else the Canister will be released on the people of Houston.
It was later discovered that the “Medusa Canister” is no longer a threat, along with the members of Chimera that were at the pet store, and the Houston Police took claim for stopping the terrorist attack.
Patterson meets with the Yakuza. Hiroshima says that they believe that Abraxis has been working with Bad Wolf. Patterson says that it’s unfortunate that the canister fell into the hands of the Houston Police, keeping it a secret that Lincoln still carries it.
Hiroshima says that it would be wonderful if a counter agent could be developed. He also mentions that the Yakuza decided to contract out to a corporation to deal with an individual – one Conrad Lang. They believe that the corporation will be more effective than his group, since they have more reach. They don’t want to kill Lang per se, but rather question him. Patterson curiously asks who this group is, and Hiroshima smiles, saying that he reached out to the SJG – they have a certain flair, after all.
Hiroshima says that war is coming, and a decision needs to be made. Heroes need to be found, ones that are willing to do extraordinary things. Bad Wolf will break out eventually, and the Medusa Canister is the first sign of who they are and what their intentions are as well.
Back at the ship, Kit got another message. Unlike the others, this one was not in origami, but rather an ordinary sheet of paper, with only one phrase – “Seek the Man who looks for Monsters”.