EP 17 – Out of the Frying Pan

The crew spend about 15 minutes in the hired taxi before arriving in a part of Koreatown, in downtown L.A. The driver asks for his fare, with Rez paying him. As everyone looks around, they find a popular, lit-up with neon diner called “Antons” and enter. Towards the back of the diner, they spot Evan Briggs, sitting in a booth, and approach him. After a brief catch-up on what they’ve accomplished, he offers them a ride back into Bakersfield as he had just finished up work in the greater L.A. District. They agree to grab some food and order some items from the menu, which is served to the table.

As they leave, Evan notes that the hourly databurst usually sending data from Bakersfield has been quiet for about 12 hours, with the crew being too preoccupied to notice until now. They head into Evan’s groundcar and begin the 4-hour journey northward on the I-5. As they get into a closer proximity to Bakersfield, the crew’s agents eventually re-connect to the local CitiNET and phones begin lighting up. While Evan is driving, everyone begins searching through the CitiNET feeds to find out what is happening. The data is sparse, with them being unable to identify anything specific.

A short time later, they arrive at the University and can see large plumes of smoke coming from the north-facing side. He encourages the crew to check in while he parks the car, and they assess the damage. They confirm the University campus is under attack, and spot an old military tank on the other side of a river bed, which is occasionally launching a shot towards the campus. The security team has created firepits and are using smokebombs to maintain a form of smoke screen while they try to determine a plan. Kave chimes in to inform them their long distance links (LDLs) are offline too, meaning they can’t make any outside communication beyond the local CitiNET. The LDLs are a series of re-purposed cell/mobile phone towers configured on-top of an old corporate building.

The crew assess damage to the north-facing side of the University

The crew decide to focus on the LDL problem first, and Gunhead confirms where they need to go having setup part of the infrastructure with Kave earlier, and travel in Fennec’s groundcar. They arrive to find two security guards laying outside, one in bad condition. Rez speaks with them, and performs emergency triage using her paramedic skill to stabilise the injured man. The security guards confirm two more of them are still fighting inside, but are unable to push in further against a group of gangers who are holed up inside.

Inside, the crew see a long-spanning lobby with a number of pillars setup in two rows. The two remaining security guards are behind pillars closest to the door, with an unknown number of gangers sitting behind cover further into the corporate lobby. While Rez, Rama and Fennec try to assess the physical situation, Gunhead scans for a usable CitiNET. Luckily, he is able to find an older corporate network that operates in a half-half state, with a minor part of the newer network operating and usable by his newer-age cyberdeck. Inside, Gunhead identifies a few floors of the architecture, but can’t make it beyond a password lower down.

Meanwhile, Rama switches to using his bullet-proof shield and moves forward into the lobby, with Rez also equipping her shield. Both of them prepare to launch a round of suppressive fire, giving Fennec the opportunity to run back outside and start up his groundcar. He lines up the car and drives in through the main doors, swerving to avoid the remains of corporate lounges and chairs still laying in the lobby. Burning rubber, he makes an improvised smoke-screen as the car eventually stops further into the lobby.

Fennec’s car, “neatly” parked in the middle of the lobby