Florence assigns the team a new mission, to assist the cops in watching four people who are suspects in the theft of a fragment of a police quantum tetrad database. The “yetzah” (victory) fragment may have been exfiltrated somehow, but it’s impossible to copy and has not been sold…yet.
After getting a complete scrubdown from The Finn and a strong lesson in communication security, the group meets with el halcon, a famed police investigator leading the hunt for the traitor. He advises caution, watchfulness and observation over action, then flies them aboard a police aerodyne to Avalon, the wealthy megacorporate enclave off Santa Catalina Island.
The Red Blossom Gardens are the residence of a General Systems executive named Zhang Jiamin, head of the network security unit that built the SAPD’s icewalls. The team observes Zhang’s itinerary, notices he has police protection in the form of a tactical mek, and after much deliberation decides to make friends with him.
After a practice match of kendo at the budokan, Tang offers to work for Zhang as a bodyguard. Chuck has dinner with Zhang at the Melange restaurant while Shoji and Sega infiltrate his apartment through the terraced gardens. Inside, Shoji finds communications with a law firm, an insurance company and work colleagues, but nothing incriminating. The only oddity is a heavy processing connection that Shoji traces back to the foreign Pacifica grid, whereupon he can go no further.
Shoji makes it out fine and after debriefing the team on his findings decides to head back to the city so as to escape investigation. The rest decide to leave to ask Florence’s permission for more tools, but just as they are about to board a COMAC Sky Whale megalifter, Zhang calls them and asks to talk with them over drinks.
The team accept and visit his his apartment, where he professes his knowledge of their deceptions and claims to be innocent. It is only when Chuck reveals the group’s discovery of his connection to Pacifica that something truly shocking happens.
To Be Continued!