The next visit is to Mark Smith, a crime analyst working at police HQ who lives in Orange County, in the Anglo sector of San Angeles. The PCs decide to visit him at his middle-income residential condo. Taking the maglev train several dozens of miles east, they arrive to find the place is a nice suburban garden complex, but are accosted by an aggressive cyborg before they can meet with Mark or investigate his apartment. In the ensuing battle, Tang loses his arm, Rooster deploys his drones, people get shot, and the police High Threat Response team comes in fast and hard. Shoji escapes undetected but the rest of the group are arrested and arraigned in Orange County, later to be released on bail set by El Halcon, who isn’t too happy about the fights they seem to be provoking. The team begins to get suspicion; more counter-surveillance steps are required.
The cyborg, despite having started the fight, is also released on bail and picked up by an expensive aerocar that is linked to the Cartels. The team is warned by Florence to be very careful with that particular criminal group, as it has tentacles everywhere, even in the police force. The PCs track the cyborgs to an expensive low-rise building in the Sureno district that is heavily fortified, both physically and digitally. Deciding that caution is the better part of valor, they leave it alone.
Focusing on the next target, Pico Navarres, Seeker Team 5 decides to travel to the dangerous North Ring-City zone, an almost-lawless area of slums and favellas, concentrated in massive decaying arco-blocks around the former downtown of LA, where the only nuke hit on the American mainland occurred during the Third World War. The radioactive core is being cleaned and reconstructed by ecoformer machinery, but the areas around it are inhabited and teeming with the scum of San Angeles. Unfortunately the only way to get to the North is through downtown, which has a heavy security screen that prevents weapons and drones from going north, so the team decides to make a deal with a local ganger to smuggle a piece of bioware inside Chuck’s body in exchange for weapons on the slum side, plus orientation in this twilight realm. The bioware proves quite problematic as it grows inside Chuck and almost kills him, turning out to be some kind of biologics organism that is extracted by a corrupt PurLife doctor on the North Ring City side. Chuck recovers and the team gets the scoop on what’s happening with Pico.
Apparently Mr Navarres may be a lowly hygiene committee clerk at police HQ, but in North Ring City he’s a member of the Panteras des Oro and a renowned magnetobike racer. And the Death Race 3000 race is just about to start that very day!