After trailing the Cartel to the white bunker where the heavily-cybered mercs seem to be based, the team backs off and regroups. Florence recalls them to HQ for a mission debriefing, but when they arrive the safehouse is eerily quiet. The machines are humming, the counter-surveillance fields are active, but Francis is nowhere to be seen. A nice corporate gentleman in a grey suit enters the room and introduces himself as Graysmith, from Radial Helix HQ.
That’s when a massive processing mass entity contacts Shoji; making the link time suddenly slows down as a free AI named Coriolanus tells them they have to survive the next 30 seconds, and if they do it will help them. Circumstances have changed, it says, as it shows live footage of El Halcon, the SSP inspector and the team’s police friend being arrested on trumped-up charges of corruption. Mr Graysmith is extremely dangerous and will kill you all, it explains.
Time resumes to normal, the safehouse rooms turns into phantomic jungle and Mr Graysmith becomes a wolf-headed killer, moving at monstrous speed and ripping Tang’s arm off, then trying to breaking his spine. Graysmith is a cleaner, a heavily-cybered terminator who removes all loose ends. Overmatched, the team fights desperately to live, and with some deception and martial arts moves manages to eventually kill him.
Coriolanus opens the safehouse vaults to them and the PCs make some amazing and grisly discoveries: the bloody body of Florence in a cabinet, for one, but also a line of prototype helmets with holographic animal masks overlaid on them. The inscrutable AI tells them they have a choice: to run away before their former employers eliminate them or to don the masks, fuse with some strange AIs and become instruments of the gods.
The players choose the animal masks and are overcome by personality fragments of human veterans of World War 3 who fought the Chinese in Hawaii and committed atrocities. Coriolanus also performs cyber-surgery on the PCs and implants them with new augmentations attuned to the masks, granting them new powers but at the cost of some of their personalities. (see animal mask descriptions from Hotline Miami on the front page).