The Cell grab a “quiet” corner to talk out recent events and some of the names mentioned : the Consolodists, the Perfect Form movement, antagonists from the early days of the Synthetic Consciousness movement on Freyr, the Lix Tetrax and its goals, the Ishtar etc. In the background Doa’s people are moving among the throng quietly rounding up a few individuals, but the Cell pay little heed.
The Cell agree to leave BlackRoot, to recon a hub that may connect to the Deeps. They are met at the secure exit by a group of Doa’s increasingly-bold heavies – they are “wanted for words” and the heavies look happy to force the issue.
The Cell head down into Doa’s enclave, but are instead escorted to a Cerebro-style echo-chamber to have audience with Lord of Changing Winds.
Changing Winds told them that there is a virulent and terminal disease in BlackRoot, that it was brought back by a Scav who, though he is now being held in Stasis, was unfortunately in contact with far too many people before his condition became obvious …. and without a remedy the disease will run a bloody course through the biologic refugees … and a med-scan shows Zero (an organic synthetic) is infected too.
Changing Winds paints a pretty clear picture of how Doa/He/They will survive this, and “from the rubble, rebuild”. He also points out that Zero (and the Cell) are far too valuable a possible resource to squander, and that Zero can/should/will be keep safe from harm within Doa’s Enclave, indefinitely (and in stasis, if necessary). The Cell do some fast blagging, alluding to how Zero is actively being hunted by the Dreamers, and is just waaaay more trouble than he is worth to keep around. They plant enough doubt in Changing Winds to gain their release, and quiet escort out of BlackRoot – they have tentatively identified the disease as a Polar War era bio-weapon, and reckon that there may well be a cure in deep storage at the KKC med-center (the KKC philosophy : Kintsugi : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi) built into Protectorate-controlled Mount Kraestin, high above.
While being escorted out of BlackRoot, Zero spies one of FRnC’s remote drones, and inconspicuously makes sure Windigo will get word of Doa’s (or possibly Changing Wind’s) power-play. They leave BlackRoot and head through old maintenance tunnels to one of the Tetrax network’s geo-caches – there is sign that it has been accessed recently, Zero acquires some basic medical equipment to stave off the early effects of the Infection, and they head surface-ward to rendezvous with Alpha’s avatar.
Alpha, meanwhile, has been keeping a low profile. Increasing numbers of Protectorate synthetic troops and materiel are moving through the starport, and construction is underway to expand the existing docking systems with new Protectorate systems. Some quiet data-mining determines that the eidolon-storage hardlink found by the Cell connects to a building within Alpha’s perimeter – a Monolith Ventures structure where “Candidate Testing” for the OutReach colonisation project took place. Shortly after the cell’s skirmish in the eidolon lab, Alpha sees a contingent of remote-sensor Dreamer drones begin forensically scouring the building and other buildings on the perimeter.
Keeping one step ahead of the Dreamer’s investigation, Alpha’s sensors find a small group of stow-aways hiding in an outlying structure which Cee-Eff had earmarked for Resistence use. Some covert Passive Scanning later, she determines they are 3 Freyri children, surprisingly technically capable, enough to mask themselves from local sensors and Alpha’s
own routine sweeps. The children themselves seem to have physical abnormalities (growths, strange protusions), and are clearly close and caring of each other. When it becomes certain that the Dreamer sweeps will find them, and that the suggestion of a link with the Resistance would endanger Alpha, the Installation synthetic decides to look out for Number 1, and leads the Dreamers to the hidden children. The children are captured, sedated, chemically blinded (ouch), and taken to shuttle tasked for orbit. From detailed scans, Alpha can precisely determine that the children came from the sub-levels of Garden-A, a biodome complex near the Pacifica range (now supposedly under Red Sunner control, who may well be cooperating with Protectorate forces).
Alpha also sees (for the first time) Protectorate synthetics that have been manufactured on Freyr itself – hardened against the atmosphere and built for purpose – the engineering is consistent with White Rock fabrication. A very distinctive group of organic-form Dreamer synthetics arrive to examine both the Monolith Ventures building, and the structure the Freyr children hid in – Alpha takes the opportunity to covertly scan their genoforms – their organic parts are definitely Freyri in origin, and Alpha even notes the tattooing on one Dreamer are definitely Freyri in design (ritual markings favoured by certain sects of ReVisionists in the Northern Leagues).
Around this time, Alpha’s avatar has been able to rendevous (physically – party together – woo !) with the rest of the Cell in the tunnels beneath the Pacifica range. They exchange information and decide on the best course of action. Rosen is sure that best way into White Rock is from above, and Shade knows where a suitable surface vehicle might be found. They find a near-surface transit depot, and acquire a very-much-in-need-of-repair KKC med-wagon, thankfully still flight-capable. They intend to use it to enter Protectorate-air space, enter White Rock through the KKC complex and find a cure for the disease before it takes its toll on the people of BlackRoot (and Zero).