A new dawn rose over the city, bringing light to the chaos from the night before. As usual Clayton was the first to rise, followed shortly by Jonathan and Edwards who both briefed him on potential targets they should exploit as soon as possible. Edwards urged the group to get surveillance into the police communications networks so that they could more easily keep an eye on events in the city. Jonathan, however, was more concerned with finding Professor Mortimer and making sure that he and his work would not be a liability, especially since he was known to have connections with Corbin and probably the Music Man.
Wayne had disappeared at some point in the night, but his absence was soon replaced with the arrival of two new faces: Tommy Collins and Michael Calvin. These two folks were friends of Shawn’s who had been given them the group’s “secret” location in the hope that they could locate Wayne for him. After some quick background checks, the two newcomers assimilated into the group easily enough. John Marshall also brought in a fellow Etherite named Penelope whose specialty tended more towards advanced and experimental weapons. Several members of the group noted that they would need a new “hideout” pretty soon, considering all the additional “personnel.”
Soon, though, it was time for the party to make their first move: implant surveillance at the police headquarters in downtown Nashville. Clint made some sweet micro-bugs that should provide all the coverage they’d need while remaining fairly difficult to detect. Everyone else made preparations as needed. Garth decided that his time and effort would be better spent making sure that there were no more tears in the Gauntlet, so he headed off to the Hermitage. Penelope also didn’t feel like adding federal offenses to her resume, so she headed back to her lab to try deciphering a strange signal she’d picked up the night before.
And so, Clayton, John Marshall, Tommy, and Michael headed downtown. Clayton would infiltrate the headquarters using a magical ID badge he’d looted from Vance’s corpse and place the surveillance in the needed locations, Michael would circle the building outside, providing cover by detecting life forms near Clayton, Tommy would provide distracting music out front while also covering the entrance, and John Marshall drove in a circuit, ready to go at a moment’s notice. The plan went fairly smoothly, especially since Vance’s badge and Clayton’s appearance impressed the officers so much. After the bugs had been planted Tommy and Michael noticed a possibly-agent-looking-fellow headed Clayton’s way, but he was neatly avoided and there was no immediate or apparent threat after the man passed by. Clint reported happily that the surveillance was working as intended.
Pleased with their success, the group headed to Nashville State Community College to check up on Mortimer. They ran into a few looters awkwardly leaving with lab equipment and chemicals stolen from other labs, but they found Mortimer’s lab solidly locked with an electronic keypad with DNA scanner. Everyone tried his hand at the complicated lock, some with shocking results, but finally John Marshall fucked enough of the Entropic enchantment to break it open. Inside the lab seemed relatively untouched, but Clayton noticed some of the experimental weapons missing from a case he’d seen the day before. Needing help investigating Mortimer’s absence, they called Penelope.
Penelope was able to make some sense of various files and messages on Mortimer’s computer, most of which indicated correspondence between him and some mysterious person whose identity and location had been encrypted. One such message had been received at 8:00 that morning: “Evacuate in 5.” There was no other sign of Mortimer, but then Clayton remembered that he could just try calling Mortimer on his cellphone. Clayton managed to exchange pleasantries with Mortimer before the call was suddenly cut off, and Mortimer’s language indicated that someone else at his location had taken the phone from him. The group tried running a trace on Mortimer’s phone, but they could only get enough to narrow down a few square miles just southwest of downtown.
The party had a bad feeling that Mortimer was now firmly in the hands of the Music Man. They had been invited to his mansion the previous night, but they suspected that their invitation had expired due to recent events. They were not eager to storm what they suspected to be a stronghold without any surveillance or backup first. So, they contacted Williams who then put them into direct contact with The Greek.
The Greek was very eager to provide whatever help the party wanted, so long as they guaranteed that they would kill the Music Man and transfer all records, disk drives, and other information resources to his control. In exchange, he would give them all available surveillance, information, and backup that he could muster. It would take a few days for him to gather the resources together, but he promised quality results.
Satisfied with their bargain, the group decided to take a well-earned rest. They tried taking it easy the next day. Garth wanted some backup while he investigated the Spring Hill Cemetery, since his excursion to the Hermitage showed signs of spiritual activity. Clayton, Tommy, and Michael decided to help him out.
When they arrived at the cemetery, they discovered that there was indeed another rift in the Gauntlet. And, as suspected, it was guarded by something unnatural. A spirit had corrupted some poor soul into a blood golem that shot acidic blood any time it was wounded by various attacks. After a hard-fought battle, the group finally overcame the creature and patched the hole in the Gauntlet.
They decided to take it easy after that and to rest for their upcoming assault.