On the night before Jonathan’s operation was scheduled to occur, the motley group of allied mages met at Aaron’s Tae-Kwon-Do studio in Green Hills. Everyone had already met Jonathan and Alan (two Euthanatoi who had organized the operation), Aaron (an Akashic who provided melee and healing expertise), and Jen (a Virtual Adept who was running surveillance and intel for the group). The new members were then introduced: Anders (a park ranger associated with the Verbena), Vasili (a Bosnian immigrant who seemed very new to the Awakened world), and Desmond (a trained assassin of the Euthanatoi). Wayne (a young, homeless drug-addict) showed up late, and seemed to make everyone suddenly doubt the effectiveness of their organization despite his prior usefulness.
Jonathan explained the basic roles: He, Alan, and Aaron would be on the team infiltrating the Loew’s to disrupt Technocratic activity and to steal whatever resources they could find; Anders and Desmond would simultaneously cause a diversion at the Parthenon to draw any patrolling MiB away from the Loew’s; Jen would stay back at Aaron’s studio to run surveillance for both groups; and Vasili would be the infiltration team’s getaway driver. Jen gave everyone a small, circular disk with a series of lights on it. She told everyone “green means good, yellow means be careful, and red means get the fuck out.” With all their instructions received, the group departed.
Wayne and Vasili immediately went to the Loew’s to plan the getaway route and to look for a good place to park/hide Vasili’s car while they waited for the op to go down. They crashed at Vasili’s tiny apartment and waited until it was time for their part.
The next morning, Anders and Desmond met to formalize their plans for the diversion. Desmond continued his scouting from earlier while Anders looked for particular trees to knock down onto West End and on a power line to knock out the power in the immediate area. Their work complete, they went back to Anders’ apartment on Blakemore to prepare. Desmond meditated for hours, focusing his will into a constant “Eagle Vision” while Anders tried making different concoctions with his herbs. He had a disastrous bout with one such potion, but managed to overcome the resulting effects (minus his partially gimp hand).
In the meantime, Wayne decided to do some shopping and “cooking” of his own with a few of his favorite (i.e. cheap) drugs, and Vasili tinkered with his cab, making a few “special modifications” for an emergency drop.
Finally, it was time. Vasili and Wayne got in the former’s cab and picked up Aaron, Alan, and Jonathan. Meanwhile, Anders and Desmond were in Centennial Park preparing for their diversion. They saw several unsavory types, and Anders narrowly avoided some malicious gang members, but otherwise they were able to begin their part undisturbed. Anders knocked down both trees and cut the power while Desmond ran surveillance in the immediate area. Once the power was cut, they both checked their disks that Jen had given them, but not a single light was lit.
As Vasili was driving the infiltration team toward the Loew’s they saw that the power had been knocked out, yet one room seemed to still have full power. Jonathan took this to be confirmation of Jen’s intel. The infiltration team then went about their business.
Shortly afterward, Desmond sensed an enemy coming toward him and Anders, so he started to leave as stealthily as possible. Anders tried to sneak away, too, but was spotted by the figure, who immediately began to sprint towards him. Once he recognized that the pursuer was an agent, Desmond yelled to Anders to get the hell out, while he tried to follow and distract the agent.
Vasili and Wayne heard police sirens pass their location, and Desmond and Anders heard them pulling near the Centennial Park, but they were prevented full access because of Anders’ handiwork.
The agent, however, was gaining on Anders, and Desmond still could not catch up to them both. Anders headed toward Springwater, knowing that the group had arranged to meet there after the operation. He tried to jump the fence and take cover behind it while taking out his hunting rifle, but the Man in Black shot him squarely in the shoulder with his pistol, knocking him over onto the ground. Anders lost consciousness momentarily, and seemed on the point of death. Desmond tried to distract the agent, but could not get a strong enough effect. Police officers were now beginning to set up a perimeter around Anders while the agent gave orders and examined his prisoner.
Near the Loew’s, Wayne and Vasili heard the distant gunshot, but soon heard a window crash and gunshots coming from the hotel. As soon as they spied the infiltration team in flight, they sped over immediately. Wayne produced a “time hiccup” that hindered the two pursuing agents while the team hurriedly got in the cab. Vasili immediately took off and although he had some initial difficulty, managed to lose his police tail.
In the car, Jonathan told Wayne and Vasili that they’d been set-up. Instead of Syndicate operatives, they were met by two Men in Black who were completely expecting them. Jen’s disks had also provided no help whatsoever, and everyone wondered what had happened: whether she’d been attacked/hindered or whether she’d betrayed them to the Technocrats.
When Vasili brought the car near the rendezvous at Springwater, everyone saw the crowd held back by the police officers and the agent standing near the center. Desmond crammed into the cab and explained what had happened to Anders. Some argued that they should try to rescue him, but Vasili and Jonathan were both strong supporters of practicality: there was nothing they could do with so many police and witnesses. Vasili peeled out, and noticed that the agent observed their departure.
While they drove, they discussed whether to head back to Aaron’s studio to check on Jen. Aaron decided that he’d had enough of this business, and firmly declared that he would go back and he hoped never to see them again. Vasili dropped him off on the side of the road and left him to walk home.
Jonathan declared that he would lie low on his own, not wanting anyone to know his location in case he was caught. He too got out and walked away. Alan decided to take his chances and got out at the General Hospital near Fisk. Vasili wanted to check with Emil to see what he could furnish for him, Wayne, and Desmond. Emil offered them a small safe house in the Cornelia Fort Airpark (an abandoned airstrip) for $200 per night. Vasili and Desmond checked if they were being followed, and Desmond felt a supernatural coldness in the area. Vasili felt a hunch.
They drove to their rented safe house, and Vasili immediately called the Music Man. He seemed to know already about Anders’ capture and promised aid if Vasili continued to help him. Vasili angrily demanded his payment, and the Music Man eventually relented. He reminded Vasili “I scratch your back . . .”
Vasili hung up, told Wayne and Desmond what little he knew about the Music Man, and the three decided to wait for their next move.