We pick up with the team in orbit around Titan as Icarus brings them in to land within a building hidden beneath the surface of one of the colonies. A few hundred meters down a wide landing tube, the only access to and from the building comes through the large blast doors that allows ships to land – meaning that the only way the ETS4 survivors can come and go is through Icarus’ ship.
Reassured by Icarus that they were safe here in this hidden structure, the team sets out to get in touch with old friends to try and discover just what it was that happened back on ETS4, who might be responsible, and what it was that caused Pathfinder to start blaming them. MT and Alfred choose to get in touch with their criminal contacts through Guanxi – and manage to reach one of their fences, simply known as “Bob”.
Bob informs them that they each have a million credit bounty on their heads – to a total of 4 Million for all of them together. MT and Alfred ask if he knows of anybody within Guanxi that are trying to track them down, and Bob gives them the non-answer of “well you know Guanxi”. Figuring that means “yes”, they ask Bob about the terrorists that are taking responsibility for the attack.
Bob informs them that the terrorist organization – known as Humanity Is Earth – seemingly appeared out of nowhere and that nobody he knows of had ever heard of them before the attack. That’s about all he knows, however.
Meanwhile, Brad and Octopod get in touch with their Argonaut contacts. They get a similar story, though they are directed to EcoWave for more answers since they would be more likely to have more information on the terrorist group given their belief that Humanity should have died on Earth – making them a reclaimer terrorist group. Their contact informs them that they are sending a recovery team to the remains of ETS4 to recover the cortical stacks of the morphs on the station.
Getting in contact with EcoWave, they learn that the terrorist group has zero ties to anybody within EcoWave and – again – they just turned up out of nowhere. EcoWave however have been conducting their own investigation, and provide the group with the location of the terrorist base.
The team decides that they need to investigate Icarus as they are all uncertain if they can trust the ship-bound Infomorph, and decide to contact Firewall as well. With their reputation being high enough to get access to secret information, their contact informs them that Icarus works for Firewall, and that the safe house they are staying in is in fact a Firewall safe house. They propose a deal – that the group works with Firewall to solve the mystery of what happened on ETS4, and Firewall pays them for their help. The group agrees to the terms.
Firewall provides everything they have on the terrorist group – from blueprints of the industrial facility they are hidden out in, to the number of terrorists in their facility. The terrorists are all Flats – an extremely rare, largely unmodified morph that is as close to “pure human” as most morphs get.
The group makes their plans to get access to the building and download any information stored on the terrorist group’s computer system to discover the truth of the attack on ETS4. They decide to make a stealthy approach so that they can also capture the leader of the terrorist group – a man by the name of Garrik Vaslowe – and turn him in to Firewall for questioning.
However, the plan doesn’t exactly go as hoped as within moments of sneaking into the base through the air vents, the team has entered into a gunfight with one of the terrorists and killed another. MT – who has approached from the front of the building – manages to completely disable the two door guards and capture them.
Meanwhile, Octopod seals the door to the section that everybody is in, preventing reinforcements from getting through as the rest of the terrorists in the building are alerted. While Brad and Alfred sneak back through the air vents to make different approaches, Octopod goes to the computer system and – with the assistance of Icarus – hacks into it to prevent as much data as possible from being destroyed.
MT and Alfred approach from the front of the building while Brad sneaks in through the air vents and discovers that the two remaining terrorists and their leader are holed up i na room together. As MT and Alfred burst into the room, Brad opens fire from the air vent to assist in taking out the two terrorists. The group then turns their attention on Garrik and with the help of MT’s frictionless spray and Brad’s electrical rope, they capture the leader alive.
As the dust settles, the group discovers the horrifying fact that the 4 terrorists they killed do not have cortical stacks. In an age of immortality, this is a big deal – four people are legitimately gone. The only terrorist with a cortical stack is their leader. And this turns out to be connected to the good news – the team discovers that the terrorist group was organized by Pathfinder in order to minimize the financial and faith losses of ETS4.
Giving this information, the two living terrorists and Garrik Vaslowe’s cortical stack to Firewall, within 24 hours the Pathfinder CEO is seen in an interview withdrawing the bounty placed on the survivor of the ETS4 survivors, and simply claiming that their investigation into what caused the ETS4 disaster was ongoing.
With their names cleared but no closer to the actual reasoning of the ETS4 disaster, the team settles into the safehouse on Titan to wait for instructions from Firewall for what they were to do next.