The session began with the 9th Squad preparing in the squad bay for another raid on Kurotachi's research facility. This time, there would be no stopping XSWAT—each officer was determined to make this attempt count. The 9th Squad assembled in the steam tunnels next to Kurotachi's Sublevel 2 and set up explosives to blast an entranceway into the building. Meanwhile, Burton had developed a psionic tracking device that would enable Yiska to make mental contact with the bio-gestalt computer. Yiska's brief communication ensured that the bio-gestalt computer was A) willing to help, B) would be forced to sacrifice portions of itself in order to seal off the area and prepare itself for transport, and C) would be roughly the size of a Volkswagen when ready to leave. The final communication from the bio-gestalt computer was this: "There are two others here. One is like me, but not like me. The other is alien, wrong, evil—and sleeping. I do not believe they realize what it can do when it is awake."
Fortunately, Hemelshot had planned ahead and had stored several carrying straps within the Blue Steel, and had also arranged for several handholds and cargo eyelets to be epoxied onto the exterior of the power armor.
The explosives went off as planned, and the 9th Squad stormed into the building in two teams. Hemelshot led team one, with himself, Jama, and Yiska. Team two was led by Carpenter and contained Tyger and Burton. Both teams met some resistance as clamshell-clad security clades swarmed out to meet the raid. A tense moment ensued as both forces aimed guns at each other and screamed orders, but the stalemate was broken when Yiska attempted to blast the security guards with his telekinesis. Jama quickly surrounded herself and the mostly-unarmed Tyger with her protective spells. Gunfire suddenly broke out in the room as the clades opened fire, wounding Tyger and knocking Yiska down. The clades attempted to keep Yiska down, but the esper would not be stopped. "Secure this." He growled at them, producing his C-60. The battle raged for a few seconds before Jama suddenly wrapped herself in mystical flames. The diminutive sorceress appeared nearly ten feet tall as she ordered the clades to drop their weapons—unsurprisingly, they complied, ending that particular conflict.
The 9th Squad secured the clades with zip-tie handcuffs and prepared to blast a hole in the floor leading down to Sublevel 3. Beneath them, they knew they would find both the bio-gestalt computer and a captive Entity as the source of the drug known as Angel's Blood.
Unfortunately, Tyger misjudged the placement of the explosives, and the blast took out a much-larger-than-anticipated chunk of the floor. The 9th Squad were dropped along with the floor as it collapsed, spilling the XSWAT officers onto the ground some forty feet below.
Sublevel 3 contained the bio-gestalt computer, all right, and also the Entity the 9th Squad was looking for. What they had not counted on, however, is that their...unorthodox method of entry damaged the machines holding the Entity in check. A massive chamber within a sorcerous warding circle contained a huge column of green-gray flesh studded with a shifting mass of faces. That chamber was spiderwebbed with cracks, cracks that were spreading even as more debris from the upper level was falling down.
Scientists and workstations were scattered about the rest of the room—Sublevel 3 was really big, and surprisingly, mostly empty—but the elevator doors and other entrances had all been locked down by the bio-gestalt computer. As the 9th Squad got up and dusted themselves off, a telltale spark glimmered at the elevator doors, a sign that the security guards inside were cutting their way through and would arrive imminently.
Carpenter, for his part, drew the Spatha Sancta and advanced grimly towards the captive Entity. If it was soon to free itself (and that also appeared certain), he would be there to meet it. Tyger asked Yiska to lift him back up to the higher level so that he could get suited up in the Blue Steel. Yiska agreed, and telekinetically lifted the clade to the upper level—unfortunately, Yiska's power was unable to do so gently. Tyger ended up slamming into the ceiling above and was nearly knocked silly by the impact.
The Entity began to stir, slamming against the walls of its enclosure as it began to assume a somewhat more humanoid form. The scientists in the room were of little help. Yiska was soon gathering up debris and telekinetically pushing it together to form a barrier under Hemelshot's direction, while Burton began searching for an intact computer workstation.
Above, Tyger was settling into the pilot's compartment of the Blue Steel, but he knew that even pushing his skills as far as he could, it would take several seconds to join the battle below. Carpenter approached the Entity, now definitely forming a more humanoid shape (although still clearly alien and disturbing). However, he encountered resistance when Carpenter moved to the limit of the warding circle. Debris from the explosion had damaged the circle, but it still held some power. Meanwhile, Burton had shoved aside one of the corporate scientists and was running his own program in an attempt to engage any other systems that would help restrain the entity. Burton found that there was a last-ditch steel shutter that could be lowered to seal off the entity chamber, but the amber warning meant that an override would be required. Burton cursed as his first attempt failed.
Jama could tell that the warding circle was straining at the utmost to contain the entity's power and would soon fail. She warned the rest of the 9th Squad about this eventuality, while Carpenter pressed on against the flickering wards. With an effort of will, he managed to slide past its protective circle and stood directly next to the Entity. Just then, the containment tank exploded, showering the area with broken glass—one of the hapless corporate scientists was decapitated by a flying shard, but both Jama and Carpenter reacted in time to keep from being injured. Angel's Blood poured out over Carpenter and Jama's feet as the tank leaked its fluid all over the sublevel.
Burton grinned as he finished rewiring the control panel. "Ah-ha!" He crowed as the system engaged. "Uh-oh." He remarked, then noticing that Carpenter was moving directly towards the entity. "Don't get too close!" He called out in warning, but it was too late—Carpenter leaped to try and get out, but had not reacted in time. The steel door slammed shut, trapping him inside with the entity. For its part, the entity began slamming the steel door with its fists, denting and deforming the thick shutters. The elevator doors were finally cut open at this point, and a group of security clades spilled into the room. Eerily similar to the scene on the level above, the clades aimed guns and demanded that XSWAT surrender.
Yiska reached out mentally and took control of the squad leader's mind. Through the clade's lips, he ordered the security detail to consider the entity as the prime enemy. Almost directly afterwards, the Entity ripped the steel shudder like tearing through tissue paper. Floating out into the room, the entity announced exultantly that it's name was Ysarille, its mental "voice" forcing that foul name into the brains of all present. Many of the scientists went mad or began to vomit, while most of the security clades were killed outright. The 9th Squad's badges were no protection against Ysarille's aura, and Yiska soon found he was spitting blood and bile onto the floor.
Carpenter found his faith tested at the sight of the enormous entity that had with a single sentence incapacitated the rest of his squad and had killed most of the civilians—all of whom were completely unprotected against the "entity sickness" it exuded. The Spatha Sancta suddenly roared into holy flame as he raced to attack this foul creature, but his blow was ill-timed, and only the flat of the blade landed.
Jama prepared a spell and was gathering her power, seeking the right time to strike. Hemelshot fired a blast from his C-90, but missed the agile entity. Ysarille spoke again, claiming that it had no time for these mortals—it wanted to go gather its children and teach them the ways of the Shadow Master. Carpenter's second attack slammed home, opening up a large wound in the creature's body, but Ysarille did not fall. Instead, it addressed Jama as a "child of Hecate" and said it would wait for her at the Hallows—a place Jama knew to be at the center of the Omega Sector. With that, Ysarille faded out of sight, and the battle for Sublevel 3 was over.
Tyger arrived in time to begin loading up the bio-gestalt computer with his improvised cargo straps, and Burton communicated with the machine as Carpenter prayed for the souls of the dead civilians. The survivors, of course, were barking mad and murmuring worshipful words for Ysarille, but XSWAT was in no mood to deal with them. Burton was informed by the bio-gestalt computer that a fail-safe system had been activated when the Entity escaped, and that only a few minutes remained before the building was due to self-destruct.
In a flash the 9th Squad finished up loading the bio-gestalt computer and grabbed onto the Blue Steel Special. Jama and Yiska could leave under their own power, but the rest of the squad had little choice but to hold on as Tyger boosted out of the hole and sped down the steam tunnels towards the exit.
Once away from the Kurotachi tower, the squad was able to observe as explosions turned the building into a geyser of fire and wreckage. With their primary mission accomplished, the team returned to the precinct with their prize to rest and recover a bit from the encounter.
Burton, of course, was busy installing the bio-gestalt computer. Once it was up and running in his lab, the doctor inquired as to whether the computer had a name for itself. Replying that it did not, the computer asked Burton for a name, and received one—Hal.
Tyger and his girlfriend Marcy caught up on some time together, while Yiska wrestled with the impact of his prophetic dream from the night before. Jama was concentrating on uncovering the secrets of the Omega Sector, and she was thus temporarily incommunicado. For Carpenter, the day had just begun—first, he found out from Hanler that his bank account had been drained from a card normally carried by his wife. Secondly, there was footage from the ATM machine that showed a disguised and nervous Elizabeth as the culprit (Elizabeth being Carpenter's oldest daughter).
Carpenter went to confront Elizabeth about her recent behavior—she was supposed to be baby-sitting at Hemelshot's house while he and his wife were out at a book signing. When Carpenter arrived, he found Hemelshot's youngest at the door looking worried. " 'lizbeth hurt her eye." Marianne told him. "Can you help her?"
Inside, Elizabeth was found to be pale, sweaty, and with a nearby expended cartridge of Angel's Blood. Carpenter immediately took steps to bring Elizabeth to Burton. Burton examined Elizabeth and determined that she was indeed a user of Angel's Blood. Burton constructed a special chamber to assist, but possession would be inevitable between 12 hours and 3 days from that point. The chamber pushed that estimate much closer to 3 days. Jama was contacted by Hemelshot and Yiska (who found her meditating in the nude to get a peek at the Omega Sector).
Jama moved to assist Burton while Tyger, Yiska, Hemelshot and Carpenter tracked down the drug pusher who sold the Angel's Blood to Elizabeth. The pusher, a kid named Scott Fitzgerald, led the squad to his supplier, and from there to many other drug providers throughout the city.
The session ended with the 9th Squad facing a difficult decision—the only known way to exorcise an entity introduced into someone's body by Angel's Blood is a book called the Esperanza Grimorium. The problem being, of course, that this book was last known to be in the possession of Dominic Van Goren—and his house is at the epicenter of the mysterious and deadly Omega Sector.