Where the hell did all these hands on my time come from?
Canvassing the area (Edwards and one federal copper) reports two women (one matching Mia's description) and one man, all Japanese, all apparently willing, bugged out in quite a hurry two hours before Masaki's call (~10 hours ago).
Smith pulls a dossier on Mia, while the resident flatfeet (Blacklake and Edwards) launch a manhunt to track down at least one of the above three people. Said manhunt makes its way southwest and, on the seventh day, paydirt turns up in Fukushima.
A lucky roll (Blacklake, Notice roll, nuff said) spots the male fugitive near a KFC (Smith was inside, eavesdropping on the people he seemed to be with) - he spots them at same time and makes a call, then books it - Edwards books it on foot after him (after all, he's J, and Das Midget has been wanting this sort of foot chase since game start). To the tune of "Runaway" by the Real McCoy, the chase barrels through a smallish shopping district, with the fugitve proving Edwards' equal in the fine art of legging it.
Mouse tries to cut him off with their van, but it doesn't quite work out, the fugitive (and of course J.D.E. ) barrelling down narrow side streets, with gratuitous and public parkour, and ... almost ... getting away clean. I bent the rules slightly to allow Das Midget to try an attack run at Lead 10, which succeeded in stopping said fugitive - the rest of team also managed to find the mobile phone he'd been using.
Back in the restaurant, Smith hears the guys he'd been listening into ask "Where'd Manabu get to?"
According to the ID he had on him, Shigenobu Tomita did the runner. May Bee (the Advocate) dug up a safehouse she just "happened" to have set up earlier, and the team (ex-Smith and Blacklake, who are following the associates) decamp to there, with the usual whiskey, phonebook and plate of asparagus setup.
Through more gratuitous "BADGE!" use, Edwards cracks him (after talking to Gen. Devereux, who OKs an offer of reduced penalty). Turns out he was muscle, and had been told enough to do job. He did overhear that Misae Matsudaira (the woman who matched MIa's description) was being stashed somewhere in Osaka (to Sletch's cry of "CALLED IT!"). He was paid half up front for the job, as usual, via a $50k bank wire. Tomita notes that amount was moderately unusual for a simple abduction, but the other woman (whom he knew as Fusako Sugawara) was calling shots and arranged things.
While the interrogation is happening, Smith and Blacklake try to follow the associates from the restaurant. Three pile into a Trueno, one into a Lancer, (both of which promptly get bugged by Smith) and the other two catch the bus, along with Smith and Blacklake. The Lancer heads up the posh end of town, while (thanks to Blacklake's memories of when she was here in the RN, chasing a fugitive and a 20 on the knowledge roll) the Trueno heads to the low rent districts.
Three stops later, the first guy (and Blacklake) depart the bus. After a 10 minute walk, he looks like he's heading home. Blacklake notes environments, address, approaches, etc, then departs.
Two stops later, the second guy (and Smith) depart. This one shows a lot more situational awareness, keeps his feet live, etc, but receives a call halfway through an 8 minute walk home to quite a posh place. Smith keeps going, and bangs on the door two doors down. Sletch's WTF? look was funny as when an Australian opened the door and conversed in perfect Osaka-ben. Smith catches the bus back.
Scene IX: Jag kan explodera, upp som dynamit
After letting Tomita go (and not mentioning the fact that XCOM will be keeping a bit of an eye on him), the team decamp to Osaka.
The heroes plan out their next move. Smith uses kidnapping profiles to predict likely stash spots. Mouse suggests forced employment in a strip joint - Smith counters as "Too classy for these guys". Turk suggests spamming "Have You Seen This Woman?" posters. Or put word out they want to flat out buy her. Round three of Turk's suggestions is posing as collection agents for custom hardware. Mouse starts work on a sniffer worm.
Mouse knocks her worm over in 12 hours and uploads it into file sharing networks. Smith surmises can't go in openly, but lacks other ideas. Blacklake launches another manhunt.
Round 1, she won by 37, dropping the lead from 5 to 1. Round 2, won by 24, locating the stash house. Six blocks off the Nipponbashi in an 11th floor apartment. Turk suggests a stakeout from an apartment in the opposite-facing building.
A lucky Gear check finds a recently-vacated apartment with direct LOS, while Smith checks out the elevators of the buildings in the area. Unsurprisingly, they all lack a 4th floor button.
The apartment turns up quite posh - 3 bedrooms, decently thick floor coverings. Mouse prints up a "MAINTENANCE" sign to bung on
Thanks to her flubbing the forgery check... it's in English. Smith rectifies the situation while uttering his catchphrase.
May Bee gets onto Crow, another one of her contacts. Seems he got drunk with the civil engineers of the company who built the buildings around here a few years ago. Crow gives her location of services - power, water, PA, etc. While May Bee's on the phone, Turk and Blacklake notice two middle aged guys turn up at the stash house, then leave after half an hour. Around 9 pm, a pizza delivery guy turns up with four pizzas.
Mouse proposes to hijack the PA and rickroll the entire building.
Smith nixes that idea, suggests a joint action to storm the place .
Mouse's player (who owns a De Lorean) makes a BTTF reference, where Marty launched himself with a wall of sound.
Turk proposes to spiderman in with flashbangs.
Edwards mentions they have a straight shot and he's a, to quote, "black guy with sniper rifle."
Disguising himself as a Zainichi Korean (don't ask), Smith checks out the apartment directly behind the stash house, bugging himself. A Eurasian man opens the door and has a bit of a yarn re: cable TV problems. Other apartments have a mix of occupants -single people, couples, families, etc.
Eventually, a plan emerges - bung a big speaker on a trolley and jam things with white noise. Edwards sorts the exfil with 11 identical police vans that very closely resemble theirs, down to license plates - idea being, a convoy of 12 such vans peels out at breakneck speed, the individual vans peeling off at random times, with the Turk making the 8th van in convoy bend the laws of physics. Mouse kitbashes a remote that will silly-buggerise the building power.
Assault plan comes together - Mouse uses her remote to kill the lights, the white noise gets cranked, and Edwards takes a shot at whichever goon he can see. Blacklake and Smith breach, and neutralise any other resistance, then clear the place. After finding Mia, grab her and set the van convoy in motion.
Turk stuffs up the joint action but sorts the ambush. He thinks (too late) to silicon the other apartment doors shut. Mouse's player poorly apes Hannibal.
Power gets cut, sound cranks up, Edwards headshots the first very suprised goon. He tops the initiative order, and cleans up the other goon he could see. Blacklake and Smith breach the door, and sweep the place as Turk commando rolls in. Mouse follows them.
Front rooms clear. Two back rooms. Blacklake goes right, clears it, and finds Mia stuffed into a closet. Drugged, fairly logey, zip tied and generally out of it. Turk finds the two bullets Edwards had fired and pries them out of the wall, taking them with him.
Rather than clearing the other back rooms, they grab Mia and book, leaving the trolley and speaker behind.
In the van, May Bee cuts the zip ties. Mia freaks out, slugs May Bee, then gets tased by Smith, who reties her, adding a ball gag and duct tape this time.
Bloody hell, that was a long one.