Whilst the Saltu grieve the team begin to investigate the corpses of their attackers. Kuurahn borrows Vulgrim‘s Blue-Bladed Knife in order to carefully extract the cranial implant from one of the assassins. Meanwhile Mordechai analyses the assassin’s body gloves and hand areas.
The team discover that the assassins are literally stitched into their gear and unable to talk due to their mouths being sewn shut. Their gear is made such that it prevents body heat from escaping and actively camouflages the wearer such that they do not show up auspex devices.
In addition the bodies of the assassins suggest that these people have been altered in such a way to improve their speed and dexterity.
Finally their cranial implants allowed the assassins to receive external instructions and signals directly to their minds. It also removed their thoughts, feelings of pain and emotions which put the team in mind of the conditioned elite guards they encounter at Ritammeron’s mansion during the investigation of Mersini Lokinnox. Kuurahn takes the extracted implant with him for further study.
During this time Callidon converses with Manfred von Burga, allowing the Saltu to complete their burial rites before leaving their temple sanctuary. However, Callidon also orders the Servitor to take with it one of the corpses of the assassins and for Vulgrim to prioritize the survival of their team over von Burga’s group.
The team leaves the temple under the cover of darkness and makes their way back towards Astraeus in an attempt to smuggle von Burga and themselves out of the colony.
During their travels Mordechai notifies Felix about von Burga and the assassins. In turn Felix explains to the group that the Halo Barge has been returned to them by Commodore Viri Fortissimi but that the Imperial Navy’s ships have moved in to form a blockade above Astraeus. This is due to a sudden uprising and unrest at Astraeus’ starport.
Assuming that the group stirring up trouble is the Blood Bullets the team plan to ask around the outskirts of Astraeus for news of strange shipments and advantages against the Bullets.
Unfortunately in the unnatural stillness and emptiness of the slums of Astraeus, Vulgrim stumbles and upturns a metal bucket – ringing into the night. No assailants jump out of the shadows at the team. However Vulgrim’s stealth is put to shame by the apparently newly oiled Servitor, that silently slides through the streets.
At 2:30 am the team formulate a plan of attack against the heavily armoured starport. Caution is thrown aside and the team instead rely on the element of surprise.
Vulgrim kicks off the action by throwing a blind grenade into the faces of the external guards to the complex. In the ensuing fire fight the team manages to break through the main barriers and into the loading area of the starport, dispatching three gang members in their wake.
However they are met with a barrage of fire from two gang members using heavy stubber weaponry. The team is stuck at the entrance to the starport, pinned under the suppressing fire of the Bullets from both the ground and the guard towers. How will they force their way through and take control of the starport?