RTK blasts through the upper atmosphere of Venus in a SCRAM jet. Ostensibly making a delivery to a private Aerostat, which is the seat of power of immortal oligarchs at the head of the Rothschild family.
They wear the morphs that were provided to them on Extropia, and have been on the run for the past months. They have no knowledge of being resleeved back on the Bounty, or participating in the space battle around the O’Neill Cylinder and Matroska core. These instances of them never experienced that Lack, and have been proceeding on mission to roll up the last remnants of the SEP / Weyland / Rothschild conspiracy in the Inner System.
The Aerostat is filled with priceless works of art, some number of which are likely Earth originals – as well as some artifacts that have been brought back from exosystems beyond the Pandora Gates. In a director’s cut outtake that was accidentally left on the floor (Had a chat with the player about the omitted scene after the game) Kulu notices a pedestal whose artifact is on loan – on it is an empty case with foam cutouts matching the silhouette of an ancient H&K SOCOM – an earth artifact in the possession of Kulu’s original ego back around Saturn – Which suggests that the Rothchilds had been engineering things with SEP at least since the time that Kulu himself was created.
The Aerostat is mostly deserted and only running with what seems to be a skeleton crew and small staff supporting a few scattered guests. Tasha does her best against a byzantine and segmented Mesh security system and, although Mabuse does unspeakable things to the elevator boy, RTK manages to have the run of the place without too much trouble and only one major ambush.
After learning that the “immortal” members of the family have most likely uploaded into the computer systems of the Aerostat, RTK overrides the environmental safeguards of the Aerostat, and vent out its buoyant oxygen atmosphere and send it careening to the surface of Venus – escaping themselves on a luxury rocket and rendezvousing with a cargo ship in orbit of the planet.
As the transport leaves orbit, each member receives a message from a patron or benefactor bidding them to finish one last job to clean up one last mess that is left over from the TITAN data that was brought back from Logos:
- Tasha’s message is from a powerful AI which claims to be older than the fall, and is interested in preserving transhumanity. It needs Tasha’s help to find out what happened between her and Mabuse at logos.
- Zaius’s message is from Gabriel, talking to him about his role in Project Ozma, and how Zaius is needed to preserve a transhumant way of life in the face of these kinds of emerging threats.
- Kulu’s call is from Magu who remembers when he was just a small octopus in the lab, and thinks of himself as a father figure. One last mission is needed before Kulu can be sent to the oceans of Europa to retire and “fish”.
- Karls’ call is from himself. His copy that was restored aboard the destroyer during the last session sends a delta-fork to give it to him straight: He is being burned, and will need to start over with a new identity, because Karls isn’t giving up their original. Those resources will be provided though, and he will get to see things that the original could only dream about – as long as he goes along to finish up the last part of the job. Karls accepts and kills the delta for its trouble – but it knew that was going to happen anyway.
- Mabuse’s message is from a Jovian Colonel, who resets his psycho-conditioning with the salute “By Jove!” this wipes Mabuse’s traumas and resets both his desires to destroy the anarchist enclaves as well as his contrary desire to destroy Jupiter. The Colonel tells him that he has gone far off the reservation during his deep cover work, but that they need him back now. He has done great things for the Republic, but inadvertently caused great harm as well. He is needed now to finish the job.
So with a vague description of a problem or outbreak at Uranus, and the puzzling suggestion that they are the only assets that can move fast enough to get there soon enough, RTK is flown on the transport straight at the Sun… Until they arrive at some tiny specks of rock inside the orbit of Mercury, which are protected with a vast array of spacebourne weapons all pointed inwards. Landing on one of these asteroids, RTK is admitted to a secure facility where they see for the first time with their own eyes, a Pandora Gate.