The Hammer activates one of the ancient city’s traps while leaving Earth Spire. The trap is a large concrete shell that works like a venus fly trap. The concrete seals them in and keeps the ship immobile. Their weapons do nothing to the walls of the trap. The Operator “Cobalt” is still able to get a signal from the Node inside the trap. Captain Pablo suggest they try and find a lever to release the trap from inside the Node. Even though this city is abandoned, in theory it should be referenced in the Node somewhere. The group sends in six crew members to find this city they only know very little about. They have the coordinates for Earth Spire and Wind Storm, that should get them started. When the group is uploaded into the Node they appear in the Houston server (power plant), which is the closest server (power plant) to their ship. The Earth Spire server (power plant) is deactivated and isn’t a location the Operator can download them too directly. A server (power plant) is where the machines store information the Ghost hackers can access. The Ghost hackers must be able to infiltrate government related computers to get the Machines true information. The simulacrum computers can access Machine code from the proper access points. Panzer suggest they infiltrate a DMV and hack that computer for information about the city at their ship’s coordinates. A DMV at night shouldn’t be as protected as police station. Information about this decommissioned server (power plant) should not be that restricted that they can’t access it from a DMV computer.
Cobalt is a little rusty uploading Ghost into the Node. She gets their equipment okay but it takes her ten minutes and several failed logins before she hacks a secure hardline. The crew is uploaded to a phone in an alley about a mile from their target. This isn’t a problem. They take time to scope out the area and find some supplies to help them break into the DMV. The ship’s loading program only had one type of gun, this lack of choice really annoyed Panzer. To remedy this problem he and the group are going to grab a bunch of guns and equipment from the closest sporting goods store. Anything they take back to the ship can be copied by the Operator into the loading program. The ship’s simulacrum inventory is sparse. Next time the group uploads they will have more choices, which makes Panzer happy. After burglarizing one of many sporting goods stores in the Houston server, Rasputin and the group work on stealing a car. Rasputin tried lockpicks but ended up using his elbow to break the car’s window. Panzer told Rasputin he has to sit on the glass in the driver’s seat since he made the mess. They are able to hotwire a sedan that fits all six of them. Once at the DMV they access the building with help from their punksmith Sunshine and Rasputin, “the mad Russian”. The DMV security is light and easily bypassed. The group gets on to one of the computer terminals and hacks into the Machine files they need. They find that the city at the Earth Spire coordinates is the same site as the horrible eSpire Nuclear Meltdown. The entire city was evacuated because the eSpire Nuclear facility had an irreversible meltdown. The site is still contaminated with extremely high levels of radiation and is quarantined off from the public.
The crew calls Cobalt and ask her to upload a few radiation hazmat suits to protect them from any harmful radiation at the eSpire Nuclear facility. The crew drives their Buick on the Interstate. Driving on the interstate can be dangerous if you’re caught. Rasputin’s driving attracts the attention of a police officer. Instead of slowing down Rasputin does some defensive driving that ends with him ramming the police car so hard with their Buick that the cop is stranded in the middle of the interstate. The crew is only one exit from eSpire, Rasputin escapes pursuit and heads to eSpire without any more issues. The city is a ghost town, the inhabitants were moved so quickly they didn’t have time to take any of their personal belongings with them. Everyone except Rasputin is wearing their hazmat suit inside the quarantined area. The problem with the suits is, if they are attacked there is no way they can fire their weapons and keep the suits on. Rasputin would rather have access to his weapons than worry about the radiation. Everyone else in the crew eyes the mad Russian and gives him fifteen minutes. If the Mad Russian doesn’t show signs of radiation sickness they will take their suits off also. The crew heads into the center of the Nuclear facility looking for any computers they can access. They find a control room with some working terminals in it. Once they hack the workstation it is easy to release the ship from the trap. The crew confirms that the Hammer has been released in the real world and their work is done.
As the crew prepares to leave the facility they are confronted by twin girls in white leather who warn them not to awake the Architect. The Architect is known as Hera, and Hera will not be happy with their presence here. The White leather twins appear to be a Ghost like they are. Both have the matrix feat allowing them to teleport at will. After giving their message they disappear. The crew didn’t have a chance to ask questions, but they don’t stick around to look for the white leather twins either. There is a one way hardline back to the ship. The Operator dials up their hardline and gets all the ghost back to their bodies safely. The machine city is still empty and that is comforting news for everyone in the ship. The crew doesn’t quite know where they are heading, but they can all agree that it is time to get out of here!