In the aftermath of the disaster at NKN's inter-dimensional rave, Marten happened into the path of a Murrikai wizard, who offered to enchant his new magical legs, since he was NKN's aide. Well, sort of NKN's aide. Together, they worked through a vast array of options, and the mage assured Marten that there would be no charge... oh, but he'd need to borrow that extremely powerful magical crystal Marten had in his pocket. Or, alternatively, they could go round up a worthless peasant and sacrifice him, drawing the energy from his death.
Being a fairly worthless peasant himself, Marten decided to hand over his spare life in lieu of taking someone else's, and the spells were cast. The crystal wasn't completely used up, but half a life isn't much better than none, for someone who isn't a wizard.
With that taken care of, it was off to rescue Aquilas AT LAST. There was some other mucking about, but it didn't really accomplish anything... Marten had time to stop in with his employer and get new weapons, although not a new set of armor, leaving him with his defective set, and to visit with Fukachan in Ohio for a few hours while NKN-Earth's plane made its way to NYC from Gibraltar (and Nazir bummed around the city wasting time).
The run itself was a farce. Marten's magical lock-bypassing card didn't work on the only lock that mattered. Nazir looped the camera, and NKN warped the door to let them inside. Marten only managed to take out three of the five guards before one spotted them and fired a tranquilizer dart at Chashimi, killing him instantly. The other guards were taken out, EVENTUALLY, and Chashimi's body was frozen in stasis for resucitation later, since it looked like he'd just had a severe allergic reaction, which was curable by modern medicine. In the meantime, Nathaniel's ghost was raised, and in turn raised Chashimi as an undead to complete the mission.
The mission was completed -- Aquilas was transferred from the floor-full of computers to a fist-sized emerald, around which an illusionary human body was created. After it was completed, Nazir decided to be extra careful and erase all traces of his presence (except, of course, for the tied up guards scattered all over), and in the process set off all kinds of alarms. To keep the computer from finishing its backup, Marten and NKN went wild with electric attacks to just trash everything, and since all the guards were subdued by that point, the party simple left with Aquilas in his new body in tow.
Since Marten wasn't sure how long Chashimi's body would remain in stasis, the party returned to Seattle via the St. Louis/Zenebatos arch, and the small portal near Zenebatos which opened directly to Lexan's Evil Warehouse of Doom. Money was paid, Chashimi was resuscitated without any problems (he'd been frozen less than a minute after being shot, so no permanent damage had been done, and it was just anaphalectic shock), etc. No one was sure just why all the computers in the world had popped up saying "ALISE DID IT ALISE DID IT ALISE DID IT", but ALISE (the emergent AI search engine) promised that she was looking into it, and would e-mail everyone personally when the solution was found.
Aquilas, before leaving for his new life as a hapless stooge of a different megacorp, informed the party that his job up to that point had been mapping the geography of the future, after Earth and Ur merged into one world, with all the people and only half the land. Under his direction, the Graves corporation was buying up what would, in the future, be the choice real estate. The notion of the two worlds merging did not make anyone happy, although Graves corporation's real estate boondoggle was met with total apathy.
But what made them less happy was the news that St. Louis had been nuked, just a short while after the party had passed through it. It was as of yet uncertain whether Zenebatos had gone with it.
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