With Richard Yoshimura unconscious in the back of the van, the team quickly stripped him of his clothes and valuables, while Ken Tailor cracked the commlink in his head (providing the team with a copy on a data chip), and dumped him in the snow near the abandoned neighborhood where their previous mission had taken them. As they waited around for the old man to die of exposure in the snow, he actually began to come around.
Kabuki quickly hit him with a blast from her shock glove, which sent him in to an unexpected bout of thrashing around and spewing blood; he quickly died.
With the old man dead, Riku got in to his car, and the others piled in to the van for the drive home.
A little over half way home, with Hiraku sprawled out in the back of the van recovering from the earlier gun battle, and Riku several minutes behind them in his car, a spirit of fire manifested in the van and immediately began trying to kill Kabuki. She managed to dodge its attacks, and Hiraku managed to banish it before it could do any real damage. Moments later, another fire spirit manifested, and was banished by Hiraku.
Suspecting that a astral wizard was summoning the spirits, Hiraku opened his inner eye and took a look into the astral plane. He quickly spotted an astral wizard following them. At the same time, Kabuki and Ken tailor switched places in the van, with the hacker taking over the driving duties.
Just as the astral wizard was summoning another spirit, Hiraku managed to get a piece of the wizard with a mana bolt Unfortunately, the astral wizard responded with a mana ball that drove Hiraku into unconsciousness again, leaving Kabuki and Ken to deal with the spirit.
It took Kabuki several shots to finally defeat the spirit, and it nearly killed Ken in the process, it was finally driven off, and the team decided to try and shake the following astral wizard by approaching a nearby magic-suppressed zone.
Located about a 30 minute drive south from their location, the Ares “Battle Creek Research Facility” (located several kilometers south of the actual city) was an area a few kilometers wide that was rumored to be mana-free. As the team approached the area, they could feel an unnatural coldness in their veins as the background mana was slowly sucked out; it was a very unpleasant sensation .
During the drive to the Ares facility, the team did not experience any more attacks from spirits or from the astral magician directly.
Moving the unconscious Ken to Riku’s car, they sent it ahead under autonomous control to the Marubeni garage, calling ahead to inform Jon of his (and the rest of the team’s) pending arrival and possible spirit issues.
After resting for several hours to recover from spell drain, etc., the team piled back in to the van and returned to Detroit. There was no sight of the astral magician during the remainder of their trip.
Once they were back in Detroit, and delivered the data from the commlink to Hino Bento, the team received their payment.
With a couple hours to work on him, “Red” Fuchima was able to get Ken on his feet enough for him to head home.
Over the next day , as they recover from their wounds, it becomes apparent that the team’s roadside firefight in Chicago has made the news. Several videos (of varying quality and from different angles) from bystanders have most of the short firefight as well as the team’s grabbing of Mr. Yoshimura.
Hino, having looked into the matter informs the team that a bounty of 100,000¥ has been posted for information leading to the capture of those responsible. While the person behind the bounty is anonymous, it is surely Ichiro Kudo-kai.
He informs the team that Kiro Hachiyama is not particularly happy at the public nature of the team’s actions; it has attracted far too much public attention. He cautions the team to be more careful/discreet in the future.