As we left our intrepid heroes last week, they were cowering in a Shoreditch railway siding, licking their wounds and wondering what the hell had happened. Jon started to wonder how the hit squad had known where they were. Maybe the Forever Man had told them, but he'd had his face blown off ... Anyway, there were leads to follow.
Lucky went off to Brixton to ask an arms dealer what he could say about the special round and Spooky spent the night reading the Guardian archive in Wapping to look for details of the previous MDK hits. Spooky didn't find anything significant but Lucky had to promise the scrawny dealer a favour in exchange for information.
The next day they started to poke around a bit more. Lucky returned to the dealer and talked to his arms tech guy, a mechanical engineer who'd fallen out of mainstream employment. He explained that the round was precision engineered to micro tolerances, which only a couple of hundred companies could do in the UK, plus some government labs. Lucky looked at a list the guy had thrown together and chose Integra, quite a new company that had recently come the way of much venture capital. Looked interesting but would mean going to Bishop Stortford.
Jon followed up the company using his business contacts and traced it to a holding company in the Caymans. This in turn was owned by a 3 person firm in Putney. With Mickey, and disguised as a police officer, they checked them out and they proved to be an elderly couple, rather unaware of what they owned but grateful for the £100k or so a year they'd been receiving from a small investment 40 years ago. The other shareholder, a Mr Sculthorpe, took a measly £5k per annum to do the accounts. However, Integra was not listed in these accounts, rather strangely.
Lucky returned north via Clapham and bumped into the Witches of Endor having coffee and cakes on the Pavement. After standing his round he showed them the round. This horrified them, it was some kind of gaping hole in their perception. They promised to do a ritual for him that night, to see if they could find other such holes.
Spooky tried to phase out with a round in his pocket but all he ended up with was a torn pocket. The rounds projected a small field in which powers did not work. Jon heard from his contact Gloria that the human protein in the rounds was liver cells.
In any case the team decided it was time to visit Integra. On the news on the way up they heard that the company had been awarded a big new Government defence contract and arrived at the same time as a local news crew. Jon morphed into Jeremy Paxman and they bluffed their way in. They got the spiel from the PR man. Integra is in the business of protecting the country from superthreats (a new buzzword) and has a contract to develop and produce ways of stopping powers. They'd heard enough and left. On their way out, Jon's disguise dropped and as the security guard asked "Where's Paxman" he was decked, rather too well by Lucky. They drove off in a hurry, panicked somewhat and returned to find police and ambulance at the scene. The news reported the police as looking for their car.
But they hid out locally and waited for an employee to leave. Eventually they found one with a "My other car is the USS Enterprise" bumper sticker and followed him home. Lucky tried to persuade him to talk, mentioning their common interests but (QotN) "liking the same comic is not a good enough reason to betray your country" - "Yes, it is!" tried thefon. He managed to persuade the poor guy to talk by threatening his comic collection, but then let slip that he would never damage a comic. The guy was about to talk but held back so in the end Lucky was forced to get heavy with him.
They discovered that they were making the bakelite matrix on site which was filled with the biological material shipped in from outside. They also had a shooting range in the basement where "army looking" types tested the equipment on willing test subjects. Subjects which nevertheless didn't look too happy about the whole affair.
Then followed an argument about how the scientist could work on something particularly designed to kill part of the population. He pointed out that he could have done with some protection from supers himself. They didn't have anything to fear if they weren't breaking the law. It's not as if the police couldn't protect themselves from normal criminals. Why should supers be exempt?
They dropped him off an hightailed it back to London. News reports mentioned Police on the look out for our four desperados and that Paxman had been questioned. Lucky and Jon bluffed their way into Mile End hospital to check out the hitman on life support. Lucky was hoping that the might come round. At that minute, there was a knock on the window and a crow arrived from the witches. Their spell had indicated two main areas with the same signature as the bullets, the factory and the 1 km exclusion zone around Parliament.
At this point, Mickey checked out the tomb near Spitalfields, Forever Man's body had gone!