The team is contracted by a fixer named Tabby for a job. They travel to a ranch used as a corporate retreat owned by Jaron Falcone. An executive with Ares was kidnapped from the ranch and a million dollar ransom requested.
Video survellieance shows 3 women in dark clothes and tribal masks entering the property before dawn.Searching the room where he was taken they find his commlink and a black feather hidden under a pillow. Breaking into the commlink Lilly finds the frequency of his RFID tag, but needed his employee ID to run a search on that frequency. She didn’t want to risk a run on the Ares host.
Asking around they find the feather is a signature of one of the Black Cats, a shadow team out of the Sioux sector of 4 women. They frequent a bar called the Hardpan which is a hangout for Sioux military and shadow runners. at the Harpan they try to pretend they are old friends of one of the Cats who just happent o be in town, but the proprietor Sandy isn’t really buying it. Lilly manages to snoop on Sandy’s call to the Cats and gets a commlink number.
Calling the number they try various clumsy attempts at intimidation, but the Cats take them for amatuers. They arrange a meet to hand over the feather and clear the air because the Cats seem genuinely confused about the ransom.
Meeting in a parking lot with one of the Cats they are told there is no ransom and that they will release the captive tomorrow at 9pm (too late). The runners are confused.
They are contacted by a spooky decker who tells them Falcone is going to betray them. Lilly manages to somehow tail the Cat on the bike to a motel/storage unit on the edge of town with a fly spy drone.
They attack the motel and get torn up by the hardened runner team, but the captive breaks away and the Cats flee the scene.
They return the captive to Falcone and get paid, but never figure out where the ransom demand was coming from. They have made enemies of the Black Cats.