|Date: 26th February 2019|
The runners meet up with Ferri to assist Dani of the Red Feather Five and learn there are to ensure fairness at a Horizon-sponsored singing competition among the NAN nations in LA. Agreeing to the terms, the runners take a commercial flight down to PCC lands and start gathering leads. Hurricane makes a call to Simone Devineaux to get more information about some of the people involved. She says one of the judges is in a bad financial situation and that one of the corp people overseeing the event is somewhat dishonest (average level for talent exec). Umbra does some digging on the Matrix to find out more about the performers and the setup for the venue. It appears that the two judges besides Dani have been influence to vote a certain way, regardless of talent.
Once inside the venue, Masulo does some astral recon and discovers that a mage is using magic to get the crowd excited or mellow, depending on the act. Then, the judges can vote how instructed and none will be the wiser. As the concert is broadcast live, everything seems to make sense to the folks at home. The team targets the woman casing the spells with one of the filming drones, throwing off the effect and causing the crowd to react normally. Realizing that they must take out this woman, they manage to divert her car into a bad part of town and fake a Lone Star stop. The woman and her assistant fight back as the team attacks, but are defeated and are subsequently sent off to a distant Horizon corp via the car.
Back at the contest, without the mage the judges have a harder time justifying some of their choices and it seems like the right people are now winning more consistently. On the day of the finals, the exec mentioned by Simone says something to one of the competitors to make him doubt himself. The runners try and cheer him up and end up getting Dani to speak a few words of encouragement. The finals are exciting and eventually a winner is crowned. While it is not the person who seemed to be the most talented at the beginning, the end performance was amazing, and untainted by the execs. The Johnson is satisfied the team made it as fair as could be and are rewarded appropriately. A job well done.