To give March sufficient time to crack into 66 High’s home node, Donavan and Kiku go deer hunting while Johnny and Sanura use the pretext of hunting to sniff out reagents.
Kiku, unfortunately, gets distracted by a mother bear and her cubs. Playing it safe and keeping her cool, Kiku tries to evade the bear and get out of the mother’s path to the cubs. Hearing the commotion, Johnny and Sanura rush to Kiku’s aid, lending a little magical help… even if some of it goes awry. After that bit of excitement, Kiku continues hunting and manages to behead the buck for which she’s shooting, then heads for the Bed & Breakfast. Bringing down his prey at nearly the same time, Donavan tags his kill and heads back for the B&B.
Johnny and Sanura, however, have a longer trip trying to find the right place to gather reagents and spend much of the morning simply wandering the back hills of Fauquier. Eventually, they come to a quiet clearing with a small waterfall and pond. Behind the waterfall is a submerged cave. Within, Johnny finds a pair of geodes pure enough for his purposes.
Sanura, meanwhile, discovers that Manga Hut has gone to a pay-for-access system, thus impeding her continuing education in all things manga. She can only rail but for so long before noticing that she is sharing the clearing with the bear and cubs from earlier. Diving in with Johnny, she warns him of the problems outside. With a little luck and some carefully thought out illusions, Johnny succeeds in scaring off the bear and her cubs. Taking stock of their gear, they learn that only Johnny’s flashlight has been damaged, chewed up by the cubs. Satisfied with his successes so far, Johnny leads Sanura home, where Donavan and Kiku had spent the rest of the morning cleaning their deer.
While they make plans for the evening, Kiku is contacted by her uncle, Hiroshi, who is checking up on her home for her. While talking with Kiku, Hiroshi hears the sounds of someone breaking in and the call is cut off to the sounds of gunfire. March enters Kiku’s CHN to discover a pair of masked men setting up a bomb in the bedroom and evidence of a fight, but no sign of Kiku’s Uncle. With little else she is able to do, Kiku calls up the O’Malley Family, who provides security for her apartment, and report the break in.
In the evening, after March has infiltrated the 66 High node and learned only a little of their affairs and leaders, the group opts to camp out along Skyline Drive, in hopes of intercepting a pack of the gangers and thinning their numbers.
On the way there, they fall into an ambush set by 66 High, instead. The gangers open by using the van’s node to trash the spark plugs. Then, while Donavan and Johnny are replacing the spark plugs with a little help from March, several of the gangers surround approach from the underbrush while a pair of Doberman drones cut off the road.
During the ensuing battle, March discovers that the drones are controlled by a rival Technomancer, Huey. While March and Huey duke it out in cyberspace, Johnny shields the group with his magic and Sanura’s fire spirit unleashes hell amongst their foes. Donavan and Kiku provide additional support from the multitude of guns spilling out of the van.
Wising up to the runner’s tactics, one of the drones hurls a pair of grenades at Johnny’s barrier while the other shoots Kiku through it. Donavan throws himself into Johnny and March rolls out of the way just before the two grenades detonate.
With the barrier down, Kiku, Sanura, and Donavan tear into the enemies desperately turning the tide of battle back in their favor. As the enemy breaks and runs, Kiku returns a second pair of grenades launched during the fight. One of the enemies, suffering head trauma from Sanura’s attempts to play with him, is pulled into the van while the remainder of the gangers are put out of their misery.