Part III: The Masquerade
The Battle at City SquareAurum 2nd, 576 AP
The Black Dawn, all inside of the Nightrunner, had just been interrupted in their escape by their former associate-turned-adversary, Malia Deceit, back from the dead with a flaming vengeance. Malia Deceit singed and burnt the criminals with her newfound command of pyromancy, also aiding in revealing the Black Dawn to the public. Suddenly, the faces of the Black Dawn were on every arcanoscreen in the country, all back in the public eye. The Black Dawn was eventually able to kill Malia Deceit, then shifting efforts into aiding the Kazoku in fighting off S.T.R.I.K.E.'s forces. The Kazoku got out with minimal casualties thanks to the Black Dawn. The criminals then escaped the police and took refuge in Jinx's apartment in Malheur.
AftermathDuring the night, Jinx's sleep was, once again, interrupted by a dream. This dream took place in the Misfits' failed escape from the Anchora Police, where in the dream (contrary to reality), Tarik Gamathanki was shot in the head by the police. The contents of his head explode throughout the entire vehicle, with flecks of blood landing on Jinx. After she woke up this dream, the flecks of blood remained on her face in reality. Aurum 3rd, 576 AP
The next day, Avaahn and Jinx made their way towards Kazoku headquarters in Valland City, discussing the Battle at City Square and moving forward. The Kazoku gave the criminals a tip about an event in the Criminal Underworld known as the Masquerade; Ava Trojan, CEO of Mirror Image, was hosting a formal event and inviting all of her clients, including past, present, and potential clients. Ava Trojan was infamous in the Underworld for buying and selling illegal products, as well as the biggest vulture of Castellan Enterprises technology after Virelios Castellan's murder. The criminals agreed to attend the event to gather information with Kazoku forces on standby. While the three of them were off with the Kazoku, Balasar was off committing small crimes without concealing his identity. Aurelia stayed back at the apartment, until Balasar returned with a stolen camera and started snapping pictures. Avaahn and Jinx arrived at the hotel and were subsequently subjected to Balasar's photo-taking, which he excused as "scrapbooking". Balasar then left the hotel room, taking off into the air, while a suspicious Jinx sent her familiar unbeknownst to Balasar.
Damn the ExpenseBalasar then leaked Aurelia Nailo's identity to the press, including her Black Dawn affiliation, Cult affiliation, and Protectors affiliation by association. Avaahn immediately intercepted Balasar at a convenience store and began to scream at him for his recklessness. Aurelia joined in a few minutes later, continuing the yelling and threatening. It wasn't long before Jinx arrived at the scene and further berated him, truly putting the nail in the coffin. The three of them gave Balasar a final warning: If anything goes wrong at the Masquerade, they would find and kill him at their first opportunity.
The MasqueradeAurum 3rd, 576 AP
Before the event, Jinx and Avaahn Casper staked out Mirror Image HQ. Jinx was able to break into Trojan's office and steal the summation of all project files in the building, while Avaahn stayed back disguised as a security guard, also holding his and Jinx's weapons. From the project files, Jinx found the location of the research division, as well as conversation over an advanced stolen Castellan Enterprises prototype within its walls. The other three criminals arrived at the ball in their Masquerade disguises one by one. They first talked amongst the guests, finding Don Kane, otherwise known as the Elephant, seated with a gaggle of other mafiosos. Ava Trojan was also spotted, along with Crazy Horse, a native Scarlesian member of the Tombstone Gang, and Mary Read, an Elarian pirate in the Antilles. The criminals spent a while finding a information and speaking with these criminal higher-ups, while Avaahn Casper was placed on guard duty outside of the research division. Jinx spoke with Mary Read, who then mentioned that her crew may be willing to help erase criminal threats in return for a favor from the Black Dawn. Balasar Blackwater and Aurelia Nailo spoke with the Elephant and discovered that the Kane Family is at risk of dying out, the Elephant also mentioning a plan to increase their numbers. Avaahn Casper was then taken off Research Division, at which point Balasar Blackwater caused a distraction and allowed Avaahn and Jinx to sneak over to the Research Division. Jinx view through the hacked security camera had been blocked by an unknown invader, but there was no one to be seen in the Research Division's entrance hallway. Jinx broke into the room only to find the big project gone. On the party floor, Aurelia and Balasar noticed a previously unseen party guest entering the scene, dressed in a shiny purple dress and a black mask lit up with purple light. The stranger made her way towards the other end of the room. Before intercepting her, they noticed Isabella Cromoni seated at a table: their primary target. Jinx first entered the backrooms to stop the suspected intruder, at which point she was immediately grappled and pinned to the floor. The Mouse , as she realized, ripped a thumb drive out of a tablet, cast it aside, and ran up the walls out of a skylight after exchanging a few words with Jinx.