The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
Doctor Mary Turin perched at a stool by a counter in the dirty Genevan café, tapping idly into her cyberdeck, which was connected into the matrix terminal. She hated this place, it stank, but it was the cheapest place where she could reach a matrix point, and, although she didn’t like using it, it was imperative that she delivered this report to Nina back in England. She sipped at what passed for coffee in this place, and glanced across the bar. A bulky troll had just bumped into a diminutive dwarf, smoking something that both looked and smelt like ork faeces, and it looked like yet another fight was in the upping.
Oh well. It wasn't exactly a rare spectacle. She turned back to the screen, just in time to see a tall, blue haired woman, not much younger than herself, skillfully removing the disc from the deck, and tossing it idly with one hand into the air, before catching it again.
"Hey" she began. "What are you..."
"Doctor Turin? inquired the girl snappishly, as Mary noticed the jagged, imposing scar on her left cheek, and the bandolier of grenades across her chest. "I have a proposition for you".
It didn't look like she had any choice.
"6 months have passed since last time. Oh well, looks like I was not liking that" said the barman to himself. Being a humble worker in the Pizza Slut was one of the best things he had ever done. An orc waitress aproached.
"Yo Mac, zee buzineez dnot gud."
"I know, orcs seem to be more stupid these days... and don't go to this places...But hey, that doesn't mean you can try with others, though." Mac winked to the waitress, as a young orc, lost like a fish in a garage, entered the restaurant.
"Go for it. Here's a special dragon slayer cocktail. Just in case that bum doesn't fall, this will melt his trogg peabrain".
"Gee thankzzz..." Said Roxie, as she approached to the young client.
Mac was feeling good. Oh yes. He had a quiet work, in a not so quiet restaurant. A loud sound broke his illusion. A waitress was being attacked by a fragging drunken dwarf. "Mac Damnit, Help me!" The last thing the stuntie remembered was flying outside the local, kicked by an angry barman.
Well, sometimes, there's a bit of action! thougt Mac.
The business of Madam C was working like a charm. Pizza and companie, who needs more?
An elven girl, dressed as waitress aproached. Illidia.
"Hey Mac, can you give me something to make that guy a bit happier... He looks too sad..."
"Of course, Pix" Mac cheered to his only friend.
Now he was truly happy. He had a life now, not like before.
"Well, Mac, business call. I'll see you later"
Someday, Mac would feel with courage enough to tell her the whole truth about him. And that day, he'll solve her financial problems.
Crystal saw the Turin woman's shock reaction as she sat herself down next to her, grabbed her mug of soykaf and drained it.
"Thanks." She said, then turned and motioned one of the bar-orks for two more, this way, pronto.
"Just what do you thi-" Turin began.
Crystal cut her off.
"I have a message from a mutual friend. Just call him 'Mr Johnson'"
She said with a wink.
Turin knew what was up immediately.
"If you want a job, come with us, quickly. We've got a meet at the Pizza Slut in half an hour."
She stood up, grabbed the soykafs from the nervously approaching waiter-boy. She drank one quickly and gave the other to a new character who'd strolled into the cafe - A similarly young-looking dwarf, wearing a trenchcoat. This was 'Ranger',a dog shaman Crystal had met up with recently. They'd worked together somewhat, and the halfer had potential, if he was a bit touchy about the jobs he took. At the moment, he looke around distastefully. The Ork with the smoke started staring at him. He stared back - Crystal knew they should leave soon, because the halfer wouldn't back down. Dog shamans were always stubborn.
Turin stood nervously, and Crystal half-dragged her outside, to her waiting car - stolen, of course, but the rent-a- cops wouldn't get it just yet.
Once they were all in, Cylinder Head - a scruffy young silver-haired kid - an old mate from Crystal's gang - jacked into the car and they rumbled off at breackneck speed, scattering a cursing ork in a Volkswagen Elektro three- wheeler.
"Fragging Sunday drivers." The rigger grumbled, steering the car by force of will alone.
The road was relatively empty at this time of day. The odd electric car pootling along on the gridguide(tm) in the road on autonav, the odd land-train cargo hauler transporting heavy goods to another part of europe.
As Cylinder Head made their way downrown, eveyone in the car tensed as they passed a Daisaka security rent- a-cop car. Of course, every car on the roads these days had tinted windows, so the cops couldn't see inside. It was just a nervous reaction from life as freelancers that made them tense.
We need good reflexes just to get by, Crystal mused.
Eventually the Auto pulled up to the guadily lit restaurant/whorehouse. A Dwarf was kneeling on the pavement, alternatively spitting teeth and puking.
They took the protesting Doc Turin inside.
It was surprisingly well-furnished inside: spacious, lots of (fake) plants to add colour. Ork, Elf and Human Joygirls wandered around in lacy underwear, carrying trays of narcobeer and steaming pizza to waiting tables, others leading lucky ounters up the gilded staircase.
"Welcome to Pizza slut!" Said the whore on the counter. What can I get for you?" She smiled.
"Johnson party. We're reserved." Crystal stated, smiling sweetly back.
"And get us two Elf bitches!" Cylinder Head said. Everyone stared at him, apart from Doc Turin, who was pale.
"Well what?" the rigger said. "Man's got needs, ya know?"
On the way to their table, Crystal noticed the hefty-looking barman. Word on the street was that he used to be a prime 'runner, a few years back...
The barman stared at the new group that had entered the whorehouse. The girl at the counter, Monica, said they were sent by Mr Johnson. As an ex-runner, he knew what did it mean. Runners. Problems. With a dissimulated anger, he told a whore to take care of the bar, while he approached the table.
"May I help you?" The hefty man said. A young blue haired girl, and a doctor, amongst others, were on the table. They felt as if the man had frozen their minds with his gaze. Cylinder Head almost collapsed.
"I've heard that you are runners..." The man continued. His face inspired fear, like his eyes. They were the ones of an assasin.
Doctor Mary Turin felt weak. Really weak. To all intents and purposes, she'd just been kidnapped. And she hadn't put up a spot of resistance, despite numerous oppurtunites.
And she was in a Pizza Slut restaurant (for lack of a better word), which she had sworn to boycott with several close friends at sixteen, after reading a revealing article in a magazine, about the illicit and immoral practices behind the scenes, so to speak.
And that 'Cylinder' boy seemed to be eying her up, in between calling for his elves, and yelling obscenities.
More blood drained from her face. She must be deathly white by now.
A scantily-clad Ork waitress brought a tray across. Mary tried to avert her eyes from her revealing outfit, but was jerked upwards by the terrible smell wafting from the 'food' placed infront of them. The vaguely-round mush may have been a pizza in some kind of previous life, but right now it more resembled something thrown up by a drunken troll.
Mary hesitantly reached out a hand, thinking she was meant to eat a slice of the substance.
The blue-haired woman stopped her hand in midair.
"You don't want to eat that, Doc. Unless you want to be carted off the the morgue. That's for cover, looks like we're busy, see?"
Mary didn't fancy a trip to the morgue, and quickly pushed her chair a fraction of an inch away from the offending article.
Her eyes flitted around the room, and alighted on a huge man. She recognised him from a report she had read at Uni. He was a BWG. A genetically enhanced weapon-man. What's worse, he was striding towards the table, with a perfect, and unnerving gait.
He stopped at the table, and leant foreward onto his knuckles, like some nightmarish gorilla. Cylinder-kid gasped, and almost fell into his pizza.
"I've heard that you are runners..."
"No, I'm, I mean... well, I'm.." she stammered.
Blue-hair cut her short. "What's it to you?"
The huge man straightened, and reached into a deep pocket. He withdrew a peice of paper, and placed it on the table.
Mary could see it was a badly-reproduced digi-scan of a passport. It was of a girl who looked like a well- groomed twin of blue-hair. The name read "Wendy Fiennes". Mary had heard that name before. Jason Fiennes was Media Exectutive for Grexon Corporation, back in Britain.
Now it was the other young woman's turn to gasp. She grasped frantically at the paper, but genetically enhanced muscles wisked it away.
"What? How? Why do you have...."
"I think I'm to one to be asking questions at this moment, Miss Fiennes."
Blue-hair, now re-labelled Fiennes, in Mary's mind, gulped. Her quick wit and reflexes seemed to have left her high and dry.
"I'm not that interested in you, Miss Fiennes, nor your friends". He glanced around at the table, and finished on the Pizza, taking a slice and pondorously chewing on the end, before spitting it across the room at an Elven waitress.
"What do you want for it?", Wendy blurted out. Mary felt a sudden pang of sorrow for her.
"Oh, nothing much. Just a place on whatever plot I know you're involved with against a certain Johnny Zwergmann. Let's just say I want him dead, as much as you want your reward."
Oh, how the tables had turned, Mary thought, almost aloud.
Wendy - NO! Crystal! She hadn't gone by her real name now for over two years - felt well and truly shafted. This Pizza Slut guy - maybe he was a veteran runner? he certainly had balls, to just barge in on the meet like this - had just revealed her true identity to everyone here.
She'd paid good nuyen to a decker to have her records deleted. She'd had to, to stop her grud-damned so- called father finding her.
All that for nothing: Evidently this guy had it together enough to undo all of that. And if he could, so could others. Morover, he held power over her now. Something Crystal was not used to, not since her gang days.
"Okay. Okay, y-you're in." She stammered, ashamed of her own weakness.
The next two hours went by in a blur. The big guy took a back seat as the 'Johnson' appeared - an anonymous elf, in a suit and dark glasses, who, with surgery would probably look totally different every day - with a few goons for protection. All Crystal could see was Cylinder Head eyeing up uncreasingly less-dress ork women, the Doc and Cylinder Head took over the negotiating.
Eventually, the 'Johnson' - who Crystal had heard was an employee of IWS - agreed to pay each of the team - Doc Turin on Decks, Ranger on magic and Cy on vehicles- ¥10,000 each (¥1,000 upfront) for proof of Zwergmann's removal.
He rolled credsticks over the table to them, and left a dossier which said that Zwergmann lived in a Heavily protected Aztechnology building, and that he had a wife and kid living in a flophouse on the other side of town. Apparently, he liked to come here every now and then, too...heavily guarded, of course.
The Johnson left, leaving a contact number. He would expect a call in no less than five days.
"Okay. What's the plan...boss?" Crystal asked Dragon, wincing.
"Well neon-hair is pretty simple. I make a carnage outta here to put security level to the max. I will be here for 30 minutes. In that time, you must enter and kill him." said Dragon.
Cy blabbermouthly talked about Dragon's stamina. He replied.
"It's the max time i can support the fire without killing them all".
All of them moved into a back room to discuss their plans.
Cylinder Head had a different idea:
"I vote we get my 'Copter, fly to the place where this slag's wife and kids are. Doc," He jabbed an oily finger at Mary "Can disable the building security, while we go in there, ice anyone who tries to stop us, grab his wife and kid and hold the bitch to ransom. That way we can make some money out of Zwergmann befoer we kill him."
Mary was staring at Cylinder Head in disgust, obviously not happy with her situation, Crystal thought.
Crystal felt usless. She started pacing the room as the others tried other plans.
In the end, it was decided that they would take Cylinder Head's chopper.
It was also decided that Mary would come along, and disable security. She had a short-range transmitter, as she had (to her own credit) refused to do it via the martix, where she claimed they could be tracked.
Soon, she was sandwiched between Wendy and the god shaman, in the 'copter. Cylinder Head was at the controls, with the huge Bioweapon next to him. Ms. Fiennes was tossing and catching a grenade in one hand. The chopper was silent, apart from the whirring of the rotors outside.
"Doc! When can ya get the friggin security down!" started the young man at the controls.
"Um... well...." Mary fumbled for the cyberdeck and transmitter, in the meantime dropping her wallet to the floor, which she saw the Dwarf's hungry eyes alight upon. She put her foot down on it firmly.
"Ok, I can do it... it looks like... from about 100 metres more to the north...." she began.
"Friggen hell! That brings us to almost right underneath their walls!" - He was right - a regiment of concrete spike and a few armed gaurds were all that lay between them and the compound in which this Zwergman was meant to live.
"Ok, maybe I can think of something.... does anyone have a comlink?"
The unimpressed pilot tossed one over his shoulder, which she caught badly, dropped, and grabbed just before it arced out of the open side of the chopper.
"Hey! If you lose that, I'll have to jack another one!"
Somehow, the staement didn't fill her with any great risk.
"Ok... hang on..... I think I can rig this up with the transmitter and increase the range....."
Why the doctor hadn't done this beforehand amazed Crystal. She watched the short woman fiddle with the comlink, connect it to the cyberdeck, and flick the switch on. The cyberdeck quickly booted up, and stared at the screen, before tapping a few of the myriad keys.
"Ok. You want all the alarms off, right?"
"Ok. If I just do this.... it should...." Mary carefully attempted to overide the security.
Suddenly all the lights went out across the compound.
Angry eyes stared at her from all corners of the 'copter, apart from Cylinder Head, still at the controls.
"Hey... was that just the lights, or all the power?"
Mary checked. Everything was down.
"Ok", Cylinder began. "They're gonna find it hard to spot us, but they might think something's up now. This could have got alot easier, but also may have got alot harder. We'll have to play it by ear."
The helicopter landed quietly, and they poured out into the dark street. Mary was herded along with the others, she didn't quite know what she was meant to be doing here, anyhow. In her deep left pocket, she cradled her Colt 45. She had a scary feeling she might have to use it.
"Ok guys time to rock 'n roll!" said the Bioweapon." Now don't get in my way, runner wannabees, or i might kill you!"
The whole team did not feel right for some reason.Not according to the plan, Mac had left them, running in the middle of the darkness. Hope they did understand them. This was not a business, this was a personal reason. Otherwise, with his reputation, he could laugh at the poor amount Mr Johnson had given to him. Zwergman, the last link with his dark past, had to be killed.
"Well, looks like that guy betrayed us" Crystal finally replied.
"You cannot understand what he is doing right now. He is making split objectives among security guards. Two teams wreaking havoc are harder to counter that one." said Cylinder.
"But, for god's sake, why he is always going alone?" replied Crystal. At that point the dwarf spoke. "You cannot even imagine who is this guy, no? He is a legend amongst runners. He is the one who slayed a great dragon, and one of the onlies who had met the elusive and legendary Jade!"
All of the presents seemed shocked. Jade! The living legend. The person who had commited more assasinates than a entire MegaCorp!
In the deep darkness, two Blazer guns screamed their warsong again. The death was felt in the air. Dragon was again in action.
The moment they heard the guns, they knew they were in trouble.
Crystal had hoped to send Ranger on astral reconnaisance - he could zip around and locate their targets in an instant - providing Aztechnology hadn't set up and magical wards around the building, or if they didn't have any spirits ar astral mages patrolling.
But the crazy fragger from Pizza Slut had just charged off ahead, and now guns were blazing.
"Cover me." Ranger said. The Dog shaman simply sat cross-legged on the floor of the 'copter, appearing to zone out.
Everyone present was kind of creeped out - they had seen this before. The dwarf was astrally projecting his consiousness, doing a quick recon of the area. He could travel through non-living walls, like a ghost, invisible to the non-magical eye.
Crystal reminded herself to upgrade her shower curtains when she got her new apartment.
She cocked her IWS SMG and tucked it under her arm, holding it in one hand. She ran to the edge of the top of the building - A drop into maybe hundreds of feet into the darkness stared back.
She pulled down her thermographic goggles, switched them on, and kept a look-out.
The orangey-yellow form of Cylinder Head perched in the chopper, cradling his Browning Ultra-Power. Doc Turin was nervous - Crystal's thermo could make out the glistening sweat, dripping off her like orange molten metal.
Ranger's eyes flashed open as his consiousness returned.
The next sound was a booming report from Cy's heavy pistol. Twice. Crystal whirled - A glowing orange guard, bulked-out in heavy armour - was thrown backwards, caught full in the chest.
Aztechnology Guards were everywhere - popping up from roof access hatches, bursting out from the roof doorway. Hadn't we come in silently? Gotta have a word with the Turn bitch.
Crystal ran sideways, back to the chopper, spraying wild fire from the SMG one-handed, as her other hand snatched a grenade from her chest. She pulled the pin with her teeth and lobbed it over - two men who had scattered from her gunfire were peppered with shrapnel and started thrashing around in agony on the floor.
More of them kept coming, another five, running and firing sub machineguns. Bullets smacked into the Wyvern helicopter's hull, striking aprks and leaving ominous holes.
Ranger was up and about now, adding fireworks of his own. The little rotund one raised both arms, shouted something in an arcane language and threw his arms forcefully towards the charging security-men.
The whole area erupted in white-hot flame, blinding Crystal's thermo goggles. She pushed them up on her forehead again, seeing spots. The men who survived the magic flame-bombscreamed for reinforcements.
More men arrived in seconds - They were waiting for us Crystal realised. Zwergmann knew we were coming. Who sold us out? Turin? No, she was in danger here too - The Johnson? The Pizza Slut guy? it was weird of him running off like that...
"Frag the stunty first lads!" Crystal heard, over the rattlign of gunfire from submachineguns.
Crystal made it back to the chopper, and pulled another grenade out. Turin was firing too, blazing away with her antique gun, but the guard's security armour was damnably effective. A bullet hit Crystal in the ribs. It was absorbed by her military jacket, but it put her flat out, a hammer-blow to the ribs. Turin bent over to see if she was okay, Crystal growled back:
Turin saw a man hit in the head and drop to the floor like a ton of bricks.
Did I do that? Did I just murder a man, out doing his job?, She started to think. Now wasn't the time for that.
Cylinder Head was back in the cockpit now, jacked in. The rotors were turning.
Good idea. Get us the frag away from here, NOW! Leave the crazy Dragon fragger behind! It's his own personal war anyway!
Ranger was hobbling back to the chopper when all the guards started shooting him at once - a nimbus of light played around him as the bullets were absorbed by his spell-locked bullet-barrier. He was almost safe from the firepower, but was being blinded by the light...
"RANGER! LOOK OUT!" Turin shrieked.
It was too late - one false step too many, whoosh - the Dwarf was over the edge.
"Cy! Up! GET US UP!" Crystal screamed, lobbing another grenade that sent the guards scuttling for cover. The Chopper was jerking off the ground when one man outside - A security mage, in IWS uniform, but not as heavily armoured. He made a mysterious circular gesture, and pointed at Cy.
A shimmering, ethereal dart of translucent energy darted out. The manabolt caught Cy in the head, just as the chopper drew up from the building top. Blood streamed from his nose as his synapes overloaded. The chopper shuddered in the air.
Guards on the roof below kept firing, and their mage readied another spell. The danger was far from over - Crystal could hear the thuttering of another heli nearby...
The spell never went off. The mage collapsed into the ground, seizing his neck, and bleeding like a pig. A dark shadow appeared from the flames. Dragon. Apparently, he had managed to not get caught up by the guards. He seemed a bit happy, a satisfaction, yet cruel, smile crossed his face.
"Fragging runn---" But the guard didn't continue to speak. A dead body dropped into the ground.
The other guards suddenly turned fire over the newcomer.
No guard survived. I an few seconds, the runner had dispatched all of them. The last ones in vain, opened fire and reached the runner, but he seemed only slightly wounded.
"Thanks for the distraction, peeps."The man salutated his teammates in the helicopter.
"HOW IN HELL DID YOU DO THAT?" said Crystal, still impressed with the swift attack.
"No talking, neon hair. Your pilot is badly wounded. You need to land that thing inmediatly!".
That was not the only problem. Another helicopter appeared.
he stepped backwards. If he sported heavy ammo, that chopper would be nothing but scrap and a ashes. But there was still a possibility.
A huge scream. "Go to the fraggin hell, dumbfrags!". The police chopper suddenly was out of control and eventually descended upon the streets. Mac, with extremely fine cold mind and accuracy, destroyed the tail rotor blades, with his pistol.
Cylinder Head was heavily wounded - and the chopper he was jacked into felt his pain. It shuddered, flinched when he groaned in pain.
If luckily Cylinder Head hadn't removed the controls - he wouldn't need them, being a rigger who could control the vehicle by neural link alone, but this chopper wans't his anyway.
Crystal jumped into the Co-Pilot seat as Turin hung on for dear life. She managed to lower the aircraft just enough for Dragon to grab the skid.
Below, the Aztechnology Corp Police chopper had put down in the compound. A lone figure on the ground fired up hopelessly at the Runner's chopper. Crystal laughed at the dumb slag.
"Before you laugh, look at how much smoke we're letting out." Turin said, matter-of-factly. Crystal craned her head.
Enough smoke to mask a division of panzers.
By now, dragon had pulled himself up into the chopper.
"Heh, it seems Dog-boy dwarf didn't make it." he sneered.
Crystal ignored him - she had other things to worry about - like how quickly they were losing altitude.
She flicked some switches - the engine stopped and the chopper switched to aurorotation, losing three meters of height for each one of forward travel, but at least the engine wouln't blow them all to pieces now. She aimed for the nearest perimeter fence - if they could get off Aztechnology territory, they'd at legally be safe.
But when was the last time I did anything legal? She mused.
"Hold fraggin' tight! We'r going to ditch!!!"
Cy groaned, from his seat, and un-jacked himself from the console.
It was a heavy landing, but not catastrophic. In fact, everyone was up and running in a matter of seconds. Even the injured Cylinder Head.
"We're still in the fecking Aztech compound!" Turin screamed.
The Entry checkpoint, with two alerted guards, was around 100m off still. Behind the ditched chopper, a six- wheeled corp APC was tearing up the road towards them, laden with more guards, aremd with assault rifles and sniper rifles.
There was also a huge, thundering roar like the end of the world...
"Now fragging what?"
"That..." Groaned Cylinder Head, "Is the sound of a Panzer taking off..."
"Here, Doc", Crystal spat, as she handed her submachine gun to Mary, before picking up Cylinder Head, who'd just fainted from blood loss. The doc was unlikely to hit anything with the weapon, but it would keep her mind off the fact that she'd made what was probably her virgin killing back in the compound. She shouldered the unconcious young man.
Mary's mind raced. She turned to Dragon.
"You seem like you know your way around here. How can we get out?"
Dragon gestured to up the road, where the two guards were sprinting towards them from the entry.
"Run!" Screamed Mary, as the bullet-fire from the APC tore through her flapping raincoat. Miraculously, all four managed to get out of the road, as the APC ground closer.
"You can't take that thing on!" Mary yelled at Dragon, who looked like he was preparing himself for the task. "You're not superman!"
Mary glanced back, and noticed she should be trying to stop Cylinder's blood-loss. She found the can of Organic Sealant in her pocket, and sprayed it across his nostrils. That should maek the blood clot alot faster, and stop any more loss.
The APC ground closer. Suddenly, Dragon charged into the road, opening fire with his weapon.
Idiot. Though Mary. What does he think he's doing? She heaved up the submachine gun, and added her fire to the rolling and diving suicidal Dragon's.
"Save the ammo, we'll need it", gasped Crystal, dropping Cylinder. She opened her bag, and rumaged in it, as the APC turned it's attention to Dragon once again, who was taking numerous hits from the APC's machine gun. The troops inside hadn't departed for some reason. Thank heaven for small blessings.
Holy shit. They were gonna die. Like Dragon. And Ranger. And that guy she'd shot.
At that moment, Crystal found what she was looking for. She rushed foreward, up to Mary, and lobbed the frag grenade expertly. It clattered around the open gun-port, before dropping in. A moment of uneasy silence followed, before the APC shook with in a firey blast.
Mary gasped a sigh of relief, and leapt up, running towards Dragon. He was breathing. That was a start. She hastily sprayed the sealant over his chest, and tied a bandage quickly over his arm. He might even live if they got him out of this.
Crystal was yelling something, and running over with Cylinder's body.
"Take him." We're getting out of here. Crystal picked up the discarded machine gun, and made to dispatch the guards who were running in from the gate. The hum of panzers grew stronger.
"What about Dragon!" Mary yelled.
"Leave him! He probably betrayed us to the guards", in between stutters of gunfire.
The guards slumped to the floor, nailed by Crystal's fire. She ran back, and looked at Mary, face to face.
"Look, we're gonna get pasted if we bring that fragger as well. He deserves to die! Let him instead of us!"
"No! Look, he's stirring."
The could see the panzers in the distance. Dragon was coming to, but he'd take up valuable time, and wouldn't be able to sprint anytime soon.
"Listen, bitch, it's him or us! We can't outrun them! He's as good as dead anyway! Those panzers will catch us if you're carrying someone as well!" Crystal shouldered the unconcious Cylinder Head, but left the groaning Dragon.
Mary moved back, and heaved Dragon's body. It was no good - she couldn't lift him. And the panzers would be upon them before they reached the gates if they waited much longer.
Crystal had already lost one 'runner today. Now she stood to lose everyone...
Cy was close to dying from his mana-shock, Dragon had finally bitten off more than he could chew, and now Turin was going fragged-out crazy too?
Crystal considered smacking her one with the butt of her gun...
She ran to the APC - the rear door was hanging form it's hinges. A kick dislodged it. She stood ready to hose the interior down with SMG-fire, but there was no need. The vehicle was a charnel-house. Anyone possibly alive in there was not going to be a threat, at least until they got out of at least six-months in a burns unit staffed by the world's finest medical mages...
Residual fires burned merrily, but nothing a fire extinguisher couldn't handle. The engine was still kicking over, but smoking ominously. The smell of the alcohol fuel was lingering. It could go up at any moment... but it was a chance.
She put Cy down on the charred floor, and ran to the rigger driver's station. He was still jacked in, unconsious.
Time was runing out - The noise of the Panzers was deafening. She pulled his plug out harshly - he gave a yelp of pain, but recovered when he saw Crytsal's gun at his head.
"Drive, pendejo! Comprende?"
"Si! si! puta!" The Aztlaner said, hurriedly jacking himself back in to the otherwise blank dashboard.
"Turin!" Crystal screamed out of the hatch. Just as the first Panzer started minigunning the area.
Mary heaved at the huge form of Dragon, barely moving him half a metre towards the transport. It was a start, but it was still no good. One of those blasted flying tanks was opening fire now, but luckily it seemed more preoccupied with the limping APC that she assumed Crystal was driving.
"Crystal! Give me a hand with this guy!"
"Crystal!" She was screaming now, into the tearing wind that accompanied the heavy hover-engines of the Panzers.
She could see the thick viewport of the APC now, and could see the other woman holding her gun against the head of the driver, who had somehow survived. She didn't know if blue-hair had heard her.
Suddenly, her head appeared at the hatch.
"Turin!" She screamed into the wind.
"Get out here and help with Dragon!"
With the APC grinding nearer, Mary put one last huge effort into moving the Bioweapon. He slid along the floor under her drag, covering almost three metres, almost reaching the APC.
Another hail of fire sprayed the ground, this time dangerously close to the unarmoured Doctor.
"Just help me with the friggin guy!" she yelled, despairingly at Wendy Fiennes.
This time, suprisingly, the young woman leant over the side of the APC, reaching for Doctor Turin.
Perhaps there was some shread of compassion in the girl after all.
She heaved again, bringing Dragon's unconcious form against the side of the vehicle, now stationary as Crystal tried to pull Mary inside.
Finally helping Mary, Crystal caught the big man's shoulders, and pulled him up, into the tank.
Mary caught Crystal's outstretched arms, and climbed into the APC as bullets dotted the ground where she had just been standing. A stray shell caught her leg, but she managed to fall into the vehicle, and check if Dragon and Chylinder Head were still alive. They were.
Crystal kicked the Mexican driver into going faster. The APC was picking up speed now, although the Panzers were still firing on them.
Mary could see the barrier, looming nearer.
A final salvo peppered the vehicle, as it crashed through the flimsy barriers, and spun haywire across the street outside.
"Yeehaaaaaaaaw!", yelled Crystal from the hatch. "We'll be back Zwergmann! Your army won't save you next time!" She was shaking her fist at something, presumiably the Panzers, now at halt on the other side of the barrier around the compound.
Mary checked her pulse. She was alive. Her raincoat was covered iin blood, she was scraped, battered and bruised, and she'd lost her glasses. But she was alive! Ranger was dead, and Cylinder Head and Dragon were unconcious, but she was alive.
And she'd killed a man. She'd seen him fall, seen his face, full of shocked realisation of his own mortality.
Doctor Mary Turin burst into cold, despairing tears.
Crystal didn't see fit to comfort her, they had two men in the back who needed urgent medical attention, and besides, she'd have to cope with it at some time, best not when under fire.
Someday, she might even feel sorry for the Doctor.
In the Pizza Slut, the man regained consciusness.
A voice yelled at him."You're a suicidal guy! Do you think you could take a panzer by yourself?"
"If i tried to destroy the tank, I would have brought my railgun. Those friggin idiots weren't accurate. They had to kill me with that weapons!" the man replied. Obviously, the suicidal tactic worked several times in the past.
"Hey, C'mon girls I am wounded!" said a partially restored Cylinder, when two elf bitches were with him. Madam C was pleased to have me as barman again.
Crystal was sitting in a table, separated by the others.
Although still wounded, Mac pulled himself to the table.
"I've seen so many runners die. Your friend was one of the best. A proud example of our breed. Next time, we'll get that idiot."
Crystal barely nodded.
Chapter 1: A life of Shadow ->
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