The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
"This is not good.", Sniper whispered.
He had come to the control room with Zwergmann, who had told his employees that Sniper was his new bodyguard.
And so I am... for now.
But first I have to get rid of that ninja out there... can't risk Zwergmann getting killed before tomorrow.
Tomorrow... I'll finally find out where he's hiding. That fragging bastard should have let me die in peace. Anything is better than this. Why couldn't he understand that?!?
AAARGH!! The pain!
But I will get him... oh yes, I will.
"Sniper? Are you OK?"
Zwergmann looked pale, obviously not sure what to think of the painful look on the cyborg' face.
"Aren't you going to... I mean, there's an assassin out there!"
"I know. But one without long-range weapons, as far as I can see. So what's the point in hunting him when we all know he's coming to you?"
"No long range weapons? Are you sure about that?"
"About 83% sure. He might just have hidden them very well though."
It took Zwergmann a few seconds to fully realize what Sniper just said.
"He? you mean that's a man?"
"Or a pretty robust woman. I can't be 100% sure of course; with all these half-ogres and stuff nowadays..."
Xecktos stood up form the wreckage of the car. He brushed dust from his dignified robes of red and black. He slowly glance about the others. He saw Ery on the ground still a bit dazed.
Xecktos slowly walked over to Ery, and grabbed him by the hair. With a mighty jerk of pure rage and strength he pulled Ery up into the hair, and landed a swift kick into gut. The kick had such a mighty force Ery went flying into a sign post. In the breif moment of collision when Ery's body was completly sprawled out in the air, two throwing star wizzed through the air and cliped two vertical cuts in the top of Ery's Ears.
Cyrstal looked in awe at the elf's aglity, power, and skill. As did chance, for the first time the felt fear of the assassain, but it was short lived.
Xecktos Flipped his hair so that it would his his shameful eyes. He Started walking down the road with out another word.
The Dwarf puffed his pipe.
" Hey, Elf, where ye be going?"
Xecktos kept walking. " We have people to meet with, dont we?"
Xecktos walked along, chuckling to himself. He'd showed the Corporate elf good. Suddenly, his feet weren't touching the floor anymore.
"What the...WHAT THE FRAG???" He was levitating. He was floating helplessly a good five feet off the ground. "What the frag is happening??!?" He waved his arms and legs, his excellent balance and dexterity of no use against this completely new sensation.
He heard a voice behind him. It was Ery, the corp toad. The air sang with the arcane power of tree being invoked - nature magic working, even here in the heart of the city, which was, in its own way, part of nature.
"One time. just ONE TIME, FRAG-FACE!" Ery shouted. Ery wasn't normally like this. The excitement of the chase, the danger, the thrill of using magic... It had got to him. Xecktos' unprovoked attack had all but pushed him over the edge. He wasn't going to be pushed around any more!
Xecktos, still helpless heard the click of a weapon being cocked behind him. The little Drekhead had a gun ON HIM? He carried on spealing. "You'd do well to remember WHO is paying your wages. Don't FRAG WITH ME again!" And with that, Ery manipulated his levitation spell, flinging the assassin sideways roughly into the wall of the building the car had crumpled into. He fell to the ground painfully - cat-like reflexes were no good when you'd just had a hammer-blow to the head. He blacked out momentarily.
Ery made a note: Remind personnel dept. never to hire this slag again...
"For frag's sake..." Crystal muttered, putting a plaster on the cut on her head.
Bad enough we've got Aztechnology after us, and the new fraggers, whoever they were who'd sent the two Orks(she wondered what Mac at the Pizza Slut had done with them)But now I've got these slags fighting each other? Best to leave them to it. Resolve their own differences....
Dven, behind her, had pulled his personal items from the back of his car, including a brutal-looking ArmsTech SMG.
"Well, I s'pose these fraggers you're after are the wee shites responsible for totalling me car, roight?" He put the question to her.
She had indeed noticed the drones were unmarked, but definitely Aztechnology machines. But she didn't point out that it had been HIM who had totalled his beloved taxi.
"Yes." There - remove the confusion.
"Well lass, lets go and seeif the frackin' eejits will pay me back, eh?"
"Fair enough. They call me 'The Crystal Trigger', by the way."
"Call me Dven. Lets get to where we're goin'. I can make the fraggers pay for me wheels IN BLOOD!"
Ery and Chance followed the two, leaving the alley at a jogging pace - They could hear the sirens of Daisaka patrol cars already. They concealed their weapons as best they could on the way. Chance, though injured, kept alert at all times, with his backup pistol close to hand, though concealed.
Xecktos followed a moment later, his pride hurt a hell of a lot more than his aching head. He noticed Ery kept more of an eye on him now.
Just wait until your back is turned...
The moment they stepped out of the alley, a scrambler skidded to a halt, in front of the five of them, kicking up a huge cloud of sludge from teh gutter.
It was Ash. She moved to speak, but saw Chance's wounded shoulder. She quivered with rage. Chance moved to her side, trying to calm her - She was carrying her flamer...
"Chance, you're injured! You were in trouble!"
At the same time, Crystal saw a van driving slowly nearby, as if waiting for someone or something coming out of the alley.
The kind of van that could be carrying a corp hit-team. It was unmarked and the windows were tinted...Could be anyone.
She unslung her SMG and pulled out a of frag grenade - she could use a resupply, actually. Dven did the same with his gun, ducking behind a large waste-bin.
In his cab, Raven was fragging disappointed to see all the occupants of the Taxi step out, relatively unscathed. Someone else was with them, too.
She's got a fragging flamethrower...
And they all truned to look at him, unslinging weapons, spreading out.
"Uh oh." Raven said.
His mind raced.
On the other side of town, at the IWS Military Airport, Shadow knew his time left in the building before being discovered was short - On the screens in front of him, uniformed IWS personnel were seen running to and fro like headless chickens. They knew they had been caught off-guard. They had the desperate look of men who knew they would catch hell from the men upstairs. Lukas laughed at them. Then he got to work proper.
He quickly looked around the building he was in - The silo held several drone airframes - The prototypes he'd been hired to destroy.
They don't look like much. Well, a job's a job. He mused, and went to work quickly, setting the charges with timers of five minutes.
He wondered how important the drones had been to IWS. Obviously not very - The security had been pretty pathetic.
He tapped a quick-dial number key on his wrist cell-phone. A face appeared on the screen.
"WHAT?" Said the talking head - The Purple-quiffed, tanned and well-cared for simsense-star face of the popular fixer known as 'Jimmy LeFixit'. The man who had hired Shadow for this job.
"It is done. Give me a pick up point." Shadow said quickly. Job done, he wanted his ¥10,000 credstick, pronto.
Jimmy's digitised face paused. Then said, simply:
"Jagged Nails club. 12:00, midnight, There's a band playing. Meet me backstage." And the connection ended.
Meeting place set.
Now to get outta this dump. Shadow thought.
Outside the main door, IWS Uniformed men with SMGs, wearing peaked caps and Armour vests in corp colours crowded, trying to get in. Shadow looked around - The silo had a gantry that ran to the top, but how would he get down from there?
Ash lined her flamethrower up, the sights resting slightly above the truck's windshield. At that range, she reckoned that a single flame blast would be more than sufficient to roast the fragger who had obviously been one of those who had wounded her soulmate. She took a shallow breath and held it in preparation, her finger increasing pressure on the trigger.....
"Easy there Ash... We've got it covered."
Chance's voice eased the tension out of her, Ash allowing rationality back into her consciousness as she eased off on the outsized trigger of her weapon. Seeing out of the corners of her eyes, she realised that the hapless fellows in the van (whoever they were) were in imminient danger of being filled with lead from the rest of her party should they attempt any hostile moves. She did not need to use her flamer here... the blaze would make their already badly-compromised situation even worse.
Taking advantage of the the temporary stand-off, Ash dismounted and passed Chance's assault rifle to him, the soldier expertly cocking the weapon and instinctively going down on one knee for a better aim. She knelt beside him, half eyeing the stopped van (where a figure was stepping out from, holding out his hands in a "I'm unarmed" gesture) and examining Chance's wound.
The groove in the flesh was shallow, and she noticed yet another dent accompanying old damage in his back armour plates. "Wish Doc Turin was here..." Ash murmured to herself as she spied the crude bandage Crystal had slapped on... the woman was obviously much better at blowing things up than knitting them together afterwards.
The fellow from the van was stepping forwards slowly, but Chance took no precautions.
"Freeze! Identify yourself and keep your hands where we can see them. No sudden moves... we don't want a firefight here. State your intentions!"
Ery walked at the rear of the procession, regretting his rash actions. There was no mistaking the look that Xecktos had given him, he was slated for death. But while he was under Ery's employ, Xecktos wouldn't kill Ery. Whatever other faults Xecktos might have, he was loyal to his employers. Ery looked up at the Elf assassin who was walking with grace ahead. When their final confrontation came, Ery intended to be ready.
"He's getting closer... time to get ready." the Sniper said.
A small compartiment in his (apparently cybernetic) left leg opened. He took out what looked like a 30 cm (12 inch) long solid block of metal with a small button on it.
When he pushed the button, the block opened, and parts started shifting around until they found their place. A barrel appeared, a trigger, a scope...
The object stopped moving. The Sniper was holding a complete sniper rifle in his hand.
Zwergmann couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"A shiftweapon?! Impossible!"
A grin appeared on the Sniper's face.
"Oh please. Do you really think I don't know you megacorps keep all technology at least a few stages behind? I got this from your experimental labs a few years ago, and it's still not outdated."
"That's because we decided not to get it on the market. In fact, we took them out of production after our first prototypes."
"So the other six prototypes are probably owned by your SpecOps, right?"
Of course they were. Zwergmann himself would never carry something like that around. And since the weapons officially didn't exist there were no licenses for them either.
"Other six... I never knew there were seven.", Zwergmann replied.
"My father was responsible for the Weapons lab. Do you really think he was going to report that his cyborg son had stolen a high-tech prototype?"
Xecktos Grinned his teeth. He Reached into his robes, he grabbed the handle of his sword, In an instant it was out of its sheath, his hand, and in the ground right before Ery's feet.
Ery was just about to pull his gun, before he realized that Xecktos had just disarmed himself of his primary weapon. A sign of peace.
Before he knew it Xecktos was right up in his face. They Stared at each other for a minute. Then Xecktos stuck his hand out and placed it on Ery's shoulder.
"Now, Now, we cant do our work if we are waring ourselves, can we? Just dont use my weapons again, or I'll do more then clip your ears." Xecktos Then cracked a half smile. As did Ery.
Xecktos picked up his sword up, and then swiftly returned to his duties at hand. With his free hand he got two EMP knives ready. He got into a Defensive stance, waiting for some orders from either Ery, or Crystal.
Crash hadn't lived up to expectations.
He was an awful driver.
To top that off, the decker's car probably broke every one of the 200+ passenger vehicle regulations in Geneva, the guy himself was under age, and if they were stopped, the cops would quickly discover Tank's blatantly illegal Assault Cannon in the back.
Better pray they didn't get stopped, then.
Suddenly, Tank grunted.
"Ery.... in trouble.."
Either the huge Ork was psychic, insane, or had an inbuilt comm inplant linked to his client. Mary suspected the last from the wire running down the left side of his neck, between his ear and somewhere inside his clothing.
"Tank? You Ok?"
"Ery in trouble. Us help."
"What exactly is wrong?"
"Dirty Poncy Elf Assassin angry. Cops captured Master and Crystal."
"Great. Just what we need. Do you know where they are"
The great beast contorted his face, as if he was trying to think out where they were. An expression of agony flashed across his feautures, then they relaxed suddenly.
"Crash? Do you know where that is?"
"Of course. We'll be right there, Doc".
"Just be careful. Break as few laws as you can on the way there. We don't want to get stopped by any Rent-a-cops"
Mary turned back to Tank.
"Tank... how did you do that?"
"Implant. In here." Tank tapped the left side of his head. "Sat up there" He pointed at the sky. "Tracks client for me. Elf's idea."
The Ork was unable to explain any better than this, without drifing off into Orkish babble.
The upper levels. Where the best Aztech guards laid. Where the target was. Where the action would be more intense.
The ninja smiled. His plans were working like a charm. The security tightment. His simulated suicide against the panzer. His disguise as a dead, yet legendary person. The panic levels of those bums were about to burst. They were more vulnerable by now. In normal conditions, he couldn't get so far.
A burst transmission was sent to Crystal. This is Mac. Consider Zwergmann dead. I have broken almost all of Aztech defenses. He shall pay what he had done. By the way, Cylinder head sends his regards to you. He has fully recovered and waits for action!
The door slammed into the wall, cracking it. Smoke from the explosive stunned even more the guards. The ninja finally slipped in.
An alarm... The upper level security barrier was broken.
A low, fear voice gasped. "The ninja is coming. Jade, the elf Ninja, is coming..." Zwergmann almost fainted.
The katana dropped blood as the ninja ran through the floors and the levels. About fifteen guards were brutally killed. Others were bleeding into death. A few were knocked off, unconscious.
The Jaguar members murmured when they saw the massacre, the blood shell. A thin smell of blood and death was floating into the air.
"What a mess..." one of them slipped through...
A bad feeling shrunk the ninja's heart. A sniper was aiming at him.
There was a van blocking the street. Various vehicles formed a tail-back behind the obstruction.
Tank grunted again. Whatever that van was was probably something to do with Ery, and presumiably the two elves and Crystal.
"Stay here. We don't want to start a fight." Mary opened the door. It was probably best that the one of them who looked most like a reasonably normal member of the public go close enough to find out what was wrong. She slipped past Curim, and turned back, to order Tank not to follow. Despite his contract with Ery, this might be one of those times when a nine foot ork in huge armour sporting an assault cannon and combat shotgun wouldn't be the ideal.
She made her ways through the dual rows of vehicles, on this side of the road. Various other beings were out of their cars too, making their way to the front of the column.
A bunch of guys in dark uniform were by the van. Most of them had guns in their hands, pointed away from the que. One was trying to calm the hordes of people trying to find out when and how they could get their car past the roadblock.
She could see the targets of the uniforms now.
Two elves. A dwarf. And a human girl with blue hair.
Even at this distance, she knew who it was.
Ok. Lets not go in all guns blazing. You're not Crystal, or Tank, or any other trigger-happy runner. You're Doctor Mary Turin, and if you're going to sort this out, you could at least do it your way.
Mary hurried up to the crowd of people. She could see the cornered runners clearly now, and her suspicions proved true.
Don't make eye contact. Don't make it look like, in ANY WAY, you're assosciated with them. At all.
Mary pushed her way through the crowd. The guy talking to the crowd was having a hard job controlling it.
Time to make it a little worse.
"Officer! What seems to be the problem here? Some people need to get to work!"
The guy turned to her. He was flustered, and looked like he'd drawn the short straw with the mob, instead of whatever they were planning to do to Crystal and co. Better still, he was an Ork, not the best public relations officer. Hopefully she could dupe him.
There he is. Or she...
He wasn't sure anymore, after what Zwergmann told him about Jade. Since he'd always been a loner he didn't know much about the runners, and especially not about legendary runners.
Oh well. A target is a target. This one, however, seems to be a really fast target.
He aimed for the head and...
What? She 's jumping!
Too late... he already gave a brain pulse to his weapon... Just a split second too late...
Thooff. The sound of the silenced rifle.
He heared the body hit the ground.
I might have missed the head, but that was a clean shot in the chest. No one could survive that. I saw the blood, so she didn't have any body armor.
The Sniper folded his rifle and put it back in his leg. Then he took his silenced hand gun.
"Stay here. I'm going out to investigate the corpse."
He walked to the window and looked down. Three meter. His cybenetic legs could easily handle that.
Just as he jumped he saw the body move.
ZAPP! An EMP knife hit him in the right leg. He didn't have time to compensate, and smacked against the ground.
When he realized what had happened it was already too late.
The body was gone, and he was damaged.
Oh no! Zwergmann! The assassin!
But the Sniper realized it was far too late for him to do anything about that.
"Damn... that kid was accurate- In fact, he would have killed me if I hadn't that feeling... Fortunately, I was not gravely injuried... but... my wounds of last battle reopened in the fight. I am losing my strenght... but I have strenght enough to battle that fraggin stuntie, Zwergmann."
The ninja had slipped through the last barrier. Zwergmann could sense him inside his room. It was there. A pistol fired random blast at all suspicious shapes. All the ammo was wasted.
A deep voice came from nowhere, then from the left. Finally it came from behind Zwergmann. "The ghosts of the past have claimed your blood."
Finally, the ninja was revealed. Zwergmann finally knew that the ninja was not Jade. But it had Jade's sword. That could mean...
The crest of the ninja's chest revealed a red dragon. Dragon. Zwergmann stepped back.
"Dragon... You were the last person I had expected to see. You have grown up in strenght. But you still have to be more stealthy. Your first raid was a frag. An anonymous informant tipped me."
"I was the one who did that call, stuntie. It was part of my plan. If you live through an unsucessful attack, you will be in panic. Panic means more effectives, but less efficiency. And in the end...
It does have a high price."
The dwarf gazed at Dragon. Obviously, the man had played with him at his desire. Dragon continued.
"Jade was my master. She was like a mother to me. She had taught many things to me. I can't forgive you. You sold her. I was there, when she collapsed. I heard her last will..."
The silence that was made anticipated the words:
Dragon swung the katana."I can't believe that you needed to sacrifice a comrade to become more powerful. I was not aware of your hidden rituals. I didn't know you needed to sacrifice an elven champion to acquire great magic powers. Time has come to mend such errors."
In the room, a battle between two old comrades was beggining. Both of them didn't know who would win.
"Look, madame," The Ork said - his uniform said Daisaka security, though such uniforms were easily found on the black market (so many poor slag rent-a-cops ending up face-down in the gutter these days, still proudly bearing their corp logos and shoulder adverts).
"Daisaka Secur-i-tee enforcas have been...attacked. We are takin' precautions in da name of public safety." He said with difficulty due to his oversized yellow tusks.
Did Mary detect a mote of sadness in his voice past his harsh, flustered exterior? Had he lost comrades today?
Jaguar leader led his men up the stairway to Zwergmann's office. The path was easily followed - Just follow the dead, disembowelled and decapitated guards. On the way, they had recovered the prone form of a man who had been apparently composed at least of 40% cybernetic components. Said man was already in the hands of R&D...Under heavy armed and magical guard. He was protesting, and the fragger was wanted for murdering three security mages, expensive, powerful individuals.
So many dead...And all for a low-level slag of an exec like Zwergmann.
Jaguar was as silent as the night. If he was a boastful man, he would have called himself Aztechnology's best. But he was too professional for that.
Eventually, he had tracked the assassin down to Zwergmann's office. Not good. If the assassin was attacking any normal target, the target would be dead by now.
No 'normal' targets in Aztechnology, hombre. Jaguar thought. The blood magic used at the higher levels of the Aztechnology hierarchy wasn't spoken of at any time. Period. Jaguar knew the ropes. But even a non-magically active mundane like himself couldn't fail to hear the rumours - Ritual sacrifices at the top of the Teocalli, The darkest of spirits being invoked.
He shrugged. You kept your mouth shut, Aztech paid your wages. You did your job.
"Take a look." He said into his headset, addressing one of the three initiate grade 2 mages he'd brought with him. The man acknowledged quietly. He sat on the floor, cross-legged, meditating. In moments he had progressed to a state of astral projection.
The mage's astral form - invisible to the non-magical eye - hovered around his meat body momentarily. He caught a quick glance at Jaguar leader and his men. Dark patches criss-crossed his body. Drek, thats a hell of a lot of cyberware they've got! No-wonder no one ever frags with the Jaguars...
The mage remembered he had a job to do. His form breezed through the few doors and walls into Zwergmann's office. Even before he got there he could sense the auras.
One figure - Burning with rage and revenge. The sword he held had great and true meaning to him, making it even more of a weapon in the man's hands. The Unnatural, altered man. Not cybered, but...different somehow.
Then the mage assensed Zwergmann. He was...My god!!! The power! So close! The blood! So much... No... NO!!!
Back in the real world, the mage died, his body spasming and spewing blood as the backwash of Zwergmann's blood magic affected him.
Jaguar looked at the corpse, silently mouthing something.
Madre de Dios.
Dragon's Katana was like the crest of a quicksilver wave. A keening blade of destruction, soon to strike out in the name of love. Love and revenge. Zwergmann stood, transxixed by the silver arc, coming closer, closer, so close it would part his cranium and end this diseased world once and forever.
Zwergmann closed his eyes.
Dragon was stunned by an almighty blue flash and crack of thunder. It left spots and afterimages on his retinas, spots that faded into arcane symbols that hurt his eyes.
He swung again and again. Overhead slash became stab, sideways slash, repeated blows that brought the flash and the symbols again. The more he swung, the more the symbols appeared, but each time the symbols became redder. Red as the blood, pouring from Jade's ruined body...
Zwergmann remained untouched.
Magic. Filthy fragging blood magic. These Aztechnology scum are renowned for it.
Zwergmann's hands remained together. He remained straight, whispering an ancient language, his eyes closed.
Dragon eventually had to stand back, take a breath, plan his next move.
Zwergmann levitated, his hands still together. He opened his eyes. His terrible blood-red eyes.
In an instant he dropped his barrier and switched to a new spell. Blood-red bolts of dark energy enveloped Dragon. He could feel his very life force being attacked - something on a far from physical, but still deadly level. Blood spewed from his mouth, his eyes, his ears...
Jade, I WILL NOT FAIL YOU!
"Frag it!" Chance hissed as his experienced hearing warned him of yet more danger. The police sirens had just settled into a steady scream... which meant that police vehicles were extremely close and fast approaching the scene. As he rose to his feet, he spotted one car turning into the street, its gunports open and speakers broadcasting a message to "Cease and desist" in badly accented Ork-English.
Chance hurriedly tapped Ash on her shoulder and they both faded back into the alley. Both of them were in shadow and some distance away from the others, the latter having given the two some privacy for a mutual hug.
Now, that twist of fate had given them a chance to wriggle out of this mess. Chance passed his assault rifle to Ash.
"Ash, ready your flamer... But don't fire unless I am fired upon, understand me?"
Ash nodded in response. "I'll be watching. Take care..."
Chance gave her a quick peck on the cheek and advanced into the open, his arms held clear of his body in a "weapons-clean" gesture.
Doctor Turin had managed to get the crowd-control officer to let her past to see the lead Daisaka security officer. The policeman was in the process of ordering the frisking of the runner party, but ordered his men to hold up and maintain their covering positions upon seeing the well-dressed lady approach him.
Mary opened her mouth to speak, but paused as she noticed a figure stepping up to them. It was a man... and as he came closer, she recognised the characteristic shape of Chance's jungle hat. The soldier was unarmed, walking with quiet assurance towards the lead Daisaka security officer.
"Morning officer... May I know what this delay is about?" Chance's voice was clipped, adopting the quiet tones of a senior officer questioning a lower rank with a skeptical raised eyebrow.
The Daisaka policeman blinked...
This one's odd... Sounds like he is some sort of big shot military officer or something.
The cop blinked, noticing Chance's mixed Asian looks. He suddenly looked horrified.
A Imperial Marine officer! Oh frag, oh frag, oh frag...
Chance noticed the slight hesistation in the Ork's facial expressions and hardened his appraising gaze into a glare. Plenty of experience there... The soldier recognised the "Oh-frag!" look of a junior rank realising that he had screwed up big time.
"Sir... Urm... I did not realise that there was a I-Marine detachment..."
Chance cut him off by leaning in close to the policeman. Despite the Ork being a full head taller, Chance had the personality and experience of a hard-nosed drill sergeant when he wanted to show it... That sort of "In your face, do you understand me!" look.
"Listen here. We are undercover I-Marine troops attached to the Japanese embassy. You have just commited a major screw-up, officer... We are in the process of carrying out a sensitive operation! Some crazy mercenaries have been running around and killing cops and I-Marines! Sniper rifles, airborne drones (he pointed to the wreck of an unmarked Aztech drone wing) Just how are we expected to do our jobs if you cops are staying around our roadblocks! Those mercs must have heard the commotion and be gone by now!"
The Ork hesistated... Dealing with pissed-off Imperial Marine officers was not exactly his cup of neo-tea.
Chance rocked back on his heels and shook his head sadly. Time to play the nice-guy card. He faked a hiss of pain from his injured shoulder.
"Listen officer... I know that you have lost friends tonight. So have I! My troops have been engaging them in a running battle all night! And the sooner we distangle our forces and spread out to catch those thrice-accursed mercs, the better!"
That did the trick.. The huge Ork wasn't very bright. The policeman stepped back and dipped his cap in a salute. Chance snapped himself to attention and pulled off a perfect military salute... the Ork impressed and flattered with the precision and respect shown to him.
With warm feelings of mutual cooperation in his Orkish heart, the policeman ordered his men to stand down and let the "Imperial Marines" go.
Crystal watched Chance handle the Ork goon so precisely she almost believed the story herself. Her already high respect for her old comrade went up a notch. Even the veteran Dven approved.
"Sayonara, kawaruhito-san, she said to the ork's turned back, using the Japanese term for 'a changed person'. The Ork stopped for a moment, maybe thinking if Crystal really was an I-marine, before carrying on as he was doing.
Crystal slapped Chance on the back covertly, before noticing how shook-up Doc Turin appeared to be. She moved to speak to her, noting that she also appeared to have a message on her wristphone - From Dragon.
She ignored it for now, and spoke to Mary.
"What the frag happened Doc? Are you hurt?" Crystal asked, perhaps a bit roughly.
Why does she care? Mary wondered. Surely the 'tough cold bitch of the streets' isn't warming up some?
Dven, Chance and Ash turned their attention to the Van driver - who the rent-a-cops had left behind.
He came forward with a spring in his step.
Watching the fugitives convince the police squad they were Imperial Marines Raven knew he had either minutes to live or had stumbled across the motherlode! These people were good, real good. After the dull witted police squad mounted up and screamed away Raven slowly, very slowly, strolled up to the "Imperial Marine", smiled his most convincing smile, and said:
"Smooth buddy, So why are the pigs chasing you guys down?"
Raven knew there was a woman with a flame thrower less than 30 feet from him and Raven didn't want to give her any reason to immolate him so he made sure she could see both of his hands at all times and glanced at the dark alley occaisonally to show he knew she was there and didn't want to be roasted. The "Imperial Marine" wasn't buying the casual act so Raven went into his "straight and narrow truth act".
"I saw the police chasing you, you're in trouble. I'm a fitter, I can help you. You want guns, ammo, explosives? I got connections. You want safe passage outta Geneva? I can do that. You're taxi isn't going anywhere, how bout I give you a lift? The police will circle back soon, you aint going anywhere soon you'll be caught."
Chance looked the "fitter" up and down, the guy didn't have the posture or latent mannerisms of an uniformed man, this guy was never a cop or soldier. Chance thought that maybe, just maybe, this really was a bonafide black market fitter looking for quick cash. Chance paused a moment and then asked:
"How do I know you're not some fraggin corporation thug trying to trick me into coming with you? The cops didn't give you a second glance when they arrived.....maybe they know you?"
'If I was, which I aint mind you, I woulda reported you in when they arrived. You woulda been gunned down on the spot. Like I said, I'm a fitter, I showed em my merchant's licence and they left me alone. No pig ever crosses a fitter, where'd you think pigs get quality equipment? Certainly not from the corporations! Ha! Like I said, pal, you want help you need a guy like me on your side! All I ask in return is a little renumeration, cashola, big ones....money baby! hey, umm, you wanna call off the amazon with the fire lighter? I don't cook well...too stringy...."
Chance could tell he was being charmed by a pro, this guy knew the ropes. However, there was something about him....a certain undertone of truth to the guys words..Chance would confer with his comrades first before trusting this obscure character. Ash had a good sense of character judgement, she'd make a good synopsis of the merchant. Chance turned towards the alley and said:
"I'm gonna talk with my friends, you stay here. Move and your toast, the "amazon" is my friend and maybe she don't like you..."
'Oh sure pal, no problem......oh..by the way the name's Raven."
Chance knew that he was out of his league here... Out-talked and out-classed. He was a soldier and knew how to deal with military and para-military personnel. This fitter, on the other hand, was an operator so smooth that Chance feared that he would accidently commit a mistake.
He seeked out Crystal's eyes, the one he judged as probably most suitable for negotiating with the fitter. The message was clear. Ash was a great judge of character due to her chequered history... However, she was just too naive. Of the others, Xecktos was too suspicious, Ery too shy, Dven too unfamiliar, Tank too stupid... Besides, Crystal was calling the shots in this operation. He knew that the one of the main reasons for mission failure was having its leaders fight for top dog position... He was going to defer to Crystal on this one... as his eyes indicated.
Crystal, I don't know how to handle this one! He isn't military, and won't fall for my methods of persuasion... He's all yours.
Chance went back to Ash, taking care not to cross anybody's field of fire. Her face cracked into a smile, even though her eyes were still intent on covering the fitter.
"Real smooth there, love." She whispered.
Xecktos Groaned, He was bored of this. There was nothing for him to do but stand around. He grew weary of this, he had no reason to be here with the fitter, he had all the weapon he need right now.
Why should he just pull out his sword, throw some stars, and do some fancy flips and what not and kill them all.
"Guns, the weapon of cowards" Xecktos muddered under his breath."
"What was that elven boy!" one of the cops said as he pressed a rifle barrel against Xecktos's Back. Xecktos sneared
"Think you're a man now, if you vaule your life, i suggest you get your gun off of me." The cop grinned
"What are you going to do about it Elf, with you dinky sword" With out warning Xecktos Jumped into the Air, flipped, pulled out his sword, and brought it down of the cop's head, Splitting him down the middle. The two halves of the cope fell to the ground. The othe cops turned their guns to Xecktos. One of the other cops spoke up.
"A served him right, messn' with elven assassains like that, now no one provoke the elf further, and no one, AND I MEAN NO ONE feed him! " They all broke out into laughter. Crystal on the other hand, shot Xecktos a cold glare They were damn lucky he didnt scare raven away, and even more lucky the cops didnt shot them all dead.
Xecktos calmly flicked the blood form his sword blade off of it.
" Thats what i'll do", he whispered
The traffic slowly began to move again. Mary waited for their car to reach them, and watched as Crash swung down from the driver's seat. Tank and Curim followed from behind, Curim leaning on his staff and whistling heavily, at the sight before him. The Dwarf Taxi's wreck covered half the road, surrounded by peices of what looked like an Aztechnology drone. Crystal, the two mercenaries, an old-looking Dwarf, and the Corporate Elf amoung in the wreckage, looking releieved.
He was almost knocked flying by the huge form of Tank, now resplendantly clad in full armour, charging past him, towards Ery. Tank hoped that the Ork wouldn't attempt to hug the Elf, else there would be some more mess on the floor to clear up.
Mary approached Crystal. Both looked flustered, and slightly shocked at the appearance of the other.
"What happened here? It looks like a bomb went off!"
The blue-haired runner explained the chase, and the drones. She then listened to the doctor tell of the attack on Pizza Slut, and the mysterious collapse of the building. The runner looked distraught at the loss of one of her favourite haunts, but was amazed by Tank's implants.
"I thought those things were illegal!"
"You mean the rest of Tank's stuff isn't?"
"No, I mean illegal and impossible to get hold of. A urban legend. Do you know how much those things cost? If we all pooled everything you own together, we'd only have a fraction of the cash for one of those."
Obviously, there was some history to Tank that none of them knew, apart from the Ork himself and his Elvish employer.
The Troll thought it time to intrude now. He approached the two women.
"Excuse me ladies, but what do we do now? We don't have a car big enough for everyone, we're standing in the middle of a busy road, surrounded by wreckage, and if I remember, we have a contract that we're wasting valuable time on by standing around here. And that crazy weird-named Elf's wandered off. He's nowhere to be seen."
Xecktos wandered down the street, he had to be alone for away, Alone seemed best for him.
He heard something in the wind, and with out a moments noticed preformed a backflip to dodge a throwing star. He pulled out his sword again. He waited.
The wind blew, and nothing. He looked at the throwing star embedded in the ground. It had a note on it, folded and taped on. Xecktos tore it off, and read its handwritten words.
" I see you are still the man i knew, Strong, agile, quick, and alone. You were always most loyal to your work. I've been watching you lately and i dont trust that half-elf you fought with, or that blue haired girl, but thats just how i am , and you know it. We'll be meeting soon, i look forward to it, and hope you do to.
I know you know you sent you this.
The note was covered in a sweet prefume Xecktos knew. He held it for a moment before stuffing it in his robes.
The Sky Darkened and thunder cracked as it began to rain.
Xecktos was happy about the rain... it would hide his tears.
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