The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
Mary rolled and twisted. What the frag was happening? She could feel the cold and damp of outside, and the rush of air as they moved.
She kicked out, and heard a cry of alarm. Unawares to her, the elf and half-human toppled off the speeding vehicle. Xecktos cried out in alarm, and grasped at the car with his free hand, but missed, his hand sliding away from the chromed finish.
Xecktos fell hard onto the road, Mary's small body fell on top of him, knocking the wind out of the elf. She rolled away with the momentum, just onto the dirty grass verge of the highway, the blindfold being dragged forcibly off her face.
She could see him, lying in the road, finally realising who it was . She screamed, and tried to reach out and pull him in, out of the traffic flow, only to find that her arms had been bound firmly to her side.
A roaring super-tanker swept towards Xecktos, in the pelting rain. Mary tried again in vain to free her arms and drag him to safety, but couldn't even sit up, so well had the elf bound her. Finally, she got an arm free, and shook off the bond around the other, reaching out in desperation, groping across the shiny tarmac.
It was too late. The super-tanker passed over the elf, with a sickening crunch.
Mary's hands finally found him, with great effort pulling the corpse out of the road.
"hey guys, what's going on out there? your all located around me." said crash. Then he realized. on the map, he saw Tank lumbering towards the closet (OOC It's a CLOSET not a cuboard) with a menacing feel. taping into the thermal sensors of the building, he noticed that Tank was holding something, and getting ever closer. a fire erupted in front of Tank, and even though he was in cyberspace, he could feel the heat. Things started to flash past crash. something was going on, a betrayal, maybe. he had to get out of there...
*Logging out* flashed the vid window in front of crash, then he was disconnected. after ajusting to the real world, he decided not to stick around. looking around for an alternative escape route, he found a ventilation shaft, convieniently half unscrewed....too convenient. Never the less, he unscrewed it all the way, and hopped into the dark shaft. activating personal call on his intercom thingie....he called up Crystal.
"Crystal, this is crash, don't worry, this is an encrypted line. what the hell is going on out there?" said crash. he heard bashing on the door belo him, and thought it best to get deeper into the ventillation shaft, away from tank, and possibly into hell.
Xecktos's limp body lay on the grass. There was no blood. The stealth suit had kept all that inside.
Mary fought back the white wall of unconciousness that almost swept over her.
Holy frag. What the hell had happened?
Now Xecktos was dead, and she was god-knows-where, in her nightdress, on a huge road. She was scraped and bruised from the fall, and her legs were tied together.
Frag frag frag! Why her? Mary felt tears of despair well up inside her eyes. She almost screamed again.
Xecktos was dead! Fragging dead! He'd died before her fraggin eyes!
Unable to stop herself, she stared again at the mangled and broken body that once had been an elf, tears welling up in her tired eyes. It was a miracle that there had been no blood.
No blood, which meant there might be a tiny chance.
Mary checked for a pulse. There was one. Weak, and shaky. However, it was there.
She checked for breathing. It was there. He was in a hideous wreck, from an accident that no-one should ever survive from, but Xecktos was somehow, somehow, alive.
But he wouldn't be if she left him here. What the frag was she meant to do?
With considerable thought, searched Xecktos's body for a comlink. There was one. And it was, as luck would have it, undamaged.
Curim watched as the Elf made his way down the corridor, almost running, after apologising hurriedly to him.
There was something odd about him... that was for sure...
Xecktos opened is eyes, much to Mary's suprise. He was not only alive but concious. His eyes clinched shut as as they opened as Xecktos let out a tremdous scream of pain. He coughed up some blood. He opened his eyes again and looked into Mary's.
" Im.... Im..... sorr....y... I... only... " Up came more blood with a cough, " tied you... up...so... we....could move... as fast....as possible.... Looks....like .... i failed.... You must... leave me... here.... go..go..go... find Crystal, and... the others.... your... life...is...in...danger." Xecktos Once again coughed up blood.
"Poor guy" mary thought, he was just trying to protect her. She had to take heed in his warning, but she couldnt just leave him here.
Xecktos Screamed in pain again. This time it only seemed like too much.... he passed out.
Mary saw her bag full of things tied around his waist. She looked through it. Most of it was junk, but of course how would an Assassain know what wasnt. She found a pistal inside the bag.
She say that it was fully loaded. She didnt remeber were this would have came form but oh well. Mark as well began to remove Xecktos' Stealth suit to look at the wounds. She found inside and easly accessable area Xecktos' Emp Knives and his sword.
Mary pulled out his sword. It was heavier then she thought it would be. Regardless She struggled with it. She would have to use blade and bullet to defend herself if anything happened.
She flicked on the comlink, and tried to contact Crystal.
Mary stripped off Xecktos's shirt, then immediately thought better of it. The guy was a mess, and trying to remove anything would probably kill him. God knows how he managed to stay concious through that, she thought.
After five minutes, there was no reply from Crystal. This was urgent, and the thrice-damned decker was probably in some kind of high-speed shootout anyhow. There was only one thing for it - Mary knew she had to get Xecktos somewhere professional.
She keyed pressed the obviously untouched emergency services button on the comlink.
Ten minutes later, they were in a state-of-the-art hover-blance, to the corp-run city hospital. The paramedic looked shocked to see the elf, even though Mary had been forced to leave his sword hidden, though discarded, on the turf. That would probably incriminate her, or him, with countless unsolved murders in Geneva.
Frag. She had no idea how she'd explain this to the hospital staff, or pay for whatever god-awful expensive treatment Xecktos would need. And the Elf wasn't even certain to survive - his injuries were horrific.
"Fragging Elf had to steal my fragging disc. If he hadn't, none of this would have happened." Ery tore through the halls to get as far away from the others as possible. The stupid mage hadn't realized why he was running, but he needed to get back to safety, back to AET.
Once out on the street, he hijacked a flashy black hovercar and made way down the crowded streets. "Fragging traffic. Must've been an accident up ahead." The car slowed to a halt, and as he looked out he saw Mary Turin crouched over a form on the ground with a crowd of onlookers. "This meddlesome doctor has a habit of being where she shouldn't be. She needs to be taught a lesson." His eyes rolled up into his head and he began muttering a chant in ancient Elvish. However, halfway through the spell, he sensed the doctor leaving. "Frag it, can't she wait!" He drove away hurriedly, breaking through the traffic to AET. "I've got a few surprises for them yet..."
A large crowd were standing over where Xecktos's body had been, while a super tanker rummbled in the back round. It came to a halt.
A Short pudgy person got out. The Red form a lit Cigar could be seen from under a rent-a-cop helmet visor.
The Fat pudgy Charactor pushed through the crowd, to see what was the matter. With SMG in hand. The person got into the crowd. They flipped the Visor up.
It was an orc, a fat pudgy orc smoking a cigar, his teeth were badly yellowed. His fat face sitting on a double chin, covered in pimples.
"Yar, whats gon' on here aye"
A woman turned and looked at him.
"Finally the cops get here, a poor elf got ran over by a super tanker, hes lucky to be alive. They just left with him to go to the hospital.
"Any posstive ID on da chap?"
The woman raised an eye brow. "Thats your job, not mine."
The orc grinned his ugly yellow teeth. He turned his look to his job he looked about the scene. He saw Xecktos' Stealth suit on he ground, his throwing stars, Emp knives, mary's bag pack, The sword and the pistol.
He picked up all the weapons and looked around. He waddled with them back to his tanker, which read on the side "LORDO'S LARD" It was the only vehicle the orc owned and he used it to transport lard as a side job.
He placed all the weapons on the passenger side of his rig. he picked up his comlink and called the headquarters.
"Dis be captain Jol, da emergency call was for a elf, who'd gotten run over by a super tanker. I came to da scene after the dragged his half dead body off. I found a small cache of assassain type weapons. No positive ID on da victom." The orc started the Super Tanker."Me be goin' to the hospital now to try to find out who da victom is. Captian Jol out." The Orc peeled out on the wet pavement and off toward the hospital.
I was out here a bit ago, i didnt see this all, but i did hear this strange chrunking noise though, strange aye.
Chance was shaking his hand in pain as he retrieved his assault rifle. He had landed the blow on Tank badly... From what little that he could tell through the pounding agony, his last finger on his right hand was dislocated.
Grabbing hold of the digit firmly with his left hand, he took a deep breath... then snarled a curse as he relocated the finger, the pain momentarily making him see double.
Fires burned all around him, Ash kneeling nearby with her flamer raised, covering Chance while he recovered. She was getting distracted, he saw... Unburned patches of carpet were starting to smoulder all around her.
Up! Damn it! On your fragging feet! Chance cursed himself as he bullied his body into a standing position. He hurt all over... Tank had run him over like a fragging locomotive. Limping, he moved over to where Crash had been locked in the closet. The lock frustrated him... until Ash came over and held the padlock in her hands.
The metal slagged, rapidly becoming liquid as it splattered onto the floor, steam rising in a choking cloud. Chance pulled his scarf around his mouth and nose and kicked the door open, his assault rifle sweeping through the entrance before he did.
The place was empty... Crash was gone. And the ventilation duct cover hung open.
There was a jet-like howl... Ash's flamethrower. Chance glanced back to see the flaming forms of two screaming guards crumple, their bodies disintegrating as bodily tissues boiled and melted. Other guards tried to take cover in the doorway of a corridor the Aztech troops had appeared from. Ash rapidly altered her aim towards the ceiling and flicked her flamer to wide-stream mode. The deluge of fire splashed down, licking into the corridor, dousing several of the luckless soldiers and sealing off their route of advance.
Chance urged Ash into the ventilation duct... Hopefully, they might be able to find Crash and sneak out through the airconditioning system. More troops popped from another corridor... Chance chopping down four guards in a sweeping burst, the rest routing as suppressed fire sent chunks of armour, flesh and organs flying. When it came to gun-against-gun contests... Nobody did it better than Chance.
Ash was the last one into the shaft, using a finger to weld the entrance close. It might buy them enough time...
"Hmm.... thank god I could hear mary over the intercom..apparently, mine is severed from all outgoing communications....must have meen that fraggin log out..... and with my PDA, hehe..." said crash override, as he hacked remotely into Turin's computer, made a file, and printed it off. It was a fake, forged, and illegal weapon's licence. Yet, to any dumb rent a cop, it would look real. and only if they were to actually know anything about the history of Xecktos, only then would they figure out the illegallness of it. also, Crash sent an E-Mail to the good doctor. "Your welcome doc. 8) C.O. " then, as he put away his PDA, he noticed a few dark figures in the vent with him. Puling out a flashlight from his toolbox, he identified them as Chance and Ash.
"Hey guys. I don't have the faintest idea where we exactly are, but first thing's firs, what the hell happened?
"Damn Crash... get that light out of my eyes won't you? You're blinding me." Chance whispered as they shuffled down the ventilation shaft to meet at a cross-section.
"Tank went nuts and tried to kill us... We took him out, but I don't know if he went down for good. And Ery, that fragging turd has turned against us. No comms with Crystal... last I saw of her, she was being dragged away by that slimy corp elf. No info on Curim either. Xecktos is likewise missing."
Chance put the info across in his clipped manner. Beside him, Ash was silent as she covered their rear. Crash noticed smoke curling from her flamer's barrel... the duo had done some shooting.
"Now Crash, its your turn... Any information for us dumb grunts? We need a way out of here, and fast." Chance wasn't joking... the sooner they got out of the corp-grounds, the higher their chances of survival.
"hmm let's see... our enterance is pretty much blocked off... and if i remember correctly, this place seperateds into 2 paths... one leads outside, the other to the boiler room? shal we get out? or go to the boiler room?
Oh, one more thing, I also remember that in the boiler room, there's a manhole that leads outside as well... it may stink, but we'll be able to escape alive..."
"Dangit...hey chance, you actually think that your buddy can get these wards off of the items we got? I'd reallly like to keep this bolter and vest..."
"Oh, and my intercom is basically on the fritz... i can only get incoming messages, but not send em myself... which is how I got this information... Xecktos was run over by a super tanker....ironically enough, it was driven by a rent-a-cop captain... noting from Crysttal or anybody else. Turin had some illegal weponry problems, but I took care of em for her."
"Ash doesn't know magic... Its just her genetic condition and Fire-elf parentage that gives her this brotherhood with flame. As much as we'll like to, we can't get the wards off." As Chance spoke, he discarded the box of twenty stun grenades. Ash's laser rifle was already gone... locked away in Raven's van.
"As far I as see it, we should take the route to the outside. Ash here can stand the heat in the boiler room, but I don't think that we would be able to do so. My intercom..."
Chance knocked at his wristphone. "I'll say that the Aztech guards have activated a wristphone jammer. We might be able to get through, but communications with the outside will be iffy. Comeon, let's move out."
The trio began to sneak their way out of the Aztech compound, Chance leading the way, Crash guiding him, and Ash bringing up the rear.
"You say that Xecktos got run over by a fragging super tanker? Poor sod... Ouch. And to think that getting run over by Tank already hurt that much..."
Raven and Grasnak were strolling towards the guard's mess for a nice game of "squash de boss" (A game played by orc guards in which an effigy of one of the more unpopular officers is mutilated by the grunts, historians believe the game is a throwback from ancient voodoo doll ceremonies) when they heard gunfire and explosions in the distance. Raven's body tensed by reflex and his pupils dilated. Grasnak was not perturbed at all by the noise.
"No be scared Little Humie. Grasnak has gun that shoot all bad runners and terrorists. We get friends to help too."
With that, partially comforting, comment Grasnak grabbed Raven and slung him over his shoulder and trotted towards the guard's mess. 'How in Grud's name did I ever end up being carried on an orc's shoulder in the middle of an Aztechnology compound during a red alert?' Wondered Raven. 'Oh yeah, my fraggin greed for nuyen!' He silently answered himself. It was most likely his "friends" had been busted and were going to be either killed or captured. Neither prospect really appealed to Raven. 'Better scram before my scam is found out.'
"Let me down Grasnak buddy! I can move my own legs!"
Grasnak dropped Raven with a grunt and continued jogging, Raven fell onto the concrete with a solid thump and got onto his own two feet. As Raven followed Grasnak he saw a tall, lithe figure storming across the compound. 'Well, if that isn't Ery I'll be a fraggin son of a dwarf!
"Hey Ery! What's happening back there?!"
Ery didn't appear to hear him and had already passed from sight.
"Well that was rude of him, not talking to me! Things are getting out of control, I better make sure the van is ready to leave when the others get back."
Raven ran for the van, unlocked it, hopped in and started moving.
Then Grasnak and his fellow orcs returned. Grasnak looked in the driver's seat and saw Raven there.
"Oi! Little Humie! Good thinking. We needs to be over there (pointing towards the source of the explosions) real fast like. Come on boys, hop in the back!"
The van was not designed to hold a squad of heavily armed orcs and it voiced it's disapproval by groaning as the suspension was strained almost to breaking point. Grasnak got in beside Raven and said:
"You smart, for a Humie. Drive now!"
Left with no other choice Raven accelerated and headed towards the orc's destination but away from his own. Which, incidently, was as far away as possible! 'I'm gonna be trussed like a turkey as soon as someone intelligent iniquires as to my being here' Raven thought. Then he remembered Crystal. 'Well I might get to see her again, I wonder if she remembers those grenades I sold her, fantastic little beauties they were and I made 400 nuyen profit on them. Damn I'm good!'
At the Vladistok Waste Corporation General Hospital (Mary didn't want to think about where any dead bodies went), the staff were intrigued as to what had happened to Xecktos.
Mary told them that he was her partner, who had fallen into the road in the path of the supertanker.
Xecktos was wheeled off, unconcious on a trolley. Mary was left in the reception.
Soon, a white-clad elf approached her.
"Are you the girl who came in with the roadkill elf?"
"Before we can treat him, we need to discuss payment"
The elf took a seat next to her, and smiled.
This wasn't going to be good.
"How bad is it?"
"He's bruised all over, his ribs, legs, and one arm are broken. One of his lungs is crushed badly. He also may have a small fracture to the spine, as well as having his nose badly broken."
Bad..... although at least he wasn't dead.
"You see, we are going to have to employ some expensive techniques to keep your friend alive. We may actually have to cybernetically replace the left side of his body, as well as reconstruct much of his body."
This was going to be expensive.
"Due to the expensive nature of the treatment, we are going to have to ask for a donation from someone. And you are seeminly the only person who even knows who he is"
"Ok." Mary said. "How much?"
"That depends. We will discharge him now for free, do minor repair surgery for 5,000 nuyen, and full surgery for 10,000."
10,000. That was more than twice the Zwergmann reward. But it might be the only way Xecktos could survive.
"How much up front?"
"A tenth of the total bill"
Frag. That was alot. But Xecktos needed it. She did owe something to the Elf, he had been trying to save her.
Here. She handed over her credit-chip.
"hmm... my intercom seems to still pick up stuff... man, i hope that my PDA can still work... YES! i'm into the bank"
:what the hell are you doing Crash?" said Chance
"Well, it seems that to do full surgery, Xecktos would need 10,000 nuyen, which includes cybernetic stuff, like my arm.... i don't know if Turin has enough for the surgery Xeck needs to fully recover, so I'm hacking into her bank account to see how much is left for the surgery and unexpected expenses... *whistles* she is set. I don't need to give her money... I won't exactly tell you guys, but it's a fat 6 digit sum."
"Ok, guys, now how about the boiler.... we'll need somebody, or something to lift the manhole cover, as I suspect that it'll be extremely hot..."
Tank groaned, amoung the smashed packing crates. There was blood dripping from the back of his head, he could feel it, smell it, and see it. He tried to move his right arm, and found that he couldn't. He groaned again, realising that he had smarting burns running all the way down his back, and covering much of his torso. This burnt smell mingled with the blood, and smelt awful.
Tank tried to move again, and managed to straighten his undamaged arm against the floor, pushing himself upright.
He roared in pain, and collapsed back into the pile of crates.
He could hear voices down the corridor, talking quickly and quietly. It might be Crystal, or Ery, or Chance, Ash, or one of the other runners. He roared again, to get their attention.
Suddenly, a guard appeared around the side of the crates. He was wearing a sleek Aztechnology Uniform, and carrying a state-of-the-art energy rifle. As well as the shotgun from Tank's suit, which had been concealed in his toolkit.
"Well, well, well," The guard, a tall half-elf, began, "What do we have here?"
"No worries. I'll be able to do that just fine." Ash piped up from the rear.
The ventilation shaft was getting hotter as they approached the boiler room, both Chance and Crash slogging along, breath becoming laboured as the air grew hot and cloying. In contrast, Ash was still moving happily, her eyes bright and alert.
It came to a point where both the men decided that to go on further was to risk heat exhaustion. The two males rested as Ash forged on ahead... The area was so uncomfortable to be in that the trio reckoned it safe for her to go into the boiler room alone. Crash pointed out the direction, too short of breath to speak, before collapsing back on his butt... only to yelp in pain as the metal scorched him. He resorted to squatting on his haunches in the same way as Chance was doing. The soldier was watching the rear now, occasionally turning to flash anxious glances down the shaft in the direction that Ash had gone.
Ash went on for some distance before she entered the boiler room proper. Here was the area where heat from the Aztech nuclear power reactors boiled water in a continuous close-circuit chain to power its turbines. The redhead skipped into the place, scanning the various pipes and levers for what she needed. She noted the location of the manhole, lying smack in the middle of several overhead bypasses and metal supports. The boiler room looked like a bell-tower, with a mesh of piping stuck at the top and a drainage manhole plugging the bottom.
Shimmying up one of the pipes on the sides while humming an ancient song that she once heard (Tina Arena's Burn), the redhead swung from the sizzling metal of one pipe to another to scan them for labels. She felt full of energy, her body alive and alert.
She found what she was looking for moments later... An emergency pipe that led to water coolant tanks, designed to crash-dive the temperature in the event of a meltdown. Ash poked her fingers into a groove and melted her way through the metal. She did the same on the other side of the room, detaching an entire section of coolant piping and discarding it in a corner.
The coolant pipe was empty for now... but not for long. Ash worked her way to the end of it and found the lever that activated the flow of water. It was locked... but a little caress from her ungloved hand soon melted the metal padlock into ferrous taffy.
Wincing at the amount of heat energy that she was about to waste, Ash woefully bade goodbye to the warm energies that she loved so much as she pulled down hard on the lever.
Water coolant splattered out of the severed pipe, drowning the hot manhole cover in liquid as steam rushed up in a cloud. The room did not flood... the manhole having holes bored into it for the purpose of draining excess liquid. Ash swung her way back to the entrance to the boiler room, her movements now not as fast as before as the temperature dropped. She was now feeling the exhaustion... the length of the mission taking its toll, weighting down upon her like chainmail armour with its constant pressure.
By the time Ash had returned with Chance and Crash, the temperature had dropped sufficiently for them to walk comfortably.
"Very nice Ash! But what about the manhole cover? Its too heavy to lift." Crash asked.
Ash motioned for him to wait as she placed her hands on it. The manhole was shaped like a bottle cap... and as Ash heated it up, the metal expanded and loosened its grip in the same way as a man loosening a tight milk-bottle cap might release it by putting the metal in a flame. There was a CRACK as the steel pivots burst, the manhole popping off their escape route.
The coolant had thankfully washed away much of the filth below. However, the trio still recoiled from the smell, Chance untying his scarf, gently fastening it around Ash's nose and mouth to cut out the unholy scent.
She safed her flamer and warned the others not to fire any weapons. It wasn't a very glamorous way for a trio of runners to go... blown up in a Corporate sewer by fart gas.
Nope. Certainly not.
"Peeyew!" said Crash... "I wonder how Turin and company is doing... better than Us probably... ok, we'll have to go for about a mile an... " "A MILE!!!" yelled chance!"at this rate, I'll NEVER be able to get this smell outta me"
"what would your rather do? die in the Azetechnology lab being expiramented on, or not have a date for a while?" Crash did have a point...
Ok,at the mile mark, we'll go up, and we'll be directly under my apartment complex. from there' we'll try to contact her.
The guards (two more had appeared by now) slapped some kind of stinging and numbing balm over Tank, and tied a rough bandage around his head, while the first kept his rifle lowered towards the Ork. The balm stopped the bleeding, at least. Tank tried to make up some convincing alibi, but couldn't convince the guards, that it wasn't suspicious that he was there. Tank wished his pass chip hadn't got lost in the scuffle, and couldn't fight the three guards, due to his injuries.
"Ok, where do we take orkboy, leader?" One of the guards turned back to the one with the gun pointing at Tank.
"Back to the team. We'll get him back to the interrogation rooms later - right now it's important Zwergmann's body is delivered to the freezing room - why those blasted techs didn't do it last night is beyond me."
With great effort, the two subordinates lifted Tank's body, and hauled him down the corridor.
Zwergmann. Tank reconised that name, but it hurt to think right now
Tank was carried to a van, in the driving rain outside. He felt ointment and blood wash off him, as the water ran along the crevasses in his huge body, hanging between the two guards.
"What do we do with him, leader? There's no room in the cab, and we can't carry him all that way"
"Sling him in the back with Zwergy. They won't be able to hurt each other."
All three laughed, and tossed Tank's body into the rear of a large Aztechnology van, marked with a large Jaguar logo.
One climbed into the cab, while leader and the third mounted motorbikes, with two other soldiers. The engines started, and they began to move off thorugh the rain.
Tank looked around, still in considerable pain.
There was a corpse in the van with him. Hs primitive brain steamed onwards.
A corpse. Zwergmann.
Zwergmann is dead.
Tank took about thirty seconds to realise the implications of this.
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