The Den Games Network Forum RPG
Page 10

Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds


Jolly had reached the bottom of the escalators, he wasn't running any more. It was more of a limp. He couldn't run, the seriousness of his injuries had caught up with him. Every single scar, bullet wound, punch, fall, everything that had happened to him since the fight with the Blackwatch could no longer be ignored. He fells to his knees, his legs unable to carry him. He reached out for the first step, and missed it. Falling face down on the floor. He could feel some of his bones were broken, probably from one of his many falls. Blood poured from holes where bullets from the two fights had pierced his skin. He couldn't move any more, and he found himself wishing he hadn't of run.

"Maybe......da fraggaz culd a 'elped me...." He half said, half coughed to himself. But his Troll logic had got the better of him again. Shoot first, shoot second, shoot some more and if there was time or anyone left, maybe ask where you were. He couldn't hold his head up any longer, it hit the floor. He was still breathing, so that was good, but he didn't know for how long. He closed his eyes, his body became stiff. He'd play dead until he regained strength, or death claimed him. Whichever came first.

With one last groan, he fells silent, the only thing moving was his chest, as his lungs slowly took in and expelled air.


Charlie's body hit the floor. He'd sacrificed himself defending the other's safety, Shocked faces surrounding the scene. Somewhere deep in Highness' mind, some unlocked part of it opened. A flash of words sprang to mind, but one stuck in her head long enough for her to take it in.


She fixed her eyes on the body , it didn't move. Even she knew roughly, by some thought or instinct, what death was. And instinct told her, Charlie was dead. Charlie.....the Hero?

She suddenly became awhere that a hand had clasped onto her. She stared at the figure it belonged to blankly. It was a large blue eyed man with a beard and scruffy brown hair. As the man tried to pull her away, instinct told her to resist. So she did. She pulled her body away from him, lashing out maddly. She didn't make a sound, as instinct said that would be a waste of energy. She felt one hand connect with the man's face, she could feel an anger building up in him.

He grabbed her roughly by the neck, throwing her on the floor, face down. She was about to try and get up, but something hard hit her on the head. This was in fact the man's gun. She found her eyes closing, slipping onto the floor. It was the first time she'd been knocked out, and it wasn't a plesent expierance.


"I am Next?" Said Nixie, looking up at the Blackwatch as he "controlled" the woman. "You would not ask an injured voman to get up now, vould you?"

The Blackwatch just grunted, lifting her to her feet, she whimpered in pain as her body weight was put on her injured leg. She couldn't take it, she fell to the floor again. The Blackwatch wasn't sympathetic, he aimed his weapon at her. Ready to fire. He was about to pull the trigger when....

"HALT!" A green eyed Goblin had entered the bar. "Iwould like le goblin alive." His eyes scanned the bar, he then saw Squeaky and added, "Both of them!"

Nixie had instantly recognised the voice as Pierre's, but what the frag was he doing? Ordering around BlackWatch wasn't a good idea. At any rate, it ignored him and continued to point the weapon at her.

"Very well, but le master will not be happy." The BlackWatch grunted again, withdrawing from Nixie. Squeaky was rounded up next to her. Pierre bent down and picked the Wolf Shaman up. Despite what she had just seen, she felt a whole lot better.


Pierre smiled, he'd find Bulldog in no time now. Then, when it was all over, they'd eitherbow down to the Master.....or become his main course. He patted the Goblin in his arms on the head, whispering into her ears. He dispised her, but she was a tool. A tool that would lead him to bigger fish.


Bulldog couldn't be bothered holding himself up anymore. He hadn't really took in the events that had unfolded before his eyes. One minute he'd shot a girl, next she was a dragon, then some crazed giant Goblin had come barreling towards him, only to be stopped by Dragon girl and npw some fragging human had a gun pointed at anything that moved.

The walking stick slipped from his grip as Dragon girl and Big Goblin were talking. He fell to the floor, leaning against the nearest tank. He used his one remaining leg to retrive his own pistol, Red could get her own back. He had no where to put it, so he just held it. Hoping no one would take the poor legless Goblin on the floor with a nearly ammo less pistol as a threat.


The lead blackwatch guard, with cybereyes a shade bluer than the rest, looked around the bar, as his comrades stopped, one step behind him.

He turned to his aides.

"Processor Plant 2."

The largest drone, complete with a speaker ontop, rolled forewards.

"Attention Civilians. You are to be taken into protective custody of the master. Do not attempt to resist, and you will not be hurt. Leave your weapons on the floor where you are standing. Failure to reply will result in termination."

The lead blackwatch moved foreward, and kicked Charlie's body lightly with one booted foot.

"Still alive. He can come with the rest. Load him onto drone three. The master underestimated the numbers. We cannot make such as loss as in the convention hall again."

Two more blackwatch came foreward, and lifted the bloody body of Charlie onto a drone with a flatbed roof.

"Put down your weapons and proceed. You will not be harmed."


Tank and Barkah slowly lowered their weapons to the ground. A good ork could fight without a gun, anyway.

Jessica, out of sight behind the crowd, stuffed her weapon back into the duffel bag. Hopefully they wouldn't check, and she had a sneaking suspicion they'd need this later.


Chance had recovered a bit faster than the others from the flashbang due to his military self-correcting goggles and his ability to use aura vision. Following Wirecat into the room after making sure that the half-stunned Ash was ok, he was nearby when the negotiator suddenly jumped to his feet and cursed aloud.

"Oh frag! Sarah!"

Assuming that the woman the cat-man was referring to was his girlfriend... the one that he had mentioned being in trouble in the vents, Chance offered his help.

"Wirecat... That's your name, right? I'll come with you to get your girlfriend if you don't mind. I'm a medic and might be able to help her out."

"Yes, half of us will probably have to send Zaid back to the Elf-Only bar where Mary can help him. Its either that or we must leave him here... but I really don't like the second idea considering that a Troll literally dropped on top of him the last time we did that!" Ash continued.

"Nevermind, a couple of us can stand guard here and watch Zaid while me and Ash go to pull out Wirecat's girlfriend. Those air-ducts have those... roll3r things in them... I don't want anyone else to suffer what Ellen did." Chance said as he pulled a coil of rope from a shelve and reloaded his autoshotgun. Ash did the same with her 5-shot harpoon launcher, the thing looking like a two-handed medieval crossbow from an age long past... especially since Ash preferred wearing chainmail armour than inflexible plates.


Silvia got up, and looked at Damocles He was staring at the floor again.
"Blue-eyes? You mean... like the guards Brandon talked about?"
"Yes. They took him away, and destroyed most of the bio-facility. I tracked him down to this place."
"How long ago did that happen?"
"35 days ago."
Silvia nodded. "That's when my collar stopped working."
Damocles looked up. "He can get it off."
Silvia smiled. "That sounds great. Let's go and find the sleghead then."

She looked around and noticed the rigger and the goblin.
Oh, right. What the frag are we going to do with these two?

"So..." She said to the Goblin. "Who the sleg are you, and why did you shoot at me?"


Wirecat looked worried. "Roll3r things? You mean drones... in the vents?"
"Real bad-ass things." Chance replied. "Come on, let's go. Where is it?"
Wirecat pointed in the direction of the CKWAGE hall. "Over there."
"All right." He looked over his shoulder. "Ash?"
Ash smiled. "Yup. All ready."
"Great. Let's go then."

The three people ran off in the direction of the CKWAGE hall.


Everybody in the bar began shuffling towards the exit, acutely aware of the Blackwatch weapons trained on them. Jessica turned to take one last look at the vent, considering making a break for it. No, that would be suicide. She'd be shot to pieces before she could scramble into the safety of the vent. Two children huddled up to their father, unwilling to proceed. The man was urging them forward, he understood that failure to comply with the Blackwatch would result in their unceremonious executions. Jessica noticed that apart from the sound of feet dragging along the carpet and the soft humming of the drones the room was silent. The Blackwatch guards marched without conversation, they all turned in unison, expecting the civilians to follow suit. Most people did, except one young woman. She saw her chance, with the soldiers all facing the other way she silently hopped away. Unfortunately, it seemed that a drone had detected her sudden and unexpected movements and began to track her....

She didn't look back, her only safety lay in putting distance between herself and the guards.

The drone contiuned to track her...

Seconds had passed and she hadn't been detected, at least so she thought. The young woman was elated, her ploy had succeeded!

The drone calculated her distance from the group. She had strayed far enough to warrant corrective action:

[Octupu5 unit: 67b. Communication: [Errant subject] Recommended action: [Termination].]

The signal reached the nexus of drone control. A decision was made. It was concluded that termination of the subject was acceptable. A signal returned to octupu5 67b: [Termination approved.] The drone spent a millisecond computing a firing solution. That done it turned a fired a short burst into the woman. She died instantly. Her limbs still flailing as her body kept running for a moment before falling in a heap.

The Blackwatch Elite guards didn't even bat a cyber eyelid...


A pool and a trail of blood... That was what was left of the man that fought the hydra. But he had collapsed... And was supposed to be there. None of the presents had moved him, nor tried to help him. Veronica wondered. That would mean something. He HAD moved by its own.

But she was worried on anything else, the guards.
She looked at one of the guards, and dropped the weapon to the floor, unseen. She wanted to avoid the problems.


Wheezing with pain, Wolfīs strong determination had forced him to go back to consciusness... even in that poisoned state.
He had crawled to a safe place, with his medkit. But, sooner or later, the trail of blood would betray him. Nobody had paid attention to a halfway-dead, like he looked, but they would as soon as they noticed he moved.
The arms hurted like hell. So did the head. But Wolf managed to grab an autoinjection canister and injected himself a composite antidote.
The bloodstream became fire for a while, eyes went blank with pain. But then, the pain stopped.It did worked. Soon, he would regain the full consciusness...
It reminded somehow when he went on wild animal hunts in Syberia with his father. Specially when he got attacked by an hydra...


A gun pointing at him.
"Oh...frag... not now"

Wolf hoped the worst that the BlackWatch would do away with his life. But instead...

"Doctor Alexeiv? The master has reported us to escort you back to the labs"

Whoever who was the master, it was better than to be in a prison level He thought.

"Can you wait till i put some bandages on me and help the people here?"

The BlackWatch showed disbelief. Alexeiv was valuable... but it was starting to get close to the limit...

"OK... But be quick... You are getting way too uneficient."


"Mall Level"
The Shift-a-vator pinged out.
But not at the best moment.
A bunch of Blackwatch and drones.
With his heart almost going off his chest, Overmind tried to go on somewhere else.
"Er... Basement Floor 2"
The wired shift-a-vator obeid blindlessly.
"A basement floor? Odd..." he though.


The Blackwatch men grabbed Wolf roughly, making him gasp in pain, with his wounds, as he tried to move towards the injured.

"Wh-What are you doing?" He asked his tormentors.

"You can bandage them better at the hospital, Alexeiv. You'll operate better when you have your mods too."

Wolf felt his Revolvers being lifted away, his arms pulled behind his back as someone slapped on some Thermocuffs, the tough restraints instantly heat-bonding to each other, and his skin. The only way they'd come off now is is someone applied solvent or skinned his arms for him.

The Blue-eyes continued to search through the bar - They found Cheever's slumped form, which they also tied to a flatbed drone - Policing up his SMG - and also Mist Lotus, who warranted a closer examination.

"She's already half-dead. Don't know if we can save her." Said one Blue eye, kneeling by her side.

"Wrap her up. We'll use what we can." Said his subordinate from over the kneeling man's shoulder.

While the flatbed utility drones - Stock models, commonly used on factory floors for tool and material carrying - Trundled off, escorted to a shiftavator by two 0ctopu5es and a Blackwatch man, another examined the scene in the Freezer room - The Wrecked 0ctopu5, dead hydra, a stinking mess iof spilled blood and hydraulic fluid.

Heavy-calibre pistol hits, automatic weapons fire... More than these... cattle... were carrying...

The blue-eye - A young-looking man, who had a piercing gaze before his eyes were replaced, walked back into the Main room of the bar, where the terrified throng were being herded up still, addressing them in a booming voice.

"There were others here. The ones who destroyed that drone. Where are they?"

He looked at Tank, Barkah, Jessica, and then Mary in turn, looking for an answer. Then he unslung his Autoshotgun and pressed the gun to the head of the little girl, while her father stared in disbelief that he was doing exactly what Cheevers had done a while before...


Jessica didn't feel any loyalty to the runners who had gone through the vent. She spoke up almost immediately.

"They went through that vent in the freezer room, the snake creature came out of the vent some time later."

The autoshotgun was removed from the little girl's temple. The guard paused a moment, as if mentally examining the answer given. He spoke.


He motioned the civilians forward. Two Blackwatch guards nodded and posted guard on either side of the vent. The rest of the Blackwatch Elite, drones and the civilians moved out of the bar.


The concourse they'd just come through to get to the diving gear shop was still more or less empty, but Chance, Wirecat and Ash still had the heart-rending glances from the people trapped behind the barriers on some of the shops... And the feeling they were being watched from the flickering shadows by those not trapped, such as the mob of maddened office-jockeys.

Chance actually felt relieved - That these people were around still told him that nothing deadlier was around here.

For the moment.

Indeed, this level of the mall was taking the character of some sort of a 'safe-haven', with people sittimg around in groups here and there for warmth.

Unfortunately, they had to leave this area to reach the CKWAGE hall, once more ascending the huge escalators, into the darkness.

Chance went first - And it was a good thing, too. His goggles immediately picked out the glowing orange outlines of four life forms. Dogs, they looked like.

Then one of them surrounded itself in a glowing aura of flame that blinded his thermographic mode.

"Hell-hounds." He wheezed. The big, vicious coal-black Dogs had an innate affinity with fire that rivalled Ash - Though Chance would never compare her to a Dog to her face.

The pack circled, while the darkened entrane to the CKWAGE hall lay enticingly open...


"Looks like its just you and me again, Raven." Crystal smiled, playing idly with the detonator pin of a small yellow-coloured shaped charge she'd found - The type of breaching device used to open blocked doors in sinking ships for underwater emergencies, with a magnetic/adhesive pad to clamp onto what you wanted to blow up.

The two sat with their backs to the messy shop's couner, watching over the gear they'd assembled, while Chance and Ash had gone back upstairs. Raven put one of his hands on Crystal's, stroking it. Crystal looked at him playfully...


Both 'runners jumped to their feet, spinning around, guns out -

Pointing at Badjimmy's face.

"VIVE LE BADJIMMY!" He shouted, punching the air with both arms. "Merde alors! I would 'ave you both killed by now, dummkopfs!!! Ha ha!"

Raven and Crystal were not amused.

"Stop screwing around." Crystal glared. "Its easy enough to sneak up on people when they think you're supposed to be watching over some critically injured kid."

"Oui? Well, I guess you are maybe too old for this job, non?" The Elf taunted. Crystal rolled her eyes.

"How is the kid, anyway?" Raven asked.

"He has... How you say in English? 'The Icy Black Hand of le Shiva is upon him.' Not good."

Crystal peered over the shop counter. Eva - Her tattered, corroded clothes long having fallen off her - Prowled around the front of the shop in her underwear, casting accusing eyes at Badjimmy every now and then.


The Chief Blue eye Blackwatch guard, satisfied with Jessica's report, logged her in for a recommendation for 'Blue eye' level mods. He marked down the Big Ork for Cyberwear impnatation, the Female Doctor for Green eye level mods - Like the protesting Alexeiv. The rest he would recommend for the holding pens.

He send a signal to command by his implanted headware comm-link to request a schematic for the air-ducts in this section. Within seconds, a signal was relayed back to his head from the security net. Acting upon his information, two R0ll3r drones were detailed to sweep the air ducts leading from the bar - Not far from where an earlier encounter with armed insurgents in the CKWAGE hall, where Blue eyes and Drones had been disabled.


The alpha male... Lupus snarled out in a low voice inside Chance's head as a particularly big dog faked a lunge and pulled back growling. The soldier accordingly gave the animal more of its attention, switching to aura vision to correct for his blinded thermographics as Ash covered the other side, Wirecat between them as the pack circled.

Chance took a single experimental step towards the CKWAGE hall and everything happened at once...

The big dog bunched up on its hind legs as it readied itself to leap... But Chance was more than ready for it. The enraged Bah-wham of the autoshotgun sent its first slug screaming past the animal's back, ripping open fur and skin... Chance missing for once due to the animal's blinding flame-aura. But then the second huge bullet punched through the hell-hound's mouth to explode out of its anus, the animal's insides spread explosively over the carpet in a bright spray of flaming guts.

Ash's harpoon nailed a second dog in the flank, the animal falling away with a whine as a third reared up and to her surprise, spat a flaming gobbet of spit at her face.

It was a move that the dogs used in the wild to blind their prey... but obviously they hadn't done it on a fire-elf before. Ash ignored the burning spittle dripping off her eyes and cheek and promptly spat back as she withdrew a blade from her thigh scabbard.
There was a startled whine as the dog received Ash's spit in the eye... While Ash had expected a fire attack of some sort, the dog certainly hadn't!

Stunned, it didn't see the flash of the sizzling blade before a white-hot katana decapitated it.

The remaining two dogs backed off, one hissing in pain with a harpoon in the flank... more cautious now that their alpha male was dead. Their hesistation proved their undoing, as Chance switched targets from the splattered male to blow a melon-sized hole straight through the unwounded one. The last one gave a final whine of surrender and ran away, tail down and flames dulled as it scampered away for dear life.

Urged on by Chance, the two of them approached the CKWAGE hall carefully... even though occasional gunfire still resounded randomly in the building, they couldn't risk the chance that the loud roar of the autoshotgun had alerted anyone in the still darkness of the place.


Wolf laughed mentally, sensing the irony of it all. For good or bad, he was wounded... The thermocuffs failed to seal to the skin. Instead, they sealed to half coagulated blood that had poured off the wounds. The quick and rushed action of the guards had allowed it. If they had allowed him to clean the blood and heal himself fully, it would not be possible... but these cuffs were still restraining, indeed...
He would need to play along for a while longer... But he awed the idea of being cybered, like the others. He needed to break away... as soon as he got an oportunity.


Still fiddling with the shift-a-vator, Overmind reached the prison level, not knowing about it.
"Yikes... Wrong floor..."
He gulped as he saw the disbelief of the evaded prisoners.


"NO!" Veronica screamed mentally, as she saw the guards seizing the only man that could help her.Syberian Wolf. But there was something strange in his facial expression. He was SMILING lightly. She felt like, after all, there was still hope...


Eva was struggling to not blow Badjimmy into tiny little bits. That idiot...always screaming, drawing attention... so fragged up mentally...
But was it WORTH killing him? Becoming again the heartless Death Scyte?
She refused to go psycho again. That had destroyed once the faith on her... If it were not for Mac... She would have ended pretty fragged up.
"Damn... So cold."
She pointed out, looking once again at her appearence.
Her top clothes were worn off. Only underwear was remaining.


"Why you are smiling, Alexeiv?" The BlackWatch pointed out, seeing the weird facial expression of his captive.
"Oh, Itīs nothing... I just remembered a funny joke..."
The doctor pointed out.
But something told the guard to not drop the guard...He looked like he was plotting something.


"Niiice. You seem to be quite experienced at this." Wirecat whispered, while walking on.
Because of his fur he hadn't taken the risk of coming too close to the Hellhounds. And his gun probably wouldn't have been much help anyway, in comparison to Chance's autoshotgun.
"We've fought worse things in Geneva." Chance replied.
"Heh. But at least I could kill Daemons with just my claws."
Ash and Chance turned towards the cat-man.
"You were there too?" Ash asked.
"Yeah.. with Raven and some others. Badjimmy was with us too, before that, in Orkistonia. Apparently you know Raven and Badjimmy... you know the others too? Some huge Ork, doctor Turin, that grey gobbo, Sarah..."
"We know Mary Turin, and Tank." Chance said. "Not sure about the goblin. But I don't know any Sarah. She wasn't with us in Geneva."
"Figures. She told me she joined the group just before they left to Orkistonia."


"Fraggin' idiot." Tami said, while cilmbing up the vent. "I'm not going to risk any more vent drones just for his pretty cat face."
She felt a bit sorry about leaving the two down there alone, but she cared more about the money the cat-man had promised her.
But apparently he wasn't even going to come back to his 'friends' down in the vent... so he certainly wasn't going to pay her.

I'll find that lying backstabbing bastard... I'll make him pay.

She climbed out of the vent, and came face-to-face with three people. In the darkness she couldn't see who it were, but she heard them whisper, and saw the silhouette of a shotgun.


Wirecat noticed the goblin's aura before them.
"Don't shoot!" he whispered to Chance. "She's a friend. Well... I hope, anyway."
He looked to the Goblin again. "Tami? I'm back."

"About fragging time, cat-boy." Tami grumbled. "I ain't your baby-sit you know!"

Wirecat sighed. "Sorry. I got held up because a troll attacked us. Oh, and a pack of hellhounds, after that. This isn't really an amusement park, if you haven't noticed."
"Allright. I'll shut up." the goblin replied, visibly annoyed.
"Thank you." Wirecat said with a grin.


Barkah didn't really have a clue what was going on. It seemed a bunch of guards had burst in and were ushering people off. Except, oddly enough, for the Goblins. They were being ushered in the same direction by another Goblin, who had green cyber-eyes.

That was something Barkah had noticed, he was more observant then most Orcs, he just didn't have anything to say about it. Besides, relgion prefered that you relied less on speech and more on you're senses. It wasn't a written rule, but it was implied. And it suited Barkah. Anyway, he had noticed that all the trouble makers had cyber-eyes. Blue on guards, green on civvies. Barkah thought about this and what it meant. Did it mean that he'd have a nice shiney pair of green cyber-eyes when, or rather IF he got out of this alive? Or were they just going to do away with them? He would have liked a moment to sit and think of this, but he had a gun pressed into his back.

He looked around, noticing that the man in the corner was smirking. He winked at the Ork. He had a plan, but Barkah almost knew it wouldn't work. No plans worked with the BlackWatch, they just shot you if you breathed wrongly. He also noticed they were loading the woman called "Highness" onto a drone. Odd name Highness, but these were odd people. Even Tank didn't seem quite right for an Orc, they looked like......people above the law in a way. Barkah was disappointed he couldn't think about this, it was a lot to take in.


"Hey, are you listening to me?" Yelled Dragon Girl. She was getting mad, and to be honest Bulldog could hardly blame her. He didn't really feel like talking, in fact he just felt like curling up and dying. "Look, I can see you're not in your not at your best, none of us are. But we're got no time to hang around."

Bulldog eventually got fed up of her and decided to respond, if only for his sanity.

"My name is Ralph Richardson. I'm a travelling insureance salesman, I shot you because your obviously in debt with me. Us insurance salesmen do that you know." He didn't expet her to belive a word of it, and he could see by the look on her face that she didn't. "Your just lucky I sell life insurance."

"Ok, if that's how you want to play it wiseguy, I'll just set him on you." She nodded to Damocles, who still looked just about ready to tear another one of his limbs off. "So stop messing around and give me a proper explanation!"

"My name isn't important, but if you MUST know I shot you because this isn't exactly a play ground is it? And if it was, these are the most dangerous swings I've ever seen." Silvia shook her head, why did people always insist on keeping secrets! Everybody had something to hide, but she didn't expect she'd get much more out of the Goblin.

"Fine, fine. Let's get moving." She stopped and looked at his condition. "Erm, you can walk can't you?"

"If by "walking" you mean a kind of lobsided limp, then yes."

"Would it be easier for him to carry you?" She nodded towards Damocles again.

"I don't know, ask him." He rose to his foot, pistol still in hand. He limped closer to the rigger to check if she was ok. Silvia had a feeling that these people were either runners, part of a secret organisation or just plain mad. Or maybe a mix of the three, there wasn't much difference between them really.


"Where are they taking us?" Pierre heard Squeaky ask catiously beside her as they stood around, waiting for the guards to gather people.

"Away" he said.

"A bit more specific if you please?"

"Theze people, well le trouble makers they are looking for." he added quickly, trying not to blow his cover. "They will be fed le fishez. But I made a deal with le guards. They will keep uz safe, as I le them to some banditz that were hiding in here. Le civviez will be questioned, then releshed. They will even help uz find Monsieur Bulldog."

This was mostly lies of course, but the Wolf Shaman was too busy distantly gazing into his eyes to notice, He found this disturbing.

"Your eyes...." She said eventually. "They have changed colour."

"Ah, yes. Le Hospital said my vizon had been slightly damaged by possible shrapnel from le shots fired, They replaced my eyez with these." He thought that was a good enough explanation, and the Shaman seemed satisfied....but the Decker, she had an evil, distrusting look on her face. Not that it bother Pierre. After Bulldog had been lured out of whatever he was hiding in, as Pierre was positive he was in the bar, he'd try and rescue them hopefully thinking Pierre was another captive. And when he did, he'd take the British fool in, dead ot a live...


"Move it, funny guy".
The guard prodded Wolf with the barrel of his weapon, hard. Wolf moved.
"Fraggers." Wolf muttered under his breath, and tried to slip his hands out of the cuffs. It hurt, but he continued, the metal digging into his open wounds.


Charlie felt pain, and nothing more.


Mary was ushered along on the outskirts of the main group of civillians, the majority without thermocuffs. She assumed those judged to be a threat - greenskin metahumans, the gunman, and Charlie.

She could see the body of the ex-britguard on the flatbed drone. She hoped he was still alive. But would the drones bother with him when they were dead? And what horror were they being taken to?

Wherever it was, she assumed it would be somewhere on another floor - a huge cargo shiftavator door loomed infront of them.

Mary glanced at her wristphone. The time was almost nine o clock - several hours had past. Hopefully something was being done about the situation.


Outside, in the darkening Scotsprawl air, the army cordons waited. It was rumoured that the Duke of Wellington himself, Lord Micheal Hawkdon, the brilliant tactical genius, would be coming to assess the situation at Transys himself.


Raven and Crystal walked back to the back room where Zaid lay, still unmoving. The cautious woman knelt next to him, feeling for a pulse.

"As bad as they say?" Enquired her partner-in-crime

"Worse than that. He's dead."

She rocked back slowly, standing up.

"Dead? Dead how?"

"Don't know. I'm not an expert or anything. He's just not breathing. Which means..."

She pulled her Ultra-power, and pointed it at Badjimmy, then Eva, then back, hoping no-one could see the digital ammo counter on the back that read 03.

"You two have both been in here while we were outside. One of you two killed him." Her eyes held cold accusation for them both. Maybe she thought they were both guilty. Behind Crystal's back she toyed with the underwater explosive's arming in again.



"Mon cherie, behold, as Allah is my witness, I must ask you to remember who was recently pointing le Pistolet at poor, poor Zaid."

His gaze flicked over to the almost-naked Eva.

"To you, I give ze thanks." He said to Crystal again, taking steps away from Eva, hand on his gun...


Belinda was making good progress up the shift-shaft, Emmanuette still clinging on for dear life as the gang leader pulled herself to a ledge, fired her grapple arm, again, again...

Eventually they came to a set of elevator doors - Not the first they'd reached, but Belinda had mentioned something about 'having to go in on floor two because of the fragging water' or something.

"I'll have to put you down here, hon." Belinda told her charge, making sure she had footing on the extremely narrow ledge at the lip of the doors, before getting a foothold herself, then jamming the steel edged fingers of her cyberarm into the join. Merely seconds later, the doors were beginning to open.

Water seeped in, first a trickle, then a gout.

"Frag, its rising." Belinda shouted. When she'd come up here to get the cables, only floor one was flooded entirely. Now it looked like floor two had a good foot of water - Which was flowing nicely down the shaft now, carrying with it rotting rubbish and decaying dead fish and creatures from aquaculture. The stench was entirely nauseating.

Nevertheless, she jumped through the open doors, and pulled Emmanuette through after her.

They were now on the floor two shopping concourse. The whole level was a surreal scene - Water as far as the eye could see - The marble flooring and walkways of the shopping centre could be seen below the surface, and here and there railings, bins and comm-posts could be seen rising from the water which lapped around the sides of shops, carrying bits of crap, oil, blood and bodies.

Level one could be seen, looking down, still lit in areas, like some ghostly neo-modern Atlantis. Dark shapes floated through the water. Tentacled shapes.

"What happened to this place?[/i]" Emmanuette gasped.

"I don't know... My love." Belinda took the opportunity to hold Emmanuette tight. To comfort her. Then she looked the woman in her eyes, feeling a sense of freedom, long thought lost.

"But I know what I want to do now. Once the others get up here, we're going to take over the place. No guards to stop us, the most powerful gangs on our side. Are you in?"


The journey up the Shift-shaft had been obscenely difficult. Many of the prisoners had fallen off in the climb, hands raw and bleeding from attempting to climb the knotted electrical cable. Worse still, as many as five people had been knocked off by a gout of water that had fallen down from high up the shaft .

Illydrian and his surviving Elf Posers got out first, followed by Varos and two Robogoths. The big Native American - Who had finally given his name as 'Redwing', clambered out just before the Japanese Ork, Hachiman. Oddly, the two, who had been at loggerheads, actually helped eachj other. But that was the extent of their contact.

Only a few others made it out of the shaft after that - A Couple of the mimes, a dwarf or two, then -


The shift went down the shaft at a blinding speed. All that could be heard was the hiss of air being displaced and the whip crack of the cable Belinda had tied here being snapped.

Anyone still climbing didn't have a chance.

"Hey, anyone seen that Trogg fragging mime git?" Illydrian, head Elf Poser asked to no-one in particular.


They stared down the shaft...


The doors of the shiftavator loomed over the group of scared, manhandled humans and metahumans. Blue-eyed gaurds, impassive and armed to the teeth, unceremoniously send them in, guns trained, while the drones deposited the wounded Charlie inside, before retreating back out.

The runners, complete with gobbos, the female rigger, and the dwarf with a chef's hat, managed to stay together, pushed into one corner by the crowd. Mary collapsed against the wall, between Tank and Barkah, the former holding Charlie's body. Her heart beat fast, and she didn't mind the orkish sweaty stink. The gunman, still caked in blood, leant moodily against the wall nearby.

It seemed no-one had resisted, after the example they had been given.
Mary closed her eyes, and breathed in deeply.

"What now?"
" ' going up, I guess." The dwarven accent spoke up. "'aint nothing but power plants and the carparks down. Nothing else on this level, though."
"But wats up dere, stumpy?" That was Tank - or that other ork, if he could even talk.
The gobbo-dog growled, and spoke up.
"Vell, I vink dat is is up to uz to get uz out of here, yaz?"

Mary looked up, at the celing. It was too far, and the doors had now closed and locked.
Not while they were inside the lift, at least.

With a clunk, the massive cargo shiftavator began to move upwards, to pastures new.


Red watched furtively. Dragon-girl was convincing Ork-boy the carry Bulldog. Meanwhile, a third person appeared, a sheepish-looking Transys Guard, who was obviously not a candidate for Stud of the Year. He stood behind, slightly detatched as the other two newcomes talked quickly, one with no accent at all, the other with hints of French, Swiss, German, and even what little she had heard of Draconian.

She reached across for her gun, and lamented the loss of her spy drone. She could, given about half an hour, modify one of her stingers to do the same job, but that would mean the loss of part of her limited form of defense.

She sat, still with a slight headache, and waited.


Eva stared at the accusing elf.
She needed to do something, quickly. But burts him into pieces was not the way to do the things. Then she remembered the poor kid dying... She had been so mean with him... She wanted to cry and die... but, that wasnīt right, anyway.
She finally stared at the elf.
"I know. Due to a mistake of me, that poor boy died. I know It canīt be resurrected, but my apologies is the only thing I can do right now."
Crystal stared at Eva. Who was the person speaking? Eva... or someone completely different?
Eva lowered her head. She slowly withdrew the gun...
Frag it! The bitch is gonna kill us! Crystal thought... But it was odd. Eva was seizing the pistol with the secure armed. She could not shoot with the secure.
The gun swiftly flipped, and the rear pointed at Crystal, while the barrel pointed at Eva. Surprisingly, Eva extended the arm towards Crystal.
She was giving away her gun. The slim chance to retaliate gunfire she had. She was trying to prove she believed in them, and wanted an answer.
But was Eva who spoke first, delivering the ball to badjimmy.
"But it was also your fault, Badjimmy. You also dropped the oxygen tank over him."
Crystal was now completely puzzled.
That was Eva... or was it... Dragon's way to do the things?
Eva mentally smiled. She finally found herself in the search. She finally found the balance within her sides. Like Mac.


The shiftavator opened, and the trolley drones wheeled out, their cargo still firmly arttached by thermbonds. They rolled unopposed along floor 50, to the hive of activity that was the hospital.

The young Elven nurse, her eyes now matching her green hair, was there to take the newcomers in, while Wolf, Tank, Mary, Jessica and Barkah followed up on the next Shift-a-vator, escorted by The guards and drones who hadn't gone with the rest of the group - Mainly civilians. They'd gone frther up tower 1.

"We'll take the three on the trolleys first." The nurse said. Apparently she had authority over the Blue eyes, who sat their charges down in the corridor with hands on their heads.

The Flatbed drones carrying Mist Lotus, Cheevers and Charlie trundled into the operating rooms.

Doctor Chakrit snapped on a new pair of gloves.

"Keep coming, they do. A Doctor's job is never done." He murmured, while his assistant clamaped a vapour mask to the patient's face.

And then Dr Chakrit plucked Mist Lotus' eyes out.

After inserting the blue replacements, The doctor added the other blue-coded pieces of cyber and bioware - He wasn't entirely sure what it all was - But one piece had to be reflex-based, as he was to attach it to the spine. In fact, if he hadn't inserted this piece, the patient was likely to never walk again. She was already horribly wounded.

He installed a fairly basic smartgun-link, and a sealed headware(tm) comms-package - The like he carried in his own head (although, of course, he had the green variant). Next went in several ceramic-type plates, which he fitted over the ribcage.

He breathed a sigh of relief as the patient was moved away to the recovery area.

"Fairly intensive surgery for someone so grievously injured, but I'm confident she'll be useful in a few days. Fetch the next patient."

His assistant nodded - And The naked form of Cheevers was brought up. He opened another sealed 'Blue' Package...

Charlie lay in wait on his trolley, barely breathing...


After a good half an hour, another Medical orderly came to take Wolf into a seperate room - At gunpoint, for a Blackwatch man followed him in.

Wolf was just thinking of something smart to say, when something jabbed harshly into his neck.

He collapsed.

Fade to Black.

The female Doctor opened a green package, and started the operation.


Chance was led over to the vent - Noticing, as he went, the empty area where he'd seen Zaid with the fat decker kid earlier. No sign of him now though, and no time to waste thinking about it.

Sarah was stuck a long way down. It would be hard to reach her, but not impossible. Chance and Wirecat unfurled the ropes taken from the diving shop (actually synthetic load-bearing line designed for underwater lifting operations.

Drifting into astral perception and examining her aura, Chance saw the woman had powerful magical potential. But she was wounded, quite badly. Mainly in the chest area. Broken ribs, for sure.

"Well." He said, licking his lips. "We can move her, but the pain of getting her out of here might kill her. Thats quite a way to come up. I can bandage her, but we need to put her out somehow."

I hope you aren't talking about drugs, manling. Lupus growled.

There came the sound of a shift-a-vator opening.


After an age of walking, the middle-aged green-eyed woman led Deadeye out, with harsh commands which he was too tired and hungry to argue with. For now. Oddly, she made no mention of the shotgun he still carried, instead leading him out to a floor which looked like his apartment floor, only completely flat where all the walls had been removed.

He was made to sit down in a loose circle of cold, tired civilians of Child age to Middle age. Around 40-50, many looked to be in some kind of family grouping. Many were crying. Some were splattered with blood, although none were injured themselves.

Eyes fell upon him - Vacant eyes. The eyes of people used to doing what they were told and only that, totally lost when suddenly doing what you were told didn't seem like such a good idea anymore.

"Who are you people." He asked.

Silence. A few sobs.

"Been here long?" He asked again.

Still nothing.

"Talkative bunch, aren't ya?"

"They took my Parents, Mista." A girl said.

Deadeye looked behind him. A skinny teenage girl, dark skin, cherry-red hair. Tarty, fashionable clothes, big round eyes to lose yourself in and cheekbones that could slice your heart in two.
She was one of the crying ones.

"Who are you?" She asked him. "And howcum you gotta fraggin' gun?" She whispered.

Deadeye itched his eye again - Damn thing was getting worse.

"Lets just say an Old friend gave me a going-away present." He told her. "Anyone tried to escape?"

She shook her head.

"Nu-uh. Some men tried to go into the shift over there" She pointed "But one of those creepy metal octopus things came out and sliced him up. Then they took my mummy away..." She began to cry again, and for a moment Deadeye felt ashamed for causing that.

His eye itched again. He itched it.

"Oh oh..."

His left eye had gone offline.

It came on a few seconds later, his heart racing...

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