The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
Tyme4Cryme managed to get some breath back, now he was shielded from Impending doom by a few taller human bodies.
He started yelling to the nearest gold-suit he could see...
"Comrades! 20,000 of your Capitalist Nuyen if you protect until I finish gig! But be wary! My enemies are here, but hiding. It is as if they take cover under carpet, dog!"
"Oh man, not good! This is not good!"
Rusty got up, he jogged over to the prone Silvia, she had been struck by at least two bullets from the monochopper's chaingun. Once in the arm, not too bad. The real worry was her chest wound, the entry wound was clean though. That was a plus. The girl moaned, her eyes screwed shut in agony. Rusty's hands fumbled over her jacket, he wanted to tend to her wounds but he lacked proper medical experience and didn't feel comfortable removing her gold jacket, she was, after all, a teenage girl. Crystal, after collecting Jolly's pistols, parked herself beside Rusty. She saw that Rusty wasn't going to act effectively, pushed him to one side, and handed him a pistol. He understood.
"Yeah, I'll, umm, keep the blighters off yer back, mate."
Iceman, who had made his way over after Jolly had fallen, looked at Crystal and barked;
"You know what you are doing, girl?"
Crystal nodded but didn't take her eyes off Silvia. Iceman picked up Silvia's arm and caressed it softly. It would have been a touching scene if Iceman wasn't a perverted psychopath...
Rusty looked at Tyme and shrugged.
"Ya wanna pay us 20,000 Nuyen to keep your hide safe till the end of your gig, huh?
The rapping dwarf replied;
"Da, comrade. Keep mofos from crampin' my style and I give 20,000...each."
It was then that Boris, Petra and Natascha appeared. Boris pointed at Tyme and yelled in Russian, Petra silenced him with a wave and then spoke in broken english;
"We vant dwarf,Tyme4Cryme, you all are free to live but if you are trying to stop us you vill die."
Rusty, the closest to Tyme, looked at his newfound pistol and weighed up the odds. 20,000 Nuyen says I risk my neck. But I don't stand a chance against those three, what to do? He looked at Tyme, who was staring back at him, snarling. Tyme's Mac-10 looked menacing, Rusty suspected that if he surrendered to the Russians he'd cop a handful of lead in the back from the rapping dwarf as payback. Yet, not surrendering to the Russians was probably as lethal. Rusty couldn't decide.
Iceman put Silvia's arm down and stood up, he hadn't wanted to confront the Vory at this time but there was little choice.
"If we give you the dwarf will you leave us be to treat our wounded?"
The elf woman nodded.
"Da, we vant only traitor."
Iceman stepped over the prone Silvia and boomed;
"Then the choice is easy-"
He paused, and then his eyes narrowed. He saw something behind the Russians.
Jessica had quietly followed the Russian's as they had chased Tyme from the backstage ready room. She had acquired an SMG of sorts from a victim of Boris' massacre, the previous owner's blood still dripping from the barrel. She had kept her distance as they made their way to the VIP area, waiting and watching them as they conversed in rapid Russian. They had all frozen after Monochopper rounds had perforated the building. As they came to the VIP area they confronted the other runners, asking only for the rapper. Then Iceman had started bargaining with them.
"Then the choice is easy-"
He spotted Hayes, his eyes narrowed as he coldly calculated the possibilities implied by Jessica's presence behind the Russians. Iceman grinned broadly. A surprise, but certainly not unwelcome. Perfect. Iceman knew now that the three Russian mobsters couldn't be allowed to return having seen his face, he addressed them in a patronising voice;
"If you were to look behind you right now you would notice one of my agents weilding a high powered weapon. Notice that in front of you are myself, my men and Tyme, all of whom are armed. You shall not be taking the traitor, Tyme, back to whatever hellhole you reside in. In fact, getting out alive is all you can hope for."
Iceman paused, letting his statement sink in and be digested. One of the Russian women looked behind her to confirm Hayes' presence and spoke quickly and quietly to the others. Iceman laughed and spoke again;
"In fact, I am thinking you can't even hope for leaving this room alive!"
"You should not speak so soon, comrade." Said Natascha, twisting her powder-pale face into a cruel smile. "Not while our friend up there holds everyone in this building to ransom. Sill, hehe, I think we match for you in combat easily."
She meant the monochopper, of course, still to be heard faintly, though it had stopped shooting.
Just then, Iceman came up with a masterstroke of an idea.
"This Dwarf offers us 20,000 Nuyen for his safe return. Better that, and you've got a deal."
This caused some debate among the Russians.
"We would have to consult our... Others." Petra spoke, not being entirely encouraged by the grin on Iceman's face that resulted.
"Naturally. We will hold The Traito, um, 'Tyme4Cryme' until that time. And to keep our side of the bargain, we would offer you... A hostage."
At that, a wave of the hand indicating Tundra.
More discussion, before Petra spoke.
"Deal. ve take Ork bitch and make telecall. You stay here and do not leave building. Any unlawful move, Ork dies. Agree?"
"Yes." Iceman spoke, not giving anyone else a chance.
"Leave. Now. And take Troll and dead idiot with you."
He gave his Runners a steel glare, with his massive arms up to try and block any move they may make.
The two women dragged Tundra and Jolly outside, with Boris covering them. They left the corpse of the other man there, but no-one minded.
When they were gone, Jessica was furious.
"What the frag do you-"
"FUCK THE HELL UP!" Iceman screamed, almost knocking her over by the sheer aggression in his voice. "CAN'T YOU SEE VE HAVE WOUNDED HERE?"
He knelt down by Silvia's side.
"How's she doing?" He almost whimpered.
"Hard to tell mate." Rusty was firced to say. "She's writhing and thrashing about. Weird, teenage girls are normally catatonic from shock by now."
A slam from the doors behind them.
"Frag! Tyme4Cryme! He's bolted out to the stage!"
Crystal took off after him, also smashing through the main doors to the concert hall.
Chance was just on the other side, looking very worse for wear. He must have lain low during the shootout, because he was uninjured, and there were dead and dying rap fans littered all over the place.
"Crystal! What the frag is going on, I've just seen-"
Before he could finish, everyone winced as the music kicked up again.
The Dwarf had scrambled up to the stage. None of his posse were with him (presumbaly the Hitmen had killed them backstage). But there was someone with him, who resembled a blood-covered mountain of Gold.
Tank, looking bemused yet happy on the stage, as the thousands of fans who had jst been shooting eachother suddenly became interested in the music again.
"Yo yo, brovas and bitches come and geddit, da? Da TYME is BACK! Dey try kill him, but NO! He still here! And he need your SUPPORT, NOW!"
Then he broke into an ad-lib version of 'Death to Comrade wiv da 9mm', his fans rushing to his side.
Great, Crystal thought. Could things get any more complicated? Maybe we should just run for any surviving tourbuses...
"THEY WANNA MAKE TYME PAY FOR HIS CRYME!
THEY CAN GO **** **** ****** AND THEN **** ****!
DEATH TO THE COMRADE!
DEATH TO THE COMRADE!
DEATH TO THE COMRADE WIV DA 9MM!"
He was whipping his fans into a bloodlust, Tyme knew that the Russian mobsters couldn't hold up to the hundreds of fans Tyme had at his beck and call. The monochopper hovered overhead as it observed the proceedings. The pilot could see Tyme4Cryme but didn't have any way to capture him...
Rusty told Chance what had transpired;
"You see those three as they left, the two elves and dwarf? They tried to pull a number on Tyme4Cryme, kidnap him, ya know? But we had the advantage so Iceman cut a deal with em, if they pay each of us 20,000 or more nuyen then they can have the dwarf. They took one of us as security when they left to check with their superiors. So, soon as they leave Tyme scarpers and makes for the stage. Crystal's after him but it seems like he's gonna rally his fans for protection. This is one fragged up operation, mate. FUBAR, SNAFU, you name it."
Chance, once a professional soldier, didn't like the idea of abandoning his charge, Tyme, for nuyen. Yet, he had taken his fair share of thumpings from fans and didn't openly object to the trade off. By now Ash had made her way back from her own duties, she looked as tired as Chance did.
Iceman, after Crystal had taken off after Tyme, started to tend to Silvia. The poor girl continued to convulse, she was certainly a lot stronger than the average teenager but that just meant more suffering for her.
"Why has that thing stopped?" Behemoth asked, pointing at the flying machine that was still circling the stadium.
"Dunno... but if we want to succeed... we need a way to neutralize that risk."
Behemoth scratched his temple.
"But how--" He stopped. He had just seen tank.
"The only bouncer left? him!?" He boomed out. Luckily Tank would be too busy to pay attention to Behemothīs bulk.
"Hmm... Maybe the others went inside the backstage."Alexeiv rubbed his scar, now hidden behind a mask. Without saying it twice, Alex climbed up the human carpet of heads, and with an agility that hadnīt used since he was a grownut, he stepped swiftly and quickly...like all Ninjas. The crowd didnīt even mind.
"Hmph!... Heīs just like her." Shouted finally Behemoth, staying on the crowd, thinking what to do... "A way to take that chopper down... Easy to tell... but actually, is hard to do..."
He was merely 50 m away from the Stage... He could see Tank knocking Alexeiv to the ground. An easy mistake.
"Frag Tank!, itīs me!" the Rusky Ninja shouted...while he was picking and putting the katana back in its case. It had dropped due to the hit.
Crystal pushed her way through Tyme's battered and bleeding fans, She was better armed then them and clearly wasn't to be trifled with. Chance and Rusty were also at least a foot taller than any of the fans, too.
A shadowy figure running over her heads just in front of her failed to arouse her attention.
She hopped up onto the stage, with the other two. Plugin and Alanya were cowering in the corner, but jumped for joy when they saw their compatriots.
Tyme was too surrounded by his fans to be reached easily.
Where was Tank?
Crystal spotted him, beating up a black-clad weirdo.
She did a double-take.
Alexeiv. What was the weirdo playing at?
Crystal tapped Chance on the shoulder, pointed to Tank, then Tyme4Cryme.
"What the frag is he doing?" Jessica asked herself.
Iceman crouched over Silvia, emmiting weird noises she realised after a while were words. He was speaking in a low, sorrowful voice, almost animal-like.
"Silvia... Silvia, wake up, please... just do this for me... Please..?" Iceman really did feel for her. He wasn't sure what he felt, having never felt it before. He just sudden;y felt guilt, for the first time in his life, for her being injured.
Guilt even more now, because he wanted her to do something...
Her eyes shot open. She became suddenly attentive.
Crystal, Tank, Alex and Chance waded into the crowd with poles ripped off the barriers and mike stands, cutting a swathe and sending even the most ardent fans. They weren't in the mood for mass murder, so for now Alex slung his Katana.
It was too much for even the most ardent fans.
Only Tyme was left standing, brandishing his Mac-10, though he was shaking like a leaf.
"Bozhemoi! I KILL all you mofos. Blood of you will stain Carpet of YO MOMMA!"
The former guards waded in...
Iceman summoned the Russians back in.
There was a corpse on the floor. A Dwarf. He was dead, surely dead. Iceman had just fired into him several times to make sure.
"He's dead." Natascha said, very aggravatedly. "We wanted traitor alive."
"Take him or leave him."
In the end, after much shouting and screaming in High Russian, they did take him. But they only agreed to pay half 10,000 Nuyen. In total.
They also brought Tundra back, even though Iceman didn't seem too bothered to negotiate for her back.
"I wonder how long it'll be before they realise that that was the Chopper pilot, just maksed by Silvia's Illusion spell?"
"Frag knows, mate" Shrugged Rusty. "Hopefully enough time to grab Tyme and the others, grab a Ute and run like a frikkin' flaming frag out of here!" Was Rusty's helpful suggestion.
Tundra opened her eyes, it was the first time for awhile. The dim light wasn't blinding, but it was a shock to her system. She thanked Chance, who had cut the masking tape free from her eyes. he had been quite gentle, and she appriciated it. She smiled at Iceman, had she had a drink in her hand, she would have raised it to him. He gave her quite a stoney look and turned away. She checked the people in the hall. Somebody was missing.
"The Ork!" She yelled. "Where is the Ork, the one in the coat." She gave Iceman another look, this one wasn't smug. "What the frag did you do to him you evil bastard? Tried to silence him as well?"
"I thought the fragger was dead. Guess he's still on the stairs."
"I'll belive it when I see it." Tundra said, making for the stairs to the roof.
It wasn't long before she found Choak, He had been moved since Tundra last saw him. He was leant against a wall, Jolly had obviously not been very observant when walking down the stairs, but then he was quite a dense Troll. Even if Choak was quite a large Ork by any standard, and the now dead piolet probably kept his mouth shut.
"Are you ok, my dear?" Tundra asked, getting on her knees to face the Ork.
"Better" He replied.
"We must go, Are you ready to be moved?"
"I'm afraid somebody has already taken the pleasure..." He tried to climb to his feet, Tundra went to catch him, but a much larger hand got to him first. It was blue with pale yellow nails on it, a Troll hand.
"Erm... 'ello. Ah thought dat maybe ah kould 'elp?" Sai the Troll had had come from futher down the stiars, Tundra hadn't seen him. But he recognised the voice. Jolly must have picked up on her look. "Ah didn't try ta kill anyun! Ah woz jus' doin' as ah woz told! Ah kane 'elp... really ah kan!"
It was unnatural for a Troll, he seemed afraid. Tundra didn't expect that he was scared of her, maybe of something else. But whatever it was, Tundra didn't have time for this.
"Fine, fine. Whatever. Now, my dear, maybe I can help you if you help me with this man." She thought about Smiling, but that would be far too personal. "Do we have a deal?"
Silvia smiled faintly. "I might be half dead, but my magic isn't."
"Frag, girl... don't exhaust yerself!" Rusty said. He came closer towards her.
"Mmh. Iceman gave me a painkiller. And talking doesn't hurt... much."
"So... how long do we have?"
"Dead matter... doesn't have magical resistance. Makes it last longer."
Silvia squeezed her eyes shut as the pain shot through her body again. After a while, she continued.
"I'd say... up to four hours. Can't be sure though... wasn't exactly able to concentrate on the spell."
"Four hours... that ain't really much." Rusty said to Iceman, frowning.
"I think I like Wonderland better than this." Silvia said, with a pseudo-sad smile. "Anybody got some more pain killers?"
Alanya rushed over to Iceman. She looked really pissed off. "Wot da frag was all dat?!"
"What?" Iceman replied coldly. Silvia was amazed at the contrast. Iceman was suddenly his usual killer machine self once again.
"Look dude, if ya pull a stunt lahk dat again ah quit!"
"That would be breach of contract. You know what that means." Iceman said in a cold, threathening tone.
"Look, pal. Ah woz payed ta be a decker 'ere, no? So if ah get killed on diz run, OK. But at least ah wanna die with a plug in mah head insteada bein' trampled on some mad rapper gig."
Alanya brusquely turned around and walked away.
"She does have a point." Silvia said weakly.
Iceman looked at Silvia, then at the direction in which Alanya disappeared. He frowned, and look back at Silvia.
Behemoth had vanished once again in the shadows. If he could think such a way to take down the chopper, Alex would also had the idea.
"G'Luck Duke." He said, while heading for the nearest exit, unadvertised.
If minds were world, then Icemanīs one was having a World War. Long ago, he assumed he had no emotions, nor more than enjoy killing and mistreating people... But that damn girl... had messed up his mind pretty bad... He HAD compassion for her. His former, iron forged, personality was vanishing, slowly splitting in two factions. A daemon... and a man.
But wich one was the true Iceman? daemon? man? both? none? Crap. He wished he had learned how to avoid these things in the spetnaz training.
"Mind on the earth, and finger on the trigger, Iceman." He said mentally to himself.
Alex once again, putted out the katana back in the case, with an snapping sound, and still seizing it, for a quickly deploy if the need arose.
"Konnichiwa, Tovarich" said, smiling to Tyme.
They all moved from the Stadium as soon as possible. Minutes later, the whole area was swarming with FDCPD SWAT teams, COL LightStormers and a few Church of Light inquisitors to oversee the investigation, but the scene was nothing uncommon for a rap gig for it's size. Pretty soon, the whole incident was chalked up to 'random gang violence'. Somewhere, bookkeepers slashed the odds on whether Tyme4Cryme turned up safe and well.
"Another day, another million dollars" Chuckled the police pathologists and the men from Resyk Inc, after they'd finished their friendly 'get to the bodies after the other guys' contest. They could chuckle. They were getting overtime pay for this.
Shining with Mother Church's Illuminating Knowledge For a whole 3 months and counting!
Cut to Cindy Chambers-Kong, in studio
"Welcome, light-seekers. Our top story this hour:"
Canadian seperatists perpetuate new outrage.
Cut to scenes of a peaceful flag-burning, lightbulb-smashing protest, and a gathering of Canadian soldiers
"Rogue leader Terence Andrew Gibbons has been implicated in the outrage that took place in the errant city of Regina this morning. It is reported that 10,000 lightbulbs were smashed on a burning UCAS flag, while non-believers shouted ati-church, anti-UCAS slogans. Unconfirmed reports also suggest that several pink fluffy bunny rabbist were run over and hurt by their getaway vehicle. Church Officials have begun a vigil of destruction for the souls of these infidels. Who are most likely all child abusers."
"In other News:"
Cut to the broken two-finger alute of the Transys Arcology's stumps, with an inset picture of a moon-faced delicate teenage girl
"MUNDI Law-enforcement agents have reportedly tracked down the missing daughter of Cyber dick magnate Mervyn Bartlett to the Transys Arcology disaster zone, Scotsprawl.."
Off camer interruption
(To producer) "Yes, I did say Cyber Disk. What do you ... Oh..."
Cut to aerial view of the George W Bush memorial stadium, FDC
"*Ahem*. Finally, notorious rapper Tyme4Cryme is missing, presumed dead after random gang violence at the sell-out first gig of his North America tour. His record label 'DeadMofoRecords' has gone bust after having to cancel every gig on the tour."
Cut to shot of Tank, on stage - He's taken the mike and is freestyling, after Crystal and co take Tyme away. The crowd are captivated
"But representatives of Grexon Amalgameted Media Operations are keen to speak with this as-yet unnamed individual, possibly in-lieu to a profitable, exploitative and short-lived record contract."
Cut back to Cindy
"And thats all we have for this update. Be safe, friends of light, and may Holy Illumination guide your every step."
Driving all through the night, the 'Runners pulled into an area of urban wasteland where there was an abandoned warehouse large enough to shelter the one surviving tourbus in which they were sleeping, completely tired out.
Sasha had appeared, with the bus, when the going was looking really bad. She must have stepped out of their own Tourbus when it had been strafed, which was lucky for her. But the 'runners had lost allt heir gear, including the guns and equipment they needed for the job.
Tyme4Cryme had come with them, having nowhere else to really go. He didn't trust the 'runners a bit. All his friends, his Ork 'bruvvas' had gone missing presumed dead, and any minute now he expected Russian hitmen to come back and disembowel him with a chainsaw - Unless his 'saviours' didn't do that first.
Being pragmatic, he spent his time in the journey in the pool at the top-rear of the massive vehicle, getting drunk and feeling lonely.
During the night, they nursed the wounded as best they could, without a designated medic. The 'runners who'd been serving guard duty had any number of cuts and bruises too, and all needed showers. Luckily the Bus was fully-equipped in that matter.
Silvia was resting, Tundra was feeling terribly stressed. No-one knew what to do with Choak. The guy wasn't terribly talkative, and smell of burning got on everyone's nerves.
Dawn broke. No-one came anywhere near the bus: Sasha maust have known enough to fool the RoadSat transponders thast gave every vehicle an easily-tracable presence on the road networks.
Iceman barged thrugh into the sleeping area, where people were nursing burised limbs and sore heads.
"Okay you lugs. We're 10 minutes walk from FDC, city of light or some fragging crap. Ya got 24 hours to do whatever the frag ya want. Just make sure you get back here before then. We got a job to do. Remember, anyone bugs out, you'll wake up dead, with your eyeballs getting a good view of ya colon."
He turned to Sasha.
"Maybe I should stay behind and look after that Tundra bitch. I not trusting her."
"I'm going to get that money Tyme owes us. We need that for guns for tonight."
"Sounds good." Iceman had to agree.
Jolly shuffled out, sheepishly.
"WHO THE FRAG ARE YOU?" Roared the boss. He had only just noticed the big Troll, previously being too preoccupied with Silvia and Tundra.
"FRAG!" He snarled. "WE GOT ONE OF THEM RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSE!"
He whipped out the Spetznatz spade he'd almost killed Jolly with.
"This time I won't use half measures, TROGG!"
"Calm yourself Dear." Said Tundra, obviously hearing the comotion that the Troll was causing and taking a few guesses. "He is with me."
"With YOU?" Growled Iceman. "You dare bring the very people we're trying to outrun on the bus!"
"Relax, Dear." Said Tundra, still quite calm under the circumstances. "I merely thought he was very useful and is willing to do what we ask."
"I don't care what...." Iceman began, but Tundra cut him off.
"If we want to talk about traitor's on this bus, I'm sure we can sort it out in a... civilised manner." She said with hidden threat, She had hold over Iceman, whether it was enough she did not know. "Besides, You would not leave him to death would you?"
"She does have a point, But I think we should question the Troll first." Shasa cut in. "And I do mean question Iceman. Nothing more."
"Very good." Beamed Tundra. "Now, I also over heard you do not trust me. Well, If this is the case. May I ask that somebody with a less... Biased opinion of me stay behind?"
"it can be arranged." Stated Sasha.
"WHAT?" Roared Iceman.
"I am looking out for all parties here, Iceman. Besides, it would do you good to get some fresh air. Get back to reality prehaps." She turned to Jolly. "As for you, I suggest that you are locked up for futher questiong for the time being. We shall deal with out later. Any objections?"
"No..." Growled Iceman. "But this is a warning to both of you, any trouble and I'll skin and gut you both!" He glared at Tundra, then grabbed the Troll harshly by the arm. "Come on, I don't want to endure your stench for any longer then I have too!"
"Thank yoo..." Jolly said as he was hauled away. "Both of ya!"
Alexeiv stared at the crowd with an unseen serenity. He was cleaning and sharpening the sword. Softly. He even wore the ninja attire.
As soon as Iceman went mad about Tundraīs "insubordination" he stretched his legs, and got up with a jump.
He stood in front of then now rageous Iceman, and spoke.
"Congrats Iceman, you are no longer a drill sergeant. However, if you need a lesson or two to handle people, count with me. I will handle them either if you are not capable of doing it, or if you ask me."
He friendly patted the huge shoulder of the Spetnaz.
"Still, I think i also need a break. I think iīm gonna take a well earned drink"
Iceman stared at him. Alexeiv. How could that guy could be a colonel?
"Hmm... you know what are you doing, Alexeiv. Piss me off and..."
"Yeah yeah i know. You will make me suffer so much than a terrorist gunfire would be a massage in comparison. Just relax a bit. No one is calling a war council upon us."
He procceed to pick up the katana and several things before leaving.
Things had gone down really fast for Rei Daisuke. Attracted by a job offer to Washington, just to found out it was already taken. Plus, she had to sell her guitar. And even her male disguise. It wasnīt something she could afford. However, even the shit touches bottom. She had enough luck to grab a job as barmaid. The bar was dark, filthy and filled with street scum and runners. It was a luck that she could bring the katana with her, even more now that her dress was so scarce to leave no room for imagination... and to make her become blank of perverts.
"Sigh. I think itīs my fate or something."
She sighed, staring at the panorama. The really small space reserved for tables and chairs, was empty. There were no customers. And that meant no tip.
"skuze me." Alanya said to Iceman. "Ah'm gonna pick up mah equipment in da city. But Johnson promised me dey'd get mah experimental drone 'ere for me. Ya got any way of contactin' dem?"
"They're coming." Iceman replied.
"Soon?" Alanya asked?
Alanya clicked open her wristphone, and pressed the small buttons with her fingernails.
The words *Connection secured* and *Tracing distortion active* appeared on the screen. Not that anyone would be tracing her own wristphone, but she didn't take any risks.
An image appeared on the screen.
"Yeah? Who is this?"
"It's me, Dina. Good ta see ya again, Wirecat. Did ya get 'ere?"
"Got here OK, rented a small appartment for a few days. Put on the fraggin' screen will ya?"
"Sorry. Can't do dat. Dere's a safety risk. I'm..."
"Heh. Whatever. I got your deck here. I'll transmit the address."
The address 106 Ornabary Street appeared on Alanya's wristphone, together with the GPS coordinates.
"Ya picked one helluva nice neighborhood, kitty."
"Meh. Ain't that bad. Haven't had to knock anyone out with yer deck yet."
"Heh. You'd better not. Ah'll be dere ASAP."
"OK. Are there any other people I know with you?"
"Some ov da friends we made in Scotland."
"Hm. Tell them I said hello."
She closed the wristphone, and walked away, into the city.
Crystal walked into the city, watching the vagrants and mudlarks that abandoned ths run-down industrial district of the city. Like an old cancerous growth, the area was a blot on the city, a cyst on an otherwise prosperpus area, but an easy hiding place where it seemed the rent-a-cops couldn't be bothered to go.
She hadn't told anyone where she was going, as was her way, but she did stay with Chance, Ash and Rusty, those she truted most. Chance and Ash were old comrades. Rusty seemed okay, from the other night.
Walking a little further, she affixed her rebreather. The air here was as bad as in any other city. Actually, worse: the UCAS, like the old US, was notoriously bad for air pollution. They even still used some petrol-driven cars here.
Trudging past two old Orks in Heavy overcoats, with hats with flaps to cover their ears, there came the reports of a burst of autocannon fire from the distance, followed by the dull crump of far-away explosions/
"Dem dam guns top 'o da White House again." One said.
"Yerr. Da fraggerz is jumpy dese days. Dey shoot at any fing dat comz neer."
Crystal walked into the first bar she saw. Some Japanese place, she didn't quite catch the name.
A pretty young Japanese girl waited patiently for her order. She ordered beer.
On the other side of the street, Shadow felt like he was seeing ghosts. Chance, Crystal, Ash he recognised, not the other guy, who was chatting away with a loud Australian accent.
Ever since being freed from that hellish Britsprawl torture chamber (they'd eventually tiring of the merciless punishment, and found him innocent. He still shivered whenever he saw a kettle) Shadow's life had taken ups and downs.
Now he was back in the UCAS, and back on the market for work.
And some old friends had appeared...
He entered the bar, walked casually over to them, his face impassive.
"Well well, long time no see." He said to Crystal.
She turned to him, eyes widened with recognition.
Shadow waited for her to speak, but she didn;t. He wondred why. Then he saw the jagged scar on her throat, which explained why.
"Shadow..." Chance mouthed. "What are you doing here?" He asked, sternly.
"Probably the same as you. Keeping my head down, while conversely looking for work."
Polluted Wastelands. A brief description for a man of few words. Alex continued walking along what had been a prosperous city in the past, now turned in a muddy Junkyard. He accelerated when he grew tired of the landscape. Although the coat was pressing the katana against his shoulder in a uncomfortable way, he didnīt mind.
He suddenly stopped.
"Dead Ronin (Cyber)" He readed the Japanese style bar neon Light. He then faced the entrance (and only exit) of the bar.
"Hmm... dunno... I would like to taste crappy sake once again." He said to himself, while entering. He didnīt noticed the other people in the bar until his coat was taken off.
There were Rusty, Crystal, Ash and Chance. Three Ex-soldiers and ... a runner. There was anothe person, who disturbingly stared at him, eyes widened. The barmaid did it too.
Rei was so shocked she almost dropped the beverages she was carrying.
A ninja. A Black Dragon ninja. Here. That was really unexpected, and definitely welcome. She rushed to serve the beverages, and to face the person...
But he was talking with other person, already. The other man was yelling at the ninja, and was really upset.
Alex didnīt know what the hell was that, when the stranger started to yell and quarrel with him about some things happened in London. He had not been in London... But Wolf were. So, he finally understood. They guy had mistaken him for his cousin.
Silvia never thought the worst part about being shot was boredom. The wounds still hurt, yeah, but after a few hours that wasn't so bad. The fact that pretty much everyone was gone, and she couldn't move without hurting was a lot worse. She was bored. REALLY bored.
She considered trying to heal herself.
"Meh. I'll need a lot more pain killers before I try that..."
She looked around in the room, but there was little she could do. At times like that she really wished she had her mom's telekinetic powers instead of that slegging mind sucker of hers.
So... what else can I do? Oh right. Magic.
A mischievous grin appeared on Silvia's face.
Let's see if there's still anyone around...
"Amenora Sumini Kurokate."
A flash of light appeared in her eyes, and shot forward. And there it was... approximately a meter away from her.
Silvia #1 smiled.
Oh, this is gonna be fun.
With a single thought of Silvia, the illusion ran through the open door, out of the bus. Silvia didn't care she wasn't able to actually see the illusion... All she wanted it to do was run a few blocks around in the warehouse.
Let's hope anyone's actually still there...
The neighborhood where Wirecat had hired an appartment was indeed 'not that bad'. It was a punk neighborhood, but not too violent.
With all the weird cosmetic implant freaks and extravagant hair styles around this place, Alanya could see why Wirecat chose the place. He would blend in without anyone noticing.
Smart kitty... did his research. Now, let's find that place...
Rusty snatched his drink from the barmaid, she seemed to be preoccupied by Alexiev. Shadow, the mysterious guy who knew Ash, Chance and Crystal, was giving Alexiev a verbal bashing and calling him Wolf for some reason. Rusty stood up, walked over to Alexiev and turned to face Shadow;
"Listen mate, this here is my buddy, Alexiev. You got a problem with him, you got a problem with me, right?"
Shadow paused, Alexiev? He replied;
"Since when did you start calling yourself Alexiev?"
Chance put a hand on Shadow's shoulder;
"He's right you know, Wolf was in Transys with the rest of us."
Crystal winced, she didn't like to be reminded of her old friend gone bad. Chance continued;
"Wolf....changed....in Transys, you'd barely recognise him now. This here is Alexiev and certainly not who you think he is. Let's leave it at that."
Rusty wrapped a hand around Alexiev, who tensed in reflex, and guided him to the bar and ordered a drink for him.
"Vodka right? I remember, how could I forget?!"
With that the Australian laughed loudly and took a gulp from his beer.
Jessica Hayes was in a dance club, trying to fit in...unsuccessfully. She was looking for a way to unwind after the debacle that was Tyme's concert and the cramped bus ride out of there. She stood at the bar watching the wild uninhibited dancing of the people on the dancefloor. It was so barbaric, distasteful, and so completely overtly sexual. She blushed, while it was all uncivilised there was a certain exciting aspect to it all. A young man, who had been eyeing her all evening, started to make his way around the bar to Jessica. She could see, even from that distance, that he was planning to hit on her, possibly even use a terrible pick up line. That cheeky grin, overly exaggerated swagger, it all smelt of sleaze....
But sleaze was what Jessica Hayes wanted tonight.
"Hey baby. Your dad must have been a centaur and your mom an elven babe. Cause you look good and smell good and are probably comfortable on all fours!"
Jessica refrained from wincing, that was an awful pick up line! However, there was the matter of an itch needing scratching. She stirred her drink with a delicate swirl and coyly looked at the boy;
"Maybe I am, only one way to find out cowboy..."
Raven's blindfold was yanked off as his Ork captor pushed him onto his knees, he looked up and saw a pair of dark blurs, one larger than the others. One of the blurs spoke;
"So, we have a visitor. Tell me traveller, why were you scrounging about in the mud and in such awful weather too?"
Raven recognised the voice, as well as the powerful musk that assailed his nostrils. Mawrose Delori. The centaur gripped Raven's chin and tilted his face up in order to get a better look.
"Ahh yes. Fardel's apprentice. We never found your corpse after the slave revolts. I guess this explains why!"
The centuar chuckled before continuing;
"You've certainly changed since last we met. Seems the comet got to you. What's life like as one us metahumans?"
Mawrose Delori laughed again, he was enjoying this.
He said abruptly.
"You came here for a reason, what is it?"
Raven knew it was his time to shine, he choose his words carefully;
"Well, as I understand it, you lost a significant portion of your slaves after the revolt. Most if not all if I'm right. Surely you are in need of more? I can help you."
Mawrose digested the words slowly, he replied after a moments thought;
"Maybe I do need more slaves. If perchance I do, what does the apprentice of the late Fardel North ask in return?"
Raven didn't reply straight away, he didn't want to seem overly eager;
"Well....as Fardel's protege I think that I deserve his estate. There was this particular, unique item I've got in mind. A pistol, gold plated, silencer, laser sight, the works, ya know? Surely the refined and tasteful Delori has come across it and, in his good taste, held on to it? I should think I want that pistol. Of course, you would get more than its worth in return. The last I knew, Fardel had died with an iron grip on it."
Raven had taken the weapon from Fardel's dead body but had lost it subsequently, he didn't feel, however, that Mawrose needed to know that.
Mawrose, knowing of the weapon, had scoured the underground complex in the aftemath of the revolt looking for the pistol, along with anything else he could scavenge in order to rebuild his empire. Mawrose never found the weapon but that didn't stop him from playing along;
"I may have seen it, it was an extraordinary treasure, there can be no doubt of that. I can get it for you but that will take time, meanwhile, tell me about what you intend to pay for it with?"
Tundra had no place in Bars or clubs, so she had just wondered around the city. Not like it was a good place to do so, nor was it a plesant experiance. And she was unsure she'd find anything to do, providing there was anything to do. Well, maybe reflect. But there are things that had just happened that she didn't want to reflect on... ever. So, she'd eventually given up and was heading back to the bus.
She didn't want to make it known, or show it at all. But Iceman scared her. He scared the frag out of her. She'd actually been considering making a run for it now then go back on that bus, until she'd had a pride override. What would running show after all? That she was a coward? A traitor? Somebody who runs at the slightest discomfort? No. She'd faced worse then Iceman, he wouldn't topple her.
There was also another matter she'd been kicking herself over. The Ork. Or, as she'd recently found out, Choak. She'd actually cared what had happened to him, actually cared if he'd been left behind or not. She'd actually cared from the well being of a complete stranger, and that wasn't right. At least, not for her.
"Going soft in my old age." She muttered as she walked though the door, the fact that it was open was strange. But she soon found out what could have been the cause of the problem. The injured girl was performing some kind of spell or another, Tundra left her to it. Nothing to say to the little brat anyway.
She walked into the next sextion of the Bus and found Choak. He seemed to have recovered from whatever spell he had used, as Tundra had thought it was just exhustion. He'd managed to find himself some clothes, much to Tundra's relief. She didn't want to have to go though that while he was concious. She sat herself down in silence. She didn't know what to say really, and thought she'd only make a fool of herself if she did say anthing.
"Thank you." Choak said after a moments silence.
"If your refering to my intervention at the Concert Hall, Dear. Then you are very welcome." She said to him. "But don't ever expect that kind of help again."
"I hope I won't need it." He said, sitting down opposite her. "Not going out to see the delights of the City with the others?"
"Cheap bars, sleaze ridden clubs and drunks on the street pestering you for all kinds of things I am not prepared to give, My Dear I think you should be asking the others why they ARE out there."
"Quite an interesting view you have there." Choak smiled. "Name's Choak."
"So I have heard. I am Tundra." She shook the Ork's hand. "Pleasure to work with you, my dear."
"To be sincere, I understand the misunderstanding. Wolf and I were close family. He was my cousin" Alexeiv said, coldly. Calmly. Without giving any clue of his true emotions. The way he was told to do.
The barmaid gave him a closer look. She then began to speak.
"Darkwind... You are one of them. Yes... you..."
Alex was caught off guard. He reacted to the name. For a moment, he let out his emotions. He drew the katana, facing the barmaid.
He was not the only one. The barmaid also swung a katana, facing him.
Alex then realised.The exquisite carving of the katana tipped him off. "Daisuke... Hmm... You must be the young Rei. Time passes, eh?"
They both putted back their katanas, smiling at eachother.
The barmaid replied.
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