January 26, 2019 at 5:11 am #15414
“How about we just call the customer and ask him how he wants us to meet him. Maybe we can do this on the parking lot in a dark corner, or something.
And no, I’m not talking to them. I’d probably just insult them.”
Bobby knew his limitations in regard to patience, because – incidentally – they had been reached once more.January 29, 2019 at 1:39 am #15466
Mato checks the time and the traffic.
”We have time to get pizza if we want to hedge our bets,” he says. ”But I still think it’s silly.
“Bobby’s right. When we get closer, we can just ask them. Let’s not sit here debating the meaning of an emoticon like it’s some unknown Egyptian hirographic- hierogriphin- … those little picture thingies they used to write with. Damn, lay off my case!”
Mato folds his arms, annoyed that his soul doesn’t have enough space for the mnemonic enhancer that he really wanted, or – better yet – the cerebral enhancers. Maybe one day they’d figure out how to crowbar more chrome into his brain, but for now he’s stuck.
He tries to change the subject. ”Bobby, we need to get you various critter helmets you can wear so that you can stay in touch via DNI. What do you think? One for a bird, one for a dog, one for a gorilla. Any other favorites?”January 29, 2019 at 4:14 pm #15480
“Good idea. As soon as I have some cash that I don’t have to spend to protect my knee caps, I’ll go for one of those stylish trode patches. Much smaller and easier adapted to multiple forms.”
Bobby replied, thinking wistfully of his overdrawn account.January 29, 2019 at 9:36 pm #15494
“Sure, let’s get closer before contacting the buyer again. We should keep moving for now, and keep an eye out. Speaking of which, I’m going to start popping in and out of the astral. I apologize now for all the times I’m going to be waking up and asking ‘ Anything up?'”January 31, 2019 at 2:12 am #15511
As the team makes their way out of the traffic and toward the new Hilton they notice five bikers, a gang perhaps that make their way through traffic and close the distance. It may be a coincidence or paranoia but they try to position themselves to the sides of your car.January 31, 2019 at 1:14 pm #15521
Mato checks his six and sees five bikers.
”We have company,” he says, looking over to see if Jawsey is awake or off visiting astral strip clubs. ”Everyone stay sharp.
”If we get stuck, I could rabbit,” Mato says. ”I might not be able to outrun them in the open, but I could probably outmaneuver them in tight quarters, like traffic.”
He turns and looks to Bobby in the backseat. ”Or you could take it skyborn, but that’s last resort. This thing will talk to you, make you feel that it’s precious. I don’t know if that will be better or worse for you Awakened types, but it could dig into Bobby’s brain and convince him to fly to the Athabaskan Council, live out his days in a nest in a cedar tree somwhere.”January 31, 2019 at 1:32 pm #15523
While they had been crawling through heavy traffic, Jawsey had been happy to run quick astral jumps – flying his astral form out of the car, taking a look around, then returning before he lost track of which car was theirs. But when they’d finally started moving more quickly he’d chosen to stay in his body for a bit, apparently at the wrong time as bikers appeared.
“Well,” he thought, “at least I’ll know where our car is. Just find the bikers and drift left.” He told the others “I’ll check them out astrally.” then through his spirit sideways, away from the bikers. In case they were astrally aware and in any doubt of which car they were targeting, he initially stayed low while pacing the car, but then took advantage of a truck coming the other way to fly upwards, through the top of the truck and continuing a couple of dozen more meters before leveling off to pace the bikers. Then finally he took a good look at them from the astral.Spoiler:
January 31, 2019 at 2:41 pm #15526
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Beta.
“You think the mark has already made us? Damn that’s going to be ugly. I can probably transform most of them if necessary.
But for now I’d just keep going for the hotel. As soon as they start to get aggressive I’ll turn them the bikers into belugas.
Once we reach the hotel, there should be some kind of security around.”
Bobby kept his eyes pealed for an attack but otherwise stayed calm.January 31, 2019 at 5:18 pm #15538
@Jawsey: In the astral, it is clear that two spirits are following the card. they are very close to the car, and as you pop into the astral they dash toward you. (You can either pop out of astral or fight, but it is going to be difficult to assense them while they smack you, you do notice that one of the bikers is dual natured..).
@Rest: In meat space, the bikes do not imminently engage but maintain a close distance, and wait for the rest of the bikes to take a position. When the moment is right, their bikes start emitting heavy smoke which completely envelopes the car. The sound of automatic gunfire follows closely. Somebody is determined to get that card.February 1, 2019 at 9:15 am #15572
With only a moment to decide, Jawsey decided it was better to take on the spirits in the astral than in meatspace — they were short on magical combat potency and tougher spirits tended to laugh off all but the strongest mundane attacks.
Without bothering to figure out what the spirits were exactly, he charged at whichever felt vaguely more threatening, focusing his will on hitting as quickly and as deeply as he could.February 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm #15587
The gangers declare their intentions and Mato digs in to meet them. He wishes he were behind the wheel of the Hyundai Shin-Hyung instead of the Ford Americar, since the Shin-Hyung has much better handling, speed, and acceleration. The Americar is reliable and economical, but not fast or sexy. Being in road combat in one of the top-selling family sedans in North America feels like going into hand-to-hand combat armed with a spork: you can do it, and even be effective, but it’s not the most efficient approach.
”Not the paint, not the paint!” Mato finds himself yelling unconsciously at no one in particular. He’s strangely attached to the Americar; maybe its amenities remind him of what it’s like to feel rich instead of in-debt.
He reaches over to up-shift or down-shift or to do something wiz like you see in the trids, only to be reminded that he’s driving an automatic that’s the functional equivalent of a soft couch with wheels. After grabbing air for a second, he puts both hands on the wheel and shoots a mental command to the Americar to open up his window. The glass isn’t going to provide much defense in case the gangers start shooting, so he might as well move it out of the way. At least Jawsey is slumped over in his seat while he’s off astrally cavorting, which helps remove him from the line of fire.February 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm #15590
Mato’s driving comes true, and he manages not to panic and make an accident. His thermo vision kicks in, and he hits the gas pedal hard trying to lose the bikers, in their less than ideal growler dirt bikes. In the astral, Jawsei cuts one of the spirits in half disrupting it completely, while the other launches itself with the equivalent of a kick. He does not have time to look, but the spirit seems deathly like a phantom or wraith or something dark. Not the kind most traditions summon. Ginsburg yells “Shit shit shit… and lies on the floor” Jawsei can see Ginsburg’s spirit – a bit sluggishly coming to his aid. Perhaps the elder mage decided to be a bit liberal with the spirit’s task.
February 1, 2019 at 4:39 pm #15593
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Gilga.
Jawsey was feeling pretty pumped about one-shotting the first spirit, but with a mage and a spirit still in action he threw himself into a series of erratic astral tumbles to make himself harder to target. Despite all of that he feels a foul chill brush his essence as the second spirit just barely fails to pull apart his astral body.February 2, 2019 at 6:59 am #15612
Bobby growled angrily at the smoke. While the car was moving and his sight was that limited, there was very little he could do to help.
So he pulled energy into his ligaments to enhance his agility, opened his third eye and got his taser ready to fire at one of the bikes.
Of course he missed, with his first shot, having only a very limited field of fire available. It didn’t help that Mato was evading gunfire.
The space inside the car was to small for his more effective combat forms and getting out would require multiple transformations for which he didn’t have time.
“Can you get us out of the smoke? I need to see those guys with my own eyes to transform them – especially since they have a mage who could counterspell me.”February 2, 2019 at 8:26 am #15615
Jawsey saw another spirit join the battle and jinked aside, then realized it was attacking a dual-natured metahuman biker. “The mage was dumb enough to ride a bike into combat while dual natured?” Surprised though he was, Jawsey didn’t waste the opportunity and he ignored the second spirit, exerted his will through his weapon focus, and slashed at the biker, aiming to gut his spirit and not just stun it. Leaving around an enemy who knew their car didn’t seem wise.February 2, 2019 at 2:33 pm #15625
Jawsey’s sword can slashes through the bike leader, finishing it off. In meat space, the bike crashes as the limp body of the mage is unable to pilot it. The remaining spirit strikes back in desperation. The bikers disengage having lost their leader, they speed up and attempt to flee the scene using their slightly higher speed.February 3, 2019 at 1:05 am #15639
Mato swings the steering wheel back and forth wildly, slamming on the brakes and the accelerator in quick succession. Explosive ammo peppers the roadway, concrete, and surrounding terrain, but largely miss the Americar. Jawsey and Ginsburg limply flop around while Bobby misses a shot as the vehicle careens wildly.
Mato desperately wants to stick his arm out the window and open fire with the cyber-SMG built into his arm, but he needs both hands on the wheel. He grits his teeth as three rounds skip off the hood before detonating, messing up the wax at the very least and maybe the underlying paint too. Mato growls and palms a throwing knife, swearing that he will throw it into the ganger’s throat just as soon as this damn window opens far enough.
And then it’s over. The lead ganger goes slack as if he’s been invisibly shanked, then flops over his handlebars. The bike and rider CRUNCH as they cartwheel over each other, promising a long traffic delay to all the cars behind them.
The remaining bikers peel off, taking their smoke with them. Mato casually rolls his window back up, checks his suit to see if it caught any stray rounds, then continues on the way to the hotel.
”Just another day in the Sprawl, neh, chummers?”February 3, 2019 at 6:53 am #15643
“If you mean by that, that our mark has made us and called reinforcements – or worse that the buyer just tried to double cross us – yes, just another day.
In any case that settles it – I’ll do overwatch from the skies as soon as Jawsey has called the buyer.”
Bobby replied.February 4, 2019 at 6:38 am #15654
As the bikes clear the way, and your adrenaline settles you nobody else interferes as you approach the hotel. Jawsey can recognize the spirits he fought as the ones lingering by the musicians earlier. He did not have time to analyze what he saw, but from retrospect, he deduces that the spirits he fought were not conjured by the biker leader. The leader’s aura was a bit unusual, and he may have been possessed. It is impossible to determine for sure without the peace of mind to carefully observe.
February 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm #15663
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Gilga.
After double-checking and triple-checking himself that he didn’t catch an explosive round in his good suit, Mato exhales. His cyberlimbs usually report when they’ve been hit, but sometimes their armor deflects so much of the blow that they don’t even bother. He’s been embarrassed in the past when showing up to a meet with a jacket that’s been sliced to ribbons, but he never noticed because the cuts just deflected off his carbon fiber and titanium limbs.
Mato pauses a bit away from the hotel. ”Let’s make the call. Once we have a meet, Bobby can get into position. Jawsey or Gins, maybe send a spirit with him, or provide astral cover yourself until Bobby’s in position. Let’s not leave him stranded just in case they’re still on our tail. Once we’re set, we’ll make the exchange.”
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