Reply To: IC

  • mercy

    August 25, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    >>I understand and will do that. Anything else you require?<<

    After arranging with her subordinates to keep up security for Fu Shing, Song Ai motions for the two men remaining in her security team to travel with her and leaves the casino, heading across the street to duck into an alley. She and her men thread their way through the narrow alleys and streets, walking past small shops aligned with the various Triads of Chinatown. Many of the people they pass shrink aside or avoid eye contact but some look on with poorly concealed glee. Ai remains silent as she walks, as do the two men with her, eventually making their way to one of the streets where most of the shops owe allegiance to Fu Shing………………..or had until Ving Sung’s men had started canvassing the area and strong-arming the residents and shopkeepers. Ai pauses as she stands at the exit from a narrow alley onto the street and looks left and right, finding what she is looking for in a small group of four of Ving Sung’s soldiers standing outside a small noodle shop.

    She turns to her men and cautions them to not harm any non-combatants then taps a spot on her arm, removing a small dart pistol from the compartment that opens up. Palming the pistol in her left hand, she looks her men in the eyes and nods. “Do either of you recognize any of those soldiers?”

    The two men look at the others closely from the alley and one nods. “They are soldiers that follow Lin Shan. He is an Ork that has sworn to Ving Sung. Very mean. He usually has another man, larger than those, with him, but I do not see either of them.”

    Ai frowns. “Perhaps he and Lin Shan are inside bargaining with the shopkeeper.”

    She thinks for a minute then nods her head. “Follow my lead but make sure of your targets if this turns into a fight. And stay well to my sides. I will chirp like a pigeon if I am going to attack.”

    As the men nod, Song Ai unspools her whip from her right hand and turns and walks into the street, heading for the group of soldiers outside the shop. One of the four notices her and nudges a companion as he calls out to someone in the shop. There is a crashing noise and a yelp from inside the building and a larger man appears in the doorway even as the other four turn to face Ai and her men and spread out a bit. As the fifth man steps from the door, there is another crash from inside the shop and a large Ork exits to join the others. He grins at Song Ai, his teeth yellowed and broken but his tusks look well cared for.

    He sneers with contempt at Ai. “So, the cheap whore does deign to put in an appearance. Wondered if you would show up. You here to officially hand over this street to Ving Sung?” His eyes flicker to Ai’s companions. “You two had better run home to your dog master. If you leave now, you can relay to him how you bravely tried to defend his whore but were outgunned and had to leave the fight.”

    Song Ai stops just out of knife range and her two men spread out a bit to either side, apparently ignoring the Ork’s threat and his offer. Ai looks at the six men in front of her and chuckles. “Lin Shan, you need all of these men to frighten some shopkeepers? That does not say much about how fearful you are on your own.”

    The Ork narrows his eyes and his reddens in anger. “Naw, these losers are here to pick up the scraps of anyone too stupid to pay up. Don’t need any of them to terrorize these sheep.”

    Ai looks around at the shop and the ones near it. “These people have already paid their taxes this week, Lin Shan.”

    The large Ork smiles and laughs. “Not to me and not to Ving Sung, they haven’t. Now they get to pay again. In money or daughters, the currency does not matter to me.”

    Lin Shan’s men snicker and make rude gestures, completely confident in their numbers, although one does keep his hand on his SMG. Song Ai makes a noise remarkably similar to that of a pigeon and acts. She raises her left hand and fires a dart into the neck of the man who appears to be Lin Shan’s deputy at the same time that she swishes her right hand forward, sending an almost invisible monofilament to wrap around the bulging upper arm of the Ork. A not so gentle tug on the whip causes it to slice completely through the skin, muscles, and bones of the Ork’s arm, dropping it to the ground in a gush of blood from a severed artery. The thug’s assistant briefly clutches his neck and drops as if poleaxed. Ai’s men had not been idle and their SMGs chatter out at two of the opposing thugs.

    One of the men is struck center mass and jerks backwards as the bullets find his heart and lungs, shredding them. The other man is slightly more lucky. He had been more alert and was able to escape most of the damage by diving for cover, although he has dropped his readied weapon in the process. One of the remaining men loses morale at the sight of the carnage and turns to run while the last man fires his SMG at Song Ai. At this range, it is difficult for even a man frightened out of his wits to miss and several rounds strike Ai in the torso, but the combination of implants and the armor woven into the material of her clothing absorbs most of the potential damage. Lin Shan’s eyes are already glassing over from shock and blood loss, but he roars as he steps forward to send a massive fist at Ai, which she easily dodges. In the next second her backswing with the whip cuts through one of the Ork’s legs, dropping him to the ground and her soldiers cut down the man who had shot Ai and the thug running away is brought down, although it appears he is still alive.

    Somehow, Lin Shan is still conscious as Ai steps up to him and wraps her whip about his neck and pulls. She motions for her men to determine the status of the opposition thugs as she kneels next to the unconscious chief subordinate and removes his head as well. Two of those shot are wounded so seriously that there is little chance of them surviving for long and Ai nods to her men who quickly finish them off, stilling the screaming. Ai turns to the last thug, who is cowering behind the cover he had crawled to. Kneeling next to him, she smells the odor that lets her know he has soiled himself in his fear. She reaches a hand up to swipe at some of the blood on her face and licks it from her fingers, an action that clearly has the effect she had wanted as the man wilts even farther. “So, what is your name?”

    The man has to wet his lips and try twice before he gets anything out, but that is just a croak. One of Ai’s soldiers looks carefully at the man and says, “This is Chang Luk, Song Ai.”

    Ai nods. “Well, Chang Luk, this is your lucky day. You get to live and carry a message back to Ving Sung. Can you do that for me?”

    The man nods, his eyes wide at the thought that he might survive. Song Ai, smiles at him. “I want you to tell him that Fu Shing is not gone yet and he is still responsible for the safety and protection of his clients. Let him know that thugs like Lin Shan and you coming here and harassing these people falls squarely under what we are supposed to protect them from. And we will protect them from slime like you. Fortunately for you, I need a messenger and since you are the only one still living, you get to be that messenger. You do know the quickest way back to Ving Sung, don’t you? Try not to delay or I might think that you are playing me. Now, please go.”

    The man nods and jumps to his feet, running down the street as if three dragons were chasing him. Ai chuckles and rises, slipping her pistol back into her arm and spooling her whip into her hand. A quick search later and Ai has a number of credsticks in her hands and no idea where they were taken from. She walks into the noodle shop to see an older man sweeping up some debris from the shelves and an older woman cowering in the back of the shop. The man stops sweeping and looks up as Song Ai enters and bows to him. “Fu Shing is sorry that you have suffered here today. There is little excuse for me not being here sooner and I hope that you can forgive my failing. I wish to return what was taken from you and Fu Shing will pay for all of your damaged goods and property.” She holds up the large number of credsticks and continues. “Please tell me what the late Lin Shan took and I will transfer it back to you. I will also arrange for someone to come remove the bodies on your street.”

    Song Ai has to repeat her instructions three times before the old man will believe her. She adds some money to pay for damages and asks to be able to wash up, after which she places a call back to the casino to have someone sent out to clean up the mess. After leaving the shop, she walks down the street, stopping at all of the places where Lin Shan had visited. She scrupulously avoids any of the shops protected by another Triad or even by other factions within the 88s. After an hour of this she is running a bit short of time and instructs her two men to continue her task and visit the rest of the shops, telling them to leave IOUs at the shops if they run out of money and passing on that the shopkeepers may redeem the IOUs at the casino, but recommending that they wait a couple of days.

    Song Ai watches her men go up the street then glides off down an alley, heading to the arch at the entrance to Chinatown and her meeting with John.