Dateline: September 23, 2050, 17:45
The sun begins to settle down behind the shimmering glass and steel towers as Night City once more embraces its namesake. The aftermath of the explosion at the hospital threw everything into chaos; it was lucky that the Edgerunners made it out alive and free. Now, they are grouped at Candy’s hideout and a debate rages between the team members. Should the team brave the plauge-infested streets of Cargotown in order to rescue a girl who may not even be alive and – perhaps more importantly for this group – who may not be able to afford their rescue fee? Or should the team call it a bust, throw down their cards now that their paymaster is dead?
Outside, a black B&B C700 parks in front of the hideout, and out steps Mei – still in her guise as April. The passenger door opens and closes, but you are unable to see who gets out until he steps around the front of the car. It is a hispanic looking man that can’t be more than a 4 feet tall….The two head into the building.
Wormwood thunks his beer down on the table, “I say we have to finish this – for Garrion’s sake and because the only way to make any money out of this double-cross is to get a sample of the drug, a sample of the virus, and someone both worked on – then selling them to some corporate lab. That means finding Eleanor. Which means, unfortunately, Cargotown.”
Pitbull sits on the couch across the room, staring at his Reaper solemnly, knowing that the bearer of its twin is dead. He takes a couple of swigs from his beer now and again, but does little else. Wormwood looks up, “Candyman, you know I’m right on this. You’re the leader, seems to me, so if you say go…”
Mei and her stunted companion enter the room, and Mei addresses them, “Still arguing about heading into Cargotown? If you’re worried, I picked up some extra muscle.” Candy squeezes his nose tightly – the stress of the debate becoming draining, “Yes, but can we afford to make enemies of Umbra Corp? I simply do not see such a risk as worthwhile now, a man and a friend down, it is a time to nurse our wounds and keep our heads down.”
Now safely inside, Mei releases her disguise, but feeling lazy, leaves her English module running. Candy looks up to the newcomer, “Who would you be newcomer, if Mei vouches for you, then you have my trust. Still, tell me of yourself. Anything to pause this troublesome debate.”
Wormwood nods to the new arrival, “Hey there. I’m not in a joking mood so if Mei says you’re extra muscle I know not to belittle her, cut her down to size. You’re good.” Hank looks over the people in the group to see if any of them are already ‘sizing him up’ and keeps an eye out for any suspicious characters, only to note that everyone in the room looks suspicious to one degree or another. He only acknowledges everyone with a bob of his head.
Pacoy chimes in, “Cargotown is no walk in park – it’s not like sneaking into a corporate tower or anything. Mei, Candy and I will not be at our peak usefulness in a place like that. I want to get to the bottem of this, but we need heavy firepower and a serious plan. At minimum, a guide!”
Pitbull regards the little man with the briefest of gazes before returning to staring at his rifle. Candy shakes his head, “A guide, heavy weapons, more investment in a very shaky venture.”
Wormwood sips his beer slowly, “Cut our losses? I need to remind you who we lost? Not to mention we’re all flat broke or near it, even if you aren’t. Screw Umbra. We sell the knowledge to another big corp and let them duke it out.” Mei adds her voice to Wormwood’s, “Its not just about making our money back now, though. Garrion is dead, and we can assume our competitors and any potential clients would know that as well. If we just drop out now it could hurt future contract opportunities.”
Wormwood nods, “Yeah, what Mei said. Trust us, Candy – you know the corp scene but we know the street, news will spread we chickened out.” Mei continues Wormwood’s line of thought, counseling, “Believe me Candy – there is no place in this city I’d rather not go than to Cargotown. It really is the only place we can go from here, though.”
Candy nods, “True, life is different on the streets. If you believe our reputations are on the line,” Candy puts on a hard expression, “I say we throw in on this with everything we have.”
Pitbull stands up abruptly, his Reaper making an audible crack as it prepares a shot. “They will pay for Garrion’s death. That I can promise. I am going to Cargotown, alone if I have to, even. But if anyone wants to tag along, you are welcome to.”
Pitbull glowers at the scene, eyes setting on the newcomer once more. “And you are?” Hank looks up to the big man “I am Hank. I am just here to guard Ms. Mentadak.”
Candy holds up a hand, “No, it does not serve Garrion’s memory for us to go off half cocked and get mowed down by Umbra or whatever enemies of his remain. We need a plan and you all have my backing – so let’s all sit back down and calmly hash something out.” Candy waves for the Hank to join them.
One of Candy’s urchins pokes her head out from behind a door, darting her head from side to side before toddling in. She’s shorter than Hank and just as strapped, carrying a rifle in her hands. She can’t be much more than 12 years of age, and quite possibly younger. “Father, someone has requested an audience. He’s, he’s waiting outside.”“We all want justice for Garrion, but he gains no honor in a suicide mission: we do this right!” Pacoy says. Wormwood reaches up and pats Pitbull’s elbow. “Calm, cowboy. Mei, you wanna work our street connections some together, see if we can shake out a decent guide to get us in the zone and past the checkpoint?”
Turning to the door – Candy smiles up at her, “Yes childe, show the visitor in if you will.” Pitbull looks at Wormwood, then at his hand on his elbow. He then turns back to Hank. “You will know me as Pitbull, Hank. Welcome.”
“Yes Wormie, I’ll get on it.” With that, Mei steps to the side and begins making some calls through her implant. Hank nods at the large man obviously showing some worry about his presence here. He thinks to himself – ‘At least the people here are friendly’
Wormwood grins and starts placing some calls of his own.
The waif nods her head and backs away from Candy. “Yes, Father.” She scuttles out the door, coming back in a few moments later, leading a tall man by the hand.
Candy gets up from his seat and goes to the side bar, “Hank, what would you have. We are going to be working pretty hard in a few moments, nothing like some oil to ease the gears along.” Pitbull turns to stare out the window, eyes narrowed into a squint as he surveys the activity outside of it.
“Well, that’s the long and the short of it”, breathes Wormie into the team net. Hank gladly asks, “I’ll take some straight rum if you have any.”
The tall man steps into the room, his hand leaving the waif and touching his forehead in a soft salute to the men in the room, offering the ladies a bow before striding across the room with his hand outstretched. “I take it you’re the Candyman? Pleasure to meet you. Mind if I ask you a few questions?” He allows an easy smile to play across his face as he passes his business card to Candy, allowing him to read it before continuing. " Trenton Machesky. Private Investigator. I’ve heard a lot about you."
Pitbull turns away from the window to observe the next newcomer. All he heard was “Private Investigator” and he knew what sort of thing could come of that…
Candy nods and pours two fingers of rum for Hank, “Desiderium has most anything you might require.” Turning slowly to the man adressing him, “Yes, thats me. Humm, Trenton Machesky – P.I., certainly. I’ll help any way I can, anything to drink?”
Stepping back into the room, Mei returns to find another newcomer. “I was able to arrange a sort of guide and transportation for us.”
Trenton nods. “Host’s choice, if you don’t mind. I’ve been doing some digging around the incident at the W. Hartnell, and I keened to the fact that there was a crew that faded from there. A crew that you were a part of.”
Wormwood, hearing Mei’s success, ends his own call and turns to the room, giving the private eye his full attention just as strained silence at the newcomer’s words breaks out. Mei, not wanting to volunteer any information, waits to see what Mac is after before speaking. Pacoy tenses up, nervous about actually being implicated in a crime and tarnishing his pseudo-respectable image.
Wormwood sub-vocalizes, “Candy, if you have to – blame Umbra for everything. Or we could just kill him and dump the body somewhere…” While Wormwood councils Candy, Pitbull attempts to stalk to a more defendable position, thinking to himself, “Please tell me he’s not here for me. They can’t’ve found me yet…”
The team flies into a flurry of subvocalization, with Mei commenting that it’d be too suspicious if he disapeared while investigating the group. Pacoy adds that the body should be thoroughly searched, so as to foil any attempts at implication by hidden surveillance. Pitbull expresses a different set of desires for the outcome. “I’d like him taken alive. I want to know why he’s here and how he found me-er- us."
Pouring a hard drink of Kentucky bourbon whiskey, Candy returns and sets it down in front of Trenton’s seat, “So W. Hartnell, I was visiting a friend. He had been shot out near the Archive, he’s dead now.”
While Candy plays host to the detective, Mei comms to the rest of the group, “Guys, I’m bringing Hank into the comm-net.” With this Mei sends the access codes to Hank.
Trenton bows his head at Candy’s supposed loss. “A shame.” He takes a brief sip of the whiskey. “Was he in the quarantine area? See, I’m looking into the possible murder of one Lyle Ganderson. I don’t know if you’re involved or not, but I’ll shoot straight with you if sing, savvy?”
Wormwood looks puzzled, breaking from speaking in the comm-net. “Who?”
Trenton flips open his notepad and begins reading from within. “Lyle was a political lobbyist for patient’s rights and ‘informed consent’ legislation. He had been infected with the plague, and it seems awfully convenient that he happened to go up with that explosion. I was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on the situation.” He looks to Wormwood, searching for a reaction.
Mei’s curiousity perks, “How would a lobbyist end up with the plague?” Pitbull, still suspicious, stalks further, deliberately trying to get into Mac’s blind-spot, using Mei’s questioning as a means of distraction.
Wormwood looks right back at Trenton, revealing nothing, shrugging his shoulders slightly to settle his holsters and relaxing his hands. “Me? I know nothing. Especially when I don’t know who the guy asking is working for or how much he’s paying.”
Candy looks down at the table, nothing to wet his lips, he clears his scarred throat, “He was in that ward, when the power went out, well….” clears throat again. “As far as Lyle, I knew no one with the Red Plague there. However, we might have a lead on those responsible.”
Trenton turns to Mei. “That’s what I’m trying to find out. It’s all too odd. A man lobbying for patient rights, being in contact with the PLF. He gets the Plague, and then ends up dead. I don’t like it. Smells like a rat.” Candy shrugs, “Not the first time Mr. Ganderson’s been targeted, it just so happens Umbra personel were on the grounds when everything went pear shaped.”
Mac’s eyebrows shoot up. “So Umbra sent the tactical team in? Just to take out Lyle? Why not just send a lone eraser?” He taps his foot impatiently, his pen scratching notes. “Although I could see him being targetted again for working with the PLF. How did you know it was Umbra?”
“We… recognized the point-man…” Pacoy states reluctantly.
“Mr. Machesky, it seems our different cases may be fairly closely related." Mei answers, before continuing, “While looking into a missing persons, we came across some type of drug. That lead us to Umbra, and yes – as Pacoy mentioned, we recognized their assassin. We nearly had a run in with him a few months ago.”
Wormwood’s voice makes it’s way into every ear in the room but one as he subvocalizes, “Who is this guy working for, I wonder?” It seems he has the sense to stay out of the aloud conversation and let the more silver-tongued handle it, though. Candy leans back into his chair, “Honestly, we were in the building when the power went out. When we got to the quarantined floor, all was well, but a guard held us up outside. By the time we got back in, everyone was dead.”
Mei replies to Wormwood, “Good question. Lets find out.” Decidedly speaking aloud, she presses Trenton – “Our employer turns out to have misled us a bit. Out of curiosity, who hired you to look into this? It may be worth investigating whether you’ve been duped as well.”
“Or if he’s duping us.” Pitbull comms back with tension.
Trenton looks at Mei. “A missing persons? Those can be tough nuts, Moll. Especially if you don’t catch them early.” He turns to Candy. "And that’s when you and your trouble boys eye’d the Umbra man?” He looks back at Mei. “Normally I don’t discuss my clients, but if you all are investigating something similar… I’m working for Providential Core on a for-hire basis.”
Candy nods to the others, “I did not see him myself, not much in a fight, you understand.” Pitbull’s suspicions dull a bit as he doesn’t get the feeling that the newcomer is lying, and he lets himself relax a little.
Wormie hisses between his teeth, “That’s a big patrone for a little fish, guy. They gotta have their reasons for not using in-house investigators, but I bet they didn’t share them with you, am I right?” Trenton cocks his head to the side and looks at Wormwood. “Yeah, they have their reasons, and who says I’m a little fish?” He throws out a grin. “But no, they didn’t. I figured it was a pass-up job because their local mob was handling the hospital claim.”
Wormie relaxes a little, and grins. “You’re just like us, then. Toadstooling around waiting for the bigger fish to decide whether they’ll eat you or not.”
Mei chimes in, “Seeing that’s the case, we could use someone with your talents where we’re going. I’d bet we’re likely to find both our answers there. Why don’t you come with us?” Pacoy chimes in with an aside before sighing. “Birds of a feather get shot together…”
Trenton squints a bit. “I’m not keen on getting chowed on, pal. You’re wise to the thick of it though. And nobody’s getting shot. If I can help you, I gotta know where you’re going first – I don’t plan on taking a long walk off a short cliff, if you catch my drift.” Wormwood laughs aloud, a high-pitched giggle. “Oh, you’ll love this. Tell him, someone.”
Candy eases up and starts making a drink, as Pacoy informs Trenton that they’re headed into Cargotown, clicking his tongue against his teeth. Pitbull growls the name as well, despite never having been there, but knowing it can’t be much nicer than this rat-hole of a city.
Trenton takes another slow sip of his drink. “They don’t make ‘em much shorter. But I was headed there anyway, so I might as well make it along with you folk. ’sides, the big fella over there seems like he’d be quite handy in a scrap, despite how he’s been slinking around the place.”
“Surprisingly enough, that’s why we brought this little fella too.” It almost looks as if Mei starts to smile before her skin begins shifting and adopting the guise of April. “He’s practicing being slinky, so he doesn’t trip over any more cables,” Wormie quips snarkily with a grin at Pitbull.
Mei reminds everyone from her new skin, “Remember folks, you can call me April for now.” Hank raises an eyebrow to this conversation and hopes this last favor isn’t going to end the way that his ‘employer’ planned when he did his first job for them.
“Just trying to get a read on you, brah.” Pitbull grates, shooting Wormie a dirty look. “Can never be too careful in our profession.” Mei cuts in, “I’ve already arranged for a way for us to get in, someone to show us around. They should be arriving at a meetup point shortly.”
Looking at Pitbull, Trenton says. “You can call me Mac, or Trenton, whatever suits your fancy.” He spreads his hands. “I’m an open book, boyo. You ain’t got nothing to worry about from me.”
“That’s good work, Mei. Should we synch up these folks to our network then?” Wormwood asks. Candy sits back down, “Well, what hardware do I need to get loaded up in the beast for the trip? Hank, any idea where in Harbortown we need to go, we are kinda lost on that bit. Figured we would just sniff around – gasmasks on.” Wormwood chimes in, “Sheesh, Candy. It’s Cargo-town, the main Zone. You make it sound like a walk out by Bay Point.”
“Yes. This is a combat zone in the midst of a Riot, controlled by the Wo Shing Wo. Our friends in Imazighen won’t be able to reach us here. Be prepared, this will not be fun. Mac, here are our comm codes.”
Pitbull walks over to Hank, sizing him up as much as wanting to know if he’s as capable as claimed. He doubts it, but admits that he has seen stranger claims…
As Pitbull looks him up and down, Hank lets the group know he has no familiarity with the area, as he’s just arrived himself. Pacoy sizes up the two new-comers, a PI and a tiny hitter. If they were joining up for a run into Cargotown, they better be more than what they seemed.
Candy shrugs, “Everyone is set on going, no reason to get blood up over it, besides I’m ready to mellow out for a few moments before diving into that shit storm.” Trenton raises his glass to Candy. “Always good to be calm before walking into a situation. An even head is less dead.”
Wormwood snorts, “Take some earplugs, C-man, it’s going to be loud.” Candy raises his glass in return, “To the Lost.”
Mei warns everyone, “One other thing, before we go. If there are any of you I haven’t told, dealing with the Wo Shing Wo will be very dangerous for me. If my cover is compromised, I suggest you act as if you never knew my true identity.”
“Not Sure that we even do, Alice,” Pacoy says with a grin. Mac looks over at Mei. “Doll, I don’t even know who you are. No worries from me.” Mei checks to make sure she has her gun, knife, garrote, poison, and air mask to make sure everything is in good order before they set off.
“So… what do you work in? Pistols? Rifles? Knives? What?” Pitbull asks Hank, curiosity streaming in his words. “Pistols and knives for the most part.” Hank responds flatly. “I am generally too small to carry around larger gear without it being awkward.” Pitbull laughs. “I getcha, brah. I love a rifle and a knife personally. Never needed any others.”
Mei speaks as well. “From what I understand, he made quite a mess at my friend’s facility. She spoke well of his capabilities.” Hank begins inquiring as to what he can bring into Cargotown, to best utilize his capabilities. Pacoy asks directly, “Candy do you have any heavy ammo I can grab in the armory? 10mm and 8mm for the bots. APHEX would be peachy…”
Wormwood feels it necessary to remind the group, “There are no rules in Cargotown except the ones you grab, Hank.”
“Take what you need. It’s exactly what I do.” Pitbull grunts, still laughing. Hank nods in acknowledgment. “OK.” Candy nods and gestures to the elevator, “Help yourself.”
Pitbull turns to Mac. “And you? What is your weapon of choice?” Mac opens up his suit jacket and pats the empty holster on the left. “I keep a pistol for when it’s necessary, but I left it checked down with my shotgun in reception. Other than that? I prefer to fight with information.” He pats the camera bag slung over one shoulder.
Hank asks, “Do we have intel on what the possible enemy might be armed and armored with?” Mei responds, “Well, the area is run by Wo Shing Wo, but there are other groups as well. Umbra is involved…let’s just hope we don’t run into one of their squads in here.”
Hank and Pacoy ride the elevator down to the Armory, where Pacoy swaps out the duwende for the mako, changing the ammo in the mako, buzzbots, and his own prowler for stuff in Candy’s armory. Hank looks in the room to see if there are grenades and AP ammo for his pistol.
A pop-up appears in Candy’s vision – a ping from his brainboard computer. An annoying voice explaims ’You’ve Got Mail!‘; something screwed with the settings on his comp and he’s still having trouble getting it settled straight. Damned malware – at least this stuff wasn’t the truly horrendous stuff.
Candy rolls his eyes, “I swear, bastards putting out these viruses – get a man killed.” Pitbull laughs. “You guys sound like you’ll fit in well. Welcome to the team.” He grates, still chuckling.
“Mei’s guide isn’t going to wait all day.” Wormwood observes, fast-drawing his twin silenced pistols then putting them away again, satisfied with the smoothness of the draw. Pitbull, after grabbing another beer, sits down to another of Candy’s Cubans that he plucked from the humidor, lighting it with a flourish and a long puff.
Candy calls his Armatech contact over comms, “Hey, Dallas, this is Candy. Get back to me today if we can meet up. Got a dangerous bit of business coming up and could use some insurance.”
Hank’s voice comes through the comm-net, betraying a sense of worry. “Can we get this plague through skin contact?" Mei answers, “The doctor said its similar to the common cold…just, deadly, if untreated. Keep clean and we should be ok.” Pitbull adds, “I doubt it. Don’t eat or drink anything out there and wear a breather mask. You’ll be fine.” Pitbull says as he exhales a thick cloud of cigar smoke into the room.
Hank subvocals to Mentadak “You are sure that your employer isn’t having us walk to our deaths?” Mei replies, “My employer? I have none, I am doing this for myself. Asyah told me you came to this place in search of money right? Then you should get used to dealing with dangerous situations like this.” “Sorry if I seem a little worried about this. My first encounter with her wasn’t great and she doesn’t seem to be the kind of person to leave loose ends” Hank states. “I will be able to handle myself," he says with confidence
The group continues to get ready and collect their gear before heading out, taking the van to the meetup location with Combat Cabs – an old abandoned pier about a mile from Cargotown.
The pier is run-down and abandoned – probably because a building here burned down and apparently a rather large boat crashed right into the damned thing. It’s not clear whether these were concurrent events or occured at different times, but the place is now occupied only by squatters who couldn’t make it in the proper Combat Zone just a few hundred yards away.
A dark-black semi-armored van sits upon the old pier, a tall dark-skinned man with dreadlocks and a veritable armory upon his person leaning against it.
Mei, still disguised as April, speaks to the man after stepping out of the van. “Dweezil, I assume?” The cabby yells out as the group comes into earshot. “Yo, mon. You the dreamers I and I be takin’ to Babylon up the river?”
Pitbull steps out, Reaper slung over his shoulder and the stub of his Cuban clenched in his teeth. He is taken aback by the man’s accent, but does little to show it.
Mei goes on, unperturbed. “Yeah, that’s us. We were told you could lead us around a little bit, show us where we need to be. This true?”
The accent is thick and rich; Dweezil sounds like a proper islander to the untrained ear – but those with a keen sense of hearing note that it doesn’t quite ring true. “One love, bruddah. We be takin’ you were ya needed. Combat Cabs, who ya trust.”
Mac shakes his head, tugging on the bag on his back. “Is this gunsel on the level?” Wormwood looks around – thinking it’d be a good place for a hideout if he needed one – then walks over to Dweezil. “Nice to meetcha, man. Righteous hardware you have there.”
Pitbull sizes the man up, taking note that the man was armed to the teeth. “Now here’s a professional.” Pitbull thinks. “We’re looking into the plague. Need you to take us to someone who knows whats what about it.”, Mei says.
Hank keeps track of anyone watching the group, while Mac subvocalizes, “If we can’t catch a peep on any of the leads you have, we could take a look into the People’s Liberation Front – they’re headquartered in Cargotown, and might be mixed up in this.” Mei replies, “Good to know.”
Dweezil nods, his dreadlocks flying as his head continues to bob. “We be good, bruddah. Credit be cleared by the Higher; plague be far from Zion, so we go in high and low. I and I be guidin’ ya only; you be wanting extra muscle, that be extra, mon.”
Pitbull smirks, the accent becoming more amusing to him the more the man speaks.
Mei nods to the man, “Duly noted.” Dweezil steps away from his van and over to the edge of the pier – then just walks off, falling to the ground five feet below with nary a sound.
Mei looks puzzled for a minute, until she realizes whats going on. She walks over to peer down the ledge he jumped off. Mac mutters audibly. “Long walk, short cliff…” He heads over to see where Dweezil has gone. Pitbull shifts the cigar to the otherside of his mouth as he stomps on behind Mei, Reaper readying as he walks. Candy eases out of the car, “Thanks, you can go home now Childe” and follows after the others. Pacoy sighs deeply and walks over to the ledge to take a look as well.
Dweezil stands before the entrance to a water drainage pipe – an outlet into the old sewer system. The outlet is only about four feet high here, but it gets a bit taller farther in. “We be snakin’ fast through the tunnels – porkey be guidin’ patrols through here on the regular. Twilight be shift-changin’ time and Babylon be on the way through.”
Mei lets out an annoyed sigh and says, “I’m very glad we brought these along,” before donning her Air Mask and following after the man, activating her cyberoptics. Wormwood climbs down swiftly and peers into the sewer, then switches his cyber-eyes to IR and Night Vision. “I’m so going to enjoy this.”
Hank turns on all environmental systems in his helmet, night vision in his cyber eyes and follows Mentadak at point. Pacoy opens his jacket and activates one of the tiny little Pinbots, then opens his pack and activates a Buzz Bot.
Candy adjusts his gasmask and ducks his head into the drain pipe – an inescapable prospect to be met head on. Pitbull finally spits out the gnarled Cuban before fastening the breather mask around his mouth. He follows Candy into the drain pipe, activating his own IR and Night-Vision as he goes.
Mac wrinkles his nose, slipping his cheap respirator on and slipping his shades on, toggling the Night Vision, then begins to clamber down. “If I had known we were going muck crawling, I would NOT have worn a suit.” He scrambles down after the rest of the crew. Pacoy turns to Mac “When traveling with this crew, always plan for being in deep shit…” motioning to the muck.
Mac laughs, it being muffled somewhat by his respirator. “So noted pal.” He pauses briefly to undo his leather bag and lifts his shotgun out of it before tucking the bag back across his back. “Just in case there’s a shit storm. You any good with those circuitballs you got?”
“Most of the time, they handle themselves” Pacoy says, nodding towards the bots “I’m pretty handy with this, too” indicating the Prowler in his hand.
Dweezil takes point, lighting a flashlight and illuminating the path forwards. One hand holds the light; the other, a big handgun, all in matte black. “Quitness moves while I and I keep ya’ on your way, bruddahs.”
Hank places his hand at belt level, getting ready to fast draw, while Candy follows along without a word. Pitbull lifts his Reaper up to eye level, ready to make anything in the light wish it stayed in the dark. Wormwood slinks along, his hands ready to fast-draw both pistols.
The group moves forwards, creeping quietly in the darkness of the sewers. At one point, Dweezil shuts off his light and holds up a hand, indicating everyone stop moving. A slight noise can be heard from down further in the curving and labyrinthine tunnels. With his augmented hearing, Wormwood quickly identifies it as the sound of flesh hitting flesh, hard. Mac looks up at the same noise, also noticing it solidly.
“Oh sheesh, no way this again,” thinks Wormie, and decides to let someone else lead with their face this time. Hank slowly pulls his guns out, while Mac sidles up towards the front of the group, shotgun braced against his shoulder, subvocalizing, “Noise up ahead. Could be a fight by the sound of it.”
Wormwood draws his pistols, aiming them up the sewer towards the sound. Another sound joins the first – several of you struggle to hear it, but it’s clear as bells for Mac, and Wormwood’s software isolates the noise among the background and enhances it. It’s the sound of a human voice, barking out with authority. “That’s enough, Teller. He’s not going to say much more.”
Hank activates his Terahertz Radar, while Pitbull grimaces, steeling himself for the potential fight to come.
Mac voices back to the group, “It sounds like… an interrogation? One that isn’t going well for the subject…” Wormwood dumps his audio data to the team net so everyone can hear.
Hank flatly subvocializes “We should avoid this if it isn’t blocking our objective” Wormwood responds, “Agreed, none of our business.” He taps Dweezil on the shoulder and gestures in a curve away from his body, signaling we should go around. Candy comments, “We don’t really have any leads, Harbortown is an aweful broad canvas.”
Mei subvocalizes a quiet correction, “Cargotown Candy…” Candy responds, “A pile of shit, call a spade a spade.” There is another sound of impact. A second voice speaks out. “Fuckin’ piggy bank gonna squeal, information or not, Pens.” Dweezil looks at the group, speaking in a low tone. “I and I be thinkin’ a coppa be gettin’ worked over on the way to Babylon, fren’s. We go aroun’ an’ leave the porckchop to fate?”
Pacoy sets the pinbot for surveillance and sends the tiny bot to investigate silently. “All the same to me.” Pitbull grates, Reaper still at the ready. Mac shifts his feet uneasily. “Not too comfortable with the idea of a Flattie getting worked over like that.”
The pinbot’s picture is a little scratchy, and definitely dark, but it shows two men standing in front of an NCPD officer. One of the men is holding the officer up by one hand, the other held ready to strike the officer again. The other stands nearby, holding the officer’s weaponry and looking about.
“Carlos would probably like the help…” Pitbull murmurs, watching the image.
Candy subvocalizes, “Always useful to have a cop who owes you big, I say we help him, could save us some trouble in the future.” Mei comms, “This is true. I say we take them out.”
Hank moves to the front, offering, “I can take an aimed shot at the targets and take point.” “Shouldn’t be hard. Street level thugs make easy meat.” Pitbull mutters as he points his Reaper towards their estimated position.
Mac nods, signaling his readiness to move when someone gives the signal. Wormwood grins at Dweezil, “The boy scouts have decided we don’t go around.” Pacoy trains his pistol at the most likely spot for the thugs to peek around, while at the same time, the buzzbot tries to gain a good combat vantage.
Dweezil nods, and shuffles slightly to the side, indicating that they can pass by him but that he will remain behind. “Let the spirits guide ya, mon.”
Mei steps back, pulling Candy with her, comming “Lets leave this to them.” While Wormwood ghosts forward, guns leveled, with Mac advancing slowly behind him. Hank toggles his infrared vision and gets ready to take aim at the first sight of any hostiles.
Candy follows along with Mei as best he can – the floor slick with filth and his eyes blind in the darkness.
The Edgerunners creep along towards the thugs beating on the cop, weapons out and blood in their eyes. Their clothes smell of sewage, and you don’t want to know what’s worked its way into their shoes – but they’ve got a lead, and they’re tracking it down.