Abandoned Outskirts, Free City of Foundry
Thursday, February 23, 2051
The Lazarus team awakens to the acrid smell of smoke mixed with blood and hydraulic fluid, their timepieces showing that they only lost consciousness for a few brief moments. The Amur is lying upside down under an overpass, the result of an explosion in the undercarriage flipping the vehicle head-over-heels.
Mac sits upside-down against the wall of the overpass, his entire being screaming out in pain from the sudden stop after the undesired ejection from the speeding vehicle. Wormwood is still in the passenger’s seat up front, with Pitbull hanging out the driver’s side window, his arm wrapped around his crash web. Pacoy and Eris are in the back, the robot girl Seranya in between them, powered off with her remaining hand locked around her stump of an arm.
The sound of a combustion engine rings in their ears; it’s got to be only a minute or two away, and approaching fast.
“Oh Klono’s Balls!” Wormwood groans as he checks himself for major injuries and tries to struggle out of his crash-web. “Guys….we gotta move!” Also groaning softly, Pacoy quickly checks himself for major injuries before making his way to Eris. Mac moans in pain, blinking his eyes through the red liquid streaming over his eyes, trying to clear them. “…did anyone catch the name of that exploding Amur…?” He slowly collapses to the side and eventually rights himself, dragging his broken and bleeding body back towards the group to assist in getting everyone out of the vehicle. Pitbull pushes himself up and out with a drawn out grunt and grabs his Reaper and M16X from the wreck. “Worm, we can’t out-run them. We were pretty toe-to-toe with them in a vehicle. Now we’re not. Now we can’t.” Pitbull growls as he checks his Reaper.
“Uhhggg…You OK Pits? Pac?…Where the hell is Mac?” Wormwood slices his web cradle with his extendable mono-molecular fingerblades and starts to climb out. “I’m not going without a fight!” Mac winces as he draws near. “We need to get away from the Amur now – it’s on fire, and if it cooks off, that explosion will do us in for sure. Run or stay, we can’t do it here.” He limps over to the trailer in an attempt to get right it and get the motorbikes out.
Eris screams out loud as she tries to push herself up to face Pacoy. She wasn’t quite as well-situated in her crash web as some of the others, and as Pac gets closer he can tell the source of her pain rather easily – the bone of her left arm is sticking out from a rather inconvenient spot on her forearm. “Damn! Worm, can you spare a hand? Lets get Eris out of the van, and I’ll give her something for the pain so we can get to safety!” Pacoy calls out as he works the crashwebs. As the sweet smell of methanol reaches Wormwood, he realizes Mac is right and climbs out through his window. He then turns and tries to free the door on Eris’s side, finger-blades poised to slash her webbing too.
Pitbull nods in agreement with Mac, before noticing Eris. “We can bandage that up as soon as we’re clear of this. We need to salvage all we can before this wreckage goes nu-cue-lar.” Pitbull growls as he trains his rifle around. Mac shouts towards the Amur as he struggles with the bent latch of the trailer, “Seranya, can you grab my attaché case and my shotgun bag and whatever else you can? We’re in Dutch if this thing cooks off all our supplies.”
Wormwood wrenches open the Amur’s severely dented door then slashes at the crash-web holding Eris in place. Grabbing her with one arm and his rifle with the other, he pulls them both out into the dust. “Got her, Pac! Her arm’s busted. Get around here!” Eris struggles a bit, but then stops as Wormwood pulls her out. Seranya, meanwhile, stays unmoving and completely rigid; Mac soon realizes that she’s powered off.
“I’ll patch up Eris, start pulling batteries, ammo and chemicals away from the fire!” Pacoy barks as he guides Eris to a safe spot to look at her compound fracture. "Once we get an idea on what the hell is going on, triage equipment!” Pacoy comms as we works his magic on the clients wounds.
Pitbull lopes along to the upside-down trunk of the Amur, and hauls things out in a rag-tag yank. Wormwood decides someone needs to get the group’s back and runs to one side, crouching in some rubble then training his rifle’s optics on the approaching engine noise. Mac gives up on the trailer and limps over to the Amur, dragging open the door and getting Seranya out of the vehicle by any means necessary. “Worm – how’s it looking out there? How much time do we have?” “I think I already know. They’re after me, if I bet all my cattle on it. But I’m not sure if giving myself up would save you all. I think they’d want to kill you guys too. Loose ends and National Secrets and bullshit like that.” Pitbull growls as he yanks out the primary crate of ammo. Spitting, Mac looks over at Pitbull, arms full of disabled robot. “Hell if you dance alone, cowboy. That’s not right and you know it. Pacoy, you got a safe spot for the girls?”
“I’m working on the ‘girl’ now,” Pacoy grunts while injecting Eris with pain killers, “The android is low priority now! Get any explosives or chemicals out of there!”
Wormwood eyes the road the noise seems to be coming from. It seems to be coming from the direction the Amur had been traveling before its ‘accident’, and is still coming. “Over here, Mac! They can get cover in this rubble! Send the first aid box with them.” Wormwood sends on the team channel. "Oh, and we’ve got bad guys coming so make it quick! Mac stumbles under Seranya’s weight, snatching the aid kit from the back, then over towards the rubble, covered in blood and scratches. He almost falls twice, wincing the entire time. “Quick like a rabbit chasing a carrot, you know me.” Depositing Seranya, he heads back towards the Amur.
Pitbull yanks out another box, this one full of vapor canteens and enviro-bags. “Shit. Useful, but not pertinent…” Mac stops halfway back to the Amur. “Pals, I don’t think we’re getting our security deposit back. Pitb—- did you just say pertinent?” Pitbull laughs as he hauls out another crate, grunting as he cradles it in his meaty paws. “Yeah. I did. You were talking about something that wasn’t going to matter if we were dead?” As Pacoy stitches Eris’ arm after the barrage of drugs he injected her with he comms to Mac “We didn’t have a deposit on the reporter did we?”
Wormwood is concentrating on the approaching engine noise, seeking a glimpse of the incomers, but is aware enough to send “Right here, right now, please guys.” Mac starts laughing, wiping the red from his eyes as he does. He comms back to Pacoy, “Y’know, don’t think we did.” He fetches his pistol from it’s holster. “I’m set on the second, Worm – just took a nasty knock back there, mind is wandering. You good to get clear, Pitbull?” He finds a chunk of rock to set himself behind, perching like a ginger bird, wincing at every movement. “Going to need some seeing to when this is said and done, Pac-man.” Eris’s eyes widen as the drugs begin to course through her system and she takes a deep breath. With her good arm, she grabs onto Pac’s shirt. “Call… help…” She trails off, falling unconscious as the drugs take hold.
Wormwood picks up a shimmer in infra-red – nothing recognizable but certainly not random – and sends the location to the others over the team’s net. “Heads up, hostiles I think. I could try sticking a couple rounds in it to see.” Mac lets out a hypoxic giggle. “Could poke the bear, Worm. Maybe make it mad, maybe drive it off. Shame we don’t have any honey to lay a trap for it.” Pacoy issues a cybernetic command, unleashing the Harpy as it whirs to life. He beams with pride as an untested new feature of the Harpy work perfectly: the sound of Wagner’s ‘Ride of The Valkyries’ flows from the warbots speakers as it raises itself it to a fighting vantage point.
Pitbull hauls out another box, hoping for it to have the methanol canister in it’s contents, before diverting his attention to the issue at hand. He did however, catch the label on the crate. “Pac, we got more medi-shit for Eris, if you need it!” : “She’s good for now, Pit” Pacoy answers, “Once the important stuff is secure, hunker down!”
“Ok guys, let’s see what’s out there and if it can bleed.” taking aim, Wormwood squeezes off three careful shots from his big rifle. One of his bullets strikes true, and a flash of sparks shine even in the daylight. The Texan recon drone’s active camouflage drops, revealing the black-and-gray drone to the light of day. It falls a bit as the big round savages the drone’s internals, but it doesn’t completely crash and burn – it continues to move forwards, though much slower than before and with obvious effort. Wormwood curses, “Fuck, it’s another one of those damned redneck drones!”
Mac lets out a quiet giggle and finds himself humming along as he quietly takes count of his ammunition. One, two, three clips.. His mind projects a bit of vampiric laughter into his mind and a look of confusion crosses his face as he looks down at his hands. As the Harpy climbs for better vantage, Pacoy activates all of his drones to get away from the flaming van and power-down in a safe spot. Mac feels a laconic smile slide across his face. “Always the rednecks, isn’t it? Bunch of trouble boys, they are.” His eyes snap up from his hands towards the direction the bullets are flying in.
Pitbull, already walking in Wormwoods direction, spits to his right, as he raises his Reaper and throws another full-auto salvo at the incoming drone. The fusilade of rounds dismembers the drone in a shower of sparks and shimmering metal before it dives into the ground, bursting into a fuel-based explosion of burning debris. “Yayyyy, Pits! Way to go, big guy!” Wormwood yells. He looks around, scanning the terrain for other threats. “Do we have enough salvage to try getting out of Dodge, guys?”
“Stealing a new truck is an option….” Pacoy thinks aloud Mac looks from his pistol sights to Wormwood. “Bikes are okay – figure we could fit three on mine, two on the girls, but we’re limited in what supplies we can strap to them.”
“Someone start helping me shovel dirt onto that fire. I still haven’t got that methanol can out, and if we ain’t quick with this, we’re dead!” Pitbull announces as he picks up a derelict sheet of metal and starts shoveling up dirt.
Pacoy links up to the Amurs comms, but asks the team first “Are we doing a general May-Day and blowing our location, or just to the clients?” Wormwood replies, ‘My vote’s for a general call – we’re pretty close to the city now, one of their patrols might respond." “Not quite a priority, Pac! Still no fan of dying a fiery death without something to shoot at.” Pitbull adds, as he marches down to the Amur with his sheet of metal covered in dirt. Finally making it to the Amur with his cargo, he dumps the sum of dirt on what he thinks is the center of the flame.
“Oh fuggit, Emmy’s gonna be pissed….” Wormwood throws his rifle to Mac then charges over to the Amur, diving past the flames as best he can to grab the fuel can and drag it free. The fire on the Amur continues to burn, now directly threatening the supplies strapped to the roof. Dodging the flames as best he can, Wormwood tugs and pulls for several seconds before emerging, smoke-stained and smoldering, lugging the big can of wood alcohol. “Got it. Fuck, that hurts! Got tagged a bit, Pac, if you have anything in the box that’ll help!”
“Meds are safe, Worm. A little Analgine will go a long way, Hypercoagulin and StimHeal when it’s safe” Pacoy answers as he pulls out some meds for his crispy friend. As Pitbull steps away, he notices that he has smothered a good section of fire – but not the entirety, and while it likely saved a good portion of goods he wasn’t able to save everything.
A cloud of dust can be seen rising above some of the buildings in the distance, and the sound of that engine is getting louder and louder – though luckily it’s been a little longer than originally expected. Apparently, the vehicle couldn’t take a direct route to your location for some reason and had to make some turns – but it’s showing up now…
Wormwood shows his burned hands to Pacoy, “just patch my hands, quick – I need to be able to fire my rifle,” then looks around, worried, “Quick, Pac! Slap some spray bandage on them, it’ll have to do!” Pacoy sprays a quick dose onto Worms hands and readies the Harpy for battle. Pitbull tosses the sheet of metal to his side and pulls his Reaper back up, training his sights on the interloping vehicle. Mac squints down his friend’s rifle scope. “We got company, chaps. Coming in hotter than a wok cooking up stir-dog in Chinatown,” then looks from the scope to Wormwood. “You going to be good to handle this thing? Best I can do is pose with it and look threatening.” “I’ll have to be, I guess” grits Wormwood as he reclaims his rifle, checks the connectivity via his implant and mentally slots a round.
As Wormwood gets set back up, the engine noise stops just as a small sliver of black peaks around the edge of a building about sixty yards down the road. Wormwood sights in on the sliver, cranking his scope up for the best possible view. Mac fiddles with his pistol, rubbing the back of his aching head and rubbing more of his blood on back of his pants. “Good on you, saving all the medical supplies, guys. I have a feeling we’ll need them.” He checks the charge on his electrolaser before tucking that into his holster as well.
A small object flashes into Wormwood’s view, tossed from behind the corner. It bounces once, twice – then bursts in a blaze of light. Wormwoods HUD instantly compensates, blanking the feed from his rifle scope and dimming the brightness to an acceptable glare in his own field of view. Pitbull’s internal optics negate most of the interference to his vision, as he realizes in the moment of detonation what they were hit with. “If my memory is right, we’ve just been hit by a dazzler grenade.” Pitbull grimly growls.
Mac turns his head towards the object just as the light goes off, feeling the lasers scoring his retinas, his world becoming little more than darkness and even more pain. His pistol clatters to the ground next to him as he doubles over, palms jammed into his eye sockets, letting out pathetic whimpers. “I can’t…. it hurts…” Mac swears angrily in Russian, “I don’t care what it’s called, I can’t SEE!” Tears mix with the blood around his eyes as he keeps the lids screwed shut. The bloody tears fall to the ground, crashing down like so many drops of rain as the Texan Rough Riders begin their advance upon the Lazarus team and its unseeing private eye…