Abandoned Outskirts, Free City of Foundry
Thursday, February 23, 2051
The Rough Riders are in rough shape. Though none of them have yet died, three of the four Texan special operations soldiers have been significantly injured so far. Two of the Riders have had their legs shot out from under them, though one has been pumped so full of drugs that he can’t seem to tell anything’s wrong – even though both arms completely refuse to work. The Rough Rider’s Sergeant, Doug Wilson, has been shot in the head by Pacoy’s Harpy, the little bullet luckily penetrating the weak cyberarmor encasing the soldier in his tin shell. The fourth Rough Rider remains uninjured, and is currently doing something while behind cover – unfortunately, the Lazarus team has no way to tell exactly what.
The Lazarus group has fared somewhat better; nobody has been hit just yet, though Mac remains blinded by the dazzler grenade that had been tossed at the start of the fight.
Against all odds, Sergeant Wilson staggers to his feet, a rivulet of blood dripping down his face from the bullet wound in his forehead. He lifts his M-16X assault rifle to his shoulder, his hand at the forward trigger – the one that activates the underbarrel grenade launcher. Standing straight and tall, he aims the rifle – straight at Pitbull’s face.
Even as the Sarge pulls his weapon up, the half-crippled Rough Rider doped to the gills on combat meds continues his run forwards, covering ten yards in what seems like half a second – his crippled leg doesn’t even seem to slow him down in his drugged-up state.
Pitbull faces down the Sarge’s M16X with his Reaper, unleashing a full-auto metal storm at his erst-while mentor. As his rounds chip away at the Sarge’s chrome chassis like hail into a rusted car, the Sarge drops his aim as he meets the searing onslaught. The Sarge stumbles a few steps before crumpling to the ground, as the collective damage catches up to his over-modified form.
As the Sarge crumbles, the Rough Rider next to him crawls over to his fallen form, his own blown-out foot still bleeding. He pulls them both under concrete cover.
“Unless you want to meet the same maker as him, step away from the Sarge!” Pitbull roars out to the Rider who dragged away the Sarge’s mutilated form. “I ain’t finished with ’im yet!” Shifting his position, Pacoy turns his aim to the Rough Rider playing with the mysterious box as he command the Harpy to try and get behind the fortified Texan.
Cursing, Wormwood targets the charging berserk Rough Rider and slams three fat rounds from the Valkyrie rifle into his abdomen. “Die, damn it!” Wormie mutters, but the enemy fails to die despite being so severely wounded. Eyes wide, Wormwood watches him keep on coming!
The Rider at the back of the pack continues to fiddle with something – not even Pacoy can see what. A new sound begins to emerge on the battlefield shortly after he seems to finish, though – just in the background, you think you can hear the sound of… trumpets?
Mac furrows his eyes, hands braced on the concrete in front of him. “What is that… noise?” The Harpy zips in to Flank the fortified Rough Rider, flying to a better vantage point and looking for the best possible opening in the Texans defenses.
Mac lets his useless eyes open, focusing on the sounds coming from the field around him, trying to read them like a newborn encountering Braille for the first time. His mind swells with the sound of the trumpets and a cross look storms across his face like so many dark clouds. He snaps his pistol up and fires off three rounds at the source of the ‘music’. He smiles in confusion as one bullet apparently finds it’s mark, eliciting a loud ‘CLANG!’, followed by the sound of the trumpet fading with a sad ‘brwrp’. “I always knew you Texans had appalling taste in music, but this takes the cake.”
There is no movement from the Sarge, but the bullet-ridden half-corpse of the drugged-up Rough Rider continues charging forwards, heedless of his injuries. As he reaches a distance of ten yards from the Lazarus gang, the reason his leg wounds haven’t been slowing him down very much becomes much more apparent – the flesh covering his legs is camouflage, faux-flesh covering up mechanical cyberlimbs that give one last, strong push as the Rider leaps through the air, crashing in to the midst of the Lazarus group with a loud ‘clang’.
Pitbull, finally annoyed into action by the tenacious and berserking Rider, strafes his head with a three round burst from his Reaper. The Rider’s head splits open like an overripe melon in a lawn mower, as Pitbull turns away from the headless corpse of the single most stubborn soldier Pit’s has ever dealt with.
There’s a bit of noise behind the Sarge’s cover, but the Lazarus group can’t see the source of it – but the Harpy can. Its cameras capture the injured soldier doing something to the Sarge’s chest, bashing on his metal exterior with a small device in his hand.
Pitbull sends a HUD message to the Sarge, knowing that the only reason he still kept the dirty bastard’s information was for a moment like this. “You’re dead, you snake lickin’ sumbitch. You know that right?”
Despite the woodmaster’s accuracy, Pacoy’s burst buries itself harmlessly in the junk the Rider was using for cover, just barely avoiding the hiding Texan. Wormwood snaps off three shots at the same enemy, attempting to interrupt his administering to the Sarge, but his shots go wide.
The Rider at the back finishes whatever he was doing and picks his rifle back up, setting it to brace on some detritus as he aims his sites downrange.
The Harpy’s AI unconvinced of a suitable opening, it attempts to lock in to its target. Mac’s head pivots around, his ears trying to pick out every detail of his surroundings. He perks up at the ducted exhaust of the device that had been previously assailing his delicate sensibilities, and draws a bead in its general direction and squeezes off three more rounds, all of which go whirring off through the air. “What in the name of Night City’s three good coffee shops am I shooting at? Is there anything left alive in front of us, or are you lot just waiting until my gun runs dry?”
Wormwood ducks suddenly as he hears the “whirr, click” of a robotic weapon and a burst of fire goes over his head. “It’s another drone, Mac!” He shouts.
Mac grumbles, annoyance percolating through his voice. “I have had my fill of machines lately – anything above and beyond Seranya? No thank you.”
Pitbull now turns his baleful scope on the trumpet-drone, and unleashes another salvo of full auto destruction from his Reaper. The drone leans, then tips, then finally spirals away to crash into the wilderness, its crash site turning that end of the horizon tan with crash debris. Mac’s head whips towards the noise. “That drone down? That was the drone, not the Harpy, right?”
From behind the cover of a fallen streetlight and a bit of concrete roofing from a nearby building, the Rough Rider with the Sergeant continues fiddling with the Sarge’s chest, all highlighted upon the Harpy’s scope. The Rider sticks his little device into a slot in the chrome plating, then twists – and a new noise begins to come alive upon the cold afternoon wind.
The sound is almost like an electric motor revving up, just barely audible to unaided human ears. As the sound increases in volume, the Sarge’s limbs twitch on the Harpy’s video stream. With one hand, Pacoy ejects a the magazine from his woodmaster, while slamming a fresh one home and finding his target.
Wormwood shifts targets to the remaining uninjured rifleman and unleahes another group of three shots, only to see the target duck down in time to avoid his fire. "Stand still and die, bastard! he yells in frustration as he ducks into cover himself to reload.
Mac grumbles. “There’s still one of them alive? Yaknow, in polite circles, a simple no is enough. With these mooks, it seems like the only ‘no’ they understand comes from the end of a gun.”
The Rider gets back up from taking cover to again aim down his sites, bracing his rifle before unleashing a hail of lead at Wormwood. The bullets flash underneath the Amur, catching Wormwood off guard. One of the 6mm pellets of death buries itself in his right calf, shredding the muscle. The second takes him in the left leg, striking higher up, with the bullet ripping right through the femur and breaking it in a compound fracture, Wormwood’s weight on the leg pushing the broken bone out of its hiding place within his flesh and into the light of day. Wormwood goes falling to the ground, both legs crippled and incapable of supporting his weight.
Wormwood screams, an unusually high-pitched rasping noise from the small prowler, and writhes around as his aural augments identify the specific sound of his left femur shattering under a bullet’s impact. “Gaahhhhh! My legs!” he cries as he tries to frantically tries to finish reloading, his every instinct telling him he mustn’t freeze up from the searing agony.“As soon as we kill these Texans, I’ll drug you up, Worm!” Pacoy shouts.
There is an audible snap as Mac looks in Wormwood’s direction, eyes peering through his personal darkness. “Worm? What happened? Did you get hit? Talk to me pal!” Wormwood can only sob in reply as he tries to hold off from screaming again and continue to fight.
“Damn it! One Blind and One Crippled! We are getting some awesome parking out of this!” Pacoy curses in frustration.
Mac laughs out loud, unable to control himself. “Damnit, Pac! This is supposed to be serious!”
Pitbull huffs as he turns Wormwood. “It is serious. We need to patch him up and fast. Pac, I’ll cover you, just get Wormwood to some type of self defensibili- defensi- you know damn well what I mean!” Pitbull barks out the order like the soldier he is as he takes aim again.
The afternoon sun shines through the clouds, painting a pretty picture drawn in red upon these once-deserted streets. The underpass remains the site of the most carnage, with one Rough Rider lying upon the Amur’s side sans head and Wormwood reduced to crawling underneath it. Mac remains without sight, nearly taking Pacoy’s head off when the Texan drone that Pitbull shot falls from the sky and lands within their midst with a crash. Further afield, the Rough Riders have their own wounded – but the Sarge, who had seemed to be out of the fight once and for all is already beginning to recover the use of his limbs, the Harpy relaying video of the augged-to-the-gills soldier grabbing his rifle, just about ready to re-enter the fight…