Jake’s Discount Dealership
Tuesday, February 21, 2051, 12:45 PM
The Lazarus Group has just finished acquiring their cross-country ride, an old-style Amur suburban assault vehicle pre-supplied with bullethole and a steering column that just refuses to sit straight. After shifting their meager supplies to the Amur, the Group was just about ready to roll-out when suddenly the sound of gunshots ricochets through the lot – leaving their salesman, Jake, with a hole in his ten-gallon hat the size of a monkey’s fist and a spiderweb forming just to the left of Pitbull’s eye.
Mac slams his hand into the back of the driver’s seat in a panic. “Drive, big man! Get this tank in motion! I don’t want to get lit up by Chicago lightning!” Pitbull growls, “Don’ gatta tell me twice…” as he guns the engine and shifts into drive. Wormwood curses as he realizes his rifle is all packed away nicely in his holdall – then hits the window button and reaches for one of his pistols while searching for the source of the gunfire.
Mac frantically looks around the door, searching for a manual window crank before tapping on the window to try and get Stan’s attention and motion him to get down on the ground. “Who’s shooting at us? What’s going on?” Pitbull jacks his HUD into the dashboard plug-in and yanks out his Urban Fox, scanning for viable targets as the tank of a vehicle roars into motion. Pacoy scrunches into his seat for as much cover as he can get while trying to peek out the window and find a source of the gunfire.
“Over there!” Pacoy shouts, noticing a group of shiny roadsters, “Those roadsters!” “I see them!” Wormwood yells. “Hit the road, Pits!”
The big SUV begins moving forwards , crunching some of the tools still lining the floor of the garage. Jake the salesman just barely moves out of the way before Pitbull runs him down, running to the relative safety of his glass-fronted office building. With his left hand, Wormwood begins to search through his many pockets for the bottle of slipspray he knows he keeps handy somewhere…
Pitbull’s Urban Fox screams out the moment he eyes a suitable target – a man garbed in crimson, almost blending into the red roadsters he’s standing in front of. Around him are arrayed a group of five, all dressed in black and red with what look an awful lot like demon masks covering their faces and hard armor covering their torsos. The bullet strikes the man straight in the chest, but the bullet doesn’t seem to do much other than annoy the man. He turns away from the group – a cape of all things swishing in the breeze – and jumps into the first of the three bright-red roadsters. His entourage similarly break up and move to their own vehicles after letting last one more hail of gunfire.
“Pit, can you loose these El Diablo Loons?” Pacoy asks, “I’d rather save the Harpy for Omaha if we can! If we can’t loose ‘em, screw ’em – I’ll fire her up.” Mac is confident of his friend’s driving skill: “Pitbull can lose them – Pacoy, can you get the window down on this devil machine? Dollface?” He snaps his fingers to get Eris’ attention. “Mind passing me up my shotgun? I don’t think my regular roscoe is going to cut it here.”
“Way tha fuck ahead of ya there, Pac!” Pitbull shouts as he floors the accelerator while turning towards the exit.
Wormwood squeezes off three rounds at the caped assailant. He hits all three times – twice in the right leg and once in the abdomen. The bullets ricochet off the man’s armor; he doesn’t even look back at the Lazarus team until he guns the engine of his hotrod, tires squealing. “Well fuck me sideways!” Wormie mutters sincerely.
Pitbull screeches out of the dealership, fully intent on hitting the highway. The Amur screams into the urban daylight, the three blood-red hotrods hot on their heels.
Wormwood yells towards the back of the car, “Eris, pass me my holdall too! I’m gonna need my rifle.”
Eris looks over at the others. “Is this what your missions are typically like?” “Got that right!” Pitbull roars back at her as he hangs a hard left. Wormie laughs like he’s enjoying life, “Yeah! Now pass the hardware!”
Mac grimaces, “Shit – I haven’t seen a bunch of roadster’s this pissed off since the last time one of the Gems stole one of the Russian don’s princesses.” He looks at Eris. “Honestly? This is the first time I’ve been in a car chase with these loogans.” Pitbull’s HUD link comes to life as his auto-play on his music program kicks in, feeding the entire vehicle with loud abrasive Chrome Metal riffs and shrieks.
Eris unbuckles her seatbelt and turns around, diving into the rear of the vehicle, her own rear pushing out into the second row of seats as she tries to sort through which bag is whose. Finally, she pulls one out and tosses it forwards. “Is that the one?” Wormwood grabs the bag. “Yep, that’s it” He opens the holdall and begins to put his new Valkyrie Storm Rifle back together, but then pauses. “Pits! Pass that big-rig as close as you can then pull in front of it!” “Gotcha, brah!” Pitbull yells over the music.
Mac winces, gesturing for Eris to throw him a bag. “Pitbull, ain’t you got any music that doesn’t sound like you swinging a bag a cats into a wall full of hammers?” Eris struggles for a few moments, then tosses up another bag. “Is this it, Mac?” She turns to look at Mac when all of a sudden Pitbull yanks the vehicle to the right; Eris, out of her seatbelt, loses control and falls fully into the cargo area of the Amur with a bit of a yelp.
“Rule number one of- shit!- drivin’ with me: Don’t bitch about my music!” Pitbull shouts, shortly interrupted by his almost failed attempt to get around the semi, clipping it with the ass-end of the SUV. Mac yells, “All things holy, bruno! I thought you said you could drive this thing?” He scrambles to collect his bag and shotgun from it, rapidly pressing the ‘open window’ command as he does.
As the roadsters come barreling onto the four-lane street leading to the highway from the airport, Pitbull attempts to evade them by veering off the safe path and moving into the path of a barreling sixteen wheeler, but almost loses control – and in the process, loses speed. The big rig’s horn blasts long and loud as it moves ever closer…
As Pitbull yanks the wheel and hits the gas to try and prevent the Lazarus group from suddenly becoming a very wet, very expensive splat on the grill of the big-rig behind them, Wormwood tosses out an entire can of slipspray onto the road surface, spreading it out enough to completely cover it – but in doing so, the Amur’s own tires get caught in the action. Pitbull skillfully keeps control when his rear tires temporarily lose their traction, but he’s among the lucky ones. The big-rig behind them slips and slides over the suddenly-icy road, the trailer coming dangerously close to jack-knifing before the driver recovers.
The lead roadster storms past the big-rig, almost unfazed by the slippery surface; the two behind both slip and slide , leaving great big tire marks, but recover after falling back a few dozen yards. The next cars through aren’t so lucky; an expensive luxury groundcar hits the slipspray and begins to fishtail before its center of gravity takes hold and the entire vehicle goes flying in an almost acrobatic flip. The car next to it on the road tries to recover in time, but due to the loss of traction slams directly into the now-upside-down car; a fireball springs from the downtrodden vessels as a hydrogen fuel tank erupts, and whatever other mayhem occurs is obscured by the smoke.
Mac growls, sarcastically, “Slick move Parsons. You too there Worm.” He takes his hat off and sets it on the floor in front of him, surveying the carnage behind and swearing. “Lets see if I can’t discourage them a bit more.” Mac leans the upper half of his body out of the window, aiming backwards with the shotgun, steadying it before unleashing a volley of slugs.
Pitbull growls as he notices the asshole still tailing them. “Prick…” He growls to himself as he tries to come up with another trick. Wormwood curses again and resumes assembling his rifle. Finishing, he pats “Isolde” on the stock and climbs into the back seat beside Mac and setting the rifle tripod on the window edge. Satisfied by the growing distance between the Amur and it’s pursuers, Pacoy decides to go for his rifle as well, “Hey, Eris – might as well hand me my bag too, while you’re at it.” Eris picks up the bag and roughly throws it at Pacoy’s head while one hand holds a kung-fu grip to the cargo netting lining the walls in the back, trying, probably in vain, to avoid any broken bones from being bounced around like a boche ball throughout the chase.
Aiming carefully for several seconds, Wormwood squeezes off three shots, which even with a silencer on his monster rifle sound very loud in the Amur’s confines. All three of the big 1cm bullets smack into the lead chasing car. The first bullet smashes into the vehicles frame, punching a hole straight through. The second goes just above the engine block, hitting one of the passengers just as he was beginning to point a gun at the Amur; the crimson-colored rider slumps back in his seat, the staccato sound of fully-automatic gunfire ringing loudly even on the busy street as his hand reflexively squeezes in pain.
Mac whistles, “That’s a hell of a way to blow one down, Wormwood. Looks like Pitbull did a good job teaching that thing to you, eh?” Wormwood lets out a yell. “Yeah! seems he did, Mac.” Pitbull laughs at the damage done by Wormwood. “Good shot back there! Keep that up, we won’ have any competition!” Pitbull yells over the music, which had just made the transition to the next shrieky and grinding track.
Mac holds his hands over his ears for a moment, then yells, “Does anyone have any earplugs? I swear, Candyman would go catatonic from the cacophony! Nicely done, Pacoy!” The music volume decreases considerably at Pitbull’s whim. “You coulda said somethin’ about the volume.” Pitbull growls with an audible grin. Wormwood sends a mental command to the car’s audio system, and Pitbull’s chrome metal noise is replaced by Manhattan Red’s techno-punk remix of Rock The Casbah. Pitbull laughs again, his laughter mildly out of place in the middle of a car chase. “Nice choice, bro!”
Pacoy takes care aim with his rifle, nearly going wild as the Amur speeds across the road, but correcting his aim in time to put two rounds into the front tires of the lead pursuer with a lucky shot. The roadster behind them suddenly loses control as the front tire blows out, the driver trying to correct but it’s clearly beyond him. Instead, the car simply coasts to a stop, unable to continue at the quick pace of the chase.
Eris, holding on for dear life in the back of the vehicle, seems to have almost gone into a trance, her eyes closed and her head lolling as if cut off from her body. For those looking closely, they might notice a number of small three-inch holes open in the frame of her motorcycle as four small dark-colored balls pop out of their concealing tubes, flying out into the midday sky, their cameras catching every angle of the scene.
The rest keep arguing about the music, seemingly unaware of Pacoy’s excellent shooting. “It’s not SinatraX, but I can’t complain as much.” Mac blinks, looking at himself in the reflection of the glass. In the middle of a high speed shootout, and the only thing that I have to complain about is the music selection? What is wrong with me?" “Well, I got Circuit Grin’s last album. It’s a bit more Nine Inch Nails than Ministry, y’know?” Pitbull growls back to everyone, particularly to Wormwood and Mac. “Their cover album is kinda schitzo but decent.” “Pitbull, does anyone understand the words coming out of your mouth? Songs about crucifixion of the Pope?” Mac wheels around to face the right way, looking at Pitbull scrutinizingly before smiling and rolling his eyes and bracing his back against Pitbull’s seat, racking his shotgun and waiting for an opening to take his next sot. “No, but I got Nun Sodomy’s most recent album, Christian Lies and Papal Expenses last night! It’s sound is pretty ugli-Why are we arguing this in combat?!” Pitbull roars coming to his senses.
The Amur speeds onwards as one of the two remaining hotrods continues the chase; the other slows down, coming to a quick stop next to the disabled vehicle of their cloaked leader, who quickly jumps in to the driver’s seat of the vehicle, the old driver getting back and bracing himself behind the seats in the two-seater vehicle as it guns forwards, attempting to rejoin the chase.
“I think their ‘Crimes against Texas’ album was bar far their best work” Pacoy chimes in, readying his rifle.
The passenger in the vehicle still in the chase lets loose a flurry of shells, obviously firing on full automatic in an attempt to score a hit at the extended range.
“Naw, Pac! That was the Black President Conspiracy, right? Maybe… Damn… Who did that album again…” Pitbull, losing the point of his own words, dives right back into the discussion.
Wormwood returns fire, but this time manages to hit with only one of three shots. The hotrod absorbs the hit right on the bumper, which falls off at the impact. It rolls under the wheels, which send it careening into the next lane over, where the bumper impales a civilian vehicle straight through the rear passenger window.
Mac’s shotgun barks twice, the slugs speeding towards front of the chase car. The shotgun slug slams into the body of the vehicle, passing through the paneling and into the passenger compartment, where the slug slams right into the passenger’s chest. He curses loudly. “Doesn’t anyone in this car listen to good music? Even some Elektrik Russian Bossanova? Damn, Wormwood, could you do more damage to the guys following us than the civilians?” “Want me to drive instead and let Pits have a go, Mac?” Wormie replies.
“I’ve got some REric Clapton on a playlist somewhere if that counts, Mac!” Pitbull shouts as he avoids hitting a Prius 5. “Or maybe some Roy Orbison 2.0?!” as Wormwood’s playlist segues into Maraudio’s “Combat Zone Bop”. Mac gives a thumbs-up. “REC or Orbison would be great right about now. But could ya pull over and have a Bavarian Fire Drill so we can avoid wrecking any more civvie cars?” Mac throws a grin over at Wormwood as he sets his now empty shotgun aside.
Pitbull takes a brief second to modify the queue on the playlist, planning for Roy O2.0’s “Only the Lonely” to come on straight after Maraudio’s “Combat Zone Bop”. “What the drek is that, Pits? We’re in a high adrenaline chase here and you’re playing us musical mogadon!” yells Wormie, playfully.
Mac lets a sharp whistle out through his lips as he watches the result of his gun work behind them. A few months ago, the sigh of that would have driven me to tears, and now I’m just impressed? This job is getting to me. “This is high adrenaline, Wormwood! Come on, can’t you feel it?” Mac snaps his fingers as he proceeds to unsnap the fastener on his shoulder rig. "Hey, the heat of battle softens after a few years, bro! A combat with only three opponents is what I call “slow”! We need something for our slow dance, right’?" Pitbull shouts, narrowly missing a Volkswagen.
Wormwood grins. They want old school, do they? From the sound system the first notes of “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love”, a last-century classic, roll out into the cab. “Now THIS is what I’m talking about! Someone with a sense of taste! I’m so glad to have so many of you lovely people with us at this time.” Mac grins and begins singing along. Pitbull guffaws loudly, as he interrupts it with Justin Timberlake’s ‘00 hit, "(I’m Bringin’) Sexy Back". “Yeah! I went there!” Pitbull roars in laughter. Mac groans and shoves his back against Pitbull’s seat, sticking his head out the window to watch the progress of the car behind them, grumbles lost to the wind.
The Amur rolls forwards, taking a sharp left onto the expressway onramp just as the street passes by an NCPD precinct, the bright red hotrod hot on its heals – swiftly attracting the attention of the gathered NCPD patrol officers, who suddenly give chase. “Oh fucking hell!” shouts Wormie. Mac groans, “Oh no, no, no! Not now, we’re on a mission from DreamCorp. Pitbull, get us off this street!” Pitbull’s smile wipes off of his face, as he immediately turns down the first street he finds.
The high-speed chase suddenly goes grows larger as the second hotrod begins to catch up, pulling a train of pimped-out green sedans with armored paneling – the local Russian mob’s vehicle of choice. Later, the team might learn from the news that the car that blew up earlier after the slipspray trick was a Russian mod lieutenant’s, but for now all they know is there’s a veritable horde of angry Ruskies, a few possibly-bounty-hunters, and a dozen or so police vehicles are all speeding southbound through the Richard Night Expressway.
“Fuuuuuuuuuck…” Pitbull groans as he makes another squeeze around two vehicles.
Gunshots are ringing out loudly through the afternoon air, a three-way duel between the bounty hunters, the mobsters, and the NCPD. An explosion suddenly rockets through the streets as one hydrogen fuel cell vehicle detonates, the result of a little too much gunfire headed its way Pitbull guns the Amur through traffic, eyeing an obstacle up ahead – an obstacle that might just be a one-way ticket to freedom. It’s the Night Memorial Bridge, under which runs Night Memorial Plaza, a small section of Pleasant Hill in which Richard Night, founder of Night City, once lived. Pitbull slams on the accelerator, nimbly evading pursuit for just a few more moments and then – hard right!
The Amur almost tips over as he swerves the heavy vehicle into the turn, aiming straight-on at his prize. The Russian-made semi-armored SUV slams right into the guide-rail and just keeps on going, making a beautiful arc in the sky before coming down hard onto the Plaza’s carefully-marbled stone surface. He guns the accelerator as the ride goes bumpy for the short distance it takes for the Amur to reach the tunnel into the park and disappear into the side streets of Night City, leaving their pursuers in the all-around melee on the bridge.