A Day in the Life: Sound Check

GM: Gretchen
Players: Mr Terrific, Laz, Gretchen
Synopsis: Gretchen convinces Laz to come with her to deliver sandwiches to a touring band in exchange for free tickets to their show at CHROME. The band's gear is stolen and the runners decide to help get it back. Mr. Terrific singlehandedly takes care of business like a super hero, and Laz and Gretchen arrive shortly after to provide backup should it be necessary. But this is Mr. T we're talking about here.

… A hologram prison springs to life around Gretchen, trapped on a dais in the midst of half a dozen angry sportscars, engines revving, chrome gleaming. Headlights paint thick lines through the swirling mist of the devastated corner of the megaplex where this scene takes place. The drivers of each car await a signal from a sinister man in a black trenchcoat with a week's worth of stubble. This man sneers at the captive Gretchen whose eyes glow, seeming unnaturally backlit, unable to escape the ethereal magenta beams of light that make up her prison. All the while, an intense electro soundtrack pounds relentlessly, increasing the tension to heart attack levels.

The German girl hammers her fists against the impenetrable walls of light around her that form a conical, angular shape, each slim slice of the geometric shape meeting at a sharp point meters overhead.

Chaos erupts.

A shootout. A muscle car flies through the air to collide with the glowing hologram prison, finally freeing Gretchen. A car chase that somehow leads all the way to a demon-magic-powered satellite that orbits a devastated Earth…

« Back in the real world… »

Gretch surfaces from her simsense coma with a wild expression, all big eyes and flared nostrils, jaw dropped. She lifts a trodenet from her head, trailing captured strands of her messy white hair from the contact points of the neuro-webbing. The pupils of her black-ringed eyes are dilated and she stagewhispers, "Holy shit! Turbo Killer for the win!"

Laz is in the shower, humming the Turbo Killer sound track. "TOLDJA!" he yells from within the steam cloud.

Mr.Terrific , in amazing synchronicity, is in his own shower humming, "Psycho killer; run run runaway…"

Having paused Turbo Killer because of the time, Gretchen equips the most important article in her wardrobe right now, a crimson poncho. "HURRY UP! And scrub your face! You look ridiculous…" She tucks her Sharpie markers into an inner pocket of the loose garment along with countless other 'just in case' items. So much stuff, so many pockets, so little time.

«Plot» Gretchen says, "Laz has traces of fake stubble drawn in all along his jaw. It's like 'Halloween hobo costume for a child' quality. I drew it on him while he was ICly sleeping/OOCly AFK earlier."

Laz kills the shower, powerdries himself and throws on some underclothes that could also be gym clothes.

He steps out into the trideo area, runs his palm over his buzzcut hair to dry it and beams a smile.

He has failed to remove all the Sharpie ink.

"I have no more skin layers to spare…the ink will just have to fade."

Mr. Terrific, for himself back home, is just in his usual routine. Harassing normies, having Neglect grumble about running orichalcum in the lab because Laz isn't minding his own circulation, doing his own research and management, and otherwise awaiting the call to adventure.

"These sandwiches aren't going to deliver themselves," she yells out far too loudly, not having realized Laz is now in the same room. The German rushes about the kitchen of the apartment above Jaya's salon, shoving /real/ BLT sandwiches into baggies recklessly, squashing some of the sandwiches in if they refuse to fit easily.

Laz jumps on one leg while trying to get the leather trousers over his rugby-thighs, "Remind me again why we are delivering BLTs and to whom?" he says, as dust rains down on Jaya's below.

Gretchen shoves the dozen or so sandwiches into her shoulder bag in a great rush as she replies, looking up. Her hair is still mussed by the trodenet, but that said, it looks pretty normal for her. "To CHROME, remember? Ectoplasmosis is opening tonight. I posted on their message board that I'd bring them some tour snacks in exchange for tickets to the show tonight! I found real bacon and everything!"

Laz switches to jump on his other leg, gets the trousers on, grabs other layers, finishes it all with a stetson. "What face am I wearing?"

She looks to the fake stubble she drew on his face, then slides her eyes to the side and grimaces, pausing in her loading up of the band sammies. Did he even look in the mirror??? "Um… If you grab my Ithaca from under the couch, you could pull off Hobo with a Shotgun pretty well…"

Laz shakes his head, "Not on the face recog drones, turn around as I know this gives you the heebies…" He motions for her to twirl, presumably to protect her from his facial transformation, but really to check out her ass.

Gretchen just lets him suffer the drawn-on stubble, having done her part to aid in his street disguise while he was passed out earlier.

Laz shrugs his watermelon-sized shoulder and begins to do the facial sculpt supah freak thing—he seems to be going for an afro-asian mix, judging by the way the cheekbones are going while the skin darkens as the melanin surges…

The trip to CHROME is rushed, at Gretchen's insistence, and when Laz and she arrive at the back alley of the club, Ecto's van is pulled up to one side, and the rear door can be seen wedged open just an inch with a small rubber door stopper. She parks her bike behind the band's trailer, sets the theft-deterrent electroshock and scampers to the cracked door. Loud music and faint voices can be heard within.

Laz has gone coffee-bean-skin mulatto but still affects a limp as he follows Gretchen once he exits his POS Americar. He is annoyed himself for choosing the limp-fake because he's likely going to lose her in the chaos of Ectobabies or whatever she said the band's name was, which he mutters under his breath.

Then again, Chrome is always good for an idiot or three who wants to pick a fight, so.

Gretchen lets herself inside, one hand upraised preemptively to greet anyone who may try to stop her and Laz from entering. At the first face she encounters in CHROME's back hallways she blurts out, "We're with the band…"

Mr. Terrific might well be here for the band. It IS Ecto, you know, and CHROME is one of his known hangouts.

Mr. Terrific is not, like, a total fanboy. He hates it when people come up to him and ask him for autographs. So he watches from afar like an INTJ does. Judging with his judging, judging eyes. A quiet, internal smile about him, and general paranoia as one might.


Gretchen and Laz are permitted through — it was just one of the barstaff she accosted with her pre-loaded excuse, and the amount of fucks given with regard to their presence is nil. Plus, "I'm with the band" is a powerful card to play in the right circumstances. Upon entering the main room from the narrow back halls, the members of Ecto can be seen milling about with 'sound check beers' in hand while they talk with the stage manager and another uniquely dressed man who seems to be meeting everyone present for the first time. Music continues to play over the house system for the employees, and it all but disguises the voices.

The German turns and looks up to Laz, "That Terrific guy is here… Fragging weird… He must be a fanboy or something…" She hefts her messenger bag full of bandwiches and moves toward the bar, taking regular glances at the band. Japanese punks with slicked back pompadours and leather biker jackets. Indoor sunglasses. Lock and loll. She eventually waves a quick hand to one of the members who she makes eye contact with, and he breaks from the discussion to come join the bar as well.

The bassist, Ichiro approaches and offers a hand covered in rings. "Gretchen, right?"

She nods eagerly and returns the shake. "I brought some tour snacks like I mentioned ontrix— I promise they're not poisoned!"

The stage manager looks over a checklist on a datapad, confirming points with the other members of the band, and there is a lot of nodding toward the stage and grand pantomimes as if discussing set dressing and stage layout.

Gretchen sheepishly offers one of her bandwiches, making it a point to withdraw one of the less 'mangled to fit in a baggie in a hurry' ones. Meanwhile, Laz slips over to T for a howdyado since Gretch is pretty firmly locked into a shameless, shameless fangirl moment, trading real bacon for free passes to tonight's show. Granted, Ecto is only the opening band (some shitty local group is headlining, but who cares about them) but they're the main draw for a lot of fans, due to Ecto's rabid, if small, fanbase.

Ichiro risks his life to try this sandwich… And following his first small bite he doesn't croak, so he carries on. Gretchen asks overeager questions while the Japanese man coolly eats and requests beers for the two of them from one of the barbacks between responses.

Eventually the stage manager concludes things with the other members of the group and they call Ichiro to help them load in their gear.

Mr.Terrific hand-clasps Laz professionally, while he checks the time. Durn roadies. "Try not to carry all seven of the speakers at once. Makes everyone else look bad."

Ichiro is summoned away, leaving his sandwich behind, resealed, so Gretchen stacks the rest alongside it, pulling them from her bag two by two. The two beers for Ichiro and Gretchen arrive now, but with no Ichiro present, she claims them both for herself, alternating sips from one, then the other.

After a few moments of the band having slipped out of sight down the back halls of the club, three Japanese voices all erupt with anger, in what must be curses of the most vile kind. Ichiro darts back in, seeking the stage manager who is up on stage now, coordinating lighting transitions via his datapad.

"Our fucking van!" That's the most coherent thing that can be discerned through the Japanese rocker's mediocre English while in a frenzy.

Mr. Terrific now must look. Is their van, in fact, in the midst of being stolen?

Mr. Terrific le sigh. How can the band play with this going on? He stands up, making and discarding several options in his head. He looks around for Lone Star cops and spirits in the astral, heads out into the CHROME cloakroom where you deposit all your weapons and crap, and sees if he has a moment where he's the only one in there to cast Invisibility and Levitate.

Laz lets T do his thing while he sits there repeating something almost soundlessly.

Mr. Terrific steps out of the cloak room invisibly (he really needs to learn how to quick-change in a telephone booth) and lofts up into the air, to see if he can spot the truck from on high. He's got binoculars even.

The other man who took part in the earlier discussion between Ecto and the stage manager drifts to the bar after having spent a moment in the restroom. He's a fairly average human with street clothes, but they're wonderfully made, to the point of appearing tailor made and immaculately fitted. "What's going on?" He seems mystified and out of his element as the rest of the band trickle in, running and shouting in Japanese, cityspeak and partial English, each of them occasionally gesturing to the back alley. One of them is fighting with their phone, yelling "Rone Stah!"

Mr. Terrific knows he's looking for trucks of a certain size in general; once he has eyes on a truck, any truck, he narrows in with his always-carried binoculars (mage, natch) to confirm. The technique bears fruit.

Elevated above the neighborhood, T catches a glimpse of a rented trailer like a band might use. It disappears down the block after a rapid flash of "U-Haul" catches his eye, emblazoned on a wide orange stripe down the length of the mobile stuff-carrier.

Gretchen lurches to her feet, double-fisting her beers still as the other man approaches to ask what's going on. "Something about their van?" She seems surprised, concerned, puzzled, and blurts out, "Who the hell are you?"

The man is just as puzzled and replies with, "Cam Delaney — I just make their jackets…" Everyone's in a frenzy now, rushing about like chickens with their heads cut off, and the band tries to pull people out to the back alley as though it will help. Gretchen beckons to Laz, and speeds her way back out, partly to keep track of what's happening, but also to see that her bike is still there…

Which it is, thankfully. Only the van and trailer have vanished, as has Mr. T.

The drummer keeps fighting with his phone, not knowing the number for the local authorities, and Cam tries to help with that, just on the verge of hitting the send button on his own phone.

"Wait!" Gretchen calls out to those trying to contact the cops. "Wait, we—" She gets red in the face all of a sudden after calling attention to herself but continues. "Let us try to sort this out…"

Laz shows unusual presence of mind (for him) and remembers to limp when he pops his head out into the alley to check for Gretchen's bike. He smiles but his eyes are sad because no one was stupid enough… with a small shrug he goes back in, having for some reason locked in on Cam.

"Mister Delaney, a word if I may?" he says, speaking a bit more loudly since he's not carrying his usual stick.

Mr.Terrific flies after it, keeping low, hopping from building to building because it looks cooler if you lightly set a foot down as if one is taking seven league strides. He takes a moment to text Laz, "On the trail of the u-haul. Gonna see if I need to speed it up or slow me down. Let me know if I should trail it to a destination." (Also, the usual complement of Lone Star drones and stuff that monitors for flying invisible people and crap like that looks higher."

Cam is clearly worried for the band, having had their whole livelihood stolen away in the blink of an eye, and this shows in his expression as he steps aside to speak with Laz.

T knows his biz and flies under the radar in hot pursuit of the stolen tour van+trailer. Gretchen turns in circles, this way and that, trying to pick up any hints as to what might have transpired in the moments since she entered the club. Beers still in hand, she jogs to one end of the alley, the direction the van was originally facing, and peeks out to the main street.

Ichiro and his cohorts, frantic and punk-rock raging in Japanese, simply storm about, seeming on the verge of fighting each other for lack of any other faces to punch.

Laz holds up his hand to Ichiro and says, "Your van will be found, continue your mic check." He smiles and hopes he didn't just insult him and his family. (Japanese)

The comment from Laz to Ichiro draws a snarl and a hasty slicking back of the much smaller Japanese man's pompadour as he barks, "There's no sound check without our fucking gear, chumma!" Cam remains by the large elf's side while Gretchen is grouped at the mouth of the alley with the other members of the band, just as 'chicken with her head cut off' as they are, but she has the presence of mind to hand each of the other two rockers her partially sipped beers which they both accept and turn up, facing toward each other in an impromptu chugging contest. The drummer finishes first and hurls his bottle at the alley wall, followed shortly by the guitarist/singer's bottle.

The van continues lurching through winding side streets and alleys on a circuitous route away from CHROME, but T keeps tabs on it, if only in brief flashes of that unmistakeable orange stripe on the rental trailer.

Mr.Terrific is struck by existential angst. Darn these constraints. Why doesn't he set himself free and fly high? Use all his power in a single burst? Who cares about all the drones and their heavy machineguns! They can't see him! (Except with their sonar and radar sensors.) Oh, sure, he could throw up defenses against that, but then he'd be holding up three spells and couldn't see in front of himself. No, he must marshall on and play the game - are they trying to lose pursuit or actually go somewhere?

Laz frowns, "I thought you were walking around with your mic check beers…" He shrugs. "Well, do whatever IS NOT walking around like an asshole who just lost his wallet—there's got to be a music equivalent. Maybe throat exercises?"

Ichiro chimes in, interrupting Laz' suggestions with, "Everything we own is in that fucking trailer — I AM an asshole who just lost his wallet, asshole!" He folds his arms and looks over to Gretchen who just provided the beers to his bandmates that shattered on the alley wall.

Cam looks disappointed and mutters to himself that, "Their new jackets were in there too…" He seems just as disappointed that his own handiwork was stolen, but is a bit less aggro than the band in how he displays it. He rubs his jaw and turns to Laz. "Look, she doesn't want us calling Star, but if we don't, how the hell do we get the boys their gear back?" He plants his hands on his hips and ponders, frowning.

Mr.Terrific narrows in steadily, always keeping an eye out for the van actually, say, entering a chop shop or stopping to offload ill gotten gains.

"It is being sorted out," replies Laz, calmly. "And you're late. And that lovely lady went to the trouble of bringing you not only sandwiches but audience members and roadies. She will be very disappointed if you do not perform. That will make me <Japanese word for 'sad' but used incorrectly which means 'suicidal'>." A long pause for Ichiro's brain to fill in the "And it's probably a very bad idea to make me sad OR suicidal" part.

"Set up, that's my suggestion." A genuine smile because he is thinking .oO (The show must go on!) but refrains from saying it for now.

The Terrific one locks in on the van, now close enough to follow without issue — except for a sudden veering turn into yet another side street that sends pedestrians scattering! Nevermind, it's quite a simple matter to course-correct and stay on the thieves' tail. A glimpse of a masked face can be seen from the mage's position in the large side mirrors of the van, but no real details are discerned as of yet. The hunt continues.

Back in the alley, Ichiro turns away from Laz with a disgruntled rattling off of derogatory cityspeak and rejoins his bandmates where Gretchen tugs at her hair while trying to follow their rapid-fire chatter in a mishmash of three or more different languages, each more alien than the next.

Cam has a sudden realization that brings up a flurry of questions, and looks around from where he stands near the alleyway door by Laz. "Where's the other guy? Was he with you? Shouldn't we seriously just call Lone Star? Why doesn't she want us to call the cops?!"

Mr. Terrific can get lower and keep in close, taking advantage of occasional stops and so forth. He begins scouting for an area that's low on cameras, police, and civilians, so he can make a play. But really, following them into their final location would be the optimum.

Laz smiles as Ichiro walks away, but he taps his wristPC twice to remind the dude he's watching the time—like having no gear to set up is an excuse not to set up!

He then turns and smiles down at Cam. "Whoever is driving the van will suddenly have an urge to drive it back…" He pauses. "Also, I don't believe there was enough time to disable the transponder, unless the band had done that, so, the van's software knows exactly where it is—the van /itself/ may have already called Lone Star. But if it hadn't, let's just say they don't like coming by without having a thorough look at what it is they've been summoned to help with, scan?"

Unable to comprehend anything the band members are discussing, Gretchen finally runs back down the alley toward her bike, crimson poncho waving behind her like a blood red banner.

The route the van has taken is leading T into a more C-level area of the district where more wallspace is dedicated to graffiti than corporate advertising.

In an effort to help in some way, Gretchen offers Laz a quick look that conveys that she'll be back as soon as possible, fires up her bike, the neo-retro Triumph RK30 with its dark cherry red teardrop gas tank that inadvertently happens to match her poncho, and she blasts out of the alley with an appreciable rumble that echoes in the contained space. Like a crimson lightning bolt she veers out into the streets to begin a vain search of her own.

Mr. Terrific sends a location-ping to Laz: he gives cross streets and says, "Still tracking."

Laz holds up his hand as if to say something to Gretchen but she's out of there like a bat out of hell—and his wristPC vibes around the same time he was going to beg her to stay. Instead, he pings her the location and update from Terrific, so she knows it's all in hand and comes back intact, rather then popping her skull on a lightpole or the like.

"So, Cam," he says, turning back to the sartorial sensei, "You work only in styling or do you do form AND function?"

The van gradually pulls into a rundown impound lot, more of a place for old vehicles to be forgotten as opposed to any place where vehicles might be retrieved. It's a graveyard for old sedans and pickups, with a small assortment of long-obsolete industrial equipment here and there. A rickety sign on the gate declares this to be an old municipal lot for the city, but over time it has been adopted by locals to serve more as a base of operations for a chop shop (the vehicular kind), and most of the vehicles out in the yard have long since had anything useful removed by urban prospectors in search of precious metals for scrap trade-in at the recycleries or actual replacement parts.

Mr.Terrific immediately whips on the Asshole Sight to check for wards, spirits, and other things that will mess with his cheezy wizardly supremacy. That being done, he calls the cavalry with the final location, gets down on the ground, and looks for their lookouts/snipers/drones/etc. If they do, in fact, go into a garage, he follows them right the hell in, ghosting the ward if they got one.

Cam looks to Laz with an open expression, raised eyebrows and a nod. "How do you mean? I mainly do custom work for bands," at which he gestures to the rockers at the mouth of the alley. "I can work with pretty much anything though. I've done a lot of trid wardrobe work, street jackets…" He pulls one side of his own jacket out to reveal a layer of obvious kevlarweave underneath, as you might see in many secure jackets and the like. "Why do you ask?"

Laz crosses his arms and rocks a little, then puts a palm on each of Cam's shoulders, leaning in to whisper: "Because if I'm going to go crack some skulls, as much as I enjoy being Obelix to their Romans, I need to know what I'm getting…as you see, on the great scale of life, on the one hand we have a feather, on the other, we have the amount of fucks given by me about your band…and the feather is winning." He gives him a little squeeze on both clavicles, applying a fraction of his strength in a way that makes it clear he could just push through them as if they were nmbr2 pencils. "But if you tell me that your prop work extends to being able to get, oh, say, military grade props, shall we call them, then I am VERY happy to give many more fucks and walk out there and ruin some days. You see, my last fixer died, and I haven't recovered." He leans back, gives another very friendly one-two squeeze and then crosses his arms, eyebrow raised. His nostrils are flaring though. Always a very bad sign.

The centerpiece of the municipal lot is an automotive garage with a small office building attached, sections easily noted by the difference in roof height. The office section was never even modified to accommodate the larger UGE-transformed metatypes it's so old. Into the garage the van goes, down comes the heavy rolling door after T slips through, and in a flurry of activity, a crew of burly laborers and thugs begin to work on the van to dismantle it with such practiced precision and speed, it's a true marvel of synchronization. What wonders a skilled team can perform under the right leadership…

"Oh…" Cam looks a little taken aback. "…I'm not with Ecto— I mean— I've been selling them my pieces for like six months now, but this is the first time I've ever actually met them. It was just a good opportunity to get to say hello in person as opposed to dealing with them by phone or trix." The pressure on his collar bones is… convincing to say the least. He could be convinced to confess to being a ninja turtle in disguise right about now, but he offers, "I can manage heavy duty plating, helmets, whatever you want…"

Mr. Terrific oh no nos. They don't quite have that kind of time. They get to work, T texts Laz with, "When do you get here or do I take them myself? Tempus fugit," and then gives Laz one minute to Stunball.

Laz smiles, "Doesn't quite sound like what I need, but you owe me some tailoring, we'll leave it at that." He then turns and speaks into his wristpc, "Be with you shortly…but don't wait for me, just don't catch me in it; I'll be coming in through the back door or my version of it." The wristPC then converts that into a text for Terrific.

Mr. Terrific makes an educated guess as to how long it will take Laz to arrive without the movement power, given how long he was flying, then decides if the damage to the van will be so great it won't be easily driveable back. Then he figures that maybe Laz will arrive to play cleanup. He flies up into the rafters so he can see as many of them as possible and work them into his diameter of effect, for to calm himself, center, and stunball. (This is much kinder than what he's really wanted to do sometime, which is make a great form air elemental invisible and silent and have it wander around engulfing.)

Gretchen lets her gyros guide the bike for a moment as she consults her phone, then darts off toward the old impound lot's address as provided… She had been circling the area around CHROME in an ever-widening spiral in hopes of spotting something, but now she has a proper destination. How this info reached Laz, and then her, she has no clue, but Laz has his ways and she trusts that he's informed. Perhaps the Ecto boys keep GPS trackers in their amps or something… Regardless, vroom! A blood-red streak of crimson flashes through the streets.

Laz, for his part, steps into the alley, pops the trunk, grabs his Mortimer, haversack and poncho, and while putting them on runs up the wall of the tallest building, up to the top of the sixth floor. There, he summons a high force spirit of the skies, and while activating the ruthenium walks toward the edge, from which he leaps into his own high force levitation spell, multiplied by the spirit's movement power. He lets Mr. T know that his ETA is roughly in a couple of dozen heartbeats.

Did Laz just giggle??

In the garage, the trailer is cracked open as easily as a chocolate egg at Easter and bins of merch and amps and instrument cases are loaded into another vehicle while the panels of the tour van are quickly removed to get access to the valuable autoparts beneath. The engine is being picked apart up front, and more of the crew are rifling through the personal possessions in the van's interior.

Cam stammers for a moment, not normally being susceptible to intimidation, but Laz is huge, and the declaration of being owed something came out of nowhere. "I- Ah- Wha???" But Laz is gone before Cam can inquire about how he owes anyone anything. He won't likely argue with the massive elf if it comes down to it, but he's now even more confused about what's going on.

One of the thugs, a heavily muscled one, who happens to be shoulder-carrying a large guitar amp taken from the trailer feels a wave of sluggishness strike. His footsteps lag, and before he can set the amp down, he collapses under its weight with the audible crack of bone. But he broke the amp's fall, and for that he gets a gold star. Following this, a chain reaction takes place, with every member of the chopshop crew succumbing and collapsing to the floor in very rapid succession along with the clanging of tools and the clattering of any parts or loot they happened to be carrying.

Laz arrives, annoyed at having missed all the fun. So he starts having his own fun! He rummages around to find all the keys to all the cars possible, then takes all the sleeping beauties and stuffs them (relatively gently) inside various car boots (AKA trunks), before locking them. He then calls CHROME and asks to speak to Mr. Cam Delaney.

"Um, yeah, this is Cameron Delaney…" Cam keeps getting surprised by the strange situation taking place at CHROME today. Audible through the phone is the continuing chatter of the Japanese trio bickering amongst themselves.

Around this time, Gretchen finally arrives, parking and hiding her bike outside the fenced perimeter of the lot before skulking in, only to find Laz already present?! And stowing the bodies of unconscious auto mechanics into the boots of old, undriveable cars…

Laz smiles, "Yes, Mr. Delaney, we have your van, please come to the following address with the bandmates. And a mechanic if you have one."

"…I told you before," Cam just doesn't know how the massive elf got it in his head that he's in the band. "…I'm not…" He shakes his head on the CHROME side of the phone and just takes it in stride, turning to the band and trying to paraphrase in decent-enough Japanese that, "The huge elf and the sandwich girl found the van!"

Following the magical onslaught of NAP TIME, Gretchen helps gather together the band's equipment but can't really do much for the van's partially disassembled state.

Cam and the Ectoplasmosis boys roll up in Cam's open top jeep a short while after, and manage to attach the trailer and salvage their belongings from the van. They deal with the bureaucracy of getting a mechanic out here on short notice to begin rebuilding the van without letting the rental agency know what transpired, and with only the loss of their sound check, they're really no worse for wear, and have a hell of a story to tell for their first visit to Denver. And who needs a sound check anyway. These boys are punk as fuck.

Later that evening, the show is amazing. Cam's outfits are badass, the band even moreso while wearing them, and perhaps the most important revelation of the whole day's events is a unanimous decision for Ectoplasmosis to change their name to Mile High Wolf.

After their set, Ichiro and the two other members of Mile High Wolf invite Gretchen, Laz and T to join them in the green rooms along with Cam Delaney to party as a show of thanks for retrieving the lost equipment and the wiz new jackets. If not for the Terrific one's impossibly acute ability to pursue the U-Haul trailer, the band's tour could have been cut short, but the runners have helped them retain their livelihood and for that they're more grateful than their broken English can properly portray. They do offer free tickets to any of their shows though, all the runners need do is get in touch.

Cam is still a little weirded out over Laz' strange insistence that he owes the elf anything, but he's not inclined to try to argue sense with the 'roided out hulk. Gretchen picks up on some of this oddness while everyone is drinking in the back halls of CHROME and tries to mediate the Laz/Cam situation to prevent there being any shattered collar bones. Cam eventually sees that Laz is merely… forceful by nature, shall we say, and Gretchen manages to calm the social waters enough that he offers his professional services as a stylist/miracle worker via a small couture fashion house here in Denver.

The forgettable local band in the headlining slot plays a forgettable set, and as the evening passes, Mile High Wolf entertains the runners in the green room along with a gaggle of groupies with backstage passes. They Japanese trio regale everyone with highly animated stories of how they've saved the Earth from alien invasion not once, not twice, but three times, with motorcycles that shoots jets of flame, guitars with hidden machine guns and samurai swords in the necks and more. Very few of their phrases are intelligible once they start getting wasted, but they chant certain things in unison, all three band members at once calling out, "Jet rock!" Or "Wild zero!" Or "Ace!" And along with their acted out scenes of saving the world, the groupies and the runners are treated to a hell of a night at CHROME. Without gunfire for once!

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