Back to Nature
GM: Slinger
Players: Orpheus, Dane
Synopsis: Slinger has assigned Orpheus to work with the Saints while Slinger is doing an astral quest. Gabriel has a mission for Orpheus — and Dane. It turns out that a certain individual agreed to sell the Saints a collection of vaccines (large numbers of doses in vials for dispensing) for a significant amount of money. An affiliate of the Saints — and an old friend of Dane's — named Fayte spotted the man in Sioux territory, at a back-to-nature tribal Reservation for whom she does occasional beadwork.

Slinger had prepared for something like this, by winning at a Shadow Auction (off-camera) free smuggling for up to four people plus a
vehicle. It was due to expire before /too/ long, and Slinger basically told Gabriel about it, with notice that the Saints could use it for whatever at their leisure. Orpheus stopped by the apartment, grabbed the keys to the Suburban and the contact notes for the smuggling, getting them easily across the border.

Upon arriving and stealthing closer, they found the individual in question, and after sneaking into his teepee found the cash there. Then, they snuck up on the guy, while Fayte distracted two of the tribeswomen, and escorted him to the lodge, where the vaccines had been stashed in a fridge. The team successfully recovered both the vaccines and the cash paid for them, making Gabriel — and the Saints — happy.

Date: Aug 11, 2069


Part 1: Meetup


«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "You receive a call from Fayte. Asking you to come down to the Angel's Delight. There's a problem."
«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "If you're free, that is. She'd consider it a personal favor."
Dane gets the phone call and agrees quietly with the French accent he reserves for friends, and then he goes out the the car. Once inside, he gives an ETA to his contact based on what MATH SPU and his ME3 have learned in the past about how long it takes to get there, and then he drives, taking the derelict CAS/UCAS-Warrens border crossing. The music is very soft opera.
«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "Passing through the border check is not difficult at all, and you proceed on through, toward the Warrens. The passage toward the Angel's Delight is similarly unobstructed. In fact, it seems that there are fewer of the Saints out and about than usual."

The bed, for where it is, is actually relatively comfortable. It isn't as comfortable as Slinger's bed, nor as warm. Nor as filled with warm elfin male. It seems like only a moment ago that you crushed out your cigarette in the ashtray, just after Chris left the room — but the fact that it is now rather light outside bears witness to the time that has passed. The knocking comes again, more insistent, perhaps a little rough. Whoever is on the other side of the door isn't used to being kept waiting.

Orpheus did just what he wanted NOT to do: he fell asleep after all that had happened.. it was more of a mentally exhausting ordeal than a physical one.. though those were the worst kinds after all. The knocking jolts him awake though.. it seemed like he layed down, closed his eyes a moment and.. suddenly now hes waking up again with knocking.
Slowly, Orphe lifts up out of the bed, rubbing his eyes drowsily. "Shit.." he murmers. Slowly, he gets out of the bed and heads over toward the door. "Ayyy, okay I'm there.." he says, then fiddles with the door knob, slowly turning it and opening the door to see whose disturbing his beauty sleep.

It's Gabriel. "Get up, get showered, get dressed," he orders. "I got a job for you. You got fifteen minutes," he tells the youth. Then he glances behind him, and smirks, and then grabs Chris lightly by the ear, and gives him a push toward the room, causing the youth to suck in a deep breath. "He'll help you," he adds, roughly. "Since apparently I can't trust him to follow orders." Chris stumbles into the room, rubbing at his ear and looking… well, a little defiant as the door closes. And as soon as it's closed, he sticks his tongue out at he door.

Luckily, Dane's much needed beauty sleep was not disturbed. He drives up to the Angel's Delight, taking in the observations, and then he parks somewhere where he hopes that people will be less likely to mess with his vehicle. Once stopped, he unbuckles his seatbelt and then he collects his keys from the ignition and gets out smoothly. He closes and locks the door and then gives the area a quick look around before pocketting his keys once more.

Orpheus takes a step back as Gabriel barks his orders. WELL. It's just like waking up in the barracks back in the academy! Woo hoo! Fucking hell… "Yeah.. yeah.. Okay dude," he mutters.. then shoots Chris a rather odd look as hes shoved into the room with him. A look at the tongue-sticking.. "Careful," he warns.. "Where I came from, I saw a boy get his tongue cut off doin' that," he warns with a grin. Wait.. was that a JOKE Orpheus just told? Or.. maybe it's true? Both prospects are potentially scary..
5t"Well.. I'm ganna jump in the shower," he says, standing there awkwardly a moment.. two moments.. then heads off to do his business, stripping, de-cloaking, unfastening, unlacing.. Shower water turns on.. ect

"Got in trouble," Chris admits, as he turns around to give you a little privacy to disrobe, his cheeks flushing, arms folded. His eyes flick to your pack of smokes, there on the table beside the bed, and for just a moment he is tempted. But no. He has to earn it. He sits down on the bed instead. "The Demon… he's bein' dealt with, Gabe said. But he's really mad at me for goin' into a combat situation when I'm too young. A little ticked at you for letting me, apparently," he adds, with a grunt. He's clearly not pleased about it. The young ganger actually doesn't smell bad, and is wearing clean clothes, which indicates that he, at least, took the time to clean himself up this morning.
"He's got some kind of thing, though, that just came up. He's bringin' in somebody from outside, but wants you and me to do it. He says since I can't follow orders and stay where I'm put, I might as well hang out with you." That's not what Gabriel actually /said/. What he /said/ is something unprintable.

"That so?" Orphus calls from within his shower. "To be honest, I don't see what Slinger sees in th' guy.. he kinda reminds me of my instructor from long ago.. an' I fuckin' hated that fucker," he adds. Not common to see Orpheus talk so passionately and intensely about someone in a negative context, but you know.. sometimes thats how it was.
Overall, it only takes Orpheus maybe three minutes to shower. SUPER SHOWER TIME MAXIMUM FUN FUN. Another gift of the academy; l2shower fast. Once he steps out hes got his gear and clothes draped on his shoulder and is just wearing his boxers.. he slips the dirty heap of combat gear onto the bed and starts rifling through it.. he's actually accumulated some junk and needs a sec to sort through it all.. maybe get his new comm unit fastened to his camo jacket..
"Who they bringin' in?" Orph asks Chris suddenly.

The teenager shrugs his shoulders. "Got no idea. Some guy somebody knows. They got a job that the Saints can't really do. Outside their reach, yannow?" He glances over at your smokes, then back at Orpheus, and then shifts on the bed.
"Gabriel… it's hard to tell with him. He'll be mad one minute, then later tell you you did a great job. It's hard to tell." He fidgets nervously on the bed, while he sneaks glances toward the Hispanic boy's frame. "Anyway… so I'm s'posed to be with you, do whatever you need me to do." He doesn't seem upset about that, overly, though he does rub at his ear a little more.

Orpheus begins quickly working back into his gear and stuff, slipping the camo armor back on, the cloak.. clipping his comm unit to the jacket, getting his quick draw holster set up.. ect.. He glances over at the awkwardly nervous Chris, "You got your gear ready?" he asks. "We're ganna move out right away." Orpheus grabs his pack of geurerras, extracing a smoke from them. He grins at Chris, waving the thing around a sec before setting it on his lips..
"Remember what I said? Maybe after this job? But you have to follow my orders.. Same as before; stay back, out of sight.. Remember, your just back-up for now." Orpheus gets his cigarette alight, taking in a healthy drag of it.
"Where we meeting this 'outsider' at?"

Chris nods. "Yeah, I got my gun, got my camo," he says, gesturing to his clothing. He is wearing something with a little more armor than yesterday, proudly, with a grin on his face. He glances at the pack, and nods once, with a hint of eagerness in his face. "That'd really piss Gabriel off. He asked if you smoked in front of me. I told him, of course not, sir. He muttered somethin' about bein' a bad influence."
We're supposed to meet the guy downstairs for a briefing, then move out. Apparently it's pretty important."

The outsider, Dane, stays outside AD for now, just blending with a shadow for now to watch things, noticing things are different, so observing.

«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "A few moments pass, and then Fayte appears from around a corner; she glances around warily, then starts down the street toward the Angel's Delight. She smiles, warmly and broadly as she catches sight of the Frenchman, and quickens her pace. "You came," she says, with a warm smile on her features, as she steps forward to give Dane a warm, yet chaste hug."
«Plot-Page» (To: Slinger) Dane notices Fayte but makes no moves to hide himself from her, actually stepping forward a bit while taking his shoulder out of the lean against a wall. He still remains hidden in shadows though, even when she has neared. Dane realizes she is coming in for a hug, and after a slight hesitation and tension, he opens up his deerhide leather jacket arms to her. He pulls her close into a nice sincere hug, and then he lets her go, and he nods once. "Aye." he speaks softly.
«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "Fayte smiles warmly, and her hug is sincere as well. "Someday," she murmurs, "I'll get you to open up. Anyway. Let's head inside. You'll be meeting up with Gabriel — have you met him before?" she asks, in a friendly tone. "Apparently, you'll be working with one other person. Not sure who he is. Haven't heard of him before.""
«Plot-Page» (To: Slinger) Dane does not really respond much more than to just give a slightly better squeeze, and then he lets her go completely and tucks his hands into his pockets. When Gabriel is mentioned, Dane shakes his head and admits, "Not personally, only from afar." he states quietly. Dane nods a little bit to the last bit of information, and then he motions to the door before beginning to head that way.

Orpheus smirks, "I don't care if you tell him the truth," says he. He probably didn't, actually.. "You don't have to worry about protectin' me. Remember; I'm here on a mission.. I won't even let Gabriel keep me from it." Orpheus says this with no small conviction in his voice.. with that, he quickly trails out of room, down the stairs.. and into the main pool hall where hopefully Dane will be there to meet them.

«Plot-Page» (To: Orpheus) Slinger grins. Still smokin'?

Your damn skippy Orpheus is still smokin'.. He just walzed down the stairs with his geurerra hanging off his lower lip, defiantly staring everyone else in the face, daring them to say something about it.

Dane is not actually in the pool hall, most of the crowd recognizable.

Chris nods once, with a bit of a grin, a shrug. "If you wanna get in trouble, then that's you. But I'm not gonna snitch on ya," the boy promises, as he steps out of your bedroom behind you, making sure to close the door carefully. And he walks in a trail of Orpheus's smoke, tickling his nostrils with the hint of defiance, while he descends the stairs behind you.
Both groups arrive at roughly the same time, and Gabriel is inside, cigarette burning, talking to several of the other Saints. Logistics of shipments, from the sound of it. He glances to Orpheus, then shoots the youth a scowl at the boy's defiance. But otherwise he makes no comment other than a quick wave toward a round table in the corner.

Good thing too. Orpheus might have actually got pissed this time if Gabe snatched his cigarette again. So, since he doesn't, Orpheus proudly sucks the ash down and generally chugs like a train while he steps up to the table with Chris in his wake.

About this time, the door opens, and Fayte steps through, with Dane holding the door behind her. The interior of the bar is a collection of people — a few customers, but mostly people wearing the gang colors of the Saints. Oh, and two youths in the corner, seated at a round table, dressed in camo fatigues. Those are probably whom you're here to meet.

Dane moves inside and then lets the door close gently behind them, and then he moves to follow the young elven lass, letting her lead him to where he needs to be. Dane glances around with his usual calm brown eyed gaze.

Orpheus turns and looks back toward Dane as he steps up.. He.. has to stop and think a sec. Hey wait, hasn't he met this guy before? Sorta.. quiet dude.. but likeable perhaps. "Hola," Orpheus offers to the approaching man as he comes, looking at him curiously.. perhaps if Dane says something he'll remember for sure.

Dane looks over to Orpheus and then smiles faintly, nodding with some recognition himself. "Hello, to you as well." he says but with his usual CAS Denver street accent, rather than the French one. Dane then looks for a seat, and upon finding one, will offer it first to Fayte, then find one for himself.

At least there is some kinda recognition there.. That's good. Orph prefered working with people he knew at least a LITTLE bit. Once the team is finally gathered, Orph looks to Gabriel, nodding.. "So.. What's the word?" he wonders. It's suppose to be some big, important thing they are doing, and it has him wondering.. I mean, disarming a massive bomb and saving hostages was pretty srz bsnz right? And if this is equally important, then.. wow, the Saints are really cought up in a constant state of hurry.

Chris is seated next to Orpheus, watching the two new arrivals carefully. Fayte, he knows, and gives her a quick little smile, though slightly nervous, and unconsciously scoots closer to Orpheus.
Fayte glances at Orpheus, and then chuckles, slipping into a seat at the table. "Surprised Gabriel lets you get away with it," she remarks, before she sits down in the seat Dane offers, across from the pair of teenagers.
That done, all that remains is waiting for Gabriel to finish his business.

Dane nods slightly to Orph and then looks over to Gabriel to watch him.

Yeah, he lets Orph do it cus, ohhhh guess what? BAM, he'll just light another one.. and another one.. until Gabe caves in and all it would do is waste cigarettes; and you know what that means? Yeah. He'd have to go steal more from Stuffer Shack. No thanks..
"I'm surprised he wouldn't," Orpheus says casually. 'Course, Orphs social skills aren't really developed well enough to consider that talking about someone in third person was potentially considered rude when they are actually present and within earshot. But oh well.. Orph waits expectantly.

Gabriel finishes up the conversation, and gives the other Saint a quick clap on the back, before he turns his attention to the table, and strides toward it. He eyes Orpheus for a moment, but apparently ignores the burning cigarette for now. "You two," he says firmly, indicating the two outsiders. The two Shadowrunners. "I need your help. Prepared to pay you for your time, if you want, or you could call it a favor."
"We got a shipment of medicine that was supposed to come in. Bought and paid for, and it wasn't cheap. Vaccines, so next time there's an outbreak of something nasty down here, our people will be protected. The trouble is, the guy we were buyin' it from decided to skip out with our payment. We either want the cred, or the vaccine. Or," he says with a curl of his lips. "Both. Fayte here saw the guy, spotted him the other day, over in the Sioux sector. He's hiding out, apparently waiting for all this to blow over. But it's not gonna. That was hard cred to come by."

Hmm, interesting.. Orpheus wonders at that, resting his chin on his hand. "Nice guy," Orpheus considers. "How much of this stuff is there? What sorta transport is it in?" he wonders. Or in other words, are we going to need any special transportation to haul the stuff or not.
"Also, any idea where he is hiding at the moment?" asks Orpheus.

Gabriel gestures to Fayte. "Apparently, his brother lives on one of the smaller reservations out there, where they try to practice the Old Ways," she says. "I was out there visiting when I saw him. Far as I know, he doesn't realize he was spotted, doesn't know me from Eve. So he's probably still out there."
Gabriel nods agreement. "You'll need transport into the Sioux sector. As it turns out, Slinger made some arrangements for us on this — we've got passage for exactly four people into any sector of Denver we want, in and out, with their gear, via a smuggler he knows. He set it up for us — but we still have to find the information off of his pocket secretary. And since he's out cold…" He looks right at Orpheus.

Dane frowns slightly when he hears the news and then nods some, "Alright, in, favor, and out cold?" he asks the last part, also looking over toward Orpheus for just a moment and then back to Gabriel with some confusion.

Orpheus nods, "Fair enough.. Slinger, always thinkin'," he says. Even when hes out cold in lala land, he was helping out. Oh, wait.. the pocsec? Well crap! Why didn't he give him that before going out cold. "Mierda," Orpheus mumbles to himself. "Alright, I can go get it for us." While he was there he could take care of one or two little things anyways.. would be nice to be home for a while..
For now, Orph waits until the briefing is over though. "So.. what else should we know about all this?"
To Dane, "Oh.. well he's uh…" Orph shrugs.. he didn't want to disclose Slingers business, really.. Go ahead Orph say it. SAY IT. Say he's out with the cold! No thats too bad.. He just avoids the question, carrying on..
"I'm not that worried about pay n'yway. Not really why I'm here," he admits.

Gabriel looks at Dane, and then back at Orpheus, pulls out a cigarette and lights it up. "It'll be on his pocket secretary. I trust you'll know where to find it," he says, to Orpheus, with a bit of a smirk.
Chris is startled, looking back at Orpheus at that news, but he just swallows once, nods. "You're authorized to use whatever force you have to. Like I said, we want our money, those vaccines, or both. Right now, /he/ has both of them, and that simply won't do."
He looks pleased as the others indicate they're willing to work for favors. "Any questions for me? Any feet-on-the-ground details, you can ask Fayte here. She's seen the layout."

Dane looks over to Fayte and then asks her, "Are you coming in with us?" And then to Gabriel, Dane shakes his head just a little bit, "No sir, thanks."

Orpheus looks to Fayte, "What can ya tell us about this place where he's at.. reservation, or whatnot? What sort of obstacles are we looking out for.." Hopefully Orph can do some REAL recon work this time beforehand. Would be nice.. then again, he has to spend time going to get the pocsec so maybe he wont. Perhaps Dane can instead..
To Chris, he looks at that odd look on the young boys face, smiles faintly.. "Well, hey.. maybe you can come with me during the ride. I need to look out for you anyway, so.."
Back to Gabe.. "No problem.. I told Slinger I would come here to help you guys.. and in trade, all I wan't is the chance to prove a commitment." He nods once, then waits for the conversation to continue, or stop.. either way.

Gabriel nods once, smirks, and reaches out to snag the butt of Orpheus's cigarette. He steals the thing, takes a deep drag from it, and then wanders off with it. "At least you smoke the good stuff," he mutters, as he walks away from the circular table, with a look on his face that just /dares/ Orpheus to do something about it.
Chris nods once. "I'm s'posed to stay with you, Gabriel said," the youth says firmly, but then he leans forward, listening. He's never been able to really be a part of something like this before. A real Shadowrun!
Fayte, though, lets out a breath. "The reservation is small. Traditional village — teepees arranged around a central lodge. The village doesn't even have power — the only comm is by satellite. There's a road leading there of course, and one truck. For the rest, they use horses. They're basically back-to-nature types.
"But they're armed. Pretty good rifles, and they know how to use them, so don't think it'll be a cakewalk. I'm not sure which of the teepees he's staying in. I was there delivering some beadwork that I did for one of their next exhibitions. That's how they make what money they need, mostly."


Part 2: Confrontation


Dane watches the snatching of cig and Gabriel wandering away, and then he nods just a little and gets up from his own seat before putting it back under the table again like a gentleman would do… even though he does not really look like one right now. Dane looks to Fayte and nods, "I will probably be pretty happy in that setting." he admits aloud but very softly. Looking over to Orpheus, he almost says something else but then goes quiet, hmming. Dane picks up his speech again, "Good to meet you again. Ready to go?"

Orpheus doesn't look happy about having his cigarette stolen. Not happy at all. So much so that he glowers a bit at that. And so Gabe gets his 'wish', orph stands up. "Hey! If we ganna talk favors, maybe your first favor can start with you not stealin' my fuckin' smokes," he says.. he quickly grabs his pack of cigs and taps out another one, just as he knew would happen. Orpheus' attention from this altercation halts a bit when Fayte starts talking about the op again.. he puts that aside and listens to the info..
"Alright, fine.. I'll grab the pocsec and take Chris with me.." He looks to Dane, "If you think you got time, maybe you could try to find out what you can or even scope out the prospects.."
Finally, back to Gabe.. "If I'm good enough to fight your battles, I'm good enough to have a cigarette when I want one. Don't treat me like one of your 'kids'," he says adamantly. Was he taking the chance of pissing Gabe off and maybe ruining his future chances? Maybe even ruining his chance of going on the op? He sure was.. but he was DAMN insistent and adamant on this subject. "Comprehende?" And so now it was Orpheus daring Gabe to do something about his mouth, which now has a new cigarette in it and a flame licking the tip from his lighter.

Beside Orpheus, Chris goes utterly pale, and the whole place falls utterly silent. Even Fayte stops speaking, staring right at Orpheus for a moment — and then all eyes are back on Gabriel, who stops, smirks, and then walks back toward Orpheus's table, moving very slowly. There is a smile on his face, a dangerous one, as he looks back at the boy, towering over him whether Orpheus is sitting or standing.
"You wanna take this outside?" Gabriel asks, his voice very quiet, still low and dangerous. "Because nobody gets to talk to me like that in my own place. So if you got more like that to say, then we should step outside, and have ourselves a little… conversation. Scan?" he asks Orpheus, with his eyes narrowing dangerously.

Orph snorts, "If that's what makes your cajone's feel big, sure thing hombre." With that, Orph will head outside of the place and wait for Gabe to do whatever pleases him. Is he about to recieve and ass-kicking? Is he about to piss off the wrong person? Maybe.. but Orph didn't give a shit at this point. This was just one thing he wasn't going to be fucked with about. He might take a lot of drek, but NOT from this.
An' so Orpheus waits. He didn't care what the others thought. He was here for a reason; an' their acceptance wasn't at the top of the list of those reasons. At best, he did wonder what sort of image this set for Chris, but it was too late to worry about that.. besides.. that alone wasn't going to shape his attitude.

Dane glances between Gabe and Orph, but he does not put in his two cents for either side, knowing that people had to get it out sometimes, when they felt like they were being disrespected. Dane waits for Gabe to move on out, if he even does, before he begins to follow casually, calmly, without worry?

Chris starts to get up to follow Orpheus, but a look from Gabriel drops him back into his seat. Gabriel gives that same look to everyone, who — much as they might want to go watch — settles back into their places. That done, Gabriel lights up a fresh cigarette and steps out of the pool hall, then immediately walks right past Orpheus and toward an alleyway, his gait swift, his stride utterly confident.
Fayte settles down into her seat and then gently tugs at the fringe of Dane's buckskin jacket, encouraging him to sit down beside her. "They'll work it out," she murmurs, with a smile.

Dane might have brain damage, because he decides to go ahead and head on out with the two of them anyway, unless Gabriel wants to stop him from it.

Oprheus just stands outside, close to where Gabe went, but makes no effort to follow. Just stands there, slowly whittling away his cigarette in defiance, not giving a shit what Gabe thinks.. what the Saints members thought.. or even Dane or Fayte or Chris.
He calls into the alley from close by, "Whatever you got to say or do you c'n do it right here where everyone can see and hear." Orpheus was brazant that way. He could be called naive in a way, and perhaps that was true to a degree.

Dane mentions quietly but clearly in his soft tones, "If my comrade is damaged before we try to do this op for you, and we fail because of a lack of efficiency, that will be partly your fault, Sir." he says in the direction of Gabriel himself and then Dane passes over toward the matte black LS sedan.

Gabriel turns back around, and gives Dane a warm smile. And leans in to murmur something quietly to him.
And then he steps forward to approach Orpheus. "Maybe," Gabriel says, "I don't want to do that. Because… and let me make this perfectly clear… if we stay out here, then I am going to have to hand you your ass on a silver platter, with an apple sticking out of your hole, complete with a nice garnish and a side salad. And I can do it," Gabriel says, with utter self assurance. "On the other hand, if we go over there, we can have a nice polite conversation. I think I'd prefer that. How about you?" He's still got that smile, that /dangerous/ smile on his face.

Orpheus just continues to defiantly stand there smokin' his cig. "What we got to say? I spent my whole life takin' shit from people like you.. an' if you think I'm ganna willingly let myself be put through that in this situation, you are loco. If you wanna beat the shit outta me, then go ahead an' do it if it proves some kinda point in your head." Orpheus taps some ashes off his cigarette, blows smoke..
"You wanna talk about respect? Well before you go tellin' me I hurt yours, you should of considered that before you acted like my fuckin' mother. Do it all you want to them," he says, nodding toward the pool hall.. "I jus' stared a bomb in the face hours ago an' you are tellin' me not to smoke a cigarette?" It's beyond Orphs comprehension.

Gabriel just listens to your words, though his own voice stays low. "You did good, for a newbie," Gabriel states firmly. "If you were one of my gangers, one of the boys, you'd be in, though you'd still be a junior member. Slinger asked me to take you in, to teach you, to train you. He asked me to go a little harder on you than I would on one of my boys."
"You think I give a shit whether you rot your lungs or not?" he asks with a laugh. "You're a fraggin' elf. I'll be dead and buried long before you even have to think about emphysema or any of that stuff." He flicks his eyes toward the pool hall without turning his head. "You think you've earned the right to light up, yeah, maybe you have. But I got a room full of men and boys in there who look to /me/ for leadership, and you just called me out in front of them."
"As for stealin' your smokes… I'll buy you a carton of the damned things. I didn't give you any drek about it. But you are /not/ going to call me out in front of my men again. Do you understand me?"

«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "The boy's currently under my command. Let's see if I can talk to him, before you start givin' me too much advice, hmm? I've dealt with lots of boys before."

What? That's rather circular logic. "How you figure that, omae? If anyone called anyone out it was YOU, for pullin' that shit. Yeah, I did open my mouth and yeah, I did 'challenge' you in a way in front of your gang. But I don't care about any of that.. cus you put me into a position to do it by disrespectin' ME."
Orpheus blows some smoke again, quiet just a moment. "I'll be glad not to say nuthin' again about the smokes. I don't care about trying to make you look bad or hurtin' your image. Why would I? I'm here for the reasons you stated and nuthin' else. You don't give me shit about my smokes an' I won't give you shit for trying to tell me whether I can smoke 'em or not. So, yeah.. We can come to an understanding if you can agree to that," he says. Orpheus doesn't care about the Saints when it came RIGHT down to it. Who are they to him? A group of people he barely knows. He'll work with 'em.. maybe come to like some of them.. provided they don't fuck with him about certain specific things. This was one of those things.

Dane does not nod nor shake his head, just simply progresses over to the vehicle and then sits on the hood and looks over, watching them quietly.

«Plot» Dane uses MathSPU3 to time how long it has been since 'take it outside' was originally mentioned. :P
«Plot» Slinger says, "About 1 minute right now."

Gabriel smirks, nods. "That's what I was /tryin'/ to do. You got a lot to learn, kiddo. But you ever call me out in front of my men again, we're going to go a few rounds. You can smoke all you fraggin' want," he states. "You aren't one of us, so I'll explain that to you. If I /really/ didn't want you doin' it, then I'd do somethin' about it, somethin' more than just stealing yours. That's just teasing, not disrespect."
He lets out a low breath. "Slinger… told me a little about your situation. Your background. He didn't go into details. While you're here, though, I'm gonna treat you as one of my boys, with all the love and demands that that means. You got that? You're here so you can learn somethin', at least that's what I was told. And I'm ready to teach, if you wanna listen. Otherwise, as I said, we can go a few rounds."

Dane shifts uneasily when he hears about Gabriel being told 'things' about people by Slinger. Dane frowns briefly before regaining his neutral.

Orpheus simply says, "Do whatever you want. Ask me to do what you like.. I'll do it. Maybe I'll learn something, maybe not.. I'm prepared for that.." Orpheus holds up his cigarette fiercely, passion deep in his young eyes. "THIS, is not one of those things," he says. "Teasing or not, I don't want to be fucked with about it. So you don' fuck with my smokes, I won't fuckin' call you out in front of your people. You don't know me an' I don't know you, so maybe I can educate you on one thing.. I don't care about a lot of stuff. This? This is one of the few things. Dont do it. An' as long as you stick to that, I doubt we'll have any kind of further problems in the future anyway. Yeah? I don't care about fightin' you cus that don't do any good. I'm here because I made a promise. A promise I'll try to keep.." Orpheus sticks his tongue out and gently licks the palm of his hand.. then, removes his mostly spent cigarette(he REALLY sucked that thing down hard the lat minute or so) and presses the embers into the wet spot on his hand. His REAL hand.. it sizzles just a moment with a bit of smoke rising from the lightly burned spot.. he flicks the butt away.
Orpheus stands silently there now, arms gently at his sides, and waits for Gabe.

Dane does not cringe over there in the background, but he at least breaks the stare for a blink when Orpheus does that. Damn, that had to hurt.

Gabriel watches Orpheus for a moment, and then reaches out with one arm — and roughly pulls the youth into a quick, one-armed hug. A little rough, but not horribly aggressive. "You got spirit, kid. I'll give you that. I can abide by that. Now… maybe you should get your ass in gear and get me my vaccines, huh?" he says, releasing the boy. And unless Orpheus has anything else to say, he turns and strides back toward the front door of the place, snaps his fingers and nods to Chris, fully in control of the situation, jerking his thumb toward the outside.
Fayte gives Gabriel a faint, knowing smile, while the rest of the gangers just stare at Gabriel. And at Orpheus, through the window. "We had a little… conversation. I don't think we'll have any further problems," Gabriel says casually.

Orpheus isn't expecting that, but he doesn't exactly shy from it.. once it's over he watches Gabriel walk off. Nice, try to play the moral highground bit. That's fine, ORpheus doesn't care. He has his cigarettes and he won't be fucked with again about them.. and that's all he really cared about to begin with. To celebrate what, to HIM, is a victory, he takes out one more smoke, lights it, and huffs. "Yes, I'll go right away," he tells Gabe, with every intention to fullfil his obligation to the op and do his best.
Orpheus steps over toward Chris as he steps out. "Hey there. Sorry for wasting valuable time from our mission.. But I had to do it." Orpheus smokes the cigarette in plain sight of everyone in the pool hall, showing off the symbol of his victory to them.. and with that, he'll continue on with the original mission.

Dane moves to stand as soon as Orpheus says he will go, and then Dane walks around to the vehicle driver side. "I will give you a ride there." he offers softly. He uses his remote to pop the locks *squick* and then he opens the door and starts to climb inside.

Dane nods a little bit about the apology, "No worries." he says from within.

Chris is wide-eyed as he comes out of the pool hall, and he pads over to Orpheus, just staring at his hand. "Wow," he whispers. "I've never seen… anybody stand up to Gabe like that," he admits. He swallows once, and then glances back to the pool hall. "Can I see your hand?" he whispers, curiously, as he steps into the area.
Fayte steps outside as well and walks over to Dane's side. "Men," she says, with a soft little laugh, and lightly nudges Dane with her shoulder. Almost as if she were talking to a girlfriend, rather than another example of that gender.


Part 3: Out for the Count


Seeing as the SUV isnt here, Orph has to go with Dane for now to head to Slingers apartment. "Sure thing, Omae," he says to Dane. His entire temperment is nice, calm, and collected again as it usually was now that that little ordeal is over.(No really, that should count as my ordeal for initiation!)
To Chris, "I know it could have gotten me in a lot of trouble, but I don't care," he admits to Chris.. He shows him his hand too.. Theres a light burn mark where he put the cigarette out, nothing majorly serious though. The saliva did a great deal to extinguish the fire without burning.. but there IS some burning all the same. Not enough to cause alarm though.
Orpheus gives Dane instructions on how to get to Slingers as well.

Dane truly is such a girl, and then he nods a little to Fayte from where he is seated inside. "Though, I probably would have reacted in a very similar fashion as my comrade." Dane speaks that very softly, and then he pauses and glances to the back seat before looking back up to Fayte, "So, you and this other young man…" Dane motions to Chris, "Are coming with us?" Dane glances to Orpheus and nods slightly, "Aye, I have been there." he smirks faintly, "Neighbors, actually." and then he looks back to Fayte.

Fayte chuckles. "You're a very nice girly-man," she tells Dane teasingly, as she slips into the back seat of the vehicle, behind Dane. Chris, meanwhile, slips into the seat behind Orpheus, leaving the passenger seat for the Hispanic teenager.
"I wouldn't have dared do it," he whispers. "So what'd you say to him to make him not kick your ass?" he asks, leaning forward eagerly, wondering what he can learn from this. After all, if you got away with it, maybe Gabriel isn't as tough as he appears.

"No kidding?" Orpheus says to Dane. Neighbors, wow.. no wonder he looks familiar? That made Dane HIS neighbor too, technically. "Would you have?" Orpheus asks Dane. At least he knows he isnt the ONLY one who though Gabriel was out of line a bit.
Orpheus looks at Chris, maybe seeing a .. hint, of these thoughts in the kids eyes. Only a hint though. "Well.. I told him not to fuck with me about my cigarettes," he says simply.. and thats pretty much the summation of the event, actually. "But I also have no doubt in my mind.. that if he thought my intention was to disrespect him, we would have gotten into a fight," he adds. "But it wasn't, see.. me an' Gabriel don't know each other that well.. an' see, all we did was come to a better understanding about one another. See?"

Chris hesitates, then nods, grinning a little bit. "He's gonna be pissed when I start," the youth predicts. But then he falls silent, just waiting. "So where's Slinger, again? I missed that part. I thought he was off on some important mission. Did he… you know, get defeated in combat, and he's knocked out or somethin'?"

Dane feels his pride crash through the windshield when Fayte calls him a girly man. He clears his throat softly, and then Dane looks over to Orph, and he gives him a very slight nod, "Aye. He asked us to help him do something that he wanted done, and we even were both good about taking favors instead of his money, and he was disrespectful to you. To me, it would not be smokes, but being treated in that fashion was a pretty big slap to the face." Dane explains, then he closes his car door and then starts said vehicle. However, Dane seems to be pussy whipped, because he does not retort to the woman for having said what she did. He just begins pulling out of the lot.

Or… maybe Dane actually had, on the slide, with his last explanation.

"Maybe he will," Orpheus responds. "He'll be angry if he thinks you aren't ready to smoke, ya know. You have to show him you are.. I think Gabriel looked me square in the eye, and he can see.,. See that I AM able to handle it." Orph smiles.
Poor Dane. How does it feel to have the masculinity of newborn kittens? "Yeah.. yeah, omae, I think you are right," he tells Dane. "I earned the right to smoke these things," he adds, and even now was polluting the cab of the vehicle with his strong smoke. So long as no one told him to STOP, he wouldn't.. "Where do you know Slinger from, by the way?" Orph never recalls seeing Dane and Slinger together before. Then again, he was out there for a while so maybe he missed it then.

Fayte used it as a term of endearment, a bit of light teasing, perhaps, rather than any sort of insult. She leans back in the seat, and shoots Chris a quick smile, which is nervously returned by the young ganger.
"Yeah," Chris agrees. "Well… he'll just have to get used to it. 'Cause… a man's gotta do that, right?" He glances over toward Dane, tilts his head. "/I/ think you're plenty manly," the youth offers tentatively — to which Fayte laughs. "Careful. Some take that as an insult," she teases. "Your gender doesn't always have the smartest track record."

Orpheus interjects a quick snippet here, "I think a person should prove their worth through their actions," he considers. Of course, Orphs gender bias WAS a factor, somewhat.

Fayte laughs. "Oh, when it comes to actions? Dane's /very/ manly. Just that he doesn't have to be all macho and stuff," she says teasingly. She pauses, then admits, "Sorry if I'm offending anybody. I'm just… well, nervous. Never actually gone in for a fight before. Just that… well, Gabe wasn't lying. They /need/ these vaccines. We lost a lot of people during that epidemic.

Dane glances over toward Orpheus smoking in his vehicle, "Though, I will not say you have to stop, but it would be kind of you to not do it in the car… I was given this car as a gift, and I love driving it, and smoke bothers me despite the fact I do not mention it. Your call, though." Dane would tough through it if he had to. "Slinger and I have worked together quite a few times." and that is all the info that Dane gives about this, very vague. Dane heads them down the road, trying to get to the CAS border, but also driving like a safe person does. He flips on the scanner, to a low volume, and he lets it play softly. Dane glances briefly back in the rearview mirror toward Chris there, "Thank you, sir." he says very softly. Dane lightens up, giving Fayte credit that she might not have known his situation, hoping at least, and also hoping that it was mostly the French stuffs that… but then when he is called very manly, he actually gets a smile. If only for a moment there. The thought about sick people and vaccines brings about a sober demeanor again, and he drives silently, doing that weird quiet thing he sometimes does.

Orpheus silently 'ohs' at the information. No prob! He'd wring out details from Slinger sometime down the line later.. As for the cigarette thing? Orph quickly sucks down a bit more of his cig, looks at Dane.. nods. "Sure thing, amigo. I don' wanna ruin your call all up." See.. at least Dane RESPECTED his choice to smoke and asked politely. More politely than most.. so Orph quickly, though a bit reluctantly lets the thing go flying out of the nearest window.. it smacks a ganger in the face when he does, and his girlfriend who was standing there just points and laughs at him as ashes go exploding onto his chin fuzzed face.

"YOU FUCK!" shouts the angry man, even now fading into an indestinct blob in the backround, his prides cries of anger likely inaudible to everyone.

o Chris again, "We'll see.. we'll see.. You still gatta prove to ME, don' forget," he adds with a smirk.

Dane nods once, gratefully, "Thank you, sir." he says to Orpheus, and then he gives Chris one glance in the mirror again, "Who?" Dane is semi confused about the statement that was made, but then averts his eyes back to the road again, never lingering them elsewhere very long. Dane brings one hand up to his rambo headband thing, and he makes sure it is in place, which it is because Dane fusses about its placement all the time, and then he has both hands on the wheel again and is passing through the border, yet again.

For a moment, Dane and Orph are in the CAS and Fayte and Chris in UCAS!

The border check is fairly routine in this case — they only check the driver's SIN, rather than the passengers. The SUV, of course, is much easier to smuggle people — but that will be unnecessary with the help of the smuggler situation that Slinger has set up.
Chris flushes, nods. "Yeah. I'll make you proud," he promises Orpheus. After all, Gabriel basically 'gave' Chris to Orpheus, for whatever reasons the gang leader might have.
From here, it's only a short distance to Mountain Hills. Slinger's SUV is in the parking lot, right where the young mage left it.

Dane of course uses "Joseph LeDoux" all the time, and he seems to not be bothered if the passengers want to take a glance at the cards he pulls. He puts away his SIN, and then he drives through again, nearing Slinger's. "Who?" he asks again while glancing back to Chris, "gotta prove?" LooL… Dane just tried to use really short statements like gangers do. Funny.

Once they have finally arrived, Orpheus wastes no time in hopping out of the car, and waits for Chris.. this presents a delimma though. Could he really let Chris follow him around in Slingers apartment? Slinger might not really appreciate that very much.. hmm. But Orpheus mostly trusted him, so maybe that was good enough? He ponders.. ponders.. Well, it wouldn't hurt to let him follow up the stairs and maybe wait at the door right?
Orph looks into the window where Dane is, "Hey.. You wanna hang here, maybe? I just need to grab one or two quick things."

"Nothin'. S'personal," Chris states to Dane, with a slight lift of his chin. Chris gets out along with Orpheus, while leaving the other two to either come in or stay outside as they wish. Fayte, of course, will stay with Dane, having missed him. She has a crush on him in one sense, but also regards him as a good friend, as well. Her hero.

The place looks a great deal like it always has, the exterior of the building perfectly ordinary to all appearances.

Dane parks the LoneStar Ford Americar, hoping people do not bust legs trying to get out once they arrive if he has not stopped. :P Dane does stop the vehicle safely, and then puts on the parking break and does all of the things normal people do before they get out of the vehicle and expect it to be there again when they come back. Yeah! He has it shut and pockets the keys, and then he answers Orph, "I have to get my things, too." he explains, since they were where he lives, and such. He was not going out into the woods without his survival gear, surely. Through the open window, Dane glances to Chris and then raises a Spockish eyebrow, "It was a serious question. I asked, because you said that I was manly but then retracted the statement? I was curious as to why." He shrugs, not sure if he understood, but he would let it go if he could not get an answer after the 2nd time. Dane looks to Fayte and then offers her an arm.

Orph nods to Dane, "Sure. Shouldn't be long. See you back down here." With that, the hispanic boy heads off with Chris toward the apartment.. in through the doors and up the stairs, around some corners.. more stairs. Corner.. ELEVATOR.. stairs, another corner and we're half way there! Wheeee…

Chris looks a little confused at that. "I… uh… I think I missed somethin'," the boy admits, and then hurries off after Orpheus. The key works in the door — and the apartment is just as you left it, with the faint smell of smoke lingering on everything. The lights are turned off… and from the back room, there is the quiet scent of breathing - but not snoring, audible to Orpheus's ears. Chris seems oblivious to it, as he looks around at the small, but nice, middle-class apartment.

You paged Orpheus with 'You can basically pose finding just about everything. :)'.
From afar, Orpheus isn't sure what to look for, honestly.

Dane will effectively be following Orph right into the same damn hall. "Uhuh." is all that Dane says softly, but then leads past Slinger's down a ways to one not too far away. Dane slots his magcard and enters with Fayte.

Not much for Orph to really get while they are here. He can hear the light breathing of Slinger in the adjecent room not far off.. He turns to Chris.. "Just hold tight a sec.. Just need to grab a few things.." With that, he goes and quickly finds that pocsec for one.. he also grabs a spare comm unit or two just to make sure everyone is going to be connected. Nothing else he can really use besides that. After a minute or so Orph returns to the main room, gently punching in stuff on the pocsec as he tries to figure out the password on the thing.. Hmmm..
'Slinger'? Nope.
'Jesus'.. Nope. Damn, everyone had that one!
'Boys?' … NO..

It's so simple, Orpheus is trying toooo hard. He'll figure it out, hopefully?

Chris prowls around the room, padding toward the back bedroom… where he stops, and brazenly stares. Slinger is clad in his underwear, and that's about all, lying on top of the bed. "Is he… is he okay?" the youth asks, glancing over to his friend. Retreating toward Orpheus instinctively, though he doesn't actually cling to the other boy. Not yet, anyway. The pocsec bleeps each time you get the password wrong, though it doesn't warn of any dire consequences.

Orph stops punching in keys and startles a bit when Chris is here.. Crap.. well.. he saw anyway. Too late now! "Er.. he's fine," assures Orph. "Really. I don't really understand it completely myself, but.. I know he's gettin' stronger doing it." He nods, then gently guides Chris AWAY from the bedroom, flushing a bit and hoping to god Slinger doesn't wake up and see Chris here. That would be too awkward for him to deal with right now.. He tries a few more pass'.
'1, 12, 123, 1234…..' .. Nope nope nope nope NOPE.
"Hrmmmmmm…"

Chris peers at the pocket secretary. "Huh. He got a girlfriend?" the youth asks, apparently unaware of Slinger's… tendencies and preferences. "A lot of people use their girlfriend's name as a password." And the boy is exploring again, though avoiding the back bedroom.

Dane has someone in his appartment as well, sleeping in his bed, in his tees and boxers even. This could prove unfortunate. He extracts his arm from having escorted Fayte, and then moves without really caring if he wakes the person sleeping in the bedroom. The door is pulled open and a soft female groan is heard before someone says, "Could be a lil quieter… yeah?" Dane just replies "Apologies.", and whoever it is just rolls over again while he collects gear like ammo and briefcases and wilderness camo (2 sets), and a couple black duffle bags, and then he is back out into the living room of his own apartment, where he drops it all into a semi organized pile.

Man, lots of this sleeping people in their undies thing going on today, huh?
"G.. Girlfriend?" he asks.. then, a sudden knowing realization dawns on him.. "Oh, er… Yeah, maybe thats a good idea," he suggests awkwardly.. Then types out on the keypad:
'Estevan'..
BEEP! The Pocsec grants access. "Hey, nice thinking," he tells Chris.. "You ready to go back down?"

Luckily, Chris can't see what keys you were hitting. He laughs softly, grinning. "Cool. Yeah, I'm ready, if you got everything." The keys to the SUV might be a good thing, though, if you want to take that rather than the Americar. Which, being Lone Star, might get some definite attention in Sioux territory, marked or unmarked.

But of course he grabs the keys to the SUV. He kinda liked driving the think anyways. VROOOM! VROOOOOM! Yep.. "Alright, let's go down an' leave Slinger alone to do this thing.." Orph steps out of the apartment door, waiting for Chris, anxious to get him out, still paranoid that somehow Slinger will wake up, see him, and have a thunderous fit.. or more likely he would do something unexpected. Actually heh, it might be kinda cool! But no, we aren't doing that.. instead we are going down to the SUV and meeting with Dane a sec before leaving. Orph goes ahead and contacts the smuggler dood so we can get clearance to get the FRAG accross the border. Good thing too, cus Orpheus was SINLESS. Completely.

The make was indeed a patrol car, but the whole thing is completely matte black. Dane counts gear, checking both duffle bags, making sure he has just about everything they need. "Alright." he says and then collects everything and starts heading out again. "Beebs, be back later, and eat, dammit, or the wounds will not get any better." he tells the sleepy woman through the bedroom door, doing so quietly but firmly. Finally, he heads out with doors closing behind him and gets down to the parking lot, though of course all guns concealed, and heads over to where he sees Orpheus. "Want me to drive?" he offers quietly.

Orph stashes their gear into the vehicle.. his and Chris'. Not a whole lot honestly, but enough. That done, he slips into the drivers seat and smiles at Dane. Theres your answer! "It's cool, omae. I like to drive it a little," he admits.
"Let's get this done.. Get that stuff and get back out. Should be easy enough with the four of us, right?" Once everyone is all situated and stuff, Orph will begin driving to the designated area where the smuggling will occur..

Dane nods some and then tosses all the crap he has in the back, and then he moves to take shotgun unless either of the two complain about it, since he did fairly well at navigating things, he hoped to help Orpheus.


Part 4: Road Trip


It's actually kind of interesting. There's a pickup where the SUV is loaded into a trailer, then driven into a place near the border. Then the truck is backed up — and you are given clear instructions, driving the vehicle through the warehouse, through areas marked off for it. It's all automated, this warehouse, with no real workers to be in the way or have to be paid off. And the other end of the warehouse abuts another building — and you simply drive through a concealed pair of doors that open for you and close behind you. And then, just a little more driving until you make it into a parking garage. And from there, it's easy to drive out — right into Sioux territory.

While we are driving, Chris is craning his neck around, jaw dropping at each new twist and turn, face plastered to the window. At least this vehicle is one that permits smoking, and he's seated behind the driver's seat, behind Orpheus, while the vent is blowing cool air full blast. Gas mileage has never been a huge concern with this vehicle — after all, transportation is usually worth the price. The powerful engine responds to Orpheus's commands.
Chris, it seems, has not spent much time outside the Warrens.

Sweet ass. Smugglers were great, yep.. Once inside the Sioux sector, Orpheus continues to pedal it toward their destination. His muscles tense a bit as they prepare for the up and coming ordeal.. soon now, soon, it would be time to beat some peoples face in and take back some medicine.
"Jus' so we are clear.. I don't want any casualties, okay? I mean.. None.. Unless you are ganna get killed otherwise.." But Orph knew it wouldn't happen.. He wouldn't LET it happen. He had to be strong.. he had to be SUPAHMAN. And so they drive.. Drive onward..

Dane helps coordinating directions, since he is good with that stuffs, and he does not do much else, "Perhaps we should suit up appropriately?" he suggests softly, "I have woodland camo in the back. Oh, and an extra set." Dane motions to the back a bit, and then he goes quiet, letting Orph decide.

The terrain gradually gets more rural as you head out of the city proper, with no more checkpoints. Here's where the map comes in handy, along with Fayte's spoken directions. "You'll wanna park some distance away, not just drive right in. We don't wanna spook the guy. We gotta find him, then… negotiate with him. Maybe even kidnap him, make him take us to where he's got the vaccine stashed. If in fact there /is/ any," she adds, with a rueful sigh.
As you drive, though, the area gets much more natural. Many areas that were once fields and buildings have been allowed to go fallow, taken over gradually by the surrounding forest, as the land is permitted to slowly heal itself from the intrusions of mankind.

Dane nods in agreement with Fayte, and then he sits quiet, watching the scenery around them, hoping that they would not run into anything contrary.

The powerful SUV actually does have to stop for refueling at least once on the way. But that's not horribly expensive. And then, it's onward. The paved road ends, and turns to gravel on the right. And Fayte begins to give directions, watching the lay of the road carefully. "We're about half a kilometer out. Go ahead and park here," she suggests. "Then we suit up, and head out."
Outside, the scene is rural, pastoral. There are forests here, yes, relatively untouched, but mostly it is plains, with scattering of trees. All that is needed is a herd of buffalo grazing — wait. There's one in the distance.

Orpheus pulls over once they are within reasonable distance of their target. Get parks someplace out of the way.. luckily the SUV is able to handle a little off-road activity and once parked, he hops out. "We can walk from here. No worries, I got some good camo," he says. Indeed, Orph actually has 2 sets of camo.. Urban and Woodland. Besides, he has his ruth cloak.. What about Chris? What sorta armor was he wearing. He could maybe use something.

Chris has on his camo, which, unfortunately, is calibrated for urban environments, not woodland. But even so, it's better than nothing. And he does have stealth skills as well. It provides him a little armor — not much, but enough to help him survive a shot if it comes to that.

Dane nods some to Orpheus, but then when all the camo is brought out, he scans over the available sets of -woodland-: 3. Dane looks to Chris and then to Fayte, and he pulls out both of his, "Here. You two, get into these." He says softly. Apparently, Dane is just going to rough it without, and he takes a scan of the area. Need for climbing gear? If so, he takes, if not, he leaves it. He does grab his survival gear and his Remington 950.

Chris accepts the gift, though he does climb in the back of the SUV to change, blushing like any fifteen-year-old. And then he's outfitted in it, looking proud of himself — even if the clothing does hang on his small frame. He's roughly the same size as Orpheus — maybe a little bigger, but not by much.
No one seems to have noticed us out here; it's basically deserted. Tranquil. Serene. Natural.

Dane leans up against the SUV and loads his rifle and makes sure it is in good working order while he waits on Fayte. He stays very quiet, preparing himself mentally for the hunt upon which they are about to embark.

Poor Orph, so small and Elfy looking. It's okay though, cus he's still sexy. Once everyone is suited up and ready to bang on out of here, Orph cheks the comms and all that good stuff. He at least handed over Slingers taccomm to the kid, while using his own. »Com check. Target is roughly 1200 meters. Everyone make sure to check your ammo again.« With that, Orph activates his ruthenium and most of his body goes translucent. He doesn't pull the cowl over his face just yet though. »Anyone else need to discuss anything before we move out?«

Commlink-Chris> Chris sounds sheepish. "Anybody got any gel rounds for this thing? You don't want us shootin' to kill, right?" He indicates his heavy pistol.

Dane gets his own tactical comm set up, » "on it." « and then gets some gel rounds he uses for the Browning and then tosses those to Chris. Dane has gels in his rifle right now, but he also has a Ranger in the SUV, » "Got a Ranger Arms if someone wants me to take time to gel snipe." « It was a useful skill he had, to be able to do that, but rarely used that way.

Orph heads over to where Chris is and gives him an additional clip of his own spare gel ammo. "Here ya go.." He smiles, then looks back over at Dane. »That's good. No telling if we'll need it, but some sniper support is always a good thing.«


Part 5: Scouting


The terrain here is grassy, with copses of trees between you and the objective. There is little around here — buffalo in the distance, their lowing carried on the breeze. The area seems to get more wooded to the north, and Fayte sketches a quick map, showing the road curving to the west — it is currently headed mostly northerly — toward the lodge. The teepees are arranged in a rough circle around it, with a few other small buildings made from native materials scattered here and there to provide shelter and storage.
You can see faint wisps of smoke rising up in the distance; there is a small hill betwee you and the objective.

Fayte indeed does don her camo, though she has much less sense of modesty than Chris — which embarasses the boy to no end. And then the group is together, sneaking gradually closer… with Orpheus most likely moving in front, stealthily covering terrain and making sure the way is clear.
Once the group closes to about three hundred meters, they reach the crest of the wooded hill, and down below the camp is spread out for everyone to see, just as described. Tranquil. A few people sit around a communal campfire, their faces unrecognizable, working on various projects.

Dane does all his jacking off… er, jacking into devices and datajack and transducer crap and covering the metallic engravings, whatever! Dane does not seem to really react to the naked people around him, just whatevers. He was in his little stalkery snipery huntering mood, and it was everything. Dane sneaks with the others, trying his best to stay low and silent.

Orph does indeed sneak along ahead, quickly darting between trees toward the objective. He's only been on a few woodland ops, and isn't nearly the survivalist that Dane is, but his ruthenium afforded him some leeway with the minor awkwardness he navigates the vaguely familiar terrain.
Once at the crest of the hill, Orph stops and peers down as best he can.. He has some binoculars on him in fact so he'll whip em out and take a peek around perhaps, get an idea of what we are going against here before slipping down into the village below.

«Plot» Slinger says, "The top of this ridge does look pretty good. And it's about 4:30 in the afternoon, by your chronos."

Commlink-Joseph> Dane transduces, "Seems like this might be prime sniping spot.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5:
2 2 2 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Dane (#337) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Omg?":
1 1 2 5 5 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Security Systems vs TN 5:
2 3 4 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Plot-Page» (To: Orpheus) Slinger says, "You notice something almost immediately. They have doggies. They look vaguely wolflike, but they seem to be curled up next to the fire, hanging out with the humans, and generally being lazy puppies."

Orpheus is intently scanning the area down there with his mag goggles.. Scanning .. Scanning.. »Yeah I agree,« he tells Dane.. Hmm.. Then Orphs face falters a bit, and he lowers the binoculars a bit. »D.. Dogs,« he says in an unusually quiet voice…
Uhhh ohhhh! Too soon?!

Commlink-Joseph> Dane transduces, "No worries about the dogs." he says as if he were quite certain, even with an electronic voice.

Dane lingers wolfishly here, just watching their immediate area, making sure that no one snuck up on them like Apache underwear.

«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "You don't see anybody at the moment. You would guess that a lot of people are out hunting and doin' things like that, at this time."

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Dane (#337) rolls Hunting (Tracking) (to Slinger) for "Tracks!":
1 1 2 4 5 5 5 8

«Plot-Page» (To: Orpheus) Slinger says, "As you look closer to the fire, you can see things more clearly. There are three people there. Two of them with beadwork, and one with leatherwork of some sort. The beadworkers are talking among themselves, but they are not including the person with leatherworking in their discussion. In fact, their body language implies a certain degree of distrust aimed that way. Upon closer inspection, it's clear that the beadworkers are female; the leatherworker, though, is male."

Orpheus hands over the binoculars to Fayte. "Absolutely.. Look down there, past the red teepee.. near the fire, sitting there." Orpheus points in the general direction after handing over the instrument. Then, waits.

Dane nods slightly to Fayte and then moves a bit off to the side so she has some room to work properly. Dane transduces: » "I am not fast enough to them all down, being as I am not cybered up. And, I cannot see it very clearly but maybe Fayte can confirm. « he says very softly.

Fayte takes the binoculars, and starts to sit up more, though she is more likely than not pulled back down. And she peers toward the fire. "That's… that's him," she whispers. "'Cept, he doesn't have a credstick there," she murmurs.

Orpheus peers down into the village while Fayte talks.. Done, he says, »Alright good. We need him alive.. To tell us where he has the money and medicine stashed. Hmm.. I wonder if we could lure him out of the village, expose him a bit, maybe..« Orpheus has a few ideas of how to accomplish such a goal, and all of them involve structural property damage of teepees.

"I've got… some magic," Fayte admits, her voice low. "Not much. And no real offensive spells. But I can help shield us, maybe," she whispers, not even bothering with the comm.
Which leads to the next question? Where's Chris…?

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Chris's Stealth) (to no one):
1 1 3 3 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Chris's Stealth) (to no one):
1 4 4 5 7
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence for "Usual mods.":
1 1 1 2 4
«Plot» Slinger says, "No sign of the kid."

Orph has been looking down into the village so intently, that he entirely missed the sudden dissapearance of the boy.. "Hey? Where did Chris go? Fuck!" .. »Chris, Chris, report your status and location,« he asks over the comm, his heartbeat picking up at least one or two notches above normal.

Commlink-Chris> Chris says, "I'm about ten meters to your left… uh, sir," the youth murmurs, and moves — and now you see him. He's blended in nicely with the undergrowth.

Orph spots him on thermals finally when he knows where to look.. Didn't help it was a nice, bright day out and everything was already bathed in hot sunlight. »Right.. You have any thoughts?« he asks, just trying to get the kid engaged in the recon a bit.. having him suddenly go all quiet like that was strangely unnerving..
In any case.. »Alright, let's catalogue our assets, make a quick POA, and move out.«

Commlink-Chris> Chris thinks about it. "We need to take those women out. And the dogs. Move in, grab the guy… keep him quiet in case there's anybody else around, and get him somewhere we can talk to him for a nice long time."

Dane pulls from his pocket his balaclava and decides to go ahead and get that on over his face, looking like ski mask dude, and then he picks up his gun again into his left hand while using the right to help him brace upon the ground near his comrades. He asks of Fayte, "Can you scan astrally to see if they have any magical defenses? I do not mean for you to go in there alone in either sense, just to tell me what you can see from here?" But, then he hears about Chris being gone, and Dane glances around to see if he can spot the boy. Over the comm channel, » "Being cruel to women and dogs is not my cup of tea, so if we can manage it nonlethally, that would be great for my psyche." «

Orpheus seconds the notion, »Yeah. That astral stuff.. You should do that,« he admits. Orpheus' knowledge of magic is sub-par to be sure.. quite amusing considering hes technically an adept.
Orph continues, »As for a plan.. Yes, I don't want casualties.. Also, if we start shooting right away we'll draw a lot of uneeded attention.. If possible, it would be best to isolate our target away from everyones eyesight, somehow..« Orph considers that..

Fayte shakes her head. "I… can't astrally project," she admits, shame-faced. "I can see in the astral… and I don't see anything from here. But…"

Dane looks over to Fayte and then nods softly, "If you cannot see any spirits from here, then that is okay. That was my main concern, and hey, at least you can see that plane. And, what were you going to say, Fayte?"
Dane whispers very quietly, "Anything is good information." Back on the comm: » "I agree with Orpheus… there may be more there. Course, we could always stalk him until he has to go piss, and then deal with gel sniping him then?" «

Commlink-Chris> Chris is staring down at the camp intently. "What if one of those dogs smells us? Or somebody notices us before then? How long can we stay hidden?"

Orpheus nods to Chris' statement, »Yes, that's why I say we need to lure him out into the open now.. Longer we wait, the worse the situation could possibly get..« But how to lure him into the open? How to isolate him? Hmmm.. »Fayte, is there anything else you can think to tell us about this person? Anything at all?«

«Plot-Page» (To: Slinger) Chameleon says, " Can I make my next move for whatever the object is and get there before it finishes?"

Fayte is thinking hard at that, her brow furrowing. "I… just know him in passing. Gabe circulated his picture, and then I saw him here. I know he's a greedy, mean person," she adds, with a darker note in her voice, over the comm. "Wait. He… he likes women. A lot." She swallows once, realizing she's the only female present. "I could go down there," she says, very slowly.

Dane frowns softly, not liking that idea much at all for some reason. "Maybe, but are you sure your chances of pulling off a con will work on him?" he inquires and then glances briefly to the camp site. "Fayte, can you see the aura of those women and the dogs? Are the women scared or do they like him? Maybe they can help us, too, and if the dogs are just tribe dogs, they might not care what we are doing, or if they are territorial, I can probably handle them. Do they seem like watch or guard dogs?" Dane inquires very softly, trying to make his own deduction about the movements of the creatures, if they seem patrolling?

Orpheus blinks, »Con? No no.. Nothing like that.. I considered, perhaps.. catching a teepee or two on fire. Surely that would cause enough confusion and chaos that singling out our target would be simple..« Then Orpheus considers that… ».. Of course I.. Guess maybe that's not a great idea,« .. Too bad. The OLD Orpheus probably woulda done it without thinking. DAMN YOU SLINGER! *fistshake*

Fayte stares at the women as instructed. "They… I can't tell. But I don't think so. If they are, they're just… well, ignoring him, mostly. They don't have any strong emotions at all, really." The dogs, it would seem, are lazy dogs. Right now, their heads are down, though their eyes are open, the animals curled up near the women, primarily.
Fayte blinks, eyes widening. "What if the credstick we want is in one of those? What if there are people in there? Children?"

Dane nods slightly to what Fayte says, and then he asks, » "Would we like me to grab the Ranger while we all work it out on comm? Or, I can do a wide tracking circle to see if there is anything I can deduce from those." «

Fayte lets out a breath. "I've been there before. They know me. They don't know who I am. I'd have to change clothes, though. But I could go in there, with you covering me. I'd never be able to come back, probably… but it might be worthwhile."
She looks over at Dane, as if seeking permission from her man.

Orpheus murmers under his breath. Good thing he has his ruth turned on so no one can see the look on his face.. »Yeah.. Well, that's why I said it's not a good idea,« he admits.. Thinks.. Sighs. He had ideas.. plenty of them, but most of them were the kinds of ideas that Az would have prefered.. and so Orph can't trust those trains of thought.. »Fuck it.. I'll go down and just bring him up here.. Dane? Be ready to snipe on my command.. Chris and Fayte, you'll be with me.. Your primary objective is to cover me.. shoot the dogs if they become roused.. be on alert for any other potential targets.«
Orph didn't feel like screwing around and the longer he sits here and thinks 'logically' about a plan of action, the more he gets the inclination to do something REALLY destructive.

Chris acknowledges that with a simple 'aye, omae', over the comm.
Fayte, though, frowns. "They're nice dogs," she says, in their defense. "But they might bark… just don't kill them." She does get up, though, and slowly move forward, leaving Dane guarding our rear position.

Dane looks to Fayte, "Do you have a good excuse for sho—" but then he pauses to listen to the comm talk. » "Let us not kill the dogs, yes, what she said, and I can be ready to snipe right away, gel from the Remington 950 here, but it might be good if I got a little closer, so my range is not so awful." «

»YES, we've made it abundantly clear that the rules of engagement are subdue and not kill,« replies Orph, a tinge of impatience colouring his words. »That goes for the dogs,« he adds. »Dane, be ready to snipe any other targets of opportunity.« With that, Orph wastes no time in preparing to make the trek down toward the village, though he gives everyone their chance to add any other insight or comments before they get down to business.

Chris moves stealthily near Orpheus, staying a little back, a little to your left, at about 8 o'clock relative to your position and about ten meters away. Even moving through the undergrowth of the forested area, he seeks out spots that will make the smallest amount of noise as he moves in. It gets easier as we get closer, the forest providing less undergrowth, with it having been scavenged for fire material. But it's slow going, nonetheless.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Chris Stealth):
1 2 4 5 7
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Chris Stealth) (to no one):
1 3 3 4 10
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Dane (#337) rolls Stealth for "Moving 50 Meters, then stopping to set up.":
1 1 3 4 4 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Stealth for "R6 Ruth, Traceless Step":
1 1 3 4 5 11
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Dane (#337) rolls Stealth for "Moving 50 Meters, then stopping to set up. (KP1)":
2 3 3 4 4 4 11 11

Dane seems to be quite happy that the dogs will get to live, he hopes. He adds softly, » "Just before you jump him, do you want me to try to gel him? I can set up aiming on him, though I can avoid him completely. I just ask to make sure I know how you want to approach this. Apologies for any miscomm." « Dane transduces and then very slowly stalks his way forward behind the others but off to the side in case he needs to shoot around where they are heading.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (Fayte Stealth):
2 3 8

Even Fayte seems to be moving quietly, though none of them is a match for Orpheus or Dane, who are like ghosts. Orpheus doubly so, with his ruthenium. And the wind shifts, as you move, a light breeze springing up to rustle the leaves of the trees with a whisper, further covering sound — and blowing slightly toward you, sending the smell of campfire smoke in your direction.

Orpheus continues to descend toward the village. It's a lot easier for him to do so than the others, naturally.. But thats mostly because his ruthenium cloak keeps him so safe, as well as some of his adept powers.. He makes sure to check his followers to be certain they aren't going to cause a sudden commotion.. He was ready for whatever needed done.. and worse comes to worse, Dane could always put a gel round into anyone who might spot them suddenly, if it comes to that.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Dane, you can get to 100 meters, and pretty easily find a nice place to camp out. You can even describe it yourself."

Dane slinks like a wolf into trees and other things, splitting off just a little from the main drag, though not overly much. He could still take a path back out of here to the SUV if needed, or follow on down eventually. There it is… a nice place to nest with a frame of trunks and enough space to have easy movement, also enough underbrush flanking him when he goes prone. There is a slight rise and fall, not much gradient, but enough to make for being above and at a nice position for what he wants to do. He hunkers down and spreads himself along the ground and gets comfortable while the vegitation settles into place atop of him, and then he makes sure the rifle is lined up with the barrel most effectively pointing toward the campsite area. Luckily, he never uses a scope on this sporting rifle, so there will probably not be any of that silly glass reflection type thing going on, though he does have a laser sight on this, but he does not yet turn the thing on, waiting until he can notice if the camp people notice his people, or if given the 'go' to shoot.

The forward group makes it to the edge of the treeline. The closest of the teepees are about ten meters away from them, and the fire is about twenty-five meters away. The women and dogs haven't noticed you yet, though the breeze is dying down, now. Orpheus can just barely see them around the outline of the nearest of the teepees, using it for cover, while Chris is using the next one over for cover. Fayte is still moving forward, though Orpheus can hear her movements, now, with the wind dying down.

Dane scans his immediate area and then those flanking the camp site, also taking a glance upward toward any trees, trying to stay perceptive of the area all around them. He then looks back down toward their the target.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence for "Suite of eyemods":
3 4 5 5 14
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls 5 (SSF) for "Only if pertinent":
1 2 3 4 8
«Plot-Page» (To: Orpheus) Slinger says, "You can see them clearly. The two women… laughing softly, apparently one of them just told a joke. You don't know the language — it might well be Sioux, while the guy sits with his back to you, near the fire. You moved around a little as you approached, so that now you are behind your target. The dogs are utterly oblivious for the moment, apparently. Though… wait. There's a sound from that teepee nearest you. Somebody… is asleep in there. Sounds male, from the snoring."

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Dane (#337) rolls Intelligence for "Perceive!":
2 2 3 3 4 11

«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "The people haven't moved. The women seem to be roughly where they were, and one of them is laughing."

»Alright,« comes Orphs voice over the comm suddenly. »Dane, when I give the signal, bead in on our target and be ready to knock him out if need be.. From there, we will begin extraction. The element of surprise should be on our side and hopefully no one will have time to react in the confusion before we find out where the stuff is and get it.«
Orph edges around the village a bit more, and gives an allstop signal to Fayte and Chris.. He peers in carefully to the village, loking for ANYTHING.. The dogs haven't taken notice yet and that's good.. But wait.. he hears something from the teepee nearest him. Someones in there.. »We have another target.. In the Teepee nearest me… Fayte? I want you to come to my position and stay here, providing over. Be ready to ambush anyone who comes out.. Chris, follow me in closer..«
So.. the plan is.. Orph and Chris move in toward the fire.. Dane will shoot the target if needed, or anyone/thing else that presents a threat..

Fayte nods once, moves in closer, using the teepee as cover. She's trying very hard to be quiet…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (Fayte Stealth):
1 3 4
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (Fayte Stealth) for "KP 1":
1 1 2

You can hear it. She steps on a twig, right under foot, before you can warn here. *CRACK* goes the twig, a sound that seems to resonate around the clearing… seeming impossibly loud. But of course that is just your heightened senses, high-strung from the mission.
Over at the campfire, the three humans look in this direction… and one of the dogs gets to his feet, walking this way, sniffing warily, ears pricked forward.

Dane comms back, » "Roger." « and then begins to aim, but he is not looking through a scope, so at least he might be able to notice things that might sneak up upon his comrades. He seems attentive to doggie movements, and he frowns just a little bit when he hears the twig break and things move…

Orpheus gives another all-stop command. »Fuck.. Fayte, stay motionless, or go prone..« Hopefully if she blends in well enough to her surroundings the dog can be delt with accordingly. It can't be shot though because that would extremely obvious..

Commlink-Joseph> Dane transduces, "Fayte, please try not to show the dog any fear, just act like you are supposed to be there. You have been here before, so perhaps he will not think you a stranger, long as you stay relaxed."

The dog is padding toward the source of the disturbance. And one of the women calls out to it, in Sioux. The dog pricks his ears, glances back, but then whines, turning his attention back toward where Fayte is.
Fayte has frozen, pausing for a moment. The dog continues onward, walking back toward the rear of the teepee… sniff, sniff… and then he trots forward, eagerly. It disappears from the view of the people around the campfire, but Orpheus and Dane can see it clearly as it comes up to her, making an eager whine — and licks her hand.

Dane lets out a slow breath.

Fuck.. Orpheus HATES dogs. So much.. SO MUCH. His finger twitches, wanting to pop a quick round into the wolf-breed and be done with it, but he knows he cant. Fucking DOGS. »Dane, do you have a clear shot on the dog?« he asks.. He didn't want to have to do it.. but if the dog so much and shows a single tooth, he won't hesitate to order Dane to shoot.
Commlink-Joseph> Dane transduces, "I can have… but it does not look like the dog is mad at her, so she should probably just pet it and make friends. Probably, if no malice is shown toward it, it will not bother anyone.

Dog licks Fayte's hand, and Fayte smiles, unable to resist scritching it behind the ears, though she says nothing. The other dog pricks his ears up, and then bounds over toward the location where Fayte is. The two women are following the motions of the dogs with their gaze, curiously. The guy sits there, sullenly working on his leather-project.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (woman's perception):
1 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (woman's perception):
1 3 5 11

Orph thinks.. Fuck it. He just goes in, quickly making his way toward the oblivious man working with the leader bits. »Chris, on me. Everyone prepare for engagement. Weapons are free.«
Not exactly Orphs most stealthy job ever, but he saw no 'visible' reason that this situation warranted so much precaution. A snipe from high and three on the ground, including Orpheus himself, well-equipped and trained to deal with the situation at hand. Or so he hopes. »Dane, keep your eyes peeled for anyone trying to escape or run from the village,« Orph quips. Who knows, they might even have the wrong guy somehow.. Just in case.

Chris is still hidden. The woman glance over at Orpheus, and do not seem to see him in the slightest… even when he starts to move.
Both women get up, and walk slowly around the teepee, curiously. Not alarmed; after all, the dogs do not seem to be unhappy. Perhaps they expect one of the children. Both women get up, walk past Orpheus… while the guy glances behind him, watching them, then goes back to his work, seeming rather sullen and unhappy.
The women see Fayte there, and they looks very pleased to see her — and immediately begin speaking with her in Sioux.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (guy's intel) for "Perception…":
3 3 3 5

Dane notices that the women have rounded the corner of the teepee, and he hopes that no one is watching the man and he says, » "Clear target shot, if I take it, perhaps you can haul him out of there without him talking…" «

Dane takes no shot, but he does watch for things that Orpheus stated previously. He waits in stalkery silence now, only transducing when he needs to.

The women are distracted, and the man is oblivious. « Do we even need to shoot him? » Chris asks over the comm.
Fayte is talking with the women, and she chuckles, touching her camouflage, and laughs about something — and the women laugh too. And then Fayte leads them — puppies in tow — /away/ from the fires and the two boys…

Commlink-Joseph> Dane transduces, "Looks like Fayte is leading dogs and ladies away. Thank you, ma'am."

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Stealth:
1 2 2 5 7 13
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Chris Stealth):
1 3 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Chris Stealth):
1 2 2 4 11
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (Perception):
2 2 3 10


Part 6: Assault


«Plot-Page» (To: Orpheus) Slinger says, "Pose sneaking up to the guy. And then you can grapple him."

»No. I need to find out where the stuff is first. Watch my back,« he tells Chris. Orpheus walks RIGHT up behind the guy working on his little leather project.. Hes so very silent.. his footfalls don't even make sound.. he is in essence, a ghost. Once he's behind the guy, Orph draws out his pistol and immediately places it against the back of the mans head, trying to place the gun in a position where the ruth still covers it. He speaks as quietly as he can while remaining audible to him. "Move or say anything loud an' I'll decorate your fuckin' leather project with your brains," says Orpheus confidently. Of course gel was loaded in his gun, but he certainly don't know that, eh? "We're just ganna have a nice, quick talk, compre-fuckin'-hende?" Orph sure could sound MEAN when he wanted to. Provided the guy makes no sudden moves, It'll be fine.
»Stay on alert Dane.. I'm talking to the target.. Keep your eyes peeled.«

» "Roger that." « Dane replies in a fairly coppish way, even though the voice is electronically transduced. He remains very quiet and watches things.

The guy tenses suddenly as you touch him, startled — and he drops the thick awl he was using to punch through the leather, a small cry escaping his lips. His eyes are wide, but he doesn't dare move, his whole body tensing, his breathing turning rapid with terror. "Wha… what do you want?" the guy asks, his voice very soft. His gaze flicks to the right, toward the women — but they are walking with Fayte, talking excitedly, along with the dogs who are padding along, oblivious to any Shadowrunners. Snoring happens from that teepee as well.

Chris is right next to you, staying close, his own gun out, loaded with gel. But it's not silenced. He looks up at Orpheus, waiting for instructions…

Dane remains quiet and stealthy, keeping his eyes peeled as instructed.

Orpheus nudges the gun against the back of the guys head, driving the cold steel into his skull a bit for emphasis.. "Nothin' major. Just wanna know where you placed those vaccines and the money," he says simply.. With the guy at his mercy he goes ahead and unsheathes his hand blades and lets the dangerous things rest along the guys neck, threatning to silence him and end him on a slight twitch.
"An' just so you know, amigo. I REALLY want to know where that stuff is and if I think for a split second you are bullshitting me I will make sure you live just long enough to regret the shit out of making such a mistake." Adding emphasis one more time, Orpheus cocks back the hammer on his silenced browning, which registers a satisfying 'click' in doing so.
»Stay alert,« he tells Chris.. »Going to need your help in grabbing the stuff, assuming it's here in the village..«

Dane breathes evenly, only glancing off to the side to rate how far the women have gotten with Fayte and the dogs before returning his brown eyed gaze back to the actual scenario. Brownings. Dane liked those pistols, too.

"I… I don't have the drugs, man," the guy says. "What's that about vaccines? It's drugs, man. You know. Blow, nova, stuff like that!" His voice is kept low, catching in his throat. "I already spent the money… most of it, anyway. I got a credstick in my pocket. Here." He starts to reach for it, not daring to move his head.
« He's lying. He's fraggin' lying, » Chris says, with sudden vehemence… but even you can detect a hint of doubt in the boy's words.

Dane does aim actions on the man as soon as he begins moving his hands.

Orpheus intentionally lets his blades draw some blood on the guys neck and he shoves the pistol into the back of his head a bit more. "I said not to fuckin' move, you wanna die? I don't even know you. You are no one to me, I've killed people more important than you on a whim without even thinking about it before." This is actually true.
»Chris, reach into his pocket and grab whatever is in there. An' it don't matter if hes lying or not.« he adds. »Fayte? What is your status?«

Chris nods, keeping his cool. « Hai, omae, » he says swiftly, and moves forward to do just that. Chris reaches into the pocket.. and pulls out a Ruger Thunderbolt, holds it up for Orpheus's inspection.
« No credstick, » the kid says, shaking his head. « Told ya, he's fraggin' lyin'. »

Orpheus sneers. "Amigo, you have got to be the fuckin' stupidest piece of shit I've ever come this close to killing before. You think I'm stupid enough to let you pull this kinda shit on me? One last fuckin' time, WHERE IS IT?" he demands, the last words in the sentence are spoken directly into the gears ear.. Orphs breath washes gently over the nape of the guys neck now.
»Good work. Hold onto it. Maybe you can keep it as a souvenir?« Orph suggests wryly.

Dane slows his breathing even more, and he continues to wait patiently, but lets his aim actions die, for the sake of glancing at the rest of the big picture, making sure no one else is going to get involved in all this.

Chris grins, pockets the gun. The guy, though, seems to break down at that moment, all his bravado gone. "I… the credstick's in my teepee. That one," he says, pointing to the one nearest him — the one next to the one where snoring is coming from. "The vaccines… they're… they're in the fridge in the lodge. I was gonna sell 'em. Please don't kill me," he babbles, his voice growing a little in volume.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Dane (#337) rolls Intelligence for "Big Picts":
1 2 2 3 4 9

«Plot-Page» (To: Dane) Slinger says, "Nobody is watching… wait. There is a… a child over there. A young one, who is staring at the people around the man near the campfire. Eyes are very big in the little boy's face. And then, he starts to half-run, half-walk, clumsily, in the direction where the women departed. He's about three years old, maybe four."

Orpheus says, "Oh, I see. Well then.. Let's just take us a little walk over to the lodge and have a look-see, shall we?" Orpheus suggests.
»Aright.. Good.. Chris, go into the teepee he pointed at and find that credstick. I'll go find out about these vaccines.« Orpheus removes his hand blades but keeps the gun pointed squarely at the guys back now, nudging it forcefully. "Just play everything cool.. don't get no stupid ideas, an' I promise I'll strongly consider not killing you for pissing me off a sec' ago. Scan?"
»Dane, can you see anyone in LOS with me and Chris? How clear are we?«

« Hai, Omae, » Chris acknowledges, tucking the gun — safety on — into his camo, and then he darts over to the teepee in question. He peers inside carefully after listening, then slips inside the thing, disappearing from view to hunt around within it.

The man is breathing hard, nodding, tears running down his face. He's half-Native; you can tell from his skin, his complexion, his hair. Lots of white-man in this particular one. He gets up from the chair, can hardly walk the way his legs are giving out on him. Weak-kneed, literally.

Dane breathes in softly before transducing back, » "A little kid saw you guys and is rushing toward where Fayte and the women left… little, so maybe you can get the shit and leave quick? Tell bucko I got a snipe ready for him if he moves a muscle?" « Dane really did not want to shoot the child, even with gel, as they were very small and not armored and possibly easily injured.

Commlink-Joseph> Dane says, "OR get the man to call the kid back. Either way?"

Actually, Orpheus is more inclined to think that the kid will be ignored. Kid runs up screaming 'I saw an invisible man!' whats likely to happen? Of course maybe it was Chris he saw.. in either case, it wasn't anything to worry about he figures..
»Our only options would be to ignore it and proceed with the mission, or intercept the child, or take the child down..« Orpheus just continues walking along with the man, jamming the gun into his back.

Dane considers the first option, and the age of the young child, and he comms back, » "Ignoring the child, then." « Dane proceeds to glance around for any signs of others having spotted them, trying to stay completely aware.

Commlink-Chris> Chris says, "I got it. Credstick, right? One of the certified kind." He lets out a low whistle. "How much was there supposed to be?"

The kid runs over toward Fayte and the other women. "Mama! Mama!" And then the kid continues, speaking excitedly, babbling about what he saw. Telling the absolute truth, from his point of view. Fayte just laughs softly, says something in Sioux — and the women laugh… and the child stomps his foot cutely. Says more, obviously now having to defend his honor. No child likes to be told he imagined it!
The lodge is a larger building, and obviously the Natives have given in to at least a few modern conveniences. Refrigeration is important, after all, for medicines and the like. Just because they've gone back to Nature does not mean they want to forgo /all/ advances that modern society has brought.
The exterior of the building is quiet, giving Orpheus a chance to approach with the guy in tow. Your ruthenium helps shield him as well, as long as he stays in front of you.

Orpheus comms back to Chris, »Good. While you are there, check briefly for anything else of value.. It's possible that someone hired this guy and if you can find anything.. any link for motive.. Any equipment lying around..« He also relays the value of credstick to Chris because.. Orph's player don't remembah..
"Good, keep walkin' nice and steady," says Orpheus to his captive. He'll do his best to stay directly in tow with the guy as they slip into the Lodge.. of course, Orpheus is also keeping his ears peeled in case he might hear someone somewhere he wasn't expecting.
»Fayte? Status?«

Commlink-Fayte> Fayte's voice is just a whisper. "Can't talk right now. I'll slip away on my own."
Commlink-Chris> Chris lets out a softly muttered curse. "There ain't that much here. Most of it, but not all of it. He spent some of it."


Part 7: The Chief


The interior of the lodge is relatively quiet — but that is until you round the corner. There is an older Native man there, and he looks up as your captive enters. And says something in Sioux, with a warm, friendly smile — which vanishes once he realizes the state that your captive is in — tears down his face, obvious fear…

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 5 (old man int) for "Perception…":
1 1 2 3 8

Once Chris relays this info, he comms back. »I see. How much is missing? If he spent it, whatever he spent it on has to be around someplace.. unless he wasted it..«
As Orpheus and his captive round the corner into the lodge, the old man is here. But of course! Orpheus could just shoot him probably.

Dane listens quietly to the Sioux spoken, probably understanding most of the things said unless the child had the hard to understand tiny kid talk. Dane remains very quiet and he keeps scoping for any sign of need to snipe.

It's somewhat hard to hear from this distance, but the boy is speaking in impassioned tones. "Invisible people grabbed him! Ghosts and spirits, they took him away!" the boy insists, with a stomp of his foot. Why won't anyone believe him.
Fayte smiles. "Now, Little Buck, you know the difference between imagination and reality. This is something you imagined, right?"
The boy shakes his head. "Nuh-uh! I'm telling the truth!" he insists.
The women seem to be on the fence. "It wouldn't hurt to check it out," one of them suggests, though she doesn't seem to relish the idea.
"Serve him right if spirits /did/ take him away," the other one comments. "He hasn't done a shred of work until I made him work on that jacket."

Commlink-Chris> Chris checks. "Looks like about fifty-thousand yen. Other than that, it's empty."

«Auto-Judge[]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5:
2 3 3 5 5 = 2 Successes

The older Native man is dressed in traditional garb. Not ceremonial or anything of that nature, but his clothing appears to be all natural, made in the traditional way. As such, no pockets, no easy places to stash anything of that nature.
And it doesn't look like he has anything like that. If he does, it's small.

Orpheus considers a moment.. then speaks outloud, "If you don't want to see this mans blood all over the walls, I suggest you just sit right there and don't say a fuckin' thing," .. This is said loud enough for the old man to hear. His gun, however, remains firmly jammed into the targets back.
»Dane, stay alert.. If you see an older man leave out of the Lodge, put him down,« Orpheus advises. Orph figures.. if the old man tries anything, he'll put him down.. if he tries to leave the lodge to get help.. Dane will put him down. Either way, he's getting those damn vaccines. "So. What did you spend the money on, by the way?" asks Orph to the captive, voice still loud enough for the old man to overhear. His voice.. shows no questioning intonation. It's more like he's stating a fact and waiting for a response.

The older man blinks, pales at the voice from mid-air. And you can tell he's thinking about it. Thinkin' about doing something heroic. You know that look. But in the end, the old man does as you say, goes over and sits down in a wicker chair, woven from native vines, staring at the ghostly figure, trying to discern some sort of details.
The man trembles, tears rolling down his face. "I… I had some people I had to pay," the man mutters. "To get 'em. Had to pay people to look the other way."
From behind, the old man asks, in accented English, "What money?"

The boy tugs on the woman's arm, and Fayte goes along with them. "There! See? He's gone!" the boy says, pointing to the spot where the man was, his leatherworking project on the ground.
Dane can't hear the Native woman's reply, but the other woman — and Fayte — burst into laughter.
The child doesn't like that one bit. "It was spirits! Not the toilet!" his high-pitched voice states, stomping a foot angrily. His youthful voice carries easily.

» "Roger." « Dane says, somewhat ironically even though Roger is not here at all. Yeah. Dane makes sure the muzzle of the rifle is heading toward the teepee in which Orpheus entered with their target man, waiting patiently.
Commlink-Chris> Chris mutters another curse. "Frag. They're right outside, sounds like."
Dane glances over briefly though toward the direction of the voices, in case he needs to readjust and actually peg one, but for now he stays calm.

Orpheus sees a refrigerator. An old model, one that looks like it's about to lose the door off its hinges. It makes a rattle as it runs, working against the warmth inside the lodge to keep its contents cool.

Orpheus continues pushing the captive along toward that fridge where the vaccines should be.. "Yes, please tell us all about it," he encourages. Not that he cares if this old man thinks of him as a bad person or someone righting a wrong, but it keeps everyone engaged.. and the more they are engaged, the less likely their minds are to wander to ideas of heroism. "Please tell us who put you up to this," he adds. Orpheus wouldn't mind persuing the matter further, if warranted.. any info he might garner.. could be helpful.
»Chris, I don't belive we will find anything else that the money was spent on. Sounds like he paid debts with it or something.. Go ahead and get outside of the teepee and prepare to evacuate. I'm almost done here. Dane, just keep your eyes open and keep me informed.«

Another man pokes his head out of the teepee, the one next to the one Chris is in. "What is the boy on about? Spirits?" the man asks, sounding irritable. At least, it's irritable by the time it reaches Dane's ears."
"Spirits!" the boy agrees. Finally! An adult that will listen to him!
The man looks at the empty stump where our friend was sitting, and smiles warmly. "Sometimes," he explains to the boy, "the spirits do things we do not understand. Later, I will tell you a story about that. Later. /After/ I have slept," he adds, darkly.
The boy looks at the man, staring… and his eyes widen in fear. He swallows once, and nods.

» "Aye. Couple of women are indeed close with Fayte and child, possibly wondering where our man went, so stealth may be needed for escape. Another man peeked from the teepee in the direction of <insert it here> just adjacent to the one in which Chris is. However, it seems that he is telling the boy to hush, so he can get sleep. Bided time may help in his case." « comes the transduced voice Dane is using right now. He keeps scanning.

Once they reach the fridge, Orph nudges with the gun again. "Open it and get the vaccines. Show Open the container to show me.. Close it, and we'll proceed from there," Orpheus saus calmly.

The guy reaches out for the fridge-door. Inside, it is pretty bare. But there is something in there that does not belong — a bundle of test tubes, all bound up together with rubber and plastic. "I… I sold some vaccines," the guy admits.
The old man eyes Orpheus's victim. "You sold them. Why are they still in my fridge?"

Commlink-Chris> Chris hesitates. "Do I move or stay, omae?" Directing the question to Orpheus.

Orpheus considers.. "YEs, do tell," he says.. MEanwhile he nudges the guy back into the center of the Lodge closer to where the old man is and holds for a moment.
»Keep still for the moment, if you think your cover will be compromised.. I need to decide what to do with these two in here..«

Fayte engages the two women in conversation again, and the little boy follows along, meekly, shooting glances back over his shoulder toward the tent where the awakened Native sleeps. Obviously, he's afraid of /that/ one. Perhaps a shaman.
And finally, Chris takes the opportunity to sneak out, heading back out of the clearing, being as stealthy as he can possibly manage, his heart thudding in his young chest.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 5 (Chris stealth):
2 2 3 4 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 5 (Chris stealth) for "KP 3":
1 1 2 3 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 4 (woman int) vs TN 8 for "Does she see him? She's distracted, there's teepees in the way…":
4 5 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 4 (woman 2 int) vs TN 8 for "Does she see him? She's distracted, there's teepees in the way…":
3 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 4 (shaman int) vs TN 8 for "Does the Shaman hear him?":
1 1 2 5 = 0 Successes

Dane also watches just in case anyone might see Chris and tries to cover him in the event that anything unfortunate might happen, he is ready.

The guy you are holding goes back to the center of the room, and hangs his head. "I was going to deliver them," he lies — and it's obvious; he's so terrified.
The old man leans forward in his wicker chair. "Because of you, now there are armed thugs in my village. Because of your greed, there is danger to my women and the children of my village." He sounds calm, but it's easy to hear the anger in his voice. And he speaks English, fairly well from the sound of it.

Orpheus reaches into one of his pockets and pulls out some of those handy pull-ties he carries for binding peoples hands and such. He shoves a few into his captives hands. "Bind his hands," instructs the calm, collected, in-control youth. He pays little heed to the old mans emnity. It was easy to be opinionated when you didn't know all the facts, after all. He holds nothing against him.. but he presented an X-Factor, and Orpheus did not like X-Factors. "Bind him so he can't move around." In such a way that the old man won't be able to move from the spot without being cut free, hopefully. Maybe bind him to something solid like a strut support, or even the chair.

The old man smiles. "You can take the time to bind me, young one. Or you can simply answer me a question. Do you intend harm to me or my village? Do you intend to take anything but that which was sold to you?" he asks Orpheus, staring right at him. The other man freezes, fumbling with the pull-ties, drops about half of them in his fear.

Orpheus nudges with the gun again. "I could do no more harm to you than this man has already done on his own," Orpheus responds. "Isn't that right?? Perhaps next time you should think things through more carefully. You take someone elses things that don't belong to you; people will come looking for them. Isn't that true?" That's how Orph figured it worked anyway. If someone took his shit.. he'd be trailing their ass accross the FTZ. "Unless, you don't make any mistakes. I don't like to make mistakes, you see.. and that is why I take every precaution I can. So bind his hands."

The old man smiles warmly, spreading his hands, and then places them on the chair. "Take what you wish, young one, and go. This gives me an excuse to sit down for a while." His voice is calm, and he sounds like he is in no hurry at all. "Please do not harm any of my people as you depart. That is all I ask. We live in peace, here. Unless someone from outside… disrupts that." He looks daggers at the man, who cannot even bring himself to look up.
Shaking, he can't even keep a hold of the ties. "I can't. I can't do it," the man mutters.

Dane worries slightly, and he asks over the comm, » "Are we all doing alright right now?" « Still transducing. Otherwise, he watches things.

Despite the other issues, Chris makes it to the treeline, and moves carefully back up to Dane's position. « I'm clear, I think. »

Commlink-Fayte> Fayte murmurs, "They don't seem to mind me being here. I'll be fine. Leave me here, and I'll find another way home. If I leave, it'll be suspicious."

Orpheus shakes his head. "Well. I guess I have no choice than to conclude this matter right here and now, goodbye you scum," he tells his captive, sounding as if he intends to kill. The gun is pressed extremely harshly against the mans back, and then…. Orpheus reaches forward and cocks his gun, which ejects the loaded - and unfired - gel round from the chamber. His hands are gloved, and he takes care not to put prints on his own cartidges, and so he has no problems in handing the single gel round to the captive.
"Hold onto it as a keepsake. Be glad.. That I took an oath not to harm anyone else. I suspect that oath saved your life today." He looks to the old man, nods.. "I've no intention of bringing harm to your people. I'll leave this pathetic excuse of a man in your hands. Farewell." With that, Orph grabs the vaccines, his hand ties, and turns to leave.. "Don't leave the lodge for at least ten minutes."
»I'm coming out of the lodge now. If anyone follows me, take them down,« instrust Orpheus.. »Chris, I'll join up with you, and then we'll meet up with Dane..«

Dane looks toward Chris and then nods slightly before looking back to where he thinks Fayte is, » "Rather not leave you alone here." « Paranoid, Dane did not realize what had transpired and just how peaceful they may or may not really be here. » "Ready to snipe. Should we all meet, I can hand one of the guys my gun, and I will just wait out here to help escort you home, Fayte?" « he offers. Hell, he had spent 4 years in the Canadian tundra in the god damn snow. He could definitely hide in the trees and wait for a lady.

Commlink-Fayte> Fayte murmurs, "Dear? You're putting me at more risk by staying. They know me here. I'll be fine. Signing off."

The old man nods. "Farewell," he simply says, and then stares at the captive, who watches a quarter million nuyen walk out the door of the lodge. The woman are nowhere to be seen, the child with them.
It's a simple matter for the group to slink out of the village, with both a goodly portion of the cash and the precious vaccines in tow. Might be a good idea to stop and get some ice on the way back to keep them cool.
Other than that, the hidden storage compartment of the SUV provides a perfect place.
The trip back into town is uneventful — and true to their word, the smugglers get you, and your precious cargo — back across the border with no hassles — and better yet, no SIN checks.
Two hours — and a tank of gas — later, you are back at the pool hall, back in Dane's car after dropping off the SUV at Mountain Hills. It's been a long, exhausting day, and night is just now falling.

Dane is good about helping when it comes to gas and ice and such, but right now, he seems to be extra quiet, probably worrying over Fayte, maybe. When they arrive at Mountain Hills, he throws everything back into the apartment with the Plum who is sleeping off her moderate physical wounds. Then, into the car he is, where he drives everyone back to Angel's Delight, once they actually get in the vehicle (not leaving either Chris or Orph). Probably, he will park and wait in the car and let Orph take care of bidness.

Orph was glad the op was over, really. On the plus side, it was fairly easy to pull off.. Not even a shot fired, which suits him just fine.. Really, everything went entirely like clockwork, which suits him fine. He gives his kudos and thanks for Dane for all his help. Always good to have someone from on high, someone to watch your back. Orpheus was pleased with Chris as well..


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