Crimson is the Colour of Blood
GM: Yelmalio
Players: Wastelander, Simone
Synopsis: The pair are hired to go and remove the Crimson Smoke that are watching the Bastille in the Warrens.
Date: Tue Mar 2 23:44:39 2070

It's a cold wet night in Denver. The rain slashes down at an angle, thin and penetrating. It's always raining in Shadowrun. The temperature is cold, but not cold enough for snow or sleet. The city shivers in the drenching rain and most people stay inside.

Not so for an ork and a human who are forced to stand, shivering in the cold rain, with a windchill factor of -5 degrees C, waiting for their contact. The messages said there would be someone in a Johnny Cab who had work for them. He hasn't yet arrived.

Wastelander mutters. He hates this bloody cold rain. At least he has an insulated coat, now. He stands there in the rain, his weapon strapped to his back, face hidden behind a respirator and a pair of armored goggles. The hood of his coat is pulled up: at least his thick gloves are keeping his hands dry.

Simone focuses on her feet, easily the coldest part of her body in the slashing rain. Stepping lightly from side to side to keep blood flowing, she stands idly with the ork to await this Johnny Cab. What kind of a fucking monster has people wait in weather like this?

After what seems an interminable time in the cold, a Johnny Cab heads towards them, the electric engine giving that distinctive whine. Unfortunately it passes right by them without a second glance. He must be a real monster, or he just skipped out on his own meet.

Then a voice comes from behind, "Psst, ork, human. You waitin' fer a Johnny Cab? It's back in here."

When turning around it would be easy to spot the dark alley, now looking for it. The voice would probably have come form there, but nobody is visible.

Wastelander turns towards the voice, grunting a little. He hates the rain: he blames that for not seeing the voice sneaking up on him. That damn, dirty, sneaking voice… and then there's nothing in the alley. He swears. "Someone's playing games," he growls, and starts walking down the alley, taking the bait even as he gripes.

Simone slowly turns to prevent seeming too anxious. The voice doesn't quite catch her off guard, but it is a bit unexpected. Her hair is matted to her head, rain having made its way through her hat in the first minute of waiting.

Not far into the alley the Orks natural low light vision easily reveals a yellow plastic cab. It's powered down, but stood in front of it is a man in a long dark overcoat, his hand patting a small fellow on the head. The small man seems rather subservient, the taller man beckons easily with his other hand. His relaxed attitude shown off in the leaning back onto the cab he's doing. His voice is a silky smooth human's voice, "Thank you for coming," he begins, giving each as they approach a long stare.

Not being able to see as clearly as the other sight-gifted meta-races, Simone keeps back a good two meters behind Wastelander as she enters the alley with her astral perception active.

The ork approaches closer, stepping gingerly past a puddle. His gun doesn't come off his back yet. "Heard there was work," Wastelander grunts, his expression still hidden behind his goggles and respirator.

The Johnson nods amiably to the Ork, "Certainly there is, well paying too for what it is. But this is rather important to me." Then he glances around the ork to the next one, giving her the same treatment and then even more. He seems to double take. "What are -you- doing here? You aren't supposed to be coming! Agh, what an idiot." The man curses someone and suddenly his calm airs are destroyed as he gets up off the cab and paces side to side.

Simone raises her hands and begins backpedaling to the entrance of the alley quickly scanning for cover.

Wastelander looks at the girl, then back at the Johnson. "Some problem with the girl?" He asks, voice low and rumbly. "seems nice enough. Might even be a good shield for a bullet or two."

The Johnson sighs and turns to the smaller man, "Ratter, please stop her and bring her over here." Then to the backpedaling woman he calls, "We aren't here to hurt you, quite the opposite." For now, he amiably ignores the ork.

The small man apparently called Ratter begins to cast a spell. He chants low and hops a bit, his face becoming like that of a rats head as he channels mana.

Simone murmurs her surprise at being lifted by the small man's powers. She does her best to keep from crying out at such a rude, foul offense but she embraces the pseudo flight for the moment. "Vhat do you vant from me? Put me down!"

The taller man smiles serenely, "Thank you very much Ratter." Then he turns to Simone, "Please miss, keep your voice down. We're really only here to hire some people to take care of a Crimson Smoke problem at the Bastille apartments in the Warrens. You however, probably know why more than most."

"I know little enough. Enough to be concerned about zeir presence. How do you know of me?" Simone holds her arms out slightly to her sides while floating, one leg bent slightly behind the other, and the rain drips steadily down her body from head to toe, adding to the puddles beneath her.

Wastelander watches the girl get lifted, then looks back at the Johnson. "Gangers are no better than raiders. Slime. Beasts. If the pay's good, I'll kill them by the score."

The Johnson nods to Wastelander, "Be certain of the pay is good. Seven thousand five hundred nuyen for every of their jackets you can provide to me. Taken from a dead gang member." Then he turns back to Simone, who slowly floats down onto her feet next to Wastelander. "Please do not attempt to run, I know who you are because I saw you." He makes this seem like it makes perfect sense to you, "Just as I see you now. It would seem strange, but your disguise appears complete. You would be in no extra danger doing this mission. Would you care to provide backup for our man here?" He indicates Wastelander, who apprently already agreed.

Simone rearranges her jacket angrily once placed back down on solid ground. To the Johnson and his lackey she growls in a low, guttural voice, thick with her German accent. "By your math I should be due thirty-five souzand right zis fucking minute!" She opens a palm which catches the pouring rain and stabs a finger into it for emphasis.

Wastelander glances at Simone, then back at the J. He shrugs. "Price sounds good. Where do you want delivery?"

The Johnson smiles serenely again, "I apologise if we have offended you, but you were running. Also I must apologise for the misunderstanding. This is not a bounty, but an incentive to remove the current threat around the Bastille apartments. It is not applicable in retrospect." He bows his head slightly and Ratter drops the sustained spell. "There is an apartment inside the bastille into which you could deliver the jackets and receive payment, thank you."

Simone grinds her teeth at this mysterious, too-well-informed man of the shadows before remarking, "I'll support ze ork, but I am not a killer for ze sake of killing. Or nuyen for zat matter. I came to gazzer information for myself and others." She swipes a hand across her face to remove some of the rain water but it is replaced by fresh droplets just as quickly. "If ze gang is chased away, does zis qualify for completion as vell?"

Wastelander looks back at the J, waiting for the answer to the question.

The Johnson responds in the negative, "No, the gang is due to be pared down. The members must be retired permanently. Also, if you can interrogate one and find information as to the whereabouts of a one "McLovin" I can add a Bonus of twenty thousand nuyen for each of you. Our intel points to there being at least six members in the area so you stand to earn over fourty thousand each."

Wastelander nods. "Right. Kill gangers, find out about the Night Elf. Delivery in the Bastille, targets are near there. Anything I'm missing? Prefered method of death?"

Simone turns to the ork to ask the questions that will either confirm or deny her willingness to participate in the run. She begins with, "First, call me Gretchen. Ah, do you feel zat you can handle ze stacked odds? My support is not inconsiderable, but I am not a 'soldier-mage'." She says the slight alteration of combat mage with some derision and a slight sneer directed to the Johnson.

The Johnson shakes his head to Wastelander, "Anything that prevents ongoing living in this life is sufficient. You will be paid per jacket at the door." He also politely ignores Simone's attitude towards him.

Wastelander looks back at Gretchen. "Call me John. Or Wastelander. And yes. If approached carefully, and from cover, their numbers will mean very little." He adjusts again. "We should now go. The sooner we finish with this rain, the better." With that said, he turns and starts walking.

Damn, it's cold. He thought he'd left the cold behind in chicago. But at least the cold here doesn't glow, right? Wastelander looks around, biting his lip behind his gear, and leaps the wall. He's against a building, now, checking in every direction, making sure the Bugs aren't following him, and then he continues his journey. The usually-lone wanderer doesn't speak much as he goes, but stops in odd places, looking behind him, stepping around grates and manholes, occasionally scanning the sky. Every once in a while he stops completely for a minute, as if listening to the city… and then he continues.

"This city of yours," he says at last, as the pair nears the Resevoir Road. "There are so many people in it, Gretchen. How do people possibly sleep here?"

The pair makes their rainy trudge to the east, ending up in a shady area against the Aurora Warrens wall. Though other means are available to her, Simone mundanely clambers her way over the barrier that separates civilization from anarchy, dropping into the Warrens for, hopefully, the last time…

Simone follows Wastelander's lead, pausing as he does, and peering around her of her own volition, occasionally using her magical senses as well.

"Zis is not my city, John. And to tell you ze truth, I hardly know vhy I stay here…" She keeps her response vague as they creep their way along in the shadows near Quincy Avenue.

Wastelander pauses a little as the pair nears the first collection of buildings. "Be very careful," he murmurs, unstrapping his rifle, checking its load, and then scanning the nearby rooftops- first with just his goggles, then through his rifle's scope. Suddenly he jerks around, swinging the rifle with him, leaping back…
Only to watch a rat skitter by. He breathes deeply, made even louder by the respirator, and then turns back to the buildings. "Thought there was a Bug behind me," he says. "Cockroach. The skittering. The eyes." He gestures with the barrel. "This way. Quietly."

Simone ogles the ork, in awe of his paranoia. She's forced to wonder if she'll ever become that jumpy, and if it's a bad omen to even be considering the possibility. She follows his stealthy approach, first readying a machine pistol from a holster under her coat, and secondly looking to the sky once the ork signals a halt.

Simone hisses to Wastelander, her uber-paranoid orkish companion. "Sssst! Wait one second." She pulls a comm unit from her jacket and uses it as illustration. "Do you have a comm? If ve separate ve'll need zem."

Wastelander shakes his head. "Do not," he says, trying not to jump out of his skin as she hisses. He readies the action on his rifle, taking a deep breath… and then flicking the safety back on and putting the rifle back on his back. "Topside, then," he says. "looking for red jackets. Me first. Cover… cover me. Will be a sitting dwarf while I climb." He maneuvers around, looking for a likely spot… and then will begin, paw over paw!

The edge of the rubble is slick, but Wastelander's climbed slick before- and this is only eating into his gloves a -little-. When he reaches the top, he doesn't quite look down yet just swinging his gun off his back and hitting the 'floor,' so to speak, and scoping out the area carefully.

Simone makes a few tentative attempts at climbing the rubble of a destroyed house after the ork, but she fails to find purchase on the weathered, rain-slicked concrete. Looking over her shoulders, she gives herself the 'all clear' and summons the essence of her totem to rise effortlessly to a position in the shattered stone and timber that will provide some meager shelter from street-level gunfire.

It takes a few minutes of quiet watching, but at last Wastelander sees a target. He licks his lips a little, behind the respirator, and slowly starts to aim down at his target… carefully, carefully… then he's lightly squeezing the trigger of his beloved rifle: once to find the range, the exploding bullet twisting the body just so- and the second's on target, right into the head. The rifle's report is a loud, undeniable crack, giving away position… but maybe that's the point! Wastelander quirks his lips and watching, now- it's time to see what his rifle work brings out of cover!

Simone settles into a spot a fair distance from the ork so as not to be stricken deaf from the man's rifle-blasts. She raises hands to the sky and with a guttural screech of warning conjures a spirit of the wind itself to search the area for their prey, the Crimson Smoke…

The rifles loud cracking report echoes all around as there are startled cries from beneath them, and in the buildings nearby. The smoke member downrange spins and crumples to the ground, leaking his lifeblood out onto the pavement, a glossy crimson colour of it's own.

Simone's spirit wisps off to do it's bidding, returning in less than a split second, it's voice projected into Simone's mind, "Misssstresss, there are fiiiive over there." An image is projected with their locations on it.

Wastelander slips two more bullets into the rifle and waits a few more minutes, waiting to see if anyone/thing responds to the riflecracks.

The spirit whispers again into Simone's mind, giving her an update, a flickered image, the dots have all moved slightly.

For Wastelander the wait is a little more agonising.

Simone receives the emotional content of her spirit's message and crawls closer to Wastelander through the rubble. "John!" She whispers, "Zere are five more. One on each corner and a few out front…" She resettles for better stealth, though closer to the ork's rifle blasts now.

Two gangers run over to the dead body on the floor, one goes onto one knee next to him, checking the body. Surprisingly he goes right to check for a pulse and finding none gives up immediately.

Wastelander smiles a little as the two gangers come to check on their fallen brother. "Raiders," he murmurs, "They're all the same." He finishes his loading maneuver and raises his rifle again, taking aim… "Like lambs to… lambs to… lambs to the thing where they die." He pulls the trigger, catching his target in the shoulder, just a grazing blow… but once again, it's clearly a range-finding shot, and the next one is more accurate. Explosive-tipped bullet, right in the throat. Ugly.

As the second ganger goes down in more blood, which sprays across a nearby wall in a way forensic scientists would love, his friend leaps ot one side, dodging behind some cover from a barrel and debris. That strikes out two Smoke, a human and an ork.

Simone waits, watching intently. The cracks of the rifle jolt her every time but she hunkers down with just her eyes peering over the edge of a concrete and iron slab. She averts her eyes to the gory explosions but maintains watch over the scene as a whole. Her spirit, meanwhile patrols the area as per its instructions, visible only to her and perhaps a few select others.

Simone's spirit projects more messages with each super fast sweep, three of them have diverted into the streets, heading towards the dead ground separating you but not channeling down into Wastelanders scope either. They're flanking, is what Simone can tell. One in front, three to the right.

Simone whispers the information her spirit gathers to Wastelander, "One straight that way," she points, "and three to ze right…"

Wastelander's aim shifts to the second target almost immediatly, but this time his target's already moving, and it's a harder shot… instead of his torso, the bullet cuts through arm. "Damn," he mutters, and then looks to the girl. "Three coming from the right?" He asks, and turns towards where she indicated, to see if he can spot them from here. (Cityspeak)

The German woman whispers again to the ork. "Zere are three zere near ze toxic stream! Try to only wound one. I'd like to ask some questions of him." She kneels down behind her chosen cover and watches, still receiving updates from her wind spirit as it makes its rounds.

Pointed out the three are obvious, der! They're wearing red in a sea of brown and black.

The gangers come into view of the pair, and then they jump down into the sewagey, algae ridden dead ground. It's swampy at bes but it hides them as hey drop into deep shadow.

Wastelander shifts his position on the roof. "Filthy little devil rats, swarming towards the mother cat. Run across the field and the grasshopper spirits will get you." He slips another trio of bullets from his bandoleer into the rifle and raises it as he finds a nice covered position. "Skip out of it and John Henry Valiant will eat you like Sugar Bombs. Mmm. Sugar bombs." He pauses. "Already left one wounded for you," he says to the girl, breaking his monologue…
And now he waits.

The girl pulls her spirit back to her in some ethereal fashion as she scrambles beyond the sharp-shooter to allow herself to drift slowly down to the ground over the sharp stone and rusted rebar of the collapsed structure. The spirit is sent out to affect the four existing gang members with its naturally confusing abilities and she gently glides. Rain-soaked and cold, she touches down on the side of the building opposite the approaching gangers. With a quick and loud call to the sniper she starts running to shelter out of the gangers' range, ultimately planning to catch the escaping wounded person for questioning.
"If you can take ze three near ze stream, I'll try to catch ze last one!"

As soon as he's seeing red, Wastelander goes green, slipping the safety off and pulling the trigger twice. The shots are accurate again, one in the shoulder, another in the leg.. and the leg shot takes the target's leg out from under him with massive damage. Guy's not dying, but he's probably going to need surgery to ever walk again.

When Wastelander can't see a fresh target, he moves, skittering alongside one of the walls and finding a new spot to hang his gun. He sets up again, rifleman-position, kneeling and resting the barrel just so… perfect. Now to watch the stream…

And Simone flies around, sped up by her spirit, racing to get line of sight on the poor injured ganger.

There's no mercy in this damn world. Wastelander only gets a glimpse of the head of his target, but it's enough. The rifle cracks again, and over a hundred meters away a head explodes. Wastlander smiles behind his mask now, and stands, trying to aquire one last victim…

Wastelander squeezes off a shot at the next target, the huge frikkin' troll, but these torso shots aren't working on something so heavily armored. Time to up the ante!

Simone hits the round running, and with the aid of her wind spirit, she runs like, well, the wind. :| Rounding a corner some distance away from Wastelander's firefight, she spots her target and drops her currently sustained masking spell in order to cast to the best of her ability. With a few steps of a self-made dance that seems to incorporate flowing movements from tai chi, a glowing dome winks into existence around the fleeing ganger. Simone doesn't just rush up, at this point, keeping herself under whatever cover is available in case the man breaks through. Though with his wounded arm, it doesn't seem totally likely he'll get through her magical bubble.

The Troll, ninety meters away from Wastelander looks up as a bullet pings off his chest. "Rawwwrr!" Pointing both his Uzis at the ork he pulls the triggers, and surprisingly manages to get one burst on target. While three rounds patter off the wall Wastey has to soak three to the chest. But it's not enough!

Wastelander hits his target again, this time right in the face… but it's a damn troll, and they're built like brick shit houses. He ducks down again, hastily reloading while the other dood pours bullets at him. Still…

It's better than bugs.

Simone creeps! She's steadily making progress toward her mark with her machine pistol at the ready. She ducks behind parked cars and into the entrances of buildings in a crouching run. Her facial features have reverted to their normal state, but she pulls her scarf up over nose and mouth to disguise her appearance from any onlookers.

Simone gets all the way up to the edge of her magical barrier, pointing the Ceska pistol straight at the man inside. "Slide your weapons out to ze side! Slowly!" She waits for the man to relieve himself of any weapons and then she calls out, "Und ze jacket! Remove it slowly!"

The ganger in the bubble feebly pushes a pistol away from himself, then as he moves to take off the jacket he properly collapses, falling unconcious.

Simone curses to herself in German, taking a look around for any surprises before lowering her barrier to get at the man inside…

Enough is enough. Wastelander bites his lip, and then he rises, twisting, lining up the shots. He pulls the trigger twice, the hammer falls twice: and as the rifle cracks twice. Two bullets slam into the target, exploding, ripping organs asunder and causing incredible internal damage. Moments later, there's a troll body hitting the ground, and Wastelander is watching the area around them.

After the thundering of the firefight suddenly everything is quiet. Only echoes of gunshots around the area come back to the ears of the runners. Not even an animal tweets. Time to collect those jackets?

Time to collect those jackets.

With no immediate danger, Simone looses her grasp on the mana which made up the glowing dome and sidesteps in toward the unconscious man. She takes up his pistol, checking the clip and putting the safety on before depositing it within her coat. A quick pat down reveals any further weapons, ammo, drugs or tech he may have on him, which are also pocketed, before she gets to the business of rolling the man about to remove his gang-jacket. She rips a lock of the man's hair from his head with little regard for his comfort, pocketing that as well. What a little robber she is! And finally, she pins the man down and begins to focus her will into his essence, his aura, to stabilize his wounds that he may live on though it will not wake him up…

Behind her Johnson's back, and that of her own teammate, Simone allows her individual target to survive, though exposed to the weather. She heaves the man to the nearest shelter in a doorway and leaves him for better or for worse. With her ritual sample she can do some snooping in the future to see if the man survives, but for now, she's got herself a Crimson Smoke jacket and a pocket full of loot to take back to the coffin motel for examination.

Wastelander has been super efficient at collecting the other jackets, even the Dwarf's jacket that fell in the toxic sludge. He waits for Simone at the Bastille, and when she presumably delivers her jacket they hand them over for credsticks.

Simone takes a long, final look at her crumpled target lying in a heap in the abandoned doorway, changing her perception to the astral. She studies the aura of the ganger deeply and locks it away in her memory, finally deciding to take a second lock of hair from near his temple to offer to the Johnson as a lead to finding McLovin, the maroon night-one whose disappearance is being talked about in the streets as of late. Heading back to the toxic stream, she meets with Wastelander to go make the delivery.

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