Dreamchipper Part 3 - Jack the Ripper

Synopsis: This is Part 3 of the Dreamchipper plot. The players have found all the details they need to track down the three missing chips, have been in a recent battle with Junior who is now dead, and have gathered more information from him and their beautiful Johnson. First they check through the information, then, having sworn revenge on Jack for killing Gretchen's friend, are choosing him as their first target. Taking the disguise of a prostitute, Gretchen takes to the streets with Kraft keeping watch overhead, until she's finally confronted by the serial killer and they put an end to his reign, recovering the missing chip in the process.
Date: 16th March 2078.

Dreamchipper - Part 3


The information from Roxanne, your beautiful blue eyed blond Johnson, takes a while to read through and collate; there's a lot of data to be sorted before it's even readable. Finally, you piece together the following:

The chips developed by Global are a combination of BTL chip technology with skillchip applications. The major problem with skillsofts is that they require a significant amount of hardwired memory installed inside of the user. This limits the effectiveness of the skill to the amount of memory installed in the user. Global Technologies got around this limitation by imposing a synthetic persona, using BTL techniques, over the personality of the user. This technique allows the installation of high-level skills.
Original tests of the chip involved a complicated neural feedback machine, located In Global's labs. Original users of the chip plugged into the interface machine, which in turn plugged into the chip. This process protects the user from the negative effects of normal BTL chips, brain damage and personality disorders. A hidden design flaw caused a capacitor discharge directly into the brain when the chip is removed from a standard jacket. The research team had yet to reduce those effects to "acceptable levels" with unfiltered chips.
For testing, Global used Jack the Ripper, Genghis Khan, and Cleopatra as personality models. Global assumed that the military would be interested in a chip that combined the skills of a great leader with that leader's style. As time went by, Global team members began to call the chips and the people testing them by the personality encoded. Jack, Cleo, and Khan became pseudo people within the organization.
Had they been completely successful, the chips would have created an instant cadre of supersoldiers, spies, and assassins. Any individual with the proper sklllwires could change professions as easily as changing a chip. The chip would replace the user's lower skill levels, and it would still be able to draw from the user's individual memories and skills to make the person even better. In application, however, each of the three prototypes met with a different level of success.

Khan was to be the shining example of the programming talents of the deckers at Global. From the start, however, the chip faced problems. The size of the memory requirements caused designers to scale down the specifications of the chip. Then, programmers discovered that much of the code caused conflicts with the basic routines of the chip. Again. the chip was redesigned. When the chip was tested. users could wear the chip for only a couple of hours without experiencing debilitating nausea. Again the deckers went back to the drawing board, this time achieving the desired results.
Khan was designed to be a cross between Jack and Cleo. He was programmed to show the military just how far they could go. If they had the nuyen. The scope of the chip and the inherent problems of the design nearly proved crippling. As it is, the chip is a patchwork of fixes and guesswork.
Because of this, Khan is very dependent on his user to provide basic emotion and logic patterns. The more stable the user, the better the functioning. Even when used by a bright willful individual, the chip is constantly degrading. When locked in the mind of a dim witted, weak-willed user, Khan begins to self destruct rapidly, taking the mind of the user with it.

The Jack chip was designed to give a deep-cover agent the skills necessary to survive in the board rooms and back alleys of any major city. The chip proved to be too vicious. Test subjects developed an intense hatred for those near them, rather than the desire to gain any information. Instead of destroying the chip, however, Global hoped to refine the personality and provide the military with the perfect assassin.
Jack has a lot of style, if he cares to use it. Unfortunately, that occurs very rarely. During the day or when in a crowd, Jack is friendly and outgoing. Often the life of the party, he has the skills to get information out of almost anybody. When night falls or when he is isolated for long periods of time with a small group of individuals, Jack develops a violent hatred for those near him. He will lash out at anyone and anything. This strange bloodlust seems to be satisfied with the death of his victims. After slaking his rage, Jack returns to his friendly self, at least for a while.
By all measures, Jack is a faIlure. The chip produces a raving madman beneath a veneer of social grace. The chip also affects the mind of the user, destroying neurons on a massive scale. If someone ever manages to remove the Jack chip, the user will fall into a permanent catatonic state. He will be locked into a mental loop until Jack is reinserted. The user's memories are still there, but he will have no way to access them without Jack as a carrier.

Cleo was added to the prototypes at the last minute as the ultimate femme fatale. She was programmed for conducting prolonged espionage assignments while moving among the social elite. She was also designed as a potential rebel leader, capable of rallying the common people against their government and assuming temporary command of the rebellion.
When worn by a capable user, Cleo can carry out each of her skills with computer efficiency. If given free rein, Cleo would probably find a cause and muster people together to fight it. Cleo is probably the least dangerous chip to have running loose in the city in the short run, but the most dangerous over time.

After digging through Junior's pocket secretary, you find a lot of dictation; it's hard to listen to that low, gravelly voice for too long, but it's worth it as it gives some interesting information.

Junior, bitter at Urlan for taking the company that he considered his own, approached Booker Pengrave, an up and coming executive at the rival company, Hollywood Simsense Entertainment. Junior and Pengrave developed a plan in which Pengrave would steal the prototype chips, thereby ruining the financially over-extended Global. When the company collapsed, most likely at the yearly board of directors meeting later this week, Pengrave and HSE would move in, buy Global for a song, keep the new skillsoft technology Global had developed, and put Junior in charge of the simsense division.
Pengrave gathered the team and sent the 'runners into Global Technologies. Further information about the 'runners themselves talk of the rigger pilot, Val, and the street samurai, Griffin. It also notes that 'Val is running Cleo and Griffin's messed up with Jack the Ripper'.
The pocket secretary also contains a speech that Junior was to give at the board of directors meeting, lambasting Urlan's leadership and demanding he be held accountable for gross financial mismanagement.


The neon lights of Denver illuminate the night, active billboards dancing with advertisements for the new Mitsubishi, twisting into beautiful females modelling the new range of tres chic female wear, a man speaking out about the dangers of anti-metahuman activists, report them now on 555-RACIST. The bright lights of the big city have a difficult time tonight, however, the fog has finally fallen creating a haze in front of the billboards, lowering viewing distance right down. It affects the traffic, the late night processions of party-goers and the sleepy nightlife of gangs patrolling their territory.

Jack's location has been narrowed down, a fifteen block section of the Warrens near Mission Hills, the site of many a prostitute thanks to the Sinners, though most are keeping themselves indoors tonight. Private calls only.

For Gretchen's part, her flight from the slaughterfest at the Rathskeller is hectic, weaving through the CAS district back to Aurora and the site of Jack's last known whereabouts in Mission Hills. She takes the time to grab a room at the Crank for good measure and changes out of her leggings though her outfit remains largely the same, just with visible leg. Not to mention her riding helmet stuffed under her shirt to provide a faux baby bump in an attempt to lure in a very specific clientele — the serial killing fetishist kind… She leaves the rundown slum building in her leather jacket, camo hood popping out the collar, v-necked tank top visible due to the jacket layers being open, short cutoffs with the cuffs rolled tight to reveal tattooed thighs, and short ankle boots with three inch heels. She keeps her beanie with her, but for the disguise, she removes it, along with her gloves which reveals further ink on her hands.

Kraft's own drive from the Rathskeller takes another meandering path entirely, though he's not as paranoid as Gretchen; He only loops around four or five times to make sure he's got no tail, keeping an eye on the rooflines for tell tale roto spies. Damn corporations. Even the smallest of them's got more cash then sense and don't know when to let good things lay. He briefly considers waiting until the daylight, calling Twitchy, calling the stakeout off.

So another broad gets murdered in the Rens. Woop-de-doo, must be Tuesday.

The difference being, though; This time, he could've made a difference. Grousing at himself, more pissed that he won't be able to smoke a dogear without giving himself away, the old borg will park that Zephyr a -waaays- away. You don't leave fresh car parts laying around the Rens. Then, of course, catch Gretch on her way out of the Crank - with a surprise! The wrist mounted grappler.

"… Thick as pea soup out here, sister, and twice as nasty. So you slip this under your sleeve, here; It'll damn near jerk your arm out of its socket, but it'll get you twenty feet in the air faster than you can say 'there goes my damn socks'."

Commlink-ALPTRAUM> Gretchen sends, « I'm here. » Gretchen coughs, then resumes her comm with Kraft, shivering in the foggy chill, though a large part of her physical reaction stems from the creep-factor of attempting to lure a serial killer /directly to her/. Unwise, some might say. Lapse in judgement, others may interject with. Wherever the decision may fall on the reasonable vs unreasonable scale, it's happening. The need to avenge Candy is a powerful driving force for her right now, and baiting murderers in the cold, foggy night is simply a necessary evil. « Oh. Shit. I didn't realize… »

As she's confronted by Kraft upon exiting the Crank, she gratefully accepts the grappler.

A nod of the fedora, before Kraft turns his fake eyes up. "I'll be above you, sister; Think of me like an angel. A bald, cantankerous angel. That smells like cheap bars and cancer sticks. Also, I don't do feathers. So maybe more like a creepy uncle that watches you from above." A roll of the shoulders; That metaphor got away from him faster than a greased ork slipping a Lone Star tackle. Grousing, he looks back to the younger Twitch.

"Take it slow, let me know before you move. Keep your eyes peeled. Long as you stick near the walls, I can come down like flu season. Savvy?"

Under other circumstances, Gretchen would thoroughly appreciate the awkwardness of the metaphor, but in this, a quite dire situation, she simply nods shyly, swallows audibly, and secures the grapple to her right wrist, concealing it then with the sleeve of her leather jacket from which a bit of the cuff of her hoodie peeks out.

"I'll," she begins, taking a nervous deep breath. "I'll circle this area and… Yeah, I'll let you know any time I plan to move away from where you can see. I'll be moving slow, so shouldn't be hard to spot…"

She seems legitimately worried, having to forsake any attempts to skulk through the shadows for this, but… while it may not be an /ideal/ plan, being visible is the plan nonetheless. She reaches down to her abdomen where she's tucked her riding helmet and gives it a little lift, making sure it's just in the right position to give that alluring impression of knocked-up-edness that Jack reportedly loves oh so much…

She walks the streets then, as any proper streetwalker would, white hair, black jacket and shorts, and nearly as white legs hoofing along at a leisurely pace though she hunkers in upon herself to try to conserve body heat.

There isn't much happening on the streets of Mission Hills, a few die hards travel through the fog, Sinners guard their territory, but otherwise it's mostly quiet; the serial killer has turned people away from a late night stroll. A single burning barrel stands near one end of an alleyway, its light trying to force its way through the fog, a collection of homeless standing around trying to warm the wet from their clothing. One of the men looks up as Gretchen walks past, he doesn't seem as bad as the rest, better dressed, a flash of firelight dances across obvious cybereyes.

Once Gretchen has moved on, so does he, the 'fake' homeless man stepping away from the fire barrel and slowly following behind.

It took a bit to find a fire escape not rusted enough to collapse under his weight; As much as Kraft hates to admit it, being made of metal and plastics means he's about as heavy as a badonka ficker. At least he's still prettier, though. Not having the grapple guns limits his ability to go -up-, but it doesn't stop him from being able to move from building to building. The jacks in his legs hissing softly with each SHOVE, the old borg damn near a shadow between the heavy muting fog and the general crackle of Rens subdued life. Always above, this Dirty Denver Angel, although he's having a hard time keeping track. Fog and all, and eyelights do nothing for it. Even if he could turn them on, which he won't.

Commlink-MALTESEFALCON> Kraft sends, « Company on your six, sister. Might be a customer - might not. I got your back, you knocked up round heel. »

On ground level, the 'homeless' man follows along behind Gretchen, looking across the road and back again, checking ahead and behind him. His pace picks up, the man moving closer, another twinkle of cybereyes as the light from an overhead neon sign catches them. Now Gretchen can hear it, footsteps muffled through the fog growing closer still.

Gretchen disguises a press of the button on her earpiece as an idle raking of her hair and takes up a position within sight of Kraft, turning to have the new arrival's approach in her line of sight while appearing as casual as she can muster. She offers a quiet, "Mm-hmm," into the comm then pocket-searches for her Courses and lights up, calling very blatant attention to herself with the brief flash of firelight in the fog.

The steps draw closer, the man reaches into his coat as he moves within melee distance of Gretchen, his face under the flash of firelight appears pock-marked and unfriendly, or is it..? "Excuse me, miss..", he says, his hand starting to pull from beneath the coat.

Three stories up; Kraft hadn't ever made a leap this far bfeore. While he was sure the ol' tincan could handle the ding on the way down, there's something primally spooky about standing on the edge of a building - the tips of your loafers poking out over the edge - and wondering just how big a crater your keister's about to make.

With a grimace, Kraft begins to lean forward, his precarious balance damn near on the knife point, the cool wind slithering along his lined coat..

Gretchen turns to face the man as every fiber of her being screams 'RUN' but she forces herself to stay put and reply with, "Time is money, chummer…"

With a metal monster ready to drop from above, a small but deadly woman in front, the 'homeless' man cares little about either potential threat. His hand comes out from beneath the coat; it's a Lone Star badge. "This is a warning. There's a killer on the loose, he's killed twice tonight already. You do /not/ want to be on the streets tonight.". Twice. Someone other than Candy has faced his knife tonight. His voice is quiet, he doesn't want to draw attention to his activity, a Lone Star officer on Sinners territory is just asking to be shot.

As she releases a cloud of tobacco smoke through black, pursed lips, Gretchen places her other hand below her baby bump, cradling it, though she takes a no-fucks-given stance with one white leg straight, supporting her, while the other is angled out.

"…fuck…" Gretchen mutters to herself, ashing her cigarette. "You think I don't know that?" She makes a token attempt to conceal her accent, but nerves prevent her from focusing enough to put any real effort into it — she's clearly an immigrant, despite her best intentions to conceal that from this Lone Star creeper. She continues on with her role, stating, "If you're such a do-gooder, why don't you stick around, honey. I'm not sacrificing my paycheck for some fucking rumors."

Gretchen continues with a line intended for Kraft, but made to seem directed at the Star detective. « I don't tell you your job, Star. Why don't you leave me to mine. »

With a huff the man takes a step backwards, shaking his head. "It's a warning. If you want to be out here getting all sliced up, that's your business. I'll see you in the morgue.". With another shake of his head, he mutters, "No helpin' some people.", and turns around, starts making his way back toward the barrel, the badge returning to the inside of his jacket. He still mutters as he goes, "Fuckin' stupid Warrens trash..", the rest can only be picked up by Krafts enhanced hearing, ".. don't know why I'm wasting my time out here.".

Breathing slowly, the old borg eases back from the edge, making sure not to waggle his arms until he's firmly on terra.. well, not terra incognita. Roofa incognita? Latin's deader than bumblebees, so who cares. Grumbling, that mechanized heart whirring a little faster as it circulates blood through assisted kidneys. Taking a moment to tug his fedora down a bit lower, tilting his head as he listens. Then grumbles.

«Least it's not being ignored, sister. That's a plus. Also a negative, 'cause our slasher likes catching people where no one's watching. You ready to shift?»

Gretchen mutters confirmation to Kraft as she sneers at the cop's back. « Leapfrog. Just… please keep me in sight as we move… » She seems reluctant to make the request, but wants to make it known that having eyes in the sky is important to her right now. Very important. She continues smoking her cig and begins slowly working her way deeper into the reputed hunting grounds of Jack the Ripper with fearful, reluctant steps disguised as cold, lazy streetwalking, and she makes it a points to let the thick heels of her short boots hit the pavement harder than she normally would. This actually takes a little concentration due to the fact that trying to remain unseen and unheard is a much more natural state of being for her.

As she begins to enter the lair of the killer, Gretchen pulls a small hand warmer from a pocket and… Begins singing a Christmas carol in a nervous voice that is made even more warbly for her constant shivering, though the chill seems to vanish the longer she croons. Perhaps the singing will assist in the plan as well…

~Sii-iilent niiiight~
~HoooOOoooly niii-ight~

The path leads into Jack's stalking grounds, streets and alleyways that are cold and damp with the moisture in the air. More people approach Gretchen as she goes; a man simply asks for the time, curses when he hears it and continues on his way, another asks for some company because he's worried of the serial killer on the loose. It's enough to put nerves on edge, especially when the streets are already so empty and these people appear out of nowhere.

Perhaps an alleyway would be a better option, suited to drawing out Jack; most of the kills have been in or near the mouths of alleyways. It's almost three a.m., but as Gretchen makes her way along an alleyway nearby rats screech, overloaded dumpsters spill trash onto the ground, rear lights fight to push their glow through the fog.. so she spots a male figure. Well built, curious clothing, his cybereyes lit up in a weird yellow glow with the fog and nearby lighting. He stands in the cover of a doorway, perfectly placed, hidden from all normal vision, but Gretchen's glasses extend beyond the normal. Up above, Kraft follows along a three storey building, they're all the same height along this alleyway, the height throwing more unnatural shadow onto the area.

~…aaalll is caaaaalm…~
~Aaaaallll is briiiight…~

The singing helps, warbly as it is, as the old borg follows up above like something out of a Runner Trideo. What next, leaping towards the camera as an explosion goes off behind? Maniacal Johnsons with fluffy white cats and gold teeth? Dragons coming out of the sky? Kraft grouses quietly to himself, but his false eyes are still watching the world move below his feet as he shifts from roof to roof with that same grace as before. He didn't know if Twitch were stomping her heels and signing like The Little Match Girl on purpose - to help him keep track of her - or because she was Twitch, thusly named for doing more weird crap than a hellhound's muck out pile. Rolling his shoulders and squaring up for the next leap, Kraft makes sure to roll on impact - softening the noise to barely more than a whisper. Frightening how quiet four hundred pounds of plastic, metal, and cyberpsychosis can move, isn't it?

Assuming he's well hidden, the large male figure remains standing in the cover of the doorway. Moving closer, Gretchen can see his outfit; a clean black/red suit and flowing cloak, a stylish hat. His bright yellow cybereyes stare out at Gretchen, watching her approach, attracted by her singing.

Gretchen clutches her handwarmer and continues singing to herself. While the little heat pack seems to work quite well, she still shivers, though for reasons entirely unrelated to the weather. She pauses mid-lyric as her voice cracks, swallows, and tries to muster the courage to speak up, though her warbling of Silent Night has surely already alerted the stranger to her presence, as clearly as the heat radiating from his body has alerted her to his. She takes note of the man's posture and positioning, the clear attempt to remain incognito, and pulls one hand from where she has both held to the little heat pack. This hand descends to cradle her baby bump once again, while at the small of her back she can feel the weight, both physical and psychological, of Candy's weapon, tucked away for the inevitable confrontation…

She considers calling out to the figure, but decides to let him maintain his assumed stealth and continues strolling, singing nervously to herself. And to Kraft, though that's entirely coincidental. Selective sound filters would be a godsend for the borg in situations like this, surely.

It's on the upgrade list. Right next to .. well.. every other damn thing he needed to keep the jalopey of a body running. It wasn't like owning an old car so much as -being- an old car, right down to oil changes for those servos least they click and scratch with every movement. Eventually he's going to have to start keeping a screwdriver on him at all times, the way that left thumb keeps coming uncalibrated. Thoughts for another time, when they weren't troling for a serial killer.

Matching what he hopes is Gretchen's position, occasionally leaning over to check that shock of hair when the fog curdles away for a tic, Kraft's frown dips. Her singing's more off key than a trog locksmith - time to give her a little spine.

«Right above you, sister.»

Waiting for the woman to move closer, the large figure moves with a casual motion, shifting effortlessly from the cover of the doorway and becoming fully visible to Gretchen. "Nasty night to be about, wouldn't you say?", he says through the cold fog, his steps taking him steadily but casually closer, appearing non-threatening. "For one in such a condition.", he adds, no doubt talking about the baby bump.

Even though she was fully aware of the man's presence, Gretchen still can't help but… well… twitch, when he announces himself. Reflexively she backpedals a few steps and turns to the side as if out of maternal instinct to get the helmet-tummy out of harm's way should it come to that.

She shudders, then speaks up in a fearful tone that she hopes sounds somewhat relieved, as if she's encountered a good samaritan when all rumors point to the contrary. "…Oh-h-hhh… You fucking scared me…" She swallows and flexes her hand with the heat pack like one would with a stress-squeezy ball. She summons enough courage to play her role, but her fear most definitely shows through the act, but that's not entirely unreasonable considering the circumstances and the location. "…nuyen never sleeps," she manages to croak out.

Voices, down below. Actually a little ahead of where he thought Gretchen would be; Fog and alleyway are playing a merry hell on his orientation. It's like he's leaping from rock to rock over some dark misted apocolyptic ocean rather than in the disease riddled kidney of Denver. Why the kidney? Because, mac, that's where all the piss goes. Shifting until he's got a pretty good idea of where the talking man is, Kraft will once again put his loafers up on the edge of the building, shifting slightly. Turning his eyes up, to glance along the rest of the rooftops - one foot back.

«Remember, Twitch; You got my grapple. Just fire up and we'll pull an ol' switcheroo. It'll hurt, but less than a damn cutter in the sternum, savvy?»

With a slow pace, the large man takes steady steps around Gretchen, circling from front to back and around to the front again as if appraising her worth. He stops then at her side, holds out an arm for her to take. "Perhaps some company would lay your fears to rest?", he suggests, but there's something about his voice, about his gesture; it's like a child molester offering sweeties to a little girl. Just take the arm, nothing bad will happen.

In an effort to make her supposed intentions known, as well as to make the mystery man declare his, she refrains from committing just yet, stating, "…yen up front, no rough stuff," and she concludes with the more graphic details of was is and isn't on the "menu" due to being in her third trimester (the only possible explanation for her belly being the size that it is). Once again, as so often happens, every fiber of her being screams, "Run! Flee! Get /anywhere/ but here!," yet she swallows that damned lump in her throat, aims black-ringed dagger-eyes at the man and forces herself to stay put…

When the arm is refused, the man slowly lowers it back down, bright yellow cybereyes glaring at Gretchen. "No rough stuff? You filthy whore!", he suddenly shouts in anger. Razors pop from out of his fists and he steps in toward the woman, slashing the blades straight for her throat, but the woman is too quick. That brings a smile to his face, a wicked smile, a wolf chasing sheep, "I'm going to enjoy this.."

Gretchen lurches back with a yelp. While everything about this encounter was anticipated, paranoia followed by surprise is still a powerful driving force. Her bootheels skitter on the wet pavement as she reels back, away from the thrillkiller and her mind goes blank, switching at the speed of thought from suspicion and fear into pure reflex and survival instinct. She drops the heat pack in her frantic scramble and begins to reach for a can of mace clipped to her belt with eyes wide and hands outstretched defensively to help block the next inevitable attack. The grapple may come into play, but not yet. Not unless absolutely necessary, and though she may be in the grip of sheer terror, she still has a fire inside her that will only be extinguished when Candy is avenged.

When the first shout happens - Denver's Dirty Angel comes floating down from above like a dumpy brown pigeon landing on its bread of prey. His coat flapping upwards as his arms pinwheel, a grimace on his face as he tries to keep his flatfeet pointed earthwards. He lands - not on JACK, alas - but on the ground with a leaden THUD like someone dropped a TV off the roof. Claws spark through the fog, ripping neatly into his side - and spark off metal casing, leaving scratches but drawing no blood. ROBOTS IN THE FOG.

"HEY! I liked that shirt, jackass!"

Noticing the motion even through the fog, thanks to those glowing yellow cybereyes, Jack spins out of the way of the incoming investigator. His cloak swirls as he spins, his arm reaching out to slice across Kraft's open chest, but only managing to slice through clothing rather than flesh.

For her part, Gretchen skitters further back, helmet edge digging into her solar plexus due to her crouching stance, and she whips a small mace canister from her belt. Her eyes dart from the cyborg airstrike to the resurrected mass murderer of ages long past and readies for just the right moment to try to hit Jack with a blast of crippling bear spray. Although it's only a matter of split seconds, she bides her time waiting for the right moment to loose a stream of caustic pepper punch.

Even as Kraft is recovering from the first slash across the chest, Jack is moving again, ducking and pushing forward, his arm flashing out like lighting to thrust the hand razors into his stomach, laughing maniacally as he does. The points hit right on target, but there's a clang instead of the tearing of flesh, metal hits metal and the psychotic serial killer has to take a step back to reassess the situation.

Kraft is outmatched; There's no question about it. His swing from the side goes slipping over the quicker Jack's head, claws flash - CLANG-SKREEEeeee- and spark off his abdomen again. The old borg grins a nasty, vicious grin as the serial killer backs off.
"What, no kiss?"
And then he's powering forward, a feint from the right and then that left comes round in a hard diagonal strike mean to take lesser men off their feet. It's a bruising hit, but looks like it's more 'staggering' for Jack the Knife. Kraft is already panting hard, his shirt in tatters and shiney metal scraps where the flesh colored paint on his chest had been dented.

The feint catches Jack off balance, he ducks to avoid it and only makes the impact from that left all the worse. His breath exhales with the impact and he stumbles backwards, his back hitting the alleyway wall, a glare of yellowed cybereyes at the man who dare land a strike against him.

With the Ripper up against the ropes, Gretchen scooches forward and raises her little mini-sprayer, letting loose a generous blast of concentrated irritant into the chipped man's eyes, nose and mouth. She growls which grows into a wordless roar as she does so, and for the time being, the pepper punch does nothing but soak into flesh and fabric, but if this encounter lasts more than the next few seconds, he'll be in for some very unpleasant everything.

The small pregnant woman dare attacks Jack. The man turns his face away from the incoming spray, ducks to try and protect himself, but it's too late as the irritant has already landed. He wipes his cloak across his eyes and looks from one to the other with rage, deciding who to tear into shreds first.

False yellow eyes to false yellow eyes - Kraft whistling to catch Jacks' attention when he looks to Gretch, just to get a face full of mace. "Hey, ratfink. I ain't done with you yet." What the old borg lacks in skill he makes up for with ferocity - digging that shoulder into the killer, and just hammering at the man's abdomen with hard THUDDING impacts. It doesn't get through the armor, but the old man's shrugging off flicking blender claws like only a borg can, trying to keep Jack busy. Coat's got new shreds and that polymimietc mask is starting to rip, but it's all superficial damage right now.

Knocked back against the wall again, Jack tries stabbing his razors in against Kraft's shoulders, arms and chest as the punches come thundering in. Though the impacts causes a puff of breath, they don't seem to do any serious damage. Giving up on his razors for a second, he simply grabs the man and pushes him off, moves away from the wall and out of that awkward position he'd found himself in.

Gretchen begins reaching to the Predator tucked into the small of her back but her wordless cry becomes a vicious snarl of fear and loathing and disgust and hatred and… all the nastiness she can muster. Her mind feels as though it bursts like a dam, and all her intent to cause this man to suffer like Candy must have suffered in her last moments are rendered into being by sheer will. "—aaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

The wave of power that flows from Gretchen hits Jack and brings him to one knee, a roar of pain as his entire nervous system lights up with magical energy. The roar of hatred for the people doing this to him, to Jack, the unstoppable serial killer, has him pushing back to his feat in defiance. This time, however, he's shaking, trying hard to push through the obvious pain that's wracking his body.

"The hell you think -you're- going?"

Growls the old borg, feeling his oats, and the pain editor setting him to flying; Not a creak in the joint, not a pain in the neck when Jack shoves him off. And then falls down screaming - and gets back up, shaking? Kraft risks a peek over his shoulder, blinking, then gets his fists up. Damn potent pepper punch, that. He'll have to ask later. That left hand comes around again, an upward -THUD- against the ear to get the man staggered back to the wall, so ol' Krafty can keep working him over. He'll get through that armor..!

With a smack to the jaw, Jack is back against the wall, but like a caged tiger he's immediately leaping straight back at Kraft, both hands raised, trying to force them into either side of his body. The pain shrieking through his nerves has his normally perfect attack look like a fumble and Kraft lands another crack to the jaw, twisting his head and sending him back against the wall again.

Gretchen continues to creep ever closer to the brawl, boots scuffing on the wet, litter-strewn pavement with small steps. She swaps the mace for Candy's pistol and raises it up, moving to the side and gripping it tight to line up just the right shot, but while Kraft is in there working the body to get through the killer's armor, she refrains from firing a shot, although she'd love to just let rip with the full magazine in a bloodlust-fueled frenzy. She's not thinking quite right, mind addled with the sickening 'oil slick' sensation of the unleashed, intangible power flowing through her, but she knows well enough not to shoot her ally in the back.

The effects of the spray slowly start to take effect, Jack's yellow cybereyes flickering, tears leaving the ducts, the man coughing as the drug causes a sensation akin to fire burning his throat..

Sparks fly in the fog as claws rip and tear, bits of plastic and clothing flying, but Kraft is -still powering in there-. His hand raising and falling like a hammer, refusing to halt even as claws find their ways in joints, across his face, down his front. It sounds like someone stuck a wrench in a blender, and still? KRAFT KEEPS HITTING. He's got one hand on the man's shoulder, and the other is just thumping his skull against the brick work again and again, following him as he slumps. Soon? Soon Kraft is striking -down- at the killer, growling out his mantra.
"YOU!" Thud. "DONT'!" thud. "HURT!" Thud. "KIDS!" Thud.

Guess someone finally hit his break.

With the flurry of punches and the pain coming from all directions, Jack is pushed to his knees, each thud causing a twist of the head but damn if he's not tough, he's still not out. The pain and the moisture dripping from his eyes is enough to keep him out of the fight for now though, he can barely breath and the magical torture has him gripping the ground, razors sending up chips of pavement as they dig in.

Gretchen shifts the Predator to her left hand, using her right to draw out her little pocket knife. She flicks it open with a gentle <snik> and a flip of her wrist and approaches, black lips curled up into a severe sneer. She waits for an opening and applies the wickedly sharp little blade to Jack's stomach and pushes in below his kevlar and draws the edge in a slow line from hipbone to hipbone.

Incapacitated, unable to move to even defend himself, Jack is completely at the mercy of his assailants. But there is no mercy. The slice across his stomach starts a slow release of the mans insides, the slice allows a small length of intestine to escape along with the stench. Jack can only murmur his pain, until the spell is dropped and he reaches for his insides. The motion doesn't help, it only makes things worse, the tear grows, more of his insides become outsides, and Jack can only hold in a little more before the pain overwhelms him and he drops unconscious into a pile of blood and gore.


Kraft's seeing red, but he snaps out of it when Gretchen bumps by him. He blinks down at her, his red spattered hardliner knuckles pausing in their constant jack-hammering (HA!) - just to watch her slit the guy's belly. He jerks back like he'd been shocked, cussing.

"Son of a politician, Twitchy! What the hell?" He flexes his hands, unable to do anything to .. well. Hm. He really didn't -want- to help this guy. Just a moment ago he was doing his best to make that skull into a flower pot. But-. .. Hand goes across his face, rubbing his palm into his eyesocket. He looks like hell - like he'd been through a blender. The polymimetic mask hanging in shreds, showing his -real- face. All cheap plastic planes, like a doll brought to life. It's not a pretty thing to see in the fog.

As her final act in avenging Candy, Gretchen wipes the blade of her knife on the leg of Jack's pants, snaps it shut and pockets it, then uses her free hand to extract the corrupted persona chip from the man's jack. Promptly afterward, and utterly unceremoniously she presses the barrel of the pistol to the man's temple. Taking only enough time to sneer and growl a final time, she pulls the trigger, sending the mind of Jack the Ripper splattering across the bricks to trickle down to the alleyway trash below.

Finally Gretchen growls something intelligible to Kraft, turning black-ringed eyes obscured by sweat-matted strands of messy white hair. "It was the least I could do." She states this as though she's done someone a favor, and in her mind, she's done just that.

Except for the explosion of brains, the body of Jack barely moves from the gunshot, a gunshot that goes largely ignored in a place like the Warrens. Just another ganger causing trouble, no doubt. The chip, when removed, has all the hallmarks of a BTL chip but is somewhat larger, other tech attached to it and interlinked with the underlying BTL technology. One down, two to go; Khan and Cleopatra.

With a face like rough hewn moving porcelain, turning his head to the side as Gretchen executes the man. He's already moved to slump on the other wall, letting his legs go out and sliding down to the ground. Giving himself a few moments of a pain free existence while he taps out a doghear, catching it between fake lips.
A flick of a real lighter, from TeeHee.
Smoke drifting from joints in the back of his jaw let the nicotine seep through.

"It weren't him, Twitchy." States Kraft, dully, finally looking back up at the woman. "You want the one who killed your friend, he's in that chip." The gloved hand held outwards; Juuust in case she's tempted to smash the thing.

"Regardless," Gretchen snarls quietly, now present enough to look into neighboring alleys for signs of movement, "He was geeked the moment he slotted this chip…" She turns the prototype over to examine it in the meager lighting of the fog-filled passageway then shoves the barrel of the pistol into her belt at the small of her back once again, its task now complete. Candy's death was pointless, and so was the execution of Griffin/Jack, and the futility is slowly creeping in as the German takes a step away from the body toward the detective. Out of nowhere she comments, eyes narrowing as she swallows that accursed lump in her throat yet again, "…you're going to need a new face, Balboa."

"What, not taking me out anymore? Damn shallow knocked up round heel."

Grouses the borg at the 'pregnant' hooker, starting to feel a bit more like his old self again. He sweeps his fedora off his head; Cyberskull. Moving, shifting joints and cheap, pale 'skin' that looks more like more pockmarked porcelain. And that wire creeping up the back of his neck, plugged into the back of his head to feed the comm from his transducer. He fans himself for a moment, peeling away the last bits of the polymimetic mask before fake eyes flip up to Gretchen.

"Or you saying you've got one handy? 'Cause sister, that was a damn expensive piece." A grouse, before he sighs and releases the pain editor; One can tell when it kicks in as he grimace, squeezing eyes closed. Lights flicker and shine through the skin on his left forearm. Bio-monitor and a subdermal display. He glances once at it, then sighs again before holding up a hand. "Help me up, dame. We still got two more to go."

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