Gold in Them Hills
GM: Slinger
Players: Johnny, Slide, Page, Serel
Synopsis:
Colonel Jackson Daw, UCAS military, responds to a request and/or
suggestion from an old friend, Johnny Wulfson, that a friend of /his/,
Slinger, might be able to take care of a huge thorn in the Colonel's
side.

A major gold strike has been discovered in FreeCal territory, and the
UCAS is working discreetly to help them secure it. There is a limit to
how many forces can be sent in without creating an international
incident, especially since the Japanese are 'advising' the Ute Irregulars
— who are not /exactly/ regular military. The Colonel needs special
forces he can send in with plausible deniability, to prevent an
international incident if the situation erupts.

He contacts Slinger, who is not exactly what he would want, by any means.
Wet-behind-the-ears naive kid who thinks he's a superhero. But Johnny
has faith in this kid, so he agrees to the terms, probably against his
better judgement.

Slinger recruits a team of three others: Page, Slide, and Serel, and the
three of them proceed to FreeCal. Discreet transport is provided for the
team plus equipment, and once there they pose as Auditors, with the
Colonel instructing Major Barrett (in charge of security for the mine) to
give them full cooperation.

Slide, in a datasearch, stumbled across evidence that the mining company
has a mole inside, feeding information about shipments. This explains
much of why they have been able to strike so accurately and thoroughly,
setting perfect ambushes at just the right time.

The first priority is to capture the spy. Page checks with accounting
and payroll, looking for irregularities, while Slide and Slinger plant a
modified pocket secretary into the mine's comm system, to monitor and cut
traffic if needed. It isn't long before the spy sends a message — and
Slinger cuts communications before any acknowledgement could come back.

Then begins 'medical exams', going through all the personnel, one by one.
Bringing them into the infirmary, checking them for the right kind of
cyberware, but most of all, watching their reactions to certain
questions. During a ruckus with one of the miners with a history of
violence, Grenwich, the medic, slips out of the infirmary.

After some chaos, it is discovered that Grenwich reconnected the comm
system, and got his message sent. With Mind Probe, Page finds out what
was sent — including that the entire base had been brought in for
medical exams, making the whole mine a sitting target. He encouraged the
Irregulars to time their attack.

After some hasty demolitions work, the Irregulars showed up in a pair of
vehicles. The combination of the bombs and some well-placed walls formed
by Shape Earth from Slinger trapped the vehicles, and White Phosphorus
grenades encouraged their surrender.

With the Irregulars captured, the delivery was free to proceed as
scheduled. Mission accomplished.

Date: 11 Dec 2009


Part 1: Jackson Daw


Slinger shakes his head, having talked to the third guy he knew — who flat-out refused to even consider the job. "That drek is hard to work on, man. I don't even have the tools." Slinger smiles and makes chit-chat, then ends the call. Mutters to himself. Then reaches for his phone again. Time to call in the big guns. Ring! says Samuel's phone. In whatever manner he has chosen.

Johnny answers the phone. It's got a ring tone that's a sound cap from an old Trid in which Mage-wannabe kids run through the forest with sword and armor, throwing foam balls at each other and screaming 'LIGHTENING BOLT! LIGHTENING BOLT! LIGHTENING BOLT! GODDAMN IT TOMMY I LIGHTENING BOLTED YOU!'.

Chuckling, Johnny reaches down and picks up the cell, holding two fingers up to the stripper working the runway at the moment, pressing them to his lips.

"Wulfson!"

"Heya, man. Slinger," comes the voice from the other end. As if you didn't have Caller-ID. Trust the mage not to quite grasp gadgetry sometimes. There is the sound of a lighter snicking. "I got a favor to ask. You know my milspec armor? Was curious if you knew somebody who could do some upgrades on it for me. I've talked to everybody I know, and they are basically stumped — takes special tools, they say. Thought I'd ask if you could do some legwork. Wouldn't mind covering your time, as well as whatever it costs."

"Baby! Baby! Baby! Seriously, go dance for the guys over there. I gotta phone call here. Business! I gotta do some bussiness! Look, I don't care if this your business? Here's a fiver, go DANCE FOR THEM for 5 fucken minutes, my cock will be here when you get back. And your overpriced Scotch!"

A moments muttering. "Yeah. Uh. Milspec armor. The only thing more illegal is possession of bioagents, so thats gonna need some thought there.. I hope this isn't some kinda vane fashion, yeah?"

Slinger chuckles. "Ooo, yeah, I just look so sexy in it." Well, he does, actually, but that's beside the point. "No, it's part of my outfit. And I got some good ways of keeping it all concealed and stuff. No, this isn't some fashion. You lemme know what it'll cost, and if I can afford it, we'll make it happen." The kid grins. "But I need somebody to supply the parts, do the work, the whole deal. My budget's about eighty thousand, maybe a little more. And I'll do any work as part of it, of course."

He thinks that over, sipping on the overpriced scotch. "Yeah. Well. From the looks of you the other night, you fucken need it." A pause as he spies one of his favorite dancers move on to the second pole. He moves back to the convo. "I'll make a call. Theres a lot of shit happening out west right now… a lot of logistics and stores are being released to grease some wheels. Let me call a friend of mine, see what he's got. You may be his bitch for a few days, but thats the story of our lives, neh?"

Slinger chuckles. "You know, for some good upgrades to this, it'd be worth it," the youth remarks. "All right. Lemme know how much this is gonna cost me, and we'll make it happen. Thanks, mano. I owe you again. Make sure you include a little somethin' for yourself, okay?"

Johnny thinks this over. "I'm gonna have to figure this one out. I'll have a guy I know call you… if he calls and says something about hookers, prostitutes and that one time in Rio with the Feathered Serpent, he's from me."

Slinger nods. "Right. Fair enough," the kid comments, with a laugh. "Lemme know. No /huge/ rush, but I got some time and wanted to get the ball rolling."

Johnny grunts an understanding, then hangs up the phone. After a few minutes, Slinger's phone rings. Unknown number.

Slinger eyes the phone. Unknown number. Might be somebody trying to sell him a super vacation getaway, or might be the contact he's looking for. The kid answers the phone with his customary "Yo!"

There's an uncomfortable silence that stretches on for a long moment, then a sigh. "I'm looking for Slinger. Something about Rio and having sex with a feathered serpent."

Slinger laughs softly. "Close enough," the youth says good-naturedly. "I… uh… assume a mutual friend of ours sent you?" he asks. These sort of conversations are always a little awkward. "Got anything that might help me out?"

Jackson Daw, Colonel in the UCAS Mil-Int Division rubs his temples. "If what I've been told is true, perhaps. Outline your capabilities for me, and those of your organization. Be exhaustive, include what you will and won't do."

Slinger considers that — considers the resources he can draw upon. And gives a list of magickal capabilities, plus vehicular and bullet-based. Speaking matter-of-factly, actually. "I'll kill bad guys or in self-defense. But I don't toast innocents, no matter how high the price," the youth concludes. "I may be an independent contractor, but I do have certain Oaths I have sworn. However inconvenient those might make certain missions," he adds, apologetically.

"Define 'bad guy'." Comes the somewhat sardonic response.

The youth chuckles. "Someone who is threatening innocents, most likely. Blood mages. Murderers. Evil overlords. Just because somebody was born in a different country doesn't make them bad. It's what they /do/, or are threatening to do, or intending to do, that makes them bad. I know it's inconvenient, sir," the youth adds, once again with that note of apology.

"Oh." Says the man then. "So you're a fucking superhero." There's a sound of frustrated strangling on the other end of the phone. There's a silence that bears on for long seconds… "Fine. I'll call you back."
*Call disconnected*

"No, I'm a sh…" But by then, the call is broken off. Man, that didn't go well. But the guy /did/ ask. Slinger lets out a breath, figures he's going to have to talk to Johnny later about this, and explain why he pissed off one of his friend's best contacts. Mutter."

10 minutes later, on the dot, the phone rings again. UNKNOWN CALLER.

Slinger lets it ring twice. Three times. Then picks up. "Yo!" the kid says again, that short, clipped answer making it clear it's the same person, enough to be recognized. Maybe he didn't manage to screw up /all/ his options. Even so, he tries not to sound /too/ hopeful or eager.

Dry, sarcastic. "Alright, Captain Hero. I have a job to get the Hero-Armor fixed up just how Captain Hero wants it. But Captain Hero and his amazing band of Freedom Warriors needs to do the U S of A a solid to get it done. Luckly, Evil Fu Manchu is encroaching on the economic interests of the Sierra Miners Association, a plucky group of hardluck miners who respect the land, kiss babies and hold hands with indians."

The youth smirks. "Sir, I definitely appreciate the humor. But I have a professional reputation as well. I don't take jobs I can't do, but I do the jobs I take unless I get double-crossed. You asked, I answered."
The youth considers the queston for a moment. "Tell me about this Fu Manchu character. Or rather, who the target is, and what they've done. I told you I won't toast somebody for tryin' to make a living, but that doesn't mean I won't take steps on behalf of a client. Just so we're clear."

"Lets get something straight." Says the man then. "The only reason I'm calling you is because a mutual friend assures me you can actually get shit done, even if you've got the naivety of a wet-behind-the-ears-highschool-freshman who's seen too many trids. Pocket Nuke, master magician, insulated from the horrors of reality and coping by seeing yourself as a hero fighting against evil, as you define it. Well, I'm not. I'm a soldier, fighting a war, to keep everyone safe, and that means killing men just making a living, because in the end, thats what everyone is doing. Soldiers. Criminals. Super Villians. Making. A fucking. Living."
"So with that in mind, that you may have to kill honest soldiers who just want to plant their flag where ours is… are you capable?"

The kid scowls, not liking the attitude he is getting. But he can also swallow his pride when necessary. "Sir, with all due respect, I have killed before and will do it again," he states firmly. "And planting their flag somewhere is an act of aggression. Defending against it is self-defense. I said I'd kill in self-defense. That includes defending a sovereign nation from invaders. So yes, sir, I would be honored to get this taken care of for you. I will need the specifications for the mission. I'll put together a team and contact you when it's completed. Do we have an agreement, sir?"

The man nods then, with a verbal grunt. "Yeah. There's a bus station in Bennet, UCAS sector of Denver. There's a locker in the bus station. The number is 1776. The key is located in the tank of the 3rd bathroom stall's toilet. Mission specs will be there in 20 minutes. Do not approach before. Do not attempt to case the location. Blah blah blah."

"Understood, sir. Contact details are in the briefing materials?" Slinger states tersely. This one is all business, and Slinger cuts his answers shorter.

"That is correct."


Part 2: Subcontracted Johnson


Slinger retrieves the briefing material, washing both his hand and the key. Who knows where that toilet has been? The answer, of course, is right there — the question is who has been there using it. Once he has the materials, he takes a few moments to study them, then nods once.
Slinger starts making some phone calls, starting with Page. Giving him a brief description of the situation. And then, he puts out a more general call.

Page picks up the phone. Listens. Considers. Then asks, "So where do we meet up?"

"Figured we could meet in the basement of the Arcana, if that was okay. Once there, we'll figure out transportation and how to get where we're going. You free for a mini-vacation?"

Johnny pages: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=106089619060512346088.000473d0e98659dea85a0&ll=38.68551,-119.338989&spn=2.525424,5.773315&t=h&z=8

Slinger contacts everyone, and meets up in the basement of the High Arcana. "I've got a project for people," Slinger announces, once people have arrived. "Pay'll be twenty-five thousand a head. And it occurs in FreeCal. I can help with smuggling people as needed, but you'll need a SIN that can stack up. Any problem with that?"

"Yeah, haven't gotten any firm nibbles on my latest offer yet," Page replies to Slinger. "I got a couple days, at least."

The youth lights up a cigarette. "What offer is that, Page?" he asks. Glances to the others, lifting a brow, waiting for their answers. "I can smuggle one person pretty reliably, having you climb into a space while we hit the checkpoints. Should pass just about any inspection. Then we can basically just drive there."

Slide shrugs "As long as my gear is hidden, I think I can stand all but the really hard checks. If we are crossing some tight borders, then I'd rather not risk a job on my SIN."

Slinger nods. "All right. Should be good enough," he concludes. "Maybe we can avoid most of the SIN checks, if we're careful." He draws on the cigarette. "What we've got is a situation where some miners are working in Freecal. They just struck gold — they have a ton of it. Literally. And they've got raiders who have been attacking their shipments.
"They're not uniformed, so this isn't an official action, but it's right near the border of the NAN. Looks like Ute Irregular incursions — they aren't formally part of the military, but they're getting support. Hence why they want to hire some Black Ops. Our job is to take out the ambushers, make certain they can't interfere with any more shipments.

Slide crosses his arms and nods "Not exactly your forte is it? This supposed to be non-lethal action?"

Slinger grimaces. "You guys really need to get some fake ID's. Otherwise, you're stuck in the CAS sector forever. We're supposed to drive to the UCAS sector, and there get transportation for the vehicle and the rest of us out to the objective. You think you can make it that far?" the kid wants to know. "Otherwise, I'll have to find somebody else."

Slide smiles "I can get anywhere in any zone in denver. I have a friend, he is expensive, but he will deliver you anywhere no questions asked."
Page raises an eyebrow amusedly at Slinger and just listens to all this, contemplating. "Why not just go there directly?" he wonders.
Serel nods, listening. "I've got a fake SIN. It's served me well so far. I think I can make it, yes. If I can't get through security, I can almost definately find a way across on foot."

Slinger waves a hand in the general direction of Slide and Serel. "Because those two got no SIN that can pass any kind of border check. Fine. You guys meet up with us in the UCAS sector, and we'll proceed from there. I can get us the rest of the way without checks. If you gotta pay to get into the sector, then that's on you. I'm not funding that," Slinger says firmly.

Slide nods "Tell me where to meet you, and I'll be there."

"Well, let's handle the briefing. Those are the basics. We've got roughly twenty guys at the mining site. We're being sent to help. Get the shipment through to Sonora, and as a bonus, track these guys back to their base, if we can."
The youth slots a chip into the trid display, which comes up with a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=106089619060512346088.000473d0e98659dea85a0&ll=38.68551,-119.338989&spn=2.525424,5.773315&t=h&z=8

Slide looks over the map, commiting it to memory.
Page looks over t he map. "So this is the primary point… there's the destination. That's what… fourty miles? Well, probably closer to fifty by the time you add up all those twisty little mountain roads." He makes a bit of a face, but then looks at Slinger. "Do we know where they're coming from, a direction at least?"

"Right now, it looks like they're probably in the mountains closer to the Ute Nation, but we don't know where. Possible they're closer to Cali, but that's unlikely."

"And it's closer to about fifty miles," Slinger remarks. "Through some damned nasty terrain. Air support will be crucial. I'll handle some of that," the youth states. "As for the rest of it, I figure we can take these raiders. These miners are mostly unarmed, and the UCAS can't send military for fear of something escalating. This is a shit-ton of gold. Current pricing — figure between eight and ten million yen worth of gold. And no, we're not going to make off with it."

Slide shakes his head "Well, I hate to say this, but, I think I'm going to have to leave you on this one. With the information, you need a team with heavy weapons to repel the attack. I'm a farely close in fighter. Guarding a convoy you need someone with a machine gun, and that aint me."
Slide grins "Though, give me a week and I could be."
Slinger smirks. "Fair enough," Slinger remarks. "Though I don't think it'll need a machine gun. What we need is somebody who can lay traps properly, I think. I thought you knew demolitions, that sort of thing?" Slinger asks, lifting a brow.

Slide nods "I've got C4 and all the chips to use it right. So, we laying a trap, that I can do."
Serel purses her lips, and nods at what Slide says. "Yeah, same here. I can use a pistol pretty well, but I'm not too handy with anything much bigger. Although, if the terrain is as bad as you say, we probably won't be engaging at long ranges, so we should be able to use normal guns."
Page looks at Slinger. "And you must want me for my spirits and magical manpower, since my close combat /and/ ranged combat skills are quite poor. As long as they don't have any shamans, we should be in fair shape, at least."

Slinger nods thoughtfully. "Yeah. But they might have one, so you may need to negate magical defenses. But the first thing is to get out there, gather some intel, and figure out what the frag is goin' on. Anybody need to grab anything before we get a move on? We have a couple of days potentially to grab some things we need."

Slide nods "I can think of some things might be useful, but it means more gear to smuggle in. How much room for illegal stuff do we have?"

"Some," Slinger says. "Not a lot. The compartment ain't gonna hold a jeep, if you know what I mean. I've got, what, two and a half meters by about half a meter by about a meter, potentially. Can't quite fit a troll, but an ork will fit there if he squishes up nicely.

Slide grins "Nah, my SIN should cover me, I need room for guns, and I'm thinking of buying a grenade launcher, that should even up the odds."
Page contemplates. "Nope," he mutters, then looks to Slinger. "I'm good. I can leave whenever. Ourrez won't be coming with us, though, he's still got something to work on in the lab." He pauses, looking amused. "Don't know what I'd do without him. Planning something special for Christmas."
Serel speaks up. "I've got a launcher and plenty of grenades. Plus a lot of other guns and ammo and various other gear, if you guys need it.
Slide arches a brow "Nice, I guess no need for me to buy a chip for that if you can use it."


Part 3: Shopping!


«OOC» Slide says, "Ok, how many days do we have to get gear?"
«OOC» Slinger says, "Let's say 3."

«OOC» Slide says, "Ok, R6 Launch Weapons Soft, 10800 base price, 6/4days avail, SI 1"
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls Etiquette vs TN 6 for "Using my fixer Siren to get me the Chip.":
3 3 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls Etiquette vs TN 6 for "Using my fixer Siren to get me the Chip. KP:1":
1 3 5 5 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls Etiquette - 1 vs TN 6 for "Using my fixer Siren to get me the Chip. KP:3":
3 4 4 7 = 1 Success

«OOC» Slide says, "2 Success = 4/2 , or 2 days"
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls Negotiation vs TN 6 for "Standard Fixer Contact Int":
3 3 3 4 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 7 vs TN 8 for "Fixer Nego vs my Int":
1 2 3 3 3 4 8 = 1 Success

«OOC» Slide says, "10800"

«OOC» Page needs 20 units of Ritual Summoning Materials. :)
«OOC» Page says, "Lapida, L2 Talismonger."

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Etiquette (Magic) + 1 (Specific) vs TN 4:
1 1 2 4 4 4 9 = 4 Successes

«OOC» Page says, "6 hours."
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Negotiation + 1 (L2) vs TN 6 for "Lapida's Int":
1 2 2 5 5 15 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) has the Attribute Intelligence with the value '6'.
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 7 (Lapida negotiations) vs TN 6 for "Her counter.":
1 1 3 4 4 4 4 = 0 Successes

«OOC» Slinger says, "You got it for 19K."

«OOC» Page says, "Once we get out to the CAS, out in the middle of nowhere, Page is summoning a F10 Fire Elemental."
«OOC» Page says, "Ten meter wide summoning circle. Don't have my house built yet. Need lots of private room. ;)"
«OOC» Slinger says, "Right. Drawing the circle takes some time, like 10 hours, I think? Then summoning, 10 hours, then drawing 10 hours, then summoning 10 hours for the other one?"
«OOC» Page says, "I'm summoning the first one on the way in… I'll be summoning the second one on the way out. ;)"
«OOC» Page says, "This will end up being 10D stun drain."

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring + 5 (ally) + 5 (KP) vs TN 10 for "15 KP used":
1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 5 5 5 8 11 11 28 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring + 5 (ally) + 5 (KP) - 3 vs TN 10 for "15+1 KP used":
1 1 3 3 3 3 4 9 9 9 10 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring + 5 (ally) + 5 (KP) - 6 vs TN 10 for "15+3 KP used":
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower vs TN 10:
1 2 3 4 4 4 = 0 Successes

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower vs TN 10 for "1 KP":
1 1 2 2 4 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower - 1 vs TN 10 for "3 KP":
3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes

«OOC» Page says, "Darn, 9 boxes of stun drain. That'll take a night to heal up from."
«OOC» Page says, "10 hours drawing, 10 hours summoning, and 9 hours zonked. See you guys in the morning. ;)"


Part 4: Spy?


«OOC» Slide says, "Hrm, well, I guess I'll do a little matrix search for anything on these ute irreguars, as well as reports of whats happened at this mine and in the area"
«OOC» Slinger says, "Lessee. TN is gonna be… 9 or so."

«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls Computers vs TN 9 for "Do I get lucky and find any intersting info, or is it all boring crap":
1 2 3 5 10 = 1 Success

«Plot-Page» (To: Slide) Slinger says, "There's something interesting. This isn't something you were supposed to find. This is on an anonymous database — somebody may have swiped it from somewhere and uploaded it. It reads:

Prelim shpmnt, est 85 kilos wt Au. Departs mine Nov 28 2069 17:45. No unusual defenses. Intercept. Usual split to numbered account.

Slide sends a trix message to Slinger, Page, and Serel, if he got her number, with the fact he found that a shipment leaving the mine on Nov 28 was to be hit and split to a numbered account.

This is found, of course, while the group is on the way to the meeting point, in the UCAS proper. Once the group arrives, having had little difficulty with border checks, Slinger is there with the SUV. People are loaded, gear is stowed in the compartment, and Slinger starts to drive to the north-east, heading further into UCAS territory. "Anybody find anything useful?"

Slide nods "Yea, some snippet that I found on a database, got lucky with a search query. Looks like a message to a group to intercept a load departing the mine. The funny part is, they knew the exact weight, and time it departs. We got a leak."

Page looks like crap. Even with the night of sleep, he's got raccoon eyes. Or maybe that's the magical backlash. "Oh, great, one of the miners must be in on it. Or your source is, and this is all one huge CYA setup. Let me know when you need my recon." And puts a sleeping mask back on, leaning back in his chair.

Slinger reaches over and pokes Page. "This is important," the youth comments. "One of us is gonna have to deal with figuring out the leak, and who it is. Deal with the leak, and I bet you have half of the issue solved. Subvert the leak and use it for our own purposes, and you have three quarters of it," he adds with a grin.

Slide sighs "I really need a deck, even a cheap deck, I could monitor transmissions from the mines node, find out who was logged in at that time, and then figure out who is the leak. This also means if we dont catch the leak, the raiders will be expecting us."

Page winces at the poke. "Ow." He picks the mask up off of one eye. "Well, we can't find out the leak very easily until the next shipment, so it's none of our business, is it? Not what we're getting paid for, either." He settles back, then picks the mask up again. "What do you mean, expecting us?"

Slide smiles "The transmission said "No unsual Defenses". That means, if we are there, we become unusual defenses, and they will react accordingly."

Page looks at Slide for a moment, then shrugs. "Well, if we're going to be found out anyway, then it's easy. Tell each person something different and whichever information the enemy has is what got leaked. Ergo… who leaked it."

Slinger nods once, firmly. "He's right," Slinger tells Page. "One thing we could do is just line up the miners one by one and figure out which one is the leak. I've got a spell that'll make sure they tell the truth. Or you can just watch their auras while I tell everybody." The kid is thinking. "Even so, we'd have to get to them before a message can go out. Place is likely underground, which means that you can't just use a random cellphone or pocsec to send a message. There'll be controlled channels. Which means there's a chance we can take those offline."

Slide nods "I'd rather either have the raiders know nothing about us, or have false data. I'd hate to run into a raider group that hired on a few mages because they knew you were coming."

Page murmurs, "Of course, because lining people up like for an execution /never/ makes anyone feel threatened or suspicious…"

Slinger nods. "Which leads to the next question. How do we pretend to be something we're not?" the elf wonders. "I can pretend to be anything I want — got a nice focus for that. But you guys… I dunno how we can disguise Page as anything but what he is. Maybe an accountant," he teases.

Page snickers amusedly. "Mine auditors. To account for all the missing gold."

Slinger glances over his shoulder at Serel. "Huh. She could pass for a bodyguard. Ditto you, if we get you some shades," he remarks to Slide. "Me… what should I be?" the elf asks, starting to get into this as he turns onto a gravel road, checking the map on his pocket secretary. "Shouldn't be far now."

Slide frowns "Who knows we are coming, perhaps we could pretend to be something else. I could impersonate a doctor, say we are vaccinating the camp for a new virus strain thats spreading about. That would give us one on one time with every miner. Do a physical, ask some questions."

The kid considers that for a moment, glances to Page. Lifts a brow. "Not a bad idea, actually," he remarks. "Not to mention we might be able to figure out when a transmission goes out. You think if there's a dataline you could tap it?" he asks Slide.

Slide nods "Yea, but I'd be working off a pocsec, it would take me alot of time to get it all setup right. I can do it, take apart my pocsec and rewire it up."

Page grins a bit more, pulling the mask off. "Well, if we're auditors… naturally we /have/ to have a communications embargo."

Slinger considers that thoughtfully. "All depends on how much cooperation we get. Apparently…" He consults the file, glancing at it while he navigates the road. Then glances up. "Our point of contact is Major Barrett, who is considered trustworthy. Pretty decent record. We can meet with him, most likely. Make a request for something to be sent to him as to who we are supposed to be considered to be."

«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Disguise Soft) for "+4 Polymask: Disguise is Boring Corporate Wage Slave look.":
1 2 8 10 11 11

Slide nods "Alright, so Page plays accountant, and your my assistant Slinger. That way you can use your magic on the patients to see how they react to my questions."

Slinger nods thoughtfully. "Right. But I do want you to set up that tap. How long you think it'll take you?" the youth asks. "Anything you can do ahead of time?"

Slide nods and pulls out his pocsec and his tools "Guess I can reconfigure my pocsec now, basicly I'm scrapping it and using the parts to build a real dataline tap. It should copy every message that gets sent out. I'll set it to only pick up files of a certain size or less. This is going to be a small packet."

«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Electronics BR) for "Building a Dataline Tap!":
3 5 5 5 9 10

Page glances down at himself. "Hmph… I'll need a better suit. I really oughta learn that Fashion spell, you think? Ah, well… glad I packed one."

Slide breaks apart his Pocsec, and then starts pulling tools from his kit, adjusting some wireing, then jacking into the pocsec to program it to record the packets smaller than a certain size. He looses his matrix functionality of the Pocsec, but otherwise it still is a cheap computer.


Part 5: Road-Air Trip


Slinger glances to Slide. "See if you can get it to notify you the instant a packet goes out of that size," the youth suggests. "Ah. Here we are." The youth approaches a gate, and then rolls down the window. There's a no-nonsense sentry there — not in uniform, no, but he still looks military. Slinger reaches down for the pocket secretary, then turns it around to flash an ID code. The guard checks it, verifies it, and then nods once and passes the vehicle through, giving directions.
We're met as we pull around by someone who /is/ in uniform. Captain's bars on his fatigues. "You're the ones, huh?" he asks, with a scowl. "I'm instructed to provide transport to the location, with the usual supply shipment. Along with your vehicle. And extraction when the mission is complete."
It's clear from his tight-lipped expression that he doesn't much care for his orders.

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Assensing":
1 2 2 3 4 8 = 2 Successes

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "His aura doesn't reveal any sort of deception. More irritation and skepticism. Why is he being asked to waste his time to transport these people, who are /very/ obviously civilians? And probably up to no good."

Page steps out of the SUV, looking at the guy with a practiced air of diffidence. It's probably not that much of an act, either. "Ah. Thank you very much." He pauses, looking at him more directly. "Say, I didn't get your name, Mr..?"

Slide adjusts the programming on the pocsec, setting it up to use a wireless transmission to Slingers pocsec, letting the program send him alerts when files are sent that fit the genral packet size of the original message, he includes a little bit of leway just in case the information has some additional stuff about the new guys.

The mention of the word 'Mister' makes the man's eyes visibly narrow. "Liggett. /Captain/ Liggett. And if you could stay in the vehicle, sir, and drive it over there, they are waiting for you in the loading bay of the aircraft. Meals will be served in transit. MREs. The cheese omelette," he adds, with a small smile.

Slide pulls out a powerbar from his pocket, and starts eating as he works, he's had several of them the trip through, including meals. He closes up his rewired pocsec, with a few connecting wires hanging out to hookup to the dataline.

Page looks at the man for another moment. "Alright, Captain." And he gets back in the SUV, closing the door before looking at Slinger. "Didn't know you'd got a ride for our ride."

Slinger chuckles. "We have to bring our own transport, and this thing is armored even more than the usual Federal version. I don't plan to take it into combat, though," he admits. "I'm rather attached to it. But in flat black, it'll get us there, and look all official. Which is part of the point."
Slinger lights up a cigarette, then drives the vehicle to its new resting place, where it is secured inside the large cargo aircraft.

During the trip, Slinger takes advantage of the reclining seats to catch a brief nap, waking for the delivery of food. The MRE is, as promised, the cheese omelette. And it is /awful/. Matching the sadistic grin on the UCAS corporal who brings it to us. Only when we are informed we are arriving does he wake up, yawns, stretches, lights a cancer stick — and proceeds to prepare his appearance. "How should I look, you think?" he asks Slide.

Slide chuckles "Look at me, I'm wearing coveralls, but I got a good excuse, what field doctor doesnt need lots of pockets. For you, lets see, I'll use you as my data recorder, basicly I'll dictate and you write it down. Of course all you really do is scan our patients."

Slinger nods once. Glances back at Slide, and alters his own appearance to match, though perhaps dressing down a little. Looking a little less intelligent, as well, though he does remain an elf. He drags hard on his cigarette, as he prepares. The corporal approaches the vehicle, knocks on the window, and Slinger rolls it down. "Best finish that cigarette, sir. Landing soon. Once you land, you'll roll out of here and head to the entrance, which is about two klicks due west. We'll be met by trucks, but we're intentionally getting there early, to give you time to head straight on in, nice and discreet.

Page stretches slightly. "I don't need anything except my razor-sharp mind," he says haughtily. Then more seriously, he adds, "Besides, don't most accountants these days have computers in their head and all?" As the corporol approaches, he quiets up, watching him thoughtfully and listening.

Slide remains quiet while the corporal is giving the details.

Slinger nods once to that, dragging hard on his cigarette, finishing it before he crushes it out in the vehicle's ashtray. To think, at one point cars were made without the things. "Roger. Just signal us when we're clear."
The descent is gradual, but the landing is bumpy — one might suspect, deliberately, for the civvies on board. That done, the vehicle is hastily unhooked, and the all-clear is given. "Page, you'll do most of the talking to get us in," Slinger decides. "That sound good?"

Page nods to Slinger. "Works for me… I like being in charge." He grins amusedly at the other mage. "After all, that's my rightful place in the universe anyway."
Slide puts away his pocsec in his coat and settles back, letting the others take charge. He simply looks out the window and enjoys the scenery.

The teenager rolls his eyes. "All right. The guy's name is Major Stanley Barrett. That's who you're here to see. Make up a cover identity and names for us, and we'll go with that." Slinger rolls off of the aircraft, bumping off down onto the road in a way that isn't the greatest on the SUV's suspension, and then takes off. It's dark outside, something that happened while we were inside the massive cargo aircraft. Down the tarmac, out on to the road.
Up ahead, though, Slinger sees a flicker of light, and he swiftly pulls onto a side road and kills the lights of the vehicle. Several large transport trucks, also military in origin, lumber past on the road, and Slinger waits until they've passed before he resumes his travel toward the base. Another cigarette later, the youth tosses it out as we approach the entrance — a large and reinforced set of gates blocking the entrance to a large opening in the side of a rock face. Slinger keeps deadpan as he drives up to the booth, where the guard sits behind a rather impressive bulletproof security glass window. "State your business," he says, not friendly.

Page rolls down the window, still looking forward as if the guard's existence was really just more like a machine, not even worth his time. "I'm Troy Haverton," he says in a bored voice, "here to see Major Barrett. This is my auditing team, John Singer and Jackson Peters. He knows all about our visit," he adds, "but you won't have been informed, this is a susprise inspection, please confirm that with him, thank you." And back up the window goes, without Page ever changing the bored tone or looking anything but forward.

The man peers at Page, eyeing him carefully. Then glances down at his roster, and then back up at Page. "One moment, please." He's making notes. "I see. And the woman is…?" He glances back at her, then at Page. Shades. She looks like security. "I'll have to contact Major Barrett. You aren't on the schedule, sir."

Slide remains quiet and simply looks out the window.
Page rolls down the window after the man taps on the glass to get his attention again. "Hmm?" He glances back. "Oh, her? …" He smiles politely. "That's Alice. She's my secretary. And I just said - I /know/ we're not on the schedule. So contact him, please."

A few moments pass while the guard does exactly that. Heads back into his booth. It takes a few moments, but then he steps out once again. "You're cleared. Drive into the cavern, take your second left, down two entrances, and you'll reach the office. They're expecting you."

"Thank you," Page replies, and motions to Slinger to drive on ahead.

Slinger does so, nice and slow, like nothing was unusual in the slightest. The young mage slowly cruises through the tunnels, headlights on, keeping his speed nice and low. The second left, takes him to a row of doorways built into the side of the rock wall. Signs indicate that idling is a bad idea, admonish drivers to turn on their headlights. No mention of groos. Finally, there is the second door as promised, and Slinger pulls up in front of the place, letting Page take charge.

Slide looks out the windows at the rocky enclosure "Very secure place." he looks to Slinger and Page "Are we all going in, or just our fearless leader?"

Page glances at the rest. "We all have our parts to play, don't we?" he says with a bit of amusement. "And the more eyes we have the more things we'll see. Our first goal is the leak, Slinger and I will be keeping eyes out for that. Second is communication security. Can you and Serel take care of that?"

For Serel's benefit, Slinger adds, "Slide already has his pocsec wired. You two need to get into the commlines where they exit the place — probably a lot of them coming from here that you can trace — and put his tap on the line, so we can monitor incoming and outgoing traffic.

Slide pats the pocket where his rewired pocsec sits "As soon as I find the main datatrunk out of this place, I'll tap it and set up my monitor. I'll ruth my way up to the front of the base and try to find it. Probably a sat dish somewhere."

Page shrugs slightly. "No need for ruth. You're inspecting things, after all. That's your job. Just don't run the actual splice while someone's watching, eh?"

Serel taps her throat, and the invisible circle of a throat mike clicks in response. "Comms security, got it."

Slinger grins. "Actually, I should probably go with Slide. You can take Serel in with you, Page. She's your assistant after all, just like I'm his. Everybody remember your names for this?" he asks, with a grin. "I'm Jackson Peters, I think. Slide is John Singer. And Serel — your name wasn't given, so it can be anything. Page is Troy Haverton. Everybody repeat those, make sure you have hem.

Slide shakes his head "I think your already confused. Your John Singer, I'm Jackson Peters."
Slide frowns "If I go out posing as an auditor, how do I get the chance to pose as a doctor?"

Serel frowns, then shrugs. "I'll be Garrea Foundler. Good a name as any, and I've got a SIN to match it."

Slinger glances to Page for confirmation. "I don't think you ever said, but either way, I'm fine. Just that Jackson is a cool-ass first name," the youth says with a grin, as he lights up a cigarette. A quick drag or two, from the youth dressed in coveralls. Part of his image as just an assistant. He nods to Serel. "Always a good choice."
To Slide, Slinger says, "You're part of the auditing team, here to check the physical well-being. Includes an auditor, his 'assistant' — security — and two medics to check things out. I don't see a problem with that."

Slide nods "Alright."

Page comments from his corner, "Doctors can audit things, too. Physical health, I'd imagine, is an important thing to audit in a mine. Can't have people getting black lung or whatever it is you get mining gold industrially."

Slinger takes a drag of smoke. "So which one of us gets to be Jackson Peters?" he asks Page impishly as he leans forward to tap off his cancer stick in the ashtray, enjoying a smoke before we go in. He considers. "For the stealthy part, I know I can help with that." A glance toward Slide. "Unless you'd rather take Serel for that part?"

Slide looks between Slinger and Serel "Better to split our magical support, though I understand magical stealth is like waving a flag in front of a mage. So any magical security this place has will notice right?"

Serel raises a finger. "I'm good at stealth, and need no magic to do it. I can vanish just about on command."

Slinger shrugs, glances to Page. "Your call, Mr. Haverton," the elfin youth says firmly. "Either way it gets done."

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls 1:
4

Page shrugs a shoulder at Slinger. "Flip a coin for all I care. Ennh…" He mentally tosses one, then nods to Slide. "You're Jackson. So do we all know what we're doing?"

Slide nods "Set up the datatap first and foremost, its wired to signal Mr. Singers pocsec with an alert. Then I head to the medical and demand to start checking everyone in the facility for a rare virus I've just made up, and pose some questions to them. Or do we want to hold off on the medical exam until we see what the datatap gives us?

Slinger smirks. "Call me Jack," he says firmly. "And no, there's some debate on that point," he says to Page. "Final decision is up to you." He watches the smoke curl up from his cigarette, before he takes another draw of it, stretching out. Hopefully nobody's using a laser-anything to eavesdrop.

"Oh, let's do the medical to start," Page replies. "It'll give them something to speculate about, distract them from the other shenanigans we're up to."
Slide points a finger to the door of the Major "So do we go in and tell him our plans, or just run amok on our own?"

"Right. So /right now/, Haverton, what're we doin'?" Slinger asks. "Just to make sure we're all on the same… Page." He pauses for dramatic effect while he makes the pun. He's letting Page be in charge of the operation. This sort of deviousness is more Page's bailiwick than his own.

Serel stands quietly, letting the plans flow around her. She'll be good with whatever they come up with, unless she finds a hole. She hasn't yet.

"We should at least touch base with him," Page says with a nod. "I know these military types, they're control freaks. If we just jump off and start doing stuff without him at least seeing you, he'll totally crap his pants." He steps out, heading for the major's door.

Slide climbs out of the van, and puts a stethascope around his neck, just for the sake of the disguise. He leaves his things in the SUV, only carrying his ultra concealed pistols, with capsule rounds in them. He hates being unarmed.


Part 6: Major Inconvenience


Slinger crushes out his cigarette and then steps outside. He's disguised as a twenty-something youth, not as athletic as Slinger himself is. A technical assistant, perhaps part of the military, but more likely simply attached to it as part of a civilian job. He waits for the others to exit, then locks the door.
The first thing that will be apparent upon stepping through the door is how spartan the place is. Everything has been hastily put together, including the wiring along the walls. The Major clearly commandeered this space, and has nearly no supposed personnel. The place is a mess, and even as you enter, you can see the man in his combat fatigues, speaking into a telephone. Despite the advances in telephone technology, this telephone looks like it could have been used to start the Cold War. Except it isn't red. It's black.
"Get me that information," the major snaps, then hangs up the phone and looks up at Page with obvious irritation. "I ask for troops, and they send me auditors," he states with clear disagreement with that particular decision.

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "It's currently evening. 19:17."

Page steps in, casting a look around the office, then gives the Major a pleasant smile. "Good evening, Major. Sorry to disappoint you. I'm Troy Haverton, wanted to introduce the rest of my team to you before we get started." He steps to the side, nodding to the rest and waiting for the door to close. He glances to Slide. "Can you sweep the room for listening devices?"

Serel is carrying only a little bit of armament. Pair of pistols, combat knife, shock gloves, length of monowire. Perhaps a few other goodies, but nothing big. She's a bodygu-*ahem*/secretary/, after all.

Slide pulls out a small device, and then begins to walk around the room. The device makes a slight buzzing noise, but nothing else. He searches the room, even going behind the Major. He then returns and stands behind Page "All clear Mr. Haverton." (The device is a electronic minitoolkit)

The major eyes each of the people in turn, flicking eyes along them, clearly not liking what he is seeing. Anything other than well-armed marines in heavy combat gear, though, would probably meet with his disapproval. "I've been instructed to provide you full cooperation. Orders from above. But you can audit all you want. The problem is that I've got one of the biggest damned gold strikes in history right here under me, and no good way to get the stuff out of here without support. I've got raiders sniffing around all the time, and I've barely got enough men to man the guard shack, and absolutely no air support or heavy armaments. That's the audit of the situation," he declares succinctly.

Page looks back to the Major and smiles pleasantly again. "Well, we're your support team. We've got the air support, and the heavy armaments. We'll protect the gold shipment on the way out. But." He holds up a finger. "We have another problem that we have to deal with first. You say the raiders are sniffing around - how, exactly?"

The major eyes Haverton. Eyes him hard. "You'll pardon me for saying so, but you don't look like a soldier. You look like a bureaucrat." He says this without hesitation or reservation. "We get a ping off of 'em sometimes. Picking up transmissions. Spotting them occasionally.
"We've had a few shipments get through, others just disappear without a trace. I'm running short of vehicles and of miners. This next one /has/ to go out. It's most of what we have so far. The higher-ups are getting impatient, and I'm running out of men and vehicles. This next one is going to be roughly a ton and a half of refined ore. Pure Au. Worth a crapload on the open market."

Page paces slowly while the major runs down the situation, idly paging through some loose papers on the major's desk to see if there's anything interesting just sitting out in the open. "Really.. alchemically refined?" he wonders curiously. Then shakes his head. "No, there aren't enough alchemists on the entire continent for that kind of mass." He smiles slightly. "Too bad, really. That'd be worth… dear me. Over half a trillion nuyen. Anyway." Page looks at the Major directly. "Think of more as … military intelligence, than shock troops. The reason we're in disguise is because you have a leak, Major. And if they discover you have reinforcements, our lives - and yours - become much more difficult. We'll need your assistance in finding the leak before the supplies move out."

Slide remains quiet and scans the room with his eyes and ears. His hearing filters out the sounds in the room and listens at the walls, and the door. Just in case there is some place where someone is breathing behind the door, or listening at the wall, ehh, chances are slim, but its something to do.

The major shakes his head. "We don't have anyone on site who can do that. No, just extracted from the ore. Pure gold, no rock mixed in. Chemical process, mostly, the way I understand it. Involves some rather nasty chemicals, too."
But the mention of a leak causes the Major's brow to furrow, and he looks more than a little irritated. And the irritation is all directed at Haverton. "What in the hell makes you think I have a leak? I've been here for nearly a year, and these are good people. Now just because the brass can't provide security is no reason to start flinging accusations!"

"Because," Page says reasonably, "they know how many guards you have… what the schedule is… how much gold you're transporting." He looks at the Major seriously. "Down to the gram. If they're just probing your defenses - they wouldn't have that kind of detail. It's quite serious, Major. And even with mundane ore - we're talking about a large enough amount of money to make anyone question their loyalties."

The Major furrows his brow. "I'd like to see this intel you have," he finally admits, the first chink in his armor. "That would explain how they know where and when to strike the shipments. They've hit the bigger ones, left the smaller ones alone, and they're never around when we go to look for them. They're in the right place at the wrong damned time."
He nods once. "So we gotta find this leak. You got any ideas?" he asks, sold on the idea. There is little a soldier hates more than a traitor. The only exception is a traitor that makes his operational security null and void.

Slide remains quiet and lets Page take charge of the show. He simply stands there and looks doctorlike
"Absolutely. The first thing we need to do is to get eyes on outgoing communications. One of my team will be doing that," says Page, nodding to the others. "Then we'll start inspecting standard things, exactly what you'd expect from auditors - data logs, team schedules, that sort of thing. If your spy isn't very good, they'll get nervous and make a mistake somewhere. If not…" He shrugs. "Then we start fishing." Then he smiles again. "But don't worry about the messy operational details, just leave that all to us. We just need your troops informed about cooperating with the government auditors. Got it?"

The major nods thoughtfully. "And what about the shipment? It's going out in under twenty-four hours. Just got the orders." He taps his desk. "I was just getting ready to tell people to make preparations." He smiles. "I'm assuming you'd like me to hold off on that announcement." He eyes the others in the group as Page indicates them. "The best place to plant something would be on the link to the commtower. It's not a tower, exactly — just a relay station aboveground for our communications. Gives the men a little trix access when they're off-duty, all that sort of thing, as well as all our communications. We have backups, but they're on standby until they're needed. In case the primary is damaged in an attack."
He reaches for his phone. "I'll give the orders for full cooperation. You want a memo going out? Or something more formal?"

"Whatever you would normally send out is fine," Page replies. "Give us about half an hour, and then go ahead and make the announcement. It's business as usual around here, and you're not about to miss your schedule because some 'damn auditors' showed up unannounced." He smiles amusedly at the major. "At least, that's what you'd generally say, isn't it? We'"

"We'll find your spy before twenty-four hours is up."

The Major nods firmly. "All right. Anything in particular? Meetings you want me to schedule for you? There are basically four divisions of people here. There are the miners, who are about half our personnel, about twenty people. Then five people who work in refining the ore, extracting the gold. There're me and my ten men, and then about another five people — a medic, a cook, an accountant, a couple of maintenance guys. That's basically it. Just one big happy family," the Major mutters.

"Oh, we'll have some medical assessments to take care of first, I'll meet with your accountant, and from there…" Page shrugs, spreading his hands to indicate the vagueness of the future. "Just your people's cooperation and we'll see how things play out."

«OOC» Slinger says, "For assensing, BG count is 1 here just from all the earth."
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Tell me where the bomb is!!!":
2 3 4 4 5 5 = 2 Successes

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "The Major is agitated, that much is clear even without any sort of super X-ray vision. What's not so apparent is that he has a degree of cyberware. Something that might be a BattleTac-type system in his head, as well as infusions in his body that indicate that he is wired for action. A Smartlink from the look of it, as well as a few other modifications that have left their mark. He doesn't appear to smoke or use any other drugs. You're not picking up fear. There's a hint of fear, but mostly it's annoyance, and a general feeling of helplessness. From everything you can see, the Major is exactly what he appears to be.'.

The Major nods, slowly. Then furrows his brow. "Medical tests?" he asks, glancing between the group. None of the people looks like a doctor to him, but then again, he has seen army docs, who often don't look much different than any other soldier, at least in their manner of dress. "What sort of medical tests?" There's a hint of confusion, and perhaps a bit of suspicion. "And I would normally just send out a memo to people, a simple E-mail to everyone letting them know to provide cooperation. Though if you need anything scheduled — I'd assume you'll want to meet with heads of departments, things like that…"

Page nods slightly. "We'll get to that. Let you know what we need, when we need it. Right now… just some routine physicals, generally being nosy." He smiles amusedly. "You know us auditors, never telling you /why/ they need something. It's all just our routine."

The Major nods. "Right. Should I mention to people to report to the medical bays? Or do you want to just go around to people, or coordinate it with our medic? I'll arrange an escort to take you up to the comm gear, first, if you want that." He's reaching for his phone.

"That won't be necessary," Page replies to the Major. "We don't want anyone knowing more than they have to. I'm sure you understand." He pauses, then adds, "We will need a list of all your personnel, but beyond that, if we need to coordinate with your medic, we'll talk to him directly - if that's all right with you."

"It's fine with me," the Major grunts. "Anything that gets this taken care of and doesn't add to the crap I have to do makes me happy." He digs around on his desk, then pulls out a chip and hands it over. "There you go. Personnel rosters for the various people on the base. Not a huge amount in there, really. They weren't great about record-keeping." The military man clearly doesn't approve of that.

"Ah… you see?" Page looks amusedly at the Major. "You need beauracrats after all." He nods to the rest of his team. "Well, let's get started, shall we?"

Slide nods and turns towards the door, opening it for the others.

Slide leaves the office of the Major, and looks around "Alright, who's going with me?" He tries to retrace the route they came inside, wondering if he saw this communications tower on his way in.

"I'll go," Slinger volunteers. "Want me to be stealthy? It should be pretty easy to find it — just trace the wiring on the ceiling. Nobody should bother us, right?"

Slide nods "Lets go out without being stealthy, get a good look at the reactions of people who see us. Once we get there, we poke around a bit, and then go stealthy for the job."

Slinger nods. "Sounds good. You coming with, Haverton?" Slinger asks, with a casual grin as he reaches for his pack of cigarettes. His persona smokes, too, it would seem. After all, if we're smoking on the way, we can't be trying to be sneaky, thus not up to anything."

Page shakes his head. "No, I'll need to go over and meet with the medical head real quick, then the accountants. Can't waste time, after all - it's in short supply today."

Slide shakes his head slightly "Give him the keys so he can park your ride. We can walk, give us a chance to look around." With that he starts off slowly back the way they came in. He does glance around to see if there is indeed lots of wires leading along the sides or roof of the cave. Might as well follow them.

Serel follows her designated 'boss', playing the everobediant secretary. She's also quiet and observing.


Part 7: Spaghetti Cable!


Slinger tosses Page the keys, and then prepares to set out with Slide. He passes around the 'Visitor' badges he was given, each of which is marked with a serial number. However, as it turns out, the records of SINs and the like have been foregone. Convenient, that.
Slinger falls into step with Slide, moving cautiously and keeping an eye out, though he does glance up as well, while he smokes.
The conduit along the ceiling branches, but one of the branches obviously goes deeper into the cave, while another leads at roughly the same level along this tunnel, to the west.

Slide continues to head west, hopefully that is the way they came in. He says nothing as they walk, more interested in looking around and taking stock of this mine and its facilities. He keeps heading along with the wires, hopefully leading to the exit.

Actually, it is not the way they came in. But the conduit that branches off /that/ way clearly runs only to the guard station, and isn't thick enough — or the right type — to carry the bundles of optical cable that you are looking for.
Along the way, the group passes a couple of men in a golf cart, who eye us suspiciously — then get close enough to see the Visitor badges. They put two and two together, and then quickly wave in a friendly manner, driving right on past.
The conduit branches one more time — going up into the ceiling. There is a door on the wall nearby that read, "AUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY."

Slide frowns slightly at the door, then moves up to check and see if its locked. "This looks promising." he says quietly.

"Yeah. You think you can handle the lock? Or you need me to?" the youth asks. Card panel beside it, with keypad. Looks pretty high quality, though not quite military grade.

Slide shrugs "I've got a fairly good chip, but if you prefer a hand at it, by all means. I'll keep a lookout." he steps away from the door and then starts to watch the area, giving Slinger room to tackle the lock.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics B/R vs TN 6:
1 1 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics B/R vs TN 6 for "KP 1/32.":
1 2 2 2 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics B/R vs TN 6 for "KP 3/32.":
1 3 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics B/R vs TN 6 for "KP 6/32.":
3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics B/R vs TN 6 for "KP 10/32.":
1 3 3 4 5 = 0 Successes

Slinger pokes and prods at the lock for — actually, quite some time. And doesn't appear to be accomplishing anything other than getting a bit frustrated. "Holy /drek/, I'm gonna just take a crowbar to this fraggin' thing," he mutters.

Slide looks over from his position as lookout. "Can you get it or not?" he inquires, then looks around again to make sure no one observes thier shady activities.

"I can get it. Just gonna need more time," the kid mutters, a little flustered. His pride is on the line…"

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics B/R vs TN 5 for "Including Improved Tactile…":
1 1 3 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Electronics vs TN 5 for "+2 for keypad, -2 for microscopic…":
1 1 3 4 5 8 = 2 Successes

«OOC» Slide says, "Ok, I have to go now, wife wants to get to bed. Sorry folks."

In about another half-minute, Slinger has the case off. And then he's poking at the innards. It takes a few moments — and then there is a click, just as there is the sound of another golf cart heading this way, around the corner. "C'mon!"

Slide moves behind Slinger quickly, making sure to close the door behind them and listen for sounds of the golf cart with his cyber hearing.

Slinger does, in fact, duck in through the door, making just enough room for the two men in the small confined area, which includes a wall with outdated telecom gear, wires leading everywhere, optical connections spliced together, and general disarray. This board has been patched more times than a bum's clothing. There is a small ladder leading upward. It's also dark in here.

Slide steps away from the door after checking for sounds of pursuit. He then turns and simply stares at the setup of the electrical system. "I thought these groups were professional, this is a mess." He starts looking over the wiring to determine if this would be a good place to setup the wire tap, or if they need to climb.

"The military's pretty professional, but they just got here, remember," he reminds Slide. "This has been a mining operation for years. And some things, like electrical and telecom — well, just make it work, I figure." He eyes the tangled mess of wires. "Which one, is the question? Prolly easier to trace back from the transmitter. Which is probably up there." Slinger points up the ladder.

Slide nods "Alright, who goes up first?" he looks up the ladder "I think I will, since I know you can fly." He moves around to grab the ladder and start climbing up, and looking to see what he can find.

The ladder creaks and groans a bit, but it does hold your weight. Slinger stays down below, eyeing wires with the flashlight, just in case. "You got enough light up there?" he wonders.
Up here, it's less dizzying. There are spots where things were mounted, and have been replaced. Those wires are terminated, just dangling or cut off. However, there's a relatively new transmitter there, handling voice and data. It's got flashing activity lights. It shouldn't be too hard to splice your pocsec into the circuit, and maybe use one of those unused wires as an antenna to boost the relay.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Make me an electronics test, TN 5."
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Electronics Soft) vs TN 5:
1 2 2 2 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Electronics Soft) vs TN 5 for "KP:1":
3 3 3 5 5 9 = 3 Successes

It takes about two or three minutes to get it wired in, being careful not to interrupt the current feed, and perhaps another three or four minutes to test the feed and filtering.
Slinger is watching this, having climbed up a few rungs of the ladder. "How hard would it be to install a cutoff switch we could hit remotely?" he wonders.

Slide frowns, his arm slung over the ladder to hold him in place and still work, he has a tool in his mouth and looks down at Slinger, he nods, then reaches for the pocsec and begins to pull it apart again, he grabs a cellphone from his pocket, and then starts to tear it apart, hooking the cellphone up to the rewired pocsec to enable a signal sent to cut off the matrix feed.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Another electronics test, this one TN 6."
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Electronics Soft) vs TN 6 for "Rewiring a cellphone cutoff for the matrix":
1 3 7 8 9 11 = 4 Successes

This wasn't as hard as you thought it would be. The only hard part is cutting it into the circuit, which happens without incident. Now, there's a cutoff switch in place. Slinger grins and nods. "Good. Now, we can monitor it." He pulls out his pocket secretary, and considers. And then hits a few buttons, making a few changes of his own…

Slide finishes up the wiring, and starts putting his tools back in his pocket "Alright, all we have to do is get a signal sent to this cellphone, I wired an antenna to it along this line here" he points "That should give us signal outside to reach in this cave. Now, anything else, cause I'm running out of parts."

Slinger nods once. "Sounds perfect. I got some ideas for that," he comments with a sly grin. That done, he listens at the door, then slips out of it, and glances back. "Clean off the door-handle when you leave," he suggests. "I got a reason for asking."
Once that's done, the young elf opens the door slightly, peers outside, and then slips out fully and swiftly. "C'mon. Let's get back."
The trip back goes uneventfully, and soon we are reunited with Page and Serel.

Slide follows along behind Slinger, remaining quiet and listening.


Part 8: Bean Counting


Page has had Serel with him, trying to hunt down the Accountants in the place.

Accountants. As it turns out, accounting is handled by an older guy who, when you enter, has a cane leaning against his desk. He's in his late forties. Sam Yates, according to his personnel file. Injured in a mining accident about two years back, and now does paperwork for the company, rather than anything that involves him being at peak physical fitness.
As you enter, he looks up, with a faint expression of irritation, from the computer screen in front of him.

Serel tries to blend into the background, being that personal assistant who is barely seen, not heard at all, and only sought out when she's needed for something. So, for now, she isn't needed.

Page marches into the room with an air of authority. He is no mere peon, to be trifled with! He is the Auditor from the Government. By his say-so, records will be produced, lives will be crumbled, and he shall decide who and when and where. "Who's in charge here?" he queries with a resonant voice, sweeping his eyes across the office.

There's only the one guy, in fact, whose scowl apparently did not have the desired, intimidating effect. No, instead it just got him ignored. "I am," the man states firmly. "Sam Yates. I do the books for this place." He doesn't sound happy, at all. Even so, he reaches out to offer his hand for a handshake, rising up from his seat a little, with obvious pain.
The office itself is dank, dark, and dusty. The three D's of accounting.

"Oh… I see," Page replies, shaking the man's hand, and then absently wiping it on his coat as he continues. "We need access to your books and records. Computer files, backups, records, any personal notes or journals, email archives, server logs, all that. Going back to the last audit, two years ago."

The guy doesn't look all that frightened. No, he looks annoyed, more than anything. "I see. You should have made an appointment. I'm getting ready to do payroll, so this is not a good time. Workers like getting paid, you see."
He sits back down in his chair, waves a hand absently. "Come back tomorrow. I'll have more time, then."

"I don't think you quite understand our position," Page replies to him, leaning on the man's desk. "This audit is coming down from the higher authorities. And it takes priority over payroll. Until we finish this audit - payroll isn't going out. You've got - what - a hundred miners?" He looks at the man seriously. "Do you know what happens when a hundred miners don't get paid and are told there's no estimate on what they will be?"

The man swallows. /Now/ he looks frightened. Nervous, even. "All right. I'll have the information for you within the hour," he promises, speaking quickly. "Just come back in an hour, and I'll get you what you need. All on a chip. Is that soon enough?" he wants to know. Suddenly, he seems /very/ eager to get rid of Page.

"Ten minutes," Page says, glaring at the man. "We don't need datachips, just get us access to the files." He pauses, and then leans back, straightening up. "We'll get what we need and get out of your hair in… mmm. No more than six hours. And then life can get back to normal."

The man considers that, then shakes his head. "Six hours. No way," he says firmly. "I got payroll to meet, and this is the only terminal with access to those files for security reasons." He hesitates for a moment, then says, "I'll have to have authorization from the commander. Come back when you have it." He turns back toward his terminal, looking very eager to get back to his work.

"I have it," Page says flatly, reaching into a pocket, and sets a cellphone in front of the man squarely on the desk. "Call him." The tone of his voice brooks no disagreement. It might even carry veiled allusions to the sound of a career being flushed down the pipes.

Bluff given. And called. The man hesitates, and then nods once, swallowing slowly. Then, he turns back to the computer screen, and starts wordlessly typing commands, fingers flying over the keys. Apparently, he has learned a good bit about computers as well.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Page, Serel, roll me Computers, TN 6."
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Computers + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 6:
1 2 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Computers + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 6 for "KP 2":
2 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Computers + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 6 for "KP 4":
1 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Computers + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 6 for "KP 7":
2 3 4 11 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Serel (#10352) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10:
2 3 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Serel (#10352) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10 for "KP 1":
2 3 3 4 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Serel (#10352) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10 for "KP 3":
1 2 3 3 3 = 0 Successes

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Hrm. It's a little hard to see the screen from your angle, but… you know, those don't look like the sort of commands and menus one would use to grant access. No, that looks like deleting!"

Page reaches out and taps the side of the keyboard, casting a spell upon it…

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 4 vs TN 5 for "Mage Locking the keyboard, F6":
1 2 2 3 3 4 5 8 9 10 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 3 vs TN 3 for "Drain Resist 3M":
1 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 22 = 7 Successes

"That," Page says, "I think, is enough of that." He sustains the spell, watching the man thoughtfully.

The guy was typing, and was halfway through a command, typing at a frantic pace — and then, suddenly, the keyboard keys refuse to move. They are stuck — in the up position, where they are, of course, and locked in place. He starts pressing on backspace, swiftly, trying to get it to work, but nothing is.
That done, the guy turns and stares at you, with wide eyes — and then starts to reach into his desk drawer…

Page reaches up and snaps his fingers for Serel, his eyes still locked on the man, ready for - well just about anything at this point, though his bets are on a weapon.

Serel steps forward as the man goes for the drawer, moving to stand closer to him, ready to pull her own weapon should he pull something out.

The movement of Serel out of the corner of his eye makes the man tense. But from the drawer, all he pulls out is a pencil. An old-fashioned pencil. "Was just cleanin' up some files. This old thing don't have a lot of memory. Here's the passcode you'll need." He scribbles it down, then looks at Page expectantly.

Page smiles slightly, tilting his head to the side. "That's much nicer of you," he says reaching out for the paper - and takes hold of the man's hand instead. "But I'm afraid it's still not quite enough." MIND CRUSH. Er, Probe.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Opposed Quickness Checks. Your TN is 2."
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Quickness + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "Gimme yer hand! Ka-chunk, ka-chunk! (KP 10)":
1 2 2 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 2 vs TN 3 for "His quickness versus Page's, to pull his hand back…":
3 10 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "Nope, you got him. Roll your spell. His Willpower is a 5."
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 4 + 5 (Ally) vs TN 5 for "Activating probulator":
1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 10 11 15 16 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 4 + 5 (Ally) - 5 vs TN 5 for "Activating probulator, KP 11":
1 1 2 2 2 2 4 5 9 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 4 + 5 (Ally) - 8 vs TN 5 for "Activating probulator, KP 13":
1 2 3 4 4 9 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 3 vs TN 2:
1 2 2 3 3 5 5 5 10 = 8 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (willpower) + Karma Pool: 2 vs TN 3 for "Trying to resist… Help meeee!":
3 4 4 5 5 5 10 = 7 Successes

«Plot» Page says, "I want the admin passcode, what he was trying to delete, and what he feels most guilty about."
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "What the hell is this guy doing, grabbing me? Drek! I didn't get all the files deleted. Just tryin' to make a living, and who does this fragger think he is? They already know! They have to. Jesus, if he looks in that payroll file for last year, it's gonna show up. Maybe he's an idiot, won't think to look. It's my ass if he does…"
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Admin passcode: M1n3rg01d"
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "What he was trying to delete was those payroll files, which have evidence of him doing some embezzling."

Page narrows his eyes slightly, looking sidelong at the man as he maintains a firm grip. "Tell me," he says, seeming a bit distracted by this point. "What do you hope to gain out of all this, really? Just the money?"

The guy looks up at Page with frightened eyes. He can /feel/ the knowledge slipping out of his brain, and he's struggling to free himself. But it doesn't help that he was injured. "Lemme go! I got rights! You got no right to do this to me!" he protests.

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Money, yeah. Maybe a little revenge. After all, he doesn't get paid as much for doing this, and the company owes him, owes him for what happened to him, and they never paid…"
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "The guy feels a little guilty, but he's rationalized it. He shouldn't be taking the money, and putting it into that private bank account, but they /owe/ him!"

Page tightens his grip on the man's wrist. "Traitors," he says quietly, "have no rights. You've been working to undermine this operation, and take everything you can for yourself. People have /died/ because of your greed, channeling money away from the forces that could protect them."

Meanwhile he continues rifling through the guy's mind like his own little private journal. Oooh, hey, a page marked, 'Private bank account numbers'.

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "The guy memorized his numbers, to provide for his retirement, once he left here. Here they are. Along with passcodes. Right from his mind into yours… He feels himself thinking of them, shakes his head to try to clear it, to try to fight you, but he has no chance at all."

"I never took that much! And only after the strike. I'd never hurt any of the guys!" he babbles. "Please… please… I can give the money back. Just don't turn me in. I don't wanna go to jail!"

"Traitors don't go to jail, either," Page state. He looks for one final piece of information, hunting for any information he's leaked outside of the mine, then finally releases his grip, looking down at him, folding his hands behind his back, looking thoughtful.

«Plot» Page says, "So is he… THE TRAITOR? :)"
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "The guy? He hasn't leaked anything. He hasn't sent anything to anybody. Working alone."

Page says after a moment's pause, "Still, there are more important things going on here than just a little embezzlement. We could strike a sort of deal… in exchange for your help."

The guy actually lifts his head a little, looking back into Page's eyes. Looking for some hint he's being betrayed. And he pauses. "Really?" the guy asks, very cautiously, very slowly. The idea that perhaps, maybe, there might be a way out of this… that hangs before his eyes.

Page folds his arms in front of him. "Oh, don't think by any means you're getting off scot free," he says. "No, no. Weak passwords? Non-existent controls? Not even countersigning, for Pete's sake? It's like having the fox guard the henhouse here. That'll all be fixed. And the money goes back. But if you help me save some lives here and now, that might just be worth keeping you out of jail."

Serel looks on impartially, ready to step in should she be needed.

Yates looks… well, a little disappointed that he won't get to keep the money. But staying out of jail, that is a good thing. "Okay. Whatever you want. I'll do whatever I can to help you. Save some lives? How can I do anything about that?"

"Someone here," Page says seriously, "someone on this base is leaking information to the Ute about the shipments. And I know it's not you," he adds. "I already checked. But someone is. No doubt… they're getting paid a cut of the gold that soldiers are being killed over." He reaches out, scooting the keyboard over towards the guy a little. "Find me that money. Find it - and you'll save people's lives, and I can let you go."

The guy blinks. "They're… they're /what/?" he demands. He turns back to his console, and reaches out to check the keys. "Wait… you think they're getting paid a cut of it, for their help." He taps his chin. "All right. If they're getting paid off, then the money has to go through some account somewhere. So I gotta look for somebody who's been getting deposits. We handle all the money inside the place through here. Makes it simpler to deal with internal transactions, guys buyin' stuff at the company store, without payin' the credstick lug."

"Check for heavy packages, too," Page says. "There's a chance he's getting his cut in gold and not in nuyen - if that's the case, he'll be accumulating a sizable weight that should stand out."

The accountant nods. "All right." He types on the keyboard, doing searches on the tortoise, and it's taking a painfully long time. About this time, Slide and Slinger come back, while the guy is still working. "S'up?" Slinger asks, as he comes in, with a cigarette burning.

Slide remains quiet, folling behind Slinger. He glances around as they enter the room, checking out the area.

"Oh, nothing much," Page replies to Slinger neutrally. "Could you guys arrange the medical exams and all that? We're going to be a while here combing through data." He looks around the office and mentally sighs to himself. He needs that Catalog spell, he does. It would make things quite a bit faster.

The guy glances up at the newcomers, scowls at Slinger's cigarette, but doesn't appear to be in any position to object. He hunts a little more along some columns, then nods to Page. "These ten guys here all got deposits from outside. Five of 'em I know — these three guys — they always get a deposit. I think it's a payment or something from before. One of 'em's getting alimony from his ex-wife. Sweet deal if you ask me."
He checks a few more items. "Four of those guys got packages. Most of the guys down here get packages, and we don't ask questions, much, about that. Part of he mail."
He prints out a list of names, then turns and hands the page… to Page.

Page nods slightly, looking over it breifly before handing it to Slinger for his review. "You might go through the email archives as well, since you've got enough access. People sending encrypted emails around, or using odd phrases, that kind of thing. If we can't find them, you're going to be in quite a bit of trouble. Oh, and, eh…" He smiles slightly at the man, pleasant and friendly like. "Don't go altering or deleting any files until we get another accountant in here. If there's anything fishy about the files later - I'll make sure you're with us on that gold transport the Ute will be attacking."

The names are:

Harris Yamaguchi, Refining Technician
Jason Norris, Miner
Christopher Metzger, Refining Technician
Stefan Gauss, Miner
Paul Jerris, Transportation

Serel looks up at her group, looking between them for a clue on what she's doing next. She's not in her element here, with all this maneuvering going on. So, she waits for a direction.

Slide remains quiet, letting the others take the lead here, in his mind he goes over plans to deal with the medical examination.

"Look… it all came out of payroll," Yates says. "There were a couple of guys… and I just paid a little extra in taxes, you know? And sent that somewhere. I'll make sure it gets paid back. I can do the transfers now." He's already reaching for a phone.

Page raises a hand. "/After/ we've found out who's responsible," he says to the accountant. "You put it back then. Until then - we'll just keep this to ourselves, shall we? I don't want any ripples scaring off the big fish - got it?"

Yates reaches back from the phone, nods. The symbol of perfect cooperation. Slinger grins. "So. It's starting to sound like you need to be in there for the exams," he comments to Page. Casually. "Mr. Haverton." Reminding others of the need to maintain cover ID's.

Slide remains quiet and watches, still not needing a reason to say anything.

"Sounds like it," Page says, and nods to Slinger, gesturing towards the dor. "Let's get moving, shall we?"

Slide turns and steps outside the room, waiting until the others have left, he remains quiet until they are alone, then inquires "Why should he join the exams?"

Slinger lights a fresh cigarette once he is outside, and inhales a thick drag before polluting the underground air with his exhale. "Page has talents that are a lot better than mine. He should be there, in case we /do/ find our mole."
The kid keeps his voice very low, keeping his voice down. Then, he considers for a moment. "What do you think the odds are that our mole might well have some kind of tripwires or something on his account?"

Slide nods "Of course he would, if he is hiding the information he is sending out, he probably has some skill, and is protecting his accounts. He will know when someone checks them, though I'd hide them in a few dummy corporations or something like that. Never use your real accounts."

"Oh, personally, I'd give it about… fifty-fifty," Page says as he strolls along with Slinger. "If the guy was really smart, he would've stopped by now. But he's not, so…" He shrugs his shoulders amusedly. "Overconfidence breeds carelessness."

Slinger nods thoughtfully. "Right. So my suggestion is that we head down to the medical bays and start getting ready to do this," he remarks. He takes a drag on his cigarette and reaches for his pocket secretary.


Part 9: Outgoing Message


From the pocsec, there is a sudden *PLEEP*. And Slinger swiftly hits a button on the phone, after only a glance. "Our friend just send a message. And I just made sure he isn't going to get acknowlegement."

Slide chuckles softly "Alright, so we call in our suspects, I check the cabinets for a few choice drugs, maybe something that helps with the truth, though thats hard to find usually. I at least can make our subjects very relaxed, maybe we can catch them off guard with a well timed question."

Page coughs politely and then nods to Slinger. "What message did he send? We shouldn't tip our hand just this early, should we?" He peers at the pocsec. "We might be able to use this.."

The youth eyes the pocket secretary, tilting it left and right. "Looks like: Au shpmnt dlyd," he says, reading it aloud with the mangled, shortened words. "Govt auditors — that one's spelled out — onsite exrcz cautn. Hld pos do not engage." He grins. "Fairly generic, really," he comments. "But apparently, he felt it necessary to warn his friends about us. Whoever he is.

Slide reaches out for the pocsec "The important thing, is to find out where he was sending it. Lets see if I can read the destination in the packet headers. Then we can send our own message later."

The destination tags appear to be routing it somewhere on the Los Angeles RTG, actually, though who knows where it goes from there. That is the tricky part, and one which could use a true decker's skills.

Page glances around for anyone standing around a public terminal or frantically bashing at the phone. For the moment, though, he says to Slinger, "Go ahead and let that one on through… we don't want to spook our quarry by being late, do we?"

Slide nods "If we can narrow down who it is, I can get ahold of his deck, and use it myself to track the message."

There's nobody around right now, actually. "I just cut communications in or out of the place, so no chance he's gonna send a followup." He considers, furrowing his brow. "Unless he figures out what happened and makes a trip to the transmitter itself, to try to get his message out. Depends how desperate he is." He glances to the others, draws hard on his cigarette.

Page wrinkles his nose. "So he's getting a 'lost connection' message right now?" he asks.

Slide nods "So, the question is, what do we do next? We can check the security footage and see if we spot someone heading to the transmitter, or we go on with our medical interrogation."

Slinger grins. "Yeah. With no idea whether his message went out or not. Meaning… well, he may want to try to do something about it. There's a chance, actually, that he might try to get it sent again. Or make an attempt once the gold shipment delivery time is specified."
Slinger glances at Slide, smirks. "Or we could lie in wait for him, somehow. Maybe get the Captain to announce the shipment time…"

Page considers, then shakes his head. "He's not going to be as dumb as try to send something to a failed connection, though he might monitor it somehow… along with a few million other programs." He shakes his head. "Let's just get on with the exams."

Slide nods "Alright, I suggest this. We let him get his message out about the new shipment, then we catch him, cancel the shipment, and send out some empty trucks with us riding inside to surprise the raiders. We catch the leak, we damage the raiders, might just shut down the operation completly."

Slinger takes a long draw on his cigarette. "I like that idea. Though I still think he's gonna be desperate to get the message out, one way or another. Especially if he finds out there's a gold shipment actually being planned, perhaps on short notice. He'll want to get that message out, if it's the big one. It'll be his big scores."

"Yeah, but… mmm." Page considers. "Well, he'll want to do /something/ about it, so this is when he'll be most nervous, easiest to pick out. Let's get it rolling. Line up everybody, do a roll call, and do the medical exam on 'em, one by one, lined up like that."

Slide chuckles "I have an idea. Lets do it at the same time. We scheduel the exam, get everyone lined up. Then have the major announce the shipment. Then I simply….delay the exam, take my time at it, ask lots of useless questions."

Slinger nods thoughtfully. "All right. You two can get started on that, maybe, and I'll lie in wait for the guy, wait for him to come in. You've got a lot of good magic for this, right?" he asks Page, as he lights up a fresh cigarette. Watching all directions to make sure we're clear.

Page eyes Slinger with a slightly quirked brow, then shrugs. "Sure," he replies. "More than enough." Then he heads over towards wherever the medical guy resides.

Slide follows along behind Page, running a medicine knowsoft for what drugs might be available to 'relax' thier subjects.

Slinger grins. "Gotcha. I'll be on comm. Tryin' to decide whether to zot him, is all. I'll figure it out, though. Probably just watch the door to the place, real careful-like. You two should ask the Major to make the announcements.


Part 10: Is there a Doctor?


Page just waves a hand vaguely, and then heads into the … medical… tent? Clinic? Towering office structure? Edifice? Whatever it happens to be. And looks for who's in charge.

Slide follows along quietly behind Page, still running over what he has in mind to do during the exam.

The clinic is, surprisingly enough, in one of the branches of the cave. Not too far from the administrative offices, and likewise, from the transmitter. At least, in the same general area of the cavern. The one in charge is one of the miners who has paramedic and medical training, and the Major has arranged for him to meet you. He's tidying things up in a rather frantic fashion when you arrive. Grenwich, is his name. Australian, from his file. "G'day," he grunts, as soon as you arrive.

Page nods vaguely to the man, looking around the cave thoughtfully, noting anyone nearby, then looks back at the medic. "Hi," he says, "I'm Mr. Haverton. We'll need to borrow you - we're having a surprise medical inspection of all personnel. Can you think of a good location to have them all line up? We'll need everyone present."

Slide remains quiet and listens, though he does wonder what exactly Page has in mind asking for every single person, this will take forever.

Nobody really nearby. This place is pretty sparse. The miners and technicians appear to, most likely, be at work deep in the mines, getting this shipment ready, most likely. Everybody's on heavy overtime trying to get the big payoff to happen.
Grenwich looks up, rather startled by that. "Well… normally we'd have them just line up outside the clinic, here. What do you need to do? I mean, the men are all in good health," he says, perhaps a little defensively.

Page replies reassuringly, "And we just need to verify that. But we don't need anyone trying to stand in for anyone else like at the last two sites we tried this at, so we need everyone together all at once. Got it?"

Slide remains quiet, and just listens.

The medic eyes Haverton warily. But what you are saying makes sense. "Got it. We can line 'em up outside. People aren't going to like it, though — there's a shipment being prepared, and this is going to stop work, a hundred percent. You going to make the announcement?" he wants to know, rubbing at his eyes. Apparently he hasn't gotten much sleep lately.

"No," Page replies, "the major will be taking care of that. You just get your end ready, and Dr. Peters here," he says, nodding to Slide, "will assist and observe."

Slide inclines his head as he is named. Other than that, he remains quiet and lets Page run the show.

"Right. So, general health assessment?" Grenwich wants to know. "If so, give me about thirty minutes to get prepped, and we can start. Sooner we get this over with, the sooner the men can get back to work. I'm sure nobody wants the shipment delayed."

Page nods to the man. "Yes, just in general. Dr. Peters knows any of the extra tests we want to run - you can ask him for the details." He waves vaguely at Slide. "I'll go and inform the major - you two sort all the neccessary things out."

Slide steps forward at this point "I need to see the files on everyone. I need to do a quick review, then I need to know any recient appointments you've had. I cannot tell you what I am looking for, that information is classified."

Grenwich nods once to Page, curtly, then turns his attention to Slide. "Mr. Peters, is it? I'm Simon Grenwich." That friendly demeanour fades, though, when you ask for the files. He nods slowly. "I see. Well, I was instructed to give you every cooperation. If you let me know, though, in the broad strokes, maybe I could help?" He takes a few moments of looking in drawers, then finally locates a datapad. After a little manipulation, he hands over a datachip.

Slide shakes his head, and takes a chip and the datapad, he takes a seat in the room and then shakes his head "No, all I can say is there may be an engineered biowarfare agent loose. I cannot specify any of the symptons, its classified."

Grenwich's eyes grow very wide at that announcement. "Biowarfare, you say! And I thought we had problems just with hijacked gold. That's bad, indeed. Definitely, I'll get right on it." He considers. "You might check out Yamahito. He had an unusual rash on his bum we couldn't explain, been treating it with the standard, but no effect."

Slide nods, and sits back to review the personell files calmly, what he is looking for, cyberware, namely, datajacks or anything a decker might use.

«Plot» Page says, "Meanwhile, Page heads off to tell the major about the announcement we need to make."

The major is in his office, doing more of that blasted paperwork, when Page arrives. "I hope you're happy," he grumbles. "Comms are out — your doing, I presume?" he asks, eyeing Page askance. "Now I can't do any of this on the network. Have to do it all by hand. And my superiors are going to wonder why they can't reach us."

Simon had the name wrong. It wasn't Yamahito — it was Yamaguchi with the rash. One of the refining technicians. Japanese names might be a problem for him. But there's no Yahahito listed in the files. A rash, right on his left buttocks, just like Simon mentioned. Didn't respond easily to standard antibiotics.

Slide continues to filter through the files, looking for any listings of cyberware.

"Well, we have to have isolation to do our surprise inspection effectively," Page replies smoothly. "Could you make an announcement? We're going to need everyone - and I mean /everyone/ - lined up in front of the clinic for the medical inspection. We'l be doing a roll call to make sure we get everybody."

Yamaguchi happens to have a datajack, though nothing else really. About a quarter of the men have datajacks. Including most of the technicians — it makes it much easier to do their jobs, and connect directly to the data flows from the analyzers. Metzger also has a math SPU and an encephalon.
"Everyone," repeats the Major. "That would pull our soldiers off guard duty, you know. Leave us completely defenseless." He doesn't like this one bit, and he's eyeing Page suspiciously.

Slide takes a mental note of every name with a datajack, and especially the name Metzger, whoever did this job has to be sure he wont be caught, and that means a decker. He tries to find what Metzger's job is.

Metzger is one of the refining technicians, been with the organization for less than a year. Just joined the team, appointed to replace the previous technician who was killed under mysterious circumstances while on leave. Metzger is one of the lead technicians, responsible for supervising the analysis, scheduling deliveries, and producing the reports for the Major.

Page chuckles softly and nods. "The raiders won't have received any signals to attack yet," he points out. "And the guards are a traditional point of weakness for bribery - long hours, short pay - it'll be fine."

Slide seems to think Metzger is thier man, but, it would be almost too easy to just suspect him, so he continues to go over the rest of the files, checking for information about the guy with the rash too.

The guy with the rash also has a datajack. Described in the psych file as very secretive, quiet. Originally from Japan, and came to this area only recently, he speaks with a strong Japanese accent. Efficient and methodical, he has almost as much access as Metzger.

Slide looks at the medical data on the rash, and uses his biotech and medicine knowsoft to diagnose the rash from what the files say.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Roll medicine. TN 8."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 8 (MEdicine Knowsoft) vs TN 8 for "Lets see whats wrong, I'm playing House! Now I h ave to insult people":
1 1 2 2 4 5 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 8 (MEdicine Knowsoft) vs TN 8 for "Lets see whats wrong, I'm playing House! Now I h ave to insult people KP:1":
1 2 4 4 5 5 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 8 (MEdicine Knowsoft) vs TN 8 for "Lets see whats wrong, I'm playing House! Now I h ave to insult people KP:3":
1 2 3 4 4 5 13 14 = 2 Successes

«Plot-Page» (To: Slide) Slinger says, "From the look of it — there are no toxins. No real infection — slightly opportunistic infection, but nothing huge. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was a /bedsore/."
Slide frowns slightly, and looks to see what job he has, cause if he is on his ass that much.


Part 11: This Won't Hurt a Bit


About this time, the announcement goes out over the PA system. "Attention! Everyone is to report to the clinic at 11:45 hours. That's in fifteen minutes. Finish up what you're doing, and line up there. This means everyone!" The major sounds a little peeved. "Nothing to be concerned about, but our auditors want to check everyone's blood pressure, which is probably going to be higher because of this announcement. Any questions, call my office."

His job? Also a refining technician. He's the one from Japan — Yamaguchi. So there's a certain amount of time spent sitting, but not that much… is there?

Interesting. Simon has a datajack, though it's concealed. Induction datajack, hidden under his skin.

Slide sighs, as the list keeps growing longer, so he has Metzger, Yamadude, and Simon. He goes back to studying the other files, for anything that might stand out.
Page nods slightly at the annoucement and then nods to the Major. "That includes you, too…" He smiles pleasantly. "Come on, let's not keep everybody waiting."

There's a problem when you're looking for 'anything that might stand out'. Because looked at with a suspicious mindset, /everything/ starts to stand out. Christopher White has been here forever, no datajack, but it's noted that he disapproves of the new management practices, especially the military coming in, and has said so repeatedly, despite being written up for his comments which have gotten out of hand on more than one occasion. Andreas Pappadapilos came here from Greece, originally from a wealthy family, but lost it all in a series of bad deals with UCAS corporations, and reportedly has gambling debts.

«OOC» Slide says, "Any of the names I'm looking into, match the list page got earlier?"
«OOC» Slinger says, "Yamaguchi and Metzger are both on it."

The major scowls, but seems to accept the wisdom of that. "What about your people? Are they going to go through that same exam?" he wants to know. But he knows the answer is 'of course not'. Even so, he smirks slightly as he gets up from his desk, organizing the papers, then heads toward the door. He pauses to engage the maglock, giving Page a look of almost-challenge.

Slide finishes going through the list, then stands up and heads outside the door to watch the arrival of the crew. He keeps the datapad, for referal when looking over the patients.

«OOC» Slinger says, "Among the first to arrive are Page and the Major."

"Of course not," Page replies. "We're the auditors."
A few moments later, Page and the Major arrive. Page glances around and looks vaguely annoyed. "Well, they'd better get here soon," he comments.

Slide gestures for Page to approach him, then shows the datapad, highlighting the three men he suspects most. He says nothing, just shows the files.

Slowly, men start to trickle into the clinic, a few at a time. A few alone, a few in small groups, talking and shaking their heads. The feeling is universal — this is bullshit, but at least we're getting paid.
The major gives Page a smirk. "Then let me go first. You can deal with me, and then I can keep an eye on the men. Get this moving as fast as we can. Right?"

Slide watches the people filter in, waiting for his suspects, he paces back and forth, looking around carefully.

Page nods to the major and then gestures to Slide vaguely before letting his eyes slide into the astral, looking over the people showing up carefully.

For the most part, people's auras seem to be relatively ordinary. A little agitation. Perhaps a hint of fear from a few, but nothing severe — more along the lines of, what if they find out about /that/ — something vaguely embarassing and medical. Or having to take their clothes off. That's never much fun. Humiliating.

Slide moves towards the major and nods "Alright, lets get started. Major, alright, anything out of the ordinary lately, headaches, trouble sleeping, anything at all." he puts his head near the majors chest, and sets his filter and amlified hearing towards the heartbeat of the major.

Page gives everyone a cursory once-over - then starts comparing names to the list. Just how many people are missing?

The Major can't help but chuckle as he stretches. "You want me lying down, or what?" The question draws another chuckle, and a snort. "Before I took those job? None of those things. Since I took it? Nothing /but/ those things." He's telling the truth, though with a hint of humor. And irony.

Slide chuckles and listens to the mans heartbeat, they say it can accelerate when you're lying. "Alright, I'm sure the stress is getting to you."

The Major smirks. "The stress. Let me tell you about stress, /son/. Peters, is it? I had a promising career, and now I'm posted to this place, where frankly, I'm gonna be a Major until the day I die, unless I get this gold shipment out of here. I got no resources, problems out the ass, a spy, according to you guys. And auditors who are doing medical exams here and wasting my people's time. Stress? Let me tell you about stress."

Slide smiles "Alright, your fine, get out of here, send the next guy in."

«Plot» Slinger says, "Lemme have a perception, and then a straight intelligence roll, Page. TN is 6 for both."
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6:
1 1 3 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6 for "KP 1":
2 3 4 5 8 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6 for "And straight Int":
2 3 3 3 9 11 = 2 Successes

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Yamaguchi is missing. Metzger is missing. In fact, nobody from the Refining department is here."

The next one is a miner who has been working in the place for quite some time. He's got grey hairs around the edges, and a tendency to ramble and complain about his joint pain when asked. He wants something for it — enough that finally Simon gives him some mild painkillers just to shut him up. Two more seem pretty much to be telling the truth. The next one, though, is Andreas Pappadapilos, the one from Greece with suspected Gambling debts. He's a large man, with an equally large Greek nose.

«OOC» Slinger says, "He has a datajack. Old model, from the look of it."

Slide looks over the man and nods "So, any health issues lately? Dizzyness, naseua." he looks over the datajack "Any interface problems? Headaches when jacked in."

Andreas speaks with a noticable accent. "Bit of a cough from the dust. But medic says it's because I smoke too much. He's probably right," he chuckles, his voice rough from age. "Interface? I haven't used this in years." He reaches up to tap the datajack. "Have to clean it out every so often or it gets crammed with dust."

Slide nods, his ears more in tune with the guys heartbeat than his words, his words are faint in his hearing, the thump of the organ in the mans chest is where his hearing is focused right now. "I see." he frowns as he looks at his datapad, holding it so the man cannot see it. "Somethings wrong with this pad, I'm getting an error message, Subroutine Alpha 4793. What the hell is that?" (Computer question, requires a good deal of skill in computers to know this error message.)

Andreas looks rather perplexed, but chuckles. "Machines, eh? Can't live without 'em. Can't live with 'em. Just like women." His heartbeat is a little fast — but has been since he came in, with no real change. He should probably quit smoking, from the sound of his breathing.

Slide nods "Alright, well, I'll just get a new datapad. Your free to go, send in the next patient."

The next patient is one of the soldiers. A guard. Not necessarily real bright, but definitely meaty. He's got one of those wrist-exercise thingies, and continualy squeezes on it while he's talking to you, effortlessly.

Page wrinkles his nose slightly as he looks over the list… looks over people… looks over the list. Hmmmmm. Innteresting. He nods faintly and then comments to Slide, "I'll be back in a moment." And heads off to have a seat nearby real quick, project - and dip on down to see where these missing people are.

Slide continues to inspect the people, using the same questions, routine diagnostic questions, medical history questions, then he throws in the datapad error at the end of the questions. The whole time listening to thier heartbeat.

Slide asks about thier cyberware and if there are any problems with interface issues as well.

The people in question, especially the minors, have no idea whatsoever about you datapad question. Most of these guys have no datajack at all.
The next one up is Jason Norris, who was one of the guys on the list Page was given, of people who have received money and shipments.

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "It actually takes you a while. This is rock, which means you're limited to the tunnels themselves, unable to actually phase through solid rock. But you come up with them, down in the refining laboratory. There they are. One, two, three, four, all busily working in this room. There's another room, the actual laboratory… and in there is one…
Wait. Why is he unconscious? And where is the sixth?"

Page grrrrs faintly to himself on the astral. He is DISPLEASED. And now in a hurry. He moves about the tunnels quick as he can, making sure the sixth one isn't down there… and then he heads over in Slinger's direction to scope his situation out.

Slide goes through the regular list of questions, and throws in the computer question at the end. Same routine, maybe a slight variation about how often he logs in.

There he is. You can't tell much about the guy, except that he's moving… sneaking along. But he's not heading to the comm room. No, he's moving toward the commander's office. And he's crouching down in front of the lock…

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "There he is. You can't tell much about the guy, except that he's moving… sneaking along. But he's not heading to the comm room. No, he's moving toward the Major's office. And he's crouching down in front of the lock…"

Norris is a swarthy man with a moustache and beard. "I dunno. Once in a while, check for trixmail or whatever. Got some friends who send me jokes. Why, that a violation of policy or somethin'?" he asks, with a hint of defensiveness.

«Plot» Page says, "Do I know which guy this is?"
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Roll me an assensing check. BG count here is 1."

Slide shakes his head "No, but if you have any issues during that time, it could be. I'm not saying you have anything, but there are things out there that are designed to attack your hardware. Sometimes these things, get loose in the wrong places. I need to know how your ware is operating."

"Huh? What 'ware? I use the terminal down in the breakroom, most of the time. I got a pocsec in my dorm room I use sometimes, when I'm off shift. And, I ain't worried about that stuff. I've got SecureWare. It keeps me safe." Now he's quoting advertising slogans.

«Plot» Slinger says, "No datajack."

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Assensing!":
2 3 3 3 5 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence - 2 vs TN 5 for "Assensing! KP +1":
1 1 2 7 = 1 Success

Slide nods "Use trodes any? Or just a screen. Ohh, and by the way, Secureware is garbage, its been hacked more times than you can count. Alright, last question, do you recieve any packages from anyplace that is near a military installation, there was an accident a while back at a facility, and some….nasty things, spread over the base, wasnt found out until everything was shipped out."

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "The guy in question does have a bit of headware, from his aura, though hard to tell how much. He's relatively short, and slender."

«Plot» Page says, "Based on how fast he's moving, does it look like I'll have time to zip over to Slinger, let him know, and then get back here before the guy gets in the door?"

Norris shakes his head. "Nah, never liked trodes much. Damned things make my scalp itch." But when you say that about SecureWare, he actually looks… well, stunned, as if you just told him his child was misbehaving. He blinks at the question, then shrugs. "Yeah, sometimes I get stuff from home. My wife sends me stuff she finds at flea markets, stuff like that. Tryin' to save up enough doin' this that we can get a house together. With this payout, this strike, it looks like maybe my share's gonna be enough to do that."

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Probably. Though there's always the chance he's nearly done…"

Slide nods, and then gives his datapad question, before telling the fellow he can go.


Part 12: Mr. White


The next one up is Christopher White, who is a large, six-foot-five inch black man, every inch of his body muscle. If they were casting for the role of John Henry, this guy would be a shoo-in. His face is aggressive, with a scar running down his cheek, and he's visibly agitated and angry. "Man, I been waitin' in line almost an hour. There's work to be done if we gonna get this strike done. Fraggin' military," he spits.

Slide nods "Alright, sit down, this will only take a moment." he looks over the file for cyberware or medical problems. Then goes into the routine questions.

Page zips without further hesitation back to Slinger's spot, to let him know and get back fast as possible.

White has no cyberware to speak of. Medical problems include some old broken bones that didn't heal quite right, which give him problems occasionally, according to his file. "What's the matter? Couldn't get a real job?" he jibes at Slide. "Why you wastin' my time with this, anyway? I got gold to dig!"

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Slinger nods swiftly, giving you a quick acknowledgement — and is already moving by the time you zip back. And… the guy is gone. No, wait. He's inside the Major's office, and is digging through some of the things on his desk…"

Slide smiles at the fellow "Just a few more questions sir, I'd hate to skip over you if the biowarfare that got loose has infected you." he frowns "Ohh, I wasnt supposed to tell you that."

White… well, he doesn't turn pale. His skin is too black for that. But it actually stops him dead in his tracks, and then he clenches his fist. "You muthafuckahs!" he snarls, and takes a swing at Slide. "Now you infecting us with biowarfare shit?" he shouts, at the top of his lungs…

«Plot» Slinger says, "Let's have initiatives :)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Initiative with a result of 9.
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 1 for "+5 White Reaction.":

3

Slide steps back from the fellow quickly, his hardware changing chips quickly, shutting down one, and firing up another as his brain gets new signals to go into a defensive combat posture, the datapad is tossed aside.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 6 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 4 for "White knows how to fight…":
1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 6 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 6 - 3 (succs) vs TN 4 for "White knows how to fight… KP 1":
1 2 3 3 3 4 5 8 11 = 4 Successes

«Plot» Slide says, "Full Defense Option"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 10 (Pentjak Soft) vs TN 4 for "Avoiding the fight at the moment, I get to dodge after this.":
1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 4 for "Dodging":
1 2 3 3 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Combat Pool: 5 - 1 vs TN 4 for "Dodging KP:4":
2 3 5 11 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Slide says, "Thats 8 total, I dodge"

White takes a fierce swing at Slide, ranting incoherently about bugs and the military and generally carrying on. Fortunately, Slide ducks out of the way, and White's fist plows right into the imaging display for X-rays, with a crunch of expensive plastic.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 1 for "+5 White Init.":
1
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Initiative with a result of 12.

Slide steps back, giving himself room to maneuver "Calm down sir, or I will put you down." he holds himself ready, waiting for his opportunity to strike.

«Plot» Slide says, "Holding Action"

"Calm down? Fuck you," White snarls, launching himself at Slide again. "You infect me then you wanna put me down like some dog!" Another swing at Slide…

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 6 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 4:
1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 11 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 10 (Pentjak Chip) vs TN 4 for "Full Defense option":
1 1 2 2 2 2 4 5 5 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 4 for "Dodging":
2 3 5 5 5 9 = 4 Successes

Slide maneuvers out of the way again, the blow just missing him, but this time he moves back in close to strike quickly.

«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 10 (Pentjak Soft) vs TN 4 for "Attacking":
1 1 1 1 2 2 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 10 (Pentjak Soft) - 4 vs TN 4 for "Attacking KP:5":
3 4 4 5 10 14 = 5 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 6 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 4:
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 = 3 Successes

«OOC» Slide says, "6M base, 4 str, +2 Plastic Bone lacing. with 6 success, 6m, 6S, 6D, 7D"

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 6 (body) vs TN 7 for "Resisting 7D damage.":
1 3 4 5 5 5 = 0 Successes

«OOC» Slide says, "Now, the trick is to catch me when I cant use a turn to activate my chips, then, I'm dead."

White lashes out again with another vicious punch — and like a whirlwind, you manage to subdue him, sending him down to the ground with a blow right to his jaw. He topples over into a rack of instruments, which clatter to the floor with a cacophony of sound.

Slide sighs, and shakes his head, rubbing his fist a little, he turns and heads to the door, opening it "Can I get some soldiers in here to remove this man? Next patient please!"

A couple of the men standing in line were in the room, trying to find a good opportunity to grab White without actually hurting him — or Slide — or any of the delicate equipment. Fortunately, nothing major has been damaged beyond repair, and the unconscious White is taken down toward his quarters — and locked inside, carefully.
Once that is done, it's time to resume the interviews.

Slide steps to the door and looks out "Next please." then turns and walks back in, he is just asking questions, so no need to turn a medical chip on, he sticks with the martial arts for now.

Page continues to observe the man on the astral… a little annoyed. This is taking far too long. But at least Slinger should get here soon enough.

Time works differently on the astral. Page, of all people, should know that. What seems like an eternity goes by as the guy searches through the desk — digging around — then comes up with a datachip. He grabs it, glances around carefully, with a look of guilt, and then slips it into a pocket before he turns and starts for the door — just as a very familiar aura — one that looks mundane — rounds the corner. The guy doesn't react in the slightest, even as Slinger pokes his head into the astral. "Take him down? Or follow him?" Slinger asks.

Slide steps to the door and looks out "Next please." then turns and walks back in, he is just asking questions, so no need to turn a medical chip on, he sticks with the martial arts for now. (repose)

Page replies on the astral, invisibly to the mundane, "Follow him, for now - but be ready." He gets visibly more annoyed, aura tinging with orange-yellow. "I hate waiting."

The next one is one of the soldiers, posted here about six moths previously along with Major Barrett. He comes in, looking a little nervous as he sits down on the edge of the bed. "Am I gonna have to take my clothes off this time?" he asks, carefully.

Slide looks up the soldier on his datapad and shakes his head "No, just a series of routine questions." He begins to go through his medical routine, asking all the questions and then throwing in the computer question at the end. (I forgot my questions, its in the log)

The guy answers the question, and shakes his head, totally confused, at the one at the end — as expected for a security guard with no background in such things. At the end, though, he reaches out and gently nudges Slide, nervously. "So… you gonna give me s'more ointment for that… uh… rash?" He seems rather nervous, indeed. "Thanks for not makin' me take my clothes off. The other medic… one time he left me here for like half an hour, stripped down, wearin' one of those gowns while he disappeared."

Slide chuckles and looks over the datapad, reading the soldiers profile for information on the rash. "I'm not exactly familar with your symptoms, give me a second." he switches on his Medicne knowsoft, and searches for a diagnosis for the man

«Plot» Slinger says, "Roll medicine, TN 2."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 8 (Medicine Soft) vs TN 2:
2 3 3 4 8 10 10 11 = 8 Successes

The soldier's profile — ah, there it is. Tested positive for syphillis. And it's been treated with… an antihistimine? That one is so utterly obvious once you switch on the chip, jumping out of the page at you. Syphillis is treated with antibiotics, responds well to them. Yet this guy is being treated with… antihistimines to deal with the symptoms.

Slide frowns "What medic treated you?"

Slinger nods once, slips his attention back into the physical realm, and follows the sneaking figure back along the corridors, heading downward — toward the assaying and refining laboratories. Leaving Page free to do whatever he wishes to do.

Jenson — that's his name, Private Max Jenson — looks at Slide like the question was stupid. "Grenwich, of course," he says, and glances around, to point out Simon — but the medic is suddenly nowhere to be found, you might realize. "He's a good doc. That ointment stopped the itching pretty good," he states. "Any chance I could get some more?"

Slide shakes his head "Actually, I have a shot for you this time." he starts looking for the cabinet to find the antibiotics. He puts the medic Simon on his mental list of suspects.

Page is quite well done enough with the waiting and the skulking, far enough from his real body. "Keep an eye on him - use your best judgement. Keep in comm contact." With those last words, he zips back to his body to rejoin Slide's interviews in the flesh - as it were. Watching auras.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Acknowledged. Following him. He's heading back to work. Hey, where's there an unconscious guy down here? Anybody notice that yet?"

Slide reaches a hand up to cover his ear, and taps his subvocal mic while he is looking for antibiotics «Missing a medic here, and he doesnt know squat about medicine, very suspicious. Though, I've got about four other good suspects too.»

Cabinets. Lots of supplies. Needles here, syringes, all in their packaging. And here we go, tucked in the back, antibiotics. Plenty to choose from. No allergies listed on Jenson's file, so in this case, good old penicillin might be the best choice.

Commlink-Page> Page says, "I'd forgotten - figured that the guy knocked him out."

Slide takes out the bottle of penicillin, then gets a needle and prepares it, switching to his biotech chip now to make sure he does the injection in the right place.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Yeah. He's out for the count. Nasty blow to the head, but he'll survive. Looks like Metzger, actually. Christopher Metzger. He was on our list of people who got stuff from outside, right? Might be able to eliminate him /from suspicion/." Slinger says this last part swiftly, with emphasis. "Unless you disagree? Wait, what was that about a missing medic?""

Page pauses, checking his list of people. He doesn't remember a medic missing.

There's only one medic listed. Simon Grenwich.

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "He gave the wrong treatment to a patient, Simon is the name. (Subvocal)"

Slide goes ahead and shoots his patient up with Antibiotics, and then shows him out of the room. "I need a few minutes before the next patient." with that he closes the door.

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Alright, so do I keep checking people or what?"
Commlink-Page> Page says, "Yeah. I'll check out the missing people."
Commlink-Page> Page says, "Slinger, that guy's just going back to work - so you're down in refining?"
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Yeah, looks like it. He's got the chip. He's trying to pretend nothing happened. My guess is, if he hit Metzger, he hit him from behind, so there's gonna be no evidence of it, not easily."
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "I'm down here. Why? Whassup?"
Commlink-Page> Page says, "Keep an eye on him, I'm headed down."

Slide opens the door to the medical clinic and goes back to work "Next." he calls out, then steps inside to wait.

Page strides slowly along the line of people outside the medical office, running its length, checking his list on his pocsec, making no one /extra/ has gone missing in the time he's spent 'AFK', as it were. Once at the end, he checks maps and heads for the refining department, where the unconscious guy was at.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Hey, guys? My pocsec just said somethin'. Says the comms are back online. Did you do that?"
Commlink-Page> Page says, "The fucking hell."

The next person in sequence is one of the transport drivers. Paul Jerris — and he is on the list of people who received sums of money from outside. He comes in, glances around nervously. He's a mousey looking guy, kind of short and slight. Not the sort one would expect to work in a place like this. He has half a beard, scraggly, going a little grey. His file says he is forty-seven years old.

Slide nods to the man "Just take a seat, we have a few routine health questions." he goes through the list, and walks around the room. When he is behind the guy he coughs a bit and subvocals after «No, go check the spot we wired things up, someone could have disabled it.»

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Magic for 'Filtering':
1 1 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 vs TN 4 for "Levitate, Force 6.":
2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 8 11 19 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower + 5 (Ally) vs TN 5 for "Drain Resist 5M stun.":
1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 17 = 5 Successes

Page swears out loud, tucking his pocsec away absently as his mind organizes the magical energies, binding and arranging them properly for spellcasting. Then he fucking floors it towards the comm tower, at best speed, slowing only enough to make sure he doesn't run into a wall or the like, slapping on an armor spell into a focus as he proceeds.

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Dark Armor, F6, dropping in a Sustaining Focus, sustaining Levitate.":
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Dark Armor, F6, dropping in a Sustaining Focus, sustaining Levitate. KP 1":
1 1 1 3 3 3 4 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Dark Armor, F6, dropping in a Sustaining Focus, sustaining Levitate. KP 3":
2 2 2 2 4 5 5 11 14 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 4 + 5 (Ally) vs TN 7 for "5S Stun, +2 sustaining.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 8 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 4 + 5 (Ally) - 2 vs TN 7 for "5S Stun, +2 sustaining. KP 4.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 7 7 = 2 Successes

The trip through the corridors is long and tortuous. Despite your speed, there is a limit to how fast you can go just because of the winding nature of them. Slide is closer, you might realize. Slinger is following behind you, but your spell is faster than the one he has sustained. Page will get there first, most likely.

Page grinds his teeth slightly. Slide might be closer, but he's going to be faster. And from what he's seeing, they're not dealing with just one problem - they're dealing with /several/, all happening simultaneously. At this point, he's prone to suspect just about everybody, including people they've already seen. ~Slinger. Knock that rat-thief bastardo out and then back me up here!~ he says over the comm.

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "And get the chip from him, we need to know whats stolen"

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Roger!"

«Plot» Slinger says, "Roll me intelligence, Slide. TN is 8."
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Intelligence vs TN 8 for "ME3 For the win":
1 2 3 4 4 4 4 11 = 1 Success

Slinger turns around and heads back where we came from, taking advantage of his greater movement and mobility. Meanwhile, Page emerges from the narrower tunnels, heading into the broader ones closer to the surface. There's the group of men, some of whom turn and stare openly at the sight of the man floating above the ground, gawking at the incredibly fast movement with no visible means of support.
But there's nothing to be done about that. As you round the corner, and then the next one, pass in front of Barrett's office, and then turn the next corner, there it is. The communications closet — and the door is hanging about halfway open.

«Plot-Page» (To: Slide) Slinger says, "You /think/ he was there, when White came in. But he was definitely gone by the time it was over. You think. With all the adrenaline, it's a little hard to remember."

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "We might have a problem, Simon may or may not have seen me fight, if he did, well, lets just say most doctors dont have my skill level, that could mean we have been made."

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence for "Looking for people within a 30 second running distance, or hiding, or nonchalantly walking along, etc.":
1 2 2 3 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence for "Looking for people within a 30 second running distance, or hiding, or nonchalantly walking along, etc. KP 5":
3 3 3 4 5 10
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "You encountered nobody, really. People seem to have basically vacated the area once they were finished with their exam — heading back to work, or to their quarters. And Slide hasn't released anybody recently, not since White."

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 3 4 5

Page eyes the closet door, then eyes alllll around the damn place. Okay. Nobody hiding (that he can see). Nobody running for it. Nobody nonchalant. That leaves… two possibilities. 1. He's invisible. So Page scopes out the Astral as well. Or 2. He's in the damn closet. In which case things will get more interesting.

Commlink-Page> Page says, "How many entry points were there to the comm room again?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence for "Astrally Perceiving.":
1 2 2 3 4 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence for "Astrally Perceiving, goddamnit it, KP 6":
1 2 3 5 7 10

The astral appears clear.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Just the one that I saw."
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Holy cra… this chip is…. what he wanted… that."
«Plot» Slinger says, "The signal is starting to get a little fuzzy. Apparently, Slinger moved further into the area — and signals travel poorly in this environment, even with the power of these comms."

Page grits his teeth AGAIN. Just what we need, comm troubles. Okay, no more Mr. Nice Mage. He calls up his two earth elementals. ~Fetch me the person inside that room,~ he orders. ~/Now./~

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) uses 1 of item 1: Earth Spirit F6 from Elementals (#5463).
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) uses 1 of item 2: Earth Spirit F6 from Elementals (#5463).

Slide waits in the clinic, having gotton rid of his patients at the moment. «What now? Do I leave the clinic?»


Part 13: The Butler Did It


Fetch. Fetch implies alive, and these elementals are smart enough to know what that means. They trundle into the room and manifest. There is the sound of a crash, a cry of panic. "What the /HELL/?" asks the voice — and yes, that would be an Australian accent. And then, one of the elementals bursts through the doorway. And through part of the stone to the side of it. Oops. But it is carrying a struggling, wriggling Simon Grenwich. "Let me go! What the frag are these things?" he yells.

The second elemental emerges behind the first, standing ready to pitch in if it is needed.

Commlink-Page> Page says, "Got Simon here, repeat, Simon. Slide, resume the exam."
Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Roger"

Page settles down to the ground as he releases the Levitate spell, looking over Simon with a measured gaze, scoping out his aura - again - and looking to penetrate any masking there. "They're /mine/," he responds to the medic.

Slide opens up the clinic door "Alright, next." he goes back to his routine, examining patients files, asking them questions, throwing in the computer question just as a test still, and even helping out anyone who needs it.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Did you guys hear me? This chip… apparently… dispute with… evidence." His signal is getting stronger, though. "Apparently, Yamahito here screwed up, big time, and the evidence was on this chip. We're talking career-ending stuff."

The medic looks left. Looks right. Then back at Page. "I was just tryin' to get a message home. Me mum tends to worry," he says, trying for a faltering smile. Trying to look friendly and innocent like before. The easygoing Aussie.

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "I SEE YOUR AURA":
1 1 1 1 4 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Intelligence - 2 vs TN 4 for "KP 7.":
3 3 5 14 = 2 Successes

Simon is scared to death right now. And his aura shows it. More than anything, though, his aura shows that he is very much lying, trying desperately to save his skin.

Page steps closer to Simon. "Really? Oh, good, good," he replies. "Then you won't mind this." He reaches out, putting his hand on Simon's head, projecting his magical energies forth!

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 5 (Ally) for "Mind Probe, F3.":
1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 7 9 9 11 15 17
«OOC» Slinger grins. Willpower 5.
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 5 (Simon's Willpower) vs TN 3 for "Help me!":
1 1 3 4 11 = 3 Successes

Simon's mind is a confused whirl of images. "Oh my God they can't find this out they'll kill me I can't let them know about the others or the codes or the comms or the gold oh God the gold why did I let myself get talked into this dear God I'm going to fragging die!"

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Willpower + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 2 for "Soaking 2S stun. KP 8.":
3 3 3 4 5 5 10 = 7 Successes

Page digs into the man's mind, rifling through the most recent memories first. Did he get the message off? What was in it? Who did he send it to? What are the comm codes? And how deep is he?"

Slide continues to do his medical guy shtick, running through the same questions over and over with each patient. Checking the files on them, and then taking care of any medical issues they might have.

A confusing whirl of questions — enough that it might take Page a few moments to sort through those. But it's very clear in the end that, in fact, he is the one.
He just sent a message, yes, looking for confirmation of his previous message, and providing details from his previous mention of the auditors. In fact, his message text is still in ihs mind:

Auditrs not rpt not wht they seem. Cmbt experience, think at lst one is mgcl. Want med exms of all rpt all prsnnl, shrt trm. If can atk wthn 30 rpt 30 mins do so. Shpmnt is set fr trnsprt 1730 hrs tmrw. Exrcse ctn.

The codes used to send them, and the frequencies, pop out of his mind, as well, despite any attempts on his part to try to withhold those, to struggle. "I've got rights!" he mumbles, trying to shake off the effects of the spell, shaking his head violently back and forth as if trying to throw you out of his mind by sheer force.
How deep is he? He wanted the money, it's that simple. He has two ex-wives, plenty of alimony owed to each of them, enough that he can hardly eke out a living with the garnishments coming from those. Free and clear money would dig him out of the hole he has for himself.
The team of adversaries consists of four main people — a mage, a rigger, two heavily-cybered grunts. And a few other men and women whom he never really met — those, though, are just regular line-soldiers, low-ranking, not a huge threat.

Page's face grows darker as he rifles through the man's mind, memories leaking like holding water in a seive. There's just two more questions he needs answers to, but they're the important ones. First - what was he expected to do in the raids? And the second - does he feel at all guilty about the men and guards who died in the raids? And Page reaches all the way down into the guy's subconscious for that one. He wants to /know/.

What was his role? Nothing. He was to stay inside, get his payment. Not actually /do/ anything. He's not a killer, not a fighter. He's just a guy, you know. The guys who died… he was promised there would be no violence, but now there is. Does he feel guilty? Sure… but only a little. Not enough to make him stop what he is doing. He would get another message out if he could…

So much for the stuff related to the actual job. /Now/ Page doesn't feel guilty in the slighest about rummaging, pulling the guy's bank account access codes, rumming for any helpful passwords the guy knows, and seeing if there was anybody else on the inside that Simon knew about. Oh, and one last idle question - is he even a doctor at /all/?
That done, and the guy thorughly mind-raped, Page lets go of his head and hits up the comm. ~He got the message out about a minute ago, telling them it'd be a good idea to hit this place in the next 30 minutes. Cancel the rest of the exam and get the guards back in position, fast.~

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Roger"


Part 14: Best Laid Plans


Slide steps outside the clinic and looks around for the Major.

Bank account codes? Why, yes. Those are /there/. Secret offshore account, heavily ciphered. He's /fighting/ you, with every ounce of willpower he has, but it's not enough, in the final anaysis. His brain leaks the information like a sieve into your waiting, outstretched mind.
Once you release the spell, the guy collapses into a sobbing heap. The elementals are still holding him, waiting patiently.
The Major is talking to a couple of his men, and as he spots Slide, he pushes through the crowd, politely, but firmly, and heads toward him. "Nobody told me one of you was a mage," he accuses, scowling. "The men are totally freaked out!"

Slide frowns "Get over it then. The leak got a message out, they are going to attack in thirty minutes, get your men back to thier posts now."

Commlink-Page> Page says, "Oh, and where is the brig? I'll need to drag Simon there."
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "I dunno. I think Mr. Yamamoto needs to spend some time there as well, for hitting his co-worker over the head. It's gonna be a crowded place. You gonna put Mr. Accountant there, too?"
Commlink-Page> Page says, "I don't really think the accountant is a danger to others. But I'll go have a chat with him just in case once I'm done here."

Major Barrett's eyes widen at the news. "They're gonna attack us directly? Holy crap…" He runs his fingers through his (thinning) hair, and eyes Slide. "How reliable is this information? What should we expect?" He turns and barks orders, sending some of the guards to reinforced positions. "We're not ready for this, you know. We've got some defenses, but nothing too powerful. We should close the blast doors, seal the place up."

Page motions to the elementals. "Bring him," he says, and heads out towards where he's guessing the major is, what with everybody else. /SOME/body has to know where the damn brig is, and if he runs into anybody relevant-looking, he'll ask.

Slide nods to the Major "Give me a moment." he comms back to Page «Any idea what to expect for our friends?»

The Major is in front of the infirmary, with men milling around and looking agitated and worried. The Major scowls at Slide's request, and shakes his head. "I'm not giving /anybody/ /any/ moments until I get some answers," he bellows, following Slide to where he and Page intersect. "What's going on, Haverton? Given that it's /my/ ass on the line if anything happens to this place, I think I'm entitled to some answers!"

Slide raises a hand to the Major "I'm trying to find out what to expect from our opposition. We don't want the doors sealed, we want to lure them inside and take them here. No sense leaving them alive to do this again."

Page jerks his thumb over his shoulder at Simon, being towed by elemental. "Found your leak," he says simply. "You've got a group of soldiers and four heavy hitters - a mage, a rigger, and two sammies - for opposition. And this guy. He told them to attack in thirty minutes if possible, and the shipment time if not. Where can I stuff him for now? We need to get defenses in order."

The Major reaches up to rub at the back of his neck. Stress, thy name is Haverton, at least from the Major's perspective. "All right. But I don't want them having free run of the place. We have a lot of people here. We've got the main blast doors, and this central area here. Wide open, hard to secure. This place was built for mining. The blast doors were something I insisted on having installed."
The Major eyes Simon, with clear anger in his eyes. "This was the one?" he asks, and just for a moment, he looks ready to strangle the man with his bare hands. "We don't have a proper cell. But you can tie him up, leave him in my office or somewhere. Right now, I don't give a damn where he gets put. Somewhere without air would be my choice," he states coldly.

Slide nods "Alright, I need to get my gear out of the SUV." and with that he starts heading towards the SUV to gather this things..

Page looks back at the major steadily for a moment, about /one inch/ away from ordering the elemental to engulf the guy and call it done - partly out what the guy's done, partly out of annoyance, and partly because he wants to see just what the general's reaction would be. But he holds his temper. Slinger would pitch a fit, after all. "Fine," he says, and goes about to find some zip-ties to cuff him and tether him up to some sturdy pipes for now.

Slide makes his way back to the SUV, pulling out his bag, and Serels toys from the cargo area. He keeps his long coat over his coveralls, two holsters built into the long coat hold heavy pistols loaded with AV rounds. Two dart pistols are strapped to his leg, full of narcojet. He switches chips in his head to the new one, Lauch Weapons, and pulls out Serels Grenade Launcher and starts loading grenades into it. He works quietly, preparing himself for war.

It takes about two minutes, actually. Simon struggles a little, but at this point he's caught and he knows it. "They're going to free me, you know. Going to let me go, once they get here and take this place out. You aren't gonna be able to stand against them!

Page surveys the zip-ties, making sure Simon's well bound with double ties at ankle and wrist - and that those are tied to the pipes themselves with doubled ties. "Oh, drek," he says, unconcerned, "you mean they have /two/ dragons? Because one dragon, man, that was tough, but I don't know if we could handle two." Then he slaps Simon upside the head. "What you've done? You're lucky if somebody doesn't just shoot you while we're not looking." That said, he leaves Simon there, in the darkness, to head over to the accountant's office.

Slide finishes his outfitting with putting on his helmet, then he comms to the others «Ready to fight, anyone got a plan?» He starts walking back toward the others, carrying a grenade launcher and with pistols strapped to his legs.

Commlink-Page> Page says, "Not so sure about the rigger, personally. Can we check to see what kind of AV weapons we've got? Or if there's an on-base rigger, that would be sweet."
Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "We need to lure them inside, it will reduce the drones maneuver area."

Page glances around outside the accountant's door breifly, making sure there's not a lot of people around, then enters the office. "Well, this has been entertaining…" he starts, closing the door behind him and locking it.

Slide heads to the front of the mine, checking out the location, the enterance, and the surrounding terrain, trying to figure out a good place to hold them off.

The accountant is just getting back, and looks up when Page arrives. "I was going to go over the books again. Lock down the computers, maybe, a little tighter. I'm not much good in a fight," Sam Yates admits, pointing to his bum leg.

Page nods to the accountant. "Completely understandable - few things I need first, though. Can you scoot over?" Provided the accountant does, in fact, move over, he slots a datastick puts in a few commands to the computer - copy over all the suspect files on the accountant, etc. Wouldn't want them vanishing in the chaos - provided that the evidence is still present, of course.

«Plot» Slide says, "How many enterances to the mine are there? PEople sized enterances"
«Plot» Slinger says, "In this area, just that one major entrance. There are others, potentially. There's an emergency escape located down past the infirmary about another 200 meters, and another one deeper in the mine — a shaft that leads out down a steep grade and out the side of the mountain. And there's the ventilation system, but that's not really a good entrance or exit. Lots of spinny fan blades."

Slide goes over the plans to the mine after asking the Major about them…

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Alright, odds are we are going to have a two or three pronged assault. Drones or vehicles in the front, and the sammys and mage will probably slip in through one of these other enterances. We need to setup some kind of watch on all the enterances."
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Yeah. Maybe we could block those ventilation shafts somehow. We need to meet with the Major to organize his people."
Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Lets meet with the major, I have another idea, we can set some charges up in the enterance and detonate them when they come in, I can do it so it wont damage the mine"

Slide takes position near the majors office, waiting on the others to meet there so they can discuss battle plans. He switches to his SUT chip, and lets it give him some advice.

The accountant will — grudgingly — scoot over, though he does watch what Page does carefully. He scowls at what Page is doing — but does nothing to stop you. Then, he gets to work, grumbling a little. Though not too severely.

Slinger meets up with Slide, and hopefully, the group heads in to meet with the Major, who is already talking to people, giving them directions. Slinger lights up a cigarette once he gets inside, which draws a scowl from the Major, but right now he has more important concerns.

Page takes the datastick, and then pauses, looking at the accountant. "You know," he says, "we found the leak, so we know you're not responsible for that. And we found some other interesting things, too, about the company." He pauses, eying the accountant thoughtfully. "The general doesn't know about what you've been up to just yet."

Slide hangs out with Slinger, waiting for Page to get done.

For just an instant, Yates looks somewhat surprised — but more than anything, actually a little hopeful. "Maybe… we could make sure he desn't know," Yates offers tentatively.

Page smiles pleasantly. "There's just one thing…" He glances back at the door again. Yep, still locked. And then back to Yates. "I need you to move some money around for me, and make sure that it can't be tracked." He shrugs with that same little smile. "You move it around for me… you keep fifty percent." He taps the datastick in his pocket. "And I'll keep this just to make sure everything stays happy. It'll be our little secret."

As soon as you mention 'just one thing', Yates's face falls. He hasn't know Haverton very long, but he is already learning a few things. "Money, huh? How much?" Yates asks, cautiously. Since that's his first question, it's clear he knows how to do it. And wants to know the details. And the potential risks.

Page pulled the figures out of the guy's brain, quirking his mouth amusedly. "I think you'll find the rewards to be well worth the chance you'll be taking. It should put you much closer to retirement - unless you want to bump up your status. I know condos in the Carribean are pricey this time of year."

Slide waits with Slinger, holding the grenade launcher in hand, getting used to the weapons feel.

The older man narrows his eyes, running the calculations, then nods firmly. "I can do it. Half, you say. Of that kind of cash, I think that's very doable. And if I do that, then the Major knows nothing of what happened, right?" he asks warily, to confirm.

"As long as you keep up your end," Page replies to the man with a light smile. "Deal?"

"Deal," Yates agrees, and sticks out his hand to seal the agreement. Rough, meaty, and strong. And from his aura, he is telling the truth.

Slide moves along with Slinger and now Page, tracking down the Major so they can discuss thier plans.
Page shakes Yates' hand, then gives him the necessary passcodes and crypto, along with the eventual destination account. (It's only a temporary account, that Page will use later to transfer the funds to somewhere more accessible. Just in case.) And then he hooks up with Slide to head over to the Major's office.

We're in the Major's office already — Slide and Slinger are. Slinger just lit a cigarette, polluting the air, when Page comes in. "Everyything good?" the youth asks, glancing over his shoulder, then smirks. "You look smug. That's never good," he observes.

Slide remains quiet, using his SUT soft to formulate battle plans as he goes over the information about the mines "Alright, we can hold the blast doors closed, and let them try to break through, it should slow them down. I'm fairly certain though some of them will come in another way, we have to cover those other enterances."

Slinger nods thoughtfully. "The ventilation system is a big vulnerability," he remarks, glancing to the others. "They could dump a toxin, neurostun, or something worse… and we'd be toast."
The Major is eyeing blueprints, which are spread out on a table. "There are three entrances. The main one, which the blast doors cover; the emergency exit from the mine, and the secondary exit near the infirmary. The second two are exit only, but somebody could blast through it."

Page considers, thoughtful. "None of this sounds really good. I hate taking the defensive… let's just toss them another signal real quick." He pulls out his pocket secretary. "Let's see, what would make them shit their pants… Exocet missiles or something? Or more like whatchamacallits, Mavericks? We'll tell them that one of the 'auditors' has a drone with those."

"How's that help us actually /get/ them?" he asks. "I mean, yeah, keeping them from attacking is good. But we're supposed to /get/ these guys, too!"

Slinger says that.
Slide shakes his head "You want to wait for them to ambush us on the road? I'm not sure thats a good idea, at least we can plan here. Just use some of those air spirits to keep the vents clear if they try to gas us."
Page replies to Slinger, "First, it lets /us/ take the initiative. Second, it gives /us/ time to plan. Third, it gives them false information." He looks at the Major. "We kinda need a decision now."

The Major scowls. "/Me/. You want me to make the decision and own it, huh? How about this. I'm supposed to answer to you, so you make the judgement call," he says with a smirk. "You figure out what needs doing, and I'll have my men implement it."

Slide looks to Slinger "Your the big bad mojo man, anything in your repitoir that can make this situation better?"

"Honestly?" Slinger asks. "Not a lot. I'm best when I'm dealing with individuals. This is gonna be vehicles and terrain and stuff like that. Totally not part of my league," he admits.
The youth takes a drag from his cigarette, thinking hard. "We're most vulnerable right here — but they won't be expecting much resistance. Other than taking the battle directly to them — and I'll bet you Simon has no idea where they are hiding — I'm not so sure we'll have a better chance other than walking right into an ambush later."

Page shrugs his shoulders. "Ok, then, let's get deployed." He looks to the Major. "How much use are your guards going to be and how soon are they going to be there?"
Slide looks to the Major "Do you have explosives handy? I can rig up some stuff to give the vehicles a bad day, without too much collatteral damage."

The Major scowls again at Slinger's smoke, but then shakes his head to Page. "I've got 'em some training. But only one of them's ever been in a real firefight. They've got some experience, but against heavily trained and equipped troops, they don't stand a chance.
"Explosives — yeah, we have lots. Dynamite, some C4. We do blasting here for new tunnels, after all. Just — remember, it'd be nice to be able to use the place when we're done. We got a shipment to get out in the next couple of days!"

Slide nods "I can take some of the C4 and basicly make some mines on the enterance road, blow up any vehicles driving over them with a remote detonator."
«OOC» Slide says, "Ok, I want to plant explosives outside the main enterance, with remote detonators so I can blow up anything coming down the road, or coming in the main door. Then I want the blast door mostly closed, enough room for me to run back inside after the demo goes off. I'll guard the front."

The Major isn't sure if the blast door /can/ be left open partway. It's sort of designed to be open or closed, not somewhere in the middle.

Slide nods "How fast does the door close? We talking real slow, or fairly fast?

The Major thinks about that. "Takes… about fifteen seconds to close completely. Which is fast, given how big it is. It's really thick metal.

Slide nods "Alright, I'll go get started on the demo charges, we leave the door open till the last minute, I retreat inside after the booms, and we shut the door."

Slinger nods. "Elementals in the air vents would keep out stuff, but not people. If they get into that system, we could be in trouble." He glances to the Major. "What about sealing those up?"
The Major looks at Slinger like the kid had just grown a second head. "What?" he demands. "No! Without that ventilation system, the lower levels have no air. That isn't something you just seal up. It's life support!"

Slide nods "Rest of you finish planning and tell me on the comm, I got explosives to plant. Where do I get the c4?"
Page settles back thoughtfully, folding his hands behind his back. and looking around at the walls and the ceiling.

The Major summons one of the miners, who can help you grab the C4, carry it, and plant it. "Make sure you aren't observed. And make sure we can clean up and still get the shipment where it goes," he snaps.

Slide goes and does the whole setup of explosives, hiding them on the road, and beside the road, along with around the enterance to the mine, he sets them up on remote detonators, so he can choose his explosions

«Plot» Slinger says, "All right. Lemme have demolitions rolls for building those explosives, and indicate on the map where you're putting 'em, Slide?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) for "Setting up Bombs!":
1 2 2 3 3 3
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) for "Setting up Bombs! KP:1":
2 2 3 4 5 17
«Plot» Slinger says, "Hrm. You could make as many as 8 at 4 kilos each."
«Plot» Slide says, "I want 4 strung across the enterance, all the way to the sides almost, then two placed on the road coming into the enterance, and one on each side of the road"

«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 1":
1 2 5 5 7 8 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 2":
1 2 4 4 5 8 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 3":
1 1 1 4 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 4":
1 1 2 3 3 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) - 1 vs TN 4 for "Planting 4 KP:2":
1 3 3 8 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 5":
1 2 3 5 9 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 6":
1 1 2 4 5 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 7":
3 3 3 4 5 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Demolitions) vs TN 4 for "Planting 8":
1 3 4 5 5 8 = 4 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "All right. They're planted. Anybody else doing anything?"

Slide works out front, placing and hiding the demolitions, making sure the signals are set right, so he can detonate them one at a time. Once he has completed his work, he moves back to the guard shack and takes up a post there to watch.

«Plot» Page says, "I'll summon up 5 watchers and tell them to STAY IN A GROUP and watch for people entering the compound and warn me anytime people show up."
«Plot» Page says, "First, I cleanse the area."

«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery:
1 1 3 5 5 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring vs TN 3 for "Force 3 watchers. 1/5":
2 3 3 13 15 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring vs TN 3 for "Force 3 watchers. 2/5":
1 4 8 11 17 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring vs TN 3 for "Force 3 watchers. 3/5":
1 1 1 3 4 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring vs TN 3 for "Force 3 watchers. 4/5":
1 3 7 9 10 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Page (#1269) rolls Conjuring vs TN 3 for "Force 3 watchers. 5/5":
1 2 3 4 5 = 3 Successes

Page summons up a few watchers and sends them out in a flotilla. /He/ knows better than to send them out one-by-one.


Part 15: Incoming!


«Plot» Slinger says, "KP has refreshed, by the way."

It's a good thing you weren't considering doing too much else. Because almost exactly twenty-four minutes after the message was sent, there is a sudden *pleep* from nearby. "Contact, contact moving in on the road, coming in hot and fast…"

In your guard booth, Slide, you can see something coming toward you, fast, on the cameras. There's a pair of vehicles, both of them appear to be heavily armored, from the look of them. Not pretty. Ugly things, moving at their top speed, most likely — which is probably about 90 m/turn. They're about 250 meters out when the cameras spot them.

Slide frowns and watches the cameras closely, then looks ahead, he has his demolitions set, and he prepares the switches to fire quickly, holding his fingers ready

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Incoming, two heavy armored vehicles, I may not be able to stop them"

Vehicle range is 150 meters. 120 meters. 100 meters…

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 8 vs TN 6:
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 8 vs TN 6:
2 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes

«Plot» Slide says, "Nope, just waiting until they run over the charges, and then hitting them. I expect the vehicles wont slow down much, so I'll be ready to blow the four at the door at the same time the vehicles hit them"

About that time, a pair of missiles arc out from above — shooting out from above the entrance to the cave. Flying a little erratically, they are aimed toward the roadway and the vehicles moving along it. And they hit — just behind the two approaching armored vehicles. The explosion is significant, but the vehicles don't seem to be severely affected.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Roll me perception, Slide."

«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Intelligence for "Vision Mag 3, low light eyelights, hearing amp, whatever":
1 3 3 5 5 5 5 10

Page glances over at the Major. "Hey," he says. "Are those armored trucks yours?"

The Major shakes his head. "Nope. And those guys got only two more missiles to use. I've got more requisitioned, but HQ has been a little slow to get me stuff. Like I said, I asked for armaments, and I got 'auditors'."

«Plot-Page» (To: Slide) Slinger says, "What the hell is that? A flicker behind you — a hint of illumination. There is something… fading into existence behind you. Elementals! Two of them — one earth, one fire, if you had to guess. And it's appearing right inside the booth with you!"

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Elementals!"

Slide grabs the detonators and starts sprinting from the booth toward the blast door.

«Plot» Slide says, "Ohh, as I'm running I'm switching on my Pentjack chip"
«Plot» Slinger says, "All right. You got 25 meters to cover. Roll init to find out how many actions you have."

«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Initiative with a result of 10.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Your 7 quickness is 21 meters this turn. Won't get you there imediately."

«Plot» Slide says, "Can I make an int check to figure at the current speed when they would be close to my charges?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Slide (#3162) rolls Intelligence for "Trying to guess on the first charge":
1 2 2 3 3 5 5 9

«Plot-Page» (To: Slide) Slinger says, "You're figuring that you're looking at, probably, 5 or 6 seconds at the present rate of speed before they're right over it, given they'll have to slow down."
«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "Your Watchers come back to you and go, "Boss! Boss! Somebody's coming!" This was last turn, so you have a full turn of actions this time."

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Close the blast door!"

Commlink-Page> Page says, "Right, Slinger, take care of the elementals, would you? You've got the spells."
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "On it."

The Major gives the order, and the massive doors start to swing closed…

Behind Slide, the elementals fully materialze — and it is only a second before the guard shack explodes outward from the force of the elemental inside wrecking it. Flames shoot up as the fire elemental begins to torch what's left of it. Not a good place to be right now.
Slinger leans around, concentrating, maneuvering to get a good look at the elementals..>

«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls Centering + 3 (centering focus) vs TN 2 for "Centering against penalties.":
1 1 3 4 4 4 5 5 7 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls 2 vs TN 2 for "KP 1/34.":
3 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Slinger (#669) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 6 for "Stunball, targetting at D damage, centered well behind Slide.":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 9 10 11 14 19 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) - 5 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Stunball, targetting at D damage, centered well behind Slide. KP 2/34.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 8 10 11 11 15 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) - 10 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Stunball, targetting at D damage, centered well behind Slide. KP 4/34.":
1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "F6, -1(DL+1), 4D drain.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 - 2 (succs) vs TN 4 for "F6, -1(DL+1), 4D drain. KP 5/34.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 2 4 10 10 = 3 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "TD eats one of that M. Other two boxes are handled by DC's."

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 14 vs TN 6 for "Spell defense, Mage…":
1 1 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 7 10 10 11 11 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 14 - 5 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Spell defense, Mage… KP 1":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 9 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 14 - 7 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Spell defense, Mage… KP 3":
1 3 3 5 5 9 19 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 vs TN 6 for "Spirit 1 spell defense.":
3 4 4 5 7 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 vs TN 6 for "Spirit 2 spell defense.":
3 4 4 5 9 9 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "Negated."

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Damn. Fraggin' powerful!"

Page brings up his elementals. ~How many opposing elementals we got?~ he asks on the comm, thinking to himself.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Two so far, looks like."

«Plot» Slinger says, "Page was AFK. he's sending his two elementals out toward those two."

The elementals make short work of the shack, and then they are heading right for Slide — and for the closing blast door! They're moving — well, the Earth elemental definitely is, as it uses its Movement power on itself. The fire elemental is lagging behind. Except, just when it looks like the earth elemental might catch up to Slide, it recoils as if struck…

«Plot» Slinger says, "In the interests of time, I'm going to simply rule that the two elementals win, and two of Page's elementals take L."
«Plot» Slide says, "I want to run past the blast doors, turn, and look at the oncoming trucks, so I can use the demo"

Even as Slide turns and watches, the two elementals disintegrate before his eyes. The fire elemental goes first, erupting in a shower of sparks that disintegrate and go out. The earth elemental explodes in a shower of rocks.

Slide runs bast the blast doors and then screeches to a halt, turning and bringing up the detonators, ready to set off the charges when the vehicles run over his bombs.

The vehicles still aren't there yet. The good news, though, is that when they arrive, they'll have next to no chance to actually see the bombs.

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "These doors are closing, I need someones eyes in case it closes before the trucks get here"

Slinger stares out along the roadway, just waiting for those bombs to go off. He has something planned, it would seem. The sound of the vehicles is getting closer, closer.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 + 4 vs TN 6:
2 3 3 3 3 5 10 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 + 4 vs TN 6:
2 2 2 3 7 9 9 9 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 7 vs TN 4 for "Dodging…":
1 1 1 2 3 3 4 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 7 - 1 vs TN 4 for "Dodging… KP 1":
1 1 1 1 7 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) vs TN 8:
2 3 4 5 16 = 1 Success

Another pair of missiles streak out from above the complex, before the two shooters start scrambling downward, to try to get inside before the blast doors close. The missiles arc toward their targets. The first vehicle dodges out of the way of the one aimed at it, but the second one takes the hit directly — and through virtue of its armor, manages to survive, though it does slow it down a bit.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Doing anything else, Slide? You have one more action before the vehicles hit your bombs…"

Page projects into the astral realm (so much for radios) and zips over to the main passageway. He takes one look out at the vehicles, drops spell defense on the elementals, and drags them back behind the corner out of line of sight.

And with that, the vehicles suddenly draw into view, at the end of the driveway, having slowed down significantly to make the turn in at least a vaguely safe fashion. More to the point, without plowing into the face of the rock wall. And the first vehicle crosses right over the first bomb…

Slide stands, staring out the enterance, watching the doors close in front of him, and waiting, fingers held over the detonators…
Slide flips the switch

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (vehicle body) + Control Pool: 7 vs TN 2 for "Absorbing damage… need 10 successes to take none.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 11 22 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (vehicle body) + Control Pool: 7 vs TN 2 for "Absorbing damage… need 10 successes to take none.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 7 7 9 = 10 Successes

Even with that massive explosion that thunders through the clearing, the vehicle manages to recover, though it does slow down quite a bit. The vehicle behind it also slows drastically, nearly colliding with the first.

Even slowing down, though, the first vehicle is still moving, turning to where it is near number four… and heading right for five and six…

Slide frowns, then readies the next switch, hoping he will get lucky with at least one of these…
Slide flips number 5.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) + Control Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "KABOOM!":
1 1 2 2 3 3 9 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) - 5 (succs) + Control Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "KABOOM! KP 2":
3 9 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "Negates your 3, stages down 2 levels. Takes L."

Slide grimaces as the trucks dont slow down a lick, he looks side to side impatiently, waiting for the doors to close.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 4 for "Shape Earth… making ourselves a wall…":
1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 = 11 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "F6, +2M, 5M drain.":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 11 11 13 = 8 Successes

Just as the vehicle manages to blow through the bombs that were set for it, Slinger concentrates for a moment — and just in front of the guard tower, the (rather loose) stone of the ground lifts upward a good six meters into the air, forming a barricade that teeters precariously, erupting directly in front of the lead vehicle, which has to slam on the brakes rapidly…

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (car skill) vs TN 5 for "Accel 6, Off-road handling 5. Braking test from 25 m/turn…":
1 2 5 11 22 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (car skill) - 3 (succs) vs TN 5 for "Accel 6, Off-road handling 5. Braking test from 25 m/turn… KP 3":
2 5 = 1 Success

«OOC» Slinger says, "That's four successes. At Accel 6, means he hits the barrier at one meter per turn. For the second vehicle…"
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (pilot rating) vs TN 5 for "Braking from 25 m/turn…":
1 2 11 = 1 Success

«OOC» Slinger says, "It doesn't get KP. So the second vehicle ass-ends the first at 19 m/turn."

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) vs TN 2 for "Resisting 2L, vehicle 1.":
1 3 4 5 9 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) vs TN 2 for "Resisting 2L, vehicle 2.":
1 3 5 11 17 = 4 Successes

Slide tosses the detonators aside, they are useless now, he grabs the grenade launcher that was slung over his back and pulls it around, ready for when someone gets out of the damn trucks.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 4 for "Another wall…":
2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 8 8 8 9 11 = 13 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "F6, +2M, 5M.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 7 = 3 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "TD eats that point."

Another walls springs up, next to the first, cutting off even more of the escape route.

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "We taking them now? I can still get outside before the doors close"
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Take 'em down now! I'm heading for the door, too!"
Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Page, give us some cover!"

Slide runs onto the other side of the door then takes cover behind the earthen walls that are rising, he turns on his hearing, listening for the sounds of people getting outside.

Slinger rockets toward the doors, invisible, looking for targets.
And that's when Slinger suddenly seems to stop. "Frag! They're goin' after my foci!"

«Plot» Slinger says, "Slide — you can't see the trucks. There is a wall of stone in the way."
«Plot» Slinger says, "32 for these."
«Plot» Slide says, "So the only way I can see the trucks is to climb over the wall?"
«Plot» Slinger says, "Or to outside and to the right until you can see it, yeah."
«Plot» Slide says, "Moving outside to the right, using the end of the wall as cover"

Slide moves along the earthen wall, to the far right and leaning around the corner of the wall to watch the trucks.

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "In fact, yeah, you can see them. Two elementals that just rocketed in through the doors, and they've gathered around Slinger — who while not projecting, still does have his foci active. And those make good targets for elementals to beat on."
«Plot» Page sends his four elementals in after Slinger's foci-attackers. "Spell defense still on 'em."

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 1 for "+26 for the enemy air elems.":
8

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls 1 for "They're all F6's":
11
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 2 for "I think? FIMM 2":
1 1 4 4 5 5 7 8 10 10 10 15 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 2 for "I think? FIMM 2, Elemental 2":
1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 15 = 11 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 2 for "I think? FIMM 2, Elemental 3":
1 2 2 4 5 5 5 5 5 7 8 13 = 11 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 2 for "I think? FIMM 2, Elemental 4":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 6 for "FIMM SUCKS! Opposing Elem 1.":
1 1 1 1 2 2 3 5 5 10 11 17 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 - 3 (succs) vs TN 6 for "FIMM SUCKS! Opposing Elem 1. KP 1":
1 1 2 2 3 3 5 7 21 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 - 5 (succs) vs TN 6 for "FIMM SUCKS! Opposing Elem 1. KP 3":
1 1 2 4 4 9 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 - 7 (succs) vs TN 6 for "FIMM SUCKS! Opposing Elem 1. KP 6":
1 2 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 6 for "Trying not to go poof…6S damage.":
1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 = 0 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "It takes S."
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 vs TN 9 for "4, FIMM +2, +3 wounds…":
1 2 2 3 3 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 vs TN 9 for "Resisting 9D damage.":
1 2 4 5 9 11 = 2 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "It takes another S and dissipates."
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 6 for "FIMM is bad.":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 9 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 - 2 (succs) vs TN 6 for "FIMM is bad. KP 1":
1 1 1 4 4 5 5 5 5 11 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 - 3 (succs) vs TN 6 for "FIMM is bad. KP 3":
1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 + Combat Pool: 6 - 6 (succs) vs TN 6 for "FIMM is bad. KP 6":
1 2 4 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 vs TN 7 for "Resisting 7D damage…":
1 2 2 4 5 7 = 1 Success

«Plot» Slinger says, "Second ones goes poof. Pose it. Slide, you're in position with the grenade launcher…"

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 (sorcery) + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 2 (power focus) vs TN 10 for "Targeting Slide, who is now visible with +4 partial cover…":
1 1 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 7 15 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 (sorcery) + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 2 (power focus) - 1 (succs) vs TN 10 for "Targeting Slide, who is now visible with +4 partial cover… KP 4":
1 1 1 1 2 3 5 5 5 7 8 10 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 (sorcery) + Sorcery Pool: 6 + 2 (power focus) - 3 (succs) vs TN 10 for "Targeting Slide, who is now visible with +4 partial cover… KP 6":
1 1 1 2 3 3 5 5 5 7 15 = 1 Success

Page sees the elementals going after Slinger and cusses - just breifly - before ordering his own elementals out after them, ready himself to see if the mage is drawn out that way.

«Plot» Slinger says, "Slide, you have 4 successes coming at you. Page — wanna do Spell Defense?"
«Plot» Slinger says, "This is manabolt, F6."

«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + 5 (ally) vs TN 6 for "Spell Defense on Slide":
1 2 2 3 4 5 5 5 7 13 20 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Page (#1269) rolls Sorcery + 5 (ally) - 3 vs TN 6 for "Spell Defense on Slide KP 1":
1 3 3 4 4 4 5 7 = 1 Success

«Plot» Slinger says, "Negated."

Slide shivers as a wave of cold sweeps over him, his head gets light for a second, his vision blurred, then its gone as quick as it started. He looks around at the trucks, trying to see if any doors are open or people are out.

No, the doors are still closed for the moment…

Once Page sees all the elementals are down, he gives a little nod, dragging the elementals back to his hiding spot, contemplative as he reviews options.

Slinger arcs overhead, floating in midair. The guy is fast running out of elementals, and then concentrates on the first car. « Second car isn't warded! »

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 6 for "Targetting the ward… Stunbolt, F6.":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 7 10 10 11 11 17 19 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) - 7 (power focus) vs TN 6 for "Targetting the ward… Stunbolt, F6. KP 4/34.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) - 8 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Targetting the ward… Stunbolt, F6. KP 6/34.":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) - 9 (succs) vs TN 6 for "Targetting the ward… Stunbolt, F6. KP 9/34.":
2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 13 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 (ward) vs TN 6 for "Ward is going to have trouble resisting this…":
1 3 3 5 7 11 = 2 Successes

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "Ward's down!"

Slide lays down on his side at the corner of the earthen wall, the grenade launcher laying against the ground. As soon as she sees feet…..boom.

Page gestures to one of the watchers, relaying some astral instructions to it. "Go in the first car there and tell them that this is their first chance to surrender."

The watcher salutes, and zips off to obey. And… well, it doesn't come back.

Commlink-Slinger> Slinger says, "What are you waiting for? Shoot the damned thing!"
Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "Shoot what, these grenades wont toast an armored car, I'm fairly sure…ahh hell…"

«Plot» Slide says, "Range should be short, 4, -2 SL, +2 Called Shot. TN 4?"
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons Soft) vs TN 4 for "Lets see what these can do":
1 2 3 4 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons Soft) - 3 vs TN 4 for "Lets see what these can do KP:3":
1 2 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons Soft) - 3 vs TN 4 for "Lets see what these can do KP:5":
1 3 4 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 1 for "Scatter":
5
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 1 for "Direction? 1 = straight ahead.":
3

«Plot» Slinger says, "Okay. That drops it down to 9M, basically. Which I believe is below the vehicle's armor."

«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons Soft) vs TN 6 for "Shooting target two":
1 1 1 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons Soft) vs TN 6 for "Shooting target two KP:6":
1 1 2 2 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons Soft) vs TN 6 for "Shooting target two KP:8":
1 4 4 11 11 17 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 for "Scatter distance on the first. -16 meters due to successes.":
1 2 7
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (car) + Control Pool: 5 vs TN 2 for "Resisting 2D damage…":
1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 = 9 Successes

«OOC» Slinger says, "9 successes minus your 4 gives 5 successes in his favor. It stages down to nothing."
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 for "Scatter, minus 12 meters.":
1 2 3
«OOC» Slinger says, "Second one also hits."
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (pilot on second vehicle) vs TN 2 for "This one isn't so lucky…":
2 3 3 = 3 Successes

«Plot» Slinger says, "3 successes, means that vehicle takes M damage from the grenade going off underneath it."

Slide takes aim under the first vehicle, thwomp, the grenade goes out and explodes, shaking the vehicle, and spreading fire all around, he adjusts his aim, thwomp, the grenade fires at the second vehicle, going off directly underneath it, this vehicle shakes more, and catches fire.

Page watches this thoughtfully, waiting for some kind of reaction from the vehicles. After all, they're stopped, and have only had a couple seconds to react.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (pilot rating) vs TN 8 for "Trying to back up…":
1 1 3 = 0 Successes

Yeah, the willy pete has torn it. The rear vehicle is trying to back up, unsuccessfully, its wheels struggling for purchase against the (now burning) ground. The fact that the tires are on fire is not helping matters. And the front vehicle is sandwiched in between the wall and the second vehicle.

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) vs TN 4 for "Shape Earth, F6.":
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 10 10 11 = 8 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 7 + 7 (power focus) - 6 (succs) vs TN 4 for "Shape Earth, F6. KP 11/34.":
1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 8 13 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "F6, +2M, 5M drain.":
1 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 8 8 = 7 Successes

The fact things are going badly for the second vehicle, which is spinning its wheels rapidly, gives Slinger an opportunity for his next action. Specifically, he shapes the earth behind the thing, creating a second wall that sprouts up out of the ground, trapping the two vehicles together, and giving neither of them anywhere to go. With a lot of time and maneuvering, they could be extricated, but right now, that's not going to happen. And the fire is definitely still surrounding both vehicles.

Page nods slightly after a moment and instructs one of his other watchers. "Go tell the people in the second car that this is their /second/ chance to surrender."

Watcher spirit salutes. "Yes, boss!"

«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 10 (Scanner R10):
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 10

You're picking up static on the scanner. But it's a /burst/ of static. It sounds like an encrypted transmission.

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "They are calling for help…"

«Plot» Slide says, "Called shot, first car, drivers window"
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons) vs TN 4 for "Range Short 4, -2 SL, +2 Called Shot….Shot 1":
1 1 2 3 3 4 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons) - 1 vs TN 4 for "Range Short 4, -2 SL, +2 Called Shot….Shot 1 KP:9":
1 2 3 4 7 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons) vs TN 4 for "Range Short 4, -2 SL, +2 Called Shot….Shot 2":
1 1 3 4 4 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge» Slide (#3162) rolls 6 (Launch Weapons) - 3 vs TN 4 for "Range Short 4, -2 SL, +2 Called Shot….Shot 2 KP:10":
1 1 17 = 1 Success

«OOC» Slide says, "3 and 4 successes"

«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 for "3D6, -12 from succs.":
5 5 8
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 for "3D6, -16 from succs.":
3 3 3
«Auto-Judge» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "2M, 4 succs…":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 = 6 Successes

«OOC» Slinger says, "Vehicle takes L."

Over the comms, there is a bit more static. Some more chatter. And then, on a new frequency, you are picking something up. A broadcast. And this one is in cleartext. "All right! We surrender! We're invoking treaty protection! Just get us /out/ of here!"

«Plot-Page» (To: Page) Slinger says, "There /is/ a mage inside the vehicle. With a Force 2 power focus…"

Slide fires twice, hitting the van with the second shot, and spreading more chaos and fire around the area. He listens to the comm chatter, and frowns slightly, hrm, this Slinger guy doesnt like to kill…..but….some cyberware is deep enough to survive burns….lots of money to make….ehhh, loss of future jobs with Slinger and Page, hrm, they pay well……

Slide lets the truck burn for a few seconds then comms

Commlink-Tex> Slide says, "They surrender."

Slinger will astrally perceive, and calls to Page, "They're surrendering!"

Slide switches his com freq to match the channel "Alright, the fire will die out in a moment, throw your weapons out first, then get out. I wont hesitate to burn you to a crisp if you try anything."

The trucks frankly can tolerate the fire, though it's probably getting /very/ uncomfortable inside them right about now. Their armor is protecting them from the white phosphorus, but just barely. Enough that by the time it finishes burning, the flames dying down, the vehicles do not look good. And slowly, the windows roll down, and weapons are tossed outside. The mage isn't tossing his power focus, just yet. There's quite an assortment — SMGs, pistols, assault rifles. Quite a pile of them end up outside, on the hot ground. And smoke rolls out of the interior of the vehicles, comically, to the sound of coughing from inside.

Slide pushes the slung grenade launcher behind his back, switching his chips to pistols and drawing his heavies with AV ammo.

The AV ammo in the pistols is potentially pretty dangerous to the vehicles. But slowly, the guys inside both vehicles start to get out. They're dressed in fatigues, all of them. The guy with the datajack in his head is probably the rigger, and he clings to his RCD as he gets out of the vehicle, looking scared and posssessive at the same time.
None of these guys looks happy. More like, stunned by the sudden resistance they encountered, with no idea what they were running into. Their last information from their contact said it was clear — to hit hard and fast. And within about ten seconds everything went to hell.

Page hmms… he guesses they're surrendering. He flits back to his body real quick to get back to his radio and confirm that this is indeed the case. And check in with the Major. General. Whatever. He never did like ranks.
Slide gestures with the pistol at the rigger "Drop the deck. Spoils of war."

The mage is the last one out of the vehicles, which are too hot to touch. The doors are left open — too hot to actually close — and by the time you are finished, nine people have moved away from the vehicles, hands above their heads. They know the drill.
About this time, soldiers are running out of the mining compound.

Commlink-HQ> Major Barrett says, "Yeah, we heard it. Sending my guys out as soon as it looks secure."

Slide stands guard over the prisoners until the mine security shows up, at that point, he holsters his pistols and looks around. "We done here?" he asks over the Comm

The people are taken into custody according to strict protocols, including captured gear, which is taken by the soldiers, catalogued, as they are taken into custody. There are rules for captured soldiers, and that's what these guys are claiming to be. Which itself will raise some interesting questions, once this becomes official. Something that seems to make Major Barrett very pleased at the moment.
Afterward, he'll have a meeting in his office with you. "I admit. I didn't think it would work out," he admits. "But I was impressed. I'll give a very favorable report back to the general.
"By the way," he says, with his eyes narrowed. "Grenwich was found beaten into a bloody pulp," he comments casually. "He's alive, but unconscious and in custody. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

Barrett narrows his eyes, but manages a bit of a smirk, at the row of innocent faces. "Huh. Figured not." He drops back into his chair. "My men should be able to handle it from here. They won't dare try anything again after /this/ mess, getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar like this. It'll all get handled diplomatically, but it'll cost them. So. Go on. Get out of here," he says, waving a hand. Dismissing the group. This lasts until they get out to the SUV, and drive away, back to the pickup point, after having radioed for extraction, mission accomplished.

Page tries real hard not to look smug. But about halfway back to Denver he mentions to the rest about alllll the money they just stole.

"Money?" Slinger asks, his ears perking up, as he glances over his shoulder. "How much money?" the youth asks, inhaling hard on his cigarette as he drives the SUV. It didn't take too much effort for him to repair the damage to the driveway, not with his spells. The guard shack, though — they'll need a new one of those.

Slide raises a hand "I need a new pocsec and cellphone, probably should throw me in an extra twent grand to cover that." he chuckles

Slinger smirks. "Those don't cost that much," he points out. "We all used up some gear on this job. Elementals cost money, too. And so do services from them." The youth grins, leaning back in his seat. "So how much, Page?" he wants to know.
Page runs the final transfer, moving all the funds into an account fully under his control, closing the last link in the deal. "Looks like… a hundred fourty large." He glances around. "How many ways we splitting that?"

Slinger glances over at the sleeping Serel, who ended up missing out on most of the fight due to getting knocked out in a scuffle with one of the miners. "I'm already paying her and Johnny, myself. Three ways," he says, firmly. Then, he lights up a cigarette, grinning. "You know, I actually figured you wouldn't have told any of us about that money, Page," he remarks, dryly. "I'm really surprised."

Slide remains quiet, simply suprised at the fact the mage did indeed steal money and then tell people about it, he wouldnt.

Page replies drily, "Maybe you're rubbing off on me." He brushes disdainfully at a sleeve. "Ew. Do-gooder cooties."

Slinger smirks. "Yeah, well. Sometimes being loyal and, you know, honesty sometimes comes around. Thanks, mano. I appreciate it."
The rest of the ride is quieter, once we're on board the transport, and everybody can get some needed rest on the trip back to Denver itself.

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