Greed
GM: Prudence
Players: Janie, Pyre, Deborah
Synopsis:Greed is one of the deadliest sins. The opportunistic greed of a ganger might be enough to bring down the wrath of four deadly shadowrunners on their head. Mina hires four people to go and retrieve her stolen shoes. They have to contend with the trials and pitfalls of the Warzone (gang warfare, land mines, dead bodies and barbed wire), and then with the Stray Dogs themselves. But a few sensible words go a long way, and in the end, an amicable agreement is made for all.

Date: 1st May 2070


Sometimes, Runners are called in to do serious, dirty business. Sometimes they have to risk life and limb crashing up against the biggest and the baddest in the world. They have to face everything from deadly ninja to magical threats that will rip off a man's face as soon as look at him. But sometimes, they don't.

Sometimes, for instance, they are called in to send a message.

The Black Hearts rule the roost when it comes to getting safely into and out of the Warzone, that area of the Warrens which is even more full of violence and death than the other areas. And it is that gang which has asked for assistance. The meet is due to take place right at the edge of the Warzone, in an abandoned shell that must, once, have been a building. There's six people waiting for the Runners to turn up, in gang uniform. All of them are wearing a variety of different gear. Notably, however, one of them… is not wearing any shoes. A young woman in her mid-twenties, who is sitting down so as not to further damage her feet. She does not look amused.

«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Gang identification (to Prudence) for "How much do I know about the Blackhearts? Specialties, membership size, who they're at war
with, etc…":
1 1 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Gang identification (to Prudence) for "How much do I know about the Blackhearts? Specialties, membership size, who they're at war
with, etc… (KP 1)":
1 1 3
Janie pages: Argh. Not much luck with the dice today. :/
You paged Janie with 'Not a whole heck of a lot, apparently! … Meh, *everyone* who knows anything knows they handle getting into and out of the Warzone safely. You don't know specifics of who they are at war with or how big they are, though.'.

Janie has been spending too much time researching the distant past lately and not enough keeping up with current events, and it shows. Still, from what little she recalls the Blackhearts aren't quite as bad as some of the other gangs around this place, and it can't hurt to at least show up and see what they have to ask of her.

Young Pyre on the other hand, does remember these people from her days as a ganger way back when, that and she's desperate for cash, but none the less she shows up to see what the deal is. Wearing a great coat that currently is closed covering everything besides a pair of dark red gloves and dark red boots. The grat coat has drak red highlights to it. She's got her ginger red hair falling in straight lines around her shoulders.

«Plot» Janie says, "Incidentally, as this is the /Warrens/ we're talking about, Janie comes loaded for bear - guns holstered but ready, Gel rounds in the loaded clips, two spare clips of APDS, and her sustaining focus activated with the Enhance Aim spell loaded into it."

It is odd that the rider on the Black racing bike lacks a helmet. But not as odd as the fact that she rides the thing up to the door of the husk of a building, and then /walks it inside/. Or maybe that's the smart thing to do in this part of town. Once it's inside and turned to face the entrance, the woman who rode in on it turns to see the gangers who called the meeting. Her dark red hair (actual red, not the firey orange that many people associate with it) sways and bounces as she turns, as do the coat tails of her great coat. From a pocket she produces a stick of gum that she pops into her mouth. After a minute or so, she walks to the gangers, blowing a bubble with the lime-green gum. *POP* goes the gum… click click go her shoes. Once she's over near the gangers, she grins. "Hear you got work to be done?" she says, the question really more of a statement, but only just.

Prudence herself turns up after a few moments, the sharp-eyed might notice some bulges underneath the heavy, long coat she's wearing, which indicates some weaponry under there. The big heavy boots she's wearing, and just her whole bearing, though, screams 'Ganger' more than 'Runner'. But hey, everyone needs to start somewhere, and there's no immediately obvious gang signs on her clothing.

When all four are in the room, the woman without shoes looks up at them. "Yeah, got work." She replies to Deborah. "Some slitch thought it'd be real funny to steal my shoes after they knocked me out. Now. I'm real glad they didn't just cut my throat, but turns out it was some punk kid. So. I don't want to run a rampage through the Warzone an' start some friggin' turf war over my shoes. But. I want my shoes back. So. You lot are neutral. I know it's *got* to be easy as drek for people like you. So. You go get my shoes back, an' I'll toss you some cred for your trouble."

«Plot» Deborah is similarly decked out… Machine Pistols in the holsters currently loaded with Gel, with two backup clips of Gel and 4 backup clips of Ex Ex rounds in pockets. And… Pistols, Clubs.Pistols, Athletics, and Stealth chips active.
«Plot» Pyre says, "just has a morrisey elite in a conceable holster….."

Janie has heard strange requests over her career, but hiring four hitters to get your shoes back certainly ranks high. "… Pretty expensive shoes ye'll be gettin'," she points out. "I take it th'punk kid's affiliated with another gang?"

Pyre remains quiet, with hands clasped infront of her body, for the moment she has nothing to say, to add, or to ask. She'll just wait and see where this goes, cred is cred.

Deborah tries to keep a strait face. Really, she does. She does manage to keep from laughing, but her mouth does turn it's corners up into a little smirk. "Shoes," she begins, but quiets down when Janie speaks up, and takes that as a sign that she really ought not be the one talking. So instead, she goes back to chewing her lime green gum. Noisily. Chomp chomp hissss… *POP*

"It's not about the shoes." The woman says, apparently deadly serious. "It's about the respect. You don't frag with me an' get away with it. Sure. The shoes only cost a thousand." Wow those are some pretty damned expensive shoes. "But if I go after her, I have to kill her. I don't particularly want to do that." She nods her head to Janie, "Stray Dog that she is, not only would I be killin' some twelve year old little brat, they'd start harassin' the rest of us. We'd then 'ave to start killin' more of theirs. Before you know it, we ain't just got the usual bodies, we're drownin' in little kids too."

Prudence, for her part, doesn't seem too amused. But, she can understand what it means to want to look after your shoes. They are like. Your shoes. You know? It's not just a matter of needing footwear, it's a status symbol. Especially expensive duds like that.

Pyre sighs, "May I ask how much we will be getting paid to retrive your shoes?" pyre asks. "Oh, and I assure you, if we four show up..someone will get hurt. It may not be our fault, they may just start shoointg. I only want to know what you wish us to do in that situation" she adds.

Janie nods. "Where's she holed up?" she asks simply.

Deborah blinks at the price tag of the shoes. Not something you'd expect for someone this deep in the Warrens. She even stops the chewing for a second in wait for the ganger to answer the questions, watching with her head tilted a bit to the side, inquizitively.

Janie nods again. "Word gets out that a bunch o'runners killed a street kid after she stole one o'th'Blackhearts' members' shoes, they'll make th'obvious connection regardless o'whether we're officially affiliates," she points out. "But I think we c'n take care o'this without things goin' that far. Do ye know where her usual roamin' grounds are?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Gang Turf (to no one):
1 2 3 4 9

Deborah shrugs. "Five-kay sounds good enough for me," she begins. But. There's always a but. Or, in this case, a conditional; "At least, as long as you can point us where they're at?"

Pyre justt sighs, five kay for runners? You've gota be joking. She just shakes her head and returns to being silent. Though, what sorta fire mage would she be if the anger wasn't showing?

"Maybe, but maybe not. Hopefully they'll get the message and lay off, but if they hit us back, then we won't be so restrained." The ganger replies, and then nods. "I know that they are moving around the central area, but they are nomadic. They tend to roam." A smirk, and then, "The roads are pretty much impassible as you get further into the 'zone. So I'll watch that bike of yours too, if you like. Make sure nothing bad happens to it."

Prudence works a little kink out of her shoulder, "Actually, I reckon I know where they'll be, specifically." She says. "We'll need to head through Smoke territory to get there, but I heard they've been holing up in a mostly-undamaged apartment complex. Lots of hidey holes for their usual drek."

Janie nods. "Which means we'll have t'sneak or negotiate our way past th'Smoke. Should be doable."

"Obliged," Deborah says to the Ganger, and almost visibly winces at the less-than-subtle threat made by Pyre. She forces a sheepish grin on her face, and shrugs at any glaring looks that might be given. "Look forward to gettingyou your shoes back!" she says cheerfully, before following the hothead (god, I hate puns) outside.

The threat gets a cold glare. "Yeah. Sure." The ganger mutters in response, and then Prudence nods her head. "Don't worry about it, Mina. I'm sure we'll sort it for ya."

As she's leaving the meeting, however, she reaches around her back, and pulls out a rather… less-than-subtle weapon. A gold-plated shotgun with ~Justice~ engraved down the side. "You might wanna get any weapons you need ready." She explains, "They'll take it as a sign of weakness if you don't."

Janie tries hard not to roll her eyes at Pyre's attempt at playing the tough, cold trid-show 'runner, but nods at the ganger and turns to leave as well.

Once outside, she looks the others over. "Does everyone have comms?" she asks.

Pyre shakes her head no at Janie's comms question. Though she opens her great coat now and readies her Elite, before slinging it back in it's holster.

Deborah is halfway out the door before she pauses, and walks back over to her bike. She pops the seat up, and rummages about, pulling out a few things and placing them in pockets or clipping them onto her belt. After a short ritual of this, she pushes the seat of the bike back down. /Then/ she steps outside. She answers Janie's question by slipping an earpiece onto her left ear with a small boom microphone. "Pretty decent one," she says. "It's not a fancy milspec piece of gear, but it works. Mine's got enough processing power for 4 sets of 'crypto keys."

Prudence actually looks a little embarrassed, as she readies her shotgun. "'fraid not." She says, with a helpless little shrug. "I'm livin' in a box at the moment. Saving up for a decent one myself. So I guess we stay in shouting distance. Which is probably a good idea anyway. You really don't want to get caught on your own around here. It might be Smoke territory and Dog territory now, but… you never know when everything is going to explode again."

Janie nods at Prudence even as she fits her own comm earbud and subvocal mic into place at her ear and throat. "Fair enough. Ye said ye knew whereabouts t'go? I'd prefer stealth over negotiatin' if we c'n manage it."

Pyre titls her head, "Are we just walking" she asks.

Deborah looks to the others and nods, bubblegumming. *POP*. "I haven't really done much of… any work, this deep into the 'Rens, so I'll leave those decisions to you," she says to Prudence, who appears to have the best tactical knowledge for the moment. As she says this, she slips out one Machine Pistol from it's holster to check it, and then the other. Once satisfied that they are ready to go, she looks again to the rest of the group.

"This ain't Downtown, girly." Prudence says, as she starts walking off down the road. Even here, on the outskirts of the warzone proper, the ground is ripped and torn, all the buildings in various states of disrepair and slow collapse. "Unless you can wiggle your fingers and help us fly, we're walking. And I wouldn't recommend it if you can. They like target practice 'round here."

She flashes a grin to Janie, then. "Yup. That was my thought, too." She says, as she unloads red-bottomed shells and tucks them into a pocket, to replace them with blue-bottomed shells. "If we're lucky, we should be able to get through easy enough. As far as I know, Smoke haven't got any allies in the Sinners or the Dogs, so unless you guys have pissed them off particularly, even if we're spotted, they might decide we're not worth the hassle if we look scary enough. Best if they don't see us at all, of course."

«Auto-Judge[]» Pyre (#7348) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 4 vs TN 6 for "Lets try this again, force 4 imp invis":
1 2 2 2 3 3 5 5 8 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Pyre (#7348) rolls Willpower vs TN 5 for "Force 4/2+2BG=TN5, soaking 5M Drain":
2 2 3 4 5 5 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Pyre says, "wow my math is off"
«OOC» Prudence nods, "Tn 4, but." :P
«OOC» Pyre will just take the L drain and shrug it off
«OOC» Prudence nods. "You'll have at least 10 minutes before anything happens, so it is irrelevant."
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Do I see through the illusion?":
2 4 4 5 9 11 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Deborah (#2112) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Invisible? WHERE?":
1 1 3 5 9 16 = 3 Successes
Pyre recits a slight smal lencant in latin, and atempts to vanish, though it's rather hard and she just lets the spell drop anyway. "Damn background noise…" she says. "Oh well, I'll try harder later" she says rubbing her forehead.
"If ye'll allow me, I've got a better solution…" Janie offers as she slows her breathing and centers herself, focusing through the ever-present miasma of violence and death that pervades the Warrens.

«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Centering vs TN 2 for "Centering against TN penalties, dealing with the BGcount. Summoning a F5 city spirit, TN for the centering
test is 7 - my init grade.":
1 2 3 3 4 8 = 5 Successes
«OOC» Janie says, "TN penalty eliminated for the duration of the summoning."
«OOC» Prudence nods.
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Conjuring + 2 (Athena) vs TN 5 for "F5 city spirit, coming up.":
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 7 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Charisma + 2 (Athena) vs TN 5 for "Soaking M drain.":
1 1 1 2 3 4 5 10 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Charisma + 2 (Athena) - 3 vs TN 5 for "Soaking M drain. (KP 2)":
1 1 2 4 5 10 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Janie says, "Three services from a Force 5 city spirit. Janie takes no Drain."
«Plot» Prudence says, "Yup. I presume the first service is 'use concealment on the group'? :P"

Deborah raises an eyebrow, not really seeing what the Pyro-gurl was talking about. Not that there wasn't a feeling of.. something in the air. But whatever it was supposed to cause didn't work on her. She just grins a bit… but stays quiet.

Janie stands still, head bowed slightly with her arms pointing downward and away from her body while a grey owl suddenly settles on her shoulder. For a few seconds, nothing seems to happen, but then an invisible breeze seems to pick up, sending fragments of debris and rubble dancing around her.

«Plot» Janie nods. +5 to any and all TNs involving attempts to detect or track us.

Prudence looks a little bit sympathetic towards Pyre. "Don't worry about it." She says, "Even I feel a bit uncomfortable around here sometimes. And I don't know the first fraggin' thing about what you weirdo zappy types are doin'." That said, her nerves aren't exactly helped by Janie's magical display, and, almost unconsciously, she readies her gun with a *cha-chak*.

"Jus' keep your head down and your wits about you and we'll be alright. It's probably about a forty minute hike from here."

«Plot» Prudence says, "Rightio. When we last left our intrepid Shadowrunners, they were preparing to make their way through the territory of the infamous Crimson Smoke gang, in order to reach the current hideout of the rather less infamous Stray Dogs, in the hopes that they can retrieve some stolen shoes, and thus prevent the start of a gang war over footwear (or the slight on respect that it represents). To help with this, Janie had summoned a City Spirit, to help the sneaky passage. So! Everyone give me a Stealth roll, and then pose in following through decrepit, broken ground. The sound of gunfire in the distance is oppressive, and there's a
constant, lurking sense of danger."
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Stealth:
1 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Pyre (#7348) rolls Stealth:
4 5 8 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Stealth for "+4 to audio tests due to Traceless Walk, +5 to all stacked on top thanks to spirit service.":
1 1 1 3 5 7 10 13
«Auto-Judge[]» Deborah (#2112) rolls 4 (Stealth Activesoft) + 1 (Customized!) + 1 (EA) for "Sneaky sneaky, +5 to top resuslt from that spirit":
2 2 2 2 3 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 3 vs TN 9 (to no one) for "Prying eyes":
1 2 2 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 3 vs TN 9 (to no one) for "Prying eyes":
1 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 3 vs TN 9 (to no one) for "Prying eyes":
2 2 4 = 0 Successes
It is generally fruitless to try to be completely invisible; humanity has long, long racial memories of being small and furry and squishy while big things with sharp fangs hid invisibly behind every bush, and as a result its modern-day descendents still remember how to listen for something that's almost completely unseen and unheard. Instead, Janie moves when the breeze does, or when gunfire reaches a crescendo, letting the noise from the environment swallow her own noises, ghosting from cover to cover in quick, but unhurried crouching movements without the scurrying motions that can draw the alert eye like a firework or a loud horn.

*POP* goes the gum one last time before Deborah removes it and sticks it on an empty husk of a burned out car that's been knocked up onto the sidewalk by… something. No need to make any more noise than is necissary. Then her twin Machine Pistols are out of their holsters, quiet after their initial dull whine of the Smart Link powering up. The weapons hang by her sides in loose arms, pointed at the ground, but ready to be brought to bare on anything they might need to be.

«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Intelligence for "Low light vision":
1 1 2 3 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Pyre (#7348) rolls Intelligence for "Astral Perception? Maybe?":
1 2 3 4 5 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Intelligence for "Low light, thermal vision magnification.":
1 1 2 3 3 5 15
«Auto-Judge[]» Deborah (#2112) rolls Intelligence for "Looky Looky, Low-Light with Flare comp.":
1 1 4 4 5 5

The group may as well be invisible to the world around them. Janie more than the others, perhaps, but even the three less-graceful women are shielded from sight by the velvet hand of the watching spirit. Prying eyes fail to find any hold on them. As they press into Crimson Smoke territory, however, other people do become more common. Generally large men in groups of three outside certain key buildings, obviously keeping lookout. One of them, frighteningly, seems to look directly *at* Deborah. But his eyes move on, and there's no sign of recognition in his slack-jawed features. Such is the power of magic, one supposes.
You paged Pyre with 'You can see that there's a lot of bugs and rodents around, you can also see there's a lot more guys around than were immediately obvious. Mostly up above on the roofs.'.
You paged Janie with 'You can see a lot of guys up above on the rooftops, but they don't seem to have noticed the group either. More important is the minefield that everyone is going to walk directly into if you don't say something; there's a good half a dozen laid out underneath the road ahead. If you had to guess, you'd say that the group will need to go off from the main road, and split down a side alley before rejoining it a couple of blocks further along.'.

Deborah looks a little queasy once the smell of the corpse wafts over to the group. She manages to not throw up all over herself and attract any unwanted attention, though. She follows Prudence quickly, doing her best to keep up and get away from the stench as quickly as possible.

Pyre also quickly follows behind, throwing up in her mouth a little bit.

«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 4 vs TN 18 (to no one) for "Doggies":
1 1 3 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 4 vs TN 18 (to no one) for "Doggies":
1 1 2 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 4 vs TN 18 (to no one) for "Doggies":
1 3 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 4 vs TN 18 (to no one) for "Doggies":
1 1 2 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 4 vs TN 18 (to no one) for "Doggies":
2 5 10 10 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Intelligence (to Prudence) for "Same mods apply.":
1 3 3 4 4 5 11

You paged Janie with 'Yup, you can see a building- cross the road, behind the mines, about four buildings down. There's a couple of kids- one troll, one human, with dogs lounging around outside it. The troll has a Street Sweeper, the human has a rifle. It's hard to tell more at this range, but that looks to be the destination.'.

Janie holds up her hand again, then points at a building several blocks down. "There's our target. Looks like a couple armed punks an' dogs guardin' th'entrance…"

Prudence nods, and rests her shotgun on her shoulder for a moment. "Alright. So." She says, "Crunch time. Do we take them out or do we try and reason with the angsty teenagers? I ain't going to argue whichever way you wanna take it."

Pyre steps up, "We could try and use scare tactics" she says. "Or we can just fry them and leave…"

"We'll try reasonin' first," Janie replies promptly. "I'd prefer t'avoid violence an'bloodshed if it's possible t'get what we want without it." She looks at Pyre and smiles wrily. "It's a shaman thing," she offers in explanation.

Pyre grins, "Most of my skills are combat-centric" she replies. "I can heal and go invis, but I think you're much stronger then me. The background count here is over whelming" she replies. "But what if these kids can't be reasoned with? I mean, think logically.." she says. "We are 4 relitively good looking gun totoing womem, that would fetch a nice price on the slave market" she adds. "I grew up in the Rens"

Deborah shrugs. "Whatever works," she says to the others. She goes about checking her weapons again, casually, to show which of the two options she's prefer, though.

Prudence snorts, and shakes her head slightly. "No fraggin' slaver in Denver is gonna be dumb enough to try and buy me." She states. "If the Shaman wants to try talkin', we try talkin'. They're just kids. If it comes to a fight, you've got more to worry about the fraggin' dog than the scrawny runts. Ain't real fair to go waxing 'em for no good reason though, I guess." She then gestures in that general direction to Janie. "After you, Mother Superior."

Pyre sighs, "If this goes south…" she starts to say before just shuting up and motioning for janie to lead the way.

"If it comes t'fightin', I c'n take all o'them down before they c'n do any harm," Janie replies, then heads out, using the buildings and shadows for cover as she makes her way toward their target.

«OOC» Prudence says, "Perception checks as people approach the building. Obviously not necessary if you intend to hang back whilst Janie goes ahead. And, because
we've had a brief period of rest, re-stealthing I reckon. Your headache is gone now, Pyre."
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 3 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Stealth:
1 3 10 15
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Stealth for "Still sneaking.":
1 1 2 2 2 4 4 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Pyre (#7348) rolls Intelligence for "Looking Astral Again":
3 4 4 4 10 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Intelligence for "Any other surprises I should be aware of?":
1 3 4 4 4 5 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls 6 (Athena's Int) for "Janie's Ally Spirit doing Astral overwatch.":
1 1 1 3 3 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Deborah (#2112) rolls Intelligence for "Low Light (Elec) + Flare Comp, what's that?":
1 2 2 5 8 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Deborah (#2112) rolls 4 (Chip) + 1 (Cust) + 1 (EA) for "Sneaky":
1 1 1 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Pyre (#7348) rolls Stealth for "mayhaps sneaks agin?":
4 5 5 7
«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls Body vs TN 4:
3 5 5 7 8 11 = 5 Successes

The group continues to sneak towards the building. It soon becomes obvious to everyone but Prudence that there is a lot more to the building than meets the eye, however. There's an adolescent troll and a human outside with a pair of dogs, yes, but the Stray Dogs are cunning, and they've taken the time to establish their current stalking grounds.

It seems so blindingly obvious to the others, it's almost hard to believe that Prudence actually catches her leg on some barbed wire that had been hidden underneath some rubble. But she does. Thankfully, it doesn't actually get through the toughened clothing she's wearing, but it does irritate her slightly. Grr.

There's a lot more of the Strays around than had been immediately obvious, though. Another four boys and two, one can't be more than twelve, are lounging around opposite the main building, and a lot more voices can be heard coming from inside, as well as excitable barking. It's impossible to judge how many there actually are, but, there's obviously a lot of them.

Deborah approaches, but keeps herself a few meters back from Janie's position, giving the other woman enough clearance to be able to react quickly should the need arise.

Janie darts out of sight of the other runners, ghosting her way towards the perimeter. The others can /vaguely/ see where she's headed because the spirit that conceals all of them permits them to see through its veils themselves.

A few moments later, a hooting cry pierces the relatively quiet night sky. The Strays on the perimeter look up at the source and easily spot the large grey owl descending leisurely towards their building. They've already relaxed slightly as it swoops past the perimeter… And lands on the shoulder of the woman in the white leather trenchcoat that stands with her back to the building, the two heavy pistols in her hands pointing towards the ground - for now - as she looks up at the guards.

"I come in peace. Will ye grant me an' mine parlay, an' safe conduct in and out if we pledge not to violate y'r hospitality? There is somethin' that needs t'be discussed, an' money that might change hands."

«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 3 (to no one) for "Do they shoot at Athena?":
3 3 9

For a few moments, the assorted teenagers don't look very sure of themselves. They are on edge, after all. But it's an *owl*. Not like it's something that's actually going to try and kill them. Probably. Predators which go after humans in the Warrens do tend to be rather more… obviously dangerous.

Then suddenly there is a Janie in their midst.

She's not pointing her guns at them, though, which is a good start. And the dogs seem to like her, which is a better one. Because the bond 'tween stray and Stray is stronger than normal.

"Awright." Says the Troll, who is, apparently, the nominal leader of the group. Which is surprising in itself. "What'chu want, eh? An' keep it dahn. People're tryin' to sleep. Ard enuff in dis place."

Pyre is dead staring the troll, for the time being. Though keeping back so the gang can't see her.

Janie nods. "I'll skip th'pleasantries an' get straight to th'point, then," she replies. "A short while ago, one o'th' Blackhearts managed t'get herself knocked unconscious in y'r turf, an' one o'y'r people took her shoes as trophy."

She pauses, then smiles briefly. "Between us, I approve; ye counted coup an' won a victory without havin' t'kill anyone. My respects f'r that. However, Mina can't let somethin' like that go unchallenged; it'd harm her reputation badly if she didn't find a way t'get them back — which is why she hired us." She stresses the last word slightly, emphasizing that she did not come here alone.

"f'r obvious reasons, she doesn't want t'take her gang into a turf war t'get here an' reclaim her shoes by force. She doesn't bear ye any ill will in general - aside from th'theft, that is - but she has a reputation t'maintain."

"O'course, so do ye," Janie continues, indicating the Strays with a nod of her head. "If word were t'get out that ye gave up somethin' ye'd won fairly because someone bullied ye, th'other gangs might get th'wrong idea, an' a lot o'people on multiple sides'd wind up hurt or dead before th'confusion were settled. And, o'course, /I/ have a reputation t'maintain as well - both th'one o'deliverin' what I promise, an' th'one about not bein' th'kind o'person who bullies or slaughters a bunch o'children unless there's lives at stake…"

She pauses for a moment, letting the Strays digest the situation as she's described.

«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Negotiation (to Prudence) for "I think I've stated a pretty good case…":
1 2 2 3 9

They listen. Of course they listen; it's what they've promised they'd do. Or at least, Big Jim had promised they'd do it. And you don't *not* do what Big Jim says, because he'll give you a clip round the back of the head that'll have you smarting for weeks.

The troll is obviously older than the others, and his brow furrows throughout the explanation. It makes a lot of sense. Well. Most of it. He's fragged if he knows what 'counting coup' means, but damned if it doesn't sound more impressive than 'took your drek cuz it looked good'. He files that bit of knowledge away under 'stuff to remember to use later'.

"Well den." He says, at last, "Yer pro'ly didn' mean dat last bit to be a slap inna face. So I'll let ya off. Now den. Ow's dis. I get Mouse ta give ya da shoes an' I give ya a dag. You go back ta da dumb bitch an' ya put a bullet in 'er 'ead. Den ya bring da shoes back 'ere, you keep da dog, everyone iz happy."

"An' ye'd have a war with th'Blackhearts on y'r hands," Janie points out reasonably. "I had another offer in mind."

Without making any sudden moves, she reholsters one of her guns, then pulls out a credstick with her free hand. "One thousand nuyen f'r th'shoes; more'n
they're worth, but I'm in a good mood at th'moment. Mouse hands over th'shoes, I hand over th'cred an' walk out, nobody does anythin' rash like assumin' I came here
without backup, an' we're all happy."

She tilts her head. "Right now, even if she gets her shoes back, Mina an' th' Blackhearts respect ye. Ye showed them ye aren't t'be underestimated. Now ye c'n
also show them ye c'n be negotiated with. Right now that may not matter much since their turf doesn't border y'rs - but times c'n change. That respect could someday
buy ye things no amount of money could. Don't waste it."

«Auto-Judge[]» Prudence (#1796) rolls 5 vs TN 11 (to Janie) for "9 base. A good case well argued +2, Threat of Backup +2, Thousand Cred could help a lot +1, Still an
Adult -2, Mouse really likes those shoes -1":
2 4 5 7 11 = 1 Success

The troll hums and haws. Janie does make a convincing argument, after all. But in the end, he just can't resist pushing his luck that little bit further. Teenage pride, perhaps. Or just naked greed. Because Janie does seem to want to avoid a fight, and that can't be *entirely* down to altruism. Altruism doesn't exist in the Warrens. Not for long.

"I wont two thousand." He says, features splitting into a wide, tusky grin. "Come on. You lot an' yer fancy friends can fork dat up. It ain't no ting for you. Dat'd keep us in food an' ammo fer a helluva long time."

Janie smiles thinly. "Pushin' y'r luck takes guts," she replies, a note of approval in her voice. "Fifteen hundred… An' know when not t'push /too/ far."

"Deal."

And as quick as that, the deal is struck. "MOUSE." The troll roars, apparently no longer caring about the sleeping people inside. After a few minutes of tense waiting, a whipcord thin girl in too-large (but very, very expensive) sneakers comes shuffling out of the building. The shoes are pulled off, and the money exchanges hands.

Then it's just a matter of sneaking back through to Mina's. Given that the gunfire seems to be closer, and there's a series of explosions, it seems… the Smoke might just have more pressing issues than worrying about four sneaky runners on their way back with the goods.

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