Market Disruptions

GM: Hek
Players: Diego, Hek
Synopsis: Hek is tasked by Smiley, a Surenos 13 lieutenant to intercept a shipment of BTLs that the triads are delivering to the Warrens. The guys need to get to the BTLs before the triads hand them off to the Royals who will be handling the second half of the transfer from Heather Ridge district to the Mission Hills (drug market run by the Sinners)
Date: January 7th, 2073

Falstaff's - Main Room

Falstaffs is one of those quintessential places that authors love to write about and people of good character try to avoid. Dark, dingy and lacking in class, its lines are inelegant and it's space is poorly managed. Patrons cluster in packs, each looking to the others like predators sizing up prey. Music, tinny and filled with the crackle of bad speakers, competes with the constant cracking of pool balls and the scent of smoke and sweat for domination of the senses.

The poolhall has a basic box layout, a rectangle with long sides and a short front. Its floor is made of warped plasti-tiles that once mimicked wood grain but now lacks texture and detail. Dull amber light, once designed to portray a low light ambiance, now spills from discolored and ill maintained brass lamps while the once-white ceiling is stained brown with countless cigarettes and a lack of cleaning. A bar runs along the front of the room, with the door at one end. The back of the room is taken by several pool tables, the rickety juke-box and a large trid screen behind a wire-mesh protective cage.

+views and places available here

Security (#10365) [VOUCHER]
Jukebox [Jukebox]
Obvious exits (Current location: CAS Sector):
Office………………… <UP> Out…………………… <O>

Whoever laid out the pool hall must have had an edge of paranoia to them, if one were to base such things on the way the bar is positioned, right there near the front door. It is at that bar where Hek has setup shop, down at the far end of it, against the wall, furthest from the door. It is from that spot that he notices Diego when the man enters. He greets him with a nod, while lifting a bottle of beer from the bar and tipping it in the new comer's direction.

Diego steps into the bar, sweeping his gaze across the room to see who is out tonight. After looking around he decides to join the patrons at the bar, finding a spot and pulling out some scrip to get Carlos's attention.
Diego nods to Hek "Evening."

Hek waves Carlos over and passes the ork the empty beer bottle that he finishes off. "Get us two." He holds up his first two fingers, and waves them back and forth between himself and Diego. On the other side of the bar, the effeminate ork quickly complies, "Here you go darlingths." He says with his lips and an exaturated nod before swiping some UCAS dollars off of a small pile of them that Hek has in front of his place.

Diego chuckles and nods as Hek buys him a beer. "Gracias senor. How are you this evening?"

Hek waves his hand dismissively to the thanks, as if to communicate 'don't mention it' without having to actually verbalize it. "Salud." He clinks the neck of his bottle against Diego's, and then takes a sip. "Been pretty chill, omae… Pretty damn chill." And then an audible chirp pierces the air, eminating from somewhere within his jacket. Another follows, high pitched enough to cut through just about any background noise. By the third, he scrambles to rummage around in the depths of the bulky coat. A fourth shrill chirp draws a few disapproving scowls before Hek can get the cord socketed into his datajack. A split second later, his left eye starts to glow as the video feed from the commcall is projected onto his retina.

Diego arches a brow, but doesn't pry into the mans business. He takes a sip of his beer, looking around the room for a few moments to see what else is going on. Giving Hek his personal space.

The conversation is simple enough, directed, mostly monosyllabic for the first few exchanges. Then Hek frowns a bit, nursing his beer to keep himself quiet. "You want me to what?" He listens for a moment. "When… What.." He trails off, the beer half way between his lips and the bar, just suspended there in mid air as he holds onto it. "That's right fraggin now!"
A sigh muffles the beginnings of a curse as he continues the dialogue in the melodic mish mash of Cityspeak. "Alright. Landrover? How many guys?" Calming down a bit he listens closely to whatever the person on the other end of the line is telling him. "What's this worth to you?"

Diego listens, how could he not, but he doesn't give off that he is. Thats part of the biz, you don't mess with someone elses affairs unless they ask for help. He takes another sip of his beer.

"No, I don't owe you drek.." There is a chill to Hek's tone as he speaks seemingly to himself, though he winces soon after and starts shaking his head slowly, in a way a person might as if trying to placate someone. "Yeah, yeah. I'm still on that other thing." Another sigh is drowned out by a long pull from the bottle as Hek nearly drains it. "Chill omae, fuck! You think it's easy to find a fraggin decker worth a fucking shit in this plex?" Seeming stressed, Hek rests his elbow on the bar and rubs his forehead while presumably listening to the conversation. "Alright, fuck.. alright! I'll take care of this shit right now. And that other thing later… Yeah… No, I'm not… Yes, I will come through. Yes, fuck.. damn man. I told you I'd come through. Alright, yeah.. alright, fine. Two hours, the usual spot. Yeah."
He looks tired and a bit wary by the time the glow winks out of his eye and he disconnects the cord from the dull grey jack behind his ear. "Chummer.." As he carefully coils the cord and tucks it back into an inner pocket, those ethnically uncharacteristic, vivid blue eyes of his focus on Diego. "You down to help me out with something real quick? Do a favor for some people who look kindly upon guys who do favors for them?"

Diego arches a brow, and then nods. "Making friends happens to be my forte, and favors are always the best way to make long lasting friends." He smirks faintly, and takes another drink of the bottle and sits it down. "What can I help you with senor?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Hek (#10968) spends 50 nuyen.

Hek seems pleased by the answer, and he nods approvingly. After carefully considering the nearly empty pool hall and vacant stools at the bar, he focuses on Carlos. "Hey chummer?" He speaks to the ork in Cityspeak. "You mind giving me and my friend a few minutes alone? I'll make sure nobody fucks with the booze." To make it worth the ork's while, Hek pulls out a crisp $50 UCAS dollar and sets it on top of the small pile already on the bar. The ork seems quite agreeable to the terms and heads over to join a couple of the regulars at the nicer of the two pool tables.
"You got a piece?" Hek asks as he shifts on his stool to better face Diego. In the process, his jacket opens a bit and the distinct silhouette of a compact, Ingram Smartgun becomes glaringly obvious, strapped over his shoulder and hanging mostly concealed down his side. "There's some gooks about to roll through here…" He points across the bar, at the front wall that separates the pool hall from the frigid Denver night. "Carrying some shit out to the Warrens…" Hek lowers his voice, despite the relative privacy his nuyen purchased, " the Royals. That my chummer, wants us to make sure does not get there."

Diego frowns slightly, and looks around, then back to Hek. "I happen to have connections with the Royals, good connections. If my involvment becomes known…" He does shift and open his jacket, showing a slim countoured holster, with a quickdraw style, and the butt of a pistol in it. "You understand my situation senor?"

Hek becomes decidedly still, frozen in place as his eyes narrow in on Diego's frown. Though he listens, he does not blink. A moment passes, then another as he contemplates the dynamics of the situation. First his lips purse thoughtfully, and he nods automatically. "If we get to the gooks, before the gooks get to them…" The way he speaks, his tone far away gives the impression of thinking out loud, scheming on the fly. "They're just the middle men. Moving the goods onto their final destination." Hek sucks on his lip and clucks a few times, watching Diego closely with the wariness of a street hustler, trying to get a read on the other man.

Diego nods "Si, and I never heard 'who' these goods were for. All I know is someone has goods, someone wants them taken. Then all is good." He slips off his stool.

Rising from his stool, Hek waves across the pool hall to Carlos and gives the ork a thumbs up, then glances pointedly at the pile of nuyen that he is about to leave unattended at the bar. That seems to be enough to set the ork in motion, and he abandons the pool table to resume his usual position.
Comfortable that nobody is going to swipe the bartender's nuyen before he leaves the bar, Hek pushes the heavy metal door open and steps out into the frigid night.

The metal door crunches to a close and a few wisps of nicostick smoke escape with you upon leaving the pool joint.

Heather Ridge District

The remains of what was once a magnificent estate-district. The golf course is over grown, but occasionally burned back to keep the vermin down. The homes have become dilapidated, the neighborhood cut in half by the wall of the UCAS/Warrens border. Many use this area as a cut-in to the Warrens and the UCAS sector.

Security: Lone Star
Sec-Rating: C

Diego moves to follow Hek, keeping quiet for now, and his eyes open. One of those things that puts you on edge, is the prospect of bullets flying sometime soon.

As he steps out of the bar, Hek pulls his beanie down over his ears in attempt to protect them from the near freezing temperatures and the light wind chill. "I fraggin hate this weather.." He gripes to Diego, presuming that the other man probably shares his appreciation for warmer climates. Done griping, he glances northward while hooking himself up to his pocket secretary again. The guy spends so much time interfaced with the device, one might wonder why he even bothers to disconnect the fiberoptic cable from his datajack at all. OCD maybe?
"They're supposed to be coming from the north. UCAS district. Dark green Landrover…" As he speaks, Hek scans the horizon with a thousand yard stare. "We need transport." He says with some finality in his tone, his focus shifting to the cars along the curb.

Diego looks around a bit, shifting his collar up a bit higher. "I have a car, if its not going to be part of the operation. Otherwise I suggest we borrow something if you have the talents for it."

When Diego mentions having the talents, Hek cannot help but smirk slyly in response. "Omae… I been driving since I was fourteen, and never owned a single car. Let's go up the block a bit.." And so he does just that, heading southward away from the pool hall until he finds a suitable donor vehicle. Silver, four doors, the ubiquitous Ford Americar, this one a 2064 model where they went with a slightly "retro" and boxy look. "Just keep an eye out for the Star.." Hek says as he unslings his backpack, which when he unzips it, turns out to be an electronics kit.

Diego keeps his head up, scanning the streets leading towards them, watching for anything that might be watching them. He raises his hands to his mouth, blowing on them like he is cold or something, just giving some movements so he doesn't look too suspicious

There is an erie way about how Hek blends into the surroundings, there next to the Americar that has been parked beneath a burnt out street lamp. There is something natural about him as he goes about his work, his movements so relaxed and calm it is almost as if he is supposed to be there, helping himself to the vehicle. As much a part of the scenery as the overgrown golf course and the trash blowing down the street.
For all of his bravado, he sure seems to have a real bitch of a time getting the lock open. Time seems to stretch out as it often does when doing things with the potential for trouble, but it seems to speed up again once he finally pops the door handle off of the car to expose the electronic inards of the maglock. With those exposed, it only takes Hek a handful of seconds to pop the lock and get into the car.
"Lets roll chummer." Hek calls out to Diego before crawling across the passenger seat and settling in behind the steering wheel.

Diego moves to climb in, closing the door behind him, still watching the streets. He reaches inside his jacket, pulling out something, a ski mask, though its a bit firm around the face. "Balaclava, always good to have one handy." he chuckles. He does not put it on yet, its for when things get interesting.

Despite the tough time he had with the door, that rough start must have just been jitters. Hek gets the car going almost as quickly as he popped the lock. With that taken care of, he zips up the backpack and sets it on the seat between himself and Diego. A chuckle responds to the mention of balaclava, accompanied by a nod as Hek taps his own beanie. "Right there with ya chummer." He fiddles with the rearview and sideview mirrors. "Keep your eyes open, remember… dark green Landrover."

Diego nods and looks out the windows, seeing what vehicles are on the street now. He reaches into his coat, pulling out his pistol and checking the clip to ensure its fully loaded and ready.

Does the same, easing the Ingram out of his jacket and resting it on his lap, the stock still collapsed against the combat body of the weapon. "When we see them, I am going to try to pull up along side them.. hopefully the driver's side. We stop at a light, you roll down the window and blast the driver. I will open my door and do the same, shooting over the car. We take them out, you grab whatever they got with them and then we're out."

Diego nods "Alright, sounds like a plan." He finishes checking his gun, then leaves it in his hand, resting in his lap. He keeps himself relaxed, trying to keep his twitchyness down for now.

With one eye on the sideview mirror to watch traffic flowing down from the north, Hek brings up his display link and uses the pocket secretary to check the local street maps. Then he cross references those with custom overlays based on his own research about known gang turf, and criminal organization hot spots. The data points come together, presenting him with a few options to choose from. "Chummer… 2481 East Garfield Street." He points through the windshield towards the southeast. "About five blocks that way. If we get separated for whatever reason, head there. It's a dive motel, rents rooms to the working girls by the hour. You tell the trog at the desk, "Johnnie says Its On." and he'll know what that means. Hundred nuyen and you can lay low for a good twelve hours… long enough to let the heat blow over."

Diego nods, listening to the information about the safehouse. "Si." He keeps checking the mirrors and the windows, looking around for signs of the target vehicle. His hand shifts on the grip of his pistol, just stretching his fingers.

So focused on figuring out a potential escape route, Hek almost misses the distinctively blocky form of the forest green Landrover passing the car. The dark color and casual pace with which the driver guides it along with traffic was almost enough to sneak it by. "Drek.." Hek curses. "Hang on, here we go." He puts the car in drive and guides it out into traffic. "Easy.." He mutters to himself. "Nice and easy…" The man's face is a mask of intense concentration, so focused on the target that he might not even realize that he is verbalizing is thoughts to remain calm.

Hek guides the car out into traffic, managing to time pulling away from the curb just right and falling into the blind spot between the Americar and the Landrover that is created by a beat up old GMC Bulldog Step Van. Keeping the throttle steady he merges over a lane to the left. One hand on the wheel, he reaches up with his free hand to unroll his beanie. As he hinted at previously, it is in fact a dark grey balaclava. "Get ready chummer, it looks like they are going to get caught at that light."

Diego waits, as Hek slows the car down Diego puts on his balaclava. As they stop next to the vehicle, he begins to roll down the window with his left hand, turning slightly in his seat to get a good angle with the pistol in his right.

A veteran courier with more of these runs under his belt than most might imagine, the driver of the Landrover recognizes the impending ambush. One can sense it as the shadowed outline shifts on the other side of the tinted glass, hunching over the steering wheel as if getting ready to launch the vehicle right through the red light and into the busy intersection. As quickly as things unfold, it all seems like slow motion to Diego's hyped up senses and nervous system, giving the adept all the time in the world to intercede and attempt to control the situation.

Diego apparently has trouble spotting the driver, behind a tinted window, and getting ready to take off. He squeezes the trigger twice, firing two explosive bullets into the window, shattering it at least, but failing to hit the driver.

The double tap *crackcrack* of the pistol shots are like a starter's pistol, and the goon driving the Landrover is the sprinter. Reflexes augmented by a healthy dose of central nervous system enhancing chemicals, combined with a life time of couriering dangerous goods kick into action. The engine of the truck roars to life as the driver dumps the clutch and goes peeling through the intersection. Against all odds, and despite nearly side swapping the rear quarter panel of a ZX Turbo, the guy manages to get to the other side of the intersection unscathed.

Hek curses loudly as the vehicle goes rocketing into the distance, leaving he and Diego sitting there without much recourse. Nearly throwing himself out of the drivers side door, Hek pops out of the car like a jack in the box. Leveling the Ingram at the fleeing vehicle, his eyes glow with that familiar feedback of the smartlink plastering potential trajectories and associated ballastic information across his field of vision. Without time to aim, or even really steady the weapon he just pulls the trigger.

Luck seems to be on Hek's side, and despite the rushed shot, all goes according to plan. A trio of copper jacketed lead chunks fly out of the tongue of burst fire flame that leaps from the barrel of the Ingram. Across the intersection, the speeding vehicle's left rear tire blows out with enough force to be audible over the honking of horns and the screeching of tires as drivers swerve and react to the Landrover that just went barreling through the intersection.

The loss of the tire proves to be too much for even the trained driver behind the wheel to compensate for. Sparks fly from the rim as it bites into the asphault. The sudden weight shift sends the vehicle careening up over the curb and into a Network 23 news terminal. The news terminal, a battle scarred, graffiti covered veteran of the urban landscape once again proves superior to the forces arrayed against it. The front end of the truck crumples and the loud screech of metal disforming contends with the sounds of burst fire.

The inside of the Landrover lights up with an orangish red glow like someone is putting on a light show. The back window blows out, shards of tinted ballastic glass practically vaporizing into the air as high velocity rounds go flying through the intersection and towards Hek. The extreme range, the shock of having just been in an accident and the poor lighting condition all combine to overwhelm the shooter's natural skill and the laser sight. The bursts go wide as Hek reflexively flinches, hissing out a "Drek!"

Diego jerks his door open as soon as Hek jumps out of the car, and starts sprinting towards the SUV. Of course he isn't running straight at it, he is using whatever vehicles are stopped in the road with paniced drivers as cover. No point making himself an easy target.

Diego sprints, dodging behind a car with a woman screaming in panic and repeatedly hitting her panicbutton on her keychain. He then zips past another car where a man is trying to record everything on his pocsec to upload later to youtube.

With the back window to contend with, the Landrover becomes a pillbox of sorts, with two submachine gun wielding couriers pinned down inside of it. They seem to be doing well with the situation, despite the gravity of it. Combat is funny like that, with life mere seconds away from ending, the mind and body do whatever they need to do in order to preserve the life force that makes everything possible.
Again strobes light up interior of the vehicle, bathing it with orange-redish fire as the driver squeezes his trigger twice. Brass spits into the vehicle and tinkles off of the ferrocrete sidewalk. Without the window to deal with, the man has a better time with his weapon and manages to land some rounds on Hek.
The long range, combined with the heavy armor that Hek wears takes the sting out of the bullets. They pancake against the outside of his jacket, eliciting little more than a grunt.

Some how remaining calm under fire and perhaps proving that he might have a bit more street samurai than ganger in his blood, Hek snugs the compact weapon to his shoulder and takes his time to line up the shot. Exhaling slowly he squeezes the trigger as the last wisps of breath escape his lips. The weapon bucks right back into his shoulder and the rounds fly true, right through the blown out back window and into the center mass of the driver.
The driver yelps in pain as his jacket stops the rounds, but fails to bleed off enough of the velocity to prevent the impacts from cracking ribs and causing deep, blunt force trauma to his internal organs.

Diego continues to dodge and weave as he moves to get closer to the vehicle. Time is off the essence, and he is not exactly the fastest person in the world. He always keeps something between him and the vehicle, just to protect against gunfire.

More burst fire, the ammo counter projected on Hek's retina decreasing by another increment of three to account for the copper jacketed slugs that follow in the wake of their campanions… albeit with more effect. Brain, blood and skull paint the inside of the Landrover as the man's head literally explodes with the sudden release of pressure.

Against all odds, the remaining courier manages to keep it together and ignores whatever flight responses one might have to curl up into a ball and attempt to plead for his life. Adrenaline pumping through his veins, he balances the H&K on the seat of the Landrover and squeezes the trigger. Again against all odds, he lands the rounds on target.
Hek grunts, spitting a curse as the bullets crack one of his ribs despite being stopped by the Kevlar weave of the jacket he wears.

The statacco Bbbbrraatttt of the Ingram coughs another burst out of the elonged barrel recoil compensator, flames flickering as brass bounces off the roof of the 'borrowed' Americar. The rounds fly true, compensated a foot and a half to the right to catch the passenger right in the shoulder, ripping through the thinner Kevlar weave there and spraying the inside of the vehicle with a streamer of blood.

Diego doesn't see this, all he knows is if they are dead when he gets there, he has to grab whatever the package is. So he is focused on sprinting and avoiding any gunfire by keeping things between him and the vehicle.

As the reality of the chaos settles in, those who have not yet entered the intersection are finished coming to screeching halts, and those who flight instincts are in high gear are fleeing the scene at high rates of speed. Given the changed tactical landscape, Hek hops back into the car and punches it through the intersection.

The goon has had more than enough. Apparently the sight of his own blood and the trauma of having a chunk of his shoulder blown out did what having his friend's head blown off right next to him couldn't.
"Oh fuck. Reave me arone!!!" The heavily accented voice screams from inside the vehicle.

Diego slows down enough to breath and yell, and screams in a pretty clear english, with a slightly southern accent. "GET THE FRAG OUT OF THE CAR NOW!!" He raises his pistol, still moving quickly towards the vehicle.

While Diego is yelling commands at the fully traumatized man, Hek pulls the borrowed silver Americar up next to the bullet riddled, blood spattered, crushed hulk of the Landrover. The Asian man inside the truck staggers out of it, clutching his shoulder having left the H&K inside the wreck.

Diego continues to advance on the vehicle, watching the driver leave. "RUN MUTHAFUCKER!" He fires off a round, mostly to spook the guy and get him the hell away. Diego keeps advancing towards the vehicle though, knowing they need to grab whatever is inside and move fast.

The man does as told, instinctively staggering towards the overgrown chaos that is the country club. Cars screech to a halt and swerve to avoid him as he goes staggering across the street.
Inside the back storage compartment of the Landrover is a large case, not at all unlike what musicians use to store all of their amplifiers and other gear… probably a good fifty to one hundred pounds.
"Let's do this!" Hek yells through his balaclava in order to be heard over all of the chaos.

Diego moves over to the back of the SUV, trying to open the back door, unlocking it through the window if necessary. He starts to drag the case towards the edge, "Turn the car around, we need to throw it in back!" He hollars at Hek.

Hek quickly pops the trunk of the Americar and then rushes over to help Diego. The two of them are able to easily get it into the Americar and close the trunk… only after Hek discards what looks like the better part of someone's life on the street. Clothes, random bags of electronics, a folding chair, jumper cables. All in all, quite the chaotic assortment of trunk debris.

Diego moves as quick as possible, getting the case in the back of the car, and then looking around. "Lets move." He helps get everything stowed and then closes the trunk to get into the vehicle.

And move they do, down streets and through alleys. Pausing in parking lots while watching for tails. Doubling back through some of the same alleys and up previously bypassed streets. All the while, Hek maintains his bearings via his pocket secretary and its helpful maps of the plex. Eventually he pulls the Americar into a parking garage, guiding it up onto the third level where a black Landrover awaits.
Hek gets out, and three Latinos get out of the Landrover. A large, heavily tattoo'd human, an ork in a dark blue long coat and a troll with a massive pitbull on a leash.

Diego has removed his balaclava, it looks strange to drive around town with it. He steps out, staying near his side of the car and letting Hek do the work talking to the folks. He sniffs the air, his pheremone recepters telling him a general idea of the state of the men, more than likely very confident right now.

All three of the men look familiar, from Falstaff's a week or so ago. They regard Hek a bit suspiciously at first, but he speaks quickly and puts them at ease. The leader, the human who Hek calls Smiley, sends the other two around to the trunk of the Americar to get the case out of the back. Bringing it back to the group, they set it on the ground and open it up. The brief glance that you catch reveals thousands of chips in hard plastic containers. BTLs, or maybe CalHots.
Smiley actually smiles. "This is good ese." He says to Hek, then looks past the man at Diego. "You too holmes."

Diego simply gives a nod, its not time to be talking much for now, Hek can pass on his name, and they have seen him now, thats enough. Next time maybe they talk more, and things progress, slow and steady is how you build relationships that can end with bullets.

Hek points at the car, and asks smile. "Hey omae, you got any…" He clucks a couple of times, mimicing pulling a pin from a hand grenade.
The large human chuckles and nods. "Joker. Get some willie."
Apparently the ork is Joker, and he hefts the crate into the Landrover then returns with a distinctively shaped consister. A white phosphorous grenade, which he hands over to Hek.
"Wait until we bounce, fool." Smiley cautions Hek before heading back to the truck. The massive troll and the dog disappear into the backseat, while the ork hops into the drivers seat. Before climbing into the truck, Smiley points a finger at Hek. "Don't forget about that other shit holmes. You promised!"

Diego smiles at the sight of the grenade, and nods to Hek, agreeing the torching the car is a great idea. He steps away now, moving around to the same side Hek is on, he still offers no further comment though.

The Landrover disappears into the lower levels of the garage. "It was good working with you." He tells Diego. "You wanna bail before I do this?" He points at the stairwell on the opposite side of the garage. "Sorry for not having transport ready.."

Diego shakes his head. "Its alright, I'll see you later, I could use the walk to calm down." He chuckles and starts to move off, raising his hand in a backward wave as he starts down the nearest stairs to get out of the garage.

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