Modesto 9
GM: Vulcan
Players: Effek, Whiskey Slim, Little Hawk
Synopsis: A mysterious stranger hires the runners for a little snatch and grab, with the package being exceedingly valuable. Thing's don't quite go as planned.
Date: 12/01/69


«OOC» Vulcan says, "

1: This is a non-consent plot. You can die if you try to stop a train by standing on the tracks, and I will probably giggle as it happens. This also means your fellow players can kill you. Your tools can be broken. I can give you GhonomonosyphlherplAIDS. And I'll still giggle.

2: One-But. I'm not a rules savant, but I do know my shit. If I make a call you disagree with, you get one chance to argue yuour case. I'll listen, then rule, but no matter what, we move forward.

3: Have Fun. This is supposed to be fun."
You say "Aay questions?""
Little Hawk says "Seems clear to me."
Effek says "Sound good!"
WhiskeySlim takes a pull off his bottle and waits for something to fall on his head.
«OOC» Vulcan says, "We're not IC yet, Whiskey."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Whiskey, are you here?"
«OOC» WhiskeySlim says, "no questions here boss"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I need your attention, above all else."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "A side note. I want your attention. I'm not here for 5 minute delays between actions. That really translates to a lot of wasted time. Can each of y ou be here reliably for the next 3-4 hours?"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Without being distracted?"
<OOC» Little Hawk says, "Yup."
«OOC» Effek nods "Yes."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Whiskey?"
«OOC» WhiskeySlim says, "sure"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Cool."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Alright. I want a pose from each of you. It's 4:00PM Denver standard time, show me what your character is doing right now."

The call

Effek after having a long stressfull day, deciding to sit for the next five hours and listen to music. In his cheap low lifestyle apartment complex his music is drowned out by the shots taking place down the street. With nothing better to do he decides to make usefullness with his time and do pushups hoping something interesting will come his way.

Little Hawk sighs, and looks from her hands, to the coffee table, to the various chemicals strewn around the apartment. Sure, it had seemed like a good idea at the time, having her taxidermy shop positioned within her living room. This, however, is rapidly becoming more than a little distracting. On the other hand, the dog she had been working on is starting to take shape! This, definitely, is an upside. Unfortunately, the guts and viscera aren't really that appetizing, and it was starting to get to the point where she really should have eaten. Frustrating. She kept forgetting these little details. Still.

Working helped to get over the stress of her apparent blundering with some of the most powerful mages in Denver, so, better than the alternative, which is to just keep walking around her room in The Bastille getting more and more angry with herself. On the other hand, her hands are covered in formaldehyde, and she was thirsty. And hungry. How annoying.

WhiskeySlim has been wandering around trying to scrounge up some money or a drinking buddy with some money. Having no such luck yet today he has had to resort to his stash and has mixed coke with it to keep the shakes off and his nerves steady but not enough to even make him tipsy. He wonders to himself if it is going to be cold tonight.

It's a quick call to each person. For Whiskey, it's Shaw. He calls with a story about a private contracting job that may be up Whiskey's alley. Be at the Denver Waldorf Astoria at 5:00PM. The Johnson will be in the lobby with a white hat and red tie. Dress the part.

For Effek, its Sprint. He's got a line on some work Effek may be needed for. A bit of heavy, with a bit of soft touch. Same Place, Same time as Whiskey.

For Little Hawk, its Derleth with the same basic story. Private Contract work, outside of Denver itself, for a private employer.

Effek sits up from doing his pushups when his hears his phone going off, sighing in rather excitement for the only time it rings is work. Heading into his kitchen and grabbing his phone from his coat. After hearing his contact state the information he hangs up and heads to his closet to dress the part? Thinking to himself cause he is new to Denver "Where the frag is Denver Waldorf Astoria, or what is that?" he shrugs and digs through his closet for a pair of clothes he think would be acceptable. After several minutes he find a pair of clothes he is looking for, gathering all his equipment he hopes he will need he heads out. Looking up on his poc sec the location of the place his contact pointed him too, he catches the Mag Terminal and heads too his destination.

WhiskeySlim will go sneak a shower at the gym and pull his nicest clothes out of storage probably his old officers uniform along with his medicine bag and basic gear then will head off for the meet trying to put his best foot forward and putting on his officers face.

Little Hawk swears lightly as her phone goes, and winds up drying her hands on the front of her jeans. Thankfully, she's done this enough to wear clothing that, well, she's set aside to get trashed by chemicals. "Uh, hi?" She asks, "Yeah, yeah, uh, sure, okay, you got it." She mumbles, and, after the basics have been relayed, she cleans her hands off much more thoroughly, and gets changed into some more suitable clothing for high society (at least, she hoped so. She'd paid enough for them). Namely, a suit of clinging chrome material, with some decent heels. Of course, she's… a little bit paranoid, so in the pit of her arm she conceals her Elan (because it wouldn't really do to have it set off any scanners, but she hated not having any weapons at all), and sets off herself.

«OOC» Vulcan says, "Okay. Who is carrying weaponry, and what kind?"
Effek dropped Guns.
«OOC» Little Hawk says, "Just my Elan, concealable holster underneath armpit- loaded with Hi-C."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "You're… really carrying all that?"
«OOC» Effek says, "Ill be carrying my Eichiro Hatamoto II and my two Inagrams, maybe the shotty if I can?"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I want you to go back and read the post I made today about cops and permits. And now, this is a big fancy hotel in a nice sector of town."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "You're a troll, which is a strike against you in a good area of town."
«OOC» Effek says, "No not all of that I just have not changed the IC locations yet."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Now, you want to carry a small arsenal?"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I want you to think about that."
«OOC» WhiskeySlim says, "Im a troll I carry my medicine bag"
«OOC» Vulcan nods to Whisky. Any weaponry?
«OOC» Effek says, "K Then just my Inagrams."
«OOC» Effek says, "Now what about armor>"
«OOC» Effek says, "Now what about armor?"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Well, you're walking in to a high class hotel."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I will let you use your reasonable judgement."
Guns has left.
«OOC» WhiskeySlim says, "nope only thing I own is a knife and a tomahawk anyways which I will stash with my armor in a duffel bag at the tram"
«OOC» Vulcan nods to Whisky. Okay. That leaves Effek. Tell me about your armor?

«OOC» Effek says, "Im thinking about just brining a Armor Vest w/ plates, if Im correct that the smallest piece of armor I have."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I'm going to offer you my suggestion."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Because you're new."
«OOC» Effek says, "K."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Keep the guns and armor at home. You're walking in to a high class hotel in the downtown area. Guns and armor are 1: Out of place. 2: illegal."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "They will get you arrested with a quickness."
«OOC» Effek says, "k."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Do you understand why I'm offering this advice?"
«OOC» Effek says, "Yes, so I understand the concept of Denvers legal system and basiccly the realty."
«OOC» Vulcan nods. Good. I don't like to gank people for stupid mistakes.
«OOC» Effek nods.
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Moving forward."

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Elegance. Class. Stately and sophisticated and above all, secure. It's the executives choice for a residence of short duration while staying in Denver. Serviced by a private helipad and on-site Knight Errant Police Services, not to mention concierge service, valet parking and on-call room service, it's the epitome of 'largess'.

Little Hawk, despite her Native American features, will be allowed in without delay, while Whiskey and Effek will be stopped and searched by hotel security, Identicards checked and otherwise given a hassle.

Fucking Trogs.

«OOC» Vulcan says, "Both Effek and Whiskey will be subjected to a MAD scan and a SIN check. Please +prove the SIN you are using to get in to the hotel."
«OOC» WhiskeySlim says, "how ?"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "+prove NAME OF THE SIN"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "For example, +prove Mica Wahkan"
«Auto-Judge[]» WhiskeySlim (#6879) has the Real SIN SIO-06879-000QJW-0007JU-94N (Mica Wahkan Ohanzee) with the following information:

«OOC» Vulcan says, "With no weapons and no SIN issues, and a reservation inside with a guest, Whiseky is allowed in."
«OOC» Effek says, "Well im out of this, Iv got no sin. :/"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "That is problematic."
«Stats System» The player Effek (#1299) has 646655 nuyen in cash.
«OOC» Effek nods.
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Hrm."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "You want to try bribing your way in?"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I will note that is a risk all its own."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "You could have an -honest- cop here."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "It's your call."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "I'm abstracting this for the sake of speed."
«OOC» Effek says, "Garantee it wont work, I dont have Negotiations. Its ok Vulcan dont worry about it. :) good luck you all."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Okay. So heres what happens."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "You get arrested and deported back to the Warrens, with a good beating. Your processing fee is 2000 nuyen."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "+pay me, and thanks for playing :)"
«Stats System» Successfully added 2 points of karma to Effek (#1299).
«Stats System» Effek (#1299) just gave you 2000 nuyen.
«OOC» Effek says, "K have fun you all. :)"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "If you want to hang around, you can watch, but otherwise, I can teleport you back home"
«OOC» Effek says, "Naw go ahead and telaport me."
«OOC» Little Hawk waves, and winces, "Bad luck."
«Game» The mists swirl around Effek. Then they disappear, taking him with them.
Effek has left.
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Naw. Bad planning. Learning experiance."
Little Hawk is more than happy to slide in quietly. The young Amerind is painfully aware of how expensive this place is. She doesn't get as much attention as the trolls- thankfully- but that didn't help her feel any more comfortable. She looks a little nervous, but, is more focused on finding the J. White hat. Red tie. Try to look natural. Easy, right?
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Betcha he spends some of that money he's got for a Fake SIN soon./"
You paged Effek with 'I suggest a Fake Sin.'.
«OOC» Vulcan says, "back."
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Had to fix something. I'm very sorry."
«OOC» Little Hawk says, "No problem!"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Moving forward."
«OOC» WhiskeySlim says, "quickly assense the situation in astral"
«OOC» Vulcan says, "BG count of 1, go ahead."
«Auto-Judge[]» WhiskeySlim (#6879) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "assensing":
2 2 2 3 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Do you wish to karma?"

Interior, Waldorf Astoria.

The man as described is sitting at a recessed booth in the restaurant. A candle burns in the center of the table, casting his features in flickering light. Soft classical music plays. The Man with the White hat and Red Tie looks over to the human and Troll as they enter together, curiousity playing across his semetic features.

Little Hawk is more than happy to slide in quietly. The young Amerind is painfully aware of how expensive this place is. She doesn't get as much attention as the trolls- thankfully- but that didn't help her feel any more comfortable. She looks a little nervous, but, is more focused on finding the J. White hat. Red tie. Try to look natural. Easy, right?

WhiskeySlim is very happy he is not that other troll getting hit right now and starts looking for the white hat red tie guy better get this done before one trog looks like another trog.

Little Hawk can't help but feel even smaller near Whiskey, but, when she spots The Man with the White Hat and Red Tie, she focuses on him with some serious determination. She was meant to be here, honest. She was with Him. Not just on her own in this stupid expensive outfit. As she approaches, the young woman gives a little nod across the table from the man. "May I sit down?"

The Man in the White Hat with the Red Tie nods. "Please… please.. be seated. I thought there was a third with you?" Asks the Man in the White Hat with the Red Tie. His accent is odd, almost middle eastern, but not quite. A dose of New York, a dose of Tel Aviv… maybe a little Dubai?

WhiskeySlim purposefully stares around the room like he is looking for something or some one, finding nothing he continues towards the table and the white hat. Looking at the seat offered he attempts to squeeze his 3+ meter frame into the human sized seat by sitting on the outside edge of the seat and kind of side ways so he does not have to put his legs under the table and get in everyone elses way.

WhiskeySlim motions back towards the door "Might be da guy who dey beatin' on now."

Little Hawk can't help but frown as she tries to place that accent. Curious. But, it would probably be rude to ask. About as sure of herself as a fish in a sushi bar, the young woman slides in before the troll, and then just sort of… stares at him for a moment. Shaking her head slowly, "Uhm. I have no idea." She says, quietly. "I think he might have… had another… appointment." Well, getting beat up by the cops was probably an appointment of some sort?

Of a sort. The Man with the White Hat and the Red Tie nods then, reaching out to place a small, discrete White Noise Generator on the table. "No matter. You can do the job, my sources say. I require an extraction." Says the man then, placing then a file folder on the table, as a waiter draws a curtain closed, sealing the group off from the rest of the restaurant.

He opens the file, showing a young girl. She's maybe 12, dwarven from the features, and radiantly pretty in the way of effervescent youth.

"This is Deborah. I want her back."

WhiskeySlim waits patiently and attentivly.

Little Hawk seems a lot more comfortable when the folder is brought out, and there is a picture. This was a lot more like the world she was used to. She looks to the troll, and then to the picture. Then she nods a couple of times. "You came to the right people. First things first. Where? I was told this is an out of town job." Blunt as a punch to the face, but she seems confident at least.

"Yes." Says the Man in the White Hat and the Red Tie. He exhales, one hand coming to rub down the line of his chin. "She is currently in California… at Modesto-Nine." A pause as he looks to see if this means anything to the pair.

«Auto-Judge[]» Little Hawk (#5711) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 5 5 5 11 11
«OOC» Vulcan says, "Not bad."
«Auto-Judge[]» WhiskeySlim (#6879) rolls Intelligence:
2 5 7 7

Modesto-Nine. It's a name that has been in the shadows for a while now. 130 years ago, it was Konzentrationslager Auschwitz, Dachau.. other lesser known names. Today, people whisper about Modesto-Nine, a 'reeducation facility' run by General Kenji Saito, overlord of the California Protectorate…

Little Hawk's eyes go just a touch wider as she realizes where the kid has been dragged off to. She takes a long, slow breath. "Alright." She says, quietly. "That's serious. Do you have any more intel on the place, or is that our responsibility?"

He thinks that over… "I have… some intel, yes. I can get more, but the more support you need, the less I can pay."

WhiskeySlim has no idea what they are talking about but continues to pay attention and keep his mouth shut.

Little Hawk nods slowly, "Understandable." She concedes. "But I'm not crazy enough to go in blind. This ain't the kind of place I want to take any risks, and I presume you want her back, so, the more you can give, the more likely everyone is to come back home. From what I remember, this guy doesn't mess around. So." She looks to the troll. "I'm going to assume we want as much as you can give. How much money is still on the table?"

The man in the White Hat with the Red Tie reaches to loosen the aforementioned Red Tie a notch. "I had budgeted for 3 persons at 150,000 nuyen per person. This is your budget."

WhiskeySlim looks at the white hat "so thats 450,000 to work with ?"

Little Hawk nods, the young Amerind exhaling slowly. That was a lot of money, but, it was a big job, so not too surprising. "Well. I think the basics we need are a layout of the facility. The place the girl is being kept if possible. Any details you can get on security arrangements would also be handy. I assume you don't care about anything else to do with the place, just so long as we get this girl back to you safe and sound?"

"My goal, is Deborah. Anything you do on your own time, is your own business." Says the man then. "If you fail to retreive her, you get nothing. If you succeed, you get all I have said."

Little Hawk nods again, "Well. Some other basic stuff I'd like to know. How long has the kid been in there? This place is a reeducation camp, and extracting a target that wants to come with you is a hell of a lot easier than trying to drag a True Believer out of heaven."

WhiskeySlim raises an eyebrow at the word reeducation camp, but continues listening patiently.

He nods then. "Reeducation is a euphimism." Says the man then, a note of anger in his voice somewhere… "Saito's men round up Metahumans and place them in camps, then work them to death, or simply forgo the work to get to the same result." A pause. "She's been there about two months, but she is young, she has no support.. her mother died last week, during a so called 'escape attempt'."

Little Hawk winces, "Ah. I didn't know … specifics." She admits. "From where I'm sitting, though, we've got three problems to deal with. Getting there, getting in, and getting out." She hrms, leaning back in her chair a bit, looking to the troll, "But I think for the money on offer, we can come up with something, huh omae?"

"This is why I am hiring you professionals to handle the situation."

WhiskeySlim looks over at the indian girl, "If ju think ju up for it den me be thinkin' dat littl' girl need be saving." Slim looks over at the white hat, "so how much in funds is ju frontin" us der capt'n?"

Little Hawk smirks slightly, and nods to the man. "Of course." She says, "But, you did say you could get us some intel if we were willing to forego some payment. I'm willing to come down because the sooner we get in, the more likely she is to still be alive." She then nods to her partner, "Like he said. The main thing we need to know, right now, is how much we have to work with for prep."

The man thinks that over. "I would have to contact friends of mine who know people, who know people. It would take a little time, and cost roughly 100,000 nuyen. Nuyen I will be out even if you fail."

Little Hawk demonstrates magnificently her absolute lack of social skill or negotiating talent. "If we fail, the girl will probably be dead." She says, frankly. "Given that I'll be dead too, in that case, I won't have much need for my cash. I've got enough to fund it at the moment, so I'll set it up such that if we don't come back, you get one hundred thousand wired to an account of your choice. Fair?"

WhiskeySlim looks over at the white hat, "So ju will provide off site info and give 350,000yen to use before we go den?"

The Man shakes his head. "I will not be providing money up front. That wouldbe… foolish of me. I will provide ten percent of the principle for your use up front, no more. 45,000 nuyen."

WhiskeySlim looks from white hat to the indian girl "so 45,000 upfront and ju be findin' mo' info while we be in route den?"

"That is the idea." Says the Man now.

Little Hawk nods along. "Seems good enough to me. I'll set things up with Derleth in case things go south."

WhiskeySlim nods and puts his hand out towards the man" Ju got a deal der capt'n"

The Man in the White Hat and the Red Tie does not shake, nor put his hand forward to shake. "I suggest traveling to Reno, Ute Nation, and driving in. Aircraft zones around Sacremento are.. tight."

WhiskeySlim says in Sioux, "You have a car?"

Little Hawk nods slightly, "Don't worry about the specifics. That's for us to worry about, and you to remain in blissful ignorance of until Deborah is in your arms. I'll trust Derleth to forward the intel when you get it." She flashes a quick smile, and stands up, giving Whiskey just… a bit of an odd look, before she scratches behind the back of her head. "Pleasure doing business with you, sir. Lets go somewhere private to discuss the specifics, eh omae?"

WhiskeySlim Looks over at the indian girl "Well we just be on our way den" Slim slides out of the seat and drags himself to his full height. "How shoul' we contact ju later?"

The man nods, tapping the WNG off. Soon, the curtain is opened and the noise of the restaruant returns. "Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, sheasah li kol tzorki." A pause. "As to how to contact me…" He says after the brief prayer… "In the file there is a datacom number."


Moving Forward - Truckee California.

Welcome to Truckee, California Free State. Once a small town, it's been swelled by the refugees that came for the week, stayed for the war. Shanty towns dominate the outskirts, visible from the air as you land, with the small town's permeant infrastructure nearer the core.

Your contacts got you in, and your truck, parked in the short term parking, will get you out. It's a 2056 Ford Mastiff, a truck with a camper shell that rides high on big tires… It's black, with Cal-free plates and a gunrack, whip antenna and a bumpersticker that shows the California Bear eating a samurai.

Now for those of you unknown to California Topography, Truckee's about 300 miles away from Modesto, but still a lot closer than you could be, and in to a nominally friendly airport.

Little Hawk has never felt more nervous. She was used to making hits against street scum and criminals, not hardened soldiers. But she had never been let down by her gun, they had a good plan, and it wasn't like she was preparing to wage a -total- war against these people. Besides! They didn't even seem to have any magic, and every other job she'd taken over the past few weeks had been saturated with the stuff. At least she knew vaguely the sort of things to expect here. She was unlikely to be ambushed by scary old men or rains of magical fire. She hoped.

"Okay. Quick comms check, and I'll go scout the perimeter. I'll try and guide you towards where she is when I give you the signal, then you go in, grab her, and tell me when you can go clear. We rendezvous back here. If I'm not back inside twelve hours, you assume I'm dead and get back to Denver with the girl. I'll assume the same if you don't make it. Clear?"

WhiskeySlim streches his legs after being stuck inside of a pickup truck for most of the day. Slim has been detoxing for days while he has been on the job and all of the water instead of whiskey is doing good for him. He talk to himself alot in sioux on the trip almost like there is someone else there but he redirects and responds whenever Little Hawk speaks to him. "So ju thinkin' dat we is almost der coyote" then turns and looks at Little Hawk "well whatcha thinkin' der lady hawk"

WhiskeySlim begins checking his gear and plays with his new radio making sure that the thing works. "Me hearin' ju loud and clear little hawk"
Little Hawk has, at least, gotten used to her partners little… idiosyncrasies. He was a shaman, it was to be expected. The young woman has also been doing her best to get used to the car, just in case she wound up needing to drive it under less easy circumstances later. "I think we can do a bit better." She replies, before smirking at the radio. "Good. I hope you are ready, omae. If things turn sour, your first priority has to be to just keep your head down and get the girl out of there, okay? I'm not expecting much mercy from these guys, and I'm guessing you least of all want to get caught by them."

WhiskeySlim look over at her with a glimmer in his eyes, "Coyote will never let me get caught unless it is to be able to pull a bigger trick me think der, ju jus be care…full me no wanna have to sing ju spirit home anytime soon."

Little Hawk keeps that smirk on her features. "Well. I've never done anything on this sort of scale before, but I've got no plans to be put down myself. If I'm lucky, they'll never even know what hit them."

The trip is mostly uneventful, with your contacts providing a backroad in to the Japanese Occupied area… one that gets you in without a search, which is good, given your big, whiskey addled trog friend there. Modesto was once a bedroom community of the bay area, and remains to this day as such. Servicing San Francisco by high speed rail, much of the Bay's middle class managers have moved here.

The Camp is marked as being about 10 miles outside of town, out of sight, out of mind.

WhiskeySlim looks around for places to stash the truck and begin the physical recon of the area. "Were ju want to be puttin' dis thing for us to be getting out of here later Little Hawk. Me thinkin we should get a spirit up and lookin for her."

The Camp itself lies on a low rise in the farmland. The central valley was once underwater, resulting a slow, gentle grade with few jagged rises. The Camp is a former farm house and attached cattle pens. The prisoners… they live in the cattle pens. It's swank, and smells like something that ryhmes.

WhiskeySlim summons a small spirit to help out as they prepare to start reconing the camp. Slim listens to the wind then gets down low and start whispering something in sioux.
Little Hawk nods to Whiskey, "We'll find somewhere off the beaten track, try to get it set up out of the way." She hrms slightly, "I'll need to take a minute to get set up, though. Get into the proper camo and armor, I've got no intention of taking a bullet, but it'd be stupid of me not to be ready in case."

WhiskeySlim finishes summoning the spirit then puts on the rest of his gear and is ready to cast an invisibility spell and be ready to start looking for the dwarf girl.

It's twilight when you get in visual range. A corn silo has been turned in to the watch tower, sort of reinforcing the… almost casual nature of the camp. It's not a major military installation, it's just a piece of the countryside turned in to an killing room. How many more camps just like this can be in California? Hundreds, at least.

Little Hawk hunkers down when she reaches visual range, and squints, starting to zoom in from afar in order to try and gauge the layout from where she is. The realization of how lax the security is, well, it's pretty shocking. After all, what it really said was that the spirits of the inhabitants had been crushed. Broken, such that they didn't need to be kept under tighter security. She didn't, naturally, expect to see the dwarf immediately, but she starts trying to get into a decent position that she could view the field which they'd be stealing her from.

WhiskeySlim makes some motions with his hands and mumbles something in Sioux and fades from vision into the surounding country side.

The Camp is not very active right now. It's downright.. quiet. 10 Soldiers walk the perimeter, but it looks like a group of 'workers' are currently reeducating the field, digging a ditch of some sort. It's hard to see in the darkness, but the motion shows up.

WhiskeySlim whispers to his spirit "Help conceal Little Hawk and I"

Little Hawk grumbles quietly to herself. Always hard to see in these places. Somehow, the figures- the authoritative forms of the soldiers- that made it all seem more real. The young woman licks her lips, and shakes her head. "I can't see her." She whispers. "I thought we'd be lucky to. There's no point exhausting yourself. Get a couple of hours sleep, I'll keep watch. Then you can keep watch for a couple of hours, and we can get some sort of rest before the sun comes up. I'll try to conceal us as best I can."

The sound is a direct one. A crack, the snap of a whip, the breaking of ice. The sort of sound thats unmistakable. A gunshot. It rings out from the camp, about a half mile distant, rippling over the land. A moment later, there's another.

Then another.

Then another.

No firefight, instead, the directed, purposeful sound of a handgun being discharged.

Little Hawk hisses, "Wait, gunfire." For a heartbeat, there is fear. If they'd been spotted, it was only luck that had meant she'd heard the gunshot rather than nothing as the sniper placed his shot. But that soon fades. No. That's… the wrong sort of sound. "Follow me. Quiet." She whispers, starting to shift towards the direction of the gunshots. She already had a sick feeling in the bottom of her stomach, that she knew what she was going to see, but she had to be certain.

WhiskeySlim follows Little Hawk as best as he can low to the ground and quickly. Watching around them as they move focusing on the sides of their trail and letting her cover the front.

The path down to the farm is a simple enough one. The gunfire continues, slow and steady, evenly paced. Crack. Crack. Crack. As you get closer, you can hear the sound of a large diesel engine powering up. Visually, you catch glimpses of more teams of people being brought out to the field. The gunfire pauses for a moment, perhaps, 5 minutes.. then continues.

Little Hawk feels a certain chill. "This just ain't right." She mutters. She can't help it. She had always thought of herself as being a moral person. Maybe she'd done some bad things in her time, but it was always for some… higher reason. The young Amerind starts to circle, slowly, carefully around, the weight of her rifle in her hands about all the comfort she had (it is, after all, difficult to feel comforted by the presence of a large troll you can't see). The most horrible part of all being… if it was what she suspected, then what was she going to do about it?

You paged WhiskeySlim with 'You see it, right there. The girls red hair catches a bit of wind, a little light, giving it a crimson glow. She's there in the pack of people who have been ushered out in to the field. She's standing at the lip of the ditch, looking down in to it, Japanese Soldiers walking behind her and about 10 others just like her.'.

WhiskeySlim whispers to LIttle Hawk "Der she is over der to ju right see da red head dwarf by da ditch. Ju cause a distraction me will go snag her" Slim waits for Little hawk to acknowledge that she sees the dwarf.

Little Hawk breathes a sigh of relief when she sees that the weapon isn't being discharged -into- prisoners, which was her first, horrible thoughts. "Slow down." She subvocalizes over the comms, narrowing her eyes a little as she tries to decide how to go about this. "The distances are wrong. They've got too many people there and too many focused on patrolling to go about it like we originally planned. We need a weak point, where there are less guards around her. But we've seen her now. I think we need to watch her movements for a little while, see if we can find that weakness in her routine."


The person 5 people up from the girl slumps forward, in to the ditch. The officer holds the gun up to his side, then takes 2 crisp steps forward.

WhiskeySlim eyes get really wide when he realizes that the ditch is a grave and they are executing the prisoners.

Little Hawk suddenly feels queasy. "Oh. /Drek/. Right. Shit. Shit. What else would they use it for? Fuck… okay. No time to play this quiet. Whiskey, I need you to be ready to give me some of that invisibility mojo. Lets see if we can buy some time."

This is, perhaps, signing her own death warrant, but Little Hawk can't… really stomach what she's seeing. She raises her gun, and takes a long, slow breath. Trying to calm herself and sight the officer before he can bring his gun down to the next prisoner.

WhiskeySlim moves towards the girl in the middle of the field hoping that invisibility and concealment will keep him out of harms way long enough to get the girl.

WhiskeySlim starts moving across the field a sioux prayer running through his head hoping his spirit and invisibility keeps him safe and wondering what Little Hawk is going to do to distract the soldiers at the ditch.

Little Hawk holds her breath. Thirty men, ten down there, that needed to be dealt with. Presuming she could keep to her one shot per second average, presuming she could make each shot a killing shot, she could potentially finish them in ten seconds. More than long enough for them to open fire in return, and more than long enough for the other guards to begin closing on her position, and that is a best situation.

Funny. This morning she was reading about how she had, inadvertently, shot the best mage in the city in the head, and pissed off the best artificer on the damned continent. Perhaps the world was trying to tell her that she should slow down. Or maybe it was telling her that she should get out there, so that she could be placed in this position.

All this runs through her mind in the split second it takes for her to start lining up her shot. In the heartbeat between Whiskey breaking into a run, and the soldier taking those two steps forward, and the horrible truth chilling through her heart… well, screw that. If she could save that one childs life, perhaps, that would be a fair trade, if those soldiers were as good as she thought, she wasn't going to get out of this, but maybe she could buy Whiskey an exit… she'd just have to see how dearly she could sell her life. Funny that it would be something as mundane as bullets to end it, after all she'd been through in the past few days.

So yeah. There you are, all Steven Seagal on that fallow cornfield. You're runnin, runnin, runnin in to certain death because you think its the right moral thing to do. It's a hero's moment, a moment worthy of a Sioux Warrior, a proud death, a noble death.

Well, it would be, if that bit of ground didn't just rise the hell up and tackle Whiskey before he got all that far. "Mothafucka, down! Don't blow this!" Growls the voice. "Fucken amatures." A pause, then the hiss of a walky talky. "This is Panther 2, I got unknowns here, look like they're trying to play hero, back off! back off!"

Little hawk can see, easilly, That… well, no, she can't. He was invisible to start with.

You can see, because footprints and dust arn't invisible, the path Whiskey takes. And then doesn't take. And then hits the ground at full speed with a small cloud of dust.

Little Hawk hesitates, torn, suddenly. The world spoke to you… and either something had just taken Whiskey down, or he'd tripped and fallen, or he'd suffered sudden cardiac arrest or kidney failure. Either way. Nothing about it spoke very well about the wisdom of taking the shot.

"Get up you son of a bitch, he's not slowing down!" She hisses into her comms, through gritted teeth. Willing Whiskey to reply, grumble some apology about how Coyote meant he needed to stop and sniff the roses or something… anything that'd mean they were still in with a chance.

The officer lowers his gun. CRACK.

Prisoner #203 falls forward, in to the ditch. The Officer takes two crisp steps forward. He's 3 prisoners away from the girl now.

WhiskeySlim lays face down in the dirt wondering what the hell he triped over and why coyote is sitting on top of him, doesnt he know there is a little girl to save. "Wha ju doin' coyote me no know who no panther is where is Little Hawk, ju stop trippin' me and why ju sit on me we need be savin' littl' girl ju tricksy."

Panther hisses now… An unseen form, cloathed in Ruthenium perhaps.. "Stay down, hero… gonna get everyone killed. Who the fuck are you?"

Little Hawk can't believe this is happening. They'd been so close. But there it is. Another crack. Another life she could have saved. Six paces to go before it was all pointless anyway. "Get UP you stupid drunken bastard!" She whispers. Not that she sounds angry. Death was scary enough. Pointless death wasn't just scary, it was horrifying. Completely oblivious to the fate of her downed comrade, she has to watch… this awful atrocity unfolding before her eyes.

WhiskeySlim continues to try and spit dirt clods out of his mouth,"Ju know who I am coyote now stop playin' games and explain why ju tripin' me right now me have not even had nuthin' to drink for tree days"

"Shut your fucking mouth, injun! This is a UCAS operation, and you're putting my entire fireteam in danger! Yuou tell your team to BACK the FRAG off!" Snarls the UCAS spec-ops man, his ghilli suit rumbling with the force of his voice.

"Bingo team, hold station, I repeat, hold station, we have an unknown contact." Says Jaguar then, in to his commlink.

Little Hawk can feel the sweat on her brow turning cold. Something had happened to Whiskey, and so the question was… did she keep praying that somehow he managed to keep going, or did she accept the possibility that there was nothing she could do? The girl is torn… but she can't look away. How could she? She was possibly the only living sympathetic soul that would survive the night. She had to watch.

WhiskeySlim wonders how someone as stupid as a whiteman could possibly sneak up on him but tumbs his com assuming that he is allowed to do so and says "Ju migh' wanna hold dat shot Little me run into a UCAS guy hiding out here inda field and me thinkin dis not going to do nothin'"

Little Hawk starts breathing again when the trog speaks. UCAS… well, shit. That was bad luck on his part. On her part. But mostly on the part of the girl. "Alright Whiskey." She replies, slowly, and with a surprisingly, disturbingly calm voice. "Don't fight them, you'll just make them mad. Tell them the team is pulling out." Which was true, in a way. The girl crouches just a little lower, and swings her rifle up onto her back. But she doesn't go. Not yet. She had to see it… with her own eyes. She had to bear witness to it before she could leave. She'd worry about little things like evading UCAS special forces and getting back to Denver outside of a cell after this far more important work was done.

The officer lowers his gun, placing it to the back of the head of the next person, a troll by the looks of him. Malnourished in the moonlight, by his frame that looks only barely larger than that of a basketball player with horns.


And then he slumps.

WhiskeySlim starts crawling out of the field if they will let him go not able to watch them and wincing everytime that he hears a gun shot. Slim whispers prayers for the souls of the dying and promises to sing for their souls once he gets out of here.

Panther points, in so much as can be seen. "You pull back, injun, and let the big boys handle this. Don't go no where… we got your friend on drone coverage… we'll be back. Now, let me do my fucken job."

Little Hawk watches, in silence. The young Amerind had never liked trolls- though she could work with them when needed, obviously- but even she can't help but feel her stomach tighten as the malnourished wretch falls to the dirt. Now, with a cold, calculating fury she works to commit the Officer's face to memory as much as she can. If she could do nothing else, she could try and get revenge one day.

WhiskeySlim continues crawling back towards Little Hawk and tumbs his com again and recites the message but nicer, "Da UCAS guy would like if we woul' pull back and let dem handle dis an fo' us to not go no where cause dey got us covered wit' a drone"

From down the way, near the bunk houses, there comes a smattering of automatic gunfire, then a chorus of screams. The officer's pistol hovers just behind Deborah's head, the girls face downcast, hair hiding her features…

Little Hawk doesn't reply to Whiskey. Her jaw tightens. There was a distraction… let the officer hesitate, please, god, don't let him continue his sick duty when someone, some other force, was going to interfere… please… she was just so damned young. She didn't deserve this. If there was any justice in the world….

WhiskeySlim talks softly to his spirit"So ju make dat officer guy over der sneeze and not shoot da girl please and tank ju"

The Spirit whispers its understanding, a rustle of tall grasses in the breeze as it sweeps across the fallow field to the blood stained mud and muck of the charnal pit. It slides twords the officers gun, intent on causing mischief, but is is blocked by a blowing wind of the Officer's defensive spirit, so placed on him by the camp Magi. The spirit reports its failure in a syllabant hiss.


The girl's head jerks, the gunshot reporting out over the field.

The officer pauses behind the girl, looking down at her almost curiously. She does not slump. One hand comes up to touch his chest, as he finds himself fallen to his knees beside her. "Nani..?" He mutters, looking at the red spreading on his chest as he falls, himself, in to the pit that he has so callously discarded the others.

Little Hawk stiffens in time with the gunshot, and she bows her head. She doesn't cry. She just clenches her hands into fists, and lets out a long, slow breath. She wasn't good enough. Perhaps… perhaps if she was God with a Gun. One of the legends of the shadows. One of the best of the best. Maybe then she could have done it. Maybe if she'd spent more, worked harder…

And then she realizes that… she isn't the one who has fallen. When the Officer falls, the Amerind actually stares, her mouth falling open.

She starts to laugh. All that tension, all that stress and fear, and helplessness floods out of her in an instant. Now, she does feel tears welling up. Someone… something, somehow, had stopped it. In a strange way, it all seemed worth it, just to confirm that glorious instant with her own eyes.

WhiskeySlim looks completly confused and lays out in the field wondering if maybe the spirit was wrong and the gun had accidently back fired on the man before hitting the girl and just to take the opprutuinty tosses a stun bolt at the girl hoping to knock her into the ditch before anyone notices.

When the officer slides down in to the ditch, the ten soldiers with him scatter, some bounding for the cover offered by the bulldozer, some going prone and firing wildly in to the darkness. Near the camp, the gunfire is coming in clipped, regimented blasts of 3 shots, and in less controlled bouts of full auto spray.

A vehicle, probably a light truck, explodes down near the farm house, the sound of glass breaking as breaching grenades are thrown in. "Move move move! Alpha squad, secure the pens! Charlie, the main house!" the shouts of a decidedly english speaking voice from nearer the main camp.

The girl doesn't move, but she does look around now, eyes wild, hands bound behind her back. She tries to go to her feet, but a stacatto of bullets rip across the air above her and she instead throws herself down on to the ground.

Little Hawk starts breathing again. Calming down just … a little bit. Well. She was probably captured anyway, and she had no idea what the punishment this UCAS bunch had in mind would be, but she had no intention of finding out. She couldn't get to the girl. She could only pray that she survived the firefight. It was probably going seriously against runner protocol to abandon poor Whiskey to his fate, but, she had no intention of sticking around any longer. She'd done all she could, and honestly, all she could do wasn't that much. She had no intention of putting up a fight if she was really caught, but she had to at least try to get away, didn't she? Time to try and fade back into the shadows… she starts to skulk back through the darkness.

WhiskeySlim starts moving back out into the field hoping that the USCA guys are busy doing what ever they are doing and will leave him to get the girl. "Spirit conceal The redheaded dwarf girl, Little hawk, and me"

The spirit sadly wind whispers thatit cannot conceal people so far apart. You would need to get closer.

WhiskeySlim continues movign towards the girl "jus' get us when we are close enough together"

The Spirit whispers it can do that.

Lt. Ichiro Shinjuki keeps his head, keeps his cool. The Emperor is counting on him. Honor rides on his aim. Rides on his ability to salvage the situation and turn back the Gaijin invaders and cleanse this land of its metahuman taint, making it holy for the Japanese people. He flicks the safety off and sights down range, looking for the sniper who killed the Honorable Shin Yodama. Right and left he pans, until he spots the dirt being disrupted. He blinks once, twice, and then spies Whiskey Slim as he crawls.

CrackCrackCrack… the burst tears out of the Yoshira Technologies YT-65 Urban Assault Rifle. Two of three bullets tear in to Whiskey's flesh, the third ripping up the turf in front of his head.

WhiskeySlim calls upon his spirit to conceal him and lays as still as he possibly can like he is dead

Little Hawk is in familiar ground again. The horror she witnessed can be put to the back of her mind. At least, for now. She'd unpack it later, when she was at home, she could let the cold knot of hatred and disgust in her gut loose, and she could replay what had happened. The trick would be getting home. One forest is much like another, and say what you like about Little Hawk, she knows her forests. She stays close to the ground, walking softly, but briskly. Whiskey had said something about a drone. She could only hope that it had lost, or would lose, sight of her, or that it'd picked up someone else entirely. The girl was safe. Or at least, had been alive when the firefight started. She couldn't confirm it, but if she could get home and not spend tonight in a cell somewhere, she'd count it as a victory.

The firefight rages near the main camp, with gunfire coming to rake across the bulldozer. A Japanese soldier dies a horrible death as a bullet penetrates just under his eye, slamming in to the sinus cavity and then rattling around before ricocheting out his ear. It's a pretty assy way to go, all things considered.

WhiskeySlim continues running and praying "coyote move move move come on ju can do it get us out of here"

The prairie spirit slides in around Whiskey, putting its energy in to moving him faster and faster still, each stride, painful with bullet wounds, becomes a leap across rows of the furrowed, fallow ground. it's good too, because it makes him harder to track, bullets slamming in to the earth behind him.

WhiskeySlim runs on the wing of an eagle fast as the wind will carry him trying to get him out of range of the rifle guy and finding a good hiding spot till things blow over and noone is shooting anymore.

Little Hawk is barely breathing as she slinks through the night. Behind her, she knew, people were dying and killing one another. What remained unknown was how much of this UCAS team was actually in the surrounding area, and there were still ten assorted jap guards to worry about, not to mention others who might have fled into the darkness and chaos of the night. The idea that, at any moment, a single gunshot might ring out and pin her unawares is really quite the incentive to stay hidden, and quiet. She just had to make it to the car. That was all she needed to do… so long as the drone wasn't a sign that her face was going to be plastered throughout the country as a terrorist, she could still get out of here, and all she'd need to contend with would be the nightmare image of that cold officer killing the unfortunate metahumans… and the realization that there were so many other camps doing the same thing throughout the country, the world.

Whiskey Slims departs.

The world is a dangerous place to be alone. In the dark. In a foreign land. A hostile land. A land that hates both indians and metahumans. Getting back to the vehicle, Little Hawk may get the feeling she's being watched. Being observed. Stalked perhaps. The hunter become the hunted.

If there is one thing that the night has proven to Little Hawk, it is that in the 'real' world, she really is very green. Perhaps it is a horrible thing to do, but, last she'd heard from Whiskey he was tackled by UCAS, and she had no idea what else had happened to him. Shutting off her comms, she keeps her gun close as she starts struggling out of the top layers of her 'working' gear. She was probably being paranoid, but she wanted out of here. If she could get out of the camo and be on her way quick enough, she was sure she could make it back home, no questions asked… out a hundred thousand to the J, which sucked, but at least she'd have her limbs intact and her freedom.

The woman's internal monologue is broken in mid thought by a snapped low branch. The kind of thing a skilled tracker would notice. What catches her notice as well.. is that its the only pass-sign. Someone came though here, recently, who was -good- at hiding their presence. This, this is the sort of thing that happens no matter how good you are… but the lack of anything else? Thats good.

Very good.

And in the area of your vehicle.

Little Hawk freezes in her tracks. Her mouth goes dry. Crap. Someone was on to her. Listen to the world, and it will tell you what you need to hear indeed. She should have trusted her instincts. Rookie mistake. But she spotted it. As quiet as she can, she starts to work her way back. The car was compromised. Okay. She'd need to find her own way back from here. There was another city… not that far from here, she seemed to remember. A few miles, but she could make it. Steal a car, maybe, and then get her own way back through to Denver… the rifle was the big question, how the hell was she going to explain that if she was spotted?

The world is still. The world is quiet. The only sound is the occasional single gun shot from far behind. The world… is however… wrong. There, on the edge of the clearing that holds the Ford truck, the world tastes… wrong. It smells wrong. Eyes sweep across the landscape, but can grasp no direct cause, note no indication of what is wrong. But the soul speaks, and the soul is unsettled.

… Is this what magic feels like? It's a fleeting thought, but Little Hawk can't help but draw the comparison. Her heart beats a little faster, and she fights the rising urge to panic. Something was wrong and she couldn't decide what it was, but whatever it was, it was going to get the drop on her. She could feel it in her bones. Very slowly, very quietly she puts her gun over her shoulder, and then bends down, drawing the sickly-red coated blade of her survival knife from her boot, and starting, slowly, to creep away from the wrongness. It might be paranoia, but every fiber in her being told her that, after what she'd gotten away from, paranoia was a survival trait, not a flaw.

Actually… the sound of a rock shifting under foot from behind, alerts the woman to the presence of someone or someones behind her… someone who smells like gunoil, sweat and… polyurethane?

Little Hawk in an instant has her Predator in her hand, grabbed from the small of her back, with her knife in the other. "Hold very fucking still." She says, loudly, "And I won't shoot you. I really don't want any trouble, omae."

Orienting on the man is easy enough, he's moved out of cover, a much larger gun pointed in her direction. It looks like an Ares Alpha M2, the UCAS military variant with the under barrel grenade launcher and, extended clip and top mounted scope. The lack of laser sight is telling, meaning the wielder is probably augmented. "Wrong state for a vacation, babygirl." Says the gruff tone of an accent thats probably midwestern, maybe a little great lakes. "But I'm not here for a fire fight. Drop the pistol. I need to know what the hell you two were doing back there." The man is wearing the ghilli suit, the foliage covered canvass suit that makes men almost invisible in the brush.

Little Hawk turns around slowly, and keeps her gun lowered. When she sees the hardware pointed in her direction, she does a quick risk analysis. This guy was good. Very good. But. If she dropped her gun, she was entirely at his mercy. She might. /Might/. Be able to get the drop on him. Though she doubted it. Sweat beads on her brow, and, as it is wont to do, Little Hawk's self esteem breaks. This guy was serious. She … wasn't. The safety on the pistol is put on with a careful, slow flick of her thumb, and she lets the weapon drop.

"We were there to get a girl out of there. Dwarf kid. Twelve years old… I didn't ask more than that, because I didn't want to know. Didn't know anything about your lot, and we'd probably be in the ground if it weren't for you. We were out of our league, okay? That's all there is to it." She can't help but focus on that gun. She did not like this one iota. Sure that it was against some secret Runner code to spill the beans when staring down the barrel of a gun, but hell, what choice did she have?

Actually, runner code 302.A, title 4, section two states: You are a mercenary, and guns are good negotiation tactics. When faced with one, capitulate and live to make a buck another day. Or something. I'm probably paraphrasing. Anyway, the Runners Code is more like a Guideline.

"Mercies then." Says the man, offering a grunt. The gun lowers, that awkward seeming 'ready but not active' position, hilt up, barrel down. Somewhere inside, the guns mechanisms snap, audibly, safety on. Yeah. Augmented. Probably a smart link.

"You nearly got killed, yeah. Be glad that Jaguar has a softspot for big stupid trolls. Something about his momma, but you'd have to ask him." His eyes are hidden under the lip of the suit, but they seem to examine the woman in detail. "Go. Don't come back. The prisoners will be up in Truckee tomorrow. Maybe you can find your girl there."

Then, just like that, he shifts to the right, and just seems to melt in to the scrub and trees. Just fucking -batman- gone.

Little Hawk is silent for a few, long moments after the man has disappeared. Then, carefully, she bends down and picks up her pistol. Putting it quietly back into place. "And I thought I was good because I managed to sneak past a few guards at a fraggin' zoo." She mutters to herself, shaking her head on the way back to the van. She's shaken, definitely. But… those guys had saved that kids life. They'd done a hell of a lot more than she and Whiskey could have hoped, and they'd put a lot of evil men in the ground.

And, well. Little Hawk isn't stupid enough to say that the money wouldn't be a pleasant bonus on top, if she could find the kid. And if there is one thing she's still pretty hopeful she can do, it is find people. So, she gets herself changed into the more casual gear, stowing away her rifle, and fully intends to take that soldiers advice. Now she just needed to get to Truckee!

Luckily, you have a big truck and a road map. The truck's big engine kicks out heat, the speakers kick out music and the tires kick out gravel. The trip back north seems to go faster than the trip down south had been. The roads are dark, with hardly any traffic on them at all. People around here are scared to move in the dark.

Truckee comes with the Dawn, the sun just creeping over the Serra Nevada mountains, a light snow dusting the road. UP ahead, near the center of town, a Red Cross relief convoy is pulled over at the Donner Ridge Rest Area, flanked by a quad of unmarked, but decidedly 'military looking' black trucks.

Little Hawk feels so much better for the heat and noise. Noise that isn't gunfire, or the disturbingly subdued sound the prisoners had made when they were shot. No. Put that out of your mind for the moment. You could be disturbed about that later on, Little Hawk. For now, focus on finding the little girl.

It'd be fair to say that Little Hawk does not look at her best when she pulls her truck up and steps out of it. The young woman hasn't slept all night, her hair is a tangled mess, heavy bags weigh at her eyes and she is still just a little bit twitchy.

She does her best to stay perceptive, though. Walking in calm, measured steps out of her car towards the convoy, trying her best to look not like a sleep-deprived lunatic, but like a curious civilian. Her eyes cast down low, though. Deborrah had to have made it… she just had to.

People are pouring off busses. They drove faster than Little Hawk, on account of their mandate to get the fuck out of dodge and a little escort from the California Rangers (A sort of conglomeration of the Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol) and the Spec-Ops who had gone in there to get them. A quick once over of the crowd as they are handed sandwiches and cups of coffee confirms that maybe… half of the camp made it out alive. A half that are alive that would not have been without the intervention.

One thing strikes Little Hawk. The surprisingly small number of Elves mixed with the Orks, Dwarves and trolls. As in all things, the pretty are spared the brunt of the uglyness of humanity.

Releif workers are passing out blankets, preparing to start working out ID's for people who no longer have Identi-cards or the ability to get one. People who's lives were stolen, beaten, stomped upon and brutalized.

A flash of muddy red hair will catch the eye of Little hawk then, a cup of hot chocolate in one hand, a rapidly disappearing sandwich in the other. She's dirty, she's in rags, and she's sitting on a cold curb with the first hot drink she's had in weeks, but she's alive.

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