Saint John

GM: Hiller
Players: Hood
Date: March 2071

Synopsis: Previously, Musara, hired by the Sinners, had provided some intel on the Saints. As a result, the Sinners decide to go on with their plan. Johnny Will, electronics expert and mechanics of the Saints, shall be kidnapped and interrogated about ongoing observations in Mission Hills. Hood is hired to do the kidnap. It is not a high risk job, but tough anyway. Due to the fact that Musara had left a Saint dead on his recon mission (cf. 'Eavesdrop on Angels'), the resistance is noticeably tougher. Wounded and drained, Hood manages to deliver the unconcious and hurt Saint. The remote wasteland of the Warrens imposes an additional hardship on Hood.

Prequel/Follow-Up:: Follow up from Eavesdrop on Angels.

Hood takes interest

General Rumors

Hood hears the rumors about some problems at the Crank (cf. 'The Crank Situation'), regarding observations and breaking-in. And hears, that the Sinners are looking for a professional. Since Hood himself lives at the Crank, he decides to take the opportunity straight on.

Not only will Hood poke around, he will also ask around! No gang-related contacts are skills, I'm afraid. Best he'll be using is Street Rumors 4. -Hood

Some say it all startet with a burglary a few days ago. But the break-in has nothing to do with the true problem. It just started the mess. Someone did observations on occupants of The Crank. That's what they say. And for this thing last evening: the local Sinner Kapo named Holly gave a beat-up to someone in the Crank, but the whole thing was about something else as well. Rumor has it, that Holly offered a job to a guy in room 322. But the guy there simply said 'no'. Believe it or not. Others add, Kapo Holly and this Crimson Smoke guy called Anderro, both are looking for some black hats. But the job must be really tough. A warrior tied to the Sinners states, that 322 rejected the job with reference to the Geneva Convention.

Room 322 is indeed again free for rent, if Hood is going to ask Schizo about it. Whoever lived there, must've moved on very quickly. The room that got looted was on 2nd floor. 202 or 210, not quiet sure.

All in all, Schizo and the Sinners try to calm the whole thing down. Enough attention for everyones liking so far. So, unless Hood digs deeper, he would propably not be bothered with the whole thing again.

Looking for Holly

Like a nightmare version of Las Vegas, Mission Hills sprawls lazily during the day, its streets in disrepair and lined with the trash and debris of the previous evening. At night, however, it comes alive as a hive of debauchery and sin, reveling in every conceivable vice. Once richly appointed lofts and condos lie in ruin, used as brothels and flop houses for those looking for a good time. Gaudily appointed businesses thrive here like maggots on a corpse, selling beetles and cheap guns and other good and services, with only a few staying more than a few days in any one place.

Wrecked and gutted cars block many streets, requiring one to travel on foot and channeling that traffic towards the aforementioned businesses. Corner whores and alleyway drug dealers are common, and there is the hint of danger at every turn. Here the dangers are more visceral than simply being shot: slavery is all too common, with human trafficking one of the most popular ways to make a buck. The nights are often torn with the sounds of screams, some of pleasure from the many whorehouses, and some of pain from the nightly fights and gladiatorial games.

Mission Hills doesn't exactly shut down during the day, but it's not the crazy-ass free-for-all it is at night, which means there's less chance that Hood will be able to find the people he needs to speak with if he waits until the sun's really up and burning. Consequently, he gets right to work in the morning, hitting the streets of the notorious district before dawn's completely broken, hands shoved in his pockets as he works his way down the littered streets, weaving in and out amongst car wrecks, and ignoring the suggestions the many, many joygirls and joyboys whisper - or shout - in his ear. The Sinners control the vice in this part of town, but talking to their whores won't really tell him much. Nah, he's on the prowl for one of the pimps, and so his cybereyes flit back and forth as he prowls the streets.

Indeed, the upcoming day seems to threaten the greater part of the neigborhoods inhabitants and customers alike. The Crank is located at the Quincy - Chambers crossroad. Pretty much the heart of the Mission Hill red light district. Business is sparse in those early hours, but not dead. Hood draws several glances to his torn black kevlar vest and the nice CAS flag printed on the shirt beneath. But no ne seems to be interested in stressing the point or argue with the tough build guy. And Hood's around for some other reason as well!

He already learnt that there is this Sinner called Holly, who was at least present if not responsible for the show at the Crank last night. It was not very hard to figure out, that she called herself 'Kapo', claiming authority over the Crank crossroad. At least when it comes to matters that would touch Sinners' interest. So she would be expected to stick around. Maybe her name would ring a bell or two, if Hood asks the right people?

Hood is a patient guy, most of the time, but either the trek without finding anything other than prostitutes is starting to bore him…or they're just starting to look better and better. No visible pimping operations going on, so as he once more turns the block back onto Quincy, he shifts tactics. Ol' bald, bearded, and Southern starts to pay a little more attention to the whores themselves, his gait slowing to a casual amble as his cybereyes roam, trying to pick out one that doesn't look cracked out of her mind on nova or BTLs or whatever the hell the dependency du jour is. He finally comes to a full stop maybe half a block down Quincy, right near the entrance to the Master's Throne, and simply waits to be approached. If the place is as sleazy-decadent as it looks, it shouldn't be long.

Approaching a hooker
It doesn't take long until he's approached by a surprisingly nice hooker. The prostitutes have one major problem those hours, and that's the cold and harsh weather. But at least it doesn't rain. So the blonde girl is dressed in a black synth-fur cloak. Neatly cut to reveal shaped legs and proper business dress beneath. "Ey honey, watcha looking for…" Her dark red lips part in a charming smile and she tries to hook his elbow. The smell of hot soykaf and the immediate presence of warmth suggests that she stepped out on the street just ten minutes ago or so.

"You, sweetie," is Hood's casual, easy answer, accompanied by a flashed grin. "Got a few nuyen to burn, 'n I'm thinkin' of makin' your night. But, unfortunately, gotta take care of somethin' real quick, so maybe y'all can help me out 'n then we go party, huh?" He allows his elbow to be hooked, free hand descending into his jacket pocket once more and coming up with a Saeder-Krupp note, good for the equivalent of one hundred nuyen in corporate scrip. He none-too-harshly reaches over to tuck it into her neckline, and continues, "Lookin' for a girl named Holly. Heard she might be lookin' for -me-, so, ya know, didn't wanna keep her waitin'. Runs things 'round here, that 'bout right?"

First, she seems to be reluctant. Her body immediately feels like gently drawn away. But his mix of professionalism and charming smile - and a Saeder-Krupp note - makes her think it over again. She follows him slowly, still closely attached to him. "Oh? Allright." She pulls out the note again and gives it a closer inspection, then puts it back, obviously satisfied so far. "You wanna meet with Holly? You sure? You got any problems here?" Unbelievable, but there is a hint of concern in her eyes and voice. But for him? Not very likely.

"Sure as sure," Hood answers, cheerfully. "And nah, honey, no problems that I know of. Definitely not anything y'all'd need to worry 'bout gettin' that pretty lil' ass in trouble over, believe me." Okay, so maybe he's not TOTALLY professional. "Jus' gotta talk some biz with her, you know how it goes. 'n, I mean, hey…biz for me means more to spend down here, right? Everybody benefits when local business reinvest in the economy." He's making it up as he goes along, but he's always been pretty good at that, and confidence is a difficult thing to see through.

Few other hookers and even fewer customers pass Hood and his girl. The hookers exchange glances, but all is fine so far, as far as Hood can tell. Just a casual situation. The street is quiet as well, neon lights mixing with early sunrise.

"No problem. She can be found at the DH in the morning," a brief, faint smile "pretty pissed off she is in those early hours. I can show you the way. Just a few dozen yards."

"Lead on, then, gorgeous," Hood answers cheerfully, letting the prostitute take the lead in their little amble. "Though fill me in on what the DH is, yeah? Ain't from 'round here." True in one sense, not in the other; he's a CAS boy, that's for sure, but he also currently lives at the Crank, so he's arguably probably just having her fill the time with words.

"Hm…the DH is the 'drug haven', pretty well known. Call it coffee shop, hash bar or whatever you like," she smiles. "You'll figure out the rest I guess. Just don't argue about claims or rules. She's some pretty weird…views, some say." On her high heels, she leads the way straight past a rock bar, two brothels and some kind of 'residences' or clubs. Hard to tell the difference. At the next crossroad she stops and points. "There it is. I leave you here, sweety. I'm not supposed to show up there. - Take care." And with a sudden motion she moves away from him and turns back. Just like Hood had rebuffed her out of a mood.

The drug haven

Fifty yards away, there it is. The 'DH'. A formerly nice condo building, constructed with less concrete and more red bricks. 20 feet broad and four stories high. Must've been nice in some past forgotten times. But the small front yard without any wall or fence is in a terrible shape: garbage, random chairs, a badly cramped motorcyle. In front of the entrance, there is a front porch, some guys are talking and listening to weird music. Some last century post rock or ambient-rock crossover.

Hood considers the building for a few long moments, in the meantime fishing a cigarette out of his pocket and lighting up. He drags deeply, and then glances to his right, seeking out and finding a shallow alleyway, stepping into it with the look of a guy who has to relieve himself. Once within, the Predator III snugged into a concealed carry holster inside the waistband on his back right hip is unholstered, the slide racked back just far enough for him to perform a brass check, making sure he's got a round in the chamber. Satisfied, the pistol is slid back into place, and Hood steps out, making motions like he's fiddling with the zipper of his denims. Hands get tucked back into his pockets and, trailing smoke, he makes his way towards the drug haven, keeping an eye on the guys on the front porch, obviously expecting some kind of challenge as he gets there.

As he approaches the porch openly, Hood is reckognized quiet early. Two guys can be seen, and two women. Standing around a small table with the boom box on top. Two of them are obviously armed. One with a heavy pistol and one with a baseball bat. A shotgun is placed upright against the brick wall. The whole situation is relaxed at the moment. - On first glimpse, Hood reckognizes that the two women are wearing the Sinner's cat of nine tails, the guys are members of the Crimson Smoke, wearing bright red and black synth-leather jackets. Hood may find it an unusual show of weaponry. As he approaches, one of the guy turns to him and steps forward.

Bright red synthleather armor jacket with black sleeves clearly mark him as a member of the Crimson Smoke. He's a fighter, basically. Well trained by the life in the Warrens and tough built. His black hair is clean and well cut, though he appears to be quiet fatigued. "Hey pal, still on the run? I don't know you. What're you up to?" The other guy and the two Sinners exchange some glances and one raises an eyebrow at the man who just spoke to Hood. Maybe this guy is not the one expected to start the talking here.

Hood jerks his chin upwards in a brief gesture of greeting, featureless, blank, dull grey cybereyes making a quick inventory of the little quartet. "Jus' needed to talk to Holly right quick, if she's in," he answers, around the cigarette between his teeth. He takes a drag, exhales through his nostrils, and continues, "Nothin' major. Just 'bout some business related to the Crank." He blinks, and perhaps a nanosecond later, a little muscular twitch seems to start in his shoulders, running down through his arms until it terminates in his hands. It's not overly noticeable, but nor is it entirely missable. Looks like someone just kicked in their reflex trigger.

"Really?", the guy fakes a surprised mask. "Mr. Coolness just walks in and wanna talk about the 'Crank business'. Nice, nice…" He steps down from the porch, baseball bat in his hand. "Who - sent - you - here?" - This guy is surprisingly pissed off! And he's obviously intimidating. Or at least he tries to. Hood has a good feeling for this situation though. This guy is not only pissed off and impatient, he's going out on a limb, maybe on a light trip. The three others are watching the scene. One of the Sinners picks up the shotgun, but holds it pointing to the ground. It is pretty obvious that the other three are much more relaxed and not even half as aggressive than this black haired with the Crimson colors.

Hood's expression is difficult to read, given that so much of expression in general is conveyed with the eyes, and his aren't quite capable of that anymore. The grin that suddenly flashes amidst his beard is utterly without mirth, though. "I sent myself here, to talk to Holly. Not you. Her? She's gonna wanna talk to me. You? We got nothin' to say to each other. So, y'all can do this 'n I can walk, 'n she can take it up with you when she finds out she missed an opportunity like this, or…well, we can all play nice. Entirely up to you, hombre. I'm on my own time, 'n if I'm jus' gonna be wastin' it, might as well be doin' it with a couple'a redheads back down the street."

The guy in front of Hood puffs in anger and just reckognizes that 'staring you to death' is not a good method if chrome stares back. He's just about to do or say something stupid, when one of the SInners, a young lady with a black pony tell, says "Adnerro, knock it off, damn it.". The other Crimson Smoke guy joins in: "Let 'em go, not worth any word." The comrade steps closer behind this Anderro and giving him some aid in order to keep his pride. He drags him back a bit. "This fucked up day is over anyway…let them care for this shit. I'm sick of it.”

As the way is cleared, the Sinner with the pony tail continues. "You wanna talk about the Crank? What exactly?"

"Playin' nice it is," Hood observes, his cheerful demeanor apparently not going to drop anytime soon. He lifts a pair of fingers to his brow in a jaunty little salute to the Sinner. "'n I'm sorry, ma'am, I thought I was clear: I wanna talk to -Holly- 'bout the Crank. Hear she's the Kapo 'n responsible for…well, what it is I wanna talk to her 'bout. No disrespect to y'all, 'r nothin', but…well, I've played telephone before, when I was a kid, know what I mean? I say I wanna talk 'bout the Crank out here, it goes through three 'r four people, 'n this Holly cat hears I wanna talk 'bout robbin' a bank. 'r drivin' a tank. Jus' prefer to take it to her."

The Sinner raises an eyebrow, but nods with surprisingly little objection. "Alright. You've a name that we should know?" Unsure, if she refers to his name or 'anyones' name.

"Hood," is Hood's answer, making it unclear whether that's a first name, a last name, or just an alias for one or the other. Could be all three.

Finally face to face

The black pony tail enters the building and the other Sinner picks up the shotgun. A Spas-22 by the way. Quiet good stuff for a gang, some would think. - While some minutes pass, this Anderro and his brother reclaim the porch and settle down on a small plastic bench. The reasonable one tries to distract this Anderro from the whole matter, talking about something below the music. After two minutes or so, another Sinner steps out in the porch. She is tough built, clad in a black leather jacket, heavily armored. Thick boots and leather made flared pants. Her head is shaved and above her right ear a hand-sized tattoo is plain to see. It shows a neatly detailed cat with nine tails. From the way she moves and the others react to her, Hood may guess that this is Holly. Finally!

"Hood," the skinhead says in a neutral voice.

"Yes ma'am," Hood answers cheerfully, having kept an eye on Anderro and the other Crimson Smoke gent long enough to become bored. "Thanks for takin' the time. Was just wonderin' if we could have a lil' chat, if you're at leisure." He sucks more smoke, exhaling, once again, through his nostrils, those blank cybereyes staring dully up at the bald woman, incongruous with the slight smile on his face - in general, it's an expression he doesn't seem to wear often, that smile.

She steps down the porch, eyeing the closer vicinity carefully. "I had some bad experiences with guys showing up on my porch. Especially if they've silver eyes and are propably recording every damn word I say. So better you just open this 'lil' chat' and make a straight point. This will save us both time." With a gesture she waves the pony tail to cover the walkway. "Check for cars."

"Fair 'nough," Hood drawls, sucking once more on his cigarette before beginning. "Y'all shot up my home t'other night. Well, not MY home in particular, but where my home is. Don't take too kindly to that. But, since y'all provide a perfectly pleasant service for this part of Aurora, know what? Don't care overly much, long as the bullets ain't comin' through my door. But…bein' me, I jus' had to do some diggin', ya know? Turns out it was…I guess what we might call a contract dispute? Somethin' like that? Anyway, was jus' seein' if y'all ended up gettin' everythin' squared away, or if ya needed some help. Kinda a…troubleshooter, guess ya might say."

She eyes him directly, contemplating Hood for a second. She appears to be quiet a different type than this Anderro. "What's your room number?"

Hood's head shakes. "All apologies, but I'm 'fraid that ain't on the table for discussion. Hell, already doin' myself a considerable disservice 'n lettin' ya know I live there in the first place. My conscience is gonna be hollerin' at me so much over that one, I'm probably gonna end up havin' to move, 'n that's a shame. Kinda like it here."

She purses her lips. "Alright. Come in, we talk." She waves him to follow.

Hood does as instructed, without a word, smilingly blandly and probably not at all sincerely to those left on the porch as he passes.

The porch guys follow his smile, that's for sure. Then he enters. - The hallway was pretty narrow, once. But walls have been removed and red light now floods some kind of 'antechamber'. Two large sofas are placed between some kind of plastic palm trees. It smells heavily like weed, cigarettes and alkohol. Two other gangers are present to the left. So Holly leads the way to the right side of the large room, where one of the sofas is located around a fine realwood table. Unbelievable. This good piece of furniture, placed on a worn dark red carpet and covered with stain and remains of beer and coctails. Holly settles down and offers Hood to do likewise. The Sinner with the shotgun and the reasonable Crimson Smoke guy entered as well, as guards, as it seems. All in all, this sofa offers some privacy.

Holly runs her left hand over her skinny head. "Well, I was wondering how long it would take until this whole thing lures some rabbits out of this shithole. But you're right. There is a matter to take care of. And I guess you've heard some rumors." – "So," she raises her eyes to meet his, and at least she's not distracted or irritated like Anderro. She's staring right through. "I'm a friend of participatory democracy. You've heard about that?"

Hood nods his head easily in agreement, not bothering to put his cigarette out once the smell of stale smoke hits his nostrils, assuming that plenty of other folks in residence are smoking just as much. "I've heard some rumors, yeah, nothin' definite. Truth be told, ain't got a clue what any of that was about. Just heard an opportunity for some work, 'n decided to do some digging. Ain't got no notions of participatory democracy or anythin' else, so if y'all wanna lay out the particulars, I'll listen. If y'all wanna play it close to the vest, well…that's fine by me, too."

"Basically, I think people who decide to do something for their neighborhood, deserve to receive something in return. Easy thing. Some politicians tried it in the past. Quiet a fuck off. I don't care. We make the rules here. But the concept works well for me. So I offer you to help your neighbors, yourself, /me/, and you'll even get something in return. - You may've heard about some observations at the Crank. That's /not/ what I like to hear at the morning reports. And Schizo is pissed off like hell as well. I'm looking for someone who fetches me one or two guys. Guys who'll /know/ about this observation crap. It's not only that chica at the Crank. Reports come from different sources. So if you help us out, you'll have the opportunity to take care of your privacy at the Crank by yourself. That's what I call participation. let the people shape their environment!" she smiles a bit. She's playing the well educated pretty nice. But the disturbing thing is, that she's propably not playing at all. Anyway, she looks seriously at Hood. Waiting for questions or answers.

Five drunken guys suddenly stumble into the antechamber, but are quickly shoved outside by the two gangers next to Holly and Hood. The house itself is pretty quiet, except for the music on the porch.

Hood arches a furrowed brow. "If I'm understanding you right - and I don't think I am, sorry - you're just wantin' me to go find out who else heard 'bout what went down at the Crank, guys who know more 'bout it, and bring 'em here? Not really my usual style of work. I'm a little more…direct, y'might say." He pauses, and sucks more smoke. "Now, if you're sayin' that you need some folks who heard 'bout the Crank to stay quiet, permanent-like, that's a different story, and more in keeping with the sort of stuff I do. Need a little more than a guarantee of privacy for it, though. I can look after my privacy pretty well on my own."

Her smile widens, a bit devilishly, "from your appearance I would say you're one of the professionals in the Crank. I'm not stupid, neither is Schizo. I know how you treasure your privacy. And there are many more who share the same value. Us included. That's why I decided to take it seriously. And no, it's not about some legwork and ferreting around in the daily chitchat. We're past that point." She takes a brief look around. "I await information about the identities of one to three subjects. They're supposed to be part of this observation shit. We want them alive for questioning. And we want it without a breadcrump trail leading to your room. Or even just to our turff. You understand?"

Hood's head nods, once. "I understand. And that's definitely somethin' I can do, provided he's in Denver and ain't surrounded by half the goddamn army. Question is, what am I gettin' for it, and how alive do y'all want him? I mean, shit, I've brought in guys who were alive before, 'n could still talk 'n everythin', but they weren't 'zactly in the best shape. You want him -alive-, that's one thing, but you want him -untouched-, that's another. Also gonna need as many details as you can give me on 'im, when you get 'em."

"The kidnap can't take place on Sinner territory, that's obvious, I hope. It'll be in the Warrens though. So much I can say. I hesitate to offer any more information about the location or subjects now. And for a good reason. We've a spy out for reconnaissance. Someone who's a damned freak. I expect perfect 'intelligence', or how you prefer to call it. You would receive everything necessary when I have the report and I finally decide to give a go. Preferably the subjects should be handed over unharmed, but this depends on /who/ it'll be in the end.

"And for the reward, I offer you one year of free stay at the Crank. With improved security. That means: a room with improved maglocks and some additional 'favors'. Including my personal assurance that your little hideout will have the best privacy possible. No selling your name and room number to any pal who walks along. If it happens, you'll be informed. I'll count you as a privileged citizen on Sinner territory. But if you are someone who's just out for money, we could arrange that as well. Fifteen to twenty k, depends on the intel report."

Hood thinks it over for a long moment before he finally nods. "Your first offer's acceptable, dependin' on how that intel works out. If it turns out to be a harder target than you're lettin' on, we may have to renegotiate, but as long as it ain't anythin' too ridiculous, well, you got yourself a deal." He finishes his cigarette, and rather than bothering to look for an ashtray, simply stubs it out on one of the exposed kevlar plates of his jacket. "My number's 1788, with the usual prefix. Give me a call when you need me to move."

Holly nods and waves toward the pony tail. "Make a note." Then she turns her attention back to Hood. "Nice. I new there would be /someone/ inside the Crank who would care for the neighborhood." She shakes her head as if she remembers something strange or freaky. "Anyway. You'll get a call. I'll take care for your evacuation options. So don't bother about that." She stand up and offers her right hand. "Deal"

Hood slides his into hers, shaking briefly. He gives the assembled company one last look and, unless anyone has anything else to say, he makes for the door back out, cheerful demeanor dropped. Business is concluded, as far as he's concerned, and they'll let him know when and if they need him. Until then? He's getting the hell out of something called the drug haven.

The way back to The Crank is nice. An unusual warm morning in the Warrens. Streets are vastly empty. Could develop into a good day.

Holly relays the plan

It has been promised, that Hood would receive a call the moment Holly got the intel about a job in the Warrens (cf. 'Eavesdrop on Angels'). Not an everyday job, though, but one which seems to be related to some strange observation rumors on the Crank. The place where Hood lives as well those days. Three days after Hood walked straight over to the 'dealer's den' or 'drug haven', the promised call finally came. Hood was asked to show up at the hangout again. he would meet Holly there. Time for preparation was plenty. The meeting was supposed to happen early afternoon, but the job would be a night mission. Thus, Holly expects Hood at the drug haven at early afternoon.

Hood is true to his time, coming into Mission Hills much the same way he came before; on foot, just wandering along. At least he knows where he's going this time, so that's something. Threading his way through the burned-out husks of various cars, he approaches the drug haven with no less caution than he did the first time; the girls of the Sinners were hospitable, but the boys of the Crimson Smoke weren't, and for all he knows, they're still doing whatever it is they do together. Thus, when he's near the porch once more, he keeps his cybereyes peeled.

The drug haven hasn't changed so much. A few more beer cans, but less guy on the front porch. Just the pony tail he saw last time. She rests her legs on the slender table - shotgung within reach against the wall - and gives Hood a judging glance. As he steps closer: "Hey pal. Just go ahead."

If Hood enters the antechamber, the pony tail would follow and stay behind.

Hood's head bobs, once, but he doesn't answer verbally. He's here to get a job briefing, and however he may act when not working, the professional Hood is a pretty quiet guy. Into the drug den he walks, hearing Pony Tail fall in behind him, though his head doesn't turn to confirm it. Instead, he stops in the antechamber, gaze panning left and right, looking for his contact Holly.

Hood finds the antechamber - one large room, formerly two rooms and a small corridor. "Alright, Hood," Holly nods and gestures him to take a seat on the couch he sat down last time as well. The antechamber of the gang hangout is quiet so far. No one else expect Holly and Hood and the pony tail. Upstairs, someone's watching an action movie on full volume apparently. But beside that, privacy seems to be assured. The girl with the shotgun moves over to the sofa on the opposite side of the room and settles on a small chair.

"We have the necessary information and I made a decision to get it on. You're still interested?"

Hood throws a glance at the couch, but he doesn't take a seat. "Yeah," he answers, simply. "You want the target extracted and brought back here so you can have a lil' chat with him. Don't much care what sort of condition he arrives in, as long as he can talk, if I remember right. Gonna need all the usual details, or as many of 'em as you've got - who this slot is, where he is, what his security's like, shit like that."

"Yes." She simply replies. And motions again to take a seat. With her right hand she puts a small recorder on the table. "This is the report of the mentioned sky. It was transmitted via radio and subvocal microphone. I guess you know this stuff. He was pretty close when he recorded it, so we don't have too much. But enough for a decision." She turns the thing on.

"I'd prefer to stand, if you don't mind," Hood insists, flashing a brief attempt at a reassuring smile. "Old habit 'n everything." He shuts up as the recorder starts to play, simply arching his brows a little bit. His left hand digs into the pocket of his bulky jacket, coming up with a pocket secretary, the screen flipped out, thumbs poising to start tapping away at the keys.

The recorded voice has been altered obviosuly, to minimize the risk that someone would reckognize the voice. A hushed sound can be heard, a little bit too high pitched for a male:

"Aleicester a troll mentions a bombing, Sinners possible suspect. The suicide bomber said it is, but Mercy denies responsibility. They plan on learning about it themselves. They are going to survey Mission Hills."

It continues, other noise mix in: "Despite recent events. There are some rumors of some kind, but he doesn't see them. So he plans on continuing with a plan.. and even more so than before. Something about Johnny instructing them where to place tech, and responsible for most of the stuff that is to go on.

"Whittler and Scorn for legwork and some placement at Sinners hangout, apparently an Ork and Human that are still rather new to the gang" Suddenly some heavy static. Then:

"Shinderly and Aris are apparently leaders of the thing," he pauses "two humans in Saints jackets" - Then some kind of cut.

"Aby, Kashivo and him have a schedule for Sagebrush park. Should be some sort of delivery.. and.." Another voice on radio: "There is a second heat signature on rooftop, 23 yards north-north-east of your position." The transmission ends.

Holly switches the recorder off. "Some of the mentioned names are quiet well known. The target for your extraction is this guy named 'Johnny'. But since we can't tell who or what may happen during your job and since I don't know how you prefer to work, the other names are of interest as well."

"Shindery and Aris are secondary targets, so to say." Holly looks up to Hood. "The whole bunch is expected to hang around at one of the Saint's turfs in southern Shenendoah. A large, abandoned supermall complex. Several buildings with several purposes. Mostly gutted or deserted.”

You say "This Johnny Will is a male human, around thirty-five. A mechanic. He is a Saint gang member and reputedly he's the one responsible for everything in regard to technic stuff and fancy hardware. It's him we want."

"Questions so far?"

Hood's dulled metallic cybereyes blink, once, and his head tilts ever so slightly as he listens to the recording, brows knitting together into a confused frown. Nevertheless, his fingers start to move over his pocket secretary, apparently keying information in. "So if I'm hearing you right, you want me to wander into Saints' turf and come out with these three slots alive? And not just their turf, but one of their hangouts." His head shakes. "Let me ask you this…how far would one guy get trying to muscle into Sinners' territory and come out with three of y'all?"

"As I said, Johnny is the primary target. If you come across one of the others or can't get a grip on Johnny, it's acceptable to return one or even all of them as well. But honestly: Johnny Will is the guy we want. Without as much problems as possible. You should know about the other names, though. Who knows what they're good for when things start rolling, hm?"

"And the turf…it is something special. A large complex, more than a mile long. A chain of buildings. Too much space and rooms for a bunch of people. Johnny Will has a car shop or some kind of mechanic shop in one of the buildings. And he' supposed to live there, actually."

"We expect him to be mostly on himself, working, sleeping, or doing things we don't want him to do."

Patiently she pauses again.

"Yeah, alright," Hood answers, finally. "Don't suppose I could talk you into having your girls hit the other side of the complex from where this Johnny's shop is, could I? A distraction could be pretty helpful, especially if he's some tech head and not a fighter. He might stay put while the rest of the boys go off to rumble." The pocket secretary is snapped shut, and jammed into his pocket once more; in its place, he pulls out his cigarettes.

"Naa…" she sucks some air through her clenched teeth and shakes her head. "Not possible. But you'll be surprised! We thought about your security," she smiles devilishly. "There is a very quick escape route. Hard to follow for anyone who would hunt after you." Out of her leather jacket, she pulls a crinkled piece of paper. Some kind of aerial shot, though quiet old. Everything on it, the buildings, streets and parking lots, appear to be pretty nice and in good shape. Hard to believe that this is a current picture of a supermall in the Warrens.

Hood takes the tridscan, studying it for several long moments before his shoulders rise in one of their customary shrugs. "Eh. Maybe. I don't have wheels, at the moment, due to some unfortunate unpleasantness, so I'll be getting this asshole out on foot unless I boost a ride - he works in a car shop, after all, he might have something laying around. If not, I'd prefer to stick to the shadows, and this whole area looks too clean. Just beggin' to get noticed by somebody. We'll have to see."

"As you wish. Your means are your choice. I tell you what we know and the rest is up to you. - The supermall is located at the eastern side of the South Parker Road, East Arapahoe. This means, the 'wall' is only 200 yards away from the buildings. See here." She designates "You have the chain of mall buildings running from north to south, for roughly a mile. And west of it, there is the old parking lot. A vast area, mostly overgrown with some scrubs. And west of the parking lot, there is the wall. It seperates the Warrens from the CAS sector. A twenty feet high concrete wall with barbed wire on top. Except at one little point." She points on some small building. "This building is used for illegal traffic regularly. As long as you and your target can still climb a few feet, you can leave the Warrens there. And on the other side, we have a car waiting."

"Of course, this is an option. If you can make it out elsewhere, you may skip the border crossing."

Hood's eyes narrow slightly, his head tilting once more. "Alright, so whereabouts is this slot's shop in the complex? You guys know? And when you say this lil' illegal border crossing building is used for, well, illegally crossing the border…who's it used by? That close to Saints turf, it's gotta have some ties to the Saints, I would think, if it ain't outright theirs. I walk up with some beat-up slot wearing Saints colors, it'd be good to know I ain't gonna get shot, know what I mean? On the other hand, only having to carry this slot two hundred yards, that's pretty tempting."

"For your first question: the car shop or whatever is located here." She points on the ninth building in row, counted from the north down. "The other buildings in the south are abandoned, gutted or burnt down. No one except some squatters live there. North of the car shop, there is one building. Something like a smuggling site. Generally, the building is a permanent garage sale or flea market. Goods are sold, distributed, exchanged, valued and ordered here. Should be quiet by night. Next building is destroyed. The next is the gang turf. Then a barricaded building. We don't know what's in there, for hell's sake. But it's unimportant for now. The building far north, the first in line, is a fortified access control. It covers the only driveway usable by cars. So, the complex is rather closed and surrounded by a fence. But a single person or small group fins enough holes in the fence. The whole area is quiet devastated."

"Second: the border breach is known, yes. But only used by single individuals now and then. On the other side, there is the Cherry Creek Lake. The middle of nowhere.

"And finally: the car waiting for you has the code name 'Orange'. The car could wait outside the wall, on CAS side, or it could wait for you on Saint's territory. Your decision. The car needs, 30 or 40 minutes if you want it moved."

She leans back on the sofa and looks up again. A bit tempting, as if this small task would be just a cakewalk.

Hood's pocket secretary is whipped back out again, thumbs tapping out a few more notes. "Yeah, alright. Go ahead and have Orange waitin' on the CAS side. Not saying I'm going to use it, if this slot's mobile enough to walk when I get through with him, but it's always nice to have a backup plan." He pauses, head tilting as those cold cybereyes lift up to Holly. "Anything else I need to know? This is all soundin' a little too easy, if this slot's supposed to just be tinkering alone by himself in his shop, a good few buildings away from his chummers."

"Well…" finally, she draws a picture from her leather jacket. "This is Johnny Will." - The picture shows a human male. Some deep lines and wrinkles tell of some quiet rough years in the past. The hair is black with a heavy grey touch, reaching down two inches above his shoulders. The eyes are brown or something dark. He wears the silver and golden jacket, the colors of the Saints. Beneath the open jacket a shirt is visible. White letters on black read: "Don't fuck with me!" The man looks tough build and mean.

"The frquency for Orange is written on the picture's back."

Hood smirks. "Always helpful." The picture is taken, if allowed, and he studies it for a few long moments before turning it over, just to make sure Holly's telling him the truth, apparently. Then it's folded over and stuffed into one of the pockets of his jeans. "Alright. If there's nothin' else, it sounds like I've got some work to do." He takes a long, deep drag off of his cigarette, shoulders rolling.

"Nothing else except one thing: Johnny or whoever you bring up, is supposed to be brought to a save place. Not your concern. But Orange knows about the place. If possible, keep radio contact, should we have to improvise a pickup. Do /not/ bring Johnny to Mission Hills."

"Orange is in the vicinity around 11 pm on. Anything else is up to you."

"Yeah. Y'all don't want the Saints knowing that you snatched one of their boys. Won't be a problem." Hood sounds confident of that. "Well, if there's nothing else…I'll be seeing you when I see you." He nods, once, and then turns to start to make his way out, once more tucking away his pocket secretary, possibly for later review.

And thus he leaves. Pony tail exchange glances with Holly and the latter smirks, unnoticed by Hood. But it is an unsure smile. Cought between confidence and doubt.

Doing the job

Hood's Preparations

Hood's route home is different from the one he took to get to the Sinners' spot in Mission Hills, a roundabout stroll through the Warrens, accompanied by cigarettes and an unhurried pace. He's got time, and he intends to make full use of it, as something about this just rubs him the wrong way. His first stop on the way home is an odd one; one of the few functioning Stuffer Shacks in the Warrens. Inside, he picks up the necessities: six SoyEnergeeee! bars, in various flavors, a few bottles of water, and, oddly, pillow cases. Black ones. Four of them, made from heavy synthcotton. And, of course, a roll of duct tape. First mission accomplished, he leaves the Stuffer Shack, and takes a direct route home.

Once he's home, he sets about the business of preparing his gear. First and foremost, latex gloves are put on, and then the firearms he'll be using get a thorough stripping and cleaning; the Colt M-23 is first, broken down to its component parts, cleaned thoroughly, and then reassembled, followed in due course by the Predator III. Once the guns are ready to go, he spends ten minutes or so loading clips; a clip of Gel rounds per gun, and then two clips each of ExEx. Once that's settled, his old, beaten-up duffel bag is dragged out from under the bed, and he starts to fill it. In goes a plated armor vest, a camouflage jacket, the two firearms, of course, and everything he bought at the Stuffer Shack, along with three pairs of plasteel restraints.

Gear set up, Hood's next stop is the shower, and, from there, getting dressed in at least part of what he'll be wearing tonight. Dark synthdenim jeans with all of the metallic rivets blackened, dark workboots, and of course a dark shirt. Before he leaves, two calls are placed, two voicemails left - one to Guy Gerricault, one of his fixers, asking if he's ever heard anything about a Saints complex near the CAS border in the 'rens. The second is to a smuggler buddy of his, Samson, an out-of-towner who does occasional business in Denver, and the questions there focus on a border crossing near Cherry Creek Lake. Ever heard about it? Who runs it?

«Plot» Hiller says, "Guy Gerricault knows about the place, but is a little bit reluctant to tell details. He admits, that the Saints reconstructed some parts of the supermall complex and are running some kind of local market there, from time to time. The turf is not a primary hangout, though. But since the 'bombing of the AD', it has gained popularity. All in all, he says, the place is so remote, that few others get there beside Saints and local neighborhood."

Hood's last little goody is his own personal bit of paranoia; a sports water bottle with a belt clip. Only he doesn't fill it with water. Instead, under the little sink in his kitchenette, he pulls out an old bottle of liquid bleach, carefully filling the bottle almost up to the brim. It gets clipped onto his belt, before he slides his other, usual carry Predator III into the concealed carry holster inside his waistband. He doesn't seriously believe that the Star would do an investigation, or that the Saints would have access to ritual magic, but he's not going to take any chances, and if he gets shot on this little gig, he'll do his best to squirt some bleach on the bloodstain to ruin its use for either DNA sampling or establishing a ritual link. That done, he hefts his duffel bag, locks his apartment, and starts the long walk off towards the Saints complex.

«Plot» Hiller says, "Samson is pretty well informed about the little border hole. Individuals use it regularly. But since one side ends in CAS rural area and the other one in the middle of Saints turf, it is not used too much. The Saints are known to 'rent' it to individuals which have to leave the Warrens fast and unnoticed. - The border control in the area is quiet relaxed. Sensors are partly unplugged, due to environmental problems. On CAS side, there are some trees, he says, which cover the hole in the fence. Someone has to climb down the trees on the other side. A small parking lot is close to the spot. Samson judges, that it is a fast and preferable way out of the Warrens, as long as someone can do the climb. The Saints are not controlling the breach, because it is actually located on ther territory, 200 yards away from their turf."

Hood swears quietly to himself when he's about a block away from the Crank, turning around and trudging back. Two things he forgot; his transceiver and his balaclava. Back down the hallway, back into the apartment; they're both snatched and stuffed into his pocket. THEN he continues on his way out to the Saints complex. His plan is pretty simple, at least for now; he's going to do his best to find somewhere cozy to camp out in for the day, with a clear line of sight to the sprawling complex, and simply watch it. Get an idea for the number of Saints around, get a feel for the neighborhood, watch for anything unusual, and, maybe, with his vision magnification, wind up being able to get a look at his target before he has to go in and find him.

It takes 3 hours to walk down into Shenandoah, southern quarter. The Saints territory is quiet save and calm, though the Nightshade's territory on the northern part of Sheanandoah is propably a critical spot. But Hood is not bothered beside by some squatters and a few wannabes. Finally he approaches the complex from the north and he is able to learn a bit more about the vicinity.

Hood is already digging into one of the SoyEnergeeee! bars as he walks along, chewing wolfishly; there's a reason he bothered to get Dietware, after all. He's just a guy walking along, carrying a bag over one shoulder, eating a soybar. Hardly an uncommon sight, in the Warrens. He doesn't stop, either, once the Saints' complex is in sight, instead keeping right on going, though not into it or even toward it, of course. Instead? He's looking for something maybe a block or two away; a burned out apartment complex, an old storefront, something along those lines. Something easy to hide in, but still have a view of the complex.

Approaching the supermall

The supermall complex is cornered in the south by old Arapharoe Road, running straight from the east to the west. Where it hits the 'wall'. The western part of the complex is confined by the 'wall', running roughly north - south. Another road confines it to the nort and east. All in all, the complex is one mile in length and 100 to 400 yards wide.

The whole complex is fenced, even more tightly than before the Saints claimed it. For everything larger than a small motorcycle, there is only the controlled drive-through at the north end. The fence has been cut on several points and it is not very hard for a single person or small group to enter the supermall complex on different ways. Especially in the night. There is no power coverage. Only some buildings are powered by generators. But who knows what or who's standing guard? - Beside the chain of huge, abandoned buildings, there is the vast parking lot between the mall and the Wall. The asphalt is cracked every 10 feet and more than four dozens of huge street lights are darkened forever. Grass and scrubs found their way through pavement and concrete. The whole area brings to mind the picture of a post-industrial or even post-apocalyptic ghost town. But in fact, the whole supermall complex has been built in the 2030s.

To the west, there runs the 'Wall'. Twenty feet of tough concrete and barbed wire separate Highway 83 from the abandoned supermall on Warren territory. The wall cuts through former access ways and ramps and thus is a formidable measure in order to seperate the Warrens from Highway 83, Cherry Creek and Valley Country.

To the east and north-east, there lies wasteland for about at least a quarter of a mile. Formerly a park and recreation area, including a baseball and soccer field, the area is now covered with rubbish, high grass, small ponds of sour water and small trees and scrubs. Several fireplaces are in use from time to time. Because of the lack of electrical power in the closer vicinity, the area gives the impression of a remote wilderness in the night. Eventually, the area changes into urban area again and after 2.5 miles runs into Smokey Hills territory of the Shape-13 Coalition.

To the south, the supermall is quiet close to the Laymen's territory, the Fox Hollow. The area gives way to a maze of small houses and huts. A dense neigborhood with hard laboring inhabitants.


Sadly, Hood cannot find a spot where has a plain view on the parking lot and the front side of the building chain. The view is blocked by the buildings. He would have to enter the complex in order to see what actually happens on the parking lot or in front of the malls.

But he spots a nice place to hide in the north of the mall complex. An abandoned, free standing builing. From there, it is merely 350 yards to the northern driveway that leads on the parking lot.

«Plot» Hood says, "The free-standing building is inside the fence and part of the complex?"
«Plot» Hiller says, "No. It is outside, 350 yards away from the northern access-way to the parking lot.."
«Plot» Hiller says, "A single-family home with collapsed roof, but an intact second floor. Even a small garage and a wasted garden."

"Well, this blows," Hood observes to himself, plans already foiled to an extent. He adjusts the strap of the duffel bag hanging from his shoulder, finishing off the SoyEnergeeee! bar and tossing the wrapper to the street without much concern. Still, that one free-standing building has promise. Stifling a yawn, he begins to stroll in its direction, keeping an eye towards the complex itself; if there are Saints out and patroling about, he doesn't particularly want to be seen entering it.

Hood can spot with his keen eyes, that there is the builing next to the access-way. That's what Holly called the 'fortified' building. Sandbags are stuffed on rooftop and form some kind of…well, small gun emplacement. From up there, someone can control the driveway below. But at the moment, no one is on the roof. Just two guys are standing on the driveway made of concrete and talk to each other.

Coming in from the north, Hood approaches the front side with the garage and carefully sneaks his way in. After a short while he is pretty sure, that the building is empty. But there are clear signs of occasional visitors: carton, crates, a mattress, garbage, an umbrella. One of the rooms upstairs face southward and from there, Hood has a nice view in the access-way, the fortified building and the northern part of the parking lot.

Hood's no ninja. He can do an okayish job of not being seen when he wants to, but far more practical, at least in his experience, is simply not being seen…as something out of the ordinary. If someone spots you and dismisses you as just a normal guy doing normal things, that's practically as good as never having been seen at all. The art of not getting noticed as being out of the ordinary. It's the theory he operates on as his ambling pace takes him towards the old abandoned home, one hand in his pocket, the other supporting the duffel bag over his shoulder. As soon as he can, he puts the building between himself and the Saints' complex, and then promptly starts to look for a way in. Once he's found it, he makes his way slowly and carefully upstairs and, jackpot! A spot from which to view at least part of the target. The bag is unslung, set carefully on the floor, and Hood himself hunkers in to…wait. Just wait and watch. For darkness and the appointed hour.

Between the house and the complex is just an empty stretch of grassland, small scrubs and garbage. Hood may wonder if those dents and holes in the ground are signs of former artillery or air strikes? Maybe from a time when he wasn't even born. With the passing of hours, he can't help to admit an eerie feeling in the stomach. The Crank is a shithole, like most of the Warrens, but this area here appears…misplaced. - While he waits for the night, some guys come and go.

He reckognizes 10 people come and go. 6 of them wear shiny jackets: golden torso with silver sleeves. Some have an 'A' on there back, crowned with a halo. Undoubtedly members of the Saints. A bit more to the southeast, Hood wittnesses some individuals or smaller groups enter and leave the complex through the fence. He has no plain view but it appears to him, that they just disappear between the buildings of the complex or even some backdoors.

«Plot» Hiller says, "As a matter of fact, the car shop is only visible from the backside. Two or three people may enter the complex close to it, but Hood is nearly one mile away from it. He would have to enter the complex and head southward on the parking lot, if he /really/ wanna see something."
«Plot» Hood says, "Ah, and I take it there was nowhere outside of the compound to get a similar view of the car shop, like the house he's in now?"

Sneaking on the parking lot is only possible when it's dark. But since he contemplates to just walk in like everyone else, that would propably work out as well.
Hood simply makes little mental notes of it all. He's not going anywhere until Orange is in position several hours from now, unless something drastic happens, so he has plenty of time to watch and wait. On that note, though, he does quietly tug his micro-transceiver from his pocket, along with the the tridscan of the target, turning it over and keying in the frequency. The earbud is stuck in his ear, the mic's put in place, and the transceiver itself is clipped to his belt.

Evening comes, and the only thing exceprional was the arrival of a rather large truck. Closed load bed and colored in a dark green, except one blue door. The truck may be able to carry 7 tons. It approaches the accessway at the fortified building and two guys jump of. Hood observes how gangers exchange greetings and the truck continues on the parking lot until it's out of sight. - Then night falls.

The fortified builind is lit by electricity. Propably generators. But like the hours before, there are relatively few people around, maybe Hood spotted 30 all in all. Come and go.

The driveway itself is bathed in yellow light from the only one street lamp in use. For miles maybe, in the Warrens. Ten o'clock PM. Sun has settled so far and it is dar. Simply dark. The whole complex appears to be deserted from Hood's position, but he knows, that this is certainly not true. The large complex was frequented for hours and it is unlikely that it would cease in the night. There is one last thing of interest: one of the guards at the access-way is using a kind of binocular. Most likely with low-light vision.

The moment Hood muses the guard with the binoculars, the radio comes in: "Orange – check".

Hood spares a glance at his watch; he's waiting until at least 11PM to go, when Orange is on station, though that doesn't mean he can't suit up now. It'll give him something to do, at least. He's done nothing but drink water, eat soybars, and stare at a particularly uninteresting section of the Warrens for hours now, aside from the occasional cigarette - the butts tucked back into the box when he's done with them - and so he quietly begins to go about the business of getting ready. The beauty of his plan is that, other than empty water bottles and soy wrappers, he won't be leaving anything behind in the house but the duffel bag itself; the guns are pulled out and carefully laid aside, while he quietly begins to strap on the armored vest, and then shrugs into the camouflaged coat. The plasteel restraints are hooked on to the back of his belt, like a cop would carry them. The four black pillowcases are simply tucked under his belt itself, allowed to hang free. The rifle is slung across his chest, while the silenced Predator is strapped in its holster to his thigh. "Hello, Orange," he whispers into his commlink.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Standing by for request. Keeping radio disciplin."

Hood may have a clue that he heard that voice already, a few days ago.

Hood is, too, apparently, because he says nothing further over the radio. Instead, he starts to move. Quiet, slow. His goal? Get out of the house he's in, and make his way, as stealthily as possible, down to where he saw people apparently running the fence earlier in the day. Not through the gate, of course, as he has no particular desire to mess with Saints guards, not with the amount of gear he's carrying - one look at him makes it clear he's around to cause trouble - but through one of the holes that allow access further down the line. Before he slips out of the house, though, his balaclava is tugged out of his pocket and snugged down over his head, leaving only those dark metallic eyes and his lips visible.

Entering the compound

Hood approaches through the grassland southward, parallel to the mall complex for half a mile. He's hidden quiet well, with camouflage unit and partially covered by grass. As he moves on, he closes in on the street that confines the complex to the north east. He would have to cross the street and then find a hole through the fence. Beyond the fence, there tower the large mall buildings. Some are only one floor in height, others appear to have two or three floors.

On his way south, he discovers an unusual large building in the southernmost part of the complex. It is very huge. Some kind of town hall, industry building or ahetever? Completely dark it is and at least 30 meters in height. But for all Hood knows, this building is of no concern for the mission.

Hood keeps his eyes peeled for any way to get through the fence as he moves along, staying low and and as quiet as possible. Before, during the day? It wasn't ninja time. Tonight? It's definitely ninja time. A glance backwards over his shoulder towards the guards up by the gate is given, and, judging the distance to be enough, he quickly makes his way across the street, getting closer to the fence and staying low. As the building gets noticed, however, he pauses, and turns his enhanced cybereyes towards it. Dark, ominously large buildings are going to get checked out. The Saints may not be the Sioux Wildcats or anything, but it doesn't take a lot of tactical skill to realize throwing a guy with a rifle up in a seemingly empty building could be useful.

If he wants, he may enter the complex through one of several fence holes, anywhere between the fortified building in the north and the very huge building in the south. His decision.

Hood's decision about where to enter the compound is to split the difference between the fortified building in the north and the large building in the south, picking a spot roughly equidistant between them. Once through one of the holes, he takes a knee, shoulders hunched down, trying to keep his profile as low as possible as he seems to simply listen, his head occasionally turning left or right. If there are people nearby, or between him and the buildings he's trying to get to, he's doing his best to know before he walks right into them.

With a quiet shuffle he's through the fence and on dirt-covered concrete pavement. One mall building is just five meters ahead of him. In this dark night, there are many shadows but some large trash containers provide even more cover. The building ahead is stained from years without painting or caretaking. A simple, rectangular building, two stories high. Hood would guess, that it is the gang's turf building or the empty storage mall. The car shop should be to his left then. - Until now, Hood is pretty sure that there is no one else around. What is his preferred way? North or south close to the fence or between the buildings toward the parking lot? Or even another way? The quiet sound of music can be heard, from the west. Parking lot propably.

Hood chooses to move forward towards the building ahead; he'd rather not stay in open ground just in case someone is up in that large building, especially not with the amount of ground that he has to cover. So, across the open ground he starts to go, making for the building in front of him, with the intent of heading south once he's there to make for the car shop and his intended target - if said intended target is even home.

After a few yards to the south the building comes to an end. A wide space is between the current and the next building. A former access-way as well, leading from the street which Hood just crossed, to the parking lot. Fifteen meters wide.

Hood has a good view on another part of the parking lot now. But more interesting may be the next building to the south. The truck is parked there, in front of some kind of ramp. The front of the car points northward, the rear heads toward a large garage door. Next to the truck is a motorcycle. Harley-like.

Hood gets his back flat to the wall of the building just before the fifteen meter gap he's obliged to cross, right hand dropping down to the suppressed Predator III holstered on his thigh, and tugging it free. He keeps the gun low, in his right hand, as his head just edges around the corner of the building, taking a quick look down the accessway to make sure no living soul is in visual range. Assuming he's good, he once more starts to move, beginning to make his way across the access way towards the next building at a low, quick, crouching scramble.

The moment Hood passed 7.5 meters accross the driveway toward the assumes 'car shop' his cyber-enhanced hearing reckognizes a shuffle.

Someone starts to move, behind the truck. Maybe someone leaned against it? Hood is pretty sure that a person started walking, southward maybe, the same direction like Hood.

Hood picks up on the sound, but he doesn't stop; he's out in the open, and that's a bad place to be. Instead, he keeps moving, neither quickening or slowing his pace. His goal is to get a look at this individual, see if it's the target, and, if not? He'll go from there. In the meantime, though, his eyes are focused ahead, trying to see if there's any way inside the building that may or may not be the car shop, and of course watching for movement. Not to mention a clear shot at whoever's moving behind the truck.

The truck is standing two meters away from a loading ramp with a large garage door on it. One of three other vendor docks. Hood is 13 meters away from the truck now and just reaches a narrow stairwell that leads up the ramp. Then the persons comes into sight. It is not Johnny Will. It is a younger guy, blonde hair and colors. He flicks his cigarette in Hood's direction, past truck and motorcycle, and jops onto the loading ramp.The guy stands up on the ramp and faces the roll-up door.

Hood's trek forward comes to a stop as the guy seems about to open up a door; the barrel of his Predator III, with the long can of the suppressor threaded on to it, is brought up in a quick, smooth motion that Hood's probably practiced - or actually used in such situations - a thousand times before. His breath exhales steadily from his lungs, the Smartlink II processor in his brain feeding him more information than any individual could ever need about the likely trajectory of his bullet if he were to squeeze the trigger. He lets it all settle for about a nanosecond or so, and then, the suppressed Predator spits.

Hood does it the hard way

Shortly after the guys head partially exploded and covered the garage door with his blood, Hood is aware that someone moves on the rooftop of the building to the north. The one where he just came from. And in addition, Something's shuffling behind the garage door. "Marco? Wanna come inside?" a voice calls loudly from behind the roll-up door. The voice sounded suspicious, definitly. Hesitating.

Hood seemed pretty sure that that would be the outcome of the shot, as he's already starting to move before the body's even hit the ground. Faster, now, though, no longer in his half-crouch, shambling stealth walk. He straightens up, hardly running, but still walking a lot faster than a guy without a lot of juice running through his central nervous system could ever hope. His target? The door behind which the voice came from. The silenced Predator is slid back into its thigh holster, and his hands then move to the Colt assault rifle hanging across his chest, loaded with Gel ammunition rather than highly lethal ExEx. "Yeah," he calls back, deliberately soft; who knows, right? It might work. While he's waiting to find out, his eyes are rapidly scanning for other entry and exit points.

The roll-up door starts to move. Slowly it cranks itself upward and immediately Hood can hear the sound of a generator somewhere deeper in the building. Light stretches out below the door, increasing with every inch. The moment Hood reaches the roll-up door, it is 10 inch up. It barely started to move one second ago.

«Plot» Hiller says, "The only other entries on this side of the builing are two other roll-up doors."

Hood's thumb silently flicks the selector switch on the assault rifle from 'SAFE' to '3RD', putting the weapon in burst-fire mode. He could do it just as easily with a mental command from his Smartlink, but old habits die hard. His left hand tightens around the foregrip, ready to command the longarm's recoil should he end up needing to fire. It isn't his plan, but he's playing it by ear at this point.

«Plot» Hiller says, "Where exactly is Hood supposed to stand?"

«Plot» Hood says, "In front of the door, like a dude waitin' for it to open so he can come in."

As the door winches itself up, Hood realizes that someone is standing right behind it, maybe a few feet away. The shadow on the ground betrays that the guy is handling some kind of weapon. A rifle, a club, a shotgun?

Hood has initiative and soon realizes that this guy is going to shoot at him the moment he's sure that there is lying his friend dead on the ground and someone unknown right beside.

«Plot» Hood should have a Free and two Simples left, then, so…Drop Prone (Free), Take Aim (Simple), Fire Burst (Simple).

Hood's not the fastest guy in the Denver shadows. He's probably not the best shot, either. Nor is he the toughest. He may just be the most confident, though; rather than moving to a position that provides cover, or dropping down to try and shoot under the slowly-winching door, he just stands there, as though he didn't have a care in the world, like a guy who has every right to be there…that is, until he sees the potential weapon start to move. As soon as that starts to happen, he's like liquid lightning, speed itself personified, his legs taking themselves out from underneath him as he drops prone, his Smartlink eagerly feeding his brain all the data it could want as the suppressed barrel is drawn onto the target, his finger squeezing once. He doesn't have time for a pretty head shot this go-round, but then, using Gel? He doesn't want one.

The sound of a readied weapon may support his decision. Hood drops prone and has a clear view into the large hall beyond. The hall is lightened by several electric light bulps on the ceiling. It is indeed a car shop. Several cars are parked inside. One dozen maybe. Small trucks, a sedan, a SUV are the first things Hood reckognizes. And a guy in coverall and black armor jacket. A stout, tough built guy with dirty face and grey-black hair, tied behind the head. Johnny Will. "Fuck". He wields a russian assault rifle, all in black. Propably no gel rounds loaded. His distance to the door is 5 yards.

With a short, controled burst, three gel rounds hit Johnny Will hard across the chest. He drops his assault rifle and sumbles back 5 feet before he drops to ground. The sound of the burst fire rings and echoes wildly through the car shop and the parking lot as well. Everyone within closer vicinity should've heard it. Especially the guy on the rooftop behind Hood.

"This just went to hell," Hood mutters to himself as he sees the guy drop, well aware just how much noise even a suppressed assault rifle makes. Subtlety just may not be his specialty. His wired reflexes still kicked in, he immediately starts to scramble forward on his belly, his intent to crawl under the still-not-fully-open garage door. As he goes, he keys his commlink, speaking into it in a normal, albeit quiet, tone of voice.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "New pickup location. West down Arapharoe, six blocks from site."

The moment Hood lowers down and makes his way beneath the door, the guy on rooftop across the access-way has plain sight on the whole situation. He raises his rifle for one quick shot.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Understood. ETA…"

Then a loud bang and the spray of little concrete splinters swallow Hiller's last words. The bullet barely missed Hood's leg. He's inside and at the moment, no other hostile person can be seen. - The door is still on its way up.

The controls are plainly visible. Just next to the door. - Hood is out of sight and out of immediate danger at the moment. But it is all to clear to him, what the situation is. Depending on the assumed level of organization and the number of people in the vicinity, it could be a harsh time from now on. Especially, because Hood has one great disadvantage: he doesn't know the area and building layouts. What is he up to do?

Hood's plan is pretty clear in his head; it's just a question of whether or not it will actually work. As soon as he's safely inside the garage, he rolls to his feet, moving like lightning over to the door controls and, rather than simply stopping the door from continuing to crank up, he reverses the process with a flick of the switch, starting to close it again. Then he turns, eyes rapidly scanning for keys; there's a lot of vehicles in the garage, and they just became his primary escape plan, even as he moves towards the prone, unconscious form of Johnny, one hand dropping back to tug a pair of plasteel restraints free from the back of his belt.

Hood lowers down and starts his work with the plasteel strips, when he reckognizes by chance that Johnny Will has a cyberlimb. His right arm is a replica of human flesh. Moderately well hidden. With retractable spurs.

Saint John and the ambush

Hood entered the shop car from the north side. The building is two floors in height, 20 meters wide and 30 meters long. On north side, there are just three roll-up doors, leading to a loading ramp. There is one grey van and a dead Saint so far. - Now inside, Hood can see a dimly lit, large room. It makes up at least 2/3rd of the whole builing. This large shop hall is dminated by a large hydraulic ramp in it's center (with a delve beneath). Meant for heavy work on vehicles up to medium truck size. Four large pillars support the ceiling several meters above. There is no second floor in this part of the builing. Eight cars of different size and type are visible so far: van, sedan, SUV, sports car, motorcyles and a small trailer. Everything in rather bad shape. …

The southern part of the building is not clearly visible right now. There are some office rooms maybe, and dome kind of mechanic shop with tables, small and large tools. And somewhere in the south, a generater can be heard, providing sparse light throughout the vast shop hall and over the cars in different colors.

At the western side of the hall, there is a really large roll-up door, huge enough for trucks. It is closed and leads to the parking lot, presumably. No other exit visible so far. - Johnny Will lies handcuffed and unconcious at Hood's feet. A shot rang through the night a few seconds before. What is he going to do now?

Now, he's going to finish getting Johnny prepared for transport. The man's indeed handcuffed with the plasteel restraints, though rather than cuffing his hands behind his back, Hood cuffs them in front. Then, out comes the little roll of duct tape. Why? To peel off a strip and slap it across Johnny's mouth, of course. And for something more; Johnny's elbows are bent, his hands brought up to directly beneath his chin, and once Hood has them positioned that way, he quickly winds several lengths of duct tape around the mans wrists and his neck, effectively binding his fists beneath his chin; if he wants to use that spur, he'll be inserting it into the bottom of his own jaw. Once that's done, he finally displays why he brought along those black pillow cases - one is tugged from his belt, and pulled down over Johnny's head to make a hood.

Another quick glance around still reveals no keys; so much for Plan A. With a put-upon sigh, he starts to heft Johnny up onto one shoulder.

Easy. Hood may transport him quiet a distance without exhaustion. But if it comes to combat - ranged or melee - he would better get rid of Johhny.

Up onto Hood's shoulder goes Johnny, holding the man there with his right hand, while, with his left, he swaps out clips in his M-23; there's little need for Gel rounds anymore, after all. So in goes the ExEx. Once that's done and settled, he starts to move - quickly - for the southern end of the shop. The south is his escape route; it's where the squatters live, if he remembers right. Gangers in the north, nobody really in the south. It's also where Araprahoe is, and his eventual dropoff of the heavy guy over his shoulder. So, with clear purpose, he makes his way into the south side of the building, looking for a convenient window to toss Johnny through, and of course follow after. Or even a door. A door would work just as well.

He passes through the handful of cars and past the hydraulic ramp. Just a few meters behind that ramp is a brick wall with one door and two windows. Propably some kind of office area. The room beyond is lit by a gas lamp. A lttle bit to the left - south-east - the hall narrows down into a rather large niche. The shop area. Workbenches etc. Basically, Hood could try the office rooms or the shop area.

Hood will try the office rooms. If that's what's behind the brick wall, anyway. The one door is approached, and he squares up to it for a moment before lifting his leg and trying to kick it off the hinges. He's a pretty strong guy, even with another guy over his shoulder, and thus far, the effort of all of this doesn't seem to be getting to him, despite his urge to move quickly.

The simple door is not meant to resist serious attacks.

The door bashes inwards and crashes heavily against the wall. Hood proceeds inside the room and indeed, it is some kind of bedroom. Or a former office room reshaped to provide some private convenience. The white brick walls have been painted with graffitti on one side, and with some poster flags on the other side. One of them is a very huge CAS flag. Other memorabilia can be seen as well. But more important is the bed in one corner and a large sofa just in front of another door leading eastward. Because it is this sofa, where a serious guy with a shotgun raises quickly and takes aim. Coming up from behind the sofa he fires his shotgun at 8 meters distance - uncaring or unknowing that Hood carries his comrade. But that's another story.

Hood has great reflexes. Really, really great reflexes. He's a hell of a lot faster than the guy with the shotgun, in fact. But, despite already having a firearm out and ready, and despite essentially having time to do his nails while waiting for the ganger to get to his feet and fire the shotgun, he takes a slug in the stomach for whatever reason, the heavy round managing to punch its way through the kevlar weave, taking a large chunk of flesh with it as it goes. He swears, and staggers back.

Now it is Hood's turn. The guy, tensed like a steel spring, fired once and is doing his reload clumsily. Hood's hit in the stomach caused a gush of adrenalin and the guy propably reckognizes the serious situation. "Shit man…fuck…let us…" he starts to say something. It is Hood's turn.

Hood's opponent is wearing nothing except a simple shirt with crazy colors and leather trousers. He may be around 24, white human with white dyed hair.

Hood's been shot once or twice before, much to his displeasure. He's been shot enough, at least, to not completely freak out and lose his cool, and consequently, even as the guy with the shotgun starts to reload, Hood's already coming to a conclusion on how to end the situation. Johnny slides off of his shoulder, Hood not particularly caring one way or another how the unconscious guy lands, and, as soon as his right arm's free, up comes the M-23. He's got ExEx in it, and he's not messing around. The barrel is steadied on the guy's chest, and, after a nanosecond to let the Smartlink reticle in his field of vision settle, Hood squeezes the trigger, once.

The salvo hits him sqaure across the chest, within a 3 inch diameter. He collapses on the spot and is thrown against the open door in his back. Then he slumps to the ground. His eyes open wide in terror on the hooded intruder. Dead.

Hood lets the Colt hang from its shoulder strap across his chest again, a hand going to his lower right stomach, briefly placing pressure over the large wound, wincing as he does so. It's not good, and he knows it. "Asshole," he mutters at the dead man, before he reaches down to once more heft Johnny, though this time, the guy goes over his left shoulder so Hood can have his right hand free. Bleeding, he starts to move on, this time heading to the east(?) where the door was. All he wants is a way out at the moment.

He leaves the bedroom and enters some kind of living room. A small hangout. A table, sofa, trideo. A well heated room. Good news! No one jumps up and opens fire.

After a brief inspection, Hood discovers two doors. One leads back into the shop area of the great hall. And one leads further south. Propably outside, because the door is heavier and locked with a bolt from inside. Out of the corner of his eyes, he reckognizes something like a key board next to the exit door.

Hood makes for the door leading to the south, and, once again, he squares himself up to it once he's in front of it. His free hand reaches out to slide the bolt back, ignoring the keyboard for now; he's bleeding, and he just wants to hand this guy off and get out of here. To that end, assuming the bolt's as easy as any other bolt to simply slide over, he gets a grip on his Colt M-23 once more and starts to edge the door open with the toe of one boot.

This is not a big deal. The heavy door was only locked by the massive bolt. Propably more carefully this time, Hood peers outside and indeed, cold night's air. The door leads into a very narrow alley between the shop building and the next mall building to the south. The alley is approximately 3 meters wide. If Hood turns right (west), there is the parking lot and the 'wall'. To the left, there is the fence through which Hood entered the complex a few minutes earlier.

Outside and on the run

Hood turns left. And in a hurry, too. He jogs down the alleyway with Johnny over his left shoulder, pausing only at the end of it. There's still that guy up on the roof, or at least, he was up on the roof when Hood last left him. Hood's head sticks out from the alleyway, briefly, his head turned to get a look back in that direction, seeing if he can pick up anything on thermal or low-light.

First of all, Hood has a firm grip on Johnny, despite his wounded stomach. The pain is one thing, but he's not lacking the power of muscle yet. And as it seems, Johnny is knocked out very seriously. His arms and legs dangling lifelessly. - From behind, the parking lot, he can hear the shouts of men. Propably three or four. They're after him, that's for sure. But until now, no one entered the alley behind Hood. The shooter on the building in the north could be a prblem, but only when Hood leaves the complex to the east, past the fence and street. There is no line of sight to the builing in the north now, where the shooter was located earlier. - - At the end of the alley, it is merely a 6 meter distance to the fence and there is a big cut as well. Large enough for a troll to squeeze through. Beyond the fence, the street and the rural-urban wasteland lies in darkness.

The shooter on the roof could be a problem, but Hood's made his decision; he'd much rather get shot at while running, in the night, than stick around here and fight his way out. The fence is only six meters ahead, and with his reflexes and his muscle mass? He'll be through it before a lot of people would have time to blink. So he takes off, muscles exploding with released energy as he suddenly starts to run, as fast as he can with Johnny over one shoulder, his goal to make it through the fence and head off into the wasteland, and to then, at some point, make it south to Araprahoe to the pickup he scheduled.

Hood crosses the street and into the darkness without a problem so far. He may remember that the ordered Orange to pick him up six blocks east of the complex, on Araphoae Road. But he was cut off, when Orange told the estimated time of arrival. Anyway, Hood dashes into the knee high grass and onto the wasted ground behind the street. It is really dark tonight, and a light rain starts to fall just the moment after he nearly fell over a broken trunk. The terrain is really tough. Dents and holes. Harsh grass and scrubs. It all tears on Hood's constitution. He's bleeding and carrying an adult person. But he can make it a little bit longer, he assumes. - Behind, there lies the abandoned supermall complex. And he might reckognize the flash of flashlights in the alley he just left. And somewhere on rooftop, someone is scanning the area hectically. But if he would ever spot the running Hood?

Hood keeps running, not bothering to stop once he hits open ground. He's not going to stop until his body forces him to. Nor is he going to head straight for the meeting spot; if Holly was right, it'll take the car 40 minutes to relocate, giving Hood plenty of time to get well past it and then slowly backtrack, once he's sure the Saints aren't going to come spreading out of their compound to look for him.

The rough terrain goes on for three quarter of a mile and after half of the distance, he must submit to exhaustion. A pause is necessary. The grass is wild around him and it seems ridiculous: is this still Denver? There is /no/ light visible in any direction, though he knows that Arapharoe runs parallel in the south and the complex lies somewhere behind him. The only artificial light is Denver's vague glow on the sky, up to the north. The rain intensifies, and this is propably an advantage for Hood.

As for the Saints: if they are following, Hood isn't aware of it. But they must be /very/ daring and motivated, if they do. Depending on how good Hood's orientation is, he may even feel lost himself.

As he's obliged to stop and rest, Hood unceremoniously chucks Johnny to the ground, apparently not all that concerned about the guy's well-being. He agreed to deliver him alive, and as long as the ganger has a pulse when Hood hands him off, that'll be fine by Hood. He takes a knee, his attention focused on the ground he just covered in his long run, Colt M-23 at the ready as he stares back into the darkness with his enhanced eyesight, watching for any signs of movement, any hint that anybody picked up on his trail. The blood's pounding in his ears, and his chest heaves as he gulps in long lungfuls of oxygen.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Orange."

[Plot Room 6] Hiller says, "Hood, what is your radio's rating?" «Plot» Hood says, "3."

There is no response. The radio gives a brief noise, then turns silent.

Hood's head shakes, but he doesn't try the radio again. Instead, he hunkers down even lower in the wasteland, getting onto his belly, more or less, and rolling onto his left hip. A quick glance at his watch is taken - he'll give it twenty minutes, and then start making the move towards the meet-up point - and he carefully unstraps his armored vest, at least on the right side, a pair of fingers starting to gingerly poke at the still-bleeding shotgun wound. "Fuck," he mutters to himself, already starting to feel the familiar nausea as the adrenaline begins to wear off and his body starts to scream at him that it's hurt, it's hurt, IT'S HURT! Another of the black pillowcases is untucked from his belt, folded over a few times, and pressed firmly against the entry wound.

The pillow case helps a little bit. At least Hood does /something/. Johnny Will is still sleeping in the rain, face down in the wet grass. After a few minutes, Hood becomes aware of something happening behind. A car suddenly appears on the street that runs in front of the mall fence. The front lights form an eerie kind of light saber through the rain and damp air. The car heads from the northern entrance of the mall complex toward Arapahoe Road in the south.

Thirteen minutes have passed since he left the fenced complex.

Hood's head tilts to follow the car with his enhanced vision for a few long moments before he tries the radio again. He doubts it's Orange, and if it's the Saints, that could be problematic.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Orange."

Hood knows that his radio's flux range is about 4 kilometers. With the given weather conditions it may even be reduced to 3. And so it may not be a big surprise, that the radio stays silent again.

Hood shakes his head again, and carefully heaves himself up from the ground. The Colt is slung across his chest once more, the vest strapped back down with the pillow case under it, and once again he finds himself reaching down to lift Johnny, slinging the guy over his shoulder in a combat carry. He's in no particular hurry as he starts to make his way south, in an effort to pick up Arapahoe.

Arapahoe lies only two hundred meters to the south. The spotted car is driving on Arapahoe as well, heading straight to the east. But it appears, that this car is patrolling, searching maybe.

«Plot» Hiller says, "In fact, you are heading straight south and the car is moving straight east. So it will pass you soon and propably continue eastward. Then it moves away from you, yes."

Hood once more drops Johnny, and falls prone himself. Two hundred meters away, he's hoping that he won't be seen, lying flat on the ground. As far as plans go, it's probably one of the simpler ones he's come up with so far, but simple is probably better than complex at this point.

Unless the Saints are using security grade scanners or drones, it is impossible to spot Hood on this distance with binoculars (even low-light or thermographic). Rough terrain, rain, darkness and the fact that the sniper did not spot Hood's route, ensures a safe cover so far. But it may come to Hood's mind, that they're propably concentrationg on streets and crossroads.


Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "ETA approximately 6 minutes."

«Plot» Hiller says, "Hood is roughly a mile east of the mall complex. The meeting point is very vague. 'Six blocks' east. But there are many abandoned blocks, rural spots in between, forgotten roads and alike. But he would suggest that 'six blocks' means another 2.5 miles to the east."

«Plot» Hood says, "And the patrol car is moving east."

«Plot» Hood says, " Got it."

Hood waits for the patrol car to pass before he starts to move again; once it's safely on its way, he gets to his knees, once more picking up Johnny. He will be very, very glad to be rid of this guy. Staying as low as he can while carrying the dude, he starts to sprint once more, rapidly beginning to cover the remaining distance to Arapahoe, keying his commlink again.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Delivery will be four blocks short of destination. Keep an eye out."

The call receives no answer. But Hood manages to drag himself and Johnny southward. This is going to be another job with a remarkable muscle ache afterwards. That's for sure. He arrives at the rim of Arapahoe.

Hood takes a quick glance up and down Arapahoe, checking for any oncoming vehicles. Assuming he sees none? He simply flops Johnny back down again, onto the sidewalk, using a boot to force the guy to roll closer to the curb. Once that's accomplished, Hood turns his ass right around and starts to sprint again, the goal being to take up a position about a hundred meters from the unconscious package and go prone, keeping an eye on the scene with his assault rifle ready.

«Plot» Hiller says, "In which direction does Hood sprint? Across the street? Back north, or west/east?"
«Plot» Hood says, "Back north."

So, Hood leaves the target on the open, though dark, street. If the patrolling car would return, it would certainly reckognizes Johnny.

Hood drops prone once he's back in position, a hundred meters off of Arapahoe, and squares himself up, the barrel of his M-23 focused on the roadway, ready to unleash it on anybody that doesn't appear to be Orange who gets close to the prone form of the bound, gagged, and hooded Johnny.

After a few minutes…

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Arrived on EZ, 3.8 kilometers east of area of operation. Extraction zone is hot. Orange, standing by." - "Is there someone searching? Over."

Hood sighs to himself. "Goddamnit."

«Plot» Hood may suggest that his last radio call didn't come through. The one about the four blocks short.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Package is four blocks short of proposed delivery sight. Package is waiting."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Check. Stay there and report any hostile subjects. Over."

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Don't see any at the moment. One passed by a bit ago."

Hood glances around. Cold rain pierces his eyebrows and his lips beneath the mask. Winds start to increase, as it seems, and everything is dark and somber in fact. It appears to take a whole damn hour until another call comes in.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "I'm on Arapahoe and in line of sight to the complex."

And shortly after Hood reckognizes a car, moving on medium speed without light from west to east on Arapahoe.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Package is two blocks east. Hard to miss. You appear to be approaching."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "I've spotted a humanoid figure on the street. Are you covering?"

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Always."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "I'm coming in. Prepare for boarding."

Hood is, too, keeping a close eye on the street. The one advantage of being out in the middle of nowhere is that it's pretty easy to spot cars and such, especially at night. As long as they're using their headlights, anyway.

The car slows down and comes to a halt next to poor Johnny, lying helplessly on the street.

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "You need an extraction or are you staying? Over."

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Think I'll walk home."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "Check."

Hood doesn't trust these guys any further than he could throw them - which, actually, is probably fairly far, considering - so, even though he's, you know, shot, he's not about to get into a car with them.

The door opens and, well, it is Hiller who steps out. He reckognizes her stature and the characteristic leather jacket. She surrounds her car, propably cursing the rain, and tries to haul in the subdued Johnny. Quiet a rough work, but after half a minute, the body is placed on the co-driver seat. Quiet a struggle for Hiller.

Hood snorts to himself, head shaking; people keep turning up in the oddest places. He doesn't have time to consider it, though, at least with more than the upper floors of his mind. At this point, he's willing the woman to get the guy in the car so that he can start the very long walk home.

Hiller enters her car again, quickly.

Commlink-Hood> Hood says, "Safe travels, Orange."

Commlink-Hiller> Hiller says, "He's alive but in bad shape. Stay tuned and sharp. I think they've realized something's wrong. *a pause* Safe travels."

And thus the car continues a few meters to the west and then heads suddenly toward the south. Delving into a maze of small houses and huts. The Fox Hollow.

Hood is alone again.

Hood waits until the vehicle's out of his line of sight before he gets to his feet; the Colt M-23 is dropped, allowed to hang across his chest, and with not a glance back, he starts to jog towards the north, heading deeper into the bizarre wasteland. His overall plan is to get some distance, and then, more likely than not, call one of his contacts for a pickup and make his way to a doc.

Hood won't jog very long. The untreated wound would take its share. But he manages to cover the 4 miles to the north into the Smokey Hills. From there, it is likely to convince someone to pick him up. Hood, soaked to the bones and still considerably wounded, leaves the scene without any further problems.

«OOC» Hood says, "Woohoo!"


You receive word from The Warrens (Thu Mar 17 15:53:04 2011):

Again, someone attacked the Saints! This time, it really seems to be a serious thing. This cannot be called bad luck or accident anymore. Word is, that someone kidnapped one of the elder members of the Saints. It happened on the abandoned mall complex in Shenandoah, one of the more remote turfs of the Saints. Two other members of the gang were shot dead during the incident.

Explanations diverge wildly. Some say, the Saints crossed interests of some 'outlanders' (spell: corporations). Others point out the ongoing, traditional conflicts with the Nightshades or the Sinners. A third party insists on a even more conservative view on things: someone from outside is trying to keep the gangs busy and in constant war against each other. If they're right, it is only a question of time, until some evidence will show up. And what'll happen then?

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