Seraph
GM: Slinger
Players: Slinger (GM), Orpheus.
Synopsis: Orpheus first meets Seraph and gets off to a rocky start. The Demons have found themselves a sponsor, and said Sponsor has given them a ton of really nice relatively high-end gear. Including a rather big bomb, complete with high-end milspec detonator, which they are using to threaten the Saints.

Orpheus and Seraph make their way into the captured building where the Demons have both the bomb and the hostages, infiltrate their way inside. Orpheus discovers that Seraph is more that what he appeared to be… and after taking Seraph out, he continues the mission on his own — finding the hostages and keeping the room secure until reinforcements can arrive.
Date: Aug 5, 2069


Part 1: Recitation


Slinger is on the phone when you come to. You are on the couch in the apartment once again, and there are multiple cigarette butts in the ashtray next to Slinger. Along with a cool glass of water, with a straw, as he waited for you to wake up from the situation. He's sitting there beside the couch, with his hand slowly stroking your shoulder — the artificial one, if it matters — and is gazing down into your beautiful face. "How're you feeling?" he asks, his voice once again gentle, loving. Welcoming.

Orpheus had been sleeping fitfully. His lids fluttered as under them his eyes rolled about wildly in REM. He had dreams, similar the bad ones that used to keep him awake. Dark dreams with muffled voices and indestinguishable faces. Taunting remnants of his past life buried and mired deep in his confused mind.
Orpheus starts a bit when Slinger touches him. His eyes come open and, for a moment, he seems not to realize where he is.. then he remembers. The heat of the fires.. the smoke, the screaming. His gunshot.. the dead woman. Slingers fury. Orpheus' face shows anguish, and he gently pulls himself away from Slinger toward the other end of the couch. He coughs a bit, retching himself from slumber. "I failed you.." he says. He can't focus on warmth, or Slingers touch.. as much as he wants to.. all he can think about is what he did and the way Slinger had looked at him. That look.. almost.. hatred. Anger. "Didn't I.. Why did you bring me back home," he asks tiredly. His whole body aches.. muscles tense and strained. He had a headache as well. Throbbing.

Slinger lets out a slow breath. "You didn't fail me," the youth says firmly. "I failed you. I put you into the wrong kind of situation. There wasn't time to tell you what I expected. See…" He lets out a long breath. "Orpheus… it's so easy for me to forget who and what you are. To forget what your life was like up until a few months ago. To remember that you and I — our backgrounds are almost nothing alike. You've been trained to think a certain way, and now here I am giving you a whole new perspective."
He doesn't reach out toward you again, though his expression is still open, his posture receptive. "Drink something," he suggests, gestures to the glass of ice water on the table. "You'll feel better. You had some heat exhaustion, but you were pretty far out of it. I just have… really, one question." He gestures to his phone. "Gabriel just called. Are you… are you actually in control of yourself? Was that… did you just not understand what I wanted you to do? Did you sincerely think you were doing what I'd asked you to do? Or are you not in control of you? I ask because Gabriel… really needs you."

Orpheus blankly stares at the glass of water a moment. Then, slowly, he reaches accross the table and grabs it, bringing it to his lips. He drinks the clear liquid down greedily, hungrily. Within moments the entire thing is gone, just like that.
"Remember when we talked about.. knowing when to make the right choices about.. who lives and dies?" he asks. His words sound guarded.. almost cautious. Possibly he's afraid that even though he means well that something he will say or do will enrage his lover again.. he didnt want to do that.. "I said that.. I hoped when the time came I would know how to make the right choice; I.. I guess.. I didn't. I thought.. I thought it was the right thing to do, and.. I didn't even think for one moment, that you would be so .. So mad. It never occured to me.. Never once, that I was doing the wrong thing.. I thought that I would.. do it.. and then move on and carry out my mission - like I always have. But even now.."
Orpheus hugs his knees now, eyes closed.. maybe hurt.. "Even now I'm their puppet, aren't I.. It doesn't matter that I'm 'free', because I'm not. I can't trust anything I do. I AM in control of myself, and thats whats scary.. because. I'm capable of that.."

Slinger seems to actually relax at that. "I… I admit it. It took me totally by surprise, what you did. I couldn't think of any rational means by which what you did made sense. At least now I know. And afterward… when you were talking, you… you had some weird stuff going on, Estevan," he says, gently. "There's still some stuff from them in your mind. But if you seriously thought that was the right thing to do, then… well, I have a lot to teach you. Do you understand why it was wrong, at least if you want to be the sort of person to work with me?" he asks, with a slight toss of his head.
He reaches out to take your glass, carries it into the kitchen to refill it with ice-cold water. And then he's back. Your cigarettes are are even there on the table. "I… I'm not the easiest person to work with," Slinger admits. "It'd be easier if I just did all this for the money."

Orpheus opens his mouth.. he could think of a few answers. Because I could have saved her? But Orpheus knew he was no healer. He couldn't, and so he did what he could. Because someone else could have saved her? He had made a judgement call and deemed her unsaveable.. but then, Az's standards for what is, and is not 'saveable' on the field is likely several bars below the »Slinger Gold Standard!(tm)«.
"I shouldn't have .. shot her. I made a descision.. That wasn't mine to make. I thought I was doing the right thing, but.. What I think, is still in a lot of ways what Aztech thinks," he says. ".. And they are a bunch of evil bastards.. and I will never forgive them for doing this to me," he says bitterly. He sips down some more water afterward, then looks at Slinger for a long, pregnant moment.. Finally, slowly, he moves closer to the other boy.. closer.. then he cuddles himself right next to him, if permitted. "I want to be like you," he admits. "But.. it's easy for you to be you.. it's hard for me to be you."

Slinger chuckles. "It's not easy to be me. I've just had a lot more practice, bein' me. Orpheus… you are never going to be me. And I can't hold you to quite the same standards. But at the same time… when we work together, I have to share the blame for what you do. I probably could have saved that woman. Maybe I wouldn't have been able to. Maybe… what you did really /was/ a mercy. Maybe I'm being arrogant in wanting to have had the chance to make that call," he breathes. He reaches for his pack of cigarettes; these admissions are actually costing him a good bit.
"Just… when you have to choose between life and death, and you aren't sure… it's very seldom a good thing to kill a civilian for their own good. You know? They didn't sign up for this. Neither did you. But that woman was a civilian. An innocent. But… if you sincerely thought that was the right choice… then you learned something. And I'm not angry at you any more. And Gabriel still needs you, if you're in control of your senses."

Orpheus goes ahead and grabs his smokes too, now. He lights it up and, for a moment, just presses his warm body against Slingers. Even the simple pleasure of being so close to someone else isn't lost on him. "I was afraid I'd.. never get to be close to you like this again,"

Orpheus goes ahead and grabs his smokes too, now. He lights it up and, for a moment, just presses his warm body against Slingers. Even the simple pleasure of being so close to someone else isn't lost on him. "I was afraid I'd.. never get to be close to you like this again," he says.
"Next time I won't do that.. not until I can be sure I'm able to make that descision. I promise I.. I won't kill anyone ever, for any reason from now on. Not until I know for sure.. that I can be allowed to make the choice.." Orpheus sighs softly, smoke ushering from between his youthful, lightly tobacco-stained lips. "Gabriel still wants me? ..I'll go to him. I still have to prove myself.. Even more now. I don't know how I will.. but I have to. Even if.. it kills me," he decides, then closes his eyes and holds himself to Slinger, cigarette slowly burning away for many silent moments.

Slinger sighs softly, and leans in to give his lover a kiss on the cheek, surrounded by that first deep exhale from your lungs. He loves the smell of your smoke, the feeling of your flesh, the warmth of your young body. "Orpheus?" Slinger murmurs. "I'm sorry I got so upset. I… I have to remember who you are, where you came from. If you will assure me you will always try… and stop running away… then I will forgive. And I will not cast you aside."
He leans against his lover affectionately, and then softly nuzzles against your ear, exhaling a cloud of smoke through his nostrils. He takes a drag again as you make that promise, and shakes his head. "Kill only when it's the only way," he says gently. "If you have to kill to save a life, then do it. But only then… for now. Otherwise, ask me, or ask somebody you can trust. Otherwise, try to find a way to take them out without it. Somebody who's knocked unconsious, they can always be woken up. Somebody who's dead… there's no way to take that back, to make it right, if you made a mistake. You have to be damned sure."
"If Gabriel says it's all right to kill, then you take his word on it, while you're working for him. You're a dangerous boy," Slinger murmurs. "And… and that's part of why I find you so fragging sexy."
"Yes. He still wants you. Once you feel up to it, love," he murmurs. He draws hard on his own cancer stick, before his nicotine-stained lips find yours, joining you in the dirty habit… and reassuring your fears as best he can."

Orpheus spends many luxurious moments with Slinger.. letting their lips meet, tenderly kissing, his young hands probing the soft flesh of his friend. He gives himself this pleasure, savoring it for now, while he can.. then slowly breaks away. He stands up, stretching his tired muscles and looks ahead of himself. "I'll do my best. I want to go," he says urgently, then looks back at Slinger.. it's in his eyes. He wants to go. To prove himself.. to make things right in his own mind and to Slinger.. he wants it so bad he's willing to ecshew the sweet embrace of lovemaking, of relaxing.. his muscles hurt a bit, and urged him to sit down, but he ignores it. Because he can. "Will you take me? The longer I make him wait.. the less time I have." Orpheus sucks down his cigarette hard and fast now, glancing around.. "Are my things still in the SUV?" A puff of smoke follows the question.

Slinger senses you pulling away, and the reason behind it. "Yeah. You do. You need to prove yourself /to/ yourself," he agrees. He draws hard on his cigarette, finishing it, and grins. "Yeah, they're in there. Including your carton of cancer sticks. Remember, Gabriel smokes, but he don't approve of underage boys doin' it." He grins. "He and I disagree on that point. Who knows? You might convince him you're enough of a man to do it, if you do well."
"Only thing you don't have is your ruth. Use that sparingly, though. Otherwise you might get a rep as a coward." He even got teased for always going invisible in a fight — at least until he proved his mettle. "Otherwise… let's go."
He grabs his keys, downs the last of his fizzycoke — and steals a playful grope of your rump as you exit the door.

Orph will go grab his cloak then, wherever it is, and will grab his pack of cigs on the way out. The playful grab eliitis a slight blush and smile from him.. and makes him realize what hes missing out on by rushing out the door.. but he knew he had to. There would always be another time. Even if he REALLY wanted it
"Coward?" Orph wonders. "If a mission calls for stealth," he shrugs. Why avoid it? It was no indication of cowardice in his eyes. Just prudence and caution. "I guess that means I shouldn't sneak my way into his place, huh. An' here I thought that might impress him.. guess not.."

Slinger chuckles. "The gang has its own social rules. I'm an outsider, so there's some leeway. You'll be an outsider, too, but you'll have less until you prove yourself to them. Just be open to their way of doing things," he says, as he gets into the car. He tells you a few more things on the trip, trying desperately to give you enough information to avoid getting yourself killed — what the gang colors are, what they mean. A bit of information about turf markers, as well. Etiquette, how to tell who is who and who controls what. How to be respectful without being a total wuss. And who you should challenge and who you should not. It's a lot of information, and Slinger's knowledge isn't perfect.
Before long, though, we pull up in front of the Angel's Delight. Slinger at least gave you warning to smoke one more cancer stick — and inhale deeply — just in time for you to pitch it before we arrive. And then he is there in the SUV. "Take care, love. I'll see you in about a week."

Lucky for Orph, he was a quick study. Mostly thanks to his implants.. Though intelligent in his own right. Even still, it's quite hard for him to fully grasp all the information, its contexts.. everything. But he does his best. When the final moment arrives though, he does part with some anxiety about his task.. but he'll do what he can.(Insert bits we RP'd before)
Orph takes on last look back at the SUV before Slinger pulls away. He'll miss Kaivan. Especially now, when he needs him most.. but he knows he needs to do this on his own. For now, he dons his cloak, carries a duffel with some of his gear in it, and looks back at Slinger, waiting for him to pull away and be out of sight before pressing in to the task ahead of him.


Part 2: First Impressons


The SUV does pull away, quickly, yet quietly. Slinger doesn't want to bias what happens to you because of himself. He wants you to do this on your own, to learn for yourself. To have it matter. To make sure you don't live in his shadow.
The pool hall itself is somewhat grungy looking, though it doesn't look horrible. There are several young males outside, smoking cigarettes — but all of them look to be of age. There are younger ones, as well, watching the older ones with a hunt of envy, just hanging out, leaning against the building, looking tough. The Angel's Delight is a public establishment, of course, so nobody really gives you too much trouble as you approach — though that duffel bag does get some cautious eyeing. But you're allowed to pass inside. There are two Saints there, bearing the armband of full members — Slinger told you how to recognize that — one on each side of the door.

Orpheus waits until the SUV is out of sight completely.. then, with a bit of a sigh, he turns back to the Pool Hall and eyes the crowd gathered a moment before stepping inside the place itself. He carries himself loosely, for the most part. He's not really tense.. that would just draw unwaranted attention to himself anyway.
Once inside, Orph spots the armbands of the Saints members. Well.. he wasn't given explicit instructions of how to go about talking to the guy.. so instead, he figures he'll have to talk to one of these guys..
Orpheus picks the one who looks like he'll give the least trouble.. of course what criteria he chooses to make that descision is probably suspect. It may as well be random. "Yo," he says, with his punkish clothing and absurdly young looking features. "I s'pose to meet your boss," he says blandly. Hes testing the waters for now.. seeing what reaction he gets.

The Saint turns just his head around to face you, a little bored — he's about nineteen, it would appear, and just hanging out in the place. Wearing the colors of the gang, of course. He looks you up and down — little punk Hispanic kid he hasn't seen before. You're either trouble, or a wannabe. Either way, it ain't something to bother Gabriel with. "Get lost, kid," he orders, flicking his fingers in a shooing motion. "Boss ain't got no time for punk kids. Go play in a sandbox or somethin'." He smirks, clearly pleased with his response.
Slinger told you enough that you can tell this guy is senior to basically nobody. Only the recruits — the kids in training — actually might have to answer to him. And your status is, currently, somewhat indeterminate.

Orpheus half expected this, anyway. Well, from what he could infer anyways.. "Yeah? Well he found time for you, 'parently," responds Orpheus. Not in an especially mean or antagonistic way. Maybe even just literal. "He's expecting me anyway. Orpheus, yeah? I don't wanna waste any time, so.." He shrugs. He really didn't have time for this kinda stupid crap. He had potentially important work to do after all. About now, he tries to think back to the stuff Slinger was tryiung to tell him during the car ride, looking for some useful bit of info to help him out here.. But it was much harder to do things in actuality than it was to simply hear about them and attempt to apply those lessons. Especially without context..

The fact you didn't buzz off properly and respect his authoritah seems to irk the young ganger, and he scowls at the comment. "Well, yeah, but I wasn't a puny little runt," he shoots back. "Orpheus. Sounds like somethin' Greek. Them greeks was faggots. You a faggot, runt?" he asks, with a broad sneer. "But let me check the boss's appointment calendar. He has a very busy social schedule, you know." He mocks pulling out an invisible book. "Huh. No, meeting with the Opera guild at ten-thirty, appointments with civic leaders eleven o'clock, lunch with the UCAS representative… no, nothin' here about a runt faggot." He pantomimes putting the book away. "So why don't you go away, runt? You're too young to buy booze in here."
In the room, the other gangers are watching this, though the patrons seem oblivious. And there are definitely laughs, guffaws even at the way the ganger talked to you, his voice shifting into an imitation of a cultured accept for all but the last bit. "Good one, Seraph!" one of them calls out, grinning broadly — and watching you carefully for your reaction.

«OOC» Orpheus says, "Would Slinger have told him anything specific about a situation like this?"
«OOC» Orpheus says, "Or is Orph ganna have to have to go Aztech on this kids ass."
«Plot» Slinger grins. Slinger's primary advice would have been — when dealing with Saints, don't get too extreme. Any fights there are gonna be posturing, not to kill. Treat them like you would have the other boys during training — you kill any of them, it's your ass. But small scuffles are generally ignored.

Orpheus looks the kid up and down a bit. Really, regardless of his size or build Orph responds, "From where I stand, I can't say I'm too impressed with you," he responds to the runt comment. Admittedly though, Orph can't recall where the name Orpheus comes from. He does know literature, but he cant really recall it on the fly. "So whats your name stands by the door nobody?" Someone answers the question for him, Seraph. Fair enough. "Anyway, I don't really care about you or earning your acceptance. So just tell me where Gabriel is so I can get on with my mission," he insists. He would just garrot the kid, but he promised Slinger he wouldn't kill anyone.. and probably it would just conspire to make him look bad if he starting throwing Saints around the bar. Besides.. he was outnumbered.
"Scan?" At least Orph remains calm.. minorly annoyed that he's already running into grief. He didn't care about this kid. He didn't see this kid in any was as being a stepping stone toward accomplishing what he came here to do. He's just a stupid door boy.

Mission. Seraph sneers, but there's something in the way you say that, in your attitude. He looks back at you, staring you in the eye, daring you to challenge him. And then, abruptly, he surrenders. "I'll go ask him. He's gonna be pissed if I interrupt him. And then I'm gonna come back here and kick your ass. /You/ scan?" he demands. He doesn't wait for an answer, but instead storms off toward the back.
The others smirk, eyeing the admittedly runty Hispanic elfin boy. "What kinda mission you got? You deliverin' cupcakes for the Girl Scouts?" one of the calls out. "No, wait, he's sellin' subscriptions to Steers and Queers quarterly!" They're definitely having laughs at your expense, trying to get a rise out of you. Trying to taunt and goad you. You haven't felt this sort of ribbing since you were back in training — before Zeta took an interest in you.

Orpheus watchings Seraph head off, giving him a simple, "Whatever," as he parts.. As for the rest of the crowd, Orpheus only responds, "None of your business." Orpheus was doing his best to stay on his best behaviour. Though it might be working against him to come off so tame.. on the other hand, he isn't sure he trusts himself to get rowdy right now. He might do something he would regret, and before even meeting Gabriel.. that would just make him look even stupider.
Reflexively, Orpheus reaches into his back pocket for his pack of smokes and pulls them out.. then remembers.. oh yeah, he probably wasn't suppose to be carrying these around in plain sight, huh?

As you reach for your smokes, a couple of the others raise an eyebrow, but nobody does anything akin to taking them from you, or even criticizing. Instead, one of them whispers to the others, something about other things you smoke. Teasing, poking at you, looking for a reaction.
That's when Seraph comes back, looking cocky and rather pleased with himself, with a smug, superior expression on his face. And with him is another man, also dressed in the colors of the Saints, with slightly more outlandish garb. He's older, though, human, and it shows in his face, the small lines around his eyes. "You're late," he snaps to Orpheus, by way of greeting. "What the frag took you so long?" With that, though, Seraph's smug grin falters, and he looks between Orpheus and his leader. Maybe you /did/ have an appointment.

Orpheus pockets his smokes again, after remembering what Slinger said.. this sort of pisses him off a bit because right now.. with the anxiety.. he really wanted one. Though when Gabriel comes out, Orph at least has an idea of who it is.
Orph would shoot Seraph a nice, smug grin of his own, but he saves it for later.. "Complications," he explains to Gabriel.. Being in the middle of a disaster site and having a minor crisis did that kinda thing to you. ".. This kid holding me up didn't help either," he adds, shooting Seraph a little glance of his own. "In any case, I'm here on Slingers behalf, so. I hope we can work together," he offers in his calmest voice possible.


Part 3: Rules of Engagement


"No," Gabriel says, firmly. "You are here on my behalf. But that's not so bad." He glances over to Seraph, then beckons him with a jerk of his chin as he proceeds over toward one of the tables. A few other gangers move around, without even being asked, creating a protective shield of sorts, with one space at the table left open — for you, clearly. "Got a job for you. You and anyone else you can recruit on short notice. The Demons hijacked themselves a shipment of some pretty nasty stuff. They've so far driven my guys out of the west side of our turf. And they claim they got a big-ass bomb in there, and that they got hostages."
He looks over at Orpheus. "The demons are easy to recognize. Wild-ass red and black facepaint. They all wear it. I need some people to lead some of my guys in over there. Slinger… well, he can't do this one. To start with, apparently they got things watchin' for him. First sign of him, they set off the bomb. We can't risk it. That's why you're here."
He looks at Orpheus. "You think you can pull it off? If you succeed, we'll give you a cut of what we find there. Fair and square."

Orpheus will take his seat as offered, leaning in it just slightly while he listens to the situation Gabriel describes. for a moment he considers, and decides to ask a few questions first before deciding on any particular course of action just yet. "Alright. What hostages are being held? How many.. And can their claim of having an explosive be denied or verified at all? Would they normally be in possession of something like that? Or have the capability?" If worst came to worst, Orph could do some recon, perhaps..
This does worry him though.. If they have something that can see Slinger, what chance did HE have? Unless it was magical in nature ONLY.. but on the other hand, he was partially awakened too. Not that he knew how to access those abilities yet..

Apparently, the nature of the way they have of detecting Slinger is unknown. At least, Gabriel says nothing more about it. He lights up a cigarette of his own, draws hard on it, then sets it in the ashtray while he pulls out a (rather obviously stolen) datapad. "This is what we know," he says, indicating the area. "They've taken over this place here — used to be an old warehouse, but it's been sort of converted to apartments since then. Everybody who was there — so we're figurin', this time of day, prolly as many as eight or ten people. As for bad guys — the Demons ain't the best fighters, but they got some serious weaponry. So we don't know if they got this thing or not. Knowin' them? Probably. They're just stupid enough to blow themselves up."
Some of the other gangers are eyeing you, and smirking. "What the frag can he do, Gabe?" Seraph pipes up. "He's just a kid. Scrawny one, at that."

Orpheus ignores Seraph for now. "I see. Stealth is my speciality, which might be in order here, maybe. If they are holding hostages with a bomb, what sort of demand is it they have? Or are they just protecting.. whatever it is they have over therE?" he wonders.. then, the young boy shoots a glance at the others gathered here, looking at each one.. each one of their smirking faces.. Then he face falls on Seraph..
"Well you know, since you seem to have so much interest in me and my 'safety', maybe I'll have you come along with me?" he offers. "I might need a point guard," he adds. Then looks back to Gabriel. "In either case, how much time do I have to accomplish this task?" he asks, intending to find out if he has time for any recon of his own, or any sort of preperation.

Gabriel eyes your reaction to Seraph's criticism, and actually nods approvingly. "Good point. Seraph, you're his point man. You're one of the sneakiest we've got. Keep him safe. He gets hurt, it's your problem. You got it?" He stares at the ganger youth, who finally lowers his gaze, nods once. Then he glances at the others. "Rest of you are going to set up a perimeter. As for time — they're saying we got roughly two hours. Was eight, but you were… delayed." There's an indication that that's a black mark on your record already — though one that can be expunged if you accomplish the mission.
"Your job is to disarm that bomb by whatever means necessary. You'll have to sneak in, probably kill a few of them. Slinger would be all gentle and stuff, and that's not what we need here. I want those fraggers /dead/. You scan?" he asks Orpheus.

Orpheys would sneer at Seraph now, but it wasnt the time or place for that yet. He seems satisfied with the outcome of his boast in any case. "Alright. I think I can chance a short time for brief recon, then. I just need to know where this place is and anything else important you can think to mention.." Orpheus nods once, darkly, at the 'accusation', indirectly..
And there was the problem, eh. Slinger DID say if Gabriel told him to kill, he was able to do so. It would make his life a lot easier, after all.. and yet, the idea puts a sudden fright in him. a dread.. maybe even a doubt.. And doubt was deadly in this line of work. "I'll do whatever is necesarry," he assures Gabriel, however, and decides when that bridge comes, he'll decide to either cross it or blow it up when it comes.. With that, Orpheus stands up and kneels by his duffel, unzipping it and fiddling with some of his stuff in there. Comm unit.. Gun.. Ammo.. ect.. Satsified, he stands up and looks back to Gabriel, waiting.

Gabriel nods once, firmly. "Got a comm?" Slinger would have lent you his, it would seem, complete with some crypto. "You can call us in when you've got it. And then get the frag out. I'm going to need you again, I'm sure," the older male says, taking a fierce drag from his cigarette. He inhales it, holding it, watching Orpheus's reaction. Maybe having guessed from your affiliation with Slinger that you share the habit. He exhales up in the air, then nods once. "There isn't time for recon. Go in, do it, get the frag out. If you gonna make some corpses, then you do that. Anything you need, any questions?" he asks tersely.

Orpheus watches the smoke wafting in the air, reminding his lungs he hasn't had a cigarette since he stepped out the SUV.. while only a good fifteen minutes ago or maybe half an hour, it seemed like an eternity.. even still, he simply didn't have time to deal with that right now, so he stuffs it..
"Alright, then. It'll be a procure on-site," he says. "I have nothing further," he adds to this.
At least this mission was somehting he was acquainted with.. Something familiar.. something he felt confident about.
Orpheus gets the comm unit Slinger gave him and gets himself jacked into a good frequency. He looks at Seraph, his 'point man' for the day. "136.5," he says simply.. and without another word, he will depart for his op now, unless someone else had anything to add. Otherwise, time was against him..


Part 4: Deployment


The other Saints move out with you, taking a little time to grab gear. Even Seraph who, in his defense, had no idea this was coming. Once outside, he scowls over at Orpheus. "You'd better be as good as Gabe thinks you are, runt," he states, as soon as he's out of earshot. He lights up a cigarette as well while he checks his gear. "Gabe is pinning everything on you. You fail, those hostages are prolly gonna die. Or a lot of us are. But hey, no pressure, huh, kid?" he asks you. His gear is prepped in his backpack, and he slings it over his shoulder. And then he nods once to you… and seems to somehow fade from view. Not invisible, but definitely somewhat fuzzy. Maybe an adept… maybe some kind of magical effect. But it's not clear which right now.

Orpheus moves out with everyone else. Once alone with Seraph though, he dismisses his comments. "Switch to comm," he tells the kid abruptly. Almost scoldingly. »I can't afford pressure,« he tells Seraph. »A hostage can't afford our distractions, so cut chatter,« he adds. He's only ever once rescued a hostage. Important Aztech management figure, as he recalls. Training dictates that himself and his unit are expendable to save the hostage. With that in mind, he activates his ruth cloak and quickly dashes into the streets toward their intended destination. Orpheus was always at his best in situations like this.. maybe also his most vulnerable, to making poor descisions. Or at least descisions that will have a negative impact on others.. Such as the woman he shot..

Seraph nods once, quickly. He finishes his cigarette and tosses it, trailing smoke from his nose and mouth. He may not like it, but he does obey, switching over to comm. » Check Seraph, « he says over the comm, just confirming operation as per protocol. Before he begins to slip forward, letting you take point.
The building in question is about three blocks away, and as you pass you can see Saints taking cover, acknowledging your passage — when they see you — with a simple flick of their eyes. Word has gone out, quietly, that you are on the way. And… up ahead, on the right. There it is. There is cover here, provided by the rotten hunk of a car that probably hasn't run since the fifties, and is probably a wildlife refuge at this point, judging from the smell and the amount of dung. And you can see them — Demons, faces painted, armed, in cover behind a pair of vehicles.

«Plot» Slinger says, "You see two gangers hiding behind burned-out cars in front of the place. And a front door. There are… yes, there on your map, there are more points of entry. A rear door. And of course, all those windows. A rooftop entrance as well, potentially, though probably maglocked or sealed from inside, unless the Demons are stupid."
«Plot» Slinger says, "There are ground-level windows, yes. Two on the front side, others along the side, probably some in back. Most of those on the sides are boarded up, as are the two in front. But a few might still be passable, if you get the chance to look."

Orpheus hunkers down for a moment, looking over the building real quick, as well as the data he had on hand. Assuming it's electronic, he'll store it away in memory for recall later on his image link. For now, he figures checking resources would be good. »Seraph, since frontal assault is inadvisable.. I'm considering other entry options. Back door is possible, but obvious.. Entry from the windows is possible too.. but rooftop entry would be my choice. Where I came from, a boy named Elijah was my units tech expert. If we run into any locks, you got anything for that? I need a one-sentence description of your capabilities.«
Orpheus looks for possible entry routs to get onto the roof. He had climbing gear, of course.. Any buildings near it that were equally as tall or taller perhaps and could be rapelled accross.. ect.

The building itself has been somewhat fortified during the brief time the Demons have occupied it, though most of those fortifications are very hasty. There is a guy up on the roof, you might notice, along with the muzzle of something that looks a great deal like a machine gun, and a fairly nasty one. It's aimed downward, providing cover over the rear of the building. You'll see this easily as you move around, being stealthy along with Seraph.
As for taller buildings, the one right next to it is only a few feet taller, and it was ostensibly controlled by the Saints. Right now, though, it looks deserted, and it's unknown who occupies it at present.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Stealth:
2 5 5 11 11 14

Seraph comes back over the comm. » I got military background, mostly Scouting. Two years trainin' with the CAS, one year in the field. Specializin' in infiltration, electronics, and explosives. I can take care of locks. And I got some C4 in my pack. « Not quite once sentence, but brief enough. This guy has a certain professionalism about him, once he drops the tough-guy ganger act. Maybe that's why Gabriel picked him. And maybe the Saints aren't necessarily what they seem.

Orpheus looks again for higher ground to try and get to the building. At worst, they could just grapple and repel up. The person at the top could be a problem though. »Good,« is all Orpheus says in response. »We'll make our entry from above, then. It's the least likely entryway and gives the highest probability of success I'd say. See the guy up there? We need a way to sneak up on him or take him down before we climb.« Orpheus looks for a good way to accomplish either task. It's a shame his sniper training never had a chance to finish, stopping part way. Besides, he had no rifle.. But if they could rapel onto the roof at an angle that the guard can't see..

As for taller buildings, the one right next to it is only a few feet taller, and it was ostensibly controlled by the Saints. Right now, though, it looks deserted, and it's unknown who occupies it at present.

»There,« Orph says.. »That building there would be good. I have climbing gear with me.. We could repel from the third story window accross. Just have to do it in a way that won't get us spotted.. Anyone in that building?« he asks, figuring Seraph has to have a much better idea than he does about the local area and who inhabits it.

Seraph comes back on the comm: « Unknown. We got our people out when it happened. No sense having /two/ sets of hostages for them to take. Pulled back, waiting for you. » No accusation, just calm professionalism. « Could be empty, could be crawling with Demons. » He is calmly waiting, watching. « Two more pulling up in a vehicle, » he observes. His vantage point let him see the crudely-armored Americar several seconds before it reaches your view. There's a driver, and another one with him, riding in the back seat where the armor is concentrated. « Looks important. »

Orpheus will deftly maneuver himself closer to where Seraph is so that he can see what the other kid is talking about. »Alright. Let's observe for a moment.. Then We're going to get to the third story of that building.. can't spare much more time than that..« For now, Orpheus kneels down, taking cover behind whatever is close-by and peers out over the dirty streets at the lightly armored americar.

It doesn't help that your lungs are aching for nicotine, of course, though some of that is likely psychosomatic. Even so, the male beside you is watching as well, hunkered down. « How're we getting into the South building? Front door, side door, window? » The Americar is actually pretty heavily armored — it's just /obvious/ armor, bolted onto the sides of the vehicle to protect its occupant. They've turned the thing into a small tank. The guards step out of hiding, scanning the area carefully, providing cover — and you catch sight of a couple of more in the windows above. Now would not be a good time to move.
The guy from the car climbs out, then, and stays low as he heads into the building. He, too, has the facepaint, and is fairly well armored and armed. But he's obviously important, whoever he is.

Orpheus considers.. »Walls,« he says. If you have climbing gear, you may as well use it, right? »We'll climb to…« He looks over the south building, looking for whichever window is the furthest from sight and least conspicuous.. »There,« he indicates, comming the location. »Then set up a grapple point and get accross to the rooftop and make our entry. Mission time is.. X minutes. This is probably our best chance to go unnoticed.«
Still, assuming the group is sharing a comm, Orpheus will tap into that frequency and relay the information about the new arrival and his general appearance, of what he could see. For now, he'll head to the designated area between the buildings and start looking for a grapple point.. Hopefully, one of these sets of windows is broken out already..

The order comes back: if you get the opportunity, capture him. If you have to, kill him. Do not take unnecessary risks. It seems that Gabriel would very much like to talk to this individual.
The guards seem to relax once Mr. Big Shot Demon is inside the door, however, and that leaves the way relatively close. « South side of the building, » Seraph suggests. « I got a harnass and gear if you got grappling hook. Move out, I'll follow. »

Orpheus nods, »Yeah, I'm on top of it.« he assures him. A moment later and he's slipping into the harness, has the gun nearby. PResumably this was all packed away in that duffel of his. He sets his sights on one of the windows in nparticular thats busted out, aims.. and fires the grapple line toward the opening in the window. Fortunately, these things aren't hard to use and Orpheus has had a fair bit of practice with them.. Once a good, solid connection is made, he straps himself to the stealth line and will begin climbing his way up. His ruth cloak is still on, naturally.. Hopefully, no one will see two invisible sneaksters climbing up like this..

It's a big duffel, and well-packed. If there's one thing the military teaches you, it's how to pack a duffel. The movement along the buildings is stealthy — though in one case, there is a guard looking over your position. He's smoking a joint, though, and clearly stoned out of his gourd, though that is one /nice/ SMG that he's holding, complete with laser sight that is aimed down at the sidewalk, hanging limply from his hand.
Well-equipped? Perhaps. But professional? Apparently not. Seraph is letting you take the lead with your ruthenium, and you're able to sneak past one additional sentry that is standing in an alleyway. And then you are on the south side of the building.
The shot is true, the grapple hooked into place with a satisfying thunk. Did anyone hear it…?

Nothing for it, Orph figures. He had to carry out the plan to it's end. You can't endlessly plan for every contingeancy anyway, especially on short notice.. So he climbs. Climbs toward that third story window as quickly as his small but strong, toned arms will take him. He has his sidearm close by just in case anyway.. no telling what will happen and if he has to defend himself.. so be it.

Seraph clips onto the rope, climbing up right after you. Moving a little slower, of course, with no chance to match your natural agility. Grunts over the comm, perhaps, and slightly roughened breathing from years of smoking, but he arrives with you, then swiftly pulls the rope upward while you search the area.
This building sounds deserted — there are places where there have been fires built on the floors, and some of the furniture has been smashed and burned in this room, but otherwise it is relatively unscathed. This room hasn't been occupied in a good long while, at least in any traditional sense.
The building is quiet, eerily so. Swiftly, Seraph stows the gear, then nods toward the doorway, where the door is half off its hinges.

«Plot» Slinger says, "You are in the South building, the one next to the target building, in a room on the third floor. You are on the opposite side of the building from the one facing the target building."

Orpheus steps into the building, looking around at the deserted, desolated state it's in. He's seen places like it.. Sort of eerie, actually. Orpheus looks toward Seraph and thinks.. »You'll be my back-up,« he says. »Stay within ten meters,« he instructs, and will begin to make his way into the old, creaky building, taking point.. He originally suggested Seraph doing it, but.. when he thought about it some more, he realized he didn't want Seraph getting hurt.. It would be on him if he did, he figures.. This way he knows if something bad happens, it'll be his own fault and he'll take the punishment for it.. He thinks to himself.. maybe this is how Slinger would want it.
Thusly organized, Orpheus steps into the abandoned hallways of the building.. slowly, stealthily, he makes his way toward the stairwell at the end up the hall and looks up the flight of stairs.. and begins his ascent.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Stealth:
1 4 4 8 8 17


Part 5: Infiltration


Your motion is almost soundless. Almost… and that is a good thing, because as soon as you enter the stairwell, there is the strong smell of tobacco smoke. One landing down, half a flight of stairs and visible from here, is a demon with an assault rifle. As the door opens soundlessly, he doesn't seem to notice in the slightest, holding the weapon and aiming it at the street and alleyway below, a cigarette smouldering in his red-painted lips. And he doesn't appear to notice you at all.

//**«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence for "Full sound suite, ultrasound, triangulator, GPS, ect ect.":
1 1 3 4 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls 5 (SSF) for "Full sound suite, ultrasound, triangulator, GPS, ect ect.":
1 2 2 5 8
«Plot» Slinger says, "You detect nobody — just the sound of a breeze, a faint squawking of the ganger's comm near his ear. Nice gear, actually…"

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pentjak-Silat + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "10M stun. If needed, another 8S from shock hand is applied assuming success on the roll.":
1 2 2 2 4 5 5 10 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (Brawling) vs TN 4 for "Ganger is surprised, but he can still roll melee dice to resist…":
1 3 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 2 vs TN 4 for "Ganger KP 1.":
4 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (Ganger body) + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 8 for "2 points impact armor.":
1 2 2 2 4 4 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (Ganger body) + Combat Pool: 6 vs TN 8 for "2 points impact armor. KP 2":
1 1 1 3 3 4 4 5 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 7 for "Another 8S stun… half impact.":
1 4 11 = 1 Success**//

Orpheus deftly sneaks up behind his prey.. under normal circumstances, he would simply kill this person at range with his gun. Pop. One round in the back of the head. Move on.. but Slinger said NO killing at all, so this one gets off lucky. All he feels is the sudden grip of an intruding hand - strong, fierce - pressing right into his face.. before he has a chance to react, orpheus slams his head right into a nearby wall with quite an impressive force. A faint crackle of electrical energy arcs from somewhere on his mechanical arm and lightly fries the mans face. With such a direct path from shock to brain, his world changes to darkness instantly and he slumps to the ground lifelessly, though alive. Orpheus casually kneels by the ganger and inspects him for anything of real value.. not a gun, but something else.. comm unit maybe, if it's any good.. He also signals Seraph ahead to check for anyone else his ears might have missed.

It's a communit. A nice one. Complete with subvocal mic and earpiece. And from the display, it clearly has rather good encryption, roughly equal to the comm you are using right now, in fact. And best of all, it's tuned to a frequency, with a key loaded right now.
Seraph slips into the stairwell, surveying your handiwork, and then nods once, crouching down low. « There's a guy right across from us, » he observes. « Drek! He saw us…. take him out! » He's reaching for his gun, but you're potentially faster, with a better shot…

«OOC» Slinger says, "Modifiers are partial cover +5 (he's in a window as well)… and that's about it."
«OOC» Slinger says, "You'll need to make a reaction (4) test for quickdraw."
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Reaction vs TN 5:
1 2 2 4 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 7 for "Shot 1":
1 1 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 5 - 1 vs TN 7 for "Shot 1 1/3":
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 1 vs TN 7 for "Shot 2":
2 2 3 5 7 14 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pistols + Combat Pool: 1 - 2 vs TN 7 for "Shot 2 2/3":
2 3 5 8 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Dodging shot 1…":
3 4 5 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "Gel round, resisting damage…":
2 4 4 5 5 = 5 Successes
«Plot» Slinger says, "He takes L."

Some of the damage from the gel round still penetrates the guy's armor — and that momentary shock buys Seraph enough time to draw his gun — silenced, as well — and launch two rounds downrange of his own…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (reaction) vs TN 4 for "Quickdraw.":
3 3 4 4 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 7 for "Shooting the badguy…":
1 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 7 for "Shooting the badguy… KP 1…":
2 3 4 4 4 5 5 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 7 for "Shooting the badguy… shot 2…":
1 2 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 7 for "Shooting the badguy… shot 2… KP 2":
2 2 3 4 4 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 4 for "Shot 1…":
2 10 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 4 for "Shot 2…":
2 5 11 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "The guy takes 2 L wounds…"

Over the captured enemy comm, you hear the guy. "Crap! I got enemies, they're shootin' at me! Frag!"

Orpheus would curse.. but what was the point. The first and frontmost thing he thinks is 'if I had used real ammo, this wouldnt have happened'. He hated to think it, but he felt it was true. He was trying to be Slinger, but he couldn't.. and now they were in deep, deep shit. all his sneakiness for nothing. He could half expect them to blow the bomb up now that they know they are being targeted.. He can't BELIEVE he didn't hear or see this guy in the window. How could he be so reckless? Why like this?
Orpheus comms back to the HQ relaying the current situation, and asks for advisement. He sounds utterly stupid having to report back like this, but what could you do.

Seraph doesn't wait at all; when you start to key your comm, he is up next to you, his pistol out. "Get over there and /kill/ him before he can give any more info!" he snarls, almost pushing you toward the window — but he stops just short of that. He does use his hand, though, to give you an anchor-point to push off of. There are three stories of drop below you, and three meters of distance to cover… while his silenced pistol shoots out again…

//**«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (pistols) vs TN 7 for "Shooting the guy again!":
2 2 2 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (pistols) vs TN 7 for "Shooting the guy again!":
3 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
----------—[ Shadowrun Denver ]-
============================> Combat Jumping Roll <============================
Orpheus (#3849) jumps with 6 dice with no TN modifier and 6 effective Quickness.
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Rolls: 2 2 4 4 5 11
------> Interpreted Results <-----—-
If this attempted jump is taken as a free action:
A 6 Meter Running Horizontal jump
A 4 Meter Standing Horizontal jump
A 2 Meter Vertical jump of any kind including reach


«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Cyber-Implant Combat vs TN 2 for "No CP left":
1 1 5 5 5 5 15 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (brawling) vs TN 6 for "He's out of CP, too…":
2 5 7 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 10 for "Resisting damage.":
2 5 10 = 1 Success**//

The guy is fumbling for his gun, trying to get out of the way, and he takes two shots at you…

//**«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Reaction vs TN 7 for "Trying to quickdraw his weapon.":
1 2 2 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Pistols vs TN 9 for "One shot, silenced — nice-ass gun, by the way…":
2 2 2 3 3 = 0 Successes

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Strength + 6 (cyberarm) vs TN 3:
1 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 9 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 vs TN 8 for "His resistance roll…":
3 8 11 = 2 Successes**//

A great leap.. Orpheus sails accross the three-story drop and manages to squirm into the other window. This is followed by a quick gouge into the gangers stomache. He didnt have his balance quite right so its not a mortal wound, but this presented an opportunity.
Orpheus has this kid at at a disadvantage.. He knew right away he could kill the guy on a whim. Just a quick twist of his arm and he'd be impaled on his hand blades.. But, thinking quick, and hoping against all hope to salvage the situation before it gets worse somehow.. he tries something else.. He presses his cyberarm against the guys body, shocing him further against the ground as he mounts over him on his prone position, that fresh gash still open on his body after his attack. Orpheus presses his weight against him, hand blades pressing tightly against the gangers flesh, and draws out his pistol, pressing it RIGHT up to the gangers eye socket and shoves forcefully.. not enough to cause GREAT pain, but enough to maybe scare him shitless.
"You say over that radio that you didn' see SHIT motherfucker, or I'll use your intestines to climb back down the side of this building, soka?" Orph sounds dead fucking serious too.

The ganger has no choice at all — he's staring at a pistol right in his eye socket. His good eye sees another figure jump toward the window — and Seraph is in the room with you, with his backpack containing the gear that he brought with him. The ganger's one exposed eye is wide, wide enough to see knife that Seraph is holding, which has a distinctive red sheen as well. Then he looks back to Orpheus, not even daring to move enough to nod. He picks up the comm. "False alarm. Drek… I thought that was a bad guy." And he looks up at Orpheus as he drops the comm, staring up at him, eyes pleading for his life…

Orph leans in close.. real close to the ganger, his young, near-pretty face pressing close enough that it can be seen from under his ruth cloak by the other ganger. He smiles faintly. "Good choice, hombre," says Orph, his lips so close to the ganger he could practically kiss him at this range. He waits several moments, with his head so close, waiting to make sure no other communications are going to take place on the other end of the gangers comm unit.. and if not.. Then he lifts his hand up and places to top of his finger on the gangers forhead.. and lets a nice jolt pass from his arm to the gangers head, which should sufficiently knock him out cold. Otherwise he would wait, for better or worse.

The ganger's eyes cross as the jolt of electricity occurs, and then Seraph nods once. "There. Now, kill him," he tells you, his voice cold and dark, as he offers his knife — ignoring the fact that frankly, you have weapons of your own. "I'll check the door." He's whispering, his voice kept low as he cautiously approaches the door, to listen against it…

Orpheus is pleased with himself.. that he was able to do this without killing anyone. For a moment, just a fleeting moment.. he almost feels like he's Slinger. Slinger the immortal, the invisible, the unstopable, the all-merciful.. Then, Seraph asks him to kill the guy.. Orpheus snaps his head back in Seraphs direction, »What? Why? He won't wake up for hours,« the boy protests. How could he try SO hard like this only to be asked to do something like that? How could he? It's like.. the world is conspiring against him.. trying to make him fail.. trying to confuse him on purpose.

"Gabriel said to kill him," Seraph shoots back. But on the other hand, you made a promise to this guy — implied. Do this… do what you said, and live. Now you have a choice to make. Seraph rolls his eyes. "Whatever you do, make it fast. The hallway's clear for now," he hisses.

Orpheus looks back at the ganger, and maybe for the first time.. really looking at the crumpled heap of flesh he thinks.. He can see just how fragile life is. How unbelievably easy it would be for him to end this kids life, but how difficult it was to save it.. which is what he did, in a way. He could of used lethal means and never gotten into this situation, but he didn't.. And it saved his life. Unless, Orpheus kills him..
»I said I would do whatever was necesarry,« Orpheus protests strongly. He looks back at the ganger. He had -even if only implied- promised to let this kid live. So he would. He made that promise to Slinger. Gabriel? Is some person he doesn't even know. Slinger may like him somewhat, but Orpheus didn't give a shit. He promised Slinger he would do whatever it took, even if he died trying.. So Orpheus stands up and leaves the ganger alone. »An' killing him.. ain't necesarry,« Orpheus looks away from him and begins slowly walking toward Seraph so they could continue on with the mission..

Seraph eyes the Demon on the ground. He really is just a kid, though it's hard to tell behind that makeup. Had geography been a little different, circumstances of birth… he could have been a Saint. Or he could have been Orpheus. Seraph snorts, obviously disapproving of your choice, but drops it. » You go first, « he tells Orpheus, gesturing to the door, while he has his silenced pistol out. » We have to find the thing first, disable it… and bring in the calvary. « Back to business, whatever his opinions.

Orpheus eyes Seraph a moment.. almost critically, and suddenly.. a little distrustfully for some reason. »No,« he says in regards to stepping into the hallway first.. »We'll go at the same time.. You go right, I'll break left at the same time,« he suggests. A somewhat tactically sound strategy anyways.. and it gets them both out of the room at the same time. »Ready?« Once they perform the maneuver, Orpheus will gently nudge the door closed behind them..

Seraph nods once, firmly, and then counts to three. And on three, the door is flung open, and both young warriors are out in the deserted corridor. Both the left and the right are clear. The hallway itself has doors on either side spaced at irregular intervals. To the right, it terminates in a single door. To the left, it proceeds, then curves around to the right, presumably toward the stairs and elevators.
« Clear, » Seraph says over the comm, his gun out… still somewhat fuzzy and indistinct to look at.

«Plot» Slinger says, "The gun you found was a pretty nice decked out Ruger Thunderbolt. And of course, he had a comm. Did you take either of those?"
«Plot» Orpheus says, "Is it possible for Orph to use his orientation system/GPS/Ultrasound to map out a primitive floorplan? Possibly to find other entrypoints. +cyber/list orient explains this somewhat."
«Plot» Slinger says, "You can generate a floorplan of what you've seen so far, definitely. Your ultrasonic readings don't go well through walls, however."

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Stealth:
3 3 4 4 5 9

Orpheus takes the comm unit he pilfered off of the ganger and clips the mic to his ear to listen in on any potential radio chatter. On the one hand, they could simply look for the stairs down and go down.. but.. did they even really know where the bomb was? Could be on any floor.. So could the hostages. He would use his orientation system but in these conditions it provides little more than a view of whats currently already in his line of sight.
»So, we aren't sure where the hostages or bomb might be.. Could be on this floor.. or down. Thoughts?« Orpheus doesn't want to linger here too long though.

Radio chatter. "All right. Everybody keep your trigger fingers from gettin' itchy," comes a rough, street-accented voice. "We only got an hour 'fore those Saints cave. Our guy'll make sure of that."
"What if he goes native or somethin'?" another voice asks.
A nervous voice pipes up. "Should we be, you know, talkin' about this?"
"These things are encrypted. No way anybody's gonna crack the crypto on these! He's s'posed to do the deed in an hour, given 'em one hour before the deadline."

Seraph glances around carefully, eyes narrowed as he looks down the corridor. « If I were them, I'd put it on the third floor. Maximum impact that way, plus means anybody comin' in would have to fight up through two floors of 'em. So it's prolly on this level somewhere…»

Orpheus nods, »Alright. I agree.. We'll base our assumption on that, and begin a search of this floor.« Orph pauses, listening to the chatter a moment. He can't be quite sure what it is they are talking about though.. »Heads up.. Listening to comm chatter. Sounds like they are talking about the Saints caving in an hour.. Something about one of their 'guys' making sure of it..« Orpheus doesn't get it at all, whatever hes on about. »Make sense to you?« For now, Orpheus will begin to move out, slowly, advancing forward down the hallway which ends ahead.. He stops at each door and carefully listens in on the other side of the door with his ear mods, trying to determine if anyone is on the other side. Or anyt/thing/, if possible. He REALLY wished he had a map of this place.. Sucks, but.. thats what happens when you do jobs on short notice.

Seraph shakes his head at the question. « Saints would never cave. Not as long as Gabriel's there, » the young soldier states with conviction. Each door yields the same… until you come to the door at very of the hallway, the one on the right just before the elevators. You can hear footsteps coming from it — echoing hollowly, along with the sounds of murmured conversation through the door.
Faint, indistinct. "… right up here…"
"… know if it's real?"

Once they reach the door, Oprheus gives hand signals again. 'Full stop', 'Unknown Number of Enemies', 'Hold'. He listens in carefully, and considers options. He had no grenades with him. Shame, too! Bursting inside would probably be okay, but if there was another option, he'd prefer it..
»Sounds like they might be talking about something.. maybe the bomb.. Can't be sure exactly.« he says, breaking the previous radio silence. Orpheus tries to determine how many people are on the other side of the door exactly via triangulation.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence + 5 (SSF) vs TN 7:
2 3 3 3 4 4 5 8 9 11 = 3 Successes

There are three people coming up the stairs, from the sound of it, and the first one just reached the top step , not that far away — just a meter or two from the door. The door opens outward, it would seem. « Told you it was on this level, » Seraph says firmly, perhaps with a hint of smugness in his voice.

Orpheus curses under his breath again.. He didnt need this, but it came to his plate anyways. Nothing for it.. there was no time to take cover or hide before they cross the threshold of the door in moments. »Incoming, three targets,« he hisses over the line, overriding any sense of self-satisfaction Seraph might have, with any luck.
'Ambush', 'Follow my Lead', are the hand signals then given behind him to Seraph as the boy prepares for the up and coming engagement. With luck, the element of surprise will be sufficient enough to survive.

Well since the very specific circumstances warrent it, it wouldnt Hurt for Orpheus and Seraph to try hiding on the other side of the door as it opens.. the hydraulic stop on it would theoretically keep it from hitting them as it opens and.. implausible as it might be(except in trideo), it just might keep them concealed.. or worst case scenario, give them a nice position to make a surprise ambush if that were the case. So he'll order that..

The door does indeed open, and three people enter. All of them are painted like the Demons — and when you get down to it, it's a fairly effective disguise, but one of them — the one in the center — looks older, just from the way he walks, his build. There is something about him that definitely makes it clear that he's not your typical ganger. "It's down this way," one of the other two says, gesturing to the right, as the door starts to swing closed.

Orpheus holds his breath as the three men pass through the doorway and beyond. He can't quite believe that trick worked, but it did.. and so he sees the tree walking away from him now. A quick glance to Seraph.. Hand signals follow, with Orphs hand slipping out from under the ruth just enough to see only that..
'Follow me', 'Do not engage', he advises. Orpheus figures.. if they can follow the three men to the bomb, no need to look for it themselves.. and if things still turned sour, he might still be able to ambush them at any time.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Stealth:
1 1 1 1 2 8
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 6 (stealth) (to no one) for "Serapth.":
1 2 3 4 7 10
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (guy 1 perc) (to no one):
2 2 3 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (guy 2 perc) (to no one):
1 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (older guy perc) (to no one):
2 3 3 4 14

It's easy to trail the trio, since they're talking. The one in the middle suddenly stops, however, and blinks. "Did you… did you hear something?" he asks the others, his low voice sounding hesitant, as he swiftly looks behind him — looks right at Orpheus, and then shakes his head. "This building is creepy. I'll be glad when it's gone."

Orpheus stops, his soundless footfalls halting when the ganger turns at stares right at his mostly-invisible form.. His hand blades were a single nervous twitch from popping out and lunging forward.. but he just manages to keep his calm when he realizes he was okay. It was not entirely uncommon - though still bizarre - to see someone look directly at you and then continue right on going without incident.. This new info does encourage Orph to chance a voiceless communication back to HQ though.
»Advisory, I believe the Demons intend to blow the bomb regardless of what transpires here. I think we're about to find it, though..« He leaves the message at that and continues to trail the trio of men wherever they are going.. Hopefully Seraph is being as quiet as he is.

The men continue, passing in front of the wrecked elevator doors. This was once a fairly nice building, part corporate offices, part residential, though it has fallen into decrepit disrepair. Then down the hallway — this one much darker — whatever lights there are have long since ceased to work. Moving down the corridor, toward one of the interior rooms on the right. Knock, knock knock, goes one of them.
Over the stolen comm: « We're outside. Let us in. He's here with the codes. »

Orpheus narrows his eyes somewhat, mere inches from the three men. IF what he heard is true.. Orpheus can assume then that this older man has codes to arm the bomb.. at least, all indications would point to that. If that were true, taking him out would prevent the bomb from being usable.. Perhaps him and Seraph could down this guy quick and get out before anyone else can attack.. That was risky though.. Plus, Gabe did say he wanted us to try to capture him alive. But they were already getting quite outnumbered by this point..
»Act fast. Hold up, Ambush, or wait,« he asks Seraph over the line. Orph MIGHT be able to get the trio to surrender if he stuck a gun to his back. Or maybe not at all. Ambushing could work.. but there is no telling how many are on the other side of that door, plus these three.. Waiting is possible, but inviting future risks..

Seraph hesitates for just a moment. And then grins. « I got somethin',» he whispers. « Here. Pull the pin and throw. » And suddenly, in your near hand, is a small, round object. A grenade, hidden beneath your ruthenium. No way of telling what exact kind of grenade it is.
The door to the room opens, and the three swiftly head inside. And now it is starting to close again…

Were the situation different.. say, if Slinger were here.. He might have simply thrown the grenade into the room without question. But Seraphs track record, in Orphs mind, isn't really that great. Nevermind that he's been distrustful of him since the moment he walked into the pool hall, but the incident previously with him urging Orpheus to kill the unconscious ganger leads him to believe, in that split moment, that he can't trust Seraphs judgement on a whim. Not someone he barely knows anyway.. Orph knows if the grenade is live, there is a good chance it would hurt any hostages that may or may not be on the other side of the door.. furthermore, it goes against a tertiary objective(capture the older man), and there is no telling what the bomb might do if exposed to a chemical or explosive agent. It's an extremely risky set of factors that.. in that split second, Orph decides isn't worth any other possible advantage.
So, he doesn't throw the grenade. Simply thrusts it back toward Seraph. »If you had one of those, you should of listed it as an asset earlier.«

The door closes, and Seraph reaches out to snag the grenade from your fingers, where it disappears. « So what now? » he asks, and it's hard to miss the faint sneer in his voice as he asks the question. We're in hostile territory, with what we need on the other side of that door, in an enclosed space. With who knows what going on. And more gangers blocking our escape route below.

Orph ignores the troublesome companion hes been saddled with for now.. Instead, he presses his ear close to the door, similarly to how he had done before and tries to acertain the number of people on the other side of the door. He didn't have time to see if anyone else was in there, so if he could at least verify the number of people.. or whether hostages might be in there.. it would help.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence + 5 (SSF) for "Same as before?":
2 2 2 2 2 3 3 5 8 10

You don't hear any sounds of people whimpering through the door. You don't hear any sounds of people moving around, really — not that sort of shuffling that you might expect from those who were tied up. No, it appears to just be demons.
"So you just enter the code, and then… then it's armed?"
"This code gives you a two hour window. Of course, if you want to turn it off, you'll need…"
"We won't want to turn it off. I don't think anybody's gonna cry if this part of town is blown sky high."
There's some laughter, of course. "You promise we're gonna get paid for this?"
"The money's already transferred. Check your account balances. You are sure your man will take care of Gabriel? This 'man on the inside' you talked about?"
"Yeah, he's in position. Just waiting for the right time…"

Orpheus squints as he tries his best to hear the conversation.. Not that doing so helps him hear at all.. He listens for the duration until mention of Gabriel's 'assassin' anyway.. Or he assumes that what it is.
»Advistory, Gabriel. The demons have someone on the inside, waiting to assassinate you. I don't know who, or how, but they have to. Bomb is going to be armed to detonate within two hours..« Orpheus wonders then, what to do. Obviously they arent going to wait inside the building to be blown up with it, which means they HAVE to leave that room again. They could strike then, and go inside to deal with the bomb. He can't think of any way to prevent it being armed from here though.

Stop that bomb being armed, « comes Gabriel's order. « I don't care what you have to do. And capture one of them, if you can. »

Next to you, Seraph is watching, staring at you, eyes narrowed. He still has that grenade, it would seem, and he is looking right at that doorlatch. « You want it, or not? I don't even know what it does. I don't speak Injun. Yes, or no, kid? »

Orpheus glances at Seraph.. wonders. »Tell me what kind of grenade that was. Quickly.« If it was usable, he would use it.. If he had to. He could think of no other way than a breach. He DID have an enemy comm unit too, but what would he say over it to trick them? Besides, surely they would notice that his voice was unrecognizable? Or maybe not..
5t»You don't fraggin' know?« he spits. »You expect me to use unidentified ordinance? It could be nerve gas for all we know!« Orpheus rakes over his brain, trying to think of something quickly..

» It's what we got, « Seraph says from the opposite side of the doorframe, and you can see his ghostly form grinning, manically. » Unless you got a better idea, I'm gonna throw it. See what happens. « He smirks; the cover has been removed from the maglock next to him, and he reaches down toward it, with a pair of forceps. « Just give me the word, » he pleads.

Orpheus eyes Serapth carefully.. then says, »Fine, give it to me. Get the door open, and I'll throw it in,« he says, and reaches a hand out to take the grenade. PErhaps if thats what had to be done, thats what he would do. It needed to be lightning quick.. Door opens, grenade in.. boom. Right?

There's a dial on the top of it, with unidentified markings. A bar that gradually gets wider, and two other settings, marked in red with strange symbols. Seraph nods once, then crouches down, staring at the door for a moment, and then he nods once, indicating he's ready. And at your signal, he shorts two contacts, and then reaches for the door handle…

No way would Orpheus use that thing. He had no intention to at all, actually. He just wanted to get the thing off this guy so he didn't do something stupid with it; like blow himself up - with Orph along with him. Once the door is unlatched and opened, he has no choice but to live up to his promise to Slinger.. Or die trying.

He pockets the nade.


Part 6: Da Bomb


The door is open, suddenly, leaving you a view of the room. There are five people in this room, all of them wearing the facepaint of the Demons. Three of them are near the bomb, one of them is next to the door, and the fifth is near the window to the room.
The bomb itself is relatively large and rather complex looking, with tubes and wires connecting the various components. It might have had a case once, but now it doesn't — exposing the coils of wire and the dangerous looking packages of high explosive. The older guy is bent over, close to a panel on the side of the thing — and he and the others haven't noticed the rather quiet sound of the door opening. But the guy next to the door… does.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (ganger 1 reaction) vs TN 4 (to no one) for "Surprised?":
1 3 3 4 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (ganger 2 reaction) vs TN 4 (to no one) for "Surprised?":
1 4 5 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (ganger 2 reaction) vs TN 4 (to no one) for "Surprised?":
1 1 2 2 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (ganger 4 reaction) vs TN 4 (to no one) for "Surprised?":
1 1 4 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (boss reaction) vs TN 3 (to no one) for "Surprised?":
1 3 4 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Reaction vs TN 4:
1 2 3 4 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Reaction vs TN 2:
1 3 4 5 8 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Initiative with a result of 8.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pentjak-Silat + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "10M, 8S Shock.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 5 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 2 (Brawling) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 8 for "Ganger's counterattack…":
2 4 7 8 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Trying to soak 10M…":
1 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 8 11 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (gangerbody) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 8 for "Trying to soak 10M…":
3 4 5 11 11 13 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (ganger body) vs TN 7 for "Attempting to resist…":
3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (ganger body) vs TN 7 for "Attempting to resist… KP 1":
2 4 5 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "He's at 8 boxes of stun right now."

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Seraph Pistols) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 2 for "Seraph shooting one of the gangers next to the guy…":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 7 8 = 9 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (body) + Combat Pool: 5 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "Trying tor resist damage":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 9 14 = 5 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "He takes D and drops."
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (Seraph Pistols) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Shooting, second target, guy to the right of the older guy…":
1 1 2 2 4 4 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 vs TN 4 for "Seraph KP 2…":
1 2 3 4 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 4 for "Resisting damage…":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 = 5 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "Second guy takes L."

Orpheus didnt really like this situation. His instincts tell him he should wait it out.. fight on his own terms.. but the situation demanded it. Worse yet, he's not really up to his best at the moment. Hes disadvantaged like this.. But, nothing for it.. As soon as he sees one of the gangers has spotted the door opening, Orpheus dashes into the room, steps in really close, grabs the back of his head while slipping a leg in to trip the ganger.. and bring his face right into his knee with the force of his cyberarm.. A helping of shock goes along with this to compliment and the guy is staggering back with one hell of a headach and a bad day.. But that still leaves a room full of angry people.

Seraph swings around the corner and fires two shots *snick snick* from his weapon. The first clips the ganger who appeared to be the leader right in the head, sending him backward — bleeding, dying in an instant. The second guy manages to catch the round in his shoulder — where it stings, making him cry out, but not lethal at this point, by any means.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (Reaction) vs TN 7 for "Attempting to quickdraw with wounds…":
2 5 9 = 1 Success
«OOC» Slinger says, "What'm I thinking? He has a rifle. No quickdraw. Simple action ready."
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (Rifles) vs TN 15 for "Attempting to shoot Orpheus…":
2 3 5 5 = 0 Successes

The guy you are fighting brings his assault rifle around and fires toward the space where he think Orpheus is — but he misses wildly, sending a loud round right into the wall behind him — a single burst that does nothing more than waste ammo. The guy near the window drops to the floor behind something to find cover, as does the second ganger next to the bomb — who then reaches up and pulls the older 'demon' downward, takine cover behind the bomb.

The ganger who hid behind the bomb stares at the fuzzy, indistinct patch of the room where Seraph is, and then blinks. "Merde! /You/! What are /you/ doing here?" he demands.

//**«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Initiative with a result of 6.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (assault rifles) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 9 for "Ganger shooting at Seraph…":
4 4 5 5 7 16 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (assault rifles) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 9 for "Ganger shooting at Seraph… shot 2…":
1 1 3 4 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (assault rifles) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 9 for "Ganger shooting at Seraph… shot 2… KP 1":
1 1 2 2 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Seraph dodging…":
4 9 9 15 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 5 for "Seraph shooting the guy…":
2 2 2 2 4 4 5 7 8 10 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 5 for "Seraph shooting the guy… Shot 2.":
1 1 2 3 4 5 13 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Guy dodging Seraph's first shot…":
2 17 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 4 for "Guy soaking…":
1 3 5 = 1 Success
«OOC» Slinger says, "That's S."
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) vs TN 4 for "Second shot…":
2 2 4 = 1 Success
«OOC» Slinger says, "Plus another M…"**//

Seraph, though, does not seem to be hesitating, as he slips into the room. The guy near the window takes two shots — one, two, right at Seraph — but the fuzzy, indistinct form easily dodges them. He returns fire, sending two quick rounds of ammunition toward the guy behind the couch — and gets a damned lucky shot — once that send that ganger sprawling backward…

«Plot» Slinger says, "Suppressive fire is happening from the guy you're fighting, as he flicks his selector switch and squeezes the trigger, unloading 10 rounds. There are 4 rounds in your area. You may make a dodge test at TN 4 to dodge them… You need 4 successes to dodge completely. If you don't get enough, other stuff happens."
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls 6 (Dodge Dice) vs TN 4 for "Need 4 successes..":
1 3 3 3 4 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls 6 (Dodge Dice) - 2 vs TN 4 for "Need 4 successes.. 3/3":
2 3 5 11 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "Dodged. Your action."

Panicked, the ganger opens up his weapon, full-auto, and sends a cloud of ammunition toward the spot where he /thinks/ you are… but your nimble movements are enough to get you out of the way of the rounds. He peers toward the area… no blood that he sees…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Cyber-Implant Combat vs TN 4 for "13M physical, 10D Gamma Scopalamine coated":
2 2 2 3 4 5 10 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 7 for "Ganger's counterattack, +3 wounds.":
2 3 3 4 5 8 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 11 for "Resisting 10S physical…":
1 2 3 4 4 9 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "He's at S physical now."

The ganger next to the older guy is peering over the top of the bomb. "You're supposed to be killing Gabriel," he hisses. "We had a deal," he says, bringing up his gun — a submachine gun, a fairly nice one. "Stop! Don't come any closer!"

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Initiative with a result of 10.

Orpheus was running on instinct mode since he kneed the other ganger in the face. His hearing mods just barely detect a familiar sound. 'Ca-clink'.. A weapon being switched to full auto. Orph has only a split second to dodge the incoming assault rifle fire; and does. His body twists and contorts away as he pulls a jet li, stepping back and narrowly causing the bullets to fly past him harmlessly. He catches his momentum and a split second later he whirls into striking distance of the AR-holding ganger. Following the whirl, his cyberarm lashes out, hand blades protruding, and catches the ganger straight accross the chest, leaving two distinctly nasty gashes. He sort of hated it.. but he simply can't stop himself at this point.. the adrenaline was pumping, and his bodys naturally trained reflexes took over.
The guy in question /is/ trying to kill you… and right now, you have another opportunity, a chance to finish it while Seraph moves toward the two cowering behind the bomb. The ganger who was near the window just lies there, wisely, making no move at all…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (SMGs) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "-2 SL II +2 partial cover bomb, ganger shooting Seraph.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 11 16 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 5 for "Seraph dodging…":
1 2 4 4 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 (seraph body) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 4 for "Soaking 10S, 2 net successes…":
1 2 2 2 4 5 7 = 3 Successes

The burst from the SMG barks out and hits Seraph in the shoulder, spinning him around, despite the difficulty in seeing him. Perhaps a lucky shot, perhaps something else. "Do what you are supposed to do!" the ganger snarls, a hint of desperation in his voice… and he utterly fails to notice the ruthenium-clad figure sneaking around the bomb…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
1 2 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Cyber-Implant Combat + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4:
1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 9 10 11 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 8 for "What the heck? Invisible attacker…?":
1 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 8 for "What the heck? Invisible attacker…? KP 1":
1 1 3 3 3 4 4 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 8 for "What the heck? Invisible attacker…? KP 3":
1 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 9 for "Good armor, but not good enough… S damage.":
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) + Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 9 for "Good armor, but not good enough… S damage. KP 4":
1 2 2 2 2 3 7 8 = 0 Successes

The demon whirls around, his SMG up — but he can't even dare fire it without hitting the other guy. "What is that?" he demands, looking back toward Seraph. "What the hell was that?" he demands again, staring at the ganger, who just grins. "Wouldn't you like to know?" he asks, and pulls the trigger…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 5 for "+3 Partial cover, SL II…":
2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (pistols) + Combat Pool: 3 - 2 vs TN 5 for "KP 4":
3 4 5 5 11 22 = 4 Successes

Orpheus as gunfire errupts into the air, people diving for cover.. some hiding.. Orpheus meanwhile quickly sneaks his way through the room and around the bomb toward the other two cowering gangers.. He deftly sidesteps around the 'leader' and brings his hand blades to bear on the guy, quickly perforating his body with a nice set of new ruptures, then quickly steps to his flank, weaving around.. generally making himself a difficult target hopefully.. of course, his ruth already assured that.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) vs TN 4 for "6 successes…":
2 3 3 3 5 = 1 Success

Seraph's shot is true — and hits the ganger right in the throat. He drops his weapon, hand going up to his throat, desperation in his eyes as he swiftly dies before your eyes. And that's when the other guy moves, jumping up — and he darts to the keypad and begins punching digits…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pentjak-Silat + 4 vs TN 4:
1 1 2 3 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (strength) vs TN 12 for "Defaulting, +4 visibility…":
1 2 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 10 for "No armor…":
1 4 4 4 5 5 8 9 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 10 for "No armor… KP 1":
1 1 2 2 3 3 5 7 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Orpheus says, "Unless the shock isnt needed that is"
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 8 for "No armor…":
1 1 2 4 5 5 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 3 (body) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 8 for "No armor… KP 2":
1 1 1 1 4 5 7 11 = 1 Success

Orphus steps in to attack the elder ganger member whos desperately trying to arm the bomb.. or thats what Orph assumes hes doing.. He can't let him do it of course. "Fool!" he barks, then steps in close to the guy, kicking the back of his leg, making it crumple under his own weight.. As the leader falls to his knees, Orpheus performs a quick spin kick and hammers the guy right in the side of his head.. This is followed by him dropping down with him and pressing his arm up against the guys neck to make sure he isn't going to get up again. "Nobody move!" Orpheus demands, with the ganger guy at his mercy, apparently. If anyone does something he don't like,..

The older ganger goes down instantly from your attack — and he is jerked away from the keypad, halfway through entering something on it. Crying out in pain, he collapses into a limp heap from your brutal attack that clips him with your cyberarm right against the side of his head. And he collapses onto the ground in an undignified heap.

There is a *pleep* from the bomb. And the display shows:

5 4 2 8 7 6
01:47:16

«Plot» Slinger says, "All the gangers are down. There's a *pleep* from the bomb. And that number is slowly decreasing."
«Plot» Slinger says, "And Seraph is wounded pretty badly, though he's still moving."

Orpheus, satisfied no one is going cause any further trouble, gets up off the ganger and inspects the count down occuring.. Bit under two hours.
»Advisory, bomb is armed, but still about one hour and firty-five minutes from detonation. Older Demon from the Americar is unconscious, but alive. Situation is contained for now.«
Orpheus looks toward where Seraph is.. considering. Thinking.. »Alright,« he says on their local frequency. »How bad you hurt?« he asks, slowly approaching his partner.

Seraph is breathing hard, and working on binding that gunshot wound. "Been better," he mutters. "Little help? Unless you believe what they said," he adds, with a dark look toward the Hispanic boy, eyes flicking over your face to read your expression, looking for a sign whether we are still allies — or sudden enemies.

Over the comm, Gabriel comes back: « What kind of bomb is it? Any idea? Is Seraph online? » he wants to know. You can hear him calling out orders, next. « Secure that position. If there was any noise, the rest of the gang may be moving in on you. Secure it and then hold tight. »

Over the gangers' comm, there is further chatter. « What was that? Sounded like somebody went rock'n roll! »
« Who did that? We can't waste ammo! »

Orph still has his ruth cloak on, so his face is pretty hard to read. For that matter, so is Seraph's. »What you talkin' about?« Orph asks. »Gabe is askin' us to hold tight, so I need to acertain whether you are fit to fight, if the time comes.. C'mon, no time to waste. We may not like each other but we're still stuck up here together.«

Seraph grunts, grimacing. « I can fight, but not in my best shape, » he says firmly. He eyes the bomb, drops off the comm. "Could use your help binding this up, but hey, if you don't want to help, then so be it," he grunts, as he tears a strip off of his tunic, starts using that as a bandage. He takes a breath, and the blood flows a little more freely, and he curses darkly. Then looks up. "I don't have a problem with you. Not now. Not after this."

Orpheus is pretty close to Seraph now, looking at him as he tries to bandage himself. True.. Orpheus was suspect of him. It was far, far too coincidental that this would occur.. the accusations.. Besides, Gabe was still alive and well. So, that either meaned the assassin wasnt where he was suppose to be.. Or not who he was suppose to be, perhaps. Never the less, Orpheus' training dictates he had to do this.
Slowly, Orpheus reaches into his pocket and withdraws the Ruger Thunderbolt he pilfered off the ganger from earlier and aims it at Seraph. He had no intention of killing him.. but he did want some questions answer. "Who are you. Don't lie. You are hiding something.. either you, or you and Gabe both from me. Or you are hiding it from us. Either way." After all.. He was a new kid, right? Fresh off the block.. not known well, presumably. Even is Orph is wrong.. He felt it was prudent of himself to be absolutely sure.

Seraph finally tosses the piece of cloth aside, and spreads his arms, the blood flowing down his clothing. It's almost impossible to bind your own wound when it's located where this one is, and instead he just lets out a slow breath, and reaches — slowly — for his pack of Ares Reds, pulling it from his pocket along with a glow-lighter. Since you want to talk, he will oblige you. He glances at the gun, then at your face.
"I was one of them," he admits. "One of the Demons. They sent me over to join, six months ago. I was supposed to kill Gabriel when they sent me the signal. But I wasn't going to do it." He smirks. "Go ahead. Ask me why," he says, as he lights up the cigarette, takes a deep inhale from the glowing tobacco.

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Pentjak-Silat + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "10M and 8S if needed":
1 1 2 3 5 5 9 14 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (brawling) + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 12:
1 1 2 4 4 5 5 5 14 14 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 7 for "Resisting S stun…":
1 1 3 5 8 9 16 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 4 vs TN 7 for "KP 5":
1 3 5 11 = 1 Success
«OOC» Slinger says, "He takes L stun from that…"
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Slinger (#69) rolls 5 (body) vs TN 7 for "Resisting the shock… 8S…":
1 1 2 2 3 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Slinger says, "That puts him at 9S… pose it."

Orpheus responds to Seraphs proposal to ask him why by simply saying, "No need." He then deftly steps in the rest of the way toward the other boy and simply hammers him dead in the chest with a haymaker and a healthy dose of shock to go along with it, severaly stunning him. Surprisingly, not knocking him out however. Orph says nothing else to the kid however. In his eyes, Seraph was now an unknown factor in his mission and no longer dependable. If he had to render the guy unconscious.. so be it. He would do so, and let fate sort out the details later.

Seraph drops the cigarette as you suddenly punch him, and in his wounded state, he can't easily resist, can't easily defend himself. He manages to partially dodge and block your first blow, but the second lands home, stunning him almost entirely. He's still awake, his body shuddering from the shock, while he stares back at you. "I'm a Saint now," he says fiercely, and coughs once. "I'm on your side. And I'm the only hope you got of disarmin' that bomb!" He stares back at the other youth, then flicks his eyes toward the bomb — but makes no aggressive moves.

That's okay, Orph figures. If what he says is true, then Gabriel must already know about it.. In which case he witheld vital information from Orpheus regarding the mission and so, ultimately, can't be fully responsible one way or the other. If he's telling the truth but Gabe doesnt yet know, then who would know the difference? It would be a shot in the dark.. and if he's lieing? Well. There ya go. Anyways, if he is needed later, there were stim patches for that. Likely hell awake within an hour anyways..
Thus, Orph simply steps into Seraphs zone of defense, easily slipping in under his defenses because of his wounds, and puts him into a submission.. a moment later and a very light jolt puts the other ganger to sleep. He carefully drags the listless body over and sets it next to the leader ganger.. then zip-ties both their hands behind their backs.
»Sitrep?« Orph asks Gabe, wondering how the fight goes.. Meanwhile, he takes a defensive position to watch the entrance of the room.

« Still moving in, » Gabriel says firmly. « Your position is secure? » Secure is a matter of opinion, actually. You have six unconscious people around you… wait…

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence:
2 3 3 5 10
«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls 5 (SSF) for "Only if viable":
1 1 1 3 8

One of the gangers, the one who was near the window — he just… moved. And it looks like he's reaching for his gun…

Orpheus points his ruger thunderbolt in that direction.. of the movement.. "I just busted into this room and took down half of everyone in here AND your 'inside man', single handedly using only my fists, what hope do you have? Don't make such a useless gesture," he says, Spanish accept inflecting nicely. Hopefully the ganger will stop, leaving Orph ample time to simple walk over and finish putting the guy to sleep.. Otherwise, well. Ruger Thunderbolts put nice holes in people.

The hand freezes, all thoughts of heroism apparently vanishing in an instant. And the guy is pretty easy to put into dreamland. And now you are at ground zero with a bomb in the room. And the door and window are not exactly secured right now.

Devil's Comm: « Commcheck, Devilborn. Devilborn. Status?»

After the ganger is put to sleep, he goes ahead and ties EVERYONEs hands now, just to be sure. No reason to take a risk, on second thought.. That done, he listens to the comm chatter. Obviously they have a specific set of lingo to communicate back and forth on status. Orph has no way of knowing the proper response.. of course.. that doesn't mean no one else in here didn't. Who knows? Orpheus quickly checks the pockets of the lead ganger and the one he suspects was inside here before the trio originally arrived. MAybe by some freak chance there will be a written dialogue detailing the comm chatter meanings. Or maybe some lint, you know. What else does Orph have to do while he waits?
»This is Orpheus. Ground Zero might be getting hot very soon.«

The comm continues, with people starting to get rather excited. They'll come for you, soon. They'll be up here, swarming the place…
And that's when gunfire erupts outside — and suddenly the comm is getting /very/ intense. You can hear the sounds of people shouting, outside, more gunfire — and yeah, there's a large explosion from nearby — sounds like a grenade. And you are up here, alone… perhaps with a hint of fear. And your lungs are /still/ craving a smoke.
Meanwhile, the bomb continues counting down:

01:28:22

Not finding anything of magical value in the pockets of the fallen.. Never hurts to try. Still, he checks the lead ganger a moment, seeing if he has anything of value.. or incriminating documentation or info about who he is exactly.. In the meantime, while he searches, he decides to light up a smoke. Hasn't had one since he stepped out of the SUV which seems like.. hours and hours ago.. He sits close to where Serapth is, blowing a puff of smoke onto the kid. "Tell me not to smoke," he chuffs, taking a drag again. Waits.. Waits. Nothing else to do but wait. He can't leave the bomb alone after all..

The nicotine tastes wonderful, restoring some sense of balance, despite the tense situation. « They're down! Get in there! » calls out Gabriel's voice. He's apparently organizing the strike teams. But there is one thing you might have forgotten.
Hostages. Where are they?

Of course, hostages. Sucks, but if he leaves the bomb alone, what good would it do to find them? The gang leader could wake up and detonate the bomb.. or someone else could wake up and tamper with it. Seraph could wake up and cause mischief.. Who knows? Besides, Orpheus has no idea where they might be. Could be on the third floor.. could be on the second.. the first. Maybe they don't exist. His mission was to secure the payload and sit tight. So he will. Right?

There is the sound of running footsteps — and then there is another sound. Somebody hitting your door, probably with their shoulder. Trying to force it, trying to get into this room. Whump! Whump! Whoever they are, they're /big/. Are there any trolls in the Demons? Nobody included /that/ in your briefing. So far, the door is holding. So far.

Demon-comm. « Where are the hostages? They're overrunning us! Where's that freakin' bomb? Devilborn! Come in! »

»Orpheus. I have unidentified number of targets attempting entry into the bomb room.« If he hasn't already, Orph mentions his exact location, down to very precise GPS coordinates. He readies that Ruger Thunderbolt for now.. and thinks about that grenade in his pocket.. who knows, maybe he'll really need to use it after all, like it or not. Orpheus may be tough, but a troll is simply tougher."

Orpheus looks at the door warily. Why does he need to break it down? The lock is already disabled on it.. No matter. Orpheus has no choice but to hold tight and hope for the best.
»Orpheus. I have unidentified number of targets attempting entry into the bomb room.« If he hasn't already, Orph mentions his exact location, down to very precise GPS coordinates. He readies that Ruger Thunderbolt for now.. and thinks about that grenade in his pocket.. who knows, maybe he'll really need to use it after all, like it or not. Orpheus may be tough, but a troll is simply tougher.

The lock re-engaged when the door closed again, after the two of you slipped in. During the commotion. Whump. Whump. Fortunately, the door opens outward. « Where is the bomb room? » shouts Gabriel's voice. « And where are the drekkin' hostages? They aren't up here. Is the room secure? If so… you need to find them, secure them as well. We're tied up down here! Where's Seraph? »

Orpheus beads down the sight of the ruger thunderbolt.. Waiting..
Orpheus sends those GPS coordinates and simple instructions. He did enter from the top however so he has no idea how to tell them how to get there from one of the bottom floors. That done, »I repeat, room is not secure. I have unidentified number of targets on opposite side of the door to the bomb room. Seraph was potentially in league with the enemy and I was forced to subdue him,« he adds with no shame in his voice. He feels like his actions are perfectly vindicated, normal, and maybe ebe admirable. »I'm alone.«

Gabriel mutters under his breath. « Drek, » he growls. « If they get in past the door, take them out, whatever it takes, » he instructs you. « We'll be there when we can. »

Whump. Whump… *splinter* … the door is starting to give… and you can see a bit of red-faced panic as whoever it is does their level best to get into this room… *whump* Another crack… and you have a potential shot. Not much of a margin, but it's there…

Orpheus mutters under his breath.. facing a troll head on so exposed like this was not his idea of fun.. so he gets an idea, however wild it may be.. He still had a trump card. Two in fact.. And he decides to use them up. It's a stretch, but who knows? Orpheus quickly moves out from his cover, grenade in hand from earlier.. He sticks his thumb on the pin, ready to flick it off on a whim.. As he gets closer to the door he sub-vocalizes - for the first time - over the enemy comm unit hes still wearing. He dons his best, flat, non-Spanish inflected accent possible and says, »Hey! Look out on the third floor you got incoming from the stairwell!« .. With luck, the surprise of hearing it will make whoever is on the other side pause a moment, maybe look away even.. and give him a chance to chuck the nade around the edge of the door.. Or even through one of those splintered openings if the size permits..

The effect of your words is immediate, as the troll instantly pulls back from the door and turns his attention down the hallway, drawing a rather /large/ gun which he points back toward the stairwell. « What kinda incomin'? » he asks into the comm — and you can hear him speaking, creating a weird sort of resonance effect. « Who is dis? »

Well, it's sufficient. He hated to chance using this nade.. he was vehement about it even. It could be ANYTHING.. but he does know for sure desperate times often called for measures desperate themselves. The alternative was trying to go toe to toe with a trog, and that didn't sound like a good idea.. especially not one holding the big-ass thing this one was holding. Machine gun maybe? In any case, Orph slips the pin off that nade and will either slip it through a sufficiently large crack in the door, or failing that, nudge the door open enough to toss it through, close it, and quickly dive for cover.

The door already has a crack large enough for the thing. The grenade slips out through that area of the door, bouncing about a meter away from it with a sudden *thunk*. As you dive for cover, you can hear the trog turning around, with that big gun in tow… about a second passes before there is a sudden, intense *HISSSSSS* from the thing… and a strange faintly greenish gas begins to flow in through the crack in the door.
Outside the door, there is loud *WHUMP*, and the room around you shakes a little bit, as the troll topples to the ground.
You've ducked for cover, and the best source of cover is the small bathroom attached to this room. The door might offer some protection, and there is toilet paper here. That might help as well…


Part 7: Behind the Tiles


Bathroom it is.. At leas the trog went down like bricks.. but being thats the case, Orph will follow soon if he stays here. Whats worse, the chemical could be lethal, not just a stun.. If thats the case no level of protection might help.. As Orph heads toward the bathroom he looks around everywhere for anything useful for this instance.. Any sort of fan or anything that could move or push air.. Inside the bathroom he looks specifically for any form of vinegar and something made of cloth.. Fuck fuck fuck.. this is why he didn't want to use that damn grenade.. but what else could he do in this case?

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence + 5 (SSF):
1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 7

Toilet paper. Water. Crammed around the door — that'll at least slow it down. There are a couple of ratty towels as well, but no vinegar, nothing like that.
Your ears pick up something, though. From the shower… almost like it's coming throught he wall. A muffled, desperate moan…

Orpheus wets a towl and shoves it along the crease in the door of the bathroom.. Then he grabs another, wets it, and presses it against his mouth.. The sound ALMOST jolts him though, actually. He looks down into the shower to see whats making the noise, one hand holding the towel to his face, other protruding the ruger thunderbolt ahead of him..

A grunt… a strange, strangled sound. It is coming from the /wall/… the wall of the shower. Weird as hell… not from the drain. From the wall itself, it seems… or perhaps what's on the other side of the wall…

Oh, of course, he comms, »Be advised, unidentified gaseous bio-agent is dispersing near the bomb room on the third floor..«

«Auto-Judge[kn]» Orpheus (#3849) rolls Intelligence:
2 3 3 4 7

« Noted. Where'd it come from? Bio-agent? VITAS? »

Right along the tile, there is a crack. Right along the place where one tile ends and the next begins in the pattern. It's not just grout. No, there's a hole there, with the soap dish right in the middle of it, with one of those little bars to hang a towel across. Like a panel, with a handle… cut out of the wall to reveal what's behind it.

Orpheus responds, »Unknown. Agent is green in colour, and dispersed from a foreign grenade. Possibly Sioux,« he responds. Orpheus eyes the oddity before him, leaning in closer to inspect it more thoroughly. Nothing else to do while waiting for his potential doom. Strangely, though.. Orpheus is very calm. Placid. Years of Aztech training to be a sacrificial tool has given him the ability to accept fateful circumstances. If he dies.. then he dies. He may not WANT to die.. and under another circumstance, he might be fearful.. But still on a bit of an adrenaline high, in the middle of a mission.. He keeps a calm.. for now.

It's a panel. Cut out of the side of the shower. In fact, if you look, there's a bit of dust. This was cut recently.

» Green in color? Did you smell it at all? Does it smell kind of like lilacs? «

Orpheus returns, »Negative. I'm taking cover in a bathroom adjecent to the bomb room before the gas reached me. Those in the room are likely exposed as we speak. Investigating something. Cutting comm chatter, I'll update in thirty seconds.« Orph checks his clock.. notes. Now, about this panel..

Orpheus fires a magic missile into the darkness.. …. Followed by removing the panel conveniently cut into the side of the bathroom tile. This is.. wayyy too perfect. What is up with this huh?

The space beyond it is dark, and smells of wood and other construction materials. As you enter, though, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust — and then you can see them. People. Ten of them. They look frightened — and each of them is bound and gagged, and looking at you with obvious fear in their eyes.

« Orpheus. Chemical is Neurostun. Will disperse in about ten minutes. Can you sit tight that long? »

»Found the hostages,« Orpheus says. Well, aint this strangely convenient. »Roger. .. Good to know, thanks.« Satisfied, Orpheus turns on his working of eye mods so he can see into the dark room thoroughtly.. ultrasound too.. Maybe he can map out the texture of the walls and determine if there is another way out of here that isnt back out through the bathroom.. Meanwhile he looks at the gathered hostages who peer at him - or past his ruthed figure. He pulls the cowl off his head so his head is visible. "Remain calm. Help will be here within minutes," he tells them, and leaves it at that, pulling the cowl back on..

Help? You are talking like a rescuer, and for the first time, there is hope replacing fear in those eyes. Your ultrasound finds something as well — a boarded-up window, leading outside, most likely. But at the very least, it might be a source of fresh air. « We're on the third floor. Gas is dissipating… there's an unconscious troll out here. »
« This your door? The one that's all beat to hell? » Gabriel asks with a smirk over the comm.

Orpheus does NOT open the window. Creating circulation would only cause the gas to flow through the space more rapidly. Well, he might be able to exit out the window, but that wouldn't be possible for the hostages, would it? So he waits in the corner of the room where the window is.. just in such a case.. Idly, he lights another cigarette as well, placing the thing on his lips and drags off it slowly, anxiously.. and raises his thunderbolt ahead of him at the opening in the panel, waiting with a tired look on his face. His ruth cloak de-activates now as well.
»Yep,« he responds to Gabe about the troll. »That would be the one. There are six unconscious people in the bomb room, including Seraph. All have their hands tied. Situation, unless changed, is low risk. I'm inside a secret store-space in the bathroom where the hostages are kept.«

« So you wanna come let us in, or do we have to break the door down? » Gabriel wonders. « And the guy they brought in in the armored car. We haven't found him yet. We think he may be working with one of the corps that is makin' a bid to try to reclaim this part of town. Valuable real estate being taken up by us low-lifes. »

Orpheus responds, »Can you confirm the gas is completely dispersed?« he asks. He dont wanna crawl back out there if hes just going to drop on his face like a tone of .. well, hes not a troll so.. more like a few kilos of sexy feathers.

Gabriel takes a deep breath, lets it out. « Smells like lilacs, but it's mostly clear, yeah. My boys aren't fallin' down around me. Open this damned door, Orpheus. » Sounds like he's getting a little impatient.

Too bad. Gabe will just have to get impatient. Orpheus isn't going to fuck around after all.. So he crawls back out of the secret compartment.. removes that wet towl.. slides the door open and steps back into the bomb room and moves up near the door. Anyway, for all Orph knows, they are wearing gas masks, right? He unlocks the door, steps away, and has his gun half-raised.. just in case.
»Door open.«

And Gabriel strides into the room, wearing some security armor with chemseal active. But the rest of the guys aren't really insulated. They swarm into the room, and Gabriel looks around. "Which one's the guy who came in the armored car?" he wants to know. "Gimme a run down," he orders firmly. A few people are heading to the bathroom — it would appear that the situation is under control, except for that bomb.

Once Gabe enters, Orph lowers his gun and puts it back into his jacket pocket. Assuming they are talking about the same guy.. Orpheus points to the downed elder guy faceplanted in the ground. "Him. He began entering codes into the bomb before I neutralized him," Orph says simply. "During the fight, some of the enemy suggested Seraph was the infiltrator I mentioned earlier. I confronted him, and, he agreed, so I immediately subdued him," he adds.. That's about all he has to report. With that, he steps back into a quiet corner of the room and watches the events as they unfold.
Of course, he's still smoking his cigarette during this.


Part 8: Disarmament


Gabriel nods, narrowing his eyes. And he also looks at the cigarette in your fingers, but doesn't make any comment about it. Not yet. "I see. Did he do anything to thwart your mission? Or did he help?" he wants to know. He lights up a cigarette of his own, and quickly gives an order.
The older demon is stimpatched and woken up, and surrounded by Saints he gives the rest of the code. Of course, they work him over pretty thoroughly, just to make sure. But finally, the code is entered — and no attempt is made to get anybody out. "If that thing goes, gonna be hard to get anywhere safe," he drawls. The corporate weenie's makeup is smeared at this point, and he doesn't look like the type to give up his life just for a revenge killing.
*Pleep* goes the bomb. And then,

READY TO ARM

Orpheus passively says, "He accompanied me during the mission and helped me subdue some of the enemy," he says. He doesn't take a defensive posture to the question. Unless hes asked to explain his motives.. he's not going to. Because he doesn't feel he needs to - after all this is sound Orpheus logic(tm) at work here, remember?
Orpheus does intently watch the bomb as it's being disarmed(hopefully). He really works down that cigarette FAST though.

"Clear," one of the Saints declares. And indeed, the bomb does seem to be disarmed. The guy lapses back into unconsciousness, and it seems to be firmly in the hands of 'cleanup.' "I see. Now I got a decision to make. Who is this guy? You saw more of him than anybody else. What do I do with him?" He lights a cigarette of his own, and scowls at yours. "Filthy habit, and you're too fraggin' young for it," he tells Orpheus, sternly.

First, to the cigarette.. Orpheus takes a deep drag off his, blows.. "I'm an elf, it would be hard to determine my exact age, yeah?" he responds. After all.. Orph might only be 16.. or maybe hes 20. Or even older. It's possible hes fifty and the viral aging-inhibitor has been at work in him for a very, very long time. Who knows?
"In any case.. He did nothing to directly inhibit the mission. He displayed very reckless and unwarranted anger toward the Demons, though I couldn't be sure it was sincere. He had more to tell me, I believe, but I felt at the time I had no choice but to subdue him rather than risk him exposing me or compromising the mission. I would wake him and question him further," is Orphs suggestion.

Gabriel smirks and reaches out to flick the cigarette out of your fingers — and he's pretty darned fast. "I can determine your age, and it's too fraggin' young to fuck up your lungs," he states, with a smirk. He pauses, nods. "You did good today. Get back to the Angel's Delight. They'll hook you up with crash space and a good hot meal. Get some rest, and we may have more for you tomorrow." He claps your shoulder in a gesture of appreciation, then turns his attention to the other matters at hand. Such as disassembling the bomb.


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