The Sword Saint

GM: Kensai
Players: Kensai, Nine, Laohu, Chaos, Vixen
Synopsis: Kensai and Vixen are hired to retrieve the stolen property of a yakuza elder. Along the way, they get mixed up in another shadowrun starring Laohu and Chaos, and then must face an unexpected opponent.
Date: April 28, 2082

SCENE I - The Old Man

---> Text Message to Silver from Samurai-Five (#8241) <--

Vixen-chan. I could use your assistance with a matter. Tonight, if you have the opportunity, if you could be so kind. If it is not too much trouble.

---> Text Message to Samurai-Five from Silver (#1018) <--

Where are you? Can you give me an hour?

---> Text Message to Silver from Samurai-Five (#8241) <--

I will be at Tsunami Gardens, in two hours. Just before closing. Thank you.

Kensai is waiting nervously near the front of the teahouse as he waits for Vixen to arrive, once more in that cheap suit. His unquiet is at contrast to the peaceful setting, and he seems to be smoking a small cigarette to try and steady his nerves.

Vixen arrives looking like she's been hiking through the woods. She's a bit sweaty. There's a few twigs in her hair,souvenir from the awakened woods including a few scratches from errant blackberry bushes perhaps. Hard to tell… She also seems to be sort of glowing and pissy at the same time. Is that possible?

An air taxi let her out at the airbus station a few blocks away. *They are everywhere right?*

Kensai looks over to Vixen as she arrives at the tea house, and quietly looks her up and down. "You have been on a hike," he observes. "Are the woods nice around here? I have only been to the wood they call 'the greenbelt,' and did not have much time to take in the scene."
"The woods are surprisingly nice. And yes I was in the woods. How did you know?" Looking at you curiously like your Sherlock Holmes.

"If you permit," he says, with an apologetic bow, and reaches out to pick a twiggy leaf out of her hair. "A small clue can betray a larger truth," he says, and is about to say more when an enormous man - not quite as tall as Kensai, but three times as big around - steps out of the tea house proper. He is wearing a carefully tailored suit that does nothing but make his bulk more apparent. "Elder Brother will see you now," the man says brusquely, his dark eyes studying both Vixen and Kensai. "Come."

Vixen doesn't quite blush but does run her fingers through her hair quickly and uses the end of her shirt to wipe off her face a bit, trying to straighten the trainwreck. "Where's Nine and her fashion spell when you need it." She mutters under her breath.

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Who is Elder Brother? »
Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « A contact. I have not met him before, but he is connected in this city. »

The runners are escorted to a small personal tea room, hidden by the imitation rice-paper walls. An elderly man is already there, kneeling at the table, sipping from a green ceramic mug planted delicately with golden cherry blossoms.

"Ah" he says, in a voice like ancient sandpaper. "You are here." He gives them each a polite bow as his wizened features fall into saddened shame. "Please forgive my rudeness. I would rise but my old bones are creaky today, and such is hard. I would, but good Goro-san here would not permit it."

"No, ani-sama, respectfully," the enormous man says, walking around the room to stand respectfully near to the old man. "Your wife has bidden me keep you safe."

"And she pays you," the old man says, laughing gently. "A kind woman. A boon to me in my old age. But please, sit, and let me tell you of my burdens - or rather, how I may help you with yours."

Vixen waits for Kensai to speak before she does but she will greet the Japanese man with a bow of respect in the traditional manner to show her respect.

«OOC» Kensai says, "oooh. you believe you've heard of this man. he's been connected with a number of different yakuza powers over the years in denver. at this point, he is affiliated with none of them, but listened to by all of them, for his experience and wisdom."

«Auto-Judge[]» Vixen (#1018) has the Contact Mialee Makoyoshi with the following information:
-----> Contact for Vixen (#1018) <-----
Contact Name: Mialee Makoyoshi
Level: 1
Type: yakuza underboss
GM Note: Mialee Makoyoshi is the daughter of Yakuza powerplayer Higiro Makoyosh and is both his most trusted killer and the head of his security. She knows what's going on in the shadows and is immensly deadly on her own. Notable skills are: Shadowscene players 10 Criminal Organizations (Yakuza Heiarchy) 8 (10) and Street rumors 8.

"I have sent for a package," the old man says. "A trophy of a war long past, that once belonged to a dear, departed relative. It has little value but sentimental, but it was rare, and took a great deal of effort to find. A courier was bringing it to me - he picked it up from my seller in Seattle, and crossed over the tir over to Boise, then down south to where we are - the elves being particularly troublesome this year, watching their borders, aggravated no doubt by the dragon Ghostwalker. He is not a kami to be trifled with."

Food arrives, delicately sliced fish, perfectly salted rice, sweet-vinegar pickled vegetables - plenty has been ordered for the runners, as well, as well as cups of steaming green tea poured before their eyes..

"I lose myself too much in the details. I am most sorry, and I thank you for your patience," he continues. "It takes a certain kind of nerve to travel the long roads these days, and few are willing to do it, even at the behest of an old man. I am ashamed to say, I have been taken advantage of; no sooner had my courier reached the city than he disappeared, seemingly without a trace. For four days, I heard nothing - and now -this-." He flicks his wrist out, in sudden anger, and an oddly thick device, the size of a poker chip but twice the thickness, lands on the table. In a moment it is whirring, and spinning, and opening up like the petals of a flower, each petal locking together to form a screen. On the screen is a trix message, offering the sale of an original World War II Bayonet - it is evident it is a low-key auction, sent out to a handful of fixers, offered to the highest bidder. "This is mine," he growls, the usual mask of etiquette broken in the wake of his fury. "Fairly paid for, secured with care, carried across the ocean to Los Angeles and then to Seattle, only for this -thief- to take it from me in order to squeeze more money. After taking my fee for transport, making sure he was unbothered along the way…" his voice trails off, and he forces calm onto his features. "I want it back. One of my associates has traced the mail, to first its false-face on the trix, to another, and finally to where we believe it to be held. Retrieve it for me, and deliver a message. It is worth forty thousand nuyen to me, split as you desire."

«OOC» Kensai says, you have seen him in her company. he treats her like a beloved younger family member, and she actually seems to allow it with good grace."

Kensai eats, but warily, watching closely, seemingly on his best manners.

Vixen listens and actually starts to get angry on the old man's behalf, even as she realizes where she has seen this man before. She does not trade on the name. If he has asked for her, it was at her behest. History is a complicated thing. She nods, "I would be honored grandfather to find your property and deliver safely into your hands." No question of money crosses her lips. This is not the kind of job you do for a fee.

Kensai says "As she says," echoing the legendary shadowrunner.

The old man appraises them both, and give them the smallest of bows in thanks. Vixen's behavior seems to have impressed him. He turns to his guard, and the massive gangster walks gracefully and silently to the pair, handing them a pair of chips. "The information I have is there," the man continues. "As well as something I hope you may find helpful in the future, as thanks. Please contact Goro here if you have any more questions. He will see to your needs."

Vixen recognizes a dismissal when she hears one and stands and bows silently before turning taking a few steps back and turning gracefully heading out the door. In her head she's going Holy fuck holy fuck holy fuck holy fuck…

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « holy fuck holy fuck holy fuck. »

Vixen walks out the building and keeps walking until she is probably a good three blocks away before stopping to see if Kesai had followed her. Yeah that was a panic walk…

As they begin to rise and walk to the door, the old man stirs again. "Kitagawa-san," he calls, and Kensai freezes, looking over his shoulder.

"I have meant to thank you for what you have done for my great-niece. She speaks well of you."

"I did but any would do," Kensai said. "In the presence of a woman such as her."

The man shakes his head. "You have done much more. You have sacrificed everything. Your life. Your career. Your home. I am in your debt."

"You secured my journey here. The debt is paid."

The man's expression becomes stern. "Do not wound me by refusing my gratitude; allow an old man this kindness." He gestures, and Goro comes forward again, this time with a simple scabbarded sword. "This was made for me when I first began my career in this city," he said. "After the old ways. It tells a tale of only sixty years, but I think in this place that is sufficient. Take it."

"Honored Elder Brother….

"Enough," he says. "My daughter speaks highly of you. She has, in her wisdom as a miko, declared that you have the potential to become Kensai. Take the sword, and do honor by it."
Kensai seems frozen, unable to decide what to do!

Vixen sees Kensai staring at the sword with something between yearning and trepidation in his eyes. Looking a little lost. She stares at the sword and see's another sword. Another Katana. A different time and circumstance… but everything comes full circle. She gives Kensai a look and she comms you. Do it.

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Do it »

Kensai shakes himself out the reverie with Vixen's help and takes the sword from the bodyguard.

Elder Brother smiles from where he sits, the wrinkles on his face deepening with the grin. He bows in dismissal. Kensai bows, looks at Vixen, and hurries out to the tea garden.
Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Holy fuck holy fuck holy fuck »

Kensai stands out in the tea garden for a moment, looking at the blade in the black scabbard, chased in crimson, and the crimson-wrapped hilt. He lowers the weapon for now, not drawing it, but tucking it into his belt, the curved edged aimed toward the sky. It is like a missing part of him has slid back into place, and he stands a little taller. He is about to say something to Vixen, but there is goro, hurrying out, and passing a case to vixen. "The message," he says. "Do not forget. And act swiftly before the piece is taken away from here." he gives a bow himself - nothing more than a short nod, he clearly lacks his employer's courtesy - and then he too, leaves.

Vixen takes what he hands her and looks down at it, inspecting it for a moment.

«OOC» Kensai says, "inside the case is a tanto. it's not fancy, but it's real, and it's sharp. there is no note or anything else to suggest what to do with it."

Vixen looks at the long curved dagger for a moment in the box and then shuts the box with a snap. She gives Kensai an exasperated sigh. "Walk with me." She looks like she is visibly trying to calm herself. In. Out. In. Out. She centers herself and then asks. "Do you know who that guy is?"

Kensai shakes his head. "Not very clearly. I understand he is involved with the local yakuza gumi. He is the nearest kin of a dear friend." He pauses to look over his shoulder. "This is the first time I have met him, though he is the one who arranged my travel to this town. Mine and Sakura's."

Vixen nods and looks over her shoulder to see if they are being followed.

So far, so good. No tails. The tea house is closing behind them, the staff putting out lights, doors being locked. IF the pair is being followed, it isn't on this plane…

Vixen walks randomly for a while not talking to you. She looks a little freaked out to be honest. Sometimes when you think you've put something to bed… It just rises up and bites you in the ass. But maybe this will make it all square. Her hands clench around the box. Did it end for him like this? A message delivered in a box? Kensai might get a little nervous how quiet Vixen is being at the moment, and she's walking fast. Well for a mundane non cybered legged person fast.

Kensai is, in fact, getting a little nervous as Vixen picks up speed, but he does his best to match her. He seems a little dazed by the matter as well, everything happening so fast, but he does not yet break into the silver-haired woman's reverie.'

Vixen pulls you off finally into a small dive of a bar with dingy windows but it's quiet and no one is in there but the Trid is loud and she slides into a back corner. "I need a drink. Can you get me a beer. And a couple of shots of tequila." She puts the box on her lap and pulls out her pocsec and says, "we need to look at the data." And she actually is having a hard time not crying now.

But she pulls it together and slots the chip letting it play through the modifications in her sunglasses.

Kensai says "Hai," quietly, his dark eyes a little wide at the legend's emotion. He walks to the bar - they seem to have found themselves in a small sake shop - and in a few minutes he is returning to the table with a triple-shot of tequila, a jar of sake, and two longnecks of something domestic. "Are you… all right?"

Vixen nods and gives a half hearted smile, takes a shot and then a second, then chases it with a swallow of beer. She takes a long breath lets it out and relaxes, "Yeah. I'm fine. Listen that guy. He's probably the nicest fucking guy in the world. And he's not Yakuza. But that doesn't mean he isn't dangerous. The Yakuza listen to him."

And she is fucking whispering.
Vixen takes her third shot.

Kensai nods thoughtfully. "I am aware of the type. They are everywhere in Japan. I was hesitant to take his sword, but…" His voice trails off. "Better the viper you are aware of, yes? And he keeps her safe. How does it look?"

Vixen looks at you for a moment, "Why did you call me? Was I requested?"

"By him?"

Kensai shakes his head. "I called you because I was not sure what I was walking into. I had no reason to expect to be attacked, but… I thought with a legend like you around, they might be wary."

Vixen seems to collapse into a puddle right there. "Oh fuck. Seriously?" She lays her head on the table for a second. "Thank god."

Kensai nods again. "Yes. You are a living legend. Did you not know?" He gives her a sheepish smile. "I do not have many friends here," he says. "I have been here less than two weeks."
Vixen groans, "Nope. I'm a living dumbass though." Still she has to look through the data and takes a look at it.

Vixen nods, "And who is this she you keep talking about?"

Kensai is quiet for a moment longer, as if gauging if he can trust Vixen. He lifts his sake to his lips, takes a long sip, and sets it down. "She is called Sakura. My last assignment from my previous employer was to take her in or take her down- she was a renegade. Things happened. I did not, and I helped her escape. And here we are today."

«Plot» Kensai says, "on the chip is a) copy of the trixmail advertising the item for sale, including a complete description. b) the data trace through the false fronts and all the way down to its host address. and c) description of the smuggler, complete with known associates."

Kensai's face gives away = the experience was far more dramatic and life changing than he lets on, and he has deep feelings for this woman.

Vixen nods but doesn't let on that she gleaned anything from her observation, only relieved that the woman's name isn't Mialee. That would not have gone well. She nods, "OK. This will go easier if we can get… Crap the fucking trees!"

Vixen punches the table

Kensai looks confused again - it's the night for that - and he takes a moment to peruse the chip himself. "This address," he says. "Colorado Springs. You know it? Is it far?"

Kensai also takes the time to sneakily admire the blade of the weapon he's been given, drawing it a few inches to admire its polished sheen.

Vixen googles the address. It's a term that stuck and people use it even today, though Google doesn't have much to do with it…anymore.

«Plot» Kensai says, "you get an exact address. it's a condemned apartment building - looks like it might be in the basement."

Vixen sighs and takes a look around, "You don't have a car?"
Vixen hasn't had to resort to taxis in years!

Kensai Shakes his head. "I do not," he says. "Never had a need for one before tonight." He thinks. "We could always just…" he looks like he can't believe he's about to suggest this - "Take one?"

Vixen stares at you like you have grown two heads. "Oh."

Kensai says "I mean, they cannot be expensive?" He looks around. "I have some money. We offer money, someone lets us take their car, correct?" He frowns. "Or a high stakes card game…. a duel?" He is just throwing out trid shadowrun cliches. "Boost?"

Vixen shakes her head, "No. Not that simple. I don't have my tools with me. So it's gotta be a carjacking. Unless…" She sighs, "Do you have any friends? Besides me?
With cars?

Kensai thinks carefully, and then leans back in his chair as he places a call…


"My contact can have one available for us in eight hours," Kensai says, after a moment. "I told him I would buy but that it should be 'off the books.' Is that acceptable?"

Vixen pats him on the shoulder and says, "Come on. Let's wait outside and if I see a car that just says, steal me… Then fine." She finishes the last of her beer and goes outside to wait for their ride. Delivery driver who leaves the motor running maybe? Or someone who is just starting to get in or out of the vehicle.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1 for "wheel of morality turn turn turn":

It's a mustang. "It's beaten up, and badly taken care of, but it's a model 2057 Ford Mustang in what looks like was originally a dark burgundy - but it might have been a decade since it was last washed."

Vixen walks slowly through the parking lot, trying to look like she's looking for her own car that has to be parked here, then nods to Kensai and points out the guy asleep in his car.
Kensai narrows his eyes, looking where she's pointing, then looks back at her and punches his open hand in universal language for 'do i hit him?'

Vixen grins and shrugs in the unversal sign of "Fuck yeah.""

SCENE II - A Job Within a Job

When last we left our intrepid 'heroes,' Kensai was hauling a poor saraiaman from his car and dumping him on the side of the street - the man barely wakes up out of his drunken stupor, and is taken out completely again - Kensai proceeds to drag him into the alley and go through his pockets so Vixen can set to work.

Vixen fiddles for far longer than she likes, but finally gets the damn casing open. She takes a look around making sure she isn't being noticed.
Kensai says, "Hey Vix?" From the alley. "Come check this guy out. I think you'll want to see this…"

«Plot» Kensai says, "Laohu, Chaos - if you choose to accept it, you've been hire to find a young executive gone astray, one Lu Xing, and take him to his new home - a shiawase-owned rehab facility near colorado springs. Complication: he doesn't work for shiawase, he works for wuxing."

Vixen looks over as Kensai calls her and says, "One sec…" Quickly getting the car going

Vixen leaving the car running she quickly moves to where Kensai is hovering over the unconscious man.

Kensai rolls over the man, taking a look at him. "He's not been drinking," he says, running some fingers down his arm. "He's been taking something harder. I haven't seen anything like it." He continues going through the man's things. "He's definitely from Wuxing. Has their label all over their stuff, and yet…" He holds up a chip. "This is a shiawase recruitment tracker."

«Plot» Kensai says, "laohu and chaos can be, in fact, tracking the signal coming from that chip. it sends a blip whenever the connected device touches the trix. your directions have led you to this bar."

Laohu is in a bad mood. What else is new?

She's hungry, tired, and wandering the streets with her new best friend Chaos. After the ork had put down that zombie, they'd stayed loosely in touch, and wouldn't you know it now they are on the same job. Her stomach rumbles as she pokes vaguely at the pocket secretary in her hand, and the beeping tracker that Ms. Chang had given to her. "This is bullshit." She opines, for about the sixth time since they began this journey. "The fuckin' thing's broken or some shit. It says they're around here, but I'm not seeing anything. Ugh. I need to sit down. When did I become a fuckin' dog-catcher?"

«Plot» Kensai says, "a little more context : the job is a simple one. Worryingly so. You've been hired for an extraction - Lu Xing, an otherwise unremarkable wuxing assistant project manager with a drug problem. You're to retrieve him and get him to a facility near Colorado Springs. You're being paid 20,000 - which is the warning bell. Extractions always pay a little more, sure, but maybe thee's a hitch…

Anyway, you've been given a description and tracking information, and your paths have led you here."

Little Chiba - This part of the Asian District is the home of most of its Japanese population. It's more of a place to work and live than to shop or visit. Heavy gates prevent unauthorized access to zaibatsu-owned property or any of the older residential parks, in which tasteful two-story vertical duplexes are closely packed like the outskirts of Osaka. The streets are swept by beautification drones, and Shining Mountain Security patrol cars roam the main streets, ignored by the inhabitants and unable to enter extraterritorial property.

The feel of the area therefore echoes a generational conflict: a community in the midst of redevelopment as the older three and four story buildings are torn down to make way for shining cube farms and other monuments to the wealth and arrogance of the new breed of first-generation immigrants. This creates a patchwork of progress, as the older generation of families refuse to give up their properties to make way for this "grand reimagining," as resistant to change as the newcomers are insistent of its necessity.

Kensai says "Extraction. He's being picked up. I've seen it before." He looks at Vixen. "We might have company on the way - there's no way of telling whether he knows they're coming or not, but…" He looks back down at the man. "I suspect he's been drugged. Or dosed."

For his part, Chaos left behind his land rover a block away when it became clear the tracker is very close by. Having met up with the excitable human, the tall Ork can be seen flipping a coin with a thumb casually as he scans around, his long coat occasionally flapping with the wind as his sunglasses. "If you want to sit down, I can project and scout around for signatures." Chaos helpfully suggests, even as he continues to casually move along and flip that coin.

Vixen sighs, "You know… we should have called a taxi." She sighs and looks around trying in a bit of a paranoid look. "Fantastic. I got a bad feeling." She is alive because she pays attention to those bad feelings. Acts on them even. "Should we leave him and the tracker and get the fuck out of here?" Her eyes move to the Mustang that is idling nearby.

Vixen Frowns as the car sounds like an old lady who smokes too much

Vixen and Kensi are standing not far from the intended target's car, standing over the drugged and beaten form of none other than the extraction target himself… robbing him?

Kensai passes Vixen a certified credstick. "He had this, too," perusing. "And… is thi a monogrammed pocket handkerchief?"

Laohu looks like she's about to take Chaos up on that offer, then she frowns and her ears practically perk up. The word 'tracker' floats through the ether like a beacon. "Wait, wait wait." She says, and then she points and grins in the direction of Kensai and Vixen. "Over there. I think I know that guy, too!"

She makes a beeline. Combat boots all a'clompin'. And she's grinning from ear to ear as she does, "Hey! Jack!" She shouts, "Good to see ya, buddy! From the bar, remember? And — shit, I remember you too!" She exclaims, snapping her fingers, "The chick with the guns from the Boneyard. Sweet. It looks like you found my good friend Lu. Thanks. Me and my friend here will take him home, don't you sweat."

As Laohu moves forward, Chaos follows warily. He keeps a distance… all the while keeping near cover. He doesn't know these people, and the Ork in the longcoat and form fitting suit makes no effort to conceal his wariness. His eyes keep focus on the group as he briefly perceives in astral space, examining their surroundings for potential issues… letting Laohu do the talking.

Vixen takes the credstick and handkerchief from Kensai. She pockets both and then a voice is shouting in their direction and her hand strays to her holstered gun under her jacket, also not letting down her guard.

Kensai says "I don't mind," to the Chinese woman, warily. "It looks like he's been drugged, and…" Something clicks. "Ah. I imagine this is yours, then?" He offers her the tracking chip. "Found this on this man. We were just borrowing his vehicle - but he might not have much need of it to begin with?"

Laohu's eyes flick to Vixen's hand when she starts moving, and her hands settle calmly at her sides. "Hey now. Let's just keep everything calm and everyone's hands where everyone else can see them." She says, the faux-joviality falling out of her voice. She gives a sharp nod of her head to Kensai, though her attention remains, mostly, on Vixen - who she knows rather less well. "Yup. Don't give a shit about his vehicle. He can take that up with you when he's slept it off." She confirms. "We're just a regular fuckin' taxi service, me and my pal, just here to get our good friend Lu home breathing. He is still breathing, isn't he?"

Vixen relaxes as the situation resolves and her eyes move to Chaos and she slowly removes her hand from the hilt of her gun and both her hands are now visible. Of course that doesn't mean much when the girl can punch harder than a bullet can. But that's for her to know and her enemies to find out.

Kensai says "He's alive," with a curt nod. "I only hit him a little. He was all but passed out when we found him." He looks down at the man, pulling him up a little. "He's been drugged. I don't recognize it." He looks at Laohu. "It looks like an injectable but it doesn't seem like bliss."

Shifting his eyes back to real space, Chaos moves forward once more, that coin flipping once again, though his other hand is in a longcoat pocket. This close, his green eyes are visibly observing everyone at once, though the wariness is gone. For now.

"Got nothing to fear from me." Chaos has a bass voice, deep but firm, as he addresses the others, "just looking to escort him." Chaos nods to the drugged man, then looks back to Kensai, "check his vitals yet?"

As a former addict herself, Vixen says, "He'll live I think." Shrugging and looking down at the unconscious man then quickly does assesses his medical condition.

Kensai says "I have not checked his vitals, other than his heart rate." He smiles sheepishly. "I am not sure I did it correctly, but 'he is stil alive but it is slow' is the best I have for you."

"Great. Cool. Well. Good talk. We're on the clock, though, so we ought to be going now."

There's definite tension in her as Laohu steps forwards once more, meaningfully, and reaches down to grasp the unconscious man by the collar to haul him to his feet. She's acutely aware that if either of the other two runners are going to renege on the uneasy peace between them now would be the moment to do it, when she's got one hand full and she's basically between the pair of them…

Laohu's right. It's at that moment that the ambush happens - but it's not from Vixen or Kensai. Out of the shadows steps a chinese man in a perfect black suit, leveling an old model Ares Predator at the center of her chest and squeezing off a single round with practiced ease.

Even as he does, a flaming spirit charges across the astral realm to join the group, now manifesting to flaming life, something like a bipedal lizard-man with a flaming spear - and there are the sound of motorcycles coming down the streets.

It's a trap!

Time seems to slow down for Laohu.


The word bursts out of her before she even knows why she's saying it, and then the bullet whistles past her ear. All of the other people here have seen Laohu be rude in various ways. There's none of that in her as she lets Lu drop and a pair of ivory-inlaid pistols spring are suddenly clutched in her hands. The woman can feel the heat of the fire spirit bearing down on her. She can hear the other allies this guy has filling the distance with the roar of their engines. She has no time to focus on any of that; in this instant there is only her and the gunman who thought he could shoot her down without even looking her in the eye.

Four bullets thunder in reply to his one well-placed shot. Laohu's lips pull back in a wide, mirthless smile as blood fountains and fills the alleyway. She's open and exposed, though. This could still go VERY badly for her, but at least she's dragging at least one other person with her to hell.

In that first press of battle everything is chaos. The lone gunman, having arrogantly stepped out from behind cover to gun down this -woman-, has met his fate already - but the spirit summoned by an unseen master for his support takes the moment to seize on the attackers, pouring flames in her direction like a column of red and orange and blue.

Kensai does not hesitate - once battle is joined, the man's nervousness is gone, and there is only the dead. He has never crossed blades with a spirit before, much less one covered in flames, but he does not hesitate. He moves across the pavement with practiced steps, his sixty-year old sword clearing its scabbard as he does, flashing out in a glittering arch - that he uses to clear the range, and as he comes in he takes the sword in both hands and brings it back down in a trid-lesson perfect cut, powered by speed and footwork and training and years of practice beyond just his mighty sinews… the blade tears into the flaming monster, but despite the power of the blow taking it to the ground, it seems barely hurt - and Kensai is already beginning to catch fire.

At the same time, the roar of engines can be heard, and rounding the corner are four motorcycles, each of them bearing an armed rider…

Laohu plants her feet on the floor and bends over backwards, the flames pass over her body by a fraction of an inch, raising sweat on her skin. She whistles appreciatively to see Kensai plunge into battle heedless, "Now that's my kinda man."

How did a walk in the woods turn into this? Vixen isn't surprised that all hell just broke loose.
Trees walking and dead talking and dragons in charge of the world conspire against her. FUCK THIS! She dives for cover, cozying up to the rear of the car and looks up at the great big fucking fire elemental that Kensai just took a swipe at, while she summons her trusty Ares Pred to her hand. with barely a thought she changes out the clip. To the EXPENSIVE one. Spirit busters are so rare that she almost doesn't want to fire to take this fucker down. It's that hesitation that allows her to get a single shot rather than two at the spirit creature who just about turned Laohu into char. She fires one of her precious spirit busters and tries to make herself a very small target. "Damnit." That's her one word allowed and she's going to use it! It doesn't look like she needs to fire a second shot anyway… As the awakened bullet shreds into the flaming dude with a spear.

One of the shooters got the spirit? Well then. That frees Chaos up for other fun st-

Then, the bikers start coming down the way, and they look mean and armed. His head goes on a swivel towards them, and the Ork visibly squints at them as he makes the mental calculations. "Drek." He mutters to himself. Reminds him of the old days way too much, but this is what he signed on for.

Who would have thought the other side of the equation would be so chaotic?

Instead of standing there though, Chaos starts to sprint towards the group, and practically dives into cover… but not before peeking his head out and focusing.

Within moments, a gigantic cloud of obscuring smoke comes out of nowhere, manifesting right in front of the bikers… and just offset from the group to allow them some breathing room. "Get to fragging, chummers. I only bought you some time with that." Chaos barks in that bass voice.
You paged Vixen with 'it won't ALWAYS be crappy. have to start at the bottom to make the climbup worth it, right? yay cyberpunk!'.

«Plot» Laohu says, "I will move behind the car for cover and hold until the first bike emerges from the smoke, at which point I'll take a shot. (Technically the spell says that only people in the smoke take vis penalties but… that seems stupid to me :P)"

There are peeling crashes as the bikers roll ito the smoke. Two of them are down, their riders trying to haul themselves out of the wreckage, but there are more still bearing down!

Laohu's eyes widen when Vixen pops a cap in the spirit and the thing actually dies. She makes a mental note to make sure she gets in touch with the arms dealer in future as she slips over the car and onto the other side, taking cover and raising both pistols to cover the four encroaching gangbangers. "C'mon, c'mon…" She murmurs to herself. This is exciting. Unlike the damned zombie she knows how to deal with these threats; she just needs to wait for her shot.

Kensai, the cuffs of his suit smoldering, turns to watch the chaos of the motorcycle crashes. "The fuckery. Some part of this job has been made." He moves to where Lao is, sword stil lat the ready, and crouches. "Get your principle and get out of here. We can cover you. Who knows how many more are coming?"

The first bullet strikes the assault rifle wielding gangbanger in the shoulder, wrenching his arm around and spilling him onto the pavement. A lot of people would stop there to give them an opportunity to reassess their life choices. Laohu pulls the trigger on her second pistol and the man's blood sprays onto the pavement in a slick. This close to her, Kensai has a front row seat to the woman's eyes. Dark. Empty. She's in the battle now; this is where her mind is focused, on nothing else.

"That's a good question." She replies, and then, shouting, "HOW MANY MORE DEAD MEN ARE THERE, HUH?!"

«Plot» Kensai says, "the mustang is on the side of the road, the bikers are coming down the road, target is near the entrance to an alley, and the collection of shadowrunners are likely using either the alley or other parked cars as cover."

---> Text Message to Silver from Samurai-Five (#8241) <--

go for a bike. I will grab car. Rendevous on highway?

Vixen watches from the back of the car as the biker goes down his ride skidding a deadly sprint away. She nods at something then gathers herself running, her boots leaving a skid marks. Riding and fighting. It's what she's GOOD at.

Laohu holds her pistols steady; she doesn't seem to be in a rush to leave!

Kensai breaks from the cover, moving towards the car rapidly. "Grab your principal!" he calls again, and as he moves toward the idling mustang he pulls some bullshit, kicking the gun of the fallen gunman up to his hand, turning and squeezing off a few unaimed rounds as he beats tracks towards the driver's seat.

A bike comes sliding out of the cloud, without a rider, careening down the street- but it veers to the side and crashes against a light pole rather than coming down at the assembled runners.

Instead of answering, Chaos grabs the target person by the clothes on his back and tosses him like a ragdoll into the back seating. "In you go." Chaos grunts with the exertion, before he hops into the passenger side seat… then he focuses on the cloud, mana flowing from him as he keeps the spell active, "I can't keep that up forever and that spirit was sent by another. There's still a shaman killing to murder us around here, we need to GO! I can handle spirits, but we need to get away!" Chaos roars at the others, including Loahu.

Laohu narrows her eyes into the cloud. If they're not coming to her fast enough for her liking, she'll just do what she can regardless. Four more bullets are launched into the smoke. She's aware of the shouting, of course, but there's still Vixen out there. And she's not inclined to let these people walk away after ambushing her. These are the kinds of actions that demand an answer. She can at least make it painful for them until the rest of the team is fully clear.

Even if she really, really just wants them all dead.

Vixen takes the chance that fate has handed her. The bike is righted and it's still awake and roadworthy, so she's gonna make it work for me. Over the comm she say's, "Go! I'll try and get them to follow me." Then she's gunning the engine of the bike and shooting straight at the gangers. It's a game of chicken, and she plays it well, drawing their ire, and attention. Hoping to get a few to follow her onto the highway to hell.

Laohu had been infuriated by the lack of respect her name had on the streets; it was understandable. It'd been a decade since she was here last, after all. But she also knows that these are the kind of moments that can put some fucking respect on someone's name. She's pretty sure she's taken out their heavy hitter and half of the gangbangers who came down on them even through the smoke.

Unfortunately, Vixen is almost out of here, and with it the excuse to keep on going. Her lips curl with displeasure. Fuck. FUCK. She's going to have to get in the fucking car any second now…

Kensai gets the car moving. "I'm Driving! I' mdriving!" He tells chaos through gritted teeth. And he is driving. He found the pedal and everything, and as the car's tires start to peal onto the pavement he hits the wheel hard, spinning it around ot face the other way, presenting its side and back for Laohu. "Get in!" He shouts, leaning out the window, iring a few more unaimed shots at the killers trying to get themselves in order back there. "We gotta jet!"

Laohu's head is pounding with adrenalin. Every instinct she has tells her to keep fighting. Keep killing. These lame-ass punks want to come against her? Let them bring an army. Let them bring the Wrath of God Himself. She can take it. She can fight. She can win. She'll drown these streets in blood and—

She slams her pistol into the side of her own head and grunts. In the next moment she hauls the back of the car open and climbs inside. Shaking hands eject the clip from her first pistol and she switches it out with a fresh one from the inside of her jacket. Then she repeats the process.

"Can't remember how many shots I fired." She mutters to herself. "I'm rusty. Fuckin' rusty. Pathetic."

Once the skilled pistoleer is back in the car, Kensai's gunning it in the other direction, leaning in, finding his center, and just -going-…

In the backseat, there is the drugged principal, a disgraceful amount of filet o' fish wrappers, a chip case full of boring softcore skinsims, and what looks like the stolen memory core off of a SOTA computer.

The tall Ork in the car is visibly keeping watch on the entirety of the outside in the passenger seat, his hands up as if ready to do something with them the whole time. "Nothing pursuing us. Amazing." Chaos mutters just loud enough for Kensai to hear him, "Guess they didn't expect the thing to be disrupted so quickly…."

Even so, Chaos is visibly tense still…

It is worth noting that the ignition panel of the car has been cut open by what looks like a multi-tool, and then hotwired with a piece of gum, a paperclip, and a hair tie.

"They're fuckin' cowards is what they are." Laohu says, as she holsters her guns. "If you go in that hard, you see it through. But they knew if they did that, they were dead men, and they still have the fear of death in 'em." She sighs, and pinches the bridge of her nose. "Okay." She says, "Look. I can't speak for my partner here, but you and the shopkeeper helped us out. You take us to our final destination, and we'll cut you in." She glances to Chaos. "If you don't want to give up 10 of your 20, they can have both parts of mine."

Kensai says "There are three possibilities," as he drives, eyes riveted to the road, pistol on the dashboard in front of him and katana slid between the front two seats. "I won't ask for details, but I saw the tracking chip. This man is being extracted from wuxing by shiawase. Wuxing would be my first guess - if it's them, they should either have a spirit or a drone over head shortly. Second guess would be shiawase, interfering with their own op - perhaps so they could look blameless for 'rescuing' ther target. Things turn very nasty up ahead. Third is Triads- based just by the look of the folk we ran up against, and they are the syndicate most likely to field a wujen. That may have been one of their vassal gangs coming in. Thoughts?"

He looks over his shoulder at Laohu, then at Chaos. "Truth be told, V and I are already on a job, taking us to Colorado Springs - we came upon this man by chance, and if you hadn't shown up, we would have been in equally hot water. We are square."

"My gut says triad." Laohu mutters, "They know all about hanging the little guy out to dry. The 88s and Wuxing are basically one and the same, though, so who fuckin' knows. Could be both. Anyway. Don't be a moron. We all pulled equal weight back there. We all deserve a slice of the payday. I owe the Jay so I'm getting something either way. Just take the fuckin' win."

"Well, I'm not seeing anyone in the astral, so that's good. Going out there myself would just be a giant 'we're here' sign though. If you see me go into a coma, we're fragged and need to get to zig zagging." Chaos tells the two, still visibly tense. But then, he's the only full magician of the trio, so he's well aware he's the only one who can keep up watch for astral spirits.
Kensai makes a frustrated noise, but he doesn't argue the toss with Laohu further. "If it's triads," he says. "What's their interest in our boy? Did Wuxing hire them or is it something else?" Something in the car starts banging, and he curses. "Or is it to punish him for poor vehicle maintenance? Where am I taking him?"

"A facility nearby." Laohu says, pulling her pocket secretary back out and tapping at it. "Lu's a junkie. He probably strung himself out. Tell the truth, I don't know what facility and I don't know who is paying. Not questions I'm bothered about. If we get there and it's a slaughterhouse, he's probably embarrassed the high-ups so much they're saying goodbye. If we get there and it's rehab, it's his lucky day."

You say "Right," he says, getting the address. "Colorado Springs. convenient. Same way we're going. Being a junkie seems to fit… maybe he owes the triads some money? Lots of iron aimed at us for a debt collection, though. And they were waiting." He swears. "Bloody shadow-work and endless unanswered questions. Give me a row of necks and room to swing, or a hardened defensive position and a rifle to break it with."

Reaching into the inside of her jacket, Laohu pulls out a cigarette and lights it up. The smell of cheap tobacco is pervasive. But it helps her feel a lot better. "In the end, it doesn't matter." She says, simply. "We're paid to do a job. So long as they hold up their end, I'll hold up mine. It's really that simple."

The car rockets into the night, now running into the dark between towns. "Don't ask too many questions," Kensai grumbles. "Do the job, and get paid. Sounds familiar. Too familiar. I.." He stops, peering into the dark ata pair of headlights behind them. "Hey. I've seen that car three times now. Do you think we're being followed?"

"Maybe." Laohu agrees. pulling her guns out again. "In fact. Yeah. I'd say that's exactly right." She turns around so that she is propping her arms up on the back of the seat. "Hope you're good at keeping her steady, Jack."

"The fragger in the passenger is the shaman and he has another spirit with him chasing." Chaos looks right at the salamander in the astral. To those in the real, they see Chaos staring at the air blankly. Then, he turns off astral perception and looks to Laohu, "Geek the shaman. If the spirit manifests, I'll deal with it, but if he's gone, the spirit has no commands."

He looks to Kensai then, "tell me before you take a turn and I'll smoke up the intersection again."

Kensai nods, thinking and looking ahead… then looks back at the others. "There's an intersection coming up in a thousand feet… I'm going to turn right, hard and try to open up a shot. Be ready!"

As the plan comes together, Laohu lowers the window. As the vehicle swings around she closes one eye and fires off a pair of shots. The first strikes the old man square in the shoulder. The second takes the headrest off in a cloud of stuffing, but is wide of his head. She just can't find her focus. Maybe she'd broken her own focus too hard when she made herself retreat. "Fuck. C'mon. You're better than this god damnit."

As they start going, Chaos takes an audible breath… then, as he looks back, he takes on a look of intense concentration as yet again a smoke cloud pops up in front of people pursuing them… this time, the cloud follows the pursuing car, and he breathes out as the mana flows from him and manifests the matter in real space, "Frag painting a car with this." Chaos gripes.

It was a perfect plan of attack - or the wu jen thought it was. It had taken them a while to realize that the vixen was leading them on a merry goose chase, but now they had this poor beaten up mustang, all alone on the highway, with a perfect window to grab it…

And then it all goes wrong. The bullets come first, making the driver jerk the wheel - but that seems almost to be the point. She's looking over at her boss, already bleeding badly, and then she's driving into a bank of fog, trying to turn to catch up to the escaping car, and she's already out of control, and now hitting a median, and just like that the car is off the ground, flipping over and over and over…

The salamander glimmers to real world life, for just a moment, consuming the fallen car with flames…

And as the car explodes into a rocking fireball, the now-free spirit disappears.

Laohu slumps back into her chair and takes a long drag on the cigarette between her lips. She closes her eyes, but at least she has the good decency to blow the thick cloud of smoke out the now-open window, even if that hadn't been bothering her earlier on. "Good job guys." She says, "Unless they're real fuckin' morons, that's probably the last dance for the evening."

There's a low appreciative whistle as Chaos watches the fireworks, "and that, ladies and gents, is why you don't frag with your bounds. Glad I didn't awaken as a shaman, Frag me." Chaos comments as the fireball lights up the night sky, "That is an awful way to get geeked."

Kensai whistles himself. "Yeah," he says. "That… wasn't pretty," slowly moving down to a more reasonable speed. His heart's still pounding. He looks back over his shoulder, for just a moment, and then back to the road into an unsettled silence.

Kensai drops off Chaos, Lauho, and their target at the rehab facility and pulls up his new target location on his map.

SCENE III - Silver Rider

Meanwhile, when last we left the star of the show, Vixen was on top of a sweet little Yamaha Rapier, lean and fast, speeding down the streets of little chiba. She's not driving but for a couple of seconds before two more bikes careen onto the road behind her, both bearing riders in black armored jackets, brightly colored mohawks, and a red dragon symbol on their leather sleeves.

As they chase her, they spread out. One of the bikers takes the lead, banking over and zooming ahead, trying to get ahead of vixen - the other slips to the side, still behind her, the biker angling to give himself a better shot.

Multitasking isn't hard for Vixen. She usually can contemplate the end of the world, and what to have for dinner at the same time. And there's always the whole legend thing to live up to. Vixen mentally ejects the spirit buster clip into her pocket and quickly gets the EXEX clip slotted. Was it only a few seconds ago that she ended the life of a fire spirit? She kisses the hilt of her gun and using the side mirror aims a shot at the guy who is she sees trying to get her in his sights.

Her bullet explodes into the front of the bike, jarring the hole thing - some cracks appear, but not enough to slow it down. Not yet.

The lead biker really knows what he's about. He's gained the lead on her, and uses it to set up a shot - sweeping his uzi behind him, taking quick smartlink-assisted aim and opening fire clear down with center mass!

Vixen weathers the attack, barely, as the bullets rip into her - her armor holds, and she's not hurt nearly as bad as her attacker would have liked. She slams the brakes and leans into a sudden turn…jetting down a narrow alley, dodging a dumpster and then hitting the gas to try and gain the ground.

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Kensai I think I lost them. You all get away? *You hear the sound of an whining engine in the background. »

Vixen has a shit eating grin on her face as she takes a few more turns at a more leisurely pace and beats retreat towards Colorado Springs, She reaches into the inside pocket of her jacket and feels for the box. THE BOX! OH FUCK THE BOX. Wait… It's in the car. She hits the comm again.

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Kensai? Is that box on the drivers seat? The one you know who gave me? »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « it is. Our friends are dropped off and I'm circling back toward our target location. Really wishing I had my gear but.. we are here now, so it is the time. »

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « I'm not far. »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « copy. There's a filling station near the target area. meet you there? »
Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Sounds good. »

–SCENE FOUR: Samurai One-

The neighborhood is all but abandoned, the apartment builds condemned since the blizzards a few years ago. Local scuttlebut says they are havens for smugglers, the sinless, some minor criminals.

Vixen drives through keeping her eyes peeled for anything that would normally give her pause. Large congregations of gangers, overwatch, heavy security that shouldn't be there. She carefully drives to the fuel stop and parks next to the Mustang.

Kensai is sitting on the hood of the mustang, watching the apartment complexes, sipping on green tea slushie. "Welcome," he says as she joins him, then looks back at the apartments. "Looks like a criminal haven. Not a bunker - but maybe an infiltration job?"

«Plot» Kensai says, "there doesn't seem anything out of the ordinary, yet. It's largely deserted. There's a go gang zipping up the streets, but you don't see any armored guards. There are a few heavily armored men talking around some circled cars, but you think you recognize them as a team of heavies from the local scene. Freelancers - and they don't look like they're guarding anything."

«Plot» Vixen says, "Is it possible to see the message one more time. The data chip info"

«Plot» Kensai says, "why yes. It's a simple advert - clearly targeted to local fixers and collectors - about an authentic WWII bayonet, apparently possessed by an imperial marine in the pacific theatre. Starting bids are at 40000 nuyen.

Underneath it is a record of traces (chammy will understand them clearly) which are the work of a grade-A decker that followed it through several dummies to a basement location here. There's also verification that the equipment used by the smuggler who was getting the thing into town is the same as the equipment this was sent from."

«Plot» Kensai says, "there's also a profile of the treacherous smuggler, called 'Joe Denver Diamond - JDD.' He doesn't have a huge name in the shadows, but he's known for being able to get an item from A to B pretty safely. As long as he's paid well enough. Has a record of re-negotiating at the end of a delivery, too."

Vixen looks at Kensai and gives him a look over. "I think recon first. Then if we think the risk is minimal we go in as is."

Kensai seems thoughtful, wiggling his cybernetic fingers, and then hopes off the car. "Sounds like a plan. I'll grab some clothes from the stuffer shack over there. Try to stand out a little less. Be casual, right?"

At the moment, the neophyte shadowrunner is gone completely. There's a professional standing there instead - not seasoned, no amount of training can make a nineteen year old boy that- but well-trained and skilled, with the upright, watchful posture of elite corpsec. "I've counted eight possible dangers moving in and out, but noone is watchful. I believe they are unconnected. No drone coverage, no police coverage, no spirits hiding out - but no syndicates, either."

Vixen nods, "Well that's something." But she isn't one to judge how dangerous something is by the place he's living. If he's living here." She reaches into the Mustang and grabs the box, taking the tanto out of it and sliding it into her belt hiding it behind her jacket. She checks if the bleeding has stopped and if it hasn't gives herself some medical attention.

Vixen follows Kensai into the Stuffer Shack, these places usually have a little of everything. The best she comes up with for Kensai is a pair of cheap sunglasses, and a baseball cap with some logo on it that she doesn't recognize. For herself she picks up a black knit cap that at least will cover her platinum hair. She strolls down the pharmaceutical aisle, picks up a all in one medkit - The kind no home should be without. (It's not Runner Ready but it will do in a pinch). And of course a roll of duct tape and a few tools that she might be able to use for B&E as well as a duffle bag to put all that crap in. She also buys Kensai a belt. A nice leather one.

Commlink-Silver> Vixen sends, « Meet me in the ladies room. *Then once her purchases are made she takes everything into the ladies room and waits for Kensai to join her, locking the door behind them.* »

Kensai waits patiently when she shops, still watching the other building, then slips in as she commands - only a little nervous when it comes to entering the fabled room of ladies.
Vixen makes sure they weren't observed and locks the door behind them. She hands out the materials, then removes her jacket and her shirt. "I hope you don't mind, but I got a bit of an issue."

Kensai tilts his head, "A bit of an issue?" He asks the beautiful woman he's very physically close to as she removes her jacket and… as she starts removing her shirt his cheeks color and he looks away, suddenly studying the other things very closely!

Vixen rolls her eyes. She is wearing a bra. And she turn around revealing the very not life threatening wound, but it still needs to be dealt with. "A little help?" She hands you the bottle of disinfectant.

Kensai peeks, just slightly, and then nods. "Ah, of course," he says, taking the bottle. "This might sting," he adds, touching her with his other hand to position her a little better - and then he aims the spray bottle. "Looks like it went through-and-through-" he says. "Minimal exit wound. Missed bone. Probably spend most of its explosive charge on a bit or armor. You got lucky.."

Vixen hisses as the alcohol touches the wound and in a tight voice says, "Yeah lucky." Beads of sweat appear on her forehead and she hands you the gauze.

Kensai says "Uh-huh. Could have exploded against your humerus. Here…" He adjusts his hand again, and there's a quiet buzzing sound. Searing heat briefly kisses the wound, and then is gone. "There. Disinfected and cauterized. Renraku field medicine at its finest."

Kensai fired a low-power laser beam. From his wrist.

Vixen hisses again as a beam of energy sears her flesh, and the smell of it almost makes her gag. But she takes it like a champ, she is just glad she's not going to leave bloody DNA all over a future crime scene. Once the wound is taken care of she puts back on her shirt, turning it inside out, to hide the logo, puts her jacket back on, and then helps clean up the blood evidence they might have left in the bathroom. She does all of this methodically. The belt that she bought Kensai should help him wear the sword more comfortably, and the hats MIGHT help.

Kensai puts on the Okinawan Whalers Hat, settling it so that it hides his features - kind of - but with that + the sunglasses it helps a great deal, so that he looks like any other 6'1 japanese men built like they've spent their whole lives in the gym. "How do I look?" He asks.

Vixen nods, "Normal." She sighs and then says, "OK. Lets go." Hoisting the small backpack with her newly acquired goods.

As the runners cross the street and head into the neighborhood, a slight breeze lifting up through the Spring Mountain Air. Kensai looms, doing his best to move casually - but it's not something he has a gift for. THe trio of street am at the intersection look up as the runners pass, and one of them lifts a hand in greeting before they turn back to their conversation. A pair of ork kids are running around a broken-down old playground, their low-light vision making the city night as bright as day for them, while their mother looks on after a long shift of work and thinks about her choices.

Vixen leaves everything she doesn't need in the car, but makes sure to tuck the tanto into her own belt and walks with Kensai across the street and down the block casually approaching the apartment building Vixen looks over at Kensai and sees that he is trying too hard. "It helps, she notes if you have a story in your head as to why you are here. COnvince yourself that you are here to visit a friend, or here to deliver a package, or here to investigate a crime. Whatever story you want them to believe… You have to believe it first."

Kensai says "mmm. It is a strange thing," to Vixen in response as they pass the street samurai. "I spent my whole life without having to decide why I was in a place. I was simply told. Now? I am rudderless." He flashes her a narrow smile. "But I will heed advice, and remind myself - I am here to retrieve something stolen from an honorless dog. It will do."

«OOC» Kensai says, "these are so much your streets that you know those guys. 'The Brothers Three'. Ex-Sioux wildcat, all three of them, now part of a three-man street sam team, and supposedly a loving threeple. Even if they have a reputation for being utter hardasses."

Vixen tags the Brothers and tries to subtly check if they have tagged them?

The shortest one, Lives-by-Rivers, gives Vixen a subtle upnod as she goes by. She's arm wrestled him before - and one. The tallest one, Wind-willow, is a regular at AASD.

The path takes the pair between two of the buildings and around the back toward the basement entrance of Building Zd.The parking lot back around here is full, but mostly of trailer-like setups. A small city of rvs and vans, with tent flaps up and garbage fires. Seems like quite a meet tonight - or is that a concert? Yes! It looks like there's a concert stage set up! (Only in 2080s Denver would you be looking at a concert starting at nearly 3am!)

Vixen stops. Her boots simply coming to a surprised halt then she smiles. A glorious smile. "Excellent."

Vixen turns her smile to Kensai and says, "Hey and if we don't find him, maybe the concert will be good?" She nods and says, "So… We are fans of…" She looks around for a clue as to who is hosting the gig.

The gig playing is a chrome-rock band called 'The Blue Oni.' An all metahuman group with japanese origins, although they came together right here in Denver.

"Blue Oni," quietly. "The kame have a sense of humor. I was at their concert at Cherry Creek the other day."

Vixen nods and says "The Blue Oni." She tells Kensai. "Have you heard of them?"

Kensai nods with an amused, uncertain smile. "The kame have a sense of humor. I was at their concert at Cherry Creek the other day. They're good. Really good. And the lead singer is gorgeous."

Vixen nods, "So if anyone asks. We are fans. Easy." as she checks out the buildings security before she walks in.

The back of the apartment building, leading down into the basement, seems to have been refitted into impromptu storage-unit rentals. Down to the troll leaning up against the stairs with a handheld computer, chatting with the occasional people that wander in and out and sometimes even taking money.

«Plot» Vixen says, "What was the apartment number for the guy?"
«Plot» Kensai says, "SB (sub-basement) 38"

Vixen takes up residence not far from him, where she can quickly slip past when or if his attention gets diverted by the concert or by someone else and to assess the chances of slipping past.

Kensai keeps watching carefully, and an odd expression passing over his face… then he looks back over his shoulder and takes in the stage. "Band is coming live soon," he says. "It should be a heck of a show. They are good - and are avoiding labels like the plague." He stops. "But like the japanese avoid a plague, not the americans."

Vixen sees that Kensai is going to get marked as he passes and quietly slips in beside him and says, "Pretty cool yeah? I can't wait to see them. Have you seen them before?" Trying in that moment to draw the trolls' attention and allow Kensai to slip past.

Vixen adds, Is there a good place to see it from inside?" She notes the overlooking balcony above or a higher window with a better view?" She bats her pretty eyes and flashes some yen.

The roll looks at Vix and flashes her a toothy grin. "You can try if you want, chica," he says, taking the 'yen. "But the up-floors ain't none too safe. Too much for a big fragger like me but you might be thin enough to manage it. It's gonna be smooth."

The first chord is struck, and the troll's gaze is snapped away as he almost jumps up and down with excitement.

Vixen grins, "Thanks yer a peach." Then follows Kensai inside almost reluctantly.

The corridors are barely maintained, full of trash, with many doors down narrow hallways. The pair follow the signs towards the correct door - this whole place seems to have nil security, sort of stashes of convenience. Protected by their sameness and the filth.

On the plus side, some helpful techie has wired speakers along the way, so the music from the outside starts pouring in…

"I'm going to need new shoes," Kensai says as he steps in something. "And wish I had a bigger gun than this stolen predator."

Vixen looks at Kensai and says, "Well, on the plus side…" She motions around the air, "No one is gonna hear a thing." She shrugs and reaches out and tries the door standing to the side. She looks at Kensai and nods.

The door is locked tight. Key-card maglock, pretty high tech, definitely stands out. The doors themselves are all metal.

Kensai takes up position on the other side of the door, touching it briefly with his cybernetic hand. "Steel," he says. "Sturdier than expected. How quiet do you want to play this?"

Vixen looks up at Kensai as she's working and say's, "I don't think it's gonna matter." She grins at within half a minute the casing is off and she's diving into the guts of the thing.

Kensai nods and turns back. He checks the purloined predator - nickel-plated, with eastern dragons embossed on it - but tucks it away in a back pocket of his suit coat before making sure the katana is loose in its sheath.

As the music turns a little softer and then she owns the bitch. She stands and nods to Kensai holding up her hand, one finger, two finger, three finger. The music screams and she quietly opens the door.

The room is a mess. There are food wrappers overflowing from a waste basket. There is a half-disassembled drone on a battered metal desk - looks like the torso of an Ares Servitor - and a pile of dirty clothes pouring out of a plastic hamper in one corner. And then there's a set of storage lockers, six feet high, going across the whole back wall, with a second lock - this one a thumbprint scanner - on the slide keeping them all locked.

There is no person currently in the room.

Oh, and a modified portable computer - not a proper cyberdeck, but something not far from it - next to the drone, plugged in and running some diagnostics.

Vixen quietly enters the room looking around and moves towards the nearest doorway hallway where other rooms may be. Her eyes quickly scanning the room for her quarry.

Kensai follows her in, quietly shutting the door behind them. "No sign of him," he asks, sweeping his gaze around - then relaxing his gaze as if looking deeper. "There's nothing alive in here but us and some cockroaches. Want me to open the lockers?"

Vixen looks around and relaxes slightly then begins to do some research. She's gonna tear into this guys biz like the bitch she is. First the computer drek. She nods to Kensai. "Yeah might as well arm up omae." Noting there are probably better guns than what he has.

Kensai nods and turns to the lockers- it doesn't take far to move- and he takes the lock in one gloved hand. It's about to start screaming about the wrong thumbprint but then he turns it, aims his other hand, and with a quick zap he cuts the lock off and it falls to the floor.

He steps back enough to let the lockers slide open, and reveals an array of prizes. There's a chrome jaguar hood ornament. An authentic Star Wars Lunchbox circa 1977. A box of preem btls. A hat from the recent ute/sioux war… and a scabbarded bayonet.

«Plot» Kensai says, "the computer tells you that the drone power cycles are still off- some of the capacitors must be misaligned. Digging further reveals a host of different maintenance logs for drones and vehicles, and then the trixmail folder. Seems he's been talking with a few different fixers about this sale."

The last message was about a possible buyer - Someone Labeled 'Samurai One - that was offering a substantial amount over asking - eighty thousand yens! And exchange information was shared.

Kensai watches Vixen work, then reaches in and takes the bayonet. "I have it," he says. "That simple." He looks back at her. "Without our quarry here, how shall we leave the message?"

Hearing his voice might even trigger a memory, a short one - about Kensai's own comm-tag - inspiring a brief flashback…

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « test »

…And the flashback ends.

Vixen glances at Kensai and says, "You ever hear of Samurai One?"

Kensai stops, his face going white as a ghost. "In what context?"

"That who is trying to buy the bayonet. For more than it is worth."

His reaction says it all, and context clues over the past few days. Former elite corp security. Intensely physically capable Japanese man, commenting about Renraku field tactics, elite security practices… a bit of data from your long-history dealing with corporate pukes emerges - Red Samurai operate in groups of five.

"We're made," Kensai says, instantly, and tosses her the bayonet. "Do something with the Tanto that leaves a message. We need to be out of here, yesterday."

Vixen puts it all together and then says as casually as possible, "Well they are planning on conducting an exchange. Let me see if I can zone in on the details…and we can attend."
Kensai shakes his head. "There's only one reason they would be involved in this. They're here for me. Best Case scenario, it's my old captain. One of the best fighters I've ever met. It is not coincidence that they are tracking this job. They have to know about Elder Brother."
Kensai's not panicking, but he's close. He's worried, and either fatalistic or paranoid.

Vixen thinks. "Elder Brother doesn't want this tanto sticking in a piece of wood." She looks for two things… "When is the exchange and where? And where can she find the smuggler who reneged on the deal."

The exchange was set to be during the concert.

How were they to know each other?

No further details on that.

Kensai grunts, looking around again. "Renraku as a whole is not interested in World War II artifacts," glancing at the Bayonet again. "Unless there is more going on there than I think… still…" His voice trails off. "You are more experienced at this game than I am. We will follow your instincts."

Vixen learns what she can and then says, "They will be here soon Kensai. We should prepare for their arrival." She makes it appear that the door has not been tampered with. "Think about it. They have no way of knowing we are here. Unless you think Elder Brother is setting us up?" That is the only thing she is unsure of. But why give Kensai the sword? She nods, "They will be here soon. Lets use what we got here to lay our own trap."

You say "Unless I've been followed. Or traced. And Sakura… we were on mission to take her out, bring her in. She was a renegade. My team and I had just confronted her when the captain ordered a mortar strike on our position." He looks around for ideas for a trap. "I did not die. Instead I escaped with her. They must know about her connection to Elder Brother. They may have been watching him. Perhaps I am too paranoid, but…."

The quiet sound of static starts to fill up the comsystem.

Appearing at the end of the hallway, and walking down the corridor hallway, is a figure the size of an -ox- in Red-plated Samurai Armor, two swords worn at the hip, a rifle slung across its back, and a submachine gun held at its side.

A renraku red samurai in full battle gear.

Vixen pokes her head out about ready to fix the casing and spots what can only be… Samurai One. She grits her teeth and quickly closes the door and starts working on the lock. "Fuck. We got company of the Samurai variety. I can make it sort of hard to get in here, or lock us in here til the end of time and I'll have to call for help to get us out." She quickly explains, as she TEMPORARILY disables it.

Kensai swears. "Two options," he says. "We cannot stay trapped here, they will just wait us out. We can try to surprise him and flee, and…" And then she's busting the lock. "We have one option," he says, turning to one of the walls. "We can try to cut our way out of here and leave through another room. Hopefully that will take him by surprise?"

Vixen grins at Kensai, "Those the only options?"

Vixen chuckles, "I was thinking we might have a kick his ass option."
Kensai says "We could wait and fight him in here," looking at walls, running his hands over them. "But I do not want that fight. Not like this. I am probably better with a sword, but… that armor is thick." He turns toward vixen. "If you think we can," he allows. "You are certainly more experienced. I feel like we are fish in a barrel here, with no room to fight."

Kensai finds a spot on the wall, and starts cutting, levels his fist, and out comes that laser beam, just a thin thread of red light made more visible by the floating dust in the room. It cuts slowly, but it is enough for these thin walls.

Vixen nods, "Here's the thing. I'm a ninja right?" She looks around and say's, "When he gets in, we tackle him, shoot him, whatever, make his life miserable and then when he's disoriented and all confused, we lock him in here… Permanently."

Kensai looks at her while he cuts. He seems dubious. "When we are in our armor, we eat ninja for breakfast. But you are not most ninja…"

There's a heavy kick at the door. It shakes, but it holds.

Vixen looks above the door to see if it's possible to drop down from above.

Vixen jumps as the door has been kicked.
The metal of the door is a little crumpled from the foot-blow.

«Plot» Kensai has gotten 15 cm so far.

Vixen points out the location to Kensai, "You want to drop down on him from above, kick him into the room, or I'll throw him in. And then we lock him in here."

"He will be jamming our signals by now," continuing his slow work. "He will kick the door one or two more times. From there he will go to his toolbelt. He will likely have a breaching tool, especially if he was expected this. Otherwise - he may simply wait. It depends how much homework he did, hai?" Another 20 cm. "I can try to fit up there," he said. "But that may be a better spot for you?" A dubious look again from behind those shades. "How hard can you kick?"

Vixen grins at Kensai, "You never asked why I'm a legend in Denver. Its because of how hard I kick."

Vixen suddenly gets the clue, "Maybe I should kick the door onto him?"

Kensai says "I know what the legends say. But I heard there was another Tae Kwon Do artist reputed for kicking harder. Katen? Kairen? Katsuo! Doesn't he own stake in the Aurora Dojo?" He smirks at her, and keeps working. "No, not the door. Leave the door - reinforce it if you can." Another 20 cm and he makes a right angle turn straight down with his arm laser. "One of us should kick a hole in this -wall-. Soon. I need a few more minutes. Will the door hold?"

Vixen eyes you for just a second then nods, "OK." She starts pushing the desk in front of the door and the cabinets after that.

Good timing. Just as she braces the desk against the door shakes and the lock clicks open - it's been blasted by something with an electric charge!

Twenty more centimeters. Come on… come on!

Kensai keeps working. "Put the Tanto where the Bayonet was! If our man is alive, that might be the only message we have time for!" That's a big 'if' now!

This is an odd sort of trap to be in. There's no boasting from the other side, no shit talk - just the slow, brutal cycling through a toolbox.

Vixen nods and does as Kensai suggests, "OK. But Id rather leave it in his heart." Then she goes to stand on the side of the door and she then leaps onto the desk and stealthily perches above the door.

Kensai says, "So much desire to kill a stranger?" He keeps cutting. Twenty more! "A betrayal of daimyo is a capital offense, yes. A breach of contract is ugly, but…" The door buckles again, and he twists to look back at it. He's run out of time!"

Vixen nods to Kensai, "Ready?" She whispers.
The door shatters open with a mighty blast!

The tricked out Samurai kicks in the door and that's when Vixen strikes swinging from her position above the door and slamming both feet in the masked mans face. It's an epic hit, but other than throwing him back into the wall, well it doesn't do much else. She hisses as she did feel that all the way to her bones. It should have hurt! Damn Kensai was right about the armor. "Run!"

The red samurai captain is cool as ice. Knocked back out of the corridor, he lets his back slam him up against the wall - merely using that setback to give him space to lift his gun and open fire, spitting six explosive rounds in a blink at the ninja that ambushed him! The ninja he didn't expect.

Kensai sweeps in, breaking off his laser attack to dance forward with his new katana. He spins to gain room, moving into the corridor just enough to lunge… at the Captain's weapon! "Clear the way out! " He says as he lunges. "Kick the wall!"

Kensai is the warrior the captain -did- expect, and he knows each one of the warrior's moves - which is barely enough to get his submachine gun out of the way!

Kicking a wall sounds much less helpful than kicking the bad guy, but Vixen is willing to try anything at this point. She quickly spins and takes a running leap off the desk and Kicks the wall in. Well hopefully.

Vixen gets the hole kicked in and keys the comm, "Got it!"

It's a quick flurry down there at ground zero. Even as Vixen knocks a hole in the wall, the red samurai captain throws a hard elbow at Kensai. He ducks, delivering a powerful counter-blow that would have split anyone else in two, but the legendary armor holds; and as he rises back, fighting for room with another slash, the captain turns his sword with a flat-handed block and then strikes down hard into Kensai's arm.

If that arm had been bone rather than cyberware, that would have snapped it- but Kensai bellows in pain anyway, staggering back…

Vixen is not a coward, but she's also not keen on dying today. She see's Kensai take a bad hit and growls, "GO!" before moving like the trained killer she is, and is once again engaging with the armored hulk. She kicks his SMG out of his hand and as it arcs upward she snags it out of the air. "Mine!" It was a one in a million kick and it may be her last. But at least you got to see it.

Still unhurried and cool, calculating and hard, the Red Samurai is already back on the attack, delivering a series of feints and hand-moves designed to strip the gun back away from Vixen.

"Toss it to me!" Kensai calls to Vixen as he starts to surge to motion himself…

The battle in the sub-basement is epic, made more so by the pounding beats and rhythms from outside. Kensai in his tattered suit, vixen in her jeans and tee shirt and form fitting body armor, the literal street-samurai dancing around in his suit of steel. A game of speed chess played be the elite that noone else will never see, even the thundering gunfire muted by the music.

Its all one smooth motion, kick, catch, toss. And then her Predator is in her hand as she's running for the exit, and getting off a shot before she does so.

She's feeling cornered, never a good thing. This situation is beginning to get dangerous. Extremely so. They need to get out of here and she lays down some fire not even waiting to find out if it did any damage. He's like the fucking door. A steel contraption and she's NEVER going to walk into the woods again. Fucking trees. She hears more than see's Kensai put that SMG to good use.

Kensai falls back with Vixen, but - less so, as if something is holding him there. He clears space to fire, his chipset making up for his movement, and he sprays with one hand, katana held in the other - and finally some of the explosive tipped bullets find their mark. digging pits into that perfect armor.

The target speaks, for the first time. "Leave here, Shadowrunner," he calls, his voice simple. "I am here for the renegade. I found you, Daichi. You Knew I would."

Samurai one doesn't wait for an answer. He takes a moment to swing that rifle around from his back, pressing it against his shoulder, and opens fire. Five meters is close for a gun that size, and Kensai is quick… his bullets hammer into walls, lighting up with litlte flashes of fire as they explode.

Vixen doesn't think that a rocket missile would dent this guys armor, she keeps moving trying to give Kensai the cover he needs to fall back with her. "Hurry." She is already bringing up her phone book directory on her cellphone. She's gotta have wild cats or whatever his name was number. They need backup and one of her former students is the best she's got.

The Captain takes his time, now, taking his aim - the alpha fires another burst, and this time Kensai's all but taken apart, caught half-dodge, bullets stitching across his body. He howls in pain and hits the ground, the movement carrying him into something like cover.

Vixen she's a decker. Well she likes to think she's picked up a thing or two. With the speed of thought she has brought up her student's contact info and there it is. She prays he still has the same number and he really did remember her. Then Kensai's been shot and is down. The phone is ringing in her ear, but she's running full out gonna take his other gun. (ring… Ring…)

The Crimson Samurai One slowly rises from his crouch when Kensai falls, swinging around his aim toward Vixen as he goes - his attention no longer on the prone street-sam turned adept. "This is your chance," he says. "I'm not going to kill him dead. He has crimes to answer for, and a chance to reclaim his honor…" BLAM BLAM BLAM

Vixen usually doesn't get fancy, but she's desperate and gonna use the terrain to her advantage. As he shoots she jumps to the wall landing with a solid THUMP, launches off the wall and kicks the rifle out of his grip and it flies behind him sailing into the hallway, and then with her momentum she kicks off his chest landing a three point landing.
Vixen gives him the three fingered salute
Ring… Ring…

Over-confidence. Not making sure the job was finished. That's what got the captain last time. That's what let Kensai get away. Sometimes knowing you're the best is a mistake - and underestimating 'common criminals' makes it even worse. The captain finds himself sprawling back, taken completely off guard by the woman's blazing speed, and no sooner had his attention snapped away then Kensai - who he had thought defeated, moved.

Kensai has been a lot of things in his life - protege, wunderkund, loyal soldier. Beaten. But he's never been a quitter. His body burning from the bullet holes, his movements sluggish, he finds the will to push off the floor a half-step, taking his katana up again and cutting at the captain's legs. Again, the steel can't cut through, but it's enough to send the captain off-balance, and he's clanging to the floor in a heap of metal!

And now it's a fight on the floor. The captain is still relatively unhurt, if frustrated, but he's outnumbered and fighting a swordsman. Kensai is barely holding on, but still he's there. Sword clangs against armor, fist-blows get deflected by clever wrestling moves and deflections.

Vixen has a momentary flashback, when she had to subdue some crazy bitch with a knife. It was pathetic, but Vixen learned a great lesson that day. Use what you got. If she can't hurt him, she can't hold him. He is already down and she dives on top of him! CRASH! She's struggling with an armored asshole and she knows exactly how to apply leverage to keep him from being able to get free. It's kind of like wrestling a trash can. "FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!!!" She's only allowed one word but she's taking three!!!!

Vixen holds the Samurai as Kensai stabs. Hopefully where it -WILL- Do damage.

Kensai sees an opportunity as they struggle together on the ground. It is one thing to stab a defenseless man, but the Red Samurai captain is not defenseless yet. They are all locked in struggle together, for life itself- and Kensai's sword finds blood this time as he manages to get the edge between some plates, drawing a red gash. The warrior struggles, still trying to break free, his advanced biomechanics kicking in to minimize the wounds… but he doesn't have quite enough power to rip away from Vixen's arms!

The Phone answers "Sensei Vixen! I thought I saw you - you look the same age as ever! Here for the concert?"

The sound of the concert is now booming directly into vixen's head. Great bass line.

Vixen growls in the man's ear as he struggles and she's all over his tin can ass and Kensai drives the sword into him. Its a struggle for dominance and it's a struggle between life and death. `She chooses to secure her grip on him to make sure he can not escape her. Into the phone she yells her location. LOUD! "I COULD USE YOUR… mother fucker… wrapping her legs around him and holding on…. "HELP."

Samurai One is desperate now. Wrapped up like a rabbit by a constrictor, still he fights - like a samurai, down to the end. He ceases his struggles to whip his head around, playing for a sudden trick, and there's loud POP as a gun hidden in his eyeball goes off! at point blank range!

Gets hit with a bullet out of the fuckers eye but the bullet barely leaves a mark. Must have been a gel round. She slams his face into the ground with her body. "KILL HIM NOW!!!"

Kensai delivers another blow, or tries to, but his attacks are getting weaker and weaker; his own blood loss is pretty intense.

KILL HIM NOW.. is clearly heard over the phone. Vix tries to end his ability to breathe. She is straining to keep the pressure up. "Kensai…" Her breath a whisper as her she grapples the armored Samurai. She lets out a primal scream as she pours every ounce of her strength and will into just FUCKING ENDING HIM!

Samurai one holds his gaze, being choked within an inch of a life, and with the last bit of will as his world starts to go black he chooses the Samurai way out. "The red sun rises," he hisses, biting a tooth, and sweet sweet cyanide pours down into his throat.

And then it's over, and Kensai's sword clatters out of his hand as he just collapses onto the floor. He lies there for a moment before he starts pushing himself up to his feet. "Come," he rasps, offering vixen a shaky hand. "We need to get out of here now. There's one more. Three is still out there. The wheel man… Still out there. We need to go!"

Kensai staggers again, but manages to bend over enough to retrieve the katana.
Vixen grabs that assholes armor.

Kensai shakes his head. "No time!" He says. "They'll track it! Drone strike! Do your friends know a way we can escape quietly?"

"They are on their way. They can get us out of here." She speaks into the phone. "Sorry. Yeah can you get to *this spot? I could use some help getting out of here."

The friends arrive quickly, and help get Kensai and Vixen through the crowd to hide out in one of the Band's vans until other cavalry can come scoop them up!

She grabs the guy, drags his body back into the room. She loots his body. Takes his sword. Spits in his face. Calls him a fucking coward. Retrieves the Tanto and drives it into the dead Samurai's chest. Yeah he just didn't want to die at the hands of a girl. She kicks his armored hulk. And then grabs Kensai and says, "Come on." She moves into the hallway to intercept her friends.
EPILOGUE: That Healing Touch
Vixen calls Nine as soon as they are in the van.

Nine arranges to meet wherever they would like. Maybe, at the Ren Fen field (currently unoccupied) in Larkspur near Castle Rock?

You say "Programming," as he moves with Vixen. Indoctrination. We are.. we were…" he seems uncertain of the verb usage, "Unable to fall into enemy hands. You are familiar with the term 'post-hypnotic suggestion?' We are forged that way. Programmed as weapons for the glory of Renraku - scorched earth, never taken alive. At least those who survive the Forge."

Kensai's face is absolutely deathly-pale, his features haunted to match. How much of that blood on him is his?

Nine can tell that Vixen is shook up.

Vixen drives the long road back after making sure Kensai isn't going to bleed to death. "Nine is gonna meet us half way. She'll fix you up." She found a pack of cigarettes in the car and is chain smoking. A habit she usually doesn't imbibe in but right now she's just trying to not think about shit.

Kensai will have shared in a cigarette, if allowed. "Thank you," he says at some point. "I would be dead or imprisoned. And they would have gotten Sakura next. I owe you a debt."

Kensai's wounds involved getting stitched up the chest tby an assault rifle with explosive ammunition, with the last bullet grazing his face and ear (that close from a deadly). They were pretty brutal, but nothing Nine hadn't seen before.

Vixen nods, "This would have gone a lot better… I mean I'm usually better prepared." She hurts EVERYWHERE!!! She sighs, "I have a lot of questions but right now… I just need to be happy that I'm alive."

A poorly running Mustang pulls up next to Shiela and parks. Vixen sighs. "We are here."

At the Ren Fen pardy place (currently devoid of what will be future pardies), Nine sets up an army cot — in one of those alcove style shelters — for the first patient to chill out on. She looks purrceptive of the current energy, except she does not mewntion it and only focuses on the mewdicat works.

Stepping out of the shelter, Nine moves to assist with transportation of the patient very catfully from the Mustang to the cot within. "Looks like you both had a heck of a fight!"

Vixen looks at Nine with something like death in her eyes. "We are lucky to be alive." She is beat and looks longingly at the cot but settles for the ground and say's, "I am wrecked."
Vixen helps Nine settle Kensai on the cot.

Kensai smiles at Nine. "Hey," he says. "You are pretty, Nine-chan. And helpful. Have you meet Vixen-sama? She is inbailable.. Idelible. In edible. Really Awesome."

With Vixen's help, Nine mewneuvers Kensai into a catfy purrsition on the cot, and then she applies an awakened-safe pain-killer via hypospray to the neck. "Aww, thank you very mewch!" she motors purrfusely about that catplimewnt! "Indeed, I have. She is one of mew dearest friends." After the haziness comes and relieves some of the pain for Kensai, Nine begins to use a clean pair of good, old-fashioned forceps to help extract bullets from the swiss cheese.

Vixen watches and say's, "Its the trees fault you know. This whole mess."

Nine says "Hah! How's that?"

Kensai reaches up while she's working on him, grabbing nine-or vixen- whichever is closer- with his metal hand. "Can you… change out the tech in my arm? New SIM card. So they can't track me. Take the one in there and burn it… tell Sakura, I…" He seems to be fading in and out. Maybe something Extra is going on with him!

Or maybe the painkiller is just working like it should.

Vixen sighs, "I was taking a walk… scouting out the route the trees left… And he called me. I don't wear my good armor in the woods Nine. Or carry any of my drek. I don't know how this happened really. It just… Snowballed."

Vixen checks out his cyberarm.

Nine hears out Kensai with a slight nod, "Cat do! I can fry it with tricity!" Though, she seems to be intent to get the bullets out and to heal him up… before dealing with the chip. After all of the shrapnel has been extracted, massages are in order for his shoulders (esp since that cyber arm probably causes him some strain where it ties into the body).

Although too busy to mess with the cyber arm, Nine takes care of fleshy matters and cat kneads Kensai back to full health. She even motors as she does so!

Kensai really thought he was on the edge of death. Hanging on by his fingernails - and he only has four of those (plus a thumbnail!) So the massage and the rapid way he's returning to health are practically disorienting. Even the scarring is minimal.

Vixen removes the chip and closes the panel back up and say's, "Here ya go."

Even after the mewgic catpletes, the Nines keeps working over him with those soothing handpaws, hopefully coaxing about sleepy notions if at all pawssible, definitely catcerned with scars and doing her bast to make them extra minimal, indeed. When Vixen provides the chip, Nine motions to a nearby stump and says, "Set it there, and I will electrofry it!"

Vixen removes the chip to the tree stump as Nine suggested and steps aside, "At your leisure Nine." Vixen isn't really okay. But she will be. She's obviously happy to be alive. But she's tired. You've never seen her look so tired.

The chip goes away is if it never were as nine summons the power of thor!

Vixen yelps!

After zapping that chip back to Middle Earth, the Nines catties on with the mewssage a minute more then eases up and moves to help Vixen meow, too. "Mewssage?" she offers out to the other woman's shoulders there.

Nine says "I can heal you up, too. If you do not mind mew magicats that way!"

Vixen sighs, "Please Nine. I'd appreciate it." She's not that hurt, but she would rather not have to explain the new bullet hole to Pauly.

Kensai, freshly healed, celebrates but a sudden and spontaneous nap.

A bit of a nod and then the Nines gives a back and shoulder rub as well as helpful chiropractics (only after loosening things up because having your back cracked apart when stiff is no fun at all)! She doles out a warm heal that expels any bullet debris and closes up the wound, indeed!

Vixen is sitting against Nine as she massages and falls out… LIKE INSTANTLY

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