Friday, May 26, 2006

Six's blog. Run 8.

By N.Barnes

Call Dir: Shadownet/ShadowlandsBBS/
Select Region: Region=SanFrancisco
Call SubDir: SanFrancisco/WeBlogs
Select Blog: Author=V.Six

Entry 7: 07.04.70

Another day, another fine mess… The team has become some sort of shit magnet and none of us really knows how we’re going to shake it off anymore. We’ve all suffered over the last few days. We’ve pulled together and come through it, which I guess we should be proud of but it was hard. Damn it was hard.

It all started with Lone Star busting Ash. We’re talking fucking full on dawn raid. Boy must have thought his card was marked but it turned out to be our ‘old friend’ Captain Duncan Croner, putting a rocket up Ash’ backside so he’d take on a job. Croner’s brother was a BTL pusher by the name of Smoke.

Smoke got his ass iced in some deal gone sour or other and Croner wasn’t happy just following procedure. He wanted to know who was responsible and he wanted the fucker dead before due process and the burden of evidence let the killer get off on probation. Ash called us in and like a well oiled team we hit research mode.

Smoke’s pad was a seedy little joint, stuffed to the rafters with porno BTLs called Pinks and snuff chips called Blacks. Hell the boy even had his own little porn set in there and had been filming and reproducing his own stuff rather than just moving it on. We found a little Reality TV BTL – a sort of home movie chip filmed by some biker friend of Smoke’s called Ryder. We also found the details of an appointment between Smoke and someone called Kiriyama. Appointment matched the time of death so now we had a suspect.

We blazed over to the lock-up where Smoke bought the farm. Looked like some sort of impromptu distribution centre and worse, it looked like several goons with machine guns had just stood around Smoke’s body pumping him full of lead. While we’re musing on this, we get jumped. Three Shiawase goons – and that’s when we realise we’re in deep drek. If Smoke had pissed off a megacorp it was no wonder he ended up in a silk-lined box and we knew we were in no shape to front off to them ourselves.

We had to see if anyone knew who Smoke had met and why. Obvious choice was Ryder who we tracked to a metal bar downtown. We soon realised the guy was scared half to death – he arranged to meet us, on the beach at midnight. The meet rolls around soon enough and Ash and Ki-rinn position themselves to watch my back while I hook up with Ryder. Ryder shows and pushes another one of his home movie BTL’s into my hand telling me that this chip is what got Smoke killed. I jack in and the chip is fairly tame – a juvenile raid on a warehouse or some other Corp property – until the camera records a Corp hit by one exec on another. Killer shoots his rival in the fucking face, burns out the car to make it look like an accident and then catches sight of our intrepid camera crew.

I’m stunned. No wonder Shiawase wanted Smoke dead. No wonder Ryder’s scared to death. This little chip is a UXB primed to seriously dent the megacorp’s reputation. I’m even more stunned when I jack out to find Ryder sprinting up the beach away from me and a helicopter gunship thumping in low over the ocean. Chaingun chatter fills the night air and Ryder goes down in a bloody heap. Ki-rinn plays the damn fool hero and squeezes off a burst at the chopper. All it gets him is a little lead rain and now he’s twitching and bleeding on the sand. Gotta act now, gotta distract the chopper before Ash or I catch the next hail of bullets. The NSX is nearby so I remote the turret and give the gunship some full auto fury of my own. The distraction works but I’m still hooked in through the sensors so I see every graphic detail of the end. I see the attack vector of the chopper, the spinning barrels of the Gatling, the muzzle flare and the destruction as bullets tear through my ride. There’s a blossoming flower of orange fire and the feeds cut. My sled is in bits, one burning wheel rolling poetically past me down to the surf. My fucking car, man. The second I’ve lost in as many months!
Frag man…

Continues: 1/2

C’mon Six. Focus on the positives. As plans go it’s a doozy. Distracts the gunship long enough for Ash and I to get hid. Ki-rinn might be breathing his laugh but I’ve got the Medibot and a pick up on the way so we just lie low until the Chopper shits off. As it happens, we get Ki-rinn to Mal just in the nick of time.

Overnight, Mal rustles up some magical healing for the K-man and after a good night’s sleep, I think I’m dreaming when he tips up on the doorstep bright eyed and bushy tailed. We regroup and I show the chip to the team. We know our enemy now. We know who he is, what he wants and how to get to him.

We want revenge for ourselves too as well – he’s made it personal and we don’t take too kindly to that. Concentrate. We don’t have to take on Shiawase as a whole – we only have to off one guy.

We plan. We plot. We scheme. Finally we prepare. And Ki-rinn sends a polite message to Smoke’s killer. PAN to PAN. If you want the chip which incriminates you in the murder of a senior Shiawase executive then you bring your sorry ass to the Bay Bridge in rush hour. No tricks.

Ash finds himself a sniping position in the suspension towers to take out Kiriyama from. Ki-rinn handles fire control and crowd suppression. I’m responsible for the meet. We’ve got a copy of the chip each, in case it all goes wrong and I’ve got a little off-roader to jink through the traffic and make my getaway. It’s no substitute for the NSX but it just might save my life – we’re expecting trouble.

Right on cue, two SUV’s swerve out of the traffic flow and pull up for the meet. Kiriyama’s too smart or too yellow to step out into the open and collect the chip himself. He’s brought goons though. Goons who see a weedy little Rigger standing in front of them and think with their testosterone instead of the little grey cells.
They kick off. We lay the smack down.

I concentrate on staying alive, scrabbling away from the SUVs as the Goons open fire. Ash starts shooting into the lead vehicle, cursing me for not thinking to ‘Paint’ Kiriyama as key target on my Smartlink. Ki-rinn comes out of the tower like fucking Rambo and opens up on the Goons. He’s a little Chink hacker for fuck’s sake but the military training and a healthy dose of small man syndrome serve him well. The Chief Goon gets his own slice of agricultural property in short order.
As the SUV’s move off into the traffic, I hear Ki-rinn shouting at me about the tanks. I figure he must mean the petrol tank? Dummy. Ride like that has a fuel cell but on second thoughts, do them enough damage and they’re flammable too. Explosive as well, as it turns out – Smoke, Ryder and I all get our revenge as the mother and father of all explosions wipes out Kiriyama’s vehicle. That one’s for the NSX peckerwood!

There isn’t much more to say. We concentrate fire on the second vehicle until that fuel cell ruptures explosively as well. Ki-rinn’s buddy Flash would be proud. We make our getaway and Croner pays up. Job done, but at what a cost. What a cost.

So here I am, leafing through the latest AutoTrader looking for a new motor and thanking all our lucky stars we made it out alive. It was only the fact that we had a well-thought out plan for the hit on the Bay Bridge that kept us alive I reckon.

There are two bright points in all of this. I had practically finished doing up the Dodge Phantom, bar fitting the VCR and working up the paint and decals so I wasn’t without a ride for long. Damn but the Dodge just isn’t as good as the NSX. It might have been Jap import crap but I’d worked it up sweet and despite the big block V8 under the hood, the Dodge just isn’t quite as good a car.

The other bright spot is that for a while at least the heat should be off me. I dropped in to see my parents a few days ago and some Traffic Cop was there grilling Pops. Officer Tony Valez I think Pops said. Asking about me and about my NSX. Looks like I’d attracted some attention. Well Officer Tiny can look for the NSX all he wants but he ain’t about to find it – unless he likes mucking through the crushers down at the scrap yard. Maybe misfortune will end up giving me a little bit of breathing space. Maybe. Damn, it’s been one thing after another. I’m not sure I can take it any more…

Mood: Wrecked.
Ends: 2/2

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