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Entry 22: 19.07.70>
Alright, today is a better day, Today, I’m chilly. There are three reasons for that. One – I think I have a better handle on what the frag is going on out on the streets; Two, we’ve decided on a course of action that I’m happy with and we’re not just going to sit around waiting to get dicked any more and Three, Ki-rinn finally showed up. Hell, I’m first to admit Frosty and I have a fractious relationship – he hadn’t been in Atlanta 24 hours before we were at each other’s throats but damn it feels better knowing he’s watching my back too. Hell with Glyph and Sickle playing Roomie back at the Safe house, it’s getting to be like we moved the entire damn team coast to coast!
So anyways, while my brain was still frazzled and while Ash and Sickle were still trying to get their asses off of the Express and back into Atlanta, Ki-rinn made contact. He’d been chasing Skirt and Bastards with a fucked-up old army buddy over in Singapore and was on a flight path back that meant he could detour via Atlanta. I picked him up and filled him in and got myself a tight bundle of cynicism for my trouble. Frosty thinks we can’t keep our asses outta trouble without him and we’re reading way too much into the situation. Maybe he has a point.
Just about the one thing he believes least of all though is these visions from Allisom. Which meant it was a bad time to suddenly get hit by one – of Snow, in a marshalling yard, with a datadisk, getting his card punched by that laser with the high pitched whine. While my head’s still clearing, Ash gets on the phone. He had the vision too and now he’s looking out of the express train window at the self same marshalling yard. He resolves to dump the emergency brake on the train and bail out and I tell him Ki-rinn and I will blaze over there. Man Ki-rinn thinks we’re overdoing the dope. He has some valid points – there is a certain sort of devil may care lunacy to just taking these visions on faith. We don’t even know WHEN this vision is of but I tell him we’ve followed our guts on them so far and been done right by.
Trusting your gut is right out of Frosty’s Mantra of Modern Warfare. It’s something tangible he can believe in so for once he takes it on faith too.
Now the marshalling yard turns out to be an interesting place but not because it fulfils our vision. We find the warehouse soon enough and there is a welcoming committee waiting there packing heat. Thing is, they look more like manual labourers than Separatist Shaman’s or whomever the frag it is that has it in for Snow. We sit tight a while and in short order the San Fran Yakuza turn up, bold as brass, including Mr Cock of the Walk himself Yutaka Seto driving MY beloved car! Two things strike me as odd – firstly that Seto is looking to use my car out here for his own business, he isn’t just rubbing my nose in the fact that I lost the Bullet to him and secondly that these are the San Fran Yakuza – in Atlanta of all places! It’s like the entire Bay Area has been evacuated to the East Coast for the week – why are there so many familiar faces turning up out here?!
The Yaks spring a surprise on the manual labourers waiting in the warehouse and when they begin loading up crates of gear from inside, we can’t resist the opportunity to spoke their wheel and try to snatch the stuff for ourselves. Combat breaks out but we’ve got the drop on them and they aren’t quite expecting the level of trouble we bring to them. It’s short, bloody and brutal and I make sure no one sees me knocking around the place – extra trouble with the Yaks I can do without – but Ash could be in a world of hurt back home. He reckons they got a good look at him. That could incriminate me too – but I’ll have to play dumb.
Seto takes off so we grab the Yak truck full of merchandise and Ki-rinn and Ash blaze with it while I go back on over watch. Frag all happens at the Marshalling Yard thereafter and there’s certainly no sign of Snow. Frosty and Ash report it that we’ve struck pay dirt and picked up a wagon load of hooky guns. We cherry pick the best of the lot for ourselves and after a few heated words, brought on mostly because Ash doesn’t take kindly to me ripping the shit out of his idea that we can sell these babies on the street, I make contact with Carlo and ask him if he’s interested in taking them off of our hands and selling them on through the family. I figure if the Mafia can’t use a load of hot shooters, who can?!
Right while we’re cooling our heels, I get a call from Orange Jay, the beatnik hippy chick who was running the shop over from April Walker’s talismongery in Birmingham, Alabama. Seems Sickle didn’t meet the real April Walker after all and that just about clears up some of the confusion – evidently Sickle met the Cowboy, Johnny Kickback, who was fishing for info on the actual whereabouts of Binary Pulse. Jay tells us that April has seen through the thinly veiled charade I’d constructed for wanting to meet up with her but is willing to have a chat nevertheless. There are conditions – we have to meet Jay and travel in her unmarked, beat up Datsun. We have to accept some herbal magic tree shit that sends us right off into the land of nod – that or some sort of damn sleep spell I presume – so we lose track of the route and we get to have our PANs hacked by Binary Pulse herself so that as far as we can tell, the lakeside cabin where we hook up is actually at the North Pole… Neat.
A long and in-depth conversation ensues at the meet and I’ve no intention of boring you with too many details. Suffice to say the key points are that a Free Spirit is looking to find and kill Binary Pulse and her team because of a run in which they learnt its true name. That gives them some kind of hoochie koochie power over said spirit apparently. Last April knew, the spirit was masquerading as her dead team mate Solace. Maybe Johnny Kickback is another incarnation of this spirit or working for it to ice April – either way, he’s bad news too. Worse, now that we’ve hacked April’s computer, the files we’ve all downloaded to our PANs could make us targets for this spirit too. Daisy is almost certainly in a lot of trouble. Jay tells us our ‘auras are bleeding into the Astral’ which goes right over my head. It sounds bad though and apparently could be responsible for the visions we’ve been having. Something else to curse the name of Allisom for.
We also confirm that Shift is Snow by another name and that means to complete our run, we’d have to give up April and Snow…
Now none of us are keen on that. April has been very helpful and well, professional courtesy and a budding friendship means we aren’t going to give up Snow on a whim. So we’re faced with another botched run and I am not a happy lad. It almost spills over into an open argument at that point but I manage to talk Ki-rinn and Ash round. Rather than just binning another run and taking another hit on our reputation, I argue that there’s a way we can justify our pay without giving up April and Snow. Ki-rinn produces the memory foam face mask disguise kit he’s been sitting on for the last few runs and we take a scan of April’s face figuring that this spirit didn’t know Kote was dead so it won’t know the truth if we fake April’s death at some future point. We’re in no rush – we weren’t given a time limit, so we can afford to wait for a prime opportunity. If we can just get hold of Snow, we can explain the whole gig to him and set up something similar. We’ll then hand over the info that the team of runners is long since dead and Bob’s your Uncle, Fanny’s your Aunt.
Now, if we could only get hold of Snow…