Death Valley: A Shadowrun RP (Game Thread)

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"Other'n that, we can always check news feeds. Even if the corps or Yaks have kept it out th' mainstream channels there'll be a pirate station or two that reported on it. We check the news, it should give us some info on where the Lonies are investigatin', includin' the fella's house. Sound about right?"

There was a reason why she taken up calling Lone Star officers Bumblebee's, it was a something she had picked up from her time in Knight Errant, but by the time she had been "let go" it had become a force of habit. It wasn't because of their identifiable uniforms, they tended to bumble through their investigations, giving information or away or neatly tucking it under the rug depending on who bribed them, or just not even bothering.

Spider,

I need some info on Tobias Dawson ex-yakuza, ex-military, he's now a weapon struggler. Where he lived, what places did he frequent, the usual.

You put me on this wild goose chase so you best give me a discount.

Sonya needed to pick up her gear, if the Yak's were spooked then things were going to dangerous fast and she didn't want to be stuck in the middle of a fire fight, having to only rely on CQC and bad aiming. She headed towards the door.

"You coming?"


Ex-Wife's Residence - Street

The chrome sphere detonated with a fearsome blast, shattering the pavement around the gutter. A wave of chrome balls were unleashed as a volley. Those that weren't smacked out of the air by magic or the Bogies exploded three seconds after the button was pressed. There were other grenades- magnetic cubes that fired off a short distance electromagnetic pulse. The booming noise reverberated through the block, and shrapnel was soon filling the air.

At the moment when the homeless charged Jonesy, the beasts jumped in front of him. The horned rottweiler smashed into the nearest, shattering bones and deflecting the man away. Turning another filthy man revealed the cyberware under his ragged clothes and cast the hound away. He was caught in a blast of Mana, casting out sparks and a blood, even as the fire escape toppled into a collapsed heap. A shower of Nuyen fell, catching fire from the energies racing through the air.

Homeless coming in at the shaman's flank arced their grenades, chrome spheres of blasting metal. The shaman turned, raising his left forearm to protect his face in time to cast a magical storm at the assailants. The energies struck the attacking men with thunderous cracks. Others closing from behind were caught straight in the path of the Bogie, and were savagely thumped backwards, lifting them off their feet with the force.

The battle was all over the street. At last a loud warbling horn from a massive truck- the Ork Ziggy had alerted- came down the block, it's bright lights piercing the night.


Rigger's Garage

Hi Dyl, was hoping you could gimme some info? Some guy named Tobias Dawson, need to find out where he lives. Cheers.

The elf biker hadn't been joking. She had picked up another job, this time a manhunt. Dylan Hodder received the message, sent back that he'd get right on it, and began calling his contacts to cast the net.

image

Two days out, the alarm in Crazy Jade's workshop went off. The woman were out hunting for leads. They raced out of the district and forward to the garage.

In the volume of space before them, all hell seemed to have been let loose. Flames raced over the structure, washing their bodies with it's flickering light. It was from an incendiary device, registering on her Augmented Reality goggles: indicating where the machinery had combusted from the intense heat or in contact with something else. The support beams that held up the roof bucked and juttered with the fire. The mechanics came through the door from the inferno. Dylan crawled out, his clothes burned off, saving the remote control for Lillian.


Matrix

Most of the runners who had hacked the cameras at the party had lost contact with Geist. When trying to re-establish a connection, a signal gradually appeared. After a few repetitions of the signal - and it was being jammed, not simple interfered with by the background - it was complete enough to read.

>>>>>[I need you to see this. Meet me at destination (ATTACHED). All safe.]<<<<<<
- FLAWL3SS

No message number, code class, originator, signatory.
Less than an hour later it appeared again: and this time two messages, one telling Geist to ignore the first message, the other giving a new rendezvous point. Both seemed genuine; both were affixed with the proper channels. A third message appeared, telling him personally to ignore those two signals and directing him to yet another rendezvous area.

Shade shouted with anger, sending bits of food arcing out to hit the message screen. She turned the communicator off completely.

'I think...' She said. "I think we might turn up there and find someone waiting with a gun for us. Or a cloud of poison gas."

It's hardly even a question in Jade's mind.
They've already been in this Yak den way too long and if she stays a second longer she'll doubtless piss some gangster off to the point of no return. She grins wildly at the other woman.

"Honey, to see that Thundercloud in action I'd follow yez to the ends of the fuckin' earth."

Christ, she hopes this lass won't be too much of a stick-in-the-mud. The serious types are so much harder to get along with.

Two days later
It's late when the call comes. They've been out looking for this loser for nigh-on 48 hours and they've drawn a big fat zero. But Dylan's apparently finally got something.
Excellent.

But when they draw near, Jade sees the smoke. It's not natural and panic and adrenalin immediately flood her system. She can even hear the flames from here. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

She slams Jodee's bike to a halt and rushes into the building, next to no regard for safety.

Dylan's there, not dead. Same can't be said for the Jeep they'd been rebuilding but it was most likely a lost cause anyway.
One arm over her mouth and nose, she grabs Dylan and tugs. Fuck but he's heavy. Nothing else for it, she takes a deep breath and starts dragging him away from the door, slowly but surely, relying on her lungs and the goggles to keep the worst of the smoke out of her system.

Once he's away free, she prys the remote from his hand and looks at Sonya.

"Keep 'im safe." she says, all vestiges of boisterousness gone.

Her baby's in trouble. Remote in hand, she rushes into the building to rescue Lillian. If she can't get the bird out in time she'll fucking well burn with it.

Ye gods, that was a mess. No matter. By the time whoever the hell Ziggy had called had blared that horn, Jonesy was in his truck after having dropped a smokebomb. He was leaving and Ziggy had better either be in with him or gunning for the other truck. That said, the Shaman was unhappy to have to get his ride fixed...again.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Later on, at a repair shop...

"Geez, what'd you DO, man? Park it in the homeless sector?"

Jonesy glared at the repairman, along with all three of his canine pals at once. The man flinched.

"Sorry, uhhh...bad day, was it?"

"I should seriously consider active defenses, but why can I use that isn't gonna harm them?"

"Quite the quandry there, fella. Seems like them dogs are pretty secure in of themselves."

"Yeah, but they don't prevent the breaks, dings, or anything like that unless they have to."

"I'm not a specialist in anti-theft stuff. I just make 'em go and keep 'em spic and span. Maybe you oughta' find a Rigger or somethin'. Know any?"

"I DO know one..."

He checked his messages. As he thought, there was a list of new contact info deliveries to keep in touch with the rest of the group. Very well then, there was that Rigger elf with the accent, the one that was eyeing all the money. She was good for a recommendation, right? He attempted to get a hold of Jade.

Two Days Later

They had been chasing empty leads and dead ends, for two days straight. Spider still hadn't replied to her last message. Either he couldn't find any dirt on the guy, or any information had been buried so deep into the matrix it was taking a while to get it. He could at least of given her a status update, but she didn't pay the guy for manners. Jade told her that someone she knew had pulled up some info on the guy.

They pulled up at some Auto Shop, the place was alight, if anyone was inside they would've brunted to a crisp, the machinery wouldn't end up much better.

Jade rushed into the building and pulled out an Orc, probably the guy who was going to give them the info they needed.

"Keep 'im safe." Jade told her, before rushing back into the building

Sonya knew the pain of losing a comrade, and whoever this guy was it seemed that Jade was close to him, she pulled out her hushpuppy from it's holster and unsheathed her combat knife and adopted a low stance, ready for anyone who might come at her. While she waited, she finally got the message she was waiting for.

Andrew was immediately suspicious, considering he got five messages, one of which had his name. His name, this was important, really important and wrong, definetely wrong. The third one would be genuine if any of them were because it had his name. But what if the second one was genuine and the third one was the fake? It's definetely not the first one, it couldn't be... unless the other two were the traps.

He thought about it, could it be NeoNet? Seattle's been his home for a few years, but he never went on their radars so, maybe... He might finally need to bug out, start again. He should at least make sure it wasn't just a bug first, right?

If they were hit, living in a corporate building wouldn't save them.
He looked at Serene "Grab everything."

By the time they were done, the only thing left was the furniture and decorations, everything else was in the car.
They got in the car checking it for bugs, deciding it was clean they got in. He plugged the bracer into the navigation port and compiled a machine sprite to drive him within a block of FLAWL3SS's apartment complex.

He checked his shotgun, deactivated all of his SIN's, set both of his PAN's to private, got out and watched the building through a pair of binoculars, looking for any signs of trouble.

"Thank you ma'am that's all we need." Blue turned his head to Grey Wolf and nudged his head towards the street, a signal to leave with the information at hand. He didn't want to risk prodding any further and he hoped that Grey Wolf would understand. "Have a nice day."

Blue walked away with the information at hand.

"Alright, let's contact the other runners and tell them what we got. I don't want to question the little old lady any further plus we can see what they found at the party." Blue said. "I'm heading out to my contact and see what they know about Tobias. I'll let you and the others know what I found and in the meantime I think we should get the runners together to meet up or something. If you find something on your end, contact me."

Blue gave Wolf some basic contact info that only consisted of a messaging name to send him IMs. He tipped his hat to Wolf as he began walking away. "Sayonara."

Blue made his way back to Red's place which was a hole-in-a-wall apartment in a seedier part of Seattle. The kind of seedy that called for a steel door with four locks and a buzzer. Red wasn't at home so he had the place to himself for the time being. Clint messaged Red as to where she was but she didn't respond. Then an hour later she responded that things heated up in Seattle and certain events called for her to leave the city for a while. Clint messaged back if it concerned the Knights but she simply said not to worry.

Clint smiled at the prospect of having the place for himself for the foreseeable future but he decided to spend most of his time to go through the Matrix in search for anything about Tobias. Before getting to anything major, Clint fell asleep.

Two Days Later

For two days Clint has been waiting on any leads on Tobias by the other runners but in the mean time, he has been hitting various bars and inns on any information regarding their certain arms runner. They all were dead ends for the most part and a few mistook him for trying to find an actual cybernetic arms dealer. He also searched the local motels if they had any occupants or past visitors for Tobias but he still came up empty handed. He either wasn't there at all or he was using an alias which isn't a surprise considering he's worked with Yaks before.

"Are you sure you haven't had a fella come by? He's about this tall, thin, blonde hair, a long face-" Blue asked the bartender once more. The bartender leaned over the counter with a stern face.

"Blue, I see alot of people come in and out of these doors and none of them fit the description you're giving me. Now when are you going to pay your tab?" The bartender asked.

"Stop trying to change the subject Bill, I-"

"Stop trying to weasel your way out of tabs!" The bartender insisted, slamming his hands on the counter.

"Wait, you hear that?" Blue put his hand to his ear pretending to pick up a noise coming from outside. The bartender's eyes squinted, weary of whether or not he was telling the truth. Blue's eyes widened.

"A fire alarm! Hold on, I'll be back!" Blue sprinted out of the bar to the loud cursing of the bartender and the door swinging behind him. He ran for a block before stopping in his tracks. To his dismay, an actual fire was ravaging a building a few more blocks down. Despite the common saying to run away from a fire, Blue ran towards the pillars of smoke. Blue arrived at the scene of the fire to see the runner he saw back at the gathering while at her feet remained someone on the ground who looked like he crawled through hell. As the fires raged behind them, Blue approached the woman carefully.

"Whoa there, remember me?" He raised his hands in the air as he walked towards her. "Is he okay?" Blue went towards the man on the ground who turned out to be an orc. He checked his condition but it looked like he was unconscious.


Decker Safehouse
"Stay low," he whispered, and then they were crouching their way to the structure, Serene going first. Geist moved behind her, silently in the shadows. "Stop where you are," he said softly, pulling the optical instrument from his belt. They used the optical magnifiers to reveal a large and mostly empty room. Wiring and computer machinery hung in cluttered lines. Cables and screens were everywhere. The man they were looking for was there. He wasn't alone.

Homeless filled the room. They pulled back their matted hair and dirty coverings to reveal datajacks, and they were working the screens with such speed and unity that they seemed telepathic. Their decker contact was among them, working as one of them.

Some of the homeless patrolled. Children were walking among them. Some of the children had been posted as guards, watching from roofs and street corners. These children had 9mms as well as grenades.

image

For a few seconds, nobody spoke. Then Shade whispered, "This operation is called. We're getting out of here."


Rigger's Garage - VTOL

The Elf ran inside inside, choking on the smoke and intense heat. She ran to the platfrom where the VTOL stood, unmoving on it's landing gear even as the burning structure was collapsing around it. She ran around the back, charging madly up the rear ramp to the aircraft interior. She pulled his helmet over her head to filter the smoke and heard it hiss shut.

"Oh my God," the Ork said, on the comm. "I sure as hell hope you're not going to do what I think you are."

Jade licked her lips, took the controls in her hands, sucked in a deep breath, then flicked the controls on the T-Bird's cockpit. Just before the noise started she heard the Ork say:

"Oh, my God, you are-"

A noise like thunder filled the building and reverberated through the whole property. The outboard engines blasted with air, vectored down for the moment; they sent workbeches and parts flying in a firey tornado, scattering the equipment from underneath and around the craft, slamming it into walls and off the roof as the jet turbines steadied under the vessel.

The inboard, lift-only nose motor fired raggedly at first, then settled quickly, starting to sweep everything in front of it in a blur of flying metal and flaming building materials. Lillian stirred like a waking animal, groaning and creaking and shifting its weight. Rolling clouds of gas from burning machinery were starting to haze over the cockpit. Jade went to full-sensor mode and took manual control of the newly-installed cannon.

The screens detonated with light. The wall ahead burst open, huge sheets of material throwing themselves towards the plane and a million pieces of wreckage and debris flashing past the vessel's nose on the shock wave of air bursting in from the far side of the wall. At the same time, Lillian lifted off. The leg-weight readouts stopped at zero, then blanked out as the legs, glowing red with heat, stowed themselves inside the hull. Emergency undercarriage cooling circuits whined into action. The craft started to slew to one side, shaking with its own power and with the impact of debris swirling about it. The dark waves blasted out over half-finished cars and motorcycles. She was flying over them, battering and throwing them around. The view ahead cleared.

Jade steadied the ship, then gunned the rear motors, flinging some of their power backwards. A rear screen showed the thin hangar doors behind becoming molten from the exhaust. Jade would have clearly liked to head that way, but reversing and ramming the doors would have probably been suicidal, and turning the craft in such a confined space impossible. Just going forward was going to be hard enough.

The hole wasn't big enough. Jade saw it coming towards her and knew straight away. The impact with the wings tore the walls apart, sailing through pillars of fire, throwing light and wreckage and waves of smoke and gas before her. The VTOL went soaring outside, only a few feet from the ground, before burying itself in a clutch of trees and soil.

For those brief moments, Jade and Lillian are no longer distinctions. Jade Lillian Warwick can feel her legs fold in and the thrum of the engines. She feels the debris pinging off of her flank, the heat from the garage behind her. Her eyes are lit up with a fierce glow and her wings are tilted at the ready

God it's been too long.

And she slams forwards, letting momentum and her own armour do the work for her. Jade Lillian bursts free from the burning building like a fucking phoenix before plowing into the grotty patch of soil the city built to make the area seem nicer than it is.
A tree crumples over her wing, and Jade surfaces from sensor mode with a sharp gasp of breath.
"You'll be okay, girl" she whispers, patting the control suite affectionately. "You'll still soar, tha's a promise. Cross my heart an' hope t' die."

"YEAH BABY!" she howls, leaping from her bird, landing on the placrete road with a sharp click.
"Ain't NOTHING that'll kill my Lillian! Try yer fuckin' hardest we come back stronger!"

Then her eyes fall on Dylan. Shit.
She's on her knees beside him in a blink, checking for a pulse and looking desperately at Sonya, fighting to keep the panic from her voice.

"He's alright isn't he? He'll be okay. He'll live, right?"

Inwardly she's cursing. God damn it, Dylan she thinks. You lived through Goblinisation, you lived through the Night of Rage, you even lived through the fucking Universal Brotherhood, if you die now I'm going to goddamn kill you.

It's at this point Jade sees the buzz of an incoming call. Jonesy, the vagrant-looking guy.

Hell, she can carry on two conversations at once. Even if it's just to tell the guy to fuck off whilst she saves her best friend's life.

Click.

"NOT a good fuckin' time Jonesy. Make it quick."

Ah, good, finally an answer. She wasn't pleased to hear him, though. Must've been rough for her lately too. Jonesy was currently driving for the location in question as per the information received from the ex-wife. Steady speed, so no danger of crashing. Truck was fixed by now, by the way.

"Two things: First, I wanted to confirm that you and the others had gotten similar information regarding a hotel in Death Valley, to make sure we're all on the same page on this. Second, a professional question for you. I need an active car security system I can use on people, but I won't accidentally harm the dogs. If you're that busy, though, just get back to me later on it."

He wasn't about to put off one of the Runners on his team over a security system.

"Two things: First, I wanted to confirm that you and the others had gotten similar information regarding a hotel in Death Valley, to make sure we're all on the same page on this. Second, a professional question for you. I need an active car security system I can use on people, but I won't accidentally harm the dogs. If you're that busy, though, just get back to me later on it."

Jade rakes a hand through her hair, thinking.

"One, no fuckin' clue. Maybe one of the others knows. Two, normally could, but since my shop's a FUCKING CINDER, no chance from me."
She squeezes her eyes shut and takes a deep breath.
"Sorry, not your fault. Things're fucked right now over here."

He winced at 'fucking cinder'. Seems Jade hasn't been having good times either. He wondered about the others now... Well, at least the Rigger wasn't trying to put it all on him for calling.

"Sorry to hear about that. Ziggy and I were attacked by Augments when we were investigating. Apparently, there's a possibility at the Corral Hotel in Death Valley. I'm gonna pass that along to the others, just in case. I'm heading there now to do a little sniffing around. Maybe we can do business when this is over the shop's cleared the air, so to speak."

With that, he signed off, letting Jade handle the situation she's been hit with...while he just started leaving short messages on other Runners' phones to get them going.

Ziggy stood with his mouth agape, these weren't just angry homeless people, these were augmented homeless people. Nothing but hired chromes. Suddenly a yellow truck blasted its horn. She had arrived right in the nick of time with a truck with a bark to match its bite. Ziggy swooped in, intent on getting the hell out of there as soon as possible. Forget Jonesy, whether or not he wanted to hop on as well was his prerogative. Riley, far from living the life of Riley, drove like a woman possessed as she performed a handbrake turn with amazing proficiency, screeching tyres ripping through the streets and sending the junk that littered them skyward. It was time to ditch this town.

Ziggy leant back on the padded chair and turned his head to the scowling ork, "Nice timing there, officer."

Without a second though, Riley gave an almost automatic respone, "Can it, bub."

"A few last words then: Corral Hotel, Death Valley. Take me there and I'll consider doubling the amount taken off your tab." Ziggy grinned.

A grunt signaled her agreement; whether she liked it or not, she had to do this. Riley owed Ziggy big and the deal was good. Ziggy couldn't help but enjoy the fact that he had a fair amount over her - plenty of blackmail material to hand over to her superiors lest she stop doing favours, all sorts of things he could do to hold her to account. Plus, seeing a sullen ork in a bumblebee suit begrudgingly performing his every whim was quite amusing. He looked behind the window and saw the homeless sector was far behind that, they were in the heart of Seattle now. Ziggy called u[ the other 'runners as they were cruisin' through.

"Ziggy is zig-zagging through Seattle, zipping along to the hotel with some zeal. I suggest you all get some zest and join me."

Riley overheard and groaned at the puns. Ziggy ignored her and carried on.

"Meet me up at the Seattle outskirts, mmmkay?"

Someone was coming towards Sonya, she raised her gun in anticipation, but as the figure got closer she saw that the body language was all wrong, his arms were raised and he was approaching her cautiously, not dashing towards her like he was about to attack. It was one of the 'runners she had met a couple of days ago at the meeting, the amateur who had decided to do the hob for free.

"Whoa there, remember me?" He raised his hands in the air as he walked towards her. "Is he okay?" He then bent down to check on the ork

Sonya stood stoically while inside she was saddened by the fact she could nothing to help. She was a killer, not a healer. She grimaced as the memories of of the massacre that happened during that bad run resurfaced. This time though, she wasn't in a position where she would have to idly watch the deaths of others, she could contact Spider again to find a street doctor, even better, one of the other 'runners might know one.

"He'll live, but he could do to see a Doc, do you know one?"

"This operation is called. We're getting out of here."

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

"Yeah..."
Receives messages
"They knew the original plan, they'd follow us to India if we ran now. If we finish the job it'll give us time to make a newer safer one, as well as a chance to fake our deaths."

They got in the car and ordered the sprite to have it cruise around uptown while he came up with a plan.

He wrote a message to the new runners on his contact list, having blocked everyone else by this point.


I'm assuming I can trust you people,

Chromed up pod people have invaded Seattle, they have claimed several of my associates and tried to snatch me. They know where I live, so i'm warning you to run while you still can.

They may be watching the highways. Do any of you have an express way out?

- Geist

Mondaine got bored with all of the infiltration and espionage and information gathering. He was surprised that the Yaks did not bother to get them the info. He sighed.

"Shows how little these bastards care about their little pest if they won't bother to tell us where the hell he is. Here is a private contact you can reach me by. Tell me where he is and I will join you guys and roast the asshole."

The conjurer exited the building in a storm. He had already canceled plans that he had to now uncancel and replan and then he would have to cancel other appointments with various people of differing importance and they just really had no appreciation for the finer arts of planning. He briefly considered unleashing his elementals on the whole building and leaving, but figured that would be impolite and left.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mondaine had decided to call up Fair and give her the news as to what was happening. He entered the matrix, feeling strange as he always had when dealing with technology and contacted her.

"Hey, so I have a free schedule for a while it turns out. Yaks suck dick at planning and I can actually keep those meetings on."

"Oh good M! I will tell them the appointment is on and...what is that about the Yakuza? What the hell are you doing in your spare time are you...you are running aren't you?"

Fucking hell, a slip was rare for Mondaine but he was too excited about his meeting. The more Fair knew about him the worse. This was a dangerous attempt and they kept anonymous for a good reason. One of them could be attempting to catch the other.

"Actually, bad dealings with them. I used to work directly with their magic department, but things turned sour and I left. They were coming after me and I assumed I would have to leave for a while, but they instead bull rushed me and I killed them."

"Oh, I see. Good you came out of that alive though! I don't know what we would do without ya M!"

"Yeah, Thanks."

Mondaine disconnected and prepared his things. He still needed at least forty more conjurers and each one was hard to come by. Over the next few days he would be gathering research on dragons and interviewing with another hopeful for the ritual.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


14 hours later

The VTOL was on autopilot, bringing it in low over the storm clouds in the Mojave Desert. It banked in response to the turbulence, carrying it's small contingent of Shadowrunners. Every one of them was now fully aware that Seattle was hostile territory; that the city they had come from had gone wild and they were being targeted by bands of cyberjacked homeless and kids. They had taken what supplies they had and were now flying across the California Free State in the direction of the Corral Hotel, in Death Valley.

They had access to accurate maps of the place. The Corral is an "old-fashioned" hotel, three stories total with no elevator. The structure lay within the city district at the edge of the desert, off a highway.

As Lillian hits the turbulence, she casually sends a buzz to Jade, waking her. Jade's plugged in via datajack, but currently not riding. The trip was long and going Full Immersion for that long's just goddamn stupid. But being jacked in meant that she could take charge whenever she needed to, like now.

"Okay boys 'n' girls," she says, flicking the internal comms on. The others are sat in the passenger housing directly behind her cocoon. Her tired, soot-stained face appears in a two-way monitor staring out at the gang.

"We are now approachin' Corral Hotel. Exits 're left an' right, and if you take one of 'em now then there'll be more complimentary mints fer th' rest of us."

Out of Seattle, away from the hordes of homeless people, away from those cyberjacked kids. More like out of the freezer and into the frying pan. The Mojave desert wasn't known for its hospitality, and hours spent flying under the cruel sun and storm clouds hadn't done Ziggy any favours. The rigger looked tired, with all that soot and dirt caked on her face. Ziggy just looked a bit sweaty, things could be worse.

"We are now approachin' Corral Hotel. Exits 're left an' right, and if you take one of 'em now then there'll be more complimentary mints fer th' rest of us."

"Well Ziggy ain't gonna zoom off any time soon, darling." He replied, downed some water then poured some on his head, and remarked, "Remember hot-head, cool heads prevail."

He looked at the hotel, it was old-fashioned and run down. He wondered what memories the building held for a man to run to this place. Were the chromes somehow connected to this man? He wiped of his forehead and stretched. Whatever secrets lay inside that hotel would reveal itself to them soon enough.

Thankfully someone had a faster way out, anything less than airborne would have made it too easy for them to pick him off or whatever the fuck the pod people wanted to do to him.

Andrew looked at his wife, she was asleep. He didn't have time to sleep though, he had to spend all of the ride forging two new ID's. He'd have to wait until later to plant them in a database.

Fucking people... Why couldn't they have just left us alone?

"Okay boys 'n' girls,"

He lifted the AR glasses off his eyes so he could see the screen, the woman was covered in soot.

"We are now approachin' Corral Hotel. Exits 're left an' right, and if you take one of 'em now then there'll be more complimentary mints fer th' rest of us."

He wired the new SIN code into his bracer, and removed the the old two figuring he'd be followed here if he tried to use them. He pulled the glasses over his eyes again and went over the map again. Did they talk about plans while he was working? Probably not, most of them looked like they were out of it.

He willed his music on, it randomed to some song from the eighties or nineties, apparently about spies or something. He sat there trying to absorb the blueprints of the building, starting to drift out of consciousness.

"We are now approachin' Corral Hotel. Exits 're left an' right, and if you take one of 'em now then there'll be more complimentary mints fer th' rest of us." Jade said, informing the eclectic group they had arrived at their destination in her... unique way. Moonlighter closed the AR maps of hotel and surrounding area she had been studying for the last four and a half hours, preparing for the descent. She was going to respond to Jade's statement, when Ziggy spoke up.

"...Remember hot-head, cool heads prevail." Ziggy said, causing Moonlighter to roll her eyes. Ziggy hardly seemed the 'cool head' type, though she hadn't had a chance to spend much time with the elf so she could hardly say for sure. Either way it wasn't something she cared much about at the moment.

Standing up, she checked her various supplies and straightened her cat-suit to a more comfortable position. Then she smiled. The fun part of the job came next. Banging on the back of the rigger cocoon, she called out "Jade; you can have my mints".

Hooking a grappling hook to the inside of the craft, opened the door, took a second to orient herself, then quickly repelled toward the roof of the hotel in question: the place she intended to enter from. After all, she did do her best work on roof tops.

And what kind of runner would use a FRONT door... that was just asking for trouble.

All during this flight, Jonesy had had to be in the back of the bus, so to speak. Cargo, not passenger area. Had no alternatives, really. Consider, for a moment, the hazards of transporting an awakened animal over long distances. You can do it, but if it isn't properly sedated at all times...you could have problems. Jonesy didn't have sedatives, so he had to keep them company, make sure they didn't {A} keep everyone up with their baleful howling (which they didn't) or {B} shake apart the VTOL with Accident. Three Bogies and a whole mess of bolts, screws, and welds suspended in the air? It was better this way, although this did make the journey somewhat unpleasant for him. He attempted to meditate at one point...until Shatsy farted. God...nothing worse than animal flatulance... Still, they eventually arrived and...

"We are now approachin' Corral Hotel. Exits 're left an' right, and if you take one of 'em now then there'll be more complimentary mints fer th' rest of us."

"Cute."

He stretched his legs and began to lead the Bogies out of the storage area while getting his own bags. Yawning, he soon spotted the others making their own preparations. Ziggy made a pithy comment which, frankly, was as obvious a wisdom as 'It might be hot in Death Valley'. He caught himself eyeing Moonlighter, looking like she was ready for her usual practice. The view was smirk-worthy as he applied his hat and got the pups to head outside. Naturally, they were still dogs, so the three vicious canine critters began to run and roll around in the dirt, sniffing around and then...relieving themselves. Jonesy turned to the others, anyone who was listening.

"I know I'm gonna regret asking, but does anyone have any idea where the hell I should put those three? We need 'em and I've no illusions that a hotel is gonna allow them inside as guests. Dogs they may be, but they're monsters in everyone else's eyes."

Hey, Jonesy cared about 'em, alright? They were his friends and partners in crime. That was more than enough reason to be concerned.


Corral Hotel - Roof / Floor 3

The elf touched down, springing across the roof. Once more, Moonlighter's goggles illuminated the blackness around her, covering her. The AR display outlined a rooftop hatch, and a lock which she proceeded to bypass. In short order, she gained entry to the three-story structure from above. The interior was dimly lit. She padded silently down from the roof access, but the old wooden boards still creaked.

image

Somewhere here; on one of these floors, in one of these rooms; was the target. A gun smuggler and dealer - a man with cyberware and armed for war. A man who had shot up a classroom in Seattle. The man they were after. And who, just maybe, was after them.


Corral Hotel - Parking Lot

Kristoff Jameson had taken position outside. He was scoping the surrounding terrain, watching the lobby through it's front entrance, peering through the windows. Lillian, the T-Bird, arrived on schedule. He watched it release a suited woman to stealthily land, penetrate the building's perimeter, and begin the operation of finding Tobias's room.

Jade switches the monitor off as she's coming into land. She needs full concentration right now and having a staring contest with a bunch of Shadowrunners in counterproductive to that.
Still got audio if she needs it though.

"Well Ziggy ain't gonna zoom off any time soon, darling."

She snorts, trying not to laugh.
"Darlin'? 're you my fuckin' grandma or somethin' nancy boy?" she shoots back teasingly.

"I know I'm gonna regret asking, but does anyone have any idea where the hell I should put those three? We need 'em and I've no illusions that a hotel is gonna allow them inside as guests. Dogs they may be, but they're monsters in everyone else's eyes." Jonesy says. Jade's had some theories in this respect and there's no point in not sharing.

"I been thinkin' you probably won't need to hide 'em, big man." she replies, casually flipping Lillian's legs out as she compensates for wind.
"The place don't exactly look busy does it? But then again I ain't exactly know fer my cunnin' strategies."
There's a hydraulic hiss from deep within Lillian and she feels the mild bump as they touch down. The thrusters fade out and the world's suddenly a little too quiet again. Since now would be a good time to develop some sort of game plan, she flicks the monitor back on.

"So how's this gonna go? I'm no' exactly armed or armour, so maybe I should keep Lillian running on the off-chance we need to leg it?"

Blue stretched his legs as he got up once the bird touched down somewhere not too far away from the hotel where one of the elven women dropped down onto its roof. Blue considered doing that himself if it wasn't for the fact that he wasn't exactly built for stealthy endeavors. He heard the others start formulating plans as well, bringing back memories of his times with Red and the others. Blue looked at the map of the hotel over once more, trying to get a feel for the place and not wanting to go in there blind.

"So how's this gonna go? I'm no' exactly armed or armour, so maybe I should keep Lillian running on the off-chance we need to leg it?"

"We need someone to hack into the hotel's security cameras if there are any." Blue said aloud. "Plus we're not exactly sure if Mister Tobias has friends so we shouldn't draw attention to ourselves unless we have to of course."

Blue checked his gear once more as he spoke, making sure there wasn't anything that would hinder him on the mission.

Moonlighter rolled her eyes at his remark and left. He had planned for her to do a little stealthy reconnaissance anyway. He had a think, the scarred woman could take point and watch out for the fella and tranq him. Burly Blue could drag him to the VTOL while Jade could fly 'em all outta here, but then the little tease interrupted his thoughts.

"Darlin'? 're you my fuckin' grandma or somethin' nancy boy?" She said with a snort.

"Oh please, you're clearly not a honey, luv, or duck. So you're a darling, then." He replied, "I'm more like the crazy uncle no one invites to reunions anyway."

Some sort of plan was needed, and Ziggy was happy to help with that matter. Not able to settle down, he sprung up, gave a stretch and adopted the pose of the sergeant. He walked back and forth, thinking more on his plan. After that, with an exaggerated 'eureka!' moment he turned to the other runners, both arms out.

"Long-range reconnaissance." He said, pointing to the scarred woman, with the other arm he pointed to Jade, "Getaway vehicle." He poked the nearly unconscious hacker, "Surveillance." and pointed at the mage, "Astral lookout." Then pointed to Blue "Fire support." and turned to Mitch, "Infiltration." Finally, his mind was run dry. He pointed to himself, "A concerned friend of his mother and/or ex." then to Jonesy, "Tracker."

At least it was a start.It would be best to get some shuteye before the main event though. Spending fourteen hours in a VTOL hadn't done the team any favours.

"What in the 9 hells..." Kris looked up seeing the VTOL land something was going down big time. As Kris pulled back from the roof his pistol drawn he moved towards the runner crew, the others had caught up to him taking a sip of water he moved up out of the shadows to Moonlighter and felt his Adept powers take over, his eyes glowing a light shade of blue. he would try to use his commanding voice on her he had a pretty good idea what they were here for but maybe he could get some more info. "You want to tell me exactly whats going on here?" he asked adding some of his adept ability behind the question.

It was Jade's considered opinion that those three wouldn't actually need to be hidden or anything, partially due to the fact that Death Valley just wasn't a happening place. However, Jonesy wasn't exactly comfortable with that. You see, if their mark was somewhere in this hotel, he would pay anyone off who could inform him as to people who look like trouble. And do you know what three Bogies and the man who controls them looks like? Trouble. But then...he got an idea. Wicked funny, even.

Yes, this'll work. I'll do this and make a killing BOTH ways.

-Five Minutes Later-

*Ding!*

A man in a longcoat and hat had waltzed right in, followed by three figures underneath a tarp, 'crawling' in unison as they entered the place. The front man had been sitting down, reading a book, when the bell was rung and he looked up into Jonesy's happy-go-lucky smiling face. He raised his hand in greeting and...

"Bitte entschuldigen Sie, aber ich brauche ein Zimmer für mich und meine Nachfolger."

"Ah...I'm sorry, what?"

"Es war eine lange Reise, so muss ich für die Nacht für mich und meine Freunde, der Frau Abgeordneten Trio der Farce."

He gestured now to the three 'hunched figures' on the floor who were bowing low. The desk man, having stood up to see this, was unsure of what to make of it...except for one thing.

"Ah! You want a room?"

"Jah! Jetzt sind Sie es!"

Transactions were carried out as Jonesy continued to babble nonsense in German about his incredible feats as a circus performer overseas and about how he was slated to do a foreign guest shot in this most wonderful land with all the sights and have you seen them yes good. Suffice to say, the clerk just wanted this man out of his hair and in a hurry. Jonesy headed for the stairs with his pals trailing after him, and was last heard shouting.

"Guten Abend an alle und allen eine gute Nacht!"

Moonlighter, after checking the doorway, began the arduous task of checking for computer security to hack. As stealthy as she was, cameras weren't really overcome by trickery. This consisted of checking the external wiring of the building and cracking through the matrix firewalls. It would take a little time, but it was well worth the effort.

Moonlighter prided herself on her awareness, so though she was surprised to encounter another runner out her in the desert, she wasn't surprised by his approach. "You want to tell me exactly whats going on here?" the man asked, his voice augmented by... something. Whether it was magic or tech she couldn't tell, but then it didn't make that much of a difference.

"Me? I'm just here to fix the wiring" she said with a smirk, not really ready to give up secrets to another person that quickly. Just in case, she brought herself from sitting in front of the wire box to on one knee in front; ready to jump to the side if the strange runner made any moves.

"And what brings a... smooth talker like yourself to these parts?" she said, smiling like a thief the whole time.


Corral Hotel - Floor 2

The hotel was small, with a very simple layout. The hallways were unadorned wooden corridors, lit and lined with doors. It was beginning to rain, and droplets tapped softly at the windows.

image

Jonesy and his beasts were met with a slew of scents- old wood and sheeting, oil and tobacco smoke. There was sweat and metahuman pheromones, some of which were synthetic. The gunman's scent was there - faint trances of it. The Bogies were drawn forward. The wood creaked and cracked under their weight.

Mitch passed each door, reading for any strong emotion from their inhabitants. There were many, but not yet hostile. He had to reach out like a web, sensing for any danger, any hint that they were walking into a trap, that their target was waiting in there with a gun ready to blast any runner to hell and back. He was beginning to get a track on the gunman. His emotions were not those of a rational killer. There was a hint of madness in his essence. He was nothing so much as an animal; predatory, but caught in a bind and dominated by the instinct of his own survival.

"Same thing you are I would think" That was the benfit of being able to blend into the crowd at high sociecty functions where everbody was a low-life, decption was a right after all he had seen the woman at the breifing along with everyone else and those people had just poured out of a high end miltary transport. "so what about the others in yer crew" Kris asked rubbing the revrend's collar on his neck and speaking in that thick southwestern/cowboy accent of his. It was something he only really used when he was out in this part of the U.S or visting the Navajo Nation.

She probaly wasn't going to tell him that and his commanding voice had done it's job even if she lied to him "I ask beacause i'm concered that in about" he looked at his Smartphone "30 seconds or so something is gonna ehiter go boom in a big way or this place is gonna turn into the OK corral"

With orders given, Ziggy waltzed in the hotel reception. Time to find this man, whether he be the calm and calculating murderer or consumed with madness was yet to be seen. He shuffled over to the reception desk, and did the only thing he could. After all, he had to follow Jonesy's lead and the entrance with three dogs crawling under trap was a tough act to follow. He set his commlink to PARTY MODE, limbered up while waiting for the song to start.

With the waiting over, he broke into dance, spinning to and fro. The other people in the reception room just stopped and stared. The hypnotic twists and turns of his body enthralling them as the bass-heavy club music thumped through the speakers of his commlink and caused the ornaments scattered through the room to shake forward with the beat. Ziggy busted out all of his best moves, including pelvic thrusts that had caused many a person to faint. But then the song ended.

He twirled back to the reception, seeing that the receptionist had arrived back from her tea break. Ziggy brushed a hand through his hair and present the photo of Tobias Dawson to the person.

"This man has WON the GET-ZIGGY-WITH-IT competition!" Ziggy said with an excited voice, "The BEST and ONLY club-dancing competition to grace the DANCEFLOOR of the STARDUST CLUB."

Mimicking the pose of a power-ballad singer, he pointed at the receptionist, "Could YOU, yes you. Tell me where this FINE MAN is?"

As the rain started falling Mitch stopped for a split second, and listened as the rain fell down, Mitch had always enjoyed rain, it kept his senses on the edge and washed away all the doubt he had about completing this mission.

Mitch progressed towards the source of the madness he felt, he started moving slightly faster, in a hope that he would pinpoint the location gunman.

As Mitch passed Jonesy and his two three companions, he gave an confident nod to them, indicating that he was ready for this, and wouldn't let them down, this was his time to prove his worth in the group.

Blue felt useless waiting outside the hotel but at least he didn't stick out like a sore thumb. Once the bullets start flying, though, his looks won't really matter. He checked the safety on his revolver and rotated the chamber as he waited for Jonesy, or Ziggy to give him the signal to carry the man out of there.

He heard the loud music even from outside that was no doubt Ziggy. He sighed and looked around, watching the rain fall as he waited in the shadows.

"...30 seconds or so something is gonna ehiter go boom in a big way or this place is gonna turn into the OK corral" the man said, glancing at some AR object.

"Shit!" Moonlighter thought, keeping her face stoic. She quickly sent a recording of what the strange man had said to the rest of the group; hoping to give them a heads up. After a few moments of silence, she started asking questions; hoping to get as much information from the potential enemy as possible.

"What makes you think it's gonna blow?" she said, keeping her emotion in check such that it sounded like a simple inquiry.

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