We got the Vory their pounds of flesh. We broke through an ambush – that I still don’t see how they could have set up in time. We carried these probably-regretful thieves through empty buildings under gunfire. Then we got stiffed in cash. I tried to play nice with the underlings. Who knows, the way Ioakim treats people, these guys might run the joint some day. Plus, a guy remembers when you heal a broken rib for nothing.
So we take our shiny new guns – and really, where does a guy store that? One raid from the police and bam, in jail for possession of automatics. I’m hiding enough in my freezer to get me on a few lists already.
I shunted the new rifle off with Titan. He was definitely keeping his at his place, so why not keep mine too. It’s no more risk for him than the one, I assume. Honestly, no idea how the law works? Multiple counts of illegal firearms?
And so I had a snack to stave off the hunger: some Elf Fae Lung’s guys had given me. I’d taken to going in under a new disguise each time, and I began buying in bulk – a week or two at a time. I had the pass codes and everything, so they let me buy without too much hassle, especially since nuyen is nuyen. So maybe eventually they’d forget the face of a starving human who somehow finally figured out what he was craving one terribly unforgettable night.
Elf tasted fine. Probably some schmuck who died in my line of work. We don’t usually retire, I hear. Though whatever Schild is, she seems pretty dead set on living through a 50 cal round. Wonder how much she’s worth to the right people. Wonder how much I’m worth. Wonder what kind of infected I am.
Anyways, rent and debt don’t pay themselves, so the next “morning” I was gonna get a new job. But I wake up and the news is all atwitter about some power outage and water shortage. I check the tap and sure enough, it’s dry after what was left in the pipes – the one time being at the bottom of the gravity flow helped. Thankfully I had the foresight to get that in a cup, but it was going to be a thirsty day it seemed.
Apparently, Schild and Titan had run a few errands, but it seemed they hadn’t lined up a gig. So I called around to see what’s what. Chun To didn’t have anything. Her lab was running normally. But maybe they’d need a prototype stolen or small time enemy trashed at some point. It was always interesting talking to her – largely trying to get her to divulge trade secrets.
Fae Lung didn’t answer. He’s pretty unreliable and insane, I think. Probably some prion disease from eating his own product when he didn’t need to, like me.
Kai Winn paid off. The mad genius was in the middle of some bank job it sounded like – with the power still out in parts of the city and small time riots and looting to occupy the police, it was a free-for-all dash for cash. Kai was excited to get me in on the action and hooked me up with a fixer out of San Po University.
I met up with Titan and Schild there and we concocted a terrible story to get by. Mostly, I was surprised when Schild couldn’t just bamboozle her way through, but I guess security was tighter than usual. I would’ve just hopped or levitated over a fence somewhere. But hey, sometimes going through the front isn’t too bad.
Inside the one lively building on the walled campus, a bit of a party was going on. Seemed this place had water, and wasn’t gouging more than a university pub normally does, so it drew a big crowd. Bartender directed us down the stairs. Useful guys, those barkeeps.
Some silly racer chick ran into me on the way up. Or I ran into her. Whatever. Schild seemed intimidated and slightly awed, but honestly I didn’t care. Titan is intimidating, but really only when he’s got a gun or up close with a fist. And only slightly then. Some woman who can drive a car fast? Eh. She seemed surprised when someone wasn’t fawning over her (uh, I guess we was a pro racer or something), so I was happy to throw her off balance.
We found the Mr. Auchmann in the basement of University pub. Down there he offered us a rather crap job. I forget what the heck it was, really. Extract someone? Maybe?
Oh well, whatever. He made the mistake of mentioning a job that pays 20k. Capture some ghouls. Seemed right up our alley. I was pretty sure Schild is immune or maybe we could just kill her, let her regen, and the virus would be out. Titan seemed unlikely to get bitten or anything. And myself? Well, I’m already down that road.
So we took it. Turns out, Fae Lung was running point on that one. Hahaha. Naturally. We tried to get specifics, but it was a bit of a confusing thing. We’re pretty sure we can’t kill the ghouls. We can’t magic them unconscious. We can’t poison them. But, at least, they can be ferals. Not sure I’d be okay with hunting my own kind-ish. Well, guess I’m okay hunting humans, but only if they deserve it (though let’s be honest, most people in Hong Kong deserve it). But you oppress a group of people long enough, and THEN someone hunts them for their possibly magical “components”? That’s just dirty. So I talked the group into going for ferals – the reasons were sound: no one will miss them, we’ll actually be helping out, and they won’t be too smart.
We stopped by a contact of Schild’s to grab some gear: heavy manacles for if the buggers wake up from gel rounds and gel rounds to give them a reason to wake up. The Kikikakakurukaru girl, whatever her name was, apparently was willing to loan us a pretty beefy, if old, van to transport these things. So maybe she wasn’t useless after all.