Thursday, July 21st 2067
Eddo comm’d me for an actual face-to-face job he’d heard about. Said I should get down to the Denim Club over in Edgewater at 4:30 and meet a Johnson there. My hands were shaking a bit after terminating the call because I was nervous. This was the first job I’d actually have to do in the meat and the pucker factor was running pretty high for me. I took a few deep breaths and logged into the ‘trix to do a bit of a Brush-up on the meeting place. Hmm, looked like one of those tribal rock nightclubs that all the tweens loved to glob at in the evenings. I’m not much for partying but I figured at 4:30 shouldn’t be anyone around except the diehard drunkies so it should be fine.
I threw together a light kit of gear that wouldn’t give me much problems if I got pulled over. I wasn’t sure who I would run into at the club so I packed a tase and some Pepper-Punch just in case. I figured it would attract too much attention if I brought either of the twins with me so I left ‘em in the loft with FIngers. Jeff is pretty tiny so I stuck him in my pocket as I shouldered my backpack and ran downstairs. I snuck out of the garage and peeked in through a window into my mom’s place. It looked like she was asleep on the sofa with the trid playing some trashy soaps so I would be fine starting up the Rover and getting out of there without her knowing. I booked it back to the garage and backed the truck out, being careful not to peal out when I gassed on it.
As I thought when I pulled up to the club it was mostly deserted except for a few hardcores and some wageslaves cleaning tables. I steeled my shoulders and nonchalantly made my way up to the bar. Apparently that was a mistake however as the stupid slot tending bar started feeding me a line like she didn’t believe I was there for a meeting. I decided right there that I was going to frame this bitch with something skeezy later but I had a meeting to get to first. In the back room set aside for us I joined an albino elf, a dwarf and a lanky orc to speak with the Mr. Johnson. He was dressed pretty oddly wearing a typically cut business suit with some sort of voodoo mask on completely covering his face. I didn’t say anything and just listened to the deal he had for us.
It was going to be a simple delivery run with us taking a small package to the Koshari over in Montbello in the UCAS. Pay was going to be 1500 new-ones up front, with another 1500 on delivery if we were on time at 7:00pm sharp that evening. The four of us agreed pretty quickly, but we had a few concerns about the pair of borders we were going to have to cross right in the height of rush hour traffic. Mr. Johnson had that covered and gave us the names and numbers of two coyotes who could get us over the borders quickly if we needed. With nothing else to say we jumped into my truck and headed out. The elf with us (Snow he called himself) wanted me to drive to a café a few blocks away so he could do something. I shrugged and headed over there to idle on the sidewalk while he was inside. Not sure how much coffee captain dandelion eater needed to get through a day but I hoped he didn’t get too jittery and end up shooting one of us later.
Girlish cup of soykaf in hand we headed to our next stop to meet the first coyote, Stalker. He wanted us to meet up at Cheeseman Park in the CAS so we made a beeline there. He lead us to a tunnel system leading underneath the park and we drove for a pretty long distance in the pitch dark. Signs of homeless people and other less savory creatures was everywhere down here. Stalker even stopped and got out of his jeep at some point to wander off into the dark to shoot at something, but it turned out to just be a dog that spooked him. I glanced back at the rest of our ragtag group and saw everyone relax their guns when he got back in the jeep and led us the rest of the way out of the tunnel. He charged us 50 a head for the trip underground which seemed like a good deal so I filed his number away for later use.
We hit a big fragging furball and crawled to an almost dead stop with cars surrounding our every alternate route. Just as I was starting to get irritated we heard doors slam behind us and across the street and saw several Yaks and Tongs coming towards us. There was even a troll leading one of the groups with a bunch of mojo gear on…this didn’t look good. The one guy leading the Tongs had an eye patch and walked right up to the side of the truck and knocked on the window. The orc (Giles) rolled down his window and the Tong launched into his sales pitch. He said his name was Johnny Ono and that he was offering us such and such wad of cash if we handed him the package. The troll was apparently a girl and loudly cut into the conversation to announce her name as being An Peng and that she was willing to counter any offer that Johnny could come up with. I silently rolled my eyes and sent Jeff out to scout for some sort of path for us to drive out of this mess. I feigned a cough into my hand and pulled a respirator mask out of my backpack since I had a feeling this was going to get messy and hard to breathe in soon.
Giles and Snow haggled price with the two gangers until the troll got angry and fire spit from her fingers at Johnny. I started to grind my teeth as I urged the truck forward and started to scale some of the tight traffic as the Yaks and Tongs started trading fire at each other. Our dwarf ally Kratkost was also a magician and I could hear him in the back chanting and waggling his hands around. I yelled to Snow to grab some grenades from my backpack and throw at the gangers to hopefully knock them out while Giles traded pistol shots with Johnny. Snow’s first throw ended up landing right through the windshield of some civvie car and gassed the drek out of the four of them but didn’t do much against our gang problem. The second thumper he tossed was a lot more accurate, but it ended up wafting right into the truck because he and Giles both forgot to roll up their windows. I was glad I wasn’t driving the truck in the meat because I’m sure I would have crashed trying to see through all the tears in my eyes.
Johnny ended up geeking An Peng and Giles greased him in return before rolling up his window. We made it clear of the traffic snarl not soon after that and figured that we shouldn’t be bothered by the gangers any more after that. Giles got the next coyote on the comm and we headed out to meet her in a nearby parking garage. Of course she had to make a comment on the stink of my truck from all the vomit the other guys hurled in the back but I was in too much of a rush to care. She led us past a rusted chain link fence and down another tunnel. On our way through we passed some smugglers bar that she gushed about but I wasn’t really paying attention.
We quickly exit at the other end of the coyote tunnel and say goodbye to “Peaches”. She must have thought I was cute or something because she didn’t ask for any payment, but I hope she doesn’t ask me out for drinks some other time because she’s a lot too big for my taste. We hardly have time to get our bearings again before we hear the roar of motorbikes coming up behind us. Looks like a bunch of go-ganger bastards in The Fronts are out trying to get their chops by running us off the road into a nearby ravine. I really don’t have time for this so I push the truck and we’re soon outrunning the gangers. The truck gets some scratches from some small arms fire but when Giles makes a well placed shot to kill one of the bikers they break off and leave us alone. We’re finally in the UCAS proper now and are making good time towards the dropoff.
Son of a bitch! The truck stalls out in front of some fruity café and I can’t get it to move again. Looking over we see a guy in a suit sitting at a table waving at us. I tell Snow and the rest to go talk to him for a little bit while I tried to do what I could from inside the car. Going limp I started to scan him for hidden devices that could be jamming the truck. I found several but had no idea which could be the real jamming device. One of his gadgets looked like it had an open line to a Bronze radio frequency so I spoofed a commcall out to them saying Mr. suit was a terrorist demanding money or else he would blow up the cafe. I’m not sure it did much good so Snow and the others convinced him to walk towards the truck.
I didn’t catch much of their conversation but they told me he wanted to scan our package and then he would let us go, but my trigger happy teammates had other plans for him. I found myself busy trying to ward off some rogue ICE that was attacking Giles’ commlink when I heard several loud pops from the backseat. An AR message flipped up on my public comm (which I ignored) and I glanced into the back to see a smoldering ruin of a humanoid drone body being shoved aside as the gang got back in the truck. I didn’t ask questions and just gunned the engine to try and get us to our meeting on time.
We finally arrive at the address on Billings Street and are buzzed in past the ornate cast iron gates into a plush building compound. We’re led to meet with the man of the place by one of his subordinates. I just keep my head down and don’t say anything and let Snow do all of the talking. Apparently the old man is impressed with our promptness and we are paid in full without any troubles. He’s a bit irritated at the people who tried to interfere with the delivery and he wants the drone we took from the cafe to do some investigation. We’re ushered out of the place and get on the road out of the place not a second too soon for my tastes. I drop Snow off in Montbello and Giles and Kratkost want a ride back to the Denim Club.
Weary from driving all afternoon I creep back to my garage and start to hose out the back of the truck. Grumbling to myself I make plans later to call Eddo and do a little shopping with my new cash flow, and to maybe do some quick background checks on my “team mates” from today just in case. First thing is first however and I crack my knuckles as I head up to my loft to look into what atrocity I can set up a nosy slot bartender to fall for.