End of the Line - A Hawatari One-Shot

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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« on: <01-23-16/0458:52> »
This comes courtesy of a PbP over on the Paizo boards.  Taking place in New Orleans (the 'Lake' mentioned is Lake Pontchartrain), I was thinking about how five street-familiar characters might take on three greenies (though only two are mentioned in the story), and this kind of popped up ...

For orientation purposes:
Hawatari: Female Human-Looking Elf - Tactician Street Samurai (Run & Gun), Pistols & Edged Weapons, Backup Face, Backup Rigger
Cloudy: Male Human - Physical Adept Martial Artist / Connected Man
Redline: Female Human - Gunbunny Chaos Girl, ARs, Heavy, and Launch Weapons
Wraith: Female Human - Street Rat/Samurai Cyberzombie Wannabe, SMGs & Sniper
Selachii: Human Male - Neo-Anarchist Decker / Electronics

              There was silence when Hawatari, still wet from the Lake, finally walked into the rendezvous point, the back room at a gin joint called Like A Fish.  They'd arranged its use through one of Selachii's acquantances, a decker whose name he'd so far refused to tell the group; no specifics, only that it was to be open for use by a certain individual at a certain time.  Of course Selachii'd arrived first, having finished his intrusion via a flophouse two blocks over; after that, it was just a matter of letting the rest in through the back door after confirming their facial IDs and recognition gestures through the security cameras.
               "So," she said, placing a knapsack as soaked as she was onto the table at the center of the room.  "I've clearly been out of the loop.  Can anyone tell me what happened?"
               The silence extended for a moment, until Redline spoke up.  "I think Manfred went into this one looking for a fight."
               "So he had to take Claudius with him?"
               "You know Claudius had a mad-on for Southern Pharmaceuticals, Shu," Cloudy opinioned.  "He was rarin' to go on this one."
               "He was a mage, goddammit, trained at MIT&T, not some two-bit wiz-ganger!!" It wasn't often that Hawatari's temper flared.  "He had more willpower and discipline that this!!"
               Wraith snorted.  "Clearly not."
               Hawatari gave her a dirty look.  "So what went down after we parted ways?  All I caught was a six-second clip of a Wolverine Security helo putting four missiles into the air and blowing Manfred the hell out of the water."
               It was Redline who replied.  "We got out pretty clean.  Between Cloudy and Wraith keeping up suppressive fire on anything that moved, my grenades when we needed 'em, and Selachii opening and closing doors for us, I got the charges planted pretty much to the Johnson's spec - max chaos and destruction, minimum loss of life.  Once we were out, I started triggering them, and security lost interest in us - gave us time to get to the 'Rover and get the hell out.  I saw the Wolverine helo go overhead about three minutes later, but it didn't look like it was headed for SouPharm.  What happened on your end?"
               "Once we split up after getting that," Hawatari said with a strong tone of disgust in her voice, gesturing at the soaked sack, "Claudius and I made noise on our way out the back, just as planned, to give you four time for the third floor charges.  Manfred came roaring up, giving us cover fire as we ran down to the end of the pier; perfect timing on his part, letting us run right onto the boat without missing a step.  He and Claudius raked the SouPharm boats as we left, doing some damage to them but not, you know, completely out of order.  They were ... I think a hundred and fifty yards back when we turned the corner and I went over the side.  I was fifteen feet down and forty feet to the side when SouPharm went by.  The plan was --"
               "-- for Manfred and Claudius to duck into the Clairmont Marina, Claudius to call up the water elemental he bound last night," interrupted Selachii, "kill their forward momentum, still their wake, and  turn them around so they appear to be puttering out of the place.  From what I can piece together -" the decker was clearly plugged in and sifting through news reports - "they did that, but instead of keeping a low profile, they blew the SouPharm boat out of the water at point-blank range as it was going by, then went back for another pass on the back of the building.  Wolverine was on their way by that point, and ..."
               "... blew them out of the water in time for the Eleven O'Clock News," finished the Japanese female with a sigh.  "Lo, the fruits of an obsession."  She rubbed her face with both hands, clearly thinking through what came next.  "Selachii, you said you knew a mage, a runner.  Would he --"
               "Not available," replied the decker.  "On a job in Baton Rouge."
               "Well.  As much as I don't like going to a meet without mage backup --"
               "I know a mage."
               All eyes turned to Redline.  "Seriously?"
               "Yah.  He's been, um ..."  Redline almost seemed embarrassed.  "Crashing on my couch.  Just for a couple days ..."
               "Uh-huh," Cloudy said with the most absolutely straightest face imagineable.
               "He is!!" she shot back.  "Anyhow, he's kinda ... um, laying low for a bit.  So he might be willing to provide backup."
               "And my roommate's available," piped up Wraith.
               "What, Hepcat again??" asked Hawatari with exasperation. "C'mon, Wraith, he's --"
               "-- green, fresh, wet behind the ears as much as you are right now," replied the cybered-up street-rat hotly, "but he knows his machines and he's willing to work and he can handle a gun and we don't know where Manfred kept his cars and we need the cover."
               Hawatari closed her eyes and leaned forward against the table, pressing her palms flat against it for a long moment.  "Fine," she said, straightening up.  "Redline, go pick up your couch surfer, your Ares MP, and one of those anti-personnel cluster rockets you told me you have stashed, and go find us a nice quiet lonely place to set up - do it fast, and tell Selachii when you've found it.  I want a vehicle-accessable area with no aerial access.  Selachii, your Jackrabbit's nearby?  Selachii!!"
               Pulled out of his news surfing by the snap in her voice, he looked up.  "Huh?"
               "Is your Jackrabbit nearby?"
               "Good.  Get down to the Red Floor, ask Red to use the porta-potty.  It's the code of the week, she'll let you into her back area, it's got a rerouted land line.  Take Wraith, drop her off at home; Wraith, call Hepcat on your way.  If he's not home you get him on the line and have him meet you there.  Selachii, once you get set up, you're our hub - comms through you, let us know where to go."
               The decker nodded, closing up shop.  "You want eyes on the traffic cams around the area?" 
               "Yeah, to let us know when and how the J's on his way.  Cloudy, when you get the call from Selachii, you call up the J and tell him where."
               The black adept nodded.  "How long?"
               "Minimum thirty minutes, maximum forty-five - hit it on the quarter-hour.  Call me after, I'll pick you up on my way.  Just you and me in the circle this time.  Redline, you set yourself and your mage up in the shadows; I want spell defense up on Cloudy and I, and if he can hide you and him, so much the better.  Wraith, long-gun with a different angle than Redline, no more than two-thirds of the way across the circle - I want you ready to play pin-the-tail on the Johnson's brain until everything's clear.  Hepcat has a car with clearance and some armor on it?"
               Wraith nodded, her eyes a little wide at Hawatari's rapid-fire orders.
               "Good.  He's inside the car, inside the circle.  If he's got guns on the thing, I want them hid but warmed up and ready to rock."
               "All right."
               "What's the plan, then?" asked Cloudy.
               "That," said Hawatari, pointing at the backpack, "isn't drop-breakable, but it's not what I'd call durable.  If it drops in the pot, we toss the damn thing at the slickest of the J's bodyguards, Johnson gets one in the brain-pan courtesy of Wraith, you and I go under Hepcat's car or truck or whatever he's got as Redline puts her anti-personnel shot onto the J's car - scythe city, probably take out the package to boot.  Redline's couch-surfer does whatever he can to help out, then you and I roll back out and clean up the mess while Hepcat and Redline put down any heavy opposition.  Any questions?"
               "Pretty straight up, Shu," replied Redline.  "What're you gonna do between now and then?"
               "Me?"  The Japanese round-ear elf lifted, then shook her hands, flicking water everywhere.
               "I'm gonna go get into some dry fucking clothes."
« Last Edit: <05-25-16/2038:51> by The Wyrm Ouroboros »
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