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« on: <03-09-15/1038:28> »
*NOTE: This story is inspired by the Crossfire mission of the same name*

I don't like this. The pay's too good, Johnson's too cooperative, and the name on the building is downright scary.

Of course corporate extractions never go as planned anyway. When you throw in a six digit payday and an Aztechnology sign on the front of the building we're extracting from you know there's going to be trouble. Oh, and Johnson works for Renraku. They've been scalping scientists from other corps lately. I don't like them, but I like Aztechnology even less. Could be worse, I suppose, but I'm not sure how.

Getting in wasn't a problem. Never is. Gregor, our face, is a serpent shaman and he's got a snakes tongue. He can talk our way into just about any mess we want to get into. Sometimes he even talks us back out of trouble. Sometimes.

So Gregor got us past the front door, then we found an empty office and let Spiderjack do his thing. He may be an elf, but stereotypes aside he doesn't have an ounce of magic in his body. Too much chrome. But he can clear out entire security teams with his trusty Roomsweeper and he's the best decker I've ever met. That's why he's on this team. What runner wouldn't love to have a hotshot decker who can go toe to toe with most street sams on their team? It's a bloody shame he knows how fragging good he is though. He's got an ego the size of Tir Tairngire.

Anyway when Spiderjack got all the doors open we started making our way to the lab where our target was supposed to be. We were almost there when all hell broke loose. Thankfully Erik was paying attention and got off a mana static spell just as the security team's blood mage was trying to surprise us with a spell. I don't know what it would have done, but in my experience blood mages only have one kind of spell: nasty. That's typical Erik though. Never try to get one past our mage. He may not say much, but he's quick and he's got power in spades. Unfortunately shutting down the blood mage didn't do anything to the guns being toted by the rest of the security team.

So, to recap, my team were pinned down in the hallway outside the lab with an Aztechnology security team, including a fragging blood mage, closing in while laying down covering fire. This is my area of expertise. We trolls are a pretty intimidating bunch to begin with, but me, I've got even more combat grade chrome than Spiderjack, not to mention more and bigger guns and some nice thick armor to put over all the cyberware. Needless to say folks tend to remember John Biggs facing them down. Well, the few who survive do anyway.

So I looked around and saw none of my team could move from their positions without getting shot. Great. Only one thing to do. I stood up and I got shot. Then blasted with magic. Then shot again. Hey, heavily wired troll or not that drek hurts. Mind you by that time four of the security team were down. I dropped the empty Roomsweeper and pulled my rifle. I'll say this for the fragging blood mage, he had the sense to run when I leveled the thing at his head. Not fast enough, but he tried to get away. What can I say? I hate blood mages as much as everyone else does. Something about their tendency to murder innocent people to fuel their magic just rubs me wrong.

By then they'd figured out why were were there. When we stepped into the lab they already had the target, one Dr. John Smith (what, you think we use real names in this biz?) cuffed and were getting ready to take him deeper into the complex. Probably to fuel some blood ritual knowing Aztechnology. Drek I hate these guys.

That's when I did something that always makes my team nervous. I pulled my mono filament whip. Yeah yeah, only a lunatic uses the things, but hey, I'm a 450 pound troll full of combat chrome running the shadows. Looking crazy is one of the only things I can do to make myself even scarier. Anyway I took off one of the security team's trigger fingers with it. I guess that pissed him off because he came at me with a knife. Which, by the way, is a joke. When you pit a knife against cyberclaws you lose, especially when the guy with the cyberclaws also has body plates, bone lacings ,wired reflexes, and some bioware muscle enhancements and reflex triggers.

I'm not real sure what happened with the rest of the team just then. I was a little busy taking apart the guy with the knife. One piece at a time. Running the shadows hasn't done anything for my sense of mercy I guess. By the time I looked up the good doc was secure and we were ready to move out.

“So Doc, what makes you willing to piss off Aztech to join Renraku? Better pay?”

“Less killing innocents to fuel blood magic, Mr. Biggs.”

I like this guy. Hey, I may be a career criminal, but I do what I do because it's the right thing to do.

Anyway with that we walked out of the lab and into yet another security team. Drek we were earning our fee on this one. These guys were crawling out of the wood work. They laid down fire to separate us from the cover of the lab pretty quickly. I kicked open an office down the hall and threw Smith in. The rest of the team piled in there with him and Spiderjack pulled out his deck and jacked into a terminal. “Hey Gregor, think your contacts can hook me up with a program on the fly in here? I've got an idea, but I'm going to need some global scale parallel nodes to pull it off.”

So while Gregor made some calls and Spiderjack went on the matrix Erik and I were holding a whole security team out of the office. Good times. It worked out though. One minute we're facing a whole team and the next some of Aztech's own security drones and auto-turrets were gunning them down. Nice. Did I mention Spiderjack's the best?

We walked out into an empty hall after that and headed towards the door when, wouldn't you know it, we turned a corner into an entire Knight Errant response team. Have I mentioned I hate Aztechnology? Just like them to call in Knight Errant just to keep a scientist they were about to sacrifice to their blood mages from leaving. I almost felt sorry for these losers. They actually thought they were working for the good guys. Too bad that means they'd geek us without a second thought.

Anyway they opened fire and I threw myself in front of Smith, shielding him with my back. They didn't have anything heavy enough to get through both my armored jacket and my body plates, but it still hurt damn it. I glanced behind me as I felt heat on the back of my neck, just in time to see the whole Errant team explode in a ball of fire. Erik didn't even break a sweat. Mages are a little scarey sometimes, and that comes from a walking tank. When the smoke cleared one of them was still alive and trying to crawl away. Frag it, I just let him. We had more important things to do.
So one fireball and we were through the Errants and at the elevator. We got off on the first floor and stepped into another Errant team. Somehow I wasn't even surprised. That's just how this run was going. Security around every fragging corner.

One of them must have been a mage because Erik got hit by a mana static spell. No fireball to save our butts this time. So there we were, outnumbered, running low on ammo, and out gunned, when Gregor, freaking Gregor, the guy we usually depend on to talk us out of our problems, charges the Errant team like a whirlwind. He must have caught them off guard. He was twirling and shooting off that Ares Predator of his in every which direction while his other hand slipped into packs, unclipped straps, and generally just filched whatever he could lay it on while they were dodging the bullets. Before we knew it toys from their gear were flying our way. I picked up one of their backup guns and opened fire. Spiderjack got his hands on a memory chip that must've contained a program of some sort because as soon as he slotted it into his deck the Errant drones went off line. Erik grabbed some trinket that let him cut through the mana static and let loose with some lightning bolts. All in all Gregor's little hero move saved our tails. I didn't even know he had it in him.

From there we had a clear road to the lobby. That's when things really went to drek. Between us and the front door was a veritable wall of hired muscle. Other Shadowrunners, spirits, blood mages, gangers, even a Lonestar officer (what the drek? Lonestar and  and Errants on the same job? Someone up there hates me.) Well, nothing for it but to get my team out. And, just for the sake of irony, I did it with a little toy I'd picked up from the remains of the last Errant team. An Aztechnology Striker.

Funny thing about using rocket launchers: it paints a target on you. So yeah, I blew a hole in the wall of muscle (not to mention the plasticrete wall behind them) for the team to run through, but I did it by making damn sure all the enemies had their attention squarely planted on me. The ones who didn't just get blown to drek that is. Hey, it worked. I just watched the team get out with Smith in tow. Good. Off Aztechnology property the were clear of the security forces. Out there only Lonestar has jurisdiction and I'm guessing the one in here is the only one anywhere nearby. All they had to do was get Smith half a block down the road to Mr. Johnson and the Red Sams, Renraku's security force, would take over to get them safely to the Renraku Arc.

And that brings us to the present. Now I'm diving for cover. Armor and cyberware or not, this is going to suck.

Bullets are flying over my head as I dial up my DocWagon bracelet. Never leave home without it. It flashes green to indicate that the high threat response service I pay a mint for is inbound. Good. Time to make sure I'm ready when they get here. Did I mention this is going to suck? I stand up and start shooting. I drop three or four of them, but I also take at least a dozen rounds of fire in the process. I go down, but hey, it's a new record. The previous one was ten rounds. Though considering that dragging myself across the floor is a little beyond me right at the moment I'm hardly in a mood to celebrate.

One of them walks over to me and I'm suddenly looking down the barrel of a Warhawk in the hands of a pile of drek wearing a Humanis pin. If I didn't hate Aztechnology before knowing that they have one of those bigots on the payroll seals it. I try to move but I'm too badly injured. All I can do is stare up at him. The bigot sneers at me and starts to squeeze the trigger.

Well drek. Guess I'm not going to survive this after all. At least we stuck it to fragging Aztechnology.

Then, just as the gun goes off, he gets thrown against the wall as a 50 cal gel round pounds into him. His bullet slams into the floor next to my head. DocWagon's here, and not an instant too early.

The rest of the goons know why they're here and clear out. No one wants on DocWagon's bad side in this biz. Plus those armored ambulances usually pack four guys like me – big, heavy, wired muscle – to protect the paramedics. Trying to keep a HTR team from their patient is generally just a bad idea all around. And the damage is pretty much done anyway. There's nothing to be gained by killing – or being killed by – DocWagon personnel to keep them from saving me.

No telling how long I'll be in the clinic this time, but one thing's for sure: I definitely earned the 50,000 Nuyen my PDA tells me just fell into my account. That's my cut of the 200,000 for this run.

Welcome to the shadows. All in a day's work.
« Last Edit: <03-09-15/1103:54> by siskulous »