“Let have that drink, ey?”
A simple enough message. It took Bo a second to realised this must be the bar tender from the Deep Dive. With the hopes that this would lead to more work she messages the troops, all responding quickly and informing her that they’ll be nearby..
As Bo arrives at the Deep Dive, she’s glad to notice the signs “I” is still alive and flicking leisurely to its own pattern. She pushes open the door and takes her first step inside. The place really does continue to live up to its name and hasn’t changed much; memory seems to clean it up a bit actually. The floor is still an odd mix of damp and sticky.
To the side in one of the seating areas she spots the peak of a tophat, so the Gentleman is already here. As she walks towards the bar, the bartender places a clean glass on the counter and fills it with a liquid that looks like it hasn’t already been through someone. Picking up the glass she goes to drink it, subtly sniffing the clear liquid as it gets close to her mouth; she breathes in the sweet, strong smell of decent rum. With a satisfied smile, she knocks it back in one. Feeling the burn through her chest, she allows herself a short laugh. “That is the good stuff,” she says, giving him an appreciative look.
The bartender grins, but he’s quickly down to business. He fixes eyes with Bo, and begins, his tone low and serious.
“I need you to teach some gentlemen a lesson. They borrowed something of mine. A gift that was for my friend”, his voice is gruff, as one would expect of an ork, but he is surprisingly well spoken.
“Really?” She asks. “You’ve peaked my curiosity, certainly. Can you tell me what we’re looking for?”
He chuckles, giving her a knowing look. He repeats that a ‘gift’ was stolen on its way to a ‘friend’; the way both those words are said tells Bo that it’s not a ribbon tied cake and his friend isn’t likely to be a drinking buddy. Deciding it better not to press further, she focuses on the deal at hand.
“How will we know what you want?”
“Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it,” he replies, grin broadening. “I need it done in the next 24 hours though, but I hear you’ve got good turn around.”
“That we do, friend,” she confirms confidently. “We can get your gift back. Any particular requests about the lesson in question?”
The bartender considers her for a moment before a dark yet gleeful expression transforms his features. “If I see smoke on the horizon, then there could certainly be a bonus it it for you.”
She returns his look with a dark smile of her own. “Fire. Well, some do like it hot,” she replies. “Who is it?”
‘Those Halloweeners. Idiots think they own this place. I can tell you where their hideout is. There should be two lieutenants there as well, although I can’t say who it would be tonight.’
Bo recalls them to be the same gang who shot up the rent a van place, followed swiftly by those unfortunate members being filled with lead, or joining the sub-four-limb club courtesy of her Japanese colleague.
“If you could get their badges, I could throw in a fair sum for those as well,” he adds. “They’d be very nice trophies.”
Bo considers his offer; the pay is fair and will keep them all in decent living for another month. It’ll be a tidy sum to put away with her earning from the last job. It really wouldn’t be bad work for a matter of a fortnight. Cheekily, she decides to press her luck. “Throw in a bottle of this rum, and you got a deal.”
He laughs whole heartedly. “No way. But tell you what, get this done and come and see me, I’ll have another glass for you.”
She’s silent a moment, wondering to cut in her team with the bonus, but instead agrees with the condition that he join her. She sends off the information she has so far and lets him know they’ll take the job. Talk turns away from business for a while. Later, as she stands from her stool, his voice stops her.
“What’s your group called?”, he asks.
“We don’t have one yet, actually,” Bo replies thoughtfully. She pings a quick message to the team but her commlink is suddenly full of many poor name suggestions. At her wince, the bartender chuckles.
“How about you work on that one and tell me later?” he offers.
“And what might I call you?”
‘The names Steel’.
A cursory search reveals a basic satellite image and map of the area; a dead end somewhat off the main road. Looking at the images it’s possible to see that most of the buildings have either collapsed, or are halfway there. At the end of the road stands a solitary building, still intact, and identified as the target. The satellite image doesn’t give much away about the building other than it still has four walls and a roof.
Along the road there is another building, only in a state of disrepair, something that they know they should be wary of. Against the comparable ruins around, this would be an ideal spot for a sniper or lookout guarding the approach to the Halloweener hideout. At the root of the road is a partially intact building, which raises some suspicions. Further searching leads to knowing that the other building is set to collapse at anytime, and isn’t likely to contain anyone. Not even the most desperate of squatters would reside here with the Halloweeners so nearby.
Thanatos announces, “I go disguise and sneak in.”
The team turn to look at him, eyebrows raised, simultaneously wondering if that actual the first successful English sentence he’d uttered. He gets up and starts to leave, and Bo quickly joins him, feeling her skills at blending in may also help with a more subtle approach.
She herself dons a short, bubblegum pink wig, carefully tucking her long dark hair beneath it and ensuring it’s fixed firmly. She raid’s her roomate’s closet and her own in order to find as many leather pieces as possible, and ends up looking reasonably like a Halloweener. With her assistance, Thanatos selects a bald cap and books an appointment at a salon. A short time later, the bald cap hides most of his thick dark hair. A slit down the middle allows for some to be styled into a large mohawk, temporarily dyed a shocking shade of neon green. Thanatos is ready for a night out with the Halloweeners, minus a biker jacket. His appearance is also not as thuggish as one would expect from a member of this gang, but that’s something that would be worked on once they had acquired the right gear from a straggler.
All four meet again a short time later; Bo on her bike with Thanatos, Blank and the Gentleman in the Party Van. The Gentlemen sets his drones to good use, scanning the local buildings with the enhance vision sensors. A long range thermal scan shows some heat signatures in the building near the entrance to the road, and a lot of heat from the target building. Switching the drone to capture regular visuals, it is possible for him to discern that the half collapsed building seems to have two people sat on the third floor. Their dark shapes are barely lit against the darkening sky, but their hulking forms identify them to most likely be an ork and a troll.
On confirmation of the individuals, Thanatos speaks abruptly.
“I go see what we have there,” he says as he skirts off into the night. As he moves he pulls out a mask. This mask looks like a quick job to convert a simple gas mask into a full face disguise; a simple filter mask that covers nose and mouth with slits all along it, and a wire mesh followed by filters is attached to some cheap material the covers the rest of the face. Two straps, one originally for the mouth and nose filter, the other attached to the rest of the mask. The entire thing was sprayed black, then a low quality skull stencil has been sprayed on it in white, but the image is slightly smudged as if the mask was moved too early and some of the paint has dripped down. The white spray is thin, giving it more of a grey look. Overall though, the lower quality of the paint work creates a haunting image.
After a successful silent run to the building Thanatos pulls on a pair of gecko gloves, and begins climbing to the top of the building. As he crests the top, he notices a couple of messages on his commlink.
“WTF are you doing?”
“Message if you need help”
Moving to the edge of the broken roof he stares down, confirming what they thought – two guards stand watch. Both guards appear to have at least two weapons; some form of pistol and an assault rifle. Unfortunately Thanatos’ knowledge of guns is worse than his knowledge of English, so further identification of these firearms is unlikely. Neither guard seems overly attentive to their surroundings, but still pose a challenge to Thanatos alone. At least without causing a disturbance. He instead quietly pulls back, signalling for help.
Grabbing a small piece of rubble, he moves back to the edge of the roof, watching the guards. His grip tightens on the small projectile, readying a distraction for if they notice Bo and Blank progressing across the open plain. A sharp noise sounds, and both guards get up to look out towards where Bo and Blank probably are. They seem confused though, and show no sign of spotting anything untoward. Both the guards shift their weight though, and are clearly unsettled.
Bo’s voice sounds softly in his ear. “We’re here, got a plan?”
Thanatos replies “Bo – stairs. Stay out of sight. Blank – catch, climb to edge”.
He shifts to the edge of the roof and drops his gloves down to Blank as they both move into position. Blank quickly scales the wall and positions himself directly under the ledge where the guards are standing.
“Kill them, quietly.”
“We’ll need a distraction.”
“That I can do,” Bo says, heading up the stairs. “Block their comms, Gentleman?”
“Ring when he see her,” Thanatos instructs the Gentleman.
“Knock, knock,” Bo says, striding forwards. Muzzles are instantly lifted to level with her chest. “Woah! Guys, calm down. I saw your light,” she says, raising her hands. They move a little closer.
“What the fuck are you doin’ up here?” the troll growls aggressively.
“I just wanted a light,” she says timidly, her voice shaking a little with nerves.
“There’s nothin’ around, not like you were strollin’ past!”
“Get the fuck out,” chimes in his friend, nearly close enough to nudge her with the barrel of his rifle.
The tense, hostile air is broken with the chirping of a comm-link. The troll looks down, bewildered, and patting his pockets looking for a phone. Blank takes that as his cue, levering himself up onto the ledge behind the guards and readying his gun. At the same time, Bo quickly reaches out and places a slap patch on the ork’s arm.
Thunk… thump the troll drops heavily on the floor, Blank’s pistol smoking slightly. The ork shakes off the stun and angrily grabs Bo’s arm. In her panic, her protective instincts kick in and her skin becomes electrified. Another thump and he hits the ground hard next to his companion. Thanatos eases his grip and drops silently from the roof.
The Gentleman crackles over the comms links. “They tried to get a message out, but I blocked it.”
Thanatos is straight onto the bodies. A quick search reveals a pack of cigarettes and lighter, each has the same guns. Thanatos releases the clips and takes the spare ammo passing it to Blank but grabbing the guns to try and flog later himself. He tosses one of the packs of cigarettes at Bo. She catches them and deftly slips them into her pocket.
He studies the two unconscious bodies. Neither jacket would be a good fit, but they had to work with what they got. Rolling over the ork, he strips him of the biker jacket and tries it on for size. As expected, it’s too big, but the best of the two options. As they go to leave, Thantos pauses before killing both the troll and ork, leaving Bo slightly shocked at the cold blooded attitude.
Shaking off her surprise, Bo carefully observes the road and nudges Thanatos.
“We should go see what we can find. Gentleman, can your drones back us up?”
An affirmative response ushers them into action and they quickly make their way down the street toward the building at the end of the cul de sac.
“There’s still a lot of heat from here. There are signatures all over the building.”
As they approach, Bo is distracted by the beast of a bike outside the house. She doesn’t hold back her admiration, although she restrains herself from reaching out to the chrome frame. It’s an impressive vehicle, clearly modded for its owner. She sees a few small tanks near the rear that she would hazard a guess at being full of nitrous. This was a BMW Trollhammer, built to take the weight of bigger metahumans, and this one had also been updated with the latest gadgets to really make her go. Bo glanced at the house. She was starting to get an idea of what type of company they might find inside.
Bo and Thanatos reach the house and are struck by how quite it is outside. The windows appear to be boarded up, and this door is a thick metal, probably steel, and clearly not meant to be opened.
“Clear around the back,” the voice of their hacker whispers.
They make their way around the building, and one last scan of the building shows that there are a lot of signatures, grouped together throughout the house. Bo sends Thanatos a nervous look, then steps forward and sharply raps her knuckle against the wooden back door.