No country for old men ...

No country for old men …

  • [Editor note: this is a report of a downtime that happened – run on facebook – after our last Cyberpunk session. It is one of two quite impressive downtimes we ran over the past two weeks. We’ve run another session in person since then, but that session makes no sense without these downtimes. Also these downtimes have helped to raise questions about the Cyberpunk system and world, so I’m presenting abbreviated versions of them here. Most of these downtimes took 2-3 days to play out, so what you are seeing is an abbreviated version of a lot of work …]

    GM: The dust settles, Lima’s body lies on the floor, a mangled mess of blood, body parts and broken cybernetics. If it weren’t for the mostly intact head, that body would be unrecognizable. Men and women members of Lima’s crew lie dead everywhere, and the fires of Coyote’s timely blast burn still in the corners of the hallway.

    Drew recovers after a minute, when her body tells her “MOAR! YOU NOT DEAD! MOAAAR” a surge of icy cold adrenaline boost jerks her body back online, she opens her eyes to see Hartigan carrying her away, Exalta knows where to.

    Hartigan’s off. His mind is having a field-day of nasty memories from the past, he shakes, a general wave of accomplished revenge filling him. Of course, we are talking about Pops, so none of this shows in his stone cold face.

    Ghost is looking at himself, and calculating exactly how many times he would’ve died today if he wasn’t wearing the combat armor. He has about two clips worth of bullets embedded all over his armor and is looking down at his gun like its some sort of magical artifact of absolute destruction.

    Coyote is lost in thought. If you didn’t know him you’d think he is in shock, his mind shutting down after such a close call to death, but since you do know the psychotic fix-man, you know he is already calculating new yuans in his head, going through their new inventory of nasties and reliving that awesome explosion over and over again in his head.

    Three floors of dead bodies, empty minded kids and forgotten equipment lie waiting for you; but you need to take a breath first.

    You quickly gather up and check for wounds. Amazingly, apart from Drew’s nasty hit to the side of her head, you are all pretty much unhurt (though today we discovered that the line between completely unhurt and flatlined for eternity is defined as “3 three-shot-bursts in succession”) .

    When you go down to check on Lima’s remains you see the legless, one armed leftovers of the robo-man. His face is eerily peaceful, the man probably didn’t feel pain at all up to the moment that his body said “okey dude, I give up.” The cybernetics look like they didn’t get the message, and instead of punching their cards and going back home, they continue to twitch, scream and pump synthadrenaline and hydraulic fluid towards the now missing limbs. His left cyberarm is gone, and his legs are a pulp of metal, cables and flesh. He is lying in a murky pool of blood and cyberfluids. His remaining right cyber arm is extended forward as if reaching for something. You follow its path and you notice a double metal door, it seems he was trying to get to it before Hartigan unloaded the full clip on his chest.

    You have Alt’s contact’s phone number, you are supposed to call them when the jobs done, but hey.. it can probably wait. There’s looting to be done.

    The GoldfishVan can carry the team (5 people) + 10 units easily, 20 units crowded, 35 units dangerously crowded. Units are a general (and probably inaccurate [but fuck it]) representation of space and weight. Usually a Trauma Team van would carry much less, but the Goldfishnator has been strip of all medical equipment and the turret gun. Unit costs:

    ERHAS: 2 units

    MFC: 8 units.

    Weapons and ammo: 10 units. – 4 crates of m16’s (20 rifles) + 2000 ammo. – 3 Militech Ronin rifles + 300 ammo. – 6 SMGs (HKMP9) + 600 ammo – 10 pistols. ( DaiLung St.Master ) + 200 ammo – 3 Machetes, 10 combat knives. – 3kg of TNT.

    Children: 20 units. 10 children, 2 units per children

    Food (enough for 20 people for a month): 10 units

    Clean water 1 barrel(100 liters) = 5 units. (Theres 20 barrels of water)

    Cybernetics: (require “extraction”) (1/2 unit per limb) 5 cyberarms 5 cyberlegs

    Drugs: (1 unit = 20 vials/8balls/package) *the number of doses you can get per “drug unit” varies depending on the drug. – Ghost chalk (10) – Stim (10) – Speedheal (5) – Dorph (5) – Boost (5) – K-nab (synthweed) (30)

    When you call Alt’s contact, a team will go to your location and start checking all the netrunner equipment and confirm Lima is dead. You can do that now, but you get a sense you will be asked to kindly fuck off once they get here.

    Ghost: Ghost looks meaningfully at the rest of the group “I suggest we first ‘check the area’ to confirm there is no danger here any more.”

    Drew: Drew says weakly “We should evacuate the children too – Alt won’t be interested in them.” She is looking down at Lima’s body, touching it with one boot occasionally as she looks at its wrecked cyberware. Once or twice she leans on a column, closes her eyes, sighs deeply, and says “Too fast, it’s all too fast …”

    Pops: Hartigan looks on, he is lost in thought but at the mention of the children he seems to wake up. “Yes we need to get the children out of here first. I say we move the children and then do two more runs with the gear. We can then pack up the stuff and call alt while doing a third run. Then come back and pick us up.” He looks at Coyote “You think you can do that?”

    Ghost: “Don’t you think we should evacuate the useful stuff first?”, he pauses for a moment, apparently thinking “I mean, we don’t have a place to leave the kids, they’re safe here for now.”

    Drew: “True, we don’t have anywhere to put them. Can Coyote find somewhere to put them?” [why does every campaign we are in involve huge quantities of burdensome children?] “I guess I could call my parents, but the way they dispose of children probably won’t please you Pops…”

    Pops: Hartigan pauses “True. Okay evacuate the goods first and then we come back for the children. We will put them in our apartment until we find somewhere more appropriate that does not involve them being turned into sex slaves, organ donors or experimented on.”

    Drew: “We could sell some to…” Drew starts to say, but stops when she sees Hartigan’s face. Instead she says “I wonder if Alt would be able to provide a space for them, so they don’t clutter my room?””I queue long enough for the toilet now, Pops, with you in the place. And where will you sleep?”

    GM: The children would have a real hard time living at Drew’s place, but they would “fit”. They are completely catatonic and don’t move at all, so they wont be that much of a problem. Explaining 10 immobile children would be a bit hard tho…

    Drew: “We could ask Alt to give us the top floor here for a few days?”

    “What if we put them all in the cryotanks?”

     “Then we don’t have to be here while Alt does its Alt business, but they’re out of the way. Then we find somewhere for them.”

    GM:[Only one cryotank was operational, the rest were empty husks].

    Pops: Hartigan gives Drew the you’re pushing it look. “We are not freezing the children. We bring them somewhere safe for now and then move them once we talk to Alt.”

    Drew: “Also…” Drew puts on her thinking face. One of her bags changes to display an advert for an anti-child trafficking NGO

     “I’m wondering if…” She puts her hand to her head, which is still bleeding quite a bit, and sits down as if she suddenly can actually feel pain.
     “If these children are being used to make ghost chalk, then every single criminal syndicate in New Horizon is going to want them, and anyone who knows about them.”
     “Who’s to say they’ll be safe with us? They’re evidence, right? We might get a rocket through our window before the day is done.”
     “And whatever that system up there is, it has got to be serious medical tech, right? And maybe connected to a corporation. If they find out we know, we’re dead.”

    Pops: Hartigan shrugs, although he looks quite concerned when Drew sits down all of a sudden. He moves closer to her, watching her closely. “They wont find out. Lets move them and get them hidden. No one will come looking for us for now. We then move them again once we have somewhere to move em.”

    Drew:”They won’t find out?” She frowns at Hartigan, flicks blood off her eyelashes. “We take 10 catatonic kids to a one room apartment in a district under riot control, and they won’t find out?”

     “I think this might be bigger than we can handle alone, Pops,” she whispers…

    Ghost: “You do what you want with the kids. I strongly doubt you can provide them with a better place than they currently have. In fact, if they really have been used to test ghost chalk repeatedly, I’d be amazed if they were anything but bodies now.”

    Pops: Hartigan shrugs “we ain’t alone kid. We just gotta make them disappear. Whatever pharma is interested, they don’t know these kids. We can hide them and make them disappear. And ” he looks at Ghost “we are not just leaving them here. He looks tired and sits down “how many runs you think we can make before Goliath stops us? One, two? Looters will be coming too. This wasn’t exactly quiet. Maybe we can get one batch of loot and the kids and ourselves out. Any more and we are getting into risky territory.”

    Ghost: “I imagine at the second run Goliath will start to become suspicious. That is if Alt doesn’t notice our van coming back and sending a team out to follow it when it goes back. Not telling her right away will probably kind of piss her off.”

    Coyote: “We don’t wanna piss Alt off – no we don’t” Coyote says while “extracting” the cyberware from the body’s with his nasty armor cutting chain knife. “I said load the van, call, then start doing the tours”

     “Oh, and if bringin the kids somewhere means we have to pay for it, we will take it from Hartigans cut, right?”

    Drew: “Alt won’t care about us doing looting runs. Could you get Ragout to help supply a second vehicle for the runs?”

     Coyote: “She will care about us not calling her immediately!”
     “That’s the deal and that’s how we ll play it!”

    Drew: “She won’t care that much. We have secured the site. Let’s shift everything and then worry about her wrath. Drive one load of loot out and get a second car from Ragout on the way back. We can easily pay, drop him off a crate of guns as a down payment. Bring both vans back here for the rest of the loot. John and I will stay here and guard the loot while you do the run. We can get the whole thing done in two runs if we do it like that. If we’re really lucky Ragout will be fixing a school bus.”

    Coyote: “No! I’ll pack the van and get ready. I won’t leave before we make the call. We need this contact – and we need rep. Be rational!”

    He says holding a bloody knife and a cut of cyber leg in hand

    [Editor’s note: at this point the four players had a huge argument about the timing of the looting, and whether and how to save the kids. This argument went on for waaaay too long and got quite heated, primarily because we had differing opinions about both the parameters of this deal and the morality of the world. In essence, Ghost and Coyote were mistaken about how quickly we had to call Alt, and also about her trustworthiness – they thought she was completely untrustworthy but morally not dubious, whereas John and Drew thought she was trustworthy but extremely immoral. Furthermore, John and Drew – ironically being played by the two players who had most contemporary familiarity with the Cyberpunk genre – thought that morality still had some hold in this world, whereas Coyote and Ghost saw morality in very different terms. Eventually the GM stepped in to fix these misconceptions, pointing out that Alt had given us leeway to loot at our leisure, though taking too long would attract other gangsters, and suggesting we put aside the moral debate till we were more certain about the nature of the world we were in. One small consequence of this debate was that my character concept got fucked, because what I had thought was borderline psychopathy turned out to be a pretty mainstream moral framework in this cyberpunk world, and furthermore my understanding of the humanity stat as a measure of one’s degree of evil was wrong, and humanity simply measures how much you can interact with others. My original concept of Drew as a girl on the edge has been changed, then, to a quirky girl with a gun – more like a highly destructive version of Anya from Buffy. Still fun to play! But not my original vision, primarily due to a complete misconception of how this world works. Once this argument had calmed down – which took a bit of time – we moved on to the room behind that double door. The debate resolved as follows, after the GM spoke to one of the players in a separate chat …]

    Pops: Might I suggest we get Tail to look for the vehicles Lima and his gang would have. We can check as well. There are bound to be at least two to three more vehicles in the complex. Load up all the vehicles with all the loot. They had to have a way to transport gear. Then when all the vehicles are loaded with everything including the kids, if we have anything left over, we call Ragu and get him to bring another vehicle and offer him 20% of what is loaded in HIS vehicle. You guys take the vehicles bag and Hartigan will wait. At the end of the day guys, Hartigan won’t leave without the kids. But he is also seeing how much everything is starting to pull the group apart. He will make that suggestion in character whilst complaining about his knees and that he needs a beer. He is then going to start moving stuff up to the top of the building, check on the kids, and smoke a cigar. Hartigan will also mention that he knows a guy who runs a shelter called Hypo. Hypo will take in the kids as a favour to him. So we just need to transport them there. He knows where to go and they will be sage.
    GM [To clear things up]: Alt said “as soon the job’s done” but your impression was that she really didn’t care about the loot and that you have some time to clear it up ahead of time if you wan to. Nevertheless, you could win some points with her by calling her right away. (trust issues?) Her priority seemed to be stopping lima and getting the equipment.

    – The real problem is that moving around many times between D73 and southside is dangerous, but doable if you are willing to take the risk. Options have been offered for this. Lastly, its been 15 minutes since you landed.

    Ghost: Ghost stands up and goes to walk to the door, holding the SD card that he took from Lima’s chipsocket. “Shall we see what is behind this before looking for more AV’s?” Ghost inserts the SD card …

    GM: The small card goes in the slow smoothly, sinking in with a metallic sound. A small light turns green and you hear a satisfying beep come from the electrical panel. The double doors shudder and slowly start to slide open, it seems like they don’t fit exactly right or they were modified somehow.

    You see a dark room, inside a flickering light coming from the right. The sound of a feminine voice reaches your ears: “..found it! we are getting to it brother! finally….” for a second your senses spike and you are ready to burst into the room, when the voice repeats itself. “…we have finally found it! we are getting to it brother! finally…. “ the voice loops and loops without stop, and you realize it has a digital tone to it.

    The doors finish sliding and comes to a rest. Lights inside flicker a few times, then the room is flooded in white light. The SD card slides back out of the slot.

    From where you are standing you can’t see well into the room, but it seems to continue to the right.

    You walk into the room, is a white and clean room. There is no one inside at the moment. To your right you see a desk with that has an array of common objects, from mugs, pencils, papers, calculators, small cellphone there is even a few books as well. They are all very well organized and placed in what appears to be some sort of order that you can’t make out. At the far end there is what Ghost immediately recognises as another immobile cyberdeck mainframe, with a big comfy chair that seems to have cyberlinks attached to it (so someone could sit in it and connect), the cables leading to the mainframe. There are three big monitors hanging from the wall. This set up seems to be connected to the one upstairs, you can see the cables leading into the wall.

    The left monitor is off, the right monitor shows the flicker of lots of maps of the city and once in a while what seems like the feed from security cameras. In the middle monitor you see a looping video of a girl, must be around 16~18, light brown skinned and dark hair, hazel eyes, she is smiling towards the camera. The video is in loop, and she keeps saying. “…we have finally found it! we are getting to it brother! finally…. “. The background is blurred and hard to figure.

    The right wall is covered in clippings of maps, pictures of different people you don’t recognize, there are printed articles on different terrorist attacks in NH and central America. It goes on and on all over the wall. It is all very weird, mainly because it is.. paper. You can see someone has scribbled all around with a red marker, linking some articles to different people in a pattern you can’t identify. Sometimes the writings get strange, there are notes and notes of “her soul” but is mostly unintelligible blabber.

    The room is very clean and there’s a weird smell of .. cinnamon?, you can’t pin point it, it smells sweet without being overwhelming.

    Pops: Hartigan follows cautiously and stops staring at the screen and then to the notes. He is quiet, taking in the scene through the eyes of a detective. “Ghost can you photograph everything exactly as it is now? Before we take it?”

    Drew: We can take paper, right? Drew slings her gun , breaks out her phone and starts taking pictures. “On it pops.”

    Pops: Hartigan nods “this is big…. Bigger than just those children. We need everything before Alt gets here.” He stares at it all and gives a smile in the direction of Drew. You wonder who is is talking to when he says “good girl….always prepared. Your mother would have been proud.” Hartigan looks at the video first. Hartigan will check the video and books to get an idea of what exactly all this stuff is.

    “I think we need to clean up this film.”

    GM: Again the background of the video is blurry, her face is really close to the screen covering most of it (seems.. zoomed in?). It appears to be inside somewhere, maybe a room.

    Pops:Hartigan looks towards Ghost “can you pull anything that would help us identify where she is from the vid?” He nods to Drew “we don’t touch it yet, but we will need to take it with us later. Why the loop though… Is she someone important? What is the soul?” He is muttering to himself, taking in the facts and bouncing them off himself to try to build a picture.

    GM:The books don’t have any covers to them. They seem more like diaries or some sort of account books.

    Drew: “Soul? Sounds like gibberish to me.. is it cool to touch the books pops? It isn’t computer stuff, we could take it right?”

    GM: all the writing on the walls and books is in Spanish. Hartigan can read Spanish but it will take time.

    Pops: Once drew has finished photographing them, Hartigan will carefully check to see if they can be moved. “We take everything. You got photos of the whole room? Ghost is this stuff good to take?” He asks indicating the machinery. “Let me check the books first and then we pack all the papers. We will need this stuff. As for a soul… I think it might be your personal identity inside the machinery….”

     Everything can be moved. The books are carefully organized, but they are not attached to anything in particular. The papers on the wall can also be taken down, you notice some of them are glued to the wall or using strong tape. You could probably bring them all down almost intact (albeit a few broken corners) without ruining them, but the whole pattern will come apart.

     GM: It takes about 30 minutes but you manage to carefully put all the papers inside the plastic weapon crates without them folding dangerously. You add plastic panels and put weapons and other loot on top to keep them pressed and tidy.

    Drew: Alt specified she doesnt care about limas brain or chipware. Drew will look to seee if he had any. Maybe he saved data there.

    [Editor’s note: in the meeting with Alt, Drew very carefully explored this issue, asking Alt if she had a problem with Lima’s head being wasted, because head shots are very important for killing people in this game but heads are also where chips and brainware are stored. Alt explicitly stated that she didn’t care about Lima’s head, which is going to prove a very, very important fact to have clarified … what Drew  did next is just a small part of this].GM: You do see the socket from where Ghost took out the SD card, seems to be memory socket, its to the side of his neck. (I said forehead first, I was wrong)

    Drew [Out of Character (OOC)]: Is the SD card obviously capable of being a storage device?

     GM: [there were some typos here that led to amusing jokes about sodomy]: maybe, but you won’t know till you investigate it.

    Drew: The SD card is the key to door and lights, right? Is there a manual override in the room?

     GM: Not any that you can see. The SD card opened the door and turned on the lights, then it went out of its hole and the room remained lit.

    Drew: [Drew asks some questions about the way the SD card behaved, and confirms through these questions that if we take the card, it will not be obvious that we have taken the card – ie that the door to the weird room might have been open when we arrived here, and we didn’t use the SD card to open it … this would prove very important later]: Okay, let’s take it.

     “Does he have anything in his head, near the chip socket, that we might want?”

    GM: “No!” Nasal filters?

    Drew: “Scary dude like this keeps his best data on his person. We need the SD card!”

     “If they see the door is closed and twig that we moved stuff inside, then they know we opened it. But if we opened it then that means we took the card… Which Alt might think is hacker stuff. But if it was open when we came here…”

     Drew gestures at gum marks and fresh tape stains on the walls. “Think they won’t guess?”

     Ghost: Ghost nods “True”, he sighs and looks at the equipment in the room “Sorry, this is just a situation I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.” [editor’s note: here Ghost is referring to the presence of a fat stack of really cool hacking stuff that he can’t touch … this would be clearer in the unedited thread, but trust me, the unedited thread is WAAAAY too long]

     Drew:Drew puts her rifle against Lima’s head near the chip socket, and yells in a cheery voice “clean up on aisle 3!” Then she puts a bullet right into the chip socket, angled to destroy it but leave the face partly intact. It is messy, but there is no evidence he ever had a chip socket or an sd card.

    “Take the card when you leave ghost.”

     [Editor’s note: there follow extensive descriptions of the looting that follows. We will come back to the contents of this room in a later post …]

    [Editor’s note: this description includes Coyote looking for more vehicles]

    GM: you start searching were it makes more sense, upstairs and the areas surrounding the hospital. Its messy, you need to climb and crawl through rubble and fallen buildings. After a while you start thinking: they would need a place that is both flat yet covered so people wouldn’t spot the AV from above. You keep on searching for this hangar like place, but after 40 minutes you give up; you’ve travelled a bit too far away from the hospital already, it wouldn’t make any sense to keep transport so far.

    You return to the hospital, walk down the stairs and decide to look around the floors; nothing. But you get a few moments to organize the loot along with the rest.

    You’ve given up hope, but decide to check the bottom floor (lobby) for loot, on your search you find yet another double door, this one opposite to the Lima room, but well hidden. Indeed you wouldn’t have spotted it unless you were meticulously searching for hidden stashes and more loot. The door is closed, but seems unlocked.

     The door opens to a elongated room fill with abandoned hospital equipment. You notice that any valuable electronic parts other than frail useless pieces of metal or plastic have been removed.

    You continue down the room, as you reach the far wall you notice a hole has been carved into it, leading into a tunnel that runs perpendicular to the room. The metal tunnel, probably some sort of utility duct or abandoned railway is about 10 meters wide.

    It leads off into darkness to your left, but to your right you notice the same type of Christmas lights and construction site lights that were used upstairs laying a path down the tunnel. You follow the dimly lit tunnel, it seems to incline a bit downwards. As you proceed the tunnel expands wider and wider, and you begin noticing the remnants of old fallen columns, front of buildings, husks of metal that used to be cars and other mementos of D73.

    The tunnel finally ends in a cylindrical chamber, perhaps 80 meters in diameter, with a hole in the middle in which you can’t see the bottom. There is a wide and sturdy walkway that goes around the hole, and when you look down you can see the same walkway repeat to the infinite. It looks like a shaft/vent or maybe what used to be an underground intersection of some kind. Up there is only darkness, as the tunnel/shaft seems to be covered by either fallen buildings or the whole thing was an underground system to start with.

    And then you see it, to your right there is a platform protruding from the walkway, on it sits … a whaler. Looks like a hovercraft that actually resembles a whale, it is very bulky with a tail that ends in rotors. To both sides of it I has two hover engines that also double as chunky propellers and a cockpit that resembles the head of a killer whale. You notice there is mechanic equipment lying around the thing, probably needed constant repair. There is also a few tanks of compressed air and a MFC that seems to be connected to a wall, recharging somehow.

    Coyote quickly identifies it, whalers are a type of semi-hover crafts that were really common in New Horizon before the Crash. They are really slow and hard to maneuver in the air and can’t fly very high, but they are supposed to be airtight and capable of operating underwater. Goldfish hunters sometime use them to seek out the big mutant fish schools underwater and report their current location to others who will swim down with tougher vehicles.

    At that time your com has a receiving message from Tail. “Hey anikis! big dirty choombas are coming, they dont seem friendly. Can I fly away?” You hear some sounds as if tail is around, or moving stuff around. “… now now.. where are the guns on this beetle?”

     Coyote:  “Ghost can you find out if these are Limas boys, another hunting party or alts crew?”
    “Tail, have they seen you? If not stay put!”
    “Guys, if there’s is another hunting party we have to call Alt immediately. They’ll be heavily armed and ready to claim this victory for themselves!”

    [Editor note: there follows a rather long and unedifying discussion of what to do next which really goes to show how gangsters make bad decisions when they are under pressure. We ultimately decided Ghost and Tail would fly the Whaler down the pit and away, while Coyote would escape from above in the “Goldfishnator”. Drew and Pops would stay behind to defend the area until Alt’s agent could arrive. Given the size of the force coming in, as described by Tail, this was probably not gonna be pretty. Preparations began].

    Drew: while the discussion about the kids is happening – before we all separate – Drew does this:

     She squats down suddenly onto her heels, like a Shibuya girl waiting for a friend. From her ubiquitous bag she pulls out a small make up case
     From this she pulls two q-tips, that she puts between her fingers, a small hello kitty (New Horizon Kitty actually, riding a mutant goldfish) pocket mirror, which she balances on her knees, and a swab.
    She fiddles with the mirror a moment, then cleans off the cut on her head. Then from the make up case she pulls a sterile needle and thread kit and very roughly stitches together the edges of the wound.
     She throws that away on the ground, does a brief check with the goldfish kitty mirror, pursing her lips like a girl doing mascara on the train.
     Then she pulls out a tube of superglue, and dabs it along the lines of the freshly-sewn cut, which is still oozing blood.
     She then deftly manoeuvres the q-tips and uses them to force together the edges of the wound until the superglue binds.

    One of the q-tips is now stuck to her skin so after she has discarded the free one, she pulls a little vial of nail polish remover – which, you note, she doesn’t need, because her nails are cybered – and brushes it lightly over the q-tip, then levers it away from the skin. This too she throws away, before primly returning the hello kitty mirror and nail polish to her case.

    She then frowns, pulls out the mirror and checks her face again. Then she pulls out some mascara and dabs it over the wound and surrounding area, then returns everything to the case. Looks up at you all staring at her and says “What? I can’t get blood in my eyes when I’m fighting! And I’m not gonna die with two-toned skin!”
    Then she stands up, smooths down her Black Peace Now kimono slip thing, and unslings her assault rifle. “Come on pops, places to go, people to kill.”
    GM: Tail finishes working on the Whaler and closes everything up. He watches as the kids are being dragged in and placed inside the whaler. He looks at them confused, as he tries to talk them. Then a bit annoyed when they dont answer. Then he just ignores them. After everything is loaded, Tail goes in and starts the Whaler, warming it for take off. The thing coughs to live, its thrusters taking a few tries to come alive. “We goood!” You hear tail voice from the cockpit.
    Pops: Hartigan checks his ammunition supplies and pulls his coat closer around his body. He seems calm and at peace with himself. He waits patiently for Drew, before moving away silently into the building. Watching the two of them move out, you can see the practiced ease of a pair that has been working together for a long time, each unconsciously covering the others blind spots and moving in a staggered formation to maximise their protection.
    … And there the downtime ends, switching to a new downtime that is basically a massive battle …