Last stand at the Okay Cryotank

Last stand at the Okay Cryotank

[Editor note: This is the second Cyberpunk Facebook downtime, cleaned up and stripped of faffing. It describes what happened after we finally decided what to do with the loot we scored after killing Lima, and shows the dangers of hanging around to debate logistics in a world where the biggest guns rule. Fortunately in this case we had the biggest guns and the best cyberware … but it still came very close at the end …

For this part of the Downtime Ghost was not present – he had taken the whaler down the deep shaft into the water beneath District 70. We would later find out his escape was almost hairier than ours …

Because this happened on Facebook it was entirely narrative. No dice were rolled. It took several hours interspersed with changing locations, travelling, working, meeting friends etc.]

GM: The three of you head up, senses on full alert. As you climb up the stairs you hear the sounds of some shouting. The top floor is clear, but it seems a group of ragged men and women are coming in and are close to the same entrance you guys used to walk in. The goldfishnator stands in the middle of the surgery room, prepped and heavily loaded with guns and cyberparts. The rain is raging and nightfall is close. Afternoon sun is orange in the distance. The blood of all the guys you killed is being washed out and is falling off the edges of the bridge, and through the fallen walls. Coyote’s magnifying cybereye detects 5 or 6 guys taking cover in the broken building in the distance. Behind them three other guys are jeering at each other, one of then seems to be arguing while the other two are laughing or screaming happily, a lot of them are carrying SMGs in bad condition or rifles. They are all dirty, young and most seem twitchy even from this distance. Only a few seem to be wearing any armor or cybernetics, but something tells you there are more of them somewhere.

[Coyote, Drew, Hartigan ask some questions about fighting, dropping dynamite.]

GM: The three behind are not fighting each other per se but they are being loud and a bit violent. Hard to know what really is going on. The 6 in front are quietly moving forward, crouched and taking cover on broken building parts.

A TNT drop might be hard, you are expecting Coyote to fly over them, fully loaded and slow, and drop from the window a TNT with a fuse. Doesnt sound very solid. The way to the vehicle and the entrance are free so far, you can either take cover in around the surgery room in front of the vehicle, or in the vat rooms (where rapey dude was), protected from the rain but giving the assailants more ground to walk into the building.

Coyote: Coyote will take off and we will find cover to keep the miscreants away long enough for him to get out.

Drew: Drew will look at Pops and gesture to the south room, with a questioning look

Hartigan: Hartigan nods and they both move towards the south room.

Drew: We will start picking off people as they are moving forward. Coyote can get the ship out once they are forced to take cover.

GM: The three of you rush out of the stairs, pass the north wing and cross the gap between the two wings. Coyote quickly jumps into the back of the Goldfishnator, picks two M16s and a few magazines and throws them out of the vehicle. He jumps over the driver seat and starts take off routine on it.

At the same time Hartigan and Drew close in and surround the goldfishantor, moving towards the entrance of the complex and taking cover. You sight on the goons and get ready to shoot, then at that moment the goldfishnator comes to life, its thrusters roaring, the sound alerts the approaching goons who start to shout in alarm, their screams get drowned by the sound of Hartigan and Drew opening fire on them, the surprise killing two of them out of hand. The rest take cover, and you notice the three on the distance shouting torwards something behind them and then moving forward and taking cover as well. Soon bullets are answering your attack, but the van seems safe so far, but you know the moment the van breaks upward and into the sky its bound to get shot at.

Drew: [OOC, as I realize just how deep we are submerged in shit] oh well, this is as good a day to die as any other … Anyone who pokes their head up to take a shot at the vehicle gets iced.

Hartigan: [also OOC] Same with me. I think Hartigan and Drew would be quite at home in this atmosphere by now!

GM: Equipment and skill wise you clearly have the advantage, a few moments in and another guy is down. You do realize that, any shot that hits is probably going to drop them. The problem is that the battle has become an interchange of suppressive fire and people taking cover. You could quickly end this if they were less people, but the sheer amount of them makes there counter attack a cloud of bullets that force you to keep your head down. They are slowly creeping in, not much strategy to it; the ones closer shoot randomly trying to evaporate the general area were you are, as the ones further away creep in closer running from cover to cover. They are screaming like madmen and laughing, until the point Hartigan drops another of them. They get a bit mad then and answer, the volley of bullets blowing a hole were hartigan was a moment before. Hartigan gets a bit closer to cover and reloads. Drew you notice one of the bullets have grazed his neck and there is some blood coming down. It doesnt seems very serious though.

The goldfishnator starts with a small blast that raises it off the ground, Coyote spins it a bit so the front (and not the back where the kids are) is facing the goons as they take off, and with the background sound of bullets and goons screaming the goldfishnator starts taking off slowly, crossing the ceiling mark.

Drew: We will lay down some suppressive fire while he rises. Then I think we should move back to the stairwell entrance. They will be funneled into our field of fire on the bridge across the two rooms, and we can take them down as they cross.

GM: Excellent, Hartigan takes a slightly more solid position and you both get ready to retreat as the ship takes to air. Unfortunately at that moment Drew notices the goons at the back yelling and pointing at the ship, you quickly realize they are about to open fire on her, at the same time the ones in the front bring up aim and open suppressive fire again. You have a moment for yourself, you can face the new supressive wave and shoot at the ones in the back, hopefully making most of the them take cover before they can open on the ship. Or you can let then waste bullets and hit them when they are reloading, safe from the bullet storm but risking a volley hitting the ship.

Drew: Drew will take the high risk option, assuming that Hartigan is going to cut down some of hte suppressor dudes…

Hartigan: Hartigan will hit the guys trying suppressing fire whilst Drew takes out those at the back.

GM: Got it, you both only need a nod to understand each other and you bring barrels forward. The ship breaks the ceiling line and is floating, nose front to the fight and coyote flipping off the goons.

Drew sees the guys aiming at the ship, in the open and she bathes them in bullets, most of them get caught off guard and only a few bursts make it to the ship. You see the ship’s windows crack, but coyote seems unharmed. Drew’s horizontal burst of lead brings down two more of the guys, and the rest curse, taking cover. At the same moment Hartigan opens on the closer goons laying down suppressive fire, but both fire volleys come at the same time, there is an eerie instant where time seems to slow down and both volleys of fire intersect each other, then continue their travel torwards each other’s target. Hartigan sees it and turns his head, bullets hit all over him, his ears ringing. He yells at Drew to get her head down but it’s too late. A burst of bullets decorates the area around drew, as she coldly and steadily drops off goons in the distance. Most of them miss, but Hartigan heart skips a beat when a burst explodes next to drews face, blowing up the wall close to it. Debris blows up, as tiny pebbles scar drew’s right side.

Drew you are blind for an instant, and you feel warm liquid all over your cheeks. Hartigan you notice that drew right eye is busted, a chunk of concrete inside it. It enrages you, but then you remember Drew has cybereyes. It appears most of the damage was luckily on the eye, otherwise Drew would be rolling for death, she is stunned for a second, but her body reacts for her and Drew drops down and takes cover behind a more solid wall. Her left cybereye gives a screech and comes back online after a split second of interference.

Oh drew.. they done ruined your make up.

GM: Drew is not thinking about her make-up, she is back against the wall, reloading and muttering “Too fast, too fast, it’s all too fast.” Then she motions to Pops to indicate she will cover him as he retreats inward. [OOC: (He is further from the entrance in my imagination, so needs to leave first – if the opposite is the case, seh will leave first)]. Drew’s cool is 9, it takes more than a chunk of concrete taking out half her face to faze her!
GM: Fortunally the ship has a good window of non-bulletness. You hear Coyote’s cheer of joy on the intercom and the ship flies over the goons, cripping real close. The goons scream scared its going to crash on them, at the last moment coyote pulls up, the bottom of the ship actually hits one of the goons, smashing his head into a cloud of red mist, and the ship darts up first, then down into the abyss. You see it come back up again farther away, flying back into D68.

Drew: [OOC] I don’t know anything about military tactics but I’m thinking Drew should take a position at one of the rooms around the cryotanks, while Pops drops into the stairwell. Then we will establish a crossfire zone at the entry to the second room and they won’t be able to take cover from both of us at once – but it will mean Drew has to run across to the stairwell if we need to retreat again.

[Editor note: at this point there is a separate Facebook chat going on between me and the GM, in which I am told that Drew’s dodgy Russian boosterware is starting to come onto the scene. I initially decided Drew would fight it off, because now is no time for heroics, as I wrote the above out of character comment; but then I realized that this would be terrible role-playing, and Drew would have to take the high risk path. Below is what happened then].

Drew: [OOC] actually that’s not what happens at all

[The following is what actually happens, GM can change details as needed]

Drew crouches down for a moment reloading, muttering “too fast, too fast!” to herself. There is a thread of blood and cybergoo coming out from under her helmet. Pops is taking a breather and gesturing back to the inner room when he notices that Drew has stopped moving. She goes very still, looking down, as if she has briefly fainted. Then she starts twitching, shifting the gun to her left hand and her right arm moving aggressively in jerks. The rippers in her arm come out and back in a few times in rapid succession. She looks up as if recovering consciousness, looks around, then suddenly leaps to her feet and goes charging out of the doorway towards the Gangers. You can’t see or understand what she’s thinking because you can’t see her face through the goldfish-patterned helmet.

She leaves a blood-curdling scream in her wake and surges across the gap to the first line of gangers at incredible speed, firing at an insane rate from her left hand, her rippers out.

The outside area is streaked with lights from the vehicles and some distant half-repaired streetlights, and sleek with rain and mud; Drew flits through this like a shadow, almost too fast to follow and speeding up. The gangers have time to stand up and look at her for a moment but they are still swinging their guns up when she hits them and full combat is joined. As soon as she hits the group her rifle drops and she starts laying into them with her rippers, screaming in this weird, thin, keen wail that you can’t hear physically but distorted through your helmet headphones. Then you can’t really see her; a guy is slumped on a wall, bleeding and grunting; there is a cloud of blood behind her and some fast movements, and a guy staggers away from the circle, his arm ripped with what looks like four or five blows of the rippers.

The fight lasts for a few seconds at most, you’re dizzied by the speed of it, and then you can see Drew on your side of the wall the gangers were using for cover, on one knee, rifle back in hand, slicked with bood and gore.

She looks like she’s about to faint.

GM: [ hell yeah. ]

Drew: In the aftermath of her little killing spree the whole battle zone has sunk into a kind of shocked silence. But Drew has left her helmet mic on so you can hear her whispering to herself in her native inuit, which you have never heard before. Whatever she is saying is soft and mellifluous, but reverential. It sounds like an invocation or a prayer.

GM: Everyone is blinking. The back row of goons has its guns up but they are frozen in shock as the the front row disappears in a matter of seconds. The only sound is the screams and curses of one guy in the back, eyes away from the battlefield, who was actual still popping random shots at the disappearing goldfishnator.

Hartigan sees the guy slowly turn his eyes back torwards the frontline and his eyes going over the scene, he cocks his head, looks at his fellow mates, then back at Drew standing alone. The goon grins and starts to slowly rise his rifle and train it on Drew.

Hartigan: Hartigan moves without thought, his sole purpose to make sure that he doesn’t lose his little girl…. again. He sprints, head down across the open space, pausing to take a knee and put two quick successive shots through the head of the grinning goon, a faint sense of satisfaction as they hit home and then he is running again. He grabs Drew around the waist, turning the run into a roll to the right as bullets begin to pepper the ground around them. He gets Drew behind the cover and then turns.

There is no expression on his face and he snaps up the rifle, moving forward again. He snaps of shots at the nearest of the interlopers, pausing to grunt as a stray round goes through his left arm. Every three feet he drops to one knee and snaps off a killing shot before methodically moving forward again. In contrast to Drews berserk fury, his advance is cold and calculated, each shot counting.

Drew: Pops hitting her in the belly and rolling her over will bring Drew back to somewhere near reality. As he moves forward she will rise up behind him from cover, and offer covering fire where she can. By now though her vision is beginning to blur from the damage to her eye, so she can’t offer much support.

GM: Hartigan walks through hell, but he is hotter than anything the devil can bring against him. His mind is in thorough and ultimate focus, with one thought: defend my little girl. The goons have no chance, after Hartigan walks through them granting them the gift of lead bullets, they quickly change their mind and run for the hills.

As Hartigan does his highway to hell thing, Drew tries to shakes off her rage, and rises up to defend Pops. Fight is not over she thinks, but her body has other ideas. Her vision blurs completely before she gets a shot out, she feels a shriek of pain on the side of her head and her body shakes, and she feels a wave of bile rising up from inside her. Her body curves, and she pukes over the side. Its weird, it feels cold. So damn cold.

You have an instant of peace as the looters run away, but from far away you hear the screams and more shots being fired. Something tells you this firefight will only attract a new wave of assholes.
Drew: Well Drew isn’t going anywhere quickly. She is sweating and shaking and cold. She will wait for Pops to help her back to cover.

Hartigan: Once Hartigan sees the goons turn tail and run he will return to Drew. Checking her optics he gives a grimace and studies the damage. “Eye is busted and will need to be replaced. You’ve lost a lot of blood too… I think it might have hit some tissue in there as well.” He staunches the wound as best he can before wrapping it in a makeshift bandage. “He quickly checks her over for any other wounds “You can’t keep going, we’re going to move back and get to better cover.” You can see that he is clearly distraught at Drew but his combat instincts are keeping him in the now. Hartigan checks the area and finds a high ground with a vantage that looks over the area. With the time they have bought themselves, it will be a good place to hold up. He points it out to Drew “There, we can set up and keep anyone who comes near at bay until Alt’s people arrive.”

Drew: So we will stagger up to the high point and take prone positions with cover. Drew will be very frustrated at her sudden weakness. At one point she grabs Pops by the collar, weakly, and says “She came back Pops, she came back! The ghost in my shell, she came back to me. How many did I kill? Did you see??!” When she isn’t shaking and wheezing she is wearing an expression of ecstasy, and has a faraway look in her eyes.

GM: You gather up, Hartigan pointing to the fallen building that has a look of the “courtyard”, you won’t be between the bad guys and the building anymore, but there’s nothing to guard anymore. You also have a clear view of anyone coming in and a few moments of much needed rest.

[We chill for about 15 minutes]

Then you hear it, the hoots and screams of another wave of loonies. You see them coming, crawling out of the ducts west of your position. They are oblivious to your presence, and seem very excited about the dead bodies in front of them. They seem slightly better armed, some of them even wearing armor. They are all smiles and raving mad. One of them seems to be giving orders, screaming at them to check for enemies, they nod and smile, but they seem more interested in looting the bodies than anything else.

Hartigan: Hartigan pats Drews shoulder “I saw it kid, you did great. I’m proud of you.” He then settles in for the long wait, his rifle perched and trained on the entrance.

Hartigan watches and carefully lines up his rifle on the leader. “Goodnight” and pulls the trigger.

OOC: I am hoping for an awesome shock and awe moment when the leaders head explodes and they all shit themselves.

GM: Time stops, the bullet flies out of the barrell, your intent is meaningless to its path of destruction, but luck has it, today your intent and the bullet’s destiny seem to match nicely.

Drew: Drew will wait for the bullet to hit the hapless leader and blow his face off, give the bad guys a moment to take in the demise of their boss, and then let rip on them, blowing them away as quick as she can, in the hope of instilling maximum panic. She won’t aim for anything specific because she’s woozy.

Hartigan: Hartigan follows suit, starting a more controlled picking off of enemies, using the chaos created by Drew to draw a bead on anyone who sticks their head out. Hartigan and Drew will keep them there until there is enough organised resistance to be a problem and then systematically retreat to a new position and start again.

GM: Time bends back to “normal” the bullet finishes its short travel towards ultimate bliss and you are presented with a satisfactory *thunk* followed by mushy sounds, and moaning as the leader finds himself without half of his brain mid-sentence. The leader plops to the ground, the rest stop laughing, they take a split second to figure out what is happening.

Fortunately a split second is all Drew needs as she whales on them with a new shower of lead. Now their screams are not as merry, they scatter and jump for cover. And the game starts again.

This is getting a bit old, both of you have had fights like this too many times to record the little details of who died/how/when/why. Doesn’t really matter, bullets are given and bullets are received. You continue your little game for a few minutes.

It’s been three times already that you change position, pushing upwards in the abandoned building, and getting closer to the middle (where it is broken apart and you can see the ceiling of the hospital.)

This is the last stop, and you are running out of lead presents to give back to your new friends.

Hartigan helps Drew get into position, and she doesnt waste a second and goes back to firing. Now she has reduced her ROF from MACHINE GUN OF HELL to “careful aim and shoot, one baddie at a time”-mode.

Hartigan leans against the wall next to drew, and Drew notices something odd from the bad guys. There is one coming with what looks like a heavy assault rifle, and he puts down goggles that shine in a reddish tone. The goon grins a wild smile and rises the rifle. Drew is confused, her mind slower than usual, “where the fuck is he aiming at?” you ask yourself, then you notice the barrel is pointed directly at Hartigan, THE GOON CAN SEE THROUGH THE COVER!!!

You want to scream, you want to push Hartigan off the way, you want to do so many things, but your body is in fuck off mode.

The goon mercilessly pulls the trigger and you see a wave of retribution fall on Hartigan. The bullets cut through the cement like butter.

Hartigan you see get to see Drew’s worried eyes before the pain explodes. The wall blows up under you and bullets cover you all around. The vast majority are stopped by your skinweave and armor, but you feel a few cut deep into your leg. Your body takes a moment to tally up your pain debt, then gives it to you full on. Your leg is on fire, it buckles and bends funny-like under you and you fall, hitting your shoulder against the wall. You slide towards the corner where the wall is thicker and that saves you from getting wounded further.

Drew answers the goons by the same token, blasting bullets down, but her clip gives out and she kneels down next to Hartigan, reloading. Last clip.

Drew: Drew now starts trying actively to wake herself up again. She is reloading even as she checks Pops. Is he alive? Also where is our fucking team? [Drew of course doesn’t swear]

GM: Pops: You dropped the gun. That’s bad. Knee is gone, that’s worse. Bleeding all over, that’s the worst. You hear guns blasting away at the wall next to you, they are getting excited now that there’s no one shooting back at them. You hear them mocking and cursing.

“C’mon white devils!! Lets play motherfuckers!!!”

The eerie sounds of boots closing in on the building follow the insults.

Hartigan: Hartigan is on the ground. He feels the agony of his leg coursing through him. He knows it’s bad. His rifle is on the floor and he can’t seem to reach towards it. He draws out his pistol and aims through the hole that the goon has created. He needs to buy them some time, enough to give Drew a chance to escape. He looks towards her “I can cover you. Get back and head through the hole in the wall. I will keep them busy and you find some more ammunition or weapons. I can’t move and you know the first rule, don’t hold the other back.”

He fires six shots, careful counting them off against his limited pistol ammunition. Hoping to take down the goon and force the others to pause.

GM: Hartigan shots make them think twice. They scramble again. You dropped a few of them, but the bastards are laughing. Crazy sods are probably so gone into drugs and misery, death is just a joke for them. Well you give them the punchline of their lives a few times, the old gun answering to your commands. Still… they have the numbers on you two. There’s not enough bullets to stop all of them.

Drew: Drew slides her makeup case to hartigan. “Superglue’s in there pops. Patch up quick, we aren’t dying here.” Quickly assess the situation, is there a leader whose death would change the flow of battle, or are they a rabble?

Hartigan: Hartigan takes the glue and quickly assesses the damage. He applies the glue and grimaces as he pulls the hole together. Keep it together old man. Just hold out a bit longer. She’s depending on you.

When it sets he growls and ties it tight. “You know who I am?” He roars out towards the goons “I am Hartigan! You better remember that name! I’m coming you hear! And Hell’s coming with me!”

He takes down another ganger for effect.

GM: The glue work is messy, it mixes with the blood. The blood flow you gotta stop it. The “leader” tactic didn’t quite work, you did that from the beginning but the fuckers just got bloodlusty.

There’s still a few out there, but you just don’t have enough bullets. You hold for while, but you run out of lead. There’s still five of them out there, these guys have got to be high as fuck to keep on going even with 2/3 of their group flatlined.

Drew: Drew is wondering if she can move from here to get to the big gun that the dead arsehole was carrying, or to the M16s that Coyote left in the hovercar room?

GM: [I was already counting M16 bullets]. Anyway; things boil down to Drew jumping on them, Drew waiting for them to crawl up the building or Drew escaping through the back of the building with some climbing.

Fortunately for you the sound of AV thrusters in the distance take this difficult moral/tactical/funsical decision away from you.

The remaining goons look up and around, thinking more loot has come. You see them grinning.

A black, smooth surfaced and quite shining medium-sized AV (twice the Goldfishnator) cuts into the scene. It stops suddenly on top of the hospital, rotating sharply to its side to counter its inertia.

Drew’s infrared allows her to see it is emitting thousands of infrared laser beams in what you recognize as surface scanning. It otherwise remains immobile floating on place.

The goons are all grinning and raising their guns to aim at it. You guys see 4 of the goons keep aim on the ship, as one stands on a elevated vent and hails it, swinging his arms around smiling.

Drew you see the ship lasers focus on the group for a moment, then move around the general area. There is an eerie moment where the lasers lock on your and Hartigan’s position.

The ship shudders a bit, and moves on to float above the courtyard where the goons are. The ship is now vertically at your same level. You can see inside the cockpit, there is three guys. The pilot seems non-plussed, checking equipment. One guy is looking at a set of monitors, hands on the control panel leaning slightly forward. Another has an assault rifle aimed directly at you from inside the cockpit.

They are close enough that you can see their equipment, they are all cybered up, the pilot’s head is almost like a hub, lots of cables coming in and out of his head and neck and connecting to the ship. The one aiming at you seems to have really thick greyish tone skin, you notice he has small horns coming out of his forehead.

The one leaning checking on the monitors looks like the leader, you actually recognize him as the guy that was right next to Alt in the meeting. Metalman. The guys body is fully covered in exoskeletal metal plates, he looks like a strange form of an FBR.

Mana from heaven

Mana from heaven

Drew: Drew stands up. She takes off her helmet.

Give a girly wave.

Then point at the dudes on the ground and do a big expressive thumbs down.

GM: You see the metalman stand and look in your direction, having no face it is hard to detect his emotions. He doesn’t move, but you figure he must be saying something because horny man loses the rifle and walks out of the cockpit into the back of the vehicle. You see metalman nod at you and put his hand forward, signing you to keep your head down. He then walks into the back of the AV as well.

Drew: Head down, helmet on!!

GM: The ship starts emitting a very high pitched sound that get higher and higher, and louder and louder. Soon the sound is so high frequency you can’t detect it.

For a very brief moment you are deaf and your eardrums hurt. Then there is a loud, dry and implosion-like sounding *THUMPH* that pops your ears back into normal and the ground shudders a bit. There is a visible shockwave that pushes dust and pebbles, and the wall you are taking cover at vibrates. Rubble falls from the roof near you. Then you hear the sound of a heavy object hitting the ground on the courtyard, followed by five gunshots.

When you look Metal man is standing on top of a small crater done on the roof, all goons are dead. There is around 10 more guys, armored, coming down from the AV using ziplines. They quickly spread bringing up SMGs and rifles, you see metalman point at your location and four of the guys rush into the building you are taking cover at.

You hear the boots coming up the stairs, the 4 troops make their way quickly, checking corners in silence. They walk into the area were you are, all pointing arms at you. They stand like that for moment, and you get a sense that there’s information being transferred from someone without the need of actually speaking.

“ID confirmed.” One of them says, probably more to you than because he needs to. The rest lower their guns but remain in position. One of them moves forward, and takes off his helmet. His face is tattooed, and he has big protruding cybereyes. He takes a kit out of his backpack and starts treating Hartigan.

Hartigan you see him rip your pants around the wound, spray some sort of disinfectant that stings a bit. He takes out a metal band that claps around your thigh, stopping the blood flow. He then sprays another thing, and you see a thin layer of thick white liquid around the wound. The liquid solidifies suddenly, taking a skin colour, sealing the wound. He injects you something, and you feel the pain subside.

He takes out a very sophisticated-looking syringe, filled with a metallic liquid, when you look at it carefully it appears to move on its own.

“You will be okey for a while, but we cant promise anything. Alt says she can offer nanobots, faster healing. Take money off the top of the deal. Might allow you to keep the leg, or not. In any case with the bots you will be back in action a lot faster.”

He speaks clearly but fast, no emotion behind his words. He looks at you patiently.

“Where’s the rest of your team? has the area been cleared?” asks the leader of the four, without taking his helmet off. He is looking at Drew, examining her wounds, but it looks like he decides they are not urgent.

Hartigan: Hartigan grimaces but shakes his head “I will heal, don’t worry. The rest of the team are transporting our salvage from this site. We stayed behind to ensure that Lima’s body and system would be available for you when you arrived. We unfortunately seemed to run out of bullets before we ran out of guys to shoot.” He slowly pulls himself up, testing the injury gingerly. “Lima and the system are downstairs. We have not attempted to access it as per our deal.”

GM: [Pops, you can’t stand. It’s bad.][Your leg is pretty much busted, the guy has sealed up the wounds, but the knee is literally blown to pieces.]

Drew: Drew will add, “Pops, perhaps we should take the money for the nanobots? Nobody likes a cripple.”

Hartigan: Hartigan scowls and then nods “Fine.” He motions to the guy to inject him.

GM: The man nods and injects Hartigan with the bots. Hartigan you feel the cold liquid spread around your wound, you have an eerie sensation of millions of tiny bugs crawling under your skin, but it fades after a moment. Whatever he put into you, had both painkillers and boost, you feel the pain fade to the background and your mind grow a bit sharper. The medic then stands, looks at Drew. “We treat you downstairs.” You see two of the troops move towards Hartigan to help him stand.

Drew: “I think Pops can stay here. By the way, we’re expecting one of our team to come back for us. He’ll be in a different hovercar to the one from the club, so please ID before shooting. It’s a big black thing with a badly painted mutant goldfish on the side.”

GM: He remains silent for a moment. “Got it. We won’t knock it down.” Leader looks at Hartigan. “Anyway, we have to move him to the flat area for AV pick up, we could load him through the breach in the wall here, but you’d be risking him falling. Anyway, he stays here until your AV returns. Would you follow me miss? We got some questions and once we ID the target and confirm the mission is done.” You see he thinks, looks at you and Hartigan, then nods. “Yes, we have to do it quickly. That way boss can call off the other teams, that way we will have clearer skies.” You feel he added this either in respect, awe or pity for your situation.

Drew: Drew will crouch next to Pops, putting her helmet next to him, and next to that her bags. “Superglue’s in here, Pops” she says, opening one bag just enough to show him her fully loaded automatic pistol next to her make up case.

“Let’s go!” she says airily

GM: Leader nods, medic and one of the other troops stay with Hartigan as you walk down into the building. You see metalman standing in still in the same place, in the middle of the small crater. The rest of the troops are spread around, you see two of them in the ceiling aiming down.

The leader nods to metalman and stands to the side. You see metalman look at you up and down. Then he says in a metallic deep voice.

“Did you hold down? Is there anyone else left inside? Is there anything we need to know before we proceed?”

“Did you hold the line and didnt let anyone else inside?”

Drew: “We held the line, we cleared everyone out, and these gangers were too busy with us to go in.”

GM: Metalman nods. “Alright, lets go inside then.” You see the team move in ahead of you, checking everything. You move in through the complex, when you get close to the vats/resting room area. Metalman stands a moment to look at the dead bodies in a pile. He looks at you, then at the pile.

Drew: Drew puts her head to one side like a little girl, one finger on her lips, looks back at him.

GM: Expressionless face is expressionless. He points at the vats and the rooms. “What happened here? the vats are on.”

Drew: Innocent face is innocent. “One of them was healing. Or something. We stopped the process.”

GM: “Hmmm..” you see him examine the rooms and the vats, but there seem to be no more questions. You head towards the midfloor, dining area and supply room are passed quickly. Metalman takes a look around, and moves on without comment. Then you get to the place where the mainframe is. Here you see a bunch of guys already dealing with the equipment. Metalman looks at the dead kids in the beds. “What about that?”

Drew: “I dunno man, I just work here. We came in and they were dead. I think Ghost, our hacker, he maybe knew. They had a few captive kids, but they were dead.”

[Editor’s note: at this point Drew is trying to make it seem as if we didn’t take any kids or any weird maps, without actually lying]

GM: “Captured kids?” He looks at you straight on. He stays quiet for a long time, you dont know what is going on his mind.

“… no.” He says after a moment, you don’t know what he is talking about, metalman shakes his head comes back to his senses. Without any orders being said you see two of the troops split from the group and start unloading the kids from the cyberdecks chairs.

He turns back to you and seems to read you. “None of them alive?” His voice has a slightly different tone, if anything can be said about digital voices, but this time is not as cold as a moment ago.

Drew:  “Not that I saw. But I guess we could have killed these or the ones upstairs in the gunfight? I dunno. It was dark and nasty in here man.” Plays the bimbo …

GM: You are not that good at lying, more used to simple pulling the trigger or making people scream, but metalman says nothing else. He either bought it or isn’t showing it. “Hmmm..” he says and you move on. Leaving a part of the troops behind dismantling everything. Metalman walks straight through the explosion zone, without any comment. But you hear one of the troops say “wooow…..”

Drew: Give that troop a winning smile.

Not very winning, considering they’ve just seen my dark side, and I’m covered in blood.

GM: You move on, metalman walks straight down the stairs. Looks at the bodies and spots Lima’s body, he moves towards it, and stops in front of him. He takes a moment then kneels in front of him. What follows is a bit wierd, metalman gently takes limas head on his hands and turns it around checking it. He seems to stay there looking at the man for a long time.

Metalman says something leans forward and seems to say something on lima’s ear. He then takes the head and presses on it, it cracks then bursts in a spray on blood that covers all of metalman, he stands and says still looking down at the body. “Target has been ID’ed, job has been completed. We will transfer the money once the netrunner checks for no manipulation.”

After a moment you see one of the troopers notice the lima room. The group of men all lift their eyes to it in unison, so does metalman but slower than the rest. Metalman walks in, alone.

Drew: Go watch from the door …

GM: You see the troopers a bit nervous, but they keep their distance as you walk torwards the room.

From the door you see metalman staring at the video of the looping girl. “Samantha…” He says in a very small whisper, you barely catch it, your battle senses helping you. The voice its not his own, is weird, feminine and oddly familiar. He suddenly jerks and notices you, he turns around and looks straight at you. He looks at the wall and the table then he speaks, His voice back to normal digital, male and deep. “Did you took anything from this room?”

Drew: “Yeah, I think we took some stuff from the walls.”

“Papers, weird shit like that.”

Act all unconcerned like. “Who’s the chick?”

GM: “The.. diaries, Sacarias kept diaries. Where are they?” [This guy calls Lima “Sacarias”]

Drew: “Diaries? We didn’t touch his cyberstuff, I don’t know anything about diaries.” [OOC: Here Drew tries to act ignorant by assuming a diary must be kept in a cyber form]

GM: You see metalman man step in closer, closing the gap between you . “Books Drew… the fucking books. You took them or not?”

Drew: “Books? What are you talking about? We just took some stuff off of the walls, like weird pictures and stuff. Look man, Alt said we can take anything we want but don’t interfere with the cyberjunk. That there is a video so we left it. We took what was ours by rights. You want books, I don’t know how to help you.”

GM: Metalman doesnt answer for a long time. He stays as he is, very close to you and cold. Then suddenly he jerks a bit. “If… it so happens you find that you took the books without noticing, you will inform Alt… yes? She is very interested in them. Willing to pay for them even… but they are delicate things, yes? Real old. Dont go around opening them or anything stupid.”

Drew: Drew will take a step back, go a little cool. “Sure, I’ll mention it to the others and we’ll dig through what we found. But you should maybe look down the other room, maybe the equipment room and the tunnels have stuff in them – we didn’t even explore the shaft.” She waves her arm down towards the other exit. “Are we done here man, I’m beat?”

GM: He again, takes a moment. Then nods and goes back to the console, and looking at the video.

Drew: Drew will take that as her sign to leave. “Nice doing business with you, man. Give my regards to Alt, and tell Alt that we would be more than happy to work for your group again.” Constructs a clumsy sentence trying to not give Alt a gender.

GM: “I will pass down your message. I’m sure Alt will contact you further on. You have proven to be very… effective.”

Okay so after that is pretty smooth sailing, two troops walk along Drew as she walks out of the building again, and you guys gather up again in the roof. I will continue with Coyote and Ghost’s stuff tomorrow and hopefully give you guys time to set up looting talks.

[Editor’s note: and with that a fairly epic Downtime battle ended, with Hartigan only losing one leg and needing three weeks of very expensive intensive care, and me only losing one eye and needing a week of intensive care. We also managed to escape retribution for stealing some old books, and got a few hints that Alt’s animus against Lima was personal. This was all necessary background for our next actual physical session. So there you have it … you can get severely messed up in Downtime!]