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The dwarf pails even more at Silas' words. "What are you talking about? I did my job. Nobody has any reason to KILL me! I... I.... I don't know anything. I'm just a hacker. I can't help you get out of here." From the way the dwarf is shaking, Silas has to admit to himself that this guy looks pretty useless. Even as a hacker he couldn't cover his tracks well enough to prevent Needle from catching him.
"I suggests you stays here and starts drinkin' .. I can highly recommends Redhead Bitches ... dats da drinks not da wimmins ... but actually !"
Silas pauses to consider the mixture of liquids and bitches then continues
"Yup, probablies both is good, you shoulds get very very drunk chummer, mights be your last chance"

Turning to Mr. White and Gardner "He's screwed ... what's OUR plan ?"
Mr. White does the math in his head. Tunrda Wolf reported a suspicious vehicle behind the club. If one assumes that its here on their account, then its safe to assume that there's a similar vehicle in front of the club. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not watching. He glances at the dwarf again.

He frowned at the uselessness of his phone call to Lin Yao in the deafening nightclub. He glanced as his nearby companions to be sure that they were with him, and then looked for a men's room near the front of the place. Speaking loudly, hoping he could be made out over the noise, he said into the comlink, "It seems that we should chat..." A bathroom should be a touch less noisy...
Spotting a door marked with the men's room sign, he heads that way, motioning his colleagues to follow. Once inside, he surveys the room for a moment, checking out anyone at the sinks, and glancing at the stalls to see how many people they're sharing the space with. He'd hoped to get lucky and catch the bathroom empty, and have Gardner man the door. Luck was fickle sometimes.

In the relative quiet of the bathroom, he listened to the comlink...
With a club as popular as the Alabaster Maiden, it's no surprise that the mensroom isn't empty. A couple of guys are pissing away their soybeers at the urinal while the sounds of another man being sick is coming from the closest of three stalls. As Mr. White puts his ear back to the phone, one of the urinals automatically flushes as the ork that had been using it heads for the door without washing his hands.

"...kind of asshat are you anyway? Are you just trying to annoy me with that wyrm-forsaken racket?" asks the Chinese accent voice on the other line. It seems Lin Yao doesn't much appreciate being called where he can't even be heard or hear who's calling him.
Mr. White shook his head. How any of these people were negotiators and front-men was beyond him. Lin Yao seemingly had the social grace of a slug.

"Mr. Lin, I'm Harvey White. We've corresponded briefly, earlier this very evening. We had a brief run in with some of your eyes and ears, and it seemed a good opportunity to take a more direct approach. Is there some business that we might have in common?" White kept his eyes on the other occupants of the bathroom. It wouldn't do to go from the frying pan into the fire.
"Oh the gweilo decides to speak finally." The other man at a urinal steps away causing it to flush as he heads to the sink. "Nao can. You calling me from a bathroom stall now. Why you try insult me so much? I made offer. You not want it. No more business for you."
"Very well, Mr. Lin. I assumed that since you were making an effort to monitor us, that you had some interest in business. Since you do not, stop snooping on us."
If there is no further response from Lin, Mr. White hangs up and will put a note through to the rest of the group stationed outside.

<< @Team: Suspicious vehicle out back. Anything strange out front? Looking to make our exit. >>
"Oh isn't somebody quite full of themselves. I don't know what got up your si pi yan. And I don't care. I don't know what you talk about. But if you have a problem with me or something I did then you're welcome to come talk to me face to face," says Lin Yao letting some menace leak into his voice as he gets control of his anger.
Friday night, Outside the Alabaster Maiden
CMT Clip: Hidden | SIN: Sergei Zharov

"Black truck, parked and shut off but no one has exited, between me and the building. Could be nothing, could be an ambush."
"Good luck to you, Mr. Lin." he says, ending the call.

<< @Team: Possible to pull the van right up to the front? This has a bad smell to it. >>
From the Matrix, Needle responds: <<The hackers commlink is crashed and I'm back in control of the van. I can move to position in front of the club whenever you're ready.>>
<< @Team: Well we're not getting any younger in here. >>

Turning to the team, he says "Shall we?"
"It beens a pleasure meeting yous guys, specially you Tiny, i is ready!"
Not leaving the digital landscape of the Matrix, Needle moved her awareness to the van's motion control systems. Starting it up she sends out a quick message to the team <<Heading to the front door now. Be ready for a quick exit.>>

As she eases the clown van out of the parking space towards the front entrance, TundraWolf is primed and ready for action. Glaring at the Toyota Gopher his gut is telling him is a threat, his finger is itching on the trigger. As the van moves between the building and the suspicious truck, he clearly sees the glowing ember of a lit cigarette in the mouth of the driver. All else in the interior is dark, though the ember brightens for a second as the driver sucks down the tobacco smoke. The man's eyes are illuminated for that brief moment. Those eyes are staring right back. TundraWolf's enhanced reflexes want to jerk into action, but he keeps them under control for the moment. The truck's occupants don't seem to be doing anything yet. Just watching them.

Inside the club, Silas notices the flush of desire on the beautiful blonde's cheeks though he doesn't let her curves distract him. There is too much of an air of threat to this place now. He just wants out. Sex will have to wait for another time when he's not about to get killed. The others continued to move towards the door forcing him to hurry away lest he get left behind.

Eyes scanning the interior of the club for any possible threat, Mr. White notices Simon Andrews with twins flanking him at his booth in the back. Simon takes a moment to look away from the male twin while rubbing the leg of the female to glance over at Mr. White. His eyes lose the flirty look it had moments ago looking at the twins, and all he can do is shake his head at the shadowrunners. Then the moment is gone and he turns back to the twins his smile instantly returning.

Gardner has his hands full making sure Parker Acson stays with the group. It's amazing how little tolerance the research has for alcohol. He keeps trying to stumble away to catch this or that pretty girl's attention. The giant gently keeps him on track though, heading towards the exit. Gardner considers summoning up another spirit, but he knows doing that in a crowded club like this, especially one know for connections to the mystical side of Seattle, would likely cause too much of a scene.

Amazingly, they group is completely unmolested on their way to the door. No threats coming in from the back of the building. No sudden explosions. Nothing. It's almost a let down as Needle squeals to a halt just outside the front doors. People waiting to get in and the bouncers are certainly giving the clown van some weird looks, but nobody appears to be a threat. TundraWolf slides the vans door wide open to let everybody in. Gardner gets Acson in first, followed closely by Mr. White. For a moment, Silas looks back over the club. Is it really going to be this easy? he asks himself. He catches sight for the stupid dwarf now sitting at the bar with a drink. Silas is about to spare the unlikely bastard a silent wish for luck, when he realizes the guy isn't shaking any more. Jwuigg is looking right at Silas and smiling. Before Silas can puzzle out what that is about, the calls from his teams returns his attention to the van. Leaving the dwarf behind, he jumps into the van.

TundraWolf slides the door closed behind him and Needle guns the engine to leave the parking lot.
Friday night, leaving the Alabaster Maiden
CMT Clip: Hidden | SIN: Sergei Zharov

Tundra Wolf glanced at the rear view mirror as the van accelerated away from the third meeting of the night, but other than a sedan full of drunken college kids lurching unsteadily onto the road behind them, no vehicle seemed to be following them. No truck, no Citymaster...and no motorcycle.

"Needle, are you receiving anything from Eclipse's comms?"
Needle quickly checks the commlink signal she had registered as belonging to Eclipse....nothing. She tried dialing his LTG number and only got voicemail. <<No reply from Eclipse at all. Presumed captured or dead.>>
Mr. White grimaced and turned a cold stare at Acson. "Let's keep moving."
Friday night, leaving the Alabaster Maiden
CMT Clip: Hidden | SIN: Sergei Zharov

"Ебать." Tundra Wolf drummed his cybernetic fingers on his knee. "The sooner this little подонки is someone else's problem, the better."

Another glass to turn over.
Mr. White's fingers move rapidly over the screen of his comlink, conferring with his colleagues privately from Acson.

<< @Team: Moreau then? Kobe Terrace Park. I'll send him a note and let him know that we'd like to meet and make the transfer. >>

He waits for confirmation from his associates before sending a note to Moreau.

<< @Moreau: Previously discussed hand off at Kobe Terrace Park. Available for immediate transfer? >>

Mr. White furrowed his brow for a moment. It was bothersome to have the feeling that all of his communications were being monitored. He shrugged his shoulders slightly. Not much that he could do about it.
Friday night, in the Clown Van
CMT Clip: Hidden | SIN: Sergei Zharov

Tundra Wolf kept an eye on Ascon to make sure he wasn't trying to lean over and read what the team was conversing about via commlink rather than voice discussion, then typed in a response of his own.

@Team [Tundra Wolf] << Da, Moreau. Let's get this done, before I shoot him and sell his corpse to the ghouls. Silas and I should be dropped off a mile or so short, so as to scout for ambush and plan defense for when the strike teams arrive. When, not if, too much has gone poorly on this 'run for it not to happen. >>

The interior of the van was tense with unspent adrenaline. That exit from the club had been far, far too easy hadn't it. In between scanning traffic behind them for any possible tails, the runners quickly exchange messages to figure out what to do next. Glancing over at Parker Acson to make sure he isn't privy to their plans, somebody thinks to rip the headband off his head and toss it out the window before the club was even out of sight....just in case.

It's quickly decided that TundraWolf and Silas will get dropped off a block from Kobe park to do a little scouting, while Mr. White tries to contact Moreau. Dropping the two off, Needle pulls away from the curb to circle the neighborhoods near the Park deciding they didn't want to be a sitting target.

This part of downtown was a lot quieter than the busy club/bar area the team had recently come from. Quiet apartment buildings loomed over the streets with limited foot traffic outdoors. Overhead the occasional whirr of a security drones fans could be heard as well a some air traffic. TundraWolf and Silas found the park even more quiet. Not too many people frequenting such a dark place at night. The footpath through its wooded section did have some lighting, but it was quickly shadowed by the looming trees. Just as they were thinking about how terrible a place this was to have a late night meet, they could hear a screeching of tires in the distance that would soon be following by a crash of impact.

Back at the clown van, those still inside knew exactly the cause of the screeching tires as a pair of headlights filled the front windshield with brilliant light. Needle reacted quickly to the oncoming truck, but not quickly enough as the truck slammed into the right front bumper of the van. Instantly the van became shakier. It was heading for a crash into a parked car, but Needle somehow managed to get it back under control as she looked through the vans sensors to see the truck coming to a controlled stop behind them facing back towards the van.
The screech or tormented metal and the tinkle of shattered glass on Tarmac makes Silas' head spring up and forward away from searching the shadows for ambushers and security details.

"Drek, TundraWolf, we gots trouble!" the subtle understatement is not lost on his companion and they unconsciously quicken their pace,
heading toward the commotion "Wuz dat our guys ? .... don' ansa dat ... tha way dis nights goin' I knows it's dem"
He grits his teeth and begins the long loping gait that will get him to where he needs in time but with expending as little energy as possible,

quietly drawing the vibro-blade from it's sheath and fine tuning the camouflage coating on his armour that is already running, it shifts pattern to that of fleeting shadows and light as they sprint past the odd lonely lamplight in the park.

Verbally activating the comm-link he sends a brief communication to the remainder of the team
<< @team[Silas] : Whitey ? what the Drek ? is you guys 'dere?" >>
Mr. White swore as the other vehicle crashed into them. His seat belt kept him from being thrown forward in the van. His comlink beeped as Needle deftly avoid slamming into another car. "Shit." Mr. White repeated. This had gone from bad to worse.
Friday night: Somewhere under Downtown Seattle

Everything had gone to HELL in the a drekking handbasket. Still dazed from the events at Kobe Terrace, the team tried to make good their escape through the sewers. They couldn't even remember how they got out of there. All they knew was that no body was shooting at them for the moment.

TundraWolf shove their bastard Johnson once more to keep him move. The desire to slowly torture the fragger to death was seriously warring with the need to get paid. If the whining started up again, the decision would definitely tip over to the other side.

Mr. White brush at the blood threatening to blind him yet again. "Your spirits still up there, Gardner?"

The giant sadly shook his head in the negative. "Watcher spirit checking if we're being followed, but the others were all dealt with long ago. They were already losing to Horizon's spirits when Knight Errant's Rapid Response team showed up. Ghost knows how lucky we were to get out of there before they noticed us limping away."

Silas could only trudge away and nod agreement. 10k was seriously nowhere near enough for what happened back there. It had looked like they were going to be able to handle the guys in the truck, even with KE on the scene. But then, that armored Citymaster came rolling around the corner, and those helis, where the fuck had they come from. Silas was certain they were did then, but somehow they made it out. One moment he'd been kneeling down to just give up from all the pain, the next Gardner was picking him out of the rubble of a massive explosion, and then they were suddenly slogging through this nasty sludge with the sounds of battle fading away.

They all knew they wouldn't be safe until they'd unloaded Parker Acson into somebody elses hands, maybe not even then, so they kept stumbling along as best they can.

Needle far and away in the worst shape of all of them piped up. "Ok, I've got the message ready to send to Moreau. It's encrypted on so many levels I'm not even sure Moreau will get anything from it. But it should be enough to prevent Horizon from catching on to our plans until it's too late." She paused to rest her head against the slimy wall, at least it felt cool against the pain.

Gardner rested a large hand on on her shoulder to steady her. "You ok?"

She winced as she shook her head. "Are we sure we want to even try again? I'm really fragged after that crash. I could have made a mistake."

"I needs to get paid if only to get us out of town," Silas said heatedly. "We can't just give up."

"He's right," chimed in TundraWolf

"But look at us. We are in no shape to handle any..."

Mr. White quieted her with a calming gesture. "Look, Do you think it's likely that you made a mistake? Or is this just fear?"

"Well, I'm pretty sure it's good. I just..."

"Your good is enough for me. And I think we all agree that we want this piece of drek out of hair permanently. Let Horizon face off against Moreau if they want him so bad. We don't want them hunting us if Acson just vanished."

Needle looked like she wanted to say more, but finally just nodded. Mr. White was right. They didn't want Horizon following them. And Silas was right too. They needed the money from Moreau to fade into the shadows in case Horizon a grudge and comes after them anyway. "Ok, Do you think we can make it to our drop point in time?"

Mr. White flipped his commlink on briefly to check their GPS coordinates and the current time, then flipped it off just as quickly to make sure it couldn't be traced. Who knows what kind of uber-techno-drek the likes of Horizon could be throwing at finding them. "Send it."

With that, Needle sent a mental command through her deck and the message was away. There was no turning back now.

Fourty-five minutes later found the team in a secured location within the barrens. TundraWolf had called in an aged favor from the local gangers who had cleared a fairly sizable section of the Barrens from all traffic. Should anything larger than a nano-drone enter the area they'd no about it and bug out long before it reached the building.

With TundraWolf and Silas set for an ambush, Needle providing digital overwatch, and Gardner being the heavy backup; Mr. White sat with Acson bound and gagged in a chair. His commlink configure to only receive short range signals from the very short list of the trusted devices of his fellow teammates. It beeped twice with the signal from Needle saying Moreau's vehicle was inbound.

It was a long two minutes as the car pulled up and three figures emerged, everybody's body was pumping full of adrenaline from the anxiety. Video feeds allowed the team to positively identify Moreau carrying an oversized briefcase. They also recognized the troll from earlier in the evening, the one with duffle bag at You Should Not Eat So Much. The duffle bag was gone now and he was openly carrying a very large, and possibly mono-etched battleaxe that rested on one shoulder. The third figure was the ork driver who stepped out of the car, said a few words to Moreau, before reaching back in to pull out a Panther Cannon.

Silas who had eyes on the situation quickly started messaging the other team that it looked like a double cross.

TundraWolf tried his best to move to a better position without compromising his stealth. He wasn't going to just lay down and let Moreau take Acson for free.

Mr. White and Gardner exchanged looks. Should they just bugger out?

Needle finally called across their private comms. "Wait. The driver's staying with the car. I think we're ok."

"You sure?" Mr. White messaged back.

"Yes, He's definitely staying."

"She's right," Silas agreed. "And he seems to be more concerned with the streets and skies than our little building."

Mr. White sighed loudly and wiped at the sweat on his brow. What? It was hot inside the building. He wasn't letting his nerves get to him. "Focus everybody. Stay calm and focus. We're almost through this drek. Silas keep an eye on that guy. TW get back in position. I want the troll covered."

"Consider it done. You just do the talking thing, White. I'll handle the shooting things."

In another moment the axe weilding troll led the way into the large open room where Mr. White, Gardner, and Acson waiting. He looked at the scene with Mr. White's gun sitting on the table in front of him. It's not like White thought it would be of much use if the drek hit the fan, but it set the atmosphere for this transaction quite appropriately. The troll's gravelling voice could be heard 'whispering' something to his boss though none of the team could make out the words.

"Enough. We are here for business." Moreau's assertive voice could clearly be heard as he told the troll they were still going through with this. Moreau took the lead to self-assuredly stride forward, leaving the troll to follow in his footsteps.

As they approached the small table, Moreau pulled out the chair to sit down, resting his large briefcase on the floor beside him. Gardner stepped closer behind Mr. White when the troll hefted his axe just behind his boss. Moreau rolled his eyes at the gesture. Then held up a hand to wave his bodyguard back a couple steps. The troll stepped back with an almost inaudible rumble of a growl. Gardner did likewise.

For a minute of complete silence, Moreau looked over the shadowrunners and their goods. He looked up at the long since collapse ceiling where he had to assume at least one team member was watching with readied weapon. Finally, he leaned forward to rest his elbows on the table and steepled his fingers before him. "So, you are ready hand over this man?"

Mr. White answered with a single, monotone "yes."

Gesturing towards Parker's condition off handedly, Moreau asked "I take it you no longer care about his future within our employee?"

Again in a monotone voice, "No."

"I see." Moreau paused for another moment. "Very well then." He reached into his coat in an over slow and cautious manner to make sure nobody jumped to the wrong conclusions. He pulled out 5 onyx colored cred sticks. "I understand one of your number went missing. So, I've added a small bonus for the 5 of you."

Mr. White coolly reached out and pulled the credsticks across the table. Moreau waited patiently, ignoring the poor ettiquette, as Mr. White pressed each of the individual credsticks to his commlink to verify their contents. Each contained 11000 nuyen. Small bonus indeed, but at this point it wasn't worth another fight. He slipped them into his own suit jacket and nodded. "Thank you for your business. He's your problem now"

He waited for Moreau or his pet troll to move to grab the Acson. When neither budged a muscle, he started getting worried. Had something gone wrong? They had the money now, but Moreau wasn't taking his new employee away. What the hell was about to happen. Mr. White quickly glance back over his should at Gardner to see if the Giant had caught something he hadn't. But Gardner only looked confused too.

When Mr. White turned back, Moreau spoke up. "You and your team may leave now."

What? Why does this guy want the team to leave rather than just taking Acson away. It didn't make since. Mr. White was running every possible scenario through his mind trying to understand what could be going on here, but every single one ended with more questions. Finally, he decided he just didn't care any more. Moreau could betray them or not. He just wanted to leave all of this behind them. At least with credsticks in his pocket, there was a fairly good chance they were going to make it through this.

He slowly picked up his pistol and slid it back into its holster. He stood up and speaking to Moreau as well as the team across their comms. "It's been a pleasure. We're gone." The pressure and anxiety weighed heavily as he turn his back on Moreau in a gesture of trust. If something was going to happen, it would happen then. He tensed up, but nothing happened. He took a step. And still nothing happened. He took another step more sure of himself, and still nothing. By the time his few steps took him past Acson's bound form, he was feeling kind of cocky. He couldn't help himself, he kicked the shithead as he went by.

Gardner quietly lumbered behind Mr. White glancing confusedly at Moreau as he went. Neither businessman nor body guard moved a muscle as the two runners exited the door at the back of the room.

Mr. White signal the team confirmation that they had the money. Gardner and he were leaving by way of escape plan alpha.

Silas whooped with excitement across the comms. He held position for another minute to make sure White and Gardner had gotten sufficiently far along in the exit plan. Then he crawled deeper into the shadows and made his own exit.

TundraWolf who was still watching Moreau from the ruins of the second floor just sat. He didn't trust Moreau, not one bit. But both the troll and Moreau just stayed there. Neither moved towards Acson. Neither moved to follow White and Gardner. Another minute passed. Then two. Then three.

Finally the troll started to move, but Moreau held up a hand that halted him instead. Moreau very distinctly looked up towards the second floor, though TundraWolf couldn't tell where the eyes were focusing. The guy couldn't have seen him up there, could he?

Moreau's voice called up to the second floor. "You can leave now too."

Shaken by the thought he had been made, TundraWolf made just enough sound to make it seem like he was being stealthy as he backed away from the opening that gave him such a view from below.

The rest of the team started messaging him wondering if he was ok, but TW muted them. He couldn't see Moreau any more, but he could still hear him. A full 5 minutes of silence passed before he finally gave up. He unmuted the others and quickly messaged that he was fine. Just being overly cautious. He would meet them out exit gamma (yes, the team had thoroughly planned out their exodus from this building).

As he was just reaching the limits of his hearing, he thought he heard Moreau say something to the troll. At this distance it was only the smallest murmur and may have just been his imagination, but he swore he heard something. As he paused trying to pick up anything else, he heard a wet knocking sound he couldn't identify, followed by a small thud and a larger thud; some more murmurred words he couldn't make out; then the click of something sealing shut. Finally the sounds of Moreau leaving.

"We're at gamma. Where are you?" came the urgent call from the others."If you're not here in 30 seconds, you're on your own."

Still questioning what could have just happened back in that room, TundraWolf gave up the thought of going back to find out. "Screw it. Not my problem anymore," he said to the empty hallway. He rushed the rest of the way through the building, barely making it to his exit before he was left behind.

"What took you so long, brother?" called out the releaved Silasp.

"Nothing. Just..." TundraWolf still had so many questions. "It was nothing. Let's get the frag out of here." Needle/ accellerated their newly borrowed SUV into the night even before TW had closed the door behind him.

An hour later, Mr. White handed each of them the hard earned credsticks. "I don't know about you guys. But I am getting out of Seattle for a while. I don't think I have to tell you to do the same."

They all agreed. They each went their separate ways to fade away in the shadows by the best means available to them. Their exploits had finally hit the news channels when even Horizon was unable to cover up the full scale war that ended up tearing through the streets of downtown Seattle near Kobe Terrace Park. Horizon was at least able to disguise their involvement however. So KE was simply looking for the usual suspects with claims of terrorism striking out at the fair city.

Later, Needle did come across a newsfeed that mentioned the death of one Parker Acson as a bystander in the chaos. According to an obituary she eventually located, Horizon held a closed casket funeral for their fallen comrade. They actually turned him into some kind of martyr that had been trying to save a group of school children from the terrible terrorist (still at large). Those sick bastards were able to twist the whole thing into a major PR boost showing how much they care for even their newest employees and how they are the megacorp that inspires 'heroes like Parker Acson' to join them.
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