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Mr. White frowns and points at the nearby table with a floor length tablecloth.

"I'm here to help you, and am your only way out of this mess. Under the table." he points at the table, and with a quick glance around - hoping there's not a security good hovering over them - he directs Acson to duck under the table.
Friday, 19:57; 30th floor of the Yojirushi building
Hermes Ikon: Hidden | SIN: Ivan Mozhayev

Tundra Wolf checked the clips on the harness one last time, then pushed off into the open air between the two buildings. He kept his eyes firmly on the form of the maniacal ork ahead of him on the zip line, not really wanting to see the ground 30 stories below him rushing past. Stopping proved challenging, but he managed to avoid impacting his teammate too hard, then braced himself in case Eclipse wasn't as lucky. He needn't have worried, as the last person across the line slowed to a stop with ease that made Nikolai look childish.

At 30 seconds to "go" time, the earbuds in his ear crackled to life with Needle's warning of the imminent alarms. Nothing is ever easy... "Acknowledged," he breathed into the subvocal microphone patched to his neck, then released the connection to the zipline and dropped to the balcony. A quick glance at the maÓtre d' and the bar as he mentally released the safety on the Ingram in his hands showed they hadn't noticed them quite yet.

Then the balcony became as daylight as every exterior light kicked on, and he heard the faint click as the doors from the balcony locked. He grimaced, then blinked as a hand cannon appeared in the hand of the maÓtre d' and he began shouting orders into his now-obvious security microphone while taking cover behind the bar. Before Tundra Wolf could even finish bringing the Smartgun's stock to rest against his shoulder the revolver in the company man's hand roared. Too slow, Nikolai, even with your wires.

A veritable storm of return fire was directed at the company man, the cracks of the pistols wielded by his teammates joining the muted chatter of the suppressed sub-machine gun in Tundra Wolf's grip. Rounds blasted divots out of the bar and surrounding concrete, but their target couldn't evade them all. A small spray of blood misted from him as one of the lethal rounds from his comrades hit home, then he grimaced as a couple of the shock rounds from Tundra Wolf's SMG hit home and delivered their payloads. Nikolai grunted as the company man shrugged off the charge that should have incapacitated him. Had he simply gone down he would avoid more of the killing shots. A pity.
Friday, 20:00; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor

What does that thing fire, tiny missiles?! Gardner amazes as the pain blossoms from his side where the bullet blasted through his layered armor. With a grunt, he drops to the ground, staff still in hand after using it for added security on the zip line. Moving into a defensive stance, he moves in to muck up the man's aim with the threat of attack. At the same time, he gives a mental command to his spirit, ushering it to aid them.

The spirit materializes from the astral, coming into form as a massive living tree. Seeming almost as if it were growing from the balcony floor. It's roots split slightly to allow it movement, but as it observes it sees no immediate threat to those under its care.

As the man deftly dodges attacks, and shrugs off others, it is obvious that he could be a serious threat. After his defensive strike misses, and the company man continues to call out commands to his security team, Gardner makes a snap decision to take him down quickly.

Once again, the image of plant-life spreads across Gardner's face. This time, thorned and not nearly as calming. He gathers the magic around him quickly, forming the spell that will sap the man's strength. Ignoring the growing headache, Gardner releases the unseen blast of energy, and the Horizon security officer goes down unceremoniously.

The giant tree continues to stand still, observing the scene, but making no movement even as the wind blows everything else.

As the blood running from his nose begins to dry on his beard, he moves over to check that the company man isn't mortaly injured. I fear I may have over done it. Please Mother, let this child continue his journey...

With a small sigh of relief, he turns to the waitstaff huddled and frightened in the corner of the balcony. "He's alright, just stay down, nobody needs to get hurt."
Friday, 19:57; 30th floor of the Yojirushi building
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Pliskin

A steady hand clips Eclipse's harness to the shot line, his hand flexing lightly around the tensioned carabiner that would slow his descent. The remaining members of the group on the Yojirushi building get a grin, and he leaps off into the abyss. 30 floors off the ground with nothing keeping him from a very long fall to Acme territory but an impossibly thin wire.
I should be a bird...
A few dozen feet from the Horizon wall he squeezes the carabiner to decelerate at a nice pace. A few yards away and he releases, angling his swinging body to let the momentum carry him to a decorative ledge for his perch to wait. So far, so good. Especially since the 200,000 nuyen.gif worth of gear he owns to do exactly this is in a locked box back at his apartment.

Friday, 20:00; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor

With the single word into his commlink, Eclipse is ready. He gracefully falls from his decorate perch, body twisting as he goes to land in a crouch. Already his hand is in his jacket pocket, reflexively pulling the massively intimidating hold-out pistol free. He fires off two quick shots, eyes widening as the giant maitre-d' moves so quickly... even so he smiles a satisfied smirk as a thin blossom of red appears over his heart. no real effect. The worry grows as two bursts of automatic fire yield the same result. There's clear blood, if not as much as there should be, and the man just doesn't care. Shit.

"What the..? Why y' little piece of..."
Two more POPs sound from his pea-shooter as Eclipse starts heading over. If the gun doesn't do it, a throat punch might... As he's closing in there's a surge of unseen energy from Gardner and the man crumples. ...Well then! The giant gets a sheepish grin and nod of thanks.
A hand dips into his pocket then, pulling out his commlink and, habitually, reading the text notification.
"Drones? Fuck. I thought it was a bloody interview!"
His speed picks up on the way to a set of glass doors leading in from the balcony. It may cost him what little demo he has, but being a sitting duck for drone-mounted autocannons, or even full auto tasers, sounds like a horrible day. He kneels, prepping the device, when Silus leaps to the rescue and caves in the glass wall with a vibrosword.

"Stop stealin' my thunder! ...thanks though."
Friday, 20:00:02; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor

The shadows are Silas' friends, his companion and his salvation in all that he does best. And now they are gone!
Crouching here on the balcony, the illusory waves lapping at his ankles and the halogen glow illuminating him from everywhere, his muscles and nerves tense to the point of snapping, he feels exposed more than ever before, the adrenalin increases the pace of his already rapid pulsing heart, the need to move to be freed burns in the front of his mind as his vision blurrs with red mist.

To his right the giant Gardner emits a grunt of pain as the roar of a hand cannon breaks the quiet of the night, he seems pained but is not out of the fight by any means
<By Thor's mighty pink knickers, what would it take to drop that guy, he'd shrug off a PAC I bet>

With that thought Silas becomes a blur, the coiled muscles release their energy and the augmented wires and synapses in his body scream at him in their joy at being free.
the pistol in his right hand raises in seeming slow motion as Silas springs up from cover by the bar and leaps the structure in one move firing at the exposed Maitre D'
the smoke rising from the revolver he had expelled at Gardner moments before, to his left the Barman, a tall blue dragon with a completely bemused look on his face, <note to self, Dragons DO NOT do bemused very well, looks like a happy puppy>

"Tables for one plizz mon sewer!" he cannot resist making a sarcastic remark as he shoots, but the target is already moving,
the lights from above giving Silas position away completely and losing him the element of surprise and his two shots go barely wide of the mark,
gel rounds impact the glass window behind giving off a weird "Byyooing" sound.

In his peripheral vision Tundra Wolf and Eclipse are firing as well and a hail of bullets fill the area the Maitre D' occupied, most missing or glancing off his obvously armoured tailored dinner wear. something hits him and tiny crackles of electricity flash across his torso, setting his muscles to contraction and his jaw locks but otherwise unaffected, other than being utterly pissed off.

As his feet hit solid ground again, Silas keeps his forward momentum pistol trained on the target, the Maitre D' ducks and dodges again, He's screaming into his comm "Where the HELL are those fragging drones! We have a full scale infiltration here. Call in the damn t-birds already." and begins a mad dash for some form of cover.
<Uh-oh, T-birds ? no one mentioned fraggin T-Birds ... Mommy !>

Silas has no time to worry about it any more though, there's a Wmuumpff, Wmuumpff sound from over head and he guesses at some form of grenade launcher mistakenly, shouting "Heads up Chummers, Grenades!"
Gardner takes a huge step forward as the Maitre D' tries to dash past him, the tree trunk of a stick he carries swooshes over his head as Silas fires wide again <keep frakkin STILL while I shoot you !>
in his ear the commlink chirps "Incoming drones, overhead!" so he keeps moving, trying to get under some form of cover from aerial munitions.

It is only now that he sees the magical form of a magnificent oak tree taking root into the solid ground as it materialises from the thin air
<groovy, I gots ta get me one of dose !> and within moments Gardner glows and shimmers in the same fashion as the materialised tree and the Maitre D' just crumples to the floor <DAMN , I REALLY gots ta get me one of dose !>

As he approaches the glass wall and doors Silas can make out frantic movement inside as security try to herd guests away from danger, he can hear muffled sounds and shouts "mumble muffle ... Go ..... exit .....That ....... numbnuts!"
<Where the frakk is Whitey ? >
with a practised motion the gun is transferred to his left hand which swings wide as the dragon form dissolves leaving the rather plain form of a human male, this promptly vanishes as the gun fires at the apex of it's fluid motion, the round pings off the bar sending chunks flying but no blood or sound of anguish.
<They's not playing fair, stands STILL I sez!>
His right hand draws his vibro-sword from it's sheath on his back and the subsonic hum feels re-assuring in his hand.

The run has bought him up close to the glass barrier and Silas closes his eyes with the effort and protecting his vision, he swings with all his strength expecting there to be resistance, completely unaware that Eclipse has arrived at exactly the same time, he has slid to his knees with explosives in hand ready to set off the boom. As he reaches forward to prepare, like a knife through sparkling butter.. the sword impacts!
and as shards of glass explode around him Eclipse is heard muttering "Stop stealin' my thunder! ...thanks though."

Silas opens one eye, then the other to examine his handiwork, looking down at Eclipse at his knees, plastique and detonator in hand looking perplexed
"Ooopsies!" is all he can think of to say.

Then the motion continues, Eclipse is shooting at guards beyond the shattered wall and the others are coming up behind him

over comms "Cover your eyes, flashbang!" and a quietly muttered "maybe it'll knock Drunky McPlanwrecker, out, too"
Silas looks quickly over his shoulder at Tundra Wolf, with an inquisitive and guilty look in his eye, but Tundra Wolf is looking over at where the Dragon was a moment ago, and his brief moment of guilt passes
<Whew, I'm not drunk> He thinks and steps in over the broken glass.....
Friday, 20:00; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor
Hermes Ikon: Hidden | SIN: Ivan Mozhayev

Even as their opposition was yelling for air support Tundra Wolf heard a small foont noise from overhead. Autolaunchers? On a skyscraper?? He snapped his head up, the flare compensation in his cybereyes dampening enough of the glare from the lights for him to see the rapid descent of two rotodrones with smaller versions of Mishka strapped to them.

He muttered a choice word under his breath, then opened the comms channel again. "Incoming drones, overhead!"

The rangefinder in the Ingram put the drones at a distance he'd rather have the assault rifle which was in it's cabinet at home, but he was still capable of hitting them with the sub-machine gun. A short burst put 3 of the charged rounds into the drone closest to the building, with no obvious result. Pah, these are machines, идиот. Still looking up, his thermal overlay picked up a human shape come into view on the roof, and battlefield recognition informed him of the sniper rifle in the hands of that shape.

For a fraction of a second time seemed to slow as several options played out in his hyper-accelerated state, then he exhaled and began moving. The magazine in the smartgun ejected with a mental command, then he slammed it's companion containing full metal jacket ammunition into it's place. A longer, more controlled burst blazed upwards and blasted the drone into fiery ruin, then he was moving again. A burst in the back from an AK is more survivable than a bolt in the head from a Dragunov, da? He saw the flash of sparks as the blurring sword in the hand of his teammate opened the door into the ballroom ahead of him, then the faces of guards behind overturned tables further in. The flashbang was in his hand a step later, his thumb depressing the arming stud as he reached the entryway.

"Cover your eyes, flashbang!" The words spoken into the commbead at his throat were clipped, as phantom pain from the long-ago demolitions mishap burned along nerves no longer a part of him. A heartbeat later the grenade left his hand, describing a gentle arc as it flew towards a table behind the guards.
"Try shadowrunning" Marty said. "It's easy money." If Marty were here underneath a table in Horizon Corp's building, Mr. White would've punched him right in his big ork face.

There was something seriously wrong with this business. If he ever hired some people for a complicated task and then told them that they had fifteen minutes to prepare, he hoped that they'd laugh in his face and walk away. He wondered for a second if he'd have been smarter to have walked away from this one. He'd hoped shadowrunning would get some easy cash and pick up some good contacts. So far it had just been a huge pain in the ass.

Still, he was a professional, and he turned his attention back to the task at hand.

"Mr. Acson, I know this is chaotic and unexpected. They're likely to be tracking you via your comlink - may I?" he holds out his hand, hoping the fellow will simply hand it over, so that he can hit the power button. He tries to ignore the drunk. That can be dealt with in a few moments. Mr. White knew that if you keep them focused, a target can generally be directed successfully.
The thunder of a high caliber rifle echoes down the building. Only the quick recollection of a temporarily disabled sniper and some luck moves Gardner's arm out of the path of the high velocity bullet. Not enough luck, it seems. The second bullet, rips through his shoulder, causing a spasm in his arm. Even before his staff has time to fall from his weakened grip, Gardner is already running for cover.

The towering tree disappears as suddenly as it had arrived as the spirit perceives the new threat from above and returns to the Astral to close the distance.

Grabbing one of the empty tables with his good hand as he passes, Gardner drags it to the wall beside the now shattered windows where his team has breached the building. He falls heavily against the wall with a loud *whump* accompanied by the grinding of the table across the floor. Gardner steadies the table above him, creating a makeshift structure against the building for cover against the sniper on the roof far above.

The spirit reforms on the top of the building, over twenty stories higher. The trunk of its tree-like form splitting like a multitude of short, stubby legs. The giant tree begins to loom over the lone man, eerily silent as it readies to strike.
Severus Snape
Needle works quickly, her fingers deftly pressing the right keys to stop running some programs and start running others. After a few moments have passed, the terminal screen presents itself to her, a digital joystick to one side and a digital keyboard underneath. She waits but a mere moment for the terminal to show that she has a link to the drone, and she cracks her digital knuckles as she gets ready to wreak some havoc. She quickly sends a message to the team.

"Drone is on its way to help."

She types out a command in the terminal and hits ENTER to send the command to the drone: Fly as fast as it can down to the balcony. She can only hope at this point that she hasn't screwed her team.
Friday, 20:00; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor
Hermes Ikon: Hidden | SIN: Ivan Mozhayev

Tundra Wolf suppressed his frustration as the guards scattered before the grenade detonated and flipped a table into a group of civilians. Then he was too busy attempting to dodge the fusillade of fire directed at him by the guards to his left to feel much of anything.

A single round thumped against his chest and he grimaced as a powerful shock blasted through his system. Warnings scrolled across his vision from the cybersystems in his chest and arm about potential damage, but no integrity breaches registered. He stumbled as he cleared the door and his teammates quickly filled the space around him, the crack of their pistols reverberating in his head. Through the subtle doubling of his vision he saw one of the two guards go down under a blood-less impact, then the Smartgun was back against his shoulder. A short burst finished off the prone guard, then a longer burst dropped the guard firing from the doorway of what looked to be the kitchen in a spray of gore.

He turned towards the two remaining guards as he sought cover behind the table in front of him, but it didn't matter. He saw the barrel of the light pistol in the closest guard's hands line up with his chest, then everything quickly faded to black. As unconsciousness claimed him the last thing he saw was Warning: system integrity at 62%, electrical dampeners overloaded.
Friday, 20:00; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Pliskin

As soon as the door is smashed, things go to shit. Why would Eclipse think otherwise? He rises from his crouch to put a single shot into the gut of a security guard still in the open when the faint 'crack' of a high velocity rifle in the distance steals his attention. His head twists, in time to see Gardner staggering from a blow from a suddenly crimson arm. Shit! Reflexes kick in and he dives across the gap during a brief break in gunfire, already calculating the chance of vein retraction and where to place the tourniquet (The one sitting safe and snug in the top of the line medkit... at home.) when another hail of gunfire from inside sounds. This one, unfortunately, is different as it's followed by the smell of cooking meat and the unmistakably sad sound of a limp body hitting the ground. No, not limp - still twitching with the residual electricity from too many stick-n-shocks. Bastards!
Just around the corner and out of sight there's an explosion, the bright pop and flash distinctive to flashbangs. Lovely!

With his eyes already filtering out the flash, Eclipse dives into the room to the overturned table Tundra Wolf is behind. Eyes flicker back down to the unconcious form and he frowns. Already he's looking for uneven rise and fall of the chest and trying to identify where the bleeding is worst, but unfortunately there's not a whole lot he can do with hails of bullets still incoming.
This is more than I can do with strips of cloth. If I were a Horizon gala, I'd stash discreet supplies.... there! His eyes land on his new destination, the kitchen doors. He reaches out to try and get a grip on the fallen Tundra Wolf's body to haul him back into cover as his new priority patient, dragging and sprinting to the upper limits of his ultra-thin bioware-enhanced frame. Unfortunately, he makes it only a couple steps before the burning in his arms tells him just how much chrome weighs. His course changes to the balcony and the promise of sweet sweet cover. TW doesn't appear to be bleeding out, and there certainly isn't the equipment to stabilize Stick-n-Shock induced arrhythmia... unfortunately, he can wait.

"Shitshitshit! We can't keep takin' this fire! We're fuckin' sittin' ducks out here!" he mumbles, fantasizing not for the first time about lodging his fist in the Johnson's nose. Repeatedly. "We're out of time!"
Friday, 20:00; 28th floor, Gala room of the Horizon Splendor

The wind whistles past the shattered glass "door way" that Silas has created, it sounds to him like some ancient and angry spirit as it wails and thrashes against it's intangible bonds.

To his left Eclipse is rushing to the fallen TundraWolf and is <Looting dah body ? .. wow.. ballsy move!> dragging the unconscious form out of the building,
bullets are flying and Silas exhales in a loud <Whooooosh> as something solid impacts his chestplate, tiny crackles of lightning race over his body making his muscles contract and then the room is spinning.

He reaches out to the wall for some stability as he runs and stumbles as the wall moves out of his reach <Harr Harr verr' funnies >
shaking his head to try and clear his vision he charges down the nearest guard, vibro-sword buzzing angrily in his hand he leaps the table and using his momentum to shift it back onto it's legs and then over again he slides down the reverse side to land on his feet,

The arc of the sword aimed at head height would decapitate a nornal man, but the guard steps into Silas' personal space and manages to put his right hand in place to block the attack at Silas' wrist, the impact shakes the light pistol loose from his grip
<Ooooh, you lucky son of a ....> he doesn't get to complete the rest of the thought though, as some drunken guest swings at him with a broken bottle, Silas only just spots this in his peripheral vision and throws an armoured elbow up to block the impact as a reflexive action and manages to avoid damage. He Snarls angrily at the drunkard, but has to focus his attention on the security guard in front of him taking a defensive stance.

to his right he spots Mr. White and the target under a table preapring to move from cover "Oi, Chummer ! ... Sammiches ?!"
Mr. White watches the drunk stagger away from the table, and then raises his head to survey the chaos in the room. He turns back to their mark, "Alright Mr. Acson. I believe it's time to go. Straight for the balcony, don't stop, and keep low." With that, he directs Acson toward the balcony and then will follow behind him.
Severus Snape
There was a time, way back when Needle was just a small child, when she had a choice to make. She could either go outside and play with the other kids, building up some sense of social accomplishment and overcoming childhood fears of playing sports and games, or she could stay indoors and play on the computer, avoiding anyone and anything that had the slightest bit to do with exerting oneself in a physical manner. She chose to stay indoors, not knowing how to interact with other people and not caring for anything outside a video game console.

Now, some 15 years later, the wind in her face and the lights of the city a mere blur as tears rolled down her cheeks, she flew through the night sky, a parachute and a prayer her only saving graces.

If I live through this, I think I might be sick again...

She still couldn't believe it. She voluntarily flung herself off the roof of the building, some 30 stories above the street, with nary a thought or hesitation. And although the actual flight to the ground was less than 7 seconds, it seemed an eternity to her as every thought she ever had rushed through her mind, her life's work flashing before her eyes. The ground quickly approached, the black of the concrete looking hard as it rushed up towards her.

Well, I guess now is better than never...

She pulled on the rip cord, the parachute billowing out and catching air, slowing her descent. She finally touched down, harder than she wanted but much softer than she expected, the bus in plain sight and rather close.

"Well, hot damn - I did it!"

She began moving towards the bus, trying to remove the parachute from her back as she did so.
*CRACK* The muffled shot of the silenced pistol echos off the table nearest Silas.
The shot is true "Gotcha Mutha Fragger!" he snickers with a glance toward the intended target.

the rush of wind and napkins blown around the place indicates a new threat in the room and he reacts to it,
but not before noticing the Guard stooped over the corpse of his fallen comrade, who twists and takes the hardened gel round on the muscled upper left arm, and shrugs it off with a primal scream of rage and indignation.... <Wow ... and FRAK!>

as Silas propels himself towards the drone as it hovers in place, the bullets begin to fly in all directions he is almost forced to one knee as the automatic fire lays waste to the furniture and fittings, again the muscle toners and fibre optic reflexes take over, his thigh muscles tense and launch him upwards into the rafters. through the space the drone occupies as he thinks about a wide swing with the Vibro-Sword the hovering death bot explodes in a shower of sparks and flame, through the smoke Eclipse can be seen blowing gun smoke from the end of the barrel and smiling, satisfied in his work.

"Cheers for the buzz-kill Chummer!"

Then the smoke clears and in the broken window an angry spirit of air whirls and fumes, Mr. White and the target almost skid to a halt in front of it, Silas prepares a diving sword chop at the beast, but as he launches another hail of bullets ping off the metal around him and he steps off on the wrong foot, missing the spirit but landing nearby and drawing it's attention while the others charge past.

Out on the balcony it seems like a manifesters re-union, spirits are all over in a crazy dance of magic. He decides to make a last mad dash for freedom and the Air being swipes and nearly takes him down but Silas barely slips past it. checking his gear for the harness he begins a run for the dangling ropes

"Comes on, Tiny ! times ta go Chummer! they is all outta sammiches"
Friday, 20:01; 28th floor balcony of the Horizon Splendor
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Pliskin

As the smoke billows away from the now molten drone, Eclipse grins. Gotcha. He catches Silus' eyes and sends a wink. "Payback! Next one's yers, chummer." Ingram Smartgun is lowered after a few heartbeats without seeing another target, even if Randy Jones was still being a pest on the other side of the room. His free hand grabs Tundra Wolf's collar and he begins to haul, dragging the unconscious runner the rest of the way to their escape harness. Eclipse fastens himself first, cinching the harness tight over jeans and leather jacket. Not, he remembers yet again, the attire he'd prefer for this kind of thing... His new best friend follows until the two of them are ready. With one final glance around the roof, Eclipse lets a massive smile spill over his face before he steps back and goes a'tumblin' in free fall.

CRACK. The problem with rappelling is, apparently, swinging back in to the building when you hop out. Eclipse is quickly reminded of this as his shoulder is pummeled by the concrete. Sunovabitch! The rest of the descent goes easier, even as the lines begin to tremble with the increased weight of the rest of the team joining him in escape.
Hopefully Ascon's somewhere up there...
The thought is cut off as yet another drone opens fire. There's a splash of blood from somewhere up high, enhanced vision catching a droplet as it goes flying by his face. Well then - Eclipse pauses, feet planting firmly against the side of the Horizon Splendor as his purloined Smartgun X is hefted (bruised shoulder nonewithstanding), aimed, and fired. It bucks in his weakened grasp, but even so the bullets fly true. For the second time in as many minutes, he reduces a drone to slag.
INSERT USER NAME HERE: Ingram Smartgun X at 5/32. No additional ammunition detected on PAN - would you like to place an order?

"Silus! Yer slackin'!"

A long few minutes later and feet touch the ground. Seconds later, just as Eclipse has pulled the release straps on both himself and poor, poor Tundra Wolf, Needle's van comes sliding up. Timing! His ward and him climb in before his team has even touched down. Safety!
Friday, 20:02; somewhere near the 5th floor of the Horizon Splendor

The screech of tyres on tarmac echos weirdly up between the glass towers as Needle's vehicle draws to a halt.
Eclipse's form below shows the visible relief as he steps into the van a few stories belw Mr. White who is a bare few metres below Silas

He takes a breath of cool night air, regains a tight grip on the harness round the giggling form of Parker Acson and yanks the release rope on the descender mechanism
<Hmmmmm, guess it's only fun da' first time> It's apparent the adrenaline has worn off now, it's still fun but only truly exciting because of the unknown factor surrounding what awaits him on the ground.

As he comes to a controlled halt before taking Mr. White out,
the rope begins a vibrating hum like wind over a guitar string pulled taut, Silas glances up at the impressive bulk of Gardner as he launches himself out into open air, flailing wildly and fur coat parachuting around him in the night.
<Grab the lever! .... Grab the LEVER ... ooooh Drek .....this is gonna sting .. Grab the ....>

A tumbling drone explodes above him in a plume of orange fire and smoke and Gardner on a reflex reaches out for the descender, bringing himself to a sudden stop with an audible grunt.

The rope screams in torment and they drop what feels like a mile but is only inches as the line takes the new strain, and then he drops again, arms wide and the mumbling of what can only be a spell being cast is heard
<Frag the spells Chummer, don't drop on my head!>
and again Gardner comes to a stop above them

"Whitey!" Silas almost yells below him "Get movin'!" and he releases the catch once more hoping to be on solid ground soon <Takes alla da fun outta dis!>

But the thought is almost too soon, Gunfire erupts below them and the sound of bullets impacting some form of thin material that should be metal but is actually paper or linen or some other lightweight structure
"FRAG IT ! ... not teh Van !" He mutters glumly to no one in particular .. <DREK, the bike's too far away to sprint, gonna have to get in dat rust bucket ?> He is not looking forward to that prospect but beggars cannot be choosers.

As he concentrates on the battle below, while Needle performs vehicular manslaughter on the 'Horizon HTRT' and Eclipse does his best impression of a Gangsta drive by, the vibration in the rope reminds him of the tumbling giant above him,
he barely notices that Mr. White has landed directly below him "Oh Drek... Ooooh Drek ....Ohhhhh .... Whew!" by swinging Acson underneath him, Silas manages enough lateral movement to narrowly avoid crashing into the guy below, landing on his feet and quickly snapping the caribiner from his combat vest-cum-harness.

"Gets in the VAN Parker!" he mutters with a heave and a grunt of effort he launches the guy prone into the bus, following him in he knocks equipment and medkits and food packets from their storage bays out all over the Van Silas makes a grab for one of the tumbling items, he strips the packaging and smacks it hard into the awkwardly fallen form of TundraWolf

"Chummer, Don't go into the Light .. okays ?? ... and for Frag's sake! .... I hopes dis is a StimPack and ain'ts a packet o' SUPA-NOODLES !"
Safely behind his makeshift cover, Gardner doesnít have time to relax. He sends a quick call for one of his spirits so that he can have it help the group on its imminent descent from the tower. Then, he quickly shifts his perception to the Astral, checking for magical threats. He notes the retreating form of what can only be the frightened bartender, but recognizes the lack of active threat to the group by his lack of offensive action.

After helping Eclipse drag the limp form of Tundra Wolf out of the line of fire, he sends a mental command to the awaiting Earth Spirit. Help my team get down from this building, I will point them out as they approach. The spirit takes form near the bar, appearing as a squat shrub that seems as if it was uprooted and took the plot of land it was in with it. It readies itself to help the group.

[High above, the giant tree lashes out at the surprised agent. Vines and roots suddenly surround and engulf the man in a strangling hold, squeezing the breath out of him. Even as he struggles, the plant life continues to wrap around him and it is only a matter of time before it overwhelms him.]

A moment before it begins to materialize, Gardner notices the large man-shaped whirlwind, an Air Elemental. Just what I need, a spirit to get in the way of us getting down. With a slight hint toward his spirits, Gardner gathers his power and tries to damage the gathering spirit. The Earth spirit, clods of dirt falling off of its roots but disappearing instantly, moves up to his side and attempts an awkward attack. The Elemental is unfazed by both of them, casually sidestepping the stumbling spirit and hardening its will against Gardnerís assault.

[The threat above dealt with, the Giant tree dematerializes again, leaving the man to continue his struggle against the mass of plant-life. Hearing its masterís call, the Plant spirit returns to his side and moves to threaten the Elemental]

Seeing this new threat come rushing in, the Elemental thrashes at the Plant Spiritís astral form. Invisible to all but a few, the magic tree spirit narrowly avoids the attack. Gardner backs away, taking this chance to get away from the dangerous spirit. He lashes out again with his magic, but to no effect. The Earth spirit, likewise, has little effect on the whirlwind.

Remaining in its astral form, the Plant Spirit strikes out at the Elemental, the two spirits trade attacks for a few seconds with no success to either side, but then the Air Elemental flees into the relative safety of the banquet hall, behind the ward. With this chance to get away, Gardner moves back toward the downed maÓtre dí. Knowing he must wait for his team to get out, he grabs for the gun that started it all, attempting to at least recoup some of the teamís losses so far. Core, that is them setting up now. The shrub, remembering its real purpose makes a strange nodding motion and concentrates on Gardner, Eclipse, and the unconscious Tundra Wolf. The three of them feel a bit safer and sturdier as the grounding nature of the Earth Spirit protects them.

The Plant Spirit, its purpose to defend the team chases after the retreating Air Spirit, pushing through the ward and attacking Elemental. Caught a bit by surprise, the attack connects and the whirlwind reels momentarily from the unseen Astral spirit. Gardner shakes his head a bit as he concentrates to close his magical sight, he continues to search the unconscious man, grabbing for a few important looking items. ďCore, give me that small item there by the granite slab,Ē he motions quickly at the dropped clip from Tundra Wolfís SMG. The Earth spirit, still waiting for more team members to appear complies and picks up the piece of plastic.

Looking up momentarily from his search, Gardnerís glasses darken against the glare of the floodlights, and he spots the released form of the unfortunate sniper from the rooftop. The limp body, having fallen free from the rooftop has no chance of catching itself and will no doubt fall to its doom without some sort of intervention. Calling out again, Gardner gathers an Air spirit of his own to go and save the man. Not if I can help itÖ Wisp, save anything that is falling near this building.

[Inside the banquet hall, the source of the Air spiritís movement is revealed as the giant tree takes form once more. With the other members of Gardnerís team moving out onto the balcony, the tree shakes and releases spores into the room, the tiny particles get sucked up into the Elementalís form and a few short seconds later it lets out a hiss of pain as the mystic poison spreads through its system.]

Gardnerís Air Spirit takes shape, the form of leaves, twigs, and other plant matter moving about in an unseen breeze. It moves up toward the guard as he falls. As the group moves out onto the balcony, Gardner lifts the purloined commlink to his ear trying to listen for the chatter of the Horizon guard. He grabs the speed loader off the company manís belt and the clip from the Earth Spirit, then motions to the last of his team, ďcolor="#98FB98"]Those three too[/color]. The Earth Spirit turns and stretches its will out to Silas, Acson, and Mr. White as well, filling them with the same safe feeling as the others.

The Giant Tree crashes out through the narrow opening, a lash of limbs as it blocks a flurry of attacks from the Air Elemental as it follows. With a quiet hiss, the doors of the balcony suddenly open and the last guard braces himself. He shouts at Gardner and shoots, but the small electrical charge sparks harmlessly against Gardnerí reinforced jacket. As he stands up from the prone body of the maÓtre dí, bullets wiz past him from the drone above, and with just a quick wince, he barely manages to avoid getting hit. The second drone hovers in relative silence and doesnít fire down at him, not caring why, Gardner simply whispers a quick prayer and thanks to the Goddess under his breath. With the rest of the team already on their way down, Gardner makes his way to the edge of the balcony and clips in to the rappelling line. The squat shrubbery follows after him and attempts to assist, effectively blocking the guardís view as Gardner works with equipment. Stepping up and over, Gardner starts his descent down the building, finally following after the rest of the team. The drones, persistent in their machinations follow Gardner down the side of the building. Luckily for him, their aim is off and the bullets impact with the building instead, shattering glass and showering the team with the tiny shards.

The Horizon guard runs out onto the balcony and leans over the edge. Just as Eclipse fires a burst of gunfire, demolishing the drone that was firing on Gardner, the guard fires two more shots down at Gardner. Not a hard target, both shots make contact, though only one seems to have any effect. Gardner lets out a pained grunt and tries to focus his vision back at the guard. Even through all the haze, his head swimming and the pain eating away at him, Gardner fires another blast of exhausting energy. The man crumples in a heap on floor of the balcony only seconds after his comrade is lowered safely down by Gardnerís Air Spirit.

[On the balcony, the Plant Spirit lashes out at the Air Elemental again, but it deftly dodges out of the way and focuses its attention on the tiny Earth Spirit. It lets out a ghostly wail, filling the tiny spirit with dread. The large shrub disappears as the spirit flees into the astral, trying to get away from Horizonís Air Elemental. The tree gives another shake and releases another set of spores, and as another one of the Air Elementalís attacks gets blocked, the shock sets in and wracks its body with the poison. The two Spirits continue to trade blows, neither one gaining a particular upper hand.]

Gardner lowers himself on the line carefully, then stops to spot two more drones as they descend toward him. Focusing his will, magical bands of energy wrap around the metal bodies, binding their movements. Gardner shakes off the migraine that follows that particular release of energy, but he tries to focus as he alerts the rest of the team, ďmore drones incoming!Ē His mind swimming, Gardner has trouble focusing on the rope as he continues down. The rope slips from his hand and his fall goes erratic. He slams into the building, which doesnít so much hurt as it is annoying. Luckily the Air spirit is nearby and along with its orders stabilizes him as he falls. The drones continue to open fire, their own movements slightly erratic due to the restraints of the spell. One drone sprays the wall close to it and is hit by its own ricochet.

Looking down, Gardner has a brief feeling of dread as he sees the vehicle below littered with gunfire. Then realizes just how far it is down to the street below. His grip tightens on the rope, and he gets tangled slightly as his descent catches too early. The gunfire from the last remaining drone rings out just past his position, where he would have been, had he not stopped. Getting a grip on himself, Gardner starts his movement again, moving in earnest even as the drone continues to fire bullets around him.

[Shifting to the Astral Plane, the two spirits above continue their attacks on one another. Eventually, the Air Elementalís wounds get the better of it, and Gardnerís Plant Spirit disrupts its energies, sending it back to its home. With the enemy above dealt with, it moves down the side of the building to deal with any further threats that might appear below.]

Finally, solid ground. Gardner lands heavily and disconnects himself from the ropes as the others wait nervously for Silas to make his way back to the bus. The Plant Spirit, charged with defending the team, materializes inside to cover his escape. The two guards, surprised and confused fire on it to no great effect, and are swiftly taken down by the others of the team. As he makes his way to the bus, Gardner sends out another series of magical webbing to slow down yet more drones descending on the team's position. One of them is stopped completely and smashes into the side of the building before falliing inert to the ground. The elevator doors open up, revealing yet more guards as they open fire on the Plant Spirit. The giant tree roars in anger as it rushes forward and spews yet more of its dangerous spores. The guards however, seem unaffected. It roars in anger and one guard flees while the other stands his ground to open fire once more. Just as everyone is on board, the bus starts to pull away. Gardner takes a seat and settles himself before sticking his head out one of the windows to fire a blast of lightning that disables one of the drones.

[As the bus moves away, the Plant Spirit stands and fights. Once the team is safely away and un-burdened by threats, its task is complete and it fades into nothing as it returns to its home.]
Friday, 20:05; Nowhere near the Horizon Splendor

< < @Danny Zucco {Silas} : Danny, we's got trouble! ... I knows, I knows... no, s'nuffinks that some meds won't heal... yeah s'what i sed too ... Looks, sorry but is dat warehouse still open ? yeah dat one, we needs ta lay low and get some gear before heading ..umm .. out...... yeah s'cool ... I'll wait a bit, buts plees hurry! > >

Silas slumps back into the bench seat and peers out a bullet hole at a "pizza-shak" as they pass.

"My Uncle Danny might has a place dat we can go on the way to Redmond, he'll get back to me inna bit kay?"

He goes back to peering at other food vendors on the busy night street scene and day dreams of various flavour of Sammiches.

"Hey Tiny! .. you gonna be okays man ? I not sees dat much blood onna fella before now... you not dropped a lung or kidneys or nuffink has ya ?"
He suddenly remember something else and looks over at Eclipse and TundraWolf
"Oh boy, TW I gots a levvuh jackets you can wears if you likes .. it's in the climbing bag, was too heavy for gettin' across to the uvver buildin, you wanna borrows it ? an' is dere' any ammo left in that gat' ? keep holds ov it fer now .. I gets it back later man"

again his attention is drawn outside and he's lost in thought <Least the Parker Chummer ain't got a scratch, we dids good !>
What a clusterfuck the team would seem to be thinking. What kind of a crackhead newbie Johnson would send a team into that drek with only 15 minutes warning? I guess they will find out eventually once they make it to someplace safe and he deigns to call them back.

For now, Needle has set the set up instructions for the bus's pilot program to take them via a less traveled path to her home base. The system is throwing up various warnings to her AR vision thanks to the damage sustained in the initial volley at the front entrance, but it appears the bus will hold together long enough to get them out of the area. Any more excitement though may leave her without a ride or a home....

TundraWolf is pacing up and down the aisle of seats, muttering under his breath about a lack of ammo and nasty things he wants to do to the so called Scion.

Over in a corner, Mr. White begins to coax Parker Acson out of the fetal position. Shock and fear etch deep lines into the young mage's face. It takes a few minutes of soothing words about him being safe now before Acson fully sits up from the floor and braces himself against the wall of the bus.

He jumps forward for a second as the jagged edge of a bullet hole had dug into his back. He shudders for moment at the thought of how close that may have come to hitting him. Then he puts his old leather bag against an unmarred section of the wall and leans back against that. With a sigh he turns back to Mr. White. "Who are you guys, and why are you doing this to me?"

Mr. White returns with his spiel about the team having come to extract him before Horizon could carry out their terrible plans for him. Confusion wars with the fear on Acson's face at these words, yet he doesn't seem to care to know the specifics of what Horizon was planning, how the team found out about Horizon's plans, or why the team would care about what happens to him.

Eclipse checks over his gear repeatedly coming up with the same answer. We need more gear. He shouts up towards the front where Needle is watching things in the Matrix as well as meatspace to ensure the team isn't beinf followed. "Hoy, can we swing by my place? I am some serious need of more gear if Horizon ever finds us."

Meanwhile, Silas is wracking is brain to think of someplace they can hide from a freaking MegaCorp on the warpath... He shoots off a quick message Danny Zucco. Hopefully, he will be able to get back in touch soon with some good news. As the bus zooms past a brightly lit Stuffer Shack, his stomach grumbles and his thoughts return to those sammichs Mr. White was supposed to bring him from the party...
Moments later. Silas's commlink rings. "Dannyboy here. What's going down chummer? You sounded pretty freaked in that there message you sent me."

Silas quickly explains he needs a place to lay low and he needs it fast.

"What kind of drek you gotten yousself into this time Silas buddy? Yeah, I can probably swing yous a place to crash were some nuyen to find its way into my pockets....You knows what I mean?"
Severus Snape
Once the autopilot is set, Needle lets herself stretch out for just a brief moment before tensing back up, the AR displays of major damage flashing in her eyes.

Come on baby...just get us home. I'll get you patched up as soon as I can...

She retrieves her Cavalier, noting that no more rounds were fired from it before placing it back in its carrying case under the front seat. She always kept it there, not really knowing if she should take it with her or not. She as no mercenary, but the events at the Splendor building reminded her just how dangerous this life could get. She silently vowed to make sure she always brought it with her, no matter what. Even if the thing could knock her over when she fired it, she still felt like she was going to need it from now on.

She moved quickly out of the front seat, starting to take stock of the damage. When she passed by Parker, she barely glanced down at him when she addressed him.

"I sure hope you're worth it. Whatever it is that you've got that this Scion wants..."

She turned to the rest of the guys in the team.

"Well, I guess that's as good an introduction as any. Now what?"
The expression on Parker Acson's face flickers to a flat deadpan for a second at Needle's mention of who hired the team. Being 'worth it' doesn't seem to quite jive with Mr. White's story about you being their to rescue Acson from a Horizon plot against him.

But the confusion and fear return to Acson's face quickly as he turns back to Mr. White who ignored Needle's comment to continue soothing Acson's fears.
QUOTE (Slacker @ Apr 17 2013, 08:27 PM) *
"What kind of drek you gotten yousself into this time Silas buddy? Yeah, I can probably swing yous a place to crash were some nuyen to find its way into my pockets....You knows what I mean?"

"Awww Uncle Danny .. You is da man! ... ands you knows dis Ork is good for it yeah? .. besides, if I dun' pay you just take it outta my allowance anyways... Tanks old man!"
Silas looks Glum at the thought of having to pay out more than the normal rent to his only trusted friend in the world, but then perks up
<I can make some top notch HotSims n' Beetles Outta 'dis nights work whooBoy yeah!>

"NEEDLE, Can you get us here ?"
Silas points excitecly at his comm with an address and map " Dis address, on da way to da barrens we can hides your ...."
He looks around at the poor condition of the place currently but notices the finer touches that Needle has made to convert it into a home, then he tries to be a bit nicer about it than he has previously been
" your house, we can hides it there a day and gets it fixed up good, and 'den we can go boost somefink safer for da trip into da Barrens ... everyone happys den' !"
He's as giddy as a kid at christmas hopping from one foot to the other at the thought he can help Needle from being homeless.
<And there might happen to be a sammich shop next door too, but dey don't needs ta know dat>
Nighttime, Needle's bus

Tundra Wolf paced, curses in every language he knew muttered under his breath as he scanned through the basic diagnostics of his cyberlimb and torso scrolling though his vision. Mostly burnt out dampeners from the shock rounds, but there were new holes in the cybertorso that would need repair when a chance presented itself. He dismissed the the report with a blink as Needle walked past him, the stims making his normally smooth movements a little more jerky than he liked, and he grimaced as his head throbbed again. He knew from the acrid chemical tang of their byproducts tainting the sweat building on his brow that the stims was the only thing keeping him on his feet.

Such a job should never have come from Ms.Ching, there are currents here I cannot see but could still sweep me under. Must be cautious. The flicker of expression across their target's face at the mention of the Scion only reinforced that thought. For a second he wished for the comforting weight of Mishka on it's sling over the newly-treated armor jacket sitting in his apartment, then he banished the thoughts and began pacing again.
Uneasy at the thought of leaving her home in an unfamiliar place, Needle has to admit that the excessive damage her baby has taken makes it a bit too conspicuous, particularly with a damn megacorp on their ass. She reluctantly plugs the new destination address into the bus's pilot system.

"This better be safe or you owe me a new home," she tells Silas.

"Trust. Uncle Danny is da man. He's got r bakcs," the smiling ork affirms.

At least it looks like the new address won't take them too far off their original course. No signs yet of any pursuit. Eerily, 40 minutes after their escape she's still seeing nothing on the newsnets regarding the excitement at the Horizon Splendor building. Looking around the Matrix she found a few posts in random forums about flashes of light and possible gunfire, but subsequent searches no longer see those same posts. Looks like Horizon's hackers are in overdrive squashing any mention of this incident. That's scary. Really fucking scary. That means this is big enough that they don't want even a hint of this getting out....

A shout of "Result!" shocks Needle out of her AR browsing. Silas is absolutely beaming and almost bouncing in his seat as the bus turns a corner to reveal the warehouse Danny Zucco had provided....and the bright glowing neon signs of the Stuffer Shack next door to it. Everybody can tell what's on the Ork's mind.

Needle shakes her head and takes over control of the bus to guide it up to the rolling doors of the warehouse. A quick message from her commlink with the access code Silas had been given sees the bay doors rolling up to let them inside.

The bus' headlights washes the dark interior with brilliant light. Boxes of varying sizes and shapes are stacked haphazardly many with brightly colored objects hanging out of them or sitting on the shelf next to them. The headlights also reveal a largish van/delivery truck in the bay right next to the one they are pulling into. The side of van is brilliantly emblazoned with 'Wheezy Bumble Bigfoot the Clown' and the smiling, painted, and absolutely terrifyingly creepy image of a Sasquatch's face in clown regalia.

Well at least it this place looks like it will let the team rest long enough to triage the gaping wounds. TundraWolf looks like he's on the verge of collapsing again. That stim patch won't be keeping him up much longer. Once that's done, they can figure out what to do next.
Friday, 21:00; "Danny Boy's" Warehouse
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (Criminal) Adam Pliskin

LMGs were fun! Not something Eclipse had ever expected to use before.. too heavy when you spend most of your time fast roping out of helicopters and then sprinting the rest of the way...

He's snapped out of his thoughts by the grind of the warehouse doors pull up and Silus almost immediately shouting in joy at the near by Stuffer Shack. Of course. Eclipse waits until the bus has come to a stop before getting up and making his way to the back to start perusing Needle's medical supplies. If he can find a set of scrubs or even a labcoat, an identity change might just prolong his life...

"A'ight, whose first? Tundra, y'wanna maybe... no, sit still... stop.."

Oh well. Won't be the first stim-junkie I've worked on.. Supplies are removed from boxes and sorted, prepping everything for when Needle heads on back to take lead. No reason to operate remotely through the valkyrie when you have your hands right here, right?

"How's everyone doin'? Silus, if y' hold on just a second I'll go with y' for supplies..." Eclipse is starting to wonder, at this point, if anyone has noticed how inconsistent his accent is.
Gardner is a horrible patient, he scrutinizes everything you do, complains about "invasive techniques", even double checks every choice of treatment, looking for toxins or unnatural ingredients or some such nonsense. Even still, he seems to be acting very strange when you start treating his wounds. He had two relatively serious looking gunshots to the abdomen and shoulder (surprisingly close to his heart), yet he pushes you to NOT treat those wounds. Instead, he urges you to look into what appears to be burst blood vessels in his eyes and sinuses. They are difficult to treat, but you prescribe some medication, and it seems to soothe the strange wounds relatively well. You know you could have done more to help if he'd let you do more with those gunshot wounds.

Then you understand why he had you do all of that. Once the medication has had a chance to kick in, the Giant takes a calming breath, and lays his hands over the two wounds. His face once again takes on the serene visage of an elderly man, skin made out of bark, a beard composed of a tangle of vines, hair sprouting small leaves and buds. As quickly as it appeared, it is gone. His hands go back to his sides, and the wounds that were once marring his rough, thick skin are... gone. Like they were never even there, just gone. "Now, on to the others," he says in his deep rumbling voice, "I will be-- nngh"

Suddenly, a fresh, blistering rash ruptures across his chest. The backlash of the magic he just performed was too much for him apparently. Gardner, cringing in pain, gives Needle another glance, "Or perhaps you can give it another look..."
Severus Snape
Needle easily guides the bus into the over-sized bay, tears welling up in her eyes at the thought that her baby was injured.

I'm sorry. Had I known you were going to get shot at, I wouldn't have brought you. Not that the go-gangers in the barrens treat you much better when I pay them to watch you...

She dries her eyes as she brings the bus to a stop, climbing out of the front seat and heading towards the medical supplies in the back. She pulls out a couple of medkits, rummaging through them for the needed gear to start patching up bullet wounds and bruises, giving each one of the team a once-over in turn. Her medical training had kicked in, forcing the tears to stop instantaneously while she focused all of her efforts on performing triage and near-surgery.

Once everyone had been patched up - Gardner twice, as the rash had appeared just after she thought she had finished up with him - she set about taking care of herself. She found that she now had a large headache, and she was still a bit queasy from having been dumped so unceremoniously from the sniper's commlink. Then she started thinking about how she flew from the top of the building, landing easily on the ground a few feet from the bus, and she had to choke back the serious urge to vomit again.


She found a couple of migraine-strength acetaminophen tablets in the medkit, along with the necessary amount of water to wash them down, and quickly took them, waiting patiently for the effects to drown the headache and put her back in an easy state of mind. While she waited, she started slowly combing through the matrix, puzzled at the lack of news on the events of the evening.

"Hey guys...shouldn't we be on the news right now?"
QUOTE (Needle) *
"Hey guys...shouldn't we be on the news right now?"

"Aaaaw Lady, yous just wanna see if you looks good flying, I tells ya already that your ass don't look so big in dat suit"
Silas is busy rummaging through old cardboard boxes of stuff, clouds of dust catch the street light through holes in the corrugated walls and the occassional rat dives for safety.

Eventually he surfaces from the ocean of Clown accessories, his face powdered white with a red 'squeeky' nose, Bright yellow and pink polka dot pants and a pair of shoes that even Gardner would be unable to walk in.
"Tadaaaaaaa!" He exclaims, "I gots disguises for all of yous, Dem Horizon fellahs will NEVER find us now ! .. wot ya finks ?"

He tries to move too quickly over towards Mr. White and Parker Acson and nearly loses his footing in the oversized boots, tripping, he almost manages to regain his footing but launches his armful of clothing on the floor in front of them.
"I don't fink dey need to matching anyways, so no worries" he says apologetically, looking at the mismatched pile of clown suits on the ground and the look of utter shock on their faces.
"what? .. he cries "Dere's a gorilla or giant banana suit back 'dere if yous don like Clowns!?" pointing over his shoulder with his thumb.

Eclipse steps out of the bus after helping Needle tend to the wounded - though it's abundantly clear there was no actual need for him. A bit sloppier technique than he would have liked, but the sheer knowledge! - to stretch his legs.
"So what's the plan? Hijack a car, grab some soyburgers, swing by the Guns R Us..?"
His eyes land on the clown bus already residing in the warehouse, and a massive grin splits his face.
"Guys., seriously. Unless we can find somethin' nice, big, and subdued in the barrens I think that... thing might just work! I mean, no way'n'hell we're getting to Bellevue in it, but if we hang out here 'n just use it for delivery..."
Eyes track to Ascon then, and he offers a light smile, a scant two degrees better than what Skeletor could manage. His word choice probably could have been better... But, too late for that now. LMG is dropped onto a crate between the buses so he can keep an eye on transport and party members while the discussion rages. He idly pops the feed tray, clears the chamber of the belt, and starts examining his remaining ammunition and machine gun for faults.

Needle's words carry from House Bus and he looks up, frowning. Or, he would, but in the process of looking up he spots Silus in full clown regalia. As it turns out, it's very hard to hold a serious conversation when your face is split open in a childish grin.
"Doesn't Horizon own the news? Seems t' me if I owned trid, I wouldn't publish any stories about me getting ro... ahem my prisoners getting extracted."
Nighttime, a warehouse somewhere in Seattle

By the time the bus pulled into the bay of the warehouse Tundra Wolf's multilingual cursing has lapsed into slurred, increasingly incoherent Russian. He had stopped pacing several minutes earlier, instead leaning against an available wall and twitching slightly. He could hear the voices of his team talking amongst themselves, but the words made no sense to him, disjointed and strange. Alarms registered in his vision, and he wiped his meat hand at them irritably, but they wouldn't go away, blinking away in nonsensical crimson figures that he knew meant something important but couldn't quite grasp. Then he was sitting down, and a mosquito bit his hand. It has been a warm winter, there will be millions of the blasted things. I hope Grigori has stockpiled enough repellent. Though thankfully the cloud cover will keep the worst of the heat off.


Grigori is dead. I shot him after the Jingbian mission, when he sold us to the warlord. What isĖ Clarity began returning slowly, and Nikolai knew it was an IV in his hand, and the shadow over him was the massive form of Gardner blocking the overhead light. The scattered puzzle pieces of the evening's events began fitting together until he remembered the shock rounds hitting him.

"спасибо..." He frowned. "谢谢..." He rubbed his forehead with the non-IV'd hand, the metallic taste of stims and their counters lingering on his tongue. "Thank you." After the IV had been unhooked he exited the bus with the rest of the team, gritting his teeth as the steps down amplified the headache still throbbing lightly behind his eyes.

"Da. There is face to save, if nothing else, even for a non-zaibatsu." He walked over to where Eclipse was examining the machine gun.
Nighttime, StufferShack™ next to "Wheezy Bumble Bigfoot the Clown's" Warehouse Seattle

"Hoi, Chummer.. Where's da insta-meals?" Silas asks the pimply faced youth in the security booth as he bursts into StufferShack™,
having successfully negotiated his Euro size 347 boots throught the electronic doors that were trying to open and close before he had even approached them.

The clerk, barely turns his head away from the remote trid screen, in which light his prepubescent facial hair glistens in the red and green glow, while spittle runs from his slack jawed mouth "Huunh?"
The vacant expression takes in the appearance of a not too tall Bald gentleman, with patchy white face powder and a Bright red nose held in place by a single strand of rotting elastic,
dressed in Pink and yellow polka-dot pants and day-glo flowered nylon shirt with pom-pom buttons.

"Ailse seven" he responds and Silas can tell that there was absolutely no spark of recognition in the attendants eyes,
he could murder everyone in here and perform any list of depraved acts and the cops would get a description of the perp, that would match about half of the population of Seattle.

He grabs a wire basket and heads, skipping, down aisle seven swiping an old unregistered credstick into machines at random and pulling out self heating microburgers and various recepticles of drinks so filled with sugar and additives that teeth fall out of mouths before tasting.
"Ooooooh, Eclipse will likes 'dis! .. free NERPS toy with every purchase .. I gets five, jus' in case he has one already!" with that another few redy-meals™ get launched into the basket.

Surrounding him, other patrons of the store cling to their respective partners with looks of utter confusion and horror, before mostly rushing for the exit dropping goods already paid for on the ground in their haste. "You nots want these den?" Silas enquires before retrieving them.
Wandering to the clerks booth and depositing the discarded items into the goods drawer "I finks your toilets blocked, I can't smells it but alla your customers left in a big hurry so it must be bad and dey dropped dese!"
The clerk turns his head slightly but his eyes stay fixed to the trid show that has captured his full attention " uuuh Huunh! ... thanks" he responds,
Silas waits a moment for anything further to be said, but nothing comes, then shrugs and exits, the doors trying to murder him in the process as the shoes preceed him by about two feet.

Back securely in the warehouse, Silas begins to lay out a feast of epic proportions onto a table made of several similar sized cardboard storage crates.

Meanwhile Needle has finished up attending to Gardner and is stood shaking her head trying to comprehend the truck in front of her with "Wheezy Bumble Bigfoot the Clown" Emblazoned on the side,
She mutters "The Go-gangers alone will murder us dead in this or likely anything else, sorry but my place is off limits... we need to find somewhere else to go"

TundraWolf and Eclipse break from comparing weapons and look up in her direction, Mr. White too,
as they are about to launch into a discussion on the merits of certain locations and their needs for gear, tools and equipment from homebases that the group could not possibly stay at..

Silas beams at them " The Maiter Dee 'as been given de night off ..." He grins at them "Dinner is serveds!"

Severus Snape
Nighttime, StufferShack™ next to "Wheezy Bumble Bigfoot the Clown's" Warehouse Seattle

Needle sat straight up as the information hit her like a brick wall. Her eyes in the physical world were still closed, no sign that anything was going on with her at all. Her eyes in the matrix were wide open, and getting wider. In fact, her entire digital persona looked like it had just been weirded out by something, her body rigid, her eyes wide and mouth agape. And she needed to get to the bottom of this.

She had run a scan on Acson's commlink, and that came up empty. No outgoing calls, no incoming messages...nothing. It was too neat and clean for a prospective Horizon employee that would have had to be recruited immediately coming out of college, what with the party they just crashed. It could have been give to him by Horizon as a work device, but it was still too clean for that. Even temporary devices get used, and this one should have been no different.

"Bullshit. Something's not right with this fracking guy. A commlink that has zero information on it? What is this - Horizon's idea of a joke?"

The words sounded almost alien to her. She heard them clear as day in the matrix, the monotone-sculpted voice a welcome noise in her ears. But when she spoke them aloud in the physical world at the same time, she was treated to hearing herself speak in stereo. And in the physical world, the words and tone sounded off, like she wanted them to sound important but it came off as blase.

But that didn't change what she saw. That didn't change why she sat straight up. That didn't change why she was now jacking out of the matrix.

She opened her eyes, the landscape of the digital falling away sharply and quickly, giving way to the light and sound from the physical world. She removed her glasses briefly, rubbing her eyes in a practiced fashion, returning them to the bridge of her nose when she was finished. She stood up, grasping Acson's commlink in her hand and storming over towards him.

"Explain yourself," she blurted out, throwing his commlink into his lap with a bit of force. "And don't give me any crap about you don't know what I'm talking about. You know damned well what's going on here, and I think you owe us an explanation. Scion."

She stood there momentarily, knowing the rest of the team would be looking at her with unapproving stares over her course of action. She waited just long enough for Acson to want to defend himself before throwing out what she knew.

"His external commlink - the one I just hacked - had nothing on it. Nothing. It was cleaner than a store model in the box. Tells me it's never been used. Not entirely out of the question, but odd.

"But what I saw as I was leaving your commlink is another story. Seems he's got an internal commlink implanted in his skull. Again, not out of the question. But the internal commlink was active for about the same amount of time it took the Scion to call us just now. And at the same time. When the Scion's call ended, so did the wireless broadcast of Mr. Acson's internal commlink."

Needle knelt in front of him, continuing to stare him down.

"I don't know what your game is, but you have about 30 seconds to spill it before I move out of the way and let the boys here scoop your brain and that commlink out of your head to let me have my way with it.

"What's it gonna be...Scion?"
Nighttime, a warehouse somewhere in Seattle

TW blinked. Blinked again. Then his cyberspurs snapped out and he stalked over to 2 steps behind where Needle was kneeling, fury twisting his face into an ugly mask.

"Are you fucking kidding me?! 30 seconds is far too long. You talk now or there won't be enough left of you to fill a soycaf cup." He could feel the blood pounding in his temples, exacerbating the headache he already had as the stims finally bled out of his system.
Mr. White was starting to make Parker Acson sweat. That's why he risked turning on his secret weapon. The quick message about a Horizon Strike Team seemed to have the exact effect he wanted it too...give him more time to figure out how he was going to get them to do what he needed.

But then that bitch, Needle, had noticed his commlink signal before he could shut off it's wireless again. All that time and money spent buying the deltaware system and hiding his surgery to get it implanted from Horizon's eyes gone to waste...

What the frag can I do now?

Acson's eyes dart all around, like they are looking for a way out, but all he sees is the runners he duped into getting him out of Horizon glaring at him. "Ok...ok. Don't hurt me......I....I had to get out of Horizon. I just had to. You understand right? I'm sorry I lied to you about being able to pay you. But I swear to you, on the heart of my dear mother, I swear that the Draco and Atlantean Foundations really would want my abilities for their organizations. Get me a face to face with a rep from each of them, and I'll get you your extraction fees and more. They'll be beating down our to hire me on. Chip-truth!" He ignores the sweat now pouring from his brow as he gives the group his best attempt at innocent begging, none of them are very moved by it though.
*Sigh* That would explain the unprofessional setup for that extraction.

"You're lucky to be alive Mr. Acson," Gardner motions toward the angry Tundra Wolf, "you just might be worth more alive than the enjoyment my compatriot here would get out of you..." He raises one of his giant hands, a motion for Tundra Wolf to stand down.

"Your methods are a bit unorthodox, and I urge you to learn to be a bit more professional with people you hire to do dangerous work like this... As I said, you're lucky to be alive..." The giant lets out another big sigh, "we will look into bartering this deal for you, but for now we do need to get moving." He ushers Acson into the van, "you're little ruse just now did remind us that we might not be as safe as we might hope. You may have meant it as a scare tactic, but it might be more true than we would hope."
Severus Snape
Oh, this just gets better and better...

Needle stands up and motions to the rest of the team to help her unceremoniously deposit Acson in the clown car. Once they are inside and moving towards a safe location, she leans in towards Acson, a clear look of disdain and mistrust on her face. She folds her hands in her lap and scowls slightly.

"Oh, you can guarantee that we are going to contact both organizations and try negotiating a price for you. And don't be surprised if we also try to clear the air with Horizon seeing as you set us up. But that's all secondary at the moment."

She shifts in her chair and stares really hard at Acson for a moment before continuing.

"What I'd really like to know is WHY you wanted us to extract you from Horizon in the first place. You were part of a new hire banquet, which means you aren't some ordinary wage-slave, sitting at a terminal punching keys all damned day. So I'm thinking that you've either got something of theirs that they are going to want back, or you've got some information on someone there that you can use as leverage to get money out of the other organizations. You know, something they can use against Horizon."

She looks upwards quizically for a moment, grabbing the nearest pointed, sharp object and then returning her gaze to Acson.

"The best part about being a medic is that I get to perform surgery on people. And the only way to get better at it is to practice. But I'm not a mean girl, so I'm going to give you this once opportunity to tell us what it is you have that you think the other organizations would want so badly. And why it is you wanted out of Horizon so badly. 10 seconds, or I start cutting."
Shock covers Acson's face at Needle's speculations. He was afraid before, but at the sight of her gripping the rusty box opener and threatening to carve him up he finally reaches a state of complete and total terror. In a torrent of words, he confesses to Needle that he was able to copy the mythic Thaljun Cordex. ďUntil now, Horizon had the only surviving tomes. When the Foundations find out the Cordex is on the table, theyíll pay, and youíll get yours. Chip-truth!Ē
Eclipse sighs. This is getting to be a bit much. The Scion - whom he really wants to punch in the face, is the target whose condition matters? ...except if The Scion isn't paying...

"Look chummer, the wheelin' 'n' dealin' was all very clever and all. I sympathize with ya - I've been places I didn't wanna be. But what pisses me off more'n anything is that 'cause you didn't come clean at the start most of us ended up with lead in our blood. Y'best be happy none of us died, or I'd be gettin' even on principle, frak the money, deltaware's a pretty penny. Say we help you, 'n turn you over to one'a the foundations... what are you personally gunna do to make me... us... feel better about the dickin' around you did playin' Johnson?"

Eclipse pauses, elven features struggling fiercely to stay under control. For whatever reason, the whole incident seems to strike a little close to home. Even so, he vaugely seems to remember something about good-cop-bad-cop, and with Needle threatening to take a box cutter to him the choice seems clear! Whether it works or not is a different subject.
As they speak, Eclipse slurps on the soy-shake Silus brought back for him. That'll make him look less menacing, right? Even with the black trench coat and machine gun cradled in his lap.
Nighttime, Da Clown Van somewhere leaving Renton

Tundra Wolf sat like a statue while his cohorts interrogated the "Scion", his predator's eyes staring unblinkingly at the panicking thief. "You also left out why you wanted out of Horizon's employ, трус." The smartlink pad embedded in the palm of his cyberhand almost felt like it itched. "It is all well and good that you hired us to extract you and should be paid well for doing that, but that money does us little good if they have reason to find us later and melt our brains looking for you. Why?"
Acson replies,"I..uh...knew I could get away with it.....They paid for my schooling, but there's no way I'm going to be a wageslave all my life just to pay back those bastards. Thanks to a post in my research about the company, I figured out a way to get a copy of something out of their private thaumatergy library and make me....err... well, maybe not rich, but it will set me up with nicely and you know how the corps like people with initiative....I just know I can negotiate a better deal than I'd ever have gotten out of Horizon. And I just know you will all be handsomely rewarded for everything. Chip-Truth!"
As the team is crossing from the invisible line dividing the sleep suburbs of Renton to the more rarified Bellevue district with it's lakeviews and elegant shopping centers, Mr. White's phone buzzes in his ear. Looking at the callerID he is a little surprised to see its his buddy, MarcusB. Then he remembers he'd messaged the fixer earlier trying to find out about the Scion and Parker Acson and quickly answers the call.

"Ahhh, Mr. White. So glad I could reach you this evening. My apologies for being out of touch for a while now. I had been....indisposed for the last few weeks and only recently made it back into town. I do hope you forgive me. I got your message earlier and took the liberty of looking into this Scion character for you. Considering the timing of your message, perhaps you're already know of his current situation. I don't care, and certainly don't want to know the details. Not considering what I have to tell you. I was following up a lead on this Scion using reptilian iconography when my IC caught somebody sniffing after my traffic. I don't know who it was, but they hit me hard and fast once they were detected. You seriously need to watch your back on this one. Stay off the 'trix. Hell. I'd stay off comms with this stuff. You know who has some damn strong voice search capibilities and have their fingers any all things communication related.....Just saying."
Severus Snape
Needle drops in and out of the Matrix, trying to find any information on this Cordex that Acson insists he has trapped inside his head. She only scans through the mountains of search detail with AR, not wanting to lose sight of Acson or miss anything that's being said. But after a few minutes of searching and getting next to nothing, she stops the Browse program and flips off the AR display. She rubs her temples a little, trying to get the blood flowing again.

"There has to be a better way..."

Almost as soon as the words come out of her mouth, she sits bolt upright, her back and body going rigid and her eyes fixated on Acson. She stares at him for a long time, not saying anything, but definitely inspecting him for something. Even she isn't sure what she's doing at first, but then the idea hits her like a hot bullet in the back.

"Ok," she starts a little coldly, "you claim you have a copy of this thing. But how do we know you have it? This could just be bullshit for all we know, and it's already been established that your word don't mean drek."

The van is still moving, and Needle's experience in moving around a moving vehicle - she does live in a bus, after all - shows when she stands up and cups Acson's face in her hands, staring into his eyes, the blue of her hair and lipstick looking semi-neon in the light from the street lamps as they whiz down the road.

"I want proof, dear. Proof of what you say. I want a copy of that book, and you are going to give it to us one way or another. So either tell us where you've got it stashed, or I'll carve your head open like a ripe watermelon, take out your internal commlink, and hack into IT to see what secrets it holds."

She turns her head slightly to the rest of the team.

"Don't look at me like that. I can feel the ugliness on the back of my head. If we've got multiple copies, we can make multiple deals, right? I mean, it really wouldn't be him those organizations want..."
TW looks at her with a brutish, ugly smile on his face. "Like what, Моя дорогая? Someone as stupid as he is should reap the rewards of his foolishness. I agree..." He sweeps his eyes back to Ascon, his expression flattening to a glacial remorselessness. "..let us make sure he is truly holding what he says he is."
Nighttime, Da Clown Van somewhere leaving Renton

Silas drives the van, "uhh Eclipse, TW , Wheres you guys live?"
Friday, ~22:00; Clown Bus just inside Bellevue
Disposable Commlink: Hidden | SIN (rating 4) Dr James Earnest

As the bus continues, Eclipse's mood worsens. He can accept that he messed up not bringing a Panther to the meet (though he'll still complain!), but the mistreatment from the Johnson who still wants their help?
"Carpe di... vini... quid pro quo, makkanagee morkhan..." he mumbles, mixing his bare understanding of latin with a much more fluent, but clearly derogatory Sperethial. He lapses into silence though, letting Needle and Tundra Wolf play bad and worse cop. He figures when he speaks up again with the voice of less violence (if not reason) Ascon should be more than willing to comply if just for implied protection. So, instead, he lets his gaze wander out the front of the windshield waiting until he recognizes where they are. Silus speaks up around then, and he answers.
"Just take a right, head down a mile, and another right... find an alley and lemme out, I'll grab supplies 'n regroup." He's almost completely abandoned the accent at this point. "Tundra, you need some more for the Ingram, right? I think all I have is subsonic... what do y'all need? We're just grabbin' stuff for the handoff, right? And in case we get jumped?"
While he speaks, Eclipse fishes his commlink from his pocket, idly logging out of one ID and into another.
Friday, ~22:00; Front Seat of Clown Bus
Novatech Navi: Hidden | SIN: Gerald Adler

As the others interrogate Acson in the back of the van, Gardner settles into the oversized passenger seat in the front of the van. He pulls out his commlink with its oversized display, made for Troll-sized digits, and pulls up the Comm-code for his contact, Moreau. As the call is linking through, he overhears talk of the Thaljun Cordex, but has little time to think over the implications before the call is picked up. Gardner quickly sets the pick-up to his subvocal microphone, preventing the Draco fixer from overhearing the argument coming from the back of the van.

"Hey there, how's Fiona doing? ... Good, good, no long term effects of the dehydration? ... Right, just make sure she takes it slow, no reason to over do it." The giant makes a bit of small talk before delving into the true biz. "Listen, I have a new hire here, says he wants to see about doing Foundation work. I figure he must be real wiz at what he's got to jump from the Splendor of what he's got. But you know more about these things than I do, maybe we could meet up and we can talk things over?"
Acson is visibily shaken, but he has still has some spine left to him. "The Cordex is somewhere safe. That's all you need to know. Do you really think I would be stupid enough to just hand it over to you? Or that I'd try to leave Horizon without a plan to ensure a better life for me? That book is my plan. And Nobody is seeing it until I get paid. If you lay even one finger on me you will never see a penny for your trouble. Oh, I'm sure Horizon will still hunt you down for the attack on their building. It'll be easy for them considering you won't have any money at all."

He finally snaps and his borish upbringing finally cuts through the fear he's been feeling. He looks to Mr. White. "Get this bitch out of my face if you know what's good for you," he demands hautily. "I can tell she's a blood thirsty animal, but you're smart enough to realize there's no profit in letting her have her way with me"
Moreau listens to the obviously coded pitch from Gardner to hire this guy. He's a bit tired of such games, but mention of Splendor tells him exactly who Gardner is talking about. "So, you're the ones who grabbed that arcanoarcheologist Parker Acson from Horizon tonight. Quite the stunt there." He sighs heavily over the phone. "I owe you for Fiona. So I'll meet with him to discuss why I should have to deal with these petty inter-corp antics. Maybe the Draco Foundation has a place for him. I'm not promising anything though."

Gardner's commlink beeps with the receipt of an address down on Pier 60, You Should Not Eat So Much.

"I'll tell Fiona you said hello. I'll be seeing you soon."
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