Dear diary. I don’t know why I always open with that. I think it’s an ironic gesture, having a giggle over writing like a teenage girl. Ever since Jerry pestered me into keeping a journal last year and went into an hour-long lecture on the entire history of people writing about their daily woes.
He’s leaving my employ. Hasn’t said why yet; maybe tonight’s events were finally too much for him. Manners never really belonged in this world. The underground, that is. My home. He made no effort to hide it, either, but he still made the best of it. I suspect it was actually more of a conscious choice. Either out of hope for a return to his former life, or out of disdain for his new one. I hope he keeps in touch, as he’s someone I feel I can actually trust. Not a lot of those still alive today.
Big commotion during dinner, just before Gran’s famous dessert. Boom. Had to check it out, of course, not that Manners would have it any other way. Some of the other guests joined us – Frank and my new protégé, Ven. Made themselves useful, too.
We found the remains of a crotch rocket and what was left of its rider, which wasn’t much – the explosion was clearly point blank, and powerful. This was no grenade or RPG. We got nothing but some colors from that scene. Neighboring gang, the…Blades? Swords? Whatever. Something along those lines, rendered rather nonthreatening by the fact that most of those guys didn’t seem too sharp.
I was ready to write it off as a ganger kerfuffle gone a tad too far and go home for some fraggin’ dessert, but there was more ruckus deeper within their turf. Yak drones were getting agitated, too. Confirmed with Toshi-san, who actually decided to reinstate me. Mixed feelings there.
Well, we found another similar blast site. Nothing more to say there, but we then spotted one of the gangers, the Swords, looking about as nervous as a guy can get and sporting a thick vest. He went to the free clinic – we followed. Intercepted him… Frank sucker punched him pretty good. I managed to calm him down and we started asking questions. And then we heard it – an electronic whine coming from his chest. For a sec I thought the bomb was inside him, I’m not sure why, but Manners tore open the vest to reveal a significant amount of plastic, rigged with a burner commlink and an unbelievably cliché timer. We held him down, and Ven stepped up to fiddle with the damn thing. Turns out he knows his way around a bomb; he got it disarmed and off the ganger right quick. All rather enjoyably dramatic.
Guy talks. Turns out the gangers had a meet, except instead of a job they were each given vague orders and a brand new mandatory dress code, sure to make a bang in the fashion world.
We talked to their leader. Name of.. Stiletto, I think? This one was smarter, and pissed. Well, she hired us to figure this drek out and maybe drag her boys out of deep water in the process. I let the meager payment slip – some beat up, decades old van probably in violation of a dozen street codes – in the name of good neighborly relations.
Bouncer saw nothing but the Johnson in a smart suit who delivered a white noise generator for the meet. In the room, we found that said white noise generator had been modified to release some knockout gas. The theory is that the people who rigged the gangers went in with all the equipment under an invisibility spell or something.
Stiletto put us in contact with her fixer, Donna Dupree, because the Johnsons apparently claimed they were sent by her. Donna(note: hot stuff. mack on later.) didn’t like being name-dropped and gladly cooperated. Got a decker to help us out, too, some guy calling himself Jake in the Box. We gave him the job of deciphering commlink records to find a clue about the Johnsons while we hit up the nearest drekhole junkyard to find one of the gangers who was apparently sent to gather nondescript scrap metal.
Found him, did my thing, talked Frank out of cold cocking this guy too, Ven did his and disarmed the bomb(he’s turning out to be quite reliable). And then a drone swooped in and attacked us. Wasn’t the first one we’d spotted, either.
It was dealt with… quicker than I would have expected, and Frank found us a general direction for the rigger controlling it.
We discovered another of the gangers’ destination was the Yak home base for the area and I wasn’t having none of that, so we went to city hall. Getting inside was no problem(gotta love the look on the goon’s face when he finds out who I am,) and once in I enlisted the help of a hearth spirit to find the poor bastard quick-like. That took us up the elevator to a floor under heavy renovation, apparently soon to be the boss’ quarters. The guard there took some convincing but nobody wants to be responsible for the boss’ room getting bombed.
Found the ganger trying to climb into a ventilation shaft. Manners grabbed him by the legs, we disarmed the bomb, etc. etc. This ganger remembered a little more, confirming my suspicions that it was a mob takeover attempt. I thanked my new spirit sararyman friend for his service and let him be on his way, and we walked the ganger out casually, pretending he was with us when we came in.
Fun fact: everyone wants to believe. You only need to give them an excuse to buy whatever bullshit you’re selling.
Combining some tracking on the rigger, info from Jake in the Box and the gangers, we found a safe house that the culprits were renting from some other gang, complete with a fancy unmarked van parked out front. Small talk with the gangers. Ven and Frank “went for snacks” while Manners and I stayed to stakeout the place.
Biker with a sidecar showed up. Some commotion inside. We intercepted him when he left again… perhaps a little too roughly. Note: be more specific with my requests to spirits in the future. Chummer was knocked unconscious instantly and almost killed, so we didn’t get much out of him.
The van took off, though, without a driver, and we followed it to some house. This was it, the rigger controlling all the bombs and drones had to be here. I called for backup. Ven made like a shadow and got up close and I thought we were being sneaky, but then I guess he emptied his gun into the garage. So we hopped out of the van. Manners and I went around back. Big guy performed a manual override on the wall and we went in.
I… heroically forged ahead and secured the premises. Yeah. We made short work of them and that was that. Frank pulled apart some drones for parts, the Yak showed up to clean up.
With all that over with we talked to Donna again. She paid us and offered to find us work. I guess we did make a pretty good team. We accepted, so we’ll see what comes of it.
Only then did we finally go home to have us that dessert, which turned out to be worth the wait. Where does Gran even GET this stuff?
Now I’m all shook up and I think the stim’s about to give out on me, plus Coy is chiding me about being too slow once fisticuffs broke out and trying to shove an arcane pattern into my head for a spell. So I’m going to sleep on all this.