Sasha carefully adjusts his leg as he sits down at his
workbench. The stiff brace on his knee is the only reminder
of the last run he was on. It was a successful job, but
a painful one. As he settles onto his chair he flexes his
leg slightly, testing his knee. Just a little tenderness
left, not uncomfortable though. He picks up his tools and
begins inspecting the digital camera before him. After a
few minutes, Sasha determines that the I/O jack is damaged
and begins dissecting the piece from the camera. It's a
slow night and he takes his time doing the various fix-it
jobs that were dropped off that day at the shop. The most
difficult job is a broken trid unit, which he decides to
leave for the next day.
At midnight Sasha closes up shop and limps out to the street
to hail a cab. The driver seems uneasy about his destination,
but Kozmo flashes a few extra nuyen and the driver grudgingly
continues on. Pulling up in front of Moon's Shine, Kozmo
is sure to count out an extra 50 nuyen for the driver. He
barely has the door to the cab closed as it speeds off.
"Lousy drek." Kozmo mutters to himself as he
turns and limps toward the door. He enters the bar and scans
the main room. Usual characters about, he wouldn't trust
most of them to take out the garbage. Not catching sight
of his contact, Kozmo moves over to the bar and finds a
stool to plant himself in. Even as Kozmo sits down he continues
to scan the main room looking for someone. His attention
is jolted back to the bar as a booming voice says, "What'll
it be omae?"
Kozmo looks up startled, "Wha! Oh, hey Kruk."
The gigantic face of the troll bartender greets Kozmo. "Just
a soy beer for now, thanks."
"You look pretty banged up. Work been tough to find
lately?" Kruk asks as he pours the soy beer into a
relatively clean mug from the tap behind the bar.
"Not tough to find, just tough on me." Kozmo
says with a chuckle.
"Know what you mean chummer." Kruk says as he
bangs the full mug down on the bar top. "You want this
on your tab, neh?"
"Nah, I'm going to nurse this one for awhile. I'm
sort of here on business." Kozmo says as he pays for
the beer and turns to continue scanning the room. As he
sits looking around, the sounds of the live band fill the
room. It's a decent blue's band that definitely fits his
mood. The back-up guitarist is well out of tune and Kozmo
does his best to set his sound filter to block it out, amused
that a work related implant could sometimes have benefits
for his personal life. Not too long passes before a man
walks into the bar. Kozmo immediately notices him and relaxes
a bit. Finally Jared is here. Kozmo orders a second soy
beer and begins to limp over to Jared. When he's about half
way to the door Jared notices him and a small smile comes
over his face.
"What's the word chummer?" Jared says. As Kozmo
approaches he holds out the second soy beer and hands it
to Jared. Patting Jared on the shoulder he points to an
empty booth along the side of the room.
"Let's sit, my knee is getting sore." Kozmo says.
The two men reach the booth and sit down. Before Kozmo continues
he slides to the inside of the booth and stretches his leg
along the bench, "Omae, that last run was brutal."
He says with a little chuckle.
"Well, at least it didn't ruin your sense of humor."
Jared says, "What the frag happened with your crew?"
"The job sounded good on our end, but you know how
these things go. After we met up with you we started planning
things out. A few of us had met up with this other runner
who turned out to be a wiz driver. Which was great considering
the job you had lined up for us." Kozmo smiles and
takes a sip of his soy beer. "So we contact this guy
and arrange to meet. We give him the details and he's ready
to go with us. He's got a pretty good idea of how to set
the transportation up and he arranges to modify our van
to do the job."
"What's that? Are you sure you should've been trusting
this guy?" Jared says.
"Well it crossed my mind, but this guy seemed real
slick. I don't know the details, but Fifi was telling me
he did some job where Renraku was after him and it just
sounds like if he wanted to take us out he could've done
it well before then. Not to mention our gear is pretty low-ball
compared to what he was working with. So, the plan we come
up with for the job is straightforward and we're sure there's
enough room to improvise if need be. The mojo-slingers in
my crew can handle most anything. Fifi packs the punch,
while Titus is good at snooping about. Between Arrow and
I, we figure we got the stealth worked out."
"Whoa, what about the merc Troll you guys had?"
Jared asks concerned.
"I don't know," Kozmo says dismissingly, "something
about him needing to hone his skills or something. He's
back doing the hardcore military type work. We're lookin'
for someone now. Maybe we'll fill his spot, but who knows.
So we aren't going into this job with our full firepower
complement. Which is probably a mistake. Arrow and I figure
we can jump over to the truck from the van, I pop the hatch
to the cargo hold and she'll get my back. We figure we drop
in some neurostun and slip in and out null sheen. Not! We
can't get a hold of any neurostun and concussion grenades
are likely to damage the package." Kozmo glares at
Jared with a twisted smile, "So we figure Fifi can
knock anyone out with her mojo. So we head out on the job.
We pull up in the van, Titus checks things out and it looks
like there's two guards inside...fortunately one's a troll
so this should be easy...neh? Well, just before I'm about
to jump over to the truck I ask Titus to check out the front
cab. Good thing I asked, because there was a full security
complement in there including a fraggin' troll with a fraggin'
"No kidding!" Jared lets out with a large laugh.
"Yeah, not as easy as you thought, neh? So I don't
know why, but we decide to go stealthy to try and collect
the extra nuyen. I didn't think it was worth it, but the
other guys got big eyes and decided we should 'At least
try.'" Kozmo says sarcastically. "So I sneak over
followed by Arrow and Fifi. We rigged up safety harnesses
to latch onto the truck. Well, as we make our way to the
cargo hatch, that fraggn' troll comes up and next thing
we know he's leveling his mini-gun at us. We got fraggin'
lucky too. It's a good thing it takes a while for one of
those puppies to warm up 'cause I think Fifi took him out
just before he was going to shred us. We weren't out of
the clear though. One of his buddies pops up and lays into
us and next thing we know we're takin' on the whole truck
and they all got assault rifles. Arrow and Fifi are good
at the close range hand-to-hand stuff and they manage to
move in and take out the guys shooting at us. Titus had
tried to help from the van, but his thing ain't shootin'
from a movin' vehicle at high speeds. So Fifi grabs a couple
grenades and uses them to take out the rest of the drek
in the cab. Except, now the guys in the cargo hold are waiting
on us and we're all banged up. I unlock the cargo hatch
then head to the back of the truck to try and create a distraction.
Well, I did a pretty good job cause I fell off the truck
and found myself hangin' from the safety rope slammin' into
the back of the truck. Arrow comes back to help me while
Fifi does her thing. I don't know 'bout that mojo stuff,
but she manages to knock out the two pieces of drek. Arrow
helps me back up and we use some mojo Titus and Fifi got
to bring the package over with us. So we make the switch
and decide that to make it look good we should bang up some
of the other crates to draw attention away from the package.
I have to admit I was ok with this idea. Then I tripped
the neurostun on a container and barely made it out of there."
Kozmo stops for a deep breath before taking a big gulp of
his soy beer.
"Well chummer, sometimes the drek just hits the fan
like that. You had the right instinct though. Next time
push your team a little harder for the safe route. Nuyen
is nice, but your life is better. Was someone desperate
for the cash?" Jared says.
"I don't think so. You know hindsight is 20/20. I
think if I could do it over, we'd have picked up some concussion
grenades, or offensive ones, and had those to take out the
guys in the cab, null sheen. I would have set Arrow up in
the van a few lanes away to snipe any one coming out of
the truck through the roof. Once the cab was neutralized
I would have had Fifi take out the guys in the cargo hold.
Then our worst problem would have been the emergency rigger,
which didn't seem to be a problem in the end anyway. I think
the plan was good, I like when we don't over analyze a situation.
I think we maybe weren't as careful as we should have been
once the job started" Kozmo says. "Anyway, that
leaves one last thing. I got a list of gear I'm going to
need. Some of it is pretty hard to find, but most of it
is routine." Kozmo pulls a piece of paper out of his
jacket pocket and slides it toward Jared.
"No problem, I'll get back to you when it's ready.
Would you accept partial delivery or should I hold shipping
until the order is complete?" Jared says with a big
grin and the two men laugh at the joke together. "Well
it sounds like you'll be trying to get healthy for a while?
Probably aren't interested in any jobs I got that are hangin'
out there undone?" Jared says.
"No way omae. I'm taking a little break." Kozmo
pauses, "Call me end of next week." The two men
smile and laugh. Jared indicates he's going to have another
beer and invites Kozmo to join him.