Part the 2nd
One time, a rather brave loon kept spray painting the phrase 'Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter' on the walls of Neon Quarter. When they caught him, and they did catch him, he grinned at the Red Coast officers and said: “I hope you don't mind, I'm just having a bit of a painting bug.” As far as Benvolio had heard he was still in the isolation cube for messing with the bars, casinos, and sin dens of the Neon. He sipped at a drink when a woman in a formal shirt and vest approached him.
“Got a call on the net for you, Sir. Says it's from an M.”
Benvolio: Thanks her a slides a few bits her way. He notes he's gone down from 800 bits to 790. At least the drinks were covered by the company credit line, he thought to himself. He turned the public terminal to him and pressed the green button. He maintains a neutral expression seeing Mercer: “Speak.”
Mercer: “No way to talk to a friend if you ask me.”
Benvolio: “We're not friends and it's been a little over an hour. What do you have?”
Mercer: “Easting over in Block Quarter. Capulet has promised extra firepower against the Hyena's rivals in exchange for them hitting back at the Montagues. Looks like the meeting was setup by Tybalt.”
Benvolio: “I take it they've been told not to brawl on the Heights?”
Mercer: “That's right. They probably hope to catch someone in Sushi or Neon- you guys get out sometime.”
Benvolio: Blinks and says: “Yeah. I'm going to type a storage unit you can type in the address and I'll take care of the rest.”
Mercer: “You're going to need a couple of guys.”
Benvolio: “Yeah.” He switches off and begins punching notes into datapad.
<Does an NPC meet with him? 50% Yes = 04% Exceptional Yes!>
Benvolio: As he finishes sending out the information he hears a voice near him. He looks his eyes flick upwards just a fraction to catch the eyes of the beautiful Rosaline of Capulet. Her auburn kept long, past her shoulders. She wears a silvery silk high collar shirt with pointed shoulder pads and a pair of dark pants. She smiles seeing Benvolio.
Rosaline: “Got a light?” She asks and inches a filtered cigarette towards him.
Benvolio: Pads his coat and fishes out a lighter for her cigarette. The scent is sickly sweet, like orchids or the cloves of a dying flower. It burns a little but he keeps his face passive. “'Lo, Rose. How are you?”
Rosaline: “Getting by, I guess. I saw you at the party last weekend. I... I thought about waving, but...” She quiets and then says: “How's Romeo doing?”
Benvolio: Shrugs and says: “He's been going off by himself I guess. A lot of rides on a hoverbike, a lot of drives to the coast. I think he's found someone new.”
Rosaline: “Well, good. I'm glad.” She runs a finger across the back of her neck. She worried her lip with her teeth that gave off the same kind of ivory glow like the neon of the Heights. It was eye catching. “You ever say anything to anyone about us?” She asked.
Benvolio: “No. I guess I was like you at the party, I thought better of it.” He said.
Rosaline: “Well good, not that it's good we're hiding anything. It's just that... it's good we stayed where we are at. The background.” She looked around before she inched her hand to take his.
Benvolio: Pauses for a moment, his eyes scan the room as well. He clears his throat and with a slowness he takes her hand into his. The two hold for a moment before he speaks: “I have to go and take care of somethings.”
Rosaline: “Anything I should know about?” She asks.
Benvolio: “Same answer as before- I think it's better to keep it quiet.” He unclasps his hand from hers and says: “I'll see you sometime.”
Rosaline: “You don't have to worry much more about your cousin, Benvolio.” She leaned in close, her lips brush against his ear as she notes: “That certain someone I suspect is my cousin.”
Benvolio: “I figured. But I still can't tell you where I'm going.”
Roslaine: “But you will see me sometime, yeah?”
Benvolio: Nods and says: “Yeah, I'll see ya.” He walks out into the night and tips the valet 5 bits to get his car. He feels his coat for the solid heft of the Falcon .45 tucked within. As he touches the gun with one hand he uses the other to dial into the datapad. When it clicks he speaks into it: “Abram. I need you to get a couple of guys and meet me in Sushi Quarter. We've got work to do. Offer 250 Bits per man. If Montague asks, tell him I'm authorizing it and he can talk to me about it. Okay?”
Abrams: His voice crackles alive as he speaks: “Sure Benvolio. What do I say over the Glownet for job description?”
Benvolio: “Muscle work.”
Tybalt's Hoverbike pulls on the curb of Block Quarter. The blocks are towers upon towers, spires that reach for the sky without majesty or flourish. Dull grey hives where the population lives, breathes, eats, fornicates, and dies. In such conditions the shiny dark overcoat and fresh looking skin of Tybalt sticks out. He flips open his datapad and reads off the address again. He passes through the bank of doors into the grand lobby of Orchid Overwatch.
<Does anyone accost him in the lobby? 50% Yes = 88%. No.>
The lobby has life milling around in the night, yet nobody turns their head or makes any comments at Tybalt.
Tybalt: As he walks he does not bother to hide his mix of anger and revulsion of the squalid conditions of the Orchid. He sees the elevator doors read OUT OF ORDER and heads for the stairs. “I'm coming soon enough,” He says and begins to ascend the stairs. <Might check to prevent being Winded while going up stairs. Test Might 3+ for a result of 3.> It takes some time, but he doesn't feel winded as he ascends.
<There is a 1-in-6 chance for trouble on the stiarwell. The result is? 2>
A few civilians mutter in the corners or shoot up. Nobody bothers to look at Tybalt.
He passes through the doors into the 9th floor. The hallways are hard linoleum floors with chalk colored bricks stuck together with thick layers of white, paste like filling. At even intervals there are lights- some working, some flickering, a few off. The condition is dim.
Tybalt: <Test Mind: 5+ Result is: 4> While there is a certain sense of danger around him, he doesn't quite know the direction, besides what's ahead. A pair of thick muscled, bald headed Sick Boyz lounge in the doorway across from his target's apartment. The way their eyes look over the door and then flick to him. His hackles are raised a little more.
<Is there someone trailing in him? 65% = 25% Yes>
Tybalt: Stops short of the pair. His eyes sweep over their bulging muscles and the pistols that are stuck into the waistline of their pants. The two Boyz he see are white skin, buzz shaved heads, and little other feature besides the veins that move through their heads. His head turns slightly as he hears the metallic click of a hammer.
Jonesy: “What're you doing here, Corp Meat?”
Tybalt: Half turns to see a tanned skin Juicer with a shotgun-pistol in his hand. The gun rests on his shoulder, the hammer cocked. Both ways now have an obstacle. The way ahead, two. The way behind one, that one just happen to have a hell of a gun in his hand. He says: “Just dropping to see a friend. Cassius in?”
Jonesy: “He's busy. You come back to see him later, yeah? When the sun's up and maybe you can bring something to pay for the company.”
Tybalt: “Pay?” Looks around says: “Seem like kings of the castle already.”
Jonesy: “You heard what I got to say. Alright. Split, you catch?”
Tybalt: <Tests Nimble 4+. Result is: 4> He quick draws his Katana and rushes Jonsey with a growl. <Test 3+ w/ +2 Bonus from Weapon & Bull Rush. 2 Attks with Skirmish for results of 3 and 6 – 4 points of damage. Natural 6 Rolled> The blade flicks out and catches Jonesy's side, biting deep and causing blood to spray behind him. The second slashes across his leg, causing the Juicer to fall forward, his gun clattering to the ground.
Jonesy: <Tests 5+ to Regen = 1> Jonesey continues to kneel, his fist careens out to catch Tybalt <5+ Test = 1> The punch is deflected with Tybalt's leg which knocks him prone to the floor.
Sick Boy #1: One of the Boyz's unlatches himself from his sentry post and draws a Sparrow 9mm from his waist band. He fires a round at Tybalt <5+ = 5 Hit! -1 Hit>. The round grazes Tybalt's shoulder. His adrenaline is pumping to really notice the attack.
Sick Boy #2: He also draws, firing wildly <5+ = 1> The rounds are wild. A light fixture shatters as the bullet strikes it, causing the world to become Dim <-1 to actions unless possessing Night Vision>
Surprise Round Results
Jonesy takes 4 points of damage and lingers at Death's Door.
Tybalt takes 1 point.
Initiative Test: 4+ = 4 – Tybalt; Juicers
Jonsey: 5+; Hits: 5; S: Regenerate: Test 5+ to regenerate 1 hit point per round. Costs an action.
Sick Boys: 5+; Hits: 4; S: Regenerate: Test 5+ to regenerate 1 hit point per round. Costs an action.
Tybalt: Takes a step towards the Sick Boys. He clenches his fist and points his arm to the lower left of him <Test Nimble 4+ = 6> With a hiss a shuriken fires out and strikes Jonesy in the center of his cranium. His body shudders before it becomes still, blood pooling from the wound.
Tybalt: “You better start running.” <Activates Derma Shield. For 1d3 rounds (2 rounds) He gains 2 bonus Wounds.>
Sick Boy #1: Continues to fire at Tybalt <5+ -1 = 5>. It is perhaps fortunate that shield came up as a round strikes and causes a crackle of energy as the shield absorbs the blow.
Sick Boy #2: Begins to run down the hall. He fires behind him wildly <5+ - 1 = 1>. Sick Boy #1 is struck in the back by a bullet. He takes a point of damage and leans to the side from paint.
Notes: Tybalt takes 1 point of Damage (Current HP: 7)
-Sick Boy #1 takes a point of damage from being shot by his ally due to a wild shot in the darkness.
Initiative Test: 4+ = 6 – Tybalt; Juicers
Tybalt: Grits his teeth and charges forward. He makes two slashes at Sick Boy #1 <3+ with a +2 Attak bonus = 7 & 5. With 2 damage each Sick Boy #1 is dispatched. The Katana hacks into his sternum and doesn't stop until he's two parts of a man. “Now you.” Lifts his arm and fires a Shuriken <-2 to Attack and requires a 4+ Test. Result is: 3.> The Shuriken hits one of the walls and misses.
Sick Boy #2 continues to run down the hallway. Before long he is gone and the hallway, besides a few murmurs behind closed doors, is quiet.
Tybalt: Kicks the door into Cassius' apartment.
<Is Cassius inside the room? 2% Yes = 62%>
Tybalt: As the adrenaline wears off and the pain begins to settle, Tybalt finds his face turning an angry red. There was a full set of signal boosting and ICE equipment for a Hacker to really dig into a system. Yet, there is no hacker. Just a neon outline of a woman, some holographic pictures, and a set of Venetian blinds overlooking a nearby liquor store. Tybalt grunts and yanks down the neon sign. “Don't mind if I do.” He says and snatches a few items.
-Cassius' ICE unit, Cassius datapad, and Cassius save disks (x3).
The VIP lounge of the Club Venice barely keeps out the electronica waves of the Synth music. The drinks are cold- gin and lemonade flows freely between the Escalus cousins. On either side of a glum looking Paris sits the twins: Mercutio and Valentine. Their black, dreadlock hair was wild and was complimented like all of the Escalus' clan with black skin. They entertained many a lady- white, yellow, brown, and black. They were high fashion and giggled into their drinks.
Mercutio: “Paris, my cousin. For a fellow who is so favored in the eyes of our regal aunt, you might as well be the saddest man in the world. Wouldn't you agree Valentine? Melchior?”
Valentine: Despite having similar looks as Mercutio, Valentine did have his own points. He was quieter, he was taller, his voice was deeper. He shrugged and said: “Are you feeling alright, Paris?”
Paris: “I feel fine. Great. Grand.” He rises and walks to where Melchior leans, turning to lean next to the Ghost. “You want to tell them what weighs on my heart, Melchior?”
Melchior: The only white face in the group. His eyes are hidden by his black wire frame glasses. He didn't go further into detail, save for a saying: “Paris is sick in his heart. It only beats for one woman.”
Mercutio: Spends a moment to nibble on a woman laughs and says: “Well, perfect. More for me. Paris, the youngest of Escalus, look how you already dream of one woman.”
Paris: “I lack your boldness, Mercutio. That is why Aunt Colette shall favor you when she wishes to retire.”
Mercutio: “Favor me? A laugh.” He laughs before slapping the woman's thigh only to receive a playful pop. He tilts his head to signal space to move and when offered he stands and says: “I suspect Colette shall entrust all three of us, her nephews, to run things. She has a bold man to do bold things, a cold man to do cold things-” His head leans back towards Valentine and then forward: “And a dreaming man to dream. You get to dream, your best asset, cousin.”
Melchior: Checks his datapad. He looks up and says: “Pardon me, gentlemen. I'm sure the security, food, and drink are adequate?”
Mercutio: “Of course, Melchior. We are well provided here and I'm sure we can holler from the balcony should we need you to run back up.”
Downstairs from the VIP lounge the room's music had changed from the upswing beats of Synthwave for the lucid ambiance of Dreamwave. The tempo had mellowed and the eyelids of the drunks got heavier, just in time for the bouncers to move them and pick at their wallets like great carrion. Melchior moved to the corner booth where a youngish, wheat haired, white man sat nursing a drink. He raises a glass and speaks.
Peter of Capulet: “Melchior, welcome. Brown Pelican?” He shakes the peach colored drink at him.
Melchior: “Isn't that a non-alcoholic drink?” He asks with a raised brow.
Peter: “So it is, Melchior. You think everyone should go through life liquored up?”
Melchior: “Fair point. Fairer still, I'd like to know what you've got for me.”
Peter: Looks around and fishes out a datastick. Plugging it into his datapad it displays the images in slow, steady succession. The meeting on the balcony, the exchange of kisses. The nights of her dressed and seeing the bike vanish just beyond the walls. Melchior frowned as he watched it play out.
Melchior: “Capulet and Montague together-”
Peter: “The direct heirs, may I add. With all of that stock ownership at stake, you'd think both sides would appreciate and alliance against the Prince.”
Melchior: “No, they'd never agree on how to manage the power. Two men with too much ego. Even if they did know how to manage, Escalus would have something done about this.”
Peter: “Ah... but they're just kids. Cannot kids love?”
Melchior: “Not when it stock options and control are at stake. Save that line for the e-books our masters sell.” He orders his own drink, a screwdriver. “May I have a copy of these pictures?”
Peter: “Sure. Fifty a picture?”
Melchior: Opens his mouth and shakes his head: “Sure.” Using his generous credit line he pays 600 bits to Peter. “How's Tybalt doing nowadays?”
Peter: “Meaner than ever since that party. He keeps talking of how he hates Montague over having one's mind inserted into something foul- like a toaster or an artificially controlled toilet. His only kindness might be that he wants to kill Romeo. Not turn him into something.”
Melchior: “Yeah, I guess so.” He raises a glass and clinks it against Peter's. After his drink sighs and looks back up at the VIP lounge with its tinted windows. He thinks about going back up, instead, he shakes his head and orders another round.