Part the Third
The center of the beast was the great spinal column of towers that made up Block quarter. Outside of the glitzy shell that was Neon and beneath the wonderful brain of Corp was the rottenness that lurked beneath. Everything about Glow City's body was death and decay that threatened to spill over at anytime to the other sections. A lot of troubles of the city, however, ended up on these streets at some point. The rules that applied, such as Escalus' ban of fighting amounted to nothing in Block Quarter.
Benvolio reflected on that. All it took to shed Capulet or Montague blood was perhaps a ten to twenty minute drive. He let an unlit cigarette dangle at his lip as he pulled up to the curb where a man stood in a long navy blue felt coat. His long brown hair had several strands braided to frame his beard and goatee. His white skin glistened with what was probably a hint of mint or lilac, a sign of a man that bathed and lived clean. A non-native. Abram.
Abram: “I've found a few men, Benvolio. Most of them shooters looking for fast money.”
Benvolio: “Right. Where's the Hyena's hiding at?” He wondered if Montague would complain about the money spent. Perhaps, if only because his enemies might get a chance to look and have cause to complain.
Abram: “They've rented out an old conference room in the block next over. I haven't gotten a chance to put someone to how they got their money, but I can't imagine it's directly linked to Capulet.” He raised his right hand and used his index and middle to inch towards a smaller taller a block away. “The guys are waiting around the corner in a van.”
Benvolio: “Signal them and then get in the car.” He waited and didn't flinch or react as Abram let out a sharp whistle. He saw the flash of headlights as an engine gunned to life and shook the earth as it rumbled around the corner. His car purred as it started again. Abram didn't even both with the seatbelt as Benvolio glided in front of the van and drove to where Abram indicated. He pulled into a parking space. He stepped out of the car into the rainy night and looked over the entrance.
The entryway to the building was a wide stoop with a pair of double-doors with small panes of glass divided into evenly spaced rectangles. There was a single orange light in the corner that lit up the sweeping porch and a single mat that was laid out between the two doors. Past the windows generally dim, save for the thin ambiance over where two figures sat a table and a stretch of light coming from the left.
Abram: Stepped out of the car and said: “They're flopped here until they get word. That's why they got their hand on this bottom floor. So they could fall out at a moment's notice.” He waved to the van which cut its lights. Emerging from the driver, passenger, and sliding panel were six wild-eyed toughs in piecemeal armor carrying sub-machine guns. Some nod, some just looked at the building.
Abram: “Which one of you is Tyrrell?”
Tyrrell: “James Tyrrell.” A rather medium built, tan faced man with buzzed white hair said among the crowd. “Your most obedient servant in these matters.”
Benvolio: “You have received your pay in this matter?” He asked and scanned over the other men, and one woman, who made up the pack.
Tyrrell: “We have, good sir. The pay is adequate for what needs doing.”
Benvolio: “Then let's get to it.” He strode off and heard the sound of boots clack behind him as the others fell in. He makes his way up to the double doors and steps to the side.
The others are quick to move to either side. Their weapons drawn with a majority being sub-machine guns. There is the woman with the shotgun and one of the men with an assault rifle. He sees Abram has brought his own assault rifle to the fray, leaving Benvolio with his Falcon .45 machine pistol.
Benvolio: Inches his way towards the pane to look in <Mind 4+ with +1 for his augmented eye = 5> He scans over a pair playing cards. His eye picks up the fact that not only are they rough pair with shotguns resting near them, they also sport the tattoo marks of the beast, the Hyena. He turns towards the other and holds up two fingers. He points to the room and gives a brief nod.
<Group attack roll is 4+. On a success one of the enemy Gangers are slain, on a 6 both are slain, on a failure one of the mercs are killed. The result is: 2>
Benvolio and Tyrrell open the double doors and the mercenaries swarm in. Unfortunately as the first two pass the threshold a single member of the Hyena's walks into the hallway and almost strangles in surprise. For a moment, both parties are stunned until the Hyena member quick draws and fires. The shot catches the mercenary who collapses to the floor and the battle is joined.
Group Fight Round 1
Mercenaries: 5 + Abram
Hyena Pack: 6 + Brutus
<Battle is joined with 4+ for the Mercenaries to win without casualties. Benvolio acts and adds a +1 to the roll. The result is: 3>
Benvolio fires several shots and the mercenaries pour. Bullets lance through the air striking furniture, walls, the Hyena who had his back to the doors, and in wooden columns of the lobby. In the return fire another mercenary is hit and collapses as the group rushes to the right and takes cover near the main desk. Several shotgun blasts hit the desk and the computer equipment causing sparks to the fly.
Group Fight Round 2
Mercenaries: 4 + Abram
Hyena Pack: 5 + Brutus
<Roll is a 4+ to not take casualties. Benvolio adds a +1 to this roll. The result is: 5>
The newcomer Hyena that interrupted their first attack dodges back into the room on the left, despite Benvolio making a dash for the left most side, firing as the man sprinted. The other Hyena left out in the open takes several rounds from the mercenaries. The hot bullets strike his chest and cause him to jump a little before he is thrown backwards into an old overstuffed chair. The room became clouded with a heavy smoke as several figures made their way towards the double-doors on the left. Several bodies moved to take up position.
Abram: “They're mewed up in there.” Keeping his back to the wall he inched towards the lip of the doors and tried to lean to get a look into the room, only to have a round fire near his head.
Benvolio: Waves the team over and says: “Throw grenades if you got them.” He sees Tyrrell who nods at him and waves his mercenaries to move up.
Group Fight Round 3
Mercenaries: 4 + Abram
Hyena Pack: 4 + Brutus
Note: The +1 for Benvolio's help has now been neutralized by the Hyena pack having taken a fortify action. The Mercenaries, however, regain their +1 bonus by using grenades in the enclosed room. The TN is 4+ with a +1 bonus. 5+ is needed to avoid casualties.
Result is: 5
Several covering shots and fired into the conference room when Tyrrell moves in close, clicks a grenade, and with a prayer tosses it in. There is a metallic clack as the grenade strikes the ground and then a shudder as it goes off <1d3 are slain result is: 1>. Smoke billows from the room and several heads are coughing, otherwise there is only one agonized cry from the Hyenas before that too is silenced.
Group Fight Round 4
Mercenaries: 4 + Abram
Hyenas: 3 + Brutus
The Mercenaries move for a charge into the room. The smoke helps grant them a +1. Benvolio let's them move in first as he is unsure if the grenade did much damage. The fortified position and the inclusion of Brutus turns the result into 0. Success roll is 4+. Result = 2.
As Tyrrell and several mercenaries charge the room the spray against them is withering. Tyrrell and Desi take several rounds and are slain by the attack. The other mercenaries pull back to the cackling of the Hyenas.
Brutus: “Fools and guttersnipes to challenge our fangs? To think, I sweated over what I thought was my deathknell.” He laughs a scornful, wracking laugh.
Abram: “We best move before they charge us. We barely a man to make it out of here as is.”
Mercenaries: 2 + Abram
Hyenas: 3 + Brutus
<Does Benvolio withdraw? 65% = 40%>
<Do the Hyena's charge? 80% = 06% Exceptional Yes>
Without warning the Hyenas launch a swarm attack. Benvolio and his mercenaries lack any true defensible position with their backs to the wall, but they are in a place that the Hyenas have to turn and fire. There is ultimately a success of 3+ with a 6+ needed for no casualties. Result is: 4.
As the 4 Hyenas charge out of the room cackling they are met with shots from Benvolio's assembled group. One of the mercenaries takes a bullet that causes him to fall backwards into the wall, his face a mask of pain. He sinks to the ground, just as his ally fires a killing round into the Hyena. Abram's shot catches a Hyena as he coursed into the room. The shot not only catches the ganger, but carries him into stumbling forward and striking his head on the front desk.
Benvolio comes face to face with the thin pale face, dark glasses, and slim build of Benvolio. What's left of his brown hair is done in a mohawk that ends in a rat tail. His teeth are yellow and formed into sharp points, he shows them as he grins.
Benvolio: “Shall we dance?” He asked as he held out his pistol.
Brutus: “With pleasure.”
Benvolio tests initiative. His Nimble is 3+ which results in: 6!
Group Battle roll gains a +1 as Abram and a mercenary face against a loan hyena. The roll is 3+ for a result of: 5.
Benvolio makes two Nimble Attacks at 3+ with a attack bonus of +1. The +1 is mitigated by Brutus own augmentations for the results of: 3 & 1
Brutus attack is 3+ with the result of: 2.
For a moment there is calm that settles in the room as Benvolio looks over Brutus, the mercenary Lepidus looks over the Hyena- whose name is Iago, and Abram looks between the two. Guns are brought up in a rate that Benvolio thought was too slow to be natural. He thought he could see Brutus go inch by inch towards his pistol. His own reflexes he cursed for being slow as he dropped to one knee and drew his Falcon .45 to fire several shots. A burst struck the wall and the second burst cut through Brutus' leg causing him to fall forward. Abram drew his gun along with Lepidus. Abram's shot was slow and heavy, the rounds of his pistol buried into Iago's shoulder, placing a spin on the ganger. His body was wracked by Lepidus' rifle that sprays over the body. When it was still again the only sound left was the mewling of Brutus.
Benvolio: Steps towards Brutus and says: “Who did Capulet want to go after, Hyena?”
Brutus: Spits and says: “And what do I get if I say anything.”
Benvolio: “You want it quick and painless? Or you want to go on living in agony?” He asks.
Brutus: Pauses and grins a bloody grin. It flows freely in his mouth as he speaks: “I got money for augmentation. I think I could bounce... back from this.”
Benvolio: “Who was Capulet after?” <Person 5+ with a +1 due to conditions. The result is: 6. Success!>
Brutus: Leans up and says: “Your cousin, Montague. The young one...” He spits a gob of blood near Benvolio's shoes. “Now... let me just crawl to my card and get healed.”
<Does Benvolio let Brutus live? 50% = 94% - Exceptional No>
Benvolio: Shrugs and says “I'm not going to do anything.” He turns and says as he walks back to his car. “Abram, you know what to do.”
Abram: Nods and looks at Lepidus. He follows after Benvolio as the rounds ring out and the room is silenced once again.
Benvolio: Steps over the body on the front stoop and listens out for a moment into the night <Does Red Coast Security show up? 45% = 57% No>. Though no hoverbikes or cars show up, he can certainly hear the sirens in the distance. Block Quarter, however, is a grand time for crime. It happened everywhere and it took time to check every call. Benvolio didn't feel any rush besides the longing to return to the Heights.
Benvolio: Turned to see Abram stand there next to Lepidus. He looks at the mercenary first and says: “Abram here will wire you the money from the others. You earned it.”
Lepdius: Nods and says: “Yeah... look... I'm going to take off. I'll get with you later, Abram.” He turns and walks back to his van.
Abram: “I figured he'd be more matter-of-fact about the case. Hmmm... it's been awhile since I've seen a mercenary have sentimentality.”
Benvolio: “Hopefully you don't feel that way to your boss, Abram.” He climbed into his car and waited for the man to join him. As Abram's door shut, he pulled back into the streets and drove.
Abram: “Of course I'm appreciative of Montague. How can you ask that? But he doesn't have our case- he's just a fellow living bit to bit. Still...” Shakes his head and says: “Hell of a way to lose your crew, huh?”
Benvolio: “Yeah. Hell of a way.”