Messy Montez had a secret goal: He wanted to buy a synth body. But those things are incredibly expensive. And thus it was that he joined with snotty young rascal Wispa to earn some “easy money” on the side. The job: Destroy an 11 kV transformator in an office building – and get paid 500 quid. Destroy things for money? Say no more!
They left Old Man Wishum, Snips, and Dante out of this, but banded together with fresh talent: Edgar Rhodes, and his retainer Pete the Ronin. Messy also saw a pretty young girl looking for a job and sidled up to her to ask her out on the mission … but he was shot down mercilessly. Wispa tried to make up for it, but offered only a third of what Messy was ready to pay, so the young upstart huffed and split.
However, Wispa bought a dog. A big, strong pack dog able to carry loot. “Why loot?” asked Messy. “We get paid once we return.” He himself loaded up with four frag grenades, Wispa took one, and Edgar two: Lots of explosives that no sane party would ever really need.
Random shots in the night
The way to the office building was long and hazardous, but they managed without any trouble and arrived just as the sun started to set. They decided to spend the night in a derelict building opposite of the surprisingly well-maintained office building to watch its well-lit windows all through the small hours. But they were disturbed. No fewer than 10 homeless dudes sneaked up on little Wispa and informed her that they were here to take our food and our weapons. “You have more weapons than you need”, they grinned.
Wispa warned them in clear words that she was tougher than she looked and they should just take some food and go. But they were sure they could take a little girly.
She shot the first one right in the head.
Messy had slept only very lightly, and was made dimly aware of the danger, so when the shot rang out, he was up in an instant and fired as well, wounding another one of the knife-wielding hoodlums. Shocked by the sudden death of their leader, the men ran, and the party, worried that the shots might alert the office-people, left out the back and spent the rest of the night elsewhere. But no-one cared about some random shots in the night.
The next day they came back. The building had a big front door, a back and a side door, and several big tinted windows, and a big antenna on top. One side had fewer windows, and Wispa scaled the wall. Then she threw down a rope and let the others follow. The dog was too fearful of heights to be pulled up with the humans, so Wispa went down again and tied it up across the street, left some food with it and begged it to be quiet. Then the team went up. No 11 kV transformator, no stairwell, not even a hatch. However, in the center of the roof was a grimy, moldy, half-blind skylight, so Wispa crawled up there and tried to rub a tiny hole into the grime to take a look inside. The grime was too sticky to really get through, but at least she found out there were five men on the top floor, all wearing something yellow-ish. A gang? What kind of company was that?
From up there she identified two windows as possible entry points in other rooms, but even dangling from a rope right beside those windows she could not get them open.
And then the drones came.
A “pack” of delivery drones zipped down the street, busy with transporting whatever, but the dog barked at them, and so they stopped and encircled the poor animal in a threatening manner. Messy just shrugged – not a dog person. But Wispa was very worried, and for good reason: The continued barking enticed the mindless drones to attack the dog, and wound it.
“Betty!” Wispa quickly slid down the rope to aid her animal companion who was severly hampered by being tied up. But now the drones zoned in on the girl and she had to defend herself. Shots were fired, one of them even riccocheed into a window of the office building. Messy sighed. So much for the smart, silent approach! With the ruckus already going on right in front of the company office, Messy took out Old Man Wishum’s rusty old sword and smashed the skylight with the pommel. Edgar chucked in a grenade, right in the middle of the surprised yellow-sash-guys. The explosion rocked the top floor, and both Messy and Edgar followed up with shots, while Pete raced down the road to help the girl and the dog against the drones.
One of the guys inside survived, wounded, and quickly ran away, through a door. Messy decided to show off his awesome cool Ninja Parkour moves and made a stunt, swinging in, rolling across the grenade-rattled table, and cut off the runner. He crashed through the damaged table in a shower of glass and various other broken materials.
Edgar took the slower, safer way, so Mr. Runner escaped.
Outside, Wispa, Pete, and Betty the dog, fought against the crazed drones, which had so casually neglected their duty to deliver for some wayside dog bullying.
Inside, Messy and Edgar heard footsteps – many footsteps – approaching. They quickly chucked a grenade out the door and into the approaching guys, then closed the door. Booom!
Some of them cried or moaned and cursed, so not all were got. Edgar presented his second grenade and grinned. Messy grinned right back. This could be the begin of a wonderful friendship! They opened the door a crack and chucked out Edgar’s frag. Booom!
Then they went out to investigate. Four fellows were down at the top end of a staircase, and there were doors. Edgar found a keycard on one of the dead men and showed it to Messy, who pocketed it with glee. “Key-cards always come in handy,” he said, remembering the cool weapon-storage back in the secret lab. Messy checked the north door, and found the room beyond filled with no 11 kV transformator. Only valuable circuit boards … and four angrily buzzing security drones, armed with little cannons! On instinct, he chucked another grenade in there and closed the door. Booom! Several drones crashed, but something was still up and started to shoot holes into the door.
Outside, Wispa and Pete brought down the hard-shelled drones one by one, and smashed them with a sledgehammer. The repeated explosions from inside the building were impossible to ignore. “What are you doing, Messy??” Wispa asked with an annoyed look. “How many grenades does one transformator take?” She had no way to know that half the explosions were actually caused by his new buddy Edgar.
Crazy Axe Boy
Meanwhile, Edgar and Messy got company: No fewer than seven pistol-wielding yellow-sash youngsters stormed up the stairs, led by a huge brute with a crazy look in his eyes, wielding a huge double-handed axe. Messy felt that the odds were not in their favour, so he tried the big gambit: He pulled the splints from both of his grenades and held them up high: “Hold it right there or we all die!” Edgar riffed off this opening by holding up his flashbang and smoke grenade, to make it look like enough explosives to level the building.
However, the crazy axe-boy did not give a fuck. Laughing maniacally, he stomped forward to hack Messy’s head off, grenades be damned. Messy ducked out of the way: “Hey, are you out of your mind??”
The seven gunslingers thought so too — they turned around and raced down the stairs and out of the way before anything untoward could happen. Messy and Edgar won initiative against axe-boy, so they beat a hasty retreat and followed the gunslingers. Edgar dropped the flashbang and the smoke grenade right there with the crazy.
Then they both ran.
The lower floor featured a long, narrow hallway all the way down to the end, where the seven just turned left and ran — they had decided that this whole thing was not worth dying. “Hey, help us shoot that crazy axe-boy!” shouted Messy, running after them with his life grenades. Edgar was close behind him. And then they ran into a trip wire.
A hidden explosive charge went off, singing Edgar, but getting Messy hard enough to kick him off his feet. The grenades dropped right between Messy and Edgar. They both stared at them, as the crazy axe-man showed up, storming right at them. He closed in on Edgar, axe held high, and murder in his gaze. Double-Boooom!
A most epic way to go out if ever there was one.
Outside, Wispa and Pete were done wrecking the drones, and saving the dog’s life. They checked the drones and found several drugs and other medium-valuable loot. The dog was pretty messed up, so Wispa took out her healing-hypo and shot it up the poor beast’s veins. “Sorry,” she said to the also lightly wounded Pete, “Betty is worth a lot more than you.”
Suddenly the side door of the building popped open, and seven guys with yellow sashes ran out, turned away, and fled. “What’s with them?” asked Wispa — then a huge explosion rocked the building and shook every remaining window.
Wispa could well remember Messy’s words: “Let’s do something easy for a change. This here: 500 dollars for destroying some electric transformator. Child’s play with a big-ass payout!”
Suddenly the door banged open again …. and a huge creature staggered out, bloodied and hurt, wobbly on his feet, but carrying a huge, huge axe. He looked like a monster. “I’ll assassinate the fucker,” said Wispa. Her expert hit took him right in the brain stem. That hit would have taken down an oxen. He was out, and Pete took up his huge axe.
“They are dead. It is all over,” said Wispa, “let’s get out of here!”
Pete was not so sure. “I think they are all gone .. we can still destroy that transformator and get the money.”
“This mission is a total failure! We must go.”
Pete still lingered, unsure. How many enemies could possibly remain after that cascade of explosions?
Then, against all odds, a bloody frame limped out of the ruined corridor. Messy .. half shreddered, missing half his face and an eye, and with a gigantic hole in his torso, bleeding like crazy, stumbled at them. “Frst Aiid!” he croaked weakly.
Wispa reached for her healing hypo…. but empty. She had used it to patch up the dog.
The state of this wrangled human cowed even a cold-acting brat like Wispa. No man had any business to still walk around with that much blood outside of his body. “Frst aide kit… in kitchen?” asked Messy, pointing vaguely.
Pete and Wispa went in, carefully, expecting traps at every step, to search the lower floor for any kind of meds, but came up blank. However, right in the room with the front door they saw a hatch leading to the basement. Locked! It needed a keycard! Messy tried ineffectually to reach for his pocket, but his hand failed him. “kee-card…” he croaked. Pete carefully pulled the blood-soaked keycard out of Messy’s damaged pocket. It fit! And Wispa, again mindful for possible traps, found more drugs down there — including one single healing hypo. They shot it up to Messy, stabilizing him. But he was clearly out of the action.
“Imma gonna sit here down for a minute …” he said. “Weird … I can’t see well on my left side…”
“Umm…” Pete looked into the empty eye socket. “You might want to make do with your other eye…”
“I thnk my skte-brrd is broke…” mumbled Messy.
“Not only your skateboard, man.”
Drugs & Money
Apart from the drugs, Wispa also found money. Lots of money in small change, too much to carry it all. Wispa wondered again if they should end it right there and go, but Pete felt they were too close to the price to quit, and Messy mumbled: “We owe it to poor Edgar to see this through! He shan’t be died in vain…”
Pete took a look down into the basement and noticed a sign signifying electrical machinery. Carefully, very carefully, Pete and Wispa checked the whole basement, and finally found the transformator. A huge metal thing.
“Did I already check for traps here?” she asked before stepping in. She had not. A scything double blade, bear-trap-like, was shot from her left, and nearly took her head clean off – but she made her save, narrowly, and ducked in the last split-second.
The trafo seemed to have no weak spot … except the cable outlet.
Wispa had the single last grenade of the party, strapped it to the outlet with duct tape, pulled the pin, and ran. Boooom! It went dark. Mission success!
They loaded up whatever they could and made their slow, slow way back, leading the loot-carrying dog and a half-dead Messy through the hostile cityscape. Impossible luck, they met no-one who would challenge them. But it became late, and they feared that the way was too far and they would suffer from being tired. So they sought out a possible hiding place.
Alas, it was taken. A lone Waster was there, another crazed dude with an axe. He demanded that they get lost at once. But he also saw their big sacks and heavy backpacks. Wispa shied away from opening any of them and letting him see how much worthwhile moneys they had with them. She dug through her pockets and came up with 5 silver, which she offered to him.
5 silver out of sacks of gold
That measly bargain enraged him, and he proceeded to swing his axe.
“Wait!” tried Messy: “Here! Take this legendary sword of Old Man Wishum!”
The man hesitated. “Old Man who? Never heard that name.”
The rusty old sword didn’t look like much. “What is so special about this sword?”
“It was wielded by Old Man Wishum himself! A great hero! And you can have it.”
Messy presented the worthless piece of scrap metal like a family heirloom, earnestly blinking blood from his remaining eye. The Waster thought about it … and then Wispa shot him.
A harsh battle ensued. Messy just stood there, too weak to even move, but the two others traded swings and shots with the tough veteran Waster. Then it happend: The man hacked down Pete, killing the brave retainer. Without missing a beat, he also hacked into Wispa, but the wiry little tough girl managed to stay upright. One last shot – all or nothing. And she hit him full in the face, killing him on the spot.
Both of them wounded and bloodied, Wispa and Messy had not enough strength to carry all of their loot, so they hid a part of it in the derelict building. They would not be able to hold watches during the night now, so they decided to risk it and go all the way, onwards, through the night.
Easy prey, they were, hurting, weakened, and dragging a pile of loot and a tired pack dog.
But the Fates looked out for the two Wasters, and they made it back to safety without any incident, to receive their paycheck and seek out the doc.
Image: Torben Bühl, Pexels