When last we left off, the team had successfully secured the South Tower of the weird froggers, and investigated the basement. As they were rummaging around, someone asked meekly from the south door if they were humans. It was one of the hidden techies – those they had come to rescue to begin with!
It took some convincing and energy to get them to open up and come out, because one of them was supremely paranoid and expected the team to be either froggers themselves or in league with them. But they were all almost starved to death, so they had a strong faction in favour of opening the door. Snips finally offered the paranoid guy that he could stay here, and that we would only bring out those who wanted to be saved. In the end Wyndham’s soothing words convinced them to overcome and pin down the paranoid guy and open up.
Nine techies had survived, and we brought them up to the top floor, where it was dry and warm, and fed them and gave them fresh water. Then we squeezed them for information.
They claimed that the spawning lab was no longer functional, as it needed someone to handle it. They had no access to the loo because they had locked in three frog-dogs in there, two weeks ago. Otherwise they had blocked their exits. But they explained the frogs and their dogs, and warned that matured frogdogs had venomous horns.
Their help with mapping and locations of traps was a bit sub-par, and they started yammering and mewling, so that Whispa and Bruno and the dogs took them and brought them out, and to the shore, with all the loot, taking the long route out of sight of the frogs. But they had security tags which allowed passing automatic traps, so there was that: the team took them for their next task: Extermination.
With the humans safe and sound with Whispa and Bruno on the shore, Snips felt that the job was done, but Wyndham and Royston wanted to do the extermination job: After all, that was where the actual money was.
Despite repeated prompting by the voice from above, Snips stubbornly insisted that at least one human – Martine Eloise – would stay to guard the South Tower and watch the auto-shotgun and Costa as he guarded the water hole. Snips would have preferred to leave two there, but relented. Still, she insisted that the wounded and weakened team members had to stay in the back at all times, relegated to supporting the front line from behind cover.
In this manner the team eliminated the hounds on the loo (2 of them, the 3rd had starved and was re-purposed as food by its friends), and another hound that was busy eating a dead techie. Snips was obnoxiously safety-minded and insisted on all kinds of precautions at every door.
But she always went in the front row, mainly to protect Adelard and Kendal, who were a bit vulnerable, but brave enough to go on. Repeated suggestions by the Fates to bring Martine Eloise forward as well were rebuffed by Snips, who was determined to lose no more of the team.
Door by door they cleared their way until they reached the front entrance and the way into the courtyard. Next was the generator room.
Singapore and Snips carefully opened up the Generator room and found there seven sleeping frog-dogs, and one tiny little frog dog, which was awake, but playful. They formed up in one big execution-style row and opened fire on the sleeping dogs. But they were made of hard stuff, and only two of them fell to this initial barrage. Then they came at the team to bite.
Again, Snips had positioned Adelard and Kendal in the back, and Martine Eloise was still up in the tower, so the brunt of the attack was taken by the others … especially Royston and Wyndham, who got chosen as the tastiest morsels by the dogs.
Even the little baby dog went in to gnaw bones, and he did surprisingly hard damage.
Losing a Friend
The battle raged on, with Snips switching to her hatchet to split dog heads more effectively than with the rifle. Royston was bitten a lot, Wyndham too, and both had to shake off the gnawing maws repeatedly, until But then it happened: Wyndham, long-time comrade and dependable friend, took too much, and fell.
Due to the onslaught, the others fell back and caught their breath outside. But with Wyndham’s body left inside, they wanted to go back: Royston and Singapore because Wyndham’s body was full of valuable cyberware; Snips because she wanted to bring her friend’s body back to the city and Club Lavender.
“We are a bit more mercenary than you,” said Royston with a bitter smile .. he too, despite his bravado, felt the loss more keenly than he let on.
They decided on another big rush to get the body. But Snips ordered Adelard and Kendal to stay outside and guard the rear. With the others she went inside, and they surprised the dogs as they were busy feeding on Wyndham.
The group opened up on the beasts, and they lost morale and fled behind the Generator.
Royston was tempted to follow them to hunt them down, but Snips stopped him: “We are here for the body,” she reminded him. So they took the fallen waster and dragged him outside.
Value of a Life
So, what now? Snips had not liked the whole extermination racket from the beginning. It was just not her thing, and the attitude of the corporation wasn’t to her liking either. And with Wyndham down, Royston and Singapore wounded, herself and Randal scratched, logic weighed heavily to support her arguments.
The rooms yet uncleared were sure to house an unknown number of enemies, including gun-wielding ones, more spiked hounds, and likely other dangers too. The relatively stingy payment, considering that the job had already cost multiple lifes, like Metal, Chaz, Diego, Ernest, and a number of others. The fee had to be weighed against the very real chance of at least one, probably multiple more deaths.
And so Royston agreed: It was enough.
He mentioned that they could heal up and come again another time to finish the job.
“You can do that,” said Snips. “But I came to save the techies, and we did that.
I am done.”
(Yay Rama quote from Raid 2!)
The team packed up, took their equipment and all, and left to call the transport.
Snips insisted on immediate payment of the bonus that the company had offered for saving the techies. 100 gold per man. There we have it: The value of a life.
She did not tell the handlers at the time about her decision to leave it at that. But that was final. No more humid castle for this girl. (Yay adapted Face Off quote)
Snips 1 – Fighting Dogs
Snips 2 – Fighting Robots
Snips 3 – Fighting Swordsmen
Snips 4 – Fighting Kids
Snips 5 – Fighting Dreadnoughts
Snips 6 –
Fighting Running from the Boss
Snips 7 – Fighting Cops
Snips 8 – Fighting in the Pharmacy
Snips 9 – Fighting Cats
Snips 10 – Fighting Lions
Snips 11 – Fighting Code
Snips 12 – Fighting Chaos
Snips 13 – Fighting Words
Snips 14 – Fighting Mechas
Snips 15 – Fighting in Cubicles
Snips 16 – Fighting Fire
Snips 17 – Fighting Frogmen
Snips 23 – Fighting Butch Killers
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