The next week brought a golden opportunity: Six gas grenades for the old grenade launcher! Snake Tooth bought them quickly. The team still did not want to work for the cops and there was no , so they checked out a data stick that promised a stash of loot somewhere close to a shop of the Radiant Family.
None of the current team had been around back when Snips had met that group, but Kendal had a pretty detailed account of the encounter from Snips’ stories. She had been rather put out by their rejection of Duplicants and had called them religious fanatics, although better guys by a wide margin if compared with the Yellow Sashes. Guys with a capital G, because the Radiant Family was pretty male-centric, according to Snips.
Kendal knew where on the map the Radiant Family Weapon shop was located, and it was one of only two possible blocks that fit the general description of the stash location.
Kendal tried to hire a sneak/sniper called Celeste Chalet, but his timid attitude revolted her and she said no. Snake Tooth went in with rather more confidence and succeeded: She accepted, warily, for a half share. Diamondback tried timid again for a Hacker called Harlan Desai — successful. An important hire, as we had lost our resident hacker last time when he retired. Diamondback also brought a new Sentinel PC called Alexa, and bought a pack dog named “Dog” to pull the handcart for us… because Kendal wanted to go on foot to avoid any hassle with parking spaces and, even more importantly, with the Street Cats, who owned the blocks west of that neighbourhood.
Otherwise Ariana the face, Liao the level zero retainer, and Stepan, the Ronin. And off we went.
As is our habit, we let the handcart go in the center and walked in a protective detail around it.
Right before entering the Street Cats territory, we met some Butch Killers. Kendal asked Ariana to talk with them, and she managed a whopping 13 as a reaction, making a great expression and scoring a personal invitation to a party hosted by some gang-bois later that day.
All friendly moved through Cats blocks, and met a group of Street Cats loitering at a street corner. Kendal chose to walk right by them and be a friendly visitor who respects their turf.
None of them spoke English. Still, Ariana made a sensibly good impression with a reaction roll of 9. But the leader girl wanted something from us to let us through. Kendal thought about giving her 10 dollar = 1 gold per member of our team, alas, patting down his jacket he realised he did not have the money with him.
Obviously, Kendal was not planning on giving them too much. Thinking fast — too fast — about the stuff he had on his person, he opted for tech that he did not immediately need and offered her a burner phone. She took a payment that was that low in value as an insult, smashed the phone on the ground and spat into Kendal’s face.
Now that was her mistake:
Kendal acts nice and smiles all the time, but he really isn’t such a humanist as Snips used to be. He shot her in the face with his shotgun.
A firefight broke out, which went pretty embarrassing for us: We mostly peppered the empty air around the rest of spitter-girl’s team with bullets, but the targets themselves only collected several scratches. Although, scratches also count, if there are enough of them, so we made some headway while they yelled and shot at us, also mostly failing. It took four rounds to fell the gang members (and for Ariana to collect a light wound), way longer than Kendal was comfortable with in that block, but still, we managed to get away.
Recapping our incident, and vowing to each other that we would never tell anyone about that sad performance with dozens of shots blown into thin air, Diamondback mentioned that we actually would have had money on us: She had put some in the saddlebags of the pack dog “Dog”.
Well, too late now. Better luck bribing people next time.
Beasts around the corner
The weather worsened some when we reached our target block. Diamondback heard some weird noises that Kendal and Snake Tooth mistook for those of the venomous little Dinosaurs. Kendal and Diamondback hatched a half-sensible plan together: The snipers Celeste and Diamondback should go around the house and shoot the beasts from some distance, then the rest of the gang would attack the survivors and bring them down fast from close up.
The Snipers did quite well and took out 2 out of 4 creatures, but they were only bio-engineered seagulls, not any dinosaurs or other venom creatures.
Still, the beasts attacked Snake Tooth as the nearest target just when he rounded the corner for support. Then they were decimated.
Snake Tooth decapitated the last one with his machete.
We split up, our fast team scouting the block and looking for the stash. A number of hungry street urchins crawled out of some rubble, and Kendal threw them some food, which he had brought just for this kind of situations.
Then we paid a visit to the Radiant Family, who called us “brothers” and offered us to take a tour through the shop and check out the merch. Their stockpile was nice, with all kinds of standard weapons and ammo, but very few specials like explosives or heavy weapons. Although it contained an Energy Sword … which eats up 3 energy cells per swing, or otherwise turns into a quarterstaff.
No special effect against bots, though, so really difficult to price right.
Prices! The prices were on the expensive side, and after asking about silencers (none available for rifles, only for carbines) we pulled out from there. They were no neo-luddites, they actually liked technology, and even built some impressive equipment with advanced-ish tech. They only hated copied humans. We were not such, so we got along rather well.
For now, we did not buy anything.
But it was time to get things going and collect the loot!
We moved out and went to explore the office building that fit the description and might house the treasure.
…. and postponed.
To Be Continued.
Photo by Jay Rembert on Unsplash