Wasters: Van-Killers

The police never gave up, they still looked for someone to steal their uniforms back from the Street Cats Gang. And we still did not want to do that. But something else caught Kendal’s fancy:

Destroy a car? And get 6000 gold for it? Hell yeah!

Obviously it would have been much more fun to steal and keep the car, but destroying was also fine, especially for that kind of payout. Little did he know that this mission would cost him dearly.

Kendal tried to hire a daredevil but without success. For Ariana he wanted to buy a translation function, but she strongly desired the Analyse function instead. Well, what can you say. Kendal got it for her. She was delighted and rose in loyalty.

Kendal, Snake Tooth, Alyssa and Malkin, with the retainers Ariana “Chrometail” the face, Celeste the sniper, Beijing the swordswoman, Alayna and Neith. We joked around a bit that we had too many people with names starting in A — Alyssa, Ariana, Alayna? Who can keep them all straight?

The team talked about how to destroy that car and, having no big explosives, settled on simple gasoline and fire. Kendal took the jerry can out of the car, filled it up fresh and after checking to have everything they set out. On foot, because once again: Parking safety a big issue.

Nice car gone wreckage

On the way east through the blocks we were not very fast, because some of us were weighed down to 20. Right there in the first block the group happened upon a compact car. Not in the best condition, but a second car…. Kendal had a hard time to resist. He looked it up and down and wanted it. But a quick debate in the team made it clear that dragging this out of the gang zone of the Butch Killers and into our own would take too much time. So the team marked the place and promised to return here on the way back to take the car… if still there. But it was broken down in gang territory, so the chances were okay.

Going on they met a family of survivors who were pretty antagonistic, and the team decided to evade them. No sense seeking trouble without profit.

And then they reached the last block before the target block. Already it was going on late afternoon, and they saw a group of Butch Killers and robots square off.

Kendal wanted to evade again, and Alyssa reminded him that it might be time for a night rest to go into the target area early morning. So Kendal remembered the Firebird Electronics shop, where we had a computer, still unhacked.

“Good Boys” gone feral

On that route we passed a side alley … and a pack of six wild dogs stormed out, they jumped on us … and they killed Ariana in the first round. They ripped her throat out right away, everyone concentrating fire before going in to cut them up … and when we had shot, clobbered and sliced them up, it was already too late. Ariana, brave and loyal, good girl of the wastes, was no more.

We took her body to the Electronics shop and bedded it down there to make sure no other animals got to her. Neith asked if he could have her submachine gun, and got it with 30 rounds. Celeste, with encumbrance to spare, took Ariana’s cyberdeck.

Waste Block gone Warzone

On the next morning we set out and snuck into our target block, a war zone between military bots and gang members. Lucky for us, we met no opposition and quickly found the target: An armored van that had crashed into the side of a building. The occupants, all dressed in stuff with the same Logo that was painted on the van, had stepped out, locked up, and walked away all of ten meters before something or someone had mowed them down. Now they were dogfood, with eight feral dogs munching away on their bodies.

Alyssa threw a ration to distract the dogs, but they were happy with the dead. Kendal considered climbing the building and pouring gasoline on the van from above, but the building was unstable and success was doubtful.

Stumped, we hid in a ruined building nearby to watch the dogs and come up with an idea that did not involve more of us eaten by mangy crossbreeds.

Suddenly a firefight broke out right around the corner, and we pulled back and hid, listening as someone duked it out. It was something bots versus humans. The humans took losses but won. They were talking Chinese and had radio conversations, and after their win some reinforcements came and together they did something to the fallen bots, then they moved off.

We kept quiet — we had no beef with any Chinese, as long as they left our van be, and that they did. Even better, their rummaging disturbed the dogs, and they wandered off too. When we next looked out through broken windows and ruined door openings, the van was sitting there all by its lonely self.

Weaklings with Crowbars

We inspected the van and found it locked up good, and armored up fiercely. With crowbars, we levered open the hood. That took us half an hour to do, and with dubious success: The motor block was isolated from the passenger area, and lighting that on fire would not kill the car.

We kept working without getting into the van, and had the luck of fools: Nobody disturbed us. Finally we levered open the rim between bulletproof window and armored door, and poured a cup of gasoline into the gap, plus two bottles of spirits, and lit that mix up.

It burned fast and hot, and somewhat weakened the door lock, so with renewed effort we managed to bend it open.

29 cups of gas on the floor

That gave us access to the driver and shotgun area, but there was a reinforced grille to get into the back, and it took us another half hour to punch holes into the grille with iron spikes, big enough to finally wrench the pipe of the jerry can in. So Kendal poured 29 cups of gas into that passenger compartment and onto the computer that was sitting there — most presumably the actual target that the company wanted destroyed ere it fell into the hands of gov or competition.

Only after that did we notice the glove compartment: Also armored and locked! What a paranoia-vehicle!

With no gas left, we poured another couple of spirit bottles onto that, just in case there was something worthwhile and electronic in there.

And then we lit it all up, and the armored van burned like a match!

Change of Luck

We could hardly believe our luck: We had slaved away like fools for hours and now we had created a billowing pillar of black smoke, but still nobody came to kick our collective asses. We took off before our luck might change.

And obviously, that was when it did.

We rounded a corner and saw a huge battle bot with mounted miniguns stalk towards us.

“RUN!” called Kendal. He saw no sense in fighting that thing. Leave that to the Chinese-speakers. The others were of a similar mind, so we turned to flee around a corner.

Alas, the bot opened up and hosed down Alayna with a stream of machine gun fire, splattering her guts over the next fifty yards.

The rest of us darted around the corner out of sight, trailed by a line of bullets.

But not Alyssa. She saw that while Alayna had been ripped to shreds, her personal armor still looked pretty much salvageable. She did not like the idea to waste a good armor, not one bit! So she stopped running and bent down to retrieve the armor off her dead comrade. With all targets gone except for the one, the battle bot could concentrate his full attention on Alyssa, and blasted her into little bits and pieces with his next couple of machine gun bursts.

Homewards

The rest of us fled — we evaded the bot and got back out of the war zone. Evaded that obnoxious aggro-family that we had met the day before, and hid in the Electronic store with Ariana’s body again. Exhausted and demoralized, we dug in and rested another night here. Kendal decided to leave Ariana here for the time being and come fetch her home with the car later. The loss weighed heavily on him: Ariana had been with him for quite some time now, had reached Level 3, and was just as much part of the team as Snake Tooth.

Going back west, we met 2 very heavily armored Fast Dogs, in Fast Dog territory. We decided to avoid them, even if it took us a full hour to do so.

In the next block we met six normal Fast Dogs on their way to their territory. Kendal said “Fuck it” and advanced with the intent to pass them by confidently, as equals here on neutral ground. But the idiot gangers went hostile and played big men. We opened up, going full offense. Kendal melted a guy’s face with his energy tech-pistol. Snake Tooth also mows through them, and the group as a hole mops up to kill the six. They carry good loot: Gold and six pistols. We bag it all.

Next we meet 5 guys coming out of a house. These are fellow wasters, a mixed group of various colourful characters just like ourselves. We change street side to signal non-hostile intent, but they hail us and ask if we found anything of worth. We kept it vague and superficial, and hinted that we had found nothing worthwhile, but warned them of the war zone. We part on friendly terms.

Crossing Kendal

In the next block we finally got back to the crashed car, and it was still there. Kendal went there happily and seized up the vehicle to decide how we could take it. Maybe push it westwards along the street together.

Alas: suddenly four gang members came out of a house and wanted to collect a toll to let us pass.

We already know how Kendal likes such types. But he wanted to get home in peace, so he humored them. Expecting them to demand something like 5 or 10 dollars each, her asked them what the toll would be. But they — just some little shits — played the big men and demanded that we lay out everything we have, so that they could pick what they wanted. And so it went just like at that other time, when the Street Cat girl had demanded toll: Kendal melted the guy’s face mid-sentence.

A battle broke out, we killed three of them. The last survivor ran back into the house, and Kendal pulled his sword, stalked after her like a movie psycho to end her inside her hideout.

Sadly, the shots had alerted six more guys, so the battle raged on outside. The newcomers rushed us, and Beijing the swordswoman had to hold them off with the blade while the others traded shots with gang members. Kendal came back out of the house, sword bloody, and joined Beijing at the front line.

We killed them all, but it made noise and we suffered some wounds. So with a heavy heart on Kendal’s part we just quickly collected the belongings of the fallen and left, leaving the beautiful wrecked compact car behind.

Payout

The corporation was happy with our job and paid out. Plus the loot. It was a good profit, even though our retainers had all graduated to full share by now. Kendal levelled up to L5. Nieve left the group after collecting his money, and even Celeste, the sniper, who had gotten along very well with Ariana, chose to quit this team.

.

More Wasters!

image: Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash

.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s