Topic: Flesh & Blood - A Night City Adventure
X00032:8.Y00001:12.Z00054:5, 12th Alley | Night City Integrate | Undercity | UrbanZone - March 9th, Day 3 (Sunday), 8:55 AM PST
Weather Conditions: High City (Thunderstorms, 15 mph winds from the NE.) | Midcity (Rain, 10mph winds from the NE.) | Undercity (Fog and Rain, no winds.)
Air Quality Index: High City = 25 | Midcity = 42 | Undercity = 75 (masks required)
As the group makes its way to the next stop, Charlie readies himself for an encounter with the second team that they’ve been informed is trying to get the boy. Weaving in and out of traffic with the aerodyne’s fans screaming under the pressure, he taps away on his agent performing a search under Rya Mendez hoping for photos like a NCDL (Night City Driver’s License), library card, high school photos, anything.
“Hey, Bloss... can you find me some photos of this gal, Rya Mendez? I got face recognition running right now and I want to have the drone ready... best fifty credits spent this week.” Unfortunately, the fixer’s efforts are coming up been fruitless.
“Bloss?” the netrunner raises her eyebrows and rolls the lolli to the other side of her mouth. “Open your bluetooth access, choombas. I’ll send you all the stills from the video.”
“Maybe drive around the block?” Echo leans forward and puts a hand on Charlie’s shoulder to catch his attention. “That way we can get a look at the area and find ourselves a place to park this rig that’s a little less conspicuous.”
Chariles agrees with a dip of his head. If a group is waiting for them, then this might be the place. It’s best to be cautious. The fixer’s initial plan was to deploy the drone before they drove around the block, but as he considers the air traffic and the surroundings, he decides that it is best to give Ghlahn time to get into position.
Pulling around the corner, he settles the Air Jeep in front of a diner’s large single pane window. The daily specials play across the glass in glowing bubble font. Sunday breakfast is a draw and the team can see that the facility is packed with people wearing their best dress. Not many appear to have vehicles though, because the parking spots in front of Grandma Dee’s Diner are empty. A sign reads, 30-Minute Parking M - F 7am - 6pm. There are no parking meters.
Charlie uses his NuCube and activates his audio splice earplugs, feeling the ear canals seal off and sound muffled. Tapping the side of his face and ears, he confirms their activation. Check. Next, he switches to his Amps and makes sure that his Anti-Dazzle is operating. An indicator on his HUD confirms that it is. Check. Switching on his Amped Vision he registers the HUD displays outlining people as his eyes pan over them. Check...nice, yup; Double-check. Turning on his Lowlite vision, he waits for the vision to clear up. Check. Next, Luther checks his Telescopic vision Amp, zooming in the whole 20x magnification down the street. Check.
Cranking on his Amped Audio, the fixer waits for the audio filters to kick in and clear up the excess noise. Turning on his Radio Link, he hears a faint female voice say, “Link activated. Searching for open networks. There are thirteen networks available. Please select the network you’d like to link to.” A list of unfamiliar names appear on the HUD in front of his eyes. Radio link, check.
“Hill View is probs the name they gave whatever the construct is that Rya Mendez lives in. End of Row likely means the furthest back portion of the alley.” Information delivered, Fixer feels Blossom stiffen a little in his lap.
“So, this area’s got some booster activity. The Dead Dogs,” she quiets as she accesses more information through her internal cyberware. “Local gang… not much in the news, just some minor arrests for drug trafficking…”
“Great, like things couldn't get better.... “ Charlie taps at his agent’s keys again. “Bloss, can you find anymore info on Dead Dogs like mugshots for me so either one of us can feed that into the drone, so we can “tag” faces—bodies—to know gang members, please?”
“Might take a minute,” the Asian woman distractedly replies.
“Map shows me the diner, here—Grandma Dee’s Diner. I”m thinking that I set my perch up here at the diner. Even this POS won’t look out of place,” Cred Stick Charlie informs his team. “Anyone wanna walk from this point?” Charlie looks to the sniper. “You want to egress and extract here or in the hot zone, the choice is yours, unless your not afraid to be seen with us in the vehicle as we cruise around the block.”
Ghlahn looks out over the street having spent the whole of the ride observing the dullness of the Sunday morning. Nothing unusual jumps out at him now and it didn’t then as they passed ordinary building after ordinary building. Without even thinking about it, he assesses the various fire escapes, rooftops, and ledges as overwatch positions. It seems his inner sniper never rests.
"Once you all come up with a plan,” he says, spotting the skeletal ribbing of a fire escape across the street on the corner. “Just let me know and I will find a spot to keep an eye on you as usual."
Exiting the jeep, the sniper hefts his bag and rifle case, shoulders them, and takes his opportunity to cross the street amidst the practically non-existent vehicular traffic.
“Let’s get rolling,” Echo says, eyes on the retreating back of their overwatch.
Eyeballing an elderly couple who have taken notice of their activities from within the diner, Cred Stick Charlie glances in his side view mirror and lifts the aerodyne from the pavement with a high-pitched squeal of a belt.
Driving past the mouth of 12th Alley, Casino finally comes out of his reverie and back into the present. He can see a series of huts and hovels start to appear in the dark confines leaving a winding path between them that just as quickly is swallowed up by dark shadows. Wiring and clotheslines, the difference between them lost in the dark, easily crisscrossed the upper levels like a primitive spider web. This net of wires and lines begins at the ground level and reaches as high up as the big solo can see. He also makes out the crossways linking buildings together overhead, a maze that can be just as deadly as a true poisonous spider’s web for anything flying. Above all this the underside of another level of roads block out a portion of the natural light still so determined to make it through.
To Casino this was just another cluster****, part of the city and not really telling the group anything about where this Rya Mendez is to be found.
Fixer peers around at the alley and surrounding neighborhood. Squatters. People who can’t even afford the rent in that flea-infested pile at Rya’s fake address. All she could do was afford to buy an address. And then live here. What a crappy world. The idea hits the techie in the face nearly every day on this planet, but somehow it strikes him really hard here. He feels bad for those stuck in this alley—and he has seen much worse alleys. Heck, they’d just been buying info in a worse one outside the rental space. But life is harsh, and he does not want to end up here himself.
And not ending up here means finding Jace and doing it quickly. He puts pity aside with one last thought—what would he be willing to do not to end up here? And similarly, what would he be willing to do to get out once here? He has heard nice words about Rya Mendez, but can’t help wondering how she has answered those two questions. Sometimes nice people just need to stay alive. What was it his uncle used to say? “When people are starving and watching their kids die right in front of them, they don’t just roll over in the gutter and say, ‘ah shucks!’ and die. They fight. They fight whoever and however they need to in order to save themselves and their families.” The wisdom of Uncle John. Was Rya fighting to stay alive? It would explain much. And he could hardly blame her.
But sympathy doesn’t find the kid and doesn’t keep him out of the alley. He has his own fight to fight.
Fixer looks at the others in the group. This stuff was their gig, but he decides to speak up anyway, “Ok, so we’ll be able to see with the spy,” he refers to the drone, “and we need to watch all exists. We’ll have the walkie talkies split up at each exit, I assume. Does everyone here know what she looks like? We all saw the video,” here, he looks to Charlie, “Charlie, you see the vid? You know her? There is no reason she should know us or know we are here. I know I’m not the master planner, but I gotta think going in with the whole gang will be pretty noticeable and might make her run just to be safe. I suspect I’m here as backup so point me where I can be of use. Teamwork, folks. It isn’t just Jace’s life that depends on it now.”
That last statement makes him nervous. It is so true. He peers around and remembers the entrance to the alley as they continue around the block—aside from all the wiring, there hadn’t appear to be anything electrical, let alone security oriented, at the mouth of the alleyway. Who the hell would wire a hobo alley? Nobody he can figure; but if Rya can rent an address, maybe she can rent something else as well. Those wires running about the alley...they’ll get attention too. He’d seen crazier things and if there is security of any sort whatsoever, they not only might want to be careful, but might be able to take advantage of it for their own uses. Security in a hobo alley...crazy thought.
Charile replies to the techie called, Fixer, "Yes. The drone will give you all an advantage. Hopefully. And your radio will ensure that you have a way to talk to each other.
"Did I see the vid? Yes, I sure did. But no, I don't know her at all. On the other hand, let’s hope that no one has tipped her off, or that the other wrecking crew has found her and whacks us before we can get this job done."
“A bunch of private networks… none of them strong,” Blossom is back in her internal view of the Web, having taken Ghlahn’s seat when the sniper had vacated. “Nothing strong. Lots of dark space.”
Turning to look at Charlie in the driver’s seat, Casino asks an age old question, “So, what now?”
“Bloss,” Cred Stick Charlie calls back over his shoulder, “where is the best connection for you here? I'm thinking the diner for me.”
“That diner was plenty crowded…” Blossom pops the sucker from her mouth. “If we can get a seat, that’s fine with me.”
One way in and one way out, that makes Ghlahn’s job easy. The challenge now is making use of what little architecture was available, remain unnoticed, and provide fire support at the mouth of the alley. No sweat.
He had surveyed the building across the street from the alley coming around the corner, before Charlie had dropped him in front of that busy diner. There was nothing ideal, but there was that fire escape up the south side. That seems like his best bet.
Crossing the street, he passes in front of the CPA’s office. Foot traffic is picking up. The sidewalk is about 70% congested with people making their way east. People dressed in their best clothes, hair combed, cybernetics polished. That’s going to make climbing the fire escape unnoticed nigh unto impossible. Keep going? Try to find another way up the outside of the building? Or see if there’s a way into one of the businesses along 12th Street, maybe find a way upstairs and then out onto the escape?
Rounding the corner once again, Charlie parks the jeep and waits for it to settle to the ground before removing the keys. Grandma Dee’s Diner is no less packed than it was five-minutes ago.
“Standing room only,” Echo mutters. “Looks like we need another roost.”
(OOC: March 9th, Day 3 - Sunday, Time is 09:02 AM PST)
Posted on 2019-08-22 at 18:17:05.