X00054:8.Y00030:12.Z00032:25, Undercity, Waterside | South Night City Integrate | Midcity | UrbanZone - March 10th, Day 4 (Monday), 09:02 AM PST
Weather Conditions: High City (Very Windy, 25 mph winds from the West.) | Midcity (Windy, 13mph winds from the West.) | Undercity (Slight Wind, 5mph gusts from the West.)
Air Quality Index: High City = 0 | Midcity = 35 | Undercity = 65 (masks required)
As Charlie and Ghlahn approach the midway point, so too does the Hairtech and two of his goons. Arriving together in the middle at the same time, Hairtech crosses his arms in front of his double-breasted SpiderSilk suit and grips his left hand in his right.
“You have the child?” He asks in a flat, practiced way. “Produce him and bring him to me. Once we have the child in secure custody and have left the site, my employer will wire the credit to your employer.”
Ghlahn hides an annoyed smile at Hairtech's words. Why was it always "give us stuff now and we give you stuff later?" If we give up the package we might or might not get paid later. The buyer does appear to be a person of influence so it isn’t likely they don’t have the credits. But then again, he also had the means to hire a well-armed group and once the kid is out of the picture there isn’t much to stop the buyer from having this sec team save him some credits. Of course, that could ruin his reputation so there is at least that going for us. Hopefully, Charlie can talk them into a more suitable arrangement. If not, then there really isn’t much choice but to do as they ask. A shootout here might see him make it out alive if he got really lucky and didn't bother to even try to protect the team. But, he knows he would do his best to get them out alive and that would likely end up badly for everyone. For now, he simply stands quietly and evaluates the sec team. ( OOC: Human Perception roll: 1d10+3=14 / Combat Sense roll: 1d10+12=21 )
As the CEE-metal scans the hot zone he can see that there’s very little by way of readily available cover. The closest position is behind him at the van and that’s an unarmored vehicle. These goons in front of him are likely all driving armored vehicles not to mention the armored overcoats, suits, and nuCybe they’re likely sporting. Looking, as a sniper does, at the higher ground—the second floor of the warehouses on either side and above.
While it would take him about six or seven seconds to make it across the open space to the nearest warehouse door, a bullet moves much faster and there are plenty of positions a sniper could take… plenty. At least five on the left and four on the right. Overhead is difficult to tell, but with his telescopic vision, Ghlahn can make out at least five possible perches in front of them and who knows how many behind; probably the same or more. Years of experience behind the scope of a rifle tells the cyborg that should things go south, there’s no way any of them are surviving barring a miracle.
In the shadow infested interior of the rental van, Fixer dislikes every moment of this event. He is used to stress and even enjoys it a bit. Sometimes, it makes you feel alive. Right now, it’s just making him feel very, very close to dead. And the truly damnable thing is, there is almost nothing he can do about it. His life, Jace's future, Vegas' fate—right now all of it is in the hands of those out there doing the talking. He just doesn’t want anything stupid to happen.
Since he can’t change what happens out there, he ignores it to the best of his ability. Instead, he watches Jace and Rya. This is his self-appointed task for the moment. If she moves, he will stop her. They need to stay calm. He keeps all of his senses and sensors trained on the pair of them. Let the quarry not cause the hunter's problems now. ( OOC: Awareness/Notice check: 1d10+12=19 / Human Perception check: 1d10+0=6 )
Despite his efforts, James cannot read any more into the prisoners’ demeanor than what their elevated heart rates are telling him, and that’s just plain obvious as far as he can tell. He does notice something curious though. Rya’s right arm is really still. Jace is on her left side, but her right arm hasn’t moved in a bit since Charlie and the others left the vehicle.
Casino’s fist clenches about the grip of his weapon at Santa’s representative’s words. This is the part he hates; when he has to trust that those who had hired the fixer—in this case, Starlight—will honor the contract and give the credits to her so she can the team. Then comes the trust in Starlight to actually give them the credits when she has them. After all, someone had to have hired that second-team right, what was to say it was not her.
Knowing Echo is seated right behind him ready to hit the gas and get them out of there is helping to calm the nerves, but if things go wrong and the shooting starts, Casino gives Charlie no chance of reaching the van before being shot to s*** and killed. The cyborg can easily take a wave of bullets and make the van, but he too will be seriously hurt in a firefight like that. Not a good outlook at all. He hates giving Rya over to possible death despite his cavalier presentation back at the motel, but he had given her a chance to walk away and she had refused. It all now comes down to Charlie’s ability to get them paid. ( OOC: Awareness/Notice check: 1d10+8=12 / Combat Sense: 1d10+10=12 )
Surprising even himself, Casino can sense and see nothing that would suggest things are going to go poorly. After all, if the shooting starts before they have the kid then they run the risk of shooting Jace. If Charlie accepts the deal as it stands, which seems pretty straightforward for someone who isn’t the original fixer and an unknown to Santa’s elves, then he’s back to the trust he’s placed in Starlight as his employer to see that he’s paid. Unless Charlie really screws up, things should be fine and then he can get on with rescuing Vegas.
With one foot out of the van placed firmly on the ground and her other one solidly within the van, all Echo can do is wait and hope this meet ends as drama-free as possible. They have left the status of Vegas up in the air far too long to hope that Casino’s partner is still alive. She had liked the crooner skin job while he was around and feels a little sadness at the thought that he’s likely dead already.
Scanning the sedans and limo she wonders who is inside the fancy aerodyne vehicle. As she listens to Charlie begin negotiations she keeps her senses engaged, ready to drive the group out of here at the slightest sign of everything exploding. Of course… the van is unarmored and even small arms can penetrate the plastics surrounding the frame. ( OOC: Awareness/Notice check: 1d10+13=23 (exploding 10), 1d10+23=33 (another exploding 10), 1d10+33=39 / Combat Sense: 1d10+16=1 Absolute Fail )
Using her position to assess the area around them, Echo finds herself drawn to a small variation in the shadows overhead tucked within the underside of the towers. Narrowing her eyes, she pulls her Balaclava up a little higher on her nose to conceal her true intentions of really studying that area. Whether because of her time spent in the wastelands outside of the city conglomerates or just because she’s so used to hunting small animals for fresh food when on the road. Whatever the reason, she knows for certain that she’s spotted a sniper.
"I have an even better idea,” Cred Stick Charlie smiles warmly, “how about you pay half now, and then I have the child sent over here?" (OOC: Persuade/Fast-Talk: 1d10+10=17 / Human Perception: 1d10+10=1
The effort is a good one, but Techhair is cool as ice. He remains unphased. His opening statement wasn’t a request up for negotiation.
Charlie tries another route, "You do have the credits right? I mean,” Luther waves his arms free to point out the others with Santa’s voice.
"Where am I going to go? Unless you don't have the money, then you are wasting my time, my friend. I hope that you don't mind me calling you my friend, for you are the money man right?
“I'm willing to wait but then again I'll add that time on for a nominal fee, so... I do have a small fee to charge for my time. I mean you don’t work for free. Maybe the question that I should be asking is.. For whom do you work?
"I have what you want, you have what I want, but we really don't trust each other here, do we?" Luther flashes his infectious smile. “And that hurts my feelings, so... let's cut to the chase... if you don't have the credit stick that I can and will verify, or your employer isn't in that vehicle. I will need to leave, and add my fee to this fiasco.”
Techhair remains unblinking, standing still as can be, his hands crossed in front of his very expensive suit coat. “I hate to repeat myself and while that was a very nice speech, the contract states that the only one to be paid is a Starlight. You, I am presuming from your attire and the fact that you appear to be male, are not Starlight. Therefore, you are not entitled to the credits.
“Now,” Hairtech still hasn’t blinked. “Do be a good hound and fetch the boy. We are on a schedule.”
Of course, Starlight would have set everything up to go through her and with her injury taking her out of direct access, she’s still the only one who can receive the funds. This makes sense to Charlie. It is likely the way any fixer worth their salt would set things up. Thinking back on other runs that he’s made under her contract he cannot recall a single one where he’s been the recipient of the payment.
(OOC: March 10th, Day 4 - Monday, Time is 09:04 AM PST - Undercity, Waterside X00054:8.Y00030:12.Z00032:25, South Night City Integrate.)