I guess Flit was feeling guilty for shooting the young woman’s leg. Flit offered her 5K nuyen for a new knee. Zig Zag offered to pay half. Not sure why. Maybe he felt complicit in her injury, or maybe he just likes to play the hero.
Ruin is always thinking of money. Maybe that’s why he has so much. He suggested we take the Cessna. I told them I couldn’t change the ownership of it, certainly not quickly. Flit offered to start up her jammer, and Zig Zag drove it across the water to Thule’s safehouse. We tried to call Bogart, but he did not pick up my call. Flit tried to call him, too, with the same result.
Bam Bam called Zig Zag asking for help with a job blasting the warehouse behind Cathode Glow. Now that’s an odd coincidence. It’s the same place our decoy’s kimono is from. The persona offering the job was a cloaked figure Bam Bam met on the shadownet. Allegedly, there’s a sweatshop behind the Cathode Glow. Do they make kimonos, perhaps? Bam Bam didn’t believe it, as Casey, the dude who runs the Cathode Glow, is a decent guy who wouldn’t run a sweatshop.
Investigating the cloaked figure, I found some suspiciously radiant reviews on yelp. Digging deeper, I was able to trace the cloaked figure to his current location in Glow City. It was right about then that Zig Zag received a text from Bam Bam, “NOW!! TROUBLE.” Bam Bam was at the apartment complex where Casey lived, in Glow City. Hmm. There were bombs in four of the buildings, and Bam Bam was busy disarming them. He needed help getting Casey out before the whole place blew.
We hustled and headed out to Glow City to help him. Zig gave Ruin and me ride. Flit took her bike. Unfortunately, there was a traffic accident slowing us down. Cars funneled to a single lane to get past the mangled vehicles. The Knight Errant was using this as an opportunity to stop each car and inspect the occupants. I was prepared to fast-talk our way smoothly through the traffic stop.
Zig Zag had other ideas. He peeled out, driving along the shoulder and zoomed ahead. Two motorcycle cops pursued him. Flit came to our rescue by hurling a perfectly timed grenade. It landed under Zig Zag’s car, but did not explode until the pursuing cops drove over it. Never a boring moment with this crew.
Zig Zag called Bam Bam en route. B-squared told us what building he was in, which one he thought Casey was in, and where the bombs were. He had disarmed one and moved to find the next one. Bad guys were already one the scene. I was still trying to figure out the bigger picture, how this all fit together.
Flit sped ahead and arrived at the complex a few seconds before us. Patience is not her thing. She didn’t even slow down when she got close to the building. She just leapt from her moving bike and landed on her feet, ready to fight.
While Zig was driving up, Ruin conjured Downward Draft Dodger, an air spirit. It could provide backup for Flit until we got there. We were close enough to see an arrow descend on her. Not a normal arrow—an alchemy arrow that burst into a fireball. Sometime around then Ruin conjured (or summoned?) a fire spirit, BBQ. I’ll learn the names of the regulars eventually.
I went into Hot-Sim to get a closer look at this apartment complex. I was hoping there were cameras I could see through. If I was lucky, there would be a fire alarm system I could trigger. This is a shit neighborhood. Any fire alarm or fire suppression system probably stopped functioning decades ago. Still, it was something to look for.
Flit was down from the fireball only briefly. Her auto-injector had her back up on her feet. Ruin used some kind of mind control to get one of the thugs to shoot the other. I was blind and deaf here, so I only know what was going on by what they chose to share wirelessly. My attention was drawn away by a data spike. Someone attacked me. They were running silent, but I detected a resonance signature.
I could hear the activities in meatspace. It’s like listening to a baseball game on the radio. Zig pulled the car up to the apartment complex. Another fireball dissipated Ruin’s air spirit. And his fire spirit. You’d think the fire spirit would have some resistance, right?
After several attempts, I was able to find the technomancer attacking me. It was a cloaked figure, not unlike the one who hired Bam to destroy the Cathode Glow warehouse. What are the odds?
Zig Zag used a grenade launcher to take out an archer standing on the carport roof. The frag grenade tore through the guy and left a ragged hole in the in the roof. Someone shot an arrow on the Ford Americar disabling the engine.
The technomancer attacking me suddenly jacked out. That was somewhat surprising, as I had not dealt any damage to the trickster. Then I realized why the dude jacked out. The TM was onsite and wanted to wake up to move out before the place blew.
ZZ told me to get out of the car. I already knew the engine was disabled. I switched from VR to AR only to realize I was in a car that was leaking fuel. I ran out and used a nearby building for cover. Zig Zag was shooting at a guy on the 2nd floor of a stairwell.
Bam Bam told us the place was about to go up. Flit leapt up to the 2nd floor through the hole Zig had blown open. The corner of Casey’s apartment was also destroyed by Zig’s launcher. Flit entered Casey’s apartment and found him lying on the floor, unconscious from knockout gas. She ran in and grabbed Casey.
Knowing the whole place was about to go up, Ruin and I ran for safety. Two of the buildings exploded. Flit used her body to shield Casey. She chose to take the damage in his place, dying to save his life. Seriously, there’s no spin there. That’s exactly how it happened.
The explosion caused one of the buildings to collapse on Zig Zag, nearly killing him. I was injured but nothing serious in comparison. The place was obscured by smoke and dust. We collected Casey’s unconscious body. We did a quick heal on Zig and Casey, then we split in Bam Bam’s van. We rode in silence for a while. We were all thinking of Flit, but no one was ready to talk about it.
We went to the Cathode Glow in Tacoma. Casey let us in the front door. He explained about how he rented out the back warehouse. The money was good enough that he did not ask questions.
Ruin did an astral perception and was able to see about 30 figures on the 2nd floor. Sweatshop workers, maybe? No astral signatures.
I hacked the building’s host and went into the security camera logs. Many hours earlier, a Phoenix Thunderbird drove up. Out came the two guys we killed at the Cessna. Also, the young Asian woman we saw at the Cessna. It turns out, she was no decoy. That was our culprit.
Not only did we let the thief go, Zig Zag and Flit gave 5K nuyen before we freed her. I have to hand it to the girl—she is a fine actor. She had duped us all.
She was a great actor, but not necessarily a smart one. The stupid woman bragged about her plans: stealing the Coin of Luck from Djinn Massad and then selling it to a competitor. The exchange was scheduled for tomorrow night at the Che Lounge in Dubai.
Change of plans. Cancel Hong Kong. We’re going to the Persian Gulf. A good place to do all sorts of business. It’ll be a long flight to get there. Too much free time to think about Flit.