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Last Stop: San Paro


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#1
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" Last stop, San Paro."

 

The intercom voice of the bus driver was enough to wake everyone. I peeled my face off the window I'd been sleeping against and using the armrests, hoisted my self above the headrests. Twelve rows in front and eight rows behind, not a head was to be seen. I was alone on the bus.

 

I got up and walked down the aisle towards the driver, taking the center seat behind him.

 

"Where is everyone?" I wearily said. It had been a long trek across the nation, and I was disheveled. The driver flicked a glancing look at me before returning his eyes to the road. We were crossing some sort of bridge.

 

"What you talking about? I should be asking you, why are you still here?"

 

He shot me another quick look with a frown of inquisition.

 

"No body goes to San Paro anymore," he chimed as his arms began to turn the wooden wheel through the off ramp.  "No body 'cept those that are dead or about to be dead."

 

Wonderful - thirteen hours on the last leg of a four day trek. Three layovers, bus station food and only one shower . I could feel the growth on my face without rubbing it. The driver brought the bus to a halt, the air brakes had barely finished their hiss before he was going down the steps. I heard the cargo bay open and saw my duffle bag tossed forward, onto the sidewalk directly outside the door.

 

"Y'er here, now get out."

 

I looked around, this was no bus station, this was the bottom of the off ramp. There was no one around.

 

"Bus don't go into San Paro anymore, not since the Citizens Security Act. Too many lives at stake, too many lives lost. Buses stopped making pick ups a couple of years ago, I can't remember the last time I dropped someone off.  Only criminals or enforcers bus into San Paro now. None of them leave on the bus, they all go out in the back of a hearse. You better get moving before someone comes along and steals your luggage."

 

I looked at him still dozy from being woken.

 

"You get moving, son, or I'll take off with you still on the bus."

 

I rose and walked the three steps to the kerb. On the bottom step, the air brakes released and the door grazed my back as it slammed shut behind me. I steeped off just as the bus began to move off. It make a sharp right turn and headed up the on ramp, to head back across the bridge. I listened as the driver quickly made his way up through the gears, heading out of town.

 

I had no idea where I was. I picked up my bag, and began walking towards the tallest buildings.


Edited by Pioneer, 20 May 2017 - 05:54 PM.


#2
TheHidden-Tember

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Accurate depiction of the ghost town that is APB today :P

I hope this story is going to include gameplay-related humor!


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#3
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Main Street.

 

I knew it from news footage, I knew it from the police reports. It was like I was a witness returning to the scene of a disaster, but the disaster wasn't yet cleaned up.The grass in the park at Empire and Main looked darker than the amount of blood that had been spilled. The Havalynd Central Golden Mall was now faded yellow in parts, and City Hall was still trying to cement the left over bullet holes in the walls.

 

I'd never been here, but knew exactly where I was.

 

San Paro Police General Services was chaotic. People moving about, the noise was amplified under the high ceiling. And the smell reminded me a well used alley - it stank, had been sanitized, but there wasn't enough bleach in the world to make it fresh again. Old and decrepit.

 

It was hard to tell who was who. Well dressed suites sat cuffed to chairs, while thugs in leather were processing fingerprints. There was no clear means to distinguish the Criminals from the Enforcers. People sat on long wooded benches, I couldn't tell if they were here to identify bodies or waiting for a church service to start. It left me confused - who were righteous and who were not?

 

There was a line of people to a counter, I joined it. People in front of me were talking about a variety of topics. The line inched forward until I arrived at a raised wooden desk. An older guy with salt and pepper hair sat behind thick bullet proof glass, scratched on this side. We talked through an intercom.

 

"What do you want?"

 

I smirked at his customer service. He was worn out and probably close to retirement. He neither wanted to be there, but he had no where else to go. I dropped my documents into the tray and slide them under the glass to him. As he reached into the tray I opened up my badge. He looked at my badge and then down into the tray.

 

"Federal? What are you doing here?"

 

I couldn't tell him, so I lied.

 

"Secondment. To assist the city."

 

He leaned back in his chair and laughed deep from his belly.

 

"Well la de da," he chuckled. "The Federal Government sends one of their own to assist the little city of San Paro. We should have our situation wrapped up in no time now."  He slid the document tray back at me and continue to giggle.

 

"Where's the Watch Captain," I asked. "I'm supposed to report to him."

 

His laughing stopped and became vocally brutal.

 

"There's no Watch Captain, there's no Order, this is San Paro. The Mayor 's City Security Act invited every moron within a seven country radius to show up and become licensed for deadly force. There's no one left, it's just civilians now, taking anarchy into their own hands. Both side of the fence. You're too late son. The Police are gone and we're what's left."

 

I knew what I was walking into before I ever got on the bus.

 

His voice mellowed a bit. "Report here tomorrow morning. Take up with Wilson LeBoyce. He's a Praetorian, gets all the rookies. He'll set your straight. You got a place to stay?"

 

I shook my head.

 

"Go down Union, and turn right at Merchant. Apartments at the end of the street. Most of the out of towners shack up there, initially. Keep your door locked at night, and a gun under your pillow. You do have a gun, don't you."

 

I smiled at him and shook my bag.

 

"Welcome to San Paro son, I hope it's not your last stop."

 

 



#4
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(Double Post deleted)


Edited by Pioneer, 23 May 2017 - 06:43 PM.


#5
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You doubleposted, but I really like what I'm reading so far.

 

It was hard to tell who was who. Well dressed suites sat cuffed to chairs, while thugs in leather were processing fingerprints.

 

For some reason my brain saw the word "cat" instead of "sat" and I thought you were gonna describe the edgy cat-ear dressing style that we have here :P


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#6
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First Shift

 

On the first night, I lay awake for an hour listening to the sounds of the city before falling asleep.  I headed out in the morning as City trucks loaded to the gunnels with replacement signage, fire hydrants and pillar boxes, started their rounds.  Within a couple of hours, they will have erased all evidence of overnight carnage. And they would be back later - for the city, restoration was three shifts a day.

 

General Services was quieter when I returned and LeBoyce stood out among the crowd. For a former Marine, he looked more like a renegade Harlem Globetrotter. His Afro probably had its own carry concealed permit

 

"Semper Fi", he called, and I produced my badge.

 

"New blood,"  LeBoyce smiled and looked me over. "Here's how this goes - I give you a job, you complete it, you get paid."

 

I nodded silently.  He looked around and then produced a business card from his back pocket.

 

"Go here," his voice lowered to a dull serious tone. "Place got hit last night. Bad.  Investigate and work out who did this. Check wall tagging, shell casings, hell - if the coroner hasn't arrived yet, check out the bodies before the Meat Wagon arrives."

 

I took the card and look at the address, I had no idea where it was.

 

"You do good by me, and I'll introduce you to some of my more esteemed colleagues."

 

I look around the room, I couldn't see a motor pool or equipment office.

 

"How do I get there?"

 

LeBoyce let out a gut wrenching laugh that stopped people nearby in their tracks.

 

"Boy, this is San Paro. Anything you need, you just take it.  Cars, guns," he lowered his voice and looked side to side. "Even women. You take what you want."

 

I was going to like this place. I turned and walked out, crossing over to Havalynd Central Memorial Park, where I sat on one of the freshly installed park benches. For an hour I listened to the residents talking on their cell phones as they passed by me.

 

"Yeah, I think it's time to leave town."

 

"Yeah, it's me."

 

"Gunshots? Was that gunshots?"

 

The blonde in the tight jeans was more in tune to the sound of warfare than I was. Sure enough, in the distance, I could hear a rapid fire exchange. It was time to earn my keep.

 

On Border Street I seized a silver Balkan Ravan from some guy that stopped at the traffic light. I'd find a auto shop later in the day to do some customization, but for now, it was the first shift.



#7
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Leboyce doesn't give a sh*t about the standard issue Machinna Calabria anymore :P


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#8
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Looking For Clues

 

The scene was clean - sanitized, by the time I arrived. The coroner had already left and some woman was squatted down, peeling off the masking tape which had marked the outline of the bodies.

 

"You must be LeBoyce's newest rookie," she didn't even look at me as she pulled the tape off the floor and crumbled it in her hands. "Four bodies, standard ammo."

 

She stood up and put her hands on her hips and asked "What happened here?"

 

She was tall, taller than I. Pink shirt that hugged her chest; the beige pants did nothing for her, but they stopped short of ankles which has the thinnest strap to some pink high heels. Pony tail, thin glasses, just a little make up - she was attractive enough to make me think of her wearing black stockings - and nothing else. I gulped, but she saw me.

 

"Settle down noob," her face scowling at me.  "Just tell me what happened."

 

I stepped back and walked the area - the other three body outlines were still down, so were the numeral markers where the shell casings had fallen. The walls were peppered with marks on all sides, and te sun was just starting to to move out of the direct path of the skylight.

 

"They were ambushed. There was a fire fight. The bullet holes in the wall point down, meaning their opposition shot from up there," I pointed to a second floor balcony. "And there," a second balcony on the opposite side. "They couldn't see them, the sun was in their eyes."

 

She looked around, then up at at the balcony.

 

"Nice work rookie. Lesson number one - always get the high ground."

 

She turned to face me and smile. She moved forward, cautiously side stepping where the comrades had fallen.

 

"Mirri Kent, I'm with the Prentiss Tigers."  She looked me up and down as a woman who knows what she wants does. "Let's get you out of those clothes."

 

My heart quickened, I blinked twice and my mouth got dry. She moved close enough that I could smell her sweet perfume, before her lily white hand rose, and dropped a business card into my shirt pocket.

 

"Not tonight, tiger. Get down to the Marina and see our tailor. Try to look as smart as you might be."

 

She walked off, running her hand across me throat as she walked away. I listened to the sounds of heels chipping their way out. She was long gone before I stopped smiling and opened my eyes again. Somewhere in the distance, I thought I heard a Robert Palmer song playing.



#9
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Stupid campers are at it again putting the objective way too fcking high.


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#10
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On The Waterfront

 

I had never been to the Marina before, but felt like I already knew the place. The Galleria had been the backdrop for many movies, the Convention Center was always on television when it hosted events, Rendezvous where that singer had died, and Trespass, which had been captured in so many songs. It was comfortable arriving in Central Square. It was like a history lesson, having read and heard so much about it, here I was now, in the middle of it. I wandered for an hour or so, soaking in the area, standing in the spots where the cameras had been, remembering the scenes on the big screen, and playing the lyrics of songs over and over in my head as I tried to imagine what it was like.

 

What is was like before.

 

Now it was different. The movie makers stopped arriving, conventions moved to other cities, no one sung here anymore, and songs were written about other clubs. It was like the city had died, reconciled to history, and no one talked about it any more.

 

I found the clothing district  tucked away in a corner of the Marina. I could see how at one time it was designer names, now, it was just local brands trying to eek out an existence, one flight up  off the street. I walked in and heard a bell above the door ring - who uses a bell any more? The place was dark, I couldn't see very well.

 

"Hold it."

 

Some old guy popped up from behind the counter looking down the barrel of a shotgun. He had to be over 70. His finger was inside the trigger guard. I raised my hands slowly.

 

"Merri Kent sent me."

 

I was holding the business card Kent had given me and rolled it between two fingers to face my opponent. His face moved away from the shotgun to look at it. I slowly lowered my hand and offered the card, placing it on the counter. He looked down at the card, then put the shotgun away.

 

"Welcome to Primal Boutique," the customer service smile returning to the old man. "Can't be too careful with people new in town."

 

The old guy ran his tape measure over me, measuring me up for Prentiiss street clothes. He talked about San Paro and it's history like he had always lived here. I never asked him any questions, he was forthcoming. It was like he was expecting me and had his speech ready. In under an hour, I left his store, not wearing one item of clothing I had walked into with. As I walked down the stairs, some hot piece in a dress too short and heels too high looked me over. Twice.

 

 



#11
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Now it was different. The movie makers stopped arriving, conventions moved to other cities, no one sung here anymore, and songs were written about other clubs. It was like the city had died, reconciled to history, and no one talked about it any more.

25j8brt.jpg this is so true! ç__ç



#12
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Third Shot

 

Driving back, I had made a wrong turn and was on Silver Street, one street over from where I should be.  Unfamiliarity with the map could be a death sentence. The Newton Church looked like it hadn't saved a soul in years, while the back alley that fed the Needles Broadway had so many tire screech marks it looked like Turn 1 at Indianapolis. I penciled it's location into my memory, no doubt there was a Chop Shop it serviced. I signaled left turn for Cross Street and moved to the center line, thinking I could get onto the freeway. Oncoming traffic was streaming past me. The Celestial Club, kitty corner to me, was set back from the road - this was a wide open intersection.

 

I never heard the first shot. Nor the second. I'd find them later. The third shot penetrated through the drivers door and embedded in my thigh. As soon as it lodged, my foot mashed the accelerated and the car took off, making the turn between oncoming traffic. I looked down at my leg. My new pants were less than an hour old and already ruined. In the rear vision mirror, a car screeched through the corner following me. Some hood was hanging out of the passenger window

 

Blood staining my pants, I turned onto Sipja, realizing there was no freeway entry. I also realized I didn't know where I was, when I barrelled through the chain link fence beside the cab company and headed for the alley. The rear window shattered as the gun fire continued. I was under powered in my Ravan and not going to outrun the opposition in a straight line. I swerved onto Vie Cerventes and again on Incheon, In the rear vision mirror I saw them stream through the intersection, in the wrong direction. When I knew they had not doubled back, my own speed came down and I headed back to General Services.

 

LeBoyce saw me as I entered, left the people he was talking with and ushered me into a back room, Kent was there. She was standing with both hands behind her and leaning against a credenza. Her shirt was pulled so tight across her chest she was almost bursting out, I forgot for a moment why I was there and straightened my back. She smiled slyly.

 

A guy in white jacket entered and led me to an examination table. He was working on my thigh when Kent  walked up and looked down upon me. She wasn't interested at the injuries, only the events.

 

"Three,  maybe four guys in a taxi shot at me," I reported.

 

"Was it three, or four?"

 

"I'm not sure, I couldn't tell." It felt like I had let her down.

 

"You have to do better, know thy enemy," she softly scolded me. I may not have let her down as much as I thought.

 

"He's good," the white jacket guy reported - I assume he was a doctor. "Flesh wound grazing, no penetration, four stitches. Give him some Scotch and he'll be good in two days. With a limp."

 

The doctor exited the room leaving Kent and I. I propped myself up on my elbows as she stepped away from the examination table, keeping her back to me.

 

"You've been in town a short time, come with crime scene skills, and already been earmarked for a drive by."  She sat down in a chair on the opposite side of the room and crossed her legs, the edges of her pants riding up to show her white ankles. Her right leg bounced gently on her left knee.

 

"Someone here knows you."

 

She was right, but I didn't tell her.

 

"You're going to need a bigger gun."


Edited by Pioneer, 24 June 2017 - 08:32 PM.


#13
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my best fap so far


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#14
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Tie Off


 

The Ravan went in for repairs around the corner from General Services. LeBoyce said he would arrange for an "upgrade", something with a little more horsepower under the hood. Kent arrived in her pink convertible a couple of minutes after me.

 

"Get in."

 

I didn't argue. I sat in the passenger seat as we drove down to the Waterfront District oblivious to what she was saying - I was watching her blonde hair stream back in the air. She'd adjust her glasses, smile, and just keep on looking seductive.

 

"Are you listening to me," she scowled.

 

The seduction was over as we pulled off Sandford Keep into an underground garage.

 

"Where are we," I asked.

 

She didn't open the door, just jumped right out.

 

"Stu Phoenix's Armory. We gotta get you something a little larger than than cap gun you're carrying."

 

Phoenix was upstairs in a dark room, with spotlights on the wall highlighting all varieties of weapons. Shotguns. Machine Guns, I walked by them and stopped at the rifles. Kent was talking to Phoenix before he came over.

 

"You like?  What's your preference?"

 

"Sniper," I blurted out without thought. Kent's eyebrows perked in interest, and I swore at myself under my breath - I had to be more careful.

 

Phoenix pulled a long barrel and scope in camouflage colors off the wall and handed it to me.  I balanced it on one finger perfectly and I could feel Kent's eyes analyzing me.

 

"Where did you learn to shoot?" Kent asked.

 

I handed the weapon back to Phoenix.

 

"Some place else," I replied as I ambled past her towards the ammo. Kent talked to Phoenix in hushed tones, and in the reflection of the pistol cabinet, I watched him put together a rifle kit and pack it into a case. Kent picked it up, walked over and handed it to me.

 

"Here," she commanded with. "You're going to need this."

 

We drove back to the Financial District in silence - the ambience between us was gone. She kept her eyes on the road, didn't adjust her hair, and I only shot sideways glances at her. We pulled up at the repair shop and she didn't get out.

 

"You free for dinner?"

 

It sounded more like a instruction than a request. I nodded.

 

"Seven o'clock, Celestial Night Club. You know where it is?"

 

I couldn't tell if Kent was upset or not so I nodded again.

 

"Wear a tie" she dictated, gunned the engine and peeled out laying thick black lines across the driveway. She drove like a scorned woman.

 

Inside the repair shop, I couldn't see my Ravan.  The old guy who ran the place was using an rag to wipe grease off his hands as he waved me over. He lead me past a number of partial wrecks out to the rear yard.

 

"Compliments of Mister Le Boyce, keys are in the ignition."  He tuned and walked back inside, leaving me with a new ride. I put the rifle case on the back seat of the Charge Cisco and turned over the engine - it roared. I headed out almost as fast as Kent, but downtown. I didn't own a single tie.

 



#15
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If you don't own a tie yet, just go to Breakwater Marina, duh.


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#16
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Scorned

 

Right over left, under, around the tree, behind the tree, down the bunny hole.

 

I closed my eyes and thought back to when I last wore a tie. It must have been...

 

I opened my eyes and forced myself to forget.

 

The evening was cool, not enough for a jacket, but I took one anyway. For the tie's sake. Opposite the Celestial Nightclub, I found an alley, reversed in and turned the Cisco engine off.  I let the pedestrian traffic going back and forth, hunting for an obvious sign. It took a while before I looked at the eyebrow signage. Pink neon, windblown hair, weight on one hip. It almost looked like Kent had modeled for the sign, naked. No one saw my sly grin as I thought of her that way.

 

6.50pm - she arrived. I almost missed her. Black knee high boots, backless dress, tight chest. Men stopped to gawk at her, and right away, I knew. A woman like Kent, could have her pick of men. I got out of the car and slammed the door shut. The elevator arrived and I went up alone. The music grew louder and engulfed me when the door opened.  The place was dark,  they always were. A hostess greeted me.

 

"Good evening, your seven o'clock reservation is waiting for you."

 

She lead me away from the music into an intimate restaurant. Most of the tables were empty, only one other couple swooning over each other clinking wine glasses. In the back corner, in a dark booth, I could just make out Kent sitting beside someone. I wouldn't have recognized her had I not seen her strut down the sidewalk.

 

"Right on time," she cooed, sipping gold colored liquid out of a tulip champagne glass. I sat down triangulating the third corner between her and the mystery guest. The guest lifted his index finger off the table and pointed at me.

 

"Him?" he quizzed Kent. His third and ring finger were weighed down by the large diamonds. Kent nodded, and continued to sip her drink. The mystery man leaned forward, rested his elbows on the tablecloth and pointed at me.

 

"I don't know you from any of the other scum in this town, but here's the job. One shot, no witnesses."

 

Kent slid a brown envelope across the table to me. The mystery guest sat back and put his arms on the back of the booth, his right arm almost touching Kent. I wanted to kill him.

 

"Miss Kent here says you might be able to assist us."

 

I wanted to slit his throat. His tone suggested that he pimped out Merri as one of his girls. I hated her John, and I didn't even know his name.

 

"I come at a high price," I snarled, snatching the envelope to my side of the table.

 

He turned and faced Kent. "Feisty too. I think he likes you."

 

She didn't flinch, and sipped her drink, looking at me through the bottom of the glass.

 

"You can name your own price," he offered. "After the job is done."

 

I stood up, and took the envelope off the table.

 

"I'll consider your request," and turned my back on them. At the elevator, I punched the call button, shattering it. The doors opened immediately and I stepped in. As the elevator closed, I watched them; they hadn't moved.

 

Downstairs, I cross the street between traffic, and got in the Cisco. The engine roared as I laid rubber and tore onto the freeway. I kept the pedal down, breaking down chain link gates, until circling down to Merchant Park. I parked the Cisco in the plaza, and left it there. In my room, I tore the tie off, threw the envelope on the floor and turned my cell phone off.

 

I hated her.

 



#17
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Don't Care


 

My temper calmed overnight, subdued by my old friend, Johnnie Walker. In the morning, I emptied the envelope onto the bedspread.  A timetable, a hand drawn map with a red X, and an 8 by 11 grainy black and white photograph. The photograph had obviously been enlarged from a smaller image; only the center person was identifiable. I didn't recognize them, nor did I care. The map was obviously the target zone, and the timetable looked like it had been Xeroxed from a planner. Time, location, who would be there - I didn't recognize any of the names. I still didn't care.

 

Outside, the morning was chilly - morning fog lay like a blanket over the top of the city, hiding everything above the third floor. The Cisco was covered in dew, it had made the parking ticket under the wiper unreadable. I tore the ticket out, crumbled into a ball off and threw it at a nearby wall. The Cisco sounded a little rough as it started. I gave it plenty of gas on the run down to the Waterfront. Red lights, no turn signals, swerving at pedestrians still trying to make it home from the night before.

 

I still didn't care, and I certainly didn't care about Kent, or who the hell she went home with last night.

 

The Wharves were quiet for the half hour I drove around the backstreet, alleys, and Camino Del Mar. Not a lot of movement, plenty of open space - it would be hard to find cover. It would have to be a long range. Glancing in the rear vision mirror, I could see the rifle case on the back dash, and quietly wondered who selected it; was it Phoenix or Kent? The Fortuna Maria was berthed, imported cars being moved out of the hull. There wasn't even a Security Guard to stop me driving up on to the deck. The Cisco would not be obvious, so I parked near some vending machines. The deck was quiet, no one around, only the thrum of the car engines below deck could be heard. Taking the case, I walked up a flight of stairs and found a high perch.  I moved some boxes that were address to the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas; to give me cover.

 

The rifle case opened with a deafening click. I froze, listening for approaching steps. No one came. The rifle came together quickly and quietly. Looking down the scope, I estimated it was about 100 yards. A flag in the distance on Dock Street was motionless,  this would be a difficult shot. I dry run the event a dozen times before putting the rifle down. And waited.

 

My watch said 8:50am when three  SUV's with darkened windows drove down Chandler Street and parked outside Armory Wharf. Ten minutes early. As the driver of the first vehicle exited, I picked up the rifle and pressed into the cold skin of the ship. A number of black suits exited the other vehicles and formed an arch around the vehicles, looking out. The target alighted and before the door closed, I had pulled the trigger. I only needed the one shot.  I took less than a minute to put the weapon away, walk to the Cisco and drive down the ramp. Three blocks west I drove in the underground garage of Stu Phoenix's lair.  Upstairs, Phoenix was standing behind a counter.  The rifle case went onto the glass top.

 

"The scope is out by an inch at 100 yards."

 

I drove the Cisco responsibly out and heading back to the Financial District, lights and sirens swarmed onto Chandler Street. I didn't care.

 



#18
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The First Shut Down

 

I returned home to find a gift basket by the door - a box of chocolates,  a champagne bottle and a business card with an address that was not familiar to me. As I opened the door, the side of my shoe swept the basket inside. The apartment was dark despite the outside day. I knew the layout of the place enough to not need lights. Making my way around to the bathroom, I flipped the cold water tap and washed off my face. It had been...some time, since I had done that. The last time I stopped someone like that, I had...

 

A knock at my door halted the battle that was building internally. Three raps on the wooden door so shortly after I had returned home - they had clearly waited for me. I cursed at myself for not ensuring my counter surveillance was acted upon. Whoever it was knew who I was, and what I had done. And worst, where they could find me. My hand piece was still on me but I had not, reequipped, since leaving Phoenix's office. I pulled a towel off the hand rack and walked to the door. Unbolting, I opened the frame just enough to see my visitor was not carrying any visible weapons.

 

"The gift basket is mine, may I come in?"

 

Her southern accent accentuated the loose blouse and black ski pants. She oozed sex appeal, and I figured she was either a professional, or a groupie. I put my head outside of the door and looked left and right - there was no one around. I kept drying my hands under the towel.

 

"There's no one here, I came alone," she moved her hand to her hips like she was impatient at my caution.

 

I looked at her again, still undecided, hoping she might come forward.

 

"San Paro is on lock down.  The entire city is shut down, no one can move. You can't get into the Waterfront District, you can't get into the Financial District. It's like someone turned the city off."

 

I looked down the hall at the street which seemed less occupied. The ambient noise was softer, I thought I could almost hear the sounds of the river from a block away. But what I didn't hear was gunfire, grenades, the last gasp of life. The city was, peaceful. For the moment.

 

"And I can't go home," her voice was much softer.

 

"Who are you," I asked, keeping my hands moving under the towel in anticipation of reaching for my gun.

 

"A fan," she smiled at me. "There's a reason why the city is in lockdown. They're looking for you. You did it, you broke the city and you don't even know it.  I just wanted to offer you my, personal thanks."

 

She walked forward and held her hand against my chest lightly as she pushed her way through the door. Her bottom wiggled and moved gingerly as she crossed the small room, sat down on the sofa and crossed her legs.

 

"A personal appearance is so much more, rewarding, than some cheap gift basket," she quipped, taking out her earrings and placing them on the coffee table. I closed the door, and bolted it shut, locking the city away.



#19
Pioneer

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(This post has been delayed due to a Cloudfare 502 Gateway error which was blocking access to the forums for four weeks. I had to get the web server to whitelist the IP address .)

 


What's Next

 

I woke in a partial daze, not sure if the sunlight streaming in the window was the dawn, or had I slept through to sunset. I sat up and looked around - she was gone. The room still smelled of her perfume. And us.

 

The clock was running, I had to move. If she could find me, anyone could.

 

Showering quickly, I started collecting what little personal effects I had and began wiping down surfaces I may have touched. Door handles, walls for support, taps, edge of the bed - everything. I knew I wouldn't get all of them - there would always be some residue left to link me to this room. I began to think back to the training - where to start, what to look for, and reverse engineered those locations to clean. My bag was packed in less than twenty minutes but the cleaning took me three hours. Satisfied, I took one look at the room, closed the door, and broke the key off in the lock.

 

The city was moving about. From inside the alcove, I waited and peeked around for about ten minutes. No one I could see was waiting for me.  That I could see.  I stepped out and began walking towards the Cisco. As I got closer, I slowed my pace until I stopped.  It didn't matter where I left the Cisco, that would be a trail. The Cisco would have to be left behind. I stepped out into the street and raised my badge.

 

"CSA, vehicle commandeered," I announced dragging them out of the vehicle.

 

"I'm going to get back?" was the last words I heard as I drove off leaving them standing in the street. The Patriot was only equipped with an AM radio - what sort of a truck only has a an AM radio in this day and age.  I scrolled through the static and country music until i found a news broadcast.

 

"The war between Enforcers and the Criminal gangs is at a stalemate after the death yesterday of one of their highest ranking members.  The shooting in the Waterfront District has seen both sides combing the area for evidence of the shooter whom is reported to have used a high powered weapon."

 

The broadcast went on and on without me recognizing the name of the deceased.  I was focused on something else. If both side of the law were looking for evidence, then neither side knew. I cursed under my breath as I ran a red light.

 

I was back to being on the outside. I was a third party Rogue.

 

The whole situation smelled of "set-up" and as angry as I was at Kent, it was she who had introduced me at the Club. My employer would know, and he owed me money. With the news broadcast, I decided it had to be a lot of money.

 

In the eastside, I found a gas station with a phonebox and parked the truck in Sipja Street. Walking back towards the celestial Club, I double back on myself in a construction site just to make sure. The sun was still up, the Club wouldn't be open for hours. Under the Freeway construction, I secreted myself into a corner and sheltered like the homeless, face down, back to the wall. Last's night "extra curricula" activity was welcome, but had worn me out. Unexpectedly. By the time my nap was over, the street lights were on and the dark had moved in. I changed my shirt, hid the luggage, and headed to the club. Unarmed.

 

If I was right, they would take my guns away. I couldn't afford to loose assets.

 

The elevator took me up and the same girl greeted me. She smiled, and wordlessly escorted me to the same table where I had first met the mystery guest. I didn't wait to be invited, and sat down.

 

"Money," I asked.

 

The girl who escorted me placed a bulging UPS express envelope on the table from sight unseen.

 

"What can Brown do for you," the mystery guest smiled with a hint of sarcasm. I wanted to reach across the table and tear his jugular out.

 

"Hold on cowboy," his tone changed to serious as he sensed my mood and leaned forward. "I'm not the opposition here. I ask you to do a job, and I rewarded you. You can take the money and walk away..."

 

He sat back, and a sinister smile came to his face.

 

"Or, you can stay on and play again tomorrow."

 

The mystery guest was a acting like a game show host. He fit the image. Slick hair, chunky diamonds, - if he worn a fur coat I'd call him a pimp, but in his purple business suit - who the hell owns a purple suit - he was still my employer.

 

I opened the envelope and peeked in. Hundred dollar notes in bundles.

 

I looked up and asked "What's next?"


Edited by Pioneer, 19 August 2017 - 07:14 PM.


#20
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Across The Street

 

"There. Leaving with the UPS envelope."

 

"Who is he?"

 

"Dunno."

 

"Where's he from?"

 

"Dunno."

 

"Not much to go on."

 

"What'd you expect? This is San Paro."

 

"What do we know?"

 

"He's good, but He doesn't know it."

 

"How good?"

 

"Sniper. Marines maybe. Definitely trained."

 

"Makes it difficult to get close to him."

 

"He might have a thing for Mirri Kent."

 

"He shows good taste."

 

"Good taste, bad judgement."

 

"I'm on him."

 

 



#21
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Hideously Wrong

 

Money, money money. It was always about money. It had always been about money.  Even back when...

 

I shut my eyes and stopped. Paused. I waited. I thought about my surroundings. Where I was. What had to be done.

 

Who was around.

 

Merchant Park would eventually be a hot spot. Everything I had in this town was now in one bag and the envelope. I still need to fortify myself though.

 

At Jagma Square the apartment Manager took my cash no questions ask. Upstairs. Top floor. It was larger than beofre but it was still lacking something. Something to make it a home.

 

Guns.

 

The Club was called Rendezvous, and he was hanging over the balcony looking down on his empire. His name was La Rocha, and on his back he carried some large weapon. I guess he was connected to be carrying that in public. But he had what I wanted.

 

"Don't I know you," La Rocha asked as I began to shed some money.

 

"No, no one does."

 

I took my 'package' and quietly left. I could feel his eyes on me as I descended and entered The Plaza and crossed into a Marina Marquee.  Loud music was playing, I turned the crap off.

 

"Nice, I was listening to that."

 

I spun around. I hadn't seen her when I walked in. She was strung out on the wire fence. I knew she was bad news.

 

"Sorry, I'll be going."

 

""Stick around. You like to party?"

 

I ignored her and walked on, back towards the Financial District. A different route than I had taken earlier. But I felt like I was being watched.

 

Back at Jagma Square, I kept the lights off and watched the street for an hour. I didn't see anything that peeked my interest, and that's what seemed unusual. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was hideously wrong.

 

And that started to make me nervous.

 




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