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Snippet #2475486

located in Digital Shorts, a part of Digital Shorts, one of the many universes on RPG.

Digital Shorts



Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alex Hanzo Character Portrait: Sami Rouvelle Character Portrait: Mr. Eckhard Character Portrait: Ryia Hawkins
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Ivarest Apartments


Merek was asleep in his secure pod, ambient music resembling waterfalls and chirping birds played at a low volume. His eyes shot open as he received an emergency call on his internal aug comm, a number only a few knew. The inside of the pod was pitch black, so even with his eyes open, he could tell no difference. A check on the data trace showed the caller to be Joseph Schlager, Ry and Merek's ever vigilant friend from the underworld. He accepted the call.

"Merek?" Schlager was always matter of fact with no emotion.

"Yeah Schlage, what's up?"

"Did you happen to attack a member of Godiva recently? Perhaps one you used to have a certain . . . attachment too?" Merek paused, Joseph knew her name was Mizaki Gono. He was fairly certain that he could trust Schlager, but one never knew how far a man would bend to exist in the underworld.

"I don't know what you're talking about." There was a short pause on Joseph's end as he contemplated the evasiveness.

"Regardless, Godiva Corp. had an attack on one of their executives. I'll assume you remember Her." Of course Merek remembered the woman, and he had been the one who accosted her, finding a pre-teen boy in her bedroom red and sweaty, as naked as the day he was born. Gono liked to rape little boys. To top it off, she was a hermaphrodite, which led to even sicker abuse and confusion for a child. "They investigated all pathways and came up with placing the blame on one of Us, the surviving Godiva Children. Don't be surprised if net searches start going out on you and Ry, they want to keep tabs on us."

"Just tabs?"

"We'll have to wait and see. When you are a company as powerful as them looking to rise all the time, eliminating loose strings from the past can only tighten your security. When the Martian Government first found out about us, it ensured we got out. Time has passed and people don't care too much anymore. Iazu is back up and running, why drag up ghosts of the past? Just a tip. And don't forget one day, I may have a favor to ask of you." Schlager hung up.
Academi had left him alone for years, shortly after trying to assassinate him, they went through a change in leadership. There were still a few mercs who would try to kill him on sight, but nothing he couldn't handle. Sneaking into the executives house had been mildy challenging and he left no trail, he hadn't accounted for the paranoia of Godiva Corp.
Ryia woke up in a cold sweat, reaching out into the air above him, fingertips hitting a glass encasing. He slept inside a tube that had a climate simulator, this way he could adjust it to help with his condition. It also meant that he didn't have to worry about having a coughing fit while in bed and spreading airborne pathogens. There was never a one-hundred-percent guarantee that his mouth cover would stay in place.

He had dreamed of Iazu. Ry was really too young to remember anything, but in his recurring nightmare, Godiva mercs scoured the land his family owned. Doing the history he had found that his father, Dearl Hawkins, was an upstart computer tech. He was trying to start his own company out of their storage space. Speculation at the time of the Iazu Incident was that Dearl could be the next big thing for cybertech. Godiva shot his father down outside the home, then ripped him from his mothers arms inside the house, as he reached out to her. Then a montage of the experiments that had been done on him played. At the end, it came back to an image of his mother, reaching out to him. Then he awoke.

Harsh coughing followed his awakening, leaving him short on breath. Blood had flaked out into the glass of the chamber and onto his clothing. Ry grabbed sanitation wipes that he always had nearby, cleaning the mess up. Then he got out of bed, stripped off the cheap robe, and exited their apartment with some kerosene and a projectile lighter. Walking to the alley behind the church, he found a dump bin, tossed the robe inside, and burned it. The cough had not been too severe, it was a lighter one. It would get worse in the coming hours. Working with his disease is something he had accomplished before, but he always feared it would be a liability.

Maybe he would have to talk Merek into getting a new tech. He had tried once before, and Merek had none of it. If there ever came a time where he had a coughing fit and Merek almost died because of it . . . he could never forgive himself. Under those conditions, he would finish the suicide attempt he tried as a teenager. Realizing he forgot to bring a mouth cover out, he rushed back into the church and into his apartment.

Eckhard, as they called him in the Red Sands HQ, wanted Ry to go in and work with some of the other techs for once. It certainly wouldn't be today. Entering the apartment, Merek was waiting for him. The living area glowed a pale forest green for the fiber optic lighting.

"Schlager called me. Godiva did some digging and is blaming one of their former wards for the accident." Merek's eyes were heavy, only halfway through his sleep. "No guarantee they want to off us but we'll have to keep an eye out."
"I warned you about pulling that stunt you did, putting the knife to her throat! It would have been better to have ended her then and there for the things she did to you. To me. To all of us." Ryia grabbed one of his spare covers out of a drawer in the kitchen table, wrapping it around his lower face in time before the next coughing fit started.

Merek took the disease symptoms easy, he was used to seeing his friend cough up his own blood. "Well, we might still have to do that. This mission today, it i big time. Frank is counting on me here."

"Then go get your fucking sleep, I could pull an all nighter and still op on the net, you're the hunk of meat that does the heavy lifting." Merek didn't argue, trotting off into his room. Ryia returned to his room, rummaging in his nightstand for the pills he took. The drugs suppressed his tuberculosis, but the persistent viral strain still got out on occasion.


Slums - Likely Target Coordinates

The coordinates for the mission came down from the boss-man himself, though there was no guarantee that they were correct. Frank did not give much away, only that he had been attacked by forces and the target may have some answers. The fact that a rival, but friendly, apprehension company currently held custody of the target was a complicating factor. No one dead, and minimal harm. This was the sort of mission that Academi would scoff at one of their trained killers taking on. They would go in guns blazing, even if it meant taking a limb off the target. If they could still speak, all was well! Eckhard crouched in an alley across from the building, lighting a cigarette under the cover of his hand.

What's up Merek? Trapped in your own thoughts again?

Hard to describe it as "trapped," when someone elses' voice is inside with me though, hmm? How are you feeling? Is it bad this time? Merek was referring to his tuberculosis.

Never better! I feel as right as the Iazu Atmo Ring right about now. They both had a little laugh at that to break the tension. From what Merek had described to Ry, this mission was penultimate to Red Sands Investigations immediate future. Merek had never belonged to an organization that he felt was doing the right thing until he had joined RSI. He didn't want to disappoint Frank.

Crouched in the alleyway across from his target building, Merek inhaled Red Sands brand smokes from deep into his lungs. The company was no relation to RSI of course, with a planet full of red sands, the phrase was popular. He crouched next to a disposal bin. A synthetic arm lay half out, robot thrown inside like a hunk of junk. Its headpiece was battered and crushed in resemblance of a tin can. Someone seemed to have treated it like a spouse they were angry at, and they could get away with it; Synth's were not considered people. He took another drag on the cigarette.

You know that shit will kill you Mere.

If an atmo ring can fail, what's the point of being so careful? Merek did not smoke too often, but this mission had him a little stressed. They were back in Iazu, one could say the two of them took a special interest in missions that were located there. He crushed the cigarette up and put it in his pocket. No DNA could be left behind.
Sami Rouvelle was on standby with a VTOL nearby. She was capable of much more than being a driver, but Eckhard had needed someone to drive that he didn't have to worry about talking. That meant almost anyone from RSI, and Sami was the agent he had muttered words to most frequently. She insisted on being a part of the comm-line for the mission, but they kept her at bay.


Inside Building Coordinates

Dyson walked down his hall, on a routine patrol. He was bored, walking back and forth, forth and back. Several guards were in this building. He didn't even recognize half of them, the team must have been thrown together quick. Some tough guys were on the second floor, higher level guards. Still, not the best the company had to offer. Rumors were that they were holding one of their own employees hostage, maybe a turncoat, but he was too low on the totem pole to have any real information.

A thump sounded above him. He looked up and around, seeing nothing.

"Time for a break, I'm starting to imagine things here." He and Thomas in the next corridor were waiting to be replaced by a couple of the guys so they could eat. The building was in the Iazu dumps, the odds of anyone finding it, let alone breaking in, were low in his estimation. The rest of the guards seemed to agree, leaving a skeleton crew in the hall. Everyone was sure the outside team would alert them first if a snatch was attempted. He walked past the part of the hall where he had heard the noise. Five paces later her felt a sharp sting in the back of his neck, falling to his face on the ground.

Merek was hanging out of the ceiling from the ventilation shaft, one hand still holding firm. The other held a tranquilizer pistol. He scanned the hall for cameras, seeing one in the far corner. Dropping from the vent in a silent crouch, he drew another weapon. Disruptors weren't made to only target augments, as Eckhard carefully aimed a red laser into the lens of the camera, effectively cutting off two minutes prior recording and the next two minutes. The only way of detection was if someone had been watching live. It was a chance he would have to take.

"While I was busting my ass finding a way into this ventilation, did you find me the blueprints?"

No answer from Ry. He was either taking his time or hacking out his liver.

"What the fuck Ry? I don't have all day here!

Hang on Merek, just hang on a second. Yes, I have them! A friend of mine who is obsessed with the Iazu buildings no longer under use since the Incident had a ton of files. I had to sift through. Merek moved down the hall, peeking around the corner. A second guard was coming his way, with another camera at the far corner of the hall.

I need some ideas here on what room to check. There were tons of doors.

Well, it is a three story building, but the top is an attic with a low roof, I doubt Mags will be there. Both weapons were now hooked back on his utility belt. Ry uploaded the schematic blueprint of the building into their comm link, all through data. His internal aug computed it, giving him a general feel for the structure of the building.

If she is even here in the first place.

Lets assume she is. The building used to be a small apartment complex. The first floor is one-room apartments. The second floor is a little more extravagant. If you're going to have a guest in here, forced or willingly, why not use the presidential room? Well it was actually the super's room but you get where I'm going." Merek picked the baton out of the fallen guards belt, rapping it on the wall to draw the other guards attention.

His augmented ears allowed him to hear the man's footfalls as he slowly approached the corner. Merek hugged the wall as closely as he could. The second man turned the corner, seeing his fallen comrade first. He rushed in to check on his health, catching a glimpse of Merek right as he passed.

A little bit of brute force was necessary here. Merek didn't go for a technical move, he reached his left arm out, gripping the far side of the man's neck and pulling him into a headlock. They struggled, hitting into the wall. Luckily the distance was only a few inches so it wasn't too loud. He gripped his hands together, transitioning the headlock into a bulldog choke. The man gurgled and gasped for a few seconds until he lost consciousness. Merek held on to the choke a bit too long to ensure he was out, but not long enough to deprive the man's brain of oxygen. He shot the second guard with a tranquilizer in case he planned on making a quick recovery, sheathing it back behind his right side.

"Past that second guard is one of the stairwells. Merek grabbed the tech disruptor, ready to spring into action.

"But," Ry chimed in again, "I would recommend the dilapidated elevator shaft."

"Who the hell puts an elevator in a two story building?"

"Three stories Mere, three. It was for the rolling tables to carry food from the gourmet kitchen up. Who the hell wants to carry plates and trays when you can take the whole damn thing in one go?"

Sounds like a bunch of spoiled assholes lived here to me. He leaned out from the corner again, aiming the laser at the camera down the hall. After disabling it he waited a few moments, satisfied that there was no response yet.
Inching his way down the hall, he heard sounds of laughter and conversation. It sounded like a large group of men and women, well over 5 people. He was closing in at the end of the hall. Straight across from him was the door to the stairwell. On the left sat the elevator shaft, while a pair of double doors sat on the right with the sign, "KITCHEN," in empty glass tubing. Must have ran out of juice. Merek thought.

Pausing by the double doors, he glanced in the right window pane of the door. The guards were using the room as its original intended use, they were splayed about a couple of dusty old tables, chinese takeout littering the room. Entering the ventilation system he had to sneak past approximately 12 guards outside. Taking out these two in the halls, he must have lucked out on his timing, because from the looks of it each hall would hold at least 4 or 5 at a time.

That is the thing about the working man, they'll take long breaks if they think they can get away with it. "You see what I see Ry?" Of course he already knew the answer.

"Get in that damn shaft before they finish their chow mein."

Ducking low enough to be below the door windows, he strafed over to the elevator. Getting a bit of leverage with both hands into the door, he started tugging. Even for his slightly enhanced strenght, it was a tough pull. A pop noise sounded through the air as he broke the seal that had formed for 20 or so years. One of the guards must have told a hell of a joke, because roaring laughter sounded at the same time. Merek stepped into the elevator, full of dust and mold, shutting the door as best he could. There was a slight crack, it wouldn't close completely. Hopefully none of those guards had augmented eyes.

Quickly, he opened the hatch of the elevator and climbed on top, grabbing the cables and shimmying toward the second floor. When he reached the right height, he jumped toward the door, fingertips holding on to the edges of the outside border. Now came the hard part.

Nothing I can do if there are guards in here, I'm going to have to go all out.

Do what you have to do, Frank just doesn't want anyone knowing who is doing the taking. They're going to know when they lose their goods." Eckhard opened the elevator door, but this one wasn't as forgiving. A long, screeching noise lit through the shaft. He could only imagine how loud it must have been in the hallway. Giving in to indiscretion, he wrenched it open.

Four guards were staring him down, from the direction of the "presidential room. A large man, half-muscle half-fat, stood at the forefront. All of them held stun batons, as well as weapons at their belts. It seemed like lethality wasn't a priority for them. Behind fatty stood a short-female with a pink mohawk. A Martian-baked skin tan man, a horrendous look that turned your skin into pleather, stood on the other side. Behind those three stood an imposing figure at nearly seven feet.

"Holy shit Merek. Can you do this without killing anyone?"

Only one way to find out. He had not reloaded the tranq gun. It was top of the line, and as such, it was quality over quantity. It only held four shots too a clip. Two had been expended on the first floor. This team of guards seemed a bit more clued in than the ones below, without speaking they started moving in.

"They must all be on an internal aug line."

[i]"Quiet Ry."
He had to make this quick, the guards from below could be well on their way.
Merek walked toward them, baring his fists to give the impression he was about to brawl. Mohawk smiled at him, seemingly in pleasure at the idea of fisticuffs. He used his heightened speed to quickly draw the tranq gun from the small of his right back. In quick succession he shot Sun-Tan Man and Mohawk, both dropping to the ground. The Fat Man seemed unfazed, still walking forward. Merek took three lunging steps toward him, then stepped into a superman punch, cracking the man in the jaw. He stumbled backward, stunned, and slipped to a knee. A roundhouse kick to the jaw stunned him further, but he was still rising. The Tall Man started striding toward them.

In reaction to the Tall Man, Merek lunged back several feet, grabbing for a tranq clip and quickly reloading. He fired all four shots into the Fat Man. The quality of the chemical he was sure of, but a man that big could take one hell of a dose. The large man managed to take a couple of steps toward him before his eyes rolled back and he fell to the ground in a heap, rattling the floor and shaking the walls. His baton fell out of his grip, rolling toward Eckhard.

He managed to grab the baton and bring it in close right as the Tall Man moved in with a left straight that he avoided, the man was a southpaw. Merek bobbed and weaved past two more jabs, then felt a solid hook collide into his gut. He brought the baton up into the Tall Man's neck, pulling the trigger. A jolt of energy hit the man and knocked him back an inch, but a straight left came right down the pipe, smashing into Merek's left eye socket. There was a crunched as his orbital bone gave way and his vision was clouded with blood. His nervous system let a bit of morphine out into his blood to calm the pain the instance the break was detected.

This guy definitely had a strength augment.

Sliding through his legs, Merek rolled and picked up Mohawk's baton, pressing both up to full charge. Noting this, the Tall Man reached for the firearm at his side. Closing the distance between them as quickly as possible, he stepped into the Tall Man before his hand even made contact with the handle of the weapon, blasting him with both batons in the chest. The man whimpered and Merek drove him toward the elevator shaft, knocking him off into the black space. Hell, it was only a one story drop. An augment should survive that just fine.

Yells could be heard from the floor below. A door slammed against a wall from the direction of the stairwell, likely the first level door.

"Move quick Mere."

"Get Sami to move a little closer Ry, half the distance! I'd like her six blocks here to the Northwest, in run-down park."

"Done, she is moving. " As they spoke he ran toward the stairwell door with the industrial strength batons, sliding them in the outward facing doorhandles. The batons would likely buy him an extra 10 seconds. He turned and sprinted across the hall toward the room, never bothering to check for the cameras since stealth time was up. Merek was masked enough to avoid being identified on clip.

After reloading the tranq gun with the third of four clips, Merek sprinted toward the presidential door, drop-kicking it
with both feet. Whatever locks may have been in place shattered and the door broke off all its hinges but the top one, dangling in place.

The hard part of the job must have been over, because the target Mags sat in a wooden chair in the center of the room. Her mouth was covered in tape, skirt hiked up so high he could see the crotch of her black laced teddy under her outerwear. The girl didn't seem to get outside much by how pale her inner thighs were. She definitely didn't hang out with the Sun-Tan Man. The target stared at him through a pair of glasses.

"Target confirmed Ry." An unecessary comment with Ry in on his feed, but it felt fulfilling nonetheless.

It was a trend for some to wear glasses for show, something set in the 22nd Century by some obnoxious sport athletes. While some people still let their eyesight go with no augs and needed real prescriptions, the target seemed to be in great health. There was a window three paces behind her chair, boarded up with planks of wood. "Now that is old school." They must have moved the target quickly, no time to weld the room shut quite yet. His augmentations could take the strain of a two story drop no problem, breaking through the planks would rough him up a bit, but it was nothing that a little RSI maintenance couldn't fix.

The rest of the room was a large mass darker than black. There appeared to be a side door that likely housed a full-sized restroom. To the right, a small kitchen with inset appliances in the walls. He already passed what he took for the master bedroom back by the front door. The living room had a mass of furniture housed under plastic covers, likely luxurious pieces. A bit of fur stuck out under one of the covers. The only uncovered piece was a small wooden table with a suitcase on it. Mags started struggling with her bonds, attempting to speak through the tape.

Hang on one sec, 'bout to have a freaking attack here. Ry cut the line audio during his coughing.

"Lets make this easy Mags." Merek steadily aimed the tranq at her and shot, the dart piercing her high in the left breast. A rustle sounded to the left, in the peripheral of his vison he saw the wallpaper move in the shape of a human.
Ry came back in on the other line, DOWN MEREK!. He was a bit too late. Merek held no anger toward him, this mission was in a dark zone, the net couldn't help much beyond plain research.

A disruptor blast momentarily deafened him, flowing through every fiber of his being. Having only been disrupted a few times, it was exceedingly painful. Merek screamed as all his joints, bones, and muscle were set afire. His brain felt like it was about to melt as he fell on his back. The shape stood over him, camo-cloak switching to off. He recognized the figuret as Frank's friend Alex, and why the mission was supposed to be carried out undetected made a hell of a lot of more sense.

"Don't worry yourself, you'll recover in seconds. Unfortunately, you appeared to have riled the whole house up." Alex checked on Mags, ensuring she was out. While Merek was stunned, she ripped his mask up, taking a quick look at his face to ensure she knew who she was speaking to. She dropped it back into place as he felt his muscles begin to recover, but still incapable of movement. Whatever kind of disruptor this was didn't do any damage it seemed, but it was an inhibitor of some sort.

"Frank will join me against Dynamo sooner or later. I think that him getting ahold of Mags will expedite this process. Maybe Dynamo weren't even behind it. The point is, whatever information Frank gets out of Mags will get him involved in the game. That, and other than myself, I trust him to do right by what he finds." Or so I hope, he heard her whisper to herself. She placed her heel on his chest, looking down at him and reaching a hand out to help him up. Alex timed it perfectly as he felt well enough to reach out and take her offer, standing on his feet.

"You do NOT tell Frank I know that he has Mags. He needs to think this mission went off without anyone clued in to who did it. If I brutally tortured my own girl, traitor or not, it looks bad on the inside. People can lose morale. If she is taken elsewhere my employees can hold out hope that she didn't sell us out, and that she has been taken away to be silenced or used as a pawn by Dynamo. I'll spin it however I can." Alex exchanged the disruptor for a pistol, talking quickly as they both heard the crack of the batons he had placed snap. He attempted to contact Ry but his comm aug was down.

"I have to make it look real." She stepped back behind him a few feet, giving him space. Merek didn't question what that mean, tearing Mags from the chair and throwing her over his left shoulder. Screaming guards were hurtling down the hall as he turned his head and saw Alex clubbed herself in the face with an object, blood bursting out her lip.

"Get the hell out of here." She said, seemingly able to yell with a whisper. Eckhard drove himself into the thick window and boards, breaking through it in a waterfall of glass and splinters. Alex fired twice at him, bullets tearing through the shoulder opposite Mags. He could hear the rumbling footsteps of men enterting the room as he vaulted out. More blasts of gunfire flew out into the night over his head. It seemed like an eternity, but he came down to the street, landing on his left foot, right knee, and right fist. Pain shot up through his right arm up to the gunshot wounds, body kicking more morphine in as the fall rattled him enough for the eye pain to resurge. The rest of his body absorbed the trauma relatively well. A few gun shots littered the ground around his feet as he rose, Another one tearing across his right thigh in a burning flesh wound.

He sprinted away, a slow sprint for him. If he ran too quickly it would be easier for outside eyes to determine what augment had visited this night. Once he was far enough from the building, he turned into a side alley and went full on speed, zig-zagging through the maze of dark corridors and neon lighting.


Ivarest Apartments

Ry had been unable to reach Merek for almost two minutes now. He double and triple checked his gear around the sofa, checking for malfunctions, ignoring what he knew was a disruptor blast that had hit his agent. A few tears trickled down his face, it could only mean his friend had been caught. His mind turned to death as a result instead of capture. Another coughing fit set in, an ounce of blood projected from his mouth into the face cover. Closing his eyes in mental and physical pain, Ry slammed his fists into the coffee table.

He received a call from the other line; Sami. Ry hadn't bothered telling her the comm link had went out.

"I got Merek and the target. He looks frickin' battered...mask is still intact. He needs medical attention. Why didn't you let me know he was out?"

"Sorry, I had some technical difficulties. Merek's line was buzzing back in.

"Difficulties might be an understatement. But...Merek and the target are alive at least." Sami spoke across the comm.

One second Sami. She seemed frustrated but let him go without any more hassle.

He activated Mere's line, putting Sami on hold. "Ry, does Sami know the comms went black?"

"I didn't have time to tell her, I was too busy thinking you were dead. It had been an emotional reaction, one he realized could have actually lead to Merek's death. Sami would be fully capable of attempting a rescue."[/i]

"Good. Don't mention it."

"Anything you want to let me in on?"

"I will say that this is the one time not working through HQ benefits us. Later." Ry wasn't used to the silent treatment. Something had gone horribly wrong in that building.