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Cyberpunk 2038

Night City


a part of Cyberpunk 2038, by SkullsandSlippers.


SkullsandSlippers holds sovereignty over Night City, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

951 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:


Default Location for Cyberpunk 2038
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Night City



Night City is a part of Cyberpunk 2038.

12 Characters Here

Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse [49] "You think you're invisible because you crawl around in the shadows? Let me show you true invisibility."
Riordan Devereaux [39] Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a hell of a lot of entertainment.
Teagan Bannister [34] What did you want? And how much did you say you would be willing to pay?
Antony Largo [28] What you see.. is just the surface..*smile*
Falke, Samuel [13] I've got a lotta questions, kid. And you've only got one knee cap left.
Kenneth Belmont [11] "No one will notice, if there is no one left to notice."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Teagan Bannister Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Atticus Lawley Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Riordan Devereaux Character Portrait: Johan Halvorsen
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In the RV-
George’s lips formed on thin line as she waited for some sign that they had heard her orders

When Antony stated he was breaching George let out a slow exhale through her teeth.

Come on...come on...

She had been focusing on what Rio had told them, about the landing pad but all that was forgotten when Imogen had stated there was a problem. Her hands now reached for her pad though she could not bring herself to look at it or type. She was too focused on the com.

The scream of a woman yelling the name Paul made George jump. She let out a slow exhale and turned away from Mark and his screens.

She heard him tell Imogen to stand still and George closed her eyes. It was hard to just stand there and listen

The teams outside began to report that the patrols were eliminated and George’s shoulders relaxed just a little. Antony had Imogen, Teagan and Johan had taken care of the obvious threats. There was only one last thing to do.

In the lab-

Imogen stood there in the hall. She heard George order them to get her out and her hand began to slip into her bag. Her gun waited there. She had hoped she would not have to pull it out or use it and now it seemed that was not going to be the case.

She tried to be as subtle as she could easing the weapon out of the bag. She did not want to raise any alarm until she knew Antony was going to be in and closer to her. If she set things in motion too early it could mean the very worst for all involved.

The men drew closer. Imogen swallowed. That is when she heard Antony tell her to be very still. She closed her eyes and stood as still as she could. She took a deep breath as the clip bounced down the hall. She heard it, the bouncing down the floor before it came to a halt.

Just like that the hall was full of the sound of gunfire. Imogen didn’t move but her heart was racing. She had only been this scared one other time in her life though that time the adrenaline from her attempts to fight them off overrode her fear in the end. Now she could do nothing but watch as bodies hit the floor. The sound was odd, the mix of bullets and thuds. Sharp booms and strange gurgling noises.

She flinched as she was hit by the cast off spray. Her face and white coat as well as her pants were covered now in flecks of blood. It went suddenly quiet and Imogen stared at the lone figure who stood before her. She pulled her gun from her bag and began to walk towards him and then down the hall.

“I am fine and we are moving.” Her voice was steady over the com.

In the RV-

George nodded though Imogen and Antony couldn’t see her.

“Good everyone regroup at the front. Beta you are to bring Doc to the us and the rest....clean house. You have twenty minutes before D-time.”

She turned once more to look at Mark and his screens. Relief and concern mixed though she remained as professional as ever.

George looked down at her pad. A message blinked, waiting for her. One tap of a finger.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Teagan Bannister Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Riordan Devereaux Character Portrait: Johan Halvorsen
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In the RV-

Mark accompanied Anthony's movements through the cameras as best he could, switching from place to place in order to see if he was doing all right, even though the hacker was impotent to do anything about it. He merely watched, as an ancient vigil, to the bloodbath that ensued when Anthony started eliminating everything and everyone in the lab. The Sphinx kept telling himself that it would all be worth it, if only he could get Imogen out...

He heard the screams of the scientists, and the silent perplexity of the guards, realising they never had a chance. Then the operative got to Imogen and, as Mark held his breath, all of the guards were eliminated in an impeccable display of agility and skill.


Johan finished his last victim by standing over him and piercing him through the heart with his sword before he removed a cloth from his pocket to wipe the blade clean. His brow arched at the directive for everyone to meet at the entrance and with a quick inclination of his jaw towards the laboratory, he signaled for Teagan to move on without him.

“I will just be a moment.” He wiped blood from metal as Teagan gave a careless shrug, holstering her own weapon as she turned and began walking away with an evident sway of her hips. “Don’t keep us waiting or Ombre and I will clear the whole lot without you.”

Laughter trickled from her lips as she moved into position, folding her arms beneath her breasts as she leaned herself against the entrance which gave her a clear view of both the interior hallway and the front of the building.

Riordan approached moments later, his blue-grey eyes scanning the area though they continually flickered over towards the general direction of the MCU.

In the Lab-

Antony looked at Imogen as he kneeled and picked up the spent clip for his weapon, his fingers still gripping the Manhunter in his right hand.

He smiled slightly as the glee of the moment crept over him and he reached forward on her pulling a small piece of unmentionable flotsam off her shoulder.

"Apologies Doc"

Imogen said nothing but nodded towards him. She was tense and alert. There was bile in her throat but she ignored it. They needed to get out. George ordered them to the front doors and that was her goal. She would not think about what just happened, at least not while they were still in the lab.

He tightened the stock of the weapon on his shoulder and aimed it down the hallway away from the good doctor. Walking slowly down the way he came, only treading lightly as he stepped over the bodies of the recently gone.

She followed him, picking her way carefully through casting no more than a cursory glance over the obstacles in her way. Her pulse was pounding in her ears and her mouth was dry. Just need to get out of here... Imogen was so close to finishing her part of the job. The bullets should have come later but there was no helping that now.

Antony rounded the corner and he could see the way was clear as his feet did not cease to tread a path.

His duty was to get Imogen out and return with the express intent of cleansing the whole structure. His ears kept to a high strung note as he was trying to hear what could be coming from behind or ahead of them and he was not really wanting to get caught in a firefight with her at his back."How are you feeling Doc?" He asked with a cursory glance over his shoulder before returning to his sites.

Imogen's face was a mask of apathy. No smile, no sadness. Nothing registered on her face. Even her tone was cold, almost detached.

"Fine. Thank you."

He chuckled slightly which could be heard over the com, it was obvious that seeing her in this state tickled a part that was running around inside of him like a child hyped on candy. But he was stern for now to get the mission done as he could see the exit coming up after a few doors that he knew for a fact were clear. But Antony stopped as if something were wrong and stood there as if to ponder the moment. "I suggest you make your way out now Doctor, it would be better if you were to leave now."

Imogen frowned. "We are under orders to meet outside at the entrance."

She looked at him for a moment. She knew that George could hear the conversation and hoped there was an explanation why he was sending her out alone. Imogen raised her eyebrows as if expecting that reason to come before she moved any further.

Antony turned towards her slight and let his hand lower to a point, there was a trail of red on the floor as if something had dragged itself by. The trail lead into a door that was closed and that was the source of his current attentions. "I can see how this affects you.. so as a kindness I am willing to spare you this moment. Or would you like to go in and finish my work?" He let out with an attentive sigh to his voice.

Imogen's chin lifted. "You are coming back in to finish it. I do not see how I factor into this but not my place to question." She was annoyed and angry though she was not entirely sure it was directed at the man in front of her. He was doing her a service by not killing someone else right in front of her but implying that she was some how not handling it set her blood to boil. This is not what you do. It does not matter. Yet he perceived her as weak and that bothered her more than anything.

The scientist walked past Antony. She headed down the hall towards the exit.

Antony watched as Imogen walked passed and he turned slightly towards the door putting the barrel of his weapon on point and slowly opened it. Creeping in and watching as the room unfolded to him. The trail lead over to the wall and there was obviously someone there hiding under a large coat, which he slowly removed to see the frightened face underneath. He smiled behind the mask as this woman peered back at him and though she had been crying for several minutes now it was apparent that his return was going to start her up again.

She began to cry loudly, so loud that it was echoing on his own com as his face came closer to hers. Antony reached forward to the girl and she pulled a weapon on him, if one could call a letter opener a weapon compared to someone like him. He easily snatches the item away and she becomes hysterical screaming and raving as if it would somehow drive him away. But Antony reached forward and gripped her hand pulling her up into his reach and her voice stopped sounding though the com.

A gurgle followed.

It was easy to tell now that his other hand had seized her throat and even now this instant he was wrenching life from her body. But his absolution was not instant, no not at all. He was enjoying every moment of what he was doing and the others could hear a slight draw of his own breath peeling in delight. This continued for several seconds, in fact nearly a full minute as she thrashed weakly from the loss of blood as he held tight. The last moments of her life sounded as if it were a lifetime of pain condensed into several small miniscule fragments and the last sound was a seizing crack from her neck as he finished her.

Antony breathed once as he spoke in the following seconds. "You're welcome.. Doctor."

Imogen heard a woman's cries in the com but she kept walking towards the door. She recognized them for what they were: desperate, fearful and panicked. She remembered a time when she had made the same sound but she had fought as much as her body had allowed. This person, this woman would have no chance. As if to punctuate the thought a gurgle sounded in the com. Imogen closed her eyes for a moment and swallowed. When her eyes opened again she was at the door and her mask of apathy had returned.

"He will be along momentarily."

Her words were not needed, everyone had heard over the com but it felt better to say something than for them to stand in silence. Her eyes scanned the figures that waited. Imogen moved to Riordan's side and his protective nature took over. He wrapped one arm around her shoulders despite the blood spray on her face and jacket, drawing her to his side as they began to move. "It's almost over." His words were a soft murmur, meant to calm and his piercing eyes swept from side to side looking for threats as they made their way towards the MCU.

After wiping his hands on what was left that could be called clean fabric, Antony took two small items into his hands. The womans ID and the small impromptu weapon she wielded against him. Sticking the letter opener in the cuff of his bracer and the ID under his vest he stepped clear of the room, shutting the door with his foot.

"Ready to commence with purging the building Alpha, no need to leave the building just yet at least." He said as he tapped his hand across the barrel of his weapon, eyes scanning the bodies lying about before he turned his gaze to a camera situated above his head. "Oasis.. any more mishaps like with the Doctor and I will make you one with that keyboard.. understand?"

In the RV-

The Sphinx accompanied the scene, trying his best not to care.

It was horrible.

All the others could do was listen to Anthony torturing the terrified woman, but Mark, Mark could see it. Mark saw the woman's expression of sheer horror as the mercenary played with her, enjoying it. It was far too much to handle, but nonetheless, the hacker watched. Nonetheless, he mourned silently her terrible passing, as if her blood weren't also in his own hands for letting that monster inside the lab. The Sphinx had never had any delusions of morality: he knew well the nature of his work, and what it did to people. Ruined them, destroyed families and lives. But still... This was too much.

Yet, The Sphinx said nothing. Not even when the mercenary, once his bloodlust was quenched (or was it? Could it ever be?), threatened him. Empty words. With the click of a button, Mark could arrange a clean, untraceable accident... No one would ever know it was nothing more than that...

Mark shook his head, letting these thoughts vanish from his mind. Too much work. Anthony was not worth it.

The hacker heard Imogen's voice, void of all warmth. That scared him more than the mercenary, more than the horrific death the woman had suffered, a death that would surely haunt his nightmares for a long time to come. He felt compelled to say something, to comfort her, but he couldn't bring himself to say anything. What was there to be said? Mark suddenly wished he was there, in person, not simply an eye from a camera. He wished for a second he could be useful in some way, that he could somehow protect them, protect her, using the skills he had gathered from stealing and deceiving.

Be careful what you wish for said a voice inside his head. It was perhaps his conscience, who had been long asleep, and had suddenly flickered to life like an old computer starting up for the first time in many years. Mark chose not to listen to it, nothing good could come from growing morality now.

George heard everything that went on though she was focused on the pad infront of her. There was no time to order Antony to leave the person until later. She ignored the woman’s cries and the ending of her life. There were bigger issues.

“Phoenix, Apex. Get in there and help him. Ombre save the threats and focus on your job. Do you understand?”

George was pissed and in no mood for showboating or team members going at each other.

“Do this quickly people.We have problems."

There on the screen was an announcement that Arasaka and Portel were working on a new joint venture together. George was angry. It made sense now that the lab was going to be packed up that day. Arasaka had a contract with her and knew she would be hitting the lab soon. They got lucky that they hadn't taken more time for the set up or the lab would have been gone and George's other two contracts would have been unfulfilled.

"Arasaka has fucked us over."

Her fingers worked on her pad as she typed out multiple messages to send off. Damage control....

At least if the team cleared out the lab she could cash in on two contracts. The third, well she'd be taking that up with Arasaka and they would learn the hard way why it did not pay to mess with CKSD.

And suddenly, Mark's wish came true.

A dozen perimeter alarms were set off at the same time, and the camera feed confirmed what they all had realized: CKSD had been betrayed.

Somewhere in his mind, Mark found room to find the situation delightful. Now he was needed, and now he could put his skills to good use. Something else also grew inside of the hacker, a sense of joy, a joy of knowing with absolute certainty the people responsible for this would pay dearly. He would see to that. George would see to that.

"People, I've got alarms flashing all over... We've been ambushed!" There was no fear in his voice, no surprise. Only excitement. He was eager to deliver punishment to those dots on his screen. "Get ready, multiple enemy readings converging on your location. I'll try and slow them down."

Johan took the lead, letting Teagan watch their backs as they moved down the hallways towards Antony's position. Teagan unclasped the snap on her pack, leaving her with free access to its contents- a combination of sleeping gas grenades, a couple of flashbangs and a handful of frag bombs.

George's voice was calm in the com."Clear the lab out. I want them all taken care of. We still have two contracts and we are going to show Arasaka not to pull this shit on us. The three of you no one but you walks out of there."

She was beyond pissed off. No one double crossed her, no one dared come at CKSD like this. She had so much dirt on everyone she ever worked for that the they wouldn't know what was going on by the time George was done with them. Arasaka was big but she had no qualms with taking them on.

His multi-tasking mind was already thinking several solutions as he saw the dots that represented danger advance in an orderly way towards the team. If he could tap into their own coms, and make a mess, that was sure to slow them down...

With a bit of tinkering and a few ridiculous firewalls bypassed, Mark was able to download the entire discography of The Rolling Stones and play them, as loud as the hardware permitted it, into the enemy's coms. He watched with a smile from ear to ear as the dots stopped in utter confusion and as a technician (the poor thing) tried to clean up the transmission. Once The Sphinx had pinpointed his location, the technician's hardware too was playing The Rolling Stones. At least there was a use to century-old music.

"Beta, get the Doc here now. You guys can't get caught in this firefight."

George stayed calm not letting fear cloud her voice but neither Imogen or Rio were shooters. They would if they had too but the teams coming in were going to be armed to the teeth and pros. No match for a duo. "Get to the RV stat."

Riordan's voice, slightly teasing despite the obvious weight of sincerity evident in his tone came over the comm. "Believe me, Alpha... We don't wish to get caught in this either. On our way."

In the lab the teams of men stopped in the hallway. Their ears were filled with music from another time and they were confused. The team leader from each held up a hand to halt them while their technician tried to fix things. Each team was coming down a different hall. They too were there to exterminate witnesses and take out the CKSD team. They had planned to work their way through the lab until they found them.

George was tense in the RV. It would slow them down, Mark's hack but they were trained professionals and they would soon run silent and keep moving. She looked over at Mark. "Good job. Won't stop them but will give our team time."

Outside the lab Imogen and Rio slowly moved towards the RV. Inside the lab the trio moved down the halls. Imogen had her gun ready. She was looking around a little but was focused on the direction of the RV and Riordan.

“George's right, I bought you some time, but not much.” It wouldn’t be long before their system rebooted and the interference was gone. Mark had to be fast. “I see two main teams coming towards you, and a lone reading from somewhere… I can’t quite pinpoint his location, but he’s definitely coming towards you."

George's mouth set itself in a straight line. This was not how it was supposed to go.

"I've got visual... The lone reading, it's a sniper. Coming in between the two teams. His coms are isolated somehow, I can't get to him."

This frustrated Mark, but his powers were limited to things connected to a web, and this man was entirely off it.

George shook her head. "No. Shit..." She leaned over Mark's shoulder. "Where? Where is he?"

"He's breaking formation... Moving away from the teams... I don't see..."

Then Mark noticed the pattern. It was like a click, but there it was, as if highlighted, the path the sniper was taking. His heart froze, and his voice came out as a whisper.

"He's going for Im... He's going for Beta and the Doc. How did he...?"

George stared in disbelief at the screen. “ two have to move....”

She knew they would never make it. George straightened and pulled out her gun. Her eyes were on Mark. “You watch the teams in and out. You do whatever it takes to get them out of there if this goes south. Drive the fucking RV into the lab I don’t care.”

With that George headed to the door of the RV and stepped out into the dirt.
In the lab-

In the lab the teams were moving again. There were six individuals in total, three in each team. Gunshots could be heard as they shot anyone they saw. They were the opposite end of the building from the CKSD group and at their first junction they now split into three groups of two, each team taking a hallway.

The CKSD Trio moved up the hallway. Before them was a junction, behind them the main hall and front door. The junction split one hall to the right and one straight ahead.

Antony lets the voices play out on his comm, several of the returns are funny and some are just lightly entertaining by his standards. But when George told him that it was time to get the job finished and to keep his own words to himself, he was redoubled in his mindset. He stands there waiting for Johan and Teagan, small dabs of blood still clinging to the bottom of his boots and he fiddles the small impormptive blade between his fingers. Only to slide it into a small sectioned pouch on his vest.

He runs several lines of memory through his mind before returning to his comm. "Well.. Arasaka, we can expect light assault make ups.. mostly AW-65s."

"They fire 5.56 rounds so I suggest you stay behind me if things get hairy." He taps the plating over his ribs to make an emphasis to himself about how bad the idea of impact might be.

"Oh and ladies.. if you see their hand reach for the under rail, yeal grenade and hit the deck.. hehe."

Arasaka isn't one of the more techy corps but they do have a rather large research division and they have been know roll out with highly modular equipment.

Antony points his gun towards the opposite direction and gets ready, letting his back sit towards Teagan and Johans entrance. "Holding position, you two better hurry.. I won't wait forever." A slight snicker left his mouth as he left the sound of the comm.

His words came mere moments before two forms shifted into position behind him. Teagan kept an eye on their six with her revolver in hand and Johan's larger frame filled the corridor as he gave a silent nod. "Let's get these bastards then go the hell home."



George had her gun drawn. She began to move towards the lab. She could make out Imogen and Riordan’s forms but that was not who she was looking for.

“Where are you?” She whispered through clenched teeth.

The pair grew closer, George could see their faces now. They were about eight feet away.

And then she saw him. At some point he had changed his target. He wasn’t aiming at them anymore. He was on one knee behind some brush and would have been in the perfect spot to pick them both off as they came by.

Now his laser sight was on George.

From their vantage point Riordan and Imogen could see something rather interesting. George was standing there, gun drawn. A laser sight aimed at her chest and one appeared at her back.

"Geo-" Rio tried to warn her, stress and fear straining his voice as his footsteps quickened.

Imogen gasped. “No!”

Two guns went off.

In the lab-

The Arasaka infiltration team was moving swiftly through the lab hallways. They kicked open doors, shooting anything that moved.

"We can't stay together or else they'll come at us from both sides. I'll take the right." Teagan adjusted her mask making sure that it was sealed properly over her face and eyes as she gave a nod to the two men and slipped away from the group. Her enhanced optics swept the area as she checked each room that she passed methodically. Gun in hand, she would duck down, scan the room, then search for survivors and shoot any that still dared to breathe. As she neared a corner she heard footsteps falling lightly upon the hard flooring and she switched her revolver so that the under barrel grenade launcher was activated instead.

Fate was on her side and as she swung around the corner, the trio of men were facing in the opposite direction. Apparently they had just turned into the hallway themselves and without a sound she lifted her weapon, aimed at the man in the middle and fired off a 30mm frag grenade right into his back. Without waiting to see the impending bloodshed, she shifted, spinning to press her back against the opposite wall to shield herself from the debris as shrapnel ripped through all three men and the surrounding walls with equal ferocity.

"3 down."

Antony was second to leave the group, he turned the other way from where Teagan moved. This way made sure he would find his own little slice of fun instead of having to share his quarry with the other two. His feet tread a path very quickly and quietly around corner and wall to make sure he was not taken by surprise.

Keeping his manhunter held high and to his shoulder, the weight of the weapon lead to into his turns as he dipped the barrel and spun under the edge of the corner. But as he got further in he began to slow his steps, coming upon every new turn through the tight corridors and peering around to make sure of his advance and then it was he noticed them. Three men in body armor moving up the hall, one behind the other in straight sequence. He pulled his weapon up tight before swinging out and pulling the trigger on the first man in the line, the 10 gauge shot tore through most of his clothing and flesh in equal measure while another shot made short work of his remaining life.

The two behind split and hit seperate rooms, bunkering behind the heavy frames of the doors as they began to blindly fire back in quick succession. Antony could feel the pressure of the passing rounds as he kept advancing releasing shell after shell in their direction. Every moment or so a round would glance off the edge of his body armor and one even struck across the cheek of his mask. Antony let the gun kick to full auto fire and he began to shell the hallway with lead as he reached the first mans body. Then in a quick motion he let the gun swing to his side as he pulled his revolver, its heavy barrel nearly matching the weight of the weapon he just released.

Pulling the hammer back he clenches tight on the grip and lets the first round fly just as the two kneeled from cover.

Antony's weapon issueds its arrival by shaking loose mostly everything in reach as it fired, kicking up dust and ripping a stream through the air. The office windows on the hall shattered in place as the gun discharged and the fired round tore through everything in its patch. It caught the mans weapon and shattered its frame, tore through his forearm and punched a two inching round hole in his chest. The inside of his face mask filled with a red coloration as his lungs could no longer contain the flow of life and with that his partner retreated, ducking once more into his room. Antony smirked behind his mask as he aimed dead on the wall and pulled the trgger again with the same resounding blast. The round punched through the wall and from the spray seemed to hit a sensitive target, only to travel further and not only kill the man. But two chairs, a table and the three computer towers situated on the desk in the next room as well.

"Three down.. west corridor.[b/]

Antony said as he marched forward, picking up the first man's weapon and slinging it over his left shoulder. Searching the second to fall he grabbed the man's ID and side arm, placing the small gun in a pouch on his left thigh.

[b]In the RV-

On Mark's screen the little blip that was the sniper went out.

The feeling of powerlessness hit Mark again. He was jamming Araska's coms, but that didn't seem to affect them for long. All he could do was watch the little lights that meant so much to him move around in the screen, trying to survive...

And when had they started to mean so much to him? Was it when he met them for the first time, in a dimly lit, sound-proofed room in a bar he would never set foot on in any other circumstance? Or was it when he learned about their lives, about who they were outside of work?

Any of that might have been true, but it wasn't essential. Mark Parnasse started caring about these people when he started being responsible for their lives. When he started being responsible for Imogen...

Two gunshots were fired, and the hacker already had the visual: George was on the ground, and Imogen was there, alone, trying to bring her to the RV...

There was only so much that could be done on a computer. The Sphinx got up and, picking any gun he could find laying around in the vehicle, left it and started running awkwardly towards them as fast as his sedentary body could take him.


George hit the ground in a heap.

"NO!" Pure rage filled Riordan's voice but he didn't release the Doctor from his side. Instead, he pulled her with him as he ran the last few feet towards George, only releasing Imogen when they were closer to the RV. "George," he tried to calm his tone as he fell to his knees beside her but the damage he saw made him seethe. He sprang into action, standing up and clasping Imogen on her shoulders as he stared into her eyes.

"Doc, protect her. Move her into the RV if you think it's safe. I have to clear the area."

Imogen nodded and knelt down, taking Riordan's place beside George. She began to assess the wounds. She had her gun drawn but her attention was on George not any dangers that might be around.

He couldn't think of George lying on the ground or he wouldn't move from the spot where they stood and so as soon as he released Imogen's shoulders he spun in place, gun drawn as he moved in the direction of the first sniper only to see him already laying in a puddle of his own blood. Anger fueled his movements, making him unload another two shots into the already dead body with a snarl of anger before Riordan spun around, eyes searching the area behind where George had stood to find the second shooter.

When he reached Imogen, Riordan was already gone. Mark wished he could help him find the second shooter, but that was less important than getting George to safety. Gasping, Mark helped Imogen bring George back to the vehicle, cursing his lack of exercise.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Atticus Lawley Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Riordan Devereaux
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Imogen looked at Mark as he came over to help her. Her head turned to where she could see Riordan stalking back to them. She had heard the gunshots and seeing him meant the other person must be dead. The scientist was relieved to see the man though she was concentrating more on the body she was trying to move.

She didn’t think about the other shooter, though she knew in the back of her mind that she should. She couldn’t think about the woman she was moving, just that she needed to move her. There was blood on her hands but Imogen didn’t want to think about that either.

“Will you stop moving me please?”

The voice was a shaky whisper but there was a stern undertone to it.

Imogen jumped and grabbed Mark’s arm.

“George!” The scientist's eyes were wide, her words just above a whisper. She looked to Riordan. "She is..."

George frowned up at them cutting off Imogen's words. “Why are you moving me? I am bleeding everywhere. Geez people, first aid then move the victim."

It stung. Her whole arm was on fire. Her eyes moved to her left shoulder. Her black shirt had a new hole and there was blood soaking into the sleeve. She could feel it running down her arm. With a grunt she pushed herself up to sit using her right hand and then clamped it on the wound. George’s face was pale.

“What is the status of the rest of the team?” She looked at the pair who stood over her. "Get me something to hold on the wound.”

Imogen nodded and bolted to the RV. She ran as fast as her legs could take her.

George looked at Mark. “The team? Where are they? Get Atticus ready to go blow this place down.”

She was beyond angry. Arasaka has fucked with the wrong people/

George felt a little sick and took a large inhale in. Looks like a clean shot through. That was at least a comfort. Her eyes fell to Riordan. He looked half crazed and angrier than she had ever seen him.

Imogen ran back with the first aid kit. She slid her knees beside George and began pulling out a large piece of gauze. George took it and pushed it on her shoulder. She hissed through her teeth. Her eyes closed for a moment and then opened again.

Imogen frowned. “There is only one wound....”


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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Antony took a last cursory stomp on the head of the last man in the group, just on the premise that he might start moving again.

After he raided the almost every pocket in sight and taking ammo as well as weaponry for his own collection he stands.

Looking over the waste that he had brought and the lives he had taken he lifts his weapon once more "Returning to transport.." He backed himself away from the hall and as soon as he passed around the corner he broke into a full run. Stepping high over the fallen and ignoring his flanks, simply for the fact he had already been that way.

He was well aware of what had transpired outside of the structure, it was simple enough to know by the chatter that the others were worrying about George and to be honest Antony was slightly worried as well. Not for the fact that she was going to die but for the fact that he would miss out on her death. She was a rather nice person to him and in the moment he knew that she was a better organizer then those he had followed before.

Even during his years of TrT service.

Cutting through the entrance, even refusing to notice if Johan was still there at that point of his leaving.

He exits to see the body of the sniper who shot on George.
Walking around he scans the area as well as he can not seeing much other then the surrounding foliage and the endless range of storage containers, even the landing pad as well. He rolls the sniper over as he steps up.. "Oasis.. sniper is down" He raises his boot and stomps one good time on the mans head, despite his flush pale skin. "Permanently.." He leans down, relieving the man of his weapon.

"WSSA.. not a bad weapon.. You okay in there Alpha? Or do we need Oasis to roll out a bag?"

Antony returns to the RV stopping at the door and turning back to look at the surroundings.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Teagan Bannister Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Atticus Lawley Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Riordan Devereaux Character Portrait: Johan Halvorsen
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George looked up at Imogen. “Of course only one. What makes you think there should be more?”

Imogen was looking around, “There were two....” Her voice was full of confusion. She and Riordan had seen them, two laser sights. She sat back on her heels frowning.

George pressed the gauze more firmly to her shoulder. It was already soaking through.

“I am fine. All of you back here now that the lab is clear. Alright demolition when you get all the clear.”

She grimaced and tried to get up. Imogen shook her head. “Stay there for a moment. You need more bandages.”

The scientist was muttering to herself in french as she pulled more gauze from the kit. “There are two is dead...the other...”

George closed her eyes and nodded. “The other was my insurance.” Her face was very pale. “All clear in the lab Omega, just waiting for the team to return. You can join us now.”

Imogen looked to Mark and Riordan. She had no idea who George was now talking to over the com and she was looking for a sign that they did. From the looks it seemed no one knew. Antony appeared, Teagan and Johan just behind him.

George opened her eyes. She avoided looking at Riordan. She couldn’t handle the concern and anger that resided in his eyes right now. “Atticus blow it to the ground....” Her voice was a little weak over the com.

“Now help me up.” George held a hand out to Imogen.

Imogen shook her head, “Just hang on a second...” She removed the old gauze that George held and pressed the new gauze in place. “You need to get your shirt off so I can look at it and then we should get you to a trauma centre.”

George growled in her throat. “I said help me up. The rest can wait.”

Imogen looked at Mark and together they helped her up from the ground. George looked over her team. “Good job everyone. They tried to screw us over but we still pulled it off.” Her voice was level though had an edge to it. The movement had sent a fresh wave of pain through her body. “I need a drink...” She commented through gritted teeth.

From the shadows of the run down buildings, “Scotch. I always carry a flask.”

What appeared to be part of the shadows detached itself and walked toward the group. Dressed in tight black clothes and hood the man almost remained invisible. The long barreled rifle hanging from his back the only true give away of his presence.

“You?” George pointed to her shoulder. “If not I am not paying you.”

Imogen stared at the man who seemingly appeared from nowhere. “Merde.” The woman whispered.

Over the coms everyone could hear Atticus. “We are ready to ten, nine, eight...”

‘Omega’ raised an eyebrow at George, “I wouldn’t expect otherwise. Stay out of my line of fire next time.” He shrugged, “It’s clean. You’ll heal quick. I didn’t hit anything critical.”

He paused and turned his head slightly away from the lab.

In the distance a massive explosion went off. Imogen jumped a little. George was still looking at the newly appeared man.

“I would hope you didn’t hit anything or I am docking the repairs out of your pay. Team, this is Erik, our insurance.” George looked at everyone. “I called him in as our...just in case and I am glad I did. Omega this is everyone.”

George inhaled and exhaled through her teeth. Atticus came sauntering up to the RV as the rumble of the explosion died down. Imogen stared at Erik. “You shot George? But....why?”

George closed her eyes, her good hand on her forehead and she smiled a little. To her the answer was clear and she didn’t begrudge him his action but the others might not get it the same way. Riordan especially. George opened her eyes and looked at Rio. If she wasn’t already in pain and angry she’d be more unnerved by how much this had affected him. There would be time for the conversation later. George expected a lot of yelling from him.

Erik stood with the relaxed readiness of a professional. He was constantly scanning and re-scanning the team and their surroundings, “I did not shoot George. I shot the sniper who was about to shoot George. George just happened to be in the line of the shot that would ensure the quickest elimination of said sniper. It was either take that shot or risk the sniper being able to get their shot off. Eliminate the threat. Whatever the cost.”

He focused briefly on Riordan, “You didn’t need to waste your ammunition. The target was neutralized. I don’t miss.”

George shot Erik a look that made it clear that he should drop that topic entirely. Riordan had said nothing but she didn’t want there to be any sort of altercation between the men over the statement. She knew Erik was a particular personality type that would not understand Rio’s desire to inflict revenge on the sniper even though he was dead. She remembered what Rio had said he would do if she got hurt and even though it was a teasing statement there was feeling behind it that George recognized now in his face.

Imogen frowned and tried to understand. Logically it made sense but she was not able in the moment to only think in logic. “But shot her...” She rubbed her face with the hand that was not holding George’s arm.

“Doc. Look at the wound now that you know she’s not dying. Now imagine if the other sniper had hit anywhere in the chest, as he was aiming. What kind of mess would you have had then? Sure, George is bleeding a bit. First aid and a scar. A shot of scotch and she’ll be fine to drive home. You think the other sniper would have had the same consideration?” With that he tossed a flask to Imogen, “You might want the first belt to calm your nerves.”

Imogen caught the flask, releasing George to do so. The woman didn’t waiver on her feet and took the opportunity to pull her arm from Mark as well. She hated being perceived as weak.

The scientist opened the flask, letting Erik’s words sink in. She took a drink and with a small gasp as the liquid slid down her throat handed the flask to George.

“You are right. It was a clean shot. She lost a lot of blood but not a dangerous amount.” Her eyes were focused on Erik for a moment, a methodical survey of the man and his demeanour. Imogen nodded.

George took a drink of the flask. “I’m going to hang onto this for a moment Erik.” She held up the flask.

Erik nodded, “I’ll get it back at the debrief. Nice working with a pro again George.” With that he pulled his hood back over his face and faded into the shadows.

George nodded to Erik. “Good job but I think it is time to head out. What about you guys?” She took another drink.

In silence the group moved to the RV. George gave Rio a look that told him they would speak once everyone was dropped off. Imogen settled into her seat, followed by Teagan, Atticus, Antony and Mark. Johan moved away to his own vehicle with a nod to George and a promise of contact for the debrief in the near future.

Her steps were a bit slower but George was the last to enter the RV just behind Riordan. She sat down and closed her eyes, flask in hand.

Riordan started the vehicle and began the long drive back to the city and the team’s respective homes.


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Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Antony Largo
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Antony sat in his seat, rifle resting between his heels and leaning against his body. He leaned back and pressed the tip of his thumb under the edge of his helmet causing a small puff of compressed air to release and it returned to a more open shape. Gradually he slide the shell off his head, letting his long hair fall back into place.

He stretched his mouth a moment as he got his face used to the the extra movement and sat the section of armor on his thigh. His hand retrieved the small mic from the confines of he cheek guard.

"Thanks for the toy, I'll hold onto this for next time." He slides it into a pocket on the edge of his vest.

The ride of the RV was smooth despite its size and as the wheels ran along the road everyone could feel he slight sway of its chassis on the frame. Antony spent his next few moments leaned back on the seat as he let the drift help him relax only choosing to look to his side at Imogen who was not far from him. He smiled for a moment as he eyed the small flecks decorating her at the moment. "Heh.. apologies Doc.."
"Next time, I'll aim wider."

There was a tone in the back of his voice, like he was a frat boy hazing a newbie.. But there was a look in his eye that the choice was far from a slight measure for him.

As he spoke to her he pulled a small object from his other vest pocket and for a moment he kept wringing it between his own fingers. It was an ID card that he had taken during the mission, the small polymer surface still had small droplets of red now slightly dried onto it. "Did you enjoy it at least?


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Teagan Bannister Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Atticus Lawley Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Riordan Devereaux
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Everyone sat down and the RV began to move. George sat back in her seat. Her face was pale from blood loss and she frowned in discomfort when jostled but she said nothing as they made the trek back into the city. She was angry but at that moment was too exhausted to show it or do anything about it. Once the wound was tended to then she would take action. For now she just wanted to be still.

Imogen watched George, concerned about the blood loss and the pain but the woman didn’t say anything so the scientist respected her silence. It didn’t mean she couldn’t observe. It also gave Imogen something to do other than relive what happened in the lab.

Beside her Antony was stripping away his armor. When he spoke to her she turned to look at him, confused for a moment. Her eyes drifted over the front of her shirt and her arms. There was blood, some of it George’s but most of it from the people Antony shot in the hallway. There was also pieces of them that were now dried bits stuck to her clothes.

Imogen took a deep breath in through her mouth in an effort to stop the wave of nausea that suddenly struck her. She would not waiver, not now.

“Yes well, I suppose it could not be helped. If you had aimed wider you might have missed.”

Her voice was level but lacked emotion as she remained as calm and detached as she could. The smile on his face sent chills up her spine, though not as much as his question did.

“Enjoy it? I do not think I understand.”

Imogen was not entirely sure she wanted an explanation. Antony seemed to be enjoying the end of the mission though those around him seemed a bit more sombre.
Riordan dropped Teagan and Atticus off first. The next stop was Antony’s followed by Imogen’s.

Imogen stood and turned to Mark.

“I hope, perhaps we can still make plans to meet up? I would like to see your work. If the offer is still there please feel free to call on me sometime soon. You know how to reach me.”

She managed a smile though it looked odd with the blood that flecked her pale cheeks and seemed to dot itself up and into her hair.

Imogen placed a hand on George’s good shoulder as she passed her. “If you need anything please let me know. I will start going through the files as soon as I can.”

George managed a nod. “Rest Imogen. There is no rush. Take a few days downtime to recoup. It has been a rough day.”

Imogen dipped her head in understanding and left the RV.

The vehicle pulled away. It’s next stop was Mark’s residence.
Imogen’s entered her apartment, locking the door behind her. She dropped her bag and immediately went into her bathroom. First she emptied her stomach of everything then she stripped, tossing her clothes into the garbage before finally showering.

She scrubbed her body clean. When she had undressed there had been places where the clothes had stuck to her, the blood having seeped through and to the skin. If she focused on it for too long, the actions that led to the blood being there her stomach threatened to rebel so instead she shifted her mind to chemical formulas, DNA coding strands, anything that was not the sound of guns or visions of bodies hitting the floor at her feet.

Hair still damp, wrapped in a silk robe Imogen went into her kitchen. There she poured herself a glass of scotch. Not wine, this called for something far stronger. Something that would help her sleep as she feared it might not come easily.

Her eyes drifted to where her bag rested on the floor. It too had blood and bits stuck to it, it too would find its way into an incinerator. I should get to work, not right now.

She took a deep drink from her glass, the liquid burning as it went down. The apartment felt entirely too quiet. Normally she liked it this way but for the first time in a long time Imogen felt completely alone and it frightened her.

Mathieu, right now I am angry that you are not here. I am angry that I am alone...

Tears stung her eyes and she downed the rest of her glass. She immediately poured a second.

She retrieved her phone. Imogen took another drink, the alcohol warming her empty stomach. I have no one to call. She prided herself on the life she had built in the aftermath of Mathieu’s death and her attack. She never minded being alone and independent until now.

Imogen closed her eyes and downed a good portion of her second scotch. Her cheeks grew warm. She sat on the couch, phone in hand.


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Character Portrait: Antony Largo
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Antony's boots landed down on the pavement and the RV sped off not long after, he barely gave a cursory glance back as it rounded the distant corner. He was more interested in making his way towards the dilapidated building ahead and only gave a single look to a group of transients that were warming themselves by a fire in a dark alcove.

Though his bag was heavy with what trophies he took this evening, the weight was no more of a bother then usual and he just wrote it off to the back of his mind as normal.

The loading dock door ahead gave way to the hall and freight elevator after as he made his way back to his loft.

The sounds of the old building were exaggerated by its massive size and as he rode the lift up its wires and cables popped and swayed with the extended use of past years. Small gleams of light would bounce of the surface of his helmet as they showed down past the sides of the elevator and a loud clang of connecting metals issued his rides end to his own floor.

The short walk ended with him in front of his door and for a moment he just stood there, as if he were searching the hall to his left and right consciously. He leaned forward as he ran his finger along a slim bar causing a panel to slide up revealing a biometrics screen. Quickly it lit up and buzzed to life as three lights shot out and spread, scanning over both his eyes and face as they moved and jostled from side to side.
However it was not his face that the screen was reading, more so of what lied beneath.

Once in he dropped his bags and gear next to the fireplace and walked his way over to his desk situated next to the large windowed wall. A few swipes and key presses on the board at the desk had the music playing once again with its ambiance swaying through his homes confines as he leaned back in the chair.

His eyes glanced around the room as he could feel himself coming down from the high of the mission and once again a more timid mood was overtaking him as he reached forward and pressed a key that caused his home to lock down. The he slid all the dials down to lower the lights, though he left the music untouched and he leaned back once again to drift off too sleep.


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Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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#, as written by Varyar
Everything happened so fast, Mark only understood it completely when they were already halfway to Night City. His mind started to piece things together very slowly, and several thoughts occurred to him then.

The first thing he thought was that George looked awful, but he was sure she’d be okay. She always was. Maybe it would take her some time, but she would recover and be ready again. She had to, for everyone’s sake. Only then did the hacker notice what did George mean to this strange team that was put together… She was what bound them together, even if the woman herself didn’t know it.

His second thought was Imogen, but the scientist seemed okay too… At least physically. He couldn’t know how she was feeling, and was unsure why that made him feel so bad. Asking her crossed his mind like a flash, but the simple idea seemed so terrifying he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He tried occupying his mind with something else, something other than mixed guilt and rage for not being able to protect anyone, for not being able to ask Imogen if everything was alright…

His next thought was the equipment on the RV, which had survived, and that brought him comfort. He could put it to better use in the next mission… A next mission? Would there be a next mission? That troubled Mark. How could there be? Everything almost went to hell in this one… How could they bring themselves to risk everything again… And for what?

Revenge, thought The Sphinx. No one crosses CKSD and gets away with it. They would have to track them down. Track every single person down, everyone who had anything to do with the betrayal they suffered… They would make them pay. And if there was anything worth doing after tonight, that was it. That was a reason to leave his apartment again, to use the wonderful machines in the RV again. Payback.

When Imogen turned to Mark, who was completely submerged in his own mind, he looked at her with a confused look. Why would she want that at all? What had Mark done to make a woman such as Imogen want to receive a call… From him? He mumbled and affirmative as she stepped down the vehicle, and had yet something else to think for the rest of the trip, and all the way up to his apartment.

Once there, he took a long overdue shower, and turning on one of his many devices, brought up the contact window and clicked the little icon that displayed Imogen. The program immediately asked him if he wished to call her, the green icon flashing in the screen. And Mark looked at it, uncertain on what to do, what to say…

The green, flashing icon was still there when Mark went to sleep and turned off all the computers.


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Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau
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When she awoke the next morning Imogen was stiff and sore. She rolled over in her bed and reached for her phone. No messages, no emails, nothing from George.

Perhaps she was serious about taking a few days. She needs it.

Imogen was never one to linger in bed, not since she had started waking up alone once more. As a student she was always up early doing more work, more research. It wasn’t until she married and Mathieu had kept her in bed that she had learned to enjoy the warmth and comfort of the bed. When he died she had gotten rid of the bed they shared and gone back to her early rising ways. Today she couldn’t bring herself to leave the depths of the blankets.

She laid there, staring at the ceiling.

I should get up, go over the papers I took. I should shower, dress...this will do me no good.

Imogen laid there for a few more minutes before slipping out of the warm blankets. She set about her morning.
Hair neatly done, coffee poured and small bowl of fruit in front of her Imogen was ready to get on with her day. She didn’t feel any better but knew that this was better than hiding.

I won’t look at the work until later. Maybe lunch out, shop for a new blouse and pants to replace the ruined ones. Yes that will do.
Imogen found the shopping to be dull today. She wandered from boutique to boutique. Nothing caught her eye and in the end she arrived at lunch empty handed.

She sat at her table, two acquaintances with her. Each woman had a glass of wine and they chatted about various frivolous topics. Imogen smiled but offered little in the way of interaction. She ordered a salad for lunch. She lacked an appetite and when it arrived it sat untouched.

“What do you think Imogen?”

“Pardon?” She hadn’t realized that she had let her mind wander. “I am sorry, I was thinking about work. Forgive me.” Her voice came out more formal than normal.

“I was asking about the art gala at the end of the month. I think we should all go.” Melanie eyed Imogen. “Are you okay? You seem distant.” The woman didn’t really care, she just hoped for some piece of gossip on the very private woman.

Imogen smiled politely, “I am fine, a particular problem at work has my attention is all.” She adjusted her napkin on her lap. “I agree and would welcome a gala.”

Melanie sighed. Imogen’s work was hardly gossip worthy. She didn’t understand how she could work with science type things. She prefered to spend her days shopping and at the spa.

“It is settled then. You need a date though.”

Imogen did not let her polite smile fall. “Of course.”

“Oh and not that man you brought to the last one...what was his name....Jacob. Good god was he boring. A librarian? Who has that job nowadays? Are there even books?”

Imogen took a sip of her wine. “He is a colleague and works with research papers.” She didn’t bother to explain the details knowing that the women didn’t care and would not understand.

She lifted her phone. “Excuse me, the time has gone much quicker than I thought. I must go.”

The women exchanged basic pleasantries and Imogen made her exit. She pulled at her scarf as she stepped outside, desperately trying to breathe. She felt stifled and anxious. She hadn’t been this way since the attack, at least not to this extent.

Her feet carried her quickly down the street and she hailed a taxi.

It wasn’t until she was home once again that her heart began to slow. Imogen dropped her purse on the counter. I wonder how George is? I should call her. She quickly shook the thought away. She didn’t do things like that. George liked her privacy and so did Imogen.

Her eyes moved around her apartment.

Date for the gala and then paperwork. Focusing on tasks would help her relax, t let go the stress of the previous day. It was clear that the mission events still had her somewhat shaken.

Grabbing her phone she sat on the couch and began to go through her contacts.

Twenty minutes later she put the phone down in frustration. She didn’t know who to ask to accompany her to the gala. Imogen stood and pulled the files from her bag. She tossed it into the garbage. It too was ruined by dried blood.

A quick change into comfortable clothes and Imogen settled onto the couch to read over the research.


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Character Portrait: Antony Largo
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The morning sun was already breaking light over the window into Antony's home, but he was no longer in his chair.

The beginning of his day was full of training in his home, one room far from the front hall was a large area that he had fitted to help him maintain his own body. After an hour of working out he was into the shower and out of that in the course of fifteen minutes, as was the beginning of many of his own days.

It only took that time before he was seated at the other edge of the same room, with the weapons and gear he had used from the night before set out on the able and disassembled. Every few seconds he picked up another piece and cleaned it, only to set it down with the other and move on. The adjacent wall had several screens up across it, along with a rather large TV screen in between a majority of them and his eyes would scan across as he worked.

There was very little news about the mission last night so apparently the company had done some word to control the situation at least and make sure no one heard too much. Still as the sight of the burning mass lay in the back of his mind he could feel a genuine smile inch its way across his face.

The last the he was working on was replacing the face plate on his mask, it was the only thing that took a hit during the whole time of the mission. He eyed it slowly as he was finishing one of the last screws and locked the plate in its resting position. The whole of his nights take was laying in front of him, some of the weapons he took from the other security guards and the personal items that would be going into his collection.

The left furthest screens showed another thing altogether, hundreds of numbers and lines of information that turned out to be vast amounts of stock information. He snickered for a minute as he watched while Karasawa's stock numbers took a nice sharp dip in the last hours after they lost the security team and whatever else it may have been that they were looking for there.

It only took him a moment to see his chance and withing a few moments of work on his nearby screen did he come into possession of another three hundred shares of their company. "Money well spent" He said too himself as he stood to put his items away.

Afterwords he stood back in that same room and lifted the glass of orange juice from the edge of his table to finish it off.

Antony opened his mail on the screen, his life was full of aliases and these few names would get him a vast amount of messages each day. But looking through them was more of a pleasure then a chore, because there was always the chance that something good could come from them.


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Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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#, as written by Varyar
A faint light shined through the dirty windows of the tiny cabin. A dusty table, filled with dusty tools and an old map occupied most of the room, which also contained a fireplace far too large for the size of the cabin, and a couple of wooden chairs that seemed older than the house itself, if that was possible. Atop the fireplace, a strange animal was engraved in the wood. It was like a lion, but it had wings somehow, and a human face. Its expression was immovable, which made the animal even more fearful. It was pitch black outside, but from time to time, something would flash out there, followed by a sound that resembled the ringing of a small bell and pouring the faint light in the room.

Mark knew what would happen next. He would reach for the door and step outside, in the cold air of the evening, and find himself standing on the porch of an old cabin, which was the only building nearby. He would look around and see a lake, surrounded by endless fields of grass and, in the other side of the lake, someone taking a stroll. He would then look up, as he always did, and feel the terror sink in as he saw falling stars cross the night sky and hit the ground with the sound of a tiny bell, but with the destruction of a bomb. The stars would keep falling, and he would run to the other side of the lake, trying to warn Rose to run away, but the ground would be muddy and his movement, impossibly slow, and he would just watch as a star fell right next to his sister and her body was engulfed in flames.

Mark awoke with a gasp, sweating. He had had nightmares again. Most of these were about his sister, and went about in the exact same way. If he was a different man, he would think his subconscious was trying to tell him something. But The Sphinx was not that kind of man, so he simply swallowed, feeling his dried throat, and went to the kitchen to eat some breakfast. All of his bad nights ended like this.

But somehow, Mark couldn't forget this one. There was something different about the dream this time. It was something about Rose... Her walk was different. It didn't seem like Rose at all. And she was taller, too. But why would he dream about someone other than his sister?

This time, he felt like he needed to talk to someone about it. The thought came and went in a flash, and Mark tried hard not to think about it. But as he went through the day, visiting his many identities on the internet, he couldn't forget the stance Rose had in this particular dream. Why did it change? Was there a reason for it to change? He went unconsciously to his contact list, and cursed the program when it showed him the contact that was last on the screen: Imogen.

Something went through his mind that moment, and he felt an inexplicable urge to call her. The same crippling doubts came: What would he say? How would he start a conversation? But Rose's strange walk that night was something that wouldn't go away easily.

He ordered the machine to call her, voice only, as he felt that it would be too much for him if Imogen's face filled the screens on his apartment. Against all his principles, he waited, ring after ring...

The cell phone vibrated on the table. She held papers in her hand and didn't bother to look at the number, she just reached for it.

Imogen lifted the cell to her ear. "Bonjour."

She was looking over the notes, trying to make sense of what they were doing there in the lab. It seemed so extreme, the tests and the way they modified the drugs. From everything she could see it was exactly what they wanted but the rest, the side effects, the agression that presented in many of the cases was alarming. That they would even try and produce something like this, field test it the way they were made the scientist in her cringe. She was angry and baffled. That humans would give this to each other...then she reminded herself who was a part of this project and Imogen knew there was so little involved in the way of humanity.

"Hello?" said the hacker, insecure. "Imogen? Is that you? It's Mark, I... Well, I just thought we could talk... If that's ok with you. I mean, you're probably busy, and this was probably a stupid idea anyway, but if you had the time to talk we could, I don't know... Talk?"

Imogen smiled at her phone, "Mr..I mean Mark. How nice to hear from you." She tossed the papers onto the table and moved the remaining folder there as well. "Busy? Non. Not to busy to talk at all. I would not...I mean I do not mind talking to you."

She frowned a little. He was saying 'talk' a lot and she worried that perhaps she was missing something. "Oh is it about work? Should we talk on the phone? Here or in person?"

Imogen grew slightly flustered and unsure.

"No, no, we can talk through here. I just needed to get something off my chest... I've been thinking about..." Mark stopped. He was about to say 'you', but he knew it would be innapropriate, so he quickly thought of something else, something that also had been bothering him. "About our mission. That day, we... I... helped kill a lot of people there. Innocent people. Sure, Anthony is a psychopath… but I opened the door for him. I let him in that room, and I watched him kill all those scientists who were only going through another day of their lives… What did they do wrong to deserve being shot down like animals? It’s just not right…”

Mark stopped, reminding himself that this was not pleasant conversation.

“I’m sorry. It’s just… I had never done anything like that before. Robbing bank accounts, invading networks, but… never something like this.

Imogen listened and her heart sank for him. She understood why he felt the way he did, so did she but they knew when they signed the contract that it was going to happen and George had asked them if they wanted out. "Mark, we forget sometimes when we sign those contracts that we may not pull the trigger but we are helping it to happen. I-I stood there. I know how you feel I.."

Her voice hitched in her throat as she stifled the threatening tears. "Excuse." The sound of her breathing slowly could be heard on his end. "I too have had it on my mind. I can't stop picturing them standing there. We knew they were to die, we knew but words on paper is different than seeing it."

Just like newpaper articles about muggings and murders that don't mean the same until you have lived it.

"Are you sure this is what you wish? To talk over the phone I mean...I do not mean to be, oh the word...presumptuous but we have been through quite a bit of shock. I am free if you wish to get dinner?"

Imogen shook her head though Mark couldn't see her. "I do not mean to invite myself with you..I just meant that if you wished for this to be more personal. No, no...not that it isn't nice to talk to you."

She sighed heavily. "I am sorry Mark. I am having difficulty expressing my thoughts. The events have left me muddled and reliving things I thought long buried. Please excuse my clumsiness."

He called to talk about something that is bothering him and you fumble through a response like a bull in a china shop. Where is your head?

Mark blinked. Did that really just happen? Did someone just invite him to dinner? His mind crossed a thousand different places at once, as it usually did, before coming to the conclusion that a quick clumsy reply would be the correct way to adress the situation.

"I... Well, of course-I mean, if you're free, I'm free too... I mean, not in that way, I..." He sighed, a little too heavily. "Sure, Imogen. I'd love to. Would you, ah, would you like me to pick you up? Or, for that matter, where would you like to go? I know this great chinese restaurant... Well at least I think it's chinese... I order there all the time. But I'm sure the place is good, too!"

Imogen gave a light laugh of relief. "I would be honoured to go out with you for Chinese and what a gentleman to offer to pick me up."

Relief swept through her as Mark did not seem offended by her clumsy and what she felt was insensitive responses. "What time should I be ready?"

"I'll be there at eight. See you there!"

Mark hang up, barely believing what had happened. He got his best outfit out of some dark places in his wardrobe, and after yet another shower, was delighted to see it still fitting. By eight, he was at Imogen's place, surprisingly clean and impossibly nervous, waiting for her to get down. His 'ride' wasn't one of Riordan's fancy cars, but it would get them there. After all, they were just going to have a talk... God knew Mark needed it.

Imogen was dressed and ready when her doorman rang up for her. She pulled her dress coat over her simple but stylish black dress. Her heels clicked on her wood floors as she crossed to the door.

Her hair was down, a rare thing for her though it was still done up in soft waves. They framed her slender face. I hope he approves. It was that thought that made Imogen pause. He was a colleague, she was presentable so why the nervousness? Why the worry? Monde dieu... She shook her head and walked out her front door to where Mark waited.

"You look quite dashing Mr Parnasse." Imogen walked towards him, a smile on her lips.

"You look great, Imogen" said Mark, not knowing how exactly a compliment was supposed to be replied to. "Shall we be off?" I shouldn't have said that thought the hacker, while opening the passenger door of his regular, unimpressive vehicle to her.

Imogen placed a hand on his arm, "Thank you Mark." She slipped into the waiting vehicle.

Once in the restaurant, where Mark's heart had stopped beating like a huge drum, he finally felt comfortable enough to discuss what had been bothering him. He felt that Imogen would be the only person to understand, being that she was a member of CKSD, and more over, someone who had been in the same place he had.

"Imogen, when you... When we carried George back to the RV. Did you think about what would happen if we died right there?"

She looked to the table a moment. "Non. I..."

Imogen looked up at Mark after a moment. "I have faced far worse and lived through it. I did not think for a moment about myself." She licked her lips lightly. "If I had died there no one would have noticed for a very long time, I mean the clean up crew obviously but I mean in my life."

She reached out to place her hand on his. "Years ago I was in a situation that made me face my own mortality and now..." Imogen squeezed lightly on Mark's hand. "I understand though I have been there."

Mark looked at her, finding warmth in her eyes, and in her hand. He felt safe. "I thought the same thing. That if a stray bullet were to get me, and all of a sudden, end me... No one would take notice. The world wouldn't take notice. No one knows who I am. Sure, everyone knows The Sphinx. But no one knows Mark Parnasse. And there, with George wounded, I felt... afraid. So terribly afraid of dying... and being forgotten."

Mark looked down, and pulled out his hand. He looked at Imogen again. "I had a family once. A sister. I... I often dream about her. Or rather, I have nightmares about her. I don't know where she is now, or what became of her... And I never thought I would care. But recently, and especially after that night... The nightmares have been getting worse. I've been thinking, what kind of brother I am, if I have every means of finding my sister... But refuse to do so?"

Imogen let her now free hand run through her hair. "If you wonder about her you are not refusing to find her, you just haven't set out on the path yet. Perhaps this is the nudge you need to follow up on your dream of her. It might take time but if you want to find her you will. Maybe you are more afraid of what will happen when you do."

Her eyes found Mark's face. She felt for him, she understood how he was dealing at the moment. "I am sorry to hear you are having nightmares. Your subconscious is telling you something. Whether it is find her or that you are afraid of the result. Maybe you need to have people in your life."

Maybe he did, thought Mark. Maybe that was what he had been afraid of for so long. It was painful to realize it, but it was true. And if he did need to let more people in his life... Why not start now?

"Imogen, would you... Would you like to help me find her? To be someone in my life?"

He was uncertain what that was supposed to mean, but it did mean something. It meant he was ready to change... However difficult that might be.

Imogen tilted her head, hair falling off her shoulder. She looked at him questioningly. She was not entirely sure what he meant about being someone in his life but she was surprised that he trusted her so much.

"Mark." She reached out to touch his hand but hestitated. "I am flattered that you think so much of me to tell me this. Of course I will help you."

She kept her hand poised there for a moment before slowly retracting it. "Whatever I can do to help." Imogen gave him a smile. "Family can be a very nice thing."

The rest of the evening was surprisngly pleasant, which was impressive, since Mark's standards of pleasant always included a computer. They talked about their work, and Mark went on about videogames and computers for far too long until he realized he was probably bothering Imogen, at which point the conversation turned to general topics until Mark's head began to feel light from the wine, and he offered to take her home.

At the front of her flat, Mark opened the door for her, because that was something people did in the movies, and made a ridiculously clumsy bow as she went inside, partly because of the alcohol and partly trying to make her laugh.

Imogen smiled and gave a light chuckle. "I had a lovely time Mark. " She stopped halfway inside the door. "Mark, would you like to accompany me to a gala?"

She had had a good time with him and the thought of taking anyone else to a gala with her friends made her very uncomfortable but Mark would at least be very good company.

"A gala?" thought the hacker for a second, out loud. "Is that where people go to meet each other in fancy dresses, drink fancy drinks and say fancy things to each other while doing nothing at all?" He pondered for a moment. "Sure, I'd love to!"

"Really? That is wonderful Mark! Thank you! I will email you the details." She leaned forward and placed a kiss on his cheek. "You are a wonderful man."

"Ah... Thanks." He blushed so utterly and completely that there was nothing more he could say. "I'll see you then!"

He waved her good night as he returned to his car, as happy as a fifth-grader who had just been kissed on the cheek.


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Character Portrait: George Delaney
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It had been three days of resting or rather as much resting as George was capable of. She had sat in bed, she had wanted to be at her desk but the bed was a compromise. Around her were phones, tablets and her laptop. She was dealing with lawyers, media and anyone else that she could use to make Arasaka regret double crossing CKSD.

She stood now in the back room, waiting for the others. Her shoulder was stiff but healed. Trauma Team and then her private doctor, did a great job fixing her up. Erik had made the shot clean, he hadn’t hit anything important but she never doubted his ability to pick a shot.

George was focused on her screen. The new contract would be easy. A simple find and neutralize. The biggest hiccup would be finding the girl and taking care of the guard dog who seemed intent on following her.

She had only called in Mark and Antony.This job would only take them, maybe Erik if they wanted back up. Mark would find this hacker and Antony would do the rest. George wanted to ease the team back into things. The Portel contract had not gone as expected and though they succeeded it was not without its issues. She wanted them to know that the company was looking out for them, that she was looking out for them and in the end the contracts keep coming and the jobs need to get done.

George poked at the picture of their target. She looked so innocent but George knew that hackers were a different breed. Meek in person but daring once they were behind a screen. She hoped Mark might be able to tell her more about the girl though it didn’t matter really. George didn’t want to ‘know’ the girl, just how dangerous she was.

A carafe of coffee and mugs waited for the two other people to arrive.


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Antony Largo
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Antony stood for a few minutes outside of Georges location, though he did not know if it was her house. The building was nicer then his current place being in one of the more well off sections of the city and it dawned on him that he did live in a legally condemned building to boot. He just shrugged for a moment as he took the last drag of his cigar, tossing the slim into a nearby storm drain and walking in.

Stepping into the elevator he waited for the doors to close and his ride to begin.

Every few seconds he would adjust his dark red coat and check his belt, only once though to check the sling on his holster that ran across his back. The Colt-Alpha still felt slightly cool through his shirt and he began to think back to the last time he used this particular gun on anyone. This train of thought did not last long though as he snapped too when the elevator made a low toned ding, signalling the arrival to Georges floor.

Finding the door was simple enough and he looked at the screen on the right side for screening visitors.

Antony took a moment to adjust himself one last time and pulling his hair but, popping a mint for final measure.

He leaned in and pressed the call button.


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Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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#, as written by Varyar
Mark Parnasse woke up a new man. In fact, he was feeling better than he had for years. A little voice in the back of his mind seemed to know exactly why that was, but the hacker chose to ignore it.

The lights of his many computers flickered to life, and within moments he was connected to every news agency, every MMORPG, every social media page there was, all with countless different identities. He knew he had an appointment soon, however, and could not spend his morning bathing in information as he did most mornings. An appointment in real life, not online. Unfortunately.

Even so, it was something he simply could not miss. A meeting with George, a meeting with CKSD, this organization he had pledged his life for, something that had acquired new meaning with recent events. As a hacker, he would never had expected any field action, let alone dragging George’s unconscious, bleeding body. It had opened perspectives for him, showed him what he was really into. It was no longer about pressing buttons behind the safety of a computer screen. It was about being a part of the team, of being present… Even if part of the team was a psychotic, trigger-happy maniac.

The truth was, Mark had mixed feelings about Anthony. His initial impulse was to hate and disregard him as a simple hitman, nothing more than a puppet killing who he was told to kill. But that would be the easy, hypocritical approach, and would ignore the fact that Mark had as much blood in his hands as Anthony. The Sphinx opened the doors, turned off the cameras, released the beast. And one cannot blame a sword for striking… For without sure footing, the sword stroke will go amiss. Mark gave the sword its footing, and there was no denying that.

Still, he would try to hold Anthony back the best he could in the future, lest his conscience haunted him forever.

Later, Mark found himself standing outside the address of the meeting, supposedly George’s house. He felt tempted to break into the security system and take a look through the cameras to make sure he was at the right place, but he resisted that urge. It would be… Disrespectful.

Cursing his new found tact, Mark went in, and then received the certainty he was at the right place… Because standing there, exactly as Mark remembered him, was Antony, waiting in front of a closed door.

The hacker again resisted the urge of opening the door through his pad in a pointless display of skill, and instead approached the man, trying to be as polite as possible, something he wasn’t very used to.

“Hello, uh, Antony. I see you were also called here. How are you?”


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Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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(collab) Oborosen/Varyar

Antony looked down the small hall as the greeting followed out towards him and he turned his head slighty to see the young hacker approaching him.

"Ah.. Mark." He said with a slight pause in his throat as he spoke. It was a strange thing for someone to be seen so outside of their element and it was not lost on him that Mark was not the one to really be about in such a way, unless he really needed to. "It seems George has plans for everyone today.

He looked down at his Rolex and smirked.
"And two minutes early to boot as well.

"Well, you know how she is" said Mark, still insecure about what he could say or do that wouldn't irritate the mercenary. "When the matter is CKSD, she has her head fully in the game, all the time." A small period of silence ensued, during which Mark looked at the plain doors of the elevator and nothing else, breathing slowly, remembering from a tv show how one should behave when trying to move away from a wild bear. Then, he broke the silence, feeling he simply had to say something.

"So, do you, ah, have any idea why we're here?"

"Well it could be a few reasons for that actually" Antony started as he pulled a comb from his inside jacket pocket and taking a few cursory swipes of his hair.

"We could be here to receive mission details for just the two of us or she could have a package for one of us as well." Shortly putting the comb back.

"Then again the last time one of my contractors invited me over I learned upon arriving that there was a price on my head.. Not the best way to end a business relationship if you ask me." He gave Mark a slight lean of his head and a cheeky smile before standing straight once more with a small sigh in his voice. "I really miss that little ginger..."

Antony takes a step back leaning against the wall on the other side of the hallway and keeps his eye trained on George's door. "Was the other night seriously your first time in the field?" He asked rather bluntly.

"Well, in the actual field... With real bullets and stuff... I guess so, yeah." said Mark, feeling the contempt hidden beneath Antony's question. That angered the hacker, who spoke without thinking. "Truth is, I can probably do more damage in a single morning in my pajamas than you can in the whole year. So if it's my first time in the business... Definitely not."

Antony smirked again for the second time today and nodded. "Maybe so.. But I do take pride in being there in the moment." He looks at his watch again as the time slowly slips by and he wonders in his mind what George could be doing behind that door that would warrant not answering his call at the door. But he thought for a moment on how Mark could be so sure of himself even if he was just a button pusher. Though he knew how bad a hackers attentions could be and so he kept all personal information physically filed for that very same reason.

"A whole year huh.. next time you bring a space station out of orbit let me know and I'll be impressed." He kept a wry smile on his face despite how insane such a statement was. Even though he knew that the station wasn't even the target of the mission and that little fact brought a chuckle to the back of his throat as he looked blankly off into space, remembering the finer days gone by.

But Antony felt that he could at least talk to Mark about one subject that they both could agree on and he used that as a sort of olive branch. "So.. what kind of side arm do you carry with you? I couldn't help but notice the small lump from before.

"A... Side arm? You mean like a fire arm? Oh no, those things aren't for me." Mark pulled out his taser, which he always carried with him, more a reminder of the dangerous life he lived than anything else. "I have this for when things get ugly. Besides, death is so final, don't you think?" Mark laughed, much more comfortable now that he started talking. "No, of course you don't."

"Besides, getting a station out of orbit? What am I, a James Bond villain? If I told you the things I do on a daily basis, and if you could actually comprehend them, you would be more than impressed. But what about you, Mr. Largo, what do you do in your free time?"

Antony keens his head a bit at the question and thinks though he does already know the answer.
"Collecting mostly... Information.. Objects. Whatever suits my taste at the time." He shrugs a bit as if to add emphasis to the answer.

"Say, you look like a man who keeps it to himself. Something rather difficult in the age we live in. I say that because I have never heard of you... Which says something. Are you technophobic, Mr. Largo?"

Mark was enjoying this, as if he was poking a tiger with a dangerously short stick, knowing the tiger could do nothing other than look threatening. Or so he hoped.

Antony laughs again as a funny statement passes through his mind.
"No not really, I have some pretty nice toys when it comes to tech.. but lets just say for a while now, I've had to drop myself off the grid. Being on the bad side of several different people can make life that way for you." He reaches under his coat and slides the colt from its holster on his back. "You would do good to get a real weapon. If you like, I could actually do you such a favor?" He holds the large gun flush in his palm as if to show it to Mark.

For the moment he knew that Mark would never truly get face to face with someone, not like he is suggesting and of course not anytime soon. A desk and console is where the hacker could find his safety and power, so somewhere in his mind Antony knew he would not really risk such a venture.

The hacker looked at the gun, as if it was something completely alien. He pictured himself holding something of that magnitude for a second... And the thought sent shivers down his spine.

"Ah, no thanks. I would probably just shoot myself in the foot with it anyway"

Antony smiles as Marks premiss to shooting himself in the foot. "You wouldn't be the first or the last to do that." He puts the gun back in its place, sliding the barrel back into the holster and knocking the clip back on to hold it in place. He leans back against the wall and peers towards the door once again.
"Oh and as a matter of fact I am not inept with the cyber wold. I do have some experience net-running, though I do rather prefer the feel of the real world compared to that of the artificial."

"Yeah, well, most people do. But then again, most people have no idea what they're missing." Mark wondered if he was talking to the same person who shot all those people, the same person who had been Mark's reason to question himself day and night, He seemed so... Calm. As if the things he did were simply work. The hacker felt compelled to ask him that, but he felt it wasn't his place to do so.

"If you'd like, I can make sure you're invisible... Really invisible... To those people you're running from."

Antony did like the idea but for the time being he just swayed his head for the moment. "While the though is tempting.. I must refuse. You see.. I want a certain someone to find me." He trains his eye back on the door. "And when they do.. I will kill them all" The air goes quiet for a moment as he stares out into the world. As if the door were a void and all he could see was what existed within it.


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Laney Knobs
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George watched the monitor. Antony and Mark had arrived and were making their way to the room where she waited. She wondered if they were confused about the location, perhaps they even thought it her home. She smiled. It was one other building CKSD owned. An Arco that featured condos, offices and of course all the shopping and restaurants that a person could need. In essence, anyone who lived in the arco never had a reason to go outside.

She used this backroom office for smaller deals, for recruiting meetings and it was really the furthest her doctor and Rio would let her venture. She rolled her head, grimacing at the tightness that seemed to still be present in the healing synthskin over her wound. A small price to pay, much smaller than Arasaka was going to pay for double crossing her and her team. She had plans that would be played out over the coming months. Why attack them all at once when you can slowly undermine them? George smiled at the thought. Never fuck with me, it doesn’t end well. It wasn’t cockiness, it was fact. Most who got on George’s bad side weren’t around any longer to testify on that behalf.

She looked up to the door as the men entered, “Welcome gentlemen. I see you found it easily enough.” The screened showed them approaching the door so she knew the moment when they would be entering.

“Sit. I have a new contract to discuss with you as well as a new arrival to the organization. She should be here shortly. I wanted to give you time to ask questions about the last contracts before she arrived. Ms Trondeau will not be joining us today as she will not be needed for this mission.”

George checked her messages. She had sent for Laney to arrive today. She couldn’t help but wonder how Antony and Mark might react to her newest acquisition.

Her eyes followed Mark and Antony as they came in. “There is coffee, please help yourself and if you have anything you wish to address please feel free.”

George sat down in her chair across from them, facing the door. Her hands were folded in front of her and her back straight, her face the mask of professionalism it always was.


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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Antony sets himself down in the small office chair as he begins to lean back, only to adjust to one side so he can acquiesce to the feeling of the holster in the lower section of his back. He leaned to the other side seeing that the fit there was better and for a moment he thanked himself for now deciding to wear his blade today as well.

sliding down the cuffs on his jacket he just looks up at George and smiles before speaking.
"No coffee for me thanks, I like to keep my nerves straight." He sits back comfortably now with his hands down on the arm rest with one leg shelved over the other. "How unfortunate anout the Doctor.. some more bonding time would have been nice." He chuckled. "But a new face might just be what we need." He said with a wry smile, running a finger down the left side of his chin.

However he doesn't hold such a jovial look for long, Antony makes a grim expression for a moment and speaks. "All kidding aside George.. when we hit Arasaka back.. I want to hit them hard." Clasping his hands together as if he were a villain in a sitcom. "I'm rather tired of being hung out to dry by my supposed employers."


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse
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George didn’t react as Antony stated that he did not want coffee. It didn’t matte to her if he had any or not, it was a social norm to present beverages to people during meetings, it made them feel more at ease.

“You misunderstand about Ms Trondeau. She has not left the company, I simply do not think she is needed for this mission. She also is working on compiling the research we took from Portel. She has made some discoveries that will prove useful in the future. It seems that Mark’s program and her desire to be thorough has led us to some insightful information. In short she grabbed everything she saw and in the end it was the best decision she could have made.”

George cocked her head a little, “If you find you are in need of a scientist of any kind I will provide one for you. If it is a matter of simply wishing to have Ms. Trondeau along...” Her gaze flickered to Mark, the smallest hint of a smile playing on her lips. “I imagine that can be arranged as well.”

She tapped the table. “Your new face is a technician, someone you may very well need given who you will be tracking down on this contract but I will get to that in a moment.”

George waved her hand a little. “As for Arasaka, they will get what is coming to them but it will not be a simple lashing out. Make no mistake Antony, no one double crosses me and CKSD. No one. Remember, CKSD is your employer in this. The fall out for Portel we are taking care of so that it does not come back at any of you. I have things in motion to deal with Arasaka. We will hit them hard and they will regret what they did.”

Her eyes were hard as she stared at Antony for a moment. There was no mistaking the message behind them. George wasn’t going to let it go until they paid and when they did she would take everything.

“Now, Mark...any concerns from you?"


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Imogen Trondeau Character Portrait: Antony Largo Character Portrait: Mark "The Sphinx" Parnasse Character Portrait: Drystan Character Portrait: Laney Knobs
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Mark shook his head. He took his coffee and sat back.

George nodded. Beside her the phone buzzed. Her eyes moved to it. “Good. Good that was the message I was hoping to get. You will have a technician and an infiltrator. You will need both for this job.”

She picked up her phone, typing back a message to Drystan telling him to come up.

“I will tell you now that the person you are going after is not much of a threat however she has a watchdog on her. You will need to eliminate him if you have any hope of eliminating her and this is an elimination job.”

George looked at Antony. “I trust though that you have no issue with that.”

Her hands folded on the table. “Once our last two arrive...” She looked at her phone. “Which should be momentarily I will fill in the details. Mark if you wish you can begin searching for information on our target. You are looking for a hacker who goes by the name Glitch.”

Mark didn’t flinch but he did stare at George. “Glitch? I know her. Why are you going after her?”

George shook her head. “I will tell you all when everyone gets here. I dislike repeating myself.” She frowned and put a hand to her shoulder. The skin was tight and it bothered her that she felt limited.

Her eyes fell on the door, waiting for Laney and Drystan.
Imogen’s day started like any other. Yoga, coffee, a shower and then pouring over the research she had taken from Portel’s labs. There was a lot to go over and she had started sorting the lab results. She had found not only the research for the drug they were under contract for but other drugs, other lab results that had made her feel numb.

Her old teacher, the man she had to work under was in charge of some very questionable things. It did not surprise her, Mitchell had always pushed beyond the borders of ethics and reason. He was not that old, maybe in his forties when he ran the lab at the university and even then it was easy to see the man cared very little for others.

The things she found went beyond what Imogen had ever thought a scientist was capable of. She wondered how he managed to go undetected by officials and how his employers let these things go one. It is all about money... The more she read the more she understood that fact.

Homeless fed handfuls of unnamed drugs and then watched for reactions. Men tearing at their own skin as one drug caused them to hallucinate. Women left infertile or with deformed children after they were given untested drugs without their knowledge. The more she read the more ill she felt. Mitchell Vinger had ordered all the tests, monitored all results. His signature was on everything.

Imogen couldn’t look at the files anymore. It felt like what she read was sucking her humanity from her. She pulled on her coat and grabbing her purse decided to go out for a bit.

There were perks to living in the nicer areas of Night City. Shops that carried the latest fashions, gyms that specialized in high end clientele. Spas and jewelry stores. Restaurants of the finest standings and Imogen’s favourites, the little cafes.

She found a table all to herself in the corner after ordering her coffee. Pulling out her tablet she began to read her email. There was nothing special waiting for her so she flicked over to the scream sheets to catch up on the latest news and fashion.

“You know you have not changed one bit.” The clink of a cup and man’s voice made Imogen looked up. The colour drained from her face. The voice sounded familiar, though slightly different. It sparked memories of whispered comments in her ear. Her skin crawled.

Mitchell Vinger stood in front of her, placing her coffee down before taking the seat across from her. Imogen felt frightened and trapped. She sat up taller and composed herself.

“What’s the matter, surprised to see an old friend?”

Her hands folded on her lap. “Is that what we were? Me your lab assistant and you the sadistic scientist?” It took everything in her not to run, not to slip into her native french. She didn’t want him to know that he unnerved her.
“Such kind things you have to say about me. Are you going to drink your coffee? Hate to see it grow cold.” Mitchell eyed the cup.

“It can wait. To what do I owe the visit and how may I ask did you know where to find me?” Imogen’s mind raced. If he knew she was here did he know where she lived as well?

Mitchell chuckled. He was older than the last time she saw him and it showed in his eyes and salt and pepper hair. He still lacked a genuine smile.

“Why Imogen, imagine my surprise to see you on security footage that we were able to recover from a little mishap at my lab. Wasn’t much mind you, someone blew it up but you see with that and a bit of information we had come our way I was able to find you. I will spare you the boring details. So tell me, how much therapy did it take to get over them raping you in the alley? I am curious on what that does to a brain. I’d love to test you sometime.”

Her stomach tightened. “You...” She was shaking and it was clear from her voice and demeanour that he had gotten to her. “You really have no tactic. You simply must see what happens. Is that it? You wanted to shake me up? See if you could make me cry?”

Mitchell smiled. It was cold and sadistic. He leaned forward, coming in close to her.“I came to ask you to join my team. As payback. You owe me for that little stunt and the files you stole. Perhaps you’d prefer me to come take them from you, by force? That could be fun...”

Imogen let a breath out through her nose. “Leave. I have nothing to say to you.”

Mitchell leaned back in his chair. “Now that is a shame. I thought we could talk. You on my team once more would be so pleasant for me. But perhaps we shall to talk about it another time. I should give you time to think it over. Next time how about we do this at your place? Or maybe you will just show up at mine one day...” He left the threat hanging in the air as he stood. “Au revoir madame. I look forward to seeing you again.”

Imogen watched him leave. She grabbed her phone and dialed the first number that came up. It was the last person she talked to and that was Mark.


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Character Portrait: George Delaney Character Portrait: Antony Largo
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Antony sets his hand to his chin and leans forward towards George's desk.

"Honestly its been maybe six.. seven years since I've had to do such a job." A small glint passes behind his eye, as if he were recalling the same day and instance. That was accompanied itself by a smirk playing across his face. He quickly returns to the back of his seat and wipes the smirk away after a moment.

"On and side not, I wasn't expecting to have you out there with us" He kept the look of intrigue on himself when he spoke.

"I've been out for more then enough missions with you in the area.. but having you out there was rather new.. what brought on this change of protocol?"