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Grendel

Leader of the Knight Errant High-Threat Response Team sent into Berlin to clean up the streets, Grendel is a huge, gruff physical adept troll with a surprising speed and grace to his movements.

0 · 238 views · located in Berlin

a character in “Shadowrun: Rise of APEX”, as played by TheRose202

Description

Name: Arin Stark
Alias: Grendel
Metatype: Troll
Class: Awakened, full physical adept
Age: 32
Height: 8'2"
Long Description: Grendel is an imposing man, standing at a height of about eight feet tall and sporting a bulky, yet well-proportioned musculature. He has deep, dark brown almond-shaped eyes and a strong face, which is naturally curved down into a grimace, those large tusks of his poking out to either side of his mouth giving him a menacing appearance. Two large horns sprout from either side of his bald head, curling around to point out near his jaw. When he speaks, his voice is low and dangerous, with a clear American accent peppered by a slight german tinge, developed over his years spent in the Allied German States. When off duty, he often wears three-piece suits complimented by a pair of ARES Security Identification Shades, which are a device used to ID any documented citizen through use of facial identification and retinal scan information, able to pull up the person in question's medical, family, and criminal history, fingerprints, and wanted status. A commlink is perpetually hooked up to his ear, normally tuned into the local Night Errant or ARES security channel.

Equipment: Grendel usually wears his full Knight Errant High-Threat Response Team armour into battle, lightweight yet bulletproof, fireproof, and resistant to explosives. The full Knight Errant mask he wears along with it filters out potential poisons in the air, as well as being connected to a custom experimental piece of low-essence cost cyberware the Knight Errant installed in his frontal lobe, named the ARES Neuro-HUD, the purpose of which is to identify targets and give him a greater understanding of the battlefield, pinpointing friendlies and enemies even through cover or fog. He prefers to fight with his bare hands, and has been known to crush through even steel armour, using his Adept powers to toughen his already thick hide whilst simultaneously enhancing the strength and speed of his attacks, although he also keeps a pair of long custom-made curved serrated blades on his person at all times. He is clearly skilled in a variety of martial arts, from Muay Thai to Mantis-style Kung Fu to Judo and Jiujitsu. His fighting style is one of quick, aggressive strikes and grapples, crushing through his enemy's defence rather than subverting it, and giving them little time to retaliate or recover. He is truly a being who should not be trifled with.

History: Arin Stark was born to two wealthy American ARES investors in Hannover, within the Allied German States. Despite facing much bigotry throughout gradeschool and his early life, he was able to keep a pleasant, cheery spirit. He took an interest in martial arts at a very young age, and found out his affinity for Adept abilities due to this fact when he accidentally gave a fellow student a concussion and several broken ribs using what he thought to be a couple light strikes. He was instantly pinpointed and given an offer by ARES security forces at that point, and he was finally given truly professional martial education, training in the ways of the physical Adept, both with bladed and blunted weaponry and his fists and feet, although he always displayed more of an affinity for the latter. Throughout this time, he kept in very light contact with his parents, and although they are thought to still be alive, he cut off all contact with them when he joined the Knight Errant, as a personal choice to leave his past behind. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Knight Errant, then, proving to be one of the best Adepts they'd yet hired, and was eventually selected to join a High-Threat Response Team, one of the most dangerous, yet rewarding security jobs in the world. He happily accepted, and before long he was captain of his own team, and his was one of the most sought-after teams in the entirety of the Knight Errant. Recently, he's been hired by Lofwyr in what he believes is defence against Anarchist rebels. His true purpose, however, is to exterminate the rebels once and for all, and finally bring peace and order to Berlin, uniting it again under one banner.

So begins...

Grendel's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Grendel

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<January 14, 0100 hours, Aztechnology Atlotl Pyramid, West Berlin>
Shouting and yelling rings through the narrow hallway as Aztechnology security forces and a rather large band of Shadowrunners duke it out, bullets and bolts of lightning and flame whizzing past as the forces fire near-blindly through the screen of dense smoke. Someone thought it would be a good idea to throw a few smoke grenades into the mix, despite neither opponent possessing infrared imaging systems. The balance is tipped, however, when the security turrets stationed at the end of the hallway suddenly turn upon their masters, the whole of the Aztechnology security team going down in a spray of red mist, gunned down from behind by their own system. The Spider has pierced the fierce defences of the Atlotl Pyramid at last, and the Shadowrunners rejoice as the firing stops.
"Ah, brilliant!" exclaims one of them, a wiry mage-type who can't be older than nineteen, "We showed those drekheads!"
Their rigger -- the more traditional sort, opposed to the spider -- an obvious cram addict with wide eyes and twitchy, sporadic movements trailing a Doberman drone speaks up, then, looking about himself in a paranoid manner, "Aye, but let's not get too comfortable. More of them could be around any corner."
"Pff, with the firepower we've got?" interjects a large troll, apparently a weapons expert by the amount of heat he's packing, "It doesn't matter how many they send."

With that, the procession continues into the next area. This was going to be a milk run...or so they all thought. Before their spider shut down communications, an encrypted message got out to the local Knight Errant detachment -- the Azzies need a High-Threat Response Team, and it just so happens one is in the area. The team is at the pyramid only minutes after the message arrives, a small detachment of only three men and two women, of varying degrees of skill. Their leader, a massive-built troll with no apparent weaponry steps out of the APC that arrives on-scene, scanning the area for signs of life with his Neuro-HUD from behind his mask, his gaze sweeping over the entryway. Other than a massive hole blown in the pyramid's front entrance and a small group of the corpses of brave lobby employees who gave their lives to distract the Runners while the rest of their coworkers ran, there is little damage. No subtlety, Grendel thinks with disdain, before silently signaling the rest of his team that the area is safe. The team makes their way into the building, upon which they are confronted with two decidedly hostile autoturrets, which are quickly dispatched by the accompanying rigger's Microskimmer drone, a small saucer-shaped methane-powered extremely quick and extremely silent drone generally used for advanced recon purposes, but in this case repurposed as a tiny arsenal of rocket-propelled micromunitions and outfitted with three attached 9mm submachine guns.

While the decker remains in the lobby to hack the compromised security system back into friendly hands, the rest of the team continues onward. Before they hit the next pair of turrets, the system is already friendly again.
"Engage night vision, I'm cutting the lights," comes the decker's feminine, businesslike voice over the comms, and the team barely has enough time to comply before both the standard flourescent lighting and the red-tinged emergency lighting disengage, plunging the entire pyramid into pitch-blackness. She catches up with them moments later, and the team continues. Finally, they reach their destination, a vault in the very center of the pyramid, where the large group of Shadowrunners frantically attempt to find a way to open it. Most of them are dead before any of them know what's going on, silently eliminated with a brief series of muffled muzzle flashes and Grendel's powerful assassinations. In a matter of moments, the leader is the only one left, a willowy Elven Spider, presumably the one who had turned the security system against its own people. Before he can react, Grendel is upon him, his powerful fingers wrapping about the Spider's throat and lifting him into the air. "I don't care who sent you," states the low, gruff voice of the Knight Errant captain, "but you will inform them that if they hire another group of runners, they will be found and eliminated."

Suddenly, Grendel grasps the upper arm of the elf and pulls it off with minimal effort, a sickening pop and a tearing sound, the screams of the Elf piercing the darkness. Grendel quickly pulls a large patch from beneath his uniform and places it upon the wound, a hissing sound emanating from the area as it's quickly cauterised. "Your rigging days are over," he states as he pulls the induction datajack from the dismembered hand and drops the now-whimpering Elf to the ground. The team leaves the Pyramid with a sense of urgency, gone like shadows in the night with a pile of bodies in their wake. "Objectives complete," the troll states into his commlink.

Minutes later, as he is changing from his combat gear back into his suit, another communication comes in on a secure channel. His Neuro-HUD lets him know that it's from a Mister Johnson, one of the proxies corporations often use when they would prefer to keep their identity a secret. Normally, they would be contacting shadowrunners. It's rather odd that they deign to contact the Knight Errant this way. Grendel answers the call, but before he can even speak, the sly voice of Lofwyr, the Golden Dragon himself, comes through the speaker. "I need your services," he states, "and none may know of my involvement."
"You've gained my interest, Dragon. Go on," replies Grendel, as his HUD confirms that the job is authorised by the big boss himself.

An hour later, he and his team are gearing up for an incursion into East Berlin, the Kreuzbasar kiez. How odd that Lofwyr cared so much about some dingy non-threatening district in the middle of East Berlin as to send a HTR team in. Grendel was not one to question orders, however, and so he didn't. This would clearly be an easy job, as the Kreuzbasar was lightly defended, and his APC should be able to cut through those gang-riddled kiez's with hardly a scratch, given their shoddy weaponry and minimal training. And the pay was wonderful; his commission alone could buy him a yacht or two. "Alright, men," he states to his team as they walk to the black-painted APC whose engine has barely cooled down from their last job, "This is going to be a milk run. Get in, level the kiez, get out. We haven't any reliable tactical data on the area, so our strategy will have to be developed on the move. Understood?"

The rest of his team nods, and they step into the APC, which speeds off into the distance, the driver expertly navigating the empty early morning roads of West Berlin, a messenger of doom bringing the horsemen of the apocalypse to East Berlin's doorstep...

The setting changes from golden-tower to Berlin

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Eris grins widely at the two new recruits. Clearly things were beginning to go her way again. Just how she liked it. That is, until the human lady begins to question her motives. Such blunt mistrust could be an issue, but as usual, Eris maintains her sunny smile. "Ah, don't worry about it, my friend. She has a right to know. Well, my dear lady, since you seem so keen on knowing what exactly is going on -- and I suspect my Dwarven friend with the perked ears here would also like to know -- I will tell you. But, ah...perhaps not here. My friend is right, staying in one place for too long, especially when discussing such sensitive matters, is a very bad idea. Come, friends, shall we talk business elsewhere? There's this quaint little safehouse that my mother and her friends used to use as a meeting area. That should work wonderfully, hmm?" She downs her soykaff, places a hefty stash of nuyen on the bar, stands and beckons to the group, including the small-but-not-forgotten Redcap.

"Iris, of course you are welcome to come. You're right, it would be nice to have a known and trusted ally along, although I'm sure these fellows are more than trustworthy," she says as she starts toward the door, her two drones falling in behind her. "I wouldn't have offered them employment if they didn't look like they could be trusted." It's all complete drek, of course; one could never trust fellow runners until they'd been on a mission or ten together. But it couldn't hurt to sweet talk them a little and cement relationships. She stops in her tracks shortly, however, her ears perking up, her drone's amped audio receptors picking up something, a rapid crackling sound. Then a communication broadcasts from the Kiev wall. Something about being under attack before it goes dark in a wave of static. Eris' eyes widen as she realises what it is. "We really need to leave now," she says, her voice dead serious for the first time since the group convened. Unfortunately, unwittingly, they'd run out of time.
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With a horrible cracking sound, the front door to the cafe caves inwards, and a massive troll in a heavy combat suit moves through the empty frame flanked by blinding light, a massive 50 caliber machine gun that would likely break the arm of a lesser man hoisted upon his shoulder. With nary a word of warning he opens fire, mowing down a line of innocent customers in an explosive pink spray. Eris grabs Iris on reflex and hoists her up with a level of strength fueled entirely by a sudden boost of adrenaline, diving over the bar with the smaller elf woman in her arms and taking cover as the massive rounds whizz overhead. "Oh this is just fragging wonderful!" she yells as she begins to concentrate on her drones, the RoboDoc lobbing a smoke grenade at the entrance, quickly obscuring half the café from view as the Guardian zips into the frey, toggling its infrared target acquisition on. This sort of thing wasn't supposed to happen until they were on Corporate turf. Definitely not how she planned this run. Looks like the Corporations beat her to the punch.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Iris was shocked for a moment and just sat in Eris's grasp for a moment before her features became angry. How DARE he ruin her favorite cafe. How DARE he harm her people and how DARE he bring a gun, something she fears most. A soft and dainty growl emerged from her lips before she stood up.

She looked around the cafe for a split second to see where she should go. Seeing that there was still one customer unhurt and hiding in the corner she jumped over the counter and slid under the volley of bullets and landing against the wall with the innocent. "Come on, follow me." she whispered to her. Iris grabbed her hand and began pulling her, keeping low, to the back door. Once there she shoved her out and dashed to behind the counter again.

She then stood up again, her features still angry. She began drawing energy from around her, collecting a massive amount. Her aim was steady, and a snarl of rage erupted from her as she sent a massive bolt of lightning at the troll, fueling all her anger into it. It was a massive column of sparking blue, crackling and popping though staying it's course. She ducked back down, waiting for the scream of the hit, if there would be one.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Redcap's world was filled with light and smoke, gunfire and explosions. She spat out a string of curses as she sprinted for cover, bent nearly in half to keep her already low head even farther under the spray of bullets. She slid around the corner of the bar before diving behind its blessedly armored face, hands jumping to her holsters once the counter was between the invading force and herself.

"Do ye have a plan, new boss?" she shouted over the sound of urban warfare. "Or are we just gonna sit here and let these bastards have their way with us?" 

There was a flash of lightning as the blonde elf cast a spell, and Redcap hazarded a glance around the bar to see where it landed. Half the café was filled with smoke, causing Redcap to doubt whether she'd know for sure any time soon. Nonetheless, the elf's magic succeeded in inspiring an act from Redcap, and the ginger dwarf placed her guns on the floor momentarily. 

She began rubbing her hands together quickly, feeling electricity run through her fingers, sending out little flecks of static. She separated her hands slowly, and a small ball of lightning began collecting between them, growing to the size of a baseball within a couple of seconds. She hopped up and grabbed the counter with her left hand, lifting herself high enough to fling her spell over the top at the door of the café, then dropped down as the bundle of electricity lashed out at those around it. It would only occur afterward whether any of her own side might have been caught in it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Brandon stayed standing as the young elf spoke, she was right about deciding to go and get a change of location and right now the word phrase safe house let him get the idea of a chance to clean up more thoroughly. He lifted his coffee cup to see if anything remained at the bottom and was somewhat sad to see that he would not have another sip of its delightful taste. As he slid the cup back against his earlier glass and set them side by side, his eyes caught an intense look running across Eris's face. Something was wrong as he could already tell from that look, the same look that his father would get when running his own mind through the net and processing processing the problems with his own expressions.

He was tempted to lean in and ask the problem she was evaluating, only to have a small glimmer of light shine over the side of his face and catch his eye. Follow by the doors of the cafe splitting and shunting from its hinges, sending most of its frame fracturing out into the open air. The burst paints most of the room in a continuous stream of cold air, until the firing begins and Brandon jumps over the counter with the warm spray of another patron lightly wafting against his face.

Checking the gun and sliding another clip in he peers over the top of the counter between sprayed rounds, to get a better look at their assailant. He didn't recognize the monster of a man and reserved to think it was someone else who was after them as they were. "There should be an exit out the back." He glanced quickly to look for the owner and saw he was gone, most likely skipped out when the first rounds got fired.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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This new turn of events certainly presented a problem. The appearance of a heavily armoured and well equipped hit squad could tell anyone that this run might be a troublesome one, this certainly occurred to Sen. However it also told him that he was heading in the right direction. His first action then, as many of the others was to find cover, although his approach may have been slightly unorthodox.

In one motion shooting up, while swiping the stool he had been sitting on across the room with one hand, retrieving his pistol from it's side holster with the other. As many in the room dashed aside, hoping to avoid the myriad of gunfire showering the room, Sen walked casually towards the nearby wall to safety. Everything had escalated so quickly he had little time to come to terms with what was going on, as magical incantations whizzed past and robotic assistance flew overhead, Sentinel was simply overcome with equal parts adrenaline and excitement. Unfortunately his invincibility was short lived and as the shots flew out of his side arm, pounding a deafening shock as they did, bullets from the unknown enemy's weapons zipped past narrowly missing his head, yet grazing his left leg.

Stumbling to one knee, a sudden vacant look on his face, Sen jumped to the wall, the strength of his other leg propelling him. A leg wound wasn't too much of a problem, and it was a superficial one at that, he'd had worse. Throwing his bag across his shoulders onto the floor was his next move, reaching for the weapon parts inside, his leg may be grazed but his shooting arms could still kill. As he was about to combine the largest parts of his rifle, he stopped to gaze at the carnage. The others who would be running with him were huddled in cover to avoid the hefty machine gun reigning death upon the patrons. Or they would be running with him, if they made it out alive.

Then Sen felt a chill.

"Stop"

A voice called out from the void, and Sen stopped. Observing the situation, he began to survey and evaluate as he'd trained to do, the excitement fading, the adrenaline rush subsiding. Sen exhaled and returned his rifle's parts to the bag, backing closely against the wall. The cafe room was maybe slightly larger than a lounge, no way he could properly aim and fire off sufficient rounds in here. Right again Crow, as much as it was an annoyance to not use his rifle after so long. He instead turned to the back of the cafe, looking for a potential exit. As much as it was Sen's goal to observe such moments of conflict, he'd seen enough and he'd rather it not be the last one he sees.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Iris peeked over the counter looking around to see where the others went. Guns were everywhere and her anger was subsiding. All she could do now was focus on the guns. Fear overcame her and she ducked back down holding her head in her hands trembling. She wanted to run, to escape. Her thoughts were frantic spinning everywhere and nowhere. Where could she turn, where could she hide, how could she get away.

She felt the vibration of a stool being shoved against the counter. It shocked her out of her thoughts and she peeked up again just in time to see Sen get hurt. She could tell it was minor but her was still bleeding and therefore it could get infected. At this moment her need to help kicked and and she vaulted over the counter, and used the momentum to land and slide along the ground. She slammed into Sen and was dazed for a moment before she sat up a little and placed a hand on his leg.

A soft glow emanated from her hand and healed his cut. She then tipped over a table and huddled behind it waiting for the shooting to stop in a huddled position.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Eris barely perceives the movement to her side as Iris disappears over the counter, her mind completely occupied with helping her drone dodge the flying rounds. "You know, I'm really getting tired of sitting here getting shot at!" she shouts over the gunfire, as the .50 cal rounds begin to shred through the bar, narrowly missing her and thoroughly disrupting her concentration, "How about we ditch this joint and find somewhere where maybe we could, you know, not get shot at!" Meanwhile, the contingent of foot troops that came with this particular strike team are being mowed down by her Guardian, while her RoboDoc takes care to be as inconspicuous as possible.

The smoke would be clearing soon, too. They need to move. So, as is in her blood, Eris decides to take the lead. "Follow me!" she calls, entirely inconspicuously and probably a little too loud for her own good, forced to duck again as another volley tears through the air near her head. The few survivors of the blasts are either incapacitated or mortally wounded, and so the remaining Runners are that much bigger a target. Eris grabs Aphelion and Tam Lin from their collars where they decided to stake out and presumably fire back, and tugs them along with her as she runs toward the door, scooping up the shotgun from behind the bar and nearly shattering her arm as she fires it in the Troll's general direction. It's only due to the blasts of magic that the few of them are still alive, having shredded one his arms to a pulp, the electric shock causing spasms and extreme pain in the other. And the shotgun slug is the straw that breaks the camel's back, severing the Troll's firing arm at the shoulder, causing him to drop the weapon and give the Runners an opening.

The Class S Guardian tears out of the thinning smoke in a large puff of white, and the silhouette of the soldiers behind the smoke have all but disappeared. Eris leads the group toward the back door, leading into a narrow alleyway opening into a broken fence once separating an overgrown U-Bahn track from the row of buildings. A successful escape!


Or so it seems. Eris reaches the door and places her hand upon the knob, turning it and tearing the door open...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eris Character Portrait: Redcap Character Portrait: Aphelion Character Portrait: Tam Lin Character Portrait: Brandon Laqroix Character Portrait: Sentinel Character Portrait: Iris Kingsley Character Portrait: Grendel

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Aphelion would have grimaced, had she not wanted to keep a resolute mask. A promise of answers rang more as a run around, and she was starting to wonder if this was a good idea after all. A tiny voice at the back of her head whispered in an annoyingly condescending tone that the elf was playing it smart. It was, admittedly, best not discuss the details of a run out in public. Such things were best left for secure channels or face-to-face meetings. The usual drek one went through to land a job, if they were looking in the right places. She glanced around, feigning absentmindedness, and silently acknowledged that this venue probably was not the most secure dive in Berlin. Then again, what did she know? She had not been in the Flux State for that long. Downing the last of her coffee, Aphelion's back straightened as she laid her palms flat on the bar top. Her skin was beginning to itch. Maybe it was about time they got going.

From his seat, Tam observed the others in silence as they each chimed in. Even the dwarf had returned to the bar, apparently with renewed interest in the proceedings. He elected to keep his mouth shut for now, and tried to get a feel for these runners. The cloaked, dark-haired human who had come in with the waifish elf seemed to have his wits about him, as well as an obfuscated curiosity beneath his dour countenance. By contrast, the other human sat at the bar looked torn between the matter at hand and his own affairs. At least he appeared a businesslike sort. Perhaps he could be counted on. Time- or turmoil- would tell. As he oh-so nonchalantly turned for a better glimpse of the others, their new employer declared it was time to relocate. He shot a look at Aphelion, one she saw coming, and slipped smoothly off of his seat. "I won't be one to lie, you've gotten my curiosity piqued," he informed with a painted on grin. His partner moved to follow, smoothing out her coat. He knew it was just a show, and that she was really feeling her tucked away sword for reassurance. Like a child reaching for their favorite stuffed animal.

That was when Eris stopped, and Tam's gut twisted as apprehension's hand gripped him like a demon from the aether. Their impromptu boss grimly stated, "We really need to leave now," and the cafe exploded. Light poured in through the new entryway as a hulking silhouetted figure lumbered over the broken boards. If that image alone was not striking enough, his weapon sure as hell hammered the situation home. Tam's hands had been reflexively going to his pistols, but they immediately fell right back to his sides as he whirled around, scanning for cover. The only thing that looked half descent was the bar, which he vaulted over with Aphelion right on his heels. A few of the others took a similar route. Tam's ears caught the tell-tale sound of the gun whirring up, the mechanism spinning the monstrosity to life a painful second before it roared a hail of lead across the cafe's interior.

Aphelion, sat beside Tam with her back pressed hard against the bar, glanced at him with barely concealed rage brimming up in the deeps of her eyes. "This is your fault," she blandly informed over the tumult of large caliber rounds.

An indignant scoff clawed up Tam's throat, the only response he bothered to give. His mind was reeling, a thousand contingencies all muddled together in a brutal fist fight for supremacy. His heard was thundering in his ears, every pulse ramming home in his chest and pumping his veins full of epinephrine. This was hardly the kind of drek you got hit with on your average run. Drugged up gang bangers and the occasional opposing runner usually did not merit much of a risk. The quick glance he had gotten of their new found chums practically screamed corporate, and not average security goons, either. Big money, glossy equipment, and probably the tempering training you would expect from SpecOps units. That left them with very few feasible options, most of which involved getting the ever loving fuck out of that kill zone!

Movement in his peripheral was followed by a flash of light and the stench of burning ozone. The blonde elf had fired off a spell, a look of wrath etched across her features. Tam shuffled across the floor, and risked a peek around the edge of the bar. Everything was obscured by smoke, and he was quick to duck back behind cover. If they were equipped with infrared then such a ploy would do little good. He prayed not all of them were properly outfitted, but what were the odds that would be the case? He reached behind his back, fingers sliding into the grooves of his ergonomically designed pistol grips and tightening in a vice grip. Their usefulness was debatable at best, but they were better than nothing.

"Any plans?" Aphelion queried, her eyes settled straight ahead at the ruined shelves lining the cafe's rearmost wall. She felt entirely superfluous. Aside from her pistol, which now rested loosely in her hand, she had nothing. This was the sort of scenario she loathed. Tight quarters with all the gunfire aimed downstream at their heads. She needed cover, space to maneuver in, if she wanted to really flex her worth in a fight.

"Yeah," Tam huffed, risking another look, "'Don't get ventilated' would be number one." There came another blast of conjured electricity, this time from the dwarf. He was beginning to curse ignoring any latent talent he might have carried.

"Inspired." Aphelion lazily rolled her eyes. "Anything else?"

"Not really," he belatedly admitted. "That body armor looked properly thick, add on the sheer wall of munitions bearing down on us and we've got a 'you're fucked' cocktail."

"We wait for a pause and run?" Aphelion spared a look at the others. The blonde elf dashed out from cover, a move she considered fairly suicidal. She appeared to forget about it instantly, not that it had seemed to bother her much in the first place.

"That would be the one where we live, yes," Tam nodded. On second thought, he holstered one of his guns and fished out a frag grenade. He worked his mouth thoughtfully, pondering if it would even remotely assist, or just make things even worse. Another quick look revealed the smoke grenade's effects were fading fast.

Eris was suddenly on the both of them, hauling them up as she made a mad rush for the rear exit. Tam bit back his pride- silently wondering what Aphelion's thoughts on the matter were- and followed once he was on his feet. He clamped down on the grenade's pin with his teeth as he rose up, and chucked the live explosive in the general direction of the corporate assholes as a final farewell just before passing through the doorway.

The cold night air was disconcerting, and oddly comforting in a way. It felt like stepping into an entirely separate universe, but he kept after Eris with the others presumably on their heels. Aphelion tore past him, her arms slicing through the air like blades as she sprinted away. Their path made use of a U-Bahn track, and it seemed like they had made it home free. Or, he hoped as much. They eventually arrived at the entrance to what he assumed was the safehouse Eris had mentioned just before the night went to hell. However, apparently the sudden chaos had taken quite a toll on one of their compatriots. The cloaked man rounded on Eris with a fury. Just as Tam was suspecting that perhaps he was not quite as collected as a runner should have been, the man seemed to calm down considerably. The dwarf was having none of it, immediately turning on the man with accusations of her own.. although choosing to focus mainly on his poor choice of timing.

Touché, Tam shrugged internally.

Meanwhile, the blonde elf made her own attempt at settling the contretemps herself. Aphelion, lingering nearby, looked back over her shoulder, watching for any signs of trailing danger. As Tam suspected, the girl wanted little to do with the others' misgivings. Even if she had some of her own.

"Can't we all just wait to kill each other 'til we're safely tucked away, meine freunde?" Tam kept his tone even, and tried not to step on anyone's toes in particular. His philosophy dictated it was best if he potentially pissed off everybody in general. Divisions were never healthy, but he supposed they were to be expected this early, and after nearly getting geeked out of the blue. "I'm sure our fashionably dressed mates back there wouldn't have any qualms of beating us to it, should they catch us out in the cold." He tapped the barrel of his drawn weapon against his leg, a very minor tell displaying a niggling sense of impatience.