Beatrix Isolde groaned. As she untangled her arm from the cable, she could feel the rawness of her skin. She longed for Zenon’s medigel gun, but now wasn’t the time.
“Crush, did my datapad survive?” B asked, into the darkness.
“Yes. It is secured,” replied Crushinator.
“Good. Everyone, status report.”
“My sensors were damaged by the blast. Other systems functional,” said Roombina.
“Crushing chamber circuits damaged. Arm two circuits damaged. Some minor scrapes. Otherwise secure,” replied Crush.
“I really troxxed up my shoulder. It’s dislocated for sure. Not dead, though,” replied Holstead.
A moment passed. “Jake. Status report,” B demanded, some stress in her voice.
A small moan came from somewhere near Holstead. “I think she’s unconscious,” said Hol, “I’ll try and find… Here she is.”
From a few yards away, they heard some metallic clashing.
“Baker is that you?!” B shouted.
“Kinda busy right now!” Baker shouted back, several more metallic clangs followed.
“Not to tell you how to do your job, but could you avoid lethality?” B asked, but a very loud clang came with her last word.
“Umm… About that.”
“Trox. How long are these mechs down for?” B asked.
“Probably another 4 minutes.”
“Alright people. We need to move. When these mechs are back online, they’re both going Gomorrah. Hol, can you carry Jake?”
“Not with this shoulder.”
“Alright, Crush, you grab Jake. Try not to… crush her.”
“Understood,” boomed Crushinator’s voice.
After a minute, they were moving down the tunnel. “What about Sin?” asked Roombina, concerned.
“Her chamber should survive a couple of Gomorrahs. Probably.”
Baker and the remains of Strike Team continued down the tunnel, stumbling through the darkness as quickly as they could. Eventually, the train’s lights came on. They had made it to a safe distance and the headlights showed that the tunnel led to an underground station. The power had gone out here as well. The generator was not back up. Perhaps it had completely burned out. They moved silently toward this station and then heard the two loud FWOOMs of both enemy mechs going Gomorrah. Baker flinched, knowing his mech was probably completely wrecked.
The headlights went out again, replaced by the soft glow of fiery destruction. It was enough to light their ascent onto the station platform. “Whuh?” mumbled Jake as Crush passed her to B.
“Good, you’re awake,” said Beatrix, “We’ve got work to do. It looks like our path took us to System HQ. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we needn’t waste it.”
“What’s the plan, B?” asked Baker.
“We move through some of the maintenance tunnels. Given the size of those explosions, they’ll likely think we all died. From there, we’ll find as many critical strike points as we can. Strategic centers, databanks, executive offices. We hit what we find and twist this knife of ours in the System’s heart.” For emphasis, Beatrix twisted Konrad’s still-bloody kodachi into an imaginary person’s chest.
The team moved again, slipping into a maintenance tunnel just before the security team went past. The tunnels were tight and they could only move slowly and carefully. The tunnels led to a catwalk, which brought them over a large chamber with several System agents mulling about.
From their position, everything was dark except for the room below. They moved in single file with Beatrix bringing up the rear.
The catwalk groaned. Someone had surreptitiously loosened a joint while they moved. Everyone else dashed forward, but Beatrix couldn’t make it before the catwalk gave way. Beatrix fell.
The clang of the falling catwalk alerted the guards. B was crumpled in a heap on top of the pile of metal. In a barely-audible whisper, Baker whispered “We have to move.” The team moved just before the second agent looked to where the catwalk had fallen from. He saw no one.
Flaxon Jackson/Beatrix Isolde is lost. She was a Freedom Fighter [Vanilla Town].
The tunnel continued for a while past a few rooms, eventually ending in a very cold, lightly-lit room. The System Databank.
“Jackpot,” said Baker. “Alright, this place seems empty. I’ll get to work on this bank,” Baker said, remembering as much as he could from Gh0st’s Hacking for Absolute Troxxing Morons In Case Their Lord and Savior Gh0st is Unreachable class, “You guys sort out the final mole.”
Indy – Indigo Murphy – Old Man Robocop
Creeper – Jimmy Witcher – Deception Master
snugs – Doctor Roombina – Vacuum Cleaner
Video – Taylor Vid – Hard-bitten Dataminer
Lindsay – Zenon Kar – Girl of the 21st Century
Mac – Crocubot – Crocodile Cyborg
Hap – H4PP – Vending Machine
Mello – Jack Freedom – Robot Assassin
Zecko – Samantha Zecko – Explosion-happy Mechanic
Owen – Crushinator – Rural Moon Robut
McNeal – Holstead Haliptrix – Highborn Punchmaster
Thoughts – Leah Lemma – Mech-obsessed Engineer
Flaxon – Beatrix Isolde – Well-dressed Spymaster
Qweef – Quentin Larson – Weird Biker Dude
TCRM – Konrad – Taoist Assassin
Smapti – SM4PT1 – World-class Hacker
Dr. Nick – Nick Valentine – Cop Turned Cyborg Private Eye
Ralph – R4LPH – Underground Wrestler
Jake – Jake Doe – Female Amnesiac
Sub – Subaru Sahara – Future Sexy Robot Murderer
3 1 System Agent (Mafia Goons)
1 System NeuroHacker (Mafia Roleblocker) 2 Freedom Fighters (Vanilla Townies)
1 Tragic Fan (One-sided lover Townie*)
1 Analyst (Cop)
1 MedTec (Doctor)
1 Chronologist (Jailkeeper)
1 Vindictive Killer (Serial Killer**, Immune to Investigation)
*Tragic Fan has one townie with whom they share a one-sided bond. If that person dies, they kill themselves.
**Vindictive Killer was hunting a specific player. Their mark was killed before they killed them, they have become a standard Serial Killer.
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