A View from the Edge

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ze_kraken, Jul 9, 2014.

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  1. The Edge The Edge. Not quite the wastes, not quite downtown Night City, but its own little hell nonetheless. The Edge was home to all the sorts of underground filth the rest of the city wanted to forget - the nomads, criminals, and grifters. Still worse than the Edge were the civilian designated 'combat zones' where a bullet made a fine meal and the worst of the worst settled into a constant firefight with rivals, scattered police forces, or private security teams for the occasional travelling corporate. It was hell, but it's where the jobs were, too. Not the white collar, desk-jocky type of jobs. These were the ones that were marked in hidden files. The ones that were morally questionable. The ones that the media would latch onto for weeks at a time. They were runs.

    Most sane denizens of the Edge went about their lives never once questioning the ever present temptation of a run. They worked their ever-changing day jobs at quiet stores, decrepit warehouses, and janitorial positions - the scraps of the work force. But there were always the oddballs. The sort of person that was out of their element without the throb of adrenaline and the feeling of a gun in their hands. These oddballs made up nearly the entirety of the corporate counter force. These oddballs also were the ones that hardly ever made it beyond thirty-five years, with the average lifespan of a runner capping out at fifteen years 'on the job.' That was even ignoring the countless unrelated gang shootings, cybernetic surgeries gone wrong, and assassins' bullets. Count all of that in, and all of the sudden a runner's prospect for life dropped down to a whole six years.

    Of course, that's what divided a runner from the rest of the work force. Sure there were the professional criminals, the 'progressive' ones who built empires under the heel of another, but in the eyes of a runner they weren't fulfilling life's purpose. They weren't risking it all for a few cents and a name with some weight around it in the corporate world. Then there were the desk jockies, the delivery boys, the high-and-might execs, and all other colors of bland, tasteless work. The Edge was defined by runner teams, and not a single one can pretend like that's not the case...

    The Sunken Ark The Sunken Ark was one of the few high-end clubs in the Edge. Fourteen years previous, it had been owned by one of the most ruthless crime lords before one company or another saw it could be turned into a paradise for the poor, an icon that meant class and influence. It was purchased not six months after its debut as a connection-only club, the Sunken Ark changed into the symbol it was - hope for the hopeless. Beyond a heaven for the richest of the poor, the Ark doubled as recruitment grounds for the types of jobs you didn't mention outside the Ark.

    Neomi Carrick sat nestled in a corner of the Ark, an e-cig dangling from her mouth, vapor trailing lightly from the glowing blue bulb at the end. Sprawled across the table was an unloaded revolver, shells standing in a line next to the unloaded chamber. Her eyes scanned through the crowded club, first left, then right, systematically looking for the contact. First touch had been nearly four hours ago, now it was a matter of waiting at the contact point. Technically, the contact was late by three minutes and twenty two seconds by Neomi's count.

    Her hand tugged at her holster, tightening it and loosening it over and over again. It was force of habit, something that wiled away the tedium of days like this one when a job had yet to be had, yet she was still 'on the job.' Every minute or so, her eyes would dart to the chrono she had placed on the table opposite her revolver. Her foot tapped impatiently at the floor. Then her fingers tapped in rhythm with her foot. Fifteen minutes. Twenty. Twenty-five.

    The sound of a chair scraping against the floor jolted Neomi from her trance. A man sat himself across from her, dressed in a faded jacket and torn jeans with his black hair slicked down to his head. Wrinkles creased his forehead, which jutted outward into a crooked nose beset by two dull brown eyes. His thin lips opened and closed several times in some preparation to speak.

    "You are Carrick?" He questioned, voice steadfast and strong, wholly unlike his appearance suggested.

    Neomi nodded, sliding the chrono from the table back to her wrist with a click. She didn't doubt this was the man; if every corporate out looking for a job went in suit and tie, the secrecy of the whole business would quickly become common knowledge instead of rumor and speculation.

    "I do apologize for my lateness." The man continued, taking a quick glance behind his shoulder. "There should be three others arriving within the hour, however, what they do is none of your job description."

    When no reply was forthcoming, he proceeded. "We have a particular executive inside the confines of the building that would not go...Unnoticed if he were to cease to have jurisdiction in the department he is currently employed for." He slid a data reader and drive over to her. "Information is in there. Everything that is public record and a hint more. When the others arrive, I will see to it that I fill you in on the rest."

    Cease to have jurisdiction in the department. Can't be straight, can they? "Will there be any monetary benefit to my involvement in this displacement?" Neomi countered, inwardly smiling at the look her contact returned.

    "I will see what I can do for you." He said, tugging uncomfortably at his jacket's collar.

    From there it was just a matter of waiting...And waiting...And more waiting. Neomi's foot began to tap.

    Vanlith had no intention of walking to the table. He'd been there, seen Neomi sit down, wait for hours on end for the contact to come. When he finally had arrived, he had seen - and heard - the conversation that took place. If he had to be completely honest with himself, he didn't give two shits if some exec needed another exec dead. The big fish ate the little fish and he kept in tempo with it all. No, the only thing that disturbed him was the gaijin that sat across the greasy man.

    She unsettled him. He'd read her profie after the exec greeted her. Six accounts of murder, not the kind one was hired for, the type that involved drawing on someone else just for the joy of it. She'd been a JoyGirl for three years as well, with three accounts of illegal prostitution on record. He'd also attempted to run a facial scan on the exec as he turned around, but either it was too little too fast or he simply wasn't registered in the systems. Probably option two. No, definitely option two.

    Of course, he needed the job. If he didn't land this one, he'd end up eating kibble and living in a coffin for the next three months while another opportunity waited to make it to his front doorstep. Grimacing, Vanlith unhooked himself from the Net and stood up, glancing left and right, hand resting on the butt of his two-shot 'lady's pistol.' It wasn't for the gaijin. It was for whoever else might decide to have a little fun.

    A hand placed itself on Vanlith's shoulder. Quelling the sudden jolt of terror, he turned and faced the hulking man behind him. Not man, he realized, android. The machine ran its pupils over his form, resting its gaze on his eyes after a moment.

    "You are Vanlith, Tobias." It blurbed out in an electronic monotone. "You are on the waiting list for the Militech job. You are to wait for the others to arrive before meeting with your assigned contact."

    #1 ze_kraken, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
  2. Edge was contacted a few days ago for this promising contract, there wasn't too much info that was given, like all contracts. The hunter eventually arrived at the meeting point, the Sunken Ark. It was a nice place, not at all what she was used to. Fuck. must be a high end client. The bounty hunter took a moment to breath before walking in the door and up to the bar, she felt out of place. Too many people, she hated it. Her hips swaying as she walked and sat down before ordering. "Bartender, I'll have a beer" She ordered across the room at the man who slid the beer down to her.

    Now the waiting begins. She hated waiting, it always killed the mood and made her agitated. One, two, three. She sipped on her beer as she looked around, marking all the exits and stuff mentally in case things went south.
  3. The Job

    It took another thirty minutes before the android assured that both the other contacts had arrived. There had been a third mentioned, though it seemed that their contact didn't seem to mind continuing without this third party. Of course, lateness was not to be accepted on a white-collar run, but given their previous security measures it seemed queer. Ignoring that there should have been six at the table instead of five, the contact cleared his throat, took a drink from a flask at his belt, and produced a data entry PAD from within his coat.

    "Quite quick and simple on this one." He said, flicking the PAD on with a tap of a button.

    The PAD's holoscreen extended from the tube-like end piece, showing a plain, unadorned chip and several lines of technical details and description. Vanlith's eyes widened as he glanced through the lines of script whereas Neomi's gaze remained fixed on the man. Unbeknownst to anyone at the table, she had placed the data chip into the MRAM reader at the base of her neck. It currently was streaming the corporate's profile and work position at the company they were going after.

    "This is a prototype AI operating system. Supposed to be the best in intuitive thinking and processing currently available, something of great benefit to the interests of Militech and its subdivisions for a new product line we plan to launch. If we could copyright this unit first, it would mean an assured success in profitability of the new product. At least, in the long-term view of affairs." He offered a fragile smile before pulling open a map of the southern quadrant of the city. "The research center is within the bounds of these three districts, however, there are at least four potential areas it could be in, each an 'empty' warehouse of some sorts or another. Once you have located the true research center, you must find and manage your own devices and resources to steal the prototype and meet for the trade off here by two week's time, understood?"

    Vanlith rose a hand and grunted out. "And you were able to find the specific region this warehouse was in down to three districts, and yet you can't tell us what warehouse it's in?"

    The contact paused, considering the question for a long moment. "I am truthfully unaware as to why we could not tell you. Our netters picked up on a rather cryptic message involving this region of the city and the involvement of the prototype, the warehouses seemed the best place to host such a project, I cannot tell you more than that." He glanced to the others at the table. "Oh, and both have you remained silent, speak now, this is the last chance you will get to ask questions without needing to regress to alternative, more cryptic means."

    Neomi, appearing as having snapped out of a trance shook her head. To her, this job, rather her part, was simplicity itself: get in, kill, get out. Granted, there was still the reliance on the others to capture the prototype, as she assumed there would be no pay without an AI, regardless of her part. She hated needing a team. Hated the feeling that fate wasn't hers. But that was the life. That was the job.

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