In the year 1986, crime in the United States is at an all-time high. Criminals, drugs, and guns flow in and out of the country from everywhere in the world, and the gateway to it all is the coastal paradise, Heat City. On the neon-soaked streets of this beating heart of scum and villany, you can get whatever you want -- if you can pay the price.You are Alexandra Schafer, Alex to your friends, formerly a mercenary and operator in the high-stakes world of private military contractors. In war zones across Europe and Africa, in dusty fields and high hills and bombed-out towns, you walked a killer's road for anyone who had the money and connections to hire your team. You got orders from the boss, you followed them, you got paid. It was simple. When that all went wrong, you had to leave everything behind. Ever since you're just an ordinary gun for hire in the mean streets of Heat City, USA.That lasted until a job went south and your employer tried to backstab you. It wasn't personal. Just blowback as part of an asshole kid's power play, which itself is just part of some big-picture scheme. But it got you good and mad all the same. Now your goal is to track down whoever's responsible, the man pulling the kid's strings and running things behind the scenes, and show him just what you think about that.For better or worse that's mostly involved playing minder to a great lump of muscle called Johnny Bones, an ordinary thug who happened to get wrapped up in the same situation as you. Ever since then he's been bulldozing his way through one problem after another, and in the process, he's got both of you tangled up in the conflict between two rival crime syndicates and escalating a tense standoff into all-out war. Meanwhile you just do your best to keep both of you from being killed. He always manages to get in over his head.
>>2970563Updates: http://twitter.com/ravenkingquestsPrevious Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Thug%20QuestDiscord: https://discord.gg/3HegtNU
>>2970563The inside of your car is lit up in glaring pink and dark shadows by the neon signs of the strip club across the street. You light a cigarette hoping it will steady your nerves, drum your fingers on the steering wheel as the smoke curls. Ever since the last big job where you cracked your head, you've been jittery, volatile, losing your cool when you need it most. You're going to need to keep your shit together if you want to stay alive."Hey, give me a smoke, will you?" Speaking of volatile, your companion in the passenger seat is, to put it generously, unpredictable. But she offered to help, and you weren't in a position to say no, although sometimes you wish you had anyway. You sigh as you take out another cigarette and hand it to Roxie. "Thanks. So what're we doing here?"You say, "We've already been over this."She shrugs. "I wasn't listening."You roll your eyes. "Just follow my lead, okay?" You get out of the car, into the warm air and foul-smelling breeze of a Heat City night in a bad neighborhood. Roxie follows you as you cross the street towards the strip club. Pulsing bass thumps of dance music come from inside, the smell of sweat and cigarette smoke.Inside your light jacket, you're strapped up with:(Choose 2)>Pistol>Shotgun, sawn-off>Machete>Stun grenade>Frag grenadeWhen you reach the front door, a pair of burly bouncers flank it, one on each side. They glower suspiciously at you, looking down from their impressive height.>Ignore them and walk right in.>Bribe them.>Pretend to be here about a job.>Say you have business with their boss.>Kick their asses.>Write-in.
>>2970601>>Pistol>Shotgun, sawn-off>Ignore them and walk right in.Act like we belong here and if they try and stop us, then we kick their asses.
>>2970601>Shotgun, sawn-off>Stun grenade>Ignore them and walk right in.
>>2970601>Pistol>Stun grenade>Ignore them and walk right in.
>>2970601>>Shotgun, sawn-offslugs>Ignore them and walk right in.
>>2970601>Pistol>Stun grenade>Ignore them and walk right in.If they ain't stopping us why give them a reason
>>2970601>Pistol>Stun grenade>Ignore them and walk right in.You guys wanna walk into a strip club with a shotgun? Let's be civil about this mkay, at least nobody took the frag. machete plz
>>2970601>>Shotgun, sawn-off>>Machete>>Ignore them and walk right in.
>>2970601>>2970605>>2970606>>2970607>>2970609>>2970627You walk right past the bouncers, acting like you belong here. A professional might notice the shapes in your jacket left by your pistol, tucked away in a shoulder holster, or the stun grenade in your inside pocket on the other side. But they just stare hungrily at your ass as you walk past, You don't give them the satisfaction of reacting, but Roxie flips them the bird as she walks past. Inside the pulse of the music is far louder. You look around, seeing a low-rate strip club, dirty mirror behind the bar, tired-looking strippers moving in desultory dances onstage. A dozen or so customers are scattered around in addition to the group of obvious gangsters in bad suits lounging at the bar, with a girl serving them vodka.Looking at the gangsters, you see the biggest guy in the fanciest-looking suit make a joke, and everyone laughs. The man in charge. This must be Petrov, owner of the club, local midboss. According to a man you left bloodied in an alley in Snake River, this guy can tell you where in the hills outside of town you'll find Ivan's mansion. >Walk right up to him, say you're here about the bodyguard job. >Walk right up to him, say you're here about working as a girl in the club.>Walk right up to him and kick his ass.>Take a seat, watch the girls, and get a read on the situation.>Head to the bathroom in back.>Write-inAlso:>Tell Roxie to follow you>Tell Roxie to do something else (say what)
>>2970737>Walk right up to him and kick his ass.>Tell Roxie to follow you
>>2970737>>Walk right up to him and kick his ass.>Tell Roxie to follow you
>>2970737>Walk right up to him, say you're here about the bodyguard job.>Tell Roxie to follow you
>>2970737>Walk right up to him and kick his ass.>Tell Roxie to follow youBitch please, if the only thing you cats did was came out to play, stay out my way, motherfucker!
>>2970737>>2970745>>2970761>>2970776>>2970810"Follow me," you say to Roxie, and head straight towards the gangsters.She falls into step just behind your shoulder. "We're just walking right up to him?""Yup.""Are we going to kick his ass?" she asks eagerly."Yup."Roxie grins eagerly. "I knew this was a good idea, working with you." She flexes her fingers, then pulls her gloves tight.Before you reach Petrov, he roars at one of the strippers. "Hey, Tiffany! Get over here!" One of the strippers trots over in her heels with a frightened look. You hang back a moment, not wanting to get her mixed up in this. "What the hell are you doing up there?" Petrov berates her. "You call that dancing? You think you're going to earn money like this?""Mister Petrov, please," she says with a thick eastern European accent. "I am sorry, my kid is in the hospital and I -- anh!" Petrov cuffs her hard, and she stumbles back clutching her cheek and staring at him in shock."Shut up!" he says. "Did I ask you to talk?" He points at her with a meaty finger. "Come to my office after your shift. If you want to keep working here, you'll have to be very convincing, if you know what I mean. Understand?""Y-yes, I understand.""Good! Now get back to work!" Petrov takes a swig of vodka, then notices you and Roxie. "Eh? You want something, bitches? You got nice titties, maybe you want a job, eh?" He makes a groping motion and laughs, and his thugs laugh with him."I was going to do this anyway," you tell him. "But you just made it a lot more enjoyable.">Roll! 1d10, first three rolls count.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>2970818
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>2970818FUCKING ONES REEEEEEEEEEEE
>>2970821>>2970823rip alex you were a good girl
>>2970842Third roll is companions or the overall outcome, right? I forget the exact layout.But we'll be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.
>>2970818>>2970858I'll make sure of it, watch this
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>2970903>>2970858>>2970818I-I said watch this
>>2970910Nice wasted 9 dude
>>2970910aw fuck first three, my bad, well now i know why it stopped me
>>2970818>>2970821>>2970823>>2970827In a swift motion you reach past Petrov to grab the bottle of vodka on the bar, then swing it at his head. But he's fast for his size, and however much he's drunk it hasn't dulled his reactions. His meaty hand clamps around your wrist, blocking your swing. You struggle, but he's terribly strong. He rises up from his seat, forcing your arm back behind your shoulder with a painful wrench. "Hah? What's this? Did I mess up your boyfriend or something? Trying to take revenge?" You go to reach inside your jacket your other hand, trying to grab a weapon, but one of his goons grabs hold of that arm too.Roxie has three guns pointed at her before she can do anything. She raises her hands in surrender, scowling. Petrov presses himself uncomfortably close, looming over you, his breath stinking of alcohol. "Stupid game, little girl! So you win a stupid prize!" He strikes you across the face with his ringed hand once, twice, three times, then with your face stinging and ears ringing, tosses you at his goons. They roughly search you, finding and confiscating the pistol -- but not the stun grenade. "Take her to the back! I tell the boss about her, then I use her for fun. Maybe I let you boys have whatever's left." He laughs again, and after wiping off his bloody fingers with a bar napkin, you see him pick up the phone behind the bar and begin to dial. Then his goons roughhandle you away, taking you towards the back hallway. Roxie follows, still at gunpoint.(Continued)
>>2970953In the back hall, before you reach whatever squalid hole they were planning on keeping you in, you manage to wrestle one hand free long enough to get the stun grenade out of your pocket, pull the pin, and toss it a few feet away. It goes off with a deafening bang, knocking you mostly senseless, but you were looking away instead of right at it, so you recover a couple seconds earlier than the gangsters, and that makes enough of a difference. You kick one in the nuts with your heavy boot, a second in the stomach, and the third you wrestle away their pistol and slam him in the nose. Roxie is grappling with two of them, slammed up against the wall, but you attack them from behind, and between them two of you flanking them on either side you make short work of them."Not a great start," you admit with a grimace, rubbing your stinging cheeks, your fingers coming away with blood. "Sorry about that.""It happens," Roxie says. She kneels over the least dazed of the gangsters and slams the back of his head against the ground, knocking him out cold. She does it a couple more times for good measure, leaving a wet slick of blood on the ground. "Sometimes guys are fast when you would never expect to be. What can you do?"Be careful, you want to say. Scope out your target ahead of time. Have a plan for everything. That's how you would have done it before. But you're out of patience for that stuff. Maybe it's spending all that time with Johnny and this crazy bitch right here, or maybe it's the lingering effects of the head injury. Or maybe you're just sick and tired of waiting for revenge."What now?" Roxie asks."They probably heard that go off," you say. Over the music you can hear the gangsters out in the club shouting questions in Russian. "They'll be coming back here in a few seconds.">Wait in hiding with something heavy to hit them with.>Go out there and blast them.>Set fire to the place.>Write-in.
>>2970969>>Set fire to the place.Arson is a good plan.
>>2970969>Wait in hiding with something heavy to hit them with.
>>2970969https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQ5VDcRukQ&list=PL_gPJRnQu23hijaamcZ3g_Ho72nJd9jTK&index=8>Go out there and blast them.
>>2970969>Set fire to the place.
>>2970994but what about the strippers, they didn't ask for this>>2970969>Set fire to the place.Let's smoke'em out, and try not to get smoked ourselves
>>2970969>>2970979>>2971038>>2971044"I think we should cause a little distraction," you say.Heading away from the main club, you look around until you find the supply closets, gather up as many cleaning products and other flammable materials as you can find, and put them together. Soaking a rag in oil, you stuff it into the neck of one of the containers. Taking out your cigarette lighter, you tell Roxie to be ready to run, then light the flame and gingerly hold it out towards the rag.The fire takes hold, and you immediately sprint away, Roxie just ahead of you as both of you high-tail it out of there. The explosion goes off with a startling bang behind you, followed shortly by the insistent clamor of the fire alarm.You can hear girls screaming, men shouting. A nearby door bangs open, leading to the dressing room, and girls in various states of dress and undress flee in panic towards the emergency exit in back. A heavyset man follows them, shouting in Russian. He pulls a knife, threatening the girls, but Roxie walks up behind him, kicks him in the back of the leg to knock him off balance, then shoves his face into the wall, leaving a bloody impact crater. The girls stream around them as they run. Roxie picks up the knife for herself."If Johnny were here," Roxie says. "He'd be making some kind of really stupid fire joke. Like, "It's getting hot in here, in more ways than one! Hah hah!"" She imitates Johnny's deep voice and laughter."Yeah, he would," you say. You're trying not think about him, but when you do, you have to admit you miss having the big galoot around. Haven't talked to him since that big argument. But you've got more important things to be worrying about right now. "Let's stay focused.">Ambush the gangsters as they investigate the fire.>Circle around them and go back to the club. Petrov will still be there, minus a few of his men.>Check outside. Petrov may be escaping.>Write-in.
>>2971138>Circle around them and go back to the club. Petrov will still be there, minus a few of his men.>He's most likely going to use the back exit anywaya
>>2971138>>Circle around them and go back to the club. Petrov will still be there, minus a few of his men.
>>2971138>>Circle around them and go back to the club. Petrov will still be there, minus a few of his men
>>2971138>>2971146>>2971152>>2971163>>2971169"This way," you say to Roxie, and the two of you make your way down a narrow corridor, away from the flames and the fleeing strippers. Over the clamor and mayhem you can hear a group of men arriving at the fire and triggering fire extinguishers, but you manage to evade all of them by taking a side route back to the main room of the strip club. As you reach the door, you take a moment to check over the gun in your hand, the Makarov you took from that thug earlier, and make sure it's loaded properly. Then you head in, once again hearing the pulsing thud of the music now mixed in with the fire alarm.Petrov is here, moving towards the main exit in a huff, being escorted by the remaining members of his little gang. One of them sees you entering and shouts an alarm. Petrov shoves his men towards you, calling on them to defend him. You throw yourself down behind a booth seat right before they open fire, bullets slamming into the stained carpet next to you. Roxie squeezes up beside you, looking at you with a wild grin on her face. "This is fun, right?"You risk a quick glimpse around the side and see that, while his men defend him, the boss is hoofing it towards the door. You've got a shot right at this moment, and if you don't take it he'll get away, or at least make it to his car. On the other hand, he's not the one shooting at you right now.>Shoot Petrov.>Shoot his men.
>>2971222>>Shoot Petrov.We can always take the mooks down after.
>>2971222>Shoot Petrov.>>2971241yeah but he's not our only problem, we also have to worry about not getting shot by the mooks
>>2971222>>2971238>>2971241>>2971246>>2971281>>2971283You lean out from behind the booth, take aim, and squeeze off a few shots in Petrov's direction. A couple of them catch him in the legs, and he tumbles over, shouting in pain. He tries to stand up, groaning, but his legs won't support him.A tall guy with a beard, maybe the second in command, takes over and gives orders. Two of the minions break off the attack to help Petrov. He's a big guy, so they only get him halfway up and are forced to slowly half-carry, half-drag him towards the front door, while the others go on the offensive to cover the retreat, moving forward as they fire with their pistols. Near misses get nearer. The second has retrieved a pump-action shotgun from behind a bar, and the first shell shreds most of what was left of the booth covering you. Between you and Roxie you've only got half a pistol magazine and a knife. You could retreat back into the hallway you came from, but things are getting hot back there.>Stand your ground and have it out.>Fall back, ambush them as they follow.>Retreat, find another way outside.>Write-in.
>>2971296>Stand your ground and have it out.We can't nail Petrov if we bugger off.
>>2971296>Fall back, ambush them as they follow.We're gonna get in their heads
>>2971296>>Fall back, ambush them as they follow.Mobility is key
>>2971296>Fall back, ambush them as they follow.
>>2971296>>2971311>>2971335>>2971361"Fall back!" you shout to Roxie, grabbing her by the wrist and hauling her up to her feet. Together you run for the hallway exit you just came from, bullets whizzing by. You turn the corner acting like you're going to keep running, but instead, once out of sight you pull Roxie to a halt and quickly indicate that you'll ambush them as they come through the door. She nods, eager with anticipation, and gets her knife ready, while you point the Makarov at the door.The gangsters rush forward in pursuit. Hopefully they think you're running for it, and aren't expecting you to be just around the corner. You judge their approach by their sound and shadows, and just as you judge they'll appear, you fire.>Roll! 1d10, first three count.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>2971386
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>2971386
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>2971386I practiced for this one
>>2971400You did indeed practise to get that 1.
>>2971386>>2971386>>2971393>>2971399You anticipate the gangsters' movement perfectly. At the exact instant they rush through the doorway, you pull the trigger. Two of them aligned in just the right way for you to drill both of them with a single bullet, and two more go down with a single headshot each. Three bullets, four kills. Not bad efficiency, you think to yourself. Not bad at all.That leaves two for Roxie. She knocks one down with a kick, then drives her knife at the second, but he's a skilled combatant and manages to not only block the attack, but disarm her of the knife. The guy on the ground grabs onto her, holding her in place, and as she twists around to try and free herself, the second man plunges the knife into her back. Just a second too late, you turn around and blast him, two shots to the torso and one to the head. Though wounded, Roxie has enough strength left to shake off the guy holding onto her and beat him senseless."You all right?" you ask Roxie. You grimace as you look at the knife sticking out of her back. Better to leave it in there, stopping the blood flow, until she can find somewhere safe and get patched up.She waves you off. "Don't worry about me, I just -- need a moment here." She breathes heavily, concentrating on keeping back the pain, then grins at you. "Seriously, I'm fine. Go after that guy." You run through the now-deserted strip club. Everyone has either run off or had their shit kicked. Through the first hallway you went through, you can see the red of rising flames further inside.Out the front door and onto the street. Nearby you can see the two gangsters loading Petrov into a car. They spot you at the same time. One of them steps away and raises a pistol at you, firing in your direction, while the other finishes getting his boss in the car, then hurries around to the driver's seat.>Shoot the gunman.>Shoot the driver.>Run for your own car.
>>2971495>Run for your own car.
>>2971495>>Run for your own car.
>>2971495>Run for your own car.So I just got here, what the ever loving fuck is with all these god damn 1s.
>>2971495>Run for your own car.But with the intent to shoot later.>>2971578We practiced.
>>2971495>>2971528>>2971534>>2971537>>2971578You fire back at the guy shooting at you a couple times, just to make him keep his head down, then sprint across the street to your own car. You vault the hood, sliding across to the other side to place the car between you and the gunman as you open the passenger door. Throwing yourself across into the driver's seat, you jam the key in the ignition and get the car going. The gangsters' car is already started, and as the gunman gets into the passenger seat, the tires screech and the engine roars, and they race off down the street. You press down hard on the accelerator, and your own care jumps to life as you speed after them, only a few seconds behind. In your rear-view mirror you can see fire engines arriving at the strip club, along with police. You follow hot on the gangsters' tail as they weave through the neon-lit streets.>Run them off the road.>Grab the spare pistol from your glove box, fire out the window.>Guess where they're going, take another route and cut them off.>Write-in.
>>2971602>>Grab the spare pistol from your glove box, fire out the window.
>>2971602>Grab the spare pistol from your glove box, fire out the window.
>>2971602>Grab the spare pistol from your glove box, fire out the window.This, while also trying to run them off the road/give them a very bad accident.
>>2971602>>2971606>>2971609>>2971616>Grab the spare pistol from your glove box, fire out the window.As you unroll the window, a rushing wind fills the car. Holding tight onto the wheel with your left hand, you lean over to the glove box and get out your spare P226. Switching the wheel to your right hand and the gun to your left, you lean out the window and begin firing at the fleeing car ahead of you, aiming for the tires.>Roll! 1d10, first three rolls count.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>2971677
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>2971677
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>2971677
>>2971682>>2971693>>2971698Much fucking better.
>>2971677>>2971682>>2971693>>2971698Calm and precise as though you were shooting targets on the range, you put two bullets each into both of the rear tires. The enemy car wavers, swerves, spins wildly out of control, and smashes sideways into a lampost, showering broken glass onto the concrete.You speed up to the crash site and, turning the wheel and yanking on the handbrake, pull up sideways adjacent to their car. You fire out of your car and into theirs, putting two into the driver's head, and two into the passenger's, splattering blood over the seats and windows.You see the rear door on the other side opening, hear a thump and a groan of pain. You get out of your car and, walking around to the other side, see a wounded Petrov attempting to shamble away on his wounded legs, leaving a trail of blood. You put a bullet into his hand, the one he grabbed you with, and he collapses, groaning in pain and anger. Walking up to him, you kick him in the side to turn him over onto his back, then plant a boot on his chest and force him to the ground.You take a moment to catch your breath and listen. Sirens, but not too close. There's still time to ask your questions. "Okay, chief. We still got a few minutes before the cops, or any more of your friends show up. That means right now it's just you and me. We can do this the easy way or the hard way, your call. I don't mind either way. Here's what I want to know.">Where you can find Ivan. Cut off the head of the snake, and the body dies.>Something the Bratva depends on that is vulnerable to you. There's still work to be done.>What their arrangement is with Black Spear, the corrupt police group.>Who's pulling the boss's strings. Who's really in charge.>Write-in.
>>2971722>What their arrangement is with Black Spear, the corrupt police group.
>>2971722>What their arrangement is with Black Spear, the corrupt police group.watch*
>>2971722>Where you can find Ivan. Cut off the head of the snake, and the body dies.
>>2971722>>2971725>>2971731>>2971736>>2971759Petrov looks around, trying to search for some method of escape. Nothing. He looks up at you in fear. "I-if I tell you what you want to know, will you let me live?""I don't know. But it's your best chance."He gulps."The dirty cops," you say. "Black Spear. You guys have some kind of deal worked out with them, right? What is it? Do they work for you?""Them? Those fuckers? You chase me out here to ask me about them?" He laughs in bewilderment. "My boss, he, he gets jobs. The cops, they get jobs from the same people. So sometimes, we work same job. Different sides. We do muscle, they help clean evidence.""Who? Who gives them the jobs?""I don't know -- no, really!" he pleads as you lower to gun to point at him. "They don't tell me anything! I'm just a club manager, all I do is run the girls and hand the boss's cut up the ladder!"You know he's lying about that part, but it's possible that the identity of this mystery employer is beyond his pay grade. You take a moment to listen for the sirens again. They're close, but you still have time for one last question. "Okay, now here's the big one. Your boss. Ivan. I know he lives in a mansion in Dunhill. Which one? What's the address?"He starts to protest, and you take aim with the gun. He screws up his eyes in terror. "Oh, man -- you can't do this! He will kill me!" You fire a bullet into the concrete near his head. "Ahhh! Fuck! Fuck! Okay!"Petrov caves, and names a street and a number which you file away in your memory. You consider whether to spare his life. He did give up the info. On the other hand, your skin still crawls when you think about him holding onto your wrist. Fuck him. You put a bullet in his head, and walk away, leaving him behind with a red hole in his forehead and a shocked look on his face.You get back in your car, wipe the blood off your hands and face, and drive away, seconds before the police arrive. You roll up your window, then merge with traffic, looking for all the world like an ordinary person out for a late-night drive. Circling around to check the nearby alleys, you manage to find Roxie before the cops do. She gets into the backseat and lies down on her stomach, partly to shield herself from view, and partly because she still has the goddamn knife in her back. "Hey," she says with ragged breath, and grins. "Thanks for coming back."You look over your shoulder at the back seat, and the bedraggled hobo back there who, for whatever reason, had your back tonight. Despite yourself, you feel a smile on your face. "No problem," you say, turning back, and you drive out into the traffic of a warm Heat City night, joining the endless flow of lights through the streets.
>>2971822Roxie's injury is painful but not life-threatening. No need to call in one of your favors at the hospital for this one. A light stab wound is old hat for you at this point.Since her living quarters aren't exactly what you'd call sanitary, you take her back to your apartment to get her stitched up. It's not the cleanest place in the world, but it's better than the hovel she's squatting in. While you rummage in a closet for the first aid box, Roxie sits on your couch, looking around with interest. She puts her feet up on the ammo crate that serves as a coffee table. "This is you, huh?" She helps herself to a cigarette from the open pack nearby."Go ahead and make fun of it," you say. "I know you probably expected it to be perfectly spotless and organized.""I'd be making fun of you if it was," Roxie says. "This looks pretty normal to me. Guess you're a human being after all." Your terrier mutt Duke jumps up onto her lap to introduce himself, and she laughs. "Woah! Hey, little guy!" She ruffles his hair. "Whosa good doggy?""That's Duke," you say, sitting down on the couch next to them."You like dogs?" Roxie asks, holding up his front paws and giving them a wiggle."Gotta have someone reliable in my life," you say, opening up the first aid and getting out the stitching gear. "I dunno, the big guy's reliable, isn't he? I don't know about those other ones, but you can count on Johnny, I think."You snort. "Yeah, right." Trying to cover up your tumultuous feelings for the man, you keep going. "He was there with me right at the start of this, but ever since this all started but he's totally lost track of what he's doing. We've been running around for weeks playing Catherine's games instead of hitting the guys who hit us. I thought it was a bad idea to work for her in the first place, but I went along with it. Look where that got us. With the Triads out of the way, Ivan's the big man now. He'll rule the whole city soon. If we wait any longer, he'll be impossible to get to. All because Johnny was enraptured by that -- that floozy in a fancy dress."Roxie looks at you suspiciously. "Wait. Are you jealous of Cat?" Her eyes widen in shock and amusement. "Oh my god, you are!""You'd better stop right there," you say coldly.Roxie is laughing. "That explains a lot! You think Johnny is gonna shack up with Cat, they'll be the power couple, and poor little Alex will be left on the outside, all alone again--""You fucking bitch!" Part of you intellectually recognizes that she's baiting you. This would be the sort of thing you could easily ignore before. But whatever part of you keeps your cool is still broken after that accident. The rage fills you like red heat, and without realizing what you're doing you take a swing at Roxie. She blocks, barely, and laughs, and that just makes you more mad so you swing with the other fist and that one connects.(Continued)
>>2972979Duke yelps and runs away as the two of you get into it, grappling and slamming each other into the walls, breaking furniture. You fight furiously, but Roxie is taller and stronger, and has more experience in hand-to-hand. The fight finally ends with her wrestling you down onto the ground and pinning both your wrists above your head. You struggle, but can't do anything from this position. She grins, panting as she tries to catch her breath. "I thought you invited me here to stitch up this knife hole. You want to fight me or fix me? Pick one."Letting out a deep sigh, you force your muscles to relax and let the anger ebb away. "Okay. I'm done. I'm sorry."Roxie helps you back up to your feet. "It's okay, partner. These things happen."Partner. Huh.Later, as Roxie has her shirt off exposing her tattoos and skinny ribs, and you work on her knife wound with a needle and thread, with an old western movie on the TV nearby, you ask her:>Why are you helping me?>What do you think about this whole situation?>What do you think we should do next?>How did you get mixed up in this in the first place?>Have you talked to Johnny lately?>Do you know what the others are up to?>Write-in.
>>2972990>How did you get mixed up in this in the first place?
>>2972990>All the optionsfuck me up with this girls night out dump.
>>2973011Actually, this, yes. I do want to hear the answers to all of these.(Sorry, Raven.)
>>2972990>>2973011Supporting, I mean, come on. We have time for a few questions, don't cock block us.
>>2972990>>2973006>>2973011>>2973014>>2973027"So how did you get mixed up in all this?" you ask her. "Johnny said you guys met in that weird Triad drug testing dungeon, helped each other out to escape. But how'd you end up in there in the first place?""Took too much Z one night, had a bad trip, passed out. Woke up in there. It was mostly hobos and low-lifes, people who wouldn't be missed. The Triads knew about me and my situation since I was a good customer, so I guess they knew I didn't have anyone watching out for me either." She looks down at her hands. "I can't remember much about back then. They were keeping me pretty drugged up. But I know they said something about how I was strong. How I was a fighter. Maybe they wanted strong people for their tests. I dunno why." She shrugs. "After we got out, well, I didn't have anything else going on, and I liked working with Johnny. He seemed like a straight shooter even if he is a bit of a goof. So I dropped by to see if he had any work. Ended up rolling with you guys. And now here I am.""Here you are," you agree. The silence hangs in the air for a few seconds before you say, "I almost hate to ask, but -- why here? Why are you helping me?" You laugh awkwardly. "I mean, you don't even like me.""Ahh, that's not true. I make fun of you, yeah, and we got different ideas about how to do stuff. But I like you. You're smart, level-headed, straight forward. I respect that. Plus you got dem nice big titties," she says, imitating Petrov's voice from earlier that night, and reaches back to grab a handful of your breasts and honk like she's playing a carnival game.You swat her hand away, trying to force a scowl over your smile. "Let's not make this any more awkward than it already is.""Hey, you're the one who brought me back to your apartment and had me take my shirt off!""That wasn't what I had in mind," you say wryly. (Continued)
>>2973113You get out the scissors and snip the thread. "All done." "Right on." Roxie pulls her t-shirt back on. "I better head back to my squat, get my beauty rest." She probably means she needs her next fix of Z, but you let that slide. "I'll give you a call in the next couple days, see what else you've got going on. Thanks for patching me up.""Thanks for your help out there," you say. You had more questions for her, but you don't want to hold her up. There is one thing, though, that's been weighing on your mind. "Hey, before you go. Have you talked to Johnny lately? Do you know what he's doing?"Roxie shakes her head. "Haven't seen him for a bit. Last I talked to him, he was still moping about everyone splitting up, trying to figure out what he was gonna do. I feel bad for him, really. The crew was like a weird little family, and he was the gruff but loveable dad. Not sure what he's gonna do without it.""I'm sure he'll figure out something," you say, trying to believe it. "Good night, Roxie.""Later, pal." With a wave, she walks off towards the stairway. You lock the door, head back to the couch, and sit there with the noise of the western movie in the background. The TV's flickering light plays over the living room.You stare at the phone, thinking not for the time about calling you-know-who. You hate to appear weak enough to come crawling to him for help. But things almost went sideways at the club tonight, and that was just some scumbag midranker and his goons. Taking on Ivan himself with just Roxie for backup might actually be too much to handle.That and you miss him. You hate to admit it. But it's true.>Call Johnny.>Stop by the warehouse he was staying in.>Leave it be.
>>2973123>>Call Johnny.Just want to see how he's doing, that's all.
>>2973133You uh, ok there buddy? Need to call an ambulance or something?
>>2973123>>2973126>>2973137You pick up the phone and, taking a deep breath, start dialing in Johnny's number. This doesn't have to be weird, or a big deal. You're just calling to see how he's doing.Right?Right.The phone rings several times. You wait with something like trepidation for him to pick up. But he doesn't. Eventually the answering machine activates, and you hear his recorded voice. "Hey, it's me. Leave a message or, uh, don't."The strident tone of the answering machine sounds, indicating your turn to speak. You compose yourself and try to think of what you're going to say."Hi," you start out with. "It's me. Just, um. Calling to see how you're doing. That's all. Things are fine on my end. The crazy one decided to help me out, for some reason, so I've got backup. We were out introducing ourselves to some friends tonight.">It went great. Didn't need you at all.>It turned nasty. Wish you had been there.>*Don't elaborate, move on*>Write-in
>>2973202>>It went great. Didn't need you at all.
>>2973202>It turned nasty. Wish you had been there, call me when you get this.Let's not pussyfoot around alright guys
>>2973202>It went great. Didn't need you at all. Totally. I'm not just saying that. Having a human tank wouldn't have helped in that fight. Not at all.
>>2973202>>2973218>>2973238>>2973258>>2973270"It went great," you say, thinking back to being grabbed by huge sweaty men, setting fire to a strip club, Roxie being stabbed, almost having your face blasted off by a shotgun, another car chase and gunfight in the streets. "Totally fine. Roxie had my back, if you can believe it. So between the two of us, we pulled it off without a hitch. We couldn't have used a human tank at all! Totally unnecessary, hah hah --" You sigh. "Okay, that's bullshit. It didn't go great. We pulled through okay, got what we needed, but -- well, things are easier when you have a big idiot to charge in and distract the other guys, you know?"Anyway. I guess we haven't talked since, you know, the crew split up. For my part, I'm sorry about how that happened.">But I'm doing what I need to do.>I know that group meant something to you.>Never mind.
>>2973315>>I know that group meant something to you.>But I'm doing what I need to do.>... I wish you were here, you big lug.
>>2973315>But I'm doing what I need to do.
>>2973315>>2973342>>2973370>>2973374"But I'm doing what I need to do. I have to do this for me. I hope you understand that. Even so, I know that group meant something to you. So I'm sorry."You feel a wistful smile on your face. "Tell the truth, I wish you were here, tough guy. You make some things harder, but more things easier. Does that make sense? I don't know. I'm tired." You look at the clock and realize that it's 4 AM. Of course he wouldn't pick up at this hour. Stupid. Lost track of time after working at night for so long. Well, nothing for it now but to finish the message."Last I heard you were still figuring out what to do with yourself. If you want to get back to the original job with me, where we started this. You know where to find me."You look down at the phone receiver in your hand. How should you end this?>I miss you.>Good luck out there.>*Hang up*>Write-in.
>>2973391>I miss you.Keep it simple.
>>2973424>I miss you.yeah we should hang up now, it's a long message
>>2973391>I miss you.Simple yet heartfelt.
>>2973391>>2973424>>2973448>>2973452You say, "I miss you," right as the tone sounds, telling you that your message has hit the time limit. You don't know if that last part made it in there or not. Exhausted after another night of fighting, you walk to your bedroom in back and pull off half your clothes before collapsing on the bed and falling instantly asleep.The next morning, the sun is high overhead and shining brightly through the open shutters when you wake up. The phone is ringing.Still half-asleep, you drag yourself out of bed, walk down the hallway while yawning, and pick up, wondering who's on the other end of the line. "Hello?" A familiar sweet and musical voice. "Good morning, Alex. It's Catherine. Could we speak a minute, perhaps?" She sounds unusually hesitant, but you're still on your guard immediately. You aren't happy to hear from her. But. Might as well hear her out. "What do you want?""It's about, ah, our large mutual friend. You know the one. I don't suppose you've heard from him recently?" She's trying to sound calm and collected as usual, but you can tell she's worried."No," you admit, wondering what the problem is. "I haven't. Last I heard he was still moping. Or are you saying you've convinced him to take your side?""I haven't heard from him either," Catherine says. "Neither has my brother. The twins tell me he hasn't been back to his hideout for several days. I've asked our computer-savvy friend to look into it, but he says it will take some time to investigate. I -- I'm sure it's nothing. I just thought -- well, you know. I do worry about that man. Someday he will find himself in a situation too much even for him."There's no way something could've happened to the big guy, right? If anyone can take care of themselves against anything the world can throw at him, it would be that man. He doesn't need your help. Never did, really. Don't know why you ever thought he did.Still, you feel a twinge of doubt. "I'm sure he's fine," you say, suddenly less sure about that than you'd like. "He's probably just taking some time to lay low, make sure the heat has blown off. The way you wanted him to.""A possibility," Catherine says. "I do wish he'd told me, if that were the case. You may be right. Still, there was some news footage that had me worried. A fight on an elevated train. It had our friend's certain panache about it, if you understand me."(Continued)
>>2973479You feel like you should say something reassuring. "Look, um. I'll keep my eyes open. If I see or hear anything about where he is, what he's doing. I'll let you know. Okay?""Yes, I would appreciate it." A short pause. "I do trust that you're well, Alex? This may be a fanciful idea, but perhaps we can see each other again someday, whether for work or otherwise. I always have jobs for a woman of your skills. And I hoped -- well. Despite everything, I had hoped that we might become friends." She laughs, maybe at herself. "Perhaps that was foolish of me, for any number of reasons.">We are friends.>Maybe I'll take you up on that job offer, when this is over.>Goodbye, Catherine. I'll tell you if I hear about Johnny.>*Hang up*>Write-in
>>2973489>Goodbye, Catherine. I'll tell you if I hear about Johnny.
>>2973489>>2973539"Goodbye, Catherine. I'll tell you if I hear about Johnny.""Thank you. Goodbye, Alex." You hear a resigned sadness in her voice as she hangs up.You head to the bathroom sink, splash some water on your face, then look at yourself in the mirror. There's some bruising from last night's escapades, a few more nicks and cuts. Otherwise, the same face stares back as always. You look yourself in the eyes, wondering what that girl is thinking in there.Your father used to tell you that you had kind eyes, too kind to be a soldier. That's why you wear sunglasses, out there. You have to look the part. Scary. Intimidating. Keep people at arm's length. Otherwise--Otherwise they might get hurt, and then where will you be?You realize you're gripping the sink, hard, and force yourself to let go.Okay. Time to plan your next move. No rest for the wicked. You pull on some pants and socks, make yourself a strong pot of coffee, then sit down with a pad of paper at the small kitchen table.You've got Ivan's address now. Wouldn't be too hard to get a map of the local area, maybe a house plan. You could take Roxie, load up on some big guns, and handle this yourself. Go in stealthy, or guns blazing, just the two of you. A small, well-geared team working in sync like that can be a powerful weapon, maybe powerful enough to do the job.On the other hand, you have contacts you haven't used yet. Contacts from another life, that you haven't used for years. But this might be the time to do it. Getting another two or three guys, one on comms and intel and the others in the field at your side, could help. That said, it might be better to stick with the woman you've already been working with, and have learned how to gel with despite your differences. And digging into the wreckage of your old life? Maybe that's something you don't need to be dealing with right now.Of course -- there's also the other situation. Johnny hasn't been seen by his acquaintances for several days. And Catherine had a point when she said that, eventually, he'll get in over his head. You've had the same thought yourself, many times. That it will all catch up to him, and he won't be ready. That he'll prove he isn't invincible the hard way. But it's only been a few days, and there's plenty of things he could be doing. He's not required to check in with his minders, and you don't want to be running around after him, do you? You're not his maid, or his governess. He can take care of himself.So what are you going to do?>Take Roxie, get some big guns, and attack Ivan's mansion.>Call up some old friends and get their help.>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.>Write-in.
>>2973593Leaving this one open for tonight. I'll call it tomorrow morning, then once I've taken some time to ponder whatever course has been decided, it will begin.
>>2973593>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.no more fuckups, this mess happened because everyone split up
>>2973593>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.
>>2973593>>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.
>>2973593>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.They'll probably think the same as the dude we hit, that it was just a jilted woman or victim getting revenge. No strong female role models in the 80s!
>>2973539> MFW one vote torpedoes Girls reconcilingAlexfags are the worst.
>>2973593>Call up some old friends and get their helpWonder who it is. CIA, SIS, that one Detective guy? Lot of possibilities really.
>>2973593>Call up some old friends and get their help.I'm interested in finding out about who Alex's friends are. I'm less interested in making Alex's every thought and action about Johnny.>>2973539Anon, why did you do this?>>2973740As an Alexfag, I'd like to divest that vote of the Alexfag cause. We're not all bad, I promise.
>>2973928Well I hope you're happy that it pretty much locked Cat in as Best Girl.Alex is going to lose out by being too much of a bitch, Johnny isn't an anime protagonist but a red blooded American man. And Alex walked first.Maybe it was a Catfag false flag?IDK I'm a Hatchetfag myself.
>>2974098I think Roxiefags would like a word with you.I'm hoping that there's some way of recovering from anon stupidity and Alex recovering Best Girl status.Not really much of a false flag, there wasn't a flag.
>>2974105> Alex recovering Best Girl status.She had it for a while, then fucked it all up.I would give Cat the lead because she isn't a fucking Junkie.
>>2974150But Roxie is a cute, and all the girls are best girls. Except the twins, their best daughteru's.
>>2973593>>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.Dumb fucks. The waitress is still best girl.
I was playing the character, boys. She can reconcile when she isn't terrified that her friend/love interest might be dead. Hell, I like to think that she barely caught anything Cat said because she was focused on personal grief.
>>2974520Objectively true.>>2974536Or she could have had a breakthrough where she realized she was driving everyone away by being a bitch, surprised that Cat actually still reached out.
>>2974536I miss questing on /tg/ sometimes when people would mock the excuse of "it's what my character would do!" For justifying shitty decisions.Just admit you're a bitter Alexfag jelly that Cat and Johnny had a boy girl relationship and not a best buds relationship.
What is this dumbshit, stop arguing over the waifus and read the quest. Besides, Roxie is obviously best girl.
>>2974656Or maybe the breakthrough comes later when her brain isn't clouded by emotion.
>>2973611>>2973624>>2973713>>2973719>>2974520>>Investigate Johnny's whereabouts.We're going after the big guy. Next update should be in 7-ish hours from this post.
>>2975006Kind of a meta vote, but whatever. I think it's in character.
>>2975052All the options are in character, that said, this is not some anime. Let's come to terms with our feelings a little faster huh.
Sorry, need some extra time to figure out wtf is happening next. Hopefully tomorrow. Stay tuned.
>>2976306Do ya thang
>people claiming Alex is a bitch and not best girlFalse. Alex still a bestMy word is law
>>2976604It's spelled "lie", but you were close.
>>2976604This anon is correct.>>2976659This anon is wrong.
>>2976787If this was BQ Alex would be Chryssa.
>>2976840If this was BO your armpits would smell like dogshit oh wait they already do>>2976787This anon is wrong>>2976659This anon is wrong>>2976604This is the only righto ne
>>2978275So you're saying you would be attracted to them if this was BO? Because Alex is a shitty bitch.
You do all realize we can’t waifu anyone if we slip and fall in prison, right?
>>2973593(One post now, more when I get home from work later today)Johnny is missing. Maybe that shouldn't bother you. But it does. Cat was right -- eventually he'll get into a situation he can't get out of himself. He might be perceptive and cunning, but he's also strangely guileless sometimes. Walking into an ambush because he's distracted would be exactly the sort of thing he'd do.You're not sure what you can find out about where he is that Cat's intelligence network of orphans and pickpockets can't. But you have to try. Roxie complains that searching is boring, and she doesn't think Johnny could be in any danger, but begrudgingly agrees to help.For several days and nights your search is fruitless, turning up nothing but rumors. Your only lead comes when you find a letter in your mailbox, without an address or stamp. "Meet at The Boggy Mire at 8 PM." It's a less-than-reputable Irish bar, not far from your house. It could be a trap, obviously, but it's all you have to go on.A little before 8, with Roxie stationed as lookout down the street, you double-check the P226 under your jacket, and head into the Boggy Mire. It stinks of liquor and sweat. The dartboard has photos of local politicians with darts stuck in them. You take a seat at the bar and order a beer while casually eyeing the place. Two exits probably, front entrance and a supply door down that hallway. Most of the patrons are old drunkards, but a few of them might be hard bastards. You have no idea what to expect.The front door opens, and you turn your head just enough to see a man entering. Short hair, snazzy suit. You can see police detective all over him, in the way he walks, that careless arrogance distinctive to law enforcement. He leans against the bar next to you and flashes you a grin he probably means to be charming. "Buy you a drink, beautiful?""Do I know you?" you ask, wary."No, but I'm hoping to change that," he says, taking a seat. "Detective Martin, but my friends call me Sam. Why don't you tell me what you're drinking and we'll start from there?""Fuck off," you say."All right, all right. Truth is, you might not know me, but I know you. And your friend." He gives you a meaningful glance for a moment. "You know the one." He must be the one who dropped off the letter. But why? You can't read his intentions. Is he here to threaten, or negotiate, or worse? How should you handle this?>See where he's going with this.>Deny any knowledge.>Go aggro on him.>Write-in
>>2979465>See where he's going with this.
>>2979465>>See where he's going with this.
>>2979465>>2979565>>2979571>>2979690You briefly considering slamming the detective's head against the bar, jamming your gun in his face, and telling him he'd better cough up what he knows about Johnny or else. But -- no. Let's see where he's going with this. "Okay. What about him? You want me to flip, help you put him behind bars?""Just the opposite, actually."You look at him in puzzlement. "What the fuck does that mean?"Martin holds up a finger to the bartender. "Murph, get me a gin and tonic, will you?" The bartender with a bushy mustache mixes a drink and hands it over, and he takes a sip. "Ahh, that's the stuff. Long day upholding law and order out there, you know?""Is that what HCPD does?" you ask. "I thought your job was just to crack heads whenever someone hasn't paid the politicians their cut.""Same thing," he says with a grin."You want to explain what you meant by that just now? What's the opposite?""Right, right. Okay. So our mutual friend got himself into a little bit of trouble. I'm guessing you heard that something happened, but not what. And that's why you and your friends are tracking him down all over the city.""You seem to be well-informed," you say, wondering just how he knows all this."It's how I stay alive in this town. That and having friends, like the lads in this bar. We're friends, aren't we Murph?""Go fuck yourself, Martin," says the bartender without smiling."See?" Martin holds up his glass in a "cheers" motion. "Everyone loves me. Anyway. Long story short, Alex? Your friend got nailed. He's down at the station, under every level of security we have and then some. And he's not having a pleasant stay. They're taking their sweet time with him because everyone wants a turn. Some folks have a grudge against him, while others just want to work out their frustrations on someone while their boss looks the other way." He tsks in digust. "They do that anyway, of course, but this is a special opportunity. A man who can take whatever they dish out and keep going."(Continued)
>>2980390You try not to think of Johnny, bloodied and bruised with his hands cuffed behind his back, having his shit kicked by cops in a tiny interrogation room for days on end. "Why isn't it all over the news, then? Shouldn't you be happy about catching the Stars and Stripes Killer? That's what they're calling him now after the tank job, right? This is a media sensation in the making for you guys. Careers to be made. So why the lack of fuss?""Some powerful people within the department want him all to themselves for now," Martin says."You mean -- Black Spear?"Martin nods. "Afraid so. They want set an example out of him. Make him suffer. Show the city's underground what happens when you cross them." He puts on a show of nonchalance, but you can hear the anger under his voice. "Soon they'll make him sign a confession, both to something he actually did and to some murders of their own they need covered up. They'll put him on trial. Make a big show of it. After that, I dunno. Either they'll lock him up and throw away the key, keep him around for a good beating every now and then, or they'll give him the chair and be done with it. Either way, it doesn't end well for him."You have to take down a second to fight down your rising sensations of fear and self-loathing. Johnny captured, tortured, executed. All because you got couldn't stick with him. You just had to get impatient and fuck off by yourself. Right when he needed you the most. That line of thought leads to a dark hole there will be no returning from, so you force yourself to concentrate on the current situation. The job. It's the only thing you're good at. "Okay, so why are you talking to me? Shouldn't you be happy about this? A criminal's being put away, right?""Long story short?" Martin says. "It doesn't.""So what do you want?""I want to help you get him out."You snort. "Bullshit."He reaches into his jacket. For a moment you think he's going for a gun, and you panic and start reaching for your own. "Relax," he says, bringing out a folded piece of paper from his inside pocket and handing it over. "Take a look at this. It's from the department. Correctional facility transfer record for one Mister John Bones. They're taking him from the station to a holding facility outside of town, one with serious security."You scan the document. As far as you can tell, it checks out."I can get you the exact details of the transfer," Martin says. "Time, place, method, everything. I can even arrange for an escape route. All that's left is the dirty work.">Why are you doing this?>Why should I trust you?>What's the catch?>Write-in
>>2980395>>What's the catch?followed up with>Why should I trust you?
>>2980395All of this is pertinent information
>>2980395>>Why should I trust you?>>What's the catch?
>>2980395>>2980428>>2980456>>2980481>>2980510"So what's the catch?" you ask, still wary."Why does there have to be a catch?" the detective says, acting offended. "Couldn't I be doing this out of generosity, because I think that despite everything Johnny's a good man and doesn't deserve this?""No.""Well, you're right," he admits, grinning. "If I'm going to do something for you, I need you to do a little something for me first. More specifically, for these lads here at the Mire. I might owe them a favor or two for sweeping a few things under the rug for me. I always repay my debts, of course, but I'm a busy man these days. So I'm going to have you take care of it for me.""Great," you say glumly. "So what do they want?""It's easy as sneezing, from what I hear," he says. "One-person job. No shooting, just some driving. I'm sure a resourceful lady such as yourself can handle it. Talk to Finn and the boys at the back table once we're done here, they'll tell you what needs doing.""I haven't agreed to this yet," you remind him. "How do I know I can trust you?""Think about it. If I wanted you arrested or taken out, I could have told you to meet me someplace in the open, and surrounded it with a dozen SWAT officers." He gives you a sideways glance. "Better make it two or three dozen, actually, if what I've heard about you is true. Anyway, it's just me here. What do I have to gain by setting you up?""I don't know what you have to gain, period," you tell him. "What are you getting out of this?"Martin's about to toss out another glib response, but stops. "You know what? I'm going to be real with you on this one." He pauses to take out a cigarette and light it up. "Graft is one thing. Every cop in Heat City has looked the other way once or twice when it was profitable, or if their careers were on the line. I'm the same way. Got my hands dirty more than once." He takes a moment to tap ash into the ashtray. "But the Spear is different. They're eating this city's police alive, from the inside, like a fucking cancer. Most of the department doesn't even know about them. The ones that do don't know who to trust. Confide in the wrong guy and the Spear will make sure you get sent to that distress call at at a certain abandoned warehouse, without backup, and never make it back. And I can't just stand by and let it happen anymore."(Continued)
>>2980664"So you're doing this -- why? Just to spite them? To take away something they want?""I'm doing it because Johnny is a one-man army. Because he keeps doing impossible things and walking away. Because whether I like it not, that man is my best chance to take them down. All I have to do is get him loose and make sure he stays pointed in the right direction. I can't beat them from the inside. So I'll let him beat them from the outside.""You're using him as your attack dog."Martin thinks about it, then nods. "Basically, yeah. So? It's a fair exchange, if you ask me. You take care of a little favor in my place, and in exchange I give you all the information you need to ambush the prisoner convoy and rescue Johnny. We all come out ahead. What do you say?">Fine. I'll do it. But you better come through.>No. I'll figure it out myself.>I need to think about this.>Write-in.
>>2980675>>Fine. I'll do it. But you better come through.Tempted to punch you, but I'll do it.
>>2980675>Fine. I'll do it. But you better come through.I trust this guy desu. The problem is he could easily be working for Spear hoping to get everyone else, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
>>2980675>>2980721>>2980897"I'm tempted to punch you," you say deadpan. "Or maybe slam your head into this bar, until you tell me what I want to know. Just how strong is your friendship with these "lads", that you think they'll back you up against me? How much are you willing to bet on it?" You let that hang in the air for a moment."You're tempted," Martin says. "But you won't.""No. I'll do the job." You point at him. "But you'd better come through on your end.""I will," he says. "Now go talk to Finn back there about the job.""Which one's Finn?" you ask, getting up from the stool."He's the one with the face. You'll see what I mean."You walk into the back of the bar, acutely aware you're placing yourself as far as possible from both exits. The lights are dim back here, the noises from the bar quieter, but the rank smell is just as strong. You approach the main group back here, and as you get closer, observing the way they carry themselves, their scarred knuckles, the concealed weapons you can see the evidence of, you can see they mean business. They look up at you, feigning indifference.Looking around at them while adjusting your sunglasses, you say, "Which one of you is -- " Then you see him. He was hidden from view by a divider wall before, but now you get a good look at his face and the awful chesire-cat grin of slashed mouth scars, and you know. "-- Finn?""That'd be me, lass," he says, leaning forward with a wide grin -- very wide, with those scars. Clearly hoping to intimidate you with his appearance. Whether he succeeds or not, you give no sign of it. Disappointed, he slumps back in his seat and waves to the empty chair. "Guess you got some nerves, that's good. Have a seat."You sit down, keeping your awareness high. Martin seems on the level, at least for a crooked cop and an asshole. But who knows if these guys might try to pull something. All you know about the Irish in this town is they're crazy motherfuckers, independant operators who run guns and explosives under the Russians' noses, their main competition left standing in arms dealing in this town. Who knows what kind of hardware they're packing in those holsters you can see in the dark shadows of their jackets.>Get right to business.>Politely introduce yourself.>Brashly introduce yourself.>Make an Irish joke.>Write-in.
>>2980992>Get right to business.>Politely introduce yourself.We're pro, that's what we are!
>>2980992>Get right to business.
>>2980992>>2981022>>2981068"I'm Alex," you say calmly. "The asshole at the bar says you want a favor done.""Aye, that we do." Finn takes a drink from his dark beer. "You drive? Then it's real simple. All I want is for you to get somebody from one place to another, make sure they get there, and bring 'em back again. My little sister has a date with her future husband at La Vierge. The priests at our church set up the marriage, tellin us these two will be very happy together, and our families as well. It's all very wholesome. Anyway, that's all I need. Bring my sister to the restaurant, see she stays for the dinner, get her home. Simple.""What's the catch?" you ask. There's always a catch."Nothing," Finn says. "Except that Evey doesn't fuckin want the marriage, ay? And she's by far the most irritating in the family, and that's saying somethin."And here you thought this might be a nice break from the usual shooting and running stuff. This sounds like a real pain in the ass."Three rules, okay?" Finn leans forward, holding up three fingers. "One, let her talk. Two, tie her up if she tries to run. Three, she never leaves your sight. If you follow those rules, and she makes it to the restaurant at seven o'clock sharp without a scratch on her, the job is done. That's it. Got it?" He gestures to one of his lads, who slides you a piece of paper with an address on it. "Be there tomorrow to pick her up. You'll use our car. Now get the fuck out of here and let me enjoy my fuckin pint in peace." Wonderful. You take the paper and walk towards the front door. Martin raises his glass to you as you pass by. "Assuming it works out, I know where to get a hold of you. Good luck out there!""Just make sure you come through," you growl at him, and exit the bar.Walking down the street to your car, you get inside. Roxie is already there. "How'd it go?""Got a babysitting job tomorrow," you say, starting the car up and joining traffic. "Johnny might be in trouble. But if this job works out, I might have a way to get him back.""Oh. Well -- that's not so bad, is it? If he's in trouble but we can bail him out, that's fine, I think." Roxie leans back in her seat and puts her boots up on the dashboard. "A babysitting job, you said? That sounds fine. How hard could it be?"(Continued)
>>2981110When the next evening rolls around, you're driving south out of the Princeton district in a short limousine, heading downtown.Evelyn, or Evey as her brother called her, has a thick Irish accent, fiery red hair, and an equally fiery temper. When she was first frog-marched into the car by two thuggish goons, and you drove away with her in the backseat, she was sulking and silent. But that soon gave way to complaining about everything, starting with the car itself but soon moving to your appearance, your ancestry, and your vocation, with several choice insults about the fact that a woman was taking a bruiser's job like this and how it reflected on your chromosomes, genitals, and circumstances of birth. "Who d'ye think yer tryin' ta fool with this tough bitch act?" she's saying. "This fuckin ballcap and sunglasses shit? Fuckin cunt."She unrolls her window and glares out at the passing scenery. "Me family's tryin' ta make me marry a man I never met. How d'ya feel about that, ay, cunt?"You remind yourself of the rules. Let her talk. Arrive without a scratch on her. Otherwise you might just stop the car, climb back there, and show her exactly how you feel about it. Instead, you say:>I'm just the driver.>We all have our problems.>I'm sorry. That must be tough.>I feel sorry for you, but even more for the guy who has to marry you.>*Nothing*
>>2981118>We all have our problems.
>>2981118>That's rough buddy
>>2981118>I hope for your man's sake he's a tough one. You want a tough one?Let's get her talking about herself instead, unless that proves even worse.
>>2981118>>2981126>>2981133>>2981203"That's rough, buddy," you say, vaguely sympathizing but not really impressed, thinking about how your friend is probably getting hit with police batons right at this moment. "But we all have our problems.""Aye, sure. You've got a serious problem, taking orders from my gobshite brother. You know what kinda man he is? The things he's done?""I can guess," you say. "I knew some people fought in the Troubles. Rough time for everybody. Your family's the Callahans, right? You seem like really wonderful people. I can't wait to meet the new ones you make with this guy you're marrying.""Go fuck yerself.""You know what kind of man he is? I hope for his sake he's a tough one. You want a tough one? You seem like you'll need it."Evey laughs bitterly. "From what I hear he's a fuckin ponce. You two'd probably make a great couple. You can be the man, how's that suit ya?""How about you just sit back there quietly, thinking about how great your future as a housewife will be, until we get to the restaurant and you can have your date?""I'm not going on any fucken date, ya cunt!" The force in her voice along with a sudden movement in the backseat causes you to turn around, but that only makes it easier for her to blast you with pepper-spray. Your eyes, nose and throat fill with scorching fire and a completely unreasonable amount of pain for a little puff of oil. Coughing and hacking, you manage to slam your foot down on the brake to avoid running into anything, but you can hear behind you Evey opening the door. You manage to force your eyes open into a squint and, through the tears and haze, you can just make out her running away, heading for the nearest alley."Fucking bitch -- aaagh --" Eyes stinging, nose and throat on fire, you can just barely breathe and see well enough to force yourself out of the car and down the alley after her.>Roll! 1d10, first three count.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>2981211Tens only, please.
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>2981211Christ almighty.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>2981211
>>2981211>>2981218Also, "So you do want a tough one."
>>2981211>>2981214>>2981218>>2981219You catch up to her before she gets far. She's hung up trying to climb over a chain-link fence. Grabbing onto her while avoiding her struggling kicks, you haul her off the fence while enduring her shrieks and her fists raining down on you from above."For fuck's sakes, girl -- grrf -- hold on --" You take a moment to wipe the tears from your swelling eyes, then plant her down on her feet, pin her arms firmly to her sides, and glare at her. "So you really do want a tough one."She meets your gaze with fierce defiance. "What're ya gonna do now? Hit me? Bet my brother tolda to arrive without a scratch on me.""He also said I should tie you up if you make trouble," you say betwen gritted teeth. "I don't want to tie you up, because I'm such a nice lady and I feel bad for your situation, but you're really pushing it here. There's two ways this could go from here. I could just hogtie you and gag you, maybe even throw you in the trunk because fuck you, and bring you to the restaurant that way. Maybe I won't even bother untying you first, I'll just dump you on the sidewalk in front and peel off. I'm sure that will make a great first impression. Or -- stay with me here -- you could accept that you gotta get this shit over with one way or another. You sit quietly in the backseat watching the scenery. You don't cause any more trouble. I don't tie you up and throw you in the trunk, and instead we have a nice little drive together. You get your stupid date over with. And we each go back to our crummy, miserable lives. Which will it be?" She relents. "Fine. Have it yer way.""Good," you say, taking hold of her by the wrist and bringing her back out of the alley. "Now get in the car and let's go."She suddenly bursts into laughter. "What car is that, ya fuckin cunt? Hahaha!"The car is gone. You look up and down the street, but -- no. It's gone. Probably already on its way to a chop shop to get scrapped and sold for parts. This fucking city."Oh no," Evey says, feigning sadness. "I'm not gonna make it to the restaurant in time! I won't get to meet my one true love!" You look around at your alternative options for transport. Nothing good. But beggars can't be choosers.>Moped>Beater>Tiny euro car>Taxi
>>2981296>MopedMoped is always the correct choice.
>>2981296>>Tiny euro carthat handeling calls to me
>>2981296>>2981307>>2981325Your only option is a pathetically small European scooter. Something for young wives to leisurely drive to the market on a sunny morning. Definitely not an escape vehicle. But it's all you've got. Soon you're heading south, Evey reluctantly holding you around your waist.You listen to the tiny engine whine, feeling it struggle to maintain a half-decent speed. Normally you wouldn't be caught dead driving something like this, but your options were limited. Originally you had planning on taking the expressway, but on a motor like this, you'd have no chance to outrun anyone there. Better stick to the back roads. Maybe that's paranoid, but better safe than sorry.Evey shouts something, and you tilt your head around and call back, "What?!""I swallowed a bug!" she complains. "And my ass hurts!"You roll your eyes and turn back to the road. "Sorry, princess. Maybe you should've thought about it before you decided to pepper spray me in the face and run off. That's how we lost the car, so now we have this. Tough shit." You slow to stop at a red light, the tiny engine coughing and sputtering under you. "But hopefully, if you don't pull any more stunts, the rest of our trip will be uneventful."Reaching down to adjust the side mirror, you look into it and see a large, black van behind you, moving at high speed in the wrong lane. You twist around to look over your shoulder just as both windows on the passenger side roll down, and two men with Skorpion SMGs lean out the windows."Son of a bitch!" you shout. Twisting the throttle, you zip forward just as the men open fire, bullets ricocheting off the asphalt where you just were.A narrow escape, but one that sends you driving straight into the crossways traffic. An oncoming van blares its horn and you get a close-up view of its grill before just barely squeezing past in time. You narrowly weave and dodge around oncoming cars from both left and right, Evey screaming in your ears the whole time, until finally you're through the intersection.The van behind you is held up, unable to dodge through traffic like your tiny bike, but enough cars have slowed down in the confusion that they're able to ram their way through. Delayed, but not stopped."Who are these motherfuckers?" you shout back at Evey."I don't know! Russians, maybe, or another Irish family. Who cares? They're trying to kill us!"She's right about that. The important thing is to survive. You go zipping off down the back streets, hoping to stay one step ahead of the black van.>Roll! 1d10, first three count.
>>2981296>MopedHopefully there's only one helmet - and you wear that one and drive FAST, so she'll have to grab on and not leave her seat.
>>2981391Done for tonight. Back tomorrow with the results of the dice roll, and we'll see whether we get to that restaurant or not.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>2981391RIP incoming
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>2981391>>2981395Looking forward to it, Raven.Also wew, that pic.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>2981395oof
Well. That’s that, then.
Rolled 2 (1d210)>>2981395Ok
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>2983521Whoops
Sorry about the delay my dudes, crashed ultra hard and slept through the evening. Will resume tomorrow.
>>2983614That pic looks about right, good sleep m8>>2983521>>2983523Super late dude.
>>2981391>>2981410>>2981413>>2981417While the scooter's engine might be pathetically underpowered and it's got jack shit for maneuverability, it does have one thing in your favor: it's small. By dodging around obstacles and swerving in between cars, you're able to stay one step ahead of the Russians and avoid getting a bullet in the back of the head. At one point you draw your pistol and take a few shots, though it turns out it's pretty fucking hard to drive a scooter with one hand and shoot behind you with the other. Evey screams and clamping her hands over her ears as the gunshots go off next to her head. You manage to land a couple shots on the black van's windshield, and they swerve a bit, but don't slow down or crash, just climb right back on your tail. You shove your gun back into your holster, saving the rest of your bullets for later, and decide to try something else."Hold on!" you shout at Evey, and sharply turn into an narrow alleyway."What the fuck d'ya think I'm doin already ya fuckin cuuuUUUUU---" Her words rise in pitch sharply as the front tire hits a downwards stairway and the vehicle tips over. You grip fiercly onto the handlebars as the scooter travels down the stairs, skidding and bouncing, the concrete sidewalk at the bottom rapidly approaching, too fast too fast fuck fuck fuck --You land with a heavy thud and a swerve at the bottom, but somehow manage to keep the vehicle upright and moving. You look back over your shoulder to see two guys at the top of the stairway, so you raise your middle finger in their direction and laugh. "Haha! Sit and spin, you motherfuck--"Crunch! The scooter rams straight into a traffic bollard. Your world turns upside down for a moment, then you slam hard into the ground. Mercifully you manage to avoid cracking your head on the concrete, but you're going to have a nasty case of road rash. Evey lands right on top of you, which drives the breath from your lungs and adds insult to injury, but at least it keeps her safe. For now.You really would like to just lie here and rest a moment, but Evey is grabbing hold of your wrist and yanking you up to your feet, shouting, "C'mon, c'mon!" Bystanders are gathering to see the scooter crash holding up traffic, which isn't great either. Letting out a sigh, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, test your limbs and digits. Right leg is scratched up bad, but it works. It's going to hurt like a bitch later, but that's what adrenaline is for."Great job," Evey says sarcastically. "So what now?"You keep yourself focused, look around, analyze the situation. Street with obstacles you could keep between you and your pursuers, lose them somewhere in the alleys. Hiding places you could duck into. A fire escape going up a nearby apartment building.>We run.>We hide.>We go up.>Write-in.
>>2986720>We go up
>>2986720>We go up.
>>2986720>>We go up.
>>2986720>>2986846>>2986896>>2986912>>2986923>>2987010"Didja hear me?" Evey says. "I said, what now?"Now we go up," you say, grabbing her wrist and ignoring her protests as you drag her at high speed to the fire escape. The ladder is up. Of course it is. Quickly you manage to convince Evey to stand on your hands so you can boost her up to the ladder. She manages to clamber up and onto the first level of the fire escape. You can hear the men shouting in Russian as they approach -- definitely some of Ivan's goons, probably mad about the Irish butting in on their gun running, trying to get themselves a hostage."Send down the ladder!" you shout up at Evey. You can see her hesitate, and for a moment you have the sinking feeling that she's about to turn and run, leaving you behind to deal with these thugs yourself. But she relents, and unlocks the ladder, and you start climbing up just as the Russians arrive, four of them in tracksuits, two SMGs, two pistols.The gangsters run down the alley as you take a moment to pull the ladder up after you. Then you start to climb. The Russians stand below you, firing upwards, while you race up one steep stairway after another, Evey shrieking occasionally as bullets whizz by, a few of them clanging against the cast-iron rails of the fire escape. You look up at the roof, then down at the Russians. And you wonder just what the fuck you were thinking with this plan. If you get up to the roof, well, you're still going to be on the roof, just standing there waiting for them to come after you. No helicopter evac on this one. Maybe you could jump from one roof to another, like some kind of crazy action movie hero? No, this is the only tall building around. You're already too high.Down below, you can see the Russians splitting up. Two guys run off, probably going for the front door to take the main stairs or the elevator up. The other two work on doing the same thing you did, boosting themselves up so they can follow you up the fire escape.Out of your limited options, you decide this one is the least bad. You try the nearby window, struggle with the lock, then end up smashing the window with the butt of your pistol, reaching in through the glass, and unlocking it. "Get in," you say to Evey, shoving open the window."But --""In!"The first room inside the apartment is a kitchen, faded linoleum, knick-knacks, religious icons. An elderly hispanic woman is chopping vegetables at the counter, humming a tune. She must be deaf as a post, because she doesn't seem to have noticed the two women who just broke her window and barged in on her kitchen.>Sneak past and get out of here.>Grab a kitchen knife as a backup weapon.>Ask the old lady to hide you.>Write-in.
>>2987027>Sneak past and get out of here.
>Sneak past and get out of here.
>>2987027>>Grab a kitchen knife as a backup weapon.
>>2987027>>2987035>>2987075Do both, snatch one as we sneak out. We're in the kitchen so it shouldn't be hard.
>>2987027>>2987035>>2987057>>2987072>>2987075>>2987080>Sneak past and get out of here.>Grab a kitchen knife as a backup weapon.>Roll! 1d10, first three count.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>2987089
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>2987089
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>2987089
>>2987180Well, nobody else was rolling, so yeah
>>2987027>>2987089>>2987099>>2987102>>2987171You quickly and quietly usher Evey out of the kitchen, grabbing a nice big knife out of the knife block on your way out. Down the hallway, you hear the television set playing Spanish telenovas, and see a very large man hunkered down in the chair watching them. Very carefully you make your way past, unlock the door, open it and survey the hallway. Empty. Holding the knife in one hand and Evey's wrist in the other, you head down the hall to the elevator.The elevator's indicator shows it's rising, and it dings when it reaches your floor. The Russians exit the elevator, guns drawn, but you're waiting for them, pressed up against the wall where they won't see you right away. You plunge the kitchen knife into one's shoulder, and pistol-whip the second on the back of the head, putting them both out of commission. Tugging Evey into the elevator, you take it down to the ground floor, where you sneak out a back exit, evading the Russians, and get out of the apartment building. You jog a few blocks until you feel like you've finally made it to safety.You stop a moment, exhaling heavily, savoring the feeling of a narrow escape, and letting the fear and exhaustion catch up to you. "We made it through," you say, turning to Evey. "Now we just--"She's gone.You look around frantically, seeing nothing, until you catch a glimpse of bright red hair disappearing around the corner. Your fists tighten.Fucking bitch. You are so done with this.(Continued)
>>2987192The number on the door says 202, just like the motel attendant told you. The cheap lock doesn't stand up to a sharp kick fueled by your anger and frustration. The door bangs open, letting light from the setting sun into the dark and musty room."Ah, fer fuck's sake," Evey says. She gets up from the bed and stands to face you, strong and defiant despite her nakedness, the freckles on her pale skin clearly visible. Still on the bed is --"Who's this?" asks the other woman, also naked, holding the blanket up to hide her breasts. "Does she work for your brother?""Aye, she does," Evey says. "Finn's fuckin hired dog. Tryin to get me to this date." "Your voice sounds familiar," you say to the woman on the bed. "You run a program on RK1 radio, right?""Leave Evelyn alone, you bitch!" she shouts, fierce with anger.You consider the situation. "I take it Finn doesn't know.""That I love women?" Evey clenches her fists. "What d'ya think happens to gays in my family? They get cured. With a bullet to the head."The radio girl reaches up to her and takes her hand. "It's okay. We'll get through this, somehow." Evey relents, looking down at her partner, and for the first time you see her with a smile that isn't smug or wicked. She looks almost like a nice person that way. Almost.>I'm sorry about your family, but I'm trying to save my friend. Please help me out here.>I don't care. I've had enough of this. You're coming whether you like it or not.>Write-in.
>>2987195>I don't care. I've had enough of this. You're coming whether you like it or not.Yeah she thinks we're a minion and has been shitting on us all night, fuck her. We didn't ask for this.
>>2987195>I don't care. I've had enough of this. You're coming whether you like it or not. (and tie her up too)>I think you're a better person than you let on. But you've treated me like garbage even though I chose to protect you, so I'm going to treat you like garbage.
>>2987195>I don't care. I've had enough of this. You're coming whether you like it or not.Just knock her out if needed and say she got too drunk,
>>2987195>>2987220>>2987227>>2987273Your rage boils over. "You know what? I don't fucking care! I've had enough of this! I wanted to think that you're a better person that you let on, that you're bigger than this, but you've treated me like garbage, so guess what? Now you get treated like garbage." You draw your pistol, and you see them both shrink back in fear. Flipping the gun around, you brandish the butt end. "Finn said to bring you to the restaurant without a scratch, but if I have to, I'll give you a few good fucking cracks on the back of the head, just enough not to draw any blood. Then I'll drag you to the restaurant while you're passed out, and tell him you got drunk. Now are you going to make me do that? Or are you finally going to come along quietly and go on this stupid fucking date?"Evelyn looks like she's about to argue, but the radio girl grips her hand tightly. "Don't. Please. Just -- just do what they want. We'll figure out a way.""Tsk. Fine." Evey's face shows resentful defeat. "I'll do it for you, but that's the only reason." She starts pulling her clothes on.The sun is setting, painting the sky in pink and orange, as you walk beside Evelyn to the restaurant. She seems to have accepted her fate, and isn't complaining or escaping any more. Miraculously, she's escaped the evening's events unharmed. You, on the other hand, are banged up and bruised, your clothes are ripped up, and you even lost your shades when you crashed the scooter. But you got the job done, and that's what counts."I had no idea you were gay," you say to Evelyn, too tired to keep up the anger anymore."Course not," she mutters. "You're straight. You don't need to know. When you're gay, you have to hone your intution about these things. See who your people are. It becomes downright obvious, like a fuckin fire alarm."Arriving at the entrance to La Vierge, you check your watch. Exactly on time. How about that. "Here we are," you say. "I'll go find something to use for a ride home. Hope things go all right for you in there. Even if you are a stuck-up bitch.""Aye, you do that, ya self-righteous cunt." A bitter laughter escapes her. "I'll just go marry a man and hate meself for it, won't I? Should be a grand old time."Approaching voices infringe. "This is fuckin bullshit," insists a querulous, high-pitched male voice with an Irish accent. "How does the priest know? There's no way he can--"The voice belongs to a skinny Irish guy, fashionable shirt open low, accompanied by a burly man with short hair, almost Johnny's size. The skinny guy stops, staring at Evelyn. She stares back at him in shock."A-are you Evelyn?" he asks in disbelief.You glance sideways at Evelyn to see her break out in a wide grin."Is your fire alarm ringing?" you ask her."Big time," she says. "You know, I have the feeling I might actually like this man.""Well, I'm so glad you put me through all this fucking trouble for it then."(Continued)
>>2987304Finn and a couple of his lads arrive shortly after. "She gave you a time of it, eh?" he says, looking you up and down. "I heard Ivan's boys got involved.""Did you know we would be attacked?" you ask him.He shrugs. "I had an inkling, which is why I engaged the services of a straight-shooting bodyguard such as yerself. I'd say you performed admirably." He grins, his mouth scars twisting. "In fact, you did so well that I won't even charge you for the limo that disappeared. Consider that your bonus. As for payment, I'll talk to Martin, tell him we're square. That should get ya whatever it is y' need from that pisspot.""I appreciate it," you say sarcastically.Finn looks in the window. From here you can see Evelyn and the skinny guy, sitting at a table together. They seem to be hitting it off. "What do you know?" Finn says. "Our family's had a devil of a time tryin to set her up. Maybe this time it finally did the trick. That priest must really know his stuff."You bet he does. Wonder if this is exactly what he had in mind.Finn waves dismissively. "All right, we'll take over from here. You look like you could use some shut-eye and a new pair of pants. Yer job's done." He goes to turn away, then stops. "Ay -- if you need work in the future, head to the Mire and ask for Finn Callahan. They'll know where to find me.">Thanks.>Actually, I might have another job coming up soon. I could use all the help I can get.>Go fuck yourself.>*Hit him*>Write-in.
>>2987320>Thanks.Don't need to burn bridges
>>2987320>>2987479>>2987487"Thanks," you say tiredly, not interesting in burning any more bridges than you already have. Back to your apartment, battered and bloodied but alive, and with progress made towards your goal. It was a rough day. But ever since the day you met Johnny, when Ivan and Black Spear tried to kill you, they've all been rough days.Stripping off your tattered clothes and dropping them on the floor, you head to the bathroom and have a hot shower, turning the water up to almost scalding. The blood and dirt washes away, pooling the water underneath you. If only you could wash away other things so easily.In the steam-filled bathroom afterwards, you look in the mirror as you examine your wounds: road rash and bruising from crashing the shooter, a few near-miss cuts and scrapes from the Russians' bullets, and of course the exhaustion and fatigue that comes after putting it all on the line like that. Could be better. Could be worse.Why are you doing this?It's a question you've been trying to put aside, but it keeps coming up. Like you keep closing the door on it but it forces its way through anyway.To rescue Johnny, of course--No, not that. Why are you doing any of this? Why go after Ivan? Why stay in Heat City at all? You could leave all this behind. Walk away. It wasn't even personal. Ivan just tried to squash you as an inconvenience, to tie up loose ends. Why do you care so much? Why are you so obsessed with revenge? You stare at yourself in the mirror, wondering if maybe that other you in there has the answers.The phone rings, startling you. "It's me," Martin says on the other end."How did you get this number?""I have my sources. That's not important right now. What's important is you did good, or at least good enough to make Finn happy. I'm prepared to come through on my end of the deal."You feel an excitement stirring. "You mean--?""You betcha," Martin says. "Give me a few days to get the information. I'll call you and set up a dead drop. Be ready.""I will be.""You know you won't have a second chance at this, right? Once they realize what kind of friends they have, he'll be going to supermax. If that happens, he's done. No way you get him out of there. You've only got one shot.""I only need one," you say, and hang up.
>>2987525That's all for Thug Quest 34. Thanks for playing, everyone, and I hope to see you next chapter.
>>2987532Thanks for running
>>2987532Thanks for running, glad to see best girl someone besides Johnny getting some screen time
>>2987532Thanks for running, Raven.