Chronological fudge edition
We've got a timeline now! Feel free to take a look at it and suggest anything you feel was important enough to warrant a mention or ask about when something happened.
Tumblr containing additional lore:
Bestiary (partially complete):
Threads are archived here:
You are Vincent Esperanza, an American Exterminator in Hong Kong. A lifetime ago you were a high-flying con man who earned the trust of the naive ultra-rich and constructed a respectable Ponzi scheme. These days Global Exterminators Corporation holds your life under contract.
This past week has been rough. Your adopted son was grievously wounded, you slept with a serial killer and “killed” her husband (his old heart and a few other body parts are mouldering in a cheap cooler in the back of your van), and today you and your boss were almost eaten by a madman’s centipede army.
Still, you triumphed. You recovered your nerve over a suspicious meal and now you’ve been called upon to race against an unknown opponent on the Fragrant Harbor’s highways.
The van drives itself back to GEC while you try to psyche yourself up for the upcoming race. Your prep work is disturbed by a half-welcome smell and you turn towards Devlinson.
“Are you smoking in here?”
“Uh,” says Devlinson. A recently lit cigarette dangles from his lip.
“Put it out.”
“Hey, I’m your boss. Technically this is *my* van.”
“Fuck that, put it out.”
The cigarette sprays orange pinpricks as Devlinson flicks it out the window. The two of you pull into GEC HQ in silence and you park next to the Elevon which is right where you left it from this morning.
Devlinson sees the Elevon; it doesn’t impress.
“You’re going to race this heap in the GP? Your psych evaluations never suggested you were this bad..”
>She may not look like much but she’s got it where it counts.
>How’s your stomach, Dev?
Is it the Grand Prix or the Street Prix?
Is it a big public event that's televised or a dark secret people don't know about?
Which is it Obama.
Hard to explain, but it is definitely a known event among certain classes of Cit.
“Stow it, if you can. Speaking of which how’s your digestion? I thought that seafood was a little, uh, suspect.”
“Seemed fine to me. Maybe a little juicier than some…”
“You sure you don’t need a barf bag or something?”
Devlinson’s eyes widen and his brow furrows. He prods your chest with a finger of considerable girth.
“My iron stomach is a matter of professional pride and don’t you forget it, ‘kid’.”
He looks alright but you have your suspicions.
"Go get a bag, boss."
"First the cigarette and now this? I'm seeing a pattern of insubordination, Esperanza."
"Too bad. This one really is my car."
Exagerrated dismay aside, he scurries off obediently for a puke container.
You don’t have too much to do here beyond swapping cars. You could leave as soon as he gets back… but you linger by the back door of the van, considering whether or not you should take a few things with you. You’re starting to feel naked without your guns and if you’re being honest, you’re itching for another line of coke.
>take just your guns and coke
>select up to ten items from your inventory (stacks count as one)
>take nothing, wait for Dev to return
It was the screwdriver, adhesive, and something that I couldn't recall at the time.
>take guns and coke
You grab your guns and your bag of coke and are just about to withdraw yourself when something not unlike a hypodermic needle digs into your forearm.
It's Mr. 'Pedebody, prodding you with one of its forcipules. It seems to know that you're leaving and wants to know what it should do.
>Hiss hiss (come with me)
>Hiss hiss (stay here, I'll be back)
>Hiss hiss (I'm going to leave you with someone nice)
>Hiss hiss (sarcastic)
Duly fixed. Also fixed: Vince's remaining strength.
He'll probably still eat but you did feed him everything you didn't consume at the seafood place.
Maybe it didn't save? It looks fixed here. Check it again? They should be the top items.
I'm probably mistaken but we'll just say that the official name for the event is Underground Grand Prix or UGP. If you must know, a large number of palms are handsomely greased and the event is streamed semi-covertly for anyone willing to pay a small fee. Live attendance costs and arm and a leg, but most choose to pay with someone else's.
You hiss comfortingly at 'Pedebody and it starts climbing your arm, something you quickly discourage. Instead you hiss that it should get into your equipment bag, where it will be neatly concealed and *not* stabbing you.
'Pedebody climbs in obdiently, though his legs inevitably puncture the bottom of the bag as you lift it. They wiggle harmlessly in the air.
Devlinson chooses this moment to reappear and asks if you're ready to go.
"Actually, I need a favor."
"About the 'pede? Are you keeping it?"
"Give it to me, I'll take it down to the lab and have one of the techs look over it. Strict orders not to touch it, I promise."
You're surprised that your boss is so understanding on this but you suppose that he was present for most of the bonding between you two.
You put your stuff in the car and get ready to go.
>do a line of coke
>pick up something to eat on the way
>go directly to the race location
Do they advertise it on regular telly?
>pick up something to eat on the way
captcha stop showing me pizza
Not quite that brazen.
>grab something to eat on the way
As soon as Devlinson gets back, you put the key in the ignition and peel out of the GEC parking garage.
"Man, I'm jealous. You've got an actual car key?"
You don't answer, instead navigating to the nearest fast food joint that's on the way to your destination. The food is greasy and obviously vat-grown, so basically home cooking.
>STA/STA [8/12] - You're a little below average but that's nothing you haven't been told before.
Since you moved up the race, your schedule is a little tight. You should make it on time, barring complete disaster.
>roll 3d6+4, you may draw on Nerves to boost up to two times [13/13]
Rolled 5, 6, 5 + 4 = 20 (3d6 + 4)
>barring complete disaster
Correct. The UGP takes place right after the first one. And many racers compete in both.
Dem inverse rolls... Satan rides with the thread tonight.
The trip goes smoothly.
You arrive with time to spare and Devlinson manages to keep it all in the bag. Pale and shaking, he looks at you with a mix of horror and admiration.
"What the hell was that?"
"Skill, boss. Pure skill."
You’ve pulled in a nearly empty parking lot in Lo Lung Hang. It would be completely empty if not for the company of Derek and Lucas, parked side-by-side in the center of the lot. They’re jabbering back and forth to one another in their trademark white jackets. Derek’s has a perfect cyan circle on the back and so does Lucas’s, in a less discernible yellow. You recall that Brody’s scheme was magenta.
You feel a slight urge to buy yourself a jacket or at least an outfit to race in. You feel ridiculous pulling up to events like this in your work uniform.
Or you would, if there was anyone else around. You swing the Elevon around alongside the duo and strike up conversation.
“Evening, bug buddy,” says Derek, “I see you brought a friend?”
“Yeah, he’s here to watch the race.”
“A voyeur? Fine with us at least. Can’t speak for the other guys.”
“Where are they anyway?”
“No idea. They’ll be late if they don’t show up soon. What happened to your nose by the way?”
He nods understandingly.
Lucas scratches some stubble on his chin and scans the lot with his eyes.
“We had to cut a lock to get the entrance open, it was the only way in that we saw. They might be hiding in the old Ho Man Tin station but that’d be nuts.”
He points to multi-tiered abandoned structure with bits of jagged rebar sticking out of half-finished walls. Rotted scaffolding and torn netting suggest construction was frozen years ago and never resumed. It is curiously devoid of graffiti.
>Select as many as you like, but in order of preference. You have time for conversation.
>If that’s the only place they could be, then that’s probably where they are.
>Wait, why would that be nuts?
>If they’re late, they forfeit. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
>Why are you guys here anyway? Are you racing as well?
>Do we know anything about who I’ll be racing?
>>Wait, why would that be nuts?
inb4 more specimens to 'sterminate inside that keep the graffiti artists away.
Should've brought tranky.
>Do we know anything about who I’ll be racing?
>Why are you guys here anyway? Are you racing as well?
"Nuts? First of all, that's our word, not yours limey!"
"Yeah, trademarked since 1944! Stick with bollocks!"
"Yeah!" echoes Devlinson, supportive.
"And second of all, it's just a rotting hunk of concrete. I go into those all the time. What's so crazy about that, huh?"
"Well, it's supposed to be haunted according to old urban legend."
"2018-ish? I think that's usually the year given?"
"And the legend?"
"Christ, give me a second. It was supposed to be a subway station but it ran behind schedule. By years. They were just about done ready to open when the tunnel collapsed on a bunch of guys. After that, they stopped building and the whole project fell apart."
"How many guys?"
"A bunch. How should I know the exact number? I'm not a bloody historian!"
"Fair enough, fair enough."
"You're bloody annoying sometimes, Vince."
"It's one of my many skills. What about these guys I'll be racing?"
"Well, you're probably going to race just one, since it's something of a long run. We don't really know much about them. They didn't qualify for the UGP so we figure they're just desperate and jonesing for a spot, challenging every team that runs their way. Sad really."
"I see. So why are you guys here?"
"It's bad form to have only one person show when you're racing for a team. Plus, one of us has to be your second in case you drop dead of a heart attack right now."
"And my second is?"
"Up to you, but hopefully it won't come to that."
You shoot the shit for a while longer, until Derek finally grows impatient.
"Where the hell are these-"
The sound of breaking glass interrupts Derek. A chorus of screeching wheels follows and the defunct sliding doors to the half-built station open up with an awful noise all their own. In the white-gray smoke of burnt rubber you see the silhouette of a standing giant. On its flanks, round yellow fog lights jolt to life, giving the haze a jaundice hue for half a second before a dozen bullet bikes blow through it.
Ultra high rpm motors whine as the riders accelerate towards you in double file. The bikes are matte-black, stripped-down customs with hydraulic “folding” chassis, a design both skeletal and efficient. At the last possible moment the two lead riders break off their direct approach to run down your flanks. Their bikes contract as the hydraulics activate, pulling the rear wheel forward and initiating smoke-spewing drifts. Their followers imitate their actions with extreme precision transforming their double column into a pair of concentric circles that swing around your party in opposite directions.
Derek tracks the riders with his eyes, looking tense. At a lower speed, their motors become silent and the riders, anonymously helmeted and garbed to match their bikes, take on a spectral aspect as they ride in and out of an opaque screen of burnt rubber. In all the black and gray, the only color comes from the long sleeves of their jackets which are bloody crimson and pink. Collectively, they reach inward and retrieve concealed rods of broken rebar, rusted wrenches, and hooked prybars that look especially apt for tearing your throat out. Dragging them along the shrieking pavement, they trail sparks as the cycles grow closer and closer with each subsequent pass.
Well that's it, the quest is over then.
It’s a mesmerizing intimidation technique but you can’t help noticing that Lucas seems unconcerned by the ongoing encroachment. He’s staring into the acrid smoke beyond, brows knotted, eyelids pushed into a squint. Without warning, he pivots and you practically fall over yourself trying to follow his gaze.
Your good balance is punished. Looking in the same direction as Lucas, you are blinded by a light that penetrates the smoke and noise without effort. On cue, the riders come to a coordinated stop. Your party is bathed in light so intense that you can barely look up but when you do you glimpse the silhouette of the giant for a second time, stepping over the circumvallated motorcycles as though they were toys ditched in the driveway by naughty children.
He stops not far from the group and rumbles a greeting in barely decipherable chinese. There's barely time for him to finish what he's saying before Lucas stalks over and grabs him by his lapels. Being the second shortest member of your group, this takes some effort.
"You think you can just rattle us with a haunted host and a little show!? You've got a lot of-"
The giant swats him to the pavement.
The small brit spits a glob of blood on the ground and groans.
<Which one of you do I race?>
>You'll be racing me
>(point at Derek)
>(point at Devlinson)
This thread slowed down fast.
You step forward.
<You're racing me.>
<The middle-aged super-jew in a milkman outfit?>
The giant bursts into laughter and throws back his head. Now that the smoke is clearing you can see that he has dyed all his hair blue and spiked it.
>You shouldn't have hit the brit
>At least I wasn't born ugly
>Yeah, super-jew against the world's ugliest blue hedgehog. Let's go.
>You're not the biggest animal I've had to put down
You rub your hands together conspiratorially.
<Bring it, Sanic. It's time to for us to go fast.>
"That's terrible!" says Derek in English.
"Those memes. They're so old."
"Old but still dank. Just like me."
You run a hand through your thinning hair for emphasis. For the giant's part, he looks infuriated. He glowers at you and raises up his arm. You're bracing yourself for the hit when, unexpectedly, he takes off his driving glove to reveal a transparent hand.
Blood vessels pulse beneath the surface of the giants pellucid skin. It finally occurs to you that the crimson-pink designs of the rider's jackets are meant to represent flayed arms, possibly in imitation of their leader. But that's not what he's trying to show you.
Peeling back him own sleeve reveals a badly stretched "Sonic The Hedgehog" wrist warmer.
<We don't speak badly of the hedgehog here, super Jew.>
<The last good game was Sonic Adventure 2.>
<You've got this coming.>
>roll 3d6+2 (dodge roll, relies on speed, boostable with STR/STA [8/12])
Rolled 1, 1, 4 + 2 = 8 (3d6 + 2)
Shit it's Glassfist.
Not if you're coming first.
Man if Mr Pedebody were here he'd either be a trump card or a damsel in distress when big guy wants to crush him.
>STR/STA remaining: [4/12]
You narrowly dodge the giant's downward chop.
<You've got nothing, nothing, big man!>
<It doesn't matter, I'll have you on the highway instead. Xin, tell him the route.>
One of the motorcycle goons steps forward and pulls off his helmet, revealing a square-jawed visage. He speaks perfect English and shows you a map on his phone to ensure that everything is clear.
"The race will begin at the intersection before the entrance ramp to Route 5 at Quarry Hill. From there, take the tunnel to the Kwun Tong bypass. Make sure to take the route by the bay. You'll both drive around Laguna to the Bay Crossing tunnel and you'll re-emerge on the island. From there, drive until you hit the reach the bridge, then get off and turn around. First to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park wins. Got it?"
You turn your attention back to the behemoth you'll be racing against.
<We'll settle this the right way, Goliath.>
<Yes, we will.>
Behind him the smoke clears, revealing the biggest "split-wheel" cycle you've ever seen. Like the smaller cycles it has a "folding design" but it's several times larger, dwarfing a typical european car. The tire in the front is split in twain for better handling on corners and it's all back, like the mini-bikes surrounding it.
The giant and his flock take off. Derek rushes forward to help out Lucas. You get into the Elevon beside Devlinson.
"Are you ready?"
>do a line of cocaine to prepare
>hand Devlinson your guns
>>do a line of cocaine to prepare
>>hand Devlinson your guns
Can't lose with mother cocaine on our side
You hand Devlinson your guns.
"You might need to do a little shooting."
He puts the guns in the glove compartment.
"Does this make it a *gun*-compartment?"
"Kill yourself," you tell him without much conviction, "where's the coke?"
"Ah, it's around here somewhere, I just had it."
"You *just* had it? Keep your filthy paws off my stash!"
You both jump as someone knocks on the window. It's Derek.
"I told Lucas to go home. I'm going to stay and run rearguard for the race."
"Alright... sounds good. Keep your phone on you in case I need you at the front."
He gives you a brisk salute and heads towards his truck. Devlinson seems to have found the cocaine.
"Nice of you to cut two lines for me."
>Cocaine is now in effect!
>+4 awareness (this increase tops out at +4, meaning your normal modifier is now +4 and additional integers may be added from your traits)
>STR/STA - [14/16]
>Nerves - [17/17]
>Lasts: 2 hours before comedown
The Elevon seems eager to go, growling as you step on the gas. It's not hard to catch up to the horde of thugs; they're all waiting for you. Beneath the overpass you can see the ugly mound of Quarry Hill and the city beyond. The sun's light is beginning to fade but the sky has cleared up since you blew up the ark.
Maybe you'll even see a rainbow.
The light turns green.
>roll 3d6+6 for your start (awareness, Nerves to boost, currently [17/17])
I think a negative two penalty is fair. And I... probably wouldn't have you die unless it occurred while you were in the middle of something and passed out.
You power off the line and for a miraculous second, it seems like you're actually able to keep pace with the split-wheel. But the giant powers ahead of you, seated on a swift nimbus of electric power.
You keep the power on, cultivating speed as you get out onto the highway. The traffic is moderate: moving but difficult to navigate. Sanic the manhog is too large to dart between cars like a normal cycle but AI's tend to move aside when he muscles them. You route around several that he pushes your way and try to figure out how to get in front before you hit the tunnel.
>roll 3d6 along with your decision
>go flat out, try to overtake with speed
>take position on the opposite side of the road, avoid following him closely
>get behind him, try and destabilize him somehow
>the sky has cleared up since you blew up the ark.
>Maybe you'll even see a rainbow.
>And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Rolled 3, 5, 5 = 13 (3d6)
>negative two penalty
Subtracting two from what though. Its amount before or after the cocaine.
The former would make any usage of boosts dangerous.
Chauffeur the nearby cars into not being as cooperative with him. If he wants to play dirty like that.
It increases your max by 4, so if you still have 2 above your normal max, it'll take the penalty from that number and you won't lose anything from your normal amounts.
Continued use will increase the penalty (we won't apply that today today's usage will count towards increasing it),
You hand Devlinson your phone and tell him to try and hook up to some of the nearby cars using an app.
"I'll try but I'm not exactly a tech guy. And you're going to have to get us closer if you want to be in range of anything around big chief up there."
He's not wrong; the split-wheel has put some real distance between the two of you with these little diversions. If you reach the tunnel like this, his lead is only going to grow.
You speed up gas and weave through as much traffic as you can while staying as close as you can to the inside of the curve. The flames on your dash rise higher and higher until you finally start gaining ground instead of losing it. You get close enough to see the giant look back at you and blink before angrily twisting the handles on his bike and zooming into a fresh weave of traffic. But maybe things won't go so smoothly this time...
>roll 3d6+1 for Devlinson's intelligence roll
The road slims down, becoming an asphyxiatingly tight valley through the copy-paste architecture of Kowloon. Rows and rows of identical buildings pass you by only to be replaced by a different model.
Devlinson works ineptly with the phone but does succeed in accessing a few unprotected cars. Unfortunately, he can't seem to choose which one he takes control of. A minivan in your rear view mirror bashes itself against the barrier and bounces back.
You're still gaining ground but too entirely too slowly. Following through the traffic is difficult and cuts your acceleration. He can afford that, you can't.
A speck of good luck presents itself before you reach the tunnel: a stretch of nearly empty road that you can use to catch up.
The button for the turbocharger flashes alluringly at you.
>don't deploy the turbocharger (maintain current acceleration rate)
>deploy the turbocharger (increase acceleration rate, increase DCs)
>deploy the turbocharge and go flat out (Increase acceleration rate, increase DCs, increase penalties, increase modifier)
>>deploy the turbocharger (increase acceleration rate, increase DCs)
>deploy the turbocharger
You punch the button. Hard.
The hood pops open and the scoop assembly unfolds. You can hear the engine devouring more air, soiling it with carbon. Delightful.
The car seems to become lighter, pulled forward by a greater force and you start becoming more and more aware of the g-forces being put on you. The flames edge higher and higher, though they are still red.
You're able to catch up to Goliath as the two of you shoot through a parking garage. He snarls and bumps your ride, denting one of the front panels of the Elevon. You feel a surge of anger coming on.
>tell Devlinson to get out one of the guns
>just try and get past
>have Dev try and hack again
Furious, you turn the Elevon into a club, bashing the rear wheels of the split-wheel. It’s a risky move and costs you some speed but it pays off. Goliath can’t maintain control and swerves off to the side, smacking into the side of a semi. He maintains his balance, barely avoiding becoming roadkill, but you’re able to rush ahead.
Small tunnels have digested you and spit you out up to this point but you’re finally here: you’ve reached Kai Tak tunnel. It’s still early in the race so this is a good time to build your lead in a narrow space where your opponent has little chance of passing you.
>roll 3d6+6, add an additional write-in option if you like. Can also choose to go flat-out or boost twice with Nerves.
There's still traffic around you and going faster only makes it more difficult to route around. A really good screwup might get you smashed, possibly killed. It would have to be a truly awful set of rolls to fail right now with a +7 though.
Rolled 4, 4, 4 + 6 = 18 (3d6 + 6)
>we are literally fighting the sonic cycle
boost the nerves
speed the demon
why not both?
Is building lead here more efficient use of bonuses than later?
>speed demon triggered
A shiver of schadenfreude travels up your spine as you observe Goliath's struggle in your rear view. As he labors to recover, you seize the opportunity to bury him while you have the chance.
You stomp the pedal to the floor. Devlinson screams but you have a preternatural sense of where the cars will be, even when you can't see them. Moving around them feels as natural as water flowing downhill. The dash flames turn from red to blue, burning with fresh vigor.
It's nice to have the unfair advantage, you think as the tunnel lights flash in passing.
Nearing the exit, you spot a car moving erratically. You take evasive manuevers to navigate around it and, in the split second you see the driver's face, you would swear it was... swelling.
No time to think about that.
>you have a preternatural sense of where the cars will be, even when you can't see them.
You're spit out into the oppressive light of day. You can't even see Goliath behind you anymore so the rest of this race should be just gravy...
As you drive towards Laguna, the streets become enclosed with vines, part of a "public works" project to keep down traffic noise. You read something about it somewhere, a crowdfunded project that got pushed into reality by a handful of corporate sponsors. You're fairly sure GEC was among them.
A truck ahead of you suddenly experiences one tire blowout and then another, tilting it's load precariously in your path.
>drive past, try to put it behind you
>give the driver a chance to regain control, don't risk it
>roll 3d6+6 regardless, option to engage speed demon or boost with nerves
I see you picked the less shittily CGI'd picture.
The tires of the truck have failed entirely, causing the load to tilt at an angle to the ground. The prospect of heavy steel girders spilling onto your path at this speed is an unappealing one so you zip past, maintaining your gains.
A different vehicle also suffers a blowout ahead of you but the autopilot is able to guide it to safety on the side of the road without impeding you much. But something is off.
The highway moves suddenly to the left, shifting you inland. The vines and trellises only grow thicker, blocking out more and more of the sun. The road thins again and a different, smaller truck moves into the lane ahead of you. You move over and it moves with you.
In your rear view, an SUV mimics you as well.
>try and outmanuever them
>have Devlinson try and hack something
>have Devlinson open fire
Thought as much. Nothing is ever easy. Or law abiding.
>have Devlinson open fire
>maintaining your gains.
But Vince hasn't even finished getting /fit/ yet!
>guns guns guns
"Boss, get the guns!"
Devlinson frantically searches through the gun compartment and pulls out both your pistols.
"What should I shoot?"
"The tires on the SUV first!"
It takes more than one but Devlinson manages to blow out one of the front tires on the SUV and the autopilot guides it to the side of the road to await assistance. This still leaves a major issue.
"What about the truck?"
Shooting out the rear tires seems unlikely to work so you're going to need to wait for the road to open up so you can snag an opening.
>roll 6d6, we'll do two checks this round, one for driving and the other for awareness. First three dice go to driving, second set go to awareness. Boost either with Nerves [17/17]
I skipped ahead to spark in the dark. Hope that's cool.
Yes. You are wise not to trust me...
The highway makes a big right turn and you take the opportunity. With the truck in the rightmost lane and passing another vehicle in the center, you move to the outside and turn your dash white. The truck doesn't seem to care that you've placed a human shield between itself and you however and bashes the luxury car towards your lane. The fact that it was already deccelerating works in your favor: it misses you by a mile and you're already ahead of the truck.
You're certain this race is rigged now and you search for other traps or obstacles that might be in your way. Movement behind the trellises catches your eye and just in time. You brake gently and the shot goes wide, hitting a car in the far lane. The bullet hole confirms your suspicion: there are shooters on parallel side streets behind the ivy.
They were probably betting on you not realizing they were there... or at least that you'd be afraid to shoot back. They couldn't have known that you'd have corporate protection and guns loaded with untraceable rounds...
>have devlinson open fire on the ivy
>you don't want to cause collateral damage, just take more evasive action (roll a 3d6 with this choice)
>have devlinson attempt a hack again
>take cover behind other vehicles
This ties the second roll anyway.
You needle Devlinson into grabbing your phone again.
"What's the passcode again?"
You deafen the poor man. But once he's in again, he seems a lot more comfortable using the chaffeur program.
You hear him muttering under his breath.
"...and if I use swineherd, I can reach them all. And then..."
You hear a noise like a malfunctioning garbage compressor followed by a clear crunch of metal. A black jacketed goon flies through the vines, tumbles end over end through traffic, and is reduced to a faux-leather flecked paste by a truck. You search for the windshield wiper controls.
"It was easier than I thought."
You check your rear view and hope he's right.
You can see Goliath, his jacket badly torn on one side and his face battered but angry. Behind him is his swarm of riders and unlike you, they have no difficulty weaving through traffic.
You lead them through the next left, where the forest enclosure finally ends. The Eastern Bay Crossing approaches, an even longer tunnel than the last...
>have Devlinson prepare to hack the approaching riders
>Have him shoot them
>call Derek for help
>call Lopez for help
>call someone else (who?)
What are the stakes on this race again?
>"Some low fellows thought they could take our spot in the UGP. So they challenged us.
Oh right. Winning here is a prerequisite to racing tomorrow night.
Should we really be calling a cop for help in our illegal street race? He won't squeal or anything but would he even be willing to help and risk his job? What about our buddies. Will they trust us after we just call in a police buddy to help us?
Rolled 3, 4, 4, 6, 5, 1, 3, 4, 3 = 33 (9d6)
You grit your teeth. The traffic is getting tighter and tighter as you continue your approach on the tunnel. Even holding your current speed, dodging the endless cars saps your lead and your will.
You're going to need help.
"Dev, call one of my contacts and put him on speaker. One Lopez."
"Juan Lopez? I only have an Inspector Lopez here.."
"Yes, that's him! Call him!"
"You've reached Inspector Lopez's office, how may I direct your call?"
Great, the secretary.
"It's, uh, his accountant. I have very important financial information for-"
"This is Esperanza, isn't it?"
"How did you know?"
Even in the midst of it all this, your failure to fool the secretary injures your con man pride a bit...
"Well, you've called before. And Lopez has been expecting you."
"He has? I thought he was mad... the last time I called he didn't want to talk for some reason..."
"Yes, he was pretty hungover when you called. I'll transfer you to him now, okay?"
"Well that was pretty pain-"
The word dies in your mouth as traffic grinds to a halt. Goddamn it, this tunnel is infamous but you'd been told autopilots would solve things like this. You hit the brakes and move slowly. The computer controlled cars will at least make room as best they can if you try to plow through in an emergency. You just can't go very fast.
As the first wave of riders closes in for the kill, Devlinson passes you on of your pistols, freshly loaded.
The phone pipes up with the voice of Lopez.
"Esperanza, I was hoping I'd hear from you! We've got a big day tomorrow!"
"Uhuh, Lopez I'm under attack outside the Eastern Bay Crossing right now, Kowloon side. I need back-up."
"Uh, okay I'll call the local guys-"
>Yeah, call them! I need help now!
>Send your own! I don't care how long it takes!
>roll 3d6+2 for drawing on these suckers
Rolled 4, 5, 6 + 2 = 17 (3d6 + 2)
>>Send your own! I don't care how long it takes!
We want them to be corrupt officers who won't get Vince or his buddies in no trabble.
The local boys won't be our friends.
Rolled 1 (1d8)
>I need help now!
"Whatever you have to do, just get them here!"
"Remain calm. I'm going to contact the local authorities right now. I'll let you know when they're on the way."
The call ends as you and Devlinson open up on the first squad of red-black riders. They come in low, chassis fully extended so they can hide between the cars but you find that if you worm your way out of the window a bit you can shoot down on them.
It's awkward, but it works. Beside you Devlinson wipes three using this technique and you wipe two. That wasn't so-
A rider emerges from the neighboring traffic and strikes you in the side with a rusty wrench. The blow strikes the breath from your chest.
Lucky for you, you kept on your combat armor from the earlier assignment, never bothering to change like Devlinson did back at the office. So while that will probably leave a mark, you're still able to nail the punk as he tries to retreat.
A second wave is already on the way as Lopez calls back.
"Good news and bad news."
"Good news first!"
"The local guys are real close."
"Great, what's the bad news?"
"They're busy blocking the tunnel. Something got down there, nobody is sure what yet so they're quar-"
Your stream of expletives cuts him off.
"There's an auxilliary force on their way, no telling when they'll be there."
>keep shooting (roll 3d6+2)
>drive, let Devlinson shoot
>Shoot, let Devlinson drive
>Have Devlinson try and hack the nearby traffic to clear a path while you shoot
>>Have Devlinson try and hack the nearby traffic to clear a path while you shoot
This escalated quickly.
Is this yet another plot hook or is it the same damn one as the swollen-faced driver from earlier.
let's hope Lopez can smooth everything over with the locals.
"I can't wait around for them, I'm a sitting duck here. Tell the quarantine to let me through, I'm licensed to take care of whatever is down there."
You turn to Devlinson.
"Hack all the surrounding cars so they'll clear a way through for us, we've got to get out of here somehow."
"It shouldn't be too hard. Just keep them off us as best you can."
"Give me the gun, I'll give it a honest try."
The second wave closes with you, 7 in all if your count is correct.
>roll 3d6+2 to shoot for another round while Devlinson hacks
These are pretty abysmal in this situation. You can boost from your Nerve pool if you want [17/17].
I'll close the window in... 6 minutes.
Once again you find early success in picking off a few of the riders but one manages to get close enough to strike one of the guns from your hands. You pick him off with the other immediately but that distraction is enough for the remaining two to have dismounted alongside the car. One smashes one of your tail lights and you shoot him twice, just for that. The other gets close enough to take a swing at you with the hooked end of his prybar and it's all you can do to block with your empty left hand. The hook digs into your flesh but you blow his brains out in retribution.
It's not pretty but it's not very deep either. You're mostly mad about how this is going to get blood all over the Elevon's interior.
You get out and snatch back your loose gun just in time for Devlinson to finish clearing your path. He's done a great job; it stretches the last quarter-mile to the tunnel.
You get moving before the rest of the cyclists can catch up and dart towards the quarantine. Despite Lopez claiming to have called ahead for you, the officers yell for you to stop. Their words don't seem to affect your pursuers so you blow through their barriers instead. They don't seem very invested in catching you anyway.
The tunnel is oddly silent.
>roll 3d6+4 for awareness, DC lowered by knowing there's something in here.
>Once again you find early success in picking off a few of the riders
few = X, where X >= 2
>You pick him off
>you shoot him twice
>blow his brains out
So that's 5 or 6 out of...7 gone.
Yes and possibly. There should be less shooting in the Prix but I would be prepared.
You got them all.
>I'll accept this, since you threw away the best roll and managed to roll better anyway. Satan provided and I'll not argue with him.
You're on high alert as you get deeper into tunnel. You keep expecting hear something but you hear nothing. You keep expecting to see something but... nothing.
After a minute, you notice it. The slight shine on the ground, the general dampness of the tunnel. You'd know that slime mold anywhere. And you don't know how it escaped your purge at the toy factory. Not good.
Still, once you've seen it it's easy to navigate around. You're cautious not to get any on the tires, since you're pretty sure this stuff could eat right through them.
"Do you see whatever it is yet?" asks Devlinson.
You claim total obviousness.
By the time you've reached the end of the tunnel, you can hear the cursing cyclists caught in the deadly adhesive muck at the other end.
You call Derek and tell him not to follow. He tells you to go straight to the end, there's a UGP judge waiting to officiate the finish.
Then you call Lopez and tell him that the tunnel requires purging. You recommend that the Scyth's call the Hong Kong GEC office and leave an urgent message. A team with acid sprayers should be summoned immediately.
All that's left now is the pleasure drive. You're on Hong Kong proper now, the portion of the city that spent the longest period under colonial control and became the most prosperous. There are no rows of hastily constructed buildings here, only the view over the Eastern Bay as the sun begins to set. In the red evening light, the sea turns a wine-dark purple.
The old island is still beautiful. You relax after your long drive.
The judge is waiting for you at the park, standing next to the statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen himself. The two men have an uncanny but impossible resemblance.
To your delight, earn yourself $3000 dollars in addition to defending your team's position in the UGP. The Judge is very happy to hand you over the money on the spot and wishes you best of luck with the 'morrow's events.
>You'd know that slime mold anywhere. And you don't know how it escaped your purge at the toy factory. Not good.
I guess drowning it isn't an effective method.
Or it must have spread above water level.
As you're walking back to the car and calculating the time it'll take you to get back home. A device in your pocket rings. Having made so many phonecalls today, you almost decide not to pick up but, when it persists in vibrating you finally realize that is not in fact your phone but your communicator for the Remnant.
Crusty John's voice greets you when you finally answer.
<Pick up or delivery?>
Calling it quits for the night. I'll total up Vince's work pay before the next thread and add it to the money he just won here. You should be pretty solvent again, despite your medcorp debt.
Sticking around for any questions and to archive.
>The judge is waiting for you at the park, standing next to the statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen himself. The two men have an uncanny but impossible resemblance.
Wait that was an impartial judge?
I thought he was one of sanic's goons.
Ah, Jeremy's good to go home now.
...We're going to have to keep Mr. Pede-body from chasing and eating Jeremy's little friends.
...and from breaking into the big termite habitat that Vince hopefully bought this morning.
Not so fast.
How can Dev be in debt for 10k when he made 30 thousand dollars this week?
>each of those specks was insured for a hundred grand each, as per company policy. And as per company policy, if the insurance verifies the claim, I get 10%."
I left out a cute scene where Devlinson claims you buying his dinner was enough and then turns away, wringing his hands greedily as he plans to bet the last of his cash on you in the UGP.
Him blowing it on that bet doesn't mean he didn't blow the rest of that money beforehand. He was probably trying to win it all back.
I don't really track his funds separately, just assume that he REALLY has a problem
Archive is up:
I'm not usually like this but I would appreciate votes. They do help bring people in (a little) and more people means the quest runs faster and the plots progress.
Plus, I measure my self-worth purely in anonymous internet votes.
We can bet on ourselves on the side, right? There's no conflict of interest there.
The odds for Vince's team must be much higher than 10:1 if Dev thinks it'll cover his debt right.
>You're cautious not to get any on the tires, since you're pretty sure this stuff could eat right through them.
>By the time you've reached the end of the tunnel, you can hear the cursing cyclists caught in the deadly adhesive muck at the other end.
>"It was very easy actually, the mold will gnaw through almost anything that was either living or formerly alive. I'm actually concerned it may have gotten into the structure of the building, although this place is mostly metal. It can't eat through metal or plastics."
Vince thinks the tires are natural rubber, not synthetic, and that natural rubber counts as edible enough?
Still at least the adhesive properties would fuck anyone's wheels up.
>Vince thinks the tires are natural rubber, not synthetic, and that natural rubber counts as edible enough?
>Still at least the adhesive properties would fuck anyone's wheels up.
Him and me both. I'm mediocre at Chem on a good day, same thing with Physics. I wouldn't know the difference between synthetic and real rubber, I just guessed that rubber might be organic because the whole rubber tree thing.
Tires apparently contain some natural rubber, though it's a mix of that and synthetic.
so it checks out actually.
That's remarkably informative?
Learned more about rubber than I thought I would today.
I never even came close to organic chem. I have a creeping feeling I might have been good at it, depending on how many numbers were involved.
This is bringing back a lot of weird semi-painful college memories.
>"Alright, I never thought I'd say this, but come get in my van and I'll have us drive to GEC HQ for debrief and then you can come home with me, alright?"
>He nods happily and the lot of you, you, him, and the four or five roaches he picked up playing by the dumpster walk back to the van as the sun sets above the park.
>And ever so faintly you can hear someone screaming in an apartment building.
Are the lambs still screaming, Clarice.
Still wonder whose scream that was. Not a Landlord Sense tingling surely.
That's an easy one.
>"No less than three local Cits. And causing grievous internal injury to ten more."
>You quickly interject to point out that you did the best you could to mitigate the spread of the gas.
We realized many threads later that it was chlorine rather than mustard gas ( ) but basically someone was being affected or discovering someone being affected by your plume of toxic gas in the nearby buildings.
>This file is more deeply encrypted than the others for some reason. -CJ
Yes and...? I thought that was secret code for "Simmons didn't write it yet" like all the other mentions of encryption difficulties were.
It's beyond her purview; she can't access it without a career swap into computer science.
I try to write things on the spot when you gain access to them and it's not overly costly in terms of time. Sometimes stuff slips but that's not the case here.
The case here is something that exists in my head as part of the sketched canon and hasn't been written out yet but can be hypothesized about IC with some chance of success. A hint or two was dropped in the narrative, something I'm sure you're sick of hearing.
I wish I had more time to devote to filling out the setting in a way that it would be easier for anons to navigate but that doesn't seem likely in the near future.
>pic thematically related to post
Yes, I had a very large one, probably the largest one yet, partially done. It was supposed to deal with the political and economic impacts of universal printers in the three major pre-war powers (USA, Russia, China) through faux news articles and a short story.
With a little extra work a good chunk of it could probably be released but it would only deal with the American angle (the most strictly relevant to the quest, followed by the chinese and then the russians). It also wouldn't be in the form I intended (the article was to undergo fictional revisions to demonstrate the kind of views the media in the setting is inclined to censor).
I'll try to invest some hours into it this week. I'm balancing with work and other writing projects but if I can get the American and Chinese Angles done, I'll release it.
I mentally sketched a backstory for the gang involving an disease that cost them skin opacity, similar to how some individuals lose melanin production on certain patches of skin.
It was environmentally caused, related to war time toxins, a high concentration of which existed in the old subway station that many of them played around when younger.
Partially transparent people gave rise to the ghost stories surrounding the property and eventually made it a natural hideout for them as a group.. Full body uniforms protect their afflicted portions from UV rays.
>The Elevon has an onboard computer with assistive properties as well; you'd be wise to see if it has security holes or can be upgraded in some way. See:
Now there's something to check, now that Vince has to wonder if he can hack his own retro car.