15 Aug 2014

By the Numbers - Chapter 20

Breaking Out is Hard to Do

(Language warning in effect)
Shadowrun © 2013 The Topps Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Shadowrun and Matrix are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of The Topps Company, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. Catalyst Game Labs and the Catalyst Game Labs logo are trademarks of InMediaRes Productions, LLC.
Friday, April 23, 2071
2335 hours

    Treehugger paced along the length of her step-van.  On her umpteenth lap to the van's rear, she stopped.  "You know, Charles, you could look more concerned."

    Charles gave the rigger a bemused look.  "Waiting happens, TH.  That's what the bulk of being mired muscle is.  Usually, the wait's not so bad.  It means the shit hasn't hit the fan."

    "Yeah?  Here, it's telling me that the shit has and we just don't know it yet."  Treehugger sighed.  "I hate this not knowing and I hate this sitting around.  I need to be moving."

    "Keep pacing, then."

    "It's not helping."  Treehugger slapped the side of the Bulldog.  "Why haven't they contacted us?"

    Charles pushed himself away from his Harley.  "TH, check the gate."

    Treehugger turned to look at Evo's main entrance.  "Is it me or did they just put more guards out?"

    "It's not just you."

    "Fuck.  Charles, I really don't fucking like this."

    "Do elves really swear that much?"

    Treehugger glowered at the troll.  "This is no time for jokes."

    "Want me to pace with you?"

    "No."  Treehugger leaned up against the step-van.  "How much longer do we give them?"

    "Another twenty minutes."  Charles nodded towards the extra guards.  "Extra guards means they're not caught.  If the guards leave, we can.  Hang on."  The troll read a message scrolling over his image link.  "Treehugger, you're on.  Oz and Numbers picked up the package."

    "About time."  Treehugger climbed into the Bulldog.  "I'll stay in touch."  The rigger put on a blue ball cap, tucking and arranging her hair to hide the tips of her ears.  She started the van's engine and drove down the street.  The rigger drove past the main entrance, getting the attention of several guards.  Treehugger rounded the corner and pulled up in front of the delivery entrance.  Two guards stepped in front of the van.  "Hi, I'm here for a pick up."

    "I need your identification and bill of lading."

    Treehugger transmitted the requested data.  "Is this going to take long?  I'm on deadline."

    "Just a routine check.  We need to check your cargo area."

    "I know, I know.  Bureaucracy."  With a flick of a switch, the van's cargo doors opened.  A worry built up in the back of the rigger's mind.  She hoped the fake ID Numbers worked up for her held up to the scrutiny.

    Two more guards ran to the back to look through the cargo.  One gave the all-clear signal.  The first guard stepped aside and waved the Bulldog through.  "Follow the road and do not deviate.  Good evening."

    Treehugger put the Bulldog into gear and drove to the loading dock.  A troll in Evo overalls and ball cap guided her into a docking bay.  The rigger got out of her van and strode over to the troll.  "Hi, I'm here to pick up a package."

    "You ain't the regular driver."

    "Tell me about it.  This is supposed to be my day off, but we're short handed.  I'm backlogged as it is and security out there is cracking down for some reason."

    "All right, all right.  What's the package ID?"

    Treehugger messaged the information to the troll.  "Let me get the van doors open."

    The troll trudged away to start his search.  Treehugger opened the Bulldog's cargo doors.  She sent a quick signal to the van's onboard computer, turning on the weight sensor.  The rigger walked over to a support post and leaned against it.  "Find it yet?"

    "Still looking.  Are you sure it's here?"

    "All I know is what I've been told.  My boss tells me to get my ass over here and pick up a package and if I don't, I can start looking for a new job."

    "I still don't see it."  The troll came back out.  "Are you sure you have the right ID?"

    Treehugger shrugged.  "That's what I was given.  Want me to help?"

    "Authorized personnel only.  Can you give your boss a call to confirm the package?"  The troll returned to the storage area.

    Treehugger placed a call to Charles.  "Hey, look, the package isn't here yet.  The guy's looking for it.  Do you have the right ID for it?"

    "What about the other package?" Charles asked.

    "No sign of it.  Do you want to speak to the guy in charge here?"

    "Is he standing near you?"

    "No," Treehugger said, "he's still looking.  Can you send my the ID again?  Maybe it got messed up along the line.  You know how Purchasing gets the cheapest crap for us."

    "Call when you're ready to leave.  I'll have you covered."

    "Thanks, man."  Treehugger disconnected the call.  "He's sending the data."

    The troll returned.  "Still nothing.  Are you sure?"

    Treehugger shrugged.  "Like I said, I was just told to be here."  The rigger's commlink buzzed with a report from the Bulldog.  "Here, try this."  Treehugger resent the same ID as before to the troll.

    The troll checked the data.  "It's the same one."

    "Great.  I don't want to waste any more of your time.  Can I get your signature to show my boss that I was here?"

    "Yeah, here."  The troll messaged his electronic signature to Treehugger.  "Sorry I couldn't help ya."

    "Don't worry.  Probably some fuck up higher up."  Treehugger closed the Bulldog's door.  "Any decent coffee place around here?"

    "There's a Tim's a few blocks away, over on Aberdeen.  Soykaf, but it's decent soykaf."

    Treehugger climbed into the van.  "Thanks."  She drove out of the loading dock.  "Guys, if you're here, don't show yourselves.  Security's on to you."

    "Yeah, we know," Oswald said, his voice rough from exertion.

    "Want us to move the woman?" Numbers asked.

    "Along the side.  Don't move anything.  I got searched on the way in.  If I get the same guards, hopefully they won't want to dig through anything."  Treehugger rolled to a stop at the gate.  She rolled down the window.  "Hi.  Need me to open the back?"

    "Please."  The guard motioned for two of his colleagues to go look.

    Treehugger opened the back door.  "No package," she said.  "Someone fucked up and sent me on a wild goose chase.  I've got sign-off from the guy in charge."

    One of the guards in back stepped inside the van.  He looked at the gear strewn around.  "Looks clean here.  Not enough to hide in."

    "Hide?"  Treehugger's eyes widened.  "What's going on?"

    "Nothing you need to concern yourself about.  Move along."

    Once the guards got out of the way, Treehugger buttoned up the van and drove off.

No comments:

Post a Comment