12 Sep 2014

By the Numbers - Behind the Scenes I

Welcome back!  The story has wrapped up and is complete on its own page now.  Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of the behind the scenes work while I prep the next serial.  Today, the basic outline.

Most of the time I write, I have a beginning, a good idea of the main character or characters, and an ending to aim for.  The plot then moves from point to point, with the cast getting a chance to react to the events in between.  For By the Numbers, I had a conspiracy occurring.  I needed to know a little more detail than just who the culprit was; I needed to know who the culprit wasn't and how could I set up red herrings and investigations.  By the Numbers wasn't quite a mystery novel; those, according to Robert J. Sawyer, are written twice, once backward and then again forward.

The outline served three purposes.  The first was to know what I was writing about in advance.  Normally, I write by the seat of the pants, having just a distant goal to work towards.  The second was to figure out when everything was happening.  The timeline allowed me to work out the date- and timestamps used in the story.  The third was to determine what details I needed to either look up in various books or create before starting.  The details include names of malls, types of firearms, and names of contacts.

Note that I don't have character details noted in the outline.  Instead, I worked out the character sheets and backgrounds elsewhere.  Some of the details came together in the riffing of a news item; that bit of work let me find out who the characters were.  Other details were from the characters sheets themselves.  With Treehugger and Oswald, I used archetypes from the Shadowrun 4th edition core rulebook, with a change in Oswald's spell list.  Numbers and Charles, though, were created from scratch and will be coming over the next couple of weeks.

Timeline
Mon - Chapter 1, 2
Tue - Chapter 3, 4, 5
Wed - Chapter 6
Thu - Chapter 6
Fri - Chapter 7, 8
Sat - Chapter 9, 10
Sun - Chapter 11, 12, 13
Mon - Chapter 14, 15, 16, 17
Tue - Chapter 18
Wed
Thu
Fri - Chapter 19, 20, 21
As can be seen in the timeline above, one chapter spread over two days and one day was spread over four chapters.  I wound up modifying the timeline a little, moving a chapter's date so that it'd make more sense.  The above is the final version and served its purpose.

Below is the full outline.  I used point form for for the ease of note making.  The outline wasn't really meant to be seen by anyone but me, but if someone is interested in seeing the sausage made, here it is.  Links are added to help compare the chapter outline to the finished product.

Chapter 1 - Smoke and Mirrors
 The I-5 Courier Run
 Job: Delivery of a briefcase
 Employer: Mr. Johnson of no known affiliation (Renraku)
 Pick up: Monorail station, downtown Seattle
 Delivery: Snohomish
 Locations: Monorail station; monorail; city streets; Bothell Mall parking lot
 - pick up the action with Numbers with the briefcase going into a public washroom; she manipulates the sec cameras around as she changes disguise.
 - follow the briefcase as Numbers gets on the monorail for the first switch with Charles; during the travels, Numbers hears from Baba about the main plot and negotiates the contract
 - follow the briefcase as Charles leaves the monorail three stops later to meet Treehugger; Charles notices a tail despite the earlier swap and lingers to see if they try to follow TH; Charles easily knocks out the obvious tail
 - follow the briefcase as Treehugger drives through downtown and towards Snohomish; she spots another tail and loses them while Numbers tells her (and the rest of the team) about the new job.
 - arrival in Snohomish @ Bothell Mall; Johnson is in an armoured limo nearby as Treehugger screeches to a halt.  Gunfire breaks out; sparks hit TH's sedan.  As the fireworks continue, Johnson makes his decision to leave; knock at the car door.  Door opens showing no one at first, then Oswald fading into view with the briefcase.  Johnson laughs, gives the rest of the money and asks how.  Oswald then calls the team to confirm delivery.  TH speeds off; Oswald casts a stunball then fades out of view.

Chapter 2 - Meet Mr. Johnson
 The Fed-Boeing Run
 Job: Protect a Fed-Boeing Johnson during a non-UCC meet
 Employer: Fed-Boeing
 Pick up: Fed-Boeing's site in Everett/"Boeingville"
 Locations: Downtown restaurant
 - meet with Mr. J. at a neutral site (downtown restaurant from guide)
 - Mr. J. explains job - bodyguard him through the weekend during a meeting
 - Mr. J. is short on details - no location given
 - pick up point is in FB's Everett location
 - negotiations; include using FB assets, modified as needed
 - details revealed: inter-corporate meeting, location TBD, possible problems via outside interference

Chapter 3 - Legwork
 Locations: Numbers' apartment; Big Rhino; talismonger shop (Madame Elsa's Lore Store downtown; TH's garage near the docks; downtown bar TBD)
 - the team splits up to do legwork
 - Numbers does an online search; one part UCC committees, one part corp events, one part FB fashion
 - Charles uses his street contacts to get details on Mr. J; see who has been hired by him before; finds a dwarf rigger who has
 - Oswald uses his magical contacts to dig into the FB job; finds rumours of magical infiltrations into supposedly secure locations
 - TH uses her contacts to get pricing for securing a vehicle; gets a lead on another team with a similar job (Evo team, one of the Storms) - chance to show TH as competant before revealing her oddities.
 - team meets back up at a downtown bar (again, choose one) and compares notes
 - background news report of gunmen found unconscious in the Bothell Mall parking lot; KE is still investigating
 - call from Mr. J. - needs assistance in Everett nightclub ASAP

Chapter 4 - Emergency Extraction
 Locations: Everett nightclub; Everett streets
 - arrival at nightclub  - TH's car (TH, Numbers, Oswald), Charles on hog
 - Numbers charms the bouncer to get the team inside (yay, pheromones!)
 - Mr. J. is found upstairs at the bar; explains problem
 - Charles scans crowd, spots a few people not quite fitting in spread around the bar
 - Oswald scans the astral, finds a couple of watcher spirits
 - quick negotiation to extend the contract's start date
 - Charles leads the way out, using size to get through the crowd; TH gets the sedan ready
 - two of the followers move in
 - more stuff happens

Chapter 5 - Welcome to FB
 Locations: FedBoeing; Boeingville; Mr. J's apartment
 - team moves into Mr. J's apartment on FB-land.
 - meets Mr. J's family - wife, daughter, son
 - Charles tells family what needs to be done; team will stay with/near them at all times; some protests
 - Numbers asks for access to the FB clothes store to get team outfitted properly
 - son notices TH has pointed ears; TH explains that she's at heart an elf
 - Oswald sets up watcher spirits
 - FB security notices; sends squad
 - Mr. J. explains; Numbers adds to his weight; gets security buy-in

Chapter 6
 Locations: FedBoeing Everett offices; Mr. J's office; grocery store
 - Numbers accompanies Mr. J on his duties, acting as his personal aide
 - Charles spends the day accompanying Mrs. J.
 - Oswald deals with the the J-kids.
 - TH gets the go ahead to check out Mr. J's limo; takes it out for a spin
 - covers the extra day

Chapter 7 - Corporate War Council
 Locations: Westin Seattle
 - group piles into limo; plan is that Numbers acts as Mr. J's aide, TH as chauffeur, Charles as the obvious muscle
 - gear: Ares line of weapons from FB's security
   - Charles: Ares Predator
   - Number: Ares Lightfire, glasses w/image link
   - TH: Ares Lightfire, Mistubishi Nightsky (through FB), picks up her drones
   - Oswald: Ares Predator, glasses w/smart link, flare comp
 - clothes: Numbers and Charles have appropriate business wear; Charles has a concealed holster for his Predator; TH has chauffeur's gear concealing form-fitting body armour; Oswald has business wear concealing form-fitting armour
 - group arrives at downtown hotel [choose]; is shown the way to the meeting
 - hotel security insist on checking weapons; Charles is given restraint for his spur.  Oswald and TH remain outside
 - Numbers jumps into the conference room's security camera; runs into Jackpoint contact (human hacker working for Ms DocWagon)
 - introduction of the factions
   - Mr. KE, with two company men and sec. mage
   - Mr. Lone Star, with former FRT troopers
   - Fraulein Krupp, with Nemesis, sec. rigger, and adept
     - intro Numbers' past with S-K, incl. problem with Nemesis
   - Mitsuhama-san, with two company men, two RU12 mages
   - Mr. PCC, with three gov't agents, including a shaman
   - Mr. Telestrian, with an all elf team (mage, augmented guard, adept)
   - Ms Wagon, with Butterfly (ex-company man), hacker (human), ork shaman, dwarf street sam
   - Mr. PacRim, with Asian team (company man, rigger, sec mage)
   - Ms Evo (dwarf), with rigger/hacker (Skater), street sam (ork), aspected mage sisters (Gale & Tempest)
 - details of the problem
   - various corps and gov'ts have been infiltrated by a clandestine group; goal and purpose unknown
   - infiltrated sections have been working on top secret projects; none of the participants are eager to share
   - corps suspected of being infiltrated: NeoNet, Franklin Associates, Eta Engineering ("Why?" "How better to get goods out than using the trash?"), Gaeatronics; Metroplex Guard may also have been infiltrated
   - corps not suspected: Aztech, Brackhaven, Horizon, UniOil
   - Numbers takes notes

Chapter 8 - Post-Council
 Locations: Mr. J`s apartment
 - team discusses w/ Mr. J. the ramifications; how difficult it is to tell who is a double agent (thus hiring runners)
 - Oswald puts two and two together, points out that Mr. J is security himself (Peter Tarkov)
 - Numbers mentions the interview with Amanda Pierce; asks why the change in heart re: runners; Mr. J says that he has a limited core of trusted men and a random selection might be harder to fix; also saw Charles in the interview and liked his approach (minimal gunfire)
 - team wants family to be taken to safety; hotel suggested; Mr. J refuses
 - security for family - Mr. J. wants the team with him; his trusted men can handle his family; wife argues but relents
 - meeting security updated; Charles and Numbers to remain with Mr. J; TH and Oswald to remain outside to check for threats
 - shifts set up so at least one will be awake overnight

Chapter 9 - Day Two
 Locations: Westin Seattle
 - start with the FB limo arriving; TH gets out, opens door for Mr. J, Numbers, Charles; goes off to park afterwards
 - trio goes inside, meets the other reps, meeting begins
 - lots of bickering - how deep the infiltration is, what can be done, can't just terminate suspected infiltrators, need to find out who is behind it, could the UCAS gov't be involved
 - during the discussion, Numbers gets an email from her contact with a passcode and an AR address
 - Numbers uses the code to access a camera; meets contact
 - problem: Butterfly has been compromised - daughter kidnapped
 - Numbers informs rest of the team; wants a positive outcome
 - Oswald suggests removing her permanently
 - TH and Numbers veto wetwork
 - Charles suggests retrieving the girl
 - Numbers is voted to get a rescue team put together
 - Numbers arranges meet via her contact
 - Numbers and Butterfly meet in the hotel bar; Butterfly explains the problem
 - short form: she got an email saying her daughter will be returned unharmed if Butterfly will disrupt the meeting on Sunday; realizes that doing so is suicidal and declares she will kill herself
 - Numbers checks the email - sent via anonymizer, but the video has some tracking elements she can identify

Chapter 10 - Shadow Council
 Locations: Westin Seattle
 - late in the evening; Numbers and Oswald arrive at [downtown bar]
 - table already waiting with Numbers' contact, a KE company man, a LS FRT, Storm Sisters
 - Numbers puts the problem on the table - one of the bodyguards, no names, has been compromised; a team is needed to rescue the kidnapped girl; needs a small team from the selected people
 - KE asks why not go to the police, bristling LS rep - meeting a secret
 - planning; Numbers can't join; TH will go in her place w/Oswald; needs backup from others
 - the plan: Numbers & Charles stay at the meeting; TH & Oswald go with one of the Storms, the ork street sam, and a LS FRT for the extraction using the KEs to delay police response; once done, contact Numbers to let Butterfly and contact to know

Chapter 11 - Party Split
 Locations: Westin Seattle, abandoned office building (Redmond)
 - start at the meeting the next day; Charles & Numbers escort Mr. Boeing inside
 - Butterfly is seated beside Mr PacRim, appearing calm; Tempest watches over the room from behind Ms Evo
 - Charles keeps an eye on the room; Numbers maintains watch via AR
 - elsewhere, in the barrens, Oswald, TH et al (LS FRT, Gale Storm, one other) approach a rundown office building, windows boarded up
 - drone rolls down the hall; a second watches from around a corner
 - TH calls the way clear
 - team heads down towards stairs; Oswald summons watcher spirit to look for magical threats
 - FRT takes lead, SMG out and ready; TH and other runner carry Crawlers
 - watcher returns, warns of spirits
 - Storm & Oswald look up the stairs; see nothing normally, switch to astral, see traces of a fire spirit's passing; Oswald signals for the team to stop
 - Oswald goes astral, fights the spirit, giving the rest a chance to dash up the stairs
 - TH leaves a drone with Oswald to guard his body
 - door opens; thug opens up with a spray of gunfire, missing as team dives for cover
 - FRT fires silenced short burst, dropping thug
 - fire spirit manifests, followed by a singed-looking Oswald
 - door swings open; two men and a women come out behind the hostage; threaten to shoot her
 - start of stand-off
 - back at the meeting - Butterfly starts getting nervous
 - Numbers gets email from her contact; meets him in the camera again; "We really should decorate this place."; update on Butterfly's status
 - Numbers tries to contact TH, gets a "Please hold" message
 - back to the stand-off - TH draws a bead on the woman; FRT has laser sight on the hostage holder
 - threats pass back and forth
 - TH finally answers Numbers' call; hushed explanation; reminder that killing the hostage = bad
 - TH notices a brief spot of flame in back
 - break at the hotel; Butterfly meets with Numbers; update given; Butterfly draws machine pistol (FN 5-7) points it at Numbers; gives ultimatum: rescue daughter or Butterfly shoots herself

Chapter 12 - Stand Off
 Locations: Westin Seattle, abandoned office building (Redmond)
 - back at the stand-off; TH tries to get FRT to back down
 - FRT refuses; keeps aim up
 - opposition starts making demands - escape, disruption, cash
 - ramp up tension
 - entire group (opposition and hostage) drop to the floor
 - Oswald fades into view, looking singed; "Can we stop the arguing now?"
 - TH calls Numbers
 - back at the hotel - Numbers and Butterfly are still in a staredown
 - Charles enters; Butterfly aims at him
 - Numbers tries to calm Butterfly down
 - Butterfly changes aim to her own head; "What choice do I have?"
 - incoming call; Numbers hears from TH that daughter is safe, passes on info
 - Butterfly doesn't believe
 - Numbers contacts KE to get police in to mop up and clear traffic for TH & team
 - TH patches daughter on; Numbers places her on speaker
 - Butterfly relaxes; wants her daughter to call later; thanks Numbers

Chapter 13 - Post Mortem
 Locations: Westin Seattle; downtown bar
 - meeting wraps up; participants will share info on infiltrations as possible
 - team escorts Mr. J back to his apartment, ending the contract
 - team heads to bar to relax & check in w/Baba Ganoush; payment arrives
 - Oswald points out that someone had to know Butterfly had a kid; Numbers agrees
 - team tries to figure out who; TH asks why, job's over; Oswald agrees
 - reason given - avoid retribution
 - another round bought

Chapter 14 - By the Numbers
 Locations: TH's apartment (Tacoma), Big Rhino, AR/Matrix
 - Numbers begins the day running traces while she sips on her coffee
 - TH shuffles out of her bedroom, half-asleep, sees Numbers working; "Already?"  "Coffee's on."; curtains get closed
 - TH asks if Numbers is okay; Numbers asks why; TH points out Numbers seldom stays with her teammates off-job and never with her
 - Numbers makes up reason, then shows what she`s found so far: calls routed through hotel's Matrix connection throughout, most are expected; unexpected ones are from Evo (Butterfly to daughter, rep, setting up kidnapping), Pueblo (rep to ambassador, elf to family), PacRim (rep to dinner date), DocWagon (rep to DW internal health line for stomach issue), S-K (Nemesis to datastore)
 - Numbers eliminates Nemesis; TH presses for details and gets none; Numbers gives some of the list for TH to trace
 - elsewhere, Charles enters the Big Rhino for the breakfast special; Skater sits down beside him; chats
 - Skater asks if he had his team for the last job; saw Numbers in the camera but wanted to check; revelation: Skater's team was ad hoc
 - Oswald makes some calls to contacts to see if the problem is widespread; common answer is "Huh?"; gets contacted by Butterfly who is in his debt for rescuing her daughter

Chapter 15 - Mondays Suck
 Locations: downtown bar (TBD)
 Gear: Charles - taser, lined coat (over chair), Predator, Harley out front, commlink
       Numbers - commlink, Cavalier Scout, armour vest, glasses (flare comp.)
       TH - commlink, pistol, leather jacket, sedan
       Oswald - commlink, pistol, armoured clothing
       gunmen (each) - commlink, AK-97, wired 1, knife
 - team meets for drinks later; bar has a few people watching a combat bike game (Tacoma vs Atlanta); Charles keeps watch on the score
 - compare notes
 - smoke grenades are tossed through the door and front window; poof
 - chaos ensues; two men burst in, guns blazing (AK-97s); several people hit
 - screams; Charles throws the table down as cover, everyone else dives for cover
 - round 1
   - gunmen keep firing, putting holes in table
   - Oswald draws pistol, waits
   - Numbers stays flat on ground, goes to AR trying to hack the AKs
   - TH draws pistol, waits
   - Charles draws taser, stands up
   - gunmen change aim, shoot Charles; troll is hit but unfazed
 - round 2
   - Oswald peeks around corner, tries stunball; gunmen resist
   - gunmen keep firing at Charles; aim is off due to recoil and stunball
   - TH stands, fires two shots at one, misses both times due to dodge
   - Numbers keeps trying to hack the AKs, then realizes they're not smartguns
   - Charles shoots taser and gunman 1, who goes down
   - remaining gunman fires another burst and starts backing away
 - round 3
   - gunman 2 uses suppressive fire while backing away; Charles hit again, TH winged
   - Numbers hacks building security, turns on fire suppression on gunman
   - TH shoots again, misses, drops down behind cover
   - Oswald casts invisibility on himself
   - Charles fires taser again, misses, gets out Predator
   - gunman slips a little on floor, sprays entire room
 - round 4
   - Oswald slips away to the side
   - gunman falls while backing away; still firing
   - Charles fires Predator, hits but doesn't kill
   - TH fires, finishing the gunman off
 - Numbers reports PanicButton alarm has been triggered, time to leave
 - Charles grabs the tased gunman, leads way out to the vehicles; tased gunmen gets shoved in the trunk while everyone else gets in and leaves.  (vehicles involved: Charles' bike, TH's car, Oswald's car)

Chapter 16 - What Happened to the Good Cop?
 Locations: TH's garage
 - gunman gets hauled out, seated violently in a chair
 - Oswald checks astral signature, confirms guy is cybered
 - Charles makes sure gunman is secure
 - TH sends out her drones as lookouts
 - questions - "Who sent you?" "Who was your target?" "Who paid you?"
 - answers - variants of "Go screw yourselves."
 - Numbers starts hacking his commlink
 - interrogation continues; getting street name, gang affiliation, name of the dead ganger, payment
 - door crashes open as Numbers has an "oh, shit" moment
 - several gunmen and a combat mage (humans mainly) take up position, guns levelled as Charles reaches for his pistol
 - Nemesis enters in behind, no weapons out
 - Charles points his gun at the ganger's head, threatening to shoot; Nemesis invites him to, to the dismay of the ganger
 - ganger offers to tell all; Nemesis ignores the jabbering and demands Numbers to join him
 - TH replies with a hearty FU; several rounds are chambered as an answer/threat
 - Numbers steps forward; "No."
 - at some point, Charles lowers his weapon
 - "negotiation" between Nemesis and Numbers; Nemesis insists and has his personnel take aim at the rest of the team
 - a voice calls out in German-accented English from behind, "Stand down"
 - Fraulein Krupp enters and thanks Nemesis for finding the team; orders him away
 - she then offers to take the team to dinner at expensive restaurant

Chapter 17 - The New Offer
 Locations: expensive restaurant (TBD)
 - the offer: track down the insider, extract him/her, deliver to Ms Krupp
 - reasoning: the FedBoeing team was a team; DocWagon and Evo had runners working together for the first time, trying to avoid outside infiltration; Charles passes along Skater's notes
 - process of elimination: S-K out (Nemesis' presence), K-E (unexpected change in LE contract), Mitsuhama (RU-12's presence), Pueblo (gov't agents)
 - remaining: Lone Star, Telestrian, DocWagon, PacRim, Evo
 - negotiations - tough, Y75K with Y25K up front; Numbers asks about Nemesis; Fraulein Krupp does not have authority over him but can get her a month's reprieve
 - follow up with a round of drinks

Chapter 18 - Shadow Information
 Locations: virtual clubs
 - goal: determining the target
 - start with Numbers (as AR icon) at Jackpoint, researching
 - her contact approaches her; contact confirms never working with the rest of the team before the weekend
 - elsewhere, Oswald has contacted Butterfly, getting similar info
 - questioning of daughter yields little right away
 - need clue to point to insider here

Chapter 19 - Breaking and Extracting
 Location: [PacRim]'s offices
 - plan: use social engineering to get employee info to allow access for Oswald and Numbers; Numbers seduces a [PacRim] employee at a bar, Oswald knocks him out, Number hacks the data off the employee's commlink
 - employee is then taken by TH and Charles to a
 - once inside, ditch the IDs for new ones (Numbers hacks the system)
 - Numbers tracks down target, getting apartment number
 - Oswald casts invisibility on both himself and Numbers; Numbers spoofs the system to keep their IDs in their victim's apt.
 - sneak through complex; kidnap Ms Pacrim

Chapter 20 - Breaking Out Is Hard to Do
 Locations: outside PacRim; PacRim's loading docks
 - meanwhile, TH and her stepvan are waiting for the signal.  Charles has his motorcycle waiting nearby
 - TH is nervous, waiting for the signal from the infiltators; Charles is more laid back, more used to waiting
 - TH: "I hate this not knowing."
 - Charles tries to reassure the elf-poser
 - Numbers' email arrives requesting pickup at designated spot
 - TH slips in behind the wheel, adjusts cap and hair to hide her ears
 - arrives at PacRim's loading dock entrance; tense moment as datawork is checked against her commlink's ID
 - TH is allowed in, given directions to the docking bay to use
 - TH backs the stepvan into place, gives Numbers a quick ping
 - gets out of the van, opens the back doors, then looks for guy in charge
 - guy in charge (a troll) checks his datawork, sees the request, looks for the package
 - TH leans against a post, acting bored as best she can
 - troll comes back, unable to find package
 - "You're kidding, right?  Can't you check again?"
 - "No.  Ain't here."
 - TH mentions being on a schedule
 - troll allows her to leave
 - TH closes the van's door, then gets in
 - inside the van, Oswald lets his spells lapse, fading into sight
 - TH drives off

Chapter 21 - Johnson Road, Next Two Exits
 - TH arrives at the gates; guard checks her manifest
 - noticing lack of package, guard starts questioning
 - TH sticks to the story - no package there to be picked up, asks guard to talk to the troll
 - guard nods, heads into booth
 - warning lights (thinking LEDs along the top of the booth's walls, similar to modern police cars, except yellow) start strobing
 - guard comes out, hand on pistol, tells TH to open the van's rear doors
 - TH hits the lock control from inside, a click comes from the back; using her control rig, she opens the rear door
 - as guard walks to the back, TH floors the accelerator, crashing through the gate
 - guard draws his pistol; TH closes the door before he can take a shot
 - bullet dents the back door
 - TH makes a hard left
 - Oswald and Numbers fall over, complain
 - TH asks them to contact Charles; Numbers makes the call
 - Oswald joins TH in front
 - sirens wail in the distance
 - TH turns right, running a red in the process
 - Oswald wonders if TH knows what she's doing; she shushes him
 - Numbers reports that Charles is en route
 - two PacRim security cars roar around a corner and pursue
 - TH uses the local streets to try to lose the pursuers; two more PacRim cars join the chase; one crashes when turning wide
 - the three remaining cars try to box the stepvan in; TH brakes hard
 - two cars fly forward, the third collides with the stepvan
 - TH pulls a U-turn as the PacRim cars recover
 - in back, the package begins to stir; Numbers calls it to Oswalds attention
 - Oswald warns against using another stunball, especially in an unstable vehicle
 - Charles calls; wondering where everyone is; gives location
 - Numbers updates Charles
 - TH has a small lead that disappears once the PacRim drivers figure out what happened; the third car is out of the chase
 - procession zooms past Charles; he joins the parade and catches up on his Scorpion
 - he pulls up alongside the trailing PacRim car; he pulls out his pistol (the oversized revolver) and taps on the window
 - driver looks up at the huge pistol, veers off and hits a parked car; the PacRim car spins once before coming to a rest on its side on the sidewalk
 - passenger of remaining car leans out his window to shoot at Charles, who just uses the car as cover
 - Oswald gets TH to pop open the back doors; he turns around in his seat
 - Numbers drops, covering the extractee with her own body
 - Oswald fires off a massive stunball, causing his nose to bleed; the shooter in the PacRim car falls limp, dropping his gun
 - Charles shoots out a tire; PacRim car is out of the chase

Chapter 22 - Special Delivery
 Locations: mall parking lot in Tacoma
 - the team arrives; Charles on his Scorpion in front of TH's stepvan
 - convoy stops in behind the mall; a double-flash of headlights indicates Ms Krupp's presence; TH returns the gesture with a single flash
 - Charles gets off his motorcycle and walks to the rear doors
 - TH pops the rear doors; Oswald gets out on the passenger side; Numbers helps Charles bring out the extractee, who is starting to regain consciousness
 - Ms Krupp, Nemesis, and the adept from the meet walk to the mid-way point between vehicles
 - the team brings the extractee over; payment is made; Ms Krupp asks about expenses
 - TH brings up the dent in the door and the damage to the bumper; Ms Krupp tosses in money to go towards the repairs
 - Numbers confirms the deal: no interference from S-K for at one month
 - Ms Krupp confirms; mentioning that Nemesis has a far more pressing problem than her; Nemesis reluctantly agrees
 - job over, team walks back to their vehicles and leave
 - Ms Krupp looks over Mr. PacRim; "I want to know everything he does.  Use your imagination, if you need."

Epilogue
 Location: Numbers' apartment
 - boxes are piled, ready for removal
 - Numbers makes one last look through the apartment, making sure she has everything
 - Charles walks in; "You sure?"
 - "Too risky to stay here."
 - Numbers thanks Charles for his help
 - Charles shrugs; best way to thank him is to buy him beer
 - Numbers smiles; "Then you'll love when I'm moving to."

End?

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