Lonely Divide

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Chapter 30

Chapter 13.2

Unexpected Rescue

You are Jaden, about to show these boys who's the boss around here. Hint: it's you

"Do you want any spells before we go in?" asks Rose.

"Actually, slap augment skill on me, martial arts, just for fun. That doesn't give you too large a penalty, does it?"

"Nah, only a one. You got it."

Rose casts on you, and you get a good feeling now that your Kung Fu is a fifteen. "Let's do this," you say, grinning.

You walk over to the door and decide it's in your way, so you smash a flurry of kicks through it, spending four energy to up your TR by two, just in case the lock and the frame are both metal instead of wood. You get a 16 on damage, and the door busts open. The guy working on his motorcycle looks over, surprise written all over his face. Metaphorically, of course, he has a literal tattoo on his face, but it doesn't read "surprise". You don't want to know what it reads.

"Nice entrance," says Rose.

"I am Jaden Shan from NPC-PS and I know you have a girl upstairs against her will. You can either get down on the ground and put your hands over your head, or we can do this the hard way."

Motorcycle guy seems confused and looks over at the guy working on the robot who pulls a gun out and shoots at you. Naturally, the bullets bounce off.

"I guess we're doing it the hard way," you say, pleased. You charge at motorcycle guy who is staring at you in surprise, given how he expected you to be dead, and showing off your fifteen skill with a perfectly executed flip maneuver, you drive your foot into his no doubt hollow cranium.

He takes eight damage to the head, not enough to knock him out, but the force of the blow causes him to be driven into the ground, and the fight is on!

The guy with the gun starts shooting again, and though it can't hurt you, if this guys misses he'll hit his buddy by accident, and you don't want that, so you dodge his bullets to get away from the guy on the ground. You take your quarter move as part of the dodge, and reach the table with the robot the guy was working on. On your next action you'll vault over it in a way that would no doubt impress the most jaded of circus fans. Rose darts over to the guy holding his head and says, "You should just stay down there, if you know what's good for you," and figuring that he doesn't, starts casting immobilize.

There's some shouting and commotion from another room off to the left, probably the three others reacting to the gunshots, and a guy with a chain appears in the doorway, in front of a guy with a bladed cyber arm. You are still not ready to act, that called shot to the head really messed you up, just hitting him would mean you would be ready by now. Oh well. Rose finishes casting, rolls a twenty, and even spending max energy, with this guy's penalty he's going nowhere, so bands of force wrap him up.

The guy shooting you decides to continue shooting you, given how close you are. He can't believe how fast you moved and figures he just missed the first time, but there's no way he can miss now, right? You chuckle at his inept thinking and make a called shot to the gun as a reactive martial arts action, your 10 REFlexes serving you well once again. You sweep your leg over the table in a mostly impossible way, but which your Kung Fu skill allows you to perform easily, and get a 27, solidly connecting with the gun. Unfortunately that means nothing in this world, as your actual damage roll turns out only to be a five. As gun guy here rolls a thirteen to resist you, he holds onto his gun. You follow up with your other leg, going for the whole hog, and aiming your feet at this guy's head too, inwardly sighing at the additional delay all this is going to cost you. Of course he spends max energy on his dodge as well, so you miss, swinging around and coming to your feet again. Off to the side you see the two that just entered leap over the banister on the stairs and come running at you, chain guy in the lead. He whips his chain around you, which you decide could be useful, and block it with your left arm so it wraps around.

He smiles, thinking he has you right where we wants you, when really it's the other way around as the guy with the cyber arm closes on you, his arm transparently raised and leaving himself wide open. You grab the edge of the table with your right hand and the chain in your left, then flip yourself over backwards as only a martial artist of your magically enhanced caliber could ever hope to achieve. (You got a 27 the maneuver) The table goes flying into gun guy, and chain guy goes flying into fist guy, losing his chain and everyone goes sprawling.

Everyone but you, of course, as you neatly land on your feet, completing the maneuver, which worked rather well, you think. You hear a pounding from the direction these guys came from, it sounds like the fifth gang member will be joining you shortly, too bad none of these boys are your type, given how they're falling all over themselves to be near you. Rose zips over and sits on your shoulder, giving you an appreciative look.

"Yeah, that's what I would have done," she says, looking down at the cyborgs now struggling to get back up. She whips her wand around and calls on fire, aiming an elemental bolt of fire at the gun, still held in gunman number one's hand, who does try to get it out of the way but misses it by one, meaning the gun takes the full brunt of the fire and thus, thirteen damage, nearly slagging it. Naturally he drops it now, it's useless, and too hot to handle anymore.

The second gunman steps into view, sees one of his fellows bound in magical force bands and three others at the feet of this weird girl in uniform and concentrates on his gun after pointing it. You're shocked, literally, as what looks like lightning leaps out of the barrel instead of a bullet, and you throw yourself to one side and easily dodge it, but you're pretty sure that would actually hurt you if it hit you.

"That's an imbued weapon!" Rose shouts, hanging onto you now, "No fair!"

You're still recovering from all those called shots you were making earlier, you can't act yet, and it looks like chain guy is going to be fully up soon. You are still holding his choice of weapons though, so he probably won't be that much of a threat. You have to watch that lightning gun.

"Want me to take it out?" Rose asks, swishing her wand.

"No, Clayton may want it, just immobilize him," you answer.

"But he can't, oh whatever," and she quickly casts the spell, using three extra energy, as this guy seems to have both a cyber arm and a leg. She gets a 17, but with the penalty for rushing the spell, plus his cybernetics means his STRength check of 14 is enough to bust out of it.

"Grab her," he shouts, as the guy minus chain gets up.

"Are you nuts?" he shouts back, but tries anyway, meaning you get a reactive action against him, choosing the simple expediency of nailing him in the gut, and you don't even bother trying to dodge. You connect, doing ten damage to his body, not enough to drop him but enough to make him think twice about trying to grab you again. Some people just have to learn the hard way, you know? Chainless guy staggers back a little.

The first gunman physically throws himself at you, trying to knock you to the ground, so you facilitate his airborne journey of self discovery by catching his hands in your own, rolling yourself backwards as you plant your feet on his chest, and swooshing him backwards behind you. He goes skidding along the concrete floor rather ungracefully, face first. Naturally you just keep rolling and are on your feet again instantly.

"Wheeeeee" shouts Rose, still clinging to your shoulder.

"Incompetence, all of you are brimming with it!" says the second gunman, willing another lighting bolt at you. You have to dodge that one as well, shouting to Rose "How many of those does he have in there?"

She thinks for a second. "Twenty five divided by three. You're the new math wiz around here, you figure it out."

You have been studying math, actually, it's a requirement for the design and fabrication work you've been doing. So about eight then, sigh.

Rose starts casting again, taking extra time this time by the looks of it, but still getting it off before you can actively act again, all this dodging is annoying! She tries immobilizing him again, which sticks this time, and the second gunman goes toppling over, bands of force around him as well now. Oh, never mind then, guess it doesn't matter how many he has.

"I'm at minus five now," she whispers to you, so they don't know how tapped out she is.

"Understood," you say back, finally able to act again. Chain guy and the guy with the funny arm both look ready to act again, so you roll a close combat check to see who you should tackle first, rolling minimum, but which still beats their two rolls, and you know all three of you will act simultaneously.

Well that cyber arm isn't magic, so there's not much point in your dodging a punch, so you throw a flurry of blows at each, using your off hand to hit the ex-chain guy, and holding back so you don't kill him by accident. You hit the first guy for a measly five, but as you didn't declare a called shot, you hit his right arm, the one that's coming straight for you. You don't damage it, though he does seem surprised that he doesn't damage you, and do an additional four damage to the other guy, dropping him.

Behind you, the first gunman gets up and does something he thinks is pretty smart, he's seen you move, but he's also seen that the fairy has to wave that little wand of hers around to cast spells, and maybe he can use her as a hostage! He makes a grab for Rose, getting maximum and grabbing her, yanking her off your shoulder.

"Hey!" you shout, whirling around.

He puts his fingers aside her head and says "Back off lady, or your fairy friend here gets it."

"Really?" you ask, unconcerned. "You're going to pick on a poor, defenseless fairy now?"

"Unless you let me walk out of here right now..." he says, twisting a little.

"Oh, stop, ow ow ow, you're hurting me, stop," says Rose, hamming it up. "You brute, you monster, you... help me out here Jaden."

"Slime ball? Scum of the earth?"

"Yeah, those too!"

"I don't think you're taking me seriously!"

You shake your head. "You want me to do something?"

"Nah, I'm fine, you take the other guy, I got this."

"Okay," you say, whirling back around to hopefully do some damage to this guy that's trying to punch you before he hurts himself. The guy holding Rose makes a noise like he can't believe what he's hearing.

You pull off a very nice set of blows at the arm guy, hitting him in the chest and doing enough damage to knock him out too, leaving just the guy holding Rose, who is now looking directly at him. You fold your arms, seemingly annoyed.

"Well, mine is down, are you going to do something today?"

"You'll- You'll be sorry!" shouts the gunman, giving Rose's head a twist. Of course she's as invulnerable as you are, and he has no success.

"There's something you don't know about fairies," says Rose, as he struggles to snap her neck. "But I'm happy to educate you. We can do this."

Then she gets bigger. Twice as big as him, actually, tearing her out of his grip and shoving him back.

"I declare," you say. "Card 44." That will make sure he won't be able to do anything but gape at her for ten segments, allowing her to go first, which she does. She, surprisingly, does a Kung Fu move and smashes a flurry of punches into his body, after declaring card 22 to make up for her awful result. No sense in doing all this cool stuff if you're going to miss, right? She also puts maximum energy into her damage roll, getting a good result and staggering the guy.

"When did you learn that?" you ask, surprised.

"Didn't think I'd been watching you all these years without putting a few points in Kung Fu myself, did you?" she smirks. "You going to give up?" she says, looming over the guy. He puts his hands on his head. "I surrender."

Rose shrinks again, and you handcuff the guy as Clayton and Jake stroll in.

"Ten seconds," says Clayton. "Not bad, but I probably could have done it in five."

"With how many dead?" asks Rose icily.

"I hit what I aim at, it doesn't have to be lethal, you know."

The goons are all sliding over into the center of the room, as Jake waves his hands at them. He then checks them for injuries and uses Healing Acceleration on them so they'll come round, after handcuffing everyone, of course. Rose lets the magic go, and soon enough everyone is glumly sitting in a heap in the center of the floor.

"There were more of you?" asks gunman one. "We got taken out by one little girl and a fairy?"

"I told him we should have invested in more magic," says the chain guy. "But would he listen to me? Nooooo."

"We're a cyber gang," says the lighting gun guy, "We don't do magic. I only have that gun because it was... my grandfather's, I told you that!"

"I thought you said your uncle gave it to you?"

"Never mind that! We're in big trouble here!"

"Yes, you are," says Clayton, examining the gun in question. "For the girl alone, you're doing some time in the big house, you know that, right?"

They all glower at him.

"Did you all have her, or was she reserved for the boss man, which I take is you?" He puts the gun up to the guy's head.

"You really can't threaten me with that, there's no bullets in that gun," he sneers.

"Seems to have been plenty lighting though, wonder if I can make some come out?"

"You can't, idiot. You have cyber arms, and it takes energy to activate spells, that's why I use with my real hand and not my cyber one. Don't you know anything?"

"You don't want to make me angry you know," Clayton says, quick drawing one of his pistols from his inventory. "Like I said, I hit what I aim at, and it doesn't have to be fatal."

He pales a little. The others remain silent, you know he has to be pretty scared to tell you what you want to know.

"So arrest us and send us to jail already. The girl is upstairs in the forth room on the right."

"Oh, we know, we rescued her before Jaden even came in here."

The guys look surprised. "Then, what, if she's gone... huh?"

"Not too bright, huh?" says Clayton. "Must be all those blows to the head. I'll spell it out for you. She was never our concern, we're here because of the truck." He points.

"We rented that legitimately!" protests the guy with the knife arm. "We can show you the paperwork!"

"It's not the truck, stupid, it's what you were going to drive in the truck to the train station and load onto that boxcar that was waiting. Namely, me, or one of my friends here. We want to know who put you up to it."

They look confused. "We don't know," the knife thrower, who didn't get to do anything given he was the first to fall. "This invisible-"

"Don't tell them anything!" says the second gunman.

"You better tell us everything," cautions Clayton. "You're in for kidnapping, assault, rape, attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, resisting arrest, and one of you ran a red light coming back here, need I go on? You help us now, and maybe, just maybe, we'll put in a good word for you with the judge who sentences you. We might forget though, but the better the story we hear right now, the more grateful we'll be, and the greater the chance we'll remember."

"It's not like we know anything anyway," says the arm guy.

"Oh, do what you like, you're all dead to me." says the gunman.

"Now look what you've done, you've gone and hurt his feelings!" the other gunman says.

"I thought we were like family," the other says, a tear coming to his eye. "But now I see we were just people who knew each other, back in the day."

"No, it isn't like that, tell him it isn't like that," says knife guy to Clayton.

"Are you guys for real?" asks Clayton. "Just talk!"

"Okay, okay, like he said," says the chain guy. "This invisible person came to us and paid us to rent the truck, drive out to the place and have it ready during certain hours. We had to leave it there and come back later. We would then drive it to the train station and wait a few minutes, then we would come back here. The money appeared as long as we did the job."

"How much came?"

"Not much. It was $1000 a day, and we only rented the truck a couple of days."

"Let's see it."

"The last bag is still here, it's over in that room." he gestures with this head.

"Check it out," he says to Jake, who nods and jogs over there.

"It fits the pattern," says Rose. "I don't think they can really help us."

"This is nuts," says Clayton. "All this effort, and still nothing to show for it. Okay, I've got an idea. I declare, card 29 as card 42, give me something, Narrator, I'm begging you."

There's a pause.

"If we help you catch this person, we get off, right?"

"Why, you got something?" asks Clayton suspiciously, kneeling down.

"No, don't give it to him!" says Gunman #2.

"Yeah, even I know that's too much," says gunman #1.

"Hey, I don't want to rot in jail, okay, I'm giving it to them."

"Giving us what, exactly?"

"When the invisible person left, there was a really long hair we found on the floor, so we figured it belonged to them. We kept it, just in case, you know? I don't know much about magic, but we figured it could come in handy. It's in a drawer upstairs, I can show you."

Clayton hauled him up. "Go with Jaden, but she will kick your butt again if you try anything. You don't even need my guarantee to know that by now."

"Don't worry, I won't."

He leads you to a room upstairs and has you open one of the drawers, then empties it until you find a plastic bag with a hair in it. He was right, it's all curled up and very long, looks blond if the not so great light in here is any indication.

Is this the break you've been hoping for? You go down to tell the others, and get these cyber punks out of here.

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