|Date: 10 April 2019|
<Back in the land of running water and no mosquitos, I took some time for a creepy kid about 6 months older than me to muck with the genes controlling sugar levels in my body and do some brain surgery. No big deal. Thank Ghost drones do most of the work these days. Anyways, I get a call, Johnson wants to meet this in this kraut coffee shop out in the ass end of the barrens. Well, not the worst part, that's yet to come. There's still some kind of civilization out here. I log calories, get the least sugar laden thing I can find, and sit down with the group.
Convoy protection, escorting some valuable cargo on a rig to the center of Seattle while going through several fun Z rated places. Prices are discussed, we agree and gather up with a security escort who drives us to a hill overlooking some of the worst of the barrens, hell, its not barrens this is just ruins. We meet the rig and its operator, a broken down wreck that's seen better days and also the truck is pretty banged up too. There's a discussion of how we're going to do things as VTOLs come in and deliver the four pods we're supposed to guard, which they thankfully complete before someone starts shooting them out of the sky. As our original security escort gets blown to drek, we decide its time to take off.
Rig's autoguns and point defense do a good job, but run dry pretty quick. As we're talking to the driver we realize, she's not rigging, she's not even using AR. This is 5th world manual control. Thankfully at least the weapons have an AR interface, which comes in handy when we hit our first road block and ambush.
Malnourished barren dwellers do not fare well against assault cannon rounds. Their mage didn't either when Leaf murdered him well past the point where Growth could interrogate him, ah well. We move on. The truck starts rattling, and we pull aside. A drone is spotted in the distance, and Arsonist confirms its being rigged. One dead drone and dumpshock later, we're back to fixing the truck. Or not. As it was explained to me afterwards, apparently the enemy rigger did a final "frag you" in the form of a sniper drone relieving our driver of most of her skull. After confirming that even regeneration isn't going to do anything, we pull her body aside and Growth's friendly task spirit aids in getting the engine block back together. We mount up and head out.
The main issue is, none of us are wheelfolks. Leaf does some ju-ju and the insane custom 20 gear transmission makes a modicum of sense. We head down to the barrens checkpoint. Leaf casts a disguise and suddenly I look like that poor wreck thats cooling out there in the wastes, before her head got a new skylight, I mean. I smile at her contact and the pig smiles back and asks for a bribe. Two grand was probably too much but it got us through no questions asked. We're almost home free.
Or not. We come to a dead end and the mapsoft says to keep going. A call to the Johnson indicates we're supposed to go through this derelict train tunnel. After some astral scouting to confirm nothing horrible in there (and no trains), I carefully ease the rig in until we come to a giant hole in the ground.
Growth's task spirit buddy, who is a little too friendly, is brought back up and the gist is he needs body to use his engineering know how. Well frag. I am reassured this is nothing like bunraku puppets or bugs and let the little bastard in. Its...quite the unique experience. After mucking around a bit, Leaf mentions she has a spell for shaping metal, and there's a disused construction crane right there. The crane is tipped over and between mojo and manual labor we're good to go. I politely ask my guest to leave and with Growth's consent, he does. NOW we can get there and get paid.
We arrive 10 minutes before deadline. Johnson is there, thanks us, and goes to open a container of drone parts, which actually contains one (1) cybernetically aug'd tiger on combat drugs who proceeds to start eating our payday. Being blonde, I decide that tackling this thing and pinning it down is the best course of action. A beast spirit is summoned but this thing is so pissed off that it ain't working. Between Growth and I we finally pummel this thing into unconsciousness only to have to repeat it three more times.
After the Johnson calms down after his mauling, we get paid, with a bonus, and he mentions he is now strongly considering extraction and might contact us in the future. Job well done.
I do need to consider how my actions look and not impulsively jump in; having a strange dude inside you and then smashing some pussy on the same run can get you a reputation.>
- excerpt from "War Crimes are the Best Crimes, collected contractor's memoirs, published anonymously 2099