Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shadowrun Character Part 4

Part 1 starts here; Part 2 starts here. You can find Part 3 there. If this gets too long, I might need a second Table of Contents. Side note: Someone needs to teach Wikipedia about Venn diagrams. Just a reminder: Roscoe Sumter is my Shadowrun character for an upcoming campaign. Now: The the adventure!

* * *

Being outgunned by teenagers is a humbling experience. Honest, I was always a humble man. But at that moment, with bullets smashing into my car, Samuels trying to gauge the distance from my car to the next abandoned one, and Lincoln barking up a storm in the back, I really found myself at a sort of peace.

"I can make the run in about eight seconds," Samuels said. "From there, I can make the second dash to the corner of the building in fifteen."

"They reload faster than that," I said, as we heard one of them slamming in a new clip. I wondered how much they had, but figured the answer was 'enough.'

"Give me covering fire."

I considered that as the bullets started again. I peered around, ducking back as soon as I had seen all that I needed to see. They were standing behind the waist-high barricade meant to keep anyone from ramming the building.

"Come on old man, I'm not even asking you to make a skill shot here."

"I'm qualified at the range just as well as any asshole with a computer in his brain," I said. "Go when the next clip drops."

That happened in about ten seconds; I leaned outside of the car and squeezed off two rounds. One thing about gang bangers is that there's two kinds. The hardened criminals who, while maybe not disciplined, are used to the streets. They don't scare easy; the other kind are what you have here. Kids, maybe orphans, maybe runaways, who have found a purpose in life: Booze, drugs and whores. They've yet to accept that part of their new life means that sometimes someone might shoot back. They're used to knocking over small time stores, loners who are out for a stroll.

Once you send a bullet their way, the high dream of strong arming their way into Ms. November's pants is suddenly replaced with having their brains splattered across the street by her bodyguards. The two bullets struck into the barricade; I had shot wildly so that I could get back into cover. They still knew they had the advantage, but it didn't matter.

Their brains weren't running on what the fuck they 'knew,' only what they feared. "Kill that fucker," one of them shouted and the gunfire exploded again. The other one's previous clean reloads were interrupted by him saying "Shit." After the full auto exhausted itself I popped around and took my time placing my next two shots. The one that was reloading had dropped below the barricade. I could barely see the tip of his neon green mohawk.

The second was still yanking the clip free when he saw me. He back pedaled, I watched as my bullets impacted into his leather jacket, puffing up and sounding a powerful smack. As I thought; not just hardware. Someone had equipped these guys for bear, but the force of the bullets still knocked him off his feet. Samuels made it to the corner unmolested.

I didn't want to open the door yet for Lincoln; he was a good dog and did what he was told. But, with bullets flying around, I didn't want his instincts to take over. That's what causes mistakes. I tried to keep my breathing even. Samuels whistled. I looked through the shattered windows of the car and saw that the two were now staying crouched, just barely peering over the barricade with their rifles. They were holding their fire.

Samuels shook his head; the angle was too tight. No shot. "Kind of a fucking shame his computer didn't tell him that before we got into this spot," I said. I signaled for him to cover me, while he complied, and they turned their rifles to try and pin him behind the corner, I crouched over to the trunk of the car and popped it open. During the next exchange of gunfire I pulled my bag from the back; it had some extra clips, a second layer for my helmet, and my hunting shotgun.

It was against all sorts of regulations to lug that around in the car, but I didn't think that Samuels was going to snitch at this point. I never really hunted, but it was a bit of an heirloom. The modern shotgun has a lot less recoil, the shells have higher stopping power. This old relic from the 2010s though was still old enough that people had a use for buckshot along with their shells.

I loaded it up as the gunfire died down. Samuels let the clip slide out of his pistol and pressed against the wall. He was empty, and the idiot didn't bother to pack extra. I popped open the door for Lincoln and grabbed his collar. I made sure his vest and helmet were strapped on tight and slid a few extra clips into the gurney. I reached into the trunk and pulled the first aid kit out, sliding it into the slot meant for it.

"Ok, boy, Robocop over there needs an assist," I said. I gave him the hand signal for stay. I slung the shotgun over my shoulder and then stood up and fired on the gangers again one handed.  The other hand tossed a treat behind the first car Samuels had gone too; Lincoln darted to it, low to the ground and quick. He snapped up the treat as the two kids realized that the dog had just been there.

There was one other thing in my personal bag, another relic from the past. My old leather slingshot. I gave Lincoln the stay hand signal again and reloaded my first clip. I said "Stay," again as I loaded a treat into the slingshot and sent it flying to Samuels feet. Lincoln's ears perked up, but he was a good dog and waited. I moved back to the front of my car and laid down covering fire after whistling the "Go" command.

Samuels' jaw dropped as Lincoln came bounding -- faster than him, I'll add -- around the corner, snapping up the treat on the run. Lincoln then lay on the ground, covering his legs with his armored torso and turning his head away from the gunfire. Samuels loaded a new clip in. I tucked my pistol in my pants while I waited for Samuels to fire.

When he did, I leaped over the hood of the car and blasted my shotgun as soon as I hit the ground. It made a completely different sound than the other guns; it wasn't a steady stream of gunfire. It was like the sudden blast of a cannon. The first guy in the barricade tried to turn to realign his fire on me, but his friend ducked instead. I sent another wave of shot towards the barricade as I weaved away from the line of fire. I heard more than saw as the ganger fell backwards.

The second one popped just his gun over the barricade and fired indiscriminately. I took two rounds to the chest, and I felt the armor plates break as I was knocked to the ground. Samuels came out from around the corner and made the barricade. My head was swimming, but I knew that the armor had held. I'd felt bullets before, and this was just going to leave a bruise. Through all the noise, I saw Samuels pistol flash four or five times as he overtook the barricade. After the initial series of shots, I saw him calmly lower the pistol and squeeze off two more rounds.

He tucked his gun away and helped me back up. "They're both down," He said. "That was suicidal running at them like that."

"I kind of hoped you'd charge them too," I said. "You know, since you're made of fucking iron."

"If you were on the fucking integrated comms, you could have told me that. Either way, I take back all the terrible things I said about your dog," He said. "Let me see what we can find out from the front, check yourself and make sure you're OK."

Lincoln came bounding over once he knew everything was fine and licked my hand. I reloaded my pistol before going over the barricade. I saw the two kids splayed out on the ground; I don't know how bad I clipped the one with my shotgun because the last two shots Samuels had fired had been execution shots. Their armored jackets had taken the brunt of his initial blasts, but while they were down, probably breathing through bruised or broken ribs, he had put a bullet through each of their linked-up brains.

Samuels was calmly searching the dead security guard while I looked back down at the dead kids. This was another humbling part of the job.

1 comment:

  1. Part of what I like about this is that, while yes, Roscoe is awesome -- if he just had some of the same tech Samuels has, this could have been infinitely easier. Imagine if he had one of those SmartLinks when he popped up to take the first two shots. He could've easily tracked for a head shot to take the guy down. They wouldn't have needed to mess around with positioning if they were both built like tanks; if he had an integrated communications unit, he could have coordinated once Samuels was out of position for a safer rush on the barricade.

    As awesome as the dog is and Roscoe's shotgun charge -- Samuels is right. His methods are just outdated and, frankly, not optimal.

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