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Madripoor.

A shining beacon of civilization in the wilderness.

An economic powerhouse rivalling the economies of much larger nations.

A predatory ghetto where you’re at risk of being killed for your wallet.

Madripoor is all of this and more.

Your name is Aurelio Baluyot, and the last month of your life has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows.

Link to Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4924220

Link to Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=X-Men:%20Plunder%20and%20Wonder

After losing all you had when a mutant terrorist sunk your home island of Cebu, you landed in Madripoor hoping for a fresh start.

You wound up on the streets, where the only thing that mattered was hanging on for another day.

Hoping to escape your circumstances, you cast the die and enlisted on a pirate vessel, earning a spot as the ship’s cook.

You got lucky, the crew turned out to be a solid bunch.

Duke, the captain. A big guy in every sense; he’s served as your mentor of sorts, helping you acclimate to Madripoor’s quirks.

Clara, the muscle. Hotheaded, and easily distracted. Reliable though, and a good shot. Can’t ask for a whole lot more.

Hans, the engineer. A recluse, he prefers the company of the engines and his latest side projects over all else.

After a couple of raids, your fortunes are looking up. You’ve got a place to hang your hat, a car, food, and various other luxuries. Arguably, you’re better off now than at any other point in your life.

Without even counting your powers. To cut a long story short, you acquired hydrokinetic powers and a few other tricks after coming in contact with a strange Chinese artifact. After a bit of hemming and hawing, you told the crew about your powers, but not their origins. It’d be a little hard to explain.

As for piracy, you’ve taken to it well despite your rocky start. Despite your relative inexperience, you’ve grown attached to the lifestyle and the freedom it provides; to the opportunity to forge your own way forward.

After your infiltration of and subsequent escape from the Ronald Reagan, you made a clean escape with their prototype jamming tech.

Hans was giddy as a schoolgirl when you delivered it, but his mood quickly soured. While it is possible for it to be integrated with the PT boat’s systems, it’ll take Hans days to integrate it properly. The results should be well worth the effort though.

Once properly installed, the PT boat should be resistant to any form of electronic detection and able to jam all manner of previously untouchable targets.

The temporary grounding is for the best honestly. The heat’ll be on for a while until the next calamity somewhere else draws eyes away. You did just steal prototype technology from a massive defense company and the American government.

The news reported the attack as an “experimental weapons test gone awry,” which made you snicker a little. Journalistic integrity in action.
>>
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>>4979378

The prospect of twiddling your thumbs and waiting for work to resume rubs you the wrong way, and you mention it off-handedly to Duke.

As a token of his appreciation for going above and beyond with the last job, he offers to put in a good word with one of the local crime rings to help land some side work.

You’re a little apprehensive at the prospect, but it’s important to keep your options open. Besides, diversification never hurt anyone.

In the end, you go for it. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

Carefully considering your options, you throw your lot in with…

> The Bratva. The Russians are always on the lookout for hardcases capable of wetwork. Might be worth dipping your toe in.

> The Inagawa-kai. The Yaks run a sizable protection racket but they’ve been having “customer service” issues. You’re a people-person, sounds like it’s right up your alley.

> The 14K. The Triads are notorious for smuggling anything they can get their hands on; guns, drugs, money, you name it. Their last few shipments keep getting boosted, and they’re looking for problem solvers like yourself.

> The Salakau. Born-and-raised in Lowtown, they’re nothing to scoff at. Recently been skirmishing with the cops, could be some opportunity there. A chance to mix business with pleasure too, Madripoor’s illustrious police force holds a special place on your shitlist.


As an informal reminder, here are the important items in your possession.
- USB of encrypted files from the Brunswick.
- 6 darts, each supposedly capable of temporarily suppressing mutant powers.
- Gray coin, the progenitor of your powers.
- Brass bell, source of your ability to manipulate water temperature.
>>
>>4979380
>> The Salakau. Born-and-raised in Lowtown, they’re nothing to scoff at. Recently been skirmishing with the cops, could be some opportunity there. A chance to mix business with pleasure too, Madripoor’s illustrious police force holds a special place on your shitlist.
>>
>>4979380
> The 14K. The Triads are notorious for smuggling anything they can get their hands on; guns, drugs, money, you name it. Their last few shipments keep getting boosted, and they’re looking for problem solvers like yourself.
>>
>>4979380
>> The Salakau. Born-and-raised in Lowtown, they’re nothing to scoff at. Recently been skirmishing with the cops, could be some opportunity there. A chance to mix business with pleasure too, Madripoor’s illustrious police force holds a special place on your shitlist.

The other groups are placed high enough in the social totem pole to sell us out if we decide to retire because we made too much money from having perfect stealth. The most these guys can do is some snitch sending the cops to rob us.
>>
>>4979380
>> The Bratva. The Russians are always on the lookout for hardcases capable of wetwork. Might be worth dipping your toe in.
>>
>>4979380
> The 14K. The Triads are notorious for smuggling anything they can get their hands on; guns, drugs, money, you name it. Their last few shipments keep getting boosted, and they’re looking for problem solvers like yourself.
>>
>>4979380
> The 14K. The Triads are notorious for smuggling anything they can get their hands on; guns, drugs, money, you name it. Their last few shipments keep getting boosted, and they’re looking for problem solvers like yourself.
>>
> The 14K. The Triads are notorious for smuggling anything they can get their hands on; guns, drugs, money, you name it. Their last few shipments keep getting boosted, and they’re looking for problem solvers like yourself.

cause why not get involved with the people who are best in position to help us get varied and high end goods from all over the world.
>>
>>4979409
>>4979635
>>4979890
>>4979965

Looks like the Triads win. Writing.
>>
>>4980398
My damn trip keeps falling off for some reason, hopefully it'll be fixed now.
>>
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>>4980398

After some mental debate, you ask to be linked up with the 14K Triad. They’ve got connections that could come in handy.

Duke gives you a crash course in Triad etiquette as well as the location of a mahjong parlor in Lowtown.

According to Duke, it’s the hangout spot for a Red Pole called Steel Jaw Wu. Duke’s never met him, but he has a steadfast reputation for keeping his word.

It takes a bit of explaining, but the titles make sense eventually. A Red Pole is a mid-level enforcer of sorts, important enough to coordinate their own operations, but still has to take orders from up above. A military equivalent might be a NCO.

As you drive over, you consider everything you know about the 14K, which isn’t a whole lot. Mostly that they’re prolific smugglers, and that there’s been rumbling about their shipments getting hijacked. If it’s true, a lot of people are losing face over it.

Judging from the amount of muscle watching the entrances, you’ve found the right place. After a quick pat-down and confiscation of your holdout piece (which you’re will be returned), you’re granted an audience with Steel Jaw Wu.

It turns out not be much of an audience, mostly because Wu never even bothers to spare you a glance, far more concerned with the various plates of food scattered over the table in front of him.

Guess his name is more ceremonial than anything else. Otherwise, a more accurate sobriquet would be Fat Bastard Wu. You’ll keep that one to yourself.

Before things get even more awkward, you’re quickly led away by a different Triad member.

This one’s a bit different from the rest. While many of the others are covered head-to-toe in tattoos and dressed in flashy, expensive clothes, this one is clean-cut and wearing an understated suit.

He bows to you, and introduces himself as Lee, a Blue Lantern. He goes on to explain that Steel Jaw Wu has designated him as your liaison, and that he will be accompanying you during the job.

It takes a moment to remember, but it clicks eventually. Blue Lanterns are guys that have joined, but haven’t really made their mark yet. Guess it makes sense to pair one up with you, can’t waste anything too important on random hires from the street.

Lee guides you over to a secluded corner and takes the liberty of ordering something to eat, on the house of course.

As you eat, he goes over the general situation. For the last couple of weeks, more and more of their shipments passing through Madripoor on-route to distribution throughout the mainland keep turning up missing.

At first it was nothing to worry overmuch about, shrinkage is to be expected in any business with large amounts of material in storage and transit. But then the attacks continued to escalate.

They responded by doubling their protection details and reshuffling security protocols, but it hasn’t helped much. Doubling the security just led to double the dead guards. As for the cargo, it’s just disappears without a trace. Hasn’t surfaced anywhere.
>>
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>>4980446

Your instructions are simple enough. Find whoever’s been attacking their shipments and take care of them. If it’s a group of substantial size, dismantling their core leadership should be sufficient.

If you’re able to successfully recover some of the already stolen cargo, there’s a bonus to be had.

There’s also a bonus if you manage to take in the perpetrators alive, so that they may enjoy the Triad’s hospitality.

Since you’re ostensibly in command for now, Lee tells you about his talents. He’s a good shot and prefers a long-range role, but is willing to get into the mix should it be necessary.

After a bit of planning, you decide to…

> Have a real shipment organized, and provide security for it on the ground. Lee can provide overwatch from a nearby rooftop. Hopefully you can bait them into a straight fight.

> Hide some men in a shipment and have it be intercepted. Then, trail them back to their base of operations and wing it from there. Risky, but could blow the whole thing wide open.

> Disguise yourself as a bum and watch over the next shipment. Hopefully you’ll get a feel for what’s going on.

> Lean on some of the locals. Somebody has to have seen something.

> Other?
>>
>>4980449
> Hide some men in a shipment and have it be intercepted. Then, trail them back to their base of operations and wing it from there. Risky, but could blow the whole thing wide open.
>>
>>4980449
> Hide some men in a shipment and have it be intercepted. Then, trail them back to their base of operations and wing it from there. Risky, but could blow the whole thing wide open.

We're smuggling people.
>>
>>4980449
> Have a real shipment organized, and provide security for it on the ground. Lee can provide overwatch from a nearby rooftop. Hopefully you can bait them into a straight fight.
I see no reason to stick my neck out for somebody else's stuff.
>>
>>4980958
>Red Pole
Aren't we putting their men in the containers?

What if they are just tossing the cargo overboard?
>>
>>4981014
It’s invading an enemy stronghold. We get paid for the job either way, so why not get it from guard duty instead?
Plus guard duty is a renewable resource unlike wrecking the whole operation in one go.
>>
>>4981062
I doubt we'd be able to game a organized crime gang like that, plus its more work for the QM to write and follow through with.

If the red poles think we're working with their enemy or feel like we are cheating them, they will kill us.
>>
>>4980474
>>4980943

Looks like baiting a trap wins, roll me 2d100s.

DC: 40 for the trick itself.
DC: 70 to spot anything interesting.

I'll be a bit busy on Friday, but I'll have something out as soon as I'm able.
>>
Rolled 83 (1d100)

>>4981216
>>
Rolled 79 (1d100)

>>4981216
>>
Rolled 32 (1d100)

>>4981216
>>
Rolled 37 (1d100)

>>4981216
Wait, its 2d100 guys
>>
Still need 2 more rolls for the second DC, must've been a little confusion as to which dice to roll.
>>
Rolled 41, 34 = 75 (2d100)

>>4981216
>>
Rolled 79, 98 = 177 (2d100)

>>4981681
>>
>>4981925
pog
>>
Alright, I think I've got everything sorted right.

I don't like tossing out rolls, so here's the fairest way I have everything tallied.

For the trick, I'll take the first 3 rolls since it's Bo3 and basically fills the same role anyways, making it a regular success.

For the observation, I'll take >>4981417 and the second number from >>4981685 and >>4981925, making it a minor success.

I apologize if this is convoluted, but I'm making the best with what I've got.

I'd prefer to keep things relaxed, so I'm not going to ignore rolls with improper formatting, unless it becomes a problem somehow.

Update will be tomorrow, I'm beat.
>>
Rolled 54 (1d100)

>>4982249
More rolls?
>>
>>4982249
Its alright, it was our fault
>>
>>4982249

You don’t bother asking Lee about the contents of the hijacked shipments. You’ve been in the game long enough to know that certain questions aren’t worth asking.

Still, you need some kind of general idea about the operation if you’re going to plan a defense of it.

When pressed for further detail about the next shipment, Lee dances around the subject as much as he can.

While you understand his concerns, that you might just be stupid enough to go for a double-cross or snitch, you were hired for a reason.

After some contemplation, Lee relents and gives you something actionable.

There’s a shipment coming in tonight, loaded with dirty money.

Once offloaded from the cargo ship, they’ll be escorted under armed guard to stashes in the city where they’ll be cleaned up for general use.

The stashes themselves reportedly serve as major caches for all sorts of illicit goods, and are under heavy protection.

Lee mentions that the stashes have been left alone for the most part, which is both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing, because losing one would be a major kick in the revenue stream, with the potential to bottleneck their whole import/export racket and get unwanted attention from people who actually matter.

A curse, because whoever’s been fucking with the Triads is smart enough to know that knocking over individual shipments is small potatoes compared to derailing the money train. Messing with the shipments gets assigned small-time hitters like you, upsetting the status quo gets the professionals involved, with all that entails.

Either they’re clever, or desperate. Knowing Madripoor, it’s probably both.

Whoever it is, it ends tonight.

Lee, and by extension the 14K, are willing to provide you with some bargain-brand muscle to get the job done. Most of them are just meathead gangbanger types too stupid to realize the danger they’re putting themselves in for a pittance of a reward.

Still, it’s better than nothing.

Just one hair in the soup. It’s going to look pretty suspicious if the shipment doesn’t have any sort of protection. As your own experiences can attest, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If your opposition have even a single braincell to share among themselves, they’ll smell a rat and know that something isn’t right.

Somebody has to guard the shipment and get bushwhacked for it to look real. It’s a tough call to make, but it’s the one that has the best chance of actually working.

Lee concurs with your plan, and starts getting everything on his end organized.

That night, you and Lee are posted on a nearby rooftop, where you observe the cargo being carefully unloaded. In case someone is watching like you are, the men were loaded into the crates while on the ship.

You’re tempted to crack a joke about triads and people smuggling, before focusing on the job at hand.
>>
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>>4982849

As for the sacrificial lambs guarding the shipment itself, it seems to be a mixture of low-level and mid-level guys. Wouldn’t be shocked overmuch if Lee was using this as opportunity to weed out rivals.

If you were going to hit them, you’d make your move right after they finish offloading onto the docks, right before they start loading up the trucks for further transport.

But no, looks like the trucks are actually proceeding right on schedule.

Damn, looks like luck isn’t on your side. Either they saw through your little ploy, or just decided the pickings weren’t worth the trouble.

Guess you’ll try again another….wait a second.

If you blinked, you would’ve missed it. A group of men in red outfits that you refuse to call ninjas do some kind of bullshit acrobatic maneuver from the shadows and land on top of the trucks, before silently disposing of the drivers and protection details. Their leader, obvious from the way he’s directing the others, has them quickly dump the bodies and keep the convoy rolling.

Lee’s face pales when you point it out to him, and he spits something in Cantonese under his breath that you don’t manage to catch.

Regardless, the plan is still in motion, and you manage to tail them back to their hideout without being too obvious. Either they’re getting cocky or just aren’t aware of the consequences, because they just cruise on home.

In this case, home turns out to be an abandoned warehouse deep in Lowtown. They drive the trucks straight inside, before the bay doors close behind them.

You don’t particularly like the idea of going in blind, but you don’t have time to do much else.

They’re bound to crack open the crates eventually, so you’ll need to do this fast.

About a dozen guys are are stashed in the crates, with another dozen still under your command. Most of them are just street trash packing Uzis, revolvers, and other typical fare.

In terms of hardware, you’re packing…

> The Benelli M4 shotgun. Well suited for getting up close and personal.

> The AK74M assault rifle. Workhorse of the revolution, should fill any role decently.

> The SR-25 marksman rifle. Ideal for trickier shots from a distance. (Required if you want to use the power suppressant darts.)


As for your plan, you decide to…

> Kick in the doors and take them by surprise. Once the guys in the crates open fire, you’ll have them pincered.

> Do a bit of recon first to make sure this isn’t a setup. You’re racing against the clock though, so it may backfire.

> Make a racket outside and challenge their leader to a one-on-one fight. Once they’re down, the rest should scatter.

> Call the cops and embellish a story that’ll get them to respond in force. Loud and risky, but if you play your cards right you could land a coup de grace on the winners.

> Set the warehouse ablaze and flush them out. It’s cruel, and you’ll be sacrificing the infiltration team, but your job is extermination, not recovery.

> Other?
>>
>>4982852
> The SR-25 marksman rifle. Ideal for trickier shots from a distance. (Required if you want to use the power suppressant darts.)
> Kick in the doors and take them by surprise. Once the guys in the crates open fire, you’ll have them pincered.
Take them alive, get some bonuses since we've been slacking on our jobs a bit.
>>
>>4982852
> The Benelli M4 shotgun. Well suited for getting up close and personal.
> Kick in the doors and take them by surprise. Once the guys in the crates open fire, you’ll have them pincered.

quick and dirty.
>>
>>4982856
Sniper rifle for full frontal assault?
>>
>>4982939
I kinda wanted to use water. And I don't know if this guys have a mutant with them.
>>
>>4982852
> The Benelli M4 shotgun. Well suited for getting up close and personal.
Assault rifle would be ideal, but AK is a bit cumbersome at times.
>>
>>4983003
Set off the fire sprinklers?
>>
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>>4982856
>>4982938
>>4983130

Looks like kicking in the door, equipped with your shotgun wins.

Roll me 2d100s

DC: 55 for the rank-and-file.
DC: 80 for the leader.

>>4982939
It's technically a marksman rifle / sniper rifle depending on how it's customized. It's still viable for closer range stuff as a marksman rifle, just built for trickier shots. I'm no /k/ommando, so I might be wrong.

>>4983003
>>4983131
I figured that you guys wouldn't want to use your powers in front of other people unless things get out of hand. If I'm wrong, the option is always there; you've just gotta toss it out to let me know.

Picture for reference as to the non-sniper version.
>>
Rolled 13 (1d100)

>>4983608
>>
Rolled 3, 100 = 103 (2d100)

>>4983608
Yolo
>>
Rolled 96, 1 = 97 (2d100)

>>4983608
>>
What is happening? Is this real life?
>>
ionno, man
>>
Rolled 98 (1d100)

>>4983608
>>
I think what we have here is some sort of longshot vs domino sequence where hax luck keeps on wildly swinging the pendulum of death like a comedy skit.
At some point a piano will fall on somebody's head.
>>
Rolled 8, 18 = 26 (2d100)

>>4983608
>>
>>4983793
>>4983936
>>4983945
>>4983980

Alright, looks like a minor success for the mooks and a crit success for their boss.

Now's as good a time as any to mention that crit successes override crit fails.

This will probably take me a while to write, update will probably be tomorrow.

In the meantime, since it's a crit, vote on how you want his takedown to go.

> Take him completely by surprise and club him. Rather embarrassing for a "ninja".

> He tries to escape with some fancy acrobatics, and you harpoon him with your wrist-harpoon. Reel him in like a trout.

> You dodge his initial attacks and deliver an absolutely crushing haymaker that puts him down for the count. That's gonna hurt in the morning.

> Your men help box him in, isolating him and giving you the opportunity to thrash him. Divide and conquer.

> Other?
>>
>>4984345
> He tries to escape with some fancy acrobatics, and you harpoon him with your wrist-harpoon. Reel him in like a trout.
>>
>>4984345
> Take him completely by surprise and club him. Rather embarrassing for a "ninja".
too funny not to take
"your kneeckaps ar now triad property, boi!"
>>
>>4984345
> He tries to escape with some fancy acrobatics, and you harpoon him with your wrist-harpoon. Reel him in like a trout.
I like the nautical flair of this choice.
>>
>>4984345
> Take him completely by surprise and club him. Rather embarrassing for a "ninja".
>>
>>4984345
>club him

Hand ninja are really running out of quality people.
>>
>>4984425
>>4984475
>>4984502
>>4984616

Alright, calling it for this option.

Writing.
>>
>>4985360

It’s not the most refined or tactical of plans, but you don’t have the luxury of time for much else. Having a clearer picture of the situation inside the warehouse would be nice but futile, if your ruse is discovered before you’re properly in position.

Therefore, you grab your shotgun, rally up your forces, and charge through the front doors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T8As2kzelk

The ninjas by the door are immediately killed, while the ones deeper inside are alerted by the noise and take defensive positions.

You recognize the leader from before, attempting to organize his scattered forces.

Bet it’s not so fun being on the other side of the ambush.

Best take care of him before he manages to get something concrete put together.

You split from the main group to target the leader, while Lee and the others concern themselves with the keeping the rank-and-file ninjas pinned and suppressed.

Their leader is so preoccupied with directing his troops that he never sees it coming when you use your wrist-harpoon to grapple to the wall behind him.

You debate the merits of just blowing him away, but there’s a bonus for taking him in alive. No sense in turning down easy money.

Never said anything about doing it gently though.

Your wrist-harpoon releases from the wall, and you use the rough little hole left behind as a handhold. After pivoting your body to get a good angle, you shoot the wrist-harpoon directly in front of the leader.

Over the din of gunfire and metal clanging, it’s an easy enough noise to miss. He’s really gonna regret not maintaining situational awareness.

The trajectory of your grapple allows you to clothesline the bastard on your rapid descent.

Before he can recover, you take the liberty of finishing the job inertia started by bludgeoning him a couple times with the stock of your shotgun. After a few meaty thwacks, you figure he’s probably had enough.

After getting your bearings back, you take stock of the situation.

Lee and the other gangsters have been careful to keep any of the ninjas from getting too close, but they’re still steadily closing the distance.

Most of the ninjas are equipped for close combat, with a scattering of throwing weapons. Had they been the ones to get the drop on you, this would’ve been a whole lot messier.

The battle flips fully in your favor when the men in the crates finally get their cue and start blasting the ninjas.

They’re outgunned, outflanked, disorganized, and out of options. To their credit, they all fight to the death, with none of them even attempting to surrender.

To be honest, you don’t blame them. The 14K isn’t exactly famous for their humane and gentle treatment of people who cross them.
>>
>>4985449

Once the last vestiges of resistance are crushed, you do a quick headcount. On the most part, everyone came through alright.

A couple guys are going to have some nasty scars, but they should pull through alright.

Lee handled himself pretty well, and takes charge over the clean-up effort.

For example, he has some of the gangsters collect the dead bodies, their weapons, and your prisoner for transport. The rest are temporarily dispatched to get medical attention / report in to their superiors about your success.

You notice that he’s made a subtle, but conscious effort to have everyone else busy so he can speak to you privately.

Before you can ask what he’s up to, he tosses you a crowbar and points at one of the many crates scattered throughout the warehouse.

To humor him, you crack one open. It turns out to be stuffed to the gills with designer clothing.

After cracking open several other crates, you find a veritable treasure trove of loot. Electronics, money, drugs, all kinds of stuff.

Solemnly, Lee begins to speak.

“As you can see, there is a great deal of stolen 14K assets in this warehouse. Now, I know that Steel Jaw Wu has offered a bonus if his wayward property was to be returned to him. However, given the large quantity of goods that have gone missing, it’d be impossible to have a perfectly accurate count of their inventory.

Should certain items were to go missing, it’s unlikely that their disappearance would ever be noted. You’d still get your bonus, Steel Jaw Wu gets his property back, and I make a generous profit. Everybody wins.

In exchange for your cooperation in this matter, I’m prepared to offer you a split down the middle.”

What do you say?

> Reject the offer. You made a deal, and this would violate the spirit of it.

> Reject the offer. The bonus is reward enough, this has the potential to backfire violently.

> Take the offer. You’ve done some solid work tonight, nothing wrong with skimming a bit off the top.

> Take the offer. It’s not like anyone’s going to know.

> Other?
>>
>>4985452
> Take the offer. You’ve done some solid work tonight, nothing wrong with skimming a bit off the top.
>>
>>4985452
>> Reject the offer. You made a deal, and this would violate the spirit of it.
feels like a trap not gonna lie
>>
>>4985493
Yeah this
>>
>>4985452
>>4985493

We're criminal delinquents now. Not sure we'd care.

> Other?
>I like the offer, but something that good in Madripoor kinda feels like a setup. I'll just make do with staying out of your way. This is all just business between you and Wu. I'm staying out of it.
>>
>>4985652
Support.
>>
>>4985493
>>4985559
>>4985652
>>4985740

Alright, calling it. Since these are fairly compatible with each other, I'll mix em together.

Next update should be Tuesday.

Might be delayed, got work stuff.
>>
>>4986600

As I feared, things are a bit too hectic today. Update will be out tomorrow though.
>>
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>>4987388

Your reflexive, knee-jerk response is to eagerly agree to Lee’s terms, before the skepticism and paranoia that Lowtown has beaten into you kicks in.

At first, the deal seems like a no-brainer, you get an easy payday for little to no work besides loading up a couple crates and looking the other way.

However, the longer you think about it, the less attractive the offer sounds. Sure, the money is good, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

This is Madripoor. While cheating, lying, and double-dealing are acceptable if you’ve got an army at your back and the resources for a protracted conflict, you’re just a small fry in a very large pond.

Something about this doesn’t check out, and you’re more than happy to keep your nose out of it.

Potentially pissing off the 14K, who have a long reach and even longer memory, isn’t worth it.

Part of learning to take risks is learning which ones to walk away from. This is absolutely one of them.

Besides, it’s a little embarrassing to admit, but you’d like to hold yourself to a code of conduct of sorts. It’s a bit of a stretch to call them “professional standards,” but the logic is the same.

There are things you do, and you things you don’t. Putting the screws to an employer on a whim doesn’t fit right with you.

Maybe you’ve seen too many movies, maybe you’re still a bit naive. Either way, you don’t like the idea of fucking over your clients without due reason.

Especially since you haven’t gotten paid yet.

Best to let Lee down gently, no need to make an enemy out of him, unless he insists on becoming one.

“Thanks, but no thanks. You make a good offer, but I’m not interested. If you want to try and put one over on your boss, that’s between the two of you. I’m just the hired help, and it looks like my job here is done.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeY21FwvdJQ

Lee doesn’t display much of a reaction, which sends your worries into overdrive. Anger or disappointment, you could understand well enough.

But nothing at all? That’s weird as fuck.

Just to be on the safe side, you keep a sharp eye on Lee and the gangsters prepping the recovered cargo for transport, but everything seems kosher.

Maybe he’s worried that you’ll squeal on him to Wu? Hopefully not, because the easiest solution to that Gordian knot is cutting you out of the picture.

Either way, you’re on high alert. If a backstab is incoming, it’s going to come any moment now. You’re in unfamiliar turf, surrounded by men presumably loyal enough to Lee. Should he bump you off and fabricate an excuse, he could probably get away with it.

Miraculously, nothing happens, and the warehouse is emptied with a quiet efficiency.

Lee offers you a lift back to the mahjong parlor, which you cautiously accept. In for a penny, in for a pound.

The ride back is quiet, Lee is focused on driving, and you’re deep in thought.

The radio is playing a cheesy song from the 80s, but it helps to lighten the mood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73vP02w3mwo
>>
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>>4988269

At the parlor, your weapons are once again confiscated before entry is allowed.

Which is not a great sign.

Lee accompanies you inside, where you’re granted an audience with Steel Jaw Wu. Doesn’t look like he’s moved much since you left.

With an easy confidence, Lee approaches Wu, and gives him a nod. Abruptly, Wu rises from his seat, moving to a lower position down the table.

Lee takes his spot at the head of the table, and your mind is running at a mile a minute.

Suddenly, everything clicks into place.

Why “Lee” is dressed much more professionally and reasonably than your standard triad muscle.

Why “Lee” is more polite and businesslike than the rest of his peers.

He was introduced as a Blue Lantern, a nobody. In that case, how was he able to organize the gangsters and keep them in line?

There’s no way that they’d deign to take orders from somebody lower on the totem pole. For a Red Pole though, they’d keep their mouths shut and play along.

Judging from the smile on the real Steel Jaw Wu’s face, he’s correctly interpreted the surprise on your face.

Shit, you really dodged a bullet when you refused to take that deal. Hopefully he doesn’t have an issue with your lack of intervention.

Worst comes to worst, you’ve still got your powers as an ace in the hole. Might be able to blast your way out of here.

“I apologize for the deception.” Wu says, not looking even remotely sorry.

“A certain degree of….discretion is required in our line of work. Consider this a tryout of sorts, of both skill and character. Fortunately, you passed on both fronts. You’d be surprised how many fall for such a simple trick.”

“And if, by chance, I had taken you up on your offer?” You ask, wound tightly.

“This conversation would be remarkably less civil. Tea?”

Without bothering for your answer, he has a place cleared at the table and set for you.

You take a seat, grumbling a little internally.

“Your methods, while unorthodox, proved fruitful enough. With only a handful of casualties, you’ve dismantled a consistent thorn in my side in a single night’s work. Well done.” He says, with genuine respect coloring his voice.

“Who were those guys, anyway? You get a whole lot of ninjas around here?”

You were intending that as a joke to steady your nerves a little, but Wu takes it seriously.

“More than you’d think. We’ve already begun... consulting with the prisoner you captured. Once he cooperates, we should know more.”

“And if he doesn’t?”

“Then he’ll serve well enough for a different purpose. A reminder to those who forget their place. Your tea is getting cold.”

There’s a lull in the conversation as you drink a bit of the jasmine tea Wu’s offered you. You’ve never been much of a tea guy, but offending your “host” isn’t a good idea.

“I have my suspicions as to the identities of the men we fought tonight.”

You stay silent, prompting him to explain.
>>
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>>4988273

“I believe they may be members of the Hand, a clan of warriors that have been attempting to spread their roots into Madripoor for decades. As you can see, they make a nuisance of themselves each time.” Wu elaborates, with a noticeable anger in his voice when he says their name.

He claps his hands together, and attempts to project a false cheer.

“But enough about that, onto the matter of your compensation. Feel free to think about it while I order us something to eat. My treat, I insist.”

After some contemplation, you pick…

(Choose 2 big rewards and 3 small ones)

Big (Has game impact)

> Higher quality small arms and equipment for the ship’s armory. (If you’ve got a preference in the type of weapons / ammo, feel free to include it.)

> A mounted weapon for the PT boat capable of doing some real damage. (Choose between an AT gun, rocket emplacement, or mine racks.)

> Access to a network of black-hat hackers and a marker for a free job.

> Low-level access to an Interpol database the 14K have a backdoor in.

> Martial arts training from some of their veterans. (Include style if you care, otherwise I’ll default to silat.)


Small (Mostly for flavor)

> Security system for your apartment.

> Informal protection detail for your apartment.

> VIP access to a couple clubs.

> Home theater system.

> Top-of-the-line computer station.

> Other?


(Apologies for the wall of text on this one, had a burst of inspiration. Let me know if my choice in music needs improvement.)
>>
>>4988275
>> Higher quality small arms and equipment for the ship’s armory.
> Access to a network of black-hat hackers and a marker for a free job.
>>
>>4988275
>> Higher quality small arms and equipment for the ship’s armory.
> Martial arts training from some of their veterans. srunken boxing or praying mantis style, ionno, something that throws our opponents off when fighting hand to hand
> Top-of-the-line computer station.
> Security system for your apartment
> Informal protection detail for your apartment.
>>
>>4988275
> Martial arts training from some of their veterans. (Include style if you care, otherwise I’ll default to silat.)
We need a way to deal with bulletproof people. Those darts won't work on them. Maybe we can even start doing silly avatar waterbending bullshit in our QCQ.
> Low-level access to an Interpol database the 14K have a backdoor in.
We've made waves in the last month. Knowing some basics like if authorities are looking for us is a great heads up.
What we don't need are improvements to the boat. we went above and beyond on that just now. Let the other crewmates work on those upgrades for a turn or two.
> VIP access to a couple clubs.
Property gets lost. VIP access on the other hand might let us overhear bout a big score eventually.
> Security system for your apartment.
If somebody robs the SPIN tech from us we wanna know who did it.
> Top-of-the-line computer station.
We can play videogames and Marvel has games with superheroes in them, so we can make our goofing off time playing videogames double as a learning experience about possible dangerous enemies.
>>
>> Higher quality small arms and equipment for the ship’s armory.
-Honey badger PDWs for boarding (integrally suppressed, .300 blackout, highly customizable, AR-15 like) , SA58s in multiple configurations (modernized FN FALs, can be pistol CQB or rifle), FN five seven pistol with underbarell single shot shotgun which can take explosive rounds or customized shotgun cartridges. Carl Gustav recoiled rifle and all ammo types, bean bag, rock salt, taser, high ex, dragons breath, etc rounds for shotgun
> Martial arts training from some of their veterans. srunken boxing or praying mantis style, ionno, something that throws our opponents off when fighting hand to hand
> Top-of-the-line computer station.
> Security system for your apartment
> Ownership of the building we live in and or the entire apartment floor. Enables bigger kitchen, workout room, secure vault, etc to be added in future
>>
>>4988275
Came very close to choosing the skimming option.

> A mounted weapon for the PT boat capable of doing some real damage. (Choose between an AT gun, rocket emplacement, or mine racks.)
> Low-level access to an Interpol database the 14K have a backdoor in.

> Security system for your apartment.
> Informal protection detail for your apartment.
> VIP access to a couple clubs.

>>4989029
Not a bad Idea with the ownership, but I'd rather we do so after we find a nice location, and a suitable building.
>>
>>4988275
> A mounted weapon for the PT boat capable of doing some real damage. (Choose between an AT gun, rocket emplacement, or mine racks.)
Rocket launcher!
> Martial arts training from some of their veterans. (Include style if you care, otherwise I’ll default to silat.)
Kung-Fu
> Security system for your apartment.
> VIP access to a couple clubs.
> Top-of-the-line computer station.
>>
>>4989094
You want to move to the suburbs or what? I like our setup the way it is, classic drug dealer apartment in a super shabby highrise, decked out with the nicest tech.
>>
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>>4989310
No, like we scout a structurally solid place with good space to maneuver maybe like a hotel/apartment flat....

I don't want to invest in a shoddy shack or some place that can't handle someone blowing up our home.
>>
>>4988310
>>4988340
>>4988589
>>4989029
>>4989094
>>4989308

Alright, if my final tallies are correct, small arms and martial arts training win.

As for the small rewards, the security system, VIP access, and computer system win.

Once I get a few errands done and grab something to eat, I'll get going on it. May take me a while though, this is probably another long one.
>>
>>4989674

I totally forgot to ask, but I’ll fold it into the future update anyways.

It’s time for a mandatory fun day, how would you like to spend it with the crew?

> Hit the nightclubs. You’ve got VIP access, might as well use it.

> Take in a fight or two. Lowtown’s got a couple establishments that function like sports bars, but for prizefighting.

> Just hang out on the boat, get hammered, and cook something. It’s a classic.

> Range practice with the new toys. Nothing brings people together like blowing things to pieces.

> Use Hans’ skiff and go fishing. Low-key, and relaxing enough.

> Other?
>>
>>4989803
>> Use Hans’ skiff and go fishing. Low-key, and relaxing enough.
>>
> Just hang out on the boat, get hammered, and cook something. It’s a classic.

> Range practice with the new toys. Nothing brings people together like blowing things to pieces.

Why not combine these two and get some at sea shooting practice in with everyone. Best of both worlds
>>
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>>4989803
> Hit the nightclubs. You’ve got VIP access, might as well use it.

why the hell would we vote for the access and then not go clubbing?
>>
>>4989803
>> Take in a fight or two. Lowtown’s got a couple establishments that function like sports bars, but for prizefighting.
>>
I wasn't expecting the vote to get tied up, I need a bit more time to finish anyways.

I'll close it at noon-ish tomorrow and roll a tiebreaker if I have to.

Shouldn't take too long to integrate it into the update as a whole.

Saves me from having to stagger stuff.
>>
>>4989803
>> Hit the nightclubs. You’ve got VIP access, might as well use it.
>>
>>4989803
> Hit the nightclubs. You’ve got VIP access, might as well use it.
It'll probably be revoked after something plot related happens and we lose access. Use it before its gone.
>>
>>4989834
>>4990342
>>4990557

Alright, looks like clubbing wins. Writing.
>>
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>>4990962

While eating, you mull over your options.

While it would be nice to get a stronger intelligence backbone, improving your equipment and skills take priority. Knowledge itself is important, yet useless if you lack the skills or resources to properly take advantage of the opportunities it reveals.

After a bit of negotiating, you both settle on the specifics and leave on good terms, with Wu promising to keep you in mind if he needs further problems solved.

A few days later, one of the gangsters under Wu delivers a few tightly sealed crates to the ship’s berth.

Funny, you don’t remember telling him where the PT boat was docked. Another subtle reminder that he’s got eyes everywhere, I guess.

The fact that some of the crates are stamped as military property for various governments make you chuckle a little internally. Talk about falling off the truck.

Guess you can add the violation of numerous arms embargoes to the ever growing rap sheet. Somehow, you can’t bring yourself to care.

A while back, Clara gave you a shortlist of weapons / gear that she was looking to add to the arsenal. You kept it in mind when you were haggling with Wu. Probably a good thing too, you’re know how to shoot and clean your weapons, but you’re no gun nut.

After cracking open the crates and giving the contents a quick inspection, it looks like it’s all here.

In no particular order, you’ve acquired
- AAC Honey Badger personal defense weapons
- SA58 OSW assault carbines
- FN Five-seven pistols
- A Carl Gustav M3 recoilless rifle
- A smorgasbord of ammo types and a couple HEAT rounds

Most of this specific details fly over your head, but the gangster in charge of delivery is surprisingly helpful and gives you the sales pitch.

The Honey Badger PDWs are chambered in .300 AAC Blackout, and boast an integrated suppressor. This little number is built for silent killing, as silent as you’re going to get with a firearm at least. Think of it as the bastard child of an MP5 and an AR-15.

The SA58 assault carbines are a copy of the FN FAL, and are chambered in 7.62 NATO When mobility and firepower are the priority, this one ought to be your go-to.

The Five-seven pistols are chambered in 5.7x28, and are capable of punching through body armor under the right conditions.

It’s definitely a massive step-up from the Saturday night special you’ve been packing as a last-ditch holdout.

As a bonus, you managed to wheedle out something special, just for you; a custom under-barrel shotgun attachment for your new Five-seven. Should be able to load all manner of custom ammo into it for all manner of situations.

Lastly, the Carl Gustav M3 recoilless rifle. With the handful of modernized HEAT rounds you’ve been provided, you could do anything from crack bunkers to take out tanks. If you’re a good enough shot, you might even be able to put one through a ship.

Regardless, you’ve got some serious firepower under your belt now, and you’re almost itching for an excuse to use it.
>>
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Asking for martial arts training seemed like a good idea on paper.

You get another skill to add into the repertoire that may just save your life some day if you’re out of juice and unarmed. What could possibly go wrong?

As your arm is nearly jerked out of socket for what feels like the umpteenth time, you realize that this may not be as easy you expected.

When asked what kind of martial art you’d prefer to learn, you took some time to think about it seriously.

Brute force isn’t always going to cut it, you need something more flexible, that allows you to throw any potential opponent off-balance (both figuratively and literally.)

After relaying your preference for mobility, creativity, and trickiness, Wu promised to find a suitable trainer for the basics of the style.

Therefore, it was decided that you’d be trained in Northern Praying Mantis boxing. More specifically, in the Seven Star Praying Mantis style. The nuances of this flew directly over your head, all you cared about was that you’d learn some fancy moves.

The reality was disappointing in several ways.

At first, you had to stifle a snicker at how stupid the forms looked, and struggled to take it seriously.

After the wiry little bastard Wu assigned to tutor you nearly took out an eye and dislocated your shoulder, you agreed as to the merits of the style.

As you would painfully and intimately discover, the Seven Star style places a great deal of emphasis on kicking, striking, grappling, joint locking, and throwing. Even though it was originally intended for self-defense only, the version you’re taught is a bit less delicate. Lots of potential for bone-breaking and pressure point strikes in your future.

You’re already pretty light on your feet, but the regiment still proves to put you through your paces. It doesn’t help that Wu’s sadistic little trainer is more than happy to smack you with a goddamn stick of hardened bamboo whenever he catches up, or when you fuck up a form.

As previously mentioned, grappling is another place where the Seven Star style shines.

You prove to be a quick study, far from a master of the discipline, but you’ve got the fundamentals under your belt.

Anything further would require extensive instruction or individual practice on your own time.

With some experimentation, you could try and combine some of the moves with your manipulation of water. That’d require a bit more experience with with the style before it would really pan out though.
>>
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>>4991000

Lastly, you round it out with a couple smaller requests.

Nothing too earth-shaking, mostly just some added security and utility items for your apartment.

As for security upgrades, you’ve got a couple hidden CCTV cameras set up to to watch the approach to your apartment block, as well as the building itself. One of the problems you had to grapple with was storing the footage; keeping it stored in or around your home is a terrible idea.

If someone was to burgle you, the after action retaliation would be sabotaged badly if they could just wipe or otherwise damage the footage.

In a stroke of inspiration, you have the perfect solution. It’s a pain in the ass to handle yourself, but the end product is more than satisfactory. You keep the footage remotely stored in a server in that abandoned Reaver lab you have access to.

Even if someone went looking for it specifically, it’d be a maze to find the right one without knowing exactly where it’s planted.

Wu was kind enough to furnish you with a little wireless device that’ll allow you to scroll through the various cameras, even from long distances. Should come in handy if anyone’s trashing your place.

In a similar vein, you get a computer rig so fancy you’re tempted to call it a battlestation. Should make it a little more bearable the next time you need to trawl for info online. Plus, now you can play games and shit. There’s plenty of media catering to cape-fans, so you could reasonably couch it as research.

Before you do anything though, you crack open the case and check it for bugs or any other surprises. That goes for all of your newly acquired goodies. Didn’t find anything, but that’s never a reason to stop checking.

Once everything is properly set up and functioning properly, you take a few moments to reflect on your living situation.

As much as you’re enjoying your string of successes, your apartment is starting to get a bit cramped. Between the safe, exercise equipment, computer, and the other stuff that makes it livable, you’re running out of space.

Idly, you find yourself wondering if you should consider an expansion at some point. While your apartment suits your needs for now, perhaps something a bit larger could be a good idea.

You could probably get another apartment and knock down the walls, or potentially get a whole floor to yourself eventually.

Alternatively, that old Reaver lab would need some TLC, but it’s got a solid defensive foundation and a power system robust enough to keep the lights on after months of disuse.

Food for thought.

Wu also does you a solid and puts your name on the permanent VIP list for a few nightclubs the Triads have pull in. Might be a good place to look for potential jobs, or just to blow a little steam. You’ve never been much of the partying type, but who knows.

Hell, might as well take advantage of it.

To celebrate, you get the crew together and invite everyone out for a night on the town.
>>
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>>4991002

Despite himself, Hans is glad to have a break from putting the last touches on integrating the stolen tech, and readily agrees.

Clara is practically drooling over the new toys, and Duke has to practically drag her with you.

You’re not particular choosy about your destination, and pick one at random.

The club you end up choosing is about what you expected. Loud music, bright lights, drunk people, etc.

After bypassing a long line at the door, you and the crew are escorted to the VIP rooms in the back.

Along with drinks on the house, there’s a karaoke machine included.

Duke gets a mischievous gleam in his eyes and after a bit of ribbing, everyone agrees to take a turn on it.

Duke, bless his heart, agrees to go first and does a cheesy set of Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning.”

Clara’s up next, and does a decent job at Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.”

When it’s your turn, you succumb to peer pressure and proceed to absolutely butcher a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

After you’re jokingly booed off the stage, Hans takes over and absolutely blows the rest of you out of the water with a soulful rendition of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World.”

You’ll swear to your dying day that Duke teared up near the end there.

Everyone’s drinking and having a great time, when your phone suddenly starts to ring.

It’s Wu.

He’s got something that may just be up your alley. The Thai navy has organized checkpoints and blockades outside their ports to crack down on smugglers and other criminals.

Wu urgently needs some cargo to slip through their lines and make it to the docks unmolested, no questions asked. He’s got other troubleshooters capable of handling this, so there’s no pressure to accept.

You relate this job offer to the others, who are pleasantly surprised to see how quickly you’ve integrated into the local patchwork of criminal politics.

Without meaning to, the outing quickly turns into an impromptu strategy meeting.

Hans doesn’t have anything to contribute, as he’s been too busy working on the PT boat.

Duke knows that there’s a communal bounty out on some American anti-pirate elements prowling the nearby waters. Apparently, that attack on the Ronald Regan spooked them something fierce, and they’ve dispatched some kind of special hunter-killer units to clean things up.

Clara has a lead on a Chinese spy submarine that’s been making a nuisance of itself. Some government out there is more than happy to pay for it to be made inoperable.

After some spirited debate, liberally watered with alcohol, the crew decides to…

> Attack the Chinese submarine. With your dive suit, it should be simple enough.

> Target the American hunter-killer patrols. You get to keep the waters open for business, and put your new gear through its pace; seems like a win-win.

> Smuggle the cargo through the Thai blockade. Another activity to cross off the pirate checklist.

(I’ll leave the vote open over the weekend, to be closed on Monday)
>>
>>4991005
> Smuggle the cargo through the Thai blockade. Another activity to cross off the pirate checklist.
yarr harr fuck the chineeser
>>
>>4991005
>> Target the American hunter-killer patrols. You get to keep the waters open for business, and put your new gear through its pace; seems like a win-win.
>>
>>4991005
>smuggling
Attacking the anti pirate forces clearly out for us specifically defeats the purpose of having the stealth tech in the first place. That and if I do take em on, I’d rather it be after their bosses have wasted millions hunting us down while we aren’t even where they’re looking. Let me sweat and wear down their vigilance or be beat down by everyone else when we swoop in for a kill,
>>
>>4990994
>a custom under-barrel shotgun attachment for your new Five-seven
I broke my wrist reading that.

>You keep the footage remotely stored in a server in that abandoned Reaver lab
REEEeeeEEE! THATS A BIG SECURITY HOLE! We could just rent out a room down the hall or something. Really, Unless we made sure no one unless they physically went there could find the footage then we are in trouble.

>>4991005
Thank god no one sang any Frank Sinatra songs.

> Smuggle the cargo through the Thai blockade. Another activity to cross off the pirate checklist.
Tempting to go for the submarine, maybe make the blame fall on the americans.
>>
>>4991173
Eh, I was just freeballing it. You basically stashed in it their old server room, it'd be a nightmare to find even if you don't know the exact location.

Also...

"When it’s your turn, you succumb to peer pressure and proceed to absolutely butcher a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”"

It's too late for you now.
>>
>>4991191
Just ignore it. The reeeREEErererEEEing happens automatically on kneejerk reaction.
>>
>>4991005
> Smuggle the cargo through the Thai blockade. Another activity to cross off the pirate checklist.
>>
> Attack the Chinese submarine. With your dive suit, it should be simple enough.

People this could net us a big payday, I mean hell just the info out of a sub would even after the massive cut from the 3rd party we have to go through should be able to buy us a new ship. Plus we can do that whole sub heist thing from aquaman
>>
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>>4991010
>>4991036
>>4991173
>>4992007

Looks like the smuggling mission wins. Writing.
>>
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>>4995048

After some discussion, you all decide to go with Wu’s smuggling job. It’s a lot less risky than picking a fight with specialized pirate hunters, or the Chinese military.

Regrettably, the outing ends shortly after the job discussion. Can’t get too irresponsible now that there’s something potentially on the docket.

Plenty of time for that later, once you can cross another activity off the ye-olde-pyrate-checklist.

You call up Wu the following morning and let him know that you’re available to take the job.

Despite his attempts at nonchalance, you detect a hint of relief in his voice. Guess he must be a bit harder pressed to get this delivered than he'd like to give off.

The job is simple in theory; smuggle a small box containing valuable cargo to Bangkok, and exchange it for several important files. The cargo, as are the files, are none of your business and should not be tampered with or examined at any point.

Due to the increased security presence, the meeting spot has been changed from the docks to a condemned mega-mall farther inland.

He forwards you all other relevant details, as well as a word of warning.

According to Wu, the docks have been totally locked down by the local cops. Something must have them seriously spooked. They’re not even taking bribes, as crazy as that may sound.

Now it's time to hammer out a plan.

From Madripoor, the PT boat will make an approach under the cover of night to dodge any naval checkpoints or patrolling vessels.

While the new tech will shield against detection from radar or other electronic methods, a sentry spotting you will still be a risk.

According to Wu’s intel, the bulk of the patrols and blockade forces are concentrated in the Gulf of Thailand, making a straight shot for Bangkok untenable.

However, after poring over a couple naval charts, Duke finds a hole in their security screen.

There’s a stretch of coastland that has been left virtually unguarded in western Thailand. Upon further digging, you conclude that this is probably due to the presence of the Khao Sok National Park. It boasts some heavily jungled terrain, but that only makes it easier to cover your tracks.

You’ll take Hans’ skiff as far inland via the chain of rivers as possible, where you’ll stash it for the eventual return. Duke and Clara will accompany you, while Hans hangs back with the boat.

Unfortunately, Hans reports that the tech won’t function well inland. Something about signal refraction and spotty satellite coverage. Keeping the PT boat hidden shouldn’t be an issue, but it won’t be able to provide further support once you’re in the jungle, or in the city.

Once on foot, you’ll make the trek through to Ranong, where you’ll use a pre-arranged vehicle to get to Bangkok.

Then, you'll just make the exchange and head back.

Should be a milk run once you make it through the jungle.

Are there any questions, concerns, changes, or changes to the plan that need to be made?

> I like the plan as-is.

> Other?
>>
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>>4995070

Here's an untouched copy of the map if you'd like to propose any sort of alternative.
>>
>>4995070
> I like the plan as-is.
>>
>>4995070
> I like the plan as-is.
>>
> I like the plan as-is.
>>
>>4995110
>>4996060
>>4996180

Alright, looks like the plan will remain the way I proposed. Writing, will attempt to have it done tonight, else it be posted noon-ish on Wednesday.
>>
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>>4997018

With the initial planning complete, there’s no time to waste. The longer you delay, the better the chances that they shore up their lines and render your plans moot.

Since you brought this job to the table, you’re the point-of-contact with Wu.

He has you stop by the mahjong parlor to pick up the cargo you’ll be transporting.

On first glance, it’s nothing particularly special. The box is black, maybe about the size of a shoebox. No exterior markings, no warning labels, nothing to really place the contents. You slide it securely into your pack.

It’s probably for the best that you not know how this particular sausage is made. Plausible deniability and all that.

When given a bare-bones overview of the plan, Wu is willing have transports waiting for you at a garage in Ranong.

With the formalities done with, you report back to the PT boat, where the rest of the crew has been preparing to disembark.

After a couple last-minute checks, Duke charts a course and the the crew heads once more unto the breach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcUZm8nofmY

The voyage to western Thailand goes off without any major problems.

With Duke at the wheel, and the new tech working flawlessly, the PT boat dodges each and every checkpoint, patrol, and naval authority.

The security really started to heighten near the Straits of Malacca, which makes sense. It’s a choke point, and if you want to set up a dragnet, you need to keep all the corners covered.

If you didn’t have those upgrades, it’d be a lot harder to slip under the radar like this.

The PT boat pulls up to the mouth of a river winding into the jungle. All that needs to be done now is ride said river inland as far as possible, and hoof it through miles of untamed jungle wilderness teeming with all manner of creatures that’d love nothing more than easy meal.

Y’know, easy stuff.

Before entering the embrace of the rain forest, there is just one last issue to settle.

What hardware have you chosen for this particular mission?

> The M4 shotgun. When it comes to close-quarter engagements, this is your bread and butter.

> The AK74M assault rifle. Hell, these things were designed to be hauled through Southeast Asian jungles.

> The SR-25 marksman rifle. For all your sharpshooting needs.

> The Honey Badger PDW. They’ll never hear it coming.

> The SA58 assault carbine. A good mixture of firepower and mobility.


In addition, what specialized ammo are you bringing along for your holdout pistol’s shotgun attachment?

(Choose 2.)

> Beanbag rounds. A non-lethal option, but still enough to pack an incredibly nasty punch.

> Dragon’s breath rounds. Because a flamethrower is too unwieldy, and this is the next possible thing.

> Rock salt rounds. Not quite as lethal as beanbags, but still enough to put someone on their ass.

> High explosive rounds. Volatile, but nothing solves a problem quite like overkill.

> Taser rounds. Could have some decent synergy if you mix it with some water tricks.
>>
>>4997091
>> The Honey Badger PDW. They’ll never hear it coming.
> Dragon’s breath rounds. Because a flamethrower is too unwieldy, and this is the next possible thing.
>>
>>4997091
> The Honey Badger PDW. They’ll never hear it coming.

> Taser rounds. Could have some decent synergy if you mix it with some water tricks.
>>
>>4997091
> The AK74M assault rifle. Hell, these things were designed to be hauled through Southeast Asian jungles.
> High explosive rounds. Volatile, but nothing solves a problem quite like overkill.
> Beanbag rounds. A non-lethal option, but still enough to pack an incredibly nasty punch.

this should be a job for the old Kalash
>>
>>4997091
> The SA58 assault carbine. A good mixture of firepower and mobility.


> High explosive rounds. Volatile, but nothing solves a problem quite like overkill.

> Taser rounds. Could have some decent synergy if you mix it with some water tricks.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d10)

>>4997153
>>4997298

Alright, looks like the Honey Badger wins. As for the specialized ammo, looks like...

>>4997305
>>4997729
>>4997298

High explosive and taser rounds win.

Now, for a quick roll.

1 = Ambush
2 = Monsoon
3 = Nothing
4 = Landslide
5 = Animal attack (land)
6 = Forest fire
7 = Animal attack (water)
8 = Paramilitary camp
9 = Lost
10 = Nothing
>>
>>4998153

Roll me 3d100s, one for each crew member.

Yours is first, Clara's is second, Duke's is third.

DC: 65 (Roll 3d100)
>>
Rolled 19, 36, 31 = 86 (3d100)

>>4998158
Off to a great start
>>
Rolled 2, 84, 82 = 168 (3d100)

>>4998158
Well sneaky breaky it is
>>
>>4998231
Well...uh...at least I got the other 2 clear. Please god next person roll us something good
>>
>>4998158
>>
Rolled 25, 32, 58 = 115 (3d100)

>>4998158
>>
File: jungle.png (802 KB, 852x480)
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>>4998173
>>4998231
>>4998244

Before setting out on the skiff, everyone makes one last check of their gear.

Clara is packing one of the AK74Ms, while Duke is armed with a SA58.

As for you, you’ve picked out a Honey Badger PDW, as well as some explosive and taser rounds.

Everyone’s wearing body armor, pain as it’ll be to wear in the jungle. You’ll take a bit of chafing and sweating over getting gutshot and bleeding out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYPK_sl7h44

Once everyone is done with the last-minute inspections, the three of you pile into the skiff and angle it into the maw of the jungle.

The cruise upriver goes without incident. Sure, you had to dodge the occasional Siamese crocodile and dislodge a couple disturbingly large snakes that fell in the skiff, but apart from that, smooth sailing.

Most of the time was spent idly shooting the shit. Clara keeps trying to bait the pair of you into guessing about cargo you’re carrying. When ignored, she invents wilder and wilder conspiracy theories about it.

Duke, in an attempt to change the subject, regales you a couple stories from his time in service. To hear him tell it, he was a seaman in the Royal Australian Navy until they booted him for insubordination. Well, insubordination, punching out a superior officer, and theft of a naval vessel.

And by booted, more like “has an active arrest warrant out for.”

Clara, sufficiently distracted with this change in subject, chimes in with a couple stories of her own.

Back when she was just starting out, she got roped into running for protection for some gang of half-wits. According to her, they didn’t even last the year. Anyhow, she got assigned a bloc of stores and is told to go make collections. One of the last places on her list is this little grocery store. One of the big warning signs that she didn’t notice was how nobody was willing to back her up.

Turns out, the owner and proprietor was an ex-Marine. Retired, but it never really leaves you.

Anyhow, the old leatherneck beat the absolute tar out of her. Clara, being hard-headed, took it personal and kept coming back to settle the score. Eventually, he offered her a job there to keep her from pestering him, and taught her a few things by osmosis.

When the conversation turns to your past, you don’t have a whole lot to say about it. It’s a pretty common enough story; big family, not enough money to go around, the drift into pretty theft, brawling, and being a general disappointment.

Eventually, you were press-ganged into working in the family restaurant until you cleaned up your act. To your surprise, cooking came pretty easily to you, much easier than a lot of other things. Ironically, you had pretty much gone straight until the island sank.

Duke’s glad to see you open up a little more. Letting this kind of stuff weigh down on you isn’t healthy.

Clara looks a bit downcast, but she’s content with reminding you that we’re a team now. One forged by mutual greed, but a team nonetheless.
>>
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>>4998734

For the most part, you’re content to just watch the jungle lazily drift by. You’ve never been much of a naturalist or environmentalist or whatever, but you have to admit that the national park is gorgeous.

Maybe you’ll come back and visit some time, when you aren’t smuggling unknown packages through military checkpoints.

Eventually though, your luck runs out when the river becomes too narrow to pass through. While you could attempt to use your power and figure out a solution, the skiff is probably too fragile to survive the process.

Guess it’s time to start walking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A6pBQL6Gxg

After dragging the skiff ashore, you camouflage it with some scattered foliage and tag it with a tracker.

Armed with a machete, Duke takes point and start hacking a path through the inhospitable jungle.

The position gets rotated every so often to keep everyone fresh, and a few hours later, when it’s one of your turns, you idly notice something strange.

The rain forest, like all forests is a symphony of noise. The chattering of the monkeys, the buzzing of the insects, the cawing of the birds, and the roars of the predators intermingle and combine to produce a unique and ever-present song.

Except it’s stopped. Almost like a switch’s been flipped.

Something’s not right.

Clara and Duke notice it a split-second before you do. Maybe you’re just unlucky, maybe they’ve just been at this longer.

Either way, they dive for cover an instant before you hear a loud crack, and something white-hot tears through your shoulder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSvryoNNaX8

You fall to the ground, cursing the whole way.

A barrage of fire flies over head, ostensibly directed at Clara and Duke.

Fuck, you’ve never actually been shot before.

First time for everything though. Guess it would’ve been too much for them to aim for the bulletproof vest.

You manage to haul yourself behind cover before whoever ambushed you can finish the job.

Clara and Duke and doing their best, but they’re inevitably going to get boxed in by superior numbers. Once that happens…

No, you need to focus on what’s happening now. The pain makes it hard to concentrate, but you use it to snap out of your daydreaming.

Fight’s not over just because you took an uppercut in the first round, it’s time to turn this clusterfuck around by…

> Patching up your wound first, won’t be good if you get an infection or exacerbate it. Rolling in jungle muck is a great way to catch gangrene or some shit.

> Sending a few bolts of ice their way. It’s a bit early to start burning through your reserves, but it should put them on the back foot.

> Using your wrist-harpoon to climb into the jungle canopy. Rain forests are known for their thick foliage, should give you plenty of concealment.

> Playing dead and having Duke and Clara distract them with suppressing fire while you work your way behind them. With any luck, you’ll be able to wreak some havoc in the backlines.

> Other?
>>
>>4998739
> Playing dead and having Duke and Clara distract them with suppressing fire while you work your way behind them. With any luck, you’ll be able to wreak some havoc in the backlines.
> Other?
Lock and loady explodies!
>>
>>4998739
>> Using your wrist-harpoon to climb into the jungle canopy. Rain forests are known for their thick foliage, should give you plenty of concealment.
>>
>>4998759
Supporting
>>
>>4998759
Support but might I add
>Duke and Clara throw smokes as they retreat covering your position in IR and thermal blocking smoke
>>
>>4998759
>>4998970
>>4999271

Roll me 3d100s, same format as before.

Your DC is 60, Duke / Clara's is 40
>>
Rolled 9, 3, 13 = 25 (3d100)

>>4999286
>>
>>4999346
WOW, those crits really took all my luck for this year.
>>
Rolled 4, 86, 50 = 140 (3d100)

>>4999286
>>
Rolled 52, 14, 58 = 124 (3d100)

>>4999286
>>
>>4999286

You’re not liking the odds here. As a matter of professional bias, you tend to enjoy being the ambusher more than being the ambushed.

Regardless, you need to think of something, anything to turn the tides in your favor.

Maybe if you play possum and wait for an opening, you’ll have a chance to do some damage. Speaking of damage, you fumble with your pistol and load some high explosive shells into the underbarrel attachment.

It takes a couple tries because you keep fumbling and nearly dropping the shells.

Your hand is shaking. Why is it shaking?

FOCUS.

It’s not like you’ll be able to do much good in your current position anyways, the second you poke your head out, you’re liable to have more holes than Swiss cheese.

You manage to make eye-contact with Clara and mime desperately for them to pull back. This is rapidly turning into a meatgrinder, and you’re positioned solidly within its teeth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTCbqckx8vU

Getting into a stand-up fight at this stage is suicide, plain and simple. They’ve got you on the backfoot, the only reasonable option is pull back and force them to go hunting.

Hopefully, that’ll split the pack, make it easier to isolate them and pick them off.

Clara nudges Duke, and they melt away into the brush, but not before tossing a few smoke grenade around your position. Nice of them to give you a fighting chance.

Judging from the burst of AK fire and accompanying death rattle, Clara’s managed to rack some points on the scoreboard.

Part of you wonders if it would just be easier to roll over and just give up, if this is even worth all the trouble.

No, save the bitching and moaning for later. Pull your head out of your ass and move or YOU WILL DIE HERE.

With some difficulty, you crawl away into the thick underbrush as quickly as your paranoia and injury will allow. Once you clear a respectable enough distance, you stagger back to your feet, using one of the trees as a support.

Time for round two.

Now that you’ve got a bit of breathing room, it’s time to rattle the cage a bit, see if you can punch them in the back of the head.

As you creep through the jungle, your gut is practically screaming that something isn’t right.

The problem with fighting under conditions like these, is that the line of battle quickly fades into nothingness. Instead of organized conflict, the fighting quickly degenerates into a savage game of cat-and-mouse. Hunter and prey.

You’re outnumbered, wounded, stranded, and running low on ideas. Take a guess which one you are.
>>
>>4999687

When the blow comes, you see it coming at the last possible moment. Not fast enough to avoid it of course, but you manage to at least catch a glimpse of movement shortly before the rifle butt slams into your throat.

Since you’re too busy attempting to choke down your next breath, it’s a relatively simple matter to knock you off your feet.

The impact rattles the PDW out of your already unsteady hands, and your frantic scrabbling for it is interrupted when you get kicked in the face.

This hasn’t been going great so far, to say the least. Your nose feels like it may be broken.

At least you’ve gotten an actual look at your opposition. Looks to be wearing jungle camo, packing some flavor of assault rifle. You’re not able to identify the model at a glance, but that doesn’t mean much. As you’re being painfully reminded today, there’s plenty you don’t know.

He’s got his weapon trained directly at you, and with nary a twitch your day could get a whole lot worse.

How are you going to get out of this one?

> Fake a surrender, and go for a takedown when he gets close. Hopefully he won’t just execute you and be done with it.

> Use a water trick to temporarily distract him, then rush him. You’re only going to have one chance at this, best make sure it sticks.

> Go for your holdout pistol and try to shoot him. It’ll be hard to do with your impaired shoulder, but you’ll blow him to pieces if you can pull it off.

> Use an ice shard as a makeshift dagger and stab him in the leg. If there’s a time for dirty fighting, this’d be it.

> Other?
>>
>>4999688
> Use a water trick to temporarily distract him, then rush him. You’re only going to have one chance at this, best make sure it sticks.
>>
>>4999688
> Other?
harpoon to the face!
>>
>>4999688
>combine Fake surrender and water trick. Fake surrender while looking for grenades to pull the pin off of on his vest. While he scrambles then go for pistol and finish off before diving for cover. Try and go for a smoke or other non leather grenade first
>>
>>4999688
> Use an ice shard as a makeshift dagger and stab him in the leg. If there’s a time for dirty fighting, this’d be it.
>>
>>4999691
>>4999764

These are similar enough, so I'll just fold them together.

Roll me some d100s, DC: 40.

An an aside, sure have had some interesting rolls lately.

In terms of update length / frequency, how am I faring? Any major concerns or questions?

Haven't really taken a moment to check in for a while, just wanted to see what's up.
>>
Rolled 96 (1d100)

>>5000570
Don't do stupid grenade tricks please
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>5000570
>>
Rolled 22 (1d100)

>>5000570
I'd say you are posting frequently enough for the size of the updates
>>
>>5000697
>>5000872
>>5001263

Alright, a regular success. Writing, should be out at the usual time on Monday. As always, thanks for playing.
>>
>>5001651

Shit.

If you’re gonna make it out of this one, you’re going to have to get creative.

After getting an eyeful of grenades tagged to his vest, your instinctive thought is to use the water from your canteen, make a tendril, and yank out one of the pins.

Trouble is, at the first sign of anything fishy, this guy looks ready to put you down. Hell, it’s a bonafide miracle he hasn’t just double tapped you and called it a day yet. Could be to beat information out of you later.

You go slack, feigning a mixture of fatigue and injury, making sure to add a couple moans and groans to complete the facade that you’re fully incapacitated. It’s not too hard to fake, like all good lies, it has a nugget of truth at the center. Your shoulder still aches like a motherfucker, and your nose isn’t doing much better.

While still keeping an unwavering eye on you, he briefly relegates his attention to some kind of earpiece that he mutters a few words into.

Perfect.

While you were busy faking it like a soccer player that received a light tap, you were also feeling out for a nondescript water source to manipulate.

A few feet away, a dirty little puddle slowly and quietly extends a tendril around a small rock. You disguise the necessary movements as just meaningless fidgeting.

With a little prodding, you bash the rock into a nearby tree.

The soldier(?) is startled by the abrupt noise, and whips around to scan the treeline.

While he’s busy chasing ghosts, you go for your holdout piece, managing to draw it fully and take aim before he cottons on. While it’d be tempting to blow him away with a high-ex slug, it’d be a waste and a risk. Last thing you want to do is accidentally blow yourself up with a chain reaction if you hit his grenades.

At the last moment, he realizes his folly and attempts to wheel around, but it’s far too late.

You put a couple rounds into his forehead, and he crumples to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut.

And that takes care of that. You get back on your feet and recover your PDW. Damn, Clara’s going to ball you out later for getting your gun dirty.

Now that you’ve got a little space to think, it’s time to check in on the others.

Unfortunately, after a bit of fiddling with your walkie-talkie, you still can’t get anyone on the horn.

Either the signal is being tampered with, the signal is weak, they’re out of range, or worst of all, they’re in no position to answer your hails.

Your next move is to…

> Find a concealed position and wait. You just made plenty of noise, somebody is bound to come running straight into your killzone.

> Loot and boobytrap his body. Might recover something useful, and you need every advantage you can scrape together.

> Link up with Duke and Clara. Can’t let them divide you up piecemeal, need to consolidate and get a handle on the situation.

> Other?
>>
>>5003102
> Link up with Duke and Clara. Can’t let them divide you up piecemeal, need to consolidate and get a handle on the situation.
>>
>>5003102
> Link up with Duke and Clara. Can’t let them divide you up piecemeal, need to consolidate and get a handle on the situation.
>>
>>5003165
>>5003273

Roll me some 3d100s, same format as earlier.

First DC is 65, second and third are 60.
>>
Rolled 43, 65, 6 = 114 (3d100)

>>5003414
>>
Rolled 24, 28, 1 = 53 (3d100)

>>5003414
>>
Rolled 55, 91, 23 = 169 (3d100)

>>5003414
Tough DC
>>
>>5003520
>>5003597
>>5003753

A fail, a regular success, and a critfail. Writing, will hopefully be done by noon-ish, gotta get some sleep.

>>5003753

It's debatable, but I think it's fair for the given situation. With a lack of communication / the fog of war, it's a tough prospect. I always figured hard stuff should be in the 80-90 range.

Plus, you have three shots at it, which usually eks out at least a minor success. Just my two cents.
>>
>>5003812
You are correct, but our rolls are generally terrible. Aurelio is not kissed by lady luck.
>>
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>>5003812

Getting back in touch with your crew takes priority. Staying isolated is a losing proposition, all it’d take is another lucky shot and you’d be in even worse shape than you are know.

It’s hard to get a handle on where you are, the mixture of disorientation and panic swirling through you when crawling to safety left you disinclined to remember trivial things like the direction you went in.

To compensate, you listen for distant gunshots while you backtrack your steps as best you can, keeping an eye out for any sentries. Despite your best efforts, you can’t seem to find anyone.

Suddenly, you’re held at gunpoint once more.

“Bang. You’re dead.” Clara says dryly, lowering her weapon.

Besides a couple superficial wounds, she seems to be doing well enough.

Her eyes tell a different story though. Within those orbs blazes a heady mixture of rage and excitement, tempered with an intense fatigue.

“Duke got blindsided and hauled off a little while ago. I tried to stop them, but there were too many to hold off.” Clara growls, frustration evident.

“Made em pay for it though, planted a couple of the fuckers before they could flush me out. Duke’s still alive, but he’s gonna have a hell of a headache.” She says, with a bitter satisfaction.

“That’s a comfort at least. I managed to get the drop on one too, how many kills does that make it?” You ask.

“Let me think. After you took a hit and ate dirt, I managed to spray one and get a lucky shot. After we bailed out, Duke nailed somebody trying to throw a grenade, ended up accidentally catching one of his buddies in the blast. So, we’ve killed six of em so far.”

“Any idea how many are left?” You say, trying to do some mental arithmetic.

“No more than a half dozen. We’ve knocked them down to at least half strength, I’d wager. I’ll tell you one thing though, these bastards are slippery. They’ve pulled back for now, either to get reinforcements or do what we’re doing now.”

“You recognize any of these guys?”

“Nah, but I did cut this off one of their uniforms.” She says, tossing you a small patch.

The left side has the colors of the Thai flag, with the right side having red and black parachutes. Must be some flavor of government trooper then. Or homegrown mercs. Either way, they're locals.

“So, what’s the plan?” She inquires, still bouncing with post-fight jitters.

The sun’s getting closer and closer to setting, any pursuit attempts run the risk of stretching into nightfall and leaving you lost and exhausted.

In the end, you decide to…

> Make camp, get patched up, and come up with a plan in the morning. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth, but blundering off and getting killed does nobody any good.

> Attempt to track Duke’s captors through the night. The longer they’ve got him, the greater the chances that something will go wrong.

> Cut your losses and move on with the job. Duke knows the risks of this profession, same as you.

> Other?
>>
>>5004115
> Attempt to track Duke’s captors through the night. The longer they’ve got him, the greater the chances that something will go wrong.
>>
>>5004115
> Attempt to track Duke’s captors through the night. The longer they’ve got him, the greater the chances that something will go wrong.
>>
>>5004428
>>5004517

Alright, roll me 2d100s; the first is yours, the second is Clara's.

DC: 80, with a caveat. If either of you succeed, you beat the check.
>>
Rolled 2, 55 = 57 (2d100)

>>5004637
>>
Rolled 40, 17 = 57 (2d100)

>>5004637
>>
Still need one more roll. Feel free to re-roll if you so desire.
>>
Rolled 45, 84 = 129 (2d100)

>>5004637
>>
>>5004657
>>5004819
>>5005087

Alright, looks like a minor success. Writing, will probably be done this evening.
>>
>>5005475

The smart play would be to rest, get your second wind, and chase them once you’ve got the advantage.

The cunning play would be to just cut Duke loose and focus on the job.

Try as you may, you can’t bring yourself to do either. One of these days, those pesky morals of yours are going to get you killed.

The decision practically makes itself.

Nobody gets left behind, not if you can help it.

“Get ready to move out. Don’t have much daylight left to burn, we’re hunting them down and getting Duke back.”

Clara grins.

“I was hoping you’d say that.”

She notices your variety of injuries.

“You combat-ready? Need to take a breather first, get patched up?” She asks, a little concerned.

“No time. I’ll live, he might not. We’ll start at the last place you saw Duke.” Your tone brooks no argument.

Clara nods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiAlZIW7hsQ

The pursuit begins in earnest as you follow their tracks through the thick jungle mud.

You and Clara have the advantage of mobility, they’ve got to lug Duke along with them, slowing them down and making their tracks easier to follow.

Their advantage? A headstart and a couple tricks. If it weren’t for Clara, you would’ve fallen for their attempts to backtrack, lay false trails, and obscure their movements.

As evening turns to night, visibility plummets dramatically. Clara takes the lead, she’s got a better handle on bushcraft. Despite a few frustrating mistakes, she stays on their trail.

Just when you worried that she lost it for good, Clara crouches and gestures for you to look closely.

As you peer through the dense underbrush, you spot it.

Jackpot. Looks like they stopped to set up a makeshift camp.

There’s a handful of tents, and a small campfire. Cocky fuckers must think they’ve lost you, what with the detection risk of having a fire.

Said fire gives you just enough light to make out a couple details, none of them pretty.

Duke’s been stood up against a tree, with his arms handcuffed around the trunk.

A couple guys approach him, and say something you can’t quite make out.

Whatever it was, they don’t like Duke’s response and start working him over. For now, it’s their fists. Hopefully it stays that way.

Clara rustles, barely managing to stop herself from leaping into the fray and gutting these fucks.

You put a hand on her shoulder, pulling her back to reality.

Both of you need to play this smart, otherwise Duke might get caught in the crossfire.

The plan is to…

> Eschew stealth and make a hard push to rescue Duke. He’s the priority here; once he’s rescued, the three of you can just melt away into the jungle and get on with the job.

> Attempt to bluff that you’ve got them surrounded. Risky, but avoids conflict if it works.

> Get Clara to cause a racket nearby and draw their attention. Once they split their forces, whittle them down.

> Do a perimeter sweep, then quietly clear the tents. Once Clara gets the signal, she uncuffs Duke while you keep an eye out.

> Other?
>>
>>5005665
>> Attempt to bluff that you’ve got them surrounded. Risky, but avoids conflict if it works.
>>
>>5005665
> Other?
Observe their numbers and take position in a L formation ambush before having Clara open fire on them, when they orient to her position, open up on them before they get proper positions.

Alternatively we can take them all out at once if they numbers are low and we both have silenced weapons.
>>
>>5005665
> Do a perimeter sweep, then quietly clear the tents. Once Clara gets the signal, she uncuffs Duke while you keep an eye out.
wait for them to go to sleep and then do stabby stabby stuff with icicles and knifes
>>
Looks like there's a three-way tie, I'll close the vote this evening and roll a tiebreaker if necessary.
>>
>>5006343
>>5006601

I'll support this then.
>>
>>5006343
>>5006772

Alright, roll me some d100s, DC: 55
>>
Rolled 59 (1d100)

>>5006857
>>
Rolled 79 (1d100)

>>5006857
>>
Rolled 9 (1d100)

wow i leave for a day and everything goes into a rollercoaster of ups and downs
>>
>>5006988
wow and speaking of ups and downs i think ill go back to just watching and not rolling
>>
>>5006862
>>5006911
>>5006988

A regular success, writing.
>>
>>5007015
Completely forgot to include this, but roll me a d100 real quick. DC: 85

Not to worry, it's just a reward roll. I'll fold it into the next update if the rolls come fast enough, otherwise, it'll come after.
>>
Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>5007224
>>
Rolled 11 (1d100)

Big whammy big whammy
>>
>>5007225
>>5007494

Go and and re-roll if you'd like. Also, IRL stuff has kept me busy today, update'll be tomorrow.
>>
Rolled 85 (1d100)

>>5007716
>>
I'm just messing with formatting stuff, just ignore this message if you see it, I'll be deleting in a second.


________
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While you’re tempted to bail Duke out immediately, the risks are just too great. According to Clara, there’s possibly a half-dozen fighters in the camp.

If you rush in blindly, you’re liable to end up with more than just a through-and-through in your shoulder and a busted nose.

More information is required before you can commit.

Try as you might, your rationalizations are harder to stomach when watching Duke getting battered.

You temper your resolve with patience. Duke’s a tough guy, he can stick it out.

At least, so long as they stick to fists. The second somebody whips out anything heavier, the plans go out the window.

Your worries end up being unfounded. After a few more shots, they seem to get bored and head back to their tents. Looks like they’re content to leave Duke strung up for the night.

With the immediate threat to Duke’s wellbeing on the back burner, you circle the camp and get a feel for the terrain. While the coast looks clear, something in the back of your mind insists that you keep watching.

Your paranoia proves to be justified when you spot a sentry perched in one of the trees.

He’s good, but the fire, and the resulting shadow, give his position away.

For now, you’re content to wait and bide your time.

Finally, right when you started to get a bit twitchy, the window of opportunity opens.

The aforementioned sentry climbs down to stretch his legs and take a quick smoke break.

With a whispered command to Clara to go in guns blazing if things go south, you creep towards your unwitting quarry.

While your PDW is built for silent killing, it stills runs the risk of potentially waking a light enough sleeper.

Not to worry, you’ve got a solution close at hand.

From your canteen, you summon a length of water, before freezing it into a jagged shard of ice.

As it turns out, the sentry’s lack of caution (and night vision) prove to be his undoing. Remember kids, smoking kills.

With a solid kick to back of his leg, you force him to one knee. Before he can cry out in pain or sound the alarm, you cover his mouth and slit his throat.

Now that their perimeter has been breached, it should be simple enough to finish them off in their sleep.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX45pYvxDiA

While you’re tempted to take your time on the pair who roughed up Duke, you keep it in check. Taking pointless risks when you don’t have to for petty revenge is not a habit for the long-lived criminal.

As for the deed itself, there isn’t much to write home about. You sneak into each tent, shank the occupant, and move on. No muss, no fuss.

Looks like Clara highballed you a little. Counting the sentry, there were only four men left. Still, better to prep for a stronger enemy than the alternative.

With the camp secured, you signal Clara to break Duke’s cuffs and get him up to speed.

In the meantime, you do a sweep for any worthwhile loot or intel.

You hit the all the usual spots; their pockets, their footlockers, their packs, etc.
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>>5008586

Apart from some rations, handcuffs, spare ammo, there isn’t much worth hauling away. Guess they must’ve been built for quick response rather than protracted conflict. You pocket it anyways, might come in handy. You also find what appears to be the key to Duke’s cuffs, as well as his rifle.

There is one interesting morsel that you manage to squirrel out. One of the men had a small piece of paper tucked away, that reads as follows.

FLASH EMERGENCY

CREDIBLE THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY CONFIRMED BY

SUSPECTED ACTIVITY

ASSUME DEFENSIVE POSTURE AND STANDBY

LETHAL FORCE IS AUTHORIZED, APPREHEND OR NEUTRALIZE ALL SUSPICIOUS PERSONS

Well, that’s not ominous at all.

You’re driven out of thought by the crack of gunshots. Shit, did you miss someone!?

Startled, you raise out to engage, only to calm when you realize the source of said shots.

Turns out Clara got a bit impatient and just shot Duke’s cuffs off.

When you reveal that you managed to find a key, she apologizes sheepishly.

You turn to Duke and give him a once-over.

“You good to walk?” You ask, hoping he’s not too banged up.

“Yeah, they left my legs alone. Would’ve made it harder to haul me around if I can’t walk. Stupid cunts need to learn how to throw a punch, I’m a little embarrassed that they managed to bag me in the first place.”

Despite his bravado, the events of the day has obviously taken its toll. But he’s a grown man and knows his limits.

“Good. We need to get moving before anybody thinks to check on these guys. Something doesn’t smell right about all this.” You say, tossing Duke his SA58.

After getting back on the original course to Ranong, the crew treks through the jungle until you collectively agree that’s it safe to make camp, have a quick debriefing, and get some rest.

You whip up something to eat using the rations you stole from the enemy camp. While it isn’t easy to make something palatable out of survival rations, you manage to craft something edible. While eating, you pass around the note you stole from the campsite. Clara just shrugs and keeps eating, while it seems to worry Duke greatly.

Once settled in, you take advantage of the downtime and get your shoulder patched up. Clara just disinfects it and bandages the wound; it went straight through, there’s not much else she can do. It’ll be a bit tender for a while, but it should recover fine.

Upon closer examination, your nose needs to be twisted back into position. You handle that part yourself, even though it hurts like a bitch.

Duke offers to cover the watch for a few hours, so that you and Clara can rest.

After some well-needed sleep, all of you pack up camp, and continue hiking to Ranong, keeping a wary eye out for any further threats.
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>>5008586

Apart from some rations, handcuffs, spare ammo, there isn’t much worth hauling away. Guess they must’ve been built for quick response rather than protracted conflict. You pocket it anyways, might come in handy. You also find what appears to be the key to Duke’s cuffs, as well as his rifle.

There is one interesting morsel that you manage to squirrel out. One of the men had a small piece of paper tucked away, that reads as follows.

FLASH EMERGENCY

CREDIBLE THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY CONFIRMED BY [REDACTED]

SUSPECTED [REDACTED] ACTIVITY

ASSUME DEFENSIVE POSTURE AND STANDBY

LETHAL FORCE IS AUTHORIZED, APPREHEND OR NEUTRALIZE ALL SUSPICIOUS PERSONS

Well, that’s not ominous at all.

You’re driven out of thought by the crack of gunshots. Shit, did you miss someone!?

Startled, you raise out to engage, only to calm when you realize the source of said shots.

Turns out Clara got a bit impatient and just shot Duke’s cuffs off.

When you reveal that you managed to find a key, she apologizes sheepishly.

You turn to Duke and give him a once-over.

“You good to walk?” You ask, hoping he’s not too banged up.

“Yeah, they left my legs alone. Would’ve made it harder to haul me around if I can’t walk. Stupid cunts need to learn how to throw a punch, I’m a little embarrassed that they managed to bag me in the first place.”

Despite his bravado, the events of the day has obviously taken its toll. But he’s a grown man and knows his limits.

“Good. We need to get moving before anybody thinks to check on these guys. Something doesn’t smell right about all this.” You say, tossing Duke his SA58.

After getting back on the original course to Ranong, the crew treks through the jungle until you collectively agree that’s it safe to make camp, have a quick debriefing, and get some rest.

You whip up something to eat using the rations you stole from the enemy camp. While it isn’t easy to make something palatable out of survival rations, you manage to craft something edible. While eating, you pass around the note you stole from the campsite. Clara just shrugs and keeps eating, while it seems to worry Duke greatly.

Once settled in, you take advantage of the downtime and get your shoulder patched up. Clara just disinfects it and bandages the wound; it went straight through, there’s not much else she can do. It’ll be a bit tender for a while, but it should recover fine.

Upon closer examination, your nose needs to be twisted back into position. You handle that part yourself, even though it hurts like a bitch.

Duke offers to cover the watch for a few hours, so that you and Clara can rest.

After some well-needed sleep, all of you pack up camp, and continue hiking to Ranong, keeping a wary eye out for any further threats.
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>>5008591

Thankfully, the rest of the journey to Ranong passes without incident. After concealing your weapons, you enter the town and head for the location of Wu’s stashed transport.

The place has a certain charm to it, sort of a fusion of small-town charm mixed with the energy of a much larger city.

While you’re tempted to hang around for a bit of leisure time, you squash that idea before it can take root. You’re still on the clock.

Plenty of time to relax on the drive to Bangkok.

The location in question turns out to be a chop shop in the center of town. Once you mention who sent you, they’re quick to usher you into the back and get you sorted out.

Looks like Wu’s choice of transport was a jeep.

Not a bad choice, given the state of some of the roads you’ve seen so far. Next time, you’ll remember to be more specific in your requests, if this turns out to be a bad idea.

Once the lot of you finish stashing your weapons and other items that would give a border guard a nightmare, there’s a brief debate as to who gets to drive.

After a spirited and lively debate, you end it solidly in your favor by calling dibs and getting behind the wheel before anyone can stop you.

Clara calls shotgun, leaving Duke in the back.

While you were willing to keep your weapons out of view in the name of blending in, the cargo stays on your person at all time. You’re not nearly crazy enough to let it out of your grasp for even a moment, that’s just asking for it to be swiped.

Once everyone’s buckled in, you gun the engine and head out onto the open highway.

The drive’ll probably take most of the day, how do you pass the trip? (Choose 2)

> Discuss plans for the future. While yours is still up in the air, what are Duke Clara’s?

> Speculate the note you found. This job keeps getter weirder and weirder.

> Just shoot the shit, no need to kill the mood. Everyone knows the score, no need to

> Talk a bit about the fight, and how things could’ve been better / worse. Lessons learned and all.

> Hammer out a rough plan for the exchange. Hopefully things will go smoothly, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case.

> Other?
As the driver, you also reserve the ancient and noble right to choose what station the radio is set to. In the end, you choose…

> 80s. The gold standard for nostalgia.

> Country. The good stuff, not that pop shit.

> Jazz. You’ve always been a bit of an old soul.

> Classic Rock. A requirement for any road trip.

> Other?
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>>5008592
> Speculate the note you found. This job keeps getter weirder and weirder.
> Hammer out a rough plan for the exchange. Hopefully things will go smoothly, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case.
I think we should abort.

> Other?
The news. Lets hear what's up or if it mentions any more government deployments.


>>5004115
since when do bandits wear patches?
>>
>>5008592
>> Discuss plans for the future. While yours is still up in the air, what are Duke Clara’s?
>> Speculate the note you found. This job keeps getter weirder and weirder.
> Jazz. You’ve always been a bit of an old soul.
>>
>>5008642

You'd be surprised. Plenty of paramilitary groups or mercenary bands have their own insignia. Anything's possible.
>>
>>5008592 #
> Speculate the note you found. This job keeps getter weirder and weirder.
> Hammer out a rough plan for the exchange. Hopefully things will go smoothly, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case.

>Coldplay and news podcasts
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>>5008805
Surely the heightened military and naval lockdown doesn't relate to what we are smuggling right?
>>
>>5008642
>>5009019

Looks like planning for the handoff and discussing the orders you found win.

Apologies for the mistakes, grammatical and otherwise near the end. Twas the result of a mad blitz of creativity, and I was a bit too fatigued to proofread properly.

The second vote was mostly for flavor, so I’ll just fold them all together as best I can.

I’ve got a couple prompts, so I’ll go ahead and ask them now, that way I can just integrate them into the next update.

First, would you like to sneak peek at your cargo?

> No, that would break your agreement with Wu. He gave specific instructions not to mess with it.

> Yes, forewarned is forearmed. If you’re transporting something dangerous, you need to be aware of it.

> No, there could be some kind of anti-tampering countermeasure included. It’d be bad if you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

> Yes, all that really matters is that the package gets delivered. Nobody’s ever going to know if you have a look, you’re just being paranoid.


Thoughts about the job so far?

> You’re neutral. It’s had its ups and downs, but you’re close to the finish line, might as well finish it.

> You’re nervous. The pressure is starting to wear down on you, and you’re tempted to just scrap the damn mission and go home.

> You’re pumped. Despite your injury, you managed to take out a solid half of the enemy forces, a solid showing.

> You’re rattled. It’s been a shock to your ego, almost getting captured or killed. This has been the first major stumbling block you’ve had so far.

> Other?


As previously mentioned, the exchange is being held in a large, abandoned shopping mall. You weren’t given much more to work with than that; no blueprints or anything.

The plan is to..

> Head in alone and make the exchange by yourself. Duke and Clara will be waiting with the jeep in case things get complicated, ensuring a quick escape. You’ll be sticking your neck out should conflict erupt, but you’ll have a quick getaway if you can reach an exit.

> Have Duke and Clara make the exchange, while you lurk in a concealed spot nearby. Both to provide overwatch, and to act as a contingency should things sour.

> Arrive well before the meet, and station Duke and Clara in advantageous firing spots. Only problem is, whoever you’re meeting may interpret this as a setup for a double cross and respond accordingly.

> Other?


Lastly, please roll me 2d100s for intelligence gathering. First roll is Clara’s, second one is Duke’s. DC: 75 and 60 respectively.

>>5009036

I'm sure it's just a complete coincidence, quit posting such silly conspiracy theories. Everything is fine.
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>>5009127
> Yes, all that really matters is that the package gets delivered. Nobody’s ever going to know if you have a look, you’re just being paranoid.

We got ambushed and the cargo took a bullet, or fell out of our hands a dong a cliff, got taken by bandits and opened by them!

> Other?
Annoyed and stressed out. We ain't getting paid enough for this bullshit.

> Other?
Get there early and leave a note saying meet here. Change the location to more favorable ground but still neutral and safe enough for both sides. They need peace of mind too.
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Rolled 19, 74 = 93 (2d100)

>>5009127
>>
Rolled 1, 71 = 72 (2d100)

>>5009127
> Yes, all that really matters is that the package gets delivered. Nobody’s ever going to know if you have a look, you’re just being paranoid.
> You’re rattled. It’s been a shock to your ego, almost getting captured or killed. This has been the first major stumbling block you’ve had so far.
> Head in alone and make the exchange by yourself. Duke and Clara will be waiting with the jeep in case things get complicated, ensuring a quick escape. You’ll be sticking your neck out should conflict erupt, but you’ll have a quick getaway if you can reach an exit.
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>>5009218
fuck
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>>5009218
Racist dice.
Its cuz Duke is black!
I demand dice reparation's!
>>
Rolled 92, 34 = 126 (2d100)

>>5009127

> You’re rattled. It’s been a shock to your ego, almost getting captured or killed. This has been the first major stumbling block you’ve had so far.

> No, that would break your agreement with Wu. He gave specific instructions not to mess with it.

> Have Duke and Clara make the exchange, while you lurk in a concealed spot nearby. Both to provide overwatch, and to act as a contingency should things sour.
>>
>>5009264
Dice reparation's are acceptable.
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>>5009185
>>5009218
>>5009264

Alright, that's a critfail for Clara and a regular success for Duke. No further rolling is necessary, but feel free to vote. I'll close it Monday evening and get writing.

(I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to get a critfail on reading a piece of paper, but c'est la vie.)

>>5009183
Out of curiosity, what sort of location do you have in mind?
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>>5010044
Parking lot?
Abandoned warehouse?
A public place like the mall so less likely they start shooting?
A cafe near the outskirts of town?
>>
Rolled 3 (1d3)

>>5009183
>>5009218
>>5009264

Looks like taking a peek, as well as being annoyed / stressed win.

I'll just roll a tiebreaker for the plan.

1 = Change of venue

2 = Head in alone, others on getaway

3 = Lurk in the shadows
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>>5010778

As you cruise down the highway, you contemplate the events of the last day or so.

Duke’s trying to get some sleep in the back, Clara’s focused on sightseeing and watching the countryside roll by.

While you have always known conceptually that this sort of living doesn’t have much of a shelf life, almost getting your ticket punched tends to put things into perspective.

Wu’s not paying you enough for this shit. If you wanted to get bushwhacked in some jungle hellhole, you’d have joined the army.

To help calm your mind a little, you turn on the radio to something jazzy. Always had a taste for the stuff, even if it is old-fashioned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSoPeZMHMf4

Alright, time to hammer out some facts.

You were ambushed in the middle of the middle by either well-trained mercenaries, government forces, or some kind of third party interested in poking their nose in.

You have accrued a pretty significant list of possible enemies, but that doesn’t quite fit. That trick you pulled wouldn’t have worked unless you were wanted alive, which does tip the scales in favor of it being the local government.

Of course, even if they are policemen or soldiers, that doesn’t mean much. Corruption is pretty endemic in the neck of the woods, and more than a couple civil servants enrich their retirement funds by moonlighting as thugs with badges.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDN5rG3wLa4

Wheels within wheels, always. You miss the sea at times like this, shit’s simpler out on the waves.

“Mind if I take a closer look at that note you found?” Duke asks, drawing your attention away from your mental conspiracy corkboard.

“Knock yourself out.” You say, passing it to him while keeping a close eye on the road. The route you’re currently on has some twisting turns, high cliffs, and some fiendishly bumpy potholes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir1A74UA2YE

You switch the radio to something a little more contemporary after that last song hit a little close to home. Need to keep your head in the game for just a bit longer, can’t let the memories take root. Have to keep sharp, otherwise you’ve got one foot in the grave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uxt-FnNy2I

“You know, I actually recognize a bit of this. That Flash Emergency bit? There’s a couple different ways to preface messages, ranging from run-of-the-mill designations to urgent ones.

A Flash designation means that the contents are related to combat ops, enemy contact, or imminent threats. Those don’t get issued lightly in my experience.

You grab anything else like this?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aokooixKIo

“Not much, besides a patch Clara swiped off one of them.”

With a glance, Clara fishes it out of her pack and tosses it to Duke.

“I swear I know this from somewhere, give me a minute.”

Duke glares at the patch like it simultaneously owes him money, skipped town, and fucked his sister.

“Alright, it’s coming back to me, and it's not great."
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>>5011373

“The long and short of it is that they’re some kind of police tactical unit. I went drinking with a merc a few years back who served with em, still wore the patch. We ended up swapping war stories. Some hard bastards in that bunch, no wonder they didn’t bother with the kid gloves.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOQ4ld6NsXE

“Let me have a look too! I’ve got nothing better to do anyway.” Clara complains, getting bored with the drive.

Duke passes both items to her, when a series of calamitous events occur simultaneously.

The moment Clara takes possession, you have to take a sharp turn and hit a nasty pothole. Normally, that in itself wouldn’t be much cause for concern, but Clara had her window rolled down to help deal with the sweltering heat, and the wind is particularly strong today.

Before anyone can do anything to prevent it, said winds causes the patch and note to fly out the window into a nearby gorge.

There are a few beats of stunned silence, before you and Duke start snickering, before it evolves into full-blown howling.

Clara just sulks in her seat, as you indulge yourself and laugh harder than you have in a long time.

“Fucking assholes.” Clara mutters to herself, eventually growing a small smile herself.

“Don’t worry about it too much, we pretty much learned everything we could’ve anyways. It’s not like it was a smoking gun we could use to wriggle out of custody or something.” You console, still smirking the entire time.

“Whatever. Change to the news or something, I’m sick of this music.”

To assuage Clara’s wounded pride, you switch to a local news station, hoping to get some juicy tidbits about the increased military presence. Unsurprisingly, there isn’t much chatter about it besides the party line that’s being fed everywhere else.

When Duke recommends an underground station with considerably looser publishing policies, you immediately opt for it.

According to the pirate radio DJ, things are considerably different from the platitude being offered publicly. While the land routes into the city are free and clear, the docks and the airports are subject to an incredibly heavy law enforcement presence.

Clearly, something has the locals spooked. The pirate station’s intel seems to check out, if the note was any indicator. They must be hoping to intercept whatever they’re looking for without alerting the public and creating a general panic.

With the earlier levity shattered by the reality of the job at hand, all three of you focus on drawing up a plan for the exchange.

Due to your wrist-harpoon, power set, and general low cunning; Duke and Clara favor having you lurk in the periphery as their ace in the hole in case of hostilities.

While you don’t feel entirely comfortable with the idea of being on your own, you go along with it. Clara loans you a pair of binoculars, and Duke tweaks their radios so that you’ll be able to hear what’s going on from their end.
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>>5011375

After agreeing on the plan, the pieces all come together in your head, and you wish more than anything else that they didn’t. It all suddenly makes sense; why the border is so heavily locked down at the same time you’re slated to arrive, why your party was ambushed by a police tactical unit, why said unit had a note screaming in all-caps about national security.

Either this is a comedy of errors resulting in the longest chain of coincidences in human history, or you’re the reason that the lockdown is in effect. Not you specifically, the cargo you’re carrying.

Once the thought worms into your head, it’s impossible to dismiss without tangible proof.

Maybe you ought to steal a quick look, just to satisfy your own curiosity. Chances are, you’re just jumping at shadows. Should anyone for any reason at all have a reason to suspect your meddling, you’ve got a veritable cornucopia of excuses to whip out if necessary.

Whether or not any of them will hold water is a different matter, but it’s always best to have a cover of some kind to fall back on.

Before you commit to said course of action, you ask Duke and Clara for their opinions.

Duke shakes his head, with an empathic no. “The less we know, the better.” He cautions.

“Trust me, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.”

In contrast, Clara’s all for it. “I’m a bit curious now, it’s worth knowing the value of what we’ve been carting around.”

After pulling over, you pull the box from your pack, and gingerly open it, hoping that this isn’t about to backfire horribly. When nothing explodes in your face, you relax and start examining the contents.

At first glance, it’s nothing particularly interesting, just a moderately sized gunmetal gray canister. Maybe about the size of a long tear gas container.

Nothing particularly special.

At least, nothing besides the GIANT FUCKING BIOHAZARD SYMBOL ETCHED ON THE SIDE.

God fucking dammit Wu.

Alright. calm down and think this through.

From what you can tell, the box doesn’t have any kind of special protection besides a bit of internal armoring. Which makes sense, wouldn’t want a bullet or something to rupture whatever the hell’s in that canister.

The others peer over your shoulder, and give their two cents.

“I warned you, Aurelio, I told you not to look at that shit, it’s not our job to know what’s being delivered.” Duke growls, in possibly the harshest tone you’ve heard from him before.

Clara’s reaction, by comparison, is decidedly blasé. She just shrugs her shoulders.

This has definitely thrown you for a loop, how does this revelation make you feel about the job?

> This is officially FUBAR, scrub the mission and get out of the country. Wu won’t take this well, but fuck him.

> Stay the course. You’re in too deep at this point, your best option is to just see it through to the end and avoid making waves.

> Do the job, but use this knowledge as leverage. Might be able to squeeze Wu for a better deal if you play your cards right.

> Other?