Saints in the Shadows

Aboard the Crazy Train

I get talked into covering Ziggy’s shift, cause he is chasing some skanky tail. He offered to cover my double on Saturday, so I guess we’re even – more or less. It’s been kind of dull night so far. Had to throw out some ganger punk who has more ego than sense. Talked shit to the ladies, when he’s backed by some of his buddies, but they melted into the woodwork, once I called him out on it. Got cocky to me as well, until he realized that they left him hanging. Then, I had to threaten some leering drunk monkey thing who’s tail ‘had a mind of it’s own.’ I threatened to tie it into a fucking knot if it started thinking again. He sat real quiet like after that. He was sitting with some ugly-ass dude who ended up shouting over his comm when he got a call. It’s a comm guy, designed to filter out noise so you don’t need to fucking shout even if it is loud out – they work around that. So, he’s talking to his brother or something about some smash and grab job. Right out in the open, conspiring to rob a train or some shit. If it wasn’t for Sapphire’s reveal on stage, the whole damn bar would have been aware of what plans he was making. My jaw almost drops when he mentions the job could net them over over 2 mil. Seriously, what in the hell are these guys into?

My interest is raised when the yammering monkey mentions that they do not have enough crew to pull any of this off, and they start rattling off who may be around to help. Now, I want in. This job it dull, and I really need money – so what if I’m risking jail time? It’s not like Jacobs won’t cover for me. Even better, this wouldn’t be through Jacobs, so he won’t have a ’finder’s fee’ tax taken off the top. I’m about to offer them a hand when the twit I tossed out earlier walks slithers back in with a few of his friends. They are local bangers from some pathetic local gang, all decked out in black and yellow, seriously it’s like being threatened by a hip hop bumble bee. It don’t take no genius to determine what he is looking for, payback – not specifically from men by Kiki’s. I embarrassed him when I launched him, so he’s going to try to knock the place over to earn back that ’don’t fuck with me’ credit. Well, not on my watch. I move back to the bar, and grab my piece – not likely I’ll need it, but hate to regret that decision. I shoot Twitchy a look that there is trouble brewing, and move to ruin their day. It’s a little scuffle, that turns ugly quickly when the ass on the shotgun fires wild, winging one of our customers. Uh-oh, time to end their night badly. Things get a little easier when the monkey and ugly guy move in to help me like good Samaritans – not that I needed it. I let them live, but they are wrecked. It’ll take more than a bit of liquid courage before they show their face around here again. They will have to go else where to pretend to be bad asses.

This little fracas proves to just the entrance that need. I pick up their tab with the cred the bangers donated and soon we are scheming like old friends. Nova, the ugly one, has a brother that works for some company that is sending three train cars full of some cyberware parts to Texas. In two weeks it’ll pass through Chicago. It doesn’t take long for his sidekick monkey, Bobo, to get the train’s routing information from the Deep, so we are able to determine what cars it’ll be on and what else there is on it. It looks like there is not much else of valuable. Some rich dude is hauling some expensive classic train car here, so there will be some layover in one of the yards, and they figure we could hire some of the locals to switch the train cars there. The train would leave without the cargo, and be none the wiser. Bobo also lines up someone willing to bay 70% for them – almost a mill and a half! Some New York company called Lincoln Security is guarding it in transit, and within 2 hours, I have falsified data stating that I am a recent transfer to their Albany office where I will be joining them as a guard on the train. The plan will be that I will be a ringer on board, and allow Nova entrance to the cars, after the custom’s check point in the Hells and dispatch the other guards. He will have picked up a short-range jammer with will kill communications for around 10 cars, allowing us to work without anyone calling anything in on us. Bobo will be at the train yard with a crew to exchange the cars and we will transfer the goods to the hells, where we will meet with Bobo’s contact and sell them off. Plan B is to decouple the cars once we pass through a second train yard in Chicago, diverting us to another yard, where we can offload there. Either way, 48 hours later, I am bound for New York.

The group I am assigned to looks to take their job seriously, and I do my best to fit in. I learn what I can about their preparations and defenses and send that back to Nova. Hopefully he is up for the fight, these guy’s aren’t going to go down easy. Finally, we make it to Chicago, and through the Custom’s check point. I’m guarding the third train with Sara so, I unlock the back door to let Nova in when Fairchild, our tank, walks in. I motion for Nova to hold, but Nova screws it up and charges in, getting shredded for his efforts. This just went south. I took a cheap shot at Sara, hoping that Nova would keep Fairchild but Nova’s screams distract me and she rolls with the shot. She correctly reads the scenario and decides that the FNG is in cohorts with Nova, and turns and first at me. The blow to her head must have at least stunned her as her shot fires wide. Having reduced Nova to a puddle, Fairchild turns to see Sara holding a smoking gun leveled at me. Now, I am no actor, but I point to her and say that she just drew down on me, and must have been working with the other assailant. It turns out that I should have gone to Hollywood instead of Chicago, ‘cause he buys it and turns his gun on her, dropping her like a stone. I continue my flawless rendition of ’Not the Traitor’ and convince him to check out the rest of the cars, in case there is anything troublesome there, since our comms are jammed. Again, he buys it, and runs off to save the day. I check Nova to see that he is not totally dead, and offer him some Overdrive to keep him on his feet. We keep a small cache of it here, just in case.

He says he is alright and can continue on. I’m not sure, but if we cut out now, we end up with dick. So, we press on. We set an ambush back here, and I call the guards stating the more are coming. The guards rush to my assistance only to be caught in the crossfire. It is a fight, but we end up on top, with only a bit of injury. Nothing to slow me down. Now another hour of smooth sailing, and we are home free. We kill the jammer about a quarter mile from the yard, when Bobo breaks silence, shouting something random like “Ohmergod arpygee lookout!” Moments later, the train is rocked by a large explosion ahead of us and the train shudders and grinds to a halt. What in the shit just happened? Looking back, RPG should have stood out on that call, but I can say that was the least likely statement I would have expected to hear. Bobo is back on the comms, gibbering non-stop about a SUV that is racing towards us with whoever shot the RPG at us, and we can now hear gun fire from behind us as well. The Hell? We have no idea what is going on,so we head towards the back, as that is where the commotion is concentrated. We make it back to the Pullman car, the one with the rich guy on it. Two men are assaulting it, so we dispatch them, and offer to protect the VIP, as it seems that this new crew is focused on him. We get them out and dump him with Nova and Bobo to get them the hell out of here. I return to my station and await for the boys in blue to arrive. The new crew takes off once the sounds of sirens close in. In short order, we are towed to the train yard and I tell all interested that the train was assaulted and my security team was wiped out by some guys who attacked the train. There are many witnesses who confirm enough legitimate parts of my story, and there was clearly a fight here, so they don’t put too much work into it. It looks like someone was looking to grab that rich kid, so we earned his gratitude there. There is too much security here for us to switch the train, so we opt with Plan B.

We leave the yard several hours later, and I decouple the cars from behind us soon after. We flip the track over for me, and roll into the backup yard, where Bobo and the boys are waiting. I clean out the storage lockers for anything useful, and join Bobo in the cab to take the cyberware parts to the sale. Thankfully, the rest of the deal goes smooth as silk and everyone leaves a winner. We even scored a reward from the appreciative rich kid. Thankfully, tomorrow is my day off, and an hour later I crawl into bed for some much needed shut eye. Since I have my weekly check in with Jacobs this afternoon, I need to the rest. Needless to say, I am none too fucking happy to see my comm buzzing with a call from Ziggy who I know is going to tell me he can’t cover my shift today….

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Smorgie

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