By James Benton
Duece called Loche, Wicker, Bud (a massive Troll), and The Jew for an easy bodyguard gig for an acquaintance of his. The meet was backstage at a rock concert for Maria Mercurial, and up and coming star with metallic skin. The four filtered their way in passed security without an issue, except for Bud who had to take a trip back to his car to offload a few weapons (troll-sized weapons are fairly easy to spot). Once inside and nearing the end of the set, they headed to the back and were let in to see Max Foley, the a fore mentioned acquaintance. He told them a story about how Maria found out her old agent was a BTL dealer and had to leave him and came to Max for help. The job was to protect Maria for 5 days until her old contract ran out and the Max could get legal help from the guild to keep Armando Hernandez (the old agent) off their backs. After a little while,They agreed on a sum of 24,000 nuyen. Once the negotiation was done, The Jew asked to use the bathroom and was in there for some time. When he came out, his demeanor was both twitchier and more contented. Maria finished her set and came back to the dressing room and freshened up. After a minute, she came out of the bathroom and the group started to plan their travel arrangements. Before they could finish, the door was kicked in by two guys yelling in Spanish and shooting. Loche immediately darted across the room and shoved Maria into the bathroom and nudged Max after her. Bud charged up to doorway and The Jew rolled into the middle of the floor looking for a shot. After a brief scuffle at the door, Loche shot one of the guys with a narco-jet round and Bud dropped the last one with a punch to the face. Bud dragged the two guys inside the room and shut the door, leaning against it, obviously covered in bruises from the shotgun rounds and the spraying Uzi. Before the group could search the bodies, there was a pounding at the door. One of the bouncers was telling them to get a move on it, there were cops all over the front of the venue. The back was still clear. Bud and Loche carried the catatonic and passed out Maria and Max out the back to Max’s car and Wicker drove them off to the safe house while the rest went back to pick their vehicles up from the front. The Jew and Loche nonchalantly got to their vehicles but Bud caught the attention of a pair of Lone Star Officers who took one look at his battered, scorched outfit and cuffed him to take him down to the station for questioning. Loche noticed this and drove by, peppering the officers with narco-jet rounds, taking one out and forcing the other to take cover behind the car. He stopped the bike and unlocked the cuffs to release Bud. The group met at the safe house to figure out what they were going to do. Max offered to double their money if they took Armando out. After a brief consultation, Loche, Bud and The Jew went to Armando’s house and broke in via a skylight. It quickly became obvious that Armando didn’t have anything to do with the BTL trade and was completely in love with Maria. Loche narco-jetted him and they piled in the van for the hour drive back to the safe house. Just after they started, Wicker called to say he was under attack and after his skirmish, he discovered Maria hooked up to a BTL and out of it. Getting both Maria and Max moving, he headed for the bus stop to get out of the area. Once the bus arrived, Maria got on and before Max could step on, a dragon swooped down and burned him to a crisp in a remarkable display of breath control. The bus took off, Wicker hanging onto the side and yelling for it to let him on. After a short distance, the bus stopped and let Wicker on. Loche, Bud and The Jew made it into the area and hooked up with Wicker and had Mark (Street Doc) meet them to check on her. She apparently had a reaction for the BTL and was bleeding out of her ears and nose. He advised the group to get her to a hospital immediately. They also got Cooper to come in and download a chunk of data that Maria had in a data vault in her head. Getting it out and decripting some of it, they realized that it was some important data relating to some of the Seattle sprawl controlled by a local Yakuza family. Wicker called around and reached out the Aztechnology to see about selling the data back to them. At the same time, Loche reached out to the local Yakuza family to broker a pretty sweet deal to sell them the data. They are about to go to a meet with Yakuza family now.
With a couple of hours to kill before the group was meeting with the Yakuza, they picked up a little extra gear they thought they might need if things got rough and then headed over to the Yakuza restaurant to make the trade. Not expecting things to go badly, they didn’t post security or do anything special, just pulling up in Bud’s van and heading up the sidewalk toward the restaurant and the two big Ork guards out front. Wicker took one look at the open space and used magic to obscure his presence. As they started up the path, a shot rang out and slammed into Loche, spinning him around causing him to dive over a low wall for cover. The Jew started looking around for the sniper and the guards opened up from the doorway to the restaurant. A couple of blasts from The Jew’s uzi and a punch from a fast moving Bud took the guards out while Loche focused on finding the sniper. Once they found the window, Loche and The Jew pumped numerous rounds into it to keep his head down while Wicker used his magic to float closer and get a clean shot with a blast of lightning. With a couple more shots into the room to make sure he was down, Loche and The Jew went inside the restaurant to check it out. Everyone had been slaughtered inside, and the briefcase the probably had the money in it was still there, handcuffed to the wrist of the mid level boss. Between the two of them, The Jew and Loche freed the briefcase and while The Jew went to check on the back, Loche opened it up, setting off the booby trap inside. Managing to dive to one side and avoid the bulk of the blast, Loche and The Jew staggered out of the building, reporting what happened. Wicker found a sniper rifle, some ammo, and a couple of blocks of C-4 in the room with the dead sniper. The group piled back in Bud’s van and took off, trying to figure out what to do. First thing was to call up Cooper and have him do some digging, thinking that Aztechnology and their local boys had something to do with the ambush. It turned out it was a group called the Dragonites, led by an actual dragon. While Cooper was digging, Loche called the Yakuza up again to inform them about what was going on and to arrange a meeting to do the exchange. They agreed on a random location and the exchange went off without a hitch. After this, they decided to take the fight to the Dragonites and got the location they were using as a base from Cooper. Getting geared up, they parked the van a couple of blocks away and snuck around the back of the target location where they tried to sneak up on the two guards posted in the back. Everyone was doing great until Bud kicked a trash can out into the open, making a huge racket and alerting the two guards on duty. A brief, surprisingly quiet gunfight took them out. A van was parked in the back near the door, and the group disabled it before heading in, figuring they would check it out after they survived the assault. Moving into the back door, they found themselves in a small room. Opening the door to the main room, they could see some automated guns on cameras and a couple of guards. Wicker used his magic to take over one of the guards and cause a disruption while Bud and Loche moved into the room and started their assault. The Jew laid down cover fire and the group quickly mopped up the defenses on the ground floor. They split up and took both the stairs heading up, Bud and The Jew stacking and heading up the side stairs while Wicker and Loche went up the center stairs under the cover of magical concealment. Loche and Wicker encountered a series of traps of different variations, trip wires to pressure plates, while Bud and The Jew had to shoot out a series of automated gun turrets on the way up. Both teams made it to the top at about the same time, where they were immediately ambushed by a contigent that had been alerted to their ascent. After fighting them off, the group split up and searched the top floor, encountering a whip weilding assailent and then watching the human head of the Dragonites blowing a hole in the wall and getting snatched by the Dragon in a strange escape. Finishing their search, they discovered that the rigger had been killed by a pistol shot to the head, making an interesting crinkle to the goings on. Collecting what they could, the group escaped with their loot and lives.