Out of Toronto 4.0
Drug Run pt 2
Somewhere in a control room a signal went dead. The dozing corporate wage-slave spider felt the sudden loss, and snapped his attention back from the re-runs of ‘Just the 3 of us’ which he had been watching. Stupid low-quality gear, he mused to himself. Damn truck probably lost the matrix connection going through a tunnel.
Queries reached out, and got lost following the dead-end of the misdirection trails left by the sprites. The truck was gone – simply gone as if it never existed. Another alarm sounded.
Flipping to a feed Omni had rented from LoneStar ‘Eye-in-the-Sky’ airship, he located the location of the truck from its route map and zoomed in. The truck was there – still flashing its Omni-Pharma Corp Grid-Link ID, and nearby was a simple automated cab. The cab was highlighted in yellow, with the meta-data flagging the ‘irregular traffic behaviour’ and ‘potential issue – alert operator’ tags.
What the slotting Drek! He swore in matrix space as the Grid-Link tag to the Omni truck flickered and suddenly went blank. The truck was there, but it was a blank.. a hole in the system. The security spider slammed down the ‘ALL ALARM’ triggers and scrambled response teams.
The Omni truck pulled into a corner parking lot. A cab pulled in behind it and a tiny woman got out and strode, blank faced toward the truck, while the cab turned around and the transport compartment opened. The back of the truck slid up and she stepped inside with a med bag.
Mellie scanned the items, boxes, hundreds of boxes. Luckily each of them was tagged and she started scanning all of them. She tossed out two boxes, they were fairly light. She glanced at the AR tag on the next and scoffed at it, throwing it out of the back of the truck. A tiny smile twitched at her lips for only a moment before her face fell back into the plastic mask.
She started moving more quickly through the items in the truck. A couple times stopping to toss boxes into the cab, once slicing open a box with trauma shears, she shoved several injectors into her med bag. She stopped and threw the rest of the contents out the back, the injectors spilling all over the parking lot and side walk.
She went back into the truck, moving aside boxes more quickly. She grabbed two and sliced them open. There was a long pause as she looked at the first one, it wasn’t labeled correctly. The box was filled with patches and she grabbed a handful shoving them into her pockets. The second box she wrapped her arms around and carried to the back of the cab. She looked around outside and then climbed back into the truck.
The message of free drugs at the local Stop and Shop parking lot had spread, nearly instantly when the images started to be uploaded along with the post. Someone had hijacked a pharmacy truck and was throwing things out the back.
The real trick would be beating LoneStar.
Two gangers got on their bikes, weapons already pulled, less than two blocks away, anything they could score would be a very good day.
They swung around the corner and watched a tiny woman in CrashCart scrubs climb into the back of the truck. On the ground were over a half dozen boxes. One was spilled open and injectors were sprawled all over the ground. One homeless looking junkie was grabbing the injectors on the ground, his hands full, grabbing more as they fell out.
The gangers grabbed the nearest box, completely unlabeled and ripped into it to find out what it was. Clearly the woman was looking for something as she threw the next box out, also unopened. Seeing her face was strange, she wasn’t showing any emotion, just threw the box and moved back into the truck.
Just as they’d ripped the second box open the first LoneStar patrol car arrived on the scene. The officer instantly knew that this situation was going to be going from bad to worse. He opened the commlink back to dispatch and called out. “We’re going to need backup. Containment team and Gang task-force” Suddenly he flinched, ducking down as a shell ricochet off his bullet-proof windshield.
For the most part ignoring the woman, the gangers presence was enough to make the homeless scurry like roaches out of reach – still grabbing anything they could. One of them smiled and commented, “This is going to be a good day… oh slotting scissors – the Blue.” he pointed to the familiar black and blue colouring of the patrol car. Lifting a Ruger heavy pistol, he shot off a warning shot before shouting in. It was only courtesy to warn their little mute nightingale who was tossing the drugs out, “Hey sweet-cheeks.. the black and blue boys showed up. I think this party is about to be rained on.”
The woman didn’t pause, her face didn’t shift, she didn’t notice the gunshots. She seemed to move a bit faster, throwing more boxes out the back. Something huge circled overhead. The woman sliced open another box and grabbed a handful of whatever injectors were in it and walked to the edge of the truck and threw the vials into the air. Most of them rained back down on her after hitting the roof of the truck but three sailed up above it and one was caught in the mouth of a giant monster hurtling toward the ground. It screeched, the pterodactyl scream made everyone stop except the woman. She tossed another box into the cab and dropped to get into the cab. The giant dinosaur swooped toward the LoneStar car.
A small, unknown, unmarked injector fell in two pieces, dripping liquid onto the hood of the LoneStar car.
The spider started to close in on the truck. He watched as a firewall grew between him and the vehicle, he was close enough to get there. He grinned and pulled out all his tricks. He could get in. This was his avenue to success. He could move up in the company. He set his agent to working and started to dream about what he could do if he headed this team. No, he could head the division.
The firewall started to come down block by block and nothing else seemed to be there. He had two IC agents ready to launch, but he wanted to show he could do it himself. He didn’t even need the IC, just his programs.
He glanced at the live feed from LoneStar. A woman hopped out of the back of the truck. She barely looked like a woman. Shots fired around her, gangers yelling at her, the giant pterodactyl overhead and through all of it her face barely moved. Never smiled, never looked afraid, never looked surprised, he pulled up a close up of her face as she got in the cab and it sped from the scene. She wasn’t pretty, she wasn’t remarkable at all. She looked vaguely like someone he’d met or seen once. A doll! Maybe she wasn’t a woman at all, maybe a rogue programmed sex doll.
An alarm startled him from his thoughts and he turned back. The firewall was gone, but his IC was too. He couldn’t find the programs anywhere. He looked around for the hacker who was a part of this operation. There must be three or four people involved at this point.
Nothing seemed between him and the truck so he went in to take control of it, but just as he was about to grab control back he felt pain shoot through him. A short vaguely asian woman in a polished looking business suit appeared in front of him. Her face was flat and she held a lump of code fragments in her hand.
You know who I am don’t you? I am the one who will bring the great tree back. The woman’s face twisted into a malicious grin and he was dump shocked back into his body with a shriek of pain.
Heather showed up the the storage locker. She keyed in the code and held her breath. She’d considered having someone else go, she’d considered waiting, she’d thought about trying to find some of the local gangers to come with her. Her decision had been just go, trust this woman, just a little. She’d paid for a week on the hotel room, and something in her tone had been completely, fiercely sincere.
18 months supply of surge drugs. Plus a couple other things that might help in the neighborhood. Contact me if you need anything.
The woman, she’d been one of the people hired to bring the drugs to her. But she hadn’t been with the group, maybe their decker? It seemed so strange, but her father would have never considered having anything that would help someone else, he wouldn’t have even thought to use that as a lie.
The locker held four unlabeled boxes. She sighed. She wasn’t sure how to figure out what was in them. If they were a trap it was a good one. She cut into the first box and peeled it open, it was full of equally unlabeled injectors. They might be surge meds, they might be pain killers, they might be HMHVV. It seemed a bit dangerous, but after a pause she loaded up the boxes and went back to see if she could get her hands on some AR glasses to find out what they were.