Date: 5th October 2177
Mood: Frustrated and exhausted. Who knew killing Americans was this tough?
Outfit: My shiny new combat armour, that I bought with the proceeds from icing Lima. It’s snug and super tough at vulnerable points where other armour fails. Not very breathable and the peripherals on the helmet are a bit weak, plus I get limited movement on my shoulders, but you know you’ve made a wise fashion investment when you can lie still in the hail of a full magazine and just get a bit bruised. That was a good buy!
News: Some corporations are arguing again, which isn’t exactly shocking news in New Horizon, but I heard that Arasaka have signed a contract with one of the big genetech companies and are going to be re-entering New Horizon as “security.” I guess they need the money after they messed up in the Indo zone, but it’s really bad news for me. They’re gonna have a presence in District 68 – my home! – but they have a contract out on me. I can’t see that working out well for me – or for the first 10 or so Arasaka dudes who come to get me.
Back when I was doing corporate wet work there was this guy in our team that everyone called Builder Barry, who had an obsession with American history and used to talk about it a lot. He knew everything about Oil Age American military hardware, what he called the “Golden Age of Military Aestheticism,” and he also knew a lot about American history, though our team wiseguy called him a “tinpot Imperialist philosopher” and accused him of wearing “Budweiser goggles,” which are apparently some sort of super cool American tech that makes everything look pretty or something. Builder Barry didn’t have any actual goggles (he had a really sophisticated set of light-adaptive shift-tacts), and most of his hardware was Asian issue standard, but he did have a big old American pistol that he said he kept “for emergencies” because it never jammed and did a lot of damage. He said every bullet was charged with the “weight of history” or something, though as far as I can tell they were just lead, not even depleted uranium. Still, I guess that weight of history was heavy enough in some parts of the world, because after Builder Barry left our team he went with Arasaka to fight in the Indo zone, got caught by some dudes in what used to be Afghanistan, and as soon as they saw his gun they thought he was an American spy and shot him there on the spot. Is that irony (Pops is always telling me I confuse irony and karma)? The way Builder Barry tells it, everyone used to take America really seriously, and America was really important in the world, and because white people thought they were so perfect everyone also took Europe seriously (can you believe that?!), and everyone worried what Europeans and Americans thought of them. Although from the amount of wars he says they were always fighting, it doesn’t sound like they were very popular.
They certainly aren’t popular with me, after today’s little farce! We have decided to go topside on a mission for Alt, but that means getting passports which means dealing with some dude that Pops knows, who wants us to ice this guy called Blue who, coincidentally, is the guy who seems to want to kill our hacker Ghost. But before we can get to Blue we thought we should get his hacker, Rice, who might know useful stuff (hackers usually do). Ghost managed to find out where Rice lives (maybe all hackers put their address on the internet like Ghost did?) so we went to get him. A pretty simple job really – go into this apartment complex in the American sector, lock all the doors so the hacker can’t get out and the local thugs can’t get in, then grab Rice and offer him a range of enhanced interrogation options. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything, that’s what. For starters we planned on electronically locking down the doors of all the apartments on Rice’s level, because everyone knows Americans are insane and if they see a bunch of heavily armed people entering their apartment complex their first thought will be “let’s go kill them and rob them of their expensive and deadly guns,” so we wanted to make sure they couldn’t get to us. Only many of these cheap American sector apartments turn out not to have doors, so when we turned up there were lots of people coming out to get us. Also there was a riot going on outside the apartment when we arrived, because Americans love cheap beer and rioting. The riot was no problem at first but we had to leave Ghost unguarded in the van to do his hacking, which it turns out is a big mistake in a riot.
So we went inside and straight away there were people coming to get us, these two dudes with nunchakus who charged us when we were trying to shoot Rice’s bodyguards. I just ignored the nunchaku dude while I picked off the bodyguards, but Coyote didn’t kill him fast enough and so he grabbed me and threw me to the ground and started trying to take my helmet off like some kind of pervert. Coyote killed him for me but by the time that job was done more bodyguards had turned up and one laid down a blistering rain of fire on our doorway. Coyote managed to duck aside but I was trapped under the body of the dude who he had just chainsawed to death, and as I rolled out I took five bullets, I can tell it’s five because I have a big nasty bruise for each and every one. Fortunately my pretty new armour took the worst of it and I was able to do keep fighting. Coyote ran around them and we were able to take them out, but things weren’t going so well. Pops was down on the stairwell fighting off this horde of American barbarians who were coming up to get us so they could steal our gear, and an AV was hovering outside Rice’s window, while he smashed the window and prepared to jump out. Ghost was meant to be hacking that AV and making it fall to the ground, but because we left him unguarded some hobos broke into the van and started whaling on him. We knew he was in trouble when we lost our feed, so we decided to withdraw and save the van and the hacker without getting our target.
Unfortunately withdrawing wasn’t such an easy deal. Pops had to hold off those guys from below, and while we were moving up the stairs some second-rate corporate security outfit landed at the top of the stairs in an AV, and started firing down the stairwell. Coyote managed to drop a flashbang on the guys Pops was holding off, which convinced them to leave, and then got a grenade right in the mouth of the AV to very impressive effect, but somehow one of those armored corps made it through alive and dropped a grenade on me. My armor was good but apparently not good enough and I went down from the shock. While all this was going on Ghost was in some kind of gunfight with two hobos, trying to get back our van, and managed to lose his assault rifle and also Tail, who fell out of the van somewhere – we didn’t even know he had come with us the useless little runt. Anyway we took a different exit out of the building when we discovered the corps had a machine gun mounted in their AV, and we got control of the van again. By then Rice had fled in his AV, so we have to follow it and track him down.
In all I killed three guys and injured maybe five more, Coyote took down maybe 6 guys. As per a la usual, it was only Yours Truly who got hurt, but I was in the thick of it so whatever. Also I think I need to improve my grappling, because these roughhouse suburban type criminals like to drag you down and rip your helmet off so they can stab you in the neck, which is really icky. I think we under-estimated the Americans and if we hadn’t been working well as a team we’d all be dead. Next time we need to hire backup and get a bit more protection for our hacker. But none of us are dead and we have a bead on Rice’s AV so we can still follow him and get the job done. Stay tuned for some enhanced interrogation!