A GINSU INTERCEPT
Omar Patek and Hugh McNevin watched the trenchcoat gangers bundle the terrified executive into the back of a van. The doors slammed and it fish-tailed as it sped off, red tail lights shrinking to pinpricks before it merged in the torrent of cars, tricabs and motorbikes on Shin Yao Road.
McNevin stared, disconsolate. “Well… shit.”
Pateck pointed up. “You going to tell her?”
“Hell no.” He picked up his phone. “Not yet anyway.” Pateck’s supervisor nodded toward the vehicle on the screen. “Stay with it.
Pateck ordered his drone to lock on the vehicle’s registration transponder. The nose-cam reticled on a drab and battered Mitsubishi cargo van weaving through traffic. “They’re heading south.”
Patek nodded. “Just took the Number 5 to Jing-wei sub-district.”
“What the hell–” A rising chime sounded from the Supervisor’s station, a pop up flashing in the center screen. McNevin read, then nodded.”Van Dorn’s security is inbound.”
Patek shook his head. “More plankton-standard corporate? After that epic fail, he’s got a better shot with mall cops.”
“No,” McNevin said. “Integrated Precision.”
“Van Dorn hired the Swiss Army Man?” Pateck exclaimed. “He’s definitely protecting something.”
Hugh McNevin stared at his screen, nodding. Center-screen, a thug-ugly armored truck thundered down a road. “Tobias Hok and his pet piranha. They’ve triangulated Van Dorn’s chip. Rolling heavy as we speak.”
“Izzara Umanov is still with him?”
“New and improved,” McNevin smiled. “Rumor is she wired up her reflexes, swapped out her eyes for Zeiss mil-spec.”
“See what hooking up with a cyborg gets you?”
“Less meat,” Pateck agreed. His eyes flicked across three screens. “Hold it.” The van had halted outside an odd, top-heavy building. “Looks like they’re handing him off.”
He flicked the Shrike to hover mode and zoomed in. A burly man was approaching the van’s rear doors, the remaining trenchies forming a line to block him. Negotiations started. From all the hand waving and contorted faces, the discussions were ‘vigorous’.
McNevin leaned over Patek’s shoulder as facial-recog scanned the newcomer’s face. The software chimed a match. “That’s Phats Jarvok. God Almighty, we’ve got the low-life hit parade tonight.”
“Van Dorn’s big cheese,” Patek noted. “Everybody wants a piece.”
McNevin glanced back at his station at the massive armored truck wedging its way down the narrow streets near the Jing-wei market. “Let’s hope he doesn’t end up in pieces.”
The Teams, The Objectives, the Terrain
TURNS ONE AND TWO
Tobias Hok and Izzara Umanov swoop in with their robot support, seizing two minor plot points straight off while Phats and his gang struggle to get into position. Shots are traded to no effect.
TURN THREE AND FOUR
Lethal strikes here. Integrated Precision takes robotic casualties but keeps Phat’s gang away from the main building’s front door, then hammers away at the leaders. With Phats and Dill down, surviving gangers melt away into the night, bloodied, bruised and beaten.
The two men watched the shaken but unharmed executive step up into IP’s armored transport. McNevin clapped Patek’s shoulder. “Hot knife through tofu. That’s how you do it.”
Patek pointed upward again. “You calling her now?”
McNevin picked up his phone. “Of course.”