Shadows of Toronto

PROLOGUE - THE WAREHOUSE RUN

Long has the east end of Toronto been considered the rougher part of town, but it wasn’t until the mid-21st century that things got really bad. Scarborough never really did quite recover from the 2048 food riots, and the inhabitants of the suburban wasteland lived hand-to-mouth for years as legitimate work continued to dry up. Police forces were pushed out by the rising boldness of street gangs in the area, and eventually the rest of the city just left the Scar to its fate.

Tonight, a group of street runners – a few gangers out to make a little bit of a better world for themselves – set out on a job. There’s Mike Williams, or “Sparks” as he’s known on the streets, a street mage who collects his reagents out of the discarded refuse and detritus of the abandoned suburb and works his magic with it. Yusuf “Rotor” Ahmed is a young human rigger with some used headware serving as his control rig and a couple junkyard drones, Cerberus and Icarus at his side. Rob “Butcher” Slattery, a big tank of an ork, is the last member of a group, a rather dull-witted individual but always valuable in a fight with a giant axe and a beaten old AK.

The three are given a job by a fixer of theirs, Marlene Williams, who happens to be Sparks’ sister. One of her contacts has heard something valuable is being kept in a small warehouse in North York, and they ought to get a good payday out of it. Good number of armoured goons were spotted bringing in this sealed crate to the warehouse, and the place has had a bit more security ever since. Not so much as to draw that much attention, but enough to make these gangers think they can score a decent payday if they just break in in the dead of night, maybe ice a few dudes, and get out.

“It’ll be a milk run! From what I hear, there’s not all that much security posted around the place, probably ain’t wanna draw much attention.”
“When is it ever that easy?”
“Well hell, we can always work it out if it ain’t.”

So that’s what they do! Rotor drives them all over in his GMC Bulldog Step-Van, toting a couple drones with him: a Doberman and a Roto-Drone, named Cerberus and Icarus, respectively. Sparks gives the place a scan through his astral sensing and finds a fair number of guards posted, about 10 of them. Out the front entrance, there’s a couple guards chatting, one guard’s lighting up a smoke out the side entrance, and the back entrance has a couple dudes hanging out. The remainder are inside, patrolling the floor.

Rotor sends Icarus flying over the roof to get an angle on the guards at the back. They draw up their battle plan. Butcher will run in the side entrance, chopping up anyone in his way with Cerberus as fire support. Sparks will run in the back entrance, with Rotor sending in Icarus after him. Rotor, being a bit of a weedy dude, will stay in the van as he controls the drones.

With plans laid out, they strike! They tip their hand off early as they drive up, the guards having made a suspicious white van driving around casing the joint. After much cursing, having lost any benefit of surprise and seeing the guards withdraw inside to get ready to defend their post, the group figures there’s nothing to help the situation but charge in and stomp some security. Butcher and Sparks chase the guards into the building with the drones right behind them, but fail to find cover in time before Sparks takes a shot to the chest from a Browning Max-Power from one of the three guards taking shots from behind cover in the west end of the building. Shots are fired at Butcher from another three of the guards and their leader as he charges through the north end and he takes a blow to the shoulder, but it barely slows him down.

Rotor takes control of the situation and fires on a couple of the mooks with his drones, Icarus severely hurting one of the goons that shot at Sparks, and Cerberus blasting into the security team’s lieutenant, slowing him down a bit. Butcher chops deeply into another mook, leaving him just a hair from death. Sparks casts a blast spell, aiming to take out a couple dudes, but his very conservative use of force leaves him with a weak blast that the security shrugs off. The drones continue pouring on the fire, with Icarus finishing off the mook with a second burst of fire, and Cerberus narrowly missing the boss. Butcher cuts another of the grunts down to size and Sparks manages to get another spell off, this time to heal himself up from the round he took the chest and manages enough hits on it while pushing the limit to get himself effectively back in the fight.

The guards continue firing, but by this time Sparks has managed to find a bit of cover and stays safe from the bullets. Cerberus nearly takes a shot to the chassis and Butcher gets winged again, but they continue to pour on fire on the guards. Literally, in Sparks’ case. He casts flames across the room into one of the guards shooting at him and damn near kills him in one shot with the fiery blow and sets him alight. Icarus finishes off the poor motherfucker as he’s desperately trying to put himself out, and meanwhile Butcher chops down the guard captain and Cerberus takes out another guard. At this point they’re nearly ready to mop up but the three remaining guards who haven’t quite involved themselves in the fight make a rush for the box the gangers came for to transport it elsewhere, making a run for the garage.

The gangers make short work of the remaining guards they’re already tangled up with, and Butcher charges ahead to catch the fleeing team with the crate. The drones open fire on the one carrying the crate and his buddy to his left, hobbling them both, and Sparks runs to catch up. The guards fire back fruitlessly, and the gangers are gaining on them. Butcher chops one of the guards in half as he charges forward, just clotheslining him with the axe, and the drones take out the man carrying the crate. At this point, the remaining guard is sprinting out, calling for support on his commlink. He rushes out, panting, outside the warehouse, where Rotor spots him from his vehicle’s sensors.

Rotor honks the GMC Bulldog’s horn loudly and tauntingly as he jumps in through the rigger interface, catching the guard’s attention as he turns to face it, still on his commlink. “Oh god, no, you gotta get here fast, they’re—” the last sounds issuing forth from the guard are sickening crunches as the GMC Bulldog crashes over him and smears him into the pavement. Butcher grabs the crate, they load up in the van, and drive off into the night. They get tailed a bit, but some fast driving sees the crew celebrating back at the Barrens for a job well done! Looks like this was a milk run, after all.

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