Hidden 26 days ago 19 days ago Post by Opposition
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Opposition Technological Singularity

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𝔽𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕪: 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝔾𝕣𝕖𝕒t 𝔾𝕒𝕞𝕖

𝕊𝕨𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕊𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕥 ℂ𝕠𝕞𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤

ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟠𝕥𝕙, 𝟚𝟘𝟞𝟜 𝟙𝟡:𝟘𝟘

[𝕊𝕚𝕥𝕦𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 ℕ𝕠𝕣𝕞𝕒𝕝], 𝕃𝕠𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘....


Today was different. Today, there was something off about the Swathe Street crowds. The usual zombie-like droning of the Reclaim Zone derelicts weaving in and out of bars, drug dens, and factories was changed. It was like the electricity— the lifeblood that ran through subterranean wires like the skeleton of the very district itself— came alive in South City’s inhabitants. Most of the buzzing interest found its epicenter at Central Square as the final debate for the mayoral candidacy was taking place while people around the Reclaim Zone voted readily. It had been a long while since the Reclaim Zone had come to life like this. Normally it was a necropolis with nothing but dead men wandering aimlessly in search of purpose, but this particular political race had the public chattering anxiously about the results.

The unorthodox nature of the campaign process drew many eyes. APEX sellout Joshua Gatch was challenged by the leader of the Knights, as well as some nobody, Dexter Campbell. The craziest part of it all was how divided the populous was. It really added to the intrigue, considering how important the final debate was. At least, most people thought it would be determinant. Apparently Jackson Rott and the Knights thought otherwise. While Knights supporters were spotted in the crowd, Rott was nowhere to be found, though who could really tell? The cramped conditions of the dark and smog-filled square was so busy that it was hard to pick anyone out of the crowd of citizens and derelicts alike.

Central Square truly was something. Built in one of the only empty spaces left in the Reclaim Zone, it was walled on three sides by monolithic factories leaving the crowd to push their way up towards the stage in one massive pack from the front. At the moment, Gatch and Campbell were both tucked away during a break in the debates. Behind the stage, the rear factory was hollowed out into one of the nicest lounge spaces in the Reclaim Zone. For the first time, so many reporters, benefactors, and campaigners of the Reclaim Zone were witnessing the atmosphere akin to a cocktail party as the candidates intermingled with their cohorts, reporters, and lobbyists. Gatch was at the very least.

In the moment, Campbell exhaled a hefty breath with a bit of a shake in his respiration. Were the nerves getting to him? That certainly wasn’t a common sight to his team, but as Campbell paced back and forth along the wooden floor of his teams suite of rooms, he couldn’t hide how flustered he was. The first round of the debate was brutal, as Gatch brought up every piece of dirt that was humanly possible to dig up on one of the cleanest men in the Reclaim Zone. It was even harder for Campbell to take to the assault at the podium with Rott there to shred Gatch up alongside him. The Knights weren’t the type to back out at the last minute, and that mystery was just another thing weighing on Campbell’s mind.

“Alright. Alright. I need something more to say…” His urgency only picked up as an intercom interrupted him. 10 minutes until the debate resumes. He looked around at those present as though pleading for solutions, but his eyes fell finally upon a mirror embedded in the wall. In the staredown with his reflection, Campbell composed himself. “We have to end this strong. We can do this. Can… Can someone keep the reporters back for a minute. I just need to collect myself a minute before I get back into it… Get my thoughts together— that sort of thing.”

As if on queue, there were nosy knocks upon the suite’s door a few rooms over. The place was much more vast than necessary, but the candidates and their teams couldn’t complain. For just these past few nights, they were living the most lavish lives out of anyone in the zone. “Reporters,” Campbell muttered. “And Gatch is probably out there talking them up too.” A final sigh escaped his lips. “Alright guys, let’s make these last minutes count… Do what you can. You all know your roles.”

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Hidden 26 days ago 16 days ago Post by Opposition
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Opposition Technological Singularity

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𝔽𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕪: 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝔾𝕣𝕖𝕒t 𝔾𝕒𝕞𝕖

𝕆𝕝𝕕 ℝ𝕒𝕚𝕝 𝕊𝕥𝕠𝕡, ℙ𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕊𝕥𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟

ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟠𝕥𝕙, 𝟚𝟘𝟞𝟜 𝟙𝟡:𝟘𝟘

[𝔻𝕖𝕞𝕠𝕔𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕪 & 𝔻𝕦𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕪], 𝕃𝕠𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘...


Perhaps the most off-putting detail about the Reclaim Zone is its duality— that maddening duality wherein you could go from election day on Swathe Street, seeing all the commotion and buzz that gave life to the dying zone, to the Old Rail Stop where the quiet seeps into your very core. Could anyone really have been surprised that the archaic rail station didn’t get a great voter turnout? The dusty and damp complex was empty, covered in the decaying bits of society’s forgotten waste, and half underground. One wrong move at the wrong time on this street of the Reclaim could spell a slow and bloody end in an alleyway where no one would see the light drained from your eyes.

Alas, bureaucracy is a fickle and inefficient thing. Last year the Reclaim Zone barely had any voting stations. The system was jury-rigged to keep to certain areas. The people complain and this is what they get: nearly unused polling stations spreading every miniscule section of the Reclaim Zone out, and the local government thinking they’ve done something right for once. Maybe the Old Rail Stop did make a difference today. Maybe— in some fluke— voters chose to come to the crumbling station with its dim and buzzing yellow lights devoid of the neon that assaulted the eyes of Swathe Street passers-by, but you’d never know. The desolate and derelict structure stood piercingly silent. No man or woman walked in or out, but the polling stations were supposedly inside right along the atrium of the fell system of industrial rails.

Cass could already feel the dust gathering along her jacket, its pale grey color becoming even more faded as the dirt and particulate matter from years of the districts neglect pervaded from the streets and the air unto her. The woman sighed, rubbing her hands across the polyester mesh sleeves as if the filth would escape her. It didn’t. She found herself leaning against the back of the 2050 Victory Ultra parked just across the street from the rail stop. Of course, calling it a street left much to be desired. The sub-alley walkway wasn’t necessarily made for cars or pedestrians. Instead, it simply just existed in between the cracks of the megalopolis. The thought brought half a smile to Cass’s face. This was where they ended up— perhaps where they belonged— in between the cracks of the megalopolis…

“Busy,” was the only comment Cass could offer to shatter the deafening quiet. That sarcastic tone rarely left her voice, and this day was no exception. Ever since they had arrived, Cass occupied herself with twitching motions as she palmed her sheathed weapon in between hands. Her eyes flicked from surveying the station to land upon Mackwell. “Information says this is the place,” Cass offered, leaving the word ‘information’ purposefully a bit ambiguous. This whole tip wasn't much for the team to go off of, but once Campbell heard any mention of suspicious activity around one of the stations on his critical day, he sent a the barebones team out immediately. “But who knows if some bureaucratic shill came all the way out here to actual put the machines up. Maybe they just forgot…” A final sentence escape Cass’s lips, but it was muttered with a hushed tone that made her words nearly inaudible. “Hopefully they forgot…”

Another deep breath ended with a heavy sigh as Cass pushed herself upright and brought her weapon down to her side. “We just have to… Look around I guess? See what you can find.” With that, Cass stepped towards the structure, glancing all around it. Silently, she swiped a hand through the air at random to activate her Opti-Tactics Visual Enhancer. Informative calculations swirled before her eyes and Cass spent a long while just taking them in, unaware and uncaring of the whereabouts and actions of her colleagues. It was always an odd realization to make, ‘that something was off’, but Cass was rarely inaccurate. The uncanny senses of her observance augmentations had set something off unconsciously within her, but she had yet to pick it up. Perhaps that was the fallacy of the machine. The human mind still could not match wits with the speed of the E-Brain. The intrigue buried inside her was there, however, and that was all she needed.

Without glancing back at her colleague, Cass continued to step towards the Old Rail Stop. “Well… Let’s get to looking around. Maybe we’ll get back in time for cocktails of victory… Or cocktails of defeat.” As she spoke, Cass slowly dropped off in volume. Her attention was drawn further from her current circumstances as she wandered away. Strangely, Cass wasn’t heading towards the wide open entryway to the station. Instead, Mackwell and Emma would have observed her treading off towards the alley that lead around the the back side of the station. As far as any of the three knew, there wouldn’t be much back there save for a cramped alleyway, but Cass proceeded regardless until finally disappearing behind the building’s corner.
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Hidden 24 days ago Post by MagratheanWhale
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MagratheanWhale

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The Debate Intermission: 17:00
@OppositionJ

The stress of the final day of the campaign hung in the air of the groups' suite as Dexter Campbell paced back and forth across the room. S’venia watched for a brief moment before she returned to her work. Saying that Gatch had gone on the offensive in the first round of the debate was an understatement. With Rott’s absence, the incumbent mayor dug through every facet of Campbell's life, finding all negative dirt that existed, and displayed it for all to see on the debates stage. The team had gone into the debate expecting Gatch to be fighting on two fronts, instead, Dexter was alone thus forcing S’venia to go on the defensive and attempt to get some positive out of that first debate.

Replay,” S’venia spoke in a soft voice that you’d be forgiven if you did not hear it.

S’venia was on the far side of the room behind a desk on her portable computer editing footage that she took during the first round of the debate. The video in question was from the opening segment where both candidates outlined their vision for the Reclaimed district. The video started with Dexter standing behind his podium, “my focus, as mayor, will always be on you the people,” the video blurred and fell out of focus as a second video came into view. It was footage that S’venia took before with the initial five-second clip from when Dexter worked at a shelter behind the food counter that soon changed to a second five-second clip of Dexter walking and laughing alongside some residents of the Reclaim district. “I have worked alongside so many great people here in the reclaim district”, the voice of Dexter played over the two videos. “And as mayor,” the clip blurred once more losing focus, “I will never lose focus on what’s important,” the video faded back in to Dexter behind the podium, “and that is bringing this District back to its former glory,” he paused as he let loose his trademarked warm smile, “and bringing her people back the safeguards that protected them, a vote for me is a vote for a better future,” the video faded to black before “vote for your future, vote for Dexter Campbell” appeared in an italicized Jubilat font with a solid underscore sliding in underneath.

“Alright. Alright. I need something more to say…”

S’venia looked over as Dexter’s eyes began scanning the room, almost pleading for someone to speak up and give him the magic words that he desperately needed before they finally locked onto a mirror. “We have to end this strong. We can do this. Can… Can someone keep the reporters back for a minute. I just need to collect myself a minute before I get back into it… Get my thoughts together— that sort of thing,” he asked as the sound of knocks could be heard coming from down the hall. “Reporters,” he spit out as he paused for thought, “Alright guys, let’s make these last minutes count… Do what you can. You all know your roles,” he finished.

S’venia looked down at her computer before she stood up from her desk, grabbing the computer as she did, and made her way to Dexter’s side. She closed the distance in a graceful, yet quick pace, before ultimately settling in beside him. Most of the work was finished yet she needed the final approval of Dexter himself before she shared it on his media platforms. “You could always call him “Apex’s lil’ bitch,” Dex, she paused as she turned her focus towards Dexter, I’m sure the Net and allll her inhabitants will love you forever for it, she paused as she winked. A look of horror slowly spread across her face, probably don’t say that, actually, that would be very, she paused as she looked away, that would be very bad, she finished as she turned her head back. She was still new to the political theater. She learned early on to not directly say or air debatable accusations and to instead wait for one of your political action committees to do it for you. The last thing S’venia wanted was for Dexter to bear the brunt of the wrath that might come down from such a “baseless” accusation.

Here, S’venia said as she passed the computer to Dexter, I plan to edit in some more details before the next round of debates starts,” she paused as she looked towards the door, if we were to post this, we would have to have it up before the next round starts, thoughts S’venia asked as she turned her head back towards Dexter. Do you want me to hold back the reporters for you, she paused as she smiled her friendly smile, die tragically as they run me over to get their next quote, stretching your words out of context to get a few more clicks for their articles, she finished with a soft smile.
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Hidden 24 days ago 24 days ago Post by Firecracker_
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Firecracker_ hana-bi.

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🅟🅡🅞🅒🅣🅞🅡 🅡🅨🅚🅔

Factory Suite, 17:00


Sensory overload was the best way to describe the situation. The air surrounding Proctor was suffocating, filled with chatter and cacophony near and far, as the reporters outside the room, and the general buzz from the Square permeated the walls of the suite, overloading Proctor’s already spinning head. Had he not already been sitting, he’d probably have fallen over from sheer exhaustion by now. Thankfully, he didn’t have any fingernails, or he’d be driving himself mad chewing on them. For now, he’d satisfied himself with just staring at his own gloved metal hands, chattering off about them in his head.

The only thing that sucks about these things is the fact they can’t scratch an itch for shit. I always have to use a stick or some shit to scratch, and I’m not a fan of using a stick to scratch my face…

Realizing what he was thinking to himself, Proctor shook himself back to reality, and took a quick look around to see if anyone had noticed him zone out. Gazing around, Proctor finally noticed Campbell and his pacing back and forth around the room. One look and he could tell that Campbell felt the same trepidation that he did, only, he chose to pace around the room and think out loud, rather than sit down and zone out pondering the slight disadvantages of cybernetic arms. Campbell’s energy, however, was infectious, and Proctor could feel a subtle tingling in his legs, spurring him to get up and begin his own pacing. Quickly, though, Proctor found himself standing in the center of the room for no reason, and decided to peer out of the curtained windows instead.

Taking a moment and a breath before opening the window, Proctor tugged the curtains slightly back, only exposing his face. Central Square was busier than he’d ever seen it before, completely electrified and buzzing with energy and commotion. There had to be hundreds of people, all milling about, packed into the square like sardines in a can. Volunteers from every campaign were out there, trying to sway the people down to the very last vote. Now that the fundraising was over for the most part, Proctor’s job was done, but he still felt like he had duties to carry out past just accompanying Campbell. It was a nagging feeling, like he’d forgotten something he needed at home, or that he’d neglected to do something important.

Now that his mind had wandered back to the elections, his anxiety began to renew, remembering the debate they had just taken a recess from, and how badly Campbell got hammered in the opening. Paranoia set in even further when he remembered the Jackson Rott was mysteriously absent. Someone who had been prominent the whole race was suddenly not present? Something was up. Something was seriously wrong here.

Procor shut the blinds, stepping back and taking a deep breath.The gravity of the situation began to set in on him. He’d always been wary of Rott for his own personal reasons, but he’d never announced his feelings to his fellow campaigners, lest they somehow put two and two together. Now, though, it seemed too obvious, but not everyone seemed to realize it. He figured everyone’s mind was fixated on the debate, obviously, but they’d be fools to take Rott’s absence as anything but strange.

Proctor moved away from the window, and turned to lean against the wall. Getting a view of the rest of the room agan, Dexter was busy rambling to himself, appearing to grow more nervous from his rough start to the debates, and the growing clamor of the reporters outside the room. Proctor glared at him for as second, definitely relating to the anxiety, but not for the same reasons. Then, S’venia glided across the room to Dexter giving him a few words before they began to brace themselves to face the horde of journalists outside, undoubtedly curious to ask about all the rather...unsightly accusations Gatch leveled at Campbell during the first half of the debate. Proctor absent mindedly rubbed the arms of his new jacket, one he’d bought just for the debates, as he watched the pair exchange a few words. Following their gaze, he turned his attention to the door, as the ruckus behind it began to slowly fade into his mind, as he realized truly how many people were eager to speak to Dexter before the second half of the debate started.

Proctor really wanted the day to be over with, for the next half of the debate to go by smoothly, and for Dexter to win and be over with this whole fiasco, but paranoia had settled in too deeply to Proctor’s heart. Rott had to have some sort of motive for his absence. Even with his foggy mind, Proctor could still recall vividly the many instances that man proved his brutality to the Zone, and any strange acts like this raised alarm to him.

The aging cyborg spoke up from his post leaning against the wall, with his arms crossed, causing the sleeves of his jacket to raise slightly and reveal the scratched metal underneath.

”Maybe now isn’t the best time to bring this up, but is no one wondering where the hell Rott went?” Proctor’s voice came out low and even, as he tried to mask how paranoid he really was over Rott’s absence.

”Why would he disappear now, of all times? I’m not trying to sound crazy, but Central Square is packed right now. One little fuck up could turn into pandemonium if they’re not careful. We all know what kind of man Rott is. It doesn't sit well with me, Mr. Campbell.”

He’d hoped the others wouldn’t think him too paranoid or suspiciously worried, but too many things didn’t add up for him to be comfortable. Of course, he never was really comfortable, in many senses, but this was different.
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Hidden 24 days ago 16 days ago Post by The Bork Lazer
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The Bork Lazer Chomping Time

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“ Listen here and you better listen good,” The man in the finely dressed designer suit looked upon him contemptuously in the darkness of the filthy room. He could barely make out the details in the gleaming beam of blinding light that washed down upon him like a shower-head. His captor slowly entered into the light and Mack always knew the familiar features that he’d been acquainted with over the past few months. A chrome scar cut across his forehead with brown-tawny hair that looked like it’d been cut apart by a razor. A torn ear that looked as if it’d been mauled apart by some sort of out-wall troglodyte. A beret rested on top of his head, stolen or earned, he didn’t dare ask. He barely had the courage to glance back up at him, out of fear at the leash in Lazlo’s sweaty ganic right hand. “ Tonight’s the night where Campbell either becomes king of the hill or us Zoners have to sweep the shit for the next 4 years. The night where I decide whether to cut my losses or to keep you alive. If I see you scamper back to the Stacks or cut your losses…..”

A titanium-fibred hand tugged him by the roots of his hair and forced him to look up into his grimy face. He unconsciously struggled against his gel bonds, the tension causing the molecular structure of the binds to harden and his arms to snap back against the chair. Lazlo had a chunky e-cig stuck between his lips, the blunt end awfully close to touching his eye. You’ll be sipping out of a straw forever in a retirement home and for you, that’s your own version of hell. Isn’t that right….,” The gang leader took a drag of the tobacco-lined pipe, breathing in the tobacco fumes before grinning down towards him in a merciless sliver-toothed smile.

“ OverDriver?”

“ Now….” Lazlo took a squat remote out of his back-pocket, flipping open the trigger and hovering his thumb over one of the myriad of buttons on the device. “ Do you understand?”

Mackwell Fordwell Sloane finally lifted his head up, anger burning in his belly as he gritted his reply out like a tire screech.

“ Crystal.”





LOCATION: OLD RAIL STOP AUTOSHOP - SOUTH CITY REPAIR
DATE: 2064 RPM - 11 MPH - 8 HP
LOCAL TIME: 19:00 PM




>://OVER_DRIVER




Interacting with: @OppositionJ and @Hour Error


Dexter Campbell instructing him to drive down with a selected team to the outskirts of the Reclaim Zone to investigate the Old Rail Stop definitely didn’t fit Mack’s vision of what he would be doing on the last and final day of South City’s election process. Sure, it was no sweat for him to navigate through the hustle and bustle of traffic of the Reclaim Zone but it all felt a little fishy to him. After all, weren’t they technically interfering with the elective process by investigating possible interference in the election process without any warrant?

Eh, who was he to act like he was a bastion of outstanding citizenship?

Moving through Reclaim Zone traffic today posed a slight annoyance to him. Traffic had prevented him from reaching triple digits on the speedometer and Monica had been left wanting for the thick sweet aroma of burning ethyl and steaming rubber that only he could provide. There was only the odd drug-popping bokozotsu and hideously reckless driver (Only he was allowed to endanger others on the streets) that nearly got a rise out of him. Regardless, the arrival of Election Day had been a headache for him. He’d driven Campbell across and fro the Reclaim Zone for campaign speeches and publicity events more times this month than the course of the entire campaign. It’d been a slow ramping up of tasks that came with the duties of his job.

All of the electro-jockeys and holo-casters had been debating about how Campbell would be the rightful ‘reclaimer’ of the Reclaim Zone. Now, every eye in every America Mega-City and more abroad was laser focused on Campbell’s and Gatch’s debate like a high-grade orbital sat. Although, something on the radio had caught his attention during the long drive to the Old Rail Stop. Rott had dropped out. Rott, the self-described defender of the common chromed up Zoner, was nowhere to be found or heard from. Maybe, his red ledger had caught up with him finally? Perhaps, that had been the reason for why Campbell had sent them out on this last-minute mission? Was it related to what they were investigating right now? Maybe that was what Cantos was -

Oh right , Cantos was talking right now.

Mack hurriedly turned down the electro-pop music playing within the confines of his Prism Helmet, slowly turning down the volume to the point where Cantos quiet voice was audible enough to hear through the audio transceivers inside his helmet. Cantos was being aggravatingly boring at the moment. He was the definition of bored right now. Mack’s eyes rolled underneath the featureless black visor of his Prism Helmet, rolling the soundless mechanical windows up and down in a monotonous rhythm to pass the time. One of his gloved fingers kept playfully tapping the side of the smooth rubberized plastic of the steering wheel as he continued listening to her enigmatic mumblings, his Tele-Path allowing him to interface with one of the many audio receivers laid in between the thick aluminium alloy plating of Monica’s chassis.

Something about Cantos made him shiver with goosebumps every time she gave him a pensive look or stared in his general direction. Fixers. The very thought of Cantos spilling his secrets like a decker rifling through someone’s online pornography collection made him cringe inside. Fortunately, he didn’t think that wasn’t on his case yet nor knew that secret that nestled in his bones and joints, the secret that made him ache inside with nerve-wracking terror for the last 12 months. He glanced outside the window, looking at the destitute ruins of the Old Rail Stop.

The abandoned light-rail station had been an artifact of previous attempts to upgrade South City’s infrastructure. Perhaps, it was some person’s last shot at bringing back some semblance of civilization to the teeming mass of disenfranchised souls here in the Reclaim Zone, souls that were preyed upon by degenerate gangsters and heartless corporations alike. The massive mag-level trains were collecting dust and rust in the empty rail-yards, some tipped over their side while others had been picked and cannibalised apart to sell on the market. Mack doubted that the city council had even placed an actual voting booth in the place to begin with.

If Campbell didn’t win and Lazlo was forced to pull the plug on him, Mack had an contingency plan. A good one. What was it -

Oh, right. Mack inserted a key into his front compartment, making sure that no one was looking before eyeing the plastic bottle that he’d bought through the Net. He shook it to make sure of the contents inside, something jumbling around in the inside. He knew what they were. Dart Pills. The seller told him the chemical compounds were derived off some stupid coloured frog in South America. The dosage inside the bottle was enough to promise him a painless death by shutting down his parietal lobe before degrading the entirety of the neurocytes in his brain in one instant. It took him time and effort to plan this over the last six months but it was a Hail Mary if he ever saw it.

Please don’t tell me that you’re still dead-set on fridging yourself. There’s gotta be another way out of this.

“ There’s no other way out, doll. There’s no other way.,” He repeated it twice like a mantra, as if it made all the sense in the world. 12 months. 12 months of begging the most vile of Ripper Docs for a way out of his condition. 12 months of trying to research on the Net to get out of his dilemma.12 months of keeping his mouth shut to the rest of the campaign team about his condition. 12 months of finding another way because the OverDriver always found another way out, no matter the cost. If Campbell lost, then, there was only one way out and that sure as shit wasn’t going to be spent rotting in some retirement home, forever paraplegic from feet to chin.

“Well….let’s get to looking around. Maybe, we’ll get back in time to taste the cocktails of victory….or defeat.”

Unfortunately, Cantos’s joke didn’t lighten his mood one bit. He clutched the bottle tightly, his hand shaking slightly from the weight of the ultimatum he made to himself, before he gingerly placed it back. “ Look, doll. It’s better this way. Trust me,” Mack murmured to Monica inside his Prism Helmet, pressing a switch located on the back of the helmet to remove it. The Prism Helmet slowly unfolded, visor sliding upwards and the upper helm splitting apart in two, gas hissing out as the internalized pressures of the Prism fell back down. Whilst the laminate shell was insurance for preventing his brain splattering on the walls, it would ultimate obscure his sight more in the Rail Stop than help him at all. He set it on the seat left of the driver’s seat before placing his hand on the door handle to push it open.

How long are you going to be gone for, babe?

“ Not long, doll,” Mack grumbled as he opened the door, striding outwards. He walked around Monica, sliding his hand across her yellow-coloured frame as he made his away towards the back storage. He took the Street Shredder and his A.B.C out of a net mesh compartment that he hung on the underside of Monica’s storage boot, opening up the breech of the Shredder to make sure it was loaded before locking the depleted uranium shell back in. He then took four extra shells for insurance along with an extra flechette mags, inserting them into one of the many belt pockets in his trench-vest before closing the boot with a slam. It was Reclaim Zone practise to be armed wherever you went, even if he wasn’t expecting a fire-fight inside the Rail Stop.

He hid the Shredder and the A.B.C within the depths of his trench-vest, the guns hidden from plain sight. He then popped out a banana flavoured carb-bar from one of the side pockets of his trench-vest, unwrapping the painfully shiny wrapper and tossing it on the ground haphazardly. Just another drop in the ocean of detritus and filth that accumulated over time in the Reclaim Zone like a infectious mould. He motioned for Cantos to go forward, locking down Monica’s main sub-systems with a thought of his mind as he let the hum of the Tele-Path bleed off into the crevasses of his mind, cutting the connection. With one last gander at his Monica, he turned back from his dream and turned back to the task at hand, chomping down on the sickeningly sweet food bar. The relentless pressure of addiction that’d been hammering down on his head for the last hour or so subsided. He thought for a moment about shouting out some sort of empty platitude such as “Be careful!” or “Good Luck!” but he’d seen Cantos in action before. The fixer had a little bit of street samurai mixed in her blood, especially with that fancy katana she waved around. She didn't need it.

Eh, why not? It would most probably be his last words to her anyway if Campbell flunked out of the race.

“ Ssh’tah shave, Kantosh.” He spoke out loud, crumbs falling out of his mouth, offering her words of encouragement. He watched her silently, continuing to eat his carb-bar, as her lithe form begin to slip down into the wayward shadows of the train station like a phantom until she disappeared from sight. He leaned back against the resting form of Monica, unsure of what to do. He was a devil behind the wheels, not a devil behind the rifle. In hindsight, sending out one razor-girl as part of the RailStop Crew wasn't a great plan. Divide and conquer was going to be their initial strategy but he was a devil behind the wheels, not a devil behind the rifle. There was only one other razor-girl that he knew and Sister Blue was currently out of commission. He grabbed his Prism for a moment, placing it on the front hood of his car before turning on the radio and connecting to the inter-linked radio that Delilah had built for them all.

“ Well, m, glad that Cw’ampbell has sn’aken snh’e initiatife tah envastigate thas, - ” His mouth-filled mumblings paused for a moment to swallow down a bite of the pre-packaged snack before continuing to speak with a clearer voice. “ - but I think it’s just the nerves of the election getting to him. Rott drops out. Gatch’s riding on his tail-pipe every second. Honestly, I think it’s just paranoia.” He took a moment to clamp his teeth down on the chewy granulated bar of pure synthesized sugar rush. " Whaddya think we’re gonna find, Cantos? A big trap , a whole lotta crap or a couple of sorry saps?”

He eyed the open front of the Rail Stop. Most of the silicate windows had been shattered, allowing for a couple of easy entrances into the innards of the train station. However, instead of approaching an avenue that was barred with shards of broken glass, Mack spotted a set of train sheds that connected into the main building.

"I'm gonna wait for Weaver to arrive, " He spoke in the radio whilst internally wincing at the thought of having to talk with the outspoken anti-augmentation engineer. " In the mean-time, I'm planning to go through the front and meet up with you in the center, Cantos."
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Hidden 22 days ago 9 days ago Post by Prizrak
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Taryn Weaver

Debate Intermission - 1700






Taryn must’ve passed out when they came back from the debates. She was kicked back on the musty sofa in Campbell's office, her tech headset still over her eyes. She was in the middle of running an analysis on the teams equipment when she dozed off. It had been days since Taryn had gotten more than a few hours of sleep so it was no surprise to her that she passed out.


She most likely would’ve stayed out for the duration of the debate if the automated chime from her headset didn’t wake her up. It had finished it’s scans of which Proctor was the primary subject. Taryn was interested in the cyborg but only for his augments. They were old and her scans verified that. He needed someone that knew what they were doing to tune him up but Taryn is either too shy or too skeptical to mention it.


Taryn has been more on edge lately and if it was up to her she would’ve stayed in her apartment. Over the past few days the Kings that normally came to her shop just stopped coming. Initially it didn’t bother her, Taryn didn’t being left alone. Especially considering how they’ve treated her in the past, but eventually it started to bother her.


There were rumors being passed around amongst the boosters that did stop by her shop. They knew about something that Rott and the Kings were scheming but they spoke in vague terms. Either because they were improperly informed about what was going on, or worse they knew exactly what was happening and were taking precautions to keep it covered up. Taryn couldn’t help but feel like she had a target on her back and as safe as she thought she was at home she was still all alone.


So she’s stayed with or around Campbell and the other members of the campaign for the last few days. She was physically and mentally exhausted at this point, and she was trying her best not to show it. Taryn needed these people even if she didn’t trust them entirely they at least all had a vested interest in Campbell.


Finished with her analysis Taryn flipped the eye piece of her headset up so it rested on her head and sat up on the sofa, letting up a moan through her teeth as she did so. Her muscles were tense and she felt like shit but she tried her best to stretch herself out. She could already tell that her knee was going to be a problem. Anytime she sat or laid down for too long it would hurt when she got up, so she just sat back on the couch.

No one seemed to have noticed that she fell asleep but she certainly looked like she just woke up . Running her fingers through her curly hair it was greasy enough that it slicked back on its own and she could feel a layer of oil over her skin. A shower was almost necessary at this point but she hadn’t had access to one since she locked her apartment up, and even then hers only worked when it felt like it. Unzipping her jacket to just below her breast Taryn noticed that her white shirt was wet with sweat as she reached for a cigarette from one of her interior pockets.

With all of the commotion that was going on outside coupled with Rott’s lack of appearance Taryn needed one to cool her head. Lighting it up with a match she took a long draw and flicked the cherry onto the ground. After a few seconds she got her buzz and started to feel a little calmer, a fleeting sensation but a welcome one nonetheless. She didn’t zip her jacket back up but instead took it off. Having just woke up her body was sweaty and she needed to air herself out. With her jacket off those in the room could see her revolver holstered to her right side on her ribs, pressing her shirt to her side creating another contact for sweat. That being said maybe she should’ve started wearing bras but she never has and she certainly wasn’t embarrassed that the barbells she had through her nipples as well as the rest of her breasts were showing through her sweaty shirt.

That being said Proctor was just a few feet from her leaning up against the wall. Having just caught the tail end of Proctor’s protest Taryn took the liberty of assuming that he was worried about the same thing that she was. After all she assumed that they both had been around long enough to know better. So she decided to chime in as well, Taryn didn’t say a whole lot to anyone in the campaign even Campbell so she hoped that her opinion would carry some added weight seeing as how she rarely expressed it. So in a low confident tone with her cigarette still hanging from her mouth she spoke up.


“I’m inclined to agree Campbell. I don’t know what’s going on…..” She took another puff on her cigarette before continuing. “But something’s about to go down.” Finished with hat she had to say and her cigarette she flicked the filter onto the ground and sat up on the edge of the couch. She was anticipating action but she still rested her arms on her legs and hunched her torso forward as if to show that she wasn’t worried. When in reality she was anything but.

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Hidden 21 days ago 21 days ago Post by AdobeFlash
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Alton Harris


Well, this was it, in a sense. A feeling of accomplishment, of completion, but also of the subtle underlying sorrow that all humans feel once anything comes to an end. Of course, there was the dread. Rott was nowhere to be seen, and a one on one against Gatch couldn't possibly go well. Knowing him and his resources, he probably had ten teams of cronies writing up various comebacks and phrases to be used in every eventuality they could imagine. Like some chat-bot pumped up on steroids. Alton let loose a sigh. Campbell was a nervous wreck, which made him easy pickings in a debate sense. Of course, they'd gotten whipped in debates before. But they'd also done the whipping other times. But this...there was no coming back from this one. It was big. Very big. Campbell would get some votes. Alton had used his contacts to ensure as much. But victory hinged on this moment.

Alton's ears perked when he heard Richter say "Maybe now isn’t the best time to bring this up, but is no one wondering where the hell Rott went? Why would he disappear now, of all times? I’m not trying to sound crazy, but Central Square is packed right now. One little fuck up could turn into pandemonium if they’re not careful. We all know what kind of man Rott is. It doesn't sit well with me, Mr. Campbell."

Alton decided to speak up. "I'm...inclined to agree. Perhaps Rott intends to have Gatch maul us during the debate, then swoop in and clean up. It's been done before. But this seems different, to be frank. Some sort of palpable tension in the air. I can't really say what I think is going on, though we must exercise caution." Alton looked out to the crowd. His sensor was going crazy. All sorts of half baked readings and numbers that didn't make sense. A mass of humans and half-humans and whatever else was lurking out there would do that, though.

Taking a seat, Alton pulled out a sheet of paper and began looking closely at the readings he was picking up. He'd write down anything out of the ordinary, and hopefully, pick up if something was fishy was going on. As he combed through the numbers, the merchant in him thought about how much money he could make selling to a crowd like this. And as he thought of the stand, he thought of the rumors he had heard as he did his business. People complaining about the movements of the corporations and the like. He had to perform an emergency transplant on some poor bloke who had his makeshift house torn down by a megacorp building some new facility. All his medicine, buried in an instant. Focusing on that sort of transience would inevitably lead to a nihilistic perspective, so Alton shifted focus. There were quite a few people in the pulsing crowd without much time left. One case stuck out to him. A young woman, glowing skin and lush lips, who had a tumor in her brain. It was huge. She couldn't have more than a week left. More than likely she was doped up on painkillers and psychedelics. Maybe she had been like this her whole life and had no idea that Death already had his scythe wrapped around her neck. Or maybe she had been clean but felt that she hadn't much time left and decided to live life to the fullest. A sad story, but one spoken thousands of times across the Reclaim Zone. If Campbell managed to win, maybe he'd be able to change that. But was it just wishful thinking? If this debate didn't go well, there'd be nothing for anyone anymore. While Rott had helped them before against Gatch, neither of their opponents seemed like they'd help improve the lifestyles and lifespans of the inhabitants of the Reclaim Zone. And, well, Alton had a more personal gripe against Gatch. But it wasn't aimed at him, rather the platforms he represented.

Alton had finished scanning and found nothing out of the ordinary. However, he noticed that he was becoming visibly anxious. It was harder to breathe, and he felt sweat drip down his face. As a doctor and as a human, he took this as a sign he needed to take off his mask and chill. So, he toyed with the straps and the auto-locks and such, and ten seconds later the mask fell from his face. He placed it onto a table and looked around for a cloth or something of the like. He saw a tissue box and grabbed one. He wiped off his eyes and began to think about what exactly the consequences of this debate would be. But that'd do nothing but make him more nervous.

"Deep breaths...deep breaths..." Maybe he was just ignoring how he felt. Taking it from a medical perspective, or whatever. But he couldn't lie. He was scared out of his mind. If they lost, then what had they accomplished in the end? Inevitably if Gatch won, then he could use his corporate ties to ensure Campbell never worked in politics again. And if Rott didn't show up to the debate, there was no way he could win. It was stressful, to say the least. Alton reached for a bottle of water. Cracking it open, he downed it in ten seconds. Dehydration was the greatest enemy, as a wise friend had once told him. Thoughts wandering back to his past, Alton realized something. In the end, this was nothing more than surgery. Surgery on the psyche of the public. And if they failed, they'd be blacklisted from the industry for allowing the patient...no, all the people who were suffering in the Reclaim Zone to continue suffering. So, having put his mind at ease, Alton donned his mask once again. Pressing the various buttons and adjusting the straps to ensure maximum comfort, it slowly began to whir and hum as it turned back on. It was familiar to him, after all this time. Like an old friend, or something along those lines. This whole thing slowly began to seem familiar. This couldn't be any harder than those nighttime operations, running low on disinfectant and maybe the donor had the wrong blood type and maybe he was going to get shot within minutes. Or when he was performing a C-Section with a scalpel and a bottle of hand sanitizer and just somehow managed to make it work. He had lived, and even thrived under conditions worse than these. So, his resolution hardened. No matter what underhanded tricks were pulled, they would win this debate. Somehow, they would survive this whole mess.

So it seemed like, after all, he was no stranger to this level of stress. He just hadn't realized it yet.
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Hidden 20 days ago 16 days ago Post by Opposition
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𝕊𝕨𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕊𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕥 ℂ𝕠𝕞𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤
ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟠𝕥𝕙, 𝟚𝟘𝟞𝟜 𝟙𝟡:𝟘𝟘


It's a strange feeling to say the least... That feeling of being... Undead? A ghost? A dead woman walking? Or maybe I'm the odd thing out.
The non-ghost. Something like that...


Delilah couldn't do any better to describe the absolute fatigue that overcame her aching body as she removed her experimental cyberdeck from her head. The ache was otherworldly. It made her feel immobile while simultaneously numbing her limbs just enough to feel weightless. She wanted to say that it wasn't abnormal, and for the most part it wasn't. Delilah had felt like this before— within her vast experiences spent in the simulation it was nothing new— but she would never get used to it. Her eyes floated down to the cyberdeck held in her limp arm hanging off of the side of her chair, then to the viral override units that lay atop her desk entirely out in the open. Somewhere inside herself, Delilah fought her own war.

But now wasn't the time for a fix. With the muddied fog that lined her thoughts, Delilah recalled Campbell's precarious scenario. She had been in and out of Labyrinth all evening, monitoring all sorts of media outlets, surveying what security resources she could tap into around Central Square, and maintaining communications with Campbell's newfound recon team. The thought of Campbell's distant campaigners forced the sluggish Delilah to bring up her comms on the monitor array before her. Within seconds, she had patched herself into Mackwell's Victory Ultra, whether such a feat could be accomplished with ease or required an override of the vehicle's simple AI was irrelevant.

"How's it going, Chauffeur? Are you in your tin can?" Delilah paused, calling out one last time with a "Hello?" Delilah heaved a heavy breath as she pushed herself up from the slumped position in her chair so that she could better access the array before her. While she was at it, Delilah brought the cyberdeck back up to her head and began fixing it to herself. The queen was ready to be re-crowned. Patching the communcations link into her Labyrinth connections was an easy feet, and soon Delilah was catapulted back into the nauseating neon cyberscape.

This time the moment of static crackling followed by Delilah's synthesized voice came through the driver's prism helmet. Whether Mackwell was aware of Delilah's connection to his internal headset wasn't entirely known to her. She had managed to pick up most of the crew's signals in a scan blast she'd sent out when they were all in close proximity of her equipment. Campbell had Delilah on comms for a reason, and she assumed that was it. "Come in Chauffeur!" As her second try to establish a connection with Mackwell failed, Delilah could only assume he had taken off the stuffy helmet. Seconds later, she amplified her volume all while surging through Labyrinth to bring up as much relevant information on their location as she could. Soon enough, the nearly inaudible static that may have been emitted from the interior of the helmet was now just loud enough to be alarming to someone not expecting it.

"Come on. Don't leave me all by myself. I'm here to help, you know... If you could believe that. Driver-boy?" Delilah spoke while she scanned over the slew of information beginning to surround her. It was remarkably easier than the layman would expect for a cyber jockey to exploit simple vulnerabilities in the Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics. By the time Delilah had jumped through the Cyberscape to the Old Rail Stop, she had already found her way into a number of the few remaining surveillance cameras that were operable in the area as well as the Rail Stop's electric grid itself. Unfortunately, her view was rather limited as any electronics in the nearly abandoned structure were either bordering on broken or the voting machines and any cameras she found were away from the Rail Stop. What kind of dead project would have cameras inside it anyways?

"Well that's interesting... These voting machines are definitely... different than the ones over in Central..." There was a knowing tone to the electronic voice transmitted through Mackwell's helmet. Only Delilah, however, would know that her 'knowing' tone was complete bullshit. The differences in the machines' ICE were easy to spot, but unless she cracked through them, any software differences wouldn't be known. Finding out if the hardware had been tampered with would be even more of a pain. Delilah supposed that was why Campbell hired other people as well. "And they're set up awfully. Isn't there supposed to be a standard number of machines per voting zone? I'm counting only three in there..."

A rattling of the fabric of Delilah's cyberscape shook her to a pause. She had set an alarm to pull herself out of whatever sort of slumber, altered-state, or Labyrinth she was in so that the team could confer. The clowns at the Old Rail Stop would have to wait. "Shit. I'll be right back. The boss needs me— probably..." She jacked out, leaving Mackwell as quickly as she had joined him.

As the queen removed her crown, she stumbled up from her chair towards the office door. Just a moment later, Delilah flung it open to enter the main floor of the team's suite. She stood out immediately. While most of the team was dressed formally for the event, Delilah spent most of her time behind as many closed doors as there were available to her. As such, she was wearing nothing more than her usual t-shirt, leggings, and skirt. The girl hadn't even had shoes on, though most of the team had probably expected that already. Delilah had a habit of claiming that she 'worked better in Labyrinth in socks' despite the cyberdeck rendering her entirely unconscious and unaware of her body. Those hacker types always had their damned superstitions. She was no exception.

"Get ready for the big moment, big guy. Everyone's watching, and I mean not just the people out there. Despite the strain it caused her to use her cyberware in such a sad state, the struggling Delilah was momentarily surrounded by miniature holographic fireworks. The hologram fizzled out seconds later, however, as if by malfunction. All's quiet with the other guys," she said, almost entirely speculating. "But something is definitely screwy with the machines. Both mechanical and software issues? Not quite sure yet."

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Hidden 19 days ago 16 days ago Post by Opposition
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Opposition Technological Singularity

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𝔽𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕪: 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝔾𝕣𝕖𝕒t 𝔾𝕒𝕞𝕖

𝕊𝕨𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕊𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕥 ℂ𝕠𝕞𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤

ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟠𝕥𝕙, 𝟚𝟘𝟞𝟜 𝟙𝟡:𝟙𝟝

[𝕊𝕚𝕥𝕦𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 ℕ𝕠𝕣𝕞𝕒𝕝], 𝕃𝕠𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘....


Campbell found himself falling into a nearby chair as he finished speaking. Not a moment later did S'venia begin to approach. The reporter's comments defaming Gatch seemed to only leave the candidate with his head in his hands and a nearly manic look in his eyes. In response, Campbell could only offer a single huff of air trying its damnedest to be a laugh. He couldn't find such an emotion through all the nerves. I'll... I'll definitely think of something. That or I'll lose." His unsure words were finished with an absent shrug. Campbell already looked like a defeated man, but at the very least he was prepared for whatever awaited him back on that stage, whether it was personal attack or being outwit by a company man.

Without thinking, Campbell took the computer from his media manager, pressing play as he stared into the void behind the screen. The frazzled demeanor of the candidate seemed to fall away if only for a moment while the series of video clips played out before him. As if the striking images of Campbell only moments ago reinvigorated any lost courage in the man, his composure fell back over him like a tidal wave. He was back. "Alright. This is it, yeah. Let's get it on the Net. Good work, S'venia." Just a moment later Campbell directed his gaze back to the suite door in the mess of commotion. The look of willful intent upon his face remained. "That seems like it might help..." Campbell shrugged. "Anything to sate the masses at this point. There ain't much else we can do. Stick to the sources you know will make a difference. I— ..."

Campbell trailed off, his eyes caught by the fluctuating light of a mounted television providing coverage of the debate. As much as his diminutive media team could accomplish in their own right, they would never be able to stop large-scale news outlets from putting all the spotlights on Gatch. Campbell's opponent hadn't left the floor of the lounge during the intermission. Swarmed by his colleagues, reporters, and supporters alike, he was in his element. Campbell needed to follow suit. Before the candidate could get down to business, however, Richter Gamble spoke up. His words certainly offered Campbell little in the way of comfort, but what Richter spoke was pertinent. Rott was gone, and no one in Campbell's network of information knew where he was. Taryn and Alton soon joined Richter in his concerns, both bringing up claims that were just as valid. The candidate started speculating aloud.

"Maybe Gatch knows where he is... Maybe he has something to do with Rott's absence in general." Campbell paused, heaving a lofty exhalation. Now certianly wasn't the best time for him to be worrying about it. Campbell bit his tongue slightly. "You're right. I'd say we need to keep tabs on him, but I imagine that isn't going to happen any time soon— if ever." It appeared as though Campbell was going to continue, but his voice was overpowered by the volume of the loudspeaker that soon sounded its own robotic message throughout the Central Square lounge. "The debate resumes in five minutes." Just as the alert arrived, so too did Delilah. In her facetious comments, Campbell almost lost the urgency of the situation.

Campbell steadied his breathing, turning to address the group before him as a whole. The best we can do is keep as many eyes around Central as we've got... Richter? Could be nice to see if we can find any Knights in the crowd." His eyes then shifted onto Taryn. "Delilah can stay on comms with the team at the Old Rail Stop, but they are short-staffed right now. If you speak with the Central Square staff, I think I can manage to get you a car over to them. I don't mean to take you away from all the action, but Cass and Mackwell might need some help with the machines." Campbell stepped away from the group once again, getting back to his pacing. This time around, however, there was a certain determination in his step. He looked to the clock.

"This is our last chance to get out on the floor boys. Alton? S'venia? I imagine you two could work some magic with the crowd so long as they aren't hounding me. I've gotta get back out on stage soon anyways. Everyone stay on deck and keep busy. If we want it, we're gonna have to pull this one back to our side. Nothing we haven't done before..." With a final regard to his team, Campbell convened with them for only a moment longer. The mayoral candidate sent a fierce gaze towards the doors. Without hesitation, the fire in his step picked back up and he headed for the lounge floor. Five minutes to spare.

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Hidden 14 days ago 9 days ago Post by Prizrak
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Prizrak

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Taryn Weaver

Factory Suite, 19:15




Taryn didn’t waste anytime with questions when Campbell told her to join the crew he sent to the old station. She got up from her seat on the couch resting her weight on its arm so as not to collapse when doing so. Her knee had tightened up from sitting too long but after she shook it out for a few seconds she was alright to move. Grabbing her jacket she threw it over her shoulder and headed towards the door. Without saying much of anything she was gone, out into the crowd forming outside the door effortlessly slipping through them as she headed down the hallway to the side staircase that lead into an alley running alongside the old factory. Taryn kind of felt off for not saying anything but what was there to say? She knew what to do, and Campbell trusted her to do it there was no need for a monologue. Maybe she just felt like she should socialize with the others more, but she has still yet to trust them and she was sure they felt the same about her.

Outside in the decrepit alleyway all to commonplace in the Reclaim Taryn had concealed her ride. It wasn’t as nice as Maxwell’s ride but it was hers and that’s all that mattered. A 2045 model of the Quadra V-Tech sat concealed under a black tarp. Taryn built it up primarily from nothing, starting with just the frame and the engine so it was rough around the edges in some spots but a car was a car. In the Reclaim a vehicle equaled freedom. Freedom to leave the slums of the Reclaim and see the rest of the city. A freedom very few people would ever be able to have.

Taryn pulled the tarp off of the car, pressed her thumb against the handle to unlock it and tossed her jacket in the passenger seat. Sitting down in the driver's seat Taryn turned it over and like every time before the rumble of the engine gave her chills. She’d have to take the scenic route to the station but either way it beat walking, especially with how her knee was getting maybe augments wouldn’t be that bad of an idea. Accelerating forward Taryn turned her focus back to the task at hand, and to her driving. She would be at the station shortly.

Old Rail Stop, Polling Station - 19:43


Taryn pulled up in front of the old station. She’d come here a few times before mainly just to scavenge parts. No one really came around this part of town, at least as far as she knew. So a polling station was definitely a strange site. Stranger so was Mackwell’s ride contrasted against the decaying neighborhood around them. It had its moments but generally the Reclaim was filled with shattered lives and remnants of broken dreams. Say what you want about Campbell and his campaign but it’s hard to argue that just their presence was bringing life to parts of the Reclaim that have long been forgotten.

Parking just behind Mackwell Taryn turned her car off bringing an unsettling silence back onto the station. She got out choosing to leave her shotgun, and jacket in the car there were three of them her revolver would be enough. “Sorry for the delay. Boss sent me over as soon as he heard you were down one.” Taryn lit another cigarette before she walked closer to the wheel-man. She ran her hand along her car in order to keep her balance until she was comfortable enough to walk. “So what’s the scoop? Cantos already inside?”

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Hidden 13 days ago 13 days ago Post by Firecracker_
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Firecracker_ hana-bi.

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Unfortunately, Proctor’s eyes met Campbell’s at the very moment that he suggested the cyborg go down and keep a close eye out for Knights in Central Square. That would make it difficult to act as if he hadn’t heard Campbell and mysteriously decided to hide in the bathroom for the next hour. Typically, Proctor felt at home in the dense biomass that was the Reclaim’s crowded streets, but Center Square wasn’t exactly the same at the moment. It was filled to its absolute limit, and with people from every part of the Reclaim, and especially those that Proctor usually made and effort to avoid. But, that was that. That one second of eye contact had doomed Proctor, who felt a nice, heavy weight set in on his chest.

Of course, these thoughts flew through Proctor’s head at a mile a minute, before he finally stammered out an answer.

“Uh, sure thing Mr. Campbell. I’ll head down there and keep a look out for anything fishy.” He replied stiffly before Campbell began speaking to each of the other team members.

Everything Campbell said after that, however, traveled the full way through Proctor’s head, in one ear and out of the opposite one. He tried to shake himself awake, and headed for the door, ready to leave, before remembering all the journalists and cameras which waited on the other side.

Maybe I’ll just let Campbell take all that goddamn attention with him before I make my way down there…

- - -


Once Campbell and the rest of the camp made their way towards the debate stage, taking their flock of cameras and microphones away with them, Proctor slipped out of the room mostly unnoticed, only being seen by a few of the building’s attendants that were stood in the hallways. He made for a side staircase, away from all the attention, and slid in, immediately bracing his back against the wall and burying his head in his hands.

Proctor let out a long, low, growling moan, which echoed through the empty staircase. Thinking about going down to the Square, which was packed to capacity, to look for gang members who also happened to work for one of the few men who still wanted him dead, certainly caused a bit of the dread for the man. For the entirety of the campaign, Procor had put the utmost effort into staying out of the limelight, away from all the clamoring cameras and TV bots that hovered around every big meeting that Campbell held with the people of the Reclaim. He’d stuck to the shadows that he knew so well, and it finally felt like his time of slithering around unseen was coming to an end.

Paranoia came natural to him, but this was something new. This level of anxiety, tightening his chest and clouding his already muddled mind, was strange to him. Shutting his eyes, he stood, letting his arms slowly lower down to his side as he took a few, calm, deep breaths to help cool himself down. Getting off the wall, Proctor stood, alone, in the poorly lit staircase, and stretched. He raised his mechanical arms and spread his robotic legs, and stretched everything out, a nearly imperceivable whir from his limbs being the lone sound moving the air around him. He reopened his eyes, and moved his gaze down at his hands, focusing on the two fingers on his left hand that had stiffened up. Pinky and ring finger refused to move, no matter how hard Proctor willed it. His jaw stiffened, as he delivered a sharp smack to his hand, his fingers finally relaxing and giving way to his commands again.

A soft chuckle escaped his mouth, as he shook his head. Under his suit jacket and over his dress shirt, he ran his fingers over the grip of his pistol, and it greeted him with the ever familiar feeling of aluminum and polymer, tried and true. Taking a deep breath, Proctor gave his chest a good whack, feeling the layer of armor he wore under his clothing.

It was time to go.

- - -


”What do you mean ‘Haven’t seen shit’? You’re telling me in this whole crowd, nothing’s happening?”

With the general tidal wave of noise coming from the crowd around him, Proctor was having to nearly scream so that he could be heard over the droning din surrounding him and his agent.

”Well, look around dude! Besides the political crazies and people like that, there’s not much actually going on! Everyone’s just waiting for the debate to come back.”The woman replied.

With a confused look painted across his face, Proctor turned his gaze towards the crowd. Talking heads bobbed above screaming colors and under the bold faced, loudly colored signs they were waving, not to mention the brilliant colors shining from the various neon signs that were splashed up and down the Square’s buildings all around them. Every shape, size, and color could be beheld, as it all melted together in one smelly, foggy, politically charged mess. The ground beneath Proctor’s boots seemed to shake as much his head was, not just because of the thousands of feet stomping on it, but also with the Reclaim coming alive to see what all the ruckus was.

Dotted in and around the crowds were food stands, with steam and smoke rising through the air above them, and even from where he was standing, Proctor could smell the various different foods, making him salivate a little. It had been a long while since he’d last eaten, and all the paranoia was working up an appetite. Each food cart, with their tantalizing smells, had a crowd of people around them, clamoring and waving credits around to get their hands on some grub.

At the front of all this incomprehensible noise was the debate stage, which was currently occupied only by armed guards, the same which protected the candidates’ suites. Contrasting the crowd, they stood still and firm, all with large guns at the ready. Most with faces fully or partially covered, the pressed an ominous presence over the crowd, and the crowd responded by maintaining a solid five meter distance away from the stage, without even being asked. The last thing anyone in this crowd wanted to do was to annoy the Enforcers, and getting too close to the stage was probably the quickest way to piss them off.

Eyes turned upwards, Proctor could see even a few figures on the rooftops overlooking the Square from above. From up there, the whole Square must’ve looked like a big pile of neon vomit. How many of those figures were more Enforcers with a scope trained on him, Proctor thought. The thought, funnily enough, convinced him to bring his gaze back down over the crowd.

Oddly, despite his former anxiety, Proctor was beginning to feel more at home, a sense of familiarity with this congealed mass of a crowd. No one recognized him as a member of Campbell’s campaign, nor as the Ghost of the Reclaim, He was, once again, a part of the crowd, and it helped make him more comfortable, despite everything else. The only thing that stuck out about him was his rather clean suit, which helped hide his rather unique arms and legs, and perhaps the large augment on the back of his head, but even those weren’t extremely uncommon sights in the Reclaim, where the unusual was the commonplace.

Now, to watch...and to make sure that the shit didn’t hit the fan in Gatch’s and Campbell’s last bout on stage.
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Hidden 9 days ago 9 days ago Post by The Bork Lazer
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The Bork Lazer Chomping Time

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>//:OVER_DRIVER


“ Ho-zzztt-oing---zzzzzttt-Chaff-zzzzttttttttin-c-bbbrrzzzzttt”

Well, something finally broke this solitude of silence. Mack heard the familiar buzzing of radio interference coming from the inbuilt speaker in his Prism, in the midst of peeling open yet another carb-bar. He quickly stuffed it back into his pocket, sugar-high beginning to wear off after an hour of standing and waiting for absolutely no one.. He placed his Prism on top of Monica’s front hood. His gloved hand reached inwards into the helmet, twisting a dial to increase the overall audibility of the radio frequency from a unintelligible garble to something that resembled normal human speech.

“ I’m here to help,- bbzzzttt -you know…...If you could believe that, Driver-Boy?”

“ What in the -” He narrowed his eyes for a moment, ignoring the awful nickname, before they widened in a mixture of realisation and surprise. “Amano? Are you surfing right now?” The outer edges of the Zone were cut off from the data-stream of the Labyrinth, as far as he knew. He stared around, Amano’s voice continuing to emanate from his helmet as if it was possessed by some ghost. It should have been impossible. Not for Delilah Amano, though. If he was the deposed king of the streets, then, Amano was the queen of the Labyrinth. He’d interacted with the roguish tech-wizard a few times, merely on a professional basis and never on a personal level. He had no problems with trans-humanists but he was freaked out by Amano’s perverted fascination with melding meat with metal. It was simply shuddering to think about the galleons of Neurosynth that Delilah would have to guzzle everyday to stay sane. He continued to listen, albeit far more on edge than he was usually before. If Amano was involved in the workings of their makeshift scouting team, then, it would take a fool to not listen to the word of a data-surfer.

“ Well, that’s interesting. These voting machines are definitely different than the ones in Central...Isn’t there supposed to be a standard number of machines per voting zone? I’m counting only three in there.”

“Three?” Mack blurted out loud, stewing the revelation over in his mind while a bubbling mixture of anger and anxiety brewed inside him. Seven or six less than the standard amount as far as he knew. Why did Campbell have to jinx himself? Then, again, he probably shouldn’t have been surprised. Tampering and corruption within the Zone was considered to be a virtue, not a sin. It was a way of life and no matter how Campbell tried to become the paradigm shift that the Zone truly deserved, people would still be people.

“Shit. I’ll be right back. The boss needs me - probably…”

Delilah’s frequency shorted out for a moment with a brief bout of radio static before becoming deathly silent. “ Amano? Amano?” No response. Mack stepped away from the Prism, leaning back on Monica’s frame with a silent creak. What to do? What to do? He briefly considered telepathing with Monica to use her 3.5 Ghz comm modules to contact Delilah. Unfortunately, Daedalus didn’t programme the Victory’s with an inbuilt data translator to sync into the digital mazes of the Labyrinth.. Besides, attempting to link his brain to a high-speed channel of matrix data without a proper installed neural deck would short-circuit and overload his dendrites. He wasn’t keen on becoming a permanent vegetable anytime soon. He stared downwards at the Prism helmet again and then, at the front storage where the dart pills lied in anticipation of his surrender. Perhaps, having a bulletproof cranium and Amano in his ear was better than visibility after all. With a sign, he donned the Prism helmet again, stuffy hot interiors transforming into cool air lieu of the built-in miniature aero-cyclers. Delilah’s mere observatory comments were enough to make him bristle with a mixture of anticipatory paranoia. They were walking into something alright. At the very least, the mission wouldn’t be as boring as he hoped. Loneliness began to set in once more as he waited for Weaver to arrive, tapping his foot in an incessant rhythm.

The longer he stared at the ruins of the Railstop Station in all of its dilapidated glory, the more it unnerved him.. He’d sent a few passengers to the RailStop Station before, though, they mostly consisted of drunkards who used it as an loitering area or the odd rogue avant-garde holo-tagger who used the decaying walls as a fresh palette for never-to-be-seen art pieces. He knew only gossip and murmurs about its history from the online rumour mill. Past mayors had been attempting to satiate the public concerns about urban decay with gentrification policies but Gatch only used a few run-down buildings in the inner zone as examples of his benevolence, never the outer edges. The outer zone was abandoned, both politically and physically, from the rest of the Zone. A graveyard of hopes and ambitions, of future promises gone to waste. The sound of churning engines broke Mack out of his reverie as all-terrain tires scrunched onto the syn-crete pavement.

Weaver’s car was jury-rigged, a hodge-podge of various models and frames that belonged in a scrapyard. The ugly contours and the cobbled composition made the automobile an eye-sore for Mack. His mind raced with a flurry of over-analytical criticism and instinctual commentary as he scanned and appraised the vehicle for himself. Paint job is a mess. No electro-matting whatsoever. He walked over towards her parked vehicle as she swung open the door, fermented tobacco filling the air around Taryn. He only gave a nod in response to her apology, more interested in her car than her.

Hydraulic suspension. Foam cushions. Frame somewhat resembles a Quadra.. About as common on the market these days as synthetic diamonds, which is to say, not that rare. He leaned on his knee for a moment near to one of the exhaust pipes, taking a moment to breathe in the fumes. 2045 factory model uni-vented turbocharger engine. Quadra was always famous for their quad turbocharged engines, although, they lost the legal lawsuit back in 39’ when they started combining isotopic CHOO and a carbonation engine. Heck of a lot of speed but at the cost of stability. Of the explosive variety. He stared through the window. Old analogue display. Quadra probably tried to cash in on nostalgia. If the Victory was a modern art-piece, then, Weaver’s Quadra was like a classical painting that had been tuned up to modern standards. Pure ethyl engines were rare on the market now as hybrid and hydro grew in demand. Overall, he wouldn't mind giving Taryn's wheels a spin. He could feel Monica's headlights glaring at him with every growing second. The Quadra was competition to her.

Standing back up and shaking his head in approval, Mack brusquely replied back to Taryn’s query, his back turned towards her. “ Yeah, Cantos is already in the heat of it already. Razor-girl’s probably done mopping up whatever schmuck’s inside there already.” He then chuckled as he briefly thought about Cantos pulling out that street katana of her. “ Well, if there are any schmucks to kill.”

He took out his Street-Shredder, holding onto the polycarbonate frame like a lifeline and pointing the barrel towards the general direction of the front entrance “ I reckon we go in through the front, through the train-yards over there. We meet up with Cantos in the center, see if there’s anything left to scrounge up in this mess.” He began to walk over towards the RailStop, motioning for Weaver to follow him. He wasn’t a trained street-samurai or a corpo-bodyguard who read razor-mags everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe, he was out of his league but someone had to come up with a plan and he sure as Hell wasn’t going to twiddle thumbs, hoping for someone to have a plan of action.

He kept twitching the radio transceiver in the meantime, waiting for Delilah’s nonchalant voice to pop back up on frequency.

“Hey, Amano. If you’re there, having you as a rear mirror would be really helpful.”
Hidden 8 days ago 8 days ago Post by MagratheanWhale
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MagratheanWhale

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The Debate Intermission: 17:07
[@OppositionJ]

“On it, Dex,” S’venia started as she was handed back her computer. S’venia began to turn back towards her desk when a trio of voices voiced their concern with one very important, and also missing, candidate Jackson Rott. His sudden disappearance annoyed S’venia more than anything else. Yes, he was a gang leader who has probably committed terrible crimes, yes, his absence from a debate that could crown the new mayor of the Reclaim district was very suspicious, and yes, the thought of what might happen hung at the back of S’venia mind like an ever-present reminder to look over her shoulder or stay away from crowds. That was all true. S’venia was frightened by the possibilities yet, unlike the others, she did not let her fear become known. Instead, she walked back to her desk with a friendly smile and optimistic eyes. Today was a very important day, after-all. She knew that Dexter needed to be kept even keel for the upcoming debate, and she knew that reminding him of the possible threat that Jackson presented would not help his nerves nor his chances.

In a graceful manner, S’venia sat back down at her desk. A few clicks later, the video was posted to all the media accounts related to the campaign. S’venia grinned as the first few netizens reacted on the Lab to the posted before turning her focus to the door swinging open, and she watched as a ghost walked through the door. "Get ready for the big moment, big guy. Everyone's watching, and I mean not just the people out there,” Delilah spoke as she entered. Moments later, holographic fireworks erupted forth from her projector; causing S’venia’s jaw to drop ever so slightly. Even after they faded, S’venia eyes rested as they were for a few uncomfortable moments before she pulled her gaze back to her desk.

"This is our last chance to get out on the floor boys. Alton? S'venia? I imagine you two could work some magic with the crowd so long as they aren't hounding me. I've gotta get back out on stage soon anyways. Everyone stay on deck and keep busy. If we want it, we're gonna have to pull this one back to our side. Nothing we haven't done before," Dexter finished his addresses and the room fell silent once more.

“Say no more,” S’venia spoke softly as she grabbed her bag that was underneath her desk and rose to her feet. She began to walk towards the door, stopping once again besides Dexter.

“Boys, Dex,” S’venia asked sarcastically, winking as she did, before she made her way to the door once more, following behind Taryn as she did. While Taryn went through the crowd towards the side exit, S’venia made her way towards a bathroom located down the hall. Once inside, and the door locked, S’venia opened up her bag and grabbed a vibrant yellow jacket, a plain white shirt, her normal boots and her tried and tested simple, yet visibly worn, jeans. Quickly swapping her formal clothes for her more normal clothes, S’venia found herself feeling more like herself. With a quick swap, S’venia moved her pistol and the extra magazine to her new jacket. Reaching inside the bag once more, S’venia groaned as she grabbed her drone and the glasses that helped control it, moving the drone itself to the floor before sliding the glasses on as she stood up.

“Time to wake up,” S’venia commanded.

The small drone vibrated violently for a second before the repulsorlift allowed the drone to ascend upward, eventually settling in on level with S’venia’s eyes. The front of the drone was realitively smooth when compared to the dimple laden sides and rear of the craft, with various covers hiding the lens of the various cameras housed within. S’venia grabbed the control glove from her bag and placed it on her right hand. “Standard video quality,” she paused as she watched one of the covers open sideways before a long lens erupted outward. Instantly, S’venia own image was projected as a small square on the inside of the glasses as the camera started to record, S'venia smiled as she flashed the peace sign to herself,“track and follow mode,” she finished as she grabbed the bag and slung it over her shoulder, before exiting out the bathroom, heading down the main flight of stairs, and finally out the door and into to the square.

“Video Capture mode, record in standard video quality and hover at altitude one,” S’venia spoke the drone flew upward, joining the plethora of other media devices flying high up in the air. S’venia did not have long before the debate began, so she decided to simply wait for it to start and work her magic at the right time. S’venia leaned against the side of a building, rotating her drone with her free hand, partly gathering footage to edit later if Dex won, and another part watching for Jackson Rott’s crew just in case. Once the debate started, S'venia planned to work the crowd. Cheering, booing, and things of the like as the debate went on. She scanned the crowd ahead of her, looking for the tell-tale banners of Dexter Campbell's fans.
Hidden 5 days ago Post by Opposition
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Opposition Technological Singularity

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𝔽𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕪: 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝔾𝕣𝕖𝕒t 𝔾𝕒𝕞𝕖


𝕆𝕝𝕕 ℝ𝕒𝕚𝕝 𝕊𝕥𝕠𝕡, ℙ𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕊𝕥𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟

ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟠𝕥𝕙, 𝟚𝟘𝟞𝟜 𝟙𝟡:𝟘𝟘

[𝔻𝕖𝕞𝕠𝕔𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕪 & 𝔻𝕦𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕥𝕪], 𝕃𝕠𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘...


The arrival of Taryn's vehicle was the only noise that dared disturb the quiet of the Old Rail Stop. For a while, even Mackwell's Prism helmet maintained its static silence that signified Delilah's immediate dropping of the connection. It resounded well with that omnipresent thrum of mechanical energy that kept the lights, the heat, and the net connections alive. That hum of human civilization seemed to coarse through the veins of the Reclaim Zone as if it were the very life essence of the city. Delilah returned soon, though, evident by the momentary screech of static signifying that she had reestablished her connection to Labyrinth.

"Okay, so... Remember when I said there were three machines in there? The connection in this part of Labyrinth must be faulty. There's only two. I'm not crazy, I swear." If that wasn't enough of an omen of what lie within, a subtle bang sound as though something had been dropped echoed through the Rail Stop. Under ordinary circumstances, the noise could have been assumed to be just another of the city's buzz, but it didn't fit in here. The Old Rail Stop's silence was too sinister. Any disturbance was immediately obvious. The origin of the noise became very clear from the moment Taryn and Mackwell stepped beyond the doorless entrance into the Rail Stop. Standing over one of the two remaining voting kiosks that glowed against the wall was a man struggling to tilt the machine onto a wheeled hand truck.

The moment the figure caught sight of Mackwell and Taryn, he flinched, sending the machine down onto the dolly with a hard crash. Bits of the cracked screen scattered across the cement, glinting in the dim yellow light that enveloped the Rail Stop's interior. Even his augmented arm tensed up as it shot for the weapon at his hip. Amongst the flash of metallic grey, there was a black insignia emblazoned on the side of the cybernetic limb. The logo was easily recognized, for it was used both informally as the symbol of membership to the Knights as well as the gang's symbol when incorporating. "Hey! There's—" The man called out to no one in particular, but the latter half of his words were unintelligible— drowned out by a resounding gunshot. Another. And another. None of them, however, came from his weapon. That is, until he managed to draw the pistol and aim towards the pair before him.

As the sounds of war continued in the background, it wasn't long before another pair of Knights emerged from the back of the Rail Stop. They swiftly ducked behind the pillar supports of the open room. Another shout conveyed orders in between the shots. "Get the last one to the truck. Let's go!" That was all the man offered before his colleague skidded across the room to topple the final working machine.

Of course, three men trying to kill you is no small task to surmount, but that didn't seem to be their primary goal. Whatever was going on behind the Rail Stop was another story entirely. What remained an enigma was where the rest of the voting machines were and what they were being used for. The two Knights that didn't occupy themselves struggling with the final machine instead occupied themselves with brandishing their weapons and shouting words of warning towards the two campaign team members. It seemed they were aiming more for covering fire to protect the third Knight aiming to extract the machine. There wasn't much cover in the Rail Stop save for the scattered concrete pillars that seemed to be placed haphazardly as demanded by the toll of time on the building and the bulky voting machine still laying busted on the cart.

The goal of the campaign team had been clear, but securing the safety of the voting machines had suddenly become a game of life and death. The choice was in their hands...
Hidden 2 days ago Post by The Bork Lazer
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The Bork Lazer Chomping Time

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>://OVER_DRIVER


Interacting with: @Opposition and @Prizrak


With Taryn in tow behind him, Mack’s footfalls echoed through the barely lit halls of the abandoned Rail-Stop. The walk was punctuated by drops of fetid water from leaking pipes and the silent breeze that blew through the open train-yards, picking up motes of dust and street detritus. With every nerve-wracking step he took, Mack felt as if the darkness was slowly enclosing on him like a rabid pack of out-Zoner mutants, even with the reassurance that the motion and infrared sensors in his Prism were reading zero. The sugar was starting to wear off with Mack’s clammy skin beginning to itch torturously, as if it was a second set of clothing around his flesh. His finger was curled near the trigger of his Street-Shredder, inching towards it like a rat approaching a mouse trap.

The familiar presence of Delilah’s voice into his helmet comms would have been reassuring, if it wasn’t for the fact she was directly contradicting what was spoken earlier. A loud din of noise suddenly breached the wall of silence at the very moment Delilah finished her sentence, intruding that which the RailStop had built up over time through abandonment and decay. “ Hold onto that thought,” Mack replied back as he held a hand back for Taryn to stop. They weren’t alone here. He continued to walk further into the dark, gaping maw of the trainyards, nearing a small outcrop of pale yellow light. The familiar red glow of infrared - human heat - began to apepar on his Prism as a man strode out of the darkness, towing what seemed like one of the voting kiosks with him on a cart. Everything about the man spoke street punk. His black hair was industrially cut and shaved to the root. A high-collared jacket and ragged synth-fibre pants adorned his body. The street raff had also seemingly chromed up his right arm, mechanized digits reaching for the heavy calibre pistol in his holster. Which was being pointed towards him and Taryn right now. Mack might have been more confident of their two-to-one odds if two more guys didn’t appear out from the back. The common connection between all of them was the strange logo that had been branded on their cyberware. Hell, there wasn’t any modern corporation nor organisation that he knew used that -

Except one certain mayoral election candidate and his band of merry supporters.

It hit him. The disappearance of Rott from the final debate. The presence of the Knights here at this station. It wasn’t on accident. It was on purpose. Of course, Rott would be the type of man to stoop to such dirty tactics. Mack began to raise up his A.B.C SMG, though, he didn’t have the luxury of striking first blood as the Knights began opening up with a heavy fusilade of lead, burnt propellant trailing behind each projectile, rounds flying out from the barrel at dizzying speeds, ready to send him flinging -

“ Geeeeeettttttttt ttthhhhhheeeee laaaaasssssssttttt ooooooonnnnneeee-”

The Kasparovian booster-ware sank his nerves into a river of jellied time, blurs of high-velocity bullets transforming into slugs that were travelling at the speed of a softball. His heart hammered in five-second intervals as every sensation he felt was magnified ten-fold. He felt like the arbiter of speed in this realm, this addicting reality that only he could access for himself. However, the fast reaction times that the booster-ware conferred onto him would only act as a illusory shield towards the bullets that were currently careening towards them. Without wasting time, Mack pushed Taryn out of the way of the initial fusilade. Unfortunately, he was just one heart-beat too late as a bullet slowly ran a gouge through the side of his Prism. He ducked down wildly underneath a corroded plastic bench before crawling towards the safety of one of the many concrete pillars.

“Great.” Mack sidled up onto his bottom, his Prism slightly cracked with a wicked groove that dug into the poly-laminate armouring.“Isn’t it just great how you bump into people at the train station, Weaver?!” Another spray of high-velocity bullets shattered a window to the right of his position. The two armed gangsters had taken up cover behind the dwindling and were firing at them in controlled bursts, yelling at them to retreat. To piss off. Warning shots.

Fuck that.

He took out the A.B.C and fired overhead without looking, wild uncoordinated sprays of high-velocity flechettes in the general direction of the gangsters. Puffs of grey burst out of the concrete pillars, a few sticking into the shoulders and legs of their assailants. Mack continued peppering the Knights with untrained bursts, the steaming barrel erupting erratically until it clicked empty. He stopped. The cheap plastic frame of the A.B.C was beginning to warp and bend like old chewing gum from overheating. He stared from behind his cover to look at the remaining survivors.

It had done fuck all. Instead of wounds, all the Secedo 5mm’s had managed to do was leave a trail of red welts. Mack threw his ABC onto the ground with a clatter before drawing out the Street Shredder. One barrel. One shell. He breathed inwards. Good enough. He waited for the cacophony of rifle-fire. aimed devastation at a thick concrete pillars that one of the Knights were hiding behind. The muzzle flash blinded him for a few seconds like a flash grenade as the sub-sonic propellant ignited, propelling the anti-material round towards their cover. The concrete immediately imploded inwards before The kinetic penetrator slug that was a part of the ‘SoulKraft’ pain package The Knight , who was now uncovered, was knocked onto the ground, groaning in pain but not dead. Mack’s entire right arm ached from the bucking recoil as he surveyed the damage done. A large, red scar bled from one of the head of the Knights as they wearily stood up. He’d done jack-shit in terms of actually killing a person.

“ Hey, Amano! Rott’s got his people hijacking the goddamn RailStop voting kiosks! You mind telling me - “ Mack crouched downwards, swiveling his head away from the left, to avoid a spray of bullet-fire that could have taken his head off. “ - where Cantos is right now? We’re pinned down here! ”

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