One week later...
The smog was light, this morning, and the air conditioners were only drizzling by the time I put on my armoured running clothes, my respirator, and chucked a medkit, Fightgar and Firebert into my backpack. This junior Shadow Commando knows how to be prepared!
I saw all the usual suspects on my run: Lai Ying, the fish guy; Sau-ha, the junk guy; Tak-Wah, the cabbage guy; Mei-Yee, the reagent woman; Li, the rock guy; Li, the other fish guy; Li, the soy beef guy; and Steve. I'm not sure what steve does, but he was there, too, just like every morning. I said good-mornings to them all and a few even said good morning back, like, at least three. It's only been six months, but they're already warming to me. I thought it'd be hard to make friends with Ares assigning you relationships, but I guess I was wrong.
Speaking of friends, by the time I'd finished my run, Panda had sent me seven messages. Most of them emoticons. I'm not sure what they meant, but they seemed like friendly emojis. She's been doing that a lot this week. I appreciate it, although since I had to use the Metalink for Business and now Panda, Spook, and Sailor Van can contact me on it, I'm going to have to throw it into the harbour, as well. No offence, chummers, but the metalink is for Sapphire, not for No Fate.
I also saw a lot of triad teamsters out early. Much earlier than normal. All of them flying colours, but not the same colours. I made a note to look out for any important looking funeral processions. I saw Rok out on his balcony, when I got home, on his 'link, looking like a vatjob about to Overstress. I wanted to offer my sussing services, but you don't interrupt a man on his 'link. That's just rude. Anyway, I figure Rok for a mentat, and let's be honest, kludge is more my style.
It took me most of the last week, but I'd gotten the apartment cleaned, santized, and everything smelling like lemon again. I do love the smell of lemon. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to smell fresher. I have enough lemon air fresheners for them all. But all that meant the Ramshankle and the warhawks were overdue for routine maintenance. Like Gunhaver says, it doesn't matter what skills you're bringing if the only gear you've packed is drek.
That took me through to lunch. I saw Rok pacing by his window, still on his 'link, still looking like somebody pissed in his Commandos-Os.
I headed over to the Poor Mystic's Market on foot. After a busy morning, I had a craving for something with more body than soymeat on a stick. This girl needed some carbs. I was also in the mood for a traditional Chinese dish. It must have been my lucky day, because Li was cooking up fresh steamed rice and Mongolian Soy Lamb. Omae, that ticked all the boxes. I ate by the stall and made small chat with Li. I mentioned the unusually high number of triad gangers on the street, even for Yau Tsim Mong. He said he had a bad feeling, like something big was about to go down. I remarked about funeral processions, mostly for my own amusement, but Li got it. He totally got it. Wiz. Another classic flatvid fan.
All out triad war hadn't broken out when I finished lunch, so I said goodbye to Li and headed home. No sign of Rok in his windows, so I knocked on his door. No answer. I gave him a call, left a message to contact me if he needed help with something. Us dwarves have to stick together, you know. Rok appreciates that kind of sentiment. I even knocked on Upstairs Li's door to ask if he'd seen Rok, but Upstairs Li just said he'd seen him leave around an hour ago and didn't know where.
Note to self: Next time you need a name for a fake SIN, go with Li. There's a million Li around here. Li? Lis? How do you pluralise Li?
With Rok nowhere to be found and no problems for me to solve, I decided to head back to Kowloon and continue exploring the abandoned amusement park. There's a couple of roller coasters I haven't run, yet. I'm starting to think maybe I should try and fix them up, see if I can't get them running. Maybe Sailor Van would like to help. I'm sure he knows how to fix stuff. Upstairs Li said there were supposed to be some monster birds out that way, which got me more excited, but I didn't see any. Disappointing, I know. I also received a lot more emojis from Panda. Lots of spam, stress faces and then drek. I told her that's what happens when you eat too much dairy, but that it would pass. Literally. And I guess it did.
I took a detour to Tsim Sha Tsui on the way home. I finally remembered where I put the stolen gear from the Happy Cow run, so I stopped in at Mr Choi's to fence that. I asked him if he'd seen Rok (he hadn't) or if he knew anything about the triad show of force around Yau Tsim Mong (he didn't.) He had noticed it, though, and word was something big was coming. He warned me not to go wandering around unarmed and unarmoured, and that maybe I should look at getting a better jacket. He also said that shorts and pink hair aside, I did have a habbit of dressing and carrying myself like an off-duty knight, and one day that's likely to get me shot by a ganger. He has a point, and I guess old habits die hard, but I that's a problem I have a solution for.
Say it with me now: No Fate shot first!
Just call me Greedo.
Mr Choi didn't have anything new besides sound advice in stock, so I headed into the markets. I was long overdue for a new 'link, two, in fact, and found a stall selling three for the price of two. Wiz. Past and future harbour tours aside, the Metalink is drek and I've been meaning to upgrade. Three new Sensei's in the bag, my work was done and I had an evening of market browsing to do. Or, so I thought.
Rok called, sounding like he'd found the guy who pissed in his Commandos-Os, and he was planning Garbage Detail for them. He told me that I liked hero work and I had friends, so he had a meeting for me, tomorrow at lunch with Ms Wu.
No markets for this girl. I buzzed. Junior Shadow Commandos know they need at least seven hours of sleep to be at their best, and Gunhaver accepts nothing but the best.