"Listen, if you've given the sword to someone else it, eh, could wind up bein' a problem, you know. Problem for you, problem for him, problem for me, problem for everyone. I'm just tryin' to help out here, ok? Ya know, all kiddin' aside...it'd be real bad business to wanna mess around with my boss, lemme tell ya. an' there's no point in it, ok? He and his gang are just gonna do what they're gonna do...this ain't no collection of high-livin' mall-brats, you know?
- (PbEM+) "SCENES FROM A MALL"
PRELUDE (This is the Actual PbEM Dialogue)
Weasel received word that THEY have arrived. His mall information network had tagged them entering 3 minutes ago. A little slow on the response time, however this quarry was low priority. He didn't have to wait long for her to make an appearance either, and now that she had arrived he went into action, slipping from the cold comfort of his roost above Hotza Pizza and out into the active Mall. Immediately he noticed a trio of Goths headed into the Leather and Lace Boutique.
Fifteen minutes later they emerged. By the clothing changes and bulges Weasel estimated that they scored about $250 retail, $130 street. His quarry was toward the rear dressed in a long dark trenchcoat, old Doc martins, NEW gray fedora and wire-rimmed sunglasses. Concealed as she was, her gaudy adornments were easy to pick out and distinguish from the others, he knew it was her. Just as Weasel considered his options, her head turned and she spotted him. The prey, now turned predator separated herself from the pack and quickly approached. As she did, her demeanor changed, with each stride she became more alert and confident. She took off her hat ($35 Street) and casually tossed it over the railing toward a fountain below, revealing her luxurious long black hair. She approached Weasel with a slight grin on her face.
"Hello Rat." She said licking her lips.
"Ah, Rapture...thank God, I was looking all over the place for you. Listen, there's a real problem...the boss, my boss...ya know...my REAL boss, has...uh...noticed that the sword is missing. I was able to cover up for the grenades and stuff but the sword was 'spensive enough that he...uh...kinda noticed. He's pissed, ok? He's real upset and he's holding me personally responsible. That's cuz he figures that I'm...uh...personally responsible! The boss he...ain't no dummy. Worst case scenario...he figures that I swiped it and sold it without payin' for it. Best case scenario, he figures it got snatched while I was sleepin' on my watch. Either scenario...I have to turn it up or get him whatever he figures it's worth. And let's cut this bit right now, I ain't, uh, got that kinda ducats, ya know?"
Weasel then noticed that Rapture was minus the sword. "Sorry can't help ya twerp, Seen Diomedes around?" She looked off at some Megaviolents, a hint of danger flashed across her face.
"So look, fun's fun but he's gonna have my, uh, legs broken an' my face kinda smashed if I don't turn this thing up in 24 hours!"
Rapture looked slightly amused and removed her glasses revealing a deep purple bruise under her right eye.
" It's no big deal to you, right? I'll getcha something else...gotta lotta nice stuff! But I've grown real kinda partial to my legs an' face, ok? And then I'm out in the cold, job gone, destitute, history. Uh, look, it ain't funny, ok? So c'mon...how 'bout givin' me a break here, huh? I'm not gonna, eh, threaten you with rattin' you out or anything...I mean, you got the smarts to know that when big guys start beatin' me up, I'm gonna crack like an egg...sing like a canary...spill my guts, eh, all over the place! Oh sure, ain't gonna matter to me. Once things get to THAT kinda stage, uh, savin' your face an' legs ain't really in the cards, right?. Won't stop me from doin' it...I mean, look, it's my nature.
Anyway, yeah, maybe you'd get some grief from it an' maybe not. Depends on their mood, ya know, sometimes rip-offs really kinda, ya know, piss 'em off. But hey, I guess I'd be pretty, whadayawannacallit, outta the loop by then.
Weasel noticed that for some odd reason Rapture seemed to be turned on by his insinuations of what was in store if the sword was not returned. This did not comfort him in the least, Nor did the crazed look in her eyes.
So look, how 'bout we just avoid the whole mess, huh? I mean, sure, maybe you can deal with it, no problem. Big thrill 'n stuff, right? But, uh, that ain't me, ya know? Disfigured, crippled and on the street...I can't deal with that! So, uh, do me a favor, ok? Twenty-four hours, ok? Dangle me on a limb, make me sweat, whatever gives you your, uh, kicks. But just remember, 'kay, this face...these legs...twenty-four hours. Fr' cryin' out loud, it's just a stupid, eh, sword!
I gotta go...lemme know if there's somethin' I can, uh, get for ya, ya know, while I still can, ok?"
"Well, I can't help you with the slicer, Mallrat, but you tell me where I can find your Master." She got one of those dangerous expressions. "I'll straighten him out for ya."
Weaver rolls his eyes upward and puts his hand to her arm, blocking her exit momentarily. His voice seems exasperated as he realizes he might well have been talking to a wall, still, he believes he caught the gist of her point. "Ok, so tell me, eh, who'd you give the sword to?"
Rapture stared down at where Weaver was touching her arm in apparent disbelief. She then coughed once, then twice onto Wever's hand. "Pardon-moi," She intoned with mock concern. "I must have picked something up back at the clinic." She said with a half smile. Rapture then removed a crimson-stained handkerchief and handed it out to the lad. Slowly the smile turned into a wicked grin, "I hope it isn't contagious…you remember those poor bastards back there, doncha ratboy?" Somehow Rapture made the term "ratboy" sound affectionate.
Weaver pressed the security-alert module in his pocket (sends a location-status alert to the donut-mongers that they just might wanna earn their pay this week). His plan is, of course, to change this prey-predator position he's in.
[GM: Good luck]
Weaver waited nervously for Mall Security to show, but Rapture was not one to stand around, so he had to keep up with her as she dodged in and out of stores seeing what she could get away with. Weaver had a hard enough time keeping up with her, without having to replace the pilfered goods.
"Listen Weezer," She indicated the bruise under her eye with her finger, "See this…good. Got in a brawl with some Street Fighters, they wanted to play with their pretty little knives so I showed them a real-time implement of nasty slicage. Trouble is…" She stares up at the ceiling, hands behind her back, as if trying to remember the exact details "Some Sacred Blades appeared and made a real fuss over the slicer. One thing lead to another and…" She spins around and gets in Weaver's face, eyes locked with his, "I lost it." Rapture coughed again before Weaver could pull away. "So I guess it's a Sacred Blade problem now, right?"
Weaver thought to try a different approach. Listen, I know you kinda like Diomedes...fix it so I can get the sword back an' I'll fix things up between the two'a you. Yeah, remember last time didn't go over so well, right. But Diomedes is my pal, I can set it up. He's, uh, got a lot more vital blood runnin' through him than those emaciated, eh, posers you hang out with, kinda wouldn't you say? C'mon, he's worth it, whadaya say? Now c'mon, I don't exactly got all day here...I gotta drop by the hospital and make sure I gotta reservation in a comfortable room, ya know?"
Rapture looking a bit bored with the mall, perked up at the mention of the Hospital. Weaver wondered why this was the case, but then on second thought he didn't want to know. He remembered how the other night Rapture had landed on him as she dove out of the fourth story of Night City General loaded with plasma. Half of which ruptured on impact. It was not a pretty sight, $250 (Street) of garments and goods were ruined by her ludicrous actions. "Diomedes is too drained from last night. Let's go to the hospital together, and then I can take you to where the Sacred Blades hang. I am sure WE can get the sword back from them." She said in a very seductive voice, this time taking Weaver by the arm as if to lead him there.
Weaver was half listening to Rapture, as he noticed that those Megaviolents had detained Mall Security. Then he heard the near fatal, when said by a Goth-chic, term WE.
THE DREAM SEQUENCE…(Or What happen's when the player attempts to moderate...)
Just as Weaver was about to say something in protest and pull his hand out of her vice-like grip, the usually sure-footed Goth-Girl slipped on the freshly waxed floor of the East-End Mall and tumbled over the railing of the second floor ballistrade. Terrified, Weaver was nearly taken over the side with her but managed to roll a "10" followed by a "10" followed by a "10" followed by a "9" which gave him an Athletic total of "40" and he was able to get free and selfishly save himself.
Meanwhile, Rapture managed to land with decidedly non-cat-like grace, tumbling pell-mell into three EEM Secruity Guards and two Night-City Police Officers who were enjoying lunch outside Hotza Pizza. Ripped-off merchandise spilled from every pocket of her all-too-black clothing. "My God! Our Pepperoni Pizza!...she landed right on top of it!!" one exclaimed.
"Oh, she'll pay...she'll PAY!!"
"Look at this...merchandise without any receipts? Well, I reckon WE'VE solved all the robberies for the last six months, men. Another job well done."
"Yeah, slap the cuffs on her and take her away, boys...heh-heh, we can put this one to rest!"
As a limping Rature is led away she turns tear-stained eyes upward to glance with hope and desperation at Weaver, standing at the railing, staring down at the tragic scene. Suddenly, the young, wily fixer feels a gentle tapping on his shoulder. He whirls to see three representatives of the Sacred Blades standing behind him. Overcoming his sudden fear he manages not to wet himself. The leader of the trio makes a slight bow and offers up an ornately carved sword saying, "This weapon was taken without honor from one known as Rapture. We understand that she is a friend of yours...please take it and see that it is returned to its proper owner."
Upon handing over the blade, they turn as one and exit his presence. Weaver stares lovingly at the expensive item in his hands, a $5,000 (street) sword of exquisite craftsmanship and wonders how long it will be before he wakes up. Hopefully, a nice, long time.
END DREAM SEQUENCE…
Weaver was only half listening to Rapture while noticing that those stupid Megaviolents had detained Mall Security. Then he realized he'd heard the near-fatal (when spoken by a Goth-chick term) "WE."
"Uhmmm..waitasecond! You got in a fight with these guys over the sword and now you might MY help to get it back? Listen, we can, eh, make a lotta money selling watever it is that you're on, ya know? Of course if you're saying that you made a DEAL with them for it...well, maybe I can sorta do something. I mean, listen, we gotta do what we can to get that sword back or there's gonna be a lotta trouble. [Weaver is now about to make the deadly mistake of, in all the excitement, forgetting that his lie is just a lie] I mean, this I life or death so...I'll go with you if I have to an' meet these guys. But you gotta tell me everything about the situation, ok? don't leave anything out. You gotta trust me here...yeah, trust me."
"But first, uh," he says with a stammer, "Who are the Sacred Blades anyway? Some fast-hauling bunch'a Go-Gangers? Yeah, no problem...piece'a cake!"
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