Behind Enemy Lines

The war between the Tír and the Pueblo Corporate Council (PCC) was simmering in Boise while the country warily went about its business.  If not for the underlying tensions, things almost could have been confused for normal life.  The stalemate seemed indeterminate until something strange occurred along the northern border between the Tír and the Salish Sidhe Council.

According to Salish reports, uniformed members of the Tír Peace Force crossed the border and attacked a small squad of of Salish forces on maneuvers.  The Tír not only denied these allegations, but insisted that the skirmish took place on Tír lands and it was, therefore, the Salish that were in the wrong.  Coincidentally, of course, drone-based and stationary surveillance on both sides of the border was inconclusive.

And, thus it was when her “Uncle” Isaac called Adriana for help.  Weeks before, Adriana had provided him with a tip related to the the increase in hostilities within Boise after Tecumseh Antiman, the Koshari boss, mentioned it to her.  Adriana was beginning to suspect that Isaac was more than simply a politically positioned friend of the family, especially after he pulled strings to provide her medical assistance at what appeared to be a secret hopsital following the criminal parlay.  Her suspicions were correct. Isaac Bedivere was a colonel in the Ghosts and, with Adriana’s information, he had positioned both some of the Ghosts and some members of the Peace Force near enough to Boise to stymie the PCC advances.  This made him, nominally, in charge of the war effort.

Isaac needed accurate information related to the incident with the Salish, regardless of who was at fault, preferably before the Salish joined the PCC in the war.  He hoped that Adriana would be able to contact the source of the original tip and see if she could lean on it for any additional, unofficial details.  It was easy enough to put in a call to Tecumseh who was willing to see what he could figure out from his contacts within the Salish sector of Boise.  It didn’t take but a few hours before Tecumseh called her back, but unfortunately, he was no longer his sardonic self.  Instead, he was well and truly terrified.  He wouldn’t say much over matrix, but he demanded that Adriana come and get him out of Boise and into the Tír.  If she did that, he’d give her the information she wanted.

Contacting Isaac, he was willing to provide funding for a rescue effort, but he was worried about putting Adriana and Olympia in harm’s way.  Sure of themselves, they and the rest of the team set out from Cara’Sir for a smuggler’s tunnel outside of Boise that would take them into the Salish side of the city.  Olympia was aware of the tunnel, and arranged for access from a coyote named Gloria who wanted a few thousand nuyen considering the danger involved in border crossings during war.

Getting into Salish Boise went smoothly, but finding Tecumseh was proving to be problematic.  Seems he was well hidden and was refusing to announce his location.  But, he was willing to meet the team at a nearby, neutral location.  A nearby abandoned warehouse, conveniently located across the street from a Fricken Waffles, would do the job and the team settled in to wait for Tecumseh while he traveled.  He estimated it would take 20-30 minutes for him to arrive.

The wait was uneventful and it wasn’t long before Cayden and Arial could no longer resist the siren’s song of all-day breakfast.  The two of them took orders, and proceeded across the street to acquire waffles.  As luck would have it, Tecumseh arrived shortly after they departed driving a small electric car.  He drove it into the warehouse attempting to remain under cover and agitatedly demanded that they leave immediately for the Tír.  The team stood firm, however, and needed to know what had spooked him.

So, Tecumseh told them that he had hired a friendly decker to find more about the border skirmish.  That decker found the information and Tecumseh met him at an outdoor cafe to exchange nuyen for data.  The decker was agitated, frightened, and soon, Tecumseh learned why:  the Salish border skirmish was the fault of the Tír and the data they had proved not only that the Tír was at fault, but who ordered the troops to engage the Salish!  Just as things were wrapping up, the decker was shot in the back of the head by a sniper.  Tecumseh grabbed the decker’s commlink and ran from the cafe as bullets scattered the crowd around him.  After that, he laid low in a safe house until the team came to get him.

While Tecumseh told his story, Arial and Cayden were exiting the Fricken Waffles.  When they did so, they could hear the sound of a helicopter approaching from the south.  It moved into position over the warehouse’s parking lot and ropes were dropped from it to the ground.  Cayden and Arial retreated behind the restaurant taking cover as four troopers in black military-grade armor descended.  At roughly the same time, a high powered rifle put an anti-vehicular round into the van’s engine block, disabling it instantaneously.

The rest of the team took cover around the van.  Olympia deployed drones (which the opposition’s decker immediately began to mark) while Octan attempted to gain control over the helicopter.  Soon, he and the opposition’s decker were engaged in cybercombat.  Olympia, Adriana, and Cayden, meanwhile, went to work on the troopers with drones, spells, and fists respectively.  But, covering fire from inside the helicopter made exiting cover somewhat difficult.  Regardless, the troopers were taking losses faster than the team even though the team’s wounds were taking a bit of a toll.  Seeing an opportunity to end things decisively, Arial launched a grenade into the helicopter killing everyone inside.  Unfortunately, that included the pilot and with the van disabled, the helicopter seemed the most likely way to get back to the Tír.

Arial and Olympia ran for the ropes as the helicopter began to swing out of control.  Arial shimmied up and into the helicopter but Olympia, not skilled at rope climbs, was forced to drop to the ground as the helicopter’s trajectory shifted toward the parking lot.  Arial rushed to the cockpit and grabbed the control stick but was unable to pull the helicopter out of its crash.  She died in the crash.

One trooper remained, Sergeant Ron Scott, and he quickly surrendered.  Getting a closer look at his uniform, Adriana and Olympia recognized them as Tír Ghost issue.  Tecumseh had been knocked out during the fighting so Octan broke into the decker’s commlink to find the data.  And, find it he did, but he didn’t notice the data bomb that was protecting it.  When he tried to copy the information, the bomb self-destructed seriously injuring Octan and destroying the data.

Without the data, without transportation, and without a solid plan, the team boosted a tow truck from a mechanic’s across the street, said farewell to Arial, and woke Tecumseh up to find out the location of his safe house.  He shared it with them and the drove off into the night.

 

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