Megabuilding H11

Kirchhoff scoffed dismissively, as if Bunny's negative reaction to the beverage was an affront to her decency. "Oh, it's pre-Biotechnica diesel fuel, clearly. Can't you discerm the taste?" She joked, still clumsily flubbing her words. "It's mezcal, and it's a damn good'un, I'll tell ya, courtesy of the big man in the other room. The statistics don't lie, either; there's a correlation between drinking it and, uh... Not getting strangled or hurt." She smiled cheekily while walking back towards the kitchen.

However, she paused at the doorway, trying once again to pry the Stinger out of the wall. With both hands on the handle and one foot braced against the wall, she felt the blade slowly giving, and she finally gave it a firm, rough yank. Then, in one quick motion, the knife came out, the butt of the handle coming straight back and striking Kirch right in the center of her forehead with a dull thunk. She yelped, dropping the Stinger on the floor and rubbing her forehead with the palms of her hands. Done in by her own hubris. Guess she should have seen that coming. She quickly attempted to regather herself, picked the knife up off the floor and shamefully walked over to the kitchen island.

"Um... Not getting hurt for the most part, at least," she admitted sheepishly.
"Smooth," Tachi jeered from across the room, leaning on the kitchen counter and snickering as Kirchoff came over. "She is beauty, she is grace, she smacked herself in the face," he added in a singsong tone, shooting her a wink before looking back at Bunny.

"C'mon, don't wait for us to be sober, or we'll be waiting all night. 'cause given the choice between stopping drinking and not hearing about the job... I can wait." He smirked. "But if you do tell us, maybe we should knock for Raul first. Check and see if he's passed out in a smoky mezcal pool, or if he just can't stand our company."
No sooner had his name been mentioned, that the figure of Raul darkened the hallway going into the kitchen. He'd doffed most of his outer gear, walking around comfortably in socks, jeans, and a tight undershirt. His eyes gleamed with present amusement, mirth barely suppressed as he took in the trio. His hair was neatly styled, and an unlit cigarette dangled from the corner of his lips. He walked into the kitchen, carrying two IV sacks tied together and hanging from his shoulder.

"I get the feeling," he said leaning against the sink countertop opposite the counter, "That I missed something very amusing." He arched an eyebrow at Kirch. "And no, mi cyberninja amigo, your company is much appreciated. I was juicing with my custom blend of hangoverbyebye."

He gently tossed the tied pair of IV bags underhand towards Tachi with an exclamation of 'free sample' and looked Bunny up and down. "Buena noche?" he asked with a smile and a wink as he gestured at the other's neck with his chin.
Kirch's antics and Tachi's comments made Bunny laugh, loud and clear, until he broke down into coughs. Oh fuck!, shit. Yeah he'd just tell them about the job alright. As soon as he was done coughing out a fucking lung. What the hell man? He managed to get it under control for long enough to drink some tap water. It was enough. He returned to where he had been sitting at the kitchen island.

He had been about to go knock on Raul's door like Tachi had suggested, when he came out looking like a newly pupated butterfly. Fresh. He did whistle at him though, looking him up and down with an amused smirk.

"Looking hard, Superstar~" He purred, lifting a hand to welcome him back into the room. And to the world of the living. He stifled a small cough, and his eye twitched ever so slightly.

"Should I get back out there and stuffit to satisfy your expectations chooms?, hell!" He took another (small) swig of the mezcal-biotecnica fuel, the taste was still awful if you asked him. But at least it was alcohol. He stood back up with energy and a grin, leaving his glass there.

"Aight we have some topics to cover. ONE, I got strangled and can't remember how, so I'm going to need YOU" He pointed at Raul "To check my throat. And you" He pointed at Kirch. "To check my firewalls, and youuuu~ "He pointed at Tachi and winked. "To kiss it better" He said, then snorted, amused by his own words. "joking. We have a JOB, I'm sure you've seen it, follow me to the couch to get the detes. Bring your preferred poison" He said, grabbing his glass of mezcal that he did not plan to finish and heading over. The sofa was big, so he sort of sprawled in the middle.
As written by @TheZanta and @Machina Somnium

Still rubbing the center of her forehead which was distinctly developing a minor bump from where she hit it, Kirchhoff followed Bunny to the couch. "I think I'm good on booze for the rest of the night. Mamma always told me it's never a good idea to drink and run diagnostics... I think." Rounding the couch, she sat down on the cushion to the right of Bunny, legs criss-cross as she reached for the interface plug cable on her wrist. "No squirming now," she told Bunny with a cheeky smile before jacking into his interface.

He rolled his eyes with a fond smile at the mother comment, amused, and scooted a little bit closer to her on the couch. When she plugged in, his left eye twitched for a millisecond. He was fine, though, kind of curious to know what Kirch may find.

She was expecting her vision to immediately flood with basic status and system information, but to her gradual developing concern, it took a considerable moment of buffering; about fifteen seconds. Eventually, the bright purple UI flashed onto her optics. She ran a cursory diagnostic on Bunny's security and firewall. Nothing out of the ordinary on that front for a typical edgerunner; his data and ports were not completely under lock-and-key, but it was sufficient for everyday purposes.

Speaking of, she claimed this window of opportunity to be nosy. As if all she was going to do here was verify the integrity of the firewall. Nothing too deep and comprehensive, though, otherwise her movements would likely arouse some suspicion. She took a moment to inspect his recent call history. It appeared that Bunny had attempted contact with one Shade Under A Willow Tree not long after he left the apartment. She subtly quirked an eyebrow. How droll. Such a surreptitious, angsty screen name. Yet, it sounded somewhat familiar.

She then went to check the basic memory log, extracting information for the last six hours... Extracting... Still extracting... Hm. She was slowly beginning to piece together just what has transpired. Eventually she did get a printing of rudimentary events over the six-hour time period. Immediately, it was obvious what was slowing things down. Over an hour and forty-seven gap in time, there was a massive block of corrupted data and nonsensical outputs and events. This wasn't typical corruption either -- not the accidental byproducts of a book-standard system reset quickhack. This was deliberate and immense, intentionally concealing any and all information for any prying eyes.

Kirchhoff finally unplugged her interface cable from Bunny. Now she remembered who this Shade guy was, although she didn't know who he was. All she knew of him was in passing, during a few netrunning sessions. She certainly knew, however, of his reputation for developing experimental and atypical quickhacks, and this absolutely reeked of his kind of homebrewing.

"Your firewall looks fine, at least," Kirch said after clearing her throat. "Whatever happened to you on your outing, it's not the consequence of any sort of lingering malware." She heaved a somewhat exaggerated sigh. "These experimental quickhacks, hm? I like dabbling in them as much as the next runner, but there can be some real shadowy figures when it comes to that little homebrewing community."

She was pointing her words in a certain direction, sure, but she wasn't sure how helpful a direct confrontation of the facts would be, especially as it seemed this Shade character seemed to be someone Bunny was already familiar with, if his contact history is of any significance.

Bunny's eyes widened in alarm before he could control his expression. Shit, she could find that? He thought R&R didn't leave anything behind? "Haha, yeah…" he smiled, fake and improvised as it could possibly be, while making a later gesture with his hands.

Kirchhoff's brows furrowed in response, yet she didn't press any further. She simply slid back on the couch to give space for Raul's check-up, just observing Bunny from a distance with an air of suspicion.
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While Kirch and Bunny took up position on one half of the couch, Tachi dropped himself onto the other, crossing his legs beneath him and watching them with a half-raised eyebrow as Kirch worked. He didn't know enough about netrunning to understand the meaning between the lines of what she was saying, but he wasn't so dense as to not pick up that there was something she was dancing around.

If it was a problem, he'd have to count on them to sort it out between them, he supposed.

Instead of chiming into that back and forth, he instead pulled up the brief that Bunny had sent them all to give it another once over, humming to himself as he did. "Badlands job. Been a while since I was out there. Can't say I'm a huge fan-- not enough back alleys and buildings to duck through when you need to, but..." he shrugged. "I can work with it. Where'd you pick the work up from?"

"Eh… I have some friends with friends amongst The Greys who passed it to me. It'll be dusty and dirty but it's a good job to start us off as a team." Answered Bunny with a shrug, turning over to look at their doctor to watch him when he came back.

Written by Script and Machina Somnium
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As written by @Dashmiel & @Machina Somnium

Raul took the time during Kirch’s check up of Bunny’s system to go gather his own implements. The cigarette hanging off his lips moved from corner to corner as he rummaged through his packs. Underneath most of the cheap vinyl bagged objects were two hard cases. Faded biotechnica logos and impressive locks laded with black ice highlighted the importance of the items within the extra security to Raul.

One was far longer than it was wide, about the size of an ironing board. Or a very-large rifle case. It held the surgical suite attachment for a Medtech station, an—expensive executive-care class—instrument consisting of gimbal-mounted robotic arms tipped with every combination of tools that could conceivably be of use to his profession. All on a sleek and portable package that most street Ripperdocs could only dream of getting their hands on.

It represented a solid 45% of the principal balance on his original loan from Biotechnica. He wouldn’t need this one today.

The other was about the size of a hatbox, but no less treasured. Raul pressed his thumb against it, bracing for its sting as the microneedle—one of the multiple authentication factors holding it closed—pierced his skin to sample his blood. He sent his cryptographic key to the lock, while his agent sent another—generated on the spot from Raul’s hashed vitals data—releasing the case’s lock with an audible mechanical whir.

Tendrils of sublimated refrigerant wisped past Raul’s hands as the case’s atmosphere controls went on standby upon the removal of the object within. Gingerly, Raul lifted an object resembling a giant hockey puck—a handspan tall and half of one in thickness—with a glass top from the case before carefully setting it on the small table by his bed. “Hola mamacita,” Raul purred as he gently stroked the glass surface whilst sending the activation signal wirelessly.

Subtly twinkling lights came to life beneath the glass as the computer core came to life. System logs and reports filled the upper right segment of his vision, as the bootloader on his custom medtech soft loaded. The cartoon image of a voluptuous and scantily dressed red-head filled his view as the operating system proper came to life. A speech bubble captioned “Rosita” accompanied the image, which soon gave way to a serious work screen in his hud.

The box was his once and forever mistress. Rosita, an agent with zero personality and as close to the AI line as you could own before NetWatch put you on a list. The love of his life lived within the densely packed silicon wafers within, etched in rainbows and coursing with electric power.

It served as the control unit for his Medsuite, whatever wonky ass shape the situation demanded it be in. It was the best assistant he could ask for; capable of aiding with diagnoses, dispensing medicine, performing observation rotations, and more. All without arguments or back-talk, for the low price of zilch. Her only limit was how much dough Raul had to spend on peripherals to give his sweetie hands to touch the world. It represented the lion’s share of his principal loan balance, at 53% of a multi-million eds sized hole.

“Alright,” Raul said as he leaned down from above, in front of Bunny’s position on the couch. “I’m going to need you to be a brave boy, you’ll feel a little sting,” Raul took hold of one of Bunny’s hands and pointed an index finger at his forearm. The hollow-tipped ripper underneath extended outwards half an inch and grew red hot before a delicate clock-work arm rose from the skin beneath the glove, applying a puff of refrigerant to cool the now sterile needle. “You lost some time, and I need to make sure no one dosed you with anything nasty,” Raul said in a calm and steady voice that hadn’t been heard in this apartment yet. The doctor was in.

"If you call me boy again I'm going to start calling you daddy, Superstar." Said Bunny in return, squirming a bit in the presence of the other man's professional persona.

“Whatever helps you stay still, I’ll even—”

The blonde raised an eyebrow.-

Raul’s sandevistan pulsed—giving him a 2 second bubble of enhanced perception in which to catch Bunny mid-blink—before he smoothly collected the small blood sample. His subjective reality jerked back to real-time as two more delicate arms extended from his glove to apply a local anesthetic and spray on a patch of temporary synth-skin on the injection site.
“—stock up on lollipops. There, all done,” Raul said with a smooth smile.

-And he grinned, considering whether to actually start calling Raul daddy.

Rosita was already hard at work back in the room, running the screening. “I’ll have the results in a minute, but you don’t have to worry about your neck,” Raul said as he straightened up and gave Bunny a reassuring smile. His kiroshis flashed, illuminating his eyes with a momentary orange glow. “I diagnosed those while you were daydreaming about cyberninja’s lips,” Raul said, his tone amused. “Contusions and abrasions no more than 3mm of depth, consistent with choking by either a larger woman or a slighter man than average. Prognosis; Partner with people better at consent, and drink some tea or buy some lozenges for the accompanying throat irritation.”

"I wasn't- Seriously I wasn't out there having a breath-play session. Fucking hell…" Said Bunny rolling his eyes at the mention of him being out fucking again. He wasn't even into that, not with strangers anyway. But it was good to know his neck was fine. The bruises were a bit scary.

"No, of course, not that you know of," Kirch quipped from the side with a sardonic chuckle.

“I’ve heard that air deprivation can lead to memory loss,” Tachi chipped in, smirking. “Maybe this is all way more simple than we thought?”

"Why, has it happened to any of your partners?" Grumbled Bunny in response, half heartedly glaring at Tachi. But his gaze also flickered to Kirch for a sec. Maybe if he looked hard enough he could make her stay quiet about the topic.

Kirchhoff only smiled back, though she still didn't make it clear what she thought she knew to Bunny or the others, at least for his sake. "Hey, when I choke my partners, I like to make sure they remember it. Suppose not everyone's the same, though."

The white haired Merc filed the choking topic away for later, he knew some people who might be interested if Kirch was actually into that. He wasn't one of them, but maybe she'd like one of his chooms back.

Raul went through the results of Rositas testing, an eyebrow raising as he put together the errant data points into a coherent narrative. Very interesting, Raul thought once he went through the results. Some questions were answered, while others arose. Still, it didn’t seem relevant to their security, and Raul took his doctor-patient very seriously. No one paid a repeat visit to a doc who would blab about your weaknesses, after all.

“Sangre limpia,” he informed Bunny. “Well, of anything I’m sure you wouldn’t want to put in there yourself, that is.”

"O-kie dokie, thank you Raul, really." Said the blonde, smiling at the doctor once he was done with his check. That was one weight off of his chest tonight.

Raul removed the glove, tossing it over onto the other side of the sectional couch before dropping down himself. “So this job…you cleared it with the nomads claiming it’s their turf that the wraith’s are squatting in? Headache if not…”
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As written by @Machina Somnium , @Script, @TheZanta and @Dashmiel

"As in… did I talk to the nomads? Yeah I did. But it's gonna be a headache anyway" Said Bunny with a little sigh. His personal messages pinged then, so he pulled them up on his HUD. Huh, he furrowed his brow as he read a certain application to join his team. One that he was not expecting.

Kirch sat back into the cushions of the couch. "You'd think with how much they've shrank that the Greys would be a little more careful, or at least bought some sort of insurance before trying to klep a Militech van. Pride, or something?" She mused aloud. "At the least they could have saved the eddies enlisting us – not that I'm complaining."

“Maybe your expectations for them are just too high,” Tachi remarked, shrugging. “Is careful even in the average ganger’s vocabulary?”

“It’s worse when it’s Nomads trying to be gangers,” Raul opined, gesticulating towards Tachi. “Careful is in their vocabulary, but they got no fucking idea how shit works off the badlands as a general rule. So they cock shit up trying to apply rules of the long road in NC”.
As written by @Machina Somnium, @Script , @TheZanta and @Dashmiel

"Mhm…" Bunny hummed along as they chatted amongst themselves. It was too bad they didn't have any free beds, but they did have a couch.

"Hey since you guys are already in, what would you say to a… late addition? Another 'runner, different focus though. And he could sleep on the couch I guess." Said Bunny interrupting their current topic of conversation. Why couldn't Shads make things easy and be at least sort of predictable? Stupid gonk. It'd be easier to keep an eye on each other this way. And he couldn't just R&R him if shit got ugly if there were others around.

“Someone new?” Tachi quirked an eyebrow. “Why the change of plans? This guy somethin’ special or what?”

"We've been friends for ages, and he's great. Good runner, even better sniper. You ever heard of Shade under a willow tree?" Asked Bunny, looking around for the telltale shine of recognition in someone's eyes. Especially Kirch's. "I just call him Shads."

The others may have noticed Kirchhoff subtly sit up in her seat just at the mention of another runner being introduced, but it wasn't a moment of excitement. At least, not the good kind of excitement. "Aw, what's this, I'm not enough runner for all of us?" Her tone was light-hearted and jovial, but her gaze was steely and cold and her shoulders were stiff. There was certainly recognition, but it was no shine.

She likely realized that her expression did not match her performative demeanor, so she turned her head away from the others in fabricated recollection. "I may have heard the name in passing. Cyberspace is quite vast after all," she spoke dismissively. "Must be good if you're trying to fit another body into these humble quarters." If there's anything she would have to do before retiring for the night, she would have to reinforce the data fortress to at least three times its strength.

"He's a hard one, yeah. He's the one that got us this job." Said Bunny then, cursing internally. Because she definitely knew something. Fuckkk…

Raul’s face was locked in a frown as he listened to Bunny’s last minute mix-up, and the immediate reaction it brought out of Kirch. He lived and died by watching the microexpressions of sourly and distrustful people caught under his scalpel, and the stiffness concerned him.

It didn’t matter to him if there was history there or not, no. He simply did not enjoy a surprise change at the eleventh hour, and felt plenty stiff himself. His tongue gently caressed his palate absentmindedly, right where the trigger for his Sandevistan lay.

“Choom,” Raul said, his tone betraying his annoyance. “Telling me you’re inviting a guy with a long-range stick at my back at the last minute doesn’t exactly inspire comfort. You sure he didn’t get you the gig just to zero you and delta?”

Kirch turned her head back to give a brief, somewhat relieved glance to Raul. Thank the gods the doctor was observant, or at least as paranoid as she was. She took an instant to direct her eyes towards her and Raul's bedroom, in a nonverbal 'we need to talk', before turning back to look at Bunny.

"I'm sure! I'm really sure. But he doesn't HAVE to snipe during that mission. It wouldn't hurt to have someone watching our backs from a distance in the badlands though. Look, I know it's sudden…" He didn't want to piss off his team at the first chance he got, just before their first job together. It was prone to backfire spectacularly at the worst time. He took a deep breath.

"So how 's this. He can come with us tomorrow to prepare for the mission, before moving in here and everything. And after, we can vote on if he joins us for the mission or not?." He said, looking at the three of them. "He's going to join the team eventually, but if you decide he's not coming on this mission, then he won't."

There was a lingering silence before Kirch finally offered a distant "Hm," in response. She took a short, tense breath before giving a more proper answer. "Well, you're the one running this show, after all. We gotta be flexible, yes? And if you can trust him…" Her words trailed off as she continued to mask her discomfort with a half-hearted shrug.

Bunny gave her a little nod.

“Sounds kind of like bullshit to me,” Tachi spoke up after having stayed silent so far. “But it also sounds like bullshit with history. You trust him? That’s great. One mark in his favour. He needs five to pass the quota for ‘aim a sniper rifle over my head’.”

He shrugged. “So sure, bring him along tomorrow, we’ll see if he can earn the other four marks. Just don’t make a habit of dropping last minute changes on us. I like a little unpredictability in my life as much as the next guy, but not this kind.”

"I won't. I won't make a habit out of it." Said Bunny, lifting his hands a bit as if asking for peace. The only one left to agree or disagree was Raul, so he turned to face him directly.

"So… what do you say, Superstar?"

Raul raised his hands palm side up as he shrugged, “What cyberninja said. Though I’ll add that I can cook up some nasty neurotoxins that all the netrunning in the world won’t save anyone from, so…yeah, I can give him a chance and see what happens.”