bet you’ve never seen a cyberdeck like this before, chummer. It might be old tech, but I can still blaze circles around any young hotdogger that thinks he’s novahot because he spent all of daddy’s NuYen on some “bleeding edge” corp hardware.
@asiansulu her official full name is France Nguyen Van-Nga but she uses “France Nuyen” as her stage name, taking the “g” out. Going to assume that she did it to cater to the western 1950′s audience who weren’t fully immersed in Vietnamese surnames.
Stealing from the vendors at Pike Place wasn’t hard.
It was a bastion of fresh food in the city marred by a noticeably newer intrusion of noodle stands and tech vendors. It was a bit of a tourist trap, with plenty of pockets ripe for the picking, but money wasn’t what the adept was after. Apples were in season, and the orchards up in Snohomish had done well.
Cameras were everywhere, but so were people. She bought a single fruit from a vendor down the way, tossed into a fluttery plastic bag far too large for its mass. Five nuyen down for a single goddamned apple.
Kestrel had paused, flipped through interface after interface until she reached her music, and started up Leviathan. Heavy bass rattled at her brain.
From there, Kestrel went with the crowds. Browse in the middle of a large crowd, wait just until a body or three blocked the view from the cameras–and there was another apple in the bag. At the end of it all, she had eight, all of which she barely managed to shove inside her duffel bag.
That was back before noon. Seven long, boring hours later with only a cup of vending machine noodles in her stomach, the market closed its gates, and Kestrel started south towards Stacks By the Tracks.
Stacks wasn’t much from the outside, though the inside held rows and towers of sleeping capsules for rent. The storefront was nestled under the weight of an office building for some corp or another–Kestrel didn’t recognize the logo–and was across from the train station.
Still no call from Gold Sun.
Rates were expensive, and per hour. Kestrel waited outside as if waiting for a train, claiming space on one of the benches and breaking into one of her apples. The flesh was sweet, tangy, worth the risk.
Four hours after that, it was ten in the evening and Kestrel was struggling. Still no call, though Kestrel hadn’t been expecting much. The thoughts she’d left Gold Sun with had come crawling back in, tugging and tearing into her brain.
Across the way there was a troll. She’d noticed him about an hour ago. People would sit, they’d talk briefly, and when the next train came by they would be gone. The troll would remain. Sometimes the other party would be on the train, sometimes they’d get up and walk back the way they came.
The troll wasn’t as good at sleight of hand as Kestrel, the little glint of a plastic bag sliding from his fingers to his client’s.
A little wouldn’t hurt.
Kestrel waited for the troll’s customer to leave, got up, and walked over.
Kestrel gave herself about three hours to make the trek down to Bellevue. The rain over the last few days had finally broken, revealing a patchy grey and blue ceiling to the world with a breeze that messed the adept’s hair and chilled her ears. The bag slung around her good shoulder hung heavy at her side, the nylon strapping digging in hard. There were a few changes of clothes, her suit–folded as neatly as she could–and her small collection of weapons.
They’d come with another series of threats the day before, and she’d packed . She’d sold off her Mirage, bidding the bike a sad farewell as she pocketed the nuyen. Kestrel couldn’t drive the damned thing, anyway. Not with her shoulder the way it was. She’d spent a portion of it at a Stuffer Shack along the way, buying some more pain meds and fistful of protein bars. The rest she kept tucked away under her belt.
Everything she couldn’t bear to part with was on her person. There was a chance the deli would still be hers when she came back, but it was only a matter of time.
Roughly two-and-a-half hours later on foot, Kestrel’s GPS stated she had arrived. Pausing at the building across the street to snatch a glance of herself in the glass she straightened her hair and shirt. She’d worn her best for the occasion–the same outfit she had worn during their excursion to Club Reified–and topped it with her worn armored jacket, for warmth. No makeup this time, and the sling certainly cut into the look quite a bit.
She rubbed at the corners of her eyes, trying to wipe away the bags there. Sleep had been a bit of a rarity. When the nightmares hadn’t kept her up, her shoulder did. Her stomach churned, too, partly from nerves and partly from emptiness. The garden at home was practically empty, and her backup supply of soy ramen had run dry. Shit luck all the way around.
Kestrel took in a deep breath and made her way across the street. The door at the front of the squat, single-story building was open, lead down a flight of stairs to a second, locked door.
Kestrel gave the door a few sharp raps with her knuckles, shifted the bag at her shoulder, and waited.