Part 22: Session 020: Covet
Session 020: Covet
Day 32, 0258
Now that the base was mine and I had the key to the office safe, I figured it would come in handy for storing odds and ends I didn't want to be lugging around on a regular basis.
The icon for the base has turned blue, which means it belongs to us now. The previous occupants were mostly using M44 and M91/30 Mosin Nagants, so we'll just sell it all off.
We loaded the GAZ with the weaponry we'd taken from the bandits and I drove us to Las Vacaciones to give Sirus the folder he was after.
Day 32, 0418
"This is good work," said Sirus as he rapidly thumbed through the folder. Without raising his head, he looked up at me.
"Is this everything?"
"I didn't take anything out of the folder, if that's what you're asking," I said.
He chewed on the answer for a moment, then stuffed the folder into the inside pocket of his coat, his hand coming back out with a stack of bills. "Your money, as promised." He handed it to me. "I have to go for now, but I will certainly contact you if I have something else come up."
He excused himself from the bar without another word.
"I'm tuckered," said Pip as I climbed into the driver's seat of the GAZ. "Where's that breather you promised us?"
"I want to go to Campesino and see if the captives fled there from the base and how they're doing. You can sleep on the way there."
Day 32, 0525
The team unwound a bit at the bar (except for Pip, who dozed on his barstool) while I asked around about the women.
One woman in the bar whom I asked responded with a smile. "You need to find a woman, honey, you've come to the right place. My shooting schedule is wide open."
"Shooting schedule?" I asked.
"Wide open?" asked ZeeToo from down the bar.
She giggled. "My screen name was raverrn. I played the 'medic' in the Full Auto Passion movie series, maybe you've seen my work?"
I shook my head slowly. "Er, no..."
"They were a series of movies where me and some other girls ran around and fired guns. I guess some guys like to watch that sort of thing. It was fun, but I found I had a gift for combat."
I was doubtful. "You found you had a gift for combat while shooting fetish videos?"
"Not just that, but thanks to all the scenes where I had to slowly spread medical ointment over the inner thighs of my comrades, I learned a lot about first aid, too."
"Fascinating," I said, approaching British levels of dryness. "So you can handle yourself in a gunfight?"
"Not just myself," she said with a wink.
"All right, but I'm traveling a little loaded for bear right now, let me see if anybody's willing to sit out a while." I stepped past her and walked over to the team.
"Folks, we got someone who's willing to join us, but I can't afford to have six of you on the payroll at once. If anyone wants to take some time off, speak up."
iamsmike raised his hands. "Actually, now that I have some money I really should write out and mail my alimony payment, talk to my investment banker, and call my parole officer back in Idaho."
ZeeToo got a disgusted look on his face. "What kind of spree-shooter are you, anyway?"
iamsmike put a hand on his protégé's shoulder. "Son, just because you go on a bloody shooting rampage doesn't mean your responsibilities go away afterward."
"All right, iamsmike, thanks for your help."
"If you need me again, I'll be here in Campesino," he said. "I don't think anybody will be able to top the action you provide."
I nodded to iamsmike and turned to face raverrn again. "Okay, you're in."
She grinned and winked again. "You won't regret it, honey, I promise you." She slipped over to the bar, where ZeeToo immediately recognized her.
"Wow, it's raverrn! I loved you in FAP 6: Hot Insertion!"
I noticed Deadmeat roll her eyes.
raverrn joins us with an APS Stechkin machine pistol as her starting weapon. One magazine holds 20 rounds of 9x18mm Makarov ammunition, which the pistol can fire at 750 rounds per minute in automatic mode. An interesting gun, but we have better-suited weapons at this point.
raverrn's best stats are Gunfighting and Medicine, ostensibly due to all the time spent firing stuff from the hip as a gun-fetish video actress. She'll be a good backup for the point member.
I ignored them for the moment and asked the bartender if he'd heard about any errands that needed doing.
The weapons from the numerous bandits we killed at the base as well as the loot from the base itself netted us about $50,000. Pretty damn good!
"Sagrada, huh? Thanks, I'll check it out."
I decided to leave the team at the bar while I finished asking around about the refugee women. The old Beacon wouldn't leave me alone about it, nagging me from the recesses of my mind.
I stopped into Campesino's church, seeing if anybody had come there for shelter recently. Father Téodor disapproved of my bringing instruments of death into a house of God, but went ahead and told me that no, no distraught women had come recently.
Day 32, 0550
"So, you showed off your body for money?" asked Deadmeat along the road to Sagrada. I could tell she didn't think much of such a line of work.
"Is it so much more disagreeable than shooting for money, or killing for money?" asked raverrn in return. "We all make our livings in ways we find suitable for us. I'm going to see if this is suitable for me."
"'ey, I was thinkin' a doing somethin' like you did," said LvK. "It pay good?"
There was a pause, during which time I suppose raverrn was sizing LvK up. "Too skinny, honey. You'd need to put on about 20 pounds in the right places."
ZeeToo and Pip remained silent. ZeeToo and Pip were smart.
Day 32, 0648
As it turns out, Diego Pasqual did indeed have a job...
God dammit, 7.62, what do you want from us?
...but not for me.
Frustrated over the wild goose chase, I decided to let the team rest properly and head out once the sun was higher in the sky.
Our destination would be Fuerte Jos. I didn't much like the idea of hanging around a coke baron, but perhaps Mr. Josa knew somewhere I could be useful.
Day 32, 1048
We were barely out of the protected zone when a man ran across the road in front of our GAZ out in the middle of nowhere, causing me to slam on the brakes and skid to a stop. An instant later, the whine of a bullet as it deflected off the hood shattered the silence.
"Perimeter, perimeter!" I shouted. Everyone tumbled out of the GAZ and circled up.
A voice with an indeterminate accent called out from the brush: "We want the manual! Give us the manual, and we will let you go free!"
We don't actually get a choice in-game; they just start attacking. Also, in the screenshot above you can see that we've removed the scope from the SR-25; this is because Deadmeat's Shooting skill is slightly higher than her Sniping skill, which means she's better at using iron sights.
"You should have asked before you put a round across the front of my vehicle!" I yelled back. Looking back at the team, I whispered "Fuck these guys."
LvK grinned and the rest of them nodded.
ZeeToo and Deadmeat proned up to cover the northern and southern approaches, respectively. Pip took cover behind the GAZ, ready to provide medical support. With Deadmeat covering the direction from which the voice had come, raverrn and I moved up to make contact. I caught a glimpse of a red shirt behind a clump of trees almost immediately.
Meanwhile, ZeeToo drew a bead on a gunman approaching from the north.
"Two of them!" I shouted as I got into position. "raverrn, hose 'em down!"
raverrn raised her SIG to suppress the men while I took the time she bought me to put out some more well-aimed shots.
LvK ran off into the brush, knife in hand, to find her own fun.
There were a lot more than two, as it turned out. However, by the time the others had joined their friends, Deadmeat, raverrn, and myself had all chosen our targets.
Two died immediately from our interlocking fields of fire, with two more off their feet, wounded. Only a single gunman got through the first barrage unscathed...
...and a follow-up shot from my M14 took care of that problem shortly. I ignored raverrn's playful quip and turned just in time to hear ZeeToo's rifle bark.
It was a pretty long shot, so ZeeToo is hardly visible, but to get a sense of the range, he was by the GAZ in the background.
A silhouette about 150 meters away slumped into the grass. "Hah! Damn I'm good!" shouted ZeeToo, still looking down the sights of his M14.
I smiled a little but turned back to my own business. I ran up to the last wounded gunman left alive on our side of the GAZ and crushed his throat with my foot. The man gurgled briefly, then lay still.
Elsewhere, LvK found her prey behind a small hillock. With her knife ready, she rushed him. He got off a couple of lucky snap shots on her...
...but only one of them survived the encounter. With two bullets in her side, she limped back to the GAZ to have Pip patch her up.
ZeeToo's hot streak continued with another gunman swallowing a single, fatal round. He had sewn up the northern approach rather nicely.
"Deadmeat! Shift your base of fire to the west!" I shouted after confirming that the south was secure.
As soon as she moved to a new position, she spotted fresh hostiles coming from the west.
"Got more coming, boss!" she called out.
"Ow! Get them busy with someone else!" shouted ZeeToo to Deadmeat as a round grazed the top of his calf.
Deadmeat landed a hit on one of the gunmen, but they were approaching fast.
"raverrn, let's go," I said, and the two of us ran up to flank the gunmen before they reached Pip, Deadmeat, and ZeeToo.
We reached a good spot from which to open fire and raverrn let loose with a burst from the SIG. "Yeah, get an eyeful!" she cried out, a joyous expression on her face.
"Girly, one of these days your luck is gonna run out," said Pip as he used forceps to extract the pistol rounds from LvK's side.
"'ey, doc, we all gotta go sometime," said LvK, wincing through the pain. "'sides, without me here what would you have to do?"
"See if it's my time to go," he murmured.
After the three of us dropped the first two gunmen from the west, I spotted a third further back, who had wisely hesitated from moving forward into Deadmeat's field of fire.
He was, however, still within my field of fire. I raised my weapon to get a good shot but raverrn listened to her instincts and let loose at the man on full auto.
Her aim at that range was hardly superb, but one round managed to hit him in the hand, making him drop his pistol. Upon seeing me approach, he got back to his feet and ran off into the tall grass. It was time to put LvK's recklessness to good use. I cupped a hand to my mouth and shouted. "LvK, west! We got a runner!"
"On it, cap'n!" she shouted back, and in a moment later I saw her hauling ass into the brush after the man as though she hadn't just taken two to the torso.
She ran the man down as he bled from his wound...
...spun him around, and helped him to forget all about the pain in his hand.
raverrn and I returned to the GAZ, joined shortly by LvK.
"What now, boss?" asked Deadmeat.
"Deadmeat, Pip, and LvK are going to keep a perimeter around the GAZ while ZeeToo, raverrn, and I sweep the area and make sure there are no more threats. Pip, LvK, get your shotguns out. ZeeToo, you might want to use your Uzi for this."
Once the perimeter team was set up, the sweeping team assembled.
"There's a lot of concealment to the north," I said while raverrn put a fresh magazine into her SIG. "We'll move through there, weapons at the ready. Anybody left is probably feeling pretty cornered and will fire at anything that moves."
"Fine by me, I love close quarters," said raverrn with a lick of her lips. ZeeToo just stared.
"ZeeToo, wake up," I said, snapping my fingers. "You're on point."
We moved out, leaving the perimeter in column formation, weapons up.
Once clear of friendly fields of fire, we shifted to a line formation to perform the sweep.
We moved through the immediate area, finding nobody. Then, as we circled back west, ZeeToo noticed some movement up ahead.
"He's moving up on our jeep," whispered ZeeToo. "Bastard's well hidden from them. His back is to us, though. Looks like he's alone."
"He's all yours," I whispered back. ZeeToo grinned and nodded, creeping right up behind the man.
"Freeze!" he shouted. The man was so startled he immediately dropped to the ground.
"Throw the peashooter away, hands on your head!" said ZeeToo. To my surprise, the man complied.
"You are now the prisoner of the great ZeeToo!" he crowed. "Lord of bullets, I left my calling card in the form of a Z made out of bullet holes. Now I am back and better than ever, and you will bear witness to my great deeds of war!"
It was quiet for a moment, as though ZeeToo was expecting the man to respond.
"Haha, just kidding," he said, putting a burst into the man's back.
"That should be the last of them," I said as I walked by ZeeToo. "Let's get back to the GAZ."
"Well, that was some fun!" said raverrn. "I'm already not regretting this."
"All my life I been surrounded by crazy women," grumbled Pip, his eyes moving from LvK to raverrn and back again. "Can't even get away from 'em here in my twilight years."
"Yer the bee's knees, pops," said LvK, slugging Pip on the arm, "but'cha worry too much."
The only new weapon was this FN Five-seveN, which one of the "tourists" was carrying. It fires a unique (and expensive) 5.7x28mm round, which looks like a miniature rifle round. The round provides exceptional penetration and flat-shooting trajectory, but stopping power suffers. One of the best features of the pistol is the fact that it couples high capacity (20 rounds) with the ability to fit a suppressor. The trigger guard is a dead giveaway that this is one of the earlier models, probably produced between 2004 and 2006.
"All right, let's gather up what we can and get on to Fuerte Jos," I said.
Day 32, 1052
Thankfully, the rest of the drive through the highlands to Fuerte Jos was uneventful. Still, I wondered who those men were, and why they wanted the Boeing manual I was carrying.
More curious still, how did they know and where I was, and how did they know that I had it?
"Ooh, I've been to a house like this before!" exclaimed raverrn.
"Coke party?" asked Deadmeat dryly.
"No, better: an after-party."
"Coke baron, porno baron, what's the difference?" asked Pip. "Both peddle overpriced shit that gets your dick hard but you have to hide it from the old lady or else she gets pissed and wants a divorce. I seen it a million times before."
"Speaking from experience?" asked ZeeToo. Pip said nothing. He looked rather offended, actually.
I rolled my eyes. "Look, you folks just walk the grounds and try not to break anything while I go see what the word is with Mr. Josa." I parted ways with them and found Mr. Josa in his den.
He smiled and stood up after seeing me come in. "Ah! Beacon, my friend, how goes the business of shooting men for money?"
Not a super-awesome stopping point, but as far as sidequests go were sort of adrift right now. Stay tuned!