Episode 14: Delusions Flambée


Sam and Kyle begin their talk—about Cat, Romania and related subjects. Meanwhile, the retired Aztec leader takes the gavel again, bodies stack up in all the community morgues, the Linwood cops rev into action, the Linwood mob wants answers, Bo Crowler does not fly under the radar, another murder crops up in Pleasantville, and Kyle’s new LawDiv nemesis shows up with a warrant and a crew from the Smithsonian.


Sam, Kyle and Logan have just massacred 31 Aztec gang members and 30 civilians at the Aztec clubhouse in Linwood. Cat flew them away (together with Doc Freeman and Fijay) in an untraceable, borrowed AV. The group returned to the remote campground in Delaware where they were celebrating the Pretty Pink Unicorn team’s win of the Youth Novice Division Paintball Tournament.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Lou-Ellen Plazire owns Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio in Atlantic County next to the Linwood/Northfield border. The Aztec Motorcycle Club provides strong-arm support for the Linwood Mob’s transportation needs. The Aztecs are pressuring Lou-Ellen to give them a large “business tax”—larger than she can afford to pay. Besides, her studio is not IN Linwood; at least, not any more.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy, formerly Zar in the Romanian campaign.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Lars McGregor: Major Player in the underground criminal element in Union City, NJ. Officially, he is the Chief Constable of the city. This makes him the director of the Mayor’s bodyguard.

Abe Tittle: Computer Science teacher at Atlantic City High School. Sponsor of Nip’s Robotics Club.

Bo Crowler: Boyd’s dad, a “godfather” type in the local criminal element of Pleasantville and Northfield.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Delrick Bouchard: A corpse who used to be Kyle’s college history professor and mentor.

Harry Hoar: Special Agent of LawDiv, assigned to bring Kyle to justice as a Really Bad Guy.

Lena: Porn star and friend of Geoff.

Lou-Ellen Plazire: owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor and current girlfriend. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Matt Longworth: Senior Detective with Pleasantville Criminal Investigations Division; he investigates all homicides.

Nathan Forest: CIA’s Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations; based at Langley VA.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshall, general all-around US Marshall.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio who has befriended Logan.

Tyne Lacey: Kyle’s aunt (mother’s sister), a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Kyle’s mom Sharin in a big house.

The kids:

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot who lives with her father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

The Action

Sunday, 1 December 2041:


Sam wakes up and starts making breakfast. Cat stays in her tent, swapping gun barrels. Kyle is in his tent catching some much-needed sleep. Nip was up late playing video games, and fell asleep plugged into her deck. She sleeps late, missing breakfast.

Allison brings some food and coffee to Cat’s tent. Cat shoves the gun barrels out of sight, and tells Allison to come inside.

Geoff goes to Kyle’s tent and wakes him. “I’ve got a business proposition for you. We’ll need to file a patent on this, an international patent. People in pain will jump on this right away. Instead of doing drugs and pills, we can write braindance programs that will override the brain impulses. It’s a lot easier. They wouldn’t need the chemicals.”

Kyle recommends, “We should bring Doc Freeman in on this.”

Geoff says, “Sure, he knows so much about braindance. And if you can convince him to file a patent…”

Kyle agrees. “We can have him file and then sell it to us right away.”

Geoff observes, “It’s a potentially lucrative business. But no one would take a 15 year old seriously. And once this is underway, I have other ideas dealing with braindance.” Geoff points out, “Of course, drug dealers won’t be happy about us cutting into their projects.” He then asks, “Do we need to put a business proposal together?”

Kyle nods, adding, “When we get back to civilization.”

Geoff continues planning. “We need programmers because we must wipe out their persona—digitally remove the individuality of the person and superimpose the other’s personality on them.”

Kyle suggests, “We’ll put Catherine and Nip to help us on this.”

Geoff ignores that; he’s still on a roll. “They get the input and it overrides the pain. Once off the ground, I have another idea that’s potentially more profitable.”

Kyle goes to have breakfast with Sam, and makes a joke about not being a pedophile. Kyle asks, “How come you never told me about Cat’s mom?” Sam says it’s a long story. Kyle assures him he’s got time. Sam says they met in Paraguay, and Kyle saw her briefly when they were in Paraguay recently. Kyle adds, “If I remember Cat’s mom, she was a real animal; always had her claws out.” Sam stops in his tracks. His hands twitch. Kyle continues, “So, Romania and Cat. It’s been a long time, but I figured it out.”

Sam stares at him, and then says, “We’ll have this conversation later.”

Allison and Logan discuss a heist they are planning. Allison was able to enter the house by pretending to have left something there the last time she visited.

(GM note: A friend of Allison’s was the girlfriend of Ari, the boy who lives in the house. He dumped her in rather nasty fashion, and said girlfriend has been mouthing off.)

Allison tells Logan about the items she saw and the camera mounted to watch one of the walls. Logan had already canvassed the neighborhood, and found one traffic cam at the intersection with Atlantic Ave. (The house is between Atlantic Ave and the beach, roughly 60 feet from the steps to the Boardwalk.)

Logan says they’ll need a van, and asks Sam, “How fast can you get rid of a van?” Sam stares at him and does not reply.

Nip gives 2 data/information chips to Geoff and asks him to sell them for her. He adds some information to the chip about gang warfare between the Fang boosters and the Aztecs.

Everyone breaks camp. Kyle and Geoff drive back to town in Sam’s truck with the two Snow boys. They drive to Tyne’s house, where the Snow kids go inside, then drive to Sam’s house. Doc Freeman drives back with Nip and Allison. He drops them off at home before heading over to Sam’s house. Meanwhile, Sam takes the boat back to town with Logan, Fijay, and Cat on board. Cat throws the incriminating ammunition into the deepest part of Delaware Bay.

Cat goes to where Sam is piloting the boat. He’s got “that look” in his eyes, that he might have to kill someone, but Cat realizes only that he’s pissed.

(GM note: She didn’t roll that well on Human Perception.)

Cat gives him a gentle punch on the arm to get his attention, and says, “I know.”

Sam asks, “Know what?”

Cat says, “We’ll talk when we get home.”


Upon arrival home, Sam asks Logan, “Can you help Cat unload the boat?” Logan refuses. “No, I’m going home.”

When he gets there, Trish is waiting. They have a great time in bed. Among other things, she tells him she likes the look of his face. “It’s rugged, though if you want to repair that accident damage, I understand.”

(GM note: Yeah, Logan “dumbed” his ATTR stat to pump up other stuff. He’s currently a lowly 4. Hasn’t had a chance to buy up improvements. Apparently, he’s self-conscious about his appearance, but Trish doesn’t care. She likes him for him.)

Sam takes the incriminating barrels into the basement and fires up the arc furnace. Cat brings the weapons inside and heads downstairs. During the ensuing conversation, Fijay is left to bring all the rest of the gear inside. She is none too pleased about this. When done, she calls a cab and heads for home.

Cat goes to Sam and states, “I know it’s Kyle.” Realizing her blunder, she clarifies, “it’s Zar.”

Sam drops everything he’s holding and turns slowly around. Cat comes up really close to him. Sam asks, “Do you want to say something to me?” When she is silent, he asks, “How did this all come about?”

Cat confesses, “I got his scent.”

Sam asks, “How did he find out it was you?”

Cat tells him, “No one ever sniffed him before but me.” She adds, “I’m not mad.”

Sam says, “He is.”

Cat explains, “I know that. I want to apologize.”

Sam asks, “For …?”

Cat replies, “This must have been terrible for you.”

Sam expands, “You have no idea.”

Cat says, “I think I do.”

Sam says, “Everything is all screwed up now. You know I was supposed to make sure you were raised as a kid?”

Cat asks, “Flying AV extractions, breaking into religious cult headquarters, that’s a normal childhood?”

Sam explains, “You like doing that sort of thing.”

Cat changes the subject. “We killed 61 people?”

Sam wonders, “How did you get that number?”

Cat lies with great aplomb, “I heard it on the radio?”

Sam is puzzled. “The only radio was in the vehicles. You didn’t go into the vehicles.”

Cat says she did. “Last night when you were sleeping. That’s not really important anyway.”

Sam asks, “When did you and Kyle find out about each other?”

Cat repeats, “Last night.”

Sam again asks, “When?”

Cat repeats again, “Last night.”

Like an echo, Sam again repeats, “When?”

Cat states with a bit of exasperation, “I wasn’t wearing a watch.”

Sam says, “After I went to bed.”

Cat nods. “I was talking with him.”

Sam asks, “Where?”

Cat tells him, “On the dock.”

Sam wonders, “How long did it take you to figure this out?”

Cat says, “One sniff.”

Sam again asks, “When?”

Just a tad exasperated, Cat asks, “Do you have wax in your ears or something?”

Sam tells her, “Let me know when Kyle gets here.”

Cat warns him, “You will NOT hurt him, threaten him, anything. You want Maria…”

Sam explains, “I thought if he found out, he would freak out and compromise all of us. I don’t give a flying fuck what he knows. I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m okay,” Cat reassures him. “I’m VERY okay.”

By now, the arc furnace is well underway. Sam shoves the incriminating barrels into the fire. Cat proceeds to nano-clean the weapons. Then she loads ordinary ammunition into them (different make than the type used at the Aztec’s clubhouse), fires them and cleans them normally.


Cat sweeps the house for bugs, finds none, and starts cooking. Kyle rings the doorbell. Cat answers it. Kyle and Geoff come inside and the three chat for a bit. Then both notice the smell of something burning and flames in the kitchen.

(GM note: This is Cat’s 6th botch on her last 7 cooking rolls!)

Kyle remarks, “You know, using a smoke detector as your timer just doesn’t work.” He cleans up the mess while Cat finds something else (like PrePack) to cook. She also goes to the liquor cabinet and grabs a whiskey bottle and three glasses. She immediately downs one glass.

Kyle observes to a surprised Geoff, “Alcohol tolerance is good for what we do. You should start developing your tolerance now.” Geoff takes a sip of the whiskey. Kyle pours another glassful for Cat, who immediately downs that one too. She pours a third glass, which she proceeds to sip.

Doc Freeman rings the bell, and is admitted. He asks, “Why does it smell like smoke in here?”

Kyle explains, “Cat was cooking.”

Cat remarks, “Everyone was here. And I lit the kitchen on fire. The flambée got out of hand.”

Kyle gets a fourth glass for Doc Freeman, who takes it over to the TV and starts watching.

Sam has noticed that the smoke detectors went off, and comes upstairs.

Cat warns him, “You be nice. I’m going to fix the kitchen.”

(GM note: The ceiling needs a new coat of paint, maybe some primer beforehand too.)

Sam tells her, “The kitchen is the last thing on my mind right now.” He turns to his guests and asks, “Pizza?”

Cat explains she found something else to cook, and Sam repeats, “Pizza?”

Kyle says he is teaching alcohol tolerance. “We’re developing assets, remember?”

Kyle, Doc Freeman, and Geoff have glasses of alcohol in their hands. A fourth, empty glass is sitting nearby.

Sam tells Cat, “We’ll talk later, hon.”

Doc Freeman chimes in. “We’re on the news.” (The announcer talks about the Linwood Massacre and the body count of 61 people.) “Wow, that’s a lot of people.”

(GM note: The TV news covers the same points as the Atlantic City Breeze story, below.)


Atlantic City Breeze
Sunday, 1 December 2041


Sixty-one people are dead following an invasion of the Aztec Motorcycle Club in Linwood last night. Thirty-one were members of the club. According to the lone survivor, the others were guests of the club members, of whom six were teenagers. An AV was heard leaving the scene immediately after the massacre.

Linwood Police Chief Fritz Becker said they are investigating all leads. “This is a heinous crime. The perpetrators blasted a hole in the back wall, then came inside and shot everyone. Women and children were shot in the back while trying to escape through the front door. We will leave no stone unturned in our search for justice.”

A reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty parties. A reward of $5,000 is being offered for anyone who can identify the AV.

Cat speaks up. “61—that’s a lucky guess.”

Kyle jibes, “Those secret labs you never hear about, they take so many more lives.”

Doc Freeman nods. “We DO do that, don’t we?”

Kyle offers, “Alleviate pain and suffering, now that’s an awesome idea. Geoff, tell him about it.”

Geoff looks annoyed. “There was something we were going to do first, remember?” Abashed, Kyle agrees.

Sam indicates to Kyle that he wants to talk. They start to head for Sam’s office.

Cat calls out, “Dinner’s ready.”

Kyle observes, “It’s always great to sit down with friends and family to a home-cooked meal. That’s the life: Friendship, Adventure, Lost love.”

Sam goes downstairs to his garage and slams the door on his way down. Cat reaches for the whiskey and pours herself yet another glassful.

Geoff gets a phone call from one of his snitches. “Man, shit is hitting the fan in Linwood. You wudden believe what’s happening. They is going to the mattresses, prepping for a mob war.”

Geoff reports this to the group, adding, “Perhaps we should get out word that the Union City mob is moving south. Nip gave me these chips. I added some local information about booster gangs. As things stand, the Aztec situation will fall back on Boyd and his dad. We don’t want to blame the CIA, do we?”

Kyle brightens. “That sounds like a REALLY good idea.”

Cat concurs. “Yes, a good idea. Let’s just see what happens in the next day or so. Are you sure this chip information can’t come back on us?”

Geoff avers, “As far as I know.”

Kyle holds out his hand for the chips, runs a programming analysis on them. “I could add some hidden messages in the background that looks like CIA clandestine messages. If we deliver this to the right people…”

Geoff is alarmed. “Don’t do it on these chips. I sell these to an info broker. It’s how Nip makes her money. They could definitely trace it back to us and to her. After all, how many CIA agents could there be in the area?”

Kyle pooh-poohs this concern. “There are four in this house right now.”

Geoff returns to his previous subject. “We should come up with some alternate explanation of what happened. Like the Union City mob moving south.”

Cat points out that he’s trying to blame an organization that annihilated a powerful mob family.”

Geoff agrees, “Seems like the Aztec killing would be right down their alley.”

Kyle objects. “I’d hate to piss off a powerful agency that I can’t control.”

Doc Freeman observes, “That sounds like a loaded statement, but I don’t get it.”

Cat says something in Guarani under her breath.

(GM note: That’s a Native American, national language spoken in Paraguay. She learned it while there.)

Geoff wonders aloud, “What’s that language?”

Cat, having imbibed a considerable amount of alcohol, is feeling much more relaxed.

Geoff continues his ploy. “You know these people personally? Why we shouldn’t finger them?” Turning to Doc Freeman, he asks, “So you know these people?”

Doc Freeman admits he does. “Yeah, I know them. I know lots of mob people. You know that.” He mentions the name Lars as a connection in Union City.

Cat’s ears twitch. “Lars who?”

Kyle tells her, “Lars McGregor.” Her jaw drops.

She takes the dishes to the kitchen, then returns. “You can’t do this.”

Kyle takes out his phone and calls Sam. It goes to voice mail. Kyle says into his phone, “Lars McGregor,” then closes his phone. “We can’t frame Lars? Why not?”

Doc Freeman explains, “He’s a friend of mine. I don’t want to frame him.”

Geoff demurs. “We won’t frame him. Just highly implicate him.”

Cat objects. “You can’t DO that.”

Geoff wonders, “Why not? Sounds like something would be a natural for them.”

Cat explains, “This person and the people they know, you never escape from them.”

Geoff asks, “Why? Do they work for the CIA too?”

Cat goes downstairs. She tells Sam to listen to his voicemail. He hears the name Lars McGregor in Kyle’s voice and turns white. He drops his phone. Cat grabs for the phone, and deflects it to a softer landing; it doesn’t break.

Sam asks, “Kyle still here?”

Cat says, “Yeah. They’re talking about framing Lars for the Aztec murders.”

Sam takes the stairs up three at a time. Cat goes through his contacts on his phone and finds Lars. She also finds that Sam called him on Friday, the day before the AV was delivered to the campsite.

Upstairs, Sam tells them, “They will come and kill all of us. Just for trying to frame him, Lars would come and kill us all.”

Cat hears this last part as she reaches the top of the stairs and adds “No, Lars would be having lunch with the Mayor while you were dying. His PEOPLE would be killing you.”

Sam demands, “What the fuck are you thinking of doing?”

Kyle explains, “We were thinking of implicating the Union City mob for the Aztec murders.”

Doc Freeman observes, “I’m one of the best doctors in the world when you get shot. I don’t care where the money comes from, so I work with a lot of mobsters.”

Kyle says to Sam, “I take it you think this would be a bad idea.”

Cat hands Sam his phone—with the screen open to his list of recent calls.

Sam takes one look, looks at Cat, then pockets his phone. He goes to his liquor cabinet, takes down a whiskey bottle from the top shelf, and pours himself a stiff one. Then he brings the glass over and sits with his guests and looks at them very solemnly. “What I’m about to tell you cannot leave this room. If I find out that it did, I will kill each and every one of you. I know Lars. The AV we got, I borrowed it from Lars. If you frame Lars, you’ll wind up dead in 24 hours, and not just you. You and everyone you care about.”

Geoff says, “We weren’t going to actually frame him.”

Sam turns to Geoff. “What did you call it, then?”

Geoff explains, “Implicate him.”

Kyle shakes his head. “It’s too close to home.”

Geoff sees how shaken Sam is and asks, clearly relishing the idea, “He’d kill you too?”

Sam says to Geoff, “What, you want to kill me?” Kyle starts to speak, but Sam cuts him off. “Shut the fuck up, Kyle.”

Geoff says, “I just find it amusing. We mention his name and you shit your pants.”

Kyle muses, “Imagine what he’d do to the person who pops her cherry.”

(GM note: Yeah, gesturing with his head towards Cat. The man is clearly an adrenaline junkie.)

Cat is fed up. “Will you both stop it!”

Sam is glaring at Geoff. “To put it bluntly, I wouldn’t put it past you to fuck over your friends.”

Cat objects to this. “He helps you out.” And she lists several things Geoff has done.

Kyle tries to steer the conversation. “Framing the Union City mob was a good idea until it was true.”

Doc Freeman agrees. “Giving the cops a real lead, they could follow that lead back to us.”

Sam observes, “We should say it was a fucking gang war.”

Geoff asks, pointedly, “The gang has power armor?”

Kyle says to Cat, “You should sleep it off.”

Cat doesn’t think so. “I’m feeling fine. Can I talk to you a minute?” Barely waiting for Kyle’s nod, she drags him into the bathroom, locks the door and turns on all the faucets. “Lars was the one who got me out of that prison in Russia. He said he needed me in Romania. And it was done. He is that connected, and he saved my life. We can’t frame him.” Kyle concurs, and they return to the living room.

Geoff advises, “Sixty-one people. They have to look into this. It could force a response from the Feds, if nothing else, because it’s in their back yard. It could spark possible trouble from DMS. I don’t want this to land on Bo and Boyd.”

Cat says, “We should have just blown up their garage. That sends a message.”

Geoff agrees. “Like I suggested. A fuel truck. Mysterious explosion.”

Kyle objects. “They tried to kill people in their homes. You wanted to blow up the clubhouse.”

Sam disagrees. “Our plan was blowing up the garage.”

Kyle reveals, “I wanted to go into that clubhouse and kill every single Aztec. I just wish we hadn’t killed so many collaterals.”

Cat offers, “It will blow over. We should find something good to do.”

Geoff says, “If we still have any of the weapons, we could plant them…”

Sam shakes his head. “They’re all melted down.”

Geoff finishes his suggestion. “Put them in the hands of the boosters.”

Cat looks at him in surprise, “Your friends?”

Geoff corrects her. “Business associates. Big difference.”

Cat says, “Too late now, anyway. We’ve rolled our dice, so to speak. It’s water under the bridge.” She turns to Kyle and—wishing to find a way to see him regularly and privately—asks, “You were talking about hiring me?”

He gets it and nods.

Geoff concludes, “So, we could blame it on a CIA hit team.”

Sam objects. “I have a problem with blaming the CIA. The Aztecs didn’t do anything to me. So I’m under the radar here.”

Cat summarizes, “Okay, so we do nothing. We see what happens.”

By now, it’s late and many of Sam’s guests are at least a bit inebriated. Everyone decides to sleep over at his house. Sam finally checks all his messages and finds one from Maria, saying “Welcome home, sweetie.” He groans, hoping that he hasn’t screwed things up with her.


Monday, 2 December 2041:


Sam rises early and cooks breakfast for his houseguests. After breakfast, the teenagers leave for school, and the two old friends talk.

On the bus heading for school, Geoff says, “It’s good to know how your father really feels about me.”

Cat says, “He doesn’t like you.”

Geoff observes, “It’s good to see him scared of something.”

Cat giggles with some satisfaction and agrees. “Yeah, it was.”

Geoff remarks, “Maybe I should call this Lars.”

Cat shudders at the thought. “Don’t. This is a person you don’t want to know.”

Once Cat and Geoff have left for school, Sam suggests that he and Kyle go downstairs. Kyle quips, “To the arc furnace, of course.”

Once in the secure area of the basement, Sam hands Kyle his shoulder holster to make sure his friend knows he is unarmed. Kyle needs both hands to set it aside.

Sam says, “So you know.”

Kyle affirms, “Yeah, I know. She told me everything.”

Sam wonders, “Everything?”

Kyle expands, “Everything about what happened in the past.” He continues, “I had a lot of feelings for her in Romania. She wasn’t your daughter then.”

Sam concurs. “I know. All I ask—show me enough respect not to carry it into my house. I understand it’s going to happen someday.”

Kyle informs him, “Yesterday.”

Sam says, “WHAT?” Then he calms down. “So … you understand why I didn’t tell you?”

Kyle claims he understands. “She’s obviously got mental problems. She thinks she died.”

“No,” Sam tells him. “She did die in Romania. She died in my arms.”

Kyle doesn’t believe it.

“No,” Sam repeats. “These things can get reborn. She’s literally 15.”

Kyle still doesn’t believe it. “Were you shot in the head in Romania?”

“Look,” Sam tells him. “They came to me with a 14 year old kid.”

Kyle says, “No, they biosculpted her. They even repaired her hymen.”

Sam insists, “I’m telling you. It’s not a biosculpt, trust me. It’s her. She has knowledge from her past—carried over into her new body.”

Kyle seems to relent. “I believe you.”

Sam continues. “I have friends who are biosculpted. It’s creepy when I found out. I’m not nuts.”

(GM note: Kyle is thinking: Sam’s been programmed too; brainwashed!)

Kyle says, “So—we’re getting the band back together.”

(GM note: Obvious RED movie reference.)

Sam changes the subject. “As far as you getting burned, I don’t know anything about that. I’ve got feelers out. I’ll get back to you as soon as I know anything.” And about killing all those people at the Aztec clubhouse, “I really regret that.”

Kyle doesn’t think so. “I was there. You were enjoying that! I heard you on the radio.”

Sam denies it. “No, I didn’t enjoy that.”

Kyle drops the subject. “So we’re good?”

Sam concurs. “We’re good.”

Kyle says, “I’ll keep my relationship with Cat out of your house.”

Sam asks for a favor. “Get Geoff out of my house.”

Kyle says this would be tricky since Sam invited him to stay.


As Kyle takes a cab back to his boat, he gets a call from Matt Longworth, a detective in Pleasantville’s Criminal Investigative Division and their main go-to guy for homicide.

Matt asks Kyle to come down to the police station. “There are a few questions I’d like to ask you.” Kyle refuses, asks Matt to come to his boat instead. After a moment’s pause, Matt agrees.

At the boat, Kyle discovers all his furniture is out on the road and sidewalk, and a bunch of people are tapping and poking and searching everything he owns. They are putting the furniture through a huge X-ray machine that has been brought to the scene. A logo on the truck holding the X-ray machine says “Smithsonian”. They are videotaping everything they do.

Fijay is led off in handcuffs. An officer following her is holding an H&K MP5 submachinegun.

Kyle’s newest headache is supervising all this activity. “I’m Agent Harry Hoar,” the man introduces himself, flashing his LawDiv badge. “And you would be Vaduva.”

Kyle remarks, “So your mother must be Mrs. Hoar?”

Harry is not amused. “I’ve seen your file, Vaduva, and you’re as dirty as they come. There’s a special cell in SuperMax with your name on it, and I’m personally going to put you there.” He flashes a warrant for the search on Kyle’s boat. He tells Kyle to put his hands on the nearest car and “spread ‘em”—but Kyle backs away. Harry attempts to seize Kyle and spin him around against the vehicle, but Kyle dances out of reach. Just as Harry contemplates drawing his gun,

Kyle says, “Let’s start this back at the beginning, Mr. Hoar. I meant no disrespect. But unless you intend to arrest me…” He holds his hands out as if fending Harry off.

Soon, Matt arrives at Kyle’s boat. He looks nonplussed at all the activity, and asks Kyle what’s happening. Kyle explains they’re conducting a search. Matt says he can see that. “Perhaps we can talk in my car,” he says.

When the two are comfortably seated in his car, Matt pulls out a morgue shot of a dead man and explains they found a photo of Kyle in the dead man’s home. Kyle was a lot younger in the photo, probably from his college years, but recognizable. The dead man is—or rather he was— Delrick Bouchard (formerly Kyle’s college history professor and a mentor who inspired Kyle to join the CIA).

Matt asks if Kyle knew that Delrick was here in Pleasantville. Kyle says he didn’t. Matt continues, “So, if we search his house for fingerprints, we won’t find yours?” Kyle explains he has no fingerprints. His fingerpads are smooth. Matt is surprised—and a tad dismayed. He hadn’t thought Kyle to be the sort of person who got rid of his fingerprints. Kyle explains that he’s been an analyst at the CIA.

Matt remarks, “Oh, an ANALYST,” and nods.

Matt observes that it’s quite a coincidence that Kyle and Delrick were both living in Pleasantville, and asks Kyle, “Any thoughts about that?” Kyle says no.

Matt holds up another picture—of a woman, framed, the kind that someone would put on their desk of a family member or loved one. He asks if Kyle knows the woman or who she is. Kyle again says no.

Matt then asks his final question. “Just as a formality, where you were last Sunday morning between 1 and 3 am? I’d like to rule you out as a suspect.” Kyle explains they had taken the paintball team on a camping trip to the eastern shore of Delaware, and gives Matt the names of people who can verify his alibi. Matt thanks him, lets him out of the car and drives away.

Meanwhile, Sam arranges for two dozen roses to be delivered to Maria’s cubicle at work. She calls him, impressed, and Sam invites her to lunch. She accepts.

Soon thereafter, Kyle calls Sam and tells him what’s happening: “They’re conducting a yard sale on my boat. They took Fijay away in handcuffs. Officer Hoar is here. I need you to arrange for a lawyer for Fijay.”

Sam asks, “Why me? Can’t you get a lawyer for her?” Kyle explains his funds are rather modest. Sam agrees to call a lawyer (and does so.) Kyle also mentions the visit from Matt, and says he told him he’d been camping with the team.

Around 11 am, Geoff notices he has a message from Lena, and he returns her call. She tells him that Tassel, one of her fellow porn stars, is dead. “She was at the Aztecs clubhouse.”

Geoff expresses surprise and concern. He tells her, “I’m afraid they’ll try to peg the murders on Lou-Ellen. For all we know, it was the Linwood mob using the Fangs as a disposable asset.”

Lena is surprised. “I never thought of that.”

Geoff tells her to “keep it under your hat.” Lena agrees to stay silent.

Geoff contacts his info broker person, and negotiates a deal for Nip’s chips.

Sam takes Maria out for lunch. She says she missed him this weekend. He apologizes, and arranges to have dinner with her at her favorite restaurant.

Nip goes to the school administration office, says she wants to start a Robotics Club, and asks how to proceed. She is given a form to fill out, and told to get a teacher as the sponsor. She asks Mr. Abe Tittle to be the sponsor, and he is delighted to agree.


Nip asks Storm to look at the proposal she wrote explaining to Tyne why Nip would benefit from getting some cyberwear. Storm says it’s well written, and makes a few minor suggestions.

After school, Geoff gets a call from Bailey, his booster gang contact. Bailey says the Linwood cops rounded up the whole gang and asked them questions all day and night. They just got released. Geoff asks if all of them were released. Being not too bright, Bailey isn’t sure.

Geoff tells him, “They’re trying to pin this on us. Some corporate is clearing out the grass—wants to try out their new mech, and looking for a fall guy. The Fangs had better arm up. The corps might go for you as a reprisal.”

Bailey is worried. “That attack was brutal. Do ya know some cyber-doc who can get us some more stuff?”

Geoff says no, “But what about some ‘Roids?” Bailey says that sounds good. Geoff arranges for him to come into Northfield and get the drug from his minion there. That way, they’re not encroaching on the Linwood mob turf.

A little later, Geoff gets another call from a different snitch he knows. “Dude, you wudden believe who I just seen on the Boardwalk just now. Bo and Buzz.

(GM note: Buzz is the formerly retired head of the Linwood Aztecs. He has taken up the gavel again.)

Just sitting out at a café bold as brass. Each of ‘em had one of they’s enforcers there. Nobody wuz sitting near ‘em neither. Hell, I left as soon as I seen ‘em. Din’t want ‘em thinking I was trying to listen in.”

Geoff thanks the snitch, adding, “You know, I’ve heard the Linwood mob took out the Aztecs themselves because the bikers were going over to Bo’s side. The Fangs got taken by the cops—and I heard they held onto a few of them.”

Cat goes to Kyle’s boat—as do Geoff and Nip. Harry and his crew have just finished putting Kyle’s furniture back on the boat. Kyle goes in, and discovers the floorboards in Fijay’s room have been pried up. He says to leave it alone and show it to the lawyer. The gun the Feds found is probably from before Kyle rented the boat.

Kyle and Cat sweep the boat for bugs, and find ten. Kyle picks one up, puts it close to his mouth and says, loudly, that removing the bug would be wrong. When he puts it down, Geoff spills his drink all over it, saying—also loudly and slowly, “An unfortunate soda accident!”

Kyle then says, still loudly, into the next bug, “Wow, good thing I’m only an analyst.”

Nip asks about the bugs. “Who put them here?”

Kyle tells her, “The police.”

Nip says, mimicking their loudness, “Oh good. The police keep us safe.” Nip picks up one of the bugs they found and says with genuine sincerity, “Thank you for making Uncle Kyle safe!”

Geoff asks if there is “any legality for removing them.” Kyle says it’s better to just leave them be—and makes plans to purchase a new surround-sound stereo home entertainment system, putting the new speakers beside the bugs.

Geoff gets a call from Bo, “inviting” him over to Bo’s office/social club. Geoff tells the group he has to go, and proceeds to take a circuitous route to Bo’s social club. When he arrives, Bo again offers him peanuts and beer, and takes him into his private office. He tells Geoff he wants to meet with whomever “solved his little problem” with the Aztecs and Virility Visions porn studio. He explains, “I want to thank them personally.”

Geoff says he doesn’t know who it was. Bo looks confused and displeased. “I thought you said you knew. You don’t trust me, son?”

Geoff dances around the question. “Of course I trust you. It’s just better if you don’t know. It’s a friend of your son Boyd.”

Bo is mollified. “I see. Okay. Well, tell them thank you from me.”

Geoff agrees to do that. He also explains about the booster gang wanting some ‘Roids, and that he arranged for them to come into Northfield for them.

Bo admires his initiative and thoughtfulness. “That was right smart of you. I knew there was a reason I like you.”

Geoff leaves shortly thereafter, taking a different circuitous route to Sam’s house.

Meanwhile, Nip has asked Uncle Kyle to look at the proposal she wrote explaining to Tyne why Nip would benefit from getting some cyberwear. Kyle remarks it’s well written, but not likely to sway his aunt. Nip heads home, leaving Cat alone with Kyle. The two go into Kyle’s bedroom, turn on both a radio and a jammer, close the thermal curtains, and fuck like bunnies.

Meanwhile, back at Sam’s house, Raylan has appeared with a search warrant for a bunch of Sam’s weapons.

Nathan also appears, and tells Raylan, “There’s no need for a search. We will deliver the weapons on this list. But the government has an interest here. There will be no fishing expedition.” Nathan then tells Sam privately, “I can’t intervene again on your behalf. My boss wasn’t happy about me doing this. I had to cite your service record, remind him you’re a retired American hero, all of that.”

Raylan assures Sam this is a routine thing. “We just want to rule you out as a suspect. We ran who owned a 7.62 like the one used at the Aztec clubhouse, and your name came up. The warrant got issued and sent to us like this. We’ll be running ballistics on all these weapons. We’ll return the ones you are allowed as a collector.”

(GM note: The government knew of about half his weapons, and he gets to keep one of each gun that is legal. The government is confiscating the rest, including all the silencers.)


Cat comes home to an empty house. She goes through the hard drive that Kyle took from the Aztec’s computer. There is video of the massacre, which she watches, heartsick. There are also photos of everyone who provided support at Lou-Ellen’s. (GM note: One of the Aztecs there had a cybereye that took pictures.) She downloads the information onto a chip, and puts the hard drive into the arc furnace.

Cat then goes through the contents of the safe that Kyle stuffed into the bag that he took from the Aztec clubhouse. Basically, there is $10,000 and some scribbled notes. The only ones that make sense are: Scrawled next to Sam’s name: “Bad news. People disappeared from his front lawn.” Next to Kyle: “Probably armed.” Next to Doc Freeman: “Office and home = stiff security. Stink bomb his window.” Next to Logan: “Bruise him.” Next to Geoff: “Bruise him.” Next to the two boosters: “Fangs!” Next to the two boyfriends: “Break a leg or arm.”

Meanwhile, Sam and Maria are out at The Swan, an upscale restaurant in the casino district. He tells her he wants her to move in with him. She is surprised and thinks about it for a few moments. Then, “You know, it would be awesome to move in with you—but I do have a concern. Sometimes, I feel like you’re not being fully honest with me.”

Sam says “Oh?”

Maria says, “Yes, sometimes you go away and don’t tell me where—”

Sam mentions he told her where he was this weekend, “With the paintball team.”

Maria nods. “It’s just I think it’s really important not to have secrets from each other.” Then she smiles and asks, “So when do you want me to move in?”

Sam asks when she wants to do that.

She asks, “What about next weekend?”

Sam agrees.

When Sam returns from dinner, having dropped Maria off next door, he tells Cat he has asked Maria to move in, and she said yes.

Cat is dismayed. “WHAT? You said you were thinking of asking her.”

Sam concedes that’s true, “But I also told you I was going to ask her tonight. You didn’t say anything.”

Cat says, “I was a little busy with other things.”

Having just rediscovered love with Kyle, Cat is sympathetic to her father’s wishes. But she still doesn’t trust Maria. Cat begins to consider methods of investigating Maria, Tiffany and Ricky more thoroughly. Finally she decides to tell Mary about Maria moving in and get her to investigate the three. Cat will give the Marshal all of her research on them.



Episode 15: Cat Tries to be Honest (More or Less)


Cat and Geoff watch a movie. Then Cat tries to come as clean as she can with Geoff about herself.


While Kyle and Cat have rediscovered each other’s true identity to their mutual delight, that leaves Cat with a difficult situation with Geoff. She decides to try a new approach (for her): Honesty.

Dramatis Personae

Cat Fisher: Sam Fisher’s 15 yo daughter, previously Dominique in the Romanian campaign.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father. He and Cat have been dating.

Other people mentioned:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy, formerly Zar in the Romanian campaign.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

The Action

Tuesday, 3 December 2041:

After school Cat and Geoff head over to his house. Cat has gotten an old movie she wants to watch with Geoff. It is really part of the girl’s plan to try to explain who she is and what is going on without violating too many government secrets. It is actually not a great film at all, but it does touch on the subject she wishes to discuss. The film is Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Geoff patiently pretends to enjoy the film. When it is over, Cat snuggles up to him and says, “Did you ever see a movie or old flat vid about a protagonist who thinks they have a handle on what’s going on, but it turns out they are involved in something so far over their heads that they really don’t have a clue what is going on? Well, Geoff, that person is you. Right now you are Alice standing at the top of the rabbit hole. Your choice is simple. You may walk around it and continue on your way, and will probably become a major player and leader in the Atlantic City area; or you may step into the rabbit hole and fall down into Wonderland.

“If you jump down the hole, there will be no going back. In Wonderland, your loyalty should belong to us and ours will be to you. That is the only way to survive. I realize I am asking for a level of trust that does not come easily. We both have trust issues. I like you a lot and so does Kyle. I won’t even pretend that my Dad likes you because that would not be true. It’s not so much that he doesn’t like you; it’s that he doesn’t really trust you, but his reasons are not what you think. Trust to people like us is a very rare thing, and if you come along, you will know why. I guess I am offering you a choice. Keep going down the road you are on and I will still be around, of course; or the Rabbit Hole and your life will never be the same.”

Geoff replies, “I think my actions speak for themselves.”

Cat agrees, but continues to stress the danger for everyone. She presses him to give her a definitive answer. Geoff continues his “dance of evasion”. The words he speaks sound like he is saying yes, but as Cat listens she realizes that what her boyfriend is saying could be interpreted in a number of ways.

The girl laughs and says, “You’re talking like a slippery eel. I always loved the way you use your words, but right now I need a straight answer: yes or no.

The young fixer continues to give affirmative sounding answers, but Cat wants to hear a “yes or no”. Finally Geoff replies that a “no” will probably get him killed. Besides all his actions have put him squarely in the Team’s camp (true) so the answer is “yes”. Still, this answer is a little hedged, but Cat realizes this is probably the best answer she will get. Besides, she wants to believe him. She views him as one of her best and most trusted friends. Despite her father Sam’s hostility towards him, he continued to “court” her. When she needed a friend, he was there. In a world where the truth is a rare commodity and will more likely get you killed than set you free, she opens up.

“I will tell you as much as I can. You must understand that pretty much all of this is at least classified and some of it up to Ultra Top Secret. There is no selling these secrets. There are people in power who have the ability and will to have these remain secret. They wave their hand and you never existed. Please, this is not some feeble attempt to scare you like my Dad does; I say it so nothing bad will happen to you.

“OK, here it is. As you may know both Kyle and my Dad worked for the C.I.A. in clandestine operations before this, but what you don’t know is that they were working recently on a major operation with another operative, a female operative.” She pauses as she looks into Geoff’s eyes. “I was that operative. Obviously, I am older than I look. Well, this operation hit some serious problems to say the least. I fell into the hands of, shall we say, unfriendly powers. I was imprisoned and interrogated.”

(There is a long pause as she tries to organize her thoughts.)

Geoff, they did things to me, unspeakable things. I was released eventually, but in the end my mind was broken.” She collects herself. “By the time I was free, Kyle was off on another mission, but Sam was retiring. I guess I had regressed to a child-like state; my memories of that time are still confused. I remembered Sam, however. As you might guess, he is not my biological father, but we were very close before. We were not lovers or anything, but he was probably my best friend. Sam was like a father figure to me.

“The shrinks figured this out and various governments and groups made the arrangements for us. When he retired, I was placed with him as his daughter. It seems that he also needed me. All those years he worked for the government doing questionable things had left him with not much humanity. He would be retiring after forty years of government service, but had no family. Well, he wanted a family and I needed a father. We chose each other. We made a family and it saved me. Biology did not make us a family, love did, and that makes our bond real.

Kyle was unaware of all of this. Whatever is going on with this ‘burn notice’ of his, I don’t know. Very few people know the truth about Sam and me. I didn’t know until last Sunday morning who Kyle really was. Sam was under orders not to reveal to anyone what was going on, which explains a lot of his craziness the past few months. Oh, Geoff, this is the hard part. As I said before, during the operation the three of us worked, Sam and I had become friends, but Kyle and I were lovers. Now that we know who we really are we both realize that we … I never meant to hurt you Geoff, I still like you so very much, but I love Kyle, if someone like me can actually love anyone. I can’t lie to you. I don’t want to lie to you. My life has been just a web of lies. It nearly destroyed the three of us a few years back.”

“Whatever is going on here I think is fate. The right group of people has been brought together at just the right time. Too many people are getting screwed by the various governments, corporations and others. I want to do something about it, and there is no reason why we can’t get rich doing it! I know how naïve that sounds, but it can be done. I am sorry I can’t tell you more, but it is not just Sam’s, Kyle’s and my life at stake, but others that I do not have the right to endanger. I have already told you enough to get you killed, but you deserve as much of the truth as I can give you. I want you so much to come with us.”

Getting fucked over by “various governments, corporations and others” struck a chord with Geoff. That had been his lot in life since he could remember. Cat had the feeling that others before had made this young man promises as sincere as a harlot’s kiss. That was something she knew from her experience. Now here she was basically breaking up with him and asking to remain friends. What a crappy deal.

Geoff looks at her and says, “Well, we never said we were exclusive or anything. You can do what you want.”

This crushes Cat a little as she thought they had been exclusive ever since the middle of September when Andre Thibault had asked her out

(GM: See Episode 9) and she had asked this question to Geoff. She had thought he said yes, but realized that it was one of his typical answers that sounded like one thing, but could actually mean nothing at all.

Geoff then proceeds to speak darkly about people, promises and just how rotten the world actually is. Still, she does not feel that his anger was directed at her. As he speaks she feels that she is seeing the true Geoff. The mask had finally slipped and here was his true self. Strangely she is not upset or disappointed. In fact she is deeply moved that he had finally “let her in”. The moment does not last long as Geoff recovers. Still, this makes her care for him even more.

Geoff then suggests that they continue the “fiction” of still being an “item” so no one would question why he hangs around her and Kyle’s houses. It is a sensible suggestion. She agrees on one condition: There will still be “hugging and kissing.” This seems to surprise Geoff.

Cat explains, “I still care about you deeply. When I came to Atlantic City I needed a friend and you have always been there for me. You stood up to my father and made me feel like I belonged here.”

They sit quietly together on the couch. Each has much to think about.




Episode 16: Buckets of Bullets for a Very Cyberpunk Christmas


The Aztecs attempt revenge for the killing of their families—and are seriously outclassed.


The party—oh wait, do we have a team? Oh yeah, looks like we do—sent a “message” to the Linwood chapter of the Aztec motorcycle club = “Don’t Mess With Us.” But was that message received? Or was it garbled in transmission? Or simply not taken seriously? (Aztec bikers thinking, “We’z big. We’z bad. Nobody’s gonna fuck wit’ us.”)

Christmas season has arrived. Peace and good will has settled over the Atlantic City area. There has been almost no violence since the “Sunday Morning Aztec Massacre.” So 30 (or maybe 29) innocent civilians were shot down, then “double tapped” by various weapons a couple of weeks back. It was a lesson that had to be “taught”. Besides, things have been going the Team’s way. Actually there is starting to be a “Team”. Fijay has had her day in court and yes, the only fingerprints on the weapon belong to Cinnamon, the late drug-dealing former occupant of the boat. She was found not guilty and released. Harry Hoar does not appear unduly upset. He is just getting started.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Lou-Ellen Plazire owns Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio in Atlantic County next to the Linwood/Northfield border. The Aztec Motorcycle Club provides strong-arm support for the Linwood Mob’s transportation needs. The Aztecs are pressuring Lou-Ellen to give them a large “business tax”—larger than she can afford to pay. Besides, her studio is not IN Linwood; at least, not any more.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Art Mulligan: US Marshal, chief of the US Marshal Office in Atlantic City.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Cindy: Porn star at Virility Visions studio. Friend of Trish and Logan; cousin of Tassel, the porn star who was killed at the Aztec massacre.

Harry Hoar: “Very” Special Agent of LawDiv, assigned to bring Kyle to justice as a Really Bad Guy.

Lou-Ellen Plazire, owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor and current girlfriend. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Mary Drucker: US Marshal and ‘Big Sister’ for Cat Fisher.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshal in Atlantic City Marshal’s office.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio; has befriended Logan.

Tyne Lacey: Kyle’s aunt (mother’s sister), a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs, she lives next door to Kyle’s mom, Sharin, in a big house.

The kids:

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.
Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

Gayle Snow: 12 yo girl, in 8th grade, lives at Tyne’s house. She is curious about everything, always wants to tag along.

Rayne Snow: 14 yo boy, sophomore in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He’s gay, rather intense Goth, artistically inclined. He is a member of theater club and glee club.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

Zephyr Snow: 11 yo boy, in 7th grade, lives at Tyne’s house. He pretty much keeps to himself, likes to torture small animals. Nicknamed “Zeph”. It’s a bad idea to tease him about his name.

The Action

Monday, 23 December 2041:


Today is Christmas Eve’s eve and, everyone is at a party; in fact, there are two parties. Most of the adults (Doc Freeman, Sam, Maria, Kyle and Fijay) are at a get together at the Doctor’s apartment. The kids (Cat, Nip, Geoff, Storm, Rayne, Gayle and Zeph)—together with Trish and Logan—are nearby at Cindy’s apartment playing on her brand new video game console. Cindy is a friend of Trish and Logan and works at Virility Visions with Trish.

The evening starts on a pleasant note as Sam is pulled over by the Pleasantville Police close to Doc Freeman’s. Harry Hoar is with them and he has a warrant to impound Sam’s vehicle. A vehicle of the same description was involved in a robbery in Delaware about 20 miles from the campsite where the party was three weekends ago. Sam cannot provide an alibi, so Harry takes the car with a “Merry Christmas”. Sam asks Harry if he can call him a cab, and the agent agrees. Harry looks him right in the eye and says, “You’re a cab!” Then he smiles and drives off.

Later at the party, Boyd calls Kyle and tells him he has just heard that the Aztecs are moving on an address close to the Blackhorse Pike. Kyle thanks him. As he hangs up, he realizes that is the address where the kids are at. Maria tells Sam to go make sure the kids are safe. The others run to Doc Freeman’s car and jump in. Fijay takes the wheel.

As the group races to the address, there is some momentary confusion as to exactly where this place is. Then two men in metal gear with Kalashnikov A-80 assault rifles and a third man in a leather jacket, mask and an SMG step forward into the street and pour buckets of bullets into Doc Freeman’s car. Found it!

Fijay careens wildly to avoid the incoming fire but loses control of the car. She crashes through the front window of a closed corner luncheonette. The car comes to rest in the midst of scattered tables and chairs. Sam is clonked on the head by something heavy, and is momentarily knocked out.  The others pile out of the car.

Kyle goes to the new opening in the wall and glances briefly outside. The two guys in metal gear are approaching the corner of the sidewalk nearest the luncheonette, assault rifles at the ready. The third man is nowhere to be seen. Doc Freeman retrieves his Essence (a heavy weapon) and takes aim at the pair through the front windows.

Upstairs at Cindy’s 4th floor apartment, all the kids except Zeph have been playing on Cindy’s brand new video game console, which is the latest rage this year. Logan and Trish are watching from the sidelines, while Zeph has been looking out the large bay window in the living room. The sound of massed automatic weapons fire followed by a car crash gets everyone’s attention.

Zeph calls out, “Hey guys, something is going on down there.” Everyone goes to take a look. Two black vans are parked right below the window—and in front of the apartment building’s lobby, which is in the middle of the block. To the left (facing south) and diagonally across the intersection, debris from the car crash litters the sidewalk. They see the two men in metal gear walking towards the luncheonette.

From behind them, Cindy screams, “All right, you little bastards, nobody move!” She is clutching a medium pistol in both hands and pointing it, a little unsteadily, at the group. She is at the short hall leading into the apartment, near the left-side bedroom door.


Zeph jabbers excitedly, “A bunch of men just came into our building here.”

Cindy confirms it. “That’s right, you little fuckers.” She cackles with glee. “Your people killed my cousin Tassel—(GM note: Tassel was one of the corpses at the Aztec massacre)—and now you’re going to pay! ‘Once a whore, always a whore?’ Well, fuck you!” (GM note: Those were Kyle’s words to her in Episode 11 after Boyd’s party.)

Most of the kids react with shock—except Nip, who stomps her feet and scolds Cindy she should put the gun down. “Playing with guns is a bad thing and only leads to trouble.” Cindy responds by pointing towards Nip, and Cat reacts before anyone else.

Stealthily pulling one of her monoknives out from her boot, Cat throws it at Cindy’s head and gets a bull’s eye, imparting severe (and fatal) damage.

Trish draws her gun, ready to shoot, but Cindy is already going down.

As Cindy falls, her finger clutches the trigger. The gun fires wildly and creases Logan across the temple. Logan falls to the floor, unconscious.

(GM note: Logan’s player was also delayed getting to the game. He and Sam’s player were together, chasing after an elusive locksmith in Real Life.)

Gayle starts screaming and huddles in a corner of the living room.

Zeph dashes into the bedroom where Cindy had taken a double-barreled shotgun earlier, calling it her “Aztec insurance”.

Geoff turns off the lights, only to realize this makes the room too dark to act, and turns them back on again.

Cat calls out to lock the door behind her and leaves the apartment. She dashes down the hallway to her left (heading north, away from the men in metal gear), where she goes through the door into the stairwell and starts heading down.

Geoff organizes Storm and Rayne to help him shove the sofa against the door to blockade it and load one of the chairs on top. Then he pockets Cindy’s gun.


Meanwhile, the two Aztecs outside let loose with their A-80’s, but everyone inside the luncheonette is reasonably under cover. However, this action shatters the front window, sending glass shards flying.

Doc Freeman blasts Stocky with his Essence through what remains of the front window. The report of the weapon deafens anyone nearby without hearing protection. The man’s head explodes in a gory spray of blood, bone and brain matter, despite the protection of his helmet. Doc Freeman shoots a second time, catching Mohawk in the chest, turning that area into hamburger.

Kyle grabs one of Sam’s custom 14mm ET pistols, placing his own 9mm pistol into the empty holster. He then runs across the intersection while Doc Freeman provides cover. However, Wild is crouched behind the concrete bench and sees Kyle running past. Wild fires his Arasaka Miniami SMG at close range, but misses him. Kyle returns fire, double clutching the 14mm ET pistol, inflicting 50 points of damage in one round, which kills the biker deader than crap. Spike, hiding behind a building to the east, also opens up on Kyle, but misses.

Doc Freeman sees Baldy hiding behind a lamppost at the northwest corner of the building where the kids are (not shown on the map). He lets loose with another blast of his Essence, severing the pole with 70+ points of damage and pulverizing Baldy’s chest.

Kyle sprints north towards the building’s lobby.

The two black vans take off, heading north. Doc Freeman destroys the rear van’s transmission gear, immobilizing the vehicle. As he reloads, the lead van accelerates away, and the rear van’s driver dashes northward as well. Doc Freeman shoots at the running driver, but misses. The fleeing driver and the lead van escape.

Kyle reaches the lobby and peeks swiftly through the glass. Two more goons are in there, but don’t appear to have seen him.

(GM note: They must have been distracted by something, as they were supposed to be watching the front of the building!)

Kyle moves into position and, before they can react, shoots Shorty and Goatee in the head. He then enters the lobby where he sees the security guard, tied up and gagged. He tries to hear any noises in either direction, but his hearing is still impaired from close proximity to Doc Freeman’s Essence. He rushes northward towards the stairwell.

Upstairs, Zeph has found Cindy’s shotgun and loaded it with shells. He comes to the doorway with an exhilarated expression on his face and sets himself ready to fire.

Geoff now has Storm and Rayne and Trish cut the sheets into strips, knot them together to make a rope, and wet them down. His plan is for everyone to go out the window if need be.

In the northern stairwell, Cat hears multiple goons heading upward. She slips into the 3rd floor hallway, letting them get past her. She tries to figure out how many there are, but the sounds are too muffled through the doorway into the stairwell.

When Cat is sure they’re all past, she sneaks back into the stairwell. She slips up behind Eyebrows and slits his throat. Then she strikes at Mirror Shades’ weapon arm with one of her monoknives and cripples it. He passes and bleeds out quickly. She grabs Eyebrows’ Militech Avenger and runs downstairs to set up an ambush on the next floor.

The teenager’s movement does not go unnoticed. A couple of Aztecs fire some snap pistol shots at her, and miss. The goons above her start downstairs after her as well.

As they reach the second floor, Cat strikes again. As the bikers come around the corner of the stairwell, she plants another monoblade right between the eyes of the lead Aztec. She then shoots Smokey, the next in line, in the head and wounds him before moving down to the first floor to avoid more return fire.

Kyle reaches the stairwell and slips inside.

Meanwhile, Logan stirs into consciousness, and is swiftly brought up to speed. Geoff asks him to move the fridge into position behind the sofa to provide more cover in case anyone breaks in. Logan moves the fridge, then draws his two pistols and takes position behind it.

Nip, who has been cowering in a corner, grabs onto one of Logan’s legs and holds on for dear life. He tries to shake her off, to no avail, then threatens to shoot her if she doesn’t let go. She bites him in the leg.

Gayle, apparently a little calmer now that Logan is awake, pulls Nip off Logan. The two girls huddle in a corner of the dining room.

When the rope is complete, Geoff ties it to the handle of the fridge.

Meanwhile, Sam also groans and comes to.

(GM note: The two players had finally arrived!)

Fijay tells him that Doc Freeman shot a bunch of bad guys and Kyle ran into the building where the kids are.

Sam draws the weapons from his shoulder holsters—but something is wrong. He has his remaining custom 14mm ET pistol in one hand and a 9mm in the other. Sam realizes he has one of Kyle’s pistols, puts it back in his holster and hustles after Kyle.

Spike shoots at him as he crosses the intersection, but again misses. When Sam reaches the building’s lobby, he hears a commotion in the north stairwell, and runs towards it.

(GM note: Sam is grateful for his noise dampening audio cyberwear.)

As Cat reaches the bottom of the stairs, she finds Kyle. Soon thereafter, Sam joins them. Sam tries to talk to Kyle, who indicates he is currently deaf. Cat points upstairs and holds up three fingers. The men nod. Cat hides under the stairs. Sam takes back his other custom 14mm ET pistol that Kyle borrowed, and returns Kyle’s 9mm.

Mirror Shades, swinging his nunchuks, leaps at Sam, who disarms him and holds him up by the neck.

(GM note: The goon must have been feeling suicidal to choose the 6’10” tall, “brick-shit-house” built former assassin.)

At the same time, Rat-Tail and Eyebrows target Kyle with their pistols, and give him a minor flesh wound or two.

Cat throws her last knife at Rat-Tail’s head, then brings the 9mm to bear and shoots Eyebrows in the head twice. Neither of the goons has any helmet protection, and both go down.

Sam finishes off Mirror Shades by putting a pistol barrel in his face and pulling the trigger.

(GM note: Yikes, that’s a nasty dry-cleaning bill for everyone’s clothes!)

The trio head upstairs.

Meanwhile, a second group of six goons has reached the 4th floor from the southern stairwell, and gotten to the apartment door. They first try the door handle, which they expect to be unlocked. No such luck. So first they shoot the door knob-and-lock area. Then they shoot off the hinges. Then they pull the door into the hallway, being careful to stay at the sides of the doorway.

Sam, Kyle and Cat now reach the 4th floor of the northern stairwell, and Sam lets loose with both of his guns. Four of the goons fall over, either dead or unconscious and dying. The other two, Commanche and Tattoo, leap into the apartment and onto the couch. Kyle scoots down the hall at full tilt. Sam trots behind him. Cat stays at the stairwell entrance, guarding the rear.

Commanche and Tattoo shoot at Logan, causing a lot of damage. However, Logan stays on his feet and returns fire, doing some damage of his own. Tattoo goes down, unconscious. Zeph fires the 12 gauge shotgun, yelling “Woo hoo!”, but misses. Kyle reaches the doorway and finishes off Commanche, who falls to the sofa, bleeding to death. Logan puts another round into all six goon’s heads, ensuring that all are dead.

Cat wipes her fingerprints off the guns she used, and cleans the blood off her knives. She also convinces Zeph to part with the shotgun, which he is hugging. She then wipes that weapon clean of fingerprints, and explains to Zeph that they must leave the shotgun behind. Kyle takes out his phone to call 911, but there is no service. Geoff tosses Cindy’s gun back beside Cindy, takes her cell phone and gives it to Storm.

Sam checks the outside hallway for more goons—(GM note: He rolls Really, Really Well on his Awareness/Notice)—and is confident there are none anywhere nearby. Cat picks up Nip, while Sam takes Gayle in piggy-back position. Everyone heads downstairs into the lobby and stays inside, concerned that more Aztecs might be waiting outside—possibly on rooftops, ready to snipe at them. Kyle again tries to call for help.

Nip speaks up, saying that Fred told her that communications are jammed. Cat asks if Fred knows where the jammer is. Fred does. He tells Nip, “Upstairs. Closet.” Cat takes Nip back up to the apartment, and they soon find a jammer on the floor of Cindy’s bedroom closet.

Cat turns it off and calls Sam, reaching only his voice mail. Calling Kyle, Cat tells him that communications are now clear. She then calls her ‘special 911 number’ and reaches Mary, the US Marshall who is also her ‘Big Sister’.

With a trembling voice, Cat tells Mary that “something bad has happened.” A bunch of scary men attacked them, there has been shooting and some deaths. She provides the address.

Mary hangs up—and moments later, sirens are heard in the distance. In fact, sirens are heard coming from two directions.

Kyle puts down the assault rifle he grabbed from Wild. Doc Freeman puts his Essence away and takes out his medical gear. He goes to the building’s lobby and starts attending to Logan’s wounds. The last two remaining Aztecs—Spike and Cargo—flee into the distance. Cargo had been covering the fourth corner of the building and never engaged in the fighting.

Two Atlantic County Sheriff vehicles arrive first, followed by three cars of US Marshals (with Art, Raylan, Mary, her partner, and three other Marshals). An ambulance reaches the scene soon thereafter, and takes Logan to the hospital.

Everyone is questioned at some length. The authorities want to be clear about what happened. Everyone tells the truth, although Cat omits some details. Kyle takes credit for all the knife deaths. Nip tells them, “We have a license for that cannon over there,” meaning Sam’s weapons. Doc Freeman says that he “exploded all those guys in the street.”

Kyle remarks, “Anyone would think we were a team that had worked together before.”

Mary tells Cat, “Lunch, tomorrow. We need to talk.” Cat agrees.

That night as she is falling asleep, Cat realizes she made a mistake. She lied to Mary, and Mary will know it. Cindy was killed by a knife, and there is no way Kyle could have done that.


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