|Battle Report for Spion Redeemers|
As Stefan, Jaap and Dirk were leaving the settlement, following their little incident with the God Squad, they came across a stall signed "Trader Vic's Hot Goods". Stacks of junk were loaded up in boxes, and it seemed interesting enough for them to stop and have a look. Scrummaging through a box, Jaap fished out what looked like a very decent looking red-dot laser sight.
"How much?" Jaap asked
"55 creds, boy!" Trader Vic turned around and replied, spitting a black gunk of chewing tobacco into an old tin on the counter. The merchant was the oldest man Stefan had ever seen in the Underhive. A few strands of long greasy white hair came out from his excessively large, wide brimmed hat. His face was heavily wrinkled and warty, but more interestingly, somehow this man was operating his shop with nothing but two empty black eye sockets for eyes!
"55creds!? That's too much… I'll pay no more than 50." Stefan said, still curiously starring at the old man.
"Stop starring ya impolite git! Ya never seen a blind man before!" The trader croaked "Dat iz an imperial issue red dot laser sight you've got der, an' ya know it! An' dem Delaque dat were 'ere earlier, dey woz interested ya know..…..Pfwwwaah! Dey couldn't pay for it dough, 'ad to collect som loot first dey said…".
"Loot?" Stefan interrupted curiously "Where were they headed?".
"Pfwaaaaaah…Wad'ya take me for eh? A ratbrained scavvy?" Trader Vic screeched "Nah, I tell you what you do! You buy dis from me…. And den I'll tell ya what I know. Dem Jack's Lads are cheap bastards, they can't afford nuffin nowadays. They'ze been 'avin' some 'ard times. 'Eard they lost a few men fightin' that sneaky Lucky Montoya. Her Bedlam Boys slapped them about like a dumb juve! Heheheh…Pfwaaah! See I knowz everyfin in deeze parts, ya'll learn. If ya wanna know sumin' ya come to me….so what'll it be?" Vic leaned over and starred at him with his empty eye sockets.
Stefan shivered at the stare. He understood the opportunity however. These Delaque, sounded like a pack of bleeding rats. If they could track them down before they got the loot they could make some extra money and also stamp their authority on this area. The God Squad were already crawling back to their camp bleeding, maybe it was also the right time to let these Jack's Lads know that the Spion Redeemers had arrived.
"Deal!" Stefan put the creds on the counter, and handed the sight to Jaap. "But I want to know where they went."
"You Van Saar always 'ave all da sugar!" Trader Vic chuckled and took the creds "Dey went froo Jorkk's Passage. Some raiders got shot up by the Enforcers der yesterday, and left in a real 'urry…. 'eard they left behind some uv der loot too. Dats wa' Jack iz after! My eyeballs on that you'll find Jack creepin around der wiv 'is lads in da mornin'…. Good doin' business wiv ya…….Stefan"
Stefan had already turned to go when Trader Vic chuckled his name. How he knew, hecouldn't say but since Vic claimed to know everything, he wasn't so surprised. He was already thinking about a plan, and he'd need to discuss this with Martijn immediately.
At the camp Stefan discussed the situation with the rest of the gang, including telling Koos off for the earlier shoot out. After consulting with Maritjn they had come up with a plan. Their maps of Koos's canals showed quite a few exit points at the other side of Jorkk's Passage. Jack's lads would most likely come through the ruins of the old boot factory which they had an old, torn up blueprint of. Dirk would setup at a high vantage point overlooking as much of the open middle ground as possible. Stefan would try and come around the back alone as the Delaque exited the factory, while Thijs would search for any loot that was likely hidden in the large disused cooling tower. Robrecht, Jaap, and Martijn would setup shooting positions at the opposite end of the factory, with Koos, Joost and Maxmiliaan using the cover to approach the factory.
The next morning Stefan, Dirk and Thijs crawled through the vents to reach their agreed positions, while the others marched down Jorkk's Passage together. The Delaque had already arrived when they got there and they could see them searching the factory. Martijn, and Jaap found a window to snipe from, while Robrecht peeked his gun out from the corner of the same building. The Delaque's stopped and turned in their direction. They had been spotted! As a Delaque ganger and heavy took position on the first floor of the factory, three other Delaques started running towards them, coming through a large gap in the collapsed factory wall. Martijn, Jaap and Robrecht opened fire almost simultaneously. Robrecht's autogun burst pinned down one Delaque ganger, shots hitting the ground around his feet. Martijn's shot missed its target but Jaap had the same man marked with his red-dot laser sight. With max power, the plasma shot hit the man plumb in the stomach. The running Delaque ganger flew backwards, legs in the air, landing on the ground two yards from where he'd stood before. His body lay still steaming from the plasma. Meanwhile Koos, Joost and Maxmiliaan ran behind cover, approaching the small chimney in the centre. The same chimney that had been missing from their blueprints, and which now obscured Dirk vision from his chosen vantage point. Dirk cursed as he tried to find something to aim at, but the only thing visible was the barrel of the Delaque heavy stubber poking out from the factory's first floor. He set himself up ready to take aim at anything that moved into the open. Stefan himself had come out on the first floor of the ruined building next to the factory. He snuck down to ground level and ran towards a ruined wall at the back of the factory. From the window below the Heavy Stubber, Jack, the Delaque gang leader, shot down the passage, hitting Robrecht with his boltgun and taking him down. Dirk could see the window where the shots had come from and signalled the position to Stefan whom he had visual with from his vantage point. His firm serious exterior betrayed him however as Dirk's attention was quickly with his brother who he'd seen get hit. Robrecht had only suffered a flesh wound though, getting up and running to some cover further forward. It had looked serious but Dirk was relieved, he looked back to the open ground for targets but still nothing was visible.
Removed from the action, Thijs had been searching the cooling tower and spotted a barrel with raider's markings. Sure enough it was filled with valuable tungsten metal. They would be able to sell this for a fair bit he knew, and immediately started stuffing his ruck sack up with as much as he could carry. He could feel his back straining, but he had promised he would use all his strength to carry as much out as he could… even if he injured himself doing so.
Back in the open the pinned Delaque tried getting up, but Martijn took him down with an accurate lasgun shot to the chest from long distance.
"See that Jaap! Bull's-eye!" Martijn celebrated, unaware he was being targeted at that same moment.
Jack's boltgun was as accurate as before, nailing two bolts into Martijn's body straight through the window. Jaap, who was hiding while his gun was recharging, caught Martijn's body as it fell. He lay him down slowly, as Martijn coughed up blood. This was serious, and Martijn would certainly die if he didn't tend to him immediately. He put the plasma gun on the ground, and pulled out his knife. These bolter rounds had to come out now….
As further Delaque juves and gangers emerged into the open from the factory ruins, Koos's group came out from behind the chimney. Using the corner of a building as cover, Koos shot a bolt shell at one of the Juves crawling out from a window, taking him down with an accurate shot. The juve fell, but slowly got up again grasping a bleeding flesh wound in the left arm. Koos reloaded his shotgun with one hand, and pumped another round into the young Delaque, this time knocking him sprawling to the ground. On the factory's side wall, Stefan had now reached a crumbled section and spotted their leader, Jack, with his back to him. As Stefan dashed to another inside wall, a noise alerted Jack spinning him around to see Stefan dash behind the wall. Stefan heard the leader cock his bolter in anticipation of Stefan's charge….
On the first floor the Delaque ganger and heavy opened fire at Robrecht, who had himself pinned a juve down in the open. The shots hit Robrecht in the right arm and leg, knocking him unconscious. However the heavy stubber had jammed in the process, affirmed by the Heavy cursing loudly at his weapon. The sound of the clicking gun was Maxmiliaan's queue to charge the open ground, pushing Joost forward. Joost blasted down the pinned juve that was lying on the ground, while Maxmiliaan placed a bolt pistol shot in the face of the heavy stubber's companion. The sight of his bleeding friend combined with the thought of facing two charging Van Saar with a jammed heavy weapon, prompted the Delaque Heavy to swiftly disappear down the hatch he was stood on.
Stefan charged out at Jack's position, with Enrager on full power! All or nothing! He skidded to a halt…. Jack was gone! He looked around and slowly climbed up on to the first floor. A Delaque ganger lay there moaning, and bleeding from the face. He looked up at Dirk in the tower, who could only return a confused look with his arms in the air. Where had the rest of them gone? They seemed to have disappeared in the shadows, even the injured seemingly crawling into holes, or dragged away by their companions. At least they had one that wasn't going anywhere! He tied up the bleeding foe with some tape and signalled to Maxmiliaan and Joost. He had spotted Robrecht lying injured behind some cover. Maxmiliaan quickly sprinted over to Robrecht, but could see that Robrecht had only suffered flesh wounds, nothing a bit of rest wouldn't cure. Jaap also came out from behind the window with Martijn in his arms, and his plasma gun slung behind his back. Stefan looked at Martijn worriedly, but with a big smile and a wink from Jaap, the seriousness dissipated instantly. Martijn would be OK.
"Search the area for remaining loot," Stefan yelled "And take this scumbag home too,", tossing the Delaque over the side to Joost. "He might be worth a few creds as well!"
Only one more barrel of loot could be found, apart from the one Thijs had emptied. It was much less than the gang had hoped for. They all carried the loot back, with Koos dragging the captured Delaque by his ankles. Stefan had been impressed with Thijs. The juve had been strength training for a while, but the physical feat of carrying all the metal down from the cooling tower, was proof it had paid off. Dirk tried to deflate the juve's ego back at the camp by challenging Thijs to an arm wrestle, but Thijs surprisingly won the contest, infuriating Dirk immensely in the process. Thijs was strong, but he still needed to learn how to fight.
With Martijn and Robrecht resting from their injuries, only Maxmiliaan and Koos could work their territories, and including the loot they sold they only scraped in an extra 40 creds for the gang this week. Although it wasn't much the two gangers' extra workload improved their physique. The additional labour, made them both stronger, Koos especially lifting loads that probably only Thijs could match now. Maxmiliaan on the other hand was probably not as strong, but his muscle mass had increased, making him hard like a rock. During usual combat training with Stefan he would use this to his advantage, often slamming Stefan to the ground with his chest if he had the opportunity to charge. A very effective tactic, similar to the body slamming used by many Goliaths. Apart from training hand to hand with Maxmiliaan, Dirk also took an interest and joined in. Teaching Dirk a few throwing moves proved easier than Stefan thought, which would hopefully come in handy for Dirk if he got ambushed.
The rest of the time Stefan spent studying the maps he'd been collecting, as their use of the vents had been very effective in this fight he thought he ought to make better use of them. He spent hours memorising the vast stretches of the subterranean mazes, and other air vents that covered the Charred Cross area. Next time he would use these to better infiltrate into his position…he had been too far away this time to save Martijn and Robrecht from Jack's bolter.
Joost spent most of his time by himself tinkering, to the tune his usual cheerful whistling. The juve would take his gun apart completely, cleaning it and reassembling it again. With that sort of care Joost was sure to avoid any gun jams Stefan thought. Joost similarly spent hours fiddling with a pile of junk they hadn't been able to sell. To Stefan's surprise Joost one day brought him a fully functioning bioscanner that he had assembled! Stefan was surprised by Joost's ingenuity and noted in his head to bring Joost more junk to work on in the future! This boy was a genius!
Interrogating the captive yielded very little. Apart from revealing his name as 'Billy, he was also convinced Jack would come back and slice everybody's throats when they rescued him. Stefan pondered what he should do with the captive, executing him was probably the least efficient. He ought to get some creds for him somehow. He'd let Koos torture the man a bit more, mainly to keep his friend occupied. He was certain it wouldn't reveal anything else, because Koos never asked any questions. The captive was right however, Jack might pay them an unannounced visit at any time. They would have to put sentries around the camp, as they couldn't take any chances.
"Maybe it was time to gear up some more," Stefan thought, "Time to pay Trader Vic another visit…."