And So It Burns
The night was cool with the wet chill of a night sea breeze as city lights glowed sickly through the layer of smog that settled among the gleaming glass towers and grimy public housing towers. Howling sirens and screams, the crackle of burning abandoned buildings and staccato pops of gunfire had all fallen silent for Gothic had been, and still was, evacuated.
First responders were gone. Fire. Ambulance. Police. Gone. Public services were gone. Trash pickup. Public sewage workers. Power grid electricians. 911 operators were gone. The families of police officers were gone. Entire gangs had vanished from the streets. Vigilantes were even scarce. The lifeblood of the city had been drained for its people were absent.
And in that absence lay opportunity. Opportunity for mutant kind. Ivana didn't intend to let it pass her by.
She had slipped into the city through an abandoned sewage tunnel the night before. Slept for eight hours on a foam covered pallet inside a shipping crate on the Gothic docks. Double checked her gear. Ate breakfast.
As the day had passed she had been careful to stay out of sight. Satellites were everywhere these days. A network of shipping crates had been created by cutting through the walls and floors of the crates, installing ladders and doors and an entrance way to the undercity; Gothic's old sewer system, long abandoned due to lack of funds.
Through that tunnel the former Shogun transported gear on the cargo rack of a four wheeler. Boxes of ammunition. Grenades. Ceramic and steel inserts for vests and replacement kevlar vests. A few high powered rifles and light machine guns. Pistols. And brick after brick of semtex.
She worked alone. Secrecy and surprise were her greatest weapons. When she was done the entire complex was stocked with with munitions, medical supplies and MREs. It was also rigged to blow with over two hundred pounds of plastic explosives.
The sun hung low in the sky. Ivana ate supper and took a nap. She wanted to be at her peak.
Then she descended into the sewers again and slipped unseen through the underbelly of the semi-abandoned city. Moving through the damp, cold dark until she reached an abandoned office building in the heart of Gothic's decimated financial sector.
There she met with a team of teenage couriers. Orphans. Street urchins. Runaways. Homeless and abandoned by authority figures, victimized by the brutality of life in Gothic they were each susceptible to the radical creed of the extremist mutant movement. Each knew they city like the back of their hand and each owned (or stole) a motorbike.
Join me at at the burned out 7-11 on the intersection of 22nd and Dogwood.
The second message was sent to @jason_ford. It was a single USB drive that had never been connected to any device with a connection to the internet to ensure secrecy. On the drive was an satellite map of Gothic City with various choke points and flanking routes mapped.
Red Mask. It is time. Intel show city soon come under attack. This attack draw out defenders. Routes listed in 'MAP' file; flank defenders when they arrive and pin them down. Attrition is the order of the day; loses will be worth the battle when the Ghost Crew runs Gothic.
Last, but never least was her secret weapon. @satar. Infected with stolen nanotechnology during the last attack in Gothic City the nanites had been triggering an obsession with Gothic City and fanning the flames until it transformed into an insane lust to visit violence and carnage upon the city.
Satar was a terrible weapon. Even to Ivana. But the destiny of the mutant race required sacrifice. Nothing was free. Nothing. And so Ivana pressed the button the nanite control device, turning the nanites to maximum setting and locking them there as the device self destructed, circuits frying.
It felt as if she had summoned the devil. Perhaps she had.
Now there was no turning back.
Ivana took a deep breath, stomp the device into shattered chunks and dropped back into the abandoned sewers, moving at a jog through the undercity and emerging in the back room of a burned out 7-11. There she checked her weapons a final time and awaited the arrival of her allies.