Carver looked up from the maglock case and nodded, packing away the electronics kit. Rin triggered her sub-vocal mic to alert the team.
“We’re in. Any company?”
Highball’s Aussie twang cut through the soft static. “Two guards on routine patrol on the perimeter. No sign of trouble.”
“The watchers have reported no unusual astral activity”, added Manx in his cultured British accent.
Mezzo’s text-only reply popped up in everyone’s AR display.
No alerts. Four guards inside. No-one near your entry.
Rin motioned to the infiltration team and stepped through the doorway. She led the way up the quiet corridor. At the main hallway, she signaled Scar and Artemis to set up in the shadows, watching the escape route. The ganger and the girl took up positions to cover both passageways and did their best to blend into the decor. She and Carver loitered in the hallway, trying to look like bored maintenance workers.
October 17, 2072 14:47
Rin adjusted the maintenance uniform for the fortieth time, cursing the ill-placed utility pockets. Waiting was the most difficult part. Everyone got edgy with nothing to do, but the implants made her feel like she was vibrating unless she was active. And there was no way she could turn them off in the middle of a job.
“Security goons are on the move”, came Highball’s announcement. “Heading for the van.”
Activity inside. Two guards on their way out. Away from your position.
Rin double checked the chronometer in her AR. “Ok, it’s a few minutes early, but at least we’re getting it. Let’s go, Carver.”
Mibōjin? Security sweep in two minutes. We should stick with the plan.
“That’s enough time to secure the packages and get back out. We don’t know if Johnson’s distraction is going to last long enough to wait two more minutes. We go.”
Rin felt much better doing something, even if they were jumping the schedule a bit. The Johnson hadn’t specified what sort of distraction had been planned, and she wasn’t going to risk the possibility that the other team had messed something up.
October 17, 2072 14:48
Getting to the secure room was easy enough, and Carver finessed the door without incident. Rin stood near the entrance as the technician got to work on the lockers. The Johnson had been vague about the contents of the two silver cases they were retrieving, but very specific about their location, protection, and retrieval. And he was paying well. The job required subtlety and no body count, and Rin didn’t need any more details.
Carver’s soft curse drew her attention to the back of the room. The young man looked up from the tangle of wires he had connected to the locks, a look of annoyance on his face.
“It has a biometric scanner he didn’t mention. I’ll have to rig something to bypass or we’ll have alarms going off.”
“How long?”, hissed Rin.
“Two minutes, maybe more.”
“You’ve got one minute. Get moving. Mezzo, can you redirect the guard to bypass this room?”
Unlikely. It’s the key patrol node for his route.
Scar’s voice popped into the conversation. “I’ve got the loser in my sights. A couple of rounds to the head will ‘redirect’ him.”
“No bodies”, hissed Rin into the mic. “If you drop him, your corpse is going to be keeping him company. You copy that, Artemis?”
The monotone reply sent shivers down the older woman’s spine. Rin hadn’t expected to hear back from the blonde girl so soon after she left the hospital, but Jane had called the next day to discuss the offer of employment. She had adopted the pseudonym, Artemis, making a cryptic comment about ‘hunting wolves’. The rest of the team had been skeptical about the girl, but had changed their view when they saw her in action. Even Scar gave her a wide berth after what she’d done to the gangers that tried to jump her in that alley.
But that didn’t solve the problem of the security patrol bearing down on them.
The guard will be at the door in 15 seconds.
October 17, 2072 14:49
Rin stashed her Ceska in the shadows and strode over to where Carver was working. She grabbed the boy by the collar of his overalls and pinned him against the wall as she shoved the electronics gear out of sight with her foot. The teen’s eyes almost popped out of his head as she covered his mouth with hers, pulling his hands into intimate positions just as the locker room door opened.
The guard stared for a few seconds before clearing his throat. “What are you two doing in here?”, he asked with a smirk on his face.
Rin pulled back from Carver, who looked like he was going to faint. “Do you mind?”, she said breathlessly. “We’re in the middle of some very important ‘maintenance’ here.” She let her hand drop to the waistband of Carver’s uniform.
The kid recovered his composure enough to give the guard a pleading look that brought an even bigger smirk. He gave the boy a jealous salute and closed the door, muttering something about not making a mess on the floor.
October 17, 2072 14:50
Rin held the pose for a few seconds before signaling Mezzo. “Are we clear?”
He’s back on the route. Sent a rather tasteless joke to his buddies. You’ve probably only got a few minutes before one of them checks the maintenance records. I could try to insert a work order to delay them if you two want more ‘private time’.
Rin ignored the hopeful look on Carver’s face and shoved him back toward the locker as she retrieved her gun.
“Get back to work, Carver. We have a job to finish.”