Rat Rescue

Rat Rescue
Location: The Undercity
Date: September 10th, 2010
Emitter: Zeroman
Characters: Zeroman and The Rat Queen

Zeroman has returned to the undercity, the young man wearing his guns unfastened and ready for use. The Tongs have had a little disagreement lately and it's dangerous down here for some; the masked man chats a bit with a stall vendor in Mandarin for a second, nodding at what she tells him and doesn't tell him. About a day or so ago, he sent an 'R-mail' to the Queen, along with a scap of cloth bearing a couple of bloodstains. Now, he's looking around for her, to see what the news might be.

Rat Queen appears in an alley that was empty a few minutes ago. It's really creepy when she does that. She steps forward just enough for Zeroman to spot her, and indicates for him to join her with a jerk of her head.

Zeroman looks up, nods, and casually moves towards the alley where the Queen appeared. He rolls his shoulders, adjusts his jacket, and steps into the gloomy closed area. "Anything?" he says, the young man trying not to sound hopeful, and failing.

Rat Queen regards you from behind her mask, one of her little pets perched on her shoulder, furiously washing its whiskers. "He was still alive, four hours ago. Old meat packing plant to the north west near the old railway lines." She sounds indifferent. "Rear wall is nothing but rubble. Rats can get in and out that way, he can get air, but no chance of him getting out that direction. Front wall is a meet locker door. Guards come and go, no chance of him getting out that direction, they've stuck a piece of rebar through the lock-loop. Who is he?" She tries to sound like she's not particularly interested in the answer, and is just asking as an afterthought.

Zeroman's jaw tightens as he hears the news, and fingertips drum on the butt of one gun. "Just a kid who saw something he shouldn't have. If they follow standard procedute, they'll see what he knows, then dump him later. I wanna get to him before they have a chance to start work." He looks at the alley, anxious to get started. "I assume that they can lead us there?" He pulls one gun, checks it. "Guards I can handle."

Rat Queen tilts her head, considering you. "I can lead you there. They haven't worked him over seriously yet. Probably leaving him in the dark to soften him up, but I told my friends to leave him be." She adjusts the hood down lower, hiding her face. "If we're going to do this, let's do it. You can owe me one." She says the last with a hint of a smile in her voice. She's always saying you can owe her one… but she never tries to collect. As if she liked helping out, but wasn't going to admit it.

Zeroman quirks a smile and nods, and then it's a quick trot and run across the twisting maze of the undercity - atop crumbling buildings, over narrow alleyways, through culverts. "Your little buddies never like smooth sidewalks, do they?" he says after he vaults over a chain-link fence, landing in a roll on the other side and rolling up into a trot.

Rat Queen just chuckles, "Look, if I was taking you through -their- route, we'd be running -through- inch wide pipes, not jumping -over- them. I'm trying to be accommodating for your human limitations." It's a little disturbing when she talks about herself like she was a rat, not a human. "Besides, smooth sidewalks mean you stand out like a bug on a plate. I like the shadows." She jerks a chin, rather than pointing. "Those are the railway tracks I mentioned… track splits, the one to the left goes right up to the rear of the meat packing house."

Zeroman trots low and almost loping like an animal himself as he follows the tracks and approaches the rear of the meat packing house. He fastens up his jacket, guns in both hands now, and he quietly sneak sneaks up to the rear wall, laying his ear against it.

Rat Queen crouches against the wall, making herself as small a target as possible. Her eyes behind her mask go distant. She says softly, "Kid's still alive." She doesn't make the mistake of whispering, a whisper actually travels further than just speaking softly. She removes her gloves with their fake metal claws, something she's never done in front of you before. The left hand is badly scarred, what looks like old burns, and is drawn as if it can't open or close fully. She folds the gloves carefully, tucking them into a pouch at her waist. Her hands change then, growing thinner, the nails lengthening into claws. "Let see if we can't keep him that way."

Zeroman's eyes widen a bit as he sees her change; apparently rumors and supposition are true, at least to a point. He quickly turns his attention back to the matter at hand. "What are you planning? Any place I should move to?" he says, wondering now.

Rat Queen smiles thinly, "We go in side by side, you take the left, and keep out of each other's lines of fire. My friends report three inside. Two of us should have no trouble taking them… I don't heal though. So anyone with a gun, you take them out first. I'll target anyone with steel first." Putting you on her left means she's trusting you on her weak side. And if not stellar strategy, at least she's thinking. "Unless someone goes for the meat locker door. They go after the kid, all bets are off."

Zeroman nods quickly, working out strategy and making sure his guns are loaded and working. He gives a quick heh. "I don't heal, either," he says. "Let's go." He levers open the rusty rear door and goes low, heading unerringly into pitch darkness, then sliding with his back to a tall line of crates and old boxes, scanning for the guards.

Rat Queen takes the righthand side, moving with caution in the darkness. Her senses are far better than human, but she needs -some- light. Thankfully the guards need light as well, so there's that. And the guards will be sitting in the light, which will hose up their nightsight. Two of them, in fact, are playing cards, the third smoking. After all, they've got a scared kid shoved in a meatlocker, a rebar rod shoved through the loop where a lock would go. The kid isn't going anywhere.

Zeroman's first move when he comes around the corner is to shoot both the cardplayers, almost silent guns spitting out blunt soft projectiles at their foreheads. Both are hit solid and both go down like they'd been poleaxed. They will definately feel that for many days. Zeroman rolls behind a large coil of wire, guns still aimed and drawn.

Rat Queen leaps from concealment, an eerie, rattling hiss coming from her lips. Her clawed hand lashes out, striking the guard and sending him tumbling to the ground. She lands in a crouch, still hissing like an angry rat and just pauses for a moment, alert, making sure that none of the thugs move and there is no other sign of danger.

Zeroman stays alert, standing, guns ready. He covers the entrances to the area, sighting down the passageways, then relaxing slightly. "Looks clear," he says, going to the rebar-locked door and pulling it free. "Don't freak, dude, this is a rescue," he says before he opens the door more than a crack.

Rat Queen stands up, pulling her cloak about her so her hands are hidden, everything hidden in fact, except for the tip of the nose of her mask. The way the cloak rustles, she's either got some friends under there, or she's getting her gloves back on. She backs slowly away from the opening, moving into the shadows so as not to freak the kid out further.

Zeroman slides in carefully, just in case the kid has gotten free and is waiting for him with a peice of glass in hand. That not being the case, though, he quickly crosses to where the youth is bound and trussed, releasing him quickly and helping him stand. "Can you walk?" he says, assisting the young man as he can. "Steady.."

Rat Queen stays outside and pulls the door wide open, and picks up the piece of rebar, keeping it at hand. After all, in how many movies would this be the point where a fourth guard shows up and traps all of them inside? Uh-uh, not this little brown rat. She keeps her back against the door, propping it open and giving her the wall and door solid at her back, and keeps sharp.

Zeroman nods, recognizing her caution, and leads the young man outside. He's been beaten and one ankle is probably twisted or broken, but no serious permanent damage is done. "Quiet, kid, and we're out of here.." he says, moving along at as rapid a pace as he can and still keep a hand free with his gun. "I think they went down so fast, no-one's even telling a story."

Rat Queen murmurs, "Let's keep it that way. There's a service lift to topside near here. Let's get there and get him up top." After all, the Rat Queen wears fur or leather gloves with metal claws. She doesn't have REAL claws. Any bad guys who have studied her, not the myth of the Rat-Goddess, would know this. She keeps alert, and her little rat friends slip in and out of the shadows, scouting for her.

Zeroman trots along, finally convinced he's out of immediate danger; he swings the guy up into his arms and simply carries him, getting him off that ankle. The masked man slips in to the lift anf gives the woman a smile. "I owe you one, big time," he says. "Shrimp hoison on me, next time.."

Rat Queen grins behind her mask. "Fair enough. I'll stick with you until you get the kid topside." She will ride the elevator up top, but she won't step outside. An odd little quirk, but then again, this is a woman who dresses up like a giant rat. "I confess… I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop."

Zeroman nods to the woman. "It hasn't dropped /yet/. They might still trace me, or come after him again. I have a couple of safe places to drop him until the cops can look after him, then shadow him afterwards. I want those bastards taken down. Last guy that tried to testify, they cut his kids fingers off while he watched."

Rat Queen's eyes narrow behind her mask. "Some lines shouldn't be crossed. If you need me, let me know." She keeps close, not relaxing even when the service elevator comes in sight. And like most of the service elevators down here, the locks have been busted off long ago. The elevators still work though, they are too important for people who want to come and go without passing through the official entrances to below to be sabotaged. Tagged with graffiti though? Hell yeah.

Zeroman holds the young man easily, stronger than he looks, and he nods to the Queen, unspoken agreement passing between them. She can see the banked anger there, that someone would do such a thing. "I know." Pause, as he enters the car. "Thank you," he says, sincerely, looking at her.

Rat Queen actually steps into the car. She jumps up onto the narrow railing around the inside of the car, pops the lid, and checks up top. "Clear." She drops down again, and hits the door closed. "I'll ride to the top." She looks over at you, meeting your eyes… she doesn't say anything to the thank you. Just looks at you for a moment. "Watch after the kid. I'm not much good above anymore."

Zeroman starts to say something and stops himself. "It's not all that," he says simply. "I'll watch him. He'll be fine and the gang will be history. Some more head breaking should see to that."

Rat Queen just nods. When the elevator reaches the top, she holds out a hand for you to wait, using rats in the area to scout out, make sure there isn't an ambush waiting. "If you need any help, you know how to find me." Once she is sure it is safe, then she'll lower her hand, gesture for you to go on. She watches you go, not saying anything… she's not much of one for goodbyes.

Zeroman respects that, and simply gives the woman a nod of thanks as he departs. She knows the offer of food is good, too; he'll make it so the next day or so, and often among the residents of the underground such a promise is worth more than gold.

Of course it is. You can't eat gold, and a fence will give you only pennies on what its actually worth. And forget a legitimate sale. What reputable jeweler would buy something from someone from below? Food now… that is real. The Rat Queen watches you go, until you turn a corner out of her sight. Then she lets the elevator doors close and carry her back down below.

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