Chapter 2: Assistance Needed
Nikolai had decided to search for help at the local Club. Called 'The Fighting Den', it's been known to serve as a hangout for all sorts of mercs and bodyguards. Nikolai knew it would be the perfect place for finding some extra firepower. As he arrived, he noticed a Tiger being tossed out into the street by a pair of Siberian Husky Bouncers. One of them spat at the man and shouted "And don't come back!" The man mumbled a few short obscenities under his breath, and turned to Nikolai saying "Whaddaya looking at?!" Nikolai apologized to the man, and quickly entered the Club. He immediately noticed a large Grizzly Bear sitting in a corner, armed to the teeth with firearms. Nikolai decided to approach him, and see if he was looking for work.
"Hello, I'm Nikolai. By the look of things, I'm guessing you're a merc. You wouldn't happen to be looking for a job, would ya?" asked Nikolai. The bear looked at him and said "Bro, you whacked up. I can't understand what chu sayin'. Sound's like Russian or sumthin. Chu speak english?" Nikolai was now very confused. He thought to himself 'Whacked up'? 'Bro?' He must be one of the Outsiders who came in by boat from The West. I wonder if he speaks Handspeak? Nikolai then made the handspeak gestures for "Are you a merc?", which only made the Bear more confused. He called over one of his friends, a female Leopard. She said "Relax, Carlos, I speak some Russian. He said his name is Nikolai, he thinks we're mercenaries, and wonders if we need a job." She turned to Nikolai and said "Lucky for you, we ARE mercs, and yes, we need a job. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you use Soap Bars as currency here, correct?" Nikolai gave a relieved sign and said "Finally, an Outsider who makes sense. To answer your question: Yes, we use Soap Bars for money. Unfortunately, I'm running low at the moment." The woman started to turn away, but Nikolai quickly spoke up "However if you hear me out and listen to the job offer, you might still want to help. I have this Pre-Chemicals Holo Projector here that details the location of a stash of supplies capable of supporting a whole town hidden in the Nation of Jinan, far north of here. You help me, and you can have half of the supplies to keep as pay. Deal?" The Leopard Woman looked at him and said "I'm game, but I'm not sure about Carlos. I'll have to talk to him about it." Nikolai nodded, and the woman turned and began talking to Carlos.
Across the Club, in a corner table, 3 men, all Norwegian Brown Rats in black suits, were eavesdropping on the conversation. They used a device designed to translate the languages, and were able to understand everything said. After Nikolai had shared the stash info, the three men began quietly discussing it.
Back at the table where Nikolai stood, Carlos and the Leopard were having a slightly heated conversation. "Look, Carlos. He is willing to split the loot as long as we help him. Imagine if we had those supplies! We could save the whole town." "I get dat, but what good are supplies without any cash to go wit it? How we supposed to get back to town?" "We could always trade a small portion of the supplies for passage, then use the rest to help Pecaro. I say we do it." "Fine, chu win Abby. We'll do it, but I'mma keep my eye on him." The leopard turned back to Nikolai and spoke. "We've reached an agreement. We'll help you. By the way, My name's Abby. I believe I already told you he was Carlos. We're from a small town across the ocean called 'Pecaro'." Nikolai responded by saying "Nice to meet you, Abby. Now, tell me, what kind of weapons do you two use?" Abby gestured to Carlos and said "He prefers larger weapons, such as a M60 light machine gun or a Missile Launcher. I prefer longer range combat, so I carry a Remington 700 rifle. What about you?" Nikolai gestured to the AR-15 on his back and said "That's Vera. She's gotten me out of more than a few tight situations. Now, if you're ready, lets get going. I'd like to get to Tok City by the end of tomorrow." Abby nodded, gestured for Carlos to follow, and walked with Nikolai out of the Club.
After they left, one of the three Rats that had been listening in pulled out a phone, dialed a number, and began to speak. "Sir, we've got a lead. Three mercs planning on crossing the border through Tok City, and heading for the stash. Yes, sir. Understood, sir." He then hung up the phone, signaled the other two to follow him out the door. They stepped outside, and began to tail Nikolai's group.