2020-04-19 - A Night At The Races


A night at the races ends in a … chase

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 19 03:35:11 2020
Location: New York

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Theme Song



Not all nights are occupied with lopsided private wars against ancient ninja clans for Kian Allard-Liao. Some of them have to of necessity be occupied with making a living and for Kian that means racing. Rather illegal racing but it happens in nearly every major city and it's hard to tamp down on, especially if the drivers are good. Which Kian is.

The races aren't easy to follow though some of them are tracked with small webcams or little drones streaming on very private sites. The people at the finish line are waiting, watching tablets and laptops. Kian is winning. There was some excitement early on but… he is just that good. And it really is about being that good. He doesn't have the fastest bike here. But he is by far the best rider.

Ranna's life has changed significantly in the last few months. She's found a place to live that isn't a hole or temporary. There's running water and a small kitchenette for her to cook in.

This isn't the first time she's seen Kian race either - attending is becoming a bit of thing for her. When she's not fighting - she's still doing the underground fights as well. They're good money.

The small ninja's eyes flick between the phone screen and the finish line - she should be able to see Kian coming into view anytime now. She doesn't know it but she's holding her breath. Even now, with the lead that he has, things can still happen. Just a few minutes more ….

She can hear the bikes now. There's a buzz of two stroke engines as Kian wizzes across the line followed about twenty seconds later by the second and third place. Kian goes around the block to bleed off speed and pulls back in. Some people are cheering him. Others look annoyed that he's won, but one of the reasons he's still welcome at these events is he typically lets people buy their pinkslips back - and these do tend to be for the pinkslips. It means that they can have another go at him if they want. But it also means he gets to eat.

Also he takes bets. Usually on other racers not on himself. Bookies won't take the bets if he bet on himself. He wins too often.

He's got a smirk on his face when Ranna finds him. He feels satisfied. Well, after all, he won. And he's going to take home a tidy sum tonight.

Ranna knows how to keep a low profile and ignores the grumbles about Kian. She chuffs to herself as he zips over the line. She's wearing a hoodie, her long dark hair hidden by it, face in shadows. It really wouldn't do if somehow she was spotted here.

She had bet on Kian and collects her winnings on the way to meet the racer, putting the funds into the wallet she has purchased. There's … a bit of it. "Feeling smug are you?" She asks when she gets there, casting a look around. "That was tense at the beginning. What happened?"

"Missed a gear change and that set me behind. Happens to the best of us." Actually the gear slipped but he isn't going to say that because it kind of sounds like blaming his tools. Still he managed to make it up with some fancy driving.

"Also Carly and Brandon are really good so they didn't make it easy to catch up to them."

He'll go collect his money in a moment. No need to rub their noses in it… much.

"Oooh look what you've got there. Someone made a bet on the proceedings, did they? How much did you win?"

"You don't miss gear changes …" Ranna says, giving Kian a look. She's seen him ride often enough to know that it's really, really rare. "But yes, they are good. I liked how you faked Brandon out on that corner. I thought he might wipe out on the building."

The small woman glances over to the other pair, who seem to be talking to each other and trying not to glance at Kian.

"You bet me. I bet on you. Enough to pay the rent for the next two months, at least." She won't give him an exact number but it wasn't small.

"What are you doing when you're done here?"

"I usually take my winnings to a bar for a little bit just to make sure I haven't been followed and then eventually wander home." What? Kian's paranoid. He glances back toward the other pair and chuckles. "If he had wiped out there it would be because he was too concerned with trying to prevent me from slipping by. But really, he'd already sort of lost that point of contention by then so…" That would have been his fault.

"And you? Beyond stashing away your rent paying money that is."

"It looked like he was." Ranna answers. "I don't think they expected you to catch up so quickly." But yes, they had lost by the time Kian had caught them. "Shall we go over and see them? Or do you need to see to your bike first?"

Putting her wallet inside the jacket she's wearing, Ranna looks up at the other ninja. "Go home probably. Taking the long way round. I've got a bottle wine and a bath tub waiting for me." beat "Unless I get a better offer."

"Sure lets do that." Kian says. As to a better offer, well he was just thinking of drinking and eating and then headed home so he's not sure he's got a better offer. As he heads over to Brandon and Carly he slows slightly. He saw something out of the corner of his eye. Something across the street in the shadows. But when he looks there isn't anything.

"Mmmmmm…" Now he sounds pensive. Maybe he should go for a lonnnnnnnnnng drive to try to draw out any tails. He IS after all…. paranoid.

Depends on what Ranna thinks is a better offer, doesn't it? Maybe the companionship of a bite to eat and a drink with another human is better that the glass of wine and bath. The glass of wine and bath that she can *still have* when goes home afterwards. She smirks though as she follows, keeping her face in the shadow of the hoodie.

The movement in the shadow has looking in that direction and then at Kian. "You saw something." It's not a question. "Get your winnings. I'll leave before you - you can watch. Then I can watch." If it is someone stalking them, they might catch them.

Kian nods and walks briskly away to get his winnings. Ranna can't see anything but there is a certain feeling. A 'you're being watched' feeling that she's learned to trust. Kian feels it too. It's that vague sense of unease when your senses are telling you something is there but they can't prove it.

The Tech-Ninja goes back to his bike and makes a bit of a show of tightening something down to give Ranna a chance to go ahead of him. There's a few places she can park to observe his route out, that is if she thinks it's a good idea to be out of sight. Is whatever is here watching her? Or him? Or both? They've both made a fair number of enemies after all.

It doesn't really matter who 's being watched. They'll leap frog their way out and yes, she'll stop somewhere if she thinks it safe and watch Kian.

Ranna's bike is nowhere near as flashy as Kians. It's a little street machine that is light and easy to move. It doesn't have a big engine on it - 250cc - but it's maneouverable and Ranna is no slouch.

Making a show of bidding Kian goodbye, the small ninja pulls out and takes off. Down the street, going as long as she can before taking a corner - watching her mirrors. Once she takes the corner, she takes several more and circles back to watch Kian leave.

There is something moving. And it is moving roughly parallel to her. There's a good chance she's being watched but an equally good chance that it isn't just her. It is hard to get a glimpse of it though. Kian pulls out a few minutes later and begins to move. She can see him do so. And that's when she realizes what it is.

Behind him there's just a faint blur in the air. A little tiny distortion. As perhaps with someone using an invisibility field. She knows that Si-Fan has worked on such things before. It's a bit out of character for either the Snakeroot or the Hand, but Si Fan is definitely not afraid to use tech.

Ranna watches the distortion field, her face twisting in a grimace. In the shadows of the building she's managed to stop, the small woman focusses on the bracelet she wears. From it, a thin armour made of Cogmimium flows over her - giving her access to comms, among other things. Shiranui, are you there? Not Kian, but Shiranui. You've got a shadow. The Order I'm sure.

She's not sure he's listening, she can't be. What she needs to do is distract those following.

Waiting for Kian to ride past, Ranna guns her engine and shoots out from a side road between him and whoever is following.

There's a sound of screeching from both behind and in front of her. Something has swerved to avoid her and at the same time Kian has hooked around in a tight 180 degree turn and come charging back at maximum speed. She can see the blade come out from behind him and charge up, glowing as it sparks along the ground. It's like jousting. He whips it out low and it impacts something which - still cloaked - goes crashing onto the pavement also throwing up sparks.

Then they hear the throbs of other engines. "GO! GO!" Kian shouts as he peels off, down an alley to take it to the next street over.

Ranna flinches as she hears the screech but doesn't swerve or lose control of her bike. The distraction worked, at least for the moment. "Don't be a damn fool, Shiranui." Still she can't fault the tactic when it reaps rewards.

"We need to disrupt their tech. I'm trying to remember what I know of it…" Ryoshi says, thankful for the armour right about now. As Shiranui peels off, Ryoshi leans and moves in the opposite direction. "Cross over, alternating intersections. It will keep them off balance."

"Roger." Shiranui sounds like he's encased in his armor now. He's not on his usual super quick electric bike but the one he IS on isn't any slouch. "I'm pulling up a map now. Sending you the data." What follows looks like a helix. A DNA molecule. They'll have to cross repeatedly.

"There's a police patrol up ahead. I'm going to get their attention. More heat on us but we can stay ahead of them and it'll make it harder for this cloaked pursuit squad to chase." There's a light 'thump' probably of his sword rapping on the hood of cruiser and then there's sirens behind him.

"Got them."

There's distortions behind her. Between two and six, it's really hard to tell and they're weaving to make counting them difficult. Kian probably has similar on his tail. The streets are empty ish but there's about to be cross traffic up ahead.

It's a good thing the armour has a hud in it. As Kian sends Ranna the map, it displays for her. The small woman hunkers down and guns the engine again. "You are having too much fun." She tells the other ninja when she hears the rap on the car.

It is more heat on them, but it's also chaff for their pursuers.

"Crossing over …" The bike leans to take the corner and Ranna thinks. "I can pull one of those bikes, you know. It will hurt and that's about all I'll be able to do." Shiranui has seen how exhausted Ryoshi becomes when she has to manipulate anything *but* cogmium.

"Why don't you wait on that. Can your little cogmium pieces do caltrops?" That might help. Because she can repeatedly reset the field to make them have to thread it again and again and again. If nothing else it will slow them down.

The first weave comes up and Kian turns into it. She sees his blade out. He slashes just after he passes her, whipping it out and catching something to send it careening into the side of a building. Behind him Ranna can see another 4 to six blurs. And the squad car which seems very confused. She can hear other sirens though. This tactic has a limited shelf life before they really need to ditch everyone. Fortunately they ARE headed in that direction. They just need to brush off their pursuers first.

"What? Oh yeah …" Ryoshi answers. What had she been thinking?

Manipulating the cogmium scales on her bracers is easy - the metal flows and forms little spikes that scatter on the ground behind her. "Deployed. I'll have to call them back and redo that. But it will buy us a few moments at any rate."

"I'm seeing four to six of these things. Someone is pissed at us. I can't tell if it's you or me, or both of us they want …"

"Shit …" Ryoshi swerves as she narrowly misses someone stepping from a parked car.

There's a buzz behind her and she feels the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. The scent of ozone reaches her just in time to tell her to swerve as someone aims a plasma gun at her. Yes someone is pissed. That's happening over by Kian too. They're shooting and from the noise in her earpiece he is shooting back. They're coming up to the next switch. Kian is quick but she's doing well keeping pace from him.

This time there's three squad cars following either one or the other of them and a helicopter has come up as well. That has to be confused as it watches something more or less invisible spit plasma at two armored bikers.

Ranna's caltrops buy her space and from the sounds of it puncture a tire. As they make the crossover it's easy to see who the targets are. They're all shooting. Even if they're not visible the blasts of plasma get a fairly good position on them.

Ranna had chosen the bike she's riding for two reasons. It was light and meant that a woman her size could 'throw' it around more easily and, for the engine size, it was quick.

"Shit…" she says again as her neck prickles and she guns the engine, leaning back this time to get the weight off the front wheel - just in time to mount the pavement and miss the blast that was aimed in her direction.

"I'm getting sick of this." She says, calling her weapons back and reforming half of it into her signature chakram…

The weapon flies from behind the shooter, straight to Ranna. Can they say 'duck'?

By the time the cross comes, Ranna has the second chakram formed. The blades cross in the air, much the bikes do on the road - spinning out towards those locations.

The shooter swerves but not enough to prevent the chakram from impacting something hard and sending them into an uncontrolled skid that takes out another rider and a squad car who can't see what it just hit. But probably will in a moment.

As she passes Kian he lets loose a handful of telekinetic kunai which explode on the pavement in front of the next group and sends them straining to right their vehicles. Three more go down and another cop car hits an invisible pile of bike.

"We need to loose whomever is left. Make for the freeway and the bridge." Kian calls out and guns it, abandoning the weave pattern in an almost straight rush for an onramp near the bridge.

They are so going to blow every barrier and booth on these things.

The chakrams frisbee through the air, wobbling precariously as they impact but soon they're literally following Ranna down the road. "I'll leave a trails of tacks in our wake. Go…" She tells Kian, falling back so her bike is nearly touching his wheel.

When Kian guns his engine, so does she and the chakrams 'shatter' into tacks again.

Tacks that litter the road behind Ryoshi as hunkers down over the fuel tank - letting Shiranui be the wind break for her.

"Well, we're going to be popular with New Yorks Traffic people." There will be images all over the system soon.

There's several very loud popping sounds and then more metal on concrete as people have blowouts and lose control of their bikes. The only thing on them is the police chopper now. They make the bridge. Kian guns over a barrier and then with the spotlight on him signals Ranna to follow him and swerves abruptly off the bridge and over the river, losing the spotlight entirely.

His bike, and hers, hit several short lived telekinetic platforms on the way down. The same ones he uses to jump off of. In the end they make the riverbank again near an outflow and Kian heads right in.

The police have NO idea where they just went. And with luck neither does the Order.

The tacks don't stay on the ground long. Even in the pell mell dash across the bridge, Ryoshi calls the metal back to her. It flows up her arms and forms metal scales on her bracers, just as Kian swerves off the bridge.

Ryoshi should hesitate … he's going to make her ditch the bike in the river but she doesn't, she knows they have to get away. As her wheel hits the first platform, she nearly goes over … but recovers.

By the time they land on the other side, her heart is beating so loudly, Kian might well hear it.

"I need a drink." She says.

"Rivers right there if you need it now. Otherwise we need to get a bit further in." Kian guns his bike a little and then takes off at a… more measured pace. They'll make one of his safehouses. And then they can get a drink. And count their money.

And count their lucky stars.

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