Hacker Hacked

Summary:
August 22 2014: Jericho and Partisan begin an investigation in advance of the arrival of other help.

Al-Hawl

A large-ish town in Northern Syria not far from Tal Temer


Characters

NPCs

  • Kurd Mechanic
  • Unknown Attackers

Mood Music:
[* None]


Northern Syria had taken somewhat less time to get to than anticipated, which was, all in all, just fine by Jericho. Now kitted out in Russian gear with a conspicously not-uniform set of rugged desert clothing, he's standing beside Partisan about a mile from the town of Al-Hawl. Not very distant, the sounds of intermittent gunfire can be heard. Smoke rises into the sky from beyond the village.

"ISIS has launched an offensive against the Kurds here. It's getting pretty messy from the radio chatter, sounds like, but they're still about ten miles from the town and being held. For now." He glances over, black haired Parti with a bob still something he's getting used to.

*

Partisan seems anything but uncomfortable out here, she may not know the current heavy hitters but that didn't stop her from throwing her weight around back in Syria. Nevermind the Mercedes 190 Evo, and a trunk full of weapons. The dudes who weren't fans of the Partisan, were too terrified to do shit about it. "Yeah, well the Kurds will win in time. Much better fighters, they have the stronger warrior culture. Peshmerga don't play. Now then, shall we?"

Pausing to check the chamber of her krinker, and her Makarov before slumping back into the driver seat. "I ain't driving over there, we're gonna have some dipshit with a fucking mauser taking pot shots at us. We do not have the time to go play sniper games with some local wanna be badass, we got work to do so we drive."Cranking that motor over with a roll of her shoulders, before belting up. "We'll find someplace to park in town, and get to snooping around your facility. We'll try to ignore the Peshies, but if you see one of those ISIS shitbags don't even say anything just light'em up."

*

Jericho nods and straps his belt in before checking the status on his AK.

"Alright. Good here. Town like this I think we're best off not going straight to the top. The people there will have been bribed or intimidated if they know anything. Maybe second or third tier down. Someone who might have seen or heard something and might tell us. HYDRA has to have moved that weapon through here, so someone has to know something."

*

Partisan waits for Jerry to get in, before dumping it into first and scooting into town soonest. First stop however, is not the government building or anything even vaguely approaching it. It's a gas station/mechanic in what could be considered the poor part of town. "Get out and stay quiet, guard the car and look pissed." Direction given, out she goes. Pausing to sweep her Ak low over her hip and let it hang from the sling there, "Hey hey, is there anyone working here today? My car could use some attention, or should I just go to that place I saw on the other side of town?"

*

Jericho hops out, racks the AK and leans on the hood, gazing around in that casual 'I'm really upset to be here, please relieve my boredom' kind of way. He actually can be fairly intimidating when he feels like it.

The mechanic on duty, a balding, slightly overweight Kurdish man comes out. "I think maybe we can help." He says in Arabic, hoping Partisan speaks it. "What's the problem?"

*

Partisan tints her accent with more than a little bit of Russian, even as she shifts over to Arabic. "Hey, listen my friend I have a problem and maybe you can help me. My sister has been seeing this boy, good boy. He was working for this company next town over, and we can't find him. If I don't find him my father the Colonel is going to come down here, and nobody will be happy."

Thumbing over her shoulder towards Jerry. "That's his favorite Sergeant, so you see he is very motivated and very impatient. You know how marines are, they make huge messes wherever they go right? Then the Americans are going to go crazy, and this whole area is going to go crazy. So maybe you can help me out, alright my friend?" Producing a roll of bills from her pocket. "I need to ask few questions, and if I get the right answers maybe we can be friends. My father feels our family friends should be rewarded, right?"

*

They say money can't buy you everything. They don't, often live in Syria when they say that. "Sure, I send my boy to look at your car, and we come back to the garage where no one will hear yes? Then maybe I tell you if I've seen your boy. Which town was he in? I see a lot of people, a lot of cars." He doesn't even know, the mechanic, if this is on the up and up, but one does not question this kind of thing in this part of the world.

*

Partisan follows along with a pleasant smile, reaching out to pat the man's shoulder. "Thank you, this will make my father very happy I hope. I need to know about trucks, not cars. Big ones, lots of foreigners. Next town over, they would have been driving back and forth. Maybe they bought diesel from you, maybe they needed their trucks fixed?" Following along quite casually. "They're from the, quiet town next to this one. You understand my meaning, the one that's empty now? Lets not repeat the name, but I want to know about those trucks."

*

"They did not stop to buy from me, no. But they could not be missed. Four trucks, large ones, locked and guarded by foreigners. Black SUV's. Everyone thought maybe the CIA or the KGB. They got fuel near the edge of town. 'Negotiated' the price too, so I was not sad to lose the business. One of them, they got a flat tire. I changed it. Heard them talking. Not in English or Russian. I think, maybe from somewhere in Europe. Norweigan? Icelandic? Could not tell."

*

Jericho stands up sharply, suddenly looking a lot more wary.

Partisan nods softly, pressing that wad of bills into the man's hand "Thank you very much, that was very helpful. What place did they buy their fuel from, and do you know roughly when the last time you saw them was? You have been so very helpful however, my father will be very pleased. Thank you."

*

The man pockets it. "Little garage on the east end of town. Can't miss it. Thought it was odd considering where they ended up going. They came through night before last. On their way out after…" He doesn't say it. He doesn't have to.

Then from the front of the shop, near the car, AK fire rings out, followed shortly by RPK fire.

*

Partisan curses, swiping that butt stock open before sweeping the safety off and rushing from the shop behind a stack of old wheels. "Jerry, talk to me. What the fuck is going on out here, I can't fucking take you anywhere. "Sweeping her gaze around slowly in a search for wherever that fire is coming from.

"Two technicals with RPK's and eight guys with AK's." Jericho calls back. "They're not ISIS, that's for sure. Not sure who they are!"

The hacker is kneeling by the hood of the car, putting fire down on a pair of pickup trucks with machine guns parked at the edge of the intersection about forty yards away. Those RPK's don't appear to be in particularly good condition but it's not stopping the gunners from pumping out a lot of fire.

*

Partisan grunts, side stepping out from behind cover where she pauses just a moment, before letting that Suchka bark. Hurling short, controlled two and three round bursts downrange. Primarily at those RPKs, before plugging a few bursts into the engine compartment just to make sure.

"Pushing!" She offers, swinging that AK down before she explodes forward. Clearing the trunk of the Benz win a single bend, body twisting as she sails towards a low brick wall. Belting out the rest of her mag at the closest of their attackers, before landing hard. Her shoulder ploughs into the pavement, before with a wild kick she rolls over onto her boots and finally comes to a halt behind cover. "Reloading!"

*

Jericho is up, laying down rapid, accurate fire on the technicals as he covers Partisan's reload. In a place like Syria, though, this kind of thing draws attention and response a lot faster, not because the police respond quicker (they don't) but because everyone has access to heavy arms. Around the corner there's more RPK fire and a lot more AK fire as the block positively erupts in chaos.

"Moving!" Jericho advances toward a parked Chevy, laying down fire before dropping down behind the trunk. "Reloading! Kurdish People's Protection Unit en route. ETA six minutes."

*

Partisan grunts, bashing that empty out and jacking in a fresh mag before turning to get to work. "Anyone with a weapon just became a hostile, Kill'em all!" Sidestepping back out of cover to stitch a trio of rounds into a younger fellow's skull, and another into the chest of his friend and a third and well she doesn't really have the ammo for a proper prolonged firefight now does she.

"Oh fuck all, get to the car and get it started. We'll head into ground zero, those stupid fucks won’t follow us there right?"

*

"One can only hope!" Jericho's already moving to the car. Bullet's trace his path, but he's too fast and too used to moving under fire. Plus Partisan is providing a hell of a distraction. Diving into the car, partly for better cover, he works himself around and gets the engine kicked over. "Come on!" He calls, and then winces and cries out in pain as his traces spark and burn for absolutely no apparent reason.

*

Partisan cuts a smoke grenade from the small of her back and lets it fly before shouting "MUSTARD GAS!" in her best Arabic. Who knows, maybe they'll fall for it? Anyway she dashes for the car, Sliding to the driver side and slithering in. "The fuck is wrong with you Jerry, you fucking hit?"Clutch in, up into first, and they're off. That gnarly little 2.5L howling with fury as the rears light and the black benz rockets forward. Snagging second in a hurry, and third as the Benz takes off down the highway towards ground zero.

*

Jericho hauls himself, up to aim his rifle and lay down covering fire as they make their escape. The technicals do throw into gear but they're nowhere near fast enough to keep up with Partisan for more than a block or three. Which is a good thing because the hacker is shaking and seems distracted.

"Shitshitshit…" He mutters. The traces on his back spark again, burning a small hole in his shirt. He winces, but doesn't cry out this time.

*

Partisan glances over worriedly after Jericho "The fuck is wrong with you jerry?" Popping the car out've third and pitching the car violently sideways, before fading her into second to delicately power slide the car up the turn off and onto what passes for a highway. "Christ fucking sakes, just hang on I'll get us back to Libya alright?"

*

Jericho shakes his head violently as Partisan loses their pursuit and he drops back into the seat. "Give me a minute…" He murmurs. His eyes are unfocused, as if he's somewhere else. For a long two or three minutes he doesn't seem aware of anything around him. Then he takes a deep breath and comes out of it.

"Ow… someone tried to hack me." Ordinarily even finding him is freaking impossible. This had to be someone with some fairly detailed knowledge of his systems.

*

Partisan frowns, settling the car down and finally doing the seatbelt thing. "If you tell me they're at ground zero, we're gonna seriously be fucking some shit up here. They're fucking lucky I don't have actual fucking Mustard with me, death by blistering agent is always fun." Snagging a map from the sun visor before splaying it out on the wheel to glance over as she drives.

*

He shakes his head. "No, the attack came from Germany. I've locked whomever it was out and scrambled my signal. They won't find me again. Mmmm. I hope, anyway…" He sighs. He's only ever been hacked once before, and that was by a killer robot. "No, ground Zero should be clear. The Government already did corpse cleanup though I can play back my record from my first time there if you need to see it. It was pretty gruesome."

*

Partisan frowns "Just remind me why I wasn’t with you for that?" Snagging third, and soon fourth as the car zips along at entirely not exactly legal speeds towards their goal. Luckily, this is a Merc so…yes there is Air conditioning and a stereo softly playing…is that Sting and the Police?

*

"I thought it was just a lab…" He sighs. "I didn't realize it'd gotten it wrong and it was a field test until I'd gotten there." How exactly Jericho got there and back she may be able to guess, but he doesn't say. "What are you looking for when we get there?" It's a fair bet, given the sparking that he's burned up again. It's a mildly worrying thought for him, someone remotely overloading his traces until it kills him. That'd be a bad way to go.

*

"Paperwork, weapons, shell casings, weapon systems, writing of any kind so we can lock down the language these fucks were speaking. I doubt they left like, text books around but I'd be surprised if they didn't yaknow have fliers and shit scattered around. Please turn off lights before exiting, this door is to remain locked at all times, that sort've shit. I mean since yaknow, I wasn't exactly around when this is fresh and who knows who's dropped by since then? I doubt we'll find anything useful now, but we came all this way so it seems stupid not to at least look right?"

Sour grapes, yeah ok maybe a little. Nobody has ever accused Partisan of being one to happily sit out any sort of adventure though, especially when yaknow WMDs are involved right?"

*

"Government might have left something behind that I missed on my first go around. It's worth a look. I had to bug out pretty fast so…" Whatever just happened in Jericho's head took a lot out of him by the way he's slumping in the seat. "From there maybe we can follow the trail of those trucks. There's a port nearby, but it's in ISIS controlled territory."


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