Log 13

 

 

The trip from Greenleaf to Jiangyin at hard burn was only a sixteen hour journey, but Chang’s yacht was fast enough that the emissions the ‘Ghost was tracking had time to fade. However, Marsh was able to coax the ship’s sensors to narrow down the area Chang had to be hiding to a continent in the southern hemisphere. Touching down in a typical small village that dot Jiangyin, Chan, William and Cindy disembarked wearing ballistic mesh discretely to see if they could get a lead on Chang.

 

Since the big-mouthed Chang had let slip the name of the Hip Sing Tong he had contacted due to the loss of his muscle and Whitefall operations, Chan had an opening to exploit. It only took Chan thirty minutes to find a tailor that had been smacked around by the Tong and had a grudge. Coaxing the man’s anger, Chan was able to discover the tong’s hideout location. Dropping the hint she would ensure the tong would pay a heavy price, the man promised his silence.

 

The rural nature of Jiangyin meant using anything mechanical would be very noticeable, the crew had to secure horses for the twenty odd mile trip to the hide out.  Xavier had worked very hard on her piloting skills and since Marsh was spoiling to be in on the raid on the Tong, Chan agreed to let Xavier fly the Ghost during the extraction. Chan went to the local stable and entered into some actual horse-trading. She was able to swap five assault rifles for five horses with tack. Moving the horses to the ship, the crew loaded up for a “fishing” trip. 

 

Departing the following morning, the raiders took a deliberately long way around course to reduce suspicion. The convoluted path resulted in the riders being unable to reach the hide out before nightfall. The riders had to take in additional day to get into position for a 0300 entry of the Tong hideout. Knowing the ability to move quietly was more critical than protection; the raiders would only wear ballistic mesh. Leaving a sentry, the crew slept for a few hours and moved out to penetrate the hideout exactly at 0300.

 

The team approached silently and William easily by passed the security system to the building. The movement in the building was a nerve wracking experience knowing how badly outnumbered they were and the consequences of detection. Finally, the raiders found an office with a computer. Using the captured Algorithm disk, Cindy was able to access the terminal and downloaded a copy of the evidence needed to prove Chang was working with Flannery and the Hip Sing Tong. Cindy shut down the terminal and the crew moved to locate the young noble. This proved to be easier than planned as no sooner than they left the office with the computer, when they ran directly into Chang and five Tong!

 

Both sides immediately opened fire and things become a confused and furious firefight.  Chan barked out for everyone to retreat as her assault rifle barked at the Tong facing her. The man went down from the burst despite his full armor. Cindy realized the bodyguards were wearing full armor and took a headshot at the Tong facing her. He dodged wildly and nearly dove clear, but the shot scored the side of his head leaving him reeling. Marsh managed to spray the rest of the four men with an auto fire attack. One of the Tong guards was stitched from mid-thigh to chest and crumpled from the bone crushing hit. Chang and a man that appeared to be a senior Tong bolted the attempt to escape. As William and Li Ming fell back per Chan’s original order, Chan, on seeing Chang’s back, disobeyed her own order to pursue Chang. Cindy and Marsh dashed after their captain to cover her.

 

William realized the group had split up and he got Li Ming turned around to catch up to the others, Cindy drilled the stunned Tong she’d hit earlier as they attempted to catch the fleeing Chang. Marsh found himself in the unusual position of being the one calling for air support as he tried to keep up with Chan and Cindy. Chang escaped the building with the crew in hot pursuit. Behind them they could hear the Tong facility coming to life and Chang was spotted racing for his yacht. Marsh paused and managed to hit Chang in the legs, but his armor kept him on his feet. Chan was now closer to Chang and took Marsh’s lead to take her own shot. However, she decided for a more permanent solution with a shot to the back of his head. Chang pitched forward face first into the dirt, at least what was left of his face. 

 

Behind the fleeing crew the Tong boiled out of their hideout boiling for revenge. Chan realized a steeplechase through the woods at night would be insanity, she ordered everyone to head for Chang’s yacht. On nearing the yacht, Chan and Marsh pivoted to provide covering fire, but the plan was nearly ended when Li Ming discovered that Chang had a security lockout on the entry.  Chan and Marsh continued to fire as William and Cindy attempted to override the lockout. The covering auto fire had the desired effect of scattering the pursuers and giving Cindy time to get the boarding ramp open. Marsh and Chan’s fire was so effective that the Tong only managed desultory return fire. However, Marsh was hit and saved by his body armor. Furious, Marsh returned fire and picked off a Tong with a burst as Chan did the same. At this point the remaining three Tong broke off and fled. Cindy was on the yacht before the ramp was even down racing for the engine room. Marsh, William, and Li Ming headed for the bridge as Chan ran back to help Cindy. The quick starting yacht was designed for maximum simplicity and the crew was able to get the ship started quickly. Tong reinforcements were clearly visible out the view ports as Chang’s yacht lifted. William had contacted Xavier to let her know of the change in plans on the escape. The Tong fired hotly at the departing yacht until it was out of sight.

 

The two ships docked and Xavier and Marsh swapped ships. Chan and Cindy also boarded the Ghost. William and Li Ming stayed on as pilots for the yacht while Xavier took a look at Chang’s computer. She was able to break into his computer during the twenty-four hour trip back to Greenleaf. Chan sent a wave directly to Baron Chang’s office informing him of the situation the tow ships set down in the city of Hong Mu. Once the yacht was shut down and secure, Marsh called Chan to let her know there was a wave for her. When Chan answered, it was Chang Wen Shen. He had visibly aged and despite the anger in his voice, the pain was very clear. He spoke slowly choking back anger and sorrow. “My clan has dishonored you. The men known as Flannery and Keystone have already paid for their actions. In return you have taken something from me. While I have suffered the greater loss, you have suffered the greater wrong. As a man of some influence, I have spoken to my associates and you will find that the problems you’ve had obtaining work is no more. However, return not to my home world again or you will discover that this old dragon still possesses the fire to burn those such as you.” The wave ended and Chan ordered the Ghost into the Black before the senior Chang could change his mind.