A wash of relief filled her chest once she realised she was in the right place, her expression shifting to a small amused grin as the man introducing himself as Diego mentioned a bottle of vodka. "I'm more of a whiskey girl but I wouldn't decline a glass of quality poison." she replied as she made her way closer towards the duo. The letters of his name manifested above his head in bright red before they faded out, the information being committed to her internal memory storage which was pretty standard practice for those in her line of work. Seeing him light up a cigarette pulled upon a thread of temptation for a moment but fortunately a lively distraction pulled her red irises towards the skating female calling out her name, eyebrows raising in the surprise of being recognised.
Never before had she been so grateful for being slow to react otherwise she too would have been left looking foolish with her arms outstretched instinctively to welcome a friendly embrace that never came to be. Instead she watched with a slight tilt in her head as White Rabbit retreated with a light jab aimed at the place she hailed from. There was an over familiarity that felt out of place given she'd only worked a few jobs for Rabbit and there was something else in the brief interaction that seemed a little off. Hell any detective worth her salt would have picked up on it but it didn't seem right to challenge it, at least not yet and not when there wasn't really a need to. For now her explanation seemed enough to satisfy Amélie and prevent her from considering the interaction further.
"While I 'do' have some french in me, in London an unsuspected kiss might earn you a broken nose for your effort." she replied with a smile. "It's nice to see you again Rabbit, It's certainly been a while."
The next arrival had her looking over her shoulder, noticing first the small Netrunner followed after by the male with the bushy hair. Amélie cast an amused glance towards Rabbit at the fluff comment before she turned to regard the giant woman arriving afterwards who actually intimidated her a little before she managed to disarm her anxiety with the friendly offer from a bag pulled from her pocket. She politely declined, not really ready to trust taking things from anyone she'd only just met.
Amélie spent the rest of the wait observing the others that had gathered, attempting to get a read on their individual characters by way of how they spoke and carried themselves. There was a lot of information to be taken if one took the time to observe and listen, to take note of the finer details that lay just beneath the surface. Of course she didn't suspect anything worrisome or problematic, if anything it was just good practice to keep the senses sharp and tuned. Besides White Rabbit was here and that was enough to set Amélie's mind at ease for the time being.
When the doors to the mysterious warehouse finally opened and a woman named Atara called them to come in, she'd followed with the rest of the group to be introduced to the rather dusty interior causing her to wonder where they would all possibly fit to sit a meeting with Nyx. The transition to the lower level however once again brought a surprised expression to her face and based on the small smile adorning her features it was safe to say she was digging the style of the place as she allowed her eyes to pass across the various details around their environment.
She'd have liked to look around more but the sound of a voice carrying through the room pulled her attention forward to finally see Nyx in person for the first time, her attention immediately drawn towards those red eyes and wondering which of them were the correct set to look into when sharing a conversation. Again she kept quiet after the ask for them all to reveal what they had brought, not quite confident enough to be the first one out in front of the group.
Fortunately the small Netrunner decided to take the initiative and she watched with interest as the girl stepped forward and presented a shard towards Nyx, quite curious to what might be on it but quite accepting she'd probably never know. When she introduced herself as Net-Fly she raised her hand to give a small polite wave accompanied by a smile to acknowledge it before once again letters appeared above her head before fading away as the name information was stored. "Nice to meet you, I guess we know who to come to if we happen to catch anything out there."
Once Net-Fly had finished Amélie looked towards the others to see who would be next up before taking a moment for a deep breath, feeling like being last was probably just as anxiety inducing as being the first up. So she decided she'd be the next one to step up and introduce herself to the gathered group, reaching into her jacket to pick out what appeared to be a very 'very' old beige computer mouse with two buttons, a ball and a wire neatly wrapped with a cable tie. "I can take a guess why you had me get this, though I'm hoping it was for more than just a joke pun." she spoke as she stepped to hand it over.
"As for names and stuff, just call me Amélie." she smiled. "I'm a Danger Gal detective with the alias of Chameleon due to my speciality for... well, maybe it's easier to just demonstrate." her eyes took on a dull glow to steal a visual scan of Nyx before activating her Optical Chameleon Camo, or OCC for short. Within a short passing moment her visual image completely changed to replicate Nyx perfectly from the style of her hair down to clothing and colour pigment. "Infiltration and generally getting into places I shouldn't." she dispelled the camo and returned to normal, starting the timer for her OCC to begin it's charge reset timer. "And that's it! ... I think. Nice to meet you all." she finished before moving herself aside for the next person.
She knew that Nyx was not a straightforward woman, but Vaitiare's naivete really showed when the group descended to their true base. Far from the decrepit maze, the clubhouse gave a peek of Nyx's true colors, albeit they were far more garish than she was expecting. She'd imagined the netrunner having a conservative aesthetic, but Vaitiare was hardly complaining. Even without comparing it to the abandoned factories where she'd normally meet her clients, this place was luxury incarnate. From the neon lights to the premium, (most definitely real) leather furniture to the fully stocked bar, it felt closer to Riot than the technological fortress she'd pictured. She had half a mind to hop over the bar and pour herself a drink, but she couldn't afford to relax while there was still business to tend to.
"I suppose it’s show and tell time, then. What’s everyone brought?” Nyx asked, red eyes glowing behind her headgear (if one could even call it that).
The short-haired girl was the first to approach, passing off a data shard and introducing herself as Net-Fly. Between the headband and sideport it was hard to see her anything other than a Netrunner and a tiny one at that. Soon after, the rabbit-suited girl (very appropriately named "White Rabbit") produced a cross necklace with no particular points of interest (save for how gaudy it appeared to be). It was odd to go from a data shard to a piece of jewelry and the next artifact, a retro mouse. There didn't seem to be any commonality between them and when she factored in her own test it only furthered her theory that all of this was arbitrary. All the woman wanted to know was whether they were willing to throw themselves into the line of fire for her and perhaps, test their physical limits.
Vi gave a short nod to Amelie as she demonstrated her camouflage, deciding approach Nyx next. Sparing the theatrics of White Rabbit and the geniality of Net-Fly, she rolled the cyberware from its bag and held one with her thumb and the other between her middle and ring finger.
"Two Kiroshi Mk 2s, courtesy of Haruka Orochi," she announced before tossing them back in the bag and sliding it towards Nyx.
"Didn't know which one you wanted so I decided get you both," she shrugged as she turned towards the rest of her newfound crew. "Name's Vaitiare, Vi for short."
Salem shifted awkwardly, leaning on a fence next to the warehouse. His meat eyes scanned around the group, feeling unqualified compared to all the remarkable others who looked like they belonged. It felt like he wasn't supposed to be there, as if he'd entered Arasaka tower and claimed ownership over the entire corporation. Panic increased upon seeing a young-looking girl open the door. Was he actually in the wrong place? Would he get flatlined if they found out? Salem tried his best to shove these intrusive thoughts to the back of his mind, and he was already in this deep, so he might as well continue diving in hopes of getting something out of it.
Grinding snapped him out of his worry-filled head, specifically the grinding from the large door, which was now open, with the girl leaning at the entrance. Salem looked down at the worn down and dirty streets of the area, then back at the inside of the garage, and for once, he couldn't tell which one looked worse. The messiness of this warehouse reminded him of the first time he had entered his brother's apartment after arriving in night city, looked less like an apartment back then and more like a super-sized back alley trashcan that no one had emptied since the time of red. Though, this looked harder to clean.
Introducing herself as Atara, the girl had invited them to follow. Salem slowly moved from the wall, staying at the back as he followed the young girl who moved through the warehouse clutter as if it were a programmed path for her. Yet, it didn't seem the girl had any implants in her head, but Salem was probably missing something obvious again. Either way, he followed. Salem's eyes wandered around, wondering if the junk came from other older recruits, but that'd be a high recruit-to-death ratio even for Night City. He decided to ask about it later, not wanting to get psyched out before his first job. Eventually, his feet reached the elevator, shaking from either anxiety or anticipation. Salem couldn't distinguish the two.
The machines' initial abrupt movement caused Salem to stumble, tripping over his feet and only saving himself from falling to the ground by desperately grasping onto the railing with a sigh escaping his throat as he pushed himself back to stable footing. I wonder if I should offer to fix that or at least take a look at the thing, Salem thought as the elevator descended into what he expected to be more madness.
It was a pleasant surprise upon seeing the actual base, making Salem realize he was a fool for not realizing that the upstairs must've been a cover. After briefing calling himself an idiot, his eyes explored the beautiful set-up. The light reflections on the furniture and bar made the place look almost mystical. Who is this crew's interior decorator? Because I need to set them up with my brother asap, Salem joked inside his head, cracking a slight smile. The sudden voice almost made Salem jump. His eyes started darting around until they landed on the disconnecting netrunner. Salem got shivers from the sound as Nyx raised herself away from the port, smiling with red eyes, gazing at the group.
T h e E y e s.
Salem felt himself slipping into a panic and only barely pulling himself from falling once again. Though, he couldn't keep his composure. Pushing himself to the surface of the nearest wall. Salem covered his mouth and screwed his eyes shut. Heartbeat going crazy, clawing to escape his chest like a wild animal, he started counting magpies in his head to calm himself down. A tactic his older brother had taught him long ago. Once he was calm, almost everyone had shown their bounty. Luckily, his ears gathered enough to assume what each of them did.
Carrying the safe under his now aching arm, Salem nervously fiddled with the goggles around his neck before stepping forward. He approached and set the safe down. "One safe as ordered, no idea what's in it other than that it isn't a bomb. I already used that one anyhow," Salem robotically stated. It was almost painfully obvious he practiced that in the mirror a few times. Moving away from Nyx before he spoke to introduce himself, "Uh, I'm... you can call me Magpie. I've worked with tech for most of my life, so I can usually figure things out in the field. I'd also say I can hold my own in a fight. Haven't died yet." Yet being the keyword.
Smirking at Rabbit with an idle nibble on his lip, Diego simply shook his head in a slow but sure agreement. Edgerunners rarely had the luxury of growing old, but those that did were cut of a particular cloth that garnered some respect. Whatever Abuela wanted, Abuela got. It was what made her such a fine Fixer in the biz. A touch of pink prickled darkly at the tips of Diego’s ears, and he was thankful for the low light in the place.
Quirking an eyebrow at Amelie, Diego gave her a slow nod, apparently approving of her alcohol tastes. “Nobody drinks vodka for the taste, chica,” he said with a chuckle and a puff of his cigarette. The cobalt gray smoke slithered languidly from his lips to lang lazily in the still air. A faint creaking drew his attention, spying the young woman - girl? Whomever they were, they were packing iron about as thick around as their wrist, and Diego had to respect the choice. While Diego didn’t reach for his gun in turn, one hand curled around the handles of his carryall as his weight shifted to balance on the balls of his feet. He had been screwed before.
Moving through the musty interior of the warehouse, Diego would occasionally tilt, lean, and shimmy to fit through some of the tighter spaces in the corrugated labyrinth. He moved with a predatory gait, his eyes always clearing corners and cutting the pie as they traversed the interior. Flashing a glance to the catwalks overhead, he chewed on the smoldering nub of his cigarette with a low grumble deep in his chest. His hands flexed on their own accord, as if to limber up his knuckles in the anticipation of trouble.
Seeing the elevator, Diego snorted and snuffed his smoke under a boot heel, “Oye, this just keeps getting better…” he said with a wry chagrin coating his words like venom. Moving to the back wall of the elevator, Diego crossed his arms over his barrel chest, feeling the reassuring bulk of his AMT against his hand. The Nomad was statuesque for the most part; unmoving except for the faintest bounce to one leg. Some part of him was expecting Maelstrom gangoons to burst in and drop grenades at their feet, and the growing bloom and glare of neon wasn’t calming his nerves.
The elevator doors opened to a chic little lair. All it needed was the electronic music to go along with the robotic people inside. Diego immediately clocked the man with the thistledown hair, nodding at him with his chin in the usual Santo Domingo greeting.
One needed to keep their hands free if manners didn’t cut it.
Seeing Nyx as she rose from her netrunning chair like some horror-BD mummy, Diego curled his tongue against the roof of his mouth as the borg’s voice crawled over his skin like a living, writhing thing. With the multi-eye optics glaring red and unblinking, Diego quashed the invasive thought that associated Maelstromers with spiders that needed squashing.
She’s ex-Maelstrom. She’s a good borg-fucker, Diego thought to himself, feeling a cold bead of sweat down his back and a falling sense in his gut when she said to offer up their meal tickets.
Mierda, I got no fuckin’ clue! Diego cursed at himself, grinding his teeth as he watched the others bring forth their tokens, some with flare and flourish, others with a business-like matter-of-factness about it. Should he try and take a peek in the duffel and see? No, there were eyes all over the place.
Diego’s fingers flexed again, blunt nails fretting at the thick calluses of his palm. He had been told to pick up the dead drop sight unseen, and he’d done exactly that. He wasn’t going to fuck it up at the tail-end. That was probably what Nyx was testing, the clever little chromejunkie…
Realizing it was his turn, Diego cleared his throat as he separated himself from the arranged Edgerunners, setting down the carryall with the rest of the goods the others had brought.
“Pulled right from under 6th Street’s noses, a mystery gift from everyone’s favorite NUSA-rejects,” Diego said, unzipping the carryall to reveal an apparatus of white chrome, polymer, and thick industrial plastic. Roughly the size of a household coffeemaker, it had medical hoses connecting it to a rolled up sheath of plastic about the size of a sleeping bag. A canister of viscous aquamarine liquid sat in the machine, which appeared to have the Trauma Team logo scraped off.
“One, ah…” Diego leaned this way and that, until he found a label on the goddamn thing. “MedTech cryopump with three extra canisters of… science goo,” Diego said with a shrug, not finishing as strongly as he would have liked, but he knew those things weren’t cheap. He could trade an Arch for one of those! Fucking figures!
Standing up and dusting off the knees of his pants, Diego found a space on one of the couches and helped himself, propping one foot on a nearby table with a loud thud,
“Hola, I’m Cazador, Solo with the Aldecaldos. If it's hot ‘n heavy, guzzles CHOOH2 or spits lead, it’s in my wheelhouse. Guessin’ I’m one of the people here for when things go FUBAR,” he said, nodding to Vi, being the other visible powerhouse in the room. She brought actual fucking eyeballs, after all.
UNDISCLOSED WAREHOUSE, NORTHSIDE, WATSON, NIGHT CITY
It was impossible to tell what Nyx was thinking as people revealed what ridiculous item they’d brought to the little party they were having. She didn’t move an inch in reaction to any of them, and obviously her eyes didn’t move at all either. She only stood up and leaned against her netrunning chair as Diego revealed his find last.
“I appreciate the lengths you all took in order to pick up these… artifacts. I assure you they’re of great interest to me.”
It was difficult to tell whether she was being serious or not, her voice a modulated, coying hum, her multiple red eyes as disconcerting as ever.
“Most importantly, everyone has shown me how they handle requests. I suppose we should move on then.”
All the lights in the room dimmed simultaneously, leaving only the red glow of the flickering monitors behind Nyx.
“We’re after an AI.”
The monitors all changed to different graphics, representing maps, profiles of people, satellite imagery of locations, but the monitors closer to the center all formed a large schematic layout of a warehouse. From the looks of it, it was very heavily guarded.
“Of course, it’s illegal for a demon to be out of its chains and out in the world. NetWatch makes sure of that with their castles of black and knights of metal, but this one is hiding somewhere. Where, that’s what we need to find.”
An image of a pale man with outlandish glasses and a decidedly unnerving smile now dominated the monitors, overlaid across the schema.
“Faust. You deal with demons, you go to the experienced. He’s our guide through hell, but he knows to extract a price himself. He wants a prize in this warehouse, something he was willing to trade ambrosia for: information.”
The picture disappeared, and it returned to the warehouse.
“A caged bird. Two wings, and a head in the center.” The monitors highlighted two distinct storage units, as well as what appeared to be a smaller building in the center meant for administrative purposes.
“We’re after a feather on the east wing, the 37th one. Pluck it, and leave. How we get to it, I don’t care. Kill the bird, chop off its head, cut its wings, that’s for everyone to decide.”
And just like that, the presentation was over. The lights went back to normal, and the monitors switched to black.
“For now, consider this your new home. You may stay as long as you like. I’m sure Ares would’ve liked the lot of you breathing some life into this place. If you have any questions, ask Atara, whom you’ve already met,” Atara gave a small nod to the group, “...or Yudai over there.”
The man with the silver ponytail waved lazily from his spot on the couch.
“Anyway, I suppose we should celebrate this occasion. Bar’s open, if anyone is interested.”
777TH STREET AUTO SHOP, ARROYO, SANTO DOMINGO, NIGHT CITY
Vance eyed the case that was being handed to him for a moment as if he didn’t remember why he’d asked for it, then took on a wolfish smile and took it by the handle. He set it down on a nearby work table and gave it a spin so that the electronic lock was facing him, and as it slid to a halt he whipped out a Liberty from a concealed holster and shot the lock point blank.
“Always feels good breaking ‘Saka’s stuff.”
He opened the case and turned it towards the rest of the group. Inside were stacks of what appeared to be individual chips, though each had a series of numbers and designations on small screens.
“Untraceable chops. Suppose a couple of these should cover payments for the time being?” Vance nodded towards the behemoth of a man.
He walked over to where Eve was standing and took the kitten from her, before getting down on one knee and letting it jump from his hands to the ground.
“Suppose you signed for the right job, then.”
Straightening back up, the pistol in his hand rang out one more time.
“Fuck that guy and his kitty.”
Vance spun the pistol in his hand and let it slide back into place in its holster.
"Oi Luna! Come clean this mess up for me."
An earsplitting shout immediately resounded from within the auto shop.
"CLEAN YOUR OWN FUCKIN' MESS VANCE!"
"It was a joke! C'mon out and meet our new crew. Tell Michael to get off his ass too."
There was a series of irritated grumblings as a very cross, very tomboyish figure stormed out of the building. She stopped at the mangled mess of a kitten that the high-caliber round had created, and it only took her a moment to comprehend before she whirled off to the side and unwittingly ejected the contents of her stomach. Vance laughed.
"You'd think she hadn't seen things hundreds of times worse. Luna, everyone. Joytoy, gun buff, and…"
He didn't quite get to finish that sentence as a fist smashed into his left cheek with sufficient force to cause him to stumble a couple steps. It was someone else’s turn to laugh as a darker skinned man with wild hair walked in. He had a wicked grin on his face.
“La hija del diablo, he meant to say. Ain’t that right, Vance?”
Luna shook her knuckle out before crossing her arms and leaning hard on the hood of some nearby car, causing it to shake as a scowl set over her face. She gave Michael the bird. Vance rubbed the side of his own face.
“Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Got a gig from a potential choom, and someone I want to be chill with. Gonna involve breaking into a corpo warehouse, crawlin' with guards, yadda yadda. Any questions?"
He didn't even wait a second as he strolled over back to the van.
"Actually, don't really give a damn. Y'all signed up already. Here's to turning a whole lotta corpses to corpses tomorrow!"
Vance hauled a large cooler out of the van and opened it up to reveal about every kind of alcohol possible.
Jin's hands dropped to his hips when Vance took the case. His left hand instinctively held the katana on his side, grabbing the scabbard, thumb placed over the tsuba, and right hand relaxed on the hilt. He watched quietly as Vance busted the lock open in brutish fashion.
After inspecting what was inside, Vance spun the briefcase around revealing its contents to the group. Jin’s suspicions were confirmed with a quick glance. Unmarked Arasaka credit chips. It was likely meant to fund Tyger Claw operations. He decided that the Euro Dollars would be put to good use in the hands of Vance. Or at least it would be, if the veteran intended to use it against its original owners.
The offer Vance made towards the steel clad titan did not inspire confidence for the fund’s purpose, and neither did the titan’s words.
Salvation was a vague riddle, one that only brought questions. Salvation from what? Arasaka? No other enemy was worth considering in his mind. The biblical scriptures and the strange answer, at least, gave Jin puzzle pieces to decipher what kind of person was inside the armor.
When Kali gave her answer, Jin turned his head towards her direction. She bragged about taking down a Kang Tao AV. The feat impressed Jin, though his expression remained blank.
Last to speak was the blue haired Mox. Her words were a jagged edge tinted with resentment. The declaration she made resonated with Jin, it echoed in his mind as if his inner thoughts had been read and spoken by another. He felt the fire within him burning hotter.
This would do, he thought. He could work with these people.
Vance took a cat that the blue Mox offered. Jin hadn’t been paying attention anymore. But then the veteran placed the feline on the ground and pointed the barrel of his Liberty towards it.
The sound of gunfire sent waves of code crashing down within Jin’s optics. Suddenly it was night. An odor of rusted metal clouded his sensorium. He was in a warehouse now, back in gray Chiba-11. In front of him was a soldier clad in the black and red armor of Arasaka special forces. Beneath the soldier, a child lay face up. The soldier was pointing a Nue at the child. Smoke billowed from the gun’s barrel. The child’s face, a blend of red mush devoid of any features. Tiny wrinkled chunks of brain were scattered around what used to be the head.
Walls of code decayed until his vision cleared completely. The scent of rust dissolved into oil. Vance stood where the Arasaka soldier had stood. The dead child, replaced by the mangled corpse of a cat. Tsunami Nue turned to a Constitutional Arms Liberty. Vance laughed as one of his crew members entered the scene and vomited at the sight of the corpse.
Jin’s neck stiffened. Blood rushed to his head; the fire within him heated the red liquid until it boiled. He waited for an explanation, keeping silent and still.
Vance brushed over the act completely, moving on to explain the next job with little to no details. When the veteran casually opened a cooler of alcohol, it became clear to Jin that there would be no explanation. His blood boiled to a whistle.
Jin walked up to Vance, likely appearing on the outside as if he would accept the offer of drinks. Then, when he was in range, he shifted all his weight to a left front foot that he rapidly turned perpendicular. His left heel turned outwards and he lifted his right hind leg up. He torqued his hips, bringing the right leg forward and extending the foot. He aimed to stab the underside of his boot deep into Vance’s ribs and knock the veteran off his feet with all the force of a turning side kick.
If his kick landed, Jin would bring the right foot down immediately and look down on Vance.
“What gives you the right to take an innocent creature’s life? Was the soul of Saburo Arasaka reincarnated into that cat? Explain yourself. The fixer’s information I paid for said that you were a decent man. Perhaps they were wrong. Anyone who takes an innocent life is no better than Arasaka scum.” He would say, only if Vance was of no immediate threat.
After Kali had boasted about her achievement against Kang Tao, she was surprised in the reaction Vance had given her… or completely lack thereof.
She had thought a corpo hating war veteran would be interested in hearing AVs explode out in the skies like fireworks, much less be pleased about it.
Vance had given a response to every member who answered his question, all but Kali. He particularly ignored every sound produced from Kali's loud mouth.
It left the egotistical netrunner confused. "Uh, hello?" Kali called out to Vance as if they were on a choppy holo. "What about my stuff, I had to--"
Kali was ready to give him an in depth rundown on how she struck the AVs through Cyberspace. But after Vance shot the Arasaka case’s lock to open, all those thoughts dissipated out of thin air.
“Ooooh…” She uttered. Delight was obvious in her voice as her pitch made a crescendo.
Head tilted slightly to the side, she had peered at what was inside the package. Credchips. Kali's eyes had sparkled. She made a satisfied humm. They'd hear no more complaints from her. The potential Eddies were enough to shut her up. What was I about to say?
Suddenly she can tolerate Vance's disregard of her.
"Nice work, choom!" She winked at the katana-wielding man. It must have taken hard work to retrieve this amount of gold.
After Eve had given her answer -the usual influential rocker boy type of answer- she took a cat out of her jacket. Kali was surprised not to have seen it earlier. She was wondering what exactly was the bulge she felt when she nudged Eve during earlier conversations. Now, she knew.
Letting the cat walk towards Vance, she assumed they had always wanted this Hulk guys' cat. "Uh… Are you guys gonna keep that? If I remember correctly, NC charges 1k eds per month on pet tax.” She butted in somewhere while Vance talked.
Then Vance spun the weapon in his hand and pointed it at the cat, and Kali feared the worse.
"Fuck that guy and his kitty."
Cat blood spattered on the ground and some reached their way to Kali's white shoes. She instinctively raised her hands out of shock and disgust.
"Dude, what the fuck? You short-circed? What did you do that for?!"
Fixed at the cat that was left lying on the ground, it took a moment for Kali to be able to look up, first she turned to Eve to see her reaction. The fact that Eve kept this pet alive from a mission must have meant something.
She heard Vance call out more of his people. One of them was another mox, Luna, it would've interested Kali, but her mind was somewhere else.
Her head turned to a tall figure approaching Vance. She saw the golden eyed merc attempting to strike a kick at him. Had it landed, Kali would have just watched it all unfold. The katana-wielding man shared the same concern with her, but his reaction was more gewalt.
Had the katana-wielding man's speech been left undisturbed, Kali would have agreed with him. To flatline a cat for the sake of flatlining, Vance was indeed scum. Kali shook her head.