Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Alone in the Dark

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Simlog #13, recorded by Babsie

Going along a dark lit corridor. Passing door 202, 201 a backyard outside. Rain drumming on the hood of her parka. It’s dark outside, cold. Raindrop hits her face, running down on her lip and tastes sour. Looking around, the eyes peeking through the darkness as if it’s daylight. But it’s almost a black and white world. Colors like washed out with ashes.

Looking around. In the backyard, under the stairs over-floating dumpsters. Black and blue plastic bags all around, bottles, needles, condoms. A parking car at the other end of the yard. A rusty sedan, the hub caps missing, door painted in a dark rust protection red.

Most of the windows going to the yard are dark. Just two lit on the other side, upper floor. She’s jumping down the stairs, gliding with her hand on the handrail. In the other hand she’s carrying something. She puts it on the floor. A cardboard box like stuff left from the parcel service. An image of her parka on the outside. She opens it, books inside, checks they are overlapping. Closes the top and steps away from it to the other side of the yard.

Her right hand is groping down beside her parka. She’s going under it, finds the handle of a weapon, pulling it out. She’s looking at it. ‘Ceotoo Xoss’ and on the barrel ‘Brimstone Ltd.’. It’s looking like a hand-crossbow. Without bow. In the pocket of her jacket she gets out a CO2 cartridge, clicks it into the handle. She clicks four bolts into an internal magazine from above.

The thing is making silent smacking noises, when she pushes the bolts inside. She aims at the cardboard box. It’s a photo on it. A male face. She pulls the trigger half, a red dot is on the box, then a bolt flies through the air, hits it.

She fires all four bolts, then walks over, recovers them, reloads and repeats. From further away the noises of the night crawl up into the backyard. Sirens, some shots, drunken people singing, honking of cars. But it’s silent here. The training goes on for a while. Sometimes she says: “Fuck”, when she misses. Searching for the bolt in the garbage.

After a while she gets bored a bit, sits on one of the stairs, lighting a cigarette. Some black strains of hair in her face, she pushes them away, watching the red gleaming on her nic-stick, inhaling. After a while she sighs, snips it to the ground, steps on it and with a fizz it’s out.

Something is moving in the trash. She ducks, moves silently into a position, watches. Some of the garbage bags move. Then there is something small under it. A rat is sniffing around. Slowly her hand moves to her thigh, the weapon in her hand, she takes carefully aim. Then presses the trigger, laser-pointer, the bolt hisses into the night.

The bolt hits. Squeaking. The rat runs away, hides in the garbage. “Shit.” Silence. She moves silently in the darkness. But she stops a few meters away from the place she has hit the rat. Listens. No movement. No rat. “So much for my bolt”, she says.

“So. This is, what you are doing? Hunting rats?” A female voice, she turns around fast, the eyes find a couple of women at the beginning of the stair. They are wearing mini skirts in luminescent colors of green, yellow, red. They are about end teen start twen. A few others come out behind them. They are seven. Her eyes hunt for an exit. Firedoor, no handle outside, windows, barred, her eyes are looking for escape, panic, fear is flooding her system, she’s jumpy.

She’s giving up escape, takes a step back. Another dumpster behind her. Her hand moves up, a red dot is playing in the puddle in front of the girls, red light dispersing into the night. “What do you want, Jenny?” The girls stopped moving. “Just talking.” “Talking? In the middle of the night?” The one talking with the name Jenny shrugs with her shoulders. “How many shots do you have left in there?” “One for you at least. You fucking tried to cut my face off.” “That’s long time ago, sweety. History. We have no trouble with you.” “So, what do you want?”, her voice is trembling and the rain is dripping into the puddle, the laser dot reflecting into the night.

“Is Kowalski upstairs.” “And if?”, she asks aggressively. “We have a job.” “A job?!” Her voice nearly cracks and squeaks. Jenny stand there, not moving at all. “Do you want to shoot me or not? I would like to talk to Kowalski.” She takes the finger from the trigger and the dot vanishes. But she is still all alert and adrenaline. “And if he’s not there?” “Can you take a job for him? You are his… fucktoy or what?” The feeling of shame, blood rushing into her face. “I’m his partner.” Jenny laughs, the girls giggle. “Partner?” “I have a job. Here.” “You are not a PI. You are a slut with too low prices, a too pretty face and a bad habit.” “I’m clean. It’s a fresh start. I’m his companion. I mean, not his fucktoy. I can do better. I’m his sidekick. I’m a detective too, just not… I am hired by Tyrell. Officially hired.”

Her voice trembling. “I can take jobs.” She’s not sounding totally convinced, and her eyelid flutters nervously. The girls just stand there. “Why don’t you all stand at the track? And do your johns?” “No work at the moment. They found one of us. Again.” “Again?” “It’s the third in two weeks. You’ve been away. Or you’d know.” “So, what?” “Do you want to talk out here in the rain where everybody can listen or do we go inside?”

Her head tilted for a moment. She bit her underlip, it hurt, blood in her mouth. “Okaay. We go inside.” A menu popping up. ‘UPLOAD’ blinking. Slowly moving toward the girls. “But we take serious money for our service.”

A black girl from behind just laughs. “Flatrate? Happy hours?” The others laugh too. The black girl has her arm in a sling. She is walking passed them. “Follow me.” A minute later, she’s sitting in Kowalskis desk-chair.

“We take four-hundred a day for a murder case. Three-hundred standard plus danger mark-on. Plus expenses.” The girls stand around Jenny, who is sitting on the chair. “Can you pay that?” “I don’t see Kowalski around. We don’t pay that money if he’s not there.” “Why don’t you go to the police?” The girls just laugh. “They don’t care about dead hookers. You know that.” An ork girl from behind in a red mini dress and transparent shirt just says, we ain’t gonna pay a little slut like you four-hundred.

“I may officially work as a snoop. I have solved a couple of cases already. We were against a runner team and fuck. I’m worth my money.” “But you are alone, honey. We don’t pay you four-hundred. More like one-hundred.” “I cash two for the job plus one for the danger. And when Kowalski is back it’s another one. I can take jobs, but I ain’t allowed to dump prices if you wanna know what? So take it or leave it.”

Jenny was looking serious. “Three-hundred plus expenses? What’s expenses? We don’t pay for the shit in your veins.” Anger. Shame. “I ain’t got no fucking shit in my veins. I’m hard working. If I do the job I work hard. You are paying less than anyone of you get from the johns. It’s not expensive, you can pay it. And if I don’t charge enough from you, he’ll come and break my bones for it and after that he’s coming for you, so ka?”

Jenny was looking for a moment with a puzzled look in her face. “Maybe.” “I don’t know if he likes me taking three-hundred. I’d better pay up real cash. Means four for this kind of job. Per day.” “We pay three until he’s back. Girls?” She turned around. The girls nodding.

“Okay. Deal. Pay in front. I want a stick in the office in the morning or the evening before. Or I won’t work.” “You’ll fuck us with expenses. We pay fifty expenses per day max.” “Deal.”

Jenny was shaking hands. “What do you have?” “Not much. We suspect it’s a john.” “Who got killed?” “Molly today. You know Molly. Bad mess, she’s the first that was found.” “Fuck.” One of the other girls said: “Fairy Fay is missing since three days ago. She was an Elven slut, like you. But she was respecting the rules.” “And Annie is gone. Ten days ago.” “Maybe”, one of the younger girls said, that was not looking much older than Babsie, “he has taken others which we don’t know.”

“Okay.” Babsies voice sounded scared. “I take the case. Pay front. Now. This is fucking dangerous. But I will find that asshole for you.” “If you call us first and not to cops, we pay extra”, Jenny said, then she stood up, then flipped a stick on the desk. “For the first day.”
“He’s a bit old for you, sweety”, the black girl said, when she left the door as the last of the seven.
[UPLOAD] blinking.
Noise
[end recording]

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