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I kinda feel sorry for all that ranting an bitchin’ about Zoé.
Then again, it’s better to vent here than rage all over her.
In a way, it reallys isn’t her fault. It doesn’t change anything about what I’ve said. I meant every friggin’ word. But after all, it’s not worth wasting so much words and energy on it, you know?
Going at least kinda full circle:
Some things in life tend to prompt the retrospective question ‘Was that a good idea?’ which is eventually answered ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.’
When I was sitting on the roof of our RV, pondering, I had one of those ideas.
Cash was running out. All we had left were pathetic 300 Nuyen and those wouldn’t carry us to Boston. Jet suggested to rob a weapons store but that would just make things worse.
With limited time, a pretty narrow set of skills to apply to this situation, our backs against the wall and the basic rules I go by there was only one solution at hand:
Find an underground fight club and get bruised for cash.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
Took some digging and some bold words, but the local Russian host of the fine martial arts helped us getting into the gig that evening.
2 grand for a win was pretty convincing and so Nebraska, Jet and I signed up.
The rules seemed pretty fair, apart from the usual ridiculous ban of magic from sports. Yeah, sure, cyber up as much as you like but Spirits forbid if you’re an adept…But enough bitching, I took it as an opportunity to try working with limited resources.
Fight night was pretty exciting. Now I understand why Dad always got that nostalgic gleam in his eyes on the rare occasions he told about his past as a fighter.
The cheering crowd, that primal surge of adrenaline when it all comes down to the skill of two people pitted against each other…
If you ever hear this, Dad, sorry for borrowing your stage name or whatever it’s called in this business.
Bummer Nebraska and Jet got their asses handed to them and Leonid’s rival wanted me to lose this fight. It would be less fun, but then again, we were here for the cash, not for glory.
I made clear his threat didn’t impress me and that I wouldn’t lose for free. So he agreed to cover the price money we’d lose.
Ironically, even though I tried my best to not go all out, I still sandbagged Chernobok, the town’s champion. Weird thing was, unlike me, HE didn’t want to lose. He was fit and not drugged or anything but Spirits, he was slow and had the defense skills of a toddler.
Something wasn’t right and before I could figure out what it was, he passed out in the tamest sleeper’s hold I could muster.
That Russian outside the ring who just lost a lot of money looked like he was going to fuck me and at least the next 6 generations of my descendants up while I tried to get the doc of this place to take a closer look at Chernobok. Something was fishy here. He said everything was alright, but when I took an astral look at our “champion” I saw he was a deluxe chrome job.
His manager, our nice event manager switched off all his gadgets and now he was just a regular human. That guy didn’t have a clue what was going on.
If things go south, at least walk in the sun, right?
So I went straight for our ‘partner in crime’ who was too puzzled by the sheer display of guts to murder me. I could convince him that this wasn’t my fault; that we both got double crossed here.
He let us keep the money and I guess he had a nice talk with Leonid, involving broken bones and bloody money.
Never found out.
We got outta there as fast as we could, pockets stuffed with Nuyen and alive and well…