Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Bug Out

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Personal log of Kowalski, Roger

Around six o’clock an Ares Humvee Civic was pulling himself out of the streaming rain. “Jump in! Jump in! You’re Terry and Dirk?”, the tough build orc woman in outdoor fit was just leaning out of the door. Go! Go! Go! There’s no time to lose! The missiles have been launched! Fuckin’ Ghul Nation Fleet is only a few hours from Tacoma Docks. We heard they have taken down most of Fort Lewis with some nasty explosion. TacNuke or something. Run! Run! No time to lose!"

We were looking at each other. “What the fuck?”, Babsie said, then shrugged. We jumped in the back of the Humvee, were a couple of other guys were waiting. A young skinny guy, mostly dressed in black tribal-gothic clothes and pointy ears, two guys and a young woman in their end twens or starting thirties, who all but the youngster were smiling and were showing good mood. The guy with that expensive looking blond hair short cut and glasses was giving me his hand, pulling me in. “Dirk, Terry”, I said. “Mark, these are my colleges Skylar and Dan, the youngster’s name is Daniel, right?” The young elf poser was just staring back. “It’s pronounced Thaniel. It’s elven.” Babsie was just staring at him. “You got a fuckin’ elven name by choice or what?”

The rest of the conversation was swallowed by the roaring motor of the vehicle, that was rushing so fast forward, that we had to cling to the benches. The orc was driving so aggressive as if the doomsday scenario we were facing was real and the faces were getting paler and paler. Finally we arrived at a farmhouse, which was almost completely covered by brushwood. With an emergency brake the vehicle did slide to a halt. “Go! Go! Go!”, the woman shouted and both were herding us towards a clearing behind the house.

The male orc turned around. “You got everything on the list that we have given you?” The group was looking at each other. “In our backpacks”, Skylar yelled against the rain and her colleges nodded. “We are complete.” The youngster just waved off his hand. “I was fitted.” Then he looked at us. “I hope so.” “You fucking hope so. Whatever, we have no time to check that. Anybody with a weapon on him?” Nobody said a word. “I have a pistol.” “Good man. You can handle a rifle?” “I was trained with it.” “Sarah, get the Ruger for Dirk and get the radio. Folks! I’m Richard and we are facing the Doomsday scenario today. We will take off into the wilderness and try to reach a shelter on foot. It’s the last hope to survive and we don’t have any electricity out there, no matrix, no fucking phones or anything. Our survival will depend on our skills and our abilities to adapt to the situation. And most of all for us as a team. Does anybody of you see himself not fit for this? Then he can bolt out here and spend a few days in the farmhouse. It’s nice but there’s nothing to do but wait until the other have returned. But it’s no shame to bolt out at this moment. I have seen it often. But survival is not a question of physical fitness, even if it’s helpful. It’s a question of will. You understand? Anybody?”

We were still, but he kept staring at us. “This will be a tough trip. It’s a week through wilderness at least, many groups need more time for it, some even two weeks. It all is a question of team-play.” The rain was pouring down, but no-one was ducking out. The orc woman came back with a satellite phone and a rifle. A Ruger 100 small caliber sports rifle. “The .22 is the ideal weapon for survivalists. It’s effective, it’s lightweight, it’s good for hunting and cheap. I want to see you handling the weapon, Dirk.” And he pointed to a mark at some range, something between fifty or seventy. I put down my stuff into the high grass, checked the weapon and he handed me a bullet. I took a kneeing stand and shot the target. It wasn’t a difficult shot, but I guessed it was more about safety than about marksmen-ship. So I secured the weapon after that. He nodded. “Right. We need two to carry weapons, folks. This is not an easy thing out there. The woods have been awakened and they literally have started to shoot back. So everyone be careful. Everyone keep in sight of each other. And here is your ammo. Keep it dry and safe, will you?” I nodded. “Roger.”

Sarah handed Richard an other rifle, a Remington 950 heavy hunting rifle. Each one with forty shots of ammunition which was handed by Sarah. Shortly after he had spoken into the radio we were able to hear the nearing of on of those old choppers, that were mostly out of commission thirty or forty years ago, but some might still be flying. With loud flapping it was landing on the meadow which was the clearing. Everybody was holding his stuff and Richard was yelling: “From now on, everything you have is what you got. Last moment to duck out… No one? Then mount! Duck your heads!”

The whirling rotor was whipping the rain against our faces and everybody got wet, when we started to sprint to the open entry of the back-seat. It was one of those aged army choppers that absolutely denied to fall apart. Babsie was cowering beside me when we lifted off into the gray skies. “Gee, that’s fun!”, she managed to yell.

I wasn’t so sure about this ‘fun’. Everybody was grinning but the boy, who seemed to be a bit pissed about something. The chopper lifted off into the sky and dug himself into a
nap-of-the-earth flight through the dazed sky, the treetops under us rushing by in fast speeds and you had the impression to be able to touch them if you only would lean out.

But the ride was scary enough to keep us from trying. The flight took us through some low hanging clouds and lasted maybe halve an hour, when the pilot started to glide down to a clearing in the woods. He turned his helmet. “I’ll hover above ground, you jump out and I’m gone”, he shouted against the noise of the rotors. It was going so fast now after all this waiting. And finally we were ducking in some grass all around woods and the chopper was out of sight before we had fully perceived our surroundings. The last sound of the chopper was muzzled by the rain and the clouds until it was gone. Just us, the woods and the rain.

Slowly we were standing up and looking around. We were in the middle of nothing. The rocky landscape of the Cascades all around, of which we couldn’t see much in the rain, the fog and the low hanging clouds.

It was suddenly very silent.

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