Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Doing Exercises

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Simlog #25, recorded by Babsie, Doing Exercises

She was still smoking and her hand shaky. The tears were blurring her vision and the overwhelming feeling of fear and paranoia together with some paralysis of certain death was having her in their icy grip. Smoking the last cigarette, that’s the feeling it had. She was taking the smoke in slowly, taking deep breath. Like she would take her last ones and she tried to get ouf of it the most she can.

Silently she still sobs between the inhaling. Then she coughs, let herself slide down and fasten her legs, pulling them tight into a fetal position. She shrieks when Sonny puts his hand on her shoulder. “Girl. We don’t kill you. We just want to talk with you. Do you hear me?” “She is useless. Let’s finish it”, Rico says. “Can it, Rico. Listen, girl. We know you have troubles. You need money. And we know how hard it is to fight to get away from streetwalking. See? We try to help you. Really, we do.” But it is just hopeless despair which she is feeling.

“Come on. Get up.” He pushes her up, so that she finally sits with her back to the wall at the end of the bed. Her arms still around her legs, sobbing. “Just answer my questions and nothing will happen to you. Do you understand?” She nods. “Okay. Your streetname is Babsie?” She nods. “For protocol, please answer with yes or no.” She blubbers out: “Yes. Babsie.” “Your full name is…” She just starts to cry. “I don’t want to go back into the system. I just don’t want to. Please kill me. Do with me what you like. But not the system…” Sonny is throwing a look to Rico, who is stepping a bit back and is leaning against the wall, smoking and seeming uninvolved for the moment.

“Just tell me your name, Babsie.” She sobs. “Tuesday.” “Forename?” “I have no fucking forename.” “Really, you want to play hard?” Rico says: “I said we can’t use this junkie broad. Let’s finish it and try an other one.” “Barva… Barva…” She sobs and her voice just sounds miserable. “Barvarnilairiel.” Rico laughs but Sonny keeps a cool face. “So your name is Barvar…nil…airiel Tuesday?”, he tries to get the name slowly. She nods and sobs. “Please tell noone.” “Okay. It’s safe with us. You now what we do want from you?” She shakes her head. “Noidea.” Snot is running down her nose and Sonny gives her a hanky. She stares at it for a moment. Then takes it and blows her nose in it. “We need someone we can trust. Someone who is giving us information.” She lifts her head and peeks over the hanky. “Whatthefuck?” “We want you to be our snitch, little girl.” “Bitch”, says Rico. “You’ll be our bitch.” She flinches from his voice. “I’m bitch of nobody. I’m freelancing.” “Snitch”, Sonny says. “Officially you are CI, civilian informant. That’s a job. We offer you a job. It’s well paid.”

She just stares at Sonny. “I can’t! They off me if the find out. I’m no rat. Not ratting anyone.” Sonny sighs. “Babsie. Listen. Do you think, you have a choice in this matter? See, you have nothing. You have no SIN. You are a junkie.” “Ex-junkie.” “Ex-junkie. You are a prostitute.” “Ex”, she sobs. “Whatever. You really have no choice but to cooperate. Do you think the worst we can do is put you back into the system? Or put you to the Hollywood Correctional Facility? We could just leave you here with a heap of dope. We really would not need to put it into your veins ourselves. You would do that for us. But we don’t want to. We are your friends. We just want to do something decent. We try to keep the streets clean, you know? That’s our job. We need information. Nobody talks with the cops anymore. But they talk with you.”

“Ask her what the fuck she had to do on that crime scene”, Rico throws in and again she flinches from his voice. “Okay. What did you do there?” She sobs but doesn’t say a word. “Really. Babsie. I could just leave and let Rico ask you for some minutes. Do you want me to let you alone with him?” She shakes her head. “I don’t understand. You want?” “No!”, she nearly screams, her voice cracks. “Okay. So tell me. What did you do there?”

“I… I… I was looking for things.” “What for things?” “Things in the dumpster.” “Don’t play stupid with us, Babsie. Really. Don’t make us do things we really don’t want to do.” “No. No. I… I was looking if I can find something. Molly was a friend of mine. She… she was murdered and nobody cared. I was just looking if I can find something…” “Okay. You were compromising a crime scene. You have seen the yellow tape. This alone could cost you half a year.” “No harm! I wanted no harm. Just help. Find out.” The two cops exchange looks. Rico jumps forward and slaps her with his hand on the head. “Don’t fuck around with us, will you?”

“Shit. What’s that?!” Both cops jump up. “Fuck. That bitch is wired”, Sonny says. Rico pulls his gun, cocks it. “Let me just…” Babsie shrieks and holds her hand over her head, starts to cry again. “Fuck! Can that, Rico. Can that. Keep cool. Nothing happened. Everything cool. Babsie. Did you record this?” She nods. “Did you record this?” “Yes! I’m recording.” She is looking down beside her, the woolen cap on the mattress. She pulls it again over her head. “Fuck”, Rico says. “What do we do?” “Nothing, Rico. Keep cool, okay. Nothing happened, okay? We are just playing some good-cop bad-cop game. She has nothing. She has no SIN. No money. She has no layer. It’s nothing. We’re clean. Tell me, Babsie. What’s that shit? Are you working for the police? Internal?” She shakes her head. “No! No! I’m not working for the police. I swear.” “I swear I just six this little bitch.” “Rico, keep cool, okay? Put your gun back. Keep cool.” Babsie just stared into the barrel of his gun, peeping between her fingers of her hand that she has put between him and her head in a helpless effort to protect herself from the shot.

She starts to cry again. “Don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.” “Girl”, Sonny asks. “Fuck. Listen! Listen to me!”, he yells. “Okay. Okay. Okay.” She nods. “This is just another junkiefuck working for Hollywood Entertainment. Street footage or how that call it. Is this right?” The moment is like a flash and she bolts upright. “Yes”, she snaps. “Hollywood Entertainment. Not my stuff. Corporate property. Not my stream.” Then after a short pause. “Corporate lawyers”, she says. Slowly and sinister. “Entertainment lawyers.” “Fuck!”, Rico yells. “We’re fucked!”

He steps forward to grab her simrig. “No. Don’t do that! Rico! Rico! Listen. Keep cool, okay? Just keep cool. Check if her commlink has a connection. Maybe it’s not uploaded. If she records we have proof we’re not doing something nasty to her. If you take it away and she breaks herself bones, it’s on us. Let her record it.” Sonny waits and Rico laboriously checks her commlink.

Finally he says: “No connection.” Both cops let out their breath. “Okay.” Sonny grabs Babsie and pulls her up. “So. It’s up to you. What you do about this. This is not all bad for you, you understand?” “We should just six her.” Babsie panics and tries to get away, but fails miserably. She is just a girl and Sonny is a trained beat-cop. He grabs her and shakes her. “It’s up to you. Do you want to make trouble? Or do you want to cooperate? Make some money?”

She shivers and her adrenaline is wearing down. In her vision she tries to get a connection. She switches the transmitters. Finally there is a signal. It’s weak, but it is a signal. “Ooookay. No. I… I don’t want to make trouble.” “UPLOADING…” “CONNECTION LOST” “RECONNECT…” “RESUME UPLOAD” flashes in her vision. “I… I… just tell me what you want me to do. What it is?” Rico has the cheap Metalink in his hand, but he just stares at her, not at the link. “What we want?” Sonny puts his hand on her shoulder. “We need someone who we can ask what’s going on. Who is helping us.” “But they will kill me. What’s in for me?” “You keep clean. We don’t mess around with you. Let you do whatever you try to do. Don’t put you back into the system.” Rico suggests. “We don’t let you alone with crank in a room after we fuck you black and blue.” She gulps. “Okay. But you said you got money. How much?” “Twenty bucks for a useful information.” She laughs. “Twenty? That’s not enough. I could die. For twenty I just can let some john fuck me and even they pay better than that. And it’s not half as dangerous. I want fifty.” “FIFTY?!” Rico cocks his weapon. “The solution would cost just two and it’s over.” “CONNECTION LOST” “RECONNECT” “WAITING” “RESUME UPLOAD” She sweats. “What kind of information do you want? I am just a street girl, ya know? I am not involved in any gang activity in any criminal things.” “It would be enough if you give us some street info from time to time. Who is who. Tell us when something is going on.” “If we tell you ‘jump’ you jump.” She nods, checks the online status. “But not for fifty.”

“Fifty”, she says. “I can’t work for twenty to get on intel like that. It’s impossible. Some people must be paid to talk.” “UPLOAD FINISHED” “RESUME STREAMING” She let’s out her breath. “Okay.” “Okay? So we’re good for thirty?” “A hundred.” “A what?!” “Check the upload status.” She smiles. “Fuck you.” Rico stares on it. “Okay. I just finish that bitch.” “Rico. Rico!” The gun is pointed directly to her head. “Rico! That’s not worth it.” Sonny lies his hand an the gun and lowers it. “We can always come back to the drugs. And we would not even make our hands dirty. You are our bitch. The one or the other way. You think you can mess around with us, do you?” Babsie’s short feeling of triumph is crumbling and fear is tightening his cold grip on her heart.

“I… I… I could be useful. I can!” She is looking fearful at Rico who is still staring at her, the gun ready in his hand. “I don’t want to die, okay? It’s not personal. I just don’t want to die. It’s my insurance. I won’t tell anyone if you… if you let me just do my thing, okay?” “You are not in the position to bargain”, Rico says, “about anything but your plain life.”

Sonny walks between him and her. “Everyone calm down. We have a deal, have we?” “Fifty. And if I have to work for a full day. Two hundred.” “TWO HUNDRED!?” Rico tries to get a line of fire. “Get out of the way, Sonny. I just blast this spawn of hell to…” But Sonny smiles. “Can it, Rico. It’s okay.” “Hundred-fifty for a day. Fifty for a good tip. We let you do your thing. Nobody cares about a dead hooker. If you find something out, something useful – we can even help you. That’s the deal?” He stretches his hand. She hesitates. “Two hundred?” “Don’t overplay your hand, little fey.” “Okay.” She shakes it.

“And now we leave you in the middle of gang territory”, Rico says. “Guess you prefer a good walk home, do you?” “You what?!” They laugh. Then they leave her. “Ah. You’ll need that.” Sonny tosses her the small CO2 crossbow and the rest of her weapons. “Bye bye Barvarnilairiel. See you, little fey. Here’s our number. We got yours.”

They leave and she sits on the mattress. Leaning back to the wall. Laughing nervously. “And where the fuck I am now?”
[end recording]

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