Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

The Exam

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Personal log of Kowalski, Roger

Friday the thirteenth, day of my exam. The test would be on late morning at the Redmond City Hall. A building, centuries old and in a condition of decay as the rest of the district. Babsie was more nervous than I was, talking non stop, asking questions until I told her to shut up, that if I had not learned until this day it is too late anyway. It wasn’t helping much because she started to drip questions like the tab at the sink in my office that drips water even if you squeeze it shut very firmly.

She was jumpy and forced me to wear my good suit for the day. She checked that I had a pencil and a ballpen and a filler and that everything works perfectly, while I tried to tell her that the test will be all electronic, until I shouted at her to sit still and stop making me nervous.

She bit her lip and I checked my tie. We were driving north through Touristville until we turned right at a corner to the edge of the wilder part of the district, where the ancient building from nineteenth century was hulking above. The facade was washed out by the acid rain and the former red stones had been blackened and blanched. Guards from Knight Errant were standing by the entrance and checked my SIN and it was the point where I left Babsie behind, she wearing her newest jeans, blouse and jacket. No citizen must be denied entrance to her government representative even if she had no passport, she said, but the guards told her if you want to enter she had to accept a visitors pass with photo and prints, which made her nervous and so she turned around to wait in the car, reminding me of a young father who was waiting for his wife to bring forth, smoking one cigarette after the other.

It was all routine and bureaucracy, the test in that cellar room with terminals and a guard who should be watching that I did not use forbidden aids was instead flirting with one of the young administration secretaries. There were a few other candidates for tests but I doubt it was a test for working as a Private Investigator. The questions were ridiculous easy like: “How many states are members of the UCAS?” and the four answers were 1, 32, 52, 96, which was laughable easy. So in the end, with not much sweat from my side I ended the test and the computer was up to give me a result a few seconds later. More bureaucracy, confirmations, entry of the permission on my SIN, more fees and virtual stamps and paperwork. I got a cold and formal congratulation, a P.I. badge stamped on plastic with my photo on it. 100% correct answers, zero answers wrong, 50% needed. Piece of cake. It’s not a job that’s paid so good anyway and you don’t make yourself much friends with it neither.

It wouldn’t have been so easy if I had not been working as a Lieutenant for years. Actually to become a Private Investigator you have to show days and days of experience in this field of work, which is the reason that most PI are in fact Ex-Cops or Ex-Security personal. That’s the way we end our careers, pension, barman, bouncer, snoop or death. Most of us get chosen the last option.

The whole thing was eating away 200 creds from my ebbie and I just hope it’s worth it.

I took the opportunity to register another weapon, the Needler I had confiscated, just to make Babsie wait for a little bit longer. I sat down in the car, without reaction on her jumping around and asking me if I had passed or… or… “I just drive”, I said, “fasten the belt.” “Tell! Was it bad? It was the surveillance, was it? You fragged the surveillance. I knew it! Shit! Shit!”, she cried.

Down the Union Hill Road to the east I was driving until I stopped the car at that jap restaurant “Phoenix House”. The net had said the meals were cheap and good, no frills but we couldn’t afford any place much more expensive at the moment anyway. “Hungry?”, I asked her. She was jumpy like a frog in a french pan, almost screaming, her voice gone up an octave and squeaking. “I passed”, I said, smiling, when we were de-mounting but she almost run me over when she jumped me and hugged me. I felt her kisses on my cheek and mouth and she was joyfully pressing herself against me, lifting her feet from the ground and leaving this tingling feeling in my stomach doing this until I softly put her down. “You can eat what you like, as much you like. I pay.”

The Japanese restaurant was as described on it’s side and rated by the guests. Cheap and well-attended, the service friendly and swift. She giggled like a teenager most of the time, especially after drinking the rice wine and asked me if I like to have a blowjob under the table just here, which she let hang between us for a moment, before she laughed out loud: “Gotcha! Face!” Some people were turning their heads to us and I had to advice her to keep her voice a bit low.

Especially with jokes like that.

I answered a text from Miss Simpson how the exam had gone and she congratulated and pushed two jobs on my schedule. “Just for starters and to get the feeling, if you like. You can take them or leave them – it’s weekend anyway. Really I am happy that you passed the test, Mister Kowalski.” Her icon smiled, then she hung up.

On the way out, my elven girl was so joyful, that she bumped around like a rubber-ball and I couldn’t get her off me. “You know”, I said, trying to keep her off me, “there are more things between two people than just fucking. You know, this platonic thing, or enjoying to just see the other from a distance, a crush like for a rock star which has like this visual thing no physical component at all, and even with physical contact a relationship can just be on the level of touching each o…”, but she just was all over me and said, “don’t worry, I won’t fuck. I totally understand! I just want to kiss you so much. Don’t be such a buzzkill, are you? Just kiss me back one time, will you? For your exam. It’s not about sex”, and she turned soft for a moment, then kissed me sensual. I resisted a moment, but then I kissed her back. It was sweet and soft and she tasted of coffee and mild cigarettes and something like mint, fresh and wild. After the moment passed, I took her by her shoulders. “That was nice. But we should really stop here.” She resisted just for a wink but then smiled. “Of course. Yes. But you really deserved it.” She smiled for the rest of the drive home and I had the idea that this had not been a good idea.

I don’t know if she understood, what I had try to tell her or if my own head was messed up. She asked: “What are the jobs?” “Ah”, and I checked my commlink again. “Simple thing. Stolen motorcycle and the search and cash in for an ex-husband that had failed to pay his child support for several months.”

She laughed dryly. “Forget the bike. Really, forget that. It’s a waste of time. That’s a shitty job, man.” “So I try this ex-husband thing tomorrow.” “Wanna watch a movie? Something platonic? This platonic thing is that this greek thing when they fuck the little boys? I know a joyboy upstreet, who calls himself Plato. And he’s the favorite of some of the gay johns. Good cash flow this platonic thing. Didn’t know you are this platonic type. Would explain some things…”

So much about her getting the thing straight. And in the second I let my guard down, I made a terrible mistake. This kiss. For that one I would have to pay. So sweet tasting poison, lasting on my lips for a tantalizing while.

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