Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

The Girls

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Simlog #29, recorded by Babsie, Kids Corner

The rain is slowing down a bit to some uncomfortable drizzling. She is nifty steering the rusty scooter through the traffic of a friday night until she slows down and parks under one of the streetlamps that still work, locking the ride with the code she now has on her commlink.

Her bad mood has recovered a bit over the ride, just a little blues is left. Nothing she can’t handle. It’s one of her old corner. Those which are run by local boys that try to imitate pimps. Always moving, going nowhere. Their pants hanging low, glitzy tats or imps in the face. Expensive commlinks to show off.

On the first look the girls look like the other streetwalkers, but the second look shows the typical signs: too much red on their lips, too much colour on their cheeks. The clothings too flashy, too cheap. The faces too young. “Hey Babsie”, one of them hails while she is passing by. “Back?” “Just for some chat and a nic. I spend you a milkshake, ifya like, Nebraska.” “Gee, thanks. I’m starving”, she nods. She is looking like a child that had been playing with the cosmetic set of her mom. She must be thirteen tops. One of the boys at the corner is eying Babsie, checking her body. But he checks that she’s not dressed up, turns to one of the other boys to talk. They are not older than fifteen or sixteen maybe. Just boys that try play pimp.

Nebraska is talking in this midwestern slang, she has something on her that isn’t fitting in a city like Seattle. Nothing but the injection marks on her arm. She’s a blissy and a bit uneasy. Maybe she hasn’t had her fix yet. She has this innocent look of a young girl, still a bit puppy fat in her face, the lips full and painted in a bright red. She’s wearing her blonde hair in pigtails. Something that makes your stomach turn if you see it.

Two girls join. Wily has this bright coloured red hair, that you can buy for twenty at NuYou or make yourself in the sink for five. She has a piercing in her nose, a little shining gem in iridescent colors, that changes it’s glare by the light, adding some intensity like those neon colours do. Her hair is short and sassy. She is a living tomboy and has no marks on her arms.

She sniffs. She is always pulling up her nose, that’s how you can see it. Sometimes there is blood running down to her upper lip. But not today. She is high on something and has this shiny radiance of Novacoke or something like that around her, which is most likely what she’s on. She is looking more or less the same age as Babsie, around fifteen.

The last girl is called Zoé. She is looking at least sixteen, maybe seventeen but she tries to look younger, taking G3 every day to keep herself in the bizz, which she pops just when Babsie comes back with a plate full of stuff from the counter. She has already some tits. Her skin complexion is darker, maybe some latino blood in her veins, if you filter out the other stuff first. She’s on amphetamine, turned on like a spotlight, uneasy and jittering, maybe Cram. A bit messed up brunette, long hair down her back and as long as Rapunzels with a streak of white in it, falling down in her face.

The two security guys of the Nukit Burgers are busy outside to compliment the girls away from the establishment, company policy. They are friendly and try to smile. But everybody knows that their tasers are sitting easy. “It’s a public street”, one of the young queers protest, “I’ll call my lawyer.” But they make some jokes about being security guy and being queer as profession and she moves on, laughing.

The four girls start slaughtering the burgers and cold viscous milkshakes, that Babsie had sponsored. Zoé can’t stop talking, is making a little joke about a john and being a perv on this corner is being some kind of art, all laugh. “But he pays good”, Nebraska says. The girls watch her. “You’re going with that one?” “What?! Money is money.” “But… That sicko…” Wily is putting her burger down. “Ugh!, you’re sick, you know that?” And she gags. “What’s up with you, Babs? How’s this life as a renegade going for you?” “Perfect”, she lies. “I’m even clean now. I have a decent job.” The girls dig through the meals. “That’s so cool”, Nebraska says, the small thirteen year old. “I want to withdraw too. Tomorrow I start. But I have to get a last fix first. You can’t get into withdrawal on cold turkey, can ya?” The girls agree. “That would be terrible.”

“Can we talk about something different than drugs and the next shot? Please.” Babsie is not sounding too joyful about that special topic. “Imagine”, Wily dreams, “we all withdrawal and we get rid of our daddies, go all renegade gang like Babsie. We four.” They nod. “That will be cool.” “Shady made me a birthday present yesterday”, Zoé suddenly changes the topic. “Your mack? You had birthday?” “Nah. He made present off me. For the party of his buddy. And his friends.” “Shit.” “I need really some fix now”, Nebraska says. “Can’t stand that shit.” “You know what, Zoé?” “What?” “You’re a taker. You don’t break. You take, know that?”, Wily smiles. “Don’t know. It wasn’t all that fun. I don’t know why I said that. I don’t want to remember. You have a fix?” “Sorry. I’m on the rocks. But weekend started. That’s a gas.” “Lot’s of dope. We party and forget about that shit, okay Zoé?” She nods.

Babsies stomach starts to rebel. “Girls. What I wanted to ask. You know what happened with Fairy Fay?” “The elven girl?” “Yeah. She was hanging with us. Back that times.” “Yeah. She…”, Zoé is drifting off, staring outside at something that is going on, alerted. The rest ignores her. “Haven’t seen her for a week or so”, Wily says. “Some say she’s dead. A john stabbed her.” “I was with this john last week”, Nebraska starts, “and we were driving off. Suddenly there was a second one. Must have been hiding on the back seat. They were living in that trailer on that Willow Run Golf Complex park. Shit. Someday I go back and off them for that.” “Did they pay?”, Wily asks. “Ha! No. But they cost me the whole evening. They tried to stab me after that. I was lucky.” She shows a cut on the side of her belly. “They were too drunk to do it proper. Ha!”, she laughs. “Got away. But I was heavy on turkey after that. Needed a fix. A big one. Maybe those two offed Fairy Fay?”

“Pigs. Johns are all pigs.” The girls nod. “I don’t mind if someone offs them.” “Didn’t your mack do something about that?”, Babsie asks. “I mean, isn’t that their job?” The others just giggle. “You have no idea. You’re renegade, or what?” “Shady really loves me”, Zoé claims. Wily snorts. “Yes, he does.” “He loves that you get in the money for the next fix.” “What shall I do? Stand all this just alone?”, she defends herself. “He’s a good one. Never hits me. At least not in the face. And only when he needs a fix.”

They share the salty fries. “Who has seen her last time?” “I don’t know”, Zoé shrugs, “I think Wily?” “She was going shopping last time I saw her. Going main.” “That was when?” “No idea. A week ago?” They look at each other. “A week. Yes. Last friday. Around don’t know seventeen hundred? Think she was preparing for weekend”, Wily says. She is streaking through her hair, looking gorgeous now, radiating her Novacoke aura. Some guys look to their table. She’s sexy and she knows it. “Which trailer was it, where the two were trying to do you in, Nebraska?” The small girl tries to describe it in detail while Zoé is caught by something outside again and is away for a moment. “It’s the blue one. At the end of the second row. Standing alone. It’s the eight hole. between the sand bunker and that pond. By the bushes under the big tree.” “Okay. Thank you.” “What exactly do you do for a job now, Babsie?”, Wily asks. “No street-walking no more?” “No. I’m investigating.” “You what?” “Investigating. Like in the flicks.” “Like in gumshoes?” “Ja.” “Cool!” “How much do you make?” “Depends.” “More than…” She snorts. “Nah. Less. A lot less. Usually. But sometimes you are lucky.” “So you can’t sustain a habit with it?”

Babsie is thinking about it. “No. No steady income. But it’s cool.” “You look tired.” “I am. Is hard work.” “Someone hit ya”, Wily says. “Ja. It’s hard work.” “You want something against the pain? I still have some NoPaint left from yesterday?”, Zoé offers help. Babsie’s stomach nearly turns and she flinches. “N-No. But thank you. I better stay away from drugs.” “NoPaint is no drug. It’s just. After that party. It was good against the pain…”, Zoé trails off. “You know. I don’t know how I could have stand the day after street-working…”

Babsie manages to smile. “It’s nice. But I better stay clean.” The girls nod. “Zoé you are an asshole. You must not offer drugs when she’s clean.” “Okay, okay”, she defends herself. “I just wanted to help. So what happened?” “Punching ball. I’m more or less playing a lot of punching ball at the moment.” “You have to fuck your boss?”

She thinks about it for a moment. “No. I don’t think so. Maybe I’m messing it up.” “You fuck him?” “Ja. But it’s fun. It’s not that I have to. I miss you girls.” “You’re always welcome, you know?” Nebraska kisses her on her cheek and Wily is giving her a hug. “You know. We four.” “We were five”, Babsie says. “Fairy Fay.” Wily is getting out her lipstick and a small mirror from her purse. She starts to work over her makeup. The other girls start doing the same. “Just drop by, if you want to talk, Babsie, okay?” She nods. “You’re one of us”, Zoé says. “I know.” She hugs her and kisses her on the mouth. She is tasting a bit greasy from her lipgloss. Tasting a bit of cram. It kicks something in her stomach and Babsie pulls back. A bit too fast.

But Zoé didn’t mention. They get up. “Working, girls”, Wily smiles and they laugh. “Working girls”, Nebraska says, pronouncing it like they are the backbone of economy. But they are, they just don’t know. Redmond, that’s them.

“Do one of you girls know, where Fairy Fay was going?” “Usual stuff, I guess. Food, crank maybe.” “Thanks.” “Thank you, Babsie. That was a great meal”, Nebraska laughs. Babsie smiles and is feeling good.

They part and she is walking back to her scooter. She is feeling a bit funny in her stomach. Maybe it was the taste of the cram, while she licks over her lips. She sways for a moment. She turns to the wall and pukes.
[end recording]

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