Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Tribal Annie

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Simlog #30, recorded by Babsie, Mad Woman

She is driving along a row of parked scooters and motorbikes, then finding a place to park. The neon sign “Mad Woman” together with a couple of AR dancing ads hovering over the street make up for the run down facade, which graffitis have been painted so much over with black paint, that the walls look like wrapped in plastic, hiding all features like the old brick wall, walled up windows and entries of that at least seventy year old multi-story building under a smoothened out surface, like covered in dark, stained, rancid chocolate icing.

It’s a friday night and people are hanging around the entrance, a line of guests try to get their way in, paying the twenty bucks entry fee or to get in front of the line by bribing one of the two troll bouncers which deny the extra cash in a simple minded way of shaking their heads and their horns, pushing the arrogant bunch of wannabees back to their place in the row.

She parks her run down electro-scooter besides much more flashy and newer ones and with a simple check of the flashy outfit of the crowd and her own simple armored parka she doesn’t even try to get in through the front.

She passes the line of clubbers in their neo tribal looks, the urban savages with their wild haircuts, their facial tattoos, the ravers in fancy fantasy space outfits or the fewer Neo Tokyo Streetstyle folk which would fit here as well as in the goth scene, which is not todays. So they adapted their fairy lolita outfits to the neon colors, had put on flashing cyber tats and piercings, electronic hair extensions, always with the vital handbag, the guys with streaks of black and white, with red and blue in their hairs, blued out faces by celtic tats and the one or other gang cut, but pimped up by every accessoire they could get hand on and boots with laces and shining chrome.

From inside the deep drumming of some raving rhythm is pounding through the thick walls while some spotlights are dancing on the roof into the smog night air like rusty fingers of illuminated steel. The air is full of pot and the gutters are covered with empty flasks of firewater, used slap patches, syringes and burned chips that testify of clubbers that were pre-burning their nervous systems with their personal poison to get in the right mood for the event.

Which is announced as a few live gigs and a dance floor in the basement. ‘Celtic Cross’, ‘Raven And The Shamans Lodge’, ‘Mink and Whale’ flashes over the street in AR, while she passes around the next corner, pressing herself into the darkness of the parking log, where a girl lets herself fuck by some guys, leaning against the wall and watching Babsie with eyes where tears have been washing out the black eyeliners in streaks, but she is not fighting it. It’s not a rape, at least not one where the woman is fighting it, more one of the things that she thinks she has to do to be accepted by her gang and let into their circle. To be part of it, to be loved.

A moment she stops and watches, maybe she is thinking about doing something, then she starts walking again, leaving the crying girl behind, while the guys woop and hoot the one that’s on turn to fuck her, commenting about what a dirty whore she is.

She passes some dumpsters which are not searched by street folk because no sane dumpster diver would try to dive one behind a night club. Nothing in there to feed on, just stuff to get high on the bad side of a crash or infect yourself with some nasty disease or fight rats that are on drugs and poison.

Quickly it becomes clear where her nifty path leads her; to the back entrance of the club, where the musicians hang around and the groupies try to get attention to bargain their share of glamour, fame and drugs by bargaining with cheap affection. “Really”, was the blond poser elf girl slurring, “I’m his girlfriend. I’m with Tizzy, ya know?” A roady was carrying some boxes with instruments pass the heavy built bouncer with rastas.

“Hey, what are you doing?”, the ork bouncer yelled at Babsie. “How does it look like?” “That you’re trespassing, little girl.” “Good.” And she walked on. “Stop”, and he had to decide which one of the girls he should stop and stepped back, his arms spread. “No.” “Man”, Babsie riled, “do I look like I’m a quick fuck or what? I’m here for work. Take care of that poser slut, she’s trying to break through.” “What the…?” He turned and in the last moment he caught the other girl. “Bitch!”, she screamed. Babsie dug under his arm and was in, turned around the next corner and was safe for a moment.

The corridors were dark and messy, greyish brick walls with stains from equipment that were carried through or the one or other vomit or blood that was spilled by musicians. The smell of smoke and snuff in the air as well as stale beer.

A doorway in the wall, without a door anymore. Musicians standing around, smoking snuff or nic, beer cans in their hand, eying her. “What’s up, girly? Looking for fucking Tizzy? He’s up on the second, fucking our groupies, that asshole.” “If he’s shitfaced again, we get us a new singer. Maybe anyway. Singers come twelve on a dozen.” “He was shitfaced so badly he didn’t remember the ‘fuck you’ refrain last time. He’s a shit in cans, don’t know what the chicks want from him. Go! Upstairs. Second door left. Get your local STD.” The one with the tats on his upper arms started to drum on some of the cans. Back in the room was a buffet, but it had been plundered already. They looked a bit nervous.

“What’s the matter with you fucking guys?”, she asked. “Why do everybody mistake me for a fucking cheap fuck?” “Got the ears for that, honey”, the one with the rawhide leather jacket said. “Not much of the other two”, he laughed. “You wanna blow me?” They laughed. “Fuck yourself”, she turned around and left them behind. An other room with lots of instruments in it. Some technicians yelling at each other if they want a fight or what? About the ownership of some effect racks. Finally she finds the entry to the club from backstage area, hit the bouncer on his arm that was protecting the door from anyone entering from outside and gives him a thumbs up. It was too loud for anything else. The guy nodded, one of those wired hulks, steroid fed and full of muscle security guys with too little brains on the other hand to do anything better than security in a backstage area of a fucking Redmond club. He smiles at her and enjoys the little elven Bunny that is looking like she may belong to one of the bands.

She’s looking over her shoulder and his eyes are clearly on her ass. She ignores him and goes searching for people. Finally she’s going upstairs on the gallery that’s having some seats and looks down on the dance floor with the gods at the short end of the joint, where the V.I.P. can watch the band and the people and feel superior.

She’s leaning from over the rails and watching the crowd. Most people in their teens or early twens, “old hags”, she says but it’s so loud that the rig isn’t even recording her own voice without problems. An other band is playing on the stage. A troll drummer and an elven singer. ‘Celtic Cross’ is put up behind them, they’re the opening act and they make some good noise.

Especilly the troll knows what he’s doing. The elf has some charisma. But his left ear is bit off or something. The backside of it has the marks of some human teeth in it. She’s scanning the crowd until she finds what she’s looking for. Some of the chicks in Neo Tokyo Street-style that look a bit wrong placed and hang around the entrance to the chill. It’s just a dark hole with black light on the other side of the gallery. She starts to move.

She has opened her jacket for it’s too hot inside and sweat is running down her chest. She’s feeling the cloth glued to her skin and looking down to check. Icky. She walks past the V.I.P. lounge where the window is just throwing back her slim feature, her sweaty clothes and the bulky parka. Not a club outfit. She fixes her hair in the mirror, walks up to the chicks.

“Have you seen Annie?”, she asks. The chicks look at her with bland faces. They’re stoned with something, she doesn’t recognize. Something like Novacoke with this positive coolness but they have this absent look on them, as if they’re looking quite through her. Near the ceiling above them she’s spotting a few camera drones that may belong to one of the hipsters around here, making footage for a blog or maybe some music channel or yellow press journalist.

She enters the darkness of the chill lounge but her elven eyes adapt quickly and she she’s spotting more than she asked for. A couple is making out on the right, on this couch-bed thing some folks just slouch on the other side. A few drinks here and there, at a table the Tokyos like a family, all very young, sickos besiege them, hoping to hit a score on the chicks. She pushes one of them aside, a tribal dude with feathers in his hair. “Hey baby, I push you a bit?” But she ignores him. “Hi!” They’re four girls, none can be older than eighteen, short skirts, stockings in fresh colors up to their knees, white skinny legs with a white rabbit cyber-tattoo running around the leg of the one next to her. They drink some stuff that is radiating in the black light, like they all glamour in the darkness like living neon elves.

“Hey. Wanna sit? Drink?” She nods, sits. One of the guys offers to buy some. The made-up indian. “7up, bottle, closed”, she nods. The girls look friendly and open. It’s different than she suspected. “Who are you?”, the one to her right asks. “Babsie. You?” “Tan”, she nods, points to the other girls: “Yuki.” She’s not looking anything Japanese, more like multiracial. “Kuki”, the only real Japanese of her looks. “Miko”, which has pointy manga ears but isn’t trying to make herself an elf. She’s in red and white with black hair and white tips and the black light is enhancing her freckles on her white skin. The girls have the same looks like the girl outside, pupils open and black, a bit blank as looking through her. “They guys here just wanna fuck. You can just pick one.” “I don’t think I’m in the mood.” “They get better later. In an hour or so. I’ve never seen you here. You know us?” “No. I mean yes. I am looking for Annie.” The girls stare at her with their blank looks.

“I don’t want to talk about that”, Miko complains. She might be screaming hysterically, but the drugs keep her cool. Anyway, she’s clearly scared. “You know her?” “She’s one of us. She’s gone.” The girls move uneasy now. “Let me out. I… I need to get out”, Kuki beefs and scoots out of behind the table. “Nosing my powder”, she giggles, “powder my nose.” Yuki is following her. They have to press themselves through the dudes who play cool and smile. “Wanna dance?” “Drink?” “Why do you ask?”, Miko eyes her suspicious. “Because she’s an old friend of mine. I heard she’s around here and she doesn’t answer her phone.” “You’re a real elf, are you?” Babsie is turning her eyes. “Ja.” “Where you know her?” “Touristville. She said she wanna try something new. Went down here. I just try to find her, ask her if it’s cool.” The girls nod. “It’s the place, Babsie? Babsie is your name?” “Ja. Said that.” “The music, the style, the drugs. Mostly for free. But Annie never was talking about you.” “Likely that she didn’t. We knew from work.” “Ah”, Miko nodded as if she was understanding now. “She said she has a new dealer, is that true?” “New dealer? She was using?” “Don’t shit me, Tan, I’m no cop or something or do I look like a cop?” She shakes her head. “I’m just a friend and I’m looking for her. You know where she crashed?” “Ja. Think so, she’ with this guy, what’s his name, Miko?” But one of the dudes slipped onto the other side of the bench and asks her something. She’s looking for it in her purse. He talks to her and smiles. She starts to kiss him and sinks on the cushions with him. Babsie follows the scene with irritation. “What’s that? Her friend?” “Nah”, Tan laughs. “Stranger kissing. Using around, we call it. They do it.” Babsie stares at the two. “Using around?” “Drug kissing. Try? I have some of it.”

Babs darts up. “No! No. No thank you. You know where I can find this dealer? Or his guy?” Tan shakes her head. I haven’t seen both yet. Later maybe. Or they are…" But she is interrupted by that tough looking indian that’s putting his hand on her shoulder. Tribal guy, broad shoulders, scared face. Bouncer type. “Fuck.” She stiffens and sweat is again breaking out. “What’s the matter?” “You come with me.” “Why?” “You want trouble?” “No. But…” “Follow me.” He grabs her hand and pulls her with him. “Where do we go?” She turns to the girls, waves with her free hand. But Tan has scooted over to the couple and seems to ask to join.

The chief is entering the lounge with two 7up in his hands. “Sorry, I have to…” But the bouncer guy is pulling her with him, opens a door and pulls her inside. “Where? Oh fuck, I don’t”, she says.
[end recording]

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