Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

The Song of Bob

The Song of Bob (Rocky Road to Teganshire)

In our crammy home we sat , round the red and hungry fire,
and the Magenta said, let’s go to Teganshire,
Which was not a bad idea,we said and went along
Shoved her off the pier, so she could sing her song,
Then soon the ship it sailed, off our lands we bailed,
Through the misty veil, to vanquish ugly monsters,
And find a piece of land, for us and our friends,
We’re gonna find the Teganshire!

But this’s the song of Bob!
We liked Bob but really scared him, yes,
We scared him way too much!

We found the Teganshire, after hours in a bright place,
Met Fynn there in ire, worry in his face,
We tried to calm him down, talked of our journey,
Of goals of our own, but all he had to say,
Was how we were too bold, should do as we were told,
Go back through the cold, where monsters waited.
We fiercely disagreed, we’d rather hit the street,
See what fate we’d meet in search for Teganshire!

But this’s the song of Bob!
We liked Bob but really scared him, yes,
We scared him way too much!

We hopped into the lights, because they were shining,
And gone was our ride, so with mighty smarts and wit,
With Fynn’s scooter we took flight, rode the vast and mighty grid,
Never reached the promised land, but then we met him,
Sitting in his car, travelling near and far, for other carbies,
Thought he drove alone, then showed us our new home,
A place where we could roam, so free and happy,
And so we stayed with Bob, that dull but friendly slob,
None of us did sob so far away from Teganshire!

But this’s the song of Bob!
We liked Bob but really scared him, yes,
We scared him way too much!

We wanted to be his friends, did his chores so nicely,
Thought that it made sense, but he’s staying icy,
Let’s talk to him instead, I said and showed myself,
and in person we had met, so he would see himself,
that we’re here to stay, go with him all the way,
With work and songs we’d pay, if he only let us,
But he’d had none of it, chased us of his grid,
I got to admit, it was more fun than Teganshire!

And this’s the song of Bob!
We liked Bob but really scared him, yes,
We scared him way too much!

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Crossroads
Rook's Log

Fog’s made good on his promise to come and get me. I didn’t believe him and I can hardly believe it now. He got the Scavvies together and some of the people he got to know in the last couple of months and they raised hell at the Stilettos’ headquarters.

Jerry woke me up, he had heard strange voices and the next thing we know, someone comes barging into my room. Jerry attacked him, went down and I tried to shoot the guy because this deep in Glow City, you don’t wait to ask questions. I missed and I recognized Fog.

I shot at him again, aiming for the head and only his quick reflexes saved him. I wanted him dead in that moment. He’s the reason why I’m in this mess, why I had to make a deal with the Stilettos and with the other Crow to keep alive. I’d be better off without him, nothing to be gained by trusting him again.

But I was dying, too. Still am. Glow City is not kind to anyone’s health and I knew that I’d be dead in a year if I stayed. So, yeah, there was something to be gained by trusting Fog after all, even if it was only until we’re out of Glow City. There was no time to celebrate our reunion and I just grabbed my bag from under the bed and we ran, shooting our way of of there. The Stilettos were not letting me go that easily, they wanted to keep their precious shaman. In the end, we made it out and Fog’s people blew up half of the compound, including the steam engine. That one’s going to mess up the area even more, it ran with spent reactor fuel.

Fog brought me to the Rat’s Nest, of all places. It’s different than I had heard and not a bad place to live. The people there have made me feel welcome, for the most part, I’m getting treatment for the leukemia and, well, there’s hope, I guess.

But still, I made a deal with the other Crow and he won’t back out of it easily. Even if I wanted out and I’m not sure I do. I did well with him, all things considered. Yes, Fog came for me and that is a huge case for loyalty and all the things I used to believe in. But maybe everybody’s falling for the same lies, I taught them well after all.

I don’t know. I just don’t know what to believe and it’s tearing me apart. I’m this close to just walking away from it all, but that wouldn’t exactly solve anything.

I did talk to thetoxic spirit who lives in the Nest and if that doesn’t tell you how weird this place is, nothing will. Apparently, she freed herself a while back, right after trying to kill Neil who’s pretty much the leader the Nest doesn’t officially have. He negotiated a peace with her and they seem on pretty comfortable terms. Seeing this, I think I know what drew Fog to this place.

Lao is the only person who knows how I feel. Fog tries, but he doesn’t like to talk or even think about the chance that I’ll either die or turn toxic and how high that chance actually is. But I need to talk about this, it doesn’t go away by ignoring it. You know you have a problem when you need a toxic spirit to remind you that there’s good in the world.

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Piece of Mind
Slicer's Log

Slicer’s on guard duty at the Nest checkpoint. The log gets interrupted a lot when he either waves cars or bikes through, gives them a more thorough look or in a few cases turns them back

It’s been bugging me these last twenty years that I can’t really remember what happened to me and It back in Afghanistan. Not much, but I couldn’t give it a rest. Comes to fuck things up for me at the worst possible moments – I get flashbacks and blackouts for reasons I never figured out. There’s this one crossing in the Barrens that I can’t drive through, not without shaking and sweating. Roses smell like fear and death to me. And those are just the ones I finally pieced together. There are a lot more.

With Frettchen, I guess I feel safe enough to follow up on this. Or maybe I’m just pissed at whoever did this. Something happened and my whole unit was wiped out, except It and myself. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t hostiles. Fuck, I sound like some conspiracy nut. Anyway, we went to a veteran’s meetup and there I came across a third survivor, someone I had known to be killed. He was not MIA like the rest of the troop, but KIA. Yet here he was. Couldn’t remember a thing, except something about a doctor and our lieutenant. Can’t say that it rings a bell, but it’s better than nothing.

We also got to know a guy named Chuck (Chuck Norris, I kid you not) who has agreed to do some snooping for me. I set him up for a date with Kerry in return. He says that the files have been tampered with, ages ago, and someone did a pretty good job. But what’s not there can sometimes tell you as much as what is. Frettchen and me will go to Boston next, to see Lieutenant Baker’s widow, who gets paid a lot of money for someone with a husband who is only missing.

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Two for Joy

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

If my body wouldn’t tell me otherwise, I’d still think this isn’t real, just another dream.
Things didn’t go smooth, but that was to be expected when going up against the Stilettos. But they came out much worse than we did. Their compound is reduced to rubble and radioactive dust, half a dozen packs of explosives made sure of that.Their supplies are gone, so are their rides, weapons and fuel. We really wrecked their shit and they will probably never know who or what hit them.
I never could’ve done this alone, though. They all did a fucking good job. Ela’s just born for this, not necessary scavenging, you know, but she has the guts to take bullets and the magic to make it out alive. Breathing fire is just another bonus. Nebraska pulled her weight, I knew she would, but as determined, brave and fast as she is…this was too much for her head. What happened scarred her, I can feel it. It struck me when Scab pointed out that she probably was too young for a stunt like that after all. I feel bad ‘cause I didn’t even consider that to be a problem… but yeah, suppose we don’t all grow up in a borderline warzone and shrug death and carnage off like that. The feedback I got from our link was tainted by regret and fear and she almost gave in to old habits just to numb the pain riding on those impressions. It’ll haunt her for some time, but those ghosts pass on. Been in those boots myself.
Zach and Firefox did a fine job too, good, flexible thinking and they got us two rides from the compound when things went way more haywire than we’d expected. Zach almost overdosed on Stims when the backup teams ran into trouble and Rod had his usual streak of bad luck he, yet again, survived through sheer tenacity.
A lot of lights went out this night, though. And three of those belonged to good people. I’ll make sure they won’t be forgotten, but that is business for next day.
Right now, I need to take care of the living.
In tonight’s confusing black sea of chaos and destruction, I’m happy to have this little island where my friends are alive and relatively well.
Where my partner sits next to me, finally free from the hell I got her into.
We’re still a fierce and gallant duo, six months separation couldn’t take that away. But it’ll get rough. It’ll get complicated. Things changed.
We, ourselves, probably did too.
I’m not an idiot. Not always. Things won’t just pop back to normal now that we’re reunited again.
Told her flat out that she could leave, if she wanted to. I wouldn’t force or push her, give her any white knight crap or light-side peptalk.
I promised I would stop her she goes full on toxic, I owe her that much.
But she stayed and I will do whatever I can to fix this. If I can fix this…
That other crow will still be whispering until we shut him up. This could easily turn into a fucking mess of a paranoid mind game.
Rook’s a trickster and she knows me better than anyone else does. Will it be her, or that twisted bird talking?
Whenever my partner looks at me me, will she see ‘That asshole who did this to me’?
Or frankly, will we get around and just trust each other?
Seems tough, right?
Well, so are we… I won’t let this break us.

[End Audio]

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Cast Away
Magenta's Bloomings

It’s so cold. The fog is lurking just a few blocks outside. There are monsters in the darkness. No, really. We’ve seen them! They are waiting to get us.

I’m so weak I hardly can move. And there is rain, hard rain like cold knifes coming from everywhere. They don’t fall like the water from the ponds at Glitzy’s Earth. They just come out of nowhere, they stick into our skin and leave marks in our flesh. Like bites of eye big mosquitos.

My best friend Firefox has rescued me. After our crash. I don’t know what happened, but we were hit I think and our scout operation at Glow City tumbled down. I could see the ground come closer so fast. Firefox was screaming, I tried to fly but there was no place to unfold my wings.

Then I blacked out. Something was broken. My leg hurt and Firefox managed to pull me out of the wreck of her vessel, a herring gull or something. I can’t remember the name. It’s so hard to concentrate here, with the noise. This damn noise that is crackling all day and all night. She has patched me up, my leg still hurts but she managed to fix the broken link between knee actuator and foot actuator. She said she took a fork from a dead driver tree, which she found just outside in one of the ancient nodes around us, that mostly are dead.

At the second day I recovered barely enough to help her build a sort of tent. It’s more makeshift than anything. We tried to summon a porta, but no success. We tried to yell into the lines. But they’re all dead. Dead and hurting.

It was all okay when we were up in the air. But now on the ground we suffer. Saw a gray old piece of code outside. It’s called svchost.exe Firefox said and that’s some very old, very dangerous code. Must lure in one of the ancient nodes, she said. The earth around here stinks. It was blind and didn’t see us. But I know it was sniffing in our direction. Then it shuffed away.

I’m scared! I don’t dare to play my fiddle to sing the song of light and fog. I’m too weak for it anyway. There’s so much hurting rain! It slits through the roof of our tent sometimes and hurts. Firefox has some scars but she’s so brave. She smiles and tells stories at night.

Don’t know how long we have been here. Feels like weeks. I was asleep most of the time.

Does anybody know? Tomorrow I will try to stand up. Firefox said she’s healing my leg. But I can see she’s weak too and is getting weaker. We have to move! Hurts!

I pray to the photons that I’ll see my tribe again!

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The Ghosts of Glow City

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

This is it.
Could be my last recording.
But no…No more delays or doubts.
It’ll be tough. We’ll be a tiny spark spiraling down into darkness, but one thing I can promise: we’ll burn bright and fiercely.
I’m still humbled and a little in awe… It’s hard for me to comprehend why I deserve such loyalty. I’m not a leader or a great commander or anything… Just a guy who tries to keep his people alive and well. Perhaps that’s the trick. Lead by example and all that.
For my first inspirational speech this went far better than I expected.
Maybe they know that they owe it to Rook and the old man, know that both would’ve done the same for them, maybe it’s their hate for the muties. Guess in Scab’s case, that’s the hook.
Or maybe Satelite Day is still fresh enough in their minds to know that there’s a time when you have to strike back, lash out.
I know all their faces and most of their names, but more importantly, I know that we’re all Zoners.
Each of us is a survivor. Hitting hard and being even harder to take down.
But we’re all out there on our own.
We’re no gang, no tribe, have no real community.
I understand that none of us is obligated to the other and I went into this gathering in Screech’s old joint, knowing that this wasn’t their fight.
Promised them, no matter where they’d put their chips, this would be a safe haven, a place to recover and get supplies, no strings attached.
Still, half of them are with me on this, and so are Nebraska, Ela and Zach. Glitzy’s been a hell of a boon in terms of logistics and Spirits, even Zach’s digital friend sees something in me and volunteered to be my scout for this.
They all see something that makes them think we can pull this off together and with this bold excuse for a plan.
I’m proud to earn that much trust and I won’t fail to deliver.
We’ll hit the muties where it hurts and we’ll get my partner outta there.
The best shot for people like us was always to stay invisible, haunting the scorched ruins and make it back home to the world of the living by dawn.
Tonight, we’ll show them that there are ghosts in Glow City.
We’ll remind the Stilettos that these ruins are not theirs. Never were.

[End Audio]

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A Rat, a Dog and Some Bugs
Neil's Journal

When you invite people over for dinner, you usually get some good company and maybe a bottle of wine or something. I got seven years worth of immortality.

I wanted to know how Lao was doing. People are a bit creeped out by her presence, but on the whole it works out well and the Chinese community is quite proud of having an actual free spirit. Jasper has taken to her as well and has decided that she’s worthy of the quacking duck toy (Glitzy gets a piggy, I get a well-chewed dog plushy).

Lao worried about the fact that we have her spirit formula and that anyone can use it. I can understand that, but, as much as I like her, I am not going to destroy the formula just yet. So we came up with another plan, a pact. I will be the only person who can use that particular copy of her formula and it cannot be copied. In case of my death, anyone will be able to use the copy again. And while the pact lasts, I will not age. I’m not quite ready to enter this pact indefinitely, but seven years sounded like a reasonable time. Maybe we won’t need to renew it after that time. I admit, the thought of living for another hundred years or so is tempting. On the other hand, it would mean losing pretty much everyone I now consider a friend, not to mention Angus, Ciara and Fynn. But for now it’s done and I’ll think about it again in seven years.

To affirm the pact, Lao and I went on a metaquest to look for the sword of her first conjurer, a monk named Fei. He died, as far as Lao could remember, on a metaplane, fighting against insect spirits. The sword was his focus and we thought we could reforge it, so to speak, for our purposes. Entry to the metaplace was fairly easy, but it decided to chain us together in a very literal sense. Lao panicked for a moment, it hasn’t been so long since she shed her chains only to wear them again in this place. But we didn’t have much of a choice. We had an added bonus: I had brought Gihli, my dog homunkulus, along and the metaplane made him into a big, real dog…still made from wood, though. The landscape we found ourselves in were vast fields of high grass, some hills in the distance and a road. We both wore traditional Chinese clothes and my medkit had turned into a mixture of Chinese and Western medicinal supplies.

We didn’t meet anyone for hours and the sun had already started to set when another traveller crossed our path. He was a moth spirit, although I think he used to be something else. He advised us to make haste and ask for shelter in a nearby village. The night was dangerous, he said. I paid with my blood for some more information and he told us that the night was haunted by spirits here. Across the river was a city, a place he told us to avoid, and the palace of the Queen. According to the spirit, she was no longer a danger for us because she had been given peace long ago.

The village was inhabited by more moth spirits. They, too, were not aggressive at all and welcomed us. We took a room at the local inn and some tea in the common room. Here, I traded the story of how the Milky Way was created for a story of how the people of this land fought the moths until they were only save in their city. A monk and a rat arrived to fight the moth spirits, to save their own home from the Queen, until the monk sent the rat away and went to meet the Queen of the moths all alone. Whatever happened between them, no-one knows, but it ended the war and the Queen no longer sought to conquer other worlds.

So Fei, in a way, was still here, but he had made some kind of pact with the Queen and neither Lao nor I were eager to trust him. We spent the night at the inn, talking a bit more about Fei until the conversation drifted to ourselves. I find Lao very easy to talk to and very comfortable to be with, as strange as that sounds given our first meeting. In the morning, we traded some food and fire wood for a favor: bring some tea and incense sticks to a friend of the inn’s landlady. Which we did and at the place she had described, we found a cemetery. We also found the cemetery’s guard who did her best to kill me until Lao overpowered her. She was an adept and after some explanations, she agreed to take the gifts we brought to the grave they were intended for. Emma, it turned out, was trapped on the metaplane and we quickly realized that we probably were not from the same world. That, or Emma is seriously mentally ill. In any case, I agreed to take a ring to London, to St Olave Hart Street to be precise – Emma says that someone there should know what to do with it or at least can pass on a message. I’m not so sure of that, but I can try.

Crossing the river involved several ferrymen, their guards and a crowd of people trying to cross. The only ferryman actually willing to take on passengers had a guard who would hear nothing of it, fearing the crowd would sink the boat. I tried to reason with her, to find a safe way across for everyone until Lao reminded me that we had been warned at the inn that it was a trial. The people were not real, whatever that meant here. So we agreed with the guard that they would take only us across the river. We reached the other side safely, but left the others, maybe to die when the dark came.

After an uncomfortable night, both physically and mentally, we walked on and found the city, its walls crumbling. We kept away from it for now and instead climbed up the nearby hill to the Queen’s Palace. There we found Fei or what was left from him. He did look human and he recognized Lao, but she didn’t trust him and neither did I. He suggested that we help with the hunt for the shadows who are what is left of the people who used to live here. The moth spirits take over their body and, as Fei explained, it would do only good for the land. In return, he would give us his sword.

We excused ourselves and climbed down again to talk about the offer. Neither of us liked it very much and we were not very eager to base our pact on the killing of these shadows. To find out some more, we sought out one of them and talked to it. It told us that the city bound them all and they were enslaved to it, fighting in a war that was only kept going by the few inhabitants of the city. But still, we did not want to become tools for the Queen. Instead, we decided to try and give peace to the shadows. It would mean that the city was left defenseless, but in the end, it would give the land some kind of peace. I’m still not sure it was our decision to make, but it felt right.

Lao studied the memories of the city and we took a stone from its walls, then we waited for the night. I sent a watcher and Gihli across the river to Emma, warning her of our plan. When night came, we made our auras as bright as possible and ran, with just some torches to keep the shadows at bay. Our plan worked well, they started to hunt us and we only just made it in time to the cemetery. There, Emma has lit a huge fire and with the help of a spirit pact, started to read out all the names from the stone we brought with us. Lao and I wrote them down on a tree and one by one, the shadows faded. It took hours, but when dawn came, we had written out the last of the names and all the shadows were gone.

We shared a drink and Emma told us a bit more about how she was stranded on the metaplane. She very much does not come from our time, I have no idea how I am supposed to find someone who knows what to do with her ring. She could show us where Fei’s grave was, however and Lao read the memories of the gravestone, that at least gave her some closure. Fei had also buried his prayer beads there and those we took to turn into a focus to seal out pact.

I left Gihli with Emma. I don’t know how long he will last there, but I hope he will keep her company until we can bring them home. Lao and I went home – only a few hours had passed. We brought back Emmas ring, the beads and in my case, a few broken ribs from a fall I took during our chase with the shadows. But it was nothing serious, Lao helped with patching me up and she once again ended up watching me sleep on my couch. Luckily, the contents of my fridge kept her company.

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Music for Evenings

[Recording Session, Session ID SEA#0008]

The camera sits on top of a wooden handrail and after some exposure adjustments focuses on Frettchen, sitting on a porch that has seen better days. Bright curtains of sunlight fall through the holes in a decaying awning and brawling dust particles, stopped and reflected in flaring patches by the elf’s bare chrome legs.
She has specks of paint on her face and hands, her hair is a tousled mess of green, but she smiles and absently strums on an old electric guitar.
“Good morning, Miss Aidee. Would you… like to put on some pants before we start the session?”, her shrink greets Frettchen.
“Huh? Oh, hey Doc. bootin’ fast toda. Nah, I mean, it’s not as if these get cold or anything, right?”, she answers, flicking against the metal legs with a soft ‘Ping’. Both, she and the doctor take some notes, the old fashioned way, on paper. She looks up first. “What’s a good rhyme for Flak?”, she asks and the psychiatrist ponders.
“How about…”, he starts but gets interrupted.
“No, wait, I got it…”
She scribbles down more notes on the worn out paper, takes one more look at it, then hammers away with some simple chords.
“Like slag, we’re a little bit of everything,
like flak, we’re a little bit of everything,
Can’t count the shots, just make them count,
We’ll yell it out with every single round,
But yell it out, before it kills you now,
take my word, it may sound absurd,
we’re both fucked up and iiiit works!"
Frettchen grimaces and puts the guitar away, gently resting it against the wall. “Whaddaya think, Doc?”
The projection stares at her for a few seconds. “Well, it’s good to see that you have picked up a hobby.”
“Hey, fuck you, I’ve made music for decades… Sorry, language, I know…”
Reassessing the quality of what he just heard, the doctor seems bewildered. “Really? That is… surprising.” He takes down some more notes.
“I’m a drummer, okay? Anyway, it’s a lovesong… For my husband. Look what he did to me… Turned me into a friggin songwriter!”, she sighs, happiness carried by her breath. “He got us this house here, you know? A few patches here and there, some furniture and it’ll be pretty comfy. We had a house like this before, but for some reason it burned down…”
“Do you consider settling down in Seattle?”
“Yeah… I mean, that’s what he asked too. Was a weird moment, with all the possibilities speeding through my head and all the implications. Thing is, usually I’d be terrified to get bored after a few months. A year, tops. But with him? Can’t even imagine a lack of fun. Life has rarely been so good and exciting!”
The doctor puts his notepad away and takes off his glasses, cleaning them with the sleeve of his tweed jacket. “I am very glad to hear that, Miss Aidee. Frankly, ever since you chose to go to Seattle, your condition has vastly improved, give or take a few complications, but we will iron those out in time. My most honest, sincere advice: keep that man close and do not let go off him ever again. I have the feeling he will keep the both of us reasonably sane.”
“Heh, maybe you’re right… Oh, speaking of which… My car tried to kill me! She’s some sort of fuckin’ nanotech, I think and really came at me a few days ago.”, Frettchen says casually and pats a few new dents on her armored limbs. “We talked it out, though. She really is a vindictive bitch…”
“Doesn’t that… Worry you? I hope my advice was not the cause for your… Inconvenience.” In the distance, the sound of a motorcycle draws closer.
“Nah, I screwed that one up myself, wasn’t your fault!”
She waves at someone behind the camera and shouts “Awww, my hero!” with a happy smirk on her face. “Sorry, Doc, Gotta run, there comes my handsome husband with bagels!”

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Kindred Souls

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

Clear Skies.
A short burst of silent, content laughter
Wonder if she knew about that, or if it’s just one more proof we did the right thing.
It’s a little credo among us zoners, or a greeting if you will. Something like ‘Good luck’, ‘Stay safe’, or ‘Farewell’ up to ‘There’ll be better days.’…
A sigh
There was this idea. Clinged really hard to my brain, wouldn’t let go.
And we pulled it off.
With the bliss of this experience still lingering, it’s difficult to explain.
But I’ll try.
It’s something nobody tried before us. A miracle of will and arcane expertise you rarely find in the Sixth World.
Chris Gregory, you probably know that, but I don’t think you know just how thankful I am.
Despite all documentation and 60 years of research, few people know how adept magic works. We’re not casters in the strictest sense, but we have a way to find balance. Balance between our bodies and the mana around us. We’re conduits, or, at least that’s the best I can come up with. We have a way of attuning to the world and its flow.
There’re techniques ‘specially for that.
Really usually for things dear to us, sometimes animals, companions like Sofia.
But that’s the thing. If it works with guns n’ suits n’ pets… Shouldn’t it be possible to attune to people as well?
It’s a path you gotta tread carefully. Our minds are delicate and easy to fuck up and being so close to somebody has some inherent and pretty sinister temptations.
But still, we did it.
She drives me crazy, ya know, this special girl.
In more than one way.
I think the roadtrip did that to us.
Before that, well… I knew I could count on her, but I think that of all my people when push comes to shove. With her, it was more like handling nitro glycerine in a blender or a jazzed up weasel in a room full of mouse traps…
To be honest, that’s still the case.
But during those days on the road, I got to know her better, learned what drives her, what scares her and what she needs to get a direction.
I know her struggle, or at least part of it.
Kara and I, we ride the same wave, I guess.
If the timing had been better… Now that’s something I actively blocked from my head for a long time, we probably both had.
Running with her feels good, natural. And she’s a pretty, strong girl, so… But…
For the sake of our relationships, we came to terms with that road and we won’t walk it.
We chose something different and now we’re probably closer than ever and closer than anybody but us could understand.
And now, when she sprints face first into danger with me, we can share our thoughts, she’s got my powers to back her up and maybe it helps her find a direction and clearer purpose.
What I’m trying to say here is,to paraphrase the uncrowned Queen of Words of our beloved Barrens:
I’m proud to call you ‘Partner’, Kara.

[End Audio]
attuned.png

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Ready to Rumble
Slicer's Log

Slicer’s waiting in line at the Metroplex Guard checkpoint out of the Barrens. The guards are bored, but they still have enough firepower and backup to really fuck up everyone’s day should anything happen. The people in the car ahead, a family of orks, get out under the watchful eye of the guards and are patted down, with special attention to the teenage daughter. Then they are allowed to continue on their way and the line moves a bit until the guards pick the next target.

Fucking pigs. One of these days someone is gonna snap and then we’ll have a full-scale riot on our hands. And those part-time warriors have no idea how to handle that.

Anyway.

There’s something to be said for married life. Especially when your wife calls you that she’s gonna mess with Aztech and not to wait with dinner. Fuck dinner, you want backup with that?

Someone hired Frettchen and Ruckus to trash as many Minimarts as possible and they did, all while wearing the colors of the Blood Rumblers. That got them fired from the gang, but it’s another great point on Frettchen’s CV. Anyway, there’s this lawyer who wants to sue Aztech and he, with the help of a mage, found Frettchen and wanted to talk.

Talk was okay, but Frettchen wasn’t really at home to going all witness of the prosecution for him. And there was something really fucking fishy about that guy anyway. So we got ourselves a camera drone and went snooping at the Minimart headquarters. Well, headquarters…more of a dingy office with two people. They had never heard of that lawyer. The secretary did recognize Frettchen, though, and we got out of there before the cops showed up.

Slicer’s at the front of the line and the guard takes one look at him and decides that there are easier people to mess with. He just gives Slicer’s SIN a quick check and then waves him through. He drives past the clinic and turns left towards the still rural part of Snohomish.

Some digging later, with the help of the mage and his little street girl gone private eye-elf who didn’t appreciate being lied to, we had a name for the laywer. We also had three runners on our tails, really hardcore guys at least judging from the guns they waved around. But still, if you want to take down Frettchen and me, you better come out shooting and not waving around a fucking katana. Jeez. Street sams, believing their own hype. That one ran right into my bullet, into Christine and into another one of my bullets. Having a living car gives you an edge in a fight, I’ll admit that.

Frettchen nailed the troll they had, right into the nuts. And I got their rigger, with a blind shot into the car. The troll told us everything he knew, in exchange for us not killing his dog (who takes a DOG to a run like this, even if it’s a Tibetan mastiff?) and for taking him to a clinic. Wasn’t all that much, though, but they were supposed to take Frettchen alive to find Ruckus. Someone is trying to clean up loose ends, I guess.

At the end of the day, we had a shiny new GMC Bulldog, only slightly dented, a case of Cuban cigars, a couple of fake SINs and guns, lots of guns. Including a machine gun. Frettchen wanted to install that one in her van, but we decided to put it in the house. You never know when the local rednecks will decide that they don’t want us around.

Next up: shooting that Aztech guy into the knee until he tells us what exactly is going on. I really doubt that the Minimart run was anything Aztech really wanted, that smells more like some corporate drone trying to impress his bosses. Didn’t really work out that way.

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