Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Damage Control

A man in a business suit sits behind a desk dictating into the camera. He looks stressed, to put it mildly.
Christ, what a fuckup. Okay, delete this. Start recording from here.

Yesterday, Heinlein Tours ran a Starship Trooper LARP in their own private part of the Chicago exclusion zone. Apparently, a group was dropped well outside the perimeter, although still inside the actual area. The pilot who dropped them is being detained and has tested positive for drugs.

As have almost all the kids who participated in the LARP, including the people actually running it. At this time, we are not completely sure what happened, we only have two surviving witnesses and one is possibly unreliable. Miss Vittoria is unstable at the best of times.

It seems that squatters have been setting up camp inside the area and no-one bothered to remove them before the LARP. I do not know if this was oversight or malicious intent, but I suggest we look into it. The stray group ran into squatters and apparently, mistook them for part of the game. Which did not end well for at least two of the squatters. All this we could have kept quiet.

Our witness says that there was someone else, possibly just passing through. I did warn about including the highway in the area, even though it’s mostly a dead road these days. Whoever that person was, he was also taken under fire by the group and not only managed to escape, but then proceeded to kill all but one of them.

Admittedly, these were only teenagers with no real training, but they did have military grade armor and weapons. He took some of that from the player he only knocked out, but didn’t even use it to kill them, he did that with his hands, as far as we can see. Autopsy reports are pending on two of the four victims. We recovered all of the gear, so robbery is not a motive. Our witness says that he told her that he did not like people who treated the world as if they own it. We may have a problem on our hands because I doubt that he was just some guy who was in the area by accident.

The area was burning by the time we got there and we let it. The official story will be that the fire got out of hand and several of the kids unfortunately died. The pilot who dropped them will take most of the blame. If world ever gets out about what happened, we have a PR disaster and we certainly want to avoid Miss Vittoria’s mother to find out. Her father has already taken steps to prevent this.

Unfortunately, we have no traces of the man who killed those kids. He walked away as quietly as he had appeared and so far, we have been unsuccessful in tracking him. The fire had destroyed anything usable before we even realized that there was someone to look for.

I suggest we sever our ties to Heinlein Tours. They have been useful in the past, but with this level of negligence, their usefulness is questionable at best.

Stop recording. Fuck it, why couldn’t the guy have the decency and kill all of those brats? No, he had to leave the one who would make the most trouble. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.
He pours himself a very stiff drink and turns off the camera.

Roninwaffen Holn und die Innenstadt Demoliern
Frettchen's Therapy Sessions

[Recording Session, Session ID SEA#0004]

Drizzly rain makes it hard for the camera to focus, but after some oculary struggle it shows the sharp image of a steep slope in Seattle’s traffic.
“Evenin’, Doc.”, Frettchen greets her simulated psychologist whose face is displayed in the upper right corner of the image.
“Good evening, Miss Aidee. I see you are in the middle of a recreative exercise?”, he says and seems pleased, while people, shops and lamp posts pass by in a blur.
“Yeah, needed a little skating to clear my head, get to know the streets better and all. Might as well also get over with the next session now.”
A car honks as she zips by, prompting and angrily shouted “Asshole!” from the elf.
“I’d strongly advise you to slow down, or at least go to a less frequented area. If you wish, I could search for adequate skate parks for you.”, the virtual doctor suggests.
“Nah, I’m good, thanks. So, I had some fun at work…”, she started, fishtailing to evade some pedestrians, “My buddy Ruckus and I were supposed to do this kinda commission-delivery thing for our employer, you know, get something from the local Hentai Fans Anonymous?”
A sharp turn, a slight tilt of the image to the left before it goes straight again.
In the corner of the display, the AR head of the doctor frowns.
“I’m still unclear of your actual job description. As far as I remember, you wanted to leave the delivery business, correct? Why did you re-engage in this branch?”
“Oh, you know me: as long as it’s fun, I’m in. And this WAS fun! The stuff we were supposed to get wasn’t actually fully paid. So my boss was like: go figure that shit out. Dick move, but well, I appreciate a challenge. Did a bit of browsing on the local job boards, and yes, I’m sorry, the shady ones, didn’t know what else to do. We were, like 20k short. The Stuffer Shack ran out of business…Can you believe THAT, Doc?”, she asks casually and dodges another taxi and gives her board two more kicks to keep momentum. “Anyway, Minimart filled the grocery vacuum and sooooomebody didn’t seem to like that. Opening read something like ‘Put X Minimarts out of business for a couple of days, earn one grand for each, should look like gang violence < 3’…Ran a few numbers, plotted a route and off we went, my buddy Ruckus and me.”
The psychiatrist’s face gave her the usual frown but he just nodded, silently acknowledging her rant and letting her continue.
“What? No good advice on how to be a less horrible person? Come on, Doc, you can do better than this!”, she complained while splashing through a sickly-grey puddle.
“For good or ill, I find it more important to appreciate the fact that you made a positive social contact. Forcing normative behavior on a special patient like you would be less than productive, thus I will adjust my modus operandi accordingly, Miss Aidee. As I said, I’m a counselor, I’m not here to patronize you or your actions.”
“Heh,look who had an extra swoop of passive aggression in their Lucky charms this mornin’… Anyway, didn’t want to burn my own car for that gig. We grabbed us a mistreated Honda, gave it the beautiful name Trog Rocket and as an extra, we kidnapped the parking lot security whimp. His name’s Hank. A total pushover, he really needed some high-octane action and we needed a camera guy. Win-win, if you ask me. Don’t look at me like that…more social contacts…yay for me, right?”
A jump makes the image shake violently but it becomes steady after the landing and a smoother ride.
“Would you like to elaborate why you approached this man in the manner you did? It was unorthodox, very invasive and violent, but according to you well-meaning.”, he says and writes down a note.
“Sometimes you just have to force people to see straight and stuff, I guess. I mean, it’s extreme things like these that make you appreciate life, get a new outlook on things, see what’s possible…hey, was that a trick question or something?”
“I was just curious, Miss Aidee, please continue.”, he reassured the elf.
“Weeell… yeah, right, so we got Hank on board and trashed all sorts of Minimarts. My favorite one was that small store with the turban-guy. He dakka-ed away at me with his Kalashnikov and then knocked himself out with a grenade! Then the cops showed up, I ran over two Yaks ,took a turn at fucking 150 Mp/h, and those idiot cops followed me into a roadtrain one-way tunnel and got their shit wrecked spectacularly! Duuude, you should’ve seen that!”
Frettchen laughs joyfully and the board loses some speed.
“We managed to trash, stink up or vandalize 20 Marts in less than 6 hours, painted the fucking town red. Ruckus has some serious balls and style. Good guy, does all that shit for his family and he’s pretty tough to take down, even for an ork. Good taste in music, too. But I digress. So, yeah, we sent the Honda on it’s last journey, that thing was so hot that it’s a miracle we still had to light it on fire. We met up with the Hentai guys, had some tea and got us a shitload of weapons. Since our shabby little jackrabbit we rolled in on had no trunk to speak of, Ruckus’ mom picked us up. A very nice lady!”
Frettchen stops and checks her GPS. “Well, look at that, never been here before…”
“Illegal as it may have been, did your successful completion of the commissioned job improve the relationship with your co-workers?”, the doctor asks casually.
“Oh, hell yeah. My guess is, they thought we’d botch it hard and then they’d have an excuse to piss us off even more. But after they got their dropped jaws back in line, they seemed pretty amicable all of a sudden.”
“While this is something I appreciate and call a step forward for you and your therapy I’d suggest…”
The virtual shrink’s icon is suddenly overwritten by an incoming call.
“Hold that thought, Doc…”

I'm Doing My Part

I’m Doing My Part

[Start Audio]
[no time stamp]

I thought a little scouting could clear my head.
Between the bickering, never ending problems and stuff that lies ahead must be some space for metaphorical fresh air right?
I took the deer on fire crossing the road right in front of my Growler as a clear “No”.
Things happened kinda quick from that point, but I remember the attempt to get the hell away from that area and went out of the frying pan straight into the nuclear reactor.
A squatter village.
There was fire and screaming and dying people and some Drekheads in military grade armor, assault rifles, grenades and even flamethrowers.
Flamethrowers for fuck’s sake!
My brain-department for rationalization frantically tried to make sense of this in the precious seconds I had to decide what the hell to do.
Chicago, so, maybe insect spirit busters? They yelled something about bugs, but there weren’t any, just some poor sods trying to escape the slaughter…
I’ve never been in a warzone. Not in the strictest sense at least, you know?
But this must be what it feels like.
I could’ve just turned my back on that. Wasn’t my war after all, didn’t know the people who got hurt or killed.
Sometimes it’s just better to run.
Doesn’t mean you have to run alone, though.
There was a woman and two kids, breaking away from a burning shack. Would be a tough ride, but I could get to them in time.
So I did.
Got’em on my bike, Drekheads still shooting at me. To make things more personal, they hit my bike, but we made it to the woods with one wrecked tire.
And we lost her little boy.
Shit that was tough.
Saw his mother scream and beg and how one of the gunners tried to strap a grenade to him, some other guy shot him in the back first, however…
Takes a lot t make me snap.
I’m neither a hero, nor a slayer, I’d rather fix things than wreck…a fuck it, you know that by now.
You also know I tend to pick my fights carefully.
Sometimes it’s just better to run.
And sometimes you just have to snap some necks.

I told her to take my bike, gave her something to focus on the get out of this alive and while she rode off, I took advantage of nightfall and the nearby forest.
Being tough doesn’t mean you can take on guys in MilSpec gear on your own.
I was lucky and caught one of’em alone, beat him almost senseless and tried to figure out what exactly was wrong with these assholes.
Turned out they were here for some kind of game… Starship Troopers reenactment or LARP or something.
Didn’t exactly calm me down.
They were doing this for fun sponsored by Ares?
What the fuck?
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, right?
So let’s poke out a few eyes…

Everything’s a bit hazy when it comes to that night, but I absolutely went Predator on their sorry asses.
They wanted war, they wanted action and what they got is getting straight up murdered.
Beat the life out of three more people that night and left one girl barely alive.
I wonder what threads I cut, what lives I ruined and I barely consider this justice.
But they messed with the wrong guy at the wrong time.
It’s what people like Fedderson, Steckler and those Drekheads at some point forgot to understand: There are consequences.
The world is not there for your personal amusement. At some point, there’s a guy like me who won’t take that shit any longer.
And then there’ll be blood.
Yeah…Yeah, I get the irony. I’d be a moron not to expect a backlash for what I’ve done, some kind of consequence ‘cause there’s a suit, a mom or a dad who want revenge.
I don’t regret this.
Should that scare me?

[End Audio]

Neil's Journal

The Nest has acquired it’s second official spirit resident. Meredith has been, how do I say, waiting behind the door whenever I conjure up a spirit. If I don’t concentrate on calling a specific spirit, he’s the one who turns up. He still has ties to this world, his wife and his three daughters and he is not ready to leave. I thought about this long and hard and I am still not sure it’s a good idea, but I gave him the chance to become a free spirit.

A nosebleed, major migraine attack and some internal bleeding later, he was free and I was not dead. I had Diego on call the whole time, but that still was a dangerous thing to do. Ruby very pointedly did not say anything when I told her. I should at least have said something before, but I didn’t want her to worry. I’ve done smarter things in my time, I guess. I did talk to Veronica, Meredith’s wife. That was the most awkward conversation I have had in a while. After a while, she agreed to at least talk to Meredith and they came to an agreement. This has to be the most weird divorce agreement I have ever seen. Meredith gets to see his daughters on a regular basis, but otherwise he’s on his own. I think it’s the best they could do under the circumstances, Veronica can’t go back to the way things were and she doesn’t want to. We’ll see how it all works out.

Oh, and I think Fynn has a girlfriend or at least he’d like to have. Tegan had been thrown together with him for a science project and since the topic was native animals in their natural environment, Fynn invited Tegan home, to watch the horned owls in the forest. Her parents radiated disapproval when they brought her over. They are both magicians, hermetics, and they do not like their daughter to hang around with the kid of some hippie and her drop out shaman boyfriend. Tegan has her own plans about that, it seems. At least the project went well, the good grade will probably do something to mollify them. Let’s hope they don’t find out that Fynn took their daughter to the Rat’s Nest.

No Good Deed
Rusty's Vlog

Camera activates. Rusty’s sitting on his bed, with a bandage over his nose and he looks like he hasn’t slept for the last couple of days. He takes a sip now and then from a glass of whiskey while he talks.

Remember how I said that the job for Colm would be a shite one? Yeeaahh, wouldn’t it have been nice I had been wrong? Right now, I’m sitting on the most wanted package in Seattle and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get rid of it any time soon.

Colm told me to pick it up at the port of Everett, at one of the warehouses. I went there, right on time and more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I didn’t need Colm to tell me that I was going to get a good Irish talking to from the guys. Just because he is willing to give me a chance, that didn’t mean I wouldn’t get what I had coming from the moment I ran away. I’m not complaining, this is just how things are. But I was not looking forward to this.

The guys invited me to a game of Rugby. I grab the package and the door is the goal. If I get me and the package through, we’re good. If not, I’m not trying hard enough. Two orks and two humans who weren’t much smaller. In an all-out fight, I wouldn’t have had a chance in hell. But I was faster than they were and they stood in each other’s way. One of them got me good and hard on the nose, but fuck, a broken nose is shit compared to what would have happened if they had grabbed me.

I made it to the door and I didn’t stop there because I could hear them coming after me. I got out with about a hair’s breadth head start and jumped on my bike, getting the engine started just in time. I think one of them tried to grab me at the last moment, but that could have been just imagination. If they had caught me, I probably wouldn’t have walked for a month, let alone flown a plane to San Francisco.

After some prodding, my nose was more or less back where it belonged, only hurting like hell. I’ve had worse, though. The flight was pretty easy. I had registered a flight plan form Seattle to San Francisco, with a very much unregistered stopover at a farm not far from San Fran. I switched places in midair with a crop duster to hide that, but I had to hurry to get it all over with and get airborne again to switch back.

The landing was a bit rougher than I would have liked, I only ever landed on tarmac until now. The bikes and gangers hanging around the farmhouse were a lot more worrying than a few bumps in the runway. Koshari, although I hadn’t met them before. I called up Ian, my contact, and he told me that everything was shiny. Not to worry about the Koshari. I taxied the plane around and asked him to come out. When he said to just throw the package out of the plane, I gunned the engine. Like fuck I would. I got away, the Koshari hadn’t brought any big guns to bring down a plane. I couldn’t well land in San Fran now and claimed a personal emergency as reason to fly back to Seattle. If I hadn’t been thankful for the extra tank I had Mortinsen built in, I sure was now.

No-one bothered to check on me at Harvey, after all I hadn’t landed anywhere. Officially. I had called Colm on the way and he told me to hang on to the package for a while. And that’s what I’m doing. I brought it to the Nest, taking the long way round to avoid the First Nations and the Knights who were both searching for it. I had to tell Glitzy about the run and what went wrong because it’s her plane and it will be traceable. She scanned the package and man, I almost screamed when I say what’s in there. I had already guessed weapons and I wasn’t wrong about that. Heckler & Koch MP5 submachineguns. But the real kicker is the ammo: APDS. Holy crap, everyone and their mother would cheerfully kill for that. And I don’t even want to know where this was going. That’s at least 80k worth of a pain in the ass.

Anyway. I got the package out of the Nest right then and there. If the Knight find that kind of gear at the Nest, the raid last year will be a joke compared to what’s coming. Colm’s going to wait until things have cooled down a bit and I’m not arguing. I hid it out at the old fertilizer plant. If people find it there and brave three ghouls to get it, they’ve earned it.

Camera deactivates

Under Your Skin
Fog's Audios

Under Your Skin

[Start Audio]
[no time stamp]

We stayed a night in Bumshart, Nebrahoma so the sane part of our merry band could get drunk and the two girls could go end up dead in a dumpster or something, see if I care.
Who knows, maybe when they’d hit the ground running, they’d learn.
Eh, who am I kidding…
While my new favorite drinkin’ buddy Stan and I hung out at the local redneck bar the girls hit the ‘clubs’.
Nebraska at least settled for some booze and hung out with some fellow gearhead. She got busted for owning condoms or some shit though and we had to pay a hefty fee to get her on the street again.
Could have been worse.
She could, for example, have slept with a random guy just to catch awakened crotch parasites.
Like Zoé.
Yet again she got into trouble, yet again she needed us to drag her head above the shit-level and yet again she didn’t see how she brought in upon herself.
I just didn’t want the others to become hosts for skin-eating magic mites, so we called my girl. She knows how to deal with this stuff.
I miss Kiki a lot and I’m sorry that the only thing she heard from me was ‘Hi, how are you, we’re in trouble, help us!‘, but I’ll make up for it when this is over.
After some flower-picking and bee harassment along with a good deal of mojo and a culture clash with the backwater locals we managed to remedy Zoé’s condition.
She’s up and running again, though at least three of us give her the ’You’ll end up in a shallow grave’ look more frequently.
I can’t wait to see what’s the next big fuck-up…

[End Audio]

Fun and Games
Tobias' Log

I will allow myself a little unprofessional commentary here. I fear for our investment, but following along on this roadtrip makes great entertainment. If the whole deal goes sour, we could sell movie rights.

Right. Back to business. The chocolate has survived a tornado, an attack by bison bull and a couple of minor incidents. Right now it’s parked in Grand Rapids. The group, on the other hand, has used the downtime caused by getting a new RV (the old one was badly damaged by the tornado) to make a trip to Six Flags Great Lakes. I think neither of us is surprised they chose the day that Tempo addict went nuclear there. At least they had the good sense to get out of there when things started to go bad. But not without stealing some burgers and fries and getting caught on camera with the other looters. You’ve probably seen the news.

Right now they’re back in Grand Rapids. I don’t know if they’re aware that their faces were all over the evening news. It’s not a big thing and they hardly were the only people to loot, but considering the job they are doing right now, this is a bit awkward. Let’s hope no one recognizes them and decides to earn some easy money.

Making Amends
Rusty's Vlog

Camera acitvates. Rusty‘s on his way from Snohomish to the Nest on his bike, using his DNI to talk while recording the drive. It’s cloudy and it has been raining, the streets are still wet, he has to drive carefully. The farmland, nice houses and woods of Snohomish are not what people expect when they hear Seattle in 2071.

I decided to try and put things right with Colm. He did a lot for me when I was just some kid hanging around in front of Eddie‘s bar. I guess he did that to piss my father off, but it pretty much saved my life back then. And the one thing you don’t do when someone puts his trust in you is just leave and never say a word.

Angus would have killed me sooner or later, I’m sure of that and there was no way I could have stayed in Everett and not have that happen. So, yeah, leaving was the best thing I had eve done. Leaving Colm hanging was bullshit, though. I called him up and when he didn’t hang up right away, I invited him for dinner at the Boathouse. I was that close to chickening out, but it went pretty well. At least Colm’s willing to give me another chance. I don’t want to go back to working for the mob. He stops himself and laughs

Ok. I don’t want to go back working for that part of the mob. But I don’t want to repay what he did with just running away. That kind of thing is what Angus does, just take and take. Fuck him. And the way things are going with the Nest and Growler, sooner or later I will have to go back to Everett and I can’t do that with Colm pissed at me. So I made a peace offering, I’d smuggle some stuff for them wherever they wanted it, free of charge and no questions. I’ve always been good at this whole courier stuff and with a plane, that’s a valuable favor. Colm seemed willing to take me up on it and we’ll see how things go from there. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to trust me again if I was in his place and the job will probably be a shit one. The kind where messing up means that you don’t even need to go back home, just run. I guess I’ve earned that.

I also asked him about Brigit‘s father. He wasn’t in a hurry to tell me, but when I said that Brigit’s an ork now and that this was kind of a big hint that Angus isn’t her father, he came out with the truth. Shit, I have no idea how I am going to tell Brigit about this. I now know who her father was and much good that will do us because Angus fucking killed him. He found out about the affair and a couple of days later, Jack was gone. No-one knew for sure and Angus got away with murder. I’m surprised he kept Brigit around. If she’d been an ork from birth, he probably wouldn’t have. Man, what am I going to tell her? And she is gonna ask, that I’m sure of.

The police checkpoint comes into view and this is more what people except. The Metroplex guards stand in front of their Citymaster, armored and carrying assault rifles. Rusty gives an audible sigh when he’s picked out for a frisk and stops recording.

Frettchen's Therapy Sessions

[Recording Session, Session ID SEA#0003]

After fleeting static the recording starts. The cam focuses on Frettchen, sitting on top of her Volkswagen van, cybernetic legs dangling from the roof.
She offers the camera a glance but is busy pulling small bloody shards of safety glass from her arms and lower torso with forceps from her med-kit.
‘Hello, Doc.’, she greets the AR projection, her voice distorted by Seattles’s tame but steady coastal wind. Though roughed up, the elf seems genuinely happy.
‘To put it into words you prefer, Miss Aidee, you look way too jazzed for your current condition.’, the bald Psychiatrist comments, frowning with a hint of worry. ‘If you are in need of medical attention, please say “Yes” or don’t touch the Icon in front of you for 5 seconds…’
‘Calm down for fuck’s sake…‘, Frettchen replies and gestures towards a red exclamation mark with a timer. ’And you have no idea…’, she adds, snickering like the program just made a joke only she understood.
‘Very well, Miss Aidee, then please give me an idea.’
Wrapping a bandage around her left arm, the elf suddenly bursts with laughter, a roguish gleam in her eyes. ‘Sure, Doc… You see, I thought about what you’ve said. My current employment is kind of a necessity you know and I don’t get along that well with my co-workers…’
The Doctor flips a page in his notebook and nods. ‘Yes, the… “Racist Assholes”, if I remember correctly. Please continue.’
‘As if you could anything but remember that correctly… Anyway, the money’s good, but it’s not what I ENJOY, you know what I’m sayin’? So I followed your advice and put my many other talents to good use.’
Frettchen inhales sharply as dislocated joints snap back into place while she twists her shoulder. ‘I mean, that’s the greatest reward, to do what you love and get some meaning outta it, right, Doc?’
Scribbling digital notes, the shrink gives her a doubtful look. ‘I cautiously agree with you, Miss Aidee. And I am glad that you took my counsel seriously.’
‘Thought so. I figured it would be a good idea to borrow a garbage truck and crash it right into the favorite bar of my drekhead…colleagues… Man, you should’ve seen it! I shit you not, that was AWESOME! Bullets, whiteboys and car wrecks everywhere! Then there was this fucking cyber-dog and Santa Claus with riflemen racists in tow and thisliving caricature- nazi! And the best thing is, it’s all over the news!’
The psychiatric program slowly lowers his notes, slightly slack-jawed.
Frettchen takes a deep breath, regaining some composure.
‘I mean if 90 percent of your so called staff consists of racist assholes and borderline policlub members, you gotta make clear you ain’t take crap, right? It’s good for working atmosphere and all that. I even wanted to drag this ork-guy, Ruckus, into this…’ She lowers her voice and grins joyfully. ‘He fuckin’ HATES me!‘, the elf tells the program conspicuously, ’…but at least he’s a meta as well and I bet you my Honda that he would’ve appreciated the gesture.’
‘Miss Aidee, are you intoxicated?’
‘Not anymore, I’m afraid…‘, Frettchen replies.
’Besides, you should not endanger yourself or those around you like that. As per our confidentiality agreement, I will not inform the authorities.’ , the doctor says in calm routine ’ However, you have serious issues and I must confess I DO in fact diagnose an alarming regress in our therapy.’
‘Oh, come on, Doc…’ the green-haired woman intervenes, but the software just keeps talking.
‘I fear your psychological condition is beyond my competence, Miss Aidee. I recommend more professional help and I will gladly provide you with highly rated addresses…’
Frettchen angrily stares at the projection, struggling for words.
‘Forget it, Doc. I’ll only talk to you, and that’s that.’
The Doctor sighs in resignation, scribbling another note.
‘As you wish, Miss Aidee. Then what would you think if we resume the anger management sessions…’
‘Are you kidding? I’ll never stop being angry…‘, she refuses, content, almost affectionate. ’Let’s take a break, okay, Doc?’

Christopher's Log

If this goes wrong, we are all dead. Maybe we already are and just don’t know it yet. If they come for me, I intend to take as many of them with me as I can. But let’s be honest, I’d rather I won’t have to make a last stand. I can’t be having with such things at my time of life.

Babsie and I went to The Cocoon to see what we could find out. If you want unsavoury magical things, telesma or drugs, this is the place to go. And you go there to see and be seen. I’ve always kept my distance, that came in handy because I could give the crochety old magician who’s more arrogant that powerful and he has plenty of power. Babsie was my mundane assistant who does all the dirty work. Which is pretty much what she did because people do talk to her much easier than to me. In the end, we came up with an invitation to a party given by Mikal, a show magician, and a connection to Virgin Mana.I was told that this was the go-to place for questionable telesma, not in those words obviously.

Babsie didn’t turn up much information at the party, but she did fall in love. The young man’s name is Justin. Forgive me, but I am very happy to say that Babsie dropped Kowalski like a hot potato. He had it coming and I was never very comfortable seeing them together. I don’t know what Kowalski was thinking. No, I know very well, but…no. Just no.

Anyway, we paid a visit to Virgin Mana. The owner is the walking cliché of a rat shaman and I probably could have sold Babsie to him without problems. We both beat around the bush for a while, but in the end he agreed to sell me dragon telesma. The money was just too good to refuse. When we left, we picked up a trail – a couple of kids were following us on scooters. They belonged to Virgin Mana, we had seen them hang around earlier. It took a while, but we managed to lose them.

We also called Mike at the hospital and he agreed to meet with us. We were too late or probably just in time. If we had been any earlier, we’d be dead, I’m sure of that. As it was, we walked up to his room a little way behind a woman in a business suit. She didn’t take much notice of us and I pulled Babsie into a storage room when I saw her enter Mike’s room. I cast a spell and watched her shoot him in cold blood.

Christ, I hate this. The woman was part of a runner team and I assume they were the ones the drake has worked with to kill the talismongers. They won’t balk at killing a washed up-magician and a private detective, not to mention a kid like Babsie. It’s possible that they tracked our phone call to Mike or that they are on our track just because we have been poking around their work. If that’s the case, they will come for us sooner or later and I don’t give a nickel for our chances.

We decided to drop the case. We are not paid nearly enough for this, it is way too dangerous. Also, we have enough that we can give our work to the police or rather our employer can do so, if they wish. It’s not in our job description to arrest whoever did this. It’s been two days and so far we’re all still alive, so I hope thr runners are either not interested in us or haven’t identified us. But I doubt that I will get a good night’s sleep for some time.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.