Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Chopping Up

Personal Log - R. Kowalski, PI

Simlog #32, recorded by Babsie, Roadblock’s InstaFix Garage

She’s riding on her scooter through that rusty gate on the backyard, where the hulks of cannibalized cars pile up three stories. She’s killing the engine just in front of a roll-up door that’s painted with graffiti and an aged ork answers on her loud knocks.

“Shutupdamnyou?!” “Hey’s Roadblock there?” “Fuck you”, the ork with blacked out gang tatts on his upper arms opens, rolls it up. “It’s middle of the night, we’re chilling. Ah. Candy, that’s different”, he smiles. “Wrong. Babsie.” She’s looking over her shoulder. “Are we cool?” “Cool. Comin’, don’t stay in the rain little rat.” “I’m no rat. If I’m a little animal I’m a bu… I’m a squirell.” “That’s a rat too. Just on trees.” “It’s not! It’s a small smart thing that says fuck you to cats.” “Let’s see what you have, squirell”, and he starts to take a look on the ride, finally he shakes his head. “God, don’t they teach you youngsters nothing these times anymore? You can’t just bring in a heap of crap and expect me that I buy that. I offer you twenty for the spare parts. But that shitty little thing has had it. I can’t sell crap like that. I’ve got a name, ya know? How comes anyway, that I’ve never seen you?” “Because I’m usually not in the bizz. It was just an opportunity. Twenty, you say?”

She’s looking disappointed. “That’s worth the multifuel that’s left in the tank, man.” The ork laughs. “Okay, then forty. Last offer. Take it or leave it, little Squirell.” “You have kaf?” “Serve yourself, over there, behind the workbench. We have a deal.” “Nah. Forty. Pfft”, she brushes her hair back and gets herself a kaf, making a face by its taste. “Maybe I keep it.” “Keep that thing? Girl, that thing will fall apart the next corner you cut. It’s really not worth the effort. I can offer you better.” “How much do you take to clean it from registration and a paint-job?” The ork takes himself a kaf himself and just laughs. “That thing? The paint is more worth than the ride. I’d take twohundred.” “Man, I don’t want a fucking artjob. I just want another color. It can’t be that hard to go over it with a spraycan.” “Girl, do I tell you how to nibble nuts? Don’t tell me how I do paintjobs, okay? I have to get rid of the registry too. If that shitty thing has any. Where you got it? Junkyard? If you nick one of those rides, do it where people have money, okay?”

She is sipping the kaf, which is hot and strong and also the best you can say of it. “Hundred. But just because I like you and I had a bad day.” “Hm”, she makes. “Do you have any decent ride around for cheap?” “Fivehundred up.” “Don’t shit me, okay? I don’t want a shitty thing that gets nicked the next day anyway.” “As if that saved yours.” “True.”

She’s looking around. The garage is a mess. Plastic foil over the back of the shop, a muscle car behind it with an unfinished paint job. A single hoist, a workbench. Pictures of naked women on the wall. Music coming from a small box office at the side of the garage. “Man, what can you offer? I don’t have that money. I just need something cheap that gets me around, okay? Something that’s not worth much and has a good lock. Better than that.” “Okay, comon, Squirrel. You’re not putting shit on me with this, are you?” “I want to live a bit longer in the neigbourhood. You should have seen me.” He laughs. “I have. But you have switched your job? New name, new job and that? What’re you doing now? Courier? Drug courier? Delivery job? Or what?” “You don’t put it against me, if I tell ya?” “Don’t stretch it too much, girl.” “I’m investigating.”

He stopps dead at some nice painted little scooters. “What? Are you shitting me? You are putting shit on me or what?” “No!” “I’m really friendly to you and you come up with being a fucking snoop?” “Man, I’m not snooping on you. I’m just… just… I’m trying to find this fucking sucker who kills the girls around here. I do it for some clients of mine. Really.” He’s looking at her. “You’re not shitting me?” “Nah. It’s true. I try to find out who is killing streetwalkers around here.” “They get killed. That’s part of their job description.” “You’re an asshole. That’s not true. We live dangerous, everybody is putting their shit on us, but if you kill one of us, there’s some heat coming.” He’s looking at her for a moment, then starts to laugh. “Heat? You?” “Ja. Me. Heat. Coming, dare you?” He’s just shaking his head, smiling.

“Okay, kid. This is what I have. No multifuel, just electros. They’re cheaper anyway. You can steal power everywhere and it’s not that people can just nick the fill of your tank so easy. A classic. Dodge Scoot, good old American handicraft.” “Isn’t it produced in india now?” He’s looking at her. “Don’t talk nonsense, girl. This is as American as it gets. Like a Harley. Just… never mind that I mentioned a Harley together with these things in one sentence, do you?” “Promise.” “Okay. If you prefer the Asian rice-cooker here is a Hyundai Hopper. And last but not least Entertainment Systems Papoose.” “I’d die before I ride one of those.” “Why that? It’s a fair ride, girl.” “It’s a motorised cycle. There’s nothing worse than something that tries to be something that it isn’t. This is trying to look cool and to look like a racing bike. But it’s a fucking cycle with an electro motor. That’s a poser-elf in form of a bike. No thanks.” “I give you that thing with discount.” “Over my dead body.” He just laughs. “Okay. So good old American handicraft or rice-cooker.” “How much are they?” “Five for the Dodge. I say four for the Hyundai. Because I did a good job on the painting.” “I take the Huyndai.” “You sure about that?” “Ja.” “Girl, I really don’t want to change your mind, but this jap-crap has no steel works in it. It’s just laminated paper with a cheap motor in it. It will fall apart when you sneeze too hard. The Dodge here on the other side has a real steel core. It’s decent. It’s…” “It’s rusting like mad and it weights almost double.” His smile vanishes. “Okay. You’re the client you’re always right. But don’t come back when that cheap jap-crap is starting to delaminate under your small ass, okay?” “It has better batteries.”

“Whatever. It’s cheap crap, girl. Okay. Buy that cheap shit and don’t come back after it’s fallen apart with complains. Spare it for those clueless japs, okay?” He winks with a smile. “So I get forty for the other one and get this with discount?” “What? Discount? Who is saying anything about discount?” “I mean it’s cheap jap-crap that will fall apart. And I yet can’t afford something decent. I pay you three for the Hyundai.” “Three?! Girl! Are you mad? I can’t sell you that thing for three. Threefifty.” “I really don’t have that much money, man.” “We can always arrange some different deal, girl.” She is looking a bit sad. “Please don’t. I stopped doing that, okay? Don’t treat me like that. I’m no fucking whoring for a ride.” “You were.” “Ja. I don’t deny. But I had to take drugs to stand it. You don’t want me to go using again, do you?” He is looking down on his feet. “Girl, I can’t give it to you for three.” “Maybe I can do something for you? Do you need to know where rides are or something? I can spot them for you.” “Can you nick them too?” “No, I’m not in the nicking bizz. I’m in information bizz. I can find things.”

He’s thinking for a moment, sipping at his kaf. “Okay. Deal. I show you three rides I try to find. You tell me where I can find them. I arrange the rest.” “Two rides max. Man, I charge two-hundred a day.” “Squirrel, you are nipping at your luck, you know? Okay. Two. I upload you the pictures and specifications. I need them tomorrow.” “Deal?” “Deal.” He uploads it to her commlink, they exchange numbers.

Then they shake hands, she gets her new Hyundai and rolls out of the door. “Thanks Roadblock.” “No problem Squirrel.” “Nice paintjob, by the way. I really robbed ya.” He smiles. “Yeah. You robbed me.”
[end recording]

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