Life was finally taking a turn for the better or so Laz thought. After burying his previous life, he found himself running the shadows. Not so long ago, he had hired fellows just like him, and now he was one of them. Life has a funny way like that.
He had just finished a pretty successful snatch and grab that had netted some cool creds. Best of all, he got to stick it to the Azzies. Nothing felt better than that, even the fact that it was a very clean run. He loved runs that were quick and clean and with nobody the wiser for what had happened until he and his team were long gone. This had been one of those runs.
Two weeks later he got a call from Eva, one of his team from the previous run, asking for a little assistance in another what seemed to be simple snatch and grab. This one wasn’t going to net a lot of cred, but was more of a personal favor. He agreed to help, largely because Eva and her team had proven so professional the last run.
Things started well, the team came up with a solid plan and had some reasonably good intel on the target. The mages, Erebus and Cindy, were going to use some mojo to get Eva up to the balcony of the apartment and with the aid of some of Bat’s drones they were going to make entry and obtain the objectives and get out quick. An elven hottie named Scarlet and I were going to create a distraction if necessary at the entrance to the building. Scarlet was definitely my type, attractive dark-haired elf with violet eyes, but something about her name just didn’t fit. She was new to me, but the rest of the team vouched for her, so I was fine with that. I mean they had showed the professionalism our last time out so I could give them a little leeway, besides as jobs go this one was going to be easy if everyone just stuck to the plan.
Things started well enough, as Bat got his drones up to the roof just above the balcony and Eva made her ascent. Everything was going according to plan, maybe just a little too well. Should have known something would go wrong. Once Eva and the drone entered the building things began to change rapidly and never for the better. First the house cat suddenly morphed into some giant cheetah, but Bat’s drone and Eva managed that okay. However that was only a harbinger of what was to come. Eva got to the bed and looked under for the bag we needed to recover. But instead of one blue duffel bag, there were two. Oh crap what now, I thought.
Well Eva quickly opened them, the first contained a large number of silver wrapped brick shapes, hell that must be the Vories drug stash, I thought. The second did contain what we were after though. As Eva turned her attention to the safe to get the other items we came for, an argument broke out amongst the team. This is never good, I thought. Scarlet wanted Eva to take the bag of drugs and even worse she wanted Eva to clear out the safe. The safe contained one brick of the drugs and the 10 or so chips as we had been informed. However it also contained an old book, Crime and Punishment, an antique sidearm, a small case, a small black bag and some certified credsticks. I was okay with taking the credsticks in addition to the chips and one brick. But others pushed hard for us to take it all. I knew this meant trouble, but there seemed to be no give in Scarlet or Bat.
So I finally decided to convince them to stick to the items we could likely fence easily. I said leave the novel, pistol and the box which we discovered had an eyeball in it. The bag contained some uncut diamonds, so I agreed we could take them. I wanted badly to leave the drugs behind, but Scarlet and Bat were staunch in their decision. It finally came down to Eva’s decision, as it should have been all along as this was her job after all. Eva caved to the pressure and took the drugs. I didn’t blame her, but I certainly wished she hadn’t. However, if all went well, we would soon be retired and living in the Carribean League or something like that.
Eva and the drone were just getting ready to leave when the Vories pulled up in front of the building. It was time for Scarlet and I to spring into action. I sped my Ferrari 770 Spyder around their car and cut them off. Scarlet, didn’t mis the cue and climbed out, as did I. We erupted into a shouting match. We were both giving it our all, and luckily it was working as it caught the attention of the Vories. In fact one of them walked up and said to me “ Are you going to take that off of her. If I were you I would slap her." Knowing I wouldn’t be able to make that look real, I had to think fast. I mumbled “You can have her!” I wasn’t sure if he heard me or not, but I had to follow through now. So I jumped into the car and took off down the street. This shocked Scarlet, the sheer sincerity in that look was sure to convince the Vories of our authenticity. Scarlet didn’t let this distract her long. Sensing what I was up to she gave chase. Around the block I pulled over and waited for her to catch up. As she climbed in the car, Scarlet slapped me in the face, but I had expected that. All that mattered at this moment was had we done enough.
It had worked, the distraction had given Eva and Bat just enough time to clear out. We were driving like bats out of the NAN as we decided to head for a safe house on Council Island and plan our next move. Things quickly went down hill from there. We tried to contact the joygirl to set up a meet, but she had already been taken. This was not good and we knew it. That was when I finally got to see Scarlet’s true face and finally I understood why she was called Scarlet. It seems she wasn’t an elf at all, but in fact a human with long flowing red hair. While not in the least unattractive, it definitely stunted my interest in her. That was likely a good thing, considering the drek we were in now. It was all over the newsnets. The Vories were tearing the Red Light District apart looking for us. The had hit our usual meeting place, The Shamrock, and our fixer, a guy I knew only as Murphy was on the run. Drek just kept going from bad to worse, slot it. Murphy informed us that the Vories had a 500k reward on our heads. With that kind of money looking for us, two things became abundantly clear. One, we had severely underestimated the value of what we had taken and two, we had to get the frag out of here.
Everybody got what stuff they could recover, which left me in an awkward position. Because my Ferrari would be so noticeable, I had to ditch my prized vehicle and I was going to have to leave behind my greatest assets, all my wonderful contacts that I had made since my rebirth. It was going to be painful, but I am guessing it was for just about everyone else as well. Bat came through on getting us a ride out of the Sprawl, and I negotiated us a price that was more to our taste, but still this wasn’t going to be cheap. A T-Bird pilot, whose name I will leave in the analogs of anonymity, was able to get us across the border and into the NAN lands. It was a rather rough ride that left us all the worse for wear. Finally we stopped at a tourist trap/truck stop and we all climbed out and headed in to get cleaned up. We bought some new clothes and it was at this time I came to see just how attractive Eva really was. You see I don’t normally go for the human girls as they are rarely good enough looking for my tastes, but when I saw Eva walk out of the truck stop in the little buckskin outfit, my jaw nearly hit the floor. What could I say, she was really gorgeous. I intended to remain professional, though I new it wasn’t going to be easy.
A little while later we were hooked up with an old NAN runner who agreed to take us the rest of the way. Things were going okay and Bat was having fun blasting things from the sky while we drove like crazy. Then the old guy’s truck bit the dust and he had to call in help. It was cold as hell and I huddled with Scarlet and Eva for bodyheat. This may have been a mistake, as I could feel the heat building between Eva and I. Next thing you know, a group of ork gangers showed up. Slot it, I thought, we will have to fight for our survival. However turns out, this was the help the old guy had summoned. After some discussion between the ork gang leader and the old guy, they agreed to take us the rest of the way and we hopped on the back of their bikes and we were off. It was a rough ride for some of us who weren’t use to this kind of thing, but finally as night fell, the gang stopped at an old abandoned motel.
They started up a fire, and the boozing began. I took a couple of swigs in order to not insult our hosts, but I knew any more than that and I wouldn’t maintain my faculties. The others appeared to be doing the same. Then the ork leader approached me and challenged me to some kind of duel for the honor of Eva. While I was fairly certain, Eva didn’t need anyone to defend her honor, I also sensed that to turn this down would have been bad for us, so I reluctantly agreed. It was a strange ritual that the leader described, I needed some article of Eva’s clothing to tuck into my belt and then our arms were to be tied together and we would be armed only with knives. Then we would fight, the winner was the one to draw first blood, but it would be even more disgraceful if I lost Eva’s clothing, in this case her socks. I just truly hoped I didn’t die, but as the contest began I slipped back to my old days in college when I was a member of the fencing team. Some of those tactics were bound to be useful here I thought. The ork leader, though, was exceptionally skilled and quickly had both socks and I was in trouble it seemed. But I reached deep, and made a quick low slash after a high feint and managed to recover both socks in one fell swoop, then as he came in for the kill, I countered with quick slash down his forearm. Just like that the fight was over and somehow I was victorious.
The ork leader was impressed and told me his name was Bloodhawk. A strong name for a strong leader I thought and then I went to return Eva’s socks. She was quite wasted or stoned at this point, though I wasn’t sure which. Didn’t really matter, what did matter was she was coming on strong and despite my better judgment I surrendered to her beauty and we went into the motel. After a blissful night in her arms, I couldn’t let her know I had been sober for the whole thing, so I hid the evidence of what we had done. It wasn’t much use though, she knew anyway. I was certain now though I could pull it together and keep things professional, boy was I wrong.
After spending another long day on the back of these bikes, I was exhausted when we stopped and getting a little saddle sore. But tonight’s entertainment, was to be some crazy bike jousting. You know like those knights of old that rode their horse at each others and slammed long wooden poles together, except now bikes replaced the horses. Well, I knew I was in for it as Bloodhawk approached me. Seemed I was to take part, damn the crazy things I was doing just to keep these orks from ganking us. While we were talking, an incident happened and the bag of coke dumped onto the ground. After an awkward silence, Bloodhawk and I agreed to terms of 1 brick, oh and I still had to do the joust. Well this was going to be bad. I, once again just hoped to come out alive. I got atop the bike and they strapped a piece of metal to my chest. I prayed to any gods that might be out there though I wasn’t really a believer. And then it was on. It was truly a blur as I recall few of the details, but I managed to land a blow and keep the bike upright. Frag, I even managed to pull off a fancy move to stop the bike. Once again I had impressed the gangers, and knew now that we would make it to Chicago.
After the joust, I approached the fire where Eva was smoking some weird pipe. She challenged me to a smoke off, and though I knew it was a stupid idea considering the previous night, I simply couldn’t say no to her. I don’t remember much after that first hit, but I have a feeling I did some things that I would regret if I knew what they were, but one thing I did not regret was waking up next to Eva. The only memories that remained from the previous night were of having blissful sex with this beautiful woman. It was going to be really hard to remain professional with her, but if we could keep it to just sex and no emotional attachments I figure things will be okay. But damn this woman is one of the finest lovers I have ever had, and well there have been many in my life.
Finally the next day we arrived at the outskirts of Chicago. Here is to hoping this is the last time I have to die and begin anew. Having been though this before, I knew what we would be up against and hoped the others would be up to the task of starting over. Life has it funny ways and I have once again managed TO DIE ANOTHER DAY.