Blood and Ferrocrete (A Shadowrun 3rd edition Game)

Nature Hike

8 Feb 2064
Grinder, Alex and Lisa are hired by Murphy to go to the village of Shanchu in the Salish-Shidhe wilderness, pickup force 6 summoning materials and take them to an address in Redmond for a shady character named Kolmetz.
Timeline
1100: Meet at the Shamrock. Runners accept job and are given keys to Murphy’s van, 3 utility jumpsuits, a paracritter carrier and 1 day visas with export tags
0900 9 Feb: The Runners take off and soon arrive at the Border. There’s a tense moment as the Salish guard searches the van but no big deal
1200 9 Feb: Runners arrive in Sanchu and are hassled by Running Bear and his two buddies. They ignore the baiting though and head up the hill to Alrez, the talsimonger’s place.
1300 9 Feb: After cleverly stalling the van halfway up the hill, they hoof it to the talismongers. Alex and Lisa go inside, leaving Grinder as rear security.
1330 9 Feb: Alriz is an odd duck but gives them the goods, a box about 10kg. The runners head down to the van and beat feet for Civilization
1400 9 Feb: Due to Alex’s quick driving and enhanced perception, the Runners avoid a trap set by Running Bear and his chums. Grinder pops the rear doors to fire at the trio but an ice sheet spell causes the van to swerve. Grinder is hit by a stunbolt but the runners manage to flee.
1700 9 Feb: The Runners arrive at the address and find the old mailbox. They yell for Kolmetz and he comes out. Something about him trips Alex’s paranoia button and Grinder sets the box out the rear doors and the van squeals away.
1900 9 Feb: Run completed with the return of Murphy’s van and payment delivered.

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Pulling the Triggers

Timeline
1800 Meet at the Shamrock w/ Murphy who sends team to LuChan’s Chinese Fast Food in Tacoma.
1900 Arrive at West Tacoma Monorail Station to see a guy with a shotgun shooting it out with two members of the Halloweeners. Lisa blocks the door open and then Grinder sprays the shades wearing guy but misses. Lisa jumps behind shotgun guy’s kiosk. Grinder ends the fight by throwing a concussion grenade which knocks the Weeners down and sends them running. Thier new compatriot says his name is Crash and he’s a member of the Brain Eaters and can he give them a ride anywhere since the law will be investigating shortly
1905 The pair pile into Crash’s pickup and he takes them to thier job, giving them his LTG and letting them know he owes them a favor.
2000 LuChen turns out to be a 40 something Chinese man who says a group of wannabe gangers called the Westside Triggers has been tagging his place, trying to break in, hassling his customers and generally being a pain in the hoop. They generally show up at closing time. He wants them gone but would prefer no bloodshed. He offers the two runners the use of the backroom and dinner. Grinder has General Tso’s Chicken, Lisa has Chili Beef Ramen.
2200 Having scoped out the alley, the runners decide to leave Grinder’s cell next to the dumpster with its camera on linked to his Image Display cybereyes. They then hide behind the rollup door and wait
0005 Four kids wearing yellow rainslickers and sporting green hair clamber over the fence. They are toting spray cans and crowbars. The rollup door slides up revealing two very large automatics pointed their way and glowing red cybereyes as Grinder sights in. One of them pisses himself and falls over the fence while the others scatter.
A call is made to Crash with the description and he says him and his crew will put the word out to the Triggers to get the fuck out of Tacoma
0100 LuChen pays the runners and they head home.

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A Long Night

15 February 2064
Meet: 1700, The Shamrock, Grinder, Lisa, Alex, Chance, and Meow/Max meet Murphy who tells them the Johnson wants to meet them in Renton at 1900. Alex takes his motorbike, Chance and Meow take his sports car and the rest ride the mono as usual.
1900: The team arrives at 1125 Pine St #103 and is passed through by a large troll. They are met in the lobby by a chromed elf who leads them into a boardroom with tridscreens playing and then Mr. J exits a secret door.
1905: He tells them they are to extract Dr. Adrian Hall from a company called Aurora. The set up is they will be A/C repairmen. The J provides jumpsuits and namebadges. The team plans and waits for the call.
2000: Chance does a drive by with Meow and the two realize they don’t have enough radios for the team. These are necessary because they hired Quint the decker to run overwatch for them and he needs a radio frequency. Calls are made and Arnie agrees to see Grinder and Lisa, who take the work van to pickup the gear
2100: At Arnies, money is spent for 2 camcorders and 2 radios of questionable quality. The pair of runners race back to the rally point 2 blocks from the Aurora facility
2300: Various plans are made and discarded. It is decided that all of the runners will pile their weapons and armor in the trunk of Chance’s car. He launches his skidlid up over the building for eyes on the situation.
2315: The team arrives and is led into the site. They are patted down but the guards overlook the toolbags (which hold a taser). They are led up to the lab where Dr. Hall is.
2330: They poke around the A/C awhile then Alex decides they need different tools from the truck. The pair of guards watching them calls another pair to escort Grinder and Alex back to the truck while Meow and Lisa stay put.
2335: The second pair of guards arrive and lead Grinder and Alex away. One has a SMG in front and his partner is behind the two runners with a shotgun. In the stairwell, Alex kicks the legs out of SMG guard while Grinder spins and pops his spur. Grinder lunges at the guard, who grabs his outstretched hand and spins the samurai, kicking HIM down the stairs. Alex pulls the taser and shocks the SMG guard as Grinder jumps up…just in time to catch a blast from the 12-gauge. He goes down with a gaping hole and spurting blood where his collarbone used to be. Alex tases the shotgunner
2336: Meow and Lisa hear the guard’s radio ‘THESE GUYS ARE ATTACKING US!’ and both room guards aim their weapons in the runners faces. Lisa immediately begins stammering about how she doesn’t know these people and that it’s her first day. Meow pops his spur and tries to knock the shotgun away and stab. He slashes the guards chest, spraying blood and gore. Lisa kicks the SMG out of the other guards hand. The other guard quickdraws his Predator, prompting Lisa to dive for cover as he fires, clipping her bicep.
2337: Blood leaking from her arm, Lisa grabs the SMG and sprays a quick burst at the standing guard, dropping him. Meow stabs the other guard through the throat and is drenched from head to waist in arterial spray. He steps over and deftly kills the fallen guard as Alex and Grinder burst into the room, holding weapons.
2340: The team dresses Dr. Hall in an armorjacket as Quint cuts the camera feeds and locks the doors.
Chance spots the outside guards trying to get in and speeds his GM 3220 past the front gate, his Steel Lynx springing out of the trunk like a demented mechanical Jack-in-the-Box.
2345: As the team races towards their van with Dr. Hall in tow, Chance has Quint open the front gate so his drone can roll in shooting. One of the two guards trying to get in the front door goes down in a hail of gunfire that shatters the glass as the other sprints around the corner.
Another guard runs towards the cover of the gate house and is clipped. Chance rolls in and sees that guard is on his cellphone. He shoots, shattering the phone and maiming the guard. He finishes him off with a burst as he rolls towards the team van. His microskimmer’s camera shows another guard hiding near the teams van. Chance shoots but the guard dodges, causing a line of holes in the van. This continues for a few seconds before he finally catches a burst in the face, ending the showdown.
2348: The team bursts out of the loading dock and clambers into the van, putting the Lynx in and locking down its wheels. Improvised bandages prevent Grinder and Lisa from bleeding out but there is a mess.
2352: The van hurtles out of the open front gate heading for the Johnson’s office when suddenly a rotodrone with a minigun appears behind them. It fires but Alex manages to dodge, causing the rain of 7.62mm to stitch the pavement. It fires again and again but Alex keeps swerving until it runs out of signal range and has to turn back. Car alarms scream from the line of parked cars that are looking kind of shredded by the misses. The team pulls into an alley to discuss as sirens wail in the distance.
0000: Chance says no wounded in his car cause they will mess up his upholstery. He takes the Doctor instead as the team drives the tainted van back toward the J.
0010: Chance is paralleling the team and almost to Renton when the left side of Dr. Hall’s face explodes, covering the car’s interior with brains, blood, bone, and gore. Chance keeps it on the road and quickly pulls into an alley. He uses the spare jumpsuit they brought for Dr. Hall to clean most of the doctor off his windows.
0030: Alex, being the only unbloodied one, is sent in to tell the J they failed. When he explains about the cortex bomb, the J reluctantly pays them 2500ny each
0100: Chance takes Lisa and Grinder to Patch’s Clinic after dropping Meow at his apartment. Alex rides off on his motorbike.
The Radios, cameras, and Quint cost 10.5k. Grinder’s bill comes to 5000, Lisa’s is 1500. After it’s all said and done, the runners average 800 yen for this job.

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Rampage in Redmond

16 March 2064
The Day before St. Patty’s, the crew assembles in the Shamrock and is told by Murphy they’ll need to dress up for the next meet cause it’s at Matchsticks. Everyone but Grinder pays Murphy to acquire clothing. Grinder who has 98 yen to his name and has just been booted out of the Hilton to live at the No-Tell Motel, hops the mono to Redmond. He buys a 70 yen suit off Barney the Cheap Suit Guy who runs his biz out of a GM Stepvan and is known to be excessively friendly.
2000: The team arrives at Matchsticks via AngryJack’s Combat Cab and King tells everyone to act cool because it’s custom for the J to buy dinner. They go inside and order drinks.
2030: They are collected by the waitress who leads them to a backroom. They order a second round
2035: The J arrives with his two bodyguards. The team is to be paid 5K each to recover a briefcase that was taken from a courier of his by a gang called the Seven Plagues. They are given a week to do the job.
2100: Alex leaves without telling his team where he’s going
2110: The team decides that they need a vehicle for this gig. Grinder decides to steal Barney’s van. They call a cab and ride with Otis and his Hindi music for an hour. They are let off at the get off ramp in Redmond.
2215: A homeless ork wanders up and Grinder gives him the last 28 yen he has. This apparently sparks psychosis cause the sammy sprints off at high speed towards Barneys. Meow gives chase, leaving Lisa standing there a bit dazed.
2218: Meow comes to a screeching halt upon rounding the corner and nearly running into half a dozen trolls from the Rusted Stilettos who are passing around a bottle of RocketFuel and tell him he has to pay the ‘Troll Toll’. He balks a bit but realizes he’s not wearing armor and isn’t a troll, so he lies and says Grinder has his money. The lead Troll, Smash, asks if Meow will pay them to get it back. Meow says Sure. Smash pulls his Ruger and activates his ElectroMag Vision sighting in on the still visible running like hell Grinder half a block away.
2219: A fist sized chunk of brick explodes near Grinder’s head. He pours on the speed, darts into Barney’s alley where the friendly little man is sitting having a smoke. Grinder doesn’t break stride, just pops his spur and plunges it into Barney’s torso. Barney collapses instantly, bleeding everywhere as Grinder loots his pockets and jumps into the van.
2220: Meow sneaks away from the trigger happy trolls and heads back to the ramp.
2220: Grinder backs out of the alley and heads for I90 as Smash’s bullets rip holes in the van and shatter the windshield.
2225: Grinder stops at the top of the ramp and dumps all of the suits in the street. Homeless Ork Bob from earlier begins stacking them up as the sky opens up and it rains.
2230: Lisa reluctantly gets in the stolen van and Grinder takes off after Meow says he’s not riding with the crazy guy. He waits for AngryJack instead..
2300: ..who arrives with his rear turret firing at a helicopter. He does a screaming J-turn and the rear door gullwings open, allowing Meow to jump in. AngryJack plows his cab off the road and down into the woods as Meow is ping ponged around the back seat. A rocket explodes nearby taking out part of the forest. Meow covers his head and wishes he’d stayed home.
2345: Meow is let out at the Welcome to Seattle sign on I90 in a pouring rainstorm. He waits and contemplates his next move as a familiar black van pulls up. He decides to rejoin the team and they take the quick route through Downtown, Grinder and Lisa soaked and bedraggled from the lack of a windshield.
0005: Suddenly, red and blue lights in the rearview. Rookie Simms of LoneStar pulls them over and fails to ask for ID as Grinder tells a sad story of being jumped by go gangers. The rookie cop leads them to Roscoe’s Garage and takes off.
0020: Grinder rushes inside (apparently the madness was still in effect) and sells the van for 300 nuyen. The tired team takes the monorail to their respective homes and goes to sleep.
3 hours earlier…
2200: Alex arrives in Puyallup and accosts a vagrant, paying him 10 nuyen to find a ganger bar. The hobo points him in the direction of The Firepole.
2210: Alex wanders inside the bar and sees lots of men dressed in lots of leather and latex. He is somewhat taken aback that the bar is a gay ganger bar, home of the Leather Devils. He buys a drink and keeps his cool though. He finds a Devil and learns that the Plagues have set up shop right down the street
2230: Alex parks near the Plagues warehouse and heads up a fire escape, looking for a vantage point. He goes to the sixth floor where a curtained sliding glass door blocks the trid thats on inside. He can hear beer cans being opened. He knocks…
2233: And hears the drunk guy inside open his FRONT door and mutter fucking kids.
2235: He knocks again louder
2236: He hears the guy get up and cock a pump shotgun before whipping the curtain back.
2236: King asks ’How’d you like to make some money?’
2236: Drunk guy replies ’How’d you like to get blasted off my fucking fire escape?’
2237: King wisely leaves and goes down to the fifth floor where its dark. He uses his Killing Hands (CRASH!!!) to shatter the door and enter. Bloodstained chalk outlines, bullet riddled walls, and a urine smelling couch are all that is in here. But at least he has a clear view of the warehouse. He waits
2300: And waits
0200: And waits
0400: And waits
0800: And waits
1000: and finally calls the team to let them know he found the guys they were looking for. The team doesn’t want a cab and can’t take the mono to Puyallup since an eco terrorist group blew up the lines out that way so they call Chance and have him come get them in his tow truck.
1300: The team arrives at the buildings front and sees a maglocked grate. Lisa picks it and they enter, much to the consternation of the counterman who yells at them. Lisa pulls his gun and he ducks, leaving them to walk up the stairs unmolested.
1330: The team arrives at the crime scene tape locked door and Alex greets them. They plan
1430: And Plan
1530: and finally a buyer arrives down below for the case. Meow mentions stealing another vehicle since that plan worked so well last time. As luck would have it, a van with freshly bondoed holes and a new windshield pulls in the alley. The two runner types inside exit and head down the street towards the bar after locking it.
1600: The team is down by the van. Grinder is stymied by the locked door so he punches in the driver’s side window, triggering the car alarm that was recently (like last night) installed. He quickly pops the hood and disconnects the battery just as Lisa is twisting the hotwires together. He reconnects the battery and the alarm starts screaming again. The Plagues ork guards wander over to see what in the fuck is going on.
1610: Lisa pulls the alarm and YAY the team has wheels. Which is good cause the buyers are leaving with the case.
1630: The team ambushes the buyers and a swarm of concussion grenades and gunfire later, leave a shattered Americar and two bullet riddled dead guys in the middle of the street.
1730: They meet the J and get paid.

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Comes a Reckoning
or the GM pays the PCs back in spades

March 25, 2064
1100: Murphy calls the team and tells all of them they are burnt and to GTFO as soon as they can. Also, forget his number
1105: King calls Grinder and gives him the address of his Redmond bolt hole, telling the samurai he can crash there. He then climbs on his bike and races there to wait in ambush, hoping to collect the 20k bounty on Grinder’s head.
1110: Lisa is dyeing and cutting her hair in order to try and make a getaway from the Seattle Hilton.
1110: Meow is shaving himself bald and calls Lisa to come get him in her new car so they can run for it together
1110: Grinder calls Angryjack for a ride and is told to be outside in 20 minutes. He packs his stuff and waits.
1110: Scarlet adjusts her SmartShades and crouches in the hallway outside Grinder’s apartment in front of the exit stairs.
1130: Grinder leaves his apartment as Lisa leaves hers on the other side of town. She passes an elven dude named Ryan, who unbeknownst to her used to run with Scarlet. He rings up Scarlet and let’s her know Lisa’s headed out.
1131: A pair of silenced 11mm bullets rip off Grinder’s right cyberear and crease his cheek as his wired reflexes send him crashing through the nearest door. He tears across the room as the Sammy who lives there goes for his gun and smashes through the window onto the fire escape.
1133: Grinder half stumbles half falls down the fire escape and makes the alley just as Scarlet exits the shattered window above and double taps him in the back, punching a hole in his armor and breaking two of his ribs and hitting the DNI controller for his cyber arms.
1134: Grinder flees wildly around to the front of the building in agony, blood soaking his back and coating his face. Suddenly he catches a glimpse of a barrel on a nearby roof and throws himself forward as the plate glass window shatters behind him. He scrambles to AngryJacks cab and says Go!
1135: Angryjack rolls 100m before a voice on the radio tells him to stop. Apparently, Judah and Grimjack of the runner group Six Pack want to chat with Grinder about stealing their van. AngryJack tells Grinder it’s 5000 or he gets out. Grinder gives him 4800 nuyen and one of his Smartguns. Angryjack pops thermal smoke and roars backwards as an AVM blows a crater out of the street. He roars off toward the Barrens.
1145: Lisa sees a large column of smoke on Lyman Avenue and takes the shortcut over to Roswell, headed for Meow’s place there. Scarlet had radioed her sniper buddy on the roof to look out for a new Americar so Lisa is shocked when her windshield shatters and a round punches her in the chest, knocking her sideways and sending her car slowly rolling up the sidewalk.
1148: Grinder gets a call on his cell, but his malfunctioning arms cause it to drop on the floor. He picks it up, finally, and hears Lisa weakly calling for help. He convinces AngryJack to drive back into the RLD by giving up his Predator, sword, and survival knife.
1150: Lisa plays dead in the front seat of her car waiting for Grinder
1200: AngryJack pulls alongside the Americar and Lisa bolts out, a bullet blowing a chunk out of the bench seat. Suddenly, a figure speeds out of a nearby alley, leaps and lands on the roof. A fist-sized hole appears in the ceiling and a female voice with a slight Texas accent says ‘The gal can leave, but Grinder stays.’ Lisa takes the offer and hobbles away, bleeding everywhere. Grinder shoves a concussion grenade through the hole, but Scarlet backflips off the car as AngryJack speeds away. Scarlet sprints to her Americar and gives chase.
1220: Scarlet follows the cab and makes a call. “That’s good right here, Jack”. The cab begins to slow as Grinder realizes he’s been set up six ways to Sunday. He shoves a belt of four concussion grenades through the pay slot in Jack’s seat which detonate stunning the Angry Samurai at …70mph. The cab slides right and launches airborne, crashing down an embankment and hitting a wall. Jack is seriously hurt but Grinder is dead, his neck and skull crushed on impact.
1225: Scarlet pulls up and calls DocWagon for Jack. She unlocks the back and cuts Grinder’s cyberarms off and one eye. She then calls Bubba and has Jack’s cab towed and the body disposed of to the ghouls of Tamanous. So long, Grinder.
1230: Lisa stumbles into a Soybucks coffeeshop and makes it to the restroom. She cleans up and calls Murphy. He’s pissed that she called him but calms down when she asks if he can get in touch with Aurora. He does so and they send a team to fetch her. She is stripped of weapons and drugged.
1300: Alex is at his bolt hole, making a polymemetic mask for himself and hiding his bike. Unknown to him, Scarlet is on his trail having had Quint the decker ping the last known cell tower he called from. Alex calls for a cab and arranges to meet it at the Welcome to Redmond sign. As he heads that way, he sees a ramshackle shed with a bunch of suits in it and an ork with a shotgun sitting on top of it. He buys a cheap, dirty suit for 50 nuyen and heads to wait under the bridge.
1330: A Mitsubishi Nightsky limosine rolls up and stops. A voice calls out ‘Mr. Kingston, come out and join us.’ He does so and it’s the Johnson from the Aurora Run. Alex gets in the limo and is given the truth. Aztechnology hired them for the Aurora run and since he was so kind to provide blood samples, it was a simple matter to track the entire team with watcher spirits and following cars this whole time. Mr. Lopez offers Alex a deal, a new face and new identity but Aztechnology owns his ass. He is given a cellphone that he must keep on at all times and taken to a clinic for reconstructive facial surgery (and cortex bomb implantation). He is renamed Palm Almisey and set loose after a few days. He lost his vehicle because he left it parked in his bolthole and some gangers had a party there, his contacts because they think he’s dead and his former reputation because everyone thinks his entire team was iced. He’ll have to start over.
1600: Roswell Apt C, The door is blown off its hinges and two frag grenades are tossed in as the rear window explodes from medium machinegun fire. Meow puts up a fight as best he can but eventually is riddled with holes and killed by the Aurora mercenaries. Game Over, Meow.
Several hours later, Lisa wakes up manacled to a chair with a spotlight in her face and a jovial man asking questions. She spills everything and can feel an odd scar on the back of her head. Cortex bomb implant in place, she becomes Aurora’s operative and disappears from the shadows never to be seen again. On her first assignment, she is infiltrating an Aurora facility and steps into a elevator as a humanoid figure made of blood and claws materializes and shreds her. Goodbye, Lisa.

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A Simple Heist
AKA David fell asleep

April 2, 2064
1200: A buzzing alarm wakes Bruce up from a cold rock floor. He is confused and thristy. He glances around a large cavern with several vehicles and drones in it as well as a huge plasma screen computer built into one wall. ‘Good afternoon, Master Bruce, I am Alfred, your digital butler. If you head up those stairs, you will find clothing and food in the main house.’
Bruce does so and finds only his clothes, a cellphone, a personal credstick and a ring of six passkeys.
1200: Scarlet gets a call from Murphy asking her around to the Rock later for biz. She heads out to buy supplies and fix her disguise for the evening.
1300: Palmsey calls Murphy and is told to cone to the bar if he wants to talk. He takes a can there and is met with suspicion. He is led into the war room and Murphy pulls his .45 out and lays it on the table. ’Talk’he says. Palmsey verifies his identity and Murphy grudgingly agrees to give him a second chance. They both head back to the bar.
1400: Eva gets a call from Flex telling her if she wants in on a job, head to the Shamrock by 1800. She gets ready
1430: Cindy is watching bad trid when Murphy calls with work. He agrees to meet there.
1600: Following Alfred’s directions, Bruce has assembled his gear. He has been told if he does good work, more will be revealed. He climbs into his GM Fox armored off road SUV and drives up a ramp. Outside, hydraulics slide a section of rock wall and hedges aside and the Fox emerges onto a state road.
1615: Eva leaves her doss and heads for the Shamrock.
1618: Cindy leaves his apartment as well but gets too close to Eva, who darts into an alley and disappears
1700: K-Fin the resident pool shark takes 180 yen off Palmsey then asks if he’d be down for a deal. The pair head out and Kyle pops his trunk. He comes up with two vials and two autohypos,selling two hits of Jazz and Kamikaze to Palmsey.
1705: Eva is coming round the corner and spots two dudes badly hiding their drug deal. She wanders upand Palmsey places a hand near his gun. Eva ignores him and talks to Kyle. They head back inside.
1710: Cindy arrives and heads in. He buys a beer and then Rena sidles up next to him. He buys her a NOg soykaf and gets her number in case he’d like her other services after viz is done.
1715: After losing a beer to K Fin, Eva has his number and has taken the first step towards her goal of being Queen Novacoke.
1730: Scarlet in disguise arrives.
1735: Bruce arrives and Murphy wrangles them into the war room.

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First Run
Or: Crazy Party Battle!

Erebus’s Mental Journal
4th April, 2054

I was woken up in the early afternoon. Much to surprise it was Charlotte, my fixer and a consumate professional in her business of getting other people the things they need. She was short, polite, and professional as always. She said she had a lead on some business and I should go down to a place called the Shamrock and speak to a former Tir Nan Og elf named Murphy about some business. I verified with Charlotte that this Murphy was vetted and professional, and she went on to explain that he had a good reputation and specialized in helping bring teams together. And so after getting ready, I left for the Shamrock.

Arriving in the parking lot and looking around, I saw the place was rather lower-class, and so I called up Scorch (well, that’s what I’m calling him in polite company) from his plane incase I should need him. Entering the bar, I ordered a Guiness from the smart-assed bartender on duty and inquired after Murphy. Being told he wasn’t there at the moment I resolved to wait and enjoy my beer.

Eventually I received a phonecall from Murphy who explained that I needed to speak to a woman named Scarlet, and so after inquiring of the bartender, he went off to see about getting her. While waiting I struck up a conversation with a man I’d have sworn was homeless. Scruffy and unkempt-looking with a full beard, he seemed nice enough, even if I did wonder if he mightn’t be some sort of hippy. Partway through the conversation he received a phonecall himself, and it seemed Murphy was instructing this fellow (who identified himself as Greg) to also meet with Scarlet about business. A pleasant surprise.

A few moments into our conversation, Scarlet came out and brought us into the back room to fill us in. From the sounds of it there were two simultaneous and linked jobs desired: escort some women to a particular location and rob that location. (OOC: I know that’s not what it was, but that was the best I could figure when people were telling me in-character). We split into two groups, with myself and a dwarf and Scarlet planning the breakin. We began to discuss the details and the Johnson, whom I’m relatively sure was a prostitute of some sort, began helping us figure things out. Scarlet excused herself for a few minutes, I presume to go to the restroom, while we talked.

Of a sudden I heard two silenced gunshots. Not wishing to accidently burn down the bar for a false alarm, I wove concealing weaves of mana about myself and hid beneath the sturdy table. Interestingly there was a gun and several clips of ammunition beneath the table. I stayed there for some time, wondering what was going on. I heard angry voices for quite some time, so I stayed put.

Once the immediate fighting seemed to be over with, I cautiously approached the dwarf at the doorway (dressed for some reason so incognito he couldn’t help but be conspicuous) and whispered, still invisible, asking what happened. He asked me to drop the spell, but not knowing the situation I wasn’t about to do that. After a few moments he went back into the little hallway and I leaned over.

A man I’d seen in the other meeting room was floating pressed against the ceiling, and Scarlet was laying on the ground conscious and angry-sounding but her mouth was covered in blood she must’ve spit up. As near as I could tell, the man on the ceiling was a plant for AzTechnology working for them, and he and Scarlet got into a fight over the man wanting Scarlet’s help to kidnap a little girl for AzTechnology. Some men with almost no remaining life-energy arrived after a while and took the man who was on the ceiling away.

Still not being clear on what happened or why, and more than a little worried, I messaged Murphy to let him know that the Runners had been trying to apparently kill each other. I was concerned about their professionalism and if I really wanted to run with such a volatile group. Murphy was slightly disappointed nobody died, of all things, but he assured me that the group is generally pretty good and professional. I decided I’d give Murphy the benefit of the doubt, but I’m not sure whether the group is particularly suited toward how I prefer to do things.

After some of the chaos, a woman, the afforementioned dwarf, Greg, and I decided we might as well try getting the escorting mission done with. After I went to park my SUV in a nearby garage and get the medkit and biomonitor, I explained to the dwarf, a Rigger, about my usual setup: I’d project and perform astral overwatch, and command my elementals if there is need. If I am harmed, the biomonitor registers it and will alert the rest of the team via comms-channel. If I go unconscious, I instructed the rigger to follow the directions of the Medkit to help me, and if that didn’t bring me back to consciousness to use my pocket secretary to call Farshorn. In this way I could minimize chances of dying if something went badly, and it would alert the team if I encountered any major problems. In the future I’ll also use watcher spirits as messengers, I believe.

We arrived at a seedy strip club. It was not pleasant. The women were not very attractive. And revoltingly, the Johnson, a Larry the Lizard, wanted us to escort two women pretending to be elves, with cheap paste-on ears, to their destination. Ultimately the best deal I was able to arrange for the team was 1400 nuyen total and tickets to something called a watermelon show.

Around this time I noticed that Greg, whom I’m guessing is an illusion-focused magician, and who had for some reason wove a web of mana to cause himself to appear as an attractive female, was getting hit on by a rather insistent male troll. Leaving Greg to his own devices – after all, who am I to judge? – I helped escort the poseur prostitutes to the vehicle. It was then that I noticed that one of their ears was off, which began to irritate me more than I probably should’ve let it. But really, if you’re going to pretend to be an Elf, you should at least try to do it competently. Very irritating. Greg finally hopped into the vehicle after saying something to get the troll to leave him alone, and we proceeded onward.

The arrival went off without significant issue. No problems on the drive over, and at the location in question the guards quickly verified things and we dropped off the prostitutes. One of the prostitutes complimented me repeatedly on my appearance, which I guess was her attempt to be nice. I suppose a prostitute would put a fair stock in a person’s appearance as important. At any rate, she gave me a piece of paper indicating she wished to leave the prostitution life and Larry the Lizard and to call her. I agreed. I might or might not do it. I suppose it’s possible Larry made her put on those God-awful ears and it wasn’t her own choice and maybe she’s not a bad person. Maybe. Anyway it sounded like Scarlet might be interested in the job. Though for the life of me I don’t see what would be so hard about leaving. All you’d have to do is move elsewhere when he wasn’t expecting it.

At any rate, the drop-off went off fine, and we split the money amongst the group. On the way back, for some reason Greg picked up his phone and started speaking into it, but as near as I could tell there wasn’t anyone on the other end. He talked about babysitting, of all things. After returning to the Shamrock we went our own ways. Hopefully the group becomes a little better; the first half of the evening went badly, but the little escort job we did went fine at least. I’ll have faith that Charlotte knows what she’s doing and this Murphy hasn’t set me up with a bad group.

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Anatomy of a Run
The way all Shadowruns SHOULD go

From Erebus’s mental journal:
05-04-54 (5th April, 2054)

It seems that my good faith in Murphy has been rewarded; Charlotte did not steer me wrong. Tonight our job went off rather splendidly, I felt. The danger level was high, but the rewards were far better than the first job and things went well. I wish all Runs went so well.
I received a call from Murphy a few hours after I’d finally passed out with Glitter, offering work. Reluctantly, I pulled myself from the nice warm bed and got showered and dressed. Arriving at the Shamrock, I was able to finally meet Murphy in person. A good sort of fellow I felt – if a little brusque – despite being from NanOg. He introduced the group of us – Greg, Eva, BatDwarf, and I – to an experienced Runner going by the moniker of Lazarus Pariah. He dressed well and had a professional look to him, and a calm, experienced, authoritative manner, so I was quite pleased.

After basic introductions concluded, Murphy told us that he had a Johnson wishing to meet with us at the Eye of the Needle. He was even able to get some halfway decent clothing for the people dressed poorly. Taking two vehicles, we entered the Eye of the Needle, BatDwarf staying in his vehicle for some reason I wasn’t entirely clear on. Riggers like to stick close to their vehicles, I suppose. After Lazarus and I had a nice meal – Eva and Greg abstained, and honestly I only partook because Lazarus seemed confident that he could have the meal included in the contract – the Johnson finally showed. Scruffier-looking than most Johnsons, he at least seemed polite, and he explained the job: to break into an AzTechnology research facility to take a biological sample and the research data from the computer system. He even had a way for us to get in: past some brickwork was some plasteel that he had an agent for that could cause it to weaken so we could work our way inside.

Being that we were breaking into an AzTechnology location, I decided to actually participate some physically, figuring that there would be substantial warding around the area we needed to get to. After the meeting we went to a van outside the entry point to gather some equipment the Johnson had provided, and from there we went on a trek through the sewers. The Johnson had given us a map of the sewers in that area, and it was relatively accurate for a change. Not great, but mostly accurate at least. Along the way we encountered a couple of passed-out dwarves, and we came across a group of bats that I was pretty shocked attacked us. Made me kick myself that I hadn’t used my Calm Pack spell to make them docile before we approached, I’d just never heard of bats attacking metahumans before.

Anyway, we finally arrived at our destination in the sewers, and I called up Slate the Rock Demon and had him break through all the brickwork. While the rest of the team waited for the catalyst to start working, I made preparations for astral travel. Attaching my biomonitor and linking it to my commsys. Then calling up a pair of Watcher imps to act as messengers and my strongest bound demon, I departed my body. Somewhat to my chagrin, I didn’t find any wards, but what I did find were two powerful Fire Elementals. Immediately after entering the facility, they noticed and rushed forward, and so combat ensued!

One of the fire elementals was faster than me, and before I could call forth the energies to defend myself, it struck me a solid blow. Meanwhile, one of the Imps rushed back to the group to let them know I had encountered resistance. I set Scorch on one of the Elementals while I began working to disrupt the other Elemental’s connection to the physical plane in an attempt to banish it. I was doing quite well, but Scorch was finding that direct combat wasn’t much his forte, and took several hits. After I managed to get the Elemental who had attacked me down to a low level of strength, I switched with Scorch and sent him after the newly-Force-One Elemental while I engaged the one Scorch had been having trouble with. Soon enough both of the guardian spirits had been defeated, both myself and Scorch rather worse for the wear. Returning to my body, I was able to get Greg/Cyndi to heal my physical injuries and explained to the group that we needed to be fast in case someone came to investigate the defeated elementals, and we made our way through the disrupted plasteel into the ventilation ducts of the facility.

BatDwarf sent his drone forward along the ducts to examine one end, and reported two grates, including one that had been pushed inward into the ducts, meaning we might’ve had something in the ducts with us. Steeling myself, I once again projected my consciousness, and examined the rest of the ducts and thankfully found them clear. But as I began to examine the facility, it became immediately obvious that something was extremely wrong with the place. There was something markedly wrong with the auras of the people I found, though I wasn’t sure what. These people were either insane and terrified, or hungry and full of rage. The background count was alarmingly high, and there were signs of death all over the place. As if that weren’t strange enough, when exploring the area I even found things that looked like some sort of millipede, except that they were the size of cats!

Returning to my body, I reported what I’d found to warn the team. It was eventually decided that Greg would utilize his Influence spell to cause one of the creatures to sleep, and a drone and Eva would sneak across the room to get into the biohazard vault where our paydata was, while Laz and one of the drones would provide cover-fire if necessary. It went flawlessly, and Eva enormously impressed me that she was able to get past those people without a problem, and Lazarus showed he wasn’t above getting his hands dirty when necessary too.

We exited via the sewers the way we’d come in. I’d never bothered taking off my chem suit, so didn’t have to get dressed again. We made good our escape, went to the boat and delivered the goods, got paid, and left. There was some talk about trying to find extra things to steal, but Lazarus was able to talk everyone into just taking what we need, to improve our professional status. It went beautifully, and ALL Runs should go so well. I’m very impressed with the level of professionalism in the group and think Lazarus will be an excellent addition to the group.

On the down side for the others, from what I gather, they got some skin infections due to wandering around the sewers in knee-deep “water.” Not surprising, really. And they thought I looked ridiculous in the full-on chem suit! Remember, kiddies: don’t play around in human excrement.

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Slot and Run!
Or: My Speedy Move to Chicago

From Erebus’s mental journal:
21-04-54 (21st April, 2054)

Well… drek. Honestly, what can I say about the last few days? It has been insane. After the last Run went off so perfectly, this one has been more slotted than a joygirl with a BTL habit.

It started off on the 17th around 1700. The group of us from the last Run, plus Scarlet, met up at the Shamrock to talk about this job that Eva got from a local joygirl. It sounded pretty straightforward: the joygirl needed her bag of clothes and things from the place of a Vory thug that she didn’t want to see again, mostly because it had some things of sentimental value in there. She couldn’t pay much but knew the combination to a safe that had a brick of novacoke in it. It all sounded simple and straightforward. Don’t all the worst ones sound like that at first though, in the end?

After initial investigation and surveillance, and the joygirl’s intel, we determined that the Vory thugs liked to leave to head out to clubs and party around 2100 and return around 0000 most nights. We knew they were on the top penthouse level of a very nice building, with security by Knight-Errant. So we came up with a relatively simple plan: Invisibly levitate Eva and a drone up to the balcony, cut a hole in the window, enter, take the things from the safe, get the joygirl’s bag, and then levitate Eva and the bag of ill-gotten gains back down the same way they entered. If the Vories came back, Scarlet and Lazarus would run interference by staging a lover’s spat in front of the building.

When I went for an astral scan of the place, I quickly noticed Knight-Errant had set up a couple of watcher spirits around the building to watch for astral intruders. On top of that, the building was covered in ivy to prevent entry, although strangely the roof was clear. Unwilling to risk altering the watchers, I returned to the group and told them what I’d found. After some consideration, we continued with the plan.

The plan itself went off well. We got Eva up to the balcony invisible, a hole was cut in the balcony door/window, and she and the drone entered. They quickly encountered a cheetah – how they encountered a cheetah in an apartment, I have no idea, I couldn’t see it – but were able to knock it out without too much trouble. Things were going excellently, until we found a bag of diamonds, some 41 bricks of novacoke, certified credsticks, a preserved human eyeball, ten chips, an extremely old pistol in perfect condition, and an original first edition of a classical Russian novel. (OOCly I totally forget which novel).

Eva seemed inclined to only take one or two bricks of the novacoke and maybe the chips, and of course the bag of the joygirl’s things. I was glad that she’d learned from Lazarus’s wisdom in the last run. This didn’t please Scarlet though who proceeded to hound Eva over the comsys, or BatDwarf who seemed interested in taking all the loot as well. Lazarus was able to talk them into at least only taking the things that would be reasonably movable; we’d never be able to sell the collector’s items. In the end though we took more than we’d have imagined was there, and I suppose in part I’m at fault for not trying to stop them more. Foolishly, I’d assumed everyone in the group were already consummate professionals; perhaps that estimation was incorrect.

After I removed my auric traces from the scene of the crime, we took off, to a rather interesting rental safehouse place on Council Island. I was greatly impressed by the quality and cleverness of the wards that were set up. There we started figuring out what to do. Once we found out that the joygirl who had hired us had been kidnapped and was being tortured by the Vories, however, and so we quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to get out of Seattle, quickly. Frustratingly, a few of the friends I’d made since coming to Seattle – well, Hannah Minx and Mustang Sally at least – would probably have taken the 500k reward on my head had they connected that it was me, so unfortunately I probably won’t get to talk to them anymore. I feel even worse for Lazarus, since he didn’t lose much in the way of physical goods but had spent an incredible amount of time meeting people, without having been close enough to any that he could trust them in this situation.

I was able to get Glitter to grab some essentials from the farmhouse and bring them to me near the safehouse on Council Island. I had to explain about how the run went bad because some of the other people got greedy, and I need to lay low elsewhere for a while until the Vories calm down and get back to business. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can come back to Seattle, as I really liked my farm a good deal. I was able to talk Sofia Leadbetter into feeding Noir while I’m away, though I’ll need to call Hue and Farshorn soon and let them know I’m away on biz and it’ll probably be a while before I’m able to return.

At any rate, we arranged for a T-bird pilot to meet with us. Lazarus was able to negotiate him down to “only” five bricks of Novacoke to get us on our way. After buying some touristey crap at a truckstop so that we could wash all the vomit off of ourselves after the crazy ride, things started going a little better. The T-bird pilot gave us his contact information and set us up with a new pilot for the next stage of the journey. Things were going pretty well with the old Amerindian vet, until his vehicle broke down in the middle of the mountains during the snow. Fortunately, he was able to find a go-gang of orks who were headed to Chicago and would let us ride with them. I don’t know what the old Amerindian rigger and the orks worked out, but the next two days were certainly interesting.

The first night after we stopped, I was rather sore, but had expected worse. The orks stopped at a disused motel and set up a bonfire in the parking lot of all things. I had some sort of moonshine that burned my throat, and I think I spent most of the rest of the evening in some sort of stupor because surprisingly, despite my usually perfect memory, I don’t remember that much. I seem to recall conjuring up a fire demon I decided to call Cinder. And I remember having a great conversation with it, which surprised me. And we had some steaks that Cinder cooked. And I remember something about Lazarus with tribal war-paint on him. That’s about it. I woke up the next morning hung over, but we continued.

While riding the next day I mostly concentrated on holding on and not vomiting, until again we stopped for the evening. We had an awkward moment when some of the bricks of novacoke fell out of the saddlebags; apparently the old rigger hadn’t told them what we were transporting. We decided to share a brick of the stuff with the orks, and they really seemed to take a shine to us after that. I decided to partake of their Deepweed, figuring it would have no real ill effects, but I think I must’ve had some moonshine and other things too, because I honestly still don’t remember much, and what I do seems like it must’ve been a hallucination. I remember something about a gigantic purple platypus and its little children dancing around most of the night, and I seem to recall them flying around too. I remember some automatic gunfire pretty clearly, because I had to hide behind Cinder for protection. I remember going to bed with some beautiful women for a while. Oh! And then I had some great conversations with a guy I later learned was named Rodney and then something about Superman. I also seem to recall a bunch of big guns and a dwarf spewing everywhere. And I must’ve had some kind of dream about jousting medieval knight style.

By the time morning rolled around, I was still somewhat hung-over, but it wasn’t too bad. I got to have a more proper conversation with Brainiac, otherwise known as Rodney, one of the ork go-gangers. Turns out he was a goblinized ork that was a most excellent thaumaturgical student following the Hermetic path. We went through Nebraska but honestly I hardly remember of it, I was so wrapped up in the talk with Rodney the whole time. I think we’ll become good friends. This whole thing might’ve been a massive headache and extremely stressful, but I guess meeting a good guy like Rodney is a silver lining. I’ve never known an ork as intelligent and well-educated, and the more impressive bit is that he taught a lot of the more advanced theory to himself. When I get back into research, I will absolutely offer him a job in my lab, he impressed me so much.

At any rate, late this afternoon we’ve finally arrived in Chicago, our destination. Hopefully we’ll not have too much trouble selling our ill-gotten gains, as we need to set up new lives for ourselves. My carefully chosen moniker is also going to have to go the way of the dodo, and I’ve no idea what I should pick for a new one.

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TO DIE ANOTHER DAY
Laz's Death and Rebirth

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.

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