Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lonewolf888978, Apr 5, 2016.

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  1. MowDreans Bar
    It was a rather quiet night at the Seattle bar. MowDrean, the Troll bartender, quietly observed his patrons. In the far corner, a masked man sat with his feet kicked up.
    Quake smoked a cigarette thru a small opening thru his mask. He awaited quietly for the other Shadow-Runners.
    The folder out in front of him laying on the table held all the information him and his soon to be team would need. ​
  2. Rias had been scouting the bar for a while now, fearful that this maybe a trap. After a few hours of recon she decided to test it out and hopefully everything went according to plan. She had managed to make it this far by smuggling herself in the country and finding a woman nice enough to give her a change of clothes. She was using the black cloack she had arrived with to hide her appearance and her rifle was in the guitar case strapped to her back. She slowly entered the bar and made her way to the counter. "I'll take a pint." She said as she put some money on the counter. She was already aware of the eyes on her including the ones of the man in the mask sitting in the corner.
  3. The life of a Shadow Runner is one fraught with danger, subterfuge, and sudden changes for the worse. The Rider was no stranger to these concepts, as well as the hard decisions that one often had to make while on a run. Decisions that forced a runner to truly look within themselves and choose what they thought was right. In this very moment, he faced one of the greatest challenges any runner could ever face...

    Cherry Slurp or Lemon Grenade.

    Calm, soothing music, the likes of which you'd expect to hear in an elevator, was the only sound in the brightly lit, but silent gas station SnackGrab store. The two slurpee machines churned their respective pink and green contents while Rider stood in front of the soda and slurpee machines holding an empty plastic cup labeled "ONE CUP/HUNDREDS OF DRINKS!" Fully armored and carrying enough firepower to arm a small SWAT team, The Rider's turned his helmeted head to look at one slurpee dispenser and then to the other. Cherry Slurp was a classic; truly the artificially flavored treat for any man of taste. But Lemon Grenade was a new challenger in the slurpee arena; a bold new contender with untapped potential that might just make it into the big time. Both were very, very tempting...

    On his HUD, a little reminder he'd set earlier popped up. A cutely drawn girl with a cat hairclip and a small scowl (a scowl that some of the more 'enlightened' gentlemen around might identify as 'tsundere') pointed up towards a box at the top right corner of his HUD.

    15 MINUTES

    Rider turned his gaze back towards the slurpee machines, "Screw it, let's be adventurous."
    And Lemon Grenade it was.
    He walked over to the cashier and patted the pouches on his waist and abdomen, looking for the one he'd put his money in. "Where did I...?" He found it after some searching, paid for his drink and took it once the cashier dropped a bright red straw next to the cup. He was on his way out when he saw what kind of straw he was given; a straight, non-bendy straw. He was wearing a helmet. There were slits near the front, but they were nowhere near angled enough to make it possible to drink with a non-bendy straw without angling the cup enough to spill it. He walked back over to the cashier,

    "Uh, do you guys carry bendy straws by any chance? It's just, you know, the helmet."

    The cashier looked at him a little apprehensively but eventually rummaged under the counter and dropped a purple bendy straw. And charged him a tiny bit more. Rider wasn't happy about that, but whatever. Soon, he was on his motorcycle, heading towards the bar, and leaning pretty low on the bike with the straw going in through one of the slits on the helmet; all the while mentally congratulating himself because Lemon Grenade had indeed been a good choice...

    He slowed the bike and parked it just outside the bar, pulling the straw from his helmet and tossing the empty cup. A little charm of a bright blue-haired anime character swung wildly from one of the bike's handlebars once the momentum of driving was halted by stopping, thus throwing the tiny plastic idol into a series of wild pendulums. Walking into the bar, dressed the way he was, turned a couple of heads. Rider was not a man of stealth. It's why he wore a suit of armor that could stop direct hits from high powered rifles. Fuck stealth. Stealth is for pussies. And also for people who were much more agile than he was. But who needs stealth and agility when the object over your face can take a shotgun blast from point blank and still work just fine? Sure, it kinda hurt afterwards because his head got knocked around a little, but hey, he can say he took a shotgun blast to the face and only came out of it with a bit of ringing in his ears. Carrying a lot of guns also helps. So yeah. According Rider: fuck stealth.

    He took a look around the bar. Lots of people who might also be runners and lots of people who don't look like runners but probably are. Seattle in a nutshell, essentially. But which one of these runners (or "totally not a runner, seriously, I'm just a dude in a hood" guys) was his guy or guys? He looked around, realizing he looked a bit obvious and awkward standing in the middle of the bar. Some dude in the corner was smoking a cigarette through a mask and was obviously another runner. Pretty good odds that he was also here for that job. He started to walk over to him, if only to stop looking like he was lost.

    The million nuyen job. It had sounded almost too good to be true. With a million nuyen he could buy so much stuff. Scratch that, he could move to Japan where he knew he truly belonged and then buy so much stuff. Like any runner who had been around for longer than a week, he was cautious about the assignment at first. But in the end, a million nuyen was enough to change his mind. He knocked on the table that the smoking runner was sitting at to avoid surprising him.

    "Hey, are you that Quake guy? I'm here about the uh, big job." He didn't want to actually say, 'million nuyen job' here. Saying the words, 'one million nuyen' in a bar in Seattle was a great way to make people want to tail or rob you. Or both. Usually both.

    Rider pulled up a chair and sat down, leaning forward on the table. He whispered, "Is that payout serious? Cause that's, like, the biggest payout ever."

    One of the bar girls had made her way over to the table and interrupted.

    "Get you something to drink?"

    Rider was caught off-guard and almost jumped in his seat. His reply carried a bit of a stutter.

    "Uh, y-yeah sure umm..." he failed to remember the name of any drinks in his slight panic, and his failure to properly know what he wanted lead to slightly more panic. He pointed at a table a few feet from them and sputtered, "Uh, that guy. What's he having, I mean. I mean, uh, I'll have what that guy's having."

    The bar girl left them with a bit of an awkward silence. Rider drummed his fingers on the table and waited for her to go.
    "Anyway... how many others are on this job? Or is it just us?"

    The girl returned a little too quickly for his comfort and placed the drink on the table before returning to the bar counter. Rider put his hand around the glass and nearly raised it to his face when he realized a very important component was missing. He didn't want to ask for it, but he didn't want to let the drink go to waste. He gestured for the bar girl to come back and had to ask,

    "Uh... do you guys carry bendy straws... by any chance?"

    This job had better be worth it.
  4. "I really hope there is something worth while to this"
    Bajue was found walking down the street of the bustling city of Seattle. Hands in his pockets and his eyes have open, giving a half awake stare to anyone who met the eyes of his. His last op was back in Germany, he had to kill a political official who was a sex trafficker for a hobby. He ended up making the whole stunt look like a dispute between two gang leaders. using telekinesis to fire a gun in the hands of one of the guards, killing his target with a bullet between the eyes. Poor man was terrified when his boss man turned around and asked what the hell is wrong with you?! before putting the man down like a rabid animal.

    Operations like that made Bajue feel a sense of pride of his handy work. He walked into the bar he was instructed to go to, the place was full of different races, but in the far corner of the bar was a man in a full out combat gear "Guess that's my man" The shadow runner pulled out a carton of cigarettes, and slapped the bottom of the box and a single stick popped out, he put the end of it between his lips holding it there with his lips, and put the carton back into his pocket and pulled out his lighter, flipping it open and putting the other end to the flame and then inhaling. He flipped the cover back on and slipped the lighter into his pocket and took the stick out of his mouth and exhaled the thick cloud of smoke into the air with a long sigh, putting it back into his mouth, bajue made his way to the table the man was.

    Sitting down across from Quake, Bajue flicked his ash into the cig tray in the middle of the table. " so you're quake, guess they weren't joking when they said couldn't miss him, Huh?" he glanced at the files on the table. "you stick out like a sore thumb" he chuckled. "so tell me boss man, what's the job?" He finished throwing the cig back between his lips, he was slouched over the table with a arm propped up for his head to rest on his hand.
    #4 ~\The Talentless/~, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  5. Beep. Beep. Beep.

    "What in the world... Alarm?"

    I looked outside to confirm that it was indeed the morning, as that was the only time I remembered waking up to that annoying beep. With a yawn I slowly turned until my eyes gazed at the moon, it was pretty, almost full, but it was nuisance that meant it was night time. Knowing that meant I am forgetting something, it was only natural for me to get up and get ready, and then I looked over my schedule. Bringing the Orion band up I merely swiped and many screens from the previous day's work popped up, bringing a keyboard up with a gesture of my hand, I began to type away, I looked over all the routes to a certain bar; "MowDreans Bar" was the destination decided for a group to gather and talk about a big job, and I'm talking big, One million nuyen big, and I was invited.

    As I searched I also looked over the "MowDreans Bar" menu to see if I would have to order something and pick it up on my way there. I looked the menu up and down, but saw nothing too appetizing. Settling for Chinese, I called them up and set out for the meeting. It didn't take long to reach the "Kwon Do" place (Nor did it take long to know I was nearby. Place wreaked.), using my unorthodox methods, I have had a bit of fun naming the means of transport. So, far I have come up with Keyboard Surfacing, that'd be a nice sell. It's simple too. I just take the keyboard I use to type, open a memo, and build a bridge by expanding the keyboard to the length I need in order to move. It is quite wonderful. Anyway, I picked up my fried rice and eggroll from the Chinese joint and moved onto find the bar. It didn't take long either soon I arrived and tossed out my garbage.

    I came up to the bar and examined it immediately, it still puzzled me why we had to physically meet, we could have been contacted via link, assuming we all have one.

    Maybe this is why we were asked to meet up or is it possible it was for reassurance...

    I hadn't realized at the time, but I had begun to move inside as I thought to myself. I kept my hood down because I saw no reason to hide identity and draw suspicion, that and I only ever where it for weather, like they were made for. While in the bar I powered down the Orion band and looked around.

    Guy said you can't miss him, but I already see two tanks seated in the corner. Wait...

    I had saw why he stuck out. It was not only his calm attitude given the situation, but the fact that folders sat on the table in front of him. I stared at the men around him and already felt intimidated. Still, I glanced around again and noted a woman cloaked and carrying a case.

    Gun. I have seen it all now, but that little pistol in the folding chair rack tops the cake still. No one will ever beat that. Back to problem at hand: Guys in the corner.

    The entire time I had stood there a waitress had been talking to me before she took wind of my glance and guided my steps over to the table of the armored men and the innocent victim, the poor guy probably only smoked with them to ease his nerves. As the lady spoke to me I wasn't really listening to what she was saying, I probably offended her, I only spoke when I felt it was necessary. I knew that these three had to be part of the meeting, but my feet would not take me there, I needed that waitress. Yet, I didn't care, all I knew was at that moment that I was sitting next to those strangers and I was dead. At least another guy seemed to share the same fate as me.
    #5 ShiroKiyoshi, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  6. Through out the quiet night, no one of interest came in. Finally, a woman entered through the old wooden door. Quake looked at the woman, and for a moment she returned the gaze, before she sat at the bar. Quake glanced towards the bartender, Mowdrean, and nodded towards the girl. He nodded towards the shadowrunner, and went to help the girl.

    Quake glanced up at an equally armored man, just as he knocked on the wooden table.
    Hey, are you that Quake guy? I'm here about the uh, big job. Is that payout serious? Cause that's, like, the biggest payout ever.
    Quake nodded quietly, and glanced around. The man took a seat as a waitress came up and started speaking to him. Quake dug in his pocket and placed a ball on table. It shook for a moment and slowly electronic lights blinked up all over it. The largest light in the center of the orb blinked like an eye and it hovered over the table.
    Quake nodded towards the man who sat at the table with him. The little ball hovered over the man and a blue light fell over him.
    So you're Rider?
    Quake spoke after Gear sent his Runner information to his comlink. He was an impressive runner by his track record. Whoever this Mister Johnson was, picked a highly skilled team.
    Before the Elf could answer, a second man approached the table.
    You stick out like a sore thumb.

    Quake smirked behind his mask and chuckled slightly. Gear did a quick scan and sent his information over to Quake
    I wanted to be seen, Sleeper. I'd finish smoking your cigertte soon, I'll begin once everyone about the mission once the teams here.

    Risa or should I call you the Whisper of Death?
    Mowdrean said to the woman sitting across the bar from him. She gave him a curious look and he acknowledged her.
    I have a cybernetic eye linked to the cameras. I knew who you were the moment you entered the door. You saved my families life in South Africa. Im grateful for that.
    He pressed her money back towards her, and spoke again.
    Its covered. I'll have a waitress send the pint over to you, a friend of mine would like to speak to you.

    Mowdrean lifted a finger towards Quake.

    He turned his attention towards a hooded elf, a fancy device on his arm. A waitress talked to him, but he failed to respond. His cameras sent his information to him.
    Bait I take it?
    Mowdrean said stepping between the waitress and elf. He placed a massive hand on Phillip, but softly to show he meant no harm.
    Quake won't bite, he is a good enough man. Don't want him getting impatient tho, he tends to get annoyed if he has to wait on people.

  7. Rias nodded in thanks for the free drink before standing up and walking over to the corner where a group of people was beginning to form. "I assume you are quake, I do hope I will not be waiting too long for this mission." She sat down as waitress brought over her pint of beer. "Thank you." She said before pulling down her hood revealing her face. She looked at the guys in the heavy armor. Immediately taking mental notes of the weak points in the joints. She always did this because where she grew up, the only thing you trusted was your weapon.
  8. "I'd finish smoking your cigertte soon,"

    The comment made Bajue shrug "sorry, force of habit man. Always keeps me focused and awake during meetings, otherwise i'd just be with my head down sleeping" The shadow runner smirked, Sleeper? only my employers call me that, if that's the case, then this man must have access to data on all of us... that particularly worries me. He thought to himself, and despite the inner conflict, his expression didn't change. He took one last drag of the smoke stick and then crushed the head into the ash tray and sighed. He looked over to the waitress and got her over with a hand gesture "would you mind getting me a glass juice please, I'm feeling risky tonight" He joked. The waitress didn't find it funny though, But Bajue did, was always common for him to laugh at his own jokes.

    Sleeper seemed to relaxed, but really he was taking notes of the people around him. The armor, the weapons, these it appeared as if they were calling in the big guns. Rider, he has seen some of his handy work, and has seen video footage of him, excellent driver. Not Bajue's style, but to each his own. Then there was The whisper of death, a solid sniper, heard stories about her from Africa, And it was smart to never get under the cross hairs of her rifle. Obviously that guitar case didn't hold some instrument. Guns weren't Bajue's favorite weapon, of course he did know how to use whatever weapon he had in his hands, but it felt so much more natural with a blade in his hand, and it felt almost pleasing when you are up close and personal with your foe at certain points. Then there was an elf, wasn't at the table quite yet. But Bajue knew he'd be sitting down soon. A device on his rist, had to of indicated he was more about the technological aspect of life, and didn't seem to be a man of combat. Some shadow runners preferred to stay away from combat, and took other jobs like infiltrating systems. Still, they were no strangers of combat, because sometimes you'll have your back against the wall.

    Soon the waitress came back with a glass of orange liquid, "why thank you love" he said taking a sip. still slouched over the table, one hand constantly siring the juice. "So...anyone up for charades while we wait for the lacky's to get here... huh? Anyone? Man you all are a boring set of individuals" He sighed jokingly

    @Lonewolf888978 @wolfs rain @ShiroKiyoshi @Sir Pinkleton
  9. Another night, another job. Some things never really changed, no matter what you did. Honoka didn't have much difficulty packing up in Japan and moving over to Seattle a year or so back, and she'd managed to establish herself well enough. Not enough for the mysterious job that had a meet tonight, though. They payoff was big. Too big. Even one mil for the entire run would be a bigger budget than most could expect to see. That much per person was simply ridiculous. Not many people or organizations who had that kind of money, and if they did, they'd have better ways to spend it than funding several 'runners' retirements.

    To say the least, she was suspicious. Doubly so since Mr. Johnson only had a representative present. Maybe she was either still to green or a sucker to go anyway, but at least she could go in expecting to be cheated. And so, she entered Mowdrean's Bar. It wasn't a dive she was familiar with, so she couldn't judge the place much beforehand. She was, as usual, perhaps overdressed for the occasion, wearing a nicely tailored suit. The affectation was useful often enough, and it did tend to look more...professional. Which helped when you otherwise look like you dropped a lot of nuyen to resemble a pop idol. She was armed, of course. Just a light pistol and taser, on the off chance something went wrong. Typical walking-around guns for a typical Seattle evening, those.

    It didn't take much glancing around to find the table surrounded by a motley arrangement of fellow low-lifes, particularly with the pair of men dressed in full armor, including helmet. She walked up, putting forward as much confidence as she could. "I get the feeling this is my table," she said to the gathered crowd as she claimed a seat. "Not sure which one of you is Mr. Johnson for the evening, but I'm here about a job."
  10. Everyone at this table seemed to be sizing everyone else up. Rider had been around the business long enough to recognize the darting eyes and the poker faces everyone took on when they ran into a runner they hadn't met before. He always wondered whether or not they knew that everyone could tell that everybody was sizing each other up or if they actually thought they were the only ones doing this. He wondered what they knew about him. Despite his... eccentricities, he'd been in the business long enough and wasn't dead yet. That meant his name had been around long enough to have a decent job resume, so to speak. If anyone had done their homework, his eligibility for this job wouldn't really be a surprise. Runners tended to know each other by their past jobs and reputations. The Rider was kinda weird, but he did good work and he was reliable. Hopefully that was all that preceded him on the matrix information networks.

    Of course, this didn't mean Rider wasn't sizing up too. It was just harder to tell when he was wearing a helmet over his face and sipping a really shitty drink through a bendy straw. Nobody suspects a guy who's sipping through a bendy straw.
    The drink was still shitty though. He probably shouldn't have just pointed at something he saw across the bar when he ordered... It tasted like motor oil that's had vodka poured in. And not good vodka either, more like that really nasty stuff you see your drunk uncle chugging from under the sink.

    Either way, there were still a variety of faces around the table.

    He didn't know anything about this Quake guy, which was surprise because he looked like a veteran. All business and very military-esque. Probably ex-Special Forces of some kind. Guys from who used to be in SF units usually tend to be as... straightforward.

    The girl with the guitar case was Whisper of Death. She was relatively under the radar, but matrix info-hubs had her penned for being somewhere from South Africa. Other than that, she hadn't made enough waves for her name to be a big one in Seattle. He wondered what someone who didn't seem to have much actual running work was doing at this job.

    Then there was the sleepy looking guy. His name was Sleeper or something. Made some waves in Germany, and Europe, but he hadn't heard of him taking on any jobs in Seattle. Supposed to be pretty good. Rider wasn't surprised this Mr. Johnson had pulled a guy like him into this job. When it came to Shadow-Running, Sleeper was probably in the same league as Rider.

    The elf he definitely knew better than everyone else here. Tunnel Rat. Good guy, clean work, had some nice custom gear. They'd run some jobs together and Rat had some good taste in Decker equipment. Pretty good guy to sit around with after a run too. Tends to be a bit of a loner, but he's pretty cool once you get to know him.


    Rider almost stood up and shouted out of surprise, but caught himself in time. He ended up jumping in his seat and knocking against the table instead, rattling the drinks on it. He fumbled and steadied the table with one hand while sputtering, "Sorry, sorry, shit, sorry!"
    If Rider knew more about something than ANYONE it was about the sacred realm of otaku culture. And one of the BIGGEST cornerstones of that realm is J-Pop idols!
    Aria Advance, one the biggest J-Pop idols was sitting in the same fucking table as he was! What should he say? Should he ask for an autograph? A selfie? Both? He was gonna hyperventilate and have a heart attack due to sheer fanboy-ism if he didn't calm down. He needed to play it cool. Take a deep breath.

    Fuck deep breathing, Aria Advance is here! Rider had all of her merch. Not half of it, not two thirds, ALL of it. Every last bit he could track down, he purchased. He had paid over 700 nuyen for a poster once. A poster. And it was worth every nuyen. The very t-shirt he was wearing underneath his armor was an Aria Advance t-shirt! This must be fate or something! He couldn't believe what he was seeing, was this a dream? Holyfuckshitasspickles it's Aria fucking Advance! And she's sitting right there!

    Even as he had a very self-contained freakout within his helmet, a rational part of his mind wondered if she really was Aria Advance. There were a handful of fans hardcore enough to undergo certain 'procedures' so they could look like her. But the possibility still remained within the realm of reality that she was the real deal. The new Aria Advance was obviously someone else who'd undergone the same procedures. To the public this might have been convincing, but a trained and powerful otaku such as himself could spot a fake from a mile away. The new Aria wasn't the real McCoy and the actual Aria was still out there. And his powerful otaku eye seemed to suspect that this girl here might actually be her.

    It was a good thing Rider was wearing a helmet. No one could see him have a minor freakout with it on. The others at the table might have noticed him get a little jittery or act kinda weird, but the true intensity of his fangasm was thankfully concealed. But why was someone who looked like Aria Advance (or might even be Aria Advance) sitting here? Was she part of the run?

    Now he really needed to know more about this job. As he waited for the meeting to begin, he kept trying to catch her eye (which was pretty hard with a featureless black object over your face) and gingerly wave hello in the moments where he thought she was looking at him.
    • Love Love x 1
  11. As we approached the table I continued to get nervous. It would seem like nothing could calm me at this point and to make matters worse some large man had approached me, separating me from the waitress, she stopped for a minute and then moved on to tend to other guests. Now, all I could think about was running, I just wanted to move, but there was one thing keeping me moving. One million nuyen. Sucking it up I faced the man and met his gaze with my own, however I soon found out how foolish I had been acting up until this point. The man merely gave me some decent advice about my employer's rep. I nodded at the man and walked passed him without another word.

    As I stepped up to the table the armor of a man triggered an old memory. A mission, who knows how long ago, where I had to enter the field. It was wonderful I tell you. Went in, hacked a few things, and end up being chased by some hired guns. This is where I discovered that people like to hide weapons in odd places. Other than that, he was a cool guy and there was something I found odd about him, but I can't remember what it was. Then there was the rest of them. I probably helped some of them discreetly given the nature of jobs I take.

    "Hey, sorry 'bout all that. If you don't mind I'll stand here."

    I took my spot leaning against a wall and folding my arms. I watched as more came and joined us and the sudden jump scare from Rider. That brought up the question of what was so odd about him again as well as who this female who just joined was.

    "Family here, yet?"

    @Gwazi Magnum @Sir Pinkleton @R-9 Pilot @~\The Talentless/~ @wolfs rain @Lonewolf888978

    With all the noise of traffic, the glaring light of street lights and buildings, and the general chaos and throng of people, it was easy for one lean man to slip through the crowd undetected. So many fell under the misapprehension that stealth meant invisibility. Sometimes, stealth just meant blending into a crowd. Even with a trench coat, this particular man felt unobtrusive and worth little extra notice. He intended to keep it that way. The coat was long enough to hide the only weapon on his person: an elegantly forged katana that had been passed down through his family for generations. He rigged the coat to hold the scabbard within the folds; sitting down was sometimes tricky, as the hem could rise high enough to show the bottom of the sheath. But long practice had ameliorated most of that risk.

    And what little risk remained was worth it. In his line of work, Sasaki Kojirou never went unarmed.

    He came to MowDrean's bar. Enough of a hive of scum and riffraff, its very atmosphere set Kojirou's danger senses on edge. It didn't take him long to find Quake, the prospective employer who was willing to shell out a whole million nuyen for a runner job. It seemed to good to be true. So, of course, Kojirou did some legwork. Astonishingly, none of his contacts of informants could learn much about the masked man. Kojirou made his way to Quake's table, where an assortment of shadow-runners were already in attendance. It seemed he had come in late.

    Kojirou kept to the edge of the meeting, enough to be unobtrusive, but obvious enough to be seen if the others took the time to look. The swordsman kept his ears peeled; Quake ran the roster of runners in attendance.



    Whisper of Death.

    Two others he didn't recognize.

    Just the first three names were aliases that Kojirou had heard about over the years - heavy hitters, each more than proficient in their field. He had to assume the other two were similarly skilled and deadly. Kojirou had never met any of them in person or worked with them, but for Quake to know their faces and codenames implied a highly competent information network. Kojirou wouldn't be at all surprised if Quake knew his alias, 'Assassin,' as well.

    Kojirou tilted his head at one of the unknowns, a woman who looked vaguely familiar.

    That's Aria Advance, he realized. The idol singer is a shadow-runner? He wasn't that attuned to pop culture or music, but it was difficult to stay ignorant of one of the bigger presences in the media. That the famous singer was moonlighting as a shadow-runner was new to him. He highly doubted anyone in the media was aware of this tabloid factoid.

    Kojirou nodded to Quake, catching the masked man's attention, in addition to the others'. He introduced himself serenely, "Sorry I'm late. Since it appears Quake is aware of our identities, there it no point in trying to conceal mine. I am called Assassin. I'm here for the big job...."
  13. Hello Shadow-Runner, I'm contacting you directly after persuading you're fixer to give me your business information. I prefer to contact all my business associates directly, Fixers sometime get the mission briefing all jumbled up you see.
    Enough rambling, another Shadow-Runner has all the mission needed to complete the mission. He is at this location:

    Seattle, Washington
    Mowdreans Bar

    He goes by Quake, you can't miss him.
    As for a reward, 1 Million Nuyen per person sound fair?

    “So? What do you think?”

    Terrence shifts to prop himself up on an elbow causing the sheets to fall away from his broad chest. “I think I’d like to see the fine print on this one.” His voice is low and gravelly, and I can see the concern he’s trying to hide in his eyes as he takes the phone from me, suspended delicately between his thumb and forefinger. “I think I’d like to find out who this Johnson is, and know more about Quake. I don’t recognize the name. Maybe an out of town runner on a business trip.”

    “Maybe, but for that much…” I hesitate as the possibilities and calculations swirl in my head. “We could make a serious dent in our retirement plans. We’d be so close we could pretty much start travelling and take an odd job now and then.”

    “We could,” he says, though without my enthusiasm. “But that’s a lot of risk on your shoulders, Syl. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with that. Letting you go on your own.”

    Before he can say any more I laugh. This is how it always is. He always wants to be there to protect me, even though he knows I can take care of myself. At least most of the time. He frowns at me causing his lower tusks to protrude a little more, and his slate grey brow pulls down shadowing his ice blue eyes. He looks adorable when he’s worried.

    “Terry, I’ll be fine, really. They don’t offer a mill to people they think can’t get the job done. As long as this Quake guy has people to handle things when bullet casings hit the ground we’ve got nothing to worry about.” I lean over to kiss him on the shoulder. “And if things head south, I’ll back out. Okay?”

    I can almost see the gears grinding behind his eyes. It’s not like I need his permission, but it keeps him focused on his priorities instead of inserting himself in mine. I like a knight in shining armor every once in a while. Just not when I don’t expect or ask for one.

    “Alright,” he agrees somewhat grudgingly. I can’t tell if the disappointment is coming from him not wanting me to go, or that he can’t come along. I grin excitedly though. “But if you need help, let me know okay?”

    “Of course, love.” I roll up on my knees and kiss him. “I promise I’ll keep you posted. When it’s safe to obviously.” I bounce off the bed feeling giddy with nervous energy. “Nancy, pull up my calendar for the next few days. We’re going to need to do some rescheduling.”

    “Yes Dr.” Nancy, the Scheduler and Secretary AI I bought years ago comes to life, projecting information from AR onto the wall in front of me. “Here is your schedule for the next week.”

    “Tell Lucciano that we need to switch for Friday, and move Mr. Paneg as well. Those two won’t complain much. Contact the rest and reschedule.” I swipe through the other names as I talk. “If anyone need med refills I’ll set them up for pick up. If they can’t wait until next week I’ll do half appointments today at reduced cost up until 7pm, got it?”

    “Yes, Dr. I will begin contacting them now.”

    “Thanks Nancy.” I turn away from the blank wall and head for the closet. “Guess I should pack, huh?”

    “Sylvia?” I hear from the bed.

    “Yes?” I poke my head out to see my favorite troll sitting on the edge of the bed. His disappointment is gone, replaced by the slightest of smiles and a glint in his eyes.

    “Make sure to pack the body armor this time, okay?” He tries not to show his amusement as I practically jump out of the closet protesting hand pressed firmly against my naked hip.

    “It doesn’t feel right, it’s too bulky. I already told you that.”

    “I know, but we have no idea what you’re getting into.” He’s smiling at my reaction, but he manages to keeps a level tone. “And since I can’t go along, you should wear it.”


    I throw my hand in the air and go back in the closet and pull the body armor off the top shelf, then my other equipment and my adventure pack. I can hear him chuckling to himself, in a pitch that would shake the floorboards if it were any louder. I gather up everything in my arms and walk out to the bedroom, unceremoniously dumping it onto the mattress.

    “That’s all you’re taking?” He asks. “For a million nuyen run?”

    “That’s what I’ve got. If it’s not enough then I shouldn’t of been sent the invite, huh?” I start folding the body armor and thrust it into my adventure pack with the rest of my gear.

    “Guess not.”

    “Dr. Daylin,” Nancy interrupts. “Three appointments have been rescheduled for this afternoon. The rest have been moved to next week.”

    “Awesome, thanks Nancy.”

    “It is my job Dr.” She says that all the time.

    “So, does that mean you don’t have anything planned for this morning?” I can hear the mischief in his voice.

    “Pretty much, other than packing and doing some prescription filling and paperwork. Maybe see if I can get in touch with Allen to see if he can find out anything on this Quake guy.”

    “That British kid?”

    “Yep. Why, did you have something in mind?”

    His hand is around my waist, practically covering my entire hip and lower back. He pulls me away from my packing and I don’t fight it. His touch is one of my favorite sensations. The kind that makes me bite my lip, or makes me forget what I was going to do or say next. The kind that makes me feel safe, even from myself.

    “I have an idea or three before breakfast.”

    Definitely a great start to the morning… the million nuyen job invite’s an added bonus.

    Did you pack your meds? The thought pops into my head for the fourth time. And though I know the answer I check for the fourth time to feel them securely stashed away in the secret pocket of my adventure pack. The body armor shifts a bit, and pinches around my chest uncomfortably. This definitely wasn’t made for a woman. I don’t like the stares I’m getting from it either. The neighborhood here doesn’t look quite as bad as the Barrens, but I’ve seen at least two different gangs walking the streets and I’m surprised I haven’t been hassled yet.

    I’m a couple blocks away from Mowdrean’s when I just can’t take it anymore. I’m glad I decided to take the bus instead of having Terrence drop me off. Far less conspicuous, and I can change out of this horrid thing before I meet my new team. I duck around a corner and find some cover behind a dumpster. It smells like wet cardboard and rotting soy, but at least all the trash is in the dumpster, not strewn about.

    “Good enough.” I unzip my pack and start riffling through it. I dig to the bottom of the bag and pull out something folded, but it’s only my rain jacket. As I put items back inside I see what I was looking for. Just off to the side of the bag is my favorite suit, though I don’t remember packing it. “Terry must’ve.”

    It’s far easier getting out of the body armor than it was getting into it. When I’m done I feel much better for it. He forgot to pack the jacket for it, but it looks far better than that body armor. Black trousers with thin blue pinstripes and a long-sleeved button up of the same blue color. I unbutton the cuffs and start rolling the sleeves up.

    “How’d you do that?”

    I jump around to see a young woman. She’s holding a knife as if she were thinking of jumping me but instead she looks like she saw a ghost. Though it seems a precarious situation, I’m just as confused as she is.

    “What are you talking about?”

    “You. You just,” she stutters. “You just changed.”

    “Of course, I just changed. What’s the big deal?” Her eyes are wide and she’s backing off slowly, never looking away from me. In another moment she turns and runs back down the alley.

    I watch her run, ensuring it wasn’t a trick and others weren’t going to pop out and try something foolish. I keep my eyes on the alley way as I stuff everything back into my adventure pack and zip it up. Once I shoulder it I smooth out my suit and make sure I didn’t dirty it, then finish the walk to Mowdrean’s.

    Despite the neighborhood the bar looked well cared for on the inside. Though I suppose with a troll behind the bar it tends to cut down on the chances of general melee. While the bar feels like your average dive, its patrons certainly stand out. Usually I’m the one gleaning stares from locals, but at the moment I blend in with the crowd, even in the suit. I almost want to take a pic of the people huddled at the bar and the large table in the back of the room and send it to Terrence with a message saying that I’m sure I’ll fit right in, but I stop myself. Some people get uncomfortable about candid pics.

    So instead I take a deep breath and let it out with a playful grin. I have a feeling this is going to be an epic adventure. New people to work with and new marks to con and cross.

    Striding over to the table I gesture for the waitress whose back at the bar. Looks like all the chairs are full on one side of the table, but there’s still plenty of room next to a masked man in the corner. As I walk by another table I snag up a chair and give it a half spin. I prop the back of the chair up against the table then straddle the seat, lean forward over the seat back and eye the motley crew that’s assembled.

    On the table I see what looks to be a white noise or sound blocker active on the table. Good, I don’t have to get mine out. The masked man next to me seems the most casual of everyone, so I turn to him and grin. No need to be shy about these things.

    “Nice night for a run, don’t you think?”

    The waitress arrives and I request a glass of wine, a nice Merlot perhaps. They only have blended Malbec though, so that has to do.

    “So, what’s our chances of success here?” I ask loud enough for the rest to hear. “For a mil, I expect this is either a long term commitment or something that has a higher than normal chance of us coming home in a body bag, if at all.” I’ve never beat around the bush when I don’t have to. I take of my hat and gently toss it onto the table. “Personally I like to know the odds, it motivates me to beat them.” I feel the sly grin spread on my face and I give the man a wink.

    My heart is thudding in my chest, waiting with only a semblance of patience to find out what this next great challenge will be. I feel the thrill of promise rising from the roiling in my stomach. I know I need to stay cool(ish) on the outside, but I can barely wait to get this show on the road.
  14. Gerald entered the same room the others were in, and for the moment he simply took a seat to observe the following situation as he looked over the opened file. One thing that was a vital skill in the Shadow Run business it was information, so paying good attention to the file would be key. But what would also be key is seeing how everyone else engaged and interacted, to get a good sense of what kind of people was working with, and if they could be deemed reliable or not.
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  15. The Aria lookalike nodded to Assassin when he introduced himself. "Diva," she replied simply. "I don't recognize most of you, not that I'd expect to know faces so much as names in this business." She smiled politely to the others.

    "Certainly is a nice night," she replied to the other woman's comment. "No rain, for a change." At this point, the gathering of runners was becoming rather larger than she would have expected. The new girl, whoever she was, wasted no time in getting to business.

    Honoka looked at the others seated around the table, once it seemed nobody else was arriving. They made a motley crew, and moreover, a big one. She let out a low whistle. "For what this run costs, it's got to be big," she commented. Who the hell has the sort of money to throw away so much on something like this, she wondered, keeping her thoughts to herself. We supposed to go assassinate a dragon or something? I really hope we manage to mesh well as a team, or this could be really bad.

    "I'm pretty curious about the job, too," she said, eyeing the folder on the table. "And not just our odds. I'll keep most of the questions for after I hear the basics."

    She let her eyes wander across the group. Not being one of the first to arrive, she didn't have a clue just who this Quake was. She was expecting a troll built like a tank with a handle like that, and the only one in sight stood behind the bar. So much for that easy assumption. At a glance, she couldn't really size everyone up, either. She made a mental note to discuss skills and preferences with the rest of the crew later. Nobody could make a good plan without a clue what anyone else was good at.
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