ElectroSlam Dreams

A Call From an Old Friend

Mar 10, 2052

Constantine looked down at his commlink and noticed two messages. He quickly pushed the button for voice mail and heard a voice he was sure had high-tailed it out of Denver.

“Constantine, This is Spartan. I’ve been laying low since Lone Star put that warrant out for my arrest. Did you know those assholes listed a 10,000 nuyen reward for my capture. I think it should be at least 50,000. I heard you were looking for the case; I spoke to noggin and he says I still got an in if I help you find it. Give me a call.”

The second message was from Noggin, confirming Spartan was looking for work. Spartan was a bit of a hothead, but the dwarf knew his way around a fight. The more people he had on his side looking for it, the better.

In the Shadow of a Star

Encryption set……
-—-begin recording————

ok this is journal entry…23

It looks like all my work to infiltrate the Runners has finally paid off. heh INFILTRATE. I still sound like one of the damn Lone Star drones. That type of talk is going to get me killed if I keep it up. I am a Runner now, there is NO going back. I made contact with a local group of Runners. It is ironic that I do all this prep to find some and they approach me when I am scoring some Bliss at The Beta Club. Of all the dumb luck. Of course I was high so I didn’t try to see if they needed some help on a job or anything…. stupid rookie mistake. I have to stay away from that stuff or I will get myself shot… I was lucky enough to track them down with Manny’s help. I call one of the guys I met up with, I think I woke him up…at 9am?!? He wanted me to meet him at a club at 7pm, I believe. Thankfully I got some more intel that said they were having a meetup that morning at a coffee shop near the club.

At the coffee shop we meet up along with 2 additional runners. One looked a little green under the gills… ha like I look any different. We found out that this is a two part job, one “quick” one to score the cash for the second that will likely not score me any money. If I play it right it will set me up in this town as a legitimate (ha) runner. We all got our task to do and went our separate ways.

Now I am off to try and convince Frank that I need some info on Microtech for unimportant reasons that wont get him to start thinking of me as a runner. This double life is going to suck.

end recording———-

At the Day's End

Sunset paced has the individual sitting at his desk worked diligently on the titanium case in front of him. His normally expensive business suit was rumpled and his expensive Italian shoes had an abnormally large number of scuffs from kicking the furniture in the room. His bodyguards sat around the plasma trid watching the pirated Atzlan execution games, occasionally roaring at some bloody display on the screen.

“Damn it, Binary, how long is it going to take you?” Sunset’s tone was neither patient nor calm. He knew he had to secure its contents and there would be reprisals for his actions.

“I don’t know, it’s not an easy crack. Not to mention, this isn’t my area of expertise.” Binary swapped his screwdriver for his binary code reader, something he’s done to many times to count in the last 24 hours.

“You’ve been working on it for a week. I thought you could do this…”

“Maybe if you let me take this back to my flat. You’re bordering on paranoia here. What’s so important anyway?” Binary was mildly annoyed, but he knew sunset needed him. Besides, the money he made for this little job should set him up for at least six months.

Gunfire erupted somewhere downstairs causing all the occupants of the room to look at the reinforced door in concern. The five razors that were watching the trid now took defensive positions around the room, turning over furniture and spreading out through the large room. Binary looked up in concern as Sunset stepped behind him and the armored desk.

“Keep working, damn it.”

The gunfire died down and the razors waited anxiously, watching the door for any sign of intrusion. The room was quiet except for the muted broadcast of the trid and an occasional beep from Binary’s equipment. It felt to Sunset that an excessive amount of time had passed. He was wondering if his men downstairs had taken care of the problem when the door clicked and swung open. Simultaneously, the five razors opened up with automatic fire, peppering the front half of the room with everything from AP rounds to explosive rounds. Timed seemed to slow as the bullets ripped through the air. The armored door, only responded to the barrage by having its faux wood paneling ripped off as it continued to swing open, exposing the heavy metal underneath.

When the door finished its arc, and it appeared that no one was on the other side, the razors took the opportunity to reload their weapons. In the absence of gunfire, an elf walked in, unaffected by the metal storm that happened seconds before. His black hair, pulled back into a pony-tail, shone in the low light. His red-yellow eyes had a glint of amusement in them. In comparison to Sunset, his expensive suit was new and pressed, untouched by the dust floating around the entryway.

“Crucible!” Sunset’s surprise was cut short as one of his men finished reloading and renewed the barrage on the elf. True to their mark, the rounds tore through the light cloud of smoke that stood where the elf had been. The windows exploded inward as three individuals tumbled into the room, their outfits depicted your stereo-typical ninja from popular action trids. One of the ninjas came out of his roll with his Uzi III blasting in the direction of the razors, but his katana was in his other hand. His path brought him directly at Binary and the swipe meant to take off Binary’s heads met with no resistance, only slightly disturbing the image still sitting there smiling.

“Moron…” Binary bolted from behind a cabinet that had hid him in the dim light. He dove through the broken window to the fire escape. Two of the ninjas noted his flight, but decided to deal with the more immediate threat of the razors firing at them. Binary took on last look into the room, seeing smoke coalesce into the individual that Sunset had referred to as Crucible. He formed behind the razor that had shot him earlier, now distracted by the ninjas that had entered into the fray. Crucible reared up behind the razor, appear to gain a foot in height, and came down on the razorboy’s exposed neck, his elongated canines sinking easily in the flesh. Crucible began to shake his head from side to side, like a dog, ripping a huge chunk out of his victim’s neck. The razor tried vainly to cover the gaping wound that was now spilling his life blood, the look of horror on his face scared Binary into motion. Binary did not even to bother to look for Sunset, he ran down the fire escape three steps at a time, blowing chunks almost the entire way down.

A Chance Meeting

March 2, 2052

Socrete’s commlink pinged twice, indicating that he was getting a call from his fixer. He hit the newly programmed receive button on his cyberdeck and waited. He was answered a couple seconds later with another two pings from his commlink. Socrete’s muttered under his breadth, he was still unsuccessful at breaking the protocol WireStream was putting on their mobile network. He thought briefly about hiring some runners to get him into the WireStream facility in Renton district. A third set of pings roused him from his mechanizations.

“Hey Fox, what’s up?” Fox was a fixer that worked out of the Redmond Barrens. Probably not the best fixer, but it was the first number he found after hours of searching. Fixers are a damn secretively lot and if you don’t have a habitué vouch for you, they won’t talk to you. Fox did not seem to work that way, he seemed borderline desperate when he got Socrete’s call. They hit off, Fox may be all pomp and shadows, but they needed each other for the moment.

“Hey there…” Fox paused trying to remember the name, “Socretes! Hey man, I got a run for you.” Fox actually sounded impressed with himself. It had only been two weeks since they met and Socretes called every few days to check the waters.

“Yeah? What kind of job?” Socretes’ interest was piqued. This would be his virgin run and wondered what it would entail.

“It’s a data steal.”

“What does it entail?”

“uhm… stealing data.” Fox was a little confused at the question, as if his first answer should explain all the nuances of the run. Sure both of them had seen a number of police trids where the elite runners perform a data steal, only to be caught by Lone Star’s unbeatable foresnic ability, but neither of them really knew what in entailed. “Here let me send you the details.”

Socretes got an email, unencrypted of course, about a run to steal some files from the Microtech corporation in Belleview. Someone was going to have to show Fox how to hide his data trail or he was gonna get a runner killed. Socretes only had a week to complete the run. The Johnson was looking to schedule a meeting sometime in the next couple of days. Socretes could probably get the passcodes to some minor slave node in a week, but that wouldn’t leave much time if he got iced and they had to physically connect to the environment. It would probably be quicker to deck from the inside.

“Fox, I’m gonna need someone who can get me into this building and watch my back while I deck the system.”

“Ok… ok, I’ll get you some muscle. A sam. I’ll call you back.” Socretes could tell that Fox was going on the hunt. He speech picked up in tempo and Socretes imagined his eyes were probably darting around looking for what he needed to do next. Socretes pondered how Fox would acquire and actual street samurai for a moment before his attention settles back on his commlink.

“Kagin, I’m going out.” Fox’s eyes rolled over his cluttered desk. Translucent data sheets covered the surface causing him to rifle through the contents in order to find his credstick and car fob. He grabbed a can Axe Istanbul, a cheap knock-off of Ambre Topkapi, and sprayed himself liberally. The ork known as Kagin scrunched his nose, causing his already intimidating visage to horrific ends. He wore the colors of the Crimson Crush, but the smell was not enough stop him from playing the iConsole Game System he boosted last week. Kagin gave Fox a nod as the fixer made for the door. Fox didn’t even worry about locking the door behind him. The Crush occasionally crashed at the ‘clinic’ and it was not a good idea to get on the Crush’s bad side.

Fox walked the two blocks to Touristville; he was offered drugs, guns, propositioned by two glitterslitches, and he had to kick one chip head off his leg on his way. He saw a few other Crushers, but luckily no other gangs were on the prowl to increase their turf. Fox needed to score a runner and there was no better place than Touristville for that. He spotted a seedy bar as he got into Touristville. a couple of the neon letters were burned out and the sign read “BAN HE”. This caused Fox to chuckle and decided it was as good as any to find a street sam.

One might think this place got its name from its crappy Thursday night karaoke sessions with a tinny sound system and drunken patrons who can’t carry a tune in a bucket. The Banshee is strictly no-frills: a bar, some strings of LEDs, a pissed-looking ork bouncer, and cheap synthahol. Its prime appeal is being so unremarkable tat it is low-key enough to do business in, provided you keep an eye on the hungrier-looking patrons.

Saying the Banshee was a hole in the wall was like saying living in Redmond was similar to living in the Arcology. Fox stepped over a river of yellow orange liquid streaming from the bathroom that the bartender was currently hosing down. A strong scent of ammonia wafted out of the bathroom and did not seem to bother the man; he was probably preparing for the evening crowd. A small yellow sign sat on the floor in front of the bathroom. It had an image of the person outlined slipping on the ground. The image moved back and forth across the face of the sign. The japanese characters change to read “Cuidado! Piso mojado”. Fox couldn’t read the sign, but understood “Don’t slip on the piss, choomba.” Fox held his hand to his mouth to prevent himself from loosing what little food was in his stomach and proceeded into the bar. Fox didn’t know if runners hung out this early, it was just after 5 and the wage slave slummers weren’t even hear yet. Two working girls, both orks, and thier mack were sitting at a table in the corner. The only other person in the bar was a human nursing a shot glass and smoking a cigarette butt that he should have put out five minutes ago.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Fox sat down beside the patron which caused him to raise an eyebrow.

“Last I checked this was still a free country. You can get on the bar piss in the shotglasses for all I care, but my dick don’t swing that way.”

“No no, it’s not like that. You got me all wrong. I am entrepenuer of… alternate employment oppurtunities. I have a need for someone who can work late in the ‘darkened’ streets.” Fox ordered a couple drinks of cheap synthahol in regular sized glasses. As soon as the bartender set the glass down, the patron threw the drink back, finishing it in one gulp. He motioned for the bartender to refill the glass.

“The name’s Constantine. What kinda work we talking about?” Constantine spoke through a hoarse whisper, adjusting to the burning sensation as the synthahol went down. This particular brand of Vodka synthahol, 44 Degrees North, tasted like turpintine, but it got you drunk just the same. “How much does it pay?”

“Let me get my friend to discuss Biz with you.” Fox made a call to Socretes and with thirty minutes the decker was seated at the bar. Fox made introductions and the two runners eyed each other, trying to gauge the other’s intent. Constantine finished his forth glass of Vodka, but showed no signs of innebriation.

“So what do you know?” Socretes decided to initiate conversation. He didn’t know how much Fox and told him. If Socretes was gonna trust this guy while he was jacked in, it appeared that he would have to find out for himself.

“I have this job, I have to obtain this case in order to regain my rep. The crew I had ran into some trouble and we had to split up. When we did, the others bailed and I need to complete the job or just get out of the biz.”

Socretes noticed the perplexed look on Fox’s face. “Fox, you thought he was gonna help me with my job didn’t you?” Constantine realized that Fox was Socretes’ fixer. He tried to play off the line as a joke, but neither of them bought it. Noggin would not be appreciative if another fixer knew where the case may be. The case was hot and every fixer in seattle wanted to get his hands on it. The fact they had botched the first run causing Rollo, one of the most unscroupulous fixers in settle to get his hands on it only exacerbated Constantine’s situation.

“I’m sorry Fox. I don’t know how you normally handle biz, but I would feel more comfortable talking to Socretes in private.” Constantine smiled and downed what he presumed was his last free drink for the night.

“Not problem Cont… you guys talk biz. Get the job done and we can celebrate afterwards.” Fox called the bartender over, slotted his credstick and paid for the remainder of the bottle of Vodka. With a tip of his hat, Fox left the Banshee, gingerly stepping over the area where a river of piss had previously drained from the bar. The wage slaves were filtering in now and Fox noted the two runners from the door frame. In the eerie drone of touristville, the two were intent on hashing out their plans. The bar was nearly half full and Fox wondered if anyone else took interest in their conversation. If they had, they weren’t showing it. Fox turned away from the door and started walk towards the clinic. He pulled out his commlink, need to make some more money.

Shopping For Runners

March 6, 2052

Noggin’s commlink went off, playing the latest song by .666 Essence. A quick look at the display revealed Club Chiaroscuro’s LTG number. Golgotha was calling, an ork chica that ran a successful club in northern Tacoma. Her club liked to play electoslam and was popular, surprisingly, to orks and dwarves. The club had a back room and Golgatha found that she could make some extra nuyen renting it out for meets. The chica rarely called, so Noggin surmised the chica had a gig. Noggin plugged the commlink into the cyberdeck sitting next to it. The Excalibur was a top of the line cyberdeck that allowed Noggin some measure of anonymity in the shadows. Activating the masking program, Noggin answered the call.

“This is Noggin,” Golgotha heard the deep raspy voice of an ork.

“Hey seksi, how ya been?” Golgotha always cooed when they spoke. She had never questioned Noggin’s ‘orkiness’. Noggin mused at the thought, it was always best to give the customer what they wanted. No sense confusing biz with that policlub agenda drek. Noggin preferred to remain anonymous.

“Bizness can always be betta, whatcha you got goin’ on Chica?” Noggin brokered no illusions about the call. Golgotha probably thought Noggin was simply playing hard to get; after all orks are more prone to explore their base instincts. Even though Golgotha was a business woman, she never strayed far from her previous career.

“I got this breeder who slotted me on a show, says she was fleeced. Some hot shot label stole her goose. Typical corp pissed on me drek. I would have written it off, but the breeder is all zealot on it. She’s looking for some runners. I told that I knew someone. You slot?”

“Yeah, I slot. Usual thousand nuyen for the room?” Noggin’s mind was turning runners over. Sounded small time, probably use some green runners. Make some calls, one runner came to mind almost immediately.

“You got that right? Hey, when we gonna get together and meet. I’ll make it worth your while.” Golgotha’s words dripped with sex.

“I don’t attend meets, I arrange them chica. I slot you the nuyen when the runners take the gig.” The line went silent.

Just My Luck

Just My Luck

Damn…I just lost about everything. My world has gotten a bit smaller as I look outside the bars on this window. Lost my leather coat, lost my damn guns, my crossbow and my knife…but it is the loss of the coat that stings me the most….I liked it…gave me some character…I suppose…Well…the Star has got me….for now…I have an angle that can get me out, but we shall see…Damn it, I hope Johnny can pry me outta this hole soon…How did I get here?…god….we all screwed up…lets’ see…..

* * * * * * * * * * *

I was drinkin’…all sad stories start that way, it seems….can’t kick it …nope, don’t want to neither…booze keeps me sane…Well, Todd, my nightly benefactor o’ drinks…actually, he’s the head bartender at a place I call home when I want forget my cares, which is all the time… (plus, I look a little older that I really am and he don’t mind…so he plies me good with booze and all, as long as I got the cred, of course)….Well, I tell him that I may not be around for a while as I am on my last hundred and he tells me that its ok…so we talk a bit as he juices me up and, not wanting to lose a customer, I guess, he tells me of a job.

All I had to do was go to this bar downtown, meet someone under the Seattle Jets banner and I would get a quick job that could land me some more cred. Needless to say, I was headin’ Downtown…little worried though, at first, as getting public transit from the ‘Barrens can be a bit dicey. Anyway, I made it to the bar…hell, I even have forgotten its name but that don’t matter…what matters is that I got there and I see several people sittin’ around doin’ what losers usually do, which is drink…so I go to the bar and order me a stiff one…hell, why the fuck not? I found a place as near to the Jet’s banner hanging in the corner as I could without being a conspicuous ass…..and I waited.

Seems I didn’t have to wait long. A few minutes later a guy walks in, looks the bar over and heads over to the table next to mine where there are the several people that I had spied earlier. He was certainly dressed in a manner that says money…at least more than I have ever seen. He talks to those arrayed around the table and I listened in as best I could and when I heard him say that he has a little job that pays about twenty-five hundred a head, I know I am in the right place…so I got up and moved over to the table and as I hear the man say that this job needs to have an inconspicuous theme to it…I jump into the conversation and tell him that I can do that…then I introduce myself as Christian and tell ‘em all that I am here for the job as well…
I mainly get side looks or stares from those around the table. Looks as if I had joined up with a bunch of people, maybe, as desperate as I was. There was a guy who looked a bit serious who went by the name of Ronin; next to him was a wild-eyed Azzie- a fellow who called himself Jefe Palucas….seemed not to speak much English, but when he did it was to the point; on the other side of the table was a chick who called herself Mask…I think she had the gift and can sling a few spells…she painted herself up a bit. Then there was JD…I think that was his name… he seemed to be a bit out there in a few ways but it made sense when I found out that that he was more comfortable around vehicles and these damned spider-type little drones- I hate those things…They all seem to accept me and I sit down with my drink.

The job was simple enough. We were being hired to act like perimeter security- unmarked and not obvious- to this tent-like pavilion in an open area of a nearby park. We were to quietly prevent access to the pavilion after 12 noon but were to allow admittance to anyone prior to that time. Seemed simple enough. We got onsite and I took the lead and positioned three of the group at each corner of the pavilion while I was to monitor the southwest corner and the entrance to the pavilion- we were short one due to the fact that JD or DJ or whatever he calls himself- was located in a van-offsite and was controlling an aerial drone and these three damned spider things that he gave us to help monitor the scene… I had one and I was tempted to crush it…reminded me of the little bastards in the ‘zone…that would feed on the thawing bodies of the not-so-fortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you looked at it…) each spring that I was in the CZ. Well, back to the situation…that got me here…anyway, I was lost in the details of the job when I realized that the pavilion had its own internal security when a big ass body guard steps out and talks to nobody in particular…some kinda wizardry happened and this tall-ass black elf- kind reminded me of a mass of black yarn or a heap of coal- as he lay there on the floor.. I thought it was past noon so I rushed up to the entryway to do my job and remove the offending interloper. I grabbed him and rushed him off to the side of the pavilion…I was prepared to beat the living shit outta him but he wasn’t gaining consciousness and besides…it was prior to noon so, in reality, he wasn’t part o’ the job…so I dumped his black ass in the dirt by the scaffolding and went back to the job at hand…then there was this little guy who showed up and tried to enter or mess with us….I was going to smack him around and he sends me away….somehow, and I am not even gonna try to guess what that was about….magic I think, well…everyone is cryin’ about a rat or some mouse…and the guy vanishes into the park…and all is quite for a bit.

Not quite an hour after I dumped that weird black elf thing around the corner near the scaffolding DJ Whatever…his name is….alerts us via the comms and via the damned spider-drones that we had company headed our way. Actually, the company turned out to be an Italian and his two goons. Once they had come up to the pavilion area, I checked to see if he was a “good fella”…if you know what I mean, but I couldn’t tell. This guy wanted in the pavilion and…it was well past noon…so we weren’t about to let him in…The two goons were orks…and uglier than me….and now this is where it gets kinda blurry for me….a lot happened, in a real short time. But as I recall, the Italian guy and his goons didn’t like being confronted by Ronin and got pissed off….they went for weapons and Ronin popped off with a round and after that JD Whats-his-name…decides to fly his aerial drone thing down an lights the dudes up with a Roomsweeper attached to the frickin’ thing…The goons all react and a gunfight ensues…and from the corner of my eye, I see Ronin and Jefe come into action…Mask does some spell work and cracks off a bunch of electricity, I think… the Italian guy hauls-ass outta the area and one of the goons goes down…the one standing is a big bastard who is now really pissed off….Ronin, Jefe and DJ-Whatever…all engage him and he soaks a lot of what they throw his way…I even get off a bolt from my crossbow…I peg him good…at least, that is what I thought…but the bastard still is standing there dishing out shit our way…Then, outta frickin’ nowhere this fire spirit appears and jumps into the fight. Ronin smacks it with some kinda spell….which does nothing to it from my perspective except piss it off. It hits Ronin but he soaks up the pain. Jefe shoots the spirit and does nothing to it….and then the black guy, elf-dude shows up …another spell-slinger, I suspect…well, I guess he is of the friendly type, at least as weirdoes go since he decides to help with the spirit and does some funky stuff, that makes the spirit leave.

By the way, it was the crossbow that the ‘Star nailed me for…I guess they saw the whole thing…cameras or sensors in the park, I guess…and because of them seein’ our little fracas….or hearing the fight….they sent some beat cops to investigate…and this is where the shit got hot…bad for us and bad for me….Seems Ronin and Jefe decided to carry the fight over to the investigating cops, I have no idea what happened to that last goon, I think we may have dropped him but I can’t be sure…anyway, I guess my new found friends aren’t that bright…well, neither was I at the time cause I considered popping off another bolt…but I thought better about it and attempted to hide instead…I think Mask tried to hide as well…but I didn’t pay much attention to her in the fight after she left of that lightning…JD Drone-Master from Hell, seemed to send his aerial drone into the fray with the cops…lots of gun play, noise and all…then silence.

I hid as best I could. I knew it was a bad, bad scene…I think either Ronin or Jefe downed some of the Lone Star beat cops…perhaps even DJ/JD dropped a few as well…all I know is that the ‘Star found me and they were madder than roach spirits on a sunny day….they found Mask as well…Then they pretty much beat my ass and took away all my shit…Mask and I were split up and placed into separate cars and my last vision was of that black elf dude with a bunch of officers around him….

* * * * * * * * * * *

So…here I am in a precinct holding cell, waiting to find out what happens to the really dumb sons-a-bitches like me…SINless, broker than broke, beat-up and stuck in the slammer….with no hope….Damn, just my luck.


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