Runs in the Shadows: ShadowRun Vignettes

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Runs in the Shadows: ShadowRun Vignettes

Post by SolStarSenshi on Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:00 pm

I am starting to feel like the character in science fiction that hears of a problem and goes "I can do that!" First I mention a dystopian setting in one story I am writing(in my introduction thread) and Dezopenguin comments about it. Then when I do Night City Nights he mentions Shadowrun.

I really do enjoy the fact that his comments get me writting outside of the anime fandoms that I had locked myself in to. Smile


Run's Aftermath
Spoiler:


"You STUPID Chooch! You don't overcast yourself until after we are making our escape and you need to ensure the guards can't chase us. Not when we still had a street samurai up and killing them. Arrg!" the elf roared as he threw his head back and vented to the ceiling of the surpise rotorcraft their rigger was using to get them out of the target location.



"We made the target and only lost one team member. Compared to some stories that is better than we could have expected," the other magic user on the run spoke up from where she had the medkit out and was setting up a hypo with some type of painkiller.



Looked nasty what ever it was. Narcotic extreme was the unspoken.



Kar'deré looked over at the human woman as she set the vial with the milky substance back in its tray. Cynthia was a brand new 'runner. Usually that meant trouble in the fact that she would have to be basically babysat the entire time. She hadn't required it beyond the basics offered any teammate. True she was more scholar than fighter but she could fire just as well as many professionals and fought almost as good. He watched her flick some of her shoulder length curls out of her face and got in position over Rain Wolf and shot the spirit talker in the arm with the narcotic.



"You're a magician as well, can you heal him?" Kar'deré asked her.



"Not when he basically went 'suicide, yes please' with his magic. It is too raw a trauma that infuses the body. Think of it as a form of radiation poisoning; you can't use more radiation to cure it." She checked his pulse and looked at his eyes, shuddering as she saw how much blood they were still bleeding. The dead man's stare didn't help. "I don't even want to waste time trying to heal the bruising from the fall we all took until I know he will live long enough for it to matter."



Kar'deré grunted as he turned to look out the window. Who would have thought the loading dock would collapse and tumble everyone down its new ramp. He raised his eyebrow and glanced at the cockpit. "Hey Troll-toy! Are we going back?" he called up to the rigger who was sitting in the driver/pilot's seat.



Only to bounce out of his own as something shook the craft. "Hey!" Cynthia shouted. "Are you trying to kill Rain Wolf here?" she demanded as she tried to get the downed mage back fully onto the back seat of the van, at least when it hadn't sprouted rotor units. Kar'deré, cursing in his native Sperethiel, the 'true' language of elves, helped her pull Rain back into position. Reaching over he grabbed the box that had the tie-downs and managed to pull one free of the rat's nest.



"Good news: Orcus is tagged and bagged with the grapple hook," Gail proclaimed. A magic user who's magic mojo'ed her body instead of letting her Merlin out, she didn't do the stereotypical path either. More Gun Fu than Kung Fu she could literally pick up any ranged weapon and hurt someone with it. Vehicles were not that much less effective skill than her actual firearms.



"What?" Kar'deré asked, Cynthia looking over with a disturbed expression.



"Oh don't worry. The grapple hook is in his cyber leg. He is fine," she dismissed with a wave of her hand, the leather bustier catching Kar'deré's attention as usual as it raised and lowered in synch with the gesture. Cynthia started as his body thudded against the rear door, Kar'deré keeping his attention on Gail.



"You grappled our street sam with the van's grappling hook?" Cynthia asked incredulously as she turned to look at the physical adept, Kar'deré showing similar thoughts in his expression.



"So, he isn't going to be cut up and soul stapled back into his body," she replied with another shrug, her leather jacket highlighting her bustier again.



Cynthia looked to Kar'deré as she had not a clue as what Gail was talking about. "Never mind," he said to Rain Wolf. "Cyber-zombies are a good reason to overcast dangerously," he said with a shudder. Rain Wolf didn't respond, continuing to bleed tears of blood from his eyes and leak it from self-appearing ooze points all over his body.



"Cyborged people to the point where there is nothing metahuman left?" Cynthia asked for clarification. She didn't need to thank Kar'deré for the bucket he passed her to throw up in; it was a given.



"Great news: We don't have to worry about reprisals because I managed to crash their system. Did the adrenaline finally catch up to Cyn?" Alana asked as she rejoined the realm of the flesh and sat up from her seat. "Then again, seeing the condition our European spirit talker is in, I think I might want to join her at the bucket," she added, nausea in her tone. "The worst part is I think he is still breathing…" she trailed off.



"No Matrix record of us at all?" Kar'deré asked as he found another plastic container and offered it to Alana. When she waved no, he set it back down. He really didn’t want to empty the grenades out anyway.



"None. I doubt there was any to begin with. The place wasn’t set up with an actual connection to the Matrix. What there was seemed to be self-contained to their security cameras and their cyber-troops. OK, what did I miss about their troops?" she asked as her comment caused Cynthia to start gagging again, drool hanging from her mouth.



"Cyber-zombies."



"Wait, the ones who have so much cybernetics that dark mages have to staple the soul in so that the body is animated?" Alana stared at Kar'deré. "Oh shit, you are serious," she said with a breathy tone, eyes widened in panic. Kar'deré took her in and started to empty the grenade case. She took it and just held it, trembling and mumbling "oh god, oh god," over and over.



"I think we broke our mage and our otaku," Gail said somewhat smugly. Smiling at the glare the elf gave her she called up to Troll-toy. "Can we put down somewhere? We need to find out if I speared a corpse or a teammate."



"Parking lot in three two one and touch down," Troll-toy said as he jacked out of the speaker system and left the vehicle's electronic nervous system. There wasn’t any bump to speak of as they landed. "Pop the door Gail, lets get Orcus or his equipment," he called as he hopped out the driver's, Gail following behind him.



"Gail is sociopathically suicidal. Troll-toy dominates the Trolls he has a fetish for. I find extreme magic sports to boring and Rain views it as something to do when he isn't learning more about spirits. And I don't think I want to know the story for the three of you," Kar'deré muttered to himself. Outside the two humans were cheering Orcus's survival and debating whether he could keep the leg or if it had to go so that they could get the combat conversions back into the van's 'camper topper'.



"I need money for my spell research," Cynthia offered, unprompted.



"Didn't ask!" Kar'deré called back.



"Don't think I need this after all," a sick looking Alana handed the plastic container back to Kar'deré, Gail and Troll-toy cheering their ability to free Orcus from the grappling hook. "I am in this because I want to explore the Matrix and have an actual income to retire with," she added impishly.



"And you are how old," Kar'deré asked.



"Twenty years young!" she said as she stuck her tongue out and posed like Selstra, the Candian-American anime gun bunny that was going into her eleventh season. It was Alana's favorite of the 2060's shows to the point where she would have a tee shirt to it on at least once a week.



The one that Kar'deré liked best was the one where she stood over a pile of characters from the eternal franchise Dragon Ball with the caption "Super vegetable people? I use more ammo on actual vegetables in target practice." Tiplon Animated owned the licence for the various North American countries so it was legal merchandise. He thought.



Kar'deré looked over at Cynthia who dumped the tissue she just wiped her mouth with into the bucket. "Twenty years as well," she replied with a wan smile. She looked at the door where they heard Gail and Troll-toy arguing with what was starting to sound like gangers from just outside the door. "Umm…" she started as Kar'deré went to the door Gail had opened.



Throwing Orcus into the van he got in and slammed the door before he started to the driver's seat where he closed and locked it. Cynthia jumped as a thud sounded from the back door she was sitting in front of us as Kar'deré hit a switch and put the van in gear. "I think Gail is playing on our time," was his comment, glad at least that they had pulled the grappling hook from his leg. The van finished it's conversion to regular street vehicle as they left the parking lot.



"How about you?" Cynthia asked as she and Alana got the groggy Orc up onto another seat; his wounds were not enough to warrant staying flat like Rain Wolf's were. Nor were they aggravated from his being a metahuman anchor to their flying van. His armor jacket was scuffed up from where it had scrapped along the ground when he was first grappled.



"I remember the Internet that existed before the Matrix and I remember the original days of the runs. That give you an idea of how old this elf is?" he teased the two humans who were tending their allies.



"Crap, were you one of the first born as magic returned to the world?" Alana asked as she checked Orcus's pupil's response to her penlight.



"I remember the posts with Big D," Kar'deré said as he pulled onto the freeway, the GPS showing the rotor drone that Troll-toy had kept in pursuit as well as the way to their meet with the Johnson who hired them. The status screen the rigger had set up for his toys showed that it was carrying both Troll-toy and Gail based on the 'weight carried' line.



"What happened to him? He is still a legend on the Matrix all these years later after all," Alana asked as she sat back in her seat.



"Got a system identification number despite the fact he wasn’t metahuman, entered into the United Canadian American States politics, ran for office and got assassinated, leaving a giant magic rift down the street from where he would have lived." Kar'deré shifted lanes so that the competing convoy from the Lone Star and Knight Errant police forces wouldn’t need to blow him up so he wouldn’t slow them down.



"Wait a minute," Cynthia started, Alana speaking in synch with them as they shouted increduously, "Big D was the dragon Dunkelzahn?" Dragons, to a one, did not interact with technology directly. But then, Dunkelzahn broke all the rules for, well, every life form in the world on a regular basis. He played with whatever caught his interest.



He was also the dragon most visualized when the street mantra "Watch your back. Shoot straight. Conserve ammo. And never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon," is invoked. Him or Lofwyr, the dragon that OWNS the megacorp Saeder-Krup Heavy Industries, which is basically the German industry for all intents and purposes. Though he tends to be the one thought of by the new generation simply because he is still alive. And unlike Dunkelzahn he always eats those who fail him.



"Yep, one and the same. What are those idiots doing?" he muttered to himself as he watched the drone carrying Troll-toy and Gail turn down an exit. Throwing his hands up in exasperation at them he took the steering wheel in one and tapped the comlink to the drone's speaker system. "Troll-toy, what gives?"



"Clubbing Keeb. You are our face anyway. You send the money from Johnson to our accounts like normal." The speaker went dead with a click.



"Damn Aztechnology for taking control of that snack food," Kar'deré grumbled.



"Wait, Aztechnology owns what snack food line?" Cynthia asked from her seat, confusion in her tone. In the rearview mirror he could see a similar expression on Alana's face.



"Nothing, just an gripe us elves have. It's as bad an insult as the 'dandelion eater' is. Nevermind the fact that most elves are vegetarians. Ten minutes and we will be at the club where the Johnson will make the payment."



"You mean…you elves don't…don't bake coo…cookies?" Orcus asked as he stirred in his seat, Alana instantly checking his condition. Not that she could do much; her medical skill was maybe that of an EMT.



"Shut up before I start responding in kind," Kar'deré mock growled at his friend.



"They lost their share in a corporate takeover two weeks…ago," Orcus managed to get out as he cringed with the shifting of his body. "They no longer own the Stuffer Shack chain. The 'elves' are back in the employ of the original corporation," he said as the pain hit him. "What happened to my leg?" he asked as he tried and failed to tell the cybernetics to shut the pain simulator off.



"Gail decided to stick you with the grapple hook during the rescue fly-by," Kar'deré dryly commented. "Looked like the leg was still mostly intact."



"Oh, shouldn't havelookedthankyouveryAroof," he managed to get out before he was throwing up into the bucket that Cynthia had shoved in front of him before he lost whatever pre-run snack he had. Alana scrambled to find the bin that Kar'deré had handed her earlier, getting it under her in time for her to start to gag.



One last check and Cynthia moved to sit behind Kar'deré. "So, when do we meet the Johnson?" she asked as she strapped herself in. A couple of Lone Star cars were smoking ruins and a Knight Errant car was flipped onto its roof and doors open, the officers staggering off the road. "Looks like Ares' private security is better than the police cockroaches," she observed before an explosion in front of them caused the van to swerve from the shockwave.



A Lone Star SWAT van crashed to the ground behind them. "Might I be so bold as to suggest…" she started.



"That I take a longer way to the deal site?" Kar'deré finished for her as he swerved through lanes and off the actual freeway. "Yeah, I think the two police firms are a little keyed up tonight," he observed.



"The Johnson will be at a club, specifically we hit a specific dance floor's bar, and we will do the exchange there. If we are lucky, no one will question our bringing the product in with us. To bad Gail bailed on us; she can sneak any shit in anywhere," Kar'deré commented as he got onto a different freeway. "We may want to head home right away when we are done," he observed as they passed another ruin of a Lone Star police car.



"What is it with the Cowboys taking out the Cockroaches tonight?" Cynthia asked as she looked back at the rest of the team. Orcus just shrugged while Alana had her head rolled back. The technomancer, a Matrix Mage to the uneducated, had already disapeared back into the Matrix leaving her meat body behind in her seat. "How is Rain?"



"Still breathing if that is what you want to know?" Orcus offered, relief flooding his face as the percusive maintenance of his cyber leg finally engaged the pain filters. He set the wrench that Troll-toy left out back on the floor. "Trust me, I couldn't feel the banging of the wrench in comparison to the scream of the hole left by the grapple hook," he replied to Cynthia's unspoken question.



"Was wondering what the banging I was hearing was," Kar'deré said as he pulled back off the freeway onto the street he needed.



"Want me to stay in the van with Rain while the three of you head inside?" Orcus asked as he finally started functioning normally thanks the stim patch he had placed on his wrist. He hadn't needed a trauma patch thank god. Most of his injuries were brusing that knocked him out. The grapple hook to the leg was actually the worst.



"Might not be a bad idea. What is the sitch Alana?" he asked as he saw her return to her body, her stretching her neck catching his attention.



"Well, the two police forces are busy trying to get the bonus from a research facility that was hit tonight. Not a storage facility like our target was but an actual research facility. The owners posted to the Matrix that they would pay twenty thousand to who ever recovered the black box, or a grey case in this case, with an equal payment to each member of the team that brings it back."



"So if an eight person team returns it, they get paid a total of 160 thousand to split between them?" Kar'deré asked as he came to a stop and turned to look at Alana directly. A motorcycle buzzed by, the rider throwing a beer can at the van. Kar'deré pulled away before he had to find out the wrong way that it wasn’t a beer can. No explosion happened to his relief.



"Actually that is the very team number their description gave. Which means that we really don't want to get caught in between the various parties. Let's just meet the Johnson and get our payment and get out of here," Alana said as she fluffed her red locks back down her back.



"Get the swap done, have a drink while we pointedly ignore the Johnson and her bodyguards leaving while making sure no one is going to attack us. After that, then we decide if it's safe to run to our homes if possible. Otherwise, we blend in with the after club crowd that takes off then."



"OK, find a playmate to entertain ourselves with," Alana said.



"Sounds more fun that watching a mage live or die," Orcus said with a glower only to start a game of 'smack the shoulder' with Alana after she smacked him reproachfully. Cynthia and Kar'deré just rolled their eyes at the over the top theatrics that the two of them were engaged in.



"We're here," Kar'deré said as he pulled the van into a parking spot, the monitor showing Gail and Troll-toy were already here, the rotor drone in what passed for the drone parking lot. The monitor showed that it was in physical lockdown. Only Troll-toy's cyberarm would have the key to unlock it and it was heavy enough for people to not want to try to take with them.



The three of them left the van, the package underneath Kar'deré's jacket. Paying the entrance fee for themselves, Kar'deré and Alana traded grins. Cynthia had completely missed the fact that the door girl had flirted with her, letting her in free.



"I thought clubs in this district charged an entrance fee," Cynthia commented as they stood just outside the pounding of the speakers in the entry corridor.



"We had to," Kar'deré said as he led the way toward the quiter dance floor dedicated to the music of the latter three decades of the twentieth century, the chorus of Staying Alive echoing from it's confines. Alana laughed at the confused look Cynthia gave them and dragged the mage with her.



An experienced runner such as Kar'deré was concerned when he realized that the club owner and her bodyguards were watching this particular room. Since they weren't moving from the raised catwalk that lets staff move between rooms quickly, he wasn't concerned. Stepping up to the bar, he placed on order for a low alchohol beer from Europe and listened to the disbelief when Alana requested a soda with real sugar, not the soy derivitive. The bartender paused to look at Cynthia and decided she did not have the body mass to even handle a beer so he gave her no grief over her requested water.



Gail and Troll-toy were looking like a cute couple as they were doing more grind than anything else between them on the dance floor, clear view of the bar from their position.



A severe looking elf stepped into the space next to Kar'deré, her black locks in a severe bun tail and the dress clothes not business suit scream but pure power nonetheless. "Kar'deré, I take it the mission was a relative success?" she asked appraisingly as her bodyguards took over the rest of the bar.



"Yes, Ms. Johnson. We might have a permanent casulty but that is a risk that is taken with every run," he replied as he took a sip of his beer. "Ready for the trade?"



"Of course," she replied as she placed the certified cred sticks on the counter between them.



"Here it is," he said as he pulled the smoke black case from under his jacket where it was in a satchel. "Verify the product."



She tapped the comlink on her head and it beeped audibly for the team's benefit. "Thank you Kar'deré. It is a pleasure doing business with you," she said as he took the cred sticks and checked their bank balance with his comlink. Passing two to Cynthia and Alana, he pocketed the others. After all, he was the one who deals with the Johnsons and the payoffs. The rest of the team would get their sticks when it was safe to meet.



"Have a good day…" he trailed off as the two teams were surrounded by the various metatypes that made up the security staff of the club. The blonde haired woman, who no one knew if she was an elf or human given her age in relation to her apparent age, stepped between Kar'deré and the Johnson and took the box from the woman.



"It looks more black than grey," the blond mused. "I have never had a problem with Johnsons and Shadowrunners using my club as a neutral place. Helps the bottom line more often than not. But when a virus bred from a bacterium is brought into it, especially one that consumes flesh like this one does, I get concerned.



"I don't want to see you in here again Ms. Johnson or I will explain to your supervisors in Ares' Department Seven Research and Development that you will never be allowed in again. Trust me, the virus will be destroyed," she said as she stepped away, the Moonsilver line of dresses swirling nicely around her and the Irish elf that walked away with her, the gun visible in the elf's hand. The security staff started to follow in staggered groups.



"Oh dear. I think I and my employer are both compromised," the Johnson said as she watched her death walk away with wide eyes.



"It's Celestial. And she had Aurora here tonight. What was significant…'it looks more black than grey'," he quoted to himself. "That is the box that the research firm wants back so badly that the two police corporations as fighting it out."



"OH SHIT!" the Johnson breathed as she realized he was right.



"Well, looks like someone is as out of the loop as we are," Kar'deré said as he sipped his beer. "Want the cred sticks back, minus the one we need for our teamates medical bills?"



"No, job well done. Our comlinks will be proof we didn't have a chance of making off with the merchandise. Same contact number?"



"Yep, just got it so I should be safe to keep it," he said as he took another sip of his beer. "Anyways, I only check that comlink from public places all over the hellhole that is Seattle."



"So you later Kar'deré," the Johnson said as she got up and left.



He watched her and her bodyguards leave the room and turned to the very silent teamates next to him. "Don't worry. Celeste is safe. She won't take any action since she doesn’t have a reason to do so. Nor will her companion the red head."



"Who are they?" Alana asked as she looked back at her team leader.



"Two runners who ran together. The elf apparently came to terms with her magic and might give Gail a run for her money now. Speaking of which," he held two of the cred sticks up as Gail and Trol-toy joined them.



"How did Johnson and us survive?" Gail asked as she took hers and handed Troll-toy his.



"Celeste just wanted the box and didn't want us. Go party everyone. I am going to take Orcus and Rain to a clinic. Have fun," he said as he stood, paying for the drinks. Gail and Troll-toy said their goodbyes and took off. Apparently they were staying together tonight. Kar'deré paused as he heard Alana's question to Cynthia.



"I don't dance normally," she replied, prompting a smile as he watched Alana's body language scream eye-roll.



"Come one, don't tell me that you never danced with your friends, much less a significant," Alana said as she hopped off her stool, the soda finished. "You survived a run therefore you have enough stamina to dance!"



"I never have," Cynthia protested. "I would not know the first thing about it," she tried, prompting Kar'deré to laugh to himself. This might be worth staying for. At least a few minutes.



"Well I have and I want to dance with you," Alana proclaimed as she pulled Cynthia off the stool.



"Wait, what? You want to dance with me?" He laughed again at the confused look on Cynthia's face.



"Well duh, I like you."



"I like you too but why would we dance together?" was the confused comeback.



"I don't think she has had a girl express interest in her before," Kar'deré said to himself as he shook his head. This was entertaining.



"Well, I could never participate in any group events due to my health growing up so I just stayed out the way," Cynthia volunteered, wondering why they were laughing. "I didn't have any means of doing so," she trailed off as she sat back on the stool.



"Go slow, Alana. I don't think she has had either one before," Kar'deré said as he waved goodbye.



"Wait, what?" Cynthia said as she tried to follow what Kar'deré said.



"Oh boy, slow is not my style," Alana mused to herself as she pulled Cynthia into a kiss. From the flustered but not adverse babble that erupted when she let Cynthia pull back, it was clear that maybe Alana really would be her first significant other.

Author notes

Spoiler:


Chapter Wordcount 4500

Story Wordcount 4500



Cynthia: Sin-tea-ah

Kar'deré Kar-dd-ray

Alana Ay-lan-ay

Orcus Or-Kus



One gamemaster had our characters dodging a police corporation war one game. A different one had a third party take the drive with the paydata on it at a mission complete. Our characters lived, partly because we went 'we cooperate'. Our employer did not. I can't recall if we found out whether it was internal conflict or not.





Cynthia is an actual character of mine for SR4. Physically weak, her strength is mental and magical. Alana is another character I made to try the technomancer builds out. Aurora is my first character and Celeste and her club are part of her backstory.



The original Shadowrun game began in the year 2050 and advanced roughly in time with the calander years. SR4, the 4th edition of the game, picked up the storyline in 2070 with the 20th aniversery edition advancing it to 2072. Magic had returned with the Mayan's Sixth World and thus a new twist on cyberpunk was born, as emboided by the game's tagline: Where man meets machine and magic.


Last edited by SolStarSenshi on Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot to title the chapter itself)
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