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Page 8

Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce


Tank, unable to understand how Draco could be talking having suffered a direct hit from his assault cannon, and being mauled by Silvia, continued advancing.

Just then, Hurricane's waterspout reached the PanzerFaust, and broke upon it, spray flying off in all directions. The beautiful elf was revealed standing atop the flat roof of the vehicle. The impact shook the tank.

A crewman opened the hatch, screamed in suprise - and had his head blown off a stray Ork soldier's fire.

The surviving members opted to try and get out alive - even a Panzerfaust couldn't deal with a whole regiment of armed Orks, an angry shaman, and two dragons. the engines of the huge vehicle fired up, and it began to lift upwards, shuddering as it did so under the pattering fire of the Orks, and blasts of Shamanic Bear Magic.

Draco thrashed wildly, trying to dislodge Silvia, the pain in his back immense. Suddenly, his hand found the necklace, and he began to tug at it, the other gagging as her claws swept across him, trying to find his throat.


The Orks only took the conflict as a sign of weakness.

"WEEV GOT 'EM ON DA RUN NOW BOYZ!" The Captain said, as he led his Ork soldiers in their greatcoats and Russian style hats over the hill once more...


In London, Crystal, Chance and the coughing, concussed, terrified Ash burst out through the roof door.

Just to the left of them stood the squat structure of the air-traffic control shack, bristling with weather-sensors, and radar. There was even a turret-mounted 30mm autocannon, which was swivelling to track Cylinder Head's Aerobus Tilt-wing, hovering just metres from the helipad in hover-mode.

Crash was hanging on for dear-life behind a GPMG mounted on a pintle in the open door of the aircraft.

Two uniformed guards burst out of the door in the shack and opened fire with OCU Overlord semi-auto shotguns.

Firearm was hit first - The hit caught him just left of centre, spinning him to the ground, moderately injured.

Ash was hit, too: Caught in the side of her chest, on the edge of the buckshot spray. She staggered back, but kept her footing.

Chance looked on, horrified, as she slumped to the ground, but she was still kicking. She was lucky to be alive, especially given her condidtion. - If she'd been just a bit slower, she would surely be dead.

Firearm returned fire again: Both guards were killed with amazing accuracy.

"Did NOT know who they were fragging with!"

Crystal had spotted the swivelling AA turret: An aerofoil frag grenade sailed in an almost perfect arc towards it, a good thirty feet off across the windy, round rooftop..

Almost perfect - It swung just an inch to the left of the armoured emplacement, detonating on the ground instead of the exposed join between the turret itself and it's mount. Serious damage was done to the hydraulics. But the gun was still pointing at the Aerobus...


A voice came out from Silvia's mouth.
Draco was thrown backwards by a bolt of magic.
"Dear Draco, Do you think you can defeat me so easily? Watch me turning your stimated friend into something you fear!"
The body of Silvia was engulfed in a green light, and it grew quickly. Right now, a bone dragon, with a necklace, appeared in front of him.
Draco stepped backwards. He had defiled Silvia. They were all doomed.
Unless he tried to force N'zar out of her mind.
He did know that he had little chance against his power, but he was far away. And he needed just to remove the necklace.
With a great effort, he used his mind control over Silvia. He howled in pain. The power was really inmense. But he could not go back.
"Silvia wake up"
Silvia went out of her trance, and quickly wiped out the necklace, wich was burnt into a black ash.
Smiling, Draco collapsed over the ground. He had taken severe wounds, even for a Greater Dragon.


Silvia sat on the ground, panting heavily. "Wha... what was that?"
After the link with N'zar had been broken she returned to her normal Elven form. But that was not all - she noticed that the strange metamorphosis she had gone through had healed her wounds.

"I can't take this anymore." Silvia said. "I can't find any reason to stay with the group; I need to go back to my parents."

She looked at Draco.
"I don't know if I should thank you or curse you. They were after you. This is all your fault... but you saved me, and for that I am grateful."
Draco said nothing, but looked Silvia straight in the eyes.

The other runners looked at the two people, who seemed to be just sitting there, and looking eachother in the eyes. They couldn't see the what the dragons were really doing - exchanging thoughts. Releasing information the other could pick up with the mind-reading ability they both had.
Draco looked very concentrated. This ability, that was one of Silvia's natural magic talents, was much more difficult for him - he hadn't done it in years.

After a while they both got up.
Silvia sighed.
"Well... goodbye then, for now."
"I will come back, Silvia. I promise."
Silvia smiled. "I know you will. And I'm looking forward to it."

Then, Draco shifted back to his dragon form and took off.

"So," Hurricane said. "you decided to stay with us after all?"
"Yes. He is travelling east, to a place where he can't take me. And I have to stay with Dorodo, and make sure Tank doesn't do anything stupid. Not that you've been a great help in that matter. I don't know why you want to get to that bio facility, but I'm pretty sure it's not because of Tank."

You might hide your thoughts well, but I will find out what you're hiding from us.


After Shadow had heard those bands and combinations of screams and yells, he grinned.

Shadow listened to his instructions and clicked off his vidphone after he had been given them by the stranger.

Shadow had to remember Club Hate, 8'o clock.

Hours passed as he sat in the room checking his gear and clothes, and the stuff he had brought along.

It was getting dark, and the moon started to show outside, the rays came through the window onto the bed.

Shadow left the hotel around 7:30 PM, to go to the club.


Shadow took the stairs down to the hotel's lobby - The staff turned their noses up at his street-gear in such a posh hotel.

Of course, Shadow didn't care.

Standing on the rain-sodden streets, Shadow clapped on his rebreather mask that was standard for all Londoners. He watched an automatic Taxi go by - One of the new taxi companies, 'Matrix cabs'. Rumour had it that all of their taxis in the city were controlled by one Rigger in the top of the Aztechnology British Telecom tower on a giant remote-control network - All he had to do was feed instructions to each armoured cab's autopilot. The taxis were reliable, but expensive.
It was followed by a Troll, crammed into a tiny three'wheel electric car, pinted in blotchy yellow house paint. 'Takse' it said on the side.

To get to Club hate In the West End underplex, Shadow would have to take a taxi or risk the monorail or underground. Both were famous for their violence, even in daytime...


Shadow felt the rain hit his body and coat.

Shadow also saw the taxi's go by fast, but he didn't bother to signal any down.

He decided to take the subway to go to the club, and went down to the underground.

He looked down at his vidphone-watch. 7:40. I have to to hurry.


Avoiding the ever-present London acid rain, Shadow hurried off the crowded London street, into the London Underground.

This postively ancient train network still ran at the edges of safety, although the local authorities were finally starting to put some money into it, updating the fifty-year old trains and tracks.

However, that would take time, and Shadow didn't have ten years to wait.

He ran down, hopping the barrier - The Dwarf on security didn't bat an eyelid. He knew by trying to stop anyone here, he was likely to get a knife in his substantial gut. He even doffed his battered cap to Shadow.

Lukas ended up on a platform, with around twelve other people waiting - Mostly low-level corp wageslaves, an Elven woman dressed like a robo-goth with a bulky ork for company.

Lukas began to feel alone, down here in the badly-lit, stuffy, sweaty underground, surrounded by crumbling brickwork. It was not a place to be claustrophobic.

With the stench of Ozone, the squeal of rails and sparks of electricity, a rickety train appeared from the recesses of one of the dark, dark tunnels.

It stopped and the doors slid open. Lukas got on, no problem. There were few people in his carriage - An asian Ork woman, a black dwarf old man. Lukas sat down at ease.

The train rumbled off. Darkness flickered over him as the lights failed momentarily. And again.
Outside, signs passed his eyes: Marylebone station, Soho, Mayfair - He needed Oxfors Street.

The door opened at the end of the carriage.


Three Orks and a Dwarf came in. They were of a variety of races, and were obviously born with chips on their shoulder the size of Sir Nigel Wilkinson's bank balance.

The lead Ork leered at the Ork woman. She averted her eyes, shrinking back in her seat.

The Orks strutted forward, walking arrogantly. The lead Ork, a shade of green-brown, over eight feet tall and dressed in Synth leather Jacket and a tartan kilt with huge steel-soled boots ckunked up to Shadow, staring down at Shadow, The Ork stank - Of sweat, week-old Ork BO, and alcochol. Shadow noticed he had a chip protruding from his rusty datajack in his skull.

When he breathed, it was like sticking your head into a sewer.

"Don' know you, blond-boy. Ya look like fresh meat to me."

He moved closer.

"My buddy there needs a few quid. You got some?"


Shadow looked at him and shook his head. He didn't even know what that meant.

The train then came to a slow stop at Oxford. He then got up and went past the orks and the dwarf and off the train.


Furious at being ignored, the Ork ganger charged after Shadow, who should have known better than to turn his back.

"BRING 'IM DAHHHHNNNN!" One of the Orks yelled. The lead Ork got Shadow in a Rugby tackle as he left the train. Both man and Ork hit the filthy tiled floor painfully, The Ork's huge weight crushing Shadow to the floor.

Many bystanders walked past, pretending to take no notice. An Ork guard looked over, and then sat down to read his copy of The Truth! Newssheet.

While Shadow was down, struggling to break free, the other two Orks and their Dwarf buddy came along. As an Ork kicked him, the other reached into his jacket pocket with his filty, stained hands. With the boss Ork on his back, he couldn't do anything but struggle to break free.

"YUSSS! PAYDIRT!" Said the searching Ork, coming up with Shadow's credstick.

"YO HO HEE HEE HAR!" Roared the scabby Dwarf.

The boss Ork got up, kicked Shadow painfully, shattering a tooth.

"YA lucky we din' kill ya, blonde boy."

The gangers started strutting off, arrogantly turning their backs on the downed 'runner...


Shadow grinned.

He got up slowly and felt a pain in his stomach. Then, he grabbed his gun.

Shadow whispered to himself: "You have made the biggest mistake of your lives...and that you shall pay for with your life."

He took out his magnum and fired at the gangsters 3 times in a row. He hit the 2 orks and the dwarf dead center in the head.

The orks and the dwarf went down to the ground. Shadow picked up his credstick and his suitcase and walked off.

He went on his way to the Club, swiftly and silently.


The first Ork was hit in the head - There was a 'CRACK' sound as the heavy round punched itno his skull, and the Ork fell heavily to the ground. Then Shadow shot the second Ork, blowing his hea apart.

But by this time, the Dwarf and the third Ork had had time to react - The Dwarf froze - His mistake. He was also hit in the head. Blood and brain matter exploded out the back of his head - coating a mass of screaming people out for the evening.

The panicked crowd made a rush for the exit - Several (Dwarf) people were pushed over and trampled, especially as there was a Troll in the crowd.

Ork three returned fire with a light pistol - A little Zaibatsu Type-12. A low calibre round thudded into Shadow's armour. He flet like laughing. The Ork's nerve broke, and he made a run for it with the rest of the crowd (and the security guard).

"Somebody call the police! This maniac's shooting people!"

Someone yelled. Obviously they weren't from London.

Beside Shadow, the Ork leader - Who'd been shot in the head first, began to moan and stir.

Still alive? These Orks are TOUGH! Shadow had to admit, as he retrieved his blood-covered credstick.

He ran up to street level - The crowd had rapidly dispersed.

It was a five-minute walk to the Nightclub. Shadow walked rapidly along rain-slick, stinking streets. Already a fair number of drunks, druggies and chipheads were lying comatized on the pavement.

A blue flashing light appeared in the distance just before Shadow got to the club. A moment later, a police car drew up alongside Shadow.

Two coppers were inside - One had his window down.

"Oi! Come over here son!" The older cop shouted, gruffly.


While Shadow was running, he looked down at his vidphone-watch and noticed it was 7:55. He picks up the pace and runs the rest of the way to the club.

Shadow was about to walk into the club, when a cop car pulls up and then one of the cops rolls down the window and says: "Oi, Son, please come over here."

Shadow didn't know whether to trust him or not, but he walked over to the cop with his hand in his pocket, on the 9 MM.


"We got a report of a shooting around here son. See anything?"

The grizzled copper said, looking Shadow straight in the eye. Behind him, the younger cop waited with baited breath.


Shadow looked at the cop and nods.
"Yes I have seen something. The guy that was shooting went down the alleyway and disappeared."

Lukas looked at the cop behind him and waited for an answer from the cop he was currently talking to.


The older cop looked Shadow up and down. Maybe he saw the bruising face with the missing tooth, maybe he saw the hand in the pocket, the body armour, the bulge of the 9mm pistol...

Maybe he thought it was getting late, and his shift was almost over. Maybe he thought he was getting too old for this, and his retirement time was coming soon. He was still single, at the age of 53. He wanted a bottle of Dunkelzahn's finest to curl up with...

"All right, all right sir, you can go. Be careful around here. Fragging troggs everyhwere."

The younger cop was still giving Shadow suspicious looks, but even so, the sleek Vauxhall Spectra police car pulled away, as drops of rain began to spatter the windscreen.

Shadow heard the old cop speaking into his radio as he drove away:
"Control, Ferguson. looks like it was only the damn Troggs who got killed. Not worth investigating. Over."

Shadow eventually got to Club Hate - The sign over the door was of an eye with a neon spike going into it - And out again, thanks to rudimentary ruthenium polymer animation.

There was a cue to get in, which Shadow joined. A few clubbers eyed him suspiciously - Hed just been talking to the cops, and been let off, after all, but no-one hassled him.
He could hear the music already - Or feel it, more like. It was a constant bass-heavy hum, vibrating up through the ground.

Up ahead, a pretty girl with colour-shifting hair, wearing a black minidress was ket in by a Dwarf and an Elven bouncer. Behind her was an Ork, who was turned away.

He staggered off, slurring drunkenly:

"frggn' pix's, all is...all...Frggn hate uzzz...uzz frggn orkses..."

He wandered out of sight as Shadow stepped up. There was the sound of breaking glass.

The bald Dwarf bouncer with a blue beard grinned in recognition of Shadow.

"Well now, Mr Shadow! Long-time no see, eh? Go right in sir, if you'll let me take care of ya shooters for ya."


Shadow looked at the dwarf and grinned back, shaking his head a bit. Then, he entered the room.


This is it! The chance for me to be a REAL hero!

Crash leaned over the GPMG, and pulled the trigger, teeth clenched and shoulders braced for the perfect picture of rightous teenage wrath.

Feel my 1337 power, n00bs!!!

Nothing happened.

An embarrassing moment lapsed as Crash fumbled for the GPMG safety and released it. On the roof of the structure opposite him, the armored 30mm turret was moving in fits and starts--Crystal's grenade had busted some of the hydraulics. Cylinder Head dipped the nose down as the turret tracked him, attempting to pull of a 360 degree orbit around the fragging thing, keeping just a few feet ahead of the stubby barrel, screaming obscenities all the way despite his zombified rigger-state.

This of course, happened as Crash opened up with the GPMG. He ended up clinging on to dear life, attached to the tilt-wing only by a belt-harness to his swivel seat and the grips to the machine-gun.
Needless to say, all illusions of heroism went out at once as Crash sprayed bullets in a wild panic, his arse literally hanging out in the wind as he hung on for dear life.

Chance flung himself prone as ricochets flew everywhere... the machine-gun fire-rate was an impressive 1200 rds/min, which translated to 20 bullets being put into the air in a second. Even though the idea of Crash being more of a danger to the enemy rather than his fellow Shadowrunners was highly debatable, enough bullets went into the turret-structure to rapidly turn it into swiss cheese.

The armoured turret itself was unaffected, of course... But the air-control structure underneath was another matter. Chance could hear the screams as bullets pounded right through the roof, riddling everyone inside.

The 30mm was still working though.


Ash learnt something new that day... Chainmail was a good friend to have, especially in the middle of the heaviest firefight she had seen in her life! Flattened shotgun pellets fell out from the links in her chainmail, lacking the power to penetrate. Thank goodness the enemy wasn't using armour-piercing slugs in their shotguns!

Her vision was rocking, both her ears buzzing with agony. She was utterly deaf, but Ash understood the implications as the air-control structure seemed to magically ventilate itself... Someone was firing at it. She looked up, only to see the comical image of Crash hanging half-out of the tilt-wing as Cy skimmed it over the DocWagon building in the manner of a fly doing circuits around an ice-cream cone. The decker kid's mouth was wide-open... he was probably screaming his head off... but Ash couldn't hear anyway.

Then she saw the turret.

Her flamethrower was still with her. Bracing against its familiar stock, she let rip with its deadly stream. Her aim was bad, given her wounded condition, but her flamer had the advantage of having a visible "bullet stream". In the manner of a gardener handling a hosepipe, she tracked and washed the fire over the turret.

Hydraulic fluid was notoriously flammable... but it didn't catch right away. Instead, the gunner inside the turret found it distinctly uncomfortable to be staying inside the burning metal while still encased in his armoured suit.

Not surprisingly, the metal conducted heat admirably.

Screaming, the turret gunner ripped off his seatbeat and flung himself into the structure, screaming loud and long as his skin seared off and adhered to the inside of his armour, the man literally cooked alive within his armoured shell... Then the hydraulics burst into flame, liquid fire consuming the turret and rolling into the structure where Crash's machine-gun fire had swiss-cheesed.

No more signs of life came from the burning structure.


Cylinder found it hard to concentrate... Crash was visibly trying not to be sick at the amount of blood. Chance and Crystal helped load Firearm, Ash and Zizz onto the landed tilt-wing, both of them already wounded themselves, the scene resembling the heli-evacuation of "dustoff" helicopters in old Vietnam war movies.

Within moments, Cylinder was airborne and racing for safety as Chance dragged himself around, the deck slippery with blood, working on first-aid in the back of the craft...

Ash was still woozily lolling her head as she lay crumpled in the background. Concussion, shock, and deafness... Chance thought. But no severe bleeding... she would live.
Crystal bled from facial wounds and looked considerably shell-shocked. But she was probably the most well-off of the lot... Good enough to help bind up the soldier's leg as Chance worked on Firearm's wounds, stauching bleeding and applying surgical sealant and bandages.
Zizz was good as well, he waved off the soldier as he crashed in the corner of the tilt-wing, his legs unable to bear his weight much longer.
Firearm was the most badly wounded of the Shadowrunners, although his armour had taken most of the punishment. He seemed to be deliriously happy though... the gun-mad elf looking as if he had gone through an superb amusement-park ride rather than one of the most blood-drenched missions Chance had ever taken part in.


The next fifteen minutes were spent in silence as everyone rested... Cylinder was an excellent planner, something that Chance was beginning to deeply appreciate. Rather than continue towards Doc Turin's flat and run the risk of being chased by Panzers, he had put down in a half-collapsed and abandoned slum that he had scoped out before the mission. There, they waited out for night to move out.

Before they arrived at their rest stop, Cylinder had taken a short detour over the Thames river. There, he instructed Zizz to toss his DocWagon bracelet into the toxic waters... With luck, the rescue and police forces that would be depatched after them would end up with the complicated and time-consuming task of retriving a "dead" Zizz from the corrosive waters of the river. The bracelet was tough enough to survive yet light enough to be moved by the river current... making it an even harder job tracking it down and retrieving it.

Chance looked back at the blood-spattered back compartment, now quiet as exhausted Shadowrunners rested. Part of him wondered about the rest of the mission... How had Mikey's gang fared against the Huns? What about the Bitch? But most of him was simply thankful that the entire team had made it out alive, abeit very battered, with five of their seven members wounded.

Suddenly seized by a moment of inspiration, he whipped out his wristphone and scanned it across the bloodied faces of everyone. There were little waves and smiles from the wounded as they gave the wrist-camera looks of bravado. Then he ended off with a shot of his own face and grinned into the camera.

Exhausted, bloody... but still alive. Turin was going to get a nice little email.

"Say, and you said Eastern Europe was tough?"


The people in the van were in a better mood now. It was a lot less cramped in the van now that Silvia was back in her Elvish form, and they knew that they were almost there. Soon, the biggest part of the journey would be over.

Mary looked at her map. "Almost there, people. Raven, to the right here."
They went off the main road. In the distance they could already see the village.


Welcum too Orktown unda Kilfang. Twinned wiv Pariz. Citee of luvv. Engoy ure sty

Mary couldn't think of anything more true than the last sentence on the sign, hanging by one rusted nail, from a post outside the muddy little hamlet.

a Sty

There were even pigs running around here, wallowing in the mud, and chased by a blotchy-coloured young troll with a stick, who was yelling obscenities at them.

Raven's van churned through the ground. There were only about 15 houses in the villiage, so finding Remini wouldn't be that hard, could it?

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