The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
"I can't get dis dam' gun workin', mon" Muttered 'Spray'
"Pity." Replied Jaguar Leader, before putting a round into each of Spray's eyes. Thanks to the unerring accuracy derived from his elite training and his Smartgun link, even his light sidearm was able to fell the bulky Ork.
Now to rendezvouz with 2 and get out of here. My work is done.... For now.
A rending crash from below galvanised the 'runners in the upper floors into action.
"Damn!" Bellowed Iceman. "Get the frag down there and find out what's going on before the sniper gets onto us again! GO!" He roared. Everyone scrambled away immediately, with the exception of Chance, who was too disciplined, and Tank, who was... Well, Tank.
But they too, followed. Things seemed to be getting bad downstairs.
They met Ash, Plugin and Silvia in the corridor.
Crystal was gesturnig frantically for them to get downstairs. Once he understood, Plugin seemed aghast...
The car, when it came in, seemed to have less engine power than it's driver had thought. It rather pathetically crumpled as it ground through the lobby doors - And over the Japanese hitman. Sasha was caught daydreaming and got slammed in the seat of her pants, tumbling into Jessica. The driver, a beefy, bearded man in black combats that left his arms bare yelled a rebel yell and jumped out, shaking long, greasy brown hair and a tobacco-stained beard.
"Ya all want's ta kiss yer asses goodbye Motherfraggers!!! You're messin' with Chip Chainsaw Chellers! YEEE-HAAA!!!"
It was then that the Cybernetic hands of his synthi-flesh-cover cyberarms jettisoned with a loud pop... And Chainsaws extended out of those arms. They whirred into life with clouds of fumes belching from louvres in Chip's arms.
"I LOVE the smell of Gas in the morning! None of that pinko panty-waist pussy-willlow electric engine crap for me!" He grinned, apparently unaware he'd just been driving an electricar.
The screaming chainsaws danced as the bearded man swung his arms in a haphazard fashion. He snarled and lunged towards Sasha who busy trying to regain her balance after falling into Jessica Hayes. Jessica squealed and pushed Sasha away, fearing for her own life. The man went beserk, he tried to catch both Sasha and Jessica at the same time but overextended himself and gave both the women the chance to dodge his blows. This only angered him further, he roared swung wildly, the chainsaw appendages bouncing off the walls as his poorly aimed thrusts missed the women.
As Ash, Crystal, Plugin and Silvia made their way back into the foyer they saw the enraged man chasing Jessica and Sasha around the room. Crystal drew her weapon and made her way forwards.
After a particulary close shave, Jessica started wailing and tears began to roll down her cheeks only to be thrown into the air as she desperately dodged another swing, metal teeth chewing the wall mere inches from her head. She ran blindly, eyes tightly shut, unwilling to open them in denial. She tripped over a prone ergonomic chair, screaming in shock and surprise. The man, who had turned his attentions towards Sasha for the time heard her scream and whipped his head around, his eyes narrowed as he spotted his injured prey. Like a shark he slowly circled the woman, looking for the best angle to approach her from, he licked his lips and smiled before crooning to Jessica;
"Looks like me pretties are going to feast now! Gonna taste the sweet brew that is yer flesh and blood. Mmmmnn."
Jessica was struggling to get away but her fear had frozen her and she couldn't gather the strength to get onto her feet. She wimpered and gibbered as Chip Chainsaw Chellers advanced slowly. Finally ready to strike and end the game, Chip's arms ominously rose above his head and primed themselves for the Coup de grace.....
Silvia jumped towards Chip, and pushed him away from Jessica.
The guy turned his attention towards her.
Sleg. Claws, or no claws? Silvia thought. She didn't want the rest (especially Iceman) to find out about that unless she was really in danger... but this sure looked like that. She knew she was no match for the chainsaws, no matter how bad the guy's aim was.
Ah, Frag it all.
"Doesn't anyone here have a slegging GUN?!?" she yelled to the others, while dodging the chainsaw. "Kill this freak, dammit!"
There could only be so many runners filling the corridor at one time... With Iceman, Chance and the others bringing up the rear, Crystal was the only experienced gun-toting runner out in front. She had to put down Chip Chainsaw.
Great... I'm mute, and now after that demo charge, I'm deaf too. And I have a maniac with chainsaws for arms to deal with. Frag it all! Crystal thought laconically.
She opened fire, but Chip managed to react in time, bringing one of his chainsaws across his chest and stopping several of the small slugs. More tore into him, but the cybered man merely roared in pain instead of going down.
But then Ash stepped over to a pillar in the foyer and called to the man.
"Hey! You like gas? Here! Catch!"
With that, she yanked a fire-extinguisher from its hook and lobbed it one-handed at the man's face. Cheever's brought up his arms to block the blow... and the chainsaws ripped into the highly pressurised cylinder.
There was a mighty bang and a huge puff of firefighting powder as the fire-extinguisher exploded. Cheevers staggered backwards, screaming from the pain of the powder and metal fragments blown into his face.
Instinctively, he tried to rub at his eyes... realising his mistake too late.
There was a collective wince among the runners as Chip Chainsaw ripped his own skull to mush, the smoke from louvres in the twin chainsaws momentarily spewing out red and grey mush instead of their customary smoke. The messily decapitated corpse toppled over backwards, the chainsaws already opening up the torso as they ripped uncaringly into the corpse.
The stench of blood, burning and opened bowels mixed with the fluid from the wrecked electricar's battery to produce something horrendous. As soon as it was known the coast was clear, the 'runners left, and not a moment too soon. But they went as cautiously as they could nonetheless, using parked cars as cover against the possible sniper.
"They've bugged out." Chance realised. Crystal brushed a few strands of blood-soaked hair out of her eyes, leaving red smears up her forehead. Plugin gave her an odd look. Crystal stared right back, and the decker looked down in a hurry.
"If they had not bugged out, you would all be dead by now!!!" Boomed a voice from behind them, making the flightier 'runners start.
It was Iceman, he had something over his shoulder, which he flung down as unceremoniaously as a slab of meat. Blood oozed out from mulitple lacerations, and the figure had lost an arm and the front of it's face. Even so, Chance, Crystal and Silvia were able to recognised Bashir by his blood-soaked clothes.
What happen? Signed Crystal, while a chorus of gasps of horror and muttered 'ew's asked the same question from the rest of the 'runners.
"One of the fragger's sneaked up on my when you left but no worry. If you think this guy is mess, you should see the other. HAW HAW!!!"
Iceman's hefty laugh gave everyone shivers down their spines, especially Silvia, as he winked at her afterwards.
There was another moment of silence as the 'runners looked at each other frostily. There were hundreds of questions to ask, and be answered... But Iceman had other ideas.
"No talk. We move NOW!"
And the 'runners had no choice but to agree, this time, for sirens could be heard not far off. The Law-Enforcement seemed to be pretty slack, however. The 'runners were able to make good time in their robotaxis, leaving behind a half-dozen mangled and butchered dead bodies.
They did have something from the battle, however. Iceman filled them in.
Apparently, before his unfortunate demise, Bashir had told Iceman of a 'reliable friend' at the UCAS CIA who was going to pass some more info to him. Bashir hadn't given a name to this friend, describing him only as a 'Disillusioned CIA asset'.
The 'runners arrived back in a better part of the city, for a quick scrub-up at the bathrooms for those wounded (and the blood on Crystal's forehead). Naturally, they ended up back at Wormwoods for some of the amazingly bland-tasting 'Dragon's Heart' beer.
"Of course this is just cheap fizzy crap for the tourists. Dragons have better stuff, otherwise they wouldn't even serve me in here." Silvia retorted. It didn't improve the mood any. The beer was fizzy, and tasted of something akin to fizzy springwater freshened up with chlorine.
Crystal had her headache-ridden head in her hands in seconds. She might have been crying.
"I go make report. Stay here comrades." Boomed Iceman. He stomped off, almost crushing Tommy underfoot again. Tommy made an unseen gesture at his back.
So, does anyone else not believe our leader's conventient story of Bashir's death? Crystal typed out, and slid her epad to Chance while Sasha wasn't looking...
Sasha, for her part, was outlining the plan for their next move.
"We'll need to move to North America as soon as possible. Either the CAS or the UCAS, we have reason to believe both may be implicated."
And then she surprised the 'runners, by putting the question to them...
"Where do you want to go?"
Silvia looked up to the woman.
"I don't care." she said. "Never been to either one of 'em."
She was thinking about something... ever since her mind-reading accident.
how many of those have I had?
Polt, Sorrow, and now Iceman...
And poor Helena Tingar.
She didn't like to think about that one. It was an accident... she had only been six years old... all she wanted was to know who the pretty lady was...
It was a kind of family curse. Her mother had it too... she was a telekinetic. No matter how problematic Silvia's power had been, she could imagine that having a kid that randomly makes cars, dustbins and people float without even realizing it's her doing must've been terrible for grandma. Ulane's sister, Taruna, had been much less problematic... she could just see the astral world. It was a bit odd to see her talk to invisible spirits, but for the rest she had been a pretty normal kid.
The female line of the Ulane family had always had mental powers of some kind; even before the rise of magic and the goblinisation. Only, they weren't called Ulane then, and the name wasn't transferred throught the female line.
Before the awakening they were mostly fortune tellers... some could even contact spirits, but no one believed in that stuff back then. But after the magical revolution, the gift turned into a curse...
Silvia remembered every single detail of the first accident with her mind reading ability. July 20, 2054. The date was carved into her memory... together with all the memories of the poor young woman.
She didn't want to remember everything... after the accident she's had trouble separating the 'stolen' memories from her own... she's had a terrible identity crisis.
"Never again." she whispered to herself.
And yet she had done it again... three times now. Three times she read someone's thoughts and was nearly sucked in. Unable to control her ability that somehow forced the victim to think back to their deepest memories, so that she could read them.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Alanya's voice.
"Ah wanna go to the UCAS. Got some stuff dere ah left behind to come to Terganon. Ah'll need it."
Crystal retrieved her ePad and wiped it before typing 'I'd go for UCAS too. The Church of Light takes a better view to comet mutants than that frag CAS President. Both countries are at war: The CAS with Aztlan, and the UCAS with rebelling Canada, so either one won't be a cakewalk. Right?'
She showed this to the others. Sasha replied:
"Don't worry. Getting into either will be taken care of once we decide. leave that to us."
Sasha then stood up, flexing out to her full height.
"Very well. The UCAS it is. Any objections?"
When there was none, and the 'runners had seemed to lapse into a sullen silencem Sasha took what she saw as their decision and went to make her arrangements.
The wounded 'runners. when they appeared, shocked Rusty a little, but he visibly fought himself to keep some kind of discipline. This was easy with Iceman bellowing at him to move his arse and get the planes prepped.
The big guy also commandeered his and Alex's Vodka.
Just over an hour later, while Sasha 'took care' of the Terganon customs officials. Of course, having smuggled them INTO Terganon, largely by way of bribery, getting them out again was easy... With Johnson's help. Refuelling and Air-Traffic Control clearance and came surprisingly quick. The aircraft rolled down the runway, pinning everyone back in their seats with acceleration. A lesser Dragon guided them into the airspace over the glittering waters.
And once again, the two aircraft were on their way.
"Alright. Try and get sleep." Iceman said, striding down the aisle of his plane as if he owned it. Maybe later, he would.
He stopped, once again, next to Silvia.
"What?" She asked.
"You look strange. When I touch you."
Silvia got the impression he was having difficulty articulating his words. He meant something deeper. She saw him struggle, his face wrinkling with internal puzzle. And then he moved his arms. He was kneeling down now. He was about to touch her again...
It had all happened so fast, but Tommy was glad to see the back of it. Once again walking down the street of the dragon city, he was glad to see the back of it all. The shooting, the violence and especially those fraggers that nearly got him killed. All would be good now though, they were gone, he could get on with his life. And let me tell you, the next person who pissed off this little Gnome, was in for a nasty shock.
Silvia reached out and grabbed Iceman's hand. He looked a bit surprised at the gesture.
What on earth am I doing?
No. Must go on. Finish what you start.
She stared into Iceman's eyes. He returned her gaze. Somehow, his eyes looked... less cold.
They just stayed there... Silvia, sitting in her airplane seat, with Iceman knelt down before her, his hand in hers. Looking at eachother.
Slowly, a smile appeared on Silvia's face. "There are stranger things in this world, Sebastian."
Rusty set the craft to autopilot and shuffled into the passenger section. Nobody looked particulary happy, Rusty made his way to Ash and Chance's seats and sat himself nearby. Chance gave him a weak smile and inquired;
"You're not at the helm? Guess that explains the smooth ride."
Rusty nodded and replied jokingly;
"Don't know how I bluffed my way through the service having never taken a single lesson, eh?"
Rusty frowned and asked quietly;
"What happened back there? I can guess it wasn't a milk run, the troops look miserable."
Chance nodded and began to relive the operation for Rusty's benefit, Ash would interject occaisonally to add her own perspective and Rusty just listened silently and nodded appropriately. Rusty thanked the couple for their time and moved back to the cockpit. Bloody Iceman, if that psychopath gets me or my mates killed I'll see to it that the last thing I do is put a bullet into the back of that monster's skull!
Jessica nursed her shoulder wound carefully, always the drama queen, she made a great fuss over herself whenever someone paid any attention to her, which wasn't often much to her dismay. That girl, Silvia, had pushed her out of the way and had saved her life back in the ambush. Jessica wanted to thank her but Iceman was keeping Silvia occupied for the time being. Jessica saw the quiet Russian, Alexiev, stalking his way to the back of the craft, she watched him as he disappeared from sight, she knew him from somewhere but couldn't pick the time or place. He was a mystery, silent and brooding in an oddly attractive manner. Tall, dark and handsome went the adage.
Silvia unfastened her seat belt, and stood up before Iceman. Iceman got up too.
"You're a dragon, right?" Iceman asked.
"What makes you say that? The eyes?" Silvia grinned. "Hah! A shifted dragon that can't hide his eyes is simply a poor shapeshifter. Mind you... I know quite a few like that."
She looked away from him. "My real name is Silvia Ulane-Serthedal. And as about sixty percent of your team knows... I'm a half-dragon."
Iceman frowned, and looked around to the other runners. He immediately saw Tank had a bit of an apologetic grin on his face.
"I'll just be honest with you." she continued. "I was stuck in London with the rest, and took the first plane to Terganon when one of them told me what your 'job' was about. Since the destruction of Geneva, Terganon is my home. It's the only real safe place I have left. And I'll do anything to make sure it stays that way."
She paused for a few seconds.
"I don't need payment. I just want to make sure the sleghead that is responsible for bombing Terganon rots in hell."
She hadn't told him it was Red that told her about the job... she knew they were probably bound to secrecy by contract.
Silvia smiled. "Look around, Iceman... what do we got here?" she whispered. "Demolition experts, deckers, street samurai. There are thousands of them in the world; millions even. But we... we are different. Unique, each in our own way. That's our curse, and our strength."
Tommy blinked, still slumped under a chair in Wormwoods back on Terganon. His head spun from terrible beer - Even 1 pint's worth was too much for his miniscule body weight.
And he was cold, and very very wet.
Someone (he couldn't remember who) had decided out of charity to wash all the blood and guts his clothing had picked up off in the bathrooms. In the sink.
He opened his mouth to condemn the anti-short-person prejudice of the modern world... But all that came out was a croak, and the worst beer-breath he'd ever smelt. He suddenly felt very, very ill, as well as cold and wet.
"Bah." Grunted Iceman. He got up from his seat, brushing past Silvia. She had conviction in her voice, and Iceman fought hard not to take in what she was saying.
The missions. The mission. Put the mission first, Always. His military mind was telling him. But the more human part of him - Or at least, nearly-human - Kept his eyes wandering back to Silvia.
"Bah." He grunted again, shaking his head. He went for the Vodka.
On the other Plane, Sasha walked into the cockpit, just as Jessica was overseeing the plane's autonav having a computer handshake with the UCAS' Air-Traffic Control systems. Once all was found to be fine and dandy, they were instructed onto a landing course. Good thing too, because the 'runners were getting restless. Crystal was twirling a grenade around her finger by the pin, Ash was burning words into the seat backs with her fingers, and over on the other plane, Iceman was getting drunk, most likely to save himself from asphyxiating as Tank aired his armpits.
"We've just been shuffled into a holding pattern..." Jessica announced. "We might still not land for a while..."
It was a very stressed, nauseous, inebriated or just plain bored group of Shadowrunners that were led off their 'planes and onto the blazing asphalt at JFK AirSpace port, just outside the ruins of New York. The ruins were a dangerous place to be these days, but with war brewing to the North, West, and maybe even the South, few UCAS or Church of Light personnel were available to cordon the area off, so Private security firms were contracted to do so, instead.
Some of these Security Goons were on duty at the AirSpace Port, too. They wore the bright pus-yellow armour and uniforms of Jolly Roger Security: The world-infamous Budget Rent-a-cops.
"Move it along." Growled one of three Dwarfs that made up a four man detail at the customs entrance. "We don' wan' no trouble."
Before any of the 'runners could laugh at them, or even think about wiping the floor with them, a new voice roared in from the left, accompanied by an atrocious cacophony of repetitive rap music.
"YO my bitch comrades da new meat iz 'ere AIGHT! DA, straight up dog, Get down on my bling bling Now!"
"Who the frag is that?" Chance growled. Iceman groaned, suffering a headache. Tank watched a fly land on his nose, oblivious. Crystal thiought she recognised the Dwarf, in big baggy gold lame' trousers, sideways baseball cap (with Soviet Hammer and Sickle emblem), gold string vest and wraparound shades. Slivia definitely did: She had had a few of Rap Tracks beamed to her mp5 player...
"TIME4CRYME!" She shouted, not sure that meeting someone so famous was good at this place and time.
Time4Cryme was a Dwarf rapper from the Neo-Sovet Union. He was gaining popularity in North America meteorically, despite the brewing war: Partly because his first major North American tour was about to start. He was notorious for always travveling with a whole road-train full of lackeys and armed minders - Like the dozen ghetto-fabulous Orks trailing him.
"Aha, Mr Cryme..." Sasha began. "Here are the new minders you ordered from Rent-a-Goon!"
Under his shades and cap, Chance initially raised his eyebrows in utter surprise.
What? Bodyguards for some two-bit moron thumper?
He shot a look over at Iceman to try to discern the latter's expression, but that wasn't forthcoming. So he's the 'disllusioned CIA asset?' Chance wondered. Then his surprised look gave way to sheer irritation. Staring at the damned dwarf, he started to make a count of nearby bodyguards, mentally placing crosshairs onto each MP5 ghetto-blaster. Then for good measure, he put more mental bullseyes onto each idiot's head.
Easy... Lupus warned him. Chance gave a grumpy mental nod in reluctant agreement.
Boy, he hated moron thump.
Rusty just stood there, stunned by the onslaught of sound pounding away at his ears. He wondered what was meant by Sasha by 'new minders'. Was this a planned part of the assignment or was he being screwed around by some opportunist swine? He didn't know, what he did know was that he was now being pushed along by the other goons and swept away from the safety and relative quiet of the arrival lounge. He noticed that some of the others weren't entirely happy with this arrangment either. Even shades and a cap couldn't disguise the obvious glowering rage Chance was embroiled in. As always, Ash was following suite, her icy blue iris' glimmered with anger. That Hayes woman looked as if she was about to cry, her face flushed pink while Iceman just staggered along, trying to look stoic and professional.
Jessica was most upset, these loud people lead by the dwarf who constantly threw words about in no particular order or at least, no order Jessica Hayes could interpret. The dwarf paraded in front of his retinue with a pompous attitude, showering the people who came near him in profanity and apparently senseless gibberish. Jessica found it interesting to note that some of the people who were assailed by the verbal barrage came away smiling and seemed satisfied with the encounter. It didn't make much sense.
Silvia smiled. The love for Time4Cryme's music was something she picked up in the Ork district of Geneva. Not that anything could outrank Lady Zero's voice... but this dwarf was just part of the Ork youth pop culture.
Waait... Time4Cryme is part of our mission? This is getting pretty weird...
Let's just hope he survives.
She had no idea that about half of the group was thinking about the exact opposite.
Alana looked at the dwarf. She never liked his music... she could find way better stuff on the Matrix trading groups. Not that she never went to live concerts... she'd love to see the Makeshift Masterpiece on stage. But she really didn't like this dwarf's music... stuff... crap... whatever it deserved to be called.
Dammit, just make it stop already.
Raven trudged towards the ruins of Delori's underground fortress, sinking up to his ankles in red mud. It had been raining for days, at times Raven had had to stop driving for fear of running off the road due to the abominable visibility, not that the road conditions were much different from those off-road.
He bent over, his violet eyes searching the muddy ground intently, looking for someway to circumvent the layer of mud and rubble and gain entrance to Delori's lair. Raven cursed loudly, his words lost in the crashing rain, he was nearly blind at the best of times and these conditions weren't helping at all. He dropped onto his knees and began to grope with his four arms, plunging them into the rich mud and swirling them violently. After a short time Raven pulled his arms out of the red soup and examined them, from his elbow down they were coated in a layer of red mud yet as he watched the torrential rain washed his arms and swept the mud away, leaving his arms clean but soaked to the bone. He stood up and waded his way to another suspect pile of trash. Again, he knelt and thrust his four arms into the mud.
Still, the rain kept coming down. It had been raining ever since Raven had visited Remini, the young widow of Raven's deceased comrade; Curim. Raven recalled it had been hard tracking down her home but he had finally pulled up to it on a stormy morning after days of cautious driving. Remini had recognised the large, black van and had come running out to greet her visitors, she had looked surprised to not only see just one person hop out of the van but a weird, four armed freak with shockingly white hair and skin. She had stopped midstep in surprise and just stood there, confused. Raven walked up to her slowly and spoke softly;
"Do you remember me? I'm Raven, Curim's friend."
Raven remembered the girl's face as she had struggled to put two and two together. After a long pause the girl grinned and replied politely;
"Sure I do. Come in, come in. Say, have you had a haircut? You look different."
They had talked for hours, Remini obviously overjoyed with his company, the poor girl seemed painfully lonely now that Curim was gone. Raven remembered how she had held Curim's silver staff, his only legacy left to her, close to her body and stroked it periodically. They talked about what had happened after the slave revolt in Delori's fortress, discussed what they thought had happened to Delori afterwards, reminisced about Curim and his ultimate sacrifice. The girl listened with rapture as Raven described Curim's final moments from his perspective, exaggerating somewhat for the girl's benefit. Eventually, Raven steered the conversation towards his pistol, The Negotiator. Sadly, Remini had no recollection of seeing the weapon after she and the runners had parted ways. It was a dead end. Raven, although having enjoyed Remini's company, knew that he couldn't get sidetracked, he excused himself and made his way to the door. Raven could still remember the veiled sob he had heard as he was leaving, he could still recall in vivid detail the image of Remini clutching Curim's staff to her chest, eyes shut tight and a tear rolling down her cheek. She was alone again. Raven felt bad for her, he pulled a credstick from his coat and left it on a nearby table. That should help her get by, it can't be easy being the widow of a Troll mage. He had opened the door to find himself in the middle of a rainstorm, he had been so enthralled by Remini and her stories that he hadn't registered the noise of the rain.
Whether he was right or not, Raven had felt that the rain had been Curim's doing. Where ever Curim was, whatever Curim was, this was his way of thanking Raven for taking the time to visit his widow. It was a portent of some kind.
Raven had commented solemnly.
"A storm is coming, and more than rain will fall if I'm right."
That had been days ago. Raven had forgotten his prophetic words, once again focussed upon his task. He was still searching for some entry into the underground lair when a pair of hands clasped him on the shoulders and he ws lifted into the air. He couldn't see who was holding him up but as soon as he heard them speak he knew it was a native ork, and certainly not a happy one.
"Wot 'ave we 'ere den? Bin snoopin' round zeh bunker, eh? Delori is gonna want a word wif choo."
Delori! The fraggin' centaur had survived the slave riots and still held power in these parts. Interesting. Raven thought. This may prove to be very interesting, indeed.
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