All Tomorrows Parties
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Real Date: 4th October 2008 - Al's Place
Game Date: 30th December 2070
Franklin Richards was a big man in the business. His home grown company had expanded, floated on the stock exchange, gone pan american and then global. He'd gone from working out of a flea infested death trap in the barrens to the penthouse suite of a luxuary Bellevue appartment building. But that wasn't the only reason Franklin was a big man in business... he was also a Troll. With such brands as Mega Burger, Troll Snax, and his recent Armane Goliath clothing range deal, his products bought the highstreet and designer fashion to the troll race, who were fed up of having to eat 15 packs of space raiders at a time or trying to eat with tiny knives and forks! You don't get to be top Troll without making enemies and now Franklin's only chance is in the shadows that raised him...
- Franklin Richards
- Abraham Richards
- Benjiman Richards
- Hillary Richards
- Declan Grant
- Debbie Grant
- Fenton Bryce
- Ethan Bryce
Events by Eclipse
Things were going slow, I had got my my new guns from T-Bone, nicely chromed with green neon lights along the side. Very cool! They match my flat and car perfectly. After spending a nice Christmas with Crackle, Styx and the Technofreak-in-a-jar I was relaxing enjoying my time off from the secretarial job working for JD. I got a call from T-Bone saying that there was a meet for a job on the 30th at noon. We were supposed to meet the guy in one of the parks in Seattle. I phone Crackle and Styx and let them know about the meet. I then get a call from Gwai_Loh, apparently there is someone looking for me. Some Russian dude, Gwai_Loh is doing a bit of work for the Russian mobster we met a while ago. He suggests that he stays near me 'Just to protect me' Yeah whatever, he just needs an excuse to be around me! Not that I mind, since that loser Shade did a runner things have been a bit dry.
We go to the meet and Styx has brought JD with him, apparently JD is helping Styx with a missing person case. We get to the park and a luxury tilt wing jet turns up and we get taken first class to a high rise building in the corperate area. We meet the Johnson who is Franklin Richards, he tells us that his daughter Hillary has gone missing and the police have failed to find her. They are not treating it as a priority and he wants to contract outsiders to assist him. He gives us her last movements and tells us that she was last seen going out with her flat mate. Her flate mate was then found unconcious in a ditch. The pay is amazing and as its christmas I don't have the heart to milk him for everything he's got. He could afford at lest three times what he offered but hey its Chrismtas, the season of good will and all that.
We split up into two teams. Team 1: Styx and JD. Team Alpha Me, Crackle and Gwai_Loh (Gwai_Loh managed to get himself on my team...). Team 1 go to check out the flat mate and team Alpha head over to Hillary's house. We check it out and find that someone has already been there and picked up a few things. Crackle checks the security cameras and we get a picture of a guy coming in and then leaving. We then hear someone else coming up to the appartment. Its Hillary's brother, we have a nice chat and he suggests that we speak to her other brother who is a beat cop in Renton.
Meanwhile Team 1 are doing their own thing. We head into town and I have a chat to Hillary's brother. He is not too pleased to see me and makes some thinly veiled threat to hunt me down if I cause any problems. He does give me the police report and the last known location of her security chip. He seems to think that the investigating officers are not to bothered about finding his sister. We agree to keep him informed and head off to meet the rest of the party. We decide to go into the barrens and locate this chip. When we get there we saw one of those Sheddim things, it did some magic scary mojo and most of us ran. JD in a rare show of courage stayed where he was and blew it's head off. A street gang then turned up and we explained what we were doing, they pointed us in the direction of a burnt out red car. We checked it out and another Sheddim came out of the boot. Turns out this was Allison Richards. We called up Evac to come and move her so we can find out what happened. He tells us that she was shot in the head before the car was burnt. The gangers tell us that another car turned up and four people got into it and drove away.
On the 31st we decide to check out the car number plate from the Barrens. We get an address and a name, as it turns out it belongs to a student who lived near Hillary. We go and check it out and then figure out what to do next. We listen in through his window, he has a conversation with some people and says that no one saw his car and he is fine, he wont say anything. We decide to grab him and 'speak' to him, so go up to his room and I knock on his door showing a lot of cleavage and leg. He opens the door and gets knocked out by Gwai Loh. We take him back to a quiet place and make him tell us everything. He is a member of a humanis club who is aspiring to join the terrorist section. They kidnapped the two girls, killed the troll and let the other one go. This was just the preliminary job, there is an even bigger job coming up. At this point Gwai Loh leaves to go on a date. (Some people!) After some more persuasion the guy reveals that they released the human girl in order to send a message to her father. Apparently one of the main guys in the Seattle guvenors secretary. He was the guy that wasted the reporter a couple of weeks back.
We phone the johnsonand ask if there is anything important that Hillary's flat mates father is involved in. He tells us that he is in charge of the security of the opening of the new night club Digitalis. If you believe the hype the AI Pulsar is going to turn up along with a lot of techofreakazoids. I then realise that Gwai Loh has gone there for his date. I send him a message letting him know and the rest of us head over there. When we arrive Gwai Loh tells us that there are bombs in the basement and the bad guys are coming out of the door. We zap them with stun batons and head down to check out the explosives. Me. Crackle and JD manage to disarm the bombs just before they are about to explode. The cops turn up and we leave before they start to ask difficult questions like 'What are you doing here?' I pass all the information about who killed Allison to Edison Richards and as if by magic they main ringleader and son of the polititian whats-his-name is killed as he makes bail. We get paid and have a big party.
Then just while I am thinking 'How are me and Gwai_Loh going to deal with the guy trying to find me?' I get home and hear a click. A voice says 'Don't turn around. Kneel down on the floor.' I ask why and he says 'Because i'm going to shoot you.' I then say 'If you are going to shoot me, why should I kneel down.' I then hear a swish and a thunk. I carefully turn round and see a guy lying in two seperate pieces and a figure running out of the door. I follow and just manage to catch a glimpse of a female figure wearing all black run up a building and vanish from view. I have only ever seen Styx move like that. I have got to see her again! It turns out they guy came into Seattle from Hong Kong. I thought I had left all that behind me but apparently Dandan has put a large bounty on my head.Time for a makeover.
Events By Gwai-Lo: Danny Murphy's Guide to Shadowrunning
Its Christmas time and the season of Goodwill. But what does that mean to a hardened Shadowrunner like me? Letsee, tacky Christmas decorations on the highstreet, fake Santas attempting armed robbery (several people try this every year apparently), companies trying to sell you anything from furry hats, elf costumes, to cyber-raindeer, to the Santa-slayer™ scattamatic autoloader (only 399.99). For me, Christmas is about one rule. Watch out for the crazies and do your job. As for the good will part: I’ve yet to come across any in our line of business.
So it was the night before Christmas and snowing on the street outside and I was talking to Jorgii, Chechen Mafia-clan underboss with who I had a bullet monkey body-guarding contract. Just then, this frakker walks in off the street, flashes a picture of Eclipse, and says that he’s been hired to track her down. Jorgii looks at the picture and says, ok, he will find her. After this ex-mil scumbag leaves (not that I have anything against mercenaries, it’s bounty hunters that I can’t abide; they are the kind of scummers who make money from selling out their own kind) Jorgii tell me he knows this ‘Eclipse’ and that he’s very sorry but business is business. That’s alright, I’m thinking, he’s just being Russian. Or Chechen. Or Whatever-the-Frakk. Anyhow I called Eclipse and told her there is an ex-Spetznas built like an MBT looking to punch her clock. After a short pause she asked me if you get a discount with that.
Jorgii was giving me my pay and going back to the home country to celebrate Christmas with ‘family.’ That’s ok, cos I was spending Christmas with--
and this is where the film breaks down. I just remember bottles being involved. Clear-vodka coloured, amber tequila coloured, and the comforting orange of Southern Comfort.
-- I wake up lying on the futon in an apartment, in the cold light of morning, wearing only trousers and the shoulder-rig. I don’t know where I am or how I got there. The room is empty and smells of flat larger. Which would account for the bottles and cans scattered over the dusty cold floor. A brief search revealed the 45 manhunter jammed under a corner of the futon. There is muted banging party music coming from somewhere downstairs, which is exacerbating the persistent headache that I am just beginning to discover.
I pulled on somebody’s long coat and boots, went out the hallway which smelt of stuff I didn’t wanna dwell on, stepped over some unconscious people, went downstairs and let myself out. Outside was frakking cold, but the fresh air did wonders for my head and I crunched off through the snow towards Seattle subway. Back in my apartment the commlink was flashing with a message. Eclipse, and those words which always give you butterflies, no matter how many times: there is a job.
31ST DECEMBER - 10AM --
The meet is not in a smoky runners’ dive off Sontag Strasse, but in open ground; parkland, infact. So here we are in uptown Seattle, standing in a field, passed by the occasional dog-walker. We being:
Eclipse: Chinese chick in racing gear who keeps calling me Cantonese for ‘foreigner,’ which is kind of funny, like she hasn’t yet clocked she’s in Seattle.
Styx: Small ninja guy I worked with once before. Very French, says what he’s thinking, but handy in a scrap. This is good, he can deal with the figuring-out stuff. And people that you have to talk to. Never was much good at that.
Crackle: Ditzy blonde chick in her forties, with talking robots. I learned long ago you need odd-balls like that to deal with any machines you come across that don’t go BANG.
JD: Calls himself a private-eye. Whatever skills he has he probably keeps private. But hey, we can always use more bullet monkeys. We worked with him before and the fact he ain’t dead means he must be good at something.
Me: with a chopped down H&K strapped under my Jacket to deal with any expected or unexpected unpleasantness.
We say hullo and how did you spend Christmas, it was very nice thank you and yourself? Styx mentions something about a missing persons case he’d been working. And we stand around shivering for a while wondering if we got stood up. Then a Federated-Boeing Tiltwing passes overhead, comes around and begins to set down ten meters away. Apparently, its interested in Us? Even before it touches down a ramp opens and a big guy in an expensive suit buffeted by the downwash steps out (like he’s stepping out for coffee) and tells us ‘someone would like to meet you.’ I haven’t felt this important since that cocktail party in Hong Kong Island where Eclipse assassinated that executive, or claimed she did. Or claimed she didn’t. Whichever. So we climb aboard, and standing there is this vision of loveliness in a stewardess uniform with legs that may be genetically modified, saying welcome aboard and can I get you any drinks.
And what do I come out with? "Oy, sauce jockey- one Tequila Sunrise on the rocks." Anyhow, looks like we’re headed to finance district, and I spend some time chatting to the sauce jockey but before I can find out what time she knocks off for the day, we’re there coming in to land on a roof-top.
31ST DECEMBER - 11 AM --
We are standing in an executive boardroom with a view over Seattle from the 80th floor of a corporate hi-rize, and the guy in the suit is called Hans. He says please help yourself to the drinks cabinet, Mr Richards will be with you shortly. I decided I’d need a clear head so I can remember things like:
(a) how much I’m being paid
(b) who to shoot
(c) who not to shoot
(chummers take note, these are important and if you get any of them wrong it could lead to awkward misunderstandings)
(d) any other complex details
That’s when the man walks in. Word has it Frank Richards came up from the shadows himself, and maybe even knew what its like to be hired help. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t give us any of the ‘Mr Johnson’ BS we normally get. The man is not a man but a Troll. Or, according to the dictionary “spontaneous thaumaturgically induced mutation.” Most people have a hard time being freaks, but this one turned it into an advantage and a business empire, selling all kinds of drekk aimed at metahumans his size. I’m thinking: ‘Damn, for someone with horns the guy looks good in a suit.’ 2.8 meters tall and spoke with a voice that went through your lungs, like standing next to a loudspeaker in a concert. Apparently he got us from an old associate of his, T-Bone, who happens to be our Fixer. My estimation of T-Bone just went up about 300%.
Frank Richard’s daughter had gone missing a couple of days back, and the police were handling it as ‘routine.’ She’d been kidnapped along with a friend. The friend turned up the next day by herself, suffering from convenient amnesia. His daughter didn’t. Being a man of the world, he knew that sometimes you need you needed ‘extra means’ to get things done properly. We were the ‘extra means,’ and we would not be bound by regulations or red tape or any other constraints. Our brief was find his daughter, find the folks that took her, and bring them back here. For re-education. Sweet.
I’m thinking: missing persons case. Yeah that’s like bread-and-butter. We know the streets, we speak the language and we got contacts. And always, there’s a witness, a shop camera. There’s always a trace, and we always find it and follow it till we get to a person or persons. And then we beat it out of them. When you have an executive like Richards, the mark is usually held in a safe-house for ransom, leverage, whatever: not our problem. We just scope the place and find the weak points. Hit it fast enough and the folks inside are dead before they can say ‘whats that noise?’ Its like a confidence trick you do to impress your friends: you do it fast, without hesitation and that’s how you pull it off. Then there’s the part where you have to get the package out safe and stay put till its collected. All fairly peachy.
The pay was 200,000. He said it casual, and we did our best to act cool. Usually Eclipse starts talking about overheads and risk exposure and all kinds of hoodoo and we walk away a few grand richer. Today she kind of stood there not knowing what to do. I whispered ‘take the money,’ and she said OK.
NEW YEARS EVE - 12.05 PM --
We’re back on board the tiltwing. The team are discussing the job and I’m talking to the stewardess: “So, are you doing anything this evening?” Which is a really stupid thing to say considering the date. But she said that a new nightclub is opening, called ‘Digitalis’ and we exchanged commlink codes. Though privately I doubted I would be able to make it. After all, business is business.
Thirty minutes later we got dropped back at the park, and split up into two teams. Eclipse, Crackle and me will go and check out the stuent digs, where Franklin’s daughter Hillary lived with her flatmate. Styx and JD would go and interview the flatmate, who now lived with her parents.
So, Eclipse and Crackle and me are walking down the student hallway when we come across this guy. 20 something, beard, smells of weed, standing outside her apartment door. Without messing about, I kick down the door, pull the Manhunter and sweep the apartment. Empty. I grab the punk by the throat and pin him to the wall, asking politely how many people live here. Turns out we have the wrong apartment and Hillary lives next door. Never mind, I’m thinking he’s too stoned to remember anything.
The next apartment is empty. Crackle hacks the hallway cameras and gets a picture of the last person leaving- we ID him as the father of Hillary’s flat-mate. Just then, there are heavy foot-steps outside. Probably hired muscle coming to clean up the scene. I stand next to the door, flat against the wall. In walks a large troll, and finds himself looking down the barrel of a Manhunter. Frank Richards told us he had two sons, one was working fro him, and the other was a Lonestar cop name of Benjamin Richards.
“You Ben Richards?”
“No, I’m Abe Richards. Who the hell are you and why are you pointing a gun at me?”
I let Eclipse clear up that little misunderstanding (never underestimate the value of a team dynamic). Abe says his brother Ben tried to investigate but was stone-walled by the department. Could be this thing goes higher than we thought. Maybe… all the way to the top! Yes… we may have to bust the whole department. It will be us against City Hall! But truth is on our-
Eclipse interrupts my serpico moment and says we’re leaving to interview the other brother Ben Richards. Apparently he hangs out at this coffee place round about now. Maybe… they sell Troll-sized doughnuts? I call the other team and tell them we’re going for Troll doughnuts, but turns out that they’re busy getting arrested. Something to do with a missing persons case they been working on the side. Fifteen minutes later we spot Ben Richards walking the beat on the other side of the street. Eclipse goes over to talk to him, and Crackle and myself stay in the car. Crackle is very odd. She has a tracked caterpillar drone who sits on her shoulder and does the talking. And I thought I had problems socialising. Still, you come across all sorts in this line of work.
In my experience beat cops are not too fond of shadowrunners. They call us bad things and we call them The Fuzz. In actual fact there is a kind of mutual respect, which means we avoid getting in each others way whenever possible. Regardless, Eclipse and Richards were having an argument. Seems Benjamin’s not too happy that Dad hired shadowrunners. Don’t know what Eclipse said to him, but they seem to make friends, and Richards tells us that on the day of the kidnapping Hillary’s personal tracker went off the grid somewhere in Redmond barrens. Gang territory.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town…
JD and Styx have been bailed out by Styx’ next door neighbour after they found her kid and several others, who have been kidnapped by their Japanese robo-pets. Yeah, I know- but don’t ask. This is the 21st century. Weird shit happens on a daily basis. So now, Styx and JD are staking out the house where Hillary’s friend lives, hoping to get a first hand account of what went down.
What happened next is like something out of a cartoon (Styx told me one time when he was drunk). Styx knocks on the door and the butler tells him to go hike. Over to JD, intrepid private investigator, armed with a chameleon cloak.
Cue Mission Impossible music--
The first obstacle is the fence. JD takes one look and decides to use the side gate. Switching on the cloak he hunkers down and carefully dismantles the lock. Opens the gate. Rebuilds the lock. Turns around- and finds himself looking at an angry dog. The dog can’t see him, but makes an almighty racket and alerts security. JD runs out the gate. But that’s ok. It’s a distraction. He moves around the outside wall. While the guards are distracted he climbs over it.
JD gains access to the house and stealthily makes his way up the stairs. Turns out Hillary’s flat mate has been grounded. Next obstacle: a teenage girl.
Wearing his cloak, he sneaks into her room. She is sitting on the bed, trying to get her deactivated commlink to work. But, if he switches off the cloak, she might scream. So maybe he could talk to her. But then if she hears a disembodied voice, she might freak out. So maybe he can type on her keyboard. But computer keys pressing themselves would be-
She is now heading for the bathroom. JD wonders if he should follow her. Or maybe not. Maybe its better to hide in the closet. Or.. leave a note! Letters, slowly forming on the misted mirror (REDRUM) but no, then she would go psycho!
“Is someone there?” She is now getting worried. What is JD to do? Looking around, she leaves the room and closes the door. JD decides its time to make his exit. He opens the door- and the girl attacks him with a baseball bat. He’s forgotten that bedroom doors don’t open themselves. Fortunately, she still can’t see him and misses, swinging wild. JD runs and lives to fight another day.
Styx picks him up in the car, and gets out of there, chased by rentacops.
However, while he was there JD saw some heavy in a white suit, leaning on the girl’s father. Maybe more to this situation than meets the eye.
NEW YEARS EVE - 17.00 PM --
The next objective was to check out the site of the kidnapping. This means a trip into gangland. Time to Lock’n’load. Bodyarmour: check! FN-MAG box-fed Machinegun: check! Ultrasound goggles: check!
We roll out in convoy: first goes Eclipse’s pimped-out roadster with lights on the running board; then me and Crackle riding in her van (listening to Rage Against The Machine) followed by JD’s beat-up sedan with Styx and himself. We blaze a trail through the rubbish and burning trash-cans looked on by hobos, drop-outs, gangers and armed cyber punks and I’m thinking: why can’t we have two armoured SUVs like all the other professional teams?
SatNav says we’d arrived at the edge of the grid. No more Starbucks, Wi-fi or net-coverage. It was here that Alison’s personal locater stopped transmitting. Wearily, we deploy from our vehicles seeing what looks like gang tags on the wall. Coming down the street toward us is a zombie, followed by a terrified kid going: ‘Mummy! Mummy!’ Unfortunately, Mummy had long since joined the legions of undead. With a sigh, I raise the machinegun. But for some reason my arms won’t move. The thing is lurching toward us and we’re rooted to the spot paralysed with fear. Then just as we’re about to run like girls, JD surprises us all by calmly shooting it.
Sure as night follows day, the gunfire attracted the locals. Before we knew it we were surrounded by a dozen or so armed locals. ‘Showtime,’ I thought. Flipping my hard-wired smartlink on line I brought up the MMG. The conversation went thus:
“Drop it, drop it NOW!”
“You drop it, motherfrakker!”
“Drop it or we drop you!”
“You want it? Come get it!”
I had a pretty good idea I could take out at least four of them before they twitch so I wasn’t about to give in. But then the guy in charge of the locals said:
“You lower yours and we’ll lower ours.”
A little voice in my head said: ‘This is a Good Idea.’
The ganger said: “on three; one, two, three-”
So we slowly pointed our guns at the pavement. He looked at the ganger next to him:
“That means you aswell, Einstein.”
“But its not a gun, it’s a baseball bat.”
“Just drop it!”
Turns out they’re the local chapter of the Safer Neighbourhood scheme. With gang colours. Whats more, they’ve been having a bit of an undead problem lately. Thing is, there’s all these ‘Shedim’ doohikies floating about. Once you kark it, they nab you, and presto: instant George Romero revival society. Not that its gonna happen anywhere in Belleview, or any place folks can afford decent security.
Eclipse asked the locals about any recent activity and flashed a picture of Alison Hillary Richards. Nothing. But there was a red sports car dumped here by some prep-school rejects. Some rich kids dumped it in the street and burned it, which really pissed this guy off. Unfortunately they left in a different car before they could be given a proper Redmond Barrens welcome.
The burned up roadster was parked nearby. It was Hillary’s car. It looked empty, save for a dull thudding coming from the trunk. We popped the lid and stood back. Climbing out of it was the Shedim zombie of burned corpse. Eclipse lost her lunch, while I put it down with a shot through the neck. We called in Evac, a street doc contact who took the body on ice and ran a DNA comparison. We’d found Hillary Richards.
Cause of death was a shot to the head. All the rest was done to disguise the trail. The Ork in charge of the ‘Neighbourhood watch’ gave us their licence plate. Using Styx’ hacker contacts we tracked the car to a prep school punk name of Ethan Bryce. Rich kid son of a piece of work who was a big-wig in Humanis Policlub. Cape-wearing, cross burning motherfrakkers with way too much money and a bug up their ass.
NEW YEARS EVE – 21.00 PM --
The doorman in Bryce Juniors apartment watched as we walked in. Eclipse was in his face asking about a party upstairs. Before he could protest, we were in the elevator on our way up. We deployed outside the door and I pulled the Manhunter. Eclipse knocked on the door and unzipped her top. Soon as the door opened I kicked it in and grabbed him by the throat. I pinned Bryce against the wall while the others swept the apartment.
“Right now,” I said putting a gun in his mouth, “you’re probably wondering who we are. You know how sometimes you do something frakking stupid and you don’t think of the consequences? Well we’re the consequences.” Unfortunately Eclipse spoiled the moment by telling me he’s unconscious.
Downstairs, the doorman watched us walking past with Bryce unconscious over my shoulder. Eclipse tried her usual spiel but this time he was spouting about permits and reaching for the phone. Styx said “this is my permit” and aiming his piece at the guard told him to eat carpet. We let ourselves out through the glass doors and walked out onto the street.
It was a frosty evening, the traffic had settled down to a minimum trickle of delayed party-goers. Snow crunched under our boots and abandoned Christmas displays blinked their multi-coloured wares into the gloom. Standing on the other side of the street were four guys in black dusters, readying submachineguns.
In that long moment we recognised each other. We were the team sent to make Bryce spill his guts, and they were the hit team sent to silence him.
Thing is, Chummers, different folks will tell you different things to do in this kind of situation. Some will say its more important to be cool, calm and collected. Others will say it doesn’t matter who does what as long as you’re a good shot. I say Frakk all that, fastest draw wins. 98% of the time. The other 2% is when you need all that other stuff- and that wasn’t today.
I dump the kid and walk towards the nearest car, thumping two rounds into the nearest gun monkey. Didn’t see if he went down, I just dropped behind cover. I look up as Styx vaults over the car behind which I’m hiding, to engage one of them point blank. I heard a rattle of automatic fire and then Eclipse and JD shooting back. They must have hit their targets because when I popped up again, the bad guys were mostly down. One was still staggering with his gun up. Then I heard a heavy weapon open up and he was literally blown to pieces. I looked over and saw Crackle’s van, with smoke coming from a three barrel gun turret. I remember thinking: that’s one chick you don’t want to mess with.
After that all was still again, save for the far off wail of approaching police sirens.
NEW YEARS EVE - 22.45 PM --
Fast forward to an Abandoned Warehouse location.
We had Ethan Bryce strapped to a chair, and Eclipse was giving him the third degree. He opened up as soon as we pointed out the people sent to kill him. We had the one surviving member of that team strapped to a chair next to him.
Turns out Bryce and his friends were in Hillary Richards’ college class. The target was not Hillary but her flatmate, whose father was some kind of corp big-wig. At this point I looked at my watch and thought if I hit the road now I might still make my date. So I left the complex figuring out stuff to the others. Maybe I didn’t want to be there when they gave Richards the news.
23.30 PM – 30 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT --
The Digitalis: a gothic industrial high church pumping out holo-assisted Arabic trip-hop. I found the Stewardess by homing in on her commlink signal: “Sorry I’m late. I was in a gunfight.” With that we got set to dance the night away. But no such luck. For some reason, Eclipse was pestering me over commlink. We couldn’t get a signal but she sent me a text message:
BOM IN NITE CLUB.
FLT MATES DAD OWNS SEC 4 DIGITALIS.
I explained to my date that unfortunately, the whole place will blow up. Probably at midnight. And that if those Humanis Polyclub nutters are behind it, the target will be the A.I.‘Pulsar’ which was making a guest appearance at the party.
“This is a joke, right?” Denial. The most common human response.
I explained patiently that she needed to leave, now.
As soon as my date was safely out of the nightclub, I found the nearest security guard and pulled a gun on him.
20 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT --
I didn’t have time to mess around and wanted to speak to head of security. Idea being if this thing goes south I still have enough time to get clear and find my date. I was lead up to the control room, and the guy in charge listened calmly when I told him there’s an attack on his nightclub. I didn’t care if he believed me or not, but maybe if he put all his guys on alert we’ll have more chance of stopping whatever’s going down.
But I was wrong and the head of security believed me. He got on the horn and sent his guys to check all zones, and even gave me access to security monitors. While I was looking at those, he took a step back.
So now I’m pretending to look at the screens but really watching the reflection of the guy behind me. He took another step back and drew an SG 45.
15 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT –
I drew the Manhunter and turned around. But if he was in this I needed him alive. So I stepped in and punched him. He took it on the bodyarmour and shot me but I slapped the gun away. I’m thinking, this won’t work, so I shot him back. He knocked the gun away and fired into my chest. I took it in the body armour and shot him back, twice. He staggered, shot me again but I slapped his gun away and shot him back. This time he took an explosive slug dead centre and hit the ground dead. Frakk. This is just what I need.
I jumped at the door and locked it, wedged it with a chair. I went through his pockets but all he had was a gun and radio. The radio had a secondary channel programmed into it. I tried it and said “Report!” (what the Frakk- it works in holos).
“We’re almost ready setting charges. We heard gunfire, is everything alright?”
I’m thinking: theres only so long I can impersonate this guy-
“It’s nothing. Party crashers. Where are you?”
“What do you mean? You know where we are, we’re in the basement.”
I keyed the monitors into the basement. On the screen were three guys in black setting C12 demoltion charges on the support beams.
“I thought you military guys were supposed to have everything covered. What do you want us to do?”
“Er.. continue. On mission. Continue on mission. Out.”
But I had other problems: there were banging noises coming from the door: “Boss, you in there? Boss?” I looked at the guy on the floor with the hole in his chest and I’m thinking how am I gonna explain this? “You in the control room, drop your weapon!” At this point it dawned on me that I’m on camera. By this time it sounded like there was a SWAT team outside. Only one way this was gonna go down. So I ditched the piece and got on the ground: then a dozen or so Lonestar cops and club security came through the door all at once. In between getting beat up I pointed them to the monitors with the guys setting bombs in the basement.
7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT --
Lots of fast talking later the security guys realised they were all in Very Deep Drekk. Especially when it turned out bomb disposal was stuck in broadway traffic. This is where I pointed out that it just so happens I got my own ‘bomb disposal specialists’ inbound and ready. They looked at each other and gave me back my commlink.
I called the goons downstairs and told them to beat it. Eclipse and Styx ambushed them outside and dropped them with stun batons.
3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT --
Downstairs Styx, JD, Crackle and Eclipse found four C12 charges on countdown timers with less than three minutes remaining. Fortunately all of them had some experience with electronics from years of B&E so they knew what to do. We watched on the monitors as they stopped the bombs with one minute to go on the clock.
New Year went off without an explosion and the folks downstairs didn’t even know something was up. After much debate the cops decided to arrest us, but with a five minute head start as a goodwill gesture for saving their overpaid asses.
NEW YEAR + 2 MINUTES --
Outside in the alley it was freezing cold, but the gang was all there and quite happy cos we just got paid. It was Franklin who told them about the Digitalis connection. Bryce had been arrested but it didn’t look like he’d make it to trial, leastways not in one piece.
So you see, not everything in the shadows turns out like you think it will and sometimes innocent folk get caught in the crossfire. Nevertheless, once again Danny Murphy and his faithful side-kicks--
That’s when my Rutger Hauer moment was interrupted by a snowball to the face. Eclipse and the others were off to party. I went off to see if I could find my date. From the messages on my commlink I think I did: but I can’t be sure because somewhere around this time the film breaks down in a haze--