Death Valley: A Shadowrun RP (Game Thread)

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SHADOWRUN

DEATH VALLEY

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Moonlighter

It is a full moon night. A woman in a black suit cavorts among the skyscrapers of the city. Her beautiful silhouette appears lit by moonlight on top of one of the highest buildings. She takes a leap and lands on the terrace, the maneuver seeming effortless only from a lifetime of conditioning. Her goggles show the surrounding ocean of concrete and steel, turning night into day. But even without them her eyes could have distinguished a route across the rooftops, outlines of neon light illuminating the edges of platforms from the long drop to the ground below.

In a few minutes, security might be frantically summoned, or police interrupted from their more important work to answer a half-dressed man in his luxury suite, woken to see a business card on his pillow and personal safe wide open, relieved of it's fortune- and in their place prints of his tax-evasion schemes and offshore accounts. He might abruptly change his mind about the detectives, shooing them out. He may even call the card and demand a 'mutual arrangement'. Regardless, his gains would be finding a new home, along with his scorching 'entertainment'.

It was just as she was beginning to enjoy the stars and sights of the city that there was a commlink message from Thompson. Aside from the usual accolades, there was another offer of note- A Sokaiya event, a semi-legitimate event where the corporate "sponsors" bring cash gifts for their Yakuza hosts. She would be a welcome guest to this high-class party, he said. Wear something dashing.

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Ziggy

The nightlife strips were a buzz of activity. Crowds of people shifted from street to street, building to building. They danced, shopped, and chased tail, all while dodging the traffic filtering by. But away from all that was an elf who could manage to stand out from the rest, and now was doing the opposite. Taking a break from making panties burst into flame, he instead blended like a chameleon, maneuvering until he came upon another man.

Isamu Kyou was aging, but had lost little of his vitality. They laughed and made conversation, which soon turned to updates. His wrinkled tattoos sang of his involvement in the Yakuza, and he was intimate with their dealings.

"They are readying a purge." he said

He explained that there would be an upcoming Japanese event, and that numerous major executives would be in attendance. He also said that they wanted Shadowrunners, and whatever it was, something had spooked them- hard.

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The Reverend

Koch had a problem. His problem was that he was being held over the side of a suspension bridge by his neck, while the other gang members lay sprawling behind the safety rail.

Hours earlier they had set up an ambush in retaliation for a local drug lord getting thrown off this very same bridge. The man who did it- Kristoff Jameson, had a price on his head. They cornered him looking for a fight, and the Reverend was happy to oblige. And over the course of the next 30 seconds he had given the Arrow Gang the beating of their lives. He was a good man at heart, so at his adversary's cries he threw him back him onto the structure, bidding farewell with a boot.

He was still breathing, but he wouldn't be getting up again.

Before he had been so rudely interrupted, Jameson had been reading his news. The high-level Japanese business were readying for some kind of gathering. And the word on the sprawl was that Shadowrunners were being eyed.

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Geist

>>>>>[Something you might be interested in is going down. [attached] Hurry, or you'll miss all the fun.]<<<<<
- dr33m3r (18:21:03/05-10-52)

>>>>>[I'm telling you the Yaks are up to something, and I like the look of it.]<<<<<
- FLAWL3SS (18:21:03/05-10-52)

>>>>>[We should be slaving their cameras. Snap images of all who was there. I'm sure it will earn some niceties in the future.]<<<<<
- Athena (18:21:03/05-10-52)

>>>>>[Geist said he would be there to see if their gig was worth it. Bugger probably has the floorplan already.]<<<<<
- Mr. Adequate (18:21:03/05-10-52)

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Crazy Jade

Sweat dripped from Jacelyn, and dark oil stained her palms. Before her was a large engine block , and the jackhammering of her tools mixed with the noise of the radio.

It had been a long two and a half weeks. In addition to their normal repair, a client had recently skipped town to escape whatever heat they had run into- leaving the elf and their machine shop without any reward for the work they had already done. The vehicle they had been suping-up now had no owner, and the riggers had no way of contacting him even if they so had the desire. They didn't, and simply commandeered the hot rod and stripped it for parts. The cannibalized machine would be worth some impressive cash, but there was frustration in the air that all their care had gone to waste, and they were now reversing all the work they had done.

The bank was getting tight, but a better job was on the horizon. She had received another offer for a run, and the anticipation was like electricity in her veins.

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Blue

The bar was a hot, loud place- a cacophony of yelling and laughter. The air was thick with roasting pork. Torches of fire briefly illuminated out from the barbecue pit, reflecting on the glass bottles of alcohol. Scattered mugs lay strewn about. The night was just starting.

A cowboy was locked into his seat, a small crowd gathered around the table. His arm was a mongrel made of different component parts. The metallic fingers were gripped around another, and he was thrusting it down with a force that would have bent a streetlight. But the other, a dwarf, had his own cybernetic limb. And for every bit of energy the cowboy threw in the dwarf responded in kind. It lasted a few seconds before the table cracked and they both were tossed to the floor.

While the barkeep showed off his bullet wounds and a small drone set about repairing the woodwork, Clint Leon briefly stepped outside. As he was dusting off his chaps, a Japanese man addressed him by name. The Yakuza had heard of him through runner circles, and might have need of an individual with his skillset...

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Jonesy

The woods outside the city were dark, away from the lights and neon. Here one could actually see the stars, and the glow of the Moon on passing clouds. A strange sound cut off the crickets and night birds- a dog howling, combined with a mournful cry and the roar of imminent doom. It was a terrible sound, rising and falling through the trees, finally building to a warbling shriek - then it was joined by several others.

The man in the forest felt a burst of energy, sending him sprinting through the shadowy timber to escape the rising shrieks of whatever was behind him. His arms and legs pumping madly, and he could hear the pounding steps of the beasts. The howls were getting louder, the heavy, galloping steps of the shrieking beasts thundering after him.

He wasn't going to make it. Even as he realized that he'd be overtaken, he turned, curving into a grassy field, whirling around and raising his hands. Twenty meters of open terrain, filled with the now deafening cries of his pursuers. The first of them tore into view, a creature that at first might be a small bear - then a dog. A gigantic horned rottweiler, a demon in canine form. The gaping, slavering jaw filled with bone-crushing teeth. The squat and powerful barrel-chested body, thick legs, muscular, springing haunches propelling it forward at an incredible speed.

The beast leapt into him, and he was sent flying backwards. It was on top of him in seconds, and from it's open jaw and carnivore teeth it produced a wet tongue that began sliding across his face.

"Good boy!"

A run was coming up. The Bogies; Shatsy, Matsy, and Tatsy; were getting their exercise.

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The Wolf

A man was set on the roof balcony of a riverside apartment building. He was drawing power from witihn, letting it surge through his muscles and out from his breath. It sent energy reverberating off his skin, pooling into his fists and bladed weapons. These would be seeing action very soon. Through Thane and Medusa, the Mystic Centurion had been informed of an upcoming Yakuza celebration, where the Yaks were recruiting for some kind of run. It was short notice, and bad enough to warrant outsiders becoming involved, but the pay was tempting. The details were to be discussed in-person, and on their own terms...
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Mondaine

The young man sat in an off-path corner of a college library. Around him was a veritable fortress of books, covering vast swaths of the sorcerous arts. His mind danced with fantasies- turning his body into living lava, throwing 'bombs' made of solidified air bubbles, or encasing targets in a slowly shrinking electrical cage.

It was when he had slipped outside and checked his queue of running missions that there was a message with a Japanese heading, giving the location and time of a corporate business party.

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Old Guy

Mitch was on a bench, eating by the bayfront pier, and compiling data from his personal quests. He had become aware of the Yakuza gathering, and their desire for runners. So he was referencing other data, looking for the smallest connection that could signal a trap by Lonestar. One could call him unassuming, or rather, that he preferred understated communication over the more dramatic runners. But one hadn't lived this long by being stupid.

When it checked out, he finished with his endeavor and in preparation began contact with one of his many safe houses. He walked briskly off into the night.

As Mondaine left the building, he saw that Mokie had sent him another run. It was apparently being organized by some Japanese corporation, gang or whatever and they needed magi. It seemed that Mondaine was going to be a bit more busy for a while. He sent a message to Ms.Fair to tell any new recruits that their boss would be busy for a few days. It was time to set a few creatures free he figured. Mondaine still had his normal five bound to him and could hardly contain his excitement for what would be coming soon. He had taken up running to fill in gaps of money that those who leave their parents without going to college seem to have and he already had built up a sizable body count. If Tanif knew what Mondaine was doing, he probably would leave the city.

As Mondaine walked home to get some food before his big meeting, a message popped up. "What do you mean you are leaving again M? This is the third time in the past few months! I thought you were supposed to be running this." Fair was not aware of Mondaine's financial situation, but Mondaine responded with his normal hand waving excuses and focused on the walk again. Truthfully, most runs don't get in the way of his day job, but when Mokie sends him a message with a place instead of a job, the pay is normally pretty good, but the jobs always seem to take a great deal of time. The Yakuza hardly ever took the time to bother in this part of the world. Something was happening and Mondaine was interested to take part in it. Perhaps another follower would be gathered for the big day. Still far off, but baby steps. Mondaine arranged for a taxi to arrive at his apartment so he could get to the the meeting.

After another half hour's passed, Jade throws her cutter down. She's done a hell of a lot with the engine, but to get any more out of it would take more time than she has. The meet's tonight and if she doesn't hurry she'll miss it.

And right now she really can't afford to miss another meet.

She wipes the grease off on a rag and throws it aside, spitting a wad of tar after it.
Marching away from the mechanical work-bench the block is propped up on she grabs a pair of AR goggles. She doesn't need them but she needs to be fast, efficient and most of all discreet. And in those circumstances Lillian just isn't going to cut it. She'll need to take the bike.
And let's face it, catching a bug in your eye at 180mph is not fun, regardless of whether or not your eye's chromed.

"Dylan honey, I got a job." she calls out, knowing the big Orc'll hear her regardless of where he is.
"Th' engine's all but done, reckon I'll finish the bastard by tomorrow afternoon latest. See you later."

She doesn't stop to see if Dylan heard. She knows he did, and he doesn't need to reply. If he didn't, Jade isn't going to bother repeating herself.
She strides out into the drizzle, slinging her jacket on as she does so. She wonders if they ever actually get dry nights in Seattle. You'd almost think it's as bad as back home here some days.
She straddles the bike and quickly checks on it, to make sure it'll run fine tonight. She'd rig into it, but this bike being Jodee's she could catch anything jacking in. She smirks fondly. The poor guy never looks after his gear.

She snaps the goggles into place and brings a playlist up, sticking her earbuds in. Some new Orc-Thrash band were playing at the last place she got drunk and she's eager to hear their whole set.

And with that, she's away, howling through the streets towards the new job. With any luck this time she'll even get paid by the end.

This night is going to be good one, Ziggy though as he danced, his acrobatic moves winning the crowd and pleasing a particular attarctive pair of Asian twins. Word was, they know some 'runner, one who liked ties and women. Particularly women. No wonder these two were being coy, some women were just all batting eyelids and flirty smiles, but then again some of the men here were as well. The crowd groaned as Ziggy decided to take a back seat for the rest of the evening and left the dancefloor. Then the crowd quickly resumed back to the regular schedule of drugs and drinking and drinking and being dazzled by the flashing lights. After all, flirting with dancers, drunks and addicts would only get you so far.

Even with a high ginger mohawk, you could hide yourself in the crowd. Nights like this was why he had chosen to start up a nightclub, the energy, the buzz and the fact that no one with an ounce of respectability or notion of class came here. Well, apart from Kyou-san, the old, proud tiger. Nevertheless, Ziggy just assumed that he was just here for the gossip and the booze or even the company. After a quick round of banter between friends, Kyou lowered in his voice and it took on a more serious turn, speaking of the Yakuza and their plans. Apparently something was about to happen and 'runners were needed.

"They are readying a purge." he said.

"Ieu might be doing that if this crowd turns ugly, ojisan," Ziggy replied, all smiles as always. Then he leaned in closer, "Anyway, I'm up for a 'run, the club could use the money. Can you get me in?"

Looks like things are getting serious... So much for those care-free days...

Andrew pulled himself from the SIM he was working on, feeling it being invaded by his communicator again.

He looked around and saw Serene had already left... odd. He saw a note in Serene's hand "It just turned into business, we're the Karashnika's tonight, wear a suit though, i'll see you there."

He checked the backlog... Why didn't she just wake me up?

He showered, dressed in a grey business suit, slipped the bracer under the jacket, put the gloves on, stuck the glasses, the headphones, and a stungun in one of his pockets, checked his ID, and hailed a cab.

The cab arrived and he got in, then proceeded to hack it, getting a free ride out of the drone, thank god for drones.

This is gonna be a long day.

Moonlighter could only raise an eyebrow at the strange message. It was rare for someone to invite a thief to a party; particularly parties where large amounts of money would likely be changing hands. It was also a strange way to go about hiring her; she usually kept to the shadows where things were safer for a reason.

"Relatively safer", she corrected herself a moment later; it was important to make such distinctions. Still, it had been a long time since she had been out in public in this persona, so there was a certain temptation. What more, it was bound to be filled with valuable information; all in the form of "low-hanging fruit"; as the saying went. All in all, it would be a very interesting party if things went well; and if it went poorly, it would be even more interesting.

She sent a quick message to her mentor, Magpie, just to assure herself the party wasn't a trap, then made her way toward the apartment building she had left her street clothes atop.
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Rachael opened the door of the apartment complex, now dressed in her much more conservative street clothes, her hair returned to its natural state of chaos. The night was chilly; so she was wrapped in a long coat to keep her war as she headed back to her home to wait for Magpie's response and her "work" the next day. Hanging from her hands were a pair of shopping bags, weighed down with her much more interesting apparel, tools of the trade, and enough data-chips to keep her in soy-fay for months to come.

The walk to her small, wage-slave apartment was quiet. For all the disadvantages of maintaining a day-job, it did offer the advantage of a (once again: relatively) safe neighborhood. When she arrived at her 8th floor apartment, she put away her "purchases", grabbed a simple stuffer shack meal from the pantry, and ate it while deciding on her attire for the upcoming party.

She had been told to wear something dashing after all.

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Having been given the "all clear", Rachael donned her so called "dashing" dress - a long black dress with a single strap across a shoulder - and made her way toward the Sokaiya; a term she would no doubt butcher the entire night. Her burner comm-link sat beneath her ear, ready to met any function desired of it. A pair of earrings and a simple silver necklace - both recently acquired merchandise for which she had yet to find a suitable buyer - adorned her. Needless to say, she was looked far more like Moonligher then Rachael for this particular excursion; it was safer and easier to change how Moonlighter appeared and acted then how Rachael did. However, this did not prevent her from taking the additional precaution of wearing a simple, metal, masquerade piece to obscure her face a little more. Luck, after-all, favored the prepared.

On the note of preparation; hidden beneath the folds of her dress were her "emergency supplies"; consisting of her more useful comm-link, a lock-pick set, and her pistol; the latter of which was held firmly against her shin for ease of access.

After nearly half an hour in a cab, she eventually arrived at her final goal; the site of the party. She readied one of her business cards should she need to some sort of entrance criteria then exited the vehicle and approached the entrance, a wiry, smug smile on her face.

Sound of his name raised a few alarms in his head as Clint turned to meet eyes with the Japanese man. Although it meant he was getting somewhere in this town, Clint still didn't like the sound of his name escaping someone he didn't know let alone trust. Clint leaned on the side of the wall and didn't break eye contact with the man who seemed to well-dressed to be in a place like this.

"I'm very flattered, sir." Clint said, wresting his cybernetic hand on top of his belt, a shy distance away from his revolver. "Now if I may ask, what ails you enough to seek out a fella like me?"

When Jodee's bike rumbles to a stop Jade sees two women outside that couldn't be anything but fellow 'Runners.
They're always obvious; like being a stage-show where you're in on the act. Something about 'running changes people. The way they stand, the way they talk, act... there's always some tip that's a dead give-away.

For the human it's the atire - closely cut, almost military clothes. Ready for action at all times. She's got mobility and a look in her eyes that says she wouldn't think twice before you're cold on the ground. Add in the heavy scarring and you've got a clear-cut case of ex-special forces.

And the Elf... that's a harder sell, but it's there. She's certainly dressed for the event, but she's not asian. The Yaks are sticklers for tradition and you can't be of the family if you're not at least tangentially related to the home country. And her body language... poised. She moves like a panther, all coiled up muscle and lithe steps. She dresses the part of a socialite but walks with the vipers.

Jade swings herself off the bike as she eyes the pair. Well, given she's right these two will be part of the team. Might as well get off to a decent start.

"Evenin'!" she smiles broadly as she approaches the other 'runners.
"Youse two here fer th' gig then?"

Man, he was lucky they were just playing. Okay, it was training, but remember these canines are like self-propelled battering rams. True, the horns were actually sensitive, but their faces were not. Had Shatsy been so inclined, he could have knocked the wind right out of him and made it to the jugular before he managed to draw in a breath. So fortunately, Jonesy was on the playful end of their rough-housing nature. Yes, his Bogies - all three of them - were physical, big time. There are animal psychologists that state that such critters as pack animals crave contact with others of their kind on a regular basis, 'skin time' they called it...to feel secure around one's own kind. Probably true. Probably why a single Bogie is wary while a pack is fearless. No matter. AFTER extracting himself from under one of the brute canines, he ordered them back into the truck. They would have a little time before the appointed hour, largely the reason he wanted to get in their exercises, but it would be wise to be prompt. You don't keep the Yakuza waiting. They don't like to be kept waiting.

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The phone chirp wasn't what awakened him. It was the frankly-rough-and-unnerving bark of Matsy that alerted him to the incoming call. The chirp sound was one of the optional sounds or bits of music that played for incoming calls, but he had chosen the mundane/ordinary sound for...one of his most-important callers. Switching on at home - after having quickly applied hat and coat to look the part - Jonesy's mid-range home was lit up by the video to show...the bemused white-haired form of Sarah Lynnser, AKA the Runner simply known as Saren. The elf was apparently in a good mood today - tonight - but not so mirthful as to ignore the fact that it was 3AM.

Saren: I'm sorry to wake you, but I thought you should know that the dock job was noticed by someone that was very impressed by your work. I was contacted about an hour ago because they knew that I had a stake in it, and I at least suspected they would. People like us end up talking and somewhere along the lines... Well, he was intrigued by the way you made it look like an honest-to-god animal attack. Lonestar was quite perlexed by the underwear, of course. Anyway, I'm sending you time and a place. Be there.

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'Be there' hadn't been a command, but a warning. Namely, when the Yakuza or any person in high places like that wants you to be somewhere, you'd better either be there or be bullet proof. Honestly, Jonesy wanted to learn barriers for that, but until then he'd just have to be wily, careful, and armored. Now, as he came into town - into the neighborhood in question - Jonesy's truck drove around under the pretense of looking for a suitable parking space so that he could scope out the building. Satisfied that it looked exactly like a business event pretending not to be a Yakuza event, he found a parking space and stepped out of the vehicle. With his back to the tarp-covered back area where his friends were literally undercover, he said...

"Shatsy downsy, Matsy roundsy, Tatsy throughsy...if I say so myself."

Well-trained. If they felt him call, they would find a way in. Off somewhere in an alley, he heard a normal dog howl. Happened sometimes when he or the pups were around. He turned to the truck quickly.

"Don't answer that. It's spam."

What Run was complete without a bit of amusement. Chuckling to himself, he headed over to the building and the entrance in question while in his hat and longcoat. Jonesy tended to look like not much on purpose. And after he saw a rather dashing elven lady walk up the steps towards the same event apparently, the people at the front door would be surprised to see the man suddenly straighten up like he was never hunched at all, then pull off his coat to reveal that...he was in a nice black suit with white undershirt, combat vest hidden underneath that and his gun about as well-stashed under the armpit as he could possibly manage. He had one of his SINs ready if they needed it from him. Yes, Jonesy The Jonesarian was entering through the front door. He, like probably everyone else, had a piece on him and also friends on the outside, plus fwoosh.

And let the games begin...

"Now if I may ask, what ails you enough to seek out a fella like me?"

"Leone-san." The man bowed. "There is someone who has angered a very powerful man. He must be found, and by runners."
He gives Blue an address card.
"You will know more if you agree. Arigato Gozaimasu."


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The Yakuza make fortunes through corporate extortion, and the Sokaiya (shareholders' meeting men) are the masters of this enterprise. Sokaiya will buy a small number of shares in a company so that they can attend shareholders' meetings. They will then contact the company's management and threaten to disclose whatever embarrassing information they have at the shareholders' meeting unless they are "compensated." If management does not give in to their demands, the sokaiya go to the shareholders' meeting and raise hell, shouting down anyone who dares to speak, making a boisterous display of their presence, and shouting out their damaging revelations. In Japan, where people fear embarrassment and shame much more than physical threats, executives usually give the sokaiya whatever they want.

But Japan is also a society where directness is considered rude, and even the criminals make their threats known in a circuitous, outwardly polite manner. Threats come in many disguises. Some sokaiya pose as business reviewers. Others set up booster clubs that solicit donations for non-existent causes. They also throw gala events to which the invited businessmen are expected to bring cash gifts for their hosts. The sokaiya have also organized beauty pageants for the purpose of shaking down corporate "sponsors," and sokaiya golf tournaments come with pricey entrance fees for their corporate players. Anything to extort money out of legitimate companies in the most polite and indirect way possible.

This was one such event. The front for the Yakuza was being held in a bay district where the rivers curled past the city's skyscrapers and cultural buildings. The paths leading to it were decorated with bright lights and patterns of foliage. The Shadowrunners entered, passing dozens of people. Everyone sported immaculate suits or tuxedos, showing off to their executive rivals. There were also escorts. A Japanese girl- 19 years old, tight, flawless skin with just enough tan, full c breasts, beautiful symmetrical exotic features that sing- was feigning interest as she was towed around. She was one of many.

Despite the rich sophistication on display, the runners noticed other things, like the suited, tattooed punks circulating throughout the plaza. Some of them were carrying katanas or other weapons, but they didn't need to- anyone who dared to disturb the ceremony would face the wrath of the Oyabun.

They stepped into the swirling crowd, letting the sea of tuxedos and shimmering suits sweep along. From the terrace a set of glass doors led past a catering room, and further a quieter space with a potted bonzai tree and walkway where the Yakuza stood guard.

Andrew had arrived a few minutes late, he saw Serene waiting ouside for him wearing a well cut red dress. He walked up to her and spoke with his subvocal microphone "You look nice... you brought the guns right?"

She looked at him and sighed "Yeah."
He resumed speaking using his natural chords "Good." He locked his arm with hers and they walked in.

They were stopped at the door and their SIN's were scanned.
The doorman looked at them "Karashnikas?"
Serene looked at him "Yeah."
"Welcome."

They walked into the party and mixed with the crowd, waiting for the Tanaka to reveal themself, or other runners to lead them to him.

"Evenin'! Youse two here fer th' gig then?" A voice announced through the crowd outside the massive building in which the "party" would take place. Turning, she found a woman in a black leather jacket approaching her. At the word "two", Moonlighter turned again to look around; spotting another woman dressed in not very "Japanese approved" dress. "Apparently, the dress was optional... C'est la vie; at least I look good." She thought to herself before replying to the... biker chick?

"Something like that. Shall I presume you're here for a job as well?" she offered, keeping her masks - physical and otherwise - in place, but wearing calculated smile that was the mark of a thief or a saleswoman; not that anyone can tell the difference these days.

As she spoke, Moonlighter continued toward the doorway, but keeping pace with the now apparent runners - it made no sense to lose the advantage of company, particularly at a yakuza-funded party. Seeing no reason to play the conversation close to her chest - at least not yet - she Moonlighter decided to embrace her less-than-Japanese heritage and be direct. "Seeing as were about to be..." she said, catching herself before she used the word Shadowrunner, then continued "...co-workers, did you happen to get any information on the job; my 'agent' was rather sparse on the details." Though she didn't really need the information, the important thing was to get the conversation going; they would be working together after all.

As she was about to enter, she took note of a Caucasian man who, upon arriving, removed a somewhat ratty coat and hat to reveal a much more socially-acceptable suit. She glanced at him for a few seconds, taking in what information she could gather, then turned back to the conversation at hand thinking "Four runners and counting... must be one hell of a job.

Clint took the card as the man walked away. He looked at the address card and ran the address through a GPS program revealing the meeting site to be at one of very fancy compounds in the bay district. No doubt he would be seeing the lavish displays of wealth that would make his Old Man sick from the neck down.

Still he had to attend and at least tolerate the circus of wealth in hopes of finding out who angered a very powerful man. On the way there, Clint sent an IM to Red which was nothing more than a message saying that he's struck it rich. Red knew Clint long enough to know that mean he was making progress in Seattle. Everything else before consisted of nothing more than petty security detail, lackluster odd jobs that offered nothing more than a few more hours to think what he wanted to say to his Old Man. Still, Clint had his own special brand of "security" that might have earned him the spot in the mobster's list.

Red responded quickly, telling him to be careful and to tell her what was to transpire but Clint was going to do that anyway especially when he arrived on scene. The place was massive and not to mention filled with the who's who of the Yakuza. Upon entrance his S.I.N. was scanned and checked despite it being completely fake. He was greeted by several escorts and other rich-looking people but what surprised Clint the most was the runners. He knew runners when he saw them and right now, they mixed with the crowd like a bad cocktail. Clint didn't fair any better as he looked like a cowboy lifted straight from a poster but he didn't mind it, after all that was his persona. He tipped his hat towards the pleasant looking ladies and watched the crowd from a good distance away. Clint was far enough that he wasn't being breathed on but close enough to see any sort of happenings that was to happen because he was here for something.

Mondaine arrived at the meet via his taxi, paid the tip and left. Nothing huge, cash was tight and it took him a long time to notice he was not properly dressed for this event. His weird looking robes made him stick out like a sore thumb and he remembered that with what he was doing, perhaps stealth to a small degree would be useful. He wrote in one of his books to ensure he did that at some point.

After all the suits began to wane, the flood surged and Mondaine found himself again, sticking out and looking ridiculous, though he was getting to the good part in one of his books and he stopped caring. Some incantation about a large demon named Bahartamonth and how to summon her to the world. The requirements for it were insane, Tamarin liver, three thousand Nuyen and the skull of a komodo dragon, these arch demons were some pieces of work. Mondaine chuckled to himself and shut his book, tossing it in his backpack which was filled with other books. He lowered his shades and peered around, the group was typical, though it had more elves than he had expected. The conjurer enjoyed elves due to their natural acceptance of magic and so this he figured, would be a rare treat. Though thoughts of recruiting one or two never left his mind. He spoke in general to the crowd.

"Does anyone know the reason we have been brought here for?"

What Moonlighter could get from seeing Jonesy step out of his coat, hat, and hunched appearance was that he was an appearances-deceiving person, clearly able to read the occasion seriously enough if he came to it better-dressed.

The man at the door perhaps looked at Jonesy a bit funny because of his ID and his current more-snazzy appearance, but he came up green...so he was let in. Someone took his longcoat and hat to hang them up. They were actually only ratty-looking right NOW - as Moonlighter had observed - because of his rough-housing with the dogs. Jonesy had walked in to mingle, to listen, and to generally blend in with the nicely-dressed people while keeping an eye on everyone. He was noting the new arrivals along with the first one he had seen, which WAS moonlighter. That was when he heard the question nearby...

"Does anyone know the reason we have been brought here for?"

Jonesy leaned back into UST in Mondaines periphery to speak.

"We are here for the same reason you are here, the same reason she is here..."

He indicated the dashing elven woman he'd been stealing glances at here and there.

"...the same reason they are here. The word is that our presence was requested in order to fulfill an undertaking of some sort, which Mr. Tanaka has yet to inform us of in detail. It's kind of irritating to be left in the dark, but as a friend of mine would say 'Patience is the flowing river that overcomes all obstacles'. Wait it out, see what it is, and wash over any problems along the way."

Jonesy wandered off to find a nice drink to settle into, having made decent conversation for now.

"Seeing as we're about to be... co-workers, did you happen to get any information on the job; my 'agent' was rather sparse on the details."

Jade shrugs as they push through the doors - the guys outside don't give them any trouble right away so they just keep going.
"Nah, sorry love. All I know so far's that th' job's legit. Don't know what the Yaks want us fer yet. But knowin' them I'd guess some bollocks t' do wit' territory, no?"

And sure enough, more 'runners are appearing. Some kid in a robe and an guy handing his coat off to the doormen. The kid's obviously a slinger, unless that's just what he wants you to think. As for the other guy... Jade isn't sure just yet. She can spot a 'runner in a crowd; hell anyone in the biz can. But reading people ain't her strong point. Sometimes it's more obvious because you know the type, and whatever type this guy is Jade doesn't recognise it.

Conversation. Right.

"Name's Jade, by the way." she sticks out a hand for a bone-crushing hand shake.
"Folks around town call me Crazy Jade sometimes."

The Spider had told her about the job, something or someone had ruffled the Yaks' feathers and they were looking 'runners to un-ruffle them. She had been told the job would pay well and the co-ordinates of where she would meet the Johnson and that was about it. Usually he got her more info on a job then that, the Yaks must be keeping the info tightly guarded meaning it was something very important to them.

She sped through the Seattle streets on the back of her Thundercloud. It was a quiet night, the moon was out and the traffic was light, for once she wouldn't be late. She parked her bike in one of the few alleys and made he way to the meeting spot.

You sure as hell couldn't call the meeting place inconspicuous. Brightly lit streets, people wearing tuxedos and evening gowns. In the background thugs were carrying katanas, machine guns, pistols, anything that could be used to keep the peace. The Yaks' on personal bodyguard. So much for trying to get in posed as security.

She leant against the wall as she tried to think of an easy way in, when some other 'runner approached her. The elf looked over her and stopped when she saw Sonya's scars, they always stared, they could help themselves and then spoke.

"Youse two here fer th' gig then?"

She didn't bother to reply because of the sheer banality of the question and headed towards the entrance, her hands deeply entrenched in the deep pockets of her leather coat. She was waved through by the guards, that was easier then expected, although it do her no good to stir up trouble in a room full of Yaks.

Grey Wolf sat quitely as he meditated, strengthening his connection with the underworld. His first assignment as a shadowrunner would require his full focus, lest this also be his last. With his body flowing with magic, and his mind clear of all distractions, Wolf took off of the balcony and onto the adjacent building.

He sped through the city at a moderate sprint, making it to the bay district in less than half an hour. He let out a deep breath, and scurried down to the street below to make his way to the front entrance.

All the businessmen, the the high class scum, were in their best attire. As Wolf made his way through the crowds, every person's face became distorted and mangled, and laughing rang in his ears.

Such cheap masks. All of them.

The world began to filter back to its normal view as Wolf caught up with what he presumed were his new allies at the back of the party. Many were already talking with one another, so he made his presence know and simply stood against the wall waiting for some manner of instruction.

"Greetings everyone. Pleasure to meet you"

"This is more than just a crowd of rowdy clubbers." Kyou replied solemnly then he walked out of the club and grabbed a cab. Afterwards he grabbed Ziggy by the scruff and pushed the lanky elf in there, "Go ahead, I hope you like board meetings."

The trip was a quick, but nice drive into the bay. Though there was enough time for Ziggy to fix his hair after Kyou's rough handling of his precious person. As the venue came into view, Ziggy couldn't help but smile at all the tuxedoes and the thought of strained politeness as the surrounding men in suits stared at Ziggy's loud attire. He was a 'runner, they had asked for 'runners, so they would have to deal with whoever came through the door for the job, whether it was a man in sharp fitting suit or even an ork ganger with more piercings than flesh. He stepped out of the cab into the street, thankfully Kyou had been kind enough to pay the cheap fare before he threw Ziggy into it, and spotted a small gathering of people - 'runners no doubt.

One would think somebody had a certain fetish with the amount of elves there. One was dressed for the ocassion while the other was the total opposite. Ziggy wondered what they would think of his appearance but he always aimed to please or shock. Hopefully with this group he would get both. A hunched man in a coat walked away as Ziggy approached, cleary something off the streets, judging by the ratty attire. One man with some sort of symbol on his head entered the scene, but Ziggy didn't feel like teasing him, he looked like he would crush you in seconds if insulted. One sullen human woman was leaning againist the wall, the heavy scarring on one side of her face ruining what would be a pretty picture. With hair tightly tied back and clothes that would be more suited to an army parade, he guessed that she was yet another one of those hardass military types - how boring.

He struck a poise as he leant against the wall and turned to the scarred woman, "Might want a touch up there, sister," Ziggy then turned to the pair of elven women, raised his arm and pointed at them, "As for you, what are two fellow elves like you doing in a place like this?"

A formal sit-down dinner was to be held later that evening, along with a show. As the tables were being adorned in cloth and food trays were rushed out, the crowds began to filter inside. As they did, another suited man bowed before the runners.

"Welcome. We are very pleased to have you with us. If you will, Wakagashira-hosa is this way."

As he did, the tattooed guards broke off from their posts. One raised a comm and said:
"Korera no hitobito wa anata ni au tame ni koko ni iru."

The reply:
"Norowa reta ran'na ga watashi ni kite, mite mimashou."

They were led into private rooms, where men in dark suits drank, smoked and played cards. Thousands of nuyen went back and forth each minute, the money shining in the glow of the holographic images along the wall. A few were huddled around glasses of plum wine, involved in hushed but animated conversation. There was a noise of laughter and clapping from outside, some ceremony for the night officially beginning.

They didn't know anyone, but they did notice the Tanaka, and he was one ugly-ass mofo. He wasn't of a metahuman race recognized, but it was monstrous.

The 'man' was heavily built. Scales covered his entire body, like an alligator. He had deep yellow eyes, a truly massive neck and a jutting protrusion from beneath the jaw. The mouth was a jagged edge from where teeth were set at angles. He looked like he could bench press a car. All of this was offset by the dress; he had donned a three-piece suit and tie, tailored to fit his enormous torso. Gold Jewelry covered his fingers, and a fat cigar burned in his clawed hand.

image

"Name's Jade, by the way." her compatriot said, holding out her hand. "Folks around town call me Crazy Jade sometimes."

Moonlighter couldn't help but wonder how she'd earned a title like "crazy" - it took a lot to be called 'crazy' on the always crazy streets and in the even less sane shadows. None the less, she grabbed Jade's hand and shook; surprised by the woman's hand strength. "Moonlighter; pleasure to meet you." she said quietly; with dozens of rich businessmen around she opted to not announce her thieving name to everyone in the room - the last thing she needed was to give her potential and past "clients" a face to go with her calling card.

When Jade let go of her hand, she turned, intending to address their thus far silent third member, only to come fact to face with several more runners. "Five..." she thought, looking at the newly apparent cowboy; "Six..." she added staring at the robe adorned person with the aforementioned "ratty-coat" man. "Seven..." she continued seeing a man in a blue gi and "Eight" she concluded staring into the face of a loudly dressed elven man. "Guess this is going to be one heck of a job."

The man in the gi spoke first, saying "Greetings everyone. Pleasure to meet you". Offering her hand for a shake, she responded; saying "Likewise." She would have continued were it not for the loudly dressed man speaking up. "As for you, what are two fellow elves like you doing in a place like this?" he said, presumably addressing the pair of elven woman. "Probably the same reason most of you are here." she said, letting the statement sit for a second, before adding, "The challenge and the pay."

No reason not to be honest.

The conversation would have continued had she had her way; she mostly worked alone, so it was nice to work with people with similar... professions. Alas, as the doors opened and the guests were ushered in, the small group of runners was greeted by another suit, who guided them toward "Wakagashira-hosa". Though she wasn't quiet sure what it meant, she had a few guesses "Some sort of crime boss no doubt."

They were led to a private room, filled with people more then happy to gamble and ignore her existence. It was however easy to see who was in charge; who the Tanaka-san (Read: Mr. Johnson) was. Who wouldn't differ to man who looked more draconian then meta-human. There was a reason companies like S-K were led by dragons; who was stupid enough to stand up to a dragon AND live to tell about it.

A few seconds later, Moonlighter remembered her manners and bowed before the Tanaka; no sense angering a half-lizard Johnson.

Jade nods to Moonlighter, acknowledging her. She'd say more but at this point an elf in true party attire interrupts.

"What are two fellow elves like you doing in a place like this?"

Jade snorts.
"The hell kind of a question's that? We in a fuckin' blind date chat-room or somethin'?"
Of course, at this point the Yaks start to lead the group off. Start spitting out words, half of which Jade catches, most of which she doesn't. Sure, you pick up a little Japanese as a matter of course these days but put her amongst native speakers and they may as well be talking jibberish.

When they're lead into the Tanaka's room her eyes widen. Jade's never been good with not staring and just this once she's glad she's still got the goggles on. With any luck he's either not going to notice her shock or not care. But seriously, this does not look like a guy to fuck with.

She sees Moonlighter take a little bow and wonders if she should do the same. Then again, she really doesn't give a shit about Japanese culture and she'll be damned if she's going to conform to it now. Instead she just jams her hands in her pockets nonchalantly, waiting for the 'Gator man to speak.

"Might want a touch up there, sister," Said a loudly dressed man, who after seemingly forgetting about the casual insult carried on to address to the other elves in the room.

She stayed there against the wall, counting the 'runners that came into the party hall. She silently cursed The Spider, he knew she preferred solo jobs, or those with a couple other 'runners, but never as many as eight. Why would the Yaks need some many of them for one job? It only confirmed what she had been thinking the entire time, this was something big.

Not being one for letting bygones be bygones, she shuffled over to the elf who had insulted her as they where being lead to the room where the Johnson was probably in and whispered.

"I'd rather be scarred, then look reject from some glam-rock band." And drifted back toward the rear of the group.

She followed the group of 'runner into the room and saw what she could only describe as someone who looked half-crocodile half human, wearing a slightly ill-fitting suit. Remembering that the Japanese favoured those with manners, she walked forward and bowed, then returned to leaning against the wall at the back of the room with her arms crossed.

The respones were damning, and not in the sense that it was damning with faint praise. Ziggy clearly had his work cut out with this little 'run. Both with his fellow shadowrunners and with the challenges ahead.

"Probably the same reason most of you are here." she said, letting the statement sit for a second, before adding, "The challenge and the pay."

He simply nodded at the neutral responese but at least he walked away unscathed. Miss.

"The hell kind of a question's that? We in a fuckin' blind date chat-room or somethin'?"

Feisty, very feisty. Hit. But Ziggy had his own little retort. He said with a wink, "Well, this is an office party and we are co-workers..."

"I'd rather be scarred, then look like a reject from some glam-rock band."

Ouch, the scarred one knew where to aim. Hit. No retort this time, he was dragged away by the crowd to a small private room before he had the chance.

From the chatter, Ziggy guessed they were about to meet the boss-man, at least the Yakuza cut to the chase, unlike some. The small private room appeared to have its own miniature dragon. The cigar smoke created the illusion that this drake-thing was ready to unleash fiery fury on any person foolish enough to let loose a wisecrack. The suit could use some work though, but then again, how does one fit a suit for such a beast. No wonder Kyou-san said that the Yaks were spooked about something, if this was the Tanaka, someone needed something done, something done discretely and possiblity cheaply. As this Tanaka looked ready to stomp on any negotiations attempts. Dropping the mask of mischef, Ziggy brushed himself down then stroked his mohawk, and bowed. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, lest you want to be the target of something much larger and stronger than you are.

"Hajimemashite, Ziggy desu. Douzo yoroshiku." He said as he bowed.

Once Clint was inside the room, the sounds and smells of the businessmen playing cards made him feel more at ease and less out of place now that all the runners were placed in the same room. The barroom banter rang louder than his boots clinking on the floor as he found a wall to lean on. Now he was able to get a good look at his fellow runners which surprised him quite a bit. The number of elves in the group made him wonder if any of them had any affiliation to the tribes and if they did then he wouldn't exactly be more open to them. The others though were a hodgepodge of people and he liked that. Variation is the redeeming factor to any job as Clint saw it.

After a few seconds he spotted the man that called them in to begin with. The sharply dressed dragon certainly looked the part of being a strong and powerful mobster. While the others bowed, Clint didn't see the need to such a thing because Dragon man wasn't exactly a person Clint wouldn't want to lose sight of. Instead, Clint tipped his hat towards the man.

"Howdy." Clint proclaimed. "Lovely place you got here. Pretty suitable for some kind of clandestine discussions don't you think?"

Andrew and Serene wandered in slightly behind the group, then they saw the... SURGE victim? Half Dragon? Something anyway.

After half staring for a moment at it they bowed, and tried their best not to look like they were staring at it or avoiding looking at it for that matter.

Yes, as he expected. There was pre-show festivities and gathering for a while, allowing a bit of mingling and getting familiar with their surroundings. And then afterwards...there was an anncouncement in english and an announcement ijn Japanese. Inwardly, onesy cursed. He could go a long way in here if he only knew the Japanese language, but it was markedly different a language from his chosen pool. So, he was left to be led like everyone else into a room - not entirely surpised by the fact that he was in with the other apparent Runners - to face a...

There is a word that hangs upon your lips, even as you see the man who must be Mr. Tanaka. Jonesy knew nothing about Mr. Tanaka, but as soon as he saw him, he had to be either Mr. Tanaka or the man who manages Mr. Tanaka. He was a dragon, a fact which actually confused the shaman for a moment. Didn't the human-form ones usually take...you know...human-form while on business? Sarah had tales of Lofwyr... In which case, Jonesy followed suit with the other guy bowing and spoke.

"Greeting, sir. I understand you have some sort of task to be completed?"

The other Yakuza immediately take notice and stop talking. The Tanaka spoke.

"Someone else was meant to be leading this night." He said. "My own Wagakashira- underboss, if you wish. I was his hosa- what you would call..." He thinks of the word. "Lieutenant."

One of the bowing associates takes a small device and points it at the shifting holographic artwork. It disappears, replaced by a two dimensional screen. He clicks the device again, and the screen shows pictures of a middle-aged adult with full body tattoos, and a boy of about 12 .

"I have assumed this man's rank, for the time being. I am a boss now. And my first order is to demand vengeance for my former master. He is the father of this boy, and has taken to a shrine, praying to the kami all night."

The man working the hologram hesitates, and the monster meets his gaze. For a split second, the creature's reptilian expression tightened, like someone who was suppressing a berserk rage. He knew exactly what came next. He nodded, and the associate clicked the device once more.

It was a video, from a security camera. It played a scene from what was apparently a school; an exclusive private school. It showed a man walking into the front entrance. He wasn't very big. He was lean, like a swimmer. But his frame was all solid, compact muscle. His face was chiseled and sharp with a tousled thatch of blond hair. He carried a submachine gun in his hand.

What followed lasted less than 2 minutes.

School administrators saw him through the large window of a faculty office. Two teachers ran out to the entrance hall just as he was passing. He didn't use his weapon- he had simply snapped their necks and continued. When he reached the first classroom- occupied by seventh graders- he swept the room with a murderous hail of automatic fire. The alarm sounded and he kept pouring rounds, drawing a sidearm when the clip ran out. When that magazine was depleted as well, he bolted; tearing through guards and leaping over the iron fence. When the first SWAT teams arrived, he was gone. The video ends.

"The boy was able to reach medical help in time. He is currently in a coma."

The next image is a picture of the man, next to members of Yakuza.

"The gunman was an associate of ours. He smuggled equipment, did his part with our operations and was rewarded. We don't know what kind of connections he had, but he had dealings and thus was on the fringes of influence.We are afraid that he was a tool for some enemy within. So we are entrenching ourselves and are forced to go out of family for this contract."

Another bowing Yakuza opens a briefcase to display packed currency- at least 50,000 Nuyen.

"Find the aggressor, bring him here. Alive, if possible. He must be interrogated for everything he knows. And for his crime...
...
"We will teach him the error of his ways."

The screen changes again. The last image is a personnel file.

-- TOBIAS DAWSON --

image

Background:
-Ex-Yakuza associate [Death warrant has been issued]
-Ex-military/ Gun smuggler.
-Has received cybernetic augmentation.

Contact Info:
Address for mother: (ATTACHED)
Address for ex-wife: (ATTACHED)

The vid's pretty fucking harrowing. Jade used to know a guy who got caught up in snuff-sims and even he didn't shoot anything this bad. Not before he got taken down anyhow. She doesn't make a huge show of it but she looks away from the deaths.

There's just some things you can't deal with.

Once it's all over and the Tanaka has stopped talking she looks to the rest of the group. How this job is going to require so many 'runners she'll never know. Why not just contact a PI? There's more than a few in a town and some of 'em are even good at it. But hey, that's a question to level at Gator man, not try and figure for herself. And with that kind of money on the table, you don't waltz in half-cocked.

"Coupla questions." she says, raising two fingers on her left hand. She looks around at the rest of the group and brings the first finger down.

"Are those the only leads we got? An ex and 'is mum aren't exactly what you'd call up-to-date sources."
She lowers the second finger, and grins. She's looking at the briefcase.
"That ain't to share is it?"

Mondaine watched the video, more than a little horrified at what the man was doing. He obviously was not crazy, crazy people don't work that efficiently. Mondaine was sitting, enjoying his food but the video kept running by in his head. He had unleashed monsters like that on people, but they always disappeared after...this monster was still around. He wondered if perhaps the man was less man and more like Mondaine's friends. Not impossible, but the young robed man figured he was wrong. This was a human, and he would have to be stopped.

It was rare that Mondaine would ever resemble a hero. Most people hired him to do horrible things to people who mostly don't deserve it. Every thing he did was for the end goal, all this suffering would add up to something great. The thing attempting to convey the message to them all did not appear in any of Mondaine's books, he figured the lizard had been altered in some way by magic or machinery...or was simply a demon himself. Lots of demons today.

Mondaine raised his hand. "Okay, so you obviously know a lot about him seeing as he worked directly for you. I need to know what he uses, his physical abilities and his mental health." The last one was more to settle Mondaine's morbid curiosity on the unknown man.

He looked down for a moment and contemplated grabbing alcohol, but now was a bad time to lose his focus. Last time he "experimented", half of his conjured broke loose and killed twenty people and that was from a hit of marijuana. Every step Mondaine took had to be planned.

Wolf shook the hand of the woman who had earlier addressed herself as Moonlighter and gave her a smile. It wasnt long after the greeting that the group were lead into the private room to hear the details of the job.

Grey Wolf listened intently to ever detail laid out to the group. When the video began airing, Wolf's eyes locked onto the act with disgust fixed on his face. Cowardice is the only word he could think of to describe what he saw, but even that seemed weak for something this low. Wolf's only regret was that they were asked to bring him in alive. Otherwise, he'd have a special place to put that monster's soul.

Wolf got a good long look at the personnel file and formulated his next course of action. This guy was pretty much in the wind. Any safe houses or hangouts the Yakuza knew about would likely be the last place this guy headed to.

That, and the file only said he had enhancements. It didnt mention what kind he would be up against.

"I'll just need to know to what extent he's been augmented. That, and if he has any ex-military buddies you think might be willing to take a bullet for him."

It took Jonesy a moment to grasp the subtleties of what Tanaka wanted until he saw the video. He had been a bit vague up to that point, but then it was all made very clear. His master, praying to the kami - the spirits - for the health of his boy because of this man coming in and shooting up his classroom. This...struck a particularly angry chord in Jonesy's mind. An armed man capable of killing by hand laying waste to children, his target specifically a boy who's only sin was a Yakuza father? Unacceptable. One hears of suffering the sins of the father, but this is clearly an act of extremes. Even as others began to ask questions regarding the man, a certain twinge of anger turned to an all-but-brief bloodlust. However...Jonesy did calm himself. He was still angry, but the voice was kept low, controlled.

"I would also like to know who - or possibly what, if it applies - would protect him, but more importantly, Mr. Tanaka..."

And he faced the dragon-in-humanoid-shape now.

"...do you have anything of his? Anything that he would have had perhaps enough or often-enough contact with? What I mean to say is...what do you have that will retain scent?"

Some of his best work was done in finding someone or something by its trail and dealing with it. Amongst other things...there had been an unsightly Devil Rats' nest, a man hiding in a stretch of sewer going on for miles, and a flaming ganger with a particularly-strong perfume that he had to shadow. Jonesy had the hounds for it, and apparently a great deal of support to work with. If there were enough magic-users, they might conspire to seek him astrally too. And if there was a Decker in the hand...well...it all helps, right?

Clint cringed as he watched the man mow down the students like a scythe through a field. He's seen death before but not innocent 7th graders being gunned down. He felt the others react to it in their own ways as well even if not visibly.

The feeling of disgust rose from his stomach and out through his mouth through a whispered swear. It was audible and he frankly didn't care. When the video was over and the screen changed to the man's profile, Clint made sure to stamp the man's face into his brain to make sure he wouldn't forget him.

Clint was rarely an angry man but the video and act committed put him pretty close to the edge. The others began asking their own questions as well and it was in their own right to do so. The man's file mentioned augmentation so possibly the man could have been hacked as outlandish as that may sound. Clint sought for an understanding as to why rather than just plain revenge because at least an explanation might help clear up some misunderstandings. In fact, that's why Clint is trying to find his Old Man to begin with.

"It's not about the money anymore as much as it pains me to say it. Hell, I'll bring in this sunuvabitch for free." Clint said aloud. "Pardon my language."

The vid wasn't easy viewing and struck Ziggy right down to the core. He covered his face as the vid went on. No wonder the Yakuza were spooked, a death of a child might be commonplace in the Barrens, but a massacre right in the open and the possibility of it being an inside job? That was something out of nightmare. The drake-thing could hardly keep his feelings in and Ziggy didn't blame him, as a solemn wave swept over the room.

As soon as the show ended, Ziggy gave a slight bow and gave his condolences, "Kotoba ga mitsukarimasen."

He rose and watched the other 'runners respond. The cowboy swore vengeance for the mass murder, the man with the tattered coat and the robed man asked some strange questions about the man's scent and about his health, the feisty elf only looked away from the vid, held two fingers up, gave a grin and asked the question that was on his mind apart from the obvious one of the gunman's motives and moral fibre.

"That ain't to share is it?"

He chipped in with his own remark, "So, about 50K-75K for this job or what?"

After all, the time for sentimentallity had passed, it was business time now...

image

"Coupla questions." Jade spoke. "Are those the only leads we got? An ex and 'is mum aren't exactly what you'd call up-to-date sources."

"No. But they are sources we have. You must... insist that they talk."

"Okay, so you obviously know a lot about him seeing as he worked directly for you. I need to know what he uses, his physical abilities and his mental health."

The Tanaka stared at him. Men froze, expecting the draconian boss to tell them to gun Mondaine down right there. Quickly,the Yakuza contractor who had brought them here began speaking, with utmost politeness.

"Puh-P Please, Mondaine-san. Tobias was an associate. An independent supplier... You do not mean to suggest that anyone here bears burden. Yes?"

Clint Leone cut him off. "It's not about the money anymore as much as it pains me to say it. Hell, I'll bring in this sunuvabitch for free." Clint said aloud. "Pardon my language."

"As for what he carries: He was an arms dealer. Armaments were being channeled through him. We expect him to have siphoned off some goods from his suppliers, or us while in transit. There could be a garbage bag full of money buried somewhere, or a stash of rocket launchers in his vehicle."

"We have identified the two weapons used in this assault. He carried an SK AP9 Automatic."

image

"The second was a Pegasus revolver."

image

"I'll just need to know to what extent he's been augmented. That, and if he has any ex-military buddies you think might be willing to take a bullet for him."

"We were not knowledgable to the extent of his cyberization. We knew he had a datajack, possibly some skillsofts. The rest is extrapolation- clearing a barrier in a bound, and killing with his hands. But it also seems that he had chosen cyberware that could be hidden internally, so that he could pass as an unaltered man. As for the second, we do not know."

"I would also like to know who - or possibly what, if it applies - would protect him, but more importantly, Mr. Tanaka... do you have anything of his? Anything that he would have had perhaps enough or often-enough contact with? What I mean to say is...what do you have that will retain scent?"

"No. But his mother will. And the women he slept with."

"That ain't to share is it?"

The Tanaka drew in his cigar. "Are you not satisfied with our... generosity?"

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