November 9, 2018 at 1:34 am #10639
The streets of punishment town are mainly deserted, few people venture outside during the night. Perfectly reasonable considering the apatite of the people guarding them. When she finds someone outside for the first moment she thinks it is a little boy, then a brief moment later she notice that it is a spirit. Nevertheless, he plays by himself and continuously kicking a football (soccer ball in American English?) back and forth through a wall.
He speaks to Misery in her mother tongue (which one is it?)
“I haven’t seen you around here…” he seems to struggle a little bit “It is strange that I cannot guess your name. Perhaps you do not have a name? How could you not have a name? My name is Naim…”
A second before Misery verbalize her communication he says “You are looking for a bar? Nobody goes out at night, but there are motels with bars. Some of the motels have bars where the guests drink. Go to ‘Castle’ motel, you won’t like the Hilton… Too many wards… You can stay there to sleep if you like. Electronic store, is in the city square you will find anything there but only in the morning. “
She decided already to speak, and her mouth was going to ask for directions, but the boy seemed aware of the things a split second before she could vocalize them, their connection remanded her the one conjurers have with spirits. They don’t read minds, and yet they just know what you want to say to them.
November 10, 2018 at 2:48 am #10695
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Gilga.
Misery raises an eyebrow, but in a day already full of unwanted discoveries, this is just one more pile of drek in a field already ankle deep in brown stuff. She shakes her head. What a fragging disaster…
She brushes past the boy-spirit-thing, looking around, pale eyes scanning run-down, semi-permanent structures with measured haste. Then she shakes her head. All bad.
And now a free spirit is giving her directions, directions in a town where no one goes out at night. She’s fragging nocturnal, what the hell]/i] was Ben thinking, sending her here?
Misery walks down the pre-fab that does its sad, cracked impression of a sidewalk until she finds a bench and sits down to consider her options. First, she can do the job. Its a bad job, full of unknowns, with no crew and iffy support, for someone she doesn’t know, in repayment for an agreement she doesn’t remember, to a result she doesn’t want.
Okay, maybe she can’t do the job.
Second, she could go in for the other side. She’s a vampire and a sorceress. If she can convince this bloodsucker that she’s an asset rather than competition, something might be worked out. He’s obviously out of the reach of Ben and Gindi, or he’d be dead already. Adding her power to his seems like a pretty good short term route to protection.
On the flip side, if he’s that powerful, she could overpower her and use her like a damn battery, just like…like…
She curses mentally for about thirty seconds as the memory will not come, exercising the obscene vernacular of hebrew, english, french, mandarin, japanese, and arabic.
She shakes her head. Okay, bad idea, even if she still can’t wrap her head around why. That leaves…what? Leave? Let Ben hold the bag, drop the pills, and buzz turbo out of here? She considers this. Is she that cruel? Is she cold enough to possibly wipe out a man’s life for convenience? A flash of memory, of draining three young women, killing them to fuel a spell because she valued one life more than three.
Yeah. Yeah, she was hard enough.
Misery sits for a long moment, looking at her commlink, an empty link full of empty lies. Then she shakes her head and speaks a word, and the link blows out, the equivalent of a main ground line ripping through its fragile electronics, sparks and discharge flickering from her fingers.
Then she stands, turning back toward the gate, and heads for the guards, ready to burn her SIN and get herself deported.
(Misery – Fin)November 10, 2018 at 4:11 am #10702
Finale, and a new run?:
Midnight Punishment Town 12th December 2078
Punishment town was created as a way to deal with the magical threat that Jerusalem had turned into when magic emerged. The once majestic city became a center of occult activity, and the Old City became a portal that delivered unspoken horrors and a variety of spirits that were never seen before in the sixth world. Most of these spirits were malicious, and dealing with them required magical corps that were more than what the small country could naturally produce.
Faced with such a magical challenge to handle, the government embraced HMVV and even genetically enhanced the disease. HMVV allowed turning an ordinary person into a magic soldier; some strains unlocked the capability to summon spirits or cast spells. These were readily cultivated, weaponized and were sent to contain Jerusalem and keep the magical catastrophe at bay. All these vampires needed to feed. The increasingly tyrannical government decided to establish Punishment town for the deadbeats of society and its political rivals. Either you pay your taxes, or you join the magical core and guard the front, or you pay with your essence and live in one of the Punishment towns.
Yes, Vampires are welcome – as long as they stay around Jerusalem and feed only in Punishment town. Citizens are happy, as long as Tel Aviv is secure, and they don’t have to know the price of security so close to Jerusalem.
Ben was unpacking the crates at a nearby supermarket people needed to eat, and produce was uncharacteristically available in Israel. Part of the national paranoia is independent food supply, and so there is fresh produce. People eat well, but the food is expensive, and if you can’t pay, they’ll either infect you with HMVV and send you to guard the border or place you in Punishment town.
Once done, Ben received money envelops from several men that patiently waited for him to finish unpacking without offering a hand. The lucrative part about supplying food to Punishment town was that people wanted to get out. Some of them could pay – quite a lot to get out.
Ben’s return cargo were five children, the price of extraction was so outrageous that most people could only save one of their children. Ben shipped these to a Kibbutz named Yavne’s group where they lived in a commune with the other children until a relative came to pick them up. To some of these children nobody came up, ever and so Ben adapted two of them, a boy named Ron and a girl named Maya. He was utterly sterile due to excessive military augmentations and gene therapy, and the life Ben could give these children as an outlaw was never secure, but he cared for them as if they were his own.
He placed each child in one of the crates and piled the empty boxes above them. What was worse? Vampire food with a family, or free but orphan to all practical means.
Ben did not know. He just did what he could to survive. There was little legal market value to ex-special ops soldiers with PTSD. So he delivered vegetables and returned children, and occasional criminals.
Ben is also a fixer, some of the people he fishes out of Punishment towns are shadowrunners. These cannot pay for their extraction, but some investors would often spend the cost in exchange for a service.
One of this investor was Meir Gindi, a shady real-estate tycoon. Some vampire criminal was strongarming him, and Meir wanted him dead. “The man got to my child Sharon, he almost killed her,” he said, and Ben emphasized.
So Ben accepted a large finder fee if he could find an assassin. There he saw her, a beautiful, breathtaking remarkable Banshee. Nobody could refuse her, and she was a powerful mage. Though the Banshee was not interested in wealth, she wanted to disappear- she had enemies. So the deal was brokered, magical alteration in exchange for an assassination.
The treatment did not go right and said assassin lost her memory. Remembering nothing of her commitment, and resenting Ben for trying to manipulate her into doing the deal anyhow. Ben could not tell Gindi that he lost the assassin, so he decided to go with and get her to do so anyway. You do not promise a mighty man that you’ll kill his rival and then back down. Especially not after some money exchanged hands.
Ben did not understand how fragile his world was, until his partner in crime a Decker that named herself Data Dancer, which Ben named Double D (despite her actual more modest cup size) called him. ”She is… Gone Ben. Completely off the grid, biomonitor link and even social profile.”
Damn[\b] Ben replied, he had no assassin, and he was committed. He delayed Gindi for a month now, with various excuses hoping that the pretty Banshee would recover from the treatment. He sighed Gindi was probably already monitoring her to see what the hold up is about, there is no way he missed that she disappeared.
”I am skipping town Ben; you should do the same.”
I’ll go pick up the kids, and grab a flight
Israel was his home, but Gindi was a powerful man and a criminal. They must run – he’ll never forgive them. Ben was already halfway home when another message arrived.
It was a picture of the two kids, unconscious in some construction site. Ben realized that Gindi knew about Ben’s safehouse. He probably began digging for leverage once Ben delayed, and when the asset bamfed Gindi decided to act.
He texted back
>> They are still kids… I can explain.
No, he could not run away now. He messed up, is kids were captured and he had to do something about it.
The reply was prompt:
>> If you want to meet them come to TLV tower. Ben knew TLV tower, it was Gindi’s new construction site, another place of living for the well to do.
Ben came – knowing well that it was a trap. It was he only way to see the kids again. The kids were there, peacefully sleeping in holes, with a cement truck closeby. Gindi has his pet mage, along with ten goons, two of which were dramatically aiming a pistol o the kids. They weren’t dead yet. There was hope.
“I am here, no need to get worked up. I am not running away from my problems” Ben said, he placed his gun on the ground and raised his hands.
A tall man in too flashy, too expensive suit that Ben identified as Mr. Gindi asked ”The asset, where is she?”
Ben replied “I lost her. “ he did not flinch, did not apologize – he knew well that begging for mercy to a guy like that was not going to cut it. It will only make Gindi crueler.
”You helped her escape. I know about the medical facility, I know you drove her to Punishment town. Which one do you like best, the girl or the boy.”
Ben wanted to fight but he knew that he wouldn’t be quick enough. Eleven of them, one of him and they had magic on their side.
“She lost her memory. We tried to get her to do the job anyway. It was too much to place on a terrified soul. She couldn’t do it, I genuinely tried. “
Gindi simply said ”Smartass… You arrogant prick, you helped her escape, didn’t you? Did you feel sorry for her? Fell in love with her? Did you fuck her? Is that why you mess with me? Because she fucked you, look where you are now and where she is. Stupid Ben… pick boy or girl.”
“Keep both of them. I will find someone else, give me a week.” Ben offered.
Gindi’s response was shooting the girl in her head. The shot killed her instantly and splashed her brain on the ground. Maya will have no grave, they’ll pull more cement, on top of her as if she never existed. Her parents were in Punishment town. She had no documents – no accountability nobody could complain about that murder.
Gindi spoke ”I am a businessman Ben, I am not daycare, but I am not a monster. You lost MY asset, and now I took YOUR girl. An eye for an eye, I was merciful, I will not be again. I’ll keep the boy for a week, and if you do not have your assassin in the Station by his time next week, I’ll send you a nasty picture. “
Defeated, with a tear in his eye Ben shrugged “We have a deal Gindi, I’ll do it myself if I can’t find anyone better.” His entire personality cried outrage, but he knew what could and could not be done. Perhaps he’ll get even with Gindi sometime, but now he needed to keep Ron alive. The boy had nobody else to fight for him.
Ben gave the peaceful Ron a last look, “I’ll be back for you.” He promised, and entered his Gopher without looking back. Ben headed to the Kibutz to deploy the kids, and he felt nothing. Ben knew that he would never forgive himself for how he failed Maya. Then he got a pack of cigarettes and smoked it all, despite being several months with digital cigarettes, and then he went drinking – and he drunk a lot.
Finding people that had the potential to both get close to that vampire, and also assinate him was not very easy. A pretty elf may find herself at his bed, but what can she do against a vampire mage? He’ll figure it out once he sobers out – right now he just wants to forget.
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