Sudbury Saturday Night


  • Sudbury Saturday Night

    Posted by beta on February 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    [Wednsday 18 January, 2079, 4:37pm EST, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, UCAS]

    It was cold enough out that even a troll in a hoodie didn’t want to be outside for long, but at least the cold provided some privacy — nobody else was outside. “Yah, of course I remember you, Mr. Kapenan. You what? Selling your farm? Wow, end of an era for sure, I’ll miss the raspberries. But why are you calling me?”

    She listened for a minute, shivering but not going back inside, then asked “Wouldn’t a detective be a better choice? What? Sirius says you need a runner team, not a detective. OK, OK, I won’t argue with them. Yah, you are right, my brother and I can arrange that, but it won’t be cheap. OK, just so long as you know. Also, timeline, it might take a couple of days to pull in the sort of people you are asking about. Would Friday night be OK? OK, sure, we can send them your way Saturday morning instead. Take care of yourself until then, eh?”

    Even once she closed the call she stood out in the cold for a moment. What in Sudbury could require a serious runner team?

    When she went back inside she nodded at her brother and said “We need to make some calls. Heavy hitters, and the client understands the cost. Have them meet us after our gig in Sudbury on Friday night.”

    jack_spade replied 3 years ago 7 Members · 529 Replies
  • 529 Replies
  • electric_muppet

    February 16, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    The sign at the door of the bar said “if you’re good we’re hirin’”

    The old lady behind the bar motioned her to a booth “food ain’t on till 11 honey”

    “I’m asking about the sign in the door there”

    “the sign” the lady behind the bar repeated back as she sized the young elf up. Bronwean had done the same when she walked in. Ring, limp, eye on the register so she was the owner or owners wife least ways. The guy propping up the bar, packing but didn’t really know what he was doing. Even wear on his boots so not a trucker, must be local maybe the workshop across the way given his blackened hands.

    “yeah I can cook, wait tables, pull a proper schooner, good with books and computers too”

    “oh really? You play that guitar any or you just take it to piss of your ex?”

    “I can play at little, I’m not that good”

    “but you can play? Why don’t you come up here a show me how you pull a beer”

    “yes mam”

    “So what do folks call you”

    “most guys call me batshit”

    “why they go callin’ you something like that? You see ghosts or something”

    “na just red. I got a real temper, real bad that and I keep down dumb shit”

    “that’ll do it, Jim hear does dumb stuff too usually with bad tempered women so he’ll understand, nowlets see you pull him a beer”

    Bronwean primed the pump with one had and reached out behind herself for two glasses.

    “there you go Jim colder than your ex’s heart”

    “we’ll thank you. Don’t mind if I do”

    “ah” Batshit slapped the back of his hand “you have to pay first ” she demanded with wide serious eyes

    “You, my little angle, are hired” laughed the old lady “my name is Shirley. Most folks call me shirl”


    the little girl wendED her way to the little stage and adjust the mic.

    “hell! you all came back” she said into the mic as she slung her guitar round her neck ” well welcome back, we are batshit and the booze hounds” she tuned her guitar “short set tonight because shirl has put her back out” she held the mic out and the room shouted “AGAIN”

    “so I got to get back behind the bar before you all Rob her blind”


    “oh I love you guys”she squeaked in tanks”ok, so this one called guilty in here”

  • jack_spade

    February 16, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    Kynos was not happy.

    That in itself wasn’t a particularly newsworthy piece of information in the broader sense.

    Quite a lot of things annoyed the tall elf these days: The cold, the team, the weather (too cold), the locals, the low temperatures, the company he had to content with, the frozen and unreliable equipment, the food, the long stretches of pure boredom – and now the local wild life trying to turn him into a snack.

    But most of all he was annoyed about himself. For one thing he wasn’t sure what kind of bear it was that currently tried to give him some decidedly unfriendly hugs. Was this a Kodiak or a Grizzly? And was there actually a difference?

    For another Kynos was annoyed that he didn’t have his rifle with him. True, the expedition leaders had insisted he should not bring his personal weapon out here and instead use the company and sponsor approved piece of Wuxing shit of an excuse of a rifle instead.

    Third, he was annoyed about the stupid, stupid team leader who had insisted the two of them take care of the broken down snow mobile themselves while the rest of the expedition went ahead to the base camp.

    As it turned out, the cold January weather was no guarantee at all that the local bear population stayed in hibernation.

    Kynos evaded another claw swipe of the towering, hungry, hungry bear – barely. The rifle had jammed about 10 seconds ago and now was nothing more than a small pile of composite parts and half-assed knock-off ideas. At least this poc had kept the attention of the bad tempered teddy for the few seconds it had taken the hibernation-holdout to reduce it to its current state.

    The situation wasn’t helped by the fact that the ground hadn’t been able to make up its mind if it wanted to consist of panes of nearly frictionless ice or a treacherous mass of ankle high snow, hiding ankle bending pieces of rock and ankle breaking rabbit holes.

    The pissed of member of the ursidae family didn’t seem to mind, as the claws of the creature worked exceedingly well as spikes as well as neat pieces of murder meat grinders.

    The sound of the starting snow mobile made Kynos look away for just the fraction of a second. Phil had for once managed to do something right and got the motor running again.

    But of course the momentary elation wasn’t meant to last as this minute lack of concentration resulted in a grazing blow that felt remarkably like being bitch slapped by a fragging bear. Kynos did the best he could and turned the momentum into a rolling motion, allowing him to gain a bit of distance.

    The snowmobile motor now roared loudly – but Kynos trained ears couldn’t avoid to notice that the roaring had the definite ring of a snow mobile moving away at great speeds.

    Kynos would have cursed his cowardly employer, but felt that he had better things to do right now. Not dying for one. Kynos had to admit that Phil’s plan had worked for once: “Keep the thing occupied while I get the motor running again.” A man of his word for sure. It wasn’t like he had promised anything more than that, was it?

    Kynos tumble came to a stop and the hungry beast had reoriented itself and was once again charging the mercenary. There was no outrunning this furry killer machine in these conditions.

    The bear was almost in striking distance when Kynos had found his feet again. A nice patch of ground with good grip under his soles. Practically a luxury under the given circumstances. Kynos braced himself, lowering his center of gravity. The bear was on him – bearing down on him? Kynos banished the distracting thoughts of semiotics and instead let his own instincts take control.

    The operation at the shadow clinic had been way more expensive than he would have been able to affort – getting rid of the practically antique cyberware that he had kept from his time as a regular member of the armed forces. And to be fair, he still wasn’t able to afford them – which was why he had had to steal the equipment in Seattle. Which was why he had gotten out of Seattle in somewhat of a hurry. Leaving behind the rather sweet gig he had had with this crazy Triad chick. If he was honest, he didn’t miss the time particularly – it was rather boring most of the time. Of course, compared to now, practically every other moment of his life had to appear a bit boring.

    He sidestepped the beast at the last possible moment and drove his titanium reinforced hand into the bear’s side. With his wired reflexes and reaction enhancers at full capacity, he could practically see the wave pattern, that the impact of his fist caused in the soft tissue of the animal’s flank.

    The strike wasn’t just the movement of his arm. It came directly from the enhanced myomers inside his calves, thighs, abdomen and all the other relevant muscles that allowed him to strike with the force of a steam hammer. Seeing his opponent staggered for a moment, Kynos seized the opportunity to continue the assault. Blows rained down on the soft parts of the bear’s belly, overcoming it’s natural protection of fat and muscle tissue through pure unadultered violent force. Another strike found the joint of the front leg, shattering the bone beneath the skin. Following this up were a few well placed jabs against nose and front teeth.

    Somehow the surrounding snow had gained a somewhat reddish hue, as Kynos continued to punch the endangered piece of UCAS wild life. The howling was almost deafening and Kynos whished he could switch it off – until he realized that he could just do that. All he had to do was stop screaming – and probably also to stop punching the twiching carcass.

    Unexpectedly, getting back up again after that turned out to be much harder than anything else he had, had to do within the last ten minutes. The heat of his exertion had evaporated completely, leaving him cold and tired. Not for the first time he wondered if laying down and just stopping wouldn’t be the best option – all things considered and all people involved.

    And yet, pure spite made Kynos get his feet under him again and staggering step by step into the direction he estimated the base camp to be at.

    At that moment, the bad weather cleared a bit up, giving his commlink just one bar connection back. A message arrived:
    <<Hey Kynos, are you free for a new job? Aquaintances of mine are looking for a heavy hitter in the Ontario region. Details in the attachement. Cheers, Ryan>>

    Kynos replied: <<Almost done. Just have to settle a bill here. Then I’ll be on my way.>>

    Determined, Kynos kept setting one foot in front of the other, leaving a trail of freezing droplets of blood behind. Time to see Phil again for the last time…

  • aria

    February 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    [Friday January 06, 2079; Crime Mall, Puyallup Barrens, Seattle Metroplex]

    The hunters struck as Lily was leaving one of Pukka’s fronts on the second floor of the crime mall. They were obviously prepared, just not quite prepared enough as they’d only sent four… Tom had given her a moments forewarning that someone was trying to access her PAN… she still wasn’t quite used to having another voice in her head and that had almost been more of a shock than the attack itself… and while he dealt with the electronic threat by isolating her from the matrix she let instinct take over and drive her cybernetically enhanced combat frame into a graceful dive that meant the stun net sailed over her head to wrap its sticky mesh around the doorframe behind her. Activating her myomer muscle groups in perfect synchronicity she vaulted the balcony rail as the stunbolts were soaked up by the Grey armour she wore and her impressive willpower…

    Catching herself in a handstand on one of the stall roofs below she transferred her forward momentum in to a swing that rapidly changed her direction of travel to narrowly avoid crashing in to the stall holder. His irate shouts followed her as the powered jacks in her legs drove her through the back wall of the stall and in to the crowds beyond.

    Her small stature was an advantage here, most of the people around her stood a few inches taller, but this being the crime mall they were well used to avoiding trouble, especially in the form of pint sized cybernetic girls. Lily needed time to locate her pursuers before they boxed her in and the dispersing crowd wasn’t going to be much help. At least they weren’t actively trying to restrain her in the hopes of some reward, there was some code amongst thieves after all…

    The stun baton came whistling down from her left but although the jacked user was faster than her he was no match for the instinctive combatant that Project Javelin was created to be. She caught his wrist and forced it down whilst her heel came up over her head from behind and struck him in the temple sending him crashing down beneath her as she completed her roll forwards. Ripping the baton from his senseless fingers she hurled it at the mage who had made the mistake of telegraphing her attack by waggling her fingers…

    The high capacitance round from the silenced rifle struck her in the neck and shoulders and the electricity coursed through her body with as much agonising pain as it would have caused a non-cybered victim, despite the non-conductivity coatings in her body glove. Flailing sideways in to another stall she flopped like a landed fish until the implanted bioscanner diagnosed the massive shock to her system and flooded her with stims. Dashing the betraying tears from her eyes she drew her heavy revolver from the holster in the small of her back. Without a wireless connection it lacked some of the bells and whistles but she was able to spin the cylinder to her own shock rounds.

    Crawling away from where she had crashed in to the stall she waited until the last moment before detonating a thermal smoke grenade and making a break for it…

  • aria

    February 18, 2020 at 7:50 am

    [Friday January 06, 2079; Crime Mall, Puyallup Barrens, Seattle Metroplex]

    Once the initial clamour had briefly diminished the hunters became the hunted as Lily stalked back around while they frantically tried to locate her. She pulled the hood up on her coat and tried to ignore the inevitable countdown of the stim crash that would be coming sooner or later. Now that she wasn’t running through the crowd she had the anonymity she required and once the shooting had stopped it was amazing how quickly the hubbub of black market commerce resumed its normal din.

    The hunters weren’t completely incompetent…the shooter stayed on overwatch on the upper levels whilst their decker, judging by the sleek glass tablet he’d failed to completely conceal, moved to assist the downed mage and the idiot with the stun baton.

    > Tom, come back online and see if you can access their comms please

    > If you’re sure Lily?

    > I need to know if there are more of them or it’s just these four, and I need to know quickly

    > Of course, snooping now…

    What seemed like an age passed as the decker slapped his own stim patches on his fallen team members. Lily knew that her window of surprise was narrowing and so she was glad when Tom spoke up again

    > They have lost sight of you and I believe it is only the four judging by their conversation.

    Lily didn’t need any further invitation… the heavy revolver barely bucked in her surprisingly strong grip as its throaty roar propelled a wad of sticky gel and high capacity batteries at the forehead of the hunter on the balcony. As his body spasmed he pitched forwards over the rail to disappear in to the stalls below with a sickening crunch. But Lily was no longer watching him… the jacks in her legs propelled her in a high leap, coat flowing out behind her like a cape, that brought her down next to the decker who was only just beginning to look up from his ministrations at the sound of the gunshot.

    Lily’s outstretched leg came down on his shoulder like an axe driving him to the floor with the ugly snap of broken bones. She followed through by stamping her cybernetic foot down hard on the mage’s hand… she wouldn’t be spellcasting with that hand without some careful reconstructive surgery. Spinning low on the ball of one foot she scythed her leg round to sweep the last hunter back down to the ground where he’d been trying to rise.

    He however had other plans and used his own impressive cybernetic enhancements to deflect her kick. Grabbing her leg he bent the knee at an impossible angle. If her limb hadn’t been entirely chrome and artificial muscle bundles it would have snapped. As it was she rolled with his grapple and scissored his arm with her other leg to contain him whilst bending almost impossibly backwards thanks to her cybernetic torso. She drove her fists back over her head in to his stomach, forcing the air from his lungs in an explosive gasp. As his grip on her leg loosened she cartwheeled around, incidentally stepping on the mage in the process, and deposited him on top of the barely conscious decker.

    Engaging her cyberskates she was already heading for the exit by the time the crowd realised there were some unfortunates in need of looting…


  • beta

    February 18, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Not long after leaving the Crime Mall, Lilly had a call from a familiar troll. When she accepted it, Feather’s surprisingly smooth growl came though clearly “Are you free for some out-of-town work? A connection has a job where they are explicitly looking for “heavy hitters: some with more magic, some with more metal.” They have a line on the magic, but they are having to reach out for the ‘metal’ part.” He didn’t spell out the obvious reason of why he’d thought to call Lilly.

    If you might be interested, the bad news is that to learn the full details you’ll have to travel to Sudbury — to save you having to look it up like I did, it is up in the northern part of the UCAS and is a cold and dirty mining city. The good news is that my connections know somebody flying a batch of of machining dies up that way, who could wedge in an extra crate, if you can wedge yourself into said crate. It would be 5-plus hours in the air plus loading and unloading time with whatever gear and comforts you can squeeze into a crate with you.

    Feather let that sink in, then finally added “But the other good news is that say it should be ‘above average pay.’ It would have to be, wouldn’t it, to get a decent team up that way?

  • gilga

    February 18, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    It was the moment Rebbeca feared since she sold to Roger at 16. Roger’s assassination, in some underworld war with the Vory. Worse yet, she was away when it happened. She was always away these days, but she did not expect a full-blown war to start. The power of the moment forced her to think about her life. She is a Mafia, and her values are Mafia, but Roger kept her a bit isolated from the others, nobody else knew where she was.

    She thanks her contact for delivering the news, and then orders another drink, she drinks until she loses count and feels lightheaded. Her mind filled with conflicting emotions of freedom and grief and rage. When she finally gains clarity after blowing off a guy she hoped to hook-off with, realizing that even in death, her dead lover still has a hold on her. Everything boils down to a straightforward decision: Should she disappear and go free? Or should she go back, and empower Linda as she tries to maintain Roger’s empire in one piece. It should have been an easy decision, but there she was smelling off cheap cigarettes and at the airport. Yet, the flight takes her to Sudbury – yet another hell-hole where nobody should know her.

    A few days later, Rebbeca seats in a pub – where the signs promise Axe throwing. She dresses so many clothes that it is difficult to even asses her gender. Her hair is dyed black, and she wears brown contacts over her naturally green eyes. She watches the brutes toss their axes with their unaugmented masculinity – for a moment; she considers participating, but then she remembers that the goal is to live modestly and not attract any attention to herself. “Only one or two months until I stop feeling terrible all the time. It is symbiosis – not betrayal.” she tries to convince herself.

    There, seating at the bar with the local beer, and her back to the ax throwers, the silent dryad tries to lay low… As if a Dryad can ever be stealthy.

  • electric_muppet

    February 18, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    “hi cousin” batshit beamed as she spun into the space next to Beccie “watcha dowin’ here?” the impassive Dryad said nothing while batshit stared her down with an overenthusiastic grin backed up with fluttering eyelids “aww did you miss me?” she teased waiting for Beccie to break and show some emotion.

    “no” said Beccie then tried to correct herself “I haven’t had much time for anything. Then she remembered Bronweans life.

    ” looks like we’re both running “

    ” funny you should say that, you see there’s this guy and he knows a guy who.. You know. Anyway he knows I know people and he has a job for some runners. you in? money isn’t quite in silks league but you know money is money, it all spends and looks like I have three months to kill before I can sort my life out. What do you think. Here is my coms code, you’ll need some good cold weather gear round here if you do is harsh in the woods. Oo oo! You got a place? You could come to mine if you want”


  • jack_spade

    February 18, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    It was quite ironic, Kynos mused, that despite actually travelling south, it felt as if it was getting colder. The Morgan lacked just about any kind of electronic support, a modern car should have, but instead sported a quite comfortable cockpit that doubled as a place to sleep and eat.

    By his estimate, he would reach this miserable little mining town before his rations run out. Unless of course he had an accident and was left alone in the wilderness to die. Just like Phil was now. Kynos had not been in a good mood when he had reached the base camp. His armor had prevented him from developing frostbite – but that had been the extend of his good fortune on the long march there.

    Hungry, tired and angry he had arrived about four hours later. By then Phil had had enough time to tell the tragic story of the stubborn mercenary running off alone and getting eaten by a bear. Kynos’ arrival had detracted from this narrative somewhat. After that, it had been the usual: Apologies, threats, gunshots, screams, some more screams and finally silence.

    Kynos didn’t feel much remorse for ending his stint with the expedition this way. It had been a stupid idea from the get go. And at least he had a new gig already lined up. That was more than the others could hope for.

    Three days later he finally reached Sudbury. A small town with about as much cultural appeal as a chewed up piece of gum, but at least the pub appeared to be heated.

    Kynos took of the helmet inside the double doors and put it into his CCOB backpack. His armor was neatly covered beneath the overcoat and his eyes behind his dark glasses.

    After entering the inner part of the pub, Kynos immediately made a beeline for the bar, ordering soycaf. Only when the hot beverage began to snake its way down to his cold guts, Kynos spared a look for the other occupants.

  • gilga

    February 19, 2020 at 12:49 am

    Rebbeca is surprised to see Bronwean, and it is not a pleasant surprise. How on earth would Bronwean find her, and if she did – who sent her? “So much for staying off the radar… did she come here to track me down? It is too soon, and how would she?”

    She listens to the genuinely happy, and over-eager young dryad speak, and keeps her silence. When she finally speaks up, she gently. “Cousin, you are too fast for me, let’s start with why you are in this hell-hole. “

  • electric_muppet

    February 19, 2020 at 3:53 am

    “oh gee yeah, so eofie got a lead on one of my sisters, you remember her she dead but stuck in the matrix, any way she found a picture, and found that she working as a guide, and maybe some smuggling but don’t tell yeah? Any way I missed her she’s on some expedition with a University, so I’m doing a slow circle round the lake till she’s back, I don’t want to get attuned to some place it’s horrible, happened twice hated it and then it gets worse when I move. You ever had that, it so gross isn’t it? ” then she breathed “oh hay why are you here? are you on the lam because sitting in the corner looking like thunder is not working if you are trying to hide, or are you wanting for a contact? Oo oo oh Or or are you doing a hit?Please don’t, Mal and Finn, the guys out front, they’re nice guys. Ah shoot look I gotta get back. Come sit at the bar”

    She weaved her way through the throng without looking (how does she do that) back to the bar. She got back to the bar to find a tall grim looking elf.

    “hi ya, what can I get ya’ll”


  • jack_spade

    February 19, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Despite having operated (the word ‘living’ would have implied quite a different kind of existence for him) in the UCAS for so long, Kynos still had trouble with bubbling enthusiasm that wait staff displayed. Intellectually, he knew it was because of the importance of tipps, but on an emotional level it still filled him with a low key kind of anger. He preferred to deal with open disdain…

    “Soycaf, hot, lots of it.”

    Despite the insulation of his armor, he felt cold inside – even colder than normally. The obvious charm and beauty of the girl registered – and went to be filed away without being considered as particularly relevant.

  • aria

    February 19, 2020 at 7:48 am

    [Wednesday January 18, 2079; Mechanicals Compound, Orting, Puyallup Barrens]

    Lily had brushed with the hunters once too often in the last few weeks and here was Feather offering her a place to lie low for a while and hopefully throw them off her scent. Although they hadn’t made a move on her while she was here in Orting she did not wish to bring trouble down on the Mechanicals who had been so kind to her. Besides which she had never seen snow that wasn’t contaminated by the Metroplex’s stink…

    After confirming her interest in Feather’s offer she set about preparing for what she would need in her crate ride. She wasn’t worried about the discomfort, being cybernetically hyper flexible made the prospect of the journey much more possible than if she’d been constrained by normal physiology. With the addition of a satlink (a wilderness necessity anyway) she could spend the time in the virtual world of the matrix and ensure she didn’t miss her favourite programs. She could probably get the majority of the required survival gear when she arrived in Sudbury so she wouldn’t need to cram too much in to the crate with her, just enough to pad the sides…and it would have to be off the shelf, even with Cannon’s connections, she didn’t think that there was time for anything fancy like the grey mana lining to her catsuit, that would just have to remain behind for this one…


  • beta

    February 19, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Once the grim-faced elf left with his beer, a hefty troll closed in on Bronwyn and Becky to demand a couple of beer from the former. Once he’d tossed back half of one of them, he looked her in the eye and commented “A boisterous dryad matching your description has left of an impression in various places across the continent. While Shirley has been happy having you here at the bar — says it has been keeping the patrons in line — she’s given me leave to offer you other employment for a few days. I think her exact words were “Frag yes, if you don’t keep that sort busy they’ll end up burning something down or blowing something up or breaking through the ice in a transport truck. Too much energy for her own good.” Come see us in the back after the show if you are up for a well paying bit of excitement.“”

    Then he turned his look to Becky, and added “You are a surprise, but the way you carry yourself, I’d guess you have a history of your own, and a previous aquaintance. If you think you can keep up with this one,“” he tipped his horns towards Bronwyn, “feel free to come back after the show as well.

    After he left them he moved through the crowd, accepting greetings, teasing a couple of people, and in passing giving a nod to Kynos. Eventually he wandered up to the side of the small stage and stood there for a while, scowling while he scanned the crowd. A cluster of arrivals took the pub from ‘busy’ to ‘full’ but still the troll seemed to be looking for something else.

    Eventually he stepped through a door to the back, only to re-appear a moment later with his sister and his electric guitar (a rail-road tie with strings and pick-ups) and roared “You fraggers want to hear some good music? After people roared their approval to this notion he yelled back “Then get the frag out of here! We are ‘Not The Thompsons’, I’m Tony, that’s Tammy. We were introduced to good music once, but we ate it. It gave me indigestion and we swore off it ever since. But since you drek-heads are still here, we’ll play you some of our music..

    <font face=”inherit”> Bronwyn was suddenly busy with a rush for more beer as Tammy started slapping out a </font>rhythm<font face=”inherit”> on the body of a double-bass, and Tony built up a reverbing bass note that had to be at the low end of most people’s hearing range.

    About the point that the squealing bass note was starting to dance with Becky’s internal organs it suddenly stopped, and Tony broke into an over-the-top version of “Singing in the Rain,” to general laughter. But after that Tammy started growling some song about riots and fires in Detroit, with a chorus of ‘Black Day in July’ and the laughter gave way to the serious business of drinking and bellowing along and moshing in the crowded confines of the pub.

    Kynos however found that there was a small clear space around him — apparently these people had some innate sense of danger to be avoided? But a the rate that beer was being served, would people’s caution last until the end of the show?

  • adamu

    February 19, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    It was cold as a witch’s tit.

    And Al would know.

    But that was a different story altogether.

    The call had come from Silky forty-eight hours earlier, and Al hadn’t slept since. But then, it wasn’t as if he’d have gotten any had he stayed in Orting. The dreams made sure of that. There was nothing about his current lifestyle that was likely to chase them away.

    He hadn’t even thought about it. Just snake-sealed the garage’s office, opened the terrariums, and paid Clack the usual handful of nuyen to toss a few rats in through the old mail slot every few weeks.

    Spike took care of himself.

    Silky had made clear it was no special favor – just an opportunity. To work. Al didn’t need money. Not for a long time now. And he hated the cold. And he had plenty the keep himself busy with right there in his shop. But it was work. The Good Book said a man worked for a living. Or was wasn’t any sort of man at all.

    Or maybe he just had trouble sitting still.

    He’d taken the Gaz. That was what he liked to drive. But it was work, so he had the Gov trail a few miles behind. He’d made the damned thing smarter than he was, so it wouldn’t be an issue.

    His tribal visas still valid, he’d headed almost due east. Drive-thrus worked for food and coffee, the coffee cups were good for what came after. So the only time he’d been boots on the ground since two days past was the sporting goods emporium in Minneapolis where he’d bought thermals and some arctic-grade coveralls. A stocking cap, black, because it was cool. And some gloves that he’d so far refused to put on. But there were in his pockets if they were needed.

    So he parked in the gray slush under gray skies outside the gray structure that housed the bar he’d been told to go to. He’d driven long and fast and loved every minute. His ears rang with the psychobilly clamor that had been his only company. From the sound of things, the bar would be no quieter than the cab of the Gaz had been.

    Well, it had better be just as warm, because even all kitted out he figured one ball would be frozen and the other merely hypothermic by the time he got across the street. He’d spent his life in deserts, swamps and jungles. The only time he’d been this cold was on that ridiculous errand She’d sent him on in the Chukchi, and it had taken nigh on month in Okinawa to get the chill out of his bones after that fiasco.

    So he pulled on the cap and sloshed his way across the road as quick as his short legs would carry him, not minding that any local would immediately spot him as an addict of warmer climes.

  • jack_spade

    February 19, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Kynos took a long sip from his soycaf. The music was… not his case. He wished now that he had splurged on a set of earbuds with a select sound filter. The way the troll had spoken to the Dryad had at first sounded like a pretty indecent proposal and he had looked forward to the girl breaking some of the glasware around in the troll’s face. But then he realized that this had to be the Johnson – or at least the Johnson’s fixer.

    And according to that, the two dryads where runners too.

    He noticed that the people around him kept their distance, but Kynos put that down to the fact that he still carried freeze dried bear blood on his gear and especially on the knuckles of his gloves.

    As the music got faster and the occupants more rowdy, Kynos just took the pot of Soycaf and his mug and made his way towards the outermost tables. People bumped into him, but just as well they could have pogoed against a brick wall.
    Once he had reached the relative safety of a chair with it’s back against the wall, he put the pot down and continued drinking the coffein goodness so that his enhanced kidneys didn’t get a chance to remove it before it could affect him.

    Without smiling he nodded towards the other dryad, still seated at her table and raised his mug in a mute salute.

  • gilga

    February 20, 2020 at 3:49 am

    “She works here?!” Rebbeca realizes – and she feels a bit empathy for the poor soul that hired a troublemaker like her. The poor sob was probably thinking with his lower parts. She is frustrated for being so obvious as a shadow-runner (and she even left the sword locked in the trunk of her car). She nods at the troll and says “She is a handful, isn’t she?”

    She listens to the music with an icy cold expression but softens up a bit when they start talking politics. “People always think that their opinions matter”, and it brings a cynical smile to her face. It is charming how people think that they are special and important and that people care what they think. They are filth with self-importance.

    She raises her glass to the cybered elf, her eyes examining him for a brief moment. He is definitely built for violence which she can appreciate, and something in his the way he looks at her – makes Rebbeca know that he is not looking to flirt. Which means that he thinks they are colleagues. “Bronwen totally outed me, that bitch. Might as well hear what they call “money” in these parts of the UCAS. I may have some liquidity problem with most of my stuff in Seattle.

  • electric_muppet

    February 20, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Whether it was some some spiling someones girlfriend or calling their drink a whore, the inevitable fight kicked off between two guy. The young elf swung at the older orc with a flury or blows as patrons went in to a well practiced drill of recovering drinks and moving out off the way.

    Bronwean swore even as she reached under the bar and pulled out a half a pool que.

    “you fuckers break it up” she yelled as she cleared the bar in one leap and dove, both fee first, into the fight knocking the elf flying. The orc was still just fighting so She wacked him on the knee and elbow.

    Mal arrived from the door to collect the offenders

    “batshit, wish you leave this to us.”

    “Yeah, Mal sorry, I just….. Oh My Gosh Al?!”

    Al was hit by the speeding elf before he could really register exactly what was going on

    “what the hell? hey shrimp. What’s are you doing here”

    “oh you know working, annoying Beccie, getting another job. The usual? And a couple of soyritos or you want a krillburger?”

    She walked back behind the bar deftly snapped caps off two beers as she shouted an order through to the kitchen.

    “so what brings you to Sunny Sudbury? OK hun what can I get ya?”


  • beta

    February 20, 2020 at 10:51 am

    As the concert goes on, it becomes obvious that Tony’s boast that they don’t play good music was not entirely misplaced. But Tony’s humour, Tammy’s passion, and their joint energy kept the crowd engaged. The runners may find themselves less entertained, and more concerned with the odds of violence breaking out or when they can find out about the job offer.

    Over time it is possible to see that the crowd has different factions. Most obvious were the few dozen trolls, mostly spaced around the outside of the room where they wouldn’t block views – even though the sliding doors to the axe throwing area have been opened up, the presence of the trolls helps keep the place crowded. There is a sizeable number of workers from Ares-Inco up front, who are quick to cheer any criticism of the new S-K mega-smelter, and a smaller group of S-K workers, mostly clustered around some tables at the back, who are eager to laugh at life in the mines. The moshing near the stage is led by some humans and orcs wearing a near uniform of plaid shirts and jeans with a lack of big corporate logos. A dense group of French-Canadians gradually clusters near the bar, making it harder for others to go new drinks. A few smaller clusters or other distinct groups form around tables: a dozen or so native north-americans being the most distinctive.

    Eventually the show wraps up with a cover of Maria Mercurial’s “Take it to Mister.” The song, and the crowd’s agitation, build in intensity until Tammy is standing and whirling the double-bass around her head while repeatedly screaming the final lines of the song “Feed the rage in your heart /Till it’s ready to blister. / Now put your gun in your hand / And TAKE IT TO MISTER!” Inevitably a moshing orc careens into the French-canadian cluster, from where she gets ejected onto one of the S-K populated table. After that it seems that fights just erupt spontaneously and simultaneously around the pub. Tammy finally stops screaming and ducks into the back room, while Tony takes a moment to look around and catch the eyes of various runners and gives them a quick nod that it is time. He seems especially relieved to finally spot Al, and then he too takes the door to the back areas.

    Shirley grabs Bronwyn’s arm, puts her mouth to the Dryad’s ear so that she can be heard, and tells her “We’ll let the boys out here burn off some energy for a bit, then it will be easy enough to settle things down. Don’t you worry about it – go see the band.”

  • aria

    February 20, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    [Friday January 20, 2079; Peddlar’s Pub & Axe Throwing Lounge, Sudbury]

    Hefting her gear pack with no apparent concerns despite its bulk against her small stature, Lily snugged the respirator a little tighter to keep out the knifing chill and walked lightly through the snow towards her destination.

    The scurrying figure ahead of her looked vaguely familiar, the bandy legged gait and that battered leather jacket, despite the frigid temperatures… Al? Well Feather had said it was a team effort and this place looked like it would fit Al like a glove! She’d not seen him in a couple of months as they seemed to miss each other around Orting but she was pleased that he was here. For all his disgusting habits and foul mouth he had a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility and honour (although no doubt he would deny both) that appealed to Lily. The fact that he was slightly shorter than her, unusual in their line of work apparently, was no bad thing either.

    Before she can catch him up he’d plunged in to the bar ahead and once inside the ensuing brawl made actually reaching him, at least without resorting to violence or attention grabbing gymnastics herself, all but impossible. When she saw Becky she knew she was in the right place and skirting the jeering trolls around the edge of the room she was just in time to follow them back stage…


  • gilga

    February 20, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Rebbeca recognizes Al and Lilly, but she does not get up – or greet them in anything more than the polite nod if they look at her. “Holy Patterns how could they be here too?” she says to herself.

    She looks at the fight mildly entertained – unaugmented people move so slowly that Rebbeca feels that she can read text messages before they manage to ineffectively harm one another. She stands up, and takes a few steps back to protect her drink though – it is terrible to lose a good drink for a bad reason.

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