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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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>50 single-spaced pages
>13,804 words
>4 Great Dragons
>Motherfucking Dervish

>This is Shadowrun Storytime 20

Fuck yes.
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Gonna dive right into this one because it's a doozie. As with the last one, please to choose epic climax music of your choice, although my suggestion always remains the inimitable Prodigy (I'm a fan of "Thunder").

I'm going to be dumping my pixel art folder to keep the look consistent; most of it is from a Tumblr user named Noirlac if you want to check it out.



A black Eurocar Westwind 3k convertible sprinted across Marquam bridge, its tailpipe sputtering blue flames in gunshot gasps as it caught up to the VIP. The VIP's vehicle nominally resembled a garbage truck, although most of the machinery was nonfunctional and the surface grime was artificial. Most of the trash compactor had been excised to make room for a turbocharger and expanded engine, which certainly explained why the Eurocar's driver had to even put any effort at all into keeping up with the otherwise-cumbersome vehicle.

Behind the unassuming little convoy, a large orange dragon and a smaller white dragon circled downtown Portland, diving between buildings and periodically passing out of sight. A black cloud billowed out of the shattered roof of the Portland Museum of Science and Industry, underlit with a flickering yellow-orange glow from the gunfire and open flames below and standing in stark contrast to the ubiquitous sprawl permadusk.

"-a terrorist attack. Please stay inside and evacuate Downtown Portland if at all possible. Do not call emergency lines at this time unless you have a medical crisis. Response teams are forthcoming--"
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Miss Reagan, the Westwind's driver, clicked the radio off. She was an unconventionally attractive woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a jawline that, whilst normally out-of-place, could be accurately described as 'handsome' on her muscular frame. She wore a skirt-suit primarily composed of a prototype armor weave that could stop large-caliber rifle fire but, much more importantly, had the texture of fine Italian silk.

Of course, Miss Reagan was a shapeshifting adept, as was her partner in the shotgun seat, Mister Monroe, so it made the matter of appearances somewhat irrelevant. Monroe adjusted his thick black sunglasses and leaned over the back of his seat, scanning the freeway behind them. Most traffic had cleared out due to the large flashing emergency signs superimposed over the freeway, which made spotting hostiles all the simpler.

"Grey SUV. Mile back and closing," commented Monroe, reaching between his legs for a black briefcase which swiftly unfolded into a ceramic high-power SMG frame. The gun let out a tinny whirr as the smartlink booted up.

"Think it's the G's?" Reagan pulled the sports car back from the VIP truck, her knuckles tightening on the wheel in case she needed to go into manual.

"Fits the bill," said Reagan, loading a magazine of APDS rounds. "Just be happy it isn't the Aztecs or the runners."

"No sense of restraint," agreed Reagan, gesturing with her hand to the truck ahead of them. "Mister Hepburn, your services are required."

"Acknowledged," commented a voice over Reagan and Monroe's tacnet, as a figure in green fatigues popped up from the back of the truck, followed by the long thin line of an anti-materiel rifle as it was braced along the top of the truck. "Gs are driving evasively. They're on to us."

"Just get a clean hit," griped Monroe, tapping the side of his gun absently. "Since the VIP's driving, we don't want to put any more risk on you than necessary."
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As Hepburn slowly lined up his shot on the SUV, which had accelerated into the hundred range and would close within a few seconds, a massive tiltrotor gunship done up in garish red, white and blue buzzed over the freeway overpass at dangerously low altitude, sending detritus flying and setting off a few car alarms on the streets below.

"What was that!?"

"Ares is making for the ground zero clusterfuck," yelled Reagan. "Focus, Hepburn!"

Reagan and Monroe ducked as the Westwind’s windshield shattered and the trunk rattled violently. A grey-clad mercenary was leaning out of the SUV's passenger side as it veered to the left, his battle rifle roaring.

"G's in heavy armor," barked Monroe. "Get the engine block!"

The sound of the battle rifle was briefly overshadowed by the cacophonous bang of the anti-materiel gun as it planted a single fist-sized hole on the left side of the SUV's hood. The SUV's machinery screeched in anguish, but the large vehicle kept gaining.

"No good!"

"Keep firing!"

Hepburn cocked the rifle and planted another hole through the windshield. Blood and bits of meat and metal spattered out the rear window, but the pursuit continued.

"Got one of the rear gunners. Cover me!"

"Screw this," growled Reagan. "When we get back, Hepburn, you're getting a citation. Monroe, you know what to do."
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Monroe grunted an affirmation, tugged gingerly on his gyro mount, sighted the general area of the front of the SUV, and let the SMG rip.

The gunner was the first to go, flopping limply back into the SUV with what remained of the adjacent car door, trailing thin red lines. The driver pulled forward to avoid getting struck, only exposing the one remaining man in the rear of the SUV, who fumbled to load a rocket-propelled grenade before taking three rounds to the head, shattering his helmet faceplate. He pitched forward and out of the SUV, his heavy combat armor doing little to stop him from becoming a stain on the road.

Hepburn re-sighted the driver of the SUV, although he was stalled by a feeling of intense heat just behind him. He spun to face a large fiery serpent, manifested in the vestigial garbage reservoir with him.

"AZTEEEECS," yelled Hepburn, before his feed abruptly cut out as a geyser of fire washed out of the top of the truck.

"FUCK!" Monroe pulled a micro-grenade launcher and planted a shot into the wheel well of the battered SUV, finally causing it to flip dramatically and careen into the divider, its rag doll occupants pinwheeling onto the road. He loaded a new mag of APDS into the SMG and scanned for hostiles.

"It's not the aztecs, it's the runners," groaned Reagan, peering in the rearview mirror. A silver Hyundai family sedan was flying up the 405 at unbelievable speed, leaving visible red-hot tracks. "They're pulling something with spirits."

"We are no longer playing nice, Reagan," growled Monroe, reaching behind his seat to retrieve a disposable fire-and-forget missile launcher. He smiled as it linked with his glasses, targeting the oncoming car.
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Reagan gasped.

“Holy fuck!”

Monroe spun in time to see the cars disappear, revealing the real sedan, keeping pace directly in front of their own vehicle while driving in reverse, pinning the two cars bumper-to-bumper. The familiar silhouette of Aztechnology power armor glinted from the space above the sunroof, as well as the click-clack of an LMG bipod settling into place.

Time slowed down for Monroe as he tried to bring the missile launcher up to bear. His ears rang and then dulled as he watched the hood of his car deform and shred apart like tissue paper, the few remaining fragments of windshield likewise giving way and turning into a burst of razor snowflakes. Raegan shuddered, her hands gripping and then relaxing off the steering wheel as her guts sprinkled into the back of the car, taking a shortcut through the sundered vinyl that had been her seat.

Monroe briefly achieved missile lock, until a wheezing thud signaled that gravity no longer applied, and the world turned into a spiral of color as black rubber sinews snapped and catapulted off into the sky. He obtained balance as a shooting star erupted from his shoulder and made for somewhere in the financial district.

He was halfway through making peace with God when his entire universe became pavement.
Where do you get these pictures?
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“Why didn’t you tell us you knew each other!?”

Belfast the bank robber and Jordan Formic the super-spy sat at one end of the table with a lithe, hardened elf woman in a leather jacket, facing Wildcard, Dervish, Bend, and Locke. All involved parties were freely partaking of libations (and Wildcard and Belfast had already been pre-gaming), although no one trusted the food aside from Dervish, who had gone with the rationale of “how hard is it to fuck up a steak?”

Dervish grunted in dismay at his tofu steak as Belfast, an elf with the same sort of too-many-plastic-surgeries John-Doe vibe as Wildcard, downed the last of his Guinness. His voice was a high-pitched Irish brogue, in contrast to his former partner’s baritone Scottish.

“M’sister’s a smuggler fer the Ancients all uppan down the West Coast,” said Belfast, gesturing to Kara, who briefly looked up from pulling her long, blonde hair into a ponytail to wordlessly acknowledge that she had been mentioned. “Use’r whenever I needta get weapons inta the NAN or CalFree.”

Formic looked at his watch but smiled dimly. He clearly had somewhere else to be but was waiting for the appropriate etiquette to dismiss himself.

“Meanwhile, I’ve taken to using the Ancients--Kara in particular--whenever I need to deniably access some...less than-legal-goods.”

Locke raised an eyebrow.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Formic stirred his martini and allowed his thin smile to crack into a roguish grin.

“Let’s just say that the raging novacoke problem in Seattle’s political scene happens to make things easier for certain Tir interests.”

Kara spoke up, at last. Her voice was dry and husky, displaying the harsh life that she had lived in much clearer detail than her comparatively unscarred appearance.

“So, when Peter and Dylan asked my boss and my brother if they knew a smuggler…”
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>I'm going to be dumping my pixel art folder to keep the look consistent; most of it is from a Tumblr user named Noirlac if you want to check it out.

Also, obligatory reminder that the thread sages to hell if it's just me storytiming, so feel free to comment and discuss the story or Shadowrun.


Bend gave Formic a good stink-eye.

“You used that name? Really?”

Formic scoffed.

“Well, I figured as long as you’re not using it, Sean.”

He put extra emphasis on the ‘s,’ getting a brief chuckle out of Locke, who proceeded to stare into his drink when the stink-eye found its way to his doorstep. Dervish, eyeing his empty plate with half-resolved intent to lick, instead looked up and asked,

“We gonna get down to this?”

“Oh, right.”

Wildcard pulled up an AR window and began marking spots on a Seattle map.

“Managed t’bring most of our guns through customs on an intelligence thing, but still got a lot of gear Seattle-side that needs movin’. Milspec armor’s th’big one, but there’s also the plastic explosives, th’ thermite, an’ the explosive and sabot rounds for the guns.”

A list appeared alongside the map, demarcating where and in what amounts the aforementioned could be found.

“Jesus,” chuckled Kara, nervously, “are you boys gearing up for war?”

Dervish responded, deadpan,


Kara gulped.

“Nother problem,” mentioned Wildcard. “If we’re gon’ta be smugglin’ through the Ancients, we need insurance that they won’t screw us jus’ cuz we got a coupla greenskins on’th team.”

Belfast waved a dismissive hand.

“Ancients are more a syndicate now’n a gang; racism’s not good for business. ‘Sides, y’haven lookt like an orc since sixty-eight! Both of us are ‘ssentially humans at this point.”

“Easy for you ta say, ya little squint,” countered Wildcard, affectionately, “Mister Essentially Human But Lives Forever.”
I'm a little bit lost. Who was the VIP in the car?
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“I can assure you, there will be no double-crosses,” interrupted Kara. “We’d be violating three golden rules of West Coast gang life.”

Formic seemed intrigued by the novelty of this statement, and made a nonspecific, inquisitive noise, prompting Kara to continue.

“...Don’t go back on deals, don’t mess with another man’s stuff…”

She eyed Dervish, who was sipping nonthreateningly on his whiskey, nervously.

“...and don’t fuck with no Dervish.”

Dervish looked up from his drink, nodded approvingly, and then finished the glass.

“I think that’s my cue to leave,” said Formic, standing up and slipping his tailored jacket over his slim turtleneck.

“I’ll see you out,” said Bend, standing as well.

As the two elves stepped outside, Bend whispered, harshly,

“You’re sticking it to her, you corrupt, horny old bastard!”

“That’s classified, soldier,” responded Formic, lighting up a cigarette and disappearing into the streets.
>“That’s classified, soldier,” responded Formic, lighting up a cigarette and disappearing into the streets.
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Deliberate flash-forward. Much as the "preview" with Dervish last storytime, I'm leaving it intentionally vague for now because I want to try to replicate the sense of discovery that we had going through GM's story the first time.



The frenetic beats of synthtrash hadn’t dimmed all night, although through the well-soundproofed floor they were mostly reduced to vibrations that one could vaguely catch the gist of through one’s feet. Dervish sat on his futon in the dim attic room, admiring the four suits of milspec armor against the wall, artfully lit by a single, bare bulb. Bend’s was the lightest, a ruthenium-coated softweave number that could be folded up and stuffed in a backpack in a pinch, but which could nevertheless stop a rifle burst (also in a pinch). Wildcard’s thick, plated suit had been recently modded, and although the shoulder pads and chestplate still were clearly Knight Errant SWAT with the serial numbers filed off, the ceramic, clown-like facemask and the integrated armor commlinks were all Wildcard. Locke’s eagle warrior combat gear was burnished but faded, its dramatic flanges worn down by time, combat, and hasty field repairs.

And then there was the America-San suit, Dervish’s magnum opus, a state-of-the-art fighting vehicle that had the audacity to pretend to be a suit of armor.

Dervish sighed affectionately, wiped a smear off his cybereye, and stood up to rejoin his team, who were outlining the plan over “scrambled eggs” by the attic’s only window.

“I think this guy’s our best bet,” repeated Bend, gesturing to a hovering AR window that depicted an uncharacteristically plain, male elf with short brown hair, dressed in a frumpy business suit. Dervish yawned.


“Nice of you to join us, mate,” chuckled Wildcard, switching off the camping stove that he was using to field-brew coffee.
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“You know,” said Dervish, “the elves downstairs prob’ly have a coffee machine.”

“Back on topic, please,” said Locke, sitting cross-legged in cargo pants and a t-shirt, scraping at a greasy paper plate for survivors.

“Harry Dexter, import-export guru,” reiterated Bend, “considered by many in the Tir business world to be the preeminent man in the know when valuable goods travel in or out of the Tir. Has people all over the shipping and insider trading scene. Specializes in magical goods and artifacts. Sound familiar?”

“Sounds like our man,” agreed Dervish. “So when do we do the hit?”

Everyone stared at Dervish blankly.

“Y’know, not a HIT hit. But when do we scope it out, move to steal the info?”

“Actually,” said Wildcard, speaking simply, as he would to a child, “we were just thinking of setting up an appointment and paying for the info like businesspeople.”

Dervish gawked.

“We can DO that!?”

Bend grabbed the AR window and absently tossed it behind his shoulder.

“I know it’s hard to visualize, D, but there are people who like money just as much, if not more, than we do.”
You are a fantastic writer. Have you ever considered writing professionally?
If it never occurred to him that you can buy info instead of stealing it, it's a miracle they lasted this long. Info brokers are not people to cross lightly.
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Not really. Ironically, writing is a hobby whereas I'd like to consider flat art my profession, but I'm so woefully out of practice on the latter that I'm likely better at the former.

Not that either serves me in the internship I'm currently working. Pundits who say the economy's recovering can eat a dick.



The team strolled through the crisp, clean lobby of the office building. The whole interior was done up in soft coffee colors; a tasteful mocha for desktops and other surfaces, a smoky almond for the walls, and an understated cream tone for the floor. The team’s leather loafers clacked against the vanilla tiles, with the exception of Dervish’s raptor legs, which made shrill ‘ting-ting-ting’ noises as they adjusted to carry his prodigious weight across the room.

“I’m getting weird vibes,” growled Dervish, under his breath, as he eyed a bored-looking elven rent-a-cop at the front desk. He adjusted his red, white and blue tie, which fit a little too snugly around his massive linebacker shoulders. The top two buttons of his plain white button-up shirt were undone by necessity, rather than choice. “Cult vibes.”

“That’s how you are around salarymen in general, Dervish,” responded Locke, himself in a pink silk shirt with slate slacks, artfully arranged with his three-day stubble and tousled hair to evoke just the right level of calculated neglect to appearance. “Just don’t get knocked off your donkey and start shooting up the place.”

Wildcard, in his plain grey business suit, gave Locke the best expression of confusion he could manage with his mostly-plastic face.

“It’s an Aztlaner phrase,” noted Locke, with a shrug. “I guess it doesn’t really translate.”

“Nah, not really,” agreed Bend, peering over the sunglasses of his black g-man ensemble, pressing the ‘up’ button on the elevator. “We doing this?”
What's your address? I'm sending you a bill when my F5 key breaks.
>That saying
Aztlan is an absolute shithole, isn't it?
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After a brief, nonlethal exposure to a muzak cover of Christie Daee’s “Dancing with the Fireflies,” the elevator doors dinged, and the team exited into a cubicle farm that echoed the quiet cacophony of business. Phones ringed and were answered nonstop, as desk jockeys offered clients advice on both local and abroad investments. Disembodied conversations about an orichalcum lode discovered in Nepal and an exhibit of magical artifacts being featured at the Bellagio in Vegas intermixed with the whine of an active microwave in the kitchen and the politely understated cheers of two men on break watching the local Combat Biker semifinals in the lunch room. An elf of indiscriminate ethnicity with an athletic build, tanned skin, high cheekbones, and bow-shaped lips whistled the tune of Maria Mercurial’s “Take it to Mister,” making his way towards the team.

As he approached, Locke stepped forward to intercept him. The young businessman almost bumped into him, but adjusted at the last moment and grinned a saccharine smile.

“Hey, you guys are Mr. Dexter’s two-thirty, right?”

“Yes, and you are…?”

Locke put his hand forward to shake, but the elf stepped back and held his hands up disarmingly, revealing that he was missing the ring finger on his left hand, and it had been replaced with a plastic prosthetic.

“Not important enough for this! Mr. Dexter made very clear that I should escort you directly to his office.”

Locke shrugged, and followed the young man, who immediately pursed his lips and resumed his tune as he marched forward into the office.

“Fair enough.”
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The employee was getting awkwardly into the last few notes of the song, whistling over the volume of anything else in the office and doing little dance moves, when he stopped at a black box of polarized glass at the back of the office.

“Mr. Dexter is right through here. He’s expecting you.”

“Yeah, thanks.”

“Where’s my tip? Kidding!”

The elf laughed at his own joke and shimmied past, dropping the previous song and launching into an equally shrill rendition of one of the recently-released “just-rediscovered” JetBlack tracks. Dervish cringed and stretched his knuckles around his cyberspur ports.

The plain, brown-haired elf with the bad sense for suit sizing appeared at a previously-unseen door in the polarized cube, peering out suspiciously.

“Sorry about that. He and all the other temps are new hires. News of fresh money on the wind and, buzz buzz buzz, I find myself in need of a few more drones. Harry Dexter.”

“Vincent Da Silva,” said Locke, reaching his hand out to shake and smiling when his offer was answered this time around. Dexter eyed Dervish, Bend, and Wildcard.

“Step into my office, Da Silva and...associates?”

Bend snarked,

“You could say we’ve been through hell together.”

The team settled into seats around Dexter’s real wood desk, looking out upon the office. The glass was a muted tint from the inside, enough to survey the rest of the office without being distracted by it. Dexter tapped a button on the underside of the desk, and a white noise machine began broadcasting.

“I looked into the topic that we discussed on the phone, Mr. Da Silva.”

“Yes, and?”

“You asked if I knew of any shipment of a major artifact into or out of the Tir. I’m afraid that I don’t have anything matching that description.”

Locke scowled, crossing his right leg over his left and leaning back in his chair as Dexter settled in at his desk.

“Then why call us in, if you already knew?”
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“Because I have some information that might point you in the right direction,” said Dexter, coolly, “and I’m willing to waive the fee entirely if you’re willing to help me help you.”

“With all due respect, please cut the jargon,” said Locke, sternly.

“Word is that a local talismonger, Alexander Gomez, has received a startlingly large commission from outside sources for a variety of strictly need-to-know spell formulae. He refuses to accept my price for the information, which is unfortunate, because it is, in fact, my business to know these things to keep my consultancy running, and it also leads me to believe that he may be dealing with shady clientele.”

“And in the Tir festival season. The audacity,” leered Bend.

“Exactly. So, I figure whatever this is, has to do with what you boys are after. And given your unique trade…”

Dexter leaned his elbows on the table and Locke nodded sagely in response.

“Yes, I think we can look into Mr. Gomez for you, provided you tell us what you know afterwards.”

Dexter’s fingers intertwined beneath his calculating smile.

“We have an arrangement, then. I’ll have my secretary provide an address.”

As the party stepped out of the building into the parking lot, Wildcard clicked his keys. The black sedan chirped agreeably.

“This seems pretty cut and dry.”

“Not so,” said Bend, gravely.

Dervish stopped a few feet away from the car, surveying Bend apprehensively.


“You guys go handle the thing with the talismonger. You’ll need Locke there for the magic stuff, anyhow.”

Wildcard sat on the trunk, causing the car to bow slightly.

“...and you will be doing?”

“I’m gonna shadow that whistling kid.”

“What,” asked Locke, “the annoying temp?”
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“Yeah,” said Bend. “Dervish, do you remember that feeling you got?”

Dervish nodded as Bend held up a hand and put his commlink to his ear. The team just got his side of the conversation.

“Yeah. Um, specific employee. Security Director McWilliams. Yeah, him. Uh, it’s Sean Falstaff calling for him. Yeah, from the Christmas party. He knows me.”

There was a pause. The whole team looked between each other. No one except Bend had any idea what was going on, evidently.

“Hey, TwoDee. Look, can you do a little favor for me? Wait, hold on, is this line secure?”

Bend held the commlink away from his ear as a tirade of nasal-tone cursing screeched out of the receiver.

“Yeah, okay. Security Director. Ask a stupid question. I get it. Look, does your brain have, like, photo archives? You know, like a family photo album folder on the desktop or whatever. Okay, I get that...semantics, I get it...look, do you still have the material from that whole goatfuck with Taka back in 2072?”

The commlink screeched again.

“I know, I know, we had that whole ‘never speak that name again’ thing going, but I figured you wouldn’t still be mad after...okay...you do? Great. Could I get a copy of that?”

The commlink ceased screeching and made an obliging ‘ding’ noise.

“Wow. Um. Prompt. Thanks, I...no, Emily and I don’t have time to watch your kids next week. We’re on the job, TwoDee. I don’t care if you have tickets--we’re in Portland, no, I can’t--”

Dervish squinted, trying to catch whatever it was that he was missing about ‘that whole goatfuck with Taka back in 2072.’

“No, our job isn’t to fuck with your new killer robot that’s about to be unveiled here. Would you believe it has nothing to do with Ares? It’s--okay. Bye.”

“If it turns out my hunch isn’t correct,” Bend said, settling down onto the trunk of the car with the rest of the team, “then it’ll be a load off my mind, I’ll tell you that.”

Locke and Wildcard didn’t know what, exactly, they were looking for, but watched attentively.

The “camera” approached a cheery receptionist sitting at a cheap, synthetic-material desk. Behind the desk, a terrifyingly immense Salish man wearing a business monkey outfit stepped around a potted plant, carrying a pot of coffee. A wiry man with a prominent glasgow grin leaned over another visible desk, fiddling with a spreadsheet. On one pastel-colored wall was a photo of Mount Kilimanjaro, and on another was a picture of a marathon runner, captioned “THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE IS NOT TO TRY.”

The ‘cameraman’ said, his voice nasal and unpleasant,

“I swear to God, one of them just said ‘how’s the wife.’ Like, unironically.”

The effete albino elf in the black business suit held a hand in front of the camera. His voice was soft, but with the slightest traces of a New York accent.

“Let’s just play it cool. Ahem. Excuse me? Ma’am?”

The receptionist looked up and popped her bubble gum.

“Need something, handsome?”

Geppetto stepped forward and leaned on the desk.

“We’re looking for Mr. Johnson.”

This garnered an immediate wince from the receptionist, as a large African-American orc with sleeve tattoos passed by, chatting on his commlink about ‘the big merger.’

“Oh noooo! Mr. Johnson’s in a meeting. Can I take a message?”

The camera watched from behind Geppetto as he took off his hat and made eye contact with the receptionist. To the left, Dervish leaned against the marathon-runner wall display.

“Well, miss, we really need to talk to him. Say it’s from Mr. Takamoto.”
>“I’m gonna shadow that whistling kid.”

A 'runner after my own heart.
Oh my god are we finally getting an explanation for that creepy office thing back in Japan?!
You have the best GM. Do you know if he had this planned all the way back then, or did he decide to throw it in on the fly?
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Bend paused the video, as an athletic man of indiscriminate ethnicity with high cheekbones, bow-shaped lips, and a missing ring finger passed by on the way to the water cooler, whistling 2072’s latest flash-in-the-pan J-Pop tune.
“Ho Ho Holy fuck,” said Dervish, his cybereyes wide and awestruck. “Ginsen is back.”

Locke looked expectantly at Dervish.


“Before you and Wildcard’s time,” said Bend, pocketing his commlink and opening the rear door of the car to begin retrieving his spy gear. “Ginsen was a whole bunch of shell companies based around some kind of black-ops hardcase merc team, that we ran into by coincidence in Neo-Tokyo.”

Dervish nodded in agreement and spoke up.

“Super pro, from what we saw. Settled in and started acting like ordinary office workers; it was crazy, like a bunraku switch got flipped. We blew their cover and they all made out like ghosts.”

“Well, all except their public face,” noted Bend. “They detonated his cranial bomb the moment it was clear we were on to him.”

“So,” said Wildcard, pulling up a series of public access pages on ‘THE GINSEN CORPORATION: COHESIVE BRAND SYNERGY FOR A MORE DIVERSE FUTURE,’ “you boys ran into some kind of super black-ops team in the past, they pulled a fast one on you, and now they’ve resurfaced in a magical imports consultancy as we coincidentally know that a major artifact is coming into town.”

“That’s about the long and short of this, yeah,” said Dervish, sitting up from the trunk of the car and causing the suspension to jump up by easily 10 inches. “So expect things to get real shitty, real fast.”

“Well, we should be on the safe side on our end, just shaking down a talismonger,” noted Locke. “I’m worried about what happens if you get caught.”

Hrm. Formatting borked a little bit there. Not gonna bother fixing it but there should be a paragraph between "J-Pop tune" and Dervish's exclamation.
>We should be on the safe side on our end
And nobody slapped him, in or out of character?
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I have no idea if GM planned this, but it was brilliant.


Bend smiled darkly as he pulled his tactical hood over his head. As the goggles settled down over his eyes, they whirred and lit up with Bend’s UI, and then darkened to match the ambient light.

“Locke, you ever read ‘Spy vs. Spy?’”


Alex Gomez, a pudgy Native American elf with a greasy ponytail hairdo, had enjoyed a recent upsurge in profits, coinciding with the beginning of the Tir festival season. He’d “inherited” his (human) father’s business a few decades back when all the humans were relegated to second-class citizens, didn’t give it back during the reintegration, and had never looked back as far as unscrupulous acquisitions went. The spree of recent special orders had tipped him off, somewhere in the dim recesses of what remained of his morals, to the prospect that major shit was about to go down, but it was quickly squashed with the familiar ‘not my problem’ mantra, and buried in the convenient ex-post-facto excuse of customer confidentiality.

And it would have stayed that way, were it not for the aloof Aztec in the silk shirt who was asking too many questions.

“Look, amigo,” said the roguishly handsome, latino elf standing across the grungy, fetish-covered counter, “I can really make it worth your while. My employer just has an interest in seeing what kind of arcane hardware his contemporaries are packing, comprende?”

Gomez scowled. In the back of his mind, he resented this interloper, this quisling of the ‘elves-are-all-attractive’ stereotype that genetics had unfortunately deemed him not worthy of.

“Unless your employer wants to buy something, your employer isn’t touching the sales records, /amigo./”
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Nope. Dervish alone had a thousand-karma build by now.


“Okay, fine,” said the asshole, with a practiced smile, “do you have any Aztec-tradition mind-reading spell scrolls in? Nothing illegal, but enough to get a little edge, know what I’m saying?”

Gomez eyed the massive orc in the armor jacket who was milling around by a row of Christian iconography. He assensed everyone who entered the shop, and the big guy wasn’t even Awakened, let alone a Christian Theurge. This was looking more and more like Runner business, which the special customer had warned Gomez to be wary of.

“No, I don’t have anything like that in,” Gomez lied, “and I’d advise you and your trained monkey to piss off before I hit the panicbutton for extortion.”

“How much does a bullet cost?”

The big lug in the back spoke up, having moved to a rack of enchanted weapons. They were a big draw among normies, appealingly forbidden in the same way that a teenager will lust after a state-carnival katana. Obviously, most of the weapons on the rack were nonmagical, but designed to look appropriately fantastical such that idiots would buy them.

“What, like a magic bullet? The silver ones will run you a few hundred--”

“Nah, nah,” said the orc, shrugging his shoulders informally and stepping towards the counter. “Like a normal bullet.”

Gomez blinked at the strange serenity of the six-and-a-half-foot inquisitor.

“Like, 10 nuyen?”

“That a fact?”

The orc nodded sagely, looking around the store in muted wonder. After an awkward silence, he turned to look down at Gomez again. The Aztec stepped away from the counter obligingly.

“Guess weapons taxes are stricter here. Makes sense. Well-armed populace under a monarchy, sheeeit, that’s asking for trouble.”

The orc’s cyberyes made a click-whirr noise as he blinked, only evident because of the silence in the rest of the shop.

“You know how much a cyberblade costs?”
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“I don’t know,” Gomez lied again, “a couple thousand?”

“Nah, man, nah,” laughed the orc, shaking his head. “Not when you’re dealing with Dervish.”

The name clicked to Gomez as he was picked up bodily by the throat. A sword the length and thickness of a machete jutted forth from the orc’s other arm as protective covers slid over his eyes.

“When you’re dealing with Dervish, cyberblades come motherfucking free.”

Gomez resisted the urge to shit himself.

Gasping, he attempted to focus on a powerbolt, only to feel it fizzle. His aggressor commented,

“See, when Dervish is making a sale, ain’t nothing gonna come between him and closing the deal. S’why he brought his man Locke. Locke ran magical ops for the Aztecs for decades, even specializes in counterspelling! No shit, right? That’s what we in the running biz call convenience, chummer.”

Feeling the watching eyes of the Aztec, Gomez instead went to his last resort, and pushed the panicbutton on his commlink, resolving to bribe the cops to overlook his more questionable stock.

“Now, Dervish also don’t appreciate outside investors attempting to edge in on these mad once-in-a-lifetime deals, which is why his homie outside took the liberty of jamming all outgoing communications--panicbuttons included--while we were scoping out the joint. That way it’s just you and Dervish, so you can know that we here at Dervish industries are taking your case personally.”

As Dervish slid the blade under Gomez’s inseam, the urge to shit himself overpowered his previously-staunch resistance. He gurgled and squirmed as his bowels voided.

Dervish looked down in muted disbelief.

“Bitch just shat all over my sword, Locke.”

“Just wash it off in the bathroom.”

“I put that shit in my BODY, Locke.”
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Gomez saw white fog and red spatter as Dervish threw him, one-handed, through the door to the back room. His hearing cut in and out, like a television with bad reception.

“...Gotta keep it sticking out till I can wash it...awkward…”

Gomez wiped the blood from his eyes in time to see Locke crouching over him, all pretense of friendliness absent from his smile.

“So let’s revisit the whole sales records thing, amigo.”


Bend’s goggles alerted him to a call from Wildcard, which he routed to his microtransceiver. For the last few hours, he’s been hanging upside-down in a tree, watching--or rather, listening to--the Whistler and a few grey-jumpsuited compatriots pretend to fix a power line outside of Harry Dexter’s townhouse. A van marked “Pan-X Repairs” appeared to be their mobile command center, and Bend had caught a glimpse of a lot of guns inside.

“Hey, Wildcard. Check that the line is secure, real quick.”

“Aye, wait for a moment…”

There was an ominous silence at the other end of the line.

“Naw, someone was runnin’ a sniffer on ye. Not ye specifically--jus’ afraid that /someone/ is followin’ ‘em.”

“And you just let them know that we know,” hissed Bend.

“That lil’ silence was me takin’ one of your ol’ phone conversations an’ loopin’ it in so we sound like a coupla civvies.”

“You record our phone conversations?”

“Not important. Look, we tracked the spells that were being ordered.”

Bend looked up, briefly catching the familiar glint of a fly-spy drone before it disappeared again into the night sky. He eyed his quarry, who hadn’t acknowledged if they were on to him, but that didn’t comfort him.

I love Dervish.
I take it he doesn't stab people in the gut often?
Oh hey. I'm on for the Shadowrun series that got me back onto running Matrix for my team...

>“I put that shit in my BODY, Locke.”

But Dervish really gets some of the best lines since TwoDee's retirement.
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“Whole buncha surveillance an’ mind control spells. Not all of ‘em strictly legal. Control Thoughts, Alter Memories, Read Memories...nothin’ good. Bought, go figure, by the Ginsen corporation, now based outta Seattle. Amazonian shamanic tradition, figure that’s whatever mage they’ve got on staff up here.”

“Last time we ran into them, they were Londoners in Neo-Tokyo, pretending to be from San Fran. Sounds like a new chain link. Anything else?”

“Yeah. Lot of combat gear sales to types matching runners, too. Some hermetic destruction spells tied to an account in Germany, a nonstandard power focus special-ordered to an account in CalFree…”

“In other words, there are more runners around.”

“Aye. Dinnae how pro they are, but we’re far from the only tossers got suckered into this job.”

“That’s almost comforting,”

“Almost. What’re you up to?”

“Participating in the great surveillance circlejerk our time. Whistler and his Ginsen buddies are keeping tabs on Dexter, so I’m keeping tabs on them. And I’m pretty certain that someone is trying to find me, although I doubt they’ve spotted me yet.”

Bend managed to spot the fly-spy again, which was circling a few blocks away.

“Yeah, I’m catching a drone node operatin’ on hidden. Slaved t’another node, a commlink. Also flyin’ around, some hunnerd feet up. You spot a flying mage?”

Bend scanned the skies, flicking between filters, only to blanch at what his ultrasound registered.

“Not a mage,” whispered Bend, conspiratorially.

“What’s up?”

“I’ll tell you what’s up,” said Bend, shimmying down from his tree. “A seven-foot-long lizard with wings, wearing ruthenium-cloaked tactical armor and operating a helmet commlink.”
>“A seven-foot-long lizard with wings, wearing ruthenium-cloaked tactical armor and operating a helmet commlink.”
Oh shit, son!
I don't run shadows. What is that?
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Dervish was a really big fan of heads and necks. Guts aren't immediately lethal, just painful.


“Drake,” said Wildcard, his voice cold and calculating. “Any idea if it’s one of S-K’s?”

“I hope so,” hissed Bend, letting his feet settle on the ground, excruciatingly slowly, “otherwise it means there’s more than two Great Dragons in on this.”


“Maybe. It is her turf.”

“Don’t suppose ye’ll be wantin’ta stick around.”

“No, I don’t suppose so.”


In light of existentially-and-physically-terrifying revelations, the team hadn’t slept very well. Increasingly, Schwartzkopf’s request that bloodshed be minimized on this job was looking unfeasible. Wildcard countered the general feeling of dread by putting together another homemade breakfast.

“We’re running late on the jobs we’d set aside, gentlemen. The Horizon gala is tomorrow night. Dervish, tell me you got an invite for that.”

Dervish grunted over a slice of fake bacon.

“Yeah, but only for me, since I’m the only one Darius knows personally.”

“I can run comms on that, but I think we’re in agreement that Alvarez likely won’t be there. Bloody small event, everyone crammed into a single theater. It would be a nightmare for him to try to get the artifact in, especially on such short notice. Still, good to pay attention to, regardless.”

“What about the Mt. Shasta thing?”

Bend spoke up at this one.

“I think, given the amount of Great Dragon scrutiny we’ve been seeing on this, Alvarez would have to be an idiot to try anything in Hestaby’s /house/, at her /dinner party/. Consider that one nixed.”
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“The mage’s conclave is the big one,” noted Locke. “I’ve been slacking off on trying to make inroads there, and we know that it’s where he’d have the most cover and plausible deniability. The artifact wouldn’t even ping to security mages.”

“Let’s put you on that today and tomorrow,” agreed Wildcard. “For now, though, I have another important job for you.”

“Que nececitas?”

“I need you,” said Wildcard, brandishing a spatula, “to get more instant coffee from the Stuffer Shack across the street.”

“The one across from the dog park?”

“Yeah, that one.”


Locke stood and brushed off his jeans.

“Be back soon.”

As Locke disappeared down the stairs, Bend noted,

“Shouldn’t we be watching his back?”

Dervish waved a dismissive hand.

“ To grab coffee? It’s under a block away, Wildcard has his biomonitor signal, and he’s a combat mage. Locke can handle this and if he runs into trouble we can be out there in actual seconds.”

Exactly twelve seconds later, an alarm began issuing from Wildcard’s commlink.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
I thought they were bigger than that.
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As the team loaded up their combat gear, Wildcard kept an eye on the biomonitor.

“They’re takin’ him for a ride around the block. What’re you thinkin’? Hostage? Trap?”

Bend shook his head, in the process shaking his goggles down to eye level.

“Interrogation. Maybe magic, maybe not. We get to find out.”

Dervish grunted in acknowledgement as the team stomped downstairs.

As it turned out, the team was too late. They found Locke in the dog park, slumped against a tree, unconscious. The snow hadn’t begun to set into his clothes yet, suggesting that he’d been dropped off very recently. No one pulled iron, although Dervish kept his hands on the heavy dufflebag containing his automatic shotgun while Bend and Wildcard moved to check on their teammate. A prim-looking elf man in tennis shoes caught Dervish’s eye as he jogged past.

“Uh, is that guy okay?”

“Yeah,” said Dervish. “He looks like he passed out from exhaustion or something. I think those two guys are his friends.”

“Oh, that’s...that’s...okay.”

Dervish stared down the yuppie, who glanced at Locke a few more times and then jogged off.

“Ain’t safe out here. Too exposed.”

Wildcard nodded in agreement, scratching absently at the datajack ports at the base of his skull.

“The fly-spy’s above us. Same one as before. The Drake rigger is working for Ginsen.”
It's a wonder they don't head everywhere in pairs.
They are, that one's a drake, which are dragons only less dangerous

Then again, everything is less dangerous than a dragon.
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Locke moaned groggily as Bend slapped him across the face a few times.

“Stopiddd, stop it!”

Bend checked Locke’s pupils as Locke continued to groan in discomfort, slurring his words.

“Whatah doin, Bend!?”

“Checking you for drugs. Your pupils are about the size of pennies right now, so I think we can safely mark that off as ‘yes.’ Probably tranquilizers but Wildcard should still check your biomonitor.”

Locke blinked disbelievingly, beginning to come back to his senses.

“But...I was just...I napped...I nodded off for a nice nap because I was tired…”

Bend snapped his fingers in front of Locke’s face, getting him to focus.

“Did you see or hear anyone?”


“Do you remember being dragged into a van and taken around the block?”


Wildcard and Bend made eye contact.

“Alter Memories,” said Bend. “The Amazonian magician was just here.”

“He also ordered Read Thoughts,” noted Wildcard, “which means…”

Bend’s face contorted with anger and frustration.

“Shit! They know everything!”

“Cool it,” said Dervish, eyeing the slowly-gathering crowd dispassionately. “We don’t know shit. Which means they know whatever they know, plus shit. That’s probably not a lot. We need to clear out before these people call the cops.”

As Wildcard helped Locke to his feet, Bend called out,

“Don’t worry! My friends and I are going to take this man to a hospital!”
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The team reconvened in an alleyway to gather their senses. Locke slumped against a dumpster, looking especially humbled.

“That was some amateur hour shit,” he remarked. The rest of the team made subdued noises of affirmation.

“From now on,” noted Bend, “we travel in twos. We always operate in pairs. Even if I’m sneaking in to do spy things, I want someone else within 30 seconds.”

“Yep,” noted Dervish. “Even I’m starting to get uneasy at how many resources Ginsen’s moved into the Tir, and I don’t think we’ve even run into a Triple-A yet. We got any more leads?”

“Actually, we do.” Wildcard pulled up an AR window with a simple text message. “Dexter sent me an encrypted message with a time and a place. Behind a sports bar about 5 minutes from here. I think he’s come through.”

Bend grinned.

“Well, what are we fucking waiting for? There may be hope for this FUBAR op yet.”
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Bend sat on the roof of the sports bar, communicating with Wildcard (who was sitting in the parking lot) to smartjam suspicious-looking individuals. Both had inconspicuously tossed a few cheap microphones around the bar, using Wildcard’s powerful nexus to filter the sounds from within and isolate any out-of-the-ordinary behavior.

In the alleyway itself, Locke sipped at a cheap beer and leaned against an Ancients tag, waiting for Dervish to finish setting up the team’s portable white noise machine.

The white noise machine blared to life and Dervish nodded at the nervous businessman across from them. Dexter spoke up.

“We safe to talk?”

“We are now,” said Locke. “You know you’re being tailed?”

“Yeah. Don’t know by who. I pulled some big, big favors, and reeled in a shark.”

“Tell us what you know.”

Dexter brought up an AR window depicting a small cargo ship, scuttled on the coast.

“Orichalcum’s been big business lately with the mining boom, so I’ve been running a watchgroup on any transactions involving it. This ship is a smuggling vessel; runner-operated. Tir Coast Guard nabbed it at about four in the morning. Found four dead smugglers, an empty spot in the hold, and a nexus shot full of holes.”

Locke nodded.

“Where’s the orichalcum come in?”

“Whoever this was, they didn’t scrap the nexus thoroughly enough. They were probably rushed. I managed to get one of my people in--one of the people I can trust--and he sent me some of the data from the hard drive. They were transporting orichalcum on behalf of a Mr. Johnson. A hell of a lot of orichalcum.”

As Dexter paced in the alleyway, Dervish asked,

“We going to get a number?”

“It’s the kind of number you have to estimate based on market value.”
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Dervish squinted.

“So, we’re talking ‘could pay for a major artifact’ here.”

Dexter shook his head, distraught.

“We’re talking ‘could pay for two.’ “

Locke pent his fingers.

“Anything else?”

“Yeah. An anonymous message telling them to hold position at a specific spot in the ocean, because “the seller” wouldn’t be ready for a few more days.”

Locke and Dervish glanced at each other. Wildcard noted, over subvocal,

“Unless it’s a bluff, that means the Horizon screening is hosed.”

Dervish turned to face the back door of the sports bar and responded, making sure not to vocalize where Dexter could hear,

“Just as well. Today Locke and Wildcard can handle the mage’s conclave thing, but I want Bend watching my back.”

Bend glanced instinctively over the side of the roof.


“Because I’m going to be watching Dexter from here on out. He just gave us really sensitive info and I don’t want Ginsen nabbing it.”

“Fair enough. So we’re sure about the Horizon thing?”

Wildcard brought up an AR window in everyone’s PANs, indicating an increased police presence at Festival events for the next few days to counter “risks of terrorism.” Bend pieced through the article, and commented,

“Unless Alvarez also controls the cops, that makes the already-unlikely circumstance of a handoff there even unlikelier. It would mean that whoever has the funds--assuming that they’re the buyer and didn’t just steal it, delaying everything--would need to make sure that everything was legit within the next few hours, plan for the operation, and then execute it before the night is out.”
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“I think it’s time we called this to an end, Dexter,” said Locke, smiling. “We’ve got some business to handle.”

“You too,” said Dexter, although his smile was more transparently anxious.

“The Drake’s closing about five hundred feet up,” said Wildcard, updating the team. “No sign of the drone.”

As Dervish and Locke turned away from their contact, Locke hit Dervish with an Improved Invisibility spell.

“Double back to the car and get your armor, then follow Dexter. The spell should keep you clear of Ginsen’s detection for the time being.”

“Right on.”

“I’ve got a hotel to scope out. Keep in contact.”



Locke had donned his ‘confused tourist’ getup for this operation, which meant wearing a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, slacks with sneakers (which were filling with snow with every step), and the most tasteful hawaiian shirt that money could buy. The downside, of course, was that the most tasteful hawaiian shirt that money could buy was still not, by any stretch of the imagination, tasteful. The hastily-bought snow jacket atop all of this, left mostly undone, was merely the piece de resistance. He hefted his bookbag as he approached the hotel, trudging through the two-inch snow along the decorated path that flanked the Willamette.

“Remember, see if you can get into contact with anyone in authority, plumb what you can find off them,” buzzed Wildcard, into his ear. “If you’re feelin’ especially bawsy, you can even pull the fake CAS secret service SIN we trumped up for you.”
Who is Alvarez? What was the job in the first place? I'm a bit lost.
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Whoop, should have greentexted the time/location like I usually do there.


“I think I’ll play it by ear,” responded Locke, as he made it into the lobby…

And promptly ducked his head, bringing his straw hat up to cover the top of his face perhaps quicker than was entirely inconspicuous.

“Hijo de puta, the face-rec suite you installed on these glasses just kicked me in the eyes,” hissed Locke. “I’m counting at least five of the Ginsen guys from that old vidfeed, all over the lobby.”

“Roger that. I’m going to pull around the block to cover you if you need to vanish. Can you still follow up?”

“Yeah,” said Locke, slipping into the crowd by the customer service desk and doing his best to make eye contact with his shoelaces. “Let me see if I can’t find someone on security who doesn’t ping as Ginsen.”

“That could just mean that they’re recent hires or members of another cell,” cautioned Wildcard.

“That’s what my good sense of intuition is for. Besides, only one of the goons is wearing a security uniform. The rest are dressed like tourists.”

“As I said, I’m here if you need an extraction.”

Locke instinctively looked down at his subvocal, and harshly barked,

“I know what I’m doing, okay!?”

“You don’t look like it to me, sir,” said an attractive, raven-haired elf woman in a smart business suit, as she approached Locke through the crowd. “Why don’t you come to the security office?”

Locke triggered his tailored pheromones and forced out the dorkiest smile he could manage.

“Of course, miss! Just let me finish my call. Bye, honey!”
>“Why don’t you come to the security office?”
It just keeps getting better and better.
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Rodrigo Alvarez is an Aztechnology face-changing adept who bailed on Aztechnology after stealing something very important from the party's employer, whom the party pegged with deductive reasoning--to much panic--as Lofwyr. Because this item is apparently a preposterously magical artifact that attracts notice from anything Awakened everywhere it goes, the only place where Alvarez can manage the trade-off to the buyer (who is also presumably extremely important) will be at a high society event in the Tir, where magic is already running freely to the point of absurdity.

The party's goal is to intercept Alvarez's package before the buyer can take it out of the Tir.


“I love you, too, darling,” said Wildcard, switching input to the backdoor on Locke’s earbuds.

“You don’t look like an ordinary tourist to me,” said the authoritative woman, as she led Locke past a series of security cubicles and into an enclosed office with old-school blinds.

“That’s very flattering, ma’am, but I don’t get why I’m being singled out--”

“Cut the act,” she responded, her eyes like ice, as she pulled the blinds shut and closed the door to the office. A white noise machine began whirring automatically. “You carry yourself like a soldier, and my wage mage assensed you as an Aztec combat magician with military ware. And I’ll let you fuck me right over this desk right now if that Scottish baritone talking about extraction was your wife.”

“Would you buy that he’s my husband?”

Without so much as a laugh, the woman pulled a sleek custom Beretta on Locke. The smartlink whirred to fitful life.

“Damn, tough crowd.”

“The only thing funny right now is the fact that you’re still too stupid to talk.”

Locke rolled his eyes.

“Fine. I didn’t want to play this card, but check my ‘link. It’s in my front pocket. My name is Special Agent Vincent Da Silva. I’m with the CAS.”
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The woman pursed her thin lips and pulled the commlink from Locke’s pocket. Directed by Wildcard, it displayed the appropriate credentials that had allowed them past the border.

“You’re a long way from home, Special Agent Da Silva.”

“One of the sacrifices I make for my work,” deadpanned Locke, putting his hands at his sides. “So if you’re so good at catching spooks, you’ve no doubt noticed the mercs haunting your hotel. They’re a counterintelligence op out of Seattle. Command’s got us here because we ran afoul of them on an op gone foul a few years back, and we’ve kept an eye on ‘em since.”

The woman adjusted a pristine lock of hair with her left hand and then let her right, still clutching the handgun, drop to her side.

“No shit. I was wondering who was pulling the strings on those new hires.”

Locke’s expression hardened.

“How many?”

With a playful smile, the woman lifted her handgun again.

“Wouldn’t you like to know? Step off for now, soldier. We’ll handle it.”

“On whose authority!?”

“Mine. Julia Rothchild. Tir Department of Defense.”

Locke chuckled, settling into a synthleather armchair in the corner of the office.

“I suppose that this is the part where you have your way with me, then.”

Rothchild’s laugh was more incensed than anything, but a slight edge of earnest humor betrayed the pheromones working their magic.

“Are you fucking flirting with me!?”

Locke sank into his seat, doing his best to ignore the tension that armed firearms brought to a room.

“No, it’s just that, as we’ve previously established, I’m in a committed relationship with a very large Scottish man and if you plan on tying me to a chair and hooking a car battery up to my nuts then he might get jealous.”
Thank you.
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“You’re a real class act, you know that, Da Silva?”

Locke shrugged, doing his best to ape Jordan Formic’s body language as he luxuriated.

“Well, I’m no James Bond, but I try. This was going to be the part where I reversed the gun on you and then magnanimously spared your life in return for you letting me run my op during the mage’s conclave, but instead I thought I’d just ask nicely.”

Rothchild smirked.

“That a fact?”

“I’m good with my hands.”

“Now you’re DEFINITELY flirting with me.”

“One of the earliest things you learn in espionage school. More than one way to disarm someone.”

“I guess so,” said Rothchild, opening her jacket and sliding the pistol into a concealed sleeve holster. “However, I still don’t see what’s in it for me. As far as I know, these black ops fucks are harmless, and so long as they don’t shoot up the visiting wizards I’m golden.”

“Well, there’s two things that would be in it for you,” said Locke, holding up his fingers to demonstrate. “One, I keep you in the loop if they are trying something, so you can reroute security forces to more pressing concerns. Two, how’s dinner sound?”

Rothchild snorted loudly, but then broke out in a grin as she pointed to the door.

“Fine, and fine. But in both cases, you’re not touching any sensitive information. Get the fuck out, and I’ll see you at eight.”
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Dervish started as the phone in their rent-a-jackrabbit sounded. Bend continued to watch the “repair crew” (they had switched up their numbers, Bend noted) while Dervish groggily pressed the “call” button on the AR interface.

“Guys,” said Wildcard, “Locke just went crazy.”
Bend pulled his goggles up and glanced back at the static image of Wildcard’s mask hovering in front of the windshield.

“What, you could tell the difference?”

“He nicked himself a date with a Tir DoD official.”

Bend blinked.

“What, like he kidnapped him?”

“No, like he and SHE are having dinner at a fancy restaurant.”

Dervish grinned a toothy grin and stifled a guffaw.

“You’re shitting me.”

“Nay, pure dead serious, chummer.”

“Well fuck,” said Dervish, rifling through a bag at his side for the last scraps of a fast food ‘chicken’ sandwich, “let’s see what happens.”
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Clearly Locke's player rolled a 96
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Wildcard was keeping watch when Locke stumbled into the safehouse, a few buttons loose of the prim business ensemble he’d worn going in. With a throaty chuckle, Wildcard tossed an AR window to Locke, who moved to catch it instinctively. As he wasn’t wearing his gloves, the window instead just passed through his head, causing him to blink.

“The prodigal son, et cetera,” said Wildcard. “You seal the deal?”

“A sweaty makeout session in an elevator, but no sex.”

Wildcard stared blankly at Locke, his artificial face flat. Locke kneaded his forehead with his knuckles, and sat down on his bedroll.

“Oh, you mean the info. Yeah. I got info.”

“Good work, Casanova. Start briefing. I’ll run everyone through it in the morning.”

“You can run us through it now,” buzzed Bend, who was still afield, over Wildcard’s tacnet. “Dervish is out, but I only need an hour of sleep a night, remember?”

As a window opened displaying Bend’s video call, Bend looked to Dervish, who was curled up in the car seat, cradling his duffel bag of guns as if it were a teddy bear. Wildcard asked,

“We gonna risk waking him up?”

Bend shook his head.

“Alright,” said Locke, unbuttoning the rest of his shirt, “we’ll bring him up to speed when he wakes up. First off: Rothchild knows that hotel security is compromised. She’s been catching some sketchy access codes, so it’s reasonable to assume that they’ve been using the security network to their own ends. Asked her to give me more, but her lips went tight after that.”

“In other words,” said Bend, “we’re going to be running the River’s Edge Hotel’s security nexus tomorrow.”

“I thought of that, too,” said Locke. “So I, uh, I made sure to get a good glance on the way over to her room, even if it didn’t amount to nothing--”
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“For fuck’s sake, you sleazy Aztec, it was a first date,” interrupted Wildcard. Locke recovered,

“I mean, I didn’t get her comm or anything. But I did get a good look at the security exterior. They’ve got a special elevator on each floor that goes directly to the security offices. We rode in it on the way up--”

“Was that where ‘sweaty elevator makeouts’ happened?”

“I thought you didn’t care about that stuff. Continuing.”

Wildcard nodded a concession, and Locke picked up,

“The security elevator is tricky. The call button console on the outside of the elevator runs on a different system from the interior systems of the elevator. The call button needs to be given proper clearance, and then from the interior console, a spider has to clear your transit. So people who spoof the clearance get trapped in the elevator.”

“But is there a maintenance panel in the elevator?”

“Yeah, looked like.”

“That’s good. It means that, since the spider clears it directly, I can backdoor on the connection to get into the security nexus. Only one problem.”


“I’m going to need someone else to physically stand there at the call button, jamming it open and spoofing an all-clear, while I go to work in the elevator.”

Locke hazarded,

“Is that something I can do?”

“Probably not, chummer.”

“Actually, I may have a solution,” announced Jordan Formic, as he joined the video call.

Bend growled,

“Christ, Formic, were you tapping our comms?”

“Just making sure that you boys aren’t so much as grazing the pointy ear tips of any Tir armed forces or government personnel,” announced Formic, “and thank you for not doing anything stupid like clipping Rothchild. She was going to get fast-tracked into the Ghosts, although given how easily she got her shapely ass compromised, maybe I should rethink that decision.”

“You said you could help?”

These stories are a huge part of why I even decided to get into tabletop in the first place.

Thank you. Thank you for sharing.
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“Right, right,” drawled Formic. “First off, the Horizon thing was a bust. A bunch of celebrities watching movies, and my boys verified the ID of everyone who came up Awakened. Ran the thing tighter than a 10,000-nuyen-a-night whore. Everything was legit, aside from some washed-up pop tartlet doing blow off a toilet.”

Bend repeated,

“You said you could help, Formic?”

“I just did one-quarter of your job, soldiers. You should be lining up to suck my international superspy cock at this point, much less thanking me. Lucky for you I have a way for you to make it up to me, and help yourselves at the same time. I have another decker for you. Just for the one job.”

Wildcard gave Formic’s vidfeed a sideways glance.

“...And the catch?”

“It’s my kid niece. She’s a damn good hacker, even compromised my commlink once, but she’s got it in her head that shadowrunning’s as romantic as it is in the movies. Figure you boys could give her a little runner tourism.”

Locke posited,

“So this is going to be, what a scared straight thing?”

Formic laughed.

“Oh, goodness, no. Any seventeen-year-old that can hack the Ghost network has the chops for espionage work, and running’s as good a start as any. Just show her the ropes and keep her alive.”
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Lisa Formic, a spritely freckled elf barely out of high school, practically bounced in place as she walked with Locke to the maintenance entrance of the hotel. Dressed in a coy mini-skirt and a vintage Fuchi hoodie with a backpack nearly twice as big as her torso, she looked every part the decker stereotype, which wasn’t really good for Locke’s endgame, but a promise was a promise.

“Where’s Dervish!? I want to meet Dervish!”

“Dervish is out on a thing with Wildcard right now, but he and Bend will be switching off when we do the run. Remain professional, Lisa.”


Locke gave Lisa a questioning look. Pouting, she withdrew her head into her hoodie and whined,

“It’s my street name, I got it on Formspring…”

The maintenance door cracked open and a transparent blur emerged, carrying three maintenance uniforms.

“Right on time, Bend.”

Bend de-cloaked and handed an appropriately-sized uniform to both Locke and Divatrix.

“How did you acquire these, Bend?”

Bend cocked his head proudly.

“Picked the lock on the maintenance hallway, gecko’d up to the ceiling, tactically traversed it to the locker room, waited for no cross traffic, then grabbed these from the bin, unjammed the cameras, and made good my escape.”

Locke snorted.

“You know you could have just walked in and taken them, right? Nobody in hotel maintenance gives a shit.”

“And set a bad example for the tourist? Never.”

Divatrix beamed as a call came in from Wildcard.

“Hey Bend, we good for the switch-off?”

Bend tapped a finger to his ear and nodded instinctively.

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“Y'think you can handle Dexter duty on your lonesome, even though we were doing the split-into-twos policy?”

“I think Ginsen’s more concerned with this end right now. Watch yourselves. Over and out.”

Bend’s tacsuit reactivated as he pitter-patted through the snow, off into the streets.


“I’m sorry, Garrett. It’s just not working out,” said Divatrix, her voice cold and unfeeling over the phone.

“No, baby, please,” pleaded Dervish, his fingernails scratching anxiously against the commlink’s receiver.

“I’m leaving you. I’ve found someone better. Someone I deserve.”

“Julie, please. Please--”

The line clicked dead.

In the security office, the spider who had been listening to incoming calls chuckled at the ork getting dumped, but then hastily sobered up when the cameras showed the massive guest, wielding Jack Daniels and Kalashnikov Vodka akimbo, body-slamming clear through the door to his room and stumbling his way down the hallway, smashing the wall lamps and screaming “JULAAAAAAAAAY” as he took tearful swigs.

“No no no no no--”

The spider had just sounded a security alert when, filled with rage and sorrow, the ork punched clear through the security elevator control panel and got his hand stuck.

As twelve elves in security uniforms dogpiled onto Dervish, who was at this point throwing a balls-out temper tantrum and spilling booze all over everything, the spider called in for maintenance.

“For fuck’s sake, some greenskin just up and broke the security elevator. We need maintenance on the fifth floor, stat.”

“Roger that,” said Locke, powering up the focus underneath his maintenance uniform and casting Physical Mask on himself, as Divatrix continued to reroute the maintenance call and Wildcard checked his toolkit.
>Get the fuck out, and I'll see you at eight.

Fucking glorious
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As the three ‘maintenance workers’ pulled their uniform caps low over their faces and approached the elevator a few minutes later, Dervish’s screams had abated, as he was now being detained in a corner office, sobbing openly and promising to pay for the damages.

“We want this back up by three,” said a gruff elf security guard standing next to the elevator.

“Yessir,” nodded Wildcard, as Divatrix found the relevant exposed port through the wreckage and hacked the elevator doors. Locke started sweeping up the debris around the hallway.

“What are you doing,” grunted the security guard as Wildcard settled into the elevator and removed the maintenance panel.

“Running a basic systems diagnostic,” countered Wildcard, as he looped the interior cameras, “since these old models tend ta go tits-up with too much jostling. Door repair’s actually pretty cut and dry, just want to avoid any system damage from false positives.”

The security guard nodded and went back to his post. Divatrix flashed Wildcard a wide grin, visible in the guard’s periphery, although Wildcard gave her a disapproving glare in return, causing her to look down in embarrassment.

After about a minute of sifting and dodging the spider, Wildcard found paydirt.

“Bingo,” his voice sounded over the team’s tacnet, “Ginsen’s mole set up a concealed backdoor to their own systems in the security nexus. Spider hasn’t found it yet, didn’t know to be looking for it. I’m going to brute-force it.”

“This is so cool!”

“Can the chatter,” said Locke. “You think you can manage to do it quiet?”

“Even if they know we’ve hacked ‘em, it’s eye for a bloody eye at this point.”

“Solid copy. Do what you have to do.”

A few minutes later, Wildcard jacked out of the elevator maintenance panel.

“We’re good to go.”

Locke moved to make small talk with the security guard, making the other two team members’ subvocalizing less suspicious. Divatrix asked,

“So now’s when we escape?”

Wildcard gave Divatrix another glare and responded,

“Not unless you want the bloke with the gun there to catch on. No, now we repair the elevator.”

Divatrix frowned.

“I didn’t know running was this much manual labor.”

“Consider this a learning experience. Wrench?”


With Bend and Dervish afield again, Wildcard put together an encrypted conference call and began running everyone through the pilfered data.

“Our worst fears aren’t quite confirmed, gents, but this all comes close. First off: Ginsen knows me, Dervish, and Locke by name and skillset. Bend they’ve tagged as a “mystery accomplice in the Ghosts,” which speaks volumes to how Bend’s been keeping himself sparse to their scrutiny. Interestingly, the organization seems to be on hostile terms with Aztechnology--there’s a kill-on-sight order for AZT agents--which would explain why they haven’t sold Locke up the river.”

Locke grimaced as he played with his Macuahuitl, clearly distressed by this turn of events.
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“The organization seems to be about 90 percent outside mercs, and 10 percent in-house specialists, the majority of whom are Amazonian, which might explain the hostility to AZT. They’ve got about 10 active agents operating in the city right now, including Mr. Whistler, but a small army of mercenary sleeper cells lying in wait around the Tir.”

Dervish asked,

“Anything on the target?”

“Glad you asked. Ginsen is definitively not on Alvarez or his buyer’s side, and their info nullifies the Aztecs as a possible buyer, nixing the Aztlan ambassador’s ball as a hand-off location. Ginsen’s goal is to steal the artifact from either side for high command, whoever or whatever that is. Interestingly, they still mark the ambassador’s ball as a target site, but for a totally different reason: Ginsen suspects that the ball is being used as a front to move Homegrown Soldier Program specimens, and they’re going to stage a major bombing on the Aztecs.”

“They really have a hate-on for the Aztecs.”

“I think we can safely assume that Ginsen is in bed with the Amazonian liberation movement at this point. Now, as for Alvarez, they almost caught him earlier this month, but he slipped through. They managed to get his astral signature, though.”

Bend smiled.


“He’s Path of the Wheel. Which is a popular Tir magical tradition, yes, but if we assume our info is good and he’s having to impersonate an important person at one of the ball events to sneak the artifact past, that narrows our candidates for impersonation down to four.”

“Kick-ass,” said Dervish. “Let’s get a brief.”
Did you run out of pictures?
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“First candidate is a Tir Armed Forces four-star general, Peter McKinley. Known Path of the Wheel combat mage, also a confirmed bachelor. Attending the Ares drone unveiling, but not the mage’s conclave. Has a team of Ghosts on him at all times, so an unlikely but possible target for replacement.”

Bend shook his head.

“McKinley’s a famous hardcase. More trouble than it’s worth.”

“Still worth a look-see, though,” riposted Wildcard. “Next up is Larry Colburn, a minor executive in Tellestrain Industries. Tellestrian handles magical imports during the ball season, so we can flag this as a very likely possibility for Alvarez’s smokescreen. The only downside is that his authoritative position over magical goods makes him almost too obvious of a target. Lives in a posh condo uptown. Will be attending the mage’s conclave and the Ares unveiling.”

The whole team grunted affirmation, and Wildcard continued.

“James Lynch is the Horizon Liaison to Tir Tairngire. Unmarried, like the other two. Lives in a townhouse with a dedicated staff, which does mean that there’s a smaller window to replace him. Will be attending the mage’s conclave and the Ares unveiling.”

More affirmation.

“The last possibility is Harrison Graham, the Tir Na Nog vice ambassador. He lives in special housing in the government building, has a lovely wife, and also has a dedicated staff. Will be present at the Ares unveiling.”

“He sounds really unlikely,” noted Locke.

“Yes,” agreed Bend, “but Alvarez could want us to think that.”

Impersonate them all!
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Nah, just trying to post really fast so forgot the image, there.


“We’ve got a few more variables,” said Wildcard, bringing up some images of various shadowrunners. “Ginsen’s tagged Alvarez impersonating a Johnson and since then has been trying to correlate runners to employers. Four teams operating in the Tir came up consistent as currently working for Alvarez. First is a German heavy-combat assault team, lead by a combat mage known as Quake. Other team members include a sammy and a physad, but mostly a mystery. Classic German shadowrunners, organize for the job then fracture. Already killed about four of Ginsen’s guys. Second and third teams are both pretty standard setups running out of Seattle. Sammy, infiltrator, hacker, mage. You know the deal. Last team is...special.”

Locke cocked an eyebrow.


Wildcard cringed.

“...Los Angeles runners. A shadowrunning team out of Hollywood that goes by “The Nightengales.” Mage and social infiltrator named Tulip, technomancer named Echo, gunbunny adept named Tweak, and razorgirl named Gillette.”

“How’d Ginsen dig up that much info?”

“They’ve released two albums and a reality tridshow.”

Dervish choked.

“You’re shitting me.”

Bend sighed and interrupted,

“You’ve never met Los Angeles runners. I believe it.”

“One final variable,” noted Wildcard, his voice dark.

“What’s up?”

“Ginsen’s pegged us as working for Lofwyr and Schwartzkopff, with certainty. They’ve also been keeping tabs on Hestaby, although standing orders are to avoid her.”

“So Ginsen is operating on dragon-level.”

“Seems so.”

Locke gawked.

“Black-ops motherfuckers…”

“Let’s get back to the job at hand,” said Wildcard, sternly. “Dervish, tomorrow you’re enrolling as a provisional security guard at the Museum of Science and Industry.”

“Can do.”
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“What the hell is all this,” asked Dervish, in his tailored business suit, as he approached the police cordon around the museum. “Was there a break-in?”

“Yes and no,” said Wildcard. “Breaking news this morning. Runners were caught trying to plant cameras and other sensors in the storage room where they’re keeping Ares’ drone.”

“You sound giddy, Wildcard.”

“That’s because the runners, who are currently in police custody, match Ginsen’s specs for one of Alvarez’s Seattle teams. They plead guilty to corporate espionage, they’re saying that Aztechnology is trying to steal the drone.”

Dervish grinned.

“What dirty fucking liars.”

Bend popped into the call to caution,

“This could be a double-blind, guys.”

Wildcard countered,

“Unlikely, with the money that Alvarez supposedly put into these people. Millions for placing cameras? They’ll be set even when they get out of prison.”

“Where is he getting these funds?”

Dervish suggested,

“He could have stolen the orichalcum. Otherwise, I don’t know.”

“Ace that job interview, champ.”

“I plan to.”

As Dervish bypassed the cordon and made for the security office, he observed the maintenance workers removing bullets from the walls and refurbishing exhibits. A few faces pinged, recognizing newer Ginsen operatives identified by Wildcard’s stolen data.

“Ginsen’s got the same hunch we do. I’m not inconspicuous. They know, and now they know we do too.”

“Couldn’t be avoided,” commented Wildcard. “Just get the job.”
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“Jenny Haldeman,” said the stocky woman sitting at the security desk, as she stood up to shake Dervish’s hand. She was not an unattractive woman, per se, but suffice to say she clearly favored practical over aesthetic muscle. Only her inherently-slimming elven genetics saved her from resembling a steak with tits and security armor. “Security director. You must be Mr...Strongarm?”

“Yeah, that,” said Dervish, trying not to roll his eyes as he shook her hand.

“So, Mr. Strongarm, what credentials do you think you will bring to this position, given the recent break-in and other security concerns?”

“Look, ma’am. I’m going to be straight with you. I’m an international mercenary stepping in for quick cash. I’ve served in Bogota, Neo-Tokyo, and across North America. I figured that you could benefit from my talents while I base here to pursue my own agenda.”

Haldeman stared at Dervish, and an awkward silence reigned for about 15 seconds.

“Your first day on the job is the 7th, Mr. Strongarm.”

As Dervish nodded astutely and stood to leave, Haldeman smiled conspiratorially at him and added,

“I’ll trust you to use regulation equipment and not bring the armor suit.”

Dervish’s grin nearly split his face in half.

“Holy hell,” commented Wildcard, “was that a fan?”

“Seems like,” said Dervish.

“Hey, Dexter’s giving me the ‘urgent’ signal on my commlink,” said Locke. “Let’s set up another meet.”

Bend said, tentatively,

“More info already?”

“It seems to have been spilling in a lot lately,” responded Dervish.
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The team, in their best suits, sat in a luxurious real-leather booth across from Dexter. They had ascertained a relatively private booth at an extremely fancy French Canadian restaurant, with large windows with ornate blinds facing the street. The interior was richly decorated and dimmed in a very traditional esthetic, bringing to mind both romantic evenings and major business mergers. Wildcard had been loathe to hand his car over to the valet, and so had instead parked half a block down from the entrance.

“Big news,” said Dexter, his fingers quivering over his poutine. “Really big.”

“It’s obligatory,” said Locke, “but how big?”

“Triple AAA megacorp and great dragon big.”


“First,” said Dexter, looking up from his food, “Horizon just moved billions of nuyen through Tellestrian Industries, corresponding with the hit on the orichalcum boat. No intent stated. There’s word--whispered word, mind--that Dawkins is involved.”

Wildcard blinked.

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>Dervish has a fanclub
Out of curiosity: how the fuck did nuyen become the standard currency?
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Locke responded,

“Horizon special ops. Spies specializing in public opinion manipulation and memetic warfare. Also, strictly speaking, an urban legend.”

“Not to me, they’re not,” grumbled Bend. “They’re absolute hell to run a counter-op on. Well, I guess we have our buyer.”

The team nodded. Wildcard extrapolated,

“Alvarez fits the bill of the Dawkins group to a T. It sounds like he’s jumping ship to Horizon and buying his way into a powerful position in the org with the artifact.”

“Likely, but we can’t guess at that yet,” said Bend.

The team all looked expectantly at Dexter, whose face showed the all-too-familiar pallor of fear.

“That’s...that’s not all. A few of my contacts say that the magical signature of a Great Dragon is somewhere in the Tir. One that’s not Hestaby. Someone who showed up unannounced.”

There was a long pause as everyone deliberated, but Wildcard broke the silence.

“Oh...Oh God. I know who it is, too.”

Everyone looked to the hacker.

“Amazonian black ops targeting Aztechnology, running espionage on Hestaby and Lofwyr?”

Bend was the next to get it.

“Holy fuck. No. That can’t be what it is.”

Locke announced, sullen,

“Sirrurg the Destroyer is running Ginsen.”

>Great Dragon Count: 4
Things never end well when you get that many dragons involved.
>Sirrurg the Destroyer
I don't play Shadowrun. That's just an ironic name, right?


pls don't die guys, ilu
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Contrived bullshit reasons. Same sort of contrived bullshit that lead to Japan going Imperial again and the NAN and all the other stupid-but-cool stuff in Shadowrun.

By the by, now would be the time to cue up that dramatic music again. I would favor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HX74UhgMFA.


After yet another long pause as everyone stared into their plates, Dexter announced,

“I’m going to get some air.”

No one stopped him.

About fifteen seconds later, Dervish jumped to his feet so hard that he flipped the table.


As the screaming patrons of the restaurant scattered, Dervish pulled his shotgun out of his duffel bag and launched bodily towards the front door of the restaurant. Wildcard was next up, his limbs jerking into spasmodic reflexive motion as his Wired Reflexes kicked into gear. His nickel-plated, tricked-out Predator launched into his hand from his hidden arm slide as he used his other hand to don his mask. Locke used the tipped table as a makeshift magical circle and summoned a flaming serpent, while Bend pulled his Thunderbolt, turned to the crowd, and yelled,


As Dervish stumbled out of the restaurant, the valet asked,

“Sir, which car should I retrieve for you?”

The valet’s face pinged as Ginsen. Seeing Dervish’s hostile intent, the valet pulled a tactical pistol from his vest, at which point Dervish tore out his trachea, to the screaming of the crowd. The valet gurgled and fell backward into the street, turning the snow red.

“Target sighted,” screamed Wildcard as he made a dead sprint in the direction of his car. Across the street a tinny whistling (this time the instrumental to a CrimeTime rap) could be heard from a man in full milspec armor as he ushered Dexter at gunpoint into a grey stepvan. A mage in combat fatigues decked out in shamanic fetishes grabbed Dexter by the wrist and pulled him in as a dozen pedestrians watched.
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“The pedestrians aren’t running,” yelled Locke. “Why aren’t they running?”

As submachine guns met fists and the pedestrians were revealed to be wearing ballistic vests under their clothing, the Whistler stopped whistling briefly. His voice sounded, over his suit mic,


Wildcard pitched bodily behind his car and Locke and Bend dove behind the bar of the restaurant as a clacking cacophony of silenced gunfire burst every window in the restaurant. The restaurant-goers who had been too stupid to kiss the floor were the first to go; men and women in rich yuppie clothes spouted red as they pitched back into the dining plaza.

Roaring like an orc possessed, Dervish boosted across the street to attempt to catch the car, taking innumerable small-caliber bullets in the process. He indiscriminately fired an underbarrel grenade into the Ginsen tac-team, causing them to scatter long enough for Wildcard to pop the trunk of his now-bullet-riddled Hyundai and retrieve his HVAR. The unsilenced gun sounded like a jackhammer as he pumped a solid stream of rounds into their aggressors, ruining the facade of the fancy playhouse across from the restaurant. Three Ginsen operatives hit pavement.

Bend yelled, as Whistler slammed on the gas,

“They’re getting away!”
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Dervish kept pace with the car, but was suddenly knocked sprawling by a large-caliber APDS round that slammed through his shoulder. Wildcard isolated the node signal on the restaurant’s roof. His accent bled through as he yelled,

“The fookin’ drake lant onna roof! E’s got a bleedin’ anti-material rifle!”

“Cover me!”

Locke vaulted his cover and plowed through the shattered window to take cover with Wildcard behind the Hyundai, as Wildcard and Dervish laid down suppressive fire. The pure hail of bullets and debris had put down five Ginsen agents at this point, although the rest had taken cover behind parked cars on the other side of the street.

Locke retrieved his LMG, slammed the bipod down on the Hyundai’s hood, and began going to town as his fire spirit roared past towards the speeding van.

“What’s it doing,” yelled Dervish, as he loosed another grenade with a FOONK.


With an ear-splitting BANG, the entire left rear wheel of the van disconnected, causing the vehicle to slam headlong into a concrete road divider.
Ahhh, violence.
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“Give me cover!”

Wildcard broke into a low sprint on the teams’ side of the road, trying to keep his head behind the cars, as Dervish got his footing and boosted across the street into a flanking position. Bend sprinted outside, tossed a flashbang onto the roof of the restaurant to keep the Drake occupied, and then dove prone as a renewed torrent of bullets tore apart everything on the street. As Dervish opened up into the undefended crowd of sleeper agents, Locke took the opportunity to switch targets and try to tag the drake.

With eight Ginsen casualties spattered all along the sidewalk, the remaining four agents hauled ass for the alleyways as the drake took a few of Locke’s bullets, shifted back into a dragon, and blasted into the sky, away from the team. Rather than pursue, Dervish extended his cyberblade and worked his way along the line of writhing bodies, systematically finishing each of them off with swift jabs to their heads.

When Wildcard caught up to the van, the engine block was on fire, and the Whistler was sputtering, reaching for his sidearm. Not taking any chances, Wildcard slammed into the driver’s side door, pressed his Predator directly against the seam between Whistler’s helmet and the rest of his milspec armor, and squeezed the trigger.

And squeezed it, and squeezed it, and squeezed it, until Whistler’s helmet came loose, revealing that the would-be office monkey was choking to death on his own blood, his eyes wide with shock.

Wildcard put two rounds in his temple, to be sure.
>And squeezed it, and squeezed it, and squeezed it, until Whistler’s helmet came loose, revealing that the would-be office monkey was choking to death on his own blood, his eyes wide with shock.
>Wildcard put two rounds in his temple, to be sure.
Now that's how you do it!
Babby hacker elf is too cute for a story like this. Something's telling me that something bad will happen to her down the line...

I can't believe I caught one of your threads, TwoDee! Here, have this thanks as a token of my gratitude. Shadowrun Storytime has been a great pleasure for me!
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Wildcard pulled his silent body from the car, before stepping into the driver’s seat and looking back into the passenger cabin. The Amazonian mage briefly made eye contact with Wildcard, although his broken arm distracted him long enough for Wildcard to nail him twice in the chest. As he sputtered and gasped, Wildcard reached out and grabbed him by the collar, then pulled him in two put two in his head, as well. Dexter squealed as the gunshots echoed in the confined space, his face covered in blood.

There was a lull as Wildcard checked his Predator’s magazine. 5 shots remaining.

“Th-thank God,” sputtered Dexter, although he looked up to see the barrel of Wildcard’s Predator.

“Sorry, mate. I’m feert that you jus’ became a security liability.”

As Bend caught up to the van, Wildcard stepped out, absolutely covered in gore. Sirens rang in the distance.

“Bend. Dexter’s dead. Sitrep.”

“Ginsen’s scattered. Dervish is hurt, but not bad. Your car’s whole left side is fucked.”

“Does it still have an engine?”


“Then we’re fucking off s’far as we can make it.”

As the team piled into the Super Getaway Hyundai, Dervish grabbed the passenger-side door, which was hanging on one hinge, to keep it in place. He groaned in pain as the action put pressure on his shoulder.

There was a brief pause as Wildcard didn’t start the car, and Bend gave him an accusatory glare.


Everyone did.

...why'd he kill Dexter? Afraid he was a shapeshifted mage or something else?

Because Dexter knew that the protags knew that Ginsen was controlled by Sirrurg, and the moment that information went back to Ginsen (by way of mind-reading spells) the team would be playing hardball with the meanest Great Dragon on Earth.
Hell of a ride, TwoDee. When can we expect Shadowrun Storytime 21?
When meets with people develop into a pattern of your teammates getting fucked up and parts of suburbs disappearing, you take steps to break the cycle.

Decisive, violent steps.
Oh, yeah, that makes sense

Hopefully faster than this one. Be right back, I haven't showered today so I'm going to go ahead and take a break.
I can't find Sirrug in any of the books. Was he made just for the campaign or am I missing him?
He's mentioned in the books. He is, as TwoDee says, the meanest GD around.

Not in terms of holdings or sheer power, but in terms of sheer malice.
>He's mentioned in the books.
Which book?
Check the index on his wiki page.
Pretty sure he pops up somewhere in the 6th World Almanac
Hey twodee you can link to this instead of the archive if you would.

Also I'm currently updating it with this storytime so that's that.
File: 1388628847789.pdf-(1.73 MB, PDF, 2DShadowrun.pdf)
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Forgot link
Fuck yes TwoDee storytime!

...but, that was only part two

When will we get the remaining parts?

At this point it's just going to be one more part. Also, hopefully soon.


Holy crap, I've written 400 pages of this shit!?
Does "soon" mean within a day, or weeks?

Also this is the first Shadowrun storytime I got to witness live, I love it.

You know me (or will). "Soon" is an abstract that covers any amount of time that I can be fucked to delay.

In other news, GM was thinking of starting up another Shadowrun campaign, and I'm ALSO playing in a close friend's Shadowrun game right now, so there will be more Storytime in the future; TwoDee, Geppetto, Wildcard, Dervish, Locke, Bend, Tank, and even Trout, however, will not be making reappearances after the next thread.
not even as backgroud characters? Thats sad man.
I even use America-san as an urban legend in my games. Kinda like el gauchito gill, a popular saint for street sammys

Okay, scratch this. GM says he'll use them as background elements to appeal to you peoples' degenerate sensibilities.
Your storytimes are what mainly inspired me to get into Shadowrun. If ever my character or teammates can't make rent, I plan to use 2D's idea of robbing a Red Lobster, it's just hilarious.

Of course, since in Shadowrun money is all digital, habitual robbing of chain restaurants actually a very poor plan.

I've found that one of the better "rent money" tactics in Shadowrun is, if you can't line up a milk run, theft of finished goods that can be offloaded quickly, especially vehicles.

Of course, it also all depends on your GM.

I've already done this in my game. In a run against Knight-Errant, I referenced Director McWilliams.
Heh, not same anon, but I had a runner who's origin story was that he moved to England from being a career thief, and rapidly found that his brand of theft was not as easy to live off of when the easy-to-steal valuables weren't antiques anymore and in fact always had trackers. Got into shadowrunning to pay the rent. Ended up in a sniper war with another team's infiltrator, giving up and instead sneaking to the building he was nested in, getting into a fistfight and promptly being tazed and kicked out a window to his death.
Twodee is a living god. Also is Divatrix going to show up later on? As a contact or otherwise?

Fun story about Divatrix: that was actually my girlfriend wanting to learn the ropes of Shadowrun, so we invited her in for a session. Hence the comparative detail of the 'NPC.'
By the end of the next thread, could we take a look at everyone's character sheets and stats? Seems like it would be pretty interesting.

God, if I can find them all. I could definitely give you starting stats, but finding the original sheets may be harder.
Although arguably that's also a sign of GM fault; if you can make more money boosting cars, why hit the shadows at all?
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Here, I'll scan the sheets if I can find them (they may still be at Geppetto/Locke's apartment), but here were TwoDee's starting stats. Wildcard forthcoming.
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Any inconsistencies in the karma values are likely from information hastily jotted in after the fact, or when I had lost my sheet.
>"Juggalos, juggalos everywhere"

Even the sheets are golden,
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I have waited a long time for this moment.

It was you and your stories that inspired me to convince my group to go Shadowrun for a while. Between creating viruses to break the stock market, knocking over an Ancients casino, and selling uranium in Denver, it made for one of the best campaigns we've ever had.
...Too late, again.
CWC would be proud 2D

Not so, anon, although I was just about to head to bed.

Every time I hear about inspiring someone else's campaign, it warms the cockles of my heart, whatever cockles are.
Bivalve mollusc. Exact etymology of the phrase is awkward, but it's typically accepted that it's due to their physical similarity to hearts.
Learn something new every day.

So I notice you're missing the Johnson meet from the UO run?
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>more 2d storytime
Oh yes.

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