The Duchess gets to be a Johnson ….

[San Francisco, CFS — 2074]

I was not expecting a call from Calypso today, but here we are talking for about a half hour about some issues at the Cerebus Club in San Francisco. She wanted to bring me out to assist with the job and be her Johnson. Of course, I would go. Its a club and its Calypso asking. So yeah, booked a ticket and flew out that night. Never doing that again, red-eye flights are the WORST! We went over the missing people from the club and recognized one of them right off the bat. Laura was a bartender there and the two of us hit it off right from the bat. She introduced me to a few new groups and some nova-hot tracks. Most of which are still on my regular playlist. A few of the others are familiar, but all are either from the club or live in the neighborhood.

She set me up with her runner team. A fresh team to the Bay Area that relocated from the Tir. They were called the Havoc Squad. Their decker wouldnt be there since Calypso has him working on another project, but the others should be. She set the meet and all but a few showed up. There was Eternal, which was a scary ass street sam that never took off his mask. He seemed to be the enforcer in the group. There was Bowjack, their rigger. Seemed normal enough at first. Then there was Walker. I recognized the Wolf totem he carried so I knew he was Awakened. Apparently one of them, one called Ajax, met an unfortunate end and his replacement was an Ork named Sledge. We negotiated the pay and they accepted the job, even with the caviat that I would be along as well.

The club had a show that night and the following one, so the team only had a few hours before they needed to get to work. Holy drek, that was a wicked awesome DJ there. His name was DJ Thor Shot and his drek was hot! I also added some of his tracks to my regular playlist. But anyways, they team was going to be providing security for the club and keeping an eye on things. Eternal posted up on a nearby rooftop to keep an eye on the outside. Sledge was watching the door, Bowjack watching the bar and Walker watching Astrally. There was a little commotion as Bowjack and Sledge were hassling one of the patrons. Something about novacoke, but I pulled them both aside and had to tell them to pay attention to the job at hand. I dont think that they were taking me seriously. It seemed all they see is a girl that was dancing on the floor. Well yeah, its a club so of course I was dancing. I set them straight, but I still didnt think that my authority as the Johnson really kicked in. That or they were not used to working with the Johnson.

After a few hours, a few individuals were looking suspicious. I had Walker and Sledge keep an eye on them and Bowjack stay at the bar. Eternal found a drone scouting around outside and took it out. After that, a person started to leave. Walker and I quickly moved to intercept and question him while Bowjack and Sledge remained at the club. Even before I could get out there, the guy was already unconscious with Walker standing over the top of him. He wasnt dead, just out cold. As I looked him over, all of a sudden, Walker grabbed me from behind at my waist and pulled himself over me. “What the frag ???” I thought to myself. Until the hail of bullets sprayed us from another drone. Walker had pulled me away and shielded me from the bullets. I dont think any of them hit, but he won points in my book.

Eternal easily took the drone out before I even knew what was going on. In another instance, he noticed a truck that started to pull down the street we are on, then change course. Bowjack pulled his roadmaster, which he strangely calls his “taco tank” for some reason, over to us. Walker and I put the unconscious guy in the back. By this time, Eternal had already shot out the rear tire, repelled down and was chasing the truck. Yes, he was chasing the truck like a stray dog. I summoned an air spirit to assist him with catching up to the wrecked truck. I also had Bowjack drive us there to assist. Sledge was also on foot running after Eternal.

When we all got there, Eternal and Sledge had the wrecked truck covered. A trio of other shadowrunners were out of the back of the truck. “Great” I thought to myself as Walker and I got out. I had them put down their guns and take a seat as we questioned them. Surprisingly, they did as they were told. One of them, an Awakened woman, kept being mouthy, so I had the air spirit engulf her to keep her and the others in line. Soon enough they were telling us what was going on. They were hired by a Johnson to kidnap people in the area and were paid per head. The only description they had of him was that he was a dwarf. I took their commlinks to have them checked. As a show of professional courtesy, I had them cuffed together, stripped of their gear and had my air spirit carry them to a nearby high rooftop.

So here is what we know. A dwarf hired some shadowrunners to kidnap people and take them to a nearby warehouse. So our next step is to check out these commlinks and scout out the warehouse. Hopefully, these people are still alive, but since no ransom was received … well lets just hope they are ok.

The Duchess meets the Caribbean Queen …

[San Francisco, CFS — 2074]

OH!, I thought to myself as I seen the alert for a concert date that is coming up. Forsaken Nexus is coming to town. Last time I seen them was in San Francisco awhile ago. It was at an underground club there. Come to think of it, that may have been one of my first excursions into the Shadows.

I was originally there on a sort of vacation. I took a week or so off and decided to fly out to the Bay Area and check out the club scene there. It had been years since the occupation and things were starting to pick up there again. So I figured why not? I caught a flight and off I go.

When I got there and through airport security, then onto my hotel room, I started checking around to see what was happening. Come to think of it, I was 14 or 15 and nobody had said anything about a teenager flying across the to another nation and staying in a hotel all by themselves. Eh, I thought to myself as I unpacked and started to plan things. I seen that there was this neo-anarchist ork rock band playing at this club. After hearing a few cuts from Forsaken Nexus, I thought it would be a fun concert to go to. So I made the plan to go there.

When I got to the club, holy drek was it nova hot! The band was wicked awesome and I was having a blast out on the dance floor. The band took a break and the DJ took over, but the intensity was still the same. I bumped into another young woman with dark tanned skin , green eyes and short brown hair. She spoke with a caribbean accent and said she was from the Carib League. She introduced herself as “Calypso” and we hit it off from the start.

We danced the night away and talked about all kinds of different things. I knew she was much older than me, but it didnt seem to matter to her and I certainly didnt care. Everyone that she talked to, she would call “my dears” except me. Any reference to me was “her baby girl”. I kinda liked the pet name she had for me.

After we left the club, a couple of ork assholes started to harrass us. That was when we found out that we both were Awakened. She seemed impressed with my abilities and she was certainly someone that I could learn from. Over the next week, we spent alot of time together at various clubs or practicing magic. It was great to have a mentor that was into the same things that I was. I mean, Star Flower is great and all, but she jut didnt understand me. Calypso, on the other hand, did.

When it got towards the end of my stay there, we got into a discussion about my parents. I told her what had happened and about the letter that I received. That was when she told me that she was a fixer, much like Sabot was back in Baltimore. She used to be a shadowrunner herself and now has settled into a new role that she enjoyed. I admitted to her that I was interested in the work and that I was getting set up with Sabot in Baltimore. She was glad to hear that and said that she will keep in touch.

We talked quite a bit since then and even met up a time or two when I would get out there. San Francisco has sorta become a second home for me. After I got settled in as a shadowrunner, there was a standing agreement between us that we would be there for each other if needed. I still called on her from time to time for various reasons, even just to catch up. It still makes me smile when I hear her call me by her pet name.

But anyways, with Forsaken Nexus coming to town, I have got to go see them. I gave Calypso a heads up and invited her to come to Baltimore for the show, but she is to busy there and unable to make it. To bad too, that would have been fun to host her in my neck of the woods for a change. Anyways, I need to get tickets to that show …

The Duchess Gets Arrested …

[Present Day — Baltimore, UCAS — 2075]

There isn’t much going on tonight, so I am flipping through the various trid channels and nothing on either.  “Gah!”  I put down the trid remote and went to look out the window.  I had a pretty good view of the harbor, but not today.  Storm clouds have rolled in and is dumping a pretty good amount of rain.  “GAH!  Sometime I hate this city.  Nothing on the trid, nothing going on at the clubs, fragging boring night.”  A set of flashing lights from a passing police car catch my attention and a small smirk appears on my lips.

It wasnt that long ago that I had an up close and personal encounter with law enforcement.  Of course this was before I started being a shadowrunner.  I was leaving the club with some friends and we happened to come across a Jeep that was parked and the keys left in it.  “Really??”  I thought to myself.  I looked around and there wasnt anyone around.  We hopped in and took it for a little spin.  After a few hours, we caught the attention of local law enforcement.  Of course we were detained. I was 14, no license and driving a car that was stolen.  We were taken to the precinct and I thought for sure that Frank was going to kill me when he found out.  I was taken into an interrogation room and must have sat there for a few hours.  Talk about boredom.  Four walls with those see through windows, dim lights and hard uncomfortable chairs.  I glance away from the window and look at the plush couch that sits nearby.

A police detective walked in and sat down in front of me.  I tensed up waiting for the interrogation to start and wondering what they are going to pin me with.  The detective, Carl Weatherman, look at my file then looked at me.  “Jenessa” he says to me. “I have already notified your guardian, Frank Walters, and he is on his way down.  However, I knew your parents.

What the frag??”  I thought to myself.  They died 8 years ago.  Apparently, the look on my face gave me away.  Detective Weatherman put his hand on mine.

They were good people and friends of mine.  Do you know how disappointed they would be if they knew you were out stealing cars?”  He says.  He then took a key from his pocket and unlocked the handcuffs that were still around my wrists.

Whats going on??”  I asked credulously.

“You are free to go once Frank gets here.  As I said, your parents were good friends of mine, and because of that, I am releasing you to your guardian with a warning” the detective said.

About then, Frank walks in with that scowl on his face.  “drek, this is going to be a long ride home ….” I thought to myself.

Thanks Carl, I really appreciate this” Frank says as he and the detective clasp hands.

Anytime Frank

They both looked at me then and it made me feel so damn small.  It was like the entire world grew ten times bigger.  Frank and the detective escorted me out of the precinct and, surprisingly enough, the friends I was with were also similarly released.  I hopped into Franks car and he drove me home.  And, just as I thought, it was a long quiet drive.  When we got to my apartment, he looked at me and simply said “You disappointed me tonight, Jenessa“.  The look on his face said it all.  I got out of the car and went to bed once I got up to the apartment.  That certainly was not the first or last time that I disappointed him.

I snapped back to reality and looked around my apartment.  I wonder what Detective Weatherman would say now that I am a shadowrunner.  I already knew that Frank was disappointed in the decision, but he understands why.  “You know what” I said out loud.  “I am going to get one of those Jeeps!”  I brought up some shopping apps to get some pricing on some, along with the modifications I wanted.  “Damn, I am going to need to get some more jobs lined up if I want to get this.”  I closed the shopping apps and turned the trid back on.  Still nothing to watch.

The Duchess Gets a Cat …

[Present Day — Baltimore, UCAS — 2075]

And we are off on another job.  This time were had a meet downtown at the Hyatt.  First thing Sabot says is “its downtown so make sure that you dont show up having anything that will make you stick out.”  I chuckled as I thought about my time with the Havoc Squad.  They stick out no matter where they are.  But more on them at another time.  The Hyatt is a fancy dancy place, but when we got there we had to give a matrix code to a valet.  Then an SUV pulled up.  It seemed that the rest of the team was weary of getting in, so I was the first to go.  Seemed nice enough on the inside, it had a bar and everything.  Of course, BetaTest goes straight for the booze.  I grabbed a bottle of water and waited for the Johnson to show up.

The Johnson was a mage that materialized in front of us.  Eventhough I am a mage and can do the same thing, it still gives me the chills when I see it happening.  The job presented was to break into an R&D facility here in Baltimore and acquire a prototype and accompanying data.  If we were not able to acquire it for some reason, then destroy them.  We, of course, would get more money for acquiring them though.

After we made the deal, we learned that the R&D facility is Riva Cybernetic Developments, a subsidiary of NeoNet, and the prototype is a set of cybereyes.  The prototype and datastore were kept in the basement of the facility.  After learning more about various security details, we decided to do some of our own research.  We camped outside of the business park that the facility is in.  BetaTest hacked the host and got some data on schedules, personnel files and what not.  I projected myself into the building and ran straight into a watcher spirit.  Caught off guard, both of us, I jumped back to my body before the spirit could act.

The personnel files contained information on two particular individuals.  The first one, lets say his name is “Mark.”  His social media posts indicated that he was going to a concert this weekend.  The other one, we will call her the crazy single cat lady, well had a cat.  Both of them held positions that would be beneficial to the completion of the job.  Since we had all week before we would do something with “Mark”, we decided that we would kidnap the cat.  Yes, we are kidnapping a cat and will ransom it for some information and/or access to the building.  More on “Mark” later.

We tracked down the crazy single cat lady at her apartment and staked it out.  After she left for work, Kira and I broke into the apartment, with the help of an invisibility spell and BetaTest hacking the door.  Kira was able to pick the lock to the apartment and we went in.  After some searching around, we lured the cat out of the bedroom with some food.  I tried to grab the fluffy white cat, but apparently the vicious little thing decided differently and got my arm.  Kira was able to grab the little bugger and get it into the cat carrier that we picked up.  The actual plan was to capture the cat and hit it with a slap patch to knock it out.  However, now that the cat is already in the carrier, I sure as drek am not sticking my hand in the carrier.  So I hit the cat with a low powered stun bolt to knock it out.

Apparently the commotion got the attention of a nosy neighbor.  An old lady knocked on the door asking if everything was ok.  Then she decided on calling the building super.  So now we are in some drek.  We got some much needed assistance when Soren arrived and used some mind magic on the old lady to make her think that there was some Jello left in the oven. When the coast was clear, we left the ransom note and fled the building and into the car.  Now we are planning on ransoming the cat and meeting “Mark” at the concert.  We know that the concert is at a venue that I have been to.  But as I said, more on him later.  For now, I need to get down to the Feathered Talon.  Star Flower has me working on creating some foci for a customer.