[Present Day — Baltimore, UCAS — 2075]
After a few days, I finally decide its time to get out of the house. Theres no food and I need to get some sun. I made up a list and … drek, Rabbit is out of food too … but I needed to finally get the supplies I needed to build up a lodge. The lodge will let me learn the spells I want and give me a place to center myself. It would also protect me while I explore the Astral space in and around Baltimore and San Francisco.
I also had a thought about establishing Punky Raccoon LTD. I have been doing some research on the Matrix about seetting up business and decided that I should launch my own AR fashion line. I just need to pick up a few things that will allow me to create what I want. I remember seeing a relatively cheap cyberdeck at the electronics shot awhile back and that should work for what I need. Hopefully its still available …
After I got the list made and ready, I headed out and picked up what I have been wanting. The grocery shopping took a few hours and stocked up on some cat food for Rabbit. I swung by the shop and picked up a couple of spell formulae that I have been wanting to learn. The run with the ship proved I needed to expand my spell skill set to include Levitate. I also went ahead and picked up all the supplies I needed to build the lodge that I keep putting off. I passed by Radio Shack on the way home and the deck I wanted wasnt there anymore. I ended up getting a new fancy commlink that the salesman said would work for what I wanted to use it for. The salesman was also talking about how I should get a datajack to help create a better direct neural connection. This will allow my thoughts to become action immediately, but at a cost for me. For as long as I could remember, Star Flower has always told be the evil of cyberwear and how it eats at your very being. “Frag it” I said and jumped on it. I decided that I wanted to have the jack on my wrist so that I could just pull out the cord and plug it in. It would also be slightly hidden as well. A few hours later, I had the new datajack and a shiny new commlink! I tried it out at the shop and holy drek things were sooo much faster. The datajack was installed in my right wrist and would open up into multiple panels and AR displays at just a thought.
When I got home, I started setting up the lodge and getting some tutorials online done with some fashion design software and read up on current business laws that I needed to know to launch this endeavor. After a few days, the lodge was complete and I spent alot of time in it as I learned the spells I picked up and roaming the Astral plane around Baltimore. I knew there was a price to pay for the datajack, I knew this, but the price was the cost of my magic. I noticed that my connection with the mana was less than before. When I looked at my arm, it was just a dead zone and empty. I shook away the feeling of loss and continued on the projects I was working on.
A call came in about a job, but I declined. I could use the money, but I wasnt ready for it again. I was still dealing with the events that occurred on the last job and was busy with learning these spells to get wrapped up in more work.
When I showed up for my shift at the shop, Star Flower got that look in her eyes when she seen me. I knew this look. This was the look she got when she seen people with cyberware walk into her shop. “drek …” I thought to myself. She pulled me into the back office and went on an hour long tirade about how I was giving away my soul for this and how my parents would be as disappointed in me, just as she was. I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran out of the shop and left. I hopped in the Jeep and just drove. I don’t know what, why or how, but I ended up at Dr. Feelgood’s corner. I hadn’t talked to him in a long time, but somehow I ended up in this drekhole of an apartment.
He answered the door and it looks like he hasnt slept in ages. The normally scrawny human was even more scrawny than normal.
“You need to eat a taco or something” I told him as I walked in. My skin began to crawl as I surveyed the filthy apartment.
“Shut up you snobby slitch,” he replied. “What the hell do you want.”
“I need an escape.”
“What kind of escape? I got some novacoke, some psyche, bliss. Drek, woman, what is it you want?”
The mere mention of novacoke took me back to San Francisco. The thought of Bowjack, the rigger for Havoc Squad, slipped in her mind and how violent his showdown with SFPD was. “No novacoke … ever for me. Give me some BTLs … dream and moodchips …”
The scrawny shell of a man reached into a cabinet and pulled out a handful of chips. Also a sim module that I needed to attach to my commlink to allow it to be used for these. I slipped him some creds for the chips and left.
“Your welcome!” I heard him say as I left the apartment. I hopped back in the Jeep and in the rear view mirror, seen the disappointed faces of my parents looking back at me. “Frag it!” I screamed and sped away back home …