Session 3: Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire

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***bidderIds:{"Brauer","Boris"}***
***winningBidder:"Brauer"***
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Livewire sent his challenge off to Ratchet. The runner had embarrassed him in an upset in a race about a week ago and he was desperate to save face. The mousy, spikey haired rigger couldn’t stand being shown up by that robot-wannabe upstart.

It took him some time to make the arrangements, but he was assured an easy victory. Pulling some favors he arranged for two small gaps in the aerial coverage of the race. Just enough that he could make sure things went his way.

As the two cheetah drones took position at the starting line, Livewire mentally ready himself as his consciousness melted into his matte black drone with racing lights washing the asphalt in ever changing neon. He felt himself relax as the drone’s body became his own. He didn’t even need any tricks, he would win this easy.

On the mark, both drones took off. No one in meatspace could tell which moved first, both reacting with the lightning fast reflexes provided by their control rigs. The cheetahs raced up the two decks of the parking deck, banking off concrete walls and the occasional parked car, leaving dents and scratches on the surfaces they raced across.

Neck and neck both riggers maneuvered their drones expertly into the high speed traffic along the highway. A few GridGuide controlled cars braked slightly avoiding the speeding drones. Now out on to the straightaway provided by the highway, both riggers focused on pushing as much speed as possible through their biologically inspired drones.

And with that Livewire felt his confidence begin to melt away as Ratchet began to take a clear lead on him, weaving expertly through traffic and maximizing her speed. But even as worry began to edge into his thoughts, he received the AR alert that the first blindspot was coming up. Pushing everything he could out of his racer, he tried to close ranks with the other drone hoping to force her to smash into a car while no one could see.

He made the lunge, but to his surprise the other rigger burst out ahead of his reach and he lost more speed as he slammed into the pavement, almost losing his balance, and bleeding off crucial speed.

He regained his focus, with both riggers effortlessly making the hairpin turn leading into the traffic traveling the opposite direction back to the parking garage. Panic crept fully in as Ratchet continued to expand her lead over him. With a quick thought, he messaged his last resort to give the go ahead.

Ratchet raced ahead, the parking garage soon coming into sight, oblivious to the Mark being placed on her drone. Livewire’s hired decker effortlessly getting through the defenses put up by Ratchet’s RCC. Slight bursts of lag and a spam began to pour interfere with Ratchet’s connection to her drone, but the finish line was too close, her lead too great, and concentration too focused. Banking back around through the spiralling ramp down to the finish line in the parking garage, Ratchet was already stopped at the finish line and coming out of VR as Livewire’s drone hit the finish line.

He didn’t want to think of the favors he had called in and the money his collaborators had lost in their bets on him. With a wave of anxiety hitting him, he transferred nuyen he couldn’t afford over to Ratchet.

*****

Neu-Hoy-Chen Free Press (2076.09.21)

The ladies of the NHC Co-op Circle proved their mettle when a local gang indiscriminately attacked the Co-op this last Sunday. While tensions had been rising in the neighborhood for the past few weeks, this brazen attack marked a new escalation in gang violence.

Irma Krause, 67, a regular of the Sewing Circle, was among the first to react. “If those tinmen think they can scare me and mine off that easy, they have a lot to learn. My Ruger Warhawk and I used to hold off far bigger threats than a bunch of lowlife gangers before the reunification. We kept the Corps out for decades, I’ll be damned if some crackpot chromeheads will push us around,” she said in a statement.

Irma and a few of the other Sewing Circle members were able to put a resolute defense, critically wounding one of the assailants and sending four others running. Three of the suspects were arrested fleeing the scene and the other taken in under critical condition.

Authorities were unable to provide any explanation to reports of a raccoon spirit flying around the gangers, nor why the assailants seemingly undamaged vehicle was disabled at the scene. Off the record, one source in the department reported that some of the assailants cyberware saw significant damage, all suggesting that the defense of the Co-op happened across the mundane, matrix, and astal fronts.

Sadly, two officers of the Lichtenberg Community Police were killed in the initial attack. Officer Kristian Thalberg, a 7 year veteran, and Officer Rubin Beckenbauer, a 5 year veteran, were shot down by the gangers as they opened fire initially. A bystander was critically injured in the attack also, but was later stabilized by a Good Samaritan attending an event at the Co-op.

A spokesman for the Co-op provided this statement to the NHC Free Press:

“What happened yesterday was a tragedy. Two fine officers of the LCP lost their lives defending the heart of our community. But even as our community’s dedicated protectors gave their lives, the community banded together to protect each other. And so we give tremendous thanks to the members who reacted without hesitation and prevented a greater tragedy.

We will be working with the LCP and volunteers to increase security around the Co-op. All scheduled events and operating hours will remain as usual. A candlelight vigil will be held on Wednesday for Officers Kristian Thalberg and Rubin Beckenbauer. A collection is being held for their surviving loved ones.”

When asked about their plans to curb the growing gang violence, an LCP spokesman had only this to say, “Look, I think the heroic sacrifices by two of our own who fell on Sunday say everything we need to say about what we are doing to combat gang violence, and I think it’s inappropriate to spread fear mongering about a rise in gang violence.”

*****

The detective stared at the coffee cup in his hand, too distracted for once to be irritated by the wheezing sounds and pervasive odor of sweat and too much cologne that constantly accompanied his partner. The two homicide detectives sat in their unmarked car a few blocks down from the entrance to the Event Horizon.

“You sure you don’t want me to go in with you?”

The words broke Detective Christoph Funck out of his trance. “What?”

His partner repeated, “You okay? I said, you sure you don’t want me to go in with you?”

The man gave the impression of having food in his mouth when he spoke, even when he wasn’t eating.

“No. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’ll deal with the runners.”

The slovenly cop in the passenger seat shrugged as Funck climbed out of the vehicle and headed towards the main entrance of the night club and runner haven.

Even without a uniform or obvious badge, the cop projected a clear aura of law enforcement around him and people on the street gave him a clear berth as he made his way up the block. His teeth grit in annoyance as each step towards the entrance brought more and more ARO spam from the club. Visuals of recent and upcoming acts, dancing clubgoers, drink specials, and more popped up with increasing frequency as the distance closed.

He walked past the line of people waiting for access and flashed his badge via AR to the bouncers who immediately waved him past. With the last step up the stairs to the front door, all of the noise and visuals in AR vanished around him, seemingly sucked into the matte black surface of the building.

Crossing through the doors into a small entry room with a coat check, a message appeared across his vision.

Welcome on behalf of the Event Horizon, Detective Funck. Please proceed to the VIP area for your scheduled meet.

The message faded out and an overlay appeared on the ground ahead of him leading him directly into the club and down the ramp towards the VIP Vault areas. The bouncers outside of the massive vault door paid him no mind as he passed through and followed the AR guide towards a small meeting room inside the vault.

Taking the seat positioned to watch the door directly, the cop settled in to wait for the runners to arrive and thought on the series of events that had led to this arrangement. His superiors couldn’t afford the press that would come from an active investigation into a series of brutal murders on top of everything else going on in the district. Their solution was to try to bury it, but as the crimes escalated it became clear that they couldn’t keep the lid on it forever.

And so the top brass made the decision to bring in runners. Opening up a legitimate investigation in their minds would be even worse now than it was in the first place, and so their plan was to hand the job over to paid criminals.

But he couldn’t see this as the worst solution. With any luck, the runners he was directed to would be able to stop whoever – or whatever – was behind the brutal killings. In his time as a homicide detective, he hadn’t seen anything quite like this so maybe hiring out was a prudent choice and they could do things in ways he wasn’t able to.

Still, his sneer deepened as the runner team opened the door to the room and began to file in.

3 thoughts on “Session 3: Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire”

  1. You know, I always liked being out in the open. Probably something that sounds ironic coming from a Shadowrunner, but it’s just the job that tells you that you have to work in the darkness. Yet, going out with Raven and Oma was just another one of those days where Shadowrunning was more about interaction with your team than with the jobs. Too bad Rune couldn’t be there, he missed all the fun!

    I was walking around the Co-Op by myself when the gangers came along. Usually, I consider the outside time for either drinking a bit or maybe finding some new electronics to mess with, especially some parts in case I ever need to make repairs or just jury rig something. But, when the commotion started, my first thought was to just go into the Matrix and see what I could do. I could tell that Raven and Oma had the same ideas though.

    That flighty Birb always knows how to have fun! I swear she was why that Van was almost on fire by the end of the battle. It was so cool~

    Oma seemed pretty great as well. I heard about a Raccoon just flipping and floating around the hole time during the fight. That must have fun to see, almost wish I wasn’t in the VR so I might have actually been able to catch it myself. But I had some damage of my own to do~

    For people who are chromed out, these guys don’t really protect their stuff at all. In any case, we managed to drive them back, and the ladies from the sowing circle turned out to be really cool! Now I know why Raven and Oma like it so much! The fact that they blew away one of those gangers was awesome! ^V^

    And weirdly enough, I think I even saw Ratchet there as well, but I don’t know for sure. I got to ask her about it at some point if I remember. Oh well. At least it was a fun day after all. Maybe I should ask Raven about what she was knitting at the time. I’m sure it was interesting.

  2. It’s Sunday, so its my first day for the Sewing Circle! Totally excited. I got a meeting reminder alert, Irma and Freia were bringing snacks and Hilda is going to show us how to make Dog Ear Pockets. I have no idea what those are, so I had to do some searching on the Matrix. Holy drek, those look nice. Its a slow day today, so I logged onto the HorizonTube and watched some instructionals on how to do some basic sewing. I was able to a good start on the stocking cap and decided to save the rest for the meeting.

    So there we were, just talking about random stuff. Bright was somewhere at the co-op, I thought I seen him around. Irma and Hilda were arguing about which stitch she should use, when we heard some noise from outside. It sounded like … gunfire. When the next round of gunfire came, Oma and I exchanged knowing glances as we took up position by the windows to see what was going on. The Chrome-heads were shooting the place up. They gunned down the security and started firing on other innocent people. This wasnt a hit, this was just …. random violence.

    They pulled up in a van that was next to them. I didnt want them to escape, so I called Falcon to disable it. I didnt have any weapons with me since the assault rifle was a bit much to bring to the co-op, they would likely frown upon that. NOTE TO SELF — buy a small automatic for just such occasions. Oma started casting spells and summoned some spirits of her own to confuse the attackers, so started visualizing these hammers smacking down on the attackers cyberwear and weapons.

    Then the shock of what I seen next still brings a smile to my face. I should have expected it though, from the stories they told, but the three old (use this term loosely) ladies pulled out pistols and started opening fire …. and they were good!

    I noticed Bright’s icon present, so I hopped into VR joined in the fight. I noticed the concerned look on Oma’s face as I dropped into VR. I only then realized that I have not done this before in front of her. Drek … I sent her a quick message letting her know I was alright.

    Long story short, we made quick work of the gangers. Once they were all either dead or had fleed, I grabbed my medkit and ran out to see if I could help anyone that was hurt. Oma filed in right behind me to help with magical healing where she could. “Is she going to start asking questions about what happened … drek, what would I say?” I thought to myself. “I am usually pretty careful about dropping into VR since I dont have a deck, people might start wondering.”

    She didnt ask or say anything, we were mostly just silent as we triaged the scene. I was able to help save one victim atleast, most of the others were dead. This guy … I know I have seen him before, but where. He had some gunshot wounds to the abdomen, so I got the medkit working and stabilized him when the medics and security showed up. They loaded him up in the wagon and took him to the hospital. Afterwords, some reporters started sniffing around for the scoop and had seen what I did. I really didnt want to draw any attention to myself or the team, so I kept my statement vague as possible and from an anonymous source. I gave the reason that I didnt want any retaliation from the chrome-heads.

    I checked in on Hans, the shooting victim, later that day and he was doing good. We talked a good few hours about random drek and exchanged contact information. It was then I realized that he was the bartender at the Event Horizon. I told him I would talk to him again once he was out of this place and left. As I left the hospital, I sent out Goose to find out what he can on the Matrix about Hans.

    Soon after, we all got messages about another job. The meeting was at the usual place, the Event Horizon, of course, but something about this job seemed odd. When we arrived, a known fixer told us that the job we were getting offered was a good thing for everyone. It struck me as odd, so I was on edge for the meet. The Johnson needs help finding and stopping a serial killer that is loose. Ends up he is a detective and their hands were tied, so he is turning to the shadows for help. Of course, I was all for stopping a killer, but something was still off about this whole thing. I brushed it all aside as we agreed to do it and started planning. There was no timeframe, but the sooner the better.

    ~~Quoth the Raven ~~

  3. Well! It was *quite* a sewing circle the other night. It was Raven’s first night with us, of course, and I think she’ll make a fine addition to the ladies. I’m not sure exactly how much experience she’s had at sewing, but we were all beginners once and she can always come to us for advice.
    While we’re not strictly a quilting group, Irma brought her latest project out for show and tell. Heritage quilts are and always will be a fascinating subject for me, although my talents don’t seem to lie that way. I never seem to have the patience… But she had quite a tale for each of the blocks she had used, and the half-finished quilt was simply beautiful. I love the layout she used and, as always, her sewing was flawless.
    Irma and Freia brought the snacks this time. We were all a bit too busy oohing and ahhing over the quilt in progress to do any snacking–or any working on our own projects, for that matter–but that’s all right. I finished my own later that night anyway. I’ll have to decide on something new by the time the next session rolls around. Perhaps I could use a new purse. Maybe even something with a few hidden pockets!
    Then we all had to break to deal with a bit of leftover unpleasantness regarding a gang matter from a finished job, but that was handled quickly.
    After, Hilda finally–finally!–showed us her secrets on how she gets such wonderful dog-ear pockets every time. We’ve been envious for so long, and it was so simple all along…

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