Where it all started
It was Friday night and I was bored, I had just heated something up flopped onto the couch with three beers, I drink, and started watching the trid while I stuffed my gob. A few hours later I was wondering about heading out for a bit when Winston, my dog, let one rip. “Gawd, Winston!” I roared fanning the air with my eyes tearing up. He might be my dog, and I love the depraved little bastard but Christ I wondered why it smelt like he ate a tear gas canister and part of a corpse. It was possible he had. He half growled and whined on his back already sleeping as one of his back legs kicked, probably got burnt slightly by that toxic emission. I figured that was my cue to get out of the pad for a bit. I opened the window to the fire exit and yelled at him to be back for sun up if he went out.
Grabbing my gear and keys I did what most out of work Shadowrunners did on a Friday night, look for work and get blitzed. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m doing currently. Corporate Contracting off the books. I put my life on the line and do all the dirty work for some Johnson whose boss wants ‘something’ done that the board doesn’t want to get a report on or be recorded on the books. I run in the shadows and get paid for it. Someone in the lime lights gets paid too. Guess that’s the problem with all these fraggin’ corps. Love to make a mountain of credz on the backs of the downtrodden, just don’t want it publicized. Everyone knows. They just don’t want it brought up. Its part of the game I guess. In any event a jump into my Toyota Gopher had me off the street and prowling through the streets of my block. Don’t laugh it’s a lot beefier than it sounds mate.
Dot Hack or .hack from the sign which it was flashing was bar of sorts, Use to be some ‘seafood themed’ restaurant back when it was safe to each things you pulled out of the ocean, ‘Clam Shack’ I think by a bloke named McGradee. Never knew exactly what happened to him from back in the day, heard he got in with the wrong crowd and first lost a hand, next thing he vanished. Maybe ended up being food for the sea life he was feeding people. In any event no one’s seen the guy… or girl I guess who owns the place now, not a lot has changed. Few more cameras up and the scanners were put in, a bit of plating in case some bullets are liberally shared around the place probably by the noisier bar crashers but the place is mostly the same. Looking up at the sign I looked at what it would flash and wonder how they got the letters to read differently on the old fashioned sign. Techie stuff don’t know it really. It wasn’t digital which made it look ancient really. Guess that was part of the charm of it all.
Hopping out I pushed past the crowd in the lot doing their thing, too cheap to go inside I guess I saw a few people milling about, considering the amount of people inside that could kill ya and know where to stash a body I guess it wasn’t the best of places if you didn’t have the nerve. I walked past the bouncer and gave him a nod. Tall bastard, even for a troll and he smiled, friggin cheeky one he was by the name Colgate, all his teeth even his tusk were sterile gleaming white. Not a, ‘oh he brushes often white’ I’m talking they look fake or he paints his teeth with paint white or they’re about to light up like a bloody light tube white. People were milling about the bar and standing around talking. I looked at the drinks in their hands… full. Disgraceful.
I get the fact people like to socialize at the bar but if you’re not going to drink your drink don’t stand next to the bar. It’s rude to the drinks. I pawed a few people and said to move which seemed to fall on deaf ears until I dragged a couple of them off their feet or stools and edged in. I motioned for the bartender for a beer and to make it my size. He didn’t seem too pleased; I wasn’t either to be honest. I drank for a bit when I heard someone giving Colgate a lot of lip at the door which was impressive considering the level the music on the dance floor was cranked to. He was the bouncer and he’d do it if he had to probably so I just drank my drink. That was his job so cutting in wasn’t really my thing but after a bit I noticed Colgate still was dealing with the same two people.
Couple of humans talking a lot of mess it seemed, by the way Colgate kept pointing at the check area I figure what they needed to do, and all the flailing around meant they figured they were better than anyone else inside. Smoothies, I shook my head thinking ‘Look at me I’m a normal human and I’ve better then anyone else, the rules don’t apply. I think I’m a shadorunenr and that green.’ That last bit usually I’d disagree with, they looked so green they probably were using their real names. It was more for their protection than the other way around in this line of work with the whole business of checking your heavy fire power, you don’t know who you might bump that’s going to grab your arm and try and rip it off while reliving some trauma from a run a few days back. Yes I know what you’re thinking had just been doing that exact thing bumping ugly with anyone in my way. I make a habit of making waves and that could happen to me… What can I say I love the ocean being a little stupid at times is entertaining to me? Besides everyone knows the life and how you live it. I patted myself down. No smokes. Slag. I didn’t really feel like running all the way out to a Stuffer Shack just for some loosies, I figure getting to the front door was enough.
Shoving up in the middle of the conversation when I heard about enough I asked if they had any smokes. I was talking to Colgate really but I guess being between the two and at eye to chest level with the troll and the rabble rousers shorter than me probably thought I meant them even though they were looking at eye to chest level on me.
“Why don’t you smoke this!” One of the guys said flicking back his coat going for a pistol, it was very dramatic. I had enough time to look at it and what he was doing, then look around, and even take a look at Colgate. This was really happening? This guy wasn’t green, he was mentally damaged.
This guy wasn’t joking; he really thought he was dangerous and he was trying to start something. Nothing says baddass like starting something, but nothing says dumbass like being so full of it you can’t see straight. Those pearly whites of Colegate have a very sharp look when someone was trying to put a gun in his face. I moved out of the way as the other guy moved for his gun as well. It was like one of those bad Western movies, very telegraphed and pretty slow considering they were coming into a runner’s bar very clunky, unfluid, didn’t seem natural. Either they were green or on something. Nope, I grappled with the guy and got him into a submission hold and some other bloke came off and started popping him in the face. I guess a little initiation never hurt anyone… too much. Colgate had the other guy’s gun out of his face and had one hand wrapped around the guy’s head and neck, trolls do have big hands usually.
The guy I had a hold on dropped in a couple seconds his face pretty bloodied with his eyes rolling back before he hit pavement. His nose was crocked now and his lip busted, looked like both his eyes were going to be swollen. I nodded at his other guy since he had landed some rough punches and kicked the punk’s gun away. I wondered if they had real guns they looked clean, too clean, but it looked like they had bought something cheap and flashy that was prone to jamming and sticking. I looked it over on the ground, plated chrome, serial number on the side… that was beoynd sloppy, might not even actually work in a gun fight I thought. I shook my head and searched for a commlink and called the last number I turned to see Colgate towering over the other guy on his knees and he growled at him before saying sit, the sod already was kneeling there wobbling around. Didn’t know if he would kick his head off or what but a ring from his phone gave me a clue as to who he was by the listing. I asked if he was going to get that as he flopped to the ground losing consciousness. I searched the first one again and found some smokes and a nice lighter to, both kind of pricey. Posh.
A better look at them had me noticing the gang like clothes but it was designer label and high fashion, no affiliated gang tats, colors they were sporting conflicted too, manicured fingers… posers. I copied their numbers down and took some pictures. If they wanted to play gangers I knew of a few guys that could always use a bag boy. Personally I could always make use of a disposable errand boy myself. Turning back to the bar I tossed the phone over my shoulder and heard it clatter into the streets. I told the bouncer thanks for the smokes and looked around for my drink. Not finding it I headed to the bar. My spot was filled. I shook my head and grabbed to guys from behind by the head and dragged them out and ordered another beer.
The bartender said if I kept this up I was going to have a problem and I looked around. I wasn’t the only one smoking at the bar and I told him so. He mentioned something about tips but I hadn’t even flicked any ash on his bar either. When I said I wasn’t the only one smoking at his bar and told him to stop riding me he motioned to the guys behind me and said if I was moving them out I better be paying their tips. I throw up my free hand when he gave me a beer and pointed at their drinks, they weren’t drinking so no tips just some blokes nursing wussy drinks. I was a fish, I drank, wussy drinks meant small wussy tips. He just shook his head and muttered it was hopeless. I told him they weren’t all that bad, maybe they just needed someone to buy them a real drink so they knew what was what.
A while later I got another beer and looked at the bartender and he motioned down the way at some guys one raised a mug and I raised mine back. I think the guy he was with was the one punching the guy in the scuffle. I never knew a free beer I didn’t like so I drank it. I grabbed the guys on the ground and shook them as they came too. Frail bunch humans are sometimes I guess. Some guy came over and mentioned he saw what happened and he knew a girl if I ever needed to get fixed up that was new. I raised an eyebrow and raised my mug. With nothing to really talk about he nodded and went back out to the dance floor and some girl poured alcohol into his glass. They went back to dancing and I went back to drinking.
I scanned his card into my commlink and sent it to Samson maybe they could have a talk or share info and that whole networking thing I guess since he was a Doc Wagon Paramedic. That whole torture soul thing about putting bodies back together when they’re torn, broken, and warped ate a person up inside. If anything he’d have a go with the who had the most messed up call before game. He’s probably win, Doc Wagon cases are never mild, and after a year most of the para’s are probably a little dead inside from seeing what happens out here in the streets.
Friday nights were never dull, but that doesn’t put money in my pocket. But the night was young since the sun wasn’t up yet and at least it didn’t smell like Winston.