The Genesis Concept

Black Clouds and Crazy Dreams

A Narrative……

Since the quarantine began in late August, Gemini and what was left of the ‘running team known as Logan’s crew were busy trying to do nothing more than survive. Logan’s crew, as a team, if that mattered any more, had lost contact with its namesake, Logan Knight and more than half of the ‘runners who had been operating with the crew for a long time. This included Fuze, Siren, Nightwing and Ghoulbait. They had also lost contact with Nitro a couple of weeks later. So it was, then, by the end of September, Logan’s crew was, for the moment, reduced to just Gemini, Rattle, METL and Joshua Blue. By the last night of September these four found themselves in, yet another, burnt out and ruined warehouse district and they were running low on supplies, food and vital ammunition. Gemini, via tapping into, when he could, what was left of the Chicago net within the Containment Zone, CZ or just the ‘zone, as it was now more commonly known, had recently become aware that Ares Macrotechnology was in the process of executing a number of supply drops. Specifically, he had found out that Ares was frantically trying to facilitate the survival and possible covert extraction of the remnants of one of their high-value R & D teams which had become trapped in the CZ due to the government imposed VITAS quarantine, which those untold numbers of people in the ‘zone certainly now knew was total bullshit reason. It was, of course, the bugs, the CZ had to have been created to keep the bugs from spreading further. It was as if the heart of Chicago was to be sacrificed in the process. Gemini had communicated is findings to the others and they had decided that recovering of of these drops could certainly replenish the needs of the four and extend their continued nightmarish existence in the ‘zone. Some of them may have wished for death now and again, but at least collectively they wanted to make it inconvenient for death to come collecting, and securing a supply drop, they had reasoned, at the very least, increased their odds of inconveniencing the death angel.

The last night of September began in roughly the same way as many of the previous nights the four had experienced. They had been constantly moving to and from various locations in the lawless ‘zone as central municipal authority began to be replaced by a number of self styled warlords, strongmen and gang leaders who had emerged in the resulting power vacuum. Gemini and the others had been able to reach the warehouse that Gemini owned but after a week they had to abandon the location due to increasingly dangerous incursions of ant spirits close by. As a result, the four had been primarily mobile for the latter part of September, alternating movement on foot and via vehicles that they were able to secure, the latest of which were two Ford Americars…one an Eagle Security squad car and one an obscenely tricked out pimp mobile. The plan to secure the supply drop was pretty straight forward. Rattle had discovered that a street gang, the Helter-Skelter Minions of Death, otherwise known as the HSMDs, had found a drop and were in the process of moving to retrieve the supplies for themselves. The straight forward plan was, basically, for the four to rush in with the two Americars and engage the gang with brute force and kill or scatter as many as possible so that the supply crates could be recovered. It began when METL, with some skillful driving, in the pimp mobile sped in, took a hairpin turn while slamming into several gangers, causing confusion and surprise. Blue, driving the squad car, unfortunately, was motivated to emulate METL. Blue lacked the piloting skill of METL and lost control and nearly slammed into the pimp mobile, which, most certainly, would have killed or inflict serious injury upon METL. Luckily, METL was able to maneuver his car out of the way while Blue ended up getting the squad car hung up on a ruined wall of what once was a small storage building. Blue was able to exit the car and ran for cover. METL continued driving through the gangers and blindly engaged several with uncanny accuracy. Gemini and Rattle approached the scene on foot and began engaging the gangers with prejudice via small arms fire. Within several minutes the gang was routed and METL had been able to get the squad car dislodged from the rubble of the storage building. It was then, sometime around 3am, that a brilliant flash suddenly blossomed off in the distance towards where Cermak Avenue lay. Blue looked directly at the light and the others were caught off guard. Then a few seconds later they were rocked by a rolling shockwave that took down some of the weaker, less stable, ruined buildings and knocked sections off of the more sturdier ones. Blue was knocked off his feet while the others dove for cover.

The dust had just begun to settle when a number of strange apparitions began to coalesce in the dim light of the predawn morning. The horizon glowed with a number of fires which sprang into existence after the flash and the shockwave. It was these fires that provided an eerie illumination which allowed those in the vicinity to see with slightly greater clarity. The apparitions began to show their true forms and METL, thinking fast, moved close to one and prepared to engage at close range with a firearm. It was he who realized that the apparitions were insect spirits manifesting into the physical realm from the astral. Blue, as an awakened, would have been able to ascertain this immediately, but could not as the flash had temporarily blinded him, rendering him unaware of the manifestations. Soon enough, METL fired at the insect spirit just as manifestation is complete and battle with the manifested roach spirits was initiated. Blue soon regained his vision as Rattle and Gemini moved towards the supply crates. Combat continued with the four noticing that over half of the manifested roach spirits were acting erratically. The roaches, to everybody’s amazement, seemed crazed and began attacking each other. Gemini, now in one of the cars, began to record the scene in front him with his cybereye system while the others were in combat or were moving to load the supplies into the two Americars. Blue cast a manabolt at the roach nearest him and as he did so he seemed to sag after he grabbing his temples. The manabolt spell energy appeared as a black inky smudge streaking away from Blue. Gemini, METL and Rattle had seen Blue cast a variety of spells in the past and his signature was normally comprised of a faint blue arc of arcane energy. The spell he cast this time arced differently and just before hitting its intended target….a roach spirit, it veered sharply and exploded into myriad cascading colors a couple of meters above the spirit. Rattle was able to see the colorful light show fade into a billowing black miasma which sprang into existence. Gemini, realizing that the situation was beginning to become dire stopped focusing on recording the scene and moved to engage the nearest roach spirit after it had dispatched its former compatriot. Rattle started to crack the crates and load the pimp mobile while METL continued close combat with his foe. Blue fought through his headache and sent another black smudge flying towards the roach which METL was combatting. Again, his arcane energy veered off and up into the billowing and expanding black miasma. The black smudge disappeared into the miasma without a sound. Indeed, it seemed a bit anticlimactic. However, the miasmic cloud seemed ever expanding. METL still engaged in close combat with a roach maneuvered himself into position and grappled the roach. He the brute forced the roach spirit up into the miasma and it was immediately drawn into the black billowing void. The four continued to engage the roaches. They halved their number due to the infighting and irrational behavior which gave the four an expected advantage. After several grueling moments of all out combat the four found themselves nearing victory as only a couple of the roaches were still able to threaten them. It was then that Rattle saw something change.

The miasmic cloud suddenly began to expand in all directions. Rattle was the first to notice the dark purple flashes of energy that looked like bolts of lightning which flashed at chaotically erratic intervals. As combat subsided the four were able to see the miasmic cloud expand and then to their horror they witnessed it suddenly drop and envelope them into its inky darkness. The last thing any of them were sensate to was the fact that any pain they were feeling became a numb, distant memory and each of the four felt a sense of weightlessness before they lost consciousness and slipped into a null void of insensate blackness.

A few moments later the few surviving roach spirits saw the miasmic cloud snap into nonexistence and then they fell into a catatonic torpor which forced them back into astral space.

And there they hung, suspended, in a frozen dreamlike state, with their alien minds slumbering away with abysmal visions and planescapes within their minds’ eyes that would, certainly, compel a metahuman to enter a violent state of insanity and hopeless incomprehension.

Static. Ambient crackling. A pungent smell of ozone and electricity. This is what Gemini, METL, Rattle and Blue became aware of as they slowly began to regain their consciousness. The black tendrils of the miasmic cloud still encircled the four but were slowly beginning to fade despite the abrupt occasional eruption of flashes of purple lightning reaching out hither and yon. As the miasmic cloud receded into what, perhaps may have been astral space, the four found themselves deposited somewhere in the middle of a cold desolate moonscape. As the cloud evaporated around them, it still flashed angry purple now and again, perhaps as an angry warning that it was still an unpredictable danger.

After a measure of time, the miasmic cloud retreated into something akin to a distant memory and the four realized that they had been left in some weird blasted moonscape, bathed in lunar ambient light which illuminated the clear night sky, that was beset by frigid air and a glazing of ice. Luckily, the four did have clothing which was intended to keep them warm in the chilly Chicago fall season, so they were moderately equipped to handle the freezing temperatures of this strange place. As the last crackle of purple energy receded into nothingness, the four were left in stunned amazement for several moments before METL and Rattle were able collect their wits and assume tactical defensive positions in what amounted to an ice glazed ash covered environment. Shortly thereafter, both Gemini and Blue followed suit and fell prone onto the grey, moonlit icy shine of their surroundings.

Rattle was the first to notice, off in the distance, what appeared to be a type of snowmobile. It was parked upon a large, ice encrusted and sparkling, dune of ash some 50 meters to the southwest. After a moment, a figure appeared from the far side of the dune, looked around as it gathered its belongings. Then it mounted the snowmobile and roared off to the west at speed.
“What do you think that was about?, asked Gemini?
“Dunno”, replied Rattle as Blue and METL continued watching as the figure on the snowmobile shrank in size as it retreated in the distance and then disappear entirely from view.
“Lemme try to summon an old friend. I think I feel strong enough to try”, offered Blue as he sat up in the dust.
He closed his eyes and sat still for a moment. Meanwhile, METL engaged some devices within him and a small satellite dish projected up and out of his left forearm.
“My GPS system indicates data which, in all likely-hood, has to be in error. I need to verify our location”.
METL then sat silent as he engaged the satellite communications module and attempted to get a fix on their location.
Blue coughed and to the others he appeared blanche-white.
“What?”, both Gemini and Rattle asked together.
“……uh, my spirit friend, who is hovering nearby in astral, asks where I have been for the last nineteen summers and wants to know why we are in the shadow of an angry mountain….”
Rattle and Gemini looked at strangely at each other and then looked around. There they confirmed that the a mountain did exist in the moonlit distance off to the south, southwest.
“What the fuck?”, muttered an incredulous Rattle.
“Where are we?. asked Gemini in hushed tones.
METL looked around and spoke up.
“The more appropriate question may be ‘when are we’ as my readings show that we are located precisely at 47°04’48.5"N 122°05’34.4"W.
This places us in the Puyallup district of the Seattle Metroplex and based upon what Blue just indicated of ‘nineteen summers’, so… math places us sometime within the winter months of 2074-2075”.
…………………Stone silence.
“Therefore, the precise question should be, again, ‘when are we’……as we now know that we are north of the remnants of Mt. Rainer”.
METL then shifted his stance and focused on the small satellite dish protruding out of his left arm.
The others just stared at each other with mouths slightly agape.
After a moment, somebody uttered a query directly but quietly.
“Blue, you’re the fucking mage, what the fuck just happened”.
Blue didn’t respond immediately. He just lay back into the dust and laughed hysterically.

Moving Forward to Oblivion (Wanna go for a Ride?)
A Narrative.....

By late August of 2054, Logan’s Crew, still in Seattle, ran up against myriad logistical difficulties and planning conundrums. Several members of the Crew were not entirely motivated to try and take down a the Universal Brotherhood. Many plans were discussed but none seemed to pass the common-sense test. Gemini had been itching to go back to Chicago and Joshua Blue was open to the idea of relocating his fabricated identity to Chicago so that he could run the shadows there. Blue was beginning to think that the Seattle shadow scene was getting crowded and he wanted to try a new scene with new possibilities. Logan was adamant about the dangers of the Brotherhood and was offering many suggestions as to what the Crew could do to take on the Brotherhood. Siren was in support of Logan whilst Nightwing, Rattle and METL argued that, tactically, they all, as the Crew, had no true hope of really hurting the Brotherhood in such as substantive manner without, of course, Logan’s Crew, being eradicated in the process. Socrates was concerned that the team was outmatched in regards to this Brotherhood issue and Fuze was still freaked out about the Amber Gel. There was no true consensus as the month of September dawned. Therefore, the Crew, including Blue decided that the best course of action was to go back to Chicago since they had successfully completed the original job that brought them to Seattle in the first place.

Back in Chicago as the fall of 2054 came and went, Logan and the Crew went about ‘running several jobs fixed by the Upright Man. As the New Year commenced several important things concerning Logan and the Crew had occurred. Logan’s front, Browncoat’s Bail Bond’s, ultimately failed and was liquidated. Logan himself, in the early spring, went to ground and kept a low profile but was able to fabricate another SIN to where he, should he choose, could interact within the legal world with impunity. In fact, Logan’s fabricated SIN was of such good quality that he, Logan, was able to use that SIN to legally invest in several corporate entities and by early summer of 2055. Logan’s fabricated identity was worth 2.1 million¥. Yet, Logan was not content to just live the life (fabricated, of course) of a successful investor, he still wanted the adrenaline success of becoming an elite ‘runner. During the same time the others were busy as as well. Gemini working closely with Logan during the fall, winter and spring, helped with the facilitation of Logan’s fabricated new identity and
profited from a number of matrix ‘runs which supported Logan and several of the other members of the Crew. Gemini, through the investments of Logan (in the guise of being an investor) and via his own devices was also able to amass rather large nest egg of 1.5 million¥, which was divided between a number of offshore data haven accounts with the Carib League and Switzerland. Fuze and Siren were able open up a profitable Talismonger shop near the campus of the University of Chicago, while METL, Rattle, Socrates (as Ghoulbait) and Nightwing stayed fully in the shadows during this time but had became rather well known ’street sams’ within the Chicago shadow scene. Joshua Blue had come to enjoy the Chicago shadow scene, but stayed attuned to legal world via his fabricated SIN which he transplanted from Seattle.

All in all, the members of Logan’s Crew were enjoying life in their various pursuits. Yet, the failure to deal with Brotherhood and their inability to really make a mark in the Chicago Shadow Scene, collectively as Logan’s Crew, remained an unspoken irritant to them all, until, July of 2055. Starting on July 9th of 2055, all Project Hope camps in Seattle and elsewhere are shutdown for health reasons. With their collective ears to the shadows, Logan and the others realize that another team from somewhere was able to take down the Brotherhood as for the remainder of that month the new trids are replete with stories of corruption within the Brotherhood. However, Logan gets wind of a rumor that Ares Macrotechnology, may be involved in a coverup related to some new types of spirits that have been found to exist. This news, and the fact that Logan’s Crew collectively has been dormant for a while, seems to galvanize all the members desire for success. They begin to think about reuniting so they can take the next step needed to become truly elite runners….they have been successful in their own rights, but to be considered ‘elite’ is something that they all think about from time-to-time….

By mid August of 2055, the Upright Man asks if Logan and his Crew are wanting to ‘run again….as the Upright Man has been contacted by a Johnson who may know something about this Ares coverup rumor and it seems that this Johnson wishes to hire a ’unique and experienced’ team to help him find out some information.

The only thing the Upright Man will divulge is that the Johnson is a man the team has a connection to in the past, but this man is now known as the Sagittarius Dwarf. In fact, the Sagittarius Dwarf and a mystic by the name of Jason Two Sprits have hired the Upright Man to find such a crew and they are asking for Logan and his Crew by name.

The Upright Man senses that something big is going to go down and the reality is that Logan’s Crew is being asked to meet for a job….

The Darker Path Ahead
Fuze's dilemma

The cold chill brought upon by the environment in which he stayed seemed different. Distant from the dark musky stench of the sewer system he was in previously before the Doc’s office only brought about bad memories of the haunting face that ever remains present now.

It is Thursday, the 7th in 2054. At least that is what the clock says. Two days after the darkness had come. That monstrous troll slicing me up and part of my arm. Now I have THIS piece of cold metal falsely playing the role of my arm. If that in itself was not bad, that is when he appeared. The cruel human looking face with an almost monkey body style garbed in blue taunted me now. Can he be a manifestation of my inner self? The power hunger and the insatiable lust for destruction cannot be. I do not believe so. That is not me…… He was quiet now. The silence was nice. The heckling he gave, the arguments in which he was very persuasive, disturbs the gut feeling I have against them. I will have to ponder this and what this falseness this, Being, describes. This group of individuals I have come to know, saved me from the darkness. I owe them yet, Azur Affe which he calls himself, tells me otherwise. That I shouldn’t owe them anything…

Personal log entry #651863
TIME STAMP – 05-12-2054 0953

Seems The Upright Man has talked me into paying the good Doctor a visit again. Something about an idea of how to help me along the lines of “more my style”. Makes me curious how much he’s keeping tabs on me this much…. hopefully he’s not watching me in the shower. I don’t think anybody wants to listen to me singing old Disney songs in the shower. Though “LET IT GO!!!” and “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!” are good.

Anyways, it’s mainly for this THING on my arm it sounds like. It just doesn’t feel…normal.
Side note, Affe is at it some more. I think after this short pit stop check up, I’ll go back to the office and try and dig deeper. Though he is right. I should pick up some more offensive spells/knowledge. He’s almost trying to cram it down my throat preverbally speaking.

Personal log entry #651864
TIME STAMP – 05-17-2054 1624

I had to take some time to put my thoughts together after the “short Doctor visit”. Turns out it wasn’t just about the arm. I don’t remember talking with The Upright Man or the Doctor about these additional changes.

In this log, I will describe something that now plagues me. Azur Affe. I believe he somehow is the one behind the “additional changes” at the Doctors office. This all came to pass shortly after the adventure in Denver. The closest thing I can nail down is this item….it seemed harmless, a normal “power foci” that one uses to channel and or shape more mana. I was wrong. SO wrong. It’s like it has a personality of it’s own. I think Azur Affe, is a manifestation of this item. It looks like a man sobbing in his hands. It is powerful poison that has leached, I believe permantly, some of my ability to use magic. I may be able to get it back via what is called metaplanar travel to get to the root of this. I have never done that before, but have read several text on it. I need to talk to the Professor about this….there has to be meaning for the eyes. The skin plates while not unwanted, are still not natural. Needed for this line of work though. I really need to do this thing called working out or magically permantly make my fitness better.

Yes….I could use this power. Azur Affe might be onto something……

Azur Affe

Death's Secret

She was nervous, so they gave her an injection. “She’s not ready,” one of them complained.

“Nonsense.” As always, Malcolm’s voice was gentle and reassuring. “She’s one of our best. Aren’t you, dear?” It had been Malcolm who’d first suggested she was ready for the Inner Circle.

“Yes,” said Victoria. “I’m ready.”

The first man cut in again. “But she’s apprehensive. There’s no way she’ll have a good merge.” Victoria had never seen the man before today and she had already forgotten what he looked like. Because of the drug, she couldn’t focus her vision in the dim room.

She was confused and hadn’t the foggiest idea what “a good merge” might mean. She attributed her lack of understanding to the drug and her own apprehension. She’d only felt this nervous before, but never in the two years since she’d joined the Brotherhood. And now she couldn’t remember why she was afraid. It had to do with something they had told her . . . something to do with what was about to happen. But she knew the Brotherhood had given her the strength to stay alive during the last two years and that she would always be safe in their care. If it hadn’t been for the Brotherhood, she’d probably have killed herself and would never have known how wonderful it was to be alive, would never have met Daniel.

Her secret, she thought. Her affair with Daniel Simpson was her one secret from the Universal Brotherhood because he’d insisted that she never tell anyone about their relationship. In return, she kept her association with the Brotherhood a secret from him, knowing that Daniel would never understand why she needed the group. But after her initiation, she would tell him al l about the Brotherhood. He would be proud of her for working her way up the organization’s ranks. He would understand when she explained what a responsibility it was to be a member of the Brotherhood.

She reached to touch the necklace Daniel had given her the day before, but her fingertips found only the flesh of her neck. For an instant, she was afraid she’d lost it. Or had it been stolen? Her memories were clouded. Then she recalled the necklace being taken from her. “No jewelry,” Malcolm had said. “Just the beauty you possess as you. You’ll get it back after the ceremony.”

“Victoria?” It was Malcolm’s voice, here and now. She realized that she’d gone wandering off with her thoughts.

“Yes, Malcolm. I’m ready.”

As the men helped her off the table, Victoria felt dizzy an d feared she would crash to the floor. But they held her up and she was safe. The floor was cold against her bare feet and the air chilled her skin. Standing straight, she regained the confidence the Brotherhood had instilled in her over the last two years. She knew with certainty that her impulse to the join the Inner Circle was correct. There was no doubt, no need to second-guess. The men directed her down a corridor, and her steps were firm and unwavering. When they loosened their grip, she continued without difficulty.
They came to a large door that she had seen many times, but through which she had never been allowed to pass. “Someday.” they had told her when she’d asked about it. “When you are ready.” I’m ready, she thought. Today I learn more than I ever thought I would.

The door was opened and a rush of warm air caressed her skin. The men on either side of her touched her lightly on the arms and escorted her through the doorway. The floor was warm and soft. Almost alive, she thought, and then realized it was the drug again, altering her perceptions. The light was low, a dim orange, and up ahead, she could see a large room. Shapes were moving about in the room, large, hulking figures. Victoria could not believe her eyes, so she did not. “We are taught lies,” the Brotherhood had instructed her. “Illusions that cause us fear, loneliness. You must team to see what is true and ignore what is not.” What her eyes showed her was a creature with huge claws and hard, insect-like skin, but she knew that it was not so . Or, if it were. it was simply part of the wonders the Brotherhood was about to reveal to her. She noticed that the room was filled with large, rough balls. Cocoons. “This way,” Malcolm said softly. They led her to a cocoon that had been slit. Its surface was wet. “This is where you will stay for a while, Victoria,” said the other man . "This is where you will enter the Inner Circle. "

The fear, the instinctive fear, rose in her once again, “Daniel,” she said softly. The grip of the other man tightened slightly on her arm.

“Relax,” said Malcolm, though Victoria did not know if he was speaking to her or to the man. She decided on the latter when Malcolm added, “If someone comes looking for her, we’ll deal with it then.” Then he asked her, “What is the first truth?”

“That we are all brothers,” she answered.

“I love you, Victoria. Do you love us? "

“I love you all.”

“Do you want more love, Victoria?”

In a flash, the loneliness of her past shot into her soul an d she knew that she needed more love, more love and even more , enough to build a fortress against that loneliness . "Yes. I want more love. Please give me more. "

“There is all the love you will ever need within the cocoons, Victoria.”

Her body relaxed and she lowered herself down onto hands and knees. She thought she detected a pulse of some kind from the floor. She crawled into the cocoon. It was sticky, like cotton candy, and she remembered going to a carnival with her mother and father, before everything had gone wrong.

She sat down in the cocoon and hugged herself tight, drawing her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around her legs. Malcolm and the other man pushed the two sides of the cocoon’s slit together and then there was nothing but darkness. She closed her eyes and thought she heard a wet kind of sound, like something slithering, but she could not be sure.

All she was sure of was the Brotherhood, the bond that existed between all Humans, and the love that was hers to share.

If she would only trust.

And then she was aware, without a doubt, that something was inside the cocoon with her.


Only Mostly Dead

Lightning flashes as Detective James Simica pulls into the patient drop-off of Rush University Medical Center. Flipping off the interceptor’s police lights, the detective ignores the pelting rain as he climbs out and heads towards the reception area’s sliding doors. A member of the Knight Errant campus security notes Simica’s look of consternation and moves to intercept the Eagle Security officer.

“Hey pal, you can’t park there. I don’t care if you’re Eagle Security.” The Knight Errant Security officer places a hand on his Colt Beretta 200 as a show of force, having heard the rumors of Eagle Security’s rent-a-cop force as being grossly unprofessional. He holds his other hand out to stop Simica from entering the facility. Simica slaps the hand away, causing the Knight Errant guard to grab his pistol butt.

“You draw that weapon and I am authorized to use deadly force by the Chicago Security Contract, Section 720-5. Whereas an officer of Eagle Security, while pursuing leads in an on-going investigation is threatened with a dangerous weapon, whether on public or privately held land, may use lethal force to defend himself against such threats. If you want, you can have the car towed, but I know you aren’t going to stay on this campus forever, and the rest of Chicago belongs to me.” With his bluster deflated, the Knight Errant guard raises his hands and backs away. It never fails to amaze Simica how little Security personnel know about actual laws of the places they are supposed to protect.

Simica stops at the information desk; an elderly lady looks up from her Universal Brotherhood pamphlet and smiles at the detective. “How may I assist you today?”

“I’m looking for a Kevin Tsujihara, he was brought in yesterday.” The lady frowns at Simica’s request, she appears torn between helping him and quoting the medical center’s policy. The detective notices her reluctance and flashes his Eagle Security badge. The receptionist demeanor changes to focused zeal as her hands start flying across the electronic key display. Despite her age, the receptionist is able to find the information quickly.

“He’s still in surgery. You’ll have to go down this hall on the left…”

“I know where it is.” James dashes away towards trauma center leaving the elderly receptionist to resume reading her pamphlet.

When James arrives at the trauma center, two beat cops are there drinking coffee, waiting for Kevin to get out of surgery. They have obviously already been waiting a while and their haggard faces seem to lesson at the sight of the detective.

“Hey guys, what do you know?” James looks to each one for information on their faces, trying not to let them discern to much from his own facial expression.

“Not much detective, some bounty hunter yahoo went into the Shattergraves to find that missing girl that the ghouls kidnapped. It looks like him and his team got more than they bargained for and this guy caught a grenade. Serves ‘em right though, the child was some Yak daughter or something, shoulda just let the ghouls have her.” Simica suppresses the urge to slam his fist into the beat cop’s face. “Why all the interest detective?”

“He’s a friend of mine. If he went into the Shattergraves to save that girl, it’s more than any of us would have done.”

“Shit detective, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“Have the doctors said anything?”

“No, they’ve been in surgery the whole time. I heard he’s in critical condition.”

“OK, I’m going to sit down for a few, maybe catch some shut-eye. Wake me up if anyone comes out.“ The cop nods and walks back over to his partner. James lies down on a bank of waiting room chairs and closes his eyes. It does not take long before the night washes over him.

James awakes to the jostle of the cop he spoke with earlier. “Hey detective, the doc’s here.” He points to a man in bloody scrubs standing with a silver-haired woman with an adornment of tattoos and piercings. James sits up and shakes the sleep from his head before walking over to talk with the doctor. Flashing his badge, he grabs the surgeon’s attention.

“Hello officer, I was just informing Ms. Kendrick that Kevin has been stabilized and I think the worst is passed. He has sustained an excessive amount of trauma and it is by sheer luck that he is not dead.”

“How bad is it?” James rubs his eyes and motions for the beat cop to come over. Without talking, Simica takes the cop’s coffee and motions that he will buy him another cup. Siren, whom the doctor referred to as Ms. Kendrick, finds the exchange strangely efficient; as if policemen have a secret doughnut language only they know.

“Well, he has suffered severe trauma to much of his body. He has lacerations on 40 percent of his face and body. He has lost his right arm at the shoulder and left arm below the elbow will require extensive surgery. His larynx has severe lacerations and will need to be replaced. He has a collapsed lung and he may have permanent brain damage. In the next day, we can prep Kevin for surgery to try and correct the damage that has been done to him. If the surgeries go well, he can start rehabilitation and after 6 months we can look into cosmetic surgery to fix the scarring.”

“Please take whatever steps are necessary; I am authorized to inform you that the Browncoat’s Bail Bond Agency will pay for any procedure that is necessary.” Siren smiles at Detective Simica and adds. “We believe in taking care of our employees in these times of turmoil.”

“Thank you Ms. Kendrick, I need to get back so we can move Kevin for his next surgery.” The doctor nods to James before disappearing behind the translucent glass doors to the trauma center. James turns and introduces himself to Siren.

“Hi, my name is Detective James Simica, you work with Kevin?”

“Lisa, Lisa Kendrick.” Siren is not sure if giving this detective a fake name is particularly wise. He appears the type of person that will look you up in some national database after meeting you. “I was on his team in the Shattergraves. Perhaps you would like to go and get some coffee and we can discuss the night’s events. I know a great little coffee shop in the Elevated Core named Caffeine. You could call it my ‘official statement’ and it will save me from having to endure your Eagle cohort.” Siren motions at the two beat cops who are watching Siren intently, waiting for their turn to ’question the suspect’.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t mind some good coffee. I’ll drive and you can tell me about what happened.” Turning to the beat cops, James motions for them to wait there. “Hey guys, I got this. If she gives me any information that you may need, it’ll be in my report later.” Siren smiles at the look of disappoint on the beat cops’ faces.

A Rescue that almost wasn't
Ghouls Gone Wild

Last night’s “Rescue Mission” was a rescue mission in name only. Going after one or two criminals on the local most wanted sheet or even a bail jumper was one thing, but to take on another shadow team, a gang of street thugs, not to mention the small army of hunger crazed HMHVV infected humans was not the most ideal situation.

Rattle takes a long pull from the bottle of Jack Daniels sitting on the fold out card table he had been using as a desk. Wiping the alcohol that did not make it into his mouth with the back of his grimy sleeve he then bent over his computer once again. His left eye closed, Rattle squinted with his right eye and continued his tortuous typing with the index fingers of each hand. He wasn’t a very fast typist.

The whole op was eleven up and three down if you know what I mean. Otherwise if you don’t, then you’ve never been “Boots on the Ground” anywhere. I may no longer be active military but I still live by the 7Ps that I learned during basic, “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” Piss Poor Performance is what happened yesterday.

Rattle takes another pull from the bottle of Jack Daniels and wipes the dribble from his mouth once again. He fingers his Rattlesnake Rattle hanging from a necklace made from a dog chain and a lock. Beside the rattle also hung his old dog tags from when he was in the CAS Military. Back to typing he went after a short time
It started out with our decker, Gemini, going into “The Teeth of a Dragon” as the saying goes. He should never have gone in alone, the face and one of us slug-slingers should have been with him as well. Logan may have had a better chance to negotiate with the leaders involved, but in the end I don’t think it would have mattered. They other team, the gang, and the ghouls weren’t going to leave.

Then Zorro, also known as “ZTGB” had to go alone and visit his Ghoul Friend. Now that was a mistake as it turned out. Really he went alone into Ghoul Town? At least the gangers had numbers to deter those that had gone completely feral behind the reach of humanity. Zorro was like a walking buffet. What did he suspect would happen? He would be accepted into the their family because he had a ghoul friend? He would be accepted into the family. Starting with the …………………………………..wait for it………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………… Brains.

Let’s not forget M.E.T.L who receives a call from ZTGB and then rushes to the location without proper support from the rest of the team. Just because he’s practically indestructible doesn’t mean that he is. Even tanks can get destroyed. Just ask any CAS veteran from the 5th CAS Armored Battalion, Mike Company, about the 2-Day Border War with the Aztlan 22nd Armored Division. The Aztlan 22nd Armored lost more than 75 tanks and around 105 other armored vehicles. You ask why did I bring up a largely unknown skirmish? Because I can and to prove the point that someone out there always has a better weapon that can penetrate your armor.

My point it this. That unless we communicate proper with each other and execute some basic tactics this group of ours will not live long except as a bypass on that crappy trideo show “Chicago’s Craziest Shadowrunners.” I for one would like to outlast this team’s current name at least. I’ll say this about the team, they got balls if not brains and M.E.T.L. definitely knows how to lay down some supressive fire.

A Collection of Anecdotal Data and Then a Query

15 NOV 2053

After months of posturing, the Cabrini Refuge Act was finally passed after a narrow vote Tuesday. The passage of Special Order 162 marks the first time since the Awakening that the UCAS government has formally recognized the rights of a new metahuman race and accorded such a race legal protection.

The first refuge will be located in Chicago, on the site of the former Cabrini Green Public Housing Development, a UCAS spokesman said. A federal judge has ordered the city to secure the area within 60 days or face undisclosed fines, the spokesman said. City officials plan to move the estimated 600 squatters now living in Cabrini to temporary housing units in the Robert Taylor Megaplex.

The passage of the refuge act represents a major victory for the fledgling Metahuman Rights Coalition. At first glance, the passage also seems a victory for Mayor Ronald Quince, who surprised many observers by announcing his support for the measure in May. Political analysts speculate that Quince backed the plan in an attempt to bolster his sagging approval rating among voters. Quince seems to have misjudged public opinion, however, as our exclusive RediResponse poll shows a staggering 64 percent of his constituents opposed to the Refuge Act.

16 NOV 2053

“How do you feel about the Cabrini Refuge?”

“You mean that Ghoultown shit? They actually went through with it? I can hardly believe it. We already gotta live with the orks and the trolls, now we gotta live with the fraggin’ GHOULS? Un-fraggin-believable. What is this city coming to? Quince’s gotta be on simchips or somethin’.”
Daniel “Brick”Garrety, 32, human
Night Watchman, R.A. Malcolm and Sons ReSalvage

“Nice to know there are still a few people in our government with compassion for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Without tolerance we have anarchy. Have you forgotten the Night of Rage? I for one am grateful to our mayor for having the guts to stand up to the system.”
Mari Anders, 24, elf
Teaches “Metahuman Awareness”at the Discovery Depot

“What amazes me is that so many people seem to think they are doing us a favor. We get to live where you decide and may only feed when and how you say. Not a great deal, to my mind. If being an outcast is the price of freedom, I think I’m ready to pay.”
“Wicked,” 41, ghoul
Unemployed, Has not Sought Asylum

“They eat human flesh. Eating human flesh is wrong. Giving them permission to eat human flesh is wrong. I am not the only one who feels this way. There will be a reckoning and those who dance with the devil will get what’s coming to them. Mark my words.”
Allin Klarc, 36, human
Shift supervisor, Thriftrite Athletic Shoe Outlet Superstore

“I never met a ghoul but I know they do bad things and I am afraid because they are moving in over by Lina’s house but Mom says they will be locked up tight and if they try to do bad things to us the police are going to take them away so I guess it’s OK.”
Grace, 9, human
Enrolled in the William Morris Pre-Secretarial program

::::Excerpts 2092871–2092951

>>>>>[They say it’s pretty bad in there. I haven’t been inside myself, but I hear it’s like living in a sewer and feeding time is like a zoo. Poor bastards—why didn’t we just kill them and get it over with?]<<<<<
—Garbo (12:45:31/11-22-53)

>>>>>[I hear dat’s da plan. Get ’em all in one place and set up a happy accident dat blows ’em all to hell. Whizbang idea if ya aks me. Shoulda done da same to da trolls. We’d all be better off.]<<<<<
—Mistah Happy (03:44:21/11-24-53)

>>>>>[Just erased 4 MP of death threats against the Happinator. Might be a good idea to keep the rhetoric down to a dull roar. Play nice or I will have to shut you down.]<<<<<
—SYStem 05 (23:54:11/11-27-53)

>>>>>[Genocide was the plan from the beginning. I am in a position to know. The entire project is a sham intended to eliminate an awkward problem before it becomes a major national issue. As soon as I gather sufficient evidence to prove my claims, I am going public and we are going to put and end to this monstrous charade before Cabrini becomes a death camp. Any assistance I can get from the shadows will be greatly appreciated.]<<<<<
—NewFile “BitBurn”(23:59:13/11-27-53)

>>>>>[You realize you are a dead man.]<<<<<
—PhillyBuster (24:22:19/11-27-53)

>>>>>[Not too smooth, Bitsy. You must be new here. There’s a time and a place for everything—which you won’t have time to learn if Philly’s right. Haven’t you been introduced to Mr. Johnson?]<<<<<
—Calgon Green (16:21:44/11-30-53)

>>>>>[I just intercepted a nasty traceback/blackout nanocycles before it fried our innocent little NewFile. I don’t like foreign burners in the system, so his problems have become my problems and now they are your problems. Do what you can to help “BitBurn”and I will get you that extra datastore you’ve all been clamoring for. Deal?]<<<<<
—SYStem 05 (09:53:28/12-01-53)

>>>>[Switching over to Naked City. Catch me at the BitBurn SIG. Looking forward to filling up the new dumpster.]<<<<<
—Calgon Green (12:55:35/12-01-53)

07 DEC 2053

An estimated 100 people died at the Cabrini Refuge Thursday night when a group of vigilantes attacked the residents of the protected area.

The incident began when members of the extremist Humanis Policlub attacked the housing development with automatic weapons and at least one rocket launcher, police said. Apparently, Cabrini residents had been expecting such an attack and had moved underground or to unused areas of the complex. As soon as the majority of the Humanis force moved onto protected soil, the ghouls attacked in force, overpowering and consuming their foes. Attorneys for the beleaguered refuge claim that under Article 16 of Order 162, the residents were within their rights to devour anyone found on their property. Apparently Article 16 classifies trespassers as “fair game.” Edward Talbot of the Intemperance League has filed a class–action suit against the UCAS government on behalf of those who were slain.

Police said tensions between ghouls and nearby residents had been high in past days, apparently as a result of persistent rumors of a citywide conspiracy to exterminate the population of the Cabrini Refuge. The refuge was created by a special order of the UCAS Congress acting at the request of Mayor Ronald Quince.

23 DEC 2053

The respected Knight–Errant private security firm will honor its contract to provide security in the Cabrini Refuge, the company announced Tuesday. An estimated 100 people died at the refuge on Thursday, December 4th, during a raid by members of the Humanis Policlub. Despite continued violence at the refuge in the wake of that tragedy, Knight–Errant plans to honor its contract with Refuge Interim Director Jonathan Meir, a Knight–Errant spokesman said Tuesday.

“Knight–Errant has a reputation for dependability,”the spokesman said, reading from a prepared statement. “Anyone who has dealt with our firm knows that we will honor our contracts under the most extreme circumstances. We have even maintained service with foreign clients after the government that signed the contract had collapsed. Regardless of continued pressure from powerful special interests we have no intention of changing our policy now. Anyone who tries to enter the Cabrini Refuge without proper identification or authority can expect to face our trade- mark efficiency. It’s like we say in our adverts: Knight–Errant—you can depend on us.”

04 JAN 2054

Knight–Errant will not renew its temporary contract to provide security at the Cabrini Refuge, a company spokesman said Saturday.

Citing an “overcommitment of regional resources,”Knight–Errant personnel will evacuate the refuge at midnight, when the contract between the Cabrini Refuge and Knight–Errant Security elapses, the spokesman said. Despite eleventh-hour efforts to resolve the refuge situation peacefully, bloodshed seems unavoidable, as protesters from both sides of the issue have gathered in force outside the refuge, forming a teeming throng that has blocked all access to the housing project. In an ironic turn of events, the city apparently has secured the services of Knight–Errant to subdue the crowd should violence erupt.

Channel 32 has won the rights to broadcast live any fighting that may occur, but the Urban Combat Network will rebroadcast highlights on a ten-minute delay.


When you volunteer for an intervention team, you expect anything and everything. I have helped dwarf programmers through picket lines, pregnant elves get into free clinics that would not admit them, and I’ve rescued a troll baby from human kidnappers who intended to sacrifice him to some kind of toxic spirit. But I have to admit I never expected to be called in to help defend a ghoul lair.

I wasn’t able to attend the meeting where we decided to consider ghouls a sentient metahuman race, deserving of our protection, but I understand it was a real circus. Apparently, the highlight of the whole thing occurred when some lunatic wheeled in something that appeared to be a human corpse. It was lying on a bed of greens with an apple in its mouth, cooked up all nice and brown and everything. It was supposed to be shocking—you know, some kind of statement about the gruesome fate that awaited us all if we decided to help them—but it didn’t come off that way. Some droll eleven mage offered the poor bastard a bit of thigh, and the joint went up for grabs.

Sitting in the back of our van the night the Knight–Errant contract expired, I had some time to think about our new “brothers.”Can’t say as I approve of cannibalism, but the biologists claim the ghouls don’t have a choice. My brother was twisted by some magic and wound up with a face like a mound of rotten fruit. He didn’t ask to be an ork. Did they ask to become ghouls? I doubt it. It all made sense as long as you could keep everything nice and rational, but on some gut level the whole thing sickened me.

We were not the only ones who showed up at the party—far from it. Everybody knew the trid crews would be there, so anyone who could think of a reason to be there showed up. And they all brought every member they could muster—as well as a few street people thrown in to beef up their contingent if they didn’t look important enough. A couple hundred bleeding hearts from the Metahuman Rights Coalition showed up, along with a small horde from the newly formed Society for Traditional Values and clusters of tough-looking characters who waited until the last minute to pull on their Humanis hoods.
All we had to do was look for heavy weapons—anything that could make a real difference if it came down to cases. It was a damn good thing we were there, as it turned out.

As zero hour approached we got the order to circulate. The detail contained only five of us, but that’s all we’d ever needed before. Cronk and I swept the rear, looking for anything the others might have missed. Then five minutes shy of midnight Cronk spots a kid wandering through the crowd. He tells me there’s something strange about the kid’s thermal signature, so we check him out and frag if he ain’t a ghoul. He seems disoriented, so I go to check him for injuries but before I can reach him I fall unconscious.

A couple of days later I woke up in a private hospital unable to move anything but my eyes and the fingers on my right hand. When Cronk showed up he told me the ghoul kid had canisters of nerve gas taped to him. Apparently, the Humanis boys needed to build some popular support quick, so they decided to frame the ghouls for a massacre. If it weren’t for that extra filter in my right lung I would probably be dead right now. And if Cronk hadn’t iced the kid as quick as he did, the riot might have gotten really out of hand.

Would have been nice if the city had stuck to its guns. What happened to the Refuge was a fragging shame. Thank god I didn’t end up a ghoul.

Excerpt from the pretrial hearings in the class–action suit brought by Jonathan Meir on April 1st, 2053, against the legislative firm of Dumas, Alexander, and Tate on behalf of the residents of the Cabrini Refuge. Dumas, Alexander, and Tate were employed by UCAS to draft and administer Special Order 162. The following is the testimony of Gery Alexander as submitted to Judge Andrew Gregory.

ALEXANDER: When we drafted Special Order 162 we had no way to gauge the hostility it would elicit among many longtime Chicagoans.
GREGORY: Come now, Mr. Alexander, you expect us to believe that you had no idea that there would be an unfavorable reaction to the Special Order, Article 16 in particular?
ALEXANDER: Our initial surveys suggested some resistance to Articles 11 and 16, as well as the program as a whole, but nothing on the level we encountered after the Knight–Errant pullout.
GREGORY: Do you normally base your human rights policy on the ability of the victim to defend himself?
ALEXANDER: Of course not. For the record, I must object to your tone and to the hostility of the entire panel. This is a board of inquiry. No charges have been filed, yet you are treating us as if we’ve already been convicted.
GREGORY: Withdrawn, but I would like to add to the record that this is your third objection of this kind and that you have phrased your complaint in exactly the same way each time. We have brought you here to get answers, not speeches.
ALEXANDER: Understood.
GREGORY: What led to your decision to recommend that Special Order 162 be repealed?
ALEXANDER: In the 48 days following the Knight–Errant pullout, there were 218 deaths among the residents of the Refuge.
GREGORY: The situation was turning into a war.
GREGORY: On what did you base your recommendation?
ALEXANDER: Look, I know what you want me to say, but I won’t. You have to understand what was going on at the time. As soon as we realized that we were dealing with more than a couple of isolated incidents, we tried to protect them but we just didn’t have enough manpower—and the attrition rate among those assigned to garrison the Refuge was unacceptable by anyone’s standards. We explored freelance security options but after the Knight–Errant debacle the low bid was outrageous. No one would go near the place.
GREGORY: It wasn’t worth protecting them.
ALEXANDER: We couldn’t protect them.
GREGORY: So you cut them loose.

What opinions do the characters have about ghouls and Ghoultown in Chicago?
Please answer in-character.

Current Timeline

Current Timeline as Generally Known and Accepted:

January 2—AZTLAN: The war with Yucatán rebels continues to escalate.
January 6—UCAS: 2XS, a BTL far more potent than a standard BTL, hits the black market.
March 14—QUÉBEC: Cross Applied Technologies achieves A status.
April 20—UCAS: The Chicago based ‘runners known as Gemini, Logan, Nitro, Diesel, and Sam meet at local bar called Slack Jaws.
May 3—UCAS: Insurance costs force University of Seattle to remove fire elemental summoning from its practical exam.
May 18—UCAS: A group of militant homeless take up residence in the struts of the Manhattan Bridge.
June 24—GREECE: The first footage of gorgons using their petrification power is captured.
July 2—JAPAN: International Olympic Committee awards the 2056 Olympics to Tokyo. Japanese officials announce that metahumans will not be allowed to participate.
July 19—UCAS: UCAS Data Systems pulls funding from Dr. Ronald Halberstam after they discover he is trying to isolate children’s’ brains from their bodies to raise them completely in the Matrix.
July 21—AMC: The body of Derek Highsun is found behind his barn.
September 13—UCAS: The street mercenary style loses favor among fashion moguls.
September 23—TÍR TAIRNGIRE: Willamette Compustat is contracted to handle all government data backups.
October 4—SPAIN: Sol Media Group gains a foothold in the Aztlan media market.
November 5—UCAS: Alan Adams is re-elected president.
November 5—CAS: Edna Wallace is re-elected president.
November 11—UCAS: Arthur Vogel founds the One World Association to address environmental issues.
December 5—GLOBAL: Bioware is released to the public market, gaining instant popularity.
December 13—JAPAN: The Chiba Virtual Stock Exchange crashes in the midst of a Fuchi takeover attempt by the Yamana family

January 20—UCAS: President Adams inaugurated.
January 21—UCAS: President Adams dies of a massive stroke. Vice President Thomas Steele assumes the presidency.
February 20—AZTLAN: Flavia de la Rosa elected president.
March 12—JAPAN: Proteus AG completes the Okinawa offshore arcology.
April 24—EUROPE: The Essence-Integrity theory is published, explaining the mechanism behind the loss of magical potency from cyberware and implants.
May 6—UCAS: A United Oil tanker dumps millions of gallons of petrochemicals into Boston Harbor.
May 28—CFS: Hestaby awakens and blocks Tír Tairngire’s attempt to take Shasta Dam. She settles on Mount Shasta and claims the region as her own.
May 30—UCAS: UCAStrak bullet train derailment kills 157. UCAStrak stock plummets.
June 25—CFS: The redwood forest near Mount Shasta begins spreading at an unnatural rate.
June 28—QUÉBEC: Cross Applied Technologies is granted extraterritorial status.
July 16—UCAS: University of Michigan researchers publish magical theorems
August 13—JAPAN: Proteus AG completes the Osaka offshore arcology in Japan.
August 24—TSIMSHIAN: For the first time, borders are opened to megacorporations.
September 10—UCAS: Hurricane Ethelbert hits the New York and DeeCee areas, causing extensive damage.
September 18—AGS: Credstick readers get new anti-tamper technology, and additional Matrix protection is added to the associated nodes.
October 20—POLAND: Strikes and riots against the Russian occupation leave the economy in ruins.
October 23—UK: The Socialist Worker’s Party is destroyed by an embezzlement scandal.
November 10—AFRICA: Police pull out of Cape Town when violence reaches unmanageable levels.
November 11—UCAS: The Cabrini Refugee Act establishes the Cabrini Green Housing Development in Chicago as a ghoul haven.
December 4—UCAS: Humanis Policlub attacks Cabrini Green, killing at least 100.
December 6—AGS: Authority over the SOX is handed over to a joint corporate administrative council.
December 18—UCAS: The ‘runners Gemini, Logan, Nightwing, Diesel and FUSE returned to Chicago.

January 3—UCAS: Knight Errant abandons their contract to protect Cabrini Green.
February 16—UCAS: The AGS chancellor is assassinated at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.
March 17—UCAS: Special Order 162, i.e., The Cabrini Refugee Act, is repealed. The UCAS formally reverses its decision to recognize the rights of a new metahuman race and denies that race any and all previously granted legal protection.
April 1—UCAS: Class–action suit brought by Jonathan Meir against the legislative firm of Dumas, Alexander, and Tate on behalf of the residents of the Cabrini Refuge.

Autobiography of a Mage #4
Audio Log Entry #43 - F’ed in the B
So I’m not sure this is going to work out…. the shadows eat other shadows. I can now see why Darth Vader turned to the dark side, but still had some good in him. He felt he was doing the right thing, but doing what it took to get it accomplished. If I make it out of Denver, I think a new line-up of spells is in order.

A very cool guy in my book, ….died today. He showed me what REAL tacos tasted like.

Life is just not the same. My eyes were once shrouded…….

Redirection at Jimbos

Constantine, Fuse, Nightwing, Diesel, Socrates and METL sat in a booth a Jimbos in silence. It was late morning on Monday the 8th of December, 2053. The frigid day was grey and a light snow was falling. The weather certainly mirrored the mood of those assembled. The team, if that is what you could call it, was disheartened. They had a originally received a job at noon on the Friday. It was that Constantine, METL, Diesel, and FUSE were hired by Jonathan Teague to protect his business interests. Or so they thought. Jonathan Teague, is the CEO of Denver’s Highstar Entertainment. The business interest, they were told, was a man, specifically, a dwarf, named Holger Allenby, who is the President of Caravan Production – HQ is in Seattle, who has been receiving death threats while he is here in Denver on business. While in Denver, Allenby is staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Common Zone of Denver. So, if the team was able to protect Allenby and find out the source or sources of the threats then payment would be in the form of the very guitar that they had sought out in the first place. The timeline for the job was that it was to last until at least Thursday the 11th of December. That was when Allenby was supposed return to Seattle. There was even a 70,000¥ bonus if the team is able to quietly eliminate the offenders who insisted on sending the threats to Allenby.

The survivors of the original team, i.e., the team that had come down from Chicago, METL, Diesel, and FUSE, along with Constantine, who was their job contact in the UCAS Sector of Denver, had made the assumption that Holger Allenby and Caravan Productions were a subsidiary or a division of Highstar Entertainment. The team had just incorporated Nightwing, who was actually the guy they were supposed to meet in the junkyard debacle. The survivors of the original team ended up doing a deal with Nightwing. They ended up trading the focus to Nightwing and his team in return for their gear that they had lost in the junkyard run. After that, Nightwing offered his services to the team and since they were down both Logan and Gemini, they accepted. However, things had transpired which found the team sitting in Jimbos in a state of despair, well, if not despair, then something akin to depression. The team had, for the last several days, been attempting to reorganize and conduct legwork towards the Allenby job. The legwork returned nothing more than confusion. Highstar Entertainment was owned by Mitsuhama. That meant Yakuza. Caravan Productions was not a subsidy of Highstar. Allenby seemed disdainful Teague and any death threats. Furthermore, it seems that, so far, the death threats may have only occurred in Seattle. In fact, they had found out, Allenby’s car was targeted and blown up in Seattle. But so far, no evidence of death threats to Allenby while he was in Denver had surfaced. This had stumped the team and now they sat facing each other in a dingy booth within a dirty Jimbos covered in dirty snow in soul freezing subzero temperatures.
“I think this is bullshit”, Constantine flatly stated as he stared into his cup of soykaf.
“What”?, Nightwing quickly asked.
Constantine looked up at the elf. The thought it still a bit strange the the guy who was responsible for the the meeting in which pretty much the whole team got wasted at was now a part of the same wasted team.
“This. We got nothing. Everything we were following up on just doesn’t make sense. I just don’t get it.”
Diesel spoke up.
“We must have missed something. Maybe we need to go back and talk tho this Teague guy.”
METL shifted in his seat as he gazed out the window. The sounds of little servos activating could be clearly heard by all sitting in the booth.
“What?”, asked Socrates.
“Nothing, I am just watching the snow fall on the street”, replied METL without taking his eyes off whatever he was looking at.
FUSE slammed his hand down on the table and everybody turned their attention to him.
“Guys, okay, this sucks. We got nothing. But we can’t just sit here in wave the surrender flag. We are stuck here in Denver right now and we have a job to do.”
FUSE looked at everybody in the eye with a determined look.
“Let’s go over everything again one more time. Constantine, what do we know at this point and how does it differ from what we were told at when Teague gave us the job?
Constantine looked around at the assembled group. Okay, maybe FUSE has a point.
“Waitress, more coffee!”


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