The Genesis Concept

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.

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Ghoultown
A Collection of Anecdotal Data and Then a Query

GHOULTOWN GREENLIGHT
15 NOV 2053
CHI TRIB>NEWSNET>JACE BRENNAN

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.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NEWS AND VIEWS
16 NOV 2053
CHI TRIB>NEWSNET>STAFF

“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
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

::::MATRIX BACKFILE: DATA/POST LOG (CABRINI/GHOULS DISCUSSION)
::::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)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CABRINI FIREFIGHT
07 DEC 2053
CHI TRIB>NEWSNET>JACE BRENNAN

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.

CABRINI STANDOFF CONTINUES
23 DEC 2053
CHI TRIB>NEWSNET>AMMONDELL

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.”

KE ABANDONS CABRINI
04 JAN 2054
CHI TRIB>NEWSNET>JACE BRENNAN

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.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GHOULTOWN>CABRINI REFUGE>RIOT/KNIGHT–ERRANT EXCERPT DIARY OF A SAMARITAN
DOUBLEDAY (JAN/04/54)

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.


GHOULTOWN>CABRINI REFUGE>SO 162
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.
ALEXANDER: Exactly.
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.
ALEXANDER: Yes.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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Current Timeline

Current Timeline as Generally Known and Accepted:

2052
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

2053
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.

2054
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.

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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…….

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Redirection at Jimbos
FIction

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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Autobiography of a Mage #3
Audio Log Entry #45 Tequila! Makes her cloths come off!!!!!

Audio Log Entry #45 Tequila! Makes her cloths come off!!!!!

TThhhhis shit tequila is AWESOME!!! WOOOOOHH!!

Note to self. Tacos plus tequila is NOW the meaning of life. DREK 42!
FOX IS AWESOME!!!

Other note. Bugs are bad, m’kay? I need to invent a spell called “RAID!” Bastards are following… [PPPPUUUUKKKEEEE!!!] us. DREK YOU! ZAP you bitches! WHO WANTS SOME!?!?!

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Thanksgiving Day
FIction

Journal File
Encryption Active
2053/11/28/0228:31 hrs

Thanksgiving was again, not an ordinary day…..but then again, I suppose everyday that I am still alive and in one piece is a day of Thanksgiving. Well, since my last entry it seems that the team that Gemini came down with actually may be okay. They have their issues, collectively and individually, but then, hell, so do we all.

Today was interesting as Constantine as I got a call from Fox. Says he’s found Socrates and he’s gonna send the Sioux Sector passes with him and for us to meet him at 10am at Jimbo’s. Logan called shortly thereafter and we told him where that meet was gonna go down. We end up meeting Socrates as directed and, lo and behold, we end up offering to let him join this wonderful guitar ‘run that we have active. A little while later FUSE does his magic shit and does that out-of-body thing he can do so that he can scout out Topal’s shop, the Earth Mother Curious. Talking about curious as FUSE comes back into the meat and tells us that he got the sensation of hate in the location around the shop but says other that that he found nothing of interest.

Anyway, around noon, we decide to travel to the Sioux Sector but damn, FUSE and Party Boi’s fuckin’ IDs don’t pan out. They are grilled for a couple hours before being turned away from the sector border. Of course, their passes are no longer any good. I, of course, get stopped by fuckin’ Red and I can’t get across. Red needs to let it go, the deal with that damned case wasn’t my fault. At least Logan, METL, Socrates, and Gemini are able to investigate the talismonger shop and they find Topal.

A little while later we all regrouped at the Clinic and discussed what to do next. I am a little worried about Party Boi though, that dumb ass does some novacoke and goes out for Tacos.
Topal seems at a loss and talks to Logan but I am still not sure about her. Seems like the guitar may be held at a warehouse. Socrates ends up doing a matrix search on this particular warehouse, the guitar and on Topal’s running team. But not much is found out as I still am not sure what he found out. Around 15:30 Topal and FUSE astrally scout the warehouse in question while Logan goes to meet a contact and Socrates and Gemini investigate Grep’s and Hammer’s (Topal’s teammates) places. Close to 1800 hrs we get word that Socrates and Gemini are investigating the Red Velvet Inn and Socrates reports that someone is watching then from a motorcycle. At 20:00 hrs everyone meets back up at the Clinic to talk about the legwork but the conversations seemed kinda muddled. I think that we, as a team, need to do a better job of recording and analyzing legwork so that clear decisions can be made. That’s where I am gonna do a better job. I wanna help figure this puzzle out.

Right in the middle of the team discussion, Topal gets pissed and leaves. Seems she took offense to some part of the talking. The funny thing about that is nobody seemed to care. I didn’t really say anything other than to point out that she was leaving as dealing with her was not my call. I need to realize that I am trying to fill a primary and several secondary roles and butting in on all that is outside my lane.

Anyway, as the night wore on me and Socrates attempted to hack Cuirassiers Security System Host…we got our asses handed to us and I got hit hard through dump shock….so did Socrates. It took so first aid and but both Socrates and me are fine. I’ll be nursing a headache and some bad bruising but I’ll be okay.

Lastly, a little over an hour ago Tini Biggs gives me a call and says that we are to meet a guy at Black’s Junk Yard at 0100 hrs Saturday morning (the 29th) so that we can trade the box (and what’s in it) for that guitar. Damn me, but I but this has something to do with that motorcycle guy Socrates saw……

Interesting Thanksgiving. I am damn thankful that my brain didn’t get fried on that Cuirassiers Security System Host run…..and I sure am thankful that once I close this entry I can get some sleep. Damn, I am tired…..and my head hurts…..

Journal File Closed
Encryption Terminated
2053/11/28/0231:07 hrs

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Autobiography of a Mage #2

Audio Log Entry #42 – Meaning of life.

Really. The answer is 42. Why, I don’t know, but a lot of magical spells in the healing side of things call for some semblance of that number. I guess when Douglas Adams first wrote that, he never realized he might have tapped into to the knowledge of mana a little bit.

Aside from that I traveled to Denver
…side note travelling by ground over long distances SUCKS. I need to look at a faster way of travel. Maybe if I combined part of the formula from the known “Levitation” spell with some form of kinetic push that would slingshot me…yeah…no. Bug on a windshield effect. NE.(starts to whisper)xt. Stupid close proximity to my fellow adventures. It seems we have formed a “party” of sorts. This is the second adventure to unknown lands. This walled off citadel of a city seems to be troublesome. We have an item of power. Weather I attempt to wield said power and possibly risk corruption or McScrooge sales it for some more coin in his swimming pool of coins, will be told in the next episode. (gets a little loud for a second) TUNE ..(whispers again after catching self) in next time! Same Fuze time, same Fuze trid stream!

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Pandora's Box
Fiction

Journal File Accessed
Encryption Active
2053/11/26/0417 hrs

Fucking great. What have I gotten myself into? Who are these guys? Why did the Upright Man hook me up with these dudes? Okay, okay back up. Here is what I know:

The Upright Man fixed me a job. I was supposed to liaise with a ’running outfit outta Chicago that needed to make a delivery here in the Sector and then split. I think I was supposed to lend a gun hand and maybe provide tactical matrix support and local knowledge, if needed.

Job was supposed to be a quick deal. Give someone this for that and be done with it.

Well. Shit didn’t work out that way……

Seems that they, or shall I saw we, were supposed to meet with Tini Biggs (of all people) and give him this box and he was supposed to give us an antiquated, yet, expensive guitar, specifically it was a Fender Stratocaster. Well, Tini didn’t have the Stratocaster so no deal…..

He at least tells us that another ‘runner team led by a chick named Topal has the guitar and that it looks like the deal fell through. Look’s like the Upright Man’s hands are tied on this one and even though he is sympathetic, the way the street is, we’ll all get a bad rap if we don’t somehow find this Stratocaster and give it to the Johnson who dealt with the Upright Man.

I was pissed but now that I’ve had a chance to think about, I can’t blame the Upright Man and if we can find that damn guitar and send it on its way, I can, at least, avoid more a fucked up reputation. The 5+ grand will help…..its not what I wanted but hey…..We find Topal and we find this guitar….

Which leads me to the next thing on my mind….what the fuck is up with this box?

I did some research and the blogosphere says that foci are some powerful shit. If we, right now, possess a serious focus, that alone could net upwards of a hundred grand….which will make my total cut on this job closer to like twenty or twenty five grand…..and that is much more like it….

We have a focus….does Fuse know the full gravity of that fact? He has too….he’s the magic support. Me, I don’t know the in’s & out’s of that shit but we are holding a focus that was supposed to be traded for the damned Stratocaster and this begs some questions….

Is the guy that was expecting that focus gonna come hunting for it? Are we gonna keep it or sell it and split the ¥? Is Fuse gonna even want to to?

I wonder if Gemini, Fuse, Logan, METL, PB and Diesel are familiar with the ancient Greek story of Pandora’s box? Did we just open Pandora’s box and are we ready for what may follow?

I don’t know……shit, I just don’t know…..

Journal File Close
Encryption Terminated
2053/11/26/0418:35 hrs

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The All-Seeing Eye
Hottest News-Magazine Show on the Trid

All_seeing_eye.jpg
Friday, November 28th, 2053

Audrey W. is one of the hottest things on the trid this year, and her ultra-popular, The All-Seeing Eye, is pulling in huge ratings all across North America. She’s talented all right; she can cut straight to the heart of the matter with a penetration question or revealing piece of footage. And she’s always so cool, so sharp, that just seeing her on the street or in the restaurant has reputedly caused even the most hardened corp executive or politician to break out in a cold sweat. Tonight you can feel her shooting off the screen.

As always, she stands on her custom virtual set, clad in one of her trademark, chic Abandallo business suits. The show’s last segment, something about toxic agents in the latest fad food additive, was uninspired. The image behind her is one of her more provocative images of the All-Seeing Eye on blindfolded woman’s chest. Her pursed lips express displeasure as she addresses her audience.

“What the drek is happening in Chicago these days? Unbeknownst to the general audience, a secret cabal is taking advantage our citizen’s trust. They are undermining our streets and infecting our children. They blind us with false hopes of progress and innovation. The group works from the shadows, masked by front-men that deceive with a smile. There are abominations that abound in our city, but the people are blissfully unaware while these beasts steal our children in the night. Their actions are hidden by the upper echelons of our government, who have been turned to their depraved ways. What I’m about to show you may revolt you. I, for one, hope it does.

The image flashes to tightly focused shot of suit walking apprehensively into dilapidated area in what is presumably one of Chicago’s rundown neighborhoods. The cameraman makes a wide pan to the area around an abandoned apartment building. Then the camera zooms in to the windows, the doors, and the littered trash in front of the building. From the elevated perch of the cameraman, he fails to catch any squatters in the area, like the building is devoid of life. The fading sun casts long shadows the suit tries to stay out of the shadow of the building. Another individual exits the abandoned edifice and walks to meet the suit. The cameraman zooms trying to catch a glimpse of the person, but his wide brimmed hat covers his face. His clothing is ragged and layered like a homeless squatter protecting himself from the cold. You cannot tell if the figure human, elf, or even an ork. The suit hands the individual some paperwork points out some apparently important sections of the packet and nods to the figure before quickly turning to leave.

The suit suddenly breaks out into a full run and the camera pans to the building as a multitude if figures pour out of the openings, doors, windows, and holes in the walls. The camera tries to zoom in on the people, but they are moving too quickly to focus. Half-glimpses of grossly transformed humanoids chase after the suit, running past the figure studying the document. The camera pans to a second building standing adjacent to the first. A similar horde of creatures pour from the openings in the edifice, some jumping down from second story windows. The suit tries vainly to escape as the creatures run him down. The camera tightly focus on the suit as the horde descends upon him, claws shred away his clothes and flay his flesh as the creatures stuff them into their mouths. Entrails are forcibly ripped from his eviscerated stomach in a macabre game of tug-o-war before they snap and devoured by their participants. The suit screams has his eyes are scooped out their sockets and succulently sucked between quivering lips like a delicacy in a four-star restaurant. The creatures scramble over him like a quarterback sacked in the end zone, biting and rending as they go. Even his head, despite his screaming, is clawed at until it pops loose from his body and a secondary group shuffles away as one of them runs with the head, like a dog that managed to snatch a bone away from the pack.

The camera starts to focus on the individuals as they slow and turn seeking other prey. Their ashy, desiccated skin hangs in tatters on their exposed flesh. Any hair they may have once had has been shed like an alopecia universalis victim. Sharp yellow teeth and long fingered claws are used to tear the flesh from their victims. Their eyes are milky-white and despite their apparent blindness, they have no problems seeing each other. As the sun begins to break the horizon line, the trid jostles and loses focus as the cameraman hurries from the area.

The scene switches back to Audrey, standing agape in shock, one hand covering her mouth in horror. Composing herself, she turns a stern eye back to the camera.

“That was governor’s aide Christopher Reynolds as he delivered Special Order 162, better known as “The Cabrini Refugee Act” to the leader of a ghoul community in front of Scamplife on Cabrini Green earlier this month. What is this Special Order 162? Apparently the Illinois legislature, in a closed session, passed “The Cabrini Refugee Act”, which allows for ghouls to inhabit Cabrini Green and are protected under the law. Like these unclean beasts are some disabled members of our society. Why wasn’t Reynold’s murder announced on syndicated new stations? Why isn’t there an investigation on why the government is protecting abominations that would sooner feed on our flesh than read a proposal with their blind eyes? Why is the government protecting a murderous group infected people? I implore you email your congressman; flood their inbox with a wave angry messages at this transgression. We should not have to allow monsters to roam our cities. Protect yourself. The All-Seeing Eye is watching for you.”

The Trideo changes to the new trailer for CyberNinja IV.

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