Author Topic: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.  (Read 2109 times)

SpatulaODoom

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Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« on: (10:40:45/05-11-13) »
   Wired reflexes are a wonderful thing. In the sixth world they let people who weren't born with the gift of magic, like me, compete on equal footing with all sorts of wild and wooly monsters, spirits, physical adepts, and drones, that would otherwise wipe the floor with a plain jane human. Not only do they let you move and react at crazy speeds, but they slow down your perception of time, let you plan out your next move or two in between seconds. Sometimes though all they do is give you a chance to more thoroughly contemplate just how royally screwed you are. For example when you're in a helo running across the Seattle Barrens that's just been tagged with a SAM. I got about a second or two of alarms blaring before the missile hit that punches us all in the back. Amid the noise and jolt I clearly see shattered chunks of the tail section go whirling off to the right. Since I'm pretty sure a helecopter can't fly without a tail this is a really bad thing.

   The chopper starts shaking. I think we might have lost one of the main blades too. Everything is moving in slow motion. I know what needs to be done. I manage to get a hand on the side door despite the juddering and yank it open. I take a tenth of a second to thank whatever god is listening that John and Kaylee weren't with me. They are back at the rendezvous point playing astral and matrix overwatch respectively. I'd estimate our current altitude at about a thousand meters, give or take, and below us is nothing but ferrocrete urban decay. I'm pretty sure the chopper doesn't stock parachutes, and even if it did I'm not going to have time to slide one on. But I didn't open the door for me. Dust is in the compartment, along with me and four temps I'd hired just for this job. Dust is a bit short of fifty centimeters tall, cute as a button, a powerful mage, and, most importantly at this particular moment, she's a pixy.

She's got wings.
Must be nice.

   It takes a try or two to grab her little leg, as the chopper starts to heel over to the right and people are panicking and bouncing around inside. Once I've snagged her I haul back and throw her as hard as I can out the open doorway. So long as she can clear the rotor and any miscellaneous explosions and bits of stuff she should make it out OK. The rest of us are screwed and I spare a moment to think of George up in the pilot's seat. He's an old buddy. Known him for years. I'd say I'm gonna miss him, but since I'll be dead too I'm not sure how that'll work. John's whole ghost gig hasn't answered anything really, just made things more confused. Guess I'll find out soon.

   Something hits me hard in the back and suddenly I'm out in empty space too. Maybe one of the guys inside thought I had an escape too and were helping me along. Maybe it was just a tumbling body bouncing into me, maybe there was a secondary explosion, I couldn't see. I can hear Kaylee calling something out over the comm still stuck in my ear and that gets me to thinking. Thinking about all the stuff I wanted to do still and all the stuff I wished I'd done when I had time. The top of the list is kids. Never had any, wish I had. Salma, my ex, had wanted kids too, but not until our careers and finances and all that were secure, at least that's what she'd always said. Me I wondered if we'd ever find "the right time." Things fell apart before we got to that point. The only other person I'd ever considered worth making a baby or two with is Kaylee. She of smiling eyes and pointed ears.

   Just thinking about her takes my mind off my imminent demise thing for a milisecond or three. She's an elf so it sort of goes without saying she's beautiful. Elves won the genetic lottery. Unlike orks and trolls and even dwarves like George they never suffered a lot of prejudice when they popped onto the scene. Kaylee's a tech-head. She does the matrix hacking and a lot of the tool work on our gear. Unlike a lot of tech heads she's outgoing and friendly. Truth is my networking and her people skills are half the reason our operation went from a low rent fly by night to a well respected group paid enough that we can sublet and do our flying by night in our own helicopter. Before it got blown up that is. We haven't really gotten to the point of rings and babies in our relationship though. I always said I wanted to do it right if I was going to do it at all, and she feels the same way.

   I note that the ground is getting awfully close, slowed perception of time only does so much, and I note that I'm going to hit the dilapidated remnants of a children's playground. Well isn't that irony for you? I feel like something is dragging at my back but I can't seem to turn to look properly. Hopefully it's not Dust trying to carry me, bless her winged little heart. No way for that to work. And then my time is up and I hit.

Everything goes away.

SpatulaODoom

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #1 on: (05:00:31/05-14-13) »
I guess it should go without saying that waking up again was something of a surprise.

   My vision is royally glitched up. I think only one eye is working at all and even that's pulling down static. I see splotches of red and grey. I don't feel much either, just sorta cold, which I count as something of a blessing. An annoying high pitched whine and what sounds like a woman crying is all I can hear. Probably Dust, or maybe Kaylee if my earpiece is still working. I guess it could be an angel lamenting my death. Heh, no. Probably not heading that way honestly. I done bad things, good things too, but I doubt the pearly gates will open for me. Valhalla maybe, or one of the other warrior heavens. I try to say something reassuring but instead I wind up gurgling a bit. The sobbing immediately turns into a blood curdling shriek. What can I say, I have a way with women.

   I sort of loose track of things for a while. Dreams, I can't really say what exactly, but when I come around again I'm somewhere familiar. Familiar doesn't mean welcome. I'm in a hospital bed. I hate hospitals. Too many bad memories. I'm not all here right now. For a brief moment I think I see Salma, dark hair and fiery temper, sitting in the chair by the window, her eyes red and her face blotchy from crying. Then my blurry vision shifts a little and it seems like it's Kaylee. Then I realize it's just my mind and screwy eye playing tricks on me. The chair is empty in front of a patch of antiseptic white wall. My screwy mind's playing tricks on me, mixing the past and now. I really really hate hospitals. John will back me on that one. 

   Tubes and wires are sticking out of me all over the place and machines that go ping are clustered around the bed. I can mostly see again, which is nice, but black spots wobble on the left side of my vision. One of the machines that go ping must have alerted the hospital staff that I'd regained consciousness because said staff started arriving. A nurse came first and started examining the various machines. She didn't say much, just that the doctors would be along soon. She also said she was glad to see I'm awake, but I doubt that it's sincere. I'm just patient number 101 of the day.

   Doctor number one was a middle aged native woman. She's plump and matronly looking, wearing the various fetishes and bits that told me she was probably a NAN shaman. Plenty of healer medicine women types in Seattle. Some people get hinky over having a magical healer in a hospital, but most of the reputable joints have magicians with enough scientific type medical training that they can pass for a doctor in a pinch. She looks vaguely familiar.

   Dr. Seamus Oriley is an older man. Wiry build. Stiff unruly hair used to be red, but now it's mostly white. He's got the sort of expressive face that goes well with his old fashioned glasses. The glasses are more of an affection than anything since it's been decades since anyone with more than a cred or two to rub together has had to worry about correcting their vision by strapping crude optical lenses to their faces. They probably serve plenty of real purposes too depending on what sort of electronics they're packed with.

   Oriley is an old friend, the second oldest one I have. A good man, he knows how the world really works, but doesn't let it get him down and tries his best to just help people. I do a bit of work for him sometimes. He helped me get healthy again after the little incident that made me hate hospitals to begin with, not that anyone really 'likes' hospitals. He's also the one that called me in to consult on a certain John Doe that wound up being my partner in "legitimate business ventures" for a number of years now.

   Seamus snaps me out of my daydreaming by holding up a little doodad that flashes colored lights into my eyes. Damn annoying. I try to say hello, but apparently I'd missed the fact that one of the tubes happens to be sticking down my throat. So I wind up just sort of gurgling. Again. This time none of the women start screaming so I take it as an improvement.
"Good morning Mr. Cormorant, I'm glad to see you awake. Do you understand me? Can you hear what I'm saying?"
Jeeze, how badly messed up am I? I can't see anything since I've got a blanket pulled up high as I can see. I don't feel much either, just sort of fuzzy and numb. Probably on the good stuff. I make eye contact and with a herculean effort twitch my head up and down.
"Good. You're in the hospital because you were very badly injured." I roll my eyes at this, which draws a snicker out of the nurse. "Glad to see your sense of humor is working lad. Do I have your permission to hook you up to a talker trode so you can speak?"
I twitch another nod, nearly exhausting my energy reserves. Talker trodes are a very simplified versions of the electrode nets that lets hackers do their matrixy thing in full sim. They only hook up to the speech centers and allow you to talk via a little speaker in the side of the trode band.

   It takes a minute for the system to do it's pattern recognition thing, but once it does my voice comes through the little speaker. It's tinny and a little off but it's recognizable as me. I ask the first question. The one that Seamus has probably answered hundreds of times.

"How bad?"

   Seamus winces and fiddles with the little light stick. "Ach. Pretty bad, but we'll worry about that later. Do you remember my name?" I try to glare. From the way Seamus's expression shifts I think I succeed. "Seamus Oriley. We've known each other a long time. I'm guessing that's why the director of medicine for Travis Memorial is in my room flashing lights in my eyes instead of at his desk doing directory things." Seamus smiles as though he was impressed I'd remembered all that all by myself. I get an icy feeling in my stomach that washes away a little of the fuzz that's been clinging to my thoughts. "Good. And your name?"
"Julian Cormorant, PI." It's not my real name, it's a wiz hacker forged identity. My real name is David Eddington, but I haven't gone by that for years, not since faking my death and slipping into the shadows where the criminal scum make their homes. Mostly now I go by my Runner name, Drake.

   "How long was I out?" Seamus's face closes up to a very carefully neutral expression that doctors learn to put on. It's supposed to keep the patient from getting panicky, but it only works when they don't recognize it for what it is. "You were in an induced coma for twelve days. Among other things there's some neurological damage. Now that you're awake we can start looking into exactly how it will affect you. Right now though I need your permission for something. There's a genetic blank waiting for the go-ahead to be imprinted with your DNA so we can get some replacement organs growing. You need some spare parts." I try to frown. "Why hasn't my power of attorney given the go-ahead?" Seamus shakes his head. "We were able to contact her but she isn't able to come here in person for verification, nor is she sure when she will be available."

   Cloning is still a very touchy subject, and growing even a lifeless WIMP for spare parts involves all sorts of legal checks and balances. Something about the whole thing gives me the willies, but I don't have many original parts at this point so I've mostly gotten over it. Kaylee not being available to sign the paperwork means that she's is in hiding, or something of the sort. She'd said she'd gotten the paydata before we'd even taken off so I doubt it's a pissed off Johnson. I want to ask about George, Dust, and the others, but with the nurse and the native doctor listening in now isn't the time. "You have my permission." Both Seamus and the other doctor, I think her name is something like Fairchild sign and co-sign the order.

   I spend some time with the nurse doing things like reciting the alphabet and trying to squeeze hands and twitch feet. Eventually I tire out and drift back off to sleep. When I wake up again there's a new nurse hanging up some bags to the IV feed, which is kind of sad because the other one was kind of cute. This one's a dude. Still he seems nice enough, friendlier and when he smiles he smiles with his eyes too. "Afternoon chummer. Just let me finish up here and I'll go let your good buddy the Director O'riley know you're awake." He flicks on the talker trode. "How are you feeling?" I think for a minute. "Itchy. Hurts." He flicks his hands a couple of times, navigating AR displays probably. "Looks like I can't really give you any of the usual. You're a little delicate and already on a bunch of other drugs. I'll bring it up though. Is it bad?"

"I'll live."


   He chuckles at the joke even thought it's kinda weak. Don't like being called delicate though. I'm a big tough private investigator slash shadowrunner dammit. We don't get delicate. We get roughed up, close to the edge. Makes me sound like I'm fragging pregnant or something. When he leaves I'm alone with my thoughts for a while in the sterile white room. It's always too cold in these places, the blankets are too thin. I experimentally try to lift my limbs one after the other. My arms are mostly ok, but my legs don't do much. Oh they move, thank god I'm not paralyzed or anything, but the thin blankets might as well be made of lead.

   It seems like forever before he and O'riley are back, but it's probably only a half-hour or so. The surprise is that they're accompanied by two people in suits that set off all sorts of alarms in my head, even through all the fuzz that's still slowing my thoughts. One male, one female, both human and both wearing similar suits. Simple cut, flat black, nice quality but unassuming. They both wear wrap around tinted glasses. Backs straight, expressions blank. They couldn't have more clearly signaled they're feds if they'd tattooed it on their foreheads in bioluminescent ink.

   The guy is tall and gangly. A red head. Short neat goatee. Type that only jerks and idiots wear. He's got a boyish face but my instincts tells me he's looking back on his twenties. He's carrying a long staff carved with symbols I don't recognize. The woman is obviously of nordic blood with a face made up of long smooth planes and strong cheek bones. She's around six feet tall and athletic looking. Mid-length straight white blonde hair is pulled into a ponytail. She's carrying a briefcase.

Seamus gives me a quick greeting before he starts working the machines again. I don't respond. I'm too busy meeting the feds shaded gaze. "Mr. Cormorant? Julian?" I realize that Seamus has been trying to get my attention. "Yes?"
"I was asking you if you feel better, or are you still in pain?"
"Little achey and my hands and feet feel itchy."
"Sorry to say the latter isn't going away soon lad. You definitely suffered some nerve damage."
"So you're saying I'll never play the piano again?"
"Not really sure yet lad. Now that we've taken some MRI shots while you're conscious it's looking like you're a lot better off than you could have been, but there will be long term consequences."

The blonde fed cleared her throat.
"Director O'riley, in your and your neurology specialist's opinion what is the patient's cognitive condition?" Seamus paused ever so briefly. He's a friend, not necessarily bosom buddies friend but we've done each other favors in the past. He's obviously in a tight spot here. Lying to feds could loose him literally everything. Maybe he's dipped his toe into the shadows now and then when the system failed people, but for the most part he's a straight laced guy. I give him the slightest nod. I hope the feds don't see it, but it's probably a slim hope. "In Doctor Fairchild's preliminary opinion his cognition is not significantly impaired, and I concur. I will note for the record however, that we have not had a chance to do a full and proper examination to confirm the result of the tests and scans."
The blonde nods.
"So noted. As such any statements given by the subject will not be admissible in court. Satisfactory?"
Seamus nods, it's about the best I could probably hope for. "So do I get introductions or do I just call you the PIB's" That gets a blank look. "People In Black. MIB's would be more traditional, but you've gotta be politically correct with dames around, right?" That gets a snicker out of the red head, but the blonde doesn't even twitch.
"How much do you remember about the circumstances surrounding your arrival at the hospital."
"I'm pretty sure I was unconscious at the time, so maybe you can enlighten me."
"You were not unconscious, in fact you were dead."
"Yay for modern medicine then."

Blondie opened up her briefcase and took out a piece of e-paper.
"Not quite. Doc Wagon responded to your alert bracelet. Four minutes after it activated, while they were still en-route, your bracelet's readings flatlined. When Doc Wagon arrived five minutes after that they found you impaled through the chest on a chunk of ceramisteel pipe and suffering from massive multi-source trauma. As per your contract you were diverted to Travis Memorial. Attempts were made en-route to resuscitate but "massive trauma to the heart made the attempt futile" you were declared dead on arrival."
She tapped a few things into a link and the wall screen pops to life with a black and white flat image that I can't make heads or tails of at first. Blondie clears it up.
"This is a scan of your chest cavity. This big hole right here is where the pipe cored out a chunk of your heart the size of my thumb, and that was far from the only damage. They tried to keep perflourocarbon running through your brain to keep it oxygenated, but it just came pouring back out. By all rights your brain should have been starved of oxygen to the point of no return before you even landed in Travis Memorial. The hospital plugged up some holes and tried to resuscitate for twenty five minutes before declaring you un-recoverable."

   She's talking about me being dead, like actually dead. But she sounds like she's reading off her shopping list or reading the minutes for the last weeks co-op meeting. People talk bout the chill of someone walking over your grave. I feel it despite the drugs.

   "Two hours later you were down in the basement about to be zipped up in a bag for transport to the morgue when you twitched and started breathing. Scared the attendant pretty good. When they got you back upstairs they found that." She punched a button and another scan shows up. "The missing piece of your heart had somehow re-appeared and you had a heartbeat, brain activity, you were even more or less breathing on your own. Badly injured, touch and go, but alive. All on your own."
She sets aside the link and e-paper and takes off her glasses. Her eyes are a piercing arctic blue, like a clear sky on a crisp winter day.
"Mr. Eddington, that doesn't just happen."
I struggle for something clever to say.
"No @%^*?"
So sue me.

   My mind feels like it's swimming through cotton. Dr. Fairchild gives blondie a funny look and Seamus winces slightly. The feds just sit there and look at me expectantly. I'm not sure what they want but. "Look hon, I'm just a PI with a bit of ware and street smarts. I've got absolutely no idea how it happened if that's what you're hoping-." I cut off because it just hit me. She called me Mr. Eddington not Mr. Cormorant, or any of my other fake ID's. She knew my real name. "Or do you prefer Drake?" Drek drek drek! Sudden pain tears through my chest and one of the machines that go ping starts beeping. This is bad, really bad. Shadowrunners get by by not being worth the effort of tracking down and gathering evidence and so on as much as by actually slipping through the cracks. Coming back from the dead... Well that's gonna get everyone's attention.

   I realize that I'm starting to hyperventilate, short sharp breaths, and that everything's gone dark like the lights just got cut in half. Seamus is cussing out the blonde, something about "I warned ye" and tossing them out if they ever mess with a critical patient of his again. Several more hospital staff arrive in the room and swarm around me and Fairchild starts fiddling with a fetish. Something draws my attention to the guy, the red head who'd been standing quietly in the background until now. Everything else is blurry, but not him and his staff. His lips barely move but I hear him clear as day. "Hear us out before you panic David. Before you do anything stupid."

A cold sensation runs up my arm.
Someone's just hit me with the juice.
I gratefully follow the siren call down into unconsciousness.

Warmachinez

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #2 on: (08:06:15/05-14-13) »
Very intriguing, please keep it up!
Chaos? Lack of protection? Enemies lurking in the shadows? Sounds
to me like the fun’s just beginning. Sorry you’ll miss it, omae.
> Kane

Hellion

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #3 on: (04:50:28/05-28-13) »
I agree with warmachinez, more please :)
Its not the victors who write the history books, its the suvivors

SpatulaODoom

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #4 on: (02:27:20/06-12-13) »
   As expected the reprieve is only temporary. I wake up long enough for another nurse to tell me it's two days later. I also get to be awake for him removing my tracheal tube, which is not a fun experience. Later Fairchild shows up and we chat briefly while she scans my aura or something. My head's a little clearer this time. I find out her first name is Theresa and that we have met before. She's very professional, but reserved. Closed. I'm not sure if I scare her or if she just doesn't trust someone who has multiple identities and the attention of some feds. Or maybe it's my aura that scares her. Most magicians find it somewhere between off-putting and "sweet Hera help me that's just not right". According to John my aura is severely unhealthy looking and barely recognizable as human. Not like there's anything I can do about it. It's leftovers from my last hospital stay. Scars of the spirit require more than a little reconstructive surgery.

   My prognosis is pretty rough. Lots of stuff needed replacing, including a bunch of my expensive cyber and bioware, and even with all that I was looking at a year or more of recovery time unless I can fork out yet more heavy bank for one of the fancy new regenerative techniques.

   I feel like crying. I'd scrimped and saved and taken every unpleasant, risky, near insane job that paid well just to get healthy the last time something like this happened. Heck it's the reason I'd started running in the shadows in the first place. Less than two years after I'm finally achieved the status of "not dying" I'm looking at another massive medical bill.

   I console myself that it could be worse. I'm not as bad off as last time. I'm not starting from scratch. it's something that normal medicine and techniques can take care of, and I'm not alone. That last one is the big one. I've got friends still. That gets me to thinking if Dust, George, and any of the temps survived the crash. Probably only Dust. Again I want to make some calls. But if I've got alphabet soup watching over me I can't risk them getting through and tracing my teammates down. It's hell, not knowing and knowing I can't go looking either.

   Time passes and I wake up again. It's starting to feel kinda surreal. Normally you go to sleep and wake up knowing roughly how much time has passed. Now between the drugs and being injured I could be sleeping for days for all I know. Hell I'm not entirely sure if I'm sleeping, falling unconscious, or just staring at the wall and blanking out. I feel tired either way. Whenever now is it's the middle of the night and the two feds are back. The only light in the room is a reddish-orange glow coming from the runes carved into the red-head's staff and a thin slit shining under the door from the hallway. It's so strange that at first I'm pretty sure it's a dream. I just sort of sit there waiting for the bed to fly out the window or whatever but it doesn't happen.

   Drek. I think to myself. Not a dream. If it's not a dream the feds are sure going to a lot of work to set up a spooky intimidating tableau. Here I am, weak as a kitten, vulnerable. And there they are, the mysterious MIBs, sorry PIB's, looming over my bed in the middle of the night. Darkness all around. People are scared of the dark. It's just instinct, and it doesn't go away once you grow up. We waste so much energy and money lighting up the night to drive back the darkness in every nook and cranny of our little world it's ridiculous. No one around, and no one to help me.
I almost laugh.
"Really?"
My voice is rough like I've been gargling gravel and whiskey. It's the first time I've used my actual voice since the crash.
"Gonna have to do better."
Ouch. That is starting to hurt already.
I fumble around a bit and manage to get the talker trode on my head. I can't tell you how glad I am at this point that my hands are at last paying lip service to the commands of my brain.
"Sorry guys. I can tell you've got a thing going on, but in the last decade my entire concept of scary has been redefines a couple times already."
Blood mages, ghosts, urban legend horror stories come to life, depraved broken psychopaths, mass murder, fracking dragons, and ghouls, and vampires. I once had every meat-pupet in a Yak bunkaru parlor have their personifix replaced with ninja-murder programming and a burning hatred yours truely. I'm guessing fifty women and a couple dozen men came howling up the stairs at me with anything and everything they could find. I'm not gonna pretend I've seen it all, but I've seen enough that what scares me nowadays isn't things or people but ideas, like mortality and wondering what the point of existence is and where metahumanity is headed. Existential junk really.

   If they're bothered by my flippancy they don't show it. It's the red-head who speaks first this time. "So now that we have some privacy, and you've had a chance to recover and contemplate a life as a jailed cripple, I think it's time to resume our little interview."
"Before we do that I'd like you to tell me exactly who I'm dealing with. Who are you, and who do you represent."

He shrugs. "I suppose we can do at least that much. I'm agent Mungin and this is agent Hungin. We're part of D.E.M.A. The DEMA is-" I cut in. "I know what that is."

   DEMA stands for the Department of the Etherial, Magical, and Astral. They're the magical equivalent of the Grid Over-watch Division. The best of the best of the best and all that. Working for both the corporate court and the assembly of nations. The thing is, unlike GOD, who loves their showboating, DEMA isn't much in the public eye, and that's the way the D-men like it. They've actually got roots going back as far as the fallout from the Great Ghost Dance. The public at large doesn't want to know about the existence of the sort of stuff your average D-man deals with. They are simply happier not knowing. They are the ones who are supposed to deal with things like HMHVV outbreaks, bug spirits, free spirits, toxic shamans, awakened drugs, and all sorts of awakened threats.

   I'm distracted enough that it takes me a second to process the name thing. "Where's Odin and Thor?"
"Not here." Interjects Mungin, that's the dude, looking vaguely pissed.
Hungin picks up. "And believe me, you want to keep it that way very very badly. If any of them get involved it means we're going scorched earth, and as far as we're concerned you're just part of the terrain. So cooperate with us fully or you'll regret it."
"So does that make you the bad cop?"
I quip glancing between the two. "Either way I think it might be in my best interest to have my lawyer present for any and all interviews." Before you ask, yes I actually have a lawyer. A legit one. Professionally educated and everything. Hungin cocks her head to the side as if considering. "Sorry if we gave you the impression that was an option, but it isn't. This is off the books. No-one knows we're here and no one is going to know. Besides, I don't like lawyers." Mungin steps forward and extends his hand. A fat blue spark jumps from his finger like the worlds biggest static shock. The pain is pretty incredible despite whatever drugs I'm on, and for a long couple of seconds I can't do anything, even breath. "And for the record, she's the bad cop, I'm the worse cop."

   Whatever they're expecting once I caught my breath, I'm guessing laughter isn't it. The thing that's funny is that me and John have done the exact same routine before. Exact same routine. I go in all dangerous toughguy and when they look to John for the good cop routine he hits them with a ghost or zombie or something creepy like that. Works every time. Well almost every time, sometimes you get people that just won't be intimidated, either too stupid or a little crazy. Not sure which category I fall under at the moment.

   A second spark shoots out and this time a couple of the monitors have full on panic attack. My vision narrows to a tunnel and I consider passing out as a viable alternative to remaining conscious. It doesn't happen though and Hungin, who's keeping one eye on the monitors takes up the thread. "Now then. You are indeed the same David Eddington, born in Seattle on October 12th 20xx, to Maria and Jason Eddington. Who worked for Ares Macrotechnology for a period of seven years, married to Salma Espinosa-Eddington for four years. After a firewatch trial-mission went bad you were left genetically and astrally damaged. With your health nearly crippled and full recovery a pipe dream your marriage dissolved and your career tanked. Allegedly you died in June of 20xx in a flaming multi-vehicle crash on I204. In truth you faked your death, convincingly I might add, and became the Shadowrunner known as Drake. Under multiple aliases including Julian Cormorant you have then engaged in both quasi-legal as well as fully illegal activities in return for money which went towards finding yourself a cure. This is correct?"
Hungin turned her attention away from the screens to watch my response. For his part Mungin raises his finger towards my chest again and says.
"I'm sure you're considering pulling the clam routine. You seem to think your hard. Well think hard about this. I am very curious to see if you can pull a repeat performance of your miraculous self-resurrection. It would be nice to view up close with my own astral eyes. If not, well, we are in a hospital. I'm sure they could bring you back before the brain damage got too severe. Reasonably sure."
I jerk a short nod. Not because I'm intimidated or scared of dying on the next spark. Honest. Because they've already got most of the goods that matter on me. And really there's not much I can do about it now. I quietly promise myself I'll settle up with the two for their little electro-shock questioning method. They didn't mention Chester though, which gives me a sliver of hope.

   If Seamus is my second oldest friend Chester is my oldest, by a long long shot. We knew each other before I was potty trained. Chester "Buzz" Bennington has been a friend of the Eddington family for going on three generations now. He's a first generation dwarf and a wiz hacker who's been in the biz so long he was called a hacker, then a decker, and now a hacker again. Unlike me though he's legit. Works for Ares pretty much since the company was founded. He's low key, keeps out of the spotlight, but he's got clout.

And I owe him.

   I owe him so so big. When it looked like I was going to wind up one of those dumb ass punk gangers, he was the one who straightened me out and got me a real job with a future at Ares. He was there for me and my mom when dad died and again when my marriage fell apart. Most of all he risked his job and jail time when he helped me fake my death and erased me from the system. He's set me up with air-tight identities (or at least airtight until now) and has kept them scrubbed and erased bad tags and traces. I've done everything I can to pay him back, but I don't think I'll ever feel like it's enough. And I might need him again soon.

"Interestingly our records of you as Drake the shadowrunner are more complete than those of David Eddington the person."
I shake my head.
"David is dead as far as I'm concerned. Dead and buried."
"Oh I think we'll dig him up eventually. For now though your activities as Drake are more incriminating. Let's see. Rumors you mixed it up with some made man in a hotel, some bodies show up at a campground in Salish where one of your ID's happens to be staying at, a 'self defense' shooting down at the docks. Here we are, I like this one. We've got a picture of you, injured, at the burning down of an orphanage. Man that's gonna look bad."

I sigh. "Wasn't me. Ask the Dunkelzein Institute about Bloody Mary."
"Yes, we found out about her already, but do you have any proof she was involved and it wasn't just you burning something? And that was just for starters. We've also got someone who looks an awful lot like you at a nice big messy incident in downtown. Made the A-line news. Shots fired, employees killed explosions, Haloweener involvement, police injuries, and yes another building burnt down. Magic Made Easy was the name of that company. Are you an arsonist Mr. Drake?"

I grunt. "Didn't do that one either. The building that is. MME was a front for a blood mage who was running some nasty experiments on customers in hopes of finding the "Magic key." I bet if you have access to the statistics you'll find a sharp rise in the number of mage burnouts around the time that company was in operation. I could also allege that it was an Azzie black bag project, but that probably wouldn't be good for my long-term health."
"Well we wouldn't want to risk your health then. And your involvement?"
"Rescuing a kidnap victim."
"And the Haloweeners?"
"If memory serves they were after MME for killing off one of their kiddie feeder gangs in an attempt to cover their tracks."
"And they're the ones who burned down the building and fired on police officers?"
"Didn't see that part, so I can't say for sure. But it sounds plausible. I mean this is the Haloweeners we're talking about."

Not much you could argue on that one. The Haloweeners are firebug anarchist idiots. I wouldn't have involved them at all except I needed a game changer, a big shot of chaos, because we'd been made from the start and were constantly three steps behind. The Johnson had been green to the whole shadow biz and had a tail at our first meeting.
"Funny thing, we had to get most of this off some very secure and very secret databases because they've vanished without a trace from the police and corporate and government records. Whoever your hacker is he or she is very good. Even our friends at GOD haven't managed to track him yet. That's not important for now."
She looks up from her e-paper.
"Next question. Tell us about your involvement with Dr. Heinrich Franksmark."
Hunh. Well wasn't that odd. Apparently Chester hadn't managed to erase quite all of my old life. I'm very careful not to give off any vibes beyond mild disinterest.
"Not much to tell. I went on a Firewatch mission as a prospect, meant to extract Franksmark from Aztlan. We almost got him, but things went pretty spectacularly bad and most of the team got wasted. One of the worst days of my life. It's how I got sick and eventually made me decide to start over as a runner."
Hungin crosses her arms behind her back. I get the impression she wants to pace. I know a guy who likes to do that, pace while lecturing like some sort of professor. No room for it in here.
"And you haven't seen or contacted him since?"
"No. I had a run in with another Blood mage during that Magic Made Easy thing, but it wasn't him and I didn't see any sign of him."
"Tell me what happened during that mission and everything you know about Dr. Franskmark."

I look up and to the side as though trying to dredge up the memory. Truth is I remember every little detail, including the . You don't forget that sort of thing. "Heinrich Franskmark. Caucasian human male, born 2011 in Austria. Wunderkind. Awakened early and strong and did well in school and so on. World class egghead in metaplanar and spiritual research and theory. Originally worked for S and K but was extracted by Aztech in 49. Some time a few years after that he was initatied as a Blood Mage. Married a Maria Espanosa in 55. Don't know anything about her except that she was a marketing exec. S&K tried to get him back a couple of times but failed.
That was about the limit of my briefing. I'm sure the officers and mages got a better overview. Out of curiosity I've looked up some public info on him but I'm pretty sure you've got better."

Mungin speaks up.
"Any idea why Ares was after him specifically?"
I give him that look that's reserved for normally intelligent people having an obvious brain blink.
"Oh yea, me and Villers had a chat about it over kaff and crumpets. Said Franksmark had a killer cilantro salsa recipe he just had to have."
No, obviously they wouldn't tell me squat. I expected to get zapped again, but it didn't happen. Mungin just sort of looked at me funny and shrugged. I had the strangest feeling I was missing something.
"Look if you want my take on it then I'd go with the obvious. He's a high end magical researcher. Those don't exactly grow on trees."

   It's true. You can turn a normal person into a scientist with enough training and a bit of ware. Of course to be good, good enough to be a leader in your field, you also need a level of both talent and motivation that not many people have. Thing is, all the money and motivation in the world can't turn a normal person into a magician. At least not yet. It's one of those holy grails like teleportation and efficient space travel. You're either a Mage or you aren't, and only a very very few are. Even for those that are, only a few are the right type of mage and strong enough to make something of themselves. So you need all those elements together. You need someone lucky enough to be a strong non-aspected mage, also blessed with a rare level of natural intelligence and aptitude for research and development, and a good strong dose of motivation to make something of themselves, before you have someone who's going to make a good research magician. The only part of the formula an outsider can supply is the money, which can cover the training and probably part of the motivation.

It's why most execs would beat a cute toddler to death on live national TV to get their hands on one.

"We asked about the mission as well."
I decided then and there the pretentious fragger could zap me all he wanted.
"Sorry. I don't like talking about that one."
Like I said one of the worst days of my life. There were only three people I'd ever told that story to. All people that I thought had a right to know. People that I'd trust with my life.

Between blinks Mungin goes from leaning against the wall to leaning over my bed. It's so sudden I want to jump, but up close like this I notice just how green his eyes are. Green deep and old. I up my estimation of his age by a good decade. He holds my eyes with his.
"Mr. Eddington." I open my mouth to remind him to call me Drake, but there's something about him that cuts me off before I start. Instead I just listen. "I can say, without any ego, that I am in the top one half of one percent of magicians in the world. I've got the best training the corporate court and UN can provide, and I've seen and done things would put most people in an institution. There is no doubt in my mind that I can force you to tell us. Now get on with it. Tell us about the mission Mr. Eddington."
Well, when he put it that way. Besides what was the harm really?

(OOC: OMG I ended a post without him going unconscious?)

Hellion

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #5 on: (02:53:46/06-12-13) »
Lol if he was unconcious you'd have no story to tell till he recovers :P

Love it
More Please
Its not the victors who write the history books, its the suvivors

SpatulaODoom

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #6 on: (20:43:32/06-13-13) »
I kind of feel that sort of thing is a cop-out, which makes it funny that I'll be using it again in various places, but it's convenient when it comes to storytelling. It doubles for a brief "stuff happens" handwave into the next scene the storyteller actually cares about. I've never been terribly good at those sort of segues.

Anyhoo if anyone has any advice or critiques I'd be happy to hear them.

bannockburn

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #7 on: (07:38:23/06-14-13) »
I like the tone.
There are a few typos and tense issues, but that's what editors are for ;)

Quick nitpicking: The ravens are called Hugin and Munnin, but I guess there might be regional differences to their names.

Now, first of all: I don't like first person narrators.
This being said, you pull it off well. Drake has a dry humor and I enjoyed him reminiscing. The flashbacks into his background are well placed and feel logical.
I'm curious about what can make someone regenerate a piece of heart tissue and I also want to find out what happened to his chummers. More please :)
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup
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SpatulaODoom

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #8 on: (09:07:04/06-14-13) »
Ugh editing and revisions, my own personal bane.

Hmm. The birds. The books I have give the spelling I used, but they're english language books and we all know how the english language likes to take certain... Liberties with that whole anglicizing.

First person: It has it's ups and downs. I chose it for any stories involving Drake because Drake is essentially a pulp era film noir gumshoe, and that's appropriate for that sort of character and story. If I really wanted to drive the point home I guess I could/should up the ham quotient a little.
I've noticed that the first person narrative in the present tense lets me fiddle with an Unreliable Narrator bit in a way I'm finding a lot of fun. Have a look at the end of the most recent chapter and tell me what you think is really going on. I worry it might be a little heavy handed there, but I figure if i'm a little heavy handed earlier on then I can be a little more subtle later (or at least TRY to be).

Regarding mending a broken heart. I guess you'll have to wait and see. There will be a hint in the next chapter, which is basically one big flashback.
Chummers? Unfortunately it's not going to be an ensemble story. They will come up, and I hope I'll manage to keep them out of it in a way that seems reasonable and flows well, but the characters aren't mine so I don't want to involve them too much.

SpatulaODoom

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #9 on: (11:04:20/06-16-13) »
   Firewatch requires you to go on two missions as a prospect before you can become a full team member, and that's just for those that get it that far in the application process. Salma and I had agreed that I'd do one tour with Firewatch to pad the resume. Being ex-Firewatch means you've got a big edge on the competition when it comes time to find a Securities Management type position. It's true, check the security chiefs at all the various Ares facilities. Bet more than half of them are ex-Firewatch, and that's just the public ones, the black books facilities and projects will ALL be on that level. The ones that aren't probably have some friends in high places.

   All told the first mission went pretty good. An S&D on a splinter cell of that old Winterlight terrorist group. The big fear had been that they had some nano weapons of mass destruction stashed away, but we never found any. My second mission as a prospect... Well it was the extraction of Dr. Franskmark from a facility in the badlands south of San Antonio. That one didn't go so well.

   The first hints came before the mission even got underway. During the briefing I got the impression that people were nervous, and not the normal type of professional nervous. Almost half of us were awakened, mages or phys-ads. Those guys got a different briefing than the rest of us grunts. At the time I thought that it was a bunch of magical mumbo jumbo that wouldn't mean anything to us mundanes. Can't really say now. They didn't skimp on the gear either. We flew in on some T-birds I've never seen before, or since. Heavy stealth. Filled em both up with three full squads, two rollers, a butt ton of drones, a couple of support guys, and me.

   First mission I was right there in the thick of it. Second one I was stuck with the support crew and told to keep out of everyone's way. Stay with the birds and riggers and keep an eye out. For the first part all I know is what I heard over the radio. Primary team goes in quiet. It takes a bit, but everything seems to be going smoothly. Seconds after they say they've got eyes on Franksmark all of a sudden they're calling for backup. So in goes the assault team along with most of the drones.

   I'm hearing all sorts of chatter about Jag Guards, corpsec, drones, spirits, even biodrones. And this was back when biodrones were barely a thing. Everything just seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. The rollers got disabled early, but the commander was hell bent on getting Franksmark out of there. He was so desperate he called in every asset he could. We even fired off a bunch of missiles from these pop-up boxes I'd helped this old rigger named Pavel set up. Good thing we'd set them up away from the birds though cause return missile fire slagged them a couple seconds after they fired.

   Next thing I know Pavel and a couple other guys come tromping out of the bird and tell me we've got to go break a position that's pinning our guys down. So we take off with the last of the drones. I'm freaking out because we're not only in the crap but we're leaving absolutely nothing left to cover the birds except the bird themselves just after the missiles had exposed their position. I guess the only reason we weren't simply flying over in them is that there was no-where to land them in all the rocks and hills and crevaces. It was over a private line but I heard Pavel yell something to the commander about him being an idiot for trying to call in orbital.

   I was so distracted I almost got my head taken off by a big cat full of spurs and ware. Next thing I know I'm putting rounds down range and I don't have time to think about how messed up this all is. The cat, a squad of corpsec goons, and then we hit the jags that had our people pinned down from behind. I didn't go for anything fancy, just started lobbing grenades from my alpha. Probably didn't hurt them too bad in their hard suits, but I bet it made it damn hard to concentrate on what they were doing. They faded after we took a couple of them down.

   Next thing I know even more guys show up to cut us off. The Commander gets the bright idea to split up. Somehow me and Pavel wound up with Franksmark. He has a mage illusion up Franksmark to look like a wounded squaddie and a wounded squaddie to look like Franksmark. I hauled the doc while Pavel led the way with our last drone.

   We almost got there, but the biggest damn spirit I've ever seen came oozing up through the rocks. I think it was about twenty, twenty five feet tall, but it seemed like more. All I knew about it was that it was greyish green and slimy, found out later that it was almost certainly a toxic water spirit. It punted Pavel over a hill, literally. I emptied an entire mag of stickies into it but I'm not sure I even annoyed it. It pulled me and Franksmark apart and picked me up. I was already kind of panicking, but when it swallowed me whole and my hard suit started warning me it was eating its way through a full chem seal I lost it. I shoved my grenade case as far away from me as I could and triggered the lot of them.

   I don't remember how many I had left at that point but I'm pretty sure it was at least a half-dozen rifle grenades. I blacked out a bit but got woken up when the gunk opened a hole and started pouring in. Man. I've been through a lot, might even call myself a connoisseur of pain, and nothing, but nothing, has ever felt like that or hurt that bad. I was pretty sure I was a dead man anyway but I've always been stubborn. I crawled my way out of a small lake of toxic sludge while trying my best to stay conscious. By the time I managed to drag myself out of the pool I don't think there was an intact seal on my hard suit. I started pulling off pieces of the suit. Only trapped air let me keep my eyes, but the rest of me was melting. For body horror nothing quite beats your skin and fingernails sliding off your hands while you watch.

Next thing I know Franksmark is there watching me die. Not sure how he was up and moving considering he was supposed to be hopped up on tranqs. He watched me for a bit and then walked over and did something. I was all sorts of nuclear, tripping balls from the drek running through me, but whatever he did it didn't feel like he was healing me. I could feel my body shutting down but it was like I wasn't being allowed to die. He sat there watching me squirm around a bit, and then he just sort of shrugged and wandered off like he was taking a stroll in the park. Son of a slitch didn't even say a single word to me.

   It was pure luck that one of the squad saw me while making his way to evac and dragged my skinless hump out of there. They dumped me in a valkyrie, which declared that I had a couple of minutes to live. Hour and a half later when we got to the hospital I was still alive. Of the original thirty four who took the field only nine of us made it back. Pavel was one of them, tough old ork survived the field goal kick that broke nearly every bone in his body.

   End result of getting mauled by a godzilla sized wad of toxic snot was the horror show aura I've had ever since. It also warped my genes somehow where my body started producing a bunch of toxic stuff. Gene therapy would fix my body but they said my aura just warped my genetics back to self-poisoning mode. The magical and genetic eggheads had a grand old time tinkering with me. New toy right? Eventually they decided out that they'd need to combine a bunch of gene and magical treatments to fix me up. Bean counters stopped them from actually doing it though. A mission failing grunt wasn't worth several million cred to fix up.

   So from that point on I was on a ton of medications to keep flushing the toxins out of me. Thing is it wasn't really keeping me alive, just slowing down the killing. They gave me about ten years. It was fifty fifty whether I was going to go out via systemic organ failure or a nice big dose of everywhere cancer. My career was basically over. Oh sure I had a “temporary” placement at a gun range, but I knew a dumping ground when I saw it. And things fell apart with me and Salma. She wanted a husband who was going somewhere, not one who was going to be a burden. Got to the point where my gun was starting to look mighty friendly if you know what I mean. But I've always been stubborn.

Quote from: ooc
Ok so here's one that's entirely flashback.
Why so many flashbacks?
I conceptualized this as Drake's last story. We're shaped by our past and this is the time where things come full circle and a lot of dangling threads are tied off. One way or another. Does that mean he's going to be one of the lucky ones and get to retire? Die? Or will he simply find closure and continue on continuing on? Well that's a good question.

I like trying to figure out in advance where someone's going with their story, so let me know if any of you have any of you fine folks think you know what's going on in the subtext or where I'm headed. If you do though put it in spoilers or private message it to me to avoid ruining anything for other readers.

SpatulaODoom

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #10 on: (05:45:09/06-19-13) »
   When I finish the story Hungin and Mungin stop staring at me for a moment to share a meaningful glance. I don't really know what the meaning is. Normally I'm pretty good at reading people, but either I'm too out of it or they are too good.

"How long ago was that?"
Hungin asks.
"Nine years september."
"And you haven't had any contact with him since."
"No."
"What changed?"
"What do you mean?"
"I've seen your files, you're only on a tenth of the medication you were before and while you're insides look someone stepped on a tomato, you're not swimming in toxins."

Well obviously.
"I got fixed up. It's why I started running shadows in the first place. I had the files on what needed to be done, just needed the money and people to do it."
"And who did it?"
"Frack you, that's who."

Ok so it's not my best material, but the people who fixed me up saved my life, literally and figuratively. The last two years of my life have been happier than every other moment of my adult life combined. Constant stress gone, friends at my side, booming albeit dangerous business. Kaylee. I could finally think about the future in terms of career and retirement and kids instead of just watching the guilotine grind it's way down towards my neck. So forgive me for not being an upright citizen but I'll be damned before I tell them about the people that made that one possible.

Mungin sighs and stares at me with those green eyes.
"Just answer the question Mr. Eddington."
Son of a slitch is really starting to come across all sorts of creepy, and I thought I was mostly injured to the human side of that. I resist the creep factor and respond with my usual eloquence.
"Frack you too. You want to know about me, fine, I told you, but there are people you don't sell out. Now like I said I haven't seen the guy for almost a decade, so why don't you frack off and let me sleep. Visiting hours are over. Oh and call me Drake."
Hungin and Mungin share another glance, Mungin gives his head a small shake.
Wish I could tell what is passing between them.
"You lead an interesting life Drake. Not only are you friends with a necromancer, but most of the information we have on you suggests you have nearly constant run ins with magic from mages to spirits and awakened creatures. You were even involved in the whole Tempo epidemic that blew up a couple of years ago. There's a real theme going on, not all of it, but most of it."
He says the word Necromancer the same way you or I might say "soiled diaper." Necromancer's got a bad rap. To be honest it's usually well earned. John considers the vast majority of his compatriots to be nothing more than giggling loonies. He considers himself more of a "ghost whisperer" than a traditional necromancer. One of them actually told him that his lack of necrophilia was holding him back magically. That was one guy I particularly enjoyed shooting in the fragging face.

I try my best to shrug.
"You get a rep and people will start bringing that sort of work to you. I'd really rather take more nice boring jobs, like corporate extractions where the walls have ears and people shoot bullets at you instead of exorcisms where the walls bleed and the ghosts shoot teeth at you. At least then I'd be more confident I knew what I was doing."
"So why take those jobs at all?"
"Well they usually pay better. And the honest truth is, as lost as I sometimes feel, I still know what I'm doing better than the people who'd take the job if I passed it up. I don't think I have to tell someone in your line of work just how nasty things can get if those sorts of things are handled wrong or ignored."

For a moment, just a brief moment, Hungin looks sad. I think it's the first genuine emotion I've seen from her. Probably a story behind it. Then she puts her glasses back on and it's gone, and Mungin's picking up for her.
"Getting yourself fixed up is going to be expensive Drake. And what we have on you, especially the fraud surrounding your death and your theft of Ares property is enough to put you away for quite a while. A nickle at minimum, but I'd guess closer to ten. That's not counting anything else we manage to dig up during the trial. And you're not a young man Drake. By the time you're out you'll be poor and old. And then what will life have for you? I'd say things look pretty dark."

He's being about as subtle as a trog with an assault cannon. I decide to fill in the void with the obvious.
"Unless I do something for you. Something involving Dr. Heinrich Franksmark. And being an honest to god PI worth a bent credstick I'm guessing he's missing and you're trying to track him down, but things aren't going well, which is why you're grasping at straws like little old me."
Mungin smiles a fake little smile.
"Good. Looks like your grey is still working."
"Thirty thousand up front, another thirty on the back, and you've got my crew for two weeks or until we find Frankie."

I get a vicious little bit of joy as Mungin's smile disappears. I feel like I'm forgetting something.
"Counter offer. No crew, just you. You do exactly what I say, when I say, for as long as I say. In return we fix you up in a couple of days instead of months and when it's all over you get to go back to your little life of rationalized crime."
"Counter counter offer. You obviously need me and I'm a professional. Professionals get paid. For just me, twenty. Ten up front and ten on the back for a month, an extra five for zapping me. And only that little if you can get me healthy as quick as you say." And then I remember. ”Oh and escrow the back end with my fixer.” Always get the pay up on escrow with someone you can trust if at all possible. Anyone who actually intends to pay up won't have much problem with that since the fixers cut comes out of your pay.
Mungin scowls at me.
”We aren't asking you to extract him, just help us find him. We'll be doing most of the work. Ten, and that's a pity offer for your ego. The prison option is still available.”
The cold sterile hospital air sends prickles across my scalp.
”Get bent. If you think you've actually got any evidence my lawyer wouldn't be able to slap down in a nano, go ahead. Won't get you any closer to Franksmark. My price is twenty five. And I get to send a message off to my people. They're probably worried.”
Mungin glares at me and says nothing. I've called their bluff.
If they do haul me off sure they might get me, but then I'm a dead end that wasted their time. I'm nobody to them except for how I can get them to the doctor. It's the standard view the corporate court takes with us runners. For a target like Franksmark I'd normally charge a hundred thousand, but if they can put me back together and get me on my feet in a couple of days it will be well worth it. It occurs to me I have no idea how they expect me to actually track him down if DEMA and GOD and the courts own agents can't. That worries me a little.
Mungin is still saying nothing.
"Oh come on you cheap bastard. Are you telling me your expense account can't handle a measly twenty five grand, Mr. One half of one percent?"
Hungin barks out a short laugh. The smile transforms her face, and suddenly she might pass for twenty.
"No. He really is just a cheap bastard. It's the Irish in him. We have a deal Mr. Drake."

And with that the deal is struck.

   Now maybe I'm old fashioned. Or maybe I'm a bit of a sucker. Well OK, I know I'm definitely a sucker when it comes to women and kids, but that's neither here nor there. And I know I'm stubborn. But I've got this thing about keeping my word and sticking to a deal. Unless my employer betrays me or something like that I see the job through to the end. Period. And that's not just hyperbole. I'm technically still on a job that Seamus gave me eight years ago that saw me partnered up with an amnesic necromancer.
”Ok. So how do we do this? You don't want my crew involved. That is going to pretty severely limit my ability to do a proper investigation. I don't like it, but it's your money and I can see the reasoning.”
Hungin shrugs.
”Well first, we get you on your feet.”
“And how exactly does that work.”

Mungin rolls his eyes.
”Magic.”
“Paint me skeptical, but even if I shelled out for tanked revitalization therapy it would take weeks to go Humpty Dumpty on me. So how is it you can do better than all the kings horses and all the king's men.”

Even I know there are limits to what you can do with magic. Mungin gives me a smirk somewhere between nasty and condescending. I  imagine punching him in the face until candy comes out. I really should have added another five grand for the bug zapper.
”We've got some resources only the king knows about.”

Hungin sets her briefcase on my legs. The sensation is strange, like my legs are twenty miles away or it's a bad simsense connection. She pops the locks and pulls out, I dreck you not, a little glowing test tube. It looks like the glass holds liquid gold, and the light from it shimmers like a pool of water.
”You're going to fix me up with a magic potion?”
“No. This just primes the pump so to speak. You do need to drink some of it.”

She pulls the rubber stopper and sucks half of it into a syringe before handing the little tube to me. Strange glowing liquid... Awesome.
”Do I want to know what's in there?”
Mungin shrugs while Hungin gets ready to inject the other half into one of my IV bags.
“Honestly, it's mostly liquified orichalcum. But no, you probably don't want to know the rest. Now kindly drink your medicine or you won't get a sucker afterward. You're useless to us stuck in this bed.”
Down the hatch. It's what I'd imagine sucking on battery acid would be like. Not pleasant. I start choking and weakly coughing. This immediately spreads tearing pain through my chest and starts up one of the monitors warbling.
Shouldn't have just up and chugged it like that. My head swims with vertigo.
Wait, isn't orichalcum supposed to be super-toxic?
Dark. Can't see. 
I don't...
.

Quote from: ooc
Might be my last entry for a bit.

Hellion

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #11 on: (16:24:16/06-19-13) »
Well all I can say is it will be worth the wait... The story so far has been well paced, interesting and to me highly enjoyable...
Its not the victors who write the history books, its the suvivors

Deepeyes

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Re: Meat Machine. Ongoing story.
« Reply #12 on: (23:20:53/06-05-15) »
Wow! This is one of the best work I've read here (to my taste at least)… I know it's been close to 2 years but there MUST be some more!!!