Author Topic: return to the shadows  (Read 1899 times)

Wolfboy

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return to the shadows
« on: (21:54:55/09-25-10) »

Wolfgar looked at the stack of virtual paper in his augmented/virtual reality offices inbox and sighed. He ought to be out training, either himself or the teams that the NAN or the CAS would send to his Perdido training facility to be proper hunters and survivalists. Instead he was stuck here in Seattle playing fixer for a group of individual runners and a couple of teams. The facility was for training groups, both military and Para-military, in surviving on what he called bug hunts in both urban and rural settings. Bug hunts were what Wolfgar called hunts for insect spirits and the shedim. Insect spirits were bad enough, they simply inhabited you while you lived, taking over you and pretty much killing you in the process. Shedim took you over after death took you and turned on anything around them; it took completely dismembering the corpse or burning it to keep them from taking over a body. 

Both of these problems had cost Wolfgar the women in his life at the time, one a good teammate, the other a great fixer. He had been about to propose to each at the time that they had been killed and while the first had sent him into a vengeance driven rage by killing Morrigan, the second had simply taken the life out of him by making Wolfgar destroy her body in the middle of a run. This more than anything caused him to go into semi-retirement to his Perdido holdings. Now though, now he had come out of his semi-retirement because an old friend had asked him to take a couple of relatives under his wing, not for training but to find work for them, to help them work like the friend and he had for years, in the shadows.

One year prior:

“Hey Eddy, how’s life at Horizon?” Wolfgar said to the AR image in front of him as he watched a team of Sioux Special Forces run through the Urban Combat Simulator: Residential against VR simulated flesh form insect spirits.

“Not bad omae” Eddy replied, the VR figure brushing a bit of lint from his clean suit. “I got a couple of questions to ask you and then a favor if you don’t mind.”

“Sure man, what’s up?” Eddy had been the gear geek on the team Wolfgar had run with up until about the time Chicago exploded. Even then Suarez, the bastard, had called in the rest of their team and brought them in by helo when Wolfgar and another team mate, Blade, had put together a small team and descended into an independent hive under the remains of the Sears Tower.

“Well the questions are as follows, one, are you particularly busy, and two, how good are your contacts in Seattle still?” Eddy asked.

Wolfgar quirked an eyebrow at the questions and pulled up two screens in his augmented reality interface. “Well,” He temporized, “After this team runs through, and they finish tomorrow if they pass their final today, I have about a six month window before I get the next governmental team to train. So for the next six months I’m pretty much free. As for my contacts in the Seattle area, they are so-so, I mean my rolodex is a little dated but I still know a few people in the area and in the biz, why?” Dropping the two screens he looked at the image of his old team mate and friend questioningly.

Eddy sighed, “My sisters kid wants an in to the biz,” the simulacrum said running a hand through its virtual hair in frustration. “I don’t trust anyone that I still have contact that’s up there. Rags is over in the Caribbean League, Blade is in Germany, Gods only know where Morpheus is and I’m stuck here in LA. You’re the only one I trust that might be able to get up there and keep the kid and a couple of his buddies out of trouble.”

Wolfgar thought on this for a moment before nodding. “Alright Eddy, I’ll take them under my wing, but I want you to send them down here to the CAS first for a little training,” the smile that the tech whiz gave Wolfgar spoke volumes both of the thanks he felt that his family would be watched out for as well as what he knew Wolfgar thought made up “Good Training” “Get me their itinerary and I’ll meet their flight when it lands in either Pensacola or Mobile, and tell them no weapons, I’ll provide that here along with good ID’s and any cyber work they need.”

“Thanks Wolfgar,” Eddy said, “I’ll get them on their way shortly, and when you get the chance, drop on by, we haven’t seen you in so long I’ve almost forgotten what you look like you old redneck.”

Tossing a file into the programs outbox Wolfgar stretched his body and smiled at the memory. The kids as he thought of them hadn’t needed much in the way of training and with a hacker a mage and a physical adept no cyber had been needed that wasn’t already in them. Still Wolfgar had offered to get the hacker an in with his cyber clinic doctor to upgrade the kid’s gear, but since the hacker had alpha grade wetware memory and a secondary, internal commlink he had declined respectfully. The four of them had flown to SeaTac via Atlanta by sub-orbital having shipped their more questionable gear by commercial carrier before leaving. They all had travelled on their real passports but they also had new ID cards set in their commlinks and the commlinks were all top of the line thanks to Eddy, but those high functioning links and their features were all shut down on the flight, completely shut off allowing their civilian links to carry them the distance.

“Alright boyos,” Wolfgar said to the trio as they gathered in the SeaTac front gallery. “Get you a taxi, and go find you a cheap place to stay, it may take me a little while to get you some work, and it’s not going to be real glam stuff to begin with so it’s also not going to pay a lot. I find that you holed up in some swank tourist trap with hot and cold running bimbos and I’ll shut you down so fast it will make your head spin, you got me?” The trio nodded and headed off to grab a taxi. Wolfgar in the meantime went to the rental counter and picked up the sedan he had reserved before they had left Atlanta.

Wolfgar sighed at that memory; the kids were good, and held to their word. They held up at three separate coffin motels while Wolfgar got his rolodex less dated and some work for the three of them. A couple of weeks found them working low level jobs, starter runs that were really beneath the kids abilities, but they got both his and the kids street names back out in the shadows, and soon other new runners were showing up on his account. Also, while most of his old contacts were retired or had left the area, once he contacted them personally, they made contact with the people who had replaced them, and in some cases their replacements and suggested that the new kids in town might be better trained than your average newbie and gutter trash. This really boosted the work quality and quantity they were getting. So now a year later, Wolfgar would leave to handle the occasional team through the combat simulator, or else he would do it remotely so that he didn’t have to leave Seattle.

Suddenly a window popped up and a ringing noise informed him that he had an incoming comm. call, so wondering who it was, Wolfgar answered, “Your dime your time, how can we help you?” The reply was both an old joke to Wolfgar as well as a passphrase, if the incoming caller didn’t respond properly; the system would boot them out. It would also boot them out if they tried any overt hacking of his system.

“It’s no longer a dime to call anyone,” The avatar responded killing the countermeasure program Wolfgar had set up, “Mr. Wolfgar I need to speak to you about a potential mission, I need your best team.” The persona avatar started out in a normal, and benign off the rack state, however, as Wolfgar’s programs back tracked the signal and then hacked its code the persona changed from a liquid metal androgynous android, to a roman centurion with a Spartan helmet on its head.

“And what might I be able to help Ares Macrotechnology with today?” Wolfgar asked.

The potential Johnson seemed not to be offended by the quick identification and continued. “I have an escort mission out of town. The team will need to be at our corporate strip before dusk day after tomorrow ready to work. Their job is to protect a particular scientist as she goes out of town to investigate a find. Payment is 5 thousand up front and 20 thousand upon completion.”

“I need to know where and who,” Wolfgar replied to the Johnson, “I may have to put a team together from scratch for you. It will however be the best team I can provide.” Wolfgar was thinking that he might have to augment the terrible trio as he called his first team. They were his best, but they still had gaping holes in their specialties that required some outside help from time to time.

“Unfortunately that information is not up for discussion over an open line,” The Johnson replied icily, “If you insist on the information then I would suggest a physical meet.”

Pulling up the listing board of his teams Wolfgar nodded, “Agreed,” he replied. “I would suggest Dante’s in one hour. After I know who to put you with I will have them in the same location at 2100 hours tonight, will that suffice.

“That’s agreeable,” the Johnson replied. “I don’t see where you would need to have this information, but I will see you there in one hour.” With that the avatar disappeared from view leaving Wolfgar with a drive to make.

Wolfgar looked around the lowest level of Dante’s Inferno for a person wearing a distinctive mark. Johnson’s were like that, using it to identify themselves or sometimes to misidentify themselves to their temporary employees. This one wasn’t misrepresenting however, he was on the level, his old contact at Ares vouched for the new Johnson and even provided a description for Wolfgar to work with. On the other hand one could never be too careful. Finally the Johnson showed up, cheap suit and Spartan helm shaped lapel pin included. On the level this guy might be but gods was he green, he was in fact looking to much like a corporate stooge out to pick up a shadow team. Stepping up behind the Johnson Wolfgar whispered in his ear, “Time is money Mr. Johnson, but next time, don’t come in looking like you’re doing what you’re doing. Now let us sit and have a drink while we discuss this.”

The two of them sat at a booth and ordered their drinks, waiting for them to arrive before they started to talk. “Ok Mr. Wolfgar, let me be frank, I cannot tell you directly of the location, nor of the person they will be escorting.” At this Wolfgar snorted, “However,” the Johnson continued, “I can tell you that the good doctor is a PHD in a field you both have spent a great amount of time dealing with and that the team will be changing modes of transportation at O’Hare airfield.” At this news Wolfgar grimaced, he knew where the team was going and what he would need to supplement them, however, he also knew the money wasn’t enough.

“The information is sufficient for my needs, but I must tell you that you cannot get away with simply a three man team for this one, you’re going to have to have at least two others.” Wolfgar said nodding. “Also, the amount of money offered is not sufficient, my best team will not go for it, especially when they have to split it five ways.” The Johnson looked at Wolfgar with indignation but he simply waved it away. “The team has to treat this as if it is going to be a combat mission, so even if they accept the initial monetary offer you would have to come up with a combat bonus of at least 5000 nuyen a piece.”

“While I see you have a firm grasp of the issues Mr. Wolfgar, I still do not see where my offer is insufficient.” The Johnson returned. “Besides, surely you have a team of three that could pull this off which puts the personal amount at a little better than 8000 a person and even if it took five, I don’t see why 5000 would not be a sufficient amount for what equates to being a milk run.”

“Goddess you are green!” Wolfgar exclaimed kicking himself back on the back two legs of the chair and pinching the bridge of his nose. Falling back forward in the chair Wolfgar looked at the Johnson who by now was glaring at him. “Look, let me give you a word of advice since you’re new to the shadows. Your employers, they gave you a rather large budget I’m sure to make sure this mission gets accomplished. They expect you to pad your expense account and they expect a large portion of it to stick to your pocket, and they will let that slide so long as you get the mission done and a team that will accomplish the mission come hell or high water hired to do it. They also expect you to add that team to your rolodex so that you don’t have to go through me every time you need a team. So my suggestion to you is to get off the dime and pony up some more money or me and my teams walk out that door. Now could you find another team, I’m sure, but could you find them in time, would they work as cheap as you want and would they bring to the table the specialized training that my team brings.”

At this point the Johnson smirked for a moment and then sat back laughing, “You know my predecessor told me you would teach me more about the biz than he could. What do you suggest as a pay scale for your team.”

“What I would suggest is that you double the group amount and then offer them a combat bonus plus medical care.“

“Done,” the Johnson replied and then stood, “It’s been good doing business with you Mr. Wolfgar, I hope to see you for your intel offering on the city later when we have our meet.” Wolfgar just nodded and watched the Johnson leave.
May god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the firepower to make the difference.

Suicide is never the answer, now homicide on the other hand, that has posibilities.

7.62 Russian, when it absolutely has to be done under budget

Wolfboy

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Re: return to the shadows
« Reply #1 on: (17:25:50/10-07-10) »
alright just a bit of a bump, 35 folks have looked but no one has commented, thoughts on this bit of story?
May god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the firepower to make the difference.

Suicide is never the answer, now homicide on the other hand, that has posibilities.

7.62 Russian, when it absolutely has to be done under budget

Raventrickster

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Re: return to the shadows
« Reply #2 on: (22:22:32/10-11-10) »
I think it's a really good story, you don't generally see much stuff from a fixer's perspective.  I think it works well on its own, or as an intro to more with this group, probably doing a split perspective with both the main from this and one or more of the runners for action sequences.

Horsemen

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Re: return to the shadows
« Reply #3 on: (19:58:21/10-19-10) »
It creates a decent backstory for a fixer without getting too detailed.  The twist on the Johnson being far more accomodating when called on his being green, makes you want to like him.  Though any vet in the shadows knows that is just asking to be set up.   ::)

I am certainly interested in reading more about these characters and seeing what happens next.
Agent #191 Catalyst Demo Team

Wolfboy

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Re: return to the shadows
« Reply #4 on: (20:46:41/10-21-10) »
actually this is a bit of a conglomeration story, bringing all my previous stories for this character together in one. also allows me to rewrite the old stuff thats been catching dust over at the shadowrun writers forum.
May god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the firepower to make the difference.

Suicide is never the answer, now homicide on the other hand, that has posibilities.

7.62 Russian, when it absolutely has to be done under budget

FoxBoy

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Re: return to the shadows
« Reply #5 on: (16:21:02/10-26-10) »
Well DAMN... just in that short bit I learned more about what a fixer goes through then all the books I've read.

Very, nicely done.