The Meet

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« on: <01-14-12/1904:39> »
The Meet
By David Law

The events here in take place between seasons 2 & 3 of my Shadowrun Campaign.  Creed normally works as the run team’s fixer.

Creed sat at the open-air noodle stand.  Rain made a pattering noise on the shop’s awning as it rolled down the angled incline.  He ordered a box of noodles he would not eat, due to his condition, and waited.  The Johnson was late to the meet.  He checked his com.  Not too late.

“Flatline any sign?” said Creed to his subvocalized radio.

“Not yet.” came the icy reply to his earpiece.

Flatline was selected as over watch for this mission.  He was a sniper and the lead of Creed’s top run team.  The rest of them were to crazy for this kind of mission.  Creed wanted to make a deal with the Johnson not kill him.  The only other runner he had selected for this job was Stevo, the team’s hacker.  Stevo was a chip addict but he was very good at his job, and completely trustworthy so long as his addiction was kept in check.

Minutes passed.  His noodles arrived.  Creed hoped there was no trouble.  Hoped that the Johnson was only trying to put him off his guard and checking the area for trouble.

Creed pushed his noodles around and pretended to eat for a while.  A few other customers stopped off at the noodle stand but they had none of the feel of the people he was looking for.  Even the best in the shadow biz gave off tells & Creed was an expert at reading tells.

“I’ve got three likely candidates for the Johnson walking down the street.  They stick out like a sore thumb.  Fragging armature.”

“Not to worry.  What’ve we got?”  Creed replied.

“Two Trolls flanking an Elf.  All in nice suites.”  Flatline informed.

“Ok.  Target whomever gets behind me.  Stevo, what does the Police traffic look like?”

“Uh…  there’s a squad car 3 blocks south,” Stevo piped in, “and two foot patrols in the area.  You want me to get rid of them?”

“No, this go’s badly and I think they will prove an asset rather than hindrance.”

Looking off to his left Creed saw them approach out of the gloom.  The two huge trolls made impressive silhouettes, the elf tall and slim.  They came into the light and he saw that all of them were wearing business suites.  The suites were well made and the way the water rolled off of them likely enhanced with nano particles.   The trolls were of course dressed in bodyguard black, the elf in high fashion blue. 

The elf was dark haired tall and handsome, like most of his race.  He had a cocky half smile, well-manicured hands, and a steady gate.  He reeked of office confidence but his pulse gave him away.  Creed could see it moving rapidly at the base of his neck.

The elf sat down next to him and Creed could not help but dislike the man.  His escort predictably split up so the two would be between them.  One of the trolls took a seat next to Creed the other stood with in arms reach behind the Johnson.  Creed lowered the noodles he was about to pantomime eating back to the bowl.

“Mr. Johnson I presume.” He said, and then gave a quick glance at the proprietor of the noodle stand; who subsequently moved to the back of the shop.  Creed assumed the conversation would be recorded but he cared very little; the Triads would appreciate the free info.

“You must be Mr. Creed.”

“Creed, just Creed Mr. Johnson.”  Said Creed.

“Creed.”  He said it like it was something distasteful.

“Why did you want to meet me Mr. Johnson?  I don’t normally do this sort of thing myself.”  This last part was untrue.  Creed was constantly meeting with clients and potential clients.  He just didn’t do it often as himself, to Johnsons at least.  In this case the client was a referral and part of the deal was that Mr. Johnson got to meet Creed himself.  Said he met with all the people he dealt with to know what kind of a person they were.  The Nuyen was good and the job checked out so Creed had agreed.  Besides it had been awhile since he had done any fieldwork.

“I wanted to make sure of my investment.  Now do you have the data I paid so much for?”  Creed could not help but notice Mr. Johnson paused slightly before answering and looked slightly up and to the right.

Creed raised an eyebrow before answering, “You haven’t paid for it completely yet, and of course I have it.  Just not on me.”  This was also untrue.  It was in his pocket.  Creed could see the elf’s violet eyes dilate slightly and the pulses in his neck increase.  Quite involuntarily Creed felt his mouth water.

“That’s not what we agreed upon.”  Mr. Johnson said not taking the trouble to hide his impatient irritation.

“True, but we’ve never met IRL.  I have to protect what’s mine.  Let me see the Nuyen.”

“Fine.”  Mr. Johnson reached into his inside pocket without taking his eyes from Creed.  Creed could not help but notice a marked lack of expression on the man’s face.  For an instant Mr. Johnson’s jaw clenched as did, Creed noticed, the hulking troll in back of him.

Mr. Johnson withdrew a platinum colored cred stick and handed it to Creed.  Creed took the stick and slotted it into his reader.

“That the agreed upon amount?”  Mr. Johnson asked.

“Ah… ah… boss!” Stevo shouted over the com.  “All the cops just checked out.  They got a call or something.”

Creed looked at the Johnson and made his body go completely still.  With satisfaction he noticed both the troll and Mr. Johnson shift uncomfortably.  “No Mr. Johnson, I am afraid it is not.  You seem to have given me to much.” It was in fact a full 15,000 Nuyen too much.

The pulse in Mr. Johnson’s neck delectably increased, and Creed noted for the first time, the muscles in his face seemed to move unevenly.  “The extra’s for a job well done. I-“

“Flatline,” Creed said looking into Mr. Johnson’s eyes. “Kill the trolls.” 

There was a sharp crack in the air followed by a wet popping noise.  The body of the troll was violently thrown atop the counter.  Creed could feel the impact as part of the troll’s scull impacted on the back of his armored jacket. 

With speed born of the supernatural Creed leapt off the bar stool and careened into Mr. Johnson driving him back into the other troll.  There was another sharp crack and the other behemoth’s head exploded in a shower of gore.  Both Creed and Mr. Johnson fell to the ground in a tangled heap.  They struggled briefly and Mr. Johnson rose to his feet, a pistol in his hand.

Creed dove for Mr. Johnson and he heard the gun go off twice.  One shot went harmlessly overhead.  The other impacted his right shoulder before he slammed into Mr. Johnson pinning him to the counter. 

Creed raised his head up sharply and caught Mr. Johnson under the chin.  There was a satisfying answer of pain.  Creed was standing even with him now and was able to look Mr. Johnson in the eye. 

“That hurt.” He said.  Then Creed broke the bridge of the man’s nose with his head.  The gun went off again but weather or not it was voluntary Creed could not tell.  He was able to raise Mr. Johnson’s gun arm high enough that he was able to step under it and get behind the man.

The elf was fast Creed could give him that.  Mr. Johnson was able to make a half turn and rise up his gun before Creed took hold of his wrist and shoulder.  With supernatural strength he spun the man around and slammed his head into the countertop with enough force to crack the surface.  The gun dropped and Mr. Johnson fell to the ground in a heap.

Creed straddled the man and knelt down.  Surprisingly the man was still conscious if not fully aware.  His skin was cracked and now writhing.  The nano-paste disguise the man wore was trying to correct itself.

“Hello ‘Mr. Johnson.’  My name is Creed.” He gave Mr. Johnson a wicked smile and openly showed teeth growing out to sharp points, “It is so seldom I get to fully enjoy being a monster.”

Creed stood and took hold of  “Mr. Johnson’s” wrist and dragged him off into the dark.