Shadowrun Play > Play-by-Post

Jialong Data Haven

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Bland white walls, bland wooden bunk beds.
Bland bookshelf over with bland history books.

From the outside looking in, this was some college that could barely scrape by. Two young “college students” on each of the beds sleeping the day away. On the bottom a young 20 something male elf, pale thin, possibly took as many classes as Jiao did in athletics. Red t shirt like it came from a box chain and unassuming light jeans hung from his body. The female elf, Jiao, was also dressed in a similar manner. To the outside, this would seem maybe like a cult compound or college campus.

The rest of the building was also very unassuming. Trying to hide in plain sight. Tir was a place known for magic spells and so the last thing that was wanted was to stand out. Hell, it took Jiao a bit of time just to find the place, but alas that’s a story for another time. Her friends had called and updated her about the boat. Never before had she been so happy to discuss something in the real world.

After hanging up from her friends phone call (for which Jiao was grateful for), her instructor simply said a single word, “Again.” Before heading back into the astral. They have been at this for weeks the same repetitive stuff, just positioning and stance and patience drills and book learning. Jiao internally was crying though she knew it was necessary. Her social energy was almost drained.This time however it all changed.

After three days of positioning ones self and aligning ones self to balance, things finally changed. She saw through her instructor’s mask and realized that she was with a person in their mid 40s gender seemingly fluid. She stared at them rather puzzled.

Careful not to say anything she just got into her stance as practice dictated.

The instructor turned to Jiao and replied simply with “Now you see” while kicking Jiao’s tennis shoed foot a bit to the left and summoning a spirit behind her as he did. “The real world cheats”. They immediately backed away and Jiao crouched down to miss an earth elemental swiping where her head would have been. How they spoke in the astral she didn’t begin to fathom but she was a little distracted.

“Out!” She screamed in her own head positioned towards the spirit. Nothing happened and the spirit raised its arms up ready for a death kill. Panicked Jiao threw everything she had into sending this thing back to where it came and right before it collided with her face the rocks fell down all around her. In sheer exhaustion Jiao laid down in the astral on the floor, blood trickling down her nose and running down her right arm.

Without a word, the instructor was gone leaving Jiao alone in the astral. She stayed a few moments alone and then gathered her composure before heading back to her body.

When she did she found that her younger roommate was clearly not so and turned to Jiao. “Congratulations you passed. Welcome to the warrior caste. Rare we have one such of”

It was then she got introduced into the different castes etc (source:Óg) and instead of working off second hand knowledge she became an actual practitioner of the religion. No longer so much concerned about this life and how fleeting it could be it’s now about becoming the center of the wheel and the future King/Queen/Monarch.

Sure she may have came a spoiled prima Donna brat but the Wheel was working it’s way in her always. Making her want a haven for warriors and not just herself. Just instead of retiring she needed to make sure everyone could get closer to center. And there’s no way to do that if spirits are fucking everyone’s lives over. Sure we respect them but it’s about time they respected us too.

Spending the next day or so recouperating and book learning, the school sent her back out for a well deserved vacation to the Caribbean and told her the balance battles are outside not here. Just to remember that what you take someone else might lose and to be sure of yourself.

How much of that will stick may leave a impression now but how much long term is to be seen.

Sorry for the brevity lost this post a few times. Plan on expanding more later.

congrats on your new initiate grade and the Exorcism metamagic.
+1 karma for a nice IC post!

Jan Schaefer:
Jan’s fourth initiation had been the stuff of nightmares.  Too traumatic to recall completely.  A few nightmare scenes, half-remembered, made him shudder.  Rather than fading with time, the memories had sharpened and became even more painful.  Weeks of sleep deprivation, bodily mortification, and degradation had worn him almost to the breaking point.  But it had worked as Father Fall advertised, breaking down the barriers between Jan and the source of Romani magic, the mysterious astral Sponsors.

Jan knew he had to go a very different route to make further progress.  For several months, he had been corresponding with a succession of successively better connected Linked Chain mages.  For the most part, they were enchanters, summoners, or ethernauts, barely willing to acknowledge that what Jan did was up to par with their own powers.  But the Linked Chain was always hungry for three things:  money, power, and dignity.  All he had to do was show them that he could bring the Chain more of the first two without sacrificing the third.  Climbing the Chain, he knew, was necessary to reach their top sorceress.  Probably the only manaslinger in the world who could speak to him in his own tradition and teach him how to fine-tune and shape the massive, ragged bolts of raw power that his previous mentor had taught him to hack out of  the Other Side.

Finally he was allowed an anchorless chat window with Vadoma Shaw.  Waiting for the call, Jan fussed at his hair for the fourth time, coughed nervously for the fifth, and looked again out the window at the bleak Pennsylvania coastline.  A dusting of snow, blackened by soot, lay heavy on the banks of the canal. 

“Snow should be clean”, Jan thought as he always did.  In Istanbul, the snow had been the only relief from the rubble and corpses everywhere that there was somehow never time to bury.  He jerked his attention back to his ‘link, muttering to himself angrily  “Why the hell am I thinking about corpses today.  This is what I’ve been working toward for eight years.”  He ticked over his selling points in his mind, ready to make his best sales pitch to Shaw.  With her fame and status, she would surely need persuading to spend time with him.  Surely she would assume he was a cultureless hick; at her level of stardom, she probably never even ordered coffee from someone without an agent and a half-dozen trid credits.  Jan knew he could be charismatic when he put his whole aura into it, but he feared that the lack of in-person contact would hold him back.   He only hoped that somehow the laws of physics would bend, allowing  his Awakened aura to translate over the Matrix and tip the balance.

Her first words blew past all his preparations.  “Show me how serious you are”, Shaw snapped.  He barely had time to register her latest look:  thick, brutal earrings and lip piercings, jagged inverted lightning tattoos, severe bangs, and plucked, arched brows.  But the cheekbones and noble brow were the same as ever:  she looked exactly like all the publicity stills and vids of her he had ever seen, while also looking radically and angrily different.  He gulped.  Trembling, he held up his left hand, palm facing Shaw, fingers spread . 

“How many?”, he asked, trembling. 

“Would you give them all?”   He realized that she was not looking at his hand, and maybe not even at his face.  The dark, slitted eyes seemed to be driving daggers into his soul.

“J- J- Ja, Meine Dame.  Alle, wenn es noetig ist.”  He cursed himself for trembling. 

Shaw switched to German as well.  Oddly, he had not noticed her Scottish accent until she switched from English.  Perhaps she was still in character from her last one man show, a mashup of last decade’s smash hit Kadeera with the neglected classic, The Vagina Monologues.  Her tone started severe, as she began to grimace.  “Ja.  Allen.  Deine finger-”  She began to draw her finger, ending in a wicked inch-long burgundy nail, across the screen at the height where his hand was exposed.

And then she cracked up.  “Hahaha, ach mein Gott!”  Continuing in English again, “Father Fall must have scared you to death.  Oh, god!”  She cackled and guffawed for what felt like minutes, though his Transys told him it was mere seconds.  Jan mustered his will and attempted a grin.  He felt it sliding, sickly and inadequate, off his face as she continued. “Oh, mann, whodja think we are, the bampot Yakuza?  Gee on, cetcher bawhead outcher breeks guy!”  Jan’s eyes flicked desperately to his CC line and found no translation.  “Umm, sorry,” he sputtered, not sure how to continue. 

“Ah couldnae help meself, lad, jew unnerstan."  She chuckled a bit more, and then leaned forward.  In an instant she transformed back from the jocular to the intense. 

“All right, man, ye’ve got three weeks wi mae.  The money’s good, and I’ve three aethers think they can keep up with me all together tae gee it.  We’ll see how many of yae last.  For nea, getcher chankin arse aboot pronto, choom.   We start in nae tayim.”  Bewildered, Jan’s fingers twitched a desperate query to Bloodhound.  “Umm, well, I think that sounds, umm…”  But before the grizzled hacker could rouse himself to assist, the signal cut out.  For a second, Jan sat stunned.  Not knowing if he had succeeded, failed, or been told to go wash his face.  Until an address appeared on the screen. 

With a sigh of relief, he realized the address was in Berlin.  He had been accepted into tutelage by Vadoma Shaw! Of all people.  He exhaled stress and lowered his shoulders.  “OK”, he said out loud, realizing from the stinging of his eyes that he had not even dared to blink for the whole conversation.  “The easy part’s over, I guess…”

nice personal flavor +1 karma!


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