Have you ever heard of Kha0s

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« on: <11-30-17/0341:36> »
The young up-and-coming Elf-mage, who’s a bit-too-big for his britches, overachiever, almost always over the .05% legal limit.  But fake ID’s provided by his Shadowy ‘friends’, always allowed him to exist in Shadowy bars, quite obvious and natural for a person his type, innit?

Please allow me to tell you this tale.

The Rexdale Wrex, what a poseur bar, but still situated within the shadows none-the-less.  A place where you’d find this guy.  And there he was as per usual, just as every other weekend afternoon.  Whenever he could find his way up and out from his own homemade hangover, he’d stagger on over there. 

This place, had a churn crowd and some real groovy street attitude lookers servers.  His type.

And so just like any other weekend, there he was again, sitting at the bar, half obliviated, listening to his Walkman, and in his own little world.  His favorite server had just finished pouring him another, she’d only put it down for a second to wipe her hands with a towel when with a flick of his finger the pint flew about 6-feet across the bar and right into his warm embracing hand.

“I’m not going to warn you again, any more magic in the bar I’ll have you cut off and thrown out of here”.  ‘Oh, where is the love’ he thought.  They’ve always got on quite well, or at least, she’d always pretended that way.  Witty one-liner conversations, she always carried a smile around him and seemed engaged, but one little misapplied benign act like this, and out came her angry face, out came the real lightening bolts.  Which made him wonder, were all those other smiles and niceties an act, was this truly the real her?

WHATEVER!  Frag her.  He knew he was young, good-looking, an up-and-comer.  A future prodigy of the acarine arts of some degree.  He’d find another shadowy bar if she copped him any more attitude he thought.

So he carried on with his routine, chug chug chug went the beer, and oontz oontz oontz went his Walkman to the latest underground cyber-electro music.

Then suddenly, this gruff older-looking dwarf with long graying brown rocker hair, and one great big epic beard all packaged nicely in a leather biker jacket for the ages comes and sits next to him.  “Hello” Sheena the bartendress said, “what can I get you?”.  The dwarf cleared his throat, pointed towards Kha0s and said, “You know this gent, he’s a regular ya?”. 

“Um, yeah” She replied in an awkward, semi-confused voice.  “What’s he drink” he asked.  “Uh, Vice beer?”.  “Beer’s a good start, but what about the hard stuff?”.  Khaos clued in pretty quick he was part of the conversation that was going on right next to him and removed his ear buds to listen in what was going on.

Kha0s was far from ignorant of where he was or the times that he lived in, he gave the dwarf a quick up-and-down look as he removed his ear buds to see if this guy had something on him like he might be carrying.  Which really, he shouldn’t have had to do considering the security, and security measures at the door.

The dwarf had a benign look to his face and in his eyes, and Kha0s thought himself to be a good judge of character, but couldn’t figure why this bozo had sat next to him in a near empty bar, and was glancing at, pointing to, and talking to Sheena about him.

“Something I can help you with?”, he blurted out.  The dwarf gave a chuckle that nearly gave into a full-blown hardy laugh.

“Oh!!  Ho-ho.  Good sir, good sir!”  The dwarf exclaimed, immediately looking to Sheena accompanied by some finger pointing towards a bottle of John Diggerweed’s Whiskey behind the bar, which happened to be a favorite of Kha0s, (that is, when he actually did drink hard liquor).  “Quick, bring it up.  Here’s my credstick if you need.  And a pitcher of Vice beer on the double also”.  She bent over to grab the bottle of John Digger’s first while saying “if you want to run a tab that’s fine”.

“Ho-ho, indeed, this is to be a merry occasion!"

Kha0s, already being half-buzzed, had no reservations in being blunt or straight-forward himself.  “Okay, I don’t get this, who are you and what’s going on?”

“Who am I?!” the dwarf nearly erupted, “The name’s Firebrand Fire-Guard, one of the most legendary Street Samurai in the biz today.  Albeit a little past my prime..  I’m proud to be here with you and celebrate, that I’ll be the one to take you out on your very first Shadowrun!  Ho-ho!!”

The Rexdale Wrex’s assistant manager was there at the other end of the bar, lurking, and had been semi-overhearing and overlooking the goings on in the bar.  At that statement, Sheena the bartendress immediately looked towards him, and he shot her an ice-cold glance.  An entire serious conversation had just passed between them both with only mere looks.

“Whoa!”  She snapped back to the two sitting there, “You need to go to a ‘booth’ right now, you can’t be having this type of conversation here at the bar”.  The assistant manager as if on que then stepped forth looking at Kha0s & Firebrand, in a calm and professional manner saying ‘gentlemen, would you please follow me this way”.

Kha0s felt his blood go cold.  He knew this was his path in life, that he was young but had exceptional talents that could only be noticed eventually.  THIS was his moment of truth, and he had to make a hard choice.

The assistant manager lead the two to the back of the bar where there was a door, that lead into an entirely different area, that Kha0s knew had all the ‘booths’, although he’d never been there.  As they walked through on the other side was a muscled-and cybered orc mercenary who immediately let down his guard upon seeing the assistant manager.

The assistant manager had no emotion about him.  Kha0s was as stiff as nerves.  Fire-Guard was holding the bottle of John Digger’s and taking liberal swigs from it with a merry expression on his face.  They all kept walking, to the back, where there was another door, that would lead into another room.  But this time there was one big massive troll you could almost hardly spot in all the dim-lighting, and he was wearing all black-shadowed combat tactical gear.  What soldiers would look holding rifles, he looked to be holding a 50. Caliber machine gun.

They were about to pass into another interior of the bar Kha0s couldn’t have imagined existed, this was getting really deep.  But it broke the ice when Firebrand the dwarf looked up and winked at the troll with a smile, and the troll grinned back.  Somehow, they knew one another.  And all this that was going on here was the real deal.

Both the Troll and the assistant manager had to use their pass-cards to open the ‘final door’.  Going into the ‘third room’, there was only one ‘booth’, completely encapsulated.  The assistant manager stopped in front of it and began to speak.  “There are no real terms of service when it comes to this, but our establishment has been around for almost 20 years.  We take it with the utmost seriousness your privacy, we invest every effort to that ends.  To the best of our ability, we assure your privacy in that booth, but there are never any guarantees..”

“Och, skip the bullshit and the serenade will you” Fire-Guard interrupted.  “Is it good?!”.  “As good as we can make it” replied the assistant manager, you’re welcome to use any spy countermeasures you please”.  “That’s fine” replied the dwarf pulling out his credstick. 

But just as quick the assistant manager said “your Nuyen is no good here”.  “So you know who I am then” said the Dwarf.  “I’m ashamed I didn’t recognize you sooner” he replied. 

“I don’t want to be treated like I’m royalty, I want to pay for my time here”.  “Absolutely not.  We at the Wrex understand your sentiment, but I must insist, we will not take your money.  We know who you are, and we are graced by your patronage.  This is what it is to be a ‘Shadowrun’ bar, ultimate respect is to be given to those who have earned their reputation.”  The assistant manager clears his throat.  “This booth is as safe, secure and free from invasive outside listeners as we can make it.  But I strongly suggest you use whatever snooping countermeasures you can.  Even to our best efforts, you understand the nature of this world we exist in”.


So there it was, Kha0s and Firebrand, whom he didn’t even know existed just fifteen minutes earlier, were now slipping into a ‘booth’, one of the most hi-tech, private enclosures known to the sixth-world.  And Kha0s had no idea why he was apathetically and blindly going along with it.  Only that he felt a sense of destiny.

It was a hi-tech ‘booth’ only designed for two.  One on either side with a small table in the middle.  The last thing Kha0s would see of the outside world would be the assistant manager, one big mother-fragger of a Troll holding a .50 caliber, and an angel, Sheena quickly slipping in behind at the last moment to plant the pitcher of Vice beer and two empty pint glasses on the tiny table before the space-pod of a booth would close its door.

*Schwoosh*, *click*

Firebrand would take one more big swig of the bottle of whiskey he’d been carrying all this time, that was now half-empty, and planting it ontop the table next to the pitcher.

“I’m actually drekking bricks right now” Kha0s was quick to break the silence.  “Why me, how’d you even know about me I’ve never even been on an actual run, even though I sorta know this is where I’ve been heading towards in life..”

“Hoi” Fire-Guard exclaimed, “you think you can show off to your friends, show off in public,  just use your exceptional talents in general and NOT be noticed?  If you’re that stupid maybe we shouldn’t be sitting here.”

“No, no.  You’re right.  I am a show-off, and I guess in one way or another, I guess I was asking for this, or something, to happen.  It is just that, I’ve always been in a weird place in life.  I know of Shadowrunners, everything that you can look up in the matrix, but I wont sit here in front of you, look you in the eyes and actually pretend to say ‘I know’..

Firebrand Fire-Guard just sat there staring back into the boy’s eyes, with nothing short of a complete warm glow overcoming him, his own eyes beaming.

“Go on” Firebrand said. 

“I looked you up on my PDA as we were walking to the back of the bar."  Kha0s continued.  "You are one of the ‘heroes’ of the Shadowrun underground, although your feats were at least ten years ago, and seems to end there.  I’m honored to be in your presence, but, I don’t know what’s going on here, why me, why now?”

*Firebrand Fire-Guard picks up the half-empty bottle of John Diggerweed's Whiskey and pours a liberal 2-fingers worth into each of the empty pint glasses Sheena the bartendress planted in the last seconds before the 'pod' booth closed and secured its doors*


*Both take their glasses back in simultaneous form*

“I ignore the stories people tell."  Fire-Guard begins to speak again, "I have always done my own thing, if people call me things like ‘legend’, that’s on them.  I have always answered and been true to my own calling in life, and ran with it.  Don’t give a damn about anything else.  I won’t fill your ears with anything other, than you should probably do the same.   If being a Shadowrunner is your calling in life, and your passion.  Run with it.”

"But the question does truly beg to be answered boy, are you ready to run?"

“I’m not afraid of dying”, Kha0s sharply replied, not sure of why that was the next thought that came to mind in which he had to blurt out.

Though a rather shocking self-profession, it didn’t even seem to cause a stir or twitch on Firebrand-Fireguard’s glowing smile, which remained unperturbed, as was his silence. 

It was obvious to him now, this was some sort of demented ‘Shadowrun’ interview, and this legend was more interested in just sitting here and listening to him talk, and drinking,

Okay, well, maybe more interested in drinking to first, and listening to Kha0s talk second, but who knew?  This was crazy as far as Kha0s could process.  Should he really just continue talking, and speaking his mind?

“Don’t forget there’s a pitcher of Vice beer there” Firebrand broke the short silence, looking towards the pitcher for a short second, his eyes seemingly perma-infused with something kindly, returning to meet his gaze.

“May I pour you a”.  “That’s not a question a Shadowrunner would ask ask Kha0s.” Firebrand merrily chimed in.

But of course.

Kha0s continues on to pick up the pitcher, and fill both their empty pint glasses, with the residue of whiskey still on them.

“I still don’t understand, what do you want of me?  You say to know all my talents, as a mage.  You’re apparently Mr. Big Deal, you are the real deal, just having read on my PDA I won’t deny you that.  Sure, I can fling a mana-bolt in this small enclave that would fry us both quicker than Stuffer Shack could ever make good on their ‘fast-food’ fries on their best day.

But I’m no runner.  And you, I don’t see anything on you for the past ten-years, and you said earlier that you’re past your prime”

“I said A BIT!”

“Yeah, but none-the-less, where do I fit in.  You’re scaring me.  You want to do an out-of-retirement run and can’t afford a real mage?  Sorry bub, but I’m your ultimate wrong solution.”

*Firebrand Fire-Guard after taking a sip puts down his pint, elbows on the table begins to laugh into the palm of his hands*

“Y’know the funny thing about our world today.  Reputation only seems to matter when it comes to VIP access to bars and clubs, but almost no one can really truly appreciate what reputation means, where it came from, what I’ve done, what I’ve seen or what I know..

You think I’m here because I want to do a run, that I haven’t been seen in almost ten years and so your logic equates that I must be broke and desperate."

*Firebrand breaks out into a hardy half-mad laugh that has the tight walls of the capsule booth shaking*

Quickly Firebrand regained his composure, and went back to staring into Kha0s eyes, a smile still on his face.  You didn’t need to be a deep and witty judge of character. 

Despite all the drek this legend dwarf street samurai had seen, and been through you could imagine, chopped and shot his way, clawed, scratched, shanked, hamstrung, knifed-in-the-back, etc.  All the things he’d watched and lived through, infinite tales of sadness, truly innocents, unsuspecting, caught in the middle of no mans land, and meeting absolutely horrible ends, etc..

it still hadn’t messed him up. 

He was hardened, he was genuine, he was true, he was the absolute 'real-deal'.  For those who knew him and knew of him, his name, he was legend.  Though never speak that word around him, for he'd vehemently not accept it. With that, there was a genuine aura about him, that Kha0s himself truly felt safe and drawn to, that he was a 'good guy'.  Kha0s could feel the resonate, but just couldn’t put the pieces together though of what the drek was going on, and why he himself was now here, with him..

But for once, Firebrand squinted his eyes, he focused on Kha0s with absolute gravitas, holding the bottle of whiskey, he banged it down on the table in poetic statement.

"This is the moment boy, you need only reply 'yes' or 'no', are you ready for this.  This lifestyle, are you ready to run, are you ready to die, are you ready to risk it all, and find out who you really are?"

Firebrand could have said a lot more, and he could also have said a bit less.  But either way, Kha0s knew infinitely that every single word this man spoke, in all its nuance, that he was born for this, he was ready..  He knew not what crazy adventure this crazy dwarf, this legendary street samurai was inviting him on, but what could possibly be better or more opportune?

Kha0s calling in life was always to run in the shadows, he knew that much.  And on his very own, where would he be to start?  He was sitting with a legend now, who inviting him, one whom he immediately felt as a father figure.  It all seemed to be falling into place..

Kha0s took the bottle of John Diggerweed's from the dwarfs hand, and took a merrily swig.  Put the bottle back down on the table between them, immediately meeting the Fire-Guard's gaze again, feeling all the trappings of a man after having felt passed a certain 'coming-of-age' ritual, he tried to say, "yeeeaaaAAAhhhAAAHHHhhhh"

The capsule-pod booth's walls were humming with a certain resonance.  As padded as it was, he immediately felt the sound of what was a loud troll roaring in his voice, followed with the mechanical sound and vibration of what a .50 caliber machine gun would sound like cut loose.  *BRRRRRRRRRR*

Then vibrations, concussions, it was explosions.


Just for a moment, inside the pod, it was like Kha0s and Firebrand were in outer-space, weightless, floating around, until that damned higher than state-of-the-art, Shadowrun booth-pod came crashing back down to earth from the roughly six-feet it had been airborne, from the initial explosions which had sent it up..
« Last Edit: <01-23-18/0546:14> by Psy_X »