The Interview (Crunch's Story)

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« on: <06-09-18/0425:30> »
I wrote this quite a while back for a forum group thing. It's short and to the point- Thought I'd share it here. (story based off of actual gameplay forever ago) :)

*Ork Underground: Seattle- The "Crunch n' Munch" soup kitchen, a couple of shipping cargo containers welded together and re-worked into a small dining area with an open kitchen*

*Closing Time- an old Ork has a just as old Panther Cannon sitting across his lap as he's cleaning it and giving it regular maintenance. This Panther Cannon is usually seen on the wall in the open kitchen area with the sign "BEHAVE" hanging underneath it. While it looks scuffed and well-worn, the smell of oil, metal, and propellant indicates it's still perfectly functional*

*The Ork looks up at you, cigar clenched between his teeth as he finishes his nightly diagnostic of the weapon, you can tell the eyes are scanning you just as appraisingly as he, himself, is. You also note he's so cybered up his neck strains with the effort of moving that slowly and casually- there's an air of restrained calm about him underneath the apparent casual veneer*

Sit down. *he nods to a worn chair nearby* So, I was told you wanted to know the story behind the cannon here, and why it's hanging in a soup kitchen... Well to get that, you need to know a little bit about me.

Early years nothin' special really... Grew up in the Unnerground, Ran with the usual gang types as a kid, and like everyone else wanted that 'something more'. Now, unlike those other grunts I realized early on that knowledge was more powerful than guns... though of course both was even better.

I started gettin' to know folks. I wasn't afraid to wander outside the Unnerground by myself, mind. When you travel in a gang it can be safer, but then you don't get to know a lot of folks that way... it's different when you and I are talkin' like we are now versus when you're in a group. Different expectations, reactions, and all that. *waves hand vaguely, the cigar between his fingers trailing circles of smoke in the air*

That's how I met Einstein. Einstein, now HE was a character. A Halloweener with a plan. He had an 'in' with folks in the shadows, wanted to hook me up as well... could always use another chummer, ya'see. Another outsider with no ties to the shadows, to watch yer back. Good run teams need trust to work, see, so it's easier to put one together when you know everyone's agenda from the get-go. That's why I brought in Munch... my brother, rest his soul.

*gets a reminiscent look on his face* Ya'know, I've almost forgot his given name? We weren't always Crunch and Munch, mind you... Those are our 'street names'. They called me Crunch because, well, I crunched things. It's always easy to underestimate the Ork if you think they're stupid and have names like Crunch. I never got tired of the look folks got on their face when I turn the tables on 'em. Munch, on the other hand, was much more... in his element so to speak... Let's just say he didn't have to 'play down'... but he was as solid as they come, could do the job, and had our backs, and we had his.

What more could a brother ask for?

Our carrier was never spectacular, but it paid the bills. Einstein was smart, but he didn't get his name for relativity or anythin'. It's because he believed in "the Big Bang Theory"... which is to say, the bigger the bang, the bigger the fun. Explosives expert. Most of our runs involved collateral damage, and distraction runs... you know, the kind of run where all you do is cause chaos while another run team actually went in and did the 'real' dirty? Yeah, like that. And you know what? Those were the most fun to do. We also usually ripped off a lot of REALLY expensive stuff in the process.

What? We had to give them a reason to pay attention, right? Plus the cash-in afterward was fragtastic! Often times better than the pay for the runs themselves. Throw a novahot decker into the mix and the cash just rolled on in... *smiles* those were the days...

*he gestures around the makeshift soup kitchen* But THIS, this is why I did it. This was my dream. Most of my money went into building and stocking this soup kitchen. Believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty good cook... and Munch was very good at eating it, which is how he got his name. I took care of him, and our share of the profits went into this. As long as Much's belly was full, he was satisfied, and I was filling lots of bellies down here in the Unnderground... a veritable community service I'm providin', and in return I get information.

I'm everyone's chummer, see? Give a hungry meta a bowl of soup and they'll tell you everything they know like you was their best friend! I've even had my chicken soup shipped by drone to people who've heard how good it was. Even can afford the real chicken stock to put in it... Now THAT's power... THAT's what I was saving for... Retire from the life and be a Fixer. The one who sets up the deals, knows the score, and gets paid to hire other folks to put themselves at risk. My brother and I could live the good life, and keep the nuyen rollin' in...

... and if it's giving back a bit to the Unnerground that made me what I am... even better. *shrug*

*sighs, pours a shot of synth-scotch, takes a sip and savors the flavor for a second before taking another drag off the cigar that has now almost burnt out*

Anyway, about the cannon. *he pats it absent mindedly as he focuses again on the story*

There's a lesson in this one, see... or a couple lessons depending on your take. Anyway. Einstein had us set for 'his big score' which was, if I recall correctly, some kind of revenge deal. He wasn't always a 'weener, see. Apparently used to be some wage slave type of guy... had a family or somesuch. He never went into the details, but it was okay. It didn't matter. It was his 'big win' and we were going to help him get it.

We all pulled in some favors. Had a couple of Deckers with us... Redline and Pilgrim I think... I didn't know them very well outside of their results... Deckers hanging back and all that, and our Rigger to get us in. A pseudo-legit cab driver with a tricked out set of wheels. The car looked like a crappy cab, but the things it could do... Heh heh heh...

So, this wasn't like our usual noisemaker type run. We had to go in stealthy, at least stealthy for us, into this big megacorp building. I'll refrain from sayin' which one just to keep ya' guessin' and for professional courtesy to my chummer, but let's just say it was a pretty big fraggin' deal in Seattle back in the day. Turns out, the guy that fragged Einstein over was now sittin' pretty as the CEO of that division here in Seattle, so the payback was going to be big.

Cabbie would get us in the front door all legit-like with papers and everything. Deckers were supposed to plant files... or uncover them... not sure which, and keep security off us as much as possible. Munch and I were the vanguard keepin' Einstein safe 'til he could get his hands on the slotter he owed.

Everything went according to plan until, like always, things went sideways. Personal guards, gunfight, some crazy magic swordfighters... We fight our way to the roof... and the fraggin' jagoff has the gall to point a fragging PANTHER CANNON at us!!

Now, I have no idea where Einstein had gotten off to at this point, cabs can't fly (not even his) and who knows where the Deckers are... so it's just Munch and me on the roof of this megacorp- Lone Star helicopters circling the building, and this asshat pointing a fraggin' cannon at us!!

So we do the only thing that makes sense at the moment. We rush the slotter, guns blazing.

Now I can make it sound all romantic and describe it in slow motion like they do in the trid's, but really, it was quick, ugly, and over before I really savvied everything that was going on. He takes shots at us, laughing like a maniac, Munch eats it for the last time, and I'm fragged to all hell and back, but still alive, and in this drekbag's face, and my roomsweeper is out of ammo.

Then all of a sudden, Einstein comes out of nowhere (never did figure out how the fragger got there) Straps a bomb to the guy, says something like 'you're fired' and throws him off the roof! Damndest thing!!!

The explosion was so big, the Lone Star response team had to back away from the building. Einstein thanks me, says the check is in the mail (he was always good for the nuyen) and took off. Never saw him again after that. I got out too, of course, but it took the help of my new chummer to get me out. *strokes the Panther Cannon across his lap with an affectionate smile as if it were a  house-pet* Took the cab to the Big Rhino, came back to the shop, and started the stew for opening... I lost a brother, but got a cannon... and a FAT payroll... still, gonna' miss how he was my best taste-tester for new recipes.

*HIs bottom lip trembles over his tusks as he catches himself starting to get weepy... then slams down another shot of synth-scotch, and lights another cigar...*

So, I keep things running here, collecting information, runners... and prospective runner talent here in the Unnerground. I keep myself ready though... I still like to take on the occasional job, like that one RC called me to do in Boston... but THAT's a whole 'nother story filled with crazy dreck.

*he pauses* Anyway, I said this story had a lesson, didn't I? *ponders a moment* That lesson is... "never point anything at anyone else that you ain't afraid of them taking and using against you", savvy?

*waves hand vaguely* Now go on... I gotta' get some sleep in these old bones, so I can get up and start on my famous chicken soup for tomorrow's dinner. Come back then and have a bowl if you like, we serve everyone, and don't forget to leave a donation to keep the kitchen running. I know YOU can afford it.