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Hop

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Critias

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Hop

« on: <11-03-10/0215:59> »
A couple years back, I was as wet-behind-the-ears a rookie as you could imagine.  I never wanted to work patrol, and I didn't stick it out for too long.  My grandaddy Hopkins had been one of Clay Wilson's first Lone Star security officers, back in the day.  He'd jumped straight from the Marine Corps military police into a Lone Star uniform, and never looked back.  He spent thirty years with LSSS, with a full decade of service kicking ass in a Fast Response Team.  I worshiped him.  He put my dad through school, where he majored in Psychology and Communications.  My dad worked for thirteen years in Special Investigations and as a hostage negotiator before he and mom died, never once just wearing the plain uniform of a beat cop.  When I was young, I thought dad was weaker than grandpa.  He wasn't.  I know that now.  He was just different.  God damn that car bomb that took him from me before I could say so to his face.

My point, yeah.  Sorry.  My point is, I never wanted to be a beat cop.  I'd done well at the Austin Academy, had family history for brownie points, and had a full Bachelor's degree, but that wasn't enough to just flat out call my job upon graduation.  When I got allocated to Patrol, I asked for a reassignment prior to starting service;  I figured they'd appreciate that initiative, maybe they'd think I was trying to get sent as far from home as possible to show that I was willing to go where Lone Star needed me, to show I wasn't going to be open to favoritism or corruption by working the streets close to home.  The God's honest truth was that I didn't want to go home, since my parents had died.  I'd put in a lateral transfer request along with the regional reassignment, hoping to piggyback the one on top of the other.  I didn't want to work a beat.  I wanted Fast Response.  I got half of what I asked for, but the wrong half.  They shipped me far, far, away from Texas, but tossed me into a patrol car.

At any rate, there I was.  Seattle.  About as far from home as I could get, and as miserable and wet a place as I could imagine.  My nightmares came true, the move request hadn't been enough to impress anyone, and I was riding a beat.  

I'd been paired up with the meanest, ugliest, Ork son of a bitch you could imagine for an FTO, and on the rare instance he wasn't calling me a worthless piece of shit rookie, it was only to call me a dandelion eater, instead.  

Right.  'Cause growing up meta in Texas hadn't been crappy enough, y'know?  

They've got to lump Zeke and I together because we're metahumans, but he's the biggest bigot I've ever met.  The asshole hated everyone.  Cops younger than him for being so stupid.  Cops older than him for not aging like Orks do.  Orks for giving his metaspecies a bad name.  Other metaspecies for being gay, or short, or ugly, or pretty.  Mages for being weirdos.  SURGElings for being freaks.  Straight people for breeding and crowding up his city, gay guys for all eye-fucking him too much, lesbians for not eye-fucking him enough.  You name it, Zeke hated it.  

It was my fourth night of listening to him bitch and insult me while he drove us from rainy crime scene to rainy crime scene.  Our Americar -- two metas without a sergeant stripe between 'em, what, you thought we got a nice new car? -- pulled up outside a murder scene, our second or third of the night.  Homicide was already on the scene, but they wanted some more flashing lights and helmeted heads to keep crowds back, start questioning neighbors, and make sure the media saw just how damned hard Lone Star was working to keep the streets safe.  We weren't in the nicest part of Downtown, and the more uniforms on-scene, the better.  The officer in charge of the scene had even given us the green-light to go ahead and take our Mossbergs with us for the door-to-door if we wanted, to add a sense of authority and just in case the dipshit perp was still around.  

Zeke made it clear to me that if I didn't take my shotgun with me I was a pathetic homosexual vegetarian that fit every stereotype of elvenkind.  He reminded me of my grandpa, just a smidge, the way he spit tobacco juice at my boots while he dared me to disagree with him.

So we're on the fourth floor of the apartments across the street from the vic's body when suddenly all Hell breaks loose out front.  We'd had a few too many sets of mirror shades and parked cars out front, and the local worthless shitbird gangbangers had decided to mistake us for a shooting gallery.  I heard the explosions before anything else.  Automatic fire started echoing off the glass and steel apartments by the time I'd used a straight-armed shove to end an interview with a citizen, and get her proned out behind her couch and far away from her apartment windows.

Zeke is already at the window, cursing into the radio and giving descriptions of the shooters by the time I make up my mind whether or not I'm supposed to apologize to a civilian for throwing her across her own apartment.  Things get eerie for me when I hear the gunfire and screaming in my helmet earpieces, as well as with my own two ears, after a stray burst opened up the windows and sent glass falling everywhere.

A pickup truck full of Troll Killers was out front, all red, green, and ugly, with maybe a half dozen of them in the back of it, unloading top-notch Ares combat guns at everyone they see in a uniform.  It's driving up and down the street, back and forth, ramming and running over whatever it can reach, before it parks and they all really set up a proper firing line.  They've got their faces all painted up, they're shouting metaracial slurs when they're not just laughing and shooting, and right that second I wonder if I've made the right career choice, because there's no way I can be professional and clinical about animals like that, I just hate them.  

People are dying, everywhere.

Every poor bastard officer still on the street is pinned down or bleeding out in the gutter.  Every two or three seconds one of the Troll Killers remembers how to use a secondary trigger, and sends a grenade arcing over to where the officers on the street had taken cover behind their cars.  Some hit, and send a patrol car and two or three cops straight to shit.  Some bounce and skitter away, and catch the civilians that stopped to see the flashing lights and aren't scattering fast enough.  

One of the psychos in the back of the truck is just waving his Alpha around, spraying into the apartment buildings and laughing.  When there's an explosion on the street, he takes it as a challenge and triggers his grenade launcher, too.  He's happy.  He's happy to be just randomly hurting people.

Fucking Tempo.  Fucking Seattle.

Zeke sticks his head and shoulders up and shoulders his Mossberg, sending a steady stream of buckshot down from our window, cursing as his shotgun rocks against his shoulder.  I pitch in, and the two of us race to see who can empty their magazine faster.  We tie, despite his head start.  The angle's bad, we're up too high, and our CMDTs have cheap combat chokes that are shit for long distance shooting.  Between the buckshot scatter and the drugs coursing through the Troll Killers, all we manage it to make a few of 'em stumble and howl at us.  Even with my smartgun hook up, buckshot's just not made for this kind of range.

We get their attention, though.  A scattering of autofire responds, even as the pair of us duck down to reload.  Zeke had told me that every pocket of my Lone Star issue armored jacket had better be full of spare shotgun shells -- he says this on my first night, mind, maybe the second or third sentence out of his mouth, in fact, before I even get his name -- or obviously it was a sign my mother and I had done things to each other that were illegal in the CAS, UCAS, and everywhere decent.

I've thumbed the last round into my underbarrel tube when something besides basic Alpha fire slams into the wall behind us.  The grenade hits low, but the explosion does enough that even a shitty gangbanger's shitty aim is good enough.  You know what they say about horseshoes and hand grenades?  Well, launched ones from a smartgun, too.  Trust me.

A split second after I hear the whump of the launch, I feel Zeke's hands on me, his Ork-strong arms giving me a heave away from the wall.  Then the blast hits.  A mule kicks me in the spine and I go flying without an ounce of air in my lungs.  

My ears won't stop ringing as I try to disentangle myself and my Mossberg from the civilian lady's couch, and taking my helmet off and putting it back on doesn't help the spots leave my vision or make any sense at all.  By the time I can clear my head, take a proper breath and get back to my feet to look around, I realize that Zeke was a lot closer to the point of impact than I was.  He's about half gone, just like the floor and wall of the apartment building.  The place has turned into a mess of red and meat and open air and sharp edges.

I spend about five seconds panicking and wishing I was back at college before the ringing in my ears gives way to two voices.  One is my grandfather, telling me to get my shit together, cowboy up, and stop my crying.  If I don't straighten up and roll on, I'll learn what it's like to get my ass kicked by an old man.  The other voice is my father.  He reminds me that the book is there for a reason.  Manuals are written because they're full of good advice.  Lone Star issues gear because it's valuable.  Remember the academy.  He's proud of me.

I've got to do something.  The radio screams in my ears as other officers die, as Alpha combatguns chatter and send death and grenades everywhere, as civilians get mowed down standing right there right in front of us and we can't do a damned thing to help them.

I pull out the popper Zeke had given me -- right before the shotgun shell "advice" -- my first night.  In Austin, we'd been told that Jazz use wasn't uncommon among high crime patrol officers.  They'd told us that it was to be used in emergencies, to speed up response times and serve as a direct combat force multiplier.  They'd told us that, used in moderation, it provided well trained Lone Star officers with the edge they'd need to waste the beetleheads and Tempo junkies that made us all look bad.

They hadn't told us that it was common for veteran officers with multiple disciplinary black marks and a strong tie to the streets they patrolled -- officers like Zeke, for instance -- to keep emergency one-shot inhalers of Kamikaze, not Jazz, on hand.  Funny story, but Zeke hadn't told me that, either.

My blood turns to fire a half second after the dose hits me.  

It feels like flying.

I'm back at UT, playing Free Safety to earn my way through school.  It's just seconds after a  highlight reel tackle of mine had just stopped the opposing team short on a third down play.  I'm a tiny god.  I'm king of the world.  I'd stuffed their running back before he'd hit the line of scrimmage, hit him so hard his helmet flew off, and knocked their whole offensive team over to their sidelines to make room for special teams.  I am unstoppable.  I'm on fire.  I'm playing the game of my life.  Coach puts me on punt return duty once he sees I'm not tired, and I stand at the far end of the field, seeing the sea of orange t-shirted fans cheering for me, working the turf under my cleats as I wait for their punter to give me my ball.  My ball, that I'm going to run to my end zone as soon as they kick it towards me.  All I need -- all I need in the whole wide world -- is for a few of these guys to block for me, and I'll show every Longhorn fan out there that I'm the king of the stadium.  

I run, I dodge a tackler, juke left, fake to the right in a quick stutter step, put green behind me as I take the punt back the way it came.  An Orkish linebacker with ridiculous shoulders and no neck to speak of is coming at me like a freight train.  I play chicken with him, lower my shoulder, go straight at him and through him.  I'm an Elf, but not that kind of Elf.  I work hard, I eat protein, I lift big, I'm as strong as any motherfucker in my stadium, and I'll show that to them one at a time if I have to.  I carry my football down the field, stiffarm another defensive end and give myself nothing but grass between me and the promised land.  Just to show off, when I hit the goal line I uncoil my legs like springs and launch myself through the air to look good for the cameras.

I hang in the air forever, and think about glory and coeds and working hard to impress my grandpa.  The football breaks the plane of the end zone, and the scoreboard changes as the crowd goes wild.

Touchdown Longhorns!  Touchdown, Hopkins!

My cleats hit the seldom-trod turf of the endzone, and...


...I blink Kamikaze-dilated eyes as I break both my legs and a Troll Killer's skull landing on top of him in the back of their pick up truck, sixty feet down.  And I don't feel a damned thing, when I do.  

I prop my ass up on the tailgate of their crowded pick up as it starts moving again and smoothly shoulder my shotgun just as lazily as if it was a fine summer day.  I'm carefree as a teenager again, with Gramps sneaking me beer and the both of us are shooting whole boxes of clay pigeons out on his property.  

The Mossberg bucks against my shoulder, and I cheerfully shout "pull" as I rack the slide and fire again, and again, and again.  Every squeeze of the trigger sends eight metal pellets, each one an 8.4mm round in and of itself, downrange in a tight cluster.  Grandpa's proud of me.  I'm hitting with every single shot, dead on, and blasting the pigeons to pieces.  I run out of clay pigeons and send the rest of the magazine through the rear window of the truck and into the cab, and when something in there explodes in a blast of red the truck does something crazy and the next thing I know -- whoops! oof! -- the whole world's spinning end over end and then the pavement rises up to hit me like a jerk.

The gunfire's all stopped.  When the first Lone Star officer peeks his head up over the hood of one of the patrol car's that's left, they see me trying to prop myself up on the rear bumper of the wrecked pick-up truck.  I don't feel any pain.  None.  One gloved hand is clawing at the paint to try and pull myself up onto my shattered legs.  

The other hand is in the air, flashing the pinkie-and-forefinger Hook 'Em Horns, and I'm shouting "Woooooooooo" as loud as I can into the rainy, miserable, bitch of the Seattle sky.  They're quick to rush over and take away my shotgun and my sidearm, and have to almost wrestle me down to make me sit still and wait for DocWagon.  I've got six bullets wedged in my vest, and two that penetrated.  I'm coughing blood and laughing about it, while other cops are slapping tranq patches on me like they've got stock in the company.  By the time medevac shows up, I've got a pair of trauma patches on my chest, too, and they're the only things keeping me alive.

Nine officers die in that assault, eleven civilians, with over triple that wounded.  Me?  My record gets an update to show kills on seven Troll Killers, one with a three-story dropkick and six with perfect head shots.  Lone Star makes sure the news reporters focus more on the Ares-manufactured guns and less on the gangbangers being high on Tempo at the time of the attack.  It'll make Damien Knight look bad, and us look good, and that's what really counts.  

I'm a media darling for a full thirty second tridshow spot later that night, from a DocWagon clinic bed.  My old transfer request for a Fast Response Team unit immediately gets the green light, and a commendation appears with words like "initiative" and "gallantry."  Lone Star gives me a sweet deal with a really reasonable interest rate and installment plan on some great new legs, a reaction enhancement package, and a new heart.

And I never, ever, touch a Jazz inhaler again.
« Last Edit: <11-05-10/1442:28> by Critias »

Critias

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« Reply #1 on: <11-03-10/0219:11> »
Just a quickie while I had some time to kill.  Err, okay, I don't really have time to kill.  I've got a hojillion academic projects and a few Shadowrun ones I should be working on, but this tiny little story -- not even a huge part of Nathan "Hop" Hopkins' background -- has been clattering around in my skull and needed out.

There's plenty more Hop to come, if and when I find the time to relax and write for fun.  He's a little more...human...than Rook.  ;)

Patrick Goodman

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« Reply #2 on: <11-05-10/1036:03> »
I like him! Well, except for him being a T-sip, but you can't have it all, I suppose....
« Last Edit: <11-05-10/1438:08> by Patrick Goodman »
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Angelone

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« Reply #3 on: <11-05-10/1113:54> »
Ouch, that's gotta sting... His issues have issues.
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« Reply #4 on: <11-05-10/1412:33> »
Very discriptive, provokative writing. I will definitely take more than a few pointers from your style sir!
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Critias

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« Reply #5 on: <11-05-10/1544:44> »
My physical therapist was impressed, and my nurses relieved, when I was discharged three days ahead of schedule.  I've always been pretty tough, pretty strong, and recovering from injuries and surgeries is something that -- luckily -- has stuck with me over the years.  Clinic policy had me wheeled out the door in a wheelchair, but as soon as I was on the sidewalk I sprang to my feet and stretched.  Never quite as tall as most elves, but always built more sturdily and powerfully, I still reach an impressive height compared to the blond that'd wheeled me out.

"See?  I told you the extra pudding pops would speed recovery."  I shot my nurse a wink, spinning to face her.  When I hadn't been flirting with them, I'd been demanding extra food.  I'd never gone hungry in my life, but it wasn't for a lack of trying;  my grandpa used to joke that he'd had a suprathyroid gland implant snuck into me when I was a baby.  "Now if only I could get that number from you, for follow-up visits and..."

"Sponge..."

"Baths?"

She was gone before I finished the sentence.  Oh well.  You can't win 'em all, right?  She was obviously a lesbian.  I don't let her dismissal keep me down, spinning on my new heel to face the wide Seattle street, standing in a rare ray of sunshine as the clouds overhead got parted by some mysterious hand.  

I had a new heart.  Stronger, even, than my last one.  It started as a cloned replacement from the tissue samples kept on-file, fixing up my ol' ticker from the Alpha round that had introduced itself to my right ventricle.  Lone Star gave DocWagon the green light to give me an upgrade, not just a replacement, of my cardial tissue, and when they'd sewn me back up I had stronger muscle tissue grafted on, increasing capacity and cardiovascular performance.  

I had a section of my spinal column removed and replaced by an expert system, enhancing my reaction times with a model not wholly unlike those used in fighter jet fly-by-wire programs.  Standard issue for a SWAT guy was the more basic Wired Reflexes package, but -- as I'd, perhaps, mentioned to my nurses a time or two -- I was going Fast Response Team, not SWAT, and we did things our own way over in FRT.  The system I'd had installed made me just as quick, but came with some extra goodies like a middle-tier skillwires system.  Part of my physical therapy had focused on integrating skillchips with my regular recovery exercises, and so far I was loving it.

And most noticeably, Lone Star had given me new legs.  They were awesome!  I hadn't opted for the synthskin covering because it felt like a lie, and besides, the color scheme options were fantastic.  I'd gone for a black polymer plating contrasted with a brushed chrome, and every time I glanced down it was like looking at a pair of two-tone guns.  My legs were stronger than before, and had subtle hydraulics implanted to increase mobility and absorb up to 40% of an impact from leaping and falling.  Response time in the artificial limbs had been set to match my new increased move-by-wire implant, and when they'd let me play with a Muay Thai skillchip I'd kicked a hole right in the heavy bag in the hospital workout room.  With my legs hidden beneath regular blue jeans and comfortable sneakers, I felt like I had a few years earlier, turning 21 and carrying a concealed handgun for the first time.  Dangerous.  Sneaky.  Ready for anything.

Almost anything.

"And just where the fuck do you think you're going?"  

The voice belonged to a man perhaps twice my age, human, black.  His head was shaved absolutely spear-bald, but he had a sinister little goatee clinging to his chin to make sure he looked evil.  It'd been two days since my release from the DocWagon rehab clinic, and the bellow had caught up to me when I wasn't two paces through the door to the Fast Response Team lockers.

"Uhh, I'm stowing my stuff in my locker."

"I think you mean sir," he guy crossed the distance to me so fast I almost slipped into a combat stance.  He was in my face like one of the Marine drill instructors my grandpa'd told me about.  "Don't you?"

"Sir, I'm stowing my stuff in my locker?"

"I think you mean my locker," he glowered, leaned in close enough I could see that his eyes were augmenting replacements, rings of chrome where an iris should be.  It was like looking at the wrong end of a scope.  "Don't you?"

"I said my lock--"

"Don't you get smart with me, motherfucker!"  He'd just been loud, before.  Now he was outright yelling.  "It's my locker, not yours!  That bag is full of my shit, not yours!  You are mine, not yours!  And you will say 'sir' when you address me, or you will get your ass down on this nasty floor and give me push ups until I get tired!"

I wasn't sure if it still counted as skipping the sir rule if he cut me off, so instead of saying anything in response or dropping to start pushing, I just looked at him rather like a deer in the headlights of a big Chevy truck.

"So, you must be Mr. Hopkins!  I recognize you from the news!"  His tone changed from frothing maniac to mockingly respectful.  He said my name like it was a grand title, and part of me wanted to slug him.  The rest of me was smart enough not to try.  "Gather round, everyone!  We have a genuine celebrity, here!"

Half of them were in PT outfits or combat gear, half were wrapped in towels or in the process of getting dressed.  Every single one of them smirked, crossed their arms, leaned against a locker, or watched the show.  

"Yes, sir."  I could remember the academy's rules for addressing a training officer, when I had to.  "My transfer just went through, and -- "

"His transfer just went through, he says!"  Damn, this guy was loud.  "And, please, Mr. Hopkins.  How long did it take for that transfer to go through?"

"Sir?"

"It's a simple question, Mr. Hopkins.  How long was it, between the time you applied for FORT, and the time you got transfer?"

"Sir...I was..."  Dammit.  "On Patrol for four days."

"Four days!"  He shrieked, voice echoing in the confines of the locker room, eyes wide in mock-amazement.  I couldn't tell if he really was crazy, or if it was just how he talked to keep new guys intimidated.  Either way, it was working.  "Well, damn, Mr. Hopkins.  That must have been a long-as-shit 96 hours you spent out there, huh?  You really earned your spot on this team, didn't you?"

I knew better than to answer.

"Why are you here, Mr. Hopkins?"

"My grandfather was Fast Response, down in Austin.  One of Bannister's originals."  His eyes went wide again, and I nuck in a quick, "Sir."

"Mm-hmm.  But so the fuck what, Mr. Hopkins?  I didn't ask you a God damned thing about your grandaddy, did I?"

"No, sir, I just..."  I bit my tongue, felt myself wanting to take a swing.  Again.  I hadn't seen gramps in four years.  He'd gone South from his ranch outside Austin a few weeks after the car bomb killed his daughter-in-law and only son, and no one had seen him since.  It was a touchy subject for me.  I cleared my throat.  "I was just explaining why I want to be on FORT."

"I didn't ask you why you want to be on FORT, did I?  I asked you why you are."

"Sir, I was top of my class with marksmanship at the Academy."  Saying it like I did, so you could hear the capitalization, showed that I meant the Academy.  Not Baltimore academy, or Milwaukee academy, or even Seattle academy.  Austin.  The first one.  The biggest.  "And the only recruit who beat my time on the confidence course was an adept.  I think I'll serve Lone Star best using my physical abilities to -- "

"Mm-hmm," he said, nodding a little.  "  But how about you answer the fucking question, Mr. Hopkins.  Why are you here?"

He glowered.  The other dozen guys in the room glowered.  I wanted to glower, but was busy sighing.

"Because I killed some Troll Killers."

"Mm-hmm."  He quirked an eyebrow.

"A few weeks ago.  The ambush outside the Yeltzen murder scene."

"Mm-hmm?"  The eyebrow stayed quirked.

"I...counter-ambushed the Troll Killers, took them out with my duty weapon, and ended the assault."

"You mean you jumped out a window, almost killed yourself, and shot them all point blank with your CMDT, right?"

"Sir, I...yes."

"And why'd that happen?"

"Because I thought it would be the best way to immediately end the..."

"Uh-uh, Mr. Hopkins.  Don't you try to lie to me, now."  His eyebrows lowered, came together in a glare.

"The CMDT's limited effective range due to buckshot is a major design flaw, and from my position in the apartment I couldn't..."

He glowered.

"Because I was blasted out of my head on Kamikaze."

"There we go!"  His angry face split in a white-toothed grin, all sunshine and cheer.  "So your keebler ass got wasted on drugs in the middle of your first firefight, and you jumped that keebler ass out a hole in the wall, right?"

"..."

"Yeah, that's right.  See?  Sounds a whole lot more stupid than the official report, doesn't it?"  He nodded, answering his own question.  "So, that CMDT.  That buckshot issue.  Why is that?"

"Sir?"

"You were complaining about the effective range of your weapon, right?  Please."  He swept an arm around the locker room full of veteran Lone Star shooters.  "Enlighten the rest of the class."

"Sir, there's a design issue with the Mossberg CMDT.  It's got a lighter chamber design, aluminum and polymers instead of steel, compared to most 12 gauges."

"And?"

"And it can't handle magnum loads.  Birdshot, buckshot, that's about it.  No specialty ammo, no slugs, nothing overpowered, or the chamber blows up in your face."

"And?"

"And...uhh...and given the limits of even modern choke designs, and even a good pattern on the shot, that's why the range is limited?"

He glowered.

"And that's why the range is limited, sir."

"I see.  And why is their chamber so much lighter, Mr. Hopkins?"

"To enable the shotgun to fire more quickly.  Lighter parts, a modified ramp and loading set up, streamlined extractors, all work together to let the gun cycle more quickly than most shotguns.  Sir."

"Mm-hmm.  And after you got high on Kamikaze and threw yourself out a window, Mr. Hopkins, how did you fire your Mossberg?"

"I..."  Fuck.  "...apparently I'd flipped the switch to shut off the blowback cycling, and was operating it manually via the pump.  Sir."

"So you left the Mossberg CMDT with all its flaws concerning range and ammunition availability, and none of its strengths concerning rate of fire?"

"Something like that, yes sir."

"So you got your keebler ass high on Kamikaze, you threw yourself out a window and got all jacked up in the process, you took enough hits to die twice in the back of your DocWagon medevac, you didn't properly utilize your duty weapon, and you then talked our bosses into buying you all new body parts for the ones you broke and an assignment over into the Fast Response Teams, on account of what a fan-fucking-tastic job you did overcoming the weaknesses in that very same duty weapon."  His voice had turned mild.  Casual.  Low.  Dangerous.  "Does that pretty much sum it up, Mr. Hopkins?"

"Zeke told me it was Jazz, sir."

"Zeke told you it was...motherfucker, that all you got to say?"

"Does it matter?"

"Not particularly!  Now you smartin' up, huh?"  He leaned in real close, again.  "Now that you understand our misgivings at your dumb ass being sent here to work with us, let me explain something to you.  I don't give a fuck about your academy scores.  I don't give a fuck about your confidence course times.  I don't even give a fuck about that truck full of dumb ass Tee-Kay's you wasted.  You've got aggression, and that's good.  You've got initiative, and that's good."

He looked me straight in the eyes with his chrome rings, unblinking.

"But if your rookie ass does a damned thing that gets another one of my men hurt, I will snuff you out like a candle and file the paperwork up as a training accident.  You understand me?"

How the Hell do you answer that?  

"Sure, sir,  now move aside." I tilted my head down a bit, accentuating our height difference.  "You're between me and my locker."

His eyes widened a little, and he let out a sharp little laugh.  Like a hyena about to tear out my throat.

"I'm Sergeant Simms.  Welcome to FORT.  Get suited up, Hopkins.  Live fire training exercise in five."

Well.  There I was.  All my dreams comin' true...

"Wait a sec," I stopped with my locker open, navy blue duffel slung into it.  I turned and hollered after him.  "You're just a sergeant?!  What the fuck was with all that sir crap?"

He just kept sauntering away, lifting one hand to cheerfully flip me off as he, laughing, left the locker room.
« Last Edit: <11-06-10/0319:15> by Critias »

Patrick Goodman

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« Reply #6 on: <11-05-10/1613:49> »
Samuel Jackson or Avery Brooks?
Former Shadowrun Errata Coordinator

Angelone

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« Reply #7 on: <11-05-10/1630:22> »
Definitely Samuel Jackson, I'm waiting for the miracle line. Critias you are one hell of a writer.
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Crimsondude

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« Reply #8 on: <11-05-10/1641:00> »
The other hand is in the air, flashing the pinkie-and-forefinger Hook 'Em Horns, and I'm shouting "Woooooooooo" as loud as I can into the rainy, miserable, bitch of the Seattle sky.
Yes.

Yes.

A million times yes. Good old Texas boy.

Samuel Jackson or Avery Brooks?
Crit won't use Brooks. He's already taken.
« Last Edit: <11-05-10/1642:59> by Crimsondude »

Critias

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« Reply #9 on: <11-05-10/1708:21> »
Glad folks like it so far.  I'm not sure what's wrong with me, in that writing is how I cope with being stressed and tired from...writing.   ???

But it's fun, and I like Hop.  Honestly, I've got at least a novel-length story arc for him all mapped out in my head.  If I thought SR had much of a chance of releasing actual novels any time soon, I'd probably shut up and stop writing about him on the forums...but as it is, I figure I might as well unwind this way, give folks something fun to read, and trust in the fact that I have a million other characters and story ideas for if/when Shadowrun gets back into fiction publishing.

hazmat the monstar

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« Reply #10 on: <11-05-10/1753:47> »
This is good work critias. fun to read, and idea provoking. I understand writing to deal with stress. It works.

Patrick Goodman

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« Reply #11 on: <11-06-10/1210:18> »
Crit won't use Brooks. He's already taken.
Well, now you have me by the intrigue glands. I've always thought Avery got ripped off in the category of "Dangerous Bald Black NPCs," but I'm a Trekkie, so I might be biased.

Do tell me (probably in another thread so we can quit derailing this one) about Brooks' part. :)
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Critias

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« Reply #12 on: <11-06-10/1645:54> »
Crit won't use Brooks. He's already taken.
Well, now you have me by the intrigue glands. I've always thought Avery got ripped off in the category of "Dangerous Bald Black NPCs," but I'm a Trekkie, so I might be biased.

Do tell me (probably in another thread so we can quit derailing this one) about Brooks' part. :)
For a long time, an SLer's primary PC was generally likened to Brooks.  Motorfirebox's Mafia-man-turned-freelancer Adept, Italy, was the partner in crime and general best buddy to my long running street sam...so Brooks' likeness is kind of "spoken for" in my Shadowrun imagination.

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« Reply #13 on: <11-06-10/1804:28> »
Besides that, Brooks is the man named Hawk. And Hawk doesn't need to raise his voice ever.

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« Reply #14 on: <11-06-10/1842:05> »
The only true Hawk is Hudson Hawk.
REJOICE! For bad things are about to happen.
la vida no vale nada