NEWS

Summer Storm

  • 13 Replies
  • 3738 Views

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« on: <12-18-12/1238:07> »
Continuing on from events in Freedom I’m dusting off Silk again and starting to tell her story once more.  I will try and make it so that you don’t have to have read the first instalment to understand this one but please let me know if there are gaps or anything that needs explaining…it’s usually easier for someone else to spot!

It will be episodic as I write it up and then I’ll post the full version as a google doc at the end.

Here's the story so far: Freedom

Thoughts, comments and suggestions very welcome.  If there’s a particular scene you’d like to see I’m always open to new inspiration!

By way of some background material here are the links to the Balefire runners’ character sheets that are in varying stages of completeness.  These haven’t been updated to the events in this story yet, that’s just one more little job I need to get to at some point:
<<Silk>>
<<Bale>>
<<Requiem>>
<<Riptide>>
<<Opium>>

Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #1 on: <12-18-12/1238:43> »
Summer Storm

[Wednesday August 17th, 2072; Silk's Apartment, University District, Seattle]

Silk reengaged the maglock and ensured that the trembler switch was active against the apartment door. The house node spoke in its reassuringly deep tones as the AR wall feeds lit up in a display of the Seattle skyline at dusk, the sun dipping behind the looming bulk of the Arc.

“Welcome home Ana. There have been no security alerts. You have no new messages. You have twelve news items flagged for your attention.”

“Thank you”

She could still smell the coffee in her nostrils, at least the coffee house used the good stuff rather than the bitter soy substitutes. It had been a good shift but she was glad to be back home so that she could get on with some of the important things she had scheduled for the evening. She threw her jacket down onto the futon and slipped the taser out of her purse and put it down on the kitchen counter where she could reach it easily.

The apartment was small and spartan, two rooms and a cubby hole bathroom unit, and it was only the AR feeds beamed directly to her visual cortex that prevented the place feeling claustrophobic. A faint waft of scent drifted from the air con unit that kept the stale city air at bay.

Leaving her uniform strewn across the bed she slipped into the shower and let the tepid water wash away her day self and bring out Silk, ready to face the night and the tasks ahead. With a gesture she brought up a representation of her call log and with the water cascading through the rippling imagery marvelled at how common place such beautiful things had become.

Once finished her ablutions she dressed herself in a loose tee shirt and jeans and then reverently slipped her newest acquisition from its hiding place in her bedroom wall. A custom Caliban, worth more than a year’s rent on this place and far more than she should be able to afford as a student, the casing seemed to absorb the dim led lighting without a reflection.

The skinlink interfaced more smoothly than anything she had ever used before and she was already browsing the ‘trix feeds as she slid down onto the futon. Dimly she wondered about eating something but then dismissed the thought...that could wait.

The matrix unfurled before her virtual vision...a wild landscape that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the heath lands of Brittany or Cornwall. Outcroppings of weather-beaten granite dotted the steep grass strewn hillsides, windblown trees outlined against an unnatural silvery sky.

After the last few weeks it was a relief to have a moment to rest.  Balefire’s fortunes had taken a dip recently and all the runs they had performed had had unforeseen complications.  Whilst that should be expected, they were runners after all and unforeseen was their stock in trade, Silk had a niggling feeling that there was more to it than that.  It didn’t help that Requiem had been off doing his own thing in Chicago, she had missed his stoic presence and the reassurance of his lethal skill.

She made her way down towards the dell, her silken dress flowing out behind her making an audible swish against the grass. The pool is calm and still, at first reflecting back only the sky and the engraved standing stone portal on its shore. Silk knelt, gestured, and the pool changed to show the tagged news articles in its deep waters. Mercenary movements, AI rumours, the latest gadgets, an eclectic mix of data for her to peruse.

At last, satisfied that there was nothing here related to her real search, she stood and moved to the portal: a representation of the Caliban’s access to the net. Tracing the Celtic knot work she watched as it unravelled under her fingers and flowed outwards as far as her eye could see. Satisfied that any trace programs would have a hard time tracking her back here she stepped into the centre of the maze and flew out into the matrix proper.

She was standing on an outcropping overlooking a violent sea, her skirts snapping in the sudden gusts. She sent out a siren call that she knew her friend would hear...

<<@Aria: Do you want to come and play?>>

She came flashing out of the digital sea like a comet. Resolving into a little girl with impossibly long bright hair spinning before her gaze.

"I have a spare moment or two, where would you like to go? Not on your quest though, you need to rest for a bit..."

"So you say" Silk couldn’t keep the smile out of her voice "Let’s explore the Puyallup periphery, see how far the web extends today? The wild lands on the edge are always interesting!"

So saying she dove from the cliff top towards the churning waves...

Silk and Aria spent fifteen to twenty minutes skirting the edges of the wifi mesh in Puyallup, an eternity in the speed of thought rates of the VR world. Silk leading, they dipped into the poorly protected systems to scope the system architectures...never stopping for paydata, that wasn’t the purpose; although the systems were sparse there was an element of free expression here in the sculpting that the corps often couldn’t match.

One group in particular drew their attention, the hacker gang that Silk and Balefire had helped earlier in the year, fre∑dom...who seemed to be keen to establish their influence on this part of the grid. Given the lack of tech in this part of the barrens it was obvious that they had several ‘mancers with them to create such high level iconography. Their intuitive manipulation of the ‘trix rendered the deck heads like Silk obsolete in many ways...thankfully she had her other Gifts to offset their mastery of the digital world.

Silk briefly considered heading out to the Stillwater grid, their node was intoxicating, but the thought of running a satellite didn’t appeal at the moment. Perhaps she would head out there in person in a few days, braving the dangers of the other barrens for a taste of that pure UV and to reinforce her connections with the Wolf Pack.  It had been too long since she had seen her initiatory group and she didn’t want them to think that she was neglecting them.

Sensing that Aria had other concerns for this night’s exploits Silk waved goodbye to her friend...

“Thanks! I needed to get out of the house for a while. I’m going to head down to FL and check on that back door while my Fetch continues its scans”

Aria smiled at her, her grin mischievous but her words of caution anything but

“Be careful, they may not have found it yet but it won’t last forever!”

“I’m always careful but something is telling me I need to be there tonight...there’s always a chance that the data will float to the surface eventually...I need to know who hired those bastards...it’s a long shot after so much time but if it’s anywhere surely it’ll be in there?”

Engaging her reality filter once more Silk stepped back onto the wind blasted heath. At the cost of some additional speed she routed her signal through an additional anonymizer server...the back door facilitated ease of access and she would have to rely on stealth to avoid detection, but this was an extra precaution that seemed prudent given the number of times she had penetrated this particular node. She didn’t class herself among the great hackers of this world but with a little help there was much she could achieve...

A gleaming white horse came at her beckon and, hair streaming behind her, she raced the wind towards the Fort Lewis grid and the Deep Watch servers. Hopefully the hidden access that Aria had installed for her was intact...

***

The node was a bleak and soulless place…to be expected of a merc company that was prepared to attack the Stillwater community and carry out assassinations of civilians, even if they had been shadowrunners.  Corporate greed and ‘just following order sir’ did not absolve the individual soldiers of their responsibilities but Silk knew that chasing them down would be futile.  She needed to find out why the hell they had attacked and who had sent them!

There was a stutter as she began to search for their hidden client databases and she briefly regretted the extra route through the Cairo grid.  Her reality filter was holding up to the servers own sculpting but the edge that it gave her was wearing thin.  The winter woodland whipped snow and frozen leaves around representing the system searching for her presence and she pulled the fur lined cloak of the stealth program further around her to ward off the drizzle. 

She looked up from the reflective pool that she was searching for answers as a grinding crash echoed through the otherwise still woods.  Perhaps there was a reason why the node was so empty of other users.  Rising from her knees she walked deeper into the wood, cresting a small mound she looked out over the forest.  She could see trees whipping wildly and then crashing to the ground…it was almost as if something was taking the node apart from within.

Calling Herne to her she leapt onto the back of the gleaming white stallion and raced down the hill as dissected leaves and branches flashed past her.  She detected fragments of paydata in this maelstrom and she frantically set her link to record what it could, there was simply too much information here for her to hope to get it all…perhaps she could glean enough.

There was something shredding the node architecture, a something that her reality filter was translating as a wyrm of gargantuan size.  It looked like the place was being taken apart at the seams...Ares were obviously coming in to clean the house! She had been here several times in the last few months and sifted through the archives until it was dangerous to stay but this shakeup perhaps represented her best chance of finally getting some solid intel.

The wyrm came up against a dryad type figure, an archivist program by the looks of it, and it shredded her without slowing.  Silk shuddered at the bloody scene before her...the drawbacks of running hot were that everything was more visceral and intense and when sculptors were determined to shock then it could be unsettling.

Ensuring that her cloaking program was intact she set her browse routine to search for Stillwater, Mother or Balefire and cast the net out into the rapidly deforested plain.

Silk also made a mental note to scan any data she stirred from the depths for viruses or data bombs; just because Ares were throwing it out, didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be protection on the sensitive data that they had acquired...

There was a pattern here, something in the way the algorithms were targeting the data and she could feel her magic struggling to analyse it in ways that her link wasn’t able to.  She forcibly shunted the thoughts away for now, the node was too unstable for her to get lost in the details and she needed to focus, there would be time later…hopefully.  The destruction was efficient, data being overwritten with alarming speed leaving fragmentary clues about the original files…

… there’s no time left! Silk knew she’d have to take some risks to get the intel now, risks should would normally never have considered…she briefly cursed the fact that she had slowed her response times so much by routing through the proxies – it didn’t look like this node was going to be online for long enough for anyone to run a trace – the wonders of hind sight…

<<Herne: Attack protocol, intercept the wyrm agent>>  and her glowing stallion lowered its head and morphed into a stupendous stag with a rack of antlers that glittered with lethal attack code.  He wouldn’t last that long against an agent of the power that this one had but it would buy Silk precious seconds to chase down the data before this node collapsed under the weight of fragmented code.

As he dashed forwards to engage she slipped along the wyrm’s flank and began to probe the structure of the beast.  There had to be some telltale in its programming, something that could tell her what its targeting priorities were.  That data had to mean something.

Silk felt the powerful flanks beneath her heave as the agent pursued some once valuable piece of data. Damn it, she hated feeling rushed, not in control...the patterns were spiralling crazily and she longed for a moment to just contemplate them...

...there was too little time! She needed to glean as much paydata from the behemoth before it finally decided it didn't like its new limpet addition...

...reaching to the beast, her browse utility, a gossamer thread of a gold celtic broach, unwove itself, burying microfibre fine strands of metal into the whirling agent...to find a log, a list of the data it had corrupted perhaps? Surely whoever set this thing off would want to know that the job was being completed?

There…wait, no, nooo… the world went into a dizzying spiral as the node shutdooooown…

***

She woke from a bad dream in a cold sweat, her body aching from where she had slumped over the pillows on her futon.  Her mind was full of images of the junior techie that she had shot in the Sintec facility when Balefire went in to rescue the technos.  She was haunted by the look in his eyes as the bullets struck home and not for the first time she regretted giving up the pacifist principals she had tried to adhere to before her mother was killed.

Groaning she sat up and her link dropped from her lap…she hadn’t been asleep, groggily she rubbed her eyes.  She’d not really experienced dumpshock before and it wasn’t something she wanted to repeat in a hurry, particularly if it was always this severe.   Riptide had been right about the risks, but it was hard to give up the intoxicating lure of the virtual.

The techie’s face flashed up again and this time she recognised it as her brain’s attempt to grab her attention.  So if it wasn’t a dream why was she seeing it again?  After a quick diagnostics run on her link she powered it back up and began to sift through the bytes of data…there, there it was…!
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #2 on: <02-22-13/1206:23> »
[Wednesday August 17th, 2072; Silk's Apartment, University District, Seattle]

Silk wasn’t sure how she her subconscious brain had managed to sift all those random bits of data and find the pattern but she certainly wasn’t going to ignore it.  The data was fragmented and she would need to extrapolate some of it but it certainly fit…

Settling into the calm VR environment of her node she methodically began to sort the information, letting her mind drift so that her gift would form the intuitive links that it was so good at.

Project Mindset, it even sounded like a corper’s idea of a sinister operations name.  The data suggested that it had been a project outside Deep Watch, they had simply been the knife wielded to complete some of the objectives.  Silk needed a lead on the hand rather than the knife. 

Ares had either sanctioned the project and then stomped on Deep Watch when things hadn’t gone according to plan, or they’d been affected by it in some way and in typical draconian fashion had expunged their rival and sold off its assets.  She didn’t yet know which was the more likely and Silk privately hoped that she wasn’t setting herself up to take on Ares; that would be an exercise in extreme futility.  Then again this had the hallmarks of a major corp operating through proxies to preserve its rep, just on a larger scale than the typical shadowrun.  So eventually there would probably be a behemoth that Silk couldn’t hope to bring down.  But she had no intention of giving up, perhaps there was a slim chance that the truth would do some damage…

Whatever had been rampaging through the Deep Watch servers had caused significant corruption to the data but names and dates jumped out at Silk…Tracing a stray file header to a piece of reconstituted email Silk began to piece together something of what this was about.  This had to have something to do with her mother’s death; it was too much of a coincidence that she had been targeted at the same time by the same people.  The names and dates corresponded with reports of disappearing persons, fractured families and businesses chewed up and spat out; a string of seemingly unrelated disappearances that Silk had come across while hunting the ‘trix for solid information.  The lovely euphemism ‘being removed from circulation’ seemed to imply that these people were silenced permanently or else handed over to places like SinTec for whatever experimentation the mad docs could conjure up.

Suddenly her link warned her of an intrusion attempt and she turned to face a white, waistcoated rabbit swinging a pocket watch in her general direction.  Before she could even think about bouncing it out of her node it began to gabble a message at her in a breathless voice, its whiskers twitching frantically as Herne’s antlers swung down towards it.

“Summer needs to see you, here [node link], she says you have found it but that she can tell you what it means”

“What what means?  Wait, damn…” the rabbit had whisked itself back out of her node and a quick check showed that the bloody thing had even rewritten the access log so she had no way to trace it.

Summer and her games again, the meddling techno had given them solid intel that led them to rescue her kindred from Sintec a couple of months ago but that didn’t make Silk feel any better about being led about by the nose.

With a sigh Silk resigned herself to this meeting and composing herself she reached out into the virtual environment and sped towards the node that the rabbit had dropped into her lap.
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #3 on: <02-22-13/1208:06> »
Sorry it has taken so long to continue this, I've been overcommitting myself to long pbp threads on the DS forum  :o...I've put up a little bit above to hopefully whet some appetites for the story.

Any comments gratefully received!
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #4 on: <03-21-13/1329:37> »
[Wednesday August 17th, 2072; Unknown Matrix Node, Seattle]

Silk stepped out into a confused mess of iconography as her reality filter struggled against the inherent node architecture.  Giving it up as an impossible task she unloaded the program to find herself on a black and white chequered path leading through a crazy garden.  Ahead of her the rabbit bounded into a hole in the bank under a twisted old oak tree. 

Herne appeared beside her in none of his usual guises, instead adopting the two dimensional image of a playing card knight.  Glancing down at herself she was relieved to see that she wasn’t also a card.  She’d been rendered in some sort of antique courtier’s garb with subtle silvery spade symbols woven into the heavy shot silk.

Bending down by the rabbit hole she brushed aside the whispering flowers to peer into the depths.  Half expecting it she looked up into the branches of the tree at a sudden purring sound and the faint scritch of a cat’s claws as it kneaded the bark of the oak.  There was nothing there beyond the faint hint of a smile lingering in the air.

“You can go in you know?”  Great!  Down the rabbit hole…!

And she plunged into a vortex of the wireless link to who knows where.  The sense of falling lasted an eon in matrix time so it might represent a satlink somewhere, although the last time she had seen Summer it had been in the flesh here in Seattle.  Maybe it was just part of the Alice illusion, she would just have to see if there was an inviting cake waiting for her at the end inscribed “eat me”…

She landed with a gentle bump to find herself in a pleasant garden room with Alice herself, or rather Summer.

“You came? Thank you, I wasn’t sure if you would, I just knew that it was important that you did”

“Can we not talk in riddles please?” Silk responded in an exasperated tone.  It hadn’t been quite this bad when she’d had dealings with this strange matrix oracle before and if she could reign in the weirdness before Summer got into her stride then she stood a good chance of understanding what this odd little girl was going on about.

“You found it then, the key to the next step?  To your next step…Aria will be pleased”

“Aria?” Silk interrupted, “she knew about all this?  Whatever this is…you still haven’t told me.  Is it the Mindset files?”

“I don’t know what it is; I just see the pivotal moments, follow the patterns in the Resonance to predict the outcomes and sometimes adjust them.  This one leads you to where you need to go.”

“And where the hell is that?”

“I don’t know yet.  Aria probably does, but then she’s known about this for years.”

“Years?  I need some answers!  If you can’t give them to me why did you drag me here?  I’m not sure I can wring the answers out of Aria but I’m bloody well going to try!”

For a moment Summer/Alice went still, presumably as she did her thing, reading the Resonance or whatever it was, giving Silk a moment to marvel at this matrix place she’d been brought to.  The sculpting wasn’t quite UV level, that would have been an unforgettable experience, but it wasn’t far off.  She could feel the faint brush of air from the open doors to the garden and smell the heady mix of impossible scents.

“Mindset…” and she shivered “they were hunting my kind.  I know that’s nothing new, stories are coming out even outside the shadows now.  Why this one is so important to you…” and she shrugged.  “But maybe you are just a catalyst for what is coming.  The darkness is looming and I have a feeling that you are tied into that.  Or perhaps it would be fairer to say that Aria has tied you into that…”

“Aria’s just a hacker that used to run with my Mum and her team…” but as soon as she said it she knew there was more to it than that.  Bale might know more, at least he was close to his brother, they might have discussed who Aria was.

“You still haven’t really told me why you brought me here!”

“Perhaps to send you back to Aria now that you know?  I’m not given clear instructions you know, I have to interpret what I see.  Don’t worry, it’s more than educated guesswork, what I do has a real effect on the world.  Whether you like it or not you are dancing to the strings she is pulling, perhaps you always have been, but rest assured, it is important.  Possibly even earth shatteringly so.”

“That all sounds a bit melodramatic…”  to which Summer could only shrug again.  Frag!  “Ok, I’ll go and badger Aria and leave you to whatever it is you are doing down here…following the patterns.  I can appreciate reading patterns, we might even have something in common!”

Time to find out what this earth shattering destiny was that Aria had cooked up for her.  She couldn’t help feeling sceptical, she had a gift and she wasn’t a bad runner but she was under no illusions about the scale of her actions and what they represented for the world at large.  Then again wasn’t there a saying about small stones and ripples on a pond…?
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #5 on: <03-21-13/1330:55> »
Another snippet...I know I'm beginning to lunge towards world shaking stuff which probably wouldn't be the fare of most runners but then what the hell, Silk's my character and there's nobody to GM for her so I can do what I want :D
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #6 on: <05-22-13/1237:47> »
Well it's been a long time coming but here's the next installment:
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #7 on: <05-22-13/1238:01> »
[Wednesday August 17th, 2072; Citadel Game Matrix Node, Seattle]

Silk ignored the gatekeeper agent and the throngs of gamers as she stepped into the entry node for the Citadel.  Normally she would have paid some attention to the plethora of icons flowing through this impressive virtual space or the whirling planar orrery above her head but she was in no mood to be awed today.  Summer’s words flashed though her mind and Silk still felt inclined to dismiss them as the ramblings of an addled techno but she knew better.  There had to be some truth to all of this and she was determined that Aria wouldn’t wriggle out of telling her what was happening.  She stoked her anger with the knowledge that Aria had been manipulating her for years now.  Whilst she hadn’t been presumptuous enough to class herself as a true friend of the whimsical matrix wizard she was certain they went beyond mere acquaintances.  Aria had been her mother’s friend and that must count for something…

Using the back door code that Aria had given her for just such a purpose Silk stepped into a private node somewhere buried deep in the game code.  The system architecture where she emerged was stunning, the resolution cranked up so high that it could almost pass as a UV host…almost.  Silk was standing on a ledge overlooking some immense underground cavern.  On the floor of the cave below her stretched a dark city but it was the walls that caught her attention.  The symbols carved into them pulsed with a strange light and the symbols themselves seemed to defy you to look at them, almost twisting out of sight.  The effect was unnerving and Silk wondered at the nature of this game zone and the strange mind that must have created it.

As Silk’s mind tried to absorb the patterns she saw she almost didn’t notice the three figures that materialised before her.  Aria was in the centre, her petite icon looking like a glowing child of no more than eight.  An illusion, like everything else on the matrix, but Silk knew it had made fools underestimate her in the past.  To her left was Summer in her Alice apparel, great, so she had run on ahead to warn Aria.  The third was someone she didn’t recognise.  Someone who looked ill at ease to be here at all, their movements jerky and uncoordinated, almost as if they weren’t completely in sync with their icon.  The icon itself was that of an old hooded man with sunken features that drew attention to the sharp blue eyes.

A little disconcerted to have a welcoming committee when she had anticipated confronting Aria alone, Silk opted to strike hard and fast in the hopes that she wouldn’t come across as off-balance as she really was.  Addressing Aria directly she pointedly ignored the other two for now,
“Aria.  I want some answers this time!  What is Mindset, and what has it got to do with me, and what has it got to do with Mum’s death?”

Aria quirked an eyebrow and smiled but the smile was sadder than her usual mischief laden grin.

“Silk, you’ve been expected for a long time…” she nodded briefly in Summer’s direction, “you have proven that you are more than capable, but understand that the answers you want couldn’t have just been dropped into your lap, we needed you to work for them…” she held up a hand and Silk bit back her response.  “You have grown greatly in the last few months, more rapidly than you would have done without the drive to find the truth.  Those skills are needed!

Someone has been interfering with our plans for years.  Summer has told us that you are a nexus around which events will unfold that will allow us to find who this person is and prevent them from derailing the plan any more than they already have.”

“The plan? What plan?” Silk retorted angrily “You make it sound is if my fate is predetermined…what makes you think I’m going to just go along with all this?  And you still aren’t telling me anything…!”

“Whilst there are some things that will happen in this cycle, nothing is predetermined.  Summer has told you that she only sees probabilities.  We do not understand her gift ourselves in full but that will not prevent us from seeking every advantage we can.”

“Riddles, ambiguities, please Aria, can’t you just tell me?!”

It was the old man who answered, his icon flickering as he spoke.  His voice was soft and mellifluous, lulling the mind in a way that should not have been possible here on the matrix,

“Not everything, no, there are secrets here, dangerous ones.  Your mother paid for her involvement and you are too valuable for that to be your fate.  We only suspect why your mother was targeted, you still need to find that truth for yourself.  There is a darkness approaching this world, you might ask yourself when is there not, but there are works in motion to guard against this one.  These technomancers will play a part in the plan, a plan others want to see fail, or at least be rewritten to fit their own agendas.  There are powerful factions here that we need to dance around; some might even help us in their own way. 

We think that Mindset is a tool by one of those factions to mask their involvement.  The corps are merely another pawn in this great game, although perhaps a rook might be a more appropriate analogy, for they are not without power.  But their power is ephemeral compared with what is coming…”

Silk interrupted, wincing inwardly at her rudeness but masking that with anger, anything to conceal the growing knot of worry that these people might not be as insane as they sounded.  She was better with people than this but in the artificial world of the matrix her natural ability to read the Patterns was reduced as they were filtered through a program suite…

“And who are you!”

“I have many names, more titles, but for you I am simply the Old One.”

“Your one of those?  The elves that everyone’s heard whispers about?  Born before the Awakening?”

“No child.  I am older by far.”

Shit, did he mean that he was a dragon?  That might account for the problems with his matrix interface, but surely they wouldn’t be as concerned with other factions…other dragons?

“We three are a representation, I of the past, the one you call Aria of the present, and Summer of the future.  A balance for the Plan…”

An idle thought crossed Silk’s mind, shouldn’t he be the Crone, and if so did that make Aria or Summer the maiden?  Silk was glad to see that Summer at least looked as uncomfortable with all this as she felt!  She was beginning to flounder and she didn’t like the sensation one little bit.  She silently cursed these creatures that lurked in the shadows and manipulated people to their own ends.  She wasn’t naive enough to believe that wasn’t the way of the world, particularly for shadowrunners, but it was very different to be confronted with it in this way.

Whilst the Old One spoke Silk received a private message from Summer that flitted across her view of the node

“I am sorry for this!  I wanted to tell you more but Aria insisted that you had to find out the hard way…I guess she has helped you from the shadows but the work had to be yours.  I am sorry about your mum too, she sounds like quite a lady, I wish I could have known her.”

It was unexpected being spoken to this way and Silk felt a small glimmer of kinship with this strange technomantic oracle.  She could only be all of fourteen and probably  felt as out of her depth as Silk did.

Finally Aria spoke again

“We have analysed what you found on the Mindset program.  It’s fragmentary but a name has jumped out of us, a name we had previously dismissed.  Captain Stern led the Deepwatch mercenaries on the attack on Stillwater on the same night that you mother was attacked.  It seems that his background has been fabricated, cleverly buried amidst a wash of noise, the Mindset file shows that.  He is a consultant for Ares now which should have alerted us to his importance.  We suggest you speak to him…”
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Dinendae

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1340
« Reply #8 on: <05-27-13/0209:21> »
Any comments gratefully received!





Loving the story!  :D
« Last Edit: <05-27-13/2234:05> by Dinendae »

Hellion

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
« Reply #9 on: <05-27-13/1856:36> »
I love both stories a lovely read just before going to sleep.... Can't wait for the next tidbit
Its not the victors who write the history books, its the suvivors

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #10 on: <06-10-13/1348:48> »
Glad they're being enjoyed :)

Will have to see what I can do about speeding up the next instalment!
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Hellion

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
« Reply #11 on: <06-10-13/1936:16> »
Well all i can say is good writing shouldn't be rushed so i shall wait patiently for the next installment :D
Its not the victors who write the history books, its the suvivors

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #12 on: <06-14-13/1229:16> »
[Friday August 19th, 2072; Outside Elliot’s, Pier 60, Downtown Seattle]

Silk waited patiently on the roof of the old aquarium building, crouched spiderlike on the rim of the damp gutter whilst being careful not to allow her outline to be visible from the street below.  Although she would normally rely on her active camouflage, at the moment she was enjoying the feeling of the breeze off the Sound and her mask and hood, which would complete the connection, hung loose, allowing the salt air to whisper through her hair.

Her intel had been solid, Captain Stern was inside with a couple of minders.  That he had minders at all spoke of his importance to somebody!  Tonight though they wouldn’t help and Silk was confident that she could disable them before they interfered.  She was nervous about doing this without the rest of the team but also aware that this was hers to deal with.  Bale would have been an asset, and he had a similar vested interest in this, but he was back in the UK following goals of his own.  After the stresses of their recent runs Silk was just as glad to let them all rest, they deserved it.

She had been following Stern as best she could for the last two days and it was clear that he was most vulnerable when on the move.  Whilst she could have confronted him at his home in Bellevue she preferred not to have to circumnavigate a sophisticated security mesh if she didn’t have to.

The car she had tagged as his pulled up outside the restaurant, it would seem he was preparing to leave.  Silk raised the featureless mask to her face, the filtered air slightly metallic after the salt tang.  The hood of the camo suit snugged into place and the ruthenium polymers activated rendering her all but invisible.   Triggering the signal to the autopilot of her waiting Americar, Silk then launched herself into the air, flipped once and was already running as her feet touched gently to the ground.

She allowed her magic to read the timing of the event perfectly and so her foot touched the rear bumper of Stern’s car just as the driver opened the door to Stern and his men as they crossed the pavement from Elliot’s.  The flashbang spiralled lazily from Silk’s palm and into the waiting compartment with barely a pause.  Silk was already in motion again, using the car’s suspension to lift herself off the roof and into the three men as they approached.

The guards were good, they were already reacting, but even their lightly chipped reflexes weren’t enough to pin a clear target on Silk.  Just to make sure she ignited the holoprojectors built into her armour and suddenly the four of them were locked in a dance amidst a swirling maelstrom of colours and ultrasonics designed to through off any audio sensors.

Her telescoping staff took one of the guards in the back of the knee whilst the other end smacked into the temple of his opposite number.  Swinging it round in a blurring arc she slammed the first in the midriff and delivered a massive jolt of electricity from the taser contacts built into the tip. 

Whilst his minders fell apart Stern’s military training had him moving towards apparent safety inside his car, just as the flashbang detonated inside.  The gun he had been drawing scattered to the ground as he sat down abruptly with a dazed look on his face.  Silk slipped the sedative patch onto his neck and hoisted him up by the arm.  As the drugs took effect he came willingly enough in response to Silk’s gently urging voice in his ear.

Still covered by the whirling holo projection Silk bundled them both into her Americar as it pulled up on autopilot.  All told perhaps twenty seconds had passed as they slipped anonymously away.
« Last Edit: <06-15-13/1027:54> by Aria »
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28

Aria

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2195
« Reply #13 on: <06-14-13/1229:39> »
A snippet to keep you all going  ;)
Excel Cha Generators <<CG5.26>> & <CG6.xx> v28