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[5E IC] Stormy waters subcampaign Black Bart (Hell in the plex)

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Black Bart

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« on: (16:04:49/01-25-16) »
    I've been wandering the plex for months now, can't find a place to lay my head without a devil rat gnawing on my horn, or bums trying to steal everything I've got. I got out of the Stajail with a name, well with a SIN. My parents called me Charles, and so that's what I told the cops. It's raining right now and I'm sitting under this overpass wondering if I should just end it. But as I contemplated suicide I felt a strange fondness for my body. Even if I was a troll, with a sawed off horn, and zero cash to claim. Maybe I should try to sleep again...
           Waking up, I looked at my makeshift pots. They were overflowing with water, so I picked one up and eyed it. Rain here is acidic, to many years of smog, and the ozone being torn apart. That's what Caleb always told me. "Don't drink the water unless you can purify it."   Caleb.... I wish I could tell you I was sorry for everything. I set the pot on a small flame and left it to boil. The thing about overpasses is, people throw everything down here. Trash, furniture, food, anything you could think of you might find it down here.
           I rummaged through a pile, I hadn't been to yet. I could see, rats squirming their way through it. Well, not see exactly but I could see small bundles of heat pushing their way around in the pile. Paper, lots of it, yellowed and splotched from rain but, mostly dry. I stuffed it all into a pocket. A baseball, I held it up to the light. I haven't ever actually seen one of these, just on the trid. I put in the pocket with the papers. The pile looked useless, I started to give up on it and saw a gleam. It was buried, but there was a handle, chrome black. It was a handgun. Smaller than the ones the screws at the Stajail wore. I took it back to my fire, to admire it. I threw the paper onto the fire and it slowly, turned to kindle. The gun was something I'd only felt when I was with Caleb. He taught me how to shoot, to reload, and to make sure it was clean. I disassembled it carefully making sure not to lose the springs. I didn't have lube but I made sure the barrel was clean, and I checked to see if everything was in working order. The serials on it had been filed off, and I couldn't tell what kind of gun it was.
           My water started to boil while I was looking at the gun and I rushed to save the remainder. It wasn't great, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't die from it. "What to do" I kept asking myself. The gun didn't have any bullets, and there's no way a shop would sell me bullets. Not that I had any money to buy them anyways. I waited until six; most places around Bellevue were closing. A little Stuffer shack was finishing up though. One employee, taking trash out, walked out the back door, leaving it wide open. I stepped in between him and the door, pointing the pistol at him. "If you scream I'll put a bullet in your skull." His eyes widened, and I could see his temperature rise rapidly. He stood transfixed on the gun, "Now you're gonna come here, and we're gonna talk inside." He didn't move at first, and then the command registered. He put his hands up and put his head down. I pulled him inside, and told him "Take your clothes off, real slow, I get nervous." He started with his shirt, and then undid his belt. I took his belt in hand. He unbuttoned his pants and kicked out of them. He stood awkwardly not knowing to strip all the way down. "Your shoes too" He kicked them off. "Lie on the ground, put your face down; keep your hands behind your back." He looked at me like I was crazy. I punched him in the face, real easy. He fell to the ground; I could hear the slap of his head on the cold linoleum. I tied his hands together with his belt, and searched the store. Finding zip ties, I went back and did his feet, and then hog tied his hands and feet together.
         His temperature was dropping, but he wasn't dead. I searched his pockets, a few paper invoices, a handwritten note with the alarm code, and a wallet. The invoices were useless; the alarm code could be used to alert the police after I was done. The wallet had a few credsticks, pictures, keys, and personal information. I took the SIN card and the credsticks. Hopefully I can find someone to work with these. The pictures, one was a young blonde girl, another was a blue eyed, blonde haired baby, and the last was the three of them together. One happy family... I choked up a bit, looking at something I didn't have.
My friend on the floor groaned, sputtering about the cold. I walked around to where he could see me; again his eyes bulged as he struggled against the ties. I dropped the family portrait in front of him. "Nice family you've got there, it'd be a shame yeah?" His eyes flitted back and forth in his head. "What d-do you wa-want, I'll giv-give you anything, just don't hurt them."  I chuckled, "Listen, if I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. Where's the safe? What’s the code, is it time release, does it send off a signal when opened?"  He relaxed a bit, "I can't, it'll be my job." I sighed, "What's more important, my friend? A few answers, or your blonde and little baby? I have your address; I've got your keys. How bout I give them a visit? He exhaled, "The safes biometric, I can get it open for you but, I can open it for you." I looked at him and told him to hold that thought.
        Being a small store, I just had to turn off the front lights, and turn on the automatic shutters. I rummaged through the store knocking down displays. I found a backpack, and stuffed it with food. A black jacket, the label said 5X, it barely fit, I couldn't zip it up though. I looked for shoes but size 20 shoes are hard to find, underwear and socks were easier to find. I also grabbed a blanket, camping gear and a little flashlight. I was walking back up to the employee room and saw a camera. My face was gonna be plastered on the trid tomorrow, if I didn't do something about it.
        "Tell me about your security system." He looked at me, "Look, I don't know anything about the security system." he exclaimed. Luckily the managers’ office still had a tumbler lock. I strong armed the door, pushing through to the cramped space. A little desktop computer sat on the metal desk. I clicked a few icons, and found the CCTV board. Four cameras, of the eight I saw seemed to work, I played with the controls and found a rewind option. They had all caught me at one angle or another. I played a little more and deleted tonight's footage. I rummaged through the desk and found a little Streetline Special, it however was fully loaded.
         "Now you can tell me again about this safe, and this time if you lie... I don't know where I'll start with your pretty little lady."  I had to put on a hard face, like the one I used in SJ. "It is biometric, but if I open it again it sends a silent alarm to the cops. They’re paid to respond in twenty minutes, but knowing them you might have half an hour." I'd already thought of alerting the police, so that'd change the execution but not the plan. I pulled the ties holding his arms and legs off, and helped him over to the safe. "Now I'm going to have you open the safe, and I'll leave you here. But remember, I know where you live. I know what you, your wife, and your daughter look like. I know where you sleep, and I will find you again if I have to. You can't remember what I looked like, say a small dwarf with red hair and beard. I wasn't wearing blue coveralls and boots. I didn't have an accent. He nodded. "Say it, say you don't remember." He told me the things I'd told him. "Good, now open it." He placed his hand on the scanner; it ran its program and the safe clicked open. Papers and credsticks, I grabbed everything. I left him sitting there head down. He started crying, as I was leaving. Maybe because he was fired, but I like to think it was because he was alive, and his family was alive. Maybe his drek job was over, but he'd saved his own life. I took his car, and drove. I drove, and drove until I was out of Bellevue. I ditched the car on the side of the road, and started walking.
« Last Edit: (18:05:31/01-25-16) by Black Bart »
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Black Bart

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« Reply #1 on: (18:28:36/01-25-16) »
     It was starting to rain again; I just passed the Bellevue/Renton border when a group of bikes came rumbling down the street. I could hear them whooping and laughing. One of the riders tossed a molotov onto a car; another was twirling a good length of chain in the air. Four bikes, six riders, they were flying back and forth drawing attention from people in their homes. I kept walking, keeping an eye to them. They passed me and took a right down the next street. I sighed in relief, hand relaxing from the Streetline. I got to the end of the street, and was blinded by headlights. One after another the bikes roared by, a bottle slammed into my face, and the chain slapped me in the gut. I doubled over, trying to catch my breath, blood dripping to the pavement. I heard them come around a second time, one veered at me and I rolled, the bike passing my head just barely. I ran, toward an alleyway hoping to get out of this drek. It was to small for their bikes but it didn't stop them from coming. I reached a dead end, and tried the door to my left. It was locked and to solid to push through. "Dammit" I turned around to see the first coming through the alley, a pipe wrench in hand. I backed up to the wall, looking for any other exit. But I was out of luck.
        They spread out as far as possible, their colors blazing red and orange. "Six to one, huh" I looked at each one of them. They looked at me and two of them got nervous. "Doesn't seem like you've got enough people there," looking at the obvious leader. He was twirling the chain, his face sunk in. "I think we've got enough to kick one Trogs hoop." He smiled, and looked at his group.
       He started to speak again, but I didn't give him time to finish. I rushed the closest one, and slammed him into the bricks. A shock hit me in the calves, but I reared up and punched the green haired one in the jaw. His nose welled up and splattered blood on the ground. Another shock hit me in the temple and a great blast of white light engulfed my vision. I threw a wild punch and connected with someone, feeling the rubber flesh give way. Another blast of light and I was on my knees, trying to catch my sight.  "See, I told you we had enough. Vince may not be happy with you once he wakes up, but we'll have already had most of the fun." I could hear the chain slicing the air, at the last second I rolled to the right, and the chain slapped the ground. I pulled the pistol from the jacket and shot him twice. One grazed his shoulder and the other connected to his throat. He stopped and looked at himself, gurgling blood. I shot again at the one carrying the wrench and he fell screaming clutching his knees. The last one stared at his friend around him, and then looked at me and dropped his shiv and pushed his hands through the air. I looked at him, sighed and shot him in the face. My gun had two bullets left, so I put it back in the jacket, and searched the gangers. I found four sets of bike keys, a smashed bottle of jazz, and a pack of cigarettes. I kicked the leader onto his back, and looked at his face. His eyes burned of pure hatred. "I told you, you didn't have enough...” He tried to say something but before he could I stomped his face. I turned him back over and picked him up by the collar. The one still screaming had given up and was staring at me. The gang's patch was of a Hellhound with 405 above it. I tore the patch off and put it in my pocket. I then picked up the chain, wrapped it around my chest and walked out of the alleyway. Four bikes, three were to small but the last was a Scorpion. I tired each key until finally it roared to life.
      By the time I turned the engine over a small crowd of orcs had gathered. One had walked up and asked if I was okay. Blood glistening on my face, bruises already developing, "Yeah I'm fine." He told me the gangers had been terrorizing them for weeks, but no one would try to stop them. I thumbed down the alley, "Well a few of them back there are still breathing. If you want you could finish the job" He looked deep into my eyes, and told me thanks. I thrust the other keys into his hands. "Take these and sell em, give something to the ones who need it." The rest of the crowd had dissipated into the alley and I could hear screaming. He looked at me again and smiled. I rode away, knowing I had done something. Whether it was good or not, that wasn't up to me.

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Black Bart

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« Reply #2 on: (20:23:05/01-25-16) »
The Scorpion was power, I finally had power. After the night with the Hellhounds, I had to get some rest. My body pumped all the adrenaline it had trying to survive. I parked behind a closed down stuffer shack, the windows were boarded up and I couldn’t see any heat moving inside. The back door was easy to open. Piles of trash littered the floor, and the services had been turned off. No matter, I walked the bike inside and closed the door. I sat against it, starting to doze. Who knew I’d be here. Still alive. I fought against the odds, and won somehow.  I smiled, thinking of Caleb, wondering if he was still looking for me.
   “Alright Charles, this is your home now. I want you to remember that. If you feel like you ever need a place to be safe, come home.  Just come home Charles. Just come home.”
   The dream startled me awake. I felt like I was ten again. Caleb had just brought me to his Suburban home in Everett. His home was beautiful, and it had a backyard I could play in for hours, make believing I was a police man like Caleb and that I was fighting bad guys. That all changed when the neighbors finally saw me. They paraded around the community signing petitions that I be removed. Caleb fought them until his wife left. I saw him break down in tears one night, a bottle of gin in his hand and her picture in the other. I ran away that night.
   I opened up the backpack and looked for something good. A soy burger and a bag of kale chips. The burger was cold and soggy and the chips were stale but I didn’t care. It was food I didn’t have to fight a rat for, and I didn’t have to cook it over a garbage fire. I savored the taste. I used the derelict bathroom and tried to flush. Hopefully nobody will come here for a long time. I’d hate to be the guy to smell that.  As I was buttoning my pants, I heard whispers, coming from outside.  “Do you think that troll’s still in there?” “Yeah, he hasn’t come out all night.” “Well what are we gonna do? “We’re not gonna do anything, but you’re gonna see if he’s sleeping.” “The hell I am.” “Now dammit Frank, Marj sent us out here, to find something good. I don’t want to come back empty handed. You remember what happened to Slack?”  “Yeah… Fine, but if you hear fighting you better get in there.” “Sure, man I got you.”
   I stood behind the door, gun drawn. The door cracked a little, and a little more. The heat signature was big. Bigger than a normal human. The door opened a little more and the one called Frank stuck his head in. I put the gun to his temple and pushed the door back. “Now Frank, right? He nodded. “Just what are you doing here?” He licked his lips thinking of what to say. “Our boss, told us to come out here and scavenge. We saw you pull in here last night but, we didn’t want to bother you.”  “Not until now right?”  “Right, right. Now if you’d be so kind can you let my head go?” “What were you and your friend out there planning?”  “Well,” he stopped again, thinking. “We were gonna just talk to you.” “Well, thanks but how about you call your boss. I’d like to talk to her.” “Look buddy, you don’t get to talk to Marj. She talks to you.” “Well, I’m sure but how bout I put a bullet in your ear, and maybe your buddy will call her.”  He thought about it, “Well since you say it like that, I need my hands.” I eased up on the door, grabbed him by the shirt collar and pulled him in. He stumbled and fell into the trash on the floor. “Thank you err, what’s your name?” I told him Bart, the screws in Stajail called me that, seeing that I was named after the infamous Black Bart.
   “Hey, I need to talk to Marj,” he spoke into his comm. “I don’t care what they say get her on for me.” He waited a moment, his eyes got dark, and his temperature rose significantly. “Yes ma’am, I- yes ma’am, Well I- No ma’am,” he sat there being obviously berated. After an eternity it was his turn to talk. “I’ve got a guy here with a gun pointed at me. Says he wants to talk with you.” With a click he brought his comm down. “She said to come down to Puyallup. She’ll see you.”
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Black Bart

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« Reply #3 on: (22:24:25/01-25-16) »
   I followed Frank and his partner, back to Puyallup. He stopped and told me to wait here a minute he had to talk to some people. So I got off the bike and lit a smoke. Across the street, a small trideo was running the news. This is Kate Lockweather with the news at two. Last night, a stuffer shack in Bellevue was robbed. The lone employee was held at gunpoint by a lone assailant. The employee was quoted as “He threatened my family; I was in fear for my life and theirs.” He sustained minor injuries and was found tied up when the Knight’s Errant Security Team found him. The assailant was described as a dwarf with red hair and a red beard. He was wearing a pair of blue coveralls and had a foreign accent.  In other news, Gang Warfare, is it getting out of hand? Over in Renton, a group of six gang members were found dead. Three of them had bullet wounds, most likely of a small handgun. The other three were beaten to death. No calling card of a rival gang was found but, a local man saw the attack. “Well, the dead guys were riding around breaking stuff and throwing burning bottles and these guys came out of nowhere. They started here in the street and fought into that alley. We could hear the guns from my house but it didn’t last long. The guys that came out took the bikes and rode off. It was awesome.”   Well you heard it here from Kate Lockweather; we’ll be back at four to ask. Are your children playing with the wrong metahumans?
   I smiled knowing the guy didn’t rat me out. Hopefully I could play my cards right and find something to do with his SIN. Frank came out and stood next to me. “I heard about the Shack getting robbed on my scanner, good stuff. If they tried that here, whoo they’d have a belly full of lead.” I looked at him to see if he was serious. He looked it too. “Alright Mr. err I forgot your name.” I told him Bart again. “Mr. Bart, we’re almost to the club house. You’ll get to meet Marj there.” I got back on the bike and followed him four blocks further and three blocks to the right. We were in Loveland. It looked worse here than it did where we just were. Big spray painted FT’s littered the walls. Black underlay with blue over it. We stopped, in front of a dilapidated hotel. “Now Mr. err” I stared him down. I wasn’t going to say my name again. He chuckled “I’ll need your gun, and that pretty chain you’re wearing.” “No deal.” “Listen, you’ll get em back. But I can’t let you see Marj while you got heat. I promise you’ll get em back and I promise I’m not gonna shoot you in the back.” I looked at his friend. “Hey man, he promised.”
   I handed him the gun but I kept the clip. “What the hell, you ain’t even got any bullets in this thing? What were you gonna do say pew-pew at me?” I winked at him. We walked down to the elevator, and I could see by the way he held himself. He was seething. “Now look,” he pointed at me “When we go in there don’t you say a word. I’ll bring her up to speed, and she’ll decide what’s next.” I nodded. The elevator dinged and the three of us stepped inside. Frank pushed the top floor button, and the doors slid closed. It was tense in that box. Frank shifted his weight back and forth, probably thinking of what to say.  The elevator dinged at four, and the doors slid open. A young orc woman stood looking at the three of us. I was in the middle and was the tallest. Frank looked at her and shook his head no. The doors started to close again and I swear I saw her wink and flash a smile at me. The elevator rose once again and we stopped at seven. Frank stepped out and ushered me out.
   “Tsk tsk Frank. Got held up did you? What am I to do?” Marj sat in her makeshift throne. She was tall even for a troll. All muscles and chrome, and her horns were capped with silver. Her face was beautiful, none of the warts or blemishes you see on a troll. She grabbed the bottle of E and J’s brandy, took a hefty swig and set it back down. “Well ma’am you wanted- “Shut it.” She exclaimed without raising her voice. He promptly shut it. She looked at me, eyeing me up and down. “Well you’re the one who held my dear Frankie up right? I kept quiet, keeping eye contact. “You’re actually short for a troll, how old are you?” “Seventeen.” She guffawed at the notion. “Seventeen? You’re still just a pup. Where do you get off holding my dear Frankie up?” I looked at her for my cue. “It’s eat or be eaten.” She smiled then. “What can you tell me that won’t make be kill you?” I put my hands up, gesturing to my pocket. “I’m going to get something outta here, and you can have it.” She waved me on. I pulled the 405 patch out and threw it to the ground in front of her. She stared at it, “What’s this?” “Last night, six dead gangers it’s all on the trid... They were 405’s I killed them. Frankie would’ve been seven but I felt gracious.” “How do I know you’re not lying to me?”” Have him,” I pointed at Frank’s partner, “look at my bike.” She looked at him and told him to go. We waited there, I stared at her. She was beautiful, if she was a breeder she could be on the trids as a soap star. Frank’s partner came back in. “He’s telling the truth. It’s a 405 bike alright.”
She looked at me, “So you can handle problems. I like that. We’ll see what’ll happen in the next few days.” She tossed me a gun. “Handle him,” she pointed at Frank. His eyes widened, realizing his career was over. “Nothing personal,” I pointed the gun at him and squeezed the trigger.
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Black Bart

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« Reply #4 on: (23:45:21/01-25-16) »
Initiation is defined as the action of admitting someone into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual. I was initiated into Forever Tacoma by getting my hoop kicked. The first time was the night after I killed Frank. I was only told to come to the basement. They stripped me of my shirt and my shoes. Twelve angry orcs and trolls circled around me, no one said a word. I put my hands up in a guard and waited. The first came from behind a pummel that sent shocks down my spine. The second rained elbows to my stomach and face. The third and fourth came together and brought me to my knees. The fifth put me in a choke and tried to make me pass out but I withstood it, while the rest came and beat me senseless. I lie on the floor, in a pool of my own blood.
It reminded me of my childhood, right here in Puyallup. I had been wandering the streets looking for my parents, when the Ford Americar shined it’s brights on me. Whooping and hollering came from them and I ran. The car lurched forward overtaking me. One of the passengers tackled me from the car, and brought me to the asphalt. Eight of them, humans were standing over me slamming their boots into me. Punching and kicking me in the face and my extremities. Only when I stopped trying to fight back did they ease. One held his boot on my neck, suffocating me. They brought out a hack saw, and started at my left horn. It wasn’t very big yet, but still the pain was immense more so than the beating. They got it off, and started for the second when a gunshot went off, “SEATTLE PD, PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR AND BACK AWAY FROM THE TROLL.” Most of them ran but the cop shot one in the back. I couldn’t see anything, tears and blood welling up in my eyes. I could hear footsteps getting closer and felt a hand touch my skin. I jerked away from him. “Aw Christ kid they messed you up pretty bad, do you have a name?” I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t tell him my name. “What are you doing out here by yourself, where are your parents?” I started to blubber. He picked me up and put me in the back of his PC, and draped his jacket over me. “Look kid when you can talk, we’ll talk, just wait here.” I sat and cried in the back of that car for what felt like hours. I tried the doors but they were locked from the inside, then finally he came back. He had brown hair, and eyes. He tried to smile but I could see tonight was bad for him. His name was Caleb, he talked first of bringing me to “MOM” but he dropped it. “How about some food…” I told him my name was Charles. “Charles, that’s a good name, now about that offer?”
An hour later one of the Orcs came back in. “Hey buddy, you gonna live?” I gave him the finger. “You guys hit like women.” I coughed and laughed. He laughed too. “Yeah you’re gonna be alright. How bout a drink?” He extended his hand and I took it. We went upstairs, and he gave me a bottle of Nu-Jack. “Name’s James, sorry bout all that down there but Marj wanted to know if you could handle it.” “What happens to those who can’t?” “Can’t, well they die I guess.” I thought about it for a second and took a swig. “Be careful with that stuff. You bleed faster with alcohol in your system.” I smiled, and took another drink. We BSed for an hour and they let me go back to room. I lay in agony, every part of me hurt. I wouldn’t say I slept but more that I drifted in and out of consciousness.
The morning after, I woke to sun outside. They let me there and I saw the bike had new paint on it. Black underlay, and blue on top with a big FT on top of all that. “What the hell.” “Like it?” said a young orc girl, in fact the same one from the elevator. “Marj gave the go ahead. Looks like you’re one of us now. Gotta play the part, you know.” I smiled at her. Ok, I didn’t smile so much as I grimace at her, and I told her thanks. Forever Tacoma, I was now a prospect in a gang. Life gives you lemons… Or something like that.
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Black Bart

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« Reply #5 on: (01:17:02/01-26-16) »
I followed Marjorie’s every word. Go here, I went. Get me so and so, I got them even if it meant I had to drag them kicking and screaming. A few months went by and she asked me to go to a meeting, with her and a few of the other members. “Black, I need you to get some new threads. Do you have any cash?” I showed her the credsticks and the Sin I stole from the stuffer shack. She told me to talk to a guy in the CM, named Anselmo.
I rode over to the Crime Mall and was amazed by the shops. There was no beating around the bush with these people. “You need guns my friend I can get you whatever you’re looking for.” “I got fresh hot Sims here, not even on the trids yet. Come and get em.” “You look like the guy looking for exotic animals. I got hellhounds, I got baby wendigos, I got whatever you need, my good sir. After an hour of sales pitches I found Anselmo, he was all alone in a back corner shop hidden away from the rest of the mall. I walked in and eyed the shop. He either didn’t notice me or pretended not to. I cleared my throat. “Yeah, whattya want, I’m kinda busy here?” “Marjorie sent me.” He straightened up in his chair. “Why didn’t ya say so, what can ol’ Anselmo do for you?” The dwarf was wearing what looked like a monocle with magnifying glasses attached. “Can you do something with these?” I put the sticks and the SIN on his work table. “I can transfer the nuyen on these to a single stick, but I’ll have to take a percentage.” “What about the SIN?” “This let me see, I could rewrite it put it in the Databanks put your name and face on it…” He rambled on and I stopped listening. “No, how bout you rewrite for someone else, I’m sure you could make a pretty chunk of nuyen making it for someone who needs it.” He eyed me thoughtfully. “Sure, but I’ll take that as my percentage.” “How bout you give me a little something for it.” “Wait wait wait, that’s not the deal, you take my way or find someone else.” I scooped up the sticks and the SIN and told him maybe Marjorie sent me to the wrong person. “Hold on my man, maybe I was wrong. This will definitely cover my cost and I’ll cut you a little something to.”
“Now this stick,” Anselmo showed me the new one. “This stick has ten thou on it. Not traceable by any means. It’s yours and I added two thousand to it for the SIN. Don’t go blow it all in one place.” “Thanks man.” I started to walk out and he yelled something at me “Stay away from the guy selling animals. His hounds are just that, they don’t breathe fire he just paints em red.” I walked over to the gun dealer. I pointed one out, “How much?” “The dealer looked where I was pointing. “Ahh the Slivergun, I’ll make you a deal that and a box of 100 rounds will come out to a thousand.” “Make em Fichette rounds and you’ve got a deal.” He started math in his head. “Twelve Hundred sir.” “Alright and what about that shotgun there?”  “The Defiance Short Barrel, easier to conceal than any of its long barreled cousins will come to 500 sir.” “No ammo deal on that one?” “Sadly no sir, but a box of fifty shells comes to 75.” “What can you do with these?” I produced the Streetline and the other pistol. “The Streetline, I’ll give you the shells for free and the other…” He looked at the gun for a few moments a puzzled look on his face. “Ahh, it’s a Nitama Sporter. I’ll give you two hundred dollars off.” “Deal,” I walked out of his shop with the shotgun and ammo in what looked like a golf bag and the pistol in my jacket.
I found a little clothes dealer closer to the exit. I browsed a few of the racks, before I realized all of the items were legit. No armor, no hidden pockets. I walked over to the proprietor and asked what the deal was. “You’re looking for the back room selection.” He thumbed toward a white wall. I looked at the wall, and didn’t understand. He said to hold on a moment, and a buzzer chirped and a false door opened. I walked into the back room; it was crowded with all sorts of gear and armor. I found a long coat; the inside was lined with some sort of material and plates. I spoke to the back room attendant, a heavy set dwarf girl. “What kind of material is this? She looked at me, and huffed. The coat you have is lined with Kevlar and hardened plastic to provide maximum protection and concealability.” She huffed again. “Can you make a pocket long enough for this?” I showed her the Defiance. She huffed a second time, “Yes sir, but it’ll cost extra,” she held her breath. “How much?” “The coat costs a thousand, and with a gear access pocket, it’ll cost an extra two hundred.” I handed her my credstick. I browsed around and found new shoes and pants.
I came with nothing, left with seventy four hundred. I felt good, like I was a new man. People looked at me walking down the street, and moved to the other side. Some whispered to each other. I didn’t care. I felt like I was Arnold in that trid where he’s a robot. I got on my Scorpion and rode back to the club house.
“Well Black, you look good. You look mean. Show me the new toys”. I handed her the Slivergun, and beamed inside hearing that I looked good. “Well, it’s not a Predator, but it’s nice and heavy. What else do you have?” I unzipped the pocket in the coat and pulled out the Defiance. “Hold right there, yes you look very good. Practice getting that big one out of there, in a quick fashion and I doubt we’ll have a problem. I started to tuck the Slivergun down my pants, when she stopped me. “That’ll never do, Frank. Frank!” I reminded her Frank was dead. “That’s right, James dear please come in here.”  “Yes ma’am?” “Do we still have that arm attachment?” “The one for guns ma’am?” “Yes that one, will you get it for me.” He stepped out of the room and I could hear clanging of metal. He rushed back into the room, “Here you are ma’am.” He handed her the odd looking piece of metal. “Now hold still,” She placed her soft hands on my forearm. She strapped it down and pushed it back till it clicked. “Now push your arm forward.” I did so, and the mechanism shot forward. “Good, now let me have your gun.” I handed it to her and she put is the slot, and tightened the bearings. She pushed the gun back under my sleeve. “Try it again.” I pushed my arm forward and the gun slid out, right were my hand could get a hold of it.
She smiled. “Let’s get on with it then. I rode my scorpion leading her ride to the meet. It was simple I was to stand to her right, James to her left. Marcus would watch the door and Stoop would guard the vehicles. Look mean look tough and if anybody drew their guns. We wouldn’t hesitate to bring them down. We walked into the meet; a big open warehouse had been cleared out on both sides. They were already there waiting. They were Asian, wore black suits and were inked neck down.
Miss Marjorie”, the Asian leader spoke he bowed to her and then waved her to the table.
“Hello Mr. Shaw, it is nice to see you again after these recent affairs, if we may I would apologize for Mr. Franks transgressions against your organization.”
“Where is Mr. Frank, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“How do I put this, he’s taking a dirt nap”

Mr. Shaw smiled at this. He spoke in another language to his lackey.
“Well, I think all transgressions can be forgotten if you are willing to forgo, your territory?
“I am sorry Mr. Shaw but that is unacceptable. For your men started this.”
“And yours murdered mine, Miss Marjorie.

Marjorie stood up, “Maybe we can cut a deal another day.”
Shaw’s men drew upon Marjorie; I threw my hand out and grabbed the pistol. One shot for the man on the right, I turned to the second man but he already had his sights on me. I threw the desk up in his face as he took his first shot. I rolled to the right as he took his second. I felt something slam into my back, and it knocked the air out of me. I could hear yelling back and forth as James and the others exchange gun fire. Marjorie strolled out like nothing was happening. I took a shot at the second man but missed, but James had come around and shot him in the cheek, and again in the head. Mr. Shaw sat there unmoving. James walked over to me “You ok?” “Yeah I’m good.” His comm started to ring. “Yes ma’am, here he is.” He handed it to me and Marjorie’s face lit up the screen. “Take care of Mr. Shaw, and meet me at the club house.”
She really likes me killing people. I walked over to Mr. Shaw and his eyes flitted back and forth. No one had come to his rescue. No one was going to either. The Slivergun left a nice big hole where his right eye was.


*Whoo, I think that's enough for tonight. If you'd like say something. I would really appreciate some feedback. Hope you're enjoying this so far.
« Last Edit: (01:19:19/01-26-16) by Black Bart »
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Black Bart

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« Reply #6 on: (21:19:29/01-26-16) »
   After the meeting, everyone avoided me. I would walk into the Wreck room, and people wouldn’t look at me. I felt like I had caught the Krieger strain, and I was spreading it. I stopped showing my face around the building. I stayed in my room for three days when finally a note was slid under the door. “Basement 10 minutes be there.” I waited five and walked to the elevator, nobody was in the hall. I pressed the B button, and held my breath. The doors closed and I could feel it descend; someone had rigged the elevator, not to ding at each floor. You had to watch the light, fourth floor. Third floor and my stomach tightened. Second floor and the clinch worsened. First floor and I exhaled everything I could. Basement.
   The basement was pitch but the elevator shone a corridor of light piercing the veil. I could see figures standing around; looking like ten or so. I stepped out, into the darkness. “Black, thank you for joining us.” It was Marjorie’s voice, she didn’t sound on edge. One by one lights buzzed on in the spacious room. Marjorie stood, front and center, James to her right and Marcus to her left. Stoop and some other guys I’d rarely seen were there. “So what now?” I looked at each of the people in the room. “This,” Marjorie extended her arms out. “This, is your graduation. You’re no longer a prospect, Black. You are a full-fledged Forever Tacoma member.” The guys all smiled, but Marjorie, she had the biggest grin I’d seen on her yet. “Jesus, is this what the pariah act was all about?” Marj smiled, “Kind of, we told everyone to leave you be. James, Marcus and I had a meeting to convey our thoughts about you.” I looked at James, “Well Black, you’ve followed every order to a T, Never once did you hesitate or break ranks. Mr. Shaw was the final test.”  I looked at Marcus, “Kid, never have I met someone that even with the odds against them kept their cool like you.” I looked again at Marjorie, “Do you have any questions Black?”
   I had a million questions, but honestly two only seemed marginally important. “What’ll I get to do now and Where are we gonna get plastered?”  Everybody laughed and came and shook my hand. Marjorie waited till the last, and everyone had gone upstairs. “We’ll get to all that in a minute Charles, I have a question for you, I see the way you look at me.” She gave it a moment, and clawed my face on the left side. “I’m damaged goods, Charles. It’ll never be.” She walked to the elevator and pressed the button. I stood there staring at her, wondering where that all came from.  She stood with her foot blocking the door, “Black, you don’t want to miss your party.”
We went to nearby club “The Big O” we were the only ones looking out of place. No one bothered us though. We partied, and drank and danced for hours. Finally I had to sit down. The bartender ordered a reinforced stool and the service brought one out for me. “Vodka stinger, with a whiskey back.” The bartender smiled and had one for me as soon as I said it. “That’s a neat trick.” “No trick my friend; I just watch what you drink all night.”  “Right and I shoot fairy dust outta my hoop.” The bartender smiled. “Does it sparkle?” “How can you be watching me all night, has to be a hundred people in here.” “He smiled again, “You didn’t answer my question Sir. But if you must know I can watch everyone in here. I take notes, that way I can be an efficient server.” I looked at him; he looked like a normal elf. “So what’s your play?” “Trick of the trade Sir. Can I help you with anything else?” I told him no.
   My mood was somber; I still couldn’t wrap the Marjorie thing. James walked up behind me and the bartender ordered another stool. “Black, what are you doing? The party’s downstairs.” He looked at my face. I kept my face in my drink. “Searching eh? My friend I don’t know the woman you’ve scorned. But let me tell you. When she’s angry, Run. Dragon’s Fire won’t be as bad as her.” He laughed, and patted my shoulder.
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Black Bart

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« Reply #7 on: (01:10:07/01-27-16) »
      A blast shook the building, prodding me awake. Another concussion followed, and again. I grabbed the pistol I kept inside the pillow and checked the mag and barrel. I slipped into my shoes, blackened from the ashes. Grabbed my coat, heavier with the Defiance inside its pocket. I trudged to the elevator and slammed the button. Power was out; I pushed open the fire exit door, into the failsafe red lights. People were moving up and down the stairwell. Shoving each other to find safety, I looked toward the bottom terrace and a child was covered with some liquid. I pushed the emergency exit door open, peering out into the back alleyway. I looked back down at the kid, he was covered in blood. Shock had set in, and he was staring at his remaining hand in disbelief. The other hand was right outside the door.
      I pushed the door open a little more with my foot. Gunfire slammed into it. Three shots aimed towards where a head and torso should’ve been. I grabbed a piece of broken glass and tried to use it as a mirror, but it was transparent. I dropped the glass and peered around the threshold. Three gunmen held the entrance to the alley. I unzipped the pocket of my coat, and pulled out the Defiance with ease. I angled it out of the door and fired three times. Most of it chipped concrete, the spread being the distraction; I jumped out and fired again. The lot of them ducking down, pellets peppering their vehicle they’d took as cover. I ran toward the dumpster to my left, ducking down as bullets punched the metal.
       A fourth gunman joined his fellow shooters, pounding at the dumpster.  I looked for a way to flank them. But the nearest connecting alley was ten feet to the right. No way, I thought to myself. I looked up but that was useless too, no way I’d climb under fire. I peppered them again with the Defiance. I laughed at myself as I was reloading the shotgun. “Should’ve gone with the explosive ammo, but nooo the price tag’s to steep for my blood.” I brought the shotgun above my head and fired again. “God dammit, you fragging trog!” I chuckled “That hurt does it? How bout you come here and I’ll administer some treatment.” I looked around again; the missing hand kid was standing in the doorway across from me, looking at his hand. “Hey kid, get away from the door” I hissed at him, almost on cue though they turned their fire towards him. I hopped up and aimed the barrel at the closest one. The bulk of the spread hit the wall next to him, but he screamed in agony as the hot fragments burned his face. They returned fire at me, spraying erratically, chipping plaster off the walls. I turned toward the dumpster looking at the wheels. I grabbed the side closer to the wall and pushed off swinging wide. The bullets slamming into its front now, I pushed towards them, closing the distance. I got as close as I could muster. Dropping down, to catch my breath. I grabbed the butt of the shotgun and pushed off with it. Firing once into the passenger side window, blasting into the driver’s side, fluff spewing out of the torn cushions. I fired again into the gut of the gunman on the right. He fell backwards throwing his gun in the air. Bullets hit me in the side, as I wheeled around and fired into the brave one. He squeezed in between the dumpster and the wall, catching me off guard. His head turned into soup on the wall. I came around the side of the dumpster and the car. The last was crouched below the driver’s side trunk; I aimed the Defiance at him and squeezed the trigger. Click, the gun was empty; he turned his gun on me and smiled. I chucked the shotgun at him, making his gun fall to the ground. I tackled him to the ground, straddled him and started throwing enraged punches at his face.
       “Black stop, BLACK!” It was Marcus, he and another orc pulled me off the guy. They looked at him, then at me. Blood dripping off my hands. “Hey are you alright?” Pointing at my side, one of the bullets had torn through the coat, and blood was running down my pant legs. “I’m fine, get this guy up.” I pointed at the guy on the ground. “Get him inside and down to the basement.”
       I walked away looking at the damage, someone had thrown a bomb on the club house. Holes bigger then cars were torn through the front of the building. Bodies littered the street, people trying to escape violence. They were gunned down, shot in the back. Four other gunmen lie dead on the ground. Lined up, bodies torn to shreds with automatics fire. “Jesus Christ” I exclaimed, I walked back down the alley and the kid was still standing in the doorway, I picked him up and carried him through to the wreck room. Crying orc and troll women were huddled together, one was trying to get her son to speak to her. Another holding her dead daughter, weeping and praying to god. I left the boy with the women. I went down to the basement. Marjorie was waiting down there, Marcus with her. “Black thank god,” she rushed to look at me but I brushed her aside. The last gunman was sitting tied to a chair, his eyes were closed. “WAKE THE FUCK UP,” I smacked him across the face. His eyes opened and he registered what was going on. He tried to come off the chair, but was bound. He smiled at me, missing most of his teeth. “What kind of welcome is this?” I grabbed him by the forearm and brought an elbow onto it.  He shrieked in agony. His arm dangling limply off to the side. “Why did you attack innocents? Why attack children?” “The people we killed today were not innocent, and the children were born of sin. We only cleansed the damned with holy fire.” I grabbed his other hand and snapped his fingers backwards. He shrieked again, tears welling up in his blacked eyes. “Who sent you here?“His grandness Cameron Roth.”
     I turned and looked at Marjorie. “Who is Cameron Roth and where can I find him?”
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Raiderjoseph

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« Reply #8 on: (17:32:46/01-27-16) »
OOC: Dude thats fantastic! Not only is it well written but its very gritty!
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Black Bart

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« Reply #9 on: (18:16:36/01-27-16) »
(Ooc) Thanks man it's really appreciated.
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Raiderjoseph

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« Reply #10 on: (18:34:42/01-27-16) »
I dont suppose... you could critigue mine though? Its not much yet but I feel its not that great.
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Black Bart

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« Reply #11 on: (18:40:11/01-27-16) »
Sure man, im running lanes but once I can get to my lt ill check it out.
« Last Edit: (18:43:24/01-27-16) by Black Bart »
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Raiderjoseph

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« Reply #12 on: (19:19:25/01-27-16) »
Thanks.
From To<<Matrix message>>
Thoughts
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Black Bart

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« Reply #13 on: (22:03:18/01-27-16) »
     Marjorie stared at me in disbelief. “I, I don’t know any Caleb Roth.” She looked into my eyes, hers almost in tears, bloodshot from anxiety. I looked at Marcus and he shook his head and shrugged. “Take care of that,” I pointed at the gunman. I trudged to the elevator; someone had gotten the power back on. I pushed the button and waited, the doors whined open and I stood there. The reverb from the single bullet echoed into my ears, the sound fueling my rage. The elevator took me back upstairs, and I looked around me. Chaos in all forms, people holding wounds, loved ones, the dead. Someone had stripped the gunmen on the street, and they were forming a posse. “Black!” A young orc boy named Lyndon bounded over toward me, “What are we going to do, who did this, why did this happen?” I told him I didn’t know, but I was going to take care of it.
     “Sorry to interrupt your scheduled programming, but we have breaking news. Kate can you hear me down there?” “Yes Don, I can hear you fine.” “Fill us in on what’s going on in Puyallup this afternoon.”Well Don, I’m not clear on the big picture but I do know twenty two people are dead. Eight of the twenty two were the attackers.” “Is it gang violence Kate?” “I’m not sure, but looking from my point. I would say it’s not. From what I’ve been told, at Seven thirty this morning blasts shook the building and gunfire erupted not soon after. Some of the victims rushed outside to see what was happening and they were gunned down. More tried to escape from the side exit and they were gunned down too. I haven’t received any reports of a Knights Errant patrol being sent to the area or any Trauma teams being dispatched either. Once I have more information I’ll let you know.” “Thanks Kate, I’m Don Vermillion bringing the information, to you.”
     Anselmo was watching the trid, eyeing the destruction, when Black walked through the door. “Jeez Black, you look like hell.” I shrugged, “I need information.” “No buddy, you need a doctor. You’re dripping blood all over my floor.” “Dammit Mo, I need to find the guy who did this.” Anselmo eyed Black with his monocle. “Give me a name. I’ll do what I can, and in the meantime get yourself patched up or I’ll have to charge you for cleaning fees.” I told him the name, and walked out of his cramped shop towards the entrance. I stopped in between a magic shop and a chemical dealer. I sat down against a wall, the pain was overwhelming, I opened the coat seeing a nickel sized hole in my abdomen but there wasn’t an exit wound.
         “Hey, it’s my fairy dusting friend, how are yo…” It was the elf from the bar a few nights ago. He had come out of the magic shop, and was standing over me. “You don’t look so good buddy.” I snorted, “Well you know, the fairies don’t like me spreading their secret.” “So they shot you?” I glared up at him and sighed, “Well, if fairies are a bunch of breeders gunning down innocents then yeah. It was fairies.” He stared at me, a blank expression on his face, I looked eyed him and sighed again. “Whack job,” I muttered looking down at the bullet hole. “I’m not a whack job; I was just looking at you from a different perspective.” I looked back up at him saw the seriousness in his face, “Whattya mean?” “The bullet’s still in there, and it didn’t fragment.” He sat down in front of me and started mouthing words. “How could you know that?” He opened one eye, “You haven’t seen a lot of magic have you?” “Na, back in the Stajail, those guys were kept under wraps.” He smiled at that, “Well it’s about time someone showed you what it was about.” I stared at him for an eternity; he was rocking back and forth still mouthing words. He slowed down, raising his hands. They seemed to be pulsating with energy and heat. “This might be awkward, having never felt magic. You’ll feel a sensation and maybe some pressure.” I went to say something, but his hands touched the area around the wound.
      He was right, a pleasant feeling engulfed me, the pain receded and I felt euphoric. I felt as if the world stopped turning for just. A moment. The feeling stopped and I looked up at him, he was holding the bullet between his fingers. “Do you mind, if I keep this?” I looked at the bullet, feeling immensely better. I looked back down at my abdomen and saw a faint scar. “Na, I don’t mind, how’d you learn to do that?” He smirked, “Trick of the trade my friend.” “Well, what’s your name then?” He looked at me, “Mine is Leif. Like leaf. Yours? “Charles, but most people call me Black Bart.” His eyes lit up. “Charles Bowles?” “Yeah how do you know that?” He laughed, “Its ancient history. The bandit who robbed Wells Fargo, without shooting his gun” I smiled back not many people knew the story. I thanked him, profusely for performing on me. “I’m not a doctor Charles, I’m a bartender. Come back to the O if you’ve got any stories I should hear.
       We talked for a few minutes more when Anselmo, came running down the way. “Black I’ve got something you might like to see.” I looked at Leif and nodded, he threw a peace sign and I walked back to Mo’s shop. “This is what I’ve dug up on your Caleb Roth.”
First I saw a picture, a profile of a blonde blue eyed man, chiseled features. His jaw set, like he ground his teeth together. . He had an obvious datajack, and scarring in a few other places. The next was a trid recording. 
      The camera panned out, over a crowd of at least a hundred. A bald man was standing above them on a stage. Bullhorn in hand, he screamed at the crowd. “WE ARE THE PURE!” The crowd yelled back in unison “PURE” He paused, and took in the crowd. “WE ARE THE CHOSEN!” The crowd returned “CHOSEN” He paused for effect again. “WE ARE HUMANIS! “HUMANIS” The crowd screamed, chanting pure chosen humanis, again and again. The bald man took exit and Caleb Roth took center stage. The crowd quieted down, instantly. “Now I see plenty of faces here. You work for your freedom, you work for your families, and you work yourselves to death. Only to see the Troll, take your place because he is stronger. Only to see the Elf take your place because he’s got a pretty face. Only to see your family starve and die, because of the metahumans.” He paused looking at the faces in the crowd. “I say we don’t worry about the blacks, we don’t worry about the Asian or the Spaniard. So long as they are HUMAN” The crowd erupted in fervor, chanting human. “I will not stand by and watch my brother be cast aside. I will not stand by and watch my sister die. I will not stand by for the children being made slaves. NO LONGER WILL I STAND BY WAITING FOR DEATH. WE ARE PURE, WE ARE CHOSEN, AND WE ARE HUMANIS!”
    I stared at the man on the screen. The hate monger. I stared at him until the blood in veins boiled. “Where is this chapter Mo?”
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Black Bart

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« Reply #14 on: (01:15:21/01-28-16) »
Mo’s eyes got huge, and if the monocle he wore hadn’t been attached to a chain would’ve shattered on the floor. “Look Black, even if I could tell you that, I wouldn’t. You don’t need to get gunned down in a fit of anger.” I stared at him deeply. “Mo, this isn’t anger, or hate. This is about those people. How many more of them have to die?” “Look Black, give it a day and if you still feel this way I’ll do some digging. Maybe I can find something out for you.” I extended my hand; he took it, his being engulfed by mine. But he didn’t waver; he looked at me and smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow then?” I laughed, and told him he knew it. I strode through the CM, looking for something useful. The first dealer was wares. “I need to see and hear better. He smiled and pointed out a few options. I took the goggles and had him add a smartlink, low light, flare comp and a VIS enhancer. I found a pair of headphones, with an AUD enhancer and Spatial Recog. The goggles were a tight fit, but after a few minutes of wear they were fine. The headphones were harder, my horns made them awkward, so the guy gave me a different set. He had a medkit in a corner stand and I bought that too, stashing it in my backpack.
   I walked out of the Crime Mall, wondering the next step. Was I really going to go to war with an entire Humanis chapter? I got on my bike and rolled away. I kicked up the speed, hitting the highway cutting off an older model Americar. The wind was strong, but wearing the goggles it didn’t bite me in the eyes. I could see almost a mile out, clear as day. The license plate ahead of me said L3T3MD!E, I sped past giving the driver the finger. He honked his horn at me and tried to catch up but I was gone. I let the road take me that night, all the way into Tarislar. I could see the dirty looks coming from the mostly elvish crowd. I rolled through the area looking for trouble, but for some reason it avoided me that night.
   I rolled back up to the club house, the front of it being boarded up. James stood watch, and as I stopped the bike he ran up to me. “Black, good to see you in one piece. See you got some new gear.” I looked at him, he’d been up all night and day, making sure the events from yesterday didn’t repeat. “Yeah, I gotta question for you.” “Shoot.” I told him about Anselmo finding Caleb Roth, the trid and everything. “Sheeit, so what? You’re gonna go in guns blazing, find Roth drag his breeder hoop back here and do what exactly?” I thought about it, “Well he’ll be made an example of, not just for everyone here. But for us metas everywhere.” He looked at me, “You’re serious… Well damn, we need more guns.” I looked toward the building, “We?” “Yeah we, I’m not gonna let you get your fragging head blown off by yourself. What are we gonna tell Marj?” I thought about her, the way she looked at me in the basement. “We’re not gonna tell her.”
   James and I went to the Crime Mall, first we went to Mo. He looked like he’d been up all night or crying. “Alright Black, since I can’t convince you to let this go, I’ll give you the skinny. Roth has a humanis compound out of Orting. They set up shop about two years ago, after the one down state got raided. Once a week they ride up to McMillin and help the prison there “Relocate released inmates” Since last month sixty people have gotten out of there and thirty two of them have been found dead.” I looked at the spread, nineteen orcs found shot multiple times, five trolls found chopped up and placed in dumpsters across the city. Six elves dead faces carved into with H.P. with gunshot wounds being the cause of death, and two dwarves ran down by vehicles, coroner put a note *Most likely a GMC Bulldog. “Jesus, anyone not human released into Roth’s custody has been murdered.” Mo had his face buried in his hands, “my nephew was one of the dwarves ran down. He told me he’d been receiving letters about work from a guy named Roth, but until now I hadn’t suspected anything.” I looked at him, he’d been crying alright eyes bloodshot and the bags under his eyes were heavier than I’d seen them. “Take care of this Black, and I’ll owe you big.”
   James went to a weapons dealer; I went around to a couple of the cyber shops and asked a few questions. “How long would I have to wait after getting spurs done before I could have full mobility?” The kid standing in the booth looked at me strangely. “Three days max, but what do you need spurs for?” I laughed and looked at my arms, “Well they just need something extra.” I found James toting around a golf bag, like I had when I first came here. “What’d you find James,” I looked at the bag and realized it was bigger than the one I’d had. “Just wait buddy, you’ll see.” He grinned widely and we rode back to the club house. We ended up going to my room; he had given his up for some of the kids whose parents had died in the firefight.
   “What is that thing James?” He brandished a heavy piece of equipment that he rested on his shoulder. “This, my friend is an Onotari Interceptor, a missile launcher capable of putting some good holes in their front door.” He pushed it around his shoulder so it rested flat against his back. I laughed at him, “Christ James, you think we’re gonna need that thing?” He eyed me carefully “Yes.” “Thing must’ve set you back.” “All’s fair in war. I figure Roth will have some money sittin around. I’ll make up for it then.” I told him about getting spurs. “Head to Ft. Lewis, they got this holistic spa over there. Tell them you need to speak to Dr. Weisman. Best body doc in the city.” We finished laying the plan out, and he asked if he could stash the gear in here. I showed him the false panel in the floorboard and he put the missile launcher and the rockets inside.
   Fort Lewis, it was different from Puyallup, hell it was different from all of the plex he’d seen. It was still dirty, but the street lights mostly worked. Bullet holes didn’t cover half the cars or street signs. Every few blocks a convoy of trucks would roll by, or a squad of G.I.’s would be doing their regimen. He finally found the spa, on the corner of 140th and Yakima Ave. Ft. Lewis didn’t mind blasting its name onto every surface though. That reminded him Puyallup and the Fort didn’t change that drastically. I parked the bike outside and strolled up to the front door, but when I tried it, it didn’t budge. I looked around, “What the hell?” A buzzing noise surprised me, “Thank you for choosing the Fort Lewis Sauna and Holistic Retreat. What business do you have here with us today?” “Uh, I need to see a Doctor Weisman.” “Thank you; please move away from the door.” I stepped away and the door shot open. Walking into the lobby I smelled things I’d only smelled in restaurants. The woman behind the counter looked up at me. “Please take the elevator to the basement, Doctor Weisman, will be with you shortly.” “Where’s the el…” She cut me off, hand shooting through the air pointing around the corner. “Thank you ma’am.”
   I rode the elevator down to the sub-level basement. A sort of music filling the elevator while I waited. I felt nervous; the club house elevator was quiet except for the whining it did as it went up and down. This one was meant to relax, but all it did was put me on edge. The elevator dinged, as it opened to the basement. A giant sterile white room, sheets covering different cubicles, the floors, walls, and ceiling were all blindingly white. An older dwarf stepped out of his cubicle to meet me, “Ahh, you must be Charles. James called ahead for you, and told me you were interested in a procedure.” I looked at him puzzled. “Yes, I am and that was nice of him.” “Yes very nice, James has quite a history with us and told me to charge to his account.” Again I was puzzled, but the dwarf didn’t allow me to say anything. “Come, come, let’s get you to your room. He led me to another sterile white room, this one much smaller in comparison. He pointed to the chair in the middle of the room, “Please sit.” I sat down, while he wheeled around the room, searching for something. “Now Charles, what kind of equipment were you interested in?” I told him I wanted spurs, and he clucked his tongue at that. “Very well, what grade?” “Grade?” He clucked again and, found a sheet of paper. “Our Alpha grade is very nice, but the Beta is…” I cut him off, “I just need some metal doctor, and if I feel the need to upgrade I’ll definitely come back.” He sat shocked, for just a moment and sighed. “Very well sir, please sit as still as possible.” As soon as he uttered the words the chair clamped me down. “Now, I’ll give you an anesthetic but with your build you may not feel it until after the procedure.”
   He pulled a needle off a tray, and squirted a little out of it, and pushed it into my right arm. It said, five hundred ccs and he pushed all five hundred into me. He then pulled the needle out and smiled. “I hope we can still be friends.” He grabbed a scalpel and went to work, I tried not to watch but, the pain was excruciating. He flayed open the top of my hand, all the way back into my forearm. I sat stunned, trying not to scream or cry or both. He pushed a rod into the muscle tissue and shocked me, I watched the muscle relax and he pushed it out of the way. He grabbed a hook and something else. He grabbed one piece of muscle with the hook, and placed it on a stand. Grabbed another piece and put it on another stand. I blacked out after seeing the muscle moved and played with. The agony and the disgust got to me. I awoke to him drilling into the bone, and I screamed at him. “WHAT THE FUCK!” He looked down at his watch “Oops, I forgot to administer another anesthetic.” He grabbed another needle and plunged it into my neck. The last I saw, was a long piece of metal attached to one part of my bone, he was in the process, of adding another.
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