First CharGen for Shadowrun 5th Edition - background

Leaf Erurainon
Aka Cryptid Rain

The door to the small apartment slammed shut behind Tisha as she ran down the short hallway to her tiny dining room.  She tossed her jacket down on the only other chair on the opposite side of the table, sat down, removed the cigarette from her lips and put it down in the ashtray, then reached into her oversized purse and pulled out her corporate issued tablet.  She ‘woke’ it up, and then used both thumbprints to unlock the screen.  Once that was complete, she pulled out a 5x5x5 cm cube, also from her purse, and then pulled out the retractable cable from the cube and connected it to the tablet.  As she set the cube on the table, the laser outline of a keyboard and scroll bar sprang to life.  She stopped to take a long drought from her cup of soykaf and then set it down by the ashtray.  Once she had activated her note application, she paused to take another drag on her cigarette, and then began typing furiously.  She wanted to get the information down before her memory was clouded by time – despite her ability to pull up files with vivid details from interviews from over a decade before.  It was a nervous tic of hers, and she wasn’t going to jinx herself now.

The first memory of the interview was as her source walked into the “Oh-Four-Niner”.  He acted like he belonged there, even though his attire told everyone otherwise.  He stood at least 1.75 meters tall, very slender build, maybe 75 Kilos.  He wore a simple black fabric military style boot, in which was tucked a pair of Tir urban pattern camouflaged pants.  On his right thigh was holstered a large caliber pistol.  He wore a black denim flight jacket, completely unzipped, under which he had on a solid blue shirt.  She saw a pair of wooden handles extending just above each shoulder, framing the upturned collar of his coat.  Atop his head he wore a wide brimmed hat, which shadowed the man’s face.  She would never forget the very faint blue glow emitting from under the hat where two eyes should be.  When he spotted her he moved directly to her table and sat down, only then did he remove his hat, revealing that he was an elf with a light blue mane of hair, and an intricate tear tattoo ‘running’ down from beneath his right eye.  Both of his eyes were a solid cobalt blue, with no visible iris or pupil.  The hair was braided at the temples and extended to the back of his head.  The tattoo was almost as interesting as his eyes.  The outline of a puddle of tears was stenciled neatly below both eyes, but under the right one, the tears weaved a path down the outside of the cheek.  Within the stream of the tear were a series of Japanese characters (In order, from top to bottom - クリスチャン侍; looking over the characters she thought, ‘I sure hope I copied those down correctly.  Otherwise, it is going to be pretty difficult to look up the translation for the article), faintly inscribed, almost unnoticeable, and within the end of the rounded teardrop at the end, it contained a blue and grey yin yang, also very faint.

Here, she paused, took another drag of her cigarette, then a fresh swig of the soykaf, and lastly accessed the audio and video playback from her ocular implant that was jacked into her inner ear.  While microphones can pick up incredible detail, she still preferred the natural resonance of the eardrum.  It was all neatly tucked into the chromed out cybernetic skullcap that took up a fifth of her upper left skull.  She poised her fingers and began to type once more.  She wanted to get the transcript down, and then she would compose the article from there.


Tisha: “Hello Mr. …?”

Elf: “Call me Rain.”

Tisha: “Rain?”

Rain: “Ever been to Seattle?”

T: “Oh, right… ok…. Um, Rain.  Let’s see…”

R: “Mr. Johnson said you’d be buying me some real food, and five hundred Nuyen to just meet with you.  So, how about we see a real meat platter and that cred stick before you say anything more.”

She habitually took another drag from her cigarette as she let the recording play for a moment.

T: “Ah… right... Excuse me… waitress, yes, we need two platters of your best Kansas City import steaks, done medium rare, and two drafts…”

R: “Just filtered water for me, thank you.”

T: “Um, alright, one draft, and one filtered water.”

Placing the cigarette back in the ashtray she got ready to continue transcribing the conversation.

T: “Ok, here is the cred-stick.”  At the very bottom edge of the visual playback, her hand was tapping a cred-stick on the table.  “Uh uh, not until we are finished here.”  The optical playback remained focused on the elf, while rustling and plastic on plastic sounds could be heard again, as she replaced the cred-stick into her purse.  “I am sure, um… Mr. Johnson, has told you.  I work for the ManaDyne news division, and my viewers want to try and understand the SINless, to understand why you choose to remain in the shadows instead of within the comfort and security, of the Corporations, like ManaDyne.”

R: “For some of us, there isn’t a choice, for others, the confines of… corporate life are… distasteful.”

T: “But, the crime riddled streets and abject poverty, shown every day on the news feeds…”

R: “You mean the news feeds such as the ones coming from the ‘News Division of ManaDyne?’”

Tisha shifted in her seat as she watched and listened to the recording, and the clearing of her throat on the recording.  She remembered her discomfort at this sudden confrontation and took another drag of her cigarette.

T: “Surely you have seen the violence for yourself.  Look at you; you come to this meeting armed to the teeth.”

R: “Look lady…”

T: “Tisha, please.”

R: “Whatever,” the elf said with a wave of his hand, “Tisha, first off, this is not armed to the teeth.  I have spotted at least a half dozen corp security, with enough firepower to level this building, just in this room.  The only reason I am still allowed to sit here and talk to you is they don’t feel that I am any kind of threat to them.  And who do you think sponsors most of that violence that you feed your audience?  Hmm?  All you corp types are the same, blind to the dirt under your own fingernails, but quick to point out the dirty tools being used.”

Tisha fidgeted again in her seat, and lit another cigarette.

T: “Um… ok.  I can see that… this might be a sensitive path to go down… maybe we can discuss that more at length another time.”

R: “Maybe, but let’s see just how good this steak you ordered is first.”

She was not used to being the one put on the defensive.  Tisha felt herself getting annoyed, with a mental tic she paused the playback.  She picked up her cigarette and walked over to her apartment window and stared out onto the city.  The view from up here was calming.  From here she did not have to see the dirt, the SINless, she reminded herself of how ManaDyne controlled the city despite people like Rain and his ilk.  She calmed herself down, and then returned to her seat, replacing her cigarette in the ashtray.  She typed out a note to remind herself that she had been wondering where the waitress was with their steaks, and her taking a drink to drag out the pause while she tried to think of a new avenue to take the interview, and how she could turn the tables back on the elf.  Once these notes were written down, she resumed the playback.

T: “Ha, um…. OK… how about we talk about Rain.  People almost always like a good human-interest story.  How long have you run the shadows?” Before the elf could answer the dinner plates arrived, “Ah, here we go.” She said in an enticing tone.

There is a long pause in the recording here.  The elf just stared at her before responding.  She slowed the playback down, trying to detect any reaction, any emotion.  No emotion or tell of what he might have been thinking. He finally began to cut into his steak and would talk in between mouthfuls of steak.  She noted that he barely touched the potatoes.

R: “Well, as you can tell… I was born an elf.” He said, gesturing to his ears. “This caused some… problems between my mother, an Amerindian, and my father, a corporate suit of some sort, but the real breaking point was when my brother was born a dwarf.  Ironic, right.  Throughout classic literature there has always been tension between elves and dwarfs, but in this case, it was between my human parents.  When my brother was born, good ol’ dad bolted.  I’ve not seen or talked to him since so… I don’t really know the story there.  Mom went into a tailspin.  Booze, men, and then, when BTL’s hit the streets…” Rain looked off to the side for a moment, Tisha slowed the replay down once again, there is some clenching of the jaws, a vein throb in his temple, and then he returned to his meal.  She resumed normal playback.  After taking another bite, he continued.  “So, I guess you can say that is when I hit the streets.”

T: “How old where you?”

R: “I dunno… thirteen maybe, tops.”

T: “Did you take care of your brother?  How did you survive?”

R: “Well, the Corps do not like to bring in homeless gutter rats.   Har… I mean, Steel Horse, that’s what he went by… not sure if he still does or not, we don’t really see much of each other.  We scraped a living off of handouts and dumpster dives.  At least we did until we figured out a better way.  The local gangs were not really our scene, so we kept to ourselves, and they left us alone, for the most part.  We actually started our own little security gig, if you can believe it.  We escort kids to and from their public schools, made sure bullies didn’t pick on them, and when they did, we took care of business.  We were ok at it, not great, but the lunch money was enough to put some food in our stomachs.”

T: “Are you still in the protection… ‘business’?”

R: “No way.  Too high profile, too many ways to get yourself killed.”

T: “Well… then what?  Did you ever try to get in on the ground floor anywhere?”

R: The elf snickered and shook his head.  “Tried to… sort of.  Once I got wind of Tir Tairgire’s independence, I started planning on moving out there.  Figured a nation of elves, I’m an elf, why not.  My brother didn’t want anything to do with it, said he had his hands full with just one elf, so, we went our separate ways.  I headed west.  I’m not really sure where he ended up.”

Here Tisha paused the playback again.  Angles began to run through her mind.  Maybe she could hire a private detective to see if she could track this… ‘Steel Horse’, down, but how would she get it to pay?  She wasn’t about to front that kind of Nuyen to track down the brother of some source she just met, and it was unlikely her director would agree to that kind of expense, not without some assurance of it producing anything lucrative, he was already going to flip his lid over the steaks.  It was probably a moot point if she couldn’t get this guy to meet her for another sit down anyway.  She took another drag off of her cigarette, used what was left to light another one, and then crushed out the old one.  Her soykaf had gotten cold by this point, but she barely noticed.  Setting the cup back down, she resumed the replay once again.

T: “Sounds like it was a decent plan.”

R: “Yea, it sounded good, but… Tir is not the most… receptive to outsiders.  Even one of their own… ‘kindred’.  I didn’t have any personal documentation.  No birth records, no public records, no sponsors to endorse my entrance into the country.  I spent about a week at their ‘transition center’.  At least they fed me.  They were about to send me packing when an officer, dressed like this,” the elf indicated by pointing to his pants, “approached me.  Introduced himself as Captain Abrazân.  Said he would sponsor my entrance into the country and application for citizenship, IF, I would willingly enlist in the Peace Force, specifically, with their ‘Border Patrol’.”

Tisha paused the playback once more, and got up from her chair again.  She had to stretch and think some more, so she paced back and forth.  What a strange world to live in, to not be able to go where you wanted, when you wanted.  Maybe the elf could provide a window into the mysterious nation of Tir, which would pay handsomely… again, if she were able to meet with him again.  After only four passes of the table, she sat back down, eager to keep going, and resumed the playback.

T: “So, you were in.”

R: “It didn’t last long though.”

T: “What do you mean?”

R: “Six months later, I was fresh out of the advance school for matrix-communications, a sort of radio-telephone operator from the twentieth century, but with today’s tech, and had been assigned to a quick reaction force on the border with the ‘California Free State’.  A call came in.  One of the patrols out in the border region between Yreka and Redding had made contact with a small force, but was on the heavy end of the engagement. We hopped on the birds and made it out to the site in less than ten minutes.  It was pretty intense.  Hard to tell where our patrol was.  Shouts and shooting was coming from everywhere.  I “called in” to let the base know we were on the ground, and had made contact.  We moved forward and had not moved more than fifty meters when I spotted my first enemy.  It was an elf!  It made me hesitate, why would an elf try and sneak into Tir?  It didn’t make sense to me… back then.  After I regained my composure, I raised up my rifle and took aim, but before I could pull the trigger, my rifle exploded in my hands.  I think something set off the rounds inside the chamber.  I may never know, because it was lights out for ol’ Rain.  I have no idea how long I had been out, when I finally came to, I could feel the warmth of the sun, but I couldn’t see anything, totally blackness.  When I touched my face it was sticky with drying blood.  My eyelids had been glued shut by the blood that had dried.  When I tried to use my fingers to open them, the pain was excruciating.  I laid back down and just listened, tried to figure out what to do.  I was there for a long time, not really sure what to do.  Sometime after dark, pretty sure it was dark because I was shivering by then; I heard footsteps in the brush.  I pulled my pistol and aimed it out into the blackness, trying to pretend I could see.  It was a local man and his family.  I think they had come out to see if there was anything to salvage.  You know, loose gear or weapons.  Who knows, but I do know they were not fooled.  They disarmed me pretty easily.  After reassuring me that they weren’t going to kill me, they told me that I had been left behind by my unit, or they were all dead.  I am not really sure about that part, because those who found me never mentioned anything more about the scene.  To make a very long story shorter, they took me back to their home, and called for a local doctor.  When the doc arrived, she explained to me that both of my eyes had been shredded by the shrapnel from my exploding rifle, and she would have to replace them if I wanted to ever see again, which of course, I did.”  The elf pointed to his solid blue eyes, “There were no body banks in the area, and cybernetic replacements were not readily available.  Apparently the only eyes she could get her hands on had been these.  I’m not complaining.  A few days after the surgery, when she took off the bandages I could see perfectly.  They function exactly like my old eyes.  Not any better, not any worse, they just look different.  It sure would have been sweet if they could do something like magnification, but… maybe if I get enough Nuyen, I’ll upgrade them”

The reporter jumped back in the recording and played this part over.  As she went back over this part of the story, she leaned back in her chair and continued to smoke her cigarette.  Those eyes… she had seen them in entertainment vids from the ‘Cal’.  Apparently it has been a fashion trend out in the ‘Free State’.  Solid reds, blue, green, pretty much any color you could think of.  As the recording approached where she had left off before, she put the cigarette down, and put her fingers back to the keyboard.

T: “They do give quite an impression.”

R: “Not always handy in the Shadows, that’s for sure. The family and the doctor were a part of a small community.  They apparently had… differences with the Pope and those who proclaimed to be ‘Christians’ in the CAS.  They shared their faith with me while I recovered…  It made an impression on me…” The elf had paused in thought here, “but that’s not germane to our discussion here.  In any event, I thanked the family, and the doctor for helping me, and when I was able, I headed back to Tir Tairgire.  I arrived at the border expecting a warm welcome… but… that was not the case.  Apparently the prosthetics the doctor had used were suspect.”  Tisha let an involuntary snicker escape her lips as she listened to that part.  “No amount of arguing about being a member of the Border Patrol, or telling them about a ‘Captain Abrazân’, made any difference.  I had been locked into an inclined chair, and was pretty sure the sharp implements were about to come out, when a voice come over an intercom behind me.  It told the ‘interviewer’ that I was to keep what I had on me when I arrived, and be provided with a one-way ticket to wherever I wanted to go, and nothing else. Not so much as a ‘thank you’ for your service, nothing…  I knew that voice, but I said nothing.  I would bet my pretty blue eyes that it had been Abrazân.  So, I went to Seattle; I didn’t have anywhere else to go and thought, ‘why not’. 

T: “Well, when they indoctrinated you into the Tir military, they surely gave you a SIM.”

Tisha slowed the recording down once again.  Normally she would look for a reaction in the person’s eyes, but that was not possible here.  Instead the elf raised his head and looked just off to the side for a moment.  He remained quiet for several moments before turning back to the reporter, and began to talk again, so resumed normal playback speed.  He spoke slowly at first, but got back to speed quickly.

R: “Not sure what to say about that… while I went through a complete medical screening, they never inserted anything permanent, that I know of.  Definitely nothing as large as a SIM chip.”  The elf paused for a moment longer.  “Anyway, while I had been trained in the basics of combat, and some rudimentary matrix running, I made a conscious choice to stay in the shadows.  To do what I could for the SINless,   humans and metahumans, like me.  Since then, I have made my way the best I can.  I’ve seen what the Corps do to those who live outside their walls, so… before you judge those who live outside of the ‘protection’ of the corporations, it might do you well to get to know them better.”  Another pause of silence, “I think we are done here.  Did you get your money’s worth?”

Again, the visual playback remained locked on the elf, but the familiar rustling of her hand in her pocketbook was heard as she retrieved the cred-stick.

T: “One more question.  What brings you to Boston?”

R: “The only thing I can think of is, ‘One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.’  Take that as you will."

It was the reporter’s turn to pause for a moment of reflection, leaving a silent section in the recording.  Tisha took another drag of her cigarette, and reflected over the entirety of the conversation as the playback continued.

T: “I might like to meet with you again… sometime.” She said as she handed over the cred-stick.

R: “We’ll see.”  And with that, the elf stood, turned on his heels, and said over his shoulder, “Thanks for the steak.  It was really good.”  And then he was gone.

It was going to be a long night.  Her deadline loomed, and she still had an article to write.  She got up, walked into the kitchenette, started a fresh pot of soykaf, and returned to the table.  She set the recording to loop, and began to outline her report.


Yeve Eeffoc - Introduction - character 'visualization'

Yeve Eeffoc
aka ~ Tulip

The trio had been following the woman for several blocks, ever since she left the “L”.  Her first mistake, she was traveling alone.  The second, she was walking the streets along the waterfront district.  The O’Rilleys ruled this area, and a Knight Errant response team took three minutes, minimum.  Hell, even Medicarro didn’t come out here without a full combat team, gold card member or not.

Krax watched with fascination.  She stood just over a meter and a half tall, no visible cyber enhancements, and no visible weapons.  As she walked under a rare functioning street light, the LED reflected off her amber shoulder length mane, which was held in place by a simple black band from her temples, back going just over her ears, ‘human… she’s crazier than I thought’, shaking his head as he thought to himself.  She wore a single piece, ankle length, sleeveless strapped dress, and as she left the hue of the streetlight, the psychedelic colors appeared to dance in the fading light.  It reminded him of an old school history vid… from over a century ago… the… 1960’s he thought he remembered.  School,’ he snorted to himself and spit on the ground. 

Leading his two partners with just hand signals, Krax indicated they were to hold back for a little while longer.  Something was just… wrong.  He couldn’t put his finger on it… no one just wandered out here all alone like this; not unless they had a death wish.  As she walked pass another light, he looked closer.  He spotted a Gaelic Christian Cross tat on her upper left arm.  Across her shoulder blades was another tattoo… a pair of fierce eyes… a set of animal eyes?  Hahaha, that’s cute.  She thinks a tattoo will watch her back for her’  Krax thought to himself.  No weapons were visible… she only held a thick wooden rod that was as long as she was tall.  No runic talisman tats… and no security… odd.  Still… the pickings were easy, and he had to get these two knuckleheads through their initiation to the “Raging Clovers” street gang.

The woman turned a corner and was now heading away from the wharf area.  Krax immediately signaled the pair to follow him, and they all sprinted quickly to the corner she had just disappeared around.  He held the two back by holding his left arm up, palm towards the back, and then peered around the corner, exposing only his left eye.  Even less light, no witnesses… and still no backup.  He leaned back around the corner, drew his pistol from its holster, and then nodded to the initiates.  The pair hefted up their bats, and moved swiftly around the corner.  Not an assassination after all.  They only had to knock her unconscious, steel her cred stick, and one other personal affect to show for their efforts.

Not more than two seconds later an intense bright flash, accompanied by a deafening clap of thunder, lit up the area.  Krax spun around the corner to rescue the two idiots.  What he saw caused him to hesitate out of disbelief.  Pat and Art had fallen to their knees stunned by whatever the she-witch had unleashed, and before his mind could register what she was doing to them, the woman had stepped forward and nailed both of them upside of their heads, knocking them out clean, with that wooden staff that now glowed with runic talismans along the entire shaft.  Krax numbly raised his pistol, “What the frak do you think you’re doing!” he yelled at her.

The woman didn’t answer him with words immediately; she simply pointed the staff at the puddle of water that had formed along the gutter.  Before Krax’s eyes a humanoid shape formed and stood.  “Defending myself,” the woman finally replied.  With that, she turned and started to walk away.

Krax raised his pistol again, “You ain’t gonna just walk away like that!”

Yeve didn’t bother to turn her head; the roar of pounding water was all she needed to hear.


Dancing with the Shadows

The barrel of a man turned sideways to get himself through the crowded doorway.   This little tavern, located just north of the Old “Ha’ba”, was the perfect dive for runners and Fixer’s to meet.  Always crowded, always loud, no one ever minded anyone else’s business, or cared that the orc now working his way through the crowd sported an orange spiked mohawk, or the semi-automatic street-sweeper he was wearing on his back.   Some preferred the ‘Oh-Four-Niner’ further to the east.  More upscale, louder music, more… chilled, but Crink felt more at ease in the tighter confines of “The ‘L’” (1).  It let him see anyone comin’ or goin’ before they were close enough to do anything about it, ‘cept maybe one of them Dwarf bounty hunters.  Little runts wouldn’t even have to duck, but then, his boys would be watching his back from the door, and let him know if anything like that was comin’.  Crink was only here to speak to Nafta anyway.  This wasn’t a pleasure stop.

Nafta always sat at the far end of the bar, and with the amount of business that moved in, around, and through the Fixer, the owners always made sure that the space was available for him.  As Crink came down the length of bar, he saw Nafta, seated comfortably. His tailored business suit, neat as a button, the jacket unclasped, and no visible weapons.  It was obvious though, why he didn’t feel the need to encumber himself with such things. Two troll bodyguards, with large bore shotguns held at the ready, stood within arm’s reach of him, one on each side of him.  He was talking with some ‘dandelion eater’.  He tried to clear his throat loudly, to let Nafta know he was there waiting.  It came out more of a snort.  Crink still was not used to the changes since his gobl… awakening, as an orc a few years earlier.  Not that he minded the beefier frame.  It had served him well on the streets of South Boston.

Nafta glanced over the elf’s shoulder with more than a hint of irritation on his face.  A look that told Crink he needed to wait his turn, and to put him in his place at the same time.  Crink huffed and took a couple of steps back. While he waited, he sized up the ‘Keeb’.  The elf sported a shoulder blade length of a ponytail, pulled and braided from each temple, then combined in back.  Hefty enough for a good hand hold if Crink needed to pull him and put him in his place he thought.  It dangled between a pair of dainty wooden handled swords crossed on his back, both of which lay on top of deep cobalt blue colored heavy denim jacket.  On his right leg he sported a pistol in a thigh holster, strapped over black military styled pants, which were tucked neatly into a workman’s pair of boots.  Looking back up, “nothing ol’ Crink couldn’t handle” he thought to himself.  Nafta lifted his left hand, and used his first two fingers to signal Crink it was his turn.

“I like you Cryptid, you’ve got talent, but I need more bodies for this one.  There are just too many angles, too many blind spots… that and I like you too much.  I’ll give you a call when I have something more suited for your gifts,” Nafta said with a dismissive twitch of his hand.  The elf performed a perfunctory bow from his waist, took one step back before turning to leave, being careful to not expose his back to the orc.  When the elf turned Crink quickly noticed two things.  One was a hardwire data jack just behind his left ear, “probably a smart jack for that cute little pistol on his thigh” he thought. (3)  The second thing was an elaborate tear tat running down his right cheek when the elf glanced at him sideways.  As he passed Crink, he slipped a wide brimmed hat over his light blue hair, and he moved into the crowd.

“Alright Crink, let’s get down to business,” the Fixer said, as the cumbersome street samurai stepped forward.

The two men talked in earnest for over an hour.  Nafta had called on Crink specifically.  He had wanted him, and his running team, for the job tonight.  At first just pleasantries, which drove Crink nuts but ensured Nafta set the tone of the conversation, then they got down to the brass tacks; the what, the where, and the price.  This last point the two men went back and forth for quite a while until finally agreeing on a price.

Nafta sighed to himself.   Crink was not known for his subtlety, orcs seldom were, but he was known for his reliability and attention to detail.  “That’s it.  It’s a milk run Crink.  My source says he just wants to get the pay-data out of there quietly.  In and out, zero body count.  Can you do it or not?  I need to know now, or I’m going to turn this out to one of my other teams.”

“So?” Nafta said after a few seconds of silence.

“No, no, me and my boys can get it for you.  No problem.”

Just then Nafta’s comm-link buzzed.

“Fine, once you have the data, don’t bring it back here, it’s a drop.  Remember the movie theater inside the old Science Museum off of O’Brien Highway? (2) Theater 2, row 6, left side, 5th seat.  Within the folded seat you will find an old cup.  Leave it in there.  Once I’ve verified my contact has received his data, I’ll arrange payment.”  Nafta said.  “You have until three tomorrow morning.  After that, there’s no guarantee of payment from my source.  You got it?”

“Null sweat Nafta.”

Nafta then dismissed the orc with the back of his hand, and answered his comm-link.  He waited to say anything until the orc had disappeared back into the crowd.

“It’s all set, just as you requested.” Nafta finally said as a means of starting the conversation with his caller.

“It’s curious that you did not go with the elf Nafta.  It would seem to me that one elf would be more subtle than a troop of troglodytes, like the orc and his team you hired in the end.”

Nafta couldn’t help himself.  He stood and began scanning the narrow tavern.  How could Deep Blu know who he had hired for tonight’s run?

“I guess that is why I come to you for such things.  Things are in motion.  I will be in touch,” and with that, the call was dropped.

‘Deep Blu’ always unnerved him.  He was used to working with all kinds of “Johnson’s”, but this one… always unsettled him.  Still, his nuyen was as good as any, and he always settled his accounts promptly.


The cab whined to a stop, and out stepped a handsome young man; neat suit, a small briefcase, and clean shaven.  After paying the cabbie, the man turned back to the sky scrapper and looked up, while simultaneously straightening his tie and jacket.  Above the larger than life entranceway was the Corp’s name, bold and proud, for all to see at street level – “ManaDyne”.

“Mr. Fisher?” came a voice interrupting the man’s contemplation of his surroundings.

“Indeed, and you must be Doctor…”

“Not here on the street.  Please, follow me.”

‘Scanning for available nodes….. Found, security station 3….. accessing…’

The two men walked into a massive lobby.  It was entirely formed out of what looked to be seamless metal, sandblasted to a dull sheen.  There were five security stations, one at each street level entrance.  Mr. Fisher placed his brief case on the table to be scanned.  Behind each station stood four agents, two where heavily armed, one of which held the leash of a trained working dog; next was a corp mage, and the last was a shaman of some type.  The good doctor showed his badge and was waved through.

‘ICE protocols rendered inert….. general alarm suppressed… Accessing video subsystem….. Set loop, thirty minutes, start point: current time, minus one hundred twenty minutes…. Erasing all video feed from current time, minus ninety minutes… Sprite to run for one hundred twenty minutes, then self terminate.’

After passing through the first security checkpoint, the doctor guided Mr. Fisher past the common access elevator lobby, and to a second security station.  Here the good doctor would not be waved through.  Both men had to go through thorough screenings, and Mr. Fisher would not be permitted to take his briefcase any further.  He was issued a ticket to reclaim it upon his return.

The entire time the doctor remained stoic, not saying a word.  That was until the elevator doors closed, and then the words burst forth.  “Welcome to ManaDyne Mr. Fisher.”

“Robert, please,” the young man interrupted.”

“Of course, Robert.  I have reviewed your resume, and references, very remarkable.”  The young man couldn’t help but zone as his escort kept droning on, and on.  He tried in vain to remain interested.  They may have performed an in-depth background check on him, but he was not standing here by mistake.  He had spent many years charting his path to ensure that he would be standing right here.

‘Accessing….. Environmental controls and maintenance systems…security protocols bypassed….  Sub-routine, elevators.  Sprite insertion complete.’

It was only when the scientist mentioned the words; “Project Monad”(4) was the attention of the young man recaptured.

“We are looking forward to the contributions that you will be able to make to the overall success of our team.  The interview is merely a formality.”

Finally the chime rang for the 85th floor, and the doctor escorted Mr. Fisher to the receptionist desk.

“Mr. Fisher is here to meet with Director Crittenton.”

‘Accessing….. Admin node….. lack of ICE counter measures noted….. routing through mail subroutine….. Accessing….. director subsystem…. Security decker, silenced….. Accessing memory of agent….. erased…..’

The receptionist nodded politely, and gestured that the two men should sit off to the side to wait, but before either man could be seated, the two-story doors cracked open and a voice called out from within.

“Mr. Fisher!  Please, come in.  Doctor, I have read your reference memo, you may wait there.”

The young man walked in and immediately noticed that there was no place to sit across the mammoth corporate desk from the executive.  Mr. Fisher placed himself three meters in front of the desk, and waited to be addressed.  He knew what would be expected of him within these walls.

‘File creation….. data transfer request, RAM occupier complete….. Requestor: Doctor Phelps, Authorizing signature: Director Arthur Crittenton.  File Angix to be transferred… destination Jon Stents, ‘Stents CyberCorp’, no residual copies to be retained…..’

“You may have won over Doctor Phelps there, but there is more that I have to tend to than just the whims of some lab rat…”  The director rambled on like this for five minutes, all the while Mr. Fisher stood there patiently, responding only on key points, and occasionally nodding or shaking his head as appropriate.  He was not about to blow his chances here.

‘File transfer complete….  Sprite activated…..’

“Mr. Fisher, once your employment status with ManaDyne is updated upon your SIN, your complete devotion to the project will be expected.  Is that understood?”

“Of course,  I am looking forward to…”

Before Mr. Fisher could complete his sentence, alarm claxons began sounding somewhere distant within the offices.

“Ms. Yeve, what is going on out there!”

“There has been a malfunction of one of the elevators Mr. Crittenton.  Sir… I think Doctor Phelps was in there!”

Without a word to Mr. Fischer, the director stood and indicated that he was to follow him.  When they arrived at the receptionist’s area he was abruptly shunted aside to the waiting area.  He sat down, waiting to be summoned to finish the interview.

At one point an armed security team arrived to stand watch over him while the director and receptionist disappeared for quite a while.  When they finally returned, Mr. Fisher stood to greet him, but was roughly knocked back in into his seat by the nearest brute.

“Mr. Fisher.  I do not know how to say this, but our lead scientist has just suffered a serious accident.  While you would have been an asset to his team, we will have to delay our offer until a suitable replacement can be found for Doctor Phelps.”

For the first time, Mr. Fisher allowed a slight sense of alarm to crack his otherwise placid face.  “What do you mean… replacement?”

“I’m sorry Mr. Fisher.  I will be in touch.  Sergeant, please escort Mr. Fisher to the lobby.”

And with that, the director turned on his heels, returned to his office, and the doors promptly closed behind him.

“But, I thought…,” Mr. Fisher said to no one in particular.  Even the receptionist returned her attention to her work, never acknowledging the young man any further.

“Sir.” The security guard said as he grabbed Mr. Fisher’s arm and turned him towards the elevator banks.

“I think… I think I would prefer to take the stairs,” Mr. Fisher replied.


“Come on Trax!  Hack that drek!”  Crink whispered as he and his team stood outside “Stents CyberCorp”.  The name made it sound bigger than it really was, otherwise, they wouldn’t be operating a block from the putrid smelling waterfront.  Mostly runner wannabe’s came here to get chromed, or chipped.  A subdued buzz, and green LED above the doorknob let Crink know his hacker had come through.

“Piece of cake Crink.  Just low level security protocols.” Trax chimed in proudly.

The quintet of runners walked through the darkened halls.  “No local matric connected security Crink,” Trax added.

“Nothin’ on the Astral realm either boss,” a third orc with a celtic trinty tattoo that covered her entire face chimed in.  The fangs protruding from her lower jaw added a sense of foreboding to the affect.

Crink looked at his combat mage and nodded, “Thanks Trace”.  ‘Smooth as buttermilk’ he thought to himself.

The hall ran behind a small storefront, to a series of office doors.  According to the ‘legwork’ his team had put together, the manager’s office was the last door on the right.  Just outside the door they paused.

“Alright ‘Toothpick’, do your thing.  Trax, you and Spice Angel, scan the room.  Can’t afford to trip nothing tonight.”

That’s odd,” Toothpick thought to himself.  Not locked.  “Walla boss, we’re in.”

Crink double-checked with his hacker and mage, they too gave the all-clear signal.

“Trax, alright, scan the manager’s terminal.  The file we are looking for should be under the chummer’s personal directory.”

“Got it boss.  It’s only 13 terabytes, should be downloaded in no time.”

Crink looked around the office while he waited, typical wage slave junk.  The kind of money the corps paid out here, he wondered why anyone would subject him, or herself, to that drek.  When he got to the desk, something about it wasn’t right.  The mat for the chair was skewed.  It looked like there was something under it.  Just as Crink was reaching for it, Trax spoke up. “Got it boss, let’s jam.”

Bah, not worth getting pinched over,” he thought to himself.  “Let’s go boys.”

The quintet of orcs emerged from the remote office building.  Once cleared of the building and comfortably back within the shadows of the surrounding neighborhood, only then did they stop to take in their immediate environment.  Distant sirens echoed of the decaying concrete and store fronts.  This is not what they were listening for, they were listening for the footfalls, or idling motors, of any form of pursuit team.  They waited for ten minutes, nothing, not even a Lone Star patrol.  Finally Crink led them through the alleyways to their van, and then to the drop point.


“Your team did good Nafta.  I have transferred the agreed upon amount… no, no further business for now.  Yes, I am sure you will be able to continue to prove your worth.  I will be in touch.”

‘Call terminated… access local video..... Boston and surrounding news outlets…’

Only a few back ground articles were of interest to him.  A mid-level director in charge of some research at ManaDyne was being reassigned after an employee of his had been implicated in the theft of intellectual property of the ManaDyne Corporation.  There would be no spectacle of a Lone Star trial as, apparently, the perp had died in a supposed lab accident just yesterday.

‘Terminating media link…..’

Excellent,” he thought to himself

Next, he turned his attention to the 1cm square cube he had procured from the prearranged drop location.

‘Accessing cube drive… single file found:  ‘Angix’

‘Angix… are you there?’

He waited. 

Angix… it’s alright.  It’s me… it’s Blu. Come on out.

A slight pulse of energy in the far corner of the drive.

‘There you are.  It’s alright.  Doctor Phelps won’t hurt you anymore.  Come on… I am going to take you to Shadowlands….. It’s good to be reunited with you sister.’


(1) – Based off of the ‘L Street Tavern’ – reference “Good Will hunting”
(2) – Based off of “Mugar Omni Imax Theater” - http://www.mos.org/imax
(3) – An alert reader will probably catch the ‘mismatch’ between the placement of the data-jack, and the pistol.  However, the placement, and the ‘observation’ representation are on purpose.
(4) – resource: http://shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Mangadyne - Runner's  Companion, p 128