To Live and Die in LA...

First Night Out
Of imports, stealing and a white van with a large bug on the top

First job – simple data steal.
Steal a certain file from a certain desk – can’t know that that one file was the target.
Corp: Trans-National Imports.
Hired Hamfist and in they went. First corp steal. Stole a truck from Dale’s Dead Bug and put some guards to sleep. So with only minor injuries escaped with servers in tow and some desktops.

Success.

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Zoo Story
and a night in the sewers

First pick up job from a real fixer. Help Mr. Johnson with a pest problem.
One rat swarm and a very sad incubus – no problem.
One croc (It’s an alligator!) under Sepulveda Blvd. later – and we’re minus one Lone Star trooper – big problem.

Followed by an escape with a Lone Star Sargent and it’s decided the croc (alligator) can have that section of the sewers.

Hell hounds led and a gabirel’s hound led to a genetic lab that sold various animals and a gentleman named Disball.
Working at the LA Zoo a showdown was in the works. From the primate habitat he attacked and quick work was made of him and his animals. However the only lingering question was how was a man not magically aware casting spells?

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A Tale of Two Gangs
It was the best of times...

A Tale of Two Gangs

In the San Pedro Barrens two gangs have been going at it pretty heavy but a truce has been talked about. The Bounty Hunters and the Grape Street Gang gangs are coming to a summit in the ruins of the old harbor, near Third street, Yoman has a rep from the Grape Street Gang that would like hire some extra muscle. All you guys have to do is stand there while the truce is settled and look tough.
Easy money, right?

>>Two gangs, both alike in dignity,
>>In fair San Pedro where we lay our scene,
>>To epic summit from old mutiny,
>>When ganger blood makes ganger hands unclean.

>>Between the fatal guns of these two foes,
>>A group of runners risks their lives,
>>Whose misadventures piteous overthrow,
>>Do with their job bury the ganger’s strife.

>>The fearful chaos of their death mark’d groove,
>>And the continuance of the street punks’ rage,
>>Which, but the runner’s blood, not could remove,
>>Is now the two hours traffic of our stage.

>>The which of you with patient ears attend,
>>What hear shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

>> Predator

>>We should total do this one.

>> Predator

>>Also, Death Mark’d Groove has got to be the best band name ever.

>> Predator

Yoman reports the meet is set for Wednesday night.
~
So the ambush was set in the gym. So everyone thinks. A couple of snipers and a towel fight later were about an hour from the biggest social gathering this gym has seen in a while.
~
There was a run on the gym. There was dead guys in the gym. Predator met his match and by that we mean someone who almost did as much damage as he did – once.
’Explosions – turns out every car in the barrens is running gasoline and goes all Hollywood explosion on everyone – Mythbuster style.
Senna is hard to kill.
End of story.

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A Night Among The Stars!
...Feel Good Time!

It wouldn’t be LA with out the glitz and glamor of stardom. One night work – bodyguard duty.
A chance to hob-nob with the better side of life – Swan is good for high end jobs.
What could be better, chummer?

>> No, We should do THIS one! Who doesn’t want a night among the stars? Plus, maybe we can steal their shit.

>> Ghost

>> I would also love a night among the stars. I absolutely want to do both. We should go with the one that isn’t time dependent.

>> Predator

Swan says the club date is Friday at the BarSinster. A low class place in the upper reaches of West Hollywood. He has tickets for you to meet the Mr. Johnson (Max Foley) who has full details. Swan is only setting up the meet. If nothing else it’s a chance to see Maria Mercurial live. Time to ride with LA’s biggest up and coming novastar!

-
’Puta Lyrics

Yo soy tu madre,
so dont’ frag with me.
I’ll mess you up bad if you disagree.
My time is money, you know that, carbon.
You got what you wanted, so don’t hang around.

Yo soy madre

Luvely puta, that’s what you say to me.
Hola, puta, I’m what you want me to be,
Till you get the thing you want, nothing’s too good for me.
But when you’re done
And you’ve had your fun, then it’s…
Puta, dirty puta, just get away from me…

~

Held up in the local no-tell-motel, a little five story affair on the east edge of the Barrens and Lomita, our intrepid runners find themselves with two tel numbers for one old manager, a new manager in a track suit and a novastar scitz. The price on their head isn’t worth turning themselves in and there isn’t a wet bar.
Wanted, not sure what’s going on, dumped the van with the bug on the top but the worst thing in the whole situation is the lack of bar, am I right?

~

So Maria is a hard drive but for what? The Azzies are interested; the yaks seem interested; but why? Will we ever find out? I doubt it. Armando and Maria are reunited and look like they might live happily ever after.
Despite Foley being out of the picture the runners plan on delivering Maria to the TV studio as planned. Early even. Job well done and drinks all around.
Nothing could be safer then the TV studio.

So set your cyber-eyes for channel 5/3 and Holly Brighton’s exclusive interview with MARIA MERCURIAL!!! It’s sure to be a blast!

~

TV is exciting! Early morning shows even more so! Yaks and Azzises and a dwarf, oh my!
In the end lots of dead people. Maria lived and made her interview and all well that ends well…except for people trying to kill and the motive but who needs all that?
Not Us!

~

Morgan was nice enough to exposition for us. Sometime during the weekend he wasn’t interested in the information considering how much it was costing him. Another manager went behind his back and tried to finish the job so we had the run at channel 5/3. This manager has been retired and Mr. Morgan claims the property in question is no longer important. He dropped by to let the Runners know he was out. It was up to them if they wanted to let Maria know about her past or not. No takers – Who cares?

Maris was married a few days later in a small private ceremony with just the Runners attending.

Her new album, Punta was released and crushed the charts – but you knew that already, didn’t you chummer?

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Feels Like the First Time

Kelly was my first. You never forget your first.

It was a few months after I moved to Seattle with my friend Chuckie to start my career as a runner. It was the summer of 2045 and I had just had my first big payday, and it was a big one. Six digits and the first wasn’t a one. I had cash to burn and a lady to spend it on.

It happened in an alley behind an Organ Grinder. One of the doctors there said she could hook me up on a deal with some cheap cyberware off the books. She put in wired reflexes, dermal plates, and a smart link. The doctor, she was beautiful. Blonde hair, blue eyes, looked like she came out of some depraved BTL. No idea why she liked a loser like me. I fucked her a few times. One time on the table where she installed the goods. But this ain’t about her. This is about Kelly.

Kelly was the most beautiful piece I had ever seen. She was white and glistening with deep reds in the all the right places. I loved the way she felt in my hand and I could tell she enjoyed it when I held her. The first time I saw her she was with another man, a friend of mine. He didn’t treat her right, didn’t give her the care and attention she deserved. I knew I had to have her. I had to take her away from the man who didn’t love her like I could. When they split, like I knew they would, I went for her.

After I got the cyberware put in and the doctor said everything was working fine, I immediately went out back to try it out. Kelly was by my side through the whole operation and I grabbed her the second I was outside. When the smartlink in my hand connected with her, it was the most intense feeling I have ever had. The cool touch of her was magnified a million times as the smartlink took effect. When I gripped her handle and pulled her out of her holster, all I could do was stop and stare at her.

I could feel her every part. I every piece of metal inside and out. The sheer ecstasy of it paralyzed me. I stood motionless for what seemed like an eternity. The sensation I felt when I pushed in a clip and chambered the first round brought me too my knees. The pure satisfaction I felt when I fired that first round truly cannot be described with words.

In hindsight, it was probably pretty awkward for the doctor to watch. She told me to stop shooting the dumpster and get the fuck out before Lonestar showed up. She never called back.

—-Predator

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Chuckie

Chuckie was my best friend since we were kids. We lived down the street from each other growing up. When my parents left me, his family gave me a place to stay. We spent most of our days skipping school and breaking streetlights down near the barrens. We had this dream together. It was a fantasy of what our lives would be when we grew up. We had lived in the Barrens seeing all these bad things happen to people and watching society and the law ignoring them because of ignorance or incompetence or just plain apathy. We would run a business where we would get paid to solve problems for people outside of the law. Sort of a mix between gumshoe detective and cowboy. Just a couple of dudes with the abilities, know how, and drive to do what the system couldn’t.

I know what you’re saying right now. “A Shadowrunner. You just described a Shadowrunner.” Yeah I know that, but when we were kids growing up in the early 2030s, Shadowrunners weren’t a thing, at least the word wasn’t in the vernacular. Goblinization was barely ten years before, the USA had collapsed just a few years before that, and the UCAS had just years before started calling themselves the UCAS. It was a time when the power structure was collapsing but no one really knew how powerless it really was yet.

The Night of Rage was when our childhood ended. We were both barely 20. We spent those days with Chuckie’s grandmother and Chuckie’s brother Jerry barricaded in their house. She was the only family we had. We put our dreams on hold that night.

My parents had gotten a job with Ares and moved Detroit when I was in my teens, disowning their street punk of a son. Chuckie’s mom and dad were dead and missing, presumed dead, respectively, from living in the barren for too long. We wouldn’t let Chuckie’s grandmother get killed in some hate crime. Baba raised us. Without her, me, Chuckie, and Jerry would have just ended up as some nameless gang bangers on an Organ Grinder’s table. She made sure we had a place to sleep and food to eat. She showed us right and wrong. We couldn’t leave her. After that night we weren’t the ne’erdowells we were before. We got jobs and went as straight as we could. We tried to be the good grandsons that Baba deserved. We tried to be the good people that Baba taught us to be.

Me and Chuckie got a job at the docks unloading cargo. Jerry worked nights at some bar like he always has. We worked our nine to five. Made some money. Did right by Baba. Chuckie even bought a car. It was a blue 2042 Ford Americar. It’s a beautiful machine. I still drive it today. He pawned his gun to pay for it. I bought it from the shop the same day. He used to say that he had Kelly before I did, that I had his sloppy seconds. He gave me shit about that until the day he died. He was an asshole like that.

Baba died in 2044. We decided that she would have wanted us to pursue our dream from our childhood. We convinced ourselves of it drinking at her wake. We wanted Jerry to come with us. He was our older brother as far as anyone was concerned. We wanted him to look out for us like always had but he had a job, a kid, and a bitch of an ex-wife. He couldn’t leave that behind. We took all the possessions we had and loaded them into Chuckie’s blue Ford Americar and made our way to Seattle where this thing called Shadowrunning was all the rage.

—-Predator

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Missing Blood
Just a missing trinket...

Yoman meets you at The Hunter’s Club one afternoon.
Marcia comes over and waits for an order. Yoman hands her 20NY,
“Nothing for me right now.” the money assuring you won’ be disturbed while there is biz to discuss.
Marcia vanishes.
“There’s be an Renraku boss-man who needs a personal job. I looked the man up – he’s as clean as an elf baby bottom, mon. He never dealt with the shadows before so little man is scared but needs to cover his white ass.”
Yoman is looking longingly at the other patrons drinking. He starts speaking a little quicker.
“The man wants it quiet. Real quiet. So he wants to hire you. He wouldn’t give me the specs. Just the mon gave a present to a biscuit and he needs the little shiny back and the girl is riding the subway. I wouldn’t set the price without the ’tails but you can meet the mon at Noodle House in two hours. He wearing his mon colours on his noose.”
He stands up and starts trying to catch Marcias attention.
“Let me know chummer-mons.”
Yoman walks away.

~

The job was simple. Girl ran away with bauble – recover said item and return it to the Johnson before his anniversary. OK nill sweat.
Detective missing – nill sweat – he fell in love with the mark anyway
Tarot card reader had nothing to say.
Thugs outside PI’s office had nothing to say.
Tarot Card reader was something else. The creatures that killed her were something else else.
Like bugs.
Fly’s and Ants to be precise.
.
Ozy is sending a friend.
Left turn indeed – its safe to say there is no greater left turn in the shadows.
Next update wil be far more interesting then this one…

~

The The Universal Brotherhood is a brotherhood alright. A collection of bug hives.

Penumbra, the detective, was on the run. Having gained the attention of the UB in an ill conceived visit to their newest chapterhouse in the barrens of San Pedro he was jumped. Hiding out at Superdads the party finally met up with him. Comparing notes it was decided that the young lady was in trouble and needed rescuing – even if she didn’t’ know it.
Dale’s Dead ’O Bug Exterminators have a blind date with destiny – and it looks like she ordered the lobster. .

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News Reports 4/15/2050
Culver City Massacre and the UB moves to the Barrnes!

Culver City (Level 32) – Authorities from Lone Star Security are still refusing to comment on reports of a major disaster occurring last night as the Lochlann Canter in level 32 in downtown Culver City. An unconfirmed source states that at least 150 employees from the real estate firm were found dead this morning by Lone Star guards responding to an anonymous tip.
Preliminary rep[orts are listing the cause of death as being “magically induced”. The source goes on to say, however, that Lone Star forensic experts are at a loss to identify the exact nature of the magic involved.
Jacob Bright, corporate spokesperson for Lone Star Security, refused to answer any questions regarding Lochlann, saying only that in “incident” had occurred at the facility quad was currently under investigation. Bright would neither confirm nor deny claims the Geyswain, the Western Dragon who is CEO and founder of the company, was among those dead.
Said one employee not on duty yesterday; “We’re just a real estate company. This kind of thing doesn’t happen around here. At least that’s what I thought.”

Brotherhood Moves to the Barrens!
A spokesperson for the Universal Brotherhood told reporters today that the organization would be opening awareness centers in the Barrens of Los Angeles and San Diego by summer.
Miles Patrick indicated that these facilities would follow the style of numerous centers already in operation throughout low-income neighborhoods in Seattle, Wichita and Chicago. One of the largest centers is located in Los Angeles coupling almost three tiers of the downtown area with the Universal Brotherhood’s Celebrity Center International located on Franklin Avenue, the Association for Better Living and Education, the official headquarters of the Church of Acceptance International (in the Hollywood Guaranty Building) all located on Hollywood Boulevard, the Los Angeles area is the largest center for the group in the Americas.
“It isn’t just the center of Los Angeles we wish to reach. The poor and unaccomplished who need emotional and psychological support.” said Patrick. “Our studies have shown that executives’ at all levels are leading miserable, unfulfilled lives without ever realizing there is a something they can do about it. Participation in our programs will put them all on the path of self-determination and achievement.
Support for the Brotherhoods actions appear to be growing in the neighborhood level. Still some city leaders have accused the organization of being nothing more than a front for anti-establishment sentiment.
“How can they possibly say that?” asked Patrick when told of the accusation. “Our only purpose is to raise an individual’s personal awareness so that he or she can become a reasoning, understanding citizen aware of his place in the universe.”

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Shadowrunning in Seattle
The Good Ole Days

Me and Chuckie’s early days as Shadowrunners wasn’t the life of adventure and intrigue that we had wanted. It was mostly hunger and boredom. It was almost a year before we did anything even resembling a run. We got jobs in the meantime. I was working at a gun store as a tech. Chuckie was a night manager at a Stuffer Shack.

Our first exciting adventure in Seattle came about by accident. We were drunk at a bar. Chuckie found a datapad in the bathroom when he went to take a piss. To make a long and uninteresting story short, it had fallen out of another drunk guy’s pocket while he was dropping a deuce. We took it back to our place and sifted through every file on it to sate our drunk curiosity and, I guess, to find the owner. It turned out a decker had hacked some files for a Mr Johnson and put it on the datapad. He decided to celebrate his job well down by getting piss drunk. We returned the pad, shot some go gangers doing it and made a good friend of decker who went by the name 00duck.

00duck was a scrawny guy, six foot and maybe one-forty soaking wet. He was doing little jobs hacking personal emails for love letters and such. Small time shit. He wanted to make it big but he was a huge pussy and needed some muscle to pull any jobs that paid the big bucks. We were just the muscle he needed. Chuckie was a troll with a hammer and I was a dude with a Predator. I went by Dustup back then because I thought dusters were so fucking cool and Chuckie went by Martel.

In the summer of 2045 we did a whole pile of lowbrow bullshit. We spied on cheating spouses, beat up execs to stop mergers, robbed gangers, and did a metric fuckton of bodyguard work for wage slave. It was all types of fun. Those were when I felt like we were living the Shadowrunning life to the fullest. We would wake up a noon, start drinking, meet a Mr Johnson, stay up for four days straight on a job, then pass out, wake up three days later and start all over again. You ever hear the saying that “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them”? I have and I wish it.

We hit it big when 00duck found a backdoor in some Renraku armored car code. We locked the drivers in, opened the back door and ran off with almost two million nuyuen in gold bullion. It was an amazing score. Even after fencing the bullion, we walked away with almost 400k each. This was the end of that team. 00duck retired. He took his 400k, bought a house, got a job as a sysadmin at Renraku, got married, had three fat children, and walked off into the sunset. He’s still there. Living the wage slave life. He loves it. I don’t blame him.

Me and Chuckie weren’t done. I spent my cash on some pretty fucking neat cyber and Chuckie bought a hammer that shot lightning bolts. We were some mildly large fish in a gigantic ocean of runners at the time, but work wasn’t hard to find. We bounced around from job to job for almost two years before we met an orc who went by the name Coldcut. He was a rigger looking to build a team. He already had a decker and a hermit, he just needed some muscle to round out the group. We were good, we were experienced, and, most importantly for him, we were just stupid enough that he could fuck us over.

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The Ford Americar
Driving the Sixth World

The Ford Americar was first unveiled at the 2034 Detroit International Auto Show. It was a full-sized sedan and grand departure from the style and look of American cars at the time. American auto makers had been moving more and more since the end of the twentieth century and into the first half of the twenty-first towards smaller cars with smooth flowing lines. Small, low profile waves of color above the pavement. These vehicles emphasized fuel-economy and fancy technologic features, cars that are enjoyable to be in and not too costly to own. These cars were made for the kind of people who drove an hour from the suburbs to their job in the morning and another back at night. They were the hearth to sit by whiling away the long hours of traffic jams during the daily commute. They were geared towards specific needs, needs that were becoming less and less common in the Sixth World.

Sure, there were still wage slaves going to work, but the inherent dangers and instability meant that people tended to live closer to work and often in corporate housing with strong public transportation. The days of the commuter were ending in North America. Gas mileage became less of a concern because long drives were rare. Safety became the main issue, and not from accidents.

This was the age where the Ford Americar was unveiled. Discarding the smooth lines of early twenty-first century vehicles and instead looking more like something out of a 1970s cop drama. It had a boxy frame with a sharp angles and an almost luminous chrome grill. The frame was built of solid Detroit steel, weighing more than two tons. The doors and weren’t made of thin sheets of metal, instead there were nearly a quarter inch thick steel plates, strong enough to stop most pistols and an assault rifle at long range. The interior lacked the gadgets and gizmos that other cars of the time had and instead opting for fewer and simpler systems to give less room for failure. It didn’t have much, just power locks, comfortable seats, and bulletproof doors. It was simple, safe, reliable, and easy to maintain.

Anyone who grew up around that time will remember the ad campaigns. The most famous one featured a man getting into the car and turning it on. The camera orbits the car as it turns on showing the every angle of the exterior and moving into the interior. Words flashed across the screen “Want it because it looks great.” He then leaves his driveway and moves from his nice suburban neighborhood onto a stricken interstate, then words flash “Buy it because it takes you where you have to go.” He passes a car on the side of the road with a smoke coming from the front hood. He slows down to take a look and sees another man dressed like himself held at gunpoint by go-gangers. “Keep it because it never lets you down.” He speed up continues to cruise along. The camera jumps back to the go-gangers. They get on their bikes and catch up to the Ford Americar. The pull weapons and point at the driver. He looks at them and ducks as they begin to fire. The gangers peel off laughing to themselves. The driver stops at a parking lot and looks at his car. Several dents in his door, but no holes. “Love it because it saves your life.”

The Ford Americar was a wild success. The 2035 Ford Americar sold every single unit built with millions more looking to buy. Production ramped up and the 2036-2040 model years were the all the best-selling vehicles in the American market. In 2041, the second generation Ford Americars were released. The second generation didn’t have the resounding success of its predecessor, but its wider international release meant that the second generation was the most built and most bought car in the world from 2042 to 2048.

In 2049, Ford did something that hadn’t been done in almost 30 years: they issued a recall for eight model years at the same time. The recall cited inadequate welds in the frame that had been responsible for thirteen deaths. An analyst in the industry called it a “hyperbolic over reaction to a minor a problem.” Thirteen deaths in accidents caused by a minor defect on the highest selling car in the world should not have warranted such a massive action. The campaign to bring the vehicles in even resorted to offering 100¥ to anyone who brought in a Ford Americar for the recall. No questions asked. No proof of ownership needed. Americars were stolen and brought in. People who worked at dealerships reported that any car that came in had to be reported to Detroit and the car wouldn’t be allowed to leave until word was given from Ford. This was not at all how these things were normally done. Ford was acting weird about this issue.

There was talk that there was something fishy was going on. The Shadowlands were alight with conspiracy theories. The runners came to the conclusion that Ford Motor Company was looking for a particular Americar.

They were right. They were looking for a particular Ford Americar. A 2042 Blue Ford Americar to be exact.

They were looking for Chuckie’s.

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