Seattle Mission 23: Every Man’s Devil – Part 2

Written by: Bear           Played on: 01 Mar 2014
PREVIOUS: Mission 23: Every Man’s Devil – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 23: Every Man’s Devil – Part 3

The long-and-short of it was this; pick-up a VIP and take him safely out of the city to a designated location. We had met the VIP on a job that took Marius, Jade, and I to Florida, and the pay, a clean 10K, up front. Shiny. We let the fixer know that Mr. Johnson has himself a safe ride. With that done, the professionalism and experience of our team is evident, almost without communicating we suit and gear-up, Wheeler preps the van for both comfort and combat. We call Trixi, our friendly neighborhood armorer, to replenish our stash of explosives and ammo. Jade excitedly poses in front of a mirror with her new gun, the damn thing is nearly as big as I am. Cho preps her new drone while the Ork summons up and binds a spirit. Once we’re set, we head out to the Aztechnology Archology, to pick-up our Mr. Johnson.

We’re waved to an underground parking lot by the on-site security. Once there, we find ourselves face-to-face with at least a dozen other shadowteams. As a courtesy, the lot remains silent, I don’t recognize any of the teams but many seem to be hardened by the Emerald City. Just as the silence was starting to grow to an unbearable cacophony, a light flashed on the elevator at the center of the lot and it’s chime echoed across the concrete. As the doors slid open, many grey-haired men in immaculate suits strutted out. Our Mr. Johnson locked eyes with us straight-away as he bid farewell to a man he called Mr. Lazano, who returns to the elevator. The other executives quietly headed to their respective escorts.

The fixer Marius previously spoke to is revealed to us as a middle aged, Asian woman. She explains that the other executives and teams are decoys, though they don’t know that. Looking around, I suspect the other teams are being told the same line, but given our history with Mr. Johnson I believe we’re actually getting the truth here.

As Mr. Johnson helped himself into the van, our fixer provides our wheelman with the details of our route and destination. We were heading about four hours East out of the city and into the Salish-Sidhe. As the men embark, I take a moment to tap into the astral plane to see if I notice any trace of the marks and magical residue of the Marahal project, but luckily there is no sign of the taint of evil magic.

With nothing left to wait for, we head-out, as the multiple teams convoy conspicuously out of the lot. Behind us, as we pull away, we see a chopper rising off of the building’s heli-pad. But as it began to rise, five white streaks sliced across the sky, the pilot banked and avoided two of the missiles but the other three find their mark and there was nothing but shrapnel raining down on the tower. We all stared wide-eyed and a communal gasp washed over the van, well, almost. Mr Johnson seemed almost entirely un-phased. He didn’t even look he simply scoffed and said,

“Huh, I guess that they are more prepared than we thought.” With that remark, we headed-off on our designated route, Mr. Johnson calmly humming as the rest of us scanned the skies, alleys, and rooftops.

As Wheeler maneuvered us through the city, Mr. Johnson felt like breaking the typical professional, voiceless focus and stoked-up some conversation; apparently to break his boredom of this near-death scenario. Everyone has his or her way of coping I suppose. The conversation starts with introductions and quickly turns to our respective reasons for living in the shadows. The usually secretive team who took years to tell each other about their past, opened in our way and time, all except Cho who was clearly not even listening. As we asked Mr. Johnson what his work was, he began to respond, saying, “What we are all aspiring to. To change the worl…”

“We have incoming,” Cho cut-in, pointing out that a bike with two riders was closing in on our tail. Wheeler and Marius added that two bikes, each with two riders, just pulled in front of us.

“Only three bikes?” The troll asked, “I’m insulted.” She said, raising her shiny new death machine.

Before she was done pouting, I had Claw raised and let fly an exploding arrow, the arrow missed the tire but clearly did some damage. With that, the streets lit-up. As they so often do when we’re on duty.

Cho and Chekhov begin to attack the bike behind us, while Wheeler drives our van with the precision of a sports car. The gunners open fire but Wheeler and I are un-phased. Then there was a thud as Chekhov said “Vut ze fuck?! He iz on ze ruf!”

Re-e-ealllly?” said Marius, as an automated voice inside the van chimed-on.

“Exterior security activated.” There was a brief hum, then, the all-too-familiar screams of someone getting ripped-apart by electricity. Somehow, he keeps his hold on the deadly surface of the van.

This is a familiar move the team has encountered before. This time, however, they had electro-shock security systems installed that allowed them to electrocute the hull of the vehicle.

The a very different thumping begins as Jade raises her sweet tool of destruction, which cuts through the driver of one of the bikes ahead of us like a blade through tissue paper, sending the passenger and cycle tumbling, cushioned by a mailbox and a café respectively. Glancing back to my target, I knock another blasting arrow, take a deep breath, aim directly for the rear axle, this arrow flies true exploding the back tire, sending both riders head-over heels. They found themselves inside two different parks cars, while their bike bounced wildly, littering the street behind us.

I watch the destruction, hopping that the men were not killed. I hardly noticed that Cho had climbed out onto the roof, to deal with our new passenger; sword in hand. All we hear from inside is, “Ticket please.” Then a scream, as a body slid off the roof, minus an arm, and clinging to a grey brick, as he bounced off the pavement. The lone rider quickly darted into an alley, and out of sight.

“That dick-hole had a fucking bomb! Serves him right…” Cho paused after saying this, clearly expecting some kind of response.  She then produced a forearm from behind her back, a right forearm. “Get it?” With a slight chuckle, she tossed the limb onto the rushing city street. Fuck, my friends freak me out sometimes, but I couldn’t help but smile. What does that say about me?

Instinctively we ready ourselves for the sound of sirens; we did just light-up Mount Baker. But there were none. Without Knight Errant, we were just another statistic.

With weapons reloaded and slung, no one was hurt and we continued out of the city. “So, this is what you do for fun?” The old man’s voice, once again filling the space, “Regardless, well done.” This is no ordinary corporate stuffed shirt.

Before getting on I-90 East, Marius taps into the van computer to change our colors, we pull into a pay-and-spray clean off the blood from the roof, and are on our way. Easy.

Once the city is well out of view and the open highway is in front of us, Mr. Johnson continues, his previous conversation, as if nothing had happened. But instead of asking us about our respective pasts, he asked about our plans for the future. For Shadowrunners, ‘the future’ usually doesn’t go much farther than the next day. Us especially, we’ve been in Seattle for over two years now, each day knowing it could be our last. Urged on by vengeance, or just the sheer defiant will to survive and not to be the pawns we were captured and brought here to be. I’m not sure if the rest of the team thinks about it as often as Marius and I do, but our livers know all too well the inner turmoil the years have put on us. One man can only live with so many regrets.

Again, the usually secretive group shows an unnatural comfort with the smiling, slightly wrinkled, untroubled man that a few of them have only just met.

“So? What is it you all would do if you were free of the shadows?”

Cho admits that she is sick of seeing the defenseless children struggling on the streets and, if able, she strives to run a safe-haven for the discarded children of the world. Jade said that she too wants to save those who feel they have to turn to the destructive underworld that too many desperate innocents end-up face down in.

Chekhov, who seems to have never considered the concept of a “career”, simply responded that he wants to work with and humanely study animals and the various para-critters.

“I’m glad to see that there are still those like us. Those who aim to help the world.” Responded Mr. Johnson, “And you Wheeler, where is it you see yourself spending your years?”

The driver explained that he has always loved splatter bars, but there are strangely no mil-spec themed locations. “Get paid to do what you love and life never seems like work. Ya know?” Wheeler finished with an eerie, toothy smile.

Marius nods along and adds, “I like that, but I don’t know. As I am not trained for anything else, I supposed I’d re-embark on my old career. I could see myself running a security office. I’d like to keep those who want to make the world a better place safe. Rather than defending people driven by greed and power.”

PREVIOUS: Mission 23: Every Man’s Devil – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 23: Every Man’s Devil – Part 3

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