(Adventure log for a Youtube series. Link to the video at the bottom!)
Beeop. A screen flickered to life in front of an elf in a dark room, with scarcely enough light to illuminate the elf who sat in front of a monitor. He looked a little worse for wear. His eyes were bloodshot, almost all the shine from his blue eyes was lost in a mire of exhaustion. His medium length hair had seemed to have been slicked back, but was now a mess of stray hairs and possibly singed ends. The perpetual scowl on his face slightly tipped upwards as the screen came into focus, to show a woman, who was in far better shape than he.
She had platinum blonde hair, a highlight of purple sparking itself up from the very roots at her forehead to the crest of hair at the very top of her dew. The sides were shaved immaculately. Two metal plates framed a metal plug that jutted just so slightly out of her skull. Her datajack. She was clad in a tight leather number, that exposed cleavage, and her shoulders. The elf didn’t roll his eyes until he took in the rest of her ensemble. The problem was the dog cone that wrapped around her neck and almost reached her chin. “Decker fashion”, was all that the elf could think about before he was drawn to her most startling feature. Her hazel eyes hadn’t lost their charm. Gleaming like gems the man knew he was about to get an offer he frankly couldn’t refuse.
“You look like Drek”, were the first words to come out of her mouth.Smiling she rested her chin in an open gloved palm and chuckled. In response he held up his hand, bloody bandages wrapped around his palm, intersecting between his fingers and motioned to turn off the monitor. “ Stealth, wait”, Monika yelled, just as the elves lanky finger touched the power button. “Listen, I was looking for you.”
“A lot of people are looking for me”, his voice was cold almost emotionless a stark contrast to his friend whose mirth seemed to know no bounds.
“Glad I could catch you then. I have a proposition for you.”
“I’m busy at the moment if you couldn’t tell.”
She thrust a pointed a pointed index finger at the screen and smiled. “Exactly Stealth. I know the whole lone wolf thing get’s you all the slitches you could want. But, not practical.”
A small chuckle issued from Stealth. One that he quickly suppressed, but the decker on the other side of the screen knew she had.
“I’m running a team out here in the Flux state part of Berlin. What their doing out here is beautiful. The corps don’t run anything. The Yaks and go-gangs are always losing or gaining ground. No one’s on top. It’s not just the perfect place to run, but you could be a part of something greater than….” She trailed off just as Stealth motioned again towards the power button.
“I don’t care about that Monika. You know that. After my Corp burned me I went into business. FOR. MY. SELF.”
The previously melodious voice took on a darker tone as the woman responded mockingly.
“That’s why you look like drek. Run went south. Johnson turned on you. Not to mention, the three teams they’ve got on your ass.”
“Three” he asked.
“Yeah, three” she replied all the vitriol out of her tone. “They hired another one today. They’re new, composed of mostly gangers, but they specialize in wetwork.”
“Anything else you find out?”
Monika raised an eyebrow as she crossed her arms across her chest, her face in mock annoyance. “I’m a decker Stealth and since it’s all business with you. You’re gonna have to pay me for anything else.”
Despite his bloodshot eyes the elf seemed to be reenergized. His eyes more awake and his posture reflected it. It was as if he was in a boardroom about to close a deal with a client.
“Fine. I could pay you when I’m out of this kludge.” He spoke, monitoring every muscle twitch on the woman’s face. Disappointment, but acceptance. “Or”, her face filled with hope. “I could work with you. I’ll owe you a few. But, if I’m not impressed with your quality of work. I reserve the right to quit. No questions asked….and now cyber stalking.”
Monika held her fingers up crossed, “I didn’t even have to show you the charts! It’s a deal! except for the cyber part. It’s fun following up on you. I could sell a trid script about you and make millions.”
“Then I’d have to k”, just as he was about to respond the door to his room was bashed in, pieces of synth-wood. A muscled ork with giant tattoos crisscrossing his tusked face. Grinning like a wage slave who’d just been promoted he pointed his room sweeper and lined up his shot. Before Ms. Schafer could even utter a phrase of warning, a bright light closely followed by a bang issued forth from the dark recesses of the room. The would-be assassin fell back, blood streaming down his face from the newly formed hole in his head. Within seconds Stealth was up standing over his would-be attacker, pistol in hand, checking to make sure he was dead. A small drone with a gun positioned on top of its chassis wheeled forwards, ready to fire on any who dared try to sneak up on its controller.
“Monika”, his words brought her out of her shock. “Information.”
“Yeah”, was the reply as her hands rapidly typed on the keyboard in front of her.
“He’s an Ork, right?”
“Yeah, tatted face likes room sweepers.”
“Names Jack-Be-Quick. Guess he wasn’t quick enough.”
Stealth just rolled his eyes, not even acknowledging the pun.
“What gang and are there any other enemies affiliated with their enemies?”
A quick search gave the decker what she needed.
“Jack belongs to an ork group that has issues with the Ancients and the Cutters. There are two former cutters who are the first team that was hired against you. An elf and an ork.”
“Good”, the elf responded and he searched the dead body, finding a knife. He then began making quick incisions on the body. He could feel the decker begin to protest, so he explained as he went about his bloody work. “The cutters are known for, cutting people. I’ve seen some of their work. If I can make it look like a cutter did it, then I can at least move suspicion from me to one of their rivals. While their busy killing each other or at the very least leery of the other groups. Then I can either evade or deal with the second group.”
Monika couldn’t doubt his reasoning, but the visible look of disgust on her face said it all. Just when he finished his work another sound issued forth from the area. It was a person asking if Jack had killed the keeb. Silently Stealth got up, looked at the screen and spoke, this time his voice a hushed whisper.
“I’ll send you a message when I’m finished, so you can send me those graphs. I’m going to have to do something on the plane ride over.”
Monika smiled, her eyes gleaming again. “Sure thing Ace”, she said, before cutting the transmission. Stealth finally smiled as he slinked through the shadowy corridors of the abandoned building he’d made his home. It had been a long time since he’d been called that.