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An average of height elf walked through the brightly lit streets of the Kreuzbasar. His thoughts were full of recent events. It felt like this day would “never end”, he thought to himself. First Monika, then their betrayal, the mysterious Green Winters, and now the politics of the Flux State. Wherever he looked, he saw eyes watching him. The crazy woman on the corner, trying to preach to someone who offered her a few nuyen. Her gaze darted back and forth from her donator to Stealth. For a minute her eyes fixated on him, then she sheepishly broke eye contact. Just as he rounded the corner, he came face to face with a massive troll, wearing sweatpants and a bulky hoodie, that did nothing to hide his obvious cyberware. The elf just nodded and headed the opposite direction. As he made his way down the new street he could feel even more eyes on him. With delicate hand movements, Stealth yawned loudly. His left and right hand went up quickly, his fingers gently moving through his hair and turning on his control rig. The doberman drone, that had been sticking to the man like a faithful dog, immediately jetted into the nearest alleyway. The move lasted only a few seconds, but Stealth hoped that the yawn was enough to at least conceal his true objective. The doberman ran a parallel course to Stealth as he walked down the main street. Soon enough he came upon a weapons vendor. The bald man was dressed like an old office worker. He wore a knit vest, slacks, and a clean shirt, but the way he held the shotgun within his hands gave away his training and willingness to defend his wares. The elf paused and put his hands into his pockets. His movements got more frantic until he managed to find his credstick in his back pocket, just under the gun he kept concealed under his greasy white shirt.
A slight smile crept on his face, that gave the proprietor of the store a slight shock, but he stood still. Stealth looked into the air thinking while the doberman was looking right at two figures trying to act inconspicuous. One of them was a human. He wore a large coat, wide brimmed hat, and had his face concealed by a data slate. His cybered eyes flitted up every few seconds to regard the Elf pondering his decisions. The other one was a large orc. He was all muscle and not much brains it would seem. He just stood watching. The doberman’s electronic eyes stayed trained on the two as Stealth decided it was best to not buy something today. He moved, while his hunters did not. Apparently, they knew they’d been made. “Where there’s one…”, he thought as he briskly headed down the street, only to disappear down another.
“Damn, Monika. What the hell were you doing out here.” Stealth said, not caring who heard him. The park bench was cold enough that he could feel it through his shirt, but not his cargo pants. It was a nice feeling. It kept his mind racing and his consciousness continually checking his doberman’s sights. If anything came from the left, the right, or behind, it would be able to attack from its shadowy perch. First and foremost there was the conversation that the team had. Could they even be called a team? Glory was cold and emotionless, but not suited to corporate spy work. Her cyber was far too noticeable. The guy in the trench coat was better. Nothing too obvious, except for those glinting orbs. Eiger. That got his blood boiling a bit. At first, her damn anger was bearable, but Stealth couldn’t help but wonder if she could back up her talk without her sniper rifle. Idle thought, but in reality, she was least likely in his opinion. She was angry, loud, and too confident in her training. He chuckled a bit. She was so sure she could save Monika, that she could make the difference, but those words of her’s were evidence of her own issues. She believed that Monika acted as if she were invincible. But, what was Eiger if not overconfident in her own abilities? Paul Amsel was the next to come to mind. Another sound issued forth from his lips. Not a chuckle, this time a full-blown laugh. Eiger was good with a rifle, but not with negotiations. The fixer had shut her down, but also provided the context to Monika’s last word. Feuerschwinge “the Firewing” was a dragon, but not any dragon. A dragon that wasn’t in it for money, or power, but destruction. All she did was kill. The look on the old fixers face proved just how dangerous the wyrm was. A dragon. An in military grade armor. And a secret base. Or was it a lair? The singular thought of running across a dragon’s lair damn near made Stealth hop on the next flight out of the Kreuzbasar. With a heavy sigh, the elf adjusted his stance on the bench, spreading out but not really becoming more comfortable. If he ran, they would find him. If it was a dragon a single piece of treasure would send droves of power hungry runners after him. Right now his best bet was with his “team”. They were all in this together. All of them could probably be ID’d. If they separated, they would all be extinguished like a cigarette but, under the heel of a smoker.
We had accomplished the goal of Green Winters and were now used up. Prime targets to be crushed by a large overwhelming force before they could start a fire. Reminded him of his time at Ares. Do your job and if you get shot in the line of duty, we’ll just replace you with another poor sod, prepared to continue the cycle.
“The only difference is choice”, Monika’s voice rang out clear in his minds. The only thing that had been able to stop the elf’s mind from racing at the frantic pace that it had kept since her untimely passing.
“I have a choice.”, He spoke out loud again not caring if someone overheard. His fingertips soon found themselves interlocked in front of his face, chin resting between two pointed thumbs. A small smile turned into a wild grin as he focused on the task at hand. Monika was killed in the matrix, by something in a secret installation, that is involved with a dragon, that would make Lofwyr look like a saint. Green Winters is our target and he’ll tell us what we need and if he doesn’t, there were ways to make him talk. The team was most likely not compromised, even though Dietrich seemed to be more inquisitive than a shaman had any need to be. Magic and the matrix, were two things that he didn’t understand, but if the old shaman was powerful and from the looks of the scars that crisscrossed his face, like a checkerboard, he had seen his fair share of battle. The look he had when Monika died, his shock, his sorrow was something. If it was an act, then he deserved to be a trideo star, not a shadowrunner. “I’ll watch him closely,” Stealth thought. “There’s no better ally than someone who was a master of something you couldn’t grasp, but then again there was no greater enemy either.”
With that out of the way, he stood up and began his trek back to Altug. A spymaster that had to lead him into a game of cloak and daggers. There was no way that he had been lead to that phone booth and overheard that conversation by accident. Monika loved the flux state. The constant melting part of Anarchy was appealing to her, but to so many others it was just a passing thought as they went about their business. It was evident now, that Monika kept the Flux alive and very soon some people would be reaching out to him to keep it that way. The Flux state was her dream. The dream that she accepted an unverified job for and what she put her team in jeopardy for, and what she ultimately died for. For Stealth it was just a place to do business and if it could be saved, then maybe…just maybe he would.