Zenith – Prolouge

Zephyr climbed the last step and reached out to the door. He was finally here. Twelve years of searching had finally led him to this point. But before he could take hold of the door handle it turned and opened in front of him.

“Come on in!” said the woman cheerfully as she turned and walked back to her kitchen table. “I just pulled the cookies out of the oven.” She pointed at a cooling rack on the table as she quickly peeked over her shoulder. “Oh come on, you didn’t think someone called ‘The Knower’ wouldn’t have known you were going to be here did you?”

Zephyr, still a little shocked, walked slowly in. “It’s um…” he trailed off as he took in the sight of the room he entered. Compared to the dungeon feel of the rest of the tower this room felt out of place. The walls were painted a delightful pastel yellow. The windows pointed out to the ocean on one side and a beautiful city skyline on the other. The smell of fresh baked cookies mixed pleasantly with drying lavender hanging by the window. “It’s just it’s…”

“Not what you expected? Trust me, just because I have isolated myself doesn’t mean I don’t want to have a nice place to live. And if you’re here now it’s because I’ve decided it’s OK, so no need to make any more traps or hazards.”

She has a point, Zephyr thought as he nervously walked towards the table. The Knower took her seat and motioned to the chair across from her. “The stories don’t do you justice,” he said as he took a seat.

The Knower laughed, “You’ll find most stories don’t. There is always more to anything than what someone tells you, that’s why you have to see it for yourself.” She let her eyes wander the air lost in some recollection of a time long past, then as if it was never there she locked her eyes on Zephyr. “Maybe that’s why you’re here…” she trailed off.

Zephyr opened his mouth to reply but never got the chance.

“I’m going to tell you a secret, Zephyr,” The knower’s excitement was palpable. “I can see across space and time. I can follow the strands of Fate and I can analyze minds and matter in a heartbeat. But your question that you have worked this hard to ask of me has never been revealed to me. I don’t know what that means. For the first time since I built this domain I am at a complete loss. You remind me of my early days when there was so much to see and do. So tell me, what would you know?”

There was a pause as Zephyr took in what the knower just said. He never felt special. He wasn’t particularly skilled in magic and before his awakening he was about as average as someone could be. The idea that he made someone as great as the Knower excited was disconcerting.

“Well,” he bit his lip passively as he thought about how to ask his question, then looked up at the woman across from him, “I guess I just wanted to know you.”

The moment of silence was the most uncomfortable that Zephyr had ever been. He felt like he could watch a universe be created and die as the Knower processed his request. She stood up without moving anything around her, even the air. It felt as if her mind had stopped willing the world to work around her as she thought about what he had said. then as suddenly as it started the universe took a breath and resumed.

“You searched for my tower for twelve years, you learned to beat my minotaur, you even lost friends and family, just to get to know me?” she asked still looking out the window away from him. “You could have asked about the winning numbers for the lottery. You could have asked how to obtain fame or power. But instead you asked… That.”

“I’m s-sorry,” Zephyr stuttered shocked at the tone in her voice.
“Well, at least now I understand why I couldn’t tell what you ask,” she turned around, her eyes wet with fresh tears, “I didn’t want to see it.” She took a deep breath and sat back down. “I guess there is a time for everything, even fate points to this point now.” she wiped her tears from her face and looked deep into Zephyr’s eyes. “I hope you are ready to see it.”

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Pork goes Disney, Day 1

I will be posting a journal of each day at the end of the day as a recap. You can also follow me on Twitter for more live updates. Pictures will come eventually.

“SEASONS CHANGE, AND I TRIED SO HARD JUST TO SOFTEN YOU”

Pork jumped. What was going on at this ungodly hour? His phone was playing a song but why? Was someone calling him? Is it actually time for work? Instinctually he rolled over and told his alarm to snooze.

“No. Disney.” He awoke with a start as his brain opened for business. He turned back to his phone, “what time is it?” The display lit up at his touch, showing clearly 3:20. “Heh, I haven’t woken up this early since I worked at Starbucks.”

Without letting the snooze finish, Pork deftly turned his alarm off and climbed out of bed, and with a groan started his vacation.

Luckily for present pork, past pork was smart and set out all the clothes for the day, so he didn’t need to worry about getting dressed. Past pork also did the packing and all that jazz, so after his shower, all pork had to do was wake up his father to drive him to the airport.

There was still a slight smell of scotch left with Pork’s dad, as He had gone to taste scotch with a friend the previous night. But he seemed coherent enough that Pork wasn’t worried about him. As his dad got dressed Pork went to load his bag in the car and pet one of the two house cats goodbye.

While petting Pepper, Pork thought about his bird, Archimedes. The poor bird will be locked up in his cage for a week. While Pork knew the bird will be fine, he couldn’t help but feel sad that he wouldn’t see his soulmate for a week. And having a bird as a soulmate means you can’t even call them.

But those feelings passed quickly as the excitement built. The car ride was uneventful. Pork drove to give his dad a bit to wake up. The entire way he was going through lists trying to figure out what exactly he forgot.

“I got my drivers license and a credit card. Those are the most important things in this modern age right?” He asked his dad. There was a grunt of agreement from the passenger seat, but the conversation didn’t really continue from there.

Now Pork hadn’t flown in years. So when he got to check in things were a bit different than in the past. Rather than chatting with an attendant, the check in process was totally self driven. He couldn’t tell whether that made it fast or the fact that it was 4 am made it fast, but check in took moments. There was no line at security, so that was painless.

But walking to the gate Pork found his first problem. He was walking past a charging station and read “max current 3.4 A” and he thought, “I wonder what amperage my phone charges at– Oh shit.” He had left his charger at home. “Well, I guess I’ll be getting a new charger somewhere now.”

He decided to stop worrying too much about it and have some breakfast. He stepped up to the laurelwood brewing’s airport location and saw they were serving breakfast of omelettes and such. “That sounds delicious!” He thought and grabbed a seat.

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His eggs were buttery and delicious, the bacon was the perfect mix of crispy and meaty. Even the toast was excellent. As he finished his meal, he knew this vacation was starting off right.

The flights were uneventful. Pork spent most of his time playing his DS and listening to music. However upon arriving in Orlando, the magic began.

The first thing to really show how magical Disney can be is that Pork didn’t need to even think about his checked luggage. Instead he walked right past baggage claim, went to the Disney Magical Express station scanned his wrist band and got on a bus to his hotel. That was it. He was done. Technically he could have skipped the hotel completely and went straight to the park.

Instead he met his mother at the hotel, and together they hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom.

Pork rode many rides and met many exciting people, including Tinkerbell. However two interactions stuck with him for the evening.

First, while riding the Jungle Cruise, the firework show started. It wasn’t a big deal, and dint really interact with the jokes from our skipper. However, as we got off, another cast member just outside the gate said to another family, “if you look up there, you can see a bunch of wishes! Mine’s at the end. I have a big wish.”

That was hilarious. Pork and his mother laughed about that for the rest of the night.

The second big interaction was as they were walking out of the park. Now if you don’t know, there are photographers everywhere in Disney. They take your pictures, scan your wristband and you move on. But these photographers are just as personable and funny as everyone else in the park.

Pork’s mom saw one photographer taking pictures in front of Cinderella’s castle on their way out of the park. She decided that this was their opportunity for a photo. A few other families had already lined up to have their photos taken, so the two got in the line.

The family right in front of them was a mother, her daughter and her daughters boyfriend. The young couple was probably high school age. The mother stayed out of it at first, getting pictures of the teens, and the photographer was eating up that HS awkwardness. “Is it ok if they kiss?” He asked the mother, almost asking for the two kids to blush. The girl was so embarrassed at the prospect of kissing for a camera in front of her mother, but the photographer made it so comfortable with humor and tact that Pork was amazed. That photo will be a long time memory.

Pork and his mother were tired though and retired back to their room. Tomorrow was time for Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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Pork Goes to Disney World

Tomorrow morning (1/24/15) at 6:00 AM I will be leaving Portland to go on a 6 day adventure to Disney World. I’ll post highlights right here on your favorite destination for Pork News. Also on twitter. Also I probably won’t much because I will be cruising with my mom and it is a very fast, tight schedule. Sooooooooo…who knows!

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Transmissions from the Future: Welcome to Hong Kong

Transmissions from the future are the stories I have derived from Shadowrun adventures I am a part of. Depending on the character they may be written from different perspectives. Check the “Backstory” category for more information about each character.

I can safely say, the real excitement started 3 months after I woke up in Hong Kong. I got a phone call from an acquaintance I had done a run with in the past, Sam Lee. He was an ork adept, using magic to enhance his abilities, rather than cast spells, with a real happy trigger finger.

“Hey Strange, My roommate found me a job but I need a crew,” Lee told me over the phone, “Mayhem Molly is on board but I thought your spell casting could be of use.”

I knew Mayhem Molly, an elf lady who is as skilled with her retractable claws as she is with a katana. She moves as fast as I do when I am beefed up on my spells.

“With the three of us, this could be some great work! Count me in,” I replied.

“Sounds good. Meet us a Wong’s noodles at 7 and we’ll get more fully reacquainted.”

It always felt odd eating at an international noodle chain when you are in a cultural hub like Hong Kong, but I found the location Lee was refering to and found Mayhem (which she prefers being called over Molly) already sitting with him. Like most in Hong Kong this particualr location was open air bar, with a thick sheet of glass between “Wong,” the cook, and the dinners. We all ordered our favorites and started to munch and chat when a younger lady came and sat down near us.

Lee, obviously noticing something Mayhem and I did not, asked her if everything was OK. She replied in the more common for the region Cantonese, “Can you help me, they’re going to kill me!”

“Woah, who is going to kill you, over what?” replied Lee as he looked around. “Nevermind. Guys, incoming.” He motioned over his shoulder where six guys in heavy coats were approaching the counter. The lead man grabbed the lady and Lee stood up.

“Excuse me, but the lady here was talking with me. I’d appreciate if you would let her go. She obviously doesn’t want to go with you,” growled Lee.

“This is none of your business Trog! sit back down,” The man yelled.

Lee pulled his gun out and calmly stated, “It is now,” before elbowing that man in the nose.

Blood immediately started pouring down his face as he yelled, “GET THEM!” and started dragging the lady off. Mayhem quickly turned around and launched a shiruken at the man holding the lady, who collapsed.

As I watched the remaining 5 grunts pull knives and guns out of their coats I launched what I affectionately knew as my ‘hot potato’ spell. This spell has the power to convince all members within an area that all metal they are touching is now red hot. However, I must have been far too careful because not a single one dropped their weapons. However Lee, who happened to be within my range, suddenly yelled and dropped his gun, only getting one shot off.

As Mayhem tore through grunts with her claws the enemies, seemed to target Lee first. Before too long he was on the ground.

When the two, of four left, with semi-automatic pistols turned their guns on me, I was already casting spells to increase my speed. I knew I’d have to finish these punks off quick to save Lee. I started by casting Manabolt; resonating with the residual arcane powers inside one grunt, essentially frying him from the inside out, when he looked pained I launched a stream of acid at the next guys face. Mayhem tore through the first one I wounded and started hacking off a third guys arms. I took my chance, and launched with a manabolt attack on the man who was screaming from acid burns. As he fell the last unharmed man turned and ran.

“This had better have been worth it,” mumbled Mayhem as she hurried over to Lee. She quickly stabilized him and picked him up. “Bring her,” she pointed at the lady crouched crying on the ground, “and lets get out of here, fast!”

We made our way to a nearby cheap hotel and grabbed a room under a fake name. I started using some first aid and tried repairing Lee’s wounds as Mayhem asked our new friend, “What was that about. Why were those men after you?!”

It turned out she was a drug runner for them, but she watched them murder her best friend and ran, fearing for her life. I made sure she had somewhere safe to stay and tried to make sure she could contact me if she needed someone and we decided she could go.

“Your friend, he is very hurt, I know a local doctor, I’ll bring him here,” She said and she left the room.

Within thirty minutes an older Chinese doctor knocked on our door. He quickly patched up Lee, gave him some medicine handed Mayhem his card and walked out, no questions asked. He definitely was a good resource to remember.

As Lee woke up and we sat there recuperating, we remembered we were supposed to get a call about a job. “They’re taking their sweet time with this aren’t they.”

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Dr. Strange Wakes Up

This post is part of my Shadowrun universe characters’ backstory. I wrote these as a way to understand where my characters were coming from and how they may act in a variety of situations.

Three months ago I woke up laying on the floor of my apartment with the sound of my alarm going off in the other room. I had no idea who I was, where I was, or how I got there. As I got out of my slumber a few things came back to me.

I knew I had some strong power inside of me. I remembered my education and training; not how I learned but what I learned.

I surveyed my apartment. A few things were still boxed up, as if I had just moved there. I looked at the computer on the desk in the living room (I could never understand how people use these things all the time). After a minute of frustratingly tapping at keys I found who the computer was registered to: New User.

Next I found my magic lodge set up in one room. I immediately recognized the cat totem sitting on a small table in the center. While my mentor spirt is very useful I had a feeling she would just laugh at my lost identity; such is the way with cats.

I left my 3rd floor apartment and found the landlord on the way down. “Hey mister! You never left your name and contact info with me.”

“I actually have no idea who I am. I was hoping my name would be on the lease,” I said stunned. I suddenly got the feeling that I would be starting a whole new life. “Did I say where I came form or anything? When did I move in?”

The landlord looked at me funny and replied, “you moved in yesterday, we barely talked after you put a years rent down.”

“OK thanks,” I replied stunned. Then thinking quickly to my memory of comic books, the amnesia left some odd knowledge in my head, I spurted out, “and for now we’ll just put Stephen Strange down.”

I returned to my apartment and decided to meditate and converse with my spirit mentor for the time being. I sat on the floor and let the flow of mana pour over me. I opened my eyes to see a Siamese house cat sitting on the table looking back at me.

“Well hello there friend, it seems you’re having a bit of an identity crisis huh?” she purred.

“I remember you, I remember my skills, but I don’t know anything about who I am!” I replied.

“Maybe you were trying to get a clean start, maybe you were caught by the wrong people for doing the right thing. All I can tell you right now is to start a new life and great things may still come your way,” she stated as she slowly morphed back into the cat totem on the table.

“Well I guess that’s it time to rediscover my life,” I thought and got up. I looked outside and had a flash of memory of a picture I had seen once of Hong Kong and the skyline here looked very similar.

Over the next month I acquired a new comlink and a scooter and started making friends. I found a friendly talismonger in the local market with which I quickly bonded. After I had come in a few times to buy some supplies, she made an offer that changed my life.

She called me over and asked, “Stephen I have some friends who are runners. They need a Mage for a job. Any interest?”

I had heard of shadowrunners since I woke up; people who performed covert operations, mostly for and against corporations. For all I knew I was a shadowrunner in my past life. It could be dangerous, but with the right skills it could also be very financially beneficial. Since my cash on hand had started running a little thin I figured going for a run couldn’t hurt.

“Sure, here’s my contact info,” I said as I held up my comlink, “I am useless with these things so do whatever you need to get the info.” she pressed some buttons, I’d say it was magic to me, but I knew magic, and I saw her comlink light up with the message.

“They’ll get a hold of you soon,” she said with a smile. I hoped she would hold on to that number for other reasons too.

That first run went smoothly. The one after that did too. Occasionally my fellow runners would get frustrated at how I seemed to play with my enemies, never giving enough force to straight up knock them out. I was proud of myself when they started comparing me to a cat.

I didn’t run into my first problem until the third run I did, last month. There was a corporate mage protecting this site, and he summoned an earth spirit to attack us. To my companions delight, but my chagrin, the spirit ignored my friends and went straight for me, like he had a grudge to settle. I destroyed him, but had to take my attention away from the other battle while I settled that fight. I know now, that I should be a little more attentive if Earth spirits show up again.

I still sometimes think about my past before I woke up here in Hong Kong, but I also try to take my mentor’s advice and see it as a brand new beginning.

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Transmissions from the Future: Amalgamated Chemicals Pt. 1

Transmissions from the future are the stories I have derived from Shadowrun adventures I am a part of. Depending on the character they may be written from different perspectives. Check the “Backstory” category for more information about each character.

I only had to wait 30 hours for Mr. Johnson to call me back.

“Are you ready for another job Mr. Turing?”

“Sure, what are we talking about?”

“There is a new drug on the streets, called ‘Vertigo.’ I’d love for you to get me a sample.”

“How much love are we talking about here?”

“If you get me a square kilo I’ll get you 10k Nuyen.”

“You have a deal.”

“I’m forwarding you the info we received from our last group before they dropped out.”

With that before I could ask any more questions he hung up. While his last comment made me nervous I figured I could get this done. On top of that I didn’t have much experience with street drugs so I knew I needed a little help.

“Aneta I could use a hand. 10k split evenly.”

“Sure, what’s the job?”

“There’s a new drug on the market, called vertigo, I need a kilo.”

“Vertigo huh, never heard of it. I’m in, especially if I can keep some for myself.”

“Hey as long as we get paid you can grab whatever you like! So coffee tomorrow? I’m going to do some research.”

After we hung up I sent my fly-spy to survey Touristville, the area of town a van seen dealing these drugs has been traversing. My drone found the van, clearly marked “Amalgmated Chemicals,” and followed all night eventually catching it pull into an unmarked warehouse. This was the first point I had a bad feeling about this job.

The next day after we both shared our insights, Aneta’s being mostly that it was just a new drug, we decided to check out this warehouse. After parking a couple hundred meters away, I jacked into my Kanmushi, the best micro crawler, and made my way to the warehouse. Just before dark, a van drove in and I followed.

To my surprise, there was almost nothing in the entire warehouse. The only thing seemed to be a large medical tarp hanging towards the center and a second van. Both vans were unmarked but I figured I’d have a chance in a moment to see what was in them. I scurried over to the tarp and took a look inside.

There was a man wearing a lab coat and a couple tables. I watched as men got out of the van I had followed in and unloaded three gurneys with unconscious people on them. The doctor, as I had decided to identify him, pulled off their shirts attached some sort of a bio monitor put on a face mask and then loaded them into the other van. Once all three were in the doctor got in his van and the others got in their van and both left.

After I jacked out I gave my drone instructions on how to get out later. Then I recounted the scene I had just seen.

“I’m starting to worry we’re in over our heads. There is something seriously big going on here.”

“You saved that footage right?”

“Of course, I think Mr. Johnson will be quite interested in this find.”

“Well, I guess it is time to go buy some drugs.”

“You have more experience than me, tell me where to go.”

We drove to a nearby bar and sat down separately with a drink. After 30 minutes Aneta walked over to me.

“I got a sample of something new called ‘Cherish’ — I don’t know what it is, but it could be a clue. Can you tell a drone to keep an eye on him?” She subtlety pointed to a man across the bar. After tacking a picture with my cyber eyes I told my Fly-Spy to wait for him outside the bar and track his movements.

“I have a description of Cherish here: makes you feel the warmth of home with the family at the holidays. Vertigo isn’t coming up quite as quickly.”

I pulled up some new software il just bought on my comlink and started searching for vertigo along with her. Soon enough I found it.

“Uh yeah I think this isn’t what we’re looking for. One user describes Vertigo as ‘one of the worst trips I’ve ever had, it was like experiencing my worst break up coupled with the complete understanding of my own mortality and pain of a bad flu.’ I think we need to find some people who are gluttons for punishment”

“I think I know a good place, let’s go.”

Back in the van we drove to some nice underpasses and found a good collection of junkies. In the middle of the are was a man obviously not quite as high.

“your turn to buy the drugs.”

I walk out of the van and make my way over to the dealer.

“I’m looking for something new.”

“you a cop?”

I try to reassure him but I can tell he isn’t convinced.”

“ok, what do you want?”

“what have you got?”

“I don’t think you heard me, what. Do. You. Want?”

“Vertigo.”

He paused for a second.

“How much.”

“I’d buy a kilo.”

“2000”

Something seems fishy if I was being paid 10k but this guy was selling it for 2k but it was a start.

“Show me the drugs and we have a deal.”

20 minutes later a motorcycle gang showed up one pulled up to our dealer and handed him a briefcase.

“Here you go one kilo, now where is my money?”

Aneta walked up

“what’s this cut with?”

“Nothing, just one kilo of street grade Vertigo.”

“Street grade?! What good do I have with street grade?”

“Hey, that’s what I got. Frankly I don’t know you, and I only help people I know, so give me my money and get lost.”

The dealer pulled out his shot gun and the biker gang seemed to lean in towards me. I thought for a second about calling in some drones, but decided it would be best to deal with this civilly for now.

“OK man, here you go.” I beam him some credits, take the case and head back to the van. The gang disperses and the dealer heads off.

“We gotta follow him, see if we can’t get some of the top grade.”

Agreeing I step on the gas and chase after our new friend.

Soon he pulls up to some crappy housing and I park next to him. As he climbs out of the car, Aneta jumps out and grabs him by the neck rows his gun into the van and slams him Toni his own car.

“OK bud we tried to play this nice. But you are pissing me off. You’re going to call your suppliers and get me a kilo of uncut farmer’s grade Vertigo.”

“See if you can’t grab my money too!” I chime in.

“so you going to comply or do I need to rough you up a bit more?”

“hey there lady, take it easy.”

“MAKE THE CALL”

He fumbles with his comlink and calls whom we presume must be his contact. And asks for a kilo, uncut, of vertigo.

“they’ll be here in 30 minutes.”

“good.”

As soon as she loosens her grip, the dealer cowers on the ground.

I ready both my roto-drones in the air, ready to be called down at a moment’s notice, and we wait. After a short 30 minutes, a van, neatly labeled ‘Amalgamated Chemicals’ arrives and two guys climb out of the back. Aneta jumps the first one with a square punch to the jaw. As I call both drones down and tell one to shoot out a tire on the van. I don’t want the van getting away and the driver is definitely still in there, though I do remember him being completely terrified.

Aneta gets hit pretty hard by a taser, I almost see her skeleton as it shocks her. I knew I needed to get some of their fire off of her as I see the other guy completely miss his shot at her. I have my drones focus their fire on the guy shooting the actual gun, not the taser, as I prepared myself to jack into one. While both drones missed it didn’t really matter as the next hit of a taser dropped Aneta to the ground. As both men looked for cover, I told one drone to open fire and took control of the other.

Braaat, Braaat

One guard went down.

Braaat

A solid shot hit the other guard and he started to try to run away. He only makes two steps before he collapsed, dead.

As I jack out of the drone I told it to wait outside the door of the driver, keep him in the car. I knew I needed to wake up Aneta.

“Let me at them!” she yelled as a shook her awake. Apparently she had popped some drug before being knocked out.

“They’re dead.” I pointed at the two bodies laying bloody on the ground.

She looked at the van, saw the driver and moved quicker than I could stop. She pulled the door open and punched him squarely on the jaw. Just like that he was out cold.

I opened the back of the van and my heart dropped.

“It’s empty.”

“what do you mean?”

“There are only gurneys like the ones I saw in the warehouse. I have a bad feeling about all of this.”

I took some pictures, as I have a feeling that mr. Johnson would like to see some of this.

“This is a very intriguing mystery.”

“Yeah, I’m ready to figure this out, but figuring everything out doesn’t pay us 10k. Let me call my Johnson.”

I send him a message: “there have been some complications, call me at your first convenience.”

To be continued…

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Transmissions from the Future: Turing and the Vase

Transmissions from the future are the stories I have derived from Shadowrun adventures I am a part of. Depending on the character they may be written from different perspectives. Check the “Backstory” category for more information about each character.

Two weeks go by without a job. Turing knows it was just bad luck back there, but his last crew wont call him anymore and the mission failure has led to a falling out with that Mr. Johnson. At least he’s got a couple months rent paid on his autoshop or he’d be panicking about now. Resting his feet on his desk, Turing leans his chair backwards.

The phone rings, startling him and almost making him lose his balance. “At least my luck hasn’t run completely dry,” he thinks as he answers the call.

“This is Mr. Johnson, I have a job for you if you’re interested.”

Turing didn’t recognize the voice, but pretty much all corporate contacts referred to themselves as “Mr. Johnson” these days.

“What can I do for you Mr. Johnson?”

“I need some heavy lifting, a package has come in for me but it is being held by customs, red tape and all, if you wouldn’t mind helping it through for me I’ll help out your dwindling bank account”

“Red tape does cause some problems, How much help are we talking about?”

“6000 Nuyen”

Turing pulled up his account, only 800 Nuyen left. He didn’t like going up against governmental types, but he needed the cash. When a dry spell hits, sometimes you have to take what you can get.

“You got a deal.”

Within minutes a new message popped up, detailing the job. Item is a large vase, recently imported from the east, being held at a third tier customs warehouse. Even third tier has decent security though, so Turing pulls up his contact list.

A list of names scroll past. All his normal choices have been avoiding him for weeks now, so he checks the contacts he’s had less history with. One name draws his eye. An Eastern European chick he did a run with what seems like ages ago. As he remembers she was a bit of a brawler, with a distaste for guns. He makes the call.

“Turing, huh? Won’t lie, I didn’t expect to ever hear from you again.”

“Just because I don’t want to punch people doesn’t mean I don’t want you to, Aneta”

“Well, I’m guessing this isn’t a social call then.”

“I got a job offer. Smash and grab, your favorite.”

“I do like to smash. What’s the pay?”

“We’ll split it 50/50, 3000 Nuyen a piece.”

“Whens this going down?”

“Tomorrow night, you in?”

“As long as your drones don’t take away my smashables.”

He knew he called the right girl.

Before he sets in for the night he thinks to go do some minor surveillance. As darkness fell Turing hopped in his van and took a drive past the warehouse. Standard chainlink fence, approximately 20m between it and the warehouse. Four or five guards patrolling inside or out. He pulls out his micro-fly drone and tells it to observe from a safe distance and return home in the morning.

The next day Turing wakes up to an alert that his drone has returned. the surveillance footage reveals that while the drone rack on the roof had a larger capacity, only one drone ever patrolled at a time. Further, a guard only left the building to do regular rounds.

His comlink receives a text message. “Lets get Coffee.” Either Antea wants to flirt or she is ready for action. Turing expects the latter.

Before long Turing is sitting across the table from Aneta as he sends her all the information he has on the job.

“Looks almost too good to be true!”

“I know right. Minimal security, shouldn’t be too hard.” Famous last words a voice in the back of his head chimed in.

“You take the drones, I got the guards.”

“Works well enough for me.”

Turing gives a time after dark and the location of a good safehouse he knows nearby, then they part ways.

Back at home he checks his drones and loads them into his van and departs for the rendezvous. He doesn’t wait long before Aneta arrives and they prepare to depart.

“Two dobermans? Two roto-drones? you need all this?”

“Hey, you never know! When your trade is drones you bring a lot.”

They climb in the van and make their way to the warehouse. However as they approach Turings heart skips a beat. Where the door used to be there is now a hole in the wall. Standing out front are three gangers standing over the bodies of two guards.

“This could be bad” Turing states as he drives past and parks around the corner.

“I’d love to continue the job but if they’re there, who knows how long before the govvies show up.”

Turing scans the matrix looking for activity. Nothing pops up at first, until he realizes that it is a hole of coverage around that point not a lack of communication.

“They’re using a jammer. I don’t think any authorities have been called. Also, something tells me it isn’t a coincidence that these guys are here. We gotta do it tonight.”

Turing starts to get out of the van to prepare his drones when Aneta chimes in “we’re not going to ram them?”

He hadn’t even thought of that. This van was like a child to him, but she made a good point. The three gangers out front were standing close enough together to take all three out. He just had to get through the fence and he was sure he could get it done. He climbs back into the van.

“OK, I like your style sometimes.”

With a quick thought he launches his two roto-drones and tells them to follow the van so they’ll be ready for anything. Then he steps on the gas.

As Adrenalin kicked in, time slowed down. Turing steers the van expertly through the fence and obliterates the three gangers out front.

“Great I’ll need a new paint job” he mutters as he watches Anets jump out of the van and run to the whole in the wall.

Turing climbs out and throws his iBall into the room. It makes it 2 meters before he looses contact. “Eff this jammer,” he mutters under his breath as he focuses his attention on the roto-drones flying above his van.

Aneta charges into the room, and Turing hears a cry of pain from a ganger, followed by two bursts of gunfire.

I need a drone he thinks as he tries to connect with it. Finally he breaks through long enough to tell one of his drones to follow him closely and shoot everything that moves other than Turing and Aneta. Then he dives into the room.

One guy is already lying bullet riddled on the floor and the other two are pointing their machine pistols at Aneta. Turing runs up the small staircase leading to the office room before launching a burst of gunfire down on the gangers. Hs drone, acquiring the same targets, unloads 6 expertly placed rounds into the closest one dropping him to the ground in a small pool of blood.

As Aneta charges and disables the remaining ganger, Turing knows he needs to find and compromise that jammer. He tells his drone to stand down, for fear of hitting Aneta, and tries to locate the jammer. Next thing he knows, his AR shuts down.

“Shit, I just crashed my comlink.”

He goes for the office door, finding it locked he swipes his maglock passkey, hoping to break through. “Access Denied” flashes on the screen above the keycard slot. Turing Panics.

Luckily right then, Aneta punches the last ganger in the room so hard he collapses to the floor. With a quick look she finds the jammer and shows Turing to get him to calm down.

“Relax I got it right here. You restart your comlink and find that box.”

Turing grabs a passkey from one of the warehouse’s guards on the ground and enters the office. He sits at a terminal and plugs in the keycard again.

“Welcome Officer Mitchells” displays the screen. With a couple taps of his fingers he pulls up the location of the crate in question.

“I got it!”

“Lets go!”

They cary the large unwieldy crate and get it into the back of the van, barely fitting with the drones. As they drive away Aneta shuts off the jammer. Turing finally relaxes seeing his connection reattach to the drones in his van.

“I want a burger.”

“I think you’ve earned it,” turing mutters as he parks the van in their safehouse. He messages Mr. Johnson stating that the package is ready for delivery. Almost instantly Turing has a time and location for the drop off. “Come on, you drive, The blood may cause unwanted attention.”

After their burger they meet Mr. Johnson at the drop off point with the vase.

“Mr. Turing, with this turnaround, I’m amazed you haven’t had more work recently.” Mr. Johnson states as he examines the crate. Once he is satisfied that no harm has come to it he tosses Turing a credstick. “It’s all on there.”

Turing checks it quickly with his comlink, 6000 Nuyen, as promised.

“Oh and Turing, Keep your comlink open, I may have another job soon.”

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Subject: Turing

This post is part of my Shadowrun universe characters’ backstory. I wrote these as a way to understand where my characters were coming from and how they may act in a variety of situations.

Officer Mitchell’s Notes — Unpublished

Codename: Turing

Realname: Unknown

Gender: Male

Metatype: Dwarf

Location: Seattle

;

23/8/2072

I’ve started keeping my log on Codename Turing unpublished after finding significant chunks of them removed from record. I believe he has someone watching him in the system and clearing it out for him. Now it explains why he had no existing criminal record, even though a few officers have recalled a run in. Headquarters still doesn’t believe he is an issue since they don’t see him in the system. Following him has become quite a new hobby of mine.

What I have now is a description: a dwarf, with cyber eyes that is always accompanied by drones of some sort. He goes by the name Turing and is known in the shadowrunning communities as a decent mechanic and a skilled rigger.

3/9/2072

I’ve made a breakthrough, a couple members of the shadowrunning community have agreed to give me informal interviews regarding Turing. They seem a little disgruntled with him, so hopefully I get some quality information.

7/9/2072

Turns out Turing had been arrested before. He was broken out by a crew including the one who granted me an interview. As they were fleeing the scene something went wrong and Turing, trying to save one of the team members, accidentally killed one of his liberators. The runner I talked to thought it was intentional, though he did state that Turing has a history of bad luck during heroic moments.

15/9/2072

I found something before it was erased. Footage of one of Turing’s jobs. He mostly traveled with drones nearby, occasionally going limp and seeming to control the drones directly. It seems that even with his poor luck at times plenty of people are willing to work with him because of his strong technical knowledge. While I was able to get a decent look at him, He looked like half the dwarf mechanics I’ve had fix up my car in the last 5 years, so it would be hard to put out a search.

11/11/2072

Two months and not word from Turing. My superiors keep telling me to stop ‘wasting’ company time looking for this man. I know he isn’t dead.

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A new look, a new future?

As regular visitors* to the site may notice things have changed a bit. This is after a year of no posts and a total lack of content. Well the good news is I’m going to start posting here again. Expect logs from my characters in table-top RPGs I’m playing and cute pictures of Archimedes. see you all soon!

 

*Yeah right, like I have ever had regular visitors

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Kony 2012

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

So this morning I found the KONY2012 video put out by Invisible Children. I was impressed, they definitely know how to draw people to action. Then a friend of mine directed me to a blog, visiblechildren.tumblr.com. Something in this article rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t tell at first if I was just still worked up from the video or if there were actually problems. So I took a break, went to work and then decided to dust off the old blog.

Here’s what I’ve come up with: The video, does exactly what the organization says it will do. It is making people aware of of these “invisible children” getting people to pay attention to a major human rights problem that in general has been ignored. The problems I have with the blog post’s response is they’re asking the wrong questions.

Rather than asking “why is this organization so focused on military action” or “why are they backing these awful groups” we should be asking “why are they spending any money whatsoever on these direct actions?” While maybe they stretch the truth to get a reaction, I don’t think that is inherently wrong. They get people to pay attention to these kids. There are groups in place to that are much better at the direct course of action and if you want to financially help donate to them.

I think the KONY 2012 campaign is a great idea. While the visible children blog might have convinced me to not financially support TRI or IC I’ll still support their campaign.

I believe in the spread of information and that people sometimes need to get a little angry to make positive changes in the world.

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