Loco opens a fresh soybeer and washes down the last of his
Loco Burrito daily special, Cortes-ichanga. Chacho pushes an
empty plate away and asks, "So Mr. Big Time Shadowrunner,
what went down with the last job that you're so damn eager to
Loco smirks slightly and talks past the remaining food he is
still chewing on, "Hold the hell on, punk, I'm getting
"Hey I got your fraggin' punk under the table, puto."
Loco smiles and takes another drink from his beer. "A'ight.
Here's the deal."
"I'm just doing my thing and I get this call from some
Russian guy [The Bolshevik] about a job. Get my hoop over to
some club right away, watch over some chica during a meet, and
I get 5 large."
Chacho chuckles, causing his shamanic gewgaws to jiggle. "Sounds
a little too sweet, vato."
Loco rubs the back of his neck with a mock look of embarrassment.
"Yeah, maybe so, but high risk for high pay ain't nothing
new for me. Although trying to help someone not get dead is
a whole new dealio."
"Anyway, so I get to the club [Void Walkers] and I'm the
only guy protecting her. That suit sniper guy finally calls
me to let me know he's in the club and on the job. Fraggin'
pansy wouldn't come down out of the rafters though, and I wasn't
gonna dis my paycheck to go find the little puto. So there I
am with a big fraggin target on my chest. I slip away a little
to scan the room and keep an eye on anyone that approaches her.
A few minutes later, this dirty scrawny Elf walks up to her
and slip into his shadow, ready to geek him. Turns out he's
"So things weren't looking too bad, even though sniper
puto is still refusing to come out and be a target like the
rest of us."
Chacho smirks, "Damn esse, you should just take that punk
down next time."
"Yeah, I just might. I'm not in this to be some fraggin
puto's whipping post."
"Anyway, so this Elf guy, who I find out is a shaman named
Corg, goes off into the crowd. I think he's going to scope things
out himself, but it turns out he heads into the middle of the
dance floor and calls up this big ass Spirit that everyone sees,
including the bouncers which throw his silly ass out of the
"Damn esse, I hope you didn't pick these punks yourself."
"Nah, I didn't have a whole lotta choice. I don't think
she did either, it was definitely something that got fragged
up and she was in a world of hurt. Anyway, so it's back to just
me and her. So I wait until about five minutes before the meeting
and then we relocate to minimize our exposure."
"Maybe, I was making shit up as I went. I get paid to
take out people like this, esse."
"A'ight, so I kick some yuppies out of their booth and
we slide in. The people she's supposed to meet show up and take
a seat. No sooner do we stand up to walk over then everything
turns to shit."
"Two shooters whip out gats not ten meters away and, according
to Corg, a big ass Toxic Spirit raced over to attack the guys
the woman was gonna meet. I tell her to get out of the door
and I get ready to start dropping people."
Chacho leans forward, interest lighting up his eyes as the
story turns to combat.
"The crowd of yuppies stops me from dropping the shooter
but is not as effective as I had hoped at shielding the woman
and she gets clipped, but she makes it to the exit. I manage
to drop both shooters, but by then two more are moving through
the crowd towards me and a big fraggin' Troll is walking in
through the exit with a flame-thrower."
Chacho's face registers surprise, "What?!"
"No shit, esse, a fraggin' flame-thrower. Anyway, I move
under a table to cover my back since the punk-ass putos I'm
with haven't got my back. I keep my gun low and do my best impression
of a dumb ass suit hiding under a table. Meanwhile the Trog
clips the chica with his flame-thrower and she drops. The Trog
buys my act and I manage to get off a burst right into his throat.
He drops, so I pick her up and make for the door. Some shooter
on the balcony clips me with his shotgun, but it's not enough
to stop me and I make it outside and to the ER with her. Turns
out, she was dead."
Chacho smiles, "Not much of a bodyguard, eh esse?"
"Back the frag off, punk. There's only so many people
I can kill at one time. And who knew the chica would be slow
or fragile? The women around here know how to keep their damn
heads down and not get dead."
Chacho answers, "Yeah, but that's ee-voh-lu-shun, esse.
The slow and stupid ones already ate a cap. Up in suitsville,
the weak and slow can still make a fast buck and pay someone
to get their back."
"Yeah, well, I don't feel too sorry for her. She dropped
the ball on whatever she was handling and I did one helluva
job dealing with what I had to. She brought down the hammer
on herself and I'm content to not have gotten squished right
Chacho looks puzzled.
"Right, well it turns out she was probably part of some
team that hit a corporate facility and took some wiz drek. The
kinda stuff you expect. Only, most of the team gets geeked or
put into the hospital. All except her. We were called in last
minute and she probably wasn't too clear on how dangerous it
was. Her bitch ass almost got me geeked. So I figure I was the
one getting screwed, so not being dead is good enough for me."
Chacho nods grimly, "Fraggin ey, esse, those putos don't
give a damn if another SINless latino is face down in the gutter.
Still man, you did try right?"
Loco looks a little irritated, a grim cold fire burns in his
eyes and even the streetwise Chacho looks taken aback slightly.
"Course I tried. I even got a souvenir." Loco pulls
up his shirt to show a purple region on his right side. "Punk
up in the balcony clipped me. He's damn lucky I was worried
about that chica, else we would have exchanged some rounds."
Chacho nods quietly, realizing he's touched a nerve and not
eager to test the limits of his friendship with Loco.
Loco calms back down and continues, "Anyway, so like I
said, she's pronounced and the other two finally hook up with
me. Hairs was so fragged up, I didn't feel like coming down
on him. Turns out, he thought he'd go all Deathwish on this
fraggin' Toxic Shaman and his Adept bodyguard. He got shot,
burned, and damn near dissolved for his efforts. Boy was fragged
UP and his suit and 'do weren't looking all that good. Hairspray
and fire magic are a bad combination. Maybe he should change
his name to Patches or Spots." Loco smiles and then breaks
Chacho joins him and the two feed off one another, laughing
until their faces are red. The tension and uncertainty of their
existence flow out of them like a river and when they finally
stop and dry their eyes with their own comical vision of the
a singed suit, they are smiling and emotionally refreshed.
"Anyway, so we hop in the suit's ride and take off towards
the Russian guy's place. Hairs calls some contacts and keeps
going on about this deal and that."
Chacho asks, "What about the Shaman?"
"Oh yeah, turns out he was Astral and he rolled in when
this big ass Toxic Spirit came on the scene and took off after
the guys that were making the buy from our chica. Corg got his
ass kicked and last he saw, the buyer's bodyguard was going
down and it didn't look good for the buyer."
Chacho's eyes widen, "Well damn, esse, don't go too hard
on him. If he's stepping off with a Toxic Spirit, then he's
got cajones if nothing else."
Loco smiles wryly, "Yeah, I suppose. I didn't give him
much of a hard time. I was distracted by having a case in my
lap from the chica. Turns out that it was red hot and worth
too much cred. Any minute a strike team could come down the
line straight up or with a ritual link."
Chacho nods, "Hell yeah, esse, that's messed up."
"Tell me about it, Chach'. So suit's going on about this
and that. I gotta hand it to him that he's the one that jacked
the info on the chica and the case, so at least he knows some
useful people. But he won't shut up about how this guy or that
guy can get this much or that much in so many hours or days.
I'm thinking, frag that, I'll take my chances with someone that
isn't some freaky suit's buddy. Besides, if this Russian guy
hands out jobs, I want him to be happy with my work, right."
Chacho answers, "I scan that. The more they like you the
more they give a flip if you live or die. And that's all good."
"Damn straight Chach'. But suit's must talk a different
language, cuz it's like he ain't even understanding me. Anyway,
we get to this Russian guy's place and we're driving around
it. Heffe's got the whole damn building to himself and I'm thinkin'
if any damn body I know can take this timebomb off me and deal
with it, it's this hombre. But damn, suit's STILL going on about
his buddy and this and that."
Chacho chuckles, "Damn esse, you shoulda just geeked him.
There's plenty of suits to take his place."
Loco nods, "No doubt, but then he'd probably stay alive
just long enough to whine about me messing up his hair and I'd
have to shoot myself."
Chacho chuckles, "Damn, that'd be a shame."
Loco smirks, "Shut the hell up cat-banger."
Chacho quickly answers, "You're momma's a cat? Damn, who
Loco, "Sorry man, can't be my mom, she only does real
men, puto. Now shut the hell up so I can finish my story. So
I explain to he suit that whoever gets this case may have a
whole world of drek to deal with and ask him if he wants to
hand that off to his friend. I also explain that his car is
gonna stop and me and the case are going inside to talk to the
Russian, one way or another. So he finally stops and we go in.
It was a little strange for a minute. Fraggers took my guns
before I could talk to the guy. I need to get me a gat that
gets past scanners."
"Anyway, we give him the case, he offers us 45 large and
I take it before he changes his mind. Hairs goes on about how
it's worth a half a million, but I figure, half a million is
worth squat to a dead man."
Chacho replies, "Fifteen large for a few hours work? I'll
"Yeah right, don't forget the almost getting geeked part."
Chacho answers, "Ah, I'd just hang back and let you take
care of that."