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Run #0 - I Need a Drink!

Session 1: Real time 04MAR2001, game time 07JAN2060

Story 0 (Primary: Corey/Ajax, Secondary: Angelo/Hound)

It’s a typical night at the Moon’s Shine, the beer is flowing, the tunes are cranked.  There’s a couple guys, Ajax and Hound, sitting at a table surrounded by other patrons.  The two seem to be recounting a story to the group.  Most stand in disbelief, others cast looks of doubt toward the two storytellers.  A handful of patrons filter in and out of this group stopping only to listen for a moment or two and give Ajax and Hound a pat on the back only to drift off again, perhaps to refill their mug…

Ajax:  A couple nights ago I’m losing my mind being cooped up in my apartment.  I can't stand being at my new place; it's a dive, but right now I’m low on cred and it’s all I can afford, so what am I going to do?

So I decide to go drown my sorrows at Moon's Shine.  I heard of this place from some of my less respectable friends.  Not really the kind of place I would normally head out to, but its supposed to be jam night and the couple times that I've been I got to play in some really great jam sessions.  However, tonight its not jam night.  Some band is playing covers off of Stevie Ray Vaughn.  They're not doin' too well either.

I wind up at a table with four others who've come for the jam night.  I recognize them from other nights I’ve been here.  We get some beers; there's small talk.  There's a woman next to me, not to hard on the eyes, named Val.  There's a troll with us.  She seems familiar.  Good drummer, I think her name's Piker.  She seems really outgoing for a troll.  The trolls I’ve known have always wanted to break bones, not the ice of an awkward silence.  There's a couple guys at the table with us too, Hound and Wild Child.  I can't really follow what they're talkin' about.  Battle somethin'-or-other and Urban Brawl I think.  I'm not really a sports fan so I tune them out.

Hound:  Yeah, I got the feeling that you felt above us and the place in general.  That's OK; if you Run for a while you'll learn better or die ignorant.

Ajax:  After a while, I start noticing the others acting funny.  Giving strange looks.  'Déjà vu' gets thrown around a lot.  Next thing I know some sort of mask is being pulled off my head and this guy Wild Child was in my face.  Actually, the whole table is in this room.  We were all on these gurneys; those with the 'ware were jacked in.  Those of us without had 'trode hoods on.  The whole night at the bar was produced through some sort of SimSense technology.  Incredibly real, talk about 'déjà vu'. To top things off we're all giving blood, but strangely I don't remember a drunken trip to the Red Cross ending our evening at the bar.

Hound:  You know, it's worth mentioning that the whole set-up looks like it was thrown together pretty fast.  But that SimSense wasn't no ordinary stuff.  That was like real life experience.  I don't know if there's anything to make of that, but it sure seems odd to me.  Sim like that, they could market it and buy as much blood as they like.

Ajax: It looks like a research facility or med clinic, but it was thrown together very quickly.  All the benches and cabinets are modular and you can see where they all were wheeled in and set-up.  Wild Child says his GPS puts us in Hell's Kitchen.  That cinches it; this is NOT the work of the Red Cross.  We're trapped in the room and strangely, no one’s openly panicked.  I try checking out the place astrally, but there's a ward.  The window in the door only shows us a bare hallway.  Wild Child hears someone coming down the hallway.  He must have some cybernetic implants...somebody made a fortune off of this guy.  We get back on our gurneys and Val preps us to look as we were found.

In the darkness I hear the door open.  Piker, that fraggin' big troll, is on the first table.  No wonder, I pity the fool who had to carry her in here.  I hear a rustle and I get up immediately. 

Hound:  Immediately?  The way I remember it, you were pretty slow on the uptake partner.  Not that it mattered, given Piker's ability.

Ajax:  Piker just laid out this elf that looks like some sort of lab tech.  Damn that troll is strong.  The elf looks pale, not quite right.  Hound starts talkin' about vampires, not sure whether he knows what he's talkin' about, but I know what I can see and astrally the elf is screwed up, some sort of magical disease.  Piker pops the elf's head like a grape.

Hound:  Damn you're twisted, Ajax.  She just broke her neck; that's all.  And yeah, I wasn't sure they were vamps either, but with the blood being drawn and all, it made sense.

Ajax:  We're all agreed its time to get out of here.  We enter the hallway; there are more rooms like ours.  The whole bar is here!  Val convinces us to free everyone before we go. 

Hound:  Actually, she guilted us into doing it by being more noble than the rest of us.  Sometimes that kinda drek'll get you killed, but I'm glad she did it.  Makes a guy feel good to do the right thing.  Plus, it didn't hurt that we ended up with our own private army, complete with an angry Troll Sammy.

Ajax:  In the end we’d be glad to have everyone with us, we had no idea what lay ahead.  Val, Hound, and Piker get everyone free while Wild Child and I guard the only way we can see out, a set of stairs going up.  In a short time we've got quite a crew assembled, at least 2 dozen of the seediest people I've ever run with.

We head up the stairs and find a door.  There's another hallway; a guy is sitting at a desk, probably a guard.  Two quick zaps with my stun bolt and he's out. 

Hound:  Hey yeah, nice work with that spell, omae.  I bet that comes in damn useful.

Ajax:  He's a vampire too; again, Piker snaps his neck.  Its disturbing how easy she can do this and how comforting I find her ability at this moment.  We find our gear in a storage closet.  I'm starting to regret not bringing my SMG to the bar.  All I've got is a couple stun grenades.  Everyone else is armed to the teeth.  Hound keeps bitchin' 'bout some gun they stole from him.  I'm more worried about the cash they stole from me.

Hound:  Some gun?!?!  Some gun ?!?!?!  That's my Tomahawk you're talking about!  Show some respect.  She's a sweet piece of steel, and pretty as a BTL elf to boot.  Cash can be replaced, but that pistol's a work of art. 

Ajax:  There are some more storage rooms.  One of them holds a whole lot of blood, some of it ours, some not.  Piker seems to remember something about mage's blood being used against them in spells.  A little persuasion from me and we collect all the blood and send some of the group back for the blood in our holding rooms.  Some resourceful chemistry helps us incinerate it all.

Wild Child picks up a group coming towards us with his super hearing.  We try and set up an ambush.  No go, we're seen, seems that one of our entourage doesn't understand the concept of an ambush.  There are more vampires.  We bust out of the hallway and Piker's face to face with another one of these things.  Shots are fired. I can't see squat around her.  Piker told me she tried to grab one, but he just brushed her off...damn; these guys are tougher than I thought.  Next thing I know we're running up the stairs after these guys.  I guess we have to; it's the only way out.  Piker lets Hound, Wild Child, and myself ahead of her so we can see more clearly.  The vampires were too quick and they get far enough ahead to make it through the next door.  I go astral and check out the hall beyond.  They're laying a trap behind the door and one is banging on doors rallying their troops.  We scrounge some explosive grenades to toss in on them.  Piker gets caught doing this and takes some serious damage as she gets blasted.  Damn she's tough. 

Hound:  You got that right.  You or I would be a grease spot if we took that kind of lead.  Damn good thing she's so tough, or we wouldn't be here flapping our lips.

Ajax:  I go astral to survey the damage.  These vampires weren't even fazed.  They're still standing ready to blast us.  Hound decides to duck in and take a shot at them.  He hits one, but we can't keep this up forever.

Hound:  Yeah, you can't just kill those bloodsuckers.  You gotta be either lucky or good.  Unfortunately, I wasn't really either, but I inconvenienced one of 'em pretty well.

Ajax:  We go in.  Hound is in first.  He's after the guys by the door.  Damn he's fast and good.  He takes ‘em out. 

Hound:  Whoa!  Hold on there, chum.  I'm good, but I'm not that good.  Maybe you didn't notice Piker and Moon wading in there to take out one of the vamps, but I sure did.  And her with blood flowing from multiple bullet holes.  I'm glad you think so highly of me, but let's give cred where cred is due.

Plus, the whole crowd started in on the rest of the vamp guards.  Sure, I shot a couple, but mostly they were overrun by pissed-off Runners and street thugs with about a pint less red juice in 'em than they prefer.  But you get the point.

Ajax:  I go immediately for the one bangin' on doors.  Again, the stun bolt seems to drop the vampire, no problem. Piker and Moon, the barkeep/ex-Sammy, charge in and take out a vampire as well.  Piker looks like death warmed over after getting blasted, but she’s still bangin’ away at these vampires. Hound gets a shot off on the only one quick enough to wake up.  This is where our little posse comes in handy.  The rest of the group wades into the thick of things and wastes any vampires left over (those too slow to react to the alarm).  A quick survey turns up some cash.  The five of us get a nice cut for doin’ most of the ass whoopin’.

Hound:  Yeah, I been meaning to mention that.  I mean, you helped just as much as any of us, between your spells and your astral scouting.  But I couldn't help but notice that you somehow managed to talk your way into a good deal more cred from that stack than the rest of us.  Not that I mind; I get by just fine.  I just thought I'd mention it, that's all.

Ajax:  Two more vampires were outside.  No problem.  There are a couple of trucks so we load up our gang of donors and start off back to the bar to try and figure this drek out.  Wild Child was right; we're in Hell's Kitchen.  It just doesn't seem right though.  While we're heading back, we pass some semi's goin' toward the facility.  Moon's got some boys who're gonna clean up the area for him.  Now I’m really glad we got everyone out of there with us…Moon seems like the kinda guy that you want to stay on his good side.

Back at the bar, it’s free drinks and partying.  It's as much a celebration for our lives as the intense adrenaline rush.  Moon seems uneasy.  At the end of the night, he asks Hound, Wild Child, Piker, Val, and I to stick around.  He likes our "team" and wants to hire us to sort out this vampire drek.  He's paying, I need the cash, and so it sounds good to me.  Besides, its not everyday you get to demo a runner team before a mission.  Everyone else seems to agree.  Suddenly, we're a team.

Hound: Hey, you know what they say.  You can never have too many friends...


If the timing is right and people's stories are accurate, then the entire bar was abducted between 2200-2400 on Tuesday, January 6, 2060. It's 2300, Wednesday, January 6, 2060, when the group wins their freedom.

Wild Child's GPS data seems correct and the group of would-be blood stock find themselves in the bleak, ashen waste of Hell's Kitchen, Puyallup district. The loading dock exit from the facility is part of an old abandoned powerplant. The complete lack of a roof explains the absence of squatters. A hard wind blows the freezing cold winter rain into those assembled as if to underscore the hostile living conditions in this wreckage.

The team coordinates the two dozen thugs, runners, and gangers; the two remaining guards are not too difficult to dispatch. Everyone piles into the two trucks and they head back to Moon's Shine. Three unmarked tractor trailers roll past the party in the opposite direction. Moon explains, "I have some friends wrapping things up there."

Moon opens the bar back up for everyone and drinks are on the house. The party is intense as people let of a lot of steam. Everyone narrowly escaped being livestock for Vampires and that's enough to make anyone thirsty for synthahol. For some, just the prospect of listening to Blues music on an endless loop was almost as bad as being a "cow" for leaches. The party ends at 0400 when Moon closes the bar and sends the regulars home...