Aleksandr Shevchenko walks into the dingy foyer of his
apartment building at around midnight. He has a laundry
bag full of clothes slung over his should and a Tupperware
container of still warm, meat-stuffed pyrohy in one hand,
the kind only his momma can make. He lets the bag drop to
the ground as he reaches his mail slot. The sound of the
bag makes a dull thump, Aleksandr winces and reaches for
his ribs on the right side of his body, still sore from
his last run.
"Fraggin' rats," he mutters, "that was some
messed up drek."
"Running around in a basement full of sewage and evil,
magic rats. Is this the kind of drek I can expect?"
he thinks to himself. The extra cred eases the soreness;
maybe if he can make it last then momma will get a nice
birthday present. It's hard to keep up with Vanya and his
gifts. Aleksandr sorts through the daily mail. Usual drek
of bills, promos...ahhh, something worthwhile, the monthly
issue of 'Conspiracy' has arrived,
"Not too bad." He mutters quietly while making
a wry grin on his face. Aleksandr reaches the door to his
apartment and reaches into his pocket looking for his maglock
passkey. As he fumbles around for the card his neighbor,
an Italian woman named Mrs. Nesta, opens her door and peers
"Mr. Shevkchenko?" she asks in a thick Italian
accent, although she knows full well that it is Aleksandr
as she spies on everyone who enters the building from her
bay window perch above the front sidewalk, "I thought
it was you. Have you been home to your mother?"
"Yes Mrs. Nesta." Aleksandr says with his back
to her so she can't see the look of embarrassment on his
face. He turns around slowly to face her, "Its rather
late Mrs. Nesta shouldn't you be in bed sleeping? Or spying
on the people across the street?" Its well known in
the neighborhood that Mrs. Nesta is quite the snoop.
"Oh an old lady like me doesn't sleep much. Besides
things are quiet around here for once. You know the lock
on my door is still acting funny. I had to swipe my card
several times today before it let me in and it still doesn't
close right. Do you think you could take a look at it again?"
Mrs. Nesta makes an imploring look on her face giving him
her best 'helpless-little-old-lady' act.
"Yes Mrs. Nesta," Aleksandr says with a sigh,
as if defeated, "I'll stop by tomorrow afternoon."
With that he turns and swipes his card in the lock and begins
to enter his apartment.
"Oooh, thank you that would be perfect. How about
around 4 pm? I'll be here because my niece Antonia will
be coming around that time too. Won't that be wonderful
having so many visitors." Mrs. Nesta says as she quietly
closes the door to her apartment. Aleksandr closes the door
to his apartment drops his laundry bag on the floor and
walks into the kitchen dropping his mail on a table along
the way. At the refrigerator he exchanges his Tupperware
of pyrohy for a soy beer, then makes his way back to the
living room where he plops down on the sofa and turns on
"Big bad shadowrunner Kozmo," he says with a
disgusted tone, "goes home to momma to do laundry,
does favors for the little old lady across the hall, and
gets set up on blind dates with all of her nieces."
This won't be the first time Aleksandr has been set up by
Mrs. Nesta to meet one of her nieces. The last time was
a disaster as he spent the evening listening to one of them
talk about her latest career goal of being a manicurist.
Unfortunately Mrs. Nesta enjoyed being the mother of Gianluigi
Nesta, a thug in the family that made Vanya look like a
little schoolboy. He could only guess what would happen
if he got on Luigi's bad side.
Aleksandr sat on the sofa watching the trid when his cell
phone rang, checking the ID he sees its Vanya. Its too late
to answer, no doubt Vanya wants to go to a club and party
all night. It's tempting, but he's still tired from his
last run. Aleskandr lets the voicemail pick up.
"Some other time bro." he mutters. As he watches
the trid, his thoughts drift back to the run and how it
"Jared was right about this biz. No one looks after
you. I got lucky hooking up with him and this crew. He did
good by me to fence that box we found in the basement. He
could have easily muscled me and the crew out of our cut,
or worse, if he wasn't on the level. It just seems like
the crew works well together." In between thoughts
he scans the trid channels,
"We could have used that fraggin' massive troll. I
bet he would have just destroyed those things null sheen,
probably wouldn't have even broken a sweat. It was a good
thing we had Arrow with us. This was old hat to her, hunting
down those nasty rats. Damned if I would have known what
the frag to do. Fifi was a rock though." He laughs
thinking of the tough orc and how anyone could stick her
with the name Fifi,
"I got a little nervous when the rats began overrunning
us. That look on Fifi's face made me think we were lucky
that she was going berserk on that dead piece of meat in
front of her. Arrow really came through for us, without
her shotgun we'd probably all be rat shit at the end of
some sewer tunnel by now. I have to admit it was handy having
something that packs that sort of punch, almost wish I had
one, but that's just not my bag. The spell slingers sure
came in handy too. This awakened drek is nasty. They knew
what they were and what to do about them. I was glad to
have them at the end too because it looks like they know
how to patch us up with their spells and with just plain
old bandages, which is good for me because I think they
don't like all the cyber I got in me." He shifts on
the couch to lie on his back,
"I wonder what the final rat count was? I hope the
next time we do anything like that we can think of a better
strategy. It just seemed like those things just kept coming
out of nowhere and there were so many. There had to have
been a more methodical way to do that run. I thought Fifi
was onto something with that mojo she was slinging. I guess
that spirit thing was supposed to find them, but it didn't
seem to do a good job. I think she's just new at this, we
all are, and we have a lot to learn." He finally settles
on the late-late-night news,
"Titus isn't too bad either. He's pretty good slingin'
the mojo. I didn't mind that he got pretty lucky poppin'
a few rounds in those rats that were nippin' at me. At least
he didn't freeze up. I think his strong suit is using his
mojo to find things. He seemed to have quite a few spells
that worked for that." As Aleksandr begins drifting
off to sleep,
"I hope I can work out a deal with this crew to work
together, we got a good thing going on. We keep up at this
pace we'll have a good rep, with a lot of good cred to go
along with it. Jared said that your rep is everything."
As the warm glow of the trid shines on Aleksandr's face,
he falls off to sleep.