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Run #7 - Nicked* Time

* - "nick" is British slang for "to steal"

Real world: This run occurred during Session #8, 29SEP2002. The runners for this session were Fifi (Reema), Kozmo (Corey), and Titus (Ryan).


Run: 5 karma.
Bonus opportunities: +1 if war story.

Individual Warstories

Kozmo's Warstory

23OCT2063: Sasha unleashes a flurry of profanities in Russian as the leg of the couch comes crashing down on his foot. He manages to steady himself on the narrow stairwell and brace the couch against his hip, preventing it from sliding down the stairs and over him. He yells out in Russian, "Uncle, please be careful!"

"Sorry Sasha, I lost my grip. Are you ok?" Anton replies.

"Dah...dah, its ok." Sasha's voice calms.

The two men resume moving the couch up the stairs and into the small apartment above the old electronics store. The two men push the couch through the doorway to the living room and set it down against the far wall. Once situated the two men fall back onto the couch and slump down into the cushions. Having spent the whole day hauling furniture up into the apartment they are too exhausted to move. In retrospect saving the sleeper sofa for the end was a bad idea. The smell of a hot stew wafts out from the kitchen. The two men hear the soft singing of Raisa, Sasha's mother.

"Momma, you need help in there?" Sasha yells out.

"No my 'baby bear' I'm ok. You and Anton relax, you've done enough today. Remember after dinner we go to see Ivan." Raisa immediately returns to her cooking as she sings an old Russian folk song. The two men doze off for what seems like hours, but awake to the sweet smell of one of Raisa's hot stews being served. She calls them into the kitchen where they all sit around the small kitchen table. Anton and Sasha eat voraciously while Raisa dotes on them throughout the meal. At the end the two men help clear the dishes quickly. Its about 6 p.m. and they only have a little time to go to the hospital and see Ivan.

The family arrives at the hospital around 6:45 p.m. and make their way through the warren of hallways to Ivan's room. Sasha is impressed, La Familia has come through and made sure Ivan was upgraded to a personal room, the large no-necked man sitting outside the room notices the family. He nods politely as Raisa and Anton walk into the room. He holds up Sasha with a motion of his hand. "Hey kid, I heard about da' drek chou went thru, me and da' boys want chou ta know we got Ivan covered while he's here. You just take care a business which your family." The man puts his hand on Sasha's shoulder and extends his other hand. Sasha shakes the man's hand and gives him an acknowledging look. He enters the hospital room to hear his mother laughing and sees his brother with pudding dripping down his chin and a big smile on his face.

"Ahhh, Sasha. You are just at the right time to help with rescue efforts. Momma has just crashed a plane full of pudding on my big mush." Ivan says while softly laughing, still too weak to create his normally bellowing laugh. Ivan manages to muster the strength to be jovial, enough to put his worrying mother at ease. Sasha gets a big smile on his face.

"Too bad Momma threw away you're old baby bib, the one with the duckies on it." Sasha ribs his brother about his famous duckie bib.

"Hey, none of that, those tough duckies." Ivan retorts. The family spends about 45 minutes helping Ivan eat. Though his condition has improved and the doctors consider him stable, he hasn't quite regained full motion and the prospect of months of rehab still loomed ahead. After the orderly came to clean up his tray Ivan begins to tire.

"Oh my sweet boy, should we go, you look tired." Raisa says.

"You might as well, the drugs they give me knock me out soon enough." replies Ivan. The family begins to say its goodbyes and plans on seeing Ivan again, but earlier tommorrow. As Sasha, Anton, and Raisa file out of the room, Ivan calls Sasha back in.

"Hey you big mudack, how are things going at home?" Ivan says very concerned in a soft voice.

"Ohh, don't worry about it. Its tough, but I got it covered. Totti, he did good by me. He gave us the shop and the apartment back outright. I still got some cred, so I was able to get them some new furniture. A lot of it is second hand, but its in good condition. It'll be a while before Anton get's the shop back up, but I think Totti is going to give him a loan. A real loan, in exchange for an interest in the shop. Anton seems ok, he's never been one to look too carefully at stuff that came in the pawn shop anyway. Anyway, I think we'll be ok. I'm living at home till I can get my own place again. You just worry about getting better, ok." Sasha begins to turn and walk out.

"My brother, always the responsible one. Take care of Momma." Ivan says in a groggy voice, the drugs already beginning to kick in.

Sasha begins to head out the door, "Hey Carlo, you need anything? Maybe I can get you a coffee from downstairs?"

"No thanks, take it easy ya' mook." Carlo grumbles in a scratchy voice.

13JUL2063: Its late, 2:30 a.m., Kozmo logs into the matrix through the new computer his uncle purchased with the money he received from Totti to help rebuild his electronics shop. The two men had been working all day getting the shop ready. Most of the equipment had arrived for the repair shop and the pawn shop was easy enough to get back up. Though it had been three years the men were noticing old clientele showing up again. There was also a steady stream of mob customers who were now being sent here. Sasha couldn't tell how Anton was taking the mob connection. It was harmless enough on the surface, just another mob-connected business where money would be laundered.

Kozmo cruises through the matrix trying to reorient himself. Sites had changed, thankfully not too many data formats, lots of information to absorb. Its particularly hard to find the conspiracy theory sites he often frequented. The matrix-masters of those sites being paranoid enough that the locations changed weekly and only those 'in-the-know' were able to track the new location down. Having just experienced some seriously messed up drek, Kozmo was looking to do a core dump of the information he had in his head. He knew the best place was on one of these sites.

After about an hour searching around Kozmo comes across a familiar site. After some innocuous security questions he makes it in to the site's chat group. There is the usual chatter about the corps and the government, but the subject clearly on everyone's mind is the drek that went down at Seattle West hospital.

Kozmo loses himself in the matrix, checking out different theories on what 'really' happened at Seattle West. The popular theory is that it was some sort of Renraku experiment gone wrong. Kozmo's favorite theory is the trial run for a new Azatlan super weapon. This was just an advance attack, soon they'd have a version powerful enough to engulf the city. After some time Kozmo comes across a familiar face arguing over the merits of the Renraku theory with some unknown matrix denizen. Kozmo interrupts the in-depth discussion, "Hey Digit, what sort of drek you feeding this chummer?"

Startled Digit replies, "You pinko-bastard! I don't even believe it! Where the frag you been omae. I thought you'd been geeked on some job you were doing."

"Almost omae. It wasn't a job, just another day in the life." Kozmo replies cooly, "The drek I seen is so fragged up...can we go somewhere to talk?"

"You bet, let's get out of here." with that the two men head off into the matrix.

"So I heard you talking 'bout Seattle West?" Kozmo asks.

"Don't even tell me you got a line on what happened there." Digit says increduously.

"Yeah, I got a line on what happened there. I was there. Its hard to believe, but I was there." Kozmo says.

"Well let me have it omae." says Digit.

"It started out as a normal day. I was meeting a couple of my crew at a safehouse we got. I had rigged up some security for the place and wanted to show them. Well, the place was out in the Redmond Barrens and I don't think I emphasized how tough the area was. Titus and Fifi came out alone. I thought they'd be ok, but they got jumped on the way there. I don't know what happened, but they got roughed up pretty bad. When they finally showed up to the safehouse they looked like hell. We stayed there at the safehouse for a while, when it got late I realized I needed to call Crazy Ivan about our plans that night. Turns out he got jumped by some guys and was in pretty bad Seattle West Hospital. Titus and Fifi are in bad enough shape that taking them to the hospital is a pretty good idea."

"What about the other two? You know the tribal and the merc?" inquires Digit.

"Well turns out both of them are at Seattle West too, turns out Boomer was backing Arrow up on a hunt and the two took a beating as well. When the three of us get to the hospital Titus and Fifi check in and I head up to see Crazy Ivan. The whole family is there. Momma is balling her eyes out, Anton is pacing around. Some of Ivan's boys are there. It looks pretty bad, he's seriously messed up and dependent on the ICU equipment to keep him alive. At some point during the night my family and I head down to get something from the cafeteria, that's when all the crazy drek started to happen. All of a sudden there are bodies coming in like a flood. Looks like there was a gang war or something, there are just tons of critically hurt people coming in. Not too long after there's this crazy light show that lifts up all the bodies and starts running up the walls in the ER. It seems to be originating in the ER, but reaching out to the whole hospital. Next thing that happens is the lights go out in the building. Actually, everything not on its own power supply goes dead. I need to take care of my family so I make sure my flashlight works and give it to my uncle to watch my mother while I head up to ICU to check on Ivan. My thermo vision is working pretty well. Not to mention the strange energy surging around is eminating as a low light off the walls. I get up to ICU and find Ivan ok. The life support equipment have their own battery packs so it looked like he'd be stable." says Kozmo.

"Whoa, what about your crew?" asks Digit.

"Well, while I was checking on Ivan, Fifi and Titus manage to connect up and find their way to the ICU to get me. Fifi is freaked out a bit. Titus seemed real uneasy, like something was going on that I couldn't see. I think from the very beginning he knew it was some sort of bad mojo. Titus and I were content to sit things out in the ICU while the rest of the hospital was in a panic mode. Fifi was determined to investigate the whole thing. I told them what I saw in the ER, so she heads down there. She wasn't gone too long, but when she came back her hand was burned and she said the ER was blocked off by some energy barrier. She was able to push through inanimate objects, but she burned her hand when she touched it. Anyway, we sit tight for a few hours and finally I just got a little uneasy bout sittin around all that time. So between the three of us, I decide to head back downstairs and see if I can't get to my gear." says Kozmo.

"Your gear? What the frag for? Who was shooting at you?" Digit says almost mockingly.

"It's just a runner thing. I would have felt more comfortable with the stuff. Anyway, I start to head down to the security station by the ER and I can't even get down a flight of stairs. There's a strange energy barrier coming very slowly up the stair well. I head back to ICU and according to Fifi its the same thing she saw. Well, we decide this can't be good. Titus is pretty sure its some funky-bad mojo. So we decide to head up to the roof to maybe try and get out and see what's going on." Kozmo says before he's interrupted again by Digit.

"What did you see out the windows? Couldn't you just bust out?" asks Digit.

"I wish, there's a strange glow at the windows. I think there was an energy barrier engulfing the whole hospital. So we head up to the roof. I jimmy the door and as I'm throwing it open my arm meets an energy barrier and I get fried pretty bad. I'm talking chicken fried Kozmo. At this point we're all freaked out. We're pretty sure that with the other barrier coming up and this barrier holding us in that its just a matter of time before we all die. At this point I'm looking for the mojo slingers to start comin up with ideas, cause I don't know drek about what this could be. Titus finally latches on to one idea. Turns out there's this magic metal to help save these guys when they're banged up. I guess the hospital has a bunch scattered around. Well, Titus thought that if we collected it all and he slung some of his mojo, then we'd be able to pass through the barrier and find what's causing this." says Kozmo.

"Lucky them, they've got someone who specializes in 'collecting' stuff." Digit chuckles.

"Yeah, I guess. The plan actually works. I manage to collect up enough of this stuff, 'ora-calcium' is what I think they called it. Titus does his thing and with some help from Fifi and I and he makes a sort of portal through the energy barrier. Well we don't got much stuff and we have to jump through pretty quickly. Unfortunately, Fifi isn't the most graceful ork and takes a little too long to get through. This doesn't leave Titus much time and he gets zapped by the barrier as it starts to close. We're all busted up a bit now, but we manage to get down to the ER area and get our gear from the checkpoint. The eerie thing is that no one is around...I mean no one. There's also these lightning bolts shootin all over the place. They hit us with quite the sting too. I mean we kept getting fried by these things. Fifi especially, I thought she might go berserk after a while. Something about her magic, she goes nut-so sometimes when she gets banged up. We start making our way to the ER, but its tough with all the energy bolts zipping around. We finally get there and its the fraggin craziest thing I've every seen. Some mojo wierdo is floating in mid-air with a big staff above his head. His eyes are freaky blank and all these energy bolts are streaking into him like he's collecting them. I pull out my piece and try to shoot him, but the bullet doesn't make it more than a few inches away from me before it just drops to the floor. Luckily Fifi has got this fraggin huge sword and I manage to pick up a stun baton from the security station. We trying to figure out what to do and Fifi just goes crazy and charges down after this guy. I don't really know what to do, but I follow her. As we're running down we get zapped a bunch of times with energy bolts and we're almost done for when we finally reach this guy. Fifi is able to knock the staff out of his hand as I try to hit him with the stun baton. As soon as that staff is out of his hands he drops and all the energy bolts go away. After all the freaky stuff subsides Fifi notices that there's people outside watching us, it looks like a HazMat team or something, almost like out of a sci-fi flick. I tie up the guy and the next thing we know Lonestar is busting in." Kozmo says.

"Whoa, you didn't geek the Lonestar guys did you. Knowing how you feel about them I could see how you'd react if you knew they were involved." Digit says.

"I didn't have much of a choice, I didn't know if my gun would work or not, anyway they easily had the drop on us. I played it cool, and safe, and just layed down for them. I wish Fifi had been a little more chill about the situation. She got knocked around a bit trying to explain to them what was going on. So that leads me to where we are today...we came out of that hospital and it had been three years. I don't know what the frag happened, but that drek just took three years off my life. Something tells me Titus knows something about this, or at least has connections to the scientists that were there. Turns out he knew a guy on the scene with the response team, that's how we got outta there without too much drek from Lonestar." Kozmo says.

"What about your family omae? Did they make it? What about the rest of your crew?" Digits asks.

"Yeah, they all got out. Luckily we were able to stop it before it got too much higher up in the hospital. I did come close to losing them all at once. Its hard rebuilding my life after three years and taking care of my uncle and mother, but I think it might be even harder if I didn't have to take care of them." Kozmo says.

"I can't even imagine chummer. Its good to see you alive though." Digit says, "If you need any help, let me know and I'll do whatever I can."

"Thanks omae, its good to have friends. I think I'll be ok though. Things worked out in the end, but that's a story for another time." Kozmo says, his tone changing from exhausted to almost whimsical, "I'm going to log off now. Its late and I've got a lot of work ahead of me tommorrow."

"Take it easy omae." Digit replies.

With that Kozmo logs off the computer and turns out the lights in the shop. Its about 4:00 a.m., in a couple hours he's got to be up with his uncle. He trudges up the narrow stairwell to the apartment above the shop where the family lives and quietly enters. Making his way to the sleeper sofa he removes his shoes, but can't muster the energy to take off any of his work clothes. He flops into the lumpy mattress and falls immediately into a deep sleep.

14JUL2063: Sasha checks his watch as he waits in line at the security checkpoint of the hospital. Things haven't calmed down yet since the hospital was magically attacked and over three floors of people killed in some wierd ritual. This is evident by the 45 minute wait to get through security. Sasha looks around furtively keeping a close eye on the mojo-slingers that he can pick out, he's a little more concerned with them now. He passes through security with little problem, as he passes through the MAD system Sasha is greeted by an older guard who recognizes him, "What's the word young fella?" the man asks.

"Hey Sammy, things are good. How are you doing?" Sasha asks.

"Can't complain, going up to Indian country to do some fishing when I get outta here." the guard smiles wide and makes a motion with his arm as if casting a fly-rod.

"Good luck, its the perfect time of year to be outdoors." Sasha replies.

"Yeah, I had time saved up and after all the to-do I figured I should use it up. Weren't doin' me no good just sittin' there." the old man chuckles, "How's your brother?"

"Gettin' better everyday. Thanks for asking." Sasha says as he reaches to pick up his personal items from the security guard. "You take it easy now." Sasha smoothly pockets his cellphone, wallet and the small bag he brought and walks toward the elevator bank. The elevator ride is quick and Sasha arrives at his brother's floor in seconds. He snakes his way through the ward to the private room his brother is in. He nods to the man sitting outside the door to his brother's room, "Hey chummer, if you want you can take a break while I'm here." Sasha says.

"You sure?" The burly man replies.

"Yeah, go grab a bite or some coffee." Sasha says.

"Thanks, I'll just run down to the cafeteria and back." the man says.

Sasha enters the room to see his brother surfing the trid monitor with the remote. He seems anxious. "What's up bro?" Sasha says in a light, happy tone.

"Ah! Sasha, tell me you bring something to kill boringness." Ivan sounds pleading. He also notices the bag Sasha is carrying with him. Sasha moves to Ivan's bedside and dumps the contents of the bag onto his lap. A few adult magazines, a treasure trove of super-size chocolate bars, and Ivan's cellphone drop out.

"Aha Sasha! I count on you everytime! You never let Ivan down!" Ivan exclaims. His demeanor picking up already. "You talk with nurse, no?" he asks.

"No, not yet. Why? Is there something wrong?" Sasha asks.

"No, no, just opposite. They say I am good to start rehab! So this next week I will be sent to different hospital where I do exercise to get better." Ivan says. His strength is much better and he has returned to his normal loud and boisterous level.

"That's great bro. Momma will be very happy." Sasha says.

"Sasha, how are things at home. You never tell me if things work out or not. What happened?" Ivan asks.

"Well, you've heard about everything that went on here at the hospital, but I guess it really started when you got jumped." Sasha says.

"I knew trouble coming that day," Ivan says, "things very tense at boss' place."

"Well, turns out your buddy Igor got it in his head he was going to knock off Totti and his crew and just slip in with his own crew. Like the family would ever allow that. I don't even know what that fraggin' piece of drek was thinking." Sasha says, "Anyway, he had you jumped to get you out of the way. I think when all the drek went down here at the hospital he thought he had it made. You were out of the way and he made his move to get your position. Well, he had a couple years to work his way up the organization. When I got outta' this joint, I think he saw an opportunity. I called him trying to put my life back together and he says he's got a job he wants done. He gives me an address of some foreigners he says he doesn't want to deal with, but they got work to be done." Sasha sits down on the chair next to Ivan's bed and leans forward putting his elbows on his knees, "I get my crew together, well really the ones who can walk, and we figure it's some fast cred to get us back on our feet. Its sounds like an easy job, they give me a briefcase and they want it switched with another one at the monorail station. Titus and Fifi are pretty wiz slinging the mojo, so I figure its a good job. Public place, a simple bait-and-switch, and we're gone with a pocket full of cred at the end." Sasha's face crinkles up in mock pain.

"Oh brother, you know it never simple." Ivan says.

"I know I should've known better. We checked out the location at the downtown station and we figured we had a plan to cover a switch on the platform or the train. Well, there were some bugs we discovered later. We set up on the day of the job and things are looking good. We don't spot the briefcase on the platform so we get on the train and figure we'll just make the switch and its all good. Well, that's when I see Totti and some of his crew come down to the platform and get on the train. I'm a little nervous now 'cause its obvious that something is not right about this job. I move through the train and find the briefcase with some guy in the forward car. Well, he gives me a nod, like he's expecting this. That's when I realize this isn't right, but I make the switch anyway and the case I pick up feels empty compared to the one I leave. I head back to Titus and Fifi and they can tell I'm not ok with this. So I decide that the best thing to do is to tell Totti and his men what I think is going on." Sasha says.

"What was it?" Ivan asks.

"I thought, and later learned, there was a bomb in the case that we brought onto the train meant to kill everyone there. I head over to Totti's guys and I start tellin' what's up. Of course those guys don't know what the hell to do and we're pretty much trapped on the train at this point. The guys who had the case then comes back and is pretty confused. I think he is taken by surprise about what I'm doing. Well, Totti's guys don't know what the frag to do and are basically standing around useless. So I head back to the other car and decide to try and disarm the bomb. Its a pretty wiz job too. The guy on the train with us was probably the builder and he did a sweet job on this thing. Its got mercury switches and some pretty wiz wiring in it. Well, I thought I'd be able to disarm it, but we only had a couple minutes and I'm taking it down to the last few seconds. Titus and Fifi are starting to get real nervous with the situation. I told them that this was just for me now and they should save themselves. See, they each got some mojo that let's them fly so they were ready to jump off the train and get to safety."

"They could fly, but what of you?" Ivan asks.

"Before I decided to tinker with the bomb, the plan was for me to parachute off the train. It turns out we were all in deep drek. The train has a safety net which deploys when people try to jump or fall off and when Titus tried to jump it snared him and trapped him with us. Well, I wasn't able to disarm the bomb in enough time, but the guy who made the switch with me figures out what we're doing and comes back in enough time to disarm the bomb with a remote he has." Sasha leans back in the chair and relaxes a bit. "So that's how I got you all this, the private room, the hospital care, the rehab. Totti was grateful and like I told you, he did good by me and you. He gave us back the shop and Momma's apartment. Not to mention he made sure me and Fifi and Titus got the cred for the job. That's what I used to get Momma and Anton set up in the apartment."

"Sasha, you are smart. The family likes that so of course they take care of you." Ivan chuckles. "They have their eye on you, be careful what you decide in the future."

Sasha smiles uneasily at his brother's words and then looks at his watch. It's getting late and he decides its time to go if he's to slip back to Tacoma before rush hour starts. "Well, I gotta go bro. I'm helping Anton at the shop and I gotta head back before the rush starts." Sasha says.

"I understand, is Momma coming later?" Ivan asks, "Ask her to sneak in more of her cooking. I grow tired of slop they serve here." Ivan chuckles.

Sasha smiles and heads out of the hospital room. He passes the man at the door who glances up from his paper. Sasha makes his way back out of the hospital. As he exits the building he looks down at his cellphone and notices a message from Jared. Hopefully he's got his gear ready, and maybe a job, the cred's getting a little low.

Titus's Warstory - Homecoming

"So tell us, Dr. Dawkins, however did you get out of that pickle," Drake intoned, thoughtfully looking into his snifter of brandy.

The members of the Crimson Circle were gathered in the drawing room of the Seattle Heights. They reclined in the plush chairs, appreciating the fine vintage that the astral link that was finally complete again. Chamber music drifted in the background.

"Well, the basic effect was a type of energy drain, with its center-of-effect on this artifact-the staff I mentioned earlier," Dr. Dawkins explained, leaning forward in his high-backed leather chair. "It's aura was unlike any signature I've ever seen. The closest comparison would be something like a health spell, but it was different. It seemed to absorb energy and create a positive feedback loop back into the effect of the spell."

"Yes, but please do start from the beginning," implored the lovely Silver, as she turned the white noise generator higher to insure their privacy. "The wards are all in place and my watcher will make sure we remain uninterrupted."

"Well, I was going to the hospital after a particularly dangerous shadowrun. Drake and his staff took excellent care of me, for which I am grateful," Dr. Dawkins said, raising his glass to Dr. Farnswell. "Cheers," Drake replied, receiving the small toast.

"My colleagues were there as well and one of them had a family member there who had been injured. I had just reunited with Fifi, the shaman, when the lights went out and the building was enveloped in this effect. I tried to analyze the astral signature, but the energies flowing through astral space were truly mind-boggling. That great of an effect would normally have to be the work of a very large ritual circle, supported with many foci, but it seemed to be originating from that single fellow in the emergency room."

"My team and I sprang into action, analyzing the situation and forming a solution. The field was growing at a predictable rate, but we were on the outside of it-and it had the particularly brutish effect of absorbing the energy out of every living thing it touched, resulting in a form of disintegration. So I devised a plan to produce a ring of shielding that would open a hole in this magic field long enough for us to cross into the inside of its effect. Having had some small medical experience in graduate school, I had my colleagues gather the magical trauma kits for the small amounts of orichalcum contained therein. We created an orichalcum-lined doorway and arranged it to be flush with the event horizon of the effect. When the effect intersected with our shielding, it created an opening that we quickly jumped through. Wanting to observe the effects of our little experiment, I went last and caught a bit of the collapsing field on my leg as it overloaded our shielding, so I fear I wasn't of much physical use after that."

"Well, there's no need for your physicality when you have that Boomer fellow around, now is there?" chuckled Jonah and everyone paused for a humorous moment.

"Unfortunately, Boomer and Arrow were separated from us and we had no easy way of finding them. Through the field, we headed for the security checkpoint where our equipment was stashed and recovered our weapons. Suitably equipped we headed into the emergency room where we saw this man floating in mid air, holding a staff overhead, shooting energy bolts off in all directions, oblivious to the world. We tried to shoot him, but the bullets fell to the ground as soon as they left the barrel, having been absorbed of all their kinetic energy. It's really curious that the effect was able to drain the energy from the bullets and yet we were able to still function. My leg injured, I stayed and tried to provide some observation and spell defense while Fifi and Kozmo charged the man with the staff. After heroically shrugging off several bolts of energy, they reached the man and knocked the staff from his hand, abruptly ending the effect and knocking the man to the ground. The world suddenly shifted back to reality and I saw the field crew from MIT&T just outside the doors to outside the hospital. Some uniformed thugs from Lone Star came in and flaunted their ignorance of the situation while I got a good assensing of the staff's astral signature. When I tried to touch it, it drained me of some energy, so I left it there."

"When we emerged, time had passed far more quickly outside than inside this curious field. I'll be curious to see the reports coming from the study of the effect. I've sent my notes to Dr. Greenwood, my adviser from MIT&T, so hopefully he'll be able to contribute to our understanding of those events."

"Well, Dr. Dawkins, it's very good to have you back with us," Drake said standing up and raising his glass. The others followed in a toast. "Frankly, the rest of us just don't have stories quite as exciting as the ones you live through."

Arrow's Warstory


Mack absently wiped a perfectly clean section of the bar for the fourth or fifth time as he stared into space, deliberating. Then, with sudden resolve, he grabbed a bottle of the bar's best whiskey - the real stuff - and poured a nice amount into a glass. After glancing surreptitiously down the bar to make sure she wasn't looking, he quickly ran his fingers through his hair to give it that mussed look the gals seemed to like and straightened his vest.

With all the smoothness he could muster, Mack sauntered down to the end of the bar where the object of his attention sat on her usual stool. His approach broke through her reverie, and she looked up as he set the glass down.

"Hey, omae, I didn't order this," she said with a slight smile, which he took as a good sign, smiles being rare enough from this one.

"Null sheen, chummer - it's on the house."

She looked at him suspiciously and didn't reach for the glass. Hmm... that wasn't quite the reaction he'd hoped for. Trying to seem casual, he leaned one elbow on the bar, nudged the glass closer to her, and said, "So, I was wondering… if you're not doing anything tomorrow night…"

His wonderings were interrupted by the beep of her comm. "Sorry," she said, shrugging, and popped the detachable earpiece in her ear. "Yeah?"

Mack cursed under his breath and moved a short distance away, but not so far that he couldn't overhear her side of the conversation.

"Heya Silver, how's life?" Mack sure hoped Silver was a girl. He couldn't hear the voice on the other end.

She continued, "Not too bad - keeping out of trouble." She laughed after that.

"Sure - what d'ya need?" Sounding businesslike now.

"Um… you know where those live, right? And that they're toxic as hell?" As she looked down for a moment, a small braid of dark hair fell to hang in front of her slightly-pointed ear.

"No, I'm not saying I won't do it - you know me, I like a challenge. I'm just saying we'll need some backup. I know a guy who might be up for it. Let me talk to him and I'll call you back." She unwound her long legs from the rungs of the stool, and stood up.

"Sure thing. Talk to you soon." She removed the earpiece and, with a short wave in Mack's general direction headed out into the street.

The glass of whiskey sat on the bar, untouched. "Ah, hell" Mack grumbled.


Arrow sighed and stretched, wincing at the pain that shot through her right leg. She shook her head, still groggy from the medication, and looked around. She hated hospitals. They stank of blood, sweat, and disinfectant. The IV in her arm made her feel like a bear with it's paw in a trap. Arrow never minded sitting perfectly still for hours waiting for her prey to come along, but she couldn't stand any kind of forced immobility. She couldn't wait to get out of there.

If only Silver hadn't been too tapped out to heal her! Ah well, she should be happy they'd all made it out of there alive. At least the shaman had taken them to a decent hospital. She'd been very apologetic, since it was her idea that got them in to this mess to begin with.

With that thought, Arrow looked around for her other companion in the escapade. The curtain beside her was open slightly, and through it she could see a familiar-looking horn sticking out of a mat of greasy hair. Yep, that was him. He was snoring softly. Funny, she hadn't realized trolls could do anything softly.

At least Arrow had the bed by the window, though she couldn't see much more than gray sky partially obscured by a darker gray building and the occasional grayish bird swooping by. Lovely day! she thought morosely.

Arrow's wrist comm, sitting on the table by the bed, beeped an incoming call. Thrilled to have a distraction, she reached over and turned it on, mumbling a greeting. The tiny screen resolved to show a young woman with very white hair. The miniature Silver beamed, "Arrow - I'm so glad to see that you're all right!"

Arrow shrugged, "Yeah, I guess. As all right as I can be stuck in here. Do you know when they're gonna let us out of here? I don't think I can handle this place for much longer."

Silver hesitated… "Listen…there's something I need to explain, and I'm not sure where to..." She was cut off by the beeping of another call.

Seeing who it was, Arrow held up her hand. "Hold on a sec, will ya?" She switched channels.

"Rachel!" Amanda's face lit up the screen. "I can't believe it! I'm so glad you're ok. We missed you so much!" She was distracted by something offscreen, then turned back. "Wait, Rook wants to talk."

Before Arrow could say anything, the girl's image was replaced by that of her brother, who didn't seem to know what to say now that it was his turn. "Um… hey Rae, how ya doing?" Arrow noted vaguely that the boy looked different, somehow. Come to think of it, so had Amanda, but she couldn't say why.

"I'm ok, I guess," she said, as a strange sort of tightness began forming in her stomach. "Um… Rook… is something going on? I'm sorry if you guys were worried, but I just saw you two days ago."

Rook looked uncomfortable. "Um… yeah… look… we're coming down there to see you. Just hang on. We'll talk to you soon." He ended the call, and his face was replaced by Silver's. She looked impatient.

"Hey, what's going on?" Arrow demanded, frustrated.

Silver sighed. "Look, it's too hard to explain over the phone. I'm on my way there now. I'll see you soon." The call ended, and the woman's image was replaced by the date and time flashing on the screen.

It was several seconds before Arrow noticed the date.

It was several more seconds before she convinced herself that she hadn't misread it.

She closed her eyes, confused.

After a moment, Arrow sat up as well as she could, ignoring the ache in her leg, and pulled the curtain by her bed open. "Boomer!" she whispered loudly. When he didn't respond, she balled up a tissue from the box by the bed and threw it at him. "Boomer!"

The big troll snorted and scratched his forehead where the paper had landed. After a few seconds, he turned in her direction, eyes bleary.

"What?" he demanded, blinking. "Get bored and decide to throw things at the biggest target around?"

"Something like that," Arrow didn't smile. "I was just wondering... what date does your comm say it is?" He reached for it and took some time staring at the readout.

"Must be fried," he grunted. "Says here it's October of 2062. Stupid cheap piece of drek."

Arrow sighed and laid back on her pillows. "Um… yeah… You know, that's the date mine says too."

Boomer stared at her, then shrugged. "Must be some kinda bug in the system. Getting the date all confused like that."

"Yeah," Arrow replied. "Must be something like that."

She looked out the window as the sun broke through some clouds on the horizon. It sure seemed to be setting early for the beginning of July.


Arrow sighed as she pushed open the door to Mack's Hole and looked around. At least here was a place that hadn't changed in the months she'd missed. Hell, as far as she could remember it hadn't changed in the 8 years she'd been drinking there. There were only a few patrons in the bar at this early afternoon hour, but it was as dim and smoky as ever.

Even Mack looked just the same. The tall, broad-shouldered human was leaning halfway across the bar, deep in conversation with some orc she didn't know. When he saw the door open, he gave the orc a friendly slap on the shoulder and turned to greet the newest arrival.

Arrow smiled as Mack did a visible double take. Recovering himself, he grinned broadly. "Hey! Arrow! You're back!"

"Hey chummer," She headed for her usual spot at the far end of the bar as Mack reached for a bottle and poured a drink.

He sat the glass in front of her. "A welcome-back drink - on the house. So, where ya been, gal? I was starting to think you got geeked or somethin."

"Thanks, Mack. Damn, that's good stuff. Nah, I didn't get geeked. I just went hunting."

"Hunting?" he frowned, "For over a year? That musta been some hunting trip."

She sighed. "Nah, the hunting only took a day. Nearly got ourselves killed, but we made it back to town in one piece. It was in the hospital afterwards that things got weird."

"Hospital?" Mack looked confused, then realization dawned. "No! Don't tell me you were in THAT hospital? The one that's been on the news, with the quarantine and all?" When she nodded, looking disgusted, he continued, "So, what was going on in there?"

"Hell if I know," she said. "Some kind of crazy mojo. As far as I was concerned, I went to sleep in July of '61 and when I woke up 15 months had passed, but it sure didn't seem like anything to me. Truly fragged up situation." She shook her head. "It's been about two weeks now, and I'm starting to get settled in again. Lucky for me a friend knew what was going on and took care of my stuff. But, of course, I wasn't around to pay rent or anything so I had to get a new apartment and move all my drek back into it."

"Huh. After a story like that, I think you need another one of these," Mack said, refilling her glass.

"Thanks," she smiled slightly. "Hey, you got customers waiting," she gestured up the bar to where two young women were just sitting down.

"Oh, yeah, better get back to work. Well, it's good to have you back." He headed off. Arrow sighed, thinking that it didn't feel like she'd been gone very long, but it was still good to be back.



  • 1400 Titus and Fifi head over to safehouse in Barrens. They get out at Touristville and decide to walk. They get jumped by gangers and almost killed.
  • 1500 Team heads to Seattle West Hospital. Kozmo's brother is also there after being jumped. Arrow and Boomer (players not here) are also there after a hunt went bad.
  • 1600 One of Titus's magical group (Crimson Circle) members, a Doctor, stops by to check in on Titus.
  • 2000 - commotion and casualties.