Huwoza Enterprises

The Job in Denver
The combined storyline of the creation of Huwoza Enterprises

Huwoza Enterprises formed from the remnants of a Chaotic job during the civil war like atmosphere of 74 Denver.

Volke and his team was tasked by a Renraku Mr. Johnson to extract a Exec visiting for business. They had to extract him before they were lost during the Aztechnology push into the CAS Sector. This was a rushed job with big money that was too large to ignore. While Volke had his doubts questioning such a huge job with big payout with little legwork, his team was too distracted by all those zeros, and said it was just the work of an Angel.

They were to extract the Exec at a small satellite office of Saeder-Krupp in the northern CAS Section. It seemed to be a simple Extraction job from all the data collected. This was helped with the presence of Lonestar being so close. Volke decided to go through with the job, however still had those doubts in the back of his mind. Talatun voiced some minor concerns as well, but stated she would do her part as she always does.

Kiseki recently arrived in Denver with Wetwork to be done. A turncoat executive looking to hop ship to Saeder-Krupp with a bit too much information. She was tasked with ending that new job opportunity, and his new found Saeder-Krupp contact. She is informed that a Matrix leak lead to runner presence at the location. She was provided with a small hit squad to meet with behind the office building. She liked the prospect of a Job overseas and it was too tempting to pass up. Her family urging her to bring honor to them with this job, it is what she lived to do.

It was late November, with the air a brisk 54 degrees. The sun setting and most of the populace still trying to get home from their slave wage jobs. Volke and his team starting to setup for the run across the street. They parked their junker white van, and prepared arming themselves. They would go in as the late food delivery, a nice hot nutrisoy mess in a cardboard box. They go in, geek the Exec, and leave before any complications from Lonestar present themselves.

Talatun would be staying back to warm the van if the job happened to hose. She sat in the passenger seat, and watched Volke and the team jander to the entrance. Volke asked her to run the usual checks over his comm. She hopped back to her deck, jacked in and did her usual run times. She checked the exterior systems, found that the office was running very basic security. She let him know that the best exit seems to be the side fire exit. She found that in order to access further for the interior she would need to connect hot, she was curious why such a system would need this. Volke asked what they were running into inside. Talatun, snapped out of thought process and gave her usual one moment please in a pleasant tone.

She went hot and was able to find that the office seemed bare boned staff. Not too bad considering the hour. Mostly maintenance workers at the one guard as their contact informed them. She looked further to see if she could get some side data for that upgrade she was eyeing for her deck. Volke asked if he was good to go. Talatun gave the virtual thumbs up and told them to go live.

Meanwhile, Kiseki was behind the building getting setup with her team. She asked that they let her in first. She would be much better able to get close enough to finish the job if they did not follow her. Confidant in her skills. She knew she didn’t need the squad and questioned their presence. This was not her first job, and she has done much more difficult tasks alone. Dressing in a roomy pantsuit to hide her gear. She entered with her provided entry badge.

She was greeted by a maintenance worker, and nodded politely, making her way through the office eyeing the rooms for any hint of a meeting in progress. She noted the extremely lack of security and began to worry. This was definitely not her pay grade, and seemed odd to send her overseas for this. As she continued to walk, she overheard the rear entry opening and running footsteps. It was then she knew it was a setup. She ducked into the nearest office, where she startled a housekeeper cleaning. She motioned her to be quiet, and dropped her suitcoat, exposing her armor and family Katana gripped firmly.

Volke came to the security guard, seemed to be a dwarf that was better suited for a bar then a desk. “Can I help you?” the guard asked. “Dinner time.” Volke pointing to the boxes behind him. “Alright, let me page real quick see where this is going” the guard picking the desk phone and calling back to someone. Talatun intercepted the call, “Great can you have them bring it to Conference room B?” The guard getting up out of his chair motioned to the door for the group to follow him.

As they made their way to the conference room, Volke made note of the lack of staff in the office compared to just a few minutes ago. The guard lets them into the conference room in question. turning the lights on for the group. “Give us 15 minutes before you unleash the hounds” Volke joked with the guard. The guard chuckled, nodded, and closed the door behind him. The group pulled out their arms and armor from the crates and got equiped. They only had maybe 5 minutes to get the target and extract before Lonestar would be on them. Volke has done a good job of avoiding a Criminal Sin, and plans on keeping it that way.

Talatun while humming around the office files, gets a bit of interference, that she thinks might just be her connection. As she checks around, she found a huge data bank that seems to be the financial information for most of the staff at the office. Seeing a good side payday by setting up a salami slicing script, she should have a nice vacation at years end. She tries to enter the file, but something is wrong, she isn’t alone in the system anymore. She is caught by three master level technomancers. She cant pinpoint where they are, but she already sees the attacks coming to her deck. She fights valiantly, taking one down, but it is too much. “Sorry Volke, I think I’m out of this one.” She gets blasted out of the Matrix and gets dumped. Knocked unconscious, she slumps in her chair.

“Tala?” Volke pages over his Comm. He gets no response. “Drek!” he motions to his 3 compatriots to go hot. They kick out the door and find themselves face to face with a hit squad. “I knew it was too good…” Volke dives behind a nearby desk. One of his runners was a bit too slow and gets shot up immediately. Dropping like a log. He yells to his other runner and throws a grenade. It takes out several of the nearby group, but this is a large squad. Seems they were setup to be the fall guy for something.

Kiseki hears the grenade go off and gunfire. She has her chance to escape she thinks, and tries to slink out of the room. She sees her entry is blocked. She recalls from her dossier there are only 3 entry points to the building, the only one that might be safe is the side fire exit. She would need to wade through a firefight either way it seems. She makes her way through the office, and silently dispatches several hit squad members shooting at Volke and his team. Volke notices her fighting her way through the group and sees an opportunity. He yells over to his fellow runner, and notices him gone. He looks around and cant seem to see where he went. “Drek…” He throws a flashbang, and brazenly runs through the hit squad. He comes up to Kiseki, getting cornered, by several hit squad members.

“Surprise dickbags!” He opens fire and Kiseki takes the opportunity to strike. “You seem well equipped for an exec.” He states. “I do not have time to small chat Trog.” she quips. She runs toward the side exit and takes out another member of a squad. They work their way through the remaining hit squad members and get out the side fire exit. Volke runs toward the street to try to get to the van. He notices the van is surrounded by Lonestar, getting ready to clear the vehicle. “Tala…drek drek drek!” He turns around, and Kiseki is gone. He is too low on Ammo to have a firefight with lonestar, and runs back down the alleyway. As he runs down the alley he looks over his shoulder to see a Doc wagon pull up.

Talatun wakes and finds herself in the Doc Wagon. She looks around and finds herself sitting next to a lone star officer. “Don’t move, we got a tip that someone would be trying to force their way into the Finance files and looks like we caught the fly in our web.” She closes her eyes, realizing she is in bad shape and hurting all over. She has one last chance to get out of this, and it has to be while its moving. Traffic is bad enough in Denver she could likely slink away down the right alleyway. She has to take a chance they are taking the fast lane. She opens her eyes again, looks around, and notices the Lone star agent is talking to the front of the Wagon. Oddly, she isn’t handcuffed or otherwise restrained, probable thought she was dead at first.

She feels the Wagon stop at a light. Opportunity presents itself as the wagon starts moving again, she quickly hops up, elbows the officer in the face and dives out the back of the Doc wagon. She tumbles off the side of the road, and narrowly avoids a tire aimed at her face. She hurriedly scampers into the nearest alley as she hears cursing and screeching brakes. She tries her comm but its busted, and she doesn’t exactly have time to try to fix it. She finds her way to an old contact in the area. Who luckily hasn’t moved in the chaos. She gets patched up and crashes for the night.

Volke runs down the alleyway, and is frustrated beyond belief. “I’m going wring that Sarariman’s neck” He was setup and knew it was too good. No money, lost his team, and now on the run from whatever the hell that was. Still, it was better then dead. He tries his comm link for his one member that left him behind. No response, must of blocked him. Can only imagine he was just played. No way he would be that eager for the job otherwise. He knew the elf was bad business when he saw him, but he had the skills to backup his talk. Taking a second to catch his breath. He gets his bearings. Walks his way out into the street and blends in to the crowd. “Guess that means I need to look for greener pastures.”

Kiseki made her way back to her vehicle and was able to drive off quickly without incident. She checks her accounts, they have all but been emptied. She has been burned. Why? She did as her family and job asked of her. Trained to perfection to be able to extend the corporation’s reach and family influence. She can’t reach back out to her family, they would be swiftly killed. She has to lay low, otherwise Renraku will hunt her forever. She remembers that in Seattle there is very little Renraku presence when the Arc fell a decade ago. She could likely get back on her feet there.

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Aidos, Mother Fraggers!!
Volke gets a new start

“That couldn’t have gone worse.” Volke grumbled to himself as he efficiently navigated the alleyways leading away from Denver, the mishap freshly behind him. “Can’t reach the halfstack. Grr…and that fraggin’ elf….” he let out a heavy sign as he approached a large sewer entry and pocketed his comlink. The entry was sealed, two Ork guards standing on either side, lazily so. One appeared to be drunk to the point of nearly sleeping and the other was busy slouching over banged up old monitor. There was what sounded to be a broken report of the recent mishap downtown. The newscaster reported several dead, no suspects and more news to come. Volke tried not to grin like a smartass. The gate was closed, but not to him.

He rolled right up to them and gave a nod, to Tipsy as he passed by. The subterranean structures were vast. Belonging to Trolls, Orks and Dwarves so he didn’t hesitate to head underground where he would be more protected from whatever the frag he had gotten himself into. He knew from here, in the Underground, he could hop a subway train and make his way to anywhere else.

The door was like a blast door to a fallout shelter, only it was split in half and it opened by pulling apart, much like the machines that crushed cars at a typical junkyard. He stood infront of it and grunted to get their attention “Bit of help here guys? Trying to get underground away from all these fraggin halfstacks and breeders.” The distracted one looked up from his monitor and looked him over, after an awkward moment of silence he seemed to accept Volk as the Ork he was and he flipped a switch, opening the door.

The shelter door smashed shut behind him and he bumped into a young Troll, “Ah, drek! Sorry kid… Hey, you know of a quick way for a runner to disappear somewhere worth disappearing?” The kid picked at his one large fang for a second, completely unfazed by being ran into. He spit at Volke’s feet and let out a laugh. “Ah! I hear they disappear over at Sea-Tac if you got the creds. Long way tho… prolly wanna take a Thunderbird cause Metro is all fragged because of downtown.” Volke patted the troll on the back “You sir are a merit to the Ingenitization of this fine country.” and with that he disappeared into the crowd.

He had managed to make it to one of his storage apartments in the underground of Denver to gear with as much as he could efficiently carry, and then he was off. He had a pocketfull of creds, enough to get to Seattle if he shuttled in on one of the business flights. Figured that’d be easier to blend in and disappear. He loaded everything he could into a bag and the pockets of his coat, made sure all of his data and security feeds were self-encrypting before he left, and put a note up on the closed-circuit scratch monkey cyber terminal that he kept in the place. He wanted to say something to the halfstack, if she was alive. All it said was “A.M.F – Aidios, Mother Fragger!” and was set to make the accessing terminal pop after a 10 second delay from opening.

He always suspected even though the terminal was closed-circuit, that Tala could get into the thing. He just wanted to get her attention if he still could. He wasn’t quite ready for revenge just yet, but if he was going to have the line between allies and others blurred completely in an instant, he knew it would be best if he just found someplace where nobody knew his name and lay low.

About an hour later he was on the first LAV out of there on a solo flight with a breeder pilot that didn’t look like he could hurt a fly. Volke only had one eye to keep open, but he would try to sleep with that eye open for the next few hours until landing at Sea-Tac.

Waking up from his brief nap, for a breeder this pilot didn’t do half bad. Landing without an issue and smoothly. Volke grabbed his stuff, nodded to the pilot and walked onto the tarmac of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The sky was cloudy, but the extra oxygen invigorated him. “Where would I go if I was a Dandelion Eater?” he thought to himself.

He knew the Ork Underground was massive here in Seattle, and it seemed as good as anywhere else to start the search. Ducking into a subway entrance, he found he fit right in. Making his way around with makeshift maps. He found himself searching for a few hours for any tidbit of information. Volke didn’t normally hold a grudge, but this was different. Because of that elf, he lost his team, and barely got out. As he talked to the locals, he found that his best bet is to check the bars in town and just ease drop a bit. People in Seattle were much more loose lipped while drunk, and he might have better luck.

He decided to change gears and start at the barrens in Puyallup. He was told it was a good place to find elf refugees. Tarislar would be the perfect place to hide for awhile. Working his way through the various shacks and squatter joints, he wasn’t really finding much. He spent some of his last creds just buying information. He finally got a break from an older elven woman. “Saw someone just like that a day or two ago.” Volke raised his brow and listened “He let it slip he had a job lined up in Redmond. That was all he said, looked just like the Elf you described.” He thanked the old woman, and took a cab with his last creds to Redmond.

The weather started to pick up and rain started to pour. He was already broke, did not need to be wet too. He ducked into the closest bar. “Banshee huh?” He took a seat at the bar, asked for a glass of water. The bartender looked a bit confused, but got him a glass.

“Either your the DD for your imaginary friends or you are looking for something.” An older man sits next to him, with a cybernetic Arm, and obvious runner armor. “I like to keep the private life of my personal friends to myself, thank you.” Volke retorts and sips from his glass. “Sure you do, I don’t have any doubt they are doing some crazy moves on the dance floor as we speak. You look long in the face, reminds me when I lost a team in my runner days.” The old man motions to a booth in the corner. “Bit more comfortable then these old stools.” Volke follows him, but after sitting shakes his head. “You like to make assumptions it seems, assuming only makes an ass out of you and me.” Volke chuckles at his own cleverness.

“Well, let me stop assuming and get some info off you. My name is Demon, I’ve run longer then most and my body paid the price.” He exclaimed while tapping his right arm, continuing “You don’t seem too far behind me in years Ork, what’s your name?” Looking at Volke with an open hand. " Volke, I might be getting old in years, but I’m still better looking then you." He takes a swig from his glass." As for before, you seem to be connected, I’m looking for someone." Demon waves his hand. “I don’t look for people, I find them work, gear and equipment.”

“This is pretty high on my list Demon. I’m looking for a double crossing Dandelion eater, that made his way here for a job.” He shows a bit of frustration on his face. “You hired anyone like that for work recently?” Demon drops his cheerful demeanor. “Now Volke, you know working in the shadows you don’t give that info out. Much less for someone you just met.” He smirks a bit and continues “How about I make a proposition. You chat up your old days with me for a few, tell me about that lost team, because I have too. We see how things go, maybe I get you some work, and some trust, and I’ll use some contacts and dig a bit.”

“Kinda hard to make runs with Imaginary friends Demon. I need a team. I don’t want you to connect me with one either, I handpick them, 100%.” “Volke, I respect that, how about we have a few drinks and hash out the fine details?” Demon motioned to the bartender and bought Volke some booze, they hashed out past runs, and losses. How the world has been radically changing over the past 60 years. The hours seem to pass, and by the end, they seem to be old war buddies swapping stories. “One last thing Demon, I’m not from the area, and I need a place to crash.”

“Well I’m a bit tipsy, but I like you, how about this, I not only hook you up with work, but I become your landlord, my old runner shack is across the street. It looks like drek on the outside, but inside is rather nice for the area. 3k Nuyen rent a month. First month free.” They stumbled across the street, Demon lets him in, points to the couch. “Catch some sleep, and swing by Banshee in the morning” Demon says before closing the door behind him. Volke crashes and sleeps soundly for the first time in a few days.

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Stranger in Seattle
Huwoza forms in Seattle

Kuldr still recalls his life in the forests, his Grandfather teaching him the old ways of Magic. He was extremely adapt and his Grandfather hinted that his bloodline has the potential to be the strongest of all the Eleven Mystics. His family pushed him hard, the only child of his parents and last of his kind. He was not afraid of hard work if it had purpose.

That all changed in Dec, 2074. With public elections for the new High Prince well underway. His Grandfather decided to come from the shadows. Displeased with the Corporation’s attempts to rise in the land of his ancestors, he wanted to banish them as it used to be. He started a campaign that was starting to disrupt the status quo. His grandfather’s inherent racism and bigotry came out in a way that Kuldr was surprised to see.

On the morning of Dec 14th, Kuldr was awakened by the sounds of screaming and gunfire underneath his bedroom. He knew it was hit squads, the Ghosts coming to silence his family and his blood line completely. Rather then risk it being snuffed out by his demise. He grabbed what he could and escaped through his window. His bedroom door smashed open as he dived out.

He knew these woods like the back of his hand, setting up magical wards and traps his Grandfather forced him to run through thousands of times. He made a lethal brew of dangerous territory so the ghosts would be unable to make chase. He evaded for three weeks in the wilderness, into the new year. Making sure to cover his tracks, he made his way to Portland.

In the Outskirts of Portland, Kuldr pulled his hood up, covering his golden hair from the acid rain. Heavier then normal he mused. It was bad enough that his family was offed by the Ghosts. Because of his Grandfather’s Campaign he won’t have much luck among the Tír Tairngire. Rather then waste his talents he took the first airbus out of Portland to make a new start. He heard about Tir Tairngire’s arrangement with Seattle becoming a port city. He figure it be easy to meld into the life there. He would rather work against the Corporations with magic instead of politics. If he is as strong as his Grandfather stated, it should be easy.

Arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with the rain seemingly following him. He takes his small bag of luggage and walks out into the Seattle Metroplex. With slight arrogance he makes his way to a map of Seattle and sees the Corporation buildings seem to be centrally located downtown. With the little bit of cash on him, he takes a taxi to the closest Corporate office.

Getting dropped off at Federated Boeing. He walked into the front door, and sees quite a large quantity of armed guards at the entrance. While he wants to make a different he isn’t foolish. He is going to need help. Not sure where to go. He walked out into the evening drizzle. As he walks down the street he makes note of an Ork with a gray and white skull on his jacket. While his grandfather wasn’t a fan of Orks calling them Trogs frequently. Kuldr needs a team if he wants to disrupt anything

Following the Ork as he met up with similarly dressed Trolls and Dwarves. Kuldr wonders if they are a shadowrunning outfit his Father told him about. He continues to following the group, but they notice him. “Yo Dandelion Eater, you looking for some action pretty boy.” A troll blowing a sarcastic kiss as his comrades laugh. They start to surround him. “I’d rather not make a scene you guys” Kuldr points to the golf course behind him. “No worries pretty boy, this wont take long.” the Troll states.

Within seconds Kuldr pulses a stunball around himself. Stunning the group unconsciousness except for the Troll, who is staggered. “You damn dirty elf mage” The troll panicking and he knows he is in trouble. “I have one question for you Trog. Where can I find myself some Shadowrunners?” Standing over the troll with a fearsome glare. “Drek, the Barrens, Redmond Barrens! I swear!” He picks up and runs off. Leaving his compatriots behind and out for the count. Kuldr puts his hood back on, loots some creds and continues walking. Finding another map, he gets another taxi and makes his way to the barrens.

Asking the Taxi driver for a simple bar with no frills. “Chummer, you want to make your way to Banshee. The owner there is real solid, and keeps the drinks going.”

Dropped off just outside, he walks in to the sounds of smooth jazz. No one seems to paying him any attention. He walks up to the bar and asks for the local favorite. The bartender obliges and provides a mixed drink with a strong smell. “One screaming Banshee” The bartender proudly presents. Kuldr sips from his drink and takes in his environment. He notices a Breeder with a cybernetic arm body armor and long hair in a booth. He seems to be talking to some kind of suit.

Demon looks over to the bar and notices the elf staring at him, he winks and Kuldr turns back around. He looks back at his contact, “I’ll pass it along to one of my teams” he motions the suit away. Waves the bartender and points to Kuldr. “Excuse me sir, Demon over there wanted your attention.” Pointing back to the human from before.

“What kind of name is that” Kuldr wonders. He brings his drink and sits in the booth.

Demon speaks softly, “I don’t see many elves in the barrens, they normally find it beneath them unless they are drugged up or broke. Which one are you?” Taking a sip from his drink.

“Neither, I am looking for group to run with. You look like the type to do it.” Kuldr Retorts

Demon puts his hand to his chin, “I used to, back in the day, I took my first run while you were likely just another member of your dad’s ballsack.” smirking, “Dangerous line of work, what makes you so interested?”

Kuldr, replying while showing a bit of impatience. “I lost everything back home, I have a bone to pick with the Corps. Last of my family, lost it all, all because my grandfather would rather they stay out of Elven business.”

“Guess I was right, heh, you wouldn’t happen to be Elias’ kid would ya? Didn’t know that Keeb got married, let alone procreated. I recall his father was a real nutcase, saw his Campaign trail. Heard on the news he was running drugs and was taken down by his own nation.” Taking a swing from his glass. “Seems kind of odd for a supposed son to show up out of the blue at my doorstep.”

Kuldr more shocked then inpatient now, " How did you know my father?"

“I took him on a few runs back in the day, he decided he had enough, and went back to Tir Tairngire because his pappy asked him to.”

“If he was a runner, I know I can be too.”

“Told you, I don’t run anymore. I know a guy though, Let me reach out to him, see if he is interested in an elf…..what?”

“Mage”

Volke’s alarm goes off, he decides to get up this time, and get out of his room. Demon is a life saver, setting him up with an old Runner’s Shack. Too bad it isn’t full yet. Demon told him first month was free, but after that he will need 3k a month. Not bad for the Seattle, but much more then he is making currently. He gets his gear on, and notices a note. “Meet me at Banshee tonight – Demon”

Volke makes his way downstairs and makes some evening breakfast. No such thing as regular schedule for a runner. He checked the Matrix, and same old news, gangs fighting, Corps lying to the public. He should really get around to making that team, but where to start. He has some old contact in Denver, that might know a few people. Demon stated he wouldn’t interfere in the search unless it was good.

He opens his door and walks over to Banshee. He notices Demon sitting with a Tree hugger. Real pretty boy too. “I told you, I was still making the team Demon, not ready for runs.”

“I know that, but I figure I’d get you a Wizard of sorts for that team you haven’t finished. This is Kuldr, happened to be the son of an old associate of mine I ran with.”

Volke never cared for Elves, and this one looked to be the perfect specimen to funnel rage into. He cared even less after he was abandoned by that no good one in Denver. “I don’t work with Elves, Demon. Don’t trust them if I can’t see them, and you want one to be behind me, chanting all that gobbledygook?” Crossing his arms, looking quite stewed. “I handpick my team, more so with my history. Can’t risk it.”

“Not even for a free month’s rent?” Demon smiling slyly.

“I’ll give him a trial run, that is all that will get you.” Volke is against them, but he wouldn’t say no to an easy 3k, more so since this kid seems to have history with Demon.

“Sounds fair to me, considering it done. Kuldr, feel free to follow Volke and chant even when unnecessary. It will make him squirm a bit, and I find it humorous.” Volke chuckles, flips off Demon and motions for Kuldr to follow him.

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An Assassain and an Ork walk into a bar
Huwoza expands its membership

On the outskirts of Denver, Kiseki finally has a moment to collect her thoughts. While the Ork was certainly talented and his assistance was helpful. She likely could of escaped on her own. She did an inventory of her supplies. She was luckily able to get her vehicle. With that, her gear too. She had tools and a need for money, likely she could find some solo work in the area. Using a spare Sin for Identity. She starting looking for her line of work within Denver.

She found some jobs well below her normal pay grade. She cant do anything too high risk, unless she wanted to be detected. Renraku is definitely not one to let things go, but unfortunately for them, she was trained to hide in the shadows for months at a time. She remembered one of her Sensei moved to Denver a few years ago. Better to risk him then avoid risking her family.

Reaching out via comm, her Sensei stated that he was glad to be hearing from her. He sadly stated afterwards however that for his safety he would be unable to harbor her. He referred Kiseki to a contact who in turn, made contact with a smuggling group that needed extra protection on a trip to Seattle. They expected to take the End run through the PCC where the wilderness is not exactly very friendly. She needed to get to Seattle to try to escape Renraku, so it worked. Though normally below her usual tasks, the job had a means to an end for her.

She arrived at the warehouse address that was provided. The vehicle looked like a typical 18 wheeler. She would be in the Cab with the driver. She was shown the loot was behind a couple of fake boxes. Seemed to be a drug run, quite a large amount too. The things she has to do, she mused to herself. The run would go through the desert and plateaus then make a sharp route change through the Salish-Shidhe Council with mountains abound, arriving in Seattle in 3 days.

To not risk capture, they had four drivers rotating through the bunk beds in the back of the cab. They don’t have GPS, and the same Driver needs to be driving at each Checkpoint. Very exact, not the first run they have made. They warned that at times, some of the natives like to test the trucks, but so far, they have been just beating their chests. They were getting very brazen regardless, and this caused the need for extra muscle.

The drive started easily enough. Surprising that this far into the future, Diesels still have work to do. Humming along and with a bit too much vibration for comfort. The run goes smoothly. They come up to the first weight station, and clear though without issue. Border patrol gives the Dossier a once over, smacked the trailer a few times, seemed good enough for them.

The mountain passes still had some beauty to them. It was interesting to note, that with all the chaos with Magic returning a half century ago, that nature still kept moving like nothing has happened. “So whats your story lady” The dwarf driver poking for information. “I have a job to do, I was hired, and that is all you need to know” She replied. “Come on now, we are stuck in this dinky cab for half a week, could be a bit nicer, makes it less hell.”

“I see three other people you could talk to. I have a job to do, I was hired, and that is still all you need to know three days from now.” She lounges back and looks out the window. Still unsure what she did wrong to be burned, she did as she was asked. Was she just the unfortunate target of someone else’s problem? Was she an example to be made that even when flawless, you are able to be snuffed out like a candle? Too many questions, not enough answers, and not really able to search for them without risk.

“Hey lady, you see this on the road?” She snapped out of her daze and peeked out of the windshield. Looked to be several dune buggies were up ahead, like vultures lining up a meal. “I’ve done this for several years, never seen em make a formation like that.” She looks for an Emblem., she saw unmarked vehicles, but the equipment and outfits didn’t match. “Looks to be scavengers looking for an easy score.” She primed her firearms, and instructed the dwarf to keep driving forward, and she would take care of the rest.

Keeping a keen eye, she notices that each buggy seems to be equipment with some rudimentary catapult. It has a blowtorch attached to light whatever they throw in to toss. She sees that they add a black tar-like substance to the cup and set it ablaze.

“Whatever happens you keep driving.” She tells the driver. The driver nods. She opens the passenger side door and hops onto the front of the cab. They launch the tar to the front of the truck and it begins to melt the Radiator. Seems they would rather disable the truck completely. She notices them loading another handful of the tar, but she kills the person loading the cup. The buggy swerves slightly and steadies. She notices a buggy pulling alongside the driver side of the cab, and lining up a shot on the driver. She dives off the truck and slices the head off the shooter.

She quickly incapacitates the other occupants of the buggy and takes the wheel. She drives ahead and shoots the drivers of 2 other buggies. The vehicles fly off the road and quickly roll into pieces. She sees another buggy drive up to her left and aim a firearm, she shoots the hand of her aggressor. Shoots the driver and bumps the car off the road. Leaving her the truck and one last buggy.

She drives to the far side of the truck, the buggy is driving along the passenger side. She looks to the truck driver, and motions him to run them both off the road. The driver in shock nods and starts to push the buggy off the road, catching the driver off guard and unable to react fast enough. Kiseki jumps out of her buggy, runs across the frame of the other and jumps onto the passenger side of the cab. The buggies are run off the road, and roll into a huge ball of fire.

She opens the Cab door, sits down and buckles in. The driver staring at her. He jumbles his mouth a bit, to try to speak. “I had a job to do, I was hired, that is all you need to know.” She smirks and crosses her arms. With that they keep driving, with every rotation they keep prying, and she sticks to her mantra. The drivers can’t shut up about it. She puts up with it for the rest of the trip, and they arrive in Seattle, pulling into a Renton warehouse.

The drivers rush out of the cab, and start telling everyone about what she did. This begins to worry her, as she was trying to be low-key, and her skill set might of blew up that plan like those dirty Scavengers. She receives her payment, is provided a car for the evening and swiftly checks into a room at Merideth’s Comfy Cubicle. She takes her time getting settled, once that occurs, she sighs readies herself for sleep. Keeping her gear nearby.

In the middle of the night, she wakes to a commotion outside her door. She quickly grabs her equipment. “Don’t let her get away.” She has enough time to throw on her body armor, and sling her bag. She moves the curtains and finds that her window doesn’t open. “On the count of three.” She using a pillow to make a oddly shaped silhouette. They break open the door, and open fire on the pillow, shattering the window. Kiseki throws a flashbang, then dives out the window on the street. She hops into the car drives off. She notices a much faster car gaining on her. She gets run off the road, and knocked into the nearby parking lot of a bar.

She quickly gets out of the vehicle and gets into the bar. As she runs in, she notices it is filled with metahumans. She doesn’t have time to stop, and she stands out like a sore thumb here. The bar is poorly lit and furnished, not exactly a top end establishment. She makes her way towards the kitchen, but brings attention to herself from patrons of the bar. She runs into the kitchen, and out into the alley. The lights dim, with a ghostly hew, with a high fence she cant really hop over. She already notices that her pursuers closed off the alleyway. She is stuck like a trapped mouse. The cat bearing down on her.

“Renraku sends it’s regards Kiseki” The group brandishing their weapons. Not one to go without a fight, she defends herself efficiently. Moving through her aggressors like water. She defeats one after another as they try in vain to kill her. She catches an elbow to her face and is knocked down. “Stop making this difficult.” In real trouble now, she sees an avenue of escape, just needs to throw her last flashbang.

“Surprise Dickbags!” As gunfire breaks out behind her aggressors. An ork with an eyepatch unloads into the remaining suits. dropping them. “Oh no, its not him is it?” She thinks to herself. “Things were looking pretty bad for you there, you still don’t need a dirty trog’s help?” Volke comes out into the dim lighting. “I was fine, like I was then too.” she quickly retorts. “Sure, I don’t doubt that, but you trying to find me for something?” He rebuts. “You would think that wouldn’t you.” She quickly responds.

“Look, I know we got started on the wrong foot, but you have to admit, we seem to work hand and hand. Name’s Volke, and I think we would make a pretty good team if you would let me.” She showed visible disgust. “I work alone, I don’t need help, and I don’t plan on asking a trog, who keeps showing up unannounced screaming about bags of dicks.”

“Fair enough, I’ll ask you to help me then?” She is taken aback, as he continues. "I am certainly a capable individual, and I don’t want to come off as forward, but I can respect someone of your abilities. I am sure you enjoy money, as much as I do, but lets start again on the right foot. I am Volke, Ork runner extraordinaire, and you are…? "

His persistence admirable, she smirks, “Kiseki, and I plan on taking 60 percent.”

“Lets discuss that away from the dead or nearly dead around us huh?” Pointing to the various bodies around them. “My car’s out front, welcome to the team Kiseki”

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Safe House
Talatun figures out her way to Seattle.

“Well, at least I can say I know what it feels like to be hit by a ton of bricks,” Tala thought to herself sourly. She finally felt as though she had put enough distance between herself and Lonestar and decided to take a moment to try compose her thoughts.

She carefully looked over the road rash she received from jumping out of the back of the Doc Wagon. It was red and angry, and now that the adrenaline was running out, painful. Tala carefully pulled out some of the larger pieces of gravel and debris that were embedded in her arm. Each one she pulled out was more painful than the previous, and on top of the dump headache she was having, she was close to passing out.

“I need to get somewhere safe,” she spoke aloud, to no one in particular, “but where the hell can I go?” Worry flashed through her mind, did the Lonestar register her SIN? “Drek, drek, drek, drek, drek!” Tala had never been a part of a job gone south, and had no reason to ever worry about her SIN getting turned into a Criminal SIN. Until now, that is. She quickly shut off her broadcast, and decided to try and hoof it to one of her contact’s safe rooms. Quickly pulling up a map, she saw that she was only about a few blocks away from one owned by a former teammate and a former flame. “Drek,” she cursed under her breath, "hopefully noone’s home.

Tala pulled her long brown hair in to a messy bun on top of her head, and ripped up one of her shirts to fashion a makeshift bandage for her arm. She gently wrapped her arm and hoped that it looked enough like it was supposed to be there so not to draw too much attention to herself. She peaked around the corner of the alley she had stopped in and figured she could blend easily in. Once she got to the safe room, she could figure out her next set of moves.

After what seemed like an eternity, she found herself in front of the building that contained her contact’s safe room. They hadn’t exactly parted on good terms. – Gin wanted a girl he could dress up and flaunt, and she wasn’t exactly ready to settle down – so she hoped that no one was there. As she keyed in the pass code she had memorized, she was surprised that it still worked. The familiar little tune he had programmed for her chirped happily, and the door unlocked for her. Tala quickly slid in, and made sure to lock and cipher the door behind her. The flat looked just as she had remembered, almost as if she had only left a few days ago. She quickly moved to the kitchen. Hopefully a drink would help her get rid of the dumpshock she was still experiencing.

As she plopped onto the couch, the vidscreen lit up. “Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in. Looks like little Talatun finally decided to come home.” Without missing a beat or looking at the screen Tala saluted the screen with her middle finger. “Now, is that the proper way to treat the person who’s safe house you’re current using?”

“Not now Gin.”

The voice on the vidscreen laughed warmly and deeply, still able to send a quick shiver down Tala’s back after all these years. “What’s wrong Tala? Afraid to admit you’ve still got feelings for me?”

“You wish Breeder.”

“Ouch,” Gin responded sarcastically. “You wound me with your words.”

“Yeah, well if you were here, I’d wound you in other ways too.”

“Well then Tala, doesn’t look like you’ve come home to play.” Gin paused and his face got larger on the screen. Concern creeped into his voice. “And your arm isn’t looking too good either.”

Tala took a quick look at her arm, blood was seeping through. “Drek,” she muttered, as she quickly placed her beer on the table and rushed back to the restroom.

“Tala? What’s going on? You show up after three years, and you look like you’ve been dragged through hell. Come here and talk to me.” The laughter had left his voice and genuine concern replaced it. “It’s not that Grunge is it? Did he finally betray you?”

Peaking back through the door to look at the vidscreen, she responded, “No Gin, Volke did not betray me. You know, as well as I know, that he isn’t capable of that.” She moved back to the sink and poured some alcohol on her cuts. “Drek!” Tala cried out and flinched from the pain, “that fraggin’ hurts.” She gritted her teeth and took to wrapping her arm with an actual bandage. She then looked through the medicine cabinet for anything that could stop her head from pounding. Satisfied with what she found, she walked back to the living room and popped the pills before taking a swig of her beer. “Gin, someone played us. I don’t even know if Volke made it out alive.”

“Tala, listen to yourself. Someone played you? You guys are so covert, most people have never even heard of you. Why would someone come after you?” Gin took a few moments to collect his thoughts after realizing she wasn’t kidding.. “What happened Talatun?”

“I don’t know Gin. It seemed simple enough. Renraku hired us to extract some Mr. Johnson. Last minute job, triple the going rate. I knew something was off, cause I had to go in hot to disable the security, but…”

“You had to go in hot?” He bellowed, interrupting her. Gin was pissed and not going to let her hear the end of it. “Tala, why didn’t you trust your gut? You know better than that. If you have to go in hot to disable security, then something’s off. Not even Volke would have let you do that! Did you actually speak up?” Her silence was the answer. “Of course not. Following that stupid, fraggin’ Grunge blindly as always. You and your stupid daddy complex.”

Tala pressed the cold bottle to her forehead. She spoke quietly. “First off, I didn’t come here to get a lecture Gin. I just needed to rest, get over this dumpshock, and I’d be out of here. Didn’t think you had it wired to trigger to let you know if I show up. Second, don’t get started on my issues, when you have just as many. Third. Uh. There was a third, but my head feels like it’s about to explode, and I don’t remember it. So please, take it down a notch?”

“Fine. I’m sorry Tala. I worry about you. That’s all. Imagine my surprise when I got the alert.”

It was Tala’s turn to laugh. “Yeah, I guess after the last conversation we had, you probably never expected to see me again.” She lifted her legs onto the couch and laid down. “Sorry about that by the way.”

“It’s water under the bridge Little Bird. Get some rest. Check back in with me when you wake up.”

Tala smiled at the term of endearment and nodded before drifting quickly to sleep.


Tala woke up with a start. She had forgotten where she was, and didn’t know how long she had been out for. Panicking, she fell off of the couch, and right onto her injured arm. “Drek!” she cried out in pain, and the past few hours came rushing back to her. She slowly gathered her bearings and stood up, nursing her arm gently. She limped back to the restroom, realizing now that must have twisted her knee jumping from the Doc Wagon. She started the shower, setting it to scalding hot before stepping in.

She let the water rush over her, as she processed the day’s events through her mind. What had gone wrong? They had set up the normal precautions. This was a normal, everyday job for the team. Nothing appeared to be different. Then it dawned on her: The Dandelion Eater. He was new to the team, and this was supposed to be his trial run. He was overly excited, and pushed Volke hard to take the job. She shut the water off, wrapped herself in a towel and ran to the vidscreen. She paged Gin who answered immediately.

“Have a good re…” Gin paused and looked her up and down, “Tala, why are you only wearing a towel?”

“Doesn’t matter. I know why the job went south. Can you put a trace on Aelaeion Talvathar? I need to find out if Volke is alive.”

“Yeah, about that job of yours? It’s all over the news. Might want to lay low for a little bit.”

“Can’t. Now can you trace him, or did you forget how after leaving the team?”

Gin rolled his eyes. “Running the trace, but you need to rest. And as much as Volke and I butted heads, I’ll give him credit, that ork is practically immortal.” Gin looked away from the screen. “Are you sure that this name is legit? Might be an alias.”

“We ran backgrounds on anyone who joined the crew. You know that. Even if it is an alias, it’s tied to him, and it’s traceable.” She shook her head. “That stupid dandelion eater set us up, and I am going to find out why.”

“Tala, are you not listening to me? This is all over the news, and you’re trying to dive head first back into it. You need to lay low and rest. You’re running around, wearing only a fraggin’ towel and mumbling about an elf who betrayed you.”

She ignored him. “Gin, the trace?”

“Fine.” Gin let out a heavy sigh, “Looks like someone using that alias hitched a ride on a corporate flight. Again, that’s only from tracing his SIN, haven’t run anything on his financials or hook ins.” Gin paused. “Tala, please sit down? You’re making me nervous.”

She did as she was asked. “I need to make him pay Gin, he screwed with the wrong team. Those are members of my family he set up for slaughter!” She looked up at the screen, tears welling up in her eyes. “Please Gin, I know I’ve got a lot of nerve asking for your help. But please. Help me.”

“Tala, you should know by now that you can ask anything of me,” Gin flashed her a smile, “that’s never changed. It’s gonna take a few to confirm what’s going on with this elf. Go get dressed before you distract me. I’ve still got some of your old clothes in the closet. Last thing you need is to go out in blood stained clothes and draw attention. I’ll keep running the trace.”

Realization hit Tala like the proverbial ton of bricks. “I don’t deserve this. Thank you Gin.” She ran back to the bedroom and found the clothes Gil had referred to. She dried off quickly and wrapped her arm in a fresh bandage before slipping them on. After tying her hair up in a quick braid, she headed back out to the vidscreen.

“Looks like the flight he’s on is a straight shot to Seattle. SIN and financials match.” Gin looked back at Tala." Smart choice for an elf. Maybe a pit stop there before heading down to Tir Tairngire?"

“Maybe, but I’m not going to let him get that far.”

“Tala.”

“Gin, I need to do this.”

“Then don’t interrupt me when I’m talking.” Gin offered up the smile he reserved just for her. “Go grab my bug out bag. There’s a false panel in the closet that it’s hidden behind. There’s some fake SINs in there, an untraceable credit chip with a few thousand yuen, maybe a bag of tricks or two.” He winked at her. Tala just stared at him, confused. “Don’t look at me that way Tala. I learned a long time ago, that once you’re set on something, there’s no one in the world who’s going to change your mind.” He paused and smiled at her again. “I’ve uploaded a map with the fastest way to the runner’s shack. Go see if you can find Volke. I may not be able to keep you safe physically from where I am, but he can. Once you find him, go to Seattle. There’s a retired runner there, who can probably get you on the trail of the elf. He’s an old fragger, but he’s one of the best. Goes by the name Demon. I can let him know you’re coming.”

“Gin?”

“Yeah Tala?

“Thank you. Really, I mean…”

“Tala, stop. Please? Just go find Volke. Go settle what you need to.”

“Deal.”

“Good. And Tala, one more thing?”

“Yeah Gin?”

“Promise me, don’t do anything stupid and stay safe?”

“Dammit Gin.” She kissed her fingers and placed them on the vidscreen. “Only cause you’re the one asking.”

“Then get out of here. They aren’t naming suspects, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any of your team’s SINs. Stay low and out of sight. I’ll set up some drop points with people I trust to get you out of the major metro. We can get you to Seattle from a flight on the skirts. Stay in contact. Please.”

The screen went blank. Tala went to the bedroom and grabbed the bug out bag… and one of Gin’s trademark leather jackets. Past be damned, Gin always knew how to get under her skin and remind her of her feelings for him. She unciphered the door and stepped out into the hallway, taking one last glance behind her, not knowing when she’d be back again.


“Dammit!” Tala kicked at some rubbish on the floor. The runner’s shack had been completely obliterated. She secretly hoped that it meant that Volke and the team had been through, but prepared herself for the worse.

She went room by room, looking for anything that could tell her what happened here. The armory had been wiped, The living quarters were completely up-heaved. Someone had wanted them dead. They knew the job didn’t kill everyone, and they were still looking for them.

With nothing left at the shack, Talatun knew of one other place that she may be able to find Volke. He had an offsite armory in the Underground that he could bunker down in if things got too hot. It was also his happy place that he would go to to get away from the other runners if he needed space.

Checking to make sure she wasn’t being followed, Tala traveled to a discreet entrance to the Underground. Orks and Trolls frowned about visitors, and the last thing she needed today was another fight. In spite of that, she made it to his armory in record time, and was glad to see as though it hadn’t been visited by the same people who made their presence known at the shack. She quickly keyed in his pass phrase, only to see that he had encrypted it. “That Mother Fragger!” Tala let out a laugh of relief as she quickly broke through.

As she stepped inside, she quickly noticed that Volke had been in a rush when leaving. The usual pristine appearance was disheveled, and Volke had left one of his favorite pistols on his cleaning table. As she walked up to the table, Tala noticed that Volke had left her a note. She read it, smiled, and grabbed the gun as she realized that Volke had figured out what had happened as well. Volke was already on his way to Seattle. “I just hope he leaves some of that Dandelion Eater for me,” she said, as she grabbed some ammo and threw it in Gin’s bug out bag.


As Gin had promised, Tala was able to get out of the Metro completely unnoticed. It was extremely uneventful, and she wondered what strings he had pulled to make it that way. As she sat down on the plane, she pulled out one of her Decks and pinged Gin.

“Keeping promises I see?” Gin’s smile greeted her. “Everything went smoothly? Did you find Volke?”

“Smoothly, yes. Volke, no. Looks like he already skipped town. Left me a lovely little note though. I figure he’s got about three days, maybe even five on me.”

Gin cocked his head to the side in confusion. “You mean the old man figured out something on his own? I guess an old dog can be taught new tricks.”

“Gin,” Tala tried to hold her laughter in. “That’s not very nice.”

“Yeah, what’s he gonna do about it? I’m getting his favorite decker to him in one piece. He can cut me some slack.”

“I’ll let you two deal with that. Did you get in touch with that Demon guy?”

Gin shook his head. “I sent him a message, but I haven’t gotten a response. Hopefully I’ll hear something before you land. You’ve got about a three and a half hour flight. Get some rest. I already know you’re going to hit the ground running once you land.”

“Ok Gin. I will. I’ll ping you once the plane has landed.”

“Sounds good Little Bird. Be Safe.”

As the screen went blank, Tala looked out the window. She was leaving everything she knew behind. She muttered to herself, “Stupid Dandelion Eater.”


As the plane landed, Tala pinged Gin again. She smiled, as it almost felt like their old days together. Maybe it was her emotions running high, but she thought that perhaps he was feeling the same way. His face came up on the screen. “I’m here Gin. Got anything for me?”

“Actually I do. Demon’s main hangout is a location in Redmond named Banshee. I’ve let him know you’re on your way. And I’ve uploaded the location to your Deck.”

“Ok. Is he briefed?”

“He knows as much as he needs to. I trust him, but you know that there’s only been one person I’ve ever really trusted.” He winked at her. “He said he might have some leads for you, and that he’ll go over them with you personally.”

“Sounds good Gin. I’ll be in touch.”

Gin flashed his grin at her. “Be safe. I’ll hear from you soon.”

Tala shut off her deck after grabbing the address and headed outside to hail a taxi. Watching the city pass her by through the window, she frowned, wondering what in store for her here. She didn’t know anyone and she was, at best, searching for two needles in a haystack. She knew that Gin would help her in anyway that he could, but he was back in Denver. She felt oddly alone.

As the taxi pulled up to Banshee, she cringed at it’s appearance. While her life in Denver was anything but glamorous, she felt like she was back at square one. Working in the drek parts of town, doing jobs that made her question her morality. She sighed, slung Gin’s bag over her shoulder and headed in.

Gin had told her to look for an older, tall human with long white hair. While he stuck out like a sore thumb, sitting at a back booth facing the door, it was the person sitting across from him that drew her attention. Having a certain ork’s back constantly means you get to know what it looks like.

“Volke?!” She squeaked out in surprise. The ork turned around, surprise at hearing his name. “Volke!” Tala ran across the bar and tackled him with a hug. At that point, she didn’t care that he wasn’t fond of affection. “You are alive! I knew it!”

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