We last left our Shadowrunners beaten and bloodied in the Tir Tairngire forest, being chased by elementals and biker elves alike. Instead of letting them bleed to death, the leader of this Elf gang, Aap’Ast’Ri’Fi, had an idea.
Vortex sped along in her newly acquired school bus, but apparently not fast enough for the air elemental chasing her. She drove out into a clearing and was greeted by an armada of motorcycles, one elf with a megaphone yelling, “GET OUT OF THE BUS AND LIE FACING THE GROUND!”
“I was just going to pick up some Taco Bell!” Vortex pleaded. The forest bikers were not convinced (although one of them did feel like Chalupas later)
Vortex complied with the bikers, and was soon captured and brought back to the interrogation room, which wasn’t really a room but more of another open grassy field with one funky-looking water cooler sticking out of the mud.
“T-Wasp! Knave! Fenrir! You’re alive!” Vortex exclaimed, tears pouring down her face. T-Wasp smiled weakly at the orc. Knave and Fenrir were both unconscious, tied to chairs. An elf gave them smelling salts, and they woke up gibbering and doing the funky chicken. T-Wasp, also tied to a chair, grinned sheepishly and nodded. Vortex was duct-taped to her own chair, and the Elf leader, Mr. Ri’Fi, asked them exactly why they were trespassing in Tir Tairngire.
After a brutal interrogation of the captured Shadowrunners, Mr. Ri’Fi discovered Knave’s employers, a secretive Korean Magica Syndicate, had wanted the group to steal a weapons drop of magical Foci, boring-looking walking sticks and nanofilament chainsaws. Mr. Ri’fi discovered something else, too; Knave had been implanted with an insectoid spirit, which was slowly eating away at his soul, and would eventually take over his body, becoming a hive-minded zombie assassin. “Eww, Gross!” Vortex shrieked. Fenrir agreed, “Yeah, a bug spirit? What the hell, dude?” Knave was silent as the trees, contemplating.
“Killing you would be easy,” Mr Ri’Fi said, “But now that I know who you work for, using you would be more…” He paused, looking for a fancy word, “Advantageous”
T-Wasp groaned, guessing what would come next. Knave felt sick to his stomach.
“I will let you return to your master, Miss Annabelle,” Mr Ri’Fi continued, “and I will give you the cargo you fools were trying to steal.” T-Wasp raised an eyebrow.
“Under one condition,” the Elf said, “That you betray your master, eliminate her, and report back to me.” Ri’Fi tossed T-wasp a cred-stick with his contact information. The stick bounced off his chest and landed in his lap. “I will give you time to repair that awful pink vehicle,”
“HEY!” Vortex protested.
Ri’fi looked nonplussed, “and you may rest for the night. In the morning, you have permission to get the fuck out of Tir Tairngire. Contact me when Annabell is dead. And you better not triple-cross me, or,” He pasued, dramatically, “I will be quite upset.”
“We better do as he says,” Vortex whispered to T-wasp.
“Yeah, no shit.” he replied gruffly. The biker elves untied the captives, healed their wounds, and gave them permission to peruse the elf encampment. Vortex was amazed by the site; she had never seen an honest-to-goodness Elf City before, having spent her life in Seattle.
“It’s beautiful” she said to herself, amazed at the spiraling silver tree-houses, the floating wisps, the spirit deer and wolf sentries quietly making their rounds through the mystical woodlands.
“This is just like that Warcraft III game my grandma played all the time” she enthused. A nearby elf rolled his eyes.
After T-Wasp made repairs to the Honda, and Vortex bought a t-shirt from the local gift shop, and Fenrir and Knave stopped bleeding everywhere, the adventurers were ready to get the hell out of this damn place. They loaded the trunk with the Magic Foci and staves.
The Honda looked worse for wear, since T-Wasp had to repair the car with materials he had on hand. One of the replaced doors was completely made out of tree bark. sticks and leaves replaced most of the windows. The back seats and upholstery were covered with elk and bear pelts. The half-melted dashboard was installed with an enormous rattlesnake skin, for some reason. Luckily the Moon Roof was still intact. The CD-player was broken, sadly. T-Wasp groaned, knowing he would have to listen to Vortex’s unbearable singing for the ride back to Seattle.
Fenrir and T-Wasp crawled in the back seat and passed out. Knave sat shotgun and Vortex hopped in the driver’s seat. They drove the rickety car down the dirt path and out of the grove of treehouses. The path eventually reached a cracked highway that hadn’t been maintained in decades. They followed it south until it curved west and then northward. Knave saw a road sign: Salish-Shidhe Council, 10 mi He tapped Vortex’s shoulder. “Uhh, SSC Country is coming up ahead.” Vortex nodded and pulled over. She looked at Fenrir and T-Wasp in the backseat. Fenrir looked incredibly carsick. T-Wasp was passed out, utterly exhausted from repairing the vehicle the night before. “I’ve got an idea,” the Orc beamed, getting out of the car. With a screwdriver she removed her licence plate. She took a handful of roadside mud and splattered it against the sides of her pink Baby. “Uhh, what are you doing, Vortex?” Knave asked, solemnly.
“We need the element of disguise if we’re gonna get through this checkpoint safely,” she beamed. She stuck a couple of pinecones in the windshield, then sprawled, “NORTHWEST LARPERS BEATDOWN 2072” in mud on the side of the car. “WTF is Larping?” the assassin asked. “Only the most awesome thing ever,” Vortex said, grinning like a shark. “It’s where fun and cool people create characters and have fantasy battles in the forest, fighting arcane monsters and dodging magic missiles. Plus, a lot of free drugs. It’s the fuckin’ best”
Knave rolled his eyes. “If you say so,” he sighed. The Ninja lowered his seat back, activated his chameleon suit, and went invisible.
Vortex slowly pulled up to the CCS Checkpoint. A dwarf and human eyed her suspiciously. She handed them her SIN and smiled innocently. “Hello, officers! How is your day going, today?”
The Border Patrol agent ignored her, “Provide the SINS of your passengers and state your purpose for entering Salish-Shidhe Council, Orc” the dwarf grunted.
Vortex looked to her passed out friends, poked T-Wasp, he blinked awake and gave her one of his many ID’s, along with Fenrir’s. Vortex handed the guard their SIN’s. He glanced over them suspiciously, nodded and handed them back.
“We were just coming back from an incredible LARP’ing convention in the forest. Lots of epic battles, free love, free drugs, Hu-Fu hotdogs, bonfires and bonding. It’s just the best! I can show you some photos if you want,” she beamed, fiddling for her comm.
“No, no, that won’t be necessary. What’s… Hu-Fu?” the guard asked.
“It’s like Tofu, but it tastes approximately like cooked human flesh. It’s really yummy, and it’s a superfood, so it’s good for you, too. " The Orc explained. The dwarf grimaced, wanting to end the conversation as soon as possible.
“You don’t have a license plate. It is illegal for your vehicle to enter SSC Territory with no licence plate”. Vortex leaned out the window and looked behind her. “Are you serious? Shucks! I guess it must have fallen off after that Troll Warrior pierced my bumper with his glaive. I’m sorry, sir, my car was a pink dragon in the Battle of the 69 Armies, and I had gotten separated from my battalion after elf riders conducted a surprise raid that divided our flank. We escaped some dangerous elementals, and the plate must have broken off in the ensuing chaos.” She activated her puppydog eyes subroutine, “I’m really sorry, sir, I’ll be sure to replace it as soon as I’m back in Seattle. As you can see, my two friends are completely exhausted from the fight. Again, I’m really, really sorry” The dwarf was oddly charmed by this strange Orc’s stupidity.
“Fine, fine, be sure to get your plate replaced. And make sure you have a permit the next time you want to come into our country. The orc bowed graciously. “Thank you so much, me lord.” The guard rolled his eyes and hurriedly waved them through.
“Close call,” Knave said, uncloaking in the front seat. “Tell me about it,” Vortex said, unconsciously testing out the broken radio for the twentieth time.
After another hour of driving, they successfully made it into Seattle. Or what was left of it, since most of Southern Seattle was destroyed by a deadly volcano, and what remained was a lawless hellscape of destroyed buildings and roving gangs. Fenrir and T-Wasp eventually woke up, groggy and rubbing their eyes. Vortex pulled over into a burnt-out gas station. “Why are we stopping?” The Troll, Fenrir asked.
“We Need Licence Plate” grunted Vortex, cavemanlike. “T-Wasp, you got that screwdriver?” He nodded, and casually stepped out of the beat-up car. he stealthed to a burnt out PT Cruiser and began unscrewing the KUGERMOM1 plate. The gas station looked completely abandoned. The neon sign, GASSY’S PIT STOP, glowed eerily in the silence.
But looks can be deceiving. Inside, a family was huddled around their warm fireplace, the burnt husk of a decades-old Slurpie machine. “Looters..” the husband whispered to his wife, “They are stealing our possessions. Kids, load your shotguns.” His daughter and son, 12 and 10 respectively, strapped on their bulletproof vests, and the husband charged through the front door, blasting his shotty at the half-wooden Honda. Knave leapt out of the car, easily enough since the passenger-side door was missing, and unsheathed his katana. He slashed at the man in a flurry, slicing him across the chest. he screamed and took a 5-foot-step away from the ninja, stumbling back into the gas station. The ninja gave chase. Fenrir growled and followed suit, bursting the wooden door off its hinges and charged into the building. Vortex winced, “My car…” she squeaked. T-Wasp had removed the plate from the charred PT Cruiser’s bumper and began attaching it to the Honda.
Fenrir clenched his axe tightly and swung it at the man. He took it in the gut and horrifyingly screamed. The man’s wife cocked her shotgun and blasted the troll in the back. He took the blast and was unfazed. Knave jumped on the woman and stabbed her in the stomach. The children shrieked like rabbits and began unloading on the invaders with their shotguns. The entire gas station lit up in a firestorm of flashing light and explosions. “Uh-oh” peeped Vortex, worried. She pulled out her flash
grenade bang and tossed it into the front door of the shop.
The flashbang went off like an atomic bomb. Blinding white light seared everyone’s eyeballs, and white phosphorous started to burn everyone in the room, including Fenrir. “Smooth move, Vortex” T-Wasp muttered, desperately fiddling with the second screw on the licence plate. “Shit!” Vortex said, sweating bullets.
Half-blinded and enraged with bloodlust, Knave cut the boy in half with a downward slice. Fenrir fell over hard like a totem pole, or one of those semi-racist indian statues with the cigars. The Troll was out cold. Again.
T-Wasp finished attaching the plate, pulled out his sub-machine gun, and charged into the shop’s open doorway. He stopped dead in his tracks, completely agog at the bloodpath.
“Glad you could join us, T-Wasp!” Knave shouted, waving one free hand. Knave turned to his target. With a flick of his wrist, the ninja sliced off the man’s head. The walls and ceiling were splattered with thick, red blood. The daughter screamed and fired another blast at the ninja, missing completely. Knave spun in a whirlwind and sliced the woman across the belly, spilling her intestines like a Tauntaun. “They smell worse on the inside!” the psychotic killer cackled, and turned his gaze to the little girl.
“Don’t worry, child. I will end your suffering.” A creepy robotic smile was pasted across his face. “Say hi to your daddy and mommy for me,” he hissed, staring deep into the girl’s hollow, frightened eyes, and sliced the top of her head off with his blade. Her eyeballs bounced across the floor like ghoulish billiard balls, her body collapsing in a pile before him.
Vortex busted into the door and grabbed Fenrir’s leg, dragging his body into the backseat of her car. “Let’s go!” she barked. Knave and T-Wasp nodded and dove into the car. Vortex put the pedal to the medal and they sped away from the station.
After an hour of driving, they made it to T-Wasp’s hideout; a garage with hacking tools, drone repair bots, and storage rooms with heavy locks. “I… just want to forget what happened today,” T-Wasp muttered, slightly spattered with other people’s blood. “I know just the thing!” the Orc said, and she called up her drug dealer, Chris, to drop off some memory erasing RetCon. Fenrir passed out on the couch, Knave explored the halls of the garage while cleaning his blade, and T-Wasp raised up the car on his hydraulic lift. The drugs arrived shortly, and Vortex handed the dwarf the medicine bottle. T-Wasp swallowed the pills with a glass of water. A wave of warmth washed over him, and his memories started to blur into a spiraling neon haze. In his relaxed euphoria, he began absorbing himself in his repairs, working methodically on the busted-ass whip.
“We should meet Annabelle, ASAP” Knave suggested, walking into the garage as Vortex unloaded the trunk. She put one Tomahawk missile i a locker, and loaded the other equipment in two large green duffle bags. “Let’s call a cab”
Vortex agreed, and a taxi soon arrived. They stuffed the bulging duffle bags into the yellow car and gave directions to the cabbie. They were on the way to see Annabelle. What would happen next was anyone’s guess.
BTW Ian will reward us 1-5 Karma Points if you dress up as your character for Friday’s game (it’s on Halloween) I’m dressing up as Vortex, I hope you guys do something cool as well! See you guys soon!