The Four Shadowrunners of the Apocalypse were bumping along easily enough, four-wheeling through the forest on the semblances of a dirt road, until they finally reached their destination; a weapons deal about to go down in the Elven Woods.
They stopped to let out T-Wasp, who used his spy drones to scout out the area and report back to the group. He saw in the clearing, not elves, but humans, suspiciously playing volleyball (is that a thing?) with some water elementals. There was a spray-painted school bus off to one side: The Target! The weapons were here!
Vortex parked the Honda about a half-mile from the encampment and got out with Knave to scout ahead and plan their next move. Vortex disguised herself to appear more Elfish, and grabbed an apple and her huge sack of Bubblegum Chong 7, an Indica-Sativa hybrid with a strong body stone. Other side effects include dry mouth, auditory hallucinations and the urge to rap. Fenrir stayed in the Honda and astrally projected his wolf form, skulking through the woods as a glowing blue-silvery beast.
The wolf got into the clearing first. It was an open field with a large bonfire, some shabby-looking tents and a smelly school bus that reeked of Nag-Champa. He was instantly detected by the volleyball players. “Hey, whats up, buddy? What are you doing out here?” one human asked.
‘I love walking in the woods, they’re nice’ the Wolf said. The humans nodded dumbly. Fenrir noticed that these people were completely stoned out of their gourds. Having seen enough, the wolf padded silently back into the woods, and the players resumed their game.
T-Wasp used his l33t hacking skillz to reach out to the school bus’s computer, perhaps to control it wirelessly and drive away in an easy escape. The bus was silent as a grave. Nope, they had to do things the hard way. He accessed Vortex’s Honda* [passcode: pizza420 accepted. welcome, user.]* the computer’s robotic voice answered, and he ordered the pink beauty to come swoop him up.
Vortex the “Elf” and Knave the human stealthed their way to the edge of the clearing, the orange light from the roaring bonfire danced in Vortex’s eyes, while being completely absorbed by Knave’s void-black chameleon suit. Vortex tripped on a gnarled tree root and shrieked, tumbling out into the clearing and landing hard on her ass. Thud. “There goes the element of surprise” she muttered under her breath. Knave was a ghost. Silent as the stars. He was a constellation of death.
“Hi there!” a friendly greeting came from the campers. “What are you doing way out here in the woods?”
Vortex had to think fast. She was sweating bullets. She felt the apple in her pocket. An idea flashed.
“Err, I’m an Elf” she said graciously and bowed, “These are my woods. And I couldn’t help but notice a particular… aroma, emanating from this area, uh, for us Elves have a very keen sense of smell, you see.” She coughed nervously, “Anyway, um, so do you guys partake?” She beamed brightly and whipped out the huge sack of ganja. The light from the campfire sparkled across the nugs like an gigantic, frosty diamond. Their eyes lit up instantly. A red delicious apple was in her other hand. “I’d love to load you guys a fat bowl in this apple pipe, for alas, I have no one to smoke with,” She grinned coyly, “until now that is!”
The humans just stood there, agog, but as soon as Vortex’s tailored pheramones kicked in, they were suddenly in the mood to get hella-baked with this strange Elf. The smell from the bag was overwhelming, a swirling combination of gingerbread cookies and Moroccan spices and lemon-lime soda. Vortex poked a stick through the top and side of the apple, creating an impromptu “tobacco” pipe. She crumbled the sticky medicine in her fingers, loading a heaping fat bowl for her new friends. “You can have greens, sweetie” she said, offering the fruit to one of the men. They giddily partook. It was some pretty dank shit, to be honest.
In all of the commotion, Knave sneaked into the school bus silently. Yet while inside the bus, he fumbled with the door and it slammed, quite loudly in fact. The stoners turned to the sound, but Vortex reassured them “This weed makes you trip balls. One time I thought my door said ‘Thank you, Vortex’ it was probably nothing.” Vortex started freestyle rapping about Ya Mama, the humans shrugged at the noise and joined in, bobbing their heads back and forth to the beat.
The THC coursing through their veins, the stoners were dazzled by the magical power of the Flow. When she finished her verse, she passed the mic and the next dude. Although he hit a pound of herbs he’s still nice with the verbs. So fuck what you heard.
Vortex slowly backed out from the circle as one guy with a beard was spitting some seriously dope lines. Undetected, she waltzed over to the bus.
“Did you get it started?” She asked the ninja. He shook his head, “I… I never learned how to hotwire cars,” he said, glumly. He hung his head in shame.
“Did you ask that dude?” Vortex pointed to a half-asleep hippie on a pile of pillows near the back of the van. Knave shook his head. “Hey mister, you got the keys to this thing? We were gonna go pick up some Taco Bell. Did you want some?”
The word taco caused his eyes to pop open. “Yeah, I got ’em right here, babe!” he said, holding the keys in the air. She kindly took them and started up the bus. With a grind and a grumble, the overworked engine sputtered to life. She put the shifter in gear and slammed her foot on the accelerator. The bus careened forward and puttered along through the forest underbrush at breakneck speed (20 miles per hour). The hippies around the campfire were still rapping, transfixed by their own creative juices. Vortex got on the comms.
“We got the stash! Now lets get the Hell out of here!”
The other Shadowrunners agreed, and T-Wasp started up the Honda, revved the engine, and sped away in a cloud of brown dust. Fenrir shouted triumphantly, poking several holes in the back seat. The sun was setting, and they had a long road ahead. The bus bumped ahead, with the car right behind.
It was not long until they heard the buzzing sound of dirt bikes from behind. Soon the bikes were on their tail; six Elvish riders, closely followed by two fearsomely large magical creatures, one a whirling being of hellfire, the other a maelstrom of tornado-like fury. Elementals!
T-Wasp ordered his drones to lay down covering fire. One biker flew off his motorcycle and it exploded into a tree, just like in Return of the Jedi. Yet five more followed, firing their machine pistols at the rear vehicle. The elementals took turns shooting fireballs and windballs(?) at the poor pink Honda. The metal groaned as it took a beating from the missiles, the hood flew up and loudly smacked into the windshield, shattering it before flying off above the car. The engine was wheezing and whining like a dying old man. It couldn’t take much more abuse.
Fenrir focused his majicks at one of the elves, his bike swiveled and swerved, he lost speed and trailed farther away until he was lost to sight. Four remaining. And the two elementals. The elves took more potshots at the car. The Shadowrunners fired more rounds at an Elf, the leader they guessed, based on his sweet chainmail jacket. He deftly dodged out of the way of the bullets and avoided the drone’s hail of gunfire. What a lucky bastard.
Vortex fired out the window from the bus driver’s seat. Her bullets ricocheted inside the Chainmail Elf’s gas tank. The lucky Elf’s bike exploded, along with the lower half of his body. T-Wasp’s drone blasted away, turning the remaining bikers into swiss cheese, it’s turret flailing wildly and spitting pure metallic death at their pursuers. The last elf said “Fuck This” and broke away from the chase. Vortex gave Knave a fist bump. Six down, two to go.
Vortex’s Honda was leaking fuel, most of the windows were shattered, and the engine was a chimney of billowing smoke. Oh yeah, and two elemental death demons were closing in on them, smashing the car to bits. Knave knew what he had to do. He opened the school bus’s back door, and ninja leaped over the Honda with his sword held high, gloriously flying on top of the fire elemental, aiming right for it’s heart.
The fire elemental lashed out at the ninja with a wave of boiling magma, melting his suit and throwing his body like a ragdoll. He collided into a tree. Everyone heard bones break.
Panicked, the troll mage had to save his new friend. Fenrir focused the last of his arcane strength, and channeled a burst of pure energy at the wind elemental. A spiral of purple and green light burst out from the backseat of the Honda like a lightning bolt.
And it fizzled.
The wind elemental laughed, absorbing the bolt of energy into its swirling form. A collective ‘Fuck’ was uttered by everyone.
T-Wasp took his mind off of piloting the car to command his drone to fire on the elementals. The robot swivelled its double barreled machine guns on the magical monstrosity. The barrels started spinning faster and faster.
And then jammed.
A rat-a-tat clacking noise rattled from the drone’s guns. It was a drumroll of death, the sound grinded in T-Wasp’s ears. Jammed. Fucking jammed. Shit.
The fire elemental whomped the trunk of the car. The car went airborne for what felt like an eternity, then slammed into the dirt, a loud pop barked from the engine as the grey smoke turned black. The front of the car rumbled horrifically like a slain beast’s death rattle. The engine began to wind down.
And then died.
The car slowed to a halt. A column of blinding inky blackness poured from the motor into the car, it pouring out everywhere. The smell of gas permeated everything. Fenrir gasped for air. T-Wasp coughed violently, he couldn’t see anything. Knave was bleeding somewhere, broken.
Vortex unleashed a gut-wrenching scream. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she looked in the rearview mirror at her friends. Bleeding, burning, dying. It’s not fair. It’s just not fair. She let out another scream, a piercing scream that morphed into a horrible crying sound, like a desperate creature caught in a bear trap. Why? Why them? It’s just not fair. GOD DAMNIT. FUCK.
Sobbing, she reached into her bandolier for a smoke grenade, pulled the pin out with her teeth, and tossed it out the window. She pulled out another and another, doing the same motion. She wedged a forth grenade in the driver-side window, grey smoke danced along the side of the bus like a demented firecracker. With one hand she ripped off a strip of duct tape and attached it to a smoker, tossing it in the back of the bus and letting the blinding cloud pour out the open door.
Get a hold of yourself, she forced herself to think. You’re still alive. Don’t waste their sacrifice. She had to survive. She had to live.
She got the fuck out of there.