Runner Notes - 06 29 17
In the aftermath of taking down the Southern Congress of the Confederacy, Team Quattro tried to return to life as usual. Unfortunately for them, their runner reputation was getting bigger than they could manage. Still, each tried to get on in their own way.
CB, still stuck in Seattle because of the investigation into Sumatomo, his corruption, and his mysterious disappearance, focused his energies on the looming wedding with Topsy. Or rather, avoiding work for it. They decided on a wedding in VR, with guests staying in the comfort of their own home and meeting Topsy and CB on grounds they’re familiar with. However, Topsy still wanted to feed them all at the same time, so tasked her fiance with finding a rigger that could deliver meals to everyone simultaneously. Weighing his options between Missing No., and the new guy the rest of his team had been running with, he got the number from Benzine’s comm and called up Reznor.
Reznor, the newest addition spent most of his time tinkering in his shop, trying to finish various projects he’d started before he left, but was still without a payday since he started working with Team Quattro at the beginning of the month. When CB called, there wass a little hemming and hawing, but ultimately agreed to help the decker couple since he needed the nuyen. In the intervening weeks, he tried to figure out the logistics, get specifics, and contacts his drone supplier Rudy for drone rentals to make a delivery swarm. In addition, Rudy offered to do some legwork for him.
Alganon, intent on increasing his martial arts capabilities, gave a call to Edward van Casper and was pleasantly surprised to hear there was a same day opening. When the troll turned up, he found the waiting area dusty and empty. Jenny, the receptionist, greeted him as he entered, offering him drinks, food, anything he wanted. When he asked for Hurlg and told her the body mod that he wanted, she disappeared in back and can hear raised voices.
“We need fragging cash, not credit!” Floyd yells, frustration and desperation becoming more and more evident.
Jenny scurried back out without making eye contact, and disappeared through the front door. Al stood waiting, unperturbed by the situation. The minutes dragged by, Al still waiting patiently, when Jenny came back with a small, baby keg of beer for the big troll. At the same time, Edward van Casper came out.
“The man asked for Hurlg, and you brought him this? What the hell, Jenny! I’m getting sick of your screw ups…!” The woman muttered apologies, saying it was all they had around the corner, before taking up her station behind the desk, red faced and uncomfortable. Van Casper closed his eyes and sighed, before facing the customer. “Barricade! It’s been a while, good sir. Come on in back. Come in, come in.”
While he walked past, he could see the familiar faces of the nurses that accepted part time and full time positions, sitting with the doctor who’s lives they ruined to get him to work there, all muttering angrily.
“…any day now, he keeps saying.” Titus Chadwick said. “Maybe I should just pick up more hours at my other job…”
“I’ve already been doing that at the hospital,” Adrienne White said.
“I fragging left the Body Mall thinking this would be better,” Catherine Zamora complained.
“Frag all of you, you think you have it bad? I should be at DocWagon…” Floyd Gutierrez whined.
“Least the supplies haven’t run out,” Zamora said and paused. “Yet.”
Van Casper pressed on, either ignorant of or ignoring all the comments, Alganon in tow.
He asked Al what he was looking for, making small talk while performing a physical. There was a flash of disappointment on his face when Al said all he was looking for was a striking callus, there and gone in a second.
“That will be… 1,000 nuyen…”
“That’s 4x higher than other quotes. A lot more than I was planning on spending,”
Al said. He didn’t raise his voice, but there was an unusual edge to his voice that was normally placid and disconnected. A bead of sweat dripped down Edward van Casper’s face when he finally snapped with a sob.
“I’m sorry! You’re right. Things have just been so bad since I got back from vacation. I just don’t know what to do!” He cried, slumping into his examination chair. “The body mall is taking all the business, my new assistant is my ex wife’s new wife, and she’s a disaster. But I can’t say no! She’s got me on the hook too! It’s all falling down around me… listen, I’ll do your surgery. No problem, just 250. You’ll be in and out, and your credit is still good. You boys helped me out, none of this is your fault…”
“…All I need is another chance, some clients, you know what I’m saying big guy? Do you think – maybe – you could drum up some business for me? At least, you know, tell your friends, let people know…” he looked at the troll with pleading eyes, letting silence hang in the air for a moment as Al just looked back.
“Yeah,” he said finally. “I can do that.”
Van Casper almost started crying again in appreciation, with Al leaving him a tip as he walked back to his van. Besides that, he spent a lot of time with Turbo, who was dragging him to a lot of fights in the underground.
Turbo also talked to CB, a hamfisted attempt that revealed some of the gaps in his understanding about the matrix. When it came to electronic warfare and other forms of hacking, he was wiz. But longer conversations revealed his weakness with more basic functions of the ‘trix, including hosts and matrix searches. Something that was becoming more evident as he gave up his skillwires. All of it was was to avoid his former responsibilities. The ambition he might have held seemingly washed away.
Now he just looked for a more reliable cereprax supplier.
Benzine was probably the moodiest on their return. As soon as their boots touched down, he delivered the PS system to CB as promised. CB asks him to stay and play, but Benzine left to visit the final resting place of Roxy’s ashes. Ellipse told him they were close to where her home was in the Underground.
He was only half surprised when he found her resting place adorned with different sorts of flowers and tributes. More surprising was it was actually marked with a grave. He couldn’t tell if it was a separate headstone, or engraved into the walls that surrounded the underground.
She fought for herself,
She fought for everyone.
“Bye Roxy,” it said. “Thank you.”
When he returned to the firehouse, he brought cigarettes and tacos for CB as requested, and sat down to play games with him for a while, before finally giving up. H talked to Ellipse, and suggested a field trip to the Cascades with members of TROLL and even made a suggestion to invite Courtney as someone to look after the kids if anything went wrong.
Ellipse agreed, and thought the whole thing was a great idea.
Soon as he got off the comm with him, he called Courtney too.
“Hey, uh, you want to leave town for a little? Maybe go to the Cascades?”
“Together?” She asked.
“Well, yeah. But! With a… a group of kids too.”
“ TROLL, right?” She asked.
“Wait, no, how do you know about that?”
“Dent told me,” she said.
“Well, Dent should know to keep his shut, and maybe I need to remind him of that,” he snapped. “These kids . . . what we’re doing isn’t exactly legal in any sense of the word. And if it gets out to the wrong person-”
“Easy there, mama bear,” she laughed. “Dent and I go back, I helped patch him up more than once. Secrets safe with me. And yes, I’d love to.”
Plans in place, it wasn’t long until he walked out of the firehouse with some final words to CB, admonishing him for not getting the front operating. There were no classes going, no students, and he still hadn’t even talked to the Cereal Killers sniffing around the area.
“What, are you even listening? You talking to her on your Comm or something?”
“No, you’re just nagging me like she’s been about this whole wedding. I’ll get to it.”
“You’ve had about 6 months to get to it, and we need it going. Starting to look suspicious saying we’re a tech school without any tech in here at all.”
“We got that signal booster up top,” he said. “If you want it to be a school so bad, why did you let that guy Jax in?”
“I didn’t! You did!”
“Because he said he was your friend. If you don’t want him here, just toss him out. He’s just sleeping on a towel in the bathroom.”
“I don’t even know how he fucking found us, which is part of the fucking problem. Our cover is shit, and we’ll have another Sumatomo up our hoops any day now if things keep going like this. Just fucking get on it! And get Jax out of here too! Come on Ember.”
Turbo, who’d been outside the window the whole time, just popped in as Benzine was leaving. “You want a hand with that? I can help.” They make vague plans to get around to it at some point while Benzine heads to the Cascades.