The Power of Prayer
A time to pray that the shield you have just placed around you holds
long enough, to remove the weapon slung over your right shoulder. I had just
finished a little encounter with an opposing member of a clan now owning the
area I hunt in, when the incoming flame came.
My brother Van had left voice mail that I was to head back to town right away.
I had spent a couple of days relaxing up North in a quiet little place on some
land I had bought, not too long ago. It's a very hidden place, known to very
few. Cost me a mint, but was well worth every penny. Unlike Van, I made sure
to have almost nothing to remind me of the crazy future we now live in. No TV
monitors, no radio, and for God's Sake......No fucking customers! I had decided
to place an order with a company that I get my research gel in bulk from, when
I got the message. My brother in his lack of wisdom, had called the woman there
and left a message for her to tell me should I call. So as Lucy told me what
was to certainly ruin my weekend, I gathered my things and headed back. As the
doors opened to my large apartment, I saw both Magic and Shadow Moon standing
there toes tapping and oh God did they look pissed.....fuck!
The Epic Part 1
So there I was. It was late one evening and after working all day in that
apartment of mine, I decided to stroll the nightlife. The honking sounds of
busy streets and announcements promising
a new day had blared in my ears. The neon signs glittered in bright
green as I made my way down market street. Traffic lights and hustlers
around every corner reminded me of stories I had read in old history books,
of the late great NYC. I had made myself a promise not to hang out too long.
I wanted to find a deal on an epic vehicle for Van, and it seems that these
were the best hours to do so. I guess I could have placed an ad in the Neocron
Review, and waited. Or maybe even went down to the dealerships downtown. But
what I wanted was a deal, something so sweet that one could not find in the
showrooms of the city. You'd be surprised at the deals flowing about here,
late at night. One person had claimed to have fusion rifles for sale fresh
off the dead bodies no doubt. Another claimed to be selling rare implants
so fresh, that all one needed was to wash off the blood and insert.
Their voices rang out over one and other, and sometimes you even
thought you heard one thing, that was yet another. The black sky
above and dancing lights below, were tell tell signs to beware. I had
over heard Van talking to Magic on the phone last week about how he wanted an
epic vehicle. He went on and on about how he'd like to get his hands on one
without doing any of the missions. He had joked about stealing one from the
showroom downtown, and driving the hell out of it to Tescom before NCPD knew
about it missing. "I saw one the other day Magic, it was so sweet," I heard him say.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that I had bought one in a deal with another runner
for our niece Taylor's coming home party. I know Van, he would be happy for her, but
there would have been a slight tint of green in his eyes. So on this rainy night. I
decided to take my chances and try for another deal.
I made my way though the wet streets and crossed the sidewalk to Market street.
Here one could find just about anything. I started off asking questions and after
about 20 minutes, got a hit. His name was "Mjolinir". A tank dressed in dark clothing.
He had beady looking eyes and hadn't shaved in about a week. He motioned me to follow
him and backed into the shadows. We walked for about 5 blocks with him constantly
looking over his shoulder. I continued walking but made mental landmarks in my head.
We crossed over into another zone, one that I rarely visit and I began to wonder. Soon,
I found myself at the base of his apartment and he was giving me his
password. "Well, you go up...I'll wait right here," I said and after hearing him say
okay, he disappeared. Minutes ticked away and he finally returned. He walked up to me
and I wondered if I should had put on my claw just in case. A trader's window came
between us and inside appeared a vehicle key. I had been offering a special M.O.V.E on
chip, a gift from one of the Moon girls in trade. I placed my chip in the protective
window and took another look at the vehicle key. It was late, I know. I was also tired.
But not tired enough to see the my new dark clothes wearing friend was trying to scam me.
"That's not an Epic vehicle pal," I said in a now annoyed voice. He looked around to see
if anyone was noticing us. "It's the one they gave me when I finished the epic," he replied.
"Well, you got beat pal, fucked in the ass and now you seem to want to fuck me in return,"
I said, "The deal was for the epic vehicle, not some shit hole vehicle sold just
anywhere, an epic..do you have one or not?" I was getting pissed now, had walked all the
way over here and now this dickwad had nothing but games to play. I saw the vehicle key
disappear from the window and he began offering me money for the chip. "Well,
can I buy the chip off you?" he asked. "I don't need money friend...I need
the Epic vehicle," I responded. I turned to walk away, only to hear him say....Well, since
you don't need money, mind giving me some?..........Like I said, so there I was.
The Epic Part 2
Several cups of coffee and a few shots of Neowiyce and this boy was once again ready
to hit the streets now owned by the night. My last time out had failed to produce
anything besides a chance to claw some dumbass to death. I was getting hungry now,
hungry to close a deal with some jag off willing to wheel and deal me without trying to
take me for a ride. I was getting pissed though. I had thought again of that idiot
just the other night and decided that should I see him again, that I half expected to kill
him for fun and bury his sorry ass in the dumpster on the right, near Yo's Pawnshop. I
even found the very thought of this bringing me to a chuckle.
"You're thinking like that sister of yours and her crazy ass friend Magic."
Another rainy night had produced a shiny gleam to the sidewalks and tar streets,
another night of crooks and punks, lazy ass has beens and seriously fucked in the head
people.....the perfect setting.
On this night I was holding out hope against hope of dragging some two bit loser back
into the dark alley of Pepper Park and bleeding him to death, for an epic vehicle.
With a head slightly spinning from the shots taken, I made my way out the door and
into the streets near Plaza 3. A woman, or should I say a lady of the night approached me.
"Want some fun daddy?" she asked.
Her legs were long and a blonde streak ran through her otherwise
dark brown hair, her face was young and beautiful. She smiled a smile tested
over and over and was now hoping to hook me with it. "No time baby," I replied. Normally
I would never have passed up such an offer, would have taken this cute little birdy home
and spent most of the night trying to fuck her little brains out. But on this night
of nights, pleasure would have to come from a well closed deal.
The crowd of snake eyes and losers, deal runners and scum bags had collected
themselves along Market Street's lone alleyway. NCPD almost never came here,
what was the point? If you managed to make it this far, the last thing you
needed was police help. I walked around with my chip for trade safely hidden
in my front right pocket, tucked way down. Being left handed afforded me the
opportunity should I need so to strike out with my claw, should some deadbeat
attempt to pick at my pockets. Making my way along the sidewalk I noticed faces
I had hoped not to see again. Psi monks and Tanks stood along barking out the
deals they held close at hand.
Mostly weapons and implants, a few bone enforcements and some jerk
trying to sell his barter time. I had spent the better part of the late
evening asking around only to hear nothing close to what I wanted. I was
about to toss in another shitty towel for the night, when a dry and husky
voice spoke. "I hear your looking for a vehicle friend?" it said. I turned
sideways and without looking directly into the face from which it came, leaned
against the brick wall of HEW. "First off, I'm not your fucking friend, and the
vehicle I'm looking for is not some shit found in town, so if you don't have
what I want, don't waste my fucking time.........pal," I replied. There was a
snicker and a cough followed by a collection of words I wanted to hear. "Your right,
I'm not your friend...not yet, but I will be. The vehicle I have is indeed an epic
vehicle, and if your trading one of those rare M.O.V.E ON chips for it, I'm the most
important friend you'll find this evening." Another snicker, followed by more
coughing and I now decided to look his way.
His name was "Reaper". A tall spy with a very bad set of teeth, glasses
and a cough that was in deep need of attention. "Why don't we find a quiet
spot, and do this quickly," he said. I looked over my shoulder slowly and
from left to right, before agreeing. We walked down to the next block and crossed
over to where a rusty bench was bolted to the cement. Reaper sat down first
and after two more coughs, he straightened those outdated sunglasses and after another
snicker, showed me a computer link to an Epic Vehicle with a leather tag attached. The
name read "ED"
and I figured Reaper had lifted the vehicle from some runner named Ed, for which
there would be no return. I quickly check the link and within seconds knew
it was the vehicle I had been looking for. Normally I would have jumped for joy,
clapped my hands in excitement, but the booze has a way a numbing one's senses.
I handed Reaper that which was part of the deal, and without shaking hands
we both turned away and headed in opposite directions, with a little luck
I had hoped to never see him again.
As I made way back through the rainy, painted sidewalks and shiny streets
filled with losers and pimps, I started to feel better. I guessed the high
was working its way off and I found myself wanting to smile. Under a street
lamp, I took another look at the key to the epic vehicle for my brother. The
leather tag did read "Ed" and with the spots of blood on the back, I could
only assume that Ed was dead. A heavy price to pay for ownership of a vehicle
now in my hands. I placed the key in my front right pocket, way down. I half
expected to use my claw.
But for now, I had other plans. A quick shower and change of clothes,
maybe even a trip back downstairs to find a little birdy.
Persistence Is a Virtue
With the constant pouring of acid rain, followed by the never ending mechanical
sounds that ride along the nerve stem at the base of my brain, I was at wits end.
Two days of hunting and eating mutant rat meat, had made me not only edgy but cruel.
Magic had me out training and looking for what she calls a surprise. We had come
across this idiot of a monk who reminded us of an idiot of a tank named Lord Cypher.
Both runners had about the same level of stupidity.
This version, had decided to lend me advice of what to do to be a better
tank. He had gone on and on about the do's and don'ts of manhood. I listened to the fool
and thought to myself how easy it would be to shoot and kill this annoying bastard, and call
it a night. Magic and I had walked about looking for Warbots, when we saw him. At first
it was mere pieces of a monk who had lost most of what he was and yet continued to come
back for more. I counted 4 backpacks with this fool of a monk's name. I found myself almost
tripping over them, as we moved on. "Damn, how many lives does this fucker have?" Magic asked.
"Not sure, but I think they're about to run out," I replied. We watched in amusement as again,
this monk went head to head with a Warbot. We saw this substandard fool bounce around
hillsides in fear of the obvious. He was again, going to meet his creator of sorts. As
his body laid there barely breathing, I took that which he could not.....best, for all I