<<<20 August 2057, 09:23
Note: This timeline is not the same as the one
depicted in the stories in the Fiction section, which
is why it won't make sense if you've read some of the stories.
...on?! Is this damn thing on!?!
'K. Sit back, kids, and take in what happened to us
last. Hope you can handle it. I can't.
"You live you life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line."
-- Gordon Sumner & folks, about 80 years ago
It started because 'Wraith... or should I say, my
boss, Jack McCovney, got a call about a meet. All
it said was this person (probably a woman), Kestrel,
had some information we might want. And so does
everybody. What makes this special?
For this, he calls me. I'm still recuperatin' from that
surgery, hoop-head. I mean, I got my wires sliced by
those Horror sons of bitches, and so I hadda go to a...
distant clinic to get 'em fixed. And a few other mods
done. 400 or so KĄ later, I'm good as new. A little
better, actually, because I had a new insurance policy
added. But I need rest, and therapeutic beer.
Anyway... Kestrel's in a hurry, and has to have a face-
to-face tonight. Yay. 'Hawk's in Morocco,
or somewhere else in Africa, diggin' up dead old bones.
Don't ask. He enjoys it. But he ain't in direct messaging
status, so we gotta leave word for him and hope. So much
for him bein' back this evening.
"Jack" decides to take the meet, at the Purple Haze, a real
retro-1970s-ish place. (I guess. It's before my time.) "Tim
Walker" is there as his bodyguard. I just float around the
floor and watch.
She's there on time. Uh-oh. She moves too fluidly. Too
smooth and fast. Wires. Big-time. This ain't no snitch.
She lays some info on 'Wraith, they verbally spar, she
leaves. No big, right?
Wrong. As usual. [sigh]
She has info on someone who might be able to contact that
funny elf with the diamond facepaint. This may or may not
be a good thing. He does seem to be able to deal with the
Horrors, though. Can we deal with him?
The mysterious info-man wants a 9pm meet. Not like they're
pushy or anything. And finally word back from 'Hawk: he's
gotta go by flying camel or somethin', and he'll be at SeaTac
in the early morning. Nothin' we can do, I guess. We'll get
So, we go off to meet this guy. He's a KID
for fuck's sake! Maybe 20, if I give him the benefit of the
doubt. Way too good-looking, too. Somebody's dropped a lotta
yen on cosmetic surgery or somethin', and that smells of a
false front. Hmm...
Calls himself Gabriel. Says he can maybe, just *maybe*, get
a message to Harlequin. Asks us to trust him. We're kinda
leery because of the multiple meets, and the fact that 'Wraith
asked for info, but McCovney got a call...
But, seein' the Horrors found us in the REAL world, not the
weird metaplane-thingy, we decide to take our shot and leave
a message. We mention Thayla, the bridge, and its structural
integrity. Hopefully, enough to prick up his pointy ears,
without telling anyone else too much. Gabe-kid says he'll do
what he can. He seems earnest enough, but way out of his league.
Well, beggars... choosers... do the math.
We sleep some, all at my place (paranoid? US? If you think so,
gimme a "Hell, yeah!"), and head off to pick up Dr. Stone/Williams
or whatever at the airport, and drive back into...
...mayhem. Of course! Nobody's tried to punch our tickets for
days, now. We're overdue.
We get ambushed on an offramp. Some...thing pops up so fast
it gets the drop on 'Wraith, who's driving. It blasts the
hell out of the driver's door on the truck with some autofire
big gun, and the truck, she no move no more. So, we decide to
disembark hastily, and show somebody that payback is a
when you mess with us.
I get a good look at this... person? ('Wraith's busy trying to
steer a truck without one front wheel). Holy shit...
It's big for a human. It's big for an Ork, while we're at it.
It has some crummy looking skin, with cyberware poking out
through it: a steel jaw, cables coming out of its head, metal
legs, gotta have wires to be so fast, and a minigun coming out
of his SHOULDER?! This is impossible. This guy is so dead from
chrome overload it ain't funny. So what the hell?!
Well, this kitty doesn't stop and ponder when there's a fight;
beat the crap out of it, ask questions later. No time to draw
weapons; I gotta stop him shooting that cannon. And what better
way than to go with my strength, and just take him off his feet?
Can't aim it then, I'll be inside its arc, and my buddies can
blast him. So, jump out the door, hit the ground running, get
low, drive my shoulder into his gut, grab behind his knees,
lift and flip. Textbook way to put Chrome Boy on his back.
One little problem -- I hit perfectly, grinding my shoulder into
his gut (DAMN stiff gut), grab, lift, and... nothing. Nothing at
all. He stays stuck to the ground like I did nothing. Oops...
now, it looks pretty bad...
It gets worse. He cranks one leg around in a way that human legs
just don't bend, and hits me right in the ribs with... I dunno.
It felt like a freight train, though.
Remember my cyber insurance policy? Lucky kitty keeps one of his
nine lives, due to thermoplastic-wrapped bones. Lucky bastard,
too, because otherwise he'd probably have killed me with that
kick. I go flying and land in a dazed heap.
Joe shoots. He knocks skin off. Nothing else. 'Hawk hits him
with a spell... for no effect. 'Wraith nails him twice. With
the Barrett. He gets a little hurt.
Big time bad news here, kids. I see the reaper sharpening up
a sickle over there...
No, it's The Abomination there, firing a grenade into the
bed of the truck, where 'Wraith is... err, was. Nice leap
there, Mr. McCovney. Saved your corporate assets.
For about 3 seconds. This thing shoots a rocket... right
under the truck's petrochem tank. The last thing I remember
is a big fireball, and thinking that I hate the smell of
my own skin burning...
I wake up feeling like death singed over, and with every
part of my body aching. Normal, in other words. After
getting through my foggy haze, 'Hawk and Joe explain that
they managed to hurt the thing, knock it over, and they
thought they'd killed it.
Then it got back up and leaped away. Over a couple of
city blocks. They decided they'd taught it enough of a
lesson for one day, so they gathered me and 'Wraith,
paid Harry a ton o' yen for a helicopter pickup ASAP,
and left the burning hulk of the truck (once Joe grabbed
the lockboxes with salvagable weapons).
Between Harry and 'Hawk (who saw the monstrosity astrally,
and saw a whole lotta nothin'), they think it's a cyberzombie.
Too much chrome, and ugly magic holding it together. Those
wispy street rumors put Aztechnology behind it. No big
surprise... when nasty machinery meets weird-ass magic, bet
on the Big A at the bottom of it.
So... why's it after us? Damn good question. Don't expect
much of an answer, though. Like we ever get those
answers, anyhow. Fuck it and move on.
But, we get a call from our informant. Seems Gabriel not
only got a message to Harlequin, but elf-boy wants some
face time with us. IN FIVE HOURS. Seems we got his attention.
Lucky us. The way this has been going, I think I'd rather be
blissfully ignorant. If that didn't mean a Horror killing me
in my bed.
Did I say lately how much life sucks?
So, we go to the meet. It's in a really posh Chinese place
called The Golden Dragon. We get the VIP treatment, ushered
into the back room. It's got nicely subdued noise generators
that match the decor, and an appropriately deferential
In comes Gabriel. We're all a bit tense because, well, Gabedude
ain't exactly won over our trust yet (it ain't bein' paranoid --
they really ARE out to get us, and I got the bullet holes to
prove it). But, in comes Harlequin. The genuine article, all
right. He recognizes us. We settle down a little. Harlequin
says he trusts "the kid" completely, and we have nothing to
It really was a bit of a chuckle to knock that attitude off
his face. Joe left him speechless with one little sentence:
"The Horrors found us in Amazonia."
This was NEWS. Harlequin was really stunned that these things
had made it here. He grilled us for every detail he could
get. He finally said that he thinks these are Horror
constructs, whatever the hell those are. They
stank like Horrors to me, and I was Up Close And Personal
with one (I was trying to remove its neck via monowhip).
Then we tell him about this mornings Fun With Killing Machines
incident. This isn't as shocking. He thinks it's a golem (huh?),
but with cyberware implanted. 'Hawk assures him that there was
twice as much chrome in there as necessary to kill this guy,
but he wasn't dead. Harlequin thinks Aztechnology is a distinct
Wonderfuckin'ful. Horrors, zombie golems, and the Big A. Life
doesn't get any better than this. So, what now?
The Kid and The Painted Elf confer. They decide something must
be done, and done now. They order food. After that, we talk
for awhile, and finally Harlequin says that he has to make some
preparations, and he'll call us tomorrow with some instructions.
He and Wonder Boy leave.
It got awfully quiet in that room for a few minutes...
I've had enough of danger and frustration and waiting and
being told what to do. Time to go kick bloody hell out of
something. I leave, and tell 'em I'll be in touch later
tonight. Gotta get some space, man.
I do *not* like where this is leading. And I have a sick
feeling in the pit of my stomach that I can guess where it
"At least it can't get any worse." Even I don't buy that
(Thanks to Dan, Ocelot's player, for writing this journal