"The Number You Have Dialed..." or "We Now Return You..."

by X7465283765896@aol.com

Tatiana sighed. Another day gone, and no word from her father. All the technology the world now had, and it couldn't even find find one old man.

Her father had wandered out of his care facility shortly after midnight two days ago. Tatiana had run out of ideas of where to look, most of Pa's friends had died long, long before. Some during the VITAS epidemics that swept the globe 40 years ago, but most from just plain old age.

"How could a 103 year old man just 'walk out' of a old age care home in a A rated neighbourhood, and vanish into thin air?" No answers from the Lone Star. They were 'investigating the matter'. Just like in 'The UCAS most Wanted' they were running all sorts of automated matrix search routines, watching for use of the old man's credstick or SIN. Of course, they didn't care that the Pa's only set of ID was let in the drawer in his room. Idiots. Well, at least she and Pa agreed on that.

Tatiana's son said it was shadowrunners, and they kidnapped grandpa cause he had some vital secrets from his days in the Secret Service.

Like she believed that in the slightest.

Her father claimed he had spent twenty years in the Secret Service, but there were no records supporting the old mans claim. And of course, her father has been slowly losing his grip on reality, he spent a good deal of his time watching the 'trids' ('wonderful things, those' the old man always said.) with his grandson. And when they weren't watching the trid, Tatiana's father was filling Micheal's head with nonsense about the Secret Service, and how they were really not all that different from the shadowrunners in the trid shows they watched four nights a week.

Michael was convinced that someone hired shadowrunners. He wanted to call the hotline number in the LTG listings, that listed a flower shop in an address that didn't exist. (Runners set up that number, for people to call for help!) Pa has shown him that. Tatiana had shown Pa the newstrid short that talked about the flowershop burning down, dated 7 months before that. Pa has simply gotten upset and shouted at Tatiana that she knew better than to question her own father.

Tatiana sighed again, and took a drink of Samurai Worm Shot. (horrid stuff that - not natural at all) She hardly could afford the fees of a magical investigator, she'd have to be earning triple her wage at least. She'd seen the trideo show on Magical tracking, they'd covered every aspect of it in terms that most people could understand, although she knew that the show missed something. All corp sponsored documentaries didn't tell the whole story. Hell, even every documentary not sponsored by a corp disclosed something.

"Hey mom! Tolda calling that number might help! Look who I got!" Tatiana walked into the living room to see Michael and Pa just coming in the door. "Cost me next years tuition, but I'll just get another part time job." Michael beamed at his mother, quite obviously proud that he'd succeeded where the Lone Star couldn't. "They found him at that bar that got bombed last week."

"I had to go. They were my godchildren. You kids nowadays have no concept of responsibility." The old man slowly made his way across the living room with the aid of his grandson, and sat on the couch. "It's almost 9, boy, Deniable Assets is on tonight! I hope you got a recording of Renraku Nights, I missed it last night while talking with Samuel's kids."

"It was a great show, Granpa, Giro and Nora got a message out" Renraku Nights covered a group of kids who constantly tried to outsmart the group of shadowrunners that took the pyramid over, and free everyone that lived in the Renraku pyramid.

"Shush boy. Don't tell me, I want to see it myself." Soon, the two were perfectly quiet, watching trid as if Pa had just arrived from the home for a visit.

Trid-trash, Tatiana called it, and Deniable Assets was marginally better, at least the premise of a group of mercenaries for hire was more believeable than the Renraku pyramid clap-trap...

Tatiana poured herself another Samurai Worm Shot and headed to the phone to call the Lone Star, she might as well let them know that Pa found his way home.....

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