Shadowfury (or, A Day in the Life of Death Claw and Black Viper!)

by Tracey Peart

The extraordinary-advanced Initiate adept elf mage, knowing through the use of an advanced version of the Fortelling spell that his fixer will contact him soon, sent an elemental to her to retrieve the message first. Also, through the application of his great intellect that the only reason that she would call him was for a job (for other things, she visited), he sent another elemental to send a message to a rigger specialist friend of his; he had a van especially designed for the sure guarding of a mage’s body while they are astrally projecting.

He got the return messages, as he foresaw, at about the same time. He thought about the detailed message from his fixer (the best in the business, as he deserved), then decided to accept the invitation for a meet to discuss it. Floating downstairs on his advanced version of Levitation, he was just in time, as he knew he would be, to meet the rigger as he stopped the bright grey, reflective windowed van. He got in, nodding in greeting and taking the imported beer his friend handed him. “’Ello, chummer. ‘Owareya?”

“Not bad, man. I’ll just get the van on the road.”

The rigger zoomed out between a pair of cyclists, forcing the black hog to swerve across the road and disintegrate in an orange bloom of flame in the front of a Lone Star surveillance van that was parked across the road from the mage's Belleview mansion. “Damned bikes…” The bicycle, ridden by a female courier, ended up piled into the display tables of the greengrocer’s, the impact splitting her tight white cotton uniform all down the front and tearing her nametag (“Tracey”) off. She was otherwise fine, except that it had started to rain Seattle’s renowned mild acid, which also started putting the Lone Star van out.

The two drove for a while through the darkening rain, the rigger avoiding traffic by staying in front of it and chatting about his family. Coming around a bend wide to avoid missing a boy scout and an old lady, the rigger didn't notice the rocket-boosted bud-lit runaway joyridden garbage truck.

The 9-ton 350 kmh vehicle stripped off the left side of the van, taking the rigger with it.

The mage looked through the remaining half of the windshield at the carnage before him as the spun ex-van settled facing the other way, then opened the door and stood up. Now, he could see the rigger’s body; flesh, metal and plastic, spread along 55.43 metres of the road by the truck, which was now concealed by its own rocket exhaust.

He blinks, shrugs, shoulders his 10 gage autoshotgun, and steps into a waiting taxi.

The master class ork street samurai, ronin among ronin, pulled out his deck and jacked into the Warehouses' security main frame. Sleazing past the roving black IC, he found what he was looking for, the door pass code. With a faint click it unlatches and slides silently open. Securing the data cord back into his optical socket, the bulky but lithe metahuman initiates his tactical computer and slips unnoticed into the building.

Having already sent the surveillance cameras feeding a loop, and avoiding the tripwires and booby-trapped stairs, he tiptoes to the apartment door. It was slightly ajar. "Frag! I've been spotted." He hissed.

Pulling out the twin gold embossed Predator II smartguns, he tossed a hot-smoke grenade through the armor steel door and somersaulted up onto the children's toy box to avoid any low shots. They came in abundance, exploding the door off its hinges. Diving off of his perch, he dive-rolled behind the escritoire. He could now see his target quite clearly behind the trés chic, red dolphin-leather sofa wearing little more than black kevlar lingerie and transparent FMBs. ‘Time for the armor piecers’ he thought. A piece of red leather made it back far enough to slap him in the face as he emptied the full clip into the seat.

Meanwhile the home owner had dived behind the wet bar and was preparing a quick bottle bomb stuffing the top with an engraved hand towel. By the time she had flung it at him, though, the Samurai had moved behind the loom! To his left there was an enormous explosion and a curtain caught on fire. Not wanting to damage the intricately woven half-finished mat, the Ork carefully aimed around the art and returned fire with fire using the explosive rounds in his second Predator II. “Not the Dom Perignon ’86! You Bastard!” Both combatants stopped briefly to wonder who’s voice that was, then continued trying to make a shot connect.

He admired her catlike grace as she leapt from the top of the multigym swinging down to run across the futon followed by a spray of flechette rounds. “Smeg, she’s fast…” he breathed appreciatively while taking cover behind the kitchen bench.

(Ring Ri…) She picks up the phone and listens for a moment. All is silent, the only sound is of the crackling of the curtain. "It's for you, darling!" She calls from the other side of the room. Looking back across the bullet ridden furniture and smoking couch he replies, "Patch it through to my cybercom! Crypto button 4."

"Yes, dear."

After subvocalizing for a few moments, the street Samurai addresses Princess. "I'm sorry sweetpea, but I have to go. Got a job on." Cheerfully but with a bit of a pout she signs back, "Good luck, dear. Bring me back something pretty!"

"Nothing can be as pretty as you honeysuckle, but I’ll try." He blows her a kiss and steps over the ex-futon that is now a pile of charred wadding and a few smashed wooden slats and leaves the converted warehouse, getting his bag of gear on the way out. He looks through the hole in the wall outside and thinks that the bulletproofing on the apartment needs replacing; the new load of APDS is too good for it... He closes the old antique oak door behind him and leaves the building.

SpiderQueen let a smile flit across her ancient face. She had hired the best to take out the ex-Mafia Don Guido Valdez, general manager of an Aztechnology sub-branch. Black Viper and Death Claw were her best runners; she had contacted and met them separately, as was her wont. She knew they would work well as a team; they had before.

Black Viper breaks into the Aztecnology Seattle pyramid.

Death Claw impersonates a cleaner, stowing his equipment in a mop bucket and infiltrates the pyramid.

The samurai manages to bypass, by advanced tactics, skill, good equipment, luck and brazen fast-talk, all of the security between him and his target without any problems.

The security alarms ring and whoop throughout the pyramid, and flash strident red warning lights.

The target’s chief bodyguard, a feathered serpent, lands and is taken out instantly by a concerted attack of spells, elemental harassment and hyper-accurate pistol fire. The mage makes a pair of feather cloaks out of its remains, with an advanced spell he’d written for the purpose.

Death Claw steps off the plane to Seattle from South America and goes to meet his fixer to claim the bounty.

Dark Viper picks up the still-dripping head of the target, ignoring the 14 doleful young scantily-clad girls on the Emperor-sized bed in the side room of the office, and puts it in a leak-proof bag and leaves the pyramid, going to meet SpiderQueen to pick up the bounty.

SpiderQueen raises her long curled eyelashes that sit barely shy of her sunken wrinkled beady ancient deep black knowing wise all-seeing bloodshot eighty-eight year old beautiful cybereyes. She pushes the twin certified ‘candybars’ towards the pair. Both palm one each and look to the other nodding in recognition of a job well done.


©1999, Tracey Peart - used with permission