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> Sink, Hollywood, Sink, an experiment in running SR4
JonathanC
post Feb 21 2008, 11:55 PM
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The San Fernando Valley is mercifully unflooded, but the stench of the flood waters still creeps northward. You can still smell it on those rare days when you aren't being choked by the smog and sweat and artificial perfume of the teeming masses of wannabe beautiful people. If you go up high enough you can see the brackish flood waters in the distance to the south, swallowing up homes, people, children, dreams...and a few billion nuyen in salvage, still unclaimed. Or so they say.

But it's easy to forget about the floods. Los Angeles moves quickly, and the Valley is no exception. Something dies, and something else is born. For ever failed starlet they find strangled in a dumpster, for every washed up producer who turns up dead in his bathroom, two dozen more are unloaded from the bus station. It isn't just Shadowrunners who are expendable here, it's everyone.


[img]http://laist.com/attachments/la_jeremy/vannuys.jpg[/img]
We begin in Van Nuys, home to countless adult sim/trid studios, hustlers of all varieties, bored teenagers, and a wildly unstable real estate market owing to the recent seismic activity and subsequent loss of most of Los Angeles proper. If you've arrived recently, a brief tool around town would have turned up the following:

Skar's, a dive bar tucked away in a crumbling residential district that was hit fairly hard by the earthquake and the looting that followed. It never seems to close.

Brianna's Fantasies, a boutique aimed at fashionable, high-maintenance young women. Only caught your eye because of the crowd...the place is frequently packed with women who seem to do nothing but try on clothes and loiter. Open very late at night. Possibly a front for something.

CRUSH BAR! Is a small chain of sports bars in the area aimed at orks, trolls, poseurs thereof, and anybody who likes modern combat sports like Urban Brawl. Very loud, and everybody is on their feet or at the bar drinking to oblivion and yelling and trid screens. The tables are mostly open, and the noise level ensures a primitive sort of privacy.

"Motel Vacancy" There is no proper name for this place, but that's what the sign says. The place is largely unsupervised, and is notable for accepting certified credsticks and even some corp scrip. The rooms are almost entirely concrete and plastic, including the beds. The motel seems to be designed so that one could clean and turn over the rooms using only a high-powered hose. Check-in and check-out is self-serve, and rooms are billed by the hour.
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Fuchs
post Feb 22 2008, 12:56 AM
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L.A.’s air was as bad as its reputation. That was DD’s conclusion after stepping out from the climatised airport. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed by some AR though – a quick mental command, and the stench was gone, replaced with „SeaBreeze Scent“ courtesy of her simrig. Her luggage – two suitcases containing all her belongings, mostly clothes, were trailing behind her, the small electromotors, controlled by her commlink, shutting down when they had caught up to the blonde woman.

The sky though was playing ist part, blue and clear – unless one looked towards downtown, which was covered by yellowish smog. Another mental command later „Pacific Dream“ had fixed that in DD’s vision. She looked around, a blinking icon notifying her of about a dozen blocked advertising messages and one invitation to a drink coming from the ork at the other end of the cab waiting area.

DD pulled her designer sunglasses down as she turned to look at the ork, her zeiss eyes shining with the latest skin from the „radiant blue“ line as she sized him up. Good suit, probably Armante, polished tusks –with platinum tribal symbols inlaid, as her vision magnification showed – and a good physique, muscled, but not in the „I want to be a troll“ way some orks subscribed to. But the shoes… those were so last season, and looked a bit worn. DD smiled as she checked the profile in the Ork’s PAN. Hype, hype, and the usual interest points that could be summed up with „I like women. In bed.“. She knew the type, had met the likes a lot in the last year, usually paid to keep them company, and more. She wasn’t about to spend an evening with one for a drink and dinner.

DD kept smiling, but turned away, sending a „I am sorry, but I already have plans his evening“ message to the Ork while checking the growing amount of blocked advertising messages – thank god for a customised spam filter - for a cab. She did have plans – find a hotel, then find a flat, then make it big in L.A.!

Finding a cab that suited her, she walked over to the car, an ARO pointing it out. No metahuman driver, just an expert system awaited her, but she swayed slightly on her gucci heels anyway. After a year or two in the trade in New Orleans, it was ingrained into her, and if she wanted to hit it big, she would have to get used to act every second as if cameras were on her – soon they’d be!

She looked around for some help lifting her luggage into the car, but the Ork was already staring at the next woman coming out. So much for chivalry. In a fit of piqué after stowing her suitcases, DD considered hacking the Ork’s commlink and making some creative changes to his profile, but decided against it. She wasn’t here for petty revenge, but to become a star in L.A.’s runner scene.

DD had all it would take, in her opinion – a killer body, pretty face, sharp mind, style, skills, and determination. And a name. That was the most important thing she had taken with her to L.A., a contact. A contact of a contact, to be precise, courtesy of Emanuel, her old boss in New Orleans. But it would be enough to get her started in L.A..

As the car sped on the next highway, towards the hotel she had a reservation in, DD leaned back in her seat, watching the city through the windows. She’d spent close to two years working on her back in New Orleans to arrive here with the implants, gear and skills she had. She would not waste her chance.
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Cthulhudreams
post Feb 22 2008, 04:56 AM
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Dagda - Some weeks ago

Dagda takes half a dozen goes to light the half crushed cigarette in his hand, shaking so much he cannot get the lighter and the cigarette in the same place. Finally getting it alight and drawing a deep long drag, he returns to clutching the steering wheel on a riced up subauru impreza, his shirt covered in blood.

That didn't go so well. At least we got the shit. Gotta, gotta get out of here. Where the hell is the doc, gotta, gotta, gotta go.

The car and the blood both belong to the rigger hopped up on a cocktail of vodka, morphine and blood loss in the back seat, the attached first aid kit and bio-monitor bleeping softly to highlight low blood pressure and depressed vitals. Dagda catches sight of three figures in the pounding rain and gets out of the car, pulling his coat tight.

Johnno mentioned L.A is nice for work and weather this time of year. Might get a bit hot around here. Take a holiday.

He looks at his shaking hand holding the smoke again.

You could do with it.

Dagda - The present day

Dagda looks around as his metallic silver BMW crunches up the gravel driveway to the small squat bungalow, tucked away in a semi isolated corner of an 'aspirational' gated community near L.A. The house, the smallest in the complex, had looked good in the VR tour and Johnno told him the community was popular with the nouveau riche. Rising bankers, lawyers and senior mob bosses lived here, the guards knew better than to let the press in, or ask questions about strange coming and goings.

Perfect. Nice address too. Prestige.

He pulled the BMW to a stop next to the garage, he hadn't keyed in the houses security system to let him use the garage yet, and stepped out, looking back to the street, noting with pleasure that he couldn't see the windows of any of the other houses, and the discreet security was only supposed to watch the perimeters. He felt comfortable getting the sports bag that clinked with both glass and metal out of the boot, taking out his gun and slipping it into his jacket, then taking out a bottle of vodka and cleanly knocking the top off with one smooth and well practiced movement against a metal edge on the car.

Thats refreshing.

Swilling down a big mouthful and a moment of concentration later, a large stony man covered in lichen and grass rises out of the driveway. "Okay lets do this," Dagda says, proffering the bottle to the brownie who takes a swig, "give me a hand moving my stuff inside, and don't get any dirt on the carpet."
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Glyph
post Feb 22 2008, 07:44 AM
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Dancer wakes slowly, stretching, catlike, as she rolls off the futon. The early morning light flickers through the grimy window, illuminating a tiny one-room studio apartment, spartanly furnished - she hasn't been here long, but her places have never really accumulated that much clutter. She smiles and stops to nuzzle her pet virtual rabbit before performing her morning ablutions, glad that she filled the porta-shower's plastic bag earlier, during the rationed time for water.

A little later, she saunters idly down the street, a casually dressed young orkish woman with short-cropped but artfully mussed hair. Although she seems carefree, she is actually replaying her meeting with Whippet in her mind. She hopes she made a good impression on him. It was hard to tell - the man seemed to be juggling several commlink calls while he was talking to her, a striking contrast to the silent and impassive troll bodyguard behind him.

She frowns slightly. It's going to be hard starting over, making new contacts, finding out what all of the unwritten rules are, getting a rep. But Seattle has too many memories for her to deal with right now. A fresh start is what she needs.

L.A. is kind of underwhelming so far, though. The place smells like an armpit some days, and the beautiful people aren't so beautiful close up - you can see the gaps in their plasic facades, and they seem more desperate and hungry than happy. But at least it's an environment she is familiar with. Hustlers, slumming rich kids, seedy dens of vice, oh yes. A knowing, slightly crooked smile flits across her face.

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Fuchs
post Feb 22 2008, 12:00 PM
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A day later, at noon, DD was dressing in her hotel room. An agent of hers was sifting through the matrix, hunting for an appartement, she’d go over the results later. Now it was time to - what was the word – „case out the area“? In this case, the Van Nuys area. She’d been cruising the local matrix hotspots for some time, and had checked them for the latest news last night, but nothing beat personal experience.

DD pulled on a pair of pants, matching heels and top, and a light jacket with enough room to conceal her Ares Predator pistol in the holster underneath it. A quick mental command changed her hair color to red, and her eyes shifted to green – even if hidden behind sunglasses, paying attention to matching colors was important. Since she was going out in "running mode", she adjusted her figure as well with a DNI command to her cyber. Picking up her pistol, she slid a clip of gel rounds into her predator, two more clips of regular ammo into the holster’s pockets, downloaded the latest Sky-Eye data and went out to get a feel of her new hometown – filtered through AR, of course, no need to get more than a single sample of the town’s smell.

Tonight she’d work on getting work – her finances were not the best, and she’d preferred not to have to fall back to her old work to make ends meet. While she rode the elevator down to the hotel lobby, she opened and closed the file with the contact’s name and number she’d gotten. Hopefully, this would pay out. She’d seen the latest manolos in an AR window at the airport yesterday, and a pair of them in black would match the new CaraTrice dress perfectly. But the price... she really needed to get work.

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Sir_Psycho
post Feb 23 2008, 06:35 AM
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Arthur Denton slipped out through the myriad of glass that was the front of LA-X international at too-fragging-early-AM UTC-8 Time. He scratched his beard, loosened his power-tie even further and fished through his crumpled Actioneer suit for a even more crumpled soft-pack of Carcinoma Angels ™, just another salary-man feeding his nicotine addiction after being stuck in a pressurized tube thrown across the ocean. Arrow's blazed across the inside of his eyeballs, wires of lights and glaring signals telling him to jump in a cab, to buy a caffeine booster from the vending machine drone walker trundling past. The cop drone buzzing overhead checked if he was a good little salary-man. He blinked a few times and filtered out the neon trash, focusing on a white neon courtesy of a Korean gaming node leading him across the road into the "LA-X ezy sleeper" coffin-motel. Ironic, he thought, as he passed the easy sleeping dwarf twitching and drooling on his counter and down the hall amongst the oven-lid doors of the "hygienic tenant horizontal storagesystem". He selected the one burning bright in his field of vision, loaded the key from his cheap commlink and slid himself onto the temperfoam mattress.

He neutralized his nano-paste disguise, and it dissolved from his face and hands into the incinerator receptacle on the side of the coffin, along with the cheap comm-link. Good-bye Arthur Denton. Blackie never really liked him anyway, wage-slave drekker he was. He ran his finger's through his matted curls and wiped nanite residue from his face and hands with a moist towelette from the refresher. He tore open the mattress and pulled a matte-black suitcase and an army green duffel bag out, and checked out his gear. He attatched a modified Transys Avalon to his skinlinked under-arm holster and ran a diagnostic as he ruffled through his tools, climbing gear, chips and hand-guns. He laced his boots, threw on a cleaner t-shirt and jacket and slipped out into the hallway, triggering the coffin's auto-wash.

He stepped out into the street and boarded a blissfully non-conversational cab-drone, and headed to Van Nuys. There had been no narcotics, no Psyche in the duffel, but Blackie Pilger didn't want to think tonight anyway, and his bioware would be re-routing his circadian rythyms for another 24 hours so, blissfully dull, he slid down the torn synth-leather seating, and let it all wash over his cybernetic senses. Tits and hips, neon and trash, smoke and mirrors. Breathe it in, Blackie Pilger. Where there's smoke, there's the truth.
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Fuchs
post Feb 24 2008, 04:58 PM
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Richard Rosen, a talent agent, who moonlighted as a "talent agent", was the contact DD’d gotten from Emanual Baglista. Sitting in a street café in Van Nuys, and enjoying the AR view the node in the café provided – which was remarkably better than the real view, which was dominated by some reconstruction site on the other side of the street – DD commed the man.

Richard answered his comm, and from the sound of rushing air in the background, he was probably driving a convertible, and had no cybercommlink. Or just wanted people to think that. He did sound relaxed and friendly, but then, at least the later was to be expected, given his “day? profession. DD introduced herself, mentioning Emanuel’s name. Now Richard was downright friendly.

"Is that right? You're Emmanuel's friend? That's great, honey. You got any headshots? Zip them over to me, I'll look them over later. Are you settled? Where are you staying? Do you have a decent dress on you?"

He did not often wait for answers, and would be occupied all day. Of course – a talent agent that was not occupied all day, or claiming to be, would be seen as lacking work and business, and therefore soon be lacking business and work for real, or so DD thought. Besides, she had met a number of “very busy, all day long? men in her last line of work, who had not been too busy in reality. Appearances were everything, not just in the show business.

So the young woman smiled, sent Richard the asked for pics of her, sipped her latte macchiato, and listened to the one man show displaying in a AR window in her view. Richard was a bullshit artist of the first order, but he’d be useful, especially for networking. He mentioned he’d be at the birthday party of an adult trid star this evening, and gave DD the adress. She considered that an invitation to meet Richard there, “in the flesh?.

Later, back in her hotel room she was picking her clothes for the party. “Do you have a decent dress on you?? indeed. Her Zoé Second Skin outfit would most likely not be the right choice for a party, but it wasn’t as if she’d travel to L.A. without half a dozen of party dresses. She choose a slinky dress. No way to hide her pistol in it, but then, showing up to a party carrying heat could be trouble anyway, and she didn’t know the people who’d be there. On the other hand, showing up completely unarmed would not be helpful in creating the image of a shadowrunner for hire. She decided she’d check her handbag at the door, if needed. Speaking of impressions… a pair of “TechTron? shades completed her outfit. They were mostly for show – nothing her implants did not do better – but they should be able to act as a subtle hint to Richard that she was there as a hacker looking for work, not just a piece of meat. A quick command turned her fiberoptic hair green and she was set.

Although, this was L.A. – maybe there was a “casting couch? for shadowrunners too, and not just simsense stars? DD pondered this as she called a cab on her commlink to get to the party.

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JonathanC
post Feb 25 2008, 07:55 AM
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Dagda

L.A. is a good place to be rich, or at least live like you are. The paparazzi drones appeared out of thin air and trailed the beamer until abou 4 blocks before he reached the gate of the community. He remains unmolested while he gets settled. The Brownie works about as well as one would expect. Not the most clever conversationalist, but an effective laborer. The house has been thoroughly cleaned and is furnished with a conservative eye for quality devoid of artistic merit. Suitable for impressing wide-eyed 20 year olds, but perhaps not as impressive to a person of sophistication (if such a person could be found in the Valley).

The kitchen is stocked with a modest amount of non-perishable foods, provided by G-Grocer™. A thin pad magnetized to the fridge allows one to re-order foodstuffs from the service...it's digital paper, and a grocery list written on the pad will be transmitted to the service's operators, then disappear from the pad. There are piles of advertisements, both paper and AR, in the house, offering various home services (deluxe police contracts, housekeeping, 'home companions', dozens of restaurants and clubs).

Dancer

L.A. has good days and bad days...despite the thickness of the air and the oppressive heat, this is a pretty good day. The AR spammers haven't cracked the most popular filters yet, and Dancer hasn't seen a cop all day. There are some performance artists out on the prowl today, street acrobats, from the looks of them. They do a few tricks, collect some spare cred, and move on down the block before any of the local merchants get irritated enough with the disruption to call the police. Elsewhere on the street are the usual dealers and hustlers, looking for their morning coffee. It's still morning for the nocturnal set. As Dancer walks past another work woman, younger than she and perhaps less experienced, the woman offers a quick greeting in Or'Zet and a nod. She's handing out flyers for a rave tonight, and introduces herself as Ayanna. From her accent and her style of dress she's a transplant from the CAS, probably Georgia. She seems friendly enough, and Dancer has seen her around occasionally.

Blackie

The cab deposits Blackie in Van Nuys around mid-morning. Traffic was a nightmare, and gridcabs never weave properly, making the problem worse. There's a cheap, delapidated motel just up the block, and in the opposite direction there's a strip of bars and nightclubs. The clubs are closed at this time of day, but there's always a bar for a man who likes to drink before noon. Blackie can see the lights from here, the neon signs dirty and unlit, looking dull by daylight.. Across the street a painfully ostentatious car with speakers inset to the trunk is blasting trog rock. The windows are deeply tinted and the car bounces rhythmically. The sky above is cloudless, blue behind the yellowish haze of pollution. The air is hot and thick and the sun's rays burn his exposed skin like a careless cigarette. Even the dealers and hustlers have gone in search of shade, hiding themselves under awnings and in alleyways. There is a thin old man waiting for the bus nearby, smoking a large, archaic cigar.

DD

The party seems unbearably loud from the outside, and inside it's clear why. The main floor of the house has been overtaken by the young and the tone deaf, dancing tunelessly with themselves and knocking back cheap hooch. A quick glance upstairs shows a row of currently empty bedrooms that will likely come into use later on. Casual inquiry leads her downstairs to the basement, where things are quieter and the birthday girl is holding court. Towards the back, nursing a white russian, is Richard Rosen. He is conversing with two identical young men, neither of whom realizes that he is making eye contact with DD. He signals for her to give him 5 minutes to get rid of them. While she waits, a tall, well-built human who obviously spends a lot of time at the gym approaches her with a leer that would look unseemly on an uglier man, but which looks almost suave coming from him.

"Haven't seen you around here before, girl. I'm Grant Truncheon. You look like the kind of woman who could appreciate a man of my proportions." he says, flashing that leering grin again.
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Glyph
post Feb 25 2008, 08:41 AM
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Dancer walks with a slight bounce as she listens to a hot tune on her commlink. She seems cheerful but vacant, although she is more observant than she appears to be. Fretting about her meeting with the fixer won't do anything, so with an internal, fatalistic shrug, she decides to be more productive. She still needs to get the lay of the land, and find out who the players are. Not that she can't have fun. In fact, parties and social gatherings can be the best places to find things out.

She watches the street performers as she exits the CRUSH BAR! Noisy place, but you can get nachos with real meat, and extra jalepenos. She delicately munches through about half of them, before giving the rest to a grateful squatter - although she notices him carefully picking off the jalepenos. Pffft. Heathen. She enjoys the showmanship from the tumblers, still glad that she is a bit higher on the food chain. Precariously, though...

Picture

When the younger orkish woman offers her the invitation to a rave, Dancer accepts the flyer with a smile, introducing herself as Kate. She'll be there. She loves to dance, and she likes ravers - a pretty mellow lot, and as libidinously indiscriminate as she is, even if they have to be hopped up on happy pills to get there.
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Fuchs
post Feb 25 2008, 08:51 AM
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DD smiles at the man, mentally looking up his personal profile and sending a search out for any trids or simsense flicks with a „Grant Truncheon“ on the actor list while she looks him up and down, searching his clothes for labels and price tags under the guise of checking out his „proportions“. Her own commlink shows the typical profile for a wanna-be starlet fresh in town.

„’ello! I am DD.“ Using her mother’s accent, DD starts to chat with the man, flirting a bit while waiting for Richard to come over, and trying to find out if there’s anything behind the good looking face of Grant that goes beyond his apparent desire to show her how L.A. looks from one of the bedrooms upstairs. She is here for business, not to get laid, but it would not hurt to be friendly, and get some gossip on the local scene – entertainment is one of the most important parts of L.A.’s economy, and DD thinks that would extend into the city’s shadow business as well.

Leaning back at a wall, DD settles into a conversation, trying to pump the man for information while waiting for Richard Rosen, and scanning the local PAN-broadcasts for intersting tidbits. The scene here, judging from her first impressions, feels different than New Orleans. More open, if a bit more superficial. Or simply not bothering with trying to appear more than superficial?

In DD's AR view small floating name tags are being placed over the heads of those guests whose's commlinks broadcasts their names - she at times wonders how people kept names and faces together before AR. The sound filter in her ear buds also tone down the music from upstairs. She didn't spot any weapons yet.

"Oh, I 'ave only done some 'ome simsense recordings. Nothing professional." Not for broadcasting, anyway.

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Tobias
post Feb 25 2008, 11:15 PM
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Carroway looks over the LA sky line as the sub-orbital lands with a small thud. He is wearing his basic clothing as he moves through the hustle and bustle of the airport. AR spam pops up and is subsequently killed with the spam filter. Popping a message through to the taxi�€™s to move him to his newly rented place.

After a few minutes he is moving through the thick traffic as Carroway sits back and sends a message to the new contact he got passed to him a one Jacob Bones, a small time talent scout who might know how to get a start in this place. The sun was a big difference from the old surroundings of the London Sprawl. As the taxi pulled up to a nice little condo an automated credit was sent by his commlink opening the doors. His Honda Spirit was parked in the driveway in a British racing green.

After checking the moving crew got everything right he moves out to hit the streets looking for some fun times. Pausing for a few seconds to make fashion adjustment on his suit, leaving silver arcane markings on the outside of a navy blue auctioneer suit.

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Fuchs
post Feb 26 2008, 12:30 AM
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Grant is wearing RFID tags in all his clothes, almost screaming the brands into the nearby AR. It seemed as if he was shopping almost exclusively in Horizon-owned shops. Proably trying to look rich. DD is used to a smidgen more understatement from New Orleans, or a less uniformly branded outfit, but this might be the L.A. way of the rich – after all, Grant is on P2.0, as is Richard and the birthday girl.

After a short time, a small blinking icon inside DD’s field of view signals that her matrix search had gotten results. The young woman starts reading the data as she keeps smiling and making appreaciating noises while Grant is still trying to flirt his way into her pants. She’s got a lot of experience in that.

Aha. He is an adult simstar, like the birthday girl, and has a reputation of actually living like his roles – sleeping around a lot, often with married women, sometimes in front of their husbands. Gee, that she knew herself after one minute. A hedonist if she ever saw one. Or a typical male. More text scrolled over. Oh… interesting. Grant came to L.A. while trying to become a professional fighter. It looks like adult simsense pays his bills while he’s waiting for his big break – which might be a long way coming, since there’s nothing about any professional fights he might have been in for two years. From the way his body looks, he does keep up with training though – that was not how muscles made by a plastic surgeon looked. Money-wise, he must be well off, if not too rich – men don’t make as much as women in this business, but often last longer. He is a sleaze, but attractive, DD thinks.

Of course, Grant Truncheon is a pseudonym. Out of curiosity, DD sends an agent to dig up more information, preferably his real name. When DD catches a glimpse of one of the relatively few paparazzi drones not busy filiming upstairs hovering nearby, she leans into Grant. He is sort of famous, since he is on P2.0, so any association with him should help her reputation. She has been photographed at the entrance, but this would be a better shot of her. The things are more discrete than she expected.

The small drone circles them, then speeds off to film other party guests. DD starts another search, this time for any live feed of the party. She sneaks another glance toward Richard. Still occupied. He seems the most connected person at the party, so most would want to chat with him. Grant’s hand starts to wander down her back, and DD asks for a drink to get him off her skin for a minute. Business came first.

“I am parched. Where does one get a drink ‘ere??

Grant moves off to get her a drink, and DD looks around, studying the other guests. From her impression, the guests are mostly rich, but not terribly powerful. Mostly established porn stars, so good eye candy for the media. A number of the younger ones probably work as escorts too, some of them have a look DD knows intimately. They might turn out to know useful information depending on who they escort, but for the moment, DD is focusing on getting a foot into the door of the scene here. And her door opener would be Richard Rosen.

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Glyph
post Feb 26 2008, 08:23 AM
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Back at her place, Dancer hums tunelessly as she sorts through some outfits, trying to decide what to wear to the rave. She ignores the rhythmic thumping coming from one wall of the apartment, and the loud music coming from another wall. Hey, the neighbors like to have fun. She's seen a few of them - they seem nice in a scruffy way, although they would probably scare the hell out of your average sarariman.

She wavers, considering a combo of cutoff jeans and a crop top, safe and casual but still sexy. In the end the sweltering heat, and a recklessness borne of too long with her nagging worries, decides her course. She dons a hot pink suspenders thong one piece, with a matching micro-mini and choker. She has some flourescent bangles with random LED flashes that would be perfect for a rave, but she doesn't want to cover up the tattoos on her arms. She settles for a luminous pink lipstick, and LEDs that attach to her shoes. She wears a light jacket over it all, just to get to the club without too many leers.

She unconsciously starts tapping her feet before she even gets into the door, as she hears the trance music. Inside, a few lights and holoprojectors are used to ingenious effect. She imagines that it looks even wilder in VR, but she doesn't really use it for more than messaging and a few basic informative functions. As she looks at the gyrating bodies, she is glad she went for a daring look - several other people are showing as much skin, including one lady who seems to be wearing nothing but body paint. And pink and other light colors are a lot more prevalent than in Seattle, where grungy black t-shirts are the norm.

Already, some couples and threesomes are making out by the walls. They have the right idea, but first she wants to dance. It has been far too long. Brushing against the other dancers, eyes half closed, she loses herself to the beat. She is hardly aware when the crowd thins a bit around her, and some of the other dancers start gathering around to watch her.

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Sir_Psycho
post Feb 27 2008, 12:11 AM
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Blackie slides from the cab, clutching his suitcase and swinging the duffel bag over his shoulder. The smell of the street under the waves of rolling pollution assaulted his nostrils. His eyes flicked around the wide street, cheap skin and plastic sizzling in the sun. Blackie's been recording since he got out of the car, high-quality digital sights, smells and sounds, along with simsense data, heavily encrypted and loaded into offline storage. He'd burst broadcast it to a dedicated Korean agent when he found some quiet time to collect himself, ah, that dive motel down the street.

It seems that even Blackie can't be invisible in this town. A teenage ork brandishing his pink mohawk and synthetic muscles underneath a pair of colour shifting suspenders and some leather cut-offs blocks his way. Real leather, blackie notices, a rich-boy playing street-kid. A side-step and he's further down the street. He catches some glances from the pushers, prostitutes and pimps, scouting him for interest, their vaguely subtle propositions for business pushed to the edges of his AR Display. To their scans, he was Ishmail Mcdougal, a constant traveller with a suite of banal interests such as holiday spots, amateur photography, working on his tan, guided tours of corp facilities and soft simporn. But Blackie was beginning to feel dull, and the itch was strong enough now that he would probably need a taste of psyche by tonight, after a few hours of sleep. Blackie spent his walk to the hotel vacancy observing the drug scene on the street, mining for discretion and reliability, with the help of a suite of programs and some knowsoft data on the shadier side of L.A.
[ Spoiler ]


As he's searching, Blackie finds himself distracted. Everyone from the wanna-be starlet prostitutes to bleach blonde muscle-boys seem to scream to him in AR. Everyone is focused on image here. New and unfamiliar protocols for whoring yourself to the net leap at him, battling his Firewall and spam filters. Something called P2.0 seems the most complex and insidious of the bunch. Pounding in his ears and glaring in his eyes. Fake. Blackie abandons his search for the mean-time, saving his progress and switching to Passive mode. He'll continue the search once he's got a room. The truth is going to be hard to find here amongst the trash. A tree falls in the woods and is drowned out by the sound of a million other falling trees.
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Cthulhudreams
post Feb 27 2008, 03:32 AM
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Dagda

Dagda sneers at the crass ads, pitching all the paper ones into the recycling, and ordering his agent to remove all AR ads from the premises. Then with a sigh, he goes to get changed into his actioneer suit, jettisoning the tie for a more casual look, two key priorities coming to mind. Securing binding materials to prepare for winning some work, and getting his feet onto the ground to actually get some work.

He sends Johnno, his fixer, a brief note inquiring if there are any security industry positions opening up for short term contractors, setting his agent to browsing the matrix for reputable (and cheap!) talismongers in the area and job ads for basical magical services to pad out his cash until he secures some 'real' work.

With that takes the Ingram SMG from his holster, loads his 'permitted' sin onto his commlink, slips into the BMW and heads back to town. He'd heard good things about the Crash bar and Skar's, both low quality dives, but they might turn up a gem or two in the rough.
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Fuchs
post Feb 27 2008, 11:06 PM
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While Grant is on the way back a girl walks past, the stops, unwrapping something. DD sees her swallowing a pill. Probably some stimulant. For a moment she longs for a hit herself. Some stuff like eX, makes her feel better, especially at parties – and made the company of some clients less aggravating in the past. But she’s here for business, not to revel. After the talk with Richard, maybe. Or would that be unprofessional? Maybe she does need to loosen up some, get a bit more relaxed. Fit in with the rest... She's licking her lips before she realises it.

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JonathanC
post Feb 29 2008, 05:12 PM
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Dagda

"I'll keep an ear out for you...lotta work opening up in that area, so don't make any plans. I'm sure you'll be busy soon enough." Johnno replies. The agent sifts through a list of talismongers and turns up a few interesting leads...the best one, however, appears to be "away on business" for the moment. Johnno responds fairly quickly, asking "Have you ever heard of Richard Rosen? Friend of mine, looking for some talent. There's a party tonight that he'll be attending. Interested?"

CRUSH BAR! is actually fairly nice. Unlike so many other establishments patronized by orks and trolls, there are no broken chairs or tables here, because everything is sized and designed for heavier frames. Dwarves must endure hopelessly high bar stools and elves seem lost within the cushions of oversized (to them) couches. The AR menu pushes the bar's new "ATOMIC WINGS!" pretty hard, and some sort of alcoholic beverage called "Blor", which claims to "taste like awesome".

DD
OOC: Grant himself has a live feed of the party as part of his P2.0 Live Blogging. Richard, doing business, does not have a live video feed, but does have several updates commenting on who is at the party.

Grant takes notice of DD's interest, and smiles as he returns with her drink. The drink is pre-mixed in a safety-sealed bottle, quite common at parties like this to avoid drugging. Mind you, there are plenty of other ways to poison someone at a party, but a little safety goes a long way towards reassuring a paranoid populace.

"I couldn't help but notice your interest in Tammie over there...she's a friend of mine, I helped put her on the map. If you'd like, I could call her over and we could have a little party of our own upstairs..." says Grant with a sly smile, not realizing that he was misinterpreting DD's true interest. His smile disappears momentarily as Richard approaches.

"Why hello there Grant, I didn't see you here earlier. Terribly sorry to cut in, but it's critical that I speak to this young woman as soon as possible...nothing to worry about, I just need to borrow her for a little bit. I'm sure you'll find a way to amuse yourself until then." he says, lightly slapping Grant on the back as though they were old friends. Clearly, from Grant's lack of enthusiasm, they aren't, but he smiles and winks at DD, and slides upstairs.

"Have a seat with me, won't you?" says Richard, returning to his previous spot and gesturing for DD to join him. "I apologize for interrupting, and I was quite serious about only taking a few minutes of your time. I have a great respect for people in your field, and the value of their time. Our mutual friend has given me a good idea of what you can do. What I need from you is a good idea of what you will, and will not, do."

Dancer

OOC: Nice dancing roll! 4 hits certainly puts her at the top of the heap for a small rave in the San Fernando Valley.

Dancer is the center of attention for several minutes, and there's a certain amusement to watching other dancers jockey for position to be close to her. Later, when she checked her commlink, she'd notice a huge spike in connection attempts, and several admirers leaving her their commcodes. When at last she decides to take a break, a wave of faces passes over her, smiling, complimenting, sulking at all the attention she's getting. Ayanna, the ork girl who was handing out flyers, approaches after the crowd thins out a bit.

"Kate, you made it. That's awesome!" she says, wrapping Dancer up in a friendly hug. She's dressed in baggy black pants covered in shiny zippers, chains, and various charms, black boots with bright green laces, and a bright green tube top. Her hair is tied into thick braids that hang down to her shoulders, with glowing tubes weaved into the braids. "You're like the best dancer EVER!" she beams, hanging around Kate like an orbiting satellite. Then Dancer's commlink starts to ring...she's actually getting a call from someone she knows: Whippet. The message is short and businesslike:

"I have a lead on some work. Simple acquisition. Meeting with the team later tonight. I'll send Goldie to pick you up when the time is right."

Carroway

Heading back out into the night, Carroway reviews his options. The best clubs require connections to get into, but there was a flyer on his doorstep for a rave in Van Nuys tonight. Tooling around town he's seen at least two CRUSH BAR!s, but is that really the kind of crowd he wants? As he muses about the evening's entertainment, Jacob Bones gives him a call.

"Settling in nicely, I presume? Do be careful about the sun...I can't tell you how many associates of mine from merry old England have baked themselves into a frightful shade of scarlet. But let us set aside pleasantries...we are to be work associates, and I must familiarize myself with your work. An acquaintance of mine is trying to pull together a group of consultants for a project. His own roster is perhaps a bit lacking, so he has asked me if I know of any magicians of notable skill. Upon consideration, I have decided to put him in contact with you. with your permission, I will send him your commcode and you can work out the details. No need to thank me, I'm being well paid."

Blackie

The hotel vacancy does indeed have vacancies, and it takes only seconds to confirm Blackie's nuyen and rent him a room. The interior is spartan, made of metal and plastic, and seems devoid of any smell, as though the whole place was washed in hot bleach recently. The room looks secure, with thick doors, security glass, and reasonble locks. There's also a bar you can drop across the door from the inside. No cameras anywhere though. Sensing a new tenant, the room comes alive in AR, projecting several "helpful" tips for travellers to the LA area, and recommending several expensive night spots. Among the ads is a solicitation that clearly doesn't belong...someone hacked this advertising network and inserted an ad for a rave. Imagine that.
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Fuchs
post Feb 29 2008, 06:19 PM
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Picture

DD smiles at Grant as he leaves, making a note to talk to Tammie afterwards, the woman might know a good source of eX. Until then, the drink would have to tide her over. Now it was time to do business. DD shoves the feed from Grant’s live blog on P2.0 in a small window at the edge of her field of vision and pops the seal of the small bottle. Taking a sip she looks Rosen over, readying her pitch.

„No need to apologise, ’oney. business comes first.“ DD wonders briefly what exactly their „mutual friend“ has told Rosen, and what Rosen expects. The man is hard to read, especially through all the flattery he’s passing out. Leaning forward towards Rosen, her cyberware turns the volume of her voice down to barely above a whisper.

„Ah, I ’ave almost no limits, ’oney. But some things just clash too much with my style.“ DD smiles, sliding a hand over the front of her dress. „Can you imagine me covered with blood and body parts, smelling like a zombie? What a ’orrible sight that would be. Charm, brains and beauty, that’s my style, ’oney. I am sure you understand that.“

Messy murder, organlegging, and similar ugly jobs would not really get her the sort of fame she wants, DD knows that. She flashes Rosen a smile and takes sip from her drink again, almost subconsciously licking her lips, another habit that she picked up in her past work and that has turnsed out to be hard to break.

„Other than that, I am very flexible. As flexible as you need, ’oney.“ And in need of work. But that Rosen might already know, depending on how good a „friend“ Emanuel was of his. If they shared the same habits... DD takes another sip, wishing it was something stronger.
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Tobias
post Feb 29 2008, 07:59 PM
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“Aye it’s a lot better weather I agree. Well I am always ready for some outside consultation work; Feel free to buzz him my commcode. I hope this works out the best for both of us then.?

With a grin Carroway thinks about the Rave, Might be fun, bit of letting off steam, plus a chance to get my face known. He picks out some of the latest clothing, choosing baggy black trousers with a tight black T-shirt. Both accented with glowing LED arcane sigils finished off with a leather jacket, phoning a taxi as he heads off towards the rave in a good mood.

Upon getting there he looks around and thinks about what would go down well, as he moves through the crowd dancing to the music.
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JonathanC
post Feb 29 2008, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Feb 29 2008, 10:19 AM) *
DD smiles at Grant as he leaves, making a note to talk to Tammie afterwards, the woman might know a good source of eX. Until then, the drink would have to tide her over. Now it was time to do business. DD shoves the feed from Grant’s live blog on P2.0 in a small window at the edge of her field of vision and pops the seal of the small bottle. Taking a sip she looks Rosen over, readying her pitch.

„No need to apologise, ’oney. business comes first.“ DD wonders briefly what exactly their „mutual friend“ has told Rosen, and what Rosen expects. The man is hard to read, especially through all the flattery he’s passing out. Leaning forward towards Rosen, her cyberware turns the volume of her voice down to barely above a whisper.

„Ah, I ’ave almost no limits, ’oney. But some things just clash too much with my style.“ DD smiles, sliding a hand over the front of her dress. „Can you imagine me covered with blood and body parts, smelling like a zombie? What a ’orrible sight that would be. Charm, brains and beauty, that’s my style, ’oney. I am sure you understand that.“

Messy murder, organlegging, and similar ugly jobs would not really get her the sort of fame she wants, DD knows that. She flashes Rosen a smile and takes sip from her drink again, almost subconsciously licking her lips, another habit that she picked up in her past work and that has turnsed out to be hard to break.

„Other than that, I am very flexible. As flexible as you need, ’oney.“ And in need of work. But that Rosen might already know, depending on how good a „friend“ Emanuel was of his. If they shared the same habits... DD takes another sip, wishing it was something stronger.

Richard listens impassively, his only movement the occasional twitch of the eye or lip, perhaps a nervous habit, or perhaps him taking mental notes. He places his hand over DD's reassuringly before he replies.

"My dear, I understand completely. The type of work you were describing is...outside of my purview, though I am not entirely unacqainted with an individual who arranges such unpleasant matters. There is good work for a woman of your obvious charms and talent in this town, and it will be a pleasure to guide your career. In the immediate future, however, one must consider matters of pragmatism, and perhaps take on employment of a less glamorous variety. I know of an individual who requires the retrieval of a certain piece of property. Unfortunately, this property has been secured and the retrieval requires persons of talent and discretion, such as yourself. I don't know much else about the details, as I find that such details are rarely of use to me and often a source of trouble. But if you are interested, I can arrange a meeting for you. I am also making arrangements through some other associates to locate additional personnel. I have most of the necessary slots filled, but I find myself in need of a person with your unique talents."
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JonathanC
post Feb 29 2008, 08:18 PM
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QUOTE (Tobias @ Feb 29 2008, 11:59 AM) *
“Aye it’s a lot better weather I agree. Well I am always ready for some outside consultation work; Feel free to buzz him my commcode. I hope this works out the best for both of us then.?

With a grin Carroway thinks about the Rave, Might be fun, bit of letting off steam, plus a chance to get my face known. He picks out some of the latest clothing, choosing baggy black trousers with a tight black T-shirt. Both accented with glowing LED arcane sigils finished off with a leather jacket, phoning a taxi as he heads off towards the rave in a good mood.

Upon getting there he looks around and thinks about what would go down well, as he moves through the crowd dancing to the music.

Carroway arrives at the rave in time to notice some sort of disturbance towards the back...there's a large group of people gathered around. Peeking through the crowd is not that much of a challenge for an accomplished magician, and investigation reveals a stunningly attractive ork dancing gracefully, seemingly oblivious to the crowd that has gathered around her. She is dressed in a revealing outfit consisting of a choker, suspenders, and micro-mini skirt in hot pink, and has some lovely tattoos. It's difficult to get close to her due to the crowd, even after she takes a break from dancing, but her admirers do eventually begin to disperse.

Elsewhere around the warehouse there is a rudimentary bar set up with a variety of bottled drinks that glow curiously under the blacklights. Other dancers in various states of dress (or lack thereof) writhe rhythmically to the music, and up around the ceiling there are acrobats wrapping themselves around industrial cables attached to the roof. They're either wearing glowing bodysuits or they're not wearing anything but nanopaste, with symbols and pictograms moving up and down their arms and legs.
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Fuchs
post Feb 29 2008, 08:56 PM
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At the birthday party:

Picture

DD’s smile widens a bit. She’s not faking anymore, but genuinely glad - and interested, of course! „Retrieval of property“ was a classic shadowrun. Richard Rosen might be calling it „less glamourous“, but given their surroundings, that might just be L.A. speak for „work during which one could keep one’s clothes on“. The sort of work that would let her get a foot into the runner scene here. The young hacker puts her other hand on Richard Rosen’s, leaning forward again. She's not sure if Richard's just putting out flattery again, or if he really has some plans for her after this run, but at this moment, she's focusing on the run, and for the moment, she feels no need for eX.

„I understand, and I would like such a meeting. As I said, I am flexible. Would you mind telling me more?“

While DD says this, she quickly scans the nodes nearby, to check for paparazzi drones who might be listening in, and looks around as well, her eyes hidden behind her sunglasses. She doesn't expect any details about the run, but maybe she could get some information about the Johnson out of Rosen.

[ Spoiler ]
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Tobias
post Feb 29 2008, 11:59 PM
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Carroway smiles as he watches Dancer, the hum of AR around him while he dances. He waits until the crowd has quieted down slightly before moving towards the bar. Sitting down Carroway orders a Corona watching the flow of AR around the club, reading a few peoples profiles.

Might as well get a little publicity

He takes a sup from his bottle before starting to slowly weave the threads of mana to materialize into an illusion. As he finishes weaving the spell a slight bead of sweat runs down his forehead. The illusion starts to take shape as a wave of pink foam rolls over the majority of the dance floor, feeling and looking like the real stuff except for the taste and smell of fresh candy floss. Sitting back Carroway picks up a bottle of beer watching the illusion, keeping it as real as he can. After keeping it running for about 3 minutes he makes the illusion change into an emblazoned ‘This was brought to you by Carroway entertainment’ before disappearing altogether making a popping sound.

[ Spoiler ]


Carroway (and others) watching Dancer
Carroway casting the "Pink Cotton Candy Wave"
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Cthulhudreams
post Mar 1 2008, 01:37 AM
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Dagda

Dagda responds promptly to Johnno's message "I've never heard of him. Anything in particularly I should know? I'll be at the party." and a brief electronic handshake gives him the name, address and time.

Then while the BMW rolls on to the crash bar, Dagda takes out his commlink, using the stylus as opposed to his DNI out of absent minded habit, doing some basic figures so he can have well founded chargeable rates to offer to clients. Previous experience tells him that a regular contractor doing non shadow work can pocket about 1210 hours worth of work, but for a security contractor he needs to factor in medical leave, giving him a 1050 profit hours a year. To cover his living expenses and save a bit extra, he probably needs to charge at least 110 nuyen an hour for close personal protection, warding, and other jobs when he's working on a time and materials basis. A bit more for short term work, or risky stuff, or if his job expenses are not covered.

For 'job' based 'running, he reckons if he does 'one job a week (a month long job, needs to be billed as 4 jobs) he needs to charge atleast 3100, plus expenses, which allows him four weeks for medical leave, and 4 weeks of not working.

So looking at risk profiles

Low
Medium
High

and typical expenses

100 rounds (200 yens)
Low quality SIN (1000 yens), 100 rounds (200 yens?), Force 4 bound spirit (2000 yens), 10% risk premium
Medium quality SIN (3000 yens), 100 rounds (200 yens?), Force 6 Bound spirit (3000 yens), 20% risk premium

Gives the following rates, where expenses are not covered, for a week 'job'

3300, call it 3500
6800, call it 7000
10800, call it 11000

He draws a big circle around those, and the hourly rate, mentally noting that the SIN's are a big part of that and he can offer significant discounting if he thinks the risk of exposure during the run is minimal, before flicking his attention back to the road.

Aha, nearly there.

The BMW cruises into a secure carpark near the bar, his commlink automatically being billed for the cost of the stay and guard. He steps out, shuts the door, slides the 'link back into its clip, and briskly walks over to the bar, stepping into the world of noise, trolls and orcs waving betting stubs and shouting at bookies in the corner, taking impromptu bets on the live combat biking. He walks over to the bar, and shouts at the bartender for a bottle of vodka, a tall glass with ice. After a slightly baffled look from the barkeep, he gets the bottle, and the glass, paying the barkeeper an extremely generous tip, and sliding one of his affectations over the counter, a subtly off white coloured affair, discreet black print and tastefully thick. Faint water mark of a tradition religious icon.

Leaning over the bar he shouts in the barkeeps ear "Anyone in town I you know that I can talk to about magical security work, both medium and short term? I can keep my mouth shut as required."

While he waits for a response, he deliberately spills a bit of the bottle onto the floor, and offering to the spirits of the house, tips a generous triple shot into the tall glass, waiting for it to trickle through the ice, then immediately knocks it all back.

Dagda - Richard's Party- Some time later

Dagda gets out of the BMW, making sure his goggles are ready to go on the passage sheet, using a crappy cheap pair of glasses so he can see AR, but get them off his face fast. He hates AR and he hates wearing glasses - cannot see through them properly for magic. Stupid things.

As he walks up the drive to his house, electronically flashing at the gate his e-vite from Johnno, he keeps an eye out for security, looking to hand over the licensed SMG under his jacket before he triggers some alarm.
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Glyph
post Mar 2 2008, 08:13 AM
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Dancer

Dancer basks in the attention of the other ravers as she takes a breather, leaning against the solicitous young ork male in biker shorts who is towelling her down (and copping a bit of a feel in the process, but Dancer doesn't mind). She is pleased to see Ayanna again, and returns her hug warmly. But her cheerful expression turns into a pout of disappointment when she reads Whippet's message.

"Aww hell. Business call. And I just got here, too (she's actually been there for about an hour, but for a rave, that's not very long)."

She still has time to spare, but she needs to start working her way outside gracefully. She will need a shower, and her rave attire is not what she wants to be wearing when she meets up with a group of hardened criminals. Mentally, she berates herself. She should be feeling ecstatic that she's getting work so soon. She really wanted to stick around longer, though.

After exchanging commcodes with Ayanna, and promising to try and get with her later, she begins wending her way through the milling bodies on the dance floor. She decides to give herself one drink at the bar before heading out - even with her magically enhanced metabolism, she has still worked up a thirst.

While she is still on the dance floor, though, she feels the telltale tingle of magic, right before a wave of pink foam seems to roll over the dance floor. Her mouth opens in surprise, and she feels a taste like candy as some of the foam gets in her mouth. She can't spot who the spellcaster is, but she shouldn't be surprised that a rave would have magical entertainment as well as AR. She undulates and lets the wave caress her, then it is gone, replaced by an emblazoned logo for something called "Carroway entertainment". She snorts in amusement - that is so L.A.

[ Spoiler ]


On her way to the bar, sudden movement from both sides of her send her into an instinctive blur of movement. "Crap. Well, for anyone in the know, I've practically announced that I have enhanced reflexes, although raves probably don't get that many runners," she thinks. Turning to see what it was, it turns out to be nothing but two slim elven girls. Slumming corp kids by the look of them, they were trying to sandwich her between them. She can't help but laugh at their disappointed expressions. Raising her hands over her head in a mock gesture of surrender, she steps back towards them. Giggling, they glomp her from both sides, pressing against her as they grind to the music. When the song ends, they flit off, presumably to find another "victim" to double-team.

Picture

Finally, she reaches the bar, getting a safety-sealed water bottle. She leans back on the bar stool and stretches languidly, watching the other dancers as she sips from the bottle. She notices the human male, dressed mostly in black, sitting next to her, also watching. Turning towards him, she introduces herself:

"Hey. I'm Dancer. Enjoying the rave? You look niiice, but you're overdressed." With an impish grin, she points out a bishie elven lad, wearing a leather thong and assless chaps, with faux-snakeskin cowboy boots.

Picture

Her eyes widen a bit when he introduces herself. "So you're the one who did that illusion earlier? It was cool!" She talks with Carroway for a few minutes more before regretfully excusing herself.

As she reaches the entryway, she is dismayed to find her jacket crumpled on the floor, where someone has gotten sick on it. She does not want to walk home in nothing but her rather skimpy outfit. But a scary-looking troll, dressed all in black (but without the glowing accents that Carroway had) comes to her rescue. He gallantly offers her his shirt, taking it right off. The black t-shirt was tight against the troll's rippling torso, but for her, it is almost a mini-dress. She thanks him effusively, while a cynical part of her mind thinks that men tend to be generous when an attractive female is involved. Then she sees the troll exiting, holding hands... with the bishie elven lad from earlier. Huh. Guess it was pure chivalry after all.
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