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> Tangled Currents - Meira
Mercy
post May 30 2017, 01:38 AM
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The buzzing from your 'link interrupts..................absolutely nothing. But it does bring you out of a funk that has haunted you for a couple of days. Being alone will do that. Being really alone will do it faster. The latest guy, whatever his name was, had at least been someone who could pretend to like you. At least as long as the sex was good and the beer was free. Maybe the beer was more important than the sex because he left after the last of it was gone. He said he was going out to get more but that was three days ago.

Your head twists to where you have your stash, correction, one of your stashes of kamikaze. After all, it doesn't pay to keep it all in one place. Tempting, but kamikaze isn't a drug to fight this kind of depression. You had just about reached the point where that didn't really matter and a hit was a hit when the 'link breaks into your consciousness. You get up and look for it in the detritus of the few days spent with whoever he was and finally pounce on it, thumbing it to bring up the call. You see it is from Lux, the bartender down at Joey's Bar. You shuffle through your memories but do not recall owing him any money....yet, and take the call.

>>Yeah?<<

>>That you, Meira? Listen, there's some woman down here sitting at my bar and showing me a pic of you. Or someone who looks like you. And she has your name, too. Offering fifty to put her in touch with you. She's doing it quiet, like a pro, but I don't smell cop, corp, or crime on her so maybe it's on the level. What do I tell her?<<
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post May 30 2017, 04:59 AM
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Meira cocks an eyebrow at Lux, scratching her head quietly for a second. Her decision making process leaves a lot to be desired, and she knows it, so she takes a moment - like that'll make a difference.

"Yeah, it's me. Tell her to stay put - I'm on my way. Thanks, Lux."

Opting for a quick shower was probably the best decision she'd be making today, but it's a start. Armored clothing, pistol, monofilament whip, dose of kamikaze, credstick - should be enough to get her out of a setup. She narrows her eyes at the rest of her gear while she tunes the AR overlay of her clothing. Tempting, but she'd need a bag for all that, and that doesn't look professional. Well, it does, but it's a rather different class of profession. She settles on casual wear for the overlay, something that could pass for respectable, but not formal - don't wanna stick out too much.

Then it's out the door with the most important soybar of the day. Joey's bar wasn't too bad of a place, but it was no Ramada either. Hey, it's better than sitting and staring at the wall at home, at least. Meira looks around as she approaches - a quick glance for obvious red flags. How embarrassing would it be for a former military commander to get blown away in an obvious setup at a damn bar? You'd have just enough time to think about what a dumbass you are while you bleed out.

Once inside, she makes her way straight to the bar and leans on the counter. "Hey, Lux. You said someone wants to see me?"
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Mercy
post May 30 2017, 05:38 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1300 Joey's Bar, Seattle


Yeah, calling Joey's Bar a dive is about right. Lots of losers in there and maybe one more just walked in, right? At least that is what some people think about you. Your old unit, if any of them even think about you at all, and most of the patrons of this bar, but never to your face. But frag 'em, they are all as much losers as anyone. Just wait until you hit the big time and can buy this crappy place several times over, right? Right? Yeah, right.

The bar is dimly lit and smells of bad booze and bad cigarettes, with an occasional whiff of some cheap skunk water perfume wafting from one of the whores who has come into the place to rest her feet and see if she can score a trick inside. The bar has nine stools, but one is broken and marked off with some black and yellow evidence tape Lux got from some contact in Vice down at the local KE precinct office. Not that the three beat cops there could do much if they were really needed. It is a bit early, so only four of the working stools are occupied as are only three of the six small tables that dot the room. A trid player in the shape of something Lux calls an old juke box is hammering out old country and western songs that have two of the drunks at one of the tables trying to croon out a tune in sync to the player and failing miserably.

Lux sees you come through the door and motions you over. He shoves a glass of something across the bar at you and nods his head in the direction of one of the two booths. From your position, you can see the back of a woman's head over the dilapidated seat. His voice is low as he pushes the drink to you. "That's her. I said she was a pro and I mean it." He points down the bar to where two men are nursing an arm apiece as well as a drink. "Dan an' Mick though they would have some fun with a pretty woman. She schooled 'em damned fragging fast. Nothing broke but their pride, which she fixed by buying them drinks. Told me to leave one for you when you got in and then went to that booth, all cool as can be. Never saw anything like it. You be careful, hear?"
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post May 30 2017, 05:55 AM
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Meria takes her drink, looking over at the woman.

"Damn. Tell you what, Lux: if she decides to go loud, I'll make her chase me out of her first. Last thing this place needs is more bullet holes, yeah?" She chuckles and takes a sip of her drink, "Don't worry - I've dealt with some scary customers before. It'll be fine."

Drink in her left hand, she heads over to the booth and sits across from her caller. Her right hand rests on her knee under the table, just in case she needs to reach for a weapon. Her tone changes to a stoic throwback to her old unit.

"I was informed you wanted to see me, and arrived as quickly as I could. My apologies for the wait. What can I do for you?"
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Mercy
post May 30 2017, 06:27 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1301 Joey's Bar, Seattle


The woman across from you in the booth is Caucasian, with blue eyes and shoulder length brown hair. She is wearing large-rimmed glasses and in her neat business suit is a bit out of place here. She has removed the jacket that matches her calf-length skirt and her white blouse has a small bit of ruffle down the front. Two buttons are undone, but only a hint of any cleavage is visible. Both of her hands are on the top of the table near a drink that appears to be untouched. When she speaks, she has a foreign accent, possibly French. "You are Meira Baquearnith." It was a statement, not a question. "You may call me Monique. I represent a very special employer who is interested in someone with your talents. Please watch this."

The woman moves one hand to the handbag at her side and brings out a small cube that she places on the table in front of you. Something about the cube is familiar, but...........then it hits you. You have seen something that looked like this only twice before, at high level briefings before a dangerous mission. Wait.....it is coming to you.........M93 Holo........"

Your thoughts are cut off as she presses a small button on the device and a holographic image appears. You see Karyth sitting in a chair and talking into a recorder of some kind. "Hey, Meira. I hope that you have found some help and are off that drek you put in yourself. Not that I really expect you to kick that habit alone and goodness knows the military did not show you any kindness in that regard. But listen, I think that the woman with this device is the real deal. She came here, fragging made it all the way to HERE, just to find you. I don't think she is a crook or a cop, but I do not know what she is. She claims to be working for someone who needs your skillset and had your name. She convinced me and I thought that you would not mind giving her a shot, at least talk to her. I hope it is something that can turn your life around, omae. Stay Strong, right? Karyth out."

The device shuts down and the woman takes it back, returning it to her handbag. "Will you talk to me Meira?"
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post May 30 2017, 06:48 AM
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Meira shifts uncomfortably in her seat. Monique had done her homework. Hell, Monique was that kid in class who did the group project solo and still made everyone else look like a bunch of chumps. You don't just walk into Tir Tangire and chat up spec ops for a recommendation letter. This was a show of force.

"You have my attention. Please continue."

She tried to sound professional, but there was likely a hint of unease in her tone at this point.
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Mercy
post May 30 2017, 07:24 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1303 Joey's Bar, Seattle


The other woman looks at you for a minute without speaking, apparently considering her words, then nods. "Very well. I have an offer that you might find interesting. You are invited to a meeting with my employer. Can you be in the park at Washington Rec at noon tomorrow? Public beach side. Find a bench and sit. Someone will meet you there." She reaches back into her handbag and brings out looks like a certed credstick, although you have not really seen one in a while. "Five hundred to show up and another for listening. Any more will depend on whether or not you are hired. It is very important that you do not show up drugged. Will you take the meeting and do you have any questions for me? I am afraid that there is little that I can really add to what I have already said, but that might depend on the question."
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post May 30 2017, 07:43 AM
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Meira nods. She's cornered, but at least it's not by something that wants to eat her. Well, not yet, anyway. In any event, you don't do so hot as a runner if you don't take jobs, and this one paid partially upfront.

"I'll be there. It's your job to worry about my professionalism, but I'm nonetheless obligated to tell you that I never show up for a meeting on drugs. I do have one question, though: assuming everything goes well and I'm hired on the spot, how long will I have in between the handshake and the job? I need to know how well equipped to show up."

It was at this point that she realized her drink was getting warm in her hand. She'd intended to casually sip while discussing the job, to look laid back but professional, but this woman had caught her off guard. No, that wasn't accurate - she'd thrown Meira off guard.

A Ms. Johnson was already quite rare, mostly because of crap like Lux mentioned, and Johnsons hate getting their hands dirty. That's what runners are for. Hell, she could have at least opted to meet somewhere nicer and not have to defend herself. It was pretty clear at this point that she'd manage to get in contact no matter what. And glasses, who even wears glasses? Magic users? Antique collectors? No, a magic user would make more sense. Meira had seen what physical adepts could do. This Johnson was getting more intimidating by the minute.
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Mercy
post May 30 2017, 12:53 PM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1305 Joey's Bar, Seattle


The woman smiles at you. "I would expect that you will be on the clock from the moment you shake hands, Ms Baquearnith, what you make of that is up to you. However, I do remind you that Washington Rec was recently the site of a terrorist attack on innocent people and the authorities have increased their surveillance of the area and would probably frown on someone taking a lot of weapons there. I believe that you will have adequate time to get your equipment after signing on, if you choose to accept the job."
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post May 30 2017, 01:55 PM
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Meira nods. Simple enough, once you get past everything Monique had done to get to her. Johnson had to be the biggest man in the room, or biggest woman, as it were. This one got her wish.

"Washington Rec, noon tomorrow. I'll be there."
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Mercy
post May 30 2017, 02:34 PM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1305 Joey's Bar, Seattle


Monique nods then slides out of the booth, grabbing her jacket and putting it on. Taking her handbag, she smiles briefly at you then turns to leave. She pauses briefly at the door before leaving the bar. Lux waits until she is gone then looks over at you and holds his hand out with his thumb up before rotating it between thumb up and down several times.
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post May 30 2017, 02:54 PM
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Meira winces and mimics the action, hovering around half way between thumbs up and down. She shrugs and finishes her drink all at once, then takes the empty glass back to the bar, slipping the certified credstick in a pocket.

"If anyone other than you had poured that, I wouldn't have touched it. She creeps me out, but she pays, so that's something. Give me another drink and word on the street."

She takes out her normal credstick now and offers it to Lux.

"Something light - I have work tomorrow."
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Mercy
post May 31 2017, 04:59 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1306 Joey's Bar, Seattle


Lux pours you a light drink and slots your 'stick. "Well, they do say it is better to be paid than not paid. But I hafta agree; she gives me the creeps, too. But to be honest, she coulda broke those arms instead of just twisting them good, so the woman knows moderation and how much violence in enough violence. That's gotta count for something in her favor, right?

He shrugs, "What do you want to know? I might have something if you are interested in a quickie. Jack Arbor is looking for someone to escort him into the Barrens tonight. I would classify this as not only dodgy but risky."
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post May 31 2017, 05:41 AM
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Meira takes a sip and rubs the back of her neck. Escorts suck - you want trolls for that work. For all their bitching about stereotypes, it makes escort jobs a lot easier if you see a massive troll next to the client. Hell, she could stand right in front of the client and he'd still probably get shot. Meira didn't exactly cover a large area. Plus, she was better at staying hidden, anyway.

"I mean... work is work, but if I get shot before this other job, four-eyes won't be happy. Might have to pass on that one. Actually, I'm going dark until further notice. Something about this job feels wrong, but, you know, money. I'll give you a call when it's over."

She finishes her drink, and offers a sarcastic salute to Lux before heading out. She had a pre-mission routine to go through with her gear, and recon on the meeting site. Fiddling with her com, she takes out a subscription on business wear for her AR outfit overlay, then makes her way toward the park.
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Mercy
post May 31 2017, 01:56 PM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1456 Washington Recreational Park, Seattle


Washington Rec is beautiful, even in the slight rain that is coming down by the time you get there. A slight breeze off the lake brings a bit of a chill to the otherwise warm day, but it does not seem to have chased all of the beach goers away. Or the obvious KE presence. Patrols have certainly increased here and each patrol consists of at least two officers. At least the evidence tape has been removed from where all the people had been killed last Saturday.

The park overlooks the lake and its public and private beaches and you can see a number of benches are available for you to choose from.
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post May 31 2017, 02:40 PM
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Meira takes a leisurely stroll through the park, making note of places of interest: cover, blind spots, poor terrain, street access. It was a different kind of sneaky - one she wasn't completely comfortable with. Scouting in plain sight required a certain finesse. It also didn't lend itself to getting every detail you wanted, but it would have to do, especially with this much security around. Gathering what she thought she could without drawing suspicion, she headed out, making her way back home to prepare her kit, and perhaps give Karyth a call.
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Mercy
post Jun 1 2017, 03:38 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1730, Meira's House, Seattle


Your journey through the park yields you with a couple of good sites for the meet as well as some poor ones. Most of the benches are along the main pedestrian walkway that winds through the park, but there are a few along the narrower paths that go up into the trees that line the edge of the public area.

As you arrive home, you see a small moving truck parked in front of the house next to yours, which has been vacant for a couple of months. As you watch, two young men of about college age come out of the house and go to the back of the truck. One stops to wipe some sweat from his forehead and smiles at you. "Hey there. You one of my new neighbors? Names Matt. Matt, Carson."
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post Jun 1 2017, 04:26 AM
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Meira looks at them for a moment before remembering to smile back.

"I guess I am. I'm Meira." She gestures toward her place without really looking at it. Then looking at the moving truck she adds, "Need a hand? I'm probably not your bulkiest neighbor, but more hands, yeah?"

You never know who you're talking to, and even if it's a hassle, she wanted to make sure she made a good first impression. Besides, she still has plenty of time to check her gear and get a good night's rest.
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Mercy
post Jun 1 2017, 04:42 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1730, Meira's House, Seattle


Matt smiles and puts out a hand to shake. "Meira? I like that. It makes you sound so....exotic. And yeah, thanks for offering to help. Lots of stuff in there, even though it does not look like much." He motions to the guy on the other end of the couch they are carrying off the truck. "This mug is Ralph Otter, and yeah, he's heard all the Ralph otter do this and Ralph otter do that jokes you can think of."

Ralph waves. "I second the thanks for the help. It would go faster if the slave driver was not standing about yakking."

Matt, shrugs his shoulders and smiles but he picks up his end of the couch again and they head off towards the open door of the small house.
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post Jun 1 2017, 05:05 AM
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Meira grins at the remark about her name. It was all she could do to not laugh, and at least her mom had deemed fit to give her something everyone could pronounce. She shakes his hand, then hops into the back of the truck once they're clear, looking for a box she could reasonably move on her own without giving away her bioware. She wasn't the strongest person she knew, but that suprathyroid gland is still a hell of a thing if you're not expecting it.

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post Jun 1 2017, 05:44 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1836, Matt's House, Seattle


You carry the first box inside Matt's house and add it to the growing pile. The box is conveniently marked with the room it goes to and you pretty much know which room is which since his house built just like yours and about ten other places in the immediate neighborhood. Pretty soon the truck is empty and the guys are moving setting up the living room. Matt looks at you and smiles and you note that he has a nice smile. "Hey I've ordered some pizza and sodas. The least i can do is offer you some snacks for the work you have done." He motions to the large trid screen Ralph is just connecting to the wall. "You into trid games? Heard of Vampire Hunter? It's great in that it lets you play your character the way you want against an advanced AI. Lots of fun and I have about eight sets of controllers, so it is no problem. What do you say?"
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post Jun 1 2017, 05:58 AM
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Meira checks the time and thinks about it for a moment. She was going to have to cut them off at some point in the not too distant future to have enough time to prepare, but if they were taking care of dinner, that's one thing she wouldn't have to deal with. Besides, she needed to make sure Karyth was well off the clock before giving him a call.

"Hey, can't say no to that. I gotta clear out of here by nine though - I have work in the morning."
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Mercy
post Jun 1 2017, 06:18 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1836, Matt's House, Seattle


Both men grin and Matt says, "Cool. That gives us a couple of hours. Come on Ralph, let's get the console set up. So, Meira, what do you like on your pizza?"

Ralph opens a large box and begins pulling stuff from it and setting some of it up on a coffee table in front of a long couch. He looks up at you as he begins connecting the components together. "Ever tried this one, Meira? Even if you haven't played it before, it is super easy to catch on."
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post Jun 1 2017, 06:52 AM
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Meira glaces at the game. It just looked like every other game to her, and these things rarely got it right. She vaguely remembers Karyth shouting about how wildly inaccurate the lack of kick was while another squad mate laughed and sprayed with full auto in some other game during their time off. The gun was rendered to look like an AK-98, but kicked like a squirt gun.

"The works. Hard to go wrong with the works. Not a hardcore gamer, but I'll see if I can't get lucky."
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Mercy
post Jun 1 2017, 07:00 AM
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Wednesday 12 June 2076 1840, Matt's House, Seattle


Ralph finishes setting everything up just as Matt comes back into the room. "Pizza is all ordered. So, Meira, do you have any problems with VR? This is the latest thing and is supposed to be very realistic, but it is best played in VR. If you are some kind of morality cop, all we have is Cold SIM, but.........."

He sits at the left end of the couch and Ralph takes the right, leaving you with plenty of space to sit between them. "You will need some room to swing your arms, especially if you are not used to the VR effects."
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