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Musashi Forever
As Enrique Valdez stood in the street with his large, smoking revolver in hand, a rider-less motorcycle on the pavement next to him, and a dead member of the Black Hammers lying at his feet, he remembered the way he had ended up in this situation. During the cab ride, Enrique had become more and more certain that he was not being taken to his requested location. Of course his English was not that great and he had not had time to pick up a decent linguasoft. When he had tried to clarify his destination the driver had ignored him so he had resigned himself to wait until the end of the trip then find another cab. It was not the way things were done in Tenochtitlan, or anywhere he’d been is Aztlan, but he had heard stories of Seattle and did not want to cause trouble so soon after arriving. Then, as the taxi finally came to a halt long enough for him to open the door and get out, the driver had spoken to him. “My brother got killed by a gang of you Azzie drekheads. See how you like it.” The taxi’s tires squealed and took the man off into the Seattle drizzle. “See ya in Hell, ya stupid spic!” he’d yelled as he drove away. Enrique had been left alone, offended and puzzled.

He had begun to search for someone that could help him, growing more frantic as he realized that the streets were deserted for the first time since reached the city. He could tell that he wasn’t in a great part of town. In fact, it was a downright terrible one. He could recall villages in the Yucatan that had looked better after a decade of bombings and firefights. Then, dredged up from the little he knew about Seattle, it hit him. He was in the barrens. He saw a face peeking at him from a cracked doorway. “Excuse me,” he called. “I seem to be lost,” but before he could finish the face disappeared and the door slammed shut. Hopelessly lost in the worst part of a city he did not know, without even a number he could call for assistance, Enrique began to walk. He made it a block and a half before the sound of revving engines stopped him cold.

They tore around the corner before him, three teenagers in dirty leather clothes perched on two well-worn motorcycles. A male ork rode some model of cruiser that Enrique did not recognize and a man and a dwarf woman rode a Suzuki Aurora followed just behind him. Enrique had not moved since he heard the roaring engines and the gangers took advantage of his inaction. The ork pulled up next to his place on the sidewalk. Within an arms-reach of the ganger, Enrique could no help the wrinkling of his nose at the stench of his unwashed body and the way it mixed with the fumes spewing from the hog’s tailpipe. The couple on the crotch rocket seemed content to make leisurely circles in the street, both keeping an eye on the ork and his target. Enrique now felt like a jaguar’s prey that was being played with before being eaten.

“Whatcha doin’ in Black Hammer territory, omae?” asked the ork, his voice cybernetic altered to boom louder than the rumble of his ride’s engine.

Valdez figured that since ignorance had gotten him into this mess, it may get him out, he drew himself to his full height and responded, “Pardon, senor. No hablo Ingles.” He was about to ask for some directions, hoping that the gangers would figure that he wasn’t worth the trouble and go away, when he saw a malicious smile grow on the ork’s face. Now his native language had condemned him.

“Whatdaya know. It’s the Azzie that Marty said he stranded. Now we can spike another nice spic head up as a warning for da Diablos.” The ganger reached for his ankle and began to unsheathe a menacingly curved combat knife. The dwarf woman on the Aurora started to cackle evilly.

Seeing where this was heading and refusing to stand for it any longer, Valdez reached for the only possession that he was able to bring with him from Aztlan. He kept it close to his heart, just a little further to the left. His cybernetically boosted reflexes made the Super Warhawk appear in his hand faster than the ork ganger could blink. The ganger, operating a chipped speed just slower than Enrique’s, dropped his dagger and reached for his own pistol, but before he could get any further the big revolver boomed. The Ruger’s slug caught the ganger above the right eye, entering his cranium and blowing his brains through a fist sized hole in the back of his skull. The large gun’s recoil snapped his arm back and up. It took him a moment to line up a shot on the two other gangers, but as he pulled the trigger the man gunned his engine and the bike popped a wheelie as it raced away. Enrique’s shot went wide, hitting the concrete wall of a building across the street. Before he could fire again, the bike and its riders were half a block away, out of range.

Lowering his gun, Valdez looked around for a way to escape. He had no doubt that the gangers would be back after they readied their weapons and they might have something that outranged his pistol. Quickly he stepped down into the street and examined the dead ork’s bike. He had never ridden a motorcycle before, but he had some experience on a friend’s ATV, how different could they be? He saw that the controls did seem familiar, but after trying once he realized that even his augmented strength would not be enough to upright the 1500cc hog. He cursed, and then his attention was drawn down the street by the high pitched sound of the sport-bike’s engine. He cursed again, louder this time. The two remaining gangers were screaming towards him. The human was concentrating on driving straight and fast, the dwarf hung on with one hand and readied an Ingram Smartgun with the other. Even as he tried to think of a solution to the problem, the woman opened up on him.

Enrique’s reflexes and subconscious mind took control. With bullets flying all around him, Valdez dove to the ground and pulled the ork ganger’s corpse over himself. He could feel the slugs ripping through the ork, but none penetrated far enough to hurt him. More of the ganger’s blood and gray matter flowed out of the hole in his head and dripped onto Enrique’s shirt. He wanted to vomit, but suppressed it with a gag. Then the bike roared past and the sub-machine gun fire stopped. Valdez threw his bloody shield to the side and rolled onto his knees. The gangers were once again to far away to shoot with his Ruger. They were slowly turning around and would be back to finish him off in a moment. Enrique searched the big motorcycle next to him for any sort of weapon that would kill them before they came back.

Then he saw it, a Thunderbird mini-grenade launcher mounted on its side between the bike’s handlebars. It was a gift from heaven that he could almost swear was not there when he had looked before. Quickly examining the brackets that held the weapon in place he saw that it was built to be easily removed. Wasting no time, Valdez released the launcher from its bonds, almost cheering when it came free in his hands. From his time in the security forces he was very familiar with the Aztechnology knock-off of the ArmsTech MGL-6. The racer’s engine roared as the gangers made another run at him. Rising to his feet with the Thunderbird in hand, Enrique lined up his shot and began pulling the trigger.

The first round landed short, a high explosive grenade that detonated on impact. The gangers rode through the cloud of concrete dust and shrapnel it kicked up and the woman bellowed something like a warcry as she began to spray bullets in his direction. He adjusted his aim, wishing that the launcher had a smartgun link, and let fly with another round. This one surprised him, exploding right on target with a wash of white phosphorous. The liquid fire rolled like a wave over the two bikers. The driver lost control and slid-out. The gangers rolled along the pavement behind their bike, the man hitting the road in such a way that his neck was broken. The dwarf was not so lucky. Once she had recovered enough of her senses she began to scream at the pain of the burning chemicals covering her body. She began to beat at the flames, but smothering could not put out the fire. Valdez watched her impassively as he lined up the virtual crosshair projected on his retina via his smartlink system with the dwarf’s head. His Warhawk boomed again and the ganger’s face became a bloody mess and she stopped thrashing.

There was another roar of engines from behind that made him cringe. He tightened his grip on the pistol in his right hand and the Thunderbird in his left. What a way to die, his first day in Seattle, just the start of his new life out from under the thumb of Aztechnology and their damned blood magic, and he was going to buy it on a nameless street in the barrens. Well, he had three bullets and four grenades left, if he was going to die then he might was well take as many of the bastards as he could along for the ride, and from the sound of the engines coming up the street, there would be plenty of targets.

Just as Enrique began turning slowly around to face his new attackers a voice rang out above the din. “Viva los Diablos!”

Instead of raising the weapons as he had planned to do, Valdez took the time to analyze the gangers that approached him. They were of various metatypes, but each had distinctly Hispanic features. The bike leading the pack had a pole attached and the flag of Aztlan billowed majestically from its top. He could see them readying their weapons and decided to take a chance. “Viva Aztlan!” he yelled as he let his weapons drop to the ground and raised his hands to pump his fists in the air.

Much to his relief the gangers returned his cheer, smiles breaking out on their faces. They slowed to a stop and the flag-bearing chopper cruised over to him. A norm male about Enrique’s size with tattoos covering his exposed skin looked him over, and then looked over the corpses of the three Black Hammers.

“You do good work, amigo,” he said in perfectly accented Spanish.

Valdez waited a moment before responding; thinking of what could be the best response to a gang boss who held his life in his hands. “I don’t like to be messed with,” he responded in Spanish. He tried to keep his voice as bland as possible. He wasn’t bragging, he wasn’t posturing, he was just stating a fact.

“You got any plans for the loot?”

This time Valdez answered in all honesty, the response rolling off of his tongue without a thought, “Amigo, you can have it all if you’ll get me out of here.”

The gang leader looked at him curiously for a moment then began to laugh. He turned back to his posse. “This guy killed three Hammers without taking a scratch. He’s giving his loot to the Diablos and wants only safe passage in exchange. I think we should take him home and show him how we reward our friends!”

The affirmative cheer from the crowd of gangers drowned out the sound of their idling engines. Enrique allowed a small smile to curl his lips. He was not exactly sure what he was in for wherever the Diablos made their home, but it was better than being dead, better by a long shot. When an attractive young norm girl with intricate facial piercings pulled up next to him and said, “Hop on, amigo,” in a highly seductive tone, he allowed his grin to become a full blown smile and perched on the back of her Suzuki. In his first few hours in the city he had learned that Seattle could be treacherous, sickeningly violent, and deadly, but above all things it was interesting. If he lived long enough, he could get to like it.
Musashi Forever
I wrote this in the last couple days to go along with a character proposal. I hope you guys are entertained by it. Feel free to comment or not.

As you can probably tell I do not know Spanish. I am sorry if I offend anyone with my misspelling or bad Spanish grammar. I ask you to please give a stupid gringo a pass. Thanks.
SL James
Not bad, although I can't imagine the kind of stench that it would take to offend someone from Tenoch.
Musashi Forever
QUOTE (SL James)
Not bad, although I can't imagine the kind of stench that it would take to offend someone from Tenoch.

I'm sure they sell nice little air fresheners that fit inside your gas mask in Tenoch. grinbig.gif

Thanks for the comment.
Very cool! I like it.
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