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Civilization...I do not think it means what you think it means...
As I fled my tribes Hold, the cries of my Father's hunters were quickly swallowed by the gathering storm. Once the lights of the tribal hold faded from sight I turned from my original course. Rather than the trading posts to the south, I would make for Duran Keep. The old warrior who was my first mentor in the arts of warfare spoke often of Duran, and it's leader Duran the Bold, who had carved civilization from the wilderness. Surely there I could find a teacher and companions who would share my goals.

Three weeks hard travel Brought me to the Southern Marches. Passing along the edges of a deep forest and skirting a range of large hills, I caught my first glimpse of Duran Keep. It was a sight to inspire awe, why it must be large enough to house all the Norther Tribes.

Reaching the gates, I marveled at the wonders before my eyes. Truly Erathis had blessed these people! Why, their guards are so secure they feel no need to unsheathe their weapons while on duty. How different from the Tribal lands where a band of orcs could seemingly spring from the ether.

Entering the gates, I beheld another wonder, a market with food enough, and more, to feed all! I asked the guard directions to the temple of Erathis, and was offended by his obvious amusement while answering. I decided to let the insult pass, as I felt great need to reach the temple. There would be time enough later to discuss proper respect for a warrior of the Norther Tribes. Besides, a wagon was approaching the gates, and the guard's attention was already turned away. I hurried along the paths vowing to return when I was finished at the temple, to correct the guard's attitude, and perhaps explore the bounty of the market.

I was just leaving the market square when a sudden shout went up at the gate! Turning quickly, I saw a group of kobolds springing from the wagon at the gate. The nearby townsfolk began running from the sudden threat.

So, here we sit licking our wounds and contemplating our next step. As I gather my strength I can only think to myself "I must have been mistaken, or someone lied to me. Things like this should not happen in a civilized area." A groan escapes my lips as I stand, and take a firmer grasp on the haft of my axe. The nature of civilization can be debated later, hopefully in a warm tavern over a tankard of mead.
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So we're heading to the Mansion...
And I hear it's an impressive place. There's several levels, fancy stonework, and pretty windows. Can't wait to see it... *wink*
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Warehouse run synopsis
Yeah yeah, I promised this breakdown weeks ago. Not much I can do about it when BioWare releases the new Espionauts expansion the day after the run. (I'm a level 87 Atom Mole now, with Synergy. And that's without hacking. IR1337.)

But the run was pretty cool too. Now that I'm remembering it, it kinda kicked ass! I spent most of my cash buying new toys, and I even got the chance to play with em this time! Shiny things FTW, especially when they can fly autonomously and fire white phosphorus among other things.

The meet 'n' greet started on the matrix, as I mentioned last time. The Johnson was some stooge from Ares who (again) threatened our lives if we didn't work for them. Why these armament meatheads always think threats and force is necessary is well beyond me. Blackmail? LARGE SUMS OF CASH? Maybe it's all the weapon exhaust. Though I suppose Ares isn't as bad as Aztechnology--those guys are hamfists if ever there were. Regardless, dad would have pwn'd that guy if he knew he had threatened me. In the end, the guy did right and paid a handsome sum. Granted, we went above and beyond on this one.

The mission was to find out information on three locations known to be held by Tower Corp. Deliver said information, plain and simple. A quick 'trix search told us the locations were: an office building, an apartment building, and an old warehouse down by the train yards.

Here's where I begin to shine. A quick peek at the warehouse from next door showed that it was empty. Not only that, but somehow it was entirely not owned by anyone. Don't ask me, I just work here. The crew (DB, Slice, 18th, and Nog) headed down there to see what was up in vivo while I stayed home to play with the apartment and office managers.

Let me take a moment to tell you about my toy. I had 18th bring my new shiny: a Ford LEBD-1. O yes yes, the same ones you see your local and dutiful law enforcement officers using on your very streets. Well, except mine has an Antioch grenade launcher on it, and is named Suzy. I compiled a sprite to pilot it and defend the crew while they investigated, til I could jump in it myself. O the joys!

Back to the story. Warehouse: housing the three trucks we stole a run or two ago, sans a few uniforms, sans the Knights gear, sans whatever information was on the now-fried computers. (Note to self: ALWAYS TURN ON THE COMPUTERS AND HACK THEM BEFORE TURNING THEM OVER!) Office: full of corpie goons, who apparently didn't want to be seen. I hacked their systems without any trouble, but as soon as they spotted an intruder, they smoked the whole system hardline with acid. (I got some sweet FRAPS of it from their security camera before jacking out.) Whatever they had in there and whatever they were doing, they were pretty damn serious about it. Learned they had hired other Shadowrunner teams, presumably to do jobs similar to ours. Also learned they have strong connections in Aztlan. Apartment: filled with stooges.

Most likely mercenary stooges, turns out. Our crew got jumped while investigating the warehouse, and the apartment building went ape at the same time. Their hitmen were evidently unprepared for our awesomeness, as I don't think a single one of them was able to get a shot off. Then again, it's hard to shoot when your dodging Suzy's grenades. (And DB's, to be fair.) Other than the giant white phos bomb, the coolest part of the run might have been watching the chunk of walking mud that Noghri brought to the party. That thing threw two guys straight through the warehouse wall. The WALL. It was killer wicked cool. Nog will always be a weirdo, but that stunt he pulled was pretty rad.

Feeling like I was missing the party, I hacked the apartment admin accounts easily enough, wrote my own access, deleted most of theirs, then shut the place down as best I could. O yeah, and I round-housed some chump-ass security hacker who tried to bust me. Sadly, it was only a virtual ass-kicking. (Note to self: WORK ON DEVELOPING BLACK SOFTWARE.) What good is it to make someone wet their pants in the matrix, when they can't feel the warm sogginess of it once their ass is conscious in their office chair? Assuming they regain consciousness.

I jumped into Suzy after the apartment was crashing, just in time to light a few guys up with grenades. We let the last guy live, and I even got to use Suzy's shock cuffs. Incredible. Compiled a sprite to translate the guy's Spanish-only speech, got what little info we could from him, then gave him to Ares as part of our "report". They paid us nicely, and I'm gonna go back to browsing for new shiny. Got my eye on a personal flight vehicle.
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No Game Tonight (OOC)
On the off chance you didn't get my text message, or I or someone else didn't tell you in person, there's no game this week, sadly. I had intended to go the entire campaign without missing any weeks (which is why we had a re-scheduled game instead of just canceling when I went to my dad's birthday dinner).

In any case, we'll definitely be playing next Wednesday. OR ELSE.

Abby will still be in town to play then, and assuming Jese and Leila can make it, that'll be eight players. As such, I guess I'll just have to make the game ridiculously difficult for you guys, then. So... it'll be fun!
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I'm having Kobold stew tonight...
I love the trips to Duran. I was in the market having a hard time deciding what to experiment with for dinner, when these Kobold showed up at the front gate, and answered the question for me.

So later, when we are done with this place, I'm thinking stew for sure. I'll get some vegitales from old Ned and cook it up nice. I would have considered steaks, but the meat seems pretty tough. I think nice slow cook would be better. Maybe pulled sandwiches? I'd have to go back in town for some bread... Hmmm...

Who knows - maybe this bunch I seem t'be workin with here might like to siddown to a meal and tell their tales. (and maybe I forget to mention my special ingredient before they start going on about how good it is... *wink*)

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