|From:||Alan Takayama alan_takayama@*******.com|
|Subject:||Bellevue Rain - part one|
|Date:||Tue, 14 Dec 1999 11:45:08 EST|
I apologise in advance for any breach of fanfic list etiquette I may cause.
(I just want post my story), and if the story sucks, well then, I apologise
for that too. The basic outline or inspiration was how removed from their
original personality a shadowrunner can get, and how their job interfers
with anything "normal" they might want to do. Like falling in love.
Well, here goes nothin' then.
BELLEVUE RAIN - PART ONE
Stepping outside, he was once again surprised to see that it was raining.
Standing quietly on the steps to his apartment, the short, fair-skinned man
stretched out an upturned palm, as if to double check the sensation of cold
trickling down the back of his neck.
It was the natural reflex of one who had been born and lived most of his
life in a place that did not rain frequently. Or, at least, not nearly so
frequently as in the damp mass of concrete and steel that was the gloomy
Seattle Megaplex. No matter how many times he stepped outside of his
apartment and felt the rain on his face and shoulders, the seemingly
constant drizzle continued to surprise him.
He shrugged, and resisted the urge to return to the warm interior of his
stylish apartment. Tonight was business, and business couldn’t be ignored.
Even if it meant getting wet or dirty.
Walking quickly and unshielded from the rain, the young man liked to think
that he was melting into the crowd, becoming invisible. He smiled a little
self-assured smile as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. The truth was,
his physical features were a fair way from being unnoticeable. Men and women
both admired the style and cut of his fashionable clothing, and his facial
features were distinctive in their dark, stormy characteristics. In his line
of business, this was sometimes a hindrance. But, the man knew, it was
something that he would never give up or trade for the world. Pulling
creaking leather gloves on tightly, he ran his hands lightly through his
hair, styling it flat to the head. Cutting proudly through the night in
Bellevue and enjoying the sounds and smells of the people around him, the
young man continued to make his way to the "Mystic Touch" restaurant.
"The Mystic Touch", in his opinion, was a tiresome and presumptuous hangout
for arrogant and pretentious corporate twits. The popular restaurant claimed
an "authentic" magical theme: hermetic designs crisscrossed the ceiling,
walls, and carpet. Patrons were made to sit on chair less cushions at
decorated low-built tables, while fetishes of all stripes and descriptions
dangled from the ceiling above. Candles provided a gloomy atmosphere. It was
popular gossip and table conversation among the corpers that mystic runes
were carved onto the table's mahogany surface to enhance the taste of the
cuisine. The truth, the young man knew, was that the "runes" were simply the
work of a creative (yet ignorant) mundane artist, and the tables were not
mahogany at all, rather, very convincingly crafted synth-wood. The fetishes
themselves were probably just trinkets picked up at bargain prices. The
result of all the trouble in the end turned out to be the impression of an
eatery incorporating an overly elaborate mishmash of hermetic, shamanic, and
voudoun stereotypes with an oriental seating arrangement.
"Wiz," he commented loudly, mimicking a group of corporate teenagers who had
entered the establishment a moment after him, obviously for the first time.
The small group, intimidated by the man's direct green gaze and mocking
smile, sidled off in the opposite direction.
Making his way toward a table for two, the man removed his sodden coat and
sat cross legged on the cushion provided. It was time to wait for his
Leaning back slightly, he tried to wipe the scowl off his face. The street
outside was so much more enjoyable, and interesting in comparison to this
place. But At least it was solid, neutral ground. Just as the man new the
details of the faked "magical symbols", he also knew that unknown to most of
the patrons the manager and all the waiters wore shock gloves and packed
well concealed firearms loading gel rounds. Deeper in the restaurants
storerooms was concealed a well stocked armoury of flash grenades, narcoject
pistols, tasers and netgun weapons... even a military grade High Velocity
Assault Rifle for heavy "inconveniences". He smiled. It certainly paid for a
man in his business to do his homework.
But what was all the protection and precaution for? He knew the answer: A
bunch of suits. Most of them without any idea what people in less fortunate
circumstances had to go through simply to put soy-food on the table. That,
he supposed, was certainly deplorable but not despicable. That was simply
ignorance. He reserved his hatred for those who knew but did not care about
the plight of the lower classes. Which, unfortunately, described the basic
attitude of a lot of the executives of standing corporations.
Moving on to other thoughts, he wished he could have a private word with the
owner of the restaurant... shed a little light on his ignorance of the Sixth
World and Magic. So engrossed in his own personal musings was he that he did
not notice the woman who had appeared at his side.
At first he didn't think she was speaking to him. It had been such a long
time since he had heard his real name.
"Gabey!" She cried, "It IS you!" The informal version of his name
to his closest friends, so old and so infrequently heard to his own ears of
late, startled him and immediately forced him to appraise the woman
The first thing he noticed about her was her face: Shaped like an oval, it
was fair skinned and very pretty...her approximate age, mid-twenties. The
second thing he noticed was her hair. It was long and thick, reaching down
to her waist , and in the dim light of the restaurants candles it shone with
a golden sheen. There had only ever been one person who had hair like that
that he knew of, that beautiful.
"Rachel!" His surprise could not be hidden even if he tried, his voice held
a note of genuine exclamation as well as unmasked delight. His gloomy
expression was replaced with an open grin.
He stood, and received a back-breaking hug of trollish proportions. He did
his best to return it, laughing in the process.
"My god!" she stated, smiling widely, "How long has it been?"
"Too long," he returned. "2 years in fact. Last I heard, you were still in
"That didn’t last long. Problems with corporate funding for our research,
you know how it is-"
"Actually," he said, smiling, "I don't."
She chuckled. "God I've missed you. Let me tell you all about it."
He raised an eyebrow toward the group of corporate toads at the table Rachel
had presumably left. "What about your friends? They look a little
"Don't worry about them, I'm sure they can handle me being away from them
for a short time... okay, a long time. Let's sit down and catch up!"
Sitting down at the table, the man named "Gabey" couldn't resist the
childish urge to stick his tongue out at the table of wage-slaves, as if to
say "I have her now!". Their reaction was hysterical. He grinned while
Rachel burst out in uncontrollable laughter, and remembered that it had
always been this way between them. He had loved to make her laugh.
"You always did things like that," said Rachel, wiping the tears of mirth
from her eyes and echoing his thoughts.
He didn't know how long the two spent sitting there, talking about old
times, old places, and old people back home, waving away the waiters who
were anxious to take their orders. He only knew that it seemed like a few
minutes. It had been so long since they had last met.
"So, what have you been doing since you left Australia?" the beautiful young
woman asked, sipping from a glass of iced water. "The last I heard, You and
Peter had started your own business here in Seattle."
"We did," he replied. "It fell through and the two of us went our different
ways. It wasn't over anything big... we just decided we could make it on our
She peered at him curiously over the rim of her glass.
"What? You don’t believe me?" He asked playfully.
"No no, it's not that. I'm still just wondering what exactly your 'business'
"That's something that I'm not really good at explaining... not too
comfortable with it, either."
Failing to detect the slight strain of uneasiness in his voice, Rachel
continued to sail through dangerous waters.
"Why?" she said laughingly, "Are you a hit man? Oooh, danger and mystery
suit you, Gabey! I never would have thought it. Maybe you're a spy? Or maybe
even..." she leaned in close, blue eyes wide in anticipation for what she
had to say next. "...A Shadowrunner?"
She erupted into giggles, not noticing that the young man opposite her was
not joining in.
"Anyway, enough about me," he said forcefully, "What about you? How did the
She sobered up immediately. "Horribly," she admitted. "Not 2 months into
investigating the appearance of a new species of paranatural snake in the
Amazonian forests that manifests magical powers, and some eco-terrorist
burns down a village and factory near our research site. The company pulled
us out, said they couldn't risk losing some of their most valuable
employees." She rolled her eyes. "They were probably just worrying about
losing valuable equipment if the research site was attacked. We packed up
shop and moved back to Seattle."
"And what have you been doing since?" He was beginning to breathe easy, now
that they had shifted the topic of conversation.
She smiled. "Oh, this and that research project... I was always good at
science, you know. Renraku really does take care of it's scientists... for a
It was Gabe's turn to smile. "Always good at science" was an understatement.
"You always did used to understate your skills," he couldn't help saying.
"I'm not sure if I'm relieved or disappointed to see that hasn't changed."
She shifted her gaze to the table. It always did amaze him, those years ago,
how such a brilliant girl could be modest and shy.
Being particularly impulsive tonight, Gabe couldn't help himself.
"Why didn't we ever get together, Rachel?" he asked, and then suddenly it
felt as if the entire restaurant had become hushed.
She became visibly uncomfortable, and before she opened her mouth, a new
customer entered the restaurant.
"Shit." Gabe swore quietly.
"What? What is it?" Turning around, Rachel caught sight of an elegantly
dressed amerindian woman walking their way. "Oh," was all that she said.
"Listen, Rachel, I forgot I was supposed to meet someone here tonight. Could
we meet again? This time someplace a little more private."
"Yes, yes of course," she replied, smiling brightly once again. "Here’s my
card, call me tomorrow after nine."
She placed a small, white card of plastic on the table. It was easy to read
as the text was black, large, and modestly plain: "Rachel Morwitzer,
Arcology Research." She rose to stand.
"I really have to get going anyway..."
"That's no problem," Gabe assured her, smiling warmly. "It was really good
seeing you again."
She returned the smile. “See ya Gabey.”
His eyes tracked her movement as she made quick excuses to her abandoned
table mates, and walked out of the restaurant into the rain. What did the
ancient records his mother kept used to sing? "Don't you love her as she's
walkin' out the door?" He shook his head, embarrassed at his own
sentimentality. That was a long time ago.
"A lady friend of yours?" Startled, Gabe turned to see the Amerindian woman
smiling at him from across the table. "Really, I would have expected a man
of your reputation not to get involved in such a dangerous affair...
certainly not before a business meeting."
"Indeed, Miss Johnson?" he replied coldly, signalling the waiter to take
orders. "Not that it is any of your business, but that was not a 'lady
friend'. Rather an expensive whore I picked up off the street on the way to
this fine establishment. Unless you wish to hire her for her services, why
don't we forget the matter and move on to more pressing issues." It wasn't a
"Indeed," remarked Miss Johnson tonelessly. She had obviously taken offence.
That was fine. It would take her mind off of Rachel, who could be used to
threaten himself. "But let us take our time here. It isn't often I can dine
at such an attractive restaurant during business."
Detecting no sarcasm in her voice, Gabriel felt that Rachel, unlike the
woman who sat opposite him, would have agreed with his opinion that the
Mystic Touch was about as attractive as troll shit.
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