|Date:||Wed, 30 Jun 1999 06:14:15 EDT|
Renault huddled in the corner of the bar, clothes dripping from the
cold Seattle rain. Puddles formed around his scuffed and battered utility
shoes. One thin hand cradled a steaming cup of coffee while the other held a
wad of blood soaked gauze to his nose. His short dark hair was taking on the
spikey aspect of drying hair, although most of it remained plastered to his
skull. All in all, the elf looked like death warmed over.
A lady in her middle fourties apporached with a tray. Her short
black skirt swung interestingly with the movements of her hips. "Can I get
"Nothing thanks," Renalt quietly replied. "I'm waiting for some
Noticing the bloody gauze, "Are you alright?"
Renault shook his head slowly. "Nothing a little time couldn't cure,
thank you." The waitress walked off to serve the other patrons of the small
establishment. It was a typical run down place in a typical out of the way
location. A perfect place for a fallback regrouping site.
The door opened letting in a chill blast of air and a few errant
scraps of lightly soaked trash. The streetlight was eclipsed by the massive
form of a troll. The troll's figure resolved into clarity as he stepped into
the bar. Dressed in black and wearing a heavy jacket that screamed armor of
some sort, he walked straight to Renault's table and said, "Didn't think
you'd make it."
"It was close. Please, sit."
The troll sat gingerly on a chair until he was reassured that it
would hold his bulk. He scanned the room with his alert green eyes and gave
a curt nod of satisfaction. "Good place," He rumbled in his deep bass voice.
The troll layed his massive hands on the counter top and silently counted
backwards from 20 as he watched his hands slowly stop quivering.
"Herc? Did Marks and Quinn make it?"
The troll looked up at the mention of his name. "They were right
behind me. Should be here any minute." As if on cue, the door opens once
more and two people quickly enter and make their way to the back table. The
first is human male dressed in paramilitary style, yet no obvious weaponry.
He takes off a beret and wrings the water out of it as he sits down. The
other is a human female dressed in a black formfitting style. She unappily
runs a gloved hand through her short waterlogged hair.
"Glad to see we all made it out in one piece." Marks secures his
beret on a handy strap on his web harness.
"Where did they get all those Paranormals?" Quinn curses as she
removes her gloves and rubs her hands together to bring back some warmth to
"Might I suggest a bit of security before this goes any further.
Remember that group last week that talked too much and got themselves
eliminated by their Johnson."
"Right, Renault." The troll reached into a small pocket and removed
a small palm sized device and placed it on the table. Herc touched a switch
and a low humm emmanated from the device. "Any chance of whipping up some
Renault's look spoke volumes about his current condition. "Those
elementals were almost the death of me, but I think I can manage a Watcher."
The elf closed his eyes and marshalled his strength. Quietly chanting in
Latin, Renault summoned a brainless watcher. "Alert me if anything
approaches us in the astral." The watcher noded and set about patrolling the
bar with the zeal of a trained rottwieler guarding a junkyard. Renault
winced as a fresh ribbon of blood ran out one nostril. He jammed the wad of
gauze back under his nose and said, "I'm exhausted. Can we speed things up?"
"Of course." replies Marks. "You have the chip right Quinn?"
Quinn nods. "Manage to finish the download before that Samurai v3.2
about fried my deck. I hope that Johnson pays us enough. I have to replace
quite a few chips on the motherboard."
"I'm sure we can work that as a justifiable expense. Herc?"
"I have the prototype stashed in a safe place. I'll get it before we
meet Mr. Johnson."
"Excellent." Marks smiles. "You all did splendidly. Things may
have seemed hosed, but at least we accomplished our mission. The timeline is
as follows. We meet the Johnson tomorrow at 1800 and get our pay. 1900
hours, we board the private charter for our vacation in Jamaica and lay low
for a few weeks."
Renault smiles wanly. "Sunlight. Just what I need."
Quinn laughs, "I'll bring the sunblock just for you."
"Okay. Lets split up again. Remember, keep quiet and hope Fuchi
doesn't find us..."