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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

From: David Buehrer dbuehrer@******
Subject: The Challenge
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 08:42:52 -0600 (MDT)
Ralph ran along side his brother, the pavement pounding below them. They
came to rest in a cold muddy puddle.

"Aw jeez," Frank exclaimed, "how long do you think we're gonna have to
squat in this puddle?"

"Frank, do you realize how much you complain?"

"Hey, I'm soaking in muddy who-knows-where-it's-been water over here."

"I'm soaking in the same water and you don't hear me complaining. Ever
since we came out of the factory it's been nothing but bitch, bitch,
bitch. Why can't you ever just sit back and do your job."

"Hey, I'm doing my job just fine over here. I'm keeping his foot nice and
dry while we squat here. But just because I gotta do this job doesn't mean
I have to like it."

"I suppose I shouldn't be suprised. You are a lefty after all."

"What the hell does that mean!?"

"Hold on Frank, we're moving again."

They started running again, jumped, and started to climb a fence.

"Aw jeez, I'm getting scuffed up.. Holly Shit! Look out for the razor
wire you bafoon! I'm a hundred percent real leather and shouldn't have to
take this kind of abuse."

"For christsakes Frank," Ralph cursed as they fell toward the ground,
"we're combat boots, what did you expect, to be strolling along the mall
looking at all the pretty"

"Hey, I think we're standing on real grass," Frank interrupted.

"You're kidding!" Ralph exclaimed.

"I shit you not, I think this is real grass. Yep, it's real all
right. Feel that softness. And that smell! That smell has got to be
real grass. Ah man, I could squat in this for the rest of my life."

They started moving again, walking slowly this time.

"Ah man, this feels great," Frank said with deep contentment.

"Frank, for once I agree with you."

"Ralph, for once let's set aside our petty differences and enjoy this

"You got it Frank. I gotta admit, this feels gr.. You are not gonna
believe what I just stepped in."

"Ye gods Ralph, what is that smell? You smell worse than then the ally
behind the Catbird Lounge."

"I'm not sure. It's not dog shit. And it's a pretty big pile. I'm
suprised you're not in it too."

"Hold up there Ralph, did you just feel that tremor?"

"... yeah..."

The piasma came charging across the fresh cut grass. Ralph and Frank
glanced at eachother, screamed, and took off running like they'd never
run before.

They ran back the way they'd come, towards the fence. "Aw shit Ralph,
I can't get a good grip on this god damn grass. We're not gonna make

"We'll make it Frank, just keep running."

They leapt into the air and hit the fence, trying to find purchase on the
chain link. The Piasma, close on thier heels, lunged.

"Aiiii! It's got me Frank! It's got me!"

"Hang on there Ralph! I've got a good grip on the fence and our guy is
pulling as hard as he can!"

"I can't hang on Frank! I can't hang on!"

"Hang on Ralph! Hang on!"

There was a hard tug and Frank vaulted over the razor wire and hit hard
on the other side, landing in the puddle he had been lamenting about
earlier. He tried not to listen to Ralph's dying screams as the piasma
shook his head from side to side with Ralph clenched firmly in his
jaws. Frank's owner stood in the puddle, hands on his knees, as he
tried to catch his breath."

The piasma dropped what was left of Ralph and gazed hungrily at the owner.

The owner crossed himself, took one last look at the piasma, and
started to limp home.

The next day Frank sat on the floor of the owner's apartment, alone with
his grief, when the door opened and the owner came in, a box under his arm.

The owner picked up Frank, walked over to the couch, sat down, and put
Frank on. Then he opened the box and took out a new boot and put it on
the other foot. He stood up and walked back and forth a few times,
testing the feel of the new boot. It would take awhile to break in,
but it was a good fit.

"Man, is it good to be out of that box. Hey... this isn't an army
barracks. Where in the hell am I? What's the heck is going on here?"

"Hi there kid. My name's Frank. Your new owner is what they call a

"A Shadowrunner?! Aw jeez, I was looking forward to being in the army and
getting some excitement out of life."

"Believe me kid, you'll have plenty of excitement soon enough. Plenty of
excitement. Enjoy the quiet while you can. Enjoy life while you can for
that matter. Cuz it could be over before you know it."

"Jeez mister. You sure are a grump. I wish I was in the army with the
other guys from the factory."

"Kid..." Frank began, preparing to shred the newbie up and down, caught
himself and took a deep breath. "Kid, life may be greener on the other
side of the fence, but that doesn't mean it's better. Be happy with
what you got."



These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.