|From:||David D. West lightfinger@****.com|
|Subject:||Look DVixen! I Posted A Story! :-)|
|Date:||Wed, 14 Apr 1999 13:36:54 -0500|
the patrons of this establishment wear leather, real or synthetic,
whereas I am dressed in a blue business suit. Sunglasses cover my eyes,
even in this dimly lit room.
I walk to an empty table against the wall. Setting my briefcase next
to my chair's leg, and against the wall, I turn to watch the door.
Some waitress walked up to take my order, but I wave her off. She
smiles knowingly and heads back to the bar, whispering to the bartender
and pointing out where I am sitting. All standard procedure, though I
do not crack a smile at this fact.
A half an hour later, after being subjected to ugly women stripping for
the patrons and plenty of lousy music ringing in my ears, my attention
is drawn to the group entering the bar. My hopes are quickly dashed as
the group numbers ten. I let out a small sigh as my instincts tell me
these are the people I am to meet.
As I was assured, instead of just looking for the out-of-place man in
the strip club, they go and ask the bartender where I am sitting.
Thanks to the waitress earlier, he points in my direction. I sit up
straighter, and get my tie aligned properly as the massive group
approaches my table.
I evaluate the group as they come closer. Two trolls, both with as much
cyberware as possible without being a mindless zombie, are behind the
group. A couple of elves, a dwarf, and five humans comprise the
rest. One elf and the dwarf both wear runes over their clothing,
pointing out to all that see them that they are hermetic mages. One of
the humans wears talismans all over her clothing, making her out to be
a shaman of some sort. I wish I can show my disgust, but I am a
The group pulls up chairs, virtually surrounding me. Immediately, the
two hermetics zone out, going astral to see my aura and to look for
magical bodyguards. They do not find anything except my headware, I am
sure, so I do not care. They do not think about possible mundane things
in these situations, only the magical.
Their appointed leader starts, "I hear you have a job for us."
I turn to him, "Yes. An extraction, it will be friendly. I am
authorized to pay no more than 150,000 nuyen."
The elf without symbols suddenly pipes up, "We don't work for less than
30k a piece."
Next, one of the trolls says, "I say we ask 50k a person."
Thankfully, with my sunglasses on, they cannot see my eyes rolling
upwards. I remind myself to stay calm, as the leader shushes the now
multitude of voices piping up their opinions. He turns to me, "We will
do the job for 300,000 nuyen." His hand shoots up to stop any
complaints from his team, "I apologize but that seems to be the
minimum we can accept."
Now comes the part of the job I dread the most. I should not hire these
amateurs, but when it gets to this point, I need to do so unless they
get too ridiculous with their demands. 300,000 nuyen is within my
budget for this group, so I just nod and pull my briefcase up to the
table. My thoughts stray a bit, as I know two things. First, this money
is going down a rathole. Second, I am going to have a personal talk
with the fixer that recommended this group to me.
I pull out six certified credsticks, each rated at 50,000 nuyen. I hand
them over to the leader, as I pull out a folder. "All the relevant
information is inside this packet," I say, as I place it on the table.
I just barely get the words out of my mouth before the group starts up
again, this time discussing strategies and plans. Considering they
have not even seen the information in the folder, how they are coming
to their conclusions astounds me. In addition, probably half of the bar
is in hearing range, more if they have cyberears or clairaudience
spells running. So, probably a good twenty others hear the group
overtly discussing an illegal operation.
I stand. I have had enough of being seen near this group. Walking out,
I slip another credstick to the bartender, for the use of his
facilities for my business.
Stepping outside, I light a cigarette. This is the signal for my car to
pull up. I get inside the limousine's back seat and reach for the
secure phone. Picking it up, I immediately speak, "Prepare another
assignment. Actually, two more assignments. First, find another fixer
and get another team to do the job when this group fails. Someone who
is actually professional. Second, prepare the elimination squad, as
this group, even if they pull off the extraction, is going to finger
us as being the ones who hired them."
I hang up the phone and lean back in the seat. Chuckling to myself, I
muse at the fact that though runner teams like I just met dick us over,
and cause us to have to eliminate them; it is myself who is called Mr.