Lone Star Shining, Part 1.
© Andrè M. Pietroschek, my rights reserved!
1. Chosen Name resemblance, in memory of a deceased Shadowrun author.
2. Includes OMNISCIENT Info, which disgusts certain readers & roleplayers.
The two Lonestar Security officers driving in the hover-car were known as Sergeant-Investigator (S.I.) Nigel D. Finley, and his female counterpart Sergeant-Investigator Monica Styles. Two badge-bearers of the more educated type, who both had earned their proverbial spurs in the Redmond Barrens, and during the Puyallup riots.
Fin: Still makes me wonder that not more songs were written about those streets of Seattle, Mon.
Mon: Goddamn, Fin! Not another retro-philosophical seizure of yours right now. Her eyes rolling in grudging acceptance of awaiting a near-inevitable frustration to endure.
Mon: Dammit, Nigel! One day you babble me into one of those overeating-couch-whiners. Celtic Soul was makin' me drowsy with the ballad, but I admit that the party remix wasn't too bad.
With her hint of a compromise given Nigel moved his right index finger upon the touchscreen of the car's inbuilt media station. In expectation of the bass-boost Monica did a preventive touch of the screen herself, just an instance before the party remix Streets of Seattle was unleashed.
The newest case, dished at them by their ever-grumpy Superior Captain Jarrett C. Just, was an Asphalt Pilgrimage for sure it seemed. One of those grind-jobs, for which advanced Lonestar officers are usually overqualified. A handful of murders, starting with the execution of a notorious Shadowrunner team, leading on with an up-n-coming Johnson found magically tortured to death, and, for now, culminated in the slaughter of two Orcs. Both having revealed a Turkish heritage after a deep search into their past, and the possible motive, had been conducted.
Fin: Mon, is it us, or is the Cap once more nose-deep into politics?
Monica Styles took a deep breath in before she replied: Fin, if it would be about us, then we wouldn't carry a badge anymore. And, as it feels like the hammer being dropped on us, it just must be another political pest.
Fin nodded. Driving on with a thoughtful look on his face. Then he spoke again.
Fin: Monica, we've been thru the internal hell before.
Mon: A-felt-million creamed punk-pants ensured that I did not forget, Nigel.
Finley and Styles had the bad luck of causing a social effect. Most people considered them a couple, and befuddled by romance, babbled about it frequently. After a preventive investigation, plus the routine training about why fraternizing among workmates was a risk no Lonestar badge-bearer could afford, it had been restarted due an anniversary gift.
Finley and Styles had not always been partners, and contrary to others on duty, they had a pretty tough start. On their first year anniversary, a celebration to accredit solved crimes with good teamwork, it escalated. After an ambush by a now forgotten gang had inspired outsiders to meddle. Their own friends among those. Ticcipanello and Foster. The Shaman and the Sim-Stim Industry Pro had dug out an ancient film of sorts, and decided to remix it with most recent media reportage. A Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid attitude mixed into the video of Finley & Styles breaking thru the punks' ambush with all guns blazing!
Bad luck tide rising it was crowned by that clip, intended just for the anniversary, getting snatched by some unknown Decker, who shared it with the cities' media.
Butch Finley, and Sundance Styles, could feel, and smell, the waves of dread, whenever they went on patrol back then. Finley had further sacrificed his promotion to shield Styles from getting fired, as the scapegoat, during the political zeal of the aftermath.
Fin: Will you follow tradition again, Mon?
Monica laughed, a mocking underline to it: Oh? Is it sugar-boy Fatso again?
Fin: Whoa, Mon. I still get the shivers, when I'm reminded of the psychological counseling. You damn worried me with that one at start.
True relieve, as without a better explanation, Fin had been really shocked about Styles' reaction to one of his street-magical informants. And he was, by far, not the only one who could have sworn on Styles having a habit of provoking bad blood with mages, or outright equalizing all of them with asylum inmates. Paradoxically his informant had displayed an adamant ego on every remark Styles had ever babbled.
Mon: I tell you we'll be fine! Now load yer six-guns, and lemme think, Butch.
Fin: Ready to shield ya with my life, and by yer side, Sundance.
The laughter was loud enough to outmatch the music, while Finley and Styles opened the doors, embarking from the armored hover-car. The woman waving them over was the first unexpected surprise in this phase of the case. Practiced in their teamwork Styles fell back, allowing Finley a more discreet dialogue.
Styles witnessed the smile fading from Finley's face. The woman continued to talk. Styles found her clothing having a weirdness tale-telling of a rural lifestyle. Logical conclusion: Could be from one of the arcologies. Switching the filter of her goggles she verified her being a magically active citizen. Styles' right hand was ready on her smart-gun anyway. It was during goodbye that Monica knew it was a bad news talk. Nigel did not condolence for fun.
Fin: Gimme a moment, Mon. I was just informed that our sugar-boy is no more.
Certain suspicions arise, when a series of unconnected murders happens. Especially, when those who know something start dying, too.
End of Story 6, Part 1.
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