I don't own Shadowrun Topps does all hail Topps

I woke up in a cold sweat. I was still having nightmares, and even after a month the hunk of metal that had replaced my right arm was still unsettling. You know in all the trids you always see the hero street samurai, who had been skragged to hell during his latest run against which ever corp the corp producing the show was fueding with at the time, with his pair of cyberarms pull off impossible feats of strength to save the day and get the girl. It's funny; they never explore where Gristle McThornbody came by his amazing chrome (by the way, I'm not saying that it's impossible to get arms that greatly enhance your strength. I'm just saying that it would cost more than the average runner makes in a year to even come close to the power those things have). I've been playing this game for nearly 15 years and I've only seen a handful of guys who were crazy enough to have a perfectly good limb replaced with a cyberlimb and they were way out of my league at that.

Sometimes I wished I'd never taken that run against Aztechnology. While I won't go into the gory details at this time, let's just say that the Big A does not take too kindly when a team of shadowrunners try to, umm, appropriate one of their top R&D guys. They generally retaliate with the blackest ice and some of the nastiest mojo slingers in the sprawl. I don't know exactly what the spellworm did but one wiggle of the finger and next thing I know, I've got some brand new chrome. I wish I had updated my DocWagon contract from years ago when I was a bit more interested in being "impressive". The synthetic looking arm was functional but at this point in my life, I would have preferred a more lifelike prosthetic.

I decided that a month was too long to be on the shelf. I needed a job, and for that I needed to talk to Lilian. In the shadows there are few people you can call true friends. Even fewer still are the ones who wouldn't sell you out if the cred was right. Lil was the later. She was a chummer from U-Dub that I met in freshman lit (taught by a 500 pound troll named Professer Chumley [have at her boys, frag her]). We broke into the biz together and she was a natural face. Damn good with gun too. There's nobody else I'd want to have my back in tough spot. A few years back she disappeared for a few months and came back with a boatload of cred. She helped fund Infinity, the drek hot nightclub downtown, and since then she had been on semi-retirement working as a fixer out of the club. Sometimes she would even do a run with me and a few of her other good chummers. She would be the best bet to find a job to pay the bills.

Note from Lilian: I know Belial doesn't talk about civilians in this tome, but if any of the enemies think that they can get to his chummers in the shadows, remember. We know who you are, and if you have visions of long happy lives, then I suggest you think real hard about coming after any of us, ciao!

The commlink rang a couple of times before Lilian picked up.

"Yah?" she said. She wasn't much of a morning person as she worked out of a nightclub. "Belial is that you? You scrag don't you know not to call me at this ungodly hour?"

"Well it is noon," I offered.

"Noon? I haven't even had my soycaf, yet." At that she hung up on me. I knew she'd call back once she'd had her soycaf and maybe showered.

It was a hour later when she finally called me back. "Belial, what can I do for you, chummer?" She was obviously awake this time.

"Well I've been living off that Aztechnology job for about a month now and as I had to use some of that cred for my new chrome, I'm getting a little hungry."

"Ok, come by the club later on, and I'll see what I can get for you."

It was about nine when I arrived at Infinity. Early, I know, but I was not there to party. I did not want to mingle with the normal drek heads that frequent the hottest night spots in the sprawl, especially now that I had my brand spanking new cyberarm. The ones that weren't tweaking on drugs always noticed stuff like that. Frag, I mean they even noticed when get I got my eyes done a few years back. I splurged on some top notch cybereyes, thermo graphic, telescopic, basic night vision, and a smartlink. It was nice to ditch the goggles that performed those functions. I think that Christmas was when my parents first figured out what I really did for a living. If they weren't slotted off then boy they will really enjoy my new chrome this year.

I drove up in my Eurocar Westwind that I had "liberated" from some jacked up ganger who was taking it for a test drive while its previous owner was bleeding out in the passenger seat. Note to all you rich corp slugs out there: the Redmond Barrans is no place to take your brand new drek hot sports car out for a spin. I drove up to the front of the club like some kind of important VIP. The valet knew who I was, so he took extra care with my ride. The line to get in was already around the corner. Of course that didn't matter because I'm a close personal friend of the owner. I walked right past the bouncers, and they acknowledged my presence but little else. The last bouncer who hassled me here was now eating through a tube.

All these clubs had scanners for guns. But as I said earlier…..last bouncer who hassled me…..eating through a tube. So I walked in like I had a friend who owned the place. I saw her across the room. She was beautiful as hell. She wore a little black dress, but she wore it with class. She had the most gorgeous blue eyes and brown hair that fell across her elven features. I made my way over to her and gave her a big bear hug. I hadn't seen her since I lost my arm except for a call or two.

She smiled at me. "Buy me a drink?" She wasn't asking. She looked at the bartender and gave the "give me a drink" hand sign. Then she indicated that I was buying. I saw the bartender select a bottle of Blue Label. I indicated to put it on my tab. "You know, someday you're going to have to pay that," she said with a smirk.

"When I get the money." I mean it; when I get the money I'll pay her. The tab has been running since she bought the place 7 years ago.

She led me to her office so we could talk biz. She sat down at her desk. "Well, chummer, I've got a job for you. I've got a shipment of weapons coming in over the water. It's disguised as medical supplies for starving children or some drek. I think the client may be an idiot, but the cred is good. A new group of pirates, orcs I think, have been hitting shipments pretty hard. I don't know if they are trying to get the merch or if they are just trying to hurt people. I know you're not much for water ops, but you can play it however you want. Just get the guns into port."

"Pay's good?"

She nodded.

"Well I know just the guys for my team." I accepted the data packet with the job info. I got up bid Lil adieu and headed out of the club.