Author's Note/Disclaimer: So, it took me forever to figure out how to actually add this in after the story was already up, but whatever. Anyway, the usual disclaimer applies here: Shadowrun and it's technology and corperations are currently the property of Topps, and licensed by Catalyst Game Labs. The characters here and the Trident Corporation are mine, obviously. Anyway, any reviews would be welcomed and appreciated. By which I mean actual reviews. "This is great" or "you're awesome" is nice, but I can't do anything with it.
In a cramped apartment in one of the worst neighborhoods of Seattle slept a man who went by the unlikely name of Frost. Unfortunately he did not sleep for very long. His commlink, a device that was part cellphone, part personal computer, and entirely inconvenient, notified him that he had received a new message.
"Gods damn whoever is messaging me at this hour!" Frost spat as he reached over and plugged himself into his commlink.
After issuing a few short sub-vocal commands, he had the message overlaid on his field of vision using his cybereyes, and he began to read. It appeared to be a job offer from a Mr Johnson, which was undoubtedly not the fellow's real name, inviting Frost and his team to meet Johnson at a bar that Frost recognized as both a bit of a dive and a hangout for Shadowrunners and mercenaries like himself. The message said that further details would be provided upon arrival at the meeting.
With no other jobs lined up in the near future, and an overwhelming urge to actually eat this month, Frost decided that attending the meeting was well worth the risks of traveling to that part of town. Which, to be perfectly honest, was only slightly worse than the part of town he currently resided in. Besides, it wasn't as if he couldn't handle himself. Standing close to six feet tall with a rather obvious cyberarm and a build that said that he wasn't just some corp wageslave, but was rather someone who had spent a great deal of time surviving in Seattle's shadows, meant that there weren't many street-level thugs that would actually try to start something with him. After all, in a town like Seattle you don't start anything with someone who looked even remotely competent unless you're being paid, because you never know who's packing what.
Decision made, Frost brought up his contact list and forwarded Mr Johnson's message to the rest of his team. Upon getting confirmation from the four of them, he sent a reply to Johnson, saying that they'd meet him there in two hours. Since he had time to spare once he was finished getting dressed, Frost sat up sofa and dragged his coffee table closer to him. Once it was close enough that he could reach it without leaning over too much, he removed his pistols from their hidden holsters and set about disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling them. When he was finished with that task, he pulled his maintenance kit from under his sofa and made sure his cyberarm was in top condition.
Once his usual maintenance routine was finished, Frost got the rest of his gear together and left his apartment. As he headed down the stairs he made sure that both of his pistols had a round chambered, and attached one to the wrist holster he hid under his jacket sleeve, and the other went in the small holster concealed at the small of his back. It was a testament to how bad his neighborhood was that the few people who saw him as he went past considered his actions completely unremarkable.
From his apartment, the bar was a fairly short drive. On his way there, Frost amused himself by thinking up new and exceedingly extravagant ways to spend the money he would make on the job. Not that he had any clue how much he was going to be paid, or what the job was, but it was nice to dream. By the time he had reached the bar, he had decided that if the pay was good enough, he was going to buy himself a yacht and get out of the mercenary business. Of course, that kind of money was highly unlikely, and would probably involve some kind of high-risk operation like blowing up the headquarters of one of the mega-corporations.
Frost pulled into the surprisingly empty parking lot of the bar, a little hole in the wall called Lucky Eddie's, and got out of the junker he drove. Once inside the rather smoky and foul-smelling building, a man who was dressed far better than anyone else there, or indeed anyone in the entire neighborhood, waved Frost over to a booth in the far corner. He surmised that the man must be Mr Johnson, but it looked like he was the first member if his team to arrive. As he took a seat, he was relieved to see his team's (other) gunslinger, the ever surly Knight, walk through the door.
"Gentlemen, if you would be so kind as to take a seat while we wait on the rest of your group? I am, as you may have guessed, Mr Johnson," the man said as Knight arrived.
"Yeah, no kiddin'? What's this job offer 'bout, den?"
"Come on, Knight, you know our rules. Even if Mr Johnson was willing to tell us, we always wait on the rest of the team first," Frost said, both as a not-so-gentle reminder to Knight to keep his greed in check, and to let Mr Johnson know that they would indeed be waiting on the rest of the team.
Eventually, one-by-one, the rest of Frost's team arrived and made their way over to the booth. The team's enormous close-combat expert, Slim, the petite and (in Frost's opinion) lovely hacker, Netrose, and finally the team's infiltration specialist, Noir. Once they were all seated at the booth, which in Slim's case required dragging over another chair, Mr Johnson outlined his job offer for them.
"Gentlemen, and lady, you are all here because I requested your assistance with a matter of utmost importance. Assistance for which I am prepared to pay a rather large sum. I -" Before Mr Johnson could continue he was interrupted by Knight.
"Yeah? How large are we talkin'?"
"Knight! Let the man speak. We'll get around to payment in a bit," Frost scolded.
"Yes, quite. As I was saying, I require a group of individuals such as you to, ahem, acquire information on a prototype android currently in development. Should you choose to accept the job, I am prepared to pay a sum of fifty thousand nuyen, to be divided amongst your group as you see fit. Feel free to take a few moments to discuss my offer between yourselves."
The group all exchanged a meaningful glance, and initiated sub-vocal communication with each other. Knight, of course, was all for the idea. After all, it sounded like a simple enough job, and ten grand apiece was well worth it in his opinion. Noir and Slim, on the other hand, had a few reservations about the job, which Frost tended to agree with.
"I'm not so sure about this'n, Bossman. We dunno jack 'bout de target, we dunno jack 'bout dis Johnson fella, an', mos' impor'antly, we dunno if dis job on de up an' up," Slim growled through his mic.
"The big lummox is right, for once. We've been played before. Might be that we're being played again," Noir said in his light, whispery voice.
"Slim and Noir bring up good points, Knight. Not saying we shouldn't take the job, but we should know what we're getting into before we do. 'Rose, do me a favour, and see if you can't dig up any information on which of the megacorps has a robotics project in R&D right now, if you can."
"Already done, boss."
"The two most likely candidates are Hermes Technology, and Fujiyama Enterprises. Anticipating your next question, I went ahead and checked out our Mr Johnson. He has a disposable commlink produced by REvolution Inc. Not saying for sure that's who he works for, but they seem like a likely candidate. There've been rumours of them wanting to branch out, and robotics is the next logical step from computer technology."
"Well, it won't be a cakewalk, but unless the plans, or whatever he's wanting, are being held at one of the two groups' headquarters, then we should be fine. Let's see what Johnson says, and go from there," Frost finally decided.
Turning his attention back to Mr. Johnson, Frost addressed him directly once again. "Mr Johnson, you have our interest. We'll take the job."
"Excellent. My employers want you to acquire the prototype of the Trident Corporation's latest hunter-killer drone. If you manage to wipe all data on the drone from Trident's computers, we are willing to offer a bonus of an additional five thousand nuyen. With your permission, I'll send the details on the job to your team's commlinks now."