The Real Scoop:

I know it's sounds like a bad trid piece, but as you are reading this, I'm either dead, incapacitated, or in prison. What follows are the real stories of my life. A life I lived in shadows and in light. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and in some cases, the guilty.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I did the crime

Thursday, September 13th, 2057

I came downstairs from my loft, and opened my shop for the day.

I was reading the morning scream sheets over a cup of tea.  Some big wig in Hong Kong had announced that he was expanding this corp footprint on that down trodden plex, much to the applause of all. Well, except for those people the corp footprint was about to land on, I imagine.  I finished the sheets with little interest, and decided to indulge in a guilty pleasure of mine, old twentieth century flat vid anime.  You haven't found entertainment until you've experienced the golden age of anime.  Now you have simulated persona, limited AI, directing their avatars in a plot outline set in motion by the "writer" and the chief director.  No one ever really knows how the story will end, or what twists it will take, so you often get story flaws that make perfect sense to the AI but...

{Deleted 3.4 MP of Shade taking issue with the state of modern animation. You're welcome ~ Angel}

...when she gets her glasses and is finally able to focus her power.  Yeah, now that is a story.  The credit screen was running for that episode when my door chime chirped.

I saw two very large troll gentlemen and Cassie enter.  It was a little before ten o'clock in the morning, so it was unusual to have customers at that time. "Doctor Smith, can I have a word?" Cassie's tone was friendly.  She and her companions walked up to my display case, which doubled as my transaction counter, and she smiled warmly.

"Certainly, Miss (I honestly don't remember the alias she was using at the time).  How may I help you today?" I was polite and very happy to see her again.  She had, after all, just recently made a very large purchase.  To my mind, she was looking like an excellent customer.

"Doctor Smith, I find myself in need of a focus item. I'm afraid my needs are very specific, and I was hoping you would be willing to take on the job. I would require discretion in this matter."  She smiled.

"All custom enchantments are, or course, completely confidential."  I said. I was then suddenly interrupted by a large hand grasping my skull.

The very large troll gentleman whose hand was grasping my head spoke up in a most alarming fashion, "she means, no paperwork drekhead!" He gave my skull a painful squeeze.

"Nick, please let Doctor Smith go." Cassie said.  It sounded almost like she was chastising a child.  The pressure on my head suddenly abated, much to my relief.  "My apologies, Doctor Smith, Nicholas is very protective of his friends and we've known each other for ages.  He does make a keen point, though. I would very much like to arrange this between you and I, without authoritative entanglements.  I wouldn't want some decker to find out I had a valuable focus and make myself a target of such miscreants."

{Never did like her ~ Angel}

"I think I understand," I said.  The thought of risking my licenses was frightening at the time. I tried to formulate a plausible rejection when Cassie interrupted my cognition.

"Excellent Doctor Smith, I can certainly make it worth your effort and risks."  She placed a piece of actual paper on the counter.  The specifications for what she wanted were challenging, to say the least.  Much of my concern vanished though as she placed four credsticks on top of the paper.  I read the amounts, found them to be more than agreeable, and pulled up a stool.

"Yes, I think I see your point.  Are you a police officer, federal agent, or corporate investigator?" I asked.

Cassie laughed.  It was a melodious thing to hear and {deleted, Shade had a thing for her once ~ Angel}

"No, Doctor Smith, this isn't some form of entrapment.  Do you think you can manage the enchantment?"  She asked.

"I can, certainly, but it will take time.  I'll also need to do an aura analysis and ask you about some specifics with regard to the construction.  It would be best if I could harvest some of the materials myself.  We're talking about three months for optimum results on construction and enchantment.  Then I can also assist you with the bonding ritual to lessen the strain, if you like."  The sale of powerful foci is a tremendously profitable endeavor and an opportunity you don't have very often.  This particular focus, was very specialized, as such it would require particular care and effort... so more nuyen.

"Doctor Smith I do believe you have a deal." Cassie said.  She gave me a com number for her, the  two 'friends' glared at me a moment, then the trio left.


*****

Creating a focus is a lot of work.  I spent a month designing the focus elements, discovering what materials I would need, and tailoring it to Cassie's particular needs.  The actual formula was drafted onto several sheets of real paper bound in in a binder.  I scanned the images into a single data file, which I planned to provide to Cassie.

I spent two weeks in Salish-Sidhe territories, north of Orofino (Nez Pierce lands), gathering materials for the focus.  I spent the following month refining materials and ordering my laboratory for the coming enchantment work.  I kept my shop open in the late afternoon and early evenings during this time, which made for very long days.

November 29th, 2057

I was committing my very first criminal act. After ten weeks of hard work, I was pouring magical power into the focus to bring its carefully crafted enchantment to life.  It was painstaking work and it can damage your magical talent if you aren't careful.  It takes skill, a feeling for the flow of the mana, and a bit of your personal power.  When you create a focus you always feel, "depleted" I guess is a good word.  I was certainly pouring in a lot of power for this work.  Cassie was there, hands on the focus object, repeating my chant and pouring some of her own power into building a mystic connection to the enchantment.  It took hours.

Cassie and I both collapsed as the final words sealing the enchantment echoed throughout my laboratory.  We both sat there for several minutes, recovering from the strain of handling so much mana.  "Was it good for you too?" Cassie asked with a smile.

"Best three months I've ever spent." Okay, so my witty banter was not up to par.

Cassie took up the focus and smiled widely.  She took a magnifying lens and inspected the focus, paying careful attention to the true name carved around the bottom.

*****

This was my first brush with the shadow community.  It was my first crime.  It was also very profitable.

Through my contact with Cassie, I was soon dealing with others in the shadows.  Selling formula I had created, buying materials "that fell off a truck", and basically making myself a valuable resource for a small and very select client list.  Business was good, and laundering the money behind my own shop was a simple matter of spreading the money around between various reported transactions (well, it was a little more complicated than that).  But this is how it started for me.  Like all shadowrunners I've even known, my crimes started small.

{Shade wasn't just an enchanter and talismonger. He was also one hell of a magician in the streets. Don't let the academic minutes of his "first crime" fool you. When he stepped into the shadows, it fit him well.  ~ Angel}

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From the author:

Thanks for reading my fan fiction.  Your comments are most welcome, so please feel free to post below.  If you enjoy it please share it with other Shadowrun fans.

W.S. Quinton














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