Apple
lgpp31621redlipsaudreyh.jpg
Name Ahava Bluestein
AKA Apple, Emily
Nationality ???
Metatype Human
Archetype Face
Birthdate Nov 1 2044
rating: +1+x

"Money. Sex. Power. The human animal is motivated by those three factors."

Appearance

Apple seems almost to have stepped right out of a tridscreen.

A beautiful woman, pale, waifish, small, but, somehow, seeming so much larger than she is physically.

Her features have many of the hallmarks of old school European nobility. An aquiline nose, high cheekbones, full lips. All of this accentuated by makeup expertly picked in order to draw attention to these bright qualities. Dark, intense brown eyes, short dark hair, leading down to a delicate, swanlike neck. Her build is definitely towards the slight.

Her outfit tends to change, but she favours dresses which bare her shoulders, tailored specially of course. Gloves are a common theme, usually bright green, and paired with boots the same shade.

Distinguishing Features

Apple changes her look relatively regularly, but she particularly enjoys green as a colour. She has no marks, scars, tattoos, piercings beyond earrings, or anything else particularly identifying.

Mannerisms and Habits

Apple's mannerisms also change fairly regularly, but there are two constants; she smokes, and she drinks. She enjoys both these guilty pleasures, particularly apple flavoured spirits and cigarettes.

She is also reluctant to work for CAT, for reasons which should be obvious if you read the spammy background below.

Associations

None.

Capabilities

You wouldn't think it to look at her, but Apple is a surprisingly capable combatant.

Undoubtedly, her most impressive talents are manipulating people, though. She knows people inside and out, and although she tries to hide it, she is incredibly callous and dispassionate. She has few qualms about using her talents to get what is needed, and discarding anyone who needs to be discarded in order to protect herself. Or her team.

She also has a great deal of experience working with stealth, security systems, surveillance and the like.

Oh, and of course, she's a psychiatrist. What Shadowrunner doesn't have a few mental quirks?

Background

"It isn't like I enjoy doing this, you know."

The words sound weak, even to me. At this point, we're just going through the motions, and we both know it. He's tied to a chair, struggled so hard against the plasteel that the polymer has bitten into his wrists. The steady drip-drip-drip of his blood against the concrete of the warehouse is his only response. I can't say I blame him.

"Really, it would have been much better for all of us if you'd just told us what we needed to know. We're not bad people. We might even have helped you get out of the city."

This actually provokes a soft laugh from him. His eyes refocus, with some effort, and he looks me square in the eye. I never was much good at interrogation, and we both know it. I'm not cut out for the nasty, cutting part of this. I work better with implications and give-and-take. Trying to find a middle ground. But there could be no middle ground here, and this man knows all my tricks. He knows that I'm bluffing, and even though he's the one tied up to a chair, I'm the one whose hand is out of cards to play.

"Go to hell, Ahava. What they'd do to me if I told you makes this look like fraggin' apple pie. For a smart bitch, you sure are dumb if you think you can just—."

The bullet hits him right between the eyes, and the back wall is covered with his grey matter. A second shot, silent as the first, just like he'd taught me, and he shuts up. I slide the pistol back into the holster, reach down, and collect the casings before I even look to the rest of my stunned team.
"We've wasted enough time here. We're going to do this the hard way."

So how did I come to shoot my mentor in the head? Well, that's a funny story. So long as you like your humour black, of course.

Sometimes, life gives you options. You can go down the nice path, where life is easy and you do your nine to five and you never worry about a thing. Maybe down that path you got a husband, and a mortgage, 2.5 children, and you watch the trid every night. Nothing like a bit of UCAS Got Talent, am I right?
On the other hand, there's the nasty path. Now don't get me wrong, down this path you aren't shooting old ladies and puppies, but you are definitely not doing the honourable thing, understand? Now, for about the first 20 years, I went all the way down the nice path. I wanted that 9-5. I was going to be a psychiatrist, I was going to heal people. Because frag knows, in this world, it's the lucky ones who only have Daddy issues.

But, see, the trouble with the nice path is, it is boring. You know what I mostly learned? I learned that people are see-through. Predictable. With their petty neuroses and dull little hangups, maybe I even started to think I was just better than them. I'll tell you one thing, after the first week of proper practice, I sure as drek didn't care about helping them anymore. They bring it on themselves. The stupid, the dull, the needy. Oh, you have dreams where you are a mage? People are horrible little beasts when you get right down to it. They want power, sex, and food. Roughly in that order, too. Who gives a drek who they trample over to get to it?

Unsurprisingly, the 'corps are always on the lookout for ambitious talent out of psych school. Guess what? They also don't want you to counsel their drones. At least, not most of the time. So, the gentleman currently missing his frontal lobe is the same gentleman who inducted me into the wonderful world of Cross Applied Technologies Psych Division. And guess what? After about eight years there, I got given a better offer.

You have to understand, working with the corps dirty secrets, you kind of get inured to the bulldrek they spread about themselves. Do you have any idea how hard it is to believe you are working for anything noble when you are the ones both trying to throw mud over the other big boys actual good works, and making up the propaganda the Corp feeds its people. If you think that's all we do, too, then you are deluding yourself.

It is one of those path things. Sure, I could have kept doing the wordy side of it. I was pretty good at that, after all. But Psych Ops don't just work theory. We also have to go and get our hands dirty sometimes. Whether that is menacing some rival exec, or dealing with other things. Self-defence classes were mandatory, and only an idiot would complain about that. I knew exactly what would happen if some of the competition got their hands on me; I saw it happen to enough of their crowd. But I liked the classes a bit too much, you see. I had a talent for it, and they wanted to help me bring that out. Company sponsored upgrades. Not everyone went for them. Most, actually, decided to take the 'nice' road at that point. Where nice meant just continuing to brainwash people and sling mud.

I chose to go further down the 'nasty' path. Why not, right? The pay increase would be nice, and it isn't like I couldn't use the money. I've got expensive tastes.

So I let them stick some plastic in me, and some stuff to help keep my aim sharp. After that, letting them fiddle with my biology actually sounded kinda fun. We'd started getting hit by Shadowrunners, you see. Those idiots saw trouble coming from the guards, but we pencil-pushers were supposed to be pushovers. The one time some goon did try to grab me on the way home; I broke his arm in three places and castrated him with my Morrissey. Talk about a fashion victim, right?

After that, I was transferred away from the august company of Mr. Head Injury, and into full on Black Ops. Why the frag not? I was bored brainwashing idiots into believing Cross-Applied Technologies was the House of God. Now I was more active in dealing with the enemy. Thing is, as I got to know them better, and trust me you never know anyone better than the moment before you squeeze a round into their brain, I started to think that maybe… I might be doing the wrong thing.

Funny, isn't it? I'd spent so long trying to convince myself that it was all just business, nothing serious, bla bla bla, that when I had my little crisis of conscience, it was too late to really do anything about it. Who was I going to talk to? The company shrink? Hah, I could eat that guy for breakfast. I'd been walking down the 'nasty' road for so long, I'd forgotten why I'd even wanted to go there in the first place.

Which brings me to this warehouse, with my old mentor's brains splattered across the back wall. See, Ares and CAT has been at each other's throats for years. And, hey, I wouldn't be much of a genius if I couldn't see that I was on the losing team. Sure, we could frustrate him every now and then, but from where I was sitting, Ares held the trump cards. A gentleman named Mr. Jay made contact, through a shadowrunning team he set up to get captured in my turf, to let me know that Ares was aware of my skills, and would very much like to make me a better offer.

All I had to do was get the access codes to our Denver branch main headquarters. Now, I'm not cleared for that info, so I had to put together a little team, feed them some nuyen, and then work out how to get that intel. I thought my old boss, who still trusted me for some god-unknown reason, would be about right.

You can see how well that turned out.

So now, as I settle into the back of this bigass trogs truck, I'm left to ponder whether turning coat for a more cushy job is the nasty road, or the nice road.
Getting into the building isn't too hard. We have Mr. Head Wound's ID now, and we use it. I sweet talk security, reminisce about old times, whilst the guy I'm paying more than they make in a year to impersonate Mr. Head Wound does his job. All told, it takes about twenty minutes. Nobody blinks an eye. The team in the car who were there to bail my ass out if it all went horribly wrong, don't.

Easy as pie.

And now I feel sick. Because it turns out, I'm not nearly as smart as I thought I was. Or, perhaps, I'm just that little bit too greedy to see something like this coming. Because Mr. Jay is not above setting Runners up, and he's sure as hell not above setting a traitorous, cold-hearted bitch like me up, either. Instead of the nice shiny new Ares life I'm promised, I've been bought off with a tatty little fake SIN, a few thousand to cover my expenses, and a note that he'll 'be in touch' if he decides he needs my services again.

I've been sold out.

Drek.

The next few days are chaos. I don't really know how I do it, I just act. I burn my old life, use the new SIN to set myself up somewhere, cushy. I check my assets. Well, at least I have my health, right? Of course, I'm now a wanted criminal, but, I'm not about to go down for murder. I was, at least, clever enough to make sure there's no evidence. Only CAT can know that I've really stabbed them in the back. Don't get me wrong, that's bad enough, but I'm thankful for small mercies.

It isn't like I can call in and apologize.

'Temporary Insanity' probably won't cut it even if I sign off on myself.

Which leaves… the unthinkable.

Isn't it funny? I took the job to try and cut down on the amount of killing I'd have to do, and now I've got a feeling that there's going to be a lot more murder in my future.

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