A Day in the Life: Souk Hotspot Scene

GM: Mirage
Players: Phisher, Joseph, Rooks, Hek, Mr. Terrific, Gretchen
Synopsis: A car chase disrupts the uneasy peace of the Souk, handily brought to a stop by Mr. T's command of the elements. Bystanders rubberneck. A mysterious briefcase ends up in what must surely be the wrong hands.
Date: Feb 4, 2078


The Rez - Souk Marketplace
This open-air marketplace, referred to as the Souk by locals, is the beating heart of the Warrens; it is vital to the economy and the continued existence of what's left of Aurora. A mountain of rubble, a big box remnant of the Aurora Project, and a free-standing blue steel pavilion form the focal point of the market. The roof of the 'diner' pavilion is hitched with any and every kind of light that can be spliced, so that vendors can sell day and night under the watch of its many glaring eyes.

Further back from the pavilion, on the edge of a sprawling tent city that exists on the shores of the reservoir, the vendors are less densely packed. Here the cacophony of fast-talking sellers is replaced by a low murmur of voices, the occasional scream or the rat-tat of burst fire; the appetizing aroma of charred meat and heavy spices are replaced by the nostril-stinging stench of humanity and almost everyone wears a breather. The tents are bigger, the shacks sturdier and the businesses darker.

Any appropriated goods or services sold elsewhere in the Warrens are available here, from boots to ass, but space is limited; there is a lot of competition from like-minded entrepreneurs hoping to succeed without the heavy handed help of the gangs. There are tent alleys for every kind of ethnicity, but meta-humanity is not well represented here; there are a few exceptions, but locals have been harder on those races known to have insulated communities elsewhere in the district.

Amidst this 'post-WWII Germany' apocalyptic landscape, a few intact buildings tower over the labyrinth of tents; rivalry is deadly, as one might expect, and each requires a small militia to defend.

Rooks is currently sitting on a barrel in the marketplace, eating a deep fried rat with two holders made from tails braided around a few times to form handholds. A small bottle with a label of 'Lemon Lime' handwritten in poor writing sits in front of him between his legs.

Gretchen plays dice against a sheet of cardboard in a dark alley with shady characters. The cardboard is folded at a ninety degree angle, used as the surface for the dice to land squarely, as well as a back wall to bounce off of for maximum clackiness.

Gretchen gets a total of five, losing to the second generation Bangladeshi immigrant opposite her. She crouches in a semi circle with a varied group of gamblers, one ork, the rest humans.

Phisher enter the market place from its southern border and begins meandering amongst the stalls and vendors, stopping occasionally to browse at the wares for sale.

Rooks mmms as he takes a bite of his rat, the soft outer coating crunching as he does before reaching for his drink, the colored bottle distorting the liquid to give it a dark red color as it flows through it. Sipping from it, he takes a deep breath and smiles lightly, putting the cap back on the bottle and setting it aside, a few more swigs left in it.

Things are getting heated at the dice game, what with a few hundred 'yen bouncing from player to player depending on the round. Every participant is visibly armed, from a pocket knife clipped on one's belt, to Gretchen's little ~20 inch pump shotgun. The ork wears a lot of spikes because he's rad as fuck. The dice are handed off to the German girl for the next series of tosses. She cups them in both hands and gives a good shake before rolling them bones…

Phisher continues to work his way through the stalls, stopping at a vendor selling various optical chips. Phisher conversates with the proprietor of the stall, and then eyes the chip carefully before inserting it into a chipjack on the right side of his head. After a few seconds, he pulls the chip out, and his conversation with the vendor becomes adversarial.

Gretchen botches this hand too, with a big fat total of eight. Another twenty yen down the tubes. She's getting frustrated, and begins to suspect everyone of cheating. The ork guffaws and reaches in for the dice to roll his next hand, and the German rises, flaring her nostrils behind her breather with a gentle hiss of breath through the vents. She eases one hand down to the pistol grip of her Ithaca.

Rooks crunches down on the rat a little more and then smiles slightly. "Decent, little over cooked but then rat is rat," he mutters and chuckles before sipping from his drink again. He looks around at the area and chuckles softly before shaking his head.

Gretchen holds her fire.

For now…

She simply tosses some scrip down onto the folded cardboard, eagerly scooped up so rapidly that it barely even touched down. She turns on her heel without a word and begins to trudge through the asymmetrical, maze-like alleys to reach the more heavily trafficked main aisles near the heart of the bazaar, hands gripping her weapon as though eager to put it to use.

Waving the chip dismissively at the vendor, Phisher can be heard arguing with him, "You didn't write this drek yourself. You wanna know how I know?. It's wageslave trash, they would have dumped it with a database backup. This ain't worth half that price. Where'd you get it?" The vendor raises his hands in the universally accepted signal of acquiescence, pleading with Phisher to keep his voice down, looking around cautiously, "Ok, you give me a price."

The Souk, and a hard bargain being driven. The economy has been turned on its head with the blockade, and the buyers have the advantage as fewer and fewer nuyen chase even less available products. The negotiation is enough to attract Hek's attention as he makes his way from the parking lot, towards the outskirts of the semi-permanent marketplace.

Rooks hmms a little as he listens to the comments coming from Phisher about the merchant's wares, chuckling. "This'll be interesting," he offers idly and smirks before crunching the last of his deep fried rat, tossing the braided tail holders into his pocket. Picking up his bottled drink, he starts walking back towards the market proper.

Phisher eyes the vendor suspiciously, "Tell you what, I'll give you 150 for the code, but admit you didn't write it." He shakes the chip in the air expectantly, "It's a decent start, but it's hardly functional, and you know it. I want the code so I can modify it. That 3/4 of your asking price for something that's not really yours to sell?" The vendor sighs and then makes the hand sign for gimme da money, "Ok, ok. My cousin got it off a corporate hard drive that fell of the back of a truck." Phisher nods solemnly as he reached into his pockets and pays the man, "It's always the cousin isn't it?"

Gretchen offers nods or simple hand signals to various spotters and persistent locals as she weaves her way back through the masses, taking a familiar if convoluted route. She lets her anger at the suspected cheating subside, shrugging as she adjusts the sling on which her weapon hangs.

Eventually she makes her way to a little pop-up booze shack labeled "B&W" that isn't far from Tito's, where she finally slips her mask off, a nice model that uses grippy polymask-like tech instead of headstraps to remain snugly adhered over nose and mouth. She lets herself into the small shack, but not for any working capacity, she just digs through a cooler while chatting with the current bartender, then hops the plascrete bar by climbing up and over with the aid of a few stacked cases of Tecate for a boost, to seat herself at a stool on the customer side. Not many customers actually use the stools, it's more common for folks to just order a shot or a beer and keep walking. Booze to go. Festival style.

Mr.Terrific , as he is fond, comes into the Souk carrying a small silver mirror which he uses to peer around corners and look behind him at times.

Joseph shows up not long after Mister Terrific with a woodland camo backpack slung over his deer hide clad shoulders by black canvas straps.

Phisher places the chip he just purchased in a pocket inside his coat close to his chest, in the practice maneuver of someone familiar with what happens in large open markets like this. He makes his way in the direction of Tito's, stopping along the way at an Asian vegetable stand, and can be seen haggling in their native language with the older lady and what appears to be her son who run the stall.

Mr.Terrific gives the wave to Joseph when he spots him. Thinking of some biz, he says, "hey, do you recall those regular purchases I make from your particular direction? I know someone else who might be looking for a hit."

Gretchen simply drowns her sorrows in a sixteen ounce tallboy of Azzie beer - some rank Tecate with a thunderbird logo down the length of the can. Losing money out here is par for the course, whether through pickpockets, digital skimming from hacked credreaders, or just a good, old fashioned mugging once a potential mark gets too far from the established neutral ground. That fact still doesn't make Gretchen appreciate her distinct lack of winnings. "…I swear that fucking tusker was using shaved dice," she murmurs half-angrily to the bartender in her German accent, while he simply nods, grimaces in a half-hearted attempt to console, and wipes down the bar with a bleach-soaked rag.

Joseph steps up to be not far from Mister T, and he immediately nods after the code talk, "Yes. I have 9 of those left. I have enough stuff to make 15 more, too. How have you been?"

Mr.Terrific says, "I've been well, engaging in my most favorite kind of toymaking. Now I just have to find a time to bring the love to all the little girls and boys out there. And yourself?" He takes out his pocsec for to tight-beam something to Joseph's.

Phisher nods his head solemnly and with respect while speaking to the older asian woman at the vegetable stall, his demeanor changed from how he was handling the software vendor a few minutes ago, "* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *" He continues to chat with the woman while the young man also running the stall bags up some Bak Choy and Bell peppers for Phisher. (Mandarin)

Joseph brings out his own pocket secretary with black synthleather around what is navy blue plastic with little holes in the case covering where there are yellow buttons. He totally does the message beaming with T. "Good to hear. Been busy. Not so good, but I survive." He stays aware of the surroundings, but does not seem to understand Mandarin.

Fighting picks up to the south. Automatic weapon fire can be heard, as well as the distinct crack of the Ruger Thunderbolt.

Lone Star in the Rens?!?! Unlikely.

Mr.Terrific , being a shadowrunner, immediately moves for cover while looking in that direction. He mutters something about, 'a distinctive chattering noise when fired at you'. Only when he's actually under cover does he start checking for 'how far away'. After all, the Souk usually has some friendly security… but today, they might need a little help.

Joseph quickly slides toward a covered position, as well, just in case there is wild fire going on. He puts away the poc sec and puts on some goggles.

The German flips up the shades of her double-lensed Lennon style glasses and continues to sulk, chugging her foul can of T-Bird — But then!

She drops from the rickety stool out front of the B&W and her can topples onto the bar. She has a little Ithaca shotgun slung around her, resting at her hip, which she brings to bear. She gives the bartender a quick 'stay put' wave — a grizzled forty-something man who's been aged beyond his years by hard SINless livin' — then begins shouldering through bodies to try to get a look toward the south, tiptoeing and ducking to try to see past the milling marketgoers where possible.

Phisher was in the middle of handing over money for vegetables when the shooting commenced. He quickly grabs the bag of delicious greens and runs for cover, heading towards the B&W, as it was the next closet stall. He peers at the woman crouching with a shotgun, "Hey mind if I take cover behind the boxes here? I stay pretty far from here."

More gunfire is heard, closer this time. A car comes squealing around the corner, an unmarked black sedan.
The vehicle seems to pick up even more speed as it charges the Souk!

Mr.Terrific , when he's under cover, and if he is not immediately being shot, and the normal Souk guards are not screaming and crying, calls his Ally spirit mentally. Sends it over to see what's going on from the astral.

Joseph migrates away from the chaotic scene, glancing around as well as up for any potential backup that might be happening.

Leaning out to check the commotion, Gretchen waves a dismissive hand at Phisher's question and his Asian veggies. "Break a leg, omae…" She turns back to the south and considers the situation.

Phisher hops over the boxes and crouches amongst the bars inventory, clutching the veggies close to his chest, keeping his head peered over just high enough to peer in the direction of all the gunfire and noise.

The greying barkeep at the B&W where Phisher is taking cover is a workin' man with workman's hands that seem a size too big. They hold a bottle of Bob's Bourbon and a Cavalier Deputy revolver. This is Barry. Barry keeps a close eye on Phisher.

Mr.Terrific peers out from cover, putting his hand under his bar vest as if to draw out something hopefully dangerous. But instead, he calls out, "Powers of earth, heed my call." Sounds like some kind of twiddle-fingers thing, if you ask me.

Nothing happens immediately.

Joseph quickly dashes between booths and tents, but T's summoning must have had a definite effect, since Jo all out runs now.

Phisher grins nervously at the middle aged man with the big revolver eyeing him, and holding the bourbon, "H-hey pal…I mean sir?" He motions with his head towards the bourbon, "You got any more of that?" Phisher continues to stay in cover, turning his gaze to where all the commotion is taking place.

Mr.Terrific says, "Powers of air, heed my call," and points indicatively. Meanwhile, n ot exactly at the place he was pointing, but in between the speeding car and the Souk boundary, a crick-KRAK-krunkle of debris and blidoolpollp of earth begins to ooze out of reality into the air and collect and conglomerate into the size of a giant ten foot tall manlike form.

For her part, Gretchen bolts around the side of the B&W and uses Barry's Bulldog van to gain a little height, first a foot on the bumper, then, "Hup!" Onto the roof of the vehicle. From there, she makes the hop over to the shack roof, landing on a sheet of corrugated siding with a loud clatter. She falls to her stomach and squirms to the edge, where more siding forms a bit of a barrier, extending upward. She stays low and uses her new vantage point to try to get a better look. "BARRY!" She calls out to be heard over the chaos erupting all around. "Make sure you take the safety off this time!"

Barry flicks the safety on his Deputy. "Don't you tell me how to do my goddamn job!" Then takes a pull from his bottle of synthohol. He's just forgetful.

As the earth elemental appears, the sedan jerks hard to the left, blowing a tire and going into a tumble!
The vehicle slams into the elemental and comes to a halt around 60 meters out.

Meanwhile, a beat up pickup with some decidedly ganger looking passengers come around the same corner the sedan passed earlier.

Spotting the elemental, they decide to just return South, in what must be a moment of frustration for them.

Mr.Terrific keeps his hand under his jacket, his palm out towards the fleeing truck, gesturing. He didn't want the black sedan to crash into the elemental - he wanted the elemental much closer to the Souk so it could use its Movement power to slow it down and keep it from crashing. But, you know, blunt objects and fast-movement. So, this. For those watching in the astral the mana flow is immense. Thankfully for all, Mr. T keeps his head shaven, so there's no hair-standing-on-head animation… but still, the crush-crumple-chomp of the very distant truck is a sight.

On the roof of the B&W, Gretchen's jaw drops. "Hooooly fuck."

Joseph hopefully capitalizes around 10m away from the PC trio on the sheer fact that Mister T is blowing up all these vehicles and… cover ducks between a couple tents around there.

Barry thrusts the bottle of synth bourbon toward Phisher. "Might be your last drink, brother."

Phisher takes the bottle from Barry and takes a swig before handing it back, still grinning nervously, "This drek is crazy." At the sounds of vehicles crashing, he stands from cover and takes a look at the cacophany, "You see that giant mud looking thing?!"

Mr.Terrific casts Improved Invisibility on himself, and moves first to the sedan to see if anyone within requires medical attention.

The German squirms, knees and elbows against the wavy surface of the corrugated siding-turned-roofing, shifting to keep her eyes on the action, pump shotty gripped tightly in her hands. She remains silent, eyes darting from the fleeing marketgoers to the crumpling and flipping vehicles to the mud monster.

Barry holds up four large, callused fingers toward Phisher after taking back the bottle of sour synthahol. "Four yen, chummer."

Joseph stays ducked during the aftermath commotion. With so much distraction, the hiding guy hardly matters to outside viewers.

Barry does take peeks out past the plascrete bar top where he and Phisher crouch, and points to a spraypainted cardboard sign that reads '4=Y=/oz'.

Phisher's nervous grin turns into a frown, "And I thought we were bonding under fire." He remarks sheepishly while producing the cash.

Mr.Terrific moves from cover to cover and close to walls to get to the black sedan, hopefully before anyone bleeds out, so as to lay on some hands.

The people of the Souk scatter as magics are cast, elementals and vehicles crash, and general chaos is had.

Phisher finishes paying for his "oz" drink and steps out the front of B&W, his chipjack blinking as he downloads information, calling to Barry, but loud enough for the lady on the roof to hear, "Hey Barry, you see that big mud lookin' thing? I've never seen anything like that in person, some kind of big magic going on."

The German rolls onto her back behind the little bit of siding that juts up to serve as meager cover and calls down to the bartender after a deep breath or three. "BARRY! Are my pills down there?" Barry rummages through some personal belongings behind the bar. "Yeah, got 'em!" In a small plastic bottle, a few pills of various shapes and sizes rattle in the man's overly large hand. He tosses them up as Gretchen rolls to reach down. She quickly pops some 'mood stabilizers' and clenches her eyes shut, deep breathing again.

All of a sudden though, she forces herself to drop to the pavement, then begins darting from cover to cover toward the scene…

As people begin moving towards the crash site, Phisher slowly follows the crowd, moving into a position to see what's going on, but in no hurry to actually approach the elemental or the crunched vehicle.

Mr.Terrific 's voice can be heard saying, "Attend me," from not too far off the black sedan. The air elemental comes towards the sedan, the earth elemental moves away, they link up, and you can guess that Mr. T is somewhere in that area.

Mr.Terrific thusly must be moving towards that crushed pickup.

Joseph stays put but soon texts Mr. T, "All good?"

Gretchen skitters up to the quarter panel of the devastated sedan nearest the window with a briefcase-dangling arm hanging out. She's masked, and in her camo hoodie, and while the commotion is still going on around, she lifts her little Ithaca and…



She unloads a slug right into the point where wrist and cuffs meet. The briefcase clatters to the pavement and she just picks it up and RUNS.

As the elementals depart the Sedan area, Phisher's inner samaritan kicks in and he begins approaching the busted up sedan at a brisk walk, while unslinging his shoulder bag and putting the plastic baggy of veggies inside and continuing on to the car.

Joseph finishes up a few texts then slinks off, not really sure about the briefcase contents. Maybe he owns or owned one which blows up. He moves along.

Mr.Terrific , for those with super-hearing who can hear long distances, can be heard to say, "I'm sorry I was unable to use up any of your services. I will strive to do better in the future. Please depart." And in a few moments, the granite-muck man disassembles and is gone, and the turbulent air-people are also departed.

As Gretchen runs away with the briefcase, Phisher approaches the Sedan and pulls out his pocsec, taking digital photos of the cars identifying features, and then angling the pocsec's camera lense to get photos of the occupants.

Mr.Terrific , from there, departs under cover of invisibility.

Joseph does not look back, moving along. He is probably all the way yonder, now.

Phisher finishes taking his photos and then puts the pocsec away, and then begins jogging back to the middle of the market place.

Gretchen surges like a woman possessed, diving through the masses of onlookers first, then into the alleyways surrounding the marketplace, and finally, into the sewers leading to an abandoned subway transfer station…

In a dilapidated train car under street level, in the abandoned husk that was once the thriving Undertown, Gretchen sets to work on trying to unlock her ill-gotten gains, lit only by the dull green light emitted by a fading glowstick.

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