Shadowrun: On The Hunt
It started with a woman. All the good stories do. She was beauty personified. She had the face of an angel, and skin of porcelain. Her body was toned and taunt, with long limbs that you just want wrapped around you. Her dress was immaculate, a skirt-suit that accentuated her appearance. And her eyes are as pure green as the Emerald Isle, and they looked right into your soul.
Actually, her eyes did peer into your soul, as she wasnt human. She was a spirit of some sort, summoned by a magician years ago, and found her freedom through some manner. This usually spelled death for the magician in question. She was a chummer of mine, so I never asked. I have a lot of friends that have mysterious and questionable pasts. I, myself, have a history like that. And you better believe that I worked hard at getting it that way.
Jet was how she introduced herself. Not her real name, her True Name, as that would give power over her. Names had power to people such as her. People who knew my name could get my attention, which was power enough, come to think of it. The only other thing I could think of that had power over her was coffee. Thats real coffee, not the soy-based derivative that most people drank.
Which explained why, when she was in trouble, we met at a coffee shop in downtown Seattle. It was the middle of the night, but this is Seattle, five minutes to a coffee house, with at least one thats open 24/7. She was drowning her sorrows in an Amazonian Dark Roast, while I sipped lightly at the low-grade SoyCaff that they served here. Which was a sign that a plebian like me wasnt wanted. She was obviously troubled, she had used a TeleCom, which most Spirits appeared to hate, and she was appearing as totally neutral. Showing emotions wasnt really a natural act for a Spirit. Physical form wasnt a natural act for a spirit, actually. They kept to the spirit world, which was just a step away from the physical world, a mystical equivalent to the computerized Matrix that permeated the technological world we lived in.
Confused yet? Well, lets just say that the 21st Century has been interesting, in the ancient Chinese curse form of the word, and theres still 31 years of it left.
Jet was on her fourth dark roast when she finally had the courage to talk to me. She looked at me with her impossibly green eyes while I looked back with my gold Zeiss electric eyes. I need you to find my sister. Her voice was cold, but not calculating, just pure information, as if she had forgotten how to put inflection into it. I knew street samurai that were personifications of death itself order pizzas with more emotion.
I waited for her to continue, taking another sip of the SoyCaff. It had started out tasting like battery acid, and was only getting worse as it aged in the sugar pressform cup. It made me appreciate how Jet was feeling, the pit of her stomach (Or whatever Spirits have) was probably feeling the same way, rolling and rebelling against the feelings filling the core of her being. Despite the stony face, she was obviously deeply worried.
I was originally summoned to be a protector and companion, a Nanny, to Deborah Phipps, the daughter of my Master, Newton Phipps. She thought of me as more of a big sister than a Nanny. She was ten when
Something happened to Newton. I became Free, and Debby was orphaned. That was five years ago, and I still check in on her. She needed the support of people, not
She started fading at this point, returning to her native realm I guess, before solidifying again.
Regaining her composure, she continued, Im not compelled to protect her any longer, but shes a good kid, and was doing pretty good at the orphanage. Too old to be adopted, she cared for the younger kids, and even helped out with the hard cases. She has a family now, and didnt really need me more anyhow, but I was a shoulder to cry on. A
Piece of her Father.
I reached out and held her hand, the one not holding the cup, and she gave me a weird smile. Im sure she tried for a sad one.
When was your last visit, and why do you think shes in trouble now?, I ask, trying to lead her to the problem at hand. She had already given more personal information than I had gotten out of her in three years.
It was a few minutes before I called you. I went to the orphanage and sought her out. She wasnt there. The kids there told me that she had run off with some gang. So, I looked for her
Im attuned to her; her essence is part of the core of my being. I can find her anywhere on Earth with a thought. I dont, normally. Itd be an invasion, but if I needed to protect her, like I was originally ordered to
I cant find her. Shes not dead. Id know that in an instant. But shes guarded magically somehow. I
I dont know anyone else in this city, Jon. You have to help me.
Most women would have been hysterical, sobbing, crying, and yelling. Nature of the beast that is the Metahuman Races. Be they human, elf, dwarf, ork, or troll. But Jet was totally blank. For one that prides herself on how well she fits in with the people of the United Canadian-American States, this is far more telling than any tears. So totally against her nature, alien through it may be, that it could only be considered completely honest.
But there is a big question, why did she come to me, Jon Johnson, Corporate Investment Investigator?