Shadowrun: On The Hunt Epilog
Ive got a debt to repay, I aint going to cry
Ill put a gun in your face, youll pay with your life
I sang as I moved down the dirty streets of the Redmond Barrens, dancing along. My Commlink was sending the song directly to my ears, all the while not blocking out the remainder of the situation on the street. The Classical music soothed me as I moved, sliding around like I was on greased soles.
And the words of the song were as true today as they were back then. I smiled and cued the link to mute the music, and approached the person I had been hunting for the two weeks since the big fight went down. It was a minor footnote of an event, barely noticeable to the city. The Street had already forgotten it, as the next round of gang warfare had started up. The Bloody Razors were picking a fight with a lightly-guarded patch of Halloweener turf, and had attracted the attention of that gang of reprobates. Not exactly the smartest thing to do, but the Razors werent known for their intelligence, or survival traits, for that matter.
Hoi, Phil! I cried out to him, waving with my left hand. He was slick as slime, and just as dirty. His smile was as plastic as mine, but he had chosen that route, whereas mine came courtesy of a bomb in the face. A fellow Mister Johnson, the same job, but different methods. As different as Shadow and Light. Zappenin?
Jon! Wow, havent seen you in an Orks age! He said. Turning from the underage gutterpunk grrl he had been courting. The punk, thankful for the distraction, slipped by him and made tracks. She was a smart one, and smelled the trouble coming. The rest of the street had, as well. Phil was alone with me now. Here we were, two SINners, both in and out of our element at the same time. Want to grab a beer and chat biz?
No, I think Ill just shoot you in the head. I answered, pulling out my right hand from my duster pocket. The gun was gaudy, a collectors piece, not really designed to be used, but put up on a mantle. Thats where it had lived until the day my life was destroyed. A gold-plated Colt M1911A1, 150th anniversary edition. Only ten thousand of these were made, and only one hundred were gold plated. Four were platinum plated, and they went to the commanders of the UCAS Armed Forces. This was number eighteen. Phils smile slipped away for an instant, but came back just as fast.
Wha? Come on, Jonny, good joke! My smile didnt slip for a moment, as I watched Einstein being proved right again. Time is relative. Phil was experiencing his entire life as he gazed into his own reflection in my mirrorshades, as he stared at the almost half-inch diameter muzzle. Youre
As a bullet to the heart.
You know. The fastest thing in the world isnt a bullet. Its not the vengeance of the Corps. Not a Mage traveling in the Astral Plane, or a Decker tripping the Matrix. It is word on the street thats the fastest thing around, and Phil had heard just who had killed his pet Toxic Shaman. Who had stopped the killings, the sacrifices, the desecration of body and soul. He had heard that I was responsible. Come on, Jon, they were nobodies! Orphans, bums, just drains on the economy! You pay taxes!
Obviously someone thought differently. Differently enough to call in favors with me. Big favors. I replied, letting him know just how badly he had messed up. Rule one in the Shadows is do your legwork. Didnt matter that he couldnt find this connection, he had failed, and now he was paying the price. Favors called in to save a single life. You, however, I will kill for free. The click of the hammer was like the snap of Gods Fingers as He passed judgment on the unrighteous. And just as casually performed.
Come on, Jon. We
We can make a deal! I can get you money
Just let me live. He pleaded, hope and cheer erasing from his eyes with each pause. His smile completely put on now, as fake as his face. As fake as his entire life. Not like this
Don't you want to at least know why?
No. Frankly, why didn't matter to me. The fact that it had been attempted was more than enough.
He decided to move then, a quick snap of the wrist letting the Streetline Special drop into his left palm. A lot of experienced fighters dont watch a Southpaws left hand, but I was expecting it. Too many of my friends and relatives were left handed, or trained themselves to shoot with both hands. I let him get the gun up slightly, just a minor bit of hope into his life as I took it away with a blast in the night. The muzzle blast was enormous, a thing felt more than heard, slapping me in the face as the subsonic round punched its way into Phils face, right above the bridge of his nose. My own left hand snapped up, catching the ejecting brass casing as it tumbled downwards, a reflect action.
I turned around, and didnt even bother watching him crumple to the ground. Already, too much of my time had been wasted. I had more important things to do. Like visit a little girl and her sister.
The street scavengers were quick to come out for the body. The four-legged ones just slightly faster than the two-legged ones, coming for the blood, corpse, and whatever he was carrying or wearing. Soon, Phil Johnson would be sold to the closest Ripper-Doc, and would eventually continue to live in many different bodies. The Street did its thing to fading singing, I said yeah, I said yeah, I said yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, youll never make a saint of me