Approximately a month after our visit to the rain forests of central Aztlan, I and the group were lounging around the clubhouse: Byk, Zany and Pariah were watching some brainless film for, I swear, like the 300th time; Drake was in the machine shop just throwing around tools and swearing in some guttural language, or so it seemed; Red was experimenting with different shades of hair; Sitra was reading back issues of Post-Modern bride and I was reading the most recent article in JAMA on modern endocrinological research pertaining to the effect of progesterone in dwarven males, being continually interrupted by questions over which shade of white do I like, and after I respond being told that I am wrong. I am glad that Sitra is busy with wedding plans; today is the second anniversary of her death.
When we heard Red talking on the phone, we knew something was up. Unfortunately, Byk decided now was the time to start singing Russian folk music – something about goats on the rooftop – so we couldn’t hear what she was saying. When she said that she had to make an emergency run to the Stuffer Shack for more hair dye, we gave her our requests – the Azteca Metldown Chiccharones for me….
When she returned with our snacks an hour later, we were happy. When she started telling us the real story though, Byk turned up the volume as loud as possible to hear the explosions. After a bit of an argument over the volume, Pariah disabled the television permanently. After some silence, she continued to tell us about the dilemma that Judge Martin Brown was going through. Apparently some Cyber Dragons were escorting him around and he did not seem to be enjoying it. It sounds like we are ready for some more work.
I called my Uncle Walter who verified what we already knew about the less than honorable Judge. Pariah after visting the “posh” Renton Ambassador Suites learned that the Cyber Dragon Clan and the Yakuza were on the outs. Red made a well placed call to “Rising Sun Industries” and next thing I knew I had to get ready to go to some super secret meeting this evening. After Sitra did her best at making us look our best, we were off. Drake drove separately, babysitting Byk’s baby, and the rest of us rode in style in a limousine.
We traveled up to meet Hanzo Shotozumi, a bigwig in the world of Yakuza, in the middle of the night. Wow, I never thought that Red was so versed in Japanese culture! Who would have thought? After meeting Mr. Shotozumi and some of his entourage (some of which show some signs of being Awakened), we learned that the Cyber Dragon Clan was no longer allies of the Yakuza – finally some good news. The Cyber Dragon Clan is holed up an abandoned prison in Tacoma 1738 27th St and they were headed by Wei Lange.
As we left the chamber, we saw Drake coming in. That man is an enigma I am still trying to figure out. When we were leaving for home, Red communicated that she thought we were being followed by a man on a motorcycle. After she said that, I noticed it once, but then lost our tail. We decided it would be best to go to the Banshee to try to lose him and get a few drinks. I was feeling a little too generous that night, and bought a few rounds for the entire bar and then some.
When we left the bar in the wee hours of the morning, Red told us that we were still being followed. We traveled on and stopped along the way back to the compound. When I projected for a better view of the situation, I saw that the target had gone around the corner. Not only that, but I had recognized the aura before Mr. Shotozumi’s right hand man, Takashi. I returned to my “shoes” to find that Byk had poured copious amounts of vodka down my throat and I felt the effects immediately. I wish some of my friends would keep eye out for me . I am not sure how much they would enjoy a drunk surgeon – just ask Gwendolyn Jacobs. When we attempted to speak to Takashi , he was depressed about something but refused further communication. We returned to the clubhouse and faced the “firing squad” of Zany and Sitra. Thankfully for me, Sitra wasn’t terribly upset, but has apparently been very busy planning our wedding and catching up on medical literature and didn’t seem to care very much that I was out late. I did get a stern warning about the dangers of alcohol consumption though.
When we arose in the morning, I made a delicious breakfast of Eggs Florentine. Unfortunately, next time I better make five times as much. We decided to further investigate the jail today. While Red and Drake scoped out the location, I called my uncle to find out what he knew and to warn him, per his request that we were going to be doing some work in the area tonight. He confirmed the place was “abandoned” and said that he should be able to get us blueprints of the facility. I tried researching on the matrix too, and found nothing new. Unfortunately Chips wasn’t around to ask, and I couldn’t reach him through conventional communications. When Red and Drake returned they told us that my uncle couldn’t find the blueprints, and that the facility was heavily monitored and Drake grumbled about losing another drone.
We spent the rest of the afternoon arguing about what to next. Where was Judge Martin Brown and what were they doing to him? How are we going to get into that compound. After thinking about it further, Byk remembered that he had erased some messages on the answering service about Chips moving to a new dumpster, this one just a few blocks from the clubhouse, and oh yeah, also something about Pariah winning tickets to some Urban Brawlers league game that he had to claim a couple of weeks ago. Oops.
So, we traveled to the dumpster behind the Stain Free Mattress Company. and found Chips’ new home. To each their own. Byk’s lost blanket was in there too. So that is what he had been crying about the other night. Chips wasn’t there. His car was, and after easily opening the locks through the open window, we discovered a business card for Mystix Siteseers up in Everett. After a good drive, we got there to find a palmistry shop. Madam Zorra had no idea what we were talking about but offered to read our palms. I could tell that she had some magical talent, but not sure if you could call this magic. Everyone thought it was a fun idea, though I think she was confusing my and Pariah’s fortune though, since I don’t think he and Zany are going to be married soon. My fortune said I would experience a great deal of violence in the next month – no doubt, considering the group I travel with. Red knew there was something wrong with this woman, and I knew her magic was a bit fishy. Byk detained her and threatened to blow her head off. I pulled a trick out of my own sleeve and read her recent memories – Chips was in the back room, under her control.
Next thing we know, Byk turns and shoots at Pariah – that was certainly unexpected. Thankfully, Pariah. Red and Drake finish the old broad off before she does anything else. After she was dead, the group scoured the back and found Chips busy at work and nearly out of his mind. I performed some basic triage on Pariah and suggested we all get out of there before something else happens.
On our way back to the compound, I get a call from my father who says he will be at the house tomorrow. When I asked him why, he got upset and said for the wedding of course. I know the invitations did not say that – heck, Sitra is still considering patterns for everything. I told him the new date and he seemed nonplussed. I am sure he will spend tomorrow like he does every other day he has off, with his “friends”
After we return to our compound, Sitra patches Pariah up some more, and I explain what had happened to him and Byk. They seem a bit stymied by magic, but I think that they understood it, because they were soon close chums again, discussing gun toting gorillas (real ones, not trolls).
We discussed our plans to hit the jail tonight, and Chips would help by controlling the location’s surveillance equipment remotely. On our way down to Tacoma, we heard on the wire service that Judge Martin Brown was found dead in the [ Redmond Barrens. Not an unusual place to find a corpse, but not usually someone of such caliber and acclaim. Red was incensed.
When we were about to enter the compound. Takashi descends from above taking out the guards. We struck hard, and nearly thought that we were going to lose Red in the combat that followed. From my senses, I detected that they were not the only enemies here, there was a powerful magical aura emanating from a back room. After the henchmen were defeated, Wei Lange emerged from the back and demanded our surrender. After he heard Byk chortle, he turned himself into a dragon. I never suspected that. When the information was relayed to Drake who was busy eating a burrito in the van, I swear I could hear him urinate with excitement. Two waves of flame hit us and immolated Takashi. I tried my hardest, but couldn’t not contain all of the magic coming from Wei Lange as he is a powerful mage. After bullets just bounced off the skin of the dragon, we knew we wouldn’t all survive this. When the dragon asked us to surrender again, we backed away and asked Chips to close the doors.
We got in the vehicle, where I went to work on the victims. First, I am able to stabilize Takashi. Though I was somewhat injured myself, I knew I had a duty to my friends. Drake offered to tend to Red while I tended to the others. I overheard Drake whining about Red owing him new drones and also though he seemed to be somewhat familiar with the medical equipment, he could not explain at all what he was doing. I heard him call the brachial artery, “that red squiggly thing in your arm”. After he attended to Red, I explained the situation a little more professionally, and I told her, in regards to the drones, “what did he think this was, a joy ride?”.