The Shadowrunner prepare for a night out in Boston.

Moth and I arrived back at our loft well before our teammates were due. As she set up the white noise generator in the middle of the living room, I moved our bikes closer together so there would be room for Zipper's Rapier on the section of bare concrete by the elevator door.

We went to our rooms to pick out the proper dress and gear for clubbing in one of the rough sections of Boston. I picked out a dark, Kevlar lined suit, with a military cut. The style was currently in favor with freelance mercs in town. I added to this a black, armoured trench coat, my customized Ares Predator in a shoulder rig, a Beretta in an ankle-holster, and a pair of forearm guards.

I was putting spare magazines in the coat pockets when the someone buzzed the loft from the street entrance. I stepped out to the living room to check the ground level camera. It was Ember. I toggled the door lock for him and sent the elevator down to the lobby with instructions to open.

I switched the viewer to the elevator camera as I lit a cigarette. It showed a small, red haired man in an oversized jacket. I knew that jacket would stop a 12 gauge slug at close range. We use the same tailor. His mirrorshades stared back into the camera as the elevator stopped at my fifth floor loft.

I keyed open the armoured door to find Ember still standing in the middle of the oversized elevator. He gaze was now straight forward, paying no attention to me. After a few seconds his head shook slightly as he looked around the room as if seeing it for the first time.

"You've got the place warded. Nice touch." Ember's comment was made with a smile, but I could tell that he didn't like being able to see anything when the door opened. It was an old corp mage trick. His astral gaze should have shown him any invisible beings as well as pointing out any magically active or highly cybered targets. I had made sure to trigger the elevator door from a switch inside the ward.

"One of the advantages of having a magician for a roommate." I waved Ember to the couch and headed for the kitchen. "Would you like a beer or some soya-kaf before we leave?"

"Kaf, extra light with four sweets. Where's Moth."

I poured myself a black s-k and made Ember his hot milkshake.

As I returned to the living room with the mugs, the ground side buzzer went off again. The camera showed Zipper, his hair still wild from the ride. I sent the elevator down and keyed the audio.

"Hey man, nice neighborhood. Where the hell do you park?"

"Just ride your bike into the elevator. Kill the engine before you close the doors though." I watched Zipper ride his Rapier into the elevator. I turned my attention to Moth, who had entered the room while I was talking to Zipper.

Moth was prepared for an evening of harsh Boston clubbing. Jeans of blue p-denim, gray leather synth boots, black tank top and an bulky fringed synth-leather jacket. I knew the jacket was armoured and she carried a heavy pistol under it. Her hair was in twin braids back over each shoulder. She had drawn several animal symbols on her face. Not only was it fashionable, the drawings served as a simple mask. A casual glance would remember the Raven and the red wolf, not the shape of her nose.

I opened the elevator door when it arrived. Zipper pushed his Rapier into the apartment and set by the other bikes. The studded synth-leather jacket was back as were the torn jeans and old style combat boots. Moth joined Ember on the couch at the far end of the room as Zipper light the cigarette I offered.

We had about another hour before starting off to the Biting Edge. Ember and Moth launched into a technical magic discussion, that I think had to do with conjuring. Zipper and I turned on the Tri-Vid to catch 'Corpwar Week In Review.' I wanted to be up on the latest stats in case a merc or recruiter started asking questions. Zipper was mostly interested in the level of technology used by corp forces and smoking my cigarettes.

Written and © Copyright 1996 by Mark Urbin

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