Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Beginning: A Story about Tommy

Kentucky:  Sometime in 1991

A novice gamer is introduced to the near future dystopian role-playing game that would cement his affection for gaming.  Here is the tale of those stories, written from memory, by the surviving player.

Told from a first person perspective.

In the beginning, there was the first edition.

Everyone died

Then there came the second edition:

Character:  Thomas Michael Gunne  Alias: Tommy "The Machine" Gun

The year was 2055, and I was 16 years old.

I was born in Seattle, UCAS to parents who weren't bright enough to hide the fact that I was an awakened child.  Don't get me wrong.  I loved my folks.  Its really a shame what happened to them.  I would have probably been a legit wage mage if only they had lived.

When I was really little, three or so, I had an imaginary friend.  Her name was Isabellix, and she was tall and pretty and glowed at night so I wouldn't be afraid of the dark.  We played great games of chase all over the house, much to my mother's chagrin, and she kept the monsters out from under my bed.

Isabellix and I played a lot.  We played checkers and with my Roshi Red Samurai action figures and we generally had a blast. My folks thought it was cute, and maybe annoying, but they didn't think anything of it.  I mean, a lot of kids have imaginary friends, right?

So when I was five, I was playing over at my cousin's place.  He was older, nine or ten I think, and he was a real jerk.  My aunt, his mom, had to run out to the stuffer for something and left us in the doss for just a little bit.  But my cousin (Jerk) decided that he was going to stuff my favorite cranium in the toilet for a bit of flushing.  He didn't seem to mind that I started drowning in the toilet from his hijinks.  I remember I was panicking and trying to scream and cry and was drowning from the water and then things started getting dark....

I woke up laying in the floor, with water and vomit all around me.  My cousin was stuck to the ceiling.  Just stuck, hanging like he had been glued up there.  He was screaming like someone had pulled his ears off.  I remember I saw Isabellix sitting next to me, which was weird because she usually went away when other kids were around, and she said "He's not nice".  I had to agree.  My cousin fell from the ceiling, banged his head against the bathtub and lay still on the floor.  My aunt must have been opening the door when he fell, because she came running in about a tick after he hit the tub and flipped out.

Scalp wounds bleed like crazy.  That fall cost my cousin sixteen stitches and a really solid concussion.  But he never tried to flush me down the toilet again, and Isabellix was always around when he was around.  It was about this time that I realized people weren't kidding, and they really couldn't see Isabellix.

When I was nine, I took that test they give you to see if you might be magically active.  I didn't want to do it, but my parents said it would be good for me and that if I did have magic it would be good for my future.  Honestly I think they thought I was insane for talking to things I was seeing that they couldn't see, and were just hoping against hope I might be a magician instead of being a lunatic.  Unfortunately for my folks, I am a magician, and the test showed that pretty definitely.  Isabellix told me before I went that I should run and hide and not take the test.  I should have listened.

So there I was, a nine year old who talked to things that most people didn't see only I had been seeing them my whole life.  I had, somehow, been astrally perceiving most of my life and had managed not to go crazy.  So my imaginary friends weren't so imaginary, and my mom developed a weird habit of looking under my bed and behind doors (I have no idea what she thought she might find).

So a few months before I turn ten, a corp recruiter shows up and offers my folks a really sweet scholarship and a career path that would have landed a cushy corporate wage mage job for me in just a few short years.  My parents were all for it and that would have been that, except it wasn't.  After the corp recruiter left things got weird over the next few days.  My folks suddenly got fired from their jobs.  Our apartment building caught fire.  When I went to my school for the first time, they said I wasn't welcome anymore.

My folks called the recruiter who swore he would look into it and not to worry.  So my folks and I were squatting at my aunt's place, and Isabellix and I were playing checkers (my cousin had gone to his room), when pizza arrived... we hadn't ordered any.

The pizza guy shot my dad, walked in and shot my mom and my aunt.  When he turned to point the gun at me Isabellix just appeared in front of me, and a moment later the "pizza guy" was a molten puddle of goop on the floor.  It was all over. My parents were dead, my aunt was dead, and my cousin had apparently died from lethal feedback from a btl he had slotted in his room.

I was alone.

When the social workers turned me over to the corporate orphanage I thought everything was going to be okay.  I was crushed that my parents were dead, but Isabellix stayed with me the whole time.

Then I went to school.

It was the first day of class and Isabellix had been telling me all morning we should leave... I  wish I had listened.

When I went to the class room Isabellix came with me and sat next to me.  The other kids stayed away from that seat and I got ready for my first day at magic school.  When the teacher came in she took one look at me, then at Isabellix, and said "No Pets allowed!"

I remember I looked at Isabellix, stood up and said, "She isn't a pet. She is my best friend."

The teacher went stone cold, then pointed a finger at me and said something I don't remember.  I know now she was trying to cast a spell on me.  But Isabellix jumped on her and the two started fighting.  I remember Isabellix screaming at me "Run Tommy!  Run!"

So I ran and I never went back.  I never saw Isabellix again.

Living on the street and hiding from the corp I was lucky to live a week. I was also lucky to make friends with a street mage, and I became his very own apprentice.  I was a real pain in his ass most of the time, but I learned as much as he could teach me.

On that night in 2055, three nights after I got pissy with my teacher for last time, I took on my first shadowrun and survived.  It wasn't much, but it was a job, and I made enough to keep me from starving for a week or two. I made a point of seeing my teacher when I could.  I really was a pain in the ass to him and he taught me a lot.  He had a heart attack and died in 2056, but he was the best person I had met since my folks died.

Turns out, my parent's misfortune was "facilitated" by my corporate recruiter.  Seems orphans become more dependent on their corp and are considered more loyal.  So they murdered my parents.  Now I take any job against that corp.  I've made a lot of money over the years hitting them.

I'm done talking about this tonight.

Lets go get a bourbon and check out the urban brawl.  This personal stuff is depressing as hell.

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