Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Aftermath, Chapter Six: Filed under 'M' for murder

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief

From: All Along the Watchtower,  by Bob Dylan

Excerpted from the file:

From:  Tabitha Wainwright, Human Resources, External Assets Office
Date of report:  February 2, 2060
Subject:  Thomas Michael Gunne                                Date of Birth: January 8th, 2039
Prepared by request of:  Mr. Donald Johnson, Senior VP of Water Purification Technology Division

Known Aliases:  Thomas Gunderson, Aka Tim Guthry, Aka Tomy Cannonari, Aka John Deeds, Aka Ash Thomas.  {NOTE:  Urban intelligence assets indicate that subject is most commonly known as, Tommy 'the Machine' Gun by persons in the so-called "Shadow Community".}

See Pages 54 and 81 for images of shapes assumed to support Alias identities.

Magical Talent:  Subject has been observed as a fully manifested magician.  Observations of spirit-entity summoning and banishment are on file (see pages 88, 96, 107, 123 and 145).  Spell casting observations indicate that subject is conversant with a variety of lethal and less than lethal spell matrices, invisibility, psychokinesis, mental manipulation charms/curses, shape changing and physiological enhancement charms.    (See detailed report of astral assessing observations from detective Lana Cooper, concerning physiological enhancements).  

Warning: Subject's known concurrent spell effects place his physical threat level on par with a Tier Two physical adept.  

Warning: Subject's spell repertoire is extensive with regard to direct magical combat. As with any spell casting asset it is difficult to gauge capability, but it is the opinion of the external assets office that this subject is at least on par with military trained combat magicians.  


From page 166 

...  In conclusion, subject's psychological profile supports that this individual can be motivated to comply with directives through financial reward.  Subject's close association with other 'professionals' indicates a desire for socialization and acceptance which lends itself to development team relationships.   Subject is suitable for short term, task specific employment in a detached capacity.  Long term or permanent employment is not advised as subject is prone to exercising extreme force of violence when under emotional distress.  

Ideal tasks assigned: Paranormal target termination

From page 167

Terminate upon conclusion of contract.


The file went into great detail about my various identities, named several people I had worked with and included pictures of two of my former identities.  There were months of my life that were missing from their timeline, but they weren't long periods of time.  The corp had done their homework on me, and some magicians had given my aura a detailed examination without me noticing.

Angel had opened Creep's file and was reading through it. "Oh my God." she muttered.  She swore repeatedly as she read through the file.  She was done with Creep's file before I was done with mine.  When I sat my file down, I saw that she had gone pale and looked ill.

"That bad?" I asked.

"I didn't know," she began. "I mean, I know Creep gives me the willies but I had no idea."  She shook her head, wrapping her arms in front of her stomach.

"What?" I asked.

"If this file is accurate, then Creep is a serial killer." Angel looked like she was going to throw up.  "I'll check the names the file mentions and see if things match up, but this is horrible.  They knew and they still hired him."

I should have been surprised, but I wasn't.  Creep was certainly insane, I just hadn't been fully aware of the depth of his madness.  "I didn't know.  Does it give his victim profile?"

Angel nodded. "Seems he kills fast food employees.  Narrow pool of victims, that.  The major chains all use robotic autocooks, so his victim pool is limited to the little mom and pop craft kitchens.  Seems he has worked in restaurants for years before the corp took him on.  The file lists several victims the corp attributes to him."

A memory of Creep's wand flashed through my mind.  That bit of wood and the metahuman teeth that rattled from it made me feel sick.  "Check for missing persons too, not just the ones that were found dead.  He could have had his demon spirits destroy corpses." I picked up his file and started reading through it.  Angel connected to the network and began to look into the list of dead an missing people around Creep.

It was a terrible read, full of psychological analysis and photo evidence from crime scenes.  I finished reading it and had no doubt that it was accurate. "Well, I suppose I should have seen this coming."

"A lot of dead and missing co-workers around Creep.  Police contractors looked into him a couple of years ago but didn't find any evidence beyond the circumstantial.  Looks like he was working in restaurants to find victims, then stalked and killed them. Murdering bastard." Angel swore.

"They have his number." I replied. "His magic has always seemed odd, and he gives off a bad vibe.  I told Fey once that he was a lunatic but he was 'our' lunatic, so I just kept him pointed in the right direction."  Angel looked at me reproachfully. "I didn't know."

"What does he know that either of us should be worried about?" Angel asked.

"I've worked with him several times, not just for Mr. Johnson either.  He was with me a few times when I went hooding and took the fight to some infected in the Willows. He knows how I operate, and he helped me on a personal job I did a while back."  I shook my head as Angel opened her mouth to protest. "No, I don't owe him for that.  I paid him, plain and simple.  We did a few jobs for Mr. Johnson and he fell apart on a couple of them.  Lost his mind on the last outing and they committed him to a hospital and put him under sedation."

"Why?" Angel asked. "If they knew he was murdering psychopath, why bother?"

I paused at that.  "I don't know."

"What's next then?"  she asked.

"We've got some names in these files.  People who compiled the information on us.  I think I need to pay them each a visit. I'll need you to gather what information you can on each, and we'll clean up their data along the way.  If this 'external assets office' has information on shadowrunners it could make for some valuable paydata." I smirked at Angel. "Interested in twisting the knife a bit?"

Angel didn't smile, she just nodded.  "I can think of a lot of folks who would like to have their data wiped from a corp database.  Several others who could find it useful, too.  I'm all for slicing their system up and making off with the prize.  It will be easier if you can pry some information from their people though."

"I can do that."  I replied.  "We'll need to grab everything they have and wipe out any other copies they have laying around.  What about the chips?"

"Encrypted.  It'll take me a few hours to crack into them." Angel said.  "If it's worth anything, I'll let you know and cut you in."

"Appreciated." I picked up Jazz's file but Angel interrupted me before I could open it.

"What are we going to do about Creep?" Her face betrayed her disgust.

I opened Jazz's file and began to read through the dirt the corp had on him. "I'm going to kill him."


February 8th, 2061

The circle was chalked out in the ruins of the safe house garage, four elemental spirits stood ready outside its boundary, and Lily and Rose were playing with their twin sisters somewhere in the metroplex.  "Please tell Aria and your sisters that I love them." The mental links to my two spirit daughters, had been the only contact I had with my family.

"Yes, father." they replied.  "Mommy wants to know when you are coming to get us."

"I don't know yet, girls.  Tell her that I'll let her know the moment I do."  It wasn't safe for them to see me yet. I didn't know how long it might be before I could go to them. "I love you girls.  Lily, keep the family safe, Rose I'll need you to come with me for a few minutes." 

I contemplated the circle before me, the elemental spirits lingering nearby, and the photographs Angel had printed for me which I had arrayed within the circle.  The images represented each of the twenty-one people we were certain Creep had murdered. Before each image I had scribbled Creep's name in black chalk. I don't pretend to understand what drove him to kill so many people who were just living their own lives. The images were their to strengthen my link to Creep and, in my mind anyway, to provide their memory with some sense of justice.

"How long will this take?" Angel asked.

"Same as anything else.  A few seconds or a few minutes, it will take as long as it may take."  To my mind I sounded wise, as a wizard should.

"Wizard's" Angel sighed. "I'm going to be monitoring the hospital's systems.  I'll cancel the alarm when he flatlines and we'll just let nature take its course from there.  How long after that before you get back and when should I become worried?"

Apparently my wisdom was unappreciated. "If I'm not back in ten minutes I've had a problem."

"Better." She replied. "Now, go kill that bastard."  With that, Angel turned and stalked back into the safe house's kitchen, closing the door behind her.

The spirits watched me, waiting.

"Okay.  Let's get started then."  I stepped into the circle with a wave of my hand and a whisper of magic.  Seven candles sparked alight, their light illuminating the images of Creep's victims and casting his name into shadows. Rose appeared next to me as I lay down on the cold, broken cement and closed my eyes.

"Spirits of the elements, heed my call." I began the litany I had prepared, breathing magic into the words and hardening my will. "Serve me on this quest for justice and revenge.  Hear the names of the fallen and carry word of this deed to their souls so that they may know rest."

It took four minutes to recite the names.  Each name was spoken in turn, from the earliest victim Angel had identified through the most recent victim.  I spoke their names and hoped they would hear me.  " ... Desiree Martin, I will bring your killer to justice."  I slipped from my body into the astral plain and beheld the astral impressions of the many victims. Outside the circle, elemental spirits raged in their power. Rose stood beside me, a blazing angel of wrath, patiently waiting on me.

The corporate hospital was in Bellevue. I streaked across the blighted urban astral space, arriving at the speed of thought to the hospital lobby.  The magic of the circle tugged at me, nudging me toward Creep.  I drifted through walls, storage closets, a toilet and passed dozens of hospital staffers.  The circle's power ended at the warded walls of the psychiatric wing.

The ward was potent, crafted by magicians who sought to keep out entities that might prey upon the troubled minds within.  I probed the wards, admiring the handiwork I saw, until I found what I was looking for. The hospital maintenance crew had cut away a section of the wall to access a leaking water line.  The pipe had been repaired and the wall patched, but the hospital hadn't had that section of wall warded again yet. It left them wide open for any astral traveling ne'er-do-well to exploit, and I took full advantage of it.

My astral form slipped into the psychiatric wing and the chaotic jumble of impressions that clouded the astral space around it.  Madness reigned, colors swirled, screams and laughter range off the warded walls.  It took me a couple of minutes to get my bearings and to drift out into the wing itself.  I drifted from cell to cell, searching for an astral signature I was certain I would recognize.

I wasn't disappointed.

Creep was laying on the floor if his cell.  His aura was dim and dull, the drugs the staff had given him were doing a fine job of keeping him sedated.  The room was crowded with five demon women who waited about in astral space.  When they saw me they laughed in high pitched squeals, like small children who laughed themselves into hyperventilation.

"He sleeps now." the demonic spirits cooed. "His mind is far away, waiting dreamless in the darkness." "Your angel cannot save him."  "Come to us, and we will show you pleasures you have never before imagined."

"Father, shall I do violence?" Rose asked.

I looked at her blazing face and took her hands in mine.  My instructions reached her through the mental link we shared.  "I'm sorry to ask this of you baby-girl." I told her.

"It is okay, father.  This one has needed to die for a long time." She replied.  Rose appeared within Creep's padded cell, a towering figure of divine retribution.  The demon women hissed and spat at her but she ignored them.  She placed her bare right foot upon Creep' neck, so gently that the sleeping psychopath didn't even stir.

Rose drove her foot down toward the padded floor with all her might.  I could only imagine the snapping sound that must issued from the death blow. Perhaps it was the sedatives that held Creep in his dreamless sleep that kept his bodyfrom rattling in death spasms. I watched as Creep's aura dimmed, his soul slipping from his body to rise amid the demon women.  He noticed me through sleepy looking eyes.

"Tommy?" Creep asked.  His confusion was clear.

"Hi, Creep." I replied.

"What's going on?  Where am I?" He asked.

"I found out about your victims, Creep.  I'm here to kill you." I replied.

The disembodied Creep nodded knowingly.  "I couldn't stop.  Never really wanted to, but I did try.  Killing me won't be easy though Tommy.  I'll fight you, may even kill you." Creep sounded like he was apologizing. "Nothing personal, I just know what is waiting for me."

I pointed at his dying body. "It was easy, Creep.  You're already dead, we're just waiting for your last breath."  The demonic spirits he kept bound lay their hands on him, whispering in his ear and wrapping their tails around his waist.  "If you were worried about what was waiting for you, there never was any sign of it.  You could have made more of an effort to change, to stop yourself. So yeah, Creep, this is personal. "

Creep smiled, his madness beaming at me as the demon women dragged him away.  "I'll see you soon, Tommy!  I'll see you soon!"  His screams faded as the demons dragged him away, giggling like small girls as they caressed him lovingly.  There was a flash of fire and the stench of brimstone, and then Creep was gone.

Rose looked to me. "It is done father.  The madmen is dead."  She shifted her form, taking the shape of a young elf girl.

I hugged her and she returned the embrace.

"Thank you, I love you baby-girl." I told her as we parted. "Go back to mommy and your sisters.  Keep them safe for me."

"I love you too father." She replied. "If any should try to harm the family, I will do violence."

With that she vanished, disappearing to wherever Sheila had hidden my family.

I carefully wiped away the astral impressions of spirits and death, then zipped back to the safe house garage and my waiting body.

When I walked into into the safe house Angel plugged a network cable into the data interface at her temple.  "Right, then. Time for this girl to work a little of her own brand of magic."   She lay down on the creaking floor, her head propped up on her satchel. "I've slaved a feed to your comm.  You'll see my bio-monitor data."

She closed her eyes and took off into the network.


Thank you for reading my fan fiction. Tommy's stories are fictionalized accounts of game play and the in between session down times.  If you have enjoyed these tales please do share them with others.

I also create other role playing game material under open game licenses and I am currently developing my own tabletop role playing game.  On my Drip page,  subscribers have early access to material such as sneak peeks at art, access to play test material, behind the scenes "how-to" information as well as monthly PDF releases.  In 2019, Drip subscribers will have access to my new web comic strip "D'FAQ!"  which is 'Dystopian Fantasy Adventure Quest' a comic strip about role playing in fantastic, near future settings.

Funds raised through my Drip page help pay for original art for releases.  Please do check out the site and subscribe to support my work.

I hope you'll join me next time for Chapter Seven!

~ W.S. Quinton

1 comment:

  1. I do hope you all enjoy the story of Creep's death.
    This is slightly different than how he died in game, and is a bit more suitable to the character narrative.


Thank you for your comment chummer.