Listen to Erathoniel ranting on and on in good ol' conservative Christian fashion.
A short story set in the Shadowrun universe.
Published on July 15, 2008 By erathoniel In Fiction Writing

     February 7, 2039, Seattle Outskirts

     Patch raced along the highway out of Seattle, chased by a group of eight uniformed foes. She didn't speak English, so she couldn't ask them, but she was pretty sure the logos they bore belonged to the Humanis Policlub, a radical anti-metahuman group. She, an Elf, fell perfectly into the target category. Her bike groaned with the stress of the high-speed pursuit. The light elf couldn't even risk shooting the autocannon on her bike at these speeds, and instead hoped that the stopped traffic would result in the untimely demise of her pursuers.

     Something was terribly wrong. The police should have stopped the Humanis goons the second they stepped out from hiding. However, traffic was stopped, and the police were doing nothing. Patch raced along, trying to leave city limits, hoping to lose them outside of town. However, instead of finding a road out, she found that the highway was blocked by a downed fuel tanker.

      Patch calmly contemplated the plight of the small business owner (herself, as she was a freelancing mechanic with her own shop), then came to a stop. Fortunately, the messenger bag at her side did not contain a benign cargo. She drew the shotgun out, and got off her bike, moving towards her relentless opponents. Why did they want to kill her? Her ears? Her preference of Speretiel (Elvish) over English? She decided that firing on them now definitely constituted self-defense. Fortunately, there were no cars between her and her targets. The long barelled shotgun was drawn to bear. She pulled the trigger.

      With a silent hiss, small fletchettes shot out of the long, silenced weapon and shot towards one of the lead bikers. The biker took the hit to his chest, and went down with a dull, sickening thud. Patch pumped the shotgun, pointed, and pulled the trigger, blowing up the fragile bike of one of the other bikers. One of the bikers rode up to her, but he was easily stopped with a well-aimed shot. His bike careened towards the fuel tanker, a safe distance away, and resulted in a large explosion.

      The Elf's assailants were distracted or blinded by the explosion (she didn't know which), but she didn't discriminate. She emptied a couple more rounds into the distracted bikers. They quickly noticed that she was shooting them (one of the advantages of using a silenced weapon at night), and shouted to each other, or at her. She couldn't tell. If they were shouting at her, though, they were screaming expletives.

      She still had seventeen rounds in her shotgun, but she decided that she could use it a little more later. She got back on her bike, and rode past the Humanis men, as they were distracted by an illusion some helpful mage had casted. She wasn't a mage, nor did she have any fondness for them, but she'd take any help she could get. At least there were some sane people left.

      Her relief ended quickly when she saw a Humanis member driving a fast sportscar. It could outrun her, and then shove her off the road. Fortunately, she had a weapon that the Humanis goon must not have seen. A shiny new autocannon, bought no more than five days ago. Patch kicked the autocannon's safety off and pulled the trigger. The Elf almost flew off her bike, but enjoyed a satisfying explosion. The fact that she didn't fly into the flaming wreck in front of her was an added perk of the knockback.

      Patch drove, avoiding the fires and riots breaking out all over town, hoping, praying for any sign of a relent to the madness. She had no such luck. She found a lone Humanis thug, and reckognized him from earlier. She drew her shotgun, and he had no chance to resist as she clubbed him visciously. Satisfied with her success, she drove off. She may have become the monster she was hunted by, but now she was doing the hunting. She took cover in a small Stuffer Shack, now devoid of customers or employees. The riots had been here, but they weren't now. She turned the lights off, borrowed a sleeping bag, had a self-heating dinner, and went to bed, hoping that when she woke up, this madness would be over.

     It wasn't. She was woken up by the noise of the approaching mob. It couldn't have been later than 10 PM, she reasoned. She got on her bike and drove. She was almost out of fuel. She contemplated going to a fueling station, but that was crazy enough without this madness. Maybe there wouldn't be anyone there. She was willing to stake her bike on that, so she drove to one of her preferred stations. The people there didn't give her odd looks, though they weren't Elves, and didn't know Sperethiel.

     She was lucky enough that nobody was there, other than an attendant who just winked at her and set the cost of "Premium" gasoline down to an affordable zero nuyen per gallon. She made a note to leave a large contribution in the tip jar the next time she visited, and hopped on her bike when it had filled up. She raced off, hoping to outrun the mob. She was unfortunate enough to encounter one of the Sixth World's less friendly creatures. Devil rats. The VITAS carrying giant rats that scourged the lower-quality areas of the city like the ones that she lived in, and, apparently, this one. Enjoying the lack of movement (and abundance of blood), the rats were out scavenging the corpses of humans or metahumans who were killed or severely injured in the riots.

    Patch drove on, there was nothing she could do for any of the survivors anyways, other than scare off the rats by driving through at maximum speed. The bike made a noise she didn't like, but it let her get out of the rat turf (VITAS being a disease that affected Elves at a 216:1 fatality rate, with treatment, and she doubted her ability to get medical treatment). Patch realized that the moon was at it's peak. She hoped that she didn't run into any gangers, human or not. She didn't pack enough ammo, and was now left with about ten shells, and two more 21-round shells.

    As she reached the outskirts of the city, hours later, she was greeted by a Troll she knew. Max, a goblinized Troll (born Human), was driving along on his scooter. Patch almost laughed at the sight of the huge Troll (wearing a tuxedo, no less) on such a small (relatively, even though it was modified for him) vehicle (though it did have a fine enough speed). However, the scooter did a respectable 60 KPH, and so she slowed down. She'd feel bad leaving him behind, anyways. Plus, he had a nice gun. A fifty round "assault rifle", it was more like a machine gun. Most anything you shot with it didn't get back up, though it was too big for her bike to mount, regretably.

   However, some of the drekkers that she feared they might encounter found them. Before she knew it, she was lying on the ground by her bike in a puddle of blood, and so were their assailants. Max was good, but they were too distracted. Max listened to her instructions on how to patch her up. Not good, but decent. They'd have to swing by Marik's place. He was a good enough mage, and he could fix her up no problem. Plus, he was pro-metahuman, so he wouldn't be out to kill them over their ears (or, in Max's case, huge oversized body).

   It was getting to be four in the morning when they arrived at Marik's apartment. Marik was there, watching cartoon trids. He hated violence. He was more than happy to patch her up, and offered them a ride in his car. Max would have to ride in the back, lying down, but he could drop them off outside town, and then pick them back up when it was over. They agreed wholeheartedly, and rode with Marik to a small farmhouse. They had escaped the Night of Rage, were staying with some friends of Marik's (in a metahuman equality group safehouse, to be more correct), and would weather the storm out there.



     VITAS: Virally-Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome: a contagious airborne plague that killed off more than 35% of the world's population in the first quarter of the twenty-first century
     Metahuman: Elves, Dwarves, Orks, and Trolls, all "breeds" of Humans that expressed during the Awakening (when magic re-entered the world in 2011)

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