Placing the beers on the table with his usual care, Oscar slid into the booth and scanned the bar. He could see the whole bar from his seat, I noted. P6, that’s Oscar, all the way. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. And also prevents coming down with a bad case of shot in the face.
Me, I’ve always preferred to rely more on the ‘ware and my reaction time. Keeps things interesting.
“So, I heard you’re ‘running now? What happened to the cushy Corp job we set up for you?”
“Fuck, Oscar. Did you seriously think I was going to stand around a Corp office and look threatening for the next howeverthefuck many years elves live? It wasn’t interesting.”
“You and interesting. At your funeral I’ll give the speech and it will start… so Gwydion thought it would be interesting to…”
I sip my beer and smile in appreciation. At the company and the beer. Oscar always buys the best beer, that’s why I send him to the bar. Well, that and the aura of cold threat he can put on gets him served right way. I like the banter too. Feels like old times, before things went to shit.
“So, what sort of interesting stuff are ‘runners up to these days?” he asks, leaning back, eyes still surveying the room.
I smile again, with even more enjoyment this time.
“You will not fucking believe it. Not at all. Remember those human pukes from C Company, always used to play games with lots of books and weird dice?”
“Yeah, Tunnels and Trolls or something. I always thought that was a bit racist, y’know. Trolls don’t live in tunnels unless they’re homeless, just like everyone else.”
“That’s the one. Anyway, I sat in with them one time. Things were slow, and I thought it might be, y’know…”
“Right, so they helped me make a character, some guy with a sword and armor and stuff, and sent me on a quest.”
“Trust you to rescue the princess or some shit.”
“No, man, like, a shitty quest. Killing rats. In a basement.”
“That is some heroic stuff right there.”
“Exactly. So I got bored and didn’t play anymore.”
“So what does that have to do with… No. Fuck. Off.”
Now Oscar is smiling too. A real smile, not the cold one he puts on to make people go away.
“Yes indeed, Captain. I cleared a basement of rats on behalf of some Corp that didn’t want to risk sending their people into a possible biohazard situation. It was literally like shooting rats in a barrel.”
“And they paid you for this?”
“Goddamn right. I made about 2 month’s salary for 30 minutes of work, a car ride and 2 flechette rounds. I didn’t even have to pull out Lacey.”
Grinning, Oscar takes another pull on his beer. “So you’re a Shadowrunner now. Half a million nuyen in top-line Tir cyberwear, another half-million in training, and you’re crawling around in basements, shooting rats. Goddamn shame, Gwyd.”
“Hey man, I have the feeling it’s gonna stay interesting.”