Drokhan discovers the fate of his old mentor with the guidance of a kindred spirit.
Denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.
a tropical Asian and African kingfisher with brightly colored plumage.
a mythical bird said by ancient writers to breed in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm.
Drokhan wakes up from another fitful sleep. He reaches over and grabs the commlink off of the small shelf on the opposite side of the room. “I hate how everything is within arm’s reach in this drekhole” he mutters to himself. A small AR screen flips open. 05:36. He sighs. At least he was going to be up soon anyways. He gets dressed and bolts up his room at The Morgue, the “cleanest and safest” Coffin Motel in the barrens. It’s been 3 years, and the Cutters had kept up their end of the business arrangement at least. Drokhan also had one of the only troll-sized rooms in the joint. His head cleared most of his quarters.
Drokhan steps outside to another dismal, grey Seattle day. At least it wasn’t raining. It was time for his caffeine fix and there was only one place in the barrens where could get real coffee without getting ripped off. The Buzz Kill, a surprisingly clean coffee bar in Touristville.
“Good morning, Maurice.”, Drokhan says as he nods to the big ork behind the counter.
“The usual, omae?” Maurice grunts as he starts up the grinder. In a few minutes, he slides over a triple espresso and a three krill breakfast muffins.
Like he does every morning, Drokhan hits the ShadowHaven BBS and sniffs around for any obscure references to the day DocWagon Seattle cleaned out a certain department which shall not be named. Still zip. As per usual. He grunts, finishes breakfast and heads back to his pad while checking the highlights of last night’s Urban Brawl match. Suddenly, a call pops up on his AR screen from Overwatch.
“Overwatch, always a pleasure. You’re up early.”
The big troll on the screen smiles with a toothy grin. “Yeah, I have an early shift, drekhead. I’m gonna be late, so I’ll make this quick. Someone from your old team has resurfaced. Jasper Diaz, a SIN forger specialist. I have it on good information that he’s squatting in Puyallup. I’m sending you the particulars. You owe me a mint copy of something good.”
Drokhan’s almost chokes. He doesn’t have time to thank Overwatch before the link cuts out.
Looks like Jasper was seen going into an elf bar called the Daisy Chain. A quick Matrix search brings up that it’s an Ancient’s hang out. Not exactly good news, but if risking getting shot by some elf go-gangers gets him closer to the truth, so be it.
A cab ride, a lot of dirty looks, and three overpriced espressos later, Drokhan is able to loosen the lips of the barman at the Daisy Chain. He is far from welcome here, but the troll manages to earn a little respect and the whereabouts of Jasper’s shack.
As Drokhan steps out of the Daisy Chain, a beautiful bird is perched on the handlebars of a go-ganger hog parked out front. Bright, iridescent azure feathers adorn her head, back and wingspan while a complimentary rusted orange colours her bosom. Drokhan immediately is washed over with a sense of calm and serenity. The bird peers intently at him with intelligent eyes.
“Hi there, little one,” Drokhans gently calls out to his little admirer. “Are you lost?” He pats his coat pocket, and pulls out a half eaten soy snack bar. He crumbles a corner of it and holds it out in his immense hand. The kingfisher cocks her head a little and nods. With a quick hop and a flit of her wings, she lands delicately on Drokhan’s palm and pecks at the food. After finishing her snack, she looks up at Drokhan as if to thank him and takes to the air and disappears over the building.
Drokhan’s arrives to a rude welcome at Jasper’s derelict hut of sheets of rusted metal and mismatched plasticrete bricks. Jasper has obviously had it rougher than Drokhan over the last few years since they were almost terminated. Reluctantly, Jasper spills the beans on what he knows. Much to Drokhan’s horror, Jasper reveals that he suspects Marcus Matthews, while away on business the week prior to the elimination of their department, was possessed by an insect spirit. Drokhan is horrified by the news, but his resolve intensifies. He has to find out if all of this is really true.
Before leaving, Drokhan offers to have the Ancients reconsider Jasper’s application. Jasper is skeptical, but he knows Drokhan has negotiated from harder angles than this in the past. Drokhan asks Jasper to provide him with his best SIN forgery he has on hand. Drokhan tells Jasper that he should have good news for him soon and leaves.
Stepping outside, Drokhan hears a little chirp, and he looks up to see his little admirer once again perched on a slender branch of a sickly tree nearby. The calm feeling washes over Drokhan again, but this time he feels a message surface in his mind. We value peace above all else, you and I. She then nods at the troll as if to confirm what he is experiencing, glides down and lands on his shoulder. Drokhan reaches into his coat pocket and crumbles the rest of his soy snack bar and offers it to his little friend. She pecks gently at his shoulder for a while, then without warning, she takes back to the sky and disappears.
Drokhan makes a quick call to his best friend, Guapo, and asks for a favour: his executive taxi service. Guapo is more than happy to chauffeur his friend for the rest of the day.
Back at the Daisy Chain, another expensive espresso ordered and this time a bourbon on the house, the barman admires the gall of this troll ever so politely asking for a meet with the Ancients in charge of local recruitment. Against his better judgement, he says he will pass along Drokhan’s request to the lieutenant in charge, Ether. Drokhan’s leaves the Daisy Chain for good, and Guapo takes them back to his place to chill.
A few hours later, Drokhan’s commlink lights up and he receives a call from none other than Ether. She wants to know why the frag a friendly troll in a nice suit came to the Daisy Chain twice and wanted to meddle in her business. Keeping it short and sweet, Drokhan asks her if she would be interested in high quality SIN forgeries and uses Jasper’s work as an example. It catches her attention. She figures out that Drokhan is representing the little twerp she had beat up the day before. When she asks what Drokhan wants as a finder’s fee, he says that’s a favour and he just wants Jasper to get a far shake. Either scoffs, tries to hide a smirk and cuts the line. Drokhan has a feeling that he may just have pulled it off. Time will tell.
Later that night, back at his pad, Drokhan gets a follow up call from Overwatch.
“You know you are a lucky bastard to have me, right? You owe me another mint. I’ve got visual confirmation that Matthews is right here in Seattle as of three weeks ago! Drek, I have to coordinate a plat member extraction. Check your inbox, omae! Oh, you are going to need backup. It was the best I could do on short notice, but I got a nice lady, who if you ask nicely, can ask first, punch later.” Overwatch winks as the connection cuts out.
Drokhan has two items in his inbox. Contact information for Behemoth. But his attention is quickly drawn to the trideo file. Turns out, Matthews shows up in the background of the trideo report by an amateur journalist protesting the wrongful arrest of metahumans outside a Knight Errant building downtown. Matthews is seen casually entering the building with a briefcase. He looks angry, and there is something off about him. But there is no denying it, it’s him!
Drokhan does a bit of research on the KE building and it turns out they have a courthouse where civil unions can be arranged. After some persuasion, he convinces Behemoth to pose as his lover and they enter the building quite easily as an obvious couple looking to tie the knot. After investigation of the premises, it turns out only the first two floors are public and there is no sign of Matthews. They are going to have to access the private floors above.
Drokhan approaches a janitor on shift and over to meet him in the back alley during his smoke break and bribes him into letting him take his place for the rest of his shift. 200 nuyen later plus 50 nuyen tip (Drokhan has a soft spot for janitors after all), they acquire a maglock card giving them access to the third floor only and some uniforms.
Before heading back inside, Drokhan eyes the familiar azure and orange plumage of his admirer on the ledge of a window on the other side of the alley. This time her eyes are sad. A message surfaces once more in Drokhan’s mind, you follow the right path but you cannot calm the storm this time. She nods once more, and takes back to the air and disappears over the building. Drokhan feels a sense of dread at this warning, but at the same time it gives him courage.
“Let’s do this,” Drokhan motions for Behemoth to follow him inside. The maglock card they acquired works like a charm and soon they are on the 3rd floor. A quick search of the floor yields nothing of interest. A door with a fingerprint scanner halts their advance to the upper floors from here. With some quick thinking, Drokhan enters the office of an executive employee and casually proceeds to empty the garbage and clearing away some drinking glasses. One of the glasses, as luck would have it, has a fingerprint they are able to use to open the locked door.
The head straight up to the top floor, where they come to an office labelled Marcus E. Matthews on the door. A guard is sitting down the hall, half asleep in their chair. He pays no attention to the two trolls posing as janitors. His mind races, and no plan comes together, so Drokhan just goes with his gut. He steps into the office and makes eye contact with Marcus.
Marcus’ hair is disheveled, greasy and seems to not have been washed in some time. His suit is slightly wrinkled, and looks like it hasn’t been cleaned lately. His eyes are tired and his face is flustered. In short, he looks nothing like the man Drokhan had none.
“Drokhan,” he says with a sneer. “You finally found me.”
“I tried all this time without success. Overwatch finally came through. What the frag happened? Why didn’t you contact me?”
The shell of Marcus’ former self laughs in a gutteral tone. “You don’t get it, do you? This … this mammal is just a vessel. One of the … good merges … We weren’t successful in bringing forth the Queen …. But soon, I will be called back to service. I can’t be alone anymore … Soon … Soooonnn .....”
Marcus’ body stands up, it’s mouth opens, and a sickly clicking sound emerges. Drokhan is overcome with a horrifying sense of dread of the like he hadn’t never experienced. It’s as if all the fear he’d ever felt all of his life suddenly came rushing at him. Drokhan can do nothing but turn around and run, run for his life. He turns suddenly, takes a stride and smacks right into Behemoth who is like a brick wall.
Seemingly unaffected by the terrifying situation, she says in an annoyed tone. “Can I punch now?”
“Yes, please do.” Says Drokhan, his knees weak.
Behemoth gently leans Drokhan against the wall, walks over and gives Marcus a hard, right hook across the jaw. Marcus drops like a sack of potatoes.
Drokhan, awakened from his stupor, runs over and ties up Marcus.
“Is there anything actually left of you in there, Marcus?”
The bug spits out, “This meat bag is mine!! MINE!!”
Behemoth smashes her fist into the side of it’s head and life drains from it’s eyes. “Sorry boss, I hope you don’t mind. This thing was starting to give me the creeps.”
“No, it had to be done.”
Drokhan kneels beside Marcus and whispers, “I hope your soul now finds oblivion or peace.” The troll sighs deeply in grief and brushes his hand over Marcus’ face to close his eyes for the last time.
“Let’s get the hell out of here,” Drokhan says finally. The words of the kingfisher came back to him suddenly. She was right, there was no winning this one.
Drokhan find what closure he can learning of the death of his mentor, Marcus E. Matthews. There are still some questions left unanswered, but he now knows much more than he did about his the events of the end days of his career at DocWagon. But when one door closes, another opens. Drokhan learns of his link to Peacemaker, his mentor spirit who presents herself as a kingfisher.
Mentor Spirit (Peacemaker) for free (5 RVP) 1 karma discount on Initiate Grade 1 (Masking) Ether (Connection 5) at Loyalty 2 (6 RVP) 3 karma (3 RVP) NO CDP (-1 RVP)