|SRM-04: A Fork in Fate's Path|
A runner's gotta do what a runner has to do. Or does he? For once, you get a choice of two different runs. Time limits your choice to one or the other, but not both. But remember chummer that looks can be deceiving, and that all that glitters is not gold - like the hyper velocity gel round of an angry Lone Star Cop, just as an example...
Part One: A Fork in Fate's Path [212KB]
Part Two: Player Handouts [528KB]
SRM-04: A Fork in Fate's Path - "A Deal You Can't Refuse"
Introductory fiction by Rich Osterhout
The party was just how Rolando pictured it - beautiful people, beautiful clothes, and beautiful table settings. The conversation, however, was quite boring. Rolando moved about the room, Betty and Betsy, his two female ork bodyguards, trailing close behind. They were ecstatic about coming to the party, and both had gone out and purchased new Heracles matching designer cocktail dresses. Both dresses were fitted for their over large frames, and had a little extra sway here and there that helped to conceal their weapons holstered on their upper thighs. Rolando sighed again as he listened in on another boring conversation about the latest terrorist attacks against DocWagon. It was clear to Rolando that the attacks were not the work of terrorists, but the start of some kind of shadow war being waged against the medical conglomerate. Rolando was sure there would be opportunities for him in the future, as soon as the conflict reached critical mass - eventually DocWagon would have to respond without drawing the public's notice, and that meant using shadowrunners.
Rolando paused as a waiter passed by with a tray of champagne flutes. Taking one of the slender glasses from the tray, he dismissed the waiter with a wave of his hand as he was an afterthought. But then something caught his attention - a new topic of conversation had started, but he couldn't see what was going on; everyone seemed to be focused on someone or some thing in the middle of the throng, but from his vantage point, Rolando couldn't see the center of attention. Throwing etiquette and caution to wind, Rolando handed his glass behind him for Betty to take, and began to concentrate. After a moment, his body began to rise slowly, his arms slightly spread from his sides. The higher vantage point allowed him to see what was going on - there appeared to be an elf, albeit very short, standing in the center of a ring of people. He was signing autographs while simultaneously answering questions. Rolando knew instantly who the male elf was - the short frame and larger than normal elfish ears helped identify the man as Kevin Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick was the owner and main producer for HotSpot Communications, a small trideo film firm here in Seattle. They produced a lot of the local trideo shows such as Eye on Seattle, Good Morning, Seattle, and Puget Sound Nightlife. Rolando, of course, had dreams of appearing in a trideo feature, especially a remake of the original gangster films from the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Rolando lowered himself back to the ground and motioned for his "girls" to watch his back as he pushed his way forward into the small crowd around Kirkpatrick. Eventually, he was part of the "inner circle," and learned that the trideo mogul was launching a new project which he hoped would skyrocket in the ratings - earning him millions of cred and reputation in the process. His project was a new reality based program that would feature those elusive individuals known as shadowrunners. Some people romanticized the role these shadowy figures played in the struggles of the streets, and they were often blamed for the attacks and damage against both government and corporate entities. They were seen on the reality cop shows from time to time - almost like a "super gang." Kirkpatrick hoped that the show, RealRunners!, would show more of the behind the scenes aspects from the runners point of view, and find out if they are the "Robin Hoods" of the day as many believe, or just scum and "public enemy #1" as others did.
While talking to the small group, Kirkpatrick noticed one of the men seemed to be making some subdued movements with his hands. He shifted his perceptions slightly, noticing the swirling energies of the astral gathering about the strange Italian looking gentleman. The man wove the energies about the small group, causing them to continue to see and hear Kirkpatrick drone on about whatever their minds wanted to hear as he guided Kevin through the crowd to a remote corner. Kirkpatrick was intrigued - he was, after all, no stranger to magic. A "spike baby," born as an elf during the early 1990s, he had endured ridicule and prejudice about his large, floppy pointed ears and his strange mannerisms. When magic returned to the world, he was able to embrace it, and could perform small prestidigitations himself. Large mental illusions of the type the man had just performed, however, were out of his range. What was also a surprise was when Rolando, as the man with the olive skin and tacky gold chains had introduced himself, proposed that they become partners in his new venture. It seemed that Rolando not only wished to invest funds into making the show, hoping for profits on the back end, but styled himself as something called a "fixer," someone who evidently arranged connecting the shadowrunners with those that wished to hire them. Rolando said that he knew just who to contact...