Shadows of Baltimore

The Missing Almag Truck

Forced to think fast, Bullock instructs the group to let the air out of the tires and release the fifth wheel before trying to pull the truck out. Nearly mortally wounded, the runner’s helped Bullock into the driver’s seat. Bullock, the only one in the group capable of driving a truck, went heavy into the clutch as he finally managed to grind through dirt and rock to drive the truck up the loose rock and dirt with the rest of the runners jammed into the cab with him. They left Elan behind to look over the bodies and go pick up their I.D’s from Tony. (More on Elan later…) The runners first attempted to go back to Dr. Gizmo’s Chop Shop and cruise on Biz’s tab. After all, they had saved his life. Biz however, was laying low since his recent stint at the chop shop. Under the threat of violence from a rather large and nasty looking security guard, and an even larger and nastier looking nurse, the runners get back in the truck and head to Tent City when Bullock remembers Henry Earth-Sea spoke of the ‘witch’ when his son had been bit by a rat. After seeing Bullock pale with from blood-loss Henry berates his men for not staying with the runners as he instructs them to carry Bullock to the witch doctor. The witch, a surprisingly pretty young woman, stitched Bullocks wounds and gave him a salve to help promote healing as he rested in her tent.
Meanwhile, the runner’s show Henry the mutated rat they discovered in the tunnels. With a grave face, Henry swallows a lump in his throat as he asks the group to return to the tunnels once more to find out what has been corrupting these creatures. This time, he sends you a large man with a pole and cracked hands that smells vaguely of hand sanitizer. He refuses to shake your hands. 5ive tuned out Henry as he searched for Biz’s location once more using one of his courier sprites, and did some remote tasks for Elan. The sprite was successful in finding Biz’s icon in an industrial neighborhood in Cherry Hill. When Bullock returned rested, they hid the Almag truck under an overpass before they set out to head back to the Old Rockworm Tunnels, just missing Elan and Holli as they returned from their mission. After running into yet more of the mutated rats, the runners had to think fast as they shot around each other while the rats ducked and evaded their every move. 5ive realized that there was a daylight option on the light panel he had been using, and flips it on, causing the rats to weaken in their resolve. Nevertheless, they fought to the last. One of the rats that Bullock had presumed dead chomped down on his left leg, leaving a nasty and infected looking wound. The strange Indian Henry had sent them into the tunnels with managed to use a few spells to stun and slow the rats as Chase fought to keep the group from getting surrounded, bruising his knuckles as he punched bony growths into the brains of the mutated rats. Victorious, this time through they torched the rat nests and pushed on to find Walter.
When the group comes upon Walter, they see him crying by a hastily constructed vigil from Ralph, Walter’s cousin and B.A.R.F brother. He informs the group that Ralph never made it back out of the tunnels following the gas explosion. The runners inform Walter they were probably the last people to see him, and that he was indeed alive when he left before the explosion (after narrowly avoiding getting shot by a sentry gun). After showing Walter the rat, he tears up with grief and tells the group “Fuck the tournament, just get Ralphie back. I’ll give ya everything I own.”
Toe-Knee finally reveals his name, and for some unknown reason keeps correcting them when they nod and say “Hi Tony, I’m -…” He attempts to heal Bullock’s bite wound, but is not entirely successful.
“There are some wounds that do not heal.” He shrugs as rubs his ashy hands together and stands.

Comments

It is dark, but I cannot sleep.

My focus vibrates beneath my head, and calls to me. It wants to be held. I leave it alone, too much at stake. I will not risk losing it again. Thieves and sometimes worse come in the night. I have been startled awake by hungry children digging in my pockets for food, and with a sharpened glass knife at my throat, demanding drugs. I woke in a hospital after two weeks in a coma. I was beaten nearly to death. That time, I lost everything.

So dark. I listen to the poisonous water of the harbor lap the shore. It should be peaceful. But I hear creatures in the mud, exploring, feeding, mating. But I also hear something larger, hunting the lesser ones, cracking the bones of those who dare to stand in the face of the predator.

I imagine myself, hunting down the thieves who tormented me and stole my. But I know I am just one of the small creatures in the mud, and I have no chance versus those who would take everything from me on a whim. So I have dedicated my life to saving others, and tonight, I got a chance to grow beyond this.

I was welcomed by a group of runners to help them, and I now have a chance to rise from the mud. A chance to become more than a night creature, skittering among the ruins, taking what I can. And a chance to grow powerful, and shatter the bodies and minds of those who hurt me.

A smile crosses my lips, and I pull a ragged blanket tight around my body. My eyes are getting heavy. I will sleep, and my spirit will guard me. I feel hopeful for the first time in ages.

The Missing Almag Truck
jpride3030 jpride3030

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