The Shadows Whence They Came

Cinematic: Brown Stuff in The Ocilation Device
What started it all.

Why can’t they ever smell good? Krizz thought to himself wiping blood off his hands with a rag. Fucking trolls…

The door slammed open, a metal clang rung throughout the small room and a large man with obvious cybernetics wiring his temples to something in his clothing stood in the doorway.. “Enough Krizz! He aint talking, wait for the sparker to dig it out.”

“Oh what, did somebody loose his nerve all of a sudden? Drekk gets real and the bakebrain suddenly grows a -”

“Slam it,” the man growled as razor claws extened from his right knuckles.

Krizz took a step back behind the iron beam the barely concious troll and the chair he was on were chained to…many times over… and threw his hands up. “So ka Nix, so ka. You knwo I was just foolin. Take it easy.”

Nix sheathed his claws and jerked his head towards the door. Krizz sighed and nodded as he left the room. Nix followed and shut the door. The troll lifted his head slowly and smiled through bloody teeth. He closed his eyes and started mouthing an incantation and the chains around his arms broke apart and fell to the ground with a hissing sound.

He stood up and his eyes rolled back into his head. “Confirmed, no eyes, mage absent, least one Breetva,” he said quietly as sparks licked his lips. His eyes snapped back forward and he slowly made his way to the door. A low voice speaking russian could be heard but the words couldn’t be heard clearly. The troll’s head was starting to pound but he shook it off. The light in the room blinked off and on twice. This is it, he thought as he let out a deep breath and held his hand out beside him preparing for what would come next.

The screen glowed in front of Iron-Sides, a clean shaven dwarf with a set of goggles resting around his neck. He leaned back in his chair with placing his hands behind his head. “Are you sure this is a good idea? What if Bolas gets found out?”

“Aint no way they gonna know he’s got the spark. Been eyeing this place up and down for how long? No sigs means no sparkers,” said the girl behind the wheel. The dwarf turned his head. He didn’t need his goggles to know her tag, Pixie-Z, and bio-readings were floating next to her head.

“I know,” Iron-Sides said sighing, “but something aint right. I mean, this guys essentially have bitty boxes running their whole operation. I got a hold of their whole system on my first try and they haven’t even noticed my obvious attempts to phish for agents. No deckers, no mages, barely muscle…why even hire us?” He leaned forward staring at the screen in confusion.

“We don’t get paid to ask questions. Hell, we barely get paid for this drek.” Pix thumbed the steering wheel in boredom. Causing her hair to shift from one vibrant color to the next. Then the door to the van slid open causing both of them to jump. A hooded figure stood there with a rifle in hand.

“What the drek Leon?!” Iron-Sides exclaimed as he barely caught himself from flying backwards on the chair.

“Just got the go-ahead from Bolas. You were right about their security being lax. They have no cameras or drones that he saw and confirmed no mage was on site but that one was on his way. They do seem to be spec’d for combat. At least one heavy hitting borg,” Leon said as he shifted the weight of his gear. “Time is short, let’s do this now.”

Iron-Sides grabbed his deck off the shelving and a bag of tools off the floor as Pixie hopped out of the van. They made their way across the empty street, the overloaded transformers buzzing overhead. They could see the flames of a barrel fire through the tears in the tarp covering the chain link and could now hear the men laughing on the other side. Pixie wasted no time stepping through the gate.

Time slowed for her and two of the men took stick and shock rounds to the head going down with clenched jaws. A thug by the door swore and rose a pistol towards the group and pulled the trigger. Instead of firing the magazine dropped to the ground. Iron-Sides gave a wink and a smile. An laughing emoji popped in AR next to the pistol.

Leon took the opportunity to step behind the thug and bring him to the ground. After a brief struggle the thug went limp. “Signal him now.”

Iron-Sides tapped away at thin-air. “Alright, he should have seen that…if not, he’s definitely going to hear this,” he said pulling something out of his bag with a smirk as he walked towards the door.

There was a blast from above which shook the room Bolas was in. Yells and hurried footsteps came from beyond the door. Damn, there goes the quiet approach, he thought twisting the handle of the door.

Bolas listened carefully until he was sure the next room was empty. Someone kept moving around. They started making there way over to the door and tried to open it. Bolas used the chance to slam the door open sending the man crashing to the floor. It was Krizz and his eyes were wide open as Bolas leapt on top of him with a growl. Bolas’ muscles bulged with magical energy and each punch was met by a wet crack. Krizz stopped struggling and a blood splattered Bolas got up.

“Fuck you,” he spat with a final kick. Gunfire erupted above, the already cracking ceiling raining a fine powder down with every thud of someone dropping.

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