GOT A JOB FOR YOU
The message came from a number unfamiliar to Toro, with an address Toro had not heard of. This couldn’t be more perfect! Thought Toro. He had been debating what he would have to do in order to continue supporting the various non-profit organizations he gave generous donations to. His last contact had stopped returning calls so he was starting to think creatively about the issue. Toro checked the time on his com-link, he’d have to finish helping the kids with arts and crafts quickly if he was going to get to the meet on time. It took an hour to scrub the last bits of glue and glitter out of his fur, but Toro preferred to be late than risk losing another job because he looked like he had arrived from a rave at a kindergarten classroom.
At the bus stop Toro looked at the worn schedule he kept in his pouch. If he hurried, he would only be a little late. A sound made Toro look up, on the stoop in front of an apartment building a young girl was playing with two dolls. One of the dolls served tea while the other laughed whole-heartedly at the jokes of the first. A man in a suit rounded the corner in a hurry. The briefcase he carried hung heavily at his side as he sped toward the stoop, Toro tensed. A vehicle blocked Toros view for an agonizing moment as it passed by. The man continued past the girl. Toro heaved a sigh and forced his body to relax. Down the block Toro saw his bus rumbling away. Black fumes trailed behind as the bus accelerated. Toro took after it at a mad dash.
A few blocks later, Toro caught up to the bus at one of its stops. The drivers eyes widened as Toro stepped on behind an old woman with a bag of wilting cabbage. “Didn’t I pass you over on Worthington Street?” she asked.
Toro swiped his bus pass, “Yes, you must have thought I waiting for a different bus.”
“Uh…yeah,” she shifted uncomfortably in her seat, but her eyes stayed on Toro longer than even he was used to.
Toro scoffed as he slid through the crowded bus. Racism was something that Toro faced on a daily basis, being an alien, it had been an issue since for as long as he could remember. One of the other volunteers at the orphanage had suggested he talk to a group called the Orks Association for Racial ’Crimination. Toro had shook his head sadly and replied that it was a true and unfortunate fate that orks were also commonly looked down upon.
He got off the bus a few streets over from the new contacts address and briskly walked the rest of the way. As Toro approached the location, he saw that two humans in jackets and an elf in a business suit were also coalescing towards the same door. Well, at least none of them look like they are going to pick a fight, Toro thought bitterly. He hated working with others and had hoped this was a job he could do alone. More people usually meant more danger, more room for error and worst of all, a split pay-day. A grungy little man answered the door and invited them in. After finding out the basics of the job, introducing himself politely and being treated like a repeat offender caught with a dime by his new “teammates”, Toro waited restlessly to meet the Johnson and get the night over with.
At a deserted park, the team stood next to the sleek black limo and even sleeker Johnson, “Well?”
“Yes, that sounds easy enough, but we have a few questions. Like about the payout…” Jim the charismatic elf started in and Toro perked up. The money was good so the job was good enough. Toro got dropped off by Jim, whom Toro found exceptionally enthralling, though he had a peculiar smell and made Toro feel funny. After raiding the fridge for a midnight snack, Toro easily fell asleep
The next morning, the human named Mort picked Toro up in his windowless van. An act Toro committed out of site of the orphanage. He would never want to set a bad example for them after all. Inside the van was full of some of the coolest stuff Toro had ever seen up close. Curiously, Toro fumbled about the devices, opening cases and pushing buttons.
Getting in to the Renraku fusion reactors seemed pretty complicated. Usually Toro just had to climb, or run really fast, he was good at those kinds of things. This job apparently required a lot of elaborate costumes and timing and researchy stuff. The group walked into the Renraku building, went down an elevator and down a hall before Toro had noticed the others were lost. Jeez-oh-petes don’t they know how to follow simple diections? I mean, they have signs pointing to fusion reactor B right on the walls for crying out loud.
A security guard noticed Toro wandering down the maze of clearly labeled passages in search of the rest of the group. He approached Toro and asked sternly, “What are you doing down here?”
“Me and my crew are here to deliver something, have you seen them?” The guard checked his com-link just as Toros went off. The other human of the group, Bach was calling. Toro still hadn’t figured out why Bach had been hired, as far as Toro could tell, Bach was just a skitzy, but dull guy who doubled as a massive, bossy jerk. “Oh good, here’s my boss. Boss, talk to this man.” Toro handed the guard his link and waited until the two were done talking. The guard eyed Toro quizzically one more time before putting a map with directions directly onto the links screen and handing it back. “Wow! You can do that! gosh darn, I never knew that was possible!” Toro exclaimed in excitement.
It was four minutes to nine and the door to the reactor was locked shut. Everyone stood around, wondering where their contact was. Bach noticed a locker was ajar down the hall. The body of a crushed guard tumbled out when Bach tentatively nudged it open.
“Bach, security door. Now.” Mort’s voice indicated that either the door was opening from hacking or explosives. Bach had the door unlocked in seconds. Realization dawned on Toro, so that’s what he does. Inside the reactor Toro leaned against a railing as he contemplated the dead guard in the hallway.
“Is that… the Elder?” Jim asked pointing to a small old man. Toro was taken aback for a moment as he took in a grisly scene. Three security guards had their chests caved inwards, as though crushed by a great weight. One guard had been impaled on a beam in the upper catwalk, blood steadily dripping onto the ground. Two others had been tossed into guard rails, their skulls crushed like tin cans. The old man sat passively, meditating away from the massive carnage. The old man’s eyes opened and he went from sitting to walking towards them in a fluid motion. “You have my package?” The Shadowrunners parted to reveal the container and a smile stretched across the Elder’s face. “Good. Now, I suggest you leave. You don’t want to be here in three minutes.” Toro began to leave with the group, but slowed in a final attempt to see the cases contents.
Even before the team had gotten back to the elevator, something felt wrong. Toro started to hear something strange and Mort’s drone picked up an odd feedback signal coming from the reactor. In a moment the world shook and part of the Renraku ceiling began to collapse. Toro easily wove around the falling debri, watching in slow motion as the others stumbled and clutched for hand holds to steady themselves. Morts drone had taken off for the elevator, still holding Toros swords within itself. As Toro chased after the fleeing machine he thought viciously, If that quake hurt any child in this place, im going to find that old fucker and deliver a few more magical items to his kidneys.
At least the job was done.