It's been a while, eh?
Honestly, when I took a break from CLUE almost two years ago (wow, hard to believe it's been that long), I had no intention of letting it languish. Well, you know what they say about good intentions... Personally, I pretty much gave up on ever writing the column again. I reasoned that people had probably already forgotten about my little internet efforts.
I guessed wrong. Every once in a while, when I thought you all had given up; I would receive an e-mail from someone out there asking about future columns. I would tell them that further CLUE columns were probably not going to happen. Luckily, I did use the word 'probably.'
A couple months ago a group on the Dumpshock Forums got together and, intentionally or not, gave me the figurative kick-in-the-pants necessary to get my butt into gear. They sent me some stuff, plus I dug up some material that had been moldering on my hard drive for awhile. With that combination, I think I can manage at least a couple more CLUE files.
So, for however long it lasts, I'm back! But, and here's where you come in, I can only work a bare few columns with the material I have. I need you! So, this is a cry for submissions! If I can pry my ass out of limbo to write more stuff for you people, you can sit your ass at a keyboard and send me material! Hop to it!
Oh, and I do have a bit of mind-boggling news to pass on. Remember, waayyyyy back in Casefile No. 18 (Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home) that clueless character named Spectre? Get this - the young fellow who was the pivotal PC in that total hose-up has joined the US Military and is working a posting in Tactics...
Also, a second bit of news: I have pretty much decided to move CLUE to my own website, which will be hosted on Dumpshock. Adam has very kindly offered to help me set my stuff up and, once the site's ready (which may be awhile, depending on Adam's insane work schedule), the CLUE files will move from the Shadowrun Archive to http://matrix.dumpshock.com/clue/. Then, life willing, I'll be attempting monthly updates again; but until that time and in order to reward you for your patience, I provide following.
Regarding this next piece of total idiocy, I need to tell you that it's based on a letter from a Danish GM that has been stored for almost two years on my hard drive. Due to translation issues and my no longer having this brave individual's email address, I was not able to contact him to clarify some points and so had to resort to some minor artistic license.
So, go to your closet and dig up those biohazard suits! You'll need them to wade through this mountainous gusher of sewage that passes for a run
Juggernaught: a psychopathic cybered to the hoop Cyclops former merc.
Hans: a human physad on the run from the law.
Stribes: a shapeshifter having a tough time adapting to the human world.
Long John: a gnome mage with a short (duh!) temper.
Enter a small but well-guarded Corp facility and extract a scientist. There is a one month time frame to complete the job.
After serious discussion the crew decides not to bother hiring a decker to get any information about the Corp, the building, or the scientist (costs nuyen, ya know). Instead, Long John janders on down to the Corp headquarters, plops his ass down on the small lawn beside the main gate directly in front of the guards, and proceeds to perform 'surveillance.' Every time a vehicle enters or exits the guarded facility, he pulls out his mobile telephone and calls the group. After a while the guards, getting pretty tired of this idiotic vagrant, walk on over to the little man and explain quite explicitly that this was Private Property and loitering was not allowed.
Meanwhile, the other three PCs came up with a plan. They would inconspicuously follow the next vehicle that left the compound, then attack it and interrogate the driver.
After a short wait, a nice little sports car came out through the main gate and the party got in gear. Juggernaught hopped on his big customized motorcycle (yeah, and a huge cybered Cyclops on a tricked out Hawg is sure inconspicuous!) and set off in hot pursuit. The rest of the group squeezed into Long John's car, with the gnome driving.
Juggernaught chased the sports car, but it was rush hour in downtown and the roads were busy. Finally, getting tired of the heavy traffic, he decides to drive on the sidewalk. After almost crashing twice due to running into people, he hauls his giant claymore from his back sheath and starts hacking and chopping at any pedestrian with the bad luck to get in his way.
Finally, he gains on the sports car, which was stopped at a red light. When he pulls up beside it he smacks his claymore into the hood of the car and, with his enormous strength, punches a serious-wound hole through the front hood. He then drives his fist through the front windshield.
The terrified executive was pulled by his hair from his attempt at hiding underneath the dashboard and out of the car through the remains of the vehicle's windshield. He then is introduced to Juggernaught's fist, which smashes into his face twice, knocking him unconscious.
Did I fail to mention that this is rush hour in downtown Seattle?
Meanwhile, Stribes and Hans jump out of Long John's vehicle and run to the destroyed sports car. Performing a quick search, they find a carry-on style suitcase in the car. "Eureka!" cries Hans.
Cyclops slings the unconscious executive across the front of his bike and the group drives directly to their hideout for interrogation. The fact that their hideout is a fourteenth floor apartment doesn't faze them.
After waiting for about twenty minutes for the exec to wake up, the group came to the conclusion that the suitcase might contain a homing device. Hans and Long John decide to take it down to the subway to open it. The fact that they may need tools, or at least a knife, doesn't occur to either.
Arriving at the subway and discovering this fact for themselves, rather than going back for tools, the two decide to borrow a knife.
They approach a nearby hot dog stand:
Hans: "Excuse me; we need to borrow a knife."
Hot Dog Vendor: "What?"
Long John: "Yeah, we need a sharp knife to open our suitcase."
Hot Dog Vendor: (looking at the two is disbelief) "Sorry, our cutting knives aren't available to the public."
Hans: "We really need this knife."
Hot Dog Vendor: "Well, I can't give you one." He picks up a foot-long hot dog. "I can sell you a hot dog, that's it."
Hans: "No, you can give us a knife." He draws his guns, with Long John following his lead. "Now."
At this point, the people who were standing in line behind the two see the guns, scream, and panic, fleeing in all directions. The hot dog vendor drops his wiener (wow, that's an unfortunate double entendre) and flees as well. Hans proceeds to open the hot dog stand and rummage around for a sharp pointed knife. Luckily, Long John discovers that the stand's silent alarms have been activated and they abandon it to run down to the trains.
A train is arriving as they get to the platform. While entering the train they see a couple of armed guards exiting the same train. The guards see Hans brandishing guns, but were not fast enough to re-enter the train before it pulled away from the station. After traveling for a couple of minutes, Hans pulls the emergency stop. Maybe the jolt of a braking train jarred something loose because, suddenly, Long John remembers he has an invisibility spell. He casts it on himself and Hans and they exit the subway.
Finally, they manage to get the suitcase open and find a lot of papers and a couple of business cards.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang has been sitting around the apartment waiting for their exec to wake up. When Hans and Long John return with the useless information from the suitcase, it is decided to accelerate matters.
Stribes is in the bathroom urinating. Juggernaught and Long John haul their captive into the bathroom and dunk his head into the used toilet (of course, due to the deadly stun, the captive doesn't wake up).
After he finishes his business, Stribes decides he's hungry and, in true shapeshifter fashion, decided he wants to eat the exec when they are done questioning him. Not all the group agrees to this, therefore they shout at each other and laugh a lot, creating a lot of noise. The person who lives in the apartment below finally thumped on the ceiling in irritation to get them to quiet down.
Long John (remember the short temper) gets ticked and heads downstairs to give the fellow a piece of his mind. He knocks on the door and the downstairs neighbor answers (a big, strong human wearing an army T-shirt). A nasty shouting match with many threats ensues. Stribes has followed and sits down to watch the fray from the stairwell. Finally Long John draws his pistol and the human quickly retreats back into his apartment. Long John slams the door shut in victory and heads back to the stairwell. A lucky perception roll let him hear the apartment door re-opening and he turns and blasts the human with a deadly Powerbolt, thus preventing the man from shooting him in the back with a shotgun. Stribes helps Long John pull the man's body back into the apartment and they return to the 'hideout.'
Once Hans learns of the dead body, he decides it would help allay suspicion if they made the death look like a suicide. He goes downstairs to the apartment, holds up a towel to prevent blood spatter upon himself, and blows off the top of the dead body's head with a shotgun.
Yeah, and it's around seven o'clock in the evening in a downtown apartment building - did I mention that?
Hearing the blast from a floor up and thinking there's a firefight in progress, the other two PC's run downstairs. They stand and stare at the gruesome scene for a few minutes, then go back to their 'hideout.'
Back at the apartment, they sit down to watch a little trid and there, in full glory on the news, they see Juggernaught riding his bike down the sidewalk butchering people. The news reporter describing the scene states that "the individual in question is thought to go by the name of Dreadnought."
Juggernaught is thrilled at the reputation he feels he will gain from this news broadcast. There's only one problem. The news people got his name wrong.
So, he immediately calls the news station to rectify the mistake! He sits himself down and spends a few minutes happily chatting with a television reporter, straightening out the error on his name.
The rest of the gang by now is becoming aware that this is a bad thing, primarily because of the additional information of a substantial reward for the capture of this "Dreadnought." They decide to abandon Juggernaught, each going his own way.
Juggernaught decides to follow Stribes anyway. Well, Stribes is still hungry, and the two head on down to a subway station. They buy a large amount of food and sit on a bench to eat. After a while, a small boy with a serious acne problem walks up to stand nearby and stare at Juggernaught.
Boy: "Hey, haven't I just seen you on the trid?"
Juggernaught: (puffs himself up in pride) "Yeah, I'm famous! Do you want my autograph?"
Boy: "OK, sure, but, ummm, I have to go get my autograph book. OK?"
The boy walks to a nearby corner, pulls out a mobile phone and, with the view screen pointed back behind him and at Juggernaught, dials a number. Juggernaught, getting suspicious, gets up and walks over to the kid to listen to what he's saying.
Boy: "Yep. Like, I'm totally certain it's him. Right here in the subway. Yup. Sure."
Juggernaught: (pointing his LMG at the kid) "Who you talkin' too?"
Boy: (turning to face Juggernaught, going pale, and holding the phone so the cyclops is framed on the view screen) "Mister, don't shoot me, pleeease!"
Juggernaught: "I'm glad you got to tell them it was me before I kill you."
And so, Juggernaught blasts an adolescent boy into little bits in full view of all commuters in a downtown subway station. Using explosive rounds.
Well, very faithful readers, I come to the end of this sick little narration. At the time I received this info, the run in question (if you can call it that) had not been completed. Juggernaught is on the run from Lone Star and anyone else who wishes to try to claim the massive reward. A pimply-faced kid is a smear on the cement subway station wall. An unknown Corp exec is waking up in a strange apartment, smelling of piss, and with a major headache. The entire group is wanted for various offenses (do I really need to detail them?), and a former hot dog vendor has decided to pursue a career in sim-porn.
Ciao for Now!
Karen - firstname.lastname@example.org