Shadowrun Portland

The price we pay for what we are

A child lay in a bed. She’d escaped the lab only days before and survived until she’d been taken in. The hunters who’d found her thought she was mute, or deaf or both. They’d given her enough food to keep her with them, but no more. They thought she couldn’t hear them talking about her fake skin, the skin that wasn’t hers. She didn’t know what they meant, not her own skin.

She hoped it meant this wasn’t her life, that she had somehow been put in the wrong place and that her suffering had been some sort of mistake she could get over. She hoped these people would be good to her, care for her, accept her as one of their own. But something dark and frightening in the back of her head wouldn’t relent. She wanted desperately to be safe, but she’d thought she might be safe before and it hadn’t been true yet. Then again, this was a new world this ‘Redmond Barrens’ maybe it was different.

She was hoping silently when she heard some of the people talking outside.

“Look, I don’t like it either, but if we’re going to survive we have to take every advantage. She’s just a kid, probably traumatized, we’ll be doing her a favor.”

Another answered “It’s wrong, we all know that. This kid needs safety and protection.”

A third “WE need safety and protection, this kid is our ticket to that, her skin alone will buy us new weapons and armor, serious hardware.”

The second “You say that like she’s just another catch, another animal we hunted for a bounty.”

The first “If that’s how you’ve got to think about it, then that’s what it is.”

The second again “The rest of you men agree with this?”

A general sound of assent followed from at least six or seven others, meaning almost everyone in this group was outside.

“Lets go man.” Said the first voice, and the second agreed "Fine, but let’s make this quick, no need for the girl to suffer.

The girl stayed frozen in bed, unable to move as the sound of boots approached the tiny room where she slept. Maybe it was a dream, maybe she’d be ok, maybe they didn’t really mean to hurt her, they said it wasn’t her skin, maybe they were fixing her-

Someone else was in the room. The hunters where still outside but the girl knew she wasn’t alone. The figure looked down at her, detached but intent.

The girl in the bed would die if left to her own ways, she would be butchered and skinned life the rats the hunters caught. All the struggles to survive for nothing. After everything she had been through, weakness remained.

The other knew what had been coming, that violence was inevitable. The other was glad to have the charade of peace dispelled. The other remembered the violence well, the thousand beatings giving and received. The other remembered hatred and drawing strength from fear and pain. The other remembered her name as she walked out into the night to face her rescuers.

The three leaders had just enough time to look surprised before Charlie leapt on them, tackling one to the ground and gouging out his eyes with her thumbs.

From their the world came in flashes as muscle and instinct moved faster then comprehension. An uppercut that sent teeth flying. A club taking out her feet. biting someones ear off and spitting it in his face. A leg sweep while ducking under a crowbar. Close-lining a fleeing hunter and stabbing him with a half a pool cue, then vision returned.

Most of the hunter were dead or wounded. Two stood still, each clutching knives. Charlie advanced with sneer and a growl. Both men stepped back but one caught his foot on a fallen comrade and fell and before either could react Charlie was on him driving the other end of the pool cue into his throat.

The knife hit hard and charlie felt it go in, resisted by her skin and stopped by her shoulder blade. She’d always suspected the knives would do more, and from the frightened look on the last mans face he’d expected it too. He quickly withdrew the blade and stabbed again, this time in the side as charlie turned towards him, it too met with resistance, the third stab went into the stomach and made the most progress, but still not nearly enough.

Charlie locked her arm around his, keeping the knife from coming out, and with her other hand she grabbed the man by the throat, lifted him into the air and slammed him into the ground.

Then a shot rang out. Charlie turned to see the second man from before pointing a rifle at her, apparently he’d missed his first shot and as he worked a lever to load a second Charlie bolted away behind the little shacks that had been the hunters camp. The second shot came through a wall just a bit ahead of the running Charlie, the third and forth just a bit behind. The fifth clipped her cheek and sent splinters into her eyes, but even half blind she came around and charged to the sound of the empty weapon.

She hit him with her full mass in the gut, even being an orc didn’t stop him from being winded and he stumbled back as he reloaded the rifle. Now though, Little Charlie was too close, and she stayed there. He tried to step back and she launched herself at him, a flurry of blows pounding on his chest. He swung at her with the rifle but she slipped under it got behind him for a sound blow to lower back. He turned on one knee and tried to aim but Charlie Kicked him in the face and grabbed the rifle. He had just enough tome to look on in disbelief as she spun the weapon in her hands before she fired and his head exploded.

Then all was still.

Nothing moved as Charlie surveyed her surroundings and considered the weapon in her hands. Without thinking she packed a bag as she’d seen the hunters do and started to walk. She made it to the edge of the campsite before stopping and looking back at her bedroom.

The girl was still in their. The girl who was to afraid to be a monster, who would rather die then kill. The Girl would never survive on her own, the Outsider knew this. The girl could come to her, if the girl came to her then she’d be safe. If the girl was strong enough, everything would be alright.

But the girl didn’t come, and Charlie ventured on alone and left the girl to die.

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JaydeMoon everett_leewuollet

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