Welcome to New Angeles…

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It is the future. The world has changed. Humans did not.

Hazy smoke filled the dingy barroom of the dive known only as the Trash Can. Frustrated, beaten, and fighting shame and anger, they struggled to hide their feelings as their criminal contact looked them up and down.

“Well,” the Garbage Man said, taking another drag off her cigar. “That didn’t exactly go as planned, now did it?”

The runner, G00dw;ll, averted his eyes. The bioroid known as Rook merely kept his steady, unwavering gaze on the wall. It was Arthur Kingston, known by his military callsign “Fishhook”, who finally broke the uncomfortable silence.

“No, it did not,” he agreed, with a rueful smile. “Of course, it might have gone better if you hadn’t set us up to fail.”

“Me?” the Garbage Man demanded, anger flaring in her eyes. “You care to explain that wild accusation, or am I just gonna have you killed an’ dumped in the street?”

“We didn’t want a second runner,” Fishhook explained. “You were the one who foisted that ‘Pandora’ on us.”

“The job needed two runners.” The Garbage Man tapped her cigar in an ashtray, almost absent-mindedly. “She came highly recommended by a trusted source.”

“Trust is such a fragile thing,” Rook observed, to no one in particular. “So hard to form, so easily broken. Rather like an egg.”

“Believe me, I got all my contacts working to find that bitch,” the Garbage Man spat. “Nobody double-crosses me and gets away wit’ it.”

“That’s nice enough for you,” G00dw;ll said, finally breaking his silence. “What about us?”

“A failed job don’t just hurt you, " the Garbage Man said. “It’s my ass on the line here, too. We’ve all got reps to uphold, people who would gladly move in on us if they found out we were slipping. We gotta make this right, and I think I know how to do it.”

Fishhook exchanged a glance with his compatriots. The anger burning in G00dw;ll’s eyes was enough; Rook’s face remained expressionless, as usual.

“All right,” Fishhook said at last. “Clue us in.”

The Garbage Man leaned in a bit, taking another puff from her cigar. “A’right. There’s this little microcorp called Geotech Limited. Nobody knows how they ain’t been crushed by a megacorp yet. It’s gotta be a shell, but nobody’s fessin’ up either. My little daemons tell me that they’re about to get handed a huge contract, but nobody knows what for. All we gotta do is crack their servers and find out…”

FATE of New Angeles (GetcherGeekOn)

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