Shadowrun: Richmond, Virginia, CAS

Game Master's Spot Karma Awards
Yes, some worthy things happened...

So, from the parts of last week that I found most amusing:
Zee the Folk Hero tried to help the downtrodden populous of Metro City. For being “good” in a game that is designed to be morally ambiguous and for causing some annoyance to the local Triads, Zee earns 2 karma.
Kane the Vengeful: successfully generated a reason for getting into the tower to find the Jonathan Swift’s data vault and managed to get out to tell the tale. Kane earns 2 karma.

Brother Jimmy in Hilsa? Another trip to Nepal? Chen Ming-Hua, the dragon in the guise of Jonathan? Loretta Anguish in the Tir? Who exactly is on this Council, aside from apparently Vestrivan? Nantale Mukasa the arms dealer with a home in Murchison Falls Game Park, but apparently spends her time in a compound in the capital city of Kampala? And wasn’t the Maiden’s work in Kampala? And exactly what did Jonathan/Ming mean when he referred to Grendalfly as the killer of Grendal? Since when is she Beowulf?

More and more questions…

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Foreboding

It had been a long day of fruitless effort and nonsensical violence. Siege came all the way out to Hong Kong with this menagerie of mayhem still unsure of what was going on and exactly what the upside of being here was. He had been attacked with a biological weapon, came uncomfortably close to a home-grown biological weapon (I mean, who exactly keeps something like that in their basement?), hid in the giant bus/RV when a dragon attacked for no apparent reason, and all of this quiet threat from some ancient dragon vampire… thing. And, oh, there was that torture dungeon in Cuba where whole bodies went in and remnants came out. And a couple of those remnants had the parts of the others digesting in their guts. And the change of scenery didn’t help as the vicious duo of Dana and Kirah decimated a bunch of gangers… who must have been Triads… becoming folk heroes in Hong Kong’s version of the Barrens. Sunder and Kane seemed very level headed, which is not surprising for mages, and Zee… the bow girl… not sure which way she goes.

In all of the events of the past few weeks, seeing a voice message from Hit-N-Run back in Seattle would be a welcome change of pace, and Siege needed a bit of stability. Siege tells his phone to replay his message and a small trideo picture of Hit-N-Run appeared above the device, a pair of welding goggles resting on top of her head and grease covered face.

“Hey Soldier Boy! How’s things. Haven’t heard from you in a while, and well, figured you might’ve gone and died on me. And if you have, I’m finding you in Hell and going to kick your ass! You better not have died on me!

“Look, I know you left for the CAS again on some job or another a bit back and I had a decker friend do a bit of digging to check on you. Just going through the normal data… nothing sensitive… when to our surprise there’s some traffic camera video that caught just a barest snip of a profile on you. Most folks ain’t going to see that, but then, you were the Soldier Boy, right? The Army might find you, if they were looking, and I hope to Hell they ain’t, I asked to have the footage ‘lost’ if you know what I mean.

“Now, that same decker knows of some others seen in the video. There’s three, in particular, who hadn’t been seen for a while, but recently has returned. Some call them the Triumvirate. Corny, I know, right? They’ve got bounties, legal and otherwise, which, by itself don’t mean a thing. Hell, my ex has a bounty on me. But these cats are bad news and the only sure thing is that people die around them. People working against them and those working with them. And how they remain above the law is a mystery a bunch of folks would like to solve. There are literally hundreds of dead behind each one of them, and that’s just the reported stuff.

“If you need something, a way out, or some help, keep me posted. You ain’t getting geeked if I can stop it. Watch your back and I’ll keep an eye on you… just in case. And call every once in a while!”

The image fades, showing the file folder hovering above the phone.

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An Unsual Phone Call
Sunder makes a friend

Sunder sat in the rather spartan, trash bin of a hotel room just outside of Hong Kong. The day had been an enormous waste of time, with viruses frying their decker for hire’s brain and finding that the data found could not be recovered. On top of that, the girls once again got into trouble. The loud kind of trouble that left eight Triad gang members dead, with a ninth taken down by himself. Someone was going to miss them, but not the cheering crowds who saw Sunder’s female associates easily wipe out their oppressors. But, the team was no closer to figuring out who Johnathan Swift was and his connection to Vestrivan the dragon. Troubled by his thoughts, Sunder almost didn’t answer his phone when it beckoned him. This caller did not provide video, just audio.

Nǐ hǎo Mr. Sunder,” the soft, male voice said in a thick accent. “My name is Delun. You are quite difficult to reach and we almost thought we would not be able to speak with you. There was some unfortunate events in Metro City that we should discuss.”

“Uh-huh,” answered Sunder blandly. “Go on.”

“It was unfortunate that our street patrol began an altercation with your associates. They are there to keep the peace. To maintain order. Sometimes, they are… guò dù rè xīn… how you say,… over zealous? They knew nothing of you and assumed they could treat you with disrespect, and died for their poor choice. It is not our wish to maintain such a violent relationship with you. We would lose too many resources. Resources we would commit should we not reach an agreement. Many are seeking you even here, given the large sum of money offered legally for your capture and perhaps death. Rest assured, we wish you no harm, but will ensure you pay in blood should the violence escalate.”

“With that bit of unpleasant conversation out of the way, surely you are here on business. The shop owner told us as much, though he did not have any detailed knowledge of your purpose. Unfortunately, his health was very poor and died before all of our questions were answered. Perhaps I can help you. To expedite your travel home. That may suit both of our purposes. So tell me, how can I help you?”


Add comments here for your call with Delun. Delun will respond also in the comments for this post.

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08-01-2018 Session

Dana suggests going to a café and paying someone to check the chip for a nano-virus. This was not universally agreed to and the idea of using a simple non-wifi data reader to check the chip.

We used a portal back to our hotel roof in Metrocity. A gang person was tagging the small building with spray cans. Shortly a gang leader comes up and berates the gang member. Dana takes a bottle and throws it at the gang leader knocking him out.. The gang member starts spraying paint into the gang leaders mouth as he go down the stairs.

Z checked out the shopping and eateries near the hotel like a café. And there is an electronic store there also.

The crowded street move away from us to allow us to easily pass. In the store the 65 year old owner thinks we are with the triad and asking we are early for his extortion payment. Sunder offers him 5000 nuyen to stop asking questions. He said thank you in Chinese and gestures he has one and produces the box. He offers a place for them to use the data reader.

While outside keeping watch, Dana is outside on the street by the door and watching a group of nicely dressed gentlemen with heavy pistols with an Orc included. Who came and discussed with Dana and Kira. Personal space was invaded and then the individuals were neutralized by Dana punching them and Kira showing extreme prejudice with an assault rifle. The crowd paid thanks to Dana and Kira for what they did.

Inside, Z, Kane and Sunder used the reader and an Emoji showed which was the AI. Z said ‘peace out’ .. The AI was less than helpful and Kane removed the chip as the AI was not cooperating. Kang is the store owner’s name. And he offered a degausser to clean the nano-virus. And Kane goes back into the back and places the chip back into the reader and threatens the AI with degausser usage. The AI said what do you want to know. Kane wanted to know what was on the chip. The AI said my job was to eat everything on the chip. And is unable to undelete the data on the chip that was his programing.

There was a car that came up to the store front – a purple car that slowed down when in front of the store. Dane jumped on the car and attacked it with a mono-whip and Kira assault rifeing the 4 occupants. The last one was majorly injured and the crowd took them and killed him then started the car on fire. And gave praise to Dana, Kira and Siege.

As Sunder and Kane leave off in the other direction from Dana, Kira and Siege. Sunder is attacked by a sniper shot. And takes a slight hit. Kane finds the sniper on a hotel roof and Sunder kills her in one shot. Now the crowd is over 1000 people and whipped up.

So we have crossed the local lieutenant of the triad here in Hong Kong. And we now have the triad against us. This means the 50th floor “get’em” plan is viable again.

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07-26-2018 Session

07-26-2018 Session

Thursday, July 26, 2018
9:42 PM

On the plane to China to review the situation with this Swift Enterprises HQ in Hong Kong. Jonathan Swift is this Vestrivend character.

Kane gets a video file with info from dragon. Some info on Blake and his voting and payoffs/kick backs.

Z is checking hotels outside of the ones that Kane is asking the pilot at the airport for the best hotels. She entered a private hotel that has low occupancy. She ran into another decker protecting the system asking what she was doing in the system and making sure things in here do not get vandalized. She told him she was not here to vandalize the system and the decker sweeps her out of the hotel construct.

The group rents a truck to go to the lawless zone called Metro City to find accommodations. We find a low rent hotel and get rooms on the 6th floor. Kane uses the Marshall badge and the hotel desk guy thinks we are government people inspecting the place. He showed an out of date certificate.

Dana walks over to a woman and her child on the floor in the lobby and gives her a combat knife to protect herself.

We go up to the 6th floor for the rooms overlooking the empty pool.

There are no bathrooms in the rooms and the rooms are not subdivided.

Kane has suggested putting an illusion of water in the pool to have the folks jump in the empty pool.

Rooms are all the same. A desk, full size bed, no electronics of any type and the rooms are made and cleaned. But they are just a down grade from any normal .

The 50 and 51st floors of the Kangzong building.

Kane calls Grummish who is also in Hong Kong. And he suggests going to the West Intercontinental and ask for Lars for assistance.

Kane creates a portal to the top of the hotel and we got to chat with the tactical officer security guard.

We were escorted to the lobby to where we can discuss things with Lars. Kane asked about a decker and Lars mentions about a person that goes by Yeti who is fearless. Has done most of his work in the local vicinity.

We have a dinner date at 6pm with reservations at the hotel restaurant.

We meet Yeti who is Indian or Pakistani in his early 20’s. Told him about the target of Jonathan Swift and 10K up front and 30K after completion.

There is a business center that can be used to perform the run by the decker.

Yeti goes in and gets the data . And comes back and said he will honor the price but it was worth the data acquired. There were odd programs just odd. Attacks Kane and Dana helps. Yeti has a nano virus by an AI. And the data chip with the data is probably a no use it.

Kane portals Yeti onto the next building for someone else to deal with him.

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And just who the hell is Terrance Blake?
Politics,... or just business as usual

On his way to the orient, Kane’s phone has a trideo message. With present company being trustworthy, it would be fairly safe to watch it while everyone is listening. Well, almost everyone. That Seige guys is new, and with all the folks after me, Kane thinks, maybe take this in the other compartment. After excusing himself, Kane pulls his phone out and the holo-image of Dragon appears floating above the device.

“So, I got some back traffic from your phone on some inquiries made of the simple AI interface I set up for you. Attached to this message is a list of the people and families of said people with appropriate addresses. Hey, if you want anyone on the list wacked, maybe give Grummish a call. Apparently he’s been doing some freelance wet work turning in government contracts faster than a horny rabbit.. Always a good guy to keep some tabs on. Kind of like being in a mine and needing a canary, if you catch my meaning.”

“As for that congressman Terrance Blake, he’s pretty shifty. Even for a government type. Never trust those bastards, but I think you already know that.” Dragon’s image gives a wink. “Like most, he’s up to his eyeballs in pork barrel shit, with the requisite kickbacks for the contracts. He’s made quite the nest egg for himself. Here’s the thing, though. All of those kickbacks are coming from companies and lobbyists who are in some way connected to either Jonathan Swift or Vestrivan. Now, some of those connections are many steps removed, which is probably why what you and I know isn’t common knowledge out in the world. Heck, I’m not even sure Mr. Blake knows that.”

“Blake’s political work, though, is definitely geared to clearing a path through the common political gridlock for those companies to achieve their specific ends. Some more astute political types note that Blake’s priorities don’t appear to have any pattern. Given the central core of who he’s actually helping, I doubt these as random or driven by the different agendas of these other interests. There’s a pattern for sure… just wish I knew what it was.”

“In a separate file, I have everything Blake has voted for and against, plus the companies and lobbyists that appear to influence those votes. You have the data and could pour through the mountain to find the pattern, but I’d guess that’d be a while of work. Perhaps you could find, what’s her name? Zee?… to build and or run some programs to search the data for commonalities. Will still take time, but probably not the mind numbing kind of time. I’d do it, but let’s just say it doesn’t take my expertise to do that part.”

“Speaking of associates, I think you have some guy called Siege with you. I think he’s probably safe to have around. I usually keep some level of awareness about your group. Remember the canary? Whatever, but if you need more information about people you work with, just give me a ring. No, literally. A ring. Nothing too ostentatious. 5 or 6 karats. Or cash. Cash works too.” With another wink, Dragon’s image fades.

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Don't forget the brain

“Aw, shit this hurts,” Lazarus thinks to himself. He looks down at the remnants of his body and looks up at his… ah… “doctor”. “What the hell happened to me!”

Grummish looked over his clipboard, pencil in hand, peering over his glasses. “Well, Lazarus, I was going to ask you the same. Perhaps without the expletive.”

What the hell happened? I can’t remember how I ended up here. Well, with what appears to be left of me. Fuck me sideways. Maybe even literally. I must’ve been bum rushed by some mage or something. One minute I was at a stop light in my car. Then I had this bitch in my face telling me I was going to “enjoy” my stay with her. I can’t remember all of what happened,… but the pain. That elf bitch directed it all. I could recognize the psychological torment from my water-boarding days with the Agency. As if the actual physical torture wasn’t enough. Glimpses of memory. Making me watch while that backstabbing asshole Big Daddy eat part of my liver. I guess the muscle augmentation doesn’t have quite the same flavor. If I see that prick, he’s going to wish I water-boarded him.

“Maybe some other time,… doctor.” I’m not in a mood to discuss the events that will likely haunt me to my grave.

“Well… patient,” Grummish says in the flat, stoic voice that always sounds like contempt. Prick with tusks. “After a thorough examination and the removal of the heavily damaged cyberware in your body, you are left as you see yourself. The legs were missing as a result of your torture.”

“So,” Grummish continues, “Your orthoskin was largely flayed from the underlying muscle enhancement in a rather brutish way. This left both systems damaged beyond repair. The bone lacing is also virtually gone, sheared off the femur of both legs, with damage to your pelvis. Apparently, you were tortured using electricity for some time-”

“Yeah,” I say. “Like I wanted to remember that!”

“Of course not. You could see post traumatic stress symptoms. If you do have that, we can refer you out. Back to the electrical torment. That stressed your heart, causing damage to the original heart you were born with. You presently do not have a heart beat as you are hooked to a machine that will pump your blood for you.”

“I’m missing my heart?!”

“Well, the original hardly kept you alive. A new one will need to be grown. That damage also destroyed your cybereyes. You are seeing through some basic cybereyes I had available, until better quality ones can be built. Wired reflexes were destroyed from electrical damage. Bone lacing obviously requires replacement. As do your legs. Bone lacing damage destroyed your enhanced joints. Honestly, I am unsure how you are still alive. And, conversely, how they managed to keep you alive in spite of the damage.”

“Lucky I guess,” I reply with an eye roll.

“Unfortunately, someone tore your, um, penis off. There is very little of you below the waist.”

“Not so lucky.” I shake my head. God dammit.

“We will put you back together, but you will never be the same again. Though, an obvious improvement over the deadly alternative.”

“Why can’t I move?”

“No musculature to allow you to move. Aside from your diaphragm. Though, lungs are not working well. I have you on oxygen. Looks like you inhaled burning embers. And, I am not sure what happened to your rectum. It is damaged such that incontinency is an issue.”

“Anything else?”

“Your brain. Significant damage had to be repaired with cybernetic parts. However, that is temporary. Kane needs your memory of what happened, and time is of the essence. Hence why you are now awake in your present, very much damaged but stable, state.”

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GM's Spot Awards
A little gift for things that make us smile

And, in particular, amusing the GM. So, for the first “hey, that was really impressive!”… or GM amusement awards!

  • Kirah gains 2 karma for not only surviving the Volcanic Blast, but the subsequent grenade explosion with sticking a perfect landing.
  • Sunder gains 1 karma for taking a direct hit from a dragon and living to tell the tale… though he hardly remembers it given his unconscious state.
  • Dana gains 1 karma for having the acorns to go toe to toe with the dragon, particularly after seeing Sunder smacked a hundred feet from where he stood. Thank goodness for emotion chips to resist fear.
  • Siege gains 1 karma for beating out Amber the guard dog and narco’ing her unconscious before she feasted on his carcass. And carrying the flesh eating virus into the vehicle even though it could very well have killed him.
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Session 07-12-2018

And that stuff happened at the farm house with the dragon.

Discussing Trammel’s untimely demise. Slick Jimmy’s Limo service. Z is decking into Slick Jimmy’s limo service to see where she is going for the 2 hour time tomorrow. And Slick Jimmy’s system has the firewall turned on but set with the default password and the system is sparse. A locked cabinet had a password of 1234 and the unlocked was just messages for requesting rides. The locked cabinet has ‘off books’, clients, and schedules. Z obtained a copy of all those. A user in the system noticed someone else was in the system and Z just left the system.

Ms. Kitty is the client for every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm has a car to pick her up, go to a residence, leave the car and comes back in an hour.

Plan is to plant a device to plan the virus delivery device to go off at 2:29pm ET. Sunder is making Siege invisible to plan the device. Siege ran into Amber the 150lb Rottweiler with the pink collar. He shot her twice with a narco-jet letting her sleep then retrieving the 2 darts from the dog. And then he snuck out of the place with putting everything back like it was not touched.

Siege sends a surveillance drone to watch the car.

The car takes off and parks at a location. The driver and the body guard leave Trammel in the car. Then a pedestrian walking by jump in. Just about 230pm the gentleman caller leaves and the driver and body guard return and she is driven to city hall.

The drone trailing the car get knocked out of the sky so it probably lost communication with the last image of it being run over by a city bus.

Virus has 1 to 2 hours life. Siege will go back to get the box from the limo. So a mage will go with Siege to turn him invisible and Sunder cast flight on him . Siege looks for amber who is sleeping by her dog house. He gets into the car, gets the box and returns back over the fence.

And on the news feeds… A 9 block radius of Leone, France was destroyed in a very large explosion like a tack nuke after a sketchy group of trolls went into a building then a very large explosion happened. The large building was under construction and owned by Swift Enterprises (vaguely remembering this company but company owned by Jonathan Swift) almost completed. The building was multi-use (office and residential) and there were underground levels were built into the foundation but not on the building plans.

Z looked at travel plans into France and trying to look for groups of trolls entering the country in the past few days.

Sunder called grummish to check in. Grummish said such a tragedy. 13 trolls go in and none some out. Wonder they will learn from this and prevent such in the future. He winks at Sunder and I know how to make a statement and will talk to you soon.

The maiden group was badly beaten by a group from a subsidiary for the owner of Swift Enterprises which is Head quartered in Hong Kong. The Cuba facility that tortured folks was owned by Swift Enterprises. The dragon……

The Leone site was a former cathedral building over 1000 years old.

Grummish meets the team at the Family Rec center. Kane mind controlled thls guy and instructed to allow us to use his office after Grummish was not getting positive responses.

A cybernetically enhanced dragon. The dragon council relegated him to mundane things. Jonathan Swift is this Vestrivend character. And don’t go to Leone due to radiation and contamination for a while.

The Swift Wind group needs to be destroyed to the last person.

Kaiti called Kane to find work for cash. And the group is going to the ORC to resupply and then head to Hong Kong.

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Another. Fucking. Dragon.
I Blame Sunder.

“The Council has decreed that your crimes against Dragon-kind warrant your deaths, and I am here to carry out their sentence.”

She was a slender female, seemingly walking on air (not that I couldn’t have pulled that off, but still…points for style), emerging from the darkness, and she had … dead eyes.

I reached for the magic, and even though the place had been devastated by our last visit (sphere of annihilation, natch) with an incredibly dense background count, the magic responded to my commands. I felt it fill me with power, and I directed it towards the woman.

Sunder, sensing the woman in astral space, shouted “Kane, look out, she’s a dragon!”

What began as an attack spell I quickly changed into a portal, opening it underneath her in an attempt to send her away. Oh yeah, that whole walking on air thing. Guess she gets points for functionality as well as style. Shit.

The group scattered as the woman raised her hands in a violent gesture, and the whole world went white. A blast of magical fire and heat devastated the group, with nearly all of us taking serious damage. My physical senses were momentarily screwed, but I had also shifted to astral perception when Sunder warned me, and I saw some of the workings of the spell she’d cast. It seemed pretty familiar, like something I’d seen in one of the ancient texts we’d liberated from the temple in the mountains of Tibet. Note to self: Need to take a look back through that thing once we get home. Assuming we get home.

The team returned the favor, with our combat types firing everything they had at the bitch, and Sunder was preparing a big combat spell, he lit up astral space like a magnesium flare.

I saw that our erstwhile benefactor, Marshall Phillips, had been dropped by the blast, but I couldn’t tell if he had survived, so in an abundance of caution I set up a barrier to help shield him (and well, to be fair, I shielded my own lily-white ass too. Duh.). Just in time, too, as the bitch started spraying fire.

About that time, Sunder’s spell went off, a monster lightning bolt (usually my thing, but hey, you do you Sunder), and it hurt the thing. Which meant that he’d gotten her attention. Like, full attention. I could tell that casting the spell at such a high level hadn’t been easy for him, but he didn’t fall, so what the hell, maybe I’ll toss one of my own…

The physical types were going at it with this thing, Kira was lighting it up with APDS rounds, which were definitely taking a toll on it, Zee was firing all out, and Dana scored a headshot that actually drew blood.

Next thing I know, the thing vanishes, and in a wake of magic/astral energy like a shark fin through water, it bum rushes Sunder. He catches a claw swipe and goes flying into the trees. Night-night, homie.

I pull the Marshall out of the fray, and start to frantically cast spells. No, not frantically…recklessly.

Dana ditches her UZI and starts tearing it up with that crazy monowhip of hers, and she’s doing damage as well. Most of us are getting some licks in, but the damned thing must be ancient, because she’s taking it like a champ. Reminds me of this gangbang trid I caught Sunder watching in the dark one time…Shit, focus, Elf!

I cast one of the most powerful manabolts I’ve ever tossed, and it seriously wounds the thing, but the toll on me is horrific. My vision dims for an instant, and I suddenly realize that the things eyes…those dead eyes…they’re like Mei’s, the last time I saw her. Dead, and full of accusations … and disappointment.

Rage fills me and I find a reserve of inner strength. Maybe it was the rage, maybe the old gods were smiling on me, who the hell knows. Whatever the source of good fortune, I was able to push through the haze and keep fighting.

As tense and scared as I am, for the first time in a long time, I feel fully alive.

Something about the nearness of death, maybe. Or hell, maybe I was just high on endorphins or loss of blood, who knows, but I start to grin, and double down with the magic, casting twice as fast as I normally can. The drain is monstrous and I nearly collapse again, but the thing vanishes again and makes a break for it. We must have hurt it more than we realized. Yer not getting away bitch, I’m gonna mount your head on my spear.

With a flash of inspiration, I cast a portal directly in the thing’s escape path, sending it right back into the middle of the clearing for our team to finish off. It must have caught her by surprise, because instead of attacking, she grabbed Dana, and started stroking her head in some perverse parody of an old cartoon I remember from when I was a kid. I will hug him and kiss him and pet him and call him George. Dammit, the drain must be messing with my head, stay on target Red Five.

“Let me go.” And a portal opens behind her. Hey, don’t look at me, I guess she knows it too. Impossibly, while it’s past dark here, it’s daytime wherever her portal goes…I haven’t been able to open one that far away! Yet.

“Let me go, or she dies.” The dragon’s claws ruffle Dana’s hair and I can see her eyes….Dana shows no fear (Oh yeah…emotion chip.). I want to kill this thing more than I can say, but can’t risk it. She could rip Dana apart with her bare claws. I cast a couple of spells, both of the telekinetic variety. One grabs Dana and yanks her free from the Dragon’s grip, and one manages to wipe a small amount of blood from its head wound.

As I catch Dana, the Dragon vanishes into her portal, and it closes behind her. I’m exhausted, but I take time to cast a preservation spell on the dragon’s blood. Another time, bitch. We know a few ritual magic tricks that most mortal mages don’t. This ain’t over. Time to patch up our wounded and get the fuck outta here.

As tired as I am, I doubt I’m gonna sleep tonight…those dead eyes.

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