Best Served Cold

Razz Origins

Part 1

I used to be like you, a long time ago. All brand new and perfect; all meat, no mistakes, no tattoos with the words “no regrats”. People probably look at you and think of how wonderful your future will be. They want you to be something special, like a Corporate SINner or some big shot politician. I hate to tell you this, but if you grow up here – in the time of the Awakening – you’re more likely to wind up selling your soul to the Megas or the streets. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll make money selling junk to nova-crackheads, and won’t think twice about taking the life of a non-SINner, because you won’t even know it’s wrong in the first place. And maybe… just maybe you’ll end up like me. A death dealing cyber-brute who trades in his morals for a payday. A shadow of real human being. A shadowrunner…

Today, I wake up in my makeshift squat. My sleeping bag is soaked with grease and grime. It smells like home. You see – when a person finds themselves sleeping rough, they have to learn how to adapt. They have to overcome their fear of dirt and disease, maybe even embrace it.

Most of the homeless community in this area of Renton are disturbed and socially deficient individuals (drug addicts or psychopaths like yours truly) whose behavior is unpredictable. My excuse – whatever part of me I haven’t swapped out with metal is drawn to this lifestyle, somehow needs it. I’m still searching for a code, a purpose… a way of holding on to the humanity that I’m gradually exchanging for cyberware -

A little background…

I spent eight years at a foster home in Renton. I liked it actually. It was kind of a normal family. We had dinner together. Celebrated holidays. But I was a difficult kid. I got into fights with everyone, foster parents, class mates, it didn’t matter. Sometimes I would run away for weeks at a time and go back home when I was too hungry, too dirty. The streets soon became my home.

Why? I guess I’m steeling myself. Steeling myself to the fact that the scars and pain and destruction I encounter everywhere are wrought by this time’s failures as much as its successes. The miracle that could have powered the world into a golden age instead was used to make war –

Nahhhhh… let’s be real. It’s the the freedom and easy access to drugs. And there’s the employment piece. I was breaking into homes and breaking bones for scum street gangs since I hit puberty. And I’ve always been great at being a thug. Except I had a heart once. That was before I met Uncle Yu – then he took me under his wing. It was a good thing really. He’s the reason why Zarcain and I both aren’t rotting in an Aztecnology prison-camp right now. Taught us how to scavenge east of the border like pros. We were careful AND lucky. Plus nobody much cared anyway and if they did, it was my job to make them dead.

Robotics factories, ammunition depots, rare-metals refineries, it didn’t matter. It was a way to earn Nuyen pawning old tech and valuables. It was also the genesis of my training… Years ago I hit a long forgotten armory. It was late summer, midnight. There was a blood moon. Outside, just in front of the entrance, there was a 2040’s era U.S. Army truck with radioactive barrels in the back among all the junk strewn throughout the area. All entrances locked down tight, I had to enter through a blown-out ventilation shaft. The interior itself was unique among all the other run-downs I’d burgled up to that point. The radiation heavy, I scanned the entry room and found it devoid of any real valuables, save for a journal fragment on a desk – something told me to hang onto it and I continued exploring. Rummaging through lockers and dressers and then finally to a caged supply area, I found an array of missile launchers, various rifles and SMG’s and my baby – an “All-American Marksman carbine”, 2022 model. Jackpot. Or so I thought. The real score waited for me below…

Part 2 Next week!

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JaydeMoon Razz_J

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