Before Dinner Drinks

Not sure what was going on, DB watched bad trideo until it was time to get ready for his dinner meet. The hotel and text was disturbing, but they could wait.

He arrived at Le Pier about 30 minutes early. Sometimes it was good to scope out the location beforehand. The bar was full of waiting people. DB didn’t even bother to try and look at the dining floor, instead he went to the bar. Lucky for him, someone walked away from the counter leaving him a space. Next to a pretty woman. This was his day.

He said down and ordered his vodka drink.

“Would you like to hear a story?” A familiar voice asked.

DB froze. Bunny. But how? She was dead and her spirit was haunting him. “Sure, let’s hear this story.”

“You sell the coin. And two weeks later, your world crashes down around you.” She took a sip of her drink.

The bartender brought his drink over and left.

DB took a large swallow. “How much?”

Bunny blinked and leaned into him. “An obscene amount.”

Usually he’d enjoy a beautiful woman hanging on him, but with her? They had too much bad history for any of that.

“That’s pretty cryptic. Care to share any details?” He asked.

"Care to tell me how I died?" She replied.

DB narrowed his eyes, thinking of the last time he saw her in person, then he shook his head.

“No. That would be giving you something for nothing.”

World crashing? It sounds like she was just trying to stir up trouble. “Yea, I’ll take my chances.”

She laughed. “You don’t believe me. Fine.” She shrugged. “Give me a number.”


She shook her head. “Too easy.”

“17” He swallowed half his drink.

“The man behind you will get a call and have to leave.” She pointed towards a table a couple meters away. “The woman in green will excuse herself and not come back. The man with the red tie will order a martini. A woman in a large fur coat will demand to be seated right away. The couple three tables over, will be engaged.” She leaned in and touched his arm. “He was going to wait until dessert, but he can’t wait to ask her. The bartender will ask if you want a refill.”

Things started happening like she said it would. He plucked the small bug she had planted on him from his sleeve and tucked it in her cleavage.

He let her drone on. There was merits to keeping the coin. Course, the same could be said for selling it. It was done and gone. The bartender brought him another drink.

List Day

  • Gas is at $2.85 per gallon
  • There was no one at the coffee shop, it wasn't open yet
  • I need to rake the back yard. The leaves are piling up
  • Dreamed about snow last night
  • What do you mean, you're going to send me more?
  • The clock on the wall is still an hour ahead. I keep looking at it and thinking, that much closer to going home. Not
  • I've already done that, if you'd checked your email you'd know
  • Dude, I don't know, I don't deal with that
  • Have a good evening

1000 Words

Down the street on a fall day. The calendar says fall. But the weather is leaning towards winter. Its time to bring out the winter coats. Which means I need to get Pink Bird and I new coats. I'll drag Grilltech along to see if he can find a new one he likes more the one he has.

I've been knitting, I swear. It just seems to be dishcloths. A total of five. When?

Newest member of the family. Her name is Zharr. It's Dwarven for fire. When you look up her name on google, you get Chaos Dwarves for 40K. Apparently, Zharr is a follower of Nurgle: the Chaos God of plague, despair, disease and death. (Because when she came to us, she had an eye infection and ear mites.)


DB woke about his normal time of 1000. Instead of heading out to the plaza to do some busking, he went to BC's place. There was more room for him to work there. He altered his features and drove over.

The workroom was large; he put the coin in the middle of the room. An hour and a half it took him part way to finishing his ward. He was careful to get the sigils just right. At some point, he realized Lilith – his mentor – was leaning against the wall watching him.

“What do you think of Bunny? Can I trust her?” BC asked.

“I wouldn’t.” She seemed bored.

“Do you think the coin and Bunny are evil?” He asked trying to get more insight.

“I don’t think they’re evil, just used for bad intentions.” She didn’t point out he was asking the wrong question. Lilith would leave him to figure that out on his own. Sometimes fate was a harsh teacher.

Once he finished the ward, she looked it over. “I’d add a time element.”

Lilith drew a sigil he’d never seen before. It hung in the air while he copied it.

“Should I just sell this coin?”

Lilith smiled, her delicate fangs showing. “Think of all the things you could do it with. Think of power. Think of the danger.” She never did give him a solid answer.

Another hour and he the wards were completed. The sigils glowed with magic. His magic.

“Are you sure you should be doing this?” Lilith asked. “It’s dangerous, messing with time.” She stopped.

“I need to know.” He said.

“How many times have you done this?”

“Once.” He paused. “I think. I don’t know I’ve been getting some strange things.”

Lilith shook her head, but said nothing.

He stepped over the chalked sigils, careful not to disturb them. His world changed.

He was at the party meeting the Countess again. Time was flowing slowly. He felt a hand on his shoulder and a voice whispering in his ear. “She’s judging you. She doesn’t think much of you. You barely have a high school education. I can make you amazing negotiator. All you have to do is grab the coin.”

BC’s hand started sliding towards the coin, but he didn’t touch it. Shaking his head, he stepped out scuffing the ward.

“How long was I gone?” BC asked.

Lilith shrugged. “Not long at all, less than a minute.”

“How can I thank you for the help?” BC said with a sly smile.

She reached out and ran her hand over his chest. “I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”

An hour later, BC broke the ward down completely. He altered his features, and left to go back to DB’s house. Sometimes it was a pain in the ass to maintain two houses. However, the benefits made it worth it.

DB checked the time. He had about five hours before his dinner. Checking his email, he found an attachment from BC. A floor plan for a hotel. Odd, he didn’t remember sending it.

Two hours later, he got a text from Miz Johnson. “I’ve got the hotel security. I’m ready when you are.”

What was going on?

At the Party

DB took a long hot shower. He shaved and pulled out one of his black silk suit. He spent the rest of his afternoon watching bad trideo.

At 18:55, the limo showed up. The driver, James, got out and opened the door for him. As usual, Mrs. Latham was not there. He rode in silence to her house.

“Darling, you look amazing.” He said kissing her cheek.

“Thank you.” She smiled.

They made small talk on the drive to the Seattle Art Museum. Tonight’s opening show was on ancient Rome. DB smiled. More information for him.

Columns and vines decorated the room. The wait staff was dressed in togas, carrying trays of champagne and finger foods. Crowds of rich people looking at the display before the public even got the chance.

People came and went, chatting with Mrs. Latham about business. DB kept half an ear on the conversation, while letting his mind wander. She excused herself and left him alone.

“Quite the display, isn’t it?” A man in his mid-thirties approached DB.

DB looked around the room. “Yes. Nice to meet you. Dirk Benedict.” He held out his hand, while quickly doing a social media check on the man before him.

“Anthony Keddis.” He shook DB’s hand. “Call me, we should do lunch sometime soon.”

DB smiled. Information started filling his commlink. Anthony Keddis, president of Widgets Inc. More information about Keddis’ company filled his feed. Married. Two kids. Boring wage slave. He nodded. “I’ll do that.” Keddis sent him a digital card and left before Mrs. Latham came back.

Together they walked the display, coins, jewelry, textiles, and scrolls. One of the scrolls caught DB’s attention. Janus.

DB stared at the scroll, wishing desperately he could read it. The HUD said the scroll talked about the day of the life of an acolyte. How long he stood at the scroll, he couldn’t say.

“It’s not the one you want.” A woman’s voice cut into his thoughts.

DB stiffened, it was her the woman from the house. He turned and smiled.

“And where would be the one I wanted?” He asked. Quickly he did a social media check on her.

“Safely tucked away.” She answered.

Information started pouring in. Lara Croft. Aid De Camp to Countess Isabel Santora. “Maybe I can find it.”

“Maybe I should kill you and take the coin from you cold dead body, but the Countess doesn’t like that idea.” She replied.

DB swallowed. “I don’t like that idea either; maybe I should be talking to your boss.”

Lara pursed her lips and nodded. “Come with me.”

She put her arm through his and led him to another room. She spoke in rapid Italian to an older woman. She released his arm and stepped back.

“Hello. I am Countess Isabel Santora.” She looked him up and down. “You’re the one that has been vexing Lara. Keep up the good work.” She took his arm and strolled up the aisle. “We should do dinner. Tomorrow night?”

DB nodded.

They continued up the aisle for several more meters. Lara joined them. Her smile was brittle. “Dinner at Le Pier at 2000.” She sent DB a reminder. “Anything else?”

The Countess shook her head. “Thank you.” She smiled broadly at DB. “Until tomorrow.” She then took her leave.

DB went in search of a drink. The line at the open bar was a bit long. DB found himself next to Joel Winestead. Joel obviously had a few too many drinks. It took a few seconds, but DB recognized him. Misti Davenhert’s consort.

“Quite the night isn’t it?” DB said.

Joel nodded. “I’ll be glad when it’s over, so I can take this monkey suit off.”

“How is Misti doing?” DB changing the subject.

“Pretty good, she has a meeting with NeoNet tomorrow.” Joel hiccupped.

DB smiled. “Hope things go good.” He filed that piece of information. He ordered a Vodka drink for himself and a slow Gin for Mrs. Latham.

He found her chatting with other board members. They stopped once he showed up, which was somewhat annoying, but understandable.

The end of the evening found them both in the limo. DB ran his hand over her knee, pushing a bit of magic into the caress. He was very pleased when she shuddered. They made out like teenagers until her house.

James opened the door, and offered his hand to Mrs. Latham. She got out of the car, but her hand out to stop him from getting out. “James will take you home. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Confused DB stayed in the car.

The Run - Part 2

He went back to bed and slept until 1000. He showered and got ready to go spend the morning busking in the plaza. At 1230, he headed up to the coffee shop. Again, Miz Johnson was waiting for him. She was dressed in khakis and a polo shirt with NeoNet embroidered on it. She handed him a shirt just like hers. BC changed his shirt in the middle of the shop. She also handed him a commlink.

He thumbed the ID. It came up as Roger Kennedy. A picture of his alter ego linked. The PAN was linked to hers, listing her as Pamela Martin.

“Now we wait for the trigger to happen.” She told him.

He nodded. Waiting was the longest part.

20 minutes later, she looked at him. “The drives was blown. We’re on.”

Together they went to his car. She punched in a downtown address not far from where they were into the navigation unit.

They leave the car carrying tool kits. They head up to the sixth floor. Glass doors with Fast Date on them.

As they enter, the receptionist looks at them. She looks slightly nervous. “Hi, can I help you?”

“Hardware support, we’re here to replace the faulty drive.”

She looks relived. “Good, one minute while I call Paul.”

A couple of minutes later a smartly dressed man comes out. “Glad you’re here. It just suddenly stopped working.” He directed them to a palm reader. All the while keeping up a conversation.

Pamela palmed in, then turned and winked at him. BC stepped up and palmed in. Paul led them down the hall to another door. This time only he palmed in.

They stepped into a cold room, with bright overhead lights. The room was huge. It must have taken up half the floor. He led them to a rack towards the middle of the room. “Here it is.”

Pamela starts working on the server, while Paul hovered. BC herded him back from her. He started asking questions. “I need more information on the event that caused this.” Paul looked at him. “Can you let me know if there was any data spikes or abnormal activity?”

Paul’s eyes went distant. “There was a spike in activity, but it was within normal parameters. Do you think that was the cause?”

“Anything is possible, it could have been hackers.” He replied.

“Roger, I misplaced my 12 pin connector. Do you have one?” Miz Johnson asked.

He made a show of looking in his kit. “No, but I think have one in the car.” He turned to Paul. “Can you escort me back out so I can grab it?”

Paul looked between the two of them. He seemed to be debating something in his head.

“Relax Paul, I understand you are here for security. I don't want you to get into any trouble for letting me run around on my own. Quick trip to the door and then we'll be right back". DB said soothingly. "I know you don't want to have people running around the premises on their own."

Paul looked at him and nodded. “It will be only a few minutes right?”

BC smiled reassuringly. “Quick as a bunny.”

They left the room. Once BC was out of the offices, by the elevator, he turned himself invisible and watched the room. Paul stood by the receptionist desk, chatting with her. After several minutes, he started getting agitated. He started towards the server room.

BC knew he waited long enough. He dropped the spell and came running up to the door. He hoped he gave Miz Johnson enough time. Yanking the door open. “I got it.”

“Great, let’s get back.”

“I need a drink first.” BC said still stalling.

Paul sighed but said nothing while waiting. BC made a show of drinking two glasses of water, and then he nodded.

The trip back was slightly faster.

BC’s small talk kept Paul busy while the replacement of the hard drive went on.

“We’re at the longest part, transfer of data.” Miz Johnson announced.

After what seemed to be forever, Miz Johnson said they was up and running. Paul looked distant again and then smiled.

BC turned to Paul. “I need your thumb print on this form showing you witnessed custody of the hard drive for the forensic report.”

Paul gave it willing. “Do you know how long it will take?”

BC looked at Miz Johnson. She shrugged and said “About 48 hours for a complete turnaround.”

Paul started herding them out while complaining about how his night was ruined.

BC drove them back to the coffee shop. Miz Johnson gave him a certified cred stick. BC gave back the commlink and they parted company.

The Run - Part 1

BC stepped out the car. He pulled the bag with him and stumbled into the house. A thumbprint later, and he was falling into bed.

His alarm went off an hour later. The short nap reduced the pounding in his head from a roar to a dull thud. BC opened the bag and looked at the coin. He itched to grab it, but the memory of its force kept him from doing it. Instead, he closed the bag and put in a safe location, under his mattress.

A quick shower later, he headed out to the coffee shop. Pulling into the parking lot, he spotted Miz Johnson’s motorbike. She was early, but then so was he. BC ordered his typical and went to her table.

“Miz Johnson?” He asked making it sound like he didn’t know who she was.

She looked up at him. “BC?”

He nodded. “Nice to meet you. What can I do for you?”

She smiled. “I’m looking for someone to be charming. Are you charming?”

“I’m as charming as can be darlin’.” He drawled. Then it hit him. She was a spitting image of Misti Davenhert. Frag, his might complicate things with Ms. Latham.

She nodded. “The pay is 5K. Still interested?”

BC thought about it for a nano-second and then nodded. “Work is work.”

“Good.” She took a sip of her cup. “The target is a company called Fast Date. I need you to provide a distraction.”

“Sounds easy enough. Anything else?”

“We’re going in as a repair team, so know your stuff.”

BC frowned and shook his head. “I don’t know drek about computers.” Sure he used one every day, but knowledge? That was for the techs, not him.

She sighed. “You’ll need to know a couple of basic lines. Things like ‘we’ll know more once we get it back to the labs’, and ‘hackers’, and ‘anything is possible with technology’.” She took another sip. “I’ll also need picture of you.”

BC smiled. His features changed to dark hair, silverish eyes, and more tanned skin. “I’ll use this face.”

Miz Johnson looked surprised. “That’s pretty wiz!” She looked at him for a second, and then said she was done.

BC’s features when back to his normal ones. “Anything else?”

“Figure we’ll meet up here again at 1300, until the actual run time.”

“It’s a date.” He laughed.

He went back to his place and pulled up some data on Fast Date. It seems it was the premier dating site of Seattle’s elite. Five thousand a month for dues. He logged into dark net to see what the decker community had to say about Fast Date. Rumor has it there is a lot more data traffic for a "dating site” and they have about half a floor of servers. BC shrugged anything more than one was a lot for him. More reading showed there was debate as to who really owned the data. Some say it is Mituhoma, while others think it a data store for NeoNet. Great, upset the yaks or Villiers. Maybe he should have asked for more nuyen.

Just for kicks, he tried to pull up any data on Miz Johnson. Ten minutes later, he found quite a bit of information. Her real name was Hailey Davenhert. She graduated high school at 11, and went to University of Seattle, graduating at 15. Rumor has it the triple AAA corps all want her, but she seems to be content living at home with her mother. She seems really, really good with computers. Mutters of her being a techomancer have been bandied about, but nothing has been proven. He checked dark net and found a couple of posts to the anti-GOD boards. He wasn’t sure what or who GOD was, so he searched on it, and found it was the Grid Overwatch Division. He could live with that. A little anarchy was good.

He checked his chronometer. 1930. Even with the pounding headache, he changed into his party clothes and headed out the club.

He crawled into bed about 0230. Sleep came right away. Dreams came and faded away, except for one. He was at a party. Only this one was different, the clothes were old. Toga party type of old. The room was large and made of stone. Light was from oil lamps and doors? Not something, he could see. He found himself walking down a stone corridor. He ran his hands along the rough stone. Something was calling him. He could feel it in his chest. After walking what seemed to be forever, he came into a bedroom.

An old woman lay propped up on the bed. Old was an understatement. Her wrinkles had wrinkles. “I knew someone would come.”

“What can I do for you?” BC asked.

“Water.” Her voice was a whisper.

BC found a basin with a stone cup. He poured her a glass.

She spilled more than she drank, and handed him the cup back. “Are you here to take it?”

“Do you want me to take it?” He countered. “I’m not a thief here to take things that aren’t mine.”

“Have you done the rites?”

“I apologize but I haven't been taught the proper rites, perhaps you can teach me.”

She gestured towards the side of the room. Suddenly a table appeared in a pool of light. DC moved to the table and started studying the scroll. The lines of text. A test of Might – prove yourself worthy in battle. A test of Wits – prove your skill. Purification Rite – you must bath in the ‘blood of the lion’. Three tests.

He woke with an overwhelming urge to pee. Grabbing his commlink he did a voice memo with as many details as he could remember.

Am I Late?

It's the middle of October? How did it get to be so late? What have I been up to? Playing computer games. Knitting with friends. Working on a story. Sums up my life in three simple sentences.

Here is a cowl I've made for the Eldest. It's angora and wool. Only took a couple of days to make. It's unblocked here.

Here it is blocked. To me, it looks the same.

I don't know how he does it, but he puts holes in his socks. Couldn't tell you how long ago it happened.

Found this pair today. Good thing the pair of socks I have on the needles is his.


DB opened the car door for Miz Johnson. She got in and pulled out her haul, three cred sticks and the coin.

DB took the cred sticks and thumbed them. 20K on the sticks, he slotted 10K for himself and gave the rest to Miz Johnson. Pulling out a driving glove DB took the coin from her.

“What happened?” Miz Johnson asked.

“We kicked ass. It went pretty smooth.”

She turned towards him. “Dude, you're bleeding. I don't think that was smooth.”

DB smiled. “Magic has it's cost and no one died. I consider that smooth. Before you go, when did I contact you?”

Miz Johnson pulled up her texts on her commlink. “Looks like three hours ago.”

DB nodded. “Great. I’ll contact you if I have any more work.”

She got out of the car and walked away. DB barely noticed as he grabbed BC’s commlink. It was almost an exact match of the one he was wearing, but slightly more banged up. He checked the time. Three hours ago, BC texted her asking for a meet. Frag! What was going on?

DB punched in the address to his other place. The coin was warm even through the leather.

His commlink buzzed. Incoming call from Mrs. Latham.

“Hello Beautiful.”

She was not looking at him, but something off screen. "DB, darling, I'm sorry for the short notice. But the..." as she looks at you she stops. "You look horrible. Are you alright?"

"Magic ritual went bad, it looks worse than it actually is. A few hours of sleep and I'll perfectly fine.” DB said smoothly.

“Good.” She nodded. “Anyway, I have a black tie gala tomorrow night at the museum. Care to escort me?”

"It would be my pleasure, what time and where should we meet". DB asked.

"I'll have the car pick you up at 7."

"I will be well rested and ready." DB replied. "Hope you have a lovely day." He reached up and turned off his commlink.

He pulled an RFID blocking bag out of the glove compartment and shoved the coin and glove into it. He punched go and closed his eyes for the trip.

BC stepped out the car. He pulled the bag with him and stumbled into the house. A thumbprint later, and he was falling into bed.

How it Went Down

Bunny is pointing at the wall, it's in here.

DB is opening the safe. (lock picking three successes)

Bunny looks beyond DB and hisses, "Stay out of this bitch."

DB opens the safe, when a female voice behind him says, "I wouldn't do that if I was you. I don't know what it promised you, but I can tell you how it will end. With a bullet to your head."

DB paused for a breath, and then grabs the coin. Bunny explodes. (Resist 12 Stun magic and willpower (takes 5 stun)) Where there was, Bunny was a copy of you.

"You shouldn't have done that."

DB turns invisible and runs from the house. Makes it back to the car.

DB woke up in the car before going into the store. Last thing he remember was a warrior woman dressed in blue and red, saying it was too early for him to be awake. She then motioned and he was here.

He goes astral again, and goes back to the house. He could tell what house he needed to go to before he got close. A bright ruddy red light glowed brightly. Next to the red is just as bright, is a blue/white woman. DB paused on the stairs, about half way up. He listened.

“You’re not going to get away this time.” DB recognized the voice from a podcast he had listened to a couple of days ago. Who was it? Gwen Anderson. A self-reported Gatekeeper.

Staying low, DB crept up closer. Gwen was standing in the doorway, pacing towards the middle of the room. “According to you, I can’t stop it. Wanna tell me what you’re planning on doing?”

Bunny just glared at Gwen.

Gwen turned and looked back to the doorway. “He might surprise you.”

Below, DB heard the front door open. “Frag!” He hugged the stairs. Seconds ticked by and nothing happened.

Backing down slowly, DB looked around the living room. A teenage girl stood at the open door. She looks around the room. She seemed to be moving slowly. Or maybe he was moving faster.

DB watched as she closed the door. A purple dragonfly, buzzed close to him, then went back to her and perched on her shoulder.

“Boss?” she said softly. “Why am I here? This is crazy.”

The dog who had been asleep on the couch starts barking his head off at the girl. She holds up her hands and grabs the dog. He growls and she shoves him into the closet.

“Well that isn’t nice.” DB said. Pain flared through his right hand as he remembered. Her name was Miz Johnson. He was supposed to be meeting her in three hours.

Her head snapped up at the sound of his voice. “Okay, this isn’t freaky at all.” She glanced at the wall and swore. The alarm was counting down.

She pulled out a box and held it next to the alarm. He could see white sparks jumping from the box to the alarm. A couple of moments later, the alarm shut itself off.

Miz Johnson looked around the room again. Still not seeing him.

“Nice toy, now what are you doing here?” DB asked while manifesting at the base of the stairs.

“Oh God.” Miz Johnson took a step back and bumped into the wall. “Yo…” She cleared her throat and tried again. “You told me to be here at 13:13 and not to be late.”

“I told you to be here?” DB questioned.

“Yea, pretty sure it was you.” She kept looking to her left. She opened a window and scroll appeared. Calligraphy writing said to be at 18228 Oak Drive. Pay 10,000 Nuyen. “Look, I don’t mean to pry, but I’m not sure what you want me to do.”

"Intriguing, I don't remember having sent that. Funny thing is that I'm not even supposed to be meeting you for another 3 hours. And you’re supposed to be proposing a job for me." DB sized her up. She was young, and appeared to be frightened out of her wits. However, she stayed. "Can you open a safe?”

“A safe? Depends on the model.”

DB sighed. “Follow me; let’s see if this meets your skill set.” He started up the stairs.

A bright light flowed down the stairs and washed out DB. A loud buzzing started burning his ears. Each step he took felt like pins were being driven into his skin. Looking over his shoulder, DB called back. “This can be interesting.”

Miz Johnson nodded her head, but followed him.

DB approached the doorway. The purple dragonfly is buzzing in his face. Waving hand up, he pushed the dragonfly away. It came back and tried to buzz his face again.

Frustrated, DB turned to Miz Johnson. “What is your buddy trying to tell me?”

Miz Johnson seemed to be dazed. “It doesn’t like it here. There is magic here, old magic.” He could see why he picked her. One foot in the future, one in the past.

“Behind that painting is a safe. I want you to open it.” DB ordered.

Miz Johnson nodded, and she entered the room. DB watched. When Miz Johnson stepped into the room. Gwen stopped talking. Bunny screamed, either in frustration or pain, DB wasn’t sure. She went to the wall, opened the hinged painting and stood at the safe. She held up the black box to the safe and a second later, the door popped open about two centimeters.

Miz Johnson starts turning, her dragonfly is buzzing at her.

DB casts a spell at Gwen, causing her to lose concentration. Sweat popped up on Gwen’s brow. Her posture went from rigid to relaxed. Gwen groans and the spear falls to the ground.

“"Hey, Miz J, we kinda need to get going. Gwen here is gonna be seriously pissed. And strangely really satisfied." DB yelled.

Miz Johnson, looked at Gwen, and then turned back to the safe. She grabbed everything she could. She starts to back out the room, down the stairs, and out the door.

DB stayed behind to keep an eye on Gwen. Bunny was still screaming the shrill high-pitched sound. When he heard the door, DB popped down to the front yard. Miz Johnson was running to a bike parked on the street. He appeared before her and told her to meet him at the Stuffer Shack.

Gwen comes pounding out of the house. She jumped the fence and reaches out to grab Miz Johnson.

DB appears before Gwen and says, “You must have really liked that. Do you want more?”

Gwen glares at him. She takes a deep breath to clear her head. She silently watched Miz Johnson pull away. “It’s not what you think it is.”

“Then perhaps we should meet somewhere and talk about this like rational adults.” DB offered.

“I don’t think there will be any reasoning with you after this point.” Gwen touched a control on arm, and the suit she wearing changed to a jogging outfit and she took off down street going the other direction.

DB followed Miz Johnson to the Stuffer Shack. He went back to his body. He sat up and groaned. His body hurt. Blood oozed from his nose. He was cleaning himself up when Miz Johnson knocked on his passenger window. Each blow was a spike to his head.

“That was pretty wiz.” She said while pulling out three cred sticks and your coin.

The buzzing grew louder while she held the coin out to him.


"Bunny, will you be able to travel with me and not be seen?" DB asked. “Will you be able to find the coin right away?”

Bunny nodded. She pointed to the left. “The coin is that way.”

DB sighed. “I mean, once in the house, will you be able to find it?”

She nodded again.

“Okay, let’s go.” DB walked out of the apartment, without looking to see if she followed.

The parking garage was mostly empty at this time of day. One of the benefits of working odd hours. DB punched in the address to Stuffer Shack about two blocks away his target into the navigation unit. He started the car, and then turned on the autopilot. Thanks to the GRID system, he was there 45 minutes later.

On the drive over, DB thought about what he’d look like at once he got to Renton. Taller, slightly pudgy, and graying temples. His face became slightly rounded and his eyes went from blue to brown.

Satisfied with his new look, DB put the car into manual drive and drove by his target. A long narrow house, the same as the others on the sides. A couple walked by, holding hands. Two houses down a woman was mowing her lawn using a push mower, instead of a drone. He drove over to the Stuffer Shack.

DB parked at the far end of lot. Closing his eyes, the worldview changed as he went astral. The people in the lot was a riot of colors with some dead spots.

DB ignored everyone and went back to the target house. He walked through the door with no problem. Inside was an empty house, complete with a dog sleeping on the couch. Very boring wageslave. Upstairs DB found Bunny in the office.

She pointed at the wall, “It’s in there.”

Wall safe. He could deal with that. A second later, DB was back at his body. Opening the door to the car, he went into the Stuffer Shack. Luckily, they had a small selection of doggy treats. Grabbing one at random, he went to the check out.

The cashier was a young woman with neon purple hair and a nose ring. She eyed the Doggy Snaps and smiled at him. “My dogs love those. What type of dog do you have?” she asked while reading the RFID tag.

“It’s a hellhound puppy named Delara.” DB used a certified cred stick to pay the four nuyen.

The clerk looked at him strangely, but wished him a good day as he left.

DB walked the two blocks to the gray house. He waved at the woman still mowing her lawn. He walked up to the door and pulled out his maglock passkey. It slid effortlessly through the lock. A small chirp and the light went green. DB opened the door and a small barking dog greeted him.


Two hours to kill. DB checked his messages. Miz Johnson. He hit play.

"Hoi, this is Miz Johnson. John told me to call you about some work. Give me a call back."

DB smiled. A paying gig is what he needed. He hit call back to start the process.

Miz Johnson answered after the second ring. They set up a meet for 1600 at a coffee shop that was local to both of them.

Four hours until the meet.

More research on the Janus Coin. Lots of pictures of two headed coins. He found a group on Magicnet, who called themselves the Gatekeepers. They claimed there was a magic coin out there that helped the holder remember things from the past and gave glimpses into the future. DB looked at Bunny thoughtfully.

An hour into his search, the comm unit dinged. Cypher sent a datafile on Kelan Rogers. DB started studying. 32 years old. Divorced. Lives in a house in Renton. Project manager for a construction company. Makes 48,000 Nuyen per year. Two speeding tickets. Totally boring. Chances are Bunny's stuff was at the house in Renton. A satellite view of the location showed a minor street with row houses. Maybe there was a roommate. He'd have to chance it.

Now What?

“I’m sure there are more than one morgue in Inglewood. Care to tell me more?” DB asked.

Bunny shook her head. “I don’t know more. It was on me when I died.”

Calling up another window and searched for morgues. Why he was doing this was beyond him. Two hits came up. Grayson's and Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary. He checked their websites. Both conservative and used words like “time of sorrow” and “bereaved”. He would have to call them. Before he did that, he ordered a home delivery of a bottle of Tequila. The good stuff.

He opened yet another window and started a search on the Janus Coin. Only 3 million hits. Frag, he was going to spend hours on research. Janus turned out to be some Roman deity. Two faced and the keeper of gates. DB shook his head. It didn’t sound like something that would be worth the time Bunny was putting into this.

Bunny wandered around the apartment, picking up items and smiled at them. She’d put them back where they were found and move to the next one.

DB frowned. He shifted his view of the world. Bunny looked odd. Most people were a shifting conglomeration of colors or black dead spots if they had cyberwear. Bunny was a solid red color. Fine black cracks were everywhere on her. They ran into her clothes as if they were a part of her. He exhaled in a controlled breath. What the frag was she.

The commlink chimed signaling the package had been delivered. DB went to the door and picked up the box. He went back to the bar and opened it. He poured her a drink and went back to his research on the Janus Coin. There had to be more too it then what she was telling him.

“Bunny, why do you want this coin?” he asked. He watched her carefully. She didn’t seem to be upset or concerned by his question.

“Janus is considered the God of Gateways because he can see both the future and the past.” She seemed almost distracted.

He was going to ask her more, but one of his windows flashed at him. It was a chat from Grayson’s Morgue, asking if he need any help. DB put on his best I’m at my wits end charm.

“Yes, I’m looking to see if there have been any Jane Does brought in to your location.”

The autobot spun for a second and replied, “There are no Jane Does at this time.”

DB groaned and tried again. “Within the last seven days have you gotten any females delivered that looked like this?” He uploaded a picture of Bunny.

The icon spun for several more seconds then said, “Please hold.”

DB would have smiled, but it would spoil the effect he was going for. A smartly dressed man came on the line. “I understand you have a question about one of our clients.”

“You have her? Thank God.” DB looked relieved. “I’ve been looking for my cousin for a week.”

“No, I’m sorry, your cousin is no longer with us.”

“What? Where did she go?” DB asked, his voice rising.

The man looked concerned. “Sir, please she’s be picked up by family, two days ago.”

DB poured it on, “Family? Are you sure? Because we’ve been looking for her.”

“Yes,” he paused while accessing some data. “She was signed for by a Kelan Rogers.”

DB held back his excitement, still playing the part of a grieving family member. “Two days ago? Are you sure?”

“I assure you, our records are quite accurate.” He seemed worried that something might be wrong. “If I can assist you…” He trailed off.

“No, thank you. Kelan is quite a scatterbrain. I’ll try him now.” DB cut the connection before any more questions could be asked.

DB turned to Bunny and asked, “Do you know a Kelan Rogers?” while doing a search on the name.

Bunny seemed to be dazed, as she replied. “Yes, Bunny had a brother named Kelan. They weren’t very close.”

Three hits came up on the Kelan Rogers. A college student going to Seattle Central, a decker who worked odd jobs according to his web site, and a project manager for a construction company. Two chances of being wrong. “Bunny, I need more. Is your brother in college, a decker, or a corporate stooge?"

“I’m sure he’s proudly serving his corporate masters.” She seemed to be wilting before his eyes.

“Frag.” DB studied her. “Do you need to nap? You’re looking pretty…” He trailed off. In the past few hours she’s gone from robust to looking pale.

He looked at her astrally again. She was still red, but the fine black cracks where growing. She was struggling.

“I’m okay, but you’d better hurry.” She answered.

“Okay. I'm gonna need the name Kelan would recognize as yours. I'm assuming he didn't call you Bunny like those of us that knew you"

Bunny took a deep breath and exhales slowly. "You can tell him 'Bulrushes and Laurels' he'll know it's me then."

“I need as much info on Kelan as you can give me. If I'm going to get this coin back from him, I need to build up a dossier on him.”

She shook her head, “I don't know Kelan, I know Bunny...”

DB stood up quickly. The leather backed chair rocked. “I thought you were Bunny. If not who and what are you.”

“I thought you was smarter than that...” Bunny smiled sadly. “I was Bunny, but you killed her. Now I'm without a host.”

“And what was Bunny before you inhabited her?” DB demanded.

“A master of guns, she could shoot an apple off your head blindfolded.”

“Was the original host a willing vessel or you forcibly taking them over? How do I know you won't just use this coin to inhabit me?”

“All magic has a price. Do you fear being powerful? Do you want things just out of your grasp? I can make that happen for you.”

“Of course, I don't fear being powerful. I fear losing myself. Of Losing control.” DB answered. “Yes, you may be able to make that happen, but as you said, all magic has a price. I'm not sure I'm willing to pay your price. Right now, your fee is just the acquisition of the coin. But how much is the next payment?”
She leans in towards you, "I know what you are. Do you think they're going to let you be free? I can help you."

DB sighed. “This may take a bit. How much time do we have?”

“A day, maybe less. I should have come to you sooner, but I thought someone would find me.” Bunny said.

DB spun up his comm unit, and dialed Cypher. “Hey Cypher, I’ve got a rush job for you.”

Cypher’s icon looked him impassively. “Sure, I’ve got some time.”

DB sent him the little bit of data he gathered on Kelan. “I need a dossier on this man.”

Cypher looked thoughtful for a second. “3K and two hours.”

DB glanced at Bunny. "This better be worth the cost." Sent him the payment.

List Day

  • Gas is at $3.23 per gallon
  • There was one car at the coffee shop this morning
  • The smokey haze is pretty bad around here, the foot hills are obcurred
  • Okay, that explains why I'm having an issue in the evenings, they're not using those schedules
  • Wondering if I should go have my hair trimmed or just wait
  • Having fun writing blurbs for Grilltech, wonder if I'll get a story out of it
  • Wish lunch would hurry up and get here
  • Hope everyone has a good night, see you tomorrow

Now What?

He poured another, it may be too early to be drinking but in a situation like this perhaps it is best. “It was worth a shot, although it is outside my normal skillset.” Downing half the glass. He looked Bunny up and down, she still was supernova. He remembered the drinking when they first met. She was much better looking than Ms Latham. Too bad she was a thief like him.

“Seems that the last time you ‘helped’ me, a few items came up missing. Since I obviously don’t have the skills to make you leave, I can only assume you will be hanging around until you are satisfied. What are you offering as help, and more importantly, what is it going to cost me this time?” He asks and finishes his drink.

“It will only cost you time.” She held up her thumb and forefinger about an inch apart. “A little.”

He stared at her. She’d drugged and robbed him, and now she’s saying it’s only going to cost a little time. The memory of him putting the bullet between her eyes tugged at him. He rubbed the bridge of his nose.

When he said nothing, Bunny went on. “You only need to find the Janus Coin. It’s been a week, and no one knows it’s missing yet. And since you were the last one to see me, I’m picking you.”

DB quickly opened a window on his comm unit. A quick search on the term Janus Coin showed an old Roman coin. A two headed man on the front and an old brick gate on the back. Another search showed one for sale. “Ebay has a Janus Coin for sale. Buy it now option.”

This time Bunny said nothing. He sighed. “Where was the last place you saw it?”

“Some morgue in Inglewood. It’s most likely moved by now.”

What do you do now?

Random Thought

Tsking, Bunny glided to the bar. “Banishment? You don’t even know what you’re up against, are you sure you want to piss me off?”

She sat on one of the bar stools. She looked hot, like the night they met. “I’d like a tequila please.”

DB frowned, “I don’t have tequila, but if you’re going to be a regular guest I can pick some up.”

“If you’re going to be that way, then I’ll just leave.” She gracefully stood up. “Are you sure? Because I can help you.”

(what do you do?)

Random Thoughts

The memory of Bunny laying there on the cream-colored carpet came to mind. The bite of the pistol grip digging into his hand. The rage that clouded his vision as he walked up to her and put a bullet between her eyes.

The scene faded, but the shaking rage he felt was still there. DB closed his eyes and take a couple of cleaning breathes to clear his mind. After 30 seconds, he opened his eyes and swore. “Frag!”

“Still here.” Bunny smiled. She ran her hand through her hair. “Well, in a sense.”

“No.” He said.

“Denial,” she sounded amused. “I like it.”

She stepped closer to DB. “Good luck with that.”

DB away and went to the bar. He poured himself a whiskey. She was dead, damn it. He had shot her himself.

(Make a banishing check)

Random Thoughts

After getting Ms. Latam off the comm, DB thought about what his next move. His comm unit buzzed. Miz Johnson. Picture of a hot red-head was attached to the icon. He didn’t recognize the face, so he sent it to voice mail. He’d check it out later. If he had the time.

Leaning back in his leather chair, visions of how he’d spend his nuyen. A yacht.

The more he thought about it, the bigger the idea became. No, he wouldn’t buy himself a yacht, he’d have Ms. Latam do it for him.

“It won’t work you know.” It was her. Bunny Rogers. (Memory test threshold 3)

Random Thoughts

DB took a deep breath and held it. He let It out slowly. He could do it. It would be the ultimate high. He’d need to move the paintings to a more secure location. DB shifted his eyes to the left, activating a menu.

Contacts > Ms. Latam.

Darling, he cooed. You look positivity radiant.

She smiled at him. “DB, you look handsome as ever. Did you see Misti Davenhert last night? Her latest beau. He is the worst.”

DB quickly brought up the twitter feed of Misti Davenhert or Miz to her friend’s feed. She had spent the night dancing away with her latest fling. He was at least 30 years her junior. At a third rate club.

“No. How could she?” He let Ms. Latam talk, because she was all about who was back stabbing who.

List Day

  • Gas is at $2.95 per gallon
  • There was one car at the coffee shop
  • I didn't want to get up this morning. Uggy kept yelling at me to do so
  • I'm hoping the bathroom will be done tomorrow!
  • Oops, left my lunch at home
  • Turned the air off at home, it's really warm, so I'll be turning it back on
  • They need to get the fires out, because the air is awful
  • Hope everyone has a good night

List Day

  • Happy Solistice
  • Gas is at $3.07 $2.97 per gallon
  • I forgot to look and see how many cars there was at the coffee shop
  • The past couple of days, I've been training a lackey
  • Grilltech is gaming all weekend. I think the plans are dinner out with Perky on Friday, then a movie on Saturday
  • I think this start of this list day was done two weeks a month ago
  • Guess I don't have much to talk about
  • Why are you calling me today for an order that should have been placed a week ago?
  • Have a good day

Take Two

Yesterday, was my annual doctor's appointment. I'm down about 20 pounds - go me. It's summer here, so it's about 100 degrees out there. I go to work early, so walking in this heat isn't something I want to do. So Perky and I joined a gym. Being able to walk in air conditioning will help keep me on track, because I didn't walk at all last week.

Tomorrow is another doctor's appointment. I need to call and get something to help me make the appointment.

Stay cool out there, because it's very hot.

Zomibie Knitting

Sorry, I've been away for a while. I really haven't been knitting much, so I haven't been posting. Not much to talk about. So what have I been doing?

I've been jogging walking about three miles, every day. It takes me over an hour to do my walk. I've been using Zombies, Run! I'm on season three. I like how it breaks up the music for something out of the ordinary. Today I had two chases back to back. Sadly, I had to throw items to out run them. I wounder if I've got my percentages set too high. I've only outran them twice since I've turned it on. Do I want to cave and turn it down, or raise up to outrun them.

Walked about three o'clock. Right now my legs are sore. Tomorrow I will stretch out afterwards and see how I feel.

1000 Words

Down the street on a cloudy day. (Several days ago)

Finished a green dishcloth

Finished Grilltech's May socks. I really liked knitting them.

List Day

  • Gas is holding at $3.17 per gallon
  • There was three cars at the coffee shop today
  • I'm going to get my new ID card
  • One of our tools is down, because it's being transitioned to the new network
  • Dude, seriously, stop coughing on me
  • Page doesn't do anything if you don't click on it
  • Had to log out of the tool again
  • Okay, have this year's Christmas present for Grilltech's mom taken care of
  • Have a good night, be safe

1000 Words

Down the street on a cloudy Boise day.

A couple of weeks ago, Perky and Kommandant went to Tacoma for a gaming con. Perky did some shopping for me. Love them. Already knitting with one of the skeins.

While there at the shop, Perky also found a lovely project bag. The other one was getting a bit thread bare in places. It's been retired from sock bag to dishcloth bag.

I found a new group on Ravelry. They have challenges each month and I joined Mays. Here is the first sock.

List Day

  • Gas is at $3.13 per gallon
  • There was one car at the coffee shop today
  • I overslept. I blame the cat for waking me up in the middle of the night
  • Random overhead converation: Why would your pants be under the couch?
  • (Bleeping) Excel
  • Gnome didn't check my permissions, I can't upload these files
  • Have a good night

1000 Words

What have I been doing?

Well, down the street on a rainy Monday afternoon.

Finished a pair of socks for me today. Well, finished knitting them last night, but wove in the ends today.

Been making dishcloths. They're quick and easy. Plus Perky uses them for Christmas presents.

List Day

  • Gas is at $3.11 per gallon
  • There was no cars at the coffee shop, because I was early and it was closed
  • Today is my Friday
  • Having to sign in three different times and wait for a text for a two-step authenication, just sucks
  • Love it when people don't say what they're doing
  • It shouldn't be that hard to hang onto head phones
  • 30 plus emails of please remove me don't work... how about not responding
  • I didn't have any protien for breakfast today, and I can tell, because I'm hungry sooner
  • Stupid hiccups
  • Getting a replacement laptop? Again?
  • Two hours and my day is over. I can do this
  • Have a good weekend. I plan it

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. If I was a French Templar, it might be a bad day for me. Instead it's just a day. Nothing exciting happening, just trying to make it through the day.

I finished the heel of my sock, need to pick up the instep and I'll be off and running.

I've got five weeks to write up my adventure and make six characters. I can do it. Copy the character from the book, and use other created bad guys. It's almost done. I can do it.

List Day

  • Gas is at $3.03 per gallon
  • There was two cars at the coffee shop
  • I've got three(!) computers on different networks
  • My days are somewhat lonely now
  • Ouch, adding someone to my insurance hurts
  • I get to knit while working today. BONUS!!
  • Thankfully, it asked if I really wanted to do that. I didn't
  • Hate it when my ring turns on my finger
  • Have a good evening, see you tomorrow


Two weeks ago, we played Pandemic Legacy Season Two.

We did so well on the first game, we decided to play second game. We ended up winning the second one, but barely. Another turn and we would have lost.

First game board.

Second game board.

1000 Words

Down the street on a sunny spring day.

Perky made a dishcloth

A dishcloth

Greens and blues dishcloth

A red and brown dishcloth

Another red and brown dishcloth

A purple dishcloth

Had to say good bye to a pair of socks for Grilltech. These had a hole in the toe. He's got so many, I'm just tossing them, instead of fixing them.

List Day

  • Gas is at $2.45 per gallon
  • There was no cars at the coffee shop today
  • We didn't win the Powerball, so I have to stay and work
  • Today is my Friday
  • Gas is at $2.69 per gallon
  • There was one car at the coffee shop today
  • It's been raining most of the day
  • Grilltech mansplained something to me today
  • Odd, I don't remember closing that window
  • Holy shit!!
  • First time in a long time, I've cried at work, even the Gnome commented on it
  • Have a good day. Mine can only get better

Jazz Hands

I'm putting off the last four row of chart B for some reason. Well, okay I know the reason, it will take forever to do. It's a bead placing row and the number of repeats is high and only going to get larger. I need to just do it.

Kinda disappointed in the weather, I didn't get to see the full moon because it was overcast. Thankfully it wasn't snowing or raining.

List Day

  • Gas is at $2.47 per gallon
  • Forgot to count the cars at the coffee shop
  • I'm having problems doing simple math in my head
  • I'm back to using my regular phone, I'm so happy
  • I need to charge my watch
  • It looks like rain out there, which is better than snow
  • Two more hours of my day left, I can do it
  • Red says it's time to go home
  • Have a good evening

1000 Words

Down the street on a snowy winter/spring day.

Today I'm saying good bye to things that can't be fixed.

Somehow Perky broke the shawl I made

Somehow the socks I made for me developed a hole in them. In the instep. Don't get it.

Grilltech's socks are worn out. He was very saddened when I told him he was loosing two pairs.

Another pair of Grilltech socks going away.

List Day

  • Woke up to snow this morning
  • Gas is at $2.51 per gallon
  • There was one car at the coffee shop
  • Really, you're calling out because of the road conditions? (Less than two inches of snow on the roads)
  • I have eight more rows to go on chart B
  • I'm having to exit the program, again
  • Showing someone how to do something, I think I remember how
  • Have a good evening

Moving On

Made it to chart B. I'm so excited.

1000 Words

Down the street on a wintery/spring day

Finished a washcloth

The cowl unblocked for the Eldest

The cowl blocked, I think it's upside down

A sock for Grilltech, started the second one

List Day

  • Gas is at $2.57 per gallon
  • There was four cars at the coffee shop today
  • Really? You want me to make changes for two months ago? No, not going to happen
  • Well hell, looks like I forgot to run the report for last month
  • Reports are straightened out
  • It's snowing out there! BLEH
  • Be safe out there, and have a good night

List Day

  • Gas is at $2.51 per gallon
  • There was one car at the coffee shop
  • Five more weeks of winter, I can live with that
  • Had to change my password today
  • Getting frustrated with writing some code, it's just not working
  • Accidentally picked a regular soda, not diet, the flavor is different
  • Oh yea, we don't have a trash can in the bay anymore
  • Day is almost over
  • We're stopping by the bread store on the way home. YUM!
  • Have a good evening


Grilltech got Pandemic Legacy Season 2 for Christmas. We've been looking forward to it, because we've really enjoyed season one.

So we played the set up game, and won. It was a slightly different mechanic then the prior game, but we got the hang of it. Again, a picture of the board at the end of the game.

Since we did so well on the first game, we went ahead and played the first month of the legacy. We had our asses handed to us.

1000 Words

Down the street on a winter's day

Blocked Ice Queen

An unblocked Ice Queen

A pair of socks for Kommandant's mom. She lost her husband a year ago.

A baby sweater for a friend

A finished dishcloth