In Memorium: Maria Jones

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  • Death should be a familiar presence by now. I’ve seen its face in
    countless eyes, heard its spectre in the news, felt its icy grip coming
    closer with the passing of years and friends. Still it shakes me every
    time. Maybe I’m getting softer in my old age, but each time it feels
    like a hole has opened up and swallowed another piece of the puzzle.
    There are way too many gaps in the picture these days, and each
    gap has a name. The newest gap is, if you didn’t already know or
    guess from the article below, Maria “Fatima” Jones. Whatever else
    you could say about her, she never gave up. We weren’t particularly
    close, but I brought her onto JackPoint because of that. Anyone who
    knew how hard she fought for anything would know that.
    Hat’s off to you, Maria. Glad to see you took a few of them
    with you.
  • FastJack


IndyMedia [IND]—06/08/71

SEATTLE, UCAS: The Tacoma docks exploded in violence late last night, when a gun battle erupted between what Lone Star believe to be members of the First Nations and the Ragers gangs. Sources say the fi ght may have resulted from a turf dispute linked to the increasingly profitable street trade of the new drug known as tempo. Drug related violence and petty crime has spiraled across the Metroplex since the drug’s fi rst appearance more than six months ago. Last night’s violence is only the latest such incident to make the news, as increasing numbers of adolescents and young adults turn to crime to fuel their habits.

Metroplex authorities and Lone Star have done little to stem the spiral of criminal activity. Among those killed, at least six were positively identified as members of the First Nations or the Ragers. One remains unidentified, while the remaining three were identified as Maria Jones, a black ork woman residing in Downtown Seattle; Matthias Jones,a black man DNA-matched as Maria Jones’ younger brother; and Semyon Gorobets, a Ukrainian national. All have unverified criminal
backgrounds, known to associate with elements of organized crime and the underground shadowrunner community.

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  • Shit, Gorobets is Vory. He was in tight with Tsar Bilotkiy. I’m not
    sure exactly how he fits in with this mess, but my bet is he had
    to play messenger to the kiddies playing in their backyard without
    permission. It fits with what I’ve heard.
    Too bad about Fatima. She was alright.
    • Riser
  • The First Nations has definitely been expanding the scope of their
    operations and stepping on a lot of toes as a result. Same for the
    Ragers, they’re getting to big for their britches. This isn’t the first
    time shoot-outs have occurred, and it probably won’t be the last.
    Tempo has become #1 competition for BTL sales, and there are
    many gangs and organizations unhappy with that.
    For anyone that’s interested, we’ll be holding a wake for Fatima
    at Powerline tomorrow night. Come say your goodbyes in the meat
    or in VR.
    • Turbo Bunny
  • I should’ve been there. God damn. I should have been there; I had
    a damned good idea what she was walking into, and I let her go
    without backup. I trusted that it would shake out OK, like it always
    did anytime she got involved. But like her, I should have known better.
    Now she’s gone, and I’ll never see her smile again.
    I’ve got a copy of her commlink files. We’d agreed that she
    ought to have all of her information backed up, at least. People,
    there’s a lot in here, things you really need to know. It’s not just the
    usual turf wars and new drugs, but something worse. Fatima didn’t
    get to root out exactly what it was, but we knew she was getting
    close to something big and bad, something that could rival the Mob
    Wars over a decade ago.
    This is for you, Fatima baby. Let the others figure it out now.
    I’m done with it. DC is nice this time of year, anyway.
    • Pistons

//batch file attachments uploaded
:: user Pistons ::06/09/71//

May be too little, too late, but Matty ain’t going like Coil,
and ending up like Haze isn’t better either.
Blood is blood. Buunda to the fuckers who say otherwise.
(06 May 2071) [22:25:48]

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Personal Diary

[April 28, 2071]
[…] Saw an unexpected face while meeting up with Six at the
Fractured Helix tonight. I never heard of Coil rolling anywhere
without at least two other Drakes with him, but there he was in
a booth with a few girls who could’ve been U-Dub students or
hookers pretending. No others of his gang in sight. He seemed
particularly happy, but who wouldn’t be happy to be the meat in
that sandwich? Will ask another time.

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//attach chat file
/user Fatima has logged on
/user Pistons has logged on

[Pistons] Now that’s out of the way … Thought you ought to
know there’s a lot of that new drug going in and out of the
Fractured Helix.
[Fatima] What, flipside?
[Pistons] Tempo.
[Fatima] Flipside, tempo, don’t matter except who’s usin’. So …?
[Pistons] So, I’ve heard too many mentions to make it something
casual. Old corp connections, high-roller buzz, shit
like that. The university brat packs are flush with it. I don’t
know where they’re getting it, but they’re passing it around
like candy at Halloween.
[Fatima] You say that about every new drug that comes out.
They’re always going to be popular for a while until everyone
into self-abuse has tried it at least once.
[Pistons] Maybe.
[Fatima] C’mon.
[Pistons] OK, maybe you’re right. Still, watch out. You could
find yourself stepping on toes that weren’t there before.
[Fatima] I’ll be fine. Besides, I’ve got to find Matty now.
[Pistons] Matty?
[Fatima] My half-brother Matthias. He left home, and Mom’s
distraught enough to contact me without letting The
Asshole know.
[Pistons] That’s bad, if she’s willing to risk your stepfather’s
anger like that. Any idea where he’s gone?
[Fatima] Not a solid one, no, but it’s likely to be far from
wherever The Asshole’s Humanis buddies are likely to be
looking. I hear Matty’s on the outs with him.
[Pistons] The streets, then.
[Fatima] Pretty much. Anyplace I’ve gone is permanently
tainted, so Matty will head there first.
[Pistons] Good luck with that. Let me know if you want any
help picking up your brother’s virtual trail.
[Fatima] I will. By the way: you looked good last night.
[Pistons] Are you flirting with me?
[Fatima] Does that bother you?
[Pistons] No. But now I know when you’re really smiling and
not hiding behind the teeth. Ping you later.

/user Pistons has logged off
/user Fatima has logged off
//chat session archived:: user Fatima
:: 05/10/71//

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MOM Community Forums – Seattle 2071
Thread Title: Dealing with loss (2)

:: Thought I’d share what I saw today. I’m shaken and in pain. I’m hoping voicing this will help. Some of you may remember me talking about Danielle. For those that don’t know, I was her sponsor. Danielle was eighteen, her father works all kind of hours at the local autoshop and her mom is a waitress at a diner by day and a Downtown restaurant at night. The family’s better off than most around here, but Danielle was alone most of the day and developed a wild streak. I got to know her first a couple of years ago, she was going through a pretty bad phase. A boyfriend had her hooked on Novacoke and she was in a bad way. If he hadn’t ODed I don’t know what would have happened. It scared her just enough to look for help. I took her under my wing when she came to the Renton MOM outreach clinic where I used to put in a few hours every week. I can’t begin to tell you how proud she made me. In a year she’d turned her life around. She had kicked the habit, dropped her loser friends, her grades were up, and she won a Horizon media scholarship.

Then, a couple of weeks ago she stopped answering my calls. I’ve been worried, but with Mark still suckling I haven’t had the time to go round. I did yesterday. Lone Star was there. Danielle is dead. They tell me she had been missing since the previous week and her parents hadn’t noticed for three days. They tell me Danielle killed herself yesterday. According to the officer, she was caught in the middle of a shop theft spree at a Downtown mall. She must have been high on something because she beat two security guards senseless and then ran from the police. They chased her to the roof of an apartment and she just jumped. She jumped… it makes no sense. The officer says she was definitely doing drugs.

Something new, called “tempo.” He asked me if I knew where she might have gotten it! Me! I just don’t understand. It’s nothing like the Danielle I knew.
:: Tori Q

:: Sorry to hear about your loss, Tori. Hang in there.
:: Knitalicious

:: Man that sucks. My heart goes out to you, but I’ve seen this
before. Sometimes the problem runs too deep and there’s nothing
you can really do.
:: Fatima

:: Word, sister. There are a lot of temptations out there.
:: Candy

:: I’ll be round tonight, Tori. With Jim out of town you definitely
need a shoulder.
:: Susan

:: Just keep in mind, you can’t save them all, and you’ll kill yourself
trying. At the end of the day kids make their own choices and all
you can do is steer them on the right path.
:: DrPhil

:: I know what you’re going through Tori. My kid sister’s gotten
herself deep into this tempo thing. I’ve talked to her and she keeps
telling me it’s no big deal. She says all the college kids are doing
it at the clubs and parties around campus. It’s the hip thing. It’s
supposed to be some magical compound.
:: Devlin

:: Used to be we just had to worry about the kids downloading
BTLs, now drugs are back in fashion?
:: Candy

:: They never went away. I know a lot of people were into recreational
drugs while I was at college, but this is different. Sally’s
talking about whole parties with this tempo theme. The whole
magic schtick it’s got going is luring the kids in. It’s the latest
greatest feel good. I confiscated my sister’s stash before my parents
caught on but a couple of days later I caught her with that unfocused,
off -in-the-distance look she gets when she’s doing tempo.
:: Devlin

:: I know exactly what you’re talking about Devlin. The headmaster
of the school where I work in Bellevue used to pay off the local
dealers to stay away from the school kids. They took the bribe,
probably though public school kids weren’t worth the business.
But recently a new gang moved in, Native American, and they
couldn’t care less about the arrangement. They’re selling round the
corner. We’ve had Lone Star drive by a couple of times and scare
them off but they end up coming back. It’s getting so I have kids
high on flipside, I think that’s what the kids call it, in every other
class. You can make them out by the unfocused look in their eyes.
Like they’re daydreaming while looking right at you.
:: CommunityTeacher2

:: It’s more than that. Apparently this drug allows mundane
metahumans to briefly glimpse the spirit world and the auras of
the living. Children should not be playing with such potentially
dangerous abilities.
:: Councilor Bear

:: It’s not just kids though, far from it. I was at Dante’s Inferno’s a
couple of nights ago and a bunch of corporate suits were doing
flipside. They were talking trash about how it was going to get
them laid and even handed out a few derms.
:: Devlin

:: That’s defi nitely strange.
:: CommunityTeacher2

:: I’ll definitely be bringing this up at the next MOM meeting.
Maybe we can do some pamphlets and start a little word of mouth
campaign? Only the spirits know how many families might be
dealing with this if it’s as widespread as you’re suggesting.
:: Knitalicious

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//link to thread :: 05/17/71//


  • So it’s escalating. It’s Wednesday, and this week’s bodycount is up
    to 12 with last night’s Tacoma drive by. This latest hit was apparently
    a Chulos retaliation for First Nations’ violating their turf.
    • Riser
  • Yeah, Ragers, Drakes, Skraacha, Chulos, hell, even the Halloweeners—
    everybody’s taking sides. You can cut the tension on the streets with
    a monowire. Spirits forbid you get caught in one of these scuffles
    by accident.
    • Fatima
  • Yeah. Of those twelve Riser mentioned, 5 were civvies caught in
    the crossfire.
    • Sunshine
  • That spiraling matches what my Seattle sources report; the
    Shotozumi-rengo and their allies are getting involved. BTL sales
    have been in a slump for a while; everyone and their mom churning
    out low-grade moodies and backroom studio beetles over the Matrix
    and undermining the syndicate’s action. But now tempo has really
    taken the wind out of sails. We’re talking chip sales at their lowest
    since the Crash 2.0.
    • 2XL
  • So this is all tempo-fueled?
    • Netcat
  • Well, yes and no. Tempo is definitely at the heart of the flare-up,
    but the violence isn’t so much about distribution and control. Those
    seem to be pretty solidly in the hands of a handful of gangs and
    one of the Seoulpa Rings, if you believe the rumors. Some of the
    gangs are using their tempo profits to arm themselves, build up
    numbers, and claim new turf; others are fighting them off, and a
    few are just grabbing the opportunity to shake up the status quo
    and make a name for themselves. It’s more than that now, though.
    That hit on Toju Shotozumi has the clan on the warpath. First, they
    went and stirred up a hornet’s nest by targeting the Gianellis. Then
    they shifted gear and Old Hanzo himself ordered the Kenran-kai to
    take out the Komun’go Ring. It’s getting bloody out there.
    • Riser
  • Lone Star comms chatter is off the charts. It’s not just gang clashes
    and drive bys either. Crack the right encrypted channel and you get
    an earful of armed robberies, assaults, carjackings, burglaries, and
    thefts. You know these flipheads will do anything to get the nuyen
    for their next dose!
    • Slamm-O!
  • Lay off, Slamm-O!
    • Haze
  • He’s got a point Haze. I’m sure you know what addiction does to
    families and friendships.
    • Fatima
  • Believe it or not there is a difference between casual users and
    hard-core addicts… people have been smoking pot and chewing coke
    for centuries before righteous lawmakers made them illegal.
    • Haze
  • Come on, Haze. This isn’t about hard and soft drugs. You know
    what a slippery slope it is. We’ve both seen too much of the real
    thing to kid ourselves.
    • Fatima
  • I’ve said this before, but tempo is just another gimmick for me.
    Call it a crutch if you will, but that’s all it is. Plus, I’ve yet to see any
    evidence that it has any long term side-effects.
    • Haze
  • Not entirely true, Haze, and you know it. We know it’s addictive,
    highly addictive by some reports and there have been several ODs
    already. That reporter in Seattle for one. It’s far too early to tell what
    long term use will do to you.
    • Butch
  • Have it your way. Me, I’m fine. Just mind your own business and
    I’ll mind mine.
    • Haze
  • You should know better.
    • Fatima
  • What’s with the sudden interest in my personal life, Fatima? I’m
    telling you I’m fine. I’ve got a handle on it.
    • Haze
  • Chalk it up to this whole flipside thing striking close to home.
    You’re not the first.
    • Fatima
  • Tried the flipside thing once, down in LA. Didn’t particularly tickle
    my fancy—or any other part of my anatomy for that matter. I’m
    fine too.
    • Kane
  • Kane, mate. I’d never call you fi ne.
    • 2XL
  • If things weren’t so bleak, I’d be ecstatic at seeing Brackhaven
    squirm. The sprawl is going to hell in a handbasket and the vaunted
    security policies he was touting all through the campaign
    are nowhere to be seen. And people thought the virtuakinetic craze
    last year was bad!
    • Sunshine
  • He’s been doing a good job of shifting the blame to the Federal
    government, but the buck only goes so far and he’s tanking in the
    opinion polls.
    • Dr. Spin
  • Komun’go warehouse in Touristville Redmond went up in flames
    yesterday, fire spread to three neighboring buildings, 8 dead retrieved
    from the rubble so far. Kenran-kai’s usual overkill.
    • Mihoshi-Oni
  • Yeah, well the Seoulpa are giving back as good as they’re getting.
    They’re flush with tempo money and that buys a lot of allies. The
    Yakuza’s money laundering op through the Dimeline Connection online
    casino went down yesterday. Pretty sure it was Choson hackers.
    • Riser
  • If you’re wondering, it’s not just Seattle. The UCAS and CalFree are
    also seeing crime rates shoot up along with intersyndicate warfare.
    Tempo has tipped the balance in a lot of different places. A couple
    of old timers at the Intelligencer tell me they haven’t seen anything
    like this in almost 100 years.
    • Sunshine
  • I can vouch for the East Coast situation. The war over flipside has
    brought a lot of bad blood to the surface and it’s getting messed up.
    The Commission is divided. Several of the smaller families in the CAS
    and Miami are actually dealing in tempo now. I’m hearing even the
    Sioux are hushing up similar troubles in their backyard.
    • Kay St. Irregular
  • I hear the younger Mobsters are more than a little pissed at the
    old guard on the Commission. A lot of the upstarts claim the old
    hands are too conservative and cautious for their own good and
    that’s why the Mafia has been losing ground to the Yakuza and the
    smaller syndicates for years now. There are even threats from some
    of the younger family heads that they’ll strike out on their own if the
    Commission doesn’t review its strategy.
    • Fianchetto
  • So are the DEA and FBI just twiddling their thumbs? I understand
    that this is a public relations disaster for Lone Star, but the Feds
    seem to be sitting it out too.
    • Sneaker
  • From what I hear they’re playing it low key, but they’ve got all
    the relevant taskforces on high alert just waiting for legislation to
    go through. Interpol’s IDEA seems to be coordinating and directing
    intelligence gathering efforts globally but it’s too early to tell what
    they’ll do.
    • Kay St. Irregular
  • Good to know. I have a friend doing stint with Interpol. Still owes me
    for spotlighting one of his busts. I’ll post if he offers any juicy insight.
    • Sunshine
  • Bugger me, but the logistics and distribution dynamics of this drug
    are just wrong. Nobody has stockpiles this big and a natural growth
    cycle this fast is nearly impossible. How the hell are they keeping
    production on this scale hidden?
    • Nephrine

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To: Fatima
Subject: Matthias

I dug up what I could about Matthias based on what you gave me. If his commlink is on, he’s ghosting a lot. Still, I was able to track back to his last known and reported location. According to the map I’m looking at (and I’m attaching), he dropped out of sight on the border between Downtown and Tacoma. You’ve got friends there, right? You’ve mentioned the Creeps and Bot’Kham before; maybe they can help.

Speaking of gangs, I saw your friend Coil the other day. He’s not looking so hot, even for him. I thought he might give me some grief, but I’m not even sure he saw me, to tell you the truth. The only thing he seemed focused on was a neo-tribal he was talking to. You know I don’t take Coil too seriously, but I didn’t want to stick around for whatever beat-down he was about to deliver. Not my problem.—Pistons
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Personal Diary
[May 25, 2071]

Thanks to Creep help, I tracked Matty down eventually to the areas outlying the Tacoma Mall. God, what a mess he was. Between a poor to non-existent diet, squatting in some truly dodgy places and selling himself for spirits-knows-what, he was lucky to even be alive. Got him back to my place in a Bot’Kham loaner car.

One of them told me Matty bought some flipside from a contact of theirs. This wouldn’t bother me a lot, except a few doses(some used, some not) fell out of Matty’s pockets while getting him cleaned up. As I stared at the remains of an oily rainbow sheen on one patch, the Creep told me a little of what he’d heard about this drug.

Then I slipped him 20 nuyen, and had him tell me how he heard it: another smuggler, non-Creep, brought in a shipment through the Ork Underground. This smuggler liked ork porn, and traded info
for tusker cooze. Said he was delivering to a NatAm gang. I’m going to look for this guy. I need to know what Matty was doing, and how much trouble he’s gotten himself into.

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In Memorium: Maria Jones

Like All Good Neighbors VonSteubing VonSteubing