My birth name is Sam Brown. I grew up rural in a small town in the Ute nation. My Mom was just enough Indian that her half black half Spanish husband was accepted and left to his affairs after the nation was “turned over” as he would of put it to Indians. They were decent folk my mom was a painter and sculptor, well known in Arizona and New Mexico. My pop was a small town cop, good at what he did and got to keep his job on his reputation alone after it was decided that he would not have to leave Indian lands. They never did figure out what those thugs wanted, our house had a fortune of art and half finished painting from my mom, my pops firearm collection was known through out the state, sometimes a governor would ask a viewing or a Chief after the turn over. What was obvious is while they expected my pop to give them hell, it turns out he was asleep on the porch in a hammock when they killed him, makes sense in its way he was the obvious threat do the job when hes easy to knock off the equation. What happened with my mom is the only reason we don't know what it was they were lookin' after.
I was in the studio with my mom, with my pop off for the day lazin about out in the garage or in the garden, when my mom suddenly stood up so fast she knocked the ceremic she was workin on off the turntable yelled at me to hide, I sat there frozen as four rough lookin men armed with guns of various sized burst into the studio. Now I had no notion about my mom, she was as nice as a spring rain, kinda opposite of my pop who was a tough man to disagree with. But these guys were thinking they had a pretty brown girl and a boy left, but she yelled with such rage. Paintings in the room got knocked over on their own and the air, well flexed, and the first two men went down wrestling with something. The third thug shot and hit my mom in the stomach, it musta been a shotgun because my only injury that day was a perforated eardrum.
I know now what was what, she had summoned a hearth spirit. And was workin on another piece of mojo when she got shot, it droped her, but she knelt there gushing blood hands dripping ceramic plaster and kept yelling and crying and tossing pain. They ran for it. My mom did not live long enough for me to get my wits back and see to her, her wound was as bad as they get, no reason why she should not of dropped right then and there. I never got to ask her why she never did that kind of mojo, I found out from a family friend while I was a ward to the state while some judge figured who would be best to take care of me that she was not a full magical type, could only do some things and she decided after she found out that art was her calling and more or less did not do the magic stuff all that much except she would do some by accident when she was worked up over something. Now my origins as they are aren't all that important as to why I am talking to you in the first, to pardon my phrasing, but it seems an important part to me, not on the fact of it but the feel of it, so humor me and listen on.
Given that my mom was Indian and was a popular cultural figure the judge decided I should stay with the Indian side of the family. It was an older cousin that got me, can't say I appreciated him much back then. I was sour over my folks for one, and I missed the deserts and mountains of my home. I was more like my pop then my mom, in respects to gifts as well, my brain got sharper as my schoolin went along, I ended up getting a datajack on my 16th birthday. My cousin was rather pissed, he would of rather me stayed on the path of my mom, I was creative enough and every now and then could put out a good scene on canvas, but I had messed up something fierce with the friends I chose.
You see my cousin, Marcel was his name, had a job as a diplomats aid on council island. And well council island is close as close can be to some more seedy parts of the pacific northwest. I got in with a couple guys my age who fancied them selves code slingers.
Well it was all downhill from there. I never been one to be overly outgoing, so when I met some dudes who liked the same kind of things as me, and ended up being as mixed a group as the blood in my veins. I fell right in, I was ok at running the matrix not as gifted as I was hoping but capable. When my group started getting offered work, on the shady side of the word, I ended up being a gunslinger for em instead of running the works. Was ok by me after a while, I wasn't talked down too or nothing, but I new my way around a rifle, they didn't and they had a better knack for the matrix side then I did. Well it turns out I was actually above average for a computer cowboy, but as luck would have it I was eclipsed by the serious talent I fell in with. We did some runs, got a rep for being straight shooters, and got a couple big jobs. By them I took my half decker half team shooter and ran with it, got some chrome that helped me in my.....participation, you could say. I started going by Cal, and at times, as it is in that life, I often could not remember my birth name with out some thought. I was Cal.
We had a bad run, was successful from the J's point of view or if your worried about your cut. But not if you care for the folks you live and work with. We had picked up a young Indian shaman, enough like my mom for that subconscious to kick in and say she a good thing. Well that did not last long, caught a bullet from a security goon during a run that killed half my friends and one eager lover. Well I was tired of loosing people I had a care for, and ended up calling in a favor or two. I took my cut, and the nuyen I had saved over the past few years of runnin, and well cut rope.
Irony is said to be the wine of life. Well it often is, I ended up back in the Ute nation. It turns out that some of the work we did while I was Seattle for for them, and the group I was with was appreciated and the loss felt by some good people. What I was offered was a job, it turns out that I ended up doin what my father would approve of, a sheriff for a small upstart small community. In the south eastern corner of Ute.
Well when I showed up, Mesa view as it was called, was a small town on top of a mesa, creative name for a town as I have always said. We were situated between a mix of terrains, we had some cactus and dry land west of us, some nice pine covered mountains north of us and some useable grass land a little further east., and of course an elevated town. What started as a couple families of mostly non indian blood who were basically squatting in Ute land turned out to get some credibility on the word of a Shaman who took a liking to the town and the, what basically, were illegal immigrants. You see this shaman was an elder, and an Eagle shaman too boot, so when he told the government that the folks there were under his protection they tended to let it be as it was. Well you can't have a legitimate township in Ute land with out some law, so that is the situation I landed in.
I showed up their about fifteen years ago, and back then it was a couple families doing various productive work. We had a man and wife team who made some damn fine apple wine, had a grove a couple cliks down on the flats in a small canyon. Because this shaman was a name known the government came in and built a helipad and a VTOL landing strip on the north side of the mesa, and put in a very serviceable industrial size elevator up to the mesa as well. We carved out a cave garage of sorts near the base of the elevator for vehicles and storage.
One of the folks we attracted ended up being a super tech savvy sort and put up a communication tower. Other things went up, and other folks moved into town. Our local witch doctor as I would call him when we had a disagreement got a steady flow of apprentices about the time I showed up. The folks who lived her did not really need me all that much, but they appreciated having me, the government might of humored the old Eagle shaman when he asked that the town and the people in it be charted, but when I showed up they never sent me a badge or a gun for official work. The locals pitched in and had a townie tan an old school leather duster with some plates for me, had silver buttons and with some brass forearm guards with sheriffs stars it became my official credentials and was added to the town charter as the insignia of the sheriff of Mesa View.
Our town was a nice place, had a good mix of families, all industrious sorts. We had a cattle ranch down on the flats, the vineyard made product sold all over the continent, we ended up being an official maintenance spot for government and military helicopters or VTOL who needed a pit stop. Had a full time machine shop with a couple really good gear heads. The government left us alone mostly. Until one day I got a parcel with instructions to allow the listed non government craft use our pad. It said it was my job to make sure anyone coming into town by air had to be from a craft with a tail number and VIN on this list. I new it might be trouble for us, but it helped the town out lots with the added traffic.
The old shaman and I ended up being friends of a sort, he might come over to my house for lunch unannounced. It turns out, when I was putting out feelers for a real job he had me offered this sheriff gig, he confessed that he new my mom and dad over some apple wine one night, during a rare snow. He said he had asked the court for custody, being related marriage to my moms uncle. When he said it I remembered a middle aged man being addressed by the court with all kinds of courtesy, but they told him that the boy had no gifts, and that his work for the Ute people had to have precedence. All in all I liked my town and my life, I had friends, the listing the government gave me only changed once a year and all the people who came into town for a spell minded their manners had a swig at our little watering hole while their cargo was lowered down the elevator to a waiting out of town vehicle or their bird was worked on.
My radio went off one night. It was late, but I never really had much work, so when a local kid who was hired to keep an eye out for birds coming into town at night said I had some business to attend too, I had not much of a complaint. The short drive turned out to be about a VTOL with a tail number and VIN that had always been on my list but had never come for a visit. The jock looked Indian, but had a flight suit more of an Aztec influence. He was nice, a bit nervous. He said his bird had en electrical problem and he might be here for a few days. I give him directions for our small bed and breakfast that tended to cater to our passerthroughs.
I went back home and awoke the next morning thinking of our sole guest in town. Aztec lettering on his flight suit, a bird with electrical issues that had a faint singe mark of soot on its side, that looked fresh. It seemed off, not normal, this bird on been on my list of let-it-land and expect them to be polite but don't ask questions list for thirteen years. Every other bird had come and gone tens of times in that time, but this one only last night.
As I left my home I put on my duster and my brass forearm guards that announced I was in my official capacity. Something was odd, and that pilot could do with a question or two, it seemed, in some odd way as what I needed to do. My home was on the edge of the mesa on the south side, my kitchen window actually looked to be over nothing for three hundred meters, the drive was short, 15 minutes or so. But half way through the short toss over the immense mesa that old Witch doctor was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the road.
I stopped my pickup and he got in. All he said is there is trouble in town and that the spirits told him to watch over me. He was an odd bird (chuckle) but I was not keen on ignoring him when he talked about what spirits said, I was of the opinion that my mom might be one of them in her afterlife. A morning thundershower was coming in the distance, its haze of falling rain and flashes of lightning just coming onto the part of the mesa where the pad and maintenance shop was on the north edge.
He was silent the rest of the drive, he wouldn’t even look at me when I asked what kind of trouble. The bed and breakfast was on the north side of the town with an empty expanse till the pad and edge. I thought if there was trouble it would have to do with that pilot and cut straight there.
When I came into view of the bed and breakfast I saw the pilot laying just outside of the porch of the Victorian remake house cum bed and breakfast with some hard sorts standing around, with one holding the pilots head in both hands. Behind him was seven kinds of hell in the form of a flowing glob of blood shaping some sort of demon spirit. The old man said, “The mage is powerful, focus on the others, I will deal with him Eagle give me strength.”
I stopped my truck and got out. I was armed with a lever action rifle that from a prior time when my job was more common, it came from my will and used to be a prized possession of my fathers, I didn't bring it forefront right off, I was a lawman and needed reason to shoot someone. The old man sat stock still in the passenger seat, eyes locked with the man he said was a mage, sweat started to bear on his forehead as he returned the old witch doctors stair. I asked a chromed guy who I did not recognize what his business was in my town and with that pilot who was here legally. He did not answer, but looked at the mage who ignored him, heavily sweating and looked on the verge of collapse with eyes locked on the old shaman.
I repeated my self. The chromed man continued to look at the mage, but then looked back at me and smiled once the mage gave no reply but a dripping stair. The chromed man said, “It would appear sheriff of Mesa view that you have a mage of ability in that car, it would seem reasonable that I should interfere and give my commander an advantage by shooting that small utility vehicle with fire from this 'here' weapon of mine” I answered, “no law against a firearm in my town, but if you level it on my pick up, brotha you and me have an issue.” I was confident that my ability, seeing as I had already drawn my rifle, and the metal thug with nice pronunciation had not drawn his slung assault rifle. Wow I was wrong, the mage with the blood demon behind him collapsed and in the same instant the chrome monster had his rifle out and was shooting before I had the thought of shooting back.
His fire went through the windshield but it sounded like it hit a solid steel wall after that, bouncing to make small puffs and dust in the street, some ricocheted near my feet. I aimed and shot for the chrome mans chest and squeezed, my lever action bucking in my hands, the first shot I had ever made as a sheriff, it hit the metal mans chest and a spray of blood came out of the wound. I pumped my fist on the lever and drew towards the other two joe boys about the mage, the old shaman pulled himself from the pick up dusting the glass safety glass shards from his coat in the same instant and started waving his hands in the direction of the blood spirit thing as it sprung towards him the moment the mage hit the hard packed dirt.
The shaman made the spirit burst into a shower of red after it had taken a couple lopes to him. The other two folks who were standing near the shaman went down easier and much slower then the chrome man seemed too, one round each, each a head shot from my lever action while they drew iron. I had taken a hit in the exchange is seemed, I don’t really remember when exactly. It was low near the hip, I limped over to the pilot who seemed groggy, but came awake screaming “GET OUT OF MY HEAD YOU WONT HAVE IT BACK' The old shaman came over, seemingly unmarred for the exchange and laid a hand on the pilots shoulder. He came too, lucid as when I met him. He got out, “Sheriff get hold of your government, tell them turquoise sunrise is in, but a chance of rain.”
I hand't gotten out the words, “What the drek is a turquoise sunrise and what the frak is your real business in my town” When the pilot kicked some dirt in the direction of the chrome man's face laying on his side, eyes seemingly blankly staring at the dirt in front of him. The dust he kicked up showed a red line coming out of the chrome man's, with the unreal pronunciation, eye. The dust swirled over him showing a line of red coming out of each hand, each line of red pointed right for a different section of town. The shaman looked at me and said, “Avenge the town sheriff, it seems the spirits spoke true, I would die and you would not.” The chrome man said, “Nice shooting sheriff, but I have a bigger gun”
I remember being hurtled into the air seemingly on no power then the old mans smile, I was tens of meters up in the air while I saw the streak coming towards the town, it split into four. I assume it was the witch doctor who tossed me through the air with his mojo as the missiles hit the town, it would of seemed reasonable, I thought at any rate, as I was flying through the air just ahead of the explosion that flattened the top of the mesa, that I shoulda landed a block or two away. But the toss carried me over the lip of the mesa. I landed soft as a babies ass in a patch of soft dirt and moss on the flats near a spring head.
I couldn’t of looked for survivors if I wanted too. The missiles had done their job, taken out the pad and the elevator that was the only way to get to the top with out repelling gear. I didn’t figure their would be any though, my house whitch was on the very edge of the mesa and separated from the rest of the structures was blown completely off the mesa onto the flats. I found the wreckage of my house on my way to check the elevator. I came back after seeing the top half of the elevator laying over the flats like some droopy rainbow of twisted steel. I found a cheese grater that I often used to make a recipe of egg scramble I liked for breakfast. But other then that nothing was in one piece. I put the grater in my pocket, I might have been in shock, but some egg scramble with garlic and sharp cheddar and mushroom sounded grand. And a cheese grater is useful.
My used to be town was really isolated. I had walked for a few days before I was found by some boys from a nearby town who were out dirt bike riding. I awoke in a nice bed. It turns out that the sheriff for this town thought the stars on my forearm guards might be suggestive of a lawman. He did a bit of searching and found the charter of my town that said the lawman of Mesa view would be identified by some forearm guards and a duster with silver buttons, in the shape of a star.
I did not stay long, while I was on the mend, the shaman came to me. He said the spirits had given him more time, and a job. The job he said was to assist me in what would come naturally. I have come to find out that after he gave me that nudge off of the mesa he had thrown himself into astral just before the missiles hit. He has said he meant to catch me after he tossed me the way he did. But he did not fade a short while later like he thought he should. He says the spirits who he speaks of as friends are keeping him in astral. Every now and then he comes to me in a dream or manifests while I am alone to chat. He tells me what he has learned in his disembodied wanderings. The pilot had taken something not from the Aztecs like I had thought, but from a faction of the Aztecs, that had a different boss-man and program then the rest.
It turns out that a young Dragon was the victim of the theft and the culprit of the destruction of my town. He has blood mages in his employ and some heavily chromed fellows gone wrong by the magics of those mages. It seems that since I now know these things I am a bit of a target, I have evaded them once or twice since I found my way to my neighboring town.
I made up my mind, good and settled while I was there, to the laughter of my ghost friend who now calls himself 'old spirit' I was gunna track down this dragon and his fellows, and by what ever means it took I was going to call him on six hundred and sixteen counts of murder, which is as close as I can get to the population of Mesa view. I might walk the walk of a shadowrunner now, I might even sometimes talk like one, but honest I am retired from all that, I am a sheriff. And there is some folks, who work for this Dragon, who are gunna pay for bringing violence and death to a town that I made my home, they will know my name and their crimes before I die for certain and for sure.
I have it on good info that dragon might be in Seattle, so back to Seattle I went. I had killed a drek ton of folks who work for this dragon since then. I pay for my apartment with shadow work, sometimes I use half forgotten matrix skills, sometimes I use my aim and law knowledge. I am a retired shadowrunner who came back for what might seem the most common of reasons, but that is not the chip truth, its not revenge its that I had a job I liked, and some folks brought some grief to the people I was in a mind to protect, its an adherence to the law of a small town named Mesa View that I came to the sprawl. That I bid my time, play the game and do the work, but never shall I forget that I am here for a purpose.
I'm forty years old now, I have been tracking and collecting information on this fringe of Aztec run by a young Dragon for going on a year now. My old stomping ground has not wholly forgotten me, some of the local gangers have bosses that remember me when I was active here. Old Spirit still visits me, tells me some things and leaves always departing with saying the time is close, he smiles when I say I don't do it for him pestering me, he says he knows that. He sometimes says that I am crying and tossing pain, the words remind me of a memory that I care not to remember, its not an important one for the purpose I burn in. This is my story, my name is Cal, and I am the sheriff of Mesa view, do you have any information on a feathered serpent with heavy Aztec ties?
O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!