- Chrissy Thomas, Rockville Police Records“You will NOT believe it. Today, in the middle of Comm Hill, I saw the strangest trio – a suave, kinda cute elf (dressed AMAZINGLY) with a very very homeless troll and – now this is the big part – an ork decked out in all these guns and armor and I don’t know what else. I almost called the police, but they left quickly. Imagine, those three packed in a little Delco.
- Sharri Morris, in conversation with friend Kimmi“We scared the shit outta them. I ain’t never seen three fuckers run as quickly as they did.”
- Meat Stomp, in conversation with Barkeep Boris at the Gnar Bar“Tac-Net Block 3 Comm Hill made positive ID of the stolen Delco. Vehicle parked atop thirty-story parking complex. Raven-2 chopper dispatched. Raven-2’s heat scan detected three suspects in vehicle – an ork, an elf, and a troll. The elf activates camera blocker, corrupting all footage inside complex. Breach team dispatched. Contact with Raven-2 lost. Raven-2 crash lands on street below. Eight casualties including crew. Street closed. Breach team engages targets with tear gas and blocks exits. Contact lost with Breach team. Back-up arrives and complex is surround. Three suspects attack officers, repelling down building side under cover of tear gas and smoke grenades. Car 2YX stolen. Suspects lost.”
-ARES PD, report 5867p“Brother Daniel sent word that three new Followers would be arriving today and that Billy Bean would take it from there. We gave them the key to the bar room. But not before we got a little nuyen of our own. You gotta eat too, lovely little Franny-fran.”
- The Twins Lynn, hostess of Void Parish in Comm Hill in conversation w/ their cat Francis“It was beautiful, let me tell you. I never saw a man control a room like that. One minute Bean is freaking out (which is a damn scary sight, because she’s so quiet, you forget she could kill you a million ways) and stabbing Mikey in the hand and the next this elf is just floating across the room. The thing is, I don’t even remember what he was saying, but my god, was it beautiful. I was as proud as ever when they took the Rites. We need a guy like that. I even got to carry his hat when we carted ’em down to the station.”
-Timmy Slim Toes, in conversation w/ cousin Gary
The ork and elf stole the car and drove into the city. It was not the same. The elf filled up the car with chatter, telling stories about when he ran here, who he killed, who he fucked, what he stole. The ork nodded and stayed silence, breaking crackers into crumbs and feeding them slowing to the squirrel in his jacket. The ork followed the elf wherever and the elf said he could get them money, so they were in the car.
The elf kept their business to himself. The ork didn’t need the extra info. It would just confuse him.
-Grant Lorne, ARES Senior Officer, in message to Chairman Gordon
The ARES Oil Rig stood like a castle in the bay. Grey and red waters shimmered. The ork pried weakly to get information from the elf – this was how it always was – and when the elf would answer, the ork would always feel satisfied and trusting and only later realize that nothing new had actually been revealed. The plan, according to the elf, was to kidnap his rich friend. They knotted through Baltimore, driving, the details of the plan never discussed. The city looked sick.
The troll was not the rich son he once was. His skin had thickened and gnarled and with that he also twisted. He was more, but also less than what he once was. Where once there was pink skin and slight features, now there were harsh creases, jutting hair, and filth. And spite. He had fractured with the Awakening – and the pieces of himself he chose to discard grew sharp and though he felt whole and changed, it was delusion : the shards of his “former” self gave him anger and hate. So when the elf had sent for him, he stepped down from the peace he found in his shaman faith – without his knowledge.
-Richard Hess, training new guard recruits on ARES Oil Rig
The elf lied, thick smokescreens of words and half promises, and the ork nodded and followed. The troll too, but with motives of his own. But the lies were loose binding – the real thing that bound them was a warrant. The ARES police swarmed them atop a parking complex. And when they escaped, they needed to hide – and as if by miracle, someone named Mr. Nerv came to save them.
Most people ignore it. The three-mile neighborhood of Pigtown that went dark on The Last Day. It was best not to think about it because it didn’t make sense. It was just that area. The blight there never left the borders. It never spread. It just stayed, horrible and silent. To most, no one ever went it or came out. ARES made sure of that, fencing in the whole area, shooting on sight, mechs and armored soldiers marching the threshold, always there, never absent. It was a dead zone – a realm best left to the dead. Or the poor. Whatever.
- Thommy “Captain Rave” Yukov, audio diary