Cast of Shadows – Gemini

Of all the characters that have been created at the office, Gemini is one of the oldest (around the same time as X3) and from a player I thought to be one of the least likely to play.  A manager who had never played anything “nerdy” in her life, she took to the game quite well.  Gemini’s evolution has only just begun and I’m interested to see how the character grows.  The character is a middle manager at Renraku that moonlights as a shadowrunner, she is a social adept with a proficiency for throwing weapons.  A refugee of Tir na nOg, her fair skinned beauty lowers her enemy’s defenses long enough for her to get what her team requires, or distract long enough for her to cripple an openly hostile target with ordinary objects.  Renraku is either unaware or uncaring of her extracurricular activities, at least for now…

+++decoding message+++

This was old news. The job had gone well. The paydata was obtained and despite all their careful planning, somehow they were detected. In defiance of the efforts of security, the runners had evaded death or capture and made away with their paycheque. When they contacted their employer, he was leaving it in the hands of a liaison, as he suddenly had pressing business to tend to.

It had been a setup, of course. The runners did their research and found out that Mr. Johnson had worked for the very company he hired them to hit. They had been hired to test out their security and die trying to get out. Instead, Mr. Johnson now found himself in the position of having to buy back his own data.

The methods being used were textbook. Gemini was sure she had read those exact procedures in Renraku’s manual. The standard process was to plug the leak (aka kill the team) or make the prospect of moving the data to get their money so unattractive that the runners would lay low and just wait for the heat to pass. Having escaped from the confines of Tir society, Gemini had never been one to behave the way she was expected.

Mr. Johnson, or as they now knew him as, Michael Bryant, worked for Universal Omnitech as a project manager, the very project he gambled with and that Gemini now had in her custody. Wearing the UniOmni logo, she walked toward the building with a scowl on her face. She hunched her posture, cast her eyes to the ground and concentrated on the image of a cleaning staff member her team had incapacitated two hours ago. She felt her cheekbones shift, the burn in her skin as it changed colour and her throat contort to change her vocal tone. By the time she reached the door, she appeared as a bored Latino woman rather than the fair skinned Irish woman she had been.

Swiping the “borrowed” security badge, she walked in the front door and nodded to the receptionist.

“Good morning, Alejandrina,” the receptionist said with a wave.

With her practiced accent, Gemini said “Morning…” before slinking off and making herself obscure. As she found the cleaning closet, she grabbed a few items and a janitorial cart as she connected her commlink.

“Everything in place?”

“I’ve got you covered,” Pascal, her hacker associate, assured her. “Cameras will black out when you reach the executive wing and I’ve sent you Bryant’s office location. As a heads up, he’s got guards with him. I guess his inability to kill you has him a bit nervous.”

“He should be. Nice work. I’ll be in touch again shortly.”

Pushing the cart down the hall, her eyes downcast, no one paid the lowly cleaning lady any mind as they slid by her, going about their daily work routine. She stopped periodically to wipe down a random empty desk, or if it looked like some cheery, morning person was about to strike up a conversation, she would pull out the portable vacuum and run it to drown out any attempt at conversation until they gave up. While she could mimic her appearance and copy her voice, Gemini didn’t know much about Alejandrina Lopez’s personal life, due to time constraints and if she started responding atypically, her cover could be blown.

After what felt like an agonizing pace, she arrived at the office block for the senior management. As she rummaged in the cart for the more portable goods in her kit. She heard the light on the camera overhead click as Pascal powered it down. With eyes off of her, she grabbed an aerosol can and a dust rag. Tucking the dust rag into a pocket to obscure the pens she had tucked away and she reached inside her coveralls to palm a dart from an inner pocket.

She walked over to Michael Bryant’s office where a guard was standing on duty. “Excuse me,” she said in her Latino accent, “I need to dust Mr. Bryant’s desk.”

“Not today, Alejandrina. He’s not taking any visitors.”

“Oh…” she said, offering an air of disappointment. “Maybe I should come back?”

“Give it a day or two. I’m sure whatever is bothering him will blow over by then.”

“OK.”

As Gemini turned to leave, she slid the dart in her hand from the heel of her palm to her fingertips. With a quick flick, the dart sailed across the hall, striking the guard in the chest. The look of shock quickly faded, as the drug took hold and he slumped to the floor. Putting on a winning smile, Gemini slid the door.

Michael Bryant’s office was large and decorated as per company regulation dictated. Despite its large amount of space, it was sparsely furnished. She strode into the middle of the space, as Michael looked up and the guards took on a protective posture.

“Hola senor. I have come to clean your desk.”

She heard the click of a weapon being cocked directly behind her and she froze.

“The cleaning staff in this building is never so brazen. Who the hell are you?”

Gemini smiled and let her re-sculpting slip away, her hair lightening back to blonde and skin becoming pale once more. When she spoke the Gaelic lilt was back that had been ingrained in her from her upbringing. “Is that more to your liking, Mr. Johnson?”

Michael shook his head and wagged his finger at her. “You know, Ms. Gemini, for someone as closely tied to Renraku as you are, one would think they would have whipped more caution into you.”

“They have certainly tried, Mr. Bryant,” she said. The man was resourceful, but not resourceful enough to have learned her real name yet, which meant she still had the advantage. “You’ll find I’m a tough one to break.”

“We will certainly test that, Gemini,” he said, the smile on his lips not reaching his eyes. “I’d be very interested to know where your associates are and where my data is. Anything to say for yourself before we start?”

She shrugged, looked over her shoulder at the soldier standing there his his sidearm leveled at her. “Give me your gun.”

Without the thinking, the soldier gripped the barrel, turned the butt of the weapon toward her, where she lightly took the weapon. “Thank you.”

She flicked her wrist and the aerosol can of dusting solution struck the guard in the skull, rupturing the can and sending the soldier to the floor. As the smile melted from Michael’s face, she ejected the clip with impossibly quick moves and tossed the weapon upward. With time seeming to slow, she looked toward the two guards standing over Mr. Johnson’s shoulders. With meticulous timing, she thumbed the catch that held each bullet in the clip. As the round sprung free of the clip, she caught the bullet and flicked it at one of the guards.

She alternated between the two guards, ejecting and throwing round after round, each throw nearly as deadly as if she had fired the gun, but quiet so not draw attention. The guards recoiled as each metal jacket ricocheted off their faces until both fell to the ground unconscious from the rain of blows.

The empty pistol fell back into her hands and as Mr. Johnson’s hands slid back across the surface of his desk she threw the gun at his fragile appendage. The gun struck the back of his hand, shattering bones and bounced off, landing on the plush carpet behind his desk. His mouth was open in a silent scream of agony and before he came to his senses, Gemini tossed aside the dust rag, grabbed a pen and hurled it, pinning his other hand to the desk.

As tears streamed down his face, he looked up at Gemini about ready to scream, when he spotted three other pens in her thin fingertips. “Let’s not make a sound, or I might have to find interesting locations to bury these, all right?”

Mr. Johnson shook his head that he understood, but his gaze fell to the pen that jutted out between his knuckles in his right hand.

“We both know you were going for a panic button. We also both know that you set my team up. I find both upsetting.”

Gemini sat down in a soft leather chair across from Michael with a pleasant smile on, as if they were old friends talking. She seemed oblivious to his pain and that he couldn’t avert his eyes from the pen in his hand.

“We jumped through your little hoops, tested your security and it failed. This is an opportunity to make further refinements, not to burn your reputation in the shadows to a tiny pile of ash. I will make you an offer, Mr. Bryant. One of those take-it-or-leave-it kind.”

Gemini reached into her jacket and she heard Michael’s breath hold in his throat. She smiled that the appropriate amount of fear was in place. She placed an optical chip on his desk.

“That is the data we stole. I will return it to you. In exchange, you never contact us again, you pay us double the original offer and we won’t tell everyone what an asshole you’ve been. You keep your rep, we are compensated for our inconvenience and nobody needs to be put to death. It’s the only offer you’re going to get. Decide quickly.”

Gemini sat across from him, rolling the pens sequentially across her fingers, his eyes transfixed on their movements. After several seconds, he spoke through gritted teeth. “Deal.”

“Great! I’ll take care of the transaction, seeing as you’re in a bit of a spot…”

Gemini plugged her commlink into Mr. Bryant’s and after a couple seconds, she heard Pascal’s voice in her ear. “We’ve got the money.” She pulled away, leaving the chip on the desk. “Remember, if I even smell one of your cronies nearby, I will be back and I won’t stop at your hands.”

Her features shifting back into those of Alejandrina, she smiled and spoke again in the Latino accent, “Adios, Mr. Johnson,” before heading to the door.

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~ by 1nsomniac on March 3, 2015.

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