May 22, 2072, night time in Seattle]
Emerald was quite psyched after her African vacation, and for once in her adult life, she was flush. She decided to share the wealth with her good friends the Galasie boys. Feeling lightheaded even, she also brought young Ryan along, just to keep him out of trouble. Where better to take a pair of dwarves, and her rather young suitor, than to Icarus Ascending, one of Seattle’s trendiest restaurants which purportedly served ‘elven cuisine, ‘whatever that is.’ According to the menu it appeared to be a north western fusion of traditional Asian, vegan and Irish/Celtic dishes with some creative reinterpretation.
Emerald regaled the boys with her the tale of her African adventure. As she finished up, there was a moment of silence as they absorbed the whole story. Then Aya spoke. “Ya know, youse guys outta be famous after all that. Ya knows what youse guys need? A name. Something catchy, something people will know yaws by, so’s that they can think of youse when they need a job done.”
Emerald merely rolled her eyes for she knew that there was no shortage of jobs now, especially as word of their latest exploits had gotten out. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have told Jayna about things. . . . ?’
Emerald had heard of a couple of opportunities. Apparently Boss Chang had some sort of surveillance work for them; some corporate Johnson had some type of retrieval needed; she had heard rumors about something in the Orc underground, an investigation of sorts; and there was a new Johnson with a, ahem, ‘wetworks’ project. She wondered which of these they would take on next, as Aye suddenly interrupted her thoughts.
“I know, youse guys should call yerselves da killers! Get it, cause you kill lots of people.” He seemed very happy about his ‘original’ name.
Emerald rolled her eyes some more, but replied tactfully. “I’ll suggest it. You never know what we’ll decide.”
Kye looked at his brother, smirked, and smiled at Emerald. “Maybe that name is a bit too confining. They’d only get offers to kill people.”
“So?” said Aye, as if that was all there was to it.
Kye just shrugged his shoulders. ‘I tried.’
A soft voice pipped up. “Maybe a more delicate name, yet still identifiable?” It was Ryan, who thought a bit then spoke. “How about ‘The Emeralds?’ As in the sparkling gem, which I’m sure you are. Er, all of you, your whole group, you know?”
Emerald blushed at the young man’s obvious infatuation, yet was also tempted by . . . “
Ryan took a breath. “If you are looking for work, my sister might have something.”
This certainly caught Emerald’s attention.
“What!?” she blurted. “Why didn’t Acey say anything?”
“Maybe she thought you a big shot now, too big to deal with her little problem, something to do with the Troll Killers.” Ryan let his voice just drift off as he could see that look in Emerald’s eyes, a look that said she was a bit hurt by this.
“Tell your sister I’ll be in so see her soon.”
And the night continued. . . . .
[May 23-28, nights in Seattle]
Emerald was hurt by the fact that Acey hadn’t just told her about her difficulties. After all she had done for the elf, certainly Emerald owed her big time. And, the Troll Killers? That gang? What would they be doing around here anyway?
To let off some steam before confronting Acey, before getting the Team involved, Emerald spent her nights learning how to drive a motorcycle without the benefit of any automatic pilot. She spent many after dark hours prowling the streets and alleys of Seattle and its environs till she was quite the expert with any two wheeled vehicles.
As she rode, she reflected on the group of individuals she had so suddenly become involved with. She knew Aye was right as she had heard of groups of Shadowrunners, or gangs of Shadowrunners, and many of these were known by name. She wondered, ‘Did they earn their name, was it slapped on them, or did they chose one and have T-shirts made?’ She thought about a possible name for her little group. The first name that came to mind, one which brought with it fond childhood memories was one that would begin with ‘The Company of . . . ‘
As a young child she had been lulled to sleep by her father’s reading of the stories of the ‘Company of the Seven Stars,’ a series of fantasy ebooks written by one Ned L. Shipp, sometime between 2017 and 2022. The story behind them was that this Mr. Shipp once ran a fantasy role playing group and after the group disbanded, he spent his days writing about their exploits turing their table toop adventures into some damn fine novels. This Company was led by an incredibly brave, bold, daring, resourceful, brilliant and handsome ranger named Cyruss and his trusty sidekick, a goblin named Madhack, who fancied himself a halfing. These two had many the wild adventures saving the world and all the fair damsels within. They were somewhat aided in their quests by a tiefling seer warlock named Jalzeera, and a dragonborn warlord named Duriv.
Emerald had no problem with this Company itself. She would have been proud to have been in the company of such fine company. The problem was that somehow they got the name ‘the seven Stars’ while there were really at most only six of them, when they had a fighter and a fire mage along for the ride. At another time they were joined by Duriv’s brother. But there were never seven. So, as a running gag, one might suspect, author Shipp had his strangers upon meeting them repeat quizzically, “Seven Stars, eh? But there are only ‘X’ of you.” Or, when the time came for some sort of dénouement, the villain would exclaim, “It’s the Company of the Seven Stars. Kill them!” Emerald ruled out that type of name entirely. She wondered where Mr. Shipp was now, and why he had stopped writing.
After her nightly rides, she jotted down possible group names:
-Only here for the music.
-The Old man and the High Seas
-Emerald and her Jewels – yeah, like they’d let her get away with that one
One name really came to mind, as it had to do with their first run, the one that brought them together
-The Blacks Jets
And as she reflected on that one, she wondered if Jet Black really was dead, and came up with
-Wanted Dead or Alive
Whatever. . . . . .
[June 2- 10, 2072, East of Seattle in the Snoqualmie Forest]
Emerald returned to her roots, or at least the roots of her identity as emerald, for some quality alone time. She needed to improve her self defence and attack abilities, and to be more usefull in the encounters with the badies. Where better to do that than in the forest and among the tribes that had taught her in the first place?
And, he was there also.
[June 12, 2072, Personas non Gratis, Seattle]
Emerald returned to her work, took on some ‘print job,’ and told the others about the local problem, not that she had spoken to Acey yet. She figured that once the others were ready, they could look into it as a group. . . . .