Blackjack's People #138
Dark Dealing
By Blackjack [Blackjack's Shadowrun Page: www.BlackjackSR.com] [blackjack@blackjacksr.com] [@sr_blackjack]

Posted: 2018-12-21

Shembus

Archetype: Elf Drug Dealer

While not quite possessing a complete stranglehold of custom drugs in the city, Shembus is damn close.  To that end he is relentless in his pursuit of developing new and more powerful narcotics, slowly gaining an edge over his competitors so he can up-dose them with every new release.  The lab housed in his white, gothic styled compound is well staffed and the lieutenants that he keeps in his immediate presence are in the top of their class.  Shembus has a very hands on approach to the business, delivering recently developed substances to everything from high class balls to frat house parties.  He also uses these visits to find out about any competing substances that may have slipped past him.  The only parts he leaves to others is the dirty work, contracting with gangs and runners, and is able to raise small armies of paid proxies at a moment’s notice.  While he’s not below simply trying to steal a competitor’s formula, he usually finds that it’s it easier to simply purchase a sample and reverse engineer it.

In his mid-40s, with a charismatic grin, short blonde hair and a goatee, Shembus’s overall look could best be described as ‘armored pimp’.  Every part of his fuzzy white garb is lined with armor, including the hat, and he carries a small, stainless steel scepter with functions including smoke screen, single shot heavy pistol and defensive grenade.  Tack on some dermal enhancements and bone lacing and you end up with a self-absorbed egomaniac who is very difficult to kill.  Fast, however, he is not, having had his wired removed because they ‘damaged his chill’.  Shembus avoids all drugs, with the major exception of good ole’ natural Mary Jane, which he also breeds and cultivates but, for some odd reason, never sells.

Gillian

Archetype: Human Drug Dealer Physical Adept

While Shembus serves as the face of the operation, Gillian is the brains.  Well, along with being able to kick some ass.  Specializing in several forms of martial arts, she has sacrificed a small portion of her adept power towards the installation of a cerebral enhancement and enough storage to hold a few dozen knowledge softs.  She has an intricate knowledge of how most drugs effect the mind and body and is key in developing new strains or mixtures to maximize effect and, in turn, profit.  Gillian has never actually done drugs herself.  With a bubbly personality, athletic figure and braided hair down to her waist, her hair sometimes holds blades so she can whip it around as a weapon in combat.  When Shembus goes out into public, she is almost always by his side, trading intel with Fatale and Derelict and acting as a last line of defense bodyguard.

April

Archetype: Human Drug Addict

When Shembus comes across a new drug, it usually falls upon April or Kyle to test it.  They are dragged through horrific cycles of dosing and withdrawal to make sure they can act as a clean slate to any drug introduced into their system.  Some of the withdrawal is so intense that they actually die, having been brought back over and over by the team’s doctor.

Looking remarkably healthy for someone put through the rigors of repeated dosing, the team doctor always makes sure his subjects are returned to a relatively healthy state before a new drug is tested..  Shembus broke April down by initially hooking her on drugs that would enhance mental attributes that would help with her college studies, slowly introducing drugs that affected physical attributes as well.  Then, without warning, he took all of them away, teasing April with ineffective tastes of the drugs she adored.  Then he gave them all back again, a cycle he would repeat a dozen times until April had a sensory memory of just about every attribute enhancing drug around so she could accurately compare them to whatever she is being given in the present time.  Unfortunately, for anybody wishing to rescue April from this hell, forget it.  Nothing remains but a succinct vocabulary limited to what may describe a drugged experience.  Marks on her wrists and neck are the only real visible hints to Shembus’ brutality.

Kyle

Archetype: Dwarf Drug Addict

If April has it bad, Kyle has it much, much worse.  Due to his enhanced constitution, Kyle is given the hardest drugs that come along, some of which have destroyed parts of his body to the point that cultured bioware was required to replace them.  He is also installed with a neuro inhibiter that prevents him from screaming, and the only outlet he has for describing what he’s feeling is limited to words and phrases like “brain fire”, “hell” and “kill me”.  Kyle was scraped off the streets when he was already a hard core addict by a seemly sympathetic Shembus who then put him through a cycle of addiction and rehabilitation similar to April.  Made to look healthy through bioware and nutrient shots, Kyle exhibits the same zombie-like state as April.  Shembus has even gone so far as to install special tear dusts that prevent him from crying.

Reanimator

Archetype: Human Doctor Sorcerer

Named for his supernatural ability to bring people (usually OD’s) back from the dead, Reanimator has a second, more sinister, job of dissecting those who have died from using Shembus’s products to see exactly what went wrong.  (Shembus is smart enough to know that you can’t build a drug empire if your clientele keep kicking the bucket.)  In addition to the numerous health spells he possesses, Reanimator is also an actually fully trained and certified doctor several times over.   With his combination of magic and medicine, he can bring back virtually anyone, although, on more than a few occasions, people have come back “wrong”.  This usually happens if the individuals have been deceased for an hour or more and generally result in maniacal, uncontrollable, and disturbingly fast animated corpses, which is why Reanimator always carriers a pair of heavy pistols on him at all times so he can put them back down.  Reanimator also has a side job (which Shembus allows, so long as he keeps it quiet) of selling spare body parts that still have some market value.  Reanimator is always dressed in slick, black silk suits, is fairly charismatic and is a great conversationalist during parties.

Fatale

Archetype: Elf Bodyguard

For a bodyguard, Fatale is rarely by Shembus’s side.  She prefers to roam through the party crowds and use her vast array of cybernetic listening, recording and analysist headwear to find problems before they happen.  Fairly well built and imposing for an elf, Fatale and Gillian often train together, mixing up their styles and producing some awesome sparring matches.  On the job, Fatale seems to be everywhere at once as she slips through crowds using paths of least resistance, but keeping a mental map of the quickest way back to Shembus.  If Shembus is meeting with somebody high risk, Fatale will abandon her wandering and stand near the person Shembus is meeting, dual SMGs hidden, but ready (or even out and visible if some intimidation is needed.)  With Wired 3 and additional bioware speed enhancements, Fatale’s ability to seemingly be everywhere at once isn’t limited to her recon.  Fatale has a knack for knowing what to wear and when, dressing as anyone from a corporate elite to a stoner.  Bald, Fatale will also wear whatever hair she feels is appropriate for the situation, or sometimes none at all.

Derelict

Archetype: Human Rigger

While possessing excellent combat piloting skills, Derelict also has something infinitely more valuable: Numerous contacts within law enforcement.   Through the utilization of these contacts, there’s hardly a traffic stop or raid that Shembus can’t get out of.  And while the cops may hate Shembus, Derelict’s management of bribes, blackmail and intimidation keep him out of the path of enforcement action.  The Mitsubishi Nightsky that serves as the group’s primary mode of transport is a safe haven and it is Derelict’s primary function to make sure it’s where it is needed.  He doesn’t want a rogue (or non-rogue, depending on how you look at it) cop making his career by snagging Shembus while he’s vulnerable.

Derelict is somewhat diminutive, but muscular, and wears his hair cropped short.  He cut his teeth rigging for the feds and held on to many of the contacts he made there.  Derelict has customized the hell out of his Nightysky, equipping it with better armor, improved handing and a jacked-up engine to compensate for the extra weight.  While this has lowered its overall range, Derelict has a fleet of other vehicles at his disposal should a mission call for it.