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Winter is approaching fast. The nights have been long. Cold and desolate streets punctuated with sharp winds that bite at your skin as if your jacket was made of net. Your real name forgotten long ago, you are known in the Shadows as “Duster” after the particular style of overcoat you tend to wear. A t-shirt with the name of a forgotten band from the turn of the century is the only thing between your weatherbeaten duster and bare skin. At least the leather pants look good, neh?

You were told by Jordan that the Johnson wanted to meet you at Matchsticks, normal enough place to meet, so why did Jordan seem nervous? Something smelled off about this meet already, but your own curiosity is hard to tame once it’s been piqued by such behavior.

Worst case scenario? Well, you’d be dead at the meet, and there were a hundred easier ways to kill someone, most with a much lower profile than a random scragging in a very public place like Matchsticks. No, you’re fairly certain you’ll live through the meet, you just may not be all that happy about it.

The cold steel of your Predator presses into your hip as you walk. You brush your palm against the handle and your Smartlinkā„¢ engages briefly, showing the readout in your cybereye. Full clip, one in the chamber, ready to rock.

You look up the street and the usual hustle and bustle is present, along with a long line in front of the nightclub. Matchsticks is always frosty, attracting people from all walks of life and tonight BlackHole was playing.

It’s 7:30 – about 30 minutes before the meet. You head towards the club.

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Ronin JimTriche