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“Welcome to Gas Mask city, chummer. There’s an air vendor around the corner. In three weeks Wu Xing is going to seed the clouds and get us some rain to knock some of this pollution down.”

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The troll pats his lips with a napkin inbetween talking and slurping a huge bowl of noddles, soy-senth glass noddles no doubt.

“When it cleans up you can actually walk around without a respirator… But i wouldn’t recommend it. Heh. Price of progress I guess, eh Chummer?”

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He lifts the bowl to his knobby lips and gulps down a huge swallow of broth, pats his lips again, and lets out a not so subtle belch.

“So you some type of operator? Like a corp type? Heh… Lotta work around here for you. Security, wage slave jobs with Wu Xing or a subsidiary…. They pretty much have a hold of Hong Kong.. Well, them and the triads. But I guess them and the triads are kinda one in the same dontcha think? Drekheads.”

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The troll bats away some advertisements that flew near his face in AR.

“Well, anyways, welcome to ‘Gu Tou Cheng.’ That’s bone city in mandarin, chum. You may find a few out there still speaking cantonese but ever since Hong Kong because an autonomous free trade zone mandarin just kind of took over. But yeah, bone city. They say this district is called bone city because it was build over the bones of a dragon back in the ’teens.”

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The noddle stand proprietor, a weathered old “native” with a large spoon in his hand slams a “DaLi” synthbeer down in front of the troll, who promptly grabs it in is mitt and twists the cap off.

The proprietor eyes both of you through narrow slits.

“So you going to pay or you sit here talk for four hour?! That fifteen NuYen for you.”

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“Heh. Don’t listen to that old asshole.” The troll says, a mitt clasping the neck of the beer and raising it to his lips.

“Yep, bone city, just a small little Burrough of 20 million people in Hong Kong. Just a neighborhood of the mask.”

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The troll gulps down several swallows and finishes with a frothy, yet triumphant, belch.

“So you lookin’ for work, chum? There’s all kinds out there. Even more if you’re into more… Tasteless professions. Probably by the looks of you… I’d say you’d be a pretty good candidate for one of the Sec-Corps. PMC’s, brother, is what i’m talking about. Para-Military Corporations. See Hong Kong don’t use lone star or Knight’s Errant. There is an ‘open contract’ so to speak so we got several sec corps out there running and gunning and taking down criminals… or ‘taking down criminals’ if ya know what I mean.”

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“Probably the biggest of the PMC Sec Corps is ATLAS, which is closely followed by Legio XIII. Usually call them Legion or 13, though. Named after some really old drek-headed roman legion.. Heh. Either way you see boys wearing either of their uniforms I’d keep my head down.. But you look like you may be able to help them out, with your stature and gear and all.”

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The troll places the empty beer back on the bar of the noodle stand.

“Either way, I’m out. Look me up later, chum, if you want some help. The name’s Kilgore. Somethin’s tellin me we may yet bump into eachother somewhere. In some shadow of an alley.”

With that, the troll walks off into the swirly of fog, or smog. Its hard to tell which, respirator secured.

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Hong Kong: Tales from Gas Mask City

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