Rated NC17 The Reaper
Hunt the cybersamurai at the agricultural hive.

It takes an assassin to kill an assassin. That's the rule that comes right after always kill the assassin, but that rule doesn't apply to me, because the murders I commit are sanctioned by the people. I was bred for this very purpose. I'm a Reaper.

"Your mark is one of those jacked-up mercs gone cyber-psycho. He accidentally decapitated his employer in the middle of collecting his pay, then slew a dozen bystanders in order to escape. I keep saying they need to put heavier restrictions on how much wetwire enhancements they can install in one body, but money speaks louder than common sense," my coordinator griped.

I sighed and rolled my eyes, "C'mon Riggs, spare the soapbox and give me the data."

Riggs uploaded the data to my cortex and I watched it dance across my cornea display...

*Name: Samurai Jack... cute.
*Age: 22... so young, what a waste.
*Height: 185cm
*Weight: 84kg
*Complexion: Fair
*Hair: Black
*Eyes: Silver (back-lit LED)
*Dist. Features: Body tattoo (oriental dragon)
*Registered Enhancements: 20% syth. muscle repl. (aug. strength/precision/reaction), 100% eye repl. (telescopic/targeting/low light/thermal/cornea disp.), aug. skeletal structure, subdermal polycarbon fiber-weave, synaptic cortex (tracking/targeting/data link/2x proc/80TB RAM)... Briggs was right, this guy was almost as wired as I was - far too much for anyone born from a womb.
*Charges: 14 counts of 1st degree homicide
*Known accomplices: None
*Last sighting: Sigma Six Agricultural Hive
*Termination Auth. - 0060745188298b - Confirmed

I looked at the mark's face. He was young and handsome. He should have been an actor or a model. Heck, even a prostitute would have been better than what those greedy cyberlab butchers made him into. Now he'd lost his humanity to too much wetwiring. He was a public menace and it was my job to put him down.

I confirmed the hunt and left the room.

"Okay, well, come back in one piece, Kaze," Rriggs called out as the door shut behind me.

I sighed again. I could tell by my coordinator's dilating pupils and raised vocal pitch that he was attracted to me, but reapers didn't have romantic relationships and he knew it. Besides, if I'd been the womb-born teenage girl that my physical appearance belied, I would have been too young for him anyway.

I suited-up and grabbed my personal gear, then stopped by the armory to see if I'd been issued anything specific for the job...

Below average pulse grenade.

I slipped the pulse grenade into my concealed abdominal storage cavity and then asked the AI, "Anything else?"

No, but...

"No lasers or projectile weapons at the hive, I know. Too bad my mark won't be following the same rules," I scowled.

I headed for the transport...

(any complications during the trip?)

Yes, but...

"Hey baby, how much?" A middle-aged man in a trader's suit leered at me.

I turned to look at him so he could see that I did not have a prostitution barcode on the side of my forehead, but he just grinned and continued to stare. Did he really think I was an unregistered underage hoar turning tricks on a transport? I could have just flashed my reaper badge, but I was curious how far this letch would go. I looked away and pretended to ignore him.

"Oh come on baby, don't be like that! You're such a pretty little thing, and if you're not turning tricks, what would you be doing on a transport in this part of the city all alone?"

I continued to ignore him.

"You could make good money with a body like that. Want me to show you how?" He stood there waiting for an answer, as if any girl riding alone on this transport owed him one.

I sensed his respiration increase and his muscles tense. This should be fun.

"Hey, I'm talking to you," he reached down and roughly grabbed my arm.

I spun around and twisted his arm, fracturing his right radius with a satisfying crunch. He screamed in pain "AAAAHGAD son of a... what the hell are you?"

"Reaper," I replied casually, still holding his arm at a crippling angle.

"You could have warned me," he sputtered through clenched teeth.

"True, but what would you be doing right now if I hadn't been a reaper?"

"I... I..."

"Wrong answer," I smiled, increasing the pressure and snapping his ulna. I let him go and he crumpled to the floor of the transport, on the verge of passing out from the pain. He let loose a sobbing stream of obscenities. I glanced at the other passengers, but none of them looked like they felt sorry for the idiot. Rriggs would scold me about avoidable collateral damage, especially when it didn't directly involve the pursuit of my mark. But I knew the security cameras would show that it was a clear case of assault and that I was defending myself within my legal rights, reaper or not. I smiled to myself, feeling like I'd just cleaned up some litter.

Mister hey baby slunk off at the next stop to seek medical attention for his broken arm. I hoped the damage to his ego would last longer. Four stops later, I reached the starport...

(any complications there?)


I checked my firearms. As a reaper, with the proper authorization, I could have carried them onto the shuttle, but I didn't even have authorization to use them at my destination for this hunt. Still, I decided to keep them close in case my mark was bold enough to leave the hive, or incase he managed to get off Sigma Six.

After 30 minutes of taxying to the jump gate, 2 tenths of a second to travel the 8 light years to Sigma Six, and then 45 minutes to fly from the jump gate to the Ag. Hive's docking port, I unstrapped myself and left the shuttle before the other passengers were cleared to leave their seats.

I needed to reclaim my weapons, but first things first...

(after jacking into the local surveillance network, do I find any sign of Samurai Jack?)

Yes, but...

He was last spotted near the Hive perimeter, entering the substructure. Either he's hiding out under the hive, or he's foolish enough to take his chances with the very inhospitable surface of Sigma Six. Either way, this was going to be very interesting.

(to be continued...)
Interesting start, looking forward to the hunt!.
I claimed my weapons and left the docking bay. I wasn't particularly crazy about what I needed to do next, but it was the fastest way to the perimeter, so I sucked it up headed to the nearby flyer colony.

Once there, I paid the handler a little extra, hoping he'd give me one of his better flyers, not that any of the giant dragonfly-like bugs that I was nervously eyeing looked particularly faster or more reliable than the next.

He pointed to a bright emerald green flyer and I took a closer look as I approached it. There were a few patches of molting around it's giant faceted eyes, but its wings were large and I didn't see any creases or tears in them. I took a deep breath and turned my back to the emerald green flyer. It snagged me and pulled me up to its abdomen. I always found being snatched up by a giant flying insect very unsettling.

"East perimeter, as close to the substructure access as you can get me," I told the handler.

He made some clicking noises in response. I never understood them, but it was only important that they understood me. He grabbed a gooey yellow chunk out of a cubby and held it up for the flyer to smell. I hated this part too.

Even with redundant synthetic organs, it still felt like the flyer left my stomach behind as it lurched up into the air and flew at a blurring speed toward the perimeter...

(do I get to my destination without any mishaps?)


The bright orange sections of the agricultural hive sped past as my flyer buzzed and darted through the sky, narrowly missing every flyer, drone, platform, and tower as it flew, as if it had to play chicken with every obstacle in our path.

My cybornetically-enhanced inner ears saved me from motion sickness, but they didn't magically make the crazy jerky ride enjoyable. I felt like kissing the concrete when the flyer dropped me off on a storage platform butted up against the inside of the giant translucent dome, but it was time to hit the ground running.

I quickly found the platform's maintenance ladder and slid down the rails, checking my surroundings before my feet hit the ground...

(do I have any trouble finding the substructure access?)


Spotting the hatch, I sprinted to the security panel, hoping my quarry has hunkered down somewhere in the substructure. If I had to hunt that psycho bastard across the planet's surface...

(am I able to get past the hatch security?)


My access worked and the hatch popped open (if only it was always so reliable!) With the firearms restriction ending at the hatch, I pulled my goop-gun, primed the cylinder, and slipped through the hatch, flashing my reaper badge at the security camera in case anyone was paying attention. My goop-gun quietly hissed as the 36-cast cylinder molds filled with resin and the projectiles were instantly heat-cured.

My low-light vision autocorrected for the dimly lit tunnel on the other side. I scanned for traps and signs of my mark. I didn't expect to find any yet, but I'm a cautious girl...

(any traps? -very unlikely-)


(signs of my mark? -very unlikely-)

No, but...

One end of the tunnel had been sealed off for damage containment and the seal looked old. Only one way to go then - perfect...

(to be continued...)
(04-30-2013, 12:41 PM)slaad11 Wrote: I always found being snatched up by a giant flying insect very unsettling.


I'm starting to notice a trend pop up here of attractive murderous girls, between my Xandria, the Reaper, and somebody else's character (whose name I forget) that was described as 'a hot chick in black latex'.
Dominatrix-squad, GO!

Interesting story so far, keep going.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
(04-30-2013, 06:13 PM)TrollSlayer Wrote:
(04-30-2013, 12:41 PM)slaad11 Wrote: I always found being snatched up by a giant flying insect very unsettling.


I'm starting to notice a trend pop up here of attractive murderous girls, between my Xandria, the Reaper, and somebody else's character (whose name I forget) that was described as 'a hot chick in black latex'.
Dominatrix-squad, GO!

Interesting story so far, keep going.

That's my character. Big Grin
(She doesn't have a name yet though. Undecided)
I crept quietly but quickly down the tunnel, sweeping the passage ahead for motion, residual heat, and any minute traces that might help me track my quarry.

(do I find anything yet?)


I continued down the tunnel until it branched.

(any evidence pointing one way or another?)


There was a thin layer of mud, where condensation ran off pipes in the walls and mixed with dust on the tunnel floor. I could see a few unusually smooth patches in the mud along the floor of the right tunnel. Samurai Jack had probably tried to erase his footprints by scraping something over them. I shook my head and reluctantly headed down the right tunnel. That was the tunnel that led closer to the outside of the Hive dome...

(Does the right tunnel do any more branching?)

No, and...

Damn stupid psycho bastard! I stared glumly at the tunnel's dead-end, with the maintenance ladder ascending to the airlock above, just past the myriad of clearly posted environmental hazards and warnings of dangerous indigenous fauna. Even if numb nuts procured an environmental suit, there was a good chance that this planet would do my job for me. The problem was that I would have to find his body, and if he left the dome right after he'd last been spotted, he would have a long enough lead to make finding his body extremely difficult. I grabbed my re-breather and ascended the ladder...

(can I make it through the airlock without complications?)


Fantastic. Samurai Jackoff shot the airlock controls on his way out. He was obviously aiming to keep pursuers like myself off his tail, but it was also obvious that he had no intentions of re-entering the sphere. Was my mark suicidal? If so, I wished he'd just offed himself inside the dome!

I grabbed my plasma torch and went to work on the airlock's hinges...

(am I able to cut through them in a reasonable amount of time?)


Reinforced composite hinges. Groaning with frustration, I grabbed my portable fission battery and micro-tool kit, ripping the damaged panel off the wall so I could try to rewire it to the alternate power source and cycle the lock...

(does it open now?)


FRACK! I began furiously ripping the guts out of the airlock control mechanism, searching deeper for cables I could use to hot-wire the door open...

(NOW does the damn door open?)

Yes, but...

I finally heard the airlock hiss, so I snapped my re-breather over my mouth, clearing and sealing it, and readied my goop-gun. Its cylinder spun with enough RPMs to provide gyro-stability (not that I needed it) and enough centrifugal force to send any hardened magnesium ceramic resin projectiles that the trigger released, down its barrel at a velocity of nearly two thousand meters per second.

A pulse grenade, not unlike the one I'd planned to chuck at my mark in order to fry his cybernetics, dropped into the airlock as the door swung open. Jackoff must have set it on the upper lip of the door as a simple booby-trap.


I fell back against the far wall to minimize my exposure to the eminent EMP and fired a round from my goop-gun, aiming for the edge of the grenade in an attempt to send it flying out thought the widening exit...

(do I shoot the pulse grenade and send it flying safely out of the airlock before it detonates?)


I saw the flash of light and heard the blast, but received none of the electromagnetic nastiness that Jack had intended for his pursuer. I wondered if he was expecting a reaper, or just law enforcement. I'd hoped he was only expecting law enforcement, but the pulse grenade suggested otherwise.

I peered out of the now slightly ajar airlock, checking for any other surprises, and then slipped out and quickly scanned my surroundings.

The tall bluish gray towers of fungus were covered with black parasitic vines. The deep blue sky was barely visible through the overgrowth far above. So many placed to hide...

(any immediate signs of where my quarry headed?)


Now the real hunt had begun...

(to be continued...)
Entertaining as always. I like your idea of marking questions with parentheses to keep them separate from the prose, by the way.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
(04-30-2013, 11:52 PM)TrollSlayer Wrote: Entertaining as always. I like your idea of marking questions with parentheses to keep them separate from the prose, by the way.

Thanks :]

The hardest part has been sticking to either past or present tense. I did my zombie story in present since it was an adventure, but I'm so used to writing pros in past tense that I was constantly slipping between them and having to make corrections when I posted it on the forum. I'm writing this story in past tense, but I've kept my questions in present tense - this doesn't help either and I'm constantly having to correct myself :[

I think I just need to get used to writing in the present tense. Mark suggested I pretend I'm talking to the GM - that should help, but I'll have to finish this story the way I started it.
I ran stealthily in the direction opposite the Hive dome, hoping my mark took that heading in order to put as much distance as possible between himself and any pursuers...

(do I encounter anything yet?)

No, and...

I came to a sudden stop at the edge of a sheer cliff, which dropped nearly a mile before ending at a turbulent sulfurous river. I searched for any signs that would suggest he’d either fled north or south from this point...

(do I find any?)

Yes. +Twist: PC / Alters the location

Bingo. I spotted of partial set of tracks to the south, disappearing at the base of a tall fungal tower. It looked like my quarry had taken to the trees, so to speak. I climbed up the black vines of the same tower, not wanting to give him the high ground.

(do I encounter anything higher up?)


I found it relatively easy to jump, climb, and swing from tower to tower using the strong tangled vines, so I continued south just beneath the fungal forest canopy.

(do I encounter anything?)

No, and...

It suddenly dawned on me that I still didn't quite have the 'high ground'. I climbed up through the canopy and onto the relatively flat vine-covered cap of the fungal tower I was on.

(any sings of my prey?)

Yes, but...

Merely seconds after climbing over the canopy, my enhanced vision spotted the otherwise invisible beam of a laser weapon slicing through the air near my head.

(am I able to evade?)

No, but...

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

Well, I found my mark, or rather he found me...

The laser swept for my neck, aiming to decapitate me, but I managed to roll and throw my forearm up protectively. The laser sliced into my arm, down to my reinforced bones, but the composite alloy prevented it from severing my limb.

In the same motion, I predicted the source of the beam and let loose a stream of magnesium ceramic projectiles at...

Thin air.

He had to be there, but I could see no movement or heat signature, unless...


(did my mark somehow get his hands on a ghost suit?)


(do I still manage to hit my invisible target?)

Yes, and...

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

Damn! How the hell did a piece of crap cybernetic hired gun get his hands on such an expensive and highly restricted piece of black-ops military hardware? With the ghost suit on, not only was he protected from the toxic atmosphere and a slew of other hazards, he was also covered by a chameleon field that hid him from both visible light and infrared detection. It even added sound suppression. I was jealous!

Luckily, I was spot on with my calculated shot and managed to nail the invisible bastard with at least one of the resin projectiles. I doubted the glancing blow penetrated his suit, but it did damage its chameleon matrix where it hit. Now, instead of chasing thin air, I had a small black spot to follow. From its height and movement, I guessed I'd hit him in either his upper torso or a shoulder.

I leapt and rolled against the inertia of my last lunge in order to avoid his next laser shot. I also fired the rest of my hardened rounds as the empty cylinder molds filled with fresh resin from the canister and hardened for the next volley.

There was enough resin in one canister for 288 rounds and I had four more of the cigar-sized goop canisters on my belt, not that I ever needed that much ammo. I estimated the fission battery in his laser rifle would only have enough for fifty short pulses, or about twenty sustained pulses, the way he was trying to slice with it, but this fight would likely be over after the first few shots anyway...

(Does he hit me?)

Yes, but...

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

(Do I hit him?)

Yes, but...

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

He anticipated my move. I held my left arm up in front of my head again, not wanting to damage both arms. This time, the laser burned through the exposed scored bones and I completely lost my limb almost up to the elbow. My pain suppressors and coagulants instantly flooded the seared bloody stump. My arm could be replaced, as long as I could take Samurai Jack down first. This mark was tougher than I'd given him credit for.

My resin projectiles punched through his suit and into the natural and synthetic muscles of his thigh. He'd still be able to run, but not nearly as fast, and now I had a big black and red gash to hone in on.

I didn't dare dance around on top of this giant mushroom and gamble with another blast from his laser though.

I continued my roll and dropped off the edge, snapping my goop-gun to its magnetic holster and catching a vine with my right hand, swinging as far and wide as I could in order to pop back up through the canopy over the cap of a different fungal tower...

(does my maneuver work?)

Yes, but...

As I swung back up over the canopy and rolled onto the other cap, while bringing my gun to bear on Jack's last position, I realized that he too must have dropped below the canopy.

I knelt in place and widened my peripheral vision, scanning for movement and waiting for him to pop back up. My goop-gun's cylinder quietly whined with anticipation as my finger caressed the trigger...

(does he pop back over the canopy?)


Damn! He's on the run. I sprang to my feet and bolted in the direction where I'd last seen him, hopping from cap to cap, being careful not to trip on the vines. He would be harder to find this way, but also a lot slower. It suddenly hit me that he was probably hanging just below the canopy, waiting for me to drop down again. He still had both arms and could hang with one hand and shoot with the other, whereas I did not.

I glanced around his last position and tried to anticipate which way he'd most likely drop in order to get the best field of fire. After making my guess, I jumped straight off the cap I was on and held my legs and remaining arm tight to my body, hoping to fall faster and farther than he'd expect. I heard the laser slice through the air above me. I parted and bent my legs, hooking one of them over a vine so I could swing back up with the momentum and get a bead on my target. I squeezed the trigger as I reached the apex of my swing and spotted Jack about ten meters out, just below the canopy...

(do I hit him?)


He was swinging as he fired, so my rounds bit through the canopy where he was, just missing him...

Does he hit me?


At least my little stunt put me well below his shot. Seeing that neither of us would be able to change the trajectories of our swings, my only hope was to fire first, before his laser rifle could cycle for another pulse...

(do I hit him?)


Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

(does the injury prevent his next shot?)


(does he hit me?)

Yes, but...

Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

My projectiles ripped into the side of his abdomen, but his laser caught my left shoulder and swept inward, threatening to slice across my torso and end me. I twisted reflexively and blocked the deadly beam with my weapon. It saved my life, but my gun was destroyed in a shower of sparks and chunks of duraloy and resin.

I let myself drop again, but this time I hooked my leg on another vine almost immediately and snagged the pulse grenade from my abdominal storage cavity, hurling it up at Jack while his laser rifle cycled for the shot that would likely kill me...

(does my pulse grenade detonate close enough to my target to fry his synapses and cybernetic implants?)

Yes, but...

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

The pulse grenade flashed right over his head, but his ghost suit reduced the effects of the EMP, leaving him still partially functional. At least his damn laser rifle was out of commission! I wished I would have started with the pulse grenade, but he hadn't been holding so still until just now...

(does the EMP knock him off the vines?)

No, and... +Twist: Organization / Helps the hero

The bastard clung tenaciously to the canopy, hanging with one hand and brandishing a vibroblade with the other. I had a vibroblade too, off course, and I assumed that he was looking for a melee fight now, since one of my arms was lying somewhere on the ground, about twenty meters below. I still would have obliged him, but the huge wild flyer that darted down through the opening above and snagged him with its sticky spindly legs, had dinner plans.

I giggled, watching Jack struggle and try to cut himself free and gut the bug that threatened to carry him back to its nest.

(does Jack cut himself free?)

Yes. +Twist: Emotional event / Changes the goal

Jack sliced through multiple flyer legs and it dropped him immediately and flew back up above the canopy, but not before stinging him right through his ghost suit and paralyzing the suddenly unlucky merc, who fell like a dead log through the tangled vines, spinning and bouncing and zigzagging like a pachinko ball, all the way down to the ground below.

FINALLY! I unhooked my legs and let myself drop, grabbing a couple vines on the way down with my remaining hand to swing and slow my decent. Once I hit the ground, I rushed over to my quarry, elated.

I had never had to literally give my left arm to kill a mark, but this one was well worth the effort...

My targets rarely saw me coming, but if Jack's ghost suit was off the black market as I suspected, I could have it repaired and resized for my own use. Now I could guarantee that my targets would never see me coming.

"Kimiko Kaze, the ghost reaper,” I grinned. “Thanks Jack – I like the sound of that!"

OK, I'm ready for the movie now.

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