Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-04-2003, 02:42 PM
"Your full name, sir?"
"Kod Gregoire Nainsev, with a trema on the i."
"Previous job, if any?"
"Restaurant owner and cook."
"Awgo Elementary School, Awgo Hills High School, two years of Emoha College in cooking."
"32 years old."
"Reason for joining?"
"Personal likeness of fighting, and hope to protect manking through its journey to planet Ragol."
The android stared at him.
"You are kidding me, right?"
"Let me guess, everyone told you that word for word, huh?"
"Yep. *sigh* Alright, smarty-pants. Here's the form; take it to this guy over there and he'll pass your registration through. Got any fighting experience?"
"A bit of boxing, a lot of improvisation."
"Just what I needed. Any official experience?"
"Then off to the training grounds you go. Personal suggestion: beat up your own officer in a fight. He'll chew the hell out of you for thirty minutes, and then tell you good job and let you in immediately."
"Looking at his face, I was about to do that."
"Okay." The droid stood up and shouted at the concerned officer: "Hey Stopher; this guy wants to beat you up tomorrow morning!"
Kod raised an eyebrow. "Did you really need to tell him that?"
The android simply looked at him. If he could smile stupidly, he would have. "Hunters Guild tradition. See you and your bandages tomorrow!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever."
There wasn't that much of a line out there to finish the registration, but then it was mid-afternoon. That meant he would end up with all the antisocial bastards and thugs, which was fine by him, because that's what he was too.
"Well, look who's here..." He muttered to himself as he saw a familiar face nagging the registrar android...
Join Date: Jan 2003
02-04-2003, 02:58 PM
I like... I like alot. did'nt know what to expect from the thread title but I'm glad I read it. It made me wonder if you were a professionnal writer so I went and checked your profile for "interests". Are you writing professionally or is it only a hobby? By the way, I was amused by the name of your Fonewearl.
Your fellow Montrealer,
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Percival on 2003-02-04 13:06 ]</font>
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-05-2003, 07:26 AM
I'm no professional, but if I get to find some time to novelize my fics, I'll do so.
In the meantime I post at fanfiction.net and PSOW as a hobby.
Say, what part of Montreal do you live at? Who knows, you might just be BWS-1's neighbor.
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-06-2003, 10:17 AM
Chapter 01: Mister Basement Thug
"Reason for joining?"
"Same as everyone else."
"Here's the form; take it to this guy over there and he'll pass your registration through. Got any fighting experience?"
"Not until I talk to Sarge."
"You guys seem to love him these days. Is he one of your in-laws?"
"No; it's just me being an antisocial bastard."
"Just go, okay?"
Kod chuckeld at the conversation. If there was a single person who could act like him in every way, it just had to be his old friend.
"Hey, Freddie!" He yelled. "Frederik Baker, you moron, come here so that I may kick your ass!"
Fred turned around. If he was Kod's twin on the psychological side, he wasn't on the physical. Whereas Kod was a 7'4" tower, Fred was on the short and fatty side... But that didn't stop him from answering his friend in the proper manner:
"Kod Gregoire Nainsev, why you little no good sunnuvabitch, you've got yourself a fight! Just let me have a beer before we start, okay?"
Laughter from the two. It was going to be the best training camp ever.
Kod couldn't find a room that wasn't full. Fred had been lucky going in the east section. In the meantime, Kod was still looking around in the west one.
Tired of searching, he tried another method:
"If there's a free bed somewhere, give me a yell!"
Kod pushed the door open to find three biker-like men smoking cigarettes.
"Yo." He said. "I'll be your resident bastard for the next four weeks to come."
"Sweet." The tallest biker muttered. "Okay, Bastard. My name is Tall Jack, the one next to the window is Death, and the tattooed guy over there is Animal."
"Tall Jack, Death, and Animal." Kod nodded upon saying these words. "Okie-dokie. And your last names?"
"Last names. L-A-S, well, you know."
Tall Jack sighed.
"Fine. I'm Brookin, he's Penn, and he's Hyde. And you? What's yer freakin' last name?"
"Nainsev. In the hope that I get 97 as my trainee number." He marked a pause. "You guys are friendly as hell for thugs."
"Hey!!" Animal yelled. "BASEMENT thugs! We ain't any of yer overground shit an all!"
"Uhh, as he says." Tall Jack commented. "Besides, we're too tired to kick ass today. And another thing, you would've made a great biker, man--"
"By the way," Kod interrupted, "is Animal a redneck?"
"Ah did shoot a shotgun once." Animal muttered between two puffs of smoke.
Kod merrily nodded. "He's a redneck!" Tall Jack laughed.
"I like you! And I thought we were gonna have some weak nerd with us who'd bail out at the first sign of blood. Too bad, I would've been able to get the two beds together and sleep on a queen size. Man, queen size beds are classy! You can screw your girlfriend without falling on the floor every two damn minutes."
Kod raised an eyebrow as he sat on his own bed. "Right, man, you are
tired. Any way to reach other rooms here?"
Kod opened the door and did so:
"PAGING FRED BAKER! FRED BAKER, PAGING THE HELL FRED BAKER PLEASE!!"
He heard a voice from the far end of the corridor.
"ROOM E79! WHAT ABOUT YOU?
"W22! THE BASEMENT THUGS ROOM!"
"YOU'RE THE SHIT, MAN!!
He turned around to find Tall Jack an inch away from his face.
"Man, warn me next time. My hangover is still going."
"But it's 4 in the afternoon!!"
There were at least one hundred men standing next to each other. And in front of them, dressed in dark blue and black, was their torturer.
"Gooooooood morning, girls!" He yelled. "We're gonna start with the first lesson right away, before I even ask what your stinking names are! Bastard! Get over here!!"
Kod stepped out of the line. The man in black continued.
"You said you wanted to fight me. All right, get in stance. Ready, go!"
"Rule number one of a good hunter, the enemy is never honorable." He said as Kod put a hand to his bleeding shoulder. "Therefore, you shouldn't be either. The quicker you end the fight, the better. By the way, Bastard, you win. I was expecting you to cry like a schoolgirl for the rest of your days!" He put the gun back in his pocket. "And stop holding your wound like this!
You should be proud of your status and you should put in your head, whether you like it or not, that if it doesn't kill you, it's just a damn scratch! Bastard, back to the line you go!"
Kod did so, making sure he got himself next to Tall Jack to whisper a few words.
The man in black smiled.
"By the way, my callsign is King. And I think I know most of yours now; I overheard you guys making aquaintances yesterday evening. And now, let's all be nice little schoolgirls and respond to my attendance sheet. RODENT!
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-07-2003, 01:03 PM
Chapter 02: Fast Forward to F***-ups
The men had gone through push-ups, sit-ups, runs, sprints, kicks, punches, and to King's amazement they were all standing.
It was mid-afternoon. Each trainee had been given a light photon gun, which would fire fake bullets. King glanced at his watch.
"By the way, you guys fucking need to cut down on the swearing. It has a tendency to rub off on me."
!! Okay, here we go for pop-test number one, yep, right on the first day; I'm evil like this. You guys all have a light photon gun. The ones in the east wing are in yellow suits. The ones in the west wing are in blue. It's east against west, get shot, point your gun upwards and get off the field. Battle starts NOW
Kod was in the middle of the line, and so he quickly ran for cover while most of the other trainees tried to shoot each other right away. Fortunately, no one had the wit to attempt to shoot Kod during his run.
In just a few seconds, 100 had gone down to more or less 30, every single one of them hidden behind rocks, trees, and other frustrating obstacles. To top it off, Kod wasn't at his best since he had been shot by King in the good arm's shoulder.
He waited a few minutes. He sometimes heard shots, but for most of the time, it was a trench war. For all he knew, everyone could've stayed nicely hidden behind their rocks and just wait until the whole team starved, which clearly wasn't the sweet way to go.
I guess someone will ged fed up and try to run for it,
he thought, but then he also knew everyone else thought the same thing.
There was another blue guy a few feet away.
"Hey, Bastard; see anything?" He said.
"Nothing; I don't feel like showing my face up from here. hat about you? You stick your head between two branches and tell me!"
"I'm in the same situation, man..."
"Your name, by the way?"
"I'm Junk. So what do we do?"
"Call the guy next to you, make the message go around, I want a fix on who is where in all this."
The message went around, and came back. There were 20 blues left, and at most, they saw about 7 yellows.
"We're good. Where are they though?"
"Oh, just saw a yellow speck. At your 11 o' clock."
"Can you aim for him?"
"Nope, the rock's right in front of me."
Kod turned to his right.
"Snakeyard! Self, eleven, better catch it!"
"One yellow down! Six more to go!"
"The joys of on-the-fly codes. Right, Junk?"
"Sure, man! Oh! Message from Animal! Yours, twelve, dashing."
Kod raised his head (and his hand) just in time to spot a yellow attempting to change hiding spots. Two shots and he was out of the game.
"Coconut! Self, two!"
"They're getting the hang of it. We need a new strategy."
"What do you suggest?"
"Uhh, let's try to make them panic their asses off. Have a couple of guys fire until the world stops, and then we'll shout codes again; only the blasts will cover part of our sounds."
"You have a better voice than me; go ahead."
"SATURATION!!! FIRE LIKE HELL!"
A flurry of shots went off, satisfyingly covering the next coded messages. Two minutes later, the yellows were down to three. Then two.
"Hey Fred, are you still in it?"
He heard a faint shout, and turned around to see Fred waving to him from off the field.
He turned around again. He felt lazy...
"There are two of you guys left! Raise your hands way up, stand up and admit your defeat!"
"Hey!! Get up!!"
"Come on, we don't feel like getting you!"
"The blues win!!"
All eyes turned to King.
"Actually, there aren't any yellows left. You guys missed a few messages during your saturation run. Okay, good points: you guys won. Bad points, had you been using real photon battires, the government would go bankrupt because of you! Bastard, next time plan your strategy better!"
"Just watch me." Kod muttered to himself.
"What? Do you want me to challenge you in a fight again?"
Kod looked at his gun. Okay, maybe later. King grinned, tapping the gun hidden in its suit to show its presence.
"Everyone back on the field! Set yourselves up, no shooting until my command. Let's go!"
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-10-2003, 10:58 AM
03: The Difference
"Hey Tall Jack... Who's this guy over there?"
"Yeah, the one with the green suit."
"He's from the army; apparently he likes to visit the place once in a while. Heard he's a sarge; one of the drill guys."
"Let me guess." He said. "King's run out of vocal cords?"
"Negative." Tall Jack finally answered. "According to what I know, he comes here to pick out any exceptional guys and make 'em do army training instead. But don't worry; if he ever picks one of us, my own mother's the Virgin Mary."
"Tell 'im the truth, ahright? The army sarge, well he don't like us 'cause we're trainin' for bounty hunter jobs instead of volunteer army. He says we don't have the guts to survive army training, so we go here instead. The Softcore Field they call it. A place for sissies."
"What's his name?" Kod asked. Animal raised an eyebrow.
"Sargeant Rohan Hunte. Why?"
Kod marked a pause. He pondered his answer very well, because he was about to tell 'em a good one.
"I bet ya that within the first two weeks of my getting outta here, I'll be higher on the military food chain than he is right now."
"Okayyy!" Animal sneered. "And how ya gonna pull that off, huh?"
Kod grinned. "Being the bastard I am right now!"
The first of four weeks had gone by. The trainees had refined their shooting skills, strategies, and physical shape. Kod didn't hear about Fred very much. Since they were in opposite wings, they often ended up one against the other, and never in direct combat. If Kod was shot at one end of the field, Fred would get his at the other end.
King announced the plan for the next weeks: week two was saber training. Week three was for rifles, and week four was going to be any and all mental capabilities. Once that was all done, they would get one day off, and then they'd go through the final test: running, climbing, combat, guns, sabers, strategy, exercises, situations, the whole nine yards from 5 to 9, no food, and in full combat gear.
If they succeeded, the suit was theirs.
Upon finishing his training briefing, King took a good look at the trainees, a look which lasted a lot longer than usual.
"I'm starting to get old!!" He yelled. "Usually after week one I have at least thirty-five guys too chicken to keep going! And you, Cow Ass, what are you still doing here?!"
"Well you'd better pull off a miracle, 'cause the way you're going, it's heading right over to a fat failure! And you, Bastard! How's the money flowin'? You're comfy? You've got a bed? You're all dressed up like an obedient schoolgirl and you feel ready to party along with us?
"Yeah, you'd better keep yer trap shut. Listen up, skirt-wearers! This week, it's sabers! And if Bastard ever tries to make a throwing axe out of his own weapon, you guys have orders to immediately stop whatever you are doing and slash him until he cries in pain! Do you understand me?"
The answer came in unison: Yes, sir.
"One more thing! I got an announcement from the Guild that space ship Pioneer II will be ready for launch in two months! There will be thirty thousand happy winners boarding in, and part of the Guild is invited. I highly suggest that, for your own sake, you give 100% efforts starting now. This is one hundred times the current effort you have been pulling off since you all got here! Are you able to give me 100%?!"
"Then show it right away! Each one of you has a low-power saber, a buckler-type photon shield, and a photon frame. It's free-for-all, last one standing gets a cookie. When your suit power reaches zero, raise your sword high up and walk out of the field! Go!"
The don't-fire-right-away technique proved to be the best method once again. No one attempted a swing. Everyone just ran off in different directions until they reached a safe distance.
Kod had his saber at the ready, but he kept it off and instead hid behind a tree; the same one Junk had used when he had called for yellows a few days ago.
The viewpoint was perfect. He was just near the rim of the field, thus allowing no one to take him from behind. With this strategy, all he would need to do would be to wait until there was one person standing, and then step in and finish the job.
"We have a winner!!" King yelled. He stepped into the field, dragging one of the trainees along. "Congrats to Cinderella who managed to get seven guys before being brought down. Spaceman, you may be the survivor but you got only one pitiful kill. And as for those who got zero, I expect much better from you next time around. And... as for those who got zero and are still standing
, BASTARD! Step outta here!!"
So much for the strategy,
Kod thought to himself.
King approached him, and, without ceremony, took the shield and frame and threw them away.
"When you're a coward, you win nothing! Situation: you've decided not to do the five hundred meseta job of the week. You gotta eat, so waddya do? You sell your frame and shield, 'cause you need the cash for your food! Bastard, you want your stuff back, then fight for it! I expect ten kills before the fight's over. Everyone, step into the field! We're doing the whole thing over! GO!"
Middle of week two...
No one had quit yet. Not that they had beef against King, far from it. Actually, all they wanted to do was impress the hell out of him, and they had a heavy argument: someone had noticed a teammate do a great save during one of the saber exercises, and he then saw King smiling and clapping his hands.
So far, the maneuver was going pretty well. Kod still was King's pet peeve, but as far as he was concerned, he was much better than quite a lot of the trainees out there.
"Yeah, but a bit smarty-pants for a trainee." Tall Jack muttered with a smirk.
Kod layed on his bed.
"Two weeks and a half, and I'm homefree; no one will be able to tell me what to do and how to waste my time," he said. "Once it's all over, I work round the clock and complete as many hunter jobs as possible, and then I get my ticket for paradise land."
Tall Jack chuckled.
"Come on, man. Yeah, they're gonna fetch a few trainees, but dammit, you're older than a lot of us here. They don't want old people, they want people fresh from the womb and fresh from the bunkers. They're not gonna want you, it's a lost cause, man!"
"It isn't!" Kod snapped. "Remember that I still have my cooking diploma. All I need to do is use that to say I want to open a restaurant in the ship. Bing-bang, job is done. And I'll tell them I'm also a hunter in my free time; hell, a workaholic! I can handle that."
"This isn't a kitchen out there." He sneered. "It's outer space. And this is only the second ship. That means, if ya want to be aboard Pioneer II, yeh gotta be one guy within the thirty thousand and first to sixty thousand and first best people of the world. And how many are we again? A few billions?"
"Pioneer's payed by the government alone, not by the United Countries." Tall Jack replied. "That lowers the numbers down to just a billion. Still, it's a shitload, Bastard. If any of us makes it in, I'm ready to ear a whole octopus raw."
Kod grinned. "No problem then, you have a deal. And better yet; I bet you that we will all make it inside the ship!"
Tall Jack's eyes opened wide. "You're on crack, man. But if you lose, you're
eating the octopus!"
"Done deal, loser!"
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-12-2003, 11:31 AM
04: Freedom II
The radio was happily blaring out The Bad Bad Bird
while Kod and Tall Jack admired the structure that was to take off in less than a month.
There wasn't much to say about it, at least for now. The ship itself was complete, but the modules weren't installed, and all the tests were accomplished on computerized simulators. That meant the big launch would be the only one.
"Sucks for an off-day, huh?" Tall Jack muttered.
"Pff, don't tell me about it. I should've stayed in my bed, all nice and comfy... This freakin' training camp's taken off all my imagination! Had I been a normal person, I would've watched a movie or something, but man, everything just... Looks bland now."
"That's the trainee spirit." Tall jack replied with a shrug. "Besides, it's raining. Just hope that we'll have sunshine tomorrow. The test is gonna be a bitch if we have to run the mile in the mud."
Everyone agreed, King was
getting on their nerves. Not only had the chief watered the entire test field, he also added a few kilograms to the suit to be worn.
"This is the last step, girls!" He screamed. "Each and every single one of you has to wear the entire suit for the whole test. The suit contains a beacon linked to a chrono-watch. Checkpoints have been set up so that you'll need to go through the entire test field if you want a valid time. The chrono starts when you get past this red line. When the first team goes ahead, take a step forward, and then start running! First team, go!"
Kod looked at Animal.
"Fifty that Ripple won't make it."
"I'm not taking it."
"Oh, come on."
"Red line, dude!"
And away he went.
Everyone had passed the tests so far. The last one was going to be a team effort. The group would be divided into 25 teams of four, randomly selected. "Randomly" was probably a light word, because Kod got stuck with people he had never even talked to before...
The goal was simple: last team standing is the winner. The more members still in the game when it ends, the better you are.
Kod knew right off the bat his team wouldn't make it. They were all rangers, but they had all been given sabers. No shooting this time, it was all close-combat techniques.
Kod thought to himself.
"Great... Stick to the far side of the field, we'll go at it full-forward."
The go signal was given. Immediately, Kod's team went over to the edge, but this time sticking in a wide-open area.
"Come and get a piece of us, suckers!!" Kod yelled at the other teams. It was expectable, a dozen people came over to take the opportunity.
He located the visibly weakest person of the team, and disposed of him with ease. That thus gave him two sabers to work with.
His team wasn't doing so well. Everyone else had adopted the same strategy, and Goat Cheese was the first to be eliminated.
Kod took advantage of the lack of attention to backstab two people, and then come to the rescue of Pig, who was having trouble on his own side. Three sabers against one, Kod's team ended up winner of this one.
He was much closer than Kod had thought. Perfect.
"Gather up!" He shouted. "Move to the other side, repeat the maneuver."
The field was large enough for them to move around without trouble. One taunting strategy later, Kod had gotten two more kills, and Checkers had gotten one too.
There were only fifteen trainnes left on the field, including Kod and his two teammates...
...Correction, one. Pig had received a saber right in the face.
Kod took a look around. No sign of Fred...
"Fred!! Where are you?"
One look to the right, one look to the left, nobody. He dashed in the direction of the voice.
"Show yourself, man. We need to get on with our obligatory challenge!"
Fred laughed and jumped down from the tree he was in. The other trainees were busy fighting each other. That would give Kod and Fred equal chances.
"Checkers, stick aside. Fred, who's yo daddy!"
"Good question, Bastard!"
The first saber clash was violent, too much according to Kod. Fred had strengthened up during his training, to the point where the fight might actually take up a lot more time than usual. Adding to complications was that Fred had also taken the idea of wielding two sabers, despite the severe decrease in accuracy.
Something flew by Kod's ear. Correction: Fred had decided to go at it single-saber.
The balance was impossible to judge now. Fred had a better handle of his saber due to the fact that he operated two-handed. As for Kod, he was able to deal swings faster, but his accuracy was mediocre; too often, hits that should have gone through went far off on one side, not dealing a single piece of damage.
Fred attempted a stab. This was Kod's chance, who swung down both sabers as fast as he could, but the fat man managed to step away in the nick of time.
"Fight's almost over!" Checkers yelled. "Wait... Actually we are the only three people standing!"
Fred chuckled. "Has your buddy done much?"
"Three kills." Kod replied between two blocks. "And I got eight so far!"
"Still under the goal of ten you had been imposed!"
"I got it two weeks ago, on the shooting range!"
Fred stepped back, and picked up the saber he had thrown some minutes earlier. Both him and Kod stood motionless, waiting for someone to attack...
Checkers fell to the ground. He had been hit by none other than King himself.
"Fight's over, you two. Else this is gonna last until tomorrow morning! Bastard, I see your kill count is eight! Way below the goal I had set for you! What's happening? You can't get into shape now?"
Kod smirked. "Better shape than Fred at least."
"Hey!" Fred stepped over to him. "Repeat that just for--"
"Gotcha!" Kod grinned and helped Fred up.
"I should've known..." His friend muttered as he got up. "Still, you only have nine kills now."
"Hint hint hint!!!" King yelled. "Does he pick it, does our contestant pick the challenge?"
Kod readied his sabers, and stood, without a guard.
"GO!" He yelled.
Kod was the first to attack, throwing one of his sabers right from the start, followed by the other one. He picked up the one Fred had left on the ground, and completed his combo by an attempted stab.
King had gotten his gun and fired, but Kod had seen it coming, and had blocked off the bullet with his shield. Now at close range, it left King no option but to draw saber as well. He blocked the stab, and kneed Kod in the stomach. Taking a step forward, he brought down his saber, which met the shield instead of the head.
Kod pushed the offending saber away, and attempted a wide swing, which barely managed to scratch King. The chief had put on some advanced armor... Not only did King have more experience in figthing than Kod, he also had better armor!
"Talk about equal fighting!" Kod shouted after he managed to kick King in the stomach.
"Say what?" King nagged back as he drew his gun again. This time, Kod was there and immediately disposed of the gun with one quick swipe.
Both stepped back, intending on trying another strategy. King got himself into a low stance. He was going to try some rising moves...
Kod had an opportunity right there. Taking a leap, he managed to land his left foot on King's shoulder, while the other foot proceeded to kick the chief straight in the face. King fell backwards, taken off-guard by the maneuver. As soon as he landed, his throat met the blade of the saber.
Kod removed the saber. He had finally beaten King's ass.
The chief stood up and rubbed his neck before making a final shout.
"Everyone to center field! Those with ten kills or more, pick this gold pin and off you go! Those with eight or nine kills, take the silver pin! Those with five, six or seven, pick up the bronze pin. Everyone on the field tomorrow at eleven, in full gear! Good night!"
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: the other side
02-17-2003, 11:25 PM
Man, you post fics everywhere! I can't keep track of all of em! Mwahah, I like the first chapter a lot for some reason, go figure. Anyway, yeah, I beleive all white androids are montrealers but I wouldn't say that Percival is my neighboor afterall, Montreal's a freaking big lil island ya know?
Then again ... who knows
*stops being off-topic, goes back to his fanfic reading
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-19-2003, 07:14 AM
05: Twisted's First Meeting
The hunters positionned themselves in the main hall. King was behind a table, on which sat exactly seventy-nine badges and envelopes.
"Gentlemen!" He said, no scream this time. "This group has passed at a seventy-nine percent rate of success, that means seventy-nine of you will receive their hunter license. From there, you may either get back to your old job, become self-employed as a mercenary, or join the Hunters Guild and work as a team, supporting the police and the army. Each one of you will receive his hunter badge with section identification, and his license, which must be signed in order to become valid."
He motionned for two army privates to come and distribute the medals, and the continued while the privates did their job.
"You may also, if you wish, join the army boot camp under Priviledge Status. That means you get to do only what the army does and not we. Hence, you won't have to boot camp twice in a row. But since I know most of you guys will go the the Guild, I suggest you go ahead and look for a hunter job right away, and start making some cash! The quicker you get to complete those jobs, the more money you'll have to upgrade yourselves."
The privates had finished the distribution. Without a word, they retreated from the room.
"This is end of the hunter boot camp, gentlemen. You are not pieces of shit anymore; you are true, full-fledged hunters! You have a suit, an armor, a weapon and a shield. Thirty-five of you I see have been assigned to the fighting hunters. Twenty-one here have been chosen as rangers, and three have been seen as best fit in the force team. All three groups will have to co-operate in order to complete most jobs, so be sure to diversify it when making buddies. Those are my tips. Now get outta here and start makin' some cash! Bus leaves for the Guild in half an hour! Dismissed!"
Most people stayed to talk to King for a while, but Kod wasn't interested. He folded his envelope and put it along with the badge into his pocket, and left for the bus. He knew the quality of army supplies when they came for hunters, and his thinking didn't fail; out of all the seats available, there were about four or five that looked halfway comfortable.
He went all the way to the back, and sat sideways on the seat on the left-hand side. Only two minutes had passed when Fred joined him on the opposite seat, full of himself in his brand new black and crimson suit.
"You don't look too shabby in your clothes either!" He said with a laugh.
"Blue owns you, son-of-a-bitch." Kod replied while pointing to his own suit. "Soon as I get the cash, I'm changing that steel-epaulettes model for a Gor-T coat. You can't move in that piece of junk. What about you?"
"I think I'll go for a light coat and heavier pants. But then, maybe the suit isn't broken in yet."
"Oh, it's possible to do that?!"
Laughs. More hunters came in. Before fifteen minutes had elapsed, everyone was in the bus except for one person.
Someone got off and went inside the building. Two minutes later, he came back with a disgusted look on his face.
"Let's go. He stoned himself to celebrate."
"Idiot..." Kod muttered as the bus drove him away.
Two weeks had passed already. Many of the new hunters had done pretty well for a first attempt. There were some exceptions of course. Fred broke his leg after two days and was assigned to the communications offices until the wound healed. Tall Jack's drug trips were less frequent, but more serious. As for Death and Animal, both got killed during a major shootout against a biker gang.
Kod had jumped on the easy jobs first to start up a good stash and equip himself better. Unlike the army, hunters had to buy their own stuff to fight with. The better equipped a hunter was, the better he was in the eyes of others, because he had done jobs worth more money.
It was late night. He had been working round the clock for the past two weeks and thought he had well earned his little evening of fun. There was a puck match on TV, his city against some lost hole on the west coast. His scream of joy was heard a block away, signal that the Stainless Steels had won six-nothing.
The phone rang.
"Kod; Fred here."
"I've got some sweet stuff for you. Someone brought us a job request for three thousand, but since the offices are closed, I can't publish it until tomorrow."
"So what does that have to do with me?"
"Well, since I know about the job and no one else does, how would you feel like being the first to get it? I'd give it to you without even publishing it first."
Kod frowned. "Aren't you supposed to be doing your job properly?!"
"Hey, I'm in comms now. And I think I'll stay there. It's stable, it's relax, and I have a good amount of cash coming in. I don't want to get myself killed out there like those two a few days ago. You should feel happy you've got an insider in this place for the sake of heavens!"
"Stop stealing my line, will you? And I'll take your damn job while I'm at it! (Laugh) What is it?"
"This one was requested from mister Wisco Robertson. He says there is a meeting of devil worshippers tomorrow at eleven in the evening. A member told him they were going to go en masse to the offices of Kasieri Motors and blow themselves up."
"Kasieri Motors?! The sports car company?"
"That's it all right. Rich as hell, the symbol of capitalism right in front of your nose. Oh, and there's a message with his request."
"It reads 'lost an android?'"
Kod marked a pause...
"I remember making that famous Halloween prank if you remember that... But I'm pretty sure my prank android got a fatal error and deactivated herself in the hours that followed. I had programmed it on a rush."
"I know; anyways. Three thousand bucks for you if you can stop that from happening."
Fred laughed and put Kod on hold while he made some changes to the computer files.
"Okay!" He said after coming back on. "You're all set; have fun and happy hunting!"
So Fred was going to be his private newscaster! That man was one true friend, always ready to help his buddies and make sure they had nothing but the best.
I'll be in Pioneer II before I even know it,
he thought. Rich, full-equipped, and in a sweet position to start making some good changes.
The Hunters Guild was dirty and rotten to the core; Fred was just a proof of it. Everywhere people broke the rules and formed alliances against each other. Instead of being a guild, it was a huge dog-eat-dog contest of sorts, which he didn't like at all. This guild needed discipline and order. There were too many dimwits in there, even though King had done his best to keep the chickens out of the place. Still, there were other boot camp trainers, and he guessed a lot of them must be soft and very bribable.
But he'd keep Fred in there. First, he was friends with him. Second, he could come in handy. After all, nothing like having the news and jobs before anyone else did. He was sure Fred would take the head of the comms office in less time than it takes to say "rabbit".
The phone rang again.
"Yo?! Sweet melody coming from you, mister!"
"Hey, I'm at home and relaxed. It's ten in the evening and I'm about to call it a day. Who's on the line?"
"Your friendly devil worshipper."
"We tap the lines regularly." The voice continued. "And we know you'll try to get us. Well, just give it a shot, and I bet you five thousand meseta that you'll die trying. Oh hell, I'll give you ten thousand just to stay out of the whole thing; I also happen to know what your bank is. A quick deposit, and hop! You are richer!"
"I have an honor." Kod sneered back. "And a sense of justice."
"Okay. But do you know who called for that job of yours? That Wisco guy, he's a black market dealer. He's as illegal as we are."
"Dealers make useful stuff. They don't kill, at least. If I had to choose which one to shoot first, it would be you."
"No problem. See you tomorrow."
A click. The unknown person was faster in hanging up, good signal that he wasn't very happy with that had happened.
Kod clicked the speed dial and called Fred again. He told him to add some comments to the job file, namely that the man had tried to bribe him, threatened to kill him, and might be in fraud operations.
This would kick the price up, way up to at least ten thousand. The government won't laugh when it'll read this. The government never laughs when it comes to money. And they'll throw in a bonus just for that piece of information, should he complete the job.
Three quarters he would keep. One quarter he would offer to the fresly arrived female he had met in the main hall yesterday.
No problems so far. Time to take it smooth.
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
02-21-2003, 01:40 PM
06: Crazy People
Kod was at a disadvantage. He had been trained for saber fighting, and going close quarters with a bunch of suicidal cultists was only going to add to the casualties...
He clicked his comm.
"Garage, this is Bastard."
"Bastard, listening." Fred's voice answered.
"Send Purple over here; there's more targets in my line of sight than there are cars in this city!"
"I'll believe you. Hold on a moment... ... ... ...Okay, she's on her way. How much time before they get too close?"
"Say, fifteen minutes."
Kod put his binoculars away and checked his gear again. He had fifteen minutes to lose. And if Purple doesn't show up in time, he'll have to forget about rewards altogether.
"Bastard, this is Purple!
" The comm shrieked.
"I'm here. And cut the volume down."
"I can't; it's stuck. Listen, I see the targets, but I can't count them. How many?
"There's seven. And they're all jammed up together."
"Good! Get back to the sidewalk, I'm starting the plan now.
"Not now!! I'm on the top floor here!"
"Then run faster! Out!
Shit, shit, shit,
Kod thought to himself as he raced back down the stairs. He picked up his comm again. "Garage, Bastard here. Since when do fellow hunters make each otehr's jobs more difficult?"
?! It was just me telling her to make you sweat a little. I told her you just loved to be given nearly impossible orders!"
"So if she's doing that, she loves me, right?"
"That, and she wanted to test your reputation as a hothead."
Kod disabled the comm. He had heard more than enough of it.
He emerged onto the sidewalk and the cultists were only a minute away. A bit further, he could see Purple's car screeching around an intersection.
He put his hands in his pockets, which held a hidden saber. He hadn't brought any guns due to the high level of innocent people in this part of the city, but he was starting to regret it.
Purple parked herself at record speed, got out right when the cultists were going to walk past her, and released a Rabarta spell.
Everyone next to her had been frozen over. This was his cue. He pulled out his saber, and methodically slashed at the cultists with his blade at low power. Seconds later, the group fell to the ground, unconscious.
The printed report was the best piece of text ever. The cultists had armed themselves with black market chemical bombs, highly illegal, and found guilty of participating in an attempted planned mass murder.
The proof: one of them had been stupid enough to note all the objectives down on a sheet of paper.
Purple's work had not been considered since she wasn't officially participating in the job, but Kod handed half of the reward over to her anyways.
Fred was busy entering the new imformation and closing the job plan when he noticed Kod's gaze.
"Hey, buddy. Come back to earth."
"Get your mind on the job. You look sleepy."
"I'm worried. My plan didn't go as I thought."
Fred froze in place. He gathered his wits and his answer came back with a harsh tone:
"Idiot! If it had been your plan, you'd be dead! Why didn't you call up for a Force right off the start?!"
"I thought I wasn't gonna need one."
"Listen here, Kod. I know you want to solo these jobs out, but if you want to live healthy, you'll have to get used to teamwork. They aren't all out here to get you, you know."
"Okay, like who?"
"Like her! If she didn't care about your ass, she wouldn't have come."
Kod sighed. It was true.
He turned around to take a look at the nicknamed "Purple." She lived up to her name at least, as she wore a white and purple set of robes, and braided hair dyed purple.
"Does she wear contact lenses?" He asked Fred.
"Yep. According to the files, they are naturally brown."
Fred laughed. "Hey, I could call you Blue, you know!"
Kod placed a hand on his spiked blue hair. "But my eyes are steel gray!"
"More blue than anything. If you could eat your potatoes
blue, you'd do it! And your friend here would take beets!"
"Oh, come on; for the sake of heavens, I'm not that
obsessed, am I?"
A voice came from behind: "Yes!"
He looked over his shoulder. Purple had stealthily sneaked behind him.
Thinking it over, he then said: "Okay. Maybe
I would eat them blue..."
Purple gave him a ride back home, as he had walked the way over to his job instead of frustrating himself at looking for a parking spot.
Her car wasn't bad after all, at least much better than his. The seats were of comfortable leather, the paint seemingly new, the radio system high quality and pumping at a fairly high level...
"Sweet car you got." He said.
"It's not mine, really... I'm a spoiled girl."
"What about job rewards? Did they get you out of your parents' grasp?"
She laughed. "My father was a hunter. That's what's gotten me into it, actually... Besides, I was thinking, well, if I could prove myself before the departure of Pioneer II, maybe they could find a spot for me in there."
"Hunters think alike!" She giggled.
"By the way, what's your real
"Oh; right. You only know me as Purple. Oh, my first name is Yowa... My family name can't be pronounced really well, so I'll leave it out. Oh, by the way, why would you want a fresh new Force into such a dangerous job as the one you called me for?"
"Two things. Number one, with good strategy, it's not dangerous; the only danger was you messing up your technique. Number two, I needed someone with fairly unpracticed Rabarta techniques, this way it would freeze the targets but not kill them on the spot. There you go."
"First time my weakness is actually used for something."
"It won you seventy-five hundred meseta."
"That's the worst part of it!" Yowa replied with a laugh. "We're here."
Kod's cellphone rang just as he got out. He only said "Okay" after a while and then hung up.
"Job available, tomorrow, for fifteen hundred, and I need a teammate. Want to join?"
"Sure. See you tomorrow!"
As she drove off, Kod pressed Call Back
. His friend responded on the first ring, as usual.
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