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 The Gamble: Stand and Deliver

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#1PostSubject: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:52 pm

Ryckert Crimson wandered the merchant quarter of Arullia, a city in the desert planet of Menos. The planet of Menos was located in the outer galactic rim, going unnoticed by the more populated and rich parts of the galaxy, perfect for anyone that was looking to hide and be forgotten. Ryckert had gotten a job by the Salaheri family crime boss back in the core worlds, well, it was his way of paying the crime boss back after Ryckert was caught with a few more cards than what was allowed in a game of black jack. Ryckert was given the choice of either losing a hand or finding a man who didn’t want to be found; a rather simple choice he had thought.
 
The man Ryckert was searching for was Silvo “bullet” Ahir, he had been a member of the Salaheri crime family, a bodyguard to the crime boss’s daughter.  Silvo was a “graphter”, someone who took an unnatural amount of pleasure from having tech graphed unto him without any kind of anesthesia. The last piece of tech Silvo had graphed unto him had been a small device on his brain that would have injected a chemical that would increase his reflexes, accuracy, and, the surgeon promised, his sexual drive. The only problem with all of that was that the surgeon was cheap, he placed a cheap injector into Silvo causing all of the chemical to be injected at once when activated. Unluckily for Silvo, he activated the device during a bar fight when he was guardiang the boss’s daughter. Silvo went into a deliciously insane rampage; the attackers had their skulls smashed against the bar counter until there was nothing but pulp, then he turned to his fellow guards and bar patrons.
 
By the end of the night seventeen people lay butchered across the floor and Silvo was caked in blood. Before he left the bar Silvo noticed his young charge hiding under one of the tables; he dragged her, ripped her dress, and wrote his name on her stomach with a piece of broken glass, over and over again. The girl survived, but the ordeal left her half mad. Salaheri put out a hit on Silvo, three million credits, but Silvo was long gone. That’s where Ryckert came in, Salaheri knew the merc was good, so he tricked him into finding Silvo, which Ryckert tracked to Menos.
 
The city of Aurellia was dry, packed with people, and like any good third world city worth its salt, built like a god damn maze. Ryckert had already spent a few days here, following leads about crazed killers, blood cults, and underground tech surgeons.  Ryckert had heard a promising rumor about children going missing around the merchants’ quarter so he had decided to walk around and check it out during the day. The place was gigantic, it was an open air market, with roofed sections that were city blocks wide, thousaunds of different creatures were being cooked or awaiting cooking, children ran around without supervision, orphans most likely, the disabled and weak crawled around on the ground asking for a few credits, and the rare city guard walked his patrol, mostly taking bribes than actually guarding.
 
Ryckert had been walking around for a few hours and had almost given up when he noticed a thin lanky man with a limp walking towards a group of orphans trying to hide from the afternoon sun under an abandoned stall. Ryckert noticed the man was missing an eye, in its place sat a crudely implanted cyborg eye, already days deep into an infection, yellow pus dripping out of the corner. As the man approached the children he pulled out sweets and dried meats from a rough linen bag he had slung over his shoulder, he presented it to the children with a wolfish grin. The children looked at each other and then greedily grabbed the treats, almost swallowing them whole. The man looked pleased with himself and then motioned for them to follow him.
 

Ryckert pulled his broad brimmed hat lower, covering his eyes and followed the man from a distance. What Ryckert didn’t see was the six cloaked men that had been watching him from a distance, grinning that their little trap had worked.
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#2PostSubject: Re: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:33 pm

The sun was at its highest, beating down upon an already beaten city. The dry heat dried Ryckert’s throat and nostrils with every breath, the clanging and banging of the market drowned out his very thoughts, dozens of bodies rubbed up against his as he tried to keep up with the limping man and the five children who followed him, their eyes wide and bright with the promise of more food and sweets. Ryckert hated these type of places, backwater planets that were teeming with the poor, it made it a breeding ground for some of the worst things that could happen in the galaxy. Slavery, sex trafficking, organ harvesting, and the occasional hunting of human prey. Ryckert shook his head, trying to focus on something else, feeling sympathy wasn’t his style, he had to focus on the task at hand.
 
Ryckert turned his attention back to the one eyed man, the creep slowly made his way across the labyrinthine streets, taking a small piece of dried meat and breaking off a small chunk to give to the children, making sure they kept following. It was hard to keep an eye on the bastard, as the streets were filled with people, this had to be the busiest part of the city, making it easy to take children without anyone noticing.  These old sand colored buildings were part of the labyrinth that was the city, houses connected to other houses, new was built unto the new, some buildings went on for blocks, there was no sense to the way anything was built, just piled on top of each other. Ryckert looked up to the roofs of the building and he could see children running and jumping from building to building, then he noticed a cloaked man move away from the edge of the roofs for a brief moment. What was that about, Ryckert thought.
 
As he glanced back to the children, he counted two less. The old man had stepped up his pace and rounded a corner. He had been noticed, Ryckert thought, now was not the time for this, he wanted to get this done and leave this damned planet. Rickert picked up his pace, going into a small jog to try and catch up. The people around him grew thicker, blocking his way. Ryckert had to push and pull to get across, getting a few angry hisses and annoyed looks. The alley the old man had turned to was dark, darker than anything he had seen in this city, two large buildings stood at either side, towering and imposing. Ryckert noticed the old man pushing the children up a ladder and through a doorway, with another cloaked man at the top helping the children off the ladder.
 
“Hey, you fucks, stop!”
 
Ryckert pulled out his twin hand cannons and ran towards the limping man. A giant grin spread across the old man’s face as the last child was pulled up the ladder and pushed passed the door.
 
“I’ll give you something to smile about you old, sick fuck,” Ryckert pointed the barrel of his hand cannon right at the old man’s head and pulled the hammer back.
 
“Now, tell me where Silvo-“ Ryckert stopped short when he heard quick foot steps behind him.
 
He spun quickly, gun in hand, and fired right into the stomach of a cloaked man who had rushed Ryckert with a rusty blade in his hand. The cloaked man was thrown backwards by the explosive force of Ryckert’s hand cannon, his cloak falling off his face to reveal a heavily tech implanted face. The scars and wounds were fresh, Ryckert thought before he felt the old man move behind him. Ryckert turned again quickly only to have the old man stab him with a sharp dirk right on Ryckert’s shoulder. It didn’t go in deep nad ryckert stumbled a few steps back, shooting the old man. His frail body swung backwards with a powerful force, crashing against the wall and slumping to the floor.
 
Ryckert pulled the dirk out and threw it to the floor, it clanged loudly now that the alley was empty. Ryckert grunted, this was not how he thought this would go, the old man getting the jump on him was foolish, a mistake some welp would make fresh out of the academy. Sweat began to form on his head, small beads rolling down the sides of his head. he raised his hand to wipe it off, unaware of the six cloaked men appearing out of the shadows around him.
 
Bang!
 
Ryckert raised both guns, noticing the six men standing in a wide circle around him. They all held crude weapons, except for one who had an old revolver. He had shot Ryckert but missed, barely, and hit the wall behind him. The six men growled and barked at Ryckert, too scared to step forward, waiting for the revolver totting man to finish him of. Ryckert was having none of it, he shot the first five, all in the stomach so he could watch them fly backwards. They all landed with a satisfying thump, Then Ryckert made his way to the last bastard, the one who tried to shoot him, and pressed his hand canon right against his chest. The cloaked man grabbed Ryckert’s gun with a tight grip, making Ryckert grin; no way this weak punk could pull the gun away. Except he did, with a strength that Ryckert was not expecting.
 
“Shit.”
 

The man removed his cloak with one arm, letting it gently fall to the ground. Ryckert could see the man was more metal than flesh, crude metal, but strong enough to hold Ryckert. The man gave Ryckert a twisted smile and then knocked him out, sending Ryckert into the black void of sleep.
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#3PostSubject: Re: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:31 pm

Orvo smiled a twisted smile; he barred his teeth and his heavily scarred face distorted, folds of flesh and muscle warping into something truly horrifying. Orvo had been a city guard for a short while in his youth, patrolling the ghettos and run down streets of Arullia, but his aggression proved too much even for a people used to oppression. After violating one too many boys and girls the people gathered around him in rage, a mob demanding blood and pain for their suffering. Orvo’s fellow guards turned a blind eye to it, they knew it was better to let these people have their way with one of their own instead of having the whole thing blow out into a city wide riot.
 
Orvo was righteously butchered; old, chipped blades sawed at his face, his legs were broken and stabbed, his arms flayed and burned. By the end of it he was a bloody pile of cooked flesh, a promise of what would happen to those that pushed the oppressed too far. The city guards grabbed him and hauled him off, surprised Orvo was still alive, he was taken to a hospital and crudely patched back together. Both legs were amputated as well as his left arm at the elbow. Synthetic skin was grafted onto his flayed skin and his tongue had to be removed as it was chewed to shit from the seizures. Orvo was then unceremoniously thrown out into the streets to become a beggar, spit upon and hated by the general population.
 
Orvo wanted nothing more to die, this existence was an insult, but then salvation came in the most unlikely way. Three children came for him one day, almost zombie like in natuze, their frail little bodies stronger than what their size would suggest thanks to the crude augmentations they had received. Orvo panicked, screamed for help but the desensitized people of Arullia ignored his pleas, they had things to do. Orvo was brought to an abandoned building in the outskirts of the city were Silvo gave him new life. After two agonizing days of having implants painfully attached, spliced, and drilled into his flesh, Orvo was reborn. Stronger, faster, and more insane than ever before. Silvo was his god now and he would do as Silvo ordered. So when Silvo demanded that the man asking questions around town about him be brought to him, Orvo did as he was told.
 
Now Orvo had his prize and his master would surely reward him with delectable pain. Orvo slung Ryckert over his shoulder and climbed the ladder. Up on the roof of the ladder a hover trasnporter awaited them with the children placed into a small containment cage. Ryckert was tied up and placed on the flat bed of the transport, the other cloaked man who had been waiting in the top got on and Orvo drove off into the mountains a few miles west of the city.
 
Ryckert woke up at sundown and was greeted by a side splitting headache, then came the stench. It was horrible and made Ryckert’s eyes water, he looked around and noticed he was in a cage suspended a few feet above the ground surrounded by naked and scared children. They were inside a giant cave with artificial lighting, surrounded by hundreds of other cages filled with screaming and crying children. Some, Ryckert noticed, were missing an arm or leg, others lay motionless on the cage floor days into decomposition. It was hell, and Ryckert needed to get the hell out of here.  Ryckert was naked as well, his things had been removed from him and then he had been placed in the cage. He tried shaking the bars, but they were solid, he tried to kick them and then felt a shock in his backside.
 
Ryckert screamed out in pain and turned, facing a cloaked man with a fat, hairy man with silk clothes standing behind him.
 
“Make a commotion and you get the stick, boy, now be still, Mr. Sarhoo here is interested in buying you.”
 
The fat man licked his lips and eyed Ryckert up and down. Mr. Sarhoo looked at the other children in the cage with Ryckert, ignoring their screams to help them, and looked very pleased.
 
“Yes, this will do, this will do just fine…I will take this whole lot, now you promised me you had a younger batch that just came in, take me to it,” The fat man was led away by the cloaked man, leaving Ryckert in a seething rage.
 

Ryckert would not be sold, he would not be insulted in such a way, he would get out and all of these insane fucks would pay. Now it was personal.
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#4PostSubject: Re: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:04 pm

Mid-day turned to night, and night turned to midnight. The screams and crying of the children was almost nonstop, until their exhausted little frames could no longer keep going and they all went to sleep in the cold, desert night. They huddled their little bodies against each other trying to keep warm, then the guards came out. Most were covered in crudely applied augmentations, open wounds and running puss where the mechanical arm or leg had been surgically added. Some had cyborg eyes or implants to their head for who knows what, but they all had that crazy look to them. Ryckert was sure most of them had their augmentations added without going under some type of anesthetic, the procedure driving them insane.
Most of the guards went up to a cage, pulled out a kid, tazed him if he complained too much, and led them down one of the tunnels that led deeper in the cave. Ryckert gritted his teeth, these sick fucks would not get away with this, not while he still had a single breath in his lungs. Ryckert waited, noticed the guards walk around, inspect the cages for something they would enjoy. This was his way out, Ryckert thought, he just had to wait for a guard to get close enough to his cage. He pretended to be asleep, waiting for a guard to show up. After two hours of lying uncomfortable against the steel bars a rather dimwitted guard made his way to Ryckert’s cage. This one had his electric rod out and had his eyes set on one of the kids in Ryckert’s cage.
 
The thing grinned, it was missing most of its teeth, but the ones he did have were steel, sharpened to a fine point, his lips and glums covered in his own dry blood, which Ryckert was sure it could not even feel. The guard came up to the cage and smiled a twisted smile, it tried to reach for the kid through the bars but the child scurried backwards. The man’s brow furrowed and brought his rod up, ready to electrocute the child to a passive state. This was the last mistake that man would ever make. Ryckert shot up and reached for the man’s arm, taking away the rod and pulling the man against the cage.
 
“I got you now, mother fucker,” Ryckert hissed through gritted teeth.
 
The guard was about to yell out but Ryckert shoved the rod down the man’s throat, knocking some of the man’s steel teeth and spraying blood everywhere. The man’s eyes rolled to the back of his skull as he twitched and spams’ to death. Ryckert pulled the rod out and told the children to help him pull the man up so Ryckert could get the keys.  Most of the children were in shock, but they snapped to attention when he smacked a few behind the head. they struggled to host the guard up, but they managed, Ryckert grabbed the keys and opened the door to the gate, helping the children down one by one.
 
Once they were all out he motioned for them to open the other cages and let the other children down. Ryckert found some of the older children and told them to lead the kids to the armory, Ryckert would need a large enough distraction and chaos to find what he needed. As the children were let out then overwhelmed the unsuspecting guards, taking their weapons and using them against the other guards. Ryckert went from room to room, looking for his stuff until he came across a small room filled with cases of clothing and other basic items. In it Ryckert found a canvas bag with his stuff, his weapons had been untouched. Ryckert quickly got dressed and paced his twin hand cannons into their holsters, then walked back out into the larger cave where the children had gone into a full rebellion against the guards, shooting them as they ran, cornering them and beating them to a pulp, or placing them in cages and lighting them on fire. It was beautiful.
 

With everything being handled here, Ryckert decided to head deeper into the cave, his quarry was still here and he planned on taking its head with him.
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#5PostSubject: Re: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:55 pm

Ryckert began walking towards the tunnels leading into the deeper level of the cave when a group of five splicers came rushing out with old baster pistols, shooting wildly, hitting the rampaging children as well as some of their fellow guards. Ryckert wasn’t having any of this, so he un-holstered his hand cannons and fired at the splicers. The BANG from his gun was so loud – and it was amplified in the cavernous cave- that all fighting seized for a second, everyone turned to look at Ryckert and the five – now three – fighting it out. The high caliber bullet shredded the splicers apart, leaving huge gaping holes in their bodies as they slumped to the floor.
 
The urchins cheered, Ryckert represented freedom for them, and now he represented the fire revenge they had been seeking this whole time. The kids had found their way to the armory and had begun to pour into the tunnels, shooting and cutting down any and all of the splicers that got in their way. Ryckert followed them down, astonished at the horrific sights that awaited him. There were rooms where multiple-amputees crawled around, waiting for Silvo and his ilk to give them the augmentations that would allow them to be whole again. Some had waited too long, their corpses rotting in hastily constructed cells. Ryckert covered his nose and mouth with one of his scarfs, the air circulation was poor down here and the smell was atrocious.
 
Further down there were adult women and men in chains, Silvo had upgraded from just selling slave children, with sores covering their bodies. Most of the children passed by them, a few stopped by to help them out, but most of them wouldn’t make it out of their chains. There were a few rooms with brightly colored silks and sheets, a place for the perverts to pay to have their way with the merchandise, some of those rooms had dried blood. Ryckert heard screeching further down the tunnel, as he made his way he noticed the children had caught a few of the guards and were slowly tearing apart their cybernetic augmentations. Ryckert made his way to one who was still alive and pointed his gun at the splicer’s head.
 
“ I’m only going to ask you this once, answer it and I’ll let you go: where is Silvo?”
 
The man looked confused, but he noticed how the children had parted for this man, so he answered, it was the only way he was making it out of here alive.
 
“He holes himself up further down, with his toys and his pets, he plays….and plays….so sweet, please, I don’t want to play anymore, not more, now less, okay….okay?” The splicer rambled, looking at Ryckert with what could barely pass for merciful eyes.
 
Ryckert put his gun back and its holster and motioned for the man to get out. A small child came up to Ryckert and tugged at his jacket.
 
“Are you really going to let him go, after everything he’s done to us?”
 
“I said I would let him leave, I didn’t say I would keep him safe from all of you.”
 
The man turned, shocked, and was about to say something before someone hit him with a rock from the back, making him fall to the ground as the children swarmed around him.
 
Ryckert kept walking down, where it was getting darker and colder. Most of the children stayed behind where most of the splicers where, a few of the older and braver ones followed Ryckert down. As Ryckert made his way down he came upon a large opening in the cave where a few red lights where placed around the cave walls, making it harder to see. The floor was covered in something wet, skulls and meat were strewn around the floor, Ryckert was sure it was human remains. Before Ryckert could yell at the kids to get back one of them was grabbed by the legs and pulled violently away. The kid’s skull hit the floor hard, killing him instantly. There was a slow, demonic cackle as Silvo stepped from the shadows.
 
Though the thing that walked towards them wasn’t really Silvo, not anymore, it wasn’t even human. Silvo’s arms and legs had been removed, it their place there was long, wiry appendages, cybernetic with sharp claws and talons. He stood at eight feet, towering above all of them. It looked at all of them, studying them, then Silvo’s neck extended from his arms, like it was a long, slimy worm.
 

“Ry-kurt, I re-remember you, hehehe, so that f-fat bastard sent you, huh? Well, my fleshy friend, I have something to say about that.”
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#6PostSubject: Re: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:49 pm

Silvo had always been an ugly bastard, but now he was just down right horrendous. Whoever had replaced his limbs with these new cybernetic augmentations had done a truly horrific job of it. The wounds were still fresh and infected, dried blood caked where metal and flesh met. Silvo had a crazy look to his face, probably running on a cocktail of drugs to keep him from going mad due to the pain. He looked at Ryckert like tiger would look at his prey, Silvos mouth watering with anticipation. Ryckert couldn’t see his him well due to the low red light, but he knew Silvo was dangerous, it would have to end here, for one of them.
 
“Ry-Ry-rykurt, Bounty hunter, mercenary….killer, have you come to my chapel of exquisite pain to have the sin washed off you? He he he,” Silvo extended his arms wide, this sad, dirty cave was his holy ground, a place to keep him away from the rest of the world.
 
“listen my boy, I will open you, slowly, painfully, and I shall extract the fear and weakness that holds you back. If you survive we shall put some of my toys inside of you, to make you stronger, make you see what I see, hmmm?” Silvo said in his crackling voice, stepping closer to Ryckert,” Wouldn’t that be fantastic, Ry-kurt, to see the universe the same way the gods do?”
 
“Listen, Silvo,” Ryckert said as he put a cigarette in his mouth and lit it,” I’m just here to fucking end you and your little freak show, okay? Most of your men are already dead, the fucking kids are running wild blowing all your shit up, so how bout you just lie down, let me put a bullet into that ugly head of yours, and we can all go on our merry way, wouldn’t that be better?”
 
Silvo blinked at Ryckert, his toothy grin faded from his face, and then his jaw split down the middle, revealing multiple rows of jagged metal teeth.
 
“AGHHHHHH!” Slivo launched at Ryckert, claws extended and ready to tear the bounty hunter apart.
 
Ryckert ran toward Silvo and then slid below him, passing unharmed as Silvo came crashing down. Ryckert stood and began unloading his hand cannons on Silvo, every explosive shot tearing apart the monster’s infected flesh. This would normally kill off any other creature, but Silvo had thick steel under his skin, the thing was more machine than man at this point. It turned to face Ryckert, half its face had been blown off, only cold steel and a bright red eye was left in its place. The thing screeched and came running up again, but it was fighting erratically, with no sense or reason, like rabid dog. Ryckert used his jump pack to shoot up and blast Silvo’s head off, leaving the creature’s dead body twitching.
 

Ryckert came back down, reloaded his gun, and emptied them again on Silvo’s dead body. Ryckert wanted to be sure.
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#7PostSubject: Re: The Gamble: Stand and Deliver   Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:19 pm

There was an electrical hum filling the poorly lit cave, generators probably, had that sound always been there? What did it matter, this job…this fucking circus of insanity was over. What was supposed to be a simple and quick job ended up costing Ryckert weeks of searching and a wounded ego, all he wanted at this point was a shower and a cool bed. Ryckert inspected Silvo’s mangled body. The wretched thing was covered in blisters and infections, if Ryckert hadn’t killed him now the poor bastard would have died in a few months. Ryckert took out his flash light and searched for something to take back to his employer, show that the job was done.
 
Maybe cut off his head? no, that would be disgusting, Ryckert had a reputation to uphold, he couldn’t be seen as a barbaric killer, he preferred to be seen as a professional bounty hunter. Silvo had a locket around his neck that had miraculously not been damaged in the fire fight. Ryckert gingerly ripped it off Silvo’s neck and inspected it. The thing was expensive, covered with diamonds and precious metals. Rickert opened it and inside was a photo of the girl who started all of this, his employer’s daughter. This would be enough. Ryckert pocketed the locket, spit on Silvo, and walked out of the cave. There were still a few kids by the entrance, the older boys holding some guns, looking relieved when they saw Ryckert walking out.
 
“Is… is it dead?” They asked.
 
“Dead as a they come,” Ryckert said, lighting his last cigarette, nodding at the boys and leaving.
 

As Ryckert made his way out he noticed a group of merchants tied up, naked and afraid, all along the wall. It was all the sick bastards that had come to buy the children and do who knows what with them. The boys had been taking turns beating them, cutting them, and in some cases going too far and killing them. Ryckert wanted to tell them to use them for money, find a way to get some food and weapons from them, to make this place their fortress, but he knew it wouldn’t matter. Ryckert wasn’t going to stay here with them, help them find their footing and thrive in this hell hole. No, life would be tough for them, like it was for everyone. He walked over to one of the old transporters that still ran, hoped on, and headed out into the hot desert morning, he was going home.
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