The Chagrin Cooking Channel
The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms
Package: Kick Murder
SCL: 7 | C . 3
LAD: Yes – Insured for 1,000 C.
Savings: 14 C
Hit Points Total: 26 – Head (11) – Torso (26) – Arms (14) – Legs (15)
Armour Silverback: PV 15 – Head (10) – Torso (24) – Arms (18) – Legs (20)
Initiative Phases 1 2 4 5 (1 2 2a 3 4 5 on UV)
Damage Bonus 4
Advantages & Disadvantages
Looks (Adv) : 10
Hearing (Adv) : 5
Vision (Adv) : 6
Ambidextrous (Adv) : 1
Sleeper (Dis) : -5
Drug Addiction: Pro-Cane (Dis) : -5
Arrogant (Dis) : -6
Psychoses: Psychopathy (Dis) : -6
Good media, 3rd eye 2
Great operative, SLA staff 4
Reliable operative, Jade Building 2
Contract Killers and Assassins 10
Head: LAD & Karma (10% off)
L Shoulder: Chagrin Cooking Channel
R Shoulder: Chagrin Cooking Channel
Front Torso: Nuke Tendon (10% off Implants)
Buttcheek: Procane (Free procane)
Blade (2H): 12
Detect: 3 (Sight: 9 / Hearing 8)
SLA Info: 3
Rival Company: 2
Conflict Era Lore: 1
Martial Arts: 8
Drive Motorcycle: 5
Evaluate Opponent: 5
Power Claymore (Custom): Pen 7 / Dmg 7 / AD 7
ITB Mutilator: Pen 3 / Dmg 5 / AD3
Skeletal Quill Implants (Retractable) (both arms x40): Unarmed Pen +1 / Dmg +1
Fang Implants (Retractable): Unarmed Damage +1 (Bite)
Ultra Violence (8): 50% Damage Taken, Increases Initiative to 1 2 2a 3 4 5
Kick Start Plus (7): Heal 2 Wounds / Regain 4 HP per 2 Phases
Bass (3): +2 STR
Pain Away (5): No PHY rolls.
Pro-Cane (41): Analgesic :)
Wrist-mounted drug injection unit (x2)
IR/UV Goggles w/ Motion Sensor
Large SLA Motorcycle
Climbing Grappler & Rope
Hallowee Jack Returned!
Shell internals, all locations. (+3HP Total, +3HP Location HP)
Fangs, retractable (Bite +1 Damage)
Quills, retractable (Unarmed +1 Damage, +1 Penetration)
Sonya did not qualify for enrolment into the SLA Operative program. The psyche report was not favourable. The assault charges filed by the psychologist certainly did not endear her case to the induction committee. Aggression from a Frother is expected. The analyst (who undoubtedly will require a new eye) was certainly not inexperienced. Far from it, Dr. Van Akkeren had established a name for himself as a gifted profiler and was often seconded to a host of other departments, from serious crimes to counter-espionage to propoganda and marketing. His dissertation Stormer Dreams: A Pragmatic Account of the Unaccountable was a standard textbook on every psychologist’s data archive. He was the closest thing to a celebrity amongst the faculty of psycho-analysts and psychiatric staff who comprised the Pyschological department and was suitably admired and envied in equal measure. It was rumoured he convinced a Brain Waster to apologise for littering, and many believed it.
Even so, he was the most surprised (at least of the three analysts that comprised of the Psyche Assessment & Profiling Exam Panel, of the six faculty members representing various subjects who observed candidates through the one-way glass, of the two security officers at the desk outside of the interview room who supervised the interviews through a monitor, of the five SLA operatives observing the proceedings through classified surveillance equipment) when the ink blotch most commonly described as “an old lady sewing a long scarf” prompted such violence in the beautiful candidate who sat before him. Sonya didn’t even take the time to appraise or apply context to the meaningless image. She had steadily become furious over the forty two minute interview, longing to shut this intolerable white-coat up and so when he held up the twelfth ink blotch her patience had breathed its last. She leapt out of the metallic chair and fluidly connected her heel to his temple. He spun in his seat, flying onto the lap of the startled pale Ebon on his left, his arms high in the air, seeming to cheer the kick. The drone of his endless questions ceased, Sonya smiled happily at her reflection on the wall. And the five horrified faculty members on the other side of the glass.
And that would have been the end of it for her. But a particular unhorrified faculty member on the other side; a Shak’Tar had been watching, and he particularly enjoyed that kick. Not only because Dr. Van Akkeren was a pompous, self-indulged cretin who lorded his superior status over his staff, but because no-one had moved more than their facial expression in the sudden violence. He had been waiting for a candidate worth taking on, and all the fame-hungry, ego-centrics who had thus far been accepted into Assassination, Murder & Hostile Sabotage this year had left him with a dull sense of apathy. Not a protégé among them. At the eleventh hour, he’d found a hawk among the wolves.
That she was insane was evident, but he had convinced her to take drugs in an attempt to control it. She became addicted to pro-cane, the only thing that worked. Somewhat. She excelled in physical exercises, had a latent talent for (through a combination of stunning looks and the stark, shocking look of psychopathy that would shine in her eyes at times) eliciting the information or emotional responses in people that she desired and was gifted in the extreme with her cultural weapon of choice: the power claymore. He pulled the necessary strings, and she made Operative.
Since graduating, Sonya has enjoyed a rewarding career killing people and being paid to do so. However, something strange has happened. Throughout her young life, violence has been encouraged. As a child, she fought to survive. At the academy, [[:k’lthkz’z | K’Lthkz’z]] instructed her in the profession of murder. As a professional, she was paid to kill (the BPNs may indicate another objective, however she was always certain she would have to kill someone eventually). But just lately, she has been reprimanded for violence. Perhaps it was because she did not kill someone. This explanation was initially appealing, for it was also logical.
But it hasn’t sat right with her. She finds her hand no longer seeks out the hilt of her blade as a first recourse. Sonya knows she is still a killer and she knows that she will have to kill again. Yet she is anxious, not with bloodlust but with trepidation. For the first time; control. The curse of conscience. When the killing begins and the blood flows, Sonya ceases to exist. The bloodhawk rends its victims. And Sonya will pick up the pieces.
Droplets of rain snaked down the visor. Breath reinstated the patch of steam on the lower central apex of the curved shining perspex. Above the mist, two distinctly feminine brown eyes remain locked dead ahead, wide with excitement but utterly still, framed by the black fiber thermoplast of a SLA Operative Bike Helmet. Despite the pedestrian traffic which interrupted the two steel doors those glinting mahogany eyes relentlessly bore into, Sonya barely so much as blinked. The pupils did not adjust to any obstacle. Her focus absolute. When the doors were not in actual sight, she could see them as if they were, their promise of what was to come as equally concealed by steel as it was by huddled flesh and fabric. It was a Saturday night and 7th Avenue was in that peculiar stage of regurgitating the day-workers who served food, sold wares and who operated the droll leisure facilities which lined the metropolitan street and began consuming the night life, partaking in altogether more questionable leisure pursuits and buying habits.
She sat astride her motorcyle, the engine rumbled like the snoring of a great beast, a lean metal and chrome dragon, subdued but nevertheless a moment away from roaring to animated life, the depth of the muffled thunder an expression of the physical power within, begging for provocation. Sonya was poised as if merely waiting at a junction, ready to kick the bike into movement when the moment was right. However, she did not face the direction of traffic, she was perpendicular, the bike and her aimed directly into the varnished foyer of the High Noon hotel. Streaks of rain reflected down the leathers upon her form, dripping from the bike’s undercarriage onto the puddle that ran the length of the kerb. From night-black skies to black leather and to black tarmac, relentless oblivion bore, caught and consumed life’s necessity. Cars bleated their irritation behind her when all was still, engines roared and water splashed when the vehicles moved. The patter and chatter of civilians, their little percussive contributions merging at the edge of the sidewalk with the stuttering metal parade of engine and wheels.
The warrior noticed none of it. Within the padding of the helmet, deep within the protective outershell and shock absorbant inner fortress the Frother heard only her own slow and rythmic breath. And the comm chatter of her team being brutally overwhelmed.
“I’m telling you, it’s like saying clippo. Or hoover. Or chocolate.”
“You’re a fucking idiot.”
“No, I’m dead right.”
“My heavily-insured-ass you are! They’re just words. Like you, and moron.”
“Listen: They started out as products but they were the biggest of their time. Instead of becoming the name of a type of something, they became the name of that
thing. They usurped definition. Even the rival SLUBS (SLA Subsidiaries) go by the originators prevalence. And all our morals and laws and beliefs are the fucking same!”
“I’m with you until you start getting preacher freaky where your point becomes as dull as Oshi.”
At this last remark, the giant, slavering Stormer called Oshi began laughing and pointing at Smith, his laugh a frightening series of guffawing and barking. Smith flinched,
then just sighed and took a long draw on his cigar and regarded White with a look intended to imply disdain but came off sullen and more than slightly childish. The Stormer’s mirth subsided and it resumed its defensive posture, facing the doors of the elevator as the button panel continued its ticking display. 23…24…25…
“D’lull assh Hoshey.” Osh said, spraying spittle.
Even although the elevator was large, it’s faux-marble finish and only slightly frayed gilding-finish on the brushed steel frame edges seemed to be closing in on Smith. He
was, admittedly, a Rookie – but a late career swap to Slop had its ups. He wasn’t intimidated by White, for a start, and although every Stormer is a walking nightmare
he was quickly becoming used to being in close proximity to one. But being in an enclosed box, dangling by cables, over a 200ft long shaft such as this with a Stormer still left him slightly on edge.
White was a working Slop, eleven years in and still with most of his original body parts. Despite his laid-back attitude he was always thinking. Planning. He was
possessed of an uncharismatic, sleazy and immature demeanour. But under all that, Smith sensed the cunning of a survivor. Oshi was like most Stormers, except
particularly stupid when communicating. His voice was deep and slurred, each word would tumble out in a mess, emphasis and enunciation the worst casualties
of his mangling voice. Oshi was short for Oshititsawake, his full name. The lab technician in charge of Stormer Production Unit 81-b1 thought he was dead when he flushed
Oshi out prematurely from his birthing tank, only to discover that the tank was simply malfunctioning.
Everyone was relaxed. Field exams are stressful but so far Smith had been acing it. He’d been assigned to shadow a small squad while two of their squadmates were being re-grown. In the meantime the squad had been allocated lower-level BPNs to cope with the newbies. Despite the differences between him and the other two in the
elevator, Smith had begun to feel proud to be a part of the squad, even their name The Fucktastic Four had grown on him. Right now they were on their way to floor 44 to
bring an off-world tech contact in for questioning. A simple milk run.
The BPN was clear, make no attempt at conversation or interrogation, restrain and medically incapacitate the suspect immediately. Do not terminate the suspect unless attacked with lethal force. Smith grinned, the cigar clenched between his teeth. This last instruction was the reason why they risked the Frother’s rage and asked her to wait outside: Even if specifically instructed to only restrain the suspect, she was just as likely to kill him anyway. White may have clinched it by telling her that if the suspect got to the lobby she would be free to take him down.
Smith watched her out of the corner of his eye earlier, as White outlined the plan. He expected her to complain, argue and tear his balls off. Perhaps not in that order. Despite Oshi standing over White’s shoulder it was impossible to count violence out. She nodded. If he wasn’t idly chewing a cigar at the time, his mouth would have dropped open. In the week Smith and Foster had been with White and Oshi he had watched her brake a secretary’s nose for asking if she had an appointment. Hell, she agreed to fight a Shak’tar hand-to-hand and won (D’k’zxz will never live that down for as long as he lives, beaten up by a “human” girl, and a rookie no less). She didn’t just win, she destroyed him – but the weird thing is she pulled a few Shak’tar moves on him. Not the usual Frother combat technique of swinging as hard and as fast and as often as you can, her kicks were calculated, balanced, controlled. Well, Smith thought, he could only describe her as controlled in a technical sense.
Once D’k’zxz had both his arms broken, he yielded. However, she continued to rain precision strike after strike on him, his broken face and arms now greased with blood. Only when Oshi stepped in and plucked her off him did she stop. Although fisticuffs isn’t Smith’s strongpoint, he was pretty sure she was just about to bring her elbow down on his throat and kill him. Afterwards her face wasn’t contorted with fury, no tears in her eyes, no distant look of numb automation. She was smiling, glowing with sweat, beautiful, jubilant. It was then Smith knew she was batshit nuts. Nodding at this plan was about the only thing he didn’t think she would do. After being so disturbingly reasonable, she said “I’ll wait outside.”, pulled her bike helmet back on, walked casually (Smith didn’t mind watching her go) and settled back onto her bike and waved. Only then did Smith realise White was watching her too, a look of quaint surprise on his face as well. With that, they shrugged and called the elevator, where White rejected Smith’s philosophy from the journey to the High Noon hotel, making Smith laugh for the first time today but without a trace of humour.
Over the years, Sonya had become highly resistant to drugs. Alcohol and cigarettes could be nothing more than social habit. Soft drugs could be nothing more than snacks. Battle mixed with UV was the only pure high. Today’s assignment had ruled this out. She swallowed more Procane than was strictly healthy and was feeling exquisitely numb. The conversation on the ride over had filled her ears as she rode ahead of White’s truck on her bike, and she had become lost in a waking dream where words twisted into ideas and images. She understood how ideas and definitions exist in minds alone and could see them changing shape as people looked at them, their minds changing the shape and colour of the image until their concepts, their imaginings became consensus, the result a bastard notion, mutated and dismembered and not wholly the descendant of the idea. With consensus the notion was propogated and shared, and under each new mind it changed subtley but definitively until the concept had become an aspect of an idea. A comprehensible thought-meal, a concept small enough to be chewed by consciousness, swallowed by dreams and consumed by the belly of cognition. She had almost crashed her bike at least fifteen times in her high reverie.
When White detailed the plan, Sonya was concentrating on standing up. She was worried she might be swaying, and her eyes roamed about the place of their own accord,
and while she heard every word her mind was shouting over them. It was shouting about how the entire world was at least two things, and might be more. Her mind’s voice
sounded excited and anxious. She thought about how the world was exactly what a machine with every form of measuring facility would find, atoms arranged such like,
energy here and there and so forth. However, her reality was her concept, sollipsism wasn’t a mindset but a truth and her mind reeled between the two, unable to hold
both in the same thought. It was as if they were so big they could not fit into the same sentence in her mind, she could not compare or deciminate. The concepts did not
need to oppose one another, however in her thoughts they were simply each too big to contain. She felt herself becoming giddy. She giggled. Oshi noticed – but was silent.
Somehow, she realised that whatever was said had been noticed by some mechanical part of her mind – like drudging a distant memory up, she replayed the gist of the
discussion, realised she wasn’t needed and went to sit down on her bike and to hide beneath her helmet.
Walking more assuredly than Sonya thought she might, she stretched a long leg over the saddle and settled down, waving back at the three in the lobby. She leaned
forward, elbows resting on the bike’s dash. The sounds of her team discussing metapsychosocialistics drawing a note of exasperation from her as her eyes fell upon
her wrist-injectors. She pressed the lock catch to disable them, her fingers lingering over the vial chamber. Then her gaze transferred to a puddle on the ground, the droplets of rain rippling the surface, its liquid distorting and yet confirming the world at once. She became transfixed on the puddle, the neon lights riding the crests of rolling water, the depth of darkness exceeding the water’s actual extremes. A rushing noise swelled up within her ears, she couldn’t move, look away, stop the insane train of thought as it flew directly into the magnificent centre of an epiphanous sun, blinding her and all she could do was await the moment of impact where the self-consuming
stark power of a holy magnitude would tear her being apart and then she heard a gunshot and her mind became at once something of little consequence at all.
A momentary, cut off roar.
“What the fuck happened to him!?”
“Holy shit, holy shit, shit, shit, shit, fuck, shit!”
“No!” There is a very audible thud.
“I need you with me now, candidate!” The clicking sound of armor plates being shaken.
“On one, Smith.”
“Right!” A maglock release note.
“Three,” Several clinking sounds. “two,” a long pause, then several explosions and sharp pops “one!”.
Several, rapid gun shots punctuated with deeper, singular gun shots. Fast breathing. Collateral
damage and debris falling clearly distinct within the gunfire which abruptly stops.
“Haha, fucking yes! Woo! Hah…Uhnnngghhh!” Which becomes a pained gurgling.
“White!?” The slower gunshot from before is heard once, followed by a click. “Ah!” then the line
goes dead, only the gurgling is now audible. Six seconds later, the light on the elevator begins
Shattered faith, on her knees, ravenous blood tainted with violence, a mind spattered with visions of sword and flesh. She feels something like ecstacy rise from within, a deep pulsing love of unstoppable, consuming, perfect rage. The segregation of thought and emotion a forgotten memory, a rejection of humanity so instilled, so natural, it happens of its own accord. It chooses her as much as she wants it, the unity of purpose is without question.
The UV surges within, burning without pain and arousing the hunt. Straddled between her legs, the chrome beast awakens, a fire of its own ignited by fuel. She is the one, she dares. Her soul despairs, is consumed by a divine power, taken wreathed in blood. Their death is her salvation, a revelation in her eyes, she is herself now. I am the Bloodhawk.
I relax my hand on the throttle and begin counting. At the moment that feels right, I wheel the bike around in a crescent, putting more distance between me and the doors. Some pedestrians have noticed my manoevering and, realising something is afoot, have stopped to watch, some others take a different route. I accelerate rapidly. I enter the lobby. As I pass the reception, I let go off the
handles and ready my sword. The bike begins to tip. I leave the lobby. The doors had just openned.
Inside, a tall man in a long jacket is clutching his left arm. He’s obviously saw action recently,
hot dirt has stained his neck, dark blood runs from his hair. His left arm appears to
be injured. On his face is a sly, victorious smile, which falls to disbelief in astonishing speed.
The front wheel is at about 45 degrees when it goes through his chest, tearing flesh and bones out
at several less easily assigned angles. He feels more substantial than he ought to, but is nonetheless lifted off his feet and smashed into the back of the elevator, and the rest of the
bike crashes side on into him. More pointedly, the sword also enters the spot where his chest and neck meet, almost exactly where I directed it. My own leg is crushed against him, I feel several things snap. I would have screamed out, but all the air is knocked from me when my momentum
crashes me against him, the wall, the bike and the sword.
The blade goes right through the wall, the hilt breaks his jaw. My right shoulder dislocates, and my head batters off the wall by his, cracking my helmet. I almost pass out. I should pass out. I can see out of only one eye, and white lights flash around my view there. Darkness at the edges further limits my view. But I see my prey. His jaw, hanging from his head, is being held by a few strands of flesh. Little strings of bright red tissue seem to be bridging the gaps. Like a painter colouring a portrait. The jaw seems to be righting itself. I watch for a moment. The good side of his once handsome face goes from horror to that smile again. His remaining eye seeks out my good one. I smile back, then I grin. His smile falters.
I can feel the darkness pulling me down into the unconscious abyss. I feel myself fall for a moment,
into the painless night. I reach out with my hand to catch something and my fingers curl around a
safe hold. My eye rolls back into focus, through the pain and the blurring see the hilt of my sword in
my hand. I can’t move it at first, so I begin to work it free, pushing it side to side. The pain is substantial, but I do not stop. He screams. I keep working the blade sideways, and as soon as I can feel it give a millimetre, I pull as hard as I can. It budges to the side, and I tear it back again. His heads falls from his shoulders. His blood spurts from the stump, then begins pouring down his chest onto me. Exultation pours with it, and I rest my head back and through the extreme agony
I feel better than I have done for months. The black nothingness takes me.
Top of the Class
“I can’t do this any longer.”
“This. The whole fucking lot. Slop. Training. Pension and LAD. Fuck it.”
“I’m quitting. Going, going, goner. Gonna buy a good sword and bring some company for the grey road.”
“Tell them I told them… That I said… Suck my dick.”
“If they send anyone looking for me, I’ll kill them.”
“Same goes for you.”
“Yeah. Be strong or die.”
“You too. Hey, Sonya?”
“Does this mean I can’t never… you know? Be like, I dunno, a fucking waste – or more like a crime, you know?”
“Aw c’mon, you know exactly what I mean. Not that I don’t fear for my fucking life even if we could go through with it, but-”
“Are you asking to fuck?”
“Hah, right, uh, in so many words, yeah babe.”
“Haha. You’re an asshole in so many ways. Sure, why not?”
“Yeah, but you gotta take me.”
“Wait, hold up. Isn’t that the plan?”
“I mean – take me. I’m not just going to submit to anyone. Especially you. Take me, and you can have what you want.”
“So if I – what – can take you, we get it on?”
“What I’m saying is, you can have whatever you can take. That’s the way of things, I thought you understood that. Maybe I over-estimated you.”
“No, no, baby, I’m down with all that shit. Survival, natural selection, way of the strongest. Yeah. K’Lthkz’z’s favourite sermon.”
“Indeed. So, Mr. Top of the Class, if you’re my only competition, and outranked me on our final scores, it shouldn’t be a problem. If there’s
anyone in the class who could take me down, theoretically it should be you.”
“Alright! So what’s the dance?”
“No weapons, no imps, no drugs. Just you… and me.”
“I like that. Just us. Woohee. You know there’s a card going around for laying you, I mean ‘cos you’re smokin’ but totally un-fucking-attainable. Two bets – first, who can lay you. Second, how bad a way is the lucky bastard gonna be in afterwards.”
“Hope you bet on yourself.”
“So I fucking did.”
“And the second part?”
“Bruising. Flesh wounds.”
“I think I gave you the benefit of the doubt on that one. Haha!”
“Maybe you’ll like it rough”
K’Lthkz’z leaned forward, his reflection doing the same on the monitor. His claw tapped the pause button, and the image froze. Mack “Redmist” Handel was the highest scoring candidate he had tutored. By a long chalk. Redmist had broken about every record that mattered to him. His specialty was firearms, concealed and suppressed. What’s known in the trade as a Ghost Shooter. One second, the target is walking down the street, through the office, from bedroom to kitchen, car to building – wherever – then they fall down. With a bullet in their heart, brain or wherever the Ghost decides. K’Lthkz’z didn’t really like the term. A ghost you can see, but not touch, in all the holos anyway. This is the exact opposite. You never see the ghost but you feel it. If you live long enough to feel your heart torn apart by hot metal.
The ghost itself is usually a passerby, or someone in a car, or on a bench, or potentially any of the faceless nobodies we walk past everyday doing any of the mundane things people do as they go about their business. The gun can be concealed simply underneath a newspaper, or concealed in a briefcase, package or even in something
as small as an oyster or watch. Sometimes the weapon is a specially designed contraption and the ghost has, concealed beneath their clothes, several muzzles pointing in all manner of directions and fires what’s needed given their position and the targets’ range, movement and protection. Sometimes all any investigator has to go on when a Ghost Shooter does their job well is when they watch review the footage of the shot closely and slow it down, where they can catch sight of the red mist of a bullet wound.
This was Redmist’s forté and he was a genius at it. Meeny was all but done, the last exam score was rendered irrelevant for the top students. Red’s score was
too high for second, Sonya, to catch up. She scored 4/5 for her final field exam. The last exam was worth 2. Even if she got those 2, Red was 3 points clear. Red was
already weighing up some very lucrative positions which had come his way. K’Lthkz’z suspected he’d be fast-tracked into Cloak and would shine there. Well, shine as much as anyone can in an officially denied department. In any event, Red’s score was the highest ever for a human for the combination of courses, and Sonya’s was, while respectable, not worthy of memorialising. Perhaps what she truly had couldn’t be quantified by tests. Perhaps there was more to an operative than their proficiency score.
Perhaps the old Shak’tar was getting sentimental.
K’Lthkz’z tapped Play and the vid continued. Red stripped, hiding his concealed guns in his clothes. Even her confiding in him hadn’t lessened his distrust of her. Such was her reputation. He was confident in his prime, powerful if wiry, a few small scars here and there, a fresh but healing wound scored across his shoulder. Sonya slipped her clothes off likewise. K’Lthkz’z hadn’t seen her without a uniform, combats, armour or training gear on before. It wasn’t the many scars that caught his attention, some of which he’d be proud to sport. Nor was it her female form, humans did nothing for him even if he did understand that by human standards she was considered highly attractive. Almost her whole back was taken up by a massive bird of prey tattoo, wings spread wide, tail feathers down the back of her legs, talons extended down her arms, a predator perpetually locked at its most lethal, the moment before the kill. Suddenly, K’Lthkz’z understood why she was his favourite pupil again.
Beyond his astonishing marksmanship and trick shooting, Redmist was also a fantastic fencer and a superb hand-to-hand combatant. Sonya and he had sparred often, both were competitive and all could sense that she longed to beat him and for Red, well, she was the only challenging opponent left. K’Lthkz’z had tried to better instruct
Sonya in martial arts, offering her Shak’tar training in hope to lend a degree of control to her frother’s brawling. Some she had picked up, but her mastery was sorely
lacking. Formidable as she was unarmed, she was technically lacking and wild.
The two dropped into their fighters’ stance. K’Lthkz’z noted the ease with which Red enterred Martial Disciple 3:17a (countering a berserk unarmed opponent) and Sonya
enterred her practiced Shak’tar Sun stance. This time, however, her left arm was exactly level with her right elbow but angled outwards – something K’Lthkz’z could never get her to do correctly. They circled for a few moments, searching for a moment of hesitation, a slight imbalance; weakness. He struck out with his palm, a blow used to irritate. Normally, Sonya would weather such a blow and wade in, fist swinging. If her aesthetic persuasion (or the mere fact that she had one) had been unexpected before, K’Lthkz’z was genuinely surprised now. She leaned back, flipped onto her hands and her foot snaked into his jaw, spinning him back. She should have been off-balance, but a Sun practitioner would impart their imbalance on their foe. So she did. She fluidily rocked forward, seemingly out of control, pushing off her hands, landing and pouncing, her momentum carrying her.
Red caught her fist in his hand, with a grunt, then spun on his heel and dropping to a crouching position, arched his elbow at her mid-riff. She stepped on his kneeling leg and leapt with terrifying speed, spun through the air laterally, facing him always, in a perfect execution of the Sun’s Night. A killing manoevre he had performed once as a demonstration for his pupils. She landed and her fist struck out. He had begun to turn, but his almost kneeling posture was designed for tackling an opponent in front. Her fist connected to the back of his neck and he shuddered bizarrely once and fell forward. He would have minutes to live at best. She turned him over and lay ontop of him.
She whispered something to him. Red groaned, but that was probably the only sound he was capable of making. Sonya reached back, and took his flesh in her hand and put him inside her. He died after a few minutes and she finished several minutes later.
Well, that settled it. He had volunteered to fight with her, without weapons, and had unfortunately died as a consequence. K’Lthkz’z closed the Gross Misconduct Form and openned the Accidental Injury & Death form, then paused and openned Sonya Foster’s record. She had refused to choose an alias, a media friendly nickname was part of the contract for anyone with a particular degree of media coverage. That or the media picked one and it became officially extant. He called her Bloodhawk. He also added
a commendation for dispatching a rival through unarmed combat expertise and manipulation (unofficial commendation) which bumped her proficiency scores up. He also bumped her base Martial proficiency up to Master from Intermediary, having to use an Administrator credential to do so as the system didn’t appreciate students who suddenly jumped several skill levels. Neither did Red. She had us all fooled, K’Lthkz’z thought, grinning.
Then he updated Mack “Redmist” Handel’s records appropriately and merged them with the Deceased master record. Under the Investigator’s comments, wherein it is expected that potentially useful insights that can’t be enterred under any other field should be recorded, K’Lthkz’z added “Foolishly challenged a superior and lethal opponent in which the only outcome was his death.” The system silently accepted this without question, the only thing in all of Mort that could.