I GM’d for my group and due to a lack of availability of the books I struggled to get content together so I ended up writing a lot of my own stuff and that led to writing fiction.
Here is one of the stories that I had originally meant to be stand-alone (I like open endings) but my players wanted the story to continue (they wanted closure) so I ended up doing 5 more parts to it. It’s slightly different now that I ran it through a spell checker….good grief I can’t spell.
Here is Champ pt. 1 and if it’s well received I’ll put the remaining parts up.
Champ Pt 1 of 6
I always seem to get myself into trouble. I don’t plan it. It just happens.
Take this last bungled BPN. What a pile of crap that turned out to be. We were given it by a financier who was out to make a quick cash injection to feed his PI habit or something and we were to take out this subversive child molester. We got it at a bar called ‘Malokey’s’ and I should’ve said no but I hate that kind of shit and I try to make what difference I can you know. Besides it was a sweet 200C each for one day’s work. Termination warrant and all provided.
Doker & Wuppass (the two Stormers) wanted to bust right in and waste whoever wasn’t tied up or unconscious but I figured a little more discretion was in order so we got saddled up and scoped the place out the next day. It was a run-down little shack in Upper Downtown. It had one floor and the entrance was little recess in the side of an alley way. There was all rubbish and mud outside but it was above ground so this mook had money coming in from somewhere. Probably the skin trade if the reports were correct.
We got settled into some run down B&B run by a near blind woman with crazy red hair who wanted double the asking price for the room as “the Stormers might brake something”. Farthing didn’t want to pay and was prepared to pull a warrant on her but it was only 16U so I paid to leave out the trouble, besides it had a decent enough view of the entrance to our target and it wasn’t worth the hassle. We got to our room and Farthing set up his spy stuff as me & the Stormers settled down for a game of cards.
After a while this freak brings in a scruffy looking kid and Farthing motions me over. I was 50C down and eager to take Doker’s mind off the game so I called him over as well. For a Stormer that couldn’t count past 50 he was damn lucky at cards. Anyhow, I take a look down the scope and see a kid with what looks like a club wound to the side of his head. He’s holding a blood soaked rag to his temple and the soon-to-be-busted mook is holding him steady whilst making a bee line for his den.
“Looks like we have our man” Doker says in his dull bass tone.
“Now before we just barge in there and waste this freak let me do some talking first to get an idea of what’s going on as I don’t want stray shots hitting any of the kids” I replied looking at the KPS Mangler affixed to his hip plate. “If he shoots at us then shoot back but take him out with single shots you hear me?” I look again at the eager look in Doker’s eye. “On second thoughts, me and Wuppass will go in and you two can make sure he doesn’t bolt out any back door”
Doker looks heartbroken.
“You the man Champ.” they chorused
Now that gets to me. Everyone seems to call me that, “Champ”. It’s become my Op name. I didn’t start it, I didn’t even endorse it but that’s what they call me. I got into a little fight at a bar with this Shaktar fella (hard to tell I know) who was giving a speech on Racial Purity to this bartender who’d served him a drink in a dirty glass and the Shaktar had kicked off about it. I’d had few to drink and stepped up and told him to back down and get another glass. Anyway he turns to me and says do I want to Champion this bartender for the slight to his honour so I said I’m gonna make sure he doesn’t get a beating for something he doesn’t deserve. He notices I’m drunk and asks if I would like to step away as I was in no fit state to fight. I told him I’d rip his tusks off. Job done, he was ready to fight.
He motions me to the back of the bar and he was there with a few of his buddy’s but Wuppass walked over to see what was going on so I figured we were about even. He says something about one-on-one and is towering above me and it all looks a bit serious so I put my knuckle duster on and asked him if he was ready. He said he was and came at me. Now he was big, way too confident and was wearing what looked like a dress so I dropped to my knee and punched him square in the balls. I don’t think he was expecting that as he crumpled to the ground with a whimper, blood staining his white clothes. I moved to finish him off but one of the others said I’d won. I only hit the sonovabitch once but I didn’t fancy taking him again now that he knew about that move so I finished my drink and left.
Wuppass said I was the Champion and that’s how I got the name. Turns out he was higher SCL than me and got me busted down a full rank for “Disciplinary measures”. Bastard. Still wasn’t the first time I’d been crapped on from above and I didn’t think it was gonna be the last.
Anyway I’m getting away from the story.
So we all get geared up and get to street level. It’s cracking down with rain and I walk straight up to the door and give it a knock. The ‘Friendly’ approach works most of the time ‘cos no-one expects it. The door opens up and there’s this fella stood there as bold as brass with a white tunic on and blood all over it. He looks at me and is about to say something when Wuppass leans over and grabs him by the throat and barges indoors. So much for friendly.
We get inside and as I check out his pad I notice there’s about six kids lying on beds all covered in bandages and shit. The place reeks of bleach and there’s surgical tools everywhere. There’s a few shelves with cases on lining the walls too. Wuppass is holding the mook at least three feet off the floor and with the servos on his Stormer Exo helping him he could probably keep him there all day.
“Put him down Wuppass” I say waving my arm in his general direction.
The fella drops to the floor retching. Face nearly purple.
“What the fuck’s going on here?” I ask, maybe a bit too soon because he’s started throwing up.
I look around and see the kid we saw him come in with. He’s sat on a bench holding what looks like a wet rag against his head. He looks hurt but not bothered so I asked him what he was doing her.
“Getting my head fixed” He replies.
Now to me that means either shooting up Coke or getting brainwashed by DarkNight, but I figure that in this case it’s got something to do with his head wound. I step a bit closer and took a look. There’s a few well-placed stitches and it looks like it had been cleaned up as well although the thread is still attached to his scalp along with the needle. The rag smells of alcohol.
“What’s going on here?” I ask when the mook has finally gotten his breath back. He’s stood up dusting himself down whilst keeping a respectable distance away from a gun toting Wuppass.
“He had a laceration on his head and I was cleaning it up for him.” the mook replies
“I can see that…..”
Wuppass looks agitated and says “Champ, what’s going on?” I figure he could hear what we were saying but was having trouble processing it. As far as he was concerned this man was the target of a BPN and was worth 200C when he was eliminated.
“Hold on there Wuppass. What are you doing here? Why are you doing this?” getting mad wasn’t the word for it and I could just see this going down in the papers tomorrow – “Ops kill Kids Doctor”.
“These kids don’t have another way to get medical attention” he replies looking worriedly at a gaping Wuppass, “I’m just helping them out. What’s wrong with that?”
“Where do you get your drugs from??” I reply pointing accusingly at some vials of liquid on a bench.
“I mostly use alcohol…I can’t afford serious drugs so I use alcohol whenever possible, if I had access to Kick Start or Pain Away I’d…”
Wuppass decides to take the law into his own hands and picks him up by the neck again.
“DEAD” He shouts.
“PUT HIM THE FUCK DOWN YOU STUPID SONOVABITCH!” I scream at him. I’ve got my helmet off now and I’m massaging my temples ‘cos this is getting out of hand. Why the hell were we here……maybe the kids were DN or maybe he was. I didn’t know and I couldn’t tell. Some of the kids were in a bad shape so why weren’t they in a proper hospital?
“Why don’t you send them to a proper hospital?” I ask hoping to get a clear way out of here for me and my conscience.
“Some are gangers and some use serious drugs….they all asked to come here. They afraid that if they go to a SLA sanctioned hospital they’ll be busted for something. I’m a doctor and I’m trying to make a difference….”
How many times have I heard that line, you get all sorts of people just trying to make a difference and they all get crapped on by people who like things just the way they are. I’d call them all stupid but I’m right in there with the best of ’em trying to make what little difference I can in this hell hole. I take a wander around his ‘surgery’ and look at a few of the kids that’re lying about on the beds. There’s one kid with a missing hand, one with a gunshot wound to the chest and another to his left arm, one kid has a mass of bandages around a leg covered in blood. I sit down on a chair and run my fingers through my hair trying to think about this.
“What’s up Champ?” Wuppass says as he walks over to me. He’s got none of this conscience shit to worry about and must think I’m ill or something. At least he’s lowered his gun. I motion him over and get him to bend down so I can talk to him quietly.
“This isn’t right Wuppass, this bloke isn’t touching these kids and he doesn’t look to be a subversive. We’ll have a look round this surgery and see what we can find. If he’s got DN shit in here then we bust him for it and get these kids some proper treatment but if he’s clean I say we let him walk. What do you reckon?”
He picks out the bits that he can fathom out “Yeah Champ. Find some DN Stuff and whack him yeah??”
“That’s right. You tell Doker and Farthing what’s goin’ on and I’ll check it out. Take that kid with you as well” I motion to the only conscious kid who is looking a bit apprehensive.
So off Wuppass goes carrying the kid under his arm. The big dumb bastard. He’d walk in front of a moving train if I told him to do it. I get up and walk over to the doctor. I try to put on a professional face and although I feel sorry for the mook I’m still an Op and I don’t want him thinking he’s gonna be my new best friend.
“Listen, get the fuck out of here. You’ve got about two minutes to get as far as you can before the Stormer gets back and by that time he’ll be very pissed off. I know what you’re doing here is a good thing. I wish more people were like you but you’ve got a termination warrant out for you and when Farthing checks it out and reads the bit that says ‘no exceptions’ he’ll be in here in a flash. That warrant means we cap you whether you’re Lisa Fodden or a life-long Nun.”
He’s shaking and looking at me in disbelief. “What have I done??”
“Pissed off the wrong people I guess. You’ve got about a minute now”
He turns and sprints for the door, I smash my pistol grip into the side of my head try to make it look like a struggle. It hurts like hell and I draw blood which was the result I was looking for. To get the ball rolling I let off a couple of rounds off and wait for the shit to hit the fan.
About ten seconds later a combat ready pair of Stormers tear the front door off its hinges and charge forward in proper assault style. This is where they excel and I think they’re gonna waste everyone by the way they charge forward pointing their guns at everything but they check the area, deem it clear and Doker walks over to me.
“What happened Champ? Where’d he go?” Doker looks calm and he pushes the cut on my head which hurts like hell.
“I was looking for drugs and he managed to smash me in the head. I shot at him but I don’t know if I got him. Looks like he was a subver….” Bad move.
Doker takes one look at a kid on a bench and levels his shotgun at him. I don’t even get chance to shout at him to stop before he fires a burst into the bed covers. Blood and guts spray all over the back wall and as he turns to another kid I manage to knock his gun out of the way and he tears a chunk out of the ceiling.
“STOP SHOOTING!!” I’m screaming. This is going from bad to worse. Who the hell was the kid? A runaway? Gang member? Slops Kid?? Does it matter who?
“Okay.” Doker stops shooting and there’s a spray of dust falling about the room. The kids on the benches are all unconscious and the one that was shot isn’t leaving without a body-bag
“Aren’t they subversives too?” Doker asks with a touch of confusion. “That’s why he was helping them right?”
I look at Doker and ask “Who told you that?”
Wuppass is looking everywhere except where I’m stood so I don’t need an answer to that question. There’s no point having a go as he gets violent when cornered. Best to leave it be.
“These aren’t DN. They’re injured kids. He was looking after them but had some illegal drugs and split before I could bust him. The kids are clean.”
“You saved ’em again Champ” Wuppass is trying to seem enthusiastic but as subtlety and deception aren’t his forte just manages to looks guilty.
“Yeah….” I reply, looking round the room.
Farthing comes in from the back entrance, poncho dripping with water. He’s put his SMG away and quickly takes in his surroundings.
“He got away. What happened Champ?”
So I tell him, I keep it tight as Farthing’s a bright lad and he knows what I’m like. Hell he’s been in my squad for over 3 years and we’re like brothers now, he knows me like the back of his hand. He doesn’t buy it and although he keeps his mouth shut he’s pissed off. Really pissed off.
“Let’s get Shivers in and clean-up” He adds.
We all leave shortly after and Farthing says he’ll cash in the BPN.
I spend the rest of the day in a bar and towards midnight Farthing comes in looking pissed off. He orders a drink and after the obligatory attempt to seduce the nubile young barmaid he wanders over and crashed into the chair opposite.
“You made a big mistake today Champ.”
“Yeah well this whole fucking world is a big mistake.”
“Let’s not get philosophical here, you know what I’m talking about. This whole job looks like someone was trying to get you to make a mistake so they could nail your ass. You just gave them a reason to swap names on the card we had”
“Bullshit this. I got a call on the answerphone asking for a meeting. A squad meeting to ‘discuss the escape of a wanted SLA fugitive’. Doker and Wuppass aren’t invited. Sounds to me like they want to haul you & me in.”
“Well they can kiss my ass. I did my Job. We stopped whatever he was doing but he got away. It’s as simple as that.”
The rest of the night gets drowned away by the beer and loud music. Me and Farthing barely speak.
Tomorrow comes and there’s a light flashing on my answer machine. I notice its 11:04 and pop a PainAway for the headache. It’s not a good night if you wake up feelin’ fine, and besides, Slosh tastes like crap. I hit play and a bland voice asks for my attendance today at 12:00 at an address in Uptown for this squad meeting. I get in the shower and scrub myself down. While I’m in there I figure this is gonna go badly and if I’m gonna get screwed then I’m not going lightly. I dry myself down, grab my headset and call through to Doker’s channel.
“Doker, it’s me Champ.”
“Listen I’ve got a problem and I’m gonna need your help later on.”
“I’m going to interview someone and I’ve got to be there at 12:00 I want you to go to the building and wait for me nearby. I’m gonna keep my headset open to your channel and I want you to listen real carefully and if say “give me a break” I want you to come in and shoot anyone you don’t recognise OK?”
“Err, OK. What if it’s an op??”
“It won’t be, I’m doing a BPN as a favour for someone and there’ll be no Slops there. I’ll pay for whatever bullets you use so don’t feel like you have to hold back you hear??”
I can see him grinning as he replies “I hear you Champ!!”
I grab a quick can of ‘Bacon and Beans’ and head to the street, tucking my Fen 603 into my hip holster. I get to the address with a minute to spare and it’s a run-down office block on the corner of the street. The room is on the fourth floor and I’ve got a hunch that this is going to go badly but it’s gotta be done.
I get up to the door and check to see if Dokers here. He says he’s on the ground floor so I tell him to get to the fourth. I knock on the door and walk in.
The room is pretty small, there’s a desk at the far wall and although it looks recently decorated there’s a pool of water gathered in the middle of the floor. What grabs my attention though it the barrel of a gun as it’s pushed into my temple. Hands reach for my pistol and I don’t feel like stopping them so I give it up.
“Greetings Operative” a familiar voice says, I turn my head slightly and get view of a large figure before the gun points me away. I’m put in a chair and handcuffed pretty quickly. I figure he’s either Kick murder or Investigation/Interrogation.
“Well I suppose you wonder why you’re here Operative” he stays behind me to keep me off balance.
I know the voice….
“Well it had peaked my interest…” I reply
“You were given a very specific task operative, you failed to complete it. Why?” Still behind me
“The mook got away, he smashed me in the head and legged it. It’s all in the report…”
A heavy boot crashes into the back of my head and I see stars for a few seconds and miss something that he says so he does it again. And again and again. In fact I lost count of the amount of times he did that. I come round and I’m staring at the floor. I can feel blood in my mouth and a quick inspection with my tongue reveals most of my teeth are broken. I can see my captor though.
It’s the dress wearing Shaktar.
“What the fuck did you do with Farthing??” I’m trying to sound dangerous but I think he’s not buying it.
“Be quiet. I’ve spent a long time getting you here and I’m going to enjoy making you pay for you disgracing me all those months ago. You had a nerve to even challenge me but to actually ground me………unbelievable.”
He walks over and levels a boot into my stomach. The ‘Bacon & Beans’ joins with the pool in the middle of the room.
“Quite the character aren’t you Champ.” the last word is thick with venom and I get the impression that I really pissed him off when I beat him. I remember thinking that they had an honour code or something and that what I did would’ve been OK. Still I’m not about to start arguing with him. I realise he’s been talking…
“Refusal to execute Gang Member. Assault on a fellow operative, twice. ‘Losing’ thirty five vials of Kick Start whilst investigating corruption at an orphanage, the list goes on and on.”
“Was that BPN a set-up” I ask
“Of course it was. You are too weak for SLA and I will cull you from the herd. Your kind of behaviour is undesirable. You should be strong and unswerving in your faith.” I’m trying to appeal to his wounded sense of pride and it’s working a treat.
He goes on for a few more minutes and I’m trying to fathom out who he is. He’s not got a badge on and I don’t think he’d appreciate a ‘so what’s your name then?’ so I keep quiet. He hauls me to an upright position and walks behind me.
“I’m afraid that although I am unable to show you a termination warrant I assure you that I fully authorise your execution.”
I notice he picks up my FEN and I realise this is a personal vendetta. I’m hoping and praying that Doker hasn’t fallen asleep or has got caught up signing autographs or fighting someone. The gun gets put against the back of my head.
“Any last words Operative?”
“Aren’t you gonna give me an SCL decrease this time? Come on give me a break.” I say through broken teeth.
“Not this time Champ”