First, I’d like to take a moment to revel in the fact that I actually sat down tonight and wrote something. Not just a short message on Google+, nor a quick anecdote to my friends in an email. I knocked out over 1000 words, and it felt good. So, in honor of this momentous occasion, we’re having ribs! Wait, no, that’s something else. Instead, I’d like to share my words with you dear reader(s?) (okay, yes, I know I have more than 1 reader, but I think it’s funny). This is a short story detailing some background for my character in a new campaign of the Corporation RPG, which is starting this Sunday. It’s called “A Scar Is Born”, and I hope you enjoy it!
Ken’ichi Omatsu crouched low, scanning ahead through the darkness. Thanks to the Anascan Midnight Vision software, he could see nearly every detail of the filthy alley he found himself in. He wasn’t surprised at how disgusting his surroundings were, after all it was the Underswell beneath Tokyo Spire. This particular section of the Underswell appeared to be mostly deserted, for what reason Ken’ichi didn’t care. All that mattered was locating his target and fulfilling the contract. I need to get the thermal imaging upgrade soon, he thought to himself as he worked his way deeper into the labyrinth of alleys and shanties. Being able to spot heat signatures in this mess probably would have been very helpful.
After what seemed like hours, he finally located signs of life. If his contact was correct, this could be the bolt-hole his target was hiding in. A squat building stood about 10 meters off, with a faint light glowing through a grungy window. The dilapidated shack looked like it was barely staying upright, but looks down here could be deceiving. He scouted the perimeter for possible exits beyond the one obvious door, then backtracked to the mouth of the alley that led him to this point. Crouching low again, Ken’ichi hid a proximity sensor among the debris along the wall. No point in getting snuck up on, he thought, and proceeded back towards the shack.
The door looked about as solid as the rest of the building, but on closer examination it was probably reinforced from inside. He could easily break it in, but that would eliminate the element of surprise and give his target time to prepare a response. Oh well, no point in delaying the inevitable. A swift motion to his belt brought his shield to life, and then he drove his foot heavily into the door. It burst inward with a loud crash, and he was through the gap before it came to rest. The room appeared to be a common area, with some mismatched furniture and a vid screen, all of which were in serious disrepair. Off to his left a short hall led to another door. Ken’ichi heard the distinct click of a kinetic weapon being readied, and hurried to the door. This one was much less of a challenge, and he burst through it like it was paper. His shield lit up as a short burst hit him from the machine pistol held by a squat, balding Korean. His target swore at the ineffective weapon and threw it off to the side, gibbering in his native tongue. Ken’ichi drove a kick into the little man’s solar plexus, quieting his outburst. Standing over the gasping form, he willed his psi-blade into his hand and raised it up to strike – and the world went white.
Ken’ichi cursed himself for not noticing this new combatant in time. By the time the effects of the flash-bang diminished, his target was being dragged by one arm out into the common area. The man doing the dragging was tall and slender, dressed in a tan suit with a red sash running from his right shoulder down to his left hip. Ken’ichi cursed again as he leapt into a jump kick that took the Comoros agent square in the chest. The blow separated the agent from the Korean, and Ken’ichi took up position between the two. “You do not want to interfere, my friend” the agent said in Japanese, with a heavy Hindi accent. “The Korean is not worth your life. I am Ajeet Singh, Fidai of the Comoros, and you stand in the way of my appointed task.” Ken’ichi maintained a healthy distance, wary of the Fidai reputation as master telepaths and assassins. “I don’t care who you are or what you want with the Korean, but I am honor bound to take his life. Leave now, Fidai.” The assassin began moving to his right very slowly, attempting to circle around for an angle to his target. Ken’ichi turned with him, contemplating the distance between them and the speed at which the Fidai might bring his own powers to bear. No time to dance with this man, I have a job to do, and suddenly Ken’ichi flicked his psi-blade back and down towards the prone Korean. Before the blade could strike, a blast of energy lifted Ken’ichi off his feet and tossed him into the wall like a doll. A ripple of energy played across the extended palm of the assassin, ready for another blast, while the other hand manifested its own psi-blade. “You are not my intended target, my friend. I don’t want to kill you, and I gain nothing from it.” The Fidai took a step towards the downed Korean as he spoke, slowly and deliberately. Ken’ichi eased his way back to his feet, and spat “I’m not your friend, Fidai” then suddenly drove forward towards the assassin. Anticipating the coming blast, he immediately dove into a shoulder roll as the energy washed harmlessly over him, and came back up to his feet with his psi-blade slashing at the extended hand. The Fidai blocked the strike with his own blade and drove Ken’ichi back a step, then raised his palm and fired a blast into the ceiling. As debris rained down on him, Ken’ichi stumbled. Off balance, he couldn’t bring his blade up in time to block the assassin’s strike, so he rolled back desperately. The Fidai’s psi-blade caught flesh just above the left eye, narrowly missing the eye itself as it continued on down into the cheek. Ken’ichi sprawled onto his back from the force of the blow and his own momentum, and wiped the blood out of his eye as he tried to stand. He recovered himself in time to see the assassin take the Korean’s head from its body. “Consider yourself lucky today my friend. It will not be so if we meet again.” With that the Comoros agent fired another blast into the ceiling over Ken’ichi, and dashed out the door with his trophy. The Fidai was nowhere in sight when Ken’ichi finally left the shack.
“This isn’t bad at all. I can regenerate the tissue and you’ll never even know you were cut.” The medic reached for his kit, but Ken’ichi stopped his arm with a quick grasp. “No. Leave it. I want to remember.”