The creed (my own creation – to which I adhere):
1) Only catch criminals (Its ethical…ish and nobody really cares if a
criminal dies – lack of collateral damage is a good thing.)
2) Only deliver bounties to other criminals (my line of work is
practically illegal – official channels best avoided.)
3) If persons are in the way of the bounty shoot to kill (providing they
are a threat to you). If not only shoot to kill when necessary (dead
bounties bring in far less monetary reward).
4) Carry extra ammo (Common sense.)
5) My only concern is the bounty, the hunt, the capture and the delivery
(Providing I get my reward what happens after I’ve turned them over is not
my concern. Done my job.)
Whenever possible I always observe this. Otherwise I improv. I’ve gotten pretty good at improv.
There’s a reason I only deal with criminals. Honour among thieves carries a surprising amount of credibility and when in a shootout you accidentally gun down a bounty, only to find out he was an undercover law man you find out that “official” forces pay you lots of attention. Both to you and your activities. They even put you on lists. Made my job that much harder.
And left trails of dead authorities littered amongst planetary chains. And shards of police star craft drifting amongst the stars.
Over time they have left me to my own devices. And once people know you can dispose of “official” types so competently, they seek out your services more than they previously did.
It’s a strange occupation we have chosen.
The work isn’t constant. It takes time to get the good assignments (I mean a real long time) and within your first year, there’s a great chance you’ll die.
But the rewards are great. But more than that, the chase, the challenge to both your mental and physical faculties. It’s an amazing sensation. The reward is good though. Real good.
Nice travelling too.
Searching for information. Whereabouts, activities, associates. Anything you can get. Can come from an informant, a drunk, an official. As long as it gets you what you need, its good.
It takes you around. Another spaceport, another city, another galaxy. Its tough. One story can start in a bar and can end two galaxies over.
Few of these places are dives. But at night, when they light up, they have something about them. So dilapidated during the day it’s as if the night allows them to shine, revealing a soul, a heart, a little something that gives these out posts a reason for keeping going.
Seen thousands of them. They have rewarded me a thousand times over.
I come from a forest planet.
I was born in the trees. Before jetting off world my life was confined to the trees, living in nests, leaping from branch to branch (with sporadic flying). My agility far surpasses my fellow hunters. Fast too.
My eyesight is excellent as well. Having to peer through leaf layers to spot even the smallest morsels of prey has translated into pinpoint accuracy with a laser rifle. Whatever the situation, conditions I can hit my target. Always.
I have tried to create a mystique with these skills (aided by the fact I excel at bounty hunting). My face is covered by a ceremonial mask of my kind (wraith bone stained black) revealing only a lower jaw, filled with teeth. Despite there size they are sharp enough. My black and yellow feathers push through the mask as well as covering my reptilian arms and back, decorating my tail. My name isn’t known. I only operate with code names. And I work alone. Always alone. Depending on others is too risky. For multiple reasons.
The sense of mystery, coupled with my abilities. I do pretty well for myself.
The guy is a wanted man. Really wanted. Numerous hunters have gathered. Droids, humans, reptilians, other aliens. It’s a huge bounty.
As you would expect when someone breaks from a crime family, making some of its high-ranking lieutenants disappear and then returning them. In pieces. And he has bolted, falling off the radar.
And we have to find him. Alive. Wounding is acceptable. Good. If he’s about to leap into an escape pod I should be allowed to blow his knee out. Lost two bounties because of that being disallowed. Never again.
And we break. Every hunter for themselves now.
It’s him. Damn. It’s him.
The mask. The black and yellow feathers. The sleek, elegant rifle adorned with pieces of his home world.
Everyone knows of his prowess. What hunts, he catches. Or makes sure no one else can claim. He goes to any and all lengths. And he always works alone.
Even the authorities leave him be. And no one knows his name. Might as well take on another bounty. This ones over.
Its pretty amazing how someone can be flaunting their status and power then suddenly vanish from the galaxial network.
The trails gone cold. Stories lead no where. Planetary round trips eviscerate fuel supplies in exchange for fragmented accounts that don’t fit together. And good sources have a habit of disappearing.
Yet the hunt goes on. This guy really has crossed a line. Many hunters have abandoned the chase. The select few of us push on. The reward is too great.
My armament is limited. One rifle. My teeth and claws.
The rifle is a repeater, but built for accuracy. Decorated in feathers and zemi from my home world, there is a certain artistry to wielding it, not relying on such ugly things as explosions. Clean hits are much more rewarding. Fires single and three shot bursts. Two to break armor. The remainder completes the kill.
Claws and teeth work well up close. So well, after use excessive cleaning is required.
It’s a strange sensation.
For a moment everything slows down. Stars begin to elongate, powder blue filaments stretch towards some forlorn horizon before folding together into a vexing azure portal, which the ship drives head long into.
And just like that the stars clarify their dimensions, definition regained and you’re on the other side of the universe, hunting down some scum sucker who you have come to love.
Cause he’s worth so damn much to you.
He followed. Son of a – he followed.
He doesn’t know that I am aware of this. Timing the light speed jump is a tricky thing. A second later and I lead him to the prize. Now, it’s the last mistake he will make.
I continue flying, before suddenly stunting the ship, looping around.
He responds too late. He probably didn’t have a clue. Got the jump on him. In behind, a viridian salvo (green reminds me of my home world) crashes into his craft. The engines blow out. It’s a hulk drifting over a barren planet.
I head towards the surface, not before firing an energy missile towards him. A small blue flash tracks towards the vessel.
Explosions don’t make noises in space. Sure look pretty though. Only in space though. Very ugly in person to person combat. Reflects a lack in skills.
Before a bunker, five guards.
Five viridian bolts.
Five bodies on the ground.
Advancement on the bunker.
Yellow flashes in the haze, disappearing and reappearing, always followed by viridian beams cutting through the air.
More men drop to the ground.
They can’t see me.
Leaping between erected barricades, layers of smoke (big firefight) help to camouflage my presence. My eyes pierce the fog, theirs are blinded by it.
Advance from each barricade, leaping and gliding, fire viridian clusters and advance again.
The floor is dotted with bodies. And the innards of those that got too close.
It disappeared. Calm returned.
Then it leapt up from behind a barricade, a black and yellow dervish, crashing down on a guard, slashing foot claw ripping his face open. It turned sideward teeth burrowing into a nearby throat as whirling claws rendered diaphragms into crimson abstracts.
The rifle slung round dropping perfectly into feathered claws, viridian flares sycthing down men.
The calm returned, soaked in blood, overwhelmed by the smell of searing wounds hanging in the dust.
And there he was, running down a corridor to what looked like a hanger.
One mangled knee. It’s over.
He shouted, cussed.
The rifle butt answered.
He’s in the cargo hold, bound. Hyperspace jump follows.
It’s a good day. It’s about to get better.
He never thought he’d see him again.
I hand him over. Money first, always money first. He knows I could kill his entourage. He has no choice. The money goes into my account. I throw the bounty over.
He’s hollering about whats going to happen to him. And its all true. And I don’t care. Once I have my money, I’m out.
He’s going to die. But I did my job. Thats all that matters.
I left the building, retiring to a bar, looking forward to the next mission. But right now, I got enough money to hold off for a little while.
Inspired by the Star Wars Bounty Hunters (soft spot towards Bossk).
“Main character” based upon the Sinornithosaurus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinornithosaurus
Feedback welcomed. Don’t know if this will be built upon. I just wanted to write something different.