Champ, a short story by Novafix. Date added: 2006-04-04. Times viewed: 2431.
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- Intro: A company operative gets screwed over for trying to do the right thing.
- Champ PT I
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 social drug 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 days
work. Termination warrant and all provided. Easy.
Doker & Wuppass (the two Stormers) wanted to bust right in and waste whoever
wasn't tied up or unconcious 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 a 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, Doker and Wuppass settled down for a game of cards.
After a while, our 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 aswell. 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 Shotgun afixed
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
Everyone seems to call me that, "Champ". It's become my Operative 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 speach 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
buddys 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 a higher Security Clearance Level 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 gearerd 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
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 Armour 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, maybee a bit too soon because our
target has 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 aswell although the thread
is still attatched to his scalp along with the needle. The rag smells of
"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 from a gun toting Wuppass.
"He took a wound to the head and I was cleaning it up for him." the mook
"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. Stormers were built for brawn, not brains and Wuppass was
"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 tommorow - "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 alchohol...I can't afford serious drugs so I use alchohol
whenever possible, if I had access to Kick Start or Pain Away I'd..."
Wuppass probably hasn't listened to ninety percent of what's going on but
decides to take the law into his own hands at the mention of company issue
drugs 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...maybee the kids were DN or maybee 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 licensed hospital?" I ask hoping to get a
clear way out of here for me and my concience.
"Some are gangers and some use serious drugs...they all asked to come here.
They're 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 concience 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 DarkNight 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 "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 aswell" I motion to the only concious patient
who is looking a bit apprehensive.
So off Wuppass goes carrying the kid under his arm. The big dumb bastard.
He'd walk infront 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 proffesional 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
public enemy number one 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 give him about twenty seconds then 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 it's hinges and charge forward in proper assault style. This is where
they excell and I think they're gonna waste everyone by the way they are
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 a
massive taloned finger into 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 subvers..." 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 stays standing under a shower of dust
falling from the roof. The kids on the benches are all unconcious 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 fortÃ©, he 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 three 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 a Shiver unit in and clean this up" He says finally.
We all leave shortly after and Farthing offers to cash in the BPN.
I spend the rest of the day in a bar and towards midnight Farthing comes in
looking as pissed off as earlier. He orders a drink and, after the
obligatory attempt to seduce the young barmaid, wanders over and crashes
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 arse. You just gave them a reason to swap names on the card
"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 arse. 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.
Tommorow comes and there's a light flashing on my answer machine. I notice
it's 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 attendence today at 12:00 at an address in Uptown
for the 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 wont 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 say's he's on the
ground floor so I tell him to get to the fourth. I knock on the door and
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 barrell 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
"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
A heavy boot crashes into the back of my head and I see stars for a few
seconds, missing something that he says so he does it again. And again and
again. In fact I loose count of the amount of times he kicks me. 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
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...unbeleivable."
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 in the
fight. 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.
'Loosing' 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 spurt out with a shower of blood and enamel.
"Of course it was. You are too weak for SLA and I will cull you from the
herd. Your kind of behavior is undesirable. You should be strong and
unswerving in your loyalty to the company." 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 though I'm not really listening as 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
asure you that I fully authorise your execution."
I notice he picks up my FEN and realise this is a personal vendetta gone way
too far. I'm hoping and praying that Doker hasn't fallen asleep or got
caught up signing autographs or, more likely, is 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?" The gun gets pushed
harder against my skull. "Come on give me a break." I say through broken
"Not this time Champ."
"The setting for this fiction is based on the SLA Industries game world, the
IP rights of which are held by Cubicle 7."
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