The Verdict of the Court
They say a samurai never kills a sleeping man in his bed, so I woke him up first.
The court later found Michael Dyre and Charles Gibbs were guilty of kidnapping and multiple counts of rape. The court even found my violent killing of Dyre as justified. However, the court was quite concerned with the fact Gibbs was alive when I removed his manhood and stuffed it down his throat before beginning to disembowel him.
Though the court acknowledged I had been wronged, harmed, traumatized and scarred for life by what had happened to me, I had crossed a line becoming a psychopath and a danger to society. Therefore, for the good of the community, the court sentenced me to the penal legion for six years where my violence might do some good or, most likely, just get me killed.
As soon as the judge brought down his gavel to adjourn the court, I was shackled, but before being carted off in a prison shuttle, I was taken to a small room where my attorney was smiling. Seated across from him were two men and a woman in suits.
“Good News, you’ve been bought” announced my attorney.
“Bought?” I asked. I knew slavery was legal on some planets, but not here, not on a planet that modelled it’s entire society after Gaea Prime.
He replied, “I mean your sentence has been bought – if you’re willing. Instead of serving in the penal legion where you will surely get killed, you can serve ten years in a mercenary company where you might get killed.”
The suits were from the E. Houseman Corporation, often just called the “House.” The deal was I would serve ten years in one of their mercenary companies. I’d be fed and clothed just like I would in a penal legion, but the House offered training, medical care, advancement, salary, a monthly alcohol allotment and I wouldn’t be shackled when not fighting. The catch was I had to serve ten years and I wouldn’t get paid the first three – that went to the court.
In the end, I chose to join and as I signed the enlistment forms, one of the suits handed my attorney a fat envelope. Looks like I was sold after all.
I spent six months in a training camp where I got the crap beat out of me and some sense beaten into me. During the indoctrination part of training, I had learned that a few centuries ago, ol’ Elijah Houseman formed a Free Company to protect his salvage operations. He had gotten tired of being shot at.
Over time, he made more money hiring out the Free Company than he did from salvage, so he expanded into the mercenary business. Today, the E. Houseman Corporation is one of the largest providers of mercenaries and security forces in the galaxy.
When training was over, I was assigned to a Salvage Support Company. There’s a big difference between a Free Company hired out to armies and governments and a Salvage Support Company. The Free Companies have the latest and greatest weapons and tech – the Salvage Support Company? Well, there’s that ancient saying about red-headed stepchildren.
For example, on paper the squad leader, assistant squad leader and the SAW specialist were all supposed to have hard body armor. Instead, we all wore soft armor flak jackets – they called them flak jackets, but they were little more than glorified sports bras. My abdomen could get shredded to pieces by enemy bullets, but I could sleep better at night knowing my nips wouldn’t get a scratch. (That’s sarcasm in case you can’t tell.)
Weapons were the same way. The E. Houseman Free Companies rivaled Gaea Prime’s Star Army in fire power and capability. The Salvage Support Companies were barely a step above street gangs in armament having a hodge-podge of different weapons from rapid fire laser rifles and semi-automatic rifles to shotguns and pistols.
E. Houseman Corporation Free Companies were the cream of the cream among mercenaries. The Salvage Support Companies were just a bunch misfits who somehow turned a profit.
My unit was an all-female unit known as the “Pink Pixies” or the “Pinks” for short. You could tell us from the other units because we had dyed the protective panels of our flak jackets a rich pink color. We also used pink on other parts of our uniforms like knee and elbow pads. Some of us even dyed our hair pink. It was a gap causing contrast – you might think of pink as being a color for frilly girls, but we were the baddest nastiest bitches in the galaxy.
We had cool names, too. Except if you were new, like I was. The unit had a naming ceremony for newbies. They threw several names at me, but none of them stuck until Mystic Rhaine exclaimed “Maybe she ain’t worth a name, she’s nothing more than a wet stain on a pair of panties.” They laughed.
Our squad leader, Boss Rozina called for silence. “Ok, without objections this girl will henceforth be known as ‘Pee Stain’.” My squad mates cheered, of course I tried to object, but my objection didn’t count.
I felt a little crushed with my new name, but Robo-natrix cheered me up. Robo-natrix was a big woman and the SAW specialist. She said, “Cheer up, Pee Stain, we all got demeaning names when we were new. It’s to let the new girl know she needs to be humble and follow the more experienced members so she can learn to survive. This name is only temporary until you earn the right to name yourself. Besides, Pee Stain isn’t too bad, for my first name, they named me after a popular sex toy.”
I looked at her with some disbelief. She smiled and said “Yeah, I was ‘Jill-Doe’ for almost a year.”
As I settled into my new identity, we received orders for deployment. The Salvage Supply Companies always stayed busy. We were being dispatched to Solongos. Solongos is a small planet near the edge of what politicians call “the third ring.” The rings don’t really exist and have nothing to do with astrophysics or actual space travel, but they are a handy way for governments to set boundaries and collect taxes and fees. Why else are there fleets of warships at jump gate entrance points?
There had been a recent uprising on the planet. With its pro-Gaea Prime government being in danger of being overthrown, Gaea Prime stepped in to put an end to the rebellion. After the rebellion was over and after the Gaea Prime troops, Free Companies and other allies had moved on to other conflicts, there was an increasing number of resistance pockets popping up to disrupt the salvage and rebuilding operations. So, they hired us. Boss Rozina said it was typical, after the men had made a mess of a world, the women were sent in to clean it up. I guess I should mention the Pinks held the notion women were better than men. It’s not necessarily true, but it added to our swagger.
On the day of our departure, Boss Rozina gave a speech. Nikki Nails said it was the same speech she gave at every departure and most of it was from some old vid – Mystic Rhaine and Neon Siyeon nodded in agreement.
“Alright, Solongos is home of a cultured civilization and is a valued member planet. Remember it is the same on Solongos as anywhere else: everything has a price, so pay up and don’t expect freebies. And for those of you who dabble in the oldest profession – see the medical officer often.”
After that, we boarded an old freighter owned by the salvage company we were hired to protect and were on our way.
There are a couple of directions I could play this campaign. I could use the full squad and even the entire platoon using 5150 Citizen Soldier. Or, I could just focus on the single squad and various team formations depending on the encounter and use 5150 New Beginnings. Using New Beginnings would allow for more interaction with civilians, rebels and other characters. So, let’s use 5150 New Beginnings.
Also, this would be the first campaign I’ve played where my Star isn’t in command of the group.
Unlike other stories I’ve got going on the blog, this one will be a bit more sporadic in that I have to build terrain as I go along.
What do you think? I’m trying for a post-cyberpunk, Necromunda, Kill Team type of vibe for this one. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
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