The Collar Wars
I had been back in my quarters after returning from the brothel for about ten minutes when there was a knock on the door. I knew immediately that it was my sergeant that was on the other side of the door. “Come on in Drake.”
Drake walked in notably surprised. “How did you know it was me sir.”
I looked at him with one raised eyebrow. “Sorry Sam I’m still getting used to it. Anyways I’m not going to even bother to ask how you knew it was me. I just want to find out how you were feeling? I mean we’ve all been worried about you, and we don’t want anything to happen to the only decent officer out there.”
“Truthfully Drake I haven’t felt this good in exactly a year.”
“How can you be so precise about it?”
“I’ll tell you about it later, but for the moment just know that I’m feeling great.”
“That’s good to hear.” Drake’s tail started to wag, and I knew he was genuinely happy for me.
“Have a seat, there is something personal I need to ask you, and while this may sound like a bit of a weird request it’s an order.” The Rottweiler looked confused for a second but slowly took a seat.
“What do you want Sam?”
“What do you dream of Sergeant?”
“I’m not sure I understand the question?”
“I know you dream of never wearing a collar again. I know I’d dream of that constantly if I was in your boots, but there must be something you dream of doing after that?”
“This kind of talk could get us into trouble?”
“I honestly don’t care, the room isn’t bugged. I check that daily, so don’t worry about that. But you didn’t answer my question. If you had your freedom what would you do with it?” The Hybrid looked around a bit, anywhere but directly at me. “Don’t make me ask you again Sergeant. What do you dream of?”
“I want to be a carpenter. I see beautiful pieces of furniture lovingly made by hand and I ask myself what it must be like to create something like that. It’s silly I know, wood is rare, especially here. But that’s what I dream of doing if I ever lose the collar. But why do ask?”
“She dreams of the woods, my friend.” I let my mind slip back to Chelsea’s gentle arms. Her hands caressing me while I wept freely. On my face buried in her fur, and the gentle weight of her tail. “She dreams of the woods.”
“What’s her name? I’d like to thank her.”
“Her name’s Chelsea, and if there are more than one she’s a Raccoon.”
“Thank you Sam. I’ll try to get a message to her. You sound happier than you ever have before.”
“Dismissed Drake.” I said as my mind came back to the here and now. Not realizing for a few moments how much time had passed and that my sergeant had already slipped out the door. I was grateful for that.
After awhile I decided that it was time to find a way to make my soldiers even happier. I pulled up that link to the NEX and purchased thirty book readers. The tablets weren’t expensive, and after the games I wasn’t hurting for money at all. My idea was simple, I was going to buy books and magazine subscriptions based on the answers my soldiers had to the same question I had just asked Drake. To cover my tracks as an anti-collar sympathizer though I wrote and submitted an idea for a paper on maximum troop morale at minimal costs.
After several days of questioning I got all of the tablets set up. One thing that amazed me was that there were no dreams of galactic fame. No desire to rule over other people, many simply wanted to have a trade to be good at or be an artist of some sort. There was no lack of dreams and each one as diverse as the species. There was of course the ever presence of pinups decorating the screens, so I decided to allow some of the more tasteful ones to be printed out and hung up around the barracks.
Now it was on to phase two of me feeling better. I had selected a target and was ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Well almost a notice moment’s notice. My target was my own Captain. Derrekson had been riding my case about not using the collar enough ever since I got here. Why I didn’t know because I had the best unit on the colony but that wasn’t the point. He saw through me as the anti-collar sympathizer I was. Well pretty soon he was going to find out what it meant to have a run in with a pissed off hitter.
There were now a total of six syndicates on the colony and I knew the execution pattern for everyone of them. I also knew who owed money to who, so I was really going to fuck these families over. Some of these officers owed lots of money to the various cartels. With them dead it would get a lot of people mad, you can’t collect money from a stiff. The mobs would tear themselves apart trying to figure out which one of their number did the unsanctioned hit. This was going to be fun.
I slipped out of my uniform into a what I would call my working clothes. Basically it was an advanced ghillie suit with IR and UV blockers even Hybrids couldn’t track this outfit. The only way anyone could have spotted me was through normal vision, and that had yet to happen over the years I had been working.
All I needed was to be with in fifty meters with a high powered tranquilizer rifle. He was on his way to brothel when I struck. He had several other officer with him when I struck, though I had been prepared for that. I pumped out three darts and waited for a few minutes. The car crashed into a boulder but none of them were hurt. No one was coming proximity sensors five kliks out in every direction would have gone off if there had been.
I switched to an electron discharge weapon when I approached, not that there had been any reason to worry. All three were out I checked pulses to make certain. They were in deed still in good shape. Derrekson would be for much longer though.
I picked my captain up, threw him over my shoulder and hiked into the perfect area for a messy kill. Before I left with his soon to be carcass I threw up a signal blocker so that he couldn’t be traced my tracker was on one of my Hybrids who would be running various errands for hours. An hour later Derrekson and I were ready for a nice heart to heart.
“What… who? Oh my aching head. What’s going on?” My captain looked around in a complete daze, before his eyes locked on to me.
I smiled briefly spinning a hunting knife. “Good morning captain.”
“What’s the meaning of this Lieutenant?!” He tried to sit up bought found himself struggling against his own locked up muscles.
“Well you see Captain, there are a few things you need to know before we start. First thing is don’t bother struggling the muscle lock on you won’t let you move. Second thing is that, as you suspected, I am indeed an anti-collar sympathizer and the reason my unit does so well is that I have never used the collar on them. The third thing, as you have probably realized by now, is that you are not about to survive what I’m going to do to you. So this is going to be very painful, and you’re going to be begging me to make it quick in a few minutes.”
“You’re never going to get away with this Lieutenant.”
“You would say that wouldn’t you Captain. What you don’t know about me is that before I joined the Marines I was one of the best hitters in the Terran Federation. I specialize on making things as unpleasant as possible. Now I know you owe money Kadian Family, and I also know their signature execution method. Now my own family isn’t out here, yet, so I’ve decided to cause a lot of chaos within the Kadian family. There are two reasons for that; one their family has been a thorn in our side for generations. The second reason however is more important. They have, arguably, the most barbaric execution method. Do you know what it entails?”
“I’ll get out of this and make sure they use it on you, you filthy ‘brid fucker. Everyone knows you’ve fucked every soldier in your unit, and take ‘em up your ass two at a time.”
I picked up a pair of bolt cutters that I had left there, right next to a dull hacksaw with a of couple extra blades that were just as dull. “So you know the muscle lock that is keeping you from moving also increases the sensitivity of your pain receptors. This is going to be incredibly painful for you.” I grabbed one of his fingers and cut it off with the bolt cutters. I didn’t do it quick either it was long and drawn out. His screams were music to my ears.
“I am going to make sure they make you suffer and have researchers vivisect you.”
I cut off another finger. “You can threaten me as much as you want all it means is that the suffering lasts longer.”
“I am going to drag your broken body over barbed wire before I’m done with you.”
I cut his third finger down to the bone and then ripped of by hand. The third finger being ripped off was to symbolize the brutality of the Siasa ‘The Cannibal’ the first two, were to symbolize the two families that joined together to form the Kadian family. It’s common for certain families to have some sort of symbolism in their execution method. Now onto the feet. “This is going to take a while, since the saw blade is pretty dull. Don’t worry it will cut your feet off but it’s just going to take a little time in doing so.”
I was almost annoyed when he didn’t threaten me, but at least he cried like a mew born as the first one came off. By the time the second came off he had slipped into shock. A little smelling salts and he was wide awake, again. I had bandaged his legs so he couldn’t bleed out before I cut off his head with him wide awake for it.
“Now dear Captain we come to the end of this whole mess. I’m going to cut your head off, and it is going to be slow going.”
“You bastard. Just shoot me and get it over with.”
“Sorry I can’t do that. Well I’m not really, sorry since I want to see you suffer and shooting you is by far too merciful. Besides the Kadian family has traditions I must follow in order to pin this one them.”
“No sir you were sick. Anyone who takes pleasure in frying a Hybrid is the one that’s sick. Now please do scream as loudly as you want, no one is going to hear you, and I would like some musical to accompaniment while I work.” As soon as blade struck bone he was screaming like a stuck pig. Those filthy things I’ve been around too many times, they’ll eat just about anything, including Humans, when it’s feeding time. Nice way to dispose of a body. Though personally I prefer a little gardening after an afternoon tea party, my sister makes some of the best pastries for those parties.
As I left I stripped down and put a fresh uniform on when I got to the jeep. Then it was off to the brothel. I had checked in earlier and had reserved time with Chelsea. I was looking forward to watching a movie with her snuggled up against my chest as I fed her whip cream covered strawberries. The simple joys in life. A gruesome murder, followed by alone time with my favorite girl. I really couldn’t ask for more.
I made another hash mark on my Zippo, I wasn’t sure if I was going to fill it up, but who knew. I definitely knew I wasn’t going to get promoted. General Lynn may have made a ton of money off of my Unit during the games but he didn’t like me otherwise.
Who cared though I was has happy as I could be under the circumstances. Derrekson was dead and I had figured out a way to stir up trouble for some old enemies of my family. Now I could just sit back and watch the fireworks.