Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]

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a dan from grcade
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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:19 am

WANTED

Arwen Chan

Sedition

So this particular target has ruffled the feathers of the HCSE 50, given that she's constantly making allegations of insider trading and similar corruption to proscribed media outlets. (And between you and me, they wouldn't have asked us to pick her up if the allegations weren't bang on most of the time...) Arwen is her street name, and one she's proud of, but we've no clue if Chan is her real surname or if she just picked it because it's so common. Anyway, we've had a tip that she's long since left Helix City, and is now hiding out in Section 522 (in the Underwater Quarter) of Istanbul-Bursa, and I'm not particularly minded to swim through the streets of a city of three hundred million inhabitants. Bring her in, but don't hurt her. Demarai Atkins, Police Force, Financial Alliance

50 credits reward

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:46 am

WANTED

S-T-A-R

To prevent a government assassination

The Lichen originally come from the planet No, a few jumps from the Casino Belt, a planet so called because its unique atmosphere creates an audible experience upon entry similar to the classic cinematic "Noooo" of 21st-century Earth entertainment. In another clichéd move, Earth's humans nicknamed the Lichen (or the "Shk'tk'shuu" in their original tongue) due to their pale green complexion and predisposition to work together to avoid conflict, a trait humans duly exploited over several centuries of slavery and brute oppression. Despite a recent campaign to resurrect it, the original Lichen language has been mostly lost and they almost universally speak English now, having reclaimed the pejorative term as one to unite their creed.

Anyway, though equal rights are officially enshrined in law across Earth and other planets within its remit, Lichen are still subject to horrendous treatment and inequality by public services and most humans. The recent death in police custody of a seven-year-old Lichen child (for selling sugar biscuits without approval from the Department of Food Standards) has ignited interest, and the "Green ain't obscene" campaign has spread across the Earth-systems. Unfortunately, self-appointed wokebloke Brendan Grimes has launched an opposing "No-one is obscene" message, further stoking tensions.

We've been informed that the current "Neo-alt-centrist" Earth government directorate have decided that the most appropriate course of action is to murder Grimes and stage the killing so that it looks like the Lichen were responsible, thus commencing a period of interspecies hatred that will eventually enable them to justify a series of punitive laws that officially restrict Lichen rights. We've also been tipped off that the directorate have assigned their officer "S-T-A-R" to the job. The twist? They're apparently based on No, and their species might just surprise you... Please intercept S-T-A-R and prevent Grimes' killing - he's widely regarded as an idiot, we can't afford to see him made a martyr. Professor Hugh Morientes, University of Helix City / Secretary, Society for Sentient Species Equality

200 credits reward

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:33 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:WANTED

Bumpo Fred

Cattle Rustling

We just got beamed a distress call from a nearby system [coordinates attached], apparently the locals are suffering from a livestock poacher. Yeah, really. We've got better things to do than visit some dustbowl planet over a couple of cows, so while I'm duty bound to respond, I'll just raise a bounty and file it away as resolved. I had to guarantee the reward money against my personal account, but I doubt anyone is going to fly all the way out here for 50 credits. -- Jim Turk, Starship Patrol

50 credits reward


It was cool and dry - mid-evening, locally - when Buck landed his ship on one of the belt's larger asteroids. These kinds of belts were sometimes dryly referred to as "green belts" by detractors; the prevailing view across the universe was that traditional farming had become obsolete, given that the majority of farming systems were mostly barren rocks, growing resilient livestock for specialty meat. Vegetables and other grown organic matter was almost universally lab-produced nowadays.

Buck checked in on a few farmsteads to get his bearings and garner local input on the rustler. It turned out that Fred was once a resident of the belt; a loner, he'd inherited a goat farm when his parents passed, but he was disinterested, and synthetic products had long since supplanted any demand for goat's milk. He'd ditched the property several years back, and only recently been seen again, as more and more locals concurred that the figure they'd seen flying the craft that took their cattle looked just like Bumpo.

It surprised Buck, therefore, when it became apparent that despite the consensus that Bumpo must be the guilty party, none of the townsfolk had thought to venture up to Fred's old farm. Buck quietly approached the main barn. It smelled deeply unpleasant somehow. There were signs of recent activity: debris cleared from walkways, some emptied food tins and drink cans too shiny and recent-looking to have yet been weathered by the elements. But the main giveaway was that the door was ajar, and a dull glow emitting from the opening.

"Jesus and Jupiter."

As he peered through the gap between the door and doorway, Buck saw a row of stolen cows, each intricately hooked up to factory-standard milking pumps and pipes. The cows made no noise, and their eyes, while open, were reddened, sullen and low; drugged, presumably. Buck's eyes followed the tubing from each of their udders to a central position in the barn, where a sinister creature towered.

A hideously deformed Ynla was strapped to a device Buck had never seen before. Its venom sac was shockingly swollen, bulging with white fluid. Pipes led from the cattle to the Ynla, and then onward to what appeared to be the in-tube of a bottling line. The Ynla, while also clearly drugged, was still awake; its eyes met Buck's horrified gaze.

"Help me..."

Upon hearing it speak, Buck, no longer bothered with subtlety, pushed open the barndoor. Hunched over the production line, carefully pouring fluid into small clear bottles, Bumpo Fred looked up at the approaching figure. His first thought was one of surprise to see someone so brazenly wander into his seemingly-secretive operation. His last thought was one of bemusement at the hat being worn by the man now raising his hand from his waist.

...

A few hours later, while completing routine clerical work at a shared desk, a bored Jim Turk answered a call from a withheld number on his personal unit.

"Hello?"

"Turk? It's me. I'm on my way now to claim those credits. And I'm afraid you've got bigger problems than a rustler out here. You've got an entire Green Belt hooked on a potent homebrew Lactox, and I just put a bullet in their only supplier. See you in forty-five." Buck hung up.

Jim Turk thought, sighed, then called his wife and cancelled his dinner plans.

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:13 pm

a dan from grcade wrote:Stooped in an alley in Helix City, X Æ A-14 pondered his next move. He'd traded everything he had on him to get passage on an asteroid mining ship passing through Mars; his pockets were bare now. A quick credit withdrawal would see him right, but it would also let the authorities pinpoint his location. He happened upon a posted bill on the wall.

Zilnad wrote:WANTED

Crazy Ignatius

For arson and theft

Crazy Ignatius has been reported for thievery of hot dogs from several vendors working the streets of Helix City and, more importantly, for the burning down and destruction of a local strip club. Dressing like a pirate of centuries gone by, he is easily recognised by a false eye patch and plastic cutlass which he has used to beat several victims over the head with. You'll probably hear Crazy Ignatius before you see him as he is reported to loudly, publicly rant against the debauchery and disgusting nature of modern life.

200 credits reward


"I need some scratch," X Æ A-14 thought to himself.


Outside the now part-rubble and ash of what was once Axial Tilts, X Æ A-14 waited, eyes on the hot dog stand across the street. Daylight was the perfect cover: no local of good standing would stop to question a stranger skulking in the doorway of such a disreputable institution; nobody who might would be inclined to turn X Æ A-14 in to the authorities. He kept watch, waiting until the queue of customers vanished altogether.

It took almost an hour, but eventually, X Æ A-14 got his chance. Quickly, but not so hastily as to draw any attention, he crossed the road and approached the vendor.

"What'll you have?"

"A Helix Dog with ketchup, please."

The vendor obliged.

"Had any trouble with pirates lately?" X Æ A-14 asked, as innocuously as he could muster.

"Oh, no end," replied the seller, as he squeezed a watery red paste onto the breadth of X Æ A-14's bun. "But things have quietened down a little since the last Spirals' last game."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, they won the pennant, didn't they? And Ignatius hasn't been out of the bars since. Five credits, please."

X Æ A-14 paid with loose change he'd found in the alleyways, took the offered food, and made himself scarce. He didn't much fancy checking the local watering holes, given that he'd no clue where to start. Best to lay low and see if Ignatius showed himself.

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:56 am

Zilnad wrote:Crazy Ignatius

For arson and theft

Hey Zilnad, did you have a character/concept in mind as to who posted this bounty, or are you happy for me to fill in the blanks, so to speak?

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by Ironhide » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:58 pm

Ironhide wrote:
Zilnad wrote:WANTED

Xychotla Rissick

For aggravated assault of civilian colonists

For years, The Phoenix Presidium have been pooling their resources into acquiring and colonising the uncharted planet of Yakton Zeta. The Presidium's elite raucously enjoyed a merry toast last month in celebration of their first one hundred civilian colonists arriving on the planet. Unfortunately, the colonists were very quickly set upon by Xychotla Rissick, an intelligent, bi-pedal insectoid who, up until now, had been aiding The Phoenix Presidium by providing data regarding Yakton Zeta's wildlife and fauna. Yakton Zeta is Xychotla's home planet and it is a mystery why he has now begun attacking and damaging The Presidium's equipment and colonists but he must be stopped and he must be held accountable before his actions lead to war between his people and the colonists.

500 credits reward


"Hmmm, Yakton Zeta isn't too far from here" Raan mutters to herself, "and this ship does need another railgun"

"I'll take it"


Part 1
As Raan entered the co-ordinates into the flight computer she felt a brief but suddan pang of nostalgia as she thought about her early childhood accompanying her xeno-archeologist parents to strange and sometimes beautiful worlds, a childhood unfortunately cut short by their tragic deaths during an unexpected earthquake on the jungle planet XR-27, starting a chain of event s that would ultimately forge her into the fearsome bounty hunter she now was.

The sudden bleeping of a new video message alert brought her out of her reverie, looking at her holo-display she saw it was from Phoenix Presidiums PR management coordinator Basil Chang, “Greeting Ms Massu, this is just a friendly reminder of the terms of your contract; you are to apprehend or neutralize the target as you see fit but any violations of the corporate data act 2274 as per your NDA will result in the termination of your contract and subsequent legal actions.....” Raan had been in this line of work for long enough to know what that actually meant.

The landing site was obstructed by the remains of a burnt-out transport shuttle and the lush vegetation of Yakton Zeta made finding a suitable alternative a difficult task and Raan had to settle for a small clearing several miles from the Phoenix settlement, traversing through the dense jungle was not going to be easy in her hulking armour but she didn't have much choice if she wanted to remain hidden from her target for as long as possible.

Several hours later, Raan was on the outskirts of the settlement where it was immediately apparent that the bounty placed by Phoenix Presidium had somewhat downplayed the severity of the situation; it was clear that a battle had taken place here, bodies, both human and insectoid alike lay strewn between the pre-fabricated buildings, some of which had been set ablaze and were still smoldering.

Raan had seen battlefields many times but something was different here, the official intel was that the human settlement had been attacked by the indigenous Yaktonians but there were signs that the opposing 'sides' included both human and native alike, no, this was more complicated and Raan wondered just what she'd gotten herself into....

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by OrangeRKN » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:07 am

OP updated - sorry for the delay! Looking forward to the conclusion of both of those first parts :)

I liked the resolution of Bumpo Fred Dan. Leaves a story open for next time the thread needs bumping! ;)

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by Zilnad » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:10 am

a dan from grcade wrote:
Zilnad wrote:Crazy Ignatius

For arson and theft

Hey Zilnad, did you have a character/concept in mind as to who posted this bounty, or are you happy for me to fill in the blanks, so to speak?


Hi Dan, really sorry I didn't see this sooner. Feel free to fill in the blanks on this one :)

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by Ironhide » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:26 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:OP updated - sorry for the delay! Looking forward to the conclusion of both of those first parts :)


I'm going to do a George R R Martin and post it some time in 2029.

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by OrangeRKN » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:29 pm

:lol:

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by Jenuall » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:07 pm

Every time I think I'm going to get a bit of extra time to look at picking up one of these bounty's something else comes along to screw things over! :x

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by Karl_ » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:14 pm

Jenuall wrote:Every time I think I'm going to get a bit of extra time to look at picking up one of these bounty's something else comes along to screw things over! :x

I am in a very similar position! I will do my promised one (1) bounty one day for sure. (This isn't over!!!)

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:33 pm

The St. Samuel's Day Massacre

It was five weeks since the Helix City Spirals won the league title, and three weeks since "Crazy" Ignatius Baryon - local trouble-maker, arsonist for hire, and would-be ancient nautical cosplayer - took up residence in the Cavern Tavern.

I had been in and out, keeping an eye on proceedings, waiting for my contact to make his move, changing my get-up so as not to attract attention. Though nobody pays any mind to a human in a business suit, so I needn't really have bothered. X Æ A-14, on the other hand, seemed to get more and more conspicuous with each costume change, his new attire always more haggard and decrepit than his last. I was confused; I had always thought he was a rich man, but he was dressing like a stereotypical homeless person of days gone by.

Usually on St. Sam's, the city parade would mockingly celebrate its sports teams' lack of success; an indulgent and expensive display of self-deprecation, to conventionally excuse decades of investment in failure. This year, though, the Cav Tav had a problem. Theirs was the only bar left open in this, the district closest to the Spirals' unlikely win, and given that Ignatius hadn't shifted, they were ill-prepared for the annual influx of revellers once the parade had made its way past their door.

It just so happened that security's attempt to coerce the fuming, half-drunk pirate from the premises coincided with the City Police's decision to raid the bar and arrest Ignatius for his litany of crimes. Concerned about the chance of Ignatius entering folklore if involved in the city's most famous ever celebration, they made their move early, so that they'd be done before the parade arrived. Unfortunately for both sets of mindless brawn, the volume of merrymakers was unprecedented, and the parade line stretched several streets longer than usual, both at the back and the front. And it was these front-end paraders that made land just as the swashbuckling Ignatius was attempting to fight off two sets of foes.

In the ensuring chaos, as the police mistakenly fired at security and security mistakenly battered well-meaning customers, X Æ A-14 followed Ignatius as he made a clever exit through the bar's back kitchen. I deftly followed, years of experience from underhand business negotiation - and sobriety, I might add - meaning I was well-equipped to dodge the crowds of either overclad or inebriated idiots.

I came out into an alley, with Ignatius' quiet, still-warm corpse laid incognito by a dumpster. X Æ A-14 had made quick work to remove his ridiculous pirate attire: he looked like any other sleeping drunk, and you'd have to flip his hefty frame over to notice the bullet hole in his chest. I paid X Æ A-14 his fee, and handed him a rucksack of ordinary clothes as a bonus - I am a professional, after all - before making a hasty exit.

I subsequently called my line manager and shared my good news. With Axial Tilts gone and the Cav Tav no doubt keen to sell up ASAP - not many cult bars retain their cult status after hosting a historic massacre, and with a curiously high 282 dead, I was confident of a swift acquisition - we were now in a position to own every building and plot of land in a two square mile radius. Our plans could proceed undisturbed.

Managerial Asset #000513-R, HR Corp

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:56 pm

I don't understand, thought X Æ A-14. I just took down Helix City's most famous comedy pirate amongst a crowd of Spirals fans and armed police... and not a soul recognised me.

Am I no longer recognisable? Have I somehow become invisible?


Zilnad wrote:WANTED

Angie Dylan

For construction and distribution of illegal weaponry

Angie Dylan grew up learning the weaponsmith trade from her father and she eventually surpassed him in everywhere. With her father now out of the picture, Angie has grown the family empire into big business and any gangster who wants the best, wants to trade with Angie. Unbeknown to Angie, the local police precinct are beginning to take notice of her activities, having recently lost officers in a string of gang fights in which her weapons were used against them to devastating effect.

200 credits reward


Well, there's one sure way to find out.

Claimed

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:51 pm

X Æ A-14 spent his credits on a hotel room. He needed a shower and a shave, and a desperate change of scenery. The receptionist didn't flinch when he paid in physical currency; clearly his fame was no longer visible, somehow.

It was only when he approached a mirror for the first time in weeks that he saw why. The once youthful face had grown sullen quickly; his curly hair, like his new, patchy beard, greying and undignified. Dark blotches hung beneath his redding eyes. This was no longer the face of a privileged man. Forgoing the razor, X Æ A-14 instead just scrubbed away the scent of alcohol and alleyway, then took a long sleep in an actual bed.

The following day, X Æ A-14 visited the Proxis Bank. It went against his gilded principles to donate half his wealth to grassroots activist causes he cared not one jot about, but he thought it worth it for the chance to move the other half into a new, inconspicuous bank account thanks to their clever, untraceable intergalactic tech. One Mr. Bob Cat strode out of the bank that afternoon, ID and debit card in hand, smile on face, target in mind.

X Æ A-14 - or "Bob" - purchased a unremarkable but reliable craft from a downtown trader, and left Earth for Jupiter. He was confident an oft-cited piece of high-society gossip would help him take down Angie Dylan. Bob had no intention of killing the woman. Bob was a good citizen. Bob simply wanted to help out the Jupiter officers obtain justice. But he didn't realise that X Æ A-14 would get in the way of his plans.

...

The officers of the Callisto precinct clearly weren't subscribers to Look! Celebs! Magazine; not an eyelid was raised despite "Bob" almost giving himself away several times over, talking too much in his obviously-moneyed Earth accent and almost making reference to the fact that his mother once knew Angie's father. But his recovery was sufficient, and the officers were happy to offer Bob the commission. Soon he was on his way to the planet's surface, and headed to Dylan's patch.

He made his way into the compound easily enough; the swagger of wealth came naturally, and he was able to bolster the claim of riches by flashing several impressive items of gaudy jewellery. Ignatius' infamy didn't stretch beyond Helix City, so nobody spotted that the Emerald wristwatch and Ruby necklace were plastic pirate fakes. Bob was in, convincing as a playboy arms dealer looking to invest, and Dylan's grunts were all too happy to wave him inside, certain that Mr. Cat was only interested in purchasing the very latest in pocket pistols.

Dylan herself was less impressed, but her business acumen took hold. Even if this were an imposter, it didn't mean a deal couldn't be struck.

"Give us the room", she instructed her lieutenants. The four armed guards left.

"I didn't realise it was such a secret that your staff weren't even aware," began X Æ A-14. "So, the gun makes use of antimatter to fire, meaning its laser output is undetectable, right?"

"Drop the act", Dylan replied.

"Does that mean I can stop firing classical bullets again?"

"I said drop it," she said, more sternly this time. "Even with the worst pseudonym in the universe I can see right through you. You're the Musk heir."

X Æ A-14 grinned. "We all have secrets, Miss Dylan. You keep mine and I'll keep yours."

Dylan allowed a wry, rare smile. "What possible secret of mine do you think you could hold over me?"

"Well, the fact that you've been bedding Hilbard for the past few decades, for a start."

For the briefest moment, Angie's face began to falter, but she caught herself and threw her head back in forced laughter.

"Absolutely preposterous. You think that's going to save you? I have no time for blaggards or bluffers, Exxay Eighteen or whateverthehell your name is. You need to tell me what you're doing on my planet, or I'll bury you here."

"I'm here to bring you in to the fine gentlemen of the Callisto Police Precinct", X Æ A-14 stated confidently.

Angie's laugh was real this time.

"And just how do you propose you'll do that?"

"By asking nicely."

"Gaia be damned, you're an idiot. Oi!" Angie yelled. "You lot! Get back in here, and shoot this fool."

The first guard back in the room took his shot. The certainty of his movements stunned the others, and they barely had time to understand the situation before he fired at them too. By now, X Æ A-14 had also grabbed one of Angie's new pistols, and fired a shot at the last surviving guard.

Dylan's dead body preserved the look of shock on her face. X Æ A-14 approached the treacherous lieutenant.

"So the gems are mine?" the turncoat uttered, almost in a whisper.

"Mate, the entire compound is yours, if you want it," X Æ A-14 replied. "You can play kingpin if you like, I don't mind one bit. Just get me and her to her craft, sharpish, and as far as I'm concerned this planet is yours now."

"I don't want the planet. I'm not an emperor."

"You certainly accessorize like one," X Æ A-14 retorted.

...

Hours later, with Dylan on a slab in a police basement, some of Angie's remaining soldiers looked on at the bloodstains in her "office".

"What do we do now?"

"Never mind that... who's going to tell her daughters?"

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PostRe: Bounty Tales [a collaborative fiction forum game]
by a dan from grcade » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:59 pm

Anyone else fancy writing some Bounty Tales this weekend?

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