Nrik Grap turned off his Polyglot and set it aside. What a pleasant call from Ruis! Maybe they would be friends and give each other nicknames soon, or move on from family names. Nrik Grap liked nicknames the best. He had collected all kinds of them doing work with his good friends. Nicknames like “The Butcher of Sarrakka” or “The Shiny Sociopath” or “Dr. Legs”. That one was funny because he took off someone’s legs for it. Funny story, those legs were not then replaced by cybernetics! Usually he finishes that part of the job, but this was more of a mutilating thing than a surgery thing.
All of that is behind him, though. Not because he happened to find himself on his last cover ID with his usual Face-man being dead. And not because he had to abandon all of his really fun nicknames so he wouldn’t be arrested and executed for things like war crimes, profiteering, espionage, treason, cruel/unusual torture, and practicing medicine without a license.
No. Those things were relevant, but not really a barrier. Those things were all behind him because they were kind of a hassle! He really liked all of the approval and inclusion from his old friends, but it was hard keeping them happy. It started with little things, but shooting a man in the kneecaps is only funny once. Then you need to top your last act or everyone’s going to get bored and go home.
It got out of hand pretty quickly. Everyone else still seemed pretty excited about the things he had done, but that part of his life was over now, and he was pretty bored of all the murders. Now he’s a doctor!
“You know you’re my eight hundredth military upgrade this month? I was counting!” His comatose patient did not seem impressed, but rather, impatient to have subdermal armor, a skullgun with direct link to new and improved eyes, and manipulator arms with the crushing force of some kind of pneumatic crushing machine. Why that kind of force? Because his manipulator arms now incorporated pneumatic crushing machines.
The waiting room of the clinic was packed full. Men, woman, and chlidren, all excited to be a part of it all. Propaganda-fueled heroes fought bravely on from electronic advertisements, powered by patriotism and the wrongness of the enemy cause. A sad, unmodified Stug stared out from his advertisement prison, waiting for the eternal cycle of dejection and bliss it lived within.
“No money for mods?” The Sad Stug in the poster nods.
“No problem!” You have caught his interest.
“Enlist today! A military grant can meet all of your augmentation needs.” The Sad Stug is already gleefully trying on his killer new laser monocle and skullgun on a crowd of Corr. Whether or not they belong to the military of the Corr Hegemony does not feel particularly relevant to the advertisement.
All across the planet, dens buzzed in excitement. A real war! A chance to fight back and crush the Corr, for all the atrocities of the war and beyond. To rub their faces in the dirt and show the races of the galaxy that they don’t need to be afraid of the Corr. Considering the facilites on every planet and colony weaponizing as many civilians and soldiers as they can get their hands on, it’s probably a much better idea to be afraid of the Stug.