The Present…

06 pondered these, and many other questions as he fought his way back to consciousness. The world appeared in a rush as his eyes snapped open, a heady influx of stimuli as the world reached into his mind and bade him rejoin. He hit the message light on his comm station. A voice – strangely familiar, yet alien as well – came quietly, but relentlessly, from his room speakers. “Hello SoulCrusher06. You’ve improved a great deal since last we met. Unfortunately, I’m under contract to eradicate you all. Who am I? I am Perfect. Independent Contractor. You are my first victim, 06. Prepare.”

He shut off the comm station, ignoring the insistent blinking. They didn’t matter. Probably just telling him he had a contract on Perfect INDC, anyway. Time to get this over with. Atonement, that’s what it was. A chance for atonement.


06 slowly dressed in his sable flight suit, and strode thoughtfully toward the hangar. His crew chief had perfectly duplicated his former pegasus. Even down to the skull looking menacingly from his stick handle. He rocketed out of the hangar in a swirl of heat and accelerated wildly. He almost managed to assuage the chill, growing all too familiar, in his soul.

3 hours later…

06 pulled off his flight gloves in disgust. He powered down his pegasus, noted the laser reserve was a bit slow to respond as he did so. Time to get that crappy thing replaced. Perfect INDC had beaten him by slim margin moments before. He was NOT happy about it. The first match, he had made a supremely stupid error. He had somehow forgotten to link his primary laser array to dual fire. So, off he went at a critical disadvantage. Didn’t realize it until too late. Good thing it was in Arena, and not in open space. That could have turned pilot error into a fatal mistake, instead of a blow to his pride. Imagine – all that drama over an arena contract. He wished Perfect had mentioned that earlier. His record against the Independent Contractor stood at 3 – 4, in favor of Perfect. 06 was livid, if the truth were told. He scrolled through pages of messages, and several replays of the highly publicized battle. Breaker09 had done much better, with a 6 – 3 record vs the new merc. Breaker04 had had pulled even, at 2 – 2. 2 messages caught his immediate attention. An “Angels Fist” was playing copycat, offering to fulfill contracts for hire, as well as a “Hammer of Light”- an all Warhammer merc outfit. Time to run some upstarts out of business, he thought with a smile. Maybe he’d even get some open-space contracts. Those were much more… permanent.