Ballistic (Part 1)

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« on: <09-01-13/2115:02> »
A little short story about one of my new characters.

Your feed back is appreciated.



The tumbler clicked as Kennedy felt the lock give up its resistance and slowly roll; pulling the short bar away from the frame of the third story door that capped the stairwell. The building was some old storefront with offices and studio apartments above, built decades ago: the concrete and steel decrepit and rotting.

The door protested with a creak as it opened; it was still dark outside, dawn still a half-a-night away. Inside the stairwell was dank and musty, the paint peeling from the walls, and the stench of old building reaching Kennedy’s nostrils.

He quietly descended down the stairs. Carefully picking his steps to ensure he didn’t accidentally kick some piece of debris that would alert anyone living inside.

Smith called him to do this job on the commlink he gave Kennedy after finding the teenager in the middle a street, in the run-down DeeCee neighborhood of Anacostia Barrens.  The 16 year-old was blood-covered and drained, straddling the body of some minor ganger whose face was turned into mush via Kennedy’s fists,  after their verbal and physical taunts had driven him into one of his rages..

There had been four of them: punk ganger wannabees with too much bravado and too little sense. There was a lot to prove if they expected get anywhere in the Barrens. Kennedy tried to ignore them and keep walking, but the dumb bastards kept harassing him, asking what he was doing on their little shit-piece of concrete. One punk gave Kennedy a shove, momentarily sending him off-balance; the other, moved behind him and put his overly-large knife to Kennedy’s throat.

The ganger behind him wound up with a broken wrist and a shattered arm, a dislocated knee , and his face crushed against the pavement. The knife was buried into his younger buddy, deep into his chest. The third ganger, who attempted to flank Kennedy, died choking for air with a crushed windpipe and collapsed lung. The mouth, their “leader”, who began the whole confrontation, lay beneath our hero, virtually unrecognizable.

The guy who handed him the commlink and a wad of cash was Smith, a local fixer. He happened to be driving through the Barrens in the middle of the night; you know… innocently…when he saw the confrontation.

“Here kid. Take this. Answer it when I call,” Smith had told him.

That was a week ago.


Kennedy found the door of the small studio apartment that Smith had described over the comm.

“Take care of that fuck” Smith had told him. It was an orc named Ledge, who ran drugs and BTLs through the Barrens, plus other petty crap, who street legend says, pushed a rival dealer off his own fourth-story balcony. To Smith, he had become a problem who needed to be dealt a little street justice.

“Click” another lock gave way.

Kennedy chose to come in the middle of a Saturday night, because Ledge likely spent this time out peddling his wares and fueling the Barrens nightlife.

The room was dark, save for a small light in the corner. Kennedy wished he had taken a set of night vision glasses from the Schoolhouse, but he couldn’t risk the wireless or a hidden RFID being tracked.

It was a petty, small apartment with an old, worn-out couch with a stained flower motif wedged against the wall. Against the opposite wall, a trid screen sat, with a small coffee table covered in bottles, pipes and assorted paraphernalia in the middle. Flanking the couch, was a pair of small tables; one of which contained a small dimly-lit battery-powered “lamp,” most likely lit so Ledge wouldn’t drunkenly step on one of the needles that had fallen off the small tables. Even orcs need some light to see.

On the far corner of the studio was the kitchen, with a small econo-sized fridge, a stove, some cupboards and a small counter island sunk in the floor. Covering the counter and the stove was Ledge’s “street chemistry” set. Next to it was the bathroom, which Kennedy doubted actually worked without some sort of jury-rigging. In the other corner was Ledge’s mattress, dirty and worn, half-covered with an old blanket.

Checking the refrigerator, Kennedy moved the vials of street pharmaceuticals and pulled out what looked like a jar of soymilk, but a quick sniff revealed it to be some product of Ledge’s chemistry.

Luckily the counter had a box of Yeastflakes© that were still edible.

Then it caught his eye.

Leaned up against the wall near the trid screen was a staff, covered in a scrollwork design, black lacquered and just shy of six feet tall. Whether because it was unusual to be in the apartment of a drug-dealing scum like Ledge, or because Kennedy felt something emanating from it, he was drawn to it. Picking it up, he felt energy similar to the ‘vibrations’ he had felt from some of the example weapons, during his instruction on Magical Combat Defense at the Schoolhouse.

Kennedy sat on couch and ran his fingers over the staff. 


Ledge stumbled up the staircase an hour before dawn, his heavy footsteps resonated in the small stairwell. The early morning darkness played with his normally keen orc night vision; but the synthale and drugs that made the party a rave, also made it tough to keep from bumping into the walls.

Fumbling for the key he kept on a rope around his neck, Ledge cursed and leaned against the door.

“I got to stop partying with Slab”, he mumbled to himself, chuckling.

Suddenly the door opened.  Ledge stumbled in.

“What the fuck!” he yelled to himself, suddenly sober. Pulling his Colt Asp out of his belt, he cocked the hammer of the revolver and charged inside. He kept always kept the doors to his apartment and to the street and roof locked, because of the value of the drugs inside.

Ledge had crossed between the couch and the trid display, when he turned around at the wall behind him, pointing his gun at whatever or whoever opened the door. A flash of movement and the door slammed. Ledge fired into the wall where the blur was the second before. Drywall and dust sprang from the wall; Slab’s party favors made it hard to focus his aim.

The movement took the form of a short, slight human, who sprang forward and swung a black stick. Ledge’s hand exploded in pain; the gun melted from his grip, as he felt the numbness shoot through his hand and arm.

The attacker spun and another wave of pain erupted from the side of the orc’s left knee. Instinctively, he lashed out with his unhurt fist and caught his attacker square in the jaw.
Kennedy reeled, tasting blood.  The orc caught a glimpse of what had hit him. It was that damn staff that one of the local betameth junkies stole and traded him for a fix. It was held by some skinny human teenager in old hooded runner's suit.

“Your dead, fucktard!” Ledge roared as he lunged.

Kennedy felt the ache in his face and a swelling eruption of rage. It was the same emotion that he felt with the gangers the week before. It was the same emotion that caused the Schoolhouse to isolate him from the other students, sedate him, and attempt to dispose of him
Feeling the adrenaline and waves of power burning in his veins, he rolled out of the way of Ledge’s clumsy charge.  The big orc hit the wall of the apartment, still off-balance from the drugs.

Kennedy planted his feet, twisted his body, as he swung, channeling his full force and rage into the weighted staff.

Ledge turned to face his opponent just in time to catch the body of the black staff square in his chest. Bone snapped as Ledge’s ribs were crushed and he was thrown back into the wall. The skin and aluminum of the old building buckled and caved.

Kennedy replanted his feet and pulled the staff above his head. More rage flowed through is body as he brought the staff down on top of Ledge’s head. Blood and drywall exploded as the orc’s thick skull and the rotten apartment wall gave way.


“You did good kid”, Smith said, taking a drag off the cigarette as he typed on his commlink. “You could have a future in wetwork, but too much of that stuff and you’ll get the wrong people coming down on ya”. He paused.

Kennedy leaned up against the brick of the alleyway, and accepted the cigarette Smith held out from the pack.

“Best to be discreet, kid,” Smith continued sternly as Kennedy lit the tobacco, “You don’t want to whack anyone else out in the open like you did with those ganger punks”.
“Yeah,” Kennedy sighed, taking a drag off his own cigarette. Nicotine was one of the few things that brought him any solace.

“Give me your commlink” Smith said. Kennedy held the cigarette in his mouth as he pulled it out of his pocket and held it up.

“You need one of these,” Smith said as he grabbed the device and held it in both hands, his thumbs dancing over the touch screen. “It’s a SIN” he said looking Kennedy in the eyes, “You can’t go nowhere decent without one; especially in this town.” He took a puff of his cigarette, “it’s fake, so you don’t have to worry about taxes” he chuckled.

Kennedy nodded, already being familiar with the concept, which is why he was in the Barrens with the rest of the SINless in the first place.

 He paused staring at the screen, “you need two, minimum; but as long as you don’t go killing any more shitbirds in the street, you should be fine with this one for a while,”
Handing the commlink back to Kennedy, he continued, “Look at me,” Smith said, staring coldly at the unkempt teenager.  “You should lay low, don’t do anything else that will get you noticed, in this business what separates professionals that get paid from the low-life scum, like those gangers or that fucking orc is keeping discrete and avoiding attention.” He took a breath, “employers pay for discretion”.

“Yeah,” Said Kennedy; he felt guilt and embarrassment for the rages that have caused so much disappointment among his former Teachers. The Schoolhouse taught him how to be discreet. How to move silently, how to kill without raising an alarm; the problem was that they didn’t teach him how to contain the rage, because they didn’t put it there.

“That’s a pretty stick”, Smith said, nodding towards the black steel staff resting next to Kennedy. “Looks fit for a mage.” He looked again at Kennedy, “Keep that kind of impression and the local debris won’t mess with ya.”

Kennedy nodded again.

“Stay by the phone” Smith said as he pointed to the comm, “I’ll be calling soon”. He took one more draw from his cigarette, pulled it from his mouth and tossed it on the ground, “and don’t kill anyone”.

Smith turned and walked out of the alleyway, turning the corner.

Kennedy picked up his staff, and planted it between his feet, admiring it. He ran his fingers over the engraved symbols, feeling the strange energy emanating from it. Sighing, he stood up from his place against the wall and walked down the alley, hoping he didn’t wind up hurting anyone today.
« Last Edit: <09-02-13/0945:13> by Lusis »
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« Reply #1 on: <09-05-13/1740:35> »
I like it, are you going to add more?
REJOICE! For bad things are about to happen.
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« Reply #2 on: <09-05-13/1807:13> »
I like it, are you going to add more?

Thanks for the feedback! I was beginning to wonder if it was worth pursuing.

I was thinking about where i want to take it. The story I have in mind could fill a book.
« Last Edit: <09-05-13/1815:44> by Lusis »
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« Reply #3 on: <06-09-15/2055:31> »
I like it, are you going to add more?

Thanks for the feedback! I was beginning to wonder if it was worth pursuing.

I was thinking about where i want to take it. The story I have in mind could fill a book.

Well what are you waiting for!!! :D Very enjoyable, keep on sending more! :)