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Zeo Grey
The Boys are Back in Town
Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:44am

Zeo watched the hubub of the auction with jaded eyes. It was not the first time he had witnessed such events.

At the end of the first Maverick War the governments that had funded the Hunters took stock and realized they needed cash fast. Thusly entire Hunter regiments were auctioned off to national armies for any country with the currency to afford them.

Then as now the entire process put a sour taste in the merc's mouth.

“Zo who do you theenk will win?” Vier asked from beside him.

“It's anybody's game.”

The German reploid pursed her lips thoughtfully. “Ja. Zat is true but I theenk maybe one of ze FR enemies will be the winner. Zey are motivated by more zan profit.”

“Could be.” Zeo agreed. “But most of our enemies are business people first and emotional second. No matter what they may say to the opposite money counts. Even to these bloodsuckers.”

Cylecks, standing on the other side of Zeo, let out a frustrated growl. “I'm not gonna work for any of these pricks.”

“Vhat choice do you haff?” Vier countered. “You signed a contract same as me ja?”

“I'll break it.”

Zeo favored Cylecks with a dark smile. “Then a few of us would probably be sent to round you up to be cut down to parts and sold. Reckon folks like these'll figure on getting their money's worth from you one way or another.”

Shade chuckled. “Better hope you're not a part of that squad buddy. It'd likely be the end of your days.”

“If you say so half-pint.”

A cold voice broke in from behind the four. “What does it matter who owns the FR? We'll keep doing the same things and probably get paid better for it.” Kirisu canted her head to the side. “None of us are saints so who cares who's divvying out the missions eh? A mercenary's in it for the money not the cause.”

Cyclecks grimaced slightly as the ninja-bot's emotionless eyes centered on his face. The situation was eerily familiar to one between himself and a Zenith Omega. Like Kirisu she had been a callous assassin and, for a brief time, Cylecks' main squeeze.

“I believe it matters.” He muttered. Kirisu made an amused noise and ambled off towards where Auger was giving his impromptu sales pitch.

Shade watched the assassin walk away and let out a low whistle. “Stone cold fox that one.”

Cylecks forced his hands to unclench. “Better off staying away from assassins. Take my word on it.”

“Unlike you I know how to handle a woman like that.”

Zeo, hardly able to hear, began moving away from the bantering duo when a hush fell over the crowd. High above a Vulture-class transport swooped low over the parade ground. Zeo wasn't alone in bringing his weapon to bear on the landing transport. However, he was nearly alone in keeping his weapon trained even when Maquestan Crasher strode from the recesses of the transport followed by a pale-skinned human dressed in all black.

The blonde reploid smiled graciously as a ragged cheer erupted from the gathered mercenaries. Kail's arrival had brought only tension to the Stomping Grounds as each mercenary realized that the ghoulish assassin once more stalked in their midst. Maq's return was like a breath of wind blowing away the tomb air Kail had spread across the compound. Her arrival seemed to signal a return to the good old days when work was plentiful and the Freelance Reploids actually had some overhead.

Once at the bottom of the ramp Damien spoke, his voice carrying over the parade ground like rolling thunder. “I bid three hundred million credits. In gold bullion.”

The parade ground exploded as hundreds of mercs let loose joyous howls. There was no way anyone would pay more for a dumpy base in the middle of the desert and they all knew it.

“Going once... Twice...” The auctioneer looked out across the bidders. Many were already heading towards their transports. “SOLD!”

Zeo holstered his pistol and shook his head, chuckling at the absurdity of it all.

Somehow, despite the incredible odds, the Freelance Reploids had survived again.

  • Best laid plans.Kaze, Wed Nov 11 3:23am
    Kaze's eyes flattened into a disappointed stare the moment Kail shot out his multimillion bid, and the reasons to put away his checkbook just kept piling up moment after moment. He and Shinsei had... more
    • The Boys are Back in Town — Zeo Grey, Wed Nov 11 3:44am
      • Non-sequitorDemios, Wed Nov 11 10:03am
        NRP: Yes, I plan to finish the Aurora CD. But I decided to put this in here... RP: -- Earlier -- Axel's large frame all but eclipsed the doorway to the double barracks that Demios had been using for... more
        • End of an era...and a new beginning.Axel, Thu Nov 12 12:53pm
          "Zero..." Maq's voice was deadpan from disbelief. "That's what I said, Maq. Zero. None," Axel reiterated his earlier statement, then rifled through a banker's box and produced a recent report for... more
          • Silent WitnessBenjamin, Fri Nov 13 4:14am
            [Earlier again] Not for the first time, Benjamin found himself regretting his decision to enter the tournament. Setting aside its squandered potential and disastrous finale, the situation he found... more
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