Sanctuary was a densely packed city of both misshapen buildings and surly denizens. Given that life was cheap and as short as a commercial on Pandora (And the I.A. in general) it was understandable.
Carmelita shouldered her way through the constantly shifting crowd, bumping elbows and nearly retching every time she smelled the rotten breath of a passerby.
Eventually she broke free from the dirty throng when she reached the entrance of Moxxies bar. There were dunks passed out leaning against walls and street curbs, she ascended the stairs leading to the door passing a barber shop quartet consisting of four psychos wearing silly little hats and singing about screaming moons and meat vans full of liquid math. She left the mad men to their ramblings, though liquid math was real, it wasn’t common knowledge in the I.A. That was the more high level science, it could also be used as a data storage medium among other elements, but considering if it’s a coincidence that madmen of another nation happen to mention a style of technology that she was aware of herself was of no interest to her, she needed to talk with her employer.
The armed bouncers didn’t move to bar her entry, they knew she wasn’t just another late night drinker. She didn’t make eye contact with any of the revelers as they threw back mugs of froth topped rackk ale. Ignored the offers to join in on a knife throwing contest that consisted of poor blade throwers at that. The pole dancers were moving their bodies expertly to the beat. And walked past annoying droid that Moxxi left in charge of the bar, its terrible sexual puns fell on deaf ears.
She proceeded deeper into the corridors leading to Moxxi's command bunker behind the bar and down the hidden corkscrew stair case into the network of halls and connected rooms.
She searched for the face painted mad woman and could not find her. Not in the command room. Or the rec room, training room, the armory or the well-stocked kitchen and dining room.
It wasn’t until she notice the light bleeding through the slightly ajar door past the dorms. Coming closer she realized it was Moxxi's own room, along with the light, she became aware of slow music and detected rather potent incense.
'Moxxi! Do you have a moment?' Carmelita called out after banging on the heavy door hatch.
Moxxi was quick to answer, she opened the door on silent hinges and was near. She greeted the fox-woman with a bewitching smile and bare breasts.
'Ah, I’m glad it’s you dearie, I have been needing to chat with you of something important to the mission.' She said taking Carmelita’s hand and pulling her into her personal bed chamber.
The incense was so dense that her eyes watered immediately and she squinted to relieve herself of the irritation, she felt what must have been a curtain of beads, though she did note the beads of moisture suddenly adhering to her shins as the soft tips of the roped beads bounced off her legs. The floor was strangely soft under foot, like she was stepping on water balloons that didn’t pop under her weight, she almost lost her balance if not for Moxxi stopping to help her stay upright.
'Whoa there sugar, don’t get on your back that quick.' she said with humor as she let go of her hired gun.
'I've been meaning to talk to you as well.' Carmelita coughed out between breaths, the smoke in the room was thick and cloying but she was recovering quickly as she began to see the outline of Moxxi's stovepipe hat and slim body.
'Well you first fuzzy honey, my issue isn’t that urgent.' said Moxxi as she idly traced the outline of a heart tattoo on her left breast.
'It concerns the gun merchant you mention, Marcus? I wanted to get into contact with him now and begin off-loading the cargo for our ship hold.' Carmelita said rubbing the fumes sting from her eyes
'Oh yeah, my ex, Marcus. He runs Marcus munitions, a pretty good kinda legitimate business. He sells any and all weapons he can get his hands on, so he will take all you got. Just drop this on him and say it’s about my little quest. He'll get it.' Moxxi held out a card bearing Moxxis image, clearly this was the item she indicated to show to Marcus.
Blinking away the last of the irritation from her eyes, Carmelita fumbled the offered card and it fell to the floor. She reached down to pick it up and it was then that she finally seen why the carpet was so soft under her boots.
She had already picked up the card between her fingers, but she slowly stood back up, in shock of what she realized what the carpet consisted of.
Breasts. Hundreds of pairs of breasts, from a wide array of races arranged in very exacting order to complement their size and texture. Breast excised form Human, Klingon and many more Carmelita could not identify were spread as a carpet across the floor. Some kind of life support to feed them nutrients and hormones to maintain their dewy softness, as they still jiggled and jostled as if still on the women that bore them.
Carmelita stood in shock as she stared down at the floor, a hand held over her mouth to restrain an outcry of disgust. Moxxi was saying something but it went unheard, the fox-woman had to tear her attention away from the floor after a moment of effort.
'What did you say?' she asked with a faint tremble in her voice
'I said if you liked the carpet, then check out my bed.' Moxxi said gesturing toward the object to Carmelita’s right.
New horror greeted her eyes. The "bed" was a pile of headless male and female bodies intertwined together to form a single mass, where their heads should have been was some kind of tech collar that fed nutrients into the writhing forms. A skin blanket provided covering and she looked away before she could identify what the pillows consisted of.
She looked away, trying to keep her sight on the blank wall behind Moxxi, who was now talking again.
'I wanted to say that things have happened that have convinced me that the Pimp and his team are unreliable. His wife is a constant bitch and I'm sick of her threats and frankly they are just not up to snuff for this mission. So in essence, I want the rest of the team, you, your man and that pretty blonde kitty to kill your teammates so I don’t have to pay them. Which also means you get paid a little more of course.'
Carmelita forced herself to regain her composure before she spoke again, looking weak in front of this monster could prove to be a mistake she would pay for later. 'Well, (ahem) more money is always welcome. So you want us to kill them, just how? Here in the city?'
'No one will mind, just walk up and kill'em, I don’t care how you do it. Everyone has it coming anyway. Oh and take this.' Moxxi said as she somehow reached her hand in between her bust to pull out a neck tie from nowhere and presented it to the fox woman.
Carmelita was more confused by the offering, and under closer inspection she found that the tie bore the sigil of Datadyne and the credentials of a planetary CEO.
'What is this for?' She asked and rightly so
Moxxi giggled lightly before she spoke, a sound that more than likely has caused many of her victims to lower their guard; 'That tie belonged to a CEO who was branded a corporate outlaw, apparently that idiot let a Hrud colony infest his worlds ghetto zone to clear away the undesirables. Too bad the base of his world hive city structure was rotted away by those critters and everything came crashing down, hard. But I found him, killed him and took his tie, I could turn it in for the bounty but I really don’t need it, it’s still worth a hundred thousand or two, you can have it. Think of it as a down payment to kill your teammates!' Moxxi said with a cheerful wink at her last murderous words.
Carmelita stuffed the tie in one of her pockets as well as the card she was given for the gun runner she informed about then looked the mad woman in the eye; 'All right, but no matter what, After this mission me and my team will be moving on after we are finished on Md5-Gamma-6, we don’t want to be split up again.'
'Fair enough. Better get to Marcus so your hold can be emptied, hell buy the whole load. I promise.' Moxxi said as she slid her body over the living corpse bed.
Carmelita turned and caught sight of what she thought were door beads. She was wrong, they were penises strung together to form a curtain all the way to the floor. As she used her sleeve to brush aside the horror, she noticed the bright neon green dick that Moxxis loyal adept collected for her sewn among the curtain.
She gave it no more thought, it was sickening. So much so that she pace was steadily quickening. She ascended the tight stairs and past the racks and boxes of booze and out the back exit and into the dirty back alley. She didn’t hesitate to vomit into an already filthy pile of garbage, small vermin scattered at her sudden appearance.
Moxxi watched the foxie dash out of the room, it was clear to her that she was disgusted by the sight of her furnishings, it was not uncommon, sculpted human art was an acquired taste.
She thought of this as she slid her supple form along her writhing bed of bodies, she used the bulging pecs of a headless man as pillows while she relaxed. While she drifted to sleep she considered who she could call upon to replace the unqualified team of Pimp Black Lightning.
She needed a decker, a close combat specialist or two, and at least a few well balanced types who can adapt, and a wild card.
Caleb was already waiting in T-bone junction along with his followers, he fit the wild card, and she needed him anyway to achieve one of her goals. Duke Nukem as well as his girlfriends were unavailable, that would have filled out her roster perfectly, but they didn’t work for free, she didn’t have enough cred sticks at the moment.
But there were a few others who owed her favors, and it was time to call them in.
She could never just fall asleep, she needed a bit of amusement first.
Moxxi waved a delicate hand in the air above her and the palm size device affixed to the opposite wall responded to her immediately. It was a holo-screen projector that cost five hundred thousand credits, it was worth the cost as it could pick up channels outside the solar system and most of the spiral arm Pandora was located in and had a battery life of thirty years.
She waved her hand to cycle through the many different genres. Drama, action, romance. No, none of these, she wanted blood. She selected the Gladiator menu and looked over her options. Live or die, Terror is reality, Running man but it was Rock n' Roll racing that caught her attention, a new episode was playing and it featured the champions of three previous race tournaments.
As soon as the channel stabilized, the shred of a guitar exploded from the speakers along with the noise of the race itself. The roar of the over-powered engines, the shriek of laser cannons and bellows of the over enthusiastic announcer.
She lay back on her sickening bed, relaxing to the movements of the headless bodies, her thoughts moved toward her own ambitions to have her own bloody arena again.
She would have a whole system dedicated to spilling blood on the sand, she would have races of her own, and it will be her voice urging them on to greater heights of violence, and it will be her name they cry to the sky.
MOXXI! MOXXI! MOXXI!
And they will love her...she just needed her treasure again and the system she picked out for the site of her new home will be hers, all hers.
While Carmelita expelled more bile, a shadowed figure crouching above her dropped down from the roof of Moxxi's bar to land behind the fox woman.
She landed with silent grace, only causing a slight displacement of air as light as a whisper. She was a bat-woman, she was wearing a skin tight body suit clearly meant to allow her to enjoy total freedom of movement, but she was immodest enough to allow her ample H-cup bust to spill out of a wide "boob window" of her partially unzipped top. She folded her wings behind her as she moved to stand right behind Carmelita, and waited in silence as Carmelita finished throwing up the contents of her stomach.
If the bat woman was here to kill her, at that moment there would be none better. But that was far from her intentions.
The silent bat-woman’s elegant hand slid over the shoulder of the hunched Carmelita, who finished spitting out her retching bile and looked over to see who had touched her.
'Rouge, oh thank the gods its you!' she exclaimed, she didn’t hesitate to embrace her harem mate and rest her face on Rouges ample bosom.
Rouge, taking on a mother like role in the group, was easy for those close to her to approach her with a problem. This seemed like one of those "Don’t ask just hold me." moments.
'These people here are utterly insane.' Carmelita said with her face in between her fellow shared lovers bust. 'They have no sense of sanctity, none at all.' she said looking up
Feeling secure again, they broke the embrace and looked around the alley, they were alone.
'Well honey, I realized that life is awful in the I.A. Life is as cheap and as short as a commercial. These people are barbarians and they are living only one step above hell. If they're not consuming who they war with, they consume each other and war with each other. But what happened, what made sick?' asked Rouge
Carmelita shook her head, unwilling to recount just what unsettled her so much and she said as much; 'No, not now. I can’t talk about that Moxxi, but we should never be alone with that woman, she’s a beast. And I don’t care what anyone says, after this job we are getting away from this place!'
'Calm down foxie brown, I get it, we've been in this galaxy for months. And we’ll be getting time off the field for a while when we get to base anyway, just stay close and focus on the mission. Speaking of, what’s the deal with the tie?'
Callie looked at the tie clutched in her fist as if she just remembered it was even there in the first place, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath to clear her mind of the horror she witnessed so she could think clearly before she spoke.
'It’s supposed to be worth a sizable sum, Moxxi said there is a bounty on it for more than 100K. I'll sell it later, she gave it to me as payment, and we need to kill some of the other shadowrunners she’s hired. Apparently they are a risk and she wants them dead.'
'Who does she want dead?' asked Rouge, who sounded rather eager to know.
'I take it Lola was still able to give Tails an update after the loving?'
Rouge nodded, Lola’s goggles also had a handy capacity to scan and save such info. Tails transmitted the info to her data uplink while she scouted the city, she knew the names and faces of all those so far involved in Moxxis operation.
'I have a contact to find in the city to buy all that crap we filled our hold with, apparently Moxxi has an ex-hubby who is a gun runner and will buy it all.'
'Ok, you do that. I'll kill the Pimp and his crew.'
Carmelita seemed relieved to hear that, after what she seen in that mad woman’s chamber she didn’t have stomach for blood shed at the moment.
Rouge was already thinking of creative ways to conduct her impending murders when Carmelita broke her train of thought with a question.
'I assume you noticed that the picture of Lisa was in poor focus?'
Rouge knew who she was talking about, out of all the high resolution and very detailed scans the only one that was horribly distorted was the picture labelled Lisa, the beautiful blonde kitty mercenary. Even the scan details were blank.
'She clearly is hiding something, is she a threat?'
'No, she’s not. She isn’t one of these barbarians. I feel we can count on her, but still, let’s keep her at arm’s reach.' Carmelita cautioned
'You know, it’s strange that she could not be scanned, Lola’s goggles are not shoddy by any means. Their blend of kryptonian and Tails own modifications and can detail stars. There is only a few reasons why they couldn’t do that.' said Rouge
Carmelita knew that was a good point, to say she had a jammer on her was a weak excuse at best. Lola mentioned it to her before in passing when they had a private moment away from the others, but the implications at this point were mounting. If she were a terran, then they may still yet have to fight her.
Terra and the Union were dedicated enemies.
'I've thought about it, but let’s deal with that when it’s a problem. Right now, I'm going to sell the goods out of our holds.....and you have some murders to commit.'
The last comment brought a bemused smirk to Rouges face; 'Murder around here seems more like a daily part of life, they will be dead soon. And you get your head straight, and sell that crap.'
With that, the two agents departed the alley way, one to sell useful wares, the other to paint the town red.
The first of her victims was one of the enslaved hoe's, the one known as House MILF ho. She was performing as she was programmed to do, take "loving care" of the team, she was carrying a simple sack filled with food.
Mostly packaged synth-meats and various dried soy-based products, nothing that even remotely resembled REAL food, but had sufficient nutrients and taste to be edible.
But in her pre-preprogrammed mind, MILF was certain that the soykaf just needed sweetener, and the synth-meat just required long cooking and heavy spices.
As her mind already called up pre-loaded cooking recipes from her "House mom" brand cortex implant, Rouge landed the first strike.
She seemingly peeled out of the shadow and lashed out with a quick slash with a dagger, it cut through the sack the MILF slave girl was holding in her hands and the contents spilled onto the dirty plastcrete pavement of the deserted alley.
Instantly her combat program took over and she drew her Corinthian, it was a Maliwan sniper rifle and took a hasty un-shouldered aim at her attacker.
Logically use of a sniper rifle at such close range was a desperate action, but there were bayonets on rocket launchers because the fighting almost always ended up coming into close quarters, but the bat-woman launched forward and struck out with a powerful kick.
The rifle clattered across the pavement and slid under a dumpster, and with smooth well practiced movements, Rouge spun away and threw the blade directly at her target. The blade flew directly toward the slave woman’s cleavage and would have pierced her hear, but she drew her digi-katana and deflected the knife away.
Her target held the blade before her in a two handed defensive position, like other street samurai her fighting art was programmed into her cortex CPU unit and every movement associated with her swordplay could be called up instantly.
Rouge answered in kind by drawing her own personal blade, a holy-tech weapon just like her companions, was a sickle-like shotel, the tip and the inner curve edge was hyper keen and black while the hilt and back of the curve was a savage jungle green. She held it in a loose one handed grip between her and the mindless slave girl she was here to kill.
The fight didn’t last long, MILF and Rouge met each other in a clash in the middle distance, and the katana was deflected by the blunt side of the sickle with ease.
They met again with a dozens of strikes, MILF's programmed movements predictable and mechanical compared to the practiced, learned grace of Rouge.
MILF would look impressive to the common on looker, but she was moving in an orderly predictable manner, as her programming dictated. Other street samurai whose minds were not conditioned as hers was would develop a form of style from the combat programming. But MILF simply slashed, slashed and thrust. High chop, low slash then high chopped and continued her predictable attacks.
Rouge dashed in a caught MILF's weapon as she brought it down on another chopping attack by the grip, restraining the slave girl’s hands. The sharp curve of Rouges sickle arched inside MILF's arms, the keen edged of the holy blade well within MILF's guard.
Rouge didn’t hesitate, like a farm hand reaping wheat, she hewn the slave girls hands off at the wrists. The agonizing pain was enough of a shock to break through her dense brainwashing and drew a scream from her lips. Rouge leg lashed out with a kick and silenced the sound by crushing MILF's wind pipe.
The slave girl fell to her back and withed on the ground, arching her back as she gasped for breath. She rolled over and tried to crawl away, but her bloody nubs where her hands were made the pavement slick with her vital fluids. Rouge casually strode to her dying victim and lifted her boot over the back of her crawling enemy’s neck, and stomped down with enough force to crush the vertebra, killing her instantly.
Rouge didn’t linger, with a flap of her wings she ascended out of the alley to leave the broken body of MILF behind. Only the distant howling wind of the storm to sing her to her rest as Rouge ran from roof top to the next in search of her next target.
Her body would be picked clean of loot and body cannibalized for meat and bionics within the hour.