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[RFC]Jusenkyou Cat Hunt
Not the most populsr of fenfics. But finished, nonetheless.

Again with thanks to Cobalt for the contributions.

Another lab. More things that didn't bare thinking about. That fuse had long since blown. Jet slipped between nightmares, searching for anything useful now. Maps. Equipment. Food. Ammunition. Medication. JB-Weld. Around her, the usual psychotic mess. Madness without obligation or restraint. Her mission timer clocked over to 48.

48 hours.

It felt longer.

Felt like a lifetime.

A haze of a world drifted by, battle blending into battle, her mind not really present. Once she'd wondered if she'd died and gone to hell. Maybe got killed a day or two before and her punishment was to never leave. Not until she drowned in blood. And then start over. Another gauntlet. Another challenge. Passed in flying colours. She survived. The warbeast didn't. Himmel zur Holle. Whether it'd once been human or not, she couldn't tell. It didn't matter. Whatever person it'd been had died long before she killed it.

Trapped between a fire-team and a locked door, she blitzed her way out in a hail of bullets and a whirl of blades. Just another fire-team. They fought in bling panic. Jet fought with numb precision, dancing between forms, always trying to stay inside their guard, too close for them to shoot. No more hit and run. Just Hit, Hit, Hit. Only the last few fanatics still held on.

Terrified into blind fighting? Desperate for revenge? Making one last fuck you stand? All three?

In the back of her mind, the first splinters of friendly transmissions, reaching out, reminding her that rescue approached. All she had to do was turn back to survive, to end the game. It'd stopped being about survival the moment she squeezed the trigger and became about something else, beyond even the original mission. The justification was logical, but it didn't feel like the reason.

Jet pushed on, finishing the game, driving deeper.

Around her. Boskone Four began to fall apart.

Some tried to put up a fight. Some ran. A deathtrap misfired, taking three unfortunates with it. Someone screamed, running passed her. Nobody dangerous. More of them. Jet ignored them until one of them took a pot-shot with a hidden weapon. They all became too dangerous to let live. That one bastard ruined it for the rest of them. A rabid gun turret had taken six lives to put down when it turned on its masters. Other drones lay wrecked. She found more - troopers shot by friendly fire. A Marine Champion had been shot to hell by his own squad, taking two with him before going down. Thionite vials had been ripped off their armour. Not far away, someone drooling in the depths of an overdose, so far gone from the world they weren't ever coming back.

Dog-eat-dog had turned to bloody cannibalism. Whatever elastic had held the place together had snapped. All that energy, all that pent up anger, rage and frustration unleashed and turned back on itself in convulsing violence. The mad scramble to escape the downfall had begun.

Gunfire. Screams. A nearby blast blew out the emergency lights. A smothering blanket of black smoke rolled out, riding a draught of superheated air. Thermal imaging washed out to a brilliant white. More screams. A catgirl who'd died quick when her slaver triggered her collar. Her slaveholder, who'd died slow when her friend took revenge. The smashed remains of a trigger box sat beside his fingers. A woman dragging three stuffed suitcases. One burst open, spilling dozens of vials of purple thionite. She pounced on them. Another vulture pounced on her. Guns were drawn.

Jet left them to it.

On her map, only a short distance remained. Endgame approached. The final boss. Land on the rock. Evade the trap. Dodge the hunters. Find the labs. Spot the hostages. Disable the drones. The only thing she lacked was the golden key but explosives were their own kind of universal key. She had enough left.

Another Berserker. It broke off one of her comm-vanes and disabled one of her thrusters before it could be put down. Limping, she stumbled into some sort of workshop, trailing blood. A heavy bench barricaded the door. Her medkit had a single wave-shot, a custom strain grown from her armour to help her body heal. It hit like raw power going in, a live wire driving through her neck, sparking through her body.

Drifting on the edge of consciousness, her memory slurred into a dream, drifting through the cool waters of a familiar swimming pool. She felt it flow through her fingertips and toes, enveloping her body. She heard her name being called - at least, it was her name in here. Something urgent. She saw painted toenails on her feet as she padded towards her room, throwing a silken nightdress over her shoulders to keep the night air out. She felt her swimsuit slip from her body, leaving her standing naked in front of the mirror, staring at her own reflection, both hands on her breasts.

Reality crashed home a moment later, the image replaced by The Knight Saber from hell. Burned. Battered. Bloodied. But still alive. Already, it'd begun to fade, her own self re-crystallising as the effect wore off. An echo from the 'wave. A reminder of where it came from, what'd gone into making it and the risks of overdoing it.

Three seconds, according to her onboard timer. It'd felt like minutes.

Jet rifled through parts bins, looking for anything useful. Success. Two capacitors. They'd replace the igniter on her damaged engine. An ion collimator. Flow regulator. Master control board. It took time. It took care. It took a little firmware piracy from her good thruster, bypassing her surge protectors and a few tweaks. But, in the end, it worked. With three thrusters running again, Jet felt just that little bit safer.

The armour panel still had to be duct-taped into place. Both locater lugs had been fractured. It rattled as she moved.

Beyond hell and into madness, she mused. Compelled, she moved forward. To make it to the end. To finish. To see what waited. To put a fucking end to whoever caused all this, once and for all.

She found offices. Some sort of living area. Something that might once have been a food court. In the gloom of the emergency lights, she found what looked to be a tournament bracket. Rank. Challenger. Incumbent. At the Centre, someone named Horace.

Scrawled in the Challenger field, 'BITCHES' in rough, red letters, obscuring another name.

Jet moved on. The final lab. Abandoned. Darkened. Tense. Another horror. Another reminder of the price of failure. Another reason to drive forward. A contactor slammed shut, driving a bolt of naked terror through her body. A nearby compressor rattled to life. More beds. More equipment. Cables thicker than her arm hung from racks of servers, split out into a hundred and eight individual lines wrapped around a thin helmet shell. The wires looked like the folds of a human brain, the way they'd been run.

Brain-fuck gear.

Jet marked it on her map and moved on. A body slumped over a terminal. Sharp face. Dark hair. Bottle of whiskey.

Another door. Another passage. The last challenge. The final gauntlet. Abandoned. Idle. All she had to do was walk to the door. The label; Station Director. Armoured. Locked. She readied her last charge of explosives.

The door opened before she could knock, pushed by a hissing gas strut.

She saw the monitors first. A wall of them. Boskone Four's death throes played out live and in living colour. Consoles sat empty, abandoned in a hurry. Cold cups of coffee still waited, half-finished. Server banks whirred on battery power, overhead lights still bright and strong, even as the whole station went dark.

"Jaguar is it?" a voice said. Her gaze snapped to the source. "Damn. I'd been hoping for the Scarlet Angel..."

Armour. Standing at the opposite end of the room. Male. Pristine.

"I get that a lot," she answered.

Human. Definitely wearing armour, but still augmented underneath. Horace? It had to be. She waited, gauging the threat. No use going off half cocked, no matter how much her body burned to tear him to pieces.

"Well, I'm surprised you're still alive. We killed all your friends, you know. Every last one of them hunted down." His grin broadened."Maybe you'll do for a quick test of my augmentations, a warmup, before the main event."

Jet shot him. APEX round.

He caught the bullet, whirling it around. She heard it snap past her ear, even as she dived out of the way.

Fuck, Jet thought. She launched herself, not giving him the chance to think. The last thing she saw was a single black controller in his hand.

Every single nerve in her body erupted at once. Naked lightning screaming through her body, burning her to the core. Numbness. Emptiness. Silence. Not even an error message. Her heart spasmed in her chest. Half-formed thoughts arced in her mind, electronics failing to answer. In some way, she knew she had a problem but couldn't conceptualise it. Her thoughts seemed to fall away into a void, passing to the darkness behind her mind. She felt hands grip her body, turning her over in the air.

Impact. Explosion. A rain of sparks lighting up her vision.


A shadow loomed over her. Impact. Pain. Something snapped inside her. She felt herself fly, unable to breath, unable to think. Unable to do anything but scream. Her body crashed into the wall. Something pulled her to her feet, wrenching her left arm. Metal groaned as something in her shoulder popped. A burning hot poker of pain drove through her to the core. Her mind locked, trying to comprehend what'd happened. She was aware of him, looking at her, speaking to her, but couldn't hear. He wanted to see. Mental fingers grasped. An idea sparked.







Fingers closed around her neck. Cold. Steel. Squeezing. Muscles strained. He stared into her goggles, grinning. She had one thing on her side. Muscle. Her fingers found the grip of her pistol. She felt the gunshot. She felt herself drop, landing in a heap on the ground. Wheezing. Inert. Dying. A race between her body shutting down, and her hardware rebooting.

Sparks flared in the back of her mind, lightning in her eyes as her software bootstrapped. She felt her mind reform, electronics refilling the holes. Clarity returned. The familiar flow of data bridging the gap. Sensors, accelerometers, thrusters, powercells, life-support, bioreactors, cardiac stabilisers, autofilters, she felt them all rejoin her self, slowly becoming whole.

Just enough to manage a second shot. She aimed. She fired. The pistol answered with a hard metal click.

Fuck. She dropped her Eagle.

She watched him, staggering. Still alive in spite of an APEX hit. Staggering. Grunting. Clutching at his armour where the shell had gone in. More blood than any human had a right to contain spilled on the floor. Beside her, his inhibitor. Dropped. It shattered under her heel. Good riddance.

"We're the same, you know," he grunted. "We do what it takes to win. To survive. To play the game. I became faster. Stronger. More than a match for her. "

Jet forced herself to breath, inspite of the pain. "The only part of your life story I give two wet shites about is The End."

Both of them stalled. Gauging each other. Planning. Thinking.

"But your forgot one thing," he smiled at her, shaking his head. "I can't die. I made sure. And only one of us will survive." He breathed. She heard bones grind and snap. "That's all it is in the end. The ones who'll do anything to survive, and the ones unworthy of life."

Systems Online.

Jet waited, feigning weakness, staggering on her feet. One thruster refused to trigger, but it could be fixed. He gathered himself. She stepped back, raising one elbow-blade in her standard guard. Her free hand moved close to the handle of her balisword.

Both of them circled each other. Reading. Readying.

He wouldn't make the first move.

"What're you waiting for?"

He glared.


Psychological war was not her strong point.

"You sure you're not afraid of me?"

"No," he shook his head. "Oh, I've watched you fight. Precise. Brutal. Lethal. Beautiful in your own way. But no match." The grin warned her. "And I watched you kill." Jet stopped. "They begged for their lives and you still killed them. It was magnificent."

Something inside her snapped. She heard it break. "Are you alright Jet?" Max's voice broke through her mind, stopping her thoughts dead. Breathless. Clear. She saw Horace ready for her. Katar blade in the gauntlet of his armour.

"Shut the fuck up."

"Strike a nerve?"


"No," she shook her head. Jet scrambled for a mental footed. What'd he want? A.C., one on one. What'd he believe? Survival. Okay. Work with that. "But. You know. You might be able to take me by yourself. But me and A.C?. Me and A.C. and half of Great Justice?" She saw it. That pause. That was the weak point. The nerve. She felt herself smirk. "I hope you can't die. Because that just means a life sentence will be just that little bit longer." He stopped, glaring at her. "No final battle. No darwin shit. Just a cold rock cell far from anywhere warm for the rest of eternity."

No human being could move that fast. Clear across the room in the time it took to blink No human being could've reacted fast enough.

Jet still caught his blade on her balisword, re-directing his energy to herself. He passed, hitting the wall, ricocheting and coming back at her, bellowing in blind fury. Again, she parried, leeching energy. It charged the blade as she swung it around her body. Splitting the handle to spin it, before catching in her spare hand to intercept the next attack.

Another attack, another parry. She traded energy with the blade, pulling herself out of the way, before dumping back. Attack. Parry. Attack. Parry. She stayed in is Shadow, slipping into the Schaten Folgen, gliding around his body, reading, understanding. The first skill she'd learned was reading an opponent.

Full of energy. Turbulent. Chaotic. At war with itself. Fighting against his own momentum the whole time.

He made the same mistake they all did.

Another kick caught her hard in the chest. She rolled into a backflip, letting the blade spin in the air before catching it again. One fluid movement primed her trap and pulled the pin.

He landed opposite her, ten meters away, charging for another attack.

All that energy launched the sword with a sonic crack, leaving her standing on both legs, inert.

Jet heard it slam into his armour, followed by the crash as both sword and body impacted on the concrete wall. Horace gasped, jaw hanging open. Jet stood, panting.

He looked down at the balisword, driven straight through his body, up to the hilt, pinning him to the wall. His body spasmed, nerves re-routing around the damage. He grimaced, twitched, then smiled at her as she backed away. Jet said nothing, panting, a trickle of blood seeping from the edge of her lips.

"You honestly thought that'd kill me?" He pulled himself forward, broken bone grinding against battlesteel. Inhuman quantities of thick, metallic blood trailed behind him, pooling at his feet. Each footstep slurped up blood on the floor. "You made one mis..."

The grenade she'd hidden in the balisword's handle interrupted him, detonating itself inside his body. Both halves of the handle burst open, hinging up and down at supersonic speed before snapping off, bisecting his body from head to toe. The blast did the rest of the dirty work, shredding the remains in a shower of blood, machinery and gore that painted the walls, floor and Jet in a thick, meaty coat.

Slowly, she became aware of the dripping. From the tips of her blades, from the walls, from the ceiling, pooling in thick, sticky puddles on the floor. She stood panting, feeling his remains crawl across her body, draining down to her feet.

The balisword's blade stood scorched but unharmed, embedded in seared concrete, the buckled remains of one handle hanging from the ceiling, the other drilled into the far wall.

Remnants of muscle twitched on the ground, jerking at shards of bone still riveted to twisted pieces of shrapnel. Fingertips rolled across the floor, scorched and smoking, trailing cables from what looked like drive coils. A smashed glass eyeball glared up at her. His heart thumped useless on the ground, spurting air. Sheer force of wave kept the remains alive in spite of themselves. Jet wondered if spattered slugs of brain matter still held the shattered remains of his mind, thoughtless and senseless, but unable to die. She hoped they could still scream.

Good riddance.

A terrible idea entered her mind, an awful possibility.

A single gunshot to an overhead water main made certain it wouldn't happen. A hard, high-pressure rain blasted free, sending thinning rivers of red running towards the drains. It cleansed her face and cooled her skin, running in chilling rivers along the joints in her armoured body. The lights in the room sparked and died, monitors turning dark. Blue electric smoke drifted up from dead computers.

She breathed. Cold, moist air.

Silence. Only the background white noise of failling rain intruded. She waited. And waited. For the other shoe to drop. For the next attack. For anything.


Game over. She paced around, aware of every single bind and creak in her armour, not sure what to do next. Aimless. Thoughtless. Tired. Her mind locked. There was nowhere left to go.

Only the office.

Three steps up. She tore the door open. Probably an intelligence motherload. More monitors. A bookcase. Figurines. The object of his obsession clear. She marched to his desk, mahogany, heavy, ancient. Papers in the drawer. Letters home. A photograph of someone who looked vaguely the same as Horace. But much fatter. A pistol, which she helped herself to, just in case. CZ-75, with a short slide.

Finally, his terminal. Still online. Still linked into he station's comm. What was left of it.

"This is Jet Jaguar. Panzer Kunst Gruppe Engel Zero One transmitting in the clear through an enemy relay. Ident, Echo 2032 Bubblegum. My position is 821.47, 405.28." Jet breathed. "I'm still alive."

No answer.

Nothing left for it but to wait for whatever came to meet her.

She sat on the wrecked remains of a console she'd been launched into, staring at the door. The blade still stood upright, embedded in rock.

She heard footsteps.

A figure. Female. Matte Black. Glass Visor. Another one? Every nerve in her body sparked to life.


For one moment, A.C. feared the worst. She saw it in Jet's eyes, the other cyber ready to fight. She felt herself slip naturally into a defensive form.




Jet visibly relaxed, her expression changing to something somewhere between relief and disbelief. A.C. matched, moving slowly across the floor.

It took a moment to read the situation. The damage patterns. The bloodied wreckage on the floor. Desert Eagle, slide-locked back. The sword-blade embedded in the wall. The blast pattern. The cracks in Jet's armour.The whole flow of the battle formed in her mind, ending in shards of mangled armour, and a cyber standing in the centre of it all with staring, glacier eyes.

A piece of something burst under her heel as she stepped forward.

She tisked lightly, carefully sweeping the chamber Satisfying herself with the situation after a secondary look at the tacorder screen she slung the M4A1 back and took a good look at the damage.

And a mess it was, given the damage and kludging she saw. There was a couple of days work there just from the bodywork, and A.C. was more worried about the internals and the psychological scars.

Jet tried to smile wanly, seeing the cyberdoc trying to keep things light even as she looked him over. Focusing on A.C., Jet got a hint of what else had been going on.

The matte-black bodysuit looked undamaged, but that could be just from the colouring. The space grey over-armour was scratched, gauged, and dinged (and was that a scorch mark?) all over, the right pauldron had a deep dent in it, the armour-glass of the helmet had a hefty crack on the left-hand side. The rifle hadn’t looked too good before the woman had slung it back, and Jet was a bit startled to realise the right armoured holster was empty of the Whistler Custom Glock-18 that A.C. had become nigh-famous for duel-wielding with its twin in her left. Even as smoothly as the other cyber moved, there was the tell-tail hitch of an overstressed hip joint. Jet idly wondered where the Super had found enough room to get that much speed up for that sort of kick.

Then there was the coded stripe indicating A.C. as senior officer Investigations. That at least meant this whole sorry mess was nearly over if they were handing that position out already.

The brief rattle as A.C. typed a note into the tacorder attached to her left vambrace brought Jet out of her fugue.

"My team?" Jet spoke aloud, voice painfully hoarse.

"Five survivors. 1 Missing. 2 Confirmed."

That drew a faint smile to the other cyber's lips. "So, what kept you?" Not an accusation. An attempt at humour.

"Someone," A.C. purred. "Collapsed a tunnel and we had to take the long way around. You wouldn't know anything about who did that?"

"Must've been the Boskone," said Jet. "The wreckage..." she began.

"Horace Rosebottom," A.C. finished.

"You knew him?"

"Unfortunately." A.C. sighed. "Bit of a collector. Wondered if he'd go to pieces on meeting me, but that thought flew apart."

"James Bond has a lot to answer for,"

"It comes with the territory."

Jet forced a smile as A.C. approached. "Big headed bollox. Caused something of a blow up between us."

It came out strained, hollow.

"Shocking." A.C. murmured. "Speaking of..."

"Inhibitor." Jet ground out as her companion gingerly examined her shoulder.

"Surge protectors should've caught that." A.C. moved her attention to the neck damage.

"Bypassed them."

A.C. responded to that with a 'Really Jet?' look for a few seconds before getting back to checking the Knight Saber's head.

"It was either that, or walk. He was hoping to use it on you." The exhausted cyborg noted.

"Given the description of his ego, he'd have been rather disappointed that it'd go to waste." A.C. commented lightly, pulling off the medkit on her right hip as she looked at Jet's torso and hips.

A.C.'s tacorder blurted, and over her back Jet saw someone with a raised gun at the door.

With a crack, the figure’s helmet snapped back taking them over.

“Sit back down Jet, you need a bit of patching before we get you clear.” A.C. hadn’t even moved from Jet’s angle.

"You'll have to show me how to do that."

A.C. smiled at her. "A lady has to have her secrets."

Jet shot her a sour look, and a hoarse laugh. A.C. matched.

"Come on, Jet. Lets get you out of here."


It felt a dream, drifting through the cool waters of a familiar swimming pool. Especially today. She closed her eyes for a moment. She opened them, half expecting to find herself back on that rock. Fortunately not. Still, she drifted.

The water made for a comfortable refuge from all things memorial related. She felt it flow through her fingertips and toes, enveloping that body. A voice called her name. Something urgent. She saw painted toenails on her feet as she padded towards her room, throwing a light nightdress over her shoulders to keep the night air out. She felt her swimsuit slip from her body, leaving her standing naked in front of the mirror, staring at her own reflection, both hands on her breasts.

Just a puppet with a strange sense of deja-vu.

The interface hardware slammed into place, her mind splitting across bodies as she stood in two rooms at once. A beautiful young woman, in her Megatokyo apartment, and a combat cyborg, docked with her 'bed' in an old unreal estate house. She stepped down, feeling the interface cables withdraw from her body. Refreshed, flexible. The puppet slipped between silken bedsheets. Naked silk on bare skin made Jet wish she'd taken up that ShockSkin offer after she broke the link.

But the price'd be too high.

Gel foam on her heels allowed Jet to move around her home with ghostly silence. Her hope that Ford might be in the mood was dashed on arrival at her bedroom door. Ford snored in her bed, sprawled on her back, dead to the world, still in her oil-stained kandorcon t-shirt and jeans.

Today was a day to be Sylia for a while. Before the anniversary ceremony tomorrow anyway.

"Sis. A shuttle's inbound,"

Mackie, through her comm-link. He had to ruin it.


Nothing scheduled. The alarm bells in the back of her mind began to sound.

"3 Passengers. They asked to speak with you."

Me? "I'll meet them down there."

She suspected the worst.

"We're still waiting on the landing bay to depressurise."

The advantage of living on a desolate asteroid was, nobody complained if you broke the sound barrier indoors. The advantage of cybernetics meant being able to stand in naked vacuum. The thought occurred to her, watching the old banger of a shuttle finally touch down, that maybe somebody might pick today for a little vengeance. She pushed it to the back of her mind, squelching down hard. One long deep breath. Not now Jet, got to get on with this.

Through her wave-link, she requested its ident.

IFF: W.V. Evenstar
Registry: Hogsmeade March 2023. Current.

Confirmed by her muse without being asked. Owners name. History. Nothing crazy. Not reported missing or stolen.

Just a visitor. Still strange.

Her ears and sinus popped as the whole bay reflooded, an artificial gale ripping up dust around her. She stared at the shuttle's battered hatch, wondering just what took so long.

The hatch hinged down, oil-starved actuators squealing in protest. Two people.

A woman. Blonde, thin, waist-length hair, carrying a baby wrapped in plain white blankets. A man followed, looking behind him to make sure the shuttle's ramp had locked. Jet felt herself relax. Her sensors showed nothing on them but standard wrist-coms and a baby monitor.

Both of them carefully made their way down the ramp, taking a moment to catch their breath and look around. They shared a look, unsure of where to go next. The air in the bay went still, filled only by the cracks and groans of a cooling spacecraft and a a baby's babbles.

"I'm Jet," said Jet.

"Lindsey Evans," the woman smiled.

"Simon Fuller," said the man offering a handshake.

Jet carefully took his hand. Something about him sparked in her mind, an echo that sent a bloody chill through her body. Dark hair, cut short. Soft cheeks. Still just a little bit boyish, despite being in his mid twenties. He wore a smile, but the eyes had a glare to them. She caught it immediately. A veteran?

No, too young.

In Lindsey's eyes as well, even as she cooed at her own baby as it gurgled for it's mother's attention.

"We don't get many guests out here," Jet said, filling dead air before anyone got suspicious.

"I know," said Lindsey "But we had to come today."


"We met today," said Simon. "Ten years ago. You rescued us."

Jet stopped. There it was. There she stood, face to face with the boy with the rifle. He had a scar, right where his head would've hit ground. She stood in that moment, snapped back a decade to when they'd first met. The sterile smell clung to the inside of her nostrils. The anger. The incendiary hatred. The look in his eyes still the exact same as they had been, Sunken. Anger. Terror.

Both of them stepped back in time. She breathed, mastering it, pushing it aside. She'd had years to practice.

Lindsey broke the silence. "We came here because we thought you'd like to meet our daughter. We named her Jet.."

Jet stood. Eyes wide. Unable to cry. Unable to speak. Unable to do anything but watch a baby pat at its mother's face.

"..thanks," was all she managed to say.

Watching the child, she couldn't help but smile.

It had all been worth it, in the end.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?

Messages In This Thread
[RFC]Jusenkyou Cat Hunt - by Dartz - 08-27-2015, 12:15 AM
[No subject] - by Dartz - 08-31-2015, 12:05 AM
[No subject] - by Dartz - 09-03-2015, 01:24 AM

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