So we got the call to go lean on Dirty Sanchez, the proprietor of a fuckbot shack in the Eastside Angles, Avenue C. He'd gotten caught skimming profits or engaging in some other equally brilliant life-shortening bit of tomfoolery, and Mackie Zalez wanted compensation in money and blood. It never ceases to amaze me the kind of whiz kids I run into on the job. Here we are, working for the most ruthless crime lord in the Independent States -- the man's nickname is 'The Nutcracker' for fuck's sake -- and always some joker lets his hubris get the best of him, thinking he can work the system. Which is where my partner and I come in, to apply some carefully directed brutality. It's not my favorite part of the job, but I ain't gonna lie and say it's my least, either.
"Whaddaya know, Eddie?" I bared my teeth in a grin I've heard called 'unsettling' at best, 'really fucking creepy' at worst. It's the only one I've got.
"Whaddaya know, Bo?" he replied, dropping something sharp and gleaming into the Toolbox, his trademark bag of tricks and nasty surprises.
This was a two-man job, little resistance expected. Still, I'd picked Eddie because he had a reputation for keeping his nerve even when the shit went down. And because he was the only one of the Lads that made me look handsome when standing next to me. He had a nose like a derailed subway, broken one too many times over the course of his duties.
His real name wasn't Eddie, any more than mine was Bo Ryoku. He'd gotten the nickname years ago, when he was a smalltime burglar. He'd once pulled a B&E on a sex shop, and somehow the dumb cluck managed to get himself locked inside. He then spent the whole Remembrance Day holiday weekend surviving on nothing but edible panties and lickable body paints, waiting for the owner to come back. Edible. Eddie. Get it? Fortunately he's wised up since then. Anyway, we're not paid to be clever; we're paid to be scary and to get shit done.
Dirty Sanchez was still the disgusting clot of flesh I remembered from our last encounter, when he'd come to get Zalez's permission to set up this joint. The man was so fat he was roughly spherical. He still had that pathetic clump of hair teetering on top of his globular head, parted down the middle and plastered down with thick gunk that always reminded me of engine grease. Still, he was pretty fucking nimble as he jumped up from behind the front desk and began edging towards the central hall, the one with the glowing EXIT sign at the other end. The panic in his eyes was easy to detect; they jumped from me to Eddie, from Eddie to me. I could hear banging, grunting and moaning coming from the poorly sound-proofed fuckbot stalls.
"Ah, Mr. Ryoku," he said uneasily, attempting to turn on the supercilious charm. His eyes passed over me, trying to see if I was packing.
I was. He saw.
"To what do I owe the pleas--" His breath exploded out of him with an audible whoosh.
Eddie pulled his fist from Sanchez's gut as the poor slob doubled over. Eddie had a surprised look on his face. "Damn, hitting this guy is like punching a pillow!"
"You know what this is about, Sanchez. You know we're not here for an apology." Then, to Eddie: "Help me get him into one of these stalls." We each grabbed him by one meaty arm and began manhandling him into the nearest room.
He spluttered and rolled his eyes like a bovine on the way to the slaughterhouse. "G-gentlemen, there must be some mistake!"
"Hear that, Eddie? A mistake, he says! You know, Eddie, I think we hear that line almost as much as the tax people, don't you?"
We sat him down hard, slamming the door behind us. The jostling activated the room's fuckbot, which was little more than the lower half of an automated mannequin sticking out horizontally from the wall. Sanchez was too cheap to buy whole 'bots, why wasn't I surprised? The wall-mounted trideoscreen above the 'bot blinked to life, displaying the naked upper half of a flesh and blood woman, albeit one with tits that were almost as pneumatic as the mechanical legs before us. The 'bot's rudimentary sensors caught on to the fact that there were three people in the stall, triggering a scripted response. "One at a time, please," the 'bot cooed in its modulated sex queen voice.
Sanchez saw the direction of my gaze, deciding to drop the innocent act -- they all do, eventually, I'm not in the line of work where questions of guilt or innocence enter the equation very often -- and try to deal. "Gentlemen, let's not be hasty, I'm sure we can work something out to mutual satisfaction. Say, my physical wellbeing in exchange for some time with the girls...?" he trailed off, patting one chrome and fiberglass thigh.
Eddie leaned down, bellowing into Sanchez's face. "Maybe you didn't happen to notice, pal, but we're here to BLEED you! You think you're gonna get off with a fucking gift certificate?"
That was kind of a good line, I was ashamed I hadn't thought of it myself. A little chagrined, I tapped Sanchez on the side of the bean with my 6mm bundle of joy. With the barrel of course, not like they do it in the movies. Presenting a handgun grip-first to a guy you're beating on is like saying "Here, take this away from me and blow my joss off!" In fact, that very thing happened to one of the Lads, a guy we now call "Mr. Limper."
Sanchez crashed into the floor, losing both consciousness and bladder control simultaneously.
"Fuck's sake, Bo! Why'd you have to hit him so hard? Now we gotta wait around for him to wake up, we can't do this while he's passed out!"
I shrugged, a bit irritated, myself. "How the hell was I supposed to know that he'd go down so quickly? Bastard's gotta weigh at least two hundred kilos, easy..."
I suppose we both felt kind of stupid standing there over him, Eddie with his Toolbox in hand and ready to go.
The fuckbot moaned, stretching and spreading its synthetic legs, getting into the mood all by itself. "Mm, Big Daddy," oohed the bint on the screen, perfectly white teeth biting oh-so-seductively into a cherry-red bottom lip.
Eddie leered. "Hey, she's almost as good an actress as your girl, Bo!"
"You're just pissed she's not saying "Give it to me, Short Stuff!" like I always overhear your little chickie screeching."
We were quiet for a moment, both distracted by the novelty of the fuckbot. I've never understood the appeal. This is Nineveh, where there were countless enslaved whores available to do the same job for competitive prices, admittedly in an equally soulless manner. I'd once been told that there was less risk of catching a disease from a 'bot, but the one in front of me didn't look very spic and span, if you know what I mean. Still, I knew some guys that went to this kind of joint exclusively, and despite the initial overhead expense of a 'Recreational Automaton,' their lack of any need for food, housing, or breaks between customers ensured their popularity. There were dozens of fuckbot brothels in Nineveh alone.
"Hey Eddie, you ever ridden one of these things before?" He looked like the type, the sleazy bastard.
"Fuck no! I ain't puttin' me tender vittles in one of these deathtraps! You?"
"Me neither, although a guy I knew in the Army always used to say to me, 'Yuh don' unnerstan, mate, those 'bots can do things with their jazzers that meat girls jes' ain't built for!"
Eddie shrugged. "Still, why do you suppose they leave the legs like that? I mean, the workings are all exposed and everything. S'creepy." The actuators, screws, and so forth were all clearly visible, as were the seams where the fiberglass and chrome shell gave way to the softer silicones and rubber of the delicate parts.
"I read somewhere that they used to cover them with a flesh-like glove, but they gave up when they kept finding teeth marks and pieces torn out of the 'skin.' Anyway, some guys go for this metal and plastic shit. S'what I read, anyway."
Eddie raised a brow.
"What? I read! Don't look so fucking skeptical, I'll break your damn nose again." Then, after a second: "Couldn't make it any worse," I muttered to myself.
A groggy noise from the floor reminded us of the purpose of our little visit. We hauled Sanchez up into more or less an upright position, propping him up against the fuckbot's legs. He was breathing hard, almost as hard as the girl on the screen.
I pulled back one of his eyelids back with my thumb, checking the dilation of his pupils. "Wakey-wakey. You alert? Good."
Eddie hefted his Toolbox. "Whaddaya think, Bo? The bolt-cutters?"
I gave a firm, decisive nod. "I'll hold him down."
"Wuh-wuh WAIT! WAIT!" Sanchez blubbered, a glistening line of drool connecting all three of his chins. "I have something you can use! Information!" He dropped to his hands and knees, groveling pathetically on a floor so stained I felt nauseated just standing on it.
"The time for that is o-ver," I crooned in an almost gentle, sing-song voice. "Eddie. Toolbox."
"Waitnopleaseno! You know that new drug on the market, that strong shit everybody's talking about?"
I raised a finger, halting Eddie, who by that time had a firm grip on each of the bolt-cutter's meter-long handles. I did, in fact, know of that new drug. It was called 'Icepick,' and Boss Zalez had been ranting about it a lot recently, about how he wanted to get his hands on the party responsible for dumping it on the market without his approval, muscling in on his territory. Hmm. Sanchez might actually have something worthwhile here.
Sanchez spoke faster now, sensing that he might have a chance. "A lot of guys come in here rollin' on that shit, so I asked around. Talked to some guys I know. Turns out it's not domestic, not by a long shot. It's from Earth."
Dirty Sanchez then spilled his guts, proceeding to save his own hide.
A new drug has surfaced on the black markets of Utopia within recent months, appearing first in the Independent States before quickly gaining a foothold in the other nations. This drug, Icepick, is both extremely potent and cheaply available, to the extent that local narcotics producers have had difficulty competing. Icepick seemed to come out of nowhere, and many organizations, not limited to law enforcement and the criminal cartels, have devoted considerable resources to finding more about this mystery drug and its origin, as even experienced chemists have had difficulty synthesizing it.
In a surprising turn of events, the evidence has shown that Icepick originated not on Utopia but on Earth. This information has thrown police, organized crime, and Utopian intelligence agencies into an uproar, as all speculate independently about the CEF's motives for introducing the drug onto the local black markets. So far two main theories have emerged. Some argue that the drug's strong euphoric and pain-filtering qualities suggest that the CEF High Command may be using Utopia's population as guinea pigs, field-testing a new combat drug. Others point to the incredible addictiveness of Icepick as evidence that the CID is attempting to gain even more control of the Utopians, turning them into docile sheep.
This campaign is open to a wide variety of character types and organizations acting both alone and in concert. In a criminal underworld campaign, characters could be low-level enforcers working for a cartel, attempting to learn more about and eventually control the flow of Icepick. Police characters, either detective or undercover agents, can work to get the drug off Deep City streets. Finally, characters could be members of one of Utopia's several intelligence agencies, investigating Icepick in an attempt to uncover the CEF's agenda for introducing the drug.
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