Various lancers

 

Lancers, much like Edgers, come from all walks of life doing what they can to survive. They are the fodder of the Corporations for the most part. Deniable assets, well-trained or qualified in their respective fields of experience and ranging in appearance and lifestyle from Corpse-like to Edger-like dependant upon how successful their careers have been. Most have served in some form of organized armed forces, whether it be military, Sec-Pol, Corp-Sec, or so forth, though this isn't always the case. Desiring to be their own boss and either unwilling or unable to make it as a Corpse or Edger, they run the gambit in between the two respective poles of society, known and earning a living based on their most important credentials, their reputation for getting the job done and keeping their mouths shut when it's in their best interest to do so. Those listed below are but a very minute sampling of the veritable legion of mercenary spirits dwelling in the cold world of today...

 

Alice Alice is known for taking jobs as varied as bodyguard assignments and high-profile hits, to collateral damage and industrial espionage contracts; all of which she has proven herself to be an able hand at. Serving for almost a decade as a top security advisor and operative for Mitsutetsu, she decided against renewing her contract, instead seeing the opportunity for a great deal more personal freedom and fiscal earning potential in life as a heavily trained mercenary for hire. Based within Argentina, vague reports of her presence and activities have surfaced from around the world. Known for her discretion and thoroughness, even Mitsutetsu has subsequently hired her for various Ops and missions. Unlike many in her line of work, she readily displays some of her wares, the most obvious being her right hand, which is cybered and fashioned from cutting edge bio-ceramics. Her skills are as varied and honed as one might imagine, with the price for her services matching her extensive talents.

 

Blade Blade's history is unknown, though since his emergence onto the scene in 2301 he's proven himself countless times, amongst fellow Lancers as well as in the eyes of a multitude of Corporate and private employers. His penchant for intimidating and threatening those who are his targets or other operatives who question his abilities has many speculating that his background involves one of the various sordid criminal organizations. With a corporate license provided by Aztechtronics, he most often carries and utilizes blades equipped with various neuro-toxins and/or integrated circuit jumpers that deliver anything from a mild shock to enough amps to flat-line his targets outright. Hiring on for virtually any form of mercenary activity he is without scruples and takes an almost perverse pleasure out of doing his job and doing it well. Based in Tokyo, he is one of the few gaijin that even the Yakuza appear to respect as evidenced by his occasional contract work for them.

 

Cutthroat Dirk Valens, aka Cutthroat was born and raised in the Free-State of New York, specifically within the rough and tumble sprawl of the Bronx. At a young age he began running with one of the Plexs' most notorious gangs, The Drifters, where he earned a reputation for being as hard as nails. After receiving a five year prison term for a double homicide, and while still in Sing-Sing prison, he was approached by Lockheed Aerodyne, a megacorp based in Germany and offered his freedom if he would dedicate the remainder of his initial fifteen year prison term to the corporation. Rather than stew in prison where he'd managed to make several enemies, he took the corporation up on its offer and served faithfully for the next ten years. Upon completion of his contract he opted not to renew his position within Lockheed's counter espionage division and instead became a mercenary for hire. Returning to the Bronx, he has since spent several years in regions as diverse as the Rain Forests of South America to a brief stint in Alaska, where he worked as a security advisor for yet another megacorp. A remorseless and well-trained killer, he prefers jobs that allow him to be in the thick of firefights and the like, considering himself to be less an overseer with a need to direct defenses as a simple soldier. 

 

Dusk Like many Lancers, Dusk prefers to keep her past her own and due to her cool demeanor most tend to respect that fact. Known to have worked for several smaller corporations and at least six of the megacorps at various times throughout her career her skills and professionalism are unquestioned. Used primarily for exfiltrations and counter exfiltrations she has often been hired by rival corporations to perform talent-napping from corporations she's previously worked for. In light of this fact, she never lets those she works with or works for see either her true appearance or learn very much of anything about her other than that she is highly qualified and takes pride in getting the job done. While she has no problem with this crisscrossing of loyalties she doubts that her various employers take things so indifferently. Utilizing the combination of brains, raw talent, in-depth preplanning and timing, she often performs her jobs with minimal life loss, (unless that's the point) and without the intended victims realizing they've been hit until she's already on her way to her employers with the target in tow. Though she travels the world, wherever her contracts take her, she is believed to make her home somewhere within Europe or the Middle East.

 

Katana An artist when it comes to personal, hand to hand conflict; Katana specializes in assassinations that don't look and later can't usually be proven to have been such. Raised from an early age with a traditional Japanese upbringing she is far from the typical unscrupulous Yakuza wetworks specialist one might suspect her to be. In fact, though she has fulfilled more than one contract for the criminal organization, she primarily works for the various megacorps, when they want no trail leading back to them. As socially affluent and well-spoken as any CEO, she lacks their obvious cutthroat nature, which allows her often to be directly involved after the fact, in her hits. Milling amongst the Corp-Sec or Sec-Pol forces under one guise or another without them being any the wiser and allowing her to follow up on her various strikes to make sure that she has achieved her mission in full. Since her identity beyond her street name is largely unknown even such a dangerous practice as visiting the scene of the crime after the fact, poses no real threat to her anonymity or continued freedom. As one might expect, she bases herself somewhere within the precincts of Japan and is among the most elite and expensive mercenaries that can be contracted.

 

Killjoy The woman known as Killjoy is an expert bodyguard and wetworks specialist, often utilized by both megacorps and criminal organizations in both functions. Unlike many in her field she draws the line at that point, not involving herself with the sordid practice of being her current charge's private joy-girl and the like. Little is known of her history save that she was a top operative for Aztechtronics and is rumored to have served for a brief time as one of Babel's BlackOps members. Preferring to be up close and personal when fulfilling a contract on a prospective target she is a master of several different sword styles, and is likewise skilled in various martial arts and knife-fighting techniques. This lady doesn't hire out to just anyone. For one, her services are as costly as they get on the streets, with the price for any contract being negotiated before she will agree to take it on. Having done work for the Yakuza, the Black Hand Mafia, various Triads and several other Mafia organizations she is easily in her element discussing business in corporate boardrooms or in some Oyabun or Dons study and is admired for her professional work ethic and unwillingness to discuss her business contacts even when threatened with torture or tempted with bribery. Based in Seattle, in the Washington Free-State she often serves as bodyguard for the fixer known as Silver and it is believed that the fixer is the woman responsible for Killjoy's introduction into the business and her initial augmentations, which have since allowed her to rise to the top of her profession.

 

Midnight Runner  Just one of the few Edgers who proved too mercenary to truly fit in amongst the rank and file of the street who fight against the megacorps as a whole, Midnight Runner is understandably distrusted by most of her former companions. Originally a well-paid joy-girl, who served as an informant for the Edger Society of Seattle, she used the credit that many Edgers lost their lives trying to acquire during a raid on a Genomix facility to augment herself and pull a fade. The proceeds had been intended to go towards creating a safe haven for the community as a whole, many of whom were being conscripted for genetic experimentation and testing. The betrayal left a foul taste in the mouths of Seattle's Edger community who have done everything just shy of gathering enough credit to put a contract out on her. Owing to her past, Midnight Runner now resides in Europe under an assumed identity that allows her to once again intermingle with the varied tiers of modern day society. Primarily working with exfiltrations and bodyguard assignments, she still retains enough of her initial mentality to avoid taking wetworks contracts, though a rumored bliss-chip addiction may change that in the near future. Thus far her true identity has remained a secret, and for now; she manages to keep both her professional career and her addiction in their proper places, though the future, in light of these things looks grim indeed.

 

Prey Both an assassin for hire as well as a 'specialized' bodyguard, the young woman known simply as Prey is a highly sought after operative. The price for her services is exorbitant, and like most Lancers she has a penchant for detailing each would-be assignment to the letter to make sure that she's not signing up for anything that she's not wholly willing to see through to the end. Willing to be both concubine as well as bodyguard on some assignments, she has guarded both Oyabuns as well as other various criminal and terrorist leaders, usually amidst times of upheaval and turmoil, where her clients desire round the clock protection. Some of these she refuses, and despite her apparent lack of morals in her willingness to act as lover and bodyguard with certain individuals she does base this decision more on her would-be clients personality than simply how much they're willing to pay. Japanese, she is believed to have emerged from the shadowy streets of Old Chiba and has extensive contacts and connections throughout the few Triads and large Yakuza interests who call the place their own. Preferring pistols to most other weapons, she has been known to use garrotes and other such accoutrements when dealing with a simple hit. For a brief time she had been hired to take out the Edger known as Outcast, but returned her commission when she met the man and learned of his disability, making her a rarity among Lancers, who are by and large known to care less about who and why as opposed to how much. Though she may call Techno Chiba home now, she has since been rumored to work out of Bangkok and often travels around the globe, dealing with whoever has the credit and inclination to seek her impressive skills.

 

Raven The woman known as Raven served for some time with the BlackOps forces of Babel, and accepts only the rarest and generally horrifically costly contracts. Though she served as an equal with the woman known as Belladonna, the two had a falling out that ended with Raven tendering her resignation from the largest megacorp, by way of killing the other members of her BlackOps team who had been turned against her by Belladonna. With a price on her head, she is understandably careful, bordering on paranoid when conducting business and prefers to conduct the majority of her meetings through virtual means, involving little, if any physical proximity. An assassin and exfiltration artist by trade, she harbors a deep hatred for Belladonna and hopes to one day earn the chance to face off against her arch rival. Among Lancers she is both feared and respected, and many of the various megacorps vacillate between trying to lure her in to capture her as a favor to Babel and enjoying utilizing her in dangerous operations simply to flout the premiere megacorp's supposed control of the grand scheme of things. As a result, she rarely does business with anyone other than well-reputed fixers, Neu-Leben or Hatsiko, the only two megacorps that have not yet betrayed her. Believed to be heavily augmented she keeps her whereabouts and location unknown, though she often deals through such contacts as Silver, Razor and Redrum, avoiding most others due to their questionable nature, at least in her eyes.

 

 

Scar A tough and ruthless customer, Scar has served with several different corporations over the course of his illustrious career. A sociopath by definition, he has no compunction nor hesitates to take contracts that many, would refuse outright. Known for his terrorist-like strikes on Corpse, fellow Lancers and the Edgers of the streets, his contracts usually call for the death of, or an example to be made of the specific target and all of his or her friends and family, which he gladly sees to for a hefty sum. Having served with Genomix, Aztechtronics, Hatsiko and even Babel briefly, he might have stayed with Babel had he not had a falling out with the cyborg known as Riproar, who basically established that should they cross paths again Scar would share the fate of his own long list of victims. Not one to openly admit fear or most human related emotions, Scar is no fool and does his best to avoid crossing paths with the renegade cyborg. In doing so he has turned down many lucrative contracts within the New York Free-State, where it is rumored Riproar spends the majority of his time. A favorite operative among criminal circles he has earned the respect of even the Yakuza, a rare instance where a gaijin is thought of as anything more than an expendable buffoon. His callous disregard for the targets he's sent to see to has earned him a reputation among fellow Lancers and Edgers alike, who will often shoot first rather than ask questions when or if they see the man. Knowing this, Scar usually makes sure that he's well-prepared for such meetings in advance, or that he establishes the rules of conduct, which even he adheres to, before placing himself in such a precarious position. Largely mobile in his operations and business, it is rumored that he occasionally spends time in Brazil, where people are less apt to disturb him when he's in-between missions.

 

Star Not all Lancers are former Special Ops, Corp-Sec or BlackOps, such is the case with the woman known simply as Star. Born in Wales, she spent much of her formative youth as a half-starved street urchin, stealing and scrounging what she could to keep herself from starvation or freezing. As fate would have it, the gangly awkward young girl blossomed, despite the dirt and smell one tends to associate with such riff-raff, into a beautiful young woman. Forced to enter a life of prostitution in an attempt to better her dismal circumstances she spent a handful of years gradually rising from the squalor of the streets to the point where she was able to afford a ramshackle doss that would keep her from freezing in the winter and being rolled, and worse by the virulent scum of the streets. Avoiding the pimps and gangers who saw her as little more than a bit of drunken sport for their pleasures and a potential wage earner to keep themselves from sharing her circumstances, she eventually hooked up with an eco-terrorist group that saw her finally learn how to do such simple things as read and write, not to mention the more militaristic arts of demolitions and terrorist tactics that the group used to garner attention for those causes they held dear. In the Spring of 2305 her small family, which by now is what they had become to her, ran afoul of one of Genomix subsidiary corporations who hired a team of Lancers to exterminate them to a one. The last to survive the ensuing onslaught, chance finally tumbled in her favor as the Lancer who found her took pity upon her and allowed her to escape. Lost without her companions, she began stalking the Lancer, intent upon revenge, though what ended up happening is reminiscent of the psychological term known as Stockholm syndrome. Over the next two years she and the aging mercenary became lovers and during this time he taught her those skills that he equated with being necessary simply to survive in this day in age. Sadly, yet again fate took a turn for the worst when her lover and mentor ran afoul of Neu-Leben, who subsequently had one of their wetworks specialists zero him out of hand. Gathering what data and credit remained from the man's long life as a mercenary she bartered herself a deal and managed to gain some level of augmentation, in the hopes of both avenging him and eventually earning a living through the same means. Presently she is a well-established Lancer, known for her unflinchingly cold-nature in achieving the contracts she takes on. In the interim she has had more than a few lovers, though she subconsciously sabotages the relationships, usually only after a few months, the fear of losing someone dear to her representing a very real trauma that she no longer feels equipped to handle. She presently works out of London, traveling and performing various missions and Ops around the world, now a far cry from the frightened little urchin she was a lifetime ago.

 

Thunderbird Formerly of Hatsiko, the man known as Thunderbird was given his walking papers when it was learned that he had an unhealthy fixation upon Mariko Kobayashi. A security officer of high ranking and impressive experience, Thunderbird has since turned to the life of a Lancer to earn his living. Often serving one megacorp or another, with the notable exception of Hatsiko, as an anti-exfiltration specialist, aiding in keeping key personnel where they belong. Aside from this relatively quiet focus of Lancer life, he deals in corporate espionage and counter espionage, strictly on contract, no longer willing to suck from the corporate tit after his treatment by Hatsiko. Though it's true he was in love with the grand daughter of the megacorp's CEO, his termination was largely orchestrated by the Ice Queen a corporate hacker for the self-same megacorp, who found his interest in her lover disturbing, especially given that Mariko seemed just as interested in him. Sabotaging any hope of a relationship between the two, she still occasionally does her best to cause problems for the man, a fact that he is painfully aware of. At present he is gathering and pooling all the resources he can manage, in the eventual hope of having her permanently removed as both a rival and antagonist. Working for Nippon World Wide, he currently serves as a contracted Lancer for their Hong Kong branch and is well on his way to the small fortune he expects will be necessary for gathering the operatives he needs to remove the Ice Queen as a threat, once and for all.

 

Xrata The mercenary known simply as Xrata is a conundrum, whose past is unknown even to herself. In truth, she is the twin of an Edger known as Incubus, who was thought to have died during his tenure with a Yakuza backed Corporation. Unbeknownst to either of the siblings, their sensei was well aware of their growing disillusionment with service to the House and so deigned to separate the young operatives in the hopes that it would make them more manageable. Instead, as often proves the case when men overstep themselves; their separation had the opposite affect. Believing that her sibling was dead, Xrata as well as Incubus ended up utilizing their extensive training and no small amount of augmentation to escape the clutching grasp of the Yakuza, during which, Incubus single handedly brought the criminal organization almost to its sure demise. Though neither of them is aware of it, the organization managed, through a series of horrifically bloody coups to rise up from its near destruction and has subsequently dispatched operatives to bring the two siblings back into the fold, or eliminate them as examples. Far more mercenary than her brother, Xrata has since had a bio-sculpt to alter her appearance and now works the streets of Vancouver as an elite Lancer whose reputation and ability to perform those contracts she accepts has earned her further augmentation, while at the same time sheering away a great deal of what was left of her humanity.