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The Tiger

 

Ripstar was suspicious, never before, for as long as he could remember, had two Johnsons ever offered him the same job. But then Ripstar could only remeber back a couple of years, the rest wasa blank.
"Now Mr.,ummm, Ripstar here is the deal." The Johnson said, "We will give you 10,000 nuyen now."
"And 10,000 more after Mr. Trey has been disposed of." the second Johnson finished.
Ripstar narrowed his eyes, wondering what they weren't telling him. As far as he knew Arthur Trey was a simple quiet man. But this was too much money for him to just be a simple quiet man. Ripstar didn't like it, he wished he could afford to pass this job up, but he needed the money too badly.
"Gentlemen, you have a deal." Ripstar said.
The Johnson sitting the closest to the wall of the booth, a short, balding, weasely looking man, handed Ripstar a credstick. "Here's your advance." the weasely looking man said. Ripstar took the certified credstick and checked it, verifying that there was indeed 10,000 nuyen on it.
"The rest will be waiting here for you when you get back." said the other Johnson, a taller dignified looking man.

Ripstar left the club. Tracking down Trey was not a hard job, and by noon Ripstar had pinned down his location. Ripstar pulled up to the warehouse, and entered. Inside, a tall muscular man fitting Trey's description was rifling through one of the many crates inside the warehouse. Ripstar silently moved through the ware house. He slipped a monowire garrote into his hand, moving up behind Trey, he slipped the garrote over the man's head and pulled. The garrote cut deep into Trey's neck, but Trey was muscled enough that Ripstar was having a difficult time cutting through the man's neck. Blood poured from Trey's throat, and Ripstar heard the man trying to breath through his severed trachea. Finally Arthur Trey's body went limp. Ripstar removed the garrote from his thrat and let Trey's body fall limply to the ground. Ripstar carefully re-wound the monowire garrote, and placed it back in its special pouch. Ripstar turned to leave, but then he heard it.

Ripstar turned at the sound of a deep throated growl, standing once again was Arthur Trey, the wound in his neck reweaving itself together. Trey's face was becoming more angular, longer, and his teeth were growing. Fear shot through Ripstar, and he turned and ran as fast as he possibly could, vaulting boxes and poles in the warehouse. As he ran Ripstar pulled his Predator out from under his jacket. His Smartlink made the gun seem to come alive in his hand. Ripstar sent a mental thought to the gun, ejecting the clip. Ripstar heard a loud roar somewhere behind him as he searched for a special clip. He found it, jammed it into the Predator, and jacked the slide. Ripstar then stopped and turned, leveling the Predator. The Tiger was on him in an instant, its massive weight bowling him over. The Tiger's masive claws struck, shredding Ripstar's armored jacket, as well as a good portion of his chest. Ripstar uttered a prayer as he pulled the Predator's trigger twice. He heard a pained howl from the Tiger asthe first silver round passed through its body, the second made a dull thud sound,and the Tiger, Trey, collapsed. Ripstar struggled out from under the massive beast, and once on his feet again, emptied the rest of the Predator's silver rounds into the Were-Tiger.

Ripstar had spent several hours bandaging his wounds. Now his blood was begining to soak through his makeshift bandages. Not that it really mattered, he was covered in blood, both his and the Were-Tigers. Now he wlked down the street, people turned and stared at his gore covered visage, but that was not all they stared at. In his right hand Ripstar still held the Predator, though it was reloaded now with extra explosive rounds, in his left hand was the tiger, who he dragged by the scruff of its neck. Ripstar turned into the club and walked to the booth were both of the Johnsons were sitting. Ripstar dropped the dead tiger in front of the Johnsons booth. Both men turned as the tiger dropped, and turned white as they saw Ripstar. The tall dignified one reached inside his jacket and pulled out a certified credstick, which he handed to Ripstar. Ripstar pocketed the credstick.
"Well Mr. Ripstar it was a pleasure doing bussines..." the dignified Johnson started to say as both Johnson's rose from the booth. He never finished. The Predator rose, and the Weasely man's head exploded, a moment later the loud crack of the Predator sounded. As the dignifiedJohnson tried to figure out whatr happened, Ripstar shoved the Predator into the Johnson's mouth, and slammed the man into the wall behind him.
"Listen, and listen good you little prick!" Ripstar snarled, "If I ever catch you down here again, or if any of your `Associates' ever lie to me again, I will find you, and I will make what happened to your friend seem desireable." Ripstar then pulled the Predator out of the man's mouth and threw him to the floor. The Johnson scrambled up and ran out the door. Ripstar would have smiled, if he didn't hurt so much.

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By P.Baumgart